Thursday, June 24, 2021

THE SCENT OF ANTINOUS






FOR Pride Month, an aromatherapist and parfumier in Brazil shares this image of Antinous/Antenociticus adorning a small temple in Newcastle England.

He adds this poem:

THE SCENT OF ANTINOUS

When contemplating the beauty
of your divine body
adorning the altar
in this ancient temple
my heart calms down
When smelling the perfume
of your bare skin
Saturating this sacred space.

Poetry by Edhie Laureano Pires Yata'wá
@yatawamirim (Instagram)
 

This small temple is dedicated to a curly-haired boy god called ANTENOCITICUS ... a deity worshiped by soldiers and local people at the eastern end of Hadrian's Wall.

Antinous in the guise of Antenociticus is not mentioned at any other Romano-British site or on any inscriptions from Europe, which is why it has been identified as a local deity.

Antinous priest and writer MARTINUS CAMPBELL, author of THE LOVE GOD about the life of Antinous, says it is highly possible Antenociticus is a local aspect of Antinous ... perhaps in honor of a visit to this outpost by Antinous and Hadrian.

Martinus says: "Archaeologically there is a period of time in AD 126 to 127 when we have no record of where Hadrian was. We do know, however, that the wall was completed in Ad 128."

He says: "It is believed he would have come to Britannia to oversee the final stages of the wall. It is further believe he would have brought Antinous with him."

Martinus adds: "That is why the locals (mostly of mixed Roman and British blood, by then) connected Antinous to a local deity Citicus and re-named him Antenociticus."  Stone heads of Antenociticus have been found nearby.

Wednesday, June 23, 2021

ANTINOUS IN PETRA



TRAVELING across the Arabian desert along the caravan routes, and the border road constructed for the Legions to patrol the frontier with Parthia, Hadrian and Antinous went south from Palmyra towards Arabia, crossing the country that is now called Jordan. They visited the city of Gerasha where a monumental arch of Hadrian was constructed to celebrate his visit.


They followed the trade routes to the capitol of the province of Arabia, the famous city of Petra, where merchants arrived from Yemen, carrying sacred frankincense, the most important religious offering in the Roman religion.


The great temples of Petra, carved out of rock, were dedicated to their primary god, Al Qaum, who is compared to Mars, the war god, and was said to be the protector of the Caravans. Al Quam was never depicted, but was represented as an un-worked, cone-shaped stone set on a golden pedestal, that somewhat resembles a phallus.


The Nabateans of Petra were conquered by Pompey, but were allowed independent rule, until Trajan made their kingdom a Roman Province.


Hadrian was so pleased with Petra and the reception he received that he lavished great sums on the people, and he elevated the city to the status of a Metropolis after which the city was called Hadrian's Petra.


The importance of the Nabateans and their fantastic city of rock is that they are the ancestors of the Arabian culture as we know it, their language and writing is what evolved into Arabic. 


Their entire culture and religious foundation were embraced by the tribes of the whole Arabian Desert, Medina and Mecca were outposts of Nabatean culture along the trade routes to the south.


The elegance, love for poetry and war of the pagan Arab people extends from the Nabatean culture that so impressed Hadrian.


It was in Hadrian's Petra that Antinous was immersed into the Arabian culture which would in centuries to come overtake half of the Roman world especially the cities and provinces where the Antinous religion was strongest, leaving little trace of his cult behind.


We pray that the wisdom of the pagan Nabateans of Arabia Petra will return to calm the crisis of our modern age. We offer sacred olibanum of Petra in honor of the ancient gods and as a symbol of our faith in Antinous the gay god.


Ave Antinous of Petra!


Tuesday, June 22, 2021

THE HYACINTHIA FESTIVAL HONORS
ANTINOUS AS APOLLO-HYACINTHUS



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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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


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

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

Monday, June 21, 2021

ANTINOUS WORSHIPERS WORLDWIDE
CELEBRATE JUNE SOLSTICE VIA ZOOM



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

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

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

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

For HE lives in our hearts — wherever we are.

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

"Apollo is the God of wisdom and art, the speaker of truth, the deliverer of radiance, reason and beauty. Apollo is the God of Socrates and Plato, and he is the God of Pythagoras who claimed to be his son, exhibiting a golden thigh as proof. Apollo is the unconquered light, the full manifested brilliance, power and wisdom of Orpheus.
"Of all the gods, Apollo is the most boy-loving, though the touch of his heart was invariably fatal. He is the genius of the dying boy-gods. We pray to Apollo, the great god of homosexuality, and seek his guidance on this day, the longest day of the year."

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

Antonius tells it this way:


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



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

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

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

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

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

Antonyus relates what happened next:



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


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


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


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

Sunday, June 20, 2021

HADRIAN'S VILLA OBSERVATORY TOWER
IS ALIGNED TO THE SOLSTICES

 




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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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




HADRIAN'S PANTHEON PUTS ON
SPECTACULAR SOLSTICE SHOW



ON June 20th and 21st Hadrian's Pantheon is the place to be during the Solstice. 

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

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

ANTINOUS MERGES WITH APOLLO
DURING THE GLORIOUS JUNE SOLSTICE



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

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

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

For HE lives in our hearts — wherever we are.

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

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

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


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

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

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

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


Antonius tells it this way:


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