Friday, November 30, 2012

ROME TO PERMIT TOURS

OF MITHRAEUM LABYRINTH


ROME has announced that it plans to soon allow the public to tour ancient labyrinth tunnels for the god Mithras after years of restoration work.

The tunnels are located under the Baths of Caracalla, and are separate from the Mithraeum, which was discovered last year. The Mithraeum was reportedly found with a fresco of the god on the wall, and also a space for what is believed to be an area for animal sacrifices.

As the largest Mithras temple in the Roman empire, the discovery confirms what was thought to be true about the area: that Romans were involved for centuries in Mithras worship long after the proclamation of Christianity as the official religion of Rome.

Mithras, originally the god of the Persians, became popular in Rome beginning between 80 and 120 AD. Sunday was marked as the day set aside for Mithras, being known as the unconquered sun, Sol Invictus.

Celebrations also took place in mid-December for Mithras during the Winter Solstice, who was stated to have been born at that time of year. Christianity "borrowed" many of those elements from Mithraism.

The Religion of Antinous celebrates the birth of Antinous-Mithras and the Birth of the Unconquered Sun during the December Solstice.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

EGYPT CELEBRATES 90th ANNIVERSARY
OF TUTANKHAMUN TOMB DISCOVERY

 

IT was one of the greatest archaeological discoveries of the 20th century - perhaps of all time.

Ninety years ago this month, British Egyptologists Howard Carter and Lord Carnarvon discovered the tomb of the boy king, Tutankhamun, in Egypt's Valley of the Kings - which had lain undisturbed for more than 3000 years.

Inside the remarkably well-preserved tomb was an abundance of gold and fineries left with the 19-year-old after his death and mummification.

On Thursday, Carnarvon's great grandson - the current Lord Carnarvon - was among those attending a celebration event at Carter's old house in Luxor, now a museum.

"When my great-grandfather and Howard Carter actually broke through the outer sealed door with Tutankhamun's cartouche and crest on it and when they first saw into the ante-chamber of the tomb. This amazing archaeological discovery that has never been surpassed.''

Carnarvon is a big fan of his great-grandfather but readily admits his wife Fiona is more of an expert on Egyptology than he is, even translating a certain amount of hieroglyphics. He says opening the tomb was a very dramatic moment.

"My great-grandfather says to Howard Carter 'What do you see?' and Carter famously replies 'Just wonderful things.' And he's looking back at this, in a way perhaps, theatre set of ancient civilization 3,100 years ago, everywhere the glint of gold off those beautiful wooden objects and that's just the start," said Carnarvon.

Egyptian authorities also marked the anniversary by reopening the tomb of Merinbetah - previously closed for six years of restoration.

Tourism chief Hisham Zaazou said the government was determined to support more events to boost tourism, which has declined sharply since the revolution.

''We will continue to have an agenda, a touristic agenda, throughout the coming weeks and months for these parts to help boost the interest and the demand once again to.''

Despite the Tutankhamun anniversary and it being peak season, Luxor, traditionally a prime tourist hub, is currently only at about 27 percent of its tourist capacity.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

SAINT JEAN-BAPTISTE de LULLY



ON November 28th the Religion of Antinous honors Saint Jean-Baptiste de Lully, who was born on this day in 1632 in Florence, Italy. 

Parlaying his looks, his dancing and his musical genius into an erotic/artistic career, he rose from being a scullery knave to becoming director of music in the Court of French King Louis XIV. 

By the time he died on March 22, 1687, he had created a new art form and had changed the course of the performing arts forever.

Lully's story has some parallels to the story of Hadrian and Antinous. The parallels are not exact. It is more as though Lully and Louis XIV were a "parallel universe" story of Antinous and Hadrian with bizarre twists thrown in to the plot of the story.

Lully was totally dependent upon the Sun King and was totally devoted to him. When the king expressed a whim to learn to dance, Lully became his dance instructor, creating a whole new art form involving dance and song.

Quite aside from his infamous carousing with boys, Lully was desperately in love with Louis XIV. It was an impossible love, of course. It could never be consummated.

The king viewed Lully as his artistic mentor, but nothing more. Lully viewed the king as the love of his life, and his art was merely an expression of that love.

Unwittingly, Lully planted the seeds for his own doom. Others took his idea and developed it further: And Opera was born.

The king became infatuated with Opera and totally lost interest in Lully's Baroque stage productions. He forgot all about Lully.

For Lully, that was tantamount to death, and he soon died as the result of a tragic "accident" -- he plunged a sharp baton-sceptre through his foot in a rage of despair after the king failed to appear at the debut of his latest masterpiece.

The wound became gangrenous, but when physicians advised that the foot must be amputated, St. Jean-Baptiste refused, saying that if he could never dance again, then he would prefer to be dead.

Yes, his life was like some nightmare, parallel-universe version of the Hadrian and Antinous story, set against the backdrop of men in silk brocade costumes and in four-inch heels and wearing ornate wigs. It is a story of a man's unconditional love and self-sacrifice for his Sun King.

St. Jean-Baptiste de Lully had a deep fondness for the Roman Gods, and he portrayed them with the gay flourish of the the court of the Sun King. It remains a style all its own, completely out of fashion...even among classical music weirdos.

We adore St. Lully's music...we adore the grace and profound emotions that pour from his chords. We love the beauty of his style of dance.


No doubt when Monsieur St. de Lully arrived at the Divine court of Hadrian the God, he immediately set about rearranging the Imperial Orchestra, replacing the Ney Flutes with Bassoons and Oboes, dismissing the Cythara in favor of Violas de Gamba.

Perhaps the old Greek musicians might have taken insult at being swept aside, but with a wave of his hand...Antinous calmed them.

So it was that the celestial Imperial Orchestra performed the new opera Of Saint Jean-Baptiste de Lully. The Imperial Court was astonished to hear the new sound. Even the Greeks were amazed (and the Greeks had heard everything). And With a wreathed nod of his illuminated head, Hadrian enthroned commanded his beloved Antinous to dance.

When we join the court of Hadrian in the heavens, we will see Antinous dance to the new music of Saint Jean-Baptiste de Lully.
 

