The House of Vines festival calendar for 2018 e.v.: Part One

The days between Winter Solstice and the Kalends of January are strange and hollow days, good for thinking on the year to come.

And this is an exciting and auspicious year for me, as astute readers will recall, for I am returning to the practice of festival-keeping. This was always one of my favorite forms of devotional expression and one I like to believe I am quite good at, so you can imagine how thrilled I was when it came down on the mat that the prohibition had been lifted.

So I set about creating a very special festival calendar for the year 2018 e.v. – half of which is Bacchic, and the other half Norse. I’m going to share the Bacchic half with you here today.

The calendar is lunisolar, with the month names derived from epithets of Dionysos reflecting the different energies of the God that will be manifest at these times.

Dendriteion from Dendritês, “He of the Trees”
Morychion from Mórychos, “the Dark One”
Chthonieion from Chthonios, “Beneath the Earth”
Auxiteion from Auxites, “Giver of Increase”
Lusion from Lusios, “Releaser”
Dikereion from Dikeros, “Two-horned”
Taurokranion from Taurokranos, “Bull-headed”
Zagreion from Zagreus, “Great Hunter”
Kresion from Krêsios, “from Crete”
Bromion from Bromios, “Roaring”
Mainoleion from Mainolês, “Madly Raging”
Sphaleoteion from Sphaleotas, “He who makes them Fall Down”

Well that sure sounds like we’ve got an interesting year ahead of us, doesn’t it dear readers?

And for those who want to follow along from home here’s what I came up with, with dates calculated and a message from Dionysos for each month, received through his Starry Bear bibliomantic system. As the festivals approach I’ll post a bunch of material to help you guys get in the mood and suggest ways to celebrate these holy tides – both alone or as part of a small group.

Dendriteion (= Gamelion)
Oracle for the month:
“He who would climb the ladder must begin at the bottom.”
Observances:
Noumenia: January 17
12 Lenaia: January 28

Morychion (= Anthesterion)
Oracle for the month:
“I might have lost my ring, but I still have my fingers.”
Observances:
Noumenia: February 16
11-13 Anthesteria: February 26-28

Chthonieion (= Elaphebolion)
Oracle for the month:
“The corn falls out of a shaken sheaf.”
Observances:
Noumenia: March 18
18 Orgia: April 4

Auxiteion (= Mounichion)
Oracle for the month:
“It is only when a man feels himself face to face with such horrors that he can understand their true import.”
Observances:
Noumenia: April 16
28 Agrionia: May 13

Lusion (= Thargelion)
Oracle for the month:
“If there is a way into the wood there is also a way out of it.”
Observances:
Noumenia: May 16
28 Kybernesia: June 12

Dikereion (= Skirophorion)
Oracle for the month:
“A village without the elderly is like a well without water.”
Observances:
Noumenia: June 14
15 Aletideia: June 28

Taurokranion (= Hekatombaion)
Oracle for the month:
“The blood is the life!”
Observances:
Noumenia: July 13
2-3 Pannychia: July 14-15
20 Feast of the Dionysian Kings August 1

Zagreion (= Metageitnion)
Oracle for the month:
“Mountain calleth to mountain, deep unto deep!”
Observances:
Noumenia: August 12
1-10 Feast of the Toys: August 12-21

Kresion (= Boedromion)
Oracle for the month:
“I felt like destroying something beautiful.”
Observances:
Noumenia: September 10
27 Anamnesia: October 6
28 Feast of the Bacchic Martyrs: October 7

Bromion (= Pyanepsion)
Oracle for the month:
“The mountains have always been here, and in them, the bears.”
Observances:
Noumenia: October 9
8 Oschophoria: October 16

Mainoleion (= Maimakterion)
Oracle for the month:
“A cat may go to a monastery, but she still remains a cat.”
Observances:
Noumenia: November 8
11 Lampteria: November 18

Sphaleoteion (Poseideon)
Oracle for the month:
“Sometimes you don’t know when you’re taking the first step through a door until you’re already inside.”
Observances:
Noumenia: December 7
2-4 Feast of the Dionysian Artists: December 8-10


8 comments

  1. question: how did you match the energies with the devotional names with the seasons? And if my climate is not New York, will I have a problem?

    I always had problems with the Neo-Pagan Wheel of the Year since it doesn’t reflect Wash D.C. climate.

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    • I didn’t; I let Dionysos choose. And this isn’t really synched to the seasonal cycles of NY so it shouldn’t be a problem for those from scattered parts who wish to participate.

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      • Thanks. I wondered how much is directed by the God and how much is something human made. Is there an over-arching myth to the festival calendar or are we to follow it and figure it out on our own?

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  2. I don’t know if such a thing exists​, but it could be an interesting exercise to come up with a Bacchic astrological system with signs and traits based upon these aspects of Dionysos.

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  3. Wow! That does sound like an interesting year ahead! I’m happy you’re back on the blog-o-sphere. :)

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