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And by a past life, I mean high school and into college. (Only thirteen years ago, but it really does feel like another life.) But not much past that. Photography hung on the longest. Unfortunately, I don't think my camera works anymore- whenever I put a roll of film into it, it either winds it to the end immediately, or does so as soon as I snap the first picture. I loved that camera.

Painting was the other medium I was somewhat good at. I haven't painted since I took an intro to painting class in college- which I dropped mid-semester for a number of reasons, including the fact that I learned that I absolutely loathe working with oil paint. Let me tell you how much I hated it. Even in a very well-ventilated studio, it smelled like death. And then there was the need to use things like turpentine to get it off my skin- I really didn't like that. It kinda scared me when my plastic palette knife dissolved.

But please, give me acrylics any day and watch me do a little dance. I loved painting with acrylics, which was what I used in high school (mostly, when I wasn't doing water color or the rare thing with temperas which I wasn't a big fan of either, but I would take over oils any day and twice on Sunday.

I've been missing painting for a long time. Every now and then, I go to an art store and look at paint, brushes and canvas. I'm...I dunno, a serious nerd or something about color, I like just looking at all of the different colors of paint in the tubes. I have a favorite white paint- I did anyway, and I have no reason to think that it's changed. Titanium white, thanks. In high school, if you asked me my favorite color, I was very likely to answer "dioxazine purple" or "phthalocyanine green" (it kinda switched between the two) because those were the exact shades that were my favorite color at the time. Hell, I knew the names of many paint colors off the top of my head better than my art teachers, and was really picky. (Me: "Hey, Mr. Hoff, are there any more tubes of alizarin crimson in the supply closet? I just emptied this one." Mr Hoff: "Umm what crimson? Here, take this." Me: "That's napthol crimson. Any more alizarin?" Mr Hoff (looking at me like I've lost my mind): "What is wrong with you? I know this is art, but really, what is wrong with you?" Yes, that conversation actually took place sometime in my junior year.)

I do this, and I want to paint again. I get so ridiculously sad. The last couple of times I've done this, I've been close to crying. Yeah, it's kinda sad.

but I have decided once and for all that I am getting some paints. I found a set the other day that I want. Liquitex Basics 36 tube set, It was about $33 at the one art store near me. Then I came home and started poking around online. Yay for google shopping- I found the same set on Amazon for $27...and then I found the Liquitex Basics 48-color set for the same price on yet another website today. Needless to say, I am ordering it. Will probably start by picking up a sketchbook of canvas paper to begin with, and maybe some small canvas panels (which are very inexpensive, thankfully.) and will need some brushes.

I figure for a while, I'll probably just play around with mixing up bits of colors and seeing what I get. That used to be my favorite thing. I could get sidetracked for an entire class just mixing up new colors and trying them out on scraps of paper.

And that was before I even discovered interference paints.

I used to have sheets and sheets of paper with blobs and splotches of colors I tried out, mixed with other colors, thinned with water (acrylics make great water colors too!), dusted with salt and then scraped it off when the paint dried, I used to write down the combination of paints that I used to create the colors, and my best guess on the ratios so I could recreate them...why are you looking at me funny?

Ummm....anyway. Yeah. I wouldn't be surprised if I were to use up an entire paint set just doing that again.

At the art store yesterday, I also found this paper that looked like it was made from green leaves and felt like fine cotton. It made me think so much of Dionysus, I'm trying to come up with something I could do to have a reason to buy a sheet of the stuff. I kept wanting to go back to the shelf and pet the paper, it really felt nice. Um...yeah. Stop looking at me like that.

In other news, as I was leaving the apartment building today to run to 7-11, someone moving in next door had just put boxes and boxes of stuff out with a "free" sign on the sidewalk that they wanted to get rid of. I was one of the first people there, and really cleaned up. I snagged us an XBox with three controllers, a playstation with a controller, memory card, and a really nice carrying bag, a camcoder in a case with a tripod, a sewing machine, a Battleship game, an Italian language video course, a small lunch-sized cooler, a printer and a couple of candle holders, including one that looks like some sort of pewter-ish metal with grapevines all over it (Gavin and I have been discussing what to do for anthesteria). After that, we went down to the Harbor and were discussing, amongst other things, our former roommate, Dominic who we haven't heard from in a while. As we were going to check out printer cartridges at Best Buy, who did we run into? He's supposed to send me some information on census jobs- he just took the test for them and I guess was told they're still hiring. So...let's hope that the good things today continue to roll on.

