Monday, November 30, 2015


A stunning new exhibition at the British Museum will enable you to see some colossal statues and other treasures that Antinous saw in coastal Egypt ... before they vanished beneath the sea in quake-spawned tsunamis. 

Some 300 outstanding objects will be brought together in the blockbuster exhibition SUNKEN CITIES which opens 19 May 2016 at the British Museum in London and which ends on 27 November 2016 ... the birthday of Antinous.

The exhibition features objects from the British Museum's own collection plus spectacular artefacts brought to the surface over the past 20 years by marine archaeologist Franck Goddio off the coast of Alexandria and also at two nearby cities famed as resorts in ancient times.

Vanished beneath the Mediterranean for 1,000 years, the fabled "Lost Cities" of Canopus and HERAKLEION (Heracleion) once lay at the mouth of the Nile. 

Goddio and his divers found those lost cities in 2000.

It is intriguing to think that Antinous may have gazed on those treasures when he and Hadrian visited Egypt in 130 AD.

Since first discovering the Alexandria treasures, Monsieur Goddio has gone on to trawl the waters a few kilometres east of Alexandria in hopes of discovering

Goddio's exhibition of "Egypt's Sunken Treasures" has traveled the world and the British Museum is supplementing the show with a selection of its own objects.

The exhibition also showcases ongoing research ... the most recently excavated objects were found only in 2012!
The discoveries are transforming our understanding of the ancient civilizations of Greece and Egypt.

It brings many objects to Britain for the first time, including statues and jewelry.

The exhibition is the first public viewing of newly discovered Canopus/Herakleion treasures since the two cities vanished below the waves in a series of floods and earthquakes, finally disappearing completely in the late 7th Century AD.

By that time, Egyptian priests had retreated to Canopus/Herakleion and advancing Muslims were sweeping across the land. Thus the exhibition offers a sort of time capsule of the waning days of paganism when the "barbarians" literally stood at the gates.

There are many statues, mostly fragmentary ones minus heads and limbs. 

But by far the most impressive statues are three virtually intact monumental figures of Isis, Amun and the Nile inundation deity Hapi which stand 5.5 meters (nearly 20 feet) tall.

The figure on the right of Hapi is particularly remarkable because it is the world's only large and intact statue of this hermaphrodite deity.

Two modern-day priests of Antinous saw this statue of Hapi in all its magnificence at an exhibition in Germany in 2007 where the two priests placed flowers at the base of the statue and said prayers. 

Hapi, with narrow male hips and strong thighs, but with pendulous female breasts, with long Isis-like hair, but with a chinbeard and with a tall headdress of lotus and papyrus plants on his/her head, holds forth a sacrificial platter.

Presumably, the ancient priests would heap foodstuffs onto that platter on a daily basis, or at least on special feast days ... just as the two modern-day priests did before the statue at the exhibition in Germany.

When Antinous and Hadrian were there, the Nile had failed to flood sufficiently in the summer of the year 130 and there were great concerns that Egypt, the "bread basket" of the Roman empire, would not be able to supply enough food for the coming season.

That makes this particular statue of Hapi even more significant. Throughout Egypt, throughout the empire, all eyes were on Hadrian to intercede with Hapi to avert famine and hunger-induced rioting.

These three statues flanked the portals of the main temple in Herakleion and Hadrian and Antinous must have seen this magnificent statue of the Nile flood deity Hapi ... the first miracle attributed to Antinous after his deification only a few months later was the end of the drought with the help of Hapi.

Was there a link between the looming flood disaster and Hadrian's flagging powers? As Lambert writes: "The link, if any, was in Antinous' mind."

Sunday, November 29, 2015



And many people are aware that there is also an ANTINOUS ASTEROID and even a few people have heard of the ANTINOUS CRATER.

But very few people have heard of the ANTINOUS SPIDER, a gigantic, bright blue tarantula ... as large as your face ... which devours birds in South America.

Now scientists have discovered the secrets of why blue tarantulas are blue ... and that discovery may help humans make better wide-angle digital displays.

