Thursday, January 31, 2019

DEREK JARMAN
SAINT OF ANTINOUS


ON January 31st the Religion of Antinous celebrates the life of Saint Derek Jarman.

St. Derek, born on this day in 1942, created eleven extraordinary feature films ... including "Sebastiane," "Jubilee," "The Tempest," "Caravaggio," "The Last Of England," and "Edward II" ... and over three dozen shorts.

This multi-talented artist is also acclaimed for his painting (several major exhibits), stage and film design (for director Ken Russell and for a glorious Pet Shop Boys concert tour), gay and human rights activism, literature (memoirs, social criticism, poetry), and, on a serene note, his exquisite gardens full of "found" art.

Most gay men have seen Sebastiane which, when it came out more than 30 years ago, was the first British film to feature positive images of gay sexuality, not to mention the first film entirely in Latin.

Edward II raised eyebrows among critics for its upfront depiction of the brutal assassination of England's openly gay monarch by means of rectal assault.


The exquisitely beautiful Caravaggio is Saint Derek's best-known film.

We Antinoians remember Saint Derek for his art and we honor him as well for his boundless courage. His death from AIDS was cruelly slow and agonizing. And yet, as AIDS robbed him of his mobility and even of his eyesight, he turned the tables on Death and Dying by turning Death and Dying into an art form. 


His last feature-length film, Blue, consists of a single shot of saturated blue color filling the screen as Derek talks about his "vision" of life and art. How very typical of Derek Jarman.

Thumbing his nose at fate right up to the end. A dying man who is blind and yet who talks about his vision.

The light of his eyes faded until all he saw was the darkness where the Night Terrors feed on fear and doubt. And what did Derek do? He turned the darkness into vibrant color. He turned his fear and his worries into artistic energy. The dramatic lighting and brilliant colors of his films were so very dramatic and brilliant because they were always, always set against the inky darkness.

That is why we consecrate Derek Jarman a Saint of Antinous. Just like Saint Caravaggio, also one of our Blessed Saints, Martyrs and Exemplars, his "vision" lay in turning the Darkness into Light and Color. He died February 19, 1994.

Wednesday, January 30, 2019

NEW ZEALAND EXPERTS CLAIM TO KNOW
WHAT KILLED ALEXANDER THE GREAT



FORGET strychnine, arsenic and a malingering fever ... two rival New Zealand experts have come up with two rival theories as to the cause of the mysterious 12-day death of Alexander the Great.

A rare auto-immune disease destroyed his body from the inside, according to one of the New Zealanders ...  Dr Katherine Hall, of the Dunedin School of Medicine in New Zealand.

He remained alive and conscious but unable to move his limbs, causing his doctors to marvel at the way his body failed to decompose even after they pronounced him dead.

"His death may be the most famous case of pseudothanatos, or false diagnosis of death, ever recorded," Dr. Hall says.

But her theory follows a claim by another New Zealand researcher in 2014 that Alexander's mysterious death may have been due to an herbal emetic which some perfidious person fermented to create toxic wine, according to a scientist.

Classical scholars have been deeply divided about what killed the Macedonian leader, who built a massive empire before his death, aged 32, in June of 323 BC.

Some accounts say he died of natural causes but others suggested members of his inner circle conspired to poison him at a celebratory banquet.

Dr Hall says Alexander’s symptoms match up with the brain disorder Guillain-Barré Syndrome (GBS).

But Dr Leo Schep, a scientist in New Zealand who has been researching the toxicological evidence for a decade, says the most likely culprit was Veratrum album, known as white hellebore.

The white-flowered plant, which can be fermented into a poisonous wine, was well-known to the Greeks as a herbal treatment for inducing vomiting.

Crucially, it could have accounted for the 12 torturous days that Alexander took to die, speechless and unable to walk.

Other suggested poisons ... including hemlock, aconite, wormwood, henbane and autumn crocus .. would likely have killed him far more quickly.

And some of the poisoning theories ... including arsenic and strychnine ... were laughable. Death would have come far too fast, he said.

His research, co-authored by Otago University classics expert Dr Pat Wheatley, has been published in the medical journal Clinical Toxicology.

Dr Schep began looking into the mystery in 2003 when he was approached by a company working on a BBC documentary.

"They asked me to look into it for them and I said, 'Oh yeah, I'll give it a go, I like a challenge' ... thinking I wasn't going to find anything. And to my utter surprise, and their surprise, we found something that could fit the bill."


Dr Schep's theory is that Veratrum album could have been fermented as a wine that was given to the leader. It would have ... tasted "very bitter" but it could have been sweetened with wine ... and Alexander was likely to have been very drunk at the banquet.

But whether Alexander was poisoned is still a mystery. "We'll never know really ... "

THE SACRED STAR OF ANTINOUS

 

 (To be said before a sacred flame of Antinous)


Antinous of the Heavens, God of Eternal Fire

In your name, Uranian Lord, Antinous Phanes,

May this consecrated Lucerna shine forth

With the celestial light of your Sacred Dark Star.

Antinous our God, whose Star has Come into Being

We are the Influence of your holy constellation,

May our devotion ignite the burning embers

Of your flame among the ashes of the world.

Arise Antinous Ganymedes as the Eternal Narcissus,

Your Homotheosis shines from this tongue of fire

Let this Flame commemorate the conflagration

That once consumed the Sacred Sodomites

Purify us in the pain and brilliance of Gay Splendor.

We rise as the Unconquered Sun

Soaring as a falcon among the heroes.

Your Hand turns the everlasting sky.

