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Author Topic: Need Input on an Experience I Had  (Read 1906 times)

TheGreenWizard

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Need Input on an Experience I Had
« on: June 08, 2020, 01:37:21 pm »
Hey everyone,
I've shared this in Discord, but I figured why not try the forums - more people would be able to see it and provide input. (Mods, please move this if you need to - had a hard time figuring out which subforum it should go to!).

Essentially, here's what happened: I did weed on Friday night (for the second time in my life) as I was hanging out with my brother in law and his friend. I got giddy, went to bed, and then had the urge to go to my shrine/altar. I went down and looked at Dionysos' illustration - He appeared double headed. Kinda like when your eyes are unfocused and you see two of what you're looking at. Except my eyes were focused (at least, I'm pretty sure). Then I looked at Persephone's illustration next to His, and heard Her talk. She said something along the lines of "Am I who I say I am?" At about that time, I looked back at Dionysos' image, and saw that he was still two headed or two faced, but it was as if he was shaking his head back and forth (as in No?).

I looked back at Persephone's image, and I kid you not, I saw the tree person from "When a Monster Calls" in the background, except it was smaller, with yellow eyes, and very dark features. I looked at it and got "Cernunnos" in my head. I also got the chills from seeing Him because I just knew that something was happening but I did not know what. I sat down and did whatever writing I could. When I woke up the next morning, I could read that I wrote Cernunnos was connected to Dionysos (but why and how?), and that Persephone was connected to Hekate (?). I also wrote Tree Gods.

There are a few thoughts that come to my mind about this, but I'd love to hear other people's input.
Side note: I do not smoke 99.8% of the time; this experience was my second or third time smoking weed ever. Also, I understand that I probably shouldn't put too much stock into this experience, because smoking for funsies vs ritual is very different, but this was a strong experience and would love to hear others' opinions.
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Sefiru

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Re: Need Input on an Experience I Had
« Reply #1 on: June 08, 2020, 07:00:33 pm »
When I woke up the next morning, I could read that I wrote Cernunnos was connected to Dionysos (but why and how?), and that Persephone was connected to Hekate (?). I also wrote Tree Gods.

Obligatory 'not an expert on Greek stuffs'; but a couple of off the cuff thoughts:

- Cernunnos and Dionysos both have associations with horned animals, wild places, fertility and travel. (Wikipedia also attributes Cernunnos with 'bi-directionality' and Dionysos with various tree epithets, so there's that.)

- IIRC correctly, Hekate is involved with the myth of Persephone in the underworld in some versions; in the one I encountered, Hekate was giving Demeter the run-around while searching for Persephone.

- Tree Gods or Three Gods? Three tree-gods? Or gods symbolised by three trees?

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Re: Need Input on an Experience I Had
« Reply #2 on: June 08, 2020, 10:29:32 pm »
There are a few thoughts that come to my mind about this, but I'd love to hear other people's input.

What I said on the Discord still stands, but I don't recall you bringing up the "doubling" effect on Dionysos there--that's pretty interesting.

I have long suspected that Dionysian religion has always been at a small remove from the rest of the Hellenic polytheism for a number of reasons--the outcome is that when you pursue Dionysos as your god above other Hellenic gods, you walk out of typical Hellenic recon and into a more mystic place where names point to somewhat different Powers than you expected.

Dionysos is usually depicted as a festive but sometimes scary god of wine and parties in relation to the rest of the Hellenic pantheon, but when you focus on him in his own right, a different, more complete, more intricate picture emerges, and the same is true for the goddesses surrounding him. In other words: I would venture to suggest that what's happening is you're being drawn deeper into Dionysos's mad individual realm, and he and his feminine other half are letting you know that you're going into the wild unknown, mystically--few Hellenic-focused books and studies will give you useful information about "the deep Dionysos" (although there are a handful you can comb through for hints). You'll have to figure it out by experience.

I'm going to repeat what I told you in Discord when it comes to the "Cernunnos" thing, with some elaboration.

One of the ancient proto-Hellenic Powers who became Dionysos was named Zagreus, a name usually translated as "Great Hunter." This isn't inaccurate but it's a bit vague and leaves out something important: the zagre- root specifically implies the hunting and capture of the living, as opposed to simply killing animals. (My source, as it often is: Kerenyi's Dionysos: Archetypal Image of Indestructible Life. He's rather fanciful in some regards but I trust this bit of linguistics.) We don't know much about this Zagreus, but we know he was considered by later writers the first and most ancient form of Dionysos, and that he was associated with the underworld and sometimes referred to as the son of its ruler.

Now let's talk about where Zagreus comes from...Diodorus Siculus, writing in the first century BCE, says, "This god was born in Krete, men say, of Zeus and Persephone, and Orpheus has handed down the tradition in the initiatory rites that he was torn in pieces by the Titanes."

