Thursday, January 31, 2013

DEREK JARMAN, SAINT OF ANTINOUS


ON January 31st the Religion of Antinous celebrates the life of Saint Derek Jarman.

St. Derek, born on this day in 1942, created eleven extraordinary feature films — including Sebastiane, Jubilee, The Tempest, Caravaggio, The Last of England, and Edward II — and over three dozen shorts.

This multi-talented artist is also acclaimed for his painting (several major exhibits), stage and film design (for director Ken Russell and for a glorious Pet Shop Boys concert tour), gay and human rights activism, literature (memoirs, social criticism, poetry), and, on a serene note, his exquisite gardens full of "found" art.

Most gay men have seen Sebastiane which, when it came out more than 30 years ago, was the first British film to feature positive images of gay sexuality, not to mention the first film entirely in Latin.

Edward II raised eyebrows among critics for its upfront depiction of the brutal assassination of England's openly gay monarch by means of rectal assault.


The exquisitely beautiful Caravaggio is Saint Derek's best-known film.

We Antinoians remember Saint Derek for his art and we honor him as well for his boundless courage. His death from AIDS was cruelly slow and agonizing. And yet, as AIDS robbed him of his mobility and even of his eyesight, he turned the tables on Death and Dying by turning Death and Dying into an art form. 


His last feature-length film, Blue, consists of a single shot of saturated blue color filling the screen as Derek talks about his "vision" of life and art. How very typical of Derek Jarman. 

Thumbing his nose at fate right up to the end. A dying man who is blind and yet who talks about his vision.

The light of his eyes faded until all he saw was the darkness where the Night Terrors feed on fear and doubt. And what did Derek do? He turned the darkness into vibrant color. He turned his fear and his worries into artistic energy. The dramatic lighting and brilliant colors of his films were so very dramatic and brilliant because they were always, always set against the inky darkness.

That is why we consecrate Derek Jarman a Saint of Antinous. Just like Saint Caravaggio, also one of our Blessed Saints, Martyrs and Exemplars, his "vision" lay in turning the Darkness into Light and Color. He died February 19, 1994.

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

THE SACRED STAR OF ANTINOUS

 

 (To be said before a sacred flame of Antinous)


Antinous of the Heavens, God of Eternal Fire

In your name, Uranian Lord, Antinous Phanes,

May this consecrated Lucerna shine forth

With the celestial light of your Sacred Dark Star.

Antinous our God, whose Star has Come into Being

We are the Influence of your holy constellation,

May our devotion ignite the burning embers

Of your flame among the ashes of the world.

Arise Antinous Ganymedes as the Eternal Narcissus,

Your Homotheosis shines from this tongue of fire

Let this Flame commemorate the conflagration

That once consumed the Sacred Sodomites

Purify us in the pain and brilliance of Gay Splendor.

We rise as the Unconquered Sun

Soaring as a falcon among the heroes.

Your Hand turns the everlasting sky.

You pass through Heaven before the Starry Beings

You are the Golden Eagle of the Heavens

In whose wings all Catamites are assumed

Into the glory of Eternal Homotheosis

Antinous Phanes, twofold, egg-born,

Glorying in your golden wings,

Antinous of celestial power, ineffable,

Dark Star, all-shining flower of flame, glory of the sky.

“Hadrian declared that he had seen a star

Which he took to be that of Antinous,

And gladly lent an ear to the fictitious tales woven by his associates

To the effect that the star had really come into being

From the spirit of Antinous

And had then appeared for the first time.”

Behold the Star of Antinous!

(light a fire for Antinous)


ANTONIUS SUBIA ON THE DISCOVERY
OF THE STAR OF ANTINOUS


MAY the Light of the New Star of Antinous shine into all our hearts and illuminate our souls!

We are still trying to figure out exactly what took place in the sky and when, and why it was so important that it confirmed the deification of Antinous, whether it was a comet or a new star, a Nova in what is now the constellation of Aquila.  I lean towards the Nova possibility, because of of the use of term "new star" by Dio Cassius, with no reference to a comet, or "long-haired" star...and also becaus some of th most dramatic known Nova's have been located in the constellation Aquila, such as the Nova Aql of 1918

"Two major novae have been observed in Aquila: the first one was in 389 BC and was recorded as being as bright as Venus; the other (Nova Aquilae 1918) briefly shone brighter than Altair, the brightest star in Aquila."

So it is possible that there was a Nova in the year 131...and by the way, our previous estimate of year 132 is most likely wrong...the year 131 would have been only a few months after Antinous died...and if this is so, then the appearance of the new star would have occurred about six months before the miraculous inundation of the Nile the following summer.  I've always wondered about the timing issue, whether or not the constellation Aquila was actually visible in the sky at the time of year...but it seems that it is, for about one hour before sunrise.  This is called a Heliacal rising, when the first appears above the horizon just before sunrise, and then on each succeeding night seems to rise higher and higher every night thereafter.  This is what they mean by the Rise of the Dog Star, which signaled the beginning of the Egyptian calendar and which signaled the annual flooding of the Nile.  The star Sirius and Altair (which is the brightest star in the constellation Aquila, the star traditionally located right above Antinous's head) are on almost exactly opposite of the night sky...yet strangely enough, they are the two brightest stars in relatively close proximity to our Sun, part of the local group.

