On the 7th of October I celebrated the Feast of the Bacchic Martyrs, this festival is celebrating the devotees of Dionysos that have been killed for their religious beliefs. (Dionysians were persecuted well before Christians.) I cannot describe the day in detail because, frankly, I can’t remember. I was so heavily entranced that my actions were not my own and guided by someone else. With limited resources (as in money) I managed to craft my first thyrsos, admittedly a lot of it is made of artificial plants, but I see a ritual meaning of plastic as it is the ultimate dead thing. The thyrsos being a symbol of life and death, seems pretty fitting. Ironic even.
I also dressed formally as Δ the festival falling roughly in the same month of confirmations of initiation as The Dionysian Artist back in 2015.
I finished the Feast with a basic but delicious vegetarian pasta dish, a plate of which was given at a crossroads by a funeral home I live next too. (Yeah, a funeral home is my neighbour, little wonder why I come in contact with the dead so often.)
Here are some photos that were *permitted* to be shared of the days activities.
I’m very excited and pleased to own this cute little booklet by Lo Keen. It addresses something that is rarely mentioned by polytheist and animist artists and also has some strong words of encouragement in the process of creation and honouring our Divine.
Concerning The Spirits of Art is a reply to the artist and art theorist, Wassily Kandinsky, an important figure in modern art that eventually led to art movements like the Dadaist and proclamation of: Art is Dead. The booklet encouraging artists to return back to the roots of our ancestors in which they viewed art, in that art was viewed differently from the secular, ego based understanding of art now. This mirrors my own writing as The Dionysian Artist though I usually go back to Théophile Gautier’s statement of Art for Art’s Sake.
This is a response to Lo Keen’s work, it is not a criticism or review, I just thought I’d contribute to their beautifully written text and offer a slightly nuanced opinion.
First and foremost Keen addresses art from an animist point of view and encourages that we be conscious of how we make art, the origins of our materials and nature of our art. I highly encourage fellow artists to be aware of this also. I do not identify with the Animist title, but do believe it to be inherent in my practice.
It is not lost on me that binders of my paint come from sacred plants, some pigments literally come from sacrificed animal bone, that titanium white is named after spirits that killed and consumed my beloved god. Our brushes are made from hog, badger and horse hair. The glues from skins of animals, and the surface we paint on trees and plants. We make art from The Dead and this must be something we respect in order to not only honour, but control as artists.
It saddens me that nowadays with the mass production of art supplies that artists have lost this link to their materials. It is plainly obvious that the secularism of art came about with the invention of the paint tube. The artist became disconnected from the nature of their materials and instead of inventing their own paints and brushes, simply buy it from the art store. This is one of the reasons why I passionately study the materials I use, make my own tools and mediums. We are dealing with holy objects imbued with their own spirits. This likewise is why I encourage folk to avoid synthetic paints and materials, though, that all said, there is also a magic in synthetic paint with its origins coming from alchemical experiments.
Keen discusses the nature of digital art and its rise. Though not completely discounting of the possibly of its power they caution it from an animist perspective. Here is where I differ, my approach to devotional art making is through deliberate expression, with the nature of this expression being limitless. As long as the process is devotional in nature and conscious of that the value of sacredness cannot be discounted regardless of the medium or even skill proficiency of the divine artist. Apart from that however, I find digital art to be liberating and holy in its nature, this is the first time in history where artists are not inventing an illusion of light in art, but actually manipulating light itself to create art. Light being the most sacred substance to us and often called as the forerunner of creation, the inventor of creation itself. I think Keen’s points on this subject are totally valid, as in digital art relies on fossil fuels to be powered, it is not as intimate as physical mediums, you cannot touch it, grab it and smudge it. But still the process is expression of light, I find this exceptionally powerful.
Miasma in art making, is art making clean?
The booklet briefly explores the notion of ritual purity when making art, this is a topic that has been interesting me for a few months now and I plan to formulate my ideas into a properly structured essay. I believe artists are naturally miasmic creatures by their function, they channel spirits and demons, create divine images and invent illusion. They are magi that make art from The Dead. This is why there are tropes of the mad artists as they must suffer the repercussions of their hubris in making art. Yes, I specially use hubris, because like clowns, artists boarder between the realms of profound and profane. They are forced to deal with this ick, but I encourage embracing it (probably why I’m so damn self-destructive.) This however is the nature of my tradition, other sacred artists DO have strict protocol for cleanliness.
