Thursday, April 30, 2015

YOU'VE HEARD OF BELTANE AND MAY EVE
BUT WALPURGIS IS INCREASINGLY POPULAR



YOU all know about Beltane and May Eve, but few people today still remember Walpurgis Night ... which is still celebrated on a mountain top in central Germany. 

Up to 150,000 witches, pagans and the simply curious are converging for May Eve revelries on the summit of the highest peak in the Harz Mountains in central Germany Thursday night for the four-day May Day holiday weekend.

Children in spooky costumes will participate in parades and street fairs in villages on the slopes of the Brocken, the mountain immortalised in Alexander Borodin's "Night on Bald Mountain" orchestral suite.

Bonfires will light the nighttime skies on mountain tops in the Harz region as local communities held their own May Day Eve festivals marking the end of winter and the coming of summer.


In the town of Schierke, a four-hour Walpurgis Night open-air play is being held, tracing the history of the persecution of witches, with players performing writhing modern dances to Medieval music.

The day of the Saint Walburga is celebrated on May 1. 

But the night before, April 30 or May Day Eve (Beltane Eve), is called Walpurgis Night, formerly the date of the pagan festival marking the end of winter. 

Of course, its autumnal counterpart, six months later on October 31, is Halloween, Samhain.

Walpurgis Night is celebrated from the Mediterranean up to Scandinavia, but no where as much as in the forested mountains of central Germany where so many Brothers Grimm fairy tales are set.

According to Germanic legend, this festival has been associated with a witches' carnival, and on this night it was believed that witches met with the devil for one final night of revelry before being consigned to the underworld until they emerge again exactly six months later on October 31 ... Halloween.

The Harz Mountains region is the location of many German fairy tales featuring witches and goblins and the Brocken is the highest Harz peak at 1,142 metres.

For 40 years, the region was split down the middle by the fortified border between East and West Germany. 


But in the 25 years since unification in 1990, the region has regained its title as one of the most romantic fairy-tale areas ... and spookiest.

The mountain also features in the drama "Faust" about an alchemist nobleman who sells his soul to the devil … on Walpurgis Night.

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

THE MANY FACES
OF ANTINOUS THE GAY GOD


BY ALICIA 7777777



Emperor Hadrian commissioned thousands of statues of his Beloved Antinous, showing HIM in the guise of many deities and heroes. This sublime video morphing montage shows some of the many faces
of ANTINOUS THE GAY GOD





Antinous - Face Morph from Alicia7777777 on Vimeo.

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

EMPEROR HADRIAN'S ATHENAEUM
WAS WHERE ANTINOUS WENT TO SCHOOL



THIS is probably where Antinous went to school after Emperor Hadrian brought him to Rome … the first university west of Athens ... Hadrian's Athenaeum, modeled on the original school in Athens.

The ruins were unearthed in 2009 by archaeologists excavating at the Piazza Venezia, just across the street from the colossal Victor Emmanuel Monument. Experts spent the next three years working the site.


During that time they discovered that it was far more than just a school.

It was a veritable CULTURAL CENTRE for the performing arts which included a 900-seat auditorium suitable for poetry readings, recitals and other artistic entertainment that reflected Hadrian's refined tastes.

The location came as something of a surprise since Hadrian's Athenaeum traditionally was believed to have been located on the Capitoline Hill. 

The ruins are located below the hill on the fringes of the Forum.

The experts say they are convinced this must be the site of the Athenaeum because the ruins appear to be those of a large auditorium-style lecture hall which could have accommodated hundreds of students.

They uncovered twin monumental staircases of six steps each which were buried under debris that was the result of the collapse of upper floors of the building, probably during an earthquake in the Middle Ages.

Each of the staircases ... with wide, shallow, deep steps ... are on opposite ends of a rectangular room with granite and yellow marble paving. Experts believe the "stairs" were actually lecture hall seating.

Little is known of the details of study at the Athenaeum, but some literary sources suggest that young men from all parts of the Roman Empire, after finishing their usual school and college studies in their own town or province, came to Rome for higher education.

In keeping with his dream of creating an empire based on Hellenistic principles of beauty, tolerance and learning, Hadrian established the Athenaeum in 123 AD for the promotion of Classical Liberal Arts studies.

It set the standards for subsequent schools of higher learning in Western Europe. Royston Lambert, in his biography of Antinous BELOVED AND GOD, calls the Athenaeum "the first university in the West."

Monday, April 27, 2015

CHECK OUT THESE GORGEOUS IMAGES
OF ANTINOUS FROM AN ADMIRER




WE love it when people who love Antinous send us unsolicited stories, poems and art. These images were created by our Twitter follower @Son_of_Sekhmet in the Netherlands.




Sunday, April 26, 2015

HAPPY BIRTHDAY, MARCUS AURELIUS


ON April 26th the Religion of Antinous joyously celebrates the birth of one of the wisest rulers in history, a man hand-picked by the Divine Hadrian personally to become Emperor of Rome.

Marcus Annius Verus was born on this day in the year 121 to a Spanish Roman family, related to Hadrian. From the very start, the young Marcus showed a deep interest in learning and particularly in philosophy.

The Stoic philosopher Epictetus had the most profound influence over him, and his truthful and pious nature gained Hadrian's attention and Hadrian is said to have called him "Verissimus", or most truthful, and to have taken an interest in the future of the young philosopher.

