Pan

In ancient Greek religion and mythologyPan (/ˈpæn/;[1] Ancient GreekΠάνromanizedPán) is the god of the wild, shepherds and flocks, nature of mountain wilds, rustic music and impromptus, and companion of the nymphs.[2] He has the hindquarters, legs, and horns of a goat, in the same manner as a faun or satyr. With his homeland in rustic Arcadia, he is also recognized as the god of fields, groves, wooded glens and often affiliated with sex; because of this, Pan is connected to fertility and the season of spring.

Pan is famous for his sexual powers, and is often depicted with a phallusDiogenes of Sinope, speaking in jest, related a myth of Pan learning masturbation from his father, Hermes, and teaching the habit to shepherds. Pan’s greatest conquest was that of the moon goddess Selene. He accomplished this by wrapping himself in a sheepskin[30] to hide his hairy black goat form, and drew her down from the sky into the forest where he seduced her.

The ancient Greeks also considered Pan to be the god of theatrical criticism.[3] The Greeks believed that he often wandered peacefully through the woods, playing a pipe, but when accidentally awakened from his noontime nap he could give a great shout that would cause flocks to stampede. From this aspect of Pan’s nature Greek authors derived the word panikos, “sudden fear,” the ultimate source of the English word: “panic”.

The parentage of Pan is unclear;[15] generally he is the son of Hermes, although occasionally in some myths of Dionysus, with whom his mother is said to be a wood nymph, In some accounts, two Pans were distinguished, one being the son of Zeus and Thymbreus (Thymbris? or Hybris?) and the other the son of Hermes and Penelope.[19]

This myth reflects the folk etymology that equates Pan’s name (Πάν) with the Greek word for “all” (πᾶν).[20]

In the mystery cults of the highly syncretic Hellenistic era,[21] Pan is made cognate with Phanes/ProtogonosZeusDionysus and Eros.[22]

In his earliest appearance in literature, Pindar‘s Pythian Ode iii. 78, Pan is associated with a mother goddess, perhaps Rhea or Cybele; Pindar refers to maidens worshipping Cybele and Pan near the poet’s house in Boeotia.[11]

According to the Greek historian Plutarch (in De defectu oraculorum, “The Obsolescence of Oracles”),[36] Pan is the only Greek god who actually dies. During the reign of Tiberius (14–37 CE), the news of Pan’s death came to one Thamus, a sailor on his way to Italy by way of the island of Paxi. A divine voice hailed him across the salt water, “Thamus, are you there? When you reach Palodes,[37]take care to proclaim that the great god Pan is dead.” Which Thamus did, and the news was greeted from shore with groans and laments.

.In Roman religion and myth, Pan’s counterpart was Faunus, a nature god who was the father of Bona Dea, sometimes identified as Fauna; he was also closely associated with Sylvanus, due to their similar relationships with woodlands.

In the 18th and 19th centuries, Pan became a significant figure in the Romantic movement of western Europe and also in the 20th-century Neopagan movement.[4]

In 1933, the Egyptologist Margaret Murray published the book, The God of the Witches, in which she theorised that Pan was merely one form of a horned god who was worshipped across Europe by a witch-cult.[56] This theory influenced the Neopagan notion of the Horned God, as an archetype of male virility and sexuality. In Wicca, the archetype of the Horned God is highly important, as represented by such deities as the Celtic Cernunnos, Hindu Pashupati, and Greek Pan.

A modern account of several purported meetings with Pan is given by Robert Ogilvie Crombie in The Findhorn Garden (Harper & Row, 1975) and The Magic of Findhorn (Harper & Row, 1975). Crombie claimed to have met Pan many times at various locations in Scotland, including Edinburgh, on the island of Iona and at the Findhorn Foundation.


John Keats‘s “Endymion” opens with a festival dedicated to Pan where a stanzaic hymn is sung in praise of him. “Keats’s account of Pan’s activities is largely drawn from the Elizabethan poets. Douglas Bush notes, ‘The goat-god, the tutelary divinity of shepherds, had long been allegorized on various levels, from Christ to “Universall Nature” (Sandys); here he becomes the symbol of the romantic imagination, of supra-mortal knowledge.'”[51]

Pan WithinThe Waterboys

Come with me
On a journey beneath the skin
Come with me
On a journey under the skin
We will look together
For the Pan within


Close your eyes
Breathe slow we’ll begin
Close your eyes
Breathe slow we’ll begin


To look together
For the Pan within

Swing your hips
Loose your head and let it spin
Swing your hips
Loose your head and let it spin
And we will look together for the Pan within


Close your eyes
Breathe slow we’ll begin
Close your eyes
Breathe slow we’ll begin
To look together
For the Pan within

Put your face to my window
Breathe a night full of treasure
The wind is delicious
Sweet and wild with the promise of pleasure

The stars are alive
And nights like these
Were born to be
Sanctified by you and me
Lovers thieves fools and pretendersA

And all we gotta do is surrender, surrender, surrender


Come with me on a journey
Under the skin
Come with me on a journey under the skin
And we will look together
For the Pan within
source LyricFindSongwriters: Michael Scott

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