Saturday, February 29, 2020

ANTONINUS PIUS, THE ROMAN EMPEROR
WHO FULFILLED HADRIAN'S DREAMS



AT the end of February and beginning of March the Religion of Antinous marks Three Holy Days involving the Divine Antoninus Pius.

On February 28th we celebrate the Adoption of Antoninus Pius by Hadrian. And on March 1st we commemorate the Apotheosis of Antoninus Pius . Also on March 1st, we celebrate the Ascension of Marcus Aurelius and Lucius Verus.

After the death of Aelius Caesar, Hadrian adopted Antoninus, imposing on him the condition that he adopt two sons, Lucius Verus and Marcus Antoninus to be his successors. Antoninus supported the dying Hadrian for the remainder of his years, and obeyed his commands even after his death. For this Antoninus is called Pius.

As the Fates would have it, March 1st is the date when Antoninus Pius died in 161 AD after 23 years as Emperor. His rule is marked by an almost unbroken period of peace and tranquility. The golden era of Rome, known as the Age of the Antonines, takes its name from Antoninus, because every emperor afterward took up his name as an emblem of glory. Antoninus is the emperor most responsible for the perpetuation of the Religion of Antinous.


He had served as Proconsul of Asia Minor under Hadrian from 130 to 135, while the Religion of Antinous was being formed, and it was during his reign that construction of the Sacred City of Antinoopolis was completed.

The Senate deified Antoninus Pius shortly after his death. The base of the column erected in his honor, shows Antoninus Pius and his wife Faustina the elder, rising up to heaven. They are ascending upon the wings of an Aeon, with Mother Rome on one side, and a beautiful reclining male figure on the other who grasps an obelisk. We believe this figure to be Antinous, guardian spirit of the Age of the Antonines.

Upon the occasion of the Death and Apotheosis of Antoninus Pius, Marcus Aurelius and Lucius Verus became co-Emperors, both surnamed Antoninus, a name which the ancient Romans equate with inestimable glory.

Marcus being the elder and wiser, was given the title Augustus, while Lucius took the name Caesar. They remained cordial to one another though their vastly different characters were always a cause of discord, though never of rivalry or outright animosity. They were a harmonious and cooperative pair of rulers, the only example of effective imperial brotherhood in the long history of Rome.

Friday, February 28, 2020

ANTONIUS SUBIA FOLLOWS ANTINOUS
TO THE FABLED CITY OF HELIOPOLIS



ON our last day in Egypt I was determined to see the one last place on my list of sacred sites ... Heliopolis.


It was there that Hadrian, according to historian Royston Lambert, may have cast a magical spell that rebounded and resulted in the death of his beloved Antinous. 

During that fateful final trip up the Nile, just weeks before Antinous died, it was said that Hadrian and Antinous stopped at Heliopolis.


That is the town near Mennefer (Memphis/Cairo) where the Egyptian magician/priest Pancrates gave to Hadrian (or rather sold to him for an exorbitant sum) a magical spell which could bind another man's affections to him forever ... when the spell was cast properly.

If cast wrong, the spell would result in the death of the other man.

There was some speculation in ancient times as to whether the death of Antinous may have be related to this strange Egyptian spell. 

From the day we arrived I was trying to get there but it kept getting pushed back for another day. Finally the last day came and I was not going to be dissuaded from seeing Heliopolis.


It turned out to be an arduous ordeal across the worst parts of Cairo ... In the Rain and at rush hour ... all of which turned what I thought would be a short solo excursion ... into a four-hour journey.

I decided just to take a taxi ... made arrangements to meet everyone later at the Dervish dancers at 6:30 (actually I was supposed to go back to the hotel first then we would all go together).

The taxi driver didn't speak a word of English but when I showed him where I wanted to go he said okay ... as we left I realized that he thought I wanted to go to a Hotel called Heliopolis ... and he had no idea where to go. 

Eventually he called a guy from the sidewalk who spoke a little English to translate ... and then he said he knew and off we went. 

I had no idea how far it actually was ... and in a rough industrial area full of burning garbage (and I have been in some extremely rough parts of Egypt ... but this was the worst. 

