The Strange Answers – Apollonian, Dionysian, and Everything Between…

Went browsing through my list of Pagan blogs that are out there…and I felt a little out of Imageplace.  Most of the blogs I read tend to come across as hardcore academicians or pure theologians, with an occasional touch of Plato or Aristotle thrown in for good measure.  I see/read a good deal of bloggers who try to measure this or that within Paganism.  And to be honest, as a single reader/individual — it leaves me a bit flat.

I remember when I first took my initial steps into Paganism back in late 1986…or early 1987.  Thinking that far back tends to be a little fuzzy for me in terms of time.  (smiles)  I do remember the books I was aimed towards though.  And I have read them many, many times through since then.  Adler’s “Drawing Down the Moon” remains a favorite of mine – but it contains a lot of the flavoring of an academician, in my opinion.  Though there are some instances of practical application and personal observation that continually remind me of why I love the book.  Starhawk’s “The Spiral Dance” remains a book that feels like a hardcore theologian’s book, similar in vein to Coyle’s “Kissing the Limitless”…works that just don’t really call to who I am or what my personal practice is geared towards.  But I am digressing towards authors’ works…

Many times, I have been drawn to a blog posting here or there – only to find myself stepping back and wondering what enticed me in the first place.  I read posts that cling to concepts and theories, which wind up feeling very sterile for me.  Occasionally, I will run across a blog posting that discusses the everyday aspect of living.  Nimue Brown and Cat Treadwell are great examples of this, for me.

I know that everyone reads blog postings for a variety of reasons — and that there are people out there who respond to blog postings to discuss and debate the merits of various theories and concepts.  Many of you know – that’s not a description of me.  I like the discussion part of things, but debate is just not something that appeals to me.  What I try to look for in blog postings (even in podcasts and face-to-face discussions) is discussion related to the experience.  Or, as it was put to me very recently, I’m more of a Dionysian than an Apollonian as a Pagan.

To be completely honest, I had never heard the concept before — but now that I have…it makes sense.  From wikipedia:

Apollo (Apollonian or Apollinian): the dream state or the wish to create order, principium individuationis (principle of individuation), plastic (visual) arts, beauty, clarity, stint to formed boundaries, individuality, celebration of appearance/illusion, human beings as artists (or media of art’s manifestation), self-control, perfection, exhaustion of possibilities, creation, the rational/logical and reasonable.

Dionysus (Dionysian): chaos, intoxication, celebration of nature, instinctual, intuitive, pertaining to the sensation of pleasure or pain, individuality dissolved and hence destroyed, wholeness of existence, orgiastic passion, dissolution of all boundaries, excess, human being(s) as the work and glorification of art, destruction, the irrational and non-logical.

Looking at the concepts relayed here…it makes a lot more sense.  Although I see parts of both in my daily practice.  So, which could I be??  Oddly enough, I find myself answer as one, the other, both, neither…all at the same time.  Yeah, leave it to me to come up with the strange answers….LOL

2 thoughts on “The Strange Answers – Apollonian, Dionysian, and Everything Between…

  1. Yeah, more of but I have to say there are elements of both that pertain to my daily practice as well. That’s the trouble with labels of all sorts. They never seem to fully stick and sometimes fall off altogether.


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