There really is no true reason for a Pagan to believe in Deity. I mean, if one is persuaded by a staunch, fundamentalist monotheist, it is imperative that you believe, because if you do not, the future looks rather bleak for you; fire, brimstone, gnashing of teeth, burning with intense heat and breathing in smoke for all time. I can see why the fear of being damned would make so many choose or even force themselves to believe in a religion or philosophy that they may find illogical or even downright unbelievable.
For a Pagan though, no such pressure exists. I have no fear of eternal damnation. I have no worries of being chained and tortured by the fallen ones. I do not even have to live a ‘good life’. I can be nasty; I can be selfish, mean, stingy, greedy, and sexually immoral. I can be a liar, a fraud, a thief, a murderer and it matters not, for to be a Pagan means there is no hard and fast dictates of morality, behavior or conformity. In fact, the opposite is truer. I have never seen such a bunch of free thinkers, individualists, self-expressionists and non-conformists as in Pagan or Heathen circles. I am honoured to be in their ranks.
So why would a Pagan with all these freedoms actually tie themselves down to the honour and worship of a Deity when they don’t have to? Why go to all that trouble? Because, make no mistake, believing in a Goddess or God isn’t the lazy man’s way. I hold rituals to honour the Great Ones regularly. I make offerings, I create prayers and songs. I read of Them, I learn of Them, I meditate and dream of Them. They take up a lot of my time. Why do I do it? The reason is because, I have no choice. I cannot choose NOT to. I am a natural born polytheist. I am a natural born religionist. I am a natural born believer in the realms of the Unseen.
I cannot choose to be an atheist. There is something either psychologically or physiologically within me that makes it impossible. I have tried in my earlier years to ‘not believe’. I have read many books on atheism and the resulting ‘scientific’ proof that reportedly shows that Divine intervention and guidance stems purely from my own overactive and emotional imagination. I have tried to put those beliefs and thought processes behind me. But, I always fail because I know deep down in my heart and where my most private and intimate thoughts grow, that They are with me and that, as long as I take breath, They will always live in me.
Perhaps it is true that religion or belief in the Gods is unscientific, illogical or even irrational. That may be. I just know that for myself, I see Them, I hear Them. To deny what I know would be lying and would make me a fraud. I believe more strongly in that which is Unseen, in that which is illogical, in that which baffles and confuses and unhinges us much more strongly and deeply than in any statistic or scientific notation or hypothesis. My body sings for the Unseen. My whole existence is one of thankfulness and the resultant overflow of gratitude and acknowledgement for the presence of the Gods and the Spirits in my life.
I can’t prove it. I can’t prove that the Gods exist. I can’t prove to a skeptic that I have heard Their voices or that I have seen Spirits of the Dead or that I walk between the Worlds, going back and forth like a commuter to work. I have no proof. I don’t feel I have to. You are either called to this Path or you are not. I believe one is born knowing. Teaching the Craft is impossible if the basic makeup of the person is one of doubt, and in only believing what one can see or touch with their physical eyes and hands. Just as I cannot be taught or persuaded to believe any differently, I believe the atheists and agnostics among us cannot either. They cannot help how they are, any more than I can help how I am. It is set.
I may be insane. I may be the most irrational, confused and demented person on the Earth, but I know what I know. I know what I believe and I know that at the end of it all, I have been true to my heart and to Them. And in this peace I go on, walking between the Worlds, proud to be Pagan, proud to be polytheistic and deeply religious, proud to be me.