Sunday, January 26, 2020

SCARAB BEETLES NAVIGATE
BY STARLIGHT FROM THE MILKY WAY


SCIENTISTS have confirmed what the Ancient Egyptians always knew ... that scarab beetles can use the Milky Way to help them navigate at night.

Experts have always known that African dung beetles use the sun and the moon as directional markers when rolling balls of dung containing their precious eggs away from other beetles.

But it had never been scientifically proven that the beetles ... sacred to the Egyptians as symbols of transformation ... used the Milky Way as a directional marker on moonless nights.

Dung beetles are known for rolling up balls of dung for later use as food and a depository for their eggs. Once they collect the dung, the beetles quickly roll the ball away from the dung pile to avoid having it stolen by other beetles. They do this by moving in a straight line.

With the dung ball deposited in a safe place, the eggs hatch into larvae which then metamorphose into winged beetles ... and fly off, soaring towards the warmth-giving sun. Thus, the scarab became associated in Ancient Egyptian mysticism with the transformation of base material into the divine. The Egyptian glyph for scarab beetle ... "kheper" ... means "transform".

The Egyptians also associated the scarab beetle with movements of the sun, moon and stars. While the link to the sun and moon were easily proved, scientists did not have proof of a link to the stars ... until now.

To test whether the beetles were using the stars as a navigational aid, scientists put the beetles into a dung-rolling course and filmed their behavior. The beetles were able to move in a straight line on moonlight nights and also on moonless nights when the Milky Way was visible.

When the sky was overcast, the beetles were unable to roll the dung balls in a straight line. When the beetles had tiny visors taped onto their heads to block their view of the night sky, they spent their time wandering aimlessly.

Next, they tested their speed on a 2 meter platform. On nights when the Milky Way was visible, the beetles were able to cross the platform in as little as 40 seconds. On cloudy nights, it took the beetles nearly 2 minutes to cross the platform.

Lastly, scientists tested the beetles inside of a planetarium. The dung beetles moved more efficiently when the ground was lit by the light of the Milky Way. When the ground was lit by the light of only a few bright stars, the beetles performed worse.

This research is believed to be the first study to document the use of the Milky Way for orientation in the animal kingdom.

Saturday, January 25, 2020

WHEN IT IS ALL TOO MUCH TO BEAR



MANY of us carry intolerable burdens on our fragile mortal shoulders. The priests of Antinous receive messages from people around the world ... from people who have loved ones who are terminally ill or otherwise incapacitated.

Some have horrendous health problems themselves. Not to mention financial problems. Emotional problems. Addiction problems.

It can all be too much to bear. Oftentimes you think you have been abandoned by the Great and Good God and that you must bear this burden all alone.

But the Great and Good God is there, standing right behind you, and he is making sure that you don't falter.

During their visit to Greece in the winter of 128-129 AD, Antinous and Hadrian saw this famous frieze at the Temple of Zeus in Olympia which illustrates the myth of the day when Herakles stepped in to relieve Atlas of the heavy burden of carrying the weight of the world on his shoulders.

The relief shows Atlas stretching out his hands to grasp the Apples of the Hesperides ... and Herakles struggles to hold the world ... which turns out to be a lot heavier than he had anticipated.

Herakles despairs of being able to hold the world. He strains with all his might and is only just barely able to keep it from tumbling.


But standing behind him is the goddess Athena ... out of Herakles' field of vision.

Athena calmly lifts her left hand and gently steadies the burden with her fingertips. 

She's not doing any heavy lifting. She is only using her little finger to steady the load.

There is great Sacred Symbolism in this relief's message. Herakles thinks he is carrying the burden all by himself and he fears he cannot do it.

But in fact he is not carrying it all by himself. Athena is behind him all the time.

The Sacred Symbolism applies to all of us.


You have to strain with all your might and you may despair and you may feel abandoned and all alone. And yet ... the Great and Good God is there behind you, lifting his little finger to help you bear the weight of the whole world!

Friday, January 24, 2020

THE BIRTH OF HADRIAN


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

Thursday, January 23, 2020

ANTONIUS SUBIA VISITS
THE OBELISK OF ANTINOUS



FLAMEN Antonius Subia, as part of his Sacred Pilgrimage to Rome, visited the OBELISK OF ANTINOUS.

As Flamen Antinoalis or "high priest," Antonius is the first practicing and widely recognized modern-day priest of Antinous to bow down in front of the Obelisk since the Fall of Rome and the rise of Christianity.

The Obelisk currently stands on the Pincian Hill in Rome, but no one is quite certain where it originally stood.

We know for certain that Emperor Hadrian commissioned the Obelisk after the tragic death of Antinous. It is thought that the Obelisk originally stood at Hadrian's Villa, but some experts have also speculated that it could originally have been located at the Mausoleum of Hadrian.

