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 & 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




Beloved, waiting is agony for me

human dionysus

My soul lies open, waiting to receive your anointing. Descend Mt. Olympus, come from the heights of your glory. I will be your throne on earth. This is my story. Counting the minutes until your rapturous embrace. Chained to my desire for your kiss. Longing is both pain & pleasure. May I dissolve into ecstatic bliss.

Reverend Donna M. Swindells: Plea to Dionysus, he who releases.


Dancing under the full Moon, being caught up in the wind.


This year, 2018, hasn’t been a good year for myself, family members, or dear friends. Poor health, death of a family/friend and natural disasters have brought pain, sadness and woe to many.

Yet the second Full Moon of January 2018 brought me an illumination. I was outside with other Priestess, looking at this Blue Moon. It pulsed, grew and the effects of it made us dizzy with delight. From it, rings grew from it. This Moon was alive with its own power. Surrounding the Moon itself was a orange ring of fire. We praised the beauty that was revealed to us & all who were looking it this brilliance.

I continue to gaze upon this light, so white that it was the only thing I saw. That light from the Blue Full Moon knocked me down & across my front yard. I was blinded by its piercing white light. I screamed. The other Priestess told me to be quiet, that I would wake up the neighborhood. But I was stunned by the power of a Moon, very much alive!

My health is poor & this body is filled with pain, but I felt that my soul could overcome my frailty. Certainly with a sign so powerful, I was so fortunate to witness & feel the Moon Goddess’ presence.

February had no full Moon. But March would have two. Again, a unbelievable event to witness. We two Priestess celebrated March’s first Full Moon & used it to “wake-up the God Dionysus.” We are his ” maenads” in this modern age. As we began our ritual, we offered a sensual dance to him. Using a sistrum &  a rattle, we offered him ourselves.

This March Full Moon Dionysus was awakened. He gave us an oracle. Also, the wind outside blew down a sign that knocked on my front door. We didn’t go outside to look at the Moon, for the weatherman said there would be no chance for a clear sky. After that knock, I opened the door. Looking out on my cul-de-sac, it was lit up by the Full Moon like a spotlight!

We grabbed a jacket & ran outside. The wind! My element is air. We went under the full Moon’s rays & danced in the wind like children again. Our jackets were like wings. We could have flown away! Under that Full Moon, orange fire again surrounded her. The few stars & planets that were out twinkled back at us. Turning gold, silver and even a red star, we were in the presence of the Mother Goddess Herself, with all her elements.

There was no cars that went by, or dogs barking, or people stirring. Just us, dancing with the wind, under the Moon Goddess’ rays. After some time, we returned inside our house. So much excitement & energy was inside of us. We couldn’t stop smiling from that experience. How does one come down from that encounter of Nature, so powerful, so raw?

Coming back into a mortal body, after a soul has been set free, by the Mother Goddess herself, is painful. Slowly, the heaviness of our frame we feel. Pain comes back, encircling the body with the sharpness of a knife. How did we dance like children with the wind, soaring with its gusts? Seeing the Moon’s rays light up the cul-de-sac with its brilliance? We were blessed to be free of our mortal shell.

Getting back to this year, it has been bad for many reasons for myself & many of you who will read this blog. “Walking the mystic’s path” has been hard for me. The body can hold the soul captive only for so long. The soul will find a way to break free. Or the Divine will break down the body’s defenses, and enter in any way it can. Divine love will find the one who loves them. Love, even divine love needs love in return. Our love is desired because we are created by love for love.

Reverend Donna M. Swindells


Having the courage to change…….


embraced by the sunWhat is the one thing that you hold the dearest in this life? For most of us, it is what we believe. It is who we are. Our soul and what it believes, deep within itself, is the treasure we carry.

People of all beliefs and religious path have suffered the greatest for it. They have lost their jobs, parents, children and their own life for what they treasure. No one can own what we possess. Or take it away from us. Deep within us, this treasure lies safe. Only the Gods/Goddesses can dwell there. That sacred place is reserved for the Divine.

We prepare our soul for that guest. But what happens when the foundation of your soul falls away? Never did I think my spiritual path was not for me. I was willing to die for the beliefs I held so dear to my very being. But late in my life, I was awakened by those Deities thought to be just myths. Fairy tales & stories told to explain how things came to be. These Gods & Goddesses I read about when I was very young.  Yes, I loved those myths & the Deities. But they weren’t real. That is what everyone said.

