Faunus - The Horned One and The Devil

The Element Encyclopedia of Witchcraft: The Complete A-Z for the Entire Magical World - Judika Illes 2005

The Horned One and The Devil

Faunus is among the most ancient indigenous Italian spirits and is known as “The Benefactor.” Faunus epitomizes Earth’s irrepressible male generative force. He is a spirit of the forest and wild nature, representing the innate fertility of land and people, a surging force that cannot be contained.

Faunus manifests as a horned human male cloaked in a wolf-skin or with a human’s upper torso and the lower body of a goat, similar to Pan and the satyrs.

Faunus uses different names:

Image As Lupercus, the wolf-god, Faunus arbitrates the balance between wolves and livestock.

Image As Fatuus, Faunus gives oracles and bestows psychic ability. His devotees once slept in his sacred precincts, dressed in the skins of freshly sacrificed lambs, in hopes of receiving dreams from the god.

Image As Innus, “He Who Makes Fruitful,” Faunus increases herds.

Faunus is a primordial spirit; he is so ancient that he cannot communicate as a human does but speaks through forest noises and nature sounds. His presence is often made manifest by nightmares even when he is bringing good news. Faunus is by nature a benevolent rather than a harmful spirit, however he is wild and uncontrollable. Once upon a time, his priests served as mediums, interpreting Faunus’ oracles and communiqués.

Faunus’ attributes include a goblet and a wreath. His sacred creatures are goats and wolves. His sacred day is February 14th. Faunus had a shrine on the Tiber Island. Rome’s Church of St Stefano Rotondo sits on the site of a temple once dedicated to Faunus.

See also ANIMALS: Goats, Wolves and Werewolves; CALENDAR: Lupercalia; DIVINE WITCH: Circe.