satyr

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satyr

(sā`tər, săt`ər), in Greek mythology, part bestial, part human creature of the forests and mountains. Satyrs were usually represented as being very hairy and having the tails and ears of a horse and often the horns and legs of a goat. An important part of Dionysus' entourage, they were lustful, fertile creatures, always merrily drinking and dancing. The satyr was similar in appearance to the silenussilenus
, in Greek mythology, part bestial and part human creature of the forests and mountains. Part of Dionysus' entourage, the sileni are usually represented as aged satyrs—drunken, jolly, bald, fat, bearded, and possessing horse ears.
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 and FaunusFaunus
, in Roman religion, woodland deity, protector of herds and crops. He was identified with the Greek Pan. His festival was observed on Dec. 5 with dancing and merrymaking.
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Comic illustration of a satyr, 1922. Courtesy Fortean Picture Library.

Satyr

(religion, spiritualism, and occult)

Frequently linked with Dionysus (Bacchus), the Greek god of nature and fertility, satyrs were spirits of nature—of the forests and the mountains. They were a kind of wood genie whose sudden appearance would terrify shepherds and travelers. Part man and part animal, they were traditionally lascivious by nature, usually depicted with erect phalli. They were often found in the company of nymphs. They had pointed ears, low foreheads, upturned noses, goat horns protruding from their heads, and cloven hooves. Satyrs are usually depicted with the body of a goat, like Pan, although early depictions show them with a horse's tail. They were lovers of music and played various musical instruments, including the pan pipes. Many times they are shown carrying a thyrsus wand, which is much like the Wiccan phallic wand with pinecone tip.

Satyrs are not mentioned by Homer, but in Hesiod they are referred to as brothers of the mountain nymphs. They had a particular dance called the Sikinnis, perfected in the satyr plays of the Greek theater. In Attica there was a form of drama known as the satyric, which was half comic and whose chorus was made up of satyrs.

As a translation of the Hebrew se'irim—"hairy ones"—in the Authorized Version of Isaiah 8:21 and 34:14, the word "satyr" is used to mean a demon or supernatural being who inhabited waste lands. They correspond to the "shaggy demon of the mountain pass" of old Arab superstition.

The satyr symbolizes the primal force of sexual energy, depicted in the frescoes showing the rites of liberation in the cult of Dionysus. Through participation in those orgiastic rites, the worshiper felt such a surging vitality resulting from communion with the great life forces that he felt born again.

The Witch Book: The Encyclopedia of Witchcraft, Wicca, and Neo-paganism © 2002 Visible Ink Press®. All rights reserved.
The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Satyr

 

in ancient Greek mythology, a forest deity and demon of fertility found in the retinue of the god Dionysus. In myths satyrs are depicted as lascivious and half-drunk deities who wander through the forests, dancing round dances with nymphs.

The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.

satyr

1. Greek myth one of a class of sylvan deities, represented as goatlike men who drank and danced in the train of Dionysus and chased the nymphs
2. a man who has satyriasis
3. any of various butterflies of the genus Satyrus and related genera, having dark wings often marked with eyespots: family Satyridae
Collins Discovery Encyclopedia, 1st edition © HarperCollins Publishers 2005
References in periodicals archive ?
Stating the case rather bluntly, Monsieur Satyrical from Cavendish's Wits Cabal, Part I (1662) declares, "Women hate Satyre in Poetry" (259).
Pope, Inquiring into the Motives that might induce him in his Satyrical Works, to be so frequently fond of Mr.
This would certainly have been a crucial problem had Grimmelshausen been included, and the intricacy and complexity of the argument that would have been involved (including in-depth analysis of his 'satyrical' manner) is presumably the main reason for his exclusion.
Following Pope's poem by barely a month was Dennis's Reflections Critical and Satyrical, Upon a Late Rhapsody, Call'd An Essay Upon Criticism, the first full-blown, serious attack on Pope and his writing.
Reform will come not from the "satyrical Lashes of an imbiter'd Enemy" like Collier, but from the constructive encouragement of a friend like Filmer (A4).
According to the explanation included with the print, which like "Guy Vaux the 2nd" was published in A Political and Satyrical History of the Years 1756 and 1757, the picture "[i]s a very great Satyr upon the Labours of the Politician here represented.
But the genius of this author seems little better qualify'd for picturesque, than for satyrical poetry; in the former, he wants invention, grace, and dignity; in the latter, wit, and good manners" (p.
(7) Robert Gould, A Satyrical Epistle to the Female Author of a Poem, call'd Sylvia's Revenge (London, 1691), pp.