I also finally ordered a copy of Fritz Graf's Apollo, so that should be here soon, woohoo!

Right at the moment, I'm feeling pretty good about things. The weather has been pretty good- it was amazing yesterday. Not quite as warm today but still nice enough that I went out wearing only a hooded shirt over my clothing. It's supposed to be in the 40's and 50's for at least the next ten days, according to the weather service.

Oh, and my mom finally called and has picked a date to try to come down to visit- the day before Easter. This is assuming that my sister doesn't go into labor (Oh yeah, don't think I ever mentioned, my sister's having another kid.)

Speaking of kids- I just recently finished my first-ever baby blanket, for Gavin's sister. I crocheted it from granny squares. It kinda looks like a quilt- will have to take pictures. And am now making one for my sister. But I'm knitting it.

I think that's it for now, this post is long enough, don'tchathink?
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(I've only been trying for a year and a half to write one to him.)

I begin to sing of manic, roaring Dionysus who holds Delphi in The Shining One's Hyperborean absence.

In the cold winter months, you come bringing your wine and wild abandon. You inspire your followers, by night, to give themselves over to liberation in the hands of intoxication. The aged nectar of your sweet grapes drives them to raging in forests, fields and hillsides to touch unspeakable mysteries which none but you can reveal.

You break the bounds between mortality and immortality: torn to pieces by the Titans, you have crossed the threshold at the end to return again to the beginning. Shattering more boundaries, you ventured to the dead in search of Semele, slain by the true face of Zeus and brought her back to Olympus: Thyone, your mother, immortalized.

Clad in skins and bearing torches, your worshipers dance in whirling frenzy. The reveling horde gains momentum and spurs itself on through the night with you at its core, a spectacle of madness in orbit around the lord of ecstasy.

Hail to you, god of freedom! I pray that you be generous with your blessings!
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Only one thing bummed me out last night, and it was pretty minor in the big picture:

While doing the invocation to Dionysus, some of the Shiraz I was offering splattered onto my shirt. I love this shirt, it's a while long-sleeved tshirt that I just bought a few weeks ago, made of ridiculously soft, very fine-spun cotton. It's thin enough that you can see my tattoos through it fairly clearly, which makes it wearable on its own even in warmer weather, and would be perfect as a layer in colder weather. Did I mention, I love this shirt? They had the same in a few other colors including black, a gorgeous shade of green, and a very slightly greyish blue-violet. I really wanted one in the blue-violet color but they only had small, medium and like...tent-sized and it's not a style of shirt that looks good if you wear it too big, but they had the green in my size, so I got that. Unfortunately when I went to wear it for the first time, I noticed a hole in it that I had missed when I tried it on at the store, when I went back to exchange it, they were out of my size, except for white. Very tempted to go back and get one or two more white ones though. I love long-sleeved tshirts, and I'm still kicking myself for not getting more of the ones like the black tshirt that I practically lived in last winter. Which reminds me, I gotta find that, it's starting to get cooler out...

So anyway, red wine splatters on white shirt, and I wasn't able to leave to try to clean it off. Kept thinking about the Doc Bronner's castille soap and the disappearing act that it did at the old place of freshly-spilled blackberry-cabernet wine sorbet on white carpet (for anyone who missed it, but cares, Doc Bronner soap on a stain like that immediately after spilling with a whole bunch of water=stain does a complete Houdini. I mean, not even a faint pink hint. Doc Bronner's Soap for President!) Wished I had some on me. I think next time I stop by Grandma's Candles, I'm going to nab one of the little tiny bottles of the stuff so I can keep it in my backpack for such emergencies. Red wine, mosquito bites...can it organize my sock drawer too?

