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The Llewellyn Encyclopedia

Term: Pan

DEFINITIONS

Pan: A Greek god whose counterpart in Roman mythology is Faunus, and he is connected to the worship of Dionysis/Bacchus. In Greek mythology Pan and Apollo had a contest to determine which would play the sweetest notes most skillfully, Pan on his reeds or Apollo on his lyre. Pan was judged the winner, which insulted Apollo. In a rage, Apollo turned Pan’s ears into those of an animal.

To the Greeks Pan was a god of woodlands, pastures, herds, and fertility. Hills, caves, oaks, and tortoises were sacred to Pan. He fought on the side of the gods of Olympus, against the Titans. Fashioning a giant seashell into a trumpet, Pan raised such a noise that the Titans thought a sea monster was attacking, and fled in terror. From this myth is derived the word “panic.” Pan was also known as Hylaeos, whose form is the one now commonly depicted as the god Pan. He wooed and won the goddess Selene (Diana) among others.
source: Encyclopedia of Wicca & Witchcraft, by Raven Grimassi


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