Ey! Hello, and welcome back to my blog! This is a short update for veteran readers (and for any new ones, if you’re interested). Then we will get to the article.
So, I did some soul searching. I noticed how when I started this blog I used to write a lot, but as I got busy, I began to fall short. For 2017 and 2018 I literally just wrote 5 posts each year. But now college is ending and suddenly I’m a lot more free. I decided that I would ignore this blog no longer, and actually update it more often. I was also stuck, both in life and in magick, for two years, becoming very internal and reflective. But recently I’ve made breakthroughs, and once again I’m excited about magick, and life in general 😀
I’ve spent the last month going through every single article, adding new information and insights, fixing grammatical mistakes, and tagging properly, and I’ve already started getting more traffic. If you’re a veteran reader, I really recommend going back and reading anything you liked. There’s tons of new information and thoughts in every post written between 2015-2018.
There are many Occult blogs out there, but they’re very, very theoretical and academic. Now, I love those and I’m sure they are very important. But that’s just not my thing. I’m young, and I know for a fact that there’s a gulf between young, spontaneous occultists who’ll literally explore as far as they possibly can, and the older, more mature middle aged occultists with glasses and goatees, dedicated to reading their 700 page tomes and doing their 5 hour invocations precisely.
Let’s be real, I’m not much into being tied down. Fuck that. College has made me realise why more people aren’t Occultists, why more people aren’t vibrant, alive and courageous. Society has become like a stagnant, infested swamp of boredom. But the world runs because magicians Will it to. And I’d rather be out there doing something of value, than sitting at some abhorrent desk job dying inside every day. And I encourage everyone to do the same. Now, what that is, I do not know.
But enough of my rant, and time to begin today’s post, the Invocation of Dionysus.
You might ask, why Dionysus? I asked the same thing. Being a Kabbalist, I’ve only ever worked with Angels and Demons. In fact, even they’re rare. A majority of the magick I’ve ever done has been planetary and elemental magick.
Sure, I’ve had some encounters with other stuff (mainly Lovecraftian magick), but I think Dionysus was the first true “God” I ever invoked. I think it’s mainly because I wasn’t totally sure how to go about it, and I never really needed to.
The Planetary powers are also Greek/Roman gods, but I still invoked them as Planets, and knew all the astrological correspondences. But with deities like Dionysus, it gets a lot more complex, and it never seemed worth the trouble.
Before I became a magickian, I was exposed to the New Age stuff. Dionysus was an important figure in those spiritual circles, not to mention he’s kind of famous because a lot of Christian rituals were lifted from the Cult of Bacchus/Dionysus.
Since he’s an important spiritual figure in pop culture, I was always intrigued by him. He was said to party hard and impart ecstasy. Being from a fairly stuck up culture that shuns letting go and intoxication, I was very drawn to Dionysus as a young teenager.
Most importantly, when I was young I had taken Pan (who is a deity very closely linked to Dionysus, if not a primordial aspect of him) as one of my patron Gods. This is before I ever got into Kabbalah. I’d always had a plan to invoke Dionysus at the back of my mind.
So, I finally decided to call on him. I was guided to do so by my intuition, so I thought “eh, what the heck”. I was also interested to see what a Hellenic deity is like.
History of Dionysus
Dionysus is a very interesting god, to say the least. Remember, the key to invoking any Being is to have a comprehensive understanding of their history and nature.
Dionysus today is generally thought of as the God of Wine. He was/is one of the Twelve Olympians from Greek mythology, a son of Zeus and therefore a demigod, invented wine, wandered the world and partied with people.
Many say he went to India (where he founded the city of Naragarhi/Nyssa) and for a long time there was the misconception that Dionysus was a foreign God that came to Greece when Alexander expanded his empire across Asia. I can see why people would think that, since ancient Greece and India had a lot of interaction, to the point where Greek manuscripts are a good source to study Indian history (because all the Indian libraries were brunt down. Thanks Islam ), and there’s people of Greco-Indian descent alive today. Dionysus was always seen as a “foreign” God in ancient Greece, and for this reason people thought he was an import from some other culture.
