Or how I became a reluctant Bacchic Orphic Doomsday Prophet
A month or so after the mushroom trip in which I met the Toys of Dionysos I was visiting the Sekhmet Temple in Indian Springs Nevada with some Hellenic polytheist colleagues. After a lovely devotional rite to the Mothers of Hermes, Dionysos and Apollon I wandered off from the group, at first exploring the various shrines set up on the property, and then the high desert beyond the rickety fence. As I stood in the dwindling heat and watched a bloody sun descend I felt the presence of Dionysos stir within me, and everything got hazy and weird. I soon felt myself surrounded by a host of indistinct figures – wild and fierce and girt for battle. They were subordinate to and infused with the energy of my God; they seemed strangely familiar to me, though to my knowledge this was the first time that we were meeting. They were tense and scanning the horizon; I heard some of them whispering, “The storm is coming,” “You must dance through the fire or it will consume all,” “Prepare,” and similarly vague but ominous phrases I would later discover circulating through online polytheist communities, attributed to a variety of other Gods and Spirits. Before I could inquire further of either Dionysos or the Spirits around him one of my colleagues came up to me and the spell was broken, the presences departed.
My life got extremely complicated after that, and a couple years passed before I had another encounter with the Retinue of Dionysos. By this point I was immersed in Greco-Egyptian syncretism and it was the Ptolemies and other Neoi Dionysoi who stepped forward for me, teaching me about sacred kingship and how important it is to maintain the ancient contracts between the Gods, the Spirits, the Dead, the Land and humanity; how this was Ma’at and it kept Isfet at bay. Isfet is the force of uncreation, disharmony, dissolution and is the enemy of all the Gods and Goddesses – even the enmity of Horus and Seth are laid aside to combat this thing that seeks the negation of all that is, good and evil alike. Unfortunately this thing had many malign Spirits allied to it, causing all manner of afflictions in the divine and mortal realms. Although there were many ways to fight back against Isfet my Gods and Spirits had me focus on performing ceremonies to feed and purify the land and encourage community centered on devotion to the Gods and Spirits.
Eventually all of this land-working led to local-focus polytheism, and the Alexandrian trappings fell away, especially after I made the transition from Sacred King to Holy Fool. During this time Spider and Dionysos had me focus on Southern Italian folk Catholicism, the even earlier traditions of Magna Graecia, the Harlequinade, the Bacchic Martyrs, Orphism and other ingredients that would eventually lead to the creation of the Starry Bull tradition. The deeper my involvement with the various factions of Dionysos’ Retinue became the more I started to get inklings that Something Big was going on beneath the surface but it was piecemeal, scrambled, indistinct and contradictory. Like hearing random murmurs of a story, told by a roomful of drunken lunatics all out of order. So I did the sensible thing and started writing poetic treatments of my dreams, visions, intuitions and ritual experiences. It was only several volumes in and through hindsight that certain things became apparent – and by then I’d started getting external corroboration.
Around 2011-2012 I began corresponding with a number of polytheist colleagues who were getting pushed to network with others across the lines of tradition and denomination, working together to promote the veneration of our respective pantheons, or the pan-polytheist movement as it was dubbed. This consisted most visibly – though not exclusively – of prominent polytheist bloggers, each with his, her or eir own agendas, understandings, etc. Very little of note came of it, besides a bunch of keyboard crusades and big fish small pond syndromes – but behind the scenes some interesting conversations were being had, both directly and second or third-hand through a warped game of telephone.
Each of them will tell their own version of the story. Here is mine.
There are two key events to look for. One is the simultaneous eruption of Aetna and Vesuvius which sets off a chain of eruptions and earthquakes that pretty much levels Italy and wreaks havoc through large swaths of Europe. A couple weeks later there’s a massive coordinated terrorist attack – multiple suicide bombers taking out the subway lines in a major European city such as Paris or London. Not only does this claim many thousands of lives, and have all kinds of devastating effects on the country which is already reeling from the eruptions – but they and their allies retaliate with nuclear strikes on the terrorists’ country of origin. Iran uses the chaos and confusion to go after Israel and in the process Mecca gets wiped off the map, and then all hell breaks loose, with a major battle being fought in the Ukraine.
This is what happens in the mundane world; it’s nothing compared to what happens in the divine realm. The eruptions are caused by Typhon and Enchelados breaking free and then loosing all of their monstrous allies. The Olympian Gods under Zeus stand against the horde in a valiant final battle; they fail and Olympos is turned into flaming rubble with most of the major Gods left dead, and killed in such a way that they won’t be coming back.
At some point in the past Dionysos gains foreknowledge of this through the Matronae and attempts to warn Zeus, but he won’t listen believing Typhon and Enchelados and their forces will easily be put down a second time. Thing is, it’s not just them – they’re merely pawns used by an even greater and older enemy, the nameless, the void which seeks to unmake all creation. As with Isfet this isn’t just good vs evil, order vs chaos, the elder vs younger races, etc. – this is orders of magnitude beyond that, with existence itself on the line.
When Dionysos is rebuffed he sets out to gather his own army. Not only does he get Hermes and Herakles to sit out the Olympic battle and fight instead at his side, but he’s secretly been going around making deals with members of other pantheons, such as Loki and his monstrous kin. When Olympos falls their combined forces ride in and shit gets real crazy. With the aid of a poet whose words are able to bind and temporarily restrain Typhon (something foretold in the pages of Nonnos) Loki and Dionysos are able to take him (and the nameless who is residing within him) out, and with their leader vanquished the forces of Dionysos easily dispatch the rest of Typhon’s allies.
A new world order is established with Dionysos replacing Zeus on the throne. With most of the Olympians dead, he establishes a new divine court at Nysa comprised of the remnants of various pantheons who were similarly decimated in the conflagration. And he is reunited with Freyja, whom he has been separated from since the Aesir-Vanir war, back when Dionysos had a different name.
Dionysos is also traveling through time and neutralizing a number of Typhon’s major allies before they can grow into the terrible threats that they would have become. This may have unforeseen and unintended consequences that play out in weird ways in our reality. In which case, again, none of the above may actually transpire.
And that is what I have managed to piece together.
Per my multi-volume oeuvre it is also possible that this is taking place entirely within the head of Miriam Webb and to stop it all from leaking out and warping reality Dionysos kills her even though she was his beloved son (and later daughter.) In which case we will see none of this happen. I would very much like my poetic cycle to end up being a fanciful exploration of “What if …?” or the ravings of a lunatic rather than a prophetic account of the rising of the Black Sun. But only time will tell.
For now I encourage you to buy many, many copies to read and hand out to curious friends, so that everyone may judge for themselves.
Be sure you pay attention to the acrostics, codes and ciphers I wove into the text; that’s where all the really important shit is said.