The Goddess Companion

The Goddess Companion      

  

Free in the glad greenwood,
leaping like a deer
who fears no hunter.
There I will dance
with no man watching,
there I will find wisdom
written in the forest shadows.
Is there any gift greater
than feeling such joy?
~Maenad song, Greek Dramatist Euripides
 
On this night in ancient Greece, the Lenaia was celebrated. It was the festival of the Maenads, women who followed a now-mysterious cult of the god of ecstasy, Dionysus. Little is known about the celebrations of these women, who for more than 200 years practiced a religion apparently based upon union with the divine. Yet even, 2,000 years after their societies were disbanded, the Maenads still hold a powerful place in our imagination. What were they like, these seekers of ecstasy? How did they find the divinity within themselves? We may never know, but we can celebrate the instinct for transformation within ourselves, however it may manifest itself.

 )0( 

By Patricia Monaghan