Gods of the Vine

Gods of the Vine

By Patti Wigington

Grapes. They’re everywhere in the fall, so it’s no surprise that the Mabon season is a popular time to celebrate winemaking, and deities connected to the growth of the vine. Whether you see him as Bacchus, Dionysus, the Green Man, or some other vegetative god, the god of the vine is a key archetype in harvest celebrations.

The Greek Dionysus was representative of the grapes in the vineyards, and of course the wine that they created. As such, he gained a bit of a reputation as a party-hardy kind of god, and his followers were typically seen as a debauched and drunken lot. However, before he was a party god, Dionysus was originally a god of trees and the forest. He was often portrayed with leaves growing out of his face, similar to later depictions of the Green Man. Farmers offered prayers to Dionysus to make their orchards grow, and he is often credited with the invention of the plow.

In Roman legend, Bacchus stepped in for Dionysus, and earned the title of party god. In fact, a drunken orgy is still called a bacchanalia, and for good reason. Devotees of Bacchus whipped themselves into a frenzy of intoxication, and in the spring Roman women attended secret ceremonies in his name. Bacchus was associated with fertility, wine and grapes, as well as sexual free-for-alls. Although Bacchus is often linked with Beltane and the greening of spring, because of his connection to wine and grapes he is also a deity of the harvest.

In medieval times, the image of the Green Man appeared. He is typically a male face peering out from the leaves, surrounded by ivy or grapes. Tales of the Green Man have overlapped through time, so that in his many aspects he is also Puck of the MidSummer forest, Herne the Hunter, Cernunnos, the Oak King, John Barleycorn, Jack in the Green, and even Robin Hood. The spirit of the Green Man is everywhere in nature at the time of the harvest — as leaves fall down around you outside, imagine the Green Man laughing at you from his hiding place within the woods!

Calendar of the Moon for September 11

Calendar of the Moon

Grapevine Month

Colors: Blue and Purple
Element: Water
Altar: Upon cloth of blue and purple set a great pitcher of wine with many cups, four purple candles, and many wreaths of grapevine and baskets of grapes.
Offerings:
Daily Meal: Vegetarian, with wine or grape juice to drink, and of course grapes.

Muin Invocation

Call: Hail the Month of the Grapevine!
Response: Hail the Month of the Vine-Gods!
Call: Hail the month when sour turns to sweet!
Response: Hail the month when labor comes ripe!
Call: Hail the month when our hands come together,
Response: Hail the month when the cup is passed!
Call: This is the time of bonding,
Response: When the fruits of the harvest lay within our grasp.
Call: This is the call of Joy and Merriment,
Response: This is the time of coming together.
Call: For though we may have forgotten laughter beneath our burdens,
Response: Laughter comes for us at last.
Call: And yet we begin to see the year passing to its end,
Response: And our laughter is the light passing into the dark.
Call: May we go to into the dark like the Children of Dionysos,
Response: Embracing the cycle with open arms!
Call: Like the grapevine, we are givers of ecstasy.
Response: Like the grapevine, we are givers of dream.
Call: Like vines, we yield up our fruit.
Response: Like vines, we yield up for the good of all.
Call: Like vines, we twine towards the Light.
Response: Like vines, we twine towards the Spirit.
Call: We hold the line, we keep the Mysteries true,
Response: We hold the line, we keep the Mysteries true,
Call: I am the vine; the branches, you and you.
Response: I am the vine; the branches, you and you.

Chant:
Taste Joy in the Day
Take Joy in the Night
Touch Joy in your face turned
To the fading light
Ay ay ay ay-yi-hey.

[Pagan Book of Hours]

Calendar of the Moon for September 10

Calendar of the Moon

Grapevine Month

Colors: Blue and Purple
Element: Water
Altar: Upon cloth of blue and purple set a great pitcher of wine with many cups, four purple candles, and many wreaths of grapevine and baskets of grapes.
Offerings:
Daily Meal: Vegetarian, with wine or grape juice to drink, and of course grapes.