You pass through Heaven before the Starry Beings

You are the Golden Eagle of the Heavens

In whose wings all Catamites are assumed

Into the glory of Eternal Homotheosis

Antinous Phanes, twofold, egg-born,

Glorying in your golden wings,

Antinous of celestial power, ineffable,

Dark Star, all-shining flower of flame, glory of the sky.

“Hadrian declared that he had seen a star

Which he took to be that of Antinous,

And gladly lent an ear to the fictitious tales woven by his associates

To the effect that the star had really come into being

From the spirit of Antinous

And had then appeared for the first time.”

Behold the Star of Antinous!

(light a fire for Antinous)


Tuesday, January 29, 2019

THE DISCOVERY
OF THE STAR OF ANTINOUS



ON January 29th in the year 131 AD a new star appeared in the constellation Aquila, the Eagle.

The court astrologers declared that it was Antinous taking his place in the heavens. Hadrian ordered them to draw a new constellation embraced by the Eagle, and called it ANTINOUS.

Our Flamen Antinoalis Antonius Subia explains:

"The Roman historian Dio Cassius was skeptical that a new star had appeared in the sky, but simultaneously, the leader of the Jewish revolt named Bar Kochba, which means 'Son of the Star,' was declared the Messiah because a celestial event had proclaimed him the savior of Israel. The mystery of the star is real, a celestial even of great magnitude occurred shortly after the death of Antinous within the constellation of the Eagle for the New God.

"The three sacred stars of the constellation Aquila, named Tarzad, Altair and Alshain, rise above the horizon just after dark on this night and are an allegory of the assumption of Ganymede into heaven. This date is suggested by Chinese Novae observations which have been dated as occurring on the 29th of January 131 AD, and are compared to the Star or Comet of Antinous."

ANTONIUS SUBIA ON THE DISCOVERY
OF THE STAR OF ANTINOUS



MAY the Light of the New Star of Antinous shine into all our hearts and illuminate our souls!

We are still trying to figure out exactly what took place in the sky and when, and why it was so important that it confirmed the deification of Antinous, whether it was a comet or a new star, a Nova in what is now the constellation of Aquila.  I lean towards the Nova possibility, because of the use of term "new star" by Dio Cassius, with no reference to a comet, or "long-haired" star...and also because some of the most dramatic known Novas have been located in the constellation Aquila, such as the Nova Aql of 1918

Two major novae have been observed in Aquila: the first one was in 389 BC and was recorded as being as bright as Venus; the other (Nova Aquilae 1918) briefly shone brighter than Altair, the brightest star in Aquila.

So it is possible that there was a Nova in the year 131...and by the way, our previous estimate of year 132 is most likely wrong...the year 131 would have been only a few months after Antinous died...and if this is so, then the appearance of the new star would have occurred about six months before the miraculous inundation of the Nile the following summer.  I've always wondered about the timing issue, whether or not the constellation Aquila was actually visible in the sky at the time of year...but it seems that it is, for about one hour before sunrise.  This is called a Heliacal rising, when the first appears above the horizon just before sunrise, and then on each succeeding night seems to rise higher and higher every night thereafter.  This is what they mean by the Rise of the Dog Star, which signaled the beginning of the Egyptian calendar and which signaled the annual flooding of the Nile.  The star Sirius and Altair (which is the brightest star in the constellation Aquila, the star traditionally located right above Antinous's head) are on almost exactly opposite of the night sky...yet strangely enough, they are the two brightest stars in relatively close proximity to our Sun, part of the local group.

As an argument for the comet:  It was the Chinese who recorded what is said to have been a comet on January 29th 131.  It is known that from the point of vie of China the tail of a comet might be visible, but in Europe, the the tail might be hidden...not sure if I understand why, but this is what I've read, so it may be that from Hadrian's point of view, for the brief hour or so before sunrise, all they saw was a single point of new light in the sky.  I'm still not sure what I think about this...and also...I keep thinking that I recall reading in Beloved and God a brief mention by Royston Lambert that there had been a comet in the sky in the year 130 which had given rise to foreboding prophesies...but I keep trying to find this reference and come up with nothing...if any of you can take another look at Beloved and God and find this reference, I would be much ingratiated.  And then there is the reference that in the year before Antinous died, that a Phoenix had been seen in Egypt, perhaps another allusion to a comet.  If a comet did in fact occur in the months before Antinous died then it would indeed perhaps confirm the Chinese reports, though the dates would disagree but the ancients were terrible about recording dates so there is ever possibility that some confusion might have taken place.  A comet before his death and a new star (nova) afterward would however be a significant narrative of spiritual significance.

The Star of Antinous was the proof that Antinous had indeed arisen to the heavenly sphere...that he had taken his place among the immortal gods...more than anything else..it was what all the disbelievers would have required to recognize that Antinous was more than just Hadrian's little pretty boy.  It would have needed to be a very significant new star in order to make an impact upon the general populace...it would have needed to be an obvious sign in the sky that even an untrained astrologer could look up and seen for themselves..it would have needed to be as bright as Altair...there were a great many people all over the empire who were familiar with the stars...sailors and temple soothsayers...all of whom would have had enough familiarity with the constellations to know if a new star had actually appeared in the night sky for the first time.  If there really had appeared a new star for the first time, as Dio Cassius skeptically reports, then the "experts" would have noticed it, and would have confirmed the official reports from Hadrian's court that Antinous had arisen to godliness...and the word of their confirmation would have spread, dispelling whatever  doubts the general, uninformed populace might have felt when the Edict of Deification was announced.

