A Pagan priest in Maine has just been allowed to wear a set of horns on his latest driver’s license. Phelan MoonSong, the horned Priest of Pan in question, is celebrating the local Bureau of Motor Vehicles’ (BMV) decision as a landmark in religious rights.
This story all began in June of 2016 when Phelan MoonSong asked to change his legal name. After MoonSong received his new ID card in the mail, he went to the BMV in Bangor to get a new driver’s license.
Although they took his picture with the two horns on his head, a clerk at the BMV told MoonSong that he would have to get the picture approved by Maine’s Secretary of State. MoonSong had to send the Secretary of State documents that demonstrated the religious reasons why he had to wear the horns at all times.
MoonSong sent a long letter to the Secretary of State where he discussed the importance of his “Horns of Power.” He went on to cite important texts on Pagan religions, including Horned Gods: A Comparative Mythology Perspective, The Symbolism of Horns—The Ecphorizer, and Pagan Religions: A Handbook for Diversity Training.
This letter was sent in August, and MoonSong was still waiting for a response in November. When he called the authorities in Augusta, they told MoonSong that his request was denied. A few weeks later, MoonSong discussed his issue with the Maine Civil Liberties Union (MCLU) in Portland. He then went back to the BMV and told an employee that he was considering appealing the decision with the help of the MCLU.
After listening to MoonSong’s complaint, the employee called a supervisor. When she returned to MoonSong she said he could wear his horns in his driver’s license photo.
MoonSong says he was officially initiated into a Coven in 2007, and he has been wearing horns ever since 2008. He says the horns serve as a “spiritual antennae” that connects him with higher divinities.