Saturday, June 30, 2012

LAST KNOWN GAY JEWISH

HOLOCAUST SURVIVOR DIES


ANTINOUS is the God of the Men with the Pink Triangles, gay victims of the Nazis. So it is with deep sadness and profound humility that we note the passing an anti-Nazi resistance fighter and the last known gay Jewish survivor of the Holocaust.

GAD BECK died this week in Berlin. He passed away in a senior citizens' home six days before his birthday on June 30. He would have been 89 years old today.

Beck was a pioneering gay activist and educator in a severely anti-homosexual, repressive post-World War II German society. He was famous for his witty, lively style of speaking.

On a German talk show, he said with a wink to his small physical size, "The Americans in New York called me a big hero. I said no... I’m really a little hero."

Perhaps the single most important experience that shaped his life was the war-time effort to rescue his boyfriend. Beck donned a Hitler Youth uniform and entered a deportation center to free his Jewish lover Manfred Lewin.



After bluffing his way out of the deportation center, as the two youths were hurrying down the road to freedom, Manfred stopped and said he couldn't go on. 

He tearfully said he would never forgive himself if he abandoned his family. So, with a parting kiss, he turned back and Gad never saw him again.

The Nazis would later deport the entire Lewin family to Auschwitz, where they were murdered.


Gad's only memento of Manfred was a little notebook with poems, sketches and essays which Manfred had written, plus a photograph. Gad treasured them all his life.

Speaking about his life as a gay Jew, Beck invoked a line frequently cited about homosexuality: "God doesn't punish for a life of love."

He was featured in the film THE LIFE OF GAD BECK (Die Freiheit des Erzählens: Das Leben des Gad Beck) as well as in the German documentary film PARAGRAPH 175. (The notorious Paragraph 175 of the German Penal Code outlawed homosexuality before Adolf Hitler became chancellor in 1933, and the Nazi party radically intensified the enforcement of the anti-gay law, including deportations to extermination camps.)

Aside from the two documentaries, however, he said with typical humor that he was still waiting for the blockbuster, feature-length movie about his life, and he knew just the man to bring it to the big screen.


"Only Steven Spielberg could film my life – forgive me, forgive me," Beck quipped.

He had immigrated to Israel in 1947. After his return to Germany in 1979, the first post-Holocaust head of Berlin's Jewish community, Heinz Galinski, appointed Beck director of the Jewish Adult Education Center in Berlin.

In a telephone interview with Judith Kessler, editor of the Berlin Jewish community's monthly magazine, Juedisches Berlin, she told THE JERUSALEM POST that Beck would organize gay singles meeting in the center.

"He was open, sweet and would speak with everybody," she said. Kessler, who knew Beck since 1989, added that he would attend the annual Christopher Street Day Parade for gay pride in Berlin and wave an Israeli flag.


Beck's father was an Austrian Jew and his mother converted to Judaism.

The Nazi racial laws defined Beck as mischling (mixed-breed), and he and his father were carted off to a holding compound in the Rosenstrasse in central Berlin. After the non-Jewish wives of the prisoners launched a massive street protest in 1943, Beck was released. There were "thousands of women who stood for days... my aunts demanded 'give us our children and men'," he said.

The Rosenstrasse demonstration helped debunk the widespread myth in post-Holocaust German society that resistance against Nazism was futile.

"The Rosenstrasse event made one thing absolutely clear to me: I won't wait until we get deported," said Beck.

Following his release, Beck joined Chug Chaluzi, an underground Zionist resistance youth group, and played a key role in securing the survival of Jews in Berlin.

According to the entry about him at the Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, he noted that "as a homosexual, I was able to turn to my trusted non-Jewish, homosexual acquaintances to help supply food and hiding places."

Shortly before the end of the war in 1945, a Jewish spy working for the Gestapo betrayed Beck and some of his fellow resistance fighters.

He was held captive at a Jewish transit camp in Berlin. After the defeat of Nazi Germany, Beck continued his Zionist work and helped Jewish survivors emigrate to Palestine. He remained in Israel between 1947 and 1979.

Beck is survived by his partner of 35 years, Julius Laufer.

Friday, June 29, 2012

EDWARD CARPENTER
SAINT OF ANTINOUS



URANIAN Patriarch Edward Carpenter, who died on this day in 1929, was a firebrand pioneer of gay rights in the 19th Century, giving up his career to turn to rights activism.

He was born in Brighton England on the 29th of August, 1844, to a very large middle-class family. 

While his brothers went into the military, Edward became a scholar, with great success and eventually even taught at Cambridge where he was required to become ordained as a curate of the Anglican Church.

It was at this time, when he was 24, that he first read Leaves of Grass by Walt Whitman and was completely changed. He resigned his position at Cambridge and devoted his life to the working class, becoming a Socialist philosopher, lecturing, organizing and speaking for working men.

When his parents died, he received an inheritance that he used to purchase a rural estate at Millthrope, which he turned into a veritable Socialist Commune. He repressed his homosexuality for much of his life, channeling his desire into politically inspired friendships.

But the Millthrope house gave him the freedom to express his feelings more openly, and he began to write books on the subject of Uranian Love.

He was deeply influenced by Hindu spirituality, and visited India, all of which emerged in his spiritual view of the Socialist movement, which was not so much about political revolution, but directed towards a change in human consciousness, of which homosexuality rapidly became his greatest cause.

While returning from India he met George Merrill on the train. It would be the love of his life. The younger man soon moved into the house at Millthrope, the two became inseparable lovers whose relationship lasted over forty years.

In 1908, he published The Intermediate Sex, the first widely available book on the subject of homosexuality. After the death of John Addington Symonds, with whom he had been closely allied, Edward Carpenter assumed the role as torch bearer, and subsequently published dozens of books and essays for the cause of gay liberation.

