Tuesday, June 30, 2015

FOLLOWING IN THE FOOTSTEPS
OF HADRIAN AND ANTINOUS



THIS Roman footprint has been unearthed at Hadrian's Wall ... a lasting impression from someone who may have seen the Emperor and Antinous during a visit there.

Someone nearly 2,000 years ago quite literally put their foot in it and as a result a volunteer digging at VINDOLANDA ROMAN FORT unearthed this tile with a clear imprint of a human foot that accidentally, or perhaps mischievously, stood on the freshly made object.

The partial print of a right foot, thought to be comparable with that of an adolescent, was found by student Mel Benard who is digging at Vindolanda with a Canadian Field School from the University of Western Ontario in Canada. 

Mel (shown here) was delighted with the discovery.

“This was the first artefact that I had found, I knew straight away that it was a footprint and it is so exciting to have discovered something which links you directly to that individual nearly 2,000 years later,” Mel explained.

Many thousands of tiles have been found at Vindolanda, some occasionally with the imprint of an animal left behind.

But this is the first time a human print has been discovered at the site.

“This find is really extraordinary”, explains Co-Director of the University Field School, Dr Elizabeth Greene, “it brings full circle the story that Vindolanda has to tell. The thousands of leather shoes from this site (over 6,000) give us a unique perspective on the people who lived at Vindolanda but this footprint highlights even more that archaeology has the potential to illuminate the lives of otherwise voiceless individuals from antiquity.”


Monday, June 29, 2015

THERE'S BEEN A NEW SIGHTING
OF THE GHOST OF THE PANTHEON



FOR centuries visitors to Hadrian's Pantheon have claimed to have seen a ghost ... a shadowy figure who moves about the edifice totally oblivious to mortal visitors.

The latest sighting was tweeted by @pantheon_roma on Twitter this past week.

The panoramic photo shows a shadowy black figure on the left side ... much larger than all the mortal humans in the photo.

In recent years, thanks to phone cameras, tourists increasingly have seen ghostly figures ... often standing alone where nobody else is nearby or else striding through the vast room when no one else was present in the Pantheon.

Very often, the apparition floats around the domed space or peers out from shadows behind columns.

For generations, people have claimed the Pantheon is haunted by the ghost of Italy's former king Vittorio Emanuele II.

His tomb is inside the Pantheon and visitors report seeing a stately gentleman in royal raiment with a distinctive mustache and goatee identical to the king's.

But others have claimed the figure wears the white robes of an Ancient Roman priest with his toga pulled over his head just as a Patrician would do out of piety in a temple. 

Watch this video and notice the white-robed figure which hovers far above the crowds at 0:16 seconds and again at 0:24 seconds:



Sunday, June 28, 2015

PRIDE 2015 #LOVEWINS PRAYER TO ANTINOUS
By Flamen Antinoalis Antonius Subia



Antinous
Thank You
For letting me be alive today
Right here, Right now.
Thank You
For coming into my heart when I was small child
And showing me that I was gay,
Despite my protest and confusion.
Thank You
For letting me see and feel the full horror
Of the AIDS crisis when I was a teenage boy
Coming out of the closet into a world where being Gay 
Held the threat of a death sentence.
Thank you
For letting me know a few of the men and boys
Who died before there was treatment.
Thank you
For letting me see what the old gay world was like
Before it was cool to be gay.
For letting me see the transformation take place
And bear witness to the wonderful change.
Thank You
For telling me deep down inside my heart
That there was NOTHING more important than being Gay.
Thank You
For choosing me out of all the better people in the world
To be the first to show you how much I love you.
Thank You 
For all the people I know and love all over the world
Because of you
Thank You
For all the mistakes I have made along the way
Thank You
For all you have taught me about what it means
To be Alive...Right here, Right now
Thank You
For the Dawning of this New Age of Equality and Freedom
Which you always told me was coming!
Thank You 
For Being True to your word!

You Are the Fire that makes me Proud to be GAY!
Thank You
Antinous.

I Love You Antinous

~ANTONIUS SUBIA

EDWARD CARPENTER
SAINT OF ANTINOUS


THE last of our three Uranian Patriarchs, Edward Carpenter was born in Brighton England on the 29th of August, 1844, to a very large middle-class family. 

While his brothers went into the military, Edward became a scholar, with great success and eventually even taught at Cambridge where he was required to become ordained as a curate of the Anglican Church.

It was at this time, when he was 24, that he first read Leaves of Grass by Walt Whitman and was completely changed. He resigned his position at Cambridge and devoted his life to the working class, becoming a Socialist philosopher, lecturing, organizing and speaking for working men.

When his parents died, he received an inheritance that he used to purchase a rural estate at Millthrope, which he turned into a veritable Socialist Commune. He repressed his homosexuality for much of his life, channeling his desire into politically inspired friendships.

But the Millthrope house gave him the freedom to express his feelings more openly, and he began to write books on the subject of Uranian Love. He was deeply influenced by Hindu spirituality, and visited India, all of which emerged in his spiritual view of the Socialist movement, which was not so much about political revolution, but directed towards a change in human consciousness, of which homosexuality rapidly became his greatest cause.

While returning from India he met George Merrill on the train. It would be the love of his life. The younger man soon moved into the house at Millthrope, the two became inseparable lovers whose relationship lasted over forty years.

In 1908, he published The Intermediate Sex, the first widely available book on the subject of homosexuality. After the death of John Addington Symonds, with whom he had been closely allied, Edward Carpenter assumed the role as torch bearer, and subsequently published dozens of books and essays for the cause of gay liberation.

He died on the 28th of June, 1929, in Guildford England, and though not widely known at the time, was to later become a spiritual patriarch for the gay liberation movement of the late 1960s and '70s. He is regarded as a Saint and Patriarch of the Religion of Antinous, and remembered as one of the first fathers whose work changed the world with subtle power.

