The night before I left Seattle, my brother-in-law brought me two glasses of mead which we’d brewed together, a Methyglyn, an herbed-mead brewed with herbs sacred to my gods of which the majority-part was Chamomile, sacred to Arianrhod.
“I brought you two,” he said. “One for Dionysos.”
There’s much to say regarding this matter, but to have people who grew up Christian, living in a suburb in central Florida, “get” what I do as a “devotional” polytheist is pretty fucking profound. That they are my family (and an absurdly wonderful one at that) and in a place where American Christianity is the norm and there is no talk of Paganism, let alone Polytheism, is, well–hope-infusing. One of the general arguments against what folks like myself have found ourselves doing is that no-one would even get it in this world where the Secular and “Science” are the norm, a world no longer full of gods. We’re doing something ridiculous and unnecessary and anti-science and mentally-destabilizing et cetera and ad nauseum.
Such arguments make me want to laugh, now.
But I was talking about Dionysos, actually, right? I had this understanding, in that moment, that the hiatus between us would soon fade, that the time during which I focused primarily on the four other gods whom I worship (Ceridwen, Brigid, Arianrhod, Bran) was coming to a resolution. I offered some of the mead to Arianrhod, and another portion to Dionysos (there is a Mystery between them, by the way, one I’m still attempting to unravel), and smiled, knowing I’d be seeing Him again shortly.
So, it was amusing to me yesterday when a stoned sex-pig muscle-daddy, the sort who enter a gay bar and even the most confident of attractive men find themselves suddenly weak-willed (and weak-kneed), was waving his cock in my face while I was attempting to write my next Sense of Place post, rubbing it across my recently shaven scalp.
We need some context here, perhaps. I’m in the living room of some friends, typing at a laptop while others cook dinner in the kitchen, and then there’s this, “out of nowhere,” which is usually how Dionysos introduces his arrival to me. I’m not in some gay bar or even private space, but in what could be called “semi-public,” and his brow is furrowed in a way I recognize, the way a man’s does when Dionysos is around, riding not precisely the human but the desire betwixt, an overlay and inherent subtext to the interactions of mortals.
I kept typing, but smiled, knowing I’ll be seeing a bit more of this. And said muscle-daddy, remembering all of it the next day said only “it just happened–out of nowhere,” and all I could do was laugh and say, “of course it did. It’s like that, huh?”
I’ve seen such things more often amongst the spiritually-inclined, or “sensitive.” Said man’s partner found the matter amusing, remarking that others have noted his sensitivity to such matters. A rather powerful witch was the first I’d seen it happen to, and he’d been equally unsurprised.
But it also happens frequently otherwise, and I think the question is less “innate ability” and more a matter of knowing where to look. And it reminds me, particularly, that one mostly just has to “look” in order to see it happen. That is, giving attention to the existence of the gods and how they interact with us not just in Nature or in Ritual or Meditation but on the realm of the Social is precisely how we world the gods into the earth and our lives.
I’ve much more to say on this, but I’d like to draw your attention instead to a piece of writing rather trembling in its quaking, delicious beauty. From Anomalous Thracian:
In an age of complacency and comfort-seeking blindness, my gods have shown me just how versatile and exceptional human-formed beings and tenacious Will can be, when circumstances are shifted from comfort. I am sometimes mis-perceived as a “doom and gloom” Thracian, which is not necessarily untrue; but from this vantage in the gutters and burial mounds and wind-swept wild ditches, I see only hope in humans, and a flickering thing which can and should and must be rekindled to roaring light to move forward in our lives, our devotions, and our communities.