He died on the 28th of June, 1929, in Guildford England, and though not widely known at the time, was to later become a spiritual patriarch for the gay liberation movement of the late 1960s and '70s.

He is regarded as a Saint and Patriarch of the Religion of Antinous, and remembered as one of the first fathers whose work changed the world with subtle power.

Thursday, June 28, 2012

NOT ANTINOUS THE GOD

BUT ANTINOUS THE SATURN MOON CRATER



THE STAR OF ANTINOUS is well known. And many people are aware that there is also an ANTINOUS ASTEROID ... but few people have heard of the ANTINOUS CRATER.

It is located on one of the moons of Saturn, the moon named for the Titan sea goddess Tethys, daughter of Uranus and Tellus/Gaea. The Antinous Crater is located at the bottom of this photo taken by the Cassini probe in a flyby. The bigger crater is Penelope.

This crater was named in 1982 after the "OTHER" Antinous the infamous Antinous of Homer's Odyssey and the Iliad. That is obvious from the association with Penelope. It is highly possible that our God Antinous was in fact named for Homer's Antinous.

For the Ancients, names were not a matter of coincidence. A person's name MEANT something. Nomen est omen
a name is a sign. So why was Antinous given the name of someone who is generally considered to be a scoundrel?

Homer's Antinous was one of the "Suitors of Penelope," the group of moochers who showed up at her doorstep while her husband Odysseus was off fighting the Trojan wars and attempted to woo her and abscond with as much of Odysseus's fortune as they could before he returned
— if he EVER returned. 

After all, he had been gone for years. Their argument was that he was a "dead beat" spouse and that he had abandoned Penelope and, at any rate, was most probably dead.


 Antinous was the craftiest of the suitors and plied Penelope with costly gifts. 

Then at last — at long last — Odysseus returned in the disguise of a beggar. 

Only his faithful dog recognized him. Penelope did not! 

Antinous did not recognize him either and, thinking he was just a homeless street schizo, attacked him with a chair to drive him off.

Later on, during an archery tournament, Odysseus "accidentally" shot Antinous and killed him.

As with much of the Odyssey and the Iliad, it is hard to tell who the "good guys" are and who the "bad guys" are. Homer's Antinous is not exactly a saint, but he in't really guilty of any crime either.

Penelope is the guilty one. As so often in Greek mythology, the women are treacherous and untrustworthy (just think of Pandora). One small detail which you probably did not learn in school was that Penelope had sex with Homer's Antinous and with ALL the other suitors. 


FLAMEN ANTINOALIS ANTONYUS SUBIA explains:
"And the resulting child from that pan-sexual tryst was born a little monstar with horns and hooves. He was called Pan because he was the son of Antinous and ALL the suitors. Penelope couldn't look at him, so she abandoned him, and he was taken in by Mercury, who absolutely adored the little monster.

"Ah yes, Penelope gave birth to Pan in Mantinea!"

Mantinea/Bithynia is the ancestral homeland of our own Antinous. So the name was of regional origin.

But that is not all because, in actual fact, Homer's Antinous was associated with magic. He was something of a wizard. 

According to legend, Homer's Antinous possessed the fabled Mirror of Vulcan/Hephaestus, which enabled him to peer into the past and the future.

So the name Antinous was always associated with myth and magic, even in ancient times. Hadrian, who was fascinated with all things Greek, would have recognized the association between young Antinous and the ancient Greek myth and magic.

As for the fabled Mirror of Vulcan/Hephaestus that is the stuff of Antinoian myth and magic for a future blog entry ....

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

SAINT JUDY GARLAND

AND THE STONEWALL RIOTS


ON JUNE 27 the Religion of Antinous commemorates the Stonewall Riots and Judy Garland, Saint of Antinous.

It is the day our Liturgical Calendar sets aside for remembrance of that sultry summer evening in Greenwich Village in the summer of 1969 when a bunch of drag queens and assorted other gay men decided they weren't in the mood to put up with yet another raid by the corrupt and brutal NYPD.

Gays had had enough and they had just suffered a terrible shock Judy Garland's tragic death on June 22 had rocked the gay world. It was said that 13 twisters raged through Kansas the day Judy died.

Judy had died in London, and amid much news media hype, her body was flown back to New York for a memorial service which drew a huge crowd of grief-stricken gay men who gathered outside Campbell's Funeral Chapel in Manhattan on June 27, 1969.

Afterwards, the bars were jammed with gay men drowning their sorrows in booze and drugs while listening to Judy Garland songs full blast on every jukebox.

The mood was electrified by a sense of solidarity in grieving for a fallen idol. Gay men had surprised themselves by turning out enmasse for Judy's funeral. They had experienced strength in numbers for the first time. 
They had been on national TV news. In an unprecedented move by primetime national news anchormen, Walter Cronkite and Huntley-Brinkley had talked about Judy Garland's "tremendous appeal among male homosexual fans" at supper time when whole families were watching the evening news!

Blacks were standing up for their rights. Women were burning their bras. The Chicano Movement was gathering steam. And now "ho-mo-sexuals" (the announcers were unaccustomed to speaking the word aloud) had the audacity to congregate outside a sacred chapel in broad daylight and even allowed themselves to be shown on the evening news!

Straight people had been confronted with homosexuals right there on television beamed into their homes. And
more importantly homosexuals had seen themselves and their brothers/sisters on national television news.

The mood was electrified.

It was a Friday night. Late June. Hot and steamy. The bars were filled to bursting. Gay men were sharing a rare moment of solidarity in powerful emotions. There was a feeling, not only in New York, but around the world, that a paradigm shift had taken place. A gay icon had died suddenly and tragically (shades of Antinous) and gay people everywhere found themselves in a catharsis of identity change.