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

LITURGY FOR THE BIRTHDAY

OF ANTINOUS


On this day, 1,901 Years ago,
In the 13th year of the reign of Trajan Augustus
864 years after the Foundation of Rome
During the 223 Olympiad
In the town of Bithynium-Claudiopolis,
Our God Antinous was Born.
 We whole love and adore Antinous
We who stand in Awe of Antinous
We who worship Antinous
Celebrate the Birth of Our God today,
The Beautiful God, Beloved of Hadrian,
The God of the all the Gays
The Love of all Homosexuals was born in Bithynia
Savior of the World, Conqueror of the Heavens,
The Star Child, the Lion Hunter,
Covered in Lotus Flowers!
The New Ganymede, the New Prince of Troy
The Phrygian Lord of Youth and Beauty
The Face of the Terrestrial Narcissus
Behold…The New Adonis was Born on this Day!
Give us your blessing beautiful child
Give us your power and your sacredness
Rise again in the hearts of those who love you
And believe in you.
Penetrate to the depths of our Soul,
Open the way of your Beauty,
Fill the air and sky with the light of your power
Rise Again Antinous…we call out to You
God of the Moon…hunting companion of Diana,
Rise in the Night Antinous, come to the world
Your People Call out to You, Antinous,
You who were born on this Day
Rise again upon the earth
As you came into being in Bithynia.
We praise your Mother, the mother of our Beloved God,
And we Praise your Father…the Father of our great God.
The Land of Bithynia is holy to us,
Because you were born there.
We honor and praise the Nation of Bithynia
And her ancient race
We praise the Kings of Bythinia
We praise King Nicomedes IV,
Who loved Caesar and gave his Kingdom to Rome
Sacred Bithynia Land of the Mother of Antinous
Watch over us and love us
And give us the bountiful fruits of the Earth,
For we are the followers of Antinous.
May the Great Mother of the Gods protect us always,
And set us free from madness.
Beloved Sacred Bithynia, Land of Our Mother.
On this day we celebrate the Birth of Antinous,
 
Lord Attis, beloved of the Great Mother of the Gods
Lord of the Pine Forest, King of Eunuchs
Who severed his treasure for the benefit of all,
Hear our Devotion to the Holy Child Antinous,
Who was devoted to You,
Who is a Child of your Children
Intercede for us, Lord Attis and grant us your blessing.

Holy River Sangarius…Lord of Bithynia,
Cleanse us for the New Year,
Strengthen us for the tribulation of the days,
Quench our Thirst for the Love of Antinous,
Your Beautiful Son.
Let all those who Love and Worship Antinous,
Be as children of Bythinia
Let the Moon God rise within us
Let the Beautiful Face of the Child-like Price
Illuminate the night with his silver blessing.
We are the Fullness of Antinous who never wanes.
 
We praise also the Holy City of Mantineia,
Sacred to Lord Hermes and the Arcadian Pan,
Founded by the Queen Antinoe,
Who was led to the sacred site by a serpent,
Where the great victory of the Sacred Band was fought And Sanctus Epaminondas gave his life.
The Grandfathers of Antinous were colonists
From Mantineia who settled in Bithynia
In your honor great Fathers of Mantineia
We celebrate the Birth of Our Beloved God Antinous.
The Local God of Your Country,
Where a beautiful temple of Antinous once stood
Be with us, Priests of the Mantineian Temple,
Watch over us, guide us, and bless us,
Give us your sacred powers,
For the Love of Antinous
we call upon the Ancient Priests of Mantineia.
 
Antinous was born on this Day 1,901 years ago
We praise the day that Antinous came into being.
We who love and adore Antinous
We who stand in Awe of Antinous
We who worship Antinous
Our God, God of the Gays,
God of Beauty, God of Peace,
Savior, Lover, Heavenly Champion, Pantheon,
Moon God, Fire God, River God, Wine God
Last of the Roman Gods
On this Day the God of Homosexuals was Born,
Antinous The Gay God,
Incarnation of the Spirit of the Celestial Homo-Eros,
Antinous The Beautiful
Whose face is full of Grace,
Whose Countenance is Beautiful.
The Restorer, The New Dionysus
Whose Salvation Has been Accomplished
Antinous has again been Raised to Life.
We who love you, Antinous welcome you into our hearts
Fill our Lives with Love and Beauty
Be with us Antinous today, on your birthday, and always, Every Day and Every Night

Behold…Today is the Day Antinous was Born!


ANTONYUS NICIAS SUBIA
Flamen Antinoalis

HARVEY MILK, SAINT OF ANTINOUS



ON November 27th the Religion of Antinous remembers the life of SAINT HARVEY MILK

Champion of the early gay rights movement, in 1977 Harvey Milk became the first openly Gay person to be elected to the Board of Supervisors in San Francisco.

He advocated the liberation of homosexuality for the benefit of society in general, and jokingly claimed to be a gay recruiter. He was instrumental in passing the Gay Civil Rights Bill in San Francisco, which was to be his undoing.

On November 27, of 1978, Milk was murdered City Hall along with Mayor George Moscone by former City Supervisor Danny White who had resigned his office after the enactment of the bill. Dan White was acquitted of murder but sentenced to only seven years on manslaughter charges.

Following his acquittal on May 21st, 1979, riots broke during a demonstration in front of City Hall, and later, 100,000 people marched on Washington in support of Gay Rights chanting "Harvey Milk Lives!" He became the first gay saint and martyr following the movement that began at the Stonewall.

In a tape recording made one year before his assassination, as if in prophecy, Harvey Milk said, "If a bullet should enter my brain, let that bullet destroy every closet door."
 
For his actions, for his life, for the changes that he effected, and for the love that continues to burn for him in the memory of his gay, lesbian and transgender children, we priests of Antinous recognize and sanctify Harvey Milk as a Heroic Saint and Martyr.

ANTINOUS BORN ON THIS DAY

1,901 YEARS AGO

 

ANTINOUS was born on this day, November 27th in the year 111 AD — 1,901 years ago!

Festive celebrations are being held by worshipers all over the world, with special rites being conducted at the HOLLYWOOD TEMPLE OF ANTINOUS.

Antinous was born in the Bithynian city of Claudiopolis, modern-day Bolu in Turkey.

It was a major city in those days with a Hellenistic/Roman heritage dating back centuries. It was nestled among snow-capped peaks and woodlands full of wild beasts and full of mythical magic.

The portrait of the newborn baby Antinous and his mother against the backdrop of a Bithynian conifer forest is by PRIEST UENDI, a New York artist who now lives in Hollywood.

Modern Claudiopolis/Bolu is a sleepy health resort. Not too many foreign tourists go there, but the area is a popular with Turkish vacationers because of its pine-covered mountains and its sparkling lakes and spa waters.