Saturday, June 27, 2015

THE DEATH OF JUDY GARLAND
SPARKED THE STONEWALL RIOTS


THIS is the day the Liturgical Calendar of the Religion of Antinous sets aside for remembrance of Saint Judy Garland, whose death was the spark that ignited the Stonewall Riots on a sultry night in 1969 when a bunch of drag queens and assorted other gay men decided they weren't in the mood to put up with yet another raid by the corrupt and brutal NYPD.

Gays had had enough and they had just suffered a terrible shock — Judy Garland's tragic death on June 22 had rocked the gay world. It was said that 13 twisters raged through Kansas the day Judy died, which — in Kansas — in June — is a pretty safe bet, in any case. But still, and all the same ....

Judy had died in London, and amid much news media hype, her body was flown back to New York for a memorial service which drew a huge crowd of grief-stricken gay men who gathered outside Campbell's Funeral Chapel in Manhattan — on June 27, 1969.

Afterwards, the bars were jammed with gay men drowning their sorrows in booze and drugs while listening to Judy Garland songs full blast on every jukebox.

The mood was electrified by a sense of solidarity in grieving for a fallen idol. Gay men had surprised themselves by turning out en masse for Judy's funeral. They had experienced strength in numbers for the first time. They had been on national TV news.

In an unprecedented move by prime-time national news anchormen, Walter Cronkite and Huntley-Brinkley had talked about Judy Garland's "tremendous appeal among male homosexual fans" — at supper time when whole families were watching the evening news!


Blacks were standing up for their rights. Women were burning their bras. The Chicano Movement was gathering steam. And now "ho-mo-sexuals" (the announcers were unaccustomed to speaking the word aloud) were having the audacity to congregate outside a sacred chapel in broad daylight — and they even showed their faces on the evening news!

Straight people were being confronted with homosexuals right there on television beamed into their homes. And — more importantly — homosexuals were seeing themselves and their brothers/sisters on national television news. Gays in isolated places who had worshipped Judy Garland at the movies or on LP and tape, were now watching other gay people weeping for her in New York. For the first time, gay people in isolated places saw themselves on TV. We were not alone in our grief at the passing of a star with whom we somehow innately felt connected.

It was a Friday night. Late June. Hot and steamy. The bars were filled to bursting. Gay men were sharing a rare moment of solidarity in powerful emotions. There was a feeling, not only in New York, but around the world, that a paradigm shift had taken place. A gay icon had died suddenly and tragically (shades of Antinous) and we gay people everywhere found ourselves in a catharsis of identity change. None of us understood what was happening. Just as it was with being gay, we gay men couldn't explain it, we just "felt" it and "knew" it to be true.

And THAT moment was when the Manhattan police happened to stage one of their periodic raids on queers. Basically it was a routine raid on an average gay bar. Nobody had reckoned with what would happen next. Even gay men were surprised by what happened next.

ESPECIALLY gay men.

We were men who had been accustomed to being timid fraidy-cats. Men who had never dared to stand up for their sexuality. Drag queens and faggots never fought back. That was a fact of gay survival. We knew we were gay. And we knew what we weren't. We were not "MEN".

Grief turned to outrage. It was a spontaneous uprising fuelled by rage. The vice squad was overwhelmed. Reinforcements had to be sent in. Gay men stood their ground and advanced on the police, pushing them back.

It was the turning point for us. Gay men throughout America — and later in London, Berlin, Sydney and elsewhere — began standing up for themselves under the banner "Remember Stonewall".

In a sense, Judy Garland died for us. Had it not been for her tragic death — strangling on vomit over a toilet bowl in a London hotel suite — there might not have been any Stonewall Riots.

Flamen Antinoalis Antonius Subia puts the Stonewall Riots into a spiritual context:

"It was the first resistance by homosexuals against the repression of two thousand years, and the beginning of the Gay Liberation movement. The importance of the Stonewall Riots is the awakening of gay consciousness, the throwing off of the coils of the python that had for so many centuries enveloped our divine form of Love. This sacred revolt is holy to Apollo, Dionysus, and Diana combined as the guardian spirits of Homosexuality. Our modern Gay society was born on this occasion, and all of the peace and freedom that we have obtained in the these short decades are due to the courage that erupted on that Sacred Night in front of the Stonewall Bar."

Friday, June 26, 2015

NOW WE LIVE IN ANOTHER WORLD
By Flamen Antinoalis Antonius Subia



HOW different the world can be in a matter of 3 hours. 
Last night I stayed up until about 5am after watching The Normal Heart. I've been avoiding this movie for a long while because I knew that it would break my heart and make me very angry, which is exactly what happened only stronger and deeper than anticipated.

A whole generation of beautiful gay men wiped off the face of the Earth. And these were the Very Best of us! The strongest, proudest, most free gay men who had ever lived, the ones who stood up and fought for us at Stonewall. Can you even imagine what the world would be like now if they had lived! Why did they have to die?!

Why am I alive and they are all dead?

That old deep question cane back to haunt me again...the big questions that crush my heart and make my soul bleed deep down.
I found it hard to go to sleep last night,
It brought everything I believe about Antinous into stark new focus,
What he means, 
Why he has come back to us again after so many centuries.
It reminded me of how serious this is
How important it is to serve as his priest
With all my heart and soul.

I went to sleep for a few hours and awoke to a whole new world.
Just earlier last night Hernestus asked me to translate the title for a post about how Antinous has blessed us with equality...he said he wanted to have the post ready, just in case.
And now we are Equal! 

This is the Dawning of a New Age!

I wish I could offer the joy and celebration of this day to all the men who died of AIDS
because they died for this,
they hoped and prayed for this
And now it is here..
It belongs as much to them as to us.