And THAT moment was when the Manhattan police happened to stage one of their periodic raids on queers. Basically it was a routine raid on an average gay bar. Nobody had reckoned with what would happen next. Even gay men were surprised by what happened next.

Especially gay men.

Grief turned to outrage. It was a spontaneous uprising fuelled by rage. The vice squad was overwhelmed. Reinforcements had to be sent in. Gay men stood their ground and advanced on the police, pushing them back.

It was the turning point for us. Gay men throughout America, and later in London, Berlin, Sydney and elsewhere began standing up for themselves under the banner "Remember Stonewall".


That was over 40 years ago. This year an estimated five million people marched and danced through the streets of Sao Paulo, Brazil, in this year's Gay Pride Parade.

It is a fitting continuance of that spirit of solidarity which was ignited on that humid Friday evening after Judy's funeral.

In a sense, Judy Garland died for us. Had it not been for her tragic death
strangling on vomit over a toilet bowl in a London hotel suite there might not have been any Stonewall Riots.

Flamen Antinoalis Antonyus Subia puts the Stonewall Riots into a spiritual context:
"It was the first resistance by homosexuals against the repression of two thousand years, and the beginning of the Gay Liberation movement. The importance of the Stonewall Riots is the awakening of gay consciousness, the throwing off of the coils of the python that had for so many centuries enveloped our divine form of Love. This sacred revolt is holy to Apollo, Dionysus, and Diana combined as the guardian spirits of Homosexuality. Our modern Gay society was born on this occasion, and all of the peace and freedom that we have obtained in the these short decades are due to the courage that erupted on that Sacred Night in front of the Stonewall Bar."

Tuesday, June 26, 2012


CAPITOLINE WOLF MAY BE MUCH NEWER

THAN WINCKELMANN THOUGHT




THE CAPITOLINE WOLF, a bronze statue representing Ancient Rome's most famous symbol, was probably sculpted during the Middle Ages, some 17 centuries later than what has long been thought.

Researchers at the University of Salento, who carried out radiocarbon and thermoluminescence tests, believe the statue dates from around the 12th Century AD and not the 5th Century BC, the Italian newspaper  Corriere della Sera reported.

The statue, which is kept at Rome's Capitoline Musuems, depicts a she-wolf suckling human twins.

The pair represent Romulus and Remus, brothers who, according to legend, founded Rome in 753 BC.

Most experts believe the twins were added in the late 15th Century AD, probably by the sculptor Antonio Pollaiolo.

However, the she-wolf was thought to have been a much older work, possibly pillaged from the Etruscans by conquering Roman soldiers and then used as a symbol of the founding myth of their city.

Ancient Roman writers, such as Pliny the Elder and Cicero, mentioned a statue of a she-wolf suckling the twins which they said was very old and sacred to citizens of Rome. But experts have always doubted whether this was that particular statue or a much later copy, especially since it is in such relatively pristine condition. 

"Now the thesis is that it is medieval copy of an original Etruscan work," Rome's municipality supervisor for culture, Umberto Broccoli, said at a news conference.

Broccoli noted that 18th Century German art historian Johann Joachim Winckelmann had first attributed the statue to an Etruscan maker in the 5th Century BC.

Openly homosexual Winckelmann, a SAINT OF ANTINOUS, is called the father of modern archaeology and the father of art history. Winckelmann cited the sculpting of the wolf's fur as indicating it was in the Etruscan style, not the later Roman style.

"The scientific debate has lasted for centuries, at least from Winckelmann onwards, and it is my opinion that we will never have a definitive answer," Broccoli said.

However, the latest study had brought "much more clarity," Broccoli added.



Monday, June 25, 2012

ANTINOUS AND THE SEVENTH

WONDER OF THE WORLD



ANTINOUS and Hadrian may not have seen all Seven Wonders of the Ancient World (they didn't make it to Babylon), but they definitely visited most of them — including the Temple of Artemis at Ephesus in June of 129 AD.

In the new novel "The Seven Wonders" by STEVEN SAYLOR there is a stunning description of the Temple of Ephesus — both the fabulous and monumental exterior as well as the awesome interior.

Reading this description gives you something of an idea of what greeted the eyes of Emperor Hadrian and Antinous as they entered the fabled city of Ephesus during the cycle of the Summer Solstice in the year 129 AD as part of their three-year tour of the Eastern Empire.

Ephesus had 300,000 inhabitants at its peak in the time of Hadrian, and it drew thousands of devotees to the shrine of the goddess annually. Even today, Ephesus is one of the most complete and most splendid ancient sites in the world and still draws thousands of tourists every year. The Great Library of Ephesus, which Hadrian patronized and greatly expanded, has been lovingly restored.

The Temple of Ephesus was consecrated to Artemis in her Asian element as a Phrygian-Hittite goddess of the hunt, a youthful manifestation of the Great Goddess of Mount Ida and Dydimus.


The Ephesus form of Artemis looks strange to our eyes — and looked strange to Roman eyes as well.

The Roman Artemis — called Diana — is a virgin huntress. She carries a bow and wears a short, simple tunic suitable for the chase.

But Artemis of Ephesus — presumably more ancient — stands stiffly upright with her bent elbows against her body, her forearms extended and her hands open. She wears a crown, and outlining her head is a nimbus decorated with winged bulls. More bulls and other animals adorn the stiff garment that covers her lower body, almost like a mummy casing.

From her neck hangs a necklace of acorns  and a ring of zodiacal figures, and below this you see the most striking feature of Artemis of Ephesus — a mass of pendulous, gourd-shaped protrusions that hang in a cluster from her upper body. At first glance, they appear to be multiple breasts. But in fact these protrusions are bulls' testicles.

