I wrote this for a friend of mine who was working with Dionysos in the Underworld. With their permission, I’m sharing it here, in case anyone else has a need for it.
The ritual year for Thiasos Bakkheios starts with the Winter Solstice. The calendar of Attica (which many Hellenic reconstructionists use to set their ritual year) begins with the first new moon after the Summer Solstice, but I’ve found that scheduling with modern folks works better if the calendar starts closer to the secular new year.
After our last Dionysos devotional, Ember and I were talking about the kinds of devotionals we’ve hosted. So far, we’ve had the ecstatic ritual, with drinking and dancing and drumming, and the feast, with minimal ritual but much food and fellowship.
The thought we hand was that we should alternated between these and another kind, something more geared toward sharing lore and inspiration with one another. This kind of devotional would, I hope, better serve those of us who find inspiration in stories and conversation, and give us a more diverse set of approaches to Dionysos and his kin.
Update from Thiasos Bakkheios:
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
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.
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