The Rite of Pan

Hymn to Pan by Aleister Crowley

Sometimes known as The Great Beast, Crowley was the most notorious and influential occultist of the 20th century.  He wrote this famous invocation to Pan in Moscow in 1913.

Thrill with lissome lust of the light,

O man! My man!

Come careering out of the night

Of Pan! Io Pan!

Io Pan! Io Pan! Come over the sea

From Sicily and from Arcady!

Roaming as Bacchus, with fauns and pards

And nymphs and satyrs for thy guards,

On a milk-white ass, come over the sea

To me, to me,

Come with Apollo in bridal dress

(Shepherdess and pythoness)

Come with Artemis, silken shod,

And wash thy white thigh, beautiful God,

In the moon of the woods, on the marble mount,

The dimpled dawn of the amber fount!

Dip the purple of passionate prayer

In the crimson shrine, the scarlet snare,

The soul that startles in eyes of blue

To watch thy wantonness weeping through

The tangled grove, the gnarled bole

Of the living tree that is spirit and soul

And body and brain – come over the sea,

(Io Pan! Io Pan!)

Devil or god, to me, to me,

My man! my man!

Come with trumpets sounding shrill

Over the hill!

Come with drums low muttering

From the spring!

Come with flute and come with pipe!

Am I not ripe?

I, who wait and writhe and wrestle

With air that hath no boughs to nestle

My body, weary of empty clasp,

Strong as a lion and sharp as an asp –

Come, O come!

I am numb

With the lonely lust of devildom.

Thrust the sword through the galling fetter,

All-devourer, all-begetter;

Give me the sign of the Open Eye,

And the token erect of thorny thigh,

And the word of madness and mystery,

O Pan! Io Pan!

Io Pan! Io Pan Pan! Pan Pan! Pan,

I am a man:

Do as thou wilt, as a great god can,

O Pan! Io Pan!

Io Pan! Io Pan Pan! I am awake

In the grip of the snake.

The eagle slashes with beak and claw;

The gods withdraw:

The great beasts come, Io Pan! I am borne

To death on the horn

Of the Unicorn.

I am Pan! Io Pan! Io Pan Pan! Pan!

I am thy mate, I am thy man,

Goat of thy flock, I am gold, I am god,

Flesh to thy bone, flower to thy rod.

With hoofs of steel I race on the rocks

Through solstice stubborn to equinox.

And I rave; and I rape and I rip and I rend

Everlasting, world without end,

Mannikin, maiden, Maenad, man,

In the might of Pan.

Io Pan! Io Pan Pan! Pan! Io Pan!


Pan coupling with Goat

This 1st Century BC statuette was discovered in the Villa of the Papyri, Herculaneum.