WE LIFT OUR HEARTS TO ANTINOUS/MERCURY
WE lift up our hearts on May 15th to the great wing-footed God Mercury — father of Antinous, son of Zeus and Maia. Indeed, so close was the relationship that Antinous was often equated with Mercury in sculptural art — becoming Antinous/Mercury.
Mercury is the god of speed, the Lord of commerce, communication, and
cunning. He is forever young and beautiful, the patron of skilled
athletes, especially runners, and yet he possesses the infinite wisdom
of extreme old age.
When Mercury was one day old, he charmed Apollo by stealing the sun
god's prized cattle and crafting an ingenious story to cover his tracks.
Apollo fell in love with Mercury and from that day forward became his
godfather and protector, presenting him to Olympus. Zeus was so taken
by his son Mercury that he made him the messenger of the gods, and
placed in his hand the sacred Caduceus, the serpent-entwined rod.
(as he was called by the Greeks) was charged with escorting the souls
of the dead to the underworld, and to relay messages between heaven and
hell. Thus he acquired his mystic powers, which were the inspiration of
the Hermits, and of their religion known as Hermeticism.
He was known to them as Hermes Tristmegistus, the "thrice-great", and was said to have taught the secret knowledge of salvation to mankind.
As Hermes of the crossroads, he was a Phallic god, whose image was a herme, or column with a bearded head and a large penis that was placed at forks in the road to protect travelers.
Mercury made love to Venus and was father of Pan, Priapus,
Hermaphroditus, and of Fortuna. He was the craftiest inventor, who
created the lyre, which he gave to Apollo. And he invented written
language, weights and measurement.
Mercury was the god of good business, but also of dishonesty and
absolute capitalism. He invented dice and was the lord of gambling and
all games of chance.
Antinous was often compared to Mercury in the statues and in
the artefact fragments. His powers of youth, virility and physical
fitness were central parts of the Religion of Antinous. But the hermetic sages, from whom so much of the salvation of Antinous extends, deepened this facade. He is, along with Dionysus, Apollo and Osiris, a major facet of the Spirituality of Antinous.
We acknowledge and extol Mercury, the wing-footed god, and pray to him as Antinous to run by our side and give us good fortune throughout our travels and in our communication with the divine.