However, when we discovered that Dionysus was worshiped in the pre-Hellenic period as well, and possibly even before Mycanean period, this theory was rebuked.
Now it’s more clear, and it seems that Dionysus wasn’t a “foreign” god, but a God in whom “foreignness” was intrinsic. As I explain the history of his worship, you’ll see why he represents all that is foreign, alien and against social norms.
When he died Zeus wanted him to be an Olympian. For this, it is generally accepted (Thanks to the Percy Jackson novels) that the goddess Hestia, the former 12th Olympian, gave up her seat for Dionysus. Now he spends his days getting drunk and chasing nymphs. Technically, the myth of Hestia wasn’t official canon in Ancient Greece itself, and really is a modern invention. In reality, both Dionysus and Hestia are, based on different sources, said to be the 12th Olympian.
Needless to say, if you were to invoke Dionysus with only this to go on, you’d commune with a very shallow, pop culture aspect of him and at most feel a bit tipsy. So I’m going to do my best to outline a history for you.
To anyone interested in working with the Greek Gods, it is perhaps important to understand that most of our modern ideas about Greek religion, and culture in general, come from Hellenic Greek. This is why Greek neo-pagans of today are called Hellenists.
But Hellenic Greece was a late-comer to the world, appearing only in the 5th century BCE.
Obviously, that’s very late compared to it’s contemporaries like Egypt, India, Mesopotamia, China etc, and hardly befitting the title of “Cradle of Western Civilization”. Interestingly, when we say “Ancient Greece”, we’re talking about the Hellenic period.
Much of Hellenic culture and religion were actually carried over from a much more ancient period, called Mycenaean Greece. This is a mistake I see a lot of neo-pagans make when they try to practice magick from a purely Hellenic perspective, since Mycenaean religion was far more vested in magick and mysticism than the more philosophical and academic Hellenic period.
Mycenaean civilisation existed in Greece during 15th century BCE, until about the 8th Century BCE.
All of the Greek Gods have been found to have existed in this period, in their more ancient aspects. The emphasis was on Cthonic (dark underworld) deities instead of patriarchal sky Gods. In fact, this shift may be seen in all cultures, and there’s definitely Occult relevance there.
In other words, Poseidon was the chief Deity, not Zeus. Those of you who understand the Alchemical elements will see that the shift between these two civilisations was from Water to Air, and finally to Fire in the Roman era and it’s emphasis on Mars. Perhaps before the Cthonic gods of Mycanean Greece, people of the region worshiped Gaia and the Titans, and thus the element of Earth, which then went into Tartarus with subconscious repression.
Dionysus existed in this time as Di-Wo-Nu-Su (the Mycanean script is considerably different from modern forms of Greek). Diwonusu/Dionysus was fundamentally a Cthonic God, ruling Death and Rebirth. This makes him very similar to Osiris, and this is where the association with Rebirth in modern myths of Dionysus comes from. This is also why many people point to the Cult of Dionysus as a proto-Christian religion.
Prior to the discovery of this version of Dionysus, there were many linguists who thought his name was from modern Greece, and had various translations, ranging from “Zeus-limp” to “He who runs among trees”. However, it seems Diwonusu means something much more profound: “He who impels the world tree/mountain”. In other words, the driving force behind the Axis Mundi, the one who compels the spiritual ascent to the god-head, which makes sense if you consider the death and rebirth association.
Initially, this Underworld Deity was simply a Rebirth God, and his cult existed even then. At this time wine made it’s way to Greece, and became associated with the Cult of Dionysus.
We know that the Mycaneans made extensive use of psychadelics mixed with wine (Terrence McKenna thought they made the wine from psychadelics, like ergot).