The Star of Antinous was the most significant event in the formation of our religion...this is what separates Antinous from other gay demi-gods such as Achilles and Hephaestion...they were deified in the same way and for similar reasons as Antinous, but their cults never assumed world-wide importance or longevity...they never crossed the line from heroism to godliness...for one basic reason...because there was no cosmic confirmation to solidify their deification.  I just read a Spanish book about Antinous by De La Maza written in 1969 which emphatically states that the New Star of Antinous was the most important event that elevated Antinous to the immortal state that we recognize him to hold to this day.

The Star of Antinous represents the spirit of Antinous within our heart...the Fire of Homotheosis...this is what I feel when I consider the star of Antinous shining inside of me.

May my light shine upon you all,
May your light shine upon me.

~Antonius Nicius Subia
Flamen Antinoalis

Monday, January 28, 2019

WILLEM ARONDEUS SAINT OF ANTINOUS:
'HOMOSEXUALS ARE NOT COWARDS'



WE honor Willem Arondeus (22 August 1894 – 1 July 1943) as a saint of Antinous for his courage in standing up against hatred, intolerance and bigotry.

He was a Dutch gay non-Jewish artist and writer who led a group in bombing the Amsterdam Public Records Office in order to hinder the Nazi round-up of Jews, was executed with 12 others by firing squad.

He had started life as an illustrator, designer of posters and tapestries and a painter. In 1923 he was commissioned to paint a large mural for Rotterdam City Hall. During that same period, he illustrated poems by J. H. Leopold, Pieter Cornelis Boutens and Martinus Nijhoff. He admired the older Dutch designer Richard Roland Holst, as can be seen in his work. He did not attain much fame and lived in impoverished circumstances.

Around 1935, he gave up visual arts and became an author. The poems and stories he had written in the 1920s went unpublished, but in the year 1938 he published two novels, Het Uilenhuis ('The Owls House') and In de bloeiende Ramenas ('In the Blossoming Winter Radish'), both illustrated with designs by Arondeus himself. 

The year 1939 saw the publication of his best work, Matthijs Maris: de tragiek van den droom ('The Tragedy of the Dream'), a biography of the painter Matthijs Maris, who was a brother of the Dutch artists Jacob and Willem Maris. 

Two years later, Figuren en problemen der monumentale schilderkunst in Nederland ('Figures and Problems of Monumental Painting in the Netherlands') was published, again with designs by the author. 

At that time in 1941, however, Arondeus was already involved with the Dutch resistance movement.

In the spring of 1941, Arondeus started an underground periodical in which he tried to incite his fellow artists to resist the Nazi occupation of the Netherlands. Earlier than others, Arondeus realized that the demand by the Nazi occupiers that all Jews register with the local authorities was not, as the Nazis claimed, for their own safety, but rather so they could be deported to the Westerbork concentration camp and from there to the death camps in occupied Poland. 

In the spring of 1942, Arondeus founded Brandarisbrief, an illegal periodical in which he expressed the artist’s opposition to the edicts imposed by the Reichskulturkammer (Reich Chamber of Culture); the Nazis' cultural committee. 

In 1943, Brandarisbrief merged with De Vrije Kunstenaar ("The Free Artist"), where sculptor Gerrit van der Veen was one of the editors. Together with composer Jan van Gilse; openly lesbian publisher and writer Tine van Klooster and her partner, publisher Koos Schregardus; sculptor Frits van Hall and his sister, dancer Suzy van Hall; and a number of other artists and intellectuals, the group called for mass resistance against the German occupation.

A concerted operation was underway to hide Jews among the local population, with various underground organizations preparing forged documents for Jews. 

Arondeus was a member of one such group, Raad van Verzet (Resistance Council), which also included openly lesbian cellist and conductor Frieda Belinfante and typographer Willem Sandberg, who was then curator at Amsterdam's Stedelijk Museum. 

Within a short while, the Nazis began to expose the false documents by comparing the names with those in the local population registry. 

To hinder the Nazis, on 27 March 1943, Arondeus led a group in bombing the Amsterdam Public Records Office. Thousands of files were destroyed, and the attempt to compare forged documents with the registry was hindered.

Within a week, Arondeus and the other members of the group were arrested. Twelve, including Arondeus, were executed that July by firing squad.

In his last message before his execution, Arondeus, who had lived openly as a gay man before the war, told his lawyer these words, traditionally translated thusly: "Let it be known that homosexuals are not cowards!"

The Dutch original quote is "Zeg de mensen dat homoseksuelen niet per definitie zwakkelingen zijn!" ... literally: "Show people that homosexuals are not by definition wimps!"

A PRAYER FOR CHECHNYA
By Priest of Antinous Jim Crawford



EVEN though sexual relations between men have been technically legal in the Russian Federation since 1993, Chechnya imposed the death penalty for these acts in 1996

The first major wave of homophobic persecution in Chechnya began in 2017 with gay men held and tortured.  Some were made to pay large sums of money to secure their release while others were shamed front of their relatives then released resulting in several “honor killings.”

The persecutions have been “extra legal” with the president of Chechnya, Ramzan Kadyrov, denying that any such campaign is being carried out.  The Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe investigated reports of the purge and found the allegations credible based on the testimony of witnesses and survivors.

President Kadyrov does not seem concerned about international condemnation.  The Russian LGBT Network has assisted in the evacuation of 150 out of Chechnya since April of 2017.

We grieve for these bothers in Antinous who are persecuted for being who they are.