A team of scientists reported this week in Science Advances that blue coloration appears in 40 species of tarantulas in the Antinous tarantula, among the most ancient of spiders. 

Spider specialists don’t expect that the coloring wows females, because the eyes of tarantulas probably can’t tell blue from other colors.

It's possible that tarantulas use this color to signal to prey or predators instead, but that's still a mystery.

Perhaps Antinous tarantulas are blue in order to make them irresistible  to the birds they devour!

The Pamphobeteus antinous is native to the rain forests of Peru, Brazil and Bolivia and is known for its ferocity and for its consumption of small birds and other hapless creatures asleep and defenseless when it prowls at night. 

It runs and pounces very fast and surprises its prey unawares. It has no fear of humans and charges at people, hurling venomous hairs from its bristly legs and body. 

It was named after Antinous because of its beautiful iridescent coloring and its breathtaking size. Its leg span is as big around as a man's hand with outstretched fingers. For arachnid collectors, the Antinous truly is the most spectacular spider, living up to its name.

For us Antinoians, the Spider of Antinous is more than just a zoological specimen, just as the Red Lotus of Antinous and the Star of Antinous are more than just botanical or astronomical items. All three figure prominently in the belief system of this new/old religion.

The three ... the Flower, the Spider and the Star ... represent the three stages of initiation into the worship of Antinous which Antonyus has spelled out in the ECCLESIA ANTINOI Charter.

Priest Hernestus holds a "petite" female Antinous spider who is not as blue as the enormous males.

The Flowers of Antinous are the many people who join the group with an avid interest in Antinous and who draw artistic and intellectual inspiration from him, but who don't necessarily believe in his divinity. 

That doesn't make them any less beautiful or precious, for without them, there is no religion of Antinous.

But there are deeper and far darker secrets for those who become ensnared in the web of the Spider of Antinous. They are those of you who have stated your heart-felt belief in Antinous the God and who have applied for citizenship in the Sacred City of Antinoopolis. 

You have put yourself in his web. You believe in him and are awe-struck by him. And as you lie there in his web, perhaps unsure or even a bit fearful about what comes next, you look up and see your final destination shining darkly in the black nighttime sky. 

You see the Star of Antinous which is your own ultimate self. Becoming one with Antinous ... HOMOTHEOSIS ... becoming aware of your true sacred nature.

ANTONIUS SUBIA expresses it very beautifully:

There are many Flowers of Antinous, and of these, many, when they become aware of Antinous Consciousness, if I may use such a term to describe his touch, or the burning of his flame, are immediately ensnared in the confusion of the web of the Spider of Antinous. But few are they who have found the power of the Liberator, who restores the fragrance of the Flower and opens its petals to the unseen light of the Star.  I would say that those who have found their way back...return with new to see the light that vanished from the sky...which is why I call the Holy Star of Antinous the Black Star.

So when we ponder this awesome blue spider ... "awesome" in the original sense of the word "scary" ... we think of the spiritual road upon which all of us have embarked. 

From the spiritual blossoming of the Flower of Antinous to the ravenous spiritual hunger of the Spider of Antinous to the heavenly spiritual shining of the Star of Antinous.

On January 29th the Religion of Antinous celebrates the discovery in 131 AD of THE STAR OF ANTINOUS by Emperor Hadrian and his house stargazers.

That discovery marks the visible ascendance of the Beloved Boy into the celestial firmament ... for all of us on Earth to see ... whether we live in a big city or in a village in the Brazilian rain forest.

Saturday, November 28, 2015


IN what could be the biggest archaeological discovery of the 21st Century, experts announced Saturday that scans prove there truly are chambers or passageways hidden behind secret doors in Tutankhamun's Tomb.

The announcement follows three days of high-tech infrared scans. 

Dr Nicholas Reeves, who believes NEFERTITI could be buried in those secret chambers, says the findings appear to support his theory.

"Obviously it's an entrance to something," the radar expert said, "It’s very deep."