The altitude makes it refreshingly cooler than lower-lying regions, so Turks go there to get away from the heat and noise of places like Istanbul and Ankara.

Wikipedia says: "Local specialities include a sweet made of hazelnuts (which grow in abundance here) and an eau-de-cologne with the scent of grass. One feature of Bolu dear to the local people is the soft spring water obtained from fountains in the town."
 

Hazelnut candy? Grass-scented cologne? Amazingly soft spring water? Somehow that one little paragraph makes it sound like a place where Antinous would have to have been born.

The area where Antinous was born is a beautiful place, nestled high in piney forests and yet only a short distance from the sparkling Black Sea coast about halfway between Istanbul and Ankara.

The region is teeming with bountiful wildlife and so Hadrian and Antinous went on hunting forays while in Bithynium. As a boy, Antinous must have played in these forests and bathed in these sparkling lakes.

He would have remembered these boyhood days during his travels with Hadrian to the far corners of the Empire. We often forget that Antinous had a family who must have loved him and missed him. They were no doubt proud of him, but they missed him.

And he missed them as he also missed his lovely Bithynia with its mountains and lakes and deep forests which, in winter, are covered in deep snow.

The first snows may have already fallen "back home" at the end of October in 130 AD when Antinous stood on the banks of the Nile in Upper Egypt. Perhaps he had received a letter from home with the latest family gossip and news of the first snowfall. He would have remembered the scent of pine forests and fresh-fallen snow.

As he looked into the green waters of the Nile in far-away Egypt at the end of his brief life, perhaps he thought of "home" and lakes and dark forests and pine cones and the scent of hazelnuts being roasted and mixed with rose water and honey to make candy.

November 27th is an introspective moment ... an evaluation of things past ... and things to come. And above all, it is birthday party time. Let the Festive Season Begin with an Antinous Birthday Party!

Monday, November 26, 2012

THE APHRODISIAC ORCHIDS

OF ANTINOUS THE GAY GOD



ORCHIDS are perhaps the most appropriate flowers for festivities on the Birthday of Antinous, which is November 27 since his homeland of Bithynia is renowned for its wild forest orchids.

Orchids take their name from the Greek word "orchis" which means "little boy's testes" for the scrotal shape of the bulbs and blossoms.

Hadrian and Antinous would have known this. Antinous would have seen wild orchids in the piney woods of Bithynia as a boy.

Antinous especially would have loved Bithynian wild mountain orchids -- because the plant's tubers are ground to make a flour which is used in all sorts of dessert sweets. It is called "salep" and is used in a syrupy drink which was very popular throughout the Mideast and Europe until its popularity was overtaken by coffee.

In England, it was called "saloop" and was THE thing to drink before tea was imported from India.

These Bithynian orchid bulbs were incredibly popular in Ancient Rome, where they were ground to make sweet drinks which were believed to be aphrodisiacs (coming from the "testes" orchid) and which had names like "satyrion" and "priapiscus".

Paracelsus, the alchemist/chemist, wrote, "Behold the Satyrion root! Is it not formed like the male privy parts? Accordingly, magic discovered it and revealed that it can restore a man's virility and passion!"


Now, for the first time, a careful study of ancient artifacts in Italy has proven that the Romans were not only crazy about consuming orchids but also about showing them in their art. 

Botanist Giulia Caneva of the University of Rome (Roma Tre) has assembled a database of Italian artifacts, including paintings, textiles, and stone carvings of subjects including vegetation. Then, the team began the painstaking process of trying to identify the real plants the artists had copied. 

One surprise was that depictions of Italian orchids—there are about 100 species in all—showed up much earlier than expected. Although scholars had spotted the flowers in paintings from the 1400s, Caneva's team discovered that stone carvers were reproducing orchids as early as 46 BC, when Julius Caesar erected the Temple of Venus Genetrix in Rome. 

And at least three orchids appear among dozens of other plants on the Ara Pacis, a massive stone altar erected by the emperor Augustus in 9 BC, Caneva and colleagues reported last week in the Journal of Cultural Heritage

Artists probably chose the flowers to help emphasize the altar's theme of civic rebirth, fertility, and prosperity following a long period of conflict, Caneva says. 

But orchids and other plants begin to fade from public art as Christianity began to gain influence in the 3rd and 4th centuries, she notes. 

"My idea is that they are eliminating pagan symbols, and [those] that are related to sexuality," she says. With the arrival of the Renaissance, however, orchids blossom anew in art, "but this time mostly as a symbol of beauty and elegance." 
 

Sunday, November 25, 2012

I
THE CURTAIN GOING UP
ON 'ANTINOUS AND HADRIAN' — THE OPERA



IT has often been said that the love story of Hadrian and his beloved Antinous has all the drama, romance, mystery and intrigue of opera — and now at last an opera is indeed being written.

ANTINOUS AND HADRIAN is being written by composer CLINT BORZONI with a libretto by EDWARD FICKLIN. The libretto is nearly finished and the score for much of the first act is done. Preliminary rehearsals are underway.

Borzoni's award-winning music reflects his passion for lyricism and functional harmony. He has written over sixty pieces, including a full length opera, two one act operas, a piano concerto, percussion quartet, piece for orchestra, two string quartets, several works for chamber orchestra, and many art songs. 

Ficklin has composed and written librettos for various forms of music-theater. He has realized his works in a number of unusual venues, like a store window near Grand Central Station and a vacant bank lobby near the World Trade Center (with the support of the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council and the September 11th Fund). His work has also been presented by numerous opera companies across the United States and Europe.

He describes "Antinous and Hadrian" as truly "grand opera," a hugely ambitious project.

"Rome wasn't built in a day," says Ficklin. "When embarking on something large, we're often given that sage, if cliche, advice. Having recently laid down on paper, finally, the first few lines a new libretto destined to be a grand opera, I find that I need to remind myself of this. Indeed, large endeavors always require a large perspective.


Follow updates on this bold new opera project on TWITTER.


Those addicted to Twitter can find the minute details of our progress here: http://twitter.com/#search?q=%23antinous.
Those addicted to Twitter can find the minute details of our progress here: http://twitter.com/#search?q=%23antinous.
er can find the minute details of our progress here: http://twitter.com/#search?q=%23antinous.

Saturday, November 24, 2012

YOU DON'T NEED A TEMPLE OF STONE
TO CELEBRATE THE BIRTHDAY OF ANTINOUS


THE birthday of Antinous is November 27 and worshipers all over the world are planning celebrations.