You can read the full description (which we have only paraphrased here) in Saylor's marvelous novel, along with vivid details of the festive procession of the goddess through the streets of Ephesus and the sacrifice of scores of bulls to the virgin goddess at the temple — a ritual which Antinous must have seen with his own eyes.

The Temple had burned down on the night that Alexander the Great was born, but after his conquest, Alexander ordered the reconstruction of the Temple, which was still standing when Hadrian and Antinous visited.

ANTONIUS SUBIA explains the parallels between Artemis and Antinous and why we celebrate this Sacred Event:

"Artemis is considered the female Antinous, as his divine twin, the only goddess to exhibit lesbian qualities. She was worshipped as Diana alongside Antinous by the funeral society of Lanuvium. Ephesus was one of the first cities to proclaim Hadrian a living God, and one of the first to adhere to his veneration as a Divus.

"The presence of Antinous and Hadrian with their very pronounced Artemisian qualities must have made a deep impression on the Ephesians, in that they were aware that the city was being visited by living gods. It is to Artemis of Ephesus that this day is Sacred, as the female twin of Antinous, the Bithynian hunter god."

Sunday, June 24, 2012

STROLL THROUGH POMPEII

WITH GOOGLE WORLD WONDERS


POMPEII, Stonehenge and other ancient and modern sites are now available for armchair exploration thanks to Google's World Wonders Project, which lets people from around the world get a panoramic view of some of the world's most iconic historical locations.
 
A whopping 132 sites spanning 18 countries are on offer, dwarfing the original Seven Wonders of the Ancient World. These span a variety of categories, including archaeological sites, architecture, cities and towns, historical sites, monuments and memorials, palaces and castles, parks and gardens,  places of worship, regions and landscapes, and wonders of nature.
 
Among the collection are Stonehenge, Pompeii, the Kyoto temples, Shark Bay, and the Yosemite National Park. The only surviving ancient Wonder, the Great Pyramid of Giza, is not on the list, but we expect it is only a matter of time before Google expands this collection to feature more important “wonders” throughout the world.

The service employs Street View technology to provide a digital look at sites that may otherwise be inaccessible to many people. Since many of these could not be filmed by Google's cars, the company used trikes that carried cameras close enough to take pictures.

It is not just a Street View look at the famous buildings or natural formations, however, as Google is also providing 3D models and YouTube videos, in addition to historical information for research or just for curiosity. Google partnered with UNESCO, the World Monuments Fund, Getty Images and Ourplace for information and photographs.

Google has been launching a number of projects as part of the Google Cultural Institute to preserve and share famous historical material. It is publishing high-resolution images of the Dead Sea Scrolls, digitizing the archives of Nelson Mandela, and showcasing the world's art as part of its Art Project, which expanded form 17 museums to 151 in April.

The Google World Wonders Project can be accessed here.

Saturday, June 23, 2012

NOVA: ONLINE PYRAMID ADVENTURE



TOUR EGYPT this summer without the heat and pesky flies and even peskier tourists? Want to walk around the Sphinx? Clamber inside the Great Pyramid of Giza and seek out the pharaoh's burial chamber? Visit the magnificent tombs and temples of ancient Thebes?


Then check out NOVA: ONLINE PYRAMID ADVENTURE from the producers of the WGBH sciences series for PBS.

In this multi-layered, highly visual interactive, view 360° panoramas, "walkaround" photos, and other breathtaking imagery shot throughout the Giza Plateau and ancient Thebes (modern-day Luxor), often with special permission.

You'll see Old and New Kingdom tombs and temples, pyramids and statues, and a 140-foot-long wooden boat that is 4,600 years old. Enjoy this unique journey through the Land of the Pharaohs.

This clearly written and well designed site by PBS features the educational material of an episode of the award-winning NOVA science TV series presented in the format of an interactive website. 

The Online Pyramid Adventure includes clickable diagrams of four major pyramids and a high resolution gallery where you can examine 360 degree views of burial chambers and passage ways – some of which are closed to the public and can only be seen on this site!
 

Friday, June 22, 2012

BOLLYWOOD'S FIRST-EVER

HIJRA FILM WINS L.A. AWARDS


IN WHAT is being heralded as a breakthrough for India's transgender Hijras, a blockbuster Bollywood all-dancing, all-singing melodrama about Hijras has taken top honors at The Los Angeles Movie Awards (LAMA) in the International Films category. 

The Hindi-language film "QUEENS! — Destiny of Dance" took the first prize in the international films category, as well as awards for best director for David Atkins, best cinematography, best costume design, best supporting actress for Seema Biswas and best special effects.

It is the first-ever Bollywood film about hijras, and industry analysts say the awards will encourage filmmakers in India to tackle this controversial topic more often.

The story is told through the eyes of a young Hijra named Mukta, the archetype of Hijras — the most beautiful, the best dancer in the community, a natural leader whom all the other girls look up to. She is potentially the next Amma (Hijra mother) of the community.

That is ... until the arrival of a total stranger into their midst — a young 16-year-old whom Amma names Nandini. Right from the outset, Nandini is an enigma and a mystery — where has she come from? Did someone send her? And if so, what is the purpose of her arrival?

And what really is she? Is she in actuality a goddess, as Amma resolutely believes her to be? Is she a female? Is she male? Is she Hijra?

Director David Atkins says he wanted to celebrate the Hijra way of life using the metaphor of a colourful dance of destiny ....



Thursday, June 21, 2012

THE SOLSTICE

AND THE DELPHINEA OF ANTINOUS


THE JUNE SOLSTICE is one of the most sacred days in the Liturgical Calendar of the Religion of Antinous.

It is the day when Ra Herakhte, the heavenly father of Antinous, stands still for a moment. In the Northern Hemisphere it is the longest day  and from now on the days become shorter and shorter. For our brothers in the Southern Hemisphere, this is the Shortest Day and from now on the days become longer and longer.

