Something to be thankful for

R2

When I am back from the blogging hiatus I am going to launch a new website, a virtual temple to Dionysos called the Bakcheion. It is going to contain a lot of information about the God and his worship, including a body of daily and monthly devotional practices we can perform together.

I have also compiled a slightly different calendar for 2019 e.v. which I will be posting material about here at the House of Vines over the course of the year.

To begin with the calendar is lunisolar and divided into four seasons. Each season is associated with one of the cardinal Bacchic Orphic colors, and has been consecrated to a different aspect of Dionysos, as well as a portion of his Retinue. Rather than adhere to a  Greek naming convention as I have in years past, this time each month has been assigned one of Dionysos’ symbols for us to work with and reflect upon.

All of which breaks down as follows:

Seasons:
White (January to March) = Magician = The Nymphs & Satyrs
Gold (April to June) = King = The Fairies & Goblins
Red (July to September) = Hunter = The Furious Host
Black (October to December) = Fool = The Harlequinade

Month names:
Kissos (Κισσός) = Ivy: January/February
Stephanos (Στέφανος) = Flower Crown: February/March
Thyrsos (Θύρσος) Fennel Staff: March/April
Nebris (Νεβρίς) = Fawnskin: April/May
Kantharos (Κάνθαρος) = Cup: May/June
Prosopon (Πρόσωπον) = Mask: June/July
Kothornos (Κόθορνος) = Hunting Boot: July/August
Diktya (Δίκτυα) = Net: August/September
Pelekus (Πέλεκυς) = Double-axe: September/October
Botrus (Βότρυς) = Grape-cluster: October/November
Boukranion (Βουκράνιον) = Bull Skull: November/December
Athyrmata (Αθύρματα) = The Toys: December/January

See you on the flip side.

Hail Bacchic Dionysos! Io! Io evohe!

Hjulet syng om ringar, ikkje linjar.

A couple days ago I completed the piece arguing for the identification of Kírkē and Freyja; it came in at 30+ pages (and I only covered about half the material I had intended to, prompting a follow-up article so I can leisurely explore the rest, rather than just cramming it in wherever it might fit.) I confess I am still shocked at how deep this rabbit hole goes. I had not thought much of the idea when it first occurred to me, but now it is central to a lot of arguments I did not realize I’d be making. But fuck, man. I also cannot believe how thoroughly – and elegantly – all of this is fitting together.

For instance, check this shit out, which I will have to write another article on, because apparently Russian Symbolist poet Ivanov founding a Bacchic commune and believing himself to be a mortal incarnation of Dionysos is just the tip of the fucking iceberg. (This guy also wrote about Dionysos as the Black Sun; I shit you not.) And that is not even the craziest thing in there! Fuck, I may just wring another two or three articles out of Lahti’s tome before I am finished, it’s that groundbreaking a work. She has brought to light this whole unknown chapter in the history of the cult of Dionysos, and I will be forever grateful to her for it. (At least, I have not seen many American academics or contemporary practitioners talking about it since I started digging.) 

So, needless to say, this list is outdated.

As things currently stand – keeping in mind that all things are subject to flux – this will be Frenzy’s ToC:

* Is that you Dionysos?
* The King with blood on his hands
* Dionysos in the Northlands
* Behind the Mask
Carried Away
* The Rose of Mysterious Union
* The Union of Mysterious Roses
“Here We Are Again”
“Gli Innamorati”
Auch ich in Arkadien
Lord of Flies, Vipers and Spiders
Mask and man
Wearing the faces of the Blessed Martyrs
Beast Skins
The Tower of a Fallen Titan
My Little Vineyard Knife
Spinning Wheel
Honey-thief’s Waggon
Crowned with Flowers
Walking in Smoke
Drinking from the Waters of Memory
On Black Sun Day
Ring Composition

Plus 1 more article to be determined when proper inspiration strikes. 

24 is a good, even number, wouldn’t you say?

I have placed an asterisk (*) next to the completed sections. Here is what remains:

Carried Away
[Riddles solved.]

