Sunday, June 30, 2019

THIS ANTINOUS STATUE HEAD
OFFERED BY SOTHEBY'S FOR $100,000


THIS Roman marble head of Antinous as Dionysus is up for auction at Sotheby's in London with an estimate of £60,000-90,000 ... more than $100,000.

The auction will be held 2 July 2019 but online bids are already being accepted HERE.

Sotheby's describes it as a head which would have crowned a monumental cult statue.

It shows the Antinous head wearing the attributes of Dionysos, in much the same way as another colossal statue ... the Braschi Antinous ... in the Vatican. 

Antinous’ characteristic unruly hair is bound in a diadem, surmounted by a wreath of ivy leaves, berries and clusters of grapes hanging from the sides.

There is a hole above the forehead for insertion of a headdress, a vertical channel for a lead lamp above the nape of the neck. There have been no restorations.

Height 40 cm... height of face approx. 18 cm. 

It is thought to have been part of the stock of Galerie Segredakis in Paris prior to World War II.









ANTINOUS THE ASTEROID IS A NEIGHBOR
WHO COULD VISIT US WITH A BANG



JUNE 30th is International Asteroid Day ... and if you look hard you can see Antinous ... or rather with Antinous the near-Earth asteroid, which could one day pay us a visit ... with a bang.

The Antinous Asteroid … officially called "1863 Antinous," was discovered in 1948 by an American astronomer named Carl. A. Wirtanen. 

Astronomers had known for some time that asteroids were plentiful between Mars and Jupiter. But no one had expected to find any in the Inner Solar System ... certainly not near Earth.

But Wirtanen turned his Lick Observatory telescope inward and discovered eight asteroids in our own vicinity. 

These Inner Solar System bodies are called "Apollo Asteroids" all named for Classical deities, including of course Antinous.

Apollo Asteroids are collectively named after the first one to be discovered. The asteroid "1862 Apollo" was sighted in 1932 and then lost until 1973. 

Apollo asteroids are so small and faint that they are difficult to see except when close to the Earth.

Astronomers fear 1862 Apollo may one day strike Earth, however, they currently do not expect 1863 Antinous to hit Earth … assuming it does not stray from its current admittedly erratic orbit.

Antinous is about 2 km (1.2 miles) in length and spins on its axis one revolution every seven hours. It takes more than three years to orbit the sun.

Antinous Asteroid is a "Mars Crosser" and also an "Earth Crosser" or even "Earth Grazer" planetoid ... meaning it crosses the orbit of Mars and also the orbit of Earth ... and comes very close to Earth.

Antinous came close to the Earth in 1992 and 1999 ... 18 million miles (30 million km) and it is supposed to come past Earth again in the 21st Century ... but hopefully won't hit us! 

A collision with an "Apollo Group" asteroid 65 million years ago may have been one of the causes of the extinction of the dinosaurs. A closely related group, the "Amor Group" of asteroids, come close to Earth but do not cross its orbit.

The art of Asteroid Astrology is very arcane ... only a minority of astrologers employ "Astrals," as astrologers call these planetoids ... and then usually only a couple of major ones such as Chiron and Lilith.

Quite honestly, they are so new that astrologers haven't quite agreed on what they mean.

The whole focus on asteroids got a boost when astronomers officially down-graded Pluto from a "planet" to a "minor planet" or "dwarf planet" ... the same category to which Chiron belongs.

So astronomers and astrologers alike are having to take another look at their definitions as humankind's knowledge of the cosmos grows by quantum leaps.

Saturday, June 29, 2019

GAD BECK, SAINT OF ANTINOUS


ANTINOUS is the God of the Men with the Pink Triangles, gay victims of the Nazis. 

So it is with profound humility that we proclaim an anti-Nazi resistance fighter and the last known gay Jewish survivor of the Holocaust to be a Saint of Antinous.

GAD BECK died in Berlin in 2012 six days before his 89th birthday on June 30.

Beck was a pioneering gay activist and educator in a severely anti-homosexual, repressive post-World War II German society. He was famous for his witty, lively style of speaking.

On a German talk show, he said with a wink to his small physical size, "The Americans in New York called me a big hero. I said no... I’m really a little hero."

Perhaps the single most important experience that shaped his life was the war-time effort to rescue his boyfriend. Beck donned a Hitler Youth uniform and entered a deportation center to free his Jewish lover Manfred Lewin.



After bluffing his way out of the deportation center, as the two youths were hurrying down the road to freedom, Manfred stopped and said he couldn't go on. 

He tearfully said he would never forgive himself if he abandoned his family. So, with a parting kiss, he turned back and Gad never saw him again.

The Nazis would later deport the entire Lewin family to Auschwitz, where they were murdered.

Gad's only memento of Manfred was a little notebook with poems, sketches and essays which Manfred had written, plus a photograph. Gad treasured them all his life.

Speaking about his life as a gay Jew, Beck invoked a line frequently cited about homosexuality: "God doesn't punish for a life of love."

He was featured in the film THE LIFE OF GAD BECK (Die Freiheit des ErzĂ€hlens: Das Leben des Gad Beck) as well as in the German documentary film PARAGRAPH 175. (The notorious Paragraph 175 of the German Penal Code outlawed homosexuality before Adolf Hitler became chancellor in 1933, and the Nazi party radically intensified the enforcement of the anti-gay law, including deportations to extermination camps.)

Aside from the two documentaries, however, he said with typical humor that he was still waiting for the blockbuster, feature-length movie about his life, and he knew just the man to bring it to the big screen.


"Only Steven Spielberg could film my life – forgive me, forgive me," Beck quipped.

He had immigrated to Israel in 1947. After his return to Germany in 1979, the first post-Holocaust head of Berlin's Jewish community, Heinz Galinski, appointed Beck director of the Jewish Adult Education Center in Berlin.

In a telephone interview with Judith Kessler, editor of the Berlin Jewish community's monthly magazine, Juedisches Berlin, she told THE JERUSALEM POST that Beck would organize gay singles meeting in the center.