But the greatest joy is when I think of all the kids, the little boys and girls and trans who will never have to live in a world that hates them or makes them think that they are less than everyone else because they are gay. The battle is far from over, perhaps its only just begun...but for now, for them there is
No more fear no more shame!
Love always conquers!

Thank You Antinous
...I Love You Antinous
~ANTONIUS SUBIA

ANTINOUS CELEBRATES EQUALITY
FOR EVERYONE IN ALL NATIONS



THE United States has joined Great Britain, Ireland, Canada, Brazil, Mexico, France, Spain, the Benelux countries, Scandinavian countries and many other nations in legalizing same-sex marriage.

The priests of Antinous in the US, Europe and South America rejoice at the news … but we caution that there is still much to be done for LGBT people around the world.

In a historic 5-4 decision, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled Friday that same-sex marriage is a constitutional right throughout the country, a historic victory for gay rights advocates.

This decision, which strikes down bans against gay marriage that had previously existed in 14 states, comes after decades of protest and litigation on behalf of gays and lesbians.

President Barack Obama reacted to Friday's Supreme Court decision that legalized gay marriage across the USA, calling it "a victory for gay and lesbian couples who have fought so long for their basic civil rights." 

Obama said the decision reverberated across the USA "like a thunderbolt."

We the modern-day priests of the religion of Antinous proclaim:

Antinous celebrates equality for EVERYONE

Antínoo celebra o Casamento como um direito de TODOS

Antinous celebra el casamento como un derecho para TODOS

NOT ANTINOUS THE GAY GOD
BUT ANTINOUS THE SATURN MOON CRATER



THE STAR OF ANTINOUS is well known. And many people are aware that there is also an ANTINOUS ASTEROID ... but few people have heard of the ANTINOUS CRATER.

It is located on one of the moons of Saturn, the moon named for the Titan sea goddess Tethys, daughter of Uranus and Tellus/Gaea. The Antinous Crater is located at the bottom of this photo taken by the Cassini probe in a flyby. The bigger crater is Penelope.

This crater was named in 1982 after the "OTHER" Antinous — the infamous Antinous of Homer's Odyssey and the Iliad. That is obvious from the association with Penelope. It is highly possible that our God Antinous was in fact named for Homer's Antinous.

For the Ancients, names were not a matter of coincidence. A person's name MEANT something. Nomen est omen 
— a name is a sign. So why was Antinous given the name of someone who is generally considered to be a scoundrel?

Homer's Antinous was one of the "Suitors of Penelope," the group of moochers who showed up at her doorstep while her husband Odysseus was off fighting the Trojan wars and attempted to woo her and abscond with as much of Odysseus's fortune as they could before he returned 
— if he EVER returned. 

After all, he had been gone for years. Their argument was that he was a "dead beat" spouse and that he had abandoned Penelope and, at any rate, was most probably dead.


 Antinous was the craftiest of the suitors and plied Penelope with costly gifts. 

Then at last — at long last — Odysseus returned in the disguise of a beggar. 

Only his faithful dog recognized him. Penelope did not! 

Antinous did not recognize him either and, thinking he was just a homeless street schizo, attacked him with a chair to drive him off.

Later on, during an archery tournament, Odysseus "accidentally" shot Antinous and killed him.

As with much of the Odyssey and the Iliad, it is hard to tell who the "good guys" are and who the "bad guys" are. Homer's Antinous is not exactly a saint, but he in't really guilty of any crime either.

Penelope is the guilty one. As so often in Greek mythology, the women are treacherous and untrustworthy (just think of Pandora). One small detail which you probably did not learn in school was that Penelope had sex with Homer's Antinous and with ALL the other suitors. 


FLAMEN ANTINOALIS ANTONIUS SUBIA explains:
"And the resulting child from that pan-sexual tryst was born a little monstar with horns and hooves. He was called Pan because he was the son of Antinous and ALL the suitors. Penelope couldn't look at him, so she abandoned him, and he was taken in by Mercury, who absolutely adored the little monster.

"Ah yes, Penelope gave birth to Pan in Mantinea!"

Mantinea/Bithynia is the ancestral homeland of our own Antinous. So the name was of regional origin.

But that is not all because, in actual fact, Homer's Antinous was associated with magic. He was something of a wizard. 

According to legend, Homer's Antinous possessed the fabled Mirror of Vulcan/Hephaestus, which enabled him to peer into the past and the future.

So the name Antinous was always associated with myth and magic, even in ancient times. Hadrian, who was fascinated with all things Greek, would have recognized the association between young Antinous and the ancient Greek myth and magic.

As for the fabled Mirror of Vulcan/Hephaestus — that is the stuff of Antinoian myth and magic for a future blog entry ....

Thursday, June 25, 2015

ANTINOUS THE ASTEROID IS A NEIGHBOR
WHO COULD VISIT US WITH A BANG



THE Sun aligns in Cancer today with Antinous ... or rather with Antinous the near-Earth asteroid which could one day pay us a visit ... with a bang.


The Antinous Asteroid … officially called "1863 Antinous," was discovered in 1948 by an American astronomer named Carl. A. Wirtanen. 

Astronomers had known for some time that asteroids were plentiful between Mars and Jupiter. But no one had expected to find any in the Inner Solar System ... certainly not near Earth.

But Wirtanen turned his Lick Observatory telescope inward and discovered eight asteroids in our own vicinity. 

These Inner Solar System bodies are called "Apollo Asteroids" all named for Classical deities, including of course Antinous.

Apollo Asteroids are collectively named after the first one to be discovered. The asteroid "1862 Apollo" was sighted in 1932 and then lost until 1973. 

Apollo asteroids are so small and faint that they are difficult to see except when close to the Earth.

