Van Morrison says:

“Meet them halfway
with love, peace,
and persuasion,
and expect them
to rise for the occasion.”

Advertisements

A History Of Ecstasy

Nowadays,
we throw the
expression ‘ecstasy’
around pretty easily….

You see it in
movie posters,
comic books,
advertising,
social media, etc,
like it’s really not that
much of a big deal.

But in the ancient world,
— they took that dealmaenid
very seriously, indeed.

This lady ,

featured in a photograph
from 1903,

… represented a prime
example of how our
Edwardian age great-grandfathers thought
that the classical
predecessors had
defined it.

If you invited one
or two of these ladies
for an evening of fun,
you were liable to in
for more than you
might have bargained for.

But, I guess it depends
on your idea of fun, though.

She’s what they
called a “Maenad” —

— and her idea of a good time
makes anything the average
college kid on Spring Break
does look like a church picnic
with bingo following.

Actually,
it sort of was a
church picnic of sorts:

Followers of the Greek god Dionysus
(the Romans called him ‘Bacchus’) —mae

— ladies like these would
drink, dance, sing, rave
and generally carouse
to their hearts content —

during a religious rite that
has come to be called a “Bacchanalia”.

Today, when you hear that term,
you might think ‘Mardi Gras’ —

Or you might think ‘Orgy’.

And neither of those terms
would really live up to
a Maenad’s standards–

Even their name tells you something —

“Maenad” means “women in ecstasy”.

They liked to conduct their activities in the nude,
— or clothed in only
a fawn skin —

And according to Euripides,
they’d carry on like this
for days on end.

But before you start
recruiting Maenads
for your next kicky weekend,

I guess I’d better
warn you, brother —

There were NO MEN allowed.uhoh

Their rituals were open to women only.

And any man who happened
to try and crash their party was dealt with,

well, rather severely.

As in ,
— torn apart, shredded,
and eaten.

I guess when these girls
said ‘no trespassing’,
brother, they meant it.

Frazer, in the Golden Bough,
thought that the Maenads
were not only drinking heavily
at their ceremonial soirees,

— but under the influence of a powerful drug.

In all probability, that drug would have been basidiomycete —

— derived from what we today
call psychotropic mushrooms,
like the ‘Fly Amanita’.

The plant causes intensemaenad
euphoria, hallucinations,
and delirium–

very similar to the descriptions
of the Maenad’s conduct
in ancient texts, is known
to grow in that part of the world.

– and could very well
also been the mythical ‘Soma’ referenced in other materials
about ancient ceremonial drugs,
and in the Indian Rig-Vedas.

Now, of course,

I like my mythology maenad_
with more than a
smattering of smart-ass
and sex mixed in,

— but if you’re really
serious about reading
up on Greek Mythology,

I’d recommend you start
with my friend
Aquileana’s site.

.

HOY !!

.