Thursday, May 31, 2018

THE ANCIENT RENAISSANCE MAN IMHOTEP
SET THE EGYPTIAN PRECEDENT
FOR ANTINOUS TO BECOME A GOD


SOME 3,000 years before Antinous, the Egyptians deified another mortal commoner ... the ancient "Renaissance Man" Imhotep ... Egyptian magician, physician, scribe, sage, architect, astronomer, vizier, and priest.

Imhotep's many talents and vast acquired knowledge had such an effect on the Egyptian people that he became the first individual of non-royal birth to be deified ... setting a precedent for Antinous to attain the status of a god.

 Imhotep, or "he who cometh in peace," was born in Ankhtowe, a suburb of Memphis, Egypt. 


The month and day of his birth are noted precisely as the sixteenth day of Epiphi, third month of the Egyptian harvest (corresponding to May 31) but the year is not definitely recorded. 

It is known that Imhotep was a contemporary (living in the same time period) of the Pharaoh, or king of Egypt, Zoser (also known as  Neterikhet) of the Third Dynasty. But estimates of the era of his reign vary by as much as three hundred years, falling between 2980 and 2600 B.C.E.

Imhotep's father, Kanofer, a celebrated architect, was later known to be the first of a long line of master builders who contributed to Egyptian works through the reign of King Darius the First (522–486 B.C.E. ). His mother, Khreduonkh, who probably came from the province of Mendes, is known today for having been deified alongside her son, an Egyptian custom.



Vizier under King Zoser


The office of the vizier in politics was literally described as "supervisor of everything in this entire land." Only the best educated citizen could handle the range of duties of this position that worked closely with the Pharaoh, or king of Egypt.


The capital city was Mennefer (Memphis) called the city of the "White Walls" for the enormous walls around the Temple of Ptah compound (right).

As vizier, Imhotep was chief advisor to Zoser in both religious and practical matters, and he controlled the departments of the Judiciary (court system), Treasury, War, Agriculture, and the General Executive.

There are no historical records of Imhotep's acts as a political figure, but his wisdom as a religious advisor was widely recognized after he ended a terrible famine (a severe shortage of food) that dominated Egypt during seven years of Zoser's reign. It is said that the king was failing in his responsibility to please the god Khnum, and his neglect was causing the Nile to fall short of a flood level which would support Egyptian farms. 


Imhotep, having a vast knowledge of the proper traditions and methods of worship, was able to counsel Zoser on pleasing Hapi, the the god of the inundation, allowing the Nile to return to its usual flood level.

The first miracle attributed to Antinous was a bountiful Nile inundation in the year 131 AD. 


Architect of the famous pyramid at Sakkara


 The Step Pyramid at Sakkara is the only of Imhotep's achievements that can still be seen and appreciated today. Its reputation is largely based on Imhotep's accomplishments as the pyramid's inventor and builder. 


This pyramid for King Djoser, also called "Netjerikhet" (Incarnation of the Gods), was the first structure ever built of cut stone, and is by far the oldest of the Seven Wonders of the World, the seven structures of the ancient world that were astonishing accomplishments for their time. 

It took twenty years to complete—not very long, given the newness of the idea and the state of structural science in the Bronze Age (between 3000 B.C.E. and 1100 C. E.), the period of development where metals, particularly bronze, were used for the first time.

Imhotep wanted the tomb to accommodate the Pharaoh's rise into the heavens. To do this, he planned to improve upon the flat, rectangular mastabas, or built-in benches, which were the traditional tombal structures. 


The pyramid was raised on top of the base mastabas in five smaller steps, one on top of the other.

He added a passageway on the north side issuing upward within the structure from a sarcophagus chamber (where the stone coffin holding the mummy is kept) seventy-five feet below ground. 

The total height of the pyramid and base is just under two hundred feet, unimaginably large for a single structure before Imhotep's design.

The project at Sakkara was designed in its entirety as a way for the deceased to perform the rituals of the jubilee festival, or Hebsed. The complex consisted of many other buildings, as well as ornamental posts some thirty-seven feet high. 


The protection of the king and his burial gifts—about 36,000 vessels of alabaster, dolomite, aragonite, and other precious materials—was the other primary function of the burial site.

The entire complex was enclosed within a stone wall about thirty-five feet high. Imhotep added several false entrances to throw off possible tomb raiders. As a final measure, the king's treasure was lowered through vertical shafts around the tomb into a long corridor one hundred feet below ground. The digging of just this corridor without machines of any kind is an amazing accomplishment by modern standards.

When Antinous and Hadrian visited Egypt in the year 130 AD, they stood atop the plateau at Sakkara and marveled at the achievements of Imhotep.

It is likely that Imhotep was the architect and master builder of many other projects completed during a forty-year period of the Third Dynasty, though none of them compare in size or stylistic influence to the burial site at Sakkara. 


Imhotep was also the author of an encyclopedia of architecture that was used as a reference tool by Egyptian builders for thousands of years.
 

Physician-magician, God of medicine


As a god of medicine, Imhotep was beloved as a curer of everyday problems who could "provide remedies for all diseases," and "give sons to the childless."


Members of the cult of Imhotep in the Twenty-sixth and Twenty-seventh Dynasties (between 525 B.C.E. and 550 C. E.) would pay tribute to the God at his temple just outside Memphis. 