Art as augury.
I was very excited the Keen mentions this subject, as it is something I have dealt with myself. I view divination to be its own art form and one that I’m barred from performing due to my focus upon other arts. This is a personal taboo, I’m unaware if other artists have suffered these same issues?
Ego and Art?
Artists by my definition are naturally egoistical. They have to be in order to have the Will to create, but yes, in the process of art making the artist gets drawn into their own or another’s reality. They are forced to constantly question themselves, “is this the right colour?”, “is this the right brush?”, “is this the right application of paint?”. But artists are also decision makers and they do this by answering all those little questions that go through their head. In time and in practice they enter a ‘zone’ where these questions are eradicated and art making becomes naturalistic. The ego is stripped away and the piece is created – sometimes by another force. This is why I identify as the role Δ when making art and signing it (if I ever do sign my work). But the start of creating art also has to do with ego, so in this I believe it is a balance.
To end this little response I want to thank Lo Keen for this beautiful booklet, it makes a welcome addition to my collection of references to this subject and will be something I will refer to in future writing. I highly recommend that this should be read by others!
I live a strange life and mostly rely on the donations of strangers to pay my way. Everything I do I try to make free for everyone. I do this by bringing our art out to the public and publish it online. I dedicate my time to art, religious and artistic mentoring and writing with no expectation of reward. I thank everyone that does contribute, you have my sincere gratitude.
If you’d like to contribute I have a patreon account (money I find myself reinvesting into the polytheist community) and have updated my Redbubble store with some new designs (I dare say they look super neat!) I also have art for sale and am accepting commissions.
As for my patreon I’d like to turn that into a kinda community, so I’m open to requests and questions!
I’ve been working a lot and have not had an opportunity to announce here that an interview about me was published on The Wild Hunt over the weekend. I wish to express my thanks to Heather for her editing prowess, I’m overall happy with the interview, but I wish there were some more specific questions about my beliefs of devotion and it’s function. Maybe that will be addressed in the future. Something I’m grateful that Heather edited out was some of the too much information about my childhood. It wasn’t exactly fitting for such a public article. Yet, part of the process of healing is being more open about things. As my spiritual mentor said to me, (paraphrasing), “I’d be worried if a Dionysian was not fucked up”.
On 20th of February I experienced a complete and potentially deadly mental breakdown. I had been fasting for four days and consuming nothing but wine, I required outside help to come save me. Since then, I’ve been sober and seeing doctors to help with my broken brain. I’m diagnosed with PTSD, agoraphobia, anxiety-depression (of which I had been self-medicating with alcohol). Spiritually, I’ve been suffering from Acedia.
The PTSD is pretty basic: related to childhood abuse by my step father, an alcoholic, disabled and all rounded fucked up individual. As a result of this abuse large chunks of my childhood are wiped from my memory, however it has left emotional scars that haunt me to this day.
The agoraphobia is related, but more nuanced… it’s an irony that I’m a public performer and put myself in the most vulnerable position in the agora – on the street. To me this phobia is not a result of personal fears, but rather the overwhelming illness of our society. The function of it: the spiritual and apathetic decay of humanity. I have a fear for the future of humanity, this fear is that prophesied as the Last man by Nietzsche. An apathy that leads us to nihilism. This shit is fucking serious and I’m exposed to it every day when I work, when I go to the shops and when I watch people. The Mysteries of the world and the spirit are lost on people. This is something I did not address in the interview: it’s my hopes of not only opening doorways to what has been forgotten but also jerk people out of this dangerous nihilism. So why does this manifest as a fear? Well I find myself failing in my goals. I find myself falling for the Last man and becoming completely apathetic, jaded, generating as a hatred towards humanity… which sets off Acedia.
