Saturday, August 31, 2019

THE FOUR LAYERS OF ANTINOUS, PART 3
By Our Priest Michaelus Isom



Third Layer True God, Pure God

Lambert in his book says: “Of 53 of the 115 sculptures of him he displays the attributes of the greater gods of paganism and of the 20 cities issuing coins associated him with them.” 

Antinous was the new Hermes to the Dionysiac artist of Rome. In Ostia the devotees said he sat with the gods of Egypt. In Adramyttion he was Iacchos-Antinous. There was a widespread and deliberate identification with certain gods. 

“Antinous' divine nature evidently showed certain important features of these gods."

Even though Antinous may be subordinate to the main god, he still retains his own identity possessing a godly character more sharply characterized than the god he was link to.

Not only was Antinous a True God but a Pure God. A full divinity in his own right. As Pure god he appears on coins throughout the empire, twice on the obelisk, and to the Christians as well as in the words of Pausanias. 

Even though Antinous did not rank with the twelve original gods of Olympus or the major deities of Egypt, he is showed on the obelisk as a junior god interceding with the greater deities of the Nile. All the while Antinous keeps his same godly personality and possess full divinity.

Antinous is the True Pure God.

MICHAELUS
Priest of Antinous

Friday, August 30, 2019

THE FOUR LAYERS OF ANTINOUS, PART 2
By Our Priest Michaelus Isom



THE second layer of the four Layers of Antinous is that of a hero. The definition of a hero is a person who is admired or idealized for courage, outstanding achievements, or noble qualities. According to Royston Lambert, the moment that Antinous’ immortal status was defined it was most often a hero.

In Socanica in the year 137 both Hadrian and Aelius Caesar built a temple to Antinous the Hero.

In many cities there were coins minted calling Antinous the hero. Lambert says, “that heroes could readily be summoned by sacrifice and supplication to bring succor and protection to the living, to utter oracles and work miracles immediately approachable than these distant gods, more likely to respond positively and actively to his votaries’ prayers”.  This is the role that people attached to Antinous.

What we see in the Greek hero’s is that they faced death willingly, exhibiting no fear of the injury or death. This reminds us so much of the lion hunt. Antinous willingly charging toward a huge, furious lion showing no fear

Then we have the final sacrifice when Antinous gave his life for that of his Emperor and love. The willingness of giving himself, conquering fear as the waters of the Nile overtook him.

People argue that humans are born either good or bad but, that is nonsense according to  Phillip Zimbardo a world renowned psychologist. He says we are all born to be anything, and we are shaped by our circumstances, by the family or culture of the time period we grow up in. Most heroes are ordinary people, it’s the ACT that’s extraordinary. Antinous as Hero gave the ultimate sacrifice, his life.

Some key insights from research that Phillip Zimbardo has done shows the following.

Opportunity matters:  There were times that Antinous had the opportunity. The lion hunt, the illness of Hadrian and wanting to give Hadrian more years to extend his life.

Education matters: The more educated you are, the more likely you are to be a hero, I think because you are more aware of situations (Phillip Zimbardo).  Antinous had the best education that one could have in the 2nd century AD.

Personal history matters: Having survived a disaster or personal trauma makes you three times more likely to be a hero (Phillip Zimbardo). Antinous at some point could have gone through a personal trauma when he was young.

Antinous is our Hero. He is the example. We may not give our life but, we can certainly help others in need no matter how small. You may well be a hero to someone.


MICHAELUS
Priest of Antinous

Thursday, August 29, 2019

THE FOUR LAYERS OF ANTINOUS, PART 1
By Our Priest Michaelus Isom

SO, what do you know about Antinous? I am sure you know the basic history since you are a part of this group. He was a young man, an Ephebe who was a part of the inner circle of the Roman Emperor Hadrian. He was the lover of Hadrian and accompanied him on his tour of the empire and lost his life after drowning in the Nile. So, what is your relationship with Antinous? Do you ever speak to him? You may light a candle or burn incense from time to time. But, stop and think and take a minute to really look on him and how you treat him. Granted in this 21 century we are occupied and consumed with so much and busy all the time. I know I am guilty as well. Do you know what makes Antinous so special or different from all the other gods? He was human, a man like us today and like those in the 2nd century A.D.

Royston Lambert’s book Beloved and God, it discusses how Antinous never gave up his human form and personality in his divinity. In fact, his humanity comes through even more. The godhead of Antinous according to Lambert’s book takes on four forms or layers. I want to take the next few days to discuss each of these layers. Each layer is theoretically distinct, but also interconnected.

The first layer we see is the Diving Ephebe. The word ephebe is a term for an adolescent male. In the ancient Greek society and ephebe was a boy age about 17-18 who went through a period of initiation that included military service. Also, in ancient Greece they saw that an innocent youth displayed a spiritual element. This is what I think we see in Antinous as the Divine Ephebe. Antinous sought spiritual knowledge. It’s almost as if there was an insatiable appetite for this spiritual knowledge. I am not saying that anything wrong in fact this make him all the more to love. The wide-eyed boy looking for spiritual insight and growth; and an Emperor who has this same appetite sought this together. We know that both Antinous and Hadrian participated and were initiated in various mysteries. Can you imagine the emotions that Antinous experienced during his time with Hadrian? The anticipation, the fear of the unknown and the joy. Antinous wants us, yes you and me to have that same wide-eyed youth seeking spiritual knowledge. We may not be an Ephebe but, we can be in our hearts. I challenge each of you reading this to take time to really know Antinous.

