Brendon Burton is an almost 20-year-old photographer from Myrtle Creek, Oregon. Like Alex Stoddard, Brendon is one of those young, rising talents we have our eyes on. His photos capture haunting memories and remind the viewer that stories can still hide secrets.
//selected by Tu recepcja
Tonight’s offering table for the blood moon ritual
Walter Friedrich Otto in Dionysus: Myth and Cult←
my altars, from top to bottom: dionysus, loki, and thor
i’ve moved them all to new, more spacious tables, so now i have more room to put stuff on them :)
Newest addition to the altar, an adorable ceramic goat I got in Dingle. I know it’s a wild irish goat but whatever, I saw him and thought THOR. I’m a lot happier with the setup I have now that it’s filled up with crud. Hopefully He likes it too.
Sorry this took a while to get to; my current computer setup makes lengthy responses to Asks a pain in the butt. Hopefully you get this!
Alright, so I sometimes feel weird about this kind of question; not because it makes me uncomfortable, but because I’m worried my response might come off in a problematic way. I’m going to tell you about something that happened in my own personal experience. This is not me telling you disregard history, science, and above all your own personal moral/emotional compass. I only speak to my own point of view and experience as a means to help people consider something they might have overlooked or even avoided. You know yourself best, and you should never do something you don’t think is in your own best interests just because it worked for me.
Now, I mention this because your history of sexual abuse is probably much more weighty in your life than my avoidance of alcohol and drugs, but keeping that in mind (and, as I said, using your own moral/emotional compass to guide you) here’s the story:
As any of my longtime followers will remember, I was called to Dionysus in the midsts of a fairly large life shakeup. I lost my job, and all kinds of things that had been stable for me in the past were breaking down. Now, that breakdown lead to a lot of self-reflection, and also a lot of opportunities I’d been waiting my whole life for. I got to work at two jobs I’d dreamed of since childhood. I re-entered the occupational field I was trained in (after some time at those other jobs). My relationship with my fiancé began to transform. It was tumultuous, but as things broke down and rotted away, as the fields were tilled through struggles and fights, lots of beautiful blooms started coming up.
Dionysus is known as a breaker of barriers. He does not like stagnation. All of these things happening in my life were places I’d been stagnating for years and needed His intervention to break free from. Since the beginning He has pushed me to do things I normally never would have, and I have changed into an entirely different person in the last two or 3 years.
Like I said, there has been a lot of self-reflection involved.
Part of that was addressing the dissonance between Dionysus, mad-wild god of wine and ecstasy, and some morals and choices I held so close to the core of my being that they shaped huge parts of my identity. In particular, the fact that I had been straight-edge all through high school, and was still almost entirely so even in my early 20’s.
How could a god who revels in drunken madness, who’s followers dance in ecstasy, call on a straight-edge vanilla boy and insist on being worshipped? Well, that was part of His work as barrier-breaker and god who stops stagnation. You see, I’d been holding on to my fear of booze and drugs since childhood. I’d gone to a catholic school until I finished the 6th grade. I was a very good, proper Catholic boy. Then I clung to my ideals when I went to public school, because I feared becoming like the public school students (*dramatic horror music*) I’d heard about through friends; smoking, drinking, doing drugs, and having sex, all while in the 7th or 8th grade. After that, even though I went to an arts school, I still remained fearful and distrustful of drugs and alcohol because it became part of my persona. I was Anthos; the sober guy! I took care of my friends, I made sure everyone was safe. I was responsible, and people respected me for my decisions (for the most part). Later, a few of my boyfriends reenforced that fearful part of me by choosing drugs over me, and one once swallowed a bottle of pills and called me at my grandparents’ house asking to die. Drugs terrified me.
Now in present-day, however, Dionysus shows up to me, a grown man, with grown-ass friends who can make choices on their own and be logical and responsible about their choices. I really had to sit down and assess why I was still holding onto these fears and traumas, and what good they were serving me now. At the time, they’d served to keep me from getting hurt again. They saved me from turning into the rednecks I left behind when I moved, who spent all their time drinking in their basements and never left that town for anything but groceries. It saved me from having to lose control. It saved me from looking silly in front of people I knew would judge me, even though they were supposed to be my friends.
But, well, I am now in a committed relationship with a genius man who cares for me. I left that town a long time ago, and I never have to fear about going back and getting sucked in. And now I have friends who I can trust explicitly to keep me safe and happy, even if I make a fool of myself.
So…..sorry this is getting so long.
With Dionysus I had to break free of all of those fears and traumas. I had to think about what those shields were supposed to be protecting me from, and if it was still worth my while to bear their weight. Were they still protecting me, or were they just reminders of things that hurt me in my past? In the end, it wasn’t worth it. I still drink responsibly, and I still haven’t done any drugs, but the idea of it doesn’t make me nauseated or cause me to tremble anymore. I’ve had to deal with those things and break past the stagnant barriers I’d placed on myself. I’ve grown a lot because of it.
With that in mind, it doesn’t surprise me that Dionysus is approaching anyone in a sexy way (He’s a really sexy god. Have you seen his body? UNF!), maybe even someone who has suffered from sexual abuse. Maybe He is doing for you what He did for me. Maybe He is urging you to reflect on those traumas and see if the resulting shields you carry warrant their weight. Now, I was able to deal with my issues rather subtly; I did it with the help of my fiancé and my friends, and lots of self-talk. However, that doesn’t mean Dionysus is asking for the same from you; perhaps it means that He wants you to seek outside help, if you feel you need it. He maybe be showing you that you’ve grown into a person that can enjoy something you’ve been afraid of. He may be trying to show you “the other side”?
If it makes you feel good; if it makes you feel powerful, and if it makes you feel curious…look into it. Never force yourself to face something that you don’t think will build you up higher, especially not alone. Dionysus is there with you, but don’t be shy to ask for more help. He is the catalyst, but you are the one that has to deal with the precipitation.
As always, feel free to message me, privately or publicly and you can always e-mail me at email@example.com (shoot me a message here to check my inbox. I don’t check that e-mail often).
Sorry for the long-winded answer, but hopefully it is helpful.
XVIII - A Lua
XVIII - The Moon