Saturday, November 18, 2017

IS THIS A TEMPLE TO ANTINOUS?



IS this a small temple to Antinous in Newcastle England? 

This small temple is dedicated to a curly-haired boy god called ANTENOCITICUS ... a deity worshiped by soldiers and local people at the eastern end of Hadrian's Wall.

Antinous in the guise of Antenociticus is not mentioned at any other Romano-British site or on any inscriptions from Europe, which is why it has been identified as a local deity.

Antinous priest and writer MARTINUS CAMPBELL, author of THE LOVE GOD about the life of Antinous, says it is highly possible Antenociticus is a local aspect of Antinous ... perhaps in honor of a visit to this outpost by Antinous and Hadrian.

Martinus says: "Archaeologically there is a period of time in AD 126 to 127 when we have no record of where Hadrian was. We do know, however, that the wall was completed in Ad 128."

He says: "It is believed he would have come to Britannia to oversee the final stages of the wall. It is further believe he would have brought Antinous with him."

Martinus adds: "That is why the locals (mostly of mixed Roman and British blood, by then) connected Antinous to a local deity Citicus and re-named him Antenociticus."  Stone heads of Antenociticus have been found nearby.

Friday, November 17, 2017

NEW ATHENS MUSEUM EXHIBITION
FEATURES RARE ANTINOUS ART



ATHENS was Hadrian's favorite city, and now the National Archaeological Museum in Athens is putting the spotlight on Hadrian and Antinous in a special exhibition.

Included will be treasures long tucked away in storage, such as the inscribed base of a monument in honour of the Emperor Hadrian (below) and an outstanding bust of Antinous (above). 

The works are being displayed for the first time in the heart of the Museum, 19 centuries after the emperor's visit to Athens with Antinous at his side.

The exhibition, entitled "The Builder, Saviour and Olympian" opened 13 November 2017 in the “Hall of the Altar” (hall 34). The show runs through 4 March 2018. 

Their display in the Unseen Museum is part of the temporary exhibition of the National Archaeological Museum entitled "Hadrian and Athens. Conversing with an ideal world" that begins on 28 November 2017 and will be on for a year.

From December 2017 to February 2018, the Museum's archaeologists will welcome visitors and take them on a magic walk into the world of Hadrian and Antinous, from Athens to the sanctuary of the Egyptian Gods in Marathon, revealing the spiritual rebirth of Greek culture in the times of the philhellene emperor.

Presentations

Dates of presentations: December 15 2017, January 12, 26, February 9 and 23 2018, on Friday. December 17 2017, January 14 and 28, February 11 and 25 2018, on Sunday.
Starting time: 13.00

To participate in the presentation it is necessary to purchase a ticket and register upon arrival. The first come first served policy will be observed.


Contact details: National Archaeological Museum, 44 Patision Str, Athens. Tel.: 213214 4817, 213214 4856 / -4858 / -4866 / -4893. Opening hours: Monday 13:00-20:00, Tuesday-Sunday 09:00-16:00. E-mail: eam@culture.gr, www.namuseum.gr

QUINTUS AURELIUS SYMMACHUS
VENERABLE SAINT OF ANTINOUS



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

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

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

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

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

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

Antonius Subia says:

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

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

Thursday, November 16, 2017

LOZEN, APACHE WARRIORESS
SAINT OF ANTINOUS



WE honor Lozen, the two-spirit Apache warrioress and holy woman who fought with Geronimo, and who was with his final band of warriors when they surrendered.

She is a blessed Saint of Antinous.

A contemporary observer said:


"Lozen had no concern for her appearance and, even though she is seen in several famous photos of Geronimo with his warriors, there is nothing to indicate that she is a woman. You would never spot her. She was very manly in her appearance, dressed like a man, lived and fought like a man. She never married, and devoted her life to the service of her people, to the very end."

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

HOW TO PLAN YOUR OWN
FESTIVE ANTINOUS BIRTHDAY PARTY



ANTINOUS was born on November 27 and worshipers around the world are busy planning their own festivities ... from Chile to Canada and from New England in the US to New South Wales in Australia.

