Sylvanus - 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

Sylvanus, horned spirit of forests, groves, and wild fields, presides over boundaries, thresholds, and hedges. Sylvanus is the protector of herds and cattle. He was worshipped in Northern Italy, perhaps as far as Pannonia, an ancient trans-Danubian nation now part of modern Hungary. What we know of Sylvanus derives from Roman writings and it is unknown whether they simply used a name that literally means “forest spirit” for what were originally independent deities.

The Romans associated Sylvanus with Faunus. He is also similar to Pan in that he too enjoys scaring lonely travelers. The first fruits of the season were offered to Sylvanus alongside meat and wine. These were exclusively male rituals; women were not permitted to witness sacrificial offerings made to Sylvanus. His attributes include a pruning knife and a pine bough.

See also Faunus, Pan.