In other words, this proto-Hellenic Dionysos figure comes primarily from Minoan Crete, where religion was ecstatic and liminal, focused on apotheosizing singer-priests or priestesses who promoted the power of the elites in their performances. I keep mentioning this but I haven't finished writing my article sourcing it--it's my own hypothetical reconstruction based on things I've pulled together from a lot of sources from good old Kerenyi to modern academia. You can find some of my main sources on it by looking up Caroline Tully, though--she pioneers a theory that the Minoan religion focused on liminal spirits channeled by human performative tranceworkers, and she specifically notes that these mysterious spirits (most likely an early version of the rather tamer nymphs and daimones so ubiquitous in later Hellenic religion) are very fairy-like.

Take a moment to think about that, and about certain characteristics shared by Dionysos, Persephone, and the fae:
  • associated with the underworld/otherworld where you must not eat the food
  • originally ambiguously demi-mortal/not-quite-god
  • Dionysos is accompanied by a terrifying horde of wild followers, the satyrs and the maenads
  • strong association with nature and vegetation
  • known (especially in Dionysos's case) for kidnapping mortals away to a mysterious otherworld

What I'm saying here is that in their earliest forms, Dionysos and the early syncretic version of Persephone/Aphrodite who was associated with him as ambiguous mother/wife were a sort of Wild Huntsman/Fairy Queen couple. I suspect what you saw was Zagreus as the ancient and terrifying god of the otherworldly forest and Persephone as the primal mad underworld queen of fairy nymphs, and your mind, more used to seeing that kind of fae content as a Gaulish or Celtic thing, went to Cernunnos.

As far as Hekate goes: she is really only connected with Persephone in the context of the Eleusinian Mysteries, which should tip you off as to what's going on here: you are dealing with the Mystery form of these gods rather than the common mythic ones.
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arete

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Re: Need Input on an Experience I Had
« Reply #3 on: June 09, 2020, 08:45:25 am »
Essentially, here's what happened: I did weed on Friday night (for the second time in my life) as I was hanging out with my brother in law and his friend. I got giddy, went to bed, and then had the urge to go to my shrine/altar. I went down and looked at Dionysos' illustration - He appeared double headed. Kinda like when your eyes are unfocused and you see two of what you're looking at. Except my eyes were focused (at least, I'm pretty sure). Then I looked at Persephone's illustration next to His, and heard Her talk. She said something along the lines of "Am I who I say I am?" At about that time, I looked back at Dionysos' image, and saw that he was still two headed or two faced, but it was as if he was shaking his head back and forth (as in No?).

I looked back at Persephone's image, and I kid you not, I saw the tree person from "When a Monster Calls" in the background, except it was smaller, with yellow eyes, and very dark features. I looked at it and got "Cernunnos" in my head. I also got the chills from seeing Him because I just knew that something was happening but I did not know what. I sat down and did whatever writing I could. When I woke up the next morning, I could read that I wrote Cernunnos was connected to Dionysos (but why and how?), and that Persephone was connected to Hekate (?). I also wrote Tree Gods.
Very nice story! In my understanding, Cernunnos appeared to you. :) The Gods speak to us, if they want to, and it seems Cernunnos spoke to you! :)
This is what I inderstood. :)
I pray that religious animosity will end.

TheGreenWizard

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Re: Need Input on an Experience I Had
« Reply #4 on: June 10, 2020, 12:41:05 am »
Obligatory 'not an expert on Greek stuffs'; but a couple of off the cuff thoughts:

- Cernunnos and Dionysos both have associations with horned animals, wild places, fertility and travel. (Wikipedia also attributes Cernunnos with 'bi-directionality' and Dionysos with various tree epithets, so there's that.)

- IIRC correctly, Hekate is involved with the myth of Persephone in the underworld in some versions; in the one I encountered, Hekate was giving Demeter the run-around while searching for Persephone.

- Tree Gods or Three Gods? Three tree-gods? Or gods symbolised by three trees?

Thank you so much for your input - Eastling mentioned the connections between Cernunnos and Dionysos in Discord, however, I'm honestly wondering if I should just leave them on the back burner so to speak while I read up on Persephone a bit more.

Speaking of Persephone, I do remember those details you mentioned with respect to Hekate. I just got a new book about her, so I'll dive more into her mythos first.

And to clarify - I wrote TREE gods. I distinctly remember that despite being high as a kite with the weed.
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TheGreenWizard

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Re: Need Input on an Experience I Had
« Reply #5 on: June 10, 2020, 12:51:16 am »
What I said on the Discord still stands, but I don't recall you bringing up the "doubling" effect on Dionysos there--that's pretty interesting.

That detail I omitted because I thought it wasn't a big deal at the time, but something told me to add that in when I did this post (it also cropped up in a discussion with a friend).