In a news conference Saturday, fittingly held at Howard Carter's Rest House on Luxor's West Bank, the Minister of Antiquities, Dr. Mamdouh El-Damaty, made the big announcement.

The radar scans of Tutankhamun's Burial Chamber have revealed that there is a large void behind what we now know is a false wall in Tutankhamun's Burial Chamber.

The radar scans revealed that the transition from solid bedrock to masonry is stark. 

There is a straight, vertical line - the line that Nicholas Reeves first spotted earlier this year on high-definition scans of the tomb wall.

It strongly suggests that the antechamber continues through the burial chamber as a corridor.

Reeves believes that what looks like a solid, painted wall, is actually a ruse designed to foil tomb robbers. 

A number of other tombs in the Valley of the Kings used the same device. Tutankhamun's seems to be the only one that worked.

So what's next?

The Minister of Antiquities suggests that the next step is to drill as small hole in the wall of the side room known as theTreasury. 

It adjoins the "void" behind the wall in the Burial Chamber.

And, importantly, it has no painted decoration that could be damaged.

If a camera reveals artefacts within the chamber behind the wall, then a tunnel starting from the Treasury might be the best bet.

But for now, let's congratulate Dr. Nicholas Reeves for the results so far. He spotted something that ancient thieves, Howard Carter, and hundreds of scientists since missed - the outline of a hidden doorway in Tutankhamun's tomb.


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.

Friday, November 27, 2015

By Flamen Antinoalis Antonius Subia

Today is the Birthday of Antinous 
May He bless us all with his coming
May he rise up inside us and be reborn,
In our Darkest moments, when hope seems far
And Purpose seems faded
When the end seems closer than the beginning
May he rise up from the deep
Ave Antinous, who was born on this day
Ave Antinous, of the Pine Forest
Ave Antinous, son of Venus 
Ave Antinous, destiny of the gods
The Child Antinous is with us Again



ANTINOUS was born on this day, November 27th in the year 111 AD — 1,904 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!

Thursday, November 26, 2015


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.

Wednesday, November 25, 2015


ON 25 November 1610 French astronomer Nicolas-Claude Fabri de Peiresc (Peiresc) discovered the Orion Nebula and coined the term "nebula". 

The Ancient Egyptians equated Orion with Osiris ... the rise of the Orion Constellation and dog star Sirius coincided with the Nile Inundation ... symbolized by Osiris rising from the dead. 

Like Osiris, Antinous died in the Nile and rose to divinity. The first miracle of Antinous was the bountiful Nile Inundation in 131 AD which ended a long drought ... bringing life from death.

Tuesday, November 24, 2015


ON November 24th the Religion of Antinous celebrates the outrageous life of St. Freddie Mercury.

St. Freddie Mercury whose death from AIDS on this date in 1991 shocked the world, was a courageous performer whose gayness, while not always stated, was a visible part of his persona. He served as an inspiration for millions of gay men, particularly those who, like him, fight ethnic prejudice every day of their lives.

St. Freddie, who was of Indian Parsi descent, and who was born on the island of Zanzibar and grew up in India, has been referred to as "Britain's first Asian rock star."

Like all great showbiz artists, St. Freddie was acutely aware of his public image and went to great lengths to cultivate the persona of Freddie Mercury -- and to hide any trace of the little Parsi boy named Farrokh Bulsara. Freddie Mercury -- or rather the showbiz image called Freddie Mercury -- was beyond all definitions of ethnic origin, or sexual orientation or political affiliation. Not surprisingly, many people were confused and sometimes irritated by the image.

People criticized him for "hiding" his ethnic background. But as a friend told an interviewer after Freddie's death, "[Farrokh] Bulsara was a name he had buried. 

He never wanted to talk about any period in his life before he became Freddie Mercury, and everything about Freddie Mercury was a self-constructed thing."

People also criticized him for not "coming out" publicly. But again, Freddie Mercury (the showbiz image) was beyond gender limitations. 

In fact, Mercury referred to himself as "gay" in a 1974 interview with NME magazine. He was frequently spotted at the cruisiest gay bars across Europe, the UK and America. On the other hand, he would often distance himself from partner Jim Hutton during public events in the 1980s.