Post ritual, I changed into a tank top that I had in my backpack and then forgot about it until today when I was frantically digging though my backpack in search of something I thought I lost. Once said item was recovered, I pulled out the shirt and decided that giving the Doc a shot couldn't hurt. I already decided last night that if I didn't get the stain out, I would find some cheap red wine, soak the shirt in it to dye it that color and call it my Dionysus shirt. then definitely go and pick up another white one and never so much as let it in the same room as red wine.

So I throw some soap on it and notice a curious thing...the purplish stains turned green after a few seconds. Interesting chemical reaction going on I guess.

Anyway, I scrubbed lightly at it with my fingernails for a few minutes and by the time I decided to rinse, the splatter spots were a very light green- barely noticeable when the shirt is soaked so they'll be almost nonexistent when it dries. I'll give it another shot with the soap later, but right now, I'm thinking worst case scenario, I toss a load of white clothing in the laundry with some bleach, and there's a good chance that those barely-existent green spots are no longer.

Other than that, last night was a really great night. For some reason unknown to me, the Autumn Equinox ritual has been one of the best nights of the year for me, every year since 2005. This was no different. Between the ritual and having a really good night afterwards, I is happy camper.

More on last night later, I need to go eat something.
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Wrote this invocation today, also for the grove ritual, for Dionysus...I think it's finished.

Lord of two vines who destroys and regenerates,
come to us.
God of the grape, come to us.
God of the ivy, come to us.
Thrice-born son of Zeus
Who knows Olympus and Earth and the underworld,
come to us.
As slowly through time, the ivy crumbles walls and foundations,
come to us
As quickly as the aged nectar of your abundant grapes
breaks down inhibitions and loosens tongues,
come to us.
Bearing your torches, come to us.
Protector of the ways, come to us.
Dionysus, come to us.
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...and another, same title (as far as I know), same painter.

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A Dionysus painting that I rather like... A Dionysus painting that I rather like...
Bacchus by Simeon Solomon (never heard of the artist til a few minutes ago.)

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So for a while now, I've had it in my mind for no particular reason that I can think of that I should offer Dionysus some nutmeg. I was pondering a bit on this earlier today, which led me to actually finally do so (it's been one of those "would be a nice thing for me to do" things, not an "absolutely must do now now now" thing). I grabbed some nutmeg on my way upstairs to get ready for work, sat down at the altar for a few minutes, and poured some out into a little cup, then sprinkled a tiny bit onto my fingers and licked it off. (By a tiny bit, I mean less than what I would put in my coffee), then got ready and went to work.

For anyone who doesn't know, my office is surrounded by the McCormick spice plant. Anyone who has ever been in the area can tell you that you can usually tell what is being processed at any given time because you can smell it. Cinnamon, anise, curry, some sort of barbecue, and a couple of spices that I can't really identify are most common. Nutmeg is a fairly rare thing to smell.

But...I got off the train today and wasn't really thinking, but realized about halfway down the road to the office that they were processing nutmeg today.

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Yesterday I grabbed some candles and a candle holder for the Dionysus altar. It was at Yankee candle, and they were one of those little boxes of tea lights. I could swear I grabbed a box that said Vinyard.

Later at the liquor store, I was getting some wine for ritual use. I was pretty adamant that I wasn't getting shiraz- after a couple of bottles, I'm still at the point of "ew". So...I decided to try cabernet sauvignon....I like sauvignon blanc, maybe I'd like that too...I dunno, it made sense in my mind. In any case, if I'm doing a ritual that involves drinking wine, I'm going to drink something with a taste that I can at least tolerate. I have this funny little quirk about not wanting to to drink things that I don't like the taste of.

Anyway. I get home and later have gone upstairs for my Saturday ritual that I do. I pull out the candles and pop one into the holder and then I look down at the package.

It doesn't say Vinyard. It says Vintage. I have no idea how I missed this- Yankee vintage candles have completely different labeling than the normal candles, of which Vinyard is one.

Know what kind of wine it was???