I personally think the cult of Dionysus may have used psychedelics plants to commune with him, and he may already have had an association with intoxication. Perhaps they adopted wine and mixed the plants into it, because it was easier to consume or heightened the effects, thus making Dionysus the God of Wine as well as Rebirth.
This version of Dionysus was also horned and probably bearded, making him extremely important from an Occult standpoint, as a primal male fertility god, who dies and is reborn. A solar archetype. This is why I believe Dionysus and Pan are different aspects of the same deity. The fertility aspect of Dionysus would later emerge as Pan, who in mythology was his follower. However, when invoking these Gods you should treat them as separate.
Orphic Dionysus/ Esoteric Dionysus
Between the fall of Mycanean greece and the rise of Hellenic Greece, there is a period called the “dark ages” (not to be confused with the Christian Dark Ages which happen after the fall of Rome). We know very little about this period, due to the lack of records. Dionysus was worshiped during this time, but underwent a transformation. Perhaps an important deity within what would later become Orphism.
Orphism was much more concerned with esoteric symbolism. To them, the Underworld aspect of Dionysus was a bit less important that the intoxication and symbolism.
Orphic Dionysus was said to have been the son of either Zeus (Sky) or Hades (Death), and Persephone (Spring). He was, much like Krishna, Christ and Horus, destined from birth to become King. This angered the Queen of the Gods, Hera, and she had the Titans tear him apart and consume him. However, his heart was saved by Athena (Wisdom) and he was reborn. You will notice this death and rebirth also has an association with how wine is made, by taking living grapes (living God), grinding them down (death), storing and fermenting the pulp (heart), and creating the drink from them (rebirth). And yes, this is precisely why the death and rebirth of Christ is celebrated through the consumption of Wine, aka the “blood” of Christ.
This Dionysus was still a horned God, though lacking a beard (making him seen as a younger, more spontaneous God) and represented the liberation from the Ego, and the ecstasy of an uninhibited subconscious that occurs during intoxication. However, the subconscious is also symbolised by the Underworld, so there is still an association with the old Cthonic Diwonusu.
The Orphic cult celebrated the madness, insanity, and a celebration of the Divine. They also sacrificed Bulls. They also attracted a lot of members of Greek society who were of “low status” and oppressed, such as slaves, women and foreigners. The parallels with early Christianity are obvious.
On the other hand, now the dark ages ended, and Hellenic Greece came into being, and the modern Olympic pantheon as we know it was set. In other words, the Cthonic religion had transformed into a simpler, organised, scholastic and “noble” faith. So I guess the average Hellenic priests were not overly keen on the insane intoxicated death cult that was killing bulls and having orgies in the forest, or their weird undead horned God who drove people insane. Still their attempts at suppression failed. Thus, this fringe part of the religion was Orphism, while the mainstream part was Hellenism.
So, what happens now? Well, apparently some crazy monarch called Pisistratus tried to popularize the worship of Dionysus to Athens, by trying to introduce a folk festival called the Dionysia. During this festival people carried giant phallic structures, and we see a glimpse of the very old aspect of Dionysus as a fertility God emerge again. People were uneasy at first, but Pisistratus informed them of all the horrible things Dionysus did to those who rejected him (are we sure these aren’t basically just Christians?).
And lo and behold, Dionysus slowly became mainstream. But not fully. A famous play from the 6th century BCE called the Bacchae depicts Dionysus as returning from his exile to Thebes to overthrow a king who outlawed his worship. The people don’t believe that he is a God so he drives them mad, and over time builds a following.
He is captured by the King and chained up, but the young Dionysus just laughs in his face. The King of Thebes presents chained up Dionysus to his followers, who are called the Maenads, as proof of his victory over their leader. He is then promptly torn apart and killed by them in crazed anger.
I think this represents a transition phase, where Dionysus is like a mad, rebellious God with a large following who doesn’t care about society or how people see him. This is most likely an indication of the Cult of Dionysus during this time. He was considered an Olympian and his worship began to spread, despite all the crazy shit he did.