"He was open, sweet and would speak with everybody," she said. Kessler, who knew Beck since 1989, added that he would attend the annual Christopher Street Day Parade for gay pride in Berlin and wave an Israeli flag.


Beck's father was an Austrian Jew and his mother converted to Judaism.

The Nazi racial laws defined Beck as mischling (mixed-breed), and he and his father were carted off to a holding compound in the Rosenstrasse in central Berlin.


After the non-Jewish wives of the prisoners launched a massive street protest in 1943, Beck was released. There were "thousands of women who stood for days... my aunts demanded 'give us our children and men'," he said.

The Rosenstrasse demonstration helped debunk the widespread myth in post-Holocaust German society that resistance against Nazism was futile.

"The Rosenstrasse event made one thing absolutely clear to me: I won't wait until we get deported," said Beck.

Following his release, Beck joined Chug Chaluzi, an underground Zionist resistance youth group, and played a key role in securing the survival of Jews in Berlin.

According to the entry about him at the Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, he noted that "as a homosexual, I was able to turn to my trusted non-Jewish, homosexual acquaintances to help supply food and hiding places."

Shortly before the end of the war in 1945, a Jewish spy working for the Gestapo betrayed Beck and some of his fellow resistance fighters.

He was held captive at a Jewish transit camp in Berlin. After the defeat of Nazi Germany, Beck continued his Zionist work and helped Jewish survivors emigrate to Palestine. He remained in Israel between 1947 and 1979.

Friday, June 28, 2019

EDWARD CARPENTER
SAINT OF ANTINOUS


THE last of our three Uranian Patriarchs, Edward Carpenter was born in Brighton England on the 29th of August, 1844, to a very large middle-class family. 

While his brothers went into the military, Edward became a scholar, with great success and eventually even taught at Cambridge where he was required to become ordained as a curate of the Anglican Church.

It was at this time, when he was 24, that he first read Leaves of Grass by Walt Whitman and was completely changed. He resigned his position at Cambridge and devoted his life to the working class, becoming a Socialist philosopher, lecturing, organizing and speaking for working men.

When his parents died, he received an inheritance that he used to purchase a rural estate at Millthrope, which he turned into a veritable Socialist Commune. He repressed his homosexuality for much of his life, channeling his desire into politically inspired friendships.


But the Millthrope house gave him the freedom to express his feelings more openly, and he began to write books on the subject of Uranian Love. He was deeply influenced by Hindu spirituality, and visited India, all of which emerged in his spiritual view of the Socialist movement, which was not so much about political revolution, but directed towards a change in human consciousness, of which homosexuality rapidly became his greatest cause.

While returning from India he met George Merrill on the train. It would be the love of his life. The younger man soon moved into the house at Millthrope, the two became inseparable lovers whose relationship lasted over forty years.

In 1908, he published The Intermediate Sex, the first widely available book on the subject of homosexuality. After the death of John Addington Symonds, with whom he had been closely allied, Edward Carpenter assumed the role as torch bearer, and subsequently published dozens of books and essays for the cause of gay liberation.

He died on the 28th of June, 1929, in Guildford England, and though not widely known at the time, was to later become a spiritual patriarch for the gay liberation movement of the late 1960s and '70s. He is regarded as a Saint and Patriarch of the Religion of Antinous, and remembered as one of the first fathers whose work changed the world with subtle power.

Thursday, June 27, 2019

THE DEATH OF JUDY GARLAND
SPARKED THE STONEWALL RIOTS


THIS is the day the Liturgical Calendar of the Religion of Antinous sets aside for remembrance of Saint Judy Garland, whose death was the spark that ignited the Stonewall Riots on a sultry night in 1969 when a bunch of drag queens and assorted other gay men decided they weren't in the mood to put up with yet another raid by the corrupt and brutal NYPD.

Gays had had enough and they had just suffered a terrible shock — Judy Garland's tragic death on June 22 had rocked the gay world. It was said that 13 twisters raged through Kansas the day Judy died, which — in Kansas — in June — is a pretty safe bet, in any case. But still, and all the same ....

Judy had died in London, and amid much news media hype, her body was flown back to New York for a memorial service which drew a huge crowd of grief-stricken gay men who gathered outside Campbell's Funeral Chapel in Manhattan — on June 27, 1969.

Afterwards, the bars were jammed with gay men drowning their sorrows in booze and drugs while listening to Judy Garland songs full blast on every jukebox.

The mood was electrified by a sense of solidarity in grieving for a fallen idol. Gay men had surprised themselves by turning out en masse for Judy's funeral. They had experienced strength in numbers for the first time. They had been on national TV news.

In an unprecedented move by prime-time national news anchormen, Walter Cronkite and Huntley-Brinkley had talked about Judy Garland's "tremendous appeal among male homosexual fans" — at supper time when whole families were watching the evening news!


Blacks were standing up for their rights. Women were burning their bras. The Chicano Movement was gathering steam. And now "ho-mo-sexuals" (the announcers were unaccustomed to speaking the word aloud) were having the audacity to congregate outside a sacred chapel in broad daylight — and they even showed their faces on the evening news!

Straight people were being confronted with homosexuals right there on television beamed into their homes. And — more importantly — homosexuals were seeing themselves and their brothers/sisters on national television news. Gays in isolated places who had worshipped Judy Garland at the movies or on LP and tape, were now watching other gay people weeping for her in New York. For the first time, gay people in isolated places saw themselves on TV. We were not alone in our grief at the passing of a star with whom we somehow innately felt connected.

It was a Friday night. Late June. Hot and steamy. The bars were filled to bursting. Gay men were sharing a rare moment of solidarity in powerful emotions. There was a feeling, not only in New York, but around the world, that a paradigm shift had taken place. A gay icon had died suddenly and tragically (shades of Antinous) and we gay people everywhere found ourselves in a catharsis of identity change. None of us understood what was happening. Just as it was with being gay, we gay men couldn't explain it, we just "felt" it and "knew" it to be true.

