Wednesday, August 31, 2016

DID ANTINOUS SEE CLEOPATRA'S TOMB
ON HIS LION-HUNTING EXPEDITION?



THE Lost Tomb of Antinous and the Lost Tomb of Alexander the Great capture the imaginations of archaeologists everywhere ... but imagine stumbling onto the Lost Tomb of Cleopatra?

One long-held theory is that her tomb could be hidden in a labyrinth beneath a Roman era fort in the desert west of Alexandria called Taposiris Magna.

Experts from Egypt and the Dominican Republic have discovered the temple's original gate on its western side. In pharaonic Egypt the temple was named Per-Usir, meaning "A place of Osiris."

Legend has it that when the god Seth killed Osiris he cut him into fourteen pieces and threw them all over Egypt. This is one of 14 temples said to contain one piece of the god's body.

The team also found limestone foundation stones, which would once have lined the entrance to the temple. 

One of these bears traces indicating that the entrance was lined with a series of Sphinx statues.

The team, led by Dr. Kathleen Martinez, began excavations in Taposiris Magna ten years ago in an attempt to locate the tomb of the well-known lovers, Queen Cleopatra VII and Mark Antony.

There is some evidence that suggests that Egypt's last Queen might not be buried inside the tomb built beside her royal palace, which is now under the eastern harbour of Alexandria.

The archaeologists have been exploring the underground labyrinth, turning up a bronze statue of the goddess Aphrodite, the alabaster head of a Cleopatra statue, a mask believed to belong to Marcus Antonius and a headless statue from the Ptolemaic era.

The location is of great interest to those of us who love Antinous because it is very likely that Hadrian and Antinous visited this temple site in August of the year 130 AD ... the final summer of the brief life of Antinous.

As we know, the imperial entourage was visiting Alexandria in the summer of the year 130, and we know that Hadrian and Antinous hunted and killed a man-eating lion which had been terrorizing the countryside. 

It was described as a "Libyan" lion, "Libya" being the term used in those days for everything west of Alexandria.

So it is highly possible (even likely) that the imperial hunting party passed by the temple at Taposiris Magna, which is less than 45 kms (30 miles) west of Alexandria. 

In the year 130 it was a vast complex of temples that included a Roman fortress. The name Taposiris comes from the legend that one of the relics of Osiris was enshrined there.

This is a very noteworthy site because it is the location of the only wholly Greek style temple (with columns) ever known to have been built in Egypt. 

And it is also a temple which was converted into a military fortress by the Romans.

In addition, it is the location of a unique stone tower overlooking the sea which is believed to have been a miniature replica of the Great Lighthouse at nearby Alexandria.

Only shattered walls and foundations are left to indicate the size of Taposiris Magna.

It is entirely conceivable that Cleopatra and Marcus Antonius, cornered by Octavian's advancing forces, might have sought refuge at this fortified temple complex with its tower suitable for use as an observation post.

It is also entirely possible that Cleopatra and Marc Antony were buried here.

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

SEEK THE LOST TOMB OF ANTINOUS
WITH BEN PASTOR'S 'THE WATER THIEF'


IT's summer vacation time in the Northern Hemisphere and anyone who is interested in historical fiction in general and Antinous in particular should read this book by Ben Pastor, the award-winning Italian-American historian and author. 

She knows more about Hadrian and Antinous than almost any other living expert. 

Her historical novel THE WATER THIEF is an example of fine scholarly research, as are indeed all of her books.

This novel traces the efforts of Aelius Spartianus to discover the fabled LOST TOMB OF ANTINOUS

Aelius Spartianus is a true-life figure who did in fact write a biography of Hadrian nearly 200 years after the death of Antinous.

Set in the year 304 AD, it tells of this very literate Roman army officer who is commissioned by Emperor Diocletian to do research on his predecessor the Divine Hadrian, who had died nearly two centuries earlier. 

It is while delving into the mystery of the death of Antinous and while trying to learn the whereabouts of the Boy's tomb that the officer stumbles onto evidence of a letter penned by Hadrian uncovering a covert conspiracy to bring down the Empire ... a conspiracy that is still very much at work in 4th Century Rome. 

As Spartianus comes ever closer to finding the answer to the death of Antinous, the conspirators' efforts to thwart him become ever more violent, resulting in numerous brutal murders and attempts on the officer's life.

Pastor's descriptions of Rome in the year 304 AD are superb. You get a real feel for the teeming city in mid-summer, with all the odors and noise, colors and steamy heat that that implies. 

Best of all, for those of us who love and worship Antinous, are the chapters in which Spartianus ensconces himself in Hadrian's derelict villa outside Rome. 

It is there, as he stares up into the stars at night, that he makes a startling connection between the layout of the villa and the eight visible constellations in the nighttime sky in late October when Antinous died ... indicating that Hadrian's obsession with horoscopes and astrology led him to create an earthly universe where time stood still at the death of Antinous.

Did Hadrian's belief in astrological fate compel him to have Antinous killed? Or did Antinous take his own life in a bid to fulfill his astrological fate? 

Or was it more mundane? Did he and Hadrian have a lovers' tiff that ended tragically? Was he done in by young male rivals intent on gaining Hadrian's affections for themselves? 

Or was something even more sinister at work? And why is someone desperate to preventing the officer from finding out what happened to Antinous all those years ago?

For those of us who love Antinous, this book is a joy to read. Pastor works in many small and obscure details which are well known to his modern-day followers. 