November marks the start of the ancient pagan Festive Season, a season which is still full of fabulous party dates ... including Christmas, New Year's Eve, Twelfth Night and of course American Thanksgiving. Dia de los Muertos and Halloween/Samhain usher in this Festive Season of twinkly lights and over-eating and drinking way too much. 

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

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


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

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

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

These ancient festivities go back WAAAAY before Christianity, of course. So it's a safe bet that Hadrian and Antinous would recognize many of the features of these festivities

So when you plan your Antinous Birthday Party, you can mix-and-match customs from all sorts of pagan Festive Season holidays, in full knowledge that Hadrian and Antinous would nod in approval.

It should be celebrated with feasting and drinking and singing and carousing. Green boughs (palm fronds, holly, pine boughs or whatever is native to your climate) should decorate the feast room in honour of the forests of Bithynia, the highlands of modern-day Turkey where Antinous was born.


Electric lights should be turned off in favor of candlelight or at the very least those strings of tiny "fairy lights" Moslems use during Ramadan and Hindus during Divali and Christians at Christmas.

The one really bright spot in the room should be a bust or image of Antinous, which is spotlighted, signifying our belief that Antinous brings light into the world.

The Antinous Rosy Lotus would be perfect. But since not everyone has access to lotus blossoms in late November, orchids would also be fine. 



Bithynia was well known even in Ancient Times for its forest orchids and the Romans loved orchids ... even orchid root beverages!

Orchids would be lovely as well as being a Hellenistic conversation piece. 


If they are too pricey, then your favorite seasonal flower will do. 

Look around and find something that is beautiful and unique to your own locale which you think would be very nice.

The Birthday of Antinous would be a wonderful opportunity for a costume party, also in keeping with the Halloween-Carnaval-Christmas flavor of these ancient pagan holidays. Guests might be encouraged to come as Greco-Romans or Egyptian priests.

The menu could be Mediterranean, with lots of finger foods such as tahini and couscous and humous and pita bread, stuffed olives, eggplant/aubergine, goat's cheese and so on. 



Refried beans (which the Egyptians call "fuul" and eat for breakfast) would be ideal since the theory goes that the Moors introduced "fuul" to the Spaniards, who introduced it to the New World, where it became refritos ... Mexican refried beans.

But you should feel free to go local with favorite regional dishes of your home area. 


There must be lots of good South American dishes which would be perfect, or Scottish specialties, or Aussie barbecued prawns or New England pot pies ... good simple "plebeian" food which is festive and spicy and filling.

In keeping with these pagan festivals, foods should represent birth and regeneration: beans, peas, black-eyed peas, pumpkins, squash, nuts, berries.

It doesn't really matter what food is served, of course, as long as it's delicious and plentiful, and as long as there is plenty of drink to wash it down, wine or beer or just good old iced tea.



Beer is appropriate, since the Ancient Egyptians were brewing beer thousands of years before Antinous was born.

Antinous' last meal may have been refried beans and beer and flat bread.

In a change from holiday cakes and cookies, how about baking Antinous cookies? 


Bake simple sugar cookies which have been cut out to resemble stars, comets, an imperial crown and Bithynian fir trees and lions and so on and decorate them with Antinoian lettering or symbols.

Instead of gingerbread men, make gingerbread Antinouses. The gingerbread man, after all, is thought to come from pagan rituals for honoring Thor or other gods. 


Generally, they are sweet dough which is filled with a nut-date-spice filling representing rebirth and spiritual sustenance. You still find them today on St. Nicholas' feast day throughout Europe.

Whatever you bake, make sure to include a small "surprise" somewhere in the cake or muffin or cookes for some lucky guest to chomp down on. It doesn't have to be a diamond ring, but a trinket of some sort is always fun. 


If that is too challenging for your skills as a confectioner, then just an ordinary cake with the letters "A-N-T-I-N-O-U-S" in store-bought candy lettering would do the job just as nicely. 

Or just a large "A" in icing in the middle of the cake.

Another tradition should be oracle games. This is the first major festival of the New Year in the Antinoian liturgical calendar, so oracles are appropriate.

And when your guests suggest you are robbing traditions from Christian festivals, just look them square in the eye and insist that the Christians stole these wonderful traditions from us pagans because the Christians didn't have any of their own. 



Where would Christian holidays be without pagan traditions?