As the prosperity of ancient Greece grew, thanks to the establishment of Alexander’s Empire across Asia, the elite became interested in this strange new cult. Partying, intoxication, and excess became more common and Dionysus gained acceptance in Greek society, even though he was watered down to be basically a God of Wine and intoxication, but at least now he was a full fledged Olympian.
There are also accounts from this period which place Hestia, Goddess of Hearth, as an alternative 12th Olympian. Don’t know why this is. Presumably there was a more conservative, traditional part of the population who were more drawn to Hestia, and her assocations with home, family values and the hearth than to Dionysus, the God of Intoxication. Most peasants, who were neither part of the elite, nor the ostracized fringes, probably identified with Hestia more than Dionysus.
This is also the time when the Eleusinian Mysteries, another esoteric Cult, emerged in Greece, Crete and the Near East, and had many of the old Mycanean practices. Supposedly, this was much less fringe and almost all the important philosophers and figures of ancient Greece, including Plato, Socrates, Plutarch and Cicero, had been initiated into it.
This is also the first emergence of High Magick in western society, with the esoteric Mysteries being associated with the intellectuals of society rather than just the oppressed and alienated. Prior to this, it had only existed in Egypt and India in any real sense. You will notice that this is basically the status of most Occult traditions today, which attract the most intellectual and capable members of society as well as the most oppressed, and of course, there is also a strong overlap between the two groups.
The Hellenic myths of Dionysus state that he was born from Zeus and a mortal woman, Samella. While pregnant, she was tricked by Hera into goading Zeus to prove to her that he was a God. He revealed to her his true form, but since no mortal can look upon the true form of a God, she disintegrated, leaving a premature Dionysus behind. Zeus took the child and sowed him into his genitals, and gave birth to him this way (don’t even ask me to consider). This Dionysus grew up to be a dashing young man and gained a large following. He discovers how to make wine and spreads his gift with the world, travelling all around the globe.
He is once captured by pirates, for his beautiful looks They are going to sell him as a slave, but suddenly he unleashes his true fury on them, driving them insane and enveloping the ship in vines. In their insanity, they jump overboard, and he takes pity on them and turns them into dolphins.
To me this shows that even now, the true origins of Dionysus still had a semblance in culture, like an old, forgotten memory. But other than that, he basically just drank a lot and chased nymphs. He once fell in love with a human woman called Ariadne, and upon her death she became his immortal wife in Olympus. Dionysus has become a much more “noble”, clean and watered down God.
Dionysus in Rome and Beyond
In the Roman era, Dionsysus was known as Bacchus and was still basically a wine God. However, by now the Cult of Bacchus had become very important, and their beliefs and practices would contribute to the foundation of Christianity. These people saw Bacchus as a solar god, who had been crucified and then reborn. This aspect of Dionysus is much more important if you are practicing magick within a Christian tradition, but less if you do so in a non Abrahamic one.
Dionysus was also known in another form to the Romans, as Liber Pater. This was a god of fertility, wine and freedom. You see here that he had been split into Bacchus, the esoteric God of Rebirth, while Liber became the fertility side of him.
After paganism faded from Europe and gave way to Christianity, Dionysus, along with the other Gods, became more of a cultural facet than god. It seems some priest led a dance in the honour of Dionysus in Scotland during Easter, in 1282. He was then promptly killed by a Christian mob later that year.
The art and sculptures of the Renaissance often prominently feature Dionysus and Pan. This includes works by Michelangelo. Many during the Renaissance thought of their time as the pagan revival, and this is evident from their art.
Naturally, the neo-pagan movements first sprang up in what is now the UK (which is still a prominent neo-pagan and occult centre) around the 18th century, and most modern neo-pagan movements can be traced back to those.
Dionysus and India
Many of my fellow Hindus today have a complete and utter inability to look at religion and spirituality beyond it’s surface level, and, much like Jews and Christians, are extremely concerned with the ethno-political aspect of Hinduism than any of it’s esoteric and mystical layers.