As an argument for the comet:  It was the chinese who recorded what is said to have been a comet on January 29th 131.  It is known that from the point of vie of China the tail of a comet might be visible, but in Europe, the the tail might be hidden...not sure if I understand why, but this is what I've read, so it may be that from Hadrian's point of view, for the brief hour or so before sunrise, all they saw was a single point of new light in the sky.  I'm still not sure what I think about this...and also...I keep thinking that I recall reading in Beloved and God a brief mention by Royston Lambert that there had been a comet in the sky in the year 130 which had given rise to foreboding prophesies...but I keep trying to find this reference and come up with nothing...if any of you can take another look at Beloved and God and find this reference, I would be much ingratiated.  And then there is the reference that in the year before Antinous died, that a Phoenix had been seen in Egypt, perhaps another allusion to a comet.  If a comet did in fact occur in the months before Antinous died then it would indeed perhaps confirm the Chinese reports, though the dates would disagree but the ancients were terrible about recording dates so there is ever possibility that some confusion might have taken place.  A comet before his death and a new star (nova) afterward would however be a significant narrative of spiritual significance.

The Star of Antinous was the proof that Antinous had indeed arisen to the heavenly sphere...that he had taken his place among the immortal gods...more than anything else..it was what all the disbelievers would have required to recognize that Antinous was more than just Hadrian's little pretty boy.  It would have needed to be a very significant new star in order to make an impact upon the general populace...it would have needed to be an obvious sign in the sky that even an untrained astrologer could look up and seen for themselves..it would have needed to be as bright as Altair...there were a great many people all over the empire who were familiar with the stars...sailors and temple soothsayers...all of whom would have had enough familiarity with the constellations to know if a new star had actually appeared in the night sky for the first time.  If there really had appeared a new star for the first time, as Dio Cassius skeptically reports, then the "experts" would have noticed it, and would have confirmed the official reports from Hadrian's court that Antinous had arisen to godliness...and the word of their confirmation would have spread, dispelling whatever doubts the general, uninformed populace might have felt when the Edict of Deification was announced.

The Star of Antinous was the mos significant event in the formation of our religion...this is what separates Antinous from other gay demi-gods such as Achilles and Hephestion...they were deified in the same way and for similar reasons as Antinous, but their cults never assumed world-wide importance or longevity...they never crossed the line from heroism to godliness...for one basic reason...because there was no cosmic confirmation to solidify their deification.  I just read a Spanish book about Antinous by De La Maza written in 1969 which emphatically states that the New Star of Antinous was the most important event that elevated Antinous to the immortal state that we recognize him to hold to this day.

The Star of Antinous represents the spirit of Antinous within our heart...the Fire of Homotheosis...this is what I feel when I consider the star of Antinous shinning inside of me.

May my light shine upon you all,
May your light shine upon me.

~Antonyus Nicius Subia
Flamen Antinoalis




SCARAB BEETLES NAVIGATE
BY STARLIGHT FROM THE MILKY WAY


SCIENTISTS have confirmed what the Ancient Egyptians always knew ... that scarab beetles can use the Milky Way to help them navigate at night.

Experts have always known that African dung beetles use the sun and the moon as directional markers when rolling balls of dung containing their precious eggs away from other beetles.

But it had never been scientifically proven that the beetles ... sacred to the Egyptians as symbols of transformation ... used the Milky Way as a directional marker on moonless nights.

Dung beetles are known for rolling up balls of dung for later use as food and a depository for their eggs. Once they collect the dung, the beetles quickly roll the ball away from the dung pile to avoid having it stolen by other beetles. They do this by moving in a straight line.

With the dung ball deposited in a safe place, the eggs hatch into larvae which then metamorphose into winged beetles ... and fly off, soaring towards the warmth-giving sun. Thus, the scarab became associated in Ancient Egyptian mysticism with the transformation of base material into the divine. The Egyptian glyph for scarab beetle ... "kheper" ... means "transform".

The Egyptians also associated the scarab beetle with movements of the sun, moon and stars. While the link to the sun and moon were easily proved, scientists did not have proof of a link to the stars ... until now.

To test whether the beetles were using the stars as a navigational aid, scientists put the beetles into a dung-rolling course and filmed their behavior. The beetles were able to move in a straight line on moonlight nights and also on moonless nights when the Milky Way was visible.

When the sky was overcast, the beetles were unable to roll the dung balls in a straight line. When the beetles had tiny visors taped onto their heads to block their view of the night sky, they spent their time wandering aimlessly.

Next, they tested their speed on a 2 meter platform. On nights when the Milky Way was visible, the beetles were able to cross the platform in as little as 40 seconds. On cloudy nights, it took the beetles nearly 2 minutes to cross the platform.

Lastly, scientists tested the beetles inside of a planetarium. The dung beetles moved more efficiently when the ground was lit by the light of the Milky Way. When the ground was lit by the light of only a few bright stars, the beetles performed worse.

This research is believed to be the first study to document the use of the Milky Way for orientation in the animal kingdom.

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

THE DISCOVERY
OF THE STAR OF ANTINOUS




ON January 29th in the year 132 AD a new star appeared in the constellation Aquila, the Eagle.

The court astrologers declared that it was Antinous taking his place in the heavens. Hadrian ordered them to draw a new constellation embraced by the Eagle, and called it ANTINOUS.

Our Flamen Antinoalis Antonyus explains:

"The Roman historian Dio Cassius was skeptical that a new star had appeared in the sky, but simultaneously, the leader of the Jewish revolt named Bar Kochba, which means 'Son of the Star,' was declared the Messiah because a celestial event had proclaimed him the savior of Israel. The mystery of the star is real, a celestial even of great magnitude occurred shortly after the death of Antinous within the constellation of the Eagle for the New God.