Marcus would have been 9 years old when Antinous died, and he is not believed to have been with the court in Egypt.

When Aelius Ceasar died shortly after being chosen Emperor in 138, it is believed that Marcus was Hadrian's next choice. However, the ailing and grieving emperor felt that the 17-year-old Marcus was too young.

So Hadrian decided to elect Antoninus Pius instead, requiring Antoninus to choose Marcus and the son of Lucius, called Lucius Verus, to be Antoninus's successors in turn.

This became known as the Dynasty of the Antonines, the last flowering of the glory that was Imperial Rome.

Hadrian believed that the old Antoninus would only rule for the few years needed to allow Marcus to mature. But instead, Antoninus remained in power far longer than Hadrian, and Marcus was 40 years old when he at last took power.

But the Empire that he inherited was succumbing to more and more trouble along its borders, as the Germanic hordes began their slow migration across the borders. The Philosopher-King Marcus was doomed to spend the majority of his reign leading the armies along the cold northern border.

He was successful in keeping the barbarians outside the Empire, and in maintaining the peace and prosperity in the heart of Rome that had been left to him by Hadrian and Antoninus. 


We celebrate the birthday of Imperator Caesar Marcus Aurelius Antoninus Augustus.

Saturday, April 25, 2015

A LITTLE ANTINOUS CAN GO A LONG WAY


POCKET shrines are a handy and magical way to take Antinous with you wherever you go. 

ECCLESIA ANTINOI is the online meeting place for adherents of Antinous, and recently we have been talking about creating portable altars and pocket shrines. 

Many group members have shrines at home but would like to have a sacred little something to take with them, not only on long journeys but even when they go to work, to school or run everyday errands.

One group member said a household altar can be a multi-purpose center. He told us: "As I prepare a new altar and shrine to Antinous,  I've dedicated a place to put my wallet, money, and keys in a niche in the shrine thus connecting my life source — money — with that of  Antinous' caring, protective spirit."

Everyone can create ANTINOUS ALTARS in even the most limited space. It need not be large and expensive. Even a photo of Antinous on a shelf can be a sacred spot.

Many people think they have to have lots of space and buy out a whole home-hardware store to build an overly elaborate shrine which takes up practically a whole room. That's not true. You can create a Sacred Space anywhere — on a table top, on a shelf or a special box or bag — for a portable shrine such as travelers and pilgrims used to have with them on arduous journeys in bygone centuries before the advent of paved roads and reliable transport.

Just as a bonsai tree embodies a forest giant, a pocket shrine is the embodiment of the Great Temple of Antinous in ANTINOOPOLIS.

A pouch or bag can hold a photo or figure of Antinous along with other "magical" things which are special to you such as crystals, sea shells, inspirational notes, mementos of people (or animals) you love. A deck of tiny Tarot cards or a small vial of perfume oil, dried flowers and prayer beads. The possibilities — as tiny as they may be in physical size — are absolutely unlimited.

In his book about Antinous, Beloved and God, Royston Lambert points out that in ancient times many followers of the Blessed Youth felt it was necessary to have a tangible representation of Antinous with them at all times for protection and for blessings:

"Some of the devotees evidently could not bear to be parted from the beneficial and reassuring presence of their Antinous and therefore had small, light-weight travelling busts or bronzes made to accompany them on their journeys."

Ancient worshipers of the Beauteous Boy knew that a little Antinous quite literally can go a long way ....

Friday, April 24, 2015

ANTINOUS-ERA EGYPTIAN HANGOVER CURE
WAS ALSO A FASHION STATEMENT


A crumbling papyrus found near Antinoopolis offers a sure-fire hangover cure ... and one that is also a fashion statement.

A leafy wreath of curative herbs was just the thing to clear your day-after head, according to a newly translated and published papyrus written in Greek with the prescription for "A DRUNKEN HEADACHE" cure. 

The alcohol victim would have strung together leaves from a shrub called Alexandrian chamaedaphne (Ruscus racemosus L.), possibly wearing the strand around the neck or forehead, not unlike this Classical youth wearing a victory wreath by John Singer Sargent.

The 1,900-year-old papyrus dating back to the time of Antinous containing the hangover treatment is one of over 500,000 such documents found in the ancient Egyptian town of Oxyrhynchus not far from Antinoopolis by researchers Bernard Grenfell and Arthur Hunt about a century ago.

But the study and publication of so many papyri is a long and slow task that has been going on for a century. 

Only recently, volume 80 was published, containing studies and decipherments of about 30 medical papyri found at Oxyrhynchus, including the papyrus with the hangover treatment.

This newly published volume represents "the largest single collection of medical papyri to be published," wrote Vivian Nutton, a professor at University College London, at the beginning of the volume. 

The collection includes medical treatises and treatments for a wide variety of ailments, including hemorrhoids, ulcers, tooth problems and even some fragments discussing eye surgery.

The writers of these ancient papyri relied heavily on Greek knowledge. The ancient residents of Oxyrhynchus strongly embraced Hellenistic (Greek-influenced) culture, something that spread throughout Egypt, and the wider Middle East, after the conquests of Alexander the Great, Nutton said.

