Tag Archives: Pan

A Book-Worm’s Eye View of the God

By Melusine Draco

 

As most of my readers will know, I have a fascination for odd and obscure historical facts that are hidden away in the millions of sources that outstrip and confound the confines of the Internet – it’s finding them that presents the stimulation and the challenge. If we merely rely on the regurgitated information of contemporary paganism not only does our mind become stagnant, but for those who follow the Craft of the witch, so do our magical abilities.

In traditional British Old Craft, ours is a nameless god – a composite of all the images from the ancient world that The Orphic Hymns hailed as:

I call strong Pan, the substance of the whole,

Etherial, marine, earthly, general soul,

Immortal fire; for all the world is thine,

And all are parts of thee, O pow’r divine.

Which probably explains why in Coven of the Scales schooling, Meriem Clay-Egerton always

saw Pan as the Horned God … and the Horned God as Pan. This was a traditional British Old Craft coven that honoured Aegocerus the ‘goat-horned’ – an epithet of the Greek Pan – not

Cernunnos, the stag-horned deity the Celts had brought with them from northern Europe. It should also be understood that although Coven of the Scales held firmly to the philosophy and

opinion that all faiths were One and all Paths led to the same Goal, it did not advocate what is now referred to as ‘eclectic paganism’. So how on earth could this ancient, pre-Olympian

Greek deity find his way into the beliefs of traditional witchcraft in Britain?

Pan: Dark Lord of the Forest and Horned God of the Witches is an exploration of how an Old European deity who, even in Classical Greece defied their ethnic love of order and refused to be pigeon-holed, categorized and compartmentalized to fit into the Olympian pantheon.  This ancient libertine was too scruffy and unkempt to be included among these exalted creatures – but then again, he was far too powerful to be ignored.  Needless to say, Pan possessed all the conventional abilities of the Olympian gods such as super-human strength and longevity, shape-shifting, stamina and resistance to injury. He also had some mystical powers, especially those associated with music and dance, and its magical potency; not to mention a very wily mind, a raucous sense of humour and a shout or scream that instilled terror in the hearer.

Yet Pan’s image retained its immense power when Greek myth passed into Christian myth, with Pan’s cloven-footed appearance providing a perfect concept for the Devil in the eyes of the new, evolving priesthood. In ancient and medieval times the common people were taught by being exposed to holy images, and fear would not have been instilled in them by being shown pictures of the Olympian ‘beautiful people’; particularly during the medieval period, when the Devil was conceived as having horns and a goat’s hindquarters. Pan’s activities are those of a giver of fertility; hence he is represented as vigorous and lustful – the latter being one of the Devil’s bestial characteristics and a condition abhorrent to the Christian clergy.

Nevertheless, once an image has become firmly engrained in the cultural unconsciousness it is extremely difficult to dislodge. Joseph L. Henderson of the Jung Foundation described it as an area of historical memory that lies between the collective unconscious and the manifest culture pattern; having some kind of identity ‘arising from the archetypes of the collective unconscious which, on one hand, assists in the formation of myth and ritual, and on the other, promotes the process of development in individual human beings…’ These mythological motifs, or primordial thoughts, lie dormant until some dream, vision or epiphany brings them to the fore – and often with conflicting emotions between faith and instinct.

Because behind every myth, fairy tale and legend – hidden within the art, song and structures of those ancient times – is an encoded layer of wisdom, science and truth passed down through countless generations.  Between 1890 and 1926 there was an ‘astonishing resurgence of interest in the Pan motif’. He appears in poetry, in novels and children’s books, and as the eponymous ‘Piper at the Gates of Dawn’ in Kenneth Grahame’s The Wind in the Willows (1908), providing the reader with one of the most evocative images of the Great God Pan ever written:

…saw the backward sweep of the curved horns, gleaming in the growing daylight; saw the stern, hooked nose between the kindly eyes that were looking down on them humorously, while the bearded mouth broke into a half-smile at the corners; saw the ripping muscles on the arm that lay across the broad chest, the long supple hand still holding the panpipes… saw the splendid curves of the shaggy limbs…

Find out more about Pagan Portals Pan here – https://www.johnhuntpublishing.com/moon-books/our-books/pagan-portals-pan 

Ancient Calendar: June 22, 2010

One of the Greeks favorites was the woodland Pan. This God was envied and highly celebrated. So it comes of no surprise that today was just one more day in their calendar honoring him.

Pan kept to the meadows and forests. He traveled with his own entourage of Nymphs during the evening hours. Pan was famous for his sexual encounters and exploitations. Pan in his day was the equivalent of a rock star in ours.

Pan had the legs and hoofs of a goat, plus the horns of one. In fact, many believe that he was so popular–being one of the oldest gods of the Greek pantheon, that the Christians used his image to form their artistic version of Satan.

C.H. SCARLETT
www.chscarlett.net

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Ancient Calendar: May 18, 2010

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Ok, first off, a little announcement. Yes, Ancient Calendar is the same as Pagan Holidays. I just thought this title might be a bit more accurate. We also have our own page, located Ancient Calendar.

Now, on to what our Ancient Ancestors were doing.

On this fabulous Tuesday, it’s all about Apollo and Pan.

