Tuesday, July 23, 2024

WE CELEBRATE THE NEPTUNALIA
AND HONOR ANTINOUS LINKS TO NEPTUNE


THE 23rd of July is the ancient Roman Neptunalia festival, when Romans honored Neptune with feasting and frivolity.

Although identified with the Greek Poseidon, god of the sea, the Roman Neptune was originally god of fresh water and prayed to at this time of year to prevent drought.

Coins minted by a priest of Antinous in Corinth show Antinous with Neptune/Poseidon. 

More clues to the link between Antinous and Neptune come from the Black Sea coast.

Experts working at a dig on the Black Sea coast in Bulgaria say they have found a well-preserved altar to Poseidon/Neptune which suggests the surrounding ruins were once a major temple to the god of the seas.

Archaeologists found the building in front of the medieval fortified wall of the seaside town of Sozopol, according to Bozhidar Dimitrov, director of Bulgaria’s National History Museum.

It is a little-known fact that Antinous was associated in a gay context with the classical god of the seas, called Poseidon by the Greeks and Neptune by the Romans.

Coins minted by a priest of Antinous at Corinth named HOSTILIUS MARCELLUS (from whom our own Julien Hostilius Marcellus takes his priestly name) show Antinous as Neptune/Poseidon.

It is a reference to the myth that Poseidon became enthralled with another marine male deity, Nerites, who was said to be the handsomest of all males on Earth, in the Heavens or in the Seas.


The sexual union of Poseidon and Nerites produced Anteros, god of requited love.

In those days, few people could read or write, but everyone knew these myths. So anyone who held one of these Antinous/Poseidon coins could "read" the gay symbolism.


So any discovery concerning Neptune/Poseidon is of great interest to us, since the dig could ultimately reveal Antinous-related artefacts.


At the Sozopol site, Dimitrov said that the numerous pieces of marble found during excavations indicate that the temple was destroyed after the declaration of Christianity as the official religion of the Roman empire in 330 AD.

The structure was partially pulled down and partially reconfigured as a Christian house of worship dedicated to a Christian saint, whose iconography was similar to that of the ancient god Neptune.

Dimitrov said that in Sozopol, there was a simiar example of how a temple to the Thracian horseman in the centre of the old town was converted into a church dedicated to Saint George, riding a horse to slay a demon dragon.

He said, according to a report by local news agency Focus, that in the case of the temple to Neptune – the god of the sea – the time of its destruction saw the building of a Christian church a very short distance away, dedicated to Saint Nicholas, the patron saint of fishermen and sailors.

Monday, July 22, 2024

THE HELIACAL RISING OF THE DOG STAR


THE "Dog Days" are here! In Ancient Egypt, the "Heliacal Rising of Sirius" occurred in mid-July ... but over the course of many centuries it now occurs in late July or early August (in the Northern Hemisphere). 

But depending on where you live on our planet, you may see Sirius/Sothis rising just before dawn any day now ... as nighttime turns to daytime.

During the daytime, look to the sun and you see Antinous conjoined with Ra-Herakhte, Apollo, Invictus, Horus, Mithras, Belenus, Balder, Huitzilopochtli and countless other solar deities. ANTONIUS SUBIA offers this prayer: 

Arise in Me…Sothis,

Let me be cleansed

Let me be renewed

Let the Inundation flood

Across the heart

Dog Star Returns

A New Antinous coming forth

To set the soul in order

To purify with clear water

That we may be whole again


~FLAMEN ANTONIUS SUBIA

Sunday, July 21, 2024

WE CELEBRATE THE NILE INUNDATION
THE FIRST MIRACLE OF ANTINOUS THE GOD




ANTINOUS worshipers around the world convened via Zoom tonight for ceremonies originating from the Hollywood Temple of Antinous celebrating the First Miracle of Antinous ... the Bountiful Inundation of the Nile which ended a drought which had caused food shortages throughout the Empire.

The famine had overshadowed the tour of Egypt by the Imperial entourage in the year 130. The half-starved Egyptians looked to Hadrian, whom they worshipped as pharaoh, to perform a miracle which would end their misery.