The temple also contained halls devoted to the teaching of medical methods, and to the preservation of the materia medica, which details the entirety of Egyptian medical knowledge which may actually have originated with Imhotep.

Imhotep's name was often grouped with such powerful deities as Thoth, God of Wisdom, Isis, the wonder-worker, and Ptah, a healer and the ancient God of Memphis. 


Although royal individuals were deified by the Egyptians, Imhotep is unique as the first non-royal man to be known by his own name as a god inferior in power only to Re (chief Sun-God). With that precedence in mind, the Egyptians had no objections to accepting Antinous as a God.

Imhotep was also a member of the great triad of Memphis, with Ptah, Imhotep's father among the gods, and Sekhmet, a goddess associated with childbirth.

It is a matter of debate today how much of Imhotep's reputation as a curer of disease stems from medical skill and how much comes from his command of magic and healing rituals.


More than 3,000 years before Antinous died in the Nile ... Imhotep set the precedent for deification of mortal non-royals in Egypt.

Wednesday, May 30, 2018

JOAN OF ARC, SAINT OF ANTINOUS


ON MAY 30th the Religion of Antinous honors Saint Joan of Arc who was burned as a heretic on this day in 1431.

She was a peasant girl who led the armies of the King of France against the occupying forces of the English. She claimed to have been chosen by God to drive the English from France and deliver the country to her King.

Joan of Arc said that she conversed daily with Saints Catherine and Margaret and St. Michael the Archangel. Her greatest victory was the liberation of Orleans, where Charles, then Dauphin, was crowned as King of France.

She was later captured by the English and subsequently tried by the Church and burned as a heretic. The focus of her trial was upon the nature of her visions, which the inquisitors condemned as Demonic, and upon her refusal to wear women's clothing.

Joan of Arc was in essence the most courageous of all transvestites, whose insistence upon male dress and hair style, and occupation as a warrior was the excuse used by the Church for her condemnation and subsequent burning as a heretic. The Church however reversed this decision in 1909 by beatifying her, and then finally consecrating her as a saint in 1920.

Though she is a saint of the Catholic Church and a devoted Christian, it is for her courage as a transvestite and possibly as a sacred lesbian that she is included as a Heroic Martyr Saint of the Religion of Antinous.

Tuesday, May 29, 2018

JAMES WHALE, SAINT OF ANTINOUS


ON MAY 29th the Religion of Antinous celebrates the life of Saint James Whale (22 July 1889 — 29 May 1957), the openly gay British-born director of such films as Frankenstein, The Old Dark House, Bride of Frankenstein and The Invisible Man.

His movies were modern parables about the cruelty of "normal" people towards "monsters" in their midst. 

All of those 1930s films are recognized as classics of the genre. Whale directed over a dozen films in other genres, including what is considered the definitive 1936 film version of the musical Show Boat.

He became increasingly disenchanted with his association with horror, but many of his non-horror films have fallen into obscurity. Whale was openly gay throughout his career, something that was very unusual in the 1920s and 1930s.

He tended to use gay actors who were friends of his, including Colin Clive, Ernest Thesiger, Charles Laughton and Laughton's wife Elsa Lanchester, who played the "Bride". Thesiger has tea (below) in mad-scientist garb. 

Bride of Frankenstein, in particular, is widely interpreted as having a gay subtext and it has been claimed that Whale's refusal to remain in the closet led to the end of his career.

James Whale's true genius was in making movies which made the audience sympathize with the "monster" instead of the "normal" people, who invariably were portrayed as ridiculous, comic fools.

James Whale's soaring career was dashed by homophobic studio bosses who objected to having a "pansy" directing major movies. He spent the last decade of his life as an outcast in Hollywood.
He "accidentally" drowned in his own swimming pool in the mid-1950s after having become a chronic depressive following a stroke.


His life was brought to the screen in the award-winning movie Gods and Monsters, which is a masterful adaptation of a very wonderfully written gay novel entitled Father of Frankenstein by Christopher Bram.


The book and the movie are about his final weeks of life with flashbacks to his childhood in poverty in northern England and his traumatic experiences during World War I and to his heyday as the toast of Tinseltown, and his plunge into obscurity — and his final plunge into the watery arms of Antinous.


It is a great irony that the only out-and-proud Hollywood director of the 1930s is remembered as a man whose name is equated with monsters.


Sir Ian McKellen, who is also from conservative Northern England and is an openly gay star of stage and screen, was nominated for a Golden Globe and for an Academy Award for his role as James Whale in the 1998 movie Gods and Monsters.


Brendan Fraser also won critical acclaim in that film as Whale's yard boy who identifies with the Frankenstein monster. His compelling portrayal suggests to the audience that all of us are gods and monsters, to some degree. But then, even Antinous was a god to pagans — yet a monster to early Christians.


And Lynn Redgrave won a Golden Globe and got an Oscar nod for her scene-stealing performance as James Whale's disapproving Swedish housekeeper — a tongue-in-cheek characterization drawn from the real-life eccentrics who performed supporting roles in Whale's wonderfully campy old movies.

Monday, May 28, 2018

YOU DON'T NEED A TEMPLE OF STONE
TO WORSHIP ANTINOUS THE GAY GOD



ANTINOUS has tens of thousands of online worshipers all over the world ... and dozens more join us every day via social media.

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

We received the following succinct 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 openly. I've got two straight housemates. I wish there was a proper temple of Antinous built of stone that I could visit. Oh well ... maybe some day ...."

