To understand The Dionysian Artist one has to have a grasp of ancient history. Until Phillip II and Alexander the Great, Greece was a fragmented nation of city states, often fighting between themselves or existing in uneasy peace. Moving between these states was a difficult affair for an average citizen, let alone dealing with the fees, tariffs and other taxes imposed by each city. Despite this, and although each nation had its own regional cultus, the Hellenic states all shared a common religious core of the Olympian gods.
Many religious festivals / holidays extended outside the home city state they originated from and expanded across borders into rival lands, therefore a religious guild was developed by performing artists called Dionysiakoi Tekhnitai (or Tekhnitai Dionysou) that allowed them to do their duties unimpeded.
This guild existed outside of the city states and was in fact an autonomous institution of itself with its own governing body and awards offered to members including funeral monuments and services. In 279 BC a Delphi Decree was formally written to declare Dionysiakoi Tekhnitai absolute freedoms from free travel to freedom of taxation, creating a wholly new class in Ancient Greece, one of the first international religious organisations. This guild flourished throughout ancient history until it was disbanded by Christians after the theatres were closed between 300 to 400 AD.
Before their eventual demise they maintained the sacred art of performance, an act that merges and is connected with the secrets of the Mysteries and fulfilled rites that must be granted to the gods. They were devotional artists, giving their gifts to not just mankind but to the divine, through their performance they sponsored monuments, writ plays, poems and holy paeans, performed for kings and the lowest of classes alike, spreading the gods not through preaching, but through art.
What is Δ?
Δ is a persona or role that I play and identify with, it is also a separate character of myself. A mask that allows me to do my duties.
As I play this role, elements of my own personality comes through, just as we have different actors playing characters like Batman or the Joker. Each actor is playing the same role as the previous, but they create a new entity within the same character. Δ is therefore one role of The Dionysian Artist, an archetypal entity.
As a result I sometimes refer to Δ as myself but also speak of it in third person.
Who is the actor behind Δ?
Markos Gage, Dionysian Hellenic Polytheist since 2000.
As a devotee of Dionysos and also a visual artist and traveling public performer I resonated deeply with the Tekhnitai and have studied the guild for some time. During mid-2015 I encountered a number of initiation experiences that led to spiritual and physical confirmations indicating proof I was initiated into the Dionysian Mysteries. These experiences have resulted in a change of roles in both offline and online. A persona, so to speak, that is The Dionysian Artist, known individually as Δ.
What does it mean “The” Dionysian Artist?
In every sense this is a personal blog, but a personal blog of a persona or role that I play as a devotee of Dionysos and Art. It is my aim here to sponsor devotional practice and protect the freedoms of art. Since my previous incarnation as The Gargarean I’ve toned down on political content and squabbles between the pagan/polytheist/alt-faith communities to direct all my efforts entirely towards the gods.
The Dionysian Artist, Δ, is from and based in Australia but I do not identify with any nation. Tekhnitai are traditionally Apolypragmoneton (Apolitical) therefore I adhere to that. That said, if a situation arises that is valid or potentially threaten the act of devotion then expect Δ. Too often I’ve experienced censorship online and off simply for producing art. This is a very passionate topic for me and extends to my devotional duties.
How this blog works
To explain the meaning and definitions for words used to categorise posts on this blog. Δ, Τέχνη, Λόγος, Λέξις you will notice are used in the tag line and the top menu. Some of these words may be difficult to understand, so allow me to explain my own definitions for the purpose of this blog.
Δ (Delta) is a symbol I identify with, to me it directly relates to my commitment to Dionysos. When used to categorise posts it is personal content. The symbol on the main menu links to my about. The category itself will relate to personal stuff or blog info updates.
Τέχνη (techne) literally means craft and art. Artistic content on this site will be shared under this category.
Λόγος (lógos) A very complex word, logos relates to many things from: holy words, philosophical / meaningful, religious discussion, in some cases: words of god, structures of the universe. (The word’s meaning is fascinating, I’d recommend you look it up). My purpose for using this word is to categorise all content related to my religion and philosophy.
Λέξις (léxis) The usage of this word may be in incorrect context. It means: a manner or way of speaking, structure of language, grammar, casual talk. The definition for this blog is sharing, reporting or whinging about causal / mundane / extraneous things.
All of these categories may be inter-used depending on the content shared, hopefully this structure will allow readers to find whatever they are looking for.
Unless stated otherwise all artwork made by Δ and shared on this blog is CC copyright: Attribution-NonCommercial-Share Alike (CC BY-NC-SA)
This means artwork may be downloaded and shared for personal use only, artwork must be attributed. I’d prefer link backs to this blog.
Thanks for reading, if you have any questions feel free to leave a comment.