To give just one example, the Roman officer expends a great deal of effort trying to locate and decipher the OBELISK OF ANTINOUS which today stands in a park in Rome and is the focus of much current research in the 21st Century.

The obelisk's key inscription, which is the focus of modern experts seeking his tomb, says that Antinous "rests within the garden bounds of the great lord of Rome". 

Just as today's researchers have puzzled over the meaning of that phrase, Ben Pastor's protagonist must also make sense of it ... and he arrives at a startling answer that almost costs him his life and jeopardizes future of the Empire.

The novel's characters are well drawn and the reader identifies with Spartianus as he attempts to unravel this Gordian Knot while at the same time pulling together the strands of his own personal life.

There are numerous gay characters and they emerge as well-rounded and believable characters, especially the flamboyant Egyptian gays who find themselves unwittingly the target of unscrupulous killers in their very midst.

The tales of Antinous and Hadrian which unfold as the investigation progresses are a true pleasure to read, if only because they are all so contradictory and often far-fetched ... precisely as they are to today's researchers. 

Spartianus must work his way through this thicket of tall tales and outright lies and defamations in order to determine precisely what sort of persons Hadrian and Antinous were ... in order to save the Empire two centuries after their deaths.

One of the more outlandish tall tales is told to Aelius by a Roman transgender hustler named Cleopatra Minor who claims to have frequented a notorious whorehouse which specializes in boys for aristocratic customers whose villas line the Bay of Naples. 

Cleo claims it is "well-known there" that Antinous was a boy prostitute who had just arrived from Bythinia and "had barely become accustomed to his little bed" when Hadrian stopped by the whorehouse and took a fancy to him.

There are lots of other, equally intriguing characters in this book. But the most intriguing character of all, of course, is the one character who cannot take active part in the plot but whose presence is felt at every turn of the plot:

Antinous himself.

Though the 4th Century murders take center stage in the story, this book actually is more concerned with telling the story of Antinous and Hadrian and their abiding love affair which spans the gulf of the centuries.

As you read the novel, you get a growing awareness of Antinous as the living, breathing, three-dimensional human being that he must have been in life. 

The more Spartianus looks into the life of Antinous, the more he becomes obsessed with the Blessed Boy. He simply has to find that tomb, even if it means his death and the downfall of Rome.

We won't give away the thrilling ending, except to say that, when Spartianus finally "exchanges glances" with Antinous (in a manner of speaking), Spartianus is overcome with emotion ... and the reader finds it hard to hold back the tears.

CLICK HERE to order, but don't wait too long ... or the Water Thief will catch up with you.

Monday, August 29, 2016

WE WEEP FOR JUAN GABRIEL
GAY ICON TO MILLIONS IN MEXICO



WE weep for Juan Gabriel, a superstar Mexican songwriter and singer who was an icon for millions of LGBT people in the Latin music world.

He dropped dead Sunday at his home in California only hours after performing a standing-room-only crowd. He performed for two hours at the Los Angeles Forum on Friday, clad in one of his typical brightly colored outfits. In its review of the concert, Billboard called him "the ultimate showman." He was 66.

Juan Gabriel was Mexico's leading singer-songwriter and top-selling artist. 

His ballads about love and heartbreak and bouncy mariachi tunes became hymns throughout Latin America and Spain and with Spanish speakers in the United States.

He brought many adoring fans to tears as they sang along when he crooned his songs about love and heartbreak, including his top hits, "Hasta Que Te Conoci" ("Until I Met You") and "Amor Eterno" ("Eternal Love").

His hit "Querida" ("Dear") topped Mexico's charts for a whole year.

The adjectives "flamboyant" and "eccentric" followed him all his career, and he was imitated by drag queens in gay clubs throughout Mexico.

He skirted rumors of gayness his whole life. 

He liked to wear jackets covered in sequins or dress in shiny silk outfits in hot pink, turquoise blue or canary yellow, and he was known for tossing his head before dancing or jumping around the stage.

He was once famously asked by a television interviewer: "People look at you and say you are homosexual. What do you say?" His answer became part of his enduring myth.

"Lo que se ve no se pregunta," he answered … "Don't ask about something that is obvious."

Then Juan asked the interview what he saw when he looked at him.

The journalist said: "I see a singer before me, I see a winner" and Juan Gabriel replied: "That is the most important thing, because it is what you do that counts in life."

Juan started out as a waif ... having been sent to an orphanage after his father went insane with grief over the loss of Juan's mother and burned down their village and had to be carried off in a straitjacket. 


Little Juan fled abuse at the orphanage by hiding in a rubbish bin and being transported to freedom in a garbage truck. 

Arriving in Juarez, he sang for tips and tricks in seedy clubs, where he caught the eye of a "talent scout" ... and the rest is showbiz history.

In 2015 artist Arturo Damasco painted a 40-square-meter mural of Juan Gabriel on a building in Juarez.

Juan Gabriel never married. According to The Associated Press, a former secretary of his, Joaquín Muñoz, claimed that the two men had a sexual relationship in a tell-all book, "Juan Gabriel and I." 

It confirmed what most fans already believed, but his fans were surprised when years later it became known that he had fathered four children with a friend, Laura Salas.

Juan Gabriel performed to packed auditoriums, including New York's Madison Square Garden and the Kodak Theater in Los Angeles. 

His last concert was Friday night at the Forum in Inglewood, California. He was scheduled to perform Sunday in El Paso, Texas.

A six-time Grammy nominee, Juan Gabriel was inducted into the Billboard Latin Music Hall of Fame in 1996 and received countless industry awards.

