Saturday, March 31, 2018

HYPATIA OF ALEXANDRIA
SAINT OF ANTINOUS



ON March 31st the Religion of Antinous solemnly commemorates the glorious life and cruel death of Saint Hypatia of Alexandria.

Hypatia is one of the most important female philosophers who ever lived, and her tragic murder at the hands of fanatical Christians on the steps of the Great Library of Alexandria is symbolic of the barbaric forces which brought down the worship of Antinous and other Classical deities.

The brutal stoning-flaying-immolation death of Hypatia in about the year 400 AD is regarded by many historians as the beginning of the Dark Ages.

St. Hypatia was a philosopher and mathematician who lived in Alexandria during a time of turmoil and conflict between Christians and the last pagan philosophers of the Great Library.

Her father was the Philosopher Theon, and Hypatia studied among the Neoplatonists. She was the author of several highly reputed works and commentaries, none of which has survived. She held a reputation of excellence that exceeded her contemporaries.



Hypatia taught among the male philosophers and attracted a large following even among Christians. Her beauty was highly desired by numerous men, but she remained chaste (or at least unmarried) all her life, which leads some to suspect lesbianism.

The proud life of Hypatia came to an end at the end of March during the season of Lent when she was attacked by a Christian mob, led by a fanatic Deacon named Peter, who dragged her through the streets to a church called Caesareum. 


There she was stripped naked and killed by the mob with their bare hands. It was said that they stoned her with ceramic roof tiles, then flayed her flesh with razor-sharp shards of oyster shells, tore her limb from limb and burned her.

"Saint" Cyril, Bishop of Alexandria, who encouraged her assasination, was then praised for eradicating the city of "idolatry and witchchraft". 


The Martyrdom of St. Hypatia of Alexandria is one of the most profound examples of Christian violence against paganism, women, and philosophy. And she is noted as one of the last reasoning pagans murdered by the irrational religion which has dominated Western Civilization ever since.

Her death is among the heinous crimes of the Christian Church, whose attrocities continue to this day. The image at right, by Charles William Mitchell, portrays Hypatia just before her death, naked at the altar, imploring her attackers to take heed of their own faith?which they continue to ignore.


For these reasons and in memory of the unnamed Ancient Priests of Antinous who suffered similar fates, the Religion of Antinous has proclaimed Hypatia of Alexandria a Saint and Venerable Exemplar and honors her with a Feast Day on March 31. As Sacred Synchronicity would have it, her Antinoian Feast Day in 2009 coincided with the release of major motion picture based on her life.

Openly gay Chilean-Spanish filmmaker Alejandro Amenábar's $75-million production AGORA stars Oscar-winning actress Rachel Weisz and was the biggest box-office hit in Spain for the year 2009.

In the film set in Roman Egypt in the final days of the 4th Century A.D., Weisz plays the astrologer-philosopher Hypatia of Alexandria, who fights to save the collected wisdom of the ancient world. Her slave Davus (Max Minghella) is torn between his love for his mistress and the possibility of gaining his freedom by joining the rising tide of Christianity.



Friday, March 30, 2018

WE JOYOUSLY CELEBRATE INTERNATIONAL
TRANSGENDER DAY OF VISIBILITY



MARCH 31st is Transgender Day of Visibility ... the time for education, empowerment, and action! Join the celebration! Start a protest! Host a movie night! Organize a rally! Make the world a better place for transgender people.

Transgender Day of Visibility (TDOV) is a day to show your support for the trans community!

Every March 31st, it aims to bring attention to the accomplishments of trans people everywhere while fighting cissexism and transphobia by spreading understanding of trans people. 

Unlike Transgender Day of Remembrance on November 20th, this is not a day for mourning: this is a day to be empowered and give the recognition trans people deserve

Visibility is not about being seen as an individual: it’s working together to transform society. Learn more about TDOV here.

Thursday, March 29, 2018

AS THE BEES MYSTERIOUSLY DISAPPEAR
WE REMEMBER ANTINOUS-ARISTAEUS


A mysterious malady seems to have expanded drastically, wiping out as many as half of the beehives needed to pollinate much of produce in North America and many other parts of the world.

This is a crisis of mythic proportions ... in the truest sense of the word. In Classical Mythology the world's bees all vanished ... and it took the daring plunge of a brave Hero to find the divine powers to bring the bees back ... and to save mankind.

It is all there in Virgil's version of the story of Aristaeus (Aristée/Arista
ios).

As this statue in the Louvre shows, Antinous was identified by the Ancients with Aristaeus ... they both descended into a river and emerged with godly powers.

Aristaeus was the son of Apollo and the river-nymph Cyrene and his assignment on the earthly plane was to teach mortal humans the art of farming and cultivating crops and tending livestock and keeping bees.

Honey was practically a form of ambrosia, or at least the nearest thing to ambrosia that mortal men had. It was the job of Aristaios to teach men how to cunningly harvest honey without being stung.

But Aristaeus had inadvertently caused the death of Eurydice by causing her to tread upon a venomous serpent. Her death and Orpheus's attempt to bring her back to the earthly plane were the origins of the Orphic Mysteries.

Shortly after Eurydice died, the bees which Aristaeus had been nurturing all began dying of a unexplainable cause. Nothing he could do seemed to prevent them from dying and soon they were all gone and humans were deprived of honey, beeswax, mead and the many other products which bees provide to man, not to mention the fact that, without bees, there was nobody to pollinate plants. The situation was dire.

Here's what Bulfinch writes, quoting Virgil:

"Aristæus, who first taught the management of bees, was the son of the water-nymph Cyrene. His bees had perished, and he resorted for aid to his mother. He stood at the river side and thus addressed her: 'O mother, the pride of my life is taken from me! I have lost my precious bees. My care and skill have availed me nothing, and you my mother have not warded off from me the blow of misfortune.'