I have heard people say that Dionysus was a precursor to Shiva, since both are intoxicated deities. This is untrue, since we have just seen Dionysus is MUCH more than a mere wine God (and Shiva is much more than some stoned Hippie). The worship of Shiva in fact predates Vedic civilization, to the Indus valley. Both however, started out as primal fertility Gods and have their core aspect in the Horned God archetype.
On the other hand, I find myself wondering if Dionysus is the precursor to the worship of Krishna instead. You see, Krishna isn’t actually as ancient as people think, and definitely came around AFTER the Vedas. Much later in fact, possibly during the Bhakti movement.
Older Krishna, like Bacchus, has an aspect as the supreme solar archetype. Krishna in Hindu theology plays a more profound role as Law Giver, much like Christ. This aspect of Krishna is linked to Vishnu, to the Higher Self and the core of Vedic esotericism.
However, if you look at the stories of young Krishna, how he was born destined to be King, how he had many female followers (gopis), how he cared little for societal norms, it seems that “young Krishna” is Dionysus. We know the Greeks had a cultural impact on India, and I wonder if the worship of Krishna started out as the worship of Dionysus. But, I’ll stop speculation there, because I just don’t know enough right now, and I despise the Hindu fundamentalists and rather not ruffle any feathers. If our ancestors were here today, they’d remark that they saw no religion around that resembled their own.
Dionysus in Magick
Dionysus is, fundamentally, a Sun god. Due to his association with both death and rebirth, as well fertility and celebration, he is halfway between the dark rebirth deities like Osiris, and the solar deities like Christ and Horus. He has several aspects, all of which could be invoked. The purest, most Occult aspect would the Orphic Dionysus.
Orphic religion is the most important to us as Magickians. You see, it was a Mystery cult.
In other words these people were Occultists themselves, as far as their time period was concerned. Sure, Hellenism has an occult side to it in modern time, but you have to understand that in it’s day, Hellenism was the organised religion of Greece. It was very similar to the Abrahamic religions (and others) today.
But Orphism back then was akin to the Occult traditions of today. It has been traced back to the beginning of the Hellenic period, and was basically a fringe, spiritual group with unorthodox, and authentic practices. They were also shunned by Hellenism, like every organised religion shuns the Occult movements of it’s time. Many of the ideas espoused by Orphism wouldn’t become mainstream in the world until well after Christianity had taken over, such as the ideas of equality among people, and the importance of freedom and liberty. Heck, one might say these ideas weren’t truly established until the French revolution.
In this sense, you may think of Dionysus as “The Transformer”, or a God of Alchemy. This is what the death and rebirth symbolise, and he transforms darkness into light. For example, he can transform anxiety, worry and depression into joy, intoxication, and warmth. He beings forth Beauty and Calmness from Horror and Confusion.
The second thing to remember is that through the intoxication he induces, he breaks down the boundaries between the conscious and unconscious. He allows the magician to relax and let go of his worries, and in this process connect more deeply to himself and allow his deeper, intimate nature to shine through. If you take it far enough, he can also let the celebrant to embrace the animalistic, wild side of himself, being a God of the Wild and madness.
This sort of madness, from what I can see, is rare and I have never personally experienced it. It is possible the the amount of madness that will be produced depends on how repressed the person normally is. A person who is unable to ever express himself freely, either because of constraints placed by himself or by society, will probably benefit the most. In this sense we see the rebellious aspect of Dionysus as well, who pushes against oppressive social norms.
Dionysus, being the transformer, causes rebellion and upheaval which causes the transformation, and he does so by breaking down conscious constraints. At first all these aspects seemed random and disconnected, but if you think about it, they all lead to each other.
