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The Great God Pan for Witches
Yes, that Pan. There is no need to run from this charming God. For despite all the bad press He's gotten for His virility, for some of the tales that make Him sound downright frightening, He's a gentle God, if a bit on the noisy side. Why work with Pan? Why not? Far from the demonized view even many witches and pagans hold of Him, the Pan I know is a sweet and gentle God, the companion of my childhood and off and off again companion.
So why all the bad press? One thing Pan is very good at is inspiring awe. Even when He doesn't want to. It isn't unusual for Him to inspire a bad dream or two for me if He shows up unannounced, but that isn't His fault. Many Gods can do what I call taking the mask off. And if They come around you like that, honestly forgetting to tone Themselves down, of course They are scary.
And before you ask, this article won't be on inviting Him to your Stregha festivities, or other fertility rites. And even though this Greek God is known for His fertility and celebrations for Him got raucous, I can honestly tell you from experience He can control Himself and is far from the monster He's been portrayed as.
As always, all writing and photography are my original work. If quoted for Internet use a link back and credit are appreciated. All videos are shown for educational and informational purposes only and if you want something removed or credit and a link and are the copyright holder of the material, please contact me.
PLEASE NOTE: While I see nothing wrong with Him, and His Divinity, some video images or aspects of Pan may offend the delicate. Mature readers only, please. And don't faint on me if some of the sources for the videos surprise you. Pan is beloved by many and all are welcome here.
Wonderful Song For Him
Under Sheltering Hooves
I remember as a little girl growing up in a bad family in that at least two of the men seemed scary. I didn't know why, but I didn't like how they looked at me. And both sides of the family, had anything happened, would have likely kept it quiet or said, may the Gods strike such people dead, that it was men being men. It was no such thing and I knew that because a strange man showed up, one only I could see.
He had horns like a goat, and He seemed to have several forms, but all had goat legs, which at times he was careful to hide. He only told me that he'd heard of me being in danger and that being a man was no excuse to do what things those men did. And that he, a man who controlled such things, was very angry with them and would protect me. And my friend would sleep on the floor by my bed at night and walk with me through the day.
He told me he loved me, but never gave me a name or even asked for worship. He also said that one day I'd learn who he was and he regretted that day because I'd be frightened of him then and he didn't want people frightened of him. Well, some people, He did. He said bad people he liked frightening.
And he could be plenty scary in his own right. He didn't like war, and when my father, a WWII junkie, would watch documentaries he would get angry. He'd ask me if I thought war was fun and did I think it was nice for people to kill one another. He hated war with a passion and it was a time I knew to leave him alone.
He could be moody and withdrawn at times but he was also loyal. I grew up in a home where hitting your kids was good parenting. A fist, a hand, a belt or whatever was handy could be used and if you were in so much pain you literally couldn't sit down or walk after you'd earn another beating. One day my friend had enough and went after my father.
And after that my father rarely if ever hit me, or not as much at any rate and the men in my family feared me from the time my gentle companion started protecting me. But as time went on and I realized who he was his words proved right. The God who'd never hurt me, the gentle goat was suddenly, thanks to teachers who hated the Greek Gods, women and paganism with a passion, a monster. I was terrified of my gentle friend and He departed, grieving that I no longer trusted His word and only saw a distorted view of Him.
Myths: The Great God Pan (Don't Faint On Me, Please)
God of Wild and Lonely Places
He Isn't a Monster
Many feel Pan is a far older God than the Greek civilization. He's even been viewed to have been the greatest of Gods at one time, if not the greatest, and demoted over time, at least in the minds of humans. Pan, thank the Gods, knows very well who He is, and simply can't be bothered to see what humans are going on about so far as civilizations go.
He isn't anti-hearth and home, He's simply so old that the wilds are hearth and home. So whether or not humans wanted to build temples in a city where He couldn't feel nature beneath His hooves, well, that was nice enough, but never something He seemed to get around to encouraging. And you will notice, the older a Diety, the less concern they have for proper temples or books or rules or anything like that.
