Saturday, May 15, 2021

IN PRAISE OF MERCURY


WE lift up our hearts to the great wing-footed God Mercury on this day in mid-May when Mercury traditionally leaves stodgy Taurus and wings his way into Gemini, his astrological home.

The Ancient Romans celebrated this cosmic event on May 15th each year with the Mercuralia festival.

Father of Antinous, son of Zeus and Maia, Mercury is the god of speed, the Lord of commerce, communication, and cunning. 


He is forever young and beautiful, the patron of skilled athletes, especially runners, and yet he possesses the infinite wisdom of extreme old age.

When Mercury was one day old, he charmed Apollo by stealing the sun god's prized cattle and crafting an ingenious story to cover his tracks.

Apollo fell in love with Mercury and from that day forward became his godfather and protector, presenting him to Olympus. Zeus was so taken by his son Mercury that he made him the messenger of the gods, and placed in his hand the sacred Caduceus, the serpent-entwined rod.

Hermes (as he was called by the Greeks) was charged with escorting the souls of the dead to the underworld, and to relay messages between heaven and hell. Thus he acquired his mystic powers, which were the inspiration of the Hermits, and of their religion known as Hermeticism.

He was known to them as Hermes Tristmegistus, the "thrice-great", and was said to have taught the secret knowledge of salvation to mankind.

As Hermes of the crossroads, he was a Phallic god, whose image was a herme, or column with a bearded head and a large penis that was placed at forks in the road to protect travelers.

Mercury made love to Venus and was father of Pan, Priapus, Hermaphroditus, and of Fortuna. He was the craftiest inventor, who created the lyre, which he gave to Apollo. And he invented written language, weights and measurement.

Mercury was the god of good business, but also of dishonesty and absolute capitalism. He invented dice and was the lord of gambling and all games of chance.

Antinous was often compared to Mercury in the statues and in the artefact fragments (bust above). His powers of youth, virility and physical fitness were central parts of the Religion of Antinous. But the hermetic sages, from whom so much of the salvation of Antinous extends, deepened this fascade. He is, along with Dionysus, Apollo and Osiris, a major facet of the Spirituality of Antinous.


We acknowledge and extol Mercury, the wing-footed god, and pray to him as Antinous to run by our side and give us good fortune throughout our travels and in our communication with the divine.

Friday, May 14, 2021

THE SEMEN OF THE FIRST GOD
TRULY IS IN ANTINOUS


MAY 14th is the Egyptian feast of  the "coming forth" of Shu and Tefnut when the creator Atum ejaculated into his own mouth and uttered the magical "seminal" words to create the cosmos at the Egyptian equivalent of the "Big Bang" which they called "Sep Tepy" (Moment of Origins).

The hieroglyphs on the Obelisk of Antinous clearly state that Antinous can assume any form his heart desires because "the semen of the first god TRULY is in his body."

The point of all Egyptian magic is for the magician-priest to return to the moment of Sep Tepy ... the source of all creative magic ... and to ingest the "Heka" (Egyptian word for "magical") semen of Atum ... just as Antinous "inhaled" the magical Nile "Heka" when his head slipped beneath the waters of the Nile.

Learning to "breathe" Heka in the rarified atmosphere of the Duat (Underworld) was a vital lesson mentioned in various versions of the Book of the Dead.

Antinous took the semen of the first god into his nostrils and mouth at the moment of his mortal death.

Drowning in the Nile was instant deification in the eyes of Egyptians. Magical spells, for example, sometimes called for a scarab or other creature to be "deified" which is to say drowned in Nile water as part of the spell.

The Obelisk glyphs state that "the semen of the first god TRULY is in his body," which empowers Antinous to perform any and all miracles and to assume "any form his heart desires" to do so. By implication, the process of Homotheosis (for it is a process, not a method) means that by becoming one with Antinous, the semen of the first god is also in our bodies.

MAGNUS HIRSCHFELD
SAINT OF ANTINOUS


ON May 14th, the Religion of Antinous honors the life of the Father of Gay Liberation, Doctor Magnus Hirschfeld, who died on this day in 1935 (which was his 67th birthday) while in exile form his native Germany in Nice, France. He died a broken and embittered man.

