The fucked up family of Dionysos

The Dionysian Artist presents three family trees for Dionysos, which are not entirely contradictory to one another, even if they don’t all fit perfectly. Things like this are among the reasons I don’t take myths literally.

But, hey, everybody’s family is at least a little messed up, right?

The Dionysian Artist

I hope it does not come as a shock that Dionysos has a complex and often confusing family tree. I’ve divided this into three tales:

Standard myth: has him the son of Zeus and Semele, daughter of the founder of Thebes, Cadmus (his grandfather) and Harmonia (his grandmother). If we look back through Cadmus’ family tree Zeus is something like Dionysos’ great, great, great, great grandfather via Io. Zeus is also his great grandfather on Dionysos’ grandmother’s family side. And as a technicality Zeus is his father and mother…  is your mind twisted yet?

If we regard Orphic mythology: the Olympian Dionysos is a second incarnation. His first incarnation is known as Zagreus-Dionysos, the son of Persephone and Zeus.
Zagreus is a supreme deity that Zeus concedes the throne to his son, thus giving Zagreus the universe as a mere babe. As is typical in myth: Hera is jealous, and employs…

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We Need a Sacred Bartender

Update from Thiasos Bakkheios:comic_history_of_rome_p_223_bacchanalian_group_from_a_very_old_vase
We recently had another chanting and drumming and (some) dancing devotional. I’m going to report on it as best I can. Only some of these are my personal recollections; certain gaps in my memory had to be filled in with information supplied by “dude, you were so wasted” stories people told about me the day after.

The plan was to sacrifice food and drink to Dionysos and His friends and relations, to build up the energy and the ecstasy with chanting and drumming, and to ask the god if He’d be so kind as to send us some sign in our dreams as to how we can best make our individual relationships with him stronger. Continue reading

Indigenous People’s Day

Thoughts I had on Indigenous People’s Day, yesterday:
I was born on land disputed by the Iriquois Confederacy and the Cherokee, land where the Shawnee moved when the whites forced them out of Virginia.
I grew up on the land where the Baxoje (Iowa) lived, where once the Dakota and Sauk roamed.
I live now on land fished and farmed by the Olohne, and where the Muwekma and others still live.
The land I live on, from which I derive my life, is Native land, shaped by Native lives, soaked with Native blood.
I remember. I will not let others forget. I will pay the debt incurred by my white ancestors, as best I can, to the descendants of those they wronged.

Mythology is a Finger Pointing at the Moon

The stories of the gods are not the gods. The descriptions of the gods given in those stories are not the nature of the gods. They are fingers pointing at the moon.


This is not the Moon.

Continue reading

Invocation: Spirits of Pleasure

A reminder from Gods & Radicals that it’s not a proper revolution if you can’t dance. So to speak.


An invocation from a ritual performance in French, followed by an English translation.

From Jah Egregius


(invocation de ma propre composition, incantée lors de mes deux dernières performances à Rennes, le rituel consistait à consacrer des capotes et du lubrifiant qui étaient disposés sur mon autel.)

Deux lionnes sous un arbre
Deux chiens qui s’enculent
Tendresse des inséparables
Ivresse des orgies
Par le Dragon de vos tripes
Le feu de vos envies
Par le serpent qui ondule
De vos croupes à vos têtes
Ouvrant vos crânes à l’extase
Par le coït de vos parents
L’orage et les goutes de pluie à l’origine de votre vie.
Par le mouvement saisonnier de vos libidos
Les chaleurs du printemps
Au nom de la liberté de tous vos désirs
Du loup qui hurle au clair de lune
Ô Esprits du Plaisir !
Je vous convoque
Ici et maintenant
Vous qui enseignez les mystères de…

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Half a World?

There are days, and then there are days, but each day is one.

A day can begin with a phone call that frightens you and makes you feel helpless. That day can continue with doing what little one can to comfort a loved one being assaulted by fear, and then go on to comforting another loved one who has just run out of cope.

That same day can include the smile on a homeless man’s face when I can spare a couple of bucks instead of a handful of coins. It can include a beautiful drive with the sun setting on the right and the moon rising on the left, holding the broad earth and the blue sky between them, and moving me to praise the earth, sea, and sky, the lights of the heavens, and the dead who sleep in the earth. Continue reading

Isolation Won’t Help

Ember has something to say about isolation, and about folks who recommend isolation as a way of avoiding people one doesn’t agree with.

Remember, kids: Being cut off from anyone who doesn’t agree with whoever told you to isolate is step one in cult indoctrination.

EmberVoices: Listening for the Vanir

I keep running across a particular narrative online, and occasionally in person:

“There are bad things in the world. Isolate yourself to avoid harm!”

“Other people don’t agree with you. Isolate yourself to avoid being tainted by them!”

“Anything unapproved of is a waste of time. Isolate yourself to focus on what matters!”

“You’re too sensitive. Isolate yourself and get out of our way!”

“You lack social skills. Isolate yourself to avoid hurting people!”

“Something is wrong. Isolate yourself!”


Isolation is toxic. It is literally maddening. We are social animals. Granted, not everyone is equally social, but even introverts aren’t better off being totally isolated. Avoiding perspectives other than our own undermines our empathy, which is a necessary component of compassion. Isolation certainly doesn’t help people become less sensitive or more socially skilled, but I would hope that’s obvious. Basically, isolation can transform even the kindest…

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