Freddie Mercury (the rock icon) was too big to be contained in one gender mold.

He was diagnosed with HIV in 1987. Everyone knew he was sick and everyone surmised the reason. But Freddie Mercury (the image) could never die.

And so it was, that Freddie Mercury never acknowledged his illness until November 23, 1991, when a tersely worded statement was issued announcing that he had AIDS.

A few hours later, he was dead. At the age of 45.

Although he cultivated a very flamboyant stage personality, several sources (including people of my own acquaintance who knew him "intimately") refer to Mercury as having been very shy in person. He also granted very few interviews. Mercury once said of himself: "When I'm performing I'm an extrovert, yet inside I'm a completely different man."

One man was an Indian Parsi kid called Farrokh Bulsara who had been born in Zanzibar.

The other man was FREDDIE MERCURY:

Farrokh Bulsara died on November 24, 1991.

Freddie Mercury will live forever.

The Religion of Antinous honors Freddie Mercury as a Saint of Antinous because he embodies the artistic genius and the flamboyant courage that inspires each of us to strive to be a "star". St. Freddie Mercury admonishes us to strip off the guise of conventionality and the put on our "star" outfits and to take the stage of life. He teaches us to live each day as if it is forever.

Monday, November 23, 2015


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. 

Our brothers and sisters at the Fundación Epithimia Antinoo in Mexico are busy making final preparations for an Antinous birthday fiesta. 

For worshipers at the Templo de Antinoo México Temple of Antinous in Mexico City, the fiesta requires weeks or even months of preparation because the papier-mâché icons are created by artist Yanko Garibaldi ... each a work of art. Caricaturis Sirius has also created iconic images of the Martyrs and Saints of Antinous.

Other images on this page offer inspiration for Antinous Birthday festivities. 

At left is "Das Gastmahl" (The Symposion Feast) by Anton von Werner (1877) - preliminary color sketch as part of a series of wall murals on the theme of "Roman Life" for the Café Bauer (53 x 89 cm) (Privately Owned).

Images below are courtesy of the gifted artist FELIX D'EON and serve as an inspiration for Antinous Birthday festivities in the open air ... in the Southern Hemisphere, where the jacarandas are in bloom and summer will soon be here.

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" 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 even in 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 appropriate, since the Ancient Egyptians were brewing beer thousands of years before Antinous was born.

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. You can never have enough mistletoe ... as these two 1928 vendors in Paris show.

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!

Sunday, November 22, 2015


TONIGHT, November 22,  is one of the festivals of Diana goddess of the Moon and hunting. 

She is goddess of wild places and wild animals and the protector of young women, pregnant women and those giving birth. 

Diana is the twin sister of Apollo. 

As Antinous is often assimilated to Apollo, he therefore substitutes as the twin of Diana, though he can often be viewed as her male double, so that Antinous is Diana. 

Antinous and Diana are both hunters, and moon deities, and they are also gods of magic and darkness. 

Diana is often compared to Hecate, the supreme goddess of Theurgian magicians, who rose to prominence during the reign of Marcus Aurelius. 

Antinous therefore is the male equivalent of Hecate. 

ANTONIUS SUBIA says: "We pray to Diana to guide us in our hunt and to illuminate our nights with the silver light of her sublime power. We recognize that the Moon of Diana is the Moon of Antinous."

Saturday, November 21, 2015


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

He became a gay icon in the 1970s after publication of his memoir, The Naked Civil Servant, his true-life account of 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."

Friday, November 20, 2015


ON November 20th we honor a modern-day mortal whose loving support has been instrumental in establishing the Religion of Antinous in the 21st Century.

Klaus Witzeling, born on this day in 1944, spearheaded the effort to expand our religion from North America back to its roots in Europe.

Born in Graz, Austria, he was trained as an actor at the famed Max Reinhardt Institute in Vienna before moving to Hamburg, Germany, where he become a well-known drama and dance critic.