Thursday, April 23, 2015

NICANTINOUS AND DEMETRIUS
WRESTLERS AT THE GAMES OF ANTINOUS


OUT of the thousands of athletes, artists and poets who took part in the famous Ancient Games of Antinous, only two names have come down to us ... two teenage wrestlers named Nicantinous and Demetrius.

The modern priests of Antinous rejoice at the discovery by pure chance of their names ... on a crumbling papyrus which had been found 100 years ago but which only recently has been translated.

These two youths were rivals in life. The faced each other in a championship match in honor of Antinous.

And the bittersweet irony of it all is that their names were recorded for posterity because they cheated! They names are bound together for all eternity as if in a vice-like wrestler's grip ... because their managers rigged the match.

The remarkable thing is how few names have survived to this day. We know the names of only a handful of Ancient Priests of Antinous ... and even fewer names of his worshipers. 

We know for example that a man called Serapammon commissioned the priests to cast a love spell to win the heart of a woman he adored.

The Games of Antinous, formally called the Great Antinoeia, were held every four years in Antinoopolis which was founded by Emperor Hadrian on the site along the Nile where his beloved Antinous had died in 130 AD. The Games flourished for hundreds of years, but no record had ever been found listing any names connected with the Games.


Until now ... and now a papyrus document has been deciphered which lists two boy wrestlers who took part in the final wrestling championship match in at the 138th Great Antinoeia in the year 267 AD.

Ironically, the papyrus is a contract signed by trainers of the two boys to rig their match so that Nicantinous would win ... and Demetrius would be paid off to lose.

Details of this contract came to light this past week as the Modern Priests of Antinous were making plans for the 2014 Games of Antinous which will be held in August.

We shall never know who Nicantinous and Demetrius were during their lifetimes. Now, of course, they will be forever linked together ... grappling to the end of time ... bound together forever in connection with scandal and corruption involving the Games of Antinous.


We Modern Priests believe it is immaterial whether they were scoundrels or whether they were innocent pawns in the hands of unscrupulous agents ... they were boys in a big-time sport firmly in the hands of quick-talking professionals.

Let us honor both Demetrius and Nicantinous. Presumably Nicantinous won his medals and his prizes and his lifetime pension. But he paid a heavy price. 

Apparently, the bribery contract came to light, for it was found filed away at the Great Library in Oxyrhynchos Egypt. Presumably, a court case ensued.

Perhaps both youths were forced to stand trial. And even if their secret never came to light during their lifetimes, they lived with it and faced the threat of blackmail all their lives.

We think there is great Homotheosis in the image of Nicantinous and Demetrius wrestling in an "unfair" match in which the "winner" is the "loser" and the "loser" possibly should have been the "winner". 

And we are convinced that this ill-fated wrestling match is a metaphor for the way most gay people "wrestle" with spirituality in a homophobic society. We wrestle against religion.

Let us, as Priests of Antinous, acknowledge both the triumph and the humiliation of both Demetrius (who should have won) and Nicantinous (who unfairly won). 

May their names shine as a beacon to all generations of Antinoians … illuminating our way along the narrow path between triumph and folly. 

May we embrace Nicantinous and admire the gold medal hanging round his neck ... may we kiss the gold medal ... may we embrace Nicantinous and take him to our hearts ... for he is us ... and we are him.

And may we embrace Demetrius in the same spirit of forgiveness and compassion for a youthful transgression …which happened long ago … and which now taints his name for all time.

In the Religion of ANTINOUS THE GAY GOD, we do not wrestle against the divine spirit of gay sexuality ... we become one with it ... HOMOTHEOSIS ... Gay-Man-Godliness-Becoming-The-Same ... Demetrius and Nicantinous are two aspects of a gay person's "struggle" with religion. Both are inseparable ... both are victors ... both are the vanquished ... and in the end they merge into one single spiritual entity ... spiritually inseparable.

Images: The Wrestlers (also known as The Two WrestlersThe Uffizi Wrestlers or The Pancrastinae) is a Roman marble sculpture after a lost Greek original of the 3rd Century BC It is now in the Uffizi collection in Florence, Italy.

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

HAPPY BIRTHDAY, ROMA!
By Flamen Antinoalis Antonius Subia




Mater Roma,

Thank you for saving me from perdition,
Thank you for giving my life meaning and purpose again
Today you have given me so much joy and mystery
I don't even know what to say sometimes
About the way you work your magic over my life
But I feel your power all around me.
You are with me where ever I go,
Where ever I am...You Are There.
Wolf Mother! 
My Latin forefathers flow through my blood
My allegiance to you will never die
I give my life, my strength, my courage to defend you
...and to restore your glory.
Happy Birthday Roma!

~ANTONIUS SUBIA

HADRIAN'S PANTHEON BECOMES A SUNDIAL
FOR THE FOUNDING OF THE CITY OF ROME



THE crowds of tourists at Hadrian's Pantheon saw a spectacular light show on April 21, 2,768th anniversary of the founding of Rome, when a ray of sunlight illuminated the temple portals.

The phenomenon, similar to one on the March Equinox, is one of the mysteries that have always surrounded what lies behind the unusual design of the Pantheon, the giant temple in the heart of Rome that was built by the Emperor Hadrian.

Now experts have come up with an intriguing theory – that the temple acted as a colossal sun dial, with a beam of light illuminating its enormous entrance at the precise moment that the emperor entered the building on the anniversary of the founding of the city of Rome each April 21.

