Friday, June 21, 2013

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. 

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."

Also on the Solstice we celebrate the day that Hadrian and Antinous met and fell in love ...  "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.

Also in the Solstice, we commemorate the Sacred Boar Hunt. In our Liturgical Calendar, this is the day when Hadrian and Antinous arrive at the sacred city of Bithynium/Claudiopolis, the home of Antinous, in the year 129 AD. 

The region is teeming with bountiful wildlife and so Hadrian and Antinous went on hunting forays while in Bithynium.

The Boar Hunt had deeply mystical symbolic meaning for Hadrian, as exemplified that it was elevated to mythic proportions for use in public monuments.


The image shows Hadrian and Antinous (looking backwards) during the Sacred Boar Hunt, immortalized on the Arch of Constantine in Rome.
 
Flamen Antonyus Subia explains the mythic symbolism this way:
"This hunt takes place in the ancestral forests of Antinous, in Phrygia, and its meaning is closely connected to the Mysteries of Adonis, and Freyr. It represents the full vigor of his strength, courage and skill as a hunter.

"This festival is a commemoration of the joy of life, in celebration of indulgence and sensual fulfillment.

"The Sacred Boar Hunt represents the pinnacle of the life of Antinous."

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