Today, I'm posting a mix-tape for Dionysos. This idea is not mine; it's a combination of a wonderful idea by Sannion and Hellenion's monthly libation schedule. Hellenion is a Hellenistic organization from America and I used their wonderful calender and the great store of information they have gathered to start my own practice. Every month, Hellenion members pour a libation to a different Hellenic God or Goddess. This month, it's Dionysos' turn, and while I will not be continuing this practice in the next Hellenic year, I will most certainly keep up the practice until then. To make the day more special, I have created a mix-tape of songs which either describe or would speak to Him.

Dionysos is a very varied Theos. His domains range from fertility, and exuberance, to death and dying. He is both an Ouranic Theos and a Khthonic one. I spoke about him a lot yesterday, mostly in his function as a Year-Daímōn, but today, I want to celebrate even more aspects of Him and His worship.

Bitch and Animal - Best Cock on the Block

I have to start this mix-tape with an Ode to the Dildo, as Dionysos' worship often involved carrying around giant phallic-shaped objects around town. I'm not sure if I even have to say this, but this song is NSFW in so many ways.

"What Can I Say/ They Can't Stay Away / From the Best Cock / On the Block Today"

DJ Fresh ft. Rita Ora - Hot Right Now

I... am not allowed to say much about this one. Call it UPG and know it refers to a fantastic afternoon. In fact, that afternoon cemented the fact that I needed to progress into Hellenismos. No matter what, this song will always remind me of Dionysos.

Jefferson Airplane - White Rabbit

I'm sure I do not have to explain this one, with Dionysos' affinity for ecstatic rites. White Rabbit, for me, is the ultimate song about drug use (along with 'Whiter Shade of Pale', but that's because of this). I'm sure Dionysos approved greatly of the flower-power era.

"And you've just had some kind of mushroom / And your mind is moving / low / Go ask Alice / I think she'll know"

Aleah - Water and Wine

This is one of those songs that--especially when on repeat--makes me lose track of time, and my surroundings. The darkness in there reminds me of the darkest sides of Dionysos, reminds me of the madness  He can bring on, the obsession, the horror He can put humans through by beguiling their minds. It also speaks to the search for divinity, through any means necessary, and the painful reminder of our human condition when we fail again and again to be part of the Gods.

"Show me Your Sign / Water and Wine / I need You to be / More than a Voice in me"

Lifehouse - Quasimodo

I need to end this mix-tape with an incredibly personal story. This song may have quite literally saved my life. I spoke about my youth before, about my mother's illness, and her suicide threats. By the time I turned sixteen, I was hanging on by a thread. I wasn't suicidal, but I wasn't enjoying life very much. For years, I had been coming home, scared of what I might find. For years, I had worried about my mother, our family, and all the normal teen things on top. I was at my breaking point; I was either going to crash and burn, or get help. I had been too scared to ask for help before. I was afraid of adding to my mother's misery and driving her over the edge. My father had just gone through his own bout of depression the year before and I could not go through another day in the way I had been doing: not feeling--not living.

And then, my parents gave me the first Lifehouse CD as a birthday present. I listened to this song and something inside me snapped. Up in my room--in true teenage angst fashion--I just cried and cried and cried until I couldn't cry anymore. I still end up on the verge of tears every time I hear this song. I vowed that--one day--the lyrics to this song would hold true for me: I would let go of the worry, of the pain, and the responsibility and I would heal and move on. I would throw off the chains that were weighing me down.

The next day, I told my parents I needed to see a therapist. They took me to our general physician and he got me in a youth counseling program with one-on-one conversations. I unloaded everything onto the psychiatrist. She spoke to me, she spoke to my parents, and we had a few talks as a family unit. Nothing changed at home, but she was the first person who told me it was alright that I couldn't take on this responsibility, and it was not my fault I was at the end of my rope. She told me I had every right to be treated as a daughter, not a counselor, and while I continued to be a counselor for my parents for five more years, she gave me the tools I needed to distance myself enough from the situation to get through it.

Without this song, I don't know where I would be, but I doubt I'd be as sound of mind and in as stable a situation as I am in now. Dionysos has a very special epithet: Lysios (Λυσιος), meaning 'to release' or 'of releasing'. Dionysos Lysios is the releaser of worries, the uplifter of doubt and madness. It is this epithet of Dionysos I feel closest to when I hear this song.

"There goes my pain / There goes my chains / Did you see them falling / Because this feeling / There has no meaning / There goes the world / Off of my shoulders / There goes the world / Off of my back / There it goes"