A life that had started out with such lofty ambitions ended in disillusionment. He was of Jewish ancestry and began his career as a medical doctor but very soon devoted his life to the study of homosexuality.

In 1897 he founded the Scientific Humanitarian Committee, which was an organization whose publication, called The Yearbook of Intermediate Sexual Types, was devoted to the repeal of "Paragraph 175", a law passed by the Reichstag in 1869.

The work of the committee included ongoing lobbying supported by the scientific studies of Dr. Hirschfeld into human sexuality. This study culminated in the formation of the Institute for Sexual Science in 1919.

Dr. Hirschfeld spent the majority of his career writing and lecturing around the world on the nature of homosexuality and other "intermediate" sexual types, including cross dressers. The word "transsexual" was coined by Dr. Hirschfeld to describe the phenomenon that he argued was a natural extension of human sexuality.


His philosophy centered on the contention that there was a third sex, called the Uranian, which was neither male nor female, but a combination of both that was manifested in homosexuality, which was not to be considered an impure deviation, or even as an illness, but as a natural and phenomenal component of human nature.

For his work, the Nazis targeted Dr. Hirschfeld as an example of decadent Bolshevistic/Jewish influence infecting the purity of the German people, luring the Aryan race into impure and destructive perversity. He was ultimately driven into exile and burned in effigy as an emblem of evil. His institute was ransacked May 6th and his books were publicly burned in a bonfire on May 10th, 1933.

The slogan with which he began his speeches, "Uranians of the World, Unite!" was not to be realized until our own time. For his courage and his career of some thirty years, all of which was spent in tireless devotion to the cause of Gay Liberation, we venerate Saint Magnus Hirschfeld.

Thursday, May 13, 2021

WE OFFER GARLANDS OF FLOWERS
AT THE FESTIVAL OF NEPTUNE




MAY 13th is the Roman Festival of offering Garlands to Neptune, the Roman equivalent of Poseidon, god of the seas and oceans. He is known for his quick temper which turns the sea from tranquil to stormy. Today you should offer garlands of flowers to him, to keep his temper sweet and the seas calm. Antinous was associated with Neptune, who had relations with another male sea deity Nerites. Their son was Anteros, god of mutual requited love. At the temple of Antinous in Corinth, temple Priest Hostilius Marcellus minted coins of Antinous with Neptune. Coins fetch thousands at auction.

13 de maio é a festa romana de oferendas guirlandas de Netuno, o equivalente romano de Poseidon, deus dos mares e oceanos. Ele é conhecido por seu temperamento rápido que transforma o mar de tranquilo a tempestuoso. Hoje você deve oferecer guirlandas de flores para ele, para manter seu temperamento doce e os mares calmos.

El 13 de mayo es el Festival Romano de ofrendas de guirnaldas a Neptuno, el equivalente romano de Poseidón, dios de los mares y los océanos. Él es conocido por su temperamento rápido que convierte el mar de tranquilo a tormentoso. Hoy deberías ofrecerle guirnaldas de flores, mantener su temperamento dulce y calmar los mares.you to all of you who sent messages and prayers for the 1st April birthday of Venus/Aphrodite.



Wednesday, May 12, 2021

ΑΝΤΙΝΟΟΙ ΗΡΟΙ
(TO ANTINOUS THE HERO)



HERE IS an Antinous image rarely seen, but which I love.

Let me first call attention to the wonderful way that his name is written, combining the second two letters.

I love it...too bad it has been defaced...because I love the body and the stance.

And I would say that this is the only Antinous shown holding a spear. Historical record states that Antinous hurled an adamantine-tipped spear at a man-eating lion in Egypt ...

It was found in the ancient Roman stadium in the city of Plovdiv in Bulgaria, called Philippopolis in Roman times.

Games were held in Philippopolis like those in Greece. The games were organized by the General Assembly of the province of Thrace.

