Sunday, September 25, 2016

A MUSEUM NEXT DOOR TO ANTINOOPOLIS
REOPENS 3 YEARS AFTER BEING LOOTED



THE Mallawi Museum, only a few miles from Antinoopolis in Egypt, reopened this week after being ransacked by looters three years ago. 

Most of the museum's 1,000-piece collection has also been recovered from looters and is back on display following a $1 million renovation.

The museum was ransacked in August 2013 during a period of violence in the country following the ousting of the former president Mohamed Morsi. 

The looters shot one member of the museum staff dead and stole almost all of the artefacts on display. Other items, too large to remove, were vandalised, destroyed or burned.

The objects stolen predominantly date to the Graeco-Roman Period and included jewellery, shabti figurines depicting workers in the afterlife, statues of the gods Osiris, Isis, Hathor and Thoth, pottery, papyri, gold coins and wooden coffins.

Shortly after the attack, a Red List of the looted artefacts was distributed by Unesco in Arabic and English.

Over the following years, the vast majority of these artefacts were recovered. 

A limestone statue of ANKHESENAMUN, Tutankhamun's wife, was seized in December 2013, after officials traced it to a bazaar in Cairo.

Meanwhile, a man was arrested in Giza after he tried to sell 13 artefacts taken from the museum. 

Many of the objects were returned by local people after Egyptian authorities promised a small reward and that no criminal charges would be brought against them.

The Mallawi National Museum in the Upper Egyptian city of Minya, adjacent to Antinoopolis, was severly damaged and looted by rioters as part of deadly clashes that erupted across the country.

Afterwards, police and volunteers managed to gather together the artefacts that had not been stolen and transferred them to a secure vault at nearby Al-Ashmunein ... ancient Hermopolis (called Shmunu by the Ancient Egyptians).


Hermopolis was the last city that Antinous saw before his death in October 130 AD. He died at a bend in the Nile a short distance from Hermopolis ... and that was where Antinoopolis was founded.

There has also been widespread blatant LOOTING AT ANTINOOPOLIS in recent years. 

The entire Assyut/Minya area is a hotbed of Islamic fundamentalism. 

Ironically, the area has always been a region of religious fervor, dating back to Antinoopolis ... and even further back to the 18th Dynasty when "heretic" Pharaoh Akhenaten founded his capital city Akhetaten a few miles south of the site where Antinous would plunge into the Nile and his sacred city would be founded in the year 130 AD.


Saturday, September 24, 2016

CHINESE BONES IN ROMAN CEMETERY
REWRITE HISTORY OF ROMAN BRITAIN


THE history books will have to be rewritten now that 1,900-year-old Chinese skeletons have been unearthed among Roman skeletons at an ancient cemetery in London.

It was an otherwise unremarkable Roman cemetery at the site of ancient Roman Londinium, containing the bodies of ordinary people. They lived and died on the banks of the Thames, making a living in the poorer and dirtier districts of Roman Londinium.

When an analysis of the skeletons came through, no one expected a result that could change our view of the history of Europe and Asia. 

But that is what archaeologists seem to have found, because two of the skeletons, dated to between the 2nd and 4th Century AD, were Chinese.

The findings promise to rewrite the history of the Romans as it suggests these two great empires ... the Chinese Empire and the Roman Empire ... had far greater connections than previously believed.

While it is known that there was extensive trade between China and ancient Rome along what became known as the Silk Road, the two empires are thought to have viewed each other warily.

Accounts from the time suggest the Chinese were curious about the TALL AND VIRTUOUS PEOPLE far to the west, while the Romans found their rivals in the east mysterious but valued their silk cloth.

There is even a village in western China whose residents claim to be descendants of soldiers from a LOST ROMAN LEGION.

Despite the trade between the empires, however, only one person of Asian ancestry has ever been found on sites dating back to the Roman Empire ... an adult man unearthed at Vagnari in Italy.

But now research led by the Museum of London has revealed two more individuals of Asian ancestry, buried among the remains of other citizens of ancient Londinium.

According to the THE TIMES, while experts have not been able to identify their exact origins, it is likely these people had come from China.

Writing in the Journal of Archaeological Science, Dr Rebecca Redfern, an archaeologist at the Museum of London, said how they ended up there is a mystery.