Normally, most magicians have already broken down most of the arbitrary constraints placed on them, and usually have a good mental balance, and express themselves more openly. I think it is because of this that occult practitioners only ever experience a relaxation and calmness, instead of full madness. We have less to let go off. For someone who is new to magick and coming from a strong orthodox religious background, the Invocation of Dionysus might be fruitful, especially if he/she is unwilling to work with being like Lucifer or Lilith.
Important Names: Diwonusu, Dionysus, Bacchus, Iacchus, Agrios, Bromos, Euious
Epithets: Loud roarer, First-Born, Twice/Thrice Born, Wild One, Bull faced, War-Like, The Liberator, The Subterranean, the Thunderer, The Prevailer.
Role: God of Wine, Fertility, Rebirth, Madness, Intoxication, Pleasure, Foreignness
Symbols: Thyrsus (staff covered in vines and leaves, topped with a Pinecone), grapes, wine, leopards, pinecones, phallus, bull, goat (as Pan), oranges
Planet: The Sun/Tiphareth and Mercury/Hod
I used the Orphic Hymn of Dionysus to invoke him. I shall give here the original Greek and the English transliteration, along with the translation I found.
Κικλήσκω Διόνυσον ἐρίβρομον, εὐαστῆρα,
πρωτόγονον, διφυῆ, τρίγονον, Βακχεῖον ἄνακτα,
ἄγριον, ἄρρητον, κρύφιον, δικέρωτα, δίμορφον,
κισσόβρυον, ταυρωπόν, ἀρήϊον, εὔϊον, ἁγνόν,
ὠμάδιον, τριετῆ, βοτρυοτρὸφον, ἐρνεσίπεπλον.
Εὐβουλεῦ, πολύβουλε, Διὸς καὶ Περσεφονείης
ἀρρήτοις λέκτροισι τεκνωθείς, ἄμβροτε δαῖμον·
κλῦθι μάκαρ φωνῆς, ἡδὺς δ’ ἐπίπνευσον ἐνηής,
εὐμενὲς ἦτορ ἔχων, σὺν ἐυζώνοισι τιθήναις.
Kiklískoh Diónyson ærívromon, evastíra,
prohtógonon, diphií, trígonon, Vakheion ánakta,
ágrion, árriton, krýphion, dikǽrohta, dímorphon,
kissóvryon, tavrohpón, Aríion, évion, agnón,
ohmádion, triætí, votryotróphon, ærnæsípæplon.
Evvouléf, polývoulæ, Diós kai Pærsæphoneiis
arrítis lǽktrisi tæknohtheis, ámvrotæ daimon;
klýthi, mákar phohnís, idýs d’ æpípnefson æniís,
evmænǽs ítor ǽkhohn, sýn evzóhnisi tithínais.
I call Diónysos the loud-roarer! Who wails in revel!
First-Born, two-natured, thrice-born, Vakkhic king,
Wild, inscrutable, cryptic, two-horned, two-shaped,
Bedecked in ivy, bull-faced, war-like, howling, holy,
Divine victim, feasted every other year, adorned with grapes, bedecked in foliage. Evvouléfs, counselor, Zefs and Kóri bore you…on a secret bed, immortal Daimon;
Listen happy one to my voice! Sweetly breathe on me with gentleness,
Be kind and grant my desire, with the aid of your chaste nurses!
I had no sigil or image, so I decided to use a large pine cone as a representation of Dionysus. I also had a small one that I would ask Dionysus to bless.
I kept the invocation relatively simple. I had a black lamp, and the pine cone on my altar. Instead of incense, I burned some orange oil, because oranges are favoured by Dionysus as an offering.
Ideally, you would offer wine to Dionysus. Unfortunately, I had none at this time. I’d bought some beer instead, but I felt intuitively that whiskey would be better. So I poured a small glass. I also had a small bowl of fresh green grapes (it wasn’t the season for black grapes and the purple ones aren’t native to my country).
Though this was not an Hermetic or Kabbalistic ritual, I still did the LBRP once. I then made a simple prayer asking for the success of the ritual, then began to chant.