And THAT moment was when the Manhattan police happened to stage one of their periodic raids on queers. Basically it was a routine raid on an average gay bar. Nobody had reckoned with what would happen next. Even gay men were surprised by what happened next.

ESPECIALLY gay men.

We were men who had been accustomed to being timid fraidy-cats. Men who had never dared to stand up for their sexuality. Drag queens and faggots never fought back. That was a fact of gay survival. We knew we were gay. And we knew what we weren't. We were not "MEN".

Grief turned to outrage. It was a spontaneous uprising fuelled by rage. The vice squad was overwhelmed. Reinforcements had to be sent in. Gay men stood their ground and advanced on the police, pushing them back.

It was the turning point for us. Gay men throughout America — and later in London, Berlin, Sydney and elsewhere — began standing up for themselves under the banner "Remember Stonewall".

In a sense, Judy Garland died for us. Had it not been for her tragic death — strangling on vomit over a toilet bowl in a London hotel suite — there might not have been any Stonewall Riots.


Flamen Antinoalis ANTONIUS SUBIA puts the Stonewall Riots into a spiritual context:

"It was the first resistance by homosexuals against the repression of two thousand years, and the beginning of the Gay Liberation movement. The importance of the Stonewall Riots is the awakening of gay consciousness, the throwing off of the coils of the python that had for so many centuries enveloped our divine form of Love. This sacred revolt is holy to Apollo, Dionysus, and Diana combined as the guardian spirits of Homosexuality. Our modern Gay society was born on this occasion, and all of the peace and freedom that we have obtained in the these short decades are due to the courage that erupted on that Sacred Night in front of the Stonewall Bar."

Wednesday, June 26, 2019

RUFUS WAINWRIGHT'S OPERA 'HADRIAN'
NAMED OUTSTANDING NEW OPERA OF 2018



IT has just been announced that Rufus Wainwright's opera about Antinous and Hadrian has been named the Outstanding New Opera of the year.

The opera by Wainright and Daniel McIvor, entitled HADRIAN, was honored at the 40th Anniversary Dora Mavor Moore Awards in Canada.

"Hadrian" had been nominated in seven categories, including outstanding new opera production along with "Outstanding Performance of an Individual" nominations for baritone Thomas Hampson in the role of Hadrian and coloratura soprano Ambur Braid in the role of Empress Sabina, as well as outstanding costume design by Gillian Gallow.

The Doras were bestowed June 25 at the Sony Centre for the Performing Arts in Toronto.

The opera's world premiere on 13 October 2018 at the Canadian Opera Company got a standing ovation during repeated curtain calls from a sold-out capacity audience at the Toronto opera house.

"Finally, after hundreds of years of doomed heterosexual love on the Opera stage, Rufus Wainwright and the Canadian Opera Company gave us some doomed homosexual love to enjoy. Thanks, Hadrian!" critic Christopher Butcher tweeted on Twitter.

"Just came back from Hadrian and I am SHAKEN that was so amazing and Thomas Hampson was perfect in the role as Hadrian. And as always Rufus Wainwright wrote a phenomenal score. I'll never forget it," another reviewer tweeted.

In the audience were a number of followers of Antinous and one of them posted this notice to us:

"Sold out house. Audience rapt for the entire performance, barely moved. The libretto is such a fascinating story. I was moved several times. Sets and costumes are effective. Performances outstanding. There's a curious feeling in this production as if you're looking at the ancient world from their standpoint, not ours looking back. It really grew on me. Some of it is so sublime. The past really is a foreign country."

The most gushing praise came from arts critic Leslie Barcza, who wrote: 

"There are some wonderful performances, great moments to report.

"First and foremost, the love story between two men presented on the opera stage brought an eruption of applause early in Act III ... While we were presented with a homosexual encounter, everything was tasteful, discreet.

"I was intrigued that Ambur Braid (as Empress Sabina) effortlessly stole the show, in a character who is far more sympathetic than one might expect. The jealous wife of a gay man, she has the two most dynamic moments musically, a pair of arias that, for whatever reason, are the moments of greatest inspiration & commitment from Rufus Wainwright. In this respect perhaps Wainwright is being truly Canadian, in being so self-effacing."

The opera, which explores the relationship between Roman Emperor Hadrian and the young Antinous, runs October 13–27 at Toronto’s Four Seasons Center.

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

Over four acts and three locations ... Hadrian’s villa, Greece, and Egypt ... the opera "is a surreal romp through time and space, mixing true occurrences with complete fabrication in order to illustrate a vivid 'creative snapshot' of what the end of the Classical era may have felt like," Wainwright says.


It opens on the last night of Hadrian's life in 138 AD. He wants to know the truth about Antinous' mysterious death eight years earlier in October of the year 130 AD.

Was it an accident? Or murder? The plot twists, political deals are struck amidst power struggles, deceptions, and visiting ghosts. And then it ends where it started.

But not before a love scene: "I realized that there are no sex scenes written into opera," Wainwright tells The New York Times, "let alone anal sex scenes. I think for some people it will be powerful to see gay love represented in the larger-than-life fashion that only opera can provide," he adds.

"When I first read the fabulous "Memoirs of Hadrian" by Marguerite Yourcenar, a novel which inspired at least three generations of gay men, I was instantly struck with the idea of transforming this historical subject into operatic form," Wainwright says.

Here is an exclusive excerpt from the opera's tender love scene between Hadrian and Antinous:



AND NOW THE SEARCH BEGINS
FOR CALIGULA'S OTHER FLOATING PALACES


THE search is underway for a third and possibly even a fourth fabled Barque of Caligula in the waters of Lake Nemi outside Rome.

Marine archaeologists will be diving 33 meters to the bottom of Lake Nemi, 35 kilometers from Rome, for the "Third and Fourth Floating Palaces" of Caligula in mid-July. 