Who knows? Perhaps Hadrian and Antinous enjoyed these very same pagan traditions in their Saturnalia revelries.

One more thing: Mistletoe. Mistletoe is plentiful in the forests of Bithynia. You can never have enough mistletoe ... as these two 1928 vendors in Paris show.


Antinous would be well familiar with mistletoe. I'm sure he would like it as a reminder of his boyhood hikes through the woods of home.

Use your imagination and you'll come up with lots of ideas.


Let the Festive Season Begin with an Antinous Birthday Party!

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

YOU DON'T NEED A TEMPLE OF STONE
TO CELEBRATE THE BIRTHDAY
OF ANTINOUS



THE birthday of Antinous is November 27 and worshipers all over the world are planning celebrations.

But some people are unable to celebrate as expansively and as joyously as they would like. 

We received the following succinct smart phone message yesterday from a very dear adherent of Antinous in the American Bible Belt who said:

"I am a bit envious that you get to celebrate his birthday openly. I've got two straight housemates. Oh well ... maybe some day ...."

And like many people, he also has to work on that day ... and others have to work perhaps at two jobs to make ends meet. And then there are the people who just don't have the money or the facilities for a formal celebration.

There is a common misconception that you need to have a large and elaborate ALTAR OR SHRINE in your home. But the truest shrine is in your heart. You can download a photo of Antinous and put it in your wallet ... and it truly becomes Antinous the Gay God if you see HIM in it.

A shrine or sacred image of Antinous can be very SMALL AND MODEST.

The Ancient Priests of Antinous were experts in such things ... though 1,800 years of Christianity has resulted in that knowledge having become lost for the vast majority of people in Western civilization.

For the Ancient Priests of Antinous, what existed on the physical level drew to itself the specific spiritual energies of which the physical form was a type.

For the Magical Consciousness, every ritual action done on the physical level, every form created, every word spoken or written, acted as the magnet to which its spiritual counterpart irresistably was pulled.

Thus, a consecrated image of Antinous is not an "idol" and his worshippers are not "idolators."

Why not?

Because an idol is a physical object and nothing more than a physical object. The statues of Antinous were not "idols" because the Ancient Priests of Antinous could  never have conceived of such a notion. It is important that we remember that the Ancient Priests of Antinous conceived of a world which was ... unlike our own ... an ANIMATED world from the beginning. Everything in their physical world was alive with spiritual dimensions.

They didn't PROJECT a spiritual entity into a hunk of carved marble. Instead, they APPREHENDED the spiritual entity that was already inside the stone.

Anybody who has been around our own FLAMEN ANTONIUS SUBIA has seem him use his Inner Eye to do the same thing. He will look at a statue of a "Greek Ephebe" and will look inward for a moment and then will say, "It's Antinous!"

Some have criticized him for doing this, saying he can't possibly know the provenance of the statue and whether it was perhaps actually supposed to be Hermes or someone else. Antonyus uses his Inner Eye and "sees" the spiritual Blessed Boy in the stone ... or says it is not Antinous, as the case may be.

The Ancient Priests of Antinous did the same thing in carrying out religio-magical services for the faithful. Not only could a physical image (whether two-dimensional or three-dimensional) provide a "body" for an already existent spiritual entity, but images could also become the spiritual base for "thought forms" that were called into existence through their being represented in miniature on the physical plane.

The Ancient Priests of Antinous were deeply aware of the interdependence between the Divine World and the Human World. In the times in which they lived, these two spheres were not experienced as separate from each other in the way that they have come to be experienced today.


"As Above, So Below" was not just a catch-phrase for them, but instead it was a way of life.

It is our goal in this distant, soulless, post-modern age, to rediscover this ability to live in relationship to, and act as a conduit for, Antinous the Gay God.

We cannot recreate the ancient religion of Antinous. It is dead and we human beings have developed in other directions. We are not attempting to "reconstruct" the Religion of Antinous. Our goal is to fashion a Religion of Antinous which meets the spiritual needs of post-modern, post-Christian and post-pagan gay men.

But we can learn from the Ancient Priests of Antinous. The cosmos of which they were aware was primarily spiritual and only secondarily material. In their physical world, everything was spiritually alive ... even soft-toys, coins and bronze (or maybe brass) statuettes bought on eBay ... even a downloaded photo in a hip wallet.

