Ritual outline for Lenaia

Wake an hour or so before dawn and make sure that all of your ritual supplies are packed. You’ll need a bottle of wine (preferably something light, sweet or bubbly), a corkscrew, a rhyton or drinking horn, a hymn if you don’t have something memorized, a tuft of wool and a rhombos or bull-roarer, as well as any offerings you wish to make. Before leaving you may or may not choose to imbibe to get in the right headspace.

Wearing a stephanos or flower-crown, walk to a suitable location such as a park or hill overlooking your city. As you walk, rest your thoughts on Dionysos and remain mindful of the sacred nature of what you’re doing. You may chant his epithets, sing a song or maintain reverent silence as the mood strikes. Take out your tuft of wool and braid and unbraid it as you go. Feel yourself drawing the winter barrenness and pollution of your city into the wool, and when you arrive at your destination hang the wool from a tree so that Dionysos may cleanse and release it.

You should arrive at least a half hour before sunrise. Make any preliminary offerings you feel moved to and then use your rhombos to draw the Bull God up from his dark dwelling beneath the earth. Open yourself to him and call him forth with your desire until you feel him dancing in the soil and trees and air all around you. Then, as the Sun begins to rise passionately intone the hymn you brought, or better recite it from memory. Then pour out half of the bottle of wine in libation to him and finish the rest yourself. Commune with joyful and plentiful Dionysos and dance and sing for him until it is time to go. When you are finished either return home or go to a restaurant and have a sweet, luxurious breakfast.

Throughout the day watch movies, tell jokes, play games, dance, drink and otherwise maintain a festive spirit.

Then, around dusk set up a shrine. The shrine should consist of a mask on a pillar, clothed and draped with ivy and other vegetation. Before the idol set a bowl and several dishes to receive offerings. Then decorate with flowers, vegetation, fruit, phalloi  and other expressions of bounty and fertility.

Invoke the God and present him with offerings. Then dance before his idol until you’ve reached an altered state and it’s no longer just an idol. Then pour wine into the bowl and stir it so that his spirit may stir the growth of fruit and flowers in your land. Then commune with Dionysos until the rite is done.