His open gayness and his tireless efforts to promote new talent were instrumental in the resurgence of modern dance and independent theatrical groups in the German-speaking world over the past 30 years.

He was known for his fair and unbiased critiques. And he was especially noted for promoting obscure dance troupes and unknown actors. His insistent emphasis on furthering new talent helped to make stars out of actors and dancers who otherwise might never have become well known.

Modest to the point of introversion, he wanted no funeral services or wake. But following his death on September 29th, 2013, scores of theatrical directors, actors, dancers, agents and fellow journalists spontaneously organized a gala evening at a theatre in Hamburg in his honor.

As a Blessed of Antinous, Klaus intercedes on behalf of those in the performing arts who know the angst of standing in the wings ... waiting for their cue to go out on stage. We offer this prayer to Antinous for Klaus to intercede on their behalf:

May Klaus Witzeling have the gift of unlimited 
Antinous heka magic ...

May he have the gift of unlimited Semen of the First God ...

That he intercedes for those who dedicate their lives 

To the performing arts

That they stride onto the stage of life

With confidence and audacity

That they generously open their hearts

To the Homotheosis of Antinous

Living it in the midst of the challenges

And demands of their calling

As a spotlight on the dark stage of mortal existence

Shining as a beacon for those sitting in the darkness

That they might also fulfill their gay spiritual potential

Through Antinous the Gay God

Thursday, November 19, 2015


TODAY November 19 is WORLD TOILET DAY and we are flushed with pride to have kept you on the edge of your seats for two years with headlines on what's new in ancient toilets.

We were the first to report the discovery by Philippe Charlier, a Parisian forensic expert, that Ancient Greek ceramic discs which hitherto had been thought to be gaming pieces may actually have been used as a form of ANCIENT TOILET PAPER.

Charlier (pictured here) 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.

This blog also was among the first to report on the discovery of the world's oldest WOODEN TOILET SEAT (top of entry) in September 2014 at Vindolanda Roman Fort near Hadrian's Wall in northern England.

The Vindolanda experts also unearthed a WRITING TABLET (shown here) believed to be from 105-120 AD. The tablet was found just 12 inches (30 cm) from the wooden toilet seat. 

The tablet is one of 12 found at Vindolanda this year and one of seven found from the same building level.

Andrew Birley, head of the dig, stated he was "looking forward" to reading the tablet's text.

The site, near Hexham, has earlier revealed gold and silver coins and other artefacts of the Roman army.

Dr Birley stated : "If we are really lucky the person using the seat will have had verbal diarrhoea and we will be able to get their personal thoughts regarding life 1,900 years ago."

The Romans used wooden tablets covered with a layer of wax for writing. They would scratch words into the wax using a stylus.

Wednesday, November 18, 2015


IN Roman Egypt, 14-year-old boys were enrolled in a youth organization in order to learn to be good citizens, according to a new study into a field that has never properly been studied until now … boyhood in Roman-ruled Egypt.

The researchers from the University of Oslo and Britain's University of Newcastle, have unearthed papyrus documents from the 5th Century AD from OXYRHYNCHUS Egypt. 

(Image: Head of a 2nd Century AD Roman-era boy with Egyptian-style "Sidelock of Horus" in Oslo Museum of Cultural History)

The documents shed new light into boyhood in Egypt in the heyday of Antinoopolis, which was located only a short distance from Oxyrhynchus (also spelled Oxyrhynchos).

Only boys born to free-born citizens were entitled to be members of the town's youth organization, which was called a "gymnasium." These boys were the children of local Egyptians, Greeks and Romans. 

Their families would necessarily have been quite prosperous, and have had an income that placed them in the "12 drachma tax class." 

It is uncertain how large a proportion of the population would have qualified, probably somewhere between 10 and 25 per cent, says social historian and historian of ideas Ville Vuolanto.

Girls were not enrolled as members of the gymnasium, but are often mentioned in the administrative documents as being the boys' siblings. This may have had to do with family status or tax class. Both girls and women could own property, but in principle they had to have a male guardian.

For boys from well-off families of the free-born citizen class, the transition to adult life started with enrollment in the 'gymnasium'.

