PAGAN BORN: How Pan Became My Patron God.
“Pan” - artwork by Arnaud Demaegd
I WAS PAGAN, BEFORE I KNEW WHAT “PAGAN” WAS.
I was Pagan long before I even knew there was a name for it. I’m sure many others can relate. I have always been strongly drawn to Nature and witchcraft, as early as nine years old.
As a child, I recall waking up every morning and spending entire days in the nearby wooded area next to the house where I grew up, or in my Grandparent’s garden, where I would play with insects, spiders, and talk to the animals there, most usually the rabbits and snakes. It was in this garden, where I first really encountered Pan.
Up until that day, I had only seen him in recurring dreams, dreams where I was running through the forest, almost out of breath, chasing something or someone unknown to me, that I could never quite catch, and Pan was always there … in the shadows, his horned silhouette watching/waiting.
It was an early spring morning, a bit wet and foggy outside, when he appeared. I was playing in the garden, handling two of the snakes I had just found, when I noticed him smiling, watching me from behind a tree. I was surprised, but not afraid, more curious. When I stood up, with snakes in both hands to approach him, he was gone. I still remember feeling his presence and energy there, even after he had disappeared. It’s very vivid in my memory, and one of the most profound experiences I have ever had. And although, I’ve had other experiences with Pan, and continue to do so (most usually in dreams), I’ve never had another encounter, quite like that one in the garden.
After that, as I grew older, when I was about eleven or twelve years old, I became fascinated with Greek Mythology. I also began reading and learning about witchcraft. I had no idea that these two things would become related. I recall being in elementary school and checking out books from the library about snakes (another fascination), Greek Mythology, and anything I could find on witches and witchcraft - while the rest of my fellow classmates were reading works of fiction.
I started to become obsessed with those subjects, and spent many hours (secretly) locking myself in my room, and pouring over the books I would find. It wasn’t until I came across Pan in one of the old Greek stories, that I started to make the connection between him, and who I had met in the garden - as well as all of the dreams that had led up to that day.
I continued to learn as much as I could about Pan, however the dreams dwindled, and my interaction with him altogether began to lessen. I think now, perhaps because he was trying to gain my attention, and once he’d had it, it was no longer necessary to make himself known to me, in such obvious ways - at that time.
It wasn’t until my mid-twenties, that I found myself growing away from Nature and from Pan. I became caught up in social activities with friends, and my career in Property Management. I was not truly happy, and I was stressed all of the time. The joyful experiences I had as a child were at the very back of my mind, and it wasn’t until I was twenty seven years old, that I had another dream, and one that would bring me right back to Pan, and back to Mother Nature.
THE DREAM THAT REUNITED ME WITH PAN
Almost a month before my twenty eighth birthday, on a cold night in November, I dreamed of being in a snow-covered woodland forest. I was caught in a blizzard, and as far as I could see, there was only white, nothing but deep snow, contrasted with black tree branches that whipped back and forth in the harsh wind.
I tried to run, and I couldn’t. The snow was too thick and my legs couldn’t move through it. It was exactly how I would imagine being stuck in quicksand might feel.
I began to panic and to cry. The tears froze against my cheeks almost as soon as they fell. It was at that moment I glimpsed movement in the nearby distance, a dark figure that appeared to run past me.
Startled, I started to fall backward and when I did, I was caught by two strong arms that almost instantly wrapped around me from behind. It’s hard to find the words that entirely describe the feelings that accompanied that embrace, but it certainly was powerful, protective, fatherly, and completely calming.
I was no longer afraid and the panic was gone. I knew in the dream and now in my heart, that it was Pan. Without turning around, I ran my hand along one of his thighs. It was shaggy, that of a goat. And just like that, as soon as I touched him, I woke up.
I sat up and cried for a while afterward. I suppose it was because of the intensity of the dream and how real it had felt. Pan’s energy stayed with me that entire morning and afternoon.
During the next few days, his name seemed to be everywhere I went - on TV, in books, outside on buildings … and I started to think about that day in the garden, when he appeared to be watching me … and how happy I was, whenever I had been surrounded by animals and Nature.
That following weekend, I decided to visit the garden I used to spend so much time in as a child. When I arrived at the garden, the energy was the same as before, yet somehow different. It was more vibrant and more alive – even in Mid-November. I found a spot to sit, and I began to meditate. While I was meditating, I could swear that I heard, what sounded like, panpipes in the distance. It was shortly after that, and after more meditation, that I became a definite devotee of Pan, and he became my Patron god.
I have started to have the dreams again, the dreams of being in the forest and chasing the unknown. Sometimes, I see the shadow of Pan in the dreams, and sometimes I don’t, however whether he is visibly present or not, his energy is always there - strong, wild, and unstoppable.
He also manifests in other ways. For example, when I started the Facebook Pan page as a sort of virtual shrine to him, whilst searching for and posting the content, I’ve become incredibly overwhelmed, with VERY strong urges to masturbate, and to masturbate continuously. I also feel his presence, quite effectively, during any kind of magickal work that I take part in. He is a very real, powerful deity, and a wonderful god to have as your Patron.
That in short, is how I came to be involved with Pan. And every so often, I still visit the garden, my grandparent’s garden. It’s a place where I go to “reset” myself and to reconnect with whatever it is there, that set me on this path, this Pagan path I love so much, and the role it played in uniting me with my lord, Pan. (Written by - Sin Madison, 2013)