The irony is that these thousands of worshipers ... yearning for a temple built of mortar and stone ... are actually holding the temple in their hands in the form of their social-media devices ... which bring worshipers together in an intimate way that the ancient priests of Antinous could never have imagined.

You don't need a physical Temple of Antinous in your neighborhood ... the Temple of Antinous is where his worshipers converge ... which in the 21st Century is on social media ... and within your heart.

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. Antonius 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.

Sunday, May 27, 2018

TWO POMPEII HORSES WERE HARNESSED
FOR ESCAPE FROM VESUVIUS ERUPTION



TWO horse cadavers found in a Pompeii villa's stable were harnessed for a frantic escape ... when they tragically were overtaken by the Vesuvius eruption.

In all, the remains of three horses were found in the villa stable, but two were wearing bits and bridles.

When the volcano erupted in 79 AD, many of the town's residents and animals collapsed and died in place after being struck with waves of superheated poisonous gas and ash, called a pyroclastic surge. 

Their decaying bodies then left hauntingly shaped voids in the hardened ash layer. Plaster casts were made of the horses.

Evidence for bits and bridles around the two cast horses suggests that they were harnessed by people trying to flee the eruption, says Massimo Osanna, general director of the Archaeological Park of Pompeii. 

The remains of the third horse are too incomplete to determine whether it was also harnessed at the time of death, says Corbino.

Saturday, May 26, 2018

EMPRESS REGINA FONG
BELOVED SAINT OF ANTINOUS


ON MAY 26th the Religion of Antinous celebrates the life of Reg "Regina Fong" Bundy, a blessed saint of Antinous, who was born on this day in 1941 and died on April 15, 2003. A brazenly gay cabaret artiste — she disliked being called a drag queen — she was a well-known AIDS charity host who influenced a generation of post-Stonewall gays in Britain with acerbic send-ups of politics and popular culture.

Regina Fong was not just a "queen", she was an "empress" — the last of the Russian Imperial Dynasty of the Romanoffs. Forget Anastasia (and Ingrid Bergman in a '50s film), Regina Fong was the REAL heir to Russian nobility. Like so many Russian aristocrats, she sought asylum in monarchical Britain after the Russian Revolution. There were indeed members of the Russian Imperial family who lived (albeit rather modestly) on the grounds of Windsor Castle during the 20th Century. Empress Regina lived (albeit rather immodestly) in London's West End.

Her Imperial Highness (HIH) Regina Fong did in fact become an Iconic cult figure on the European Cabaret stage. Known to friends as Reg (pronounced "Redge"), she lost her battle to cancer April 15, 2003.

But Reg, by creating Her Imperial Highness Regina Fong, a flame-red-wigged champion of gay rights, was insistently committed to being the knight in shining red armour who carried the banner of charities involved in transforming the AIDS epidemic from mortal tragedy into spiritual triumph. She reminded us all that gay cabaret, especially in London at that time, was (and continues to be) a central part of gay life.

After the "Gay Liberation" in the late '60s and '70s, drag queens and cabaret artistes were pushed to the back of the room, to more mainstream, homogenized images of gay life.

Regina Fong, and other Gay pioneers like Lily Savage, changed this forever and brought Gay Cabaret back to its rightful spot in the London Gay Scene. The Cabaret Tent at London Gay Pride events as the epicenter of Gay culture in good times and bad is the direct legacy of this valiant drag queen — er, ahm — cabaret artiste!

Our own Knight Stephanos personally knew Empress Regina Fong and conferred with her often in the legendary Black Cap gay bar in the heart of the Camden Town District of London. And so it is fitting that KNIGHT STEPHANOS (pictured right with Her Imperial Highness) explains her Sacred Significance to us:


"Happy Birthday Regina Fong even though you and the Black Cap are now gone.

"What can one say in this current day except to pay a tribute to the one and only Reg...Regina Fong, Queen if them all….

"Regina Fong the Empress of Camp. Queen of the Black Cap.

"You Reigned supreme. Sage of the rejected, muse to all that were affected.

"Daily she held court at the corner of the front bar, vodka and tonic, laughter, dialogue quite chronic. Nightly you drew the crowds: shaking us from the  melancholy of the expected life, denial waking strife.

"Cabaret Artiste beacon of hope, torch carrier of all who could but strive to such heights.

"Black cap memories to be had everyday at the end of the front bar at 11:00 am. Sitting to Michael Jeffries swapping war stories giving advice...in comes Steffens and Camp David...last of the Polari...Vada, Vada, Naff, Convo...Laughter, drinks, and scams galore.

"Always aching for the next adventure of days gone by…. If you could smell and hear the wonder of the front bar of the black cap...nicotine stains and morning shakes...characters and creatures of a world gone by...but not forgotten...bastions of an age of defiance, survival, and overwhelming urge to be fabulous.

"Happy Birthday H.I.H. Regina Fong...the likes of you could never be wrong."

Friday, May 25, 2018

MEET MARCO ANTINOUS OF EGYPT
By Flamen Antinoalis Antonius Subia


I have the pleasure to introduce someone very special. A beautiful boy who was very likely one of our brothers.

Mummy of Marco Antinous, encaustic painting on linen, the frieze of the aureus protector in gilded stucco. 


Egyptian civilisation, Roman Empire, 3rd Century. Paris, Musée Du Louvre.