Hadrian, partner and lover of Antinous, who willingly took on the responsibility of leading the Roman Empire, we ask you to influence the leaders and population of Chechnya so that they may cease this persecution and live in love.  We implore you especially as we commemorate the day of your birth.

Antinous, who showed extraordinary courage in the face of a ferocious, man-eating lion, we ask you to fill your brothers in Chechnya with your fortitude.  Protect them and guide them to safety as Hadrian protected and guided you.

We pray for all those taken up in this evil campaign.  We pray for those who, while homosexual themselves, avoid the campaign because they “appear straight.”  These men are condemned to watch helplessly as their brothers are tortured and killed.  We pray also for those who may not be sexually attracted to other men, but who are caught up in this evil campaign because they do not fit the stereotype of masculinity imposed by the Chechnyan government.

Hadrian and Antinous, hear our plea.  Ave Antinous!

JIM CRAWFORD, Priest of Antinous

Sunday, January 27, 2019

LAST VICTIMS OF LAST BOMBING RAID
WERE GAY CONCENTRATION
CAMP INMATES



AS we honor the men who wore the Pink Triangles, we remember the hundreds who endured a forced march to the sea ... only to be bombed and strafed and gunned down before they could be liberated by British soldiers.

Auschwitz was liberated by the Red Army on January 27th, 1945, and the pictures of skeletal camp inmates shocked the world. 

In response, Heinrich Himmler issued an order to all camp commandants that they were to ensure that no camp inmates should ever fall into the hands of Allied forces. He didn't specify what they should do, leaving it in the hands of camp commandants.

Some commandants at Dachau and other camps, began gassing all surviving inmates so that none would be left alive. Others began evacuating their inmates.
Hundreds of homosexuals were interned at Neuengamme Concentration Camp near Hamburg, Germany. 

The camp commandant ordered them to leave their camp on a forced march to the Baltic Sea, 100 kms (60 miles) away, where the converted cruise liner Cap Arcona was at anchor.

This was in mid-May 1945. Hitler was dead. The Allies were advancing on all fronts. 

Everyone knew that the war was over. All the inmates had heard the news. 

British forces had dropped leaflets saying they would be in Hamburg within hours.

And yet these men were sent on a Death March march to the sea. Stragglers were shot
. Others died of exhaustion. 

But hundreds made it to the Baltic Sea docks where the Cap Arcona was waiting and they were herded aboard.

It was May 19, 1945. The British RAF was conducting intensive air raids to pave the way for ground forces, which were only a few miles away. 

RAF fighter-bombers had been told that Nazi officials were seeking to flee Germany aboard a big ship disguised as a refugee vessel.

The RAF planes came in and bombed and strafed the Cap Arcona, setting it ablaze and sending it to the bottom. 

Those inmates who managed to dive into the water were either killed by the bombs and strafing from the planes or else were machine-gunned by Gestapo men as they tried to climb ashore.

A handful found shelter in reeds along the shore and were found shivering in the water by British soldiers a few hours later.

The Cap Arcona had been the last bombing raid of the war in Europe … and it involved the men who wore the Pink Triangles.

THE MEN WITH THE PINK TRIANGLES
VICTIMS OF THE GAY HOLOCAUST



IN Nazi Germany, on January 28th, 1935, the Ministry of Justice revived and amended "Paragraph 175", the old Prussian statute created in 1871 that made Homosexuality a crime punishable by imprisonment. 

The law was increased in severity and became the legal basis for the systematic persecution of male Homosexuals. 

The Nazis believed that homosexuality endangered to the purity of the German people, that gay men corrupted the youth, preventing them from living normal married lives, and were therefore a threat to the race. 

Homosexuality was denounced as an unnatural lust, and accused of being intrinsically Un-German, a disease imported by Jews and supported by Communists, the enemy of the Aryan People. 

Imprisonment and sterilization were the initial penalties, but Heinrich Himmler revealed his true design when he said that the "extermination of degenerates" was in keeping with ancient Nordic principles (an interesting idea considering that many of the Dying-Boy-Gods, to whom we compare Antinous, were killed as ritual human sacrifices.) 

Men were arrested and sent to the concentration camps by the tens of thousands. 

They were distinguished by the sign of the pink triangle, and subjected to extreme conditions of abuse. 

The Men of the Pink Triangle were beaten regularly, subjected to hard labor, deprived of food and exposed to the elements.

They were abused by the Nazi guards and by other prisoners alike because everyone considered homosexuality the lowest of low, a sin and an aberration, even the homosexuals themselves.

An estimated 60,000 men were legally sentenced under "Paragraph 175," nearly all of them died, and this number only includes those documented in Germany. The number of unrecorded homosexuals, and those outside of German is impossible to know, but may be twice as many.

The Men of the Pink Triangle were so successfully persecuted that even after the Nazi defeat, Paragraph 175 remained law, and many gay inmates were sent to regular prison to complete their sentences. It was not until 1969 that the law was finally repealed.

We sorrowfully remember the legions of Men of the Pink Triangle who died cruel and vicious deaths under the Nazis.

We remember the evil that was perpetrated with the blessing of "Paragraph 175."

These men are our Martyrs, our Holocaust, our Guardian Saints, they suffered so that we would be Free.

We will never forget their painful and miserable deaths, and we pray to Antinous the God of Homosexuality, to watch over their immortal souls and give them rest. On this day we remember the horrors that were raised against us through the Amendment of "Paragraph 175."