But some people are unable to celebrate as expansively and as joyously as they would like. 

We received the following succinct smart phone message yesterday from a very dear adherent of Antinous in the American Bible Belt who said:

"I am a bit envious that you get to celebrate his birthday openly. I've got two straight housemates. Oh well ... maybe some day ...."

And like many people, he also has to work on that day ... and others have to work perhaps at two jobs to make ends meet. And then there are the people who just don't have the money or the facilities for a formal celebration.

There is a common misconception that you need to have a large and elaborate ALTAR OR SHRINE in your home. But the truest shrine is in your heart. You can download a photo of Antinous and put it in your wallet ... and it truly becomes Antinous the Gay God if you see HIM in it.

A shrine or sacred image of Antinous can be very SMALL AND MODEST.

The Ancient Priests of Antinous were experts in such things ... though 1,800 years of Christianity has resulted in that knowledge having become lost for the vast majority of people in Western civilization.

For the Ancient Priests of Antinous, what existed on the physical level drew to itself the specific spiritual energies of which the physical form was a type.

For the Magical Consciousness, every ritual action done on the physical level, every form created, every word spoken or written, acted as the magnet to which its spiritual counterpart irresistably was pulled.

Thus, a consecrated image of Antinous is not an "idol" and his worshippers are not "idolators."

Why not?

Because an idol is a physical object and nothing more than a physical object. The statues of Antinous were not "idols" because the Ancient Priests of Antinous could  never have conceived of such a notion. It is important that we remember that the Ancient Priests of Antinous conceived of a world which was ... unlike our own ... an ANIMATED world from the beginning. Everything in their physical world was alive with spiritual dimensions.

They didn't PROJECT a spiritual entity into a hunk of carved marble. Instead, they APPREHENDED the spiritual entity that was already inside the stone.

Anybody who has been around our own FLAMEN ANTONYUS SUBIA has seem him use his Inner Eye to do the same thing. He will look at a statue of a "Greek Ephebe" and will look inward for a moment and then will say, "It's Antinous!"

Some have criticized him for doing this, saying he can't possibly know the provenance of the statue and whether it was perhaps actually supposed to be Hermes or someone else. Antonyus uses his Inner Eye and "sees" the spiritual Blessed Boy in the stone ... or says it is not Antinous, as the case may be.

The Ancient Priests of Antinous did the same thing in carrying out religio-magical services for the faithful. Not only could a physical image (whether two-dimensional or three-dimensional) provide a "body" for an already existent spiritual entity, but images could also become the spiritual base for "thought forms" that were called into existence through their being represented in miniature on the physical plane.

The Ancient Priests of Antinous were deeply aware of the interdependence between the Divine World and the Human World. In the times in which they lived, these two spheres were not experienced as separate from each other in the way that they have come to be experienced today.


"As Above, So Below" was not just a catch-phrase for them, but instead it was a way of life.

It is our goal in this distant, soulless, post-modern age, to rediscover this ability to live in relationship to, and act as a conduit for, Antinous the Gay God.

We cannot recreate the ancient religion of Antinous. It is dead and we human beings have developed in other directions. We are not attempting to "reconstruct" the Religion of Antinous. Our goal is to fashion a Religion of Antinous which meets the spiritual needs of post-modern, post-Christian and post-pagan gay men.

But we can learn from the Ancient Priests of Antinous. The cosmos of which they were aware was primarily spiritual and only secondarily material. In their physical world, everything was spiritually alive ... even soft-toys, coins and bronze (or maybe brass) statuettes bought on eBay ... even a downloaded photo in a hip wallet.

The main task of the Ancient Priests of Antinous was to build a magical bridge between physical and spiritual reality, momentarily bringing them into conjunction.

So the answer to the question "Is that image really Antinous?" would be answered this way by an Ancient Priest of Antinous: "It is so if you MAKE it so. Open your eyes to the 'Antinous Within'. Apprehend HIS presence which is already inside the earthly reproduction. Through you, then, it IS Antinous!"

HOMOTHEOSIS ... Gay-Man-Godliness-Becoming-the-Same.


You don't need to build a temple of steel, stone and glass. You ARE the temple.

Friday, November 23, 2012

CARACALLA

PARADISO CONTEMPORANEO


THE Special Superintendency for the Archaeological Heritage of Rome is glad to present "Caracalla Paradiso Contemporaneo", a multimedia lighting, art and effects event at the Baths of Caracalla.

The art event aims to promote the encounter between history and contemporary art by the opening to the public of the Mithraeum of the Baths of Caracalla and the inauguration of the work of one of the greatest Italian artists: "The Third Paradise" by Michelangelo Pistoletto.

This amazing performance art show has just opened and runs through January 6th, 2013.

Information and guided tours: 06 39967700  / www.coopculture.it

Thursday, November 22, 2012

HOW TO PLAN A FESTIVE

ANTINOUS BIRTHDAY PARTY



ANTINOUS was born on November 27 and worshipers around the world are busy planning their own festivities -- from Chile to Canada and from New England in the US to New South Wales in Australia.

November marks the start of the ancient pagan Festive Season, a season which is still full of fabulous party dates -- including Christmas, New Year's Eve, Twelfth Night and of course American Thanksgiving. Dia de los Muertos and Halloween/Samhain usher in this Festive Season of twinkly lights and over-eating and drinking way too much. 

The images on this page are all courtesy of the gifted artist FELIX D'EON and serve as an inspiration for Antinous Birthday festivities.

These ancient festivities go back WAAAAY before Christianity, of course. So it's a safe bet that Hadrian and Antinous would recognize many of the features of these festivities

So when you plan your Antinous Birthday Party, you can mix-and-match customs from all sorts of pagan Festive Season holidays, in full knowledge that Hadrian and Antinous would nod in approval.

It should be celebrated with feasting and drinking and singing and carousing. Green boughs (palm fronds, holly, pine boughs or whatever is native to your climate) should decorate the feast room in honour of the forests of Bithynia, the highlands of modern-day Turkey where Antinous was born.


Electric lights should be turned off in favor of candlelight or at the very least those strings of tiny "fairy lights" which Moslems use during Ramadan and Hindus during Divali and Christians at Christmas.

The one really bright spot in the room should be a bust or image of Antinous, which is spotlighted, signifying our belief that Antinous brings light into the world.

The Antinous Rosy Lotus would be perfect. But since not everyone has access to lotus blossoms in late November, orchids would also be fine. Bithynia was well known evenin Ancient Times for its forest orchids and the Romans loved orchids -- even orchid root beverages!

