Who were the Maenads?

Written By Priestess Hypatia

For Coven Life

19/12/2019

john_collier_-_priestess_of_bacchus1

Priestess of Bacchus, John Collier (taken from Wikimedia commons), 1886

In Thebes the birth place of Dionysus, the God of wine, the Maenads were born. They were known as the Priestesses who were part of the Dionysus cult and performed ecstatic dance. Roaming the mountains of Thebes, trancing and dancing in fawn skin dresses and panther throws, snake crowns and barefoot. Snakes in ancient times were used as healers.

The list of Maenads is long in history, these women that maintained the Dionysian cult with ecstatic ceremonies were distinct to the Hellenic world. A religious cult unlike no other, the women maintained a frenzied state of ecstasy. Extended periods of dancing (usually to the point of absolute and utter exhaustion) and drinking wine, the Maenads participated in orgiastic celebrations dancing naked through the forests of Thrace.

Dedicated to the God of debauch and fertility the Dionysian followers such as the Maenads experienced states of sexual drunken pleasure that allowed them to become closer to their God.

As members of a respected cult in Hellenic society the Maenads were actually celebrated for their sexual promiscuity, a welcoming change from the ever virtuous virgin Goddesses. Their sexuality gave them power and position more so than many other women in the Hellenic world.

330px-Dancing_maenad_Python_BM_VaseF253

Dancing Maenad. Detail from an ancient Greek Paestum red figure skyphos, made by Python, ca. 330-320 BC. British Museum, London.

Count Down to Litha – 2 Playlists of Pagan Music for Litha

This is a play list of 50 videos that include songs in different languages with English subtitles and some different ways of celebrating Litha found on youtube.com

50 Pagan Songs for Litha

This is a playlist of 63 pagan songs for celebrating Litha also found on youtube.com

63 Pagan Songs to Celebrate Litha

This is one of my favorite songs to listen to outside to drum and dance to

Dance, My Children Dance

 

Count Down to Yule – 2 Playlists of Pagan Yule Songs

This is one song off a Yule playlist with 50 songs by S J Tucker and other pagan soloists and groups on youtube.com

Play List of 50 Yule Pagan Songs

This is one song off a Yule playlist with 112 songs by Enya and other pagan soloists and groups on youtube.com. This play list includes instrumentals that could be played during your Yule ritual and/or celebration. Some of the songs include prayers and other things that could enhance your Yule.

Play List of 112 Pagan Yule Songs