Life, Death, Dionysus

Welcome to Pulappli, an oddly named, cobbled together little website chronicling my journey as a follower of Dionysus. This is not meant to be a resource for new followers nor a place to conduct research, simply my personal experience as a Dionysian.

Virtual Altar - Neocities Profile

When You're Strange (Faces Come Out of the Rain)

September 30, 2023

I've been trying to figure out what to talk about next on this website-come-blog-type-thing. It's not that I lack topics, it's that I have far too many and no idea where to start. So, I'm just gonna pick something! We are not professionals here, folks. Just little pagan gremlins.

As such, I'm jumping in and talking about how I, personally, see Dionysus and interpret his "teachings" (so to speak), so people don't start making wild assumptions about me based on a version of Dionysus I don't really recognize. A reminder that these are only MY views, that no group is a monolith, and that I am still doing research and discovering new things about my path all the time.

Let's get the obvious out of the way: Dionysus is the God of Wine. It's like, his main thing. Following this line of thought, he is also the god of Intoxication and Partying. And far be it from me to deny any of this! But to just view him as the God of Good Times does Dionysus an incredible disservice, at least in my view.

It's important to acknowledge why wine and other intoxicants are so important that there's a whole gosh dang god for them. It's not only that being drunk is fun, it's that being drunk lets us let go of the shackles of self-imposed society and joyfully embrace aspects of ourselves that we struggle to acknowledge otherwise. But of course, there's a catch -- because this method of touching the divine (and yes, I think a degree of intoxication is divine), is high risk, high reward. It's way easier and more fun than meditation or asceticism, but happy-drunk can quickly become sad-drunk or angry-drunk, not to mention committing drunken acts that, far from embracing your true self, go directly in conflict with your honest feelings. Getting that drunk is the equivalent of looking at a God in their true form. You flew too close to the sun, and now you are burned. You've gone strait past divinity and right into self-destruction. As such, I think it is just as important to understand that Dionysus is also a god of moderation. You must learn to respect his domains, or you will fail to respect Him or even yourself.

This brings me to my next belief, which is that Dionysus is a god of seeming contradictions. He is a God of the Wild, his followers mad and untethered, yet he is also the God of Theatre and Agriculture, two classic indicators of civilization. The earliest records we have of Dio go back well before the Greeks, yet he is the last of the Gods to join the pantheon. Old and yet new. He is born of a mortal mother which, by all accounts, should have made him a demigod like Heracles or Theseus, yet he is a full-blown God. The pronouns used for him are obviously He/Him, but he is known as the False Man, he is raised as a girl, his statues are sometimes veiled and clothed when these were ways only women were depicted, he bottoms, a womanly position. And yet while all of these things would make any normal man of ancient Greece reviled, Dionysus is powerful. In short, he is a god that cares not one iota for our small-minded false dichotomies, be it culture, heritage, gender, or sexuality.

Finally, and perhaps most importantly in my estimation, he is a god not just of the people, but of the outcasts, especially foreign, female, and queer. When other gods had strictly controlled methods of worships, all were free to worship Dionysus simply by drinking, including women, sexual minorities, and the enslaved. Obviously we can't make a one-to-one comparison between our modern understanding of queerness and how queerness was seen in ancient Greece or Rome, but Dionysus was queer by their standards even then. I alluded to this in my last post and even the last paragraph, but Dionysus is a god that can be interpreted as being a transfeminine, all-pronouns, bisexual queen. How rare and how wonderful, to not only be allowed to be queer, but also to see yourself reflected and protected by the divine. Dionysus is indeed a strong maternal force, at least to those he chooses and who choose him back.

I continue to do small devotional acts for Dio in my day-to-day. I'm currently working on a mini shine for Dionysus. My partner knows I'm devoted to Dionysus, so it's not a stealth thing, we just have absolutely no free space for a shrine otherwise. You'll also see that I have a digital shrine/altar where I plan to leave prayers and small offerings. Finally, I did a tarot reading recently in order to have a quick chat with Dionysus and it was... very funny and enlightening. I'll post about that reading next time! :> Until then, y'all!

You'll be mean, and I'll drink all the time

(we'll be heroes, just for one day)

September 9, 2023

So, how it all started.

