This series, which I hope to publish every Friday, will focus on specific prayers for the Thiasos of the Starry Bull. These prayers may be original creations, chants, translations of ancient prayers, or analyses of modern ones, but all will be useful for members of the Thiasos. That said, let’s get started!
A few things have been written recently on this blog about the idea of tearing things down. Tearing down the old to make room for the new; tearing down the profane to make way for the holy; tearing down the things that hold us back in order to give ourselves room to grow and become better.
Without going into personal details, I can say that I’ve begun a process of tearing down my own outmoded ways of thinking and living. It’s never as easy a process as one thinks it will be. The human mind has a way of clinging to things that it knows are no good, solely for the reason that they are familiar.
But none of us in the Thiasos are alone in this. So many of the stories of Dionysos’ heroes focus on that desperation that comes with walking a lonely path of reinventing or reinvigorating oneself; hey, it’s almost as though that’s one of the key themes in the work we do in the Thiasos!
I would like to write down a prayer today for anyone who feels like they can’t help but doubt themselves, or can’t help but struggle against the boundaries of their lives like a bird beating its wings against the bars of a too-small cage. This prayer is dedicated especially to Ariadne, whose thread marks the path through the Labyrinth:
Dear Lady, Castaway Princess,
Shore-stranded and alone you wandered until love rescued you.
You know the agony of unfamiliarity.
Where had your Fate-woven thread led you?
I find myself lost.
My life is a maze, the walls dark and impenetrable,
Rising so high around me that I cannot see.
I cannot remember the sun.
I stumble, I fall forward, I beat my fist on the ground.
But Lady, Wine-adored Ariadne,
Your thread lies on the ground, a glimmer of gold in the dimness.
Help me to find it.
Help me to grasp it.
You are my way through.
You are my way out.
Help me never to let it go.
Emily Kamp is a Hellenic polytheist, devoted in particular to Hestia, Hermes, and Dionysos the Starry Bull. When not teaching high-school Latin or making horrendous puns, she is the moderator of an online shrine to Hestia (which doubles as a daily devotional for polytheists of all stripes).