That is an important aspect to remember about the Religion of Antinous. The Blessed Boy is beyond such constraints as Summer and Winter or even Life and Death. For Antinous, the days are ALWAYS getting longer and the they are ALWAYS getting shorter.

For HE lives in our hearts — wherever we are.

The Religion of Antinous celebrates a whole cluster of Sacred Events on this magical day, which we call The Delphinea as a collective term. The Delphinea is the celebration of the beautiful, golden-haired god of light, Apollo, for starters.

And then we celebrate the day that Hadrian and Antinous met and fell in love. But on this date we also celebrate the beautiful boy Hyacinthus.

And we celebrate June 21st as the day in the hot summer of the year 130 AD when the Imperial entourage crossed the Sinai desert and entered into Egypt on the final, fateful leg of that final, fateful journey. A year earlier, on this date, they had entered Ephesus in triumph. 

On June 21st of the year 130 AD, however, they were entering a drought-stricken Egypt (breadbasket of the empire) where the local populace looked to their emperor for a miracle.


That miracle would occur, but at a terrible price. Antinous would plunge into the Nile and drown. The following season, the Nile would inundate the croplands, bringing bounty and abundance once more to Egypt and, as a consequence, to the hungry empire.

The Bountiful Flood of the year 131 is the first of the many miracles attributed to Antinous the Gay God.

And on June 21st of the year 131, Hadrian would commission the OBELISK OF ANTINOUS, the Egyptian hieroglyphic text of which comprises our religion's greatest single document of faith.

All of these overlapping dates are confusing, of course. But one of the most brilliant modern-day followers of Antinous wrote the following words on this very topic. A visionary artist living in the San Francisco Bay Area, KEVIN KIHN wrote:
"It's my feeling that Hadrian and Antinous are always eternally arriving at Ephesus, at Athens, at all the Hellenic and Hellenistic cities where Hadrian was particularly beloved. Hadrian will always be bereaved and bereft weeping on the shore of the Nile, and always perpetually with his Antinous. For I fancy that time is like a spool or reel of film on which every frame is eternally preserved, and all times past are present even in the now."
But first, let's spool the reel of time back to Apollo and the Solstice! Antinous would be associated with many deities in the generations to come. Among his many names, the Beauteous Boy was adored as Antinous-Apollo.

The glorious image above left shows a modern reproduction of the Apollon Parnopios which has been gilded and fitted with gemstone eyes to show how it might have looked in a temple where a ray of sunlight would have set it ablaze in gleaming light.

The Delphinea is the celebration of the beautiful, golden-haired god of light, Apollo, and of his triumph over the great and monstrous Python which was wrapped around holy mount Parnassus. The Python was the creation of Juno, a creature of jealousy whose coils were meant only to stifle and constrict the grace of that which was to proceed from the Sacred Way of the holy city of Delphi.

Apollo shot the Python and destroyed it, when he was only three days old, which is like the brilliance of the Sun dispelling the covering of night. He set the black stone which had fallen from the sky, called the Omphalos, over the navel of the Earth, and charged a Sibyl, a priestess of the Great Mother to watch over the stone and to convey his wisdom to mankind.

Flamen Antinoalis Antonyus Subia explains the significance for us Antinoians:
"The Oracle of Delphi, called a Pythoness, was overtaken while seated atop a golden tripod, by a fire that is the breath of the God. Apollo is the Flower Prince reborn, he is the Twin brother of Dionysus, the Twin brother of Diana. He is the Son of Zeus, and the inheritor of his Kingdom, just as Aelius Caesar was the chosen son of Hadrian.

"Apollo is the God of wisdom and art, the speaker of truth, the deliverer of radiance, reason and beauty. Apollo is the God of Socrates and Plato, and he is the God of Pythagoras who claimed to be his son, exhibiting a golden thigh as proof. Apollo is the unconquered light, the full manifested brilliance, power and wisdom of Orpheus.
"Of all the gods, Apollo is the most boy-loving, though the touch of his heart was invariably fatal. He is the genius of the dying boy-gods. We pray to Apollo, the great god of homosexuality, and seek his guidance on this day, the longest day of the year."
 Which segues into the "Incipit Amor". In the year 123, Hadrian toured the Danube region and Asia Minor. It was on this occasion that he met and fell in love with Antinous, in the ancient Bithynian capital city of Nicomedia, according to current research. One portrayal of the event has Hadrian in a garden, surrounded by the youth of the city, hearing a poetry recital.

Antonyus tells it this way:


"Towards the back of the crowd, Hadrian notices a boy of extraordinary beauty who did not bring a stylus and tablet for taking notes, but sat removed from the others, silently gazing into the fountain, contemplating the words of the reader, as if in a dream. Hadrian was captivated, and is said to have gained the blessing of the boy's parents to have Antinous join the court, where there were already other boys of Hadrian's interest. Antinous would have been twelve years old. He was then sent to Rome to attend the Paedagogium, a finishing school for boys. This day marks the beginning of the love upon which our religion is based."


The relief sculpture at right shows Hadrian addressing a crowd with a boy who bears a striking resemblance to Antinous foremost in the crowd, touching the robe of the Emperor.

During the June 21st Solstice, when we celebrate the Delphinea, the Religion of Antinous also commemorates the entry of Hadrian and Antinous into the fabled city of Ephesus in the year 129.

Ephesus had 300,000 inhabitants at its peak in the time of Hadrian, and it drew thousands of devotees to the shrine of the goddess annually. Even today, Ephesus is one of the most complete and most splendid ancient sites in the world and still draws thousands of tourists every year. The Great Library of Ephesus, which Hadrian patronized and greatly expanded, has been lovingly restored.

