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April 7th, 2014

10:14 am - the god who comes must necessarily be the god who leaves
Quite a weekend I just had.

Orebasia, the Dionysian group I've been part of for many years, hasn't been terribly active for awhile. Some of that had to do with the necessity of unmooring it from its origins. It was never an ATC group (if you know the ATC, you ought to be amused at the very notion; suffice to say that wild energy of any kind never had a home there), but it began as a support body for working with Dionysian energy in the context of Spring Mysteries, in part because such energy never had a home with the ATC.

The bigger reason, though, had to do with the members coping with various Life Events, including the deaths of family members and mentors, changes in jobs, changes in living situations, and all the other things that let you know that life is happening. It was a couple of years before we all managed to get together in the same room for dinner, never mind throw a ritual event open to participants beyond the core group. But this past weekend, we finally managed it, in part due to a fortuitous series of events that led to us having a reservation at one of the facilities at Fort Flagler and needing an event of 25-40 people to have in it.

Among other things, it provided an opportunity for us to once again hold Dionysian ritual in a place we had done so before, and create a new resonance for ourselves in a space most of us associate inextricably with Spring Mysteries (even though it's used for other things, including an annual haunted house and a filming location). Lately I've come to believe that any resonance a place has only exists so long as people maintain it (I might write more about this if I can find the time) and the opportunity to do so at this particular location was just too good to pass up. I can say with some authority, having attended all but two of the revels that have taken place in that building over the past decade-plus, that's the most wine that's ever been spilled on that floor. (Most of which soaked into the concrete, which isn't sealed.)

For me personally, it was a chance to explore an energetic connection that has changed drastically over the past two years. One of the more personal consequences of the last time I did SMF and my decision that it would be the last time is that I lost the Dionysian connection that I'd had for over ten years—at the same time that my spiritual working partner was responsible for carrying that energy in the festival. If you're familiar with this kind of work you can imagine how upsetting this was. If you're not, it's somewhat akin to a long-term partner telling you that it's time to see other people. It sucked.

In the summer following, we worked on figuring out what had happened and what, if anything, we ought to do about it. The result is that I have a working connection again, but it's different. Now it's less about wild ecstasy and losing inhibitions (I don't really have that many, anyway) and more about creative pursuits. I think it's a good thing, overall. I'm happier and a lot more emotionally stable. (I have some strong views about what SMF does to its presenters emotionally. I'll write about it sometime when I'm feeling ranty.)

Dionysus is called, among other things, "the god who comes." It's an allusion to his perceived foreignness and outsider status, even though if you read the material from the ancient Mediterranean concerning him, it goes back a lot further than you'd think. A dear friend and fellow Orebasian pointed out that in order to be the god who comes, Dionysus has to go away at some point.

Yes, it sucked, but coming to terms with it and, as it were, renegotiating my spiritual contract also helped me come to terms with closing a particular chapter of my life. Really, in many ways I've been very fortunate. Losing SMF meant making room for other things that I hadn't been giving sufficient time or energy to, and some of the skills and abilities I developed during my time with the festival have come in very handy in other contexts.

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March 27th, 2014

12:53 pm - sui generis
... the first recorded instants of a journey, documents not of a concluded past, but of a future that could be.

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