Sunday, March 29, 2020

TRACE THE FOOTSTEPS OF ANTINOUS
WITH THIS STREET MAP OF ROME



WE envision Antinous strolling down these streets in Rome's infamous Subura red-light district with other young friends from the "paedagogium" academy.

The wide street that traverses this fragment of a map of the city of Rome from right to left (west to east) has been identified as the Clivus Suburanus, a major street that ran from the Forum and the Argiletum through the Subura neighborhood, past the front of the Porticus Liviae, to the Esquiline Gate.


The fragment at right is from the  Forma Urbis Romae, or Severan Marble Plan of Rome. 

This enormous map, measuring ca. 18.10 x 13 meters (ca. 60 x 43 feet), was carved between 203-211 AD and covered an entire wall inside the Templum Pacis in Rome.

Recently, a "new" piece was found which completes the "Circus Flaminius" section of the FORMA URBIS ROMAE or SEVERAN MAP.

This enormous map depicted the ground plan of every architectural feature in the ancient city, from large public monuments to small shops, rooms, and even staircases.

This fragment represents a large section on the Oppian Hill of the residential and commercial district called the Subura. 

Roman poets like Martial and Juvenal described the Subura as a sordid commercial area, riddled with violence, brothels, and collapsing buildings. 

In reality, it was probably not different from any other neighborhood in Rome … or many modern European cities, for that matter … where commercial activity intermingled with the religious and political life in the great public monuments and smaller local shrines and meeting halls of the local "collegia" and where the large "comus" homes of the rich stood next to the decrepit apartment buildings that housed the poor. 

An abundance of evidence demonstrates that even in imperial times the Subura housed senators (probably on the upper slopes) as well as sandal makers, blacksmiths, and cloth sellers. Commercial activity was probably concentrated all along the clivus Suburanus.


The Severan Marble Plan is a key resource for the study of ancient Rome, but only 10-15% of the map survives, broken into 1,186 pieces.

For centuries, scholars have tried to match the fragments and reconstruct this great puzzle, but progress is slow … the marble pieces are heavy, unwieldy, and not easily accessible. 

Now, computer scientists and archaeologists at Stanford are employing digital technologies to try to reconstruct the map.

In collaboration with the Sovraintendenza of the Comune di Roma, a team from Stanford's Computer Graphics laboratory has been creating digital photographs and 3D models of all 1,186 fragments.

The next step is to develop 3D matching algorithms to "solve the map," and to build a fully searchable database of the fragments … a much-needed tool for archaeological research.

Saturday, March 28, 2020

A SPECIAL PRAYER TO ANTINOUS
IN THIS SPECIAL TIME OF CRISIS



THIS is prayer you can use in a personal ceremony in reference to the current situation we are all going through. It is hoped that this can bring some peace and comfort. 

What you will need:
White Candle
Water
Libation bowl

Light the candle and say:

Antinous Mithras God of Light be our guide.
Light our way through these troubled times.
Grant us freedom from fear just as you grant freedom
From the confines of this world.
As the obelisk declares that you hear the prayers of Gods and Men.
As you heard the pleas of Hadrian, we ask that you hear ours as well.
Great God Antinous who is our strength and guiding light
We humbly come before you.
We seek your healing, protection and wisdom
During this present time of sickness that has affected the whole world
(here you can include specific locations ie: New York City)
We ask that those afflicted by this virus that you grant them healing.
Just as you Antinous, you who gave your life to save Hadrian,
So, to now we ask that you save us from this virus.
Strengthen the bodies of those who are fighting this infection and heal them.
Give comfort to those suffering from symptoms of this virus.
We ask that you provide medical care for those in need.
For those working in the medical profession
We ask that you give them strength and protect them from this virus
Provide the equipment necessary to keep them safe
We ask for wisdom for those working on a cure
Grant to them what they need in order to end this modern plaque.
We ask the Divine Hadrian to bestow his wisdom to those in charge
Whether they are in government or in a position of authority.
In order to lessen the burden this virus has caused.

Libation:
Pour water into the libation bowl and say:

Antinous your first miracle was the inundation of the Nile
By this you saved an entire empire.
We ask that this water that represents that miracle
Cleanse the world from this virus that threatens us all.
(You may drink this water afterwards or pour on plants)
Our hearts can rest assured because the sacred obelisk says:
“He hears the prayers of all those who call out to Him,
And He cures the afflictions of those in need”

Ave Antinous
Michaelus Priest of Antinous

Friday, March 27, 2020

CENTAUR MOSAIC AT HADRIAN's VILLA
OFFERS INSIGHTS INTO EMPEROR's MIND



THE FAMOUS Centaur Mosaic from the grand dining pavilion of Hadrian's Villa at Tibur has intrigued art historians for decades. The mosaic is on view at the Altes Museum in Berlin, along with stunning sculptures of Hadrian and Antinous. But few people have had the opportunity to view it up close with commentary by eminent art historians — until now!

This new video (below), with a running narration by Dr. Steven Zucker and Dr. Beth Harris, provides brilliant insights not only into the Roman interpretation of Greek art, but also into the subtle differences in the way that the Romans and the Greeks perceived their place in the cosmos.

One important point which Drs. Zucker and Harris do not make, however, is that Hadrian was called "The Lion Slayer" because the Emperor and Antinous killed a man-eating lion in Egypt in the summer of the year 130 AD — only weeks before the tragic death of Antinous. 

Another detail is that the centaur downed by the tiger is a female, presumably the mate of the centaur holding the boulder. It is unclear whether the downed mate is dead or only stunned and is about to be rescued — just as Hadrian rescued Antinous from the Egyptian lion in real life.

So Hadrian's dinner guests could look at the mosaic and interpret the bearded centaur as being a mythic aspect of the emperor himself — protecting the Empire from the beastly forces of chaos. Hadrian could also be equated with Chiron, with Antinous perhaps his tutor.

In Greek mythology, Chiron was one of the Titans, the greatest of the Centaurs. Chiron was the tutor to a great many gods and demigods, including Prometheus, Theseus, Achilles and Hercules, to name but a few.

Astrologically, Chiron represents a person's healing energies and, indeed, the word for "surgery" in many European languages (chirurgie in French and German, cirugya in Spanish, chirugia in Italian and Portuguese) comes directly from the Ancient Greek words for "Chiron Hands" ... a healer with the skilled hands of the Titan Chiron.

Astrologically, the minor planet (or asteroid) CHIRON IS IN ARIES ... which boosts cosmic healing. Hadrian, who was obsessed with astrology himself, could hardly have looked at this mosaic without pondering cosmic implications.

Zucker and Harris, founders of Smarthistory, aptly point out that this mosaic ... only a tiny fraction of the dining pavilion's mosaic ... must have been a profound source of dinner conversation.

Thursday, March 26, 2020

WALT WHITMAN
SAINT OF ANTINOUS


ON March 26th the Religion of Antinous takes a moment to celebrate the life of one of our most popular Antinoian prophets ... Saint Walt Whitman.

Walt Whitman was born on May 31, 1819, on the West Hills of Long Island, New York. He was lavished with love by his mother, but treated with stern discipline by his carpenter father.

After only a few years of school, Whitman was pulled out to help with the family earnings. He educated himself, reading all that he could, worked in a printing house, and eventually became a schoolteacher who taught with refreshing openness and excitement, allowing his students to call him by his first name. After years of teaching, he went into journalism, and in time was the editor of several publications.

However, Walt Whitman is said to have experienced a life-transforming epiphany. He left New York, and returned to live for a period with his family, then returned from isolation with Leaves of Grass, one of the most powerful collections of poems in American literature and the first to allude heavily to homosexual love.

It is often said that, during his time in isolation, a religious sense of purpose entered his heart, which he revealed in the Calamus poems.

The aromatic, psychotropic calamus plant with its phallic spadix flower pods was his symbol for homosexuality. The calamus has special meaning for us because Kalamos of Greek myth fell in love with the beautiful youth Karpos. 

Like Antinous, Karpos died by drowning. Grief-stricken Kalamos wept among the reeds at the waterside until he was himself transformed into a reed, whose rustling in the wind is his sigh of woe.

When the American civil war broke out, Walt Whitman was 42 years old and served as a hospital nurse, falling in love with all the soldiers, especially those who died in his arms.

Open expressions of love between men were accepted without issue during the war, and it was when the visionary enlightenment of Walt Whitman became clear to him. He saw that the origin of this love, brotherly, or friendly perhaps, if not more, was the salvation of the human race, and certainly able to heal the divide between North and South.

His final years were spent communicating his message to the new torchbearers, such as John Addington Symonds and Edward Carpenter. After his death, and as Gay Liberation took strength, he was called a Prophet, particularly by the George Cecil Ives and the Order of Chaeronea.

We, adherents of the ancient/modern Religion of Antinous, proclaim him to be St. Walt Whitman the Prophet of Homoeros, and we elevate him to his own stratosphere in our devotion.

He died March 26th, 1892 of tuberculosis compounded by pneumonia. Over 1,000 mourners paid their respects. St. Walt told us how he wanted us to remember him, not as a great poet, but as "the tenderest lover":

You bards of ages hence! when you refer to me, mind not so much my poems,
Nor speak of me that I prophesied of The States, and led them the way of their Glories;
But come, I will take you down underneath this impassive exterior ... I will tell you what to say of me:
Publish my name and hang up my picture as that of the tenderest lover,
The friend, the lover's portrait, of whom his friend, his lover, was fondest,
Who was not proud of his songs, but of measureless ocean of love within him ... and freely poured it forth,
Who often walked lonesome walks, thinking of his dear friends, his lovers,
Who pensive, away from one he loved, often lay sleepless and dissatisfied at night,
Who knew too well the sick, sick dread lest the one he loved might secretly be indifferent to him,
Whose happiest days were far away, through fields, in woods, on hills, he and another, wandering hand in hand, they twain, apart from other men,
Who oft as he sauntered the streets, curved with his arm the shoulder of his friend  while the arm of his friend rested upon him also.


Wednesday, March 25, 2020

ANTINOUS HELPS YOU COMBAT FEAR
DURING THE CORONA VIRUS PANDEMIC



AS worshipers of Antinous, how do we Navigate the Corona Virus Pandemic right now, for as we face this pandemic there is a collective consciousness and culture of fear all over the world. 

As worshipers of Antinous we don’t have to contribute to it, nor do we have to be oppressed by it. (Healing Antinous Art above by Miranda Baggins.)

1. First make a list: What all do you have to do? Look at it again – what do you have to do, and what can wait till later? What’s easy and can be cleared out of the way with little effort? What’s most important and deserves the bulk of your time? Start working the list and checking things off. Making a list doesn’t sound very spiritual to you? Haven’t you heard of the 42 Negative Confessions? The 12 Labors of Hercules? The Four Noble Truths of Buddhism? Making lists is a near-universal religious practice – put it to use in your life.

2. You feel in Despair:  Things are bad, and you can’t see how they’re ever going to get better. Intellectually, you know you’ll manage one way or another, but right now you can’t see that far ahead and you’re not in the mood to listen to anyone’s cold hard logic.
Pray and make offerings. You can’t control how you feel, but you can control what you do – and it is always good to worship the Gods. Giving to Them reminds us that there’s something bigger than ourselves. And giving promotes reciprocity: we give to Them and trust that They will give to us.

ANTINOUS PRAYER BEADS

THERE are Catholic rosary beads, Eastern Orthodox beads, Swedish Lutheran Frälserkransen beads, Islamic prayer beads, Buddhist meditation beads, Hindu japa mala beads and even Wiccan prayer beads ... now several adherents of Antinous are designing ANTINOUS PRAYER BEADS.

Look to Your Ancestors

Many of our ancestors have faced situations like this before, but with different diseases. Though it is new to most of us, it is not new to the world. We can draw strength and hope from the wisdom of our ancestors, as well as their compassion and resilience. They adapted, and we are also now adapting. 

Whatever comes, whatever we face, they stand behind us and beside us as our protectors and as our guides, and we ourselves are evidence that life goes on. We can take hope from that.
Give thanks for what you have, even if you don’t feel very thankful right now. Speak the yearnings of your heart, even if they’re clouded with pain. Don’t know what to say? Find an ancient prayer (The Hymns of Orpheus)  to recite, or perhaps a modern one.

Pour libations and make food offerings. Worshippers  of Antinous in ancient times would have given votive offerings to him at his altars; there is evidence that he was given gifts of food and drink in Egypt, with libations and sacrifices probably being common in Greece. Making offerings in a fire is a powerful act at any time. If it’s part of your tradition and appropriate for the deities you’re approaching, make your offerings to Antinous and any other gods you worship, and then after a suitable period of time, revert the offerings and consume the now-sanctified food and drink. As you eat and drink, you ingest the blessings of the Gods.

Cultivate Life & Create

It’s incredibly important to focus on life-giving and life-affirming experiences at times like this. Plant flowers start seeds. Learn the wisdom of the plants. Nurture your connection to the earth.
Make something with your hands. It doesn’t matter what it is but give yourself to the experience without attachment to the result. You’re utilizing your sacral energy when you do so, which is where the joy of living springs from. It’s incredibly important to remember the joy of living at a time like this.

Making list and prayer and offerings and even long walks outside are very helpful but one spiritual practice that is especially suited for difficult situations is:

3. Divination: Whether you use Tarot, Runes, or Scrying. Pick your favorite. Divination can’t make your decisions for you, but it can show you where a particular path will take you and what things will be like when you get there.  If a path displayed is not what you wanted maybe you need to make some changes before it gets too late.

4. Sigil Magic: There may be hard situations you are going through, financial, job, better place to live, etc.  Any magical system can help. The term sigil derives from the Latin sigillum, meaning "seal" Though Sigil Magic is thought to have started in the Medieval period there is no reason you can’t use it in your worship of Antinous.  This link is an easy step by step method that I have used. http://sigildaily.com/activating-rituals/

5. Meditation:  There are several ways to mediate You can use mediation focused on Antinous or other gods and spirits or ideas. There is the Buddhist-style “empty your mind”.  Focus on your breathing or on a candle flame. If thought pop into your head, acknowledge them, let them go, and return to your breathing. Just sit. The physical and psychological benefits of meditation are clear – the spiritual benefits can be every bit as dramatic.

Build a foundation of regular devotion. Do the necessary prep work. Do your rituals in wild places and in dark places.  Be patient but be persistent. Be open to the workings of Antinous and be receptive to his call.

These are the spiritual practices that work for all of us in difficult times. They won’t prevent bad things from happening – nothing will do that. They don’t keep us from getting upset or stressed or stuck. But they help us regain our center faster and they help us respond to difficult times in the ways we want to respond.

And lastly: Saturn is entering the sign of Aquarius

Saturn is entering the sign of Aquarius for the first time on March 22nd. While it will leap back in Capricorn temporarily on July 1st, it will re-enter Aquarius on December 17th and will remain in the sign for the next three years.

Saturn entering the sign of Aquarius is going to put a significant focus on the questions of innovations, technology, and collective progress. The energy is going to be focused on anything new, anything modern, and anything progressive. Saturn is returning to the position it was in between 1991 and 1994, effectively giving people born at that time their “Saturn return.” As much as it can be a difficult time for people to go through their Saturn returns, it’s also a time where people are given a significant chance to grow and take responsibilities.

AVE ANTINOUS
Michaelus, Priest of Antinous.

Sources: Patheos website “7 Spiritual Practices for Difficult Times” and “How to Navigate the Pandemic Pandemonium”. Also, Antinous The Gay God blog.

Monday, March 23, 2020

WE HONOR THE EMPRESS SABINA


THE Empress Sabina Augusta ... Vibia Sabina ... Hadrian's Wife ... died sometime in the year 136, and was deified in the year 138.

The date of her elevation to godliness is not known, but because she was so often compared to the Mother Goddess Ceres-Demeter, we declare her Apotheosis to coincide with the return of spring in Rome, and dedicate our celebration of the Equinox to our mother and Empress, Nova Dea Ceres, Sabina Augusta.

This relief sculpture of her deification, in which she is shown rising up from the cremation flames on the wings of a female Aeon, shows Hadrian enthroned, behind him is a figure that resembles Antoninus Pius.


And reclining on the floor is one who could possibly be Antinous, the resemblance to the youth on the Apotheosis of Antoninus is remarkable.

Sunday, March 22, 2020

ANTINOUS-ATTIS DIES AND IS REBORN
DURING THE CYCLE OF THE EQUINOX



THE cycle of the March Equinox is Sacred to the Great Mother of the Gods, and to her divine lover-son Attis, who dies and is reborn at this time of year.

Persephone returns from the underworld, and the verdure returns to the face of the Earth.

The death of Attis is symbolic of the fruit flowers that appear at this  season and then fall away, making room for the ripening fruit.

It was celebrated in Rome with the introduction of a great pine tree that was carried into the Temple of Magna Mater.

An image of the dead Attis was carried on a bier and hung from the tree which was decorated with purple ribbons and violet flowers.

On the Day of Blood, the priests performed austerities including the  self-castration of new priests, and the bloodletting of the old priests  to the accompaniment of drum and cymbal music.

After the Day of Blood, when Attis was said to have risen again, the festival turned to joy and elation and was known as the Hilaria.

The final part of the sacred days was the day of cleansing, when the image of the Great Mother, a black stone encased in silver, was taken to the river Arno and washed by the priests.


Flamen Antonius Subia says:

"The five-day cycle of the Equinox ... the Mithraic Mysteries and all the other remembrances ... are all contained in the Death and Resurrection of Attis, the beautiful boy, who severed his own testicles and died giving his blood to the bosom of the earth ... but did not die."

Saturday, March 21, 2020

THRONGS GREET ANTINOUS IN BITHYNIA
AS THE NEW GANYMEDE



DURING the five-day cycle of the March Equinox we celebrate the triumphal entry of Hadrian and Antinous into the province of Bithynia on that fateful, final tour of the Eastern Empire. Flamen Antinoalis Antonyus describes it thusly at the online Temple of Antinous:

Antinous returns to his hometown and is greeted as a returning King. Hadrian is hailed as the living Zeus, and Antinous is spoken of as the New Ganymede.

Their visit precedes the Death and Resurrection of Attis which is the Childhood religion of Antinous. It is observed in this context by us as a presage of the Death and Resurrection of Antinous that would later be commemorated in Bithynia, which is the second of the four Holy Cities of Our religion.

Antinous is worshipped as the triumphant son, returning from across the sea, like so many gods whose ships vanish over the waves, promising one day to return.

We pray that Antinous will return to the place of his birth which is at the core of our soul, and that he will take his place within the small shrine of Attis that we have kept ready for his arrival within our very hearts.

WE MOURN THE DEATH
OF ANTINOUS-ADONIS


ADONIS was the most beautiful boy that ever lived, so beautiful that Venus fell totally in love with him and forsook all her love-joys in order to follow him on his hunt through the forests of Mt. Lebanon.

But Adonis was unmoved and completely rejected her advances. She became infatuated and abandoned herself to the boy who only cared to hunt.

Mars was jealous of his rival, and outraged to see Venus subjected to desperation and lust, so he contrived to lure Venus away by having Mercury recall her to her neglected duties, because without her influence to temper the raging schemes of her Erotic son, there was no love in the world.

While she was away, Mars transformed himself into a wild boar and let Adonis pursue him through the woods.

The God of War suddenly charged the young God of Beauty and disarmed him, and with a deadly kiss, gored Adonis in the groin sinking his razor tusk between his perfect white legs.

When she returned, Venus found her beloved boy dead and cut her hair in mourning, she immortalized his soul as a flower, and made the river that bears his name flow red.

The love between Venus and Adonis was unfulfilled, her adoration for him was unreturned because Adonis had no care for women, and he preferred his hunting dogs to her gentle caresses.

Only the War God Mars had his way with Adonis, though motivated by jealousy and rage, it was a violent sexual attack, for which all the world must mourn, because in the savagery of the Lust of Mars, the world was forever robbed of the beauty of Adonis.


Flamen Antonius Subia says:

"We venerate Adonis and seek his shadow in the gardens of human beauty. Antinous is the 'Adonis of the Underworld' ... our perfect desire who flees from our embrace ... but we, like Venus, never abandon him to his endless hunt, and caress his cheek even though our hands can never touch him."

Friday, March 20, 2020

THE SACRED BOAR HUNT



AT the March Equinox the Religion of Antinous commemorates the Sacred Boar Hunt.

In our Liturgical Calendar, it is the day when Hadrian and Antinous arrive at the sacred city of Bithynium/Claudiopolis, the home of Antinous, in the spring of the year 129 AD.

Imagine the jubilant welcome they must have received as the city's populace turned out en masse (including all of the extended family and acquaintances of Antinous) to see the imperial entourage with Hadrian and Antinous at the forefront.

The region is teeming with bountiful wildlife and so Hadrian and Antinous went on hunting forays while in Bithynium.

The Boar Hunt had deeply mystical symbolic meaning for Hadrian, as exemplified that it was elevated to mythic proportions for use in public monuments.


The image above shows Hadrian and Antinous (looking backwards) during the Sacred Boar Hunt, immortalized on the Arch of Constantine in Rome.

Flamen Antonius Subia explains the mythic symbolism this way:

In ancient times, boys would enter the forest armed only With a spear to test their courage as young men 
So it was that Antinous went with Hadrian
To hunt the wild boar of Phrygia, to test his manhood
The boar symbolizes strength, courage, honor, & truth
And was an emblem of warriors and of fearlessness
The Boar is sacred to the beautiful hunter god Adonis
Whom Venus so loved that she chased after him through Briars and thorns, and when he was killed by the Boar, Which was her jealous lover Mars in disguise
She compelled the world to mourn his death
Her love for Adonis was so strong that she brought him 
Back from the underworld again for half the year.
The Boar is the emblem of the fertility god Freyr
Whose mighty phallus purifies and protects the fields
The Boar is sacred to the sun god Belenus
Of the Cisalpine Gauls, of whom there is an inscription From Hadrian’s Villa that reads:
“Antinous and Belenus are equal in age and beauty
For this reason Antinous is also be worshipped like Belenus appropriately, by Quintus the Sicilian”
We praise the god Belenus, whose bonfires protect us
From the malevolent spirits of darkness and chaos
The beautiful Sun God Belenus is Antinous of the North
We praise Antinous as Mercurius, the son of Maia
Maia is the Bona Dea, leader of the Pleaides
She is the bringer of goodness and plenty of summer
We praise Diana the Huntress and ask her blessing
On this night of the Sacred Boar Hunt
May the Strength of the Boar be with us
May the Power of the Boar be with us
May the Courage of the Boar be with us
In celebration of Antinous the Hunter
We now consume the meat of the Sacred Boar
So we may be blessed
Ave Antinous – Adonis
Ave Antinous – Freyr
Ave Antinous – Belenus
Ave Antinous – Mercurius
May flesh of the Sacred Boar give us his blessing
Ave Antinous Venator!

~ ANTONIUS SUBIA

WE HONOR ANTINOUS/MARS



WHEN the Sun enters the Sign of Aries at the March Equinox, we honor Antinous in his special guise as Antinous/Mars.

Mars, God of War, son of Jupiter and Juno, father of Romulus and Remus, founders of Rome, was the divine spirit of the Roman Army whose legions subjugated the world.

His power ran like molten steel in the blood of Romans who he made them invincible.

The ram was sacred to him, and thus the sign of Aries was devoted to him, as it was in the early spring, after the fields were sown and before the harvest that the men went to war.

Originally Mars was an agricultural deity, whose duty was to protect the fields from marauders. But he soon became an aggressive conqueror, whose sacred spears were ritually shaken by the Flamen Martialis when the legions were preparing for war.

He had twin sons who accompanied him and went before the armies in battle, their names were Phobos and Deimos, fear and panic.

He was the illicit lover of Venus, and it is said that they were the co-creators of Rome who through war brought love and peace to the whole world. It was in this spirit that Hadrian worshipped the pair.

Mars is the great spirit of masculinity, the violent, courageous power of the male sex, the penetrator and subjugator.

His emblem, an iron spear, is a symbol for the phallus, and so it is that Mars is the great potent Phallus of Man, the impregnator.

In this sense he is venerated as the warrior within all men, and as our most extreme, animalistic, carnal, aggressive nature.

He is the conqueror of winter, the dominator of spring, the protector of life, and the bringer of death.

He is war and fury, selflessly courageous, for the protection of the weak and for the defeat of the strong.


Mars never surrenders, and this is why Venus is so mad with lust for him, and why we adore him as our protector.

Thursday, March 19, 2020

COURAGE IN DIFFICULT TIMES
By Our Priest Michaelus Isom



EVERY generation or group of people undergo times of the unknown. Many around the world suffer because of war, famine. For us now and this generation it is our time. Yes, Covid19 is deadly there is no denying that and we must take all precautions to protect not only ourselves but think of others. This is a time to have courage. An example we can look to is our God Antinous.

First let’s look at the word courage.  Someone with courage is bold and brave, unafraid to face tough challenges. ... Having courage means acting when others are afraid of the danger, or simply acting without fear of failure. For today it is for us to unafraid to face tough challenges.

Antinous showed these many times, in his life. Think of a young boy being taken from his home to the very heart of the empire, Rome. He left everything he knew, everything that was comfort for him. He learned to adapt, he learned to change and because he did, he became the most beloved of the Emperor of Rome. Courage is adapting to circumstances. Yes, it is inconvenient but being able to adapt makes us stronger.  Other times Antinous showed courage in adversity. During both the boar and lion hunts. 

Royston Lambert in Beloved and God writes “On the Arch of Constantine we recognize him again in close pursuit of the wild boar which, according to Xenophon, was the most dangerous of beasts with its red hot tusks, exacting 'high courage' from those who dared to confront it.” And with the lion he writes, “Antinous' vigour and courage cannot be doubted.”

I think we need to have both courage and strength. Courage is the quality of a confident character not to be afraid or intimidated easily but without being incautious or inconsiderate while strength is the quality or degree of being strong.

Both play a critical part in how we deal with events we are going through now.

You who believe in Antinous. That love Antinous and if Antinous is your God. Look to him. He is where you can find courage not to be afraid and help us be strong in these trying times.


MICHAELUS
Priest of Antinous

Wednesday, March 18, 2020

CHARLOTTE VON MAHLSDORF
SAINT OF ANTINOUS


SAINT Charlotte von Mahlsdorf, who was born on this day in 1928, was a Berlin trans/gay who survived the Nazis and East German communists and about whose life a Pulitzer Prize winning play, "I Am My Own Woman", has been staged at theatres around the world.

The title is misleading since the original German is "Ich bin meine eigene Frau" and the word "Frau" can mean either "Woman" or "Wife"

The phrase was Charlotte's answer to her mother's question: "Don't you think it's time you got a wife?"

Charlotte was her own man and her own woman and her own husband/wife. In a long life amidst dictatorship, war and oppression of human-rights, Charlotte learned to create her own identity. We honor Charlotte as a Saint of the Religion of Antinous.

St. Charlotte, who liked to wear frumpy house dresses with a clunky handbag and a strand of pearls and matronly shoes, somehow managed to survive the Gestapo, the East German Stasi secret police and assaults by neo-Nazis. In doing so, Charlotte made serious ethical compromises along the way in order to stay alive. 

Charlotte amassed a huge collection of Victorian antiques which some said came from the homes of Jewish Holocaust victims and (later) from homes of people fleeing East Germany.


But Charlotte DID stay alive in dangerous times during which others perished. Charlotte's life forces you to ask yourself what YOU would have done in similar circumstances.

After German unification, Charlotte became something of a reluctant gay icon in Germany in the 1990s. Charlotte never had any pretensions of being intellectual or a political activist. 

Charlotte never quite fit in with post-Stonewall activists, who were a bit puzzled by her dowdy grand-motherliness and her passion for 19th Century Renaissance Revival style antiques. Like Quentin Crisp (also a Saint of Antinous), Charlotte belonged to another era.

But unlike Quentin Crisp, Charlotte wasn't especially witty or campy (despite her appearance) and was not an artist of the arch one-liner the way Quentin was. In appearances on talk shows, she would sit there, smiling politely, with not a great deal to say unless it was about collecting and restoring 19th Century antiques. But what she did say was eloquent in its simplicity: 

People should be kind to each other and let each other get on with their lives the way they want to.

Above all, she didn't much like being a celebrity. Too many people  expected things of her. She became a target for neo-Nazis, mostly drunken, youthful vandals in the 1990s. Not surprisingly perhaps, considering all she had lived through, she became somewhat paranoid towards the end of her life. In the end, she fled to Sweden where she spent her final years in virtual isolation before dying in 2002.

We honor St. Charlotte von Mahlsdorf for being someone who was not afraid to be openly trans/gay in the face of totalitarian dictatorships and police states. Someone who survived the Nazis and the Stasi secret police ... wearing a dress, a strand of pearls and a handbag.

Tuesday, March 17, 2020

THIS IS THE DAY THE WISEST MAN DIED
AND ROME BEGAN TO FALL



MARCH 17th is the anniversary of the death of Marcus Aurelius and we in the Religion of Antinous set aside this day each year to remember the last of the great philosopher-emperors, and a man who knew both Hadrian and Antinous.

What follows, is adapted from writings over the years by Flamen Antinoalis Antonius.

As a young boy Marcus Aurelius had caught the eye of the Emperor Hadrian. He was appointed by the Emperor to priesthood in the year 129 (just a year before the death of Antinous), and Hadrian also supervised his education, which was entrusted to the best professors of literature, rhetoric and philosophy of the time.

Marcus Aurelius discovered Stoicism by the time he was 11 and from his early twenties he deserted his other studies for philosophy. The Emperor Antoninus Pius, who succeeded Hadrian, adopted Marcus Aurelius as his son in 138.

Antoninus Pius treated Aurelius as a confidant and helper throughout his reign; Marcus Aurelius also married his daughter, Faustina, in 139. He was admitted to the Senate, and then twice the consulship. In 147 he shared tribunician power with Antoninus. During this time he began composition of his Meditations, which he wrote in Greek in army camps.

At the age of 40, in 161 Marcus Aurelius ascended the throne and shared his imperial power with his adopted brother Lucius Aurelius Verus. Useless and lazy, Verus was regarded as a kind of junior emperor; he died in 169. After Verus's death he ruled alone.

Most of his reign was spent fighting and negotiating with the Germanic barbarians who were steadily crowding around the borders of the Empire. Marcus was able to hold them back with a succession of victories and peace treaties. In 177 he made his son, Commodus, joint-Emperor, though Commodus had no interest in the responsibility, caring more for the gladiatorial sports, but Marcus, the philosopher- king, took no notice of his son's blood-lust, which was to later cost the Empire dearly.

For much of his reign, Marcus Aurelius had suffered from severe illness, but his calm devotion to stoic virtue gave him the strength to continue without rest and without his poor health interfering with his duties. While with the legions on the German frontier, Marcus Aurelius suddenly died on March 17th in the year 180AD.

His ashes were conveyed to Rome and placed in Hadrian's Mausoleum. Commodus assumed power and began the chain of tragic events that are said to have brought the decline and fall of the Roman Empire.

For his wisdom, and strength, and because he was the last instrument of Hadrian's plan that brought so much glory, and prosperity to Rome, we venerate the deified Marcus Aurelius as a god of the Religion of Antinous.

An important feature of the philosophy was that everything will recur: the whole universe becomes fire and then repeats itself.

Constantly regard the universe as one living being, having one substance and one soul; and observe how all things have reference to one perception, the perception of this one living being; and how all things act with one movement; and how all things are the cooperating causes of all things which exist; observe too the continuous spinning of the thread and the contexture of the web. (from The Meditations)

Monday, March 16, 2020

ANTINOUS HELPS YOU CONFRONT FEAR
DURING THE CORONA VIRUS PANIC



A demon walks the Earth ... the Demon of Fear spawned by the Corona Virus. The Demon of Fear is pernicious and perfidious ... But Antinous can help you "befriend" the Demon of Fear so that it empowers you constructively, rather than paralyzing you.

Fear self-magnifies. It is when you are afraid and envisioning all that might go wrong that the energy underlying your fear grows. A tiny flicker of anxiety can easily develop into a terror that manifests itself physically and eventually paralyzes you into inaction.

We have all experienced that ... many of us experience it every day.

The more we try to fight against this Fear Demon and try to deny it, the stronger it becomes. But instead of fleeing from fear (which is impossible because it is inside you), we can try embracing this perfidious demon. 

In walking through that fear, we discover that the strength of our fright was out of synch with reality. And we learn that doing what frightens us can lead to great blessings.

That is what the Sacred Band of Thebes (Army of Lovers) learned: Approaching your trepidation head-on will help you accept that few frightening scenarios will ever live up to the negative disasters that we sometimes play out in our minds.


Though fear is literally an evolutionary gift meant to sharpen your senses and energize you during times of great stress, it can nonetheless become a barrier that prevents you from fulfilling your potential by causing you to miss out on rewarding, life-changing experiences. 

During the period before you face your fear ... and "embrace the Demon" ... you may have to deal with a barrage of negative thoughts and emotions. 

Embracing it and walking through it, whether your fear is public speaking, taking part in an activity that makes you nervous, or asserting yourself when the odds are against you, may be equally as difficult. 

But once you have emerged unscathed on the other side ... which you will ... you will likely wonder why you assumed the worst in the first place. That is when the Fear Demon has ceased to be an enemy and has become a friend and ally.

As you spend time worrying about what might happen, it is good to know that your fear probably will not happen at all. 

It may feel like a great weight has been lifted from your shoulders, and you will likely feel a sense of passionate pride. That feeling comes from the Fear Demon himself, who is now your friend rather than your foe. His FEARsome energies have been freed up to make you stronger, rather than debilitating you.

Walking through your fear can mean taking risks and can require both practice and patience. Since it is challenging to act when you are gripped with fear, start small.

Each step you take into fear will strengthen you and help you confront future fears with poise, courage, and confidence. 

You will also find that when you are willing to stare your fear in the face, ANTINOUS THE GAY GOD will always offer you some form of aid or support. 

When you see the heights of accomplishment and personal evolution you can attain when you walk through your fears, your faith in yourself will grow, allowing your next step to be easier.

In Light and Life,
Hernestus, Priest of Antinous

THE FEAST OF HORUS
AND THE SEVEN SCORPIONS



MARCH 17th is the feast of Horus and the Seven Scorpions. Horus is the son of Isis and Osiris. 

When Seth murdered Osiris, grief-strickent Isis searched for his corpse. Isis entrusted baby Horus to Selket/Serqet the scorpion goddess. 

The Egyptians knew that scorpions are very good mothers. A mother scorpion carries her babies on her back ... and she attacks anyone who dares to approach too close! 

For added protection, Selket became seven scorpions, thus providing seven-fold protection to Horus. 

Selket is the guardian of Horus and ... by extension ... she is the guardian of Antinous. When you REALLY need protection: call upon Selket!

16 de março é a festa de Horus e os Sete Escorpiões. Horus é filho de Isis e Osíris. Quando Seth assassinou Osíris, a Isis, que sofreu um sofrimento, procurou seu cadáver. Isis confiou o bebê Horus a Selket / Serqet a deusa do escorpião. Os egípcios sabiam que os escorpiões são mães muito boas. Uma mãe escorpião carrega seus bebês em suas costas ... e ela ataca qualquer um que se atreva a aproximar-se muito perto! Para maior proteção, Selket se tornou sete escorpiões, proporcionando assim sete vezes proteção a Horus. Se você realmente precisa de proteção: chamar Selket!

El 16 de marzo es la fiesta de Horus y los Siete Escorpiones. Horus es el hijo de Isis y Osiris. Cuando Seth asesinó a Osiris, Isis buscó su cadáver. Isis le confió a Horus a Selket / Serqet la diosa del escorpión. Los egipcios sabían que los escorpiones son muy buenas madres. Una madre escorpión lleva a sus bebés sobre su espalda ... y ella ataca a cualquiera que se atreva a acercarse demasiado cerca! Para mayor protección, Selket se convirtió en siete escorpiones, proporcionando así siete veces protección a Horus. Si realmente necesita protección: ¡llame a Selket!

Sunday, March 15, 2020

MEET MARCO ANTINOUS OF EGYPT
By Flamen Antinoalis Antonius Subia


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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

~ANTONIUS SUBIA

Saturday, March 14, 2020

WE CELEBRATE THE JOY OF BEING ALIVE
AT THE FEAST OF ANTINOUS OSIRIS UNNEFER


THE 14th of March is the Ancient Egyptian festival of Osiris Unnefer .. life reborn after the dead of winter.

Antinous has always been identified as Osiris, and on this date we commemorate his victory over death by celebrating the joy of life.

The ancient festival is the celebration of the death and resurrection of Osiris. 

The ancient story tells how the evil god Set and his seventy-two accomplices had murdered Osiris by drowning him in the river, and then they dismembered him, scattering his limbs up and down the valley. 

His sacrifice causes the annual floods that bring life to the rainless valley. 

Osiris arises from the dead, but needs the constant supplication of his devoted followers to strengthen his return. 

It is said that, in ancient times, young boys, chosen for their exceptional beauty were thrown into the Nile to drown, just as Osiris had drowned, as a sacrifice to the God of the Nile for the benefit of the living. 

Those who drowned in the Nile were considered to have become gods, especially if the water responded the following year with a deep inundation.

During his tour up the Nile with Emperor Hadrian in 130 AD, Antinous underwent a transformation the likes of which we can only wonder, because from this point onward, the history of Antinous takes on mythical proportions.

Antinous fell into the Nile. There is no way to know if he was pushed, if he committed suicide, if he gave himself as a human sacrifice, or if he slipped and drowned by accident.

No explanation was given, perhaps even then it was a mystery.

Hadrian "wept like a woman," we are told, in front of the entire court. This shameless display of emotion became a scandal that for so many centuries discredited the achievements of Hadrian.

It made plain that their relationship had transcended what was usual and what tradition held to be manly and appropriate for an Emperor of the warrior Rome nation.

The High Priests of Osiris came privately to Hadrian that Night and revealed what they believed had taken place. Antinous had joined the river inundation god Hapi, and had become the river inundation god. 

They showed Hadrian that the local people had already taken up the lamentation and exaltation of Antinous, proclaiming that he had become a God, after their custom. Hadrian took these sentiments to heart. 

The following day he consulted with his advisers and with the Roman pontiffs of the court, and revealed his astonishing plan.

On October 30th of the year 130 AD, Hadrian founded the Holy City of Antinoopolis on the bank of the river where Antinous had drowned, tracing out the major streets with his own rod in the sand.

He then proceeded to do the unthinkable, as Pontifex Maximus, High Priest of the Roman Religion, he declared that Antinous was a God, that he had conquered death, and risen up to dwell among the never-ending stars ... as Osiris. 

Proclamations were sent out to ever corner of the world, inaugurating the religion of the New God Antinous-Osiris.

Friday, March 13, 2020

ANTINOUS AS THE SLEEPER ENDYMION
SIRED THE 52 MAGICAL LUNAR PHASES


ON World Sleep Day ... the Friday before the March Equinox ... we honour Antinous the Moon God as Endymion. 

There are several versions of the story of Endymion and the Moon. 

In all of them, he and the Moon become united in love for each other. 

He sleeps eternally bathed in moonbeams, guarded by animal spirits associated with lunar deities: Selene, Diana, Artemis. 

Pliny the Elder mentions Endymion as the first human to observe the movements of the Moon, which (according to Pliny) accounts for Endymion's love.

In other versions, he is the son of Jupiter/Zeus and the personification of the Moon's Magic on Earth. He sired 52 children with Diana/Selene ... the 52 Lunar Phases of ANTINOUS MOON MAGIC.

WHEN YOU'RE IN BERLIN VISIT ANTINOUS
IN THIS SPLENDOROUS MUSEUM



IN Berlin, Antinous lives in Greek-revival, neo-Classical splendor in the Altes Museum designed by Karl Friedrich Schinkel, who was born 13 March 1781.

When in Berlin, be sure to drop by for a visit. Antinous will receive you in grandeur ... along with Emperor Hadrian, Empress Sabina, Emperors Augustus Caesar and Caracalla ... and many others.







Thursday, March 12, 2020

WE CELEBRATE THE FEAST
OF THE INTOXICATION OF SEKHMET



MARCH 12th  is the Egyptian festival of the intoxication of Sekhmet, lioness deity of war and protection. 

She could cure or kill, so Egyptians called her the "Lady of Terror" and "Lady of Power." 

Ordered by Ra to punish humans, she went on a blood-fueled killing spree, killing every living thing on Earth. Alarmed, Ra created a lake of beer dyed red. She lapped it up and passed out dead drunk. 

Celebrate tonight with a mug of beer ... or two!

Incredibly, in recent years the German archaeological mission operating at the King Amenhotep III Temple area in Luxor has discovered more than 100 statues of the ancient Egyptian lioness goddess Sekhmet ... and more are likely to be found.

The discoveries are part of an enormous CACHE OF SEKHMET STATUES found in recent years during a restoration project for the Colossi of Memnon, two massive stone statues of King Amenhotep III and his temple.


Early in the year, 66 statues were found. That already would have been a record. But then in December 2017, nearly 30 more statues were found.

The project began in 1998 with the goal of preserving the remnants of the temple and rebuilding it anew, said head of the Egyptian Antiquities Sector at the ministry, Mahmoud Afify.

The discoveries were made during excavations by the German mission in the area between the courtyard and the hall of columns in the temple. The excavation was originally made to search for the remains of the wall separating the two sites.

Some of the discovered statues represent goddess Sekhmet in a seated position, others depict her while standing and holding in her hand the symbol of life and a scepter of the papyrus flower, said mission head Professor Horig Suruzaan.


She pointed out that all the discovered statues are made of Diorite rock.

The statues are in good condition and well-preserved; they have an important archaeological value as they should provide a full image of the temple, especially after its collapse in a devastating earthquake in the pharaonic era, Suruzaan added.

The statues are undergoing restoration before being replaced in their original locations at the temple, she mentioned.

King Amenhotep III installed a large number of statues of the goddess Sekhmet to protect the temple from dangers and the king from diseases.


Sekhmet, who is depicted as a lioness, was a warrior goddess and the goddess of healing, known to ancient Egyptians as the "powerful goddess."

Wednesday, March 11, 2020

THE ASSASSINATION OF ELAGABALUS
ROME'S TRANSGENDER TEEN EMPEROR



ON March 11th the Religion of Antinous solemnly commemorates the assassination of Elagabalus, Rome's transgender teen emperor.

Imperator Caesar Marcus Aurelius Antoninus Augustus was born on an unknown date in the winter of 204 AD in the city of Emesa in Syria.

His birth name was Varius Avitus Bassianus, and he is believed to have been the son of Caracalla, for which reason he was declared Emperor by the Legions of Syria during an uprising against the short-lived Emperor Macrinus who had assassinated Caracalla and taken the throne.

Varius Bassianus was only 14 years old when he became sole ruler of the Roman Empire and took the name of Antoninus. He was the last Emperor to bear the sacred name of the most glorious rulers of the world, the Antonines. He is known to history as Elagabalus, because he was from birth the high priest(ess) of the androgynous sun deity Elagabal.

He brought his strange, phallic religion to Rome, and very shortly began to impose Elagabal, going so far as to nullify all other cults and force the Romans to accept his one god. It is even claimed that he closed and demolished the temple of Antinous at Tibur and perhaps others, but this is rumor.

What Elagabalus is famous for is that he was an extreme homosexual phallus worshipper with an insatiable fondness for chariot racers who he often elevated to the highest positions of authority simply based on the size and grace of their penises. He is criticized by ancient historians for portraying himself as Venus on Mount Ida, and allowing himself to be sodomized on stage by his chariot racers in the roles of various gods in full view of an audience.


History is slanted by anti-tranny prejudice. Elagabalus is recorded as having been one of the most infamous and degenerate figures in Roman history. 

This despite the fact that he was not particularly cruel or demonstrably mad. He simply offended the sensibilities of later historians ... particularly Victorian historians who were appalled by the fact that a trans teen had been acclaimed emperor of Rome.

Elagabalus, devoted to the androgynous god Elagabal, made it his priority as emperor to demote all others gods and goddesses to the position of servants to the principal deity. A black stone phallic representation of the god was processed through the streets of Rome to the temple annually.

Many of the sacred symbols of other religions were moved to the temple of Elagabal, including those of Jews and Christians. To persuade followers of other deities to worship Elagabal, the emperor participated in the rituals of several other religions. On a daily basis animal sacrifices were performed, consistent with the practices of many of the religions.

Victorian historians record Elagabalus' life as scandalous, yet an examination of their remarks reveal a troubled trans youth struggling with his identity.

"Not only was he bi-sexual, but also a transvestite. He would go to the taverns at night wearing a wig, woman's clothes and makeup and ply the trade of a prostitute. This activity only ended when he met Hierocles, a Carian slave, and became his wife. Hierocles was even permitted to beat the emperor when displeased, as any man might beat his wife. Even more scandalous Elagabalus not only acted and dressed like a woman, but he wanted to be physically transformed into one. He asked his physicians to contrive a vagina for him, promising huge rewards for success."

In other words, he was a transgender teenager who had the power and money at his disposal to create the gender-bending reality he desired to live in.

At the age of 14, in 218, Elagabaltus, a zealous believer, declared a religious initiative giving Elagabal precedence over all other gods, even Jupiter himself.


The god was also to have a consort. Pallas Athena was the first choice, a goddess tended by the Vestal Virgins. As part of his strategy Avitus married one of the vestals. When Romans balked at the violation of a vestal virgin, however, he opted for the symbolic marriage with Urania, a moon goddess.

His attempt to unify Rome under one religion met with strong resistance and did nothing to moderate his unpopularity. In the very year that Elagabalus became emperor the Third Legion, which had placed him in office, attempted to replace him with Verus, their commander. The attempt failed. Over time, subsequent attempts by the Fourth Legion, by the fleet, and by a pretender named Seleucus also failed.

But as unpopular as he was with the nobility and commanders of the Legions, he was not at all unpopular with the plebs, upon whom he lavished gifts and games. As emperor he had a Temple built to Elagabal, restored the Flavian Amphitheatre (the Colosseum) that had been damaged by fire and completed the construction of the public baths of Caracalla in the Vicus Sulplicius. He also had built a palace complex, the Horti Variani, with an amphitheatre, a circus, a bath, and audience hall.

His most famous projects, however, were the temple of Elagabal (the Elagaballium) on the Palatine hill and another such temple on the southeastern edge of the city. From these temples the emperor delivered largesse to crowds that gathered below.

None of his works, or gifts to the people, were sufficient to offset his reputation among the elite, tarnished by his promiscuous behavior with men and women. Regardless, provided with almost absolute power one wonders, wouldn't most teenage boys be self- indulgent? Many of the adult emperors did no less.

Many legends have arisen about the decadent lifestyle of Elagabalus, including the tall tale that one of his palace orgies was the scene of an inadvertent massacre when so many flower petals were showered upon the banquet guests that dozens of people suffocated to death as they reclined on their couches. 


A colossal, wall-sized painting of this scene by Lawrence Alma-Tadema shocked and titillated Victorian  viewers.

As the young emperor's popularity dwindled his mother, Julia Soaemias, and other supporters recognized that the royal family was in danger of their lives. Rome had a tradition of murdering unpopular emperors, and sometimes their adherents as well.

In hopes of rescuing the regime his close family and supporters induced Elagabalus to adopt his cousin Bassianus Alexianus, a young man popular with the praetorian guard, and name him Caesar, heir to the throne.

The scheme backfired in that Julia Mamaea, Alexianus's mother, was as ambitious as Julia Soaemias and desired to see her son emperor as quickly as possible. Mamaea, playing on the praetorian guard's contempt for Elagabalus entreated for the assassination of Elagabalus. Soaemias, discovering the adoption had created greater danger not less, urged Elagabalus to have his cousin killed lest he himself be murdered. However, no one would obey the order.

Here is where we catch up with Julia Soaemias and Elagabalus:

"Mother," spoke the young emperor, 17 years old, the glow of childhood still reflected in his eyes, "they don't understand what I want to accomplish. If they did, they wouldn't hate me."

"Child," replied Julia Soaemias, "they have more than one reason to hate you. You're obsessed with being a woman and you flaunt Roman tradition. You seek to bring down their gods and make them slaves to Elagabal. Elagabal knows I worship him as much as you, but he wants not that we place him above other gods."

"I will go to the praetorian camp and entreat with them, explain what I intend. Surely they will listen. A single god for all Rome would unify us as naught else might. Our former glory would be restored and Rome would endure forever. I will go. I will go now! The armies must be made to understand," declared the emperor, rising from his throne even as he spoke.

"If you go to the guard they are as likely to kill you as listen to you," admonished his mother.

"That is a chance I must take," he retorted, "Rome is more important than my life."

At the praetorian camp:

"All hail Nellie Ellie," sarcastically called a guardsman upon the approach of the emperor.

"Run, fear for your manhood, she comes to drain us dry," screamed another voice.

Other guardsmen laughed and joined in, a little nervously at first, after all this was the emperor of Rome, but with growing enthusiasm. 


Stepping down from his chariot Elagabalus, dressed as a woman, his wig meticulously styled and his makeup artfully done, spoke in a loud voice, "I have come to discuss with you the fate of Rome." 

His mother, having accompanied him stepped down beside him, on her countenance fear was plainly written. She had a bad feeling about what could happen that night and the crowd of soldiers mocking and jeering did nothing to lessen that fear.

"Alexianus would have me murdered and restore the old gods, the many religions which kept Romans apart. I have dedicated my rule to bringing our great nation together under one god, you must see the wisdom in such a venture," he called out in a loud voice, ignoring the insults and belittling remarks.

"Wisdom from a boy whore," yelled out a disgruntled soldier, "Drunk one night, boy, I had you. Was that your wisdom, Nellie Ellie?" The crowd laughed uproariously.


"I am the priestess of Elagabal. It is my place to be among my people, to suffer the worst and the best at your hands. I am also your emperor and I command you to kill my rival, Alexianus," he ordered.

His mother leaned forward and whispered in his ear, "Tread softly my son, their temper is not to be trifled with. I like not their mood."

"You have had my spear once, priestess," venomously spat a soldier near the front of those gathered. "Now have another!" As the soldier uttered the words he hurled a spear. It landed to one side, but came perilously close to hitting Elagabalus.

"I want nothing but the betterment of Rome," shouted Avitus, taking his mother by the arm and retreating to his chariot. Too late he took the reins of his spirited horses, the soldiers had already surrounded his chariot and taken control.

"You will agree to abdicate in favor of Alexianus before you leave this night, or you shall not leave," spoke up the closest of his adversaries. The army heard the words and began to chant, "Alexianus, Alexianus, Alexianus."

Enraged the youthful emperor screamed, "I am emperor. It is I who know what is best for Rome. Not you traitors. Now, let go of my horses!" With his whip he struck at the face of the nearest soldier, landing a vicious blow that brought blood.

The soldier in turn pulled Elagabalus from the chariot and stabbed him. Others joined in. The last thing Elagabalus saw before he died was the soldiers pulling his mother from the chariot,"Let my mother be," he tried to yell, but only a whisper passed his lips.


So ended the reign of the trans teenage Varius Avitus Bassinus, having ruled Rome for but four years.

He had been the first emperor to attempt to unify Rome under one god.

His gender variance, his sexual escapades while frowned on but tolerated had destroyed his credibility. After the murders, his body and that of his mother's, were dragged naked through the streets of Rome.

Finally, beheaded, both bodies were thrown into the Tiber, the punishment for convicted criminals.

Elagabalus reigned only four years, and was 18 years old when he was murdered, the same age as Antinous.

Though his character is condemned as perverse, the open phallicism that he imposed upon Rome, and the dramatic exhibition of his homosexuality warrant his deification.