Monthly Archives: May 2018

Ariadne Speaks

Who was the mistress of the labyrinth?
Who was my lunar bull, that the initiates danced with?
Whose bloody hands held the sacrificial knife?
Who gave her name to the King’s first-born?

Image via Wikimedia Commons

Ariadne by Herbert James Draper

Dutiful daughter I, adept in the art of the spindle and the loom
Like Clothos I spun the new thread, birthed in scarlet
Like Lachesis I made its measure, to fit the greater weaving
Like Atropos I cut the thread, dyed scarlet

Priestess of the Labyrinth, walker in the deep dark places
Only comfort to my bull-brother Asterion
Sacrifices bound in red thread, down into the dark
I cut the thread, with knife in scarlet

There in the deep places, in the winding places
There with my sacred bull, blood like wine
My love crowned me with nine flames
Married in deathly dark, doomed flesh, incandescent spirit
I chose immortality

Theseus came, after too many years
Dreaming of a hero’s victory, a hero’s reward
I gave him the bloody thread of the sacrifice
I used him to give my weary brother release
As he thought he used me to gain a throne

We sailed away, me feckless hero and I
To Naxos we came, The Immortal Gods parted us
My roaring bull, with wine like blood, claimed me
My mortal clay entombed, my immortality re-born in flames of ecstasy
My nine-jeweled wedding crown enshrined in the stars

My husband and I roam the earth
We bring the place that is both center and edge
We bring the place where the chains of life fall away
My wine-stained maids, my bloody-handed students
Our dance is not safe, but it is so, so alive

The Invisible Labyrinth is my palace, I stand at the door and the center
With knife and thread, with crown and veil
Come to me, children of Earth and Starry Heaven
I will teach you of the weave and the dance of winding ways
I will teach you that to die is to marry immortality

Pantheacon Devotional Scripts

For some time, I’ve been promising to put the scripts for our Pantheacon devotionals up for people to download. Well, I finally got ’round to it. All four scripts are here, as PDFs.

Included in the folder are the scripts from 2015-2018, and the Dionysos chants we used, in a separate document. There are Ariadne specific chants from Her devotional in 2018, but I don’t have final copies of those ready. I’ll add them to the folder when I do.

Sorry that there’s no notation about how to chant them as we do. I’m a passable devotional poet and liturgist, but I’m no musician, and I don’t know how to make such notations. If someone who does writes it up, I’ll update the chant document with that.

The 2015 devotional was our first public outing; it was, in fact, our first ritual ever. I was asked to run a Dionysian devotional at Pantheacon for a local Hellenic group, Pandemos, who are the folks who host the Hellenic hospitality suite at Pantheacon.

The 2016 devotional was our first public ritual under the name Thiasos Bakkheios. Pandemos wasn’t available to work with us that year, so when we were submitting the ritual to Pantheacon programming, we needed a group name for the form. I decided on Thiasos Bakkheios, and so another great tradition was retroactively created.

The 2017 devotional was our first openly political ritual. In my opinion, all Dionysian practice is political, even if it’s not partisan, as the kind of freedom of mind and body that Dionysos provides is at odds with much of Western, capitalist culture. We went a bit further, though, as we decided to center it around the dismemberment of Pentheus, the foolish king. Nobody said “Donald Trump,” but we weren’t shy about our subtext, either.

2018 saw our first public Ariadne devotional. She had been communicating to us in our private devotions that She wanted more of our time and attention, so in mid-2017 we decided we’d focus the 2018 Pantheacon offering on Her. Several of our monthly devotionals were dedicated to getting to know Her in preparation, and the script presented here is what ultimately came of that.

During that ritual, it happened that some of the celebrants in attendance were ready to stop dancing and chanting significantly earlier than the rest, and the energy was starting to flag a bit. She moved me to put some of the lore I’d absorbed, while studying Her in the course of writing the ritual, and weave it into a new version of her story. I’m working on a more coherent version of that, and I’ll post it here when I have it ready.

Enjoy these devotional pieces. Use them yourselves, in whole or in part, change things, borrow bits for your own rites. All I ask is that you give the original authors credit and not use our work for profit.

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