Other boys started working before reaching their teens, and might serve an apprenticeship of two to four years. 

(Illustration by Roger Payne)

The researchers have found about 20 apprenticeship contracts in Oxyrhynchus, most of them relating to the weaving industry since Oxyrhynchus was a major weaving center in Egypt. 

Males were not reckoned to be fully adults until they married in their early twenties.

Slave children could also become apprentices, and their contracts were of the same type as for the boys of free-born citizens. Slaves lived either with their owners or in the same house as their master, while free-born children generally lived with their parents.

But life was different for slave children nonetheless. Vuolanto says they have found documents to show that children as young as two were sold and separated from their parents.

(Image: Boys learning to write)

In one letter, a man encourages his brother to sell the youngest slave children, and some wine ... whereas his nephews should be spoiled. He writes "…I am sending you some melon seeds and two bundles of old clothes, which you can share with your children."

Little is known about the lives of children until they turn up in official documents, which is usually not before they are in their early teens. 

It seems that children began doing light work between the ages of seven and nine. Typically, they might have been set to work as goatherds or to collect wood or dry animal dung for fuel.

There were probably a good number of children who did not live with their biological parents, because the mortality rate was high.

"It's like putting together a jigsaw puzzle. By examining papyri, pottery fragments with writing on, toys and other objects, we are trying to form a picture of how children lived in Roman Egypt," explains Vuolanto.

The documents originate from Oxyrhynchus in Egypt, which was a large town of more than 25,000 inhabitants. 

(Image: Mummy-face portrait of a young boy from Antinoopolis)

Oxyrhynchus was so important that Antinous and Hadrian visited the city only a few days before Antinous died in the Nile in 130 AD.

The city had Egypt's most important weaving industry, and was also the Roman administrative centre for the area.

Researchers possess a great deal of documentation precisely from this area because archaeologists digging one hundred years ago discovered thousands of papyri in what had once been the city's rubbish dumps.

Tuesday, November 17, 2015


WE are proud to consecrate Quintus Aurelius Symmachus as a Venerable Saint of Antinous for his unyielding efforts to uphold the Religion of Antinous in the face of Christian opposition.

A Roman statesman, orator, and man of letters who lived 345 – 402 AD, he held the offices of governor of proconsular Africa in 373, urban prefect of Rome in 384 and 385, and consul in 391.

Symmachus sought to preserve the traditional religions of Rome at a time when the aristocracy was converting to Christianity, and led an unsuccessful delegation of protest against Gratian, when he ordered the Altar of Victory removed from the curia, the principal meeting place of the Roman Senate in the Forum Romanum.

Two years later he made a famous appeal to Gratian's successor, Valentinian II, in a dispatch that was rebutted by Ambrose, the bishop of Milan.

Symmachus's career was temporarily derailed when he supported the short-lived usurper Magnus Maximus, but he was rehabilitated and three years later appointed consul.

Much of his writing has survived: nine books of letters, a collection of Relationes or official dispatches, and fragments of various orations.

Antonius Subia says:

In an age when almost all other Roman Nobility were turning away from our ancient Religion, this gentleman stood strong and faithful and was a voice of dissent against the tidal wave of Christianity that was enveloping the Roman world.  This was the time when the Ancient Religion of Antinous was finally suppressed and destroyed.  We can be sure that this Great Noble Roman was one of the last champions and defenders of our God.

The portrait above shows the Apotheosis of Symmachus ... a relief depicting Symmachus being carried up to the realm of the gods by two divine figures as though he were being deified.  The Zodiac figures may indicate that his Deification took place around the Winter Solstice.

Monday, November 16, 2015


THE exquisite Lansdowne bust of Antinous has been singled out as one of the five must-see ancient sculptures of Classical art in Britain by that nation's most prestigious art charity.

The announcement was made today by THE ART FUND, which is an independent membership-based British charity that raises funds to aid the acquisition of artworks for Britain.