The hauntingly lovely portrait from the heyday of Antinoopolis features the face of a young man with striking, realistic features painted with encaustic (wax-based paint) on thin wood panels and embellished with intricate gold-leaf details.

Portraits like these are highly treasured today. They are often known as FAYOUM PORTRAITS, after the region, near Antinoopolis, where most of them were found. There are fewer than 1,000 extant.

The Ancients believed Antinous worked miracles in the lives of his faithful followers. 

Antinous healed the sick, he granted people love and prosperity, he shielded them from peril.

Historian Royston Lambert's book Beloved and God: The Story of Hadrian and Antinous devotes a full chapter to the Religion of Antinous and mentions the miracles he was able to bring forth.

The oracle priests of Antinous could intercede with the God, or followers could appeal directly to Antinous:
 
"There is evidence of oracles at Tarsos and perhaps at Rome itself," Lambert writes. "No doubt it was through these pronouncements and visitations that he wrought miracles and healing for which he evidently became famous in the east."

In many areas, people named their children Antinous in the fervent belief that he would watch over and protect their offspring all their lives.


Marco Antinous undoubtedly is one of these children named after Antinous ... undoubtedly a follower of Antinous ... we hail Marco Antinous as our brother in Antinous!

~ANTONIUS SUBIA

Thursday, May 24, 2018

ANTINOUS IN THE STRANGEST PLACES
EVEN AT THE SUPERMARKET


ANTINOUS shows up in the most extraordinary places ... even at the supermarket magazine rack.

Some years ago, Hachette published a magazine series entitled THE GODS OF ANCIENT EGYPT which featured special issues on scores of Egyptian deities ... nearly 100 in all.

Each edition featured a glossy brochure and an epoxy resin figurine in a little plastic "display case." The magazines were widely available at booksellers and newsstands around the world.

Antinous was featured in Issue 88 — possibly the most collectible issue in the whole series.

The Hachette magazines have long since gone out of print, but the figurines are still found on eBay and other online marketplaces.

Antinous is hard to find, but occasionally he turns up and the bidding turns fierce as ANTINOMANIACS fight to possess the little 4.5-inch (14 cm) figurine.


The one pictured here sold on eBay for nearly $50 in "NRFB" condition — "Never Removed From Box."

It is "only a fake" of course. 

But that does not make it any less sacred or magical to anyone who loves Antinous. 

In ancient times, Antinous figurines, images, coins and medallions were prized by his worshipers as a sort of portable Sacred Token or Pocket Shrine.

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

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

Poor people made do with more crudely made representations, such as coins and figurines and medals made of lead, clay and other base materials. The demand was so great that there was a rife trade in which we would nowadays call "copyright piracy" among artisans turning out "illicitly yet more crude and cheap medallions of this hero whose images, miracles and protection were obviously sought by countless poor folk of faith."


People of modest means who were lucky enough to get their hands on one of his clay figures or commemorative coins would carry them with them for protection, often even wearing them:

"Many were pierced by holes and hung from the neck as talismans: Antinous' image offering protection against evil, sickness and death," says Lambert. 

Other such tiny statuettes, figurines, coins and medallions were placed in portable shrines or pouches or adorned away-from-home altars, and others were buried with the dead "to invoke the god's aid on the perilous journey into the unknown."

We look at the little Hachette Antinous figurine and see only a cheap epoxy resin plastic action figure, crudely hand-painted in some Chinese sweat shop. 

But imagine how the Ancient Priests of Antinous would have gaped in wonder at this little figurine swaddled in cellophane, along with a book of shiny pages unlike any papyrus, pages adorned with inscrutable glyphs and breathtakingly realistic images. 

Where we see ordinary plastic, the Ancient Priests would see a wondrous statuette fashioned in what to them would be a magical putty-like material not like anything found on Earth.

Clearly, it was fashioned by the Gods themselves — clearly, ANTINOUS THE GAY GOD truly is "immanent" (in-dwelling) in this miraculous vessel.

And the Ancient Priests would, of course, be absolutely right. 

Wednesday, May 23, 2018

MAGICAL 'HAND OF POWER' TALISMAN
FOUND AT A HADRIAN'S WALL FORT



HERE is something very special from the Vindolanda Roman Fort excavations at Hadrian's Wall. 

"We usually show our new finds on a hand, this time we have found a hand!" the archaeologist at the VINDOLANDA TRUST said.

This is a lead weighted bronze right hand, measuring 10 cm long and dates to the Severan period (208- 212 AD). 

The artefact is thought to be a cult object of the god Jupiter Dolichenus. Romans believed that such a "hand of power" would give them protection.

Above is a photo (front and back) of the artefact after the initial clean. We will post more images after it has been through the full conservation process.

One of the most popular Roman talismans is the "Hand of Power" or Mano Panthea. 

The defining quality of the Hand of Power in its many forms is that it invariably is shown standing upright upon its severed wrist and is adorned with various zoomorphic and utensil forms. 

Usually (but not always) it is a right hand making a sign of benediction, the thumb and first two fingers upraised and the last two fingers curled down. 

Often a small pine cone is balanced on the tip of the thumb and a large crowned snake crawls up the back of the hand and arches over the bent ring finger and little fingers. 

Other animals and objects covering the rear of the hand in high relief include a lizard, a worm, a salamander, a frog, a caduceus, a fasces, a turtle, and a group of urns. 

Sometimes a ram's head is in the palm of the hand, along with a sprig of mistletoe, a woman nursing a baby, and a strange table with human legs upon which rest three disks (possibly votive food offerings).