A Dionysian travels a narrow path between blissful enlightenment and mind-shattering madness. At times I veer from the path and head deep long for the madness. This is not a bad thing, but to lose sight of the path can result in being lost forever. When I had my breakdown I felt was lost, to the point of no return, but I’ve been crawling back since and every day I feel the catharsis of madness, a lesson I must accept in order to know who I am and know my place.
That is the point of The Dionysian Artists, to make art for the divine: still the theatre requires an audience for the performance to work its magic. It’s active work, direct and open to nature and human minds.
Now, I’ve been reading Antonin Artaud of late and find myself agreeing with his concepts of The Theatre of Cruelty. I’ll have to finish reading his Theatre and its Double, but so far I believe there should be a balance between the terror of Cruelty and divine good. Our culture is too saturated in the cruelty; nearly every household in the “West” is exposed to it every day, if not through television, the internet. It’s tearing communities apart, (even the microscopic “community” of Pagans). This is when the Dionysian Artists are most needed, it’s time we direct our attention to healing through art, it does not matter which art – nor how good one is at it, just make art to the gods. Let’s kill this Last man and escape to fantasies that make reality. We need to redirect our attention from ourselves and towards our audience or else we’re going to just find ourselves in a nihilistic and fruitless omophagy.
(Note: I’m going through my old blog and republishing choice articles here. Eventually the old blog will be deactivated. What follows is my response to the destruction of holy sites by the hands of scum.)
I am devastated by the destruction of the Temple of Bel in Palmyra.
I don’t think I’ve yet grasped how much this stuff affects me. After being constantly bombarded through links and shares. I’ve decided I will no longer share or “Like” said articles on facebook. Also I will limit my commenting on it too. My justifications are personal, but on another level it spreads the Daesh agenda and empowers them to know that the world is suffering from their evil.
Something that is easy for me to forgot is that I am a foreigner. I know these ancient cities, have researched for years of the beautiful landscape in relation to Dionysos and other gods. I know these gods through photos and descriptions of artefacts, but not the land.
These deities are intrinsically connected to the landscape and well before temples and architecture was their Holy Mountains. There was wind and rain, sand and life. Even if the Daesh apocalyptic vision is fulfilled these forces will continue without us.
This is a revelation that been told to me before…
A vast hall, with stone walls colouring in an array of reds and blues and yellows and great floral pillars that rose up into the shadowy vaulted roof, all of which seemed intangible, as though it faded away into the dusk of dream when my sight left its presence. A stark contrast to my illuminated guide, She need not utter Her name. There is no subtlety or shyness from my rainbow dressed herald.
She lead me to a great dais that hosted two enthroned beings of inconceivable height, stone faced, statuesque, both adorned with gold horned crowns that held back waving black hair. Their eyes were large, looking upon me with a sort of regality I was unfamiliar with, a feeling that they were much more distant of humanity compared to the Others I knew. Yet, a kindness, like one would expect from their parents. Mother and father, husband and wife.
My guide spoke winged words I could not comprehend and these beings replied likewise with their Names.
Then I knew why I had been brought before Them. The hatred and anger directed to Their own children for the destruction of their sacred spaces drew Their attention.
Those four great eyes just stared at me and without a utterance, I was assured. Those things lost were human things, lovely human things, but still no more meaningful then the desert sands. Visions of water and earth, moon and sun, the wind blowing up storms. Their presence is Cosmos, not human shaped stones.
I was assured and comforted when I awoke. The rage that had kept me awake subsided.
Like my writing, like my art? You can now support it on Patreon. I’m offering exclusive content, from articles, art previews, tutorials and more!
I started a Patreon account. Simply put, this is a means for polytheist/pagan fans and supporters of my writing and art to contribute towards it.
I am a self-employed artist who relies on the generosity of the public to survive. I also dedicate a lot of my time to various polytheist/pagan communities including writing and giving my art out for free. While I’m honoured to do this, it does actually cost my time and money.
I’m not just asking for donations though, my Patreon has exclusive content including previews, sketches, art tutorials, in the future it will have devotional related publications.
I’ve also added a new page on this blog for patrons over $20: patrons may request links to blogs or whatnot, if desired.
(Note: I’m going through my old blog and republishing choice articles here. Eventually the old blog will be deactivated.)
