Living with a Dionysian is weird. They’re a strange breed bringing change and flow and lots of delightfully chaotic energy to what was once a very rigidly ordered Odinic household. What is wrong with these people? LOL. Did they not ever get the message of “ordnung muss sein?” Well, thankfully, no, they didn’t.
Let me tell you about Odin’s folk. We can work ourselves into the ground, into burn out, into sickness and pain being so focused on what needs to get done for our God that we forget to taste of the sweet, nourishing fruits of His blessings and wod that He likewise offers. We’re workhorses, scary workhorses for whom sleep is something to be indulged in only when we are dead. We never stop and the amount of work that we’re able to accomplish at any given time can be frightening even to us. The word “rest” is not in our vocabulary and anything approximating it is met with some wariness lest it fall into the category of “lazy” and “not getting shit done.” It took having a Dionysian move in with me to realize that there might be more effective ways of working. You know, like sleeping more than four hours a night for instance. It really does make one more productive. Who knew?
Now let me tell you what I’ve observed with Dionysians. They’re terrifyingly creative with a capacity for plumbing the dark, chthonic, and most magical depths of their Gods and their experiences, turning around then, dredging that up and translating it into an ambrosia that even the most hard headed of us can drink. They’re every bit as productive as an Odin’s person, but sneaky about it. They work effectively, but do not eschew the things that nourish the work, things like rest, and time spent basking in their God’s ecstasy. They are far, far more comfortable in the ambiguous, unstructured, flow of things and can tolerate that tension far more easily than what I know of the average Odin’s folk (we were built to order the world lol). They’re also very good at recognizing when burn out is about to happen in those around them and heading it off.
I speak of this latter from experience. Many’s the time that Sannion has intervened when I was about to work myself into a sick bed and you know what? Far from suffering, my work has gotten tighter, more effective, and overall *better* by taking heed of some of my resident Dionysian’s lessons. It’s hard to feel the press and push of your God always breathing down your neck, propelling you, goading and urging you into action. It’s hard not to be swept up into that when what we are meant to do is translate that push into the most effective action. These strange Dionysian creatures deal so much better with the subtleties of practice than we Odin’s folk. It’s almost refreshing though i admit to spending part of my time watching them work and going “wait, what? what just happened?”
It was this that made me aware of how much we can learn from each other in practice, even if we’re claimed by different Gods, or working within different traditions. Our communities are rich with abundant knowledge an abundant blessings and it took living with a Dionysian to really see how much that is so.
This was part of acclimating to living in a blended household. I’m probably going to talk about this more in later posts because it’s an ongoing process rooted in respect for two very different traditions, but when we moved in together, it wasn’t just us: we were combining ancestor houses and we were each bringing our Gods and spirits into the equation. That took some negotiating. It took care and mindful forethought. It also took a lot of divination to make sure we had things right. But aside from the very practical aspects of setting up a blended home, we began to see how we each work and while I won’t speak for what Sannion has taken away from being around an Odin’s woman, I know that my own practice has gotten far more effective from being around him. This was completely unexpected.
I have heard many polytheists speak of blending households with dread but it really can work. If it’s done with mutual respect for each other and each other’s traditions, and mutual reverence for all the Gods and spirits involved it can work really, really well. That reverence has to be there though and a willingness to communicate and to deal directly with any difficulties that arise. Dionysians and Odin’s folk work very, very differently but just as there are areas where our Gods’ core competencies overlap (madness, shamanism, initiation, intoxication), so too there are areas where we can enhance each other’s practice and part of the joy of living together has been figuring that out. Dionysos has helped me love my own God better and for that i shall always be grateful.
Besides, Dionysians are cool. Every Odin’s person should have one. 🙂