Astronomers fear 1862 Apollo may one day strike Earth, however, they currently do not expect 1863 Antinous to hit Earth … assuming it does not stray from its current admittedly erratic orbit.

Antinous is about 2 km (1.2 miles) in length and spins on its axis one revolution every seven hours. It takes more than three years to orbit the sun.

Antinous Asteroid is a "Mars Crosser" and also an "Earth Crosser" or even "Earth Grazer" planetoid ... meaning it crosses the orbit of Mars and also the orbit of Earth ... and comes very close to Earth.

Antinous came close to the Earth in 1992 and 1999 ... 18 million miles (30 million km) and it is supposed to come past Earth again in the 21st Century ... but hopefully won't hit us! 

A collision with an "Apollo Group" asteroid 65 million years ago may have been one of the causes of the extinction of the dinosaurs. A closely related group, the "Amor Group" of asteroids, come close to Earth but do not cross its orbit.

The art of Asteroid Astrology is very arcane ... only a minority of astrologers employ "Astrals," as astrologers call these planetoids ... and then usually only a couple of major ones such as Chiron and Lilith. 

Quite honestly, they are so new that astrologers haven't quite agreed on what they mean.

The whole focus on asteroids got a boost when astronomers officially down-graded Pluto from a "planet" to a "minor planet" or "dwarf planet" ... the same category to which Chiron belongs.

So astronomers and astrologers alike are having to take another look at their definitions as humankind's knowledge of the cosmos grows by quantum leaps.

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

WELL-PRESERVED ROMAN SHIP
FOUND WITH CARGO OF TILES INTACT


A remarkably well-preserved ancient Roman ship has been discovered on the seabed off the coast of Sardinia.

The 2,000-year-old wreck was found at a depth of 150ft by a specialised diving unit of the Italian police, working with archaeologists, in the strait that separates Sardinia from Corsica.

The ship was carrying a load of terracotta tiles, which are also in a good state of preservation.

The roof tiles, believed to have been produced in or around Rome, were packed into the hold of the vessel, which is 60ft long and 23ft wide.

The photo at right shows divers recovering one of the large roof tiles. 

They were probably going to be used in the construction of a villa for a senior Roman official or wealthy merchant, experts said.

“Given the location of the discovery, archaeologists believe that the vessel was destined for Spain or the west coast of Sardinia,” an official statement said, adding that the find was of “great scientific value”.

The ship’s cargo was intact and “packed just as it was at the moment of departure”, the statement by the Sardinian authorities said.

The weight of the load may have contributed to the ship capsizing.

“It’s a real treasure,” said Rubens D’Oriano, from Sardinia’s archaeological department.

“The cargo is very well preserved and has enormous value to scholars. We’re really pleased about this discovery.”

The exact position of the wreck is being kept secret because of the threat of underwater looting.

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

SPECTACLE OF GLADIATOR GAMES
TO BE RELIVED IN LONDON IN AUGUST



THE site of London’s only Roman amphitheatre will come alive to the spectacle of gladiator games this August, with re-enactments by the team who worked on Ridley Scott’s epic.

A gladiatorial arena will be created in the Guildhall courtyard in the City — above the remains of the amphitheatre, which was discovered during building work in 1988.

They will be staged by Britannia, Britain’s largest re-enactment group, whose members worked on Sir Ridley’s movie "Gladiator," starring Russell Crowe. 

The group will perform battles inspired by images from 1st century AD paintings, mosaics and coins, as well as commentaries from the period.

Museum of London experts will also invite the audience to learn Roman skills in pottery, music, and cookery.

People will also get the chance to build and fire a catapult.

Visitors can view the amphitheatre’s remains, which are open all year round. The games follow an inaugural event four years ago which proved a huge success, said Roy Stephenson, head of archaeological collections at the Museum of London.

“We have always prized ourselves on making ordinary history come alive. This goes that next step,” he said. “We come at it with a certain tongue in cheek. I do remember from last time that the guards from Britannia do whip up a bit of a bloodlust.

“We’re sticking our necks out because there are more shows than in 2011. We’re hoping people will enjoy the games, go and view the amphitheatre, then come and look at the museum galleries a short walk away.” He added: “One of the things that fascinates me is that there is an open space now in the courtyard in front of the Guildhall, which reflects an open space that was there in Roman times.”

The amphitheatre was built in about AD70 and upgraded around AD120. It was 100 metres long and 85 metres wide and would have held up to 7,000 spectators.

Gladiator Games will take place on selected dates between August 8 and 16. Tickets are £15 for adults, £10 for children and £40 for a family. Visit museumoflondon.org.

Monday, June 22, 2015

NINE MILLION MUMMIFIED DOGS
FOUND AT EGYPTIAN TEMPLE OF ANUBIS


A cache of nine million mummified dogs has been unearthed in dark catacombs adjacent to the ANUBIEION, the mystery-shrouded Temple of the jackal-headed Egyptian deity Anubis at Saqqara south of Cairo.

The unique, terraced temple compound was built into the face of the cliffs overlooking the ancient Egyptian capital city of Memphis-Mennefer. Beyond the Anubieion lay the necropolis city of the dead. In front of it lay the teeming city nestled in the Nile Valley.

For decades, experts were unsure what purpose the Anubieion served. No where else in Egypt is there a temple dedicated solely to Anubis. Some temples to other deities had niche shrines to the jackal-headed deity who conveyed the souls of the dead to everlasting life.

But the discovery of myriads of mummified dogs in the Anubieion's catacombs makes it clear that the Anubieion was indeed a temple whose goal was to assist people in making the transition from earthly life to eternal life.

The dog mummies were sold to serve as "guide dogs" for souls of the departed.

As Christianity spread in Egypt, Anubis morphed into St. Christopher ... and many early Coptic images of Saint Christopher depict him with the head of a dog (image at left).

