The Great God Pan is all things to all men

Pan’s name is thought to derive from ‘paean’, the ancient Greek verb meaning ‘to pasture’. His half-man, half-goat form reflected his role in protecting flocks of goats and those who herded them among the wild hills of Arcadia. Panic was his superpower, freaking out mortals in the woods with distorted sounds, even neutralising hostile armies. This might seem like an adequate portfolio of godly aspects, but, as Paul Robichaud demonstrates in Pan: The Great God’s Modern Return, it didn’t take long for things to get more complicated. The Homeric ‘Hymn to Pan’ had a slightly different story, which was that the strange goat-child, rejected by its earthly nurse, got taken