Saturday, January 26, 2019

WORSHIPERS ON BOTH SIDES OF ATLANTIC
CELEBRATE HADRIAN'S BIRTHDAY



WORSHIPERS on both sides of the Atlantic joined hands via Skype in ceremonies at the Hollywood Temple of Antinous celebrating Emperor Hadrian's birthday.

This spectacular modern-era terracotta bust of Hadrian was duly consecrated during the ceremonies. (More photos below.)

Flamen Antonius Subia had issued a global invitation via social networks for participation in the evening's ceremonies commemorating the 1,942nd anniversary of the birth of Hadrian.

"We honor Hadrian because without him there would be no Religion of Antinous," Flamen ANTONIUS SUBIA told the worshipers who had gathered in Hollywood, along with live participation from priests and adherents in Europe.

"Hadrian loved Antinous with all his heart and with all his soul. And yet, when Antinous died he could have kept Antinous in his heart to treasure alone for all eternity," Antonius said.

"But instead, he shared Antinous with the world," he added, raising his hands toward images of Hadrian and Antinous on the temple's sacred altar.

"He issued an imperial command that temples to Antinous be erected throughout the Empire," the Hollywood high priest explained, "and that statues, busts and sacred images of Antinous be created to perpetuate his memory."

Even in the darkest times after the Fall of Rome, Antinous continued to serve as a beacon for homosexuals through the centuries.

"Antinous was revered by gay people throughout the centuries, even in the Killing Times when gays were burned and persecuted, even during the Gay Holocaust at the hands of the Nazis ... and also as gay people continue to suffer today," he said.

"Instead of keeping Antinous locked in his heart, Hadrian shared a portion of Antinous with us," Antonius added, speaking in English and in Spanish for participants in Mexico City. 

"He permitted us to share in his loving relationship with Antinous, and in doing so, he forever changed the way gay people have seen themselves," he told the congregants.

Officiating at the Hollywood Temple as others took part via Skype, Antonius lighted incense and offered libations in celebration of the birth and life of Hadrian and his unprecedented step to deify his gay lover ... the ultimate Classical deity.

"He was the most powerful man in the world, who loved Antinous so much that he declared him a god," Antonius told worshipers.

"He did that as representative of Zeus on Earth, emblem of the ruler of the Cosmos, the great eagle," Antonius added.

"Hadrian is the bringer of order out of chaos, founder of our religion," he went on. "He is the divine lover of Antinous ... our model ... and our God."

British Priest of Antinous Martinus Campbell added this special prayer:

"For so many LGBT+ folk, it is our fathers who are the first to reject us. We fly the nest and seek other male figures to guide us, guard us and give us love. We tend to turn away from the all powerful, omnipotent, male God that most of us have been raised to worship. He rejects you. We feel that void of masculine divinity. Yet the answer lies here, with the noble Hadrian - the emperor that people so often forget is also a God. Antinous is our saviour, our revelation, our divine soul brother - he is us, we are him. Hadrian, meantime, is our rock, our foundation and the God who points to the Antinous star. When we worship Antinous, we worship Hadrian too. Ave Hadrian".

HADRIAN's VILLA COMES TO LIFE
FOR ANTONIUS SUBIA



HADRIAN must have delighted in forcing Patrician Romans to make the 20-mile (30 km) trek to his Tibur Villa in the rugged hill country east of Rome.

Perhaps the surroundings reminded him of his native Hispania. Perhaps he just despised Rome and its snooty residents because he had been taunted as a youth for his "Hispanic" accent and provincial manners. 

Whatever the reason, he spent most of his reign as emperor far away from Rome, traveling to the far-flung corners of his realm.

And when he wasn't traveling, he resided at his Villa, far removed from the city he abhorred. Anyone who wanted to see him was forced to make the journey over hill and dale out to Tibur. In the days of the "letica" or litter chair, it was an uncomfortable and wearying ordeal.

And it still is, even in these days of rapid transit and buses.

"He must have enjoyed making them come all the way out here," Flamen ANTONIUS SUBIA told Priest Hernestus as they waited for one of the notorious overcrowded and unairconditioned "Blue Buses" that ferry passengers from a suburban commuter rail station out to Tivoli ... and then walking a couple of miles along dusty roads to the imperial compound.

Arriving hot and weary, you then ascend a steepish incline to the walls of the Villa itself before finally arriving, out of breath, at the top of a small hill surrounded by magnificent pines, cypress and olive trees.

It is then that you realize what Hadrian loved about this place. A cool breeze wafts across the hilltop, carrying with it the scent of pine, cedar and wild roses and other flowering plants.

Antonius had never been to Hadrian's Villa until his Sacred Pilgrimage, but he knows the layout of the compound by heart, having studied its floor plans and schematic drawings for years.

"So people would arrive here," Antonius said, pointing to the entry portals only a few meters from the enormous bath complex. 

"And they would immediately be invited into the baths to freshen up before being admitted into the presence of the Emperor."

Even in a ruinous state, the baths are breathtakingly enormous, towering the equivalent of six stories overhead.

The private quarters are less easily discerned today, though Antonyus marched through them as if he had always been at home there.

"Just imagine, this is where Hadrian slept," he said in awe.

"And where do you suppose Antinous had his quarters? He must have had separate quarters of his own," Hernestus wondered.

"Somewhere with a nice view, no doubt," Antonius speculated.

The Canopus area of the compound is still stunning even today. At the end of a long pool flanked by Greco-Egyptian style statuary is a seashell motif alcove.

"This is where they dined," Antonius said with a sweep of his hand around the curved base of the alcove, "on dining couches all along here."

