Thursday, August 11, 2022

LEGIONS PROCLAIM HADRIAN EMPEROR
A TURNING POINT IN LGBT HISTORY



ON August 11th 117 AD, the Legions proclaimed Hadrian as successor to Trajan to become Emperor of Rome ... a major turning poing in LGBT history. 

While on campaign in Nikomedia, capital of Bithynia, Hadrian receives word that Trajan unexpectedly died on August 8th.

He learns that Trajan's "deathbed will" named him as the emperor's adopted son and successor. It is the de facto accession of Hadrian as emperor of Rome.

It is believed that Trajan's wife, the Empress Plotina (who adored Hadrian), forged the will of her husband, naming Hadrian as successor. 

Whatever happened, the Legions proclaimed Hadrian emperor on August 11th.

The support of the army insured the validity of our Emperor's claim, ushering in the Sacred and Golden Age of the Antonines, the dynasty of peaceful and wise emperors which would end with Marcus Aurelius. 

Our own FLAMEN ANTINOALIS ANTONIUS SUBIA explains what this means to gay men everywhere:

"Hadrian became Emperor over Rome at the pinnacle of her glory. Her boundaries stretched farther than ever before; farther than they ever would again. Millions of people were subject to his authority. As Emperor, Hadrian first made peace with the Parthians, surrendering some of the land that Trajan had occupied, and then began the work of consolidating the Empire from the inside. We celebrate the Accession of Hadrian as the miracle that might never have been, without which Antinous would never have been known, and our religion would never have been born. Hadrian is Our Father, Our Emperor and Our Capitoline God, we recognize on this day that the beginning of his age is the beginning of our own."

On August 11th, please take a moment to remember the day on which Hadrian's long and heartfelt dreams and ambitions became reality and the path was paved for him to begin work on creating a civilization based on Hellenistic tolerance — and above-all his dream of founding the perfect religion based on love and beauty.

May the Divine Hadrian help us all achieve our heartfelt dreams and ambitions in this regard.

Wednesday, August 10, 2022

MONTAGUE SUMMERS
SAINT OF ANTINOUS


ON AUGUST 10th, the Religion of Antinous honors the Reverend Montague Summers, saint of Antinous, who was a very upfront and openly gay member of the  Sacred Band of Lover/Warriors at the turn of the last century and who published a book of Uranian poetry entitled Antinous.

Born April 10, 1880, the Rev. Montague Summers died at the age of 68 on this day in 1948. 

Here is a splendid contemporary description of him:

"During the year 1927, the striking and somber figure of the Reverend Montague Summers in black soutane and cloak, with buckled shoes — à la Louis Quatorze — and shovel hat could often have been seen entering or leaving  the reading room of the British Museum, carrying a large black portfolio bearing on its side a white label, showing in blood-red capitals, the legend 'VAMPIRES'."

While everyone else in Late Victorian and Edwardian England was constrained by strictures of class and morals, Montague Summers thumbed his nose at all restrictions of any kind. Having studied theology to become an Anglican clergyman, he suddenly claimed he had received a visionary call to become a Roman Catholic priest. He donned self-styled priestly robes and called himself "Reverend Alphonsus Joseph-Mary Augustus Montague Summers" — when in fact he had not been ordained officially by anybody.

It was shocking enough in England to convert to Catholicism and become a priest. But to become a fake priest was even more scandalous. But there was more ....


All the while he was also seriously studying the Occult and became friends with the crowd of Occultists who hung out at Watkins Books just off Leicester Square in London's theatre district — still even today one of the "craftiest" places to see and be seen.

In the late 19th Century, Watkins was the only book shop in England (or perhaps in the world) which specialized in esoteric books and witchy things. It was frequented by Madame Blavatsky and Bram Stoker and Arthur E. Waite and Pamela Colman Smith and — of course — Aleister Crowley. Summers became friends with Crowley and they enjoyed playing off each other, claiming they were opposite "polarities" of magical craft.