The main task of the Ancient Priests of Antinous was to build a magical bridge between physical and spiritual reality, momentarily bringing them into conjunction.

So the answer to the question "Is that image really Antinous?" would be answered this way by an Ancient Priest of Antinous: "It is so if you MAKE it so. Open your eyes to the 'Antinous Within'. Apprehend HIS presence which is already inside the earthly reproduction. Through you, then, it IS Antinous!"

HOMOTHEOSIS ... Gay-Man-Godliness-Becoming-the-Same.


You don't need to build a temple of steel, stone and glass. You ARE the temple.

Monday, November 13, 2017

THE FEAST OF JUPITER, JUNO, MINERVA



ON the 13th November we celebrate the Roman feast of Jupiter, Minerva and Juno. Romans celebrate with a lavish feast outdoors, with the statues of the gods being brought in as the major guests. The feast is in the inner courtyard, open to the sky, so that the gods can see that all is done correctly.

13 de novembro é a festa romana de Júpiter, Minerva e Juno. Os romanos celebraram com uma festa pródiga ao ar livre, com as estátuas dos deuses sendo trazidas como os principais convidados. A festa está no pátio interior, aberta ao céu, para que os deuses possam ver que tudo é feito corretamente.

El 13 de noviembre es la fiesta romana de Júpiter, Minerva y Juno. Los romanos celebraban con un festín lujoso al aire libre, con las estatuas de los dioses como los principales invitados. La fiesta está en el patio interior, abierto al cielo, para que los dioses puedan ver que todo está hecho correctamente.

Sunday, November 12, 2017

HOW A PLASTER HEAD
OF ANTINOUS IS MADE


HERE are some stunning photos of how a plaster head of Antinous is made, using a silicone form and water and plaster ... and craftsmanship. CLICK HERE for the artisan's explanation.











Saturday, November 11, 2017

NIANKHKHNUM and KHNUMHOTEP
SAINTS OF ANTINOUS


ON November 11th the Religion of Antinous honors two men whose love for each other has survived the fall of all ancient civilizations.

We honor Niankhkhnum and Khnumhotep, Blessed Saints of Antinous.They lived in Egypt 2,000 years before the siege of Troy. 

They had been dead and forgotten for 2,650 years when Hadrian and Antinous visited Mennefer (Memphis) Egypt in 130 AD. 

Most likely Hadrian and Antinous stood directly on top of (or very nearly on top of) the lost tomb of these two men — two men who were buried together at the Memphis necropolis some 4,500 years ago.

When the tomb was discovered in 1964 it sent shock waves through the dusty world of Egyptology. The vividly painted reliefs on the walls of the tomb showed an intimate embrace between two male Royal Manicurists — the first recorded depiction of an openly homosexual couple.
Prudish Egyptologists have argued ever since that the two men were "just good friends" or perhaps that they were possibly "twin brothers".

But recent research by more open-minded archaeologists, such as California-based EGYPTOLOGIST GREG REEDER, has offered compelling evidence that the two men were more than "just good friends" or "close brothers."

Greg Reeder has written and lectured extensively on this extraordinary tomb, which was uncovered in 1964 in the necropolis of Saqqara at Memphis, on the west bank of the Nile. The site atop a cliff overlooking the Nile has drawn tourists since ancient times. Julius Caesar and Cleopatra stood atop this cliff and gazed in awe at its ancient tomb structures.

Hadrian and Antinous almost certainly stood on this very same spot in October of the year 130 AD, only weeks before Antinous drowned in the Nile. Beneath their feet was the Lost Tomb of Niankhkhnum and Khnumhotep. The sand has been removed and now that long-lost tomb is no longer lost.

And what a tomb it is! It has a splendid entrance and charming layout befitting a pleasant gay holiday retreat cottage — for an eternal, never-ending holiday vacation.

While grave robbers stripped the tomb of relics in antiquity, the wall paintings reveal tantalizing hints about its original occupants. The men are repeatedly depicted together, sometimes holding hands, sometimes with their arms around each other.

In two instances they are shown with their noses touching — the most intimate embrace permitted in Egyptian art of the time — tantamount to kissing. Their bodies are pressed so closely together that their groins rub against each other in a decidedly intimate sort of way. 

