Dionysos & I, a weird relationship

This was originally the piece I wrote for Sannion’s coming book on Dionysos Ecstatic.

Distant respect

I feel weird, deeply humble by the attention that Dionysos has developed for me for the past 6 months. I did not look for him, I did not worship him regularly, and yet he came – insistently. I was a little scared at the beginning because he showed me his dark and savage face, a huge shadow for a God of the Wild – maybe it was his Lord of the Forest look. Needless to say, I was highly impressed. But then, it appeared that he had some things to say to me. So I struggled to find what, and finally I found Sannion’s blog; two week later I learned that he was delivering oracles for Dionysos himself. It was too huge a sign! I wrote down an email. And the mystery began to grow.

For indeed, the God, even if I knew him since my adolescence, was a stranger to me; I never really approached him since I became a polytheist. So why would he take an interest in me? Why now? Why would he help? I’ve not found all the answers yet, but it is true nevertheless that he stays along my spiritual path, as a kind of watcher. He seems to feel like putting me back on track when I’m lost, even if I don’t ask anything. I doubted, as anyone would have I guess. I was skeptical, I didn’t want to project my will on him. So I just observed, and didn’t draw conclusions about his presence. But I couldn’t help being disturbed, all the more so since the oracles I got from him (thanks to Sannion’s intermediary) were mind blowing. No, I mean, really, really, mind blowing. It was so accurate, deep, long term, very precise about what kind of person I am, and what life is ahead of me. I can’t give the details here, but Sannion can confirm the depth of his “prophecies”. Since September 2010, omens have been plenty to highlight what he wanted to tell; about my personal evolution, and about my path as a mystic pagan. It appeared that he showed me that my visions since adolescence were true, and all that I felt about many gods and spirits was true too. He helped me in the harsh process of lifting (up?) my fears I had been struggling with, helped me too grasping my personal self and potential, and, what was truly amazing, he helped me in my relationship with my Matron Goddess, Morrigan. The piling up was really awe-inspiring.

The Gods are supposed to be perfection, so I shouldn’t have been surprised by the clarity and deep truth he held about my life. And yet, coming from his mouth, a God that was not close to me, it was disturbing. And seeing that he had close relationship to some deities of my Celtic and Gaulish pantheon left me very puzzled, I would never have thought such inter-pantheon understanding was possible. Or maybe I wondered about the possibility, but it was far more intense to experience it than just assume. Such clarity and acuteness, about everything, was bewildering. He offered me such a right perception of Morrigan (and others), and knew our relationship so well from the outside, it was very humbling. And I still don’t know why he came, why he cares.

However, since then I have added him to my working pantheon, and from time to time I do offerings to him. It’s strange that we are not close and yet have a deep bond, sharing thoughts about my path. There’s a very powerful respect on both sides, but we look at each other from a distance. Despite these strange facts, it’s one of the most authentic and direct relationship I have to a God.

Valiel, French polytheist.

January 2011

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First step towards Morrigan initiation

Here we are.

I couldn’t feel, I couldn’t practice, I was in doubt, maybe even shameful. I thought I was unable and unworthy of this so powerful Goddess, Morrigan. But after the trial, she showed me that she can have great patience and indulgence. She reassured me, showed me she trusts me. It’s a huge gift, it’s even more humbling than anything. It took me many signs to see, many crow messengers, sharing experience with other people, even, an oracle from Dionysos, but now I see very clearly. And I do not only see ; I took the part of action and experienced, faced her.

During a rather short ritual, a Full Moon ritual, I chose to express and show that I had acknowledge her message. And in order to be able to go on down the road to her, I wanted to purify myself. So did I, physically and spiritually… But then came the vision, the unexpected event, little event, but which has a depth I can’t share through words. I went through the first step of my initiation I guess. I learned many things, crucial “tools” to be her servant and work with her. She purified me herself, and tested me. So that I can learn to trust her blindfully, saving me from death ; plus I learned to handle my fear. It must not be rejected or suppressed. It must be there, integrated in your being, being one with yourself. And so did I, ‘accidentally’. It’s a weird state because on the one hand you can still feel you fear (but muffled), and on the other hand it creates peace and energy (ecstasy?) which drives you forward. It’s the strength of the Warrior. Maybe now I’m a Warrior of the Great Queen. I can feel it… I feel so humble she taught me those things, and affirmed to me that I’m worthy, that she trusts me.

The details can be seen on the Temple’s page.

When Gods and Spirits “bully” you

Yeah, because there are hard times when you think they push you too much and too hard. – That’s what I went through for the past week . And gosh, it seemed long !

The fact is that, most of the times, the more you work and open yourself, the more the Gods and Spirits rush through. Since I didn’t only want to be a devotee, but wanted to “experience” deities, and somehow uttered the wish of listening to them (and serve), they got me literally. They took me at my words. So on the way, I felt more and more indeed, I was able to hear them and respond. But what I hadn’t seen coming, is that it went quicker than I planned, was more efficient !

