Tuesday / Thursday Chat: Syncretism and the Starry Bull Tradition

Hello, folks!  We will be holding our regular Skype chats this week on Tuesday, 21 April, at 20:30 EDT and Thursday, 23 April, at 21:30 EDT.  If you have not joined us before and wish to do so, send us a message over Facebook or here on tumblr and we can get you in to the chat.

This week, we will be talking about syncretism.  The Starry Bull tradition is itself syncretic, as it relates strongly to the traditions of Magna Graecia–the regions of southern Italy and Sicily colonized by settlers from Hellas.  Sicily in particular was a major crossroads of the ancient Mediterranean, and contained religious elements from Italy, Hellas, Carthage and the Levant Coast, Egypt, Thrace, Asia Minor, and a host of other places, and our brand of Bacchic Orphism has strong roots in Thrake and Italy in particular.

That said, the Starry Bull tradition does not wish to claim exclusivity on anyone’s religious practice–we have followers who are Hellenic Polytheists, Orphic Goetes, initiated Wiccans, devotees of Shiva, and I’ve even heard rumors of a few Kemetics (though they have not been vocal).  Dionysos being who He is, He’s ensured that this tradition can blend pretty seamlessly into the religious life of anyone who wishes to walk the Labyrinth.

If you’d like to know more, here are a few sites you can check out:

  1. Light[Ning] Illuminates: a blog run by a Dionysian who follows a Tantric Yogic approach.  (You can read one of the author’s posts about this pathhere on the Thiasos of the Starry Bull’s WordPress, too.)
  2. Sannion’s post on Shadrapa, a Phoenician Deity syncretized with Dionysos.
  3. Lykeia’s page on the syncretism of Dionysos and Vishnu.
  4. A sample of the historical syncretism between Dionysos and Sabazios.
  5. P. Sufenas Virius Lupus’ column about syncretism at Polytheist.com.
  6. One of Sannion’s posts on the links between John the Baptist and Orphic traditions.
  7. A post from Galina Krasskova, a friend of the Thiasos and devotee of Odin, who also includes Dionysos in her religious practice.
  8. One of theheadlesshashasheen‘s posts about the complex web of history and syncretism linking Hellenic polytheism, the Religio Romana, indigenous European faery traditions, and medieval Christianity.
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