Dionysus
Dionysus
DionysusIcon.JPG Dionysus was the only Lord to have been born a mortal, and to have known the pain of death before rising again to godhood. For this reason he's a compassionate Lord, and gives of himself for the comfort of mankind (in the form of wine) and intercedes with the other Lords on their behalf (the role of the wine spilled upon the altar). But for all that he can be the most gentle of gods (epiotatos), he can just as easily be the most terrible (deinotatos), protective of his godly secrets, the orgiastic mysteries which are secondmost in sacredness only to Demeter's, and vengeful upon those who disrespect his divinity. Dionysus.jpg

Common History

Dionysus (/daɪ.əˈnaɪsəs/; Greek: Διόνυσος Dionysos) is the god of the grape harvest, wine-making and wine, of ritual madness, fertility, theater and religious ecstasy in ancient Greek religion and myth. Wine played an important role in Greek culture, and the cult of Dionysus was the main religious focus for its unrestrained consumption. His worship became firmly established in the seventh century BC. He may have been worshiped as early as c. 1500–1100 BC by Mycenean Greeks; traces of Dionysian-type cult have also been found in ancient Minoan Crete. His origins are uncertain, and his cults took many forms; some are described by ancient sources as Thracian, others as Greek. In some cults, he arrives from the east, as an Asiatic foreigner; in others, from Ethiopia in the South. He is a god of epiphany, "the god that comes", and his "foreignness" as an arriving outsider-god may be inherent and essential to his cults. He is a major, popular figure of Greek mythology and religion, becoming increasingly important over time, and included in some lists of the twelve Olympians, as the last of their number, and the only god born from a mortal mother. His festivals were the driving force behind the development of Greek theater.

Related Colony

Scorpia

Common Rituals

Another parallel can be seen in The Bacchae where Dionysus appears before King Pentheus on charges of claiming divinity, which is compared to the New Testament scene of Jesus being interrogated by Pontius Pilate. However, a number of scholars dispute this parallel, since the confrontation between Dionysus and Pentheus ends with Pentheus dying, torn into pieces by the mad women, whereas the trial of Jesus ends with him being sentenced to death. The discrepancies between the two stories, including their resolutions, have led many scholars to regard the Dionysus story as radically different from the one about Jesus, except for the parallel of the arrest, which is a detail that appears in many biographies as well.

Other elements, such as the celebration by a ritual meal of bread and wine, also have parallels. The omophagia was the Dionysian act of eating raw flesh and drinking wine to consume the god. Within Orphism, it was believed that consuming the meat and wine was symbolic of the Titans eating the flesh (meat) and blood (wine) of Dionysus and that, by participating in the omophagia, Dionysus' followers could achieve communion with the god. Powell, in particular, argues that precursors to the Catholic notion of transubstantiation can be found in Dionysian religion.

Cults and Sects

Modern followers of Dionysus may offer the god wine, grapes, ivy, and various forms of incense. They may also celebrate Roman festivals such as the Liberalia (March 17, close to the Spring Equinox) or Bacchanalia (Various dates), and various Greek festivals such as the Anthesteria, Lenaia, and the Greater and Lesser Dionysias, calculated by lunar calendar.

Hymn

Bacchus I call, loud-sounding and divine,
Fanatic God, a two-fold shape is thine:
Thy various names and attributes I sing,
O, first-born, thrice begotten, Bacchic king:
Rural, ineffable, two-form'd, obscure,
Two-horn'd, with ivy crown'd, euion, pure.
Bull-fac'd, and martial, bearer of the vine,
Endu'd with counsel prudent and divine:
Triennial, whom the leaves of vines adorn,
Of Jove and Proserpine, occultly born.
Immortal dæmon, hear my suppliant voice,
Give me in blameless plenty to rejoice;
And listen gracious to my Mystic pray'r,
Surrounded with thy choir of nurses fair.

Characters with this Patron

Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License