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Dionysus' Dark-side?

Post  Molderish on Thu Jul 25, 2013 4:15 pm

Hello, I'm new to this wonderful religion.. and a god who has caught my attention, it's no other but Dionysus, he represents exactly how I feel like a primeval human trying to fit in "oppressive society" sometimes with unfair rules.. anyway.
While i was searching information about the Greek gods in general I watched that video who really shocked me , because it was said about my Greek god.

It says that this Greek god actually had a Dark side that "he could lure his cult members into bliss warm murderous deeds No ", his worshipers could slays animals  and ripped small children into pieces so they could drink their blood and eat their flesh.

How much of this is true??  what would be the historic references whose support this..

thank you.

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Re: Dionysus' Dark-side?

Post  A. Paterculus on Thu Jul 25, 2013 4:51 pm

I don't know of any historical record of cannibalism in the cult of Dionysus, but it was definitely one of the myths surrounding him that he could and did inspire such acts, most famously in the case of Pentheus (see the Bacchae of Eurípides for the details of this myth).
There was also the cult of Bacchus at Rome in the second century B.C., which was accused of all sorts of other crimes (as descibed by Livy in Ab Urbe Condita).

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Re: Dionysus' Dark-side?

Post  Erodius on Thu Jul 25, 2013 5:22 pm

Molderish wrote:Hello; I'm almost new in this wonderful religion.. and a god who has caught my attention, it's no other but Dionysus, he represents exactly how i feel like a primeval human trying to fit in "oppressive society" sometimes with unfair rules.. anyway.
While i was searching information about the Greek gods in general I watched that video who really shocked me , because it was said about my Greek god.

It says that this Greek god actually had a Dark side that "he could lure his cult members into bliss warm murderous deeds No ", his worshipers could slays animals  and ripped small children into pieces so they could drink their blood and eat their flesh.

How much of this is true??  what would be the historic references whose support this..

thank you.

Welcome. There is certainly much for you to learn.

There are many out there, scholars included, who spread lies, falsehoods and misunderstandings of Classical religion — both intentionally and unintentionally. For instance, that Διόνυσος is simply a god of hedonism, vice and libertinism. Διόνυσος is the power of liberation — but it is only the unprepared, simple and unsophisticated mind that misconstrues this to mean simply mundane 'freedom from responsibility'. Such libertinism is merely slavery to the capricious, flawed and unsteady mortal senses, which keep the soul chained to death ad perpetuum until such chains are broken. This is hardly a pious sensibility. It is for the mistake of the Thracian maenads in murdering the Theologian that Bacchus punishes them by imprisoning their souls as trees — bound to suffer the pangs of life in Hades for many years longer than they would have as human women.

To quote from the Metamorphoses:
"Bacchus, resolving to revenge the wrong,
Of Orpheus murder'd, on the madding throng,
Decreed that each accomplice dame should stand
Fix'd by the roots along the conscious land.
Their wicked feet, that late so nimbly ran
To wreak their malice on the guiltless man,
Sudden with twisted ligatures were bound,
Like trees, deep planted in the turfy ground.
And, as the fowler with his subtle gins,
His feather'd captives by the feet entwines,
That flutt'ring pant, and struggle to get loose,
Yet only closer draw the fatal noose;
So these were caught; and, as they strove in vain
To quit the place, they but encreas'd their pain.
They flounce and toil, yet find themselves controll'd;
The root, tho' pliant, toughly keeps its hold.
In vain their toes and feet they look to find,
For ev'n their shapely legs are cloath'd with rind.
One smites her thighs with a lamenting stroke,
And finds the flesh transform'd to solid oak;
Another, with surprize, and grief distressed,
Lays on above, but beats a wooden breast.
A rugged bark their softer neck invades,
Their branching arms shoot up delightful shades;
At once they seem, and are, a real grove,
With mossy trunks below, and verdant leaves above."


Any darkness ascribed to any God is a sacrilege and an offense to piety. No god emits any darkness. Darkness ascribed to gods is the result of human error and of a wicked and depraved mind seeking God, but instead being overtaken by hostile dæmones — who masquerade as gods to the depraved in order to entrance them.

The tales of the rending of animals and children represent misunderstandings of Μυστήρια — misunderstandings that have poisoned the thoughts of many people for millennia, and certainly may have resulted in dreadful and unspeakable acts in the distant past by individuals who had fallen away from true piety.