The discovery came during routine excavations at the dog catacomb in Saqqara necropolis by an excavation team led by Salima Ikram, professor of Egyptology at The American University in Cairo (AUC), and an international team of researchers led by Paul Nicholson of Cardiff University.

Initial inspection reveals that dogs of all breeds and ages were mummified, from newborn puppies to decrepit old dogs.

“We are recording the animal bones and the mummification techniques used to prepare the animals,” Ikram said.

Ikram also told National Geographic, which is financing the project, that "in some churches people light a candle, and their prayer is taken directly up to God in that smoke. In the same way, a mummified dog's spirit would carry a person's prayer to the afterlife".

Saqqara dog catacomb was first discovered in 1897 when well-known French Egyptologist Jacques De Morgan published his Carte of Memphite necropolis, with his map showing that there are two dog catacombs in the area.

However, mystery has overshadowed such mapping as it was not clear who was the first to discover the catacombs nor who carried out the mapping, and whether they were really for dogs.

"The proximity of the catacombs to the nearby temple of Anubis, the so called jackal or dog-headed deity associated with cemeteries and embalming, makes it likely that these catacombs are indeed for canines and their presence at Saqqara is to be explained by the concentration of other animal cuts at the site," Nicholson wrote on his website.

"These other cults include the burials of, and temples for, bulls, cows, baboons, ibises, hawks and cats all of which were thought to act as intermediaries between humans and their gods."


Despite the great quantity of animals buried in these catacombs and the immense size of the underground burial places, Egyptologists have focused on the temples and on inscriptional evidence rather than on the animals themselves.

The mysteries behind De Morgan's mapping were unsolved until 2009 when this team started concrete excavations at the cemetery in an attempt to learn more about the archaeological and history of the site.

"Results at the first season showed that De Morgan map has substantial inaccuracies and a new survey is under way," Nicholson said.

"The animal bones themselves have been sampled and preliminary results suggest that as well as actual dogs there may be other canids present. Furthermore the age profile of the animals is being examined so that patterns of mortality can be ascertained."


Sunday, June 21, 2015

ANTINOUS MERGES WITH APOLLO
DURING THE GLORIOUS JUNE SOLSTICE



THE JUNE SOLSTICE is one of the most sacred days in the Liturgical Calendar of the Religion of Antinous.

It is the day when Ra Herakhte, the heavenly father of Antinous, stands still for a moment. In the Northern Hemisphere it is the longest day  and from now on the days become shorter and shorter. For our brothers in the Southern Hemisphere, this is the Shortest Day and from now on the days become longer and longer.

That is an important aspect to remember about the Religion of Antinous. The Blessed Boy is beyond such constraints as Summer and Winter or even Life and Death. For Antinous, the days are ALWAYS getting longer and the they are ALWAYS getting shorter.

For HE lives in our hearts — wherever we are.

The Religion of Antinous celebrates a whole cluster of Sacred Events on this magical day, which we call The Delphinea as a collective term. The Delphinea is the celebration of the beautiful, golden-haired god of light, Apollo. 

Antinous would be associated with many deities in the generations to come. Among his many names, the Beauteous Boy was adored as Antinous-Apollo (image above).

The Delphinea is the celebration of the beautiful, golden-haired god of light, Apollo, and of his triumph over the great and monstrous Python which was wrapped around holy mount Parnassus. The Python was the creation of Juno, a creature of jealousy whose coils were meant only to stifle and constrict the grace of that which was to proceed from the Sacred Way of the holy city of Delphi.


Apollo shot the Python and destroyed it, when he was only three days old, which is like the brilliance of the Sun dispelling the covering of night. He set the black stone which had fallen from the sky, called the Omphalos, over the navel of the Earth, and charged a Sibyl, a priestess of the Great Mother to watch over the stone and to convey his wisdom to mankind.

Flamen Antinoalis Antonius Subia explains the significance for us Antinoians:
"The Oracle of Delphi, called a Pythoness, was overtaken while seated atop a golden tripod, by a fire that is the breath of the God. Apollo is the Flower Prince reborn, he is the Twin brother of Dionysus, the Twin brother of Diana. He is the Son of Zeus, and the inheritor of his Kingdom, just as Aelius Caesar was the chosen son of Hadrian.
"Apollo is the God of wisdom and art, the speaker of truth, the deliverer of radiance, reason and beauty. Apollo is the God of Socrates and Plato, and he is the God of Pythagoras who claimed to be his son, exhibiting a golden thigh as proof. Apollo is the unconquered light, the full manifested brilliance, power and wisdom of Orpheus.
"Of all the gods, Apollo is the most boy-loving, though the touch of his heart was invariably fatal. He is the genius of the dying boy-gods. We pray to Apollo, the great god of homosexuality, and seek his guidance on this day, the longest day of the year."

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

In the year 123, Hadrian toured the Danube region and Asia Minor. It was on this occasion that he met and fell in love with Antinous, in the ancient Bithynian capital city of Nicomedia, according to current research. One portrayal of the event has Hadrian in a garden, surrounded by the youth of the city, hearing a poetry recital.


Antonius tells it this way:


"Towards the back of the crowd, Hadrian notices a boy of extraordinary beauty who did not bring a stylus and tablet for taking notes, but sat removed from the others, silently gazing into the fountain, contemplating the words of the reader, as if in a dream. Hadrian was captivated, and is said to have gained the blessing of the boy's parents to have Antinous join the court, where there were already other boys of Hadrian's interest. Antinous would have been twelve years old. He was then sent to Rome to attend the Paedagogium, a finishing school for boys. This day marks the beginning of the love upon which our religion is based."
The relief sculpture at right shows Hadrian addressing a crowd with a boy who bears a striking resemblance to Antinous foremost in the crowd, touching the robe of the Emperor.

