Pan is the Lord of the Woods, god of goatherds and huntsmen; ecstatic dancer;
god of laughter and good humor; god of excessive sexual desire
(hence his opposition to marriage). He is called 'the lonely God', and 'the last arrived
of the Gods'. Half-man, half-goat. He is the mediator
between nature and the Gods. He is a God of strength - the marathon torch race in the
original Olympics was dedicated to Pan - and He saved the Greeks at Marathon. He was not
an Athenian God, but an Arcadian, from the rugged mountainsides. He fought the Titans with
Zeus, yet His panic makes battle impossible, breaking the artificial bond of an army and
causing everyone to run away. He has connections to Artemis, Goddess of the hunt: He
shares Her nymphs and must obey Her. Pan is the one who led Persephone's wedding dance,
happily piping His pipes as She was led into the underworld, yet it was Pan who found
Demeter in mourning when no one else could find Her. And it was Pan's daughter, Iambe, who
got Demeter to laugh and forget Her grief for just a moment. When you clap your hands, you
are doing homage to Pan, when you laugh, and when you dance. -- from "Pan Visits New Jersey,"
by Ed Chapman, originally published in "Druid's Grove" magazine.
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