The Great God Pan

Oscar Wilde, in a much circulated poem opined the modern world has great need of the god Pan.

I find it inadvisable to disagree with Oscar. 

Pan is the god of…    goats, shepherds, randy omnisexuality, all manner of Arcadian things… and so much more.


Pan is the god of wild and the untamed.  

Plutarch was briefly in the Oracle business.   He scurrilously circulated the rumor that Pan was dead in 37 A.D.  He wrote about the failure of the oracles and blamed the death of Pan.  I prefer to think Plutarch was bad at his job. 
A garden is not wild.  It is the attempt to control and contain nature and make it safe.  Pan famously delighted in rustling bushes in wild places and striking PANic into the hearts of the faint.

Civilization has it’s perks.  Some aspects of human nature probably should be encouraged and others suppressed.  I am also increasingly fed up with paving paradise and over breeding ourselves into extinction. 
I had a Mexican goat pot.  I oiled and nursed it for 20 years.  It crumbled last winter.


I put the head on a rusty short rebar and pushed it into a flower bed.  It will be my shrine to Pan.  When the days labors are done I will crack a brew and spill an offering to Pan.

If we succeed in killing Pan our own demise will follow. 

Pan walks my hills.  I have (and will again) encountered rattle snakes, coyotes, bobcats, mountain lions and seen bear scat.  There is reason to fear “wild”. 

Should we crush and control everything we fear in nature and our own essence? 

I fear that more.

My ostrica is cast.  Scratched into it is “Io Pan”.  You must be still to hear his pipes.  He is not dead, only in danger. 

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15 Responses to The Great God Pan

  1. max says:

    Speaking of poetry, this made me think of this….

    “Nature never deceives us, it is we that deceives ourselves. Our greatest evils flow from ourselves. Man confuses and confounds time, place and natural conditions. The more we are massed together, the more corrupt we become” ~ Jean Jacques Rousseau 1762

    I’ll never cease to be amazed at the human ability to make the story for himself, where he doesn’t understand, simply for comfort.

  2. Melissa Hart says:

    When I think of Pan, I always see an erect penis. Or pizza, either way.

  3. Ishbel says:

    I am sitting here, in the homeland of Pan, looking out from a terrace to the unknown, aka Albania. Not many shepherds over there (only a mile of sea between us and them)’ and hardly a tree… Where would Pan find foliage to rustle?

    Happy Ionian Day (it’s a holiday here today, celebrating the island’s union with mainland Greece).

  4. Ishbel says:

    It is raining today, and we cannot see Albania.
    (Can you tell I’m bored?)

  5. Ishbel says:

    I am still here until next Wednesday.

    How amazing that you know where I am!

    Off to our fave local Taverna.

  6. I feel as if Pan has been rustling the hell out of my bushes this past week. But those unexpected side-paths seen to be bursting with opportunities to learn and laugh at ourselves. I’m trying to learn to take his jeers in stride. Trying…

  7. thomassparky says:

    Pan must have really been fun to know!

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