To Dionysus, God of sleepless nights

. To Dionysus Nyktelios

     Come join us, O Dionysus who loves the night. Your beloved Maenads &
Priestesses revel in ecstatic-rites. Roaming the forest & mountain tops singing hymns of praise beneath a watchful Moon.
     You are ever ancient, ever new. Divine youth & manhood is your reflection, radiant son of Zeus. Let us approach you, and receive your blessings, with a kiss from your rose-colored lips. May this kiss intoxicate us, delight us, and possess us, now & forever. Let us drink from the cup of divinity & shed our mortality.
Your wine flows through us & gives us unending joy, being united with you. O Lord Dionysus! Ever ancient, ever new.

Reverend Donna M. Swindells


Time for Dionysus’ return

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My daughter & I are devoted to the God Dionysus. We are modern maenads. At Summer Solstice, we said goodbye to Dionysus, as He returns to His realm where his devoted followers receive Him with great celebration.

Now at the Winter Solstice, we call Dionysus to return to the upper world where we dwell. We call out to Him by shouting many of His titles, “Bringer of ecstasy, Divine Liberator, He who releases,” etc. With music & dance we continue to bring Him back into our lives. Maenads live for interaction with Him. The Love He gives, the burning desire to be in His presence, and joy to once again to feel His touch & caresses, fill us with hope & thrills the soul.

For those who love and/or devoted to Dionysus, know that He is a God of great depth of passion. Only by opening up to Him in a meditation, ritual, dancing & celebration can we crack the boundary that keeps us from experiencing the real Dionysus. One way can be a journey, with music, incense, dim lighting & letting go is a way Dionysus can reach out to us.

Sit with only candles lit. Clear your mind of any thought or images. Invite Him to embrace you. Let Frankincense fill your senses. Use music that will open the gates of the Otherworld. Instrumental music for your journey is the best. (For praising & feel the presence of Dionysus as the wild God of joy, frenzy & ecstatic joy in His presence other music is called for.) Don’t think, just let what appears within your mind & soul be.

This is the type of journey where Dionysus can reveal His essence. A God of passionate love, it is intoxicating. He can bring the body to the heights of physical pleasure. The mind can show you Him as a God or the mind goes asleep, so your soul can be united. The soul can be stricken dumbfounded by such a divine visitor. Overwhelmed by an assault of outpouring love so deep, it can be divine pleasure with pain at the same time.

Education & knowledge can only help the soul know what others think or know about Him. Be brave enough to scale the heights of your soul. Seek Him out. Call to Him by the titles that are special to you. Invite Him to dwell within your secret place, where you & Him can taste the delights of a soul with its Divine lover.

Welcome Dionysus this Winter Solstice back from the Otherworld. Celebrate His birth among us. Dance, sing & raise a glass or two during Yule & His feast-days to come. And explore the depths & limits of your soul where you can be, even for a brief time, united with the gifts of love, passion & delights of the God Dionysus.

Reverend Donna M. Swindells


Dionysus, I wait for you

At the Summer Solstice, we said goodbye to the God Dionysus, as we await his return at his birth. (December 25). At Winter Solstice we call out to him to return to his faithful Maenads, who long for His presence among us. But He is still presence to us in prayer & deep contemplation.

For like us, the Deities cannot do without love. Love draws the Deities to us. This is why they left us humans long ago. Their names were no longer spoken. No rituals or ceremonies in their honor. No offerings, incense or prayers were theirs anymore.

Their return surprised a world that had grown cold. A few people spoke about them. That spoken word spread to others. We rediscovered the Deities that lied sleeping, forgotten by us. Ceremonies were created, rituals were performed. We don’t know the ancient way, but made our own, trying to find the original sources.

Being a Polytheist Pagan isn’t a common spiritual path. Yes, we are dedicated to a main Deity, but love & honor others. The Gods & Goddesses draw us to them. They make their presence known to our souls. There is no limits or countries or borders that bar our way.

Remember your soul is your own, it is you.


Happy Birthday Dionysus!

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This Winter Solstice I and a fellow Priestess (we are both modern maenads) played music, our instruments & danced, calling for the God Dionysus to return to us here on the Earthy plane. December 25 we celebrate his birth. He was Thrice-born, and know both life & death.