She and her colleagues said: 'The expansion of the Roman Empire across most of western Europe and the Mediterranean, led to the assimilation and movement of many ethnically and geographically diverse communities.

Friday, September 23, 2016

ANTONIUS SUBIA SHOWS YOU HOW
TO MAKE ANTINOUS PRAYER BEADS


THERE are Catholic rosary beads, Eastern Orthodox beads, Swedish Lutheran Frälserkransen beads, Islamic prayer beads, Buddhist meditation beads, Hindu japa mala beads and even Wiccan prayer beads ... now several adherents of Antinous are designing prayer beads.

This photo shows Antinous Prayer Beads designed and created by Antonius Subia. Click here to read how he hand-crafted the FLAMEN ANTONIUS SUBIA PRAYER BEADS.

Priests Uendi and Hernestus also have created their own special prayer beads ... very different in design and function from Antonius Subia's beads.

Priest Hernestus calls his the "Antinous Moon Magic" beads and describes them in full detail HERE.

They consist of 52 beads symbolizing the 52 primary annual lunar phases, each of which represents a specific archetypal spirit in Antinous Moon Magic (photo at left).

In addition, there are some 30 additional beads representing various major "Saints of Antinous" and "Blessed Souls of Antinous."

There are also has beads for what Hernestus calls his "Sorgenkinder" (German for "special needs children") ... beads for persons or situations which require urgent spiritual attention.

Priest Uendi's beads have a unique flavor all their own and she uses them in her daily meditations and prayers (photo below right).

Many other modern-day Antinous adherents have created their own Antinous Prayer Beads.

You can construct a set of prayer beads with a variety of themes and use them in rituals to express your particular beliefs and spiritual interests.

Let's look at ideas for two different types of Pagan prayer beads. The first set is a devotional one that honors the elements, the changing seasons, and the phases of the moon. The second pays tribute to Antinous.

You will need:
  • Beads in colors representing ASPECTS OF ANTINOUS you treasure
  • Beads that symbolize some of the attributes of the deity
  • Spacer beads in color of your choice
  • Beading wire or string
Sort your beads and arrange them so they for a pattern that you like. You may want to try different patterns and designs and see which feels right for you.

Once you have your beads aligned the way you like them, string them on the beading wire and knot it securely. To use your beads in ritual, assign a prayer or short devotional to each bead. As you count them, recite the prayers.

For some more great ideas on how to construct and use Antinous prayer beads, read Donald L. Engstrom-Reese's excellent essay at We Are Walking in Beauty.

Here is a stunning set of Antinous Prayer Beads created by a modern-day adherent of the Most Great and Good God Antinous … Angelo Louis Montiserrat:







Thursday, September 22, 2016

THE DAY ANTINOUS WAS INITIATED
INTO THE ELEUSINIAN MYSTERIES



ON THE EQUINOX in September the Religion of Antinous commemorates the FEAST OF THE PERSEPHONEA — the initiation of Antinous into the ELEUSINIAN MYSTERIES in Greece at the outset of Emperor Hadrian's Imperial Tour of the Eastern Provinces.

Historical records state that, in the late summer of the year 128, the Imperial Court embarked on a grand tour of the East. The Empress Sabina, Hadrian's wife, and her attendants were members of the entourage.

But on this particular journey, Antinous was the most favored of Hadrian's companions. Their love affair was openly, and gracefully displayed before the eyes of the world. This journey through the East, what we call the SACRED PEREGRINATION, is the only part of the short life of Antinous that history has conveyed to us. 

For this reason it takes on the importance of a sacred epic. Antinous  was in the very flower of his beauty and vigor, he was a shining star  held in the wings of the Imperial Eagle, and it is no coincidence that  this court of demigods should travel through the lands of Ganymede, Attis, Adonis, Jesus and Osiris, who were all beautiful souls taken from life before their time.


The court stayed in Athens for five or even six months, they arrived in time for the celebration of the MYSTERIES OF ELEUSIS, which symbolically portrayed the rape of Proserpina by Hades, the mourning of her mother Demeter, and the return of Spring. 

In the modern Religion of Antinous, we commemorate these ELEUSINIAN MYSTERIES during the September Equinox, for it is believed that Antinous underwent the secret initiations provided by the Priests of Eleusis at the Temple of Demeter/Ceres.