Two pleasure vessels were found in the 19th Century and there has always been speculation about a third ship ... and now there are intriguing clues to a fourth ship.

The emperor was dedicated to the goddess Diana, whose temple was on the bank of the lake.

At his death, the Roman Senate decided to sink them as part of the effort to erase the memory of the tyrant Caligula. 

But for centuries intriguing clues were "fished" from the bottom of the lake: mosaics, pieces of columns, iron and bronze nails, objects of terra-cotta and a beautiful bronze lion's head. 

They were proof of the presence of sunken ships.

It was Benito Mussolini who, with dramatic solemnity, announced in April 1927 the decision to recover the submerged ships. 

Under orders of Mussolini the lake was drained and the vessels, in March 1929, the world was amazed when two ships were indeed found and were painstakingly retrieved and lovingly restored in a specially built museum.

Alas, the museum and its wooden ships were destroyed in a fire which engulfed the museum in 1944 attributed to retreating German occupation forces. 

Now only a few charred timbers at the Nemi Antiquarium recall the lavish splendor of the vessels.

Caligula, who reigned from 37 to 41 AD, has gone down in history as a crazed and power-hungry sex maniac who proclaimed he was a god — or goddess on days when he dressed in drag as Venus.

Caligula once set sail for Britannia on a war of conquest, then suddenly turned back and ordered his troops to collect seashells which he paraded before the citizens of Rome as booty from his victory over Poseidon.

He demanded that his horse, Incitatus, be given a marble feeding trough, robes of imperial purple and be addressed as "Consul of Rome" during state banquets to which the horse was invited.

At a gladiator show, the number of condemned men slain by beasts was insufficient to his liking, so he ordered a number of spectators to be thrown to the man-eating animals.

Once when Caligula fell ill, a Patrician prayed to the Gods, offering his own life that the emperor might live. When Caligula recovered, he reminded the man of his pledge, saying his fellow Gods would consider it a sacrilege if both of them remained alive.

So the man was compelled to commit suicide.

In early 41, Caligula was assassinated as the result of a conspiracy involving officers of the Praetorian Guard, as well as members of the Roman Senate and of the Imperial court. 

The conspirators' attempt to use the opportunity to restore the Roman Republic was thwarted when the Praetorian Guard discovered Caligula's lame and stuttering old uncle Claudius cowering and twitching behind a curtain and, almost as a joke, proclaimed him emperor on the spot.

Tuesday, June 25, 2019

LAWRENCE ALMA-TADEMA
REDISCOVERED BY A NEW GENERATION



ON June 25th we remember Sir Lawrence Alma-Tadema, who died on this day in 1912, one of the most famous painters of the late 19th Century who was forgotten in the 20th Century and is only now beginning to be rediscovered in the 21st Century.

No Victorian artist painted marble as well as Alma-Tadema ... or painted faces so that you could read the emotions from facial expressions ... as in "Bacchanale" 1871 above.

Alma-Tadema, the now sadly forgotten painter who was one of the biggest celebrities of the Victorian art scene. 

Born in Holland on 8 January 1836, and trained in Antwerp, he settled in England in 1870 and became the toast of London with his enormous, wall-sized paintings of scenes of luxury and decadence in Ancient Egypt, Greece and Rome. 

Viewing his paintings in a London gallery was the equivalent of going to an Imax 3-D Sense-Surround cinema today. 

His attention to color and to near-photographic detail was superb. Every petal of every flower was always perfect. Each face had a personal story to tell. 

The painting "Hadrian Visiting a Romano-British Pottery" (above) displays Alma-Tadema's mastery of textures, colors, facial expressions and architectural details ... just look at the exquisite mosaics.

Alas, fame and celebrity are fleeting things. Styles changed and his work went out of fashion. He died a bitter and disappointed man in June 1912. 

That was only a couple of weeks after Nijinsky had shocked ballet-goers in Paris by masturbating on stage, and it was barely a month after the Titanic had sunk. 

Very soon war would break out and the world would never be the same. 

It was the end of the Gilded Age of complacency, comfort and ease. 

Alma-Tadema' s paintings were derided as "kitschy" and were stored away in attics and warehouses. 

Once the most famous artist in Britain, he was soon forgotten and serious art historians ignored him for decades. 

In recent years, however, his genius has been rediscovered and a new generation of admirers delight in his magnificent paintings, a few of which have been brought out of storage for display for the first time in more than a century.

Monday, June 24, 2019

HADRIAN'S VILLA OBSERVATORY TOWER
IS ALIGNED TO THE SOLSTICES



HADRIAN designed his personal observatory at his sprawling villa outside Rome to be in alignment with the Solstices

Imagine the scene during the Solstice cycle: First, he would observe the setting sun sending a shaft of goldish-red light through a certain slit in his observatory tower to illuminate a golden statue of the Egyptian Goddess Isis.

Then there would be oracles at midnight. You can just see the cluster of priests and augurs, chanting and offering sacrifices amidst billowing clouds of incense. 

An Etruscan haruspex or two would be wearing yellow robes and conical hats as they inspected the entrails of animals. Patrician augurs would be wearing their finest ceremonial togas as they listened for messages from nocturnal birds. Babylonian astrologers would be clad in garish robes with multi-tiered crowns as they scanned the heavens and babbled to each other about their arcane calculations. 

And naturally the Egyptian priests would do their utmost to out-do all the others with outlandish make-up, headdresses and robes to the cacophony of sistrums, gongs and the whoosh of incendiary incense sending up pastel-colored clouds of smoke to the wailing of a priestess of Isis in the throes of a trance.

Scores of Imperial court officials and hangers-on would be stifling yawns as the oracles took most of the night. 

But yawns would turn to gasps of wonder and praise when the Emperor announced that he had just seen the RISE OF THE STAR OF ANTINOUS over the eastern horizon.

Then at dawn, the Emperor would climb stairs to the upper chamber to observe the Solstice Sunrise on June 21st.

He would announce the outcome of the oracles and whether the Antinoian Auspices for the coming year were favorable.