Constructed on Hadrian's orders and completed in 128 AD, the Pantheon's hemispherical dome is punctured by a 30 foot-wide circular hole known as the 'oculus'.

It provides the interior of the building with its only source of natural light and allows in rain and – on rare occasions – snow.

Giulio Magli, a historian of ancient architecture from Milan Polytechnic, Italy, and Robert Hannah, a classics scholar from the University of Otago in New Zealand, have discovered that at precisely midday during the March equinox, a circular shaft of light shines through the oculus and illuminates the Pantheon's imposing entrance.

A similar effect is seen on April 21, which the Romans celebrated as the founding date of their city, when at midday the sun beam strikes a metal grille above the doorway, flooding the colonnaded courtyard outside with light.

The dramatic displays would have been seen by the Romans as elevating an emperor into the realm of the gods – a cosmological affirmation of his divine power as he entered the building, which was used as an audience hall as well as a place of worship.

He was in effect being "invited" by the sun to enter the Pantheon, which as its name suggests was dedicated to the most important deities of the Roman world.

"The emperor would have been illuminated as if by film studio lights," said Professor Magli.

"The Romans believed the relationship between the emperor and the heavens was at its closest during the equinoxes. It would have been a glorification of the power of the emperor, and of Rome itself." 

The sun had a special significance for the Romans, as it did for the ancient Egyptians.

The god Apollo was associated with the sun, and the emperor Nero was depicted as the Greek sun god Helios in a giant statue called the Colossus, which gave its name to the Colosseum.

One of antiquity's most remarkable examples of engineering, the Pantheon's fine state of preservation is thanks to the fact that it was converted into a church in the seventh century, when it was presented to the Pope by the Byzantine Emperor Phocas.

It retains its original bronze doors and marble columns, some of which were quarried in the Egyptian desert and transported by the ship down the Nile and across the Mediterranean to Rome at huge expense.

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

WE CELEBRATE THE FOUNDING
OF THE ETERNAL CITY OF ROME



ON April 21, as the Sun moves into the Sign of Taurus the Bull, we celebrate the ancient festival of THE EROTICON.

On this day we honor the great God of Love, Eros-Cupid, in his guise as Antinous-Phanes, the "radiant being of light who emerges from the egg of night". 


We also honor the Great God Priapus the divine phallus, the column of male virility, the bestower of the fertility of fields, vineyards, orchards and gardens. Priapus is the axis of the cosmos.

On this date we also commemorate the founding of the city of Rome, Natalis Urbis, personified by the Romans as Our Lady Roma. We celebrate the consecration of her sacred border, and of her birth, and eternal life, and remember that we are her children.

And also on this date we remember the Sacred Bear Hunt. While in Mysia in Asia Minor, in the year 129, the court engaged in a Bear Hunt near the city which Hadrian had founded (on an earlier trip) called Hadrianotherae, "Hadrian's hunting ground". It is the modern-day city of Balikesir in a lovely area of wooded forests and lakes in northwestern Turkey.

Hadrian loved animals and is known to have built tombs for his dogs and horses (according to Royston Lambert) and he loved to hunt. The Bear is the sacred animal of Diana-Artemis, and symbolizes the solitary, forest-roaming character of the Virgin Huntress. In the ferocity of the bear lies the secret of Diana's power, against which Hadrian and Antinous pitted themselves, as shown on the tondo from the Arch of Constantine.

The grand themes of the Eroticon are Love and Sex and Ferocious Anger. The Beast is always lurking inside of us. The mystery teaching surrounding the Bear Hunt involves getting to know your animal instincts -- sex and lust and rage -- and to become one with them and to turn them into powerful allies for your spiritual development.

Flamen Antinoalis Antonius Subia has expressed this mystical mystery meaning as follows:

"Antinous, under Hadrian's guidance, was an accomplished hunter, indeed it is perhaps his natural skill and bravery in the chase that elevated him to the absolute love and adoration of Hadrian. The Emperor was madly in love with hunters, and Antinous was one of the best. Antinous had perhaps been silently stalking and hunting the Emperor's favor for quite some time, and now, in Asia, in the sacred Hunting Grounds of Hadrian, Antinous closed in on the heart of his prey and captured the Emperor completely. In our commemoration of the Sacred Bear Hunt we recognize that Artemis and Antinous are twin deities, and we seek the Dianic-Artemis-Bear within ourselves."

Monday, April 20, 2015

EXPERTS FIND FABLED WHITE WALLS
OF MEMPHIS IN EGYPT WHICH ANTINOUS SAW



A team of Russian archaeologists has unearthed fragments of the fabled "White Walls" of the Egyptian city of Mennefer ... walls which Alexander the Great saw and which Hadrian and Antinous saw when they visited the land of the Nile in 130 AD.

The White Walls surrounded the enclosure of the Great Temple of Ptah compound. They were visible at a great distance and were so impressive that the temple became synonymous with Egypt itself.

Scientists from the Egyptology Studies Center of Russian Academy of Sciences (CESRAS) claim to have found white stones which were the foundation of the huge walls that used to surround the ancient Egyptian capital currently known under its Greek name, Memphis.

The success of the Russian effort to bring to light part of the 5,200-year-old walls was confirmed by Egypt’s Antiquities Minister Mamdouh al-Damaty.

