That time when Dionysus decided to start a cult

dionysus

Dionysus delighted in being the god of the grape harvest. He felt that it suited him perfectly–harvest time was his favorite time of year, he loved wine making and really, who doesn’t love a good glass of wine? He felt quite fortunate that, unlike the other gods and goddesses who had much more time-consuming and onerous duties, he was allowed (and even encouraged by his family) to enjoy life and party to the max. Whether they were small and intimate or wild and orgiastic, he was always invited to the most exclusive gatherings and was well-known to host the most fabulous parties on Mount Olympus.

Dionysus made it his business to learn about all the best wines.  Winemakers would send him samples of their latest vintages in the hope that he would taste them and spread the word about how divine they were.  And he was happy to oblige.  In preparation for an event, he would spend hours carefully considering and selecting the finest wine that would suit the gathering perfectly. For example, if it was a barbecue he’d serve a hearty Bordeaux (of course) and for a more formal affair, only a velvety rich Cabernet would do.

When his extravagant lifestyle at Olympus bored him, Dionysus would pack a few bottles and slip down to the mortal realm to “have an adventure,” as he would put it.  He would wander around earth and before long he’d be livening things up at a local pub or becoming the life of the party at a lavish fall wedding or other celebration.

After many years of observation, Dionysus became convinced that if mortals drank enough wine, they could actually experience what it felt like to possess a higher power and in this way they might approach a God-like state.  When his mother Semele encouraged him to expand his interests and convinced Zeus to allow him to become a patron of the arts, Dionysus took it upon himself to encourage artists, musicians and authors to drink as much wine as they could.  He even hired one of the top scribes to ghost write a book for him which detailed his theory that when artists drank wine they reached an ecstatic state that could only benefit their artistic endeavours.

Although he regretted not being very artistically talented himself, he felt he had a good eye for talent and when he found artists he thought had potential, he would invite them to live at his temple and encouraged them to indulge themselves as much as they wished for the greater good of their art.  He would provide anything their heart desired–the finest food, expensive and rare silk robes and whatever tools of the trade they needed.

Dionysus was extremely handsome and sexy in a ruddy, earthy sort of way and men and women were constantly attracted to him, especially after they had a few glasses of the grape.  When he was partying on earth, he’d often find himself with an attractive partner behind the pub or enjoying the pleasures of the flesh in a wheat field under the stars. One night after a particularly wild party at a city official’s home in Rome, he woke up beside the pool, in the hot, bright morning sun, surrounded by nubile, naked and snoring mortals and the idea first came to him that he should start a cult.

Image source: http://riordan.wikia.com/wiki/Dionysus

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