Shiraz. Seems he's gonna get it somehow or other.


Mar. 6th, 2008 01:38 am
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So I wasn't for a while, but I've come back to having dreams where I'm walking around with grapevines wrapped around my wrists, not holding me to anything, just there like leafy, viney bracelets, sometimes wrapped tight enough to cut into my skin.
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just a note to self before I forget, lose the bookmark or...something....

Burkert, page 224-225
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I had the most bizarre night last night.

I couldn't say how many times I fell asleep and woke up again. I can't remember the last time I tossed and turned so much. The "dream" I had...if you can call it a dream, I don't know if I ever got to sleep deep enough to really be dreaming, so maybe my half-asleep brain was just stringing a bunch of stuff together...who knows?

But anyway, there was this over-arching theme of me reading my email, and each time I clicked an unread subject line, a new segment of dream would come up. And the subject lines were basically the sort of thing I see a million of every day on Hellenic email lists. At the top were a bunch of Apollo and Dionysus-related subject lines....Dionysus, Apollo, Apollo and Dionysus, Zagreus (wow, that name hasn't come up lately in dreams), Delphi, Wine, Apollo with Wings...and then there were other random ones like Lindt Chocolate, coffee, shipping notification from Amazon. There was no spam that I remember though (okay, then, maybe it really was an actual dream!!)

So the only ones that I ever actually clicked on were the Apollo and Dionysus subject lines. And a segment of dream would start that would be like watching a documentary on TV, with a disembodied British voice talking about the history of the subject while images of temples, vases and mosaics flashed by. Occasionally this documentary voice would speak of some of my own experiences as if they were known history. (I guess they're known history to me?)

And then periodically, it would flash back to my email screen and that subject line would be marked as read...and sometimes a subject would get updated, as if I had recieved a new email on the topic (If you use gmail, you know how the threading works...that's how it looked)

So that's not so much the bizarre part.

What's bizarre is that these documentary segments were interrupted by "commercials" talking about the gods and prophetic dreams...and how they're linked...TO LINDT CHOCOLATE! (I can barely type this, I'm laughing so hard!) and especially to Lindt Cherry-Chilli bars. (I just bought one of those last night.)

Interspersed with everything else was segments of dreams of me doing normal every day stuff- getting up, making coffee, going to work, buying a newspaper, this has happened before, during these segments, random words would be replaced by the name "Zagreus": "I'd like one copy of the Baltimore Zagreus, please. And this bottle of Pepsi." "Okay, that will be two dollars and thirty-Zagreus cents." Yeah, like that.

All through this, I kept waking up and falling back barely asleep. At least twice, I woke up singing the song Far Away by Chantal Kreviazuk, which is still stuck in my mind right now. Okay, this is weird, when I have a song stuck in my head, it just seems like I'm hearing it as if it were playing from some external source...except without the external source. Right now, there's an almost physical sensation of hearing the song from a specific spot in my head just above and behind my left ear.

Around 5am, I seriously considered just getting up. But I fell back to sleep. A few times. Oh gawds, what kind of day am I going to have?
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Everyone who sees this, right now, run don't walk here and buy two copies of Written in Wine.

WTF is that, you ask?

Written in Wine is a collection of devotional writings dedicated to the ancient Greek god Dionysos by his modern worshippers. The world of Dionysos is one of wildness, freedom, mystery and intoxication, a dangerous and boundary-blurring place where nature is alive with wonder. Come with us as we revel with the god on the mountainside and explore the furthest reaches of our own selves under his frenzied inspiration. Inside these pages you will find essays, poetry, rituals and fiction, as well as personal accounts of Dionysian experiences.

Not that you really needed a reason, but it includes a poem contributed by yours truly.

As if you really needed another reason, 25% of the proceeds will go to a charity as of yet to be determined.

Heck, buy three copies.
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surfing around a site that sells statuary...I came across this. Now, I have to ask...

Does this look like Hermes or a member of the von Trapp family out for a hike?

My vote is on the former. (For serious, can't you just see a walking stick in his right hand?)