"Several white limestone fragments of the ancient capital's wall were discovered during excavation work," he said.

The Egyptians called their capital city Mennefer (Location of Beauty) or Memphis in Greek. 
Another ancient name for the city was Ineb-hedj, meaning "White Walls" or "White Fortress".

The White Walls were such a landmark that the sprawling Temple of Ptah compound … The House of the Ka of Ptah (Haut-Ka-Ptah) … became synonymous with the land itself: Hautkaptah, Aegypto, Egypt.

Memphis was founded 5,200 years ago by the First Dynasty Pharaoh Menes – who is believed to have united Upper and Lower Egypt into one single kingdom. He became something of a mythical figure, with ancient texts saying he inherited the throne directly from the god Horus.

He is thought to have reigned for 62 years and was eventually killed by a hippopotamus.

Memphis was located at the mouth of the Nile Delta and held the royal palaces of the Pharaohs.

Kamal Wahid, director of the administration of Giza antiquities told The Cairo Post: "Unlike royal tombs, pyramids, mortuary and cult-related temples and any other buildings related to the afterlife, ancient Egyptian royal palaces, administrative offices, houses and other life-related buildings were often made of mud brick."

But the main reason why few ruins have been found at Memphis is because the city was used as a quarry when Cairo was founded just a few kilometers down stream. Palaces, temples and walls were dismantled and carried stone by stone to build the new capital of Egypt.

In a sense, Memphis never ceased to exist ... it lives on as Cairo.

Sunday, April 19, 2015

JOHN ADDINGTON SYMONDS
SAINT OF ANTINOUS THE GAY GOD


THE Religion of Antinous honors St. John Addington Symonds, the English poet and literary scholar who shocked Victorian sensibilities by openly promoting the cause of same-sex love.

John Addington Symonds was born on 5 October 1840, to a wealthy middle-class family in Bristol England. His father was a liberally minded doctor with connections and close friendships with many of the most illustrious and forwards minds of the time.

It was this environment of Victorian middle-class sexual repression that caused John Addington Symonds to blossom into one of the first and most prolific proponents for the cause of love between men.

While teenager in school, he was awakened by Plato to the awareness of love between boys among his schoolmates and almost immediately and unhesitatingly came out of the closet, even to his father, who was initially dismayed but ultimately supportive.

From then on, Symonds devoted his entire life to the study of homosexuality through art and history. He was the most pronounced defender of the ancient and glorious legacy of love between men, and a champion of social change.

He was a deep admirer of Walt Whitman, and later worked closely with Edward Carpenter, and Dr. Magnus Hirschfeld, co-founding the British Institute for Sexual Science, which advocated a methodical study to overturn the laws against homosexual love.

For his life-long work and devotion, and for his early recognition and exultation of his sexuality, John Addington Symonds is a canonized Saint of the Religion of Antinous.

The most sacred of his many contributions to the enlightenment of our freedom are the words that he wrote about Antinous, whose beauty he glorified with poetry and elegance in the language of a lover of the homosexual, erotic beauty of Our God. John Addington Symonds died in Rome on the 19th of April 1893.

Saturday, April 18, 2015

ANCIENT GRECO-ROMAN RUINS RAZED
FOR ALEXANDRIA LAND DEVELOPER



ON World Heritage Day April 18th we mourn the irresponsible destruction of Greco-Roman ruins in the city of Alexandria this week ... structures overlooking the shorline which Antinous may have seen when he visited the city in 130 AD.

Over the frantic protests of archaeologists, Egyptian officials sent in bulldozers which crushed 2,300-year-old ruins and left behind a level plot of land for developers.

The site of Al-Abd Theater in Camp Shizar, which was discovered in 2013, dates back to the Roman and Hellenistic eras as far back as 323 BC and lies in a residential neighborhood just a block inland from the Mediterranean coast.

When it was unearthed in 2013, experts marveled at the two-story TOMBS WITH A VIEW of the harbour and fabled Lighthouse of Alexandria, one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World.

Alexandria Antiquities Director Mostafa Roshdy said the site was demolished after residents complained it threatened the architectural stability of the adjacent buildings. 

“The technical report said the depth of the excavations threaten the surrounding buildings and recommended to close the site,” he told newspaper Youm7.

But Egypt's Heritage Task Force said the Antiquities Ministry had caved in to pressure from contractors who wanted to build on the high-profile site overlooking the sea.

The task force, who campaigned unsuccessfully to save the site, posted photos of the site before and after it was destroyed.


The demolition of the archaeological site demonstrates the difficulty of governmental authorities to both appease locals and responsibly manage the country's rich archaeological history with limited resources. 

Archaeological sites across Egypt also face looters, in addition to restoration and maintenance issues related to lack of funding.

Friday, April 17, 2015

SAINT SOR JUANA INÉS DE LA CRUZ


ON April 17th the Religion of Antinous honors Saint Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz, 17th Century Mexican nun, scholar, poet, scientist, playwright, musician and lesbian.

She was exceptional not only for her intelligence and beauty, but also because she wrote literature centered on intellectual and sexual freedom.

In the poem "Redondillas" she defends a woman's right to be respected as a human being. "Hombres necios" (Stubborn men) criticizes the sexism of the society of her time, and pokes fun at men who publicly condemn prostitutes, among other things, but privately hire them.

