Tuesday, December 1, 2020

WORLD AIDS DAY
LET'S TRY TO MAKE IT THE LAST



DESPITE major advances, HIV/AIDS remains one of the world's most significant public health challenges, particularly in low and middle income countries, with new diagnoses every year and young women in sub-Saharan Africa seen as being particularly at risk.


World AIDS Day on December 1 is used to unite people in the fight against HIV, the human immunodeficiency virus first identified in 1984, to show their support for people living with HIV and commemorate those who have died.

The member countries of the United Nations agreed in September in a new set of global goals to end the AIDS epidemic by 2030.

Here are some facts about AIDS in 2015 with data from the World Health Organisation, the United Nations children's agency UNICEF, and UNAIDS:

1. Globally about 36.9 million people are living with HIV including 2.6 million children.

2. An estimated 2 million were infected in 2016.

3. An estimated 34 million people have died from HIV or AIDS, including 1.2 million in 2016.

4. The number of adolescent deaths from AIDS has tripled over the last 15 years.

5. AIDS is the number one cause of death among adolescents in Africa and the second among adolescents globally.

6. In sub-Saharan Africa, the region with the highest prevalence, girls account for 7 in 10 new infections among those aged 15-19.

7. At start of 2016, 15 million people were receiving antiretroviral therapy compared to 1 million in 2001.

8. Despite widespread availability of HIV testing, only an estimated 51 percent of people with HIV know their status.

9. The global response to HIV has averted 30 million new HIV infections and nearly 8 million deaths since 2000.

10. In 2015, Cuba was the first country declared to have eliminated mother-to-child transmission of HIV.

THE NEW STAR OF ANTINOUS



ON December 1st we remember the day in 1999 when a New Star was discovered in the Constellation of Antinous ... a celestial portent for the rebirth of the religion of Antinous in the 21st Century.

It reminded us of that dark night 1,800 years ago when grief-stricken Hadrian looked up into the heavens with tearful eyes and saw a new star in what had until then been the Constellation of Ganymede.

Hadrian proclaimed it the STAR OF ANTINOUS and renamed the constellation after Antinous. 

Flamen Antonius Subia sees parallels to the new discovery which coincides with the re-establishment of the Religion of Antinous for the new Millennium and writes:

"In 1999 on December 1st, a Super Nova was discovered in the constellation Aquila, visible with the naked eye. It was confirmation that the ancient celestial event criticized by Dio Cassius as a lie might indeed have occurred, prompting Hadrian to redraw the map of the constellations and include Antinous among the immortal heroes of antiquity. 

"This new star named by astronomers Nova Aquilae v1492 was a sign of the return of Antinous in the modern age. It was a signal to begin the reconsecration of His sacred religion. 

"The light of this new star passed over the face of the Earth, illuminating the hearts of all those who believe in him, effecting change and demonstrating those whose eyes were directed towards the heavens that the voice of Antinous was beckoning, and the time to revive his religion had finally come, after so many centuries of silence.

"With this sign from Antinous we are compelled, out of love to inflame ourselves for his sake and to spread the light of the New Star to the world."

Monday, November 30, 2020

ANTINOUS IN APAMEA




IN November we commemorate the arrival in the year 129 AD of Antinous with the entourage of Emperor Hadrian in Apamea.


One of the four great cities of Syria, Apamea was founded by Alexander the Great as a military encampment to guard his rear as he advanced into Persia and was fortified later to become one of the richest and most important trading cities in Syria, originally called Pella.


It was renamed Apamea by Seleucus I Nicator after his Bactrian wife and became one of the most beautiful Hellenistic cities which a great colonnaded avenue, temples, theater and baths.


The city was destroyed by an earthquake in 115 shortly after Hadrian became Emperor. He ordered the city rebuilt on a grander scale than before, and returned with Antinous and the Imperial entourage in the late autumn of 129 to inspect the restored city.


Apamea again came to prominence when it sided with the young Emperor Elegabalus against his enemies and was instrumental in his victory.  The city was ravaged by continual war in the Bizantine era and during the Crusades, and it was destroyed again by an earthquake in 1152 never to be rebuilt.


The titular deity of Apamea was the goddess Tyche also known as Fortuna to the Romans. 


She was portrayed wearing a turreted fortress crown, holding a cornucopia and standing on a wheel of fortune.


Fortuna was revered by the Apameans because they understood the cyclical vicissitudes of fate as their city was alternately blessed by tremendous wealth and prosperity only to succumb to total destruction repeatedly.


They revered their Goddess for the blessings she bestowed upon them which they learned to appreciate, and for the strength and fortitude they learned to endure during times of misfortune.  It was only when the Cult of Fortuna was no longer honored that the Amapeans were unable find the will to continue.


We seek to become Lovers of Fate, like the Apameans, to patiently endure hardship within the fortress of our hearts and be joyous and thankful for the blessings we receive.

