Jun 082010
 

It is on the seventh day of each month that the future lives of men are unveiled, when they come from all parts of the Earth to know what the fates have in store for them. This is except for during the winter months, when twice-born Dionysus returns and natural chaos reigns in place of Apollo’s measured reason.

When frost is on the ground and the sheaves of wheat have frozen back into the Earth – when the great, bright star of Maia appears on the horizon – then it is that the maenads of Dionysus herald the arrival of their lord.

The body of Dionysus is buried at this place and during his season they devote their dedications to the following year’s harvest, whilst praying that the sun God will return and the golden youth be resurrected.

She walks towards the entrance of the great hall.

It is elaborately decorated with all manner of votives – burnished shields, statues, cauldrons, tripods and bows – from all four corners of the Earth. Counted amongst them are the ensigns and symbols of every noble house that is known to this world.

A thousand garlands of laurel create fragrant canopies beneath the ceiling and pay host to the songbirds that sing Apollo’s praises. The sweetest voice that can be heard belongs to the nightingale, which reveals to those who listen the innermost longing of the psyche.

A pure, shrill note breaks the silence and escapes into Echo’s lonely realm as twilight descends.

Mar 152010
 

Sodwana

Sodwana Bay, South Africa

The twice-born child threw back his head and laughed, his eyes just dancing as he took another draught. He turned to his deadly mistress and handed her the urn, at once feeling nothing but deepest desire.

“Wet your lovely lips and hark at this.”

She raised the earthen urn to her sweet, pink mouth and a murmur of surrender left her lover. “Oh fair-breasted Queen of my most erotic dreams. He may become a poet, my proud brother, but sure as day is night he is no lover.“

She took a second sip as he kissed her milk-white throat. Her voice was mocking, as ever. “Poor Dionysus, has your wine gone bitter! Who better than Apollo, voice of all reason, to relay the will of God to man?”

“Oh – daughter of the white-flecked foam – would you really prefer that braggart’s endless rationing to immortal death from too much loving?” His mouth fell down upon her breast, warm and soft as velvet beneath the silky, see-through dress.

Her eyes glazed over with lust. “You play to your strengths, I’ll grant you that; but what if death holds no temptation, even if the manner of dying might so much?”

“Pearl of Poseidon’s sea, how cruel that you pretend not to see. Do not all fair females of the universe have an inner understanding of my mystery?”

“You are a sly, uncontrollable creature and half of my self is now enthralled as I await your meaning! Come now, whisper your sweet nothings in my shell-like ear!”

“Nothing that is definable in words except – perhaps – immortal or invincible. Now show me that your body has a heart.”

“And why would I have a heart, foolish being, when such a thing was made to just be broken! Beware, now. My age-old son – the wholly unconquered warrior – stands poised right above you with his deadly, love-tipped arrow. One more stolen kiss and you, Dionysus, shall be blighted for your eternal life by the lust of Aphrodite, abandoned to the web of Ariadne by this fatal charm.

He took from her the urn and drained it to a drop. “If there is a thorn on this rose, then smite me with it now, your highness, so I can bleed and watch you leave.”