In Ancient Egypt, such male-male depictions were reserved for kings who merged with gods, not for two mortal men.

They are so close together that some Egyptologists have theorized that they may have been Siamese twins joined at the hips.

Other figures, identified as wives and children, are relegated to the background. In one scene, in which the two men share a final banquet before their journey into the afterlife, Niankhkhnum' s "wife" has been plastered over by the craftsmen who decorated the tomb. Khnumhotep's spouse fails to make an appearance at all — highly unusual in Egyptian tomb art, if not totally unprecedented.

Throughout the tomb, the two men are depicted in joyous pursuits, such as this relief vignette (right) showing one of them playing flute accompaniment as the other sings.

The magnificent reliefs show a variety of scenes involving nude or semi-nude males involved in all sorts of artistic and manly activities, such as one scene (below left) of a sort of "Egyptian Rodeo" bull-roping tournament with accompanying scenes of a raucous "beef barbecue" feast.

Or the scene (below right) of athletic youths — so sparingly attired you can see they are circumcised — engaged in a playful mock battle using reed skiffs on the Nile.

Throughout the tomb, the reliefs show men, men, men (and a few token females) engaged in service to the tomb's two male occupants who are — unprecedented in Egyptian Sacred Art — wholly committed to each other. Other tombs invariably show man-and-wife. Not this one.

Hieroglyphs describe the men as "Overseers of the Royal Manicurists" to pharaoh. 
Ostensibly, they were responsible for the care of the pharaoh's hands and were among the select few permitted to touch the ruler. 

However, it is also possible that the title "Royal Manicurist" could be a ceremonial honor similar to the "Order of the Garter".

Though the hieroglyphs say nothing of the two men's relationship, Greg Reeder, an Egyptologist based in San Francisco, believes the wall paintings suggest homosexuality is the answer. Reeder points out that Niankhkhnum and Khnumhotep clearly chose to depict themselves in poses usually restricted to husbands and wives in other tombs. 

"Same-sex desire must be considered as a probable explanation," Reeder said at a lecture in Britain which made headlines a couple of years ago.

"We can only say for certain that the carvings show a profound intimacy between the two men, and the people who built the tomb were possibly unsure how to portray this," the US archaeologist noted.

The tomb was restored by German archaeologists in the late 1970s and opened to the public in the 1990s.

While gay tour operators have not targeted the site, in large part because Egypt outlaws homosexual activity, Greg Reeder's articles and lectures have created gay interest in this long-lost tomb.

"It has now become famous and lots of gay tourists go there," he says with scholarly pride.

Reeder notes that, regardless of whether the two men were sexual lovers, they were definitely two men who loved each other so much that they wanted to spend all eternity in an intimate embrace.

Even their two names are intertwined. Over the entrance to one chamber their names are mingled together so that Niankhkhnum and Khnumhotep become "NiankhKHNUMhotep" — Peace and Life joined in the ram-headed Source-of-the-Nile Deity Khnum, clearly their mutual sacred patron.

Thus, their names blend together, forming a single name: "Joined in Life and Joined in Peace at the Source of All That Lives and Dies and is Born Again for All Eternity". Such is the subtlety of the Egyptian language, which turns a name into a commitment.
Our Flamen Antinoalis Antonyus Subia says:
"Niankhkhnum and Khnumhotep is one of the earliest and most vivid portrayals of homosexual love, crossing all boundaries, binding two men and two families for all time, and demonstrating the profound antiquity and sacredness of our form of love." 
Thanks largely to the bold and candid research of Greg Reeder, the names of Niankhkhnum and Khnumhotep have been rescued from oblivion, so that their KAs might live forever — together! 

Friday, November 10, 2017

SAINT ARTHUR RIMBAUD


ON November 10th the Religion of Antinous honors St. Arthur Rimbaud, the free-spirited French poet whose openly gay lifestyle shocked even the most avant garde artists of London and Paris in the late 19th Century.

On this day, in 1891, the poet Arthur Rimbaud, Saint of Antinous, died of cancer just three months short of his 37th birthday. Despite his early death, he was already an acclaimed and highly controversial literary figure.

In his youth, Rimbaud had been what we would nowadays call a twink. A schoolboy friend said he was prettier than any of the girls and that he had "the most beautiful pale blue eyes" he had ever seen.

