In ancient Crete and Greece, the God Dionysus was the main deity whose tragic story and rituals reflect the awesome drama we know as birth, life, human duality, death, decay, and the great restoration of all beings.
This tragedy in which the human with his lower animal instincts form the Black Dionysus who was considered a Son of God and also the God of this World with his various epitaphs showing that he was also a God of nature, vegetation, the tree, vines, and decaying grapes in the form of wine where he became the drunk God.
Rather than rehash what has been written about Dionysus many times before, I would like to focus on some new revelations dealing with the idea of a living, decaying, dying and reborn god with his various epitaphs reflect the true nature of humans and the dual aspects of our reality which become evident once we come to know the true history and our own inner Black Dionysus on an intimate basis, we can balance him with the science of the light of Apollo.
DIONYSUS DENDRITES – THE TREE GOD
The first depictions in ancient artwork and literature his early developments as a tree God before he became associated with grapevines and wine when almost all the ancient Greeks of this time had sacrificed to “Dionysus of the tree” and was strongly associated with the pine-tree. In Thebes, the Capital of Boeotia, and the Phoenicians, one of his titles was “Dionysus in the tree” and a legend of Potniae tells that the people of the town, having offended Dionysus, were suffering from an evil pestilence.
The government of Delphi had commanded the Corinthians to worship a specific pine-tree “equally with the god,” so they made two images of Dionysus out of it, with red faces and gilt bodies. (1)
As a tree God, Dionysus was the patron of cultivated trees and harvests in which prayers were offered to him and his images set in orchards so that he would make the trees grow and they would have a bountiful harvest and he is then referred to as “well fruited,” “he of the green fruit,” and “making the fruit to grow.” One of his titles was “teeming ”or “bursting ”(as of sap or blossoms).
In ancient Athens, the Athenians were said to sacrifice to him in order to ensure a full harvest of all the fruits of the land.
The earliest images of the God show him made of wood with the branches still attached in parts, and in this version, he was called Dionysus Dendrites, the protector of trees. His image was often merely an upright post, without arms, but draped in a mantle, with a bearded mask to represent the head, and with leafy boughs projecting from the head or body to show the nature of the deity. In art, a wand, tipped with a pine-cone, is commonly carried by the god or his worshippers.
In this image, it appears as if fungal spores are shooting from his body.
THE SCIENCE OF DENDRITES
I find it fascinating that in the earliest times he is called Dionysus Dendrites given the fact that today in 2020, when you research this word “Dendrites,” you find it means “a crystal or crystalline mass with a branching tree-like structure,” and “a short branched extension of a nerve cell, along which impulses received from other cells at synapses are transmitted to the cell body.”
With the history of Dionysus as a protector of trees and harvest being “Dionysus of the tree”, this ancient myth is actually connected to modern science given the fact that today a dendrite means “a structure of nerve cells that comprise the human brain.” The word was coined by scientists who first studied the structure of the brain, they noted its strong resemblance to trees so they named it after the Greek Dendron, meaning “tree.”
Believe it or not, these Dendrites appear to be natures, animals, mammals, and humans’ super internet signaling pathway that we all share. A type of biological internet for communication and a whole host of other mechanisms such as parasitism and natural selection.
For example, a Dendrologists is a scientist who studies wooded plants who at one time theorized that trees that lived together were cooperating with each other by sending resources through their roots and sharing nutrients, forming a complex system sometimes referred to as the “wood wide web.”
However, they are now finding that the trees actually communicate through a complex network of fungi that connect trees forming a symbiotic relationship. The uncanny resemblance between the human dendrites which like filamentous structures within the brain and the fungi in the air and within the soil (mycelium) is in my opinion, more than accidental.
The University of Harvard says, “Fungi can cover a large surface area by developing white fungal threads known as mycelium. Mycelium spreads out on top of tree roots by up-taking sugars from the tree and by providing vital minerals back to the tree, such as nitrogen and phosphorus (Figure 2). This symbiotic relationship between tree roots and fungi is known as the mycorrhizal network (from Greek, Myco, “fungi” and Rhiza, “root”).
