1325–75; Middle English < Medieval Latin, Late Latin pāgānus ‘worshiper of false
gods’, orig. ‘civilian’ (i.e., not a soldier ofChrist), Latin: ‘peasant’, noun use of
pāgānus ‘rural, civilian’,derivative of pāgus ‘village, rural district’ (akin to
pangere ‘to fix,make fast’)
(courtesy of dictionary.com)
Pagan (as you can see) comes from a Latin term meaning “rustic” or country-dweller”. The Latins were talking about people that did not live in the city and lived off the land (hunters, farmers, etc.) They recognized that the all-powerful comes from the earth and all its creatures. This includes humans. Because we are of the earth, we possess the earth’s power, in conjunction. To me, that’s pagan, in a nutshell.