He also garnered ASCAP Songwriter of the Year in 1995, Latin Recording Academy's Person of the Year 2009, and a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame that same year.

The singer, who was born 7 January 1950, wrote his first song at age 13 and went on to compose more than 1,500 songs. He died 28 August 2016 at age 66 … a homeless orphan who came to be loved by millions.



Sunday, August 28, 2016

EXHIBITION IN FRANCE FOCUSES ON HADRIAN
AND HIS PASSION FOR ANTINOUS

 
LAST chance to see a once-in-a-lifetime exhibition of Antinous art! 

August 31 is the last day to catch an exhibition devoted to the book "Memoirs of Hadrian" at the Archaeological Museum Nord, in the French town of Bavay on the Belgian border. 

You can see busts and statuary of Antinous on loan from major world museums ... and there is even an Antinous cut-out which allows you to pose as Antinous!

The exhibition focuses on the lives of two people who never met ... but who are inextricably intertwined: Emperor Hadrian and Marguerite Yourcenar Bavay, whose landmark Mémoires d'Hadrien (Hadrian's Memoirs) is considered by many to be the finest historical novel of the last century.

This exhibition reflects both literature and archeology, fact and fiction, by showing archaeological objects from the time of Hadrian, objects that belonged to Marguerite Yourcenar and showing parallels to Hadrian's enquiring mind and the author's.

The exhibition MARGUERITE YOURCENAR ET L’EMPEREUR HADRIEN, UNE RÉÉCRITURE DE L’ANTIQUITÉ (Marguerite Yourcenar and the Emperor Hadrian, Rewriting Antiquity) is thus dedicated to both Marguerite Yourcenar and to Hadrian.

It is the first exhibition in France about Memoirs of Hadrian and traces the author's life and parallels to the life of Hadrian.

The exhibition in Bavay is divided into five thematic sections underpinned by the literary frame Memoirs of Hadrian.

Starting with a section devoted to the research of Marguerite Yourcenar, the exhibition covers various life themes of Emperor Hadrian ... the man conscious of his roots and those of his family, the politician, the emperor, builder and the esthete, friend of the arts and of Hellenic culture ... culminating with his passion and his establishment of the religion of Antinous.

Thus, the exhibition explores the place of Antique in the literary work and touches the question of the border between archaeological data and literary imagination. 

The genius of Yourcenar's book is that generations of readers have believed it to be the true, actual memoirs of Hadrian ... and this exhibition encourages visitors to believe ... at least for a short time ... that it is indeed the authentic, historical memoir of the Roman Emperor.

On view are books, manuscripts, original editions of Marguerite Yourcenar along with statuary, busts, coins, inkwells and lamps from the time of Emperor Hadrian. 

Fifty works are on loan from the Louvre, the British Museum, Petite Plaisance, the Museum Ingres (Montauban), the Gallo-Roman museum in Lyon Fourvière museum of Fenaille (Rodez).

Also on view are objects from Hadrian's Villa (Tivoli), the Musée Saint-Raymond (Toulouse), the Picardie museum and the North France Archives.

KARL HEINRICH ULRICHS
SAINT OF ANTINOUS


ON AUGUST 28 the Religion of Antinous honors Saint Karl Heinrich Ulrichs, the world's first gay activist, who lobbied governments 100 years before Stonewall for repeal of anti-gay laws, and who was also Chief Priest of Antinous worldwide in the latter half of the 19th Century.

Even before the term "homosexuality" had been coined, Ulrichs came out to his friends and families and proclaimed in 1864 that he was a "Uranian" — or "Urning" in his native German — and thenceforth waged a one-man campaign for gay rights in Germany.

Sanctus Carolus Henricus Ulrichs, Chief Priest of Antinous in the 2nd half of the 19th Century (worldwide!) wrote incredibly long poems — nearly in epic form — about Hadrian and Antinous.

He wrote a manuscript for a mammoth scientific work on Antinous in history, art, coins and his influence on ancient and modern culture. The manuscript was confiscated and destroyed in a police raid.

As part of his gay-rights lobbying effort, he wrote dozens of pamphlets with titles such as "Researches on the Riddle of Man-Manly Love" aimed at dispelling homophobic myths about same-sex love.

Late in life Ulrichs wrote: "Until my dying day I will look back with pride that I found the courage to come face to face in battle against the spectre which for time immemorial has been injecting poison into me and into men of my nature. Many have been driven to suicide because all their happiness in life was tainted. Indeed, I am proud that I found the courage to deal the initial blow to the hydra of public contempt."

Forgotten for many years, Ulrichs is now becoming something of a cult figure in Europe. There are streets named for him in the German cities of Munich, Bremen and Hanover. His birthday (August 28th, 1825) is marked each year by a lively street party and poetry reading at Karl Heinrich Ulrichs Square in Munich.

The International Lesbian and Gay Law Association presents an annual Karl Heinrich Ulrichs Award in his memory. He died on July 14th, 1895, in L'Aquila, Italy.

Saturday, August 27, 2016

THE ANTINOUS OF RENO NEVADA



WE love it when Antinomaniacs from around the world share images of Antinous they discover during their globetrotting travels.

This statue of Antinous in the guise of Dionysus is the center of an Italian restaurant in Reno Nevada. He holds the thyrsus staff of Dionysus in one hand and a goblet of wine in the other.

He is flanked by two maenads who are totally naked ... though his private parts are hidden discreetly ... lest prudish American diners be put off their pasta.

And to top it all off ... this statue rotates slowly to give diners on all sides a 360-degree view of him ... under a twinkling starry heaven.






