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When Aleister Crowley talks about the High Priestess, he says, “by thou as Artemis to Pan”?

What does he mean by this? What is “Io Pan”?
“by” should read “be” – my mistake! What does this phrase mean and what does it have to do with the Tarot Card “The High Priestess?
Lissa says “Crowley is obviously making a reference to sully something pure… ” but the quote is “be thou Artemis to Pan,” not “be thou Pan to Artemis.”
Lissa: thanks for all the detail, i appreciate your efforts
Terry: i learned a new word today! what does it have to do with The High Priestess and initiation?

7 Comments

  • The high priest symbolises Pan and the high priestess symbolises Artemis. The functions of the high priest and priestess include the re-enactment of the hieratic marriage. This re-enactment may include actual consummation of the union between god and goddess (in private) or it may be played out symbolically, for example by lowering a blade into a chalice. Crowley enjures the high priestess initiate to represent Artemis, as he represents Pan. I believe Crowley would have expected an initiate to the grade of high priestess to consummate the union, but those words could just as well have been used to invoke the union at a symbolic level.

    The high priestess may be thought of as an earthly representative of the Great Goddess, of whom Artemis is one of her mother aspects, and may also function as her oracle.

    The high priestess symbolises the goddess in the tarot – in the Rider-Waite deck she has a golden crescent at her feet and wears the lunar triple Goddess symbol )O( as a crown.

    These ideas are pretty much common currency among neo-pagans, although most don’t go in for actual sexual initiations these days. But the idea is not exclusively Crowleyian.

  • In short: Artemis is a greek figure of virginity and Pan is associated with virility and sexuality; Crowley is obviously making a reference to sully something pure… as a horny Pan would do to a chaste and virginal Artemis.

    Read the following for more insight into this…

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    From: http://www.rawilsonfans.com/articles/GreatBeast.htm

    II — The High Priestess

    Purity is to live only to the Highest: and the Highest is All; be thou as Artemis to Pan.

    — The Book of Thoth

    For Artemis, the goddess of nature, is eternally virgin: she only surrended once, and then to Pan: and this is a clue to the Beast’s purpose in his bloody sacrifices.

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    From: http://www.wisegeek.com/in-mythology-who-is-pan.htm

    Pan is the Greek god of fields, woods, and flocks. He is also closely associated with male virility, and in many works of art and stories he is depicted in a very sexualized way. The Romans worshiped Pan
    as Faunus. In Greece, worship of Pan was centered in Arcadia, which is said to be the place that Pan was born.

    According to legend, Pan is the son of Hermes and a nymph, and he was particularly beloved of Dionysus. In his role as god of the fields and woods, Pan took special care to watch over the olive trees and the grapevines, and he was also a beekeeper. As god of the flocks, Pan looked after shepherds, goats, and sheep.

    Pan’s appearance is quite distinctive. He was born with the legs, horns, and ears of a goat, with a human torso, head, and arms.

    Pan is often depicted playing a pipe known as a syrinx, and in most accounts he is a fan of music, dancing, and merrymaking. However, Pan is also a highly changeable god, with violent mood swings which could make him angry or irritable in a flash, especially when he is woken from a sound sleep.

    In many tales, Pan is shown chasing after various nymphs, particularly Echo, whom he was apparently in love with. He is also said
    to be responsible for irrational bouts of fear and distress among crowds and herd animals, along with solitary individuals. In fact, the modern English word “panic” is rooted in Pan.

    In Greek art, Pan is often depicted in parties and gatherings, sometimes playing his syrinx and dancing, and sometimes serving
    food from the fields he looks after. Pan is also depicted in works of art which show shepherds, as he was viewed as a sort of
    mentor to the shepherding community, looking after shepherds and teaching them various useful skills.

    Many historians have noted that depictions of the Devil in Christian art bear some suspicious similarity to depictions of Pan. In the early Christian world, undoubtedly Pan and Faunus would have been regarded as figures of evil, since they promoted sexual frolics and other behavior viewed as unsavory by the Christians. In an attempt to stamp out paganism, the Christians may well have linked Pan and the Devil, in the hopes of encouraging pagans to turn to the path of Christianity.

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    From: http://www.pantheon.org/articles/a/artemis.html

    The daughter of Leto and Zeus, and the twin of Apollo. Artemis is the goddess of the wilderness, the hunt and wild animals, and fertility (she became a goddess of fertility and childbirth mainly in cities). She was often depicted with the crescent of the moon above her forehead and was sometimes identified with Selene (goddess of the moon). Artemis was one of the Olympians and a virgin goddess. Her main vocation was to roam mountain forests and uncultivated land with her nymphs in attendance hunting for lions, panthers, hinds and stags. Contradictory to the later, she helped in protecting and seeing to their well-being, also their safety and reproduction. She was armed with a bow and arrows which were made by Hephaestus and the Cyclopes.

    In one legend, Artemis was born one day before her brother Apollo. Her mother gave birth to her on the island of Ortygia, then, almost immediately after her birth, she helped her mother to cross the straits over to Delos, where she then delivered Apollo. This was the beginning of her role as guardian of young children and patron of women in childbirth. Being a goddess of contradictions, she was the protectress of women in labor, but it was said that the arrows of Artemis brought them sudden death while giving birth. As was her brother, Apollo, Artemis was a divinity of healing, but also brought and spread diseases such as leprosy, rabies and even gout.

    Being associated with chastity, Artemis at an early age (in one legend she was three years old) asked her father, the great god Zeus, to grant her eternal virginity. Also, all her companions were virgins. Artemis was very protective of her purity, and gave grave punishment to any man who attempted to dishonor her in a

  • Pan the the Greek God of nature, whereas Artemis is the Greek Goddess of the Hunt, and sometimes called the Goddess of Nature as well. I think Aleister Crowley is comparing both god’s jobs.

  • Artemis is the virgin to Pan’s satyriasis. Crowley constantly plays sex games, verbal and physical.

    Requested Edit: Crowley believed in sex Magick, but he also accepted the strong Magick of a virgin.

  • No, it is ‘by thou as Artemis to Pan’ referring to the relationship of Artemis, the Greek goddess of the hunt and forests to Pan the god of the woodlands and woodland creatures, including the nymphs. Athena and Pan were partners, they ruled over slightly different things in the natural world, but they were united in their love on nature.

  • I think that to fully understand this we need to understand Aleister Crowley himself, to really see things the way he saw them. I feel that a good starting point is the film ‘chemical wedding’. my favourite part is when he pees on his students. maybe this is what he means by ‘lo pan’. there is also a good bit where he leaves a poo shaped present on the desk of the masons, maybe you could try this to understand Crowley better and get closer to him.
    … I wish Aleister Crowley would shave my fangina for me. He is quite the gentleman and ever so nice in four weddings and a funeral.

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