The painting above by Joseph Gandy in 1818 shows how the temple may have looked in the 2nd Century AD. The painting at right is "The Garden of Persephone" by Robert Hale Ives Gammell.

Through the Priests of Eleusis Antinous received the consecration of the dark goddess of the underworld Persephone/Proserpina, which prepared him for his own death and resurrection.

In the Mysteries of Eleusis, the initiates are led into the realm of death and are confronted with immediate death. 


Two years later, in 130 AD, Hadrian and Antinous would indeed be confronted by physical death. 

In the Mysteries of Eleusis (and indeed in the Underworld after Death), the initiates cannot go back the way they have come. 

And they cannot go forward without knowing the Words of Power that will allow the gatekeepers to throw open their gates.

But we face such situations not only in secret initiations, or on our deathbeds. No, we face such "mysteries" every day of our lives. 


We put off our dreams and aspirations so we can cope more effectively with the challenges of the present, ostensibly to have more time and leisure to realize our purpose in the future. 

Or we tell ourselves that we will chase our dreams someday once we have accomplished other lesser goals.

(Photo left: Antinous statue found at Eleusis.)

In truth, it is our fear that keeps us from seeking fulfillment in the here and now — because we view failure as a possibility, our reasons for delaying our inevitable success seem sound and rational. 

If we ask ourselves what we are really waiting for, however, we discover that there is no truly compelling reason why we should put off the pursuit of the dreams that sustain us.

That is what "mystery initiations" are all about. Hadrian and Antinous were forced by the Eleusinian priests to confront their fears and to find a way to go forth into life — NOW. They had no options. It was now or never. Life or Oblivion. In our own lives, we face the same question every day. And usually we try to find a way to avoid the question.

The idols, the images, the icons, the gilded statues and the gods themselves are as nothing.

YOU YOURSELF HOLD THE KEYS TO FINDING AND FULFILLING YOUR OWN DESTINY.

It is yours to find and to fulfill. No one else's. Not even the gods'.

That is what the ELEUSINIAN MYSTERIES are all about. And that is what the PERSEPHONEA is all about. And the Journey Up the Nile by Hadrian and Antinous to their Fateful Destiny with Eternity. And it is also what the symbolism of the Equinoxes is all about.

Even if the days are getting shorter, they are also getting longer — it is all a matter of perspective. The days ARE getting longer — our brothers in South America, South Africa and Australia can look out the window and see the lavender blossoms of the jacarandas in springtime bloom.

Remember Hadrian and Antinous in the Underworld (or on their Fateful Voyage Up the Nile) and understand what they understood: That the keys of fate are in your hands and you can venture forth RIGHT NOW wherever you wish to go.


FOR IT IS WRITTEN ON THE OBELISK OF ANTINOUS 

 

He is able to enter any place he wishes.
The Guardians of the Gates
Of the Underworld
Say "Praise to You!" to Him...
They loosen their bolts
And throw open their Gates before Him ...
Millions of years ... daily ...
As His duration of life is as the sun,
Never in eternity elapsing!"

 

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

KING EDWARD II AND PIERS GAVESTON
By Priest Martinus Campbell


ON 21st September I and the companions of Antinous venerate one of my heroes (flawed though he was), King Edward II of England. His story is fascinating, scandalous and, ultimately, tragic.

His story is also one of the earliest recorded examples of homophobic abuse and murder in British history.

Contemporary accounts say Prince Edward was handsome, athletic and had acquired a reputation for extravagance. 

His father, Edward I was powerful and successful in battles. Before his father's death, Prince Edward II had angered his father by his "excessive affection" for a young men, especially one called Piers Gaveston. Piers was a nobleman from Gascon - an area of South West France. Piers was Edward II's favourite lover from a group of 12 handsome young men he is recorded as always having around him. 

In July 1307 King Edward I died and and was succeeded by King Edward II - he was 23. The image below is the only surviving contemporary depiction of Edward II, showing his coronation. 

On 25 January 1308 Edward married Isabella (who was aged between twelve and sixteen at the time) the daughter of Philip IV of France. It was a marriage of convenience to consolidate power across the Norman empire. With her he needed to sire a future King, so they had several children including a son who later became King Edward III.