When I tell people that I am a Dionysian there is often a presupposition that I’m a drunk.
A few years ago I was sitting with a very good friend talking about Dionysos. It was when I was first getting a grasp of this overly complex deity. My friend said something like, “why worship Dionysos? He is a selfish god, there is nothing he offers but drunkenness.”
Granted, my friend has a limited understanding of Dionysos, also he has a strong catholic background which was influencing his criticism. Yet at the time I was wordless. I was incapable of defending Dionysos. I did not have the knowledge or presence to tell my friend otherwise.If my friend asked me that question now the conversation would had gone a lot differently. The reason is I’ve been going on my own journey. If my friend asked me that question in the future, I would have another set of responses.
The only thing I believe in is flux, motion, cause and effect.
What I can say now is that Dionysians have roles, each role is different and even sometimes polar opposite to the other. There is a Dionysian in the Storming of the Bastille, there is a Dionysian of the opulence of Versailles. How can a person acknowledge and respect both all at once? A Dionysian must be of two or more states, they are the radicals chopping off the aristocrats heads and also the decadent nobles living in naivety. If you want to categorise Dionysians as something they are the emulsion of water and wine.
To assigned a Dionysian to a political position is wrong because of this movement of liquids like when the river meets the sea. To be a Dionysian is to be Pentheus and Dionysos at once. For those innocent of myth, imagine the archetypes of a fascist and the anarchist being one. Dionysos may be the ultimate anarchist, but to comprehend him requires the other side.
If I was to argue with my friend today I’d say that Dionysos is not a selfish god, but the host. He is like a barman distributing the drinks. He is also the drinks. But in the form of a barkeeper he is a host. The barman is someone we usually attribute to being sober, to be outside of the drunks perspective, an observer yet still directly related to drinking.
In this fantasy bar all people are served, all people get drunk. They all have their beliefs and ideologies. By speaking in this place does not mean that the patron owns this space, they are simply guests in the establishment. For lack of a better word the host is “leasing” this space for discourse, it does not mean that the host believes, follows or even understand the argument.
I could draw on more classical analogies like the theatre. We imagine that the theatre is a place solely for performance, which it is, but our concept of performance is limited by the TV screen. In the past performance included political discourse, politicians would give speeches before and after a play they produced and funded that was relevant to their political campaign. But the theatre itself remained the same.
The physical characteristics of the theatre maintains this bi-polar relationship also. Traditional Greek theatres were situated on a hillside and carved into it. It was a part of nature, open to the sky. Earth was literally cultivated for performance. The seating of the theatre are focused forwards, with masses all enjoying an individual experience on mass and in their own heads.
The role of performance continues with this outside/inside relationship. Three actors played all the characters in one performance. An interchange between characters would just be a replacing of the mask. You could theoretically have a play where Pentheus and Dionysos are played by the same actor. The actor is host to these characters but only in role does the actor believe in what the character believes. Outside of the theatre the actors personality is their own, but by empathising and playing the various roles does the actor become a Dionysian.
This apoliticism was recognised in classical times with a intuition called the Dionysiakoi Technitai (Artists of Dionysos). The technitai was a guild of artists without borders. They were granted incredibly powerful privileges based on their talent and devotion to the gods. These privileges included: unlimited travel, free of national taxes, free of conscription and seizure of person and possessions. This intuition was recognised by all the city states in a very rare agreement in the form the 279 BC Delphi Decree:
It was decided by the Amphictyons and the hieromnemones and the agoratroi: In order for all time the technitai in Athens may have freedom from seizure (asylia) and from taxation, and that no one may be apprehended from anywhere in war or in peace or their goods seized, but that they may have freedom from taxation and immunity accorded to them surely by all of Greece, the technitai are to be free of taxes for military service on land or sea and all special levies, so that honours and sacrifices for which the technitai are appointed may be performed for the gods at appropriate times, seeing that they are apolitical (apolypragmoneton) and consecrated to the services of the gods: let it be permitted to no one to make off with the technitai either in war or in peace or to take reprisals against them, provided that they have contracted no debt with the city as debtors, or are under no obligation for a private contract. If anyone acts contrary to this, let him be liable before the Amphictyons, both he himself and the city in which the offence was committed against the technitai. The freedom from taxation and security that has been granted by the Amphictyons is to belong for all time to the technitai at Athens, who are apolitical. The secretaries are to inscribe this decree on a stone slab and set it up in Delphi, and to send to the Athenians a sealed copy of this decree, so that the technitai may know that the Amphictyons have the greatest respect for their piety towards the gods and adhering to the requests of the technitai and shall try also for the future to safeguard this for all time and in addition to increase any other privilege they have on behalf of the Artists of Dionysus. Ambassadors: Artydamas, poet of tragedies, Neoptolemos, tragic actor.