The bodily-rent figures of are symbols that hide their ultimate meaning behind a fantastic veneer. Such symbols were put into place by the earliest Prophetæ in order to assure the survival of the underlying Μυστήρια. By cloaking the truth in striking veils, it is that much more likely to be preserved. But to serve religious value, the veils must be pulled away by the mystagogue.

_________________
"O Best of Gods, blest daimon crown'd with fire . . . hear, and from punishment my soul absolve, the punishment incurr'd by pristine guilt, thro' Lethe's darkness and terrene desire: and if for long-extended years I'm doom'd in these drear realms Heav'n's exile to remain, O grant me soon the necessary means to gain that good which solitude confers on souls emerging from the bitter waves of fraudful Hyle's black, impetuous flood!"
-Iulianic Hymn to Apollon-Helios, ll. 65-106

"Having come for punishment, one must be punished. One must not pull apart the god within oneself."
-Iamblichus, Vita Pythagorica

"Truth would you teach, or save a sinking land,
All hear, none aid you, and few understand."
-Alexander Pope


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Thank you to Both

Post  Molderish on Sun Jul 28, 2013 3:49 pm

certainly you have trough away many doubts i had about it ,
A. Paterculus wrote:I don't know of any historical record of cannibalism in the cult of Dionysus, but it was definitely one of the myths surrounding him that he could and did inspire such acts, most famously in the case of Pentheus (see the Bacchae of Eurípides for the details of this myth).
There was also the cult of Bacchus at Rome in the second century B.C., which was accused of all sorts of other crimes (as descibed by Livy in Ab Urbe Condita).


I've  been reading the history of Rome specifically the part of the "Bachannalia"  as Livy describes.. it seems to me that "all kind of crimes" is just ambiguous ... it would really be "all kind of crimes that don´t suit to the government power" as Livy also describes ;there were held "political conspiracies"..

and Livy also suggests that the Romans banned the rites because women occupied leadership positions. That accusations  i watched  are simply a exaggerate ones..



Erodius wrote:
Molderish wrote:Hello; I'm almost new in this wonderful religion.. and a god who has caught my attention, it's no other but Dionysus, he represents exactly how i feel like a primeval human trying to fit in "oppressive society" sometimes with unfair rules.. anyway.
While i was searching information about the Greek gods in general I watched that video who really shocked me , because it was said about my Greek god.

It says that this Greek god actually had a Dark side that "he could lure his cult members into bliss warm murderous deeds No ", his worshipers could slays animals  and ripped small children into pieces so they could drink their blood and eat their flesh.

How much of this is true??  what would be the historic references whose support this..

thank you.

Welcome. There is certainly much for you to learn.

There are many out there, scholars included, who spread lies, falsehoods and misunderstandings of Classical religion — both intentionally and unintentionally. For instance, that Διόνυσος is simply a god of hedonism, vice and libertinism. Διόνυσος is the power of liberation — but it is only the unprepared, simple and unsophisticated mind that misconstrues this to mean simply mundane 'freedom from responsibility'. Such libertinism is merely slavery to the capricious, flawed and unsteady mortal senses, which keep the soul chained to death ad perpetuum until such chains are broken. This is hardly a pious sensibility. It is for the mistake of the Thracian maenads in murdering the Theologian that Bacchus punishes them by imprisoning their souls as trees — bound to suffer the pangs of life in Hades for many years longer than they would have as human women.

Any darkness ascribed to any God is a sacrilege and an offense to piety. No god emits any darkness. Darkness ascribed to gods is the result of human error and of a wicked and depraved mind seeking God, but instead being overtaken by hostile dæmones — who masquerade as gods to the depraved in order to entrance them.

The tales of the rending of animals and children represent misunderstandings of Μυστήρια — misunderstandings that have poisoned the thoughts of many people for millennia, and certainly may have resulted in dreadful and unspeakable acts in the distant past by individuals who had fallen away from true piety.

The bodily-rent figures of are symbols that hide their ultimate meaning behind a fantastic veneer. Such symbols were put into place by the earliest Prophetæ in order to assure the survival of the underlying Μυστήρια. By cloaking the truth in striking veils, it is that much more likely to be preserved. But to serve religious value, the veils must be pulled away by the mystagogue.

