A Surplus of Tricksters: Pan

This is Trickster #2 in a series of trickster posts. No clue how many I’ll write because the freaky dudes and dudettes keep popping up out of the woodwork. There’s a cache of tricksters awaiting us, an assortment, quite a batch, an assemblage, a cluster, a regular caboodle, a glorious assortment. Absolutely tricksters galore, a lavish abundance, overflowing and concealed. We have tricksters plentiful to pick from, soak in, and learn from.
Strap in crazies, we’re in for a strange, sometimes odd, but always fun ride. It’ll be entertaining at worst. At best, you might meet a beastie you like.

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Greek and Roman
In Greek mythology, his name is Pan. In Roman, he’s Faunus (sometimes Inuus). These two tricksters do differ in the two separate mythologies a bit. At the end I’ll throw in a few tidbits about Faunus where he’s different than Pan.

 
Strange and Dual Beginnings
Son of Hermes (also a trickster) and a nymph (why isn’t she named, you misogynistic myth writers?).

There’s also some talk of Pan being the offspring of other gods, leading to him being the grandson of Cronus. In this version of the tale, he popped out fully formed with horns and goat feet, which freaked out his mum, who hightailed it, abandoning him. Hermes found him and carried him to Olympus, where he lived with nymphs. I don’t think he minded. In fact, in most versions, Pan very much appreciated being surrounded by gorgeous nymphs aplenty.
In some versions of how Pan came to be, he is said to be the offspring of Uranus and Gaea. (Gaea being the personification of the earth we live on.)
Whatever the details, Pan was always a heavy hitter.
He’s human-looking except for the goat legs and horns. He isn’t, however, a satyr. He’s Pan. In some Greek art, he is shown as being fully goat though. I guess the Greeks couldn’t make up their minds where he was concerned.

Dualistic Nature
Pan is a confusing dude but balances out well, as he is upbeat and playful, then dark and terrifying. I suppose this goes along with his being half divine, half animal. One foot in a playful, fun world, the other in a riotous, tricky one. He’s also known to be prophetic now and again.

Plato even calls Pan “the double-natured son of Hermes”.
A man of strangely unrelated pastimes, Pan enjoyed chasing nymphs and creating musical instruments.
Interesting little tidbit, he was god of flocks, which included bees.

Yep. He guarded bees. Does anyone else have a great mental image of a goat-man deity fanning bees out of hunters’ paths?
No? Just me?

As A Trickster
Pan was a mischievous creature. He was lustful, playful, loud, and wild through and through. He was known for playing tricks on humans in the forests. So much so that humans feared running into him when traveling through his homelands.

He was often seen kicking it with Dionysus, the god who can be summed up as follows: wild, riotous, frenzied, madness.
When not hanging out with crazy gods, he was running after nymphs, literally. Pan was an extremely lustful trickster. Most often the desire of his heart thought him ugly and refused his advances. Depending on where you look, some sources say that Pan tricked nymphs into having sex with him, while another claims he had a broad torn apart by shepherds when she refused him.
From what I can find from actual texts, Pan is simply alone and rejected by all the women he wants. In one example, Pan was after the nymph Syrinkx but she didn’t want anything to do with him. In order to escape Pan, she transformed into river-reeds, which Pan then used to create his pipes.

Panic
Pan was also considered the god of panic, hedging him further into trickster territory.

A run in with this trickster is dreaded by travelers, for fear seems to be something Pan frequently created. Makes sense, considering he was said to have such a terrifying voice that he scared the Titans themselves.
The word panic is said to be derived from Pan. He liked to create noises in the forest at night which would freak people out. He is also said to cause irrational, sudden fear when someone is alone in the forest (or alone at all). He could cause panic that would spread across soldiers in an ongoing battle as well. Useful.
As to why he would cause such feelings, no one knows. But if you’re ever alone at night and feel the hairs raise on the back of your neck, blame this dude.

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Roman Faunus
Here, the Pan character was known as the Italian Faunus.

He began as a fruitful god over crops and flocks and became a woodland trickster. Faunus eventually became a universal god of sorts.
I do like how it was mentioned that the sound of the forest was Faunus’s voice. Random but totally cool.
In February in Rome, the Italians would run around during a fertility celebration in goat skins and swing around strips of goatskin. Because yeah, Faunus was basically about fun parties and ladies. He always remained an agricultural god but also became connected with hunters.
Faunus was mentioned specifically as a creature who was the “author of spectral appearances and terrifying sounds”. It sounds like he was a bit more mystical than Pan.

On the Fence
When it comes to this trickster, I’m not too certain I like him. He’d make a good villain to terrify the hapless traveler in the woods. But that’s about it. If I wrote a story with this character as a good guy, I’d probably change him around a bit, capitalize on the panic and fear inducing properties. I’d definitely strip him of the rapey vibe.
This woman obsessed, riotous trickster needs therapy and a hobby that doesn’t include following other people around. Just saying.
However, in others’ opinions, Pan is simply noisy, playful, and happily bouncing about in all the wild places of the world.
As always with tricksters, it’s up to us. Or perhaps, up to whichever lesson we need to learn.