The original location is of importance because the Obelisk contains clues as to the whereabouts of the LOST TOMB OF ANTINOUS.

Under the direction of Hadrian, the Obelisk was incised with EGYPTIAN HIEROGLYPHS which provide us with the most important Sacred Text concerning the Sacred Nature of Antinous the Gay God. Alas, the portion of the text which discusses Antinous's earthly life is almost entirely illegible, with only faint references to his family, but not enough to provide any information.

The Obelisk text discusses in some detail His deification and the Sacred Miracles he can work.

But one of the most tantalizing portions of the hieroglyphic inscription refers to the location of the Tomb of Antinous. The text says:

ANTINOUS THE GOD IS HERE!
HE RESTS IN THIS PLACE
WHICH IS IN THE BORDER FIELDS 
OF OUR LADY ROME!

Clearly, those words indicate that the Obelisk once stood at the Tomb of Antinous. But because the Obelisk has been moved several times over the centuries ... we do not know where the tomb is!

THE MARTYRS OF ANTINOOPOLIS


ON January 23rd the Religion of Antinous honors the first of the many Christian Martyrs of Antinoe, also known as Antinoopolis. The first of the Egyptian martyrs with whose name and acts we are acquainted was Asclas of Antinoopolis.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The image above left is not Asclas, but is a burial painting of a person whose mummy was buried in the desert of the Fayoum in Egypt, which is the region of Antinoopolis. It is presented here as a contemporary image of what St. Asclas may have looked like.
 

Wednesday, January 22, 2020

HEATH LEDGER
SAINT OF ANTINOUS


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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

Tuesday, January 21, 2020

THE ASSUMPTION OF GANYMEDE


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

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

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

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

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

Monday, January 20, 2020

SAINT SEBASTIAN


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

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

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

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


Sebastian was strengthened by his faith, and did not die. He was finally clubbed to death in front of Emperor.
  
Homosexuals over the centuries have looked to Sebastian as a patron saint. His manner of death, which is like an affliction of Eros, and the sight of the beautiful young soldier plumed with arrows, has moved our hearts over the ages more than all other Christian saints.

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

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

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

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

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

Sunday, January 19, 2020

THE GOING FORTH OF ANUBIS


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

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

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

Saturday, January 18, 2020

NOW THIS IS THE PROPER WAY
TO MAKE NUDES PALATABLE TO PRUDES


IN America and Europe right-wing conservatives are seeking to roll back gains made by LGBTI people and even want to tighten censorship.

With tongue planted firmly in cheek, we suggest that museums might consider dressing Classical statues as hipsters.

French photographer Léo Caillard and art director Alexis Persani have created a tongue-in-cheek photo series that depicts ancient Louvre’s sculptures wearing modern day clothing. 

With the power of a camera and photoshop, these guys show how hilarious two worlds of old and new look combined. 

They call the series STREET STONE and the crackdown on social media nudity shows how timely it is.

We wonder what the sculptors would think if they saw their creations donning hipster chic clothing and accessories. We'd say either rolling in their graves or laughing hysterically. 

It's actually quite amazing how the addition of the clothing instantly gives these guys and girls a personality very separate from the one they had before. 

They gain a bit of edge mixed with some androgynous sex appeal.

This idea could spawn an entire new clothing line. Stone Stylings: Extremely uncomfortable clothing for those who don't move.

Friday, January 17, 2020

FEATURED ANTINOUS STATUE OF THE DAY
THE ANTINOUS OF ELEUSIS


THIS statue of Antinous from Eleusis - Ἐλευσίς - is the only one that seems to refer back to an incident in his life, his initiation into the Eleusinian Mysteries of death and resurrection in September 128 AD.

The sculpture was erected after his death in the outer courtyard of Eleusis and captures this instant of his life, though officially it depicts him as the god Dionysos Zagreus, a divinity of suffering abd resurrection associated with the Eleusinian Mysteries.

Technically it is not one of the best of the depictions of Antinous, but it evokes a mood and a moment.


The sulptor clearly envisaged the young lad draped in his himation, standing in the darkened Telesterion (the initiation hall) and confronted with the Eleusinian Mysteries of death and resurrection.

He clutches at the folds of his himation anxiously, insecure, staring wide-eyed, his mouth pursed in awe, with an expression of apprehension, intent rapture and awareness of the tremendous significance of what was being revealed to him.


Even though it is a mediocre statue in workmanship and details it is redeemed by its expressiveness and pathos.

This statue is now housed in the Archaeological Museum of Eleusis: Antinous as Dionysus Zagreus, Inv. 5092, 1.83 m, in marble of Thasos.

Thursday, January 16, 2020

ANTINOUS AND HADRIAN'S
SECRET HIDEAWAY

By Antonius Subia



THE "Maritime theater" as they call it was definitely one of the most spectacular parts of Hadrian's Villa, and I am very pleased to have seen it with Priest Hernestus ...