"The three sacred stars of the constellation Aquila, named Tarzad, Altair and Alshain, rise above the horizon just after dark on this night and are an allegory of the assumption of Ganymede into heaven. This date is suggested by Chinese Novae observations which have been dated as occurring on the 29th of January 132 AD, and are compared to the Star or Comet of Antinous."

 

Monday, January 28, 2013

ANTINOUS WAS AMONG THE MEN

WHO WORE THE PINK TRIANGLES


TODAY is the anniversary of the day in 1945 when Allied troops liberated Auschwitz concentration camp, and the world was shocked by the newsreel images of skeletal inmates and heaps of bodies. This day is observed around the world as International Holocaust Day.

In our Aula Sancti of Saints, Martyrs and Exemplars, on January 28th we honor The Men with the Pink Triangles -- the gay men who were persecuted by the Nazis. Jews were forced to wear a yellow star. Gays wore a pink triangle.

Antinous stands for all of us. He stands for the good times of being gay. But he also stands for the horrible times when we plunge into the depths and drown. Antinous was all the Men with the Pink Triangles.

Everybody knows that gay men were persecuted by the Nazis. But only recently, shocking new documents have come to light showing that the Nazi crackdown on gays was even more widespread and insidious than previously believed.

After German unification hundreds of thousands of case histories were released and historians have been sifting through them.


Their findings are just now being published. And the findings have shocked even many historians who knew that atrocities had occurred, but were surprised by the extent of them.

The Gestapo launched a systematic crack-down on gays in the mid-1930s. They actively entrapped gay men. They set up spying stations behind one-way mirrors in public toilets. Plainclothes men patrolled parks.

The Gestapo created a vicious protection racket that allowed gay bar owners to remain in business, under condition that they handed over names of customers on a regular basis. If a patron got drunk one night and said something catty to the bartender, the next day he found himself being interrogated by the Gestapo, who already had a big dossier on his activities going back years.

Landlords were bribed to inform on tenants. If someone at work didn't like a bachelor co-worker, all he had to do was to go to the Gestapo and suggest a sexual advance had been made, and the next day the co-worker would be gone.

It mattered little whether there was any truth to the allegation. Everyone knew that Nazi ideology demanded procreation to produce a Master Race of blond and blue-eyed Aryans. Anybody who didn't get married and sire lots of kids was already practically a criminal. Being a bachelor automatically made a man a suspicious character in Nazi Germany.

Paradoxically, and cruelly, gay men were offered the alternative of "voluntary castration" with vague promises of leniency. In return for naming names of every gay man they knew, they would undergo botched operations that left them with oozing wounds. And they would still end up in concentration camps.

After the war, many gay inmates remained in prison because Nazi-era laws against homosexuality were still on the books ... those laws were not rescinded until 1969.

Sunday, January 27, 2013

STUNNING NEW VIDEO RECREATES

LOCATIONS IN HADRIAN'S LIFE


A stunning new video by the ALTAIR4 team of 3-D archaeological recreations portrays locations in Emperor Hadrian's life.

The video shows portions of Hadrian's Villa, Nero's Golden House, the Acropolis in Athens, the Temple of Isis at Philae and Karnak in ancient Thebes....




Click HERE for more 3-D archaeological recreations.

ANCIENT ROMAN "GAMING PIECES"

MIGHT ACTUALLY BE TOILET PAPER


ANCIENT Roman artifacts thought to be early gaming pieces may actually have been used as a form of toilet paper, according to a recent article published in the British Medical Journal.

In the article, Philippe Charlier, assistant professor in forensic medicine at the Raymond Poincaré University Hospital in Paris, presented among other things, a Greek proverb stating, "Three stones are enough to wipe one's arse," as evidence that such stones were used to clean up after going to the bathroom.

Other scholars have suggested that broken pieces of ceramic - known as ostraka - inscribed with names like Socrates, Pericles and Themistocles have been found in Piraeus and Athens and were used by the Greeks as a way of ostracizing their enemies, after smoothing out the rough edges, of course.

The ceramic disks - known as pessoi, meaning pepples - range from one to four inches in diameter, have been on display at Fishborne Roman Palace in Chichester, West Sussex, since the 1960's.
The museum curator, Dr. Rob Symmons, found the revelations to be "hilarious," and hoped that the artifacts would bring a smile to the faces of visitors.

"I love the idea we've had these in the museum for 50 years being largely ignored and now they are suddenly engaging items you can relate to," Symmons told The Daily Telegraph.

Saturday, January 26, 2013

ANTINOUS THE GAY GOD

(And Our Own Priest Hernestus)

Featured Tonight In BBC Documentary


'TREASURES OF ANCIENT ROME'
Presented by Alastair Sooke


8 PM, 26th JANUARY 2013, BBC4

This three-part series will be syndicated worldwide. Check local listings.

Friday, January 25, 2013

ANCIENT ROMAN VESTAL VIRGIN HAIRSTYLE

RECREATED FOR THE FIRST TIME



AN American hairdresser and amateur archaeologist, has recreated the hairstyle of the Roman Vestal Virgins on a modern head — but it wasn't easy. 