GLOBAL ANTINOUS BIRTHDAY CEREMONIES



"THE most salient feature about Antinous, and the thing that makes our religion different from others, is that Antinous was a mortal human being who actually lived," said Antonius Subia in a global Zoom link-up this weekend celebrating the birthday of Antinous.

Speaking from the Hollywood Temple of Antinous to celebrants taking part from across the United States, Europe and as far away as New Zealand, he noted that we know his birth date ... 27 November ... and we know what he looked like from countless statues.

"He was a human being just like you or me," Flamen Antonius said. "He was not some ray of light of divine perfection. He was a person with faults and failings just like any of us. And yet he became the last deity of the Classical era ... we know he lived ... and we know he became a god."

Sunday, November 29, 2020

YOU CAN TAKE IT WITH YOU
THANKS TO THIS WINGED SNAKE GOD



WE all know that the Ancient Egyptians believed you can take it with you ... that death does not mean you have to part with everything that was important to you in life ... but few people today understand that there was a far more sophisticated spiritual interpretation.

Yes, of course, the simple folk believed that you literally took things with you to the afterlife ... mummified body, ushabti figures, food, clothing. There was a huge industry specializing in tomb furnishings,  mummification and supplying the dead with sustenance.

But the material goods in tombs were only symbolic of a far richer, and spiritually deeper understanding of "taking it with you" after death.

The curious-looking winged snake on the papyrus 
of the 19th Dynasty scribe Amenemwija in Berlin's Egyptian Museum hints at that far deeper spiritual meaning.

The deity is called "Nehebkau" (Harnesses KAs) ... and he is poised in front of the deceased ... taking in the every spiritual essence (KA) that the deceased wants to take with him in the afterlife.

November 29th was one of this deity's feast days.

The Egyptians believed you give up only those things you don't want to take with you ... you take anything and everything else which you deem worth saving for eternity.

Nehebkau represents an advanced spiritual element. In computer parlance, he "downloads" the spiritual essence or "KA" of everything you want to have with you ... and Nehebkau defrags and condenses everything for instant retrieval.

The "KA" is the spiritual essence of everything. Each human has a main KA plus many subsidiary ones. Everything has at least one KA ... every blade of grass, every object, every animal ... everything.

Nehebkau literally takes all the KAs of the person and all the KAs that the person wants to have with him/herself in the afterlife ... all friends, memories, pets, pleasant experiences, houses, furnishings ... the spiritual essence of EVERYTHING ... and then he "downloads" them by swallowing them into his slender serpentine body ... and condenses them like zip files and defrags them and compacts and configures them all into an infinitely small corner of his infinitely vast mind ....

It is important to point out that this does not mean that the dead person drains the life force from all friends and family and leaves them empty. It does not mean they all have to die to accompany the deceased.

Instead, it is exactly like "downloading" the essence of the persons or objects. The persons and objects themselves remain intact ... their spiritual essence is unaffected ... but Nehebkau has downloaded the spiritual essence to accompany the deceased.


Nothing is diminished. Nothing is lost. The KA is copied and saved and filed away.

And in the afterlife, the deceased retrieves any and all docs, jpegs, YouTube URLS and files ... eternally fresh and alive ... for all eternity.

We tend to buy the Judaeo-Christian idea of ashes-to-ashes, dust-to-dust which means that we must "let go" while our loved ones, memories and treasures all crumble away and end up on the conveyor belt of the garbage incinerator ... like the final scene from a "Toy Story" movie.

Or we opt for the Eastern idea that you become one with the universe and everything dissolves away into one-ness ... no self, no ego, no death, no suffering, no end to suffering, no end to death ... etc. ... like the final scene of a movie about Tibetan monks and a little boy from Seattle.

These scenarios would have been appalling to the Egyptians. You take whatever and whomever you want along with you into the afterlife ... no carry-on bags necessary ... everything is neatly defragged and compressed and configurated and stored away in the infinitely vast mind of Nehebkau.


Yes, all of your earthly friends, pets and possessions will crumble away ... but their spiritual essence has been downloaded as a back up for you to keep with you ... for all eternity ... thanks to Nehebkau.

Saturday, November 28, 2020

JEAN-BAPTISTE de LULLY
SAINT OF ANTINOUS


ON November 28th the Religion of Antinous honors Saint Jean-Baptiste de Lully, who was born on this day in 1632 in Florence, Italy. 

Parlaying his looks, his dancing and his musical genius into an erotic/artistic career, he rose from being a scullery knave to becoming director of music in the Court of French King Louis XIV. 

By the time he died on March 22, 1687, he had created a new art form and had changed the course of the performing arts forever.

Lully's story has some parallels to the story of Hadrian and Antinous. The parallels are not exact. It is more as though Lully and Louis XIV were a "parallel universe" story of Antinous and Hadrian with bizarre twists thrown in to the plot of the story.

Lully was totally dependent upon the Sun King and was totally devoted to him. When the king expressed a whim to learn to dance, Lully became his dance instructor, creating a whole new art form involving dance and song.