Tuesday, May 22, 2018

HARVEY MILK, SAINT OF ANTINOUS



ON May 22nd the world honors Harvey Milk ... his birthday (22 May 1930) is commemorated as Harvey Milk Day around the world. 

Champion of the early gay rights movement, in 1977 Harvey Milk became the first openly Gay person to be elected to the Board of Supervisors in San Francisco.

He advocated the liberation of homosexuality for the benefit of society in general, and jokingly claimed to be a gay recruiter. He was instrumental in passing the Gay Civil Rights Bill in San Francisco, which was to be his undoing.

On November 27, of 1978, Milk was murdered City Hall along with Mayor George Moscone by former City Supervisor Danny White who had resigned his office after the enactment of the bill. Dan White was acquitted of murder but sentenced to only seven years on manslaughter charges.

Following his acquittal on May 21st, 1979, riots broke during a demonstration in front of City Hall, and later, 100,000 people marched on Washington in support of Gay Rights chanting "Harvey Milk Lives!" He became the first gay saint and martyr following the movement that began at the Stonewall.

In a tape recording made one year before his assassination, as if in prophecy, Harvey Milk said, "If a bullet should enter my brain, let that bullet destroy every closet door."


For his actions, for his life, for the changes that he effected, and for the love that continues to burn for him in the memory of his gay, lesbian and transgender children, we priests of Antinous recognize and sanctify Harvey Milk as a Heroic Saint and Martyr.

Monday, May 21, 2018

THE BIRTH OF PLATO
SAINT OF ANTINOUS



ON May 21st the Religion of Antinous honors Plato, Saint of Antinous, because May 21st is Plato's birthday, and no worshipper of Antinous could possibly forget HIS birthday.

The greatest of all western mystics and philosophers was born on this day in the year 427 BC. He was originally named Aristocles, but was called Plato by one of his teachers because of the breadth of his shoulders and of his speech, and we might also say because of the magnitude of his legacy of wisdom.

He was a follower of Socrates and the majority of his works are written as Dialogues of Socrates, wherein Plato elaborates his vision of the Universe, the inner workings of mankind, the complexities of human relationships, and the virtues of civilization.

All we know about Socrates is in reality only what Plato has told us of his teacher. Out of loyalty, Plato gave all personal credit to the wisdom of his divine teacher.

Plato founded the Academy in Athens that was dedicated to the love of wisdom and to the perfection of the minds and souls of young men. The image above is a mosaic from Pompeii showing Plato and his academy assembled under his famous olive tree.

Plato studied Pythagoreanism in Italy and made further speculation into the mathematical mysticism of the first philosopher thereby creating the model upon which western monotheism is based. The Platonic system was essentially a unification of the social inquiry of Socrates with the cosmic ramifications of the teachings of Pythagoras.

Here is how Flamen Antinoalis Antonius Subia explain's the significance of Saint Plato:


"In the vision of Love that Plato expounded, Venus Urania, Celestial Love, is glorified as highest form of human affection, above the earthly requirements of procreation. The love between two men, what is innocently called Platonic Love, was considered by Plato to be the most divine form of relationship.

"Hadrian, in all ways the most Platonic of all Emperors, the veritable manifestation of the Philosopher King as glorified by Plato in The Republic, was demonstrating the meaning of Venus Urania, for all the world to see, in his passion for Antinous.

"For the beautiful light in which Plato illuminated the inner nature of homosexual love, he is venerated as a divine Saint of the Religion of Antinous."

CASTOR AND POLLUX
TWIN GODS OF HOMOSEXUALITY



TODAY the Sun enters the Sign of Gemini — the sign of the Twins Castor and Pollux, Gods of Homosexuality.  This is the zodiac sign which ushers in a special sacred time in the Religion of Antinous, for this is the time of year when the STAR OF ANTINOUS rises, after having been hidden below the horizon since the Death of Antinous at the end of October.

We honor the Dioscuri who were born as triplets with the beautiful Helen as their sister. The mother of the three was Leda who was seduced by Zeus who came to her in the form of a swan. Leda gave birth to an egg from which emerged Castor, Pollux and Helen.


The photo above shows the Prado's Ildefonso Group, twin statue of Castor and Pollux, with a marble head of Antinous "restored" to the left figure.

The identical brothers were inseparable, and had a deep affection for one another, for which reason they were often worshipped as gods of homosexuality. Helen was constantly being abducted and in need of rescue, which the brothers were usually successful in accomplishing, however, her beauty was eventually to lead to the Trojan War.


Castor was a skilled horseman, and Pollux was an unconquerable boxer. They took part in the voyage of the Argonauts, and with Orpheus they calmed a storm, for which reason they were worshipped as the protectors of sailors.

Later in the voyage, Castor was killed. Pollux was so overwhelmed that he begged Zeus to accept his life in exchange for his brother's. 


Out of compassion, Zeus immortalized Castor and proclaimed that Pollux would spend half the year in the underworld and half the year in heaven with his brother. 

Together they were placed in the sky as the sign of Gemini.

The Divine Twins miraculously appeared in Rome to announce the victory of the Republic over the allies of the last king by watering their horses in the Fountain of Juturna in the Forum.

Flamen Antonius has this further insight into Castor and Pollux:

"The sacredness of the Twin Gods, with their third twin sister Helen is found in Norse Mythology as the Alcis and as the twins Frey and Skirnir with their third twin sister Freya.

