Libation to DIONYSOS

Sponsored by the Artemis Mounykhia Proto-demos and Eranos


Held on 12/09/2006


Officiate 1:

Homeric Hymn to Dionysos (No. 26)

I sing of ivy-crowned Dionysos, the roaring god,

Radiant son of Zeus and glorious Semele,

Lovely nymphs, receiving him from his lord father,

Nursed him at their breasts and fostered him tenderly

In Nysian valleys. He grew up in a fragrant cave,

By his father's will, counted among the immortals.

When the goddesses had raised him, a god celebrated

In so many hymns, he roamed through forest haunts,

Draped with ivy and laurel. The nymphs followed

As he led the way: their loud cry filled the vast forest.

Rejoice, Dionysos, god of the plentiful grape!

May we come again rejoicing to this season

And from that season on, through the revolving years.

(translation by Diane Rayor, 2004)


As Officiate 2 recites one of the following lines, Officiate 1 and Officiate 3 will pour the preliminary libations alternately:


Officiate 2:

A libation in your honor, Dionysos Dendrítes, "of the trees"

A libation in your honor, Dionysos Líknites, "of the winnowing fan"

A libation in your honor, Dionysos Trigonos, "thrice-born"

A libation in your honor, Dionysos Melanaigís, "of the black goatskin"

A libation in your honor, Dionysos Eleuthereus, "liberator"

A libation in your honor, Dionysos Zágreus, "the hunter"

A libation in your honor, Dionysos Gúnnis, "effeminite"

A libation in your honor, Dionysos Mústes, "the initiated"


Officiate 3:


Orphic Hymn to Dionysos (No. 30)

I call upon loud-roaring and reveling Dionysos,

primeval, two-natured, thrice-born, Bakkhic lord,

savage, ineffable, secretive, two-horned and two-shaped.

Ivy-covered, bull-faced, warlike, howling, pure,

you take raw flesh, you have triennial feasts, wrapt in foliage,

decked with grape clusters.

Resourceful Eubouleus, immortal god sired by Zeus

when he mated with Persephone in unspeakable union.

Hearken to my voice, O blessed one, and with your fair-girdled nurses

breathe on me in a spirit of perfect kindness.

(translation by A. Athanassakis)


At this point, a cup is passed (NOTE: ours had sparkling grape juice, but wine or other drinks may be used) and each participant is able to offer a toast, personal devotion, or blessing to Dionysos and take a drink.


Officiate 1:


After all the participants are finished, the ritual is concluded by pouring a final libation, while Officiate 1 says, "Hail, loud-crying Dionysos, son of fair-faced Semele. We shall assemble in your honor again."




Inspired by the Dionysos libation ritual from the Proto-demos tes Hagnes Persephone (