Yeah I've got a lot to learn  as you wisely say, Dionysus wasn't  and god of dark, there´s not concrete evidence  whose could support that kinds of accusations , it's really offensive, it more like "The rumor has it"
anyway if something like that ever happen.. is a flaw to blame Dionysus, you say "humans error and of a wicked and depraved mind seeking God, but instead being overtaken by hostile dæmones" wich i find so true ---

I don't think that any Christian would Blame Jesus by the crimes "The Yorkshire Rapier " committed . taking on account that he was on a divine mission and felt he had been chosen to hear the word of GOD (JESUS)." Reported the Flint Journal. He murdered 11 girls.

I'll keep myself reading  even more...
bounce[/quote]

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Re: Dionysus' Dark-side?

Post  hhodios on Fri Aug 16, 2013 2:30 am

Correct me if I'm wrong but it seems to me that the myths are to be interpreted and not taken literally. They are pointers to the Gods and their qualities but not actual information; they were written by humans after all. According to Kerenyi (I haven't finished the book but I'm working on it...) Dionysos is the God of Undying Life. He had his Mysteries which we do not fully know today. He's also a bringer-together and a deliverer from madness, it's hard to imagine that killing of children is something his disciples would have actually engaged in. Maybe it's just a metaphor for all current life being a recycling of past life or something... I don't know...

Still, it sounds like you've found an excellent God for your own needs and I'm sure he'll reciprocate well if you pay him his due :-) Not that the other Gods aren't important, they all are, but of course there's a lot to recommend Dionysos--even the Christians stole him for their own since the old one just couldn't capture people's imaginations... :-)
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Re: Dionysus' Dark-side?

Post  Erodius on Fri Aug 16, 2013 1:52 pm

Correct me if I'm wrong but it seems to me that the myths are to be interpreted and not taken literally. They are pointers to the Gods and their qualities but not actual information; they were written by humans after all. According to Kerenyi (I haven't finished the book but I'm working on it...) Dionysos is the God of Undying Life. He had his Mysteries which we do not fully know today. He's also a bringer-together and a deliverer from madness, it's hard to imagine that killing of children is something his disciples would have actually engaged in. Maybe it's just a metaphor for all current life being a recycling of past life or something... I don't know...
Yes indeed, all mythic story is to be taken symbolically — though the thickness of the veil of obscuration placed upon the divine stories by the poets varies, certainly, with the most important and sacred Mysteria hidden, more often than not, in the most fantastic, unusual and striking stories. This, we teach, is very intentional — an effort to ensure the continued propagation of the stories of the sacred dramas, while simultaneously keeping their meaning obscured from those who are not fit to understand them. However, we in the tradition of Orpheus, would say that yes, they are actual information — but they are actual information written in a code that must first be unscrambled. However, unscrambling the code is not just a shot in the dark, as we see it. We preserve a 'key of correspondances' so to speak, which forms a part of the course of study for new students, to explain the symbols that appear in sacred myths. The message must still be deciphered, and there is always some debate about the subtleties, but the basic framework can be unscrambled akin to using a 'decoder ring'.

Kerenyi is good, but he is, after all, writing from a historical and anthropological bent, rather than a religious one.

I recall having a discussion with Pemphredo, I believe, about 'Dionysian Mysteries' (although, I apologize, I do not remember which thread or forum it was on :-S). Really, it is not possible to speak of 'Dionysian Mysteries' in the same way as one would of organized Mystery religions. It is really not known whether there were actual 'Dionysian Mysteries' apart from the Orphic Mystery religion — and several scholars argue the negative. What are often deemed 'Dionysian Mysteries' (aside from Orphism), were really more just the typical observances of various Dionysiac cults across the Hellenistic world. They were cults that met at night, typically, for feasting, singing and worship, but these cults would likely not have usually been true Mystery cults. They were private cults, but not Mysteries in the strict sense, because there is not usually evidence of any special mythology or theology associated with them. Orphism is sometimes labeled as a Dionysiac Mystery cult, but this really should be accompanied by a disclaimer, because, although a large segment of the Orphic mystical theology is based around a deity routinely referred to as 'Bacchus' or any of various Dionysian titles, the primary mythology of this deity is considerably different from that of the 'common Dionysus'. Indeed, Cicero in his De Natura Deorum, explains that there are at least five different deities who are all sometimes called 'Dionysus':

He says:
“We, the peoples of the Roman Empire, have a number of Dionysi. The first [Zagreus- an Orphic god] is the son of Iuppiter and Proserpina; the second [Osiris] of the Nile — He is the fabled slayer of Nysa. The Father of the third Dionysus [Sabazios, Iasion, or perhaps Korybas] is Cabirus [Kabeiros]; it is stated that He was king over Asia, and the Sabazia rites were instituted in His honour. The fourth [Sabazios- another god in Orphic religion] is the son of Iuppiter and Luna [Bendis/Selene]; the Orphic rites are believed to be celebrated in His honour. The fifth [Theban Dionysos] is the son of Nysus [Zeus] and Thyone [Semele], and is believed to have established the Trieterid festival.”