The taxi driver and I eventually could chat using the "translate conversation" function on my phone ... even he said that it was in a Bad Neighborhood.

Suddenly in the distance I see it ... The Giant Obelisk! ... one of the only Obelisks still standing in its original location.

There was a lovely little park surrounding it with what little remains of the once glorious city of Ra, where the Great Temple once stood, which is said to have been larger, older and more spectacular than Karnak.


The Great Temple of Ra at Heliopolis was where the creation story involving the god Atum masturbating the universe into being took place. (Illustration above: "Israel In Egypt" by Edward John Poynter)

The city where Orpheus, Pythagoras, Homer and Plato all came to study with the priests of The Temple of Ra-Atum.

It is also where Antinous and Hadrian came during their visit a few months before Antinous drowned, the place where the event in which Antinous said he would be willing to give his life for Hadrian occurred.


I needed to see Heliopolis

I needed to stand where Antinous once stood,

Where he willingly dedicated his life to Hadrian

So many obstacles tried to prevent me from getting there. 

I went all by myself into the wild worst parts of Cairo, and paid a heavy fare to get there and back. 

I spent as long as I could, absorbing the presence and power beneath what could be seen around me ... and thanked Antinous for making it possible for me to have this magical moment.


My last adventure in Egypt.

The way back was worse than getting there, I barely made it on-time to see the dervish dancers ... which was surreal in its self.

Then back to the Hotel to pack and head to the airport where I am now.

Heliopolis was wonderful ... and heart-breaking.

Egypt was wonderful and heart-breaking.

It has been the most powerful experience of my life so far and it will take a while to go through all that I have experienced.

The Obelisk of Heliopolis will stand as my final pilgrimage station in Egypt. Although so many obstacles endeavored to prevent me from getting there...I overcame all that came before me and stood in the footsteps of Antinous.

Ave Antinous!

~ANTONIUS SUBIA

Thursday, February 27, 2020

ANTONIUS SUBIA FOLLOWS ANTINOUS
TO THE PLATEAU OF SAQQARA EGYPT


AS my sacred pilgrimage drew to a close I wanted to go to Saqqara, the plateau a short distance south of Cairo ... upriver on the Nile ... which once overlooked the ancient Egyptian capital city of Memphis/Mennefer which Hadrian and Antinous visited in 130 AD.

It turned out to be way more fabulous than I expected.

The Serapeum was amazing with the giant sarcophagi of the the Apis Bulls.

The pyramid of Djoser was breath-taking though in typical Egyptian fashion after advertising that it would be open for the first time to enter...it was closed.

The Serapeium was very far from the entrance so very I reluctantly rode a horse back, though a little kid led the horse up the hill because I was sure I was gonna fall face first into the rocks.

After Saqqara which was a fabulous dream come true, to my great surprise we continued on to the Dashur Pyramids.

It had started to rain ... RAIN in Egypt!

As we arrived the rain stopped, just got a little wet.

We had the Entire site to ourselves.

Not a single person was there not even a guard.

But the site is immense ... we only explored the nearest Pyramid which was the Famous Broken Pyramid.

But just to the West could be seen The Bent Pyramid, and to the North was the Red Pyramid.

We climbed as far as you could onto The Broken Pyramid and surveyed the beautiful landscape.

It was an unexpected marvel to be there.

One so so many incredible experiences we have had on this pilgrimage to Egypt.

AVE ANTINOUS!

~ANTONIUS SUBIA
 MORE PHOTOS BELOW:








Wednesday, February 26, 2020

ANTONIUS SUBIA FEELS TOTALLY AT HOME
AT THE EGYPTIAN MUSEUM IN CAIRO



EGYPT is in the process of moving all the exhibits in the Egyptian Museum in Cairo to the new museum in Gizeh ... which was supposed to be open already but then was scheduled to open later this year ... Not going to happen!

We were afraid little would be lift in the old museum, but no ... it was fully stuffed with just a few pieces preparing to be moved.

The Egyptian Museum at Cairo has SO much on display ... items just crammed everywhere together with little or no organization, rooms after rooms after rooms ... can only imagine the basement.

