Pan the Elder Speaks
But I am not the only fan of Pan the man. Consider this poem by Aleister Crowley, Hymn to Pan. (go through the link for a free download of this ardorous piece) sacred-texts.com
Now let us compare some of Crowley's descriptions of the horned god Pan with what I conceive of as my own personality aspects. First, Crowley describes Pan as, 'Roaming as Bacchus, with fauns and pards, And nymphs and satyrs for thy guards.' As a younger man I drank voluminously. And I did associate with various nymphs and satyrs, broadly speaking. In the 60's, 70's and even 80's this is what we did with our time: Bacchanalian revelry.
'Thrust the sword through the galling fetter,' Just like Pan, I often acted without restraint. Thrusting my sword of will through any perceived obstacles and restraints.
'All-devourer, all begetter;' I really did see myself as the center of the universe without any company. Devouring and begetting all over the place. It was embarrassing.
'The eagle slashes with beak and claw; The Gods withdraw;' To consider one's self as above everyone and everything, even the Gods, invites hubris, as we know from those who have gone before on this journey. But as you may also know, no one wants to talk about hubris at the drunken debacle.
Then things changed. As Seth puts it, When you begin to identify your Issues and learn your Lessons, your journey of awakening also begins.. In my case, I started noticing that it was my Pan aspects, exercised to the extreme, as Pan might do, that got me into trouble. My Issues were my Pan aspects and my Lessons had to do with finding a way to transform and heal these Issues. Seth would describe this process of healing as 'awakening to the truth of the matter.' It literally spun me off onto 'a different trajectory of experiencing,' another of Seth's cliches. This other trajectory had to do with challenging my own assumptions that I had to think, feel and behave in a particular fashion from a particular role or persona, one we might call the Party Animal perspective.
As the wise physician replied to the guy who said, "It hurts when I do this." "Then don't do that!" I began to NOT do what was causing the difficulties in my life, just to see what would happen. Miraculously things changed for the better! I discovered that my Pan aspects did not reveal the authentic me. In fact, they were a camouflage for my true identity. There was a much more interesting 'me' that I could offer myself and others, once the debauchery ceased.
This is why I adore the horned god Pan. What a great teacher he has been. And even though I now lean more toward the Apollonian aspects of light, truth, and healing, I can still sense the horned god Pan glimmering underneath, begging me to take it over the top one last time.
This article is based on Seth's concept of Issues and Lessons that you can read about in his latest books. Next month the Divine Feminine.