I very much like this statue of Dionysus...
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I just woke up about 40 minutes ago (I was up til after 6 this morning. I expected to be up late, but didn't expect to be up quite THAT late.)

So I did some ritual work last night. Started around midnight. I actually didn't do everything I wanted to do, but I think the part that I didn't get to should have been its own ritual in another time anyway, and will likely take up more than two hours in and of itself.

I worked in three parts, each essentially a self-contained ritual in and of itself for Hermes Dionysus and Apollo.

For each, I lit some incense, made some offerings, settled in for some mediation and afterwards, did some divination using tarot.

Hermes has still been around, but quiet. Off to the side, just see him in the corner of my eye, so to speak. My meditation turned into a bit of a berating "Dammit, you know exactly why I'm here now are you going to get on with it or not?" (Ya, I know what he's suggesting. What I don't know- not entirely anyway- is why it's coming from him and not someone else. Oh, I also don't for sure know what I'm going to do about it.)

I offered (and drank) some wine for Dionysus. I'm still getting used to the fact that I feel even just a single sip of wine in my system, the second I swallow it, when I drink it in this context. And it's not like a drunk or even tipsy feeling, but like a mild electrical jolt to my entire body and a sort of hyper-awareness of my surroundings. I'm not sure if I'm surprised or not that the card that turned up in reference to current happenings with Dionysus is the death card. Interesting enough, the moon turned up in all three instances in the same place in reference to the future. (I shuffled the cards well each time, I swear.)

Nothing out of the ordinary came up from Apollo (I wasn't expecting it either), much basking in the all-encompassing presence. More affirmation that I'm on the right track with the whole Apollo/Dionysus intertwining, whatever it is thing and that there's far more to come.

When I finally went to sleep, I only initially slept for maybe three hours in which I had a dream that I was doing the same ritual, had just finished the Dionysus bit, and was about to move onto Apollo when one of the roommates walked in and insisted on sitting in the room while I did this. I wanted to continue, I wanted it to not matter, but I couldn't. I woke up for a short time after that, and then fell back to sleep til after 2pm.

I'm going to make myself some food, and then clean up a few things around here. Gotta run to the store and pick up some cat litter and food so that Dominic can take care of the felines til Thursday. Going over to [ profile] pagandenma's sometime this evening for a cookie-baking marathon and will go to the grove from there tomorrow.

I should probably go ahead and pack my stuff to go to PA awhile too.
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Out in the cold, here in the night
under the garish orange street lights,
strip me bare.
With the world watching,
take my coat.
It keeps me warm. I can be cold.
Take it, peel back my safety.
The clothing that clings to my skin, take that too.
No more shirt, no more jeans.
You see the poetry etched across my flesh,
do you hear the pain that screams,
invisible in plain sight?
My skin, you can have it too:
Epidermis, take it...
dermis, take it...
hypodermis, take it.
Under my skin, all that you never knew
all that you might not believe
all that you never suspected
because I give you no reason.
Sometimes I almost fool myself.
Muscles, tendons, ligaments
rip me, bleed me, shred me.
What was inside
is now on display to the world
Bare bone. Skeleton.
Can you go further?
Marrow. Core. Stop.
Did you want to see this?
Did you want to look so close?
You're not getting any closer
because you can't comprehend
complete breakdown of the sum total.
Under my clothes
Under my skin
Under the muscles and veins and bone
at the simple, cellular level
or farther down, atomic-
That's where it gets complicated.

I'm feeling...revealing tonight. Like I need to confess. Not like "Oh, here's another little bit I never talk about." But...everything. Every little thing I've ever said, done, thought, wanted, hated, liked, loved, rejected, believed, disbelieved, tasted, touched, felt, seen, heard, For some reason I feel like I need to tell the world. It's almost a compulsion. But I am not going to do that...1. It would take far too long and 2. Bad idea. Really bad idea. All I can say is that the world would not handle the utter, brutal minutiae of the complete, total no-holds-barred honesty of Renee very well. (To be fair, it would likely not take such honesty from anyone very well.) and as it is, I really have no desire to put myself out there on such an extreme level.