Muin Invocation

Call: Hail the Month of the Grapevine!
Response: Hail the Month of the Vine-Gods!
Call: Hail the month when sour turns to sweet!
Response: Hail the month when labor comes ripe!
Call: Hail the month when our hands come together,
Response: Hail the month when the cup is passed!
Call: This is the time of bonding,
Response: When the fruits of the harvest lay within our grasp.
Call: This is the call of Joy and Merriment,
Response: This is the time of coming together.
Call: For though we may have forgotten laughter beneath our burdens,
Response: Laughter comes for us at last.
Call: And yet we begin to see the year passing to its end,
Response: And our laughter is the light passing into the dark.
Call: May we go to into the dark like the Children of Dionysos,
Response: Embracing the cycle with open arms!
Call: Like the grapevine, we are givers of ecstasy.
Response: Like the grapevine, we are givers of dream.
Call: Like vines, we yield up our fruit.
Response: Like vines, we yield up for the good of all.
Call: Like vines, we twine towards the Light.
Response: Like vines, we twine towards the Spirit.
Call: We hold the line, we keep the Mysteries true,
Response: We hold the line, we keep the Mysteries true,
Call: I am the vine; the branches, you and you.
Response: I am the vine; the branches, you and you.

Chant:
Taste Joy in the Day
Take Joy in the Night
Touch Joy in your face turned
To the fading light
Ay ay ay ay-yi-hey.

[Pagan Book of Hours]

Calendar of the Sun for September 2

Calendar of the Sun

2 Halegmonath

Festival of the Grapevines II: Dionysos

Colors: Gold and purple
Element: Earth
Altar: Upon cloth of gold and purple lay eight purple candles, a chalice of wine, a thyrsus, a fawnskin, and many grapes and grapevines and bottles of wine.
Offerings: Do service work with alcoholics.
Daily Meal: Wine. Grape juice. Stuffed grape leaves. Goat meat. Lentils.

Invocation to Dionysos

Hail, Lord of the Vine!
Hail, Lord of the Lesser Madness
That keeps us safe from the Greater Lunacy!
IO Dionysos, Lord of the Vine,
We call upon the Womanly One,
child of Zeus and Semele.
We drink from your cup and join
The maenad train, O Lord of Masks
That teach the truth. In your cup we gain
Escape from care and ecstasy in the vine,
Your blessing under which
The sacred and profane became one
And the gods’ wedding party never ends.
Twice-born, we will give thanks,
We’ll tell our stories again and again
Of running with maenads
Of the secrets of the earth
And the heavens, and all that lies between,
Of fate, and time, and how to slip
Beyond their confines into immortality.
We’ll teach your mysteries,
Which teach other mysteries,
To all who will listen.
Hail, husband of Ariadne,
Hail, consort of the Mistress of the Labyrinth!
May we continue to be blessed with joy
And the yearly growth of all ripe fruiting.

Chant: Io Dionysos Io Dionysos

[Pagan Book of Hours]

Vine (Sept 2 – Sept 29)