The Temple of Ephesus was one of the wonders of the ancient world. It was consecrated to Artemis, in her Asian element as a Phrygian-Hittite goddess of the hunt, a youthful manifestation of the Great Goddess of Mount Ida and Dydimus.


The old Temple had burned down on the night that Alexander the Great was born, but after his conquest, Alexander ordered the reconstruction of the Temple, which was still standing when Hadrian and Antinous visited.

Antonyus Subia explains the parallels between Artemis and Antinous and why we celebrate this Sacred Day:
"Artemis is considered the female Antinous, as his divine twin, the only goddess to exhibit lesbian qualities. She was worshipped as Diana alongside Antinous by the funeral society of Lanuvium. Ephesus was one of the first cities to proclaim Hadrian a living God, and one of the first to adhere to his veneration as a Divus.
"The presence of Antinous and Hadrian with their very pronounced Artemisian qualities must have made a deep impression on the Ephesians, in that they were aware that the city was being visited by living gods. It is to Artemis of Ephesus that this day is Sacred, as the female twin of Antinous, the Bithynian hunter god."
And on June 22nd the Delphinea concludes when we honor the beautiful boy from Sparta known as Hyacinthus. The astonishing beauty of Hyacinthus and his long, flowing blonde hair was first noticed by Zephyrus, the God of the West Wind. The moisture laden Zephyrus fell madly in love with the boy, and attempted many times to seduce Hyacinth. But every time the boy rejected the wind god, whose breeze is the most lovely and most arousing.

Antonyus relates what happened next:


 "It was then that Apollo noticed Hyacinthus and fell completely in love with him also. Unlike with Zephyrus, when Apollo revealed his love to Hyacinthus, he was not rejected, but his shining love was returned many fold. The two, who were like twins, whose long, blonde curls, rustled together in the jealous wind of Zephyrus, enjoined a passionate love affair ...


"... until one day, the sight of their happiness proved too much for Zephyrus to endure, and while Apollo and Hyacinthus were throwing the discus together, the wind god sent a gust of air, when Apollo threw the golden disk, causing it to fall directly on the perfect head of Hyacinthus who died instantly from the blow.

"It was all an accident, and a tragedy, but Apollo was beside himself with grief, like Hadrian holding the body of his beloved Antinous.

"The Sun God turned the blood that flowed through the soft curls into the flower that we call the Hyacinth. The Death of Hyacinthus is the divine metaphor for the beauty and tragedy of life taken from the young in their full vigor, falling victim to the accidents of youth. It is also a warning to those who would approach the majesty of the great god Apollo, who is rightfully called the Far-Shooter, and the falling of the golden discus is a sign that the powers of the sun at this time of the year, though at their greatest, are slowly fading. The disk strikes Hyacinth on the head and the days grow shorter."

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

HADRIAN'S VILLA OBSERVATORY

TOWER ALIGNED TO SOLSTICES




HADRIAN would have been planning a long night tonight in his personal observatory, despite the fact that it is the shortest night of the year the Summer Solstice which is exact shortly after midnight in Rome tonight. 

First, he would observe the setting sun sending a shaft of goldish-red light through a certain slit in his observatory tower to illuminate a golden statue of the Egyptian Goddess Isis.

Then there would be oracles at midnight. You can just see the cluster of priests and augurs, chanting and offering sacrifices amidst billowing clouds of incense. 

An Etruscan haruspex or two would be wearing yellow robes and conical hats as they inspected the entrails of animals. Patrician augurs would be wearing their finest ceremonial togas as they listened for messages from nocturnal birds. Babylonian astrologers would be clad in garish robes with multi-tiered crowns as they scanned the heavens and babbled to each other about their arcane calculations. 

And naturally the Egyptian priests would do their utmost to out-do all the others with outlandish make-up, headdresses and robes to the cacophony of sistrums, gongs and the whoosh of incendiary incense sending up pastel-colored clouds of smoke to the wailing of a priestess of Isis in the throes of a trance.

Scores of Imperial court officials and hangers-on would be stifling yawns as the oracles took most of the night. 

But yawns would turn to gasps of wonder and praise when the Emperor announced that he had just seen the RISE OF THE STAR OF ANTINOUS over the eastern horizon.

Then at dawn, the Emperor would climb stairs to the upper chamber to observe the Solstice Sunrise on June 21st.

He would announce the outcome of the oracles and whether the Antinoian Auspices for the coming year were favorable.

Modern Priests of Antinous will be celebrating rites at the HOLLYWOOD TEMPLE OF ANTINOUS to mark not only the Solstice but a very special New Moon, which we call the ANTINOUS SUMMER BLUE MOON. It is special because it is the second New Moon in the sign of Gemini since both Sun and Moon aligned in Gemini a month ago. 

This "extra" New Moon occurred just hours ahead of the Solstice. The Solstice itself occurs at 4:08 p.m. Los Angeles time Wednesday, which is just after midnight Thursday in the UK and Europe. For our brothers in Australia, it occurs about midday Thursday and it is the Winter Solstice, the shortest day of the year.

The meditations of the Hollywood Priests of Antinous will be focused on an Italian archaeologist and her team who will be spending this Solstice at the ruins of a tower on a hillock at Hadrian's Villa which was the Emperor's own private observatory. 

These experts, led by MARIA DE FRANCESCHINI, have demonstrated that the observatory tower is in fact aligned to the Solstices. She believes the observatory was dedicated to the Egyptian goddess Isis, who raised Osiris from the dead to become a god of resurrection and transfiguration — just as Hadrian declared Antinous a god of resurrection and transfiguration.
 

For centuries, experts had been mystified by the layout of the sprawling complex of marble baths, banquet halls, luxurious residences, gardens, shrines and unidentified structures 30 kilometers outside Rome.

