Be always drunken.
On wine, on poetry, or on virtue, as you wish. But be drunken!
The globes of the
grapes are robing with bloom
Like the hazes of
autumn, like the Milky Way's stardust;
'I am crushed for
your drink,' says the Green Man,
'I am crushed for
your drink,' says he.
Anderson, "The Green Man")
Wine brings out
Renault, The Persian Boy)
Dionysos in his
coming and going recalls us to the origins of the sacred, those
animal powers that both manifest our finest energies and threaten to
devastate all that we cherish. If you let him into your life, under
appropriately ritualized circumstances, you will be deeply disturbed
but also deeply enlivened, touched by the sources of good and evil
and yet sanely returned to the casual comedy of civil society. If you
refuse him entry he will invade.... His rituals will involve madness,
to them will involve even more.
(Dudley Young, Origins
of the Sacred)
The god came
kindly at first to Thebes, saying, 'Bring me all that wildness in
your hearts; I understand it, it is my kingdom. My gift is the lesser
madness which will save you from the greater.'
Mask of Apollo)
Look how black,
how blue-black, how globed in Egyptian darkness
Dropping among his
leaves, hangs the dark grape! . . .
Our pale day is
sinking into twilight,
And if we sip the
wine, we find dreams coming upon us
Out of the
Where is the wine
we were promised, the new wine...?
sacred to the gods. The give it us at the proper season to purge our
souls, as they give us strong herbs to clean out our bodies. At the
Dionysia we are a little mad; but it leaves us clean, because we
dedicated it to a god."
Last of the Wine)
I see the place of
the innocent rich life and hapless fate
of the beautiful
noctural son, the full-limb'd Bacchus...
cannot be planned like a nocturnal picnic with a supply of hashish
and a basket of food and drinks. Dionysia must emerge from a culture
or a community, and the preparation must by psychological as well as
practical, personal as well as collective, mundane as well as spiritual.
Drugs don't cause
revelations...they simply lower the revelatory threshold.
parlance, among the many who have not experienced ecstasy, ecstasy is
fun, and I am frequently asked why I do not reach for mushrooms every
night. But ecstasy is not fun. Your very soul is seized and shaken
until it tingles... The unknowing vulgar abuse the word, and we must
recapture its full and terrifying sense.
as quoted in Ginette Paris, Pagan
Dionysos is a part
of what Gilbert Durand calls 'night-mode' -- that is, a nocturnal
consciousness associated with the moon, moisture, women, sexuality,
emotions, the body and the earth... If any given culture receives
only Apollonian sunshine, it dries up and dies; conversely, if it
receives too much Dionysian moisture, it rots and becomes crazy... We
need both Dionysos and Apollo.
This is what I believe:
That I am I.
That my soul is a
That my known self
will never be more than a little clearing in the forest.
That gods, strange
gods, come forth from the forest into the clearing
of my known self,
and then go back.
That I must have
the courage to let them come and go.
Thrown like a star
in my vast sleep
I opened my eyes
to take a peep,
To find that I was
by the sea
Gazing with tranquility.
'Twas then when
the hurdy gurdy man
Came singing songs
"Hurdy Gurdy Man")
It may be that
Ariadne goes to sleep so that her destiny may change, so that Theseus
can go away. She chooses, even if semi-consciously, not to embark
with Theseus because she wants someone else -- Dionysos.
Ah yes, to be
passionate like a Bacchante, like a Bacchanal fleeing through the
woods, to call on Iacchos, the bright phallus that had no independent
personality behind it, but was pure god-servant to the woman!
(D.H. Lawrence, Lady
I'm wide awake...
I'm not sleeping.
Dionysos finds his
Maenads among women who can't stand any longer being locked into the
domestic enclosure. They become wild women who break their chains in
order to follow Dionysos the Liberator.
The ivy falls with
the Bacchanal's hair
eyebrows hiding her eyes;
The wild vine
slipping down leaves bare
breast shortening into sighs;
vine slips with the weight of its leaves,
berried ivy catches and cleaves
To the limbs that
glitter, the feet that scare
that follows, the fawn that flies.
* * * * *
Caught up by the
slender stem, hanging heavy
In wet lush
shining clusters of purple,
I hold them
against my hair and face
And moisten my
lips with their pale blood.
...I crush the
grapes of my own vineyard
intricate secrets for me to decipher
From the twined
and twisted grapevines.
from "Maenad," 1988)
In true dreams I
have drunk your essence, my fire-born mad young beauty;
what is and what
will be between us is fixed upon the jeweled northern sky.
take for a queenly sceptre this rough wand pinecone-tipped,
for a queen's bed
these soft skins flung on pine boughs. For you, for you
I will put away my
golden crown, and weave one of starlight and ivy.
Come to me with
wine on your wonderful mouth, and kiss me awake.
from "Ariadne," 1998)