Even in ruins you can see that it must have been an absolutely beautiful and enchanting building...almost insanely beautiful...a perfect circle surrounded by a high wall, with an inner colonnaded moat, with a little island and a little round Roman house on the inside...

That was Hadrian's private retreat from his grandiose world that surrounded him...in that magnificent, marble and gold encrusted Villa of sprawling palaces, the Emperor's private chambers were at once quaintly charming as they were wonderfully eccentric. 

His private chambers, the little open-air office where he attended to the business of running the whole world, the private baths, the little lavatories...four lavatories in that tiny little house...but most intriguing of all are the two little bedchambers towards the back of the house...identical little rooms just big enough for a queen-size bed and maybe a table...

In one of the two rooms, Hadrian spent his nights with Antinous...and the other room...well, that must have been where Empress Sabina slept. 

I just think it's the most wonderful thing...no grand huge master bedroom with a splendid view of Tibur...just two identical, "his & hers" rooms for the rulers of the world. 

One thing I noticed is that they were at the rear of the little house, facing south, and must have had a big windows that let in the morning sun at all times of the year. 

The sun would have poured in and sparkled over the water of the fountain-moat. 

The constant clamor of the Imperial court outside would have been drowned out by the murmur of gurgling fountains. 

It was a tiny little house, but it must have been beautifully decorated...walls covered in inlaid marble of exquisite color, draperies and columns and golden lamps and the finest of furniture from all over the Roman world ... and works of art by the very best ancient Greek artists...and a personal little library of Hadrian's most treasured books. 

One thing I fail to locate is the closet space...I'm in the apartment business, so floor plans are everything to me ... there were no closets because servants brought Hadrian's daily robes from somewhere else!


The entrance caught my eye....if you include the colonnaded walkway between the outer wall and the fountain-moat, and also the little oval vestibule...then it was all about the entrance, which was pronouncedly about disbarment...

And then if you were so honored as to have been admitted into the Emperor's private chambers...which almost no one ever was, we can be sure...then you would find yourself in the beautiful little oval drawing room...where you would be asked to sit and wait for Emperor to summon you...

From there, you would be led into the Atrium...the center of the house, Hadrian's own private little garden, with its little fountain open to the air. 

There you would find Hadrian's closest inner circle...members of his family perhaps, Sabina's handmaidens, the Emperor's personal assistants and house servants...perhaps Phlegon, his most trusted freedman, an officer of the guard standing at duty, and a musician playing soft chords on the cithara....


And there in a corner...playing with a new hunting puppy...would be Antinous himself...attended by an old Greek tutor trying in vain to teach Antinous the correct declension for his Latin verbs...

And there at the far end of the house, in the room they call he Tablinarium...obviously the most important room in the house..situated between the two main bed chambers...was Hadrian's office. 

You might have found him sitting at a table reading personal wax tablets of private concerns...this was not where Hadrian conducted the official business of running his Empire...this was his private office...where he only attended to his private communications. There must have been a more formal office somewhere else in the villa where Hadrian conducted his official business of the Empire...

This was his private study, and I'm sure by the moat that he made a clear division between his private business and his personal space...

This was Hadrian's private office...and so to have been given admittance to proceed so far into his private space, you would have needed to have been considered family.

The biggest space in the house is he atrium...that's the living room...then there's the three bedrooms...and then there are the two rooms that are described as tricliniums..or dining rooms...these were for very private dinners....just you, the Emperor and one other person...probably Antinous...and the other dining room was probably for Sabina. 

The last fifth of the little house was Hadrian's private baths...a full scale Roman bath on a tiny scale...which probably provided heat for the little house in the colder months. 

I would assume that, in the summer months, Hadrian would have used the grand bath not far away rather than over-heat his private chambers.


This is where Antinous spent his time when he lived in the Villa...and what an Isle of the Blessed it must have been...like a tiny island paradise...when Antinous was alive...and then...when Hadrian returned from Egypt...and the war in Israel had broken out...the beautiful island must have become rather like a customized chamber of Hell...

Marguerite Yourcenar describes a sickly old Hadrian dictating his memoirs beneath an austere Osirian statue of Antinous overlooking his bedchamber...this is where these lost memoirs were dictated...

It is no wonder that Hadrian couldn't live there any more and eventually fled to Baie south of Rome where he died...

The Isle of the Blessed held too many memories...and Hadrian wanted to live forever and he knew that if stayed even one more night in the Villa that he would die...He should have stayed.

When Hernestus and I were there...I gathered a little handful of dirt from there, in the hope that perhaps Antinous might have stepped upon at least one grains of the sand of the rubble that remains...


And amongst the sand I found a chunk of brick that had fallen from the wall..and quite honestly...this little piece of Roman brick has become one of the most important and sacred "rocks" (crystals) that I have ever touched...because this is a wall that Antinous once looked upon..