When Crowley announced he was a modern-day wizard, Summers responded by announcing he was a modern-day Catholic witch hunter. He wrote his own Malleus Maleficarum which claimed to be an accurate account of witchcraft and of the methods necessary to combat it.

He also wrote a book on The History of Witchcraft and Demonology, saying:

"In the following pages I have endeavored to show the witch as she really was — an evil liver: a social pest and parasite: the devotee of a loathly and obscene creed: an adept at poisoning, blackmail, and other creeping crimes: a member of a powerful secret organization inimical to Church and State: a blasphemer in word and deed, swaying the villagers by terror and superstition: a charlatan and a quack sometimes: a bawd: an abortionist: the dark counselor of lewd court ladies and adulterous gallants: a minister to vice and inconceivable corruption, battening upon the filth and foulest passions of the age".

As with everything that Rev. Summers wrote, it is difficult to determine whether his intention was to condemn or to praise. He was so clearly fascinated by the Occult that one never knew quite whether he was "for it" or "against it."


There was no doubt, however, about his love of handsome youths. It was said that he had never been ordained because of rumours of improprieties with boys as a school teacher, teaching upper class English schoolboys the finer points of Latin.

Indeed, Summers was for a while part of the circle of the Uranian poets, who celebrated ancient Greco-Roman erastos/eromenos man-boy love. His first book, Antinous and Other Poems appeared in 1907 and was dedicated to male-male love.

He was fascinated by Classical male-male love, and by the lives of  the Catholic saints, especially Saint Catherine who was drawn and quartered and who lives on as the English teatime "Hot Cross Bun"  symbolizing the way Catherine was torn limb-from-limb into four gore-spewing pieces rather than give up her faith. Very tasty with tea and clotted cream.

Rev. Summers revelled in telling young boys that their favorite snack symbolized the brutal dismemberment of a lady of faith. All of it told alongside Latin grammar lessons and tales of vampires and werewolves.

After his books on witchcraft, he wrote authoritative books on vampires, including The Vampire: His Kith and Kin (1928) and The Vampire in Europe (1929), and later a definitive book on werewolves, The Werewolf (1933). The werewolf book influence a whole generation of movie-makers, especially the German writer Curt Siodmak who wrote the screenplay for the 1941 horror classic The Wolf Man starring Claude Rains and Lon Chaney Jr.

Nearly everything that you have seen in Hollywood werewolf movies (wolf bane, silver bullets, etc.) comes straight from Curt Siodmak's reading of Rev. Summers book back in the 1930s.

The main difference between Rev. Summer's books on vampires and werewolves and books by other experts was that the other experts referred to these beings as "folklore superstitions" or as "pathological psychoses" in deranged minds. But when you read Rev. Summers' books, you know that he believed in the real actual true-life existence of vampires and werewolves.


In the old Hollywood werewolf movies, when a character went to the bookshelf and pulled down a book on werewolves and turned to a page with a woodcut illustration of a man-wolf — that was a cinematic reference to the 1933 book by Rev. Summers which was in fact on the shelves of well-stocked scholarly libraries around the world.

Summers's work on the occult is notorious for his unusual and old-fashioned writing style, his display of erudition, and especially his undoubted belief in the reality of the subjects he treats.

He was also fascinated by 19th Century Gothic literature. The genre was best exemplified by Mary Shelley's Frankenstein early in the century and the genre came to a thrilling close at the end of the 19th Century with Bram Stoker's Dracula.


Uptight Victorian readers had read Gothic horror novels with a mixture of shock and delight and Summers recognized the art form of the Gothic novel as a symbol of a romantic backlash against urbanization and industrialization.

He knew that "horror" was here to stay as a part of popular culture — as indeed it is. Every book shop, every video/DVD store has a big "Horror" section.