It is the fifth Dionysus, here, that is the one usually discussed under the 'Dionysus' name in most modern works.

He had his Mysteries which we do not fully know today. He's also a bringer-together and a deliverer from madness, it's hard to imagine that killing of children is something his disciples would have actually engaged in. Maybe it's just a metaphor for all current life being a recycling of past life or something... I don't know...
Well, that depends on which Mysteries you mean. Orphism remains a living religion, and we retain our Mysteries intact, but, like I've indicated, Orphism bears about as little resemblance to the stereotypical 'Dionysian cult' as Coptic Christianity does to Pentecostalism — about the only similarity being that both groups, in either case, call their primary figure of worship by the same name.

The rumor of human/child sacrifice likely has some relationship to a misunderstanding of an actual practice of certain Orphic and Orphic-influenced groups (who could, of course, often be called 'Dionysian'), which later came to be called 'desmos' (meaning 'binding' or 'tying'), and was adopted by a variety of religious groups in later Antiquity, even by some heretical Christian groups. This is a powerful ritual — although it is certainly one that, through rumor and hearsay passed on by those who have not actually experienced such a ceremony in person, could potentially come to be misunderstood to involve child/human sacrifice.

The 'desmos' ritual was a way to allow the members of a religious congregation to have a sort of in-person communion with a deity. In a particular Orphic version, involving a desmos with the deity Zagreus/Idaeus (often identified with Dionysus), a trained 'receiver' (more often than not, a young child, for a variety of reasons) would be dressed up to resemble the deity as much as possible. The child actor would then act out a particular myth from the deity's biography — in this case, the slaughter and consumption of Zagreus by the Titans. With some theatrics involved, congregation members dressed as the Titans would act out the killing of 'Zagreus' (with the aid of ox or goat blood). The child playing the deity, out of sight and hidden by the actors playing the Titans, would be concealed and replaced by pieces of 'flesh', which the Titan-actors would boil and eat in front of the audience (to their horror, likely), while another playing the goddess Pallas (Minerva/Athene) would carry away a representation of the murdered deity's heart (in some cases, probably an actual animal's heart). Then would come an acting out of the Titans' being destroyed by Iupiter's fire and rain, before the scene would switch to a more recent time in Thebes. In this scene, 'Pallas' would return the heart she had saved to 'Iupiter', who, in one version, would fashion a drink from it and would give it to another actor playing Semele. Then would come the performance of the birth of the Theban Dionysus, at which time the child who had played Zagreus-Idaeus would be brought back before the audience as the resurrected Zagreus-Idaeus. This would be an understandably profound experience (one mentioned even in the Teletae themselves), especially for new converts who, likely, would not immediately be told (if they were ever told at all) that the whole thing was a theatrical performance. They may have originally been lead to believe that they had literally witnessed the slaughter and resurrection of a deity.

This and similar divine communion ceremonies are often argued to be the origin of the transubstantiation theology regarding the Christian Eucharist, in which a reenactment of an important religious event can, spiritually, by the aid of the Divine, become a literal reenactment.

There is also, of course, the lore of Bacchic troupes wandering through the mountains, capturing wild animals, and ripping them apart with their bare hands. In this case, historians often argue for an origin in the memories of very archaic rituals of the Thracian tribes (from whence Dionysian worship is sometimes said to have arisen), since there is little to no evidence that such rituals were ever engaged in in historical times. A more religious explanation, as would be given by the tradition of Orpheus, is that this refers to the fact that Zagreus was said to have shifted between many animal forms as the Titans attacked him (and then tore him to pieces and ate him), which was also reenacted, though, at least in later forms of observance, the 'bull form' of Zagreus was played by an effigy made from flour, and the deity's blood, important in the theology of the event, was symbolized with red wine.

