Too reserved to revel?

“Many are the wand-bearers, few are the Bacchoi” ~Plato

The first time I encountered Dionysos it was more like just passing in a hallway – an individual you’ve seen many times before without interacting, merely just nodding an acknowledgement in their direction. Eventually, however, these encounters became something more; a dialogue was created and the relationship that grew from it became a very good one.

In a short time I learnt a lot, felt a lot of things changing and began to make sense of my own personal “bigger picture”. That’s when he pulled the rug out from under me.

I hit the floor so hard, my teeth rattled. And when I tried to get up, he pinned me down and metaphorically blindfolded. I was shook up and turned over, pulled apart and left in a dark, dank corner of my own mind.

I felt alone, cut off, naked and scared. I didn’t know which way was up, or down; left or right. And quite quickly, I began not to care. Eventually I didn’t need him to keep me pinned down – I kept myself prisoner and the darkness, fear and pain became a comforting cage of solace that I didn’t want to escape from, because the real world was even more painful and scary.

That first time, I was “down there” for almost seven months. That was when I was made aware of the proverbial light at the end of the tunnel and found myself being nudged towards it. Over the years I’ve been back and forth between the darkness and the light a couple of times – each time being rendered apart by Dionysos and left to pick up my own pieces.

Despite all that, I never blamed him or tried to avoid him and yet we became distant. My ritual and prayers seemed muted and unresponsive. In time I stopped actively seeking him out, but missed the union I had shared in the past. Every now and then I get a sense of him on the periphery of my consciousness but like smoke, if I grasp for it then it slips around my fingers and dissipates.

So perhaps it isn’t surprising that recently, amidst all the unsettlement and chaos going on in my personal life, that I felt the “pull” toward him again. I started reading “Dionysos: Exciter to Frenzy” by Vikki Bramshaw, there was a global rite being organised and most recently I became aware of the Thiasos of the Starry Bull and what Sannion and others are creating.

But in reading and following and playing catch up with everything, something has niggled me in the back of my head…Am I really a Dionysian?

Case in point, this post by Sannion detailing an initiatory rite. Reading it was fascinating and evocative. But when it came down to it, I stood in my own way and said “you’d never be able to do that”. And I’m probably right. Ritual nudity aside (that’s a big enough hang up for me as it is), the idea of being that “free” is something that scares and intimidates me. I don’t dance, I don’t sing, I don’t vocalise. Even when I’m drunk I’m fairly controlled.

People say there’s an edge to me. That sometimes it shimmers behind my eyes, a little predatory; a little scary. But the bolt on that door is fairly secured. It scares me. I scare myself. As far as general society goes, I’m pretty outside the “norm” and yet I’m still not outside with the true outsiders. I’m standing on the edge of the reserve, by the fence staring out into the wilds; listening to the distant shouts and laughter, the music and the singing.

Even should one of those revellers come up to the fence and invite me to join in, I know I’d politely make my excuses and shyly go home. You’re either in or you’re out. And if I can’t live it then I shouldn’t be hoping and pretending.

There’s no such thing as a reserved Dionysian.

The 66 Adorations of Hekate

After reading this post by Sannion I was highly inspired and moved to create something similar. Dionysos is very important to me but I didn’t want to rush in and make a ‘duplicate’ of adorations for Him (though I will work on my own set). So instead I chose to focus on Hekate.

Today I was kept awake by howling winds and a desire to be ‘awake’ and so I got dressed and came downstairs and decided to start thinking on my adorations.

Rather than give myself a set amount to write, I just started writing. I found it very empowering to meditate on Hekate and my life with Her and all that She means to me and oversees.

By the time the sun rose, I had three pages of adorations which when I counted added up to 66. I didn’t feel like I needed to write any more (at present) and didn’t want to force it either. Fairly ironic the number, especially the relation to 3s and multiples thereof which all link nicely to Hekate.

