Hymn to Pan is one of the most famous creations by the English Occultist & Ritual magician Aleister Crowley. He wrote this in 1913 (published in 1919). I had first seen this poem performed by the late Wiccan Elder Zachary Cox, at a Pagan Picnic in Queen’ Woods, High Gate, North London.. (2006?). I have seen it done by a friend few years ago (again in Queen’s Woods, at a Beltane Ritual I was facilitating for my `London Woodland Witches meetup group’ . Going as far back as 2008,
I’ve been organsing `Pan’s Picnic’ every year.. And it was now..during lockdown, while we are doing so many online zoom rituals, that I had the sudden idea to perform this poem myself. I began fully familiarizing myself with the poem at night. Each night I’d whisper it and practice..(‘cos others were sleeping in our household).
And on the night of 21st March 2021, after much delays and almost giving up.. I drove to the woods near Croydon – where I hold Hern’s Tribe rituals for some 16years. There I quietly set the camera up.. set up an altar – and heard the poem in my head as I danced with flame. When it was all done, I packed it all away …and finally set the voice recorder, and let loose reciting the poem!! And the Pan in me was fully Free!
(note: Apart from adding a little echo for the later section, no other voice manipulation was done. The throaty croaky snarly growly changes were as it happened live in 1 take of the voice recording…and almost in 1 long breath too. You can hear it once where I gasped for breath and continued!)
It’s now my quest to fully learn this glorious poem by heart.. and do it as a Self-invocation & Charge of the God Pan -in a woodland ritual, for that is what this poem is. If you study the words carefully,. you’ll see where it changes from `calling Pan’ to `being Pan’ !