by H. Jeremiah Lewis
The Bacchic Orphic spiritual tradition is a complex tapestry woven of many historical threads – Greek, Cretan, Thracian, Egyptian, Italian, Sicilian. Having arisen within these various religions, it also transcends them, just as its foremost god Dionysos transcends all boundaries. Primarily a cult of ecstasy, its adherents seek to bring about release, purification and revitalization through music, dance, ritual drama, feasting, sacrifice and direct communion with the divine. Intentional, ritualized madness, in service of the god, inoculates against more destructive madness. The tradition’s strong chthonic focus fosters deep engagement with and reverence for the Dionysian dead – those feasting heroes and furious hunters – for its initiates will one day take their place among those potent spirits. H. Jeremiah Lewis, more widely known as Sannion, guides the reader along the winding path of Bacchic Orphism much as he himself discovered it after decades Dionysian worship. Through essays which seamlessly combine primary source material with personal experiences, and poetry that exposes the raw, bleeding heart of devotion and the madness of following a mad god, Sannion explains and explores the living form of this ancient tradition. If you’ve ever felt the call of Dionysos – and of the gods, heroes and spirits who share his world – this book will help you deepen both your knowledge and devotion, and give you a glimpse into the mysteries of the god who dwells at the Heart of the Labyrinth.