But as Hadrian and Antinous traveled up the Nile during the summer and autumn of 130, the Nile once again failed to rise sufficiently to water the fields of Egypt — Rome's "Bread Basket" and chief source of grain and other staple foodstuffs.

It was a humiliating disappointment for the Emperor following the jubilant welcome by peoples during the earlier part of his tour through the Eastern Empire. In Ephesus and other cities he had been welcomed as a living god.

But the Egyptians had given him and his coterie what little they had in the way of food and wine — and he had failed to convince the Inundation Deity Hapi to bless them with bounty. Hapi is one of the most extraordinary deities in the history of religion.

Hapi is special to us especially because Hapi is hermaphroditic. With many other such deities, the gender division is down the middle of the body (like some Hindu deities) or the top half is one gender and the bottom half is the other.

But Hapi is very complex and the genders are mixed throughout his/her body. Male deities invariably have reddish-orange skin in Egyptian Art and female deities have yellowish skin. Hapi has bluish-green skin. Hapi has long hair like a female deity but has a square jaw and a           beard. Hapi has broad shoulders yet has pendulous breasts like a nursing mother. Hapi has narrow hips and masculine thighs, but has a pregnant belly. Nobody knows what sort of genitals Hapi has, since they are covered by a strange garment reminiscent of a sumo wrestler's belt.

Hapi is both father and mother to the Egyptians. Hapi provides them with everything necessary for life. As Herodotus wrote, "Egypt is the gift of the Nile". Hapi wears a fabulous headdress of towering water plants and she/he carries enormous offering trays laden with foodstuffs.

The Ancient Egyptians had no problem worshipping a mixed-gender deity. I think it is very important to draw the connection between Hapi and Antinous, especially since the First Miracle that Antinous performed as a god involved Hapi. The Egyptians accepted Antinous into their own belief system immediately and were among the most ardent followers of Antinous.

They had no problem worshipping a gay deity who had united himself with a hermaphroditic deity. It must have seemed very logical and credible to them.

It made sense to them and enriched their belief system, made it more personal since they could identify more easily with a handsome young man than with a hermaphrodite wearing a sumo belt (Hapi forgive me!).

Herodotus also said he once asked a very learned religious man in Egypt what the true source of the Nile was.

The learned man (speaking through an interpreter, since most Greeks never bothered to learn Egyptian) paused and finally told him the true source of the Nile is the thigh of Osiris.

We think of it as a strange answer. We think of the Nile as an "it" and the source as a "geographical location". But the Egyptians thought of the Nile as "us" and its true source as "heka" — the magical semen of the creator.

So, a learned Egyptian would have assumed that a learned Greek would understand what was meant: That Hapi is the equivalent of Dionysus, who was "incubated" in the inner thigh of Zeus after his pregnant mortal mother Semele perished when she could not bear the searing sight of her lover Zeus in all his divine panoply.

It's a very poetic way (a very Egyptian way) of saying that the "true source" of the Nile, which is to say Egypt itself, is the magical heka/semen from the loins of the original creator.

We will never know what happened during that journey up the Nile along the drought-parched fields with anxious Egyptian farmers looking to Hadrian for a miracle. All we know is that Antinous "plunged into the Nile" and into the arms of Hapi in late October of the year           130.

And then the following summer, Hapi the Inundation Deity provided a bountiful Nile flood which replenished the food stocks of Egypt — and the Roman Empire.

Our own Flamen Antinoalis Antonius Subia explains the more esoteric aspects of this special Religious Holy Day:

"The Dog Star Sirius appears, and the sacred Star of Antinous begins to approach its zenith in the night sky of the northern hemisphere. The appearance of the Dog Star once announced the rise of the Inundation of the Nile, though it no longer does due to the precession of the Equinox, which is the slight alteration of the position of the stars.
"After the Death and Deification of Antinous, the Nile responded by rising miraculously after two successive years of severe drought. It was on this day, July 25th, in the year 131 that the ancient Egyptians recognized that Antinous was a god, nine months after his death, following their custom of deifying those who drowned in the Nile, whose sacrifice insured the life-giving flood.