"His mother heard these complaints as she sat in her palace at the bottom of the river, with her attendant nymphs around her. They were engaged in female occupations, spinning and weaving, while one told stories to amuse the rest. The sad voice of Aristæus interrupting their occupation, one of them put her head above the water and seeing him, returned and gave information to his mother, who ordered that he should be brought into her presence.

"The river at her command opened itself and let him pass in, while it stood curled like a mountain on either side. He descended to the region where the fountains of the great rivers lie; he saw the enormous receptacles of waters and was almost deafened with the roar, while he surveyed them hurrying off in various directions to water the face of the earth.

"Arriving at his mother’s apartment, he was hospitably received by Cyrene and her nymphs, who spread their table with the richest dainties. They first poured out libations to Neptune, then regaled themselves with the feast, and after that Cyrene thus addressed him: 'There is an old prophet named Proteus, who dwells in the sea and is a favorite of Neptune, whose herd of sea-calves he pastures. We nymphs hold him in great respect, for he is a learned sage and knows all things, past, present, and to come. He can tell you, my son, the cause of the mortality among your bees, and how you may remedy it.'"

The story goes on to say a river nymph escorted Aristaeus to the cave of Proteus where he subdued the cantankerous old prophet (who was a shape-shifter and tried unsuccessfully to elude Aristaeus by changing form). Aristaeus told him of his plight and wanted to know the cause of this misfortune and how to remedy it. Bulfinch writes:

"At these words the prophet, fixing on him his gray eyes with a piercing look, thus spoke: 'You receive the merited reward of your deeds, by which Eurydice met her death, for in flying from you she trod upon a serpent, of whose bite she died. To avenge her death, the nymphs, her companions, have sent this destruction to your bees. You have to appease their anger, and thus it must be done: Select four bulls, of perfect form and size, and four cows of equal beauty, build four altars to the nymphs, and sacrifice the animals, leaving their carcasses in the leafy grove. To Orpheus and Eurydice you shall pay such funeral honors as may allay their resentment. Returning after nine days, you will examine the bodies of the cattle slain and see what will befall.'

"Aristæus faithfully obeyed these directions. He sacrificed the cattle, he left their bodies in the grove, he offered funeral honors to the shades of Orpheus and Eurydice; then returning on the ninth day he examined the bodies of the animals, and, wonderful to relate! a swarm of bees had taken possession of one of the carcasses and were pursuing their labors there as in a hive."

So there we have it! Even the most illiterate and ignorant peasant would know the story of Aristaeus and the bees and the plunge into the river to unravel a Sacred Mystery. Aristaeus survived the plunge and emerged with Secret Knowledge which was of a great service to mankind.

For without bees to pollinate orchards and crops, mankind can scarcely survive ... a fact which has come home to haunt us today as bee populations dwindle worldwide and food riots rage in developing countries.

Ancient peoples, even those who could not read or write, could look at the statue of Antinous-Aristaeus and immediately see the Sacred Symbolism ... Like Aristaios, Antinous is a god who took the plunge into a river and who emerged with knowledge of Sacred Mysteries.


Wearing a sun hat, carrying a farm tool and holding an olive sprig, Antinous-Aristaeus symbolizes the union of sunshine and water (Apollo/Cyrene) combined with ingenuity and hard work and the ability to dive into the spiritual depths ... defying death ... and to emerge with a miracle which benefits all humankind.

Wednesday, March 28, 2018

ANTNOUS IS A STAR IN LOS ANGELES
AT MAJOR GETTY MUSEUM EXHIBITION



ANTINOUS is the star of an exciting new exhibition at the Getty Museum that shows how ancient Egypt, Greece and Rome influenced each other.

The exhibition, bringing together works of art from major museums around the world, is entitled BEYOND THE NILE (Egypt and the Classical World).  It opened this week at the J. Paul Getty Museum at the Getty Center, Los Angeles, and it runs now through 9 September 2018.

Featured will be the famous bust of Antinous as Osiris from the Louvre in Paris. The bust was found at Hadrian's Villa.

It is one of nearly 200 objects from U.S. and European collections and the Getty itself.

Organized chronologically, the exhibition opens with the far-reaching cultural influence of Bronze Age commerce, then resumes as exchanges rebounded a few centuries later, around 650 BC.

"Repeatedly, the Greeks go to Egypt and are inspired by what they see," said Jeffrey Spier, the museum’s senior curator of antiquities and, with Getty Museum director Timothy Potts and curatorial assistant Sara E. Cole, co-curator of the exhibition.

Around the end of the 7th Century B.C., said Spier, a familiarity with Egyptian temples, monuments and sculpture helped to jump-start classical Greek art.

"Before that, there was no Greek sculpture," he said. "And all of a sudden we see these figures."

In the exhibition, the striding, clenched-fist pose of the Egyptian "Statue of Tjayasetimu" (circa 664–610 B.C.) finds an echo in the more rounded lines of an early Greek "Kouros" (circa 520 B.C.), both portraying young men in their prime.

Influences flowed in both directions. A Bronze Age papyrus on view, written mostly in Egyptian script, includes medical treatments in the language of ancient Crete. 

Greek soldiers serving the pharaoh in the late 6th century BC left behind two words that now symbolize ancient Egypt: pyramids, which they jokingly named after a small wheat cake with a similar angular shape, and obelisks, the tall, thin monuments that take their name from the Greek word for "little skewers."

After Alexander the Great conquered Egypt in 332 BC, a dynasty founded by one of his generals ruled the country for three centuries.

The general and his successors, all named Ptolemy, reigned as Egyptian pharaohs as well as Greek kings.