I aim to use this in conjunction with making more of my spiritual life in 2012 (one of the main focuses for the year ahead, of which I have yet to blog about) and so I give you The 66 Adorations of Hekate…

66 Adorations of Hekate

I adore you of the saffron robes

I adore you crowned with stars

I adore you lady of hounds

I adore you light-bringer

I adore you serpent girt

I adore you mistress of magick

I adore you gatekeeper

I adore you savior

I adore you keeper of the keys

I adore you daughter of stars

I adore you queen of heaven

I adore you of earth, sky & sea

I adore you seer of things unseen

I adore you knower of things unknown

I adore you triple-formed

I adore you torch bearer

I adore you lady of the moon

I adore you nurturer of youths

I adore you who revels with Dionysos

I adore you most lovely one

I adore you sepulchral

I adore you speaking from beneath the earth

I adore you crowned with oak leaves

I adore you night wanderer

I adore you worker from afar

I adore you queen of those below

I adore you friend of Persephone

I adore you averter of evil

I adore you soul guider

I adore you companion of Hermes

I adore you lover of solitude

I adore you sender of nocturnal dreams

I adore you mighty one

I adore you guide on the path

I adore you celestial goddess

I adore you splendid lunar star

I adore you highest honoured amongst gods and men

I adore you of the phantom troupe

I adore you dancer on the unknown path

I adore you world soul

I adore you daughter of Perses

I adore you far-shooting messenger

I adore you with eyes of fire

I adore you wielder of fiery brands

I adore you cutter of the cord

I adore you who stands by the door

I adore you dark mother

I adore you teacher of the mysteries

I adore you who delights in ritual

I adore you both darkness and light

I adore you most lovely one

I adore you of the sacred fires

I adore you who governs the spiral of life

I adore you sender of storms

I adore you titan queen

I adore you of darkest night

I adore you great she-dog

I adore you who bestows many blessings

I adore you beloved of Zeus

I adore you slayer of Clytius

I adore you drawn by dragons

I adore you only-begotten maiden

I adore you mother of witches

I adore you goddess of the shadow realms

I adore you mistress of life, death and rebirth

I adore you my lady

An Evening with Dionysos

Saturday night I decided to spend the evening with Dionysos, refamiliarising myself with his unique energy and celebrating his many gifts to mankind. I gathered together a good bottle of wine – conveniently called “Satyr” from the Seleni Estates in New Zealand – with good, simple food: grapes, figs, goat cheese, bresaola, rustic bread and some organic pate. Once everything was together, Dionysos was asked to bless the food and wine and I gave a portion in offering.

Good food and fine wine

“Eiresione brings

All good things,

Figs and fat cakes to eat,

Soft oil and honey sweet,

and brimming wine-cup deep

that she may drink and sleep.”

Whilst I munched, I mused and thought of Dionysos and trawled through pictures, info and blogs on the internet slowly building up a feeling for his energies. I found some new and sexy images on a particularly good image blog, Where Dionysos Dwells.

I then moved on to flicking through my books on the God; Walter F. Otto’s “Dionysos: Myth & Cult”, “Dionysos” by Richard Seaford, “The God Who Comes – Dionysian Mysteries Revisited” by Rosemarie Taylor-Perry, Bibliotheca Alexandrina’s devotional anthology “Written in Wine”, Andrew Dalby’s “Bacchus A Biography” and the latest addition to my Dionysian library, “Ecstatic” by H. Jeremiah Lewis (also known as Sannion).

A wealth of knowledge - but still barely scratching the surface!

“The madness of Dionysus is engendered in the vine and is shared by everyone who imbibes its miraculous elixir.”

The wine was warming and was soon coursing through my system which added a delightful haze to the evening’s proceedings. Reading up on history and experience and viewing pictures of that wild, raucous God, with the knowing smile and languid eyes. The Load Roaring One, laden with heavy clusters; intoxicating, liberating – He who has known the darkest depths of me, forced me to confront myself through madness and fear.

Hail Dionysos - God of revelry and the vine!

“A bull be, Bacchus,

or a serpent many-headed be,

or a radiant lion be:

hunt the hunter, Bacchus…”

I had such a lovely, lazy evening; like a symposia of one. I relived memories, both good and bad, was inspired in my future devotion to Dionysos, I am looking forward to upcoming festivals particularly Anthesteria, started to develop ideas for an experiential piece to write and I’m certain I’ll be making these little nights in with the Big Guy a regular occasion!

 

The Gods Who Comes!

Io Bromios! Io Dendrites! Enorches!  Eleutherios!  Bacchus! Io!”