Pan is one of those gods that can be easily misunderstood and his story is a wild ride! With this article, we are going to learn all we need to know about him and how his energy can help us.
- Who is Pan?
- The myth of Pan: myth and origins
- What is Pan god of?
- How do you know that Pan is calling you?
- What are Pan’s symbols?
- My favorite books about Pan
- My favorite ritual with Pan
- Pan artwork
Who is Pan?
To understand the god Pan, a controversial mythological figure, it will be necessary to start from the external features that distinguish this mysterious figure.
Pan is a demigod, half-man and half-goat, with such an ugly appearance that he has even been abandoned by his mother, the nymph Dryope.
His father, it is said, however, is the god Hermes, the divine messenger of Olympus. With the advent of Christianity, his hooves, thick beard, tail, and horns were often associated with Satan. One of his main characteristics was his chilling scream, capable of leaving his enemies unconscious or in a state of absolute panic, hence the name “panic attack” for psychological condition of our day.
In fact, it would seem that the condition “half-man and half-beast” approaches the sensation of clinical panic (the impossibility of acting and being stuck in an in-between situation).
The myth of Pan: myth and origins
In the myth, he was born from the union of the God Hermes with Dryope, the “Nymph of the Oak”.
Hermes was grazing sheep in Arcadia when, seeing that he had it, he fell in love with Dyrope and possessed it: from their meeting the little god was born, half-animal and half-human, with a bristly and bearded face, full of precocious wisdom, but also of a wild cheerfulness.
His mother fled upon seeing him, leaving him to Hermes, who wrapped him in hare skins and took him to Olympus, where everyone liked him, especially Dionysus. He was called “Pan” because “everyone” liked him. Occultly, Hermes, or Mercury, the “messenger of the gods”, is a symbol for the consciousness of the Adept who, by moving to the various Locations or Divinities of the body, realizes different forms of subtle experience of reality.
From the contact of the spiritual conscience with the fluid, “feminine”, and an impersonal entity that has the name of Nymph (from “nympha” or “lympha”, the vital energy of plants that is placed under the sign of the Moon), desire is born, which is precisely Pan.
Birth itself, depriving him of his mother, who “flees” because the fluid, unconscious elements of the personality are “fixed” by the consciousness that destroys them, incorporating them all into itself (Pan).
In fact, Pan was androgynous, bringing together consciousness, wisdom—the being of man (the old man)—and the unconsciousness, the naivety—the nature of the woman (the child).
The animal and divine side of creation, the synthesis of opposites, with dual forms of consciousness unknown to individuals. Hermes, the conscience, recognizes him and makes him his own, wrapping him in hare skins (a symbol for the hermaphrodite) and bringing him “up”, among the Olympic gods, because the enlightened desire always tends upwards, giving life to all higher spiritual forms, which exist only in him and through him.
The natural seat of the god was the deserted and solitary places where hovered a silent and powerful presence, fearful, sensual, which caused desire (the man), but also subtle, melodious and irresistible, which was attracted as if by magic (the woman).
The old belief
A representation of nature in all its wild strength, the god Pan has always been seen as the generating force in male form and is still recognized today by the Wiccan religion as the beneficial father, as opposed to the Goddess, the Earth, Gaea, who is the primary force.
As a fertilizer, he had a great sexual connotation from the beginning, which together with his repellent aspect have made him the symbol of male supremacy.
The large horns, the shaggy legs, and hooves, the tail, the thick beard, as well as the strong sexual charge, the ability to generate panic only with his appearance and his scream, made it inevitable that with the advent of Christianity he was identified with the devil. Or, as some scholars declare, that he has been assimilated to the Christian religion with this name.
Nymphs have always been associated with Pan and his satyrs, primordial creatures, spirits of nature themselves, which were generated by it. Beautiful girls, also custodians of a strong sexual charge, to the point that the word nymphomaniac derives from their name.
The nymphs and satyrs have always mated in the thick of the forests, under the branches of thousand-year-old oaks, in an ancient sexual game. That was the primary occupation of such creatures, beings created by nature itself and dominated by it.
Generate. Generate life, crops, every plant species, herds, and wild animals. Protectors of the woods and fields, they led a simple and bucolic life, played their flutes, slept in the shade of old trees, tasted all the pleasures of sex.
Christianity changed everything, assimilated the old religions by adapting them, and since there was no place for them in Heaven, they were thrown into Hell.
Pan became Satan, and his satyrs the devils. The lascivious nymphs became wicked witches, and the pleasant amusements of satyrs and nymphs in the heart of the forest became infernal sabbaths where witches mated with goats and deformed devils.
The statues and paintings depicting these unnatural and blasphemous unions all too resembled the more festive ones of the pairing between satyrs and nymphs.
The god Pan playing the flute—Pan, the undisputed god of nature—was transformed into the lord of the Underworld, a title that would certainly have been more appropriate for Hades. Once again, poor Pan had been betrayed by his bestial aspect. The god of nature, of growth, of life itself, the generator, the one who gave sustenance to men, was now portrayed as the destroyer, a symbol of all evil and corruption.