Orchids would be lovely as well as being a Hellenistic conversation piece. If they are too pricey, then your favorite seasonal flower will do. Look around and find something that is beautiful and unique to your own locale which you think would be very nice.

The Birthday of Antinous would be a wonderful opportunity for a costume party, also in keeping with the Halloween/Carnaval/Christmas flavor of these ancient pagan holidays. Guests might be encouraged to come as Greco-Romans or Egyptian priests.

The menu could be Mediterranean, with lots of finger foods such as tahini and couscous and humous and pita bread, stuffed olives, eggplant/aubergine, goat's cheese and so on. Refried beans (which the Egyptians call "fuul" and eat for breakfast) would be ideal since the theory goes that the Moors introduced "fuul" to the Spaniards, who introduced it to the New World, where it became refritos -- Mexican refried beans.

But you should feel free to go local with favorite regional dishes of your home area. There must be lots of good South American dishes which would be perfect, or Scottish specialties, or Aussie barbecued prawns or New England pot pies -- good simple "plebeian" food which is festive and spicy and filling.

In keeping with these pagan festivals, foods should represent birth and regeneration: beans, peas, black-eyed peas, pumpkins, squash, nuts, berries.

It doesn't really matter what food is served, of course, as long as it's delicious and plentiful, and as long as there is plenty of drink to wash it down, wine or beer or just good old iced tea.

Beer is quite appropriate, since the Ancient Egyptians were brewing beer thousands of years before Antinous was born.

Just imagine: Antinous' last meal may have been refried beans and beer and flat bread.

In a change from holiday cakes and cookies, how about baking Antinous cookies? Bake simple sugar cookies which have been cut out to resemble stars, comets, an imperial crown and Bithynian fir trees and lions and so on and decorate them with Antinoian lettering or symbols.

Instead of gingerbread men, make gingerbread Antinouses. The gingerbread man, after all, is thought to come from pagan rituals for honoring Thor or other gods. Generally, they are sweet dough which is filled with a nut-date-spice filling representing rebirth and spiritual sustenance. You still find them today on St. Nicholas' feast day throughout Europe.

Whatever you bake, make sure to include a small "surprise" somewhere in the cake or muffin or cookes for some lucky guest to chomp down on. It doesn't have to be a diamond ring, but a trinket of some sort is always fun. 


If that is too challenging for your skills as a confectioner, then just an ordinary cake with the letters "A-N-T-I-N-O-U-S" in store-bought candy lettering would do the job just as nicely. 

Or just a large "A" in icing in the middle of the cake.

Another tradition should be oracle games. This is the first major festival of the New Year in the Antinoian liturgical calendar, so oracles are appropriate.

And when your guests suggest you are robbing traditions from Christian festivals, just look them square in the eye and insist that the Christians stole these wonderful traditions from us pagans because the Christians didn't have any of their own. Where would Christian holidays be without pagan traditions?

Who knows? Perhaps Hadrian and Antinous enjoyed these very same pagan traditions in their Saturnalia revelries.

One more thing: Mistletoe. Mistletoe is plentiful in the forests of Bithynia. Antinous would be well familiar with mistletoe. I'm sure he would like it as a reminder of his boyhood hikes through the woods of home.

Use your imagination and you'll come up with lots of ideas.

Let the Festive Season Begin with an Antinous Birthday Party!
 


 

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

QUENTIN CRISP

SAINT OF ANTINOUS


ON November 21st the Religion of Antinous honors Saint Quentin Crisp.
St. Quentin Crisp, who died on this day in 1999, was born on Christmas Day in 1908. 

He became a gay icon in the 1970s after publication of his memoir, The Naked Civil Servant, brought to the attention of the general public his defiant exhibitionism and longstanding refusal to conceal his homosexuality.

John Hurt helped to make Quentin Crisp a media star in the movie adaptation of The Naked Civil Servant in the 1970s. In a sequel 30 years later Hurt made him a screen legend, very much in keeping with the lifelong ambition of Quentin Crisp.

In the second film, An Englishman In New York, Hurt portrayed the elderly Quentin Crisp as the New York gay icon based in Manhattan's funky-gritty Lower East Side in the 1980s and '90s.

At an age when most people would retire to a nursing home, Quentin Crisp left his native England and moved to New York City, where he pursued a career as a bon vivant and raconteur.

Asked by a BBC interview if he intended to die in New York, Saint Quentin emphatically said: "Oh no, I didn't come to New York to die. I came to New York to LIVE."

Arriving in New York in his 70s, he lived in his accustomed artistic squalor in a Lower East Side walk-up with a view through a grimy window pane of the next door neighbor's grimy bedroom window.

Every bit the considerate Englishman, he turned off his bare-bulb light at 11 p.m. and sat in the dark, lest the neighbor complain the glare from the 60-watt bulb (through two filthy window panes) kept him awake.

Saint Quentin experienced a meteoric rise after his cunning agent launched him into a career as a raconteur in an off-Broadway one-man show and he became a movie reviewer for a Christopher Street magazine.

But he experienced a meteoric fall from grace when, during one of his frequent TV talk-show appearances, he flippantly remarked that AIDS was "just a fad" which would soon be out of fashion, and the gay community viciously turned on him. Quentin, who had never apologized for anything in his life (and was not about to start apologizing), was perplexed when he was dropped by his agent and editor until his eyes were opened when he got to know young artist Patrick Angus, who later died of AIDS.

But in a Hollywood happy ending, Quentin was rescued by performance artist Penny Arcade, who put him back on stage, and Christopher Street re-hired him, paving the way for a glorious comeback and reconciliation with the gay community when he was in his 90s.

It is fitting that most people know Saint Quentin only through these two films. As might be expected, the best recommendation for the films comes from Quentin Crisp himself, who once famously said: "Any film, even the worst, is better than real life."

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

SORROWING HADRIAN WAITS

FOR THE COLOSSI OF MEMNON TO SING



ON November 20th the Religion of Antinous commemorates the solemn visit of a very grief-stricken Emperor Hadrian to Thebes and the Colossi of Memnon less than a month after the demise of his Beloved Antinous.

Antinous had drowned at the end of October and Hadrian had issued decrees establishing the CITY OF ANTINOOPOLIS at the spot on the shores of the Nile where his Beloved had died. 


Hadrian probably left the body with priests before the Imperial Entourage continued its scheduled tour up the Nile to the historic city of Thebes.

