Dionysos is a dangerous God, there’s just no getting around that. He’s not only the bringer of madness, but a God who is himself mad. And if that doesn’t fill you with terror on some level then you’re not paying close enough attention!
Most people don’t really experience this side of him however, especially when they’re just starting off. They get only the fun-loving, joyful party God come to liberate them from their cares. And that’s great! We all need to let down our hair and blow off a little steam now and again. But when you start to get closer to him you’ll likely discover what true liberation entails: stripping away the false layers, everything that holds you back and keeps you enslaved, all your fears and doubts and inhibitions, all the social conditioning meant to turn you into a mindless, emotionally repressed robot.
Before you can truly be one of his he’s going to have to reach deep inside of you and scoop out all the dirt and shit, all the trauma and delusion and unhealthy stuff that’s polluting your soul. And let me tell you from personal experience, it hurts like a mother when that happens! When all that stuff starts bubbling up to the surface and you’ve got to confront things you’ve spent a lifetime avoiding, well, it isn’t fun. It isn’t fun for you and it isn’t going to be very fun for any of the people around you, either.
Before the process is complete a lot of Dionysians end up hurting the ones they love in horrible ways and their lives often fall apart around them. Especially the ones who don’t follow it through to the end. That’s where the real danger lies—stopping midway. You can get caught in madness (the bad kind) and addiction, without any way of coping since those mechanisms are often the first to go. But if you stick with it and let Dionysos guide you through the purifying flames, some really awesome things can happen. But you’ve got to have faith and trust and love for him, an iron-willed commitment to live fully and freely, no matter the cost.