How did this come about? Why had the shy and ethereal nymphs turned into wicked witches? Why had their earthly joys become abominable sabbaths?
Obviously, a religion that repressed sex and that considered it the cause of all misfortune could not accept mythology that had made sex its very reason for being. It could not simply forget them and consign them to oblivion, but it was necessary to demonize them, so that they were always a warning to men.
The very union of apparently human girls with beings of animal descent was, in their eyes, an abomination, which they tried to erase through centuries of oppression and inquisition.
The coupling between the satyrs and the nymphs, of the woman with the beast, had entered the collective imagination.
The very foundation of the forbidden, which attracted and caused repulsion alike. A spontaneous, primitive, wild union, disconnected from the Christian concept of love, but dominated only by lust and pleasure. An irrepressible desire of these fragile girls for the pure sexual act, accompanied by the very high sexual charge of these humanoid beings, extremely gifted to the point that a normal woman would have run away just by seeing them.
In the faded memory of Pan and his nymphs, thousands and thousands of women faced the stake, some guilty of having met him only in their dreams, some of having loved nature and accepted her gifts, some innocent victims of circumstances.
This assimilation was very strange because Pan is the only Hellenic divinity of which there is a myth about his death.
Therefore he is the only god, and therefore immortal, who is still dead. Indeed, the death of that being who loved the woods, meadows, and mountains, who grazed his flocks and raised bees, a perennially cheerful god, so viscerally linked to nature and the pleasures of the flesh, threw the whole world into anguish when news of his disappearance was given.
With him, the wild nature disappeared, the impenetrable woods were now violated by man, the free animals increasingly decimated, the very equilibrium on which existence was founded was destroyed.
The myth, that of being a goat, had its roots in a very distant past and traces could be found in many of the most disparate mythologies. In Italy, his name was Faun, and his species was called by the names of fauns and sylvanians, long before they were identified with satyrs. Magical beings who always, in pre-Christian times, were everywhere considered benevolent deities, bearers of life.
Almost two millennia had to pass before Pan was given back his primordial role as a pagan deity.
Alongside mythology, a certainly more medical and well-founded idea was born. It would seem precisely the etymology of the word Pan to suggest the word panic. Why does Pan appear in our head? There is no single precise cause to understand from what the panic attack arises, but it is certain that there is basic non-listening. In the presence of alexithymia (the inability to feel and express emotions), there will be a great accumulation of fears, impulses, and questions; this will inevitably cause, subsequently, an uncontrollable and sudden explosion.
Sometimes, we look at these symptoms and reactions with suspicion, taking lightly the fact that Pan is nothing more than a message not received previously, that if it had been listened to carefully, it would have been resolved in the bud.
A demigod with a strong sexual connotation
Pan, like Dionysus and Priapus, was also generally represented with a large phallus. Just recently, the demigod was referred to as the god of masturbation by James Hillman, a well-known American psychologist, who claims Pan is the inventor of masturbation.
Because of his unpleasant appearance, Pan was forced to practice autoeroticism, or to engage in sexual violence. It could be said that he was suffering from nymphomania, understood as a real obsession for nymphs.
Pan’s unrequited love often turned into a real mania, an obsession with nefarious effects. Pitis, for example, was a nymph who had two suitors, Pan and Boreas (the north wind). Pitis, however, was in love with Pan and, when she chose to bond with him, the cold north wind blew so hard that she fell off a cliff. The goddess Earth then transformed her into a pine.
But the most famous nymph persecuted by Pan is undoubtedly Syrinx. Syrinx, was a follower of Artemis, and when Pan fell in love with her, he fled to the banks of the River Ladon . But it was a useless escape, because Pan continued to chase her, undaunted. To escape him for good, she transformed into a bundle of marsh reeds with the help of river nymphs. Pan, angry, tore some off to build a musical instrument that emitted divine music: the syrinx. So, he would have owned her forever.
In fact, in a statue in the Louvre, Pan is depicted holding grapes and a syrinx, his favorite wind instrument.
As such, he is also a god of shepherds and livestock, as pastoralism was partially the symbol of a civilized human condition, that is, anterior to agrarian civilization. Pan was revered, but also feared, by the shepherds; his presence, however, was dangerous for everyone, especially in the midday hours: it was an indication of a crisis that translated into “fear” (called “panic”, from his name).
According to different versions, he was a son of Zeus, or of Cronus, or of a shepherd, etc.; the best known made him a son of the god Hermes. A myth told of his love for the nymph Eco. His cult seems to originate in Arcadia, but it is still widespread throughout Greece.
What is Pan god of?
God of the woods. The Romans identified him with their god Faun.
How do you know that Pan is calling you?
- If you feel in tune with nature
- If, when a storm comes up, you feel excited by the destructive force of nature
- If you dream of him and your sex drive is boosted
- If you keep seeing flutes and natural elements all around you
Best ways to connect with Pan
Cast a sex spell and ask Pan for help
If you need to boost your sex drive and your sex life, you can ask Pan for help. Invoke him and ask him to support your spell casting with his energy and his power. You can create a custom prayer for him and use a statue or picture of him as a special addition to your sacred space.