Winter we celebrate more of his major festivals, such as Lagunophora, Haloa, Lenaia, Anthesteria & the Dionysia. A Dark Moon ritual in January or February is also a way to honor him. He is the fire of Divine Love. His presence can be felt strongly in singing, dancing, feasting & romantic pleasures.

Remember to give him a libation of wine, milk & honey. When we drink champagne on December 25 through the Yule season, we also give home thanks for his gift of cheer & merriment. Love requires love in return. Say his name & titles, such as “he who comes, he who releases, Divine liberator, bringer of joy, and Giver of grace. Make new titles for him. Dionysus hears your praise & makes his presence known among you.



No sacred dance with Dionysus yet

My spiritual union with the God Dionysus is usually through music & dance. Especially in sacred or ecstatic dancing, Dionysus is drawn to his own. Modern maenads, Priestesses like me. He can easily come to anyone, at any times when asked. Or not.

For months I have had physical limitations that have stopped me from singing. As a Cantor at Mass for 25 plus yrs, wedding singer, and a choir member since age 9, I loved to sing! A dentist ruined my teeth which has stopped me from singing. So I will have to get them pulled out.

Then, female surgery was necessary, due to years of nursing, lifting patients & a disabled husband for decades. So here I sit, in a lazy-boy, recovering, limited to walking around my house. I can’t even drive. But my soul want to soar to its divine spouse.

So I pray, and pray again. I call Him by His many names. My favorites are “divine liberator & he who releases.” I use prayer beads dedicated to Him. Nothing is working. Another Dark Night? No, this is a physical limitation on my part. We each have our own ways that we can unite with the Divine.

So I will heal & pray while I wait for Dionysus. No sacred dance for now. Music can still lift the heart. This maenad will love without feeling any in return. But I ask Him if he would take just a few seconds from Mt.Olympus, and give me a brief rush of His divine presence. if not, I will wait. For any Deity, they are in eternity. Time doesn’t move like it does for us.

Lord Dionysus, I will return to you. Sooner than later. Be ready to dance with this modern maenad.


Dionysus, He who releases

Bacchante &amp; panther BouguoceauCome beloved, the night has been too long. I have grown cold & wither without your touch. I resist no more, “I surrender” is my song. Let your presence sweep over me, may I feel your divine presence. At last, I cry “no more” and let my barren soul cry, Lord, your love is too much!

No longer barriers can contain my spirit, I fly without any fears.  Moving mountains, soaring over valleys, nothing on earth holds me now. Yes, I have been drown by my own tears. there is nothing that can keep me from you. What force do I possess to do this? Love is the source, your divine heartbeat the only sound.

Whether life or death comes what may, you are my only goal. Let the veil be torn between God & mortal soul. No longer will I be young or old. Love finally pierced & destroyed my mortal frame. Neither warm or hot, mild, or cold.

At last at the desired home I have reached. You have overpowered me by holy fire. I belong to you alone, at last. You have granted my one true desire. May I remember this moment, when you are distant, far away from me. I just need to remember your fiery arrow. And you alone has set me free.


Escaping the Dark night

My Lord, I have been waiting for you. Take a brief moment & look down. See the lengths I will go do. As I am begging once again to be found. Remember all the emotions you awakened in me? How you pursued my heart & soul. With you I soared and finally felt free! Now I am alone and emptiness has taken its toll.

Without your fire that burned within me, there exists a vast chasm of pain. Descend Olympus’ heights and see. Release my chains, let me feel your fiery touch once again. Take my body, mind & soul God of ecstasy! Dionysus, mount your leopard, chase me down. You are the breath of life to me. Upon a mountain top, let us love, on Cybele’s sacred ground.

Bring this Dark Night & painful agony to its proper end. Tear the veil that separates you from me . Sweet wine and divine madness now send. My beloved Dionysus, hear my urgent plea. I throw all caution to the wind, my gates are cast aside. It is now or never my spouse, let my soul be where you can abide.

Reverend Donna M. Swindells






Communion with the God Dionysus


I have drank your holy wine. My blood is now divine. I am united with my Deity. Your fire now flows through me. With my soul I truly see, all doubts now flee. Dionysus, son of Zeus! From my mortal chains, I am now loose. I can fly to infinity. There is no time or space. In our secret, holy place. Mortality becomes Divinity.