Sure, there were layers of marble between Antinous and my little chunk of brick..

But that's pretty close. I've been so, so much further away from Antinous....


~SUBIA

Wednesday, January 15, 2020

ANTINOUS WINTERING IN CALIFORNIA
AT GODDIO'S LOST CITIES EXHIBITION



ANTINOUS is spending the winter in sunny Southern California in the United States.

This statue of Antinous as a very pensive Osiris is from the Alexandria Museum and it is part of the EGYPT'S LOST CITIES exhibition at the Ronald Reagan Library in Simi Valley which runs until 12 April 2020.

It is among some fabulous Egyptian monuments and treasures which Antinous himself may have seen ... but which were lost at the bottom of the sea for centuries.

This 2nd Century AD statue depicts Antinous in a Romanized-Egyptian style as a royal personage striding with his left foot forward ... as was the traditional depiction of Egyptian pharaohs and gods.

He is wearing the traditional dynastic kilt which gods and pharaohs were always shown as wearing.

In addition, he appears to have a Uraeus stylized spitting cobra as the centerpiece of his wig-like headdress.


One fist is visible, clinched in the ages-old symbol of divine power seen on countless statues of deities and pharaohs throughout the ages.

It is one of the most unusual statues depicting Antinous as Osiris. The workmanship is more Greco-Roman than Egyptian around the head and face ... but the body adheres to traditional Egyptian artistic style mandates.

He has a rather pensive expression on his face, as if he is gazing off into the far distance.

Originally, of course, the eye sockets would have had gemstone-and-ivory eyes, perhaps outlined with copper "eyeliner."

This splendid statue is part of the stunning exhibition currently on show in London which includes sunken treasures.

You have all heard of Franck Goddio, the French marine archeologist who made headlines in the 1990s with his discovery in the Bay of Alexandria of ruins and artefacts which appear to have come from royal palaces, temples and perhaps even the Pharos lighthouse.

It is intriguing to think that Antinous may have gazed on those treasures when he and Hadrian visited Egypt in 130 AD.

Since first discovering the Alexandria treasures, Monsieur Goddio has gone on to trawl the waters a few kilometres east of Alexandria in hopes of discovering the fabled "Lost Cities" of Canopus and HERAKLEION (Heracleion), which he succeeded in finding in 2000.

Goddio's exhibition of "Egypt's Sunken Treasures" has traveled the world.

Now, Goddio is back with even more artifacts retrieved from the bottom of the sea … at the RONALD REAGAN LIBRARY AND MUSEUM.

It offers a rare public viewing of newly discovered Canopus-Herakleion treasures since the two cities vanished below the waves in a series of floods and earthquakes, finally disappearing completely in the late 7th Century AD.

By that time, Egyptian priests had retreated to Canopus-Herakleion and Muslims were sweeping across the land.

Thus the exhibition offers a sort of time capsule of the waning days of paganism when the "barbarians" literally stood at the gates.

There are many statues, mostly fragmentary ones minus heads and limbs ... and one (alleged) statue of Antinous with a facial expression of pensive introspection.

Take a video tour here:

 

Tuesday, January 14, 2020

WE HONOR YUKIO MISHIMA
'THE LOST SAMURAI'


ON January 14 we mark the anniversary of the birth of one of modern Japan's most famous, controversial, and mysterious gay personalities ... and a saint of Antinous.

Yukio Mishima (1925-1970) is regarded as one of 20th-century Japan's most prolific writers, and was the first postwar Japanese writer to achieve international fame. 

Nominated on three occasions for the Nobel Prize for Literature, and author of no less than forty novels, essays, poems, and traditional Japanese kabuki and noh dramas, Mishima’s contribution to Japanese literature was indeed profound.

His samurai-inspired ritual "seppuku"suicide by "hara-kiri" (literally stomach cutting, or disembowelment) and beheading on November 25, 1970, at the young age of 45 marked the end of a life that represented for some, a protest against a post-war Japan that seemed to have lost its traditional identity and values under the tide of mass consumerism, and cultural and political Westernization.

The sharp contrasts between the country he grew up in and the Japan he died in were defining influences in his life, shaping his writings, which often questioned the new Japan and harked for a return to days of old. 

Born Kimitaka Hiraoka in Tokyo on Jan 14, 1925, he assumed the nom de plume "Yukio Mishima," cryptically interpreted as "He who chronicles reason," so that his disapproving anti-literary father would not know he was a writer. 

It was however his paternal grandmother, Natsuko Hiraoka, who was to have the most lasting impact on his life. A mere 29 days after his birth until his 12th year, Mishima was separated from his family and raised by his sophisticated yet capricious grandmother whose own background and personality shaped his character.

