Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Feelings of rightness and oddity

It's Anthesteria, according to the Neokoroi and Bibliotheca Alexandrina calendars, and so I am celebrating right now. It's a three day festival dedicated to Dionysos, and so I wanted very much to be a part of it. On top of all that, today is Dionysos' Day, when I clean his altar and make a special offering to him.

The first day of Anthesteria is when the Greeks would open the jars of wine from the previous year. It was an exciting time, and children were given the first taste of the wine as it opened. The second day was almost like the Wiccan Samhain... the veil between the dead and the living was considered to be lifted, and those who had passed into Hades' realm would walk again amongst the living. Bowls of honeyed milk and other offerings were left out, to convince the dead not to play tricks or be malicious. On the third day of Anthesteria, the Greeks would celebrate by hanging ribbons and cups, and dolls, in trees. Young girls would also swing, in honor of Erigone, who loved Dionysos very much, and died of that love.

The three days are considered a time for drinking and searching for Dionysos through sacred madness. I'm not in a position to get stinking drunk (day OR night), but I've had a bit of watered wine each night. Last night, I wrote the poem (see yesterday's entry) for Anthesteria. I also put out a glass of warm honeyed wine to appease the wandering dead. I stayed at home last night, after I returned from yoga, and cuddled up quietly. I said prayers for my beloved dead, too. Tonight, after Spinn class, I will enjoy a glass of wine and a snack, and I will relax in front of the tv.

I have been enjoying this holiday, however I also am struggling with the symbolism. I have followed the Wiccan calendar for so long, that the time for the dead to visit us comes at Samhain and no other time. It makes little sense to me for it to happen now. My mind registers it as being odd, and out of synch. Yet, this is still a good holiday. It is right, and right for me in particular. It's interesting, this blend of rightness and oddity.
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