There are times, rare times but still more frequent than for most people, when I am totally open. What does that mean ? It means that any entity that passes by can come and communicate with and through me. Dead peole, Gods, Spirits, and the like. The difficulty is when they come and speak all together at the same time. Yes, it’s possible. Even if it’s only one powerful deity or spirit that possess you fully it can be disturbing. The thing is that you go through the great danger (peril?) of losing yourself : you really can go mad. You can lose the sense of what is real and what is not, what is there and what is not, of who you are, what you’re capable of and so on.

What happens is that you benefit for a short period of the subtle and perfect view of the Spirit(s) and/or God(s). It is not human, it is different and “higher” in a way. That’s is why it is so hard to grasp. When the Gods and Spirits are too close to you, or too present in your open mind, you can lose your self, literally, your ego. You see most of the times with their eyes, but still a little with yours, which produces a very disturbing dephasing effect. It seems inappropriate, impossible, crazy… It sets you apart from people, from things, from the world.

When you are the type of person who commits himself for real, to the Spirits and Gods, you are likely to be answered. The Gods and Spirits show you what you look for, sometimes even more what you should look for. And in such cases of “full opening”, when they all show you things you seemingly did not ask, it’s harsh for you. It feel as if the Gods and Spirits are forcing you things you don’t want to, you didn’t ask for, as if they are bullying you. In fact it is only an impression most of the time, due to the fact that they are so close (or “up there” in your mind) that you can’t see clearly. – Plus the fact you often forgot that you committed and asked.

The thing is that it’s hard anyway for anyone to endure. And often, we lose control progressively without realising it we tend to “elevate” ourselves from the soil since we are turned towards subtile vibrations, thoughts, and visions (which is more linked to air and ether). So as I figured out, help by Sarenth in the process, the best thing in such cases, with the fright, the doubts, and the like, it to shut up. I mean, use whatever means you can to detach yourself from all of it, any feelings you have. For this use silence (not writing, not talking), and make grounding exercice. It will help you detach from the situation, but also from what is put into your head by the Gods and Spirits, and finally, it’s also a way to detach from your “lost”, doubting self so as to find your way back in the end. Be patient, wait for the moment when the tempest cools down and allows you to see.

Belenos the Radiant

The sudden arrival of a new God in our practises is always stunning. But what I like best is that I’m so new to polytheism (2 years) that when a God I only approached through researchs come to me in reality, I feel like I’ve discovered something totally new. And that’s awesome.

I learnt quite a bit about Belenos when I applied for a gaulish polytheist course. I was our first encounter, and I enjoyed going through this new panel of Gods, Gods of my home (France) and not from somewhere else. And indeed their energy can be felt everywhere here, easier than other Gods. So as I read about Belenos, and learnt by heart, I also felt things. And I also prayed for him, several times, honoured him for his own festival (Beltain), and for two others two (during summer). But all this remained distant even if that was pretty good. I realised it when I met Morrigan, and saw the intensity of the bond we can have to Gods, and also when Dionysos entered my life in August 2010 (thanks to Sannion). I then realised that I may have passed some kind of new “level”. I developped the necessary sensitive faculties to be able to really feel the Gods presence and messages. So what I did in the past year before that evolution, that was marked by intellectual work, or at least isolated devotion. Because I loved and worshiped the Gods, but I could not truly feel them and hear them.

And Belenos chose this moment to show up, and I don’t know why… Because he was really innocent/naive in his approach, just like a child (the Immortal Young God that He is). It was in the middle of October, when the weather gets wetter and wetter (is it the correct form?), but we had some nice afternoon when the sun shines in the sky and warmth both the body and spirit. And Belenos came to me through a huge cloud : the sun made a fierce breakthrough in the sky, and through my window, suddenly warming up my cold body. So I lifted up my eyes, and thought… Morrigan ? was she answering my calls ? But no, it was different. And all so suddenly, I understood that it was male energy… and I heard the God’s cry of joys in my head. “Belenos”. That was really a marvellous moment that I cannot describe. But He was there, both in front of me (Sun) and in me (the warmth, his voice and laughter). And since that particular moment, he has made himself a place in my heart, and I did not left me. The Joy, Light and Warmth I can feel, they’re often (if not always) associated with Him. These energies that I had in me for a long time, now I understand they’re linked to him. And even if it’s teh cold period, and the dark period of the Year, He is definitely there, outside and in me.

And if I doubted it, the week after our encounter, he sent me messages to proove to me it was Him. He lent me his huge positive energy. He kind of let me know that he could also help i nthe underworld, even if he is God of the upper sphere (the eagle that went to me maybe his). He answered to my call full of doubt one night : in my sleep he went, and he blessed me and my partner, showing me his powers (positiveness, joy, warmth, true inconditional love…). It was absolutely amazing because it was so intense, but also so direct and clear. I was glad to know him for real this time. He revealed to me his Face, his Smile, his Powers that I had been only able to read and not feel. I was able to make his portrait for others, as the Ever Young God, Ever Cheerful, the Beauty Incarnate, the Absolute Lover, … Marvellous.