The young protégé was forced to live a very sheltered life in which sports, playing with other boys, and even going out in the sun were off limits. She was the illegitimate daughter of a Meiji era daimyo with familial links to the all powerful Tokugawas and was reared in a princely household, a samurai-influenced upbringing which she did not let others forget and which instilled in her, and by consequence her grandson, a reverence for Japan's past, and the samurai fascination with beauty, purity and death. 

Her noble past and yet not so noble marriage to a successful bureaucrat arguably contributed to her frustrations, characterized by violent outbursts and morbid fixations. 

Her character had a lasting yet undeclared effect on Mishima’s later works and personality, particularly the insatiable desire for perfection in the mind and body, and the terrible beauty of death at the moment of perfection exemplified by the honored cherry blossom.

Mishima's complexities were not only confined to his writings. A fluent speaker of English, Mishima wore Western clothes and lived in a Western style house while espousing a return to his country’s past values and practices. 

Much mystery also surrounds the exact nature of his sexuality, and his frequenting of gay bars such as the now defunct Brunswick bar in Ginza despite a rushed marriage at 33 which produced two children. 

Mishima's interest in homosexuality is clearly illustrated in one of his seminal books, "Confessions of a Mask" (1948) where he tells of a man who conceals his true self and sexuality behind a mask of lies and pretense. This book is regarded by many as a semi-autobiographical account of the author's own life.

According to his biographers, he had also considered a marriage proposal to Michiko Shoda, the current empress and wife of Emperor Akihito.  Biographers such as close friend John Nathan contend that the tragic writer married not for love but for respectability.

At the earlier age of 30, conscious of the inevitability of aging, and desiring bodily "perfection," he embarked on a strict bodybuilding regime that lasted for the rest of his life. 

His longing for a return to a spiritual Japan which respected the bushido (way of the warrior) code inspired his expertise in karate and kendo, martial arts that he contended allowed one to experience the border between life and death. 

His extreme nationalist credentials were most notably illustrated in his founding of the Tatenokai (Shield Society) in 1968, a small private army of mostly university students dedicated to the bushido code and the protection of the emperor and the martial discipline of pre-Meiji era Japan. 

This dedication was not to Hirohito per se, whom he had criticized for "dishonoring" the war dead by surrendering, and for renouncing his divinity after World War II, but rather to the symbolism of the emperor system for traditional Japan.

On November 25, 1970, carrying with him a longing for a return to lost samurai values, and an obsession with a purifying and beautiful death, Mishima and four of his Tatenokai followers, entered the Japanese Self-Defense Forces (JSDF) headquarters in Ichigaya and attempted a coup d’etat which they hoped would awaken the Japanese from their spiritual and political slumber. 

Stepping out onto a nearby balcony, Mishima was ridiculed and jeered as he attempted in vain to rouse the present JSDF members below him to his cause. Realizing the hopelessness of his efforts, the "Lost Samurai" went back inside for his final act of drama.

Positioning himself in traditional Japanese manner on the floor of the office which they had seized, Mishima proceeded to ritually disembowel himself with a “tanto” (a small sword), exclaiming “Long live the emperor” just before a pre-ordained “kaishakunin” (the one chosen to decapitate Mishima) and later one other, made an initially botched but ultimately effective attempt at beheading the famed author.

Debate surrounds Mishima’s motivations. Attempting a coup d’etat with only four other people was almost certainly going to be a failure. Comments made to Western journalists about hara-kiri in his writings some years earlier might be more insightful.

At that time, the author claimed that "spiritually, I wanted to revive some samurai spirit. I did not want to revive hara-kiri itself but through the vision of such a very strong vision of hara-kiri, I wanted to inspire and stimulate younger people."

Monday, January 13, 2020

THE BIRTH OF LUCIUS AELIUS CAESAR


ON January 13th the Religion of Antinous celebrates the birthday of Aelius Caesar.

Lucius Ceionius Commodus Verus was born on January 13th, 101, most likely in Rome. He was from an old wealthy Etruscan family. 

His grandfather, after whom he had been named, had been a Consul and his father a Senator.

(Images by PRIEST UENDI)


Lucius Ceionius was beautiful and elegant, well educated, and was given over to a life of pleasure and voluptuousness.

He was a teenager when Hadrian came to power in 117, and his flamboyant and attractive character was a compliment to his physical beauty that soon gained the attention of the new Emperor.

It is believed that Hadrian and Lucius were lovers during the early years of Hadrian's reign, perhaps for the period of six years prior to Antinous

When Hadrian met Antinous in the year 123, Lucius was 22 years old, and in keeping with the Greek philosophy of pederastic love, it is very likely that their love affair had transformed into what would become a life-long friendship between the Emperor and his now matured Lucius.

Antinous entered Hadrian's heart just as Lucius was moving on to his responsibilities as a patrician citizen of Rome. There were rumors of rivalry, as spoofed in this cartoon by Priest Uendi showing Lucius left, Hadrian at right and Antinous between them.

