This is for Vejiortan, although he’s probably going to hate my perspective :-P. However, this is a comprehensive and representative expression of what I believe.
The common element of paganism in all its forms is metaphysics, the idea that material reality is an emanation of a higher, more abstract reality where ideals interact with each other. The most basic archetypes are like forces in physics with a lot more life and personality, which occasionally take on physical bodies or are embodied by avatars (Skyrim‘s daedra are a great illustration of the former, and the Avatar series is a good illustration of the latter). All material things have varying proportions of archetypal forms as their essence, along with some superficial material cruft that sometimes accumulates like dust. These essences occasionally shine through when the physical thing resonates with its ideal form; for example, your grandfather’s old sword might exude a captivating energy when the sun is in Aries. Contra thermodynamics, metaphysics says reality “wants” to be in a higher energy state where physical things resonate with, conform to, and channel their essential archetypes, but these heightened states cycle in accordance with the celestial dance (not exploding exponentially).
The archetypal forms are multifaceted and govern many qualities, so if we’re making a couple of them up we might say “Greeble is the abstract force that governs masculinity, light, and the color blue, and his wife Goober is the passive essence of femininity, trees, and the color yellow.” To apply a suitably ridiculous astrology to this silly, made-up example, a person born while the sun is halfway between Greeble and Goober might be a blond androgyne with a passion for forestry and cloud-gazing. My point is to indicate that the archetypes are not made of elements antd qualities; rather, elements and qualities are facets of the archetypes (all of this talk of facets is why crystals are such an excellent concrete analogue for metaphysical ideals). Thus, they are preferably represented by runes, glyphs, sigils, etc. rather than compositions of letters and syllables in order to express this holism. And to be clear, pagans believe there is an objectively correct set of archetypes which are discovered by humans like physical laws, rather than invented by us.
John Dee’s monas hieroglyphica, a globalist’s attempt to encapsulate a universalistic prisca sapientia in a single glyph, will serve as an example.
This reductionism is a perversion of paganism, Vejiortan surely would not approve!
The interaction between ideals and material physics is governed by the law of attraction: spirits attract similar spirits. A consequence of this is syncronicities, which is the idea that spiritual phenomena can manifest via a series of unlikely coincidences, if the spirit is strong enough and localized. For example, one of the Runesoup podcasts featured a guy who AB tested two plants, one growing inside a pyramid-shaped edifice and one growing outside the pyramid. Because the pyramid is a sigil for anti-entropic organization, it caused that plant to grow larger than the control plant. Alchemy, when it is not a metaphor for something else, refers to the art and science of directing and composing these fundamental forces. For example:
This brings us to Zodiacism, my name for the speculative antediluvian global melonhead religion © ® ™. I believe that the Zodiac itself was conceived as a repository of these archetypes and powers, which further serve the purpose of encapsulating highly abstract macrophenomena, like expressing the Pyrrhic cycle and the Cancer symbol.
In keeping with my belief that Jesus was actively interacting within this ancient religion, I believe the 12/13 tribes and apostles directly parallel the 12/13 signs of the Zodiac. So while I don’t buy Chris Knowles’ theory that Jesus was an Egyptian magician, I do think he had/has the most powerful grasp of meme magic of anyone in written history. This should put to rest any concern that I’m dismissing Paganism as frivolous melon magic—on the contrary, I think it’s mostly true and entirely compatible with the Christian worldview. The slight differences between Zodiacism and Christianity are of course partisan and history shows that Pagans and Christians can’t live together any more than can Christians and Mohammedans, but I think it’s clarifying to think of them as opposing perspectives within the same system. C.S. Lewis famously believed that Christianity is the culmination of paganism, in the same way that Jesus claimed that he was the fulfillment of the Mosaic law.
But the antediluvian version of the prisca sapientia was lost in the dark ages of the Younger Dryas, save what little may have been preserved or reconstructed by hermetic occultists in various times and places. Remnants are found anywhere we find artifacts of that civilization as hermetic philosophy: Swideria, Sumer, Maya civilization (and related), Egypt, Phoenicia, Benin City, Hindu India, Confucian China, Platonic Greece, Talmudic Israel (possibly also Solomon’s Israel), Catholic Christendom, Voltaire’s France, Norman England, Goethe’s Germany, and Freemason America. (In my opinion, it looks like Japan is next. They’re the only country whose elites appear to understand the meme magic they’re harnessing. I, for one, dread to welcome our new samurai overlords.)
There is a deep and troubling irony here: Zodiacists and Christians can’t live together (as I said), but they will never live without each other, either. “Let both grow together until the harvest. At that time I will tell the harvesters: ‘First collect the weeds and tie them in bundles to be burned; then gather the wheat and bring it into my barn.'”
(Nice hat bro.)
All this is to say that the supposed conflict of the ideas in paganism and Christianity is completely overblown, comparable to the supposed incompatibility of faith and science. The difference is entirely determined by the question of Yahweh’s authority (the source of the war in heaven, please recall), and the rest is either identity politics or purely academic. Dialectically speaking, we might as well be arguing which tribe was here first, which tribe is the first, real humans, or who the bigger victim is in all this. The accusation by Protestants, atheists, and pagans alike that Catholicism is rebranded paganism mixing true Aryan paganism with the Babylonian mystery cult is really quite facile: in light of Jesus’ words, it really couldn’t have been otherwise.
Outside of the nigh-eternal culture war in the institutions are the various nations and tribes who are getting along without any knowledge of all this. Here we find primitive, little-p paganism: a mishmash of superstition, cultural legends, and spiritual truths learned by observation of strange phenomena (like ghosts) and passed around like rumors. When we use the word “pagan” as an adjective to describe a mood, this sense of primitive awe is what we mean to inspire. These beliefs are the Hobbesian baseline of human tribal existence, and maleducated wiccans fall into this camp despite that their worldview is provided by institutional propaganda, on account of all the bullshit fanfiction they write for each other. Such people are easy to make fun of as useless savages, but if we’re being honest it’s just another chance to make fun of low-IQ, low-functioning druggies.
Less obvious is that your normalfag, basic bitch Greek genpop would also have fallen into this group. I believe Plato was in a distinct minority of hermeticists who studied metaphysics, hence the execution of Socrates, a man who believed in the gods but was nonetheless accused of corrupting the youth with his impious philosophy. The average Greek would have believed in the literal truth of the Iliad and gods who were just superhuman weirdos to be appeased and ingratiated. So, more like true believers of Marvel comics and less like the aedra and daedra in Skyrim. Despite my belief that their average full-scale IQs were slightly higher than modern whites (but lower than the 1850 Anglosphere), I don’t believe for a second that Greece was a utopia of hyperborean philosopher kings.
In the secular arena, you have the “psychoanalytical paganism” of Goethe, Jung, and now Jordan Peterson. They combine philosophical solipsism with the pattern recognition of anthropologists, and conclude that “gods” exist because we create them with magical Disney faith to fulfill our deepest desires. For example, Venus is a dream inspired by Freud’s sex drive, but since we’re living in the Matrix she’s as real as anything else. If you’re a philosophical sophist this makes perfect sense because everything is made of imagination, but to everyone else it appears like rationalizing belief for the sake of belief. Low-ability neo-pagans fall into this group because they don’t even believe in their own religion, they just want a tribal identity and religion is one of the boxes sociologists say you have to check.
tl;dr- Paganism is metaphysics, metaphysics is the recorded revelation of powers and archetypes, Zodiacism is the prisca sapientia, Christianity is indistinct from Zodiacism except for the Yahweh Question, little-p paganism is low prole, and humanism is solipsism masquerading as idealism.