"The symbolism of brotherly love, and of sacrificing one's life for the immortality of a brother is at the heart of the Religion of Antinous, and is an example of the sacrifice that Antinous is said to have committed for the prolongation of the life of Hadrian. The Dioscuri are Antinous and his "rival" Aelius Caesar, and they are also seen in the two brothers of Hadrian's court, Macedo and Statianus Caesernius, who were servants, protectors, confidants, lovers, friends, witnesses and first priests of Antinous.

"The Sacred Star of Antinous rises during the sign of the brothers Castor and Pollux."

Sunday, May 20, 2018

EPISTLE OF THE SACRED BULL HUNT 2018
By Flamen Antinoalis Antonius Subia



IN celebration of the end of Taurus, tonight the Hollywood Temple of Antinous celebrated (along with followers in other nations via Skype) a new Sacred Hunt of Antinous.

We inaugurated May 20th as The Sacred Bull Hunt of Antinous.

May 20th is of course the end of Taurus, the death of the Bull of Heaven...and the coming of Gemini, the Divine Twins...or shall we say The Lovers...Hadrian and Antinous.

The Cycle of the Sacred Hunts are of course a recognition that Antinous was a God of the Hunt, that in his life-time, he is recorded in verse to have participated in a Lion Hunt, and in stone relief, his image has been identified as one of the participants, along with Hadrian in the hunt of the Bear and the Boar, and also the Lion on the tondos of the Arch of Constantine.

We might call this cycle "Hunt Spirituality," an awareness of the active element of Antinous.  

From his images we are given to understand him as a melancholy, day-dreaming, slightly self-involved, yet gentle and radiantly peaceful boy...but this is only part of the beautiful story.

Another part, which is in the ancient record and therefore can be regarded as biographical, is that he was a hunter...on horseback...and perhaps on foot...able to chase down wild animals, and kill them with a spear.

The Sacred Hunts commemorate the nature of the animals which then become part of who Antinous is, and by extension, who we may become, or find ourselves to be.

Whether we see ourselves as the Hunter Antinous, or the Hunted Animal...or a mingling of the two...the significance is always through our own personal essence...animalistic...the Sacred Hunts, therefore are one of the significant forms that Animalism has taken up in the New Religion of Antinous.

Antinous was never historically said to have hunted a Bull...so for historical accuracy, this is not a Sacred Hunt with historical precedence...this would be my own invention....but I will try to explain the essence of what I feel it means, and perhaps will you understand and even add your own meaning..or detract from it, or have no opinion at all.

But as I feel now...the Bull Hunt is probably one of the more meaningful and powerful understandings of Antinous that I have discovered.

There is an ancient connection between Antinous and the Bull that has remained unexplained, or unobserved because the meaning is unclear.

If there is no historical precedent to prove that Antinous participated in the bullfights, there is evidence to show that the bull was sacred to Antinous.

There are a number of coins from Asia Minor, that portray Antinous standing by the side of a bull, or have a Bull on the reverse. A coin from Antinous's home town Bithynium-Claudiopolis is among this type.

The majority are of the type that read "Fatherland of Antinous the God"...they were minted in cities where the Religion of Antinous was strongest and most heart-felt, where he was openly proclaimed to be a God of the Country...and so from the coins, we can know that the bull, among other animals, was considered to be a sacred symbol of Antinous.

The Bull, therefore, is an ancient, stone-age and early Bronze age symbol for a King, and it is from this connection that the notion of the Bull of Heaven is derived.

The Egyptians believed that the Ka of Osiris would take the form of a perfect young Bullock...when one of these perfect bulls was discovered, it was treated with deep reverance, and allowed to live in splendor like a living god...because it was a living god...it was Osiris.

When the bull reached the age of 28, the age when Osiris was murdered, the bull was sacrificed.

Certain parts were eaten by the Pharaoh, while the body of the bull was mummified and given a tomb at Saqqara.

Plutarch said "The Apis should ever to be regarded by us, as a fair and beautiful image of the soul of Osiris."

The Apis Bull was the Spirit of Osiris in living form...eternal and ever-present. Antinous was of course first compared to Osiris because he drowned in the Nile.  In ancient antiquity when a King died, his Ka and his Ba...soul and spirit, were said to join and take form as Osiris in the underworld, so as to circle the cosmos in the Boat of Millions of Years.

In later history, any person who could afford to have the elaborate ceremonies associated with mummification and the recitation of the Book of the Dead could also join Osiris.

It would seem to be highly probable to suppose that Antinous may have undergone the most elaborate Egyptian burial that Hadrian could arrange....that Antinous was very likely mummified and entombed in or near his temple in Antinoopolis...if he was not bought home and entombed at Hadrian's Villa.

Mummification seems very likely, though there is no proof or evidence that it occurred...but that he was first and very closely identified with Osiris seems to hint that perhaps his association with Osiris would have been elaborated, and not merely allegorical.

Antinous and Osiris were united in one being...known as Osarantinous.

Our sacred Obelisk Text repeatedly mentions him as "The God, Osiris-Antinous the Justified"...because among several other gods, one of the most important elements of the divinity of Antinous was his connection to Osiris.

The living symbol of Osiris was the Apis Bull...therefore, as the Coins of Bithynia seem to suggest...the Bull was likewise, the living symbol of Antinous...the Ka of Antinous...the Spirit of Antinous in living form.