Sculptural traditions blended too, with Egyptian-style portrait heads, carved in hard, colored stone, often incorporating distinctly Greek features ... rounded eyes, aquiline noses and hair etched in sharply defined curls.

"Head of a Youth" (above left), a first-century B.C. work made of the volcanic rock basanite, is typical of this style, with high, smooth cheekbones and full, slightly parted lips.

Also carved in that century, the gaunt face, wrinkled brow and delicately textured beard of a Ptolemaic "Head of a Priest" vividly evokes Greek sculpture.

After the death in 30 B.C. of Cleopatra VII ... yes, that Cleopatra, whose portrait head is also on view ... Egypt became a Roman province, and cultural intermingling increased. 


A mummy on view, embalmed according to Egyptian tradition in the 2nd century AD, is adorned with "a painted [portrait] panel in this strikingly realistic Greco-Roman style," said Mr. Spier.

"On top of that, whoever's being mummified is also from a mixed, hybrid population. The names are typically Greek, but we know they’re mixed Greek and Egyptian ethnicities."

Like their Greek predecessors, Roman rulers continued to present themselves as pharaohs. They brought obelisks and other monuments back to Rome as symbols of imperial domination, little knowing that they would touch off a widespread fervor for Egyptian art and décor.

Cults devoted to the Egyptian mother-goddess Isis and her consort Serapis, a Ptolemaic addition to the pantheon, spread throughout the Roman Empire. In the museum’s entrance hall, visitors will encounter an obelisk ... freshly conserved by Getty specialists ... from a temple of Isis that stood in the southern Italian town of Benevento.


Dedicated to the goddess, the obelisk was also an offering for the welfare of the Roman emperor (and Egyptian pharaoh) Domitian. Made to order in Egypt, the obelisk was then shipped back to Benevento.

Romans of the first and second centuries had little true understanding of Egyptian culture and religion, but a fantasy version gripped their imagination.

"They liked to have Egyptian gods and crocodiles and hippopotamuses in their gardens," Spier said. 

In the show's closing section, a prancing red marble hippo with a spout-shaped tongue, created as part of a fountain, brims with a good nature rarely seen in its real-life counterpart.

"Beyond the Nile" is the first in a series of Getty exhibitions called "The Classical World in Context." Coming up in 2020 or thereabouts: Persia.

Photos below used with kind permission of Antinous adherent Rick Thompson, who visited the exhibition on opening day:




Tuesday, March 27, 2018

STUNNING NEW ANTINOUS ALTAR ART
BY A BRAZILIAN FOLLOWER



NEW Antinous photo art entitled "Dimensões" by our Brazilian follower Edhie Laureano Pires II in the new Templo de Antinoo in Chapada, Bahia, Brazil. Image shows Antinoos Naukratis and Antinous as Cernunnos. Flowers from Antinous Emporium - Perfumaria Natural ... Arte fotográfica Antinoo intitulada "Dimensões" do nosso novato Edhie Laureano Pires II no novo Templo de Antinoo em Chapada, Bahia, Brasil. A imagem mostra Antinoos Naukratis e Antinous como Cernunnos. Flores de Antinous Emporium - Perfumaria Natural ... Antinoo photo art titulado "Dimensões" por nuestro novicio brasileño Edhie Laureano Pires II en el nuevo Templo de Antinoo en Chapada, Bahia, Brasil. La imagen muestra a Antinoos Naukratis y Antinous como Cernunnos. Flores de Antinous Emporium - Perfumaria Natural .

Monday, March 26, 2018

WALT WHITMAN
SAINT OF ANTINOUS


ON March 26th the Religion of Antinous takes a moment to celebrate the life of one of our most popular Antinoian prophets ... Saint Walt Whitman.

Walt Whitman was born on May 31, 1819, on the West Hills of Long Island, New York. He was lavished with love by his mother, but treated with stern discipline by his carpenter father.

After only a few years of school, Whitman was pulled out to help with the family earnings. He educated himself, reading all that he could, worked in a printing house, and eventually became a schoolteacher who taught with refreshing openness and excitement, allowing his students to call him by his first name. After years of teaching, he went into journalism, and in time was the editor of several publications.

However, Walt Whitman is said to have experienced a life-transforming epiphany. He left New York, and returned to live for a period with his family, then returned from isolation with Leaves of Grass, one of the most powerful collections of poems in American literature and the first to allude heavily to homosexual love.

It is often said that, during his time in isolation, a religious sense of purpose entered his heart, which he revealed in the Calamus poems.

The aromatic, psychotropic calamus plant with its phallic spadix flower pods was his symbol for homosexuality. The calamus has special meaning for us because Kalamos of Greek myth fell in love with the beautiful youth Karpos. 

Like Antinous, Karpos died by drowning. Grief-stricken Kalamos wept among the reeds at the waterside until he was himself transformed into a reed, whose rustling in the wind is his sigh of woe.

When the American civil war broke out, Walt Whitman was 42 years old and served as a hospital nurse, falling in love with all the soldiers, especially those who died in his arms.

Open expressions of love between men were accepted without issue during the war, and it was when the visionary enlightenment of Walt Whitman became clear to him. He saw that the origin of this love, brotherly, or friendly perhaps, if not more, was the salvation of the human race, and certainly able to heal the divide between North and South.

His final years were spent communicating his message to the new torchbearers, such as John Addington Symonds and Edward Carpenter. After his death, and as Gay Liberation took strength, he was called a Prophet, particularly by the George Cecil Ives and the Order of Chaeronea.

We, adherents of the ancient/modern Religion of Antinous, proclaim him to be St. Walt Whitman the Prophet of Homoeros, and we elevate him to his own stratosphere in our devotion.

