Pagan is derived from the Latin Paganus, meaning 'a civilian', and from Pagus, 'a village'. Pagans are people from a village, or more commonly, simply country-dwellers. The majority of Pagans today live in towns, this term accurately describes the Pagan heritage, and the affinity which modern Pagans feel with the natural environment.
Most modern pagans believe that everything has a soul or spirit. People, animals, plants and even some inanimate objects possess a soul, and a specific place in the world, that is, we all exist for a reason. Some may not take the belief so far, but may still believe that every living thing is just as important as any other. People, animals, plants, etc. are created equal and must be afforded respect. Which is why sometimes you may see a pagan requesting permission from a tree before picking an apple! This is called Animism, and all Pagan religions share this belief. Rivers, animals, rocks, trees, land are all filled with their own unique spirits.
Much of our myth and folklore has to do with the changing of seasons and other natural events. In addition, those cycles that mirror the cycles of Nature which Religious ceremonies co-ordinate with the phases of the moon. Myth and folklore have a lot to do with the changing of seasons and other natural events, as well as cycles that mirror the cycles of Nature which take place within the human body. Eg the monthly menstrual cycle. Modern pagans follow a religion which is as old as humanity itself, but whose practices have been adapted to suit life in the modern world, people who have made a positive choice to follow a path of individual spiritual growth, in harmony with the Earth.
Modern Pagans come from all walks of life, including police officers, scientists, solicitors, health care professionals, teachers, farmers, information technology specialists, industrial relation specialists, graphic designers, engineers, the list goes on!