After becoming inspired by an ancient portrait bust she saw at a local museum, Janet Stephens of Baltimore tried to recreate the hairstyle at home, failing miserably. She spent the next seven years conducting research in an effort to properly reconstruct the lost technique. And now, the results of her work have been published in the journal Roman Archaeology.

The Vestals were priestesses who guarded the fire of Vesta, the goddess of the hearth. These women, who were chosen before puberty and sworn to celibacy, were among the most celebrated women in Rome and were held in very high esteem.

As reported in LiveScience, to create the Vestal Virgin hairdo, Stephens had to reference two busts showing the hairstyle. This wasn't much to go by, as all other depictions showed the women wearing various headdresses. Stephanie Pappas explains the technique.... 


First, Stephens found, the Vestal's hair would be separated into sections, each of which would be braided into six separate braids, including a pair of cornrow braids that ran flat across the head above the ears. 

The hair around the hairline would then be wrapped around a cord, which would then be tied at the nape of the neck. Leftover loose hair from around the face would then be weaved into a final, seventh braid.

Next, the first six braids would be brought around the back of the head and tied in pairs in half square knots. The ends of the braids would then be wrapped up to the front of the head and secured to the cornrow braids above the ears. Then, the seventh braid would have been tucked up and coiled at the back of the head underneath the knotted braids.

It typically takes 35 to 40 minutes for Stephens to go through the process, but she claims that a team of two skilled slaves were likely able to complete the task in less than 10 minutes. And fascinatingly, it was through her efforts that she discovered that the women needed to had to have waist-length hair in order for the hairstyle to work.

Thursday, January 24, 2013

BIRTH OF THE DIVINE HADRIAN




ON January 24th the Religion of Antinous celebrates the Birth of the Divine Hadrian.

Publius Aelius Hadrianus was born on this day either in Italica, Spain, or else in Rome, in the year 76.

His father was Publius Aelius Afer, his mother was Domitia Paulina. His uncle was the Emperor Trajan who had been adopted by Nerva.

Trajan employed Hadrian as a general in his conquests across the Danube, where Hadrian proved his military prowess, and gained the love and devotion of the Legions.

It is said that the relationship between Hadrian and his uncle was strained, and they are even known to have quarreled over beautiful boys. But Hadrian was very close to the Emperess Plotina, whose intellectual depth he preferred to the military harshness of Trajan.

During the unsuccessful campaign against the Parthians, in modern day Iraq, Trajan suddenly fell ill and died. Plotina is said to have insured that Hadrian be his successor, allegedly even forging the documents of adoption.

The New Emperor Hadrian inherited the largest Empire that the world had ever known, the borders of Rome had reached their greatest extent.

Hadrian is the Father of the Antonines, the bringer of the Golden age of Rome. He put an end military expansion of the Empire and turned instead to improving the interior.

He is the prime deity of the imperial cult as recognized by the Religion of Antionous. He is the representative of Zeus on Earth, emblem of the ruler of the cosmos, the great eagle. Hadrian is the leader of the Archons, the bringer of order out of chaos, founder of our religion.

He is the divine lover of Antinous, our model and God.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

SAINT ASCLAS OF ANTINOÉ

 


ON January 23rd the Religion of Antinous honors the first of the many Christian Martyrs of Antinoe, also known as Antinoopolis. The first of the Egyptian martyrs with whose name and acts we are acquainted was Asclas of Antinoopolis.

This part of Egypt, near the nome sacred to Anubis, has always been a hotbed of religious fervor ever since the days when the "heretic pharaoh" Akhenaten built his capital city here, a scant 20 kms from our Sacred City of Antinoopolis. Christians and Jews constituted a major portion of the population of Antinopoolis. 

After all, the city was the flower of Greek civilization deep in the desert of the Thebaid, and it was a haven for dispossessed and exiled thinkers and theological revolutionaries.

There was a period of time in which Antinoopolis fell under the sway of the fear and violence that had swept across the world. The Christian faith was suffering one of the bloodiest persecutions in its history. Diocletian had sought to curb the rising tide of Christianity with brutal violence. He issued decrees that all citizens should be compelled to demonstrate their piety to the Roman Gods by offering sacrifice. It was a direct challenge. Any person who refused was not only insulting the Gods of Rome, but showing disloyalty to the Emperor and to Rome herself.

Such treason was punishable by death. This was a legal way to persecute Christianity, it was not an attack on the Christian doctrine, or its practices, but was an unavoidable line that no Christian would cross.

It is interesting to note that though many of the Christians were executed by beheading or by being shot through with arrows, some were executed by being drowned in the Nile. This similarity between their death and the death of Antinous must have been very moving to the Ancient Priests of Antinous. And it is also interesting that the authorities were not sensitive to the nature of this form of execution in the Sacred City of a boy who had become a god simply by drowning in the Nile.

The first was Asclas, who was arrested and tortured for his faith by order of Arrian, the governor of Antinoopolis who himself would later convert to Christianity. While Asclas was being tortured in prison by hot irons which left his flesh hanging down in strips, Arrian had reason to cross the River Nile to go to Hermopolis on government business.

Antinoopolis lies on the east bank of the Nile (depicted at left in its heyday), and Hermopolis (Sacred City of Hermes) is located diagonally across from Antinoopolis on the west bank of the Nile. But inexplicably, Arrian found he was absolutely unable to leave the water's edge.

Asclas sent word that the governor would never be able to cross the river until he acknowledged Christ in writing. Arrian wrote out the statement, and was promptly able to leave the river bank. He crossed the Nile, and the moment he was on the other side, he ordered that Asclas be thrown into the Nile with a stone tied around his neck, whereupon he drowned.