I began my search for religion about a year ago. It was a very off-and-on thing. I wasn't waking up every day and desperately looking for god from dawn until dusk (or, more appropriately to my schedule, from 1:00pm until 3:00am). I picked at it slowly. I stared off thinking I'd maybe be an agnostic witch, get into the craft. Not quite religion, but similar. I listened to a few audio books from the library, read a few blogs and subreddits, checked out a couple podcasts. Tried a spell or two, minor stuff to protect or calm myself. It was fine, but not really scratching the itch I wanted scratched. I was looking to religion for comfort and community -- I'm fully willing to admit that. And while there is community amongst the witchy, I don't find practicing witchcraft to be particularly comforting. Empowering, sure, but not really comforting.

I moved along, making a brief stop at the corner of "working with the fey" before deciding against that as well. Not because I was afraid or anything (cue every witch out there screaming "You should be!!!"), but because I realized that I really just wanted to worship, not bargain with anything to exert power or control. It was right around this time that I did a little tarot reading, reaching out to an energy or deity, whatever it may be, to reveal themselves. I have a few tarot decks that I bought for fun and because I like the art, doing readings not because I really believed it, but because it was a fun thing to break out at parties or just mess around with. I forget exactly which cards I drew, but I wrote down my interpretation. It was as follows:

The deity or energy that wishes to contact me welcomes challenge and wants to bring me up to meet that challenge. This deity deals with the real, the present. They expect you to do the work. Believing in them means, more than anything, that they believe in you. This deity is young, creative, a messenger, a source of inspiration for artists. Sensitive, intuitive, feminine energy in masculine form. A maternal figure in your corner.

I immediately thought of Dionysus. I knew enough even then to hear "young, creative, inspiration to artists, feminine energy in masculine form" and know that Dio was the obvious answer, but I pushed back against it. I'm not Greek, I have no Greek ancestry, and worshiping one of the ancient Greek gods felt too mainstream, in a way -- it's like, the most obvious pagan option. So I kept looking, despite the fact that I had my answer right in front of me. Curse my persistent "I'm not like other girls" bullshit. I'm not even a girl and yet it just keeps happening.

I looked at Irish gods, what little we have of them, and it is very little. In the end I found them too eroded away, too lost to time to connect with. I looked into Shinto, which piqued my interest as an aging weeb (and I was at least fairly certain that it was an open practice), but it was just too ephemeral. There was nothing I could sink my teeth into, no matter where I looked. Nothing called to me. Nothing felt right.

I spent a lot of time not looking. I had a life to live, issues to deal with, friends and a partner and projects that all needed attention. Religion wasn't going anywhere and I was struggling to find a path, anyway.

Dionysus stayed in the back of my head. I wasn't ready yet. He was remarkably patient.

Eventually, all roads lead to Rome. Err, or Greece. I don't tend to use "Bacchus" much.

I got over myself and started doing research on Dionysus. I allowed myself to not worry about researching everything in the Greek Pantheon, knowing it would just be too much. I had time. I didn't need to be an expert on all of it right from the start, or even ever. The second I let myself start googling and reading, it became cartoonish how perfect Dionysus was. He wasn't just a god of wine and theatre, two things I was already aware of (and admittedly a little partial to, as an ex-theatre kid), but also a god of women, of the outcast, of the queer and trans, a god that understood that the things that give us pleasure, the things that set us free, are holy and to be revered. This was a god that not only accepted my queerness, but embodied it within himself. He loved what I loved, and he loves me, exactly as I am in this moment. And not in the weirdly passive-aggressive "love the sinner, hate the sin" way, but in a real way. In a way that saw my humanity in all its strange shapes and expressions and said "You're wonderful, you're beautiful, you're exactly as you should be."

This feeling only gets stronger the more I research and the more I devote my thoughts and reverence to him. I'm honestly amazed at how much joy Dionysus brings me. It really is too perfect.

Okay, I'll stop gushing. To pivot this post slightly, I've been working on some art as a devotional act to Dionysus, and I'm quite happy with one I produced. It is posted just below. I'm sure there will be more to come, along with poetry and some of the prayers I use when I'm speaking to Dio and asking for his guidance. Look forward to them!

Dionysus, as imagined by myself. He has shoulder length, wavy hair, a soft body with light muscle definition, a few moles and a dusting of body hair, and feminine facial features. He holds up a cup, as if to toast, and is undresses, except for a small amount of fabric that he holds in his free hand, mostly covering himself below the waist.