I take comfort in a certain degree of vulnerability. Maybe that's why I write some of the things I do, letting a little bit out here and there for the world to know. I guess it's what allows me to think of myself as being an open, honest person. Not that I'm not. If you ask me an honest question, unless I have a good reason not to, I'll probably answer it. (Note, that is not to be taken as an invitation for an ask Renee anything you want Livejournal free-for-all.)

I think it serves a couple of purposes...there's a certain level of validation in my own mind, even beyond simple truth, that I can say "I have nothing to hide".

Also, it's sort of a release valve. I learned the hard way a long time ago that it's a bad idea to hold things in for too long. If I hold things in for too long, I become emotionally exhausted. Which then manifests in physical exhaustion. As in, I can sleep for 24 hours, and feel like I've never slept a minute in my life.

A few weeks ago, I had written about the closeness of Apollo, and how it was not corresponding to the Delphic season for me, how it was all-encompassing, permeating, enveloping and the only slightly less intense closeness of Dionysus. I speculated on the possibility of feeling a more seasonally-corresponding shift after the Lampteria ritual...and I haven't really thought much of it again til the last few days, but after Lampteria, the stronghold released into a loose, non-smothering grasp. Apollo close and constantly present in a way that wasn't completely tangible in an inside-my-skin way, Dionysus hovering near almost always, but not trying to constantly remind me that he's there.

Tonight on my way home from work, I was thinking. Having hypothetical conversations with actual people in my head (er, not real people in my head, but hypothetical conversations in my head with people that I know in real life. Yeah.) Conversations that I should have had, would like to have if the opportunity ever arises, some that I should never have no matter how much I might want get the idea. And suddenly, it all came flooding back tenfold. The pervasive feeling of presence in the spaces between every cell and atom of my skin, of vines twining almost painfully around my wrists, a certain languor, walking a little slower. An emotional rush, I almost cried a dozen times walking down my street from North ave. A disconnect from the outside world, and a bit from myself. Poetry rushing through my brain- I captured what I could above, but lost so much. I was convinced that I was dreaming. I stepped in front of the steps up to my house, certain that I would lose it all if I climbed them. I stood there looking up at the house, the right street, the right number...but I wasn't really sure it was mine. I convinced myself that I would not lose it all and walked up the steps. I wanted to stop on the porch and take off my coat and sit on the chair and write everything down, but it was too cold. I cane inside before I started writing and Unfortunately, I lost 99% of what was there.

It's okay, I still have that one percent. So I know it was real.

The solstice is in less than 24 hours. This should be an interesting winter.

Now, I think I need to sleep.
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(reposted and slightly edited for reader context fromthe adf-dance list, less explaination needed here) Most of this isn't anything new to anyone reading my journal.

Courtney and I both lit up and spun for the ritual, and one of the comments that I made when I had finished spinning was that there is but one means by which I have ever known intoxication, and it is *not* wine or any other sort of alcohol or drug...but by the sound of the fire rushing around me for long periods of time- I don't know how else to explain it, but to say that I literally get high from it.

I first learned of fire spinning in a very typically Dionysian environment (Playa Del Fuego) where I actually have had brief brushes with him- It is really not accurate to say that before very recently I was wholly unfamiliar with Dionysus, I wasn't...but the acquaintance was generally incidental and fleeting- and wholly different from recent experience. I had written a poem after the last burn that I attended which I was quite happy with- I wish I could find it. Hopefully it'll turn up one of these days, I'm pretty sure I only ever wrote it down on paper, never put it on LJ. Anyway... I don't do any drugs, I am a very light drinker, but when I'm planning to play with fire, I stay away from alcohol altogether (I may be a little crazy, but I'm not stupid). Utmost respect for the fire and knowing my own limits, and knowing that what I'm handling can be indiscriminating in its devastation...and knowing that I may have control of the staff, but not of the fire itself- all I can do is take the appropriate safety measures but there are so many variables to consider...this knowledge only adds to the experience.