This story, while odd-sounding to us today, was very clear to Egyptians. Hermopolis is the Sacred City of Hermes/Anubis, or Hermanubis.

This remarkable deity, who lives on in Christianity as St. Christopher, is responsible for conveying souls across the Celestial Nile after death. People in Antinoopolis worshipped both Antinous and Hermanubis.

The miracle of St. Asclan is meant to show that the Christian god is the equal of Hermanubis. Within a few generations, Hermanubis "morphed" into Christopher who, in this early Coptic mural at right, still has canine features. Next time you see a plastic St. Christopher statuette on a taxi dashboard, remember that it is actually Anubis without his doggy ears. He's not carrying the baby Jesus on his shoulders. He's carrying the Boy God Antinous over the celestial Nile to eternal divinity.

Against that background of intermingling spiritual beliefs, the Religion of Antinous acknowledges the suffering of St. Asclas and of all the Christian Martyrs of Antinoopolis out of our Love for Antinous in whose Sacred City they died. Though their faith was in Christ and not in Antinous, we nevertheless honor them and glorify them because they were Antinoopolitans, people of Antinous.

We ask their forgiveness for the murder and persecution of the Christian Martyrs and in their memory ask that we may be free from intolerance and never again partake in the crime of the ancient citizens of Antinoopolis.

The image above left is not Asclas, but is a burial painting of a person whose mummy was buried in the desert of the Fayoum in Egypt, which is the region of Antinoopolis. It is presented here as a contemporary image of what St. Asclas may have looked like.
 

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

SAINT HEATH LEDGER




ON January 22nd the Religion of Antinous commemorates the brief, shining life of Saint Heath Ledger, the gifted actor whose on-screen portrayals inspired millions of gay people and whose off-screen life paralleled so many more. Not gay himself, Saint Heath nonetheless is a gay icon, like Saint Judy Garland and others.

Saint Heath died on this day in 2008 under mysterious circumstances after taking anti-depressants and sleeping pills at the age of 28. His body was found lying across the bed of his Manhattan apartment. The manner of his death bore eery parallels to the death of English singer/songwriter Nick Drake, who is also a Saint of Antinous.

Best known for his Oscar-nominated role as a gay cowpoke in "Brokeback Mountain", the acclaimed Australian-born actor also played The Joker in the blockbuster "The Dark Knight", for which role he posthumously was awarded a Golden Globe Award for best supporting actor. On the first anniversary of his death, he posthumously won an Academy Award as best supporting actor for his role as the psychopathic criminal mastermind The Joker.

No one will ever know why Saint Heath overdosed on anti-depressants, as had his idol Nick Drake. No one will ever know why Saint River Phoenix took a fatal cocktail of booze and alcohol, just as no one will ever know why Saint Richey Edwards jumped off a bridge to his death (if he did), and no one will know why so many talented and overly sensitive young men meet death so tragically and so young.

Just as no one knows for sure what happened to Antinous. Thus they are all Saints of Antinous.

Shortly before his death, Heath Ledger made a video tribute to Nick Drake (photo right), the ambisexual English singer/songwriter who died in 1974 under almost identical circumstances to Saint Heath.

Saying he planned to make a movie about Saint Nick, Heath appeared in a self-made video (about drowning) to the tune of Nick Drake's song Black-Eyed Dog. It was the last song that Nick is believed to have recorded before he died under mysterious circumstances after taking anti-depressants and sleeping pills at the age of 26. His body was found lying across his bed.

The black-eyed dog is thought to be a reference to Winston Churchill's famous "little black dog." Throughout his life Churchill was shadowed by violent mood swings, fits of depression and periods of emotional doubt. He felt that he was followed by this unpredictable darkness and uncertainty. He called it his "little black dog."

Heath seems to have been very well acquainted with the "little black dog" of depression, the black demon which nips at the heels of so many sensitive young souls who cannot find their way in this harsh world.

And thus Antinous is the God of Lost Boys. He knows their suffering. He knows how it is to stand on the shore at the twilight of the world, with one foot on dry land and the other foot in the murky depths of oblivion — and he understands how a beautiful soul can slip off into that oblivion.

Antinous is the God of these very sweet, shy, sensitive and talented artists, young men who agonize over their shortcomings and who can only cope with the harsh realities of showbiz by taking tablets with unpronounceable names in private.

Saint Heath represents so many young men who seek what Nick Drake called the fruit of the tree of fame. "Fame is but a fruit tree, so very unsound", Nick sings in a song which Heath loved. It is a song about sensitive souls who reach for the fruit of fame and then, when it is within their grasp, they discover that its taste is very bitter.

THE ASSUMPTION OF GANYMEDE

OUR Father Jupiter descended upon the slopes of Mt. Ida in the form of an eagle and carried away Ganymede, the beautiful young prince of Troy, ravaging him, and elevating him to live among the immortals.

At the table of the Olympian gods, Jupiter installed his Ganymede as the divine cupbearer who pours out nectar-wine from the cup of eternal life.

This love affair between the Phrygian prince and the Father of the Gods is a divine parallel of the love between Antinous and Hadrian.

Ganymede is the emblem of the coming Age of Aquarius, when peace and love will rule the hearts of all men.

On this day, the beginning of the sign of Aquarius, we observe the deification of Antinous as having made union with the Thunderbird-Phoenix-Eagle, and having been elevated to reign among the immortals in the manner of Ganymede. And we pray for the hastening of the coming age.