Dionysus, as imagined by myself

How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love Dionysus

September 2, 2023

I think I've finally decided what I'm going to do with this website.

I know, it took me long enough.

This might seem like it's coming out of left field. Or maybe it won't, since I've hardly put anything on here one way or another. But I've decided to dedicate this website to chronicling my religious journey as a devotee of Dionysus.

Which uh, is actually kinda wild for me to admit like this.

I guess it's worth saying that I'm coming to this as a person who's been an atheist all my life. So I'm not someone that's particularly... comfortable with the idea of Gods, or the idea of something that has power over me, in a sense. I'm used to self reliance and an apathetic universe. It's hard for me to talk about this decision and it's hard for me to truly devote myself to something as ephemeral and unprovable as a God, but that's part of why I've decided to do this. Because I wish there was someone out there like me, talking openly about what it's like to start walking a path like this.

There aren't really any conversational, personal websites (at least that I can find) that focus on someone's non-Christian spiritual path. I mean, there's plenty of people out there with online grimoires and altars, but those people seem already settled and comfortable with their beliefs and, well, that's just not me. I really wish I could find another person speaking honestly as they stumble their way through something like this when they're starting from square one with this whole religion thing. I guess I should be the change I want to see in the world, right?

I'm not gonna sit here and claim that this journal of sorts will be informative. I'm no expert on Dionysus or the Greek Pantheon. All I can tell you is that I've been meditating on and reaching out for some sort of energy or deity to speak to me, and Dionysus is the one who answered the call. That's... that's really it. I've never been a person who was obsessed with Greek mythology, so I was surprised and hesitant when he reached out. But the more research I've done, the more right it feels.

I'll get more into what I've learned, what I've been doing, and what else I plan to do as a Dionysian who wants to respect the practices of the past, but not recreate them; as people of many religions have discovered, it's not wrong to adjust your worship to work better in the time and place that you find yourself, rather than holding on to traditions that just no longer make sense. But all of that is for a later date.

It's still a lot for me to write this all out so blatantly. But here we go. I am a follower of Dionysus. This is my journey.

Dreaming Little Dreams

March 8, 2023

Sometimes I remember my dreams. Most of the time, however, they just sorta flitter away and leave me with vague feelings. Bad feelings, mostly. Anxiety is the driving thrust behind most of my nightly hallucinations and I'm more than happy to forget about those. But while I was a work the other day, I remembered a dream I had, apropos of nothing. In the dream I was forced to carry an unwanted pregnancy to term and give birth. It was a bad, invasive, painful experience even in a dream. I remembered how scared I was, how trapped I felt. Most upsettingly, I recalled how, in my dream, I could feel my body forcing me to forget. Forget how much it hurt. That's not quite how it goes in real life from my understanding -- I think it actually takes months, if not years -- but you really do start to forget the pain of childbirth overtime. It's the body's way of keeping you reproducing. Lizard brains only really have two goals: survive and spread.

I ended up stuck in one spot for a second, confused and upset. I had to remind myself that it was a dream. That I was not forced to give birth and then forced to forget to remain sane. That I had not yet at least been so betrayed by my body and society around me. I hope I never am. Sometimes you gotta wonder, though. And I felt silly for being upset. Because I remembered a dream, of all things. Nothing had even happened. I just kinda... made myself carry on with my day. More and more, that is the way of life. Everything is terrible. Gotta keep moving.

It was actually a pretty good day. I have mostly pretty good days right now. It helps that winter will be over soon and the sun will start staying out longer. It helps that I'm going to therapy again with a therapist who is happy to help me with a possible ADHD diagnosis. It helps that I have friends and a job that I like and a partner who cares about me so much.

I couldn't really shake that event, though. And I didn't really know how to talk about it, even though I wanted to. I guess I'll say it here.

Starting Over Once Again

March 7, 2023

This is the third time I've started over on this website. I think it's time to admit to myself that I'm just not that interested in learning complex, challenging, or even slightly confounding css or html. My website is never gonna be anything to write home about and it honestly doesn't have to be -- it just has to be mine. So fine, here it is: One page, scrolling indefinitely, containing whatever I want to put into it, which will mostly be art and pointless ramblings, if I had to guess.