"Sirius is the brightest star in the sky, it is part of the constellation Canis Major, or the big dog, which is the hunting dog of Orion. Mystically, Sirius and the constellation Canis Major is Antinous Master of Hounds and Orion is Hadrian the Hunter.

"The position of Orion, along the banks of the Milky Way, our galaxy in relation to Sirius is a mirror image of Pyramids along the bank of the Nile, which is the same relationship as Antinoopolis to the Nile, with the Via Hadriani, the road which Hadrian built across the desert to the East, linking the Nile with the Red Sea — Rome to India.

"We consecrate the beginning of the Dog Days of Summer to the advent of the Egyptian deification of Antinous and the miracle of the Inundation of the Nile."


The First Miracle of Antinous the Gay God is enshrined in the hieroglyphic inscription on the 

The East Face of the Obelisk, which is aligned to the rising sun Ra-Herakhte, speaks of the joy that fills the heart of Antinous since         having been summoned to meet his heavenly father Ra-Herakhte and to become a god himself.

Then the inscription tells how Antinous intercedes with Ra-Herakhte to shower blessings upon Hadrian and the Empress Sabina Augusta.

And Antinous immediately calls upon Hapi ...

Hapi, progenitor of the gods,
On behalf of Hadrian and Sabina,
Arrange the inundation in fortuitous time
To make fertile and bountiful, the fields
Of Both Upper and Lower Egypt!

We joyfully celebrate this, the First Miracle of Antinous!

WE REMEMBER HEROSTRATUS
THE ULTIMATE NOTORIETY SEEKER



ON 21 July we remember Herostratus, whose name is synonymous with all persons who commit heinous crimes for the sole purpose of making their names notorious ... the eternally aggrieved ego ... the call for damnatio memoriae ... destroyer of beauty, youth and success perceived as insults to the entitled outsider.


Herostratus was a 4th Century BC Greek arsonist who sought notoriety by destroying one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World, prompting a law forbidding anyone to mention his name.

His name has become a metonym for someone who commits a criminal act in order to become famous.

On 21 July 356 BC, seeking notoriety, he burned down the Temple of Artemis at Ephesus in Asia Minor (now Turkey).

Antinous and Hadrian visited TEMPLE OF ARTEMIS in June of 129 AD.

The temple honoured a local goddess, called Artemis by the Greeks, their version of Diana goddess of the hunt, the wild, and childbirth. 

The temple was constructed of marble and was built by King Croesus of Lydia to replace an older site destroyed during a flood. Measuring 130 meters long (425 feet) and supported by columns 18 meters high (60 feet), it was one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World.

Far from attempting to evade responsibility for his act of arson, Herostratus proudly claimed credit in an attempt to immortalise his name. 

To dissuade those of a similar mind, the Ephesian authorities not only executed him, but attempted to condemn him to a legacy of obscurity by forbidding mention of his name under penalty of death. However, this did not stop Herostratus from achieving his goal because the ancient historian Theopompus recorded the event and its perpetrator in his Hellenics.

Herostratus' name lived on in classical literature and has passed into modern languages as a term for someone who commits a criminal act in order to bask in the resultant notoriety.

Saturday, July 20, 2024

THE BIRTH OF ALEXANDER


IT IS SAID that on the night before the mother of Alexander, Olympias, was to be married to King Phillip of Macedonia, she dreamt that a thunderbolt struck her body and filled it with power.

After the marriage, it is said that Phillip peeked into her chamber, and found her lying with a serpent, and that he afterward dreamt that her womb was sealed and that a lion dwelled within her. 

And on the night that he was born, 20th of July, 356 BC, the great Temple at Ephesus was burned to the ground by a vandal, because the goddess Artemis was away, assisting with the birth of Alexander the Great.

He was considered to be the son of Zeus, and this divine origin was  what was given as an explanation for the unprecedented conquests that he accomplished. In his youth Aristotle, a student of Plato, educated him along with his following of young princes, who were later serve as his generals, and the founders of great dynastic monarchies of the Hellenistic world.