Monday, January 21, 2013

ANCIENT ROMAN EYE-DROPS MEDICINE

FOUND IN SHIPWRECK


PILLS found in an ancient Roman shipwreck off the coast of Tuscany were used to create medicinal eye-drops, researchers at the University of Pisa say.

An analysis of ancient disks, 4 centimeters (1.5 inches) in diameter and one centimeter (0.4 in) thick, revealed a zinc-based composition that also included iron oxide, starch, beeswax, pine resin, a mix of animal and vegetable fats, flax fiber, coal, starch, grains and pollens, according to Italy's ANSA news agency.

The research, led by Erika Ribechini at the University of Pisa, will be published in the U.S. journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS).


The tablets were found on the Pozzini Shipwreck, which dates back to about 140-130 B.C. Since its discovery in 1974, the Pozzini Shipwreck has become an important font of archeological knowledge.

Only the central part of the vessel was conserved, which leaned from east to west. The ship carried Pergamon vases, amphorae from Rhodes for transporting wine, Ephesus lamps, and "oinoche" pitchers for pouring wine, which suggests that the ship ... or at least part of its cargo ... came from the Greek coasts.

Sunday, January 20, 2013

SAINT SEBASTIAN


ON January 20th the Religion of Antinous honors SAINT SEBASTIAN who, despite being a Christian martyr, has been identified by homosexuals of all beliefs over the centuries as a symbol of our persecution and suffering.

Sebastian was an officer in the Imperial Guard of Emperor Diocletian, and he was a Christian.

In 302 A.D. Diocletian subjected the Christians to a brutal persecution, and it was during this period that Sebastian was "outed" to the Emperor as a practicing Christian.

When asked to sacrifice before a pagan altar, Sebastian refused and was sentenced to death. He was tied to a column before Mauritanian archers, who shot him with arrows...but to no effect.

Sebastian was strengthened by his faith, and did not die. He was finally clubbed to death in front of Emperor.
 
Homosexuals over the centuries have looked to Sebastian as a patron saint. His manner of death, which is like an affliction of Eros, and the sight of the beautiful young soldier plumed with arrows, has moved our hearts over the ages more than all other Christian saints.

In the Middle Ages, he was said to have power over the plague. And during the Black Death, his popularity grew among the penitent flagellants.

His image was a favorite subject of homosexual artists during the Renaissance who were fascinated by the erotic charge of his death. 

During the early 19th Century he was taken up as the model for homosexual suffering and persecution, some writers even claiming that he was the young lover of Diocletian and that his martyrdom had a jealous, sexual subtext.

In our time, the power of St. Sebastian over the Plague has made him a spiritual force in the fight against AIDS. And so we recognize his sanctity as the patron saint of homosexuals and as a protector from our modern plague. 

We consecrate him to the Religion of Antinous and offer our own quivering-hearts as a target for his thousand arrows of love.

Saturday, January 19, 2013

MEXICAN ANTINOUS ARTIST FEATURED

AT US LATINO ART SHOW AND AUCTION



MEXICAN artist Enrique Estrada, known for his Antinous portraits, will be honored tonight in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania for his art, including his Antinous portrait "Cabeza dinámica de Antinoo" shown here.


That and other works by Enrique Estrada will be on display at the LATINO ART SHOW AND AUCTION in Harrisburg.

Estrada hails from Tapachula Chiapas, Mexico, and made his mark in Mexico City as a muralist and portraitist after his study at the National School of Plastic Arts, The Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México. He comes to Harrisburg courtesy of the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce of Central PA for the show.


The black-tie affair will be held in the Kunkel Gallery of Whitaker Center, and will feature works by Estrada as well as local Latino artists, as well as music by Ernesto Anaya, another UNAM graduate through the National School of Music. 

Anaya is a folk musician who celebrates both Mexican and Latin traditions of music, and his list of musical talents include singing, guitar, violin, viola, arrangement and composing.

The event will include both live and silent auctions as well as a wine and hors d'oeuvre reception.

IF YOU GO:

6-10 p.m. Saturday at Whitaker Center, 222 Market St., Harrisburg. Cost: $75.

Friday, January 18, 2013

EVEN ROMAN ARMY BRATS

STRUTTED THEIR STATUS AT HADRIAN'S WALL


EVEN on the farthest-flung frontiers of the ancient Roman Empire, the footwear made the man ­— and the kid.

Children and infants living at Hadrian-era Roman military bases wore shoes that revealed the kids' social status, according to new research presented at the annual meeting of the Archaeological Institute of America.

The teeny-tiny shoes, some sized for infants, not only reveal that families were part of Roman military life, but also show that children were dressed to match their parent's place in the social hierarchy, said study researcher Elizabeth Greene of the University of Western Ontario.


"The role of dress in expressing status was prominent even for children of the very youngest ages," Greene said.

Just as today's modern kid might rock a pair of shoes covered in their favorite superheroes, or that light up with every step, ancient Roman kids of well-off families wore more decorative shoes than their commoner contemporaries, Greene's research reveals.


Over 4,000 shoes have been found at Vindolanda, a Roman army fort in northern Britain that was occupied from the first to fourth centuries.

In every time period of the fort's operation, even the very early frontier days, children's shoes show up in crumbled domestic spaces, official military buildings and rubbish heaps, Greene said.

"We don't even have a period, not even Period 1, where we're free of children's shoes," she said.

