The ritual space should be wide and open, facilitating a lot of movement. Decorate the walls with creeping vegetation, masks, dolls, spiders, mirrors and black, red and white streamers.
Choose three of the Aletides and set up floor-shrines to them in the North, the East and the South, with the fourth being a shrine to Dionysos consisting of a mask on a pole in the West. (Dionysos’ shrine should contain a large spider, as well as webbing, and diamond patterns, etc.) Assign one of the three colors to each of the Aletides and make sure the décor and offerings reflect that.
All participants should wear white, except the Leader who is to wear a red and black checkered sash around their waist and the Drummers who are to wear a red headscarf or sash.
The participants should be spread out throughout the space, but away from the shrines as much as possible.
The Leader begins by saluting the Drummers and then goes around and pours out offerings for each of the Aletides. At Dionysos’ shrine the Leader does the Recitation and then pours out a whole bottle of wine for the God. The Leader then salutes the Drummers again and they begin to play which is the signal for everyone to dance.
If you don’t have drummers you can put together a playlist for the occasion. It should be intense music, emotional, with driving rhythms and percussion. South Italian and North African grooves are best; avoid prominent vocals, especially in languages you understand. Unless you have a special arrangement with your taranta, then choose whatever music they like best.
If someone spontaneously goes into an ecstatic state or is suffering a spiritual ailment and you need to deduce the cause of it or one of your members seems tapped for work with the the Starry Bull pantheon or some kind of spiritual ordeal, you can perform the following diagnostic test.
You will need eight pieces of woolen cloth, cut into small squares of uniform size approximately two inches by two inches. Keep them in a box on which a spider has been engraved.
For the first method shuffle the cloths, then have the person reach into the box and draw one out.
Red = lack of emotional control
Black = acedia
White = perfectionism
Blue = money troubles
Green = your associates
Yellow = procrastination
Purple = divine opposition
Brown = self-sabotage
And for the second method draw each of the cloths out in turn and show them to the client. Note their response, whether favorable or averse.
Red = erotic mania, which is overseen by Aphrodite, Ariadne, Arachne, Erigone, Pasiphae, Semele and the Satyrs.
Black = chthonic mania, which is overseen by Dionysos, Persephone, Hekate and Melinoe.
White = telestic mania, which is overseen by Dionysos, Orpheus, Melampos, the Mountain Mothers and Hermes.
Blue = apophenia, which is overseen by Dionysos, Hermes, the Harlequinade and Arachne.
Green = entheogens, which are overseen by Dionysos, Orpheus, the Nymphai, Flora, Medeia, Aphrodite and Ariadne.
Yellow = mantic mania, which is overseen by Dionysos, Apollon, the Prophets, the Mousai, the Nymphai and Hekate.
Purple = possession, which is overseen by Dionysos, Ariadne, the Mountain Mothers, the Neoi Dionysoi, the Aletides, the Harlequinade and Hekate.
Brown = mountain madness, which is overseen by Dionysos, Ariadne, the Mountain Mothers, the Nymphai, the Satyrs.
The Dead are involved in all forms of madness.