Raised by a staunchly Catholic single mother in isolation in the country, Rimbaud ran away to Paris at age 16 with no money but with a prodigious talent for poetry — he had already published a couple of highly praised poems.

In Paris, Rimbaud's behavior became outwardly provocative. The mild-mannered country boy started drinking, speaking rudely and writing scatological poems, stealing books from local shops, and instead of his previous neat appearance and in defiance of short-hair fashions, he began to wear his hair rebelliously long.

At the same time he wrote to an old school teacher of his who had encouraged his poetic talents, telling him about his method for attaining poetical transcendence or visionary power through a "long, intimidating, immense and rational derangement of all the senses. The sufferings are enormous, but one must be strong, be born a poet, and I have recognized myself as a poet."

Still a teenager, he was friends with radical Communists in Paris known as the Communards (hence the name of the '80s pop group) and he even wrote a poem about being sodomized by drunken Communard paramilitary men entitled "Le Coeur Supplicié" (The Tortured Heart).

He solicited the friendship of the established poet Paul Verlaine by audaciously writing a love letter to him and enclosing two hotly sexy poems, including the hypnotic, gradually shocking "Le Dormeur du Val" (The Sleeper of the Vale), in which the forces of Nature more or less rape a sleeping soldier.
  
Verlaine, who was intrigued by Rimbaud, sent a reply that stated, "Come, dear great soul. We await you; we desire you," along with a one-way ticket to Paris.

Verlaine was so smitten with the 17-year-old Rimbaud, that he abandoned his heavily pregnant 17-year-old wife and took up living with Rimbaud instead. Verlaine quit his job to become what he called "a full-time professional drunk" At left is a caricature of Rimbaud that Verlaine lovingly sketched about that time.

All of Paris was shocked by their behavior which, even among avant-garde artists, was considered scandalous.

The two of them fled to London, where they lived the life of starving artists. Rimbaud spent most of his time in the Reading Room of the British Museum for the simple reason that "heating, lighting, pens and ink were free", he later said. 

Verlaine and Rimbaud had a volatile on-again, off-again relationship punctuated by drunken bitch fights and which climaxed with Verlaine firing a gunshot at Rimbaud which resulted in a wrist wound.

In his 20s and early 30s, Rimbaud was a vagabond poet who traveled the world, mostly on foot, doing odd jobs and writing poems. There is a marble plaque on the island of Java commemorating his short visit there as a soldier in the Dutch Colonial Army — he decided the military life was not for him and deserted almost immediately upon arrival there and returned to Europe.
He was living on the Horn of Africa with an Ethiopian mistress (he had had several lovers of both sexes, basically one in every port) when his health began to deteriorate due to what would later be diagnosed as cancer — alas, the diagnosis would be made too late to save his life.

He was 17 years old when he wrote the poem The Drunken Boat: 


"..Lighter than a cork, I danced on the waves which men call eternal rollers of victims, for ten nights, without once missing the foolish eye of the harbor lights! Sweeter than the flesh of sour apples to children, the green water penetrated my pinewood hull and washed me clean of the bluish wine-stains and the splashes of vomit, carrying away both rudder and anchor. And from that time on I bathed in the Poem of the Sea, star-infused and churned into milk, devouring the green azures; where, entranced and pallid, a dreaming drowned man sometimes goes down; where, suddenly dyeing the bluenesses- deliriums and slow rhythms under the gleams of the daylight, stronger than alcohol, vaster than music-ferment the bitter redness of love."
We dedicate this poem and the course of the free and disordered life  of St. Arthur Rimbaud to the period of 72 Archons, and our difficult passage towards godliness.

Thursday, November 9, 2017

OLDEST GREEK GYMNASIUM IN EGYPT
DISCOVERED IN FAYOUM OASIS

 

A team of archaeologists has discovered the first Hellenistic gymnasium ever found in Egypt, an academy used during the Ptolemaic period for training young Greek-speaking men in sports, literacy and philosophy.

The mission from the German Archaeological Institute (DAI), headed by Professor Cornelia Römer, made the discovery as part of its ongoing excavations at the Watfa, a village in the Fayoum Oasis north of the site of Antinoopolis.