I hope this has served to explain the issue and its context a bit. Wink 

_________________
"O Best of Gods, blest daimon crown'd with fire . . . hear, and from punishment my soul absolve, the punishment incurr'd by pristine guilt, thro' Lethe's darkness and terrene desire: and if for long-extended years I'm doom'd in these drear realms Heav'n's exile to remain, O grant me soon the necessary means to gain that good which solitude confers on souls emerging from the bitter waves of fraudful Hyle's black, impetuous flood!"
-Iulianic Hymn to Apollon-Helios, ll. 65-106

"Having come for punishment, one must be punished. One must not pull apart the god within oneself."
-Iamblichus, Vita Pythagorica

"Truth would you teach, or save a sinking land,
All hear, none aid you, and few understand."
-Alexander Pope


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Re: Dionysus' Dark-side?

Post  hhodios on Tue Aug 20, 2013 1:12 am

If by "a bit" you mean in an exhaustive and erudite manner, then yes :-)

Thanks.
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Re: Dionysus' Dark-side?

Post  Out of Phlegethon on Mon Sep 09, 2013 6:25 pm

"Dark side" seems a bit too much, when speaking of Dionysos.  Agreed with Erodius on the lack of Dionysian Mysteries for the "pre-Orphic Dionysus" in the same way as we have Eleusinian Mysteries.  

However, things like wine-drinking and dithyrambs that we find associated with more traditional Dionysian cult practices would seem contrary to the mindset of world-devaluing and life-denying piety.  And in this sense, it is surprising that Dionysus was able to be assimilated to the ascetic and reformation-oriented thrust of Orphism at all (which is not to devalue such assimilations, of course)!  

I think the idea of a "dark side" to the god is erroneous when you consider the seemingly constant metamorphoses of Dionysus.  He is a hard god to pin down, evades dualisms like dark and light, etc.  There seem to be endless tricks, unceasing becomings, intoxication and ecstasy (not in the sense of simple hedonistic pleasure that we associate it with, but of out of bodiness).  These things seem contrary to certain kinds of puritanical social formations, and it was likely a reason the Roman manifestations of Bacchanalia were persecuted.  Would this make such practices or fervors "dark" or "evil"?  Hardly; merely a different sense of values and social ethos.  

However, this is also a place of hermeneutic danger, when looking back on such practices.  For the basically desacralized hedonistic thrust of contemporary "spirituality," the Dionysus of ritual and myth merely reflects its own postmodern projections.  And through this gaze, the accreted phantasms of Western self-exile appear as exciting archetypes with whole choruses of ego-bolstering techniques.  This is the Dionysus of the New Age bookstore, perhaps.  But through this contorted lens, this crackpot kaleidoscope of pseudo-religious kitsch, the true Dionysus-- Erikryptos-- disappears, leaving a sort of trendy Comus in his place.  And it is a Comus with Jungian psycho-decor and Gardnerian caprice that these twits promote to the highest and most mediocre ziggurat of impregnable banality.  Thus the denizen of the 21st century looks back into Dionysiac spirituality and sees contemporary hedonism, which is incorrect in my view.  For even the practicioners of the Dionyiac cults of old would not have gone without taking many prohibitions and expectations of cleanliness quite seriously.  Dionysian religiosity is not reducible to hedonism or the permissive society.  Those who participated in the cults believed in and were part of traditional societies.  They were not affirming polyamory or homosexuality as normative social values.
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Re: Dionysus' Dark-side?

Post  Erodius on Mon Sep 09, 2013 9:26 pm

However, things like wine-drinking and dithyrambs that we find associated with more traditional Dionysian cult practices would seem contrary to the mindset of world-devaluing and life-denying piety. And in this sense, it is surprising that Dionysus was able to be assimilated to the ascetic and reformation-oriented thrust of Orphism at all (which is not to devalue such assimilations, of course)!
It's fairly evident, both by the respective mythologies and earlier nomenclature, that the dismembered, psychogenic god of the Orphic religion, the offspring of Jove and Cora, was probably not originally identified with the Theban Dionysus at all. The Orphic 'Dionysiac' myths appear absent from both Hesiod and Euripides, which I think is sufficient evidence that the myths of Zagreus were not a part of the Dionysiac mythology as known by either of these writers.