The Bull can therefore be viewed as a symbol of our spiritual connection to Antinous...the living spirit of Antinous, the consumption of which, like the flesh of the sacred Apis Bull is in essence the consumption of the Spirit of Antinous.

There is a strong likelihood that Antinous and Hadrian may have hunted Bulls.

We must therefore wonder what the Bull Hunt means to us, in what of so many contexts we may choose to view the brutal combat between a man and a bull...which is in a sense, a parable of man against nature...against the world (earthquakes for example)...the ferocious forces that are greater and able to destroy us, over which we can only triumph with excessive courage, at the risk of our very existence.

The Bull Hunt, therefore, is a sacred observance of how with intensities of inner strength, we can overcome all those forces that would destroy us.

And so it is, in the Name of Antinous, that I offer you the Sacred Bull Hunt, in observance of which I recommend that you take a moment to think upon the obstacles of your life, those which seem overwhelming, or on the verge of destroying you, or breaking you down, those from which you seek to flee...that you may find the courage to face them, even at the cost of everything that you count as dear and of value.

It is these wild forces that we must face, if we are ever to regard ourselves as Men.

In Commemoration of the End of Taurus,

May Antinous, the Spirit of Osiris give you strength.

~ANTONIUS SUBIA

ROSE PETALS CASCADE THROUGH OCULUS
OF HADRIAN'S PANTHEON IN ROME



ON Sunday, 20 May 2018, red rose petals will cascade through the oculus of Hadrian's Pantheon in Rome.

The event commemorates the ancient Roman spring festival as well as Christian Pentecost.

Rome firefighters scaled the 43-meter-high dome to pour the rose petals through the 9-meter-wide oculus "eye opening" at the top of the historic building.

The ceremony, suspended for many years, was revived in 1995. It dates back to the earliest days of Christianity when the falling rose petals symbolized flames of Pentecostal enlightenment showering down on the faithful.

Saturday, May 19, 2018

PETER WILDEBLOOD
SAINT OF ANTINOUS


ON May 19th, the Religion of Antinous honors our Saint Peter Wildeblood, a British journalist, novelist, playwright and gay-rights campaigner, who was born on this day in 1923.

He became one of the first men in Britain to declare publicly that he was gay, when he was arrested and put on trial in a headline-making case in 1954. 

He was sent to prison on a conviction of "conspiring to incite acts of gross indecency and buggery." 

His case created such an uproar that it helped to lead to the 1960s reform of anti-gay laws in the UK.

In the uptight post-war years of the early '50s, Wildeblood had made something of a name for himself in the theatre and as a roving reporter for a major newspaper, London's Daily Mail, when he happened to meet a 23-year-old RAF corporal named Eddie McNally in Piccadilly Circus.

Although Eddie McNally was not Peter Wildeblood's type, they developed a relationship over time. In the summer of 1952 they arranged to go on holiday together at Edward Montagu's beach hut on the English coast. John Reynolds, who was also an airman and a friend of Eddie McNally, also joined them.

About 18 months later, on Saturday, January 9, 1954, Peter Wildeblood was arrested at his home and his house was searched. He was charged with conspiring with Edward Montagu and Michael Pitt-Rivers to incite Eddie McNally and John Reynolds to commit indecent acts.

The police tipped off the press and the story was headlined in all the Sunday newspapers the next day. Eddie McNally and John Reynolds became witnesses for the prosecution.

The media went on a feeding frenzy and his picture was plastered all over the front pages for weeks. One paper retouched his photos to make it appear that he was wearing lipstick. He was vilified in public. He later described one incident when a woman recognized him being driven past in a vehicle.



"That night, a woman spat at me," Wildeblood wrote later. "She was a respectable looking, middle-aged, tweedy person wearing a sensible felt hat. She was standing on the pavement as the car went by. I saw her suck in her cheeks, and the next moment a big blob of spit was running down the windscreen.  

"This shocked me very much. The woman did not look eccentric or evil; in fact she looked very much like the country gentlewomen with whom my mother used to take coffee when she has finished her shopping on Saturday mornings. She looked thoroughly ordinary, to me. But what did I look like to her? Evidently, I was a monster."

What so troubled the decent people of the day was not that homosexual practices went on — everybody knew they always had and always would — but that anybody would openly declare himself to be "a homosexual." 

He was in the news constantly until his conviction and sentencing to 18 months in prison. Because he was (understandably) depressed, he was considered suicidal and was transferred to a dire hospital for the criminally insane where the squalid conditions affected not only his mental health but also his physical health.

He was released after 12 months and immediately launched a personal crusade to overturn anti-gay sex laws in Britain. He lobbied in Parliament and wrote articles and a book entitled Against the Law which outlined how gay people can be entrapped and harassed in their own homes for consensual activity among adults which does not affect anyone else.



His three main points were: homosexuality between consenting adults in private should not be illegal, that prison only encourages homosexuality, and that prison hospitals were inhumane.

While writing this he bought a small drinking club in Soho which attracted a mixture of types on the fringes of society. This provided material for his fictional autobiography about the club, A Way Of Life.

It was a surprise success and encouraged him to write more novels and plays which were hits on stage in London's West End in the late 1950s. In the '60s he became a well-known TV scriptwriter and producer. In the '70s he was lured by Canadian television with a lucrative contract, and emigrated to Canada, where he adopted Canadian citizenship and was responsible for numerous hit productions over the next 16 years.

