The meandering thoughts of a modern-day hearth witch.


Tuesday, 9 March 2010

Honey, I think Pan's in the kitchen...

Don’t worry – this English teacher hasn’t been struck by the sudden inability to string together a grammatically coherent (or accurately punctuated) sentence. I don’t mean ‘pans’ as in cooking receptacles; I mean ‘Pan’ the horny goat-God.
I love this etching by illustrator, Robert Lawson. It depicts Pan with his pipes.
He is overheard by a curious fae, hidden out of sight, in the foreground.

Why is he in my kitchen? You may well ask. I haven’t – quite – gone totally mad. Yet.

I have been feeling a presence around my home for a little while now; a sense that there was new energy crackling in the air. My sleep has been disturbed by a whole range of random antics – lucid dreams, waking up in a seated position, sleep paralysis and far more talk than normal. I must be stressed, I reasoned, but couldn’t shake the feeling that there was something more.

At the end of last week, I started to receive images in my mind’s eye, coupled with a feeling of panic or anxiety. This culminated in the sleep paralysis incident, in which I was wide awake - eyes open - convinced there was someone or something in the room but entirely unable to move. The images I was seeing were of a satyr-like creature – a horned man.


It was only when I visited one of the pagan shops in Glastonbury that it clicked. Inside the shop, surrounded by images of the Horned-God, it hit me: Pan had come for a visit.

If there is a turn of the wheel most clearly associated with the visitation of Pan, it is springtime. God of the pastoral, nature, shepherds and flocks, music and mischief, he brings fertility to the land and animals. He is also renowned for his ‘stirring’ of passions; be they sensual or inspirational, joyous or anxious. Indeed, the word ‘panic’ comes from his professed ability to excite people into a state of heightened stress. Exactly how I had been feeling.

Being a Capricorn girl, it is perhaps unsurprising that I would have a connection with Pan. His goat form is where the astrological sign is said to have originated. He isn’t a god I had previously worked with or called upon and, until now, he hadn’t made his presence known to me.  Thinking on it, however, I realised that now would be the perfect time for him to check in.  Spring is here and he is, once more, treading the fields. I too have been feeling the need to reawaken and in more ways than one. Perhaps my psyche was calling him forth.

Physically and mentally, the winter has provided the chance to slumber and now I am beginning to feel the nourishing effects of the sunlight returning. Emotionally I am starting to feel 'lighter' – the relief from the mood swings I feel in the dark months is practically palpable. And spiritually, I am experiencing a reawakening also: for the first time in a long time, I am actively walking forwards on my pagan path, trying to learn more.

In the past year or so, my work had consumed so much of my time that my nurturing of the creative and spiritual aspects of my life had taken a back seat. It occurred to me that Pan has probably always been there; maybe he is simply visiting to reaffirm my faith and enable my vision of the Path to grow.

Pan and Psyche by Edward Burne-Jones

Although B expressed a light-humoured concern when I expressed this - ‘It would be the god who’s usually depicted with a giant phallus and excessive sexual desire that comes to visit you’ - it was coupled with gratitude: ‘I’m glad he’s looking out for you’.  Me too. 

1 musings:

Wendý said...

I know it has been sometime since this was posted but I have just found your blog, which I love by the way.. I can relate to having ones spiritual and creative side taking a back burner ( for me circumstance) how wonderfully blessed are you to have had a visit from Pan, I read your post and got goosebumps and the biggest smile.. he reminds me of a part of me that is a little lost... maybe I need to take time for me and listen to the footsteps if Pan through my own life...thank you for sharing

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