Next month will mark a full year in my ‘new place’ and an end of almost two years of homelessness. It will also mark the re-establishment of my physical shrines and daily honours.
When I was homeless everything I owned had a weight value. Meaning the most important things were that I could carry (basically clothes and a toothbrush). It was difficult carrying around statues and altar pieces so any devotional rituals were simple, impromptu and all together honest. I became pretty familiar with certain trees in parks and would designate them to deities where I’d pour libations. I liked that.
When we found a permanent place to live I established my shrines once again, but I found myself feeling distant from them, difficult to approach. It wasn’t the same honesty I had in the park, it was almost like a material reverence that resulted in fear. It was around that time that Sannion started discussing the idea of establishing The Thiasos of The Starry Bull.
I’m jumping ahead but in April this year, when I started getting involved in the Thiasos, I had my first direct encounter with Dionysus in dream. I had been worshiping him for years but never encountered him until then, or at least he never directly spoke to me like that. In the dream he gave me a future vision of how he wanted his shrine to be established, also an elaborate ritual I must perform when it is complete. An overwhelming feeling from this dream was that the objects place upon the shrine were not to be pretty things brought off the internet, but objects that held some significance to me or others. His shrine is to be beautiful to behold, but also have a deep personal significance. There is a set time limit, in the dream Dionysus instructed that I grow ivy. I’d know when the time is right to perform the ritual when there is enough ivy to create a wreath for my head. At the very least this will take a year from the time of the dream.
I think the idea of ‘growing’ my shrine is also interconnect with my spiritual development within the Thiasos. A lot of things we are discussing, a lot of deities I am meeting are completely new to me. I don’t expect any progression in the Thiasos in the near future because of this. I think it is really important to develop a relationship with all the deities, to learn, progress and grow.
It’s safe to put a hand up and say, ‘hey I’m here. Do you wanna chat?’ but if you have no reply I don’t think it’s a sign of your inadequacy or failing. I believe I’m being watched and judged. I think they know that there is much room for improvement. So for now I’m taking precautions and having no expectations. To put it in a simple analogy: I don’t expect a kiss on the first date.