He died March 26th, 1892 of tuberculosis compounded by pneumonia. Over 1,000 mourners paid their respects. St. Walt told us how he wanted us to remember him, not as a great poet, but as "the tenderest lover":

You bards of ages hence! when you refer to me, mind not so much my poems,
Nor speak of me that I prophesied of The States, and led them the way of their Glories;
But come, I will take you down underneath this impassive exterior ... I will tell you what to say of me:
Publish my name and hang up my picture as that of the tenderest lover,
The friend, the lover's portrait, of whom his friend, his lover, was fondest,
Who was not proud of his songs, but of measureless ocean of love within him ... and freely poured it forth,
Who often walked lonesome walks, thinking of his dear friends, his lovers,
Who pensive, away from one he loved, often lay sleepless and dissatisfied at night,
Who knew too well the sick, sick dread lest the one he loved might secretly be indifferent to him,
Whose happiest days were far away, through fields, in woods, on hills, he and another, wandering hand in hand, they twain, apart from other men,
Who oft as he sauntered the streets, curved with his arm the shoulder of his friend  while the arm of his friend rested upon him also.


Sunday, March 25, 2018

ODE TO THE NARCISSUS MOON
By Antonius Subia




I am Antinous looking down in the mirror
The way that I love myself is the way that I love you
My love is your love and your love is my love
My breath is a trace of your perfume
As I walk through the world, I walk as you
My steps are your steps and your steps are my steps
I look up into the stars and I see myself 
You have no idea that I am you
And you are me
And that we are in love
I am Antinous looking up in the mirror

(Narcissus Moon)

Saturday, March 24, 2018

WE HONOR THE EMPRESS SABINA


THE Empress Sabina Augusta ... Vibia Sabina ... Hadrian's Wife ... died sometime in the year 136, and was deified in the year 138.

The date of her elevation to godliness is not known, but because she was so often compared to the Mother Goddess Ceres-Demeter, we declare her Apotheosis to coincide with the return of spring in Rome, and dedicate our celebration of the Equinox to our mother and Empress, Nova Dea Ceres, Sabina Augusta.

This relief sculpture of her deification, in which she is shown rising up from the cremation flames on the wings of a female Aeon, shows Hadrian enthroned, behind him is a figure that resembles Antoninus Pius.


And reclining on the floor is one who could possibly be Antinous, the resemblance to the youth on the Apotheosis of Antoninus is remarkable.

Friday, March 23, 2018

ANTINOUS-ATTIS DIES AND IS REBORN
DURING THE CYCLE OF THE EQUINOX



THE cycle of the March Equinox is Sacred to the Great Mother of the Gods, and to her divine lover-son Attis, who dies and is reborn at this time of year.

Persephone returns from the underworld, and the verdure returns to the face of the Earth.

The death of Attis is symbolic of the fruit flowers that appear at this  season and then fall away, making room for the ripening fruit.

It was celebrated in Rome with the introduction of a great pine tree that was carried into the Temple of Magna Mater.

An image of the dead Attis was carried on a bier and hung from the tree which was decorated with purple ribbons and violet flowers.

On the Day of Blood, the priests performed austerities including the  self-castration of new priests, and the bloodletting of the old priests  to the accompaniment of drum and cymbal music.

After the Day of Blood, when Attis was said to have risen again, the festival turned to joy and elation and was known as the Hilaria.

The final part of the sacred days was the day of cleansing, when the image of the Great Mother, a black stone encased in silver, was taken to the river Arno and washed by the priests.


Flamen Antonius Subia says:

"The five-day cycle of the Equinox ... the Mithraic Mysteries and all the other remembrances ... are all contained in the Death and Resurrection of Attis, the beautiful boy, who severed his own testicles and died giving his blood to the bosom of the earth ... but did not die."

Thursday, March 22, 2018

ANTINOUS VISITED PALMYRA
AND UNDERWENT MITHRAS INITIATION



IN March of 130 AD, the inner circle of Hadrian's court, with a light escort, visited PALMYRA in what is now Eastern Syria, near the northern Iraqi border.

Palymra was an ancient buffer state between the Roman and the Persia Empires, which had now been at peace for many years.

Palmyra was therefore a mixture of both cultures, with its own, ancient Assyrian and Hittite blood beneath the surface.

According to Marguerite Yourcenar, Antinous was initiated into the Cult of Mithras while at Palmyra to the displeasure of Hadrian who was already an initiate, and perhaps an influential leader of the secret cult because of his position as Pontifex Maximus.

Flamen Antonius Subia says:

"Coming after the Zoroastrian sanctification in Armenia, and given the Phrygian aspect of the Mithraic cult, and the proximity to the Persian border, and the end of the transition from the Age of Taurus to the Age of Aries, which the cult revealed, we celebrate the initiation of Antinous into the mysteries of Mithras and their cosmic revelation."

Wednesday, March 21, 2018

HERE'S YOUR CHANCE TO BE A CHAMPION
IN THE SACRED GAMES OF ANTINOUS



HERE's your chance to pay tribute to Antinous with your own special artistic or athletic talents ... and to compete for prizes ... in keeping with the ancient tradition of holding Games in honor of Antinous.

The 4th Sacred Games of Antinous in the modern era will be held 21 August 2018. Applications for entries are being taken now.

Antonius Subia announced opening of the Games and initial plans for the competition during a global phone and Skype conference call involving modern-day priests and adherents of Antinous on three continents.

The virtual-reality conclave was held in conjunction with ceremonies at the HOLLYWOOD TEMPLE OF ANTINOUS celebrating the Equinox.


"Everyone has heard of the Ancient Olympics, but there were other Games held in antiquity," Antonius told the celebrants gathered at the Hollywood Temple and internationally via Skype.