It was a very great feeling to be in the presence of such great royalty,

I removed my hat out of respect for them.

And then to see their monuments all over Egypt

After seeing the actual Kings themselves

Egypt is a magical place.

The Hall of Scrolls was also wonderful to behold,

(Everyone knows how I feel about scrolls)

As was the massive scroll of Yuya.

And there were two images of the Mithras Tauroctony,

Which I did not expect, but there was no information about where in Egypt they were found. 

It was a surprising comfort to be in the presence of Greco-Roman statuary and art after so much foreign Egyptian culture both ancient and modern...it was like being home again.

The Coptic Quarter of Cairo made you feel the same. Once you entered the defensive walls and saw the remains of the Roman fort, you immediately felt a changed sense of calm because you were in a far distant yet eternal outpost of ROME, and everything felt familiar and comforting.

Ave Antinous!

~ANTONIUS SUBIA
 MORE PHOTOS BELOW:











Tuesday, February 25, 2020

ANTONIUS SUBIA STRIDES THROUGH
HADRIAN'S GATE AT PHILAE ISLAND




A highlight of my pilgrimage to Egypt

Was the Philae Island Temple 

On the Upper Nile

Last stand of the Pagan religion.

Long after Theodosius outlawed the old religions,

The priests of Isis continued their devotions.

It was a great honor to visit that beautiful little island

And there is a corridor called Hadrian's gate

In my photo at the top of this entry!

Ave Antinous!


~ANTONIUS SUBIA

                        MORE PHOTOS BELOW:







Monday, February 24, 2020

ANTONIUS SUBIA EYEWITNESS AT ABU SIMBEL
AS SUNRAYS ILLUMINATE INNER SANCTUARY



OUR spiritual leader ANTONIUS SUBIA witnessed one of the world's most spectacular cosmic events when, at the climax of his sacred pilgrimage to Egypt, he saw the rays of the rising sun illuminate the inner sanctum of the main temple at ABU SIMBEL  on February 22nd.

On two days, traditionally the anniversary of the birthday and coronation of pharaoh Ramses II, a shaft of sunlight pierces the gloom, illuminating statues of gods and the king in the temple's inner sanctum.

On February 22, a day celebrating the king's birthday and again on October 22, a day celebrating his coronation, sunlight illuminates seated statues of the sun gods Re-Horakhte and Amon-Re, as well as a statue of king Ramses II. 

The statues sit in the company of the Theban god of darkness, Ptah (who remains in the shadows all year).

The spectacle ... which has endured more than 3,200 years of Egyptian history ... draws thousands of tourists to Abu Simbel to watch this ancient tribute to a pharaoh whose name is still known up and down the Nile Valley for his military exploits and monumental building projects.

Here is Antonius's first-hand account of this sacred experience. Antonius writes:

Abu Simbel was one of the most powerful moments in my life, because it was a magical experience of being in tune with The Clockwork of the Cosmos

I was fortunate to be there with my friend Livio Zambelli from Italia whose birthday it was and wh, for as long as I have known him, has wanted to be there at the moment when the rays of the morning sun illuminate the three figures seated in the inner sanctum of the Temple of Rameses II.

There were so many people, at least 5,000 there lined up to see the event hours before sunrise. When we arrived there was a huge line, but having been in Egypt for nearly three weeks I learned that there is no such thing as waiting in line in this country. 

So I grabbed Livio by the shoulders cut in line and pushed our way forward as far as we could go, and luckily we did, as we were to find out later.

So we waited for the sun, looking up in amazement at the stars that filled the sky...so many stars that it was difficult to tell what was what. 

But we identified Aquila-Antinous hovering directly on the horizon where the sun was soon to appear.

Just before the sun came up ... three giant storks passed over our heads ... which I took to be a good sign of augury. Then the sun appeared and they began to let people into the Temple. The crowd was pushing hard to get in ... I held onto Livio so we wouldn’t get separated ... I was afraid we wouldn’t make it in before the event was over, because it only lasts about 20 minutes and there were a lot of people ahead of us, it was like a river of people. 