Hadrian's Villa was a sprawling complex of buildings, temples, gardens, a zoo and — yes — even an observatory tower on a hillock on the edge of the compound from which Hadrian could observe the heavens. 


 But, in an article published in the journal Nature last year, De Franceschini wrote that she believes the mystery-shrouded Rocca Bruna Tower, long held to be Hadrian's private observatory, is in fact aligned so as to produce sunlight effects for the seasons.

She describes her findings personally in the video at the top of this entry. 

De Franceschini says that during the summer solstice, rays of light pierce the tower and another of the villa's buildings. In the Rocca Bruna Tower, dawn sunlight during the summer solstice enters through a wedge-shaped slot above the door and illuminates a niche on the opposite side of the interior (image courtesy nature.com). And in a temple of the Accademia building, De Franceschini has found that sunlight passes through a series of doors during both the winter and summer solstices. 

"The alignments gave me a new key of interpretation," says De Franceschini, who adds that the two buildings are connected by an esplanade that was a sacred avenue during the solstices. Based on ancient texts describing religious rituals and study of recovered sculptures, she thinks the sunlight effects were linked to religious ceremonies associated with the Egyptian goddess Isis, who was adopted by the Romans.

De Franceschini, who works with the University of Trento in Italy, has published a book describing the archaeo-astronomical work, VILLA ADRIANA ARCHITETTURA CELESTE. She credits two architects, Robert Mangurian and Mary-Ann Ray, for initially noticing the light effect in Rocca Bruna.

According to nature.com, Robert Hannah, a classicist from the University of Otago in New Zealand, says that De Franceschini's ideas are plausible. "They're certainly ripe for further investigation," he says.

Hannah believes that the Pantheon, designed by Hadrian in Rome with a circular opening at the top of its dome, also acts as a giant calendrical sundial, with sunlight illuminating key interior surfaces at the equinoxes and on the spring equinox on April 21st, the city's birthday.

Few classical buildings have been investigated for astronomical alignment, says Hannah, partly because it is much easier to check for alignments in prehistoric structures such as Stonehenge, which do not have potentially contradictory artefacts.

De Franceschini spends every solstice at Hadrian's villa, seeking further verification. Our thoughts and prayers go with her during this special season of the ANTINOUS SUMMER BLUE MOON and the Solstice.


We can envision Hadrian, sick with grief and alone after the death of Antinous, ensconced in his observatory tower scanning the heavens for a sign from his Beloved Boy, praying to Isis for her to work her magic on Antinous ....

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

NICK DRAKE

SAINT OF ANTINOUS



ON JUNE 19th the Religion of Antinous commemorates the birth of SAINT NICK DRAKE, the sexually ambivalent English singer who died under very mysterious, Antinous-like circumstances at a young age and who became an artistic icon for future generations of dreamers and artists.

Nicholas Rodney Drake was born on June 19th, 1948, to an upper middle class English family living in Burma. His father was an industrialist and there was never much question about Nick's financial future. Indeed, he would have been a wealthy middle-aged man today had he done nothing at all. But Nick never ceased to wonder and worry about his spiritual future. Despite or perhaps precisely because of his admission to Cambridge University, Nick Drake was convinced that he should shun a financially certain future and pursue a future as a musician.

Nick Drake learned to play piano at an early age, and began to compose his own songs, which he would record on a reel-to-reel tape recorder he kept in the family drawing room in rural England.

In 1966 he spent some time in the South of France where he purportedly became acquainted with "the best sort of pot" and perhaps experimented with LSD — and possibly sex with both females and males.

Returning to England, he realized he was not suited to receive a degree from Cambridge University. Nick abruptly and shockingly (as far as his family was concerned) ended his studies at Cambridge nine months before graduation, and in autumn 1969 moved to London to concentrate on a career in music.

Nick signed to Island Records when he was 20 years old and released his debut album, Five Leaves Left, in 1969. By 1972, he had recorded his second album — Bryter Layter and part of his third, Pink Moon. Neither of the first two albums sold more than 5,000 copies on their initial release in Britain, much less abroad. He never made an American breakthrough, unlike other major British artists of the era.

Nick was devastated and depressed. His excruciating shyness to perform live or be interviewed further contributed to his lack of commercial success. Despite this, he was able to gather a loyal following.

He managed to complete his third album, Pink Moon, recorded in midnight sessions in the winter of 1971, immediately after which he withdrew from both live performance and recording, retreating to his parents' home in rural England. Once again, it did not sell well. He felt he was a failure. On November 25th, 1974, Nick Drake retired to his upstairs bedroom where he took a cocktail anti-depressants which killed him. He was found stretched over his bed next morning by his mother.

The Religion of Antinous honors Nick Drake as a prophet of Homoeros. He was a man who saw through the transparent barriers between sexuality to see the spiritual truth of reality. He was one of those many men who are never sure of their sexuality. But it is unimportant whether he was "gay" or not.

Nick Drake is a symbol of these sorts of dreamy and shy men who live existences of quiet despair. Nick Drake could play better riffs on the guitar than almost anybody of his generation. He had a beautiful voice. He was a gifted song-writer. He knew he had more talent in his little finger than most well-paid artists would ever possess. But his career never took off. The big break never happened. Nobody appreciated him. He was broke and disillusioned.

His sister says she believes he took an overdose of anti-depressants thinking he wanted it to either cure him or kill him, because he couldn't go on living in such despair of being an artistic failure. How many people in the economic meltdown of the early 21st Century don't feel the same despair? And yet ....

Nick Drake could scarcely have dreamt as he swallowed a handful of pills on a dreary November evening in his parents' house in the English Midlands that he would become a major recording star with fans around the world — 30 years after his death. His three albums now are cult chart-busters around the world.

