Archive for Dionysus

Dionysus Ritual

Posted in Ritual with tags , , on January 10, 2012 by theredlass

Haven’t actually had the chance to use this yet. My full moon group crapped out on me all save for one person and we were going to use the opportunity to make mead. Ah well, comes when it pleases don’t it?


Dionysus’s immortality was discovered through the tragic circumstances of his birth. His mother was the mortal Princess Semele, who had fallen in love with Zeus. When Zeus’s wife, Hera, discovered the liaison, she befriended the woman in disguise, but asked if she could be certain that it was really Zeus, and not some trickster in disguise. Semele became worried, and when Zeus next visited, insisted upon seeing his godly form to prove that he was a god. At first Zeus refused, but Semele refused to be with him if he would not grant her this request, and called him a liar. Zeus had no choice, and revealed his divinity to her. Upon seeing it, Semele burst into flames and died. Zeus was saddened, but as he looked into the flames he saw an infant, glowing divine light.

Quickly, Zeus snatched up the fetus and sewed it into the skin of his thigh till it was fully developed. Thus he was given the title dimetor, or twice born. He was then given to the wild nymphs of Mount Nysa to raise him until he was out of harm from Hera. To add extra protection, he was often concealed in girls cloths. As he did women’s work, he discovered the process to extract grape juice and the secrets of fermenting it into wine. Hera discovered him soon after this and used his own invention to strike him with drunken madness, causing him to wander the wilderness, insane.

Soon he met with the goddess Rhea (his grandmother on his father’s side) who cured him of his illness and taught him her mystical rites and sacred wisdoms. He traveled again, from Asia to India, until his cult and worship was powerful enough to return to Greece without fearing Hera’s wrath.

His worshipers were many, but his temples were few. His priests were the Maenads, driven mad with divine insanity and possessed by the spirit of the wine. His worship involved the mysteries of life and death, and fertility within the earth. Dionysus was associated with the snake (who held earth mysteries), the leopard(who’s skin clothed him), the bees, (who provided honey), the bull (who’s horns were used for drinking vessels) and the goat (who’s skin was used for wine pouches). The vine was sacred to him, as well as the fennel stalk.

His mysteries are said to be those of the unconscious mind, and were among the few open to anyone, regardless of status, class or gender. Bisexuality was commonplace, as well as gender swapping in honor of Dionysus’s time spent as a woman. Drums and pipes were frequently used in the dance and celebration, as well as the bullroarer, to create a rave like atmosphere.



Dionysus Rite

1)      Cast the Circle

  1. We gather on this sacred night

When moon hangs heavy high

(Chorus) Cast the circle thrice about
Good things in and bad things out!

  1. To dance within this holy rite

As spirits draw quickly nigh


(Chorus) Cast the circle thrice about

Good things in and bad things out!


  1. So twist and turn

While fire burns

And chant the rhyme and rhythm


(Chorus) Cast the circle thrice about

Good things in and bad things out!


  1. No ill wind blows

While in their throws

Our bodies spinning with them


(Chorus) Cast the circle thrice about

Good things in and bad things out! x3


2)     Purify and Welcome

  1. There are many gathered here tonight who are new to this circle, all of us in fact! But we come together with the same intentions; desire to learn, desire to share knowledge, desire to know one another as friends, and desire to mix our creative juices in this sacred and holy act. So it is with this in mind that we purify and welcome one another to this circle!
  2. No one person here is greater than any other, so we hold no priest or priestess above us. We purify one another as a sign of community and respect between the learned scholar and the seeking neophyte.
  3. Each member will turn to one another with the feather and the sage and waft it towards one, saying: “I purify you in the name of your gods, that they be with you in your heart while this circle lasts.”


3)     Call to Dionysus

  1. Bring forth the wine and good cheer!
    For tonight we revel as the followers of the vine!
    Tossed about in waves of red and violet,
    We drown sorrow and melancholy in the fruit of life and death!

(Chorus) Hail Dionysus!
We ask thee come among us!

  1. Drink deep of his blessings and know his mirth!

For he is a god of youth and pleasure!
A god of one and all, who holds no bar,

Against class or gender, status or sex!

(Chorus) Hail Dionysus!
We ask thee come among us!

  1. Tonight, in his presence, we become his followers

Tonight we are the driven!

Tonight we are the wild ones!

Tonight we are the Maenad!


(Chorus) Hail Dionysus!
We ask thee come among us! (x3)


4)     Dance Round The Fire

5)     Offerings

  1. At this time, if anyone has any offerings or anything they would like to say, you may take the floor and be recognized.


6)     Releasing the God

  1. Dionysus, giver of wine and mirth

We thank thee for your time among us

For your blessings and gifts,

And the divine inspiration your bring upon us

If you would stay, know it is as a welcome guest.

If you would go, know we have found you an excellent companion.


(Chorus) Hail Dionysus

We bid thee farewell! (x3)


7)     Closing the Circle

  1. We walk about to widdershins
  2. And set the magic free
  3. Until another full moon glows
  4. And we will call on thee
  5. Farewell to friends long past life
  6. Farewell to spirits near and far
  7. Farewell to those who wink and grin
  8. And to those who come from stars.


8)     The Circle is now Closed