The Greco-Roman sculptures and depictions of Dionysos we have passed down to us show him with wine in a relaxed pose.
In the Roman Bacchanalia we read of intoxication and orgies associated with his cult. I was standing the other night at my Mesa where I have a miniature statue of Dionysos on the left hand feminine side and I started laughing because he is holding a bunch of grapes. The mysteries should be hidden so why not just hide them in plain site? Any observer would say cool, the Greeks had a god of wine and licentiousness! And so hidden remains the mystery cult. When you start pulling back the veil he's there, everywhere. When Apollo is absent from his Temple at Delphi in the winter months Dionysos is there with his ecstatic female followers, the maenads.
At Eleusis he's there; he's the light born under cover of darkness. The mystery of Eleusis is a story about the abduction of Demeter's daughter Kore by Hades but Dionysos is somehow mysteriously involved. The light always returns. The popularity of the ancient Egyptian goddess Isis and her mystery cult in the Greco-Roman world is due to the connection of Isis and Osiris to Demeter and Dionysos. Initiation into mystery cult begins and ends with Dionysos: birth, life, death, and rebirth, along with play, laugh, love, sensuality, commonality, unity, and nature. The feminine is given the permission to let loose and the masculine to become a lech, well represented by Dionysian coterie such as the maenads and satyrs which are our base instinctual natures liberated and coming out to play.
Cultures, fads, and civilizations come and go and expectations of behaviour and morals are flimsy, forever changing with the times. Dionysos reminds us our root instincts, some say 'animal' natures, don't change.
There's this undercurrent in the appearance of Dionysos in Greek history and culture that goes all the way down into current scholarship where he is considered a foreign god. The post Bronze Age epitome of Greek reason was not accepting of this undisciplined behaviour, neither were the gods of Olympus. Reason and enlightenment are something cultivated by mature and disciplined civilizations. But that's just it; reason is a byproduct of culture. What we term instinct is always there transcending culture. Nature isn't subject to reason. Dionysos is indestructible and ever returning with the returning aspect giving him the aforementioned foreign designation. When society shutters itself into a nice and neat nuclear family full of patriotic citizens, Dionysos the ever coming returns in a frenzy; the 60's an example of an outbreak of peace, love, and anti-establishment behaviour. The authorities put an end to the revelry as they sensed the breakdown of their decades long social engineering project. The turn of the 21st century has seen a doubling down on authoritarian measures in the western 'free countries'. The threat of international terrorism gave the totalitarians among us the opportunity to put the lock down on society. Well guess what? The dam is going to break again and soon. It's already happening and this time it's not stopping. Dionysos is the eternal return.
I have written previously about what I consider to be the all. My contention is that everything is derivative of the separation of the ecstatic embrace of the divine feminine and masculine. We are in the post orgasmic state after the release of energy of the two primal powers. It's humorously called the Big Bang by physicists. However nothing lasts as we well know from just being aware. The universe is defined by movement and change and any attempt at objectification leads to delusion. The state of the universe we are in now will not last forever, it will return once again to unity. The divine couple will reunite once again and after the requisite foreplay will once again create another universe, the universe essentially a child of these two. Curiously within all of us are these two powers and we can reenact the divine play of creation with others and also within. And it isn't a microcosm of the grand movie, it actually is it playing itself out and you are it. Within the energy that animates all is latent omnipotent potential to birth as many universes as you can imagine in your philosophy. Externally we create by coming together sexually with a partner of the opposite sex which is a pretty good mirrored example of the dance of creation. Our externally manifest self physically mirrors the all pervasive energy of creation. Unbeknownst to all is hidden within the ability to unite both energies. Take myself as an example. I have a head start on feeling the masculine energy because that is my gender. However the feminine is within me, it is just hidden and due to culture and gender roles is locked away. Within all of us are the two polarities, this peculiar truth recognized by the alchemists of the Middle Ages. They had a funny way of going about it but essentially what they were trying to do is awaken and transmute the two natures and combine them in a sacred union. From there they envisioned immortality. So within she is calling to you: to free her, to rescue the princess. This is your quest, my quest, the only quest, and that road is long and winding. First is a need to recognize your power and throw off the dragon along with the chains of culture. When you find her you find love, wisdom, and happiness. At some point you will realize you are it, you are the divine masculine and the divine feminine. Then preparations for the internal sacred marriage commence. The sex is fantastic.
The union of these two powers that plays out repeatedly in creation conceptually creates the hermaphrodite. In fact think about this: when you are participating in the sexual act you combine and become one, essentially becoming the hermaphrodite. How then do you represent this combination in terms of a 'god', a strange one at that? As a culture you would say he is foreign as there is no place in society for such a god. He is effeminate. He talks about community and free love. You see where I'm going with this. This god is Dionysos. Dionysos represents the union of the sacred feminine and masculine. Dionysos is the state of creation totally unified. When he is torn apart then we have plurality. Eventually the energy wants to return to a state of coalescence. That is the state of higher consciousness, a current you can try and swim against but it will pull you along. Go with the flow.