“Here We Are Again”
History of the Harlequinade: Part One
From the birth of tragedy to Orpheus’ feud with the Fairy King

“Gli Innamorati”
History of the Harlequinade: Part Two
From the burial mound to the circus ring

Auch ich in Arkadien
[More on the Æsir in Northern Italy.]

Lord of Flies, Vipers and Spiders
[Loki in the Mediterranean.]

Mask and man
[Hamlet and the missing pieces of Óðr.]

Wearing the faces of the Blessed Martyrs
[Constantine, Genesius, Denys, January, Martin, Tryphon Zarezan, Ivan Kupela, Rasputin and Charles Manson.]

Beast Skins
[Dionysian mumming through the ages.]

The Tower of a Fallen Titan
[More on Dionysos in Russia.]

My Little Vineyard Knife
[Dionysos in France, from Morrison to Massalía.]

Spinning Wheel
[Reflections of Freyja in fairy tales.]

Honey-thief’s Waggon
[A constellation of Starry Bear myths and mysteries.]

Crowned with Flowers
[The Vanir and cults of Asiatic ecstasy.]

Walking in Smoke
[Black Sea Bacchic shamanism.]

Drinking from the Waters of Memory
[Hyperborean Orphism.]

On Black Sun Day
[Why it belongs to Óðr, not Saturn.]

Ring Composition
[Bacchic Utopianism.]

I have decided that I will not be posting updates as I go; instead I am taking a sabbatical from blogging and going into seclusion for the remainder of the year, that I may give Frenzy my full and undivided attention.

Don’t worry, kiddos; I’ll be back after Kalends!

And do I ever have interesting things in my tatterdemalion sack for you, O loyal readers; just wait and see.

Dionysiac baroque

I finished listening to Dead Can Dance’s latest release Dionysus, and have been sitting with my thoughts for the better part of an hour now.

I liked it … I guess. I mean, really, how could I not? That thing could just be 32 minutes of Brendan Perry repeating his name and I’d be all, “Cool, man.”

In that regard it certainly didn’t disappoint. Some of it was very moving in fact. And I can even see myself using a couple songs in ritual. It’s just, well, the whole thing felt a little …  — Alexandrian, if you catch my drift. 

No?

Imagine how this tapestry sounds:

coptic_textile

 

 

9

Nine Songs for the Gallows God

“But some occasions for these names arose in his wanderings; and that matter is recorded in tales. Nor canst thou ever be called a wise man if thou shalt not be able to tell of those great events.” — Gylfaginning, XX

Gangleri
Black the forest,
black the evening sky overhead
and black the clouds that hung low,
promising a storm was near.
Once the traveler’s cloak had been black too,
finely spun and chased along the border
with marvelous designs in thread of gold
as befits a cloak worn by a high-born king.
But the road wearies and wears down;
filthy with dust, patched in many places,
frayed and color leeched to grey
– such was the cloak of the wanderer,
that strange, one-eyed man who came from the woods
amid the cries of a murder of crows
the night the city fell to the spears of the invaders
and its walls burned to smoky rubble.

Grímnir
The head in the well
whose water feeds the roots of the tree
from which the nine worlds grow
that bore the weight of a God making the ultimate sacrifice
for power and for wisdom
– oh the things that head has seen,
the mysteries it contains.
The head is a mask
that must be worn to speak words of true prophecy.

Bölverkr
He rides out on a steed with eight legs
like a black spider weaving sinister plots,
like a coffin carried on four men’s backs,
like a hideous nightmare that has hold of you,
and will not let go.
Its hooves are claps of thunder,
rolling across the heavens.
Its panting the gusts of wind
that strike your cheek
and fills your bones with icy dread.
And if you hear the sound of the rider’s horn
calling the restless ghosts to the hunt
they say that you will never laugh again.

Hjarrandi
A voice in the darkness
swirling through the trees
like the smoke of a traveler’s fire
lit to keep the cold at bay.
Whispering weird words,
myths of a distant time and land
and birth amid fire and blood.
Eyes uplifted,
soul roaming abroad frenzied and drunken,
body trembling from the weight of revelation
– this is how real poetry is made,
the wine of the God and his raven’s bread.

