Drinking from the Cup of Life

Thiasos Bakkheios Through the Year

The ritual year for Thiasos Bakkheios starts with the Winter Solstice. The calendar of Attica (which many Hellenic reconstructionists use to set their ritual year) begins with the first new moon after the Summer Solstice, but I’ve found that scheduling with modern folks works better if the calendar starts closer to the secular new year. […]

We Need a Sacred Bartender

Update from Thiasos Bakkheios: We recently had another chanting and drumming and (some) dancing devotional. I’m going to report on it as best I can. Only some of these are my personal recollections; certain gaps in my memory had to be filled in with information supplied by “dude, you were so wasted” stories people told […]

Mythology is a Finger Pointing at the Moon

The stories of the gods are not the gods. The descriptions of the gods given in those stories are not the nature of the gods. They are fingers pointing at the moon. To borrow a Buddhist story: The nun Wu Jincang asked the Sixth Patriarch Huineng: “I have studied the Mahaparinirvana sutra for many years, […]

Gang Aft A-Gley

The best-laid schemes o’ mice an’ men gang aft a-gley–and also those of polytheists. For our August devotional, I’d planned for Thiasos Bakkheios to have a high-woo trance journey, so that each member could meet the god in person, and discover which aspect of Dionysos they most resonated with. Well, no. Scheduling problems, on-the-job injuries, […]

Dionysos is an American God

Last week, Sannion wrote this piece about America as a Dionysian country. Essentially, he looks to an ideal of (or an idealized imagining of) certain aspects of the land and culture of the United States, and sees a clear pattern of Dionysian spirit in our art, politics, and history. The essay is not unproblematic, and […]