Scientists believe all trees have a mycorrhizal network, but “trees only communicate with each other if the fungal and bacterial species that constitute their mycorrhizal networks are the same.” (2)
Now ponder on that fact next time you wonder why you like certain people and not others or are attracted to someones writing and repelled by others. Perhaps, like a tree, our ability to understand the communication about cooperation and the future philosophy will be determined by the very fungi we carry in our bodies. This theory goes along with my article, “The mycelium network of fungal infected Geniuses who built our world.”
This question led me to more research showing that various human dendritic cells (DCs) function as recognition molecules that act as a link between innate and adaptive immunity in order to recognize of pathogens. These dendritic cells then gather the necessary knowledge of the pathogen to employ the appropriate immune weapons via the Toll-like receptors (TLRs) to respond to the threat from different groups of microbes. (3)
As Paul Stamets had written in Mycelium Running: How Mushrooms Can Help Save the World;
“I believe that mycelium is the neurological network of nature. Interlacing mosaics of mycelium infuse habitats with information-sharing membranes. These membranes are aware, react to change, and collectively have the long-term health of the host environment in mind. The mycelium stays in constant molecular communication with its environment, devising diverse enzymatic and chemical responses to complex challenges.”
“I see the mycelium as the Earth’s natural Internet, a consciousness with which we might be able to communicate. Through cross-species interfacing, we may one-day exchange information with these sentient cellular networks. Because these externalized neurological nets sense any impression upon them, from footsteps to falling tree branches, they could relay enormous amounts of data regarding the movements of all organisms through the landscape.”
VINE AND WINE GOD
Homer who had written about Dionysus never mentioned him in association with wine, nor does he appear in Olympus. It is said that Hesiod was the first who calls wine the gift of Dionysus and later is described as the god who teaches man the preparation of wine, whence he is called the “drunken god” (uatváuevos), and the sober king Lycurgus will not, for this reason, tolerate him in his kingdom. (Hom. Il. vi. 132, &c., Od. xviii. 406, comp. xi. 325.)
From this point on, the ancient mythos surrounding the origins of Dionysis had morphed to that he had a double birth of fire and water and strongly associated with the juice of decaying grapes that we know of as wine As the sun dries the earth clay/mud and ripens the grapes of the vine, in a like manner, water and the morning dew moistens the same soil and the microorganisms drink to give birth to the “black vine.”
As the black vine, Dionysus is the first representative/symbol of the individual vine or as I conjecture in modern terms, we can possibly say that what they may have meant in the esoteric sense is that he was the first idea of the species of fungi (black vine) to become alive and conscious molding into another thousand vines. (4)
This may be why Pausanias writes in his, Description of Greece, “Dionysos is lying down in a cave, a bearded figure holding a golden cup, and clad in a tunic reaching to the feet. Around him are vines, apple-trees and pomegranate-trees.”
HADES: THE CHAINS OF DARKNESS IN TARTARUS
Dionysus is also associated with Hades or hell and caves were considered as a gate to the underworld as the abode where the gods like Zeus and his son, Dionysus had presided over human affairs. In another myth, in observing the decay of vegetation in winter, Dionysus was supposed to be slain and to join the deities of the underworld.
But in a sick twist of fate, the divine child was secretly saved and watched over by the Cretan priesthood – the Curetes; but the jealous Hera discovered where be was, and sent Titans to the spot, who, finding him at play, tore him to pieces, and cooked and ate his limbs, while Hera gave his heart
Caves, tombs, and subterranean chambers have played the central place of initiation for candidates in various secret societies for many thousands of years such as we find with the Dionysian and Eleusinian mysteries. Caves and dark chambers have a long association with the womb of the earth mother and the secret rites of birth, death, hell, midwifery, and with the annual birth of the divine child.
It was said that Dionysus came to Eleusis and took his place there by the side of Hades,” so that Heraclitus in one of his dark words declares this identification to be a proof that life and death are one.” (5)
These Great Caves of Initiation became known in the secret mysteries as “The gates of hell” which were at various holy caves around the world that have a legendary reputation for being entrances to the underworld such as found at Mount Ida on Crete in the cave of Zeus.
