I am Heathen, which honestly is not the same as pagan. I am a hard polytheist who understands the gods and goddesses, however imperfectly we understand them, are discrete knowable entities with a nature that springs not from our need, but from their essence. The gods that I have built a relationship with are the gods of my northern European ancestors; those familiar to the Scandinavian or German, rather than the Celt, Frank, Latin, or Pict that is also in my lineage. We build relationships with them through the gifting cycle because of our need, but I do not honestly think they are born from it, anymore than I think Oxygen is released by plants because we need to breathe it. We need much from them, and I would suggest from the length of the reciprocal gifting relationships we have built between our folk and our gods and goddesses, that…
Euro-centrism, Afrocentrism, Ethnocentrism, it’s all BS
Ethnocentrism limits us as a species. What is it? It’d judging your own country or culture better than everyone elses. It is somewhat a natural thing, it has a hormonal reward just like all other methods people use to make them feel better or justify being jerks. Being American I mainly come across American Exceptionalism, Eurocentrism, ans Afrocentrism.
American Exceptionalism Is basically the US saying it’s the best country in the world. That American does no wrong. The problem is that is, obviously that’s not the case. What with the infant mortality rate, shady dealing that were probably mostly unnecessary, ect.
I grew up with Euro-centrism in school. We learned of Europe and the exploits of white Americans. Slavery was barely touched of despite helping build the country. The Native Americans were barley mentioned outside attacking settlers. We didn’t learn what instigated these attacks, we didn’t learn that no side was innocent of atrocities. The Tail of Tears was barely touched on. The “schools” weren’t touched on at all. We didn’t learn of the atrocities directed toward the mentally ill or the Japanese interment camp. The American revolution was simplifies to make America look good. The list goes on.
In other parts of the world we learned a little about Islam and less about how middle Eastern scholars contributed to the world. We barely touched on China aside from it’s old and big. Less on India, SE Asia, Australia, or Japan.
Once I got online I found out about Afrocentrism. Apparently this in mostly an American thing that is a response to discrimination as opposed the arrogance. It’s based on mostly 19th century writings now its mostly Molefi Asante . For some reason it appears to be focused on Ancient Egypt/Khemet.
Like Eurocentrism, Afrocentrism misrepresents history. Both theories seem to focus on Egypt to the point of ignoring evidence elsewhere. For example, it’s been confirmed that was a civilization that existed called Nok somewhere around Nigeria. Also the civilization that made the pottery in Ghana which shows evidence of trade relations in both Europe and Asia. As Afrocentrism says Egypt was “Black African”, Eurocentrism says that Egypt was Nordic. Evidence based on science says Egypt was/is mixed. Focus on Egypt also discounts archaeological evidence showing it as a mixed civilization. Humans have never lived in a bubble.
Also, like Eurocentrism, Afrocentrism minimizes the accomplishments of others. For example the Olmec people, best known for carving giant heads. Many look stereo-typically African but no one knows their heritage. There are legends of pale skinned people that get Eurocentric people riled up. The previously mentioned Ghanaian civilization was hushed up because archaeologists of the time couldn’t see black Africans doing what the evidence suggested. (This mindset is part of the reason there is Afrocentrism to begin with, a response to getting hidden.)
I understand why Ethnocentrism exists. It make people feel good no matter the reasons for it, like trying to empower people otherwise brushed under a rug.(Afrocentrism). Or trying to justify behavior(Euro and Sinocenrtism, Nazism). In the end I believe no one people is better than the other and history needs to based on science, always changing to suit the evidence. No matter were our ancestors came from or how often idiots try to suppress the truth, we all have a lot in common and we can learn from each other.
One of the many misconceptions on Dionysus is that he’s a hardcore drunk. Understandable considering he’s the god of wine.
As in the above depiction, he’s usually the stupid kind of drunk. A careless idiot. all about the party. Basically a stereotypical frat boy. He’s rarely like this however.
In the Bacchae, a play were he is featured, shows him as relatively level headed in his attempt to get his family to accept him. It does show how savage he can though.
Dionysus is not care free, he’s not always cuddly. In his lore there are instances of his followers ripping apart people and other animals, overtaken by madness brought on by the god. A response to their disrespect. This disrespect can be spying on his rituals to victimizing himself(attempting to) or his followers.
The depiction of Dionyus as a drunk, for me, is disrespectful. This is due to what little I know about Ancient Greek drinking habits. First of all, alchohol, juice, and milk , were a matter a nessecity. The ancients understood that they could get hydration from other sources that didn’t cause things like dysentary as water wasn’t as clean as it often is today.
The men of Greece and Rome(Convivium) partook in something called a Symposium. A symposium was a drinking party were ideas were often exchanged, poems spoken, debate was had. It was overseen by symposiarch who decided how strong the wine was. (they mixed wine w/water) He would also prevent parties from getting out of hand, like Dionysus is often depicted. This was because mindless drunkenness was seen as a weakness as was disrespectful of oneself and the host..
Dionysus is the god of symposiums and I suppose he’s be the Symposiarch. Because of what symposiums are, he, to me, is the god of social exchange and the exchange of ideas.
Osiris/Wesir. The Egyptian god Osiris is associated with Dionysus to the point that they were merged after the Macedonians took Egypt. He’s The husband.brother of Isis, brother of Nephthys, and Set. In some cases He’s brother of Horus the elder. Their parents are Geb and Nut. The reasons for the associations between the two gods stems from Osiris’ connection with agriculture and his rebirth, twice. Osiris is also the judge who dictated the fates of the dead.
Sabazios. The Thracian god Sabios is usually depicted as a hand covered with religious symbols.
Priapos. He began as a Mysian god who became Greek and then was adopted as an aspect of Dionysus. He’s easily recognized by his giant penis and small stature. He presided over the fertility of crops.
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.