Of mountain pastoral tribes, we rarely
Ventured to temples, worshipping instead
In simple ways, prayers at stone-welling
Fountains, rock shrines, images of gods,
Adored and adorned as envisioned in love
And faith, on windswept hillsides we
Acknowledged salutation of trees, wind
Moving, branch bending, invisible made
Visible, gods present in our midst.
An ancient cult, whose rocky shrines have
Existed before migrating into high pasture-
Lands, was Dionysus, known to Thracian
Tribes as Adoneus or Æsymnetes, god of
Far distant farming-folk, wisdom shared,
Temple goers at Aroë in Akhaïa, rustic
Ceremonies and sacrifices practiced, we
Honoured Dionysian mysteries, rites of
Mead and wine, oracular prophesies.
Temple rituals performed on hillsides as
We were taught, one more attuned and
Sighted led us in solemnity, offering of
First fruits and yearling lambs, blood
Spilled on altar stones, divine wind-voices
Descending from lofty ridges to flowing
Wheat fields. Amongst us, Dionysus sped
On wingéd feet, hearts and souls elevated,
Crops and livestock growing, wine earth-
Poured, bountiful harvests made.
Who amongst us shall we send to Naxos Isle
On temple pilgrimage? Arduous journey by
Oxen cart and sailing ship, to first regard
Fluted marble columns, on bended knee at
Gleaming steps, to approach thyrsi-bearing
Priests. Humble shepherd folk, we ask not
Entrance, but blessings and protection of
Our tribes, reaffirmation of obedience to
Dionysus, faith and beliefs demonstrated.
For more on Greek gods and religious practices, see this link.