While Hadrian was courting the young Antinous, Lucius married Domitia Lucilla and had three children by her, one of which was the later Emperor known as Lucius Verus, who is often confused with his father.

After the Death of Antinous, as Hadrian began to grow ill, his attention turned again to his still beloved Lucius, and on August 10, 136, Hadrian surprised the world by adopting Lucius and declaring him to be his successor.

Suspicions abounded, as the eccentric and delicate character of Lucius hardly seemed appropriate to rule the Empire after such a man as Hadrian.

But there must have been more to Lucius than history has preserved. He assumed the name Aelius Caesar, and was sent to govern Pannonia along the Danube, but became ill and returned to Rome in the winter of 137, where he died on January 1st.

He is remembered and adored as a god, as the brother of Antinous, the twin and second love of Hadrian. We call him the Prince of Flowers.

Sunday, January 12, 2020

ANTINOUS NAVIGATOR


ON January 12th, as the Sun moves out of alignment with the STAR OF ANTINOUS, we celebrate the festival of ANTINOUS NAVIGATOR.

Flamen Antonius Subia explains it this way:

"Antinous the Transfigured steps away and The Boat of Millions of Years in One Moment, leaves the shore of the known cosmos, sailing out into the darkness of the abyss on its voyage to the Black Star, the way of the void, where the heaven of Antinous lies concealed beyond the veil of the cloud of unknowing, where he enters the fullness of the Place of Light, and restores the unity of the Aeons.

"This is the Via Negativa whereupon the soul-triumphant is lost in the open space of non-being, awaiting the Dark Bird of Night, the Thunderbird-Phoenix-Eagle that will elevate his heroic spirit to immortality. Only Antinous can guide the Boat of Millions of Years  across this expanse of darkness.

"This journey, which ends as it begins, which arrives as it departs, is the eternal heaven which Antinous has accomplished for all those who are his chosen, who answer his call, and who believe in him."

Saturday, January 11, 2020

THE JUTURNALIA
THE ROMAN FOUNTAINS FESTIVAL



ON January 11th Romans celebrated the Ancient Juturnalia Festival.

Flamen Antonius Subia says:

"Juturna, Goddess of fountains, lakes and rivers cleanses Antinous of his mortal remnants and prepares him for his journey of millions of years in one moment. 
"In the ancient history of Rome, it is said that the divine twins Castor and Pollux, miraculously appeared in the Forum, watering their horses in the fountain of Juturna, announcing that the Romans were Victorious at the battle of Lake Regillus. Castor and Pollux, came to the side of Juturna and proclaimed the Freedom of the Romans from the tyranny of their Kings. 
"We observe the coming of the twins as announcing of the Victory of Antinous over the 72 Archons of the high celestial sphere. His victory is our victory. We observe his ascent and departure from our reality by bathing in our own 'fountains of Juturna' in preparation for the elevation of Antinous to the eternal Black Star."

We like to think of the Juturnalia as representing the hermaphroditic Nile Inundation Deity Hapi (who had embraced Antinous when he plunged into the Nile) now rinsing and cleansing ANTINOUS THE GAY GOD of all vestiges of his earthly mortal life so that he is free to ascend to godhood.

WE CELEBRATE "VICTORIA ANTINOI"
WHEN THE SUN ALIGNS WITH
THE STAR OF ANTINOUS


ON January 11th the Sun aligns with the STAR OF ANTINOUS for the most glorious day in our liturgical calendar ... Victoria Antinoi.

This is the day that the 72 days of mourning and mummification are finished and Antinous emerges from the perils of the Underworld to shine "younger than the newborn sun," as the Ancient Egyptian texts say.

Flamen ANTONIUS SUBIA says:

"Antinous in glory and radiance, stands between our cosmos and the abyss that is known as the Veil. He has returned as Antinous the Savior. This is the End of the sacred period of 72 days following the earthly mummification of the body of Antinous.

"The preservation of his perfect body was completed by the Egyptian priests, providing him with a carnal vessel for millions of years.

"This is the day upon which Antinous overcomes the 72 princes who rule over the cycles of life and death in the underworld and the outer limit of the cosmos, and our god becomes Antinous the Victorious.

"This is the Coming Forth By Day of Antinous so that he can sail in his Barque of Millions of Years. His triumph becomes the celestial procession, and together with the saints and blessed spirits of the immortals and divinized men, Antinous prepares to step away from the limit of the cosmos and enter the darkness of the void beyond."

Friday, January 10, 2020

THE BURNING OF THE SODOMITES



ON January 10th we solemnly remember the gays who were burned at the stake in the Middle Ages..

The Heretics of the Middle Ages were the last defenders of the Gnosis, against the authority of the Catholic Church. Like the Gnostic Fathers before them, they advocated homosexuality as a sacred form of love.