Saturday, June 20, 2015

HADRIAN'S VILLA OBSERVATORY TOWER
IS ALIGNED TO THE SOLSTICES


HADRIAN would have been planning a long night tonight in his personal observatory, despite the fact that it is the shortest night of the year in the Northern Hemisphere — the Summer Solstice

First, he would observe the setting sun sending a shaft of goldish-red light through a certain slit in his observatory tower to illuminate a golden statue of the Egyptian Goddess Isis.

Then there would be oracles at midnight. You can just see the cluster of priests and augurs, chanting and offering sacrifices amidst billowing clouds of incense. 

An Etruscan haruspex or two would be wearing yellow robes and conical hats as they inspected the entrails of animals. Patrician augurs would be wearing their finest ceremonial togas as they listened for messages from nocturnal birds. Babylonian astrologers would be clad in garish robes with multi-tiered crowns as they scanned the heavens and babbled to each other about their arcane calculations. 

And naturally the Egyptian priests would do their utmost to out-do all the others with outlandish make-up, headdresses and robes to the cacophony of sistrums, gongs and the whoosh of incendiary incense sending up pastel-colored clouds of smoke to the wailing of a priestess of Isis in the throes of a trance.

Scores of Imperial court officials and hangers-on would be stifling yawns as the oracles took most of the night. 

But yawns would turn to gasps of wonder and praise when the Emperor announced that he had just seen the RISE OF THE STAR OF ANTINOUS over the eastern horizon.

Then at dawn, the Emperor would climb stairs to the upper chamber to observe the Solstice Sunrise on June 21st.

He would announce the outcome of the oracles and whether the Antinoian Auspices for the coming year were favorable.

Modern Priests of Antinous will be celebrating rites at the HOLLYWOOD TEMPLE OF ANTINOUS to mark the Solstice.

The meditations of the Hollywood Priests of Antinous will be focused on an Italian archaeologist and her team who will be spending this Solstice at the ruins of a tower on a hillock at Hadrian's Villa which was the Emperor's own private observatory. 

These experts, led by MARIA DE FRANCESCHINI, have demonstrated that the observatory tower is in fact aligned to the Solstices. She believes the observatory was dedicated to the Egyptian goddess Isis, who raised Osiris from the dead to become a god of resurrection and transfiguration — just as Hadrian declared Antinous a god of resurrection and transfiguration.
 

For centuries, experts had been mystified by the layout of the sprawling complex of marble baths, banquet halls, luxurious residences, gardens, shrines and unidentified structures 30 kilometers outside Rome.

Hadrian's Villa was a sprawling complex of buildings, temples, gardens, a zoo and — yes — even an observatory tower on a hillock on the edge of the compound from which Hadrian could observe the heavens. 


 But, in an article published in the journal Nature last year, De Franceschini wrote that she believes the mystery-shrouded Rocca Bruna Tower, long held to be Hadrian's private observatory, is in fact aligned so as to produce sunlight effects for the seasons.

She describes her findings personally in the video at the top of this entry. 

De Franceschini says that during the summer solstice, rays of light pierce the tower and another of the villa's buildings. In the Rocca Bruna Tower, dawn sunlight during the summer solstice enters through a wedge-shaped slot above the door and illuminates a niche on the opposite side of the interior (image courtesy nature.com). And in a temple of the Accademia building, De Franceschini has found that sunlight passes through a series of doors during both the winter and summer solstices. 

"The alignments gave me a new key of interpretation," says De Franceschini, who adds that the two buildings are connected by an esplanade that was a sacred avenue during the solstices. Based on ancient texts describing religious rituals and study of recovered sculptures, she thinks the sunlight effects were linked to religious ceremonies associated with the Egyptian goddess Isis, who was adopted by the Romans.

De Franceschini, who works with the University of Trento in Italy, has published a book describing the archaeo-astronomical work, VILLA ADRIANA ARCHITETTURA CELESTE. She credits two architects, Robert Mangurian and Mary-Ann Ray, for initially noticing the light effect in Rocca Bruna.

According to nature.com, Robert Hannah, a classicist from the University of Otago in New Zealand, says that De Franceschini's ideas are plausible. "They're certainly ripe for further investigation," he says.

Hannah believes that the Pantheon, designed by Hadrian in Rome with a circular opening at the top of its dome, also acts as a giant calendrical sundial, with sunlight illuminating key interior surfaces at the equinoxes and on the spring equinox on April 21st, the city's birthday.

Few classical buildings have been investigated for astronomical alignment, says Hannah, partly because it is much easier to check for alignments in prehistoric structures such as Stonehenge, which do not have potentially contradictory artefacts.

De Franceschini spends every solstice at Hadrian's villa, seeking further verification. Our thoughts and prayers go with her during this special season of the Solstice.


We can envision Hadrian, sick with grief and alone after the death of Antinous, ensconced in his observatory tower scanning the heavens for a sign from his Beloved Boy, praying to Isis for her to work her magic on Antinous.




Friday, June 19, 2015

NICK DRAKE
SAINT OF ANTINOUS


ON JUNE 19th the Religion of Antinous commemorates the birth of SAINT NICK DRAKE, the sexually ambivalent English singer who died under very mysterious, Antinous-like circumstances at a young age and who became an artistic icon for future generations of dreamers and artists.

Nicholas Rodney Drake was born on June 19th, 1948, to an upper middle class English family living in Burma. His father was an industrialist and there was never much question about Nick's financial future. Indeed, he would have been a wealthy middle-aged man today had he done nothing at all. 


But Nick never ceased to wonder and worry about his spiritual future. Despite or perhaps precisely because of his admission to Cambridge University, Nick Drake was convinced that he should shun a financially certain future and pursue a future as a musician.