This marble slab was found during excavations at the stadium proving that there were games celebrating Antinous. Games in honor of Antinous were held 
in ANTINOOPOLIS and in numerous other cities in the Eastern Empire. 

This votive tablet dedicated to Antinous is exibited in the PLOVDIV ARCHAEOLOGICAL MUSEUM.

The inscription on the slab reads:

ΑΝΤΙΝΟΟΙ ΗΡΟΙ (to Antinous the hero)


On a number of coins of Antinous, he is honored as a hero. Syncretism of Antinous with locally relevant heroes of various types is certainly a likely thing to have occurred.

Even Hadrian himself honored Antinous as a hero in at least one location: the temple founded in Socanica, Dalmatia (modern Croatia), which was co-founded with his adopted heir, Aelius Caesar, in 136 AD.


Of the various classes of divine being that existed for the Greeks, heroes are an interesting option. Gods are gods, and demigods are often born of a god and one mortal parent. 

Many heroes seem to have started out as strictly mortal. Whatever the cultic or theological reality may be in each individual case, perhaps the main distinction is that most gods have a timeless and almost eternal quality about them, whereas heroes have a beginning and an end in death, but a very glorious afterlife.

Some heroes such as Hercules were eventually deified. The same happened in the case of "Antinous the Hero," who underwent apotheosis and became
 "Antinous the Good God."
 

There always seems to be something new to learn about Antinous.

There always seems to be another image, another bust, even another statue, such as the "Dresden Antinous" shown here, which Priest Julien and I were honored to see at the GETTY VILLA MUSEUM, where it was painstakingly restored before being returned to Germany...

There could well be others hidden away in private collections ....


FLAMEN ANTINOALIS ANTONIUS SUBIA

Tuesday, May 11, 2021

ANTINOUS-DIONYSUS REMINDS YOU
TODAY IS YOUR LUCKY DAY FOR A NEW START



TODAY is your lucky day for a new start. Remember the birth of Dionysus!

In Classical Mythology Zeus/Jupiter often visited mortals in disguise, for his radiance was too dazzling for mortals to behold ... rather like the Sun in a profound configuration with Jupiter, Pluto and the STAR OF ANTINOUS as it is this week.

In the story of the birth of Dionysus, we see that Semele Princess of Thebes had been made pregnant by Jupiter in disguise.

Semele later became curious about his true appearance.

So, Semele decided to ask Zeus to grant her a wish, and he took an oath on the river Styx that he would give her anything. 

She asked that he appear to her in all his glory. Jupiter was forced to comply. 

However, mortals could not look upon Jupiter without bursting into flames, which is what happened to Semele. 

Jupiter managed to save the unborn baby by sewing it inside his thigh. 

A few months later, god Dionysus was born, who managed to save his mother from the Underworld and brought her to Mount Olympus, where she became the goddess Thyone. 

Antinous traditionally has been identified with Dionysus "Twice Born" of mortal woman and divine radiance. 

Antinous/Dionysus reminds you that you are HOMOTHEOSIS ... Gay Man Godliness Becoming the Same in Divine Radiance.

Monday, May 10, 2021

THE TWO LOVERS OF ANTINOOPOLIS



ON MAY 10th the Religion of Antinous honors two men we call the Two Lovers of Antinoopolis who lived in the Sacred City of Antinoopolis and who worshiped the Beauteous Boy and whose joint portrait is one of the great mysteries of Egyptology.

This round portrait, called a "tondo" because of its circular format, was used as a face plate on a mummy. The vicinity of Antinoopolis and the Fayoum Oasis region is famous for hundreds of such mummy portraits which give us a priceless look at how the residents of the Sacred City actually looked. It is believed these were portraits which had hung in people's homes and which were interred with the deceased, as a reminder to their Ka about who they were in mortal life.

The tondo is unique, though, because it shows two faces. Archaeologists have no explanation as to why anyone would want the face plate on a mummy to show two men's faces. The conventional explanation is that they were perhaps brothers and when one of them died, his surviving brother insisted on burying him with their joint portrait to show his fraternal love.