And I think what happened is that as humans moved farther away from the wilds where we belong and built cities we lost that natural connection to Him. Some retained it, shepherds and hunters, those who lived in the countryside, and already by the time of ancient Greece these people were looked down on, and Pan likewise. Is it any wonder the God of the wilds got blamed for the irresponsible and twisted actions of men?
Yes, He is a God of virility, and lust more than love, but the ancients had no problem with this concept. Fertility and lust, properly used, can create new growth and pave the way for generations to come. But that does not mean, nor has it ever meant that He is the patron God of those who turn desire into a weapon to harm others. Pan is the God who inspires lust, not rape, and yes, there is a difference between the two.
Lust is what litters the Internet with adult sites for the perfectly normal and healthy release of pent up energies where rape is about domination, and uncontrolled hatred of the victim. Pan may be relentless, He may be wildly sexual at times, but a rapist He is not. And I'll give you fair warning, nothing sets Him off faster than seeing anyone, men especially call an abuse of His gifts and potency "natural".
I grew up in a family filled with such monsters, but the gentle God was always sure to protect me. He even went so far as to appear in decent forms, with His virility covered since He clearly felt I was too young, and too nice a little Catholic girl to know of such things. He was not ashamed of Himself or His virility, but I think He knew I dimly understood the danger I was in and wanted me to not see Him as one more male threat.
And when I at last heard the stories about Him being nothing more than a dangerous rapist and believed them, He grieved and He held me one last time then left.
Pan As The Tragic Lover?
Pan Chant!!! Love This!
He Is Loving
Pan is a sweetheart. And despite rumors of His death, He is quite alive and well. He's a fun God, who likes to play, and He will especially play with you in woodland or rural areas, but He can and will adapt to towns and cities. For me He even took the form of a man, or did a good job of hiding His legs. But even when I saw Him as Himself, he was a sweet God. Average height, but covered with fine red hair, with curly red hair and a beard.
Sharp nosed, with a wizened face, and eyes that seemed to change color but were often brown or light blue. I think the Gods take what forms they can with us, and He wanted to present Himself to a little girl as sweetly as possible. My gentle friend hasn't changed much, though He can make a racket late and night and thinks it is great fun to make the house sound possessed at times.
But the noise brings a feeling of love and security with it. It's Pan's way of making Himself at home and His celebration of being inside, which mine still finds to be a novel experience, and a way to chase anything narfy off.
He likes to go wherever those He loves go, and He's a good God to have around, especially when you are out and possibly blind to hidden dangers. In our society we become blind to the dangers that might lie in wait for us, but Pan, being form the wilds and a sharp-eyed hunter and shepherd knows how to spot and prevent danger.
Above all, He's a playful God, as ready to cavort and enjoy a good time as the next Diety, and if you can love and accept Him as He is, if you can accept that you will one day adore Him to bits and see how truly handsome He is, He will make a devoted friend and companion.
He's a God For Everyone
Seriously, before the Greek Gods got whitewashed and we all got brainwashed, Greek Gods were well known for being at least bi, and Pan, the Gods bless Him, was more adventurous than most. The host of sacred parties where getting drunk, gorging on awesome food and finding lovers was His idea of proper worship, Pan knew gay people didn't fall out of the sky and His fetes were no doubt more complicated and closer to Roman love-ins than what we'd think.
That said, He is just fine with being just friends. Pan was a friend and loyal protector to me as a child, He's the last God who'd turn down honest friendship, and so if you don't feel that way towards Him, that's fine too. Pan rules over a lot more than procreation, after all. He loves music and dance, He is said to be able to inspire through His music and His friendly and cheerful demeanor usually shine through.
He can be quiet, even lost in thought, but He usually goes off on His own at such times. He's overall a friendly God though, protective of those who love Him, and see the rather fine looking God He is, and not the monster He was turned into.
He rules over hunting and shepherding, over farming if it involves animal husbandry, and mine seems to delight in touching plants with fertility as well. Firs are sacred to Him which brings up my Pan and His specific best friend in my global pantheon.