Oh, those Pagans, they had to make up their Deities. Their mythology are things of the past. Look at their Temples. All the glory of Ancient Egypt, Greece & Rome are gone. The Celtic & Norse Deities were created to explain how the world came to be. No one follows that path any more.

During my years of raising my children I believed these statements. Why wouldn’t I? My own family , teachers and community told me so. So did history books, professors, and religious leaders. So I raised my children in the religion I cherished, Roman catholic. Until a death in my family caused me to pause.

What happens when the one thing you cherished the most, you now questioned? I sought out knowledge from those who would share that precious gift with me. My walled city (my soul) slowly had cracks within its walls. I found out that the people I trusted most didn’t tell me the rest of the story. I was surprised & amazed that people today believed in those Deities that were the old Gods & Goddesses of the past.

Now comes the part that takes courage for any soul. What if I was wrong in my spiritual path? The truth came to me in ways that were “divine.” I followed the path that is blind faith. I had to let the walls fall. The breath of the Divine swept through my soul. I could not doubt what I felt or experienced. What now? How do I tell my family that I have changed my belief? What I believed & lived for so many years?

I write this for souls who may be where I was then. Yes, it takes courage to change the very depths of your soul. It is a pain that takes years to heal in some people like me. I felt betrayed, lied to, and angry. People who have so much more education & spiritual knowledge didn’t tell me the truth. But it was my faith that crumbled. I had to take the path now before me & move on. There were times that were so hard, that it would have been easier to go back to my old religion. It was so comfortable. I was safe there. Wasn’t I?

Courage was given to me because I couldn’t  live without the Deities I had found. No matter what, I would proceed with getting to know these Deities that I loved when I was young. My old belief told me I would go to hell for turning my back on it. But the love and presence of the Gods & Goddesses pushed that fear away. How could I not follow the spiritual path that opened up its arms to embrace me? That fear of hell didn’t go quietly. But courage given moved me on.

So 11 years later, I serve the Gods & Goddesses I found late in my life. I pass on the sacred knowledge & wisdom I learned in schools & from gifted mentors. Please don’t stay on any faith if you don’t feel you belong there. Search for your spiritual roots. Look at other religions & spiritual paths. What will your family say? It depends on if that will stop you from your path.

I was shocked that my husband accepted my change of belief. I told him it wouldn’t affect him. He was free to believe what he did. Some of my children were not happy with this. My sisters thought I had lost my mind or reason. Dear friends left me. I understood how they felt. But a soul is the one thing that belongs to you alone. It has to be what you truly feel & believe in the depths of its being. You will not be happy with just getting by or any compromise of the spiritual path that is right for you.

To anyone out there struggling with their faith, have courage. It will be given to you. For what is at stake is your very soul. That is the greatest treasure you possess. Whatever path you take, you have to follow it. Step out & find what you are longing for.

Blessings for all those who are seeking. Reverend Donna M. Swindells, FOI


Divine love’s true face

O beloved one, when will I at last see your true face? I have many images you throughout my life. In times of prayer, I have seen you with several different faces. Each of them speak of your immense and never-ending love for me. At each meeting, you come & burst through any defense I had up around me or my surroundings.

Your embrace transports a soul to that unending supply of love that awaits us all. In the briefest moment, one can be captured by your sweetest delight. A soul can feel the ages of all time itself that you have saved for a soul who will return to you love for love’s sake.

A  mortal is speechless, unable to say a word, so overcome by your coming to us. How can it be that you, who encompass all love for all time that has been & will be, choose to descend on the work of your hands!

Stunned in all my senses, I can only lay motionless in your presence. Listen to my heartbeat, it is a rhythm that only you can hear. Feel my soul expand, trying to fill all the places in your infinite being. If I had all the love of all the people in this world, it could never give you what you pour out upon a soul like mine.

So I give you my breath, the fire in my veins, and my heart which has burst open in respond to your arrival. And as you leave me, all my faculties fail to explain what you gave me, as you invaded my very depths.

I fear you not because I can not see your true face. For I can only love the images which I see you through.

Donna M. Swindells