Meditate and visualize him playing his flute
Pan can easily connect with you with the power of visualization and meditation. When you feel you need some strong energy in your life, especially on a physical and sexual level, use meditation and visualization to let him support you.
Have a picnic outside in nature
Spend some time in an old-fashioned way. Spend some time outside—especially at midday, as that’s Pan’s hour—and drink a few glasses of wine in his honor, have some fun playing a flute, singing, dancing, or listening to music. Of course, ask him to join you during this special time in nature.
If you’re a man and struggling with infertility, ask him to help you
Cast a fertility spell and dedicate your craft to him as he is a god of woods but also of male fertility. He will definitely help you boost both your fertility and your sex life.
How do you honor Pan?
- Spend time in nature
- Have fun
- Drink and dance like no one is watching
- Spend more time with your partner and get sexy
- Enjoy time alone as well
- Create an altar dedicated to him
- Sing and play the flute
What are Pan’s favorite offerings?
- Wine (Pan loves it; it’s a great way to relax and have fun)
- Honey (this is a great offering to attract his nymphs!)
- A flute (to feel a connection to his sacred instrument)
Prayer for Pan
“Pan, my beloved god of the woods,
Let your joy and your powerful energy take over,
let it be the energy to rule my whole life,
Give me the chance to enjoy nature, life, and the pleasures around me
So be it”
What are Pan’s symbols?
The flute, single or double-barreled, or in the shape of a bagpipe, or “syrinx “, expresses how the force divides, multiplies infinitely, especially in the symbol of the “Seven”, like the pipes of the bagpipe.
In occult relationships, the sevenfold form is assumed by the vital energy (the seven Centers or Planets), to the rhythm of which the nymphs dance. In this way, Pan’s action harmonizes the instinctual chaos in a higher spiritual form. The vital, biological nature of this action, of this harmony, which in the body structure was caused by vibrations produced by breath (a symbol of the Spirit ).
The two horns, first of all, signify holiness, as in the prophets, but it is different, material holiness of a spirituality immersed in the earth, which creates in matter, like an ancient demiurge.
The position on the sides of the forehead, in the points of the will, expresses the will to fulfill oneself in a physical, material sense, to materially embody one’s being. Their number, two, or “dia” (hence the adjective “diabolical”), their branched form in the shape of a deer (a symbol for initiation), mean division and fragmentation, but in the true sense of multiplication, of amplification in a single image, creating an eternity that, on earth, is expressed only in the indefinite multiplicity of beings and forms.
Hence, this also represents the creative and fecundating, phallic character of the god. The beard expresses wisdom, but the snub nose, pointed ears, horns, and the rest tell how it is a wisdom of a different, natural kind that is revealed here, an innate wisdom. An old-child who “knows”, aware that all human wisdom is ultimately useless: “Everything returns, and wisdom is in vain” he says to those who question him.
My favorite books about Pan
Pan — God of the Woods by Lawrence Spencer
This is a great read if you are intrigued by Pan and how this god changed the way we see gods and goddesses from ancient traditions and beliefs. If you are curious to learn more about Pan and his powers, this is the book you should read.
Pagan Portals — Pan: Dark Lord of the Forest and Horned God of the Witches by Melusine Draco
To explore the connection between witches and Pan, this book is a must-read. Easy but in-depth research to help you know all the important info about Pan and his magical energy.
Horns of Power: Manifestations of the Horned God by Sorita d’Este
Sorita d’Este is an esoteric teacher who knows it all about deities, magic, and the history behind the most intriguing and celebrated myths and their influence in our culture over the centuries. This book is an excursus into the manifestation of Pan and how his representation changes over the years.
My favorite ritual with Pan
This ritual helps you attract the finest things in life together with abundance, wealth, and luck
This ritual should be performed during the night of a full moon.
- A green candle
- A statue or any other representation of Pan
- A magnet
How to perform it
Light the green candle.
Hold the magnet in your hands and recite this formula seven times:
“God Pan, God Pan, God Pan. Luck is flourishing, luck is real, luck is mine. God Pan, God Pan, God Pan. Your vibrant energy feeds me with joys, luck is flourishing, luck is true, luck is mine. Your vibrant energy feeds me with immense and luxuriant joys. My eyes explode with joy. My mind is free and welcomes all the good in the world. God Pan, God Pan, God Pan. Your vibrant energy feeds me with joy and I feed the highest with my joy. An immense and luxuriant joy forever. Flowering joy, true and mine. In the heart, in the soul, and along the way. “
Let the candle burn out and bury the remains near your home.
Pan is usually represented as a man with the head, legs, and tail of a goat, or even with a human head and small horns; his most frequent attributes are the syrinx (Pan’s flute) and the lagòbolon (shepherd’s stick).
Given the richness of the myth, it is very much represented in ancient art, both in ceramography and in sculptural and pictorial compositions.
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