VINE LORE

  • 10th Moon of the Celtic Year – (Sept 2 – Sept 29)
  • Latin name: Grape – vitis
  • Celtic name: Muin (pronounced: muhn).
  • Folk or Common names: Grape (when dried: Raisin).
  • Parts Used: Berries, wood, leaves, juice, seeds.
  • Herbal usage: The leaves from some varieties of Grape can be used to make teas for treating diarrhea, hepititas, and upset tummies. Grape leaves can also  be used externally for poultices to treat rheumatism, headaches and fevers. The fruit from most viney plants can be eaten and can be juiced for drinking. The  juices can also be fermented into various wines and alcoholic beverages.
  • Magical History & Associations: Grapes are an herb of Jupiter and the Moon, and are associated with positive ego strength. Birds associated with the  month of the Vine are the Tit-mouse and the white swan; the animal is the snake; the color is variegated; and the gemstone is amethyst. An annual Grape Vine  Festival called the Vinalia Rostica was held by the Greeks and the Romans – this was a festival of thanksgiving for the first of the grape harvest and was  dedicated to God Dionysos / Bacchus and to the Goddess Venus of the Grape Vine; and also to Minerva. It was celebrated by offering the first fruits of the  grape harvest and prayers for sustenance for all. The Grape Vine is also sacred to the deities Osiris, Hathor, and Demeter – and its five-pointed leaves are  sacred to the Goddess in general. Other specific deities associated with the Vine are Rhea, Oenone, Aphrodite, Branwen, Guinevere and Etain. The wood of  Vines is one of the nine traditional firewoods to be added to the Belfire that is burned at Beltane – as the tree of tree of joy (its juice is capable of  altering consciousness), Vine is added to the fire as a celebration of joy.
  • Magickal usage: Vines in general are symbols of both joy and wrath. This month marks the vintage season when the Grape crop is harvested and so is a good  time to do any and all rituals associated with the harvest – in fact, the Autumn Equinox (called Harvest Home or Mabon) is celebrated during this month. The  month of Vine is also a good time to do magick associated with inspiration, imagination, poetry and imagery. The Grape has applications in magick done for  Faerie work, garden magick, joy, exhilaration, wrath, mental powers, rebirth, happiness, fertility, inspiration, prosperity, and binding. The leaves and  fruit from Vines can be used in spells to overcome inferiority complexes and to enhance ambition. The Grape Vine also symbolizes resurrection because its  strength is preserved in the wine, that magical elixir that’s known for its ability to dissolve the boundaries between us, allow us to mingle more  easily, and relax with others. Grapes and Grape wine are often used to symbolize vitality, since tonic healing has always been related to the vine. Here is a  recipe for Vine Moon Tea (good for use in Earth magic, sex magic, overcoming difficulties):1 part blackberry         1 part dandelion         splash of currant wine or Grape juice         pinch of hibiscus

    Grapes can be used in many types of prosperity or money attraction spells. They can be eaten as part of prosperity spellwork if the person casting    the spell visualizes money energy vibrating as the grapes are eaten. You can also place grapes on the altar during money spells. Pictures of Grapes or    grape Vines can be painted onto garden walls to ensure the garden’s fertility, as was done in ancient Rome. Eating grapes or raisins is said to    increase fertility, as well as strengthen mental powers. Grape leaves can be dried and carried in a small pouch or bag to act as evil-repellent.

Calendar of the Moon for Friday, April 13th

Calendar of the Moon
13 Fearn/Elaphebolion

Dionysia Polis V

Color: Purple
Element: Earth
Altar: Upon a purple cloth lay a chalice of red wine, grapevines, a fawnskin, masks, and the thyrsus of Dionysus.
Offering: A mystery play on some instructive subject should be rehearsed during these five days, and on the fifth day it should be performed for some outside audience, whether invited in or taken elsewhere.
Daily Meal: Wine. Grapes. Goat meat. Figs. Dates. Lentils. Meat or rice wrapped in grapeleaves.

Invocation to Dionysos

IO Dionysos, Lord of the Vine,
We call upon the Womanly One,
child of Zeus and Semele.
We drink from your cup and join
The maenad train, O Lord of Masks
That teach the truth. In your cup we gain
Escape from care and ecstasy in the vine,
Your blessing under which
The sacred and profane became one
And the gods’ wedding party never ends.
Twice-born, we will give thanks,
We’ll tell our stories again and again
Of running with maenads
Of the secrets of the earth
And the heavens, and all that lies between,
Of fate, and time, and how to slip
Beyond their confines into immortality.
We’ll teach your mysteries,
Which teach other mysteries,
To all who will listen.
We’ll testify
To the gift of the Womanly One
Dionysos.

Chant: Io Dionysos Io Dionysos

(Pass around the chalice of wine and then pour the rest out as a libation. All should then go to make ready for the mystery play, to be performed in his honor later that night.)

[Pagan Book of Hours]

Calendar of the Moon for April 12th

Calendar of the Moon
12 Fearn/Elaphebolion

Dionysia Polis IV

Color: Purple
Element: Earth
Altar: Upon a purple cloth lay a chalice of red wine, grapevines, a fawnskin, masks, and the thyrsus of Dionysus.
Offering: A mystery play on some instructive subject should be rehearsed during these five days, and on the fifth day it should be performed for some outside audience, whether invited in or taken elsewhere.
Daily Meal: Wine. Grapes. Goat meat. Figs. Dates. Lentils. Meat or rice wrapped in grapeleaves.