The Colossi of Memnon stand at the entrance of what was a great temple for Amenophis III.

The Colossi of Memnon at Thebes were mistakenly identified as such by the Greeks. They were the giant statues of Amenhotep III at the entrance of his now destroyed Temple. 


Memnon (left above) was actually the "brazen-crested Memnon, a comely man" according to Odysseus, King of the Ethiopians (Susa in the East not Africa) who came with a great force to help Troy against the Achaean invaders, and was killed by Achilles. At his death his soldiers turned into birds.

By the time Emperor Hadrian arrived, the statues were in a ruinous state and emitted a wailing sound at dawn when the rising sun heated the stone. Greeks and Romans traveled from afar to hear the statues "speak" to them. Hadrian left graffiti here.

Flamen Antonyus Subia writes:

"After the death of Antinous, the Imperial entourage visited the ancient city of Thebes in the Upper Nile, it was the furthest south that Hadrian ever journeyed. The court visited the two Colosoi of Memnon, which are monumental seated statues of Amenhotep III built in the 18th dynasty.

"It was said that a ringing sound was emitted by the statues in the early mourning, and that anyone who heard the statues speak was favored by the gods, as the belief was that the statues were of Memnon, the son of Aurora. Hadrian did not hear the sound, but the empress Sabina did.

"The God of Thebes was Amon, the ram-headed, who was equated with Jupiter. Julia Balbilla, poetess and companion of Sabina, who was with the court throughout the voyage and was present at the Death and Liberation of Antinous, wrote these words. These are the first words written after the death of Antinous. They were inscribed, like graffiti on the Colossus of Memnon.

"'I, Balbilla, when the rock spoke, heard the voice of the divine Memnon or Phamenoth. I came here with the lovely Empress Sabina. The course of the sun was in its first hour, in the fifteenth year of Hadrian's reign, on the twenty-fourth day of the month Hathor. I wrote this on the twenty-fifth day of the month Hathor'."

Rather more recently, in the 21st Century, our own "roving reporter" Martinus of Britannia made a pilgrimage to the Colossi of Memnon in the footsteps of the Divine Hadrian. He filed this report via email from Thebes:

"The Nile is noiselessly rushing by my hotel only a hundred or so feet from where I am writing.

"I have stood at the Colossi of Memnon and seen where Sabina and Julia Balbilla wrote verses about Hadrian.

"I walked around Luxor temple where Hadrian would have officiated as pharaoh. I have looked at the ruins of the Roman barracks where he may have stayed while in Luxor (then Thebes). I have been to the Dendera temple where Trajan decorated a temple to childbirth which may later have been converted to a temple to Bes, possibly by Hadrian."

The truth is that we all follow in the footsteps of the Divine Hadrian as he attempts to work out his grief in the weeks following the death of his Beloved and just seven days before the Birthday of Antinous on November 27th.

Monday, November 19, 2012

CHAVELA VARGAS
SAINT OF ANTINOUS


CHAVELA VARGAS, the forceful lesbian songstress who was born in Costa Rica and rose to fame in Mexico, and influenced generations on both sides of the Atlantic, has been proclaimed a Saint of Antinous.

When she died in 2012 at age 93, she was especially known for her rendition of Mexican rancheras, but she is also recognized for her contribution to other genres of popular Latin American music.

Never one to hide her lesbianism, she has been an influential interpreter in America and Europe, muse to figures such as Pedro Almodóvar, hailed for her haunting performances, and called "la voz áspera de la ternura," the rough voice of tenderness.

FLAMEN ANTONYUS SUBIA speaks for millions of gays in the Spanish-speaking world when he says her passing is a saddening loss. He grew up with her music.

ANTONYUS RECALLS:

My parents had always played her music it...among many other singers...she was the only one who made an impact on me.  She was the only one who stood out...mostly because I could tell that she was crazy...she wasn't trying to sound pretty or traditional...but more like someone having an attack of too much feelings.

It wasn't until I was in my late teens that a friend pointed out that all her love songs are sung about women, I hadn't even noticed, I had just taken them at face value, you broke my heart songs, without really thinking about the context...that was when I really started to like Chavela Vargas...when it suddenly dawned on me that this dramatic, bellowing woman, who was such a favorite of my parents, was A LESBIAN!!!

As it turns out she was a hard-core lesbian, though never public about her sexuality, she never actually hid it...it was pretty much right there for everyone to see.  She drank heavily, carried a gun and wore a big red poncho...how can you not love a lesbian such as that?!  Eventually the drinking became too much and she dropped out of making music for a long, long time...only to return about 10 years ago, at 83 years of age with a new album...and it was during her return that I finally learned that, yes indeed, just as I suspected, she was in fact a Lesbian.  My favorite quote is when she said: 

"I've never even been to bed with a man. Never. That's how pure I am; I have nothing to be ashamed of. My gods made me the way I am." - Chavela Vargas

Chavela Vargas is a blessed Saint of Antinous.

ANTONYUS SUBIA


Sunday, November 18, 2012

CONSTANTINE CONSTANTINOVICH

SAINT OF ANTINOUS


WE honor Grand Duke Constantine Constantinovich of Russia (August 27, 1858- June 15th, 1915) as a Saint of Antinous for his courage in openly living his homosexuality in an age and in a society which condemned and persecuted gays.

He was the bisexual cousin of Tzar Nicholas I and Godfather of Tzarevich Alexei.

His first homosexual experiences occurred in the Imperial Guards. The Grand Duke made great efforts to repress his feelings. But despite his love for his wife, he could not resist the temptations offered to a person of his exalted state.

He claimed in his diary that between 1893 and 1899 he remained away from the practice of what he called his "main sin."

Yet by the birth of his seventh child, he had become a steady visitor to several of the male brothels of St. Petersburg.

In 1904 he wrote in his diary that he "ordered my coachman...to go, and continued on foot past the bath-house. I intended to walk straight on... But without reaching the Pevchesky Bridge, I turned back and went in. And so I have surrendered again, without much struggle, to my depraved inclinations."

By the end of 1904, he became somewhat attached to an attractive young man by the name of Yatsko.

"I sent for Yatsko and he came this morning. I easily persuaded him to be candid. It was strange for me to hear him describe the familiar characteristics: he has never felt drawn to a woman, and has been infatuated with men several times. I did not confess to him that I knew these feelings from my own personal experience. Yatsko and I talked for a long time. Before leaving he kissed my face and hands; I should not have allowed this, and should have pushed him away, however I was punished afterwards by vague feelings of shame and remorse. He told me that, ever since the first time we met, his soul has been filled with rapturous feelings towards me, which grow all the time. How this reminds me of my own youth."