When the Order of Knights Templar was disbanded in 1310, the inquisitors discovered (under torture) that Heresy, Homosexuality and Devil Worship were interrelated. They represented a united Satanic assault on the power of the Church and the stability of Christian Civilization.

Heresy infected the soul by undermining faith, Witchcraft bred hatred in the form of hexing, but Homosexuality was the vilest of the three because it infected Love, turning a man from his natural affection for a wife, and causing him to waste his seed in lecherous desire.

The homosexual was a danger because he was a threat to the perpetuation of the family and of the human race. He fostered chaos, and weakened the already tenuous position of a society hemmed in by Islam, infected with Plague, and torn apart by War. The Bible warned that any city guilty of the crime of Sodomy would be destroyed by the fire of heaven, so the solution of the Church, in order to avert god's wrath, was to burn the Sodomites.

The Gay Burning Times lasted six hundred years, seven hundred including the Nazis Holocaust (which was based on the same principles) a period of torture, murder and all out war against our kind, lasting much longer than Heresy and Witchcraft combined, which even continues to this day.

The most intense period of burning was the 1600's through late 1700's in France and England, hundreds of thousands were burned at the stake.

The word "Faggot" which means fire-log is said to have derived from the practice of piling the Sodomites upon the pyre, at the feet of the Heretics, because a Sodomite was not worthy to burn standing up.

Flamen Antonius Subia says:

We who believe in Antinous, and in the sanctity of Homosexuality, solemnly remember the cruel death of the Sodomites who burned for us. Antinous was with them, he burned by their side.

On this last day, Antinous the God redeems the souls of all those who were burned, tortured, strangled, beheaded, or otherwise executed and condemned to Hell by the Church.
That we may never forget the human sacrifice that was inflicted on our brothers and sisters, we consecrate the overthrow of the last Archon to the memory of the Heroic Sodomites who knowing that our form of Love was punishable by death, Loved as Homosexuals nevertheless, and almost willingly gave themselves to be Burned at the Stake. We pray that they will bless us with their fire in our own struggle for liberation.

Thursday, January 9, 2020

ANTINOUS IN THEBES



IN January the Religion of Antinous remembers the arrival of Hadrian and Antinous in the Greek city of Thebes, which is the sacred city of Dionysus ... they were present for the Bacchanalia.

Flamen Antinoalis ANTONIUS SUBIA explains:

"This occasion is sacred as a commemoration of the death of Pentheus, and it is here that Antinous is initiated into the Mysteries of Dionysus.

"Thebes was the first city to which Dionysus brought his blessings in Greece. Only the wise and the foolish were able to comprehend and believe in his power, those who were level-headed rejected him and were driven mad and utterly destroyed.

"So it is with the religion of Anti-Nous, who is contrary to the Mind.

"The initiation into the mysteries of Dionysus, that Antinous received, was in preparation for his departure from the ordered sphere of our cosmos, into the chaos of the dark abyss. We must cast ourselves into the void where Antinous dwells by the side of Dionysus, the stranger-god."

Wednesday, January 8, 2020

DAVID BOWIE
SAINT OF ANTINOUS



WE honour David Bowie as a SAINT OF ANTINOUS.

He was born 8th January 1947 and died of cancer 10th January 2016 ... having revolutionized Western popular culture.

When homosexuality was still considered a shameful secret to many, Bowie told the world he was gay, and music ... and the lives of many of his fans and followers ... would never be the same.

"I'm gay," declared David Bowie, "and always have been, even when I was David Jones."

When he uttered these now-immortal words in the Jan. 22, 1972, issue of England's Melody Maker, the fledgling starman had just released December 1971's Hunky Dory and already was giving his interviewer a taste of his glam-rock milestone, June 1972's The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and The Spiders From Mars. 

The British Parliament had only decriminalized homosexuality in 1967 ... post-­Stonewall U.S. gay life was not yet three years old.

He wasn't the first British pop singer to come out (that was Dusty Springfield in 1970); he did it while newly married to Angie Bowie, months after fathering future film ­director Duncan Jones.

But Bowie led the way in contextualizing pop through LGBT identity. The Hunky Dory song "Queen Bitch" is sung in gay vernacular ("She's so swishy in her satin and tat!") from the perspective of a participant in gay life and set to buzzing guitar chords clearly cribbed from The Velvet Underground, which earlier chronicled this gender-mutable world through its ties to Andy Warhol, who had a Hunky Dory tune written about him too.

That same year, Bowie scored a U.K. hit with "John, I'm Only Dancing," a wham-bam of pansexual knowingness considered too outre for U.S. release until hisChangesOneBowie collection in 1976.

That was when Cameron Crowe prodded Bowie to tell Playboy, "It's true ... I am a bisexual. But I can't deny that I've used that fact very well."