King Edward II was dependent on the support of the powerful English barons. However, they believed that a king had a duty to distribute patronage fairly amongst the aristocracy - not abdicate his responsibilities by showering it all on one non-aristocratic favorite. At the parliament held in April 1308 the barons demanded hat Gaveston be banished.

Edward II reluctantly agreed and sent Gaveston to Ireland as his Lieutenant there (June 1308). However, he immediately began to scheme for Gaveston's return - implementing a policy of "divide and rule", buying off some of the barons with favours. Finally the "Statute of Stamford" was signed to redress baronial grievances in exchange for Gaveston's return.

Quickly the affair with Piers began to offend the barons again. Gaveston clearly had a stinging sense of humour. He began openly inventing scandalous names for each baron. We know that "Black Dog" was applied to the Earl of Warwick, and "Bursting Belly" for the Earl of Lincoln!!

Unfortunately Edward began to lose the ground his father had won. He lost battles with Robert the Bruce thus effectively losing Scotland. The barons mutinied and, again, tried to banish Gaveston. They placed themselves in effective control of the country. Edward II refused to accept his overthrow and Gaveston's exile, so civil war erupted. Edward II placed Gaveston in Scarborough Castle under the protection of two Earls from of his trusted band of 12 men. The castle was besieged and the Earls were forced to surrender the castle and Gaveston. He was thrown in a dungeon, and then beheaded  on 19 June 1312.

In deep grief Edward lost the plot. In the vacuum that followed Robert the Bruce won a famous victory at Bannockburn thus securing Scotland as a separate kingdom for centuries ahead.

Also Queen Isabella began an adulterous affair with one of the Earls, Roger Mortimer. Isabella and Mortimer formed an army which overthrew Edward in 1326. 

He was imprisoned in a damp pit at Berkeley Castle. Two of his beloved 12 supporters made two attempts to free him but failed.

What happened next is not 100% clear but contemporary accounts show that Isabella and Mortimer announced that Edward was dead in September 1327. 

Many rumours circulated about the cause of death but the account recognised by most historians is that one man held Edward down while another pushed a red hot shaft of iron into his rectum. The screams where reputed to have been heard well beyond the castle walls.

In 1594 Christopher Marlowe published his play The Troublesome Reign and Lamentable Death of Edward the Second, King of England. Marlowe was gay and reputed by many to have been the secret lover of William Shakespeare - maybe even the true author of Shakespeare's plays. Edward II the play is never taught in schools and remained pretty much ignored until Derek Jarman's wonderful film of the play in 1991.

When I was learning British history at school the reign of Edward II was simply referred to as the 'failed rule of Edward II'. 

Most gay men know of Edward II here in the UK. He is an underground cult here to many.

Many Antinous bless him.
MARTINUS

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

ARCH THROUGH WHICH ANTINOUS STRODE
RECREATED IN NEW YORK CITY




AS diplomats from around the world converge on New York today for the United Nations General Assembly, a work of ancient Roman architecture from the Syrian site of Palmyra has risen in replica in City Hall Park. 

It replicates an icon of the ancient city that was destroyed by ISIS, and symbolizes a call for global efforts to preserve cultural heritage.

The Institute for Digital Archeology (IDA), which resides at the University of Oxford, erected the arch, which stands about 25 feet tall and weighs nearly 30,000 pounds. 

It was made from Egyptian marble by craftsmen in Italy.

Earlier this year the two-thirds scale replica was erected in  TRAFALGAR SQUARE in London and also stood in Dubai.

The 2,000-year-old arch was all that remained of the Temple of Bel, part of the Syrian Unesco World Heritage site, captured by militants in May.

It was recreated from photographs, using a 3D printer.

It was crafted from carrara marble and then shipped in pieces to London.

The institute behind the project hopes the arch will draw attention to the importance of cultural heritage.

DAESH militants have ransacked and demolished several similar ancient sites to Palmyra that pre-date Islam in Iraq, denouncing them as symbols of "idolatry".

Alexy Karenowska, from the Institute of Digital Archaeology, which is behind the project, says she hopes it will help people understand how important it is to preserve cultural sites in war-torn countries such as Syria.

She says: "People say, 'should we be worrying about this stuff when human lives are being lost?'