MICHAELUS
Priest of Antinous

Wednesday, August 28, 2019

KARL HEINRICH ULRICHS
SAINT OF ANTINOUS


ON AUGUST 28 the Religion of Antinous honors Saint Karl Heinrich Ulrichs, the world's first gay activist, who lobbied governments 100 years before Stonewall for repeal of anti-gay laws, and who was also Chief Priest of Antinous worldwide in the latter half of the 19th Century.

Even before the term "homosexuality" had been coined, Ulrichs came out to his friends and families and proclaimed in 1864 that he was a "Uranian" — or "Urning" in his native German — and thenceforth waged a one-man campaign for gay rights in Germany.

Sanctus Carolus Henricus Ulrichs, Chief Priest of Antinous in the 2nd half of the 19th Century (worldwide!) wrote incredibly long poems — nearly in epic form — about Hadrian and Antinous.

He wrote a manuscript for a mammoth scientific work on Antinous in history, art, coins and his influence on ancient and modern culture. The manuscript was confiscated and destroyed in a police raid.

As part of his gay-rights lobbying effort, he wrote dozens of pamphlets with titles such as "Researches on the Riddle of Man-Manly Love" aimed at dispelling homophobic myths about same-sex love.

Late in life Ulrichs wrote: "Until my dying day I will look back with pride that I found the courage to come face to face in battle against the spectre which for time immemorial has been injecting poison into me and into men of my nature. Many have been driven to suicide because all their happiness in life was tainted. Indeed, I am proud that I found the courage to deal the initial blow to the hydra of public contempt."

Forgotten for many years, Ulrichs is now becoming something of a cult figure in Europe. There are streets named for him in the German cities of Munich, Bremen and Hanover. His birthday (August 28th, 1825) is marked each year by a lively street party and poetry reading at Karl Heinrich Ulrichs Square in Munich.


The International Lesbian and Gay Law Association presents an annual Karl Heinrich Ulrichs Award in his memory. He died on July 14th, 1895, in L'Aquila, Italy.

Tuesday, August 27, 2019

YOU CAN GET A SIGNED COPY
OF THIS BOOK ON GREEK GODS & HEROES



THIS chance only comes once in a lifetime!

LINDA LARSON, acclaimed artist who won the 4th Modern Games of Antinous, is putting the final touches on her new book MYTHOS: Queer Legends of Greek Gods and Heroes ... with 50 stunning illustrations. 

You can get a signed copy or an acknowledgement.

Here is the project in Linda's own words:

"Hello! My name is Linda Larson, and I’d like to invite you to participate in an important book  project specifically geared to the LGBT  community and our supporters. My first book, The CUPBEARERS: The Male Favorite in Antiquity, was funded through this site. 

"My new book, more than two years in the making, is called MYTHOS: Queer Legends of Greek Gods and Heroes. This is a collectible art book for LGBT youth and adults, and our straight supporters, interested in our heritage.

"Greek mythology was once the religion of an extraordinary culture-one whose ingenuity and superior intellect forged the foundations of the Western World. The ancient Greeks believed the gods played a major role in the lives of mortals, and their myths were used to explain every-day life.

"While Greek myths remain popular, many stories of same-sex love among the gods and heroes have been ignored or dismissed. Greek mythology, as well as Greek history, has fallen prey to 'straight-washing'; 1. a reinterpreting, or outright denial of same-sex love in spite of the presented facts. MYTHOS is a collection of stories about male lovers in Greek mythology. Some of the lovers, such as Zeus and Ganymede, are well-known. Others, like Hermes and Amphion, and Theseus and Pirithous are more obscure.

"Many people find history a tedious trial of facts and dates. No matter how interesting a subject may be, it’s easy to lose a reader’s interest. I have always loved illustrated books, and like Jeopardy! star James Holzhauer, who used children’s books to amass his amazing knowledge, I’ve found illustrated stories to be a concise and entertaining way to learn. MYTHOS is a focused segment of a much broader subject depicting the stories of male lovers in Greek mythology through narrative and more than 50 full-color illustrations."

CLICK HERE here to find out how you can pre-order with your contribution ... or contact her directly at LLRAY01@aol.com.

Linda says: "Please help me to make my small contribution to re-envisioning LGBT history by supporting this project."

More images below:







Monday, August 26, 2019

ANTINOUS IN MANTINEIA
HOME OF HIS ANCESTORS



EARLY in their tour of the Eastern Provinces in 128 AD, the imperial court traveled through the Peloponnesus and visited the home of Antinous's ancestors in Arcadia, at the city of Mantineia. 

This is an important first event for Antinous as it represents his return to the place of the origin of his blood, which is the source of his mysterious name.

The photo-montage above shows a statue found at Mantineia called the "Youth of Mantineia" who is thought to be Antinous, superimposed over a lithograph of the Plain of Mantineia.

Mantineia was to become the fourth most sacred city of the religion of Antinous, honoring Our God with a Temple and Sacred Games. 

The Queen who founded the city was named Antinoea. She was led to the site of the city by a serpent or dragon. 

While in the city, Antinous and Hadrian paid homage at the tomb of Epaminondas (image at left). 

Epaminondas was the great Theban general who defeated the Spartans in the battle of Mantineia, but died after shortly after the victory from his wounds. 

The battle was won because of the courage of the Sacred Band of Thebes, also known as the ARMY OF LOVERS, a corps of 300 homosexual lovers. 

Mantineia was the home of the prophetess Diotima, who was the teacher of Socrates, and it was from her he learned his philosophy of Love, particularly the mysteries of Venus Urania, which is a metaphor for gay love. 

And Mantineia is the birthplace of the horned god Pan, son of Penelope and "Antinous the Suitor." 

The patron deity of Mantineia, and of all Arcadia is the Great God Pan. There are two gods named Pan, the Great Pan, who is all things, and the Little Pan, who is the son of "Antinous the Suitor." 

In Greek mythology, Pan was the god of the wild, hunting and companion of the nymphs. He was depicted as being half human, while having the legs and horns of a goat, just like a faun. 

His Roman counterpart was Faunus and he was in many ways similar to Herne the Hunter, the horned god and lord of the forest in British mythology.

Pan is the son of Antinous ... not "our" Antinous, but "Antinous the Suitor" of Homer's Odyssey and Iliad.

At the online Temple of Antinous, our own ANTONIUS SUBIA  explains the esoteric reason for the connection between Antinous and Pan.  He notes that there are two deities named Pan ... the Great Pan who is "all things" ... and the lesser Pan who is the cloven-footed goat-horned god. 

The "Little Pan" is the son of Antinous ... not OUR Antinous, but rather the Antinous of Greek mythology who was slain by Odysseus for having hit on his wife Penelope while Odysseus was off on his Odyssey.

Two different Pans. Two different Antinouses.

It gets a little confusing.

But Antonius suggests there is a clue to the names ... he says it is because they all came from the same place. Antonius points out that it was in August of the year 128 that Hadrian and Antinous traveled through the Peloponnesus and visited the home of Antinous's ancestors in Arcadia, at the city of Mantineia. 

Here is how Antonius explains the Pan-Pan and Antinous-Antinous connection at the online TEMPLE OF ANTINOUS:

"We dedicate ourselves to the dual nature of Pan, the most ancient faith of Antinous, the goat-horned god, who follows in the train of Dionysus, and is the King of Satyrs. We seek to understand that within our Antinous is the nature of the Great Cosmic Pan, and also the Little Cloven-hoofed Pan of Mantineia."

Sunday, August 25, 2019

ANTINOUS WORSHIPERS WORLDWIDE
TAKE PART IN LION HUNT CEREMONIES



ANTINOUS worshipers worldwide participated live online tonight in ceremonies commemorating the SACRED LION HUNT, the final recorded event in the brief life of Antinous ... when he and Hadrian slew a man-eating lion in Egypt in August of the year 130 AD.

Worshipers on both coasts of North America as well as worshipers in South America and Europe took part in the ceremonies originating at the Hollywood Temple of Antinous under the light of the SUMMER BLUE MOON.


The skin art image courtesy Priest Michael Isom shows Antinous subduing the man-eating Marousian lion in the Egyptian desert in the year 130 AD.

The SACRED LION HUNT was immortalized in poetry and in stone, showing Antinous brashly attacking the lion with his adamantine-tipped spear and wounding it ... so that Hadrian had to gallop to his rescue and dispatch the beast.

Hadrian added medallions to the Arch of Constantine showing him and Antinous with feet on the lion's neck and also making sacrifice to the great lion-killer Hercules.

Soon legend would have it that scarlet-red lotus blossoms had sprung forth from the pool of the lion's blood ... which we honor as the LOTUS MOON, the Pisces Third Quarter Moon in June.

Within a few short weeks after the Sacred Lion Hunt, Antinous himself would be dead. The Sacred Lion Hunt is the last recorded event in His short life.

Novice Priest DECO RIBEIRO related the story of the Lion Hunt from São Paulo Brazil. Flamen ANTONIUS SUBIA celebrated the liturgical ritual in Hollywood.

Antonius noted that the brave may not live forever, but the cautious do not live at all. Tonight's rituals and meditations were aimed at enabling participants to traverse the road between who they think they are and who they can be. The key is to set forth on the journey ... with adamantine-tipped spear in hand ... galloping forward.

Among those taking part tonight was Priest Michael Isom, whose arms are adorned with Sacred Images of Antinous.



Saturday, August 24, 2019

ANNOUNCING THE LARGEST GALLERY
OF ANTINOUS IMAGES IN THE WORLD



WE are proud to announce the most extensive collection of Antinous images in the world!

Flamen Antonius Subia spent nearly two years assembling the GALLERY OF ANTINOUS ICONS


What initially was supposed to be one page of images became a massive library.

He says it turned out to entail "months of painful, agonizing, finger-crippling, endless catalogueing, and intricate photoshop enhancing and resizing of countless... countless. ..Antinous images!"

The endeavour proved to be not only a technical challenge but also something of a spiritual initiation.

Antonyus says, "I now feel that I am an expert in Antinous Iconography...as over the process, I have become deeply familiar with each and everyone of Antinous's wonderful, beautiful statues and busts and other images.

"I have to tell you that in the end...it has been the most meaningful, and intimate experience of getting to know Antinous on a level that I have never before felt.

"He is so astonishingly beautiful... I found myself treating each and every one of his images with particular, loving care and devotion.

"It's amazing...when you handle his beautiful image again and again...when you gaze upon him, and study him, and see example after example, they all seem to blur together until you are left with this cumulative impression of what he really must have looked like...like the sum total...as though I had layered translucent leaves of his face and body one over the other, each showing through to the next, cancelling out errors, cracks, chips, peculiarities, the hand of the artist, modern enhancements, slight differences...my own impression of what I always thought he looked like...all blurring together into a ghostly form of his true image...I see him now.

"But I am also deeply familiar with all the different variations...I know them all by name, location, origin, and bits of their history...I know the image of Antinous as I had never known it before."

Antonyus adds that the gallery is not complete and he has issued a call for readers to submit more images.


"My intent is to have the most complete collection of Antinous images in the world," he explains. "We are after all The Temple of Antinous, his modern religion. It is only right that we take his image into our possession and display his form for all to see....with reverance and piety...not as an object of art, or history, but as an object of worship."

Thursday, August 22, 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!"

THE HISTORY OF THE ROSY LOTUS
OF ANTINOUS THE GAY GOD



When Emperor Hadrian visited Alexandria,
the poet Pancrates presented him
with a beautiful lotus flower.


Awestruck by the magnificent rosy-red petals,
Hadrian agreed to name the flower
after his beloved Antinous.


Drawings by Uendi


Beautiful CG Art by Antonius Subia


Music by Kevin MacLeod


For more info: THE TEMPLE OF ANTINOUS

Wednesday, August 21, 2019

THE SACRED LION HUNT



ON the 21st of August, with the Sun in the final degrees of Leo the Lion, we commemorate the Sacred Lion Hunt ... when Hadrian and Antinous slew a man-eating lion in Egypt in August 130 AD.

Priests of Antinous celebrate the event in with ritual ceremonies at the Hollywood Temple of Antinous which also see worshipers participating live online from Mexico, Brazil and Germany.

During the special ceremonies they also honor the Sacred Rosy Lotus of Antinous ... the pink waterlily said to have sprung forth spontaneously from the lion's blood as it splattered the banks of the Nile.

Flamen Antonius Subia relates in vivid detail the events of the Sacred Lion Hunt: The place is Egypt, somewhere in the rocky wilderness between the scattered oases southeast of Alexandria. 

The time is August of the Year 130 AD. The Sun is poised to enter the Sign of Leo. The Constellation of Aquila the Eagle is at its zenith in the nighttime sky ... just as it is now.

It is the constellation of the Emperor. And the Emperor and his Beloved are touring Egypt when they hear grisly accounts of a man-eating lion marauding the countryside on the edge of the cultivated land. The "Marousian Lion" it was called.

They lead a hunting expedition out into the wilderness. The whole expedition is rife with symbolism from the start since the Sun is in Leo in the daytime skies and the Eagle is soaring in the nighttime skies and the Ancients believed killing lions was tantamount to defeating death itself. Lion hunting was the sport of kings.

When at last the Imperial party flushes out the man-eater, the huntsmen and archers stand back and leave Hadrian to close in on the beast with his steed. Hadrian has just got off an arrow which wounds the animal when, all of a sudden, out of nowhere, young Antinous rides ahead, his reins in his left hand, an adamantine-tipped lance in his upraised right hand.

As the Imperial retinue looks on in horror, the snarling lion charges toward the boy, causing his panicked horse to whinny and wheel about in terror. But Antinous maintains his balance and, instantly judging distance and angle, sends his lance sailing towards the lion as it quickly closed the gap between them. 

The lance slams into its rear flank, inflicting a serious but not fatal wound. Enraged even more, the lion uses its fangs to pull out the lance and charges anew against the Boy who is fumbling with his quiver to ready a shot with his bow. But an arrow is already in the air from behind Antinous, and it whizzes past his ear and hit its mark in the throat of the lion.

It has been fired by Hadrian, who is approaching at full gallop and who, even while the first arrow was still in the air, had already readied a second arrow, which this time penetrates both lungs.

The lion spins about and collapses writhing in the dust, rage in its eyes, blood and saliva guttering from its fanged mouth, gasping for breath as it struggles to get to its feet — because Antinous has dismounted and is sprinting toward it with a drawn dagger.

Hadrian draws his steed to a halt and dismounts with an agility and  lightness befitting a man half his age, fueled by adrenaline and alarm for his Beloved Boy, who faces imminent peril from the mortally wounded lion, still capable of severing an artery with one swipe of its mighty paw.

Hadrian draws his hunting axe from his belt and holds it high as he  lunges onto the lion's back and dispatches the beast with one powerful blow which splits its skull in two with a frightening crack and a spurt of bright red blood which bathes both the older man, now panting and perspiring heavily, and the younger man who still shows no visible expression of concern, just a wild-eyed look of excitement in his eyes, as if he never realized the danger he had been in — as if he thinks he is immortal.

A cheer goes up from the coterie of onlookers when they realize the lion is dead, killed seemingly by a single blow from the Emperor's hand. Courtiers whose eyes are unskilled in the ways of hunting will later claim Hadrian had struck the lion dead with a club.

As soldiers and nervous bodyguards rush forward to make sure everything is all right, the emperor, his adrenalin-strength ebbing as quickly as it came, shakily wraps a blood-spattered arm around Antinous and plants his gilded, spike-soled sandal on the dead animal's neck and nods to Antinous to do the same.

There they stand, bathed in blood and bathed in the adulation of the Imperial coterie, each with one foot on the vanquished man-eater as the animal's blood spreads out and covers the surrounding rocks and sand and a few scrubby wildflowers growing from a crevice in a rock.

Even the flowers are splattered with blood. And these red blossoms  will be plucked by members of the entourage to take back as souvenirs to show to envious courtiers who had not been invited along.

THE SACRED LION HUNT was immortalized in poetry and in stone, with Hadrian adding medallions to the Arch of Constantine showing him and Antinous with feet on the lion's neck and also making sacrifice to the great lion-killer Hercules.


Soon legend would have it that scarlet-red lotus blossoms had sprung forth from the pool of the lion's blood, the lion which had been brought down by Antinous and which had been dealt its death blow by Hadrian — the SACRED RED LOTUS.

Under the Sign of Leo. And under the Constellation of the Eagle. 

Within a few short weeks, Antinous himself would be dead. The Sacred Lion Hunt is the last recorded event in His short life.

And some time afterward, grieving Hadrian would look up into the  nighttime skies with tear-filled eyes and his court astronomers would point out a New Star which had appeared in the southern part of the Constellation of Aquila the Eagle.

The New Star would be interpreted as a celestial sign that Antinous had been raised to the firmament, that the Constellation of the Imperial Eagle had been joined by the CONSTELLATION OF ANTINOUS. It was a sign that Antinous was now a God.

If you go outside tonight and peer out into the darkness with all its deep and hidden dangers, remember Antinous and how he peered out into the barren wilderness with all its deep and hidden dangers. 

He charged forth, his bridle-reins in his left hand and an adamantine-tipped lance in his right, and he faced death unafraid.

For Antinous knew he was immortal.

The Constellation of Antinous, still under the wing of the Imperial Eagle, will be right directly over your head tonight ... shining proof that Antinous is a God and that he is indeed immortal.


Don't look out into the darkness around you and be afraid. Instead, look up and remember the Beloved Boy, who was a fearless hunter, who stalked death itself, and who emerged victorious over it.

Tuesday, August 20, 2019

THE SACRED BAND OF THEBES
THE ARMY OF LOVERS


AUG. 20 the Religion of Antinous commemorates the Sacred Band of Thebes, the Army of Gay Lovers whose courage and valour have echoed down through the ages as an inspiration that Gay Love is a magical means of Conquering Fear and  Doubt.

The Sacred Band of Thebes, also called The Theban Band, was a battalion composed entirely of homosexual friends and lovers. This military unit, consisting of 150 male couples, was based on the belief that men fighting alongside their lovers would die rather than shame one another.

According to Aristotle, the Army of Lovers were sworn into military service at the Tomb of Iolaus, one of the many male lovers of Hercules. Iolaus had helped the god in the Twelve Herculean Tasks. 

He often acted as Hercules' charioteer and companion, and the closeness of their relationship was such that he was known as Heracles' symbomos (altar-sharer), since the two could be honored at one and the same altar — a very rare occurrence in ancient Greece, where each divinity would have his or her own altar.

Iolaus was called the eromenos (beloved boy) of Hercules, and was thus a Sacred Hero of same-sex love in Thebes. Hercules, Iolaus and Eros were often depicted together.

That is probably why the army of gay lovers was called the Sacred Band, since they took their oath of allegiance at the Sacred Tomb of Iolaus, which was at the same time a shared sacred altar to Hercules. In effect, the warriors were swearing that they would fight alongside their comrades the same way Iolaus and Hercules fought together — armed with the arrows of Eros.


You can see the parallels to Hadrian and his beloved boy Antinous, and later this week the parallels become even clearer when we commemorate the SACRED LION HUNT.

After that hunt in the Libyan desert in the summer of the year 130 AD, Hadrian and Antinous made sacrifice to thGreat Lion Slayer Hercules — thus cementing the identification between Hadrian/Hercules and Antinous/Iolaus — and their affiliation with the Sacred Band of Thebes.

The great Theban gener
al and tactician Epaminondas is generally credited with establishing The Sacred Band, although some sources claim it was his "beloved friend" Pelopidas who was responsible for recruiting them. No matter — they both fought side-by-side at the head of The Sacred Band.

This corps d'elite first took to the battlefield against Sparta, which had dominated Greece since the fall of Athens in 404 BC. The Spartans were confident of victory, as they had never suffered a defeat on the battlefield — never ever.

Deploying the Sacred Band on his front left wing, "Epaminondas made his left wing fifty deep and flung it forward in the attack." 

The "extra weight" of this wing and the "fanatical bravery of the Sacred Band" broke the Sparta right wing, which contained their best warriors. In the ensuing hand-to-hand combat, the Spartan king was killed and their right gave way.

Witnessing this, the rest of the Spartan forces, who had not yet been engaged, fell back in disarray, running for their lives. Thus, Sparta suffered their first recorded defeat in more than 400 years — at the hands of an Army of Gay Lovers.

But the end came in 338 BC at the battle of Chaeronea when King Phillip II of Macedonia and his son Alexander (later called Alexander the Great) defeated the combined forces of Athens and Thebes-Boetia. Alexander confronted The Sacred Band of Thebes, the elite corps of 300 homosexual lovers who were by that time the most respected soldiers in the world.

But alas! They were no match for the Macedonians under Phillip and Alexander. It was a rout. The Athenian and Theban armies gave way and began retreating from the advancing Macedonians. Only The Sacred Band stood their ground — and died. Only a few were subdued and captured. Of those who died, it was found that not one had been wounded in the back — a sign that they had not turned away from the fight.

Alexander was so moved by their nobility and courage that he asked his father to bury them with honour and raise a monument in the form of a Sacred Lion over their mass grave. In 1881, the shattered fragments of this Lion Tomb were discovered, surrounded by the bones of 254 pairs of men with their weapons, arranged in a phalanx of seven rows, the battle formation of the Sacred Band.

In 1902 the fragments of the Sacred Lion were reconstructed and placed again over the tomb of The Sacred Band (depicted left) by the secret homosexual society known as the Order of Chaeronea, founded by gay-rights pioneer George Cecil Ives.

It reminds us once again of the Sacred Lion Hunt which we celebrate later this week.

So, what has all of this got to do with us in our daily lives? We're not soldiers. We're not brave and courageous. Like Dorothy Gale, we're meek and mild. Timid. We know that if we were on a battlefield, we would turn and run. We would hide and "play dead" and hope nobody found us.

We assume that the Army of Gay Lovers were all fearless. We think they were unafraid. We don't think of them as being scaredy-cats like us. We think they didn't mind the prospect of agonizing death. We think they were somehow above such mortal fears and doubts.

That's nonsense, of course. They were scared out of their wits. We can scarcely imagine how afraid they were. As they stood there alone against the mightiest army in the Ancient World, their emotions shifted beyond the mere terror of possibly being killed, to the actual horror of inescapable agony and death. It is one thing to be terrified — we all know the fears generated by terrorists who fly airliners into buildings. 

But the emotions experienced by those trapped in the planes or inside the burning buildings go far beyond mere terror to the actual horror of inescapable agony and death. That is the Mystery of Terror as opposed to the Mystery of Horror. We tend to forget the distinction!

The Army of Gay Lovers were not without fear. On the contrary, they were staring into the horror of impending pain and death. But they did not allow their fear to overwhelm them. 

Instead, they turned their fear "inside-out" and used it as a magical shield. The barbs of fear were no longer poking inward to themselves, but instead were pointing outward towards their foes.

And that is the Mystery Teaching of the Army of Gay Lovers. It was no doubt part of the initiation which the recruits underwent at the Tomb of Iolaus. They were schooled in magico-religious methods for handling fear. It's about learning to harness Mars energy. Mars is all about the double-edge sword of fear/bravery and how you can learn to wield that Sword of Mars.

It's not about being fearless. It's about being able to transform your fear into a mighty force which wins the battle of life. Mars Warrior Energy is not about death. It is about LIFE. It is about harnessing fear and doubt and turning them into useful energies in your daily life.

Life — from the time you are born until the time you die — life is just one constant battle. And if you give in, then you are lost. And if you give in to the fear and doubt that constantly confront you each and ever day, then you are lost. It's about using selfless love and transcendant awareness to transform fear and doubt into constructive energies which empower you to stand up and wade into the fray of daily life.


The Band of Thebes were initiated into Mystery Teachings which showed them how to transform fear and doubt into a magical force which made them invincible — capable of asserting their will and making their dreams become reality. 

And the catalyst was male-male love and devotion.

This is one of the deepest and most profound Mystery Teachings of the Religion of Antinous

We are talking about the Mysteries of Antinous-Mars. This is why Flamen Antinoalis Antonius Subia has painted Antinous in the guise of the War God (above). 

Antinous is not just about gay male beauty. He is about gay male warrior energy.

Mars is a very important constituent aspect of Antinous. In Fixed Star Astrology, the STAR OF ANTINOUS is characterized by a mixture of Jupiter/Mars energy along with Venus energy — unique among Fixed Stars. To overlook Mars is to overlook a major component of what Antinous is all about.

Mars and his Alchemical Intelligence Graphiel and Daimon Barzabel (Deimos and Phobos) is much misunderstood by philosophers and occultists. 

The fiery Graphiel/Barzabel energies of the red planet ("terror" Deimos and "horror" Phobos) are often seen as frightful and horrific and destructive and warlike with no other qualities. This is a shallow analysis and one that should be discarded. Understanding your Martial nature — the Antinous-Mars warrior inside you — is essential to your survival and growth as a gay man. Terror and horror accompany us all our lives.

We are all afraid every day. We are all riddled with doubts every day. Look around you — most people are consumed with fear and doubt. Fear fuels their lives! But each of us can learn to turn our fears and doubts "inside-out" so that their barbs no longer point inward towards us, but instead so that these barbs of fear and doubt form a protective shield around us. 

It girds us with a constructive energy which helps us to advance through the Herculean travails which we face in our daily lives. Instead of being "fearfully" timid, we become "fearsomely" determined not to let life get us down.

Tomorrow, this transformational ability to turn fear "inside-out" will help us to understand how Antinous was able to charge the man-eater during the SACRED LION HUNT.

He must have been terrified. He was young and inexperienced and alone on his steed and armed only with an adamantine-tipped lance.

But through his loving bond with Hadrian/Hercules, Antinous/Iolaus was also magically armed with the "fearsomely strong" energies of the Sacred Band of Thebes. 


Flamen Antinoalis Antonius affirms: "We consecrate and honor their memory and call upon their strength and courage in our own hearts, that we may become the New Sacred Band."

Monday, August 19, 2019

BEN PASTOR'S 'HORSEMAN'S SONG'
RIVETING GARCÍA LORCA MURDER MYSTERY


WE all know that Spanish poet (and saint of Antinous) Federico García Lorca was murdered by Fascists on August 19th, 1936 ... or do we?

In a brilliant new thriller by author BEN PASTOR he was murdered twice ... once in 1936 and again in 1937 ... and it is up to a persistently thorough German Wehrmacht sleuth to find out what really happened ... and why.

Antinomaniacs are familiar with Ben Pastor for her richly researched historical novel THE WATER THIEF is about the search for the Lost Tomb of Antinous by Roman sleuth Aelius Spartianus. 

In that book, Spartianus not only discovers the whereabouts of the Beauteous Boy's tomb, but also uncovers a nefarious plot to bring down the Roman Empire.

Ben Pastor has written a series of Spartianus mysteries set in the days of the Roman Empire.

But the award-winning Italian-American historian and mystery writer is also the author of a series of novels about a World War II German military detective named Martin Bora who dodges mortar shells and Nazi intrigue to get to the bottom of baffling murders at the risk of life and limb. 

The new novel is entitled THE HORSEMAN'S SONG, a reference to García Lorca's celebrated poem Canción del Jinete (The Horseman's Song) about a young rider galloping through darkness on a journey that ends in death.

Pastor skillfully works this symbolism into this tale of a young Scottish-German officer walking a tightrope of death between Spanish Fascists and Red Republicans ... all grimly intent on annihilating each other ... as German military intelligence spies lurk in the shadows. 

And along the way he must side-step booby-traps placed by envious officers, enamored gay comrades, jealous rebels ... and the love spells of an Aragon bruja witch.

As always with every book by Pastor, the historical research is immaculate and the writing is tight and fast-paced. You can't skip over a single sentence lest you miss a vital clue or insight into the solving of the riddle.

For those of you who have read her earlier Martin Bora novels, all set during World War II, this book is something of a prequel, introducing us to a Martin in his late 20s ... younger and more naive ... a young man galloping on his own journey through dark shadows of death.

It's a book everyone who is interested in Federico García Lorca must read.

FEDERICO GARCÍA LORCA
SAINT OF ANTINOUS


ON AUGUST 19th, the Religion of Antinous honors St. Federico García Lorca, who was openly gay and who is one of the greatest poets of the Spanish language. 
He was executed by the Fascists on this day, August 19th, during the Spanish Civil War in 1936.

García Lorca's central themes are love, pride, passion and violent death, which also marked his own life.


The Spanish Civil was just getting underway in August 1936 and García Lorca was seen by the right-wing forces as an enemy. The author hid from the soldiers but he was eventually found.

An eyewitness has told that he was taken out of a Civil Government building by guards and Falangists belonging to the "Black Squad". García Lorca was shot in Granada without trial. The circumstances of his death are still shrouded in mystery. He was buried in a grave that he had been forced top dig for himself. 

According to some sources, he had to be finished off by a coup de grâce. One of his assassins later boasted, that he shot "two bullets into his arse for being a queer".

It was the end of a brilliant career as a poet and dramatist who was also remembered as a painter, pianist and composer.

In the 1920s he was close friends with Luis Buñuel and Salvador Dalí, among many others who later became influential artists in Spain. Despite the accolades from artists and critics, he suffered from bouts of depression brought on largely by his inner conflict about his homosexuality.

He was tortured by the demands of being a celebrity in a homophobic society and the yearnings of his gay soul.

During his lifetime only a handful of close friends were allowed to read the collection of gay poems which would be published many years later as his Sonnets of Dark Love. Here is one of them, entitled Love Sleeps in the Poet's Heart:


You'll never understand my love for you,
because you dream inside me, fast asleep.
I hide you, persecuted though you weep,
from the penetrating steel voice of truth.
Normalcy stirs both flesh and blinding star,
and pierces even my despairing heart.
Confusing reasoning has eaten out
the wings on which your spirit fiercely soared:
onlookers who gather on the garden lawn
await your body and my bitter grief,
their jumping horses made of light, green manes.
But go on sleeping now, my life, my dear.
Hear my smashed blood rebuke their violins!
See how they still must spy on us, so near!


With the Catalan painter Salvador Dalí and the film director Louis Buñuel he worked in different productions.

Dalí and Lorca had met in 1923. From the beginning, Lorca was fascinated by the young Catalan's personality and looks. Also Dalí had admitted that Lorca impressed him deeply.

When Buñuel and Dalí made their famous surrealist short film Un Chien Andalou (1928), García Lorca was offended: he thought that the film was about him.

Lorca's friendship with Dalí inspired a poem, a defense of modern art and at the same time an expression of homosexual love. Dalí dedicated his painting of Saint Sebastian to his friend, who often compared himself to the tortured homoerotic martyr.

"Let us agree," Lorca wrote to Dalí, "that one of man's most beautiful postures is that of St. Sebastian."

"In my 'Saint Sebastian' I remember you," Salvador Dalí replied, ". . . and sometimes I think he IS you. Let's see whether Saint Sebastian turns out to be you."

García Lorca was capable only of a "tragic, passionate relationship," Dalí once wrote — a friendship pierced by the arrows of Saint Sebastian.


The Religion of Antinous honors this great artist who lived and loved tragically and passionately and who died tragically for being gay.

Sunday, August 18, 2019

DID ANTINOUS SEE CLEOPATRA'S TOMB
ON HIS LION-HUNTING EXPEDITION?



THE Lost Tomb of Antinous and the Lost Tomb of Alexander the Great capture the imaginations of archaeologists everywhere ... but imagine stumbling onto the Lost Tomb of Cleopatra?

One long-held theory is that her tomb could be hidden in a labyrinth beneath a Roman era fort in the desert west of Alexandria called Taposiris Magna.

Experts from Egypt and the Dominican Republic have discovered the temple's original gate on its western side. In pharaonic Egypt the temple was named Per-Usir, meaning "A place of Osiris."

Legend has it that when the god Seth killed Osiris he cut him into fourteen pieces and threw them all over Egypt. This is one of 14 temples said to contain one piece of the god's body.

The team also found limestone foundation stones, which would once have lined the entrance to the temple. 

One of these bears traces indicating that the entrance was lined with a series of Sphinx statues.

The team, led by Dr. Kathleen Martinez, began excavations in Taposiris Magna ten years ago in an attempt to locate the tomb of the well-known lovers, Queen Cleopatra VII and Mark Antony.

There is some evidence that suggests that Egypt's last Queen might not be buried inside the tomb built beside her royal palace, which is now under the eastern harbour of Alexandria.

The archaeologists have been exploring the underground labyrinth, turning up a bronze statue of the goddess Aphrodite, the alabaster head of a Cleopatra statue, a mask believed to belong to Marcus Antonius and a headless statue from the Ptolemaic era.

The location is of great interest to those of us who love Antinous because it is very likely that Hadrian and Antinous visited this temple site in August of the year 130 AD ... the final summer of the brief life of Antinous.

As we know, the imperial entourage was visiting Alexandria in the summer of the year 130, and we know that Hadrian and Antinous hunted and killed a man-eating lion which had been terrorizing the countryside. 

It was described as a "Libyan" lion, "Libya" being the term used in those days for everything west of Alexandria.

So it is highly possible (even likely) that the imperial hunting party passed by the temple at Taposiris Magna, which is less than 45 kms (30 miles) west of Alexandria. 

In the year 130 it was a vast complex of temples that included a Roman fortress. The name Taposiris comes from the legend that one of the relics of Osiris was enshrined there.

This is a very noteworthy site because it is the location of the only wholly Greek style temple (with columns) ever known to have been built in Egypt. 

And it is also a temple which was converted into a military fortress by the Romans.

In addition, it is the location of a unique stone tower overlooking the sea which is believed to have been a miniature replica of the Great Lighthouse at nearby Alexandria.

Only shattered walls and foundations are left to indicate the size of Taposiris Magna.

It is entirely conceivable that Cleopatra and Marcus Antonius, cornered by Octavian's advancing forces, might have sought refuge at this fortified temple complex with its tower suitable for use as an observation post.

It is also entirely possible that Cleopatra and Marc Antony were buried here.

Saturday, August 17, 2019

NO WELL-GROOMED ROMAN MALE
WAS WITHOUT AN ANTINOUS BALSAMARIUM



"CLEANLINESS is next to Godliness" ... was Ovid's advice to young men setting out on amorous conquests in his poem Ars Amatoria.

A clean body and a well-groomed appearance was not only indispensable in the art of love, but was also considered a fundamental feature of Roman self-esteem, frequently contrasted with the uncleanliness and unkempt appearance of Barbarians living outside the borders of the Empire.

August 17th is Men's Grooming Day and the ancient Romans apparently considered Antinous to be their role model because a BALSAMARIUM (bath unguent jar) in the form of the head of Antinous was hugely popular.

Any well-groomed Roman male owned an array of bathing implements, combs, strigilae, lamps, water-resistant flip-flops and other articles ... including a balsamarium to hold his bath oils or skin lotions.

Antinous balsamaria were exceedingly popular in Rome. Suitable for holding bath oils or moisturizers, an Antinous balsamarium suggested that its owner would emerge from the baths looking like a God. 

And we thought modern advertising came up with that gimmick!