Modern Priests of Antinous annually celebrate rites at the HOLLYWOOD TEMPLE OF ANTINOUS to mark the Solstice.

Meanwhile, an Italian archaeologist and her team spends Solstice at  the ruins of a tower on a hillock at Hadrian's Villa which was the Emperor's own private observatory. 

These experts, led by MARIA DE FRANCESCHINI, have demonstrated that the observatory tower is in fact aligned to the Solstices. She believes the observatory was dedicated to the Egyptian goddess Isis, who raised Osiris from the dead to become a god of resurrection and transfiguration — just as Hadrian declared Antinous a god of resurrection and transfiguration.
 

For centuries, experts had been mystified by the layout of the sprawling complex of marble baths, banquet halls, luxurious residences, gardens, shrines and unidentified structures 30 kilometers outside Rome.

Hadrian's Villa was a sprawling complex of buildings, temples, gardens, a zoo and — yes — even an observatory tower on a hillock on the edge of the compound from which Hadrian could observe the heavens. 


 But, in an article published in the journal Nature last year, De Franceschini wrote that she believes the mystery-shrouded Rocca Bruna Tower, long held to be Hadrian's private observatory, is in fact aligned so as to produce sunlight effects for the seasons.

She describes her findings personally in the video at the top of this entry. 

De Franceschini says that during the summer solstice, rays of light pierce the tower and another of the villa's buildings. In the Rocca Bruna Tower, dawn sunlight during the summer solstice enters through a wedge-shaped slot above the door and illuminates a niche on the opposite side of the interior (image courtesy nature.com). And in a temple of the Accademia building, De Franceschini has found that sunlight passes through a series of doors during both the winter and summer solstices. 

"The alignments gave me a new key of interpretation," says De Franceschini, who adds that the two buildings are connected by an esplanade that was a sacred avenue during the solstices. Based on ancient texts describing religious rituals and study of recovered sculptures, she thinks the sunlight effects were linked to religious ceremonies associated with the Egyptian goddess Isis, who was adopted by the Romans.

De Franceschini, who works with the University of Trento in Italy, has published a book describing the archaeo-astronomical work, VILLA ADRIANA ARCHITETTURA CELESTE. She credits two architects, Robert Mangurian and Mary-Ann Ray, for initially noticing the light effect in Rocca Bruna.

According to nature.com, Robert Hannah, a classicist from the University of Otago in New Zealand, says that De Franceschini's ideas are plausible. "They're certainly ripe for further investigation," he says.

Hannah believes that the Pantheon, designed by Hadrian in Rome with a circular opening at the top of its dome, also acts as a giant calendrical sundial, with sunlight illuminating key interior surfaces at the equinoxes and on the spring equinox on April 21st, the city's birthday.

Few classical buildings have been investigated for astronomical alignment, says Hannah, partly because it is much easier to check for alignments in prehistoric structures such as Stonehenge, which do not have potentially contradictory artefacts.

De Franceschini spends every solstice at Hadrian's villa, seeking further verification. Our thoughts and prayers go with her during this special season of the Solstice.


We can envision Hadrian, sick with grief and alone after the death of Antinous, ensconced in his observatory tower scanning the heavens for a sign from his Beloved Boy, praying to Isis for her to work her magic on Antinous.


Sunday, June 23, 2019

ANTINOUS WORSHIPERS WORLDWIDE
CELEBRATE JUNE SOLSTICE LIVE ONLINE



WORSHIPERS of Antinous from around the world converged tonight for ceremonies originating from the Hollywood Temple of Antinous celebrating the festival of Incipit Amor ... the day when Hadrian first met Antinous.

Each year we gather ... in person in Hollywood ... and live online around the world ... during the cycle of the June Solstice. It is the day when Ra Herakhte, the heavenly father of Antinous, stands still for a moment. 

In the Northern Hemisphere it is the longest day  and from now on the days become shorter and shorter. For our brothers in the Southern Hemisphere (who join the festivities via Skype), this is the Shortest Day and from now on the days become longer and longer.

That is an important aspect to remember about the Religion of Antinous. The Blessed Boy is beyond such constraints as Summer and Winter or even Life and Death. For Antinous, the days are ALWAYS getting longer and the they are ALWAYS getting shorter.

For HE lives in our hearts — wherever we are.

The Religion of Antinous celebrates a whole cluster of Sacred Events on this magical day, which we call The Delphinea as a collective term. The Delphinea is the celebration of the beautiful, golden-haired god of light, Apollo, for starters.

And then we celebrate the day that Hadrian and Antinous met and fell in love. 


But on this date we also celebrate the beautiful boy Hyacinthus.

And we celebrate June 21st as the day in the hot summer of the year 130 AD when the Imperial entourage crossed the Sinai desert and entered into Egypt on the final, fateful leg of that final, fateful journey. A year earlier, on this date, they had entered Ephesus in triumph. 

On June 21st of the year 130 AD, however, they were entering a drought-stricken Egypt (breadbasket of the empire) where the local populace looked to their emperor for a miracle.


That miracle would occur, but at a terrible price. Antinous would plunge into the Nile and drown. The following season, the Nile would inundate the croplands, bringing bounty and abundance once more to Egypt and, as a consequence, to the hungry empire.

The Bountiful Flood of the year 131 is the first of the many miracles attributed to Antinous the Gay God.

And on June 21st of the year 131, Hadrian would commission the OBELISK OF ANTINOUS, the Egyptian hieroglyphic text of which comprises our religion's greatest single document of faith.

Antinous would be associated with many deities in the generations to come. Among his many names, the Beauteous Boy was adored as Antinous-Apollo.

The Delphinea is the celebration of the beautiful, golden-haired god of light, Apollo, and of his triumph over the great and monstrous Python which was wrapped around holy mount Parnassus. The Python was the creation of Juno, a creature of jealousy whose coils were meant only to stifle and constrict the grace of that which was to proceed from the Sacred Way of the holy city of Delphi.