Watfa is the location of the ancient village Philoteris, founded by king Ptolemy II in the 3rd century BCE and named after his second sister Philotera.

Aymen Ashmawi, head of the Ancient Egyptian Antiquities sector at the Ministry of Antiquities, said that the gymnasium included a large meeting hall, once adorned with statues, a dining hall and a courtyard in the main building.

There is also a racetrack of nearly 200 metres in length, long enough for the typical stadium-length races of 180 metres.

Generous gardens surrounded the building, completing the ideal layout for a centre of Greek learning.

Römer explains that gymnasia academies were privately founded by rich people who wanted their villages to become even more Greek in aspect. There, she continued, the young men of the Greek speaking upper-class were trained in sports, learned to read and write, and to enjoy philosophical discussions.

All big cities of the Hellenistic world, like Athens in Greece, Pergamon and Miletus in Asia Minor, and Pompei in Italy, had such gymnasia.

"The gymnasia in the Egyptian countryside were built after their pattern. Although much smaller, the gymnasium of Watfa clearly shows the impact of Greek life in Egypt, not only in Alexandria, but also in the countryside," Römer said.

Alexander the Great, she pointed out, had made Egypt part of the Hellenistic world, and thousands of Greek-speaking settlers flocked to the land by the Nile, attracted by the new Ptolemaic empire, which promised prosperity and peace.

In the Delta and Fayoum in particular, new villages were founded, in which the indigenous population lived together with the Greek newcomers. Such villages were equipped not only with Egyptian temples, but also with Greek sanctuaries.

There were also public baths, an institution very popular in the Greek world. The baths soon became places of social encounter in the villages and meeting points for the Egyptian and Greek-speaking inhabitants.

Gymnasia as places of Greek culture and lifestyle were part of this Hellenistic cultural setting.

Inscriptions and papyri had already witnessed the existence of gymnasia in the countryside of the Ptolemaic period. 

They tell of payments for parts of the main buildings being made by rich inhabitants of the villages, and of the men who governed the institutions.

At Watfa, the first academy of this kind in Egypt has now been discovered.

Watfa, ancient Philoteris, was one of the many villages founded under the first Ptolemies in the middle of the 3rd Century BC. In the beginning, it had around 1,200 inhabitants, two thirds of them Egyptians, and one third Greek-speaking settlers.

The German Archaeological Institute has been conducting surveys and excavations at Watfa since 2010.

One important aspect of the project‘s work is teaching Egyptian students, in cooperation with a teaching program at Ain Shams University, supported by the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD).

Wednesday, November 8, 2017

ANCIENT ALABASTER BUST OF ANTINOUS
GRACES MUSEUM IN STUTTGART GERMANY



WE always like it when we see a "new" ancient Antinous sculpture. A museum curator friend of ours saw this bust of Antinous in Stuttgart, apparently a new addition.

Antinous alabaster bust (2nd Century AD) at the Landesmuseum Württemberg in Stuttgart, Germany. Photo courtesy of the Munich Egyptian Museum Ägyptisches Museum München. Provenance not given, but it is presumed by the museum to have been sculpted in Egypt. It was acquired on the art market in 1974 through arts funding from the German Lottery.

Abrigo de alabastro antinous (século II dC) no Landesmuseum de Württemberg, em Estugarda, na Alemanha. Foto cortesia do Museu egípcio de Munique Ägyptisches Museum München.

Busto Antinoo de alabastro (siglo II dC) en el Landesmuseum Württemberg en Stuttgart, Alemania. Foto cortesía del Museo Egipcio de Munich Ägyptisches Museum München.





 

Tuesday, November 7, 2017

TOM OF FINLAND
SAINT OF ANTINOUS


ON November 7th we remember one of our saints whose gift of erotic artistry and wry humor influenced the Stonewall generation — Saint Tom of Finland.

Tom of Finland's style was so identifiable, so iconic, that it was immediately recognizable. Whether signed or unsigned, his emblematic pencil and ink drawings are always recognizably his.

He became so closely identified with his iconic art that few people ever suspected that his name was not actually Tom, though he was indeed Finnish.


Touko Laaksonen was born in Kaarina Finland on May 8th, 1920, and he died on November 7th, 1991. He studied art in Helsinki and worked as a graphic artist during the 1940s and '50s. On the side he began to master his particular style and vision of male beauty.