Friday, August 26, 2016

IRAN EXECUTES YET ANOTHER GAY TEEN
THE LATEST OF COUNTLESS MARTYRS



IRAN has executed yet another gay teen, reminding the world that it still regularly kills minors no matter what international law says.

Amnesty International has decried the hanging of gay Iranian teenager, Hassan Afshar, as proof of the country's "sickening enthusiasm for putting juveniles to death that knows no bounds."


Eleven years ago ... 19 July 2005 ... Iran publicly executed two teenage boys for being gay. Their names were MAHMOUD ASGARI and AYAZ MARHONI, 16 and 18 years old. 

Since then many more LGBT people have been tortured, imprisoned and publicly executed in Iran ... no one knows how many. 

For their suffering, the Religion of Antinous proclaims Mahmoud Asgari and Ayaz Marhoni and all of the named and unnamed gay victims of Iranian persecution, Saints and Innocent Martyrs of the Religion of Antinous.

Putting to death any juvenile violates United Nations covenants. Still, Iran hasn't shied from the most extreme penalty when prosecuting even the youngest men for gay sex and other crimes under Islamic law.

An Amnesty International report in January found that four people were killed last year despite being juveniles at the time of their crime. And between 2005 and 2015, 73 were executed.

In this latest case, Afshar was charged at age 17 with raping another boy. His family said it was consensual, which is sometimes a moot point. If the other boy hadn't called it "rape" instead of consensual sex, he too could have faced the death penalty.

Amnesty International reports that Afshar was hanged in Arak's Prison in Markazi Province on July 18.

Another teen, Alireza Tajiki, is next in line for execution, accused of raping and murdering a friend.

Amnesty International notes that Iran’s Supreme Court had said there's no evidence Tajiki committed the crime, and it says a confession is invalid because it was provoked by torture.

International outrage over Afshar’s death has so far managed to put the next killing on hold.

A rare photo of one of these executions (seen above) outraged the world in 2005, when a blindfolded Mahmoud Asgari, 16, and Ayaz Marhoni, 18, were publicly hanged in Mashhad, Iran, on charges of raping boys. The photos might have stopped, but the killings haven't.

A United Nations report in 2014 reported that 160 young men are on death row in Iran having been convicted of a myriad of crimes. Another United Nations investigation this year found that the death penalty reached a 20-year high in 2015, with 966 people killed.

Under Islamic law, these offenses — called hodud — can include "insulting the Prophet of Islam," extra-marital heterosexual sex, and consensual gay sex. Under hodud, death is one of four possible punishments, which could also include crucifixion, banishment, and amputating the right arm and left leg.

Thursday, August 25, 2016

CHAVELA VARGAS
SAINT OF ANTINOUS



CHAVELA VARGAS, the forceful lesbian songstress who was born in Costa Rica and rose to fame in Mexico, and influenced generations on both sides of the Atlantic, has been proclaimed a Saint of Antinous.

When she died in 2012 at age 93, she was especially known for her rendition of Mexican rancheras, but she is also recognized for her contribution to other genres of popular Latin American music.

Never one to hide her lesbianism, she has been an influential interpreter in America and Europe, muse to figures such as Pedro Almodóvar, hailed for her haunting performances, and called "la voz áspera de la ternura," the rough voice of tenderness.

FLAMEN ANTONIUS SUBIA speaks for millions of gays in the Spanish-speaking world when he says her passing is a saddening loss. He grew up with her music.

ANTONIUS RECALLS:

My parents had always played her music it...among many other singers...she was the only one who made an impact on me.  She was the only one who stood out...mostly because I could tell that she was crazy...she wasn't trying to sound pretty or traditional...but more like someone having an attack of too much feelings.

It wasn't until I was in my late teens that a friend pointed out that all her love songs are sung about women, I hadn't even noticed, I had just taken them at face value, you broke my heart songs, without really thinking about the context...that was when I really started to like Chavela Vargas...when it suddenly dawned on me that this dramatic, bellowing woman, who was such a favorite of my parents, was A LESBIAN!!!

As it turns out she was a hard-core lesbian, though never public about her sexuality, she never actually hid it...it was pretty much right there for everyone to see.  She drank heavily, carried a gun and wore a big red poncho...how can you not love a lesbian such as that?!  Eventually the drinking became too much and she dropped out of making music for a long, long time...only to return about 10 years ago, at 83 years of age with a new album...and it was during her return that I finally learned that, yes indeed, just as I suspected, she was in fact a Lesbian.  My favorite quote is when she said: 

"I've never even been to bed with a man. Never. That's how pure I am; I have nothing to be ashamed of. My gods made me the way I am." - Chavela Vargas

Chavela Vargas is a blessed Saint of Antinous.

ANTONIUS SUBIA

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

MOSAIC OF NEPTUNE GREETED BATHERS
AT AN ANCIENT BATH HOUSE IN TURKEY



A rare mosaic depicting Poseidon/Neptune, God of the Sea, has been unearthed at at an ancient Roman bath house in seaside Turkey.

The nearly pristine mosaic was discovered in the cold pool of a Roman bath in the ancient port city of Aegae, in Adana Turkey.


A Greek inscription at the bottom of the mosaic says: "Greetings to all of you bathing."

Aegae was an important port during the Roman era, founded in the 2nd Century BC. 


The ancient city had an important strategic position and served as a naval base during the reign of the Roman Empire and was also famous for its health facilities dedicated to Aesculapius, the god of medicine in ancient Greek religion and mythology.