Invocation to Dionysos

IO Dionysos, Lord of the Vine,
We call upon the Womanly One,
child of Zeus and Semele.
We drink from your cup and join
The maenad train, O Lord of Masks
That teach the truth. In your cup we gain
Escape from care and ecstasy in the vine,
Your blessing under which
The sacred and profane became one
And the gods’ wedding party never ends.
Twice-born, we will give thanks,
We’ll tell our stories again and again
Of running with maenads
Of the secrets of the earth
And the heavens, and all that lies between,
Of fate, and time, and how to slip
Beyond their confines into immortality.
We’ll teach your mysteries,
Which teach other mysteries,
To all who will listen.
We’ll testify
To the gift of the Womanly One
Dionysos.

Chant: Io Dionysos Io Dionysos

(Pass around the chalice of wine and then pour the rest out as a libation. All should then go to rehearse the mystery play, performed in his honor.)

[Pagan Book of Hours]

Calendar of the Moon for April 10th

Calendar of the Moon
10 Fearn/Elaphebolion

Dionysia Polis II

Color: Purple
Element: Earth
Altar: Upon a purple cloth lay a chalice of red wine, grapevines, a fawnskin, masks, and the thyrsus of Dionysus.
Offering: A mystery play on some instructive subject should be rehearsed during these five days, and on the fifth day it should be performed for some outside audience, whether invited in or taken elsewhere.
Daily Meal: Wine. Grapes. Goat meat. Figs. Dates. Lentils. Meat or rice wrapped in grapeleaves.

Invocation to Dionysos

IO Dionysos, Lord of the Vine,
We call upon the Womanly One,
child of Zeus and Semele.
We drink from your cup and join
The maenad train, O Lord of Masks
That teach the truth. In your cup we gain
Escape from care and ecstasy in the vine,
Your blessing under which
The sacred and profane became one
And the gods’ wedding party never ends.
Twice-born, we will give thanks,
We’ll tell our stories again and again
Of running with maenads
Of the secrets of the earth
And the heavens, and all that lies between,
Of fate, and time, and how to slip
Beyond their confines into immortality.
We’ll teach your mysteries,
Which teach other mysteries,
To all who will listen.
We’ll testify
To the gift of the Womanly One
Dionysos.

Chant: Io Dionysos Io Dionysos

(Pass around the chalice of wine and then pour the rest out as a libation. All should then go to rehearse the mystery play, performed in his honor.)

[Pagan Book of Hours]

Calendar of the Moon for Monday, April 9th

Calendar of the Moon
9 Fearn/Elaphebolion

Dionysia Polis I

Color: Purple
Element: Earth
Altar: Upon a purple cloth lay a chalice of red wine, grapevines, a fawnskin, masks, and the thyrsus of Dionysus.
Offering: A mystery play on some instructive subject should be rehearsed during these five days, and on the fifth day it should be performed for some outside audience, whether invited in or taken elsewhere.
Daily Meal: Wine. Grapes. Goat meat. Figs. Dates. Lentils. Meat or rice wrapped in grapeleaves.

Invocation to Dionysos

IO Dionysos, Lord of the Vine,
We call upon the Womanly One,
child of Zeus and Semele.
We drink from your cup and join
The maenad train, O Lord of Masks
That teach the truth. In your cup we gain
Escape from care and ecstasy in the vine,
Your blessing under which
The sacred and profane became one
And the gods’ wedding party never ends.
Twice-born, we will give thanks,
We’ll tell our stories again and again
Of running with maenads
Of the secrets of the earth
And the heavens, and all that lies between,
Of fate, and time, and how to slip
Beyond their confines into immortality.
We’ll teach your mysteries,
Which teach other mysteries,
To all who will listen.
We’ll testify
To the gift of the Womanly One
Dionysos.

Chant: Io Dionysos Io Dionysos

(Pass around the chalice of wine and then pour the rest out as a libation. All should then go to rehearse the mystery play, performed in his honor.)

[Pagan Book of Hours]