Apollo shot the Python and destroyed it, when he was only three days old, which is like the brilliance of the Sun dispelling the covering of night. He set the black stone which had fallen from the sky, called the Omphalos, over the navel of the Earth, and charged a Sibyl, a priestess of the Great Mother to watch over the stone and to convey his wisdom to mankind.

Flamen Antinoalis ANTONIUS SUBIA explains the significance for us Antinoians:
"The Oracle of Delphi, called a Pythoness, was overtaken while seated atop a golden tripod, by a fire that is the breath of the God. Apollo is the Flower Prince reborn, he is the Twin brother of Dionysus, the Twin brother of Diana. He is the Son of Zeus, and the inheritor of his Kingdom, just as Aelius Caesar was the chosen son of Hadrian.

"Apollo is the God of wisdom and art, the speaker of truth, the deliverer of radiance, reason and beauty. Apollo is the God of Socrates and Plato, and he is the God of Pythagoras who claimed to be his son, exhibiting a golden thigh as proof. Apollo is the unconquered light, the full manifested brilliance, power and wisdom of Orpheus.
"Of all the gods, Apollo is the most boy-loving, though the touch of his heart was invariably fatal. He is the genius of the dying boy-gods. We pray to Apollo, the great god of homosexuality, and seek his guidance on this day, the longest day of the year."
 Which segues into the "Incipit Amor". In the year 123, Hadrian toured the Danube region and Asia Minor. It was on this occasion that he met and fell in love with Antinous, in the ancient Bithynian capital city of Nicomedia, according to current research. One portrayal of the event has Hadrian in a garden, surrounded by the youth of the city, hearing a poetry recital.

Antonius tells it this way:


"Towards the back of the crowd, Hadrian notices a boy of  extraordinary beauty who did not bring a stylus and tablet for taking notes, but sat removed from the others, silently gazing into the fountain, contemplating the words of the reader, as if in a dream. Hadrian was captivated, and is said to have gained the blessing of the boy's parents to have Antinous join the court, where there were already other boys of Hadrian's interest. Antinous would have been twelve years old. He was then sent to Rome to attend the Paedagogium, a finishing school for boys. This day marks the beginning of the love upon which our religion is based."


The relief sculpture at right shows Hadrian addressing a crowd with a boy who bears a striking resemblance to Antinous foremost in the crowd, touching the robe of the Emperor.

During the June 21st Solstice, when we celebrate the Delphinea,  the Religion of Antinous also commemorates the entry of Hadrian and Antinous into the fabled city of Ephesus in the year 129.

Ephesus had 300,000 inhabitants at its peak in the time of Hadrian, and it drew thousands of devotees to the shrine of the goddess annually. Even today, Ephesus is one of the most complete and most splendid ancient sites in the world and still draws thousands of tourists every year. The Great Library of Ephesus, which Hadrian patronized and greatly expanded, has been lovingly restored.
The Temple of Ephesus was one of the wonders of the ancient world. It was consecrated to Artemis, in her Asian element as a Phrygian-Hittite goddess of the hunt, a youthful manifestation of the Great Goddess of Mount Ida and Didymus.


The old Temple had burned down on the night that Alexander the Great was born, but after his conquest, Alexander ordered the reconstruction of the Temple, which was still standing when Hadrian and Antinous visited.

Antonyus Subia explains the parallels between Artemis and Antinous and why we celebrate this Sacred Day:
"Artemis is considered the female Antinous, as his divine twin, the only goddess to exhibit lesbian qualities. She was worshipped as Diana alongside Antinous by the funeral society of Lanuvium. Ephesus was one of the first cities to proclaim Hadrian a living God, and one of the first to adhere to his veneration as a Divus.
"The presence of Antinous and Hadrian with their very pronounced Artemisian qualities must have made a deep impression on the Ephesians, in that they were aware that the city was being visited by living gods. It is to Artemis of Ephesus that this day is Sacred, as the female twin of Antinous, the Bithynian hunter god."
And on June 22nd the Delphinea concludes when we honor the beautiful boy from Sparta known as Hyacinthus. The astonishing beauty of Hyacinthus and his long, flowing blonde hair was first noticed by Zephyrus, the God of the West Wind. The moisture laden Zephyrus fell madly in love with the boy, and attempted many times to seduce Hyacinth. But every time the boy rejected the wind god, whose breeze is the most lovely and most arousing.

Antonyus relates what happened next:


 "It was then that Apollo noticed Hyacinthus and fell completely in love with him also. Unlike with Zephyrus, when Apollo revealed his love to Hyacinthus, he was not rejected, but his shining love was returned many fold. The two, who were like twins, whose long, blonde curls, rustled together in the jealous wind of Zephyrus, enjoined a passionate love affair ...


"... until one day, the sight of their happiness proved too much for Zephyrus to endure, and while Apollo and Hyacinthus were throwing the discus together, the wind god sent a gust of air, when Apollo threw the golden disk, causing it to fall directly on the perfect head of Hyacinthus who died instantly from the blow.

"It was all an accident, and a tragedy, but Apollo was beside himself with grief, like Hadrian holding the body of his beloved Antinous. 

"The Sun God turned the blood that flowed through the soft curls into the flower that we call the Hyacinth. The Death of Hyacinthus is the divine metaphor for the beauty and tragedy of life taken from the young in their full vigor, falling victim to the accidents of youth. It is also a warning to those who would approach the majesty of the great god Apollo, who is rightfully called the Far-Shooter, and the falling of the golden discus is a sign that the powers of the sun at this time of the year, though at their greatest, are slowly fading. The disk strikes Hyacinth on the head and the days grow shorter."

Saturday, June 22, 2019

THE HYACINTHIA FESTIVAL HONORS
ANTINOUS AS APOLLO-HYACINTHUS



AT THE height of summer, during the cycle of the June Solstice, the Ancient Spartans noticed that the hyacinth flower began to wilt in the intense heat ... which reminded them of the untimely death of Hyacinthus, lover of Apollo.

