Friday, September 2, 2016

Invoking The Blessings Of Life - A Dionysian Spirituality

We all have those times when religious and spiritual actions bring us happiness and joy, and we Hellenes are no different. All of us, including myself, have days when we feel discouraged or saddened for some reason, when life just becomes too much, and there is one particular and simple ritual I have discovered that tends to make a great difference in how I feel and see the world. Anyone who worships or believes in the Greek Gods, or just believes in Dionysos Himself, can do this rite. In fact, many times that I do it, my level of happiness can find itself increasing. But before I begin outlining it, let's talk a bit about why He is a great God for this kind of rite.

As we all know, Dionysos is the God of Wine, but more than that, He's the God of Life, and in that role, He brings that which is life itself, and this includes happiness and joy. In my book New Prayers of Old Hellas, I describe Him as the God who "teaches to love and enjoy life, not fear and shun it." His drink, and more so, His presence, rescues us from the dismal of daily human life, from all that hinders our enjoyment, and can literally be a preservation of life itself. It's no wonder one of His ancient epithets is "Saviour."

To perform this, the first thing you will need is good wine, or good grape juice if you're under 21. Wine is made from grapes, and therefore, Dionysos is also God of the Grape, so simple juice can suffice as well. Interestingly enough, I mostly do this rite with grape juice myself. I'm not normally a big wine-drinker. I prefer hard liquor at a party or get-together as opposed to casual wines. I suppose you could say that I am a reveling Dionysian. You will also need a wine glass, and that's really all of the materials needed. Of course, you can add nice things like a picture or statue of Dionysos for your shrine or altar, or grapes or vines to symbolize Him. Pour the wine or juice into your cup, hold it up as if you are doing and offering, and recite the following prayer,

I humbly call upon the great Dionysos,
Twice-Born God of Everlasting Life,
to descend His blessings upon the drink of the vine,
to bless my mind, body and soul with His wonderful Godhood.
The Life of Dionysos flow through me.

Once done, drink, and don't forget to give thanks to Him for His blessings. More than once, this ritual has increased my happiness and filled me with positivity. I usually do it once a day, although it is quite proper to do it twice a day if you feel you need the extra favor from the God. When Dionysos fills us, joy follows, and the things which keep us from life's enjoyment will leave.

In the Goodness of The Dodekatheon,

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