Out of the Broomcloset
While the finishing touches of this column are being put in place, the lumbering beast of American politics continues its embarrassing progress. There’s no need to engage in any of the various methods of divination to know that this will be the case when you are reading this. At the moment, those that fear for the worst fight the good fight, in their own way. However, facts seem not to matter, impassioned speeches and marches are dismissed as the petulant whining of sensitive, liberal snowflakes. Beseeching those who hold the levers of power to reconsider their positions, does seem to be met with sneers, as we all address the already persuaded. Frankly, it’s tiring.
If I might, I suggest that there is a higher power that might be accessed to change the game up; so many of those in positions of power do seem to wrap themselves in the mantle of their God when debating (not that they have ever actually participated in an actual debate) issues that adversely impact our fellow citizens. It seems the poor dears are so overworked, and overwrought, that there is a disconnect between their faith, and their practice. Don’t you think they deserve to unwind, to cut loose a bit?
It might then be time to take on the Establishment, not with outrage, which amuses them, but with outrageousness, with divine, inspired madness. At this time, it might be a good thing to consider inviting them into contact, and communion with Dionysiac frenzy as an effective counter-measure. Rather than taking on an opponent with theatrical protests (I’m thinking of the Yippies in Chicago during the 1968 Conventions), it might be better to let them provide the show.
Dionysus embodies the indomitable drive of nature, which gives a seed the strength to sprout, force its way through concrete, and thrive. It’s exhilaration, and running wild, and demolishing, in time, any obstacle; it’s a power that exists at the border between ecstasy and terror. And, not incidentally, his ritual celebrations are the forbearers of modern drama, musicals, and, of course show tunes at piano bars.
The Greek playwright Euripides, in one of his final plays, “The Bacchae,” addresses how the established authority of Thebes was brought low by the inescapable force of Dionysus (actually, the main representative for the self-satisfied, Pentheus, ends up being torn to shreds by a mob of devotees, among whom is his mother). As we have seen in “real” life, so often the more tightly wound among us are the more likely to unravel in a spectacular fashion. So, this little ritual that I propose you take up as your own will either show an elected official of your choice the light, or cause a very public meltdown; it’s a win/win situation.
First, you will want to gather together some of the tokens of this God. Wine is of course essential to this, it being one of the gifts from him. Pinecones on a stick (a thyrsus) should be easy to manage. The stone most associated with him is Amethyst. You should also have some Ivy; if you don’t have any around the house, I’m sure that there’s someplace in your neighborhood where you can obtain it. Finally, the incense for this operation (yes, there’s always an incense; smells and bells are always good) consists of equal parts Vetiver, Storax, and Cinnamon.
After you’ve assembled all this, set up in a quiet place (outdoors if possible), and get to work. Let yourself feel the crackling energy of life around you, to be a good broadcaster of your intentions. When you’re in the mood, drink some of the wine, pour a few drops to the ground, and recite the following (or, if so inclined, make it up as you go); “Loud-roaring, thrice born Dionysus of the many revels, inspire (insert name of the politician you have chosen here) to bear witness to your power, let them be a fit vessel to manifest your divine gifts, and give utterance to them.” I look forward to the video tape, and twitter feeds that follow.
Follow Leon Calafiore online at BigBookOfMagic-outofthebroomcloset.blogspot.com