Words from Dionysos on Initiation

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It has been a long time since I have channeled Dionysos for any reason. Recently, Hermes gave permission for me to so so again. Today, I felt him poking strongly enough that I felt that it was important to relate his messages. So, here we go.

Dionysos: Thank you for letting me speak.

Thenea: No sweat, man. What’s up?

Dionysos: I am very concerned about initiation, and I want to talk about that.

Thenea: I bet. You are a god of initiation, after all.

Dionysos: (deep breath) Here I go.

You guys are doing it wrong.

Let me clarify. If you underwent initiation, and you are less happy in your life as a result, you are doing it wrong. If you feel more afraid, rather than less afraid, are less able to deal with mundane reality and not more able, if you love less or less often and not more, or more often, please, for me, (and I will consider it a fucking sacrament) go to your initiator and knee them directly in the junk. If you think that doesn’t hurt girls, you are wrong. The clitoris has just as many nerve endings as a penis. Junk-kicking is equal opportunity pain. Do it. Do it, and I will bless you.

Thenea: Didn’t I say this, like, a week ago, or something?

Dionysos: You did. And I agreed.

Let me break it down for you.

I am not just a god of drunken revelry. I am a god of BEING ALIVE. I am the guy who dies, and then busts out of the fucking underworld with bells on, ready to take on the world. I am that guy. Death, only because death intensifies living. And living, because, well… living. Seriously, forget the ice-bucket challenge for ALS. If there is a person alive who isn’t living for the sake of living, and instead is living for some other stupid misbegotten purpose? That person needs ice-bucketted. Stat.

I deputize you.

Thenea: I’m honored, dude, but I can’t just go around ice-bucketting people.

Dionysos: I assure you, it is at least physically possible for you to do so.

Thenea: Not disputing that. The consequences are not exactly within acceptable limits for me, personally.

Dionysos: Whatever. Eating bacon isn’t within your acceptable limits in terms of consequences. I call bullshit on that.

Thenea: Call of bullshit accepted, and taken in the spirit intended. That said, what exactly do you think initiation should consist of.

Dionysos: I gotta quote for you. I think it is from the Epicly Badass Ben Franklin. Can I rhapsodize about that dude for a sec?

Thenea: Sure.

Dionysos: I fucking LOVE Ben Franklin. Here is a dude who totally understood being alive. My favorite thing about him was that time he decided to give up sex… “except for health purposes.” Which meant that, before this pledge, he had literally boned every consenting being within boning range. Someone suggested celibacy to him, for spiritual reasons, and he was just like, “Yeah, dude, you are totally right. I am going to give up sex. Except for every day, with random people, because, you know… health. What are you going to do next, ask me to give up eating?”

Anyway, his quote was this: “Five percent of the people think; ten percent of the people think they think; and the other eighty-five percent would rather die than think.”

 Thenea: That was Thomas Edison, Dio. Thomas Edison said that.

Dionysos: Oh. Well, Thomas Edison was a dick, so I’m going to pretend Ben Franklin said it.

Thenea: I could edit the transcript for you?

Dionysos: Nah. It’s cool, leave it in. People who are afraid of making mistakes are miserable. Plus, my comments about Franklin would be out of place. I am a god. I make mistakes. My life is fucking awesome. Anyway, initiation. Whoever said the quote — whoever, at that moment, was inspired by maybe me, maybe Apollon, or maybe Ben Franklin — understood the reason that we need initiation.

See… theology is for nerds. Nerds think about theology. People who live inside their heads.

Not everyone lives inside their head. And because they don’t do that –bless them, they are the least neurotic of humans– they live experientially, in the moment, and don’t give a lot of deep thought to the little things in mythology– the implications, the deep and hidden meanings…

Because they don’t do that, they need nerds to translate that stuff into experiential format.

It’s mostly just meant to deepen the religious understanding and everyday religious experience of people who are regular people.

Nerds don’t need initiation. You guys can just download stuff from us, either through psychic means, or through over-analyzing the fuck out of written mythology. You need something else. You need like… Oh. The word is “attunement.” You need attunement to connect back down to the existence of deities in the material place. To get out of your head and into the real world.


So, back to normal people who aren’t nerds or psychics, or otherwise absorbed by mental stuff.

Mysteries are meant to expound on mythology. Just take the Eleusinian Mysteries for one solid example. They expound on the myths of Persephone and Demeter, especially how Persephone got married Hades, Demeter mourned, and Hermes was pissed. Hermesian mysteries existed, and they actually explained the connection between the Herm and male sexual gratification, which is why initiates would often desecrate herms, because their sex lives sucked. Or sometimes people had questions, and they asked, “Did Demeter have any other children?” And there were totally mysteries about that, too.

Greek mysteries, in particular, were where new mythology went. New mythology, I should clarify, that was solidly rooted in the old, and inspired by modern values, such that initiates went, “Holy Fuck! That makes sense!”

Right now, people are disconnected both from nature and religion. They live in their heads, but not at all in a way that helps them focus on religion, so what you really, seriously need are a large, very large, number of attunement-initiations, expounding on various mythologies—

Thanks for the Sauvingon Blanc, by the way.