And then there's the physics of it- spinning so slow that I'm literally pushing the staff around, or faster, letting momentum carry it, or working against inertia and the muscle memory that makes it all so fluid and automatic, the light, the smell and the sound...oh my gods, the sound. I said that I can get high from it, I'm not kidding. but this combination of everything affects me in ways that I just can't describe. It's like the rest of the world isn't there almost and I'm in another world- how do you describe the feeling of shifting into a parallel universe? Durned if I know, but if there is such thing, this is it.

I can sometimes do this for hours at a time- it's a lot easier in the environment of a large festival with a huge bonfire and fifty or sixty other people doing the same thing, though I've done it on my own also. As long as I have a bag full of water bottles, I'm good to go. Doing this for four or six hours, stopping only for very short breaks, becoming exhausted to the point where I'm sure I can't move anymore and having it just melt away in the space of seconds, doing that two, three, four times until I really know that I can't safely go on anymore....if I could spend the rest of my life doing that, I might be tempted to do it....but the next best thing I think, is waking up the next day and hurting for a week afterwards, maybe it sounds crazy. But it's an immediate reminder...every muscle in my shoulders, arms, back, neck, legs, every time I move, I know where it came from...

Man, now I have this sudden, overwhelming urge to go and lay waste to a couple of bottles of lamp oil...

Hmm. so far have no plans for the night of the winter solstice. Not planning to go to PA til the 23rd or 24th....sounds like a good time to do that to me.
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Since it became clear that Dionysus is here to stay, I've been thinking that I should create an altar for him. And so far I've not done so.

I just remembered, earlier this evening, seeing last year around this time, at Michaels, what I said, even at the time, would make an excellent Dionysus altar....'cept I wasn't worshipping Dionysus then.

A small end table wine rack...basically, a wine rack with a small table on top. The ones that they had at the time had glass mosaic tops, and one of the designs was a grapevine.

I wonder if it's still possible to find such a thing...
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Wrote this a few days ago as a response to the thread on the Neokoroi list on people feeling sadness due to Apollo departing for his winter in the north with the Hyporboreans...

Hmmm....this is interesting. For some weeks now, I've been expecting to wake up and feel like something was different, or amiss. Ever since the dream I had of Dionysus a few weeks ago, the Delphic split has been on my mind to one extent or another on a near constant basis, and it made sense that perhaps Dionysus was coming to take a more predominant part of my life for the moment, while Apollo would step back but that's not happened.

Dionysus hovers close, I am frequently reminded of his presence, though I don't actually need reminders. However, it seems that Apollo has drawn even closer. I sometimes wake up in the morning feeling a similar semi-delirious languor as I did when he stepped from the shadows during the Dionysus dream and pulled the arrow that he had just shot at me from my chest. When I'm awake, I feel a nearly-constant, almost tangible-presence.

I find it fascinating that each has been appearing in a manner more obviously appropriate to the other. In my mind, the ideas of balance and binary opposition- two opposites, without the other, one cannot exist- which have always been interesting to me have jumped much more to the forefront of my mind.

And then there is this theory which I recently ran across, I think while reading William Broad's book The Oracle: Ancient Delphi and the Science Behind Its Lost Secrets, mentioned only very briefly but still churning around in my mind since then, that some scholars have had the idea that Apollo and Dionysus are two halves of the same god. To be clear, I do not believe this but it is a fascinating idea and I can see where it could come from. The related idea that I have settled on for the moment as my understanding is not two halves of one whole...but more like two atoms sharing a covalent bond, connected by common threads, very difficult to separate one from the other.

I don't know. Maybe I'm experiencing some sort of between-time overlap. I'm working on a ritual to celebrate Lampteria next weekend. Maybe that will trigger a more seasonally-appropriate shift in my perception. Or another possible cause is that it's all connected to some things that have been going on with me that I'll not go into now (though I can suddenly see inspiring an interesting work of short fiction...) in that I need to be seeing this intricate connection of one and the other, two separate entities that cannot be wholly bisected- seasonal events be damned. Part of me is hoping that the first is true, part of me is hoping the second. In any event, the gods will do as they will, I will (hopefully) see what they want me to see.