Eric Csapo & William Slater, The Context of Ancient Drama; 233, 244
So you see in my role as Dionysian I must be apolitical. I worship the gods, I give all I can to them. But my gods demand that I leave politics outside of my devotion. My path may intersect with politics, personally I am politically minded – but that is in a different role. If anyone automatically assigns my polytheism into a political definition I will revolt against it. Not only are they offending my own agency, but my religious beliefs.
Art for art’s sake is a relatively modern idea credited by the art critic, Théophile Gautier in the 1800’s. The concept became popular through artists like James Whistler (made famous by the “Whistler-Ruskin Trial, 1878″) and was continually echoed through the modernist period until now. The basic idea is that art should exist for itself. It should be free of any political, personal, religious, reactionary meaning. If these ideas were involved in the conception of the art, the viewer should be able to appreciate it as art without knowing the ideas behind it.
This concept was radical at the time as it gave artists liberties in attempting to define art. With the advent of art movements such as the Dadaists and then the Modernists the definition of what is art became blurred, in some cases it became totally atheistic with a reductionist mentality applied to art to the point artists ambitions was to destroy art itself.
There is a certain irony in this as when Art for art’s sake was coined it was actually a socialist concept to bring art to the people, bring it down to base level and indeed many of the Modernist artists and thinkers were socialist / communists in their intentions of making art. The irony is the reduction of art disconnected artists from their general audience. Art became elitist, with its only admires being the educated bourgeoisie.
Criticism of the art world aside, these artists and thinkers did achieve a new definition of what is art, which has granted artists liberties. The basic modernist definition of art is: anything can be art as long as there is an artist to define it as art. This is why we have pieces like Duchamp’s ready-made urinal, “Fountain” being considered a major landmark in 20th-century art and why artists like Damien Hirst have pickled animals in some of the world’s major art galleries.
Now that we have a crash course on the very bare basics of how art is viewed today, let’s explore my concept of devotional art. The Dionysian Artists (Devotional artists) definition of devotional art is an amalgamation of Modernist ideology but also a rejection of Art for art’s sake, instead the phrase of a devotional artist should be Art for god’s sake.
The Dionysian Artists should accept the Modernist definition of art, that anything can be art, but also with an added bonus: devotional art should be dedicated to the gods. Artwork created by the artists should not be made for humankind – it’s intended audience is the gods themselves – any human appreciation for this divine art is consequential. How an artist applies their devotion is totally up to the artist themselves. Like how an artist can define anything as art, a devotional artist can define anything as devotional art.
What this definition allows is anyone can call themselves a Devotional Artist (or a Dionysian Artist), its more so a matter of mind state being aware of ones actions when committing art to the gods. Art does not need to be something permanent, devotional art can be an expression, gesture, a dance, acting, singing etc. Or it can be a ready-made object, appropriation of existing art, a painting, stick figure drawing, crude votive statue, or a master piece.
As long as one is doing this for the gods, they may consider the art devotional and themselves Dionysian Artists.
The Dionysian Artist known as Δ is apolitical unless art, especially forms of devotional art, is under attack by any party. The art presented may be something that Δ does not support, nor appreciate, but any form of censorship is unacceptable. This is as political as Δ gets.
This is simple to understand. Art transcends time, it represents cultural epochs and history, without it we cannot learn and educate ourselves for betterment.
One of the worst WW2 cultural atrocities was the Nazi destruction of “degenerate art”, and likewise, one of the worst post WW2 cultural atrocities, performed by US soldiers, was the destruction of many Nazi artworks, especially the work by Arno Breker.