At first I chanted in Greek. After 2-3 times, I thought to chant in English. Then after 3 rounds of that, I returned to Greek again. I developed a sort of patter, and between switching languages I’d vibrate his names DIONYSUS, BACCHUS, EUHOI, EUBOLOUS. I’d vibrate each name 8 times, then repeat.
This continued for some time. I no longer remember how exactly Dionysus manifested, and for some reason I don’t have notes of this. How strange.
But what I do remember is that his coming plunged the room into a state of extreme silence. I felt all the tension in my body and mind wash away, and I felt a bit light headed. I presented my offering to him, and thanked him for coming.
I was urged to drink the whiskey and eat some of the grapes. I did exactly that, and, similar to the Christian communion, I took the essence of Dionysus into myself, completing the task of Invocation.
Now I felt relaxed, and I felt myself loosen up. Till now, I had been sitting cross legged in a meditative posture, as I do in all rituals, but now I stretched my legs out and sat back. I didn’t feel “drunk”, but I felt happy and calm, more than I had in a while.
Dionysus said some things regarding his nature, worship and role in human society. Most of these insights havr already been mentioned above. I listened and I took notes. I also channeled two sigils of him. Although pagan Gods don’t normally use sigils/seals, I was told that these could be used to Invoke Dionysus if someone was so inclined. I did not get a physical manifestation, but his presence was very real. It made the air pressure in the room drop, and I felt warm and there was a mild fragrance of fresh grass.
It was rather odd. I just sat there, totally awake, with an ancient mystery God before me.
I also asked Dionysus to bless a talisman, which was a tiny pine cone. He told me that if I ever felt worried, anxious or agitated, I could hold this in my palm and I would instantly become calm and relaxed. He also said that if I ever felt happy, calm or relaxed naturally, I should hold this talisman and use those feelings to charge it for later. I also put it out in the sun on exceedingly peaceful and clear days. It carries the energy of Spring within it.
What else. Oh yeah, he gave me his secret name.
How? Well, I asked nicely and I guess he trusted me. Well, that was his first mistake: assuming I know what I’m doing. More on that later.
After this, I asked for his help in some personal matters. I then gave thanks and bid him farewell. I finished the ritual with the LBRP.
I did the ritual at night, and now it was nearly midnight and I would be going to bed soon. However, before I did I had to clean up the ritual stuff and make some notes in my diary, which I have to after every magick working.
I often turn off all the lights and use candles when I perform rituals, and at the end I turn on the light again. This serves to dissipate any lingering effects of the ritual, and bring me “back” to the mundane world. After this ritual though, I felt so peaceful that I didn’t want it to end. Somehow, the vibe created by the ritual was so organic, so real, that I knew as soon as the crappy fluorescent electrical lighting came on all this peace would dissipate. So instead, I decided to light a spare white candle, put it on my desk, and write in the candle light.
The fire had a calming effect. Perhaps it tapped into some primordial, evolutionary instinct, that our ancestors developed in the pre-historic days when they lit a fire in their cave to protect them from predators. It brought them safety, warmth, helped them cook their food. No wonder people were sitting by candles, bonfires and fire places until only 2 centuries ago. As I wrote, I noticed my handwriting was strikingly beautiful, and much better than usual.
I think this whole vibe was a mixture of the energies of Dionysus, the whiskey warming me up, and the peaceful lighting produced by the candle. I realised that human beings are adapted to two kinds of light: natural sunlight, and warm moody lighting produced by the fire. Frater Xavier on YouTube has this theory that all of these forms of light have an astrological association with the Sun, and thus with peace, happiness and comfort. He also believes that the modern LED and fluorescent lighting does not have this association because it doesn’t “burn”. Personally, I think it’s because modern lighting is cold and white.
I’ve been experimenting with this idea since then, for the past several months, and will probably write a separate post about it. But with this, my Invocation of Dionysus ended. What comes next though, is perhaps more important.
