09 Apr Symbolic Psycho-Spiritual Remedies within a Pan-demic
Pan, the God of Nature
But is that all there is to a Pandemic?
Who is Pan as an archetype and what is his message for the humanity?
A fragment from Porphyry, the ancient philosopher
Summarizes the symbol of Pan as follows: ”They (the Greek) made Pan the symbol of the universe, and gave him his horns as symbols of sun and moon, and the fawn skin as emblem of the stars in heaven, or of the variety of the universe.” (Porphyry On Images, Fragment 8, excerpt, translated by Edwin Hamilton Gifford). So Pan is the symbol of the Universe, embodying the celestial aspect of the Cosmos expressed as “variety” within the human realm.
According to the Orphic Hymn to Pan, the domain of Pan extends over all creation:
I call upon Pan, the pastoral god, and upon the universe,
That is, upon sky and sea and land, queen of all,
And the immortal fires; all these are Pan’s realm.
Come, O blessed, frolicsome and restless companion of the seasons!
Goat-limbed, reveling, lover of frenzy, star-haunting,
You weave your playful song into cosmic harmony,
And you induce the phantasies of dread into the mind or mortals.
Your delight is at Springs, among goatherds and oxherds,
And you dance with the nymphs, you keen-eyed hunter and lover of Echo.
Present in all growth, begetter of all, many-named divinity,
Lord of the cosmos, light-bringing and fructifying Paian,
Cave-loving and wrathful, a veritable Zeus with horns!
The earth’s endless plain is supported by you,
And to you yield the deep-flowing water of the untiring sea,
And Okeanos who girds the earth with his eddying stream,
And the air we breathe, which kindles all life,
And, above us, the sublime eye of weightless fire.
At your behest, all these things are kept wide apart.
Your providence alters the natures of all,
And on the boundless earth you offer nourishment to mankind.
Come, frenzy-loving and gamboling god;
Come to these sacred libations, bring my life to a good conclusion,
And send Pan’s madness to the ends of the earth.
Hermes, Pan’s father, The Messenger God who can navigate between three realms:
Underworld, Earth and Olympos – Gods’ realm
***Ask yourself what are your “sky and sea and land, queen of all, and the immortal fires;
all these are Pan’s realm” – as highest aspects of your being, encompassing the power of all the cosmic elements. What attributes and abilities would those confer you?
***How do you tune up with these elements (air, water, earth, fire)?
What could “weaving your playful song into cosmic harmony” mean to you? What is your contribution to the cosmic harmony?
*** What cleansing and renewing aspects is Pan/ Hades (one aspect of “a veritable Zeus with horns”) offering you?
Always remember the regenerative force behind Hades, Hades means “riches”.
*** Face your Shadow, by asking yourself: What am I afraid of?
Take a piece of paper and write down all the things that you are afraid of. Face your dissatisfactions.
Admit that disappointments, disillusions of people, friends or institutions that we thought to bring us assurance, support and truth, are inevitable these days, but we still have to trust Pan’s renewal powers.
Yes, we do experience falling apart, but maybe this is the only way that will propel us into an authentic renewal. This is a pivotal moment of redefining our values.
*** What would happen if you would start embracing all the aspects of your being?
Pan’s symbolism is an invitation for you to remove the limit of the fear based instinctual aspect and to start drawing force from the totality of your being, and especially from the “star haunting” aspect depicted by Pan’s symbolic horns. Allow Pan’s flute to play you his wild song: what do you hear?