Both instances of destruction are as bad as each other.
Therefore I condemn the actions of the Chicago Antifa and instead recommend that they commit their energy, passion and time to counter these so-called “Neo-folk fascists” with their own art.
EDIT: I’m part of an on going conversation on facebook, with most agreeing with Antifa and their actions. I did some digging around – because I don’t just go with antifa hyperbole statements – this is my conclusion:
“Late last night I attempted to do some research on this, as it’s topics of personal focus – art censorship and paganism. First off the bat, I don’t know their music. However Blood and Sun fans claim it is NOT neo-nazi, but pagan music. I’m curious if any commentators here have actually listened to the band’s music?
-Other than some comments and two photos (being described as “a lot” by antifa, when no it’s actually just two photos being cited) the lead singer appears to have no links to neo-nazi, nor claims to be one. He even released a statement saying such.
-I am as a profession a public performer and have countless people pose with me, they request I put my arms around them and look like buddies, I don’t know these people. Maybe they are neo-nazi? But being photographed with them does not mean anything. A performer has no control of the ideologies of their fans and in the Heathen demographic there is always some bad eggs.
-The valknut tattoo being pointed out in the article as a nazi symbol is a religious symbol of heathens, it is not a nazi symbol. It is commonly used by many heathens today. Including those who identify as antifa heathens.
-From what I can see, (it’s really hard to read through the hyperbole of the antifa,) it appears the tour was cancelled because antifa groups were threatening violence against concert goers and the band. One audience member claims that antifa assaulted the band on stage earlier in December. Performance venues here in Australian, and I’m supposing definitely in the US, are very cautious of any threats of violence due to the extreme terrorism culture we live in now, so it’s their responsibility to cancel shows they deem dangerous to participants.
If commentators here want to just read the statements from the antifa groups and run with it, fine. But what I’m seeing here is bullying, harassment, loss of income, doxing and encouraging violence against a pagan artist. This has been a concerning feature of the pagan community for the last few years, I’ve seen the same form of harassment happen to friends I’ve known for many years and know for a FACT that they are not neo-nazi, but are being labelled fascist because they have some opinion contrary to antifa pagan groups.”
You may have noticed I have republished some choice articles I wrote for the Thiasos of the Starry Bull. These are some of my favourites, there are others on the old blog that I like but am happy to let them archive.
I do not know the specifics, but there is a rumbling coming from the Starry Bull so keep an eye out.
Sannion is also requesting submissions, hymns and resources, for Starry Bull deities.
In Australia we don’t have big museums like the British Museum, instead ancient artefacts are found in art galleries. The National Gallery of Victoria (NGV) has some beautiful examples of Greek and Italian marbles, especially a nicely preserved Athlete torso and a beautiful Kore statue (now damaged). They also have an okay collection of Greek pottery and Egyptian pieces including seals, burial objects, statuettes, tools and weapons. The problem with keeping these sacred objects in art galleries is that they are not treated with respect, nor viewed as artefacts, but rather viewed by the modern secular understanding of art.
The NGV is the first major art gallery in Australia and still one of the largest. It’s layout is meant to be designed based on the history of art, the ground floor being ancient art, then each floor continues with subsequent time periods with contemporary art on the top floor.
In the last couple of years the NGV has gone under a ‘business remodelling’ making the gallery more approachable for ‘common people’ and family orientated. The first thing they did was shut down the Egyptian and Greek display areas on the ground floor and convert them into a kids corner! So now in the kids corner are the Egyptian pieces, you literally have a playground decorated by burial objects, no fucking joke.
As for the Greek pieces… they are now scattered all over the gallery, before it was damaged by the mishandling of incompetent staff, the last time I saw the Kore was in the textiles area! It had a fucking blurb stating it was, “a juxtaposition of the advancements of fashion, blah, blah.” Nothing to do with the actual fucking sacredness of the statue, but a secular view solely based on an outward material idea of fashion.
The athlete torso gets moved around a lot, my latest visit found it was in the 1800’s art area next to a Neoclassical work to again illustrate “juxtaposition”.
