Although the title of this post is “Pan Society Mythology Explained,” that’s rather a grand ambition. What I hope this article does is give a broad overview of the Pan Society world. Those who are new to animism may be confused by the lack of stories. Hopefully this makes it easier to understand.
Keep in mind that although “mythology” has come to mean stories that are not true, mythos really just means a set of beliefs about something. You don’t have to believe any or all of this to be a Panist. It just gives an explanation for our framework.
In the beginning, there was the Void. In the Void, there is no time, space, thoughts, or form. The absence of matter is pure Consciousness. We think of it as the annihilation, but in actuality, it is fullness, Oneness, the absence of separation. It’s all things and no thing all at once.
From the Void came the Fire and Ice, the first two elements and creation beings. The yin and the yang. With these two came complimentary duality or the world where everything has a masculine and feminine energy that appear to be opposites, but can’t live without each other. They had an idea, and Earth and Sky were born. (The fifth element, Aether, was always there as a part of the Void).
Each thing is alive with consciousness because the Void lives in all of us. Each time a being has an idea, it creates a new thing. In this way, everything is born. Everything is a creation being.
As Aether, Fire, Ice, Earth, and Sky were the original creation beings, they are in all things. Everything that came before us (animals, plants, mountains, rivers, etc) are our ancestors.
The Other World
Beings who are not in physical form reside in the Other World. Mythical beasts and creatures, as well as those who cannot be seen, also live here. This can include the dead, faeries, phoenixes, gods and goddesses. Time doesn’t exist there as it does in the apparent world. The Other World is both the past, present, and future. It includes Heaven and the Underworld. It is not “somewhere out there.” It’s right here. We usually just can’t perceive it. When the veil is thin, it’s easier.
The Apparent World
The Apparent World is the world that human being perceive as reality. If you can see, hear, taste, touch, smell or measure it, it’s a part of the apparent world.
Gods and Goddesses
Gods and goddesses are energies that are more powerful than humans. They are unpredictable and can’t be explained. Sometimes they help us. Sometimes they harm us. Think of Trickster. He keeps things interesting and keeps us reaching out to the gods! The gods need us and we need them. When the gods and goddesses no longer serve humanity, we abandoned them, and they lose power.
The World Tree
The world tree is the center of the earth. It is also a symbol for the universe. The branches go to the highest reaches of Heaven and the roots go to the deepest parts of the Underworld. The world tree is the doorway to travel the three realms – Heaven, Earth, and Underworld. It also serves as a symbol of the sacredness of all life. In fact, all trees serve as a reminder of the sacredness of life. This is why trees have a special place in Pan Society.
The Wheel of Life
This symbol is wholeness. It represents the lifetime of a person as well as the life cycle of nature. It’s based on the movements of the sun and moon and incorporates the seasons. Like the seasons, it shows that life moves in a circle from birth, maturity, decline, death, and rebirth. Perhaps the most important function of the wheel of life is to provide an example of how to live in harmony with the universe as the wheel shows a relationship between the microcosm and the macrocosm.
If you are aware of how the wheel of life spins, you will never be lost. The Pan Society holy days mark the changes of season and remind us of where we are so that we can stay in tune.