Ritual outline for Lampteria

Lampteria begins at sundown; all preparation and idle chatter should be finished at that point. From the moment you start until the moment folks step outside the door there should be complete silence.

There should also be a shrine set low to the ground consisting of a bowl of wine, a bull’s skull, and lights.

Throughout the room small bowls of wine should be set up, accompanied by tealights. Everything else should be dark.

Participants should be sprawled or sitting with a cup of wine and their own tealight. Have appropriate music playing and let everyone sink into the right ritual headspace. Again, no one should speak, sing or otherwise make noise during this period.

When the ritual leaders determine the time is right they will rise up and begin extinguishing all of the flames. This will be the signal for everyone else to get ready, lining up at the door. (They may put out their tealight or carry it with them.) A ritual leader should stand at the door with a bowl of wine; once they have inscribed a capital delta (Δ) on the forehead of the participants they may step through the door and gather outside.

Make sure that all the flames are out, and that you have all of the supplies you’ll need: a couple bottles of wine, nine biodegradable cups that have been inscribed with different Dionysian epithets, a corkscrew, at least nine tealights, a lighter or matches, and any other offerings the group may want to leave.

Then the group begins a procession winding through the city, bringing the God’s wine and its grace to the people and the land. You can either have a definite parade route in mind, hitting particular spots of power – or make it a random ramble and just go wherever the spirit leads. Have some chants and songs prepared. And be ready for people to look at you funny, especially if you’re wearing masks.

When you come upon an appropriate spot have the group gather in a rough semi-circle. Light the tealight and pull out a cup at random, hail Dionysos by the epithet written on it which the rest of the group should repeat three times, fill it with wine and then move along.

Once you’ve poured out the final cup the group can have a drunken adventure in the city or return home and continue with more formal ritual and mulled wine, as they so desire.

If you are concerned about leaving an open flame unattended you can use electronic tealights.

If you need to drive make sure someone stays sober or you have cash and a phone on you for a cab. Drunk driving is haram to Dionysians.