Michael-mass comes September 29th. This is the Holy Day known as the Feast of the Angels. Arch-Angel Michael is the Chief of all the Angels and is a warrior angel that vanquishes evil. When the Catholic Church brought their religion to the pagans of Europe they also incorporated older customs of the Earth into their Saints and Angels pantheon. Some of these interpretation actually manipulated the arch-types to create a complete different story that would go along with the churches dogma.
Michael-mass falls close to the older Equinox festival that was celebrated by the pagans as one of the harvest ceremonies which celebrates the green life force returning to the Earth for winter. This was known as the wic in the British Isle.
St. Michael churches were built on the high ley-lines in Europe while St George churches were built on the lower lines closer to great rivers. Ley-lines are also known as the dragon-lines. Both St Michael and St. George were dragon killers. The Green Dragon energy was associated with the Life Force of the Earth that rose and fell with the seasonal cycles. Sometimes one may see Michael killing the goat horned devil.
But who was this devil? Who was it that Michael’s Power was squashing? It was the Roman Pagan God of Nature, Pan. Pan was not happy in the role he found himself in. He still had his cloven feet and his goat horns poking through his curly hair, but his face was tortured for he had absorbed the evil projections of the founding church fathers. He had become their scapegoat.
Pan once was honored for his position in the natural scheme of creation. He danced on the Ley-Lines, playing his hollow reed flute. His cloven feet awakened the migration trails for the animals. His sensual, orgasmic pleasure aroused the sexual energies both in man and animal. The musky odor of his own sexuality assured the growth and the increased population of both animals and humans.
The thrilling melody of his pipes awakened the life force of the “Lignes Telluric,” the Ley-Lines, to distribute fertility throughout the area. Pan would have his sexual way with anyone and everything. His Sacred Presence ensured the survival of all species. Yes, sometimes he got carried away with himself, leaving broken hearts behind. His sexual yearning did not always connect with the wisdom eye of knowledge and discernment. But he represented the natural sex drive in its rawest form, wild and unleashed – but not evil!
The Church Fathers had to do something with Pan’s Pagan children who lived with the green ways of the Earth, following the cycles of nature with the rise and fall of the life forces within the land. The celibate priesthood was also forced to control their own sexual needs, so they bound Pan and projected the sins of the world upon him and called him the devil. Man projected upon Pan, rather than looking inside and facing and erasing the true source of evil that lives within human beings. Pan is a nature spirit and only nature Spirits can act as a mirror of man’s thoughts and emotions, for this is how the Creator programmed them.
Saint Michael, an Archangel of the highest order, was also misused by the church fathers to associate nature’s awesome reproducing power to the work of the devil. The fathers of the church wanted the power over the bodies, minds and souls of the population.
When Michael wasn’t stepping on the devil, he was killing dragons. The dragon represents the Ley-Lines that held the Sacred Initiations of the land that gave the people the power to heal, to prophesize and look deeper into the mysteries of the soul.
The Church Fathers went as far as stripping the Great Goddess herself off her sexuality, fertility powers and her destructive aspect that brought purification and regeneration to the land through her winter season, the winter being the time the green power retreated deep into the earth. The snake, the dragon, which is symbolic of sexuality, and also the Wouivre system (Ley-Line system) of the land were crushed under the Virgin’s feet. The ancient Goddess adapted herself to the Church’s regulations and snuck in through the backdoor as the Black Madonna.
The male sexuality was bound through binding Pan. The female sexuality was bound through the Virgin and the power of the land was bound through the killing of the dragon. The original blueprint of nature was darkened by the minds of the Church Fathers who wanted complete control. When you succeed in controlling people’s sexuality, you control the population. The God and the Goddess became only a faint memory, whispered in the wind and the wild places of the land.
There is also and older custom from Autumn Harvest festivals where the High Chief of the tribe would have the Sacred position of killing the dragon. The people would create a dragon image of straw and decorate it with all the fruits, wheat and herbs of the harvest. The Chief of the Tribe would enact the killing the Harvest Dragon which was symbolic of the Green Life Force, (Dragon Energy) returning to the land. This is a far shadow from the arch-type we see in the church.
Maybe it is high time to change the archetypes that once were manipulated. Let us see Saint Michael being a protector of the environment, holding the shield with a dragon on it. Let us see Michael protecting the life force of the Earth. We need Angelic Warrior that are willing to protect and speak out for our environment more then ever at this time in history.
Let us see the dark face of the Madonna who is not afraid of her fertility power, the power of birth, death and purification.
Let us give the Nature God Pan the pearl of wisdom to use his sexual nature with discrimination and with wisdom but not with repression. These are the new archetypes we need.