TONIGHT modern-day priests of Antinous around the world are conferring via Skype to carry out rituals commemorating the Sacred Boar Hunt.
In our Liturgical Calendar, this is when Hadrian and Antinous arrive at the sacred city of Bithynium/Claudiopolis, the home of Antinous, in the late spring of the year 129 AD.
Imagine the jubilant welcome they must have received as the city's populace turned out en masse (including all of the extended family and acquaintances of Antinous) to see the imperial entourage with Hadrian and Antinous at the forefront.
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 above shows Hadrian and Antinous (looking backwards) during the Sacred Boar Hunt, immortalized on the Arch of Constantine in Rome.
Flamen Antonius 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. It is the midpoint of the Antinoine year, in direct opposition to the Death of Antinous in October.
"The Sacred Boar Hunt represents the pinnacle of the life of Antinous."