The shoes show that families accompanied soldiers and had a role in military life, even from the earliest days of occupation, Greene said. What's more, their children were locked into their social class early on.


"Even the infant children of the prefect were held to the expectations of dress according to one's class," Greene said.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

SEVEN PRISTINE STATUES LINKED TO OVID

FOUND AT A PATRICIAN VILLA NEAR ROME


SEVEN Roman statues depicting one of the myths recounted by celebrated Latin poet Ovid have been unearthed in excellent condition during excavations at an ancient Patrician villa outside Rome.

"We had known for a while that there were suggestions of buried objects in the villa compound of
Marcus Valerius Messalla Corvinus," a rich Roman general who was patron to Ovid, said Elena Calandra, superintendent for archaeology in the Lazio region.


Messala cherished art and literature ... and longed for the return of the Roman republic ... but managed to survived the turmoil and political purges that ensued with the assassination of Julius Caesar and rise of Emperor Augustus. Messala walked a political tightrope for years and even was honored with a Triumph from Augustus ... before giving up all titles and famously saying, "I am disgusted with power!"

He had a fine house on the Palatine Hill in Rome, but the new find at his suburban villa sheds light on the non-political man who loved the arts.

"We carried out exploratory digs before authorising the full-scale evacuation, and found Messala's bathing pool with the seven statues at the bottom," she said.

Standing at two meters (over six feet), the statues are "in an excellent state of conservation," she added.

It is thought they may have fallen into the pool during an earthquake around 2,000 years ago.

They depict the myth of Niobe, who bore 14 children and boasted of her fertility to the goddess Leto, who had but two offspring of her own.

An enraged Leto sought revenge by having her children, Apollo and Artemis, kill Niobe's offspring, The devastated mother fled to the mountains where she turned to stone and wept for evermore.

The myth is recounted in Ovid's masterpiece, Metamorphoses -- but were Messala's statues inspired by the Latin poet's tale or did he base his story on the statues?

"We know that there were numerous representations of the myth in paintings and sculptures, in ancient Grece as well. Before leaning towards one hypothesis or another, we have to precisely date the statues -- a lengthy job," Calandra said.


Marcus Valerius Messalla Corvinus (64 BC – AD 8) was a Roman general, author and patron of literature and art.

Messalla Corvinus was educated partly at Athens, together with Horace and the younger Cicero. In early life he became attached to republican principles, which he never abandoned, although in later life he avoided offending Caesar Augustus by not mentioning them too openly.

In 43 BC he was proscribed, but managed to escape to the camp of Brutus and Cassius. After the Battle of Philippi (42 BC) he went over to Antony, but subsequently transferred his support to Octavian.

In 31 BC Messalla was appointed consul in place of Antony, and took part in the battle of Actium. He subsequently held commands in the East, and suppressed the revolted Aquitanians ... for this latter feat he celebrated a triumph in 27.

Messalla restored the road between Tusculum and Alba, and many handsome buildings were due to his initiative.

He moved that the title of pater patriae should be bestowed upon Augustus, and yet resigned the appointment of Prefect of the city after six days' tenure of office in 25 BC, because it was opposed to his ideas of constitutionalism. It may have been on this occasion that he uttered the phrase "I am disgusted with power".
 


Wednesday, January 16, 2013

ROME'S COLOSSEUM HAD VIVID COLORS

AND GRAPHIC SEX GRAFFITI



ROME's Colosseum originally was ablaze with vivid colors and racy graffiti, according to stunning new evidence revealed during much-needed restoration work.

Long regarded as a building clad only in white marble punctuated with red plaster tiles, the 2,000-year-old Flavian Amphitheater in fact featured richly anormented with art frescoes, vulgar sex scenes and generations of graffiti in niches and galleries.

"They've uncovered complex decorations, floral patterns in polychromatic glory, including azure, ochre, pink and green. We never expected to find such multi-hued decorations, a veritable riot of color," said Colosseum superintendent Rossella Rea.

There were blocks of red and black travertine stone and sections of azurite in the plasterwork, which on the vault probably depicted a skyscape or seascape.

Some peculiar images have come to light, including two apotropaic phalluses – probably dating from after the fire in 217 AD – which were supposed to ward off bad luck.


There are also graffiti messages in praise of the gladiators and their exploits featuring palm fronds, wreaths, sword points and arrows.

The colorful decoration was found in a mid-level tier of the arena, which is undergoing a $26.6 million cleaning and restoration.

The frescoes were found in a corridor currently closed to the public while archaeologists were working to restore an area between the second and third floor of the Colosseum, which has fallen into disrepair in recent years.

"We have also found graffiti dating back to the 17th century as well as the signatures of spectators and foreign visitors" who had come to watch the Colosseum's famed gladiatorial contests and mock sea battles, Rea said.

"We hope to be able to find other traces in this corridor but that depends on the funds available to continue with the restoration," she added.

The frescoes are located in an area covering several square feet in a corridor which is around sixty metres long, and should be open to the public by summer 2014, Rea said.

The Colosseum, which was completed in 80 AD by the Roman emperor Titus and is now one of the most visited sites in the world, is in a pitiful state.

Bits of stone, blackened by pollution, have fallen off in previous years, and some experts have voiced concern that the foundations are sinking, giving the amphitheatre a lean.

The number of visitors to the Colosseum, which measures 188 metres (620 feet) by 156 metres and is 48.5 metres high, has increased from a million to around six million a year over the past decade thanks mainly to the blockbuster film "Gladiator".