Pan and Loki
No, they are not the same God. True, mine like appearing as one another, and they call one each other brother or twin brother and can look like twins, but they are separate Gods. Both are tricksters, come from cultures with goats, and both are certainly believers in free love and pansexual or omnisexual as some put it.
Both enjoy the wilds, both enjoy being playful and laughter. Neither is fond of war so they make short work of it. Pan is not a war God, but He can terrify armies witless. Loki is not a war God either, but He can wield a flaming sword and magic if He doesn't terrify His opponents into fleeing.
La Santa pointed out a way to tell the difference. When they are feeling playful a feeling of being stalked or watched without noise is Loki. A feeling accompanied by noise is Pan. Now as to why a Greek God and a Norse God would strike up a friendship?
Both are outsiders. Both prefer the wilds outside the "civilized" homes of the Gods. Both are wise, both are connected to older, potent magics. Loki is a shapeshifter and Pan may have somewhat of the same ability, we certainly know Zeus did and depending on what parentage you believe...
Both use their wits in battle or to avoid it, neither is very concerned about proving He is a real man. Loki and Pan have both said to have unrestrained appetites for good food, drink and lovers, but both can conversely control those desires in humans.
I think because they have a lot of the same interests. Laugher and play. Making love, and not war. Protecting friends and family, though admittedly Loki is much more content to be at home in a home, Pan would happily share His cave for a season or three with the right person. I don't think He's incapable of marriage, just as mine put it,"Who would put up with Me as I truly am?"
Pan undoubtedly has lovers and spouses among mortals and no doubt other beings, but He doesn't seem to hold marriage in the same high regard as other Deities. Mine isn't anti-marriage, He's just a realist and it isn't in His nature to be monogamous. He can fall in love, but He knows human hearts tend to break easily. That said, why you two do is entirely up to you and Him.
Who Is (and Isn't) He For?
Pan is the Great God Pan. He is therefore going to be Pan, and although gentle, mild and playful most of the time He might not be for everyone. If the fact that He's at the very least pansexual bothers you, and if it does that is up to you, then give Him a pass. The recent push I've noticed to whitewash the Greek Gods into sexless and predominantly straight Deities is a damaging one and robs Them of Their beauty.
Naturally, the tales must be tailored if speaking to young ones, but Pan is the God He is. Again, He'd happily work with you without that aspect, but it is there. He fell in love with men as well as with women, but we are told He was often spurned due to His appearance. Those people are what I like to call stupid, but there you go. If you are superficial and can't see how handsome He is, He isn't for you.
He can help, naturally, with panic attacks. As Pan is the God who can induce two kinds of panic (mental as in battle terror and erotic) He can also reverse it. Through the sound of His pipes, voice or mere presence He can cut through the mindless terror.
He may have other gifts as well, lost to time. We know he was quite the popular God. Temples might not have been His thing outside of His native Arcadia, but only because He preferred caves and the woods. So He is certainly for those witches and pagans who enjoy nature.
Pan is protective. He won't think twice about protecting those He loves and His music, mere presence or fearsome shout can inspire mindless terror. I'm not saying you cause trouble and expect Pan to save you, but He can and will protect those who are truly kind to Him.
He can also form bonds easily, so if you've been looking for a loving, laid back God who certainly doesn't mind any of your more earthy habits, He may be the God for you. Pan is also a God who seems to not go where He isn't wanted. He can be persistent but if heartbroken you'll never see Him again. So be gentle, He's had it hard enough between people declaring Him dead or calling Him ugly. Pan is a very sweet-natured God and all He asks in return is love and affection.
Although I turned my back on Him, He never did the same to me. Pan is loyal even when He feels unloved. He simply won't press for affection. My brave and gallant friend has protected me more than once so I don't mind the occasional two AM antics or other things He does to announce His presence.
God Pan (Beautiful vid!)
Isn't He handsome? I'm thinking this would make a lovely addition to my statue collection some lucky day. Pan with His pipes sits in thoughtful repose, simply stunning.
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A hymn to Pan and one I love dearly