First, let it be known that the shadows (hint: my choice of art) had absolutely nothing to do with Apollo who was all about the Sun. And on this day in ancient history, the Romans were having one hell of a shin-dig Festival (called Apollon) all for him. Why?

Well this happened to be the time, for the Romans, to throw some celebrations down concerning how the light of day was now increasing for the awesome New Year ahead, and how the darkness of the past winter was now becoming few and far between.  And since Apollo, as I said, was the sun, Rome had to give him notice. Less not forget, though, that he also stood for archery, agriculture, poetry, medicine, prophecy, and of course, ethics.

Now, while Rome does their thing, Greece will be doing theirs for the God Pan. Pan happens to be one who likes to wander the forests (again my choice of art) and happened to be the envy of most Greek men especially because he had his own band of Nymphs following him around. (Groupies for the Deities). A good description of Pan was half man, half goat.. Although he had a lot of lust runnin’ through those veins, and the Greeks loved how he burned it.

200px-PanandDaphnis

The above picture is Pan sitting along the side of a Shepherd, those he was patron of. However, just because Pan watched over Shepherds and Herdsmen, didn’t mean they didn’t have to be careful.

You see, Pan was said to be a God who napped during the day. What rock star isn’t a total night owl, hu? Anyway, Greeks warned all Shepherds that they better not make any noise in the forests or meadows and wake the God up.

Also, Pan and his lust earned him rock star notoriety. In fact, not only were legends boasted of him, but the word PANIC was actually born of his name. It was said that this ‘feeling’ was what women felt if they were walking through the woods. In fact, if a woman felt Panic, then that meant she was being stalked or lusted for by Pan, himself.

*Hand to Forehead* Gotta love Pan for that.

That’s all for today peoples, but I hope you learned a little something and enjoyed today’s Ancient Calendar.

See you all tomorrow.

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© C.H. SCARLETT

www.chscarlett.net

Coming   Soon from Noble Romance Publishing Click to Purchase

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The Paganism of Valentine’s Day

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Not only is February 14th celebrated all around the world as a day of affection and love, but its also highly debated  as to where it originated from and if it should be celebrated at all by certain religions.

Yes, to some Valentine’s Day is yet another Pagan sin-fest of wild sex orgies and unforgiveable transgressions.

*wink*

 

While Valentine’s Day is steeped in Pagan roots….it’s celebrations were, in my opinion, beautiful and enriched with every cultures traditional stamp.

What do the other Religions say? One source says:

According the website American Catholic; to some Valentine was a priest in the Roman Empire who helped persecuted Christians during the reign of Claudius II. He was, as legend has it, thrown in jail and later beheaded on Feb. 14. In fact there is no historical supporting evidence of such a man. Others say Valentine was someone who secretly married couples when marriage was forbidden, or suffered in Africa, or wrote letters to his jailer’s daughter, and was probably beheaded. Still others say Valentine was a Catholic bishop or Terni, during the reign of Claudius II who was beheaded. The historical evidence supports none of these legends that have been handed down for generations. Source

 

February itself is dedicated and sacred to the Roman Goddess Juno Februata, Goddess of Love or the ‘fever’ associated with love, passion, women, fertility, etc.  (every culture had a Goddess representing this)

Valentine’s day at one time revolved around her and this febris, fever of love,…the joining of God and Goddess. It represented the spiritual marriage between man and his Goddess, and or woman and her god. Men and women played the role of both….

 

One festival that took place February 15th called Lupercalia. Lupercalia revolved around Lupa—mother of Romulus and Remus—two twins. Romulus and Remus (their tale possibly spurring Cain and Abel myths)were believed to be the founders of Rome, whom were raised by wolves or Lupa– the Sacred She-Wolf. The cave they were suckled and parented by Lupa, was named Lupercal and would later become the very center for the festival of Lupercalia.

During these, many rites and rituals,revolving around lovers, passion, and fertility.

Other traditions became something of a lottery where young men would draw the names of women from a box. The name drawn would mean that the boy and girl would become sexual partners for the rest of the year.  The girl would receive a gift from the boy and came to represent the Goddess Juno for whom the month name came. She, representing and becoming a vessel of the Goddess, while he became her lover and vessel of the God—Juno’s God Husband, Jupiter.

This became the source for many erotic games, renounced by the Church many moons later.

Babylon….

This day surrounded the Babylonians god Saturn, using their own rites and rituals, represented  by many Gods and Goddesses.

So where did the belief that Valentine’s day came from St. Valentine?

In ancient culture, the Babylonian/Roman/biblical Nimrod (also believed to be the God Saturn) was known as the first St. Valentine. It is said that the heart representing Valentines came from Babylonian culture—the heart, the symbol, representing Baal (a title for Lord) of Babylonians—Nimrod. His name was also Santa or Sanctuc—hero/god—meaning saint. The title St. Valentine was shared by many throughout history.

Other Cultures gave rise to Cupid , less not forget, and Eros and Aphrodite reflected the sacred day in Greek civilizations.Venus, Kama, Priapus, and Pan to name a few more.

 

One thing that is unchanging concerning what efforts were made to do so…Valentine’s Day is all about the Lovers and or love.

 

Sources

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Valentine%27s_Day

http://wilstar.com/holidays/valentn.htm

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Assorted

The Woman’s Encyclopedia of Myths & Secrets by Barbara G. Walkers