The Faces of Dionysus

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Dionysus has many faces, and that is what makes it possible for different worshipers of the god to have completely different experiences with him. In The Paths to Dionysus, a section in Sannion’s excellent book Ecstatic, he writes on the contrast between the path of the Satyr and the path of Orpheus. The Satyric Path deals with the Dionysus of unrestrained pleasure, while the Orphic Path deals with the Dionysus of the mysteries, the god of life and death.

But with the many faces, there are many, countless even, paths to worshipping the god, most not exclusive to the others. Certainly many of them run into each other. Perhaps someone on the Satyric Path, wanting to get over an addiction, may begin down the Orphic path, asking Dionysus to help them free themselves through him. Someone dedicated to the spiritual freedom offered by Dionysus may find themselves more and more drawn to political freedoms, something especially attributed to Dionysus as Liber.

I cannot claim to have a relationship with each and every aspect of Dionysus (I’d be surprised if anyone could, or if there is even a finite, countable number of aspects). I cannot claim to have a relationship with most of these aspects. I won’t even go so far as to say ‘many’. Rather, I hope to provide a brief overview and introduction to various aspects on a weekly basis. Some things I will include may be epithets, art work, hymns, poems, and other information related to the aspect of the god.

Later on today I will make my first post of this nature on Dionysus of the Fields. I am hoping to do a post every Friday, exploring the god’s diverse nature and helping those to connect with him whom might otherwise haven’t.

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