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

ANCIENT MONUMENTS BEING PILLAGED

AS EGYPT DESCENDS INTO UTTER CHAOS


EGYPT's Dahshur archaeological site, home of the first ever complete pyramid, is being plundered by vandals and thieves as the country descends into utter chaos amid radical Islamic calls for destruction of all "pagan idols."

Cairo's semi-official Al Ahram newspaper reported that vandalism and tomb-robbing is rife up and down the Nile Valley and listed a series of appalling break-ins and all out looting at archaeological sites.

"Today is the turn of Dahshur," the newspaper reported. "Inhabitants of Ezbet Dahshur invaded the archaeological zone adjacent to the Black Pyramid of King Amenemhat III with bulldozers and guns. They put their hands on the land and start digging a private cemetery on top of artefacts buried in sand. The area was a cemetery for ancient Egyptian nobles; a German excavation mission unearthed several funerary objects there."

Guards at the site confronted the invaders but their attempts to repell them failed due to lack of arms.

Dahshur is a royal necropolis located in the desert on the west bank of the Nile 40 km south of Cairo. It is known chiefly for several pyramids, including the "Bent Pyramid," the "Red Pyramid" and the "Black Pyramid" which are among the oldest, largest and best preserved in Egypt, built from 2613-2589 BC.


Nasser Ramadan, director general of Dahshur archaeological site, told Ahram Online that he and his team reported the incident to the police but they failed to intervene. 

Even the minister of state for antiquities failed to take any steps to stop the encroachment.

Ramadan added that Dahshur has been the target of thugs and vandals repeatedly since last year's January 25 Revolution due to a lack of security, but it was never like this before.

People also dig the sand in search of artefacts, which are sold on the black market, he said.

“Our heritage is in danger and nobody is rescuing it,” Ramadan pointed out, calling on all concerned authorities to move to save and protect Egypt’s ancient heritage.

Minister of State for Antiquities Mohamed Ibrahim expressed regret that the Tourism and Antiquities Police has insufficient forces to remove any encroachments on archaeological sites. What complicates the situation is that the invaders are armed.

"We will study a new mechanism to compel people not to encroach upon the archaeological area," he said.

Dahshur is a royal necropolis located in the desert on the west bank of the Nile almost 40 kilometres south of Cairo. It is known for its several pyramids, two of which belong to King Senefru, the founder of the 4th Dynasty and father of King Khufu, along with other pyramids and tombs of the Middle Kingdom, including the Black Pyramid of Amenemhat III and the White Pyramid of Amenemhat II.


Last year Cairo's Egyptian Museum was looted and priceless artefacts were broken or stolen. The extent of the looting is unknown.

When Zawi Hawass attempted to hold a news conference to announce the looting, he was unceremoniously fired from his post as head of antiquities. 

In recent weeks, Egyptian authorities have stepped up security measures to protect the Sphinx and the other great pyramids of Giza after a radical jihadist leader broadcasted on an Egyptian TV station that he hoped to destroy the marvels.

"The idols and statutes that fill Egypt must be destroyed," al-Gohary said. "Moslems are tasked with applying the teachings of Islam and removing these idols, just like we did in Afghanistan when we smashed the Buddha statues."

In 2001, the Taliban, along with al-Gohary's assistance, blew up a number of large Buddha depictions and smashed other art in Afghanistan to erase memories of the country's Buddhist history.
 

Monday, January 14, 2013

ROMAN ANTIKYTHERA SHIPWRECK

YIELDS EVEN MORE SECRETS FROM THE DEEP



MARINE archaeologists report they have uncovered new secrets of an ancient Roman shipwreck famed for yielding an amazingly sophisticated astronomical calculator the "Antikythera Mechanism" for casting horoscopes.

An international survey team says the ship is twice as long as originally thought and contains many more calcified objects amid the ship's lost cargo that hint at new discoveries.

At the Archaeological Institute of America meeting in Seattle, marine archaeologist Brendan Foley of the Woods Hole (Mass.) Oceanographic Institution, will report on the first survey of Greece's famed Antikythera island shipwreck since 1976. The ancient Roman shipwreck was lost off the Greek coast around 67 BC, filled with statues and the famed astronomical clock.

"The ship was huge for ancient times," Foley says. "Divers a century ago just couldn't conduct this kind of survey but we were surprised when we realized how big it was."

Completed in October by a small team of divers, the survey traversed the island and the wreck site, perched on a steep undersea slope some 150 to 230 feet deep in the Mediterranean Sea.

The October survey shows the ship was more than 160 feet long, twice as long as expected. Salvaged by the Greek navy and skin divers in 1901, its stern perched too deep for its original skin-diver discoverers to find.

The wreck is best known for yielding a bronze astronomical calculator, the "Antikythera Mechanism" widely seen as the most complex device known from antiquity, along with dozens of marble and bronze statues. 


The mechanism apparently used 37 gear wheels, a technology reinvented a millennium later, to create a lunar calendar and predict the motion of the planets, which was important knowledge for casting horoscopes and planning festivals in the ancient world.

A lead anchor recovered in a stowed position in the new survey shows that the ship likely sank unexpectedly when "a storm blew it against an underwater cliff," says marine archaeologist Theotokis Theodoulou of Greece's Ephorate (Department) of Underwater Antiquities. "It seems to have settled facing backwards with its stern (rear) at the deepest point," he says.