"Britain is home to some spectacular ancient sculptures, from Roman bronzes that inspired Hollywood films to ancient Greek statues. We've chosen five of our favourite works to see across the UK," the charity announcement said.

The Lansdowne bust originally came from Hadrian's Villa  and is a marble head of Antinous depicted as the god Dionysus, the closest Greek equivalent to the Egyptian god Osiris. 

It was  unearthed in 1769 during excavations undertook by the art dealer and archaeologist Gavin Hamilton who secured it for Lord Lansdowne, who was an avid collector of antiquities and owned a fine collection of classical sculpture until most of it was sold and dispersed in 1930 (including the Lansdowne Amazon and the Lansdowne Hercules). 

Today the Lansdowne Antinous graces the “Greece and Rome” room of the Fitzwilliam Museum in Cambridge, England.

This portrait head of Antinous was once part of an over life-size statue showing Antinous as the Greek god of wine, Dionysus. 

As was custom of the period, the missing pieces on the Lansdowne Antinous were restored in the 18th Century and the head was mounted on a modern bust. The facial restoration included the tip of the nose, the upper lip, part of the ears and part of the chin.

Through the elaborate and luxuriant hair runs a wreath of ivy, very much undercut, so that the several leaves are almost detached. The head is also bound with a broad "taenia," a  ribbon for the hair which passes across the forehead.

Here is the Art Fund's full list of the five must-see world of Classical art in Britain with the fund's explanations:

1. Bust of Antinous as Dionysos, about AD 130–158
Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge
Around 2000 years ago, a young man of humble Middle Eastern origins died and was worshipped as a god. The man wasn't Jesus, but Antinous – the companion and lover of the Roman Emperor Hadrian. Antinous drowned tragically in the River Nile when he was 18 years old, leaving Hadrian distraught. Shortly after Antinous's death, Hadrian declared that his lover had been reborn as a god, and established a cult that lasted hundreds of years.

This bronze portrait of Marcus Aurelius was discovered in a field near Barckley, Northamptonshire, in the 1970s. The valley where it was found had been the location of several significant Roman villas, but despite the clear influence of images of the emperor made in Rome, there are features that suggest this sculpture was made in Britain or Gaul. The portrait's striking blue eyes – bronze inlaid with cobalt-coloured glass – is unexpected in Roman portraiture, as are the conical coils of beard projecting from the chin. It was acquired with Art Fund support in 2011.

3. The Strangford Apollo, about 500–490 BC
British Museum, London
Known as the Strangford Apollo after its former owner Viscount Strangford, this statue shows a youth standing in the 'kouros' pose. Kouros were marble statues of men produced in Greek from 600 to 480 BC, ranging in scale from miniatures to colossi. This smaller-than-lifesize example depicts a youth with long hair, braided around the back and with a formal arrangement of curls at the front. It dates to the end of the Archaic period, where the smiles that had been prolific in sculpture were replaced by solemn pouts.

4. Portrait bust of the Empress Livia, 1st century BC
World Museum, Liverpool
Livia was wife of Augustus, founder of the Roman empire and its first emperor. This sculpture, which was created by a contemporary of Livia's, depicts her as a young woman. Livia's son Tiberius, a child from her earlier marriage to Tiberius Claudius Nero, became emperor following Augustus's death. (According to Tacitus, there were rumours that Livia murdered Augustus with poisoned figs, but that may have been a fabrication.) This sculpture was acquired by the World Museum in Liverpool with support from the Art Fund in 1988.

5. Figure of an Eagle, 2nd century AD
Reading Museum
While this statue has been separated from its wings and the globe it was believed to perch on top of, it was nevertheless hailed by JG Joyce as 'the most superbly naturalistic rendering of any bird or beast as yet yielded by Roman Britain'. It was discovered at the Roman town of Calleva Atrebatum near Silchester, Reading, which was a regional capital following the Roman invasion. The belief that the eagle had been torn from a military standard inspired Rosemary Sutcliffe's novel The Eagle of the Ninth, which tells the story of a Roman officer's search for the lost sculpture. It was acquired thanks to an Art Fund grant in 1980.