Foremost of these was his ever loyal and devoted Hepheistion, whose reciprocated love for Alexander was homosexual in nature.

In one of their first battles, while Phillip was still king, the young Alexander proved himself by defeating the Sacred Band of Thebes, the army of homosexual lovers who were the most famous and courageous warriors of their time.

Alexander is said to have wept at their destruction, and buried them with honor, erecting a statue of a Lion over their graves.

He would later go one to conquer the entire Eastern world, Asia Minor, Syria, Judea, Egypt, and all of Persia, as far East as India. The Empire of Alexander spread Greek culture throughout the world, and made the communication of far-distant ideas possible so that the new Hellenistic culture that he created, was a combination of classical Greece and of the exotic cultures that were imported from every corner.


After the death of Alexander, at only 33 years of age, he was deified by his generals who divided his great Empire among themselves. We praise the glorious warrior Alexander of Macedonia, and elevate him, and worship him as a God, an example of the greatness of homosexuality, and a heroic protector of the Divine Antinous.

ALEXANDRIA ALIGNED TO SUN
ON ALEXANDER THE GREAT'S BIRTHDAY



ALEXANDRIA, home to one of the seven wonders of the ancient world, may have been built to align with the rising sun on the day of Alexander the Great's birth.

The Macedonian king, who commanded an empire that stretched from Greece to Egypt to the Indus River in what is now India, founded the city of Alexandria in 331 B.C. 

It would later become hugely prosperous, home to Cleopatra, the magnificent Royal Library of Alexandria and the 450-foot-tall (140  meters) Lighthouse of Alexandria, one of the SEVEN WONDERS OF THE ANCIENT WORLD.

Hadrian and Antinous visited Alexandria in the summer and early autumn of 130 AD.

Ancient Alexandria was planned around a main east-west thoroughfare called the Canopic Road, points out Giulio Magli, an archaeo-astronomer at the Politecnico of Milan. 

A study of the ancient route reveals it is not laid out according to topography; for example, it doesn't run quite parallel to the coastline. 

But on July 20th, the birthday of Alexander the Great, the rising sun of the 4th Century BC rose "in almost perfect alignment with the road," Magli was quoted as saying.

July 20th, 356 BC, is the date which has always been accepted as the birthday of Alexander the Great. Whether it was his actual birthday or only the official royal observance of his birth is unknown.

It is said that on the night before the mother of Alexander, Olympias, was to be married to King Phillip of Macedonia, she dreamt that a thunderbolt struck her body and filled it with power.

After the marriage, it is said that Phillip peeked into her chamber, and found her lying with a serpent, and that he afterward dreamt that her womb was sealed and that a lion dwelled within her. 


And on the night that he was born, 20th of July, 356 BC, the great Temple at Ephesus was burned to the ground by a vandal, because the goddess Artemis was away, assisting with the birth of Alexander the Great.

He was considered to be the son of Zeus, and this divine origin was what was given as an explanation for the unprecedented conquests that he accomplished. In his youth Aristotle, a student of Plato, educated him along with his following of young princes, who were later serve as his generals, and the founders of great dynastic monarchies of the Hellenistic world.

Foremost of these was his ever loyal and devoted Hepheistion, whose reciprocated love for Alexander was homosexual in nature.

In one of their first battles, while Phillip was still king, the young Alexander proved himself by defeating the SACRED BAND OF THEBES, the army of homosexual lovers who were the most famous and courageous warriors of their time.

Alexander is said to have wept at their destruction, and buried them with honor, erecting a statue of a Lion over their graves.

He would later go one to conquer the entire Eastern world, Asia Minor, Syria, Judea, Egypt, and all of Persia, as far East as India.


The Empire of Alexander spread Greek culture throughout the world, and made the communication of far-distant ideas possible so that the new Hellenistic culture that he created, was a combination of classical Greece and of the exotic cultures that were imported from every corner.