When we look to Scripture, the Greek words for “chains” and for “caves” are almost exactly alike and we find that in 2 Peter 3/4:
“In their greed, these false teachers will exploit you with deceptive words. The longstanding verdict against them remains in force, and their destruction does not sleep. For if God did not spare the angels when they sinned, but cast them into hell, delivering them in chains to be held in gloomy darkness until their judgment.”
I find it interesting that the “sinning angels” having been “cast to chains of darkness” delivering them “in chains to be held in gloomy darkness.”
When I see “chains of darkness,” it takes me back to Dionysius Dendrites and the fungal science I spoke of above for the sinners should go with “delivered” or with “having cast into Tartarus or cast down into hell” “reserved unto judgment,” is a place of preliminary detention with the evil spirits (fungi/molds) who tempt and harass us on earth.
Man is subject to these spirits when he is stuck in a dream state bound by his lower nature in which the evil spirits have dominion over his soul. He is asleep in Hades tormented be his shadow and evil demons who hold him in chains.
Plotinus writes of the dark mire and what is meant by the falling asleep in Hades;
“When the soul has descended into generation (from its first divine condition) she partakes of evil, and is carried a great way into a state the opposite of her first purity and integrity, to be entirely merged in which, is nothing more than to fall into dark mire.”
He continues, “The soul, therefore, dies as much as it is possible for the soul to die: and the death to her is while baptized or immersed in the present body, to descend into matter, and be wholly subjected by it; and after departing thence to lie there till it shall arise and turn its face away from the abhorrent filth. This is what is meant by the falling asleep in Hades, of those who have come there.” (Ennead I., book viii)
The Athenian philosopher, Simplicius, writing 2,500 years ago calls matter the dregs or sediment of the first life; matter being, as it were, a certain mire or mud. (7)
Of this mud, it is written in Discordia demens of Virgil; an exact translation of the Νεικεϊ μαινομενῳ of Empedocles;
Hinc via, Tartarei quæ fert Acherontis ad undas;
Turbidus hic cæno vastaque voragine gurges
Æstuat, atque omnem Cocyto eructat arenam.*
“Here is the way which leads to the surging billows of Hell [Acheron]; here an abyss turbid boils up with loathsome mud and vast whirlpools; and vomits all its quicksand into Cocytus.”
The path to conquering the self or shadow constituted the teachings of the Lesser Mysteries to signify the condition of the initiate’s unpurified soul in its earthly body controlled by the spirits of matter until purified by philosophy in body, mind and the Holy Spirit, suffers death.
He is in the dark fungal chains in Hades.
His only hope for salvation is an initiation into the Higher Mysteries of Nous.
As Proclus writes in Theology of Plato, book iv;
“The perfective rite [τελετη, telete],” says he, “precedes in order the initiation [μυησις, muesis], and initiation, the final apocalypse, epopteia.”
Προηγειται γαρ, ἡ μεν τελετη της μυσεως, αυτη δε της εποπτειας. (8)
In which Virgil leads us to the Elysian fields:
Devenere locus lætos, et amæna vireta
Fortunatorum nemorum, sedesque beatas.
Largior hic campos æther et lumine vestit
Purpureo; solemque suum, sua sidera norunt.*
“They came to the blissful regions, and delightful green retreats, and happy abodes in the fortunate groves.
A freer and purer sky here clothes the fields with a purple light; they recognize their own sun, their own stars.”
1. The Golden Bough: A Study in Magic and Religion By James George Frazer, Sir James George Frazer – 1922
2. Exploring The Underground Network of Trees – The Nervous System of the Forest by Valentina Lagomarsino figures by Hannah Zucker
3. Dendritic cells and fungi – 2003 Study
4. Encyclopaedia of Religion and Ethics, Volume 4 edited by James Hastings, John Alexander Selbie, Louis Herbert Gray
5. Studies of the Gods in Greece at Certain Sanctuaries Recently Excavated By Louis Dyer
7. Physics of Aristotle
8. Theology of Plato, book iv. p. 220.