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Pan

A God of gaiety and joy

panThe most famous image is of Pan is of him running through the hills and fields playing his 'pan pipes' and seducing every female which serves to warm hearts and loins.

Pan is known for his wit, charm and sexual prowess and he is often depicted with an erect phallus.   Diogenes 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 to hide his hairy black goat form, and drew her down from the sky into the forest where he seduced her.

In Greek religion and mythology, Pan is a god of the wild, shepherds and flocks, nature, of mountain wilds, hunting and rustic music, and companion of the nymphs. His name originates within the Ancient Greek language, from the word paein, meaning "to pasture."

In appearance he has the hindquarters, legs, and horns of a goat in the same manner as a faun or satyr. With his homeland in Arcadia, he is recognized as the god of fields, groves, and wooded glens; because of this, Pan is connected to fertility and the season of spring. The ancient Greeks also considered Pan to be the god of theatrical criticism.

In Roman religion and myth, Pan's counterpart was Faunus, a nature god who was the father of Bona Dea, sometimes identified as Fauna. 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.

Some have drawn a similarity between Pan and the Hindu god Krishna. Krishna was in fact a real person who lived almost 4000 years ago. He was a significant person in Hindu culture of the time and he also had his own army. Most of the stories about him are that he was a delightful but very mysterious child and as he grew into manhood he was the favourite of every girl.

In Hindu literature there is no reference to any sexual going on, only a very deep and joyful affection between Krishna and his admirers. The similarity with Pan is that they both shared a sense of joy and well-being. The essential message with both of these characters was about human well-being because you cannot have joy unless life is in balance.

In India, Krishna is praised by the men for his wisdom and skill in battle, but he is admired and praised by women as being the the ideal man. In India at that time, sex was something private but in Greece and Rome, sex was almost a competitive sport afflicted by drunkenness and jealousy.

It seems quite probable that Krishna and Pan were contemporary to each other but in India while Krishna was elevated to that of a god, further to the west Pan was ridiculed because the men were jealous.

Tom Robbins in his book Jitterbug Perfume succinctly describes how Pan and probably most of the old Gods simply faded away and today when you think of Pan, he may bring a smile and excite your libido.

Thrill with the lissome lust of the light,
O man! My man!
Come careering out of the night
Of Pan! Io Pan!
Io Pan! Io Pan! Come over the sea
From Sicily and from Arcady!
Roaming as Bacchus, with fauns and pards
And nymphs and satyrs for thy guards,
On a milk-white ass, come over the sea
To me, to me,
Come with Apollo in bridal dress
(Shepherdess and pythoness)
Come with Artemis, silken shod,
And wash thy white thigh, beautifal God,
In the moon of the woods, on the marble mount,
The dimpled dawn of the amber fount!
Dip the purple of passionate prayer
In the crimson shrine, the scarlet snare,
The soul that startles in eyes of blue
To watch thy wantonness weeping through
The tangled grove, the gnarled bole
Of the living tree that is spirit and soul
And body and brain – come over the sea,
(Io Pan! Io Pan!)
Devil or God, to me, to me,
My man! My man!
Come with trumpets sounding shrill
Over the hill!
Come with drums low muttering
From the spring!
Come with flute and come with pipe!
Am I not ripe?
I, who wait and writhe and wrestle
With air that hath no boughs to nestle
My body, weary of empty clasp,
Strong as a lion and sharp as an asp -
Come, O come!
I am numb
With the lonely lust of devildom.
Thrust the sword through the galling fetter,
All-devourer, all begetter;
Give me the sign of the Open Eye,
And the token erect of thorny thigh,
And the word of madness and mystery,
O Pan! Io Pan!
Io Pan! Io Pan Pan! Pan Pan! Pan,
I am a man:
Do as thou wilt, as a great god can,
O Pan! Io Pan!
Io Pan! Io Pan Pan! I am awake
In the grip of the snake.
The eagle slashes with beak and claw;
The Gods withdraw;
The great beasts come, Io Pan! I am borne
To death on the horn
Of the Unicorn.
I am Pan! Io Pan! Io Pan Pan! Pan!
I am thy mate, I am thy man,
Goat of thy flock, I am gold, I am god,
Flesh to thy bone, flower to thy rod.
With hoofs of steel I race on the rocks
Through solstice stubborn to equinox.
I rave; and I rape and I rip and I rend
Everlasting, world without end,
Mannikin, maiden, maenad, man,
In the might of Pan.
Io Pan! Io Pan Pan! Pan! Io Pan!
~ Aleister Crowley

References
Wiki
Jitterbug Perfume

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