To reference Cicero's De Naturā Deorum:
"“We [the peoples of the Roman Empire] have a number of Dionysi. The first [Zagreus] is the son of Jove and Proserpina; the second [Osiris] of the Nile — He is the fabled slayer of Nysa. The Father of the third Dionysus [Corybas perhaps?] is Cabirus ; it is stated that He was king over Asia, and the Sabazia were instituted in His honor. The fourth [Sabazius] is the son of Jove and Luna; the Orphic rites are believed to be celebrated in His honour. The fifth [Theban Dionysus] is the son of Nysus [Zeus] and Thyone [Semele], and is believed to have established the Trieterid festival.”

I myself, likewise, do not really understand why this identification took place, although it is certainly possible that it was indirect — that there were one or more intermediary identifications that took place. Perhaps it went 'Zagreus is Osiris, Osiris is Idaean Jove, Idaean Jove is Dionysus', or even as simple as, "Dionysus is the god of Thrace/Phrygia, we think the Orphics came from Thrace/Phrygia, thus, the Orphics' god is probably a form of Dionysus." Furthermore, the Theban Dionysus does appear later in the Orphic cosmogony as a reincarnated Zagreus, the supermundane, aetherial, Rational Soul who leads the Irrational Souls (the irrational/lower soul is always feminine in Orphism; hence lower souls=the women of Thebes) after they have forsaken their attachments to the Titanic world and gone off to be led by the Divine Mind of Aether (represented here by Theban Dionysus). Such is our doctrine. However, there are some very few scholars of Orphism — I believe it was M.L. West who argued this — who have suggested that the relatively minor role that the Theban Dionysus plays in Orphism in comparison with the Plutonic Zagreus (Theban Dionysus and his mythology are essentially just taken as a metaphor for the liberation of the soul), combined with the rather tenuous tie-in of the two mythologies (the only thing connecting Theban Dionysus with Zagreus is the idea that Semele was impregnated, somehow, with the aid of Zagreus' heart which Pallas had saved aeons before — an otherwise mythically interesting and memorable story that, suspiciously, does not show up in any of the non-Orphic accounts of the Theban Dionysus. These factors, alongside the fact that no clear 'Dionysian' elements appear in the earliest dated Orphic writings (i.e. Pherecydes, the Derveni papyri, the lamellae etc.) may be evidence that the Theban mythology was grafted onto the already catholic/universalizing Orphic movement some time in perhaps the Hellenistic or early/mid Roman era — later than Pherecydes, Derveni, or the Italian lamellae, but some time before Porphyry, Iamblichus, Proclus and Damascius.

However, this is also a place of hermeneutic danger, when looking back on such practices. For the basically desacralized hedonistic thrust of contemporary "spirituality," the Dionysus of ritual and myth merely reflects its own postmodern projections. And through this gaze, the accreted phantasms of Western self-exile appear as exciting archetypes with whole choruses of ego-bolstering techniques. This is the Dionysus of the New Age bookstore, perhaps. But through this contorted lens, this crackpot kaleidoscope of pseudo-religious kitsch, the true Dionysus-- Erikryptos-- disappears, leaving a sort of trendy Comus in his place. And it is a Comus with Jungian psycho-decor and Gardnerian caprice that these twits promote to the highest and most mediocre ziggurat of impregnable banality. Thus the denizen of the 21st century looks back into Dionysiac spirituality and sees contemporary hedonism, which is incorrect in my view. For even the practicioners of the Dionyiac cults of old would not have gone without taking many prohibitions and expectations of cleanliness quite seriously. Dionysian religiosity is not reducible to hedonism or the permissive society. Those who participated in the cults believed in and were part of traditional societies. They were not affirming polyamory or homosexuality as normative social values.
Ita est. Wink 

_________________
"O Best of Gods, blest daimon crown'd with fire . . . hear, and from punishment my soul absolve, the punishment incurr'd by pristine guilt, thro' Lethe's darkness and terrene desire: and if for long-extended years I'm doom'd in these drear realms Heav'n's exile to remain, O grant me soon the necessary means to gain that good which solitude confers on souls emerging from the bitter waves of fraudful Hyle's black, impetuous flood!"
-Iulianic Hymn to Apollon-Helios, ll. 65-106

"Having come for punishment, one must be punished. One must not pull apart the god within oneself."
-Iamblichus, Vita Pythagorica

"Truth would you teach, or save a sinking land,
All hear, none aid you, and few understand."
-Alexander Pope


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