She also has a philosophical approach to the relative immorality of prostitution. This was exemplified when she posed the question, "Who sins more, she who sins for pay or he who pays for sin?"

In the romantic comedy entitled "Los empeños de una casa" about a brother and a sister entangled in a web of love, she writes using two of her most prominent themes, love and jealousy.

She did not moralize, but rather, in the spirit of her lifetime interests, inquired of how these deeply emotional matters shaped and carved a woman's pursuit of liberty, knowledge, education and freedom to live her life in self-sovereignty.

Her revolutionary writings brought down upon her the ire of the Roman Catholic Church at the end of the 17th Century. She was ordered to tone down the sexuality of her writings. She did not.

However, powerful representatives from the Spanish court were her mentors and she was widely read in Spain, being called "The Tenth Muse". She was lauded as the most prominent poet of the post-conquest American Continent. Her work was printed by the first printing press of the American Continent in Mexico City.

She is believed to have penned 4,000 works, but only a few have survived. They were rescued by the Spanish Viceroy's wife, who was rumored to be her female lover. In April 1695, after ministering to the other sisters struck down by a rampant plague, she is said to have died at four in the morning on April 17th.

For her love of learning and her devotion to the beauty of sexuality and for her courage to write about controversial things in the face of the Spanish Inquisition, we honor Saint Sor Juana as a Prophet of Homoeros.

Thursday, April 16, 2015

JEAN GENET ALWAYS WANTED TO BE A SAINT
HE IS A SAINT OF ANTINOUS


ON April 15th the Religion of Antinous remembers Jean Genet as a Saint of Antinous.

Saint Jean Genet was one of the first and most modern gay poets, whose elegance and sordid love for the street life was unprecedented, and has never been matched.

Among his most fervent desires, expressed from the very beginning was that he should one day be elevated to Sainthood.


We of the Religion of Antinous, fully and faithfully, take faith in the spirit of Saint Jean Genet, through whom the eternal voice of Antinous spoke with the most voluptuousness and vain-glory. 

Saint Jean Genet died on this day in Paris in1986.

PAGAN JOURNALIST MARGOT ADLER
IS A SAINT OF ANTINOUS


WE honor Margot Adler as a Saint of Antinous the Gay God.

She was a pioneering modern pagan and well-respected all-round journalist who enabled millions of listeners on NPR radio in North America to get a balanced and informed view of paganism. 

She reported on news and current affairs from New York City ... most notably the 9/11 tragedy ... and her listeners respected her religious beliefs were did not make her "weird" or "demonic."

Margot Adler authored DRAWING DOWN THE MOON, a 1979 book about Neopaganism which was revised in 2006 to include our own modern Religion of Antinous. 

The book is considered a watershed in American Neopagan circles, as it provided the first comprehensive look at modern nature-based religions in the US.

For many years it was the only introductory work about the American Neopagan communities. And it mentions Antinous ... and our new religion!

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

THIS BRITISH ROMAN'S LEAD CURSE
ASKED SEA GODS TO DESSICATE A FOE



A man living by the sea in Roman Britannia invoked Neptune and a British sea spirit to use their powers over fluids to drain the life's blood from a thief who stole his money.

His invocation was etched into a LEAD CURSE TABLET and buried next to a sacred river near the sea.

Found by Badnam Creek in Southampton, this curse tablet from the Roman-Greco world was created in about 350 or 400 AD by Muconius, a man angry at the mystery thief who stole his gold and silver coins.

Willing divine retribution to visit his assailant, Muconius might have paid a scribe or prepared the scornful curse himself, etched upon lead, a naturally plentiful material with a heavy, cold nature thought to possess a lifelessness which could enhance the power of the sentiments.

The text reads: “Lord Neptune, I give you the man who has stolen the solidus and six argentioli of Muconius.

“So I give the names who took them away, whether male or female, whether boy or girl. So I give you Niskus, and to Neptune, the life, health, blood, of him who has been privy to that taking away.

“The mind which stole this and has been privy to it, may you take it away. The thief who stole this, may you consume his blood and take it away, Lord Neptune.”


Curse tablets of the period are usually associated with civil and criminal court cases, as well as unsolved crimes and personal grievances. In the Roman Empire they were usually inscribed with a stylus on lead tablets, although wooden tablets, papyri and other materials were also used.

Neptune was the name of the Roman god of rivers, lakes and springs before becoming god of the sea, usually depicted as a bearded man holding a trident and a somewhat angry countenance.

He was also the god of earthquakes and storms and the patron of horses and horse races. In the Roman Pantheon he is a son of Saturn and the brother of Jupiter, the Lord of the Heavens, and Pluto (Hades - the Lord of the Underworld). The Greek equivalent is Poseidon.

River settings where tablets have been found in Britain include the Thames at London Bridge, the Little Ouse at Brandon in Norfolk and the Tas at Caister St Edmund in Suffolk.  All of them appealed to the god Neptune.

Many tablets, such as those found in Bath, were originally perforated and nailed to the fabric of temple buildings.

The identity of Niskus is uncertain. The use of the letter ‘k’ - only one other usage is known from Roman Britain - is rare.

The most plausible identification is with a male version of Niska, which is a name associated with water-nymphs, found on tablets (now lost) in 1845 at the principal hot spring at Aix-les-Bains in France.

