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The Llewellyn Encyclopedia

Term: Satyr


Satyr: A creature combining human and animal natures in one body. Its lower half is that of a goat and its upper torso is that of a human. However the ears of the satyr were often pointed. In ancient lore the satyrs were followers of the go Dionysus/Bacchus as well as of Faunus and Pan. Related creatures known as the Seleni differed in appearance only by their ears which were those of a horse. Unlike satyrs, the seleni were considered wise and gentle creatures. Their leader was known as Selenus, a tutor to the god Dionysos in his youth.

In occult symbolism, the satyr symbolized the primal force of sexual energy. This was often exhibited in the Mystery cults by open and unbridled sexual license. Such revelry was simply the physical counterpart of the spiritual ecstasy associated with the rites of liberation in the cult of Dionysus.
source: Encyclopedia of Wicca & Witchcraft, by Raven Grimassi


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