"Of course all of this stuff takes second place to human life, but these cultural objects are very important to give a sense of place and community."

When Antinous saw Palmyra in ancient times, this arch was the formal entryway into the oasis city which was one of the most wondrous marvels of Ancient Syria.

He arrived with Hadrian to be initiated into Mithras Mysteries 1,900 years ago and most certainly entered the city through this arch.

Palmyra was called the "Garden City of the Sands" and scientists say it was TERRA-FARMED to create a lush green oasis of life and civilization in the midst of the desert.

Monday, September 19, 2016

THE BIRTH OF ANTONINUS PIUS



SEPTEMBER 19 the Religion of Antinous celebrates the birth of the Divine Emperor Antoninus Pius.

Caesar Titus Aurelius Fulvius Boionius Arrius Antoninus was born on this day 86 A.D. at Lanuvium, near Rome.

Under the Divine Hadrian he served as Proconsul of Asia minor from 130 to 135, the most crucial years in the development of the Religion of Antinous. After that he was summoned to Rome to be close to Hadrian as his health failed.

With the untimely death of the emperor's chosen heir, the blessed Lucius Aelius Verus Caesar, Hadrian chose Antoninus to be his successor. Thus Hadrian adopted him as his son and successor on the 25th of February 138, on condition that he himself adopted Hadrian's great nephew-by-marriage Marcus Aurelius, and Lucius Aelius Verus's son Lucius Verus, who was only 7 years old.

Hadrian's choice in successors proved to be infinitely wise. 

Following decades of political turmoil, civil strife and imperial excesses, Hadrian and his successors ushered one final period of peace and prosperity for Rome which would go done in history as the Sacred and Golden Age of the Antonines.

On Hadrian's death, Antoninus Pius was enthusiastically welcomed to the throne by the Roman people, whose hopes of a happy reign were not disappointed. For Antoninus came to his new office with simple tastes, kindly disposition, extensive experience, a well-trained intelligence and the sincerest desire for the welfare of his subjects.

One of his first acts was to persuade the Senate to grant divine honors to Hadrian, which they had at first refused (but later agreed to). This gained him the title of Pius (dutiful in affection). He built temples, theaters, and mausoleums, promoted the arts and sciences, and bestowed honors and salaries upon the teachers of rhetoric and philosophy.

Unlike his predecessors Trajan and Hadrian, Antoninus Pius was not a military man. His reign was comparatively peaceful. Insurrections amongst the Moors, Jews, and Brigantes in Britain were easily put down. The one military result which is of interest to us now is the building in Britain of the Wall of Antoninus (a few miles north of Hadrian's Wall), which was proclaimed in 2008 to be a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

During his reign, Antoninus issued coins celebrating the religious glory of Rome in celebration of the nine hundredth anniversary of the city in 147. The coins asserted the superiority of Romanism over the Empire.

Antoninus is said to have restored the sanctity of the ancient Roman faith, and to have reinvigorated its ceremonies, which is another possible reason why he was surnamed Pius.

The Religion of Antinous was in its infancy when Antoninus Pius came to power. The Blessed Boy's temples were under construction. The Sacred City of Antinoopolis was unfinished. It would have been easy for Antoninus Pius to pull the plug on the expense involved in the new religion. After all, Antoninus Pius was known as a penny-pincher who demanded fiscal restraint.

Instead, Antoninus Pius generously supplied the fledgling religion with imperial largess and was instrumental in the spread of the Faith of Antinous in those early years. Without him, the religion would have vanished at Hadrian's death. Instead, it flourished for centuries.

After the longest reign since Augustus (surpassing Tiberius by a couple of months), Antoninus died of fever on March 7, 161. His last public utterance was when the tribune of the night-watch came to ask the password — "aequanimit as" (equanimity). It was a fitting epitaph.

His body was placed in Hadrian's Mausoleam, a column was dedicated to him on Mars Field, and the temple he had built in the Forum in 141 to his deified wife Faustina was rededicated to the deified Faustina and the deified Antoninus. The Temple of Antoninus and Faustina still stands today in the Roman Forum (at right, now called the Church of San Lorenzo in Miranda).

We pay tribute to Antoninus Pius, who truly lived up to his title as a man of wisdom and piety.