One of the three biggest Asclepius temples in the world is located in the ancient city of Aegae.

Earlier, archaeologists found a mosaic depicting the god of love, Amor/Eros.

Poseidon, also known as Neptune in Roman mythology, who is the god of the sea, earthquake and horses in Greek mythology, is the son of Chronos and Rheia, and the brother of Zeus and Hades.


In this mosaic, he is described as having a rope wrapped over his shoulder.

Apart from Poseidon, the mosaic also features the depictions of dolphins on both sides of Poseidon.

It is a little-known fact that Antinous was associated in a gay context with Neptune/Poseidon, the classical god of the seas.

Coins minted by a priest of Antinous at Corinth named Hostilius Marcellus (from whom our own Uendi Hostilia Marcella takes her priestly name) show Antinous as Neptune/Poseidon.

It is a reference to the myth that Poseidon became enthralled with another marine male deity, Nerites, who was said to be the handsomest of all males on Earth, in the Heavens or in the Seas.


The sexual union of Poseidon and Nerites produced Anteros, god of requited love.

In those days, few people could read or write, but everyone knew these myths. So anyone who held one of these Antinous/Poseidon coins could "read" the gay symbolism.


So any discovery concerning Neptune/Poseidon is of great interest to us, since the dig could ultimately reveal Antinous-related artefacts.



Tuesday, August 23, 2016

STUNNING MOSAIC FLOOR DEPICTS
CHARIOT RACING AT ROME'S HIPPODROME



Archaeologists in Cyprus have uncovered a 10-meter (36-foot) mosaic floor depicting scenes of ancient chariot races in the Roman hippodrome.

Dating back to the 4th Century AD, this magnificent artifact was discovered in the Akaki village outside the capital Nicosia, making it the only one of its kind in Cyprus and one of seven in the world.

Not only is this mosaic incredibly detailed, but it illustrates complete race scenes for four charioteers, each being drawn by a team of four horses.

Experts believe this is a representation of the different factions that competed in ancient Rome.

"The hippodrome was very important in ancient Roman times, it was the place where the emperor appeared to his people and projected his power," said Fryni Hadjichristofi, a Cyprus Antiquities Department archaeologist.

Derived from the Greek words hippos ("horse") and dromos ("course"), the hippodrome was an open-air stadium, used for chariot and horse racing, which was a common Grecian activity during the Hellenistic, Roman and Byzantine eras.

The excavation crew is still working to uncover the entire floor, but the area that is visible measures 36 feet long and 13 feet wide.

The team believes this stunning piece was once part of a villa owned by a wealthy individual or nobleman while Cyprus was under Roman rule.

The mosaic displays scenes from a chariot race, with one charioteer standing as he is being pulled by four horses ... in total it shows four different races.
Near each of the four charioteers are inscriptions, which is believed to be their names and the name of one of the horses.

Archaeologists believe this representation is the four factions that would compete in chariot races while ancient Rome reigned.

Three cones can be seen along the circular arena, each topped with egg-shaped objects, and three columns seen in the distance hold up dolphin figures with what appears like water flowing from them.

On another part of the mosaic is one man on horseback and two others that are standing - one is holding a whip and the other a jug of water.

"It is an extremely important finding, because of the technique and because of the theme," the director of the Department of Antiquities Marina Ieronymidou said during a press conference in front of the mosaic this week.

"It is unique in Cyprus since the presence of this mosaic floor in a remote inland area provides important new information on that period in Cyprus and adds to our knowledge of the use of mosaic floors on the island."

The typical hippodrome was carved into a hillside and the material pulled from the ground was packed along the edges to construct an embankment for seats.

Monday, August 22, 2016

THE HISTORY OF THE ROSY LOTUS
OF ANTINOUS THE GAY GOD



When Emperor Hadrian visited Alexandria,
the poet Pancrates presented him
with a beautiful lotus flower.


Awestruck by the magnificent rosy-red petals,
Hadrian agreed to name the flower
after his beloved Antinous.


Drawings by Uendi


Beautiful CG Art by Antonius Subia


Music by Kevin MacLeod


For more info: THE TEMPLE OF ANTINOUS

Sunday, August 21, 2016

THE SACRED LION HUNT



ON the 21st of August, with the Sun in the final degrees of Leo the Lion, we commemorate the Sacred Lion Hunt ... when Hadrian and Antinous slew a man-eating lion in Egypt in August 130 AD.

Minutes ago, the modern-day Priests of Antinous just finished celebrating the event in with ritual ceremonies at the Hollywood Temple of Antinous which also saw worshipers participating via Skype from Mexico, Brazil and Germany.

During the special ceremonies they also honored the Sacred Rosy Lotus of Antinous ... the pink waterlily said to have sprung forth spontaneously from the lion's blood as it splattered the banks of the Nile.

Flamen Antonius Subia relates in vivid detail the events of the Sacred Lion Hunt: The place is Egypt, somewhere in the rocky wilderness between the scattered oases southeast of Alexandria. 

The time is August of the Year 130 AD. The Sun is poised to enter the Sign of Leo. The Constellation of Aquila the Eagle is at its zenith in the nighttime sky — just as it is now.

It is the constellation of the Emperor. And the Emperor and his Beloved are touring Egypt when they hear grisly accounts of a man-eating lion marauding the countryside on the edge of the cultivated land. The "Marousian Lion" it was called.

They lead a hunting expedition out into the wilderness. The whole expedition is rife with symbolism from the start since the Sun is in Leo in the daytime skies and the Eagle is soaring in the nighttime skies and the Ancients believed killing lions was tantamount to defeating death itself. Lion hunting was the sport of kings.