A few days later, he and Yatsko met again, and a relationship developed between the two.
 

Saturday, November 17, 2012

JOSEPH CHRISTIAN LEYENDECKER
SAINT OF ANTINOUS


WE honor Joseph Christian Leyendecker as a Saint of Antinous for his trail-blazing work as a homoerotic illustrator who changed the face of magazine publishing and advertising in the early 20th Century.

He is best known for his poster, book and advertising illustrations, the trade character known as The Arrow Collar Man, and his numerous covers for The Saturday Evening Post.


J. C. Leyendecker's sexuality, often attributing the apparent homoerotic aesthetic of his work to a homosexual identity. Without question, Leyendecker excelled at depicting male homosocial spaces (locker rooms, clubhouses, tailoring shops) and extraordinarily handsome young men in curious poses or exchanging glances.

Moreover, Leyendecker never married, and he lived with another man, Charles Beach, for much of his adult life, who is assumed to have been his lover and who was the original model of the famous Arrow Collar Man.

While Beach often organized the famous gala-like social gatherings that Leyendecker was known for in the 1920s, he apparently also contributed largely to Leyendecker's social isolation in his later years. 


Beach reportedly forbade outside contact with the artist in the last months of his life.

Due to his fame as an illustrator, Leyendecker was able to indulge in a very luxurious lifestyle which in many ways embodied the decadence of the Roaring Twenties. 


However, when commissions began to wane in the 1930s, he was forced to curtail spending considerably.

By the time of his death, Leyendecker had let all of the household staff at his suburban New York estate go, with he and Beach attempting to maintain the extensive estate themselves.


Leyendecker left a tidy estate equally split between his sister and Beach. 

Leyendecker is buried alongside parents and brother Frank at Woodlawn Cemetery in Bronx, New York. Charles Beach died a few months after Leyendecker, and his burial location is unknown.

Friday, November 16, 2012

LOZEN, APACHE WARRIORESS

SAINT OF ANTINOUS


WE honor Lozen, the lesbian Apache warrioress and holy woman who fought with Geronimo, and who was with his final band of warriors when they surrendered.

She is a blessed Saint of Antinous.

A contemporary observer said:

"Lozen had no concern for her appearance and, even though she is seen in several famous photos of Geronimo with his warriors, there is nothing to indicate that she is a woman. You would never spot her. She was very manly in her appearance, dressed like a man, lived and fought like a man. She never married, and devoted her life to the service of her people, to the very end."

Thursday, November 15, 2012

GAD BECK, SAINT OF ANTINOUS


ANTINOUS is the God of the Men with the Pink Triangles, gay victims of the Nazis. 

So it is with profound humility that we proclaim an anti-Nazi resistance fighter and the last known gay Jewish survivor of the Holocaust to be a Saint of Antinous.

GAD BECK died in Berlin in 2012 six days before his 89th birthday on June 30.

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.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

KENNETH WEISHUHN

SAINT OF ANTINOUS


WE honor Kenneth Weishuhn as a blessed Saint of Antinous because he killed himself at age 14 after bullies taunted him relentlessly for being gay.

April 14th, 2012, Kenneth James Weishuhn, of Primghar, Iowa, succumbed to the bullying he'd been receiving since coming out as a gay teen only a few short months earlier.  

He was a very happy young man.  Handsome and full of life.  He was loving to others.  More than that, he was loved by his friends and families.

Unfortunately, coming out of the closet cost him his young life.  The bullying was relentless and severe to the point where he couldn't take it any longer. 

Two of Kenneth's friends, Kristi and Brandi, made a YOUTUBE VIDEO TRIBUTE to their gone-too-soon friend.  


Antinous is the God of teens who suffer for being gay. Kenneth Weishuhn is in the embrace of Antinous the Gay God. 

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

MANUEL ACOSTA

SAINT OF ANTINOUS


WE honor Manuel Acosta (May 9, 1921-October 25, 1989) as a blessed Saint of Antinous for being a Texican artist from El Paso who lived and died for his art.

Sadly, he is only known in the English-speaking world for having painted the iconic portrait of César Chávez for a 1969 Time magazine cover.

He was brutally murdered by a 20-year-old boy who was living with him, who had been his model...and more. 

Flamen Antonyus says of Acosta:

He is a very meaningful Saint of Antinous because he opened whole new world of art for me when I was very young.  I always thought of art as something people did far away in Paris or somewhere.  In my neighborhood they painted the Virgin Mary and low-riders and Aztec warriors...but that wasn't art...right there next to the gang graffiti and a crudely drawn penis squirting sperm on some breasts.  Art was something that people in Europe painted on canvases.  Manuel Acosta changed my perspective...because he lived about a quarter mile away.


Right when he was murdered, they released prints of his work, and my mother bought the full set for me,
it was my first real introduction to art...my walls were covered with Manuel Acosta paintings,
I had no idea that it would mean so much to me later.

Manuel Acosta always used to wear a paper-bag hat. Father Arturo Banuelas, who led the prayers at Manuel’s funeral said, "Today his paper hat is a crown of glory." 

He was buried with what he called his Mexican-Italian-Pajama shirt, wearing his trademark paper hat, with a can of Budweiser beer in his hand (his nephew placed it there).

Monday, November 12, 2012

DANIEL ZAMUDIO

SAINT OF ANTINOUS


WE honor Daniel Zamudio as a blessed and beloved Saint of Antinous.

Through his horrific death in Santiago de Chile at the hands of Nazi thugs, Daniel Zamudio spawned outrage throughout the Spanish-speaking world which forced politicians in Chile to enact anti-discrimation laws.

On the morning of March 3, 2012, 24-year-old Daniel Zamudio was admitted to Santiago's Posta Central Hospital with severe cranio-cerebral trauma, cranial haemorrhage, multiple cuts and contusions on the face, thorax and limbs, aspiration pneumonia and a compound fracture of tibia and fibula of his right leg.

Daniel Zamudio had been tortured for nearly six hours by four youths allegedly belonging to neo-Nazi groups, who assaulted him simply because he is gay.

In his statement, one of the suspects, Raúl López, said they "kicked and punched (Zamudio) in the head, on the face, in the testicles, on his legs, all over his body." Then they carved three swastikas on him with the jagged glass of a pisco bottle that, minutes earlier, they had broken on his head.


