June 20, 2014

Twelve Rules for Sacred Reveling in Celebration of Dionysos

  1. Drink wine blessed in the name of Dionysos.
  2. Drink water blessed in the name of the Hyades.
  3. Let both of them run down your chin and chest and onto your clothes.
  4. Eat food that nourishes you and brings you joy. AND only, no OR.*
  5. Play music that makes you want to dance.
  6. Play music that makes you want to sing.
  7. Play music that makes you want to drum.
  8. Dance. Sing. Drum.
  9. Weep.
  10. Feel release.
  11. Pray.
  12. Rest.**

*All food nourishes you. Even “empty calories” are calories, and calories are the fuel your body runs on. Calories are what let you dance. This is important to know.

**Not just, go to sleep after ritual. Lay on the floor or the cushions and marinate in joy, letting your body rest and relax. This is the other half of dancing, singing, drumming. Do not neglect this. Ritual is not over until you have done this. THEN you can go get some sleep, or do stuff and sleep after that stuff.

The above rules were written during ritual, and edited only for spelling and clarity (like Chaucer). Yes, the footnotes, too. These are my rules only, derived from what makes a ritual complete, not dictating it. When I’ve done (at least a bit of) all of these things, only then can I start to contemplate whether or not I might be done, or if maybe I need to do some of those some more. If I have not done all of those things, then I’m going to feel unsatisfied. That wasn’t a revel. It may have been something else, but it wasn’t a revel, and I won’t have achieved proper catharsis.

I say “drumming” up above, because now I have a drum I use that, but any sort of rhythmic interaction with the music works. Rattles, finger-cymbals, struck bells, slapping thighs… I’ve done all of those and found them perfectly suitable. It is, of course, also perfectly appropriate to simply drum without music, but I am very much not a musician, and I need other people’s music.

As a side note, when I had finished this ritual and done a few things and headed back upstairs to watch movies on the laptop in comfort, I discovered a can of treacle pudding in our bed, which caused some confusion.