Quite aside from his infamous carousing with boys, Lully was desperately in love with Louis XIV. It was an impossible love, of course. It could never be consummated.

The king viewed Lully as his artistic mentor, but nothing more. Lully viewed the king as the love of his life, and his art was merely an expression of that love.

Unwittingly, Lully planted the seeds for his own doom. Others took his idea and developed it further: And Opera was born.

The king became infatuated with Opera and totally lost interest in Lully's Baroque stage productions. He forgot all about Lully.

For Lully, that was tantamount to death, and he soon died as the result of a tragic "accident" -- he plunged a sharp baton-sceptre through his foot in a rage of despair after the king failed to appear at the debut of his latest masterpiece.

The wound became gangrenous, but when physicians advised that the foot must be amputated, St. Jean-Baptiste refused, saying that if he could never dance again, then he would prefer to be dead.

Yes, his life was like some nightmare, parallel-universe version of the Hadrian and Antinous story, set against the backdrop of men in silk brocade costumes and in four-inch heels and wearing ornate wigs. It is a story of a man's unconditional love and self-sacrifice for his Sun King.

St. Jean-Baptiste de Lully had a deep fondness for the Roman Gods, and he portrayed them with the gay flourish of the the court of the Sun King. It remains a style all its own, completely out of fashion...even among classical music weirdos.

We adore St. Lully's music...we adore the grace and profound emotions that pour from his chords. We love the beauty of his style of dance.


No doubt when Monsieur St. de Lully arrived at the Divine court of Hadrian the God, he immediately set about rearranging the Imperial Orchestra, replacing the Ney Flutes with Bassoons and Oboes, dismissing the Cythara in favor of Violas de Gamba.

Perhaps the old Greek musicians might have taken insult at being swept aside, but with a wave of his hand...Antinous calmed them.

So it was that the celestial Imperial Orchestra performed the new opera Of Saint Jean-Baptiste de Lully. The Imperial Court was astonished to hear the new sound. Even the Greeks were amazed (and the Greeks had heard everything). And With a wreathed nod of his illuminated head, Hadrian enthroned commanded his beloved Antinous to dance.




Friday, November 27, 2020

ANTINOUS WAS BORN ON THIS DAY
1,909 YEARS AGO


ANTINOUS was born on this day, November 27th in the year 111 AD — 1,909 years ago!

Festive celebrations are being held by worshipers all over the world, with special rites being conducted at the HOLLYWOOD TEMPLE OF ANTINOUS.

Antinous was born in the Bithynian city of Claudiopolis, modern-day Bolu in Turkey.

It was a major city in those days with a Hellenistic/Roman heritage dating back centuries. It was nestled among snow-capped peaks and woodlands full of wild beasts and full of mythical magic.

The portrait of the newborn baby Antinous and his mother against the backdrop of a Bithynian conifer forest is by PRIEST JULIEN, a New York artist who now lives in Hollywood.

Modern Claudiopolis/Bolu is a sleepy health resort. Not too many foreign tourists go there, but the area is a popular with Turkish vacationers because of its pine-covered mountains and its sparkling lakes and spa waters.


The altitude makes it refreshingly cooler than lower-lying regions, so Turks go there to get away from the heat and noise of places like Istanbul and Ankara.

Wikipedia says: "Local specialities include a sweet made of hazelnuts (which grow in abundance here) and an eau-de-cologne with the scent of grass. One feature of Bolu dear to the local people is the soft spring water obtained from fountains in the town."
 

Hazelnut candy? Grass-scented cologne? Amazingly soft spring water? Somehow that one little paragraph makes it sound like a place where Antinous would have to have been born.

The area where Antinous was born is a beautiful place, nestled high in piney forests and yet only a short distance from the sparkling Black Sea coast about halfway between Istanbul and Ankara.

The region is teeming with bountiful wildlife and so Hadrian and Antinous went on hunting forays while in Bithynium. As a boy, Antinous must have played in these forests and bathed in these sparkling lakes.

He would have remembered these boyhood days during his travels with Hadrian to the far corners of the Empire. We often forget that Antinous had a family who must have loved him and missed him. They were no doubt proud of him, but they missed him.

And he missed them as he also missed his lovely Bithynia with its mountains and lakes and deep forests which, in winter, are covered in deep snow.

The first snows may have already fallen "back home" at the end of October in 130 AD when Antinous stood on the banks of the Nile in Upper Egypt. Perhaps he had received a letter from home with the latest family gossip and news of the first snowfall. He would have remembered the scent of pine forests and fresh-fallen snow.

As he looked into the green waters of the Nile in far-away Egypt at the end of his brief life, perhaps he thought of "home" and lakes and dark forests and pine cones and the scent of hazelnuts being roasted and mixed with rose water and honey to make candy.


November 27th is an introspective moment ... an evaluation of things past ... and things to come. And above all, it is birthday party time. Let the Festive Season Begin with an Antinous Birthday Party!