I have long suspected that Dionysian religion has always been at a small remove from the rest of the Hellenic polytheism for a number of reasons--the outcome is that when you pursue Dionysos as your god above other Hellenic gods, you walk out of typical Hellenic recon and into a more mystic place where names point to somewhat different Powers than you expected.

Dionysos is usually depicted as a festive but sometimes scary god of wine and parties in relation to the rest of the Hellenic pantheon, but when you focus on him in his own right, a different, more complete, more intricate picture emerges, and the same is true for the goddesses surrounding him. In other words: I would venture to suggest that what's happening is you're being drawn deeper into Dionysos's mad individual realm, and he and his feminine other half are letting you know that you're going into the wild unknown, mystically--few Hellenic-focused books and studies will give you useful information about "the deep Dionysos" (although there are a handful you can comb through for hints). You'll have to figure it out by experience.

This is very interesting and intriguing to me. A part of me is very much, "Tell me more" while another part is more along the lines of "DAMMIT >.< I would be the one drawn down the madness path." Let's see which way this goes and what it means for me in the future... Hopefully, it's not too bad.

I'm going to repeat what I told you in Discord when it comes to the "Cernunnos" thing, with some elaboration.

One of the ancient proto-Hellenic Powers who became Dionysos was named Zagreus, a name usually translated as "Great Hunter." This isn't inaccurate but it's a bit vague and leaves out something important: the zagre- root specifically implies the hunting and capture of the living, as opposed to simply killing animals. (My source, as it often is: Kerenyi's Dionysos: Archetypal Image of Indestructible Life. He's rather fanciful in some regards but I trust this bit of linguistics.) We don't know much about this Zagreus, but we know he was considered by later writers the first and most ancient form of Dionysos, and that he was associated with the underworld and sometimes referred to as the son of its ruler.

Now let's talk about where Zagreus comes from...Diodorus Siculus, writing in the first century BCE, says, "This god was born in Krete, men say, of Zeus and Persephone, and Orpheus has handed down the tradition in the initiatory rites that he was torn in pieces by the Titanes."

In other words, this proto-Hellenic Dionysos figure comes primarily from Minoan Crete, where religion was ecstatic and liminal, focused on apotheosizing singer-priests or priestesses who promoted the power of the elites in their performances. I keep mentioning this but I haven't finished writing my article sourcing it--it's my own hypothetical reconstruction based on things I've pulled together from a lot of sources from good old Kerenyi to modern academia. You can find some of my main sources on it by looking up Caroline Tully, though--she pioneers a theory that the Minoan religion focused on liminal spirits channeled by human performative tranceworkers, and she specifically notes that these mysterious spirits (most likely an early version of the rather tamer nymphs and daimones so ubiquitous in later Hellenic religion) are very fairy-like.

First, thank you so much for all this - I'm reading it now, and, despite my exhaustion from working all day, I'm fascinated by it. I'm also reminded that I really need to buy some books by Kerenyi. I'll also look into Caroline Tully. I'm assuming you got your academic resources from academia.edu or Google Scholar?

Take a moment to think about that, and about certain characteristics shared by Dionysos, Persephone, and the fae:
  • associated with the underworld/otherworld where you must not eat the food
  • originally ambiguously demi-mortal/not-quite-god
  • Dionysos is accompanied by a terrifying horde of wild followers, the satyrs and the maenads
  • strong association with nature and vegetation
  • known (especially in Dionysos's case) for kidnapping mortals away to a mysterious otherworld
What I'm saying here is that in their earliest forms, Dionysos and the early syncretic version of Persephone/Aphrodite who was associated with him as ambiguous mother/wife were a sort of Wild Huntsman/Fairy Queen couple. I suspect what you saw was Zagreus as the ancient and terrifying god of the otherworldly forest and Persephone as the primal mad underworld queen of fairy nymphs, and your mind, more used to seeing that kind of fae content as a Gaulish or Celtic thing, went to Cernunnos.

As far as Hekate goes: she is really only connected with Persephone in the context of the Eleusinian Mysteries, which should tip you off as to what's going on here: you are dealing with the Mystery form of these gods rather than the common mythic ones.
Everything you've said here really falls in line with what my other friend has stated to me about Persephone and Dionysos. She's urged me to talk with the Aquarian Tabernacle Church to see if I could possible get a mentorship with them (because They've told her to tell me I need one and it is now time), as well as mentioned to me about their version of the Eleusinian Mysteries. I'm really hoping that by next spring, the ATC will be doing their mysteries again in person. That said, I also know that they do a festival for Hekate in the autumn, so... possible trip for me there.

Again, thank you so much for writing this out. My responses are more reactions and surface level processing. I need to really get some sleep, and look at this with fresh eyes in the morn.
“You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself any direction you choose. You're on your own. And you know what you know. And YOU are the one who'll decide where to go...”
― Dr. Seuss, Oh, the Places You'll Go

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