When we remember Saint Nick Drake, we must remember too that Antinous is the patron of these sensitive souls who die untimely and tragic deaths at an early age. Antinous is the River Man who drowned in the Nile ....



Monday, June 18, 2012

GHOST DOCTORS DETECT "SOMETHING"

IN THE EGYPTIAN WING OF THE MET


ANTINOUS and Hadrian must have been fascinated by the weird and spooky tales they heard during their final, fateful journey up the Nile in 130 A.D.

The Egyptian Book of the Dead combined with a host of magical rituals, amulets and protocols enabled the ancient Egyptians to cheat death and rise again in the afterlife.

And maybe some ancient Egyptian ghosts have made that journey and returned well at least to New York's Metropolitan Museum of Art, according to Pete and Stew Kandel (know as Dr. Pete and Dr. Stew) paranormal investigators and licensed New York City tour guides calling themselves "Ghost Doctors."

The Ghost Doctors
who lead groups of adventurous amateur ghost hunters through a variety of NYC's iconic landmarks including the famous Metropolitan Museum of Art have been searching the hallways and galleries of this famous New York institution for signs of paranormal activity and have found the Egyptian wings to be buzzing with activity.

"The ancient Egyptians held the afterlife in great reverence and much of their culture was devoted to the belief that death is only the beginning," says Dr. Stew. "With this in mind, if you're conducting a paranormal investigation of the Met, the Egyptian wings are definitely a must."

Recently on a ghostly hunt at the Met, the two ghost hunters picked up some strange unusual activity. With a battery of electronic ghost hunting equipment in hand accompanied by a group of anxious but excited ghost hunters-in-training, they detected something.



"We were passing through one of the smaller galleries on the way to the Temple of Dendur (photo right) when one of our instruments just went off," says Dr. Pete. "In fact one particular participant in our group was the first to uncover this activity which was further collaborated by others as well."

The Ghost Doctors say each and every ghost hunt is unique as they never know what will turn up during an investigation.

 
We wonder what Emperor Hadrian would have thought of the Ghost Doctors. The Emperor is known to have had a fascination (even an obsession) with magic and mystical rites, secret initiations and astrology. He even cast his own horoscopes.
 
There is even a theory, mentioned by historian Royston Lambert, that Hadrian may have cast a 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. Whether 21st Century sceptics believe in the efficacy of Ancient Egyptian Spellcasting, Hadrian most certainly DID believe in magical spells (being the wise man that he was).  

Let's assume Hadrian cast the spell a few days or weeks prior to the death of Antinous ... well, that would certainly explain his inordinate grief at the Blessed Boy's death and his penance in declaring Antinous a god ... perhaps out of a profound sense of guilt. 


So we are left to wonder what Hadrian would have thought of the NYC Ghost Doctors and their ectoplasmic claims.

"We constantly get photos emailed to us from people who have gone on our ghost hunting adventures," says Dr. Stew. "People get excited and rightfully so, when they download the pics from a recent ghost hunt and see something strange."

So the next time you're walking through the Met and happen to come across some 3,000-year-old mummies, no need to go looking for Dr. Indiana Jones, New York has its own Doctors
The Ghost Doctors.

Ghost Doctors (http://www.ghostdoctors.com), based in New York City, is the premier ghost hunting tour in NYC. Their ghosts hunts can be suited for both public, private and corporate events.

Sunday, June 17, 2012

CARAVAGGIO's LATE MASTERPIECE

UNVEILED IN ROME



CARAVAGGIO's masterpiece "Resurrezione di Lazzaro" (Resurrection of Lazarus) has been unveiled at Rome's Museo di Roma after a meticulous seven-month restoration.


The oil painting shows Jesus pointing to the figure of Lazarus as he is raised from the dead, in a pose which drew inspiration from The Creation of Adam, a panel from Michelangelo's frescoes on the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel in which God breathes life into Adam.


Both Caravaggio and Michelangelo are SAINTS OF ANTINOUSWe honor Saint Caravaggio as an extraordinary painter whose homoerotic images of males have caused art historians to call him the first modern painter. St. Caravaggio is the Patron of Gifted Bad Boys — Gay Boys who are blessed with incredible talents but who are too impatient and too rebellious to abide by the rules of society.


In his Lazarus painting, Caravaggio depicted himself, with dark hair and a beard and standing close to Jesus, as one of several onlookers who witnessed the miracle.


The Resurrection of Lazarus suffered over the years from being kept in damp conditions in a church in Messina, in eastern Sicily.


One of the Renaissance master's most important works, it was painted in Sicily soon after he fled from Malta, where he had taken refuge after being sentenced to death for killing a love rival in Rome.


Caravaggio, known as one of history's most tormented painters, was involved in frequent brawls and vicious beatings.



The painting was commissioned in 1608 by Genovese merchant Giovan Battista Lazzari and hung in the family chapel. Caravaggio died two years later, aged 39.


Caravaggio is the master of the CHIAROSCURO technique  the contrasting of large areas of inky darkness with beams of light to accentuate the drama of the scene.


The work is considered among the most representative of Caravaggio's "chiaroscuro" (light and dark) technique perfected at the end of his life, with the light symbolising divine grace.


The painting was created in "the last and most agitated and tormented part of his life", the organisers of the exhibition in Rome said.


Daila Radeglia, of the Higher Institute for Conservation and Restoration, said it was "one of the reference points of Caravaggio's artistic journey".


The artist, whose full name was Michelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio, died just a year later, most probably in Porto Ercole on the coast of Tuscany.


His death, at the age of 36, has been blamed variously on malaria, an intestinal infection and lead poisoning.


In April an Italian art historian put forward a new theory – that the artist was murdered on the orders of the Knights of Malta to avenge the attack on one of their members.


"Resurrection of Lazarus" will be on display at the Museo di Roma until mid-July when it will return to Messina.