The Ancient Spartans celebrated a three-day festival called the Hyacinthia, which began with mourning for Hyacinthus and ended with rejoicing for the majesty of Apollo.

This solar cycle is sacred to Antinous in the form of Apollo-Hyacinthus. ... Antinous being the beautiful flower boy Hyacinthus who dies, just as the sun begins to die, but who was raised from the dead and deified by the love of the God of Light, who forbade Dis Pater from taking his beloved boy to the place of Death.... 

Hyacinthus arose as Apollo, to live forever within the rays of the Unconquered Sun, an allegory of ourselves awakening to the light of reason, truth and sacred Homotheosis.

The beautiful boy from Sparta known as Hyacinthus, whose astonishing beauty and long, flowing blonde hair, was first noticed by Zephyrus, the God of the West Wind.

The moisture laden Zephyrus fell madly in love with the boy, and attempted many times to seduce Hyacinth, but every time the boy rejected the wind god whose breeze is the most lovely and most arousing.

It was then that Apollo noticed Hyacinthus and fell completely in love with him also, however when Apollo revealed his love to Hyacinth, he was not rejected, but his shining love was returned many fold. 


The two, who were like twins, whose long, blonde curls, rustled together in the jealous wind of Zephyrus, enjoined a passionate love affair, until one day, the sight of their happiness proved too much for Zephyrus to endure.

While Apollo and Hyacinthus were throwing the discus together, the wind god sent a gust of air, when Apollo threw the golden disk, causing it to fall directly on the perfect head of Hyacinthus who died instantly from the blow. 

It was all an accident, and a tragedy, but Apollo was beside himself with grief, like Hadrian holding the body of his beloved Antinous.

The Sun God turned the blood that flowed through the soft curls into the flower that we call the Hyacinth. 


The Death of Hyacinthus is the divine metaphor for the beauty and tragedy of life taken from the young in their full vigor, falling victim to the accidents of youth.

It is also a warning to those who would approach the majesty of the great god Apollo, who is rightfully called the Far-Shooter, and the falling of the golden discus is a sign that the powers of the sun at this time of the year, though at their greatest, are slowly fading. The disk strikes Hyacinth on the head and the days grow shorter.

Friday, June 21, 2019

HADRIAN'S PANTHEON PUTS ON
SPECTACULAR SOLSTICE SHOW



ON June 21 Hadrian's Pantheon is the place to be during the Solstice. 

Hadrian's Pantheon brings tears to your eyes. Imagine being with ANTONIUS SUBIA as he describes the monolithic columns each carved from a single stone from Egypt ... "as if he could snap his fingers and have such columns appear here" ... and the marble in the interior coming from every corner of Hadrian's vast empire.

Then you stand under the oculus ... the eye of the cosmos ... the most spiritual architectural element anywhere.

Thursday, June 20, 2019

ANTINOUS MERGES WITH APOLLO
DURING THE GLORIOUS JUNE SOLSTICE



THE JUNE SOLSTICE is one of the most sacred days in the Liturgical Calendar of the Religion of Antinous.

It is the day when Ra Herakhte, the heavenly father of Antinous, stands still for a moment. In the Northern Hemisphere it is the longest day  and from now on the days become shorter and shorter. For our brothers in the Southern Hemisphere, this is the Shortest Day and from now on the days become longer and longer.

That is an important aspect to remember about the Religion of Antinous. The Blessed Boy is beyond such constraints as Summer and Winter or even Life and Death. For Antinous, the days are ALWAYS getting longer and the they are ALWAYS getting shorter.

For HE lives in our hearts — wherever we are.

The Religion of Antinous celebrates a whole cluster of Sacred Events on this magical day, which we call The Delphinea as a collective term. The Delphinea is the celebration of the beautiful, golden-haired god of light, Apollo. 

Antinous would be associated with many deities in the generations to come. Among his many names, the Beauteous Boy was adored as Antinous-Apollo (image above).

The Delphinea is the celebration of the beautiful, golden-haired god of light, Apollo, and of his triumph over the great and monstrous Python which was wrapped around holy mount Parnassus. The Python was the creation of Juno, a creature of jealousy whose coils were meant only to stifle and constrict the grace of that which was to proceed from the Sacred Way of the holy city of Delphi.


Apollo shot the Python and destroyed it, when he was only three days old, which is like the brilliance of the Sun dispelling the covering of night. He set the black stone which had fallen from the sky, called the Omphalos, over the navel of the Earth, and charged a Sibyl, a priestess of the Great Mother to watch over the stone and to convey his wisdom to mankind.

Flamen Antinoalis Antonius Subia explains the significance for us Antinoians:
"The Oracle of Delphi, called a Pythoness, was overtaken while seated atop a golden tripod, by a fire that is the breath of the God. Apollo is the Flower Prince reborn, he is the Twin brother of Dionysus, the Twin brother of Diana. He is the Son of Zeus, and the inheritor of his Kingdom, just as Aelius Caesar was the chosen son of Hadrian.
"Apollo is the God of wisdom and art, the speaker of truth, the deliverer of radiance, reason and beauty. Apollo is the God of Socrates and Plato, and he is the God of Pythagoras who claimed to be his son, exhibiting a golden thigh as proof. Apollo is the unconquered light, the full manifested brilliance, power and wisdom of Orpheus.
"Of all the gods, Apollo is the most boy-loving, though the touch of his heart was invariably fatal. He is the genius of the dying boy-gods. We pray to Apollo, the great god of homosexuality, and seek his guidance on this day, the longest day of the year."

Also on the Solstice we celebrate the day that Hadrian and Antinous met and fell in love ...  "Incipit Amor"

In the year 123, Hadrian toured the Danube region and Asia Minor. It was on this occasion that he met and fell in love with Antinous, in the ancient Bithynian capital city of Nicomedia, according to current research. One portrayal of the event has Hadrian in a garden, surrounded by the youth of the city, hearing a poetry recital.


