Thursday, March 18, 2010

To Dionysos (a poem)

Hail, Dionysos, twice-born God of the vine!
Bromios, thundering One,
Zagreus!
I have been your priestess and lover,
Swept up and swirled away in the ecstatic rites
Of wine and rut.
And you bless me, Dionysos,
by sending your maddening men
To intoxicate my poor brain
With their rakish grins
Smooth skin stretched taught over chests and arms,
Velvety ribs that need the embrace
Of my thighs.
They haunt my thoughts, my dreams.
They are the drunken, wine-drenched hallucinations
That rage and rumble in my bed.
I lose myself in them,
Your priests,
And I find you.
Hail, Dionsyos!

My first relationship with any God was with Dionysos. John H. Wells, who has written some fine articles and led some amazing rituals in honor of the twice-born God, invited me to the Rites of Dionysus, led by the Clan of the Laughing Dragon at a store called Raven's Flight in North Hollywood in 1999. It was the first one that he led, and it was a pivotal moment for me. Absolutely defining. Liberating and enlightening, as only Dionysos can be. I would actually say that Aphrodite came to me through and after this experience, and the larger religion of Hellenismos and the other Olympians, Pan and the nymphs after through and after Her. But, I digress.

Glaux recently posted about Dionysos, too. Specifically about the combination of Aphrodite and Dionysos. They do seem to go together, don't they? Oh, I am so much an Aphrodisian woman, but there is no denying the maenaed in me. And every single person I have been seriously attracted to has been touched by Dionysos. Gods, they get me every time. Sexy, brooding. Yum.

I am struck by their combined power for both pleasure and grief. Combine sex and wine, for instance. Oh, yes, please combine sex and wine!!! Head-spinning, sheet-soaking, bed-breaking ecstasy. Sign me up!

Then there's there equally powerful (and orgiastic) combination of grief and madness that both Theoi embody. Aphrodite grieves for Adonis, and she has several epithets that indicate her mourning process (Of the Tombs, Black). Dionysos also is known for the madness brought on by grief, loss, and too much drink. Their combination here can be powerful and purging, allowing us to work through traumatic loss which is necessary in order to regain our sense of joy and pleasure. They can guide us through some of the most gut-wrenching of human experiences in order to enjoy the most elating of them.

5 comments:

Filhote de Lua said...

I'm in the oposite direction, I'm a maenad and this bring me to Aphrodite...
I don't know if you know this painting from Alma Tadema, "Between Venus and Bacchus", of a maenad drinking in a fountain with a statue of Aphrodite... I think is so perfect to explain this relation...
http://www.arthistoryarchive.com/arthistory/victorian/images/LawrenceAlmaTadema-Between-Venus-and-Bacchus-1882.jpg

Laurelei said...

I wasn't familiar with the painting, but it is beautiful! I love it. Thank you for sharing it.

Glaux said...

Your words are like an Aphrodisiac, as rich and heady as sweet red wine unmixed with water. And you posted a picture of me! *blushes* Wasn't it Sannion who wrote about not being able to love anyone who wasn't a maenad? I am so glad that we ARE!

Elle Hull said...

Aphrodite and Dionysos were the Goddess and God called upon in my handfasting to my husband. :) Beautiful poem by a beautiful priestess. Thank you. :)

Laurelei said...

Thank you, Elle! You're a love! And, yes, Glaux, I think Sannion did write that. So, true!