Very few tourists were there the day Antonius visited the Villa, just one group from a charter bus and a few hardy souls who had made the rather harrowing trip on a careening and over-crowded public bus and the trek on foot from the bus stop.

No one was paying any attention to what appeared to be a barren field between the baths and the Canopus. There was no sign indicating that this was the very heart of Hadrian's Villa, the most sacred part of the complex.

The ANTINOEION — the Temple of Antinous.

This was where the OBELISK OF ANTINOUS originally stood. This is possibly where the Lost Tomb of Antinous is located.

The Antinoeion is adjacent to the curving entry pathway. It is the spiritual cornerstone of Hadrian's Villa.

"It was the first thing that anyone saw as they approached," Antonius said with a smile reflecting the satisfaction that Hadrian must have felt. "He made them acknowledge Antinous as a God."

Despite repeated promises by curators of the Villa to erect a sign, there is nothing to mark the sprawling temple complex which may yet conceal the Lost Tomb of Antinous.

Antonyus stood for a long time at the low fence which cordons off the area. To the other tourists, it was just a barren field with a few remnants of marble marking foundations of a few buildings and a plinth where an obelisk may have stood.

But for Antonius, this was Sacred Ground. This was where the Ancient Priests of Antinous had laid down the precepts of a beautiful new religion based on tolerance, love and beauty. This was where Hadrian himself came to commune with his Beloved.

A cool breeze wafted across the field, bringing with it the scent of late summer roses, pine and cedar and the sound of cicadas in the olive trees beyond the field, only a portion of which has been excavated in very recent years.

The rest of the weed-overgrown field is a ripple of mounds of earth. Or are these mounds actually the remains of still more structures, possible the Lost Tomb itself?

"There has to be much more buried under there," Antonius said. "There just has to be."

Click here to take your own tour of Hadrian's Villa:


Friday, January 25, 2019

THIS STUNNING VIDEO RECREATES
LOCATIONS IN HADRIAN'S LIFE


A stunning video by the ALTAIR4 team of 3-D archaeological recreations portrays locations in Emperor Hadrian's life.

The video shows portions of Hadrian's Villa, Nero's Golden House, the Acropolis in Athens, the Temple of Isis at Philae and Karnak in ancient Thebes....


Thursday, January 24, 2019

THE BIRTH OF HADRIAN


ON January 24th the Religion of Antinous celebrates the Birth of the Divine Hadrian.

Publius Aelius Hadrianus was born on this day either in Italica, Spain, or else in Rome, in the year 76.

His father was Publius Aelius Afer, his mother was Domitia Paulina. His uncle was the Emperor Trajan who had been adopted by Nerva.

Trajan employed Hadrian as a general in his conquests across the Danube, where Hadrian proved his military prowess, and gained the love and devotion of the Legions.

It is said that the relationship between Hadrian and his uncle was strained, and they are even known to have quarreled over beautiful boys. But Hadrian was very close to the Emperess Plotina, whose intellectual depth he preferred to the military harshness of Trajan.

During the unsuccessful campaign against the Parthians, in modern day Iraq, Trajan suddenly fell ill and died. Plotina is said to have insured that Hadrian be his successor, allegedly even forging the documents of adoption.

The New Emperor Hadrian inherited the largest Empire that the world had ever known, the borders of Rome had reached their greatest extent.

Hadrian is the Father of the Antonines, the bringer of the Golden age of Rome. He put an end military expansion of the Empire and turned instead to improving the interior.


He is the prime deity of the imperial cult as recognized by the Religion of Antinous. He is the representative of Zeus on Earth, emblem of the ruler of the cosmos, the great eagle. Hadrian is the leader of the Archons, the bringer of order out of chaos, founder of our religion.

He is the divine lover of Antinous, our model and God.

Wednesday, January 23, 2019

EGYPT JAILS HOMOPHOBIC TV HOST
FOR DARING TO INTERVIEW GAY MAN



ON January 23rd the Religion of Antinous commemorates countless martyrs to religious intolerance in and around Antinoopolis ... and this year we are deeply saddened to hear that that intolerance continues unabated in Egypt.

An Egyptian TV host has been sentenced to one year of hard labour for interviewing a gay man ... even though the TV host is a blatant homophobe and the aim of his interview was to demonstrate how horrid homosexuality is.


A court in Giza also fined Mohamed al-Ghiety 3,000 Egyptian pounds ($167; £130) for "promoting homosexuality" on his privately owned LTC TV channel.

The gay man, whose identity was hidden, had talked contritely about life as a sex worker.

Homosexuality is not explicitly criminalised in Egypt, however, the authorities have been increasingly cracking down on the LGBT community.

They routinely arrest people suspected of engaging in consensual homosexual conduct on charges of "debauchery", immorality or blasphemy.

Egypt's media council banned homosexuals from appearing on any media outlet after a rainbow flag was raised at a concert in Cairo in 2017, in a rare public show of support for the LGBT community in the conservative, mainly Muslim country.

A crackdown was also launched on suspected homosexuals with dozens of people arrested, in a move decried by human rights groups.


Egyptian gays are being persecuted as never before ... despite the fall of the Islamist Mursi regime ... In 2013, police in Cairo raided a gay "hammam" (bath house) and dragged off the patrons naked ... neighbors then looted and "destroyed" the bath house.

The authorities rely on a 1961 prostitution law that criminalises "habitual debauchery" to charge people who they suspect of engaging in consensual homosexual conduct.

