Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Divine Intoxication, Inspiration, and Offerings. [EDITED]

Come, blessed Dionysius [Dionysos], various nam'd, bull-fac'd,
begot from Thunder, Bacchus [Bakkhos] fam'd.
Bassarian God, of universal might, whom swords, and blood, and sacred rage delight:
In heav'n rejoicing, mad, loud-sounding God, furious inspirer, bearer of the rod:
By Gods rever'd, who dwell'st with human kind, propitious come, with much-rejoicing mind.
- Orphic Hymn to
Dionysus Bassareus Triennalis. (Taylor translation.)
I should be working on something else, but I'm still blissed out from doing work earlier. Being that it was Memorial Day, I wanted to offer some alcohol to the dead. Not just to the soldiers that have fallen in foreign lands, far from their place of birth, but to the heroes and protectors of my city, and of myself as well.

I spend a lot of time talking about the potential dangers of the restless dead. And I don't spend nearly enough time talking about the bliss of existing beside them after an orgiastic ritual, where I have partaken of the divine sacraments (read: alcohol, and other intoxicants, perhaps), danced beside them, and offered them 'the good stuff.'

Flowers. Cool water. Sweet fruits. Honey. Chocolates. Alcohol (of various assortments, no less!). Tobacco. Cannabis. Coffee.

I sing praises to them, and thank them for their blessings. I enter into trance and sometimes catch the glimmers of light, and radiance of the Other World that shines around them.

And, as a Dionysian, every time I drink, I salute them. I understand that I am actively in their presence. That the intoxication that floods through my life, my brain, my body, stretches back into my thundering blood and to my ancestors which came before me.

The friends that passed before me, and the initiates of my tradition of witchcraft which are now amongst the Mighty Dead are saluted.

The very essence of the alcohol can, at times, be a trigger for this. Whenever I have mead, I can feel my ancestors and even divinities above them shifting a bit closer, subtly. I am in the presence of the divine, and amongst it are even the former human beings that are a part of the great chains binding together the universe.

And when it hits, I am exposed to the experience of those who came before. To little subtle bits of he universe that I've failed to notice. To the little beautiful elements that I've somehow missed. It might be a smell, or a feeling, or it might be information (historical, magical, or just plain in and of itself) that I've somehow missed.

It is true: the songs I sing may well be foreign; the things I offer may be different. The steps in my dances, and circular movements, and my dedications may be strange to the spirits around me. If it is a problem, they'll make it clear to me. If it isn't, then they don't give a shit and I haven't messed up. This is an on-going learning process for me. Each subtle essence, each thing encountered, is different from others. You can't approach work with individual or groups of spirits – whatever the kind – as a type of monolithic practice from which there is only one acceptable way, and any deviation from that is a terrible abomination.

So more and more, I find myself breaking out the divination techniques. Trying to trust my intuition, but also not over-think it. Thankfully, eventually the intoxication – ranging from purely mental to physical – will intervene and it won't matter anymore, anyway.

Then there's just the work, the presence, and the joy.

Even if I were to appear to be alone, I am amongst a vast and great company. And I wouldn't have it any other way.

Jack.

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