About

About the Founders

Laura Giles

There were several times in my life where magic spontaneously erupted. There was this thing that happened with other people – this connection. It was like all the differences in race, religion, and politic didn’t matter anymore. We just became a joyous community of people. We moved as one, breathed as one, laughed as one.

It happens while couple’s dancing, improvisational group dancing, line dancing, sometimes singing folk songs that everyone knows. It happens during moments of shared grief and group meditation. Such magic!

I always wanted to bottle it and take it out whenever I needed it – especially because I felt like an outsider in many ways. I just didn’t know what “it” was or how to capture it – until I went into an indigenous community and realized it was everywhere.

Now I got it.

I grew up animist. That thing that I took for granted was a sense of belonging to all of Creation. It’s a connection to everything while being so absolutely authentic. This background helped me to avoid a lot of the problems that I see in other people like loneliness, fear, and depression. It gives me a sense of safety, comfort, and a deep love that goes with me everywhere.

It’s one thing to grow up with that and have it within. But it wasn’t until I was in a community where everyone had that that I realized what it was like to have that safety and connection with other people. What a different experience! My mind was blown. And I wanted to bring it to everyone.

I acknowledge that animist cultures around the world have been, and continue to be, wiped out through war, cultural destruction, religious conversion, and ecological eradication. I respect my family’s traditions and don’t want to cash in at their expense. I also recognize that the modern, western life has things to offer animism.

So I want to create a new paradigm where people don’t have to choose between being white or black, Democrat or Republican, modern or traditional. A place where sovereignty and individual thought is cherished, connection is stronger than the urge to divine, and Oneness is celebrated. A place where it’s okay to be who we are, where we are, as we are.

I wanted to create a bridge to a new animism for the modern world – a place where you don’t have to dress a certain way, pray a certain way, or have claims to a grandma who was a Cherokee princess, Druid, or Viking to legitimize your animist spirituality. A place where you don’t have to apologize and feel guilty for the behavior of those who came before you. A place where your natural beauty is all the credentials you need to belong.

I don’t consider myself the “inventor” of Pan. Pan Society, LTD has existed forever and will always be. I just packaged it in a way that is accessible. For me, Pan Society, LTD is not just church. It’s a way of being. I invite you to explore the world of Pan Society, LTD and see if it feels right for you.

Rick West

Where nature, music and magic converge is my home. I became one with Gaia while growing up on the Florida beaches and in the deep woods of western North Carolina. I carry the music in my bones, and magic always seems to somehow find me.

My path has led to many and varied experiences – zen, tarot, stage, anthropology, wall street to name a few – and nature / music / magic have made it a great ride.  Now, Pan Society, LTD.

The intention for Pan Society, LTD is to encourage and assist you to re-enchant your life. Rituals are fun and exciting, but you don’t require them to find your authentic self. You just commit, take a breath, then another, and see where it leads. You notice how this or that makes you feel, and you follow the good feelings. As you learn more and more how to love, and how to be loved, the all opens itself to you like a desert rose.

My intention is to grow alongside you. Together, we find our highest form. Our spirits will guide us. Pan Society, LTD awaits.

Cherie Calvert

Cherie Calvert

My whole childhood was spent playing in the woods, rescuing injured animals, trying to convince my mom why they would make good pets, and taking care of the small garden I tried to cultivate in our backyard. I learned, early on, that everything was connected because it was right there in front of me and I could feel it.

Some of my fondest and strangest memories are helping my mother make folk medicine whenever we were sick. Assisting my mom in the kitchen and my love of plants led me to become an herbalist. Nothing makes me happier than nurturing a plant to maturity and using nature’s gifts to nurture and heal the body.

Being half Korean has meant that I have always had animism in my home. My sister and I grew up with compassion and the belief that everything was alive and connected. We grew up with rituals and ancestor veneration. When I tried to ignore that side of me in my early adulthood, I lost part of who I was. I became depressed and disconnected from everything. When I recognized and honored that part of myself, I became whole again.

Pan Society, Ltd. is a wonderful place to create connections and to grow spiritually, no matter what your path is in life.

Pan’s Mission Statement

It’s very simple. It’s three things:

Sovereignty ♦ Connection ♦ Oneness