Sacrifices to Dionysus

This is from my old blog, The Geekie Hellenist.

I’ve decided to copy and paste another ritual that’s connected to Dionysus so that I can produce the same end result. The reason for this is, while some parts will change, I believe that a constant ritual should be used. I hope that you like it.

1) Purify the Altar area.

2) Take the barley and say, “As it was done in ancient times. I purify and cleanse this altar with this barley. With this barley I purify this altar and space so that I may give offerings, libations, and speak with glory and respect the gods of Mt. Olympus.”

3) Light a candle and say a hymn to Hestia.

Hestia, you who guard the sacred shrine of the Lord Apollon. The far-darter at goodly Pathos. With soft oil dripping ever from your locks. Come now to this house, come having one mind with Zeus the all wise-draw near, and with all bestow favor upon my song.”

Prayer to Hestia

Hestia, gracious goddess who sits at the heart of each home, who lives in the heart of each one who reveres you, each one who holds you dear, each one who turns to you for strength and harmony.

Hestia, goddess most needful, goddess most serene, goddess most esteemed, the heart of the city is yours as well, great goddess; within your realm are those who serve the state, who work for all the good of all–your blessings fall on the honest, goddess, your wrath on the corrupt, on those who betray their trust for gain. Defender of the householder, guardian of the hearthfire, Hestia, I praise and honor you.

4) Tell Dionysus that your here. Say, “Dionysus, hear me.” Then mention any titles that are connected to this day. Let him know why your here, which is to offer sacrifice.

5) Do a invocation to Dionysus

I call to Dionysos, great god of the vine, son of thundering Zeus and headstrong Semele, loving husband of warm-hearted Ariadne.

From the east you came, old before the ancients, throughout the elder world were you beloved; in Naxos and Boitia were you celebrated, in temples and in the savage wilderness, the fleet-footed maenads running in your wake.

The sweetest, strongest wine is ever your drink; the mind’s release, the body’s loosening, your gift.

O Dionysos; thyrsus-shaker, ivy-crowned god, we see you in the shadows, we see you on the edges, we see you in the haze of ecstasy, where we know the truth of passion, where we find the essence of our being.

Bacchus, I call to you!

6) Hymn to Dionysus

I begin to sing of ivy-crowned Dionysus, the loud crying god, splendid son of Zeus and glorious Semele. The rich haired Nymphs received him in their bosoms from the lord his father and fostered and nurtured him carefully in the dells of Nyssa, where by the will of his father he grew up in the sweet-smelling cave, being reckoned among the immortals. But  when the goddesses had brought him up, a god oft hymned, then began he to wander continually through the woody valley; thickly wreathed with ivy and laurel. And the Nymphs followed in his train with him for their leader; and the boundless forest was filled with their outcry.

And so hail to you, Dionysus, god of abundant clusters! Grant that we may come again rejoicing to this season, and from that season onward for many a year.

7) Do a Prayer to Dionysus

Dionysos, deep-hearted one who knows the souls of men and women, whose hand is ever open, ever within reach.

Dionysos, god who runs in the dark, who sees with eyes shut tight, who dances to the heart’s strong beat, ever are you yourself, ever constant, ever changing god of those who are trapped, those who seek your truth in their own, those who seek vision beyond seeing, those who seek wisdom beyond knowledge, those who seek the self, pure and sweet, those who seek clarity beyond definition, who seek to embrace the uncertain, to hold, but loosely, to what is true beyond trust.

8) Pour Libation in his honor, saying, “Oh great Dionysus, I give this libation in your honor.”

9) Burn incense, saying, “Oh great Dionysus, I give this incense to you in your honor.”

10) Give food offering, saying, “Oh great Dionysus, I give this food offering as a sacrifice to you. You sacrificed yourself and in turn I shall sacrifice for you.

11) Pray to Dionysus.

12) End the ritual by saying, “Hestia, goddess of home and hearth, to you I offer last of all as a pious mortal should. Tend to those whom I love and guard the houses of the pious. As the gods will it, so it shall be.”

It is so!

Dump the entire container that you’ve poured your wine or grape juice into outside and then that ends it.