After the death of Alexander, at only 33 years of age, he was deified by his generals who divided his great Empire among themselves. We praise the glorious warrior Alexander of Macedonia, and elevate him, and worship him as a God, an example of the greatness of homosexuality, and a heroic protector of the Divine Antinous.

Thursday, July 18, 2024

CARAVAGGIO, SAINT OF ANTINOUS


ON JULY 18th the Religion of Antinous honors Saint Caravaggio.


Michelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio, who died under suspicious circumstances on this day in 1610, was an extraordinary painter whose homoerotic images of young men have caused art historians to call him the first modern painter.

St. Caravaggio is the Patron of Gifted Bad Boys — Gay Boys who are blessed with incredible talents but who are too impatient and too rebellious to abide by the rules of society.

St. Caravaggio was always in trouble. In 1592, when he was not yet 20 years old, he fled Milan after a series of brawls and the wounding of a police officer. He went to Rome and was there, for the most part, until 1606, when he again had to flee. His life in Rome was of growing financial and professional success, but it was also punctuated with crime.

In the years 1600-1606 alone, he was brought to trial no less than eleven times. The charges covered a variety of offenses, most involved violence. It is significant that, despite his reputation for homosexuality, and his endless brushes with the police, he was never charged with sodomy, then a capital offense.

But he was charged with murder. On 29 May 1606 he killed one Tommasoni in a brawl after a disputed game of royal tennis, and had to flee to escape execution. He went first to Naples, then to Malta, where he was feted and made a Knight of St John.

Then, after "an ill considered quarrel" with a senior knight, he was on the run once more, all around Sicily, then on to Naples again.

But this time there was no hiding place. The knights, known for their relentlessness, pursued him, and Caravaggio, now 39 nine, in an attempt to seek forgiveness and refuge in Rome, tried to get there, but died at Porto Ercole, apparently of a fever, though the circumstances are highly suspicious.

Despite his hunted and, in the end, desperate life, he always managed to go on painting, often without a proper workshop of any kind. He was variously described, even by admirers, as a man of "stravaganze" as "uno cervello stravagantissimo" (exceptionally odd) and a "cervello stravolto".

His father died when he was six, his mother when he was 18, which may help to explain his anger at the world. His paintings show that he was a man of the most profound religious convictions, of a humble and contrite heart, and with a fanatical devotion to his art.

 His fundamental ideas were always absolutely clear, though he continually changed and improved his techniques. He believed in total realism, and he always painted from life, dragging poor people in from the street if need be.

He became a great realist by painting flowers and fruit, in a variety  of lights, sometimes pure still lifes, sometimes with street boys, such as the model for Bacchus (above).

To achieve realism, he liked to pull his subject out of surrounding darkness into strong lateral or overhead light, as close to the viewer  as possible.

This was a new kind of art, which was to have momentous consequences. It has led some modern writers to speculate that, born into the 20th or 21st Century, Caravaggio would have been a photographer or a filmmaker.

But that is nonsense. Caravaggio, it is clear, adored the feel and line of a brush on a slightly springy surface, prepared with grey (as a rule), and the sheer creative excitement of using the brush to bring the real world out of the darkness of the canvas.

For the first time in the history of art, Caravaggio eliminated the space between the event in the painting and the people looking at it. He created a kind of virtual reality to give you a feeling as though you are right there inside the painting.


Even we, whose vision and sense of reality has been blunted and distorted by television and the cinema, still get tremendous impressions of participating when we see his great canvases close up. What then must it have been like in the early seventeenth century, for people who had never come across anything approaching this blast of actuality, to be brought face-to-face with a reenactment of sacred events in two dimensions, such as St. Francis of Asisi in Ecstasy?

Artists were particularly struck, or perhaps shocked is a better word, but horribly stimulated too, and stirred to find out exactly how the man did it.

Caravaggio, despite all his difficulties, always finished each piece of work if he possibly could, then went directly on to another, with  fresh ideas and new experiments.

He was a Bad Boy. But he was a gifted genius. The Religion of Antinous honors this Patron of Gifted Bad Gay Boys as an exemplar and saint. Let us lift our glasses to St. Caravaggio.