His entry into gay erotic art came in 1957 when he submitted drawings to the American bodybuilder magazine Physique Pictorial, a pioneer publication in the field of gay porn from the days when it was still a federal offense to send "indecent images" through the mail. He then started to use the name Tom of Finland.

His art was an overt display of gay sexuality during the dark years of repression that preceded Stonewall. It is said that his images fueled the hearts of young, future gay rights advocates because of their defiant and utterly masculine depiction of the homosexual ideal.

He was among the first to vividly display the fully engorged phallus,  Priapic in its proportions, throwing off the censorship that had kept it hidden for hundreds of years.

During the late '60s and early '70s his erotic images were received with acclaim and became the subject of museum exhibitions, and they soon entered the heart of gay culture as one of the most widely recognized and often copied images of gay sexuality. 

His depictions of extremely masculine, homosexual vitality were a reflection of the deepest erotic fantasies of all gay men, elevating a new form of Priapism into an icon of homoeroticism.

He met his lifetime partner Veli on a dark street corner in 1953. Veli was the love of his life.

For nearly 30 years they shared their lives. Veli died in 1981. Touko Laaksonen died in Helsinki on November 7th, 1991.

In 2014 Finland’s national postal service honored Laaksonen with a set of TOM OF FINLAND STAMPS and an exhibition at the Finnish Postal Museum.

The stamps were a sell out success with people lining up to buy them and orders from 178 countries around the world.

More recently, a docudrama entitled THE TOM OF FINLAND MOVIE was produced to rave reviews.

For his work, for changing the face of the gay world with his prolific art, we recognize the sanctity of Tom of Finland and elevate him to the Sainthood of Antinous.

Monday, November 6, 2017

ANTINOUS WORSHIPERS IN BRAZIL
HONOR GAY TEEN MURDERED BY MOTHER



WE honor Itaberlly Lozano as a martyr saint of Antinous ... a 17-year-old gay youth who was murdered at the hands of his homophobic mother ... a crime which galvanized worshipers of Antinous in Brazil.

Priest DECUS RIBEIRO says: "Itaberlly Lozano was stabbed to death by his own mother and then his body was burned in a field … solely because his mother said he "brought boys home" with him."

Decus notes that hundreds of homophobic murders are reported annually in Brazil … and the number is rising as Evangelical fundamentalists make hate-speeches against homosexuality.

"It is with solemn grief but also with righteous pride that we, the São Paulo Temple of Brazil, nominated Itaberlly Lozano as a martyr saint," Priest Decus said in a statement to his fellow priests in North America, Britain and Europe.

The horrific murder occurred on 29 December 2016. The body of the adolescent was found days later, charred, in a sugar cane field near Cravinhos, in the interior of São Paul. The mother and stepfather were arrested by the Civil Police.

In a statement to the police, Itaberlly's mother, Tatiana Ferreira Lozano Pereira, 32, confessed to the murder and declared that she "could not take it anymore".

He was killed with three stab wounds in the neck and his stepfather helped to get rid of the body by burning it in a field. 

Tatiana's lawyer claimed that the boy was a drug user and had a police record, however, so far there has been no confirmation of that conduct.

According to Itaberlly's uncle, Dario Rosa, he was a hard-working boy, who had frequent quarrels at home because Tatiana did not accept that he was homosexual. 

The uncle on the father's side also says that on December 27, the young man decided to move in with him and his paternal grandmother, but after receiving a call from his mother he decided to go home on December 29 … and disappeared.

As if the whole case and its nuances were not shocking enough, Priest Decus said there were appalling comments on the news reports by people who defended Tatiana's attitude and justified the crime based on the sexual orientation and "depravity" of Itaberlly.

"The discourse of these people who blame the victim and regard homosexuality as behavior that needs to be punished is symptomatic of how much homophobia and hatred are trivialized by society in Brazil," says Decus.

In a statement from the Hollywood Temple of Antinous, Flamen ANTONIUS SUBIA condemned the martyrdom of Itaberlly and says: "May Antinous hold him in his arms as the barque of a million years gently rocks him sleep. Antinous and Hadrian are his loving parents now. Blessed be to him."