Becoming one with the God Dionysus


 I drink your holy wine. My blood is now divine. I am united with my Deity. Your fire now flows through me. With my soul I truly see, all doubts now flee. Dionysus, son of Zeus! From my mortal chains, I am now loose. I can fly to infinity. There is no time or space. In our secret, holy place. Mortality becomes divinity.



About love & loss, Divine & mortal



aphrodite-adonis-deathLove is an equal opportunity emotion to both Gods & Goddesses and mortals alike. It hits like a shot to the heart. We all are dumb struck by the feeling that overwhelms us. The Deities  feel the passion, desire and want to feel love deeply within them also. What wouldn’t we do to have the one we love & value above all else?

For some of us, our first love is like a drug. Craving to be with the beloved every minute of every day or night. Our emotions drive us crazy. People look at us and think we have lost our minds. If you are lucky to escape the 1st love of your life, it may appear when you are a little but older. Perhaps you will have your senses about you. Chances are you will not. The Gods & Goddesses may feel more of love’s effects than we do.

It is said that Zeus courted the Goddess Hera for 300 years. Could you wait that long? When I taught my students about the Goddess Aphrodite, some were surprised to learn that a Deity could feel pain & lost so deeply as we do. She love Her Adonis, a love shared by the Goddess Persephone in the Underworld. These Goddesses went to Zeus to make a decision who had a claim on his love. Zeus decided that they could each have his presence 4 months out of the year. The other four months were his to himself.

So Goddesses had to share a lover. I would not, but I am not Divine. Adonis spent most of his free time with Aphrodite. Queen Persephone must have felt pain with this knowledge. She was married to Hades, yet she longed for this Adonis. The God Ares loved Aphrodite, even though she was married to God Hephaistos. Hephaistos knew Aphrodite loved Ares. His pain & pride must have taken a blow. Both Gods have reason to feel wounded. Aphrodite, being free as the Goddess of love, can love who she chooses.

Adonis was the great love of Her heart. They loved, laughed, even went hunting together. Aphrodite made a stunning Goddess of the hunt, running & lifting Her dress as she followed Adonis. But Adonis made enemies. The God of war Aries. Artemis wasn’t thrilled that Aphrodite & Adonis hunted Her prized animals. The Goddess Aphrodite warned Adonis to be careful. There was wild boars that could kill him with their tusks. But Adonis kept enjoying the woods, even without Aphrodite. She has Her duties to take care of.

Aphrodite heard the cries of Her beloved Adonis. We have heard the cries of our loved ones. It cuts like a knife. He was mortally wounded by a boar. His blood was pouring out on the ground. The Goddess Aphrodite jumped into Her chariot & came to him. She leaped out, screaming to the heavens above. Taking him into Her arms, she too was bloody. She pulled out Her own hair. Aphrodite tore apart Her dress. It is the picture I attached to this post. Look at Aphrodite, see Her run to him!

This Goddess could not let him die. Have you been in this situation, trying to bargain with a Deity for a life? She poured the nectar of the Deities over his blood. From that sprang an anemone flower, blood red as a pomegranate. That flower lives a short span of time and dies, its petals are blown by the winds. We use flowers at the death of our loved ones too. But a little of Adonis’ blood was sprinkled on white roses. These are the red roses we give to those we love. Passion flowers that speak of love from the giver to the beloved.

The Gods & Goddesses we love can capture our hearts as well. But we are free to respond to their advances. Both the Divine & mortal hearts know that Love is the gift money can’t buy. (not sexual favors) It is the greatest gift we can give to other, but the Deities truly treasure our love. Believe it or not, they prize it above any offering. If you have received a small measure of their love, you know that we can receive nothing greater in this life & the one to come.

Remember when you withhold love, whether a spouse, child, companion or friend, that is a mortal wound. When the Deities have loved you & you take their love for granted, you can wound them. Even if you are busy with many things, remember to offer them words of love, devotion and praise. Without their love, a soul can wither and fade away. A Deity who offered their love to you and was not loved in return. How do they feel? Never take their divine love for granted.

Reverend Donna M. Swindells FOI