(Greek) Διονυσο, Dionysos, from dio, "god," and nusa, "tree," thus the name literally means "god of the [world] tree." Also called Bacchus ("riotous").
Originally, Dionysus was a Greek symbol in the secret mystical schools, and was related to sexual power and to wine in the same way that Jesus is related to wine in Christianity. Those traditions were dedicated to purity of character and the perfection of the human being by transforming the base animal desires into purified spiritual exaltation. Dionysus was related to the spiritual intoxication that resulted from the purification of the heart and mind, thus he and his followers were represented in states of ecstasy, dancing, "drunk" on the "wine" of transmutation. Later, through degeneration, the symbolism of Dionysus was corrupted by a wide variety of cults and hedonistic interests. As a god, Dionysus was represented as androgynous (having both masculine and feminine aspects, as also represented in the Hebrew word Elohim). This also was later seized upon as a justification for degenerated interests.
Like Jesus, Dionysus was
- born of the union of a god and a mortal virgin (parthenos): "And Semele, daughter of Cadmus was joined with him [the god Zeus] in love and bare him a splendid son, joyous Dionysus, -- a mortal woman, an immortal son. And now they both are gods." - Hesiod, Theogeny 940
- turned water into wine: "...in the Isle of Andros there is a Fountain in the Temple of Father Bacchus [Dionysus], which upon the Nones of January always runneth with Water that tastes like Wine..." - Pliny (the Elder), Natural History
"In the Anacalypsis, Godfrey Higgins conclusively establishes Bacchus (Dionysos) as one of the early pagan forms of the Christos myth, "The birthplace of Bacchus, called Sabazius or Sabaoth, was claimed by several places in Greece; but on Mount Zelmisus, in Thrace, his worship seems to have been chiefly celebrated. He was born of a virgin on the 25th of December; he performed great miracles for the good of mankind; particularly one in which he changed water into wine; he rode in a triumphal procession on an ass; he was put to death by the Titans, and rose again from the dead on the 25th of March: he was always called the Saviour. In his mysteries, he was shown to the people, as an infant is by the Christians at this day, on Christmas Day morning in Rome." —Manly P. Hall, The Secret Teachings of All Ages
Thus, originally, Dionysus pointed the way towards elevation of the human being. However, humanity being what it is, we inverted the meaning. Now, people think Dionysus is a drunkard, homosexual god.
"It is urgent to correctly define Dionysus in the following precise and blunt way:
- Voluntary transmutation of the sexual libido
- Transcendental mystical ecstasy
"Therefore, to define the two aspects, positive and negative, of this cosmic vibration is relevant, urgent, and indispensable.
- Positive Dionysian Pole: sexual enjoyment by means of sublimation; voluntary transmutation of the entity of semen; awakened consciousness; objective knowledge; superlative intuition; transcendental music of the great classical Masters, etc.
- Negative Dionysian Pole: sexual degeneration; infrasexuality of many types; homosexuality, lesbianism; demonic pleasures within the infernal worlds by means of drugs, mushrooms, alcohol, etc., infernal music such as the “music” of these modern days, etc.
"To comprehend in depth the intimate processes of these two poles of the Dionysian wave is something very urgent... As a living example of these pair of diametrically opposite poles that correspond to the mentioned undulation, it is now opportune to cite here as a mode of illustration two contemporary revolutionary movements. Plainly speaking, I want to clearly and delicately refer to the universal, international, Christian, Gnostic movements, and also to the obverse of the Dionysian coin known with the ill-famed or infamous name of the Hippie movement and subsequent cultures. Unquestionably, the two mentioned psychological antipodes constitute, “per se,” a living, manifested demonstration of these pair of opposite poles of the tremendous Dionysian vibration. When judiciously arriving at this part of the present chapter, the necessity of a didactic confrontation is unavoidable. Dionysian inebriation, ecstasy, Samadhi, is obviously indispensable when one is trying to experience that which is the Truth, the Reality. Such exaltation is one hundred percent possible by means of the technique of meditation. Psychedelia is different. This term must be translated as this: psyche = “soul”; delia = “drug.” Specifically, we will state: psychedelia is the antithesis of meditation. The inferno of drugs is within the interior of the planetary organism on which we live, under the very epidermis of the terrestrial crust. Hallucinatory mushrooms, L.S.D., pills, marijuana, etc., evidently intensify the vibratory capacity of the subjective powers, but it is clear that they could never originate the awakening of the consciousness. Psychedelic drugs fundamentally alter the sexual genes and this is already scientifically demonstrated. The birth of monstrous children is evidence of the sequence of such negative, genetic mutations. Meditation and psychedelia are incompatible, opposite, and antagonistic. They can never be mixed. Unquestionably, these two factors of the Dionysian inebriation refer to and indicate psychological rebellion." - Samael Aun Weor, The Three Mountains
"You may remember for a moment the Bacchantes when they were in their orgiastic period of rage. These were feminine beauties positively polarized with the Dionysian wave, nymphs of the forests and mountains who were persecuted by the lascivious Sileni. Behold now the ridiculous Maenads, who were negatively polarized with the wave of Dionysus... They were licentious dancers in the rage of their sacred madness, “hippie” women of ancient Greece... They were feminine prostitutes who were excited by drugs in complete Dionysian inebriation... the human and animal sacrifices were making them even more dangerous.... The lustful Maenads were the ones who killed Orpheus, and the marvelous lyre fell upon the floor of the temple and was broken into pieces." - Samael Aun Weor, The Three Mountains