I’ve not had a lot to say about my Patron Pan since starting the blog and I thought it was time to correct that. I’m not going to go into massive detail, as I am in the process of planning to write a 30 Days of Devotion to him and don’t want to eat too far into its content, but I wanted to introduce a bit of personal experience and gnosis before hitting the big subjects.
Pan is one of those misunderstood deities that appears on the outside almost the rebellious option. The fact that his appearance, a horned half man half goat figure, was co-opted into the classic devil imagery can become all encompassing and hides much of who and what Pan is. Like Hekate I initially resisted becoming ‘involved’ with Pan because I felt it was too obvious, too twee if you will. As a teen I shied away from Him and don’t think I could adequately explain what went through my adolescent mind when he first appeared on my radar. In hindsight its likely the timing was not right for me to connect with him as I had a bit of maturing to do.
Considering the way he came thundering into my life, kicking up quite a storm with those hooves of his, it would have been too overwhelming to my younger self. With a couple of life experiences under my belt not only was I able to understand and appreciate the experience but I was able to ride it as much as I was ridden. At one stage I felt very close to being pushed over the edge by Him, and sometimes now I can feel something of a madness or frenzy looming as I work with him, however I am able to bring it back and set boundaries in a way my younger self wouldn’t have been able to.
From a very basic ritual in his honour asking for help to find joy in life again it quickly became apparent that not only had he been near the whole time he had been waiting for me to reach out to him. The sense of returning home was strong and I almost felt chastised for having taken so long.
That’s not to say it’s been plain sailing. Have you ever tried to set boundaries with a rampant horny god of nature who has no sense of propriety? Early on in my workings with Pan it became clear that he was in danger of blotting out my work with Hekate. He’d show up in meditations with earthy advice when I had begun with a deliberate intention to communicate with Hekat and would effectively talk over Her any other time. Fortunately She has never appeared threatened in fact if anything the pairing works well however it did eventually came down to Her giving me a long look (you know the one I mean) and telling me to sort it out. Typically Hekete gave me no direct advice or solution but I think I worked it out.
It took a deliberate step back and a period of honouring my patorns on alternate moons to achieve a sort of equilibrium. This gave me and Pan space to get to know each other and gave Hekate the respect and attention due even if only every other month. I’m at the point where I feel ready not only to work with both and have them both represented on my altar simultaneity and to start mediating with them. I’ve reached this point in part because I’ve finally connected with the Hekate Suppee, particularly the egg part (orphic link), and this can serve as my devotional time to Hekate. I’m sure that Pan will come to want his own time eventually but we can cross that bridge when we come to it.
One thing I wascdrawn to was Pan’s love of life, something I am only just beginning to find in myself again, and his earthy nature. I’m also drawn to his pre-Olympian origins in the same way Hekate’s called to me although there is a slight difference. Whilst it’s Hekate’s Titanic nature and honours from Zeus that sing to me it is Pan’s prehistoric connections that resonate. I’ve already posted a little on the phrase ‘acorn eaters’ and one of the first things Pan demanded for Himself with a hand knapped flint blade from Will Lord (link). My interest in prehistory isn’t confined to the British Isles, although my knowledge gets a little shaky as you get further afield, and Pan touches this aspect of myself.
I’m deliberately skirting the detail of a couple of things here so that when it comes my 30 Days of Devotion has some content to it. Most of my personal gnosis has some basis in fact but you’ll have to watch this space for the explanations.