When at last the Imperial party flushes out the man-eater, the huntsmen and archers stand back and leave Hadrian to close in on the beast with his steed. Hadrian has just got off an arrow which wounds the animal when, all of a sudden, out of nowhere, young Antinous rides ahead, his reins in his left hand, an adamantine-tipped lance in his upraised right hand.

As the Imperial retinue looks on in horror, the snarling lion charges toward the boy, causing his panicked horse to whinny and wheel about in terror. But Antinous maintains his balance and, instantly judging distance and angle, sends his lance sailing towards the lion as it quickly closed the gap between them. 

The lance slams into its rear flank, inflicting a serious but not fatal wound. Enraged even more, the lion uses its fangs to pull out the lance and charges anew against the Boy who is fumbling with his quiver to ready a shot with his bow. But an arrow is already in the air from behind Antinous, and it whizzes past his ear and hit its mark in the throat of the lion.

It has been fired by Hadrian, who is approaching at full gallop and who, even while the first arrow was still in the air, had already readied a second arrow, which this time penetrates both lungs.

The lion spins about and collapses writhing in the dust, rage in its eyes, blood and saliva guttering from its fanged mouth, gasping for breath as it struggles to get to its feet — because Antinous has dismounted and is sprinting toward it with a drawn dagger.

Hadrian draws his steed to a halt and dismounts with an agility and  lightness befitting a man half his age, fueled by adrenalin and alarm for his Beloved Boy, who faces imminent peril from the mortally wounded lion, still capable of severing an artery with one swipe of its mighty paw.

Hadrian draws his hunting axe from his belt and holds it high as he  lunges onto the lion's back and dispatches the beast with one powerful blow which splits its skull in two with a frightening crack and a spurt of bright red blood which bathes both the older man, now panting and perspiring heavily, and the younger man who still shows no visible expression of concern, just a wild-eyed look of excitement in his eyes, as if he never realized the danger he had been in — as if he thinks he is immortal.

A cheer goes up from the coterie of onlookers when they realize the lion is dead, killed seemingly by a single blow from the Emperor's hand. Courtiers whose eyes are unskilled in the ways of hunting will later claim Hadrian had struck the lion dead with a club.

As soldiers and nervous bodyguards rush forward to make sure everything is all right, the emperor, his adrenalin-strength ebbing as quickly as it came, shakily wraps a blood-spattered arm around Antinous and plants his gilded, spike-soled sandal on the dead animal's neck and nods to Antinous to do the same.

There they stand, bathed in blood and bathed in the adulation of the Imperial coterie, each with one foot on the vanquished man-eater as the animal's blood spreads out and covers the surrounding rocks and sand and a few scrubby wildflowers growing from a crevice in a rock.

Even the flowers are splattered with blood. And these red blossoms  will be plucked by members of the entourage to take back as souvenirs to show to envious courtiers who had not been invited along.

THE SACRED LION HUNT was immortalized in poetry and in stone, with Hadrian adding medallions to the Arch of Constantine showing him and Antinous with feet on the lion's neck and also making sacrifice to the great lion-killer Hercules.


Soon legend would have it that scarlet-red lotus blossoms had sprung forth from the pool of the lion's blood, the lion which had been brought down by Antinous and which had been dealt its death blow by Hadrian — the SACRED RED LOTUS.

Under the Sign of Leo. And under the Constellation of the Eagle. 

Within a few short weeks, Antinous himself would be dead. The Sacred Lion Hunt is the last recorded event in His short life.

And some time afterward, grieving Hadrian would look up into the  nighttime skies with tear-filled eyes and his court astronomers would point out a New Star which had appeared in the southern part of the Constellation of Aquila the Eagle.

The New Star would be interpreted as a celestial sign that Antinous had been raised to the firmament, that the Constellation of the Imperial Eagle had been joined by the CONSTELLATION OF ANTINOUS. It was a sign that Antinous was now a God.

If you go outside tonight and peer out into the darkness with all its deep and hidden dangers, remember Antinous and how he peered out into the barren wilderness with all its deep and hidden dangers. 

He charged forth, his bridle-reins in his left hand and an adamantine-tipped lance in his right, and he faced death unafraid.

For Antinous knew he was immortal.

The Constellation of Antinous, still under the wing of the Imperial Eagle, will be right directly over your head tonight — shining proof that Antinous is a God and that he is indeed immortal.

Don't look out into the darkness around you and be afraid. Instead, look up and remember the Beloved Boy, who was a fearless hunter, who stalked death itself, and who emerged victorious over it.

Saturday, August 20, 2016

THE SACRED BAND OF THEBES
THE ARMY OF LOVERS


AUG. 20 the Religion of Antinous commemorates the Sacred Band of Thebes, the Army of Gay Lovers whose courage and valour have echoed down through the ages as an inspiration that Gay Love is a magical means of Conquering Fear and  Doubt.

The Sacred Band of Thebes, also called The Theban Band, was a battalion composed entirely of homosexual friends and lovers. This military unit, consisting of 150 male couples, was based on the belief that men fighting alongside their lovers would die rather than shame one another.

According to Aristotle, the Army of Lovers were sworn into military service at the Tomb of Iolaus, one of the many male lovers of Hercules. Iolaus had helped the god in the Twelve Herculean Tasks. 

He often acted as Hercules' charioteer and companion, and the closeness of their relationship was such that he was known as Heracles' symbomos (altar-sharer), since the two could be honored at one and the same altar — a very rare occurrence in ancient Greece, where each divinity would have his or her own altar.