Thenea: You are welcome. You know, I find that a large obstacle to doing the sort of thing that you suggest is that people are concerned with lineage, or spiritual legitimacy–

Dionysos: You know, I seriously do not understand modern wine. This stuff will get you drunk, but it’s flavor is sort of… relatively inaccessible. It’s dry and biting, with complexities sort of like cheese has? Anyway, I get what you are saying.

Here is what you need to say to people, and the attitude you need to take.

Has anyone ever asked about the appropriate lineage of ice-cream? Do people sit around discussing which cows the milking cows were descended from? DO PEOPLE REFUSE TO EAT ICE-CREAM BECAUSE OF THE REPUTATION OF THOSE COWS?

Do people refuse to see a painting because they are concerned about the fame, or lack thereof, or the people who taught, a particle painter?

No. Because that would be stupid. So don’t do that.

If you want to do mysteries and put on initiations, the first thing you need to do is to attend and participate in, as many initiations as possible. In a similar vein, if you want to write poetry and become a poet, I hope you read poetry. And also, if you want to write for television, I hope you watch TV shows.

Are they invoking gods? Pray to those gods, and ask for the initiation to have a life-affirming affect, or no affect at all.

Thenea: Effect, you mean, since that’s a noun. Affect is a verb.

Dionysos: Whatever. I can verb nouns and noun verbs. I am a god. I do what I want.

Thenea: Sir, yes, sir!

Dionysos: I have one more thing to say. People are within their rights to charge for initiation. It is a lot of goddamn work. Would you pay for seeing a play? Yes? Then pay for initiation and mysteries. You pay for movies. You pay for books. You pay to buy art to hang in your home. This is my art form. It is no different. I want as many initiations as Hephaestos wants inventions, or Apollon wants poems. Or Hermes wants meat objects in his stomach.

I pity you. You serve the hungriest god, basically ever. But I know you love him, so I guess that’s cool. If you ever get sick of–oh, never mind, you know.  My table, you have a place at it. Always.

Thenea: Aw, thank you, Dio.

Dionysos: You are welcome. And yeah, I want my initiators to make some cash, because it make initiations on-goingly possible. But until people develop a multiple-initiation worldview, that just won’t be a thing. Wait, Hermes has marketing advice.

I’ll relate, so you don’t have to change channels and change back.

Basically, he is saying that…. if I hear and understand him correctly… mostly what you need are free and open initiations that have great impact and stress the importance of multiple initiations. And he says ask for donations. That is probably a legal thing. And also he says don’t get pissed if people don’t pay. They pay you in positive recommendations. And it helps the mystery-related institution.

Back to me.

I have a general request. You know that myth about me and the guys on the ship, and them all turning into Dolphins? If you could do a mystery about that, I’d be grateful.

Thenea: I don’t know if I can do that, really.

Dionysos: No, it wouldn’t be you. But someone reading this will probably be able to do it. So, if you are reading this, and you feel kinda-sorta inspired? Write something. Thenea will help.

Thenea: Thanks for volunteering me, dude.

Dionysos: Anytime 😉







  1. This is excellent.

    In Hellenismos, the voices you hear are the scholars and the recons. I understand why. But I am not a scholar. I’m a performer, and a mystic, for lack of more accurate term. THIS PIECE MEANS A LOT TO ME. Also D sounds like that to me too, so woo, vindication.

    Also I have ideas about dolphin pirate mysteries. I love that fucking myth.

    1. I always love hearing from people that a given deity sounds to them as they sound in my transcripts. I am also glad that you feel vindicated.

      It’s true that we *do* need scholars. However, to have a functional religion, with actual communities and so forth, you need for things to also be social, aesthetically pleasing, spiritual and fun. A person can be “very impressed” with the scholarship a group does, but not actually want to go to any of their events, because it feels like a hassle, or worse, feels empty. We need more participation on the parts of artists, performers and mystics, or we will forever be in this position where you can only ever find two or three people to do a festival that should minimally require a dozen, and meantime, you have followers of the deity in the same city who are hard polytheists, but who are basically not involved because… what was it Dionysos said about my wine? It’s “relatively inaccessible.”

      Anyway, Dolphin Pirates. Dio volunteered me to help. I’m glad you have ideas, and I’d love to hear them.

  2. Oh Gods. I tell myself thousand times that there is no coincidence. What is the chances that in an common net surfing I found you and this? I am trying to start a personal worship of Hekate and maybe Janus, since they have a lot in common. Dionyso is one of my kind also and I see Him in the same side of Pan, Herne and Kernunnos. Any tips?

  3. I’m grateful to have read this. Dionysis knocked about once on my door, so to speak, and I do include Him in my morning devotion. However, I didn’t know how to reach out to Him because of His nature(s).

    However, this post has helped me to see Him besides a God of only madness, or only sexuality, or “only” each separate thing. Also, I have been sensing this push toward getting outside of my comfort zone, this need to engage and just LIVE more. Which means interacting with others, who have the potential to harm, or heal!

    Thank you again, Thenea.

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