Nick Drake learned to play piano at an early age, and began to compose his own songs, which he would record on a reel-to-reel tape recorder he kept in the family drawing room in rural England.

In 1966 he spent some time in the South of France where he purportedly became acquainted with "the best sort of pot" and perhaps experimented with LSD — and possibly sex with both females and males.

Returning to England, he realized he was not suited to receive a degree from Cambridge University. Nick abruptly and shockingly (as far as his family was concerned) ended his studies at Cambridge nine months before graduation, and in autumn 1969 moved to London to concentrate on a career in music.

Nick signed to Island Records when he was 20 years old and released his debut album, Five Leaves Left, in 1969. By 1972, he had recorded his second album — Bryter Layter and part of his third, Pink Moon. Neither of the first two albums sold more than 5,000 copies on their initial release in Britain, much less abroad. He never made an American breakthrough, unlike other major British artists of the era.

Nick was devastated and depressed. His excruciating shyness to perform live or be interviewed further contributed to his lack of commercial success. Despite this, he was able to gather a loyal following.

He managed to complete his third album, Pink Moon, recorded in midnight sessions in the winter of 1971, immediately after which he withdrew from both live performance and recording, retreating to his parents' home in rural England. Once again, it did not sell well. He felt he was a failure. On November 25th, 1974, Nick Drake retired to his upstairs bedroom where he took a cocktail anti-depressants which killed him. He was found stretched over his bed next morning by his mother.

The Religion of Antinous honors Nick Drake as a prophet of Homoeros. He was a man who saw through the transparent barriers between sexuality to see the spiritual truth of reality. He was one of those many men who are never sure of their sexuality. But it is unimportant whether he was "gay" or not.

Nick Drake is a symbol of these sorts of dreamy and shy men who live existences of quiet despair. Nick Drake could play better riffs on the guitar than almost anybody of his generation. He had a beautiful voice. He was a gifted song-writer. He knew he had more  talent in his little finger than most well-paid artists would ever possess. But his career never took off. The big break never happened. Nobody appreciated him. He was broke and disillusioned.

His sister says she believes he took an overdose of anti-depressants  thinking he wanted it to either cure him or kill him, because he couldn't go on living in such despair of being an artistic failure. How many people in the economic meltdown of the early 21st Century don't feel the same despair? And yet ....

Nick Drake could scarcely have dreamt as he swallowed a handful of pills on a dreary November evening in his parents' house in the English Midlands that he would become a major recording star with fans around the world — 30 years after his death. His three albums now are cult chart-busters around the world.

When we remember Saint Nick Drake, we must remember too that Antinous is the patron of these sensitive souls who die untimely and tragic deaths at an early age. Antinous is the River Man who drowned in the Nile ....




Thursday, June 18, 2015

TAKE A LOOK AT 'LOOKING'
BY ANTINOUS-INSPIRED STUART SANDFORD



IF you are in Los Angeles the next four weeks, be sure to check out our good friend STUART SANDFORD's new exhibit of Antinous-inspired art.

His new show "Looking" opens at the EDWARD CELLA ART gallery June 20th and runs through July 18th.

A stunning example of Stuart's work is "Sebastian" (photo at top of entry) ... a unique larger-than-life size statue based on the model Sebastian Sauvé.

The 8 foot (243 cm) statue is made from bronze but uses state of the art 3D scanning and printing technology, marrying together the ancient and the contemporary in process and concept. 

Taking its main inspirations from the Greco-Roman depictions of the youth Antinous, the myth of Narcissus and the current obsession with the "selfie", this major work is both an exploration of contemporary representations of the masculine form and a comment on the icon and its place in contemporary culture.

"Looking" will also feature drawings, photographs and sculptures by Stuart and another artist who, despite working some thirty-five years apart, share in creating artworks that represent gay culture in Los Angeles across four decades.

"Looking" coincides with LGBT Heritage Month and provides perspective on the changing times and social landscape in Los Angeles.

British-born Stuart has exhibited his photographic, video, sculpture, and installation work in New York, London, Berlin, Basel, Rotterdam, Rome, Madrid, and Vienna, amongst others. In 2010 he curated the group show HUNG and co-curated Boy BANG Boy, both of which took place in London.

His work has been extensively featured in magazines internationally, including i-D, Dazed & Confused, BUTT, GT, Maenner, Kaiserin, attitude and Objektiv, the Norwegian journal of contemporary photography. 

Currently based in Los Angeles, by way of London, Berlin, and New York, Stuart (photo right) is also a published and produced writer and screenwriter currently developing his first feature film as writer and director. XVWE, his first short film produced in Los Angeles, will be released in the summer of 2015.

"Looking" is Stuart’s debut exhibition at the gallery and will feature Polaroids that were created during his fellowship at the Tom of Finland Foundation in Los Angeles, along with other selected recent works. 

THE ADVOCATE says: "Building on an ongoing practice investigating unbridled adolescent narcissism and the self-reflexive nature of photography in the era of selfies, Facebook, and Instagram, Sandford redeploys analog photographic process to document his experiences, preserving them for posterity with an unlikely medium."

Stuart was born in Sheffield, England, and studied at Sheffield Hallam University. 

His work was published in BUTT’s 2010 pinup calendar and has been featured in articles by Out There Magazine in the UK., Hyperallergic in the U.S., and TUSH in Germany. 

Stuart is currently working on a book titled after the address of Tom of Finland’s famous residence, 1421 Laveta Terrace.

Exhibition: June 20–July 18; reception: Saturday, June 20, from 6 to 8 p.m. Contact, Location: http://www.edwardcella.com/gallery



Wednesday, June 17, 2015

SEX, GLADIATORS, CHARIOT RACING:
ROMAN GRAFFITI STREET ART HAS IT ALL



THEY may not have had "tags," but Ancient Roman graffiti artists recorded everything that was important to people in the days of Antinous: Sex, Gladiator Fights, Chariot Racing and Religious Disputes.