The Secret Name
So, I now had the secret name of Dionysus. I was warned explicitly against giving it away. You see, having the secret name of any entity (be it a human, god, angel, demons, spirit) gives you a certain power over them. That’s why in Hollywood movies when a priest is performing an exorcism, he asks the possessing demon to “give him it’s true name”.
Perhaps, it is also why your Governments insist that you use your “legal name” in any official processing or document (although your legal name isn’t your “true name”). This is also why most magicians have several personas. For example, I have my legal name, I have my online name, White Raven, and I also have a magickal name which I don’t share with anyone. Names have power. Why do you think orthodox Jews dare not utter the name of the Tetragrammaton lightly?
Well, this was the first time I’d ever asked a deity for their secret name. Having the secret name of a God can help you Invoke them and commune with them more effectively. But I had no experience with secret names.
I wanted to learn more about this name. I wondered if the name was ACTUALLY comprised of real Greek syllables, and had a meaning in ancient Greek.
I performed a Google search on this name, and naturally nothing came up. But, I’m one of those people who specializes in deep research. I began to look at the Greek alphabet, and began to scour every online resource I could find, from lists of Greek root words, to translators, to dictionaries. Very quickly I realised that not only was this was a deep, powerful and mutli-layered name, but also that if I could piece it together, it would shed light on the true nature of Dionysus.
The translations I had so far left me awestruck. I had a couple of meanings for parts of the name. I was very close, but now the trouble began. You see, I was not going to share the secret name, but I had planned to share it’s meaning on this blog. I don’t know in what stupor I thought that somehow sharing the MEANING of the secret name would be better than sharing the name itself.
As I was searching, the the power cut out and my screen went dark. You see, my computer runs on a UPS, but not my monitor. I thought nothing of this, and once the power returned a few minutes later, I continued my search.
However, about 10 mins later it happened again. This was my cue, and it suddenly occurred to me that sharing such a powerful name was a bad idea, and would compromise the God who had given it to me in such trust. So I made a promise not to share it, and stupidly continued. Now I felt a intense pressure on my body, and waves of heat flowing over me. Only now did I realise that Dionysus might be trying to get my attention, asking me to stop before I defiled the sacred pact and knew something I wasn’t meant to.
An old Japanese Shinto saying came to my head “Those mages who use their powers of sight to peer into the true nature of the Gods, stand to loose their power and favour with the Gods”.
And now I stopped, immediately. I was so close, and tempted to continue, but I knew better. I stopped, then I prayed to Dionysus and asked for forgiveness. I felt the anger fade pretty quickly, though I still felt on edge. But after a while, I felt a sense of forgiveness and understanding, and I knew I was forgiven. Perhaps the Gods understood that I had made a mistake.
However, you see, I’m a bit of the rebellious type. I despise being restricted from things, especially the pursuit of knowledge. I hate being told that something if off limits. Maybe I’m just being childish, or maybe I’m right. But one way or another, this is who I am. At the time, I felt unsure about working with a Deity or system where I was more like a follower or “lesser” to the Deities. It reeked of organised religion, and was something I’d seen far too often with my fellow Hindus, who assume a position of subservience to the Gods.
This is not how a spiritual relationship should be. A deity should not have to go so far to stop me. Or maybe the God wasn’t angry at all. Perhaps he was warning me for my own good, and maybe it was just me who perceived this as anger. However, I have not worked with Dionysus since then.
I use the talisman from time to time, and it does work. But, I just can’t follow spirituality this way, where there is fear and arbitrary constraints involved. So yeah, I made a mistake, but I don’t regret it.
Well, so that was it. I hope you liked it. Check out some other articles, and remember to follow my blog for more 😀
EDIT 2020: As of July 2020, I’ve written a new book on the Tree of Life and Kabbalistic theory. I’m quite proud of it, and you can check it by going to the Books tab, or clicking right here.
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Until next time.