Even in the city you can’t help but notice the season’s change. Get outside into a wild place, or even just into the backyard, and the changes are all the more evident. In the Northwest the rain starts in earnest and the shortening daylight is noticeable even before the autumn equinox.
Soon Wild Gods will observe a Dionysia, seasonally timed around the Pagan Mabon. In this framing Dionysus Himself is the harvest, the blood of the grape squeezed out and stored to be turned into wine.
Galileo said that wine is sunlight, held together by water. Just now I am thinking of wine as bottled time. Everything about the grapes: the earth in which their vines grew, the amount of light and rain they received, how they are pressed and stored, all of it goes into the wine and how it tastes. Crack open a bottle years later and you can taste the time and circumstances of the wine’s bottling.
Things are moving toward their end for many this season. They always are, but as the days shorten, the nights grow cooler, the rainy weather comes, and the decay on the forest floor grows more visible, we have these tangible reminders.
Years ago, the priest of Wild Gods and I did a ritual in the middle of winter where we imagined Artemis and Pan in a northern clime. Artemis quite enjoyed chasing prey across the tundra; there are reindeer and caribou in the north, after all. Pan just wanted to be on a Mediterranean beach sipping drinks with umbrellas in them.
And Dionysus goes beneath the earth, and into the wine, to be reborn when the time comes.
Io io evohe!