Alternatively, Niskus may have been a native British water-god. But no evidence has yet been found of a link to Neptune similar to the one established between the British goddess Sulis and the Roman Minerva at Bath.



Tuesday, April 14, 2015

SIR JOHN GIELGUD
SAINT OF ANTINOUS


ON April 14th the Religion of Antinous honors one of our most blessed thespian saints and martyrs, St. John Gielgud, who was born on this day in 1904.

The most terrible moment in John Gielgud's life -- on which he maintained a public silence for 50 years -- was the subject of a critically acclaimed play in the London West End.

The play, entitled "Plague Over England", was about the scandal which swept across Britain in 1953 when John Gielgud was arrested by an undercover policeman in a public toilet in London.

But the 2008 play was concerned with much more than Gielgud's arrest in on the charge of "importuning for immoral purposes". The play showed the plight of gay men in the 1950s Cold War atmosphere when gays were associated with Communist espionage. 

Its characters include the producer who nearly ended his career, the virulently anti-homosexual Lord Chief Justice Rayner Goddard, an American fleeing his own country's anti-Communist paranoia, and a doctor who claims to "cure" same-sex attraction with "Clockwork Orange"-style electric shock therapy.

Homosexuals had long been feared and hated in England as men who, it was believed, preyed on the innocent young, and were thus unfit to lead normal, happy lives. Until 1967, they risked prosecution for what the law called "acts of gross indecency between male persons", even in private, and could be arrested for merely showing -- in a police spy's opinion -- an intent to commit them.

Police throughout England were alert for any hints of homosexual behaviour. Just before Gielgud was arrested, two prominent high-class gay men had been uncovered as KGB spies, resulting in a further crackdown on all gay activities. The officer who arrested Gielgud was part of a Metropolitan Police squad established in 1930 that regularly lurked in central London toilets.


The year in which Gielgud came to grief in a Chelsea public convenience was a particularly dangerous one for homosexuals, as the increased frankness of the period allowed politicians, the police, and the press to profit by inflaming public hysteria, warning that a "plague" or "epidemic" of sodomy and Communism was sweeping the land.

The climate of fear was chilling to gay men who paid even the slightest attention to the news.

Gielgud, however, was, in his own words a "silly gubbins" who took no notice of anything outside of acting. On October 21, following the rehearsal for the play "A Day By the Sea", this supremely unworldly man, then 49, had a few drinks at a party and then visited a public lavatory popular with "cottagers" -- English gay slang for men who cruise toilets.

Arrested, and aware that he should give a false identity, he said he was a clerk called Arthur (his real name) Gielgud. The next day he  appeared before a magistrate who did not know who he was, fined him 10 pounds, and ordered him, with the disdain and sexual ignorance of the period, to "see your doctor the moment you leave this court".

Unfortunately, a better-informed Evening Standard reporter was there, too. When that afternoon's paper hit the streets, he was on the front page.

You can imagine the shame and the terror with which Gielgud turned up at rehearsal (he had considered suicide) for the role of a bachelor diplomat whose mother worries that he is lonely and unloved.

But the company, led by his co-star, Dame Sybil Thorndike, in fact welcomed him with open arms. "Oh, John," she said, in one of the most magnificent double entendres of all time, "you HAVE been a silly bugger!"



The producer of "A Day By the Sea", however, the immensely powerful Binkie Beaumont, saw the newspaper articles and the hate mail, and worried that the public would stay away. 

Yet his thoughts of firing the star were thwarted by Gielgud's brother, Val, who applied a little judicious blackmail about Binkie's very own private life.

Everyone was nervous that the audience might react with silence or even boos.


But as the curtain came down he was cheered to the rafters.

Gielgud was known for having a penchant for anonymous bathroom sex -- It's one of the reasons his knighthood (just a few months before the arrest) was postponed for years. He even had a "cruising cap" for such forays, an attempt to disguise himself so as to avert detection by fans who might recognize him.

The arrest had important consequences, and not only for Gielgud, who was told by the British embassy in Washington to forget about a planned American production of "The Tempest". because he might prove "an embarrassment".

Afterwards, the floodgates opened as the public was confronted by the disturbing fact that an extremely distinguished and beloved artist was one of the people they, in theory, despised. The fuss contributed to the Wolfenden Commission, set up the following year to study prostitution, taking on homosexuality as well. Its recommendations eventually led to decriminalisation in Britain.

While the affair broke Gielgud emotionally, he put himself back together in a way that made him better suited to a theatre in a world of greater change and upheaval.

For his talent and for his courage, the Religion of Antinous honors Saint John Gielgud as a Prophet of Homoeros.

KENNETH WEISHUHN
SAINT OF ANTINOUS


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

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

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

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

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


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

Monday, April 13, 2015

HOW WOULD YOU RESPOND
IF YOU SAW ANTINOUS TODAY?


FLAMEN Antonius Subia likes to ask new dedicants of Antinous this question:

"If you encountered Antinous right here in your midst today, how would you react? Would you believe it was H.I.M? Or would you say it couldn't be true?"

That is why we love this painting by one of our favorite artists, ANDRÉ DURAND.

He entitles it "The Disciples of Emmaus" from a biblical verse about two men who are so busy talking about the death of Jesus that they fail to recognize him walking towards them on the road to the village of Emmaus.

