My radio silence has been purposeful. A few weeks ago, I took time to have a real in-depth ritual, not just an offering, for Dionysos. I haven’t had a huge need lately, like our relationship had reached a point where contact wasn’t needed on the level it was before.
Gods come and go, so I didn’t consider this a bad thing. But I think this ritual was really needed for our god-mortal relationship. So I pushed my boundaries; I stayed up late, I drank, then cleansed myself both physically and mentally and approached my altar.
I don’t really like to talk much about what I do during ritual, because while I start off with a traditional Hellenic structure (I love the traditional structure, because it is very much like what I grew up with in the Catholic Church, and so I gravitate towards it naturally now), the content really will vary. I offer to Hestia as I light my candles and incense, pour wine for Dionysos and open with prayer. Then dancing, as much as I can stand, enough to link my mind and body together, which ends with communion with Dionysos.
I have a hard time expressing the emotional intensity and just what happens during the moments of communion and experience, and I think that’s really the point. You have to experience it for yourself to really understand why I do it and why I follow this god.
I do however, want to share one of the concepts I got out of that ritual. One thing I really struggle with is that I’m not an outgoing person; not a drinker; not the sort of person you’d think of when you’d picture a Dionysos devotee. I’m a homebody and while utterly delightful, in truth, a little awkward. But the concept I got was to inspire within others, facilitate within others, what I cannot be myself.
Maybe that’s my work to do; prepare the way, make things ready and such so that others can experience the joy of my god. Even if they don’t believe, people like a party.
I’ve also been silent because we had a very intense scare with my mother. She was in ICU for two days after not being able to breathe and congestive heart failure, and spent a week on the general heart floor, getting tests done. They just wouldn’t let her leave, her blood pressure kept spiking. I spent the first weekend up with them, helping manage my brother and visiting mom. I’ll probably go back next weekend too. They found a 90% blockage in her heart, in the area usually called the Widowmaker (cheerfully relayed via text message by my dad, as he was giving us updates. There is always time for trivia in my family), and put in a stent. She’s home now, but has to make serious changes, ones that didn’t stick when she first was diagnosed with diabetes.
I hope it really hit home for my middle brother as well, as he is rapidly on the same path as my mother. We were all scared, and it really reinforced why I work out, why I watch what I eat, because in our family, weight and health are connected. I’m a firm believer in health at every size, but also know what is good for my own health.