Iolaus was called the eromenos (beloved boy) of Hercules, and was thus a Sacred Hero of same-sex love in Thebes. Hercules, Iolaus and Eros were often depicted together.

That is probably why the army of gay lovers was called the Sacred Band, since they took their oath of allegiance at the Sacred Tomb of Iolaus, which was at the same time a shared sacred altar to Hercules. In effect, the warriors were swearing that they would fight alongside their comrades the same way Iolaus and Hercules fought together — armed with the arrows of Eros.


You can see the parallels to Hadrian and his beloved boy Antinous, and later this week the parallels become even clearer when we commemorate the SACRED LION HUNT.

After that hunt in the Libyan desert in the summer of the year 130 AD, Hadrian and Antinous made sacrifice to thGreat Lion Slayer Hercules — thus cementing the identification between Hadrian/Hercules and Antinous/Iolaus — and their affiliation with the Sacred Band of Thebes.

The great Theban gener
al and tactician Epaminondas is generally credited with establishing The Sacred Band, although some sources claim it was his "beloved friend" Pelopidas who was responsible for recruiting them. No matter — they both fought side-by-side at the head of The Sacred Band.

This corps d'elite first took to the battlefield against Sparta, which had dominated Greece since the fall of Athens in 404 BC. The Spartans were confident of victory, as they had never suffered a defeat on the battlefield — never ever.

Deploying the Sacred Band on his front left wing, "Epaminondas made his left wing fifty deep and flung it forward in the attack." 

The "extra weight" of this wing and the "fanatical bravery of the Sacred Band" broke the Sparta right wing, which contained their best warriors. In the ensuing hand-to-hand combat, the Spartan king was killed and their right gave way.

Witnessing this, the rest of the Spartan forces, who had not yet been engaged, fell back in disarray, running for their lives. Thus, Sparta suffered their first recorded defeat in more than 400 years — at the hands of an Army of Gay Lovers.

But the end came in 338 BC at the battle of Chaeronea when King Phillip II of Macedonia and his son Alexander (later called Alexander the Great) defeated the combined forces of Athens and Thebes-Boetia. Alexander confronted The Sacred Band of Thebes, the elite corps of 300 homosexual lovers who were by that time the most respected soldiers in the world.

But alas! They were no match for the Macedonians under Phillip and Alexander. It was a rout. The Athenian and Theban armies gave way and began retreating from the advancing Macedonians. Only The Sacred Band stood their ground — and died. Only a few were subdued and captured. Of those who died, it was found that not one had been wounded in the back — a sign that they had not turned away from the fight.

Alexander was so moved by their nobility and courage that he asked his father to bury them with honour and raise a monument in the form of a Sacred Lion over their mass grave. In 1881, the shattered fragments of this Lion Tomb were discovered, surrounded by the bones of 254 pairs of men with their weapons, arranged in a phalanx of seven rows, the battle formation of the Sacred Band.

In 1902 the fragments of the Sacred Lion were reconstructed and placed again over the tomb of The Sacred Band (depicted left) by the secret homosexual society known as the Order of Chaeronea, founded by gay-rights pioneer George Cecil Ives.

It reminds us once again of the Sacred Lion Hunt which we celebrate later this week.

So, what has all of this got to do with us in our daily lives? We're not soldiers. We're not brave and courageous. Like Dorothy Gale, we're meek and mild. Timid. We know that if we were on a battlefield, we would turn and run. We would hide and "play dead" and hope nobody found us.

We assume that the Army of Gay Lovers were all fearless. We think they were unafraid. We don't think of them as being scaredy-cats like us. We think they didn't mind the prospect of agonizing death. We think they were somehow above such mortal fears and doubts.

That's nonsense, of course. They were scared out of their wits. We can scarcely imagine how afraid they were. As they stood there alone against the mightiest army in the Ancient World, their emotions shifted beyond the mere terror of possibly being killed, to the actual horror of inescapable agony and death. It is one thing to be terrified — we all know the fears generated by terrorists who fly airliners into buildings. 

But the emotions experienced by those trapped in the planes or inside the burning buildings go far beyond mere terror to the actual horror of inescapable agony and death. That is the Mystery of Terror as opposed to the Mystery of Horror. We tend to forget the distinction!

The Army of Gay Lovers were not without fear. On the contrary, they were staring into the horror of impending pain and death. But they did not allow their fear to overwhelm them. 

Instead, they turned their fear "inside-out" and used it as a magical shield. The barbs of fear were no longer poking inward to themselves, but instead were pointing outward towards their foes.

And that is the Mystery Teaching of the Army of Gay Lovers. It was no doubt part of the initiation which the recruits underwent at the Tomb of Iolaus. They were schooled in magico-religious methods for handling fear. It's about learning to harness Mars energy. Mars is all about the double-edge sword of fear/bravery and how you can learn to wield that Sword of Mars.

It's not about being fearless. It's about being able to transform your fear into a mighty force which wins the battle of life. Mars Warrior Energy is not about death. It is about LIFE. It is about harnessing fear and doubt and turning them into useful energies in your daily life.

Life — from the time you are born until the time you die — life is just one constant battle. And if you give in, then you are lost. And if you give in to the fear and doubt that constantly confront you each and ever day, then you are lost. It's about using selfless love and transcendant awareness to transform fear and doubt into constructive energies which empower you to stand up and wade into the fray of daily life.