As for the Greek pottery, they can be found in a corridor leading to the toilets!
Here is the problem with art galleries, gallery curators are trained in art schools, they are essentially failed artists who focus more on art theory rather than art itself. The art theory is a pretty toxic place for history and religion as it falls under the domain of modern art philosophy that views art a secular concept of just objects. They intentionally strip away the context of why the art was actually made and apply a modern context to it which is objectifying i.e., a statue of a god, is just a marble statue. They disregard the holy to claim it for themselves so it “fits” into their understanding of “art history”. This means they intentionally ignore the history and true meaning behind the work – especially if it once held a religious significance.
This is a form of cultural appropriation that is really sickening and something that upsets me so much I often walk out of the NGV shaking in anger.
I’ve taken some time to update the Δ page. I find these things difficult to write. I hope I’ve expressed the correct concepts to my full intentions. If you have any questions please comment on the page.
The most important thing to note and keep in mind when approaching my work is my focus is a developing modern polytheist Dionysian religion heavily dependant on what we know of ancient sources, yet also adaptive and advancing in a contemporary setting.
I can’t remember when I fell in love with David Bowie. I think, like many of my generation, it was the Labyrinth movie. I remember my grandmother and especially my mother being quite worried about that film. My mum hated it, LOL. Yet, my sister and I would sit there in awe of Bowie’s crotch bulge and would sing along to Dance Baby Dance and When the World Falls Down.
Music has always been very difficult for me to appreciate. I suspect it has something to do with my dyslexia, I strongly believe it’s an associated dyslexic symptom called, Auditory processing disorder. This means it is difficult for me to differentiate certain sounds from background noise, thus I never listened to music as a youth, nor really liked it as it often sounds like static to me.
One day as a teenager I was sitting in a car and Space Oddity came on the radio, the noise and the voice had me entranced as I could hear it, I asked my mum who it was and she said, “It’s that creep, David Bowie.”
From then on I was stuck. It was the noise that really grabbed me, he makes amazing noises.
Anyway, when I met my partner I was delighted to find out that he also experienced a similar adolescence of loving Bowie despite the disdain of his own mother. (I think it’s the whole apparent *OMG SO Shocking!!!* bi / homosexual thing?) My partner really got me into music, I didn’t start listen to it all the time until I moved out with him at twenty, since Bowie has been an daily feature of my life.
When I was later going through my Dionysian study period: where I spent two years eating book after book about mysteries and Dionysos, Bowie was the music I read too. It was here I started seeing connections between his work and the subjects I was reading. I wrote this in 2013:
“David Bowie in the persona of Ziggy Stardust. In the album The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars, Bowie takes on a sexually ambiguous, alien persona who wishes to bring message of peace and love, ultimately he is torn apart by his enlightened fans, which causes a greater revelation…”
… sounds pretty Dionysian. Then we have further elements like his backgrounds in performance of mime as well as adopting differing personalities throughout his lifetime as Pierrot and Harlequin and also adventures into theatre and movie performance.
Just even with the evolution of the personas of Bowie, he developed different characters for each phase of his music giving us a new take on the enigma that is David Bowie. I seriously doubt we ever saw who David Jones ever really was in his entire career as a performer.
Despite the changes of characters certain themes always remained, we see elements of Major Tom and Space Oddity throughout his entire lifetime, Ashes to Ashes 1980 discussed what those pills are, then Hallo Spaceboy 1995 continues the tale and then I Took A Trip On A Gemini Spaceship 2002 speaks of an astronaut lost in space shooting of his ‘space gun’ when thinking of his love. Blackstar music video finally features a deified Major Tom? whose skull is used to initiate ecstatic women… forty seven years of a developing a mythos concluding with the same Orphic themes first seen with the persona of Ziggy Stardust. Everything is beautifully linked, a narrative of enlightenment gifted to the world as a whole body of work.
The best thing about Bowie’s motifs are generic enough that anyone can walk away from his work relating to it and feeling the same elation as the next man. It is a long running epic poem mixed with performance…
A gift to mankind.
Finding time to work on my new blogging home has been difficult, but I’ve done some minor updates today.
First off, I want 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.