Zamudio, a clothing store salesman, was attacked in a park in Santiago by thugs who singled him out because he was gay.

The second of four brothers, he had hoped to study theater, his brother Diego said. "He was very loving, an excellent person and that's why it's so hard to believe that they attacked him with such hate," he said.
Antinous is the God of ALL people who have suffered and been martyred for being gay. Daniel Zamudio is in the embrace of Antinous the Gay God.

Sunday, November 11, 2012

NIANKHKHNUM and KHNUMHOTEP
SAINTS OF ANTINOUS

ON November 11th the Religion of Antinous honors two men whose love for each other has survived the fall of all ancient civilizations.

We honor Niankhkhnum and Khnumhotep, Blessed Saints of Antinous.They lived in Egypt 2,000 years before the siege of Troy. 

They had been dead and forgotten for over 2,650 years when Hadrian and Antinous visited Mennefer (Memphis) Egypt in the year 130 AD. 

Most likely Hadrian and Antinous stood directly on top of (or very nearly on top of) the lost tomb of these two men — two men who were buried together at the Memphis necropolis some 4,500 years ago.

When the tomb was discovered in 1964 it sent shock waves through the dusty world of Egyptology. The vividly painted reliefs on the walls of the tomb showed an intimate embrace between two male Royal Manicurists — the first recorded depiction of an openly homosexual couple.

Prudish Egyptologists have argued ever since that the two men were "just good friends" or perhaps that they were possibly "twin brothers".

But recent research by more open-minded archaeologists, such as California-based EGYPTOLOGIST GREG REEDER, has offered compelling evidence that the two men were more than "just good friends" or "close brothers."

Greg Reeder has written and lectured extensively on this extraordinary tomb, which was uncovered in 1964 in the necropolis of Saqqara at Memphis, on the west bank of the Nile. The site atop a cliff overlooking the Nile has drawn tourists since ancient times. Julius Caesar and Cleopatra stood atop this cliff and gazed in awe at its ancient tomb structures.

Hadrian and Antinous almost certainly stood on this very same spot in October of the year 130 AD, only weeks before Antinous drowned in the Nile. Beneath their feet was the Lost Tomb of Niankhkhnum and Khnumhotep. The sand has been removed and now that long-lost tomb is no longer lost.

And what a tomb it is! It has a splendid entrance and charming layout befitting a pleasant gay holiday retreat cottage — for an eternal, never-ending holiday vacation.

While grave robbers stripped the tomb of relics in antiquity, the wall paintings reveal tantalizing hints about its original occupants. The men are repeatedly depicted together, sometimes holding hands, sometimes with their arms around each other.


In two instances they are shown with their noses touching — the most intimate embrace permitted in Egyptian art of the time — tantamount to kissing. Their bodies are pressed so closely together that their groins rub against each other in a decidedly intimate sort of way. 

In Ancient Egypt, such male-male depictions were reserved for kings who merged with gods, not for two mortal men.

They are so close together that some Egyptologists have theorized that they may have been Siamese twins joined at the hips.

Other figures, identified as wives and children, are relegated to the background. In one scene, in which the two men share a final banquet before their journey into the afterlife, Niankhkhnum' s "wife" has been plastered over by the craftsmen who decorated the tomb. Khnumhotep's spouse fails to make an appearance at all — highly unusual in Egyptian tomb art, if not totally unprecedented.


Throughout the tomb, the two men are depicted in joyous pursuits, such as this relief vignette (right) showing one of them playing flute accompaniment as the other sings.

The magnificent reliefs show a variety of scenes involving nude or semi-nude males involved in all sorts of artistic and manly activities, such as one scene (below left) of a sort of "Egyptian Rodeo" bull-roping tournament with accompanying scenes of a raucous "beef barbecue" feast.

Or the scene (below right) of athletic youths — so sparingly attired you can see they are circumcised — engaged in a playful mock battle using reed skiffs on the Nile.

Throughout the tomb, the reliefs show men, men, men (and a few token females) engaged in service to the tomb's two male occupants who are — unprecedented in Egyptian Sacred Art — wholly committed to each other. Other tombs invariably show man-and-wife. Not this one.


Hieroglyphs describe the men as "Overseers of the Royal Manicurists" to pharaoh. 
Ostensibly, they were responsible for the care of the pharaoh's hands and were among the select few permitted to touch the ruler. 

However, it is also possible that the title "Royal Manicurist" could be a ceremonial honor similar to the "Order of the Garter".

Though the hieroglyphs say nothing of the two men's relationship, Greg Reeder, an Egyptologist based in San Francisco, believes the wall paintings suggest homosexuality is the answer. Reeder points out that Niankhkhnum and Khnumhotep clearly chose to depict themselves in poses usually restricted to husbands and wives in other tombs. 

"Same-sex desire must be considered as a probable explanation," Reeder said at a lecture in Britain which made headlines a couple of years ago.

"We can only say for certain that the carvings show a profound intimacy between the two men, and the people who built the tomb were possibly unsure how to portray this," the US archaeologist noted.


The tomb was restored by German archaeologists in the late 1970s and opened to the public in the 1990s.

While gay tour operators have not targeted the site, in large part because Egypt outlaws homosexual activity, Greg Reeder's articles and lectures have created gay interest in this long-lost tomb.

"It has now become famous and lots of gay tourists go there," he says with scholarly pride.

Reeder notes that, regardless of whether the two men were sexual lovers, they were definitely two men who loved each other so much that they wanted to spend all eternity in an intimate embrace.

Even their two names are intertwined. Over the entrance to one chamber their names are mingled together so that Niankhkhnum and Khnumhotep become "NiankhKHNUMhotep" — Peace and Life joined in the ram-headed Source-of-the-Nile Deity Khnum, clearly their mutual sacred patron.

Thus, their names blend together, forming a single name: "Joined in Life and Joined in Peace at the Source of All That Lives and Dies and is Born Again for All Eternity". Such is the subtlety of the Egyptian language, which turns a name into a commitment.
Our Flamen Antinoalis Antonyus Subia says:
"Niankhkhnum and Khnumhotep is one of the earliest and most vivid portrayals of homosexual love, crossing all boundaries, binding two men and two families for all time, and demonstrating the profound antiquity and sacredness of our form of love."
Thanks largely to the bold and candid research of Greg Reeder, the names of Niankhkhnum and Khnumhotep have been rescued from oblivion, so that their KAs might live forever — together!