Sacred Animals of Dionysus.
One of my favorite images if Dionysus is one of him riding a panther. According to medieval lore the panther was a big cat who gorged itself every three days then slept ot off. I can kind of see why it’s associated with Dionysus. Now it’s the name given to Puma, black leopards and Black jaguar.
The leopard is a member of Genus Panthera who are Listed as Vulnerable due to habitat loss and conflict with humans, who they have been known to prey on in bad times. It is an adaptable animal who lives from Deserts, jungles to inner city parks. There are up to 9 subspecies and some hybids with Puma(Pumapard), Lions(Leopon or maybe the cryptid Marozi) have been created.
Tigers are another member of the Panthera and an apex predator and endangered, 93% of their habitat is lost. There are 11 subspecies, two died off in prehistory(Trinil and Japanese) three were killed off in modern times(Javanese, Caspian, and Balinese). There are also hybrids like the liger and Tigons. Tigers come in a variety of colors The popular white, is a variant of the Bengal, it’s a recessive gene which means inbreeding is rampant, resulting in the death of most cubs as well as painful birth-defects. there are also stripe-less white and Golden tabby. Golden Tabbies are all descended from a single male. “Black”tigers are partly melenistic which cause stripes to blend together leaving varying degrees of orange. Maltese tiger is an unconfirmed variant of blue-gray tiger color.
The idea of the elephant being sacred to Dionysus was inspired by a book on ancient mystery cults. There are three species of elephant, African forest and bush, and Asian. Humans used elephants in war and still use them as beasts of burden, transportation, entertainment, and they are often killed, en masse, for their tusks which has contributed to their endangered status. Once a year male elephants go through Musth, which turns them ultra aggressive.
Sacred plants. Fruiting vines, especially grapes. Apples, Figs, Pine trees, Ivy, bindweed, cinnamon.
Sacred Birds. For me the crow, Raven, Parrots.
Regalia: Staff., crown of ivy or grapes. Chariot pulled by leopards.