"And among the most famous were the Games of Antinous, which were called the Megala Antinoeia ... the Great Games of Antinous," Antonius said. "These were Sacred Games which were held in Antinoopolis, Bithynia and in Mantinea."

The most famous Games were held at Antinoopolis, the city founded by Emperor Hadrian in Egypt at the spot along the Nile where Antinous had drowned in the year 130 AD.

The competitors were primarily young men called Ephebes. 

In Antinoopolis these included swimming and boat races in the Nile.

But the Antinous Games were unique in that they also included competition in the arts and music. 

The over-all winner was consecrated as the living embodiment of Antinous and given citizenship in Antinoopolis, with an all-expense-paid life of luxury and adoration. 

He was worshiped in the temple as the representative of Antinous, the emblem of youth and masculinity. He was the Divine Ephebe.

The Great Antinoeia, as the Games of Antinous were called, were held for hundreds of years. 

But little was known of the actual competitions until a fragile papyrus was deciphered recently which revealed some intriguing and somewhat shocking details about the Games of Antinous of the year 267 AD and two wrestlers named NICANTINOUS AND DEMETRIUS.

The Games of Antinous faded into obscurity ... but have been revived in the past decade by us. They are held every four years during the cycle of the blooming of the ROSY LOTUS OF ANTINOUS AFTER THE LION HUNT in August.

This is the IV ANTINOEIAD of the modern era, and entry is open to everyone wishing to honor Antinous with their own artistic, academic or athletic talents.

"These Games are open to all ... regardless whether you are gay and regardless of gender," Antonius said.

"You can submit any form of artistic endeavor ... poems, paintings, videos or literary works. But you can also submit dancing, running or other physical effort ... as long as you provide documentation of your performance art," he explained.

Prizes will be awarded to winners, details of which are to be unveiled on this blog in coming days and weeks as the deadline approaches.

For enquiries and submissions, contact us here: antinouspriest@gmail.com

RUFUS WAINWRIGHT'S HADRIAN OPERA
GETS PREVIEW TONIGHT IN CINCINNATI



EXCERPTS from the new opera by Rufus Wainright about Hadrian and Antinous will be performed tonight in Cincinnati Ohio ahead of its worldwide premiere in Toronto in October 2018.

The opera ... simply titled HADRIAN ... with a libretto by Canadian playwright Daniel MacIvor will have its world premiere as the opening production of Toronto's Canadian Opera Company's 2018 season.


Wainwright and MacIvor have been selected to be in Cincinnati as part of the Opera Fusion: New Works program, a collaboration between the Cincinnati Opera and University of Cincinnati, College Conservatory of Music's Opera Department.

Excerpts will be performed at 7:30 p.m. tonight. Tickets are sold out, but you can listen via the the Cincinnati Opera Company's LIVE STREAMING site.

The opera by Wainright and Daniel McIvor, entitled "Hadrian," which explores the relationship between Roman Emperor Hadrian and the young Antinous, will run October 13–27 at Toronto’s Four Seasons Centre.

Peter Hinton will direct a cast that includes Thomas Hampson as Hadrian and renowned tenor Isaiah Bell as Antinous, with Karita Mattila as Plotina.

Wainwright and MacIvor's Hadrian (October 13-27) is a major draw for the company's 2018/19 season. 

The piece marks playwright/actor MacIvor's first libretto (the text of an opera) and Wainwright's second opera, following his 2009 Prima Donna. 

Their piece tells the story of the Roman emperor and his young lover Antinous, who was deified after his mysterious and premature death.

Between the Wainwright factor and Hadrian's subject matter, it's fair to say that this world premiere comes with a lot of hype.

Wainwright has offered the promise of something provocative:

"I think in our modern world," he says, "among younger audiences especially, there's a hunger for a sort of spectacle that the opera world thinks is no longer relevant."

The COC rounds up a fascinating cast of big names (Thomas Hampson, Karita Mattila and Ben Heppner ... who will venture out of retirement for the occasion) and rising stars Isaiah Bell (pictured at right) as Antinous and Ambur Braid as Hadrian's wife, Sabina.

"What's interesting about the story of Hadrian is he was actually in love with Antinous, who was another man," Wainwright says

"And he was persecuted for it. A lot of the same problems that exist today with homophobia and so forth were very much present back then," he adds.

Wainwright is the gifted Canadian singer/songwriter/musical man about the world who has forged a unique career in mainstream contemporary music as an original, quirky, thinking person's pop star. And he's not new to the world of opera.

"Prima Donna," his 2009 debut, which told the story of an aging opera singer attempting to make a comeback, has been presented in Manchester, London, New York, Toronto and around the globe, to reviews that roamed from the enthusiastic ("a love song to opera," wrote The Times of London) to the outraged (The New York Times called it "an ultimately mystifying failure") – the quality of reaction being determined, more or less, by the closeness of the reviewer to the world of classical music.


Wainwright started talking about Hadrian around the time he was serenading his mother with the opera's overture in early 2010.

As his mother, Kate McGarrigle, faced her final days in January, 2010, Wainwright played his latest composition for her at the family piano ... the overture to his new opera about Antinous and Hadrian.

What attracted him to Hadrian was the power of the story Wainwright wanted to tell. 

Certainly the story of the Emperor Hadrian has plenty to offer contemporary audiences. Quixotic, domineering and visionary, Hadrian represented the end of the Classical era in Roman history, a fascinating period when the influence of Greek ideas began to predominate in Roman society, changing its political landscape in significant ways.

Wainwright adds, "And then there's Antinous, essentially the male equivalent to Helen of Troy ... though we know he actually existed and exactly what he looked like. At one point he was neck and neck with Christ in terms of cult status after disappearing in the Nile. Imagine what a different world that would have been if he had lived!"