Antonius tells it this way:


"Towards the back of the crowd, Hadrian notices a boy of extraordinary beauty who did not bring a stylus and tablet for taking notes, but sat removed from the others, silently gazing into the fountain, contemplating the words of the reader, as if in a dream. Hadrian was captivated, and is said to have gained the blessing of the boy's parents to have Antinous join the court, where there were already other boys of Hadrian's interest. Antinous would have been twelve years old. He was then sent to Rome to attend the Paedagogium, a finishing school for boys. This day marks the beginning of the love upon which our religion is based."
The relief sculpture at right shows Hadrian addressing a crowd with a boy who bears a striking resemblance to Antinous foremost in the crowd, touching the robe of the Emperor.

Wednesday, June 19, 2019

NICK DRAKE
SAINT OF ANTINOUS


ON JUNE 19th the Religion of Antinous commemorates the birth of SAINT NICK DRAKE, the sexually ambivalent English singer who died under very mysterious, Antinous-like circumstances at a young age and who became an artistic icon for future generations of dreamers and artists.

Nicholas Rodney Drake was born on June 19th, 1948, to an upper middle class English family living in Burma. His father was an industrialist and there was never much question about Nick's financial future. Indeed, he would have been a wealthy middle-aged man today had he done nothing at all. 


But Nick never ceased to wonder and worry about his spiritual future. Despite or perhaps precisely because of his admission to Cambridge University, Nick Drake was convinced that he should shun a financially certain future and pursue a future as a musician.

Nick Drake learned to play piano at an early age, and began to compose his own songs, which he would record on a reel-to-reel tape recorder he kept in the family drawing room in rural England.

In 1966 he spent some time in the South of France where he purportedly became acquainted with "the best sort of pot" and perhaps experimented with LSD — and possibly sex with both females and males.

Returning to England, he realized he was not suited to receive a degree from Cambridge University. Nick abruptly and shockingly (as far as his family was concerned) ended his studies at Cambridge nine months before graduation, and in autumn 1969 moved to London to concentrate on a career in music.

Nick signed to Island Records when he was 20 years old and released his debut album, Five Leaves Left, in 1969. By 1972, he had recorded his second album — Bryter Layter and part of his third, Pink Moon. Neither of the first two albums sold more than 5,000 copies on their initial release in Britain, much less abroad. He never made an American breakthrough, unlike other major British artists of the era.

Nick was devastated and depressed. His excruciating shyness to perform live or be interviewed further contributed to his lack of commercial success. Despite this, he was able to gather a loyal following.

He managed to complete his third album, Pink Moon, recorded in midnight sessions in the winter of 1971, immediately after which he withdrew from both live performance and recording, retreating to his parents' home in rural England. Once again, it did not sell well. He felt he was a failure. On November 25th, 1974, Nick Drake retired to his upstairs bedroom where he took a cocktail anti-depressants which killed him. He was found stretched over his bed next morning by his mother.

The Religion of Antinous honors Nick Drake as a prophet of Homoeros. He was a man who saw through the transparent barriers between sexuality to see the spiritual truth of reality. He was one of those many men who are never sure of their sexuality. But it is unimportant whether he was "gay" or not.

Nick Drake is a symbol of these sorts of dreamy and shy men who live existences of quiet despair. Nick Drake could play better riffs on the guitar than almost anybody of his generation. He had a beautiful voice. He was a gifted song-writer. He knew he had more   talent in his little finger than most well-paid artists would ever possess. But his career never took off. The big break never happened. Nobody appreciated him. He was broke and disillusioned.

His sister says she believes he took an overdose of anti-depressants   thinking he wanted it to either cure him or kill him, because he couldn't go on living in such despair of being an artistic failure. How many people in the economic meltdown of the early 21st Century don't feel the same despair? And yet ....

Nick Drake could scarcely have dreamt as he swallowed a handful of pills on a dreary November evening in his parents' house in the English Midlands that he would become a major recording star with fans around the world — 30 years after his death. His three albums now are cult chart-busters around the world.

When we remember Saint Nick Drake, we must remember too that Antinous is the patron of these sensitive souls who die untimely and tragic deaths at an early age. Antinous is the River Man who drowned in the Nile ....



Tuesday, June 18, 2019

IS THIS THE FACE OF ANTINOUS
AS HE TRULY LOOKED IN LIFE?


IS this the face of Antinous? Art historian Peter C. Marinescu has created this reconstruction of his face in life based on the dimensions of his features ... from a famous marble head of Antinous found at Hadrian's Villa.

He writes:

FaceGen Modeller, a program that recreates realistic animatable 3D portraits, allowed me to investigate a series of renowned Antinous busts, including one portrait found in Villa Adriana at Tivoli, as photographed by Marie-Lan Nguyen in 2006. 

Now hosted in Palazzo Massimo alle Terme as MC1192, this is a particular work considering the emotion expressed in the mimics and the coming of mature age. 

These vivid features suggest that it might have been an experiment of a distinguished late contemporary work intimately directed near the date of the young lad’s death.

The results noticed following the auto-correction of facial bones structure has proved an extremely styilized eyebrow shaping. 

The living model must have been bearing a spiritual stance of depth, gazing a subtle sensual attitude, while the artist decided to confront this appearance with a more tense but less provoking figure.

Physical anthropology suggests furthermore that hair was dark, maybe with brown reflections (in the 19th Century, he was erroneously seen by scholars as blonde). The fact he was perceived as having huge eyes is because he might have had light brown eyes.

This project’s aim was underlining to what extent giving skin tones to a realistic work of art that has been adjusted to meet real life physiognomy, can recreate the ideal of a past beauty image. 

Did wealth and caress received at the imperial court contribute to Antinous' state of arĂȘte (the great potential attributed to heroes), leading the way to deification of the soul?

READ THE FULL REPORT HERE: POSSIBLE FACE OF ANTINOUS

More photos below: