Χαίρετε! (Greetings!) I am Sannion, the ἱεροποιός (temple steward) and μάντις (diviner) here at the Bakcheion, a Dionysian sanctuary located in New York’s scenic Hudson Valley and on the internet.
When I was putting together the material for this website I toyed with a number of different names before ultimately deciding on “the Bakcheion.” The term originated with the Dionysiac cults of Roman Asia Minor and could be employed either of 1) a temple or other place of worship (such as an outdoor shrine, grotto or clubhouse) or 2) the religious association (thiasos, speira, orgeon, et al) which used such spaces. In the broadest sense it means something devoted to bakcheia or ecstatic revelry.
Bakchos (or the Latinate form Bacchus) is not so much a name as a title, and for that matter is not one exclusively belonging to Dionysos. It could be shared by the God’s mortal devotees (there were female bakchai and male bakchoi, though both could be used inclusively) as well as other divinities such as Ariadne, Hermes, Apollon, Artemis, Kybele or the Nymphai, where it is most commonly found in its adjectival form. To be Bacchic is to be noisy, violent, dancing, orgiastic, liminal and above all else, mad.
In addition to the sacred duties I perform for our God Dionysos Bakcheios within the temple (the physical space as opposed to the website), I also write, teach classes, organize events locally, oversee initiations as well as offer a variety of spiritual services as an Orpheotelest (specialist in Bacchic Orphic rites) of the Starry Bull tradition.
I have written a number of books under the pen name “H. Jeremiah Lewis” which may be found here.
And finally, here are some other sites I maintain that may be of interest:
- The House of Vines (my primary blog)
- Eternal Bacchus
- Smoky Words
- Greater Greece