Wainwright explains, "When I first discovered the story of Hadrian, I was instantly struck with the idea of transforming this historical subject into operatic form. 

"Both its intimate nature and wild grandeur seemed perfectly suited for what opera does best: creating a hyper-illustration of the dark inner lives of people up against formidable outer circumstances while at the same time musically careening through the jagged and surreal dimensions of what lies in between. 

"No other theatrical form truly refracts life into myriad vibrantly bright colors as much as opera does, and the tale of Hadrian, arguably Rome’s greatest ruler, is a diamond perfectly cut for such a task.

"I could go on and on exploring all the fascinating ideas which swirl around the subject of my second opera. But I am a composer, and therefore my armchair intellectual reach should be superseded by the music … music that I hope you enjoy."

WE MOURN THE DEATH
OF ANTINOUS-ADONIS


ADONIS was the most beautiful boy that ever lived, so beautiful that Venus fell totally in love with him and forsook all her love-joys in order to follow him on his hunt through the forests of Mt. Lebanon.

But Adonis was unmoved and completely rejected her advances. She became infatuated and abandoned herself to the boy who only cared to hunt.

Mars was jealous of his rival, and outraged to see Venus subjected to desperation and lust, so he contrived to lure Venus away by having Mercury recall her to her neglected duties, because without her influence to temper the raging schemes of her Erotic son, there was no love in the world.

While she was away, Mars transformed himself into a wild boar and let Adonis pursue him through the woods.

The God of War suddenly charged the young God of Beauty and disarmed him, and with a deadly kiss, gored Adonis in the groin sinking his razor tusk between his perfect white legs.

When she returned, Venus found her beloved boy dead and cut her hair in mourning, she immortalized his soul as a flower, and made the river that bears his name flow red.

The love between Venus and Adonis was unfulfilled, her adoration for him was unreturned because Adonis had no care for women, and he preferred his hunting dogs to her gentle caresses.

Only the War God Mars had his way with Adonis, though motivated by jealousy and rage, it was a violent sexual attack, for which all the world must mourn, because in the savagery of the Lust of Mars, the world was forever robbed of the beauty of Adonis.


Flamen Antonius Subia says:

"We venerate Adonis and seek his shadow in the gardens of human beauty. Antinous is the 'Adonis of the Underworld' ... our perfect desire who flees from our embrace ... but we, like Venus, never abandon him to his endless hunt, and caress his cheek even though our hands can never touch him."

Tuesday, March 20, 2018

WE HONOR ANTINOUS/MARS


WHEN the Sun enters the Sign of Aries at the March Equinox, we honor Antinous in his special guise as Antinous/Mars.

Mars, God of War, son of Jupiter and Juno, father of Romulus and Remus, founders of Rome, was the divine spirit of the Roman Army whose legions subjugated the world.

His power ran like molten steel in the blood of Romans who he made them invincible.

The ram was sacred to him, and thus the sign of Aries was devoted to him, as it was in the early spring, after the fields were sown and before the harvest that the men went to war.

Originally Mars was an agricultural deity, whose duty was to protect the fields from marauders. But he soon became an aggressive conqueror, whose sacred spears were ritually shaken by the Flamen Martialis when the legions were preparing for war.

He had twin sons who accompanied him and went before the armies in battle, their names were Phobos and Deimos, fear and panic.

He was the illicit lover of Venus, and it is said that they were the co-creators of Rome who through war brought love and peace to the whole world. It was in this spirit that Hadrian worshipped the pair.

Mars is the great spirit of masculinity, the violent, courageous power of the male sex, the penetrator and subjugator.

His emblem, an iron spear, is a symbol for the phallus, and so it is that Mars is the great potent Phallus of Man, the impregnator.

In this sense he is venerated as the warrior within all men, and as our most extreme, animalistic, carnal, aggressive nature.

He is the conqueror of winter, the dominator of spring, the protector of life, and the bringer of death.

He is war and fury, selflessly courageous, for the protection of the weak and for the defeat of the strong.


Mars never surrenders, and this is why Venus is so mad with lust for him, and why we adore him as our protector.

Monday, March 19, 2018

ROBERT MAPPLETHORPE
SAINT OF ANTINOUS


ON March 19 the Religion of Antinous honors Robert Mapplethorpe, Saint of Antinous.

In 1990, the Cincinnati Contemporary Arts Center and its director were charged with "Pandering Obscenity" after an exhibition of Mapplethorpe?s photographs. 


They were eventually acquitted but the event fueled a national debate over federal funding of the arts in the United States. 

The debate, which has affected American art ever since, focuses on whether tax dollars should be spent on projects which political conservatives deem objectionable. Specifically, the debate is over whether gay-theme art should be funded.

Robert Mapplethorpe died from AIDS in March 1989, at age 42, one year before his art spawned the controversy, so he was only able to speak through his photographs.

His subject matter portrayed homosexually charged images of nude men.

The controversy that Robert Mapplethorpe sparked exposed the double standard by which homosexual art is judged against heterosexual art. He revealed that nudity is most "obscene" to non-gays when it involves males.


We proclaim his sainthood to be heroic and dedicated to Antinous, because Robert Mapplethrope beautifully photographed a plaster statue of Antinous (shown at left), indicating that he must have known our God and in some way loved him.

Sunday, March 18, 2018

CHARLOTTE VON MAHLSDORF
SAINT OF ANTINOUS


SAINT Charlotte von Mahlsdorf, who was born on this day in 1928, was a Berlin trans/gay who survived the Nazis and East German communists and about whose life a Pulitzer Prize winning play, "I Am My Own Woman", has been staged at theatres around the world.

The title is misleading since the original German is "Ich bin meine eigene Frau" and the word "Frau" can mean either "Woman" or "Wife"

The phrase was Charlotte's answer to her mother's question: "Don't you think it's time you got a wife?"