When he retired in the 1980s, he went to live in a wooden Edwardian cottage in Victoria on the western coast of Canada which had a stunning view over the Juan de Fuca Straits to the Olympic Mountains above Seattle. He suffered a series of debilitating strokes in the mid-'90s which left him speechless and quadriplegic. He learned to communicate via a computer using movements of his chin. He suffered a final stroke and died November 13, 1999, at the age of 76.

In saluting Saint Peter Wildeblood, the Religion of Antinous honors the beacon of courage and hope which he represented in an age of darkness and despair for gay men everywhere. Everyone advised him to remain quiet, and yet he chose to speak out. He did not choose to be exposed but, placed at the mercy of events, he chose to become their master.

His book was a courageous act of defiance against the kind of injustice which the straight world called justice. 

"Very faintly," he wrote, "as though at the end of a tunnel, I could see what I must do. I would make a statement ... I would simply tell the truth about myself ... I would be the first homosexual to tell what it felt like to be an exile in one's own country. I might destroy myself, but perhaps I could help others."

Friday, May 18, 2018

TODAY IS THE FESTIVAL OF ANTINOUS
IN HIS GUISE AS PAN AND CERNUNNOS



THE 18th of May is the festival of Pan and Cernunnos, Old Horny ... an aspect of Antinous in this art by ANTONIUS SUBIA.

Pan represents the masculine energy in nature, virility and the link between civilization and the wild places. 

He is of two natures: human and animal and reminds us that we are not separate from the animal kingdom. 

He is the god of wild, unstoppable sexuality, not of love. He is the hunter and the hunted, he knows both sides of the pursuit. 

Pan is said to have a nap, just after noon for a couple of hours, and it is best not to disturb him during this time.

This is the time when he can send healing dreams to those who ask his aid.

Thursday, May 17, 2018

ANTINOUS IN JERUSALEM



IT is indeed ironic that Jerusalem is in the headlines again, amidst continuing religious and political strife and bloodshed, for it is in mid-May when the Religion of Antinous commemorates the bitter-sweet arrival of Antinous and Hadrian in Jerusalem in the year 130 AD.

In hindsight, Hadrian must have viewed Jerusalem as a bad omen enroute to what would tragically turn out be a fateful date with destiny in Egypt following a triumphal tour of Asia Minor. This day in the year 130 AD signaled a turning point in history.

The glorious tour of the Eastern Provinces turned sour when Hadrian reached religious strife-torn Jerusalem.


In a few years, he would raze the city to the ground in rage at the Jewish rebellion, earning him the enmity of Jews forever more. In a few weeks, the entourage would enter drought-stricken Egypt, where Hadrian would be confronted by despair and discontent.

And only six months hence, his beloved Antinous would be dead. The wise and cautious emperor would turn bitter and cruel without sweet Antinous at his side. The history of Western Civilization was about to change ....

But on this day in the spring of 130 AD, Hadrian basked in the golden glow of adulation, sensing perhaps only vaguely that this glow was in fact the sunset of his reign.

Hadrian and Antinous crossed the Jordan river and entered Jerusalem on this day in 130. There they remained for much of summer of 130, while Hadrian immersed himself in the Jewish faith and attempted to convince Jewish leaders to compromise on religious matters. He soon realized that compromise was impossible.

Hadrian had two facets to his personality. One was the compassionate and wise seeker of knowledge who was open to new ideas, particularly when they pertained to spiritual matters. But the other facet was the uncompromising warrior who could not allow an affront to Roman dignity and socio-economic order to go unpunished.


It was during this visit to Jerusalem that Hadrian realized the Jews would never be subsumed into Roman society. He began issuing controversial decrees, such as outlawing circumcision.

It may have been during this visit that Hadrian began drawing up plans to rebuild Jerusalem after the fashion of the Greeks, with major temples to Jupiter and Venus.

He may even have begun work on the reconstruction of the Temple Mount, dedicating the new Temple to Jupiter Capitolinus, with a statue of Hadrian in front.

His actions and disregard for the Jewish religion led to the rebellion of Bar Kochba, and the protracted and very bloody Jewish war. The result of this war was that Jerusalem was renamed Aelia Capitolina, and all Jewish and Christian Churches were replaced with Temples to Venus and Adonis.

Israel was renamed Palestine, and the Jews were forbidden to enter Jerusalem except once a year on Passover.

This was the beginning of the Diaspora. It was the beginning of 18 centuries of rancour and strife over the issue of Judea/Israel/Palestine, and of who should live there. To this day, Hadrian's name is accursed among Jews.

This is where the glorious tour of the Eastern Provinces turned sour. But it is also where the glorious reign of Hadrian turned sour. Until the year 130, Hadrian had surprised his critics with his even-handedness and his cautious wisdom and his patience in seeking peace and avoiding armed conflict wherever possible. His goal was to create a Hellenistic society based on tolerance and mutual benefit.

But the second half of the year 130 changed everything. By the end of the year Antinous would be dead and Hadrian would return to Rome a broken and embittered man. The man who loved to travel and spent half of his reign abroad would never leave the environs of Rome and his villa at Tivoli again. The remaining eight years of his life would be marked by capricious cruelty, vindictiveness, chronic pain and sickness. Above all, he would be remembered for a devastating war against the Jews — a war which left a sore which continues to fester 1,800 years later.