And what stroke me with a strong troubling force was this : I felt he was grateful, to me. How could that be ? He seems to be the kind of God who is very close to his worshipers, and intensely grateful for their devotion, being always ready and eager to help (and damn’ he’s strong!). It was almost as if he had told me that I was the tool of his new (re) awakening to the World, because my faith was strong and pure. He told me that he had felt abandonned and sleepy, that I had awakened him. That for this he was for ever grateful, and now ready to shine for the World, smiling, laughing, waiting to give his help and support.

Morrigan’s Sanctuary

I wish there were here some people who can read french, at least a little.

I present here to you a personal project which did not came from my mind, but directly from Morrigan Herself. One night as I was surfing on the Internet, She “rode” me as I think one says : She possessed my spirit/mind and made me create this Sanctuary which was to be a public place of devotion. It is more complicated, because it’s also a personal thing : this is Mabon and I chose to engage deeply to Her as She asked me one year ago (see the article “Inside the Cave”), so this Sanctuary is also planned to host my personal experiences as Morrigan’s follower, my studies, … and so on. But I/She wanted it to be public : to people to get to know her, but also a place to collect information, to share studies, articles, ressources, devotions, … So people are encouraged to send their personal testimonies, articles, drawings, poems, links, …

http://lantredemorrigan.wordpress.com/

This is huge for me, this marks a very important and deep step in my spirituality. I wish I could share it with you.

The return of the Greek Gods ?

What the f…? First Dionysos comes back into my life, and then many other Greek Gods!

– I heard and dreamt about Morpheus… Maybe because I have sleep troubles.

– And above all, I feel something very deep about Persephone. I have an history with her, as I did with Dionysos, Artemis, Athena and some other Gods. It’s strange because she’s always reassured me, make feel peaceful, soothe my stress… And I had a friend who was just so like her. And today, for a little more than a week, She’s back : a close pagan friend of mine is being looking after by this Goddess and so she makes a lot of research and shares them with me. As I read, I remember myself, past relations with Her, … And I’m bewildered : I know her very well, I’ve read much stuff, and yet I never thought of her, of looking for her help whereas She is just what I need. I have family trouble to make it short, the classic problem of distanciation between mother and daughter, personality problems, fusion, adulthood and so on. Why ? Why didn’t I think about it ? Damn’… and now there She is. I can’t feel her like I did with Dionysos. But I know, intellectually, that She can be the very proper help.

And now I wonder… why are all these Greek Gods coming out of nowhere in my life ? I knew my sensibility is so that this pantheon was “mine”, but I didn’t expected so concrete experiences, and not all at once. I guess Artemis, my adolescence patron Goddess, is waiting in the shadow for her own time to come…

Dionysos’ welcoming rite

I could not find any other name for such a ritual. I guess the simpler, the better ! And indeed, that’s nothing more.

As Dionysos appeared in my spiritual life in a much insistant way than before, and since I asked for his guidance, I felt obliged to Him. I felt I had to DO something to mark my intentions. And so I did, I performed a rite which I named the “welcoming rite”. When I talk of my pantheon, I mean “working pantheon”. Since I’m a hard polytheist, I believe in every God, and I could perform an act of devotion to any of them. So my pantheon is the pantheon of Deities with whom I “work” : perform rituals, meet during transes, do particular things, …. the ones with whom I have a peculiar relationships (or the ones I chose)  – But let’s get back to Dionysos. I then chose to put him in my pantheon (in the explained sense)  and I felt the need to declare to him by a ritual.

The rite itself was very simple. In the afternoon I went to the wood the relax myself, and I found savage berries : brambles (blackberry) and dogwood’s berries. I first thougth it was for myself and my altar, but I then realised “hey, wasn’t looking for proper offerings to Dionysos?” And indeed, it was it. I waited for the night to come and be real dark and I performed around midnight. I went to my altar and used my body to create the sacred space (to draw the sacred energies), then put the candle of Sannion on the corner and the 4 elements (my artisanal bowl for water, a feather for the air, candle for fire, and chesnuts for earth). I spoke to open the ritual, presenting my “request” : I was here thanks to his Devotee Sannion (white candle). I lit an extremely red candle for the God, red like wine, for the God of passion and extremes. Then I presented in the air my cauldron with offerings of fresh leaves and the dogwood’s berries. I spoke a lot actually, talking with Dionysos as I rarely do with Gods. Presenting the elements, the fire, speaking of me, of the oracle I received from him… And then I explained that I was now aware of his presence and willing to listen to whatever He says, to work with Him if He wanted, giving him a “real” place in my pantheon. And as a mark of this “partnership” I dedicated the blackberries (bramble) and eat them as a sign of communion. I made a time for silence, praying or so, letting the energies flow. And then I went away from the altar, but I let the candles on : it was for me a sign that the God is welcome.