The Band of Thebes were initiated into Mystery Teachings which showed them how to transform fear and doubt into a magical force which made them invincible — capable of asserting their will and making their dreams become reality. 

And the catalyst was male-male love and devotion.

This is one of the deepest and most profound Mystery Teachings of the Religion of Antinous

We are talking about the Mysteries of Antinous-Mars. This is why Flamen Antinoalis Antonius Subia has painted Antinous in the guise of the War God (above). 

Antinous is not just about gay male beauty. He is about gay male warrior energy.

Mars is a very important constituent aspect of Antinous. In Fixed Star Astrology, the STAR OF ANTINOUS is characterized by a mixture of Jupiter/Mars energy along with Venus energy — unique among Fixed Stars. To overlook Mars is to overlook a major component of what Antinous is all about.

Mars and his Alchemical Intelligence Graphiel and Daimon Barzabel (Deimos and Phobos) is much misunderstood by philosophers and occultists. 

The fiery Graphiel/Barzabel energies of the red planet ("terror" Deimos and "horror" Phobos) are often seen as frightful and horrific and destructive and warlike with no other qualities. This is a shallow analysis and one that should be discarded. Understanding your Martial nature — the Antinous-Mars warrior inside you — is essential to your survival and growth as a gay man. Terror and horror accompany us all our lives.

We are all afraid every day. We are all riddled with doubts every day. Look around you — most people are consumed with fear and doubt. Fear fuels their lives! But each of us can learn to turn our fears and doubts "inside-out" so that their barbs no longer point inward towards us, but instead so that these barbs of fear and doubt form a protective shield around us. 

It girds us with a constructive energy which helps us to advance through the Herculean travails which we face in our daily lives. Instead of being "fearfully" timid, we become "fearsomely" determined not to let life get us down.

Tomorrow, this transformational ability to turn fear "inside-out" will help us to understand how Antinous was able to charge the man-eater during the SACRED LION HUNT.

He must have been terrified. He was young and inexperienced and alone on his steed and armed only with an adamantine-tipped lance.

But through his loving bond with Hadrian/Hercules, Antinous/Iolaus was also magically armed with the "fearsomely strong" energies of the Sacred Band of Thebes.

Flamen Antinoalis Antonius affirms: "We consecrate and honor their memory and call upon their strength and courage in our own hearts, that we may become the New Sacred Band."

Friday, August 19, 2016

FEDERICO GARCÍA LORCA
SAINT OF ANTINOUS


ON AUGUST 19th, the Religion of Antinous honors St. Federico García Lorca, who was openly gay and who is one of the greatest poets of the Spanish language. 
He was executed by the Fascists on this day, August 19th, during the Spanish Civil War in 1936.

García Lorca's central themes are love, pride, passion and violent death, which also marked his own life.


The Spanish Civil was just getting underway in August 1936 and García Lorca was seen by the right-wing forces as an enemy. The author hid from the soldiers but he was eventually found.

An eyewitness has told that he was taken out of a Civil Government building by guards and Falangists belonging to the "Black Squad". García Lorca was shot in Granada without trial. The circumstances of his death are still shrouded in mystery. He was buried in a grave that he had been forced top dig for himself. 

According to some sources, he had to be finished off by a coup de grâce. One of his assassins later boasted, that he shot "two bullets into his arse for being a queer".

It was the end of a brilliant career as a poet and dramatist who was also remembered as a painter, pianist and composer.

In the 1920s he was close friends with Luis Buñuel and Salvador Dalí, among many others who later became influential artists in Spain. Despite the accolades from artists and critics, he suffered from bouts of depression brought on largely by his inner conflict about his homosexuality.

He was tortured by the demands of being a celebrity in a homophobic society and the yearnings of his gay soul.

During his lifetime only a handful of close friends were allowed to read the collection of gay poems which would be published many years later as his Sonnets of Dark Love. Here is one of them, entitled Love Sleeps in the Poet's Heart:


You'll never understand my love for you,
because you dream inside me, fast asleep.
I hide you, persecuted though you weep,
from the penetrating steel voice of truth.
Normalcy stirs both flesh and blinding star,
and pierces even my despairing heart.
Confusing reasoning has eaten out
the wings on which your spirit fiercely soared:
onlookers who gather on the garden lawn
await your body and my bitter grief,
their jumping horses made of light, green manes.
But go on sleeping now, my life, my dear.
Hear my smashed blood rebuke their violins!
See how they still must spy on us, so near!


With the Catalan painter Salvador Dalí and the film director Louis Buñuel he worked in different productions.

Dalí and Lorca had met in 1923. From the beginning, Lorca was fascinated by the young Catalan's personality and looks. Also Dalí had admitted that Lorca impressed him deeply.

When Buñuel and Dalí made their famous surrealist short film Un Chien Andalou (1928), García Lorca was offended: he thought that the film was about him.

Lorca's friendship with Dalí inspired a poem, a defense of modern art and at the same time an expression of homosexual love. Dalí dedicated his painting of Saint Sebastian to his friend, who often compared himself to the tortured homoerotic martyr.

"Let us agree," Lorca wrote to Dalí, "that one of man's most beautiful postures is that of St. Sebastian."

"In my 'Saint Sebastian' I remember you," Salvador Dalí replied, ". . . and sometimes I think he IS you. Let's see whether Saint Sebastian turns out to be you."

García Lorca was capable only of a "tragic, passionate relationship," Dalí once wrote — a friendship pierced by the arrows of Saint Sebastian.

The Religion of Antinous honors this great artist who lived and loved tragically and passionately and who died tragically for being gay.