Charlotte was her own man and her own woman and her own husband/wife. In a long life amidst dictatorship, war and oppression of human-rights, Charlotte learned to create her own identity. We honor Charlotte as a Saint of the Religion of Antinous.

St. Charlotte, who liked to wear frumpy house dresses with a clunky handbag and a strand of pearls and matronly shoes, somehow managed to survive the Gestapo, the East German Stasi secret police and assaults by neo-Nazis. In doing so, Charlotte made serious ethical compromises along the way in order to stay alive. 

Charlotte amassed a huge collection of Victorian antiques which some said came from the homes of Jewish Holocaust victims and (later) from homes of people fleeing East Germany.


But Charlotte DID stay alive in dangerous times during which others perished. Charlotte's life forces you to ask yourself what YOU would have done in similar circumstances.

After German unification, Charlotte became something of a reluctant gay icon in Germany in the 1990s. Charlotte never had any pretensions of being intellectual or a political activist. 

Charlotte never quite fit in with post-Stonewall activists, who were a bit puzzled by her dowdy grand-motherliness and her passion for 19th Century Renaissance Revival style antiques. Like Quentin Crisp (also a Saint of Antinous), Charlotte belonged to another era.

But unlike Quentin Crisp, Charlotte wasn't especially witty or campy (despite her appearance) and was not an artist of the arch one-liner the way Quentin was. In appearances on talk shows, she would sit there, smiling politely, with not a great deal to say unless it was about collecting and restoring 19th Century antiques. But what she did say was eloquent in its simplicity: 

People should be kind to each other and let each other get on with their lives the way they want to.

Above all, she didn't much like being a celebrity. Too many people  expected things of her. She became a target for neo-Nazis, mostly drunken, youthful vandals in the 1990s. Not surprisingly perhaps, considering all she had lived through, she became somewhat paranoid towards the end of her life. In the end, she fled to Sweden where she spent her final years in virtual isolation before dying in 2002.

We honor St. Charlotte von Mahlsdorf for being someone who was not afraid to be openly trans/gay in the face of totalitarian dictatorships and police states. Someone who survived the Nazis and the Stasi secret police ... wearing a dress, a strand of pearls and a handbag.

Saturday, March 17, 2018

THIS IS THE DAY THE WISEST MAN DIED
AND ROME BEGAN TO FALL



MARCH 17th is the anniversary of the death of Marcus Aurelius and we in the Religion of Antinous set aside this day each year to remember the last of the great philosopher-emperors, and a man who knew both Hadrian and Antinous.

What follows, is adapted from writings over the years by Flamen Antinoalis Antonius.

As a young boy Marcus Aurelius had caught the eye of the Emperor Hadrian. He was appointed by the Emperor to priesthood in the year 129 (just a year before the death of Antinous), and Hadrian also supervised his education, which was entrusted to the best professors of literature, rhetoric and philosophy of the time.

Marcus Aurelius discovered Stoicism by the time he was 11 and from his early twenties he deserted his other studies for philosophy. The Emperor Antoninus Pius, who succeeded Hadrian, adopted Marcus Aurelius as his son in 138.

Antoninus Pius treated Aurelius as a confidant and helper throughout his reign; Marcus Aurelius also married his daughter, Faustina, in 139. He was admitted to the Senate, and then twice the consulship. In 147 he shared tribunician power with Antoninus. During this time he began composition of his Meditations, which he wrote in Greek in army camps.

At the age of 40, in 161 Marcus Aurelius ascended the throne and shared his imperial power with his adopted brother Lucius Aurelius Verus. Useless and lazy, Verus was regarded as a kind of junior emperor; he died in 169. After Verus's death he ruled alone.

Most of his reign was spent fighting and negotiating with the Germanic barbarians who were steadily crowding around the borders of the Empire. Marcus was able to hold them back with a succession of victories and peace treaties. In 177 he made his son, Commodus, joint-Emperor, though Commodus had no interest in the responsibility, caring more for the gladiatorial sports, but Marcus, the philosopher- king, took no notice of his son's blood-lust, which was to later cost the Empire dearly.

For much of his reign, Marcus Aurelius had suffered from severe illness, but his calm devotion to stoic virtue gave him the strength to continue without rest and without his poor health interfering with his duties. While with the legions on the German frontier, Marcus Aurelius suddenly died on March 17th in the year 180AD.

His ashes were conveyed to Rome and placed in Hadrian's Mausoleum. Commodus assumed power and began the chain of tragic events that are said to have brought the decline and fall of the Roman Empire.

For his wisdom, and strength, and because he was the last instrument of Hadrian's plan that brought so much glory, and prosperity to Rome, we venerate the deified Marcus Aurelius as a god of the Religion of Antinous.

An important feature of the philosophy was that everything will recur: the whole universe becomes fire and then repeats itself.

Constantly regard the universe as one living being, having one substance and one soul; and observe how all things have reference to one perception, the perception of this one living being; and how all things act with one movement; and how all things are the cooperating causes of all things which exist; observe too the continuous spinning of the thread and the contexture of the web. (from The Meditations)

Friday, March 16, 2018

'ANTINOUS AND HADRIAN' THE OPERA
WINS PRESTIGIOUS COMPOSITION AWARD



WE are proud to announce that the world's first opera about Antinous has won the prestigious QUEER URBAN ORCHESTRA COMPOSITION CONTEST for 2018.

This ground-breaking opera, ANTINOUS AND HADRIAN, which premiered in 2013, was written by composer CLINT BORZONI with a libretto by EDWARD FICKLIN.

CLICK HERE for exclusive excerpts from the opera.

Those duets from were performed as part of the SOUND DEPARTURES 2017 in New York.

