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Silver Wind
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Posts : 1525
Join date : 2007-07-18
Age : 35
Location : The Mists of Avalon

PostSubject: Pan   Sun Jul 29, 2007 10:19 am

I have always found Pan to be endearing, there is something charming about his general mischevious ways, and an overall lightheartdeness and funnes about him, and his carnality. I think it is good sometimes to touch back to our more wild nature.

The Greek god of shepherds and flocks, who was especially popular in Arcadia. He is a son of the god Hermes. He was depicted as a satyr with a reed pipe, a shepherd's crook and a branch of pine or crown of pine needles. He had a wrinkled face with a very prominent chin. On his forehead were two horns and his body was hairy. He was a swift runner and climbed rocks with ease. Pan belonged to the retinue of Dionysus.

Pan was also a god of fertility, unbridled male sexuality and carnal desire. He chased nymphs through the forests and mountains in the shape of a goat. Pan was not very liked by the other Greek gods.

The other gods often referred to him as the youngest of them, but he was probably the oldest, having been first worshipped in Arcadia, where he was certainly being worshipped as early as the 6th century BC. This fertile plateau lies in the South of modern Greece, and there lived the pastoral ancestors of the heroes who later built the Greek empire. Pan was born there, on Mount Lycaeum, and in the hearts of a shepherding people who depended a lot on goats, and so naturally needed a goat-god.

Pan had many attributes as a god. He was the god of goats, and sheep, and their shepherds. He was the god of bee keeping. He was also a god of music, playing upon the reed pipes he made from the transformed body of the nymph Syrinx (the one that got away). It was said that this music could inspire panic (the root of the word) in any who heard it. Sometimes he was a minor god of the sea. He was a god of prophesy and was also famous for being randy (Greek women with a track record were known as Pan girls). Above all he was the god of nature: meadows, forests, beasts, and even human nature.

Pan's worship spread far beyond Greece into many neighbouring countries such as Egypt, and local equivalents of him seem to have appeared all over the world, either by diffusion or coincidence. Pan-like deities existed everywhere. In Greece there were rustic gods such as Aristaeus (flocks, agriculture, bee-keeping, vineculture), Priapus (the same) and Silenus (vineculture and knowledge).

Then there were the satyrs, an entire race of Pan-like beings, who lounged in woods and by streams, eating, drinking and fornicating, and not much else. The Romans called them incubi or fauns, and the iron age Celts were said to believe in dusii. These were not gods but nature spirits, and were not worshipped but only believed in, and perhaps propitiated.

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