I am kind of shortchanging you, dear readers, with this entry. I am striving to complete this series of posts that I started a long time back…. but I am also not ready to fully unpack either my experiences of Dionysus, nor my complex familly history of alcoholism and dysfunction, nor the long strange journey I’ve taken to something resembling adulthood… so here are a few notes that I may or may not fill in more details on later.
We come to the most problematic, and currently most neglected, of the Gods in my life… Dionysus. In some ways The Bull Roarer has lurked in the background within my life.
I am the son of an Alcoholic, well technically the alcoholism was probably more of a symptom of chronic Depression on mom’s part… but we really didn’t realize that until years after she had passed on. Hindsight and all…
So my first prayer to Him was actually done years before I started my deeper explorations of Polytheism… I uttered a prayer to Dionysus and Apollo, shortly before trying out for the Renaissance fair in Anchorage years ago. I do remember suddenly feeling deeply calm after my prayer, and I went in and auditioned in front of the majority of the active members of the University Theater department and Ren Faire board with my chosen audition piece. The Saint Crispin’s Day speech from Henry V.
Whatever else I did that day, I got a part in the Ren Faire. (I later had to bow out for reasons of work and life, but that’s another story…)
I remember a certain fascination for Dionysus, and indeed when I first started digging deeper into Paganism and Polytheism one of the first works of history I read was a translation of Dionysus Myth and Cult by Walter F Otto. Pretty much one of THE works on ancient religion and Him in particular. There were other references and stories relating to Him that were a part of my library over the years, and from very early on in my interest in The Bull Roarer I knew that He was much more complicated and complex than the divine frat boy that some fiction would have you believe.
So a few years ago when I though I was transitioning to Hellenic Polytheism, I made a place for him in my heart and life alongside Hecate as my patrons. It was only later as I was reading and re-reading about The Theoi, that I realized I had decided for my Hellenic Patrons a Goddess of Witchcraft and a Horned God (Dionysus is one of those too…)
I looked right up at the sky and said,
“Am I sensing a theme here?!”
So I spent some time pouring libations and offering Incense to Him…
One night, having drunk more than a few toasts to him I had some very sensual and personal visions of Him… they felt much more than mere fantasizing and
But largely the last few years, I have not reached out or offered unto Him… nor have I had a sense of His calling to me. I don’t get the impression I am done with Him or He with me, but… have this sense that I am not in a place where I need/should be involved with him?
In Polytheism our relationships with the Holy Powers is sometimes strikingly similar to our relationships with our fellow mortals… there are fallow periods and times when contact and communication ebbs and flows, in and out like the tide…
I have this sense that an offering or two near June and August, the 1st and 2nd local wine Harvests might be in order….
Pax / Geoffrey
PS – This post is part of a series…
Libertas (whilst written before this series was conceived of, it fits a little too perfectly into the theme to be ignored…)
Dionysus (this post)
The Honored and Beloved Dead
Spirits of the World Around Us