ON May 1st the Religion of Antinous commemorates the Sacred Boar Hunt.
In our Liturgical Calendar, it is the day when Hadrian and Antinous arrive at the sacred city of Bithynium/Claudiopolis, the home of Antinous, in the late spring of the year 129 AD.
Imagine the jubilant welcome they must have received as the city's populace turned out en masse (including all of the extended family and acquaintances of Antinous) to see the imperial entourage with Hadrian and Antinous at the forefront.
The region is teeming with bountiful wildlife and so Hadrian and Antinous went on hunting forays while in Bithynium.
The Boar Hunt had deeply mystical symbolic meaning for Hadrian, as exemplified that it was elevated to mythic proportions for use in public monuments.
The image above shows Hadrian and Antinous (looking backwards) during the Sacred Boar Hunt, immortalized on the Arch of Constantine in Rome.
Flamen Antonius Subia explains the mythic symbolism this way:
So it was that Antinous went with Hadrian
To hunt the wild boar of Phrygia, to test his manhood
The boar symbolizes strength, courage, honor, & truth
And was an emblem of warriors and of fearlessness
The Boar is sacred to the beautiful hunter god Adonis
Whom Venus so loved that she chased after him through Briars and thorns, and when he was killed by the Boar, Which was her jealous lover Mars in disguise
She compelled the world to mourn his death
Her love for Adonis was so strong that she brought him
Back from the underworld again for half the year.
The Boar is the emblem of the fertility god Freyr
Whose mighty phallus purifies and protects the fields
The Boar is sacred to the sun god Belenus
Of the Cisalpine Gauls, of whom there is an inscription From Hadrian’s Villa that reads:
“Antinous and Belenus are equal in age and beauty
For this reason Antinous is also be worshipped like Belenus appropriately, by Quintus the Sicilian”
We praise the god Belenus, whose bonfires protect us
From the malevolent spirits of darkness and chaos
The beautiful Sun God Belenus is Antinous of the North
We praise Antinous as Mercurius, the son of Maia
Maia is the Bona Dea, leader of the Pleaides
She is the bringer of goodness and plenty of summer
We praise Diana the Huntress and ask her blessing
On this night of the Sacred Boar Hunt
May the Strength of the Boar be with us
May the Power of the Boar be with us
May the Courage of the Boar be with us
In celebration of Antinous the Hunter
We now consume the meat of the Sacred Boar
So we may be blessed
Ave Antinous – Adonis
Ave Antinous – Freyr
Ave Antinous – Belenus
Ave Antinous – Mercurius
May flesh of the Sacred Boar give us his blessing
Ave Antinous Venator!
~ ANTONIUS SUBIA