Pan – by Paul Emile Berthon



(Vision Antique.1899. Art by Paul Emile Berthon.(1872-1909).




Pan and Dionysus depicted on The Lycurgus Cup

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Pan and Dionysus depicted on The Lycurgus Cup. Inspired by an old relic found in Ancient Rome.

“On the Lycurgus cup, these bridges are grape vines and other figural elements. It depicts an unusual mythological scene from the story of King Lycurgus of Thracia. Lycurgus banned the worship of Dionysos in his kingdom. When the wine god and his entourage showed up in Thracia, Lycurgus flew into a range. Driven by his violent temper, the king attacked the maenad Ambrosia. She cried out to Gaia for help and was transformed into a grape vine and wound herself around Lycurgus, trapping him. The cup shows Lycurgus thrashing in the vine while Dionysos dispatches a goat-legged Pan and a full-human satyr to torture the trapped king.”

Pan – Book of Acts


Interesting comic book story and beautiful illustration. The writer gets it; Pan isn’t all about music, dancing, and folly (WHICH IS a big part of who he is and what he represents), but he is also PRIMAL, WILD —- he IS Nature.

The story is by Justin Jordan and here is an excerpt from his interview.

HMS: What does Pan mean to you as a figure? Why do you think he continues to be a powerful idea after thousands of years?

JJ: Humans have a tendency to give things attributes that sound like they’re all-encompassing. Currently, we tend to think of nature as good and beautiful. God knows, every food manufacturer and marketer has ‘all natural’ as a bonus.

And nature is beautiful. It is also ugly. A baby deer ripped apart by coyotes is ugly. A rotting tree is ugly. And none of it is good. Or bad. Nature just is. We like to anthropomorphize things in ways that are sometimes obvious and sometimes subtle. Nature is random processes happening, and they are neither evil nor good. They just are.

So this version of Pan is meant to represent that. He is nature literally anthropomorphized and while he’s malicious, it’s only when viewed through human eyes. If we told another story, Pan might save a whole town from starvation.

More interview here:

More information here:
(The NEW Pan page)


Pan and Modern Depictions


I really dislike many modern artistic depictions of Pan, with some exception. I generally prefer the much older ones. However, I like this one a lot —- as it showcases a divinity, a god like quality, not way too different from how I have encountered Pan.Pan is not a Disney character or some young faun with his cock out in the woodlands, he may have his cock out, but some of those other depictions are not accurate —— at least according to his ancient “mythos”.

Pan is a ravenous, insatiable phallic god, whose worshipers would celebrate him with offerings and massive drunken orgies in caves and forests. He’s a god specifically of primal/carnal male sexuality. He loves sex, the joys of the body, and wine. He’s a bringer of panic (hence the name). He is a war god. He helped win the war against the Titans, as well as the war against the Persians, for the Athens.

He’s a prophet, a very wise one at that, and he can be petitioned as such. (He taught the gift of seeing to Apollo before he took over Delphi).

He is also a musician …. creator of the panpipes which can charm every single animal, and even the trees. He has a booming voice, horns that pierce the sky, the prancing legs of a goat, hooves that cause the earths to quake, and a presence that will cause all who seek him to shiver in fear or ecstasy, whichever he chooses before him.

He can be very merry and very fatherly, a protector. He can shape-shift and take other forms, as many gods can. He loves celebrations and noise —- as noise is life.

To me, he IS the ULTIMATE divine masculine. – Sin Madison

(Art – is by Sam Weber)

From Signorelli’s Court of Pan


(From Signorelli’s Court of Pan: A Search for the Subject of a Familiar Masterpiece, by Mark Christopher Smith)

Pan is a rustic god formed in the likeness of Nature, which is why he is called Pan, which in some stories means »All«. His horns are like the rays of the sun and the horns of the moon: his face is ruddy like the morning air; His mule-skin breast-plate is covered with stars; his lower parts bristle with hair like thickets and foliage and the fur of animals; his goat’s feet reflect the solidity of the earth. He carries a flute with seven reeds for the seven harmonious voices of the heavens, and a shepherd’s crook, which revolves back upon itself like the seasons of the year. Because he is the god of Nature, the poets say he fought with Cupid (Love) and lost, because Love (Cupid) —- conquers All (Pan).

(Illustration from The Pipes of Pan by Lester del Rey. The illustration reads ” Pan piped softly and mournfully at the grave of his last worshiper.”)
(The new Pan page)