Borzoni's award-winning music reflects his passion for lyricism and functional harmony. He has written over sixty pieces, including a full length opera, two one act operas, a piano concerto, percussion quartet, piece for orchestra, two string quartets, several works for chamber orchestra, and many art songs. 

Ficklin has composed and written librettos for various forms of music-theater. He has realized his works in a number of unusual venues, like a store window near Grand Central Station and a vacant bank lobby near the World Trade Center (with the support of the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council and the September 11th Fund). His work has also been presented by numerous opera companies across the United States and Europe.

He describes "Antinous and Hadrian" as truly "grand opera," a hugely ambitious project.


"Rome wasn't built in a day," says Ficklin. "When embarking on something large, we're often given that sage, if cliche, advice. Having recently laid down on paper, finally, the first few lines a new libretto destined to be a grand opera, I find that I need to remind myself of this. Indeed, large endeavors always require a large perspective.

Thursday, March 15, 2018

HOW TO CULTIVATE THE PRESENCE
OF ANTINOUS IN YOUR LIFE


AS priests, we often receive enquiries from people asking how they can be closer to Antinous ... but the answer is that Antinous continually whispers into your ear and comes to you in dream visions.

"It can be a momentary flash or a scent or a sensation," said our spiritual leader ANTONIUS SUBIA during ceremonies in Hollywood Californiy.

"It is easy to dismiss these messages as just a figment of our imagination," he said in the ceremonies, which originated at the Hollywood Temple of Antinous and were shared globally via Skype with adherents across North America, Latin America and in Europe.

"But if we open our hearts, we can recognize these momentary flashes for what they are: Antinous is speaking to us," Antonius added.

"And the more we become accustomed to being receptive to these messages, the more Antinous speaks to us," he told the worldwide worshipers.

Antonius issued an appeal for worshipers of Antinous to become mindfully aware of "how Antinous is part of their daily life," he said.

"You have to come to the realization that you are not imagining this, but rather, that it is HOMOTHEOSIS ... Antinous speaking to you.


We can be more intentional with our relationship with Antinous than just waiting for him to come to us. There are many ways to cultivate his presence, from writing in a dream journal to repainting the living room to visiting with a particularly interesting friend or a place. 

Finding what inspires you and consciously cultivating it will give you access to allowing Antinous to communicate new ways of thinking and energy you did not know you had.

There are as many ways to find Antinoian inspiration as there are people looking for it. If you already know what inspires you, find a way to incorporate it into your life on a regular basis. 

If you aren't sure what inspires you, or if it has changed, take some time to think about it. When was the last time you felt the spark of your imagination? When was the last time you acted on an impulse that felt totally right? 

When you are in the presence of what inspires you, Antinous taps us on the shoulder and whispers into your, "This is being truly ALIVE!" and you hear his inner guidance more clearly and you have the energy to follow his cues.

If it has been a while since you have been touched by inspiration, you may feel listless and dissatisfied. Know that you can turn things around by remembering what lights you up and bringing that into your life. 

Wednesday, March 14, 2018

NOW YOU CAN TOUR CORINTH
IN THE FOOTSTEPS OF ANTINOUS



ANCIENT Corinth was one of the most powerful and important of the Greek city-states, and not only was it a city visited by Antinous and Hadrian, Corinth was also the site of a Temple of Antinous.

It was a city fabled for its sorcerers and seers. To this day, tour guides like to warn visitors (in a jocular fashion) about the "curse" that lies over the ruins.

We know that a Temple to Antinous was located there because there is a documented record listing a man called Hostilius Marcellus as high priest of Antinous at Corinth.

Archaeologists have even unearthed docks and port facilities where Antinous came ashore at Corinth.

Now animator extraordinaire Danila Loginov has recreated Corinth during the time of that great temple of Antinous in virtual reality.

The recreation reveals the whole ancient city, the central part with Agora, temple of Apollon, theater and Odeon, and also hippodrome, gymnasium, temple of Aesculapius and amphitheatre. Near the city is Acrocorinth mountain with fortress and temples.

Follow in the footsteps of Antinous and tour Corinth yourself:





Tuesday, March 13, 2018

HOW WOULD YOU RESPOND
IF YOU SAW ANTINOUS TODAY?


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

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

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

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

They "believe in" the promise of eternal life.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Monday, March 12, 2018

NEW AREA OF POMPEII TO BE REVEALED
USING DRONES, LASERS, VIRTUAL REALITY



A previously un-excavated area of the ancient Roman city of Pompeii is set to be revealed for the first time using drones, laser scanners and virtual reality visualizations.

The new hi-tech digs will take focus on an area north of the already excavated part of the city, says the director-general of the site, Massimo Osanna.

Measuring a half-hectare in Regio V, the new area includes a buried alley with buildings along it including homes, shops and taverns.

No one has seen this area since the eruption of Vesuvius in 79 AD that buried Pompeii in ash.

Using drones and lasers, the team hope to completely reconstruct the newly uncovered area and allow the public to explore it via virtual reality.

"We expect great discoveries," Osanna says. "The project has already allowed us to remove the post-ancient layers, reaching the remains of the eruption of 79 AD that incorporate the collapsed structures.

"The excavation will for the first time use techniques such as drones and laser scanners.

"It will allow us to reconstruct the buildings in three-dimensions.

"We will probably find the remains of the second floors of the buildings, so it will be important to document continuously all the excavation with cameras in order to complete the restoration."

The UNESCO heritage site is one of Italy’s most popular tourist destinations.

Pompeii was was preserved under ash from a volcanic eruption in 79 AD and rediscovered in the 18th Century.

Ash formed a hard coating around corpses of those caught in the disaster, which preserved the form of their bodies as well as sometimes their clothes.