Experts have found hundreds of graffiti messages engraved into stone in the ancient city of Aphrodisias in modern-day Turkey which was visited by Antinous and Hadrian have been discovered and deciphered, revealing what life was like there, researchers say.

The graffiti touches on many aspects of the city's life, including gladiator combat, chariot racing, religious fighting and sex. 

The markings date to the 3rd-5th Century AD in the city high in the mountains … called the "City of the Clouds."

"Hundreds of graffiti, scratched or chiseled on stone, have been preserved in Aphrodisias — more than in most other cities of the Roman East(an area which includes Greece and part of the Middle East)," said Angelos Chaniotis, a professor at the Institute for Advanced Study, in Princeton New Jersey, in a lecture he gave recently at Toronto's Royal Ontario Museum.

Chaniotis reported his discovery in a lecture given at the Royal Ontario Museum in Toronto and reported in Live Science.

"Graffiti are the products of instantaneous situations, often creatures of the night, scratched by people amused, excited, agitated, perhaps drunk. This is why they are so hard to interpret," Chaniotis said. "But this is why they are so valuable. They are records of voices and feelings on stone."

The graffiti includes sexual imagery, with one plaque showing numerous penises. "A plaque built into the city wall has representations of phalluses of various sizes and positions and employed in a variety of ways," Chaniotis said.

The graffiti also includes many depictions of gladiators. Although the city was part of the Roman Empire and was visited by Emperor Hadrian and Antinous, the people of Aphrodisias mainly spoke Greek. 

The graffiti is evidence that people living in Greek-speaking cities embraced gladiator fighting, Chaniotis said.

"Pictorial graffiti connected with gladiatorial combat are very numerous," he said. "And this abundance of images leaves little doubt about the great popularity of the most brutal contribution of the Romans to the culture of the Greek east."

Religion was also depicted in the city's graffiti.

"Christians, Jews and a strong group of philosophically educated followers of the polytheistic religions competed in Aphrodisias for the support of those who were asking the same questions: Is there a god? How can we attain a better afterlife?" said Chaniotis.

Graffiti was one way in which these groups competed. Archaeologists have found the remains of statues representing governors (or other elite persons) who supported polytheistic beliefs. Christians had registered their disapproval of such religions by carving abbreviations on the statues that mean"Mary gives birth to Jesus," refuting polytheism.

Those who followed polytheistic beliefs carved graffiti of their own.

"To the Christian symbol of the cross, the followers of the old religion responded by engraving their own symbol, the double axe," said Chaniotis, noting that this object was a symbol of Carian Zeus (a god), and is seen on the city's coins.


Tuesday, June 16, 2015

FUNCTIONING ROMAN HARBOR AND PORT
TO BE RECREATED ON TURKISH COAST



EXPERTS in Turkey will recreate a 2,000-year-old Roman harbor in one of the oldest coastal towns in the Aegean region to show modern-day visitors how a port functioned in Asia Minor, the birthplace of Antinous. 

The harbor in İzmir’s Urla district will have sailing vessels, catapults, depots and the same equipment used in the Roman era, which will be constructed to resemble their original appearance. 

When the harbor construction is completed, visitors will be able to take the Roman-era style boats on a tour of the area.

“This project is the first in the world. We will start working to prepare boats and weapons first. The detailed construction will start in a year,” said Ankara University Underwater Archaeology Research and Application Center (ANKÜSAM) founder and Liman Tepe excavations head Professor Hayat Erkanal.

Erkanal said catapults of the Roman era would also be in the harbor.

“There were buildings in the harbor for loading and registration, we will build these buildings. We have found out that there was a small church in the harbor in the late period." 

He added, "But we will build a harbor from the early Roman era. We will build at least two vessels from the early Roman era. The area will be open to tourist visits when the work is finished. We will try to keep this area a living place. Visitors will be able to tour in the Aegean sea on Roman boats.”

Ankara University Rector Professor Erkan İbiş said the project was important for Turkish tourism. He said they will revive every aspect of the Roman harbor. 

“We will build the very same Roman harbor here. Tools, boats, loading vehicles are being created just like their original,” he said.

Monday, June 15, 2015

YOUR FRIENDS REALLY ARE YOUR FAMILY
STUNNING NEW GENETIC STUDY PROVES



YOU may unsuspectingly choose friends who have some DNA sequences in common with you, a new analysis finds.

Researchers compared gene variations between nearly 2,000 people who were not biologically related, and found that friends had more gene variations in common than strangers.

The study lends a possible scientific backing for the well-worn clichés: "We're just like family," or "Friends are the family you choose," the researchers said.

"Humans are unique in that we create long-term connections with people of our species," said Nicholas Christakis, a social scientist at Yale University involved in the study. "Why do we do that? Why do we make friends? Not only that, we prefer the company of people we resemble."

The researchers did the study because they wanted "to provide a deep evolutionary account of the origins and significance of friendship," Christakis said.

The new study is based on data from the Framingham Heart Study, which is a large, ongoing study looking at heart disease risk factors in the people living in one town: Framingham, Massachusetts. The researchers looked at data on people's DNA, as well as who was friends with whom.

After analyzing almost 1.5 million markers of gene variations, the researchers found that pairs of friends had the same level of genetic relation as people did with a fourth cousin, or a great-great-great grandfather, which translates to about 1 percent of the human genome.

The most common gene shared by friends was the "olfactory" gene, which is involved in a person's sense of smell.

Although 1 percent may not sound like much, Christakis said in a statement, "to geneticists it is a significant number.

He said, "Most people don't even know who their fourth cousins are, yet we are somehow, among a myriad of possibilities, managing to select as friends the people who resemble ourselves."