They "believe in" the promise of eternal life.

But they do not "really believe" that it is possible ... even when they see it with their own eyes.

We are in the midst of the greatest turning point in human history since the discovery of fire … you hold it in the palm of your hand as you scroll your smart phone's apps.

Look around yourself and you see people so engrossed in the the magical world of their smart phones that they are unaware of the magic happening all around them.

It is the same with HOMOTHEOSIS … Gay-Man-Godliness-Becoming-The-Same. Many people "believe in" becoming one with Antinous. But they don't "really believe" it is possible.

Antonius has always believed that a "New Antinous" may already have been born ... or soon will be. He won't be the same "Old Antinous". He will be the Antinous we gay men need in the 21st Century.

Antonius always asks the question to prospective new priests, "Would you recognize Antinous if you were to see him on the street today? And if so, how would you respond?"

Do you "believe in" ... or do you "really believe"? A very good question.

Sunday, April 12, 2015

TRANSGENDER TEEN YOUTUBE BLOGGER
TAKES HER OWN LIFE IN DESPAIR



A 16-year-old transgender girl who spoke about being bullied at school in Fallbrook, California, killed herself, a support group said, raising questions about what educators can and should do to support students who change gender identity.

Taylor Alesana described her struggles in one of the many videos she posted to her fans last November, saying; 'I’ve lost tons of friends, tons. And it’s been hell. I go to school every day, and I get my lunch and I sit down alone.'

She took her life on April 2.

'With few adults to turn to, and with no support from her school, her life became too difficult,' the North County LGBTQ Resource Center said.

'Taylor was a beautiful and courageous girl, and all she wanted was acceptance.' 

A TAYLOR ALESANA memorial page has been set up on Facebook.

Taylor attended meetings at the center and was very supportive of other transgender teens, said Max Disposti, the group's executive director, even posting a series of online videos describing her daily experiences and struggles.

Taylor had a strong relationship with her counselor at Fallbrook High School, north of San Diego, but school administrators 'didn't take the necessary steps,' said Disposti.

They never contacted his organization, even after a Thursday night vigil at its Oceanside office that was attended by Taylor's parents and about 200 others, he said.

Taylor said in one of her videos last year on YouTube: 'Lately, I've gotten a lot of drama from the school itself.' 

Taylor was unusually vocal about the challenges of being a transgender teen.

'She was very outspoken and had incredibly positive energy,' Disposti said.

'She was helping others as she was struggling.'

She told people in one of her final videos; 'My biggest advice to anyone who’s transgender and struggling? You’re becoming yourself.'

This news comes just after President Obama called for an end to conversion therapy for gat and transgender Americans.

The White House released a statement in a response to a petition started after 17-year-old transgender youth LEELAH ALCORN took her life late last year received over 120,000 signatures.

'We share your concern about its potentially devastating effects on the lives of transgender as well as gay, lesbian, bisexual and queer youth,' Valerie Jarrett, President Obama's senior adviser, said in the statement.

'As part of our dedication to protecting America’s youth, this administration supports efforts to ban the use of conversion therapy for minors.'

She later said of Leelah while speaking to the press; 'It was tragic, but I will tell you, unfortunately, she has a lot of company. It’s not the story of one young person. It is the story of countless young people who have been subjected to this.'

Taylor is the seventh transgender youth reported to have committed suicide this year in the United States. 


Saturday, April 11, 2015

WE HONOUR ROMAN SOLDIER AELIUS VICTOR
WHO PIOUSLY REMEMBERED HIS GODDESSES



HE was many miles from home - a Roman soldier posted to Britannia, perhaps feeling cold and lonely, longing for loved ones left behind. 

He was called Aelius Victor. And now after 2,000 years an altar he built to keep a promise to the goddesses he prayed to has been unearthed in the middle of modern-day Manchester, England.

The altar - described by experts as being in 'fantastic' condition - was discovered during an archaeological dig at a site on Greater Jackson Street earmarked for development.

Aelius Victor had dedicated it to two minor goddesses.

It says: "To the mother goddesses Hananeftis and Ollototis, Aelius Victor willingly and deservedly fulfills a vow."

The find is one of only a few which bear the names of Roman soldiers in Britannia.

It is believed that Aelius Victor may have been a centurion commander posted from Germany - where worship of Hananeftis and Ollototis originates.

Norman Redhead, Greater Manchester's county archaeologist, said: "This is the first Roman stone inscription we have found for 150 years. It is a very, very valuable find and it is in fantastic condition, considering it has been in the ground for 2,000 years." 

Evidence suggests it may have been constructed in the latter part of the first century AD and later discarded, as it was found on top of an ancient rubbish pit. 

The existence of a number of pits and ditches in the area suggest it was cleared for farming use. 

The site is only hundreds of yards from a known fort and civilian settlement of Roman Manchester, dropping down to a ford across the River Medlock. 

Mr Redhead said that, traditionally, that was the kind of area where places of worship were located. The altar is now on display at Manchester Museum. 


General Julius Agricola (40-93AD), the commander of the invading legions, first founded a Roman settlement at the meeting point of the Rivers Irwell and Medlock. He called the place Mamuciam - meaning 'breast-shaped hill' because of the shape of the outcrop.