By then, Bowie's glam had transformed Elton John from stern balladeer to Technicolor rocker; gave ex-Velvets leader Lou Reed his first smash (the Bowie-produced account of Warhol's stupendously queer Factory, "Walk on the Wild Side"); shook U.K. pop out of its post-Beatles doldrums through glam-rockers SweetSladeT. Rex and so many others; and shaped Elektra Records founder Jac Holzman's final signings before handing the reins to David Geffen: Those were Jobriath, an even more whimsical dandy, and Queen.

And through his R&B radio ­success with "Young Americans" and "Fame," Bowie bolstered disco's early link between clandestine gay dance halls and ­defiantly upscale soul. 

He used his outsider stance not simply to be breathtaking; he also built bridges. You can bet his sartorial influence on the cross-dressing New York Dolls and sponsorship of both Mott the Hoople (he wrote and produced "All the Young Dudes") and Iggy Pop similarly paved a path for what became punk.

And when he went electronic in the late '70s, he begat Gary NumanThe Human League and the New Romantic club scene of Culture Club and Duran Duran.

Suddenly, England's New Wave was awash with baby Bowies both male (Spandau Ballet) and female (EurythmicsAnnie Lennox) that filled the first playlists of MTV.

Even disco's Grace Jones fully ­actualized her ­freakiness when she covered the Bowie/Pop tune "Nightclubbing," which set a stage for today's art-pop transgressions of Lady Gaga and Janelle Monáe.

"I loved how he challenged people about how gender was represented," says Adam Lambert of Bowie's beyond-music contributions.

Married to Iman, a Somali-American, since 1992, Bowie let unconventionally matched and gendered ­heteros know their nonconformity would be cool too. They could all be heroes, each and every day.

Tuesday, January 7, 2020

JUAN GABRIEL IS A SAINT OF ANTINOUS
GAY ICON TO MILLIONS IN MEXICO



WE honour Juan Gabriel, a superstar Mexican songwriter and singer who was an icon for millions of LGBT people in the Latin music world. He is a saint of Antinous.

Born 7 January 1950, he dropped dead 28 August 2016 at his home in California only hours after performing a standing-room-only crowd. He performed for two hours at the Los Angeles Forum on Friday, clad in one of his typical brightly colored outfits. In its review of the concert, Billboard called him "the ultimate showman." He was 66.

Juan Gabriel was Mexico's leading singer-songwriter and top-selling artist. 

His ballads about love and heartbreak and bouncy mariachi tunes became hymns throughout Latin America and Spain and with Spanish speakers in the United States.

He brought many adoring fans to tears as they sang along when he crooned his songs about love and heartbreak, including his top hits, "Hasta Que Te Conoci" ("Until I Met You") and "Amor Eterno" ("Eternal Love").

His hit "Querida" ("Dear") topped Mexico's charts for a whole year.

The adjectives "flamboyant" and "eccentric" followed him all his career, and he was imitated by drag queens in gay clubs throughout Mexico.

He skirted rumors of gayness his whole life. 

He liked to wear jackets covered in sequins or dress in shiny silk outfits in hot pink, turquoise blue or canary yellow, and he was known for tossing his head before dancing or jumping around the stage.

He was once famously asked by a television interviewer: "People look at you and say you are homosexual. What do you say?" His answer became part of his enduring myth.

"Lo que se ve no se pregunta," he answered … "Don't ask about something that is obvious."

Then Juan asked the interview what he saw when he looked at him.

The journalist said: "I see a singer before me, I see a winner" and Juan Gabriel replied: "That is the most important thing, because it is what you do that counts in life."

Juan started out as a waif ... having been sent to an orphanage after his father went insane with grief over the loss of Juan's mother and burned down their village and had to be carried off in a straitjacket.

Little Juan fled abuse at the orphanage by hiding in a rubbish bin and being transported to freedom in a garbage truck. 

Arriving in Juarez, he sang for tips and tricks in seedy clubs, where he caught the eye of a "talent scout" ... and the rest is showbiz history.

In 2015 artist Arturo Damasco painted a 40-square-meter mural of Juan Gabriel on a building in Juarez.

Juan Gabriel never married. According to The Associated Press, a former secretary of his, Joaquín Muñoz, claimed that the two men had a sexual relationship in a tell-all book, "Juan Gabriel and I." 

It confirmed what most fans already believed, but his fans were surprised when years later it became known that he had fathered four children with a friend, Laura Salas.

Juan Gabriel performed to packed auditoriums, including New York's Madison Square Garden and the Kodak Theater in Los Angeles. 

A six-time Grammy nominee, Juan Gabriel was inducted into the Billboard Latin Music Hall of Fame in 1996 and received countless industry awards.

He also garnered ASCAP Songwriter of the Year in 1995, Latin Recording Academy's Person of the Year 2009, and a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame that same year.

The singer, who was born 7 January 1950, wrote his first song at age 13 and went on to compose more than 1,500 songs. He died 28 August 2016 at age 66 … a homeless orphan who came to be loved by millions.