But one glance at the portrait shows that the two men bear little resemblance to each other.


Even more striking is the difference in skin coloring. Throughout Egyptian art, males were portrayed as having typically ruddy-brown skin and girls and women as having creamy colored skin ... that was the iconic rule in Ancient Egyptian art. The skin colors do not represent the ACTUAL skin tones of the people, just as the idealized features of pharaohs don't reflect how they actually looked.


In Ancient Egyptian art, even if two individuals appear to be identically dressed with wigs and flowing robes, you can distinguish gender roles by skin color.

Ruddy skin means male. Creamy skin means female.

That makes it all the more interesting to look at the Tondo of the Two Lovers, because one man has dark "male type" skin coloring and the other man has very light "female type" skin coloring. Such contrasting skin coloring traditionally was used only for married male-female couples in Ancient Egyptian art.


Even when the hairstyles and clothing are barely indistinguishable in Egyptian art, the difference in skin tones is a gender-role clue. Any Egyptian would instantly register the visual "pun" and would think it no accident.
The artist who painted the Tondo of the Two Lovers appears to have been giving us a clue as to the relationship between the two men.



The Tondo has been dated between 130-150 AD which would place them as nearly contemporaries of Antinous, living in His Sacred City in the first bloom of the Religion of Antinous. French architectural historian Jean-Claude Golvin painted this stunning rendering of Antinoopolis at its height.

But of even more significance are the small images of Greco-Egyptian gods placed above their shoulders. The darker man is guarded by a figure which some experts identify as Hermanubis, a god of the underworld adored in the nearby city of Hermopolis. His name is variously interpreted as "Hermes/Anubis" or "Horus-as-Anubis", depending on whether you read the Latin or the Egyptian spellings.

The cult of Hermanubis was on the rise in Rome at this time and he was interpreted as a solar deity who (like Hermes/Mercury and Horus) led the dead through the darkness to everlasting sunlight. A crack runs through the figure, however, making its identity somewhat unsure. At one point Hermanubis had a large cult following in Rome itself and his face graced Imperial coins. But his cult was suppressed almost as quickly as it rose, for moralistic reasons which are hard to reconstruct.

The lighter skinned and more beautifully dressed boy is watched over by Antinous, the patron god of Antinoopolis, who grasps a Dionysiac scepter and who wears the SWTY (Two Feathers) crown of divinity symbolic of his many-faceted Sacred Powers. It is ironic that the Christians later suppressed the cult of Antinous for moralistic reasons, just as the cult of Hermanubis had been suppressed by the Romans. Was there a sexual/moral connection between the two cults?

At any rate, this makes the Tondo of the Two Lovers the only portrait painting of Antinous to have survived, and the only image of two probable followers of HIS religion.

The faint inscription beneath the image of Antinous reads 15 Pachon, which is a date in the Greek calendar that corresponds to the 10th of May. No one knows what the significance of this date might be. An anniversary, perhaps.

The younger figure is wearing a splendid red wrap held in place by an impressive amethyst brooch in a gold setting ... a family heirloom perhaps. The artist has gone to pains to render it perfectly. The embroidery on his white tunic is very fine. An oriental swastika good-luck charm is stitched into his right sleeve.


Perhaps the portrait was commissioned for the day (May 10th) when he donned his manly robes for the first time on his 16th birthday, as was the Roman custom. The peach-fuzz on his face gives him the appearance of an adolescent.

The older man (who could 30-something) stands behind him, as if symbolically showing his love and support of his young companion. He could be an older brother or uncle. He could even be the youth's father ... life expectancy was shorter then, and people married early in those days and were grandparents by their mid-30s.

But just perhaps the composition and skin-tone nuances are subtle clues by the artist that these two men shared an older-man, younger-man relationship ... a Classical Greek-style erastes/eromenos relationship ... similar to that of Hadrian and Antinous. After all, this city was founded on Hadrian's love for Antinous.


The Temple of Antinous honors these two men on May 10th ... the day which was so special to them, for reasons known only to them and to the gods they worshiped ... Hermanubis and Antinous!