Biflindi
Sharp as desire,
strong as a will tested in flame,
piercing hearts and rending flesh,
cruel and uncaring
– the only thing that brings peace
and keeps utter chaos from descending.
Would you expect the God of the spear to be any other way?

Njótr
His face is harsh
from battles and scheming
and endless wandering of roads.
You don’t come back from death unmarked
and his body is a map of the ordeals that have made him mighty.
But when he smiles and lifts his cup in silent salute
she sees none of that.
He is handsome in the fading light,
and her bed is cold and oh so empty.
She wants the warmth this vagabond king offers
and he wants to give her everything she needs.
It is good to have allies in all the realms.

Rúnatýr
The runes are screams
born of blood and madness
and a need for knowledge at any price.
They are spirits hungry for use,
old and dark and wise.
They will show you what lies hidden to your sight
– but sacrifices must first be made
before the runes can be taken up.

Jolfr
The king of the forest,
hairy and savage,
feasts on golden honey,
the tribute of the lesser beasts,
and slumbers in the cave of death,
dreaming of the shining realms
during the cold, barren months of winter.
But he comes forth with the flowers of spring
to revel with the trooping hosts
amid songs of joy and gay feasting.

Óski
Be careful what you want,
choose your words carefully;
for the old man hears all
and even grants wishes from time to time.
Like King Harald who longed more than anything
for the glory of the battlefield,
for his name to echo down through the ages
like the clash of arms, the shriek of a broadsword
splintering a wooden shield.
Pleased with his offerings the fruit of the gallows came with his bear-shirt on
and tutored Harald in the ways of war,
made him a mighty fighter and leader of men.
He trampled many a foe into the ground,
sacked and plundered all his neighbors’ lands.
His name inspired fear in all who heard it
for he seemed invincible,
like one of the Gods of old and hardly a man any longer.
But no matter how strong we mortals become,
there are those stronger still
and they scheme in ways we will never fully comprehend.
Óski lifted Harald high
so that his fall would seem all the more splendid.
He had no clue when his time came
– he did not notice that the man who drove his chariot that fateful day
had but one eye.
Still, Harald received everything he had been promised,
and then some.
Men still remember his name to this day
on account of what the grey God did for him.

 

A frenzied storm is coming

Severe_Weather_NYC_81744-780x520

Here is the table of contents for Frenzy, so that you may keep track of its progress. Note that the links go to very rough drafts of articles which may undergo substantial revision before seeing publication. I’ve included parenthetical synopses for the rest.

Is that you Dionysos?
[How I came to know Dionysos, and what that’s done to my life.]

Dionysos in the Northlands

Behind the Mask

Carried Away
[Anticipated criticism.]

The Rose of Mysterious Union

The Union of Mysterious Roses
[Freyja as Kirke.]

“Here We Are Again”
History of the Harlequinade: Part One
From the birth of tragedy to Orpheus’ feud with the Fairy King

“Gli Innamorati”
History of the Harlequinade: Part Two
From the burial mound to the circus ring

Lord of Flies, Vipers and Spiders
[Loki in the Mediterranean.]

Mask and man
[Hamlet and the missing pieces of Óðr.]

Wearing the faces of the Blessed Martyrs
[Constantine, Genesius, Denys, January, Martin, Tryphon Zarezan, Ivan Kupela, Rasputin and Charles Manson.]

Spinning Wheel
[Reflections of Freyja in fairy tales.]

Honey Thief’s Waggon
[A constellation of Starry Bear myths and mysteries.]

Limping through the wheat fields
[The Vanir and cults of Asiatic ecstasy.]

Walking in Smoke
[Black Sea Bacchic shamanism.]

On Black Sun Day
[Why it belongs to Óðr, not Saturn.]

By Kronos’ sickle and the cock of François
[How lovely the vineyards of Southern France are.]

Ring Composition
[Bacchic Utopianism.]