Hashtag Bacchic American


Pausanias, Description of Greece 8.31.4
Polykleitos of Argos made the image; it is like Dionysos in having buskins as footwear and in holding a beaker in one hand and a thyrsos in the other, but an eagle sitting on the thyrsos does not fit in with the received accounts of Dionysos.

A fitting symbol for an American God

The Right kind of Dionysians


Thus, the evidence for the cult of Dionysus at Istros does not stem from early times and it is rather unlikely that it was of Milesian origin. Even so, by the Roman period it had become one of the most, if not the most important cult of the city; the cult of Apollo Ietros may have surpassed it in prestige, but none other outshone it in popularity. This is shown not only by the sheer number of attestations, by the multitude of cult associations, but also by the fact that the priests of Dionysus belonged to the elites of the city or were closely connected to them. […] Cult associations in themselves were nothing new in the Western Pontic cities; witness the very active Dionysiac thiasos of Callatis, which in the 3rd century BC built its own temple and which later would emulate the practices of the polis concerning the honouring of its benefactors; or the less visibly active Poseidonian association of Taureastai at Istros. However, the associations discussed above, and other – mostly Dionysiac – were adapting to the new circumstances. Roman influence was active, not so much upon religious life directly, as upon social structures and mentalities, which in their turn influenced religious life. Thus, associations in the Greek East generally and Dionysiac ones in particular had become loyalist, filo-Imperial, trustworthy centers of political fidelity. Given the conservative outlook of such associations, it is not surprising that their members should wish to preserve their social status and prestige in their dealings with outside partners. (Ligia Ruscu, On cult associations at Istros and Tomis)

The Spirits of NOW

Let’s play a game!

Take the following elements from our calendar:

White; Magician; The Nymphs & Satyrs
Kissos (Κισσός) = Ivy
Stephanos (Στέφανος) = Flower Crown

And make a piece of art reflecting that particular face of our God. It can be through any medium: drawing, painting, assemblage, mask-making, pottery, dance, mime, puppetry, song, music, video, poem, essay, etc.

On the noumenia of Stephanos (February 5th, by the common reckoning) we will crown the victors. I’ll think up a cool prize, like a personally signed copy of Frenzy, or a voucher for a free reading.

Oh, this is going to be so much fun!

Here is a playlist to help get you in the mood. 

He Returns

Although my blogging hiatus was quite fruitful it is good to be back.

So, what have you guys been up to in my absence?

Me? Well, I did some serious revisions and writing on Frenzy (though not as much of the latter as I would have liked; this book is sure making me work for it!) I significantly retooled my religious practice, set a number of personal and professional goals for 2019 e.v. and rededicated The Bakcheion so it can be used to manifest community both online and locally. The last week+ has been a constant stream of Winter festivities (part of the fun of belonging to a blended polytheist household) the only downside of which is the mountainous backlog of e-mails I’ve now got sitting in my inbox. (Thank you for your patience; I promise I will get to yours as soon as I am able.)

One of the goals I set for myself is to get back into teaching. Which of the following classes would you be interested in:

  • The Toys of Dionysos
  • The Leaves of Dionysos
  • The Tokens of Dionysos
  • The Symbols of Dionysos
  • Meet the Bacchic Retinue!
  • Foundations of Dionysian devotion
  • Spiritual Defense and Psychic Hygiene
  • Keeping the festivals of Dionysos

If there’s something else you’d like to see offered, please leave a comment below.