 

Sources

http://www.theoi.com/Olympios/HermesFamily.html

https://www.greek-gods.org/greek-deities/rustic-deities.php

http://www.mythweb.com/encyc/entries/pan.html

https://pantheon.org/articles/p/pan.html

http://www.classicsunveiled.com/mythnet/html/lessgods2.html#Pan

https://www.britannica.com/topic/Pan-Greek-god

http://www.theoi.com/Georgikos/Pan.html

https://www.ancient.eu/Pan/

https://pantheon.org/articles/i/inuus.html

https://www.britannica.com/topic/Echo-Greek-mythology#ref29086

http://www.newworldencyclopedia.org/entry/Pan_(mythology)

http://www.theoi.com/Nymphe/NympheSyrinx.html

https://pantheon.org/articles/f/faunus.html

“Mythology Timeless Tales of Gods and Heroes” by Edith Hamilton, Grand Central Publishing, 1942.

Resistance Brings Persistence

Life is a mess.

Mine has been very messy lately.

I’ve failed to see how anything good can come of chaos, or how anything good can happen during chaos. How can you keep your cool, your wits about you? How can you think? Breathe? Figure out what is going on inside you? How can you live when life is a mess and things are falling apart around you?

Pretty naïve, right?

Right.

Well, I’m figuring it out.

Slowly.

Painfully.

 

Life is a Mess...
Life is a Mess…

 

I am learning that resistance brings persistence.

So yeah, my life is a mess. I am a mess. I admit it. I’m aware of it. (I don’t know that I accept it yet, but I’m working on it. Awareness, then acceptance.)

And the mess is only getting more and more painful, more out of control.

 

So what?

I’m not going to explode, starve, cause World War 3, or get hit by a flying saucer.

I’m not a horrible, bad person because my life is a mess.

Life is.

Life is messy.

I’m trying to deny what is by writing myself as at fault, as the cause of all this horrible.

I can’t change life or the messiness that comes along with it. I can’t control the universe, the Creator of the Universe, outcomes to situations, or any of the creatures in the universe. Except me.

I can control me and how I am.

Yet, I’m trying to deny that life is messy simply because it is and blame it on myself.

 

......that doesn't mean its not Beautiful
……that doesn’t mean its not Beautiful

 

I know this is repetitive, but bear with me. Thinking properly is a circular process. And us humans we have to throw a brick at our head twelve times before we realize – “hey look! A brick! Maybe I should duck….”

 

Chaos doesn’t mean I have to be panicked. Doesn’t mean my only options are to survive or die. Chaos doesn’t mean anything actually – except “chaos”.

Chaos is chaos.

Chaos has not attacked me because I’m living life incorrectly or because I’m stupid or unworthy of happiness.

Chaos: “complete disorder and confusion”

Mess: “a situation or state of affairs that is confused or full of difficulties”

Now, someone tell me please, where in there does it say “because Daphne woke up this morning”?

….

No one?

Didn’t think so.

 

Finding serenity, peace, calmness – whatever you want to call it. It’s possible.

Even in times of chaos.

Even when your life and your health are such a mess that you’re wondering  what on earth you did to deserve this. When is it going to end? When can I find happiness?

Right now.

Happiness, serenity, peace, it’s all possible to have in times of pain, chaos, and mess.

Life has with it all the challenges and difficulties it does.

Don’t take it personally.

Take the challenge and learn from it. Grow stronger. Grow wiser. Get better at something. The pains of life usually carry with them a wisdom or ability you’ll use to bring yourself or another happiness in the future.

Every “mess” can have its silver lining.

Know that. Know that it’s okay to feel like a mess. To feel just pure “ugh”. But that doesn’t mean that’s all you’re allowed to feel.

Find your serenity.

It’s possible.

It’s HARD!!!

But it’s worth the work.

 

You don't always have to color inside the lines. Sometimes your mistakes turn out to be better anyway.
You don’t always have to color inside the lines. Sometimes your mistakes turn out to be better anyway.

 

 

Resistance only brings persistence of whatever it is that you want to stop.

Stop resisting. Accept that it’s happening.

Then get to work on getting safe, healthy, and serene.

 

You can’t move out of the way of a brick if you’re telling yourself it’s not there or that you can just ignore it or wish it away.

You have to see it before you can take action.

 

And stop blaming yourself!

What if instead of yourself or someone else throwing it at you – the brick just fell off a really old building? That doesn’t mean you need to beat yourself up over it.

You’re not supposed to take responsibility for a building growing old and falling apart. That happens all on its own. Its called the rules of the universe.

Just saying.

 

What do you do when your life is a mess?

 

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definitions source: Google define: