Very soon the end of September.
Readying for the cold: vodka flavoured with the seed, frond and stalk of fennel; and with leaves of anise hyssop (agastache) growing in a pot in my backyard and still in flower; with a sliver of orange rind. I am not sure if I should be adding sugar or not.
Readying for the inevitable cold brings me to Dionysos because he is the archetype of indestructible life, of life which succeeds life without end through the cycle of the seasons. And of the love of life, of fertility and of prosperity.
Dionysos loves fennel.
His maenads emboldened, intoxicated, and liberated by him from the mundane tasks of daily life, dance ecstatically carrying fennel stalks. Suits me and for winter and after this awful summer of the death of friends.
the flower of Anise Hyssop
A painted ceramic representation, 490 BCE, in the Staatliche Museen zu Berlin of Dionysos greeted by an ecstatic satyr. The god holds a fennel stalk with a pine cone head.
Maenads carried variously by a man and a satyr; Clodion, 1734-1814, French. Terracotta, Philadelphia Museum of Art
The featured image is a dancing maenad holding a fennel stalk. In marble, Roman, 27 BCE – 14 CE: a copy of a Greek relief, 425 BCE – 400 BCE. Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York.