Sadly, intolerance is a tradition in Egypt. On January 23rd the religion of Antinous honors the first of the many Christian Martyrs of Antinoe, also known as Antinoopolis. The first of the Egyptian martyrs with whose name and acts we are acquainted was Asclas of Antinoopolis.

This part of Egypt, near the nome sacred to Anubis, has always been a hotbed of religious fervor ever since the days when the "heretic pharaoh" Akhenaten built his capital city here, a scant 20 kms from our Sacred City of Antinoopolis. Christians and Jews constituted a major portion of the population of Antinopoolis. 

After all, the city was the flower of Greek civilization deep in the desert of the Thebaid, and it was a haven for dispossessed and exiled thinkers and theological revolutionaries.

There was a period of time in which Antinoopolis fell under the sway of the fear and violence that had swept across the world. The Christian faith was suffering one of the bloodiest persecutions in its history. Diocletian had sought to curb the rising tide of Christianity with brutal violence. He issued decrees that all citizens should be compelled to demonstrate their piety to the Roman Gods by offering sacrifice. It was a direct challenge. Any person who refused was not only insulting the Gods of Rome, but showing disloyalty to the Emperor and to Rome herself.

Such treason was punishable by death. This was a legal way to persecute Christianity, it was not an attack on the Christian doctrine, or its practices, but was an unavoidable line that no Christian would cross.

It is interesting to note that though many of the Christians were executed by beheading or by being shot through with arrows, some were executed by being drowned in the Nile. This similarity between their death and the death of Antinous must have been very moving to the Ancient Priests of Antinous. And it is also interesting that the authorities were not sensitive to the nature of this form of execution in the Sacred City of a boy who had become a god simply by drowning in the Nile.
The first was Asclas, who was arrested and tortured for his faith by order of Arrian, the governor of Antinoopolis who himself would later convert to Christianity. While Asclas was being tortured in prison by hot irons which left his flesh hanging down in strips, Arrian had reason to cross the River Nile to go to Hermopolis on government business.

Antinoopolis lies on the east bank of the Nile (depicted at left in its heyday), and Hermopolis (Sacred City of Hermes) is located diagonally across from Antinoopolis on the west bank of the Nile. But inexplicably, Arrian found he was absolutely unable to leave the water's edge.

Asclas sent word that the governor would never be able to cross the river until he acknowledged Christ in writing. Arrian wrote out the statement, and was promptly able to leave the river bank. He crossed the Nile, and the moment he was on the other side, he ordered that Asclas be thrown into the Nile with a stone tied around his neck, whereupon he drowned. 
This story, while odd-sounding to us today, was very clear to Egyptians. Hermopolis is the Sacred City of Hermes/Anubis, or Hermanubis.

This remarkable deity, who lives on in Christianity as St. Christopher, is responsible for conveying souls across the Celestial Nile after death. People in Antinoopolis worshipped both Antinous and Hermanubis.

The miracle of St. Asclan is meant to show that the Christian god is the equal of Hermanubis. Within a few generations, Hermanubis "morphed" into Christopher who, in this early Coptic mural at right, still has canine features. Next time you see a plastic St. Christopher statuette on a taxi dashboard, remember that it is actually Anubis without his doggy ears. He's not carrying the baby Jesus on his shoulders. He's carrying the Boy God Antinous over the celestial Nile to eternal divinity.


Against that background of intermingling spiritual beliefs, the Religion of Antinous acknowledges the suffering of St. Asclas and of all the Christian Martyrs of Antinoopolis out of our Love for Antinous in whose Sacred City they died. Though their faith was in Christ and not in Antinous, we nevertheless honor them and glorify them because they were Antinoopolitans, people of Antinous.

We ask their forgiveness for the murder and persecution of the Christian Martyrs and in their memory ask that we may be free from intolerance and never again partake in the crime of the ancient citizens of Antinoopolis.

Tuesday, January 22, 2019

HEATH LEDGER
SAINT OF ANTINOUS


ON January 22nd the religion of Antinous commemorates the brief, shining life of Saint Heath Ledger, the gifted actor whose on-screen portrayals inspired millions of gay people and whose off-screen life paralleled so many more. Not gay himself, Saint Heath nonetheless is a gay icon, like Saint Judy Garland and others.

Saint Heath died on this day in 2008 under mysterious circumstances after taking anti-depressants and sleeping pills at the age of 28.


His body was found lying across the bed of his Manhattan apartment. The manner of his death bore eery parallels to the death of English  singer/songwriter Nick Drake, who is also a Saint of Antinous.

Best known for his Oscar-nominated role as a gay cowpoke in "Brokeback Mountain", the acclaimed Australian-born actor also played The Joker in the blockbuster "The Dark Knight", for which role he posthumously was awarded a Golden Globe Award for best supporting actor. On the first anniversary of his death, he posthumously won an Academy Award as best supporting actor for his role as the psychopathic criminal mastermind The Joker.

No one will ever know why Saint Heath overdosed on anti-depressants, as had his idol Nick Drake. No one will ever know why Saint River Phoenix took a fatal cocktail of booze and alcohol, just as no one will ever know why Saint Richey Edwardsjumped off a bridge to his death (if he did), and no one will know why so many talented and overly sensitive young men meet death so tragically and so young.

Just as no one knows for sure what happened to Antinous. Thus they are all Saints of Antinous.

Shortly before his death, Heath Ledger made a video tribute to Nick Drake (photo right), the ambisexual English singer/songwriter who died in 1974 under almost identical circumstances to Saint Heath.