Do I sound like a raving lunatic here? At the same time, it's making perfect sense to me...but sounding somewhat ludicrous as I reread the words.

And after someone suggested the idea of twins, without a whole lot of elaboration as to what was meant:

I hadn't thought of this in the sense of twins...and I don't actually think that that's what I'm thinking of here, but I'm not sure.

It's like....ummmm...different evolutions of the same little slice of the divine? In one way, they're so different, but if you go 359 degrees from one, you come to the other. All the difference is contained in that 360th degree. Small, but still there and if you look closely enough, you can see the same inner core...
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Soemmone in e forum in Lancaster PA:

I have heard this many times: Many who have had difficult and unresolved relationships with their earthly father, also have a huge difficulty with the idea of a Heavenly Father or male deity.

My response (or what it boiled down to, it was actually a good bit longer):

My relationship with my father is severely lacking. But I have no problem with the idea of male divinity or deity....I worship several of them.

Speaking of male divinity...

So for the last few nights I've been having these dreams that are perfectly normal and commonplace, even boring. Except for one thing...all through these dreams, there are grapevines twined around my wrists- not tying me to anything or binding them together, and only tight enough that they stay wrapped there.

I feel like I'm being constantly reminded of his presence...and the fact that whatever's going on, it seems that I have no say in the matter whatsoever. There seems to be no challenge, no demand, no wanting of anything. Just a hovering presence and maybe some sort of observation- but I'm not even sure about that.

Last night after coming home, I did my normal Saturday night ritual that I've sort of fallen into, and on top of that, made offerings of wine to both Apollo and Dionysus, the laid down to sleep. Just as I was drifting off, this popped into my head and I scribbled it down by the light of my cell phone screen...

Wine pulsates through my veins
only sips, but in your presence
spread like a fire
and mix with inhaled heavy incense smoke
dizzying disorienting
your appearance lucid and aloof
unreasonably civilized
I watch and wait
constantly aware, grapevine wraps my wrists
tight and cutting to hold
or loosely to remind
you are there, control
is yours
and I am wondering
what I'm waiting for
and what you're up to
behind your eyes
void of expression.

On an interesting other note, wandering in and out of the seers guild meeting at the grove today (It was hot inside, my face was burning, I had to keep going outside and coming back in) I found myself coming up with, out of the blue, a pretty darned viable interpretation of the ritual omen from last night.

Keep in mind, I was not present during any part of the ritual. And the omen was ogham. I know nothing about ogham. There was a little discussion about the specific trees pulled- yew, ivy, hazel, and from the discussion of these trees and the structure of how the omens wee pulled and which was what part of the issue, it just all crystalized in my mind. It wasn't the only possible interpretation, but it was definitely one. I've never been too interested in ogham, but I realized at that point that I could probably learn...a lot of it would have to do with learning about the background and properties and specific information on each tree...and old lore- folk uses and the such. Somehow it just seemed to make sense to me.

Though, if I did that, I might instead try to devise my own tree-based system, I don't know but I don't feel entirely comfortable with trying to use something that has a Celtic root (no pun intended) when I have no cultural connection otherwise and seem to even face some degree of hostility from that direction.

But I also definitely want to start working more with the Greek Alphabet Oracle, and start looking at the Homeric Oracle, as well as picking back up with what little I have done with runes so far.
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Friday, Dionysus, at home, Shiraz )

Saturday, Apollo, at the grove, Sauvignon Blanc )

And that, folks, was my weekend. Well, the major happenings of it anyway. Minor details include overhearing a story about someone named Shaqueesha (Taking a guess on the spelling. Where on earth do they get these names?) Having two people simultaneously back into me, one on each side, at Barnes and Noble- I swear, it couldn't have been better-times if it was choreographed. Smacking my elbow into the living room wall (Okay kids, stucco bits in sensitive elbow hurt) and getting headbutted in the boobs and then in the nose by Chrissy. Oh, and making smores post-ritual on Saturday night.


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July 2013



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