At the entrance they let you in on the left while exiting people came out on the right, you circled clockwise around the hall with columnal statues of Rameses II, then you reach the long hall that ends in the inner chamber, you could not enter and they kept you moving. 

That was when I saw that the Sun was still shining on the statues two were no longer in the light but one still was ... I snapped a picture, then we moved on around and back out. We tried to see the images inside the temple as best we could with very little time. 

As we exited I looked back and saw that the sun had passed over the inner sanctum and the event was over ... we had basically been among the last to see it before it was done. 

Had we not pushed our way forward we would have gotten up there after coming so far and waiting so long and missed the actual reason we had come.

Clockwork of the Cosmos

Then we explored the second Temple of Queen Nefertari which was not full of people and we were able to comfortably explore the inscriptions and reliefs and talk about them.

I learned so much, including seeing the only image of the god Set that I have seen along the entire trip.

It was a wonderful experience!

Livio and I had a turkish coffee, talked for a bit and said our good-byes.

The road back from Abu Simbel to Aswan was a beautiful desert spectacle including a mirage, which I haven’t seen since I was a child in West Texas. I love the desert ... The Sahara Desert! We were only 30 minutes from the border of Sudan!


22nd February 2020


Ave Antinous!

~ANTONIUS SUBIA

                        MORE PHOTOS BELOW:












NEW RADAR SCANS AT TUT'S TOMB
REVIVE HOPES OF HIDDEN CHAMBERS




IT erupted from the sands of Egypt in 2015, sending ripples of excitement around the world.

But, then, it was killed. And killed again.

Now, the hope that King Tutankhamun’s famous tomb is hiding secret chambers has risen again.

British Egyptologist Dr Nicholas Reeves breathed life into the tale of Tut’s concealed chambers five years ago. He had noticed anomalies in its plastered walls.

A ground-penetrating radar scan appeared to confirm his hopes. Egypt’s enthusiastic antiquities minister asserted "90 per cent certainty" the rooms were there.

But, two subsequent radar scans appeared to kill any expectation of finding hidden mummies.

Both insisted there was nothing there.

Now, according to science journal NATURE , speculation has once again been revived.

There’s been yet another radar survey. This time of the terrain surrounding the tomb.

Previous scans had been restricted to its confines.

"The findings ...  in an unpublished report, details of which have been seen by Nature ... resurrect a controversial theory that the young king's burial place hides the existence of a larger tomb, which could contain the mysterious Egyptian queen Nefertiti," the report reads.

The latest findings lend credence to British archaeologist Nicholas Reeves' theory that NEFERTITI could be buried in those secret chambers.

At a news conference in November 2015, fittingly held at Howard Carter's Rest House on Luxor's West Bank, the Minister of Antiquities, Dr. Mamdouh El-Damaty, announced that the radar scans of Tutankhamun's Burial Chamber revealed there is A LARGE VOID behind what we now know is a false wall in Tutankhamun's Burial Chamber.

The radar scans revealed that the transition from solid bedrock to masonry is stark. There is a straight, vertical line - the line that Nicholas Reeves first spotted earlier this year on high-definition scans of the tomb wall.

It strongly suggests that the antechamber continues through the burial chamber as a corridor.

Reeves believes that what looks like a solid, painted wall, is actually a ruse designed to foil tomb robbers. 

A number of other tombs in the Valley of the Kings used the same device. Tutankhamun's seems to be the only one that worked.

But for now, let's congratulate Dr. Nicholas Reeves for the results so far. He spotted something that ancient thieves, Howard Carter, and hundreds of scientists since missed - the outline of a hidden doorway in Tutankhamun's tomb.

Not only was Nefertiti famous for her beauty, which remains evident through her world-renowned 3,300-year-old painted limestone bust housed at the Egyptian Museum in Berlin, but she was also the Great Royal Wife of the Pharaoh Akhenaten and his chief consort.

Nefertiti's burial site has long been a mystery as archaeologists have so far failed to find the queen’s tomb.

King Tutankhamun's tomb was found in 1922 under the supervision of another British archaeologist and Egyptologist, Howard Carter.