Saying he planned to make a movie about Saint Nick, Heath appeared in a self-made video (about drowning) to the tune of Nick Drake's song Black-Eyed Dog. It was the last song that Nick is believed to have recorded before he died under mysterious circumstances after taking anti-depressants and sleeping pills at the age of 26. His body was found lying across his bed.

The black-eyed dog is thought to be a reference to Winston Churchill's famous "little black dog." Throughout his life Churchill was shadowed by violent mood swings, fits of depression and periods of emotional doubt. He felt that he was followed by this unpredictable darkness and uncertainty. He called it his "little black dog."

Heath seems to have been very well acquainted with the "little black dog" of depression, the black demon which nips at the heels of so many sensitive young souls who cannot find their way in this harsh world.

And thus Antinous is the God of Lost Boys. He knows their suffering. He knows how it is to stand on the shore at the twilight of the world, with one foot on dry land and the other foot in the murky depths of oblivion — and he understands how a beautiful soul can slip off into that oblivion.


Antinous is the God of these very sweet, shy, sensitive and talented artists, young men who agonize over their shortcomings and who can only cope with the harsh realities of showbiz by taking tablets with unpronounceable names in private.

Saint Heath represents so many young men who seek what Nick Drake called the fruit of the tree of fame. "Fame is but a fruit tree, so very unsound", Nick sings in a song which Heath loved. It is a song about sensitive souls who reach for the fruit of fame and then, when it is within their grasp, they discover that its taste is very bitter.

Monday, January 21, 2019

THE ASSUMPTION OF GANYMEDE


OUR Father Jupiter descended upon the slopes of Mt. Ida in the form of an eagle and carried away Ganymede, the beautiful young prince of Troy, ravaging him, and elevating him to live among the immortals.

At the table of the Olympian gods, Jupiter installed his Ganymede as the divine cup-bearer who pours out nectar-wine from the cup of eternal life.

This love affair between the Phrygian prince and the Father of the Gods is a divine parallel of the love between Antinous and Hadrian.

Ganymede is the emblem of the coming Age of Aquarius, when peace and love will rule the hearts of all men.

On this day, the beginning of the sign of Aquarius, we observe the deification of Antinous as having made union with the Thunderbird-Phoenix-Eagle, and having been elevated to reign among the immortals in the manner of Ganymede. And we pray for the hastening of the coming age.

Sunday, January 20, 2019

SAINT SEBASTIAN


ON January 20th the Religion of Antinous honors SAINT SEBASTIAN who, despite being a Christian martyr, has been identified by homosexuals of all beliefs over the centuries as a symbol of our persecution and suffering.

Sebastian was an officer in the Imperial Guard of Emperor Diocletian, and he was a Christian.

In 302 A.D. Diocletian subjected the Christians to a brutal persecution, and it was during this period that Sebastian was "outed" to the Emperor as a practicing Christian.

When asked to sacrifice before a pagan altar, Sebastian refused and  was sentenced to death. He was tied to a column before Mauritanian archers, who shot him with arrows...but to no effect. 

Sebastian was strengthened by his faith, and did not die. He was finally clubbed to death in front of Emperor.



Homosexuals over the centuries have looked to Sebastian as a patron saint. 

His manner of death, which is like an affliction of Eros, and the sight of the beautiful young soldier plumed with arrows, has moved our hearts over the ages more than all other Christian saints.

In the Middle Ages, he was said to have power over the plague. And during the Black Death, his popularity grew among the penitent flagellants.

His image was a favorite subject of homosexual artists during the Renaissance who were fascinated by the erotic charge of his death. 

During the early 19th Century he was taken up as the model for homosexual suffering and persecution, some writers even claiming that he was the young lover of Diocletian and that his martyrdom had a jealous, sexual subtext.


In our time, the power of St. Sebastian over the Plague has made him a spiritual force in the fight against AIDS. And so we recognize his sanctity as the patron saint of homosexuals and as a protector from our modern plague.

We consecrate him to the Religion of Antinous and offer our own quivering-hearts as a target for his thousand arrows of love.

Saturday, January 19, 2019

THE GOING FORTH OF ANUBIS


ON January 20th is the Ancient Egyptian Feast of "The Going Forth of Anubis" (Yinepu) when his statues are carried through the streets for worshipers to honor ... in hopes that Anubis will convey them through the darkness of death to eternal light and life. 

This feast occurs between the completion of the mummification of Antinous on January 11th and the birthday of Hadrian on January 24th.

Anubis leads the new god Antinous to the Home of the Gods amongst the Imperishable Stars.

Friday, January 18, 2019

ANTINOUS KNEW THE GHOST DOGS
OF THE BATTLEFIELDS OF ASIA MINOR


ANTINOUS probably loved dogs. 

The only portrait which shows Antinous alongside an animal is by the artist Antonianus of Aphrodisias found at Lanuvium showing Antinous harvesting grapes ... with a small dog looking up at him adoringingly.

Antinous no doubt was familiar with the Haralez, the beneficent canine spirits of the remote mountains of his native Bithynia and Armenia. 

While the mountain mythology of that region possesses many heroes, monsters and spirits, the Haralez have always been the most beloved. 

The Haralez assume canine form and guide and protect humans in peril.

Few people in modern-day Turkey know of the Harelez, and indeed, these Celtic myths were fading by the time Antinous was born in the 2nd Century AD.

But he might have heard old-timers speak of how, when a valiant man falls in battle, the Haralez comes to his rescue and, by licking his wounds, restores him to life.

The popularity of the Haralez never died out completely. Even today, Armenian folk tales mention the "perpetual lickers" who restore life to the dead.