COULD THIS BE THE NEW SACRED ANTINOUS LOTUS?
This exquisite scarlet waterlily blossomed at dawn Friday at the world-famous International Waterlily Collection gardens in San Angelo, Texas, and was posted this morning on their Facebook page.
The gardeners said the bud had been 20 cm (8 inches) below the water's surface at sunset, but that by dawn it had surfaced to burst into blossom and greet the new day.
Priest Hernestus immediately suggested they should call it the "Antinous" after the fabled red water lily in Ancient Egypt which was called the SACRED ANTINOUS LOTUS.
Emperor Hadrian and Antinous were on tour in Egypt in the summer of the year 130 AD. At Alexandria they went out in search of a man-eating lion that had been terrorizing the countryside.
They killed the lion and it was said that, where the lion's blood touched the sand, red lotus blossoms sprang up spontaneously.
Antinous drowned in the Nile a few weeks later and Hadrian proclaimed him a god — the last Classical deity.
The "Antinous Lotus" (actually a rosy water lily) adorned his statues and temples. His statues often portray him with a rosy-red water lily just about to blossom from his head (like the Egyptian God Nefertem's blue lily). Some statues had slots so that priests could attach real floral wreaths and lily flowers to his head.
The Ancient Priests of Antinous cultivated red waterlilies for this purpose. The exact hybrid they cultivated has been lost to history. Experts at the San Angelo gardens say that waterlily colors are relatively easy to create through hybridization, and that new hybrids can be cultivated in a very short period of time.
Antinous has always been associated with a rosy-red Nile waterlily — the fabled SACRED ANTINOUS LOTUS. And for that reason we feel this stunning new hybrid waterlily, which blossomed the day this blog was launched under the light of the Scorpio Full Moon, should be named for ANTINOUS THE GAY GOD!