Not my way


Sam Webster, Jason Pitzl-Waters and friends have come out explicitly stating that there is no room for Dionysos in their Pantheon with the following poem:

Our way to the realization of a Pagan future
will not be through the Sword
we will foment no fruitless armed insurrection
Nor will it be through the Cup
no Dionysian revolution will overthrow our sick society
Nor even through the Wand
for the laws of this land are used against us
and we have little access to the halls of justice
But the Coin is for All

Yup. You read that right. All they care about is money; more to the point they feel money is the only thing that will bring about social change. Since Dionysos is the only deity specifically mentioned by name, it’s a clear rejection not only of him but of the values he’s associated with.


Good luck with that.

Especially since piddly little Protestant churches in podunk towns do a better job of raising funds and getting support from their congregations than even the most successful national pagan orgs so if they’re hoping to buy political and social influence they’re going to be massively outgunned.

Perhaps in time they will come to learn the lesson of Midas, as told by Ovid in the Metamorphoses 11.85-145:

There Midas put Silenus carefully under the care of his loved foster-child, young Bacchus. He with great delight, because he had his foster-father once again, allowed the king to choose his own reward—a welcome offer, but it led to harm. And Midas made this ill-advised reply: “Cause whatsoever I shall touch to change at once to yellow gold.”

Bacchus agreed to his unfortunate request, with grief that Midas chose for harm and not for good. The Berecynthian hero, king of Phrygia, with joy at his misfortune went away, and instantly began to test the worth of Bacchus’ word by touching everything. Doubtful himself of his new power, he pulled a twig down from a holm-oak, growing on a low hung branch. The twig was turned to gold. He lifted up a dark stone from the ground and it turned pale with gold. He touched a clod and by his potent touch the clod became a mass of shining gold. He plucked some ripe, dry spears of grain, and all that wheat he touched was golden. Then he held an apple which he gathered from a tree, and you would think that the Hesperides had given it. If he but touched a lofty door, at once each door-post seemed to glisten. When he washed his hands in liquid streams, the lustrous drops upon his hands might have been those which once astonished Danae. He could not now conceive his large hopes in his grasping mind, as he imagined everything of gold. And, while he was rejoicing in great wealth, his servants set a table for his meal, with many dainties and with needful bread: but when he touched the gift of Ceres with his right hand, instantly the gift of Ceres stiffened to gold; or if he tried to bite with hungry teeth a tender bit of meat, the dainty, as his teeth but touched it, shone at once with yellow shreds and flakes of gold. And wine, another gift of Bacchus, when he mixed it in pure water, can be seen in his astonished mouth as liquid gold.

Confounded by his strange misfortune—rich and wretched—he was anxious to escape from his unhappy wealth. He hated all he had so lately longed for. Plenty could not lessen hunger and no remedy relieved his dry, parched throat. The hated gold tormented him no more than he deserved. Lifting his hands and shining arms to heaven, he moaned. “Oh pardon me, father Lenaeus! I have done wrong, but pity me, I pray, and save me from this curse that looked so fair.” How patient are the gods! Bacchus forthwith, because King Midas had confessed his fault, restored him and annulled the promise given, annulled the favor granted, and he said: “That you may not be always cased in gold, which you unhappily desired, depart to the stream that flows by that great town of Sardis and upward trace its waters, as they glide past Lydian heights, until you find their source. Then, where the spring leaps out from mountain rock, plunge head and body in the snowy foam. At once the flood will take away your curse.” King Midas did as he was told and plunged beneath the water at the river’s source. And the gold virtue granted by the god, as it departed from his body, tinged the stream with gold. And even to this hour adjoining fields, touched by this ancient vein of gold, are hardened where the river flows and colored with the gold that Midas left.

Categories: Uncategorized | Tags: , , | 33 Comments

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33 thoughts on “Not my way

  1. Duffi

    Are you fucking kidding me.


  2. Good thing Ares carries the spear.


  3. “But he did not understand the prize. Mortals never do. They only see the prize, their heart’s desire, their dream… But the price for wanting what you want, is getting what once you wanted.”
    – Morpheus in Neil Gaiman’s “Midsummer Night’s Dream” The Sandman.


  4. Duffi

    Having read the whole thing, they have some great points. But using Dionysos’ name in this fashion is seriously ill-advised, if not profoundly stupid.


  5. Kauko

    I suppose they are expecting an Apollonian revolution? How dull is that?


  6. Indigo Celeste

    I tend to see this as a byproduct of the Wiccanesque sort to use the name of Dionysos to mean “wildness/revolution,” without actually meaning the Bacchic One Himself (because gods are all interchangeable, really, aren’t they? They exist for our metaphorical use), and wanted to be clever and combine His name with the Cup image of the four Tarot suits.

    But the Wiccish should know that one ought to be careful about who one invokes….


    • Yup – but even that’s a pretty facile understanding of the “Dionysian” – I mean, fuck, haven’t these people even read Nietzsche and Jung?

      Liked by 1 person

    • Well, when one believes the gods aren’t actually gods, then one can feel free to do and say whatever one feels like, about them or anything.

      As an aside, for as many people said that “deity graveyard” stunt reminded them of Gaiman’s American Gods, this is the kind of thing that reminds me of another, often looked-over theme in that book: America is a terrible place for the gods. Remember, when Shadow got to Iceland and met the original Odin, that god was strong, and far closer to the original mythology than Wednesday, the “American Odin”. America, as in the modern US of A and its soco-political realities, has decided her gods are Media, Social Networking, Money, and that the old gods of this and other lands are largely seen as flimsy, one-sided versions of what they actually are.

      Maybe Gaiman didn’t intend it to come out that way, but honestly, he said more in that book about America, even its pagan community, than I feel he said about the nature of the existence of deities. But that might just be me.

      Liked by 1 person

      • you hit the nail on the head.


        • thelettuceman

          I got the same kind of thing out of it when I finally read the story, this whole sort of “Protestantizing effect” of American religious society. One of my professors in a class I took for my MA referenced a scholar who used that term to reference what happens to religions when they come to this country, and I wish for the life of me I could track down the scholar.


          • “Protestantising effect” is sure something I suspected the first time I encountered plainclothed nuns. That shit ain’t right. Joining an order like that, yes, is a deeply personal thing, but part of it is about being set apart from society, being called to an order that may work with the community, but that also isn’t wholly of the community, but of something arguably greater, and of a tradition that goes back centuries.

            There was a Sister in Colbert a few months ago, who explained the “plainclothes” orders as somehow following the “original tradition” to wear the common clothing of the day –and I’m sorry, but the traditional habit was never common clothing of any day. I discussed this at length with one of my oldest friends, who has a degree in Mediaeval Studies, and the traditional garb of nuns and Sisters (technically two different things –though colloquially, “nun” is often used for both) is a subversion of a specific style of dress that was once popular amongst Medieval noble women; nuns have never, before America in the mid-20th Century, worn the common dress of the day. Thankfully, it’s still a uniquely American phenomenon.


  7. michaelseblux

    Idolatry and impiety. It pains me that they put themselves before the gods – especially a god of which one is supposedly a “priest” and who is half-brother to the Bakkhic one.


  8. I just want to say I am happy comments are back. I enjoy reading the comments from other people and their take on this almost as much as the thing it self. ;)


  9. Wow. “But the Coin is for All”. Worship false gods much?


  10. My take is similar to others here; the poem suggests a belief in gods as metaphors, not beings.


  11. I can’t stop chuckling at this. Oooh. You’re going to muster neopaganism’s economic might? Lo, the sleeping giant awakens!


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