He helped to make horror a serious study of academic research by writing The Gothic Quest: a History of the Gothic Novel (1938), A Gothic Bibliography (1940) and he published a collection of Gothic horror stories in The Supernatural Omnibus (1931) and Victorian Ghost Stories (1936).

Above all, Rev. Summers was very strange and eccentric. The Times of London called him "in every way a 'character' and in some sort a throwback to the Middle Ages". He was also unabashedly and openly homosexual in an age when others (such as St. Oscar Wilde) faced jail and ruination for being gay.

Summers was a member of the Order of Chaeronea, a secret society for gay men founded in 1897 by George Ives, which was named after the location of the battle where the Sacred Band of Thebes was finally annihilated in 338 BC. The Sacred Band consisted of 150 homosexual couples and the reason was that lovers would fight more fiercely and more cohesively at each other's sides than would heterosexual men who were "just buddies."


Rev. Summers is a Blessed Prophet of Homoeros and a Dedicant and Messenger of Antinous among the Aula Sancti Ecclesiae Antinoi (our list of saints).

Tuesday, August 9, 2022

FAMOUS AS HE WAS INFAMOUS
SIMEON SOLOMON IS A SAINT OF ANTINOUS


ON August 14th we honour Simeon Solomon, who died on this date in 1905, and who was one of the most famous and infamous pre-Raphaelite painters of the 19th Century.

He was an outcast in two regards: he was Jewish and he was homosexual.

The pre-Raphaelites rejected the industrial machine age in the mid-19th Century and sought to return the the artistic genius of the late Medieval and early Renaissance "before Raphael."

Solomon was acclaimed for his glowing depictions of Jewish life just as he was derided for his depictions of same-sex love.

At the height of his fame, he was arrested in 1873 at a public lavatory on Oxford Street in the heart of London and thrown in jail. He was in and out of prison the rest of his life on similar public "indecency" convictions.

After his prosecutions he no longer exhibited, but achieved a degree of celebrity amongst those who shared his sensibilities, including Oscar WildeJohn Addington Symonds,Count Eric Stenbock, and Walter Pater, who all collected his works.

He continued to paint in prison. Born 14 August 1840, he died in ignominy 14 August 1905. He is a saint of Antinous!

Monday, August 8, 2022

THE ACCESSION OF HADRIAN
AS EMPEROR OF ROME


ON August 8th 117 AD, Trajan died amidst doubts as to who would be his successor ... paving the way for Hadrian to succeed him as emperor. 

It would not be until August 11th that the situation would become clear and the Legions would proclaim Hadrian emperor.

Hadrian had been on tenterhooks for years wondering whether Trajan would formally adopt him as his heir. 

If Trajan died without the issue of succession being settled, it could result in civil war — or at least in the assassination of Hadrian by some other ambitious man.

Then finally, while on campaign in Nikomedia, capital of Bithynia, Hadrian receives word that Trajan unexpectedly died on August 8th. 


He learns that Trajan's "deathbed will" named him as the emperor's adopted son and successor

It is believed that Trajan's wife, the Empress Plotina (who adored Hadrian), forged the will of her husband, naming Hadrian as successor.

Whatever happened, the Legions proclaimed Hadrian emperor on August 11th. 


The support of the army insured the validity of our Emperor's claim, ushering in the Sacred and Golden Age of the Antonines, the dynasty of peaceful and wise emperors which would end with Marcus Aurelius.

Our own FLAMEN ANTINOALIS ANTONIUS SUBIA explains what this means to gay men everywhere:

"Hadrian became Emperor over Rome at the pinnacle of her glory. Her boundaries stretched farther than ever before; farther than they ever would again. Millions of people were subject to his authority. As Emperor, Hadrian first made peace with the Parthians, surrendering some of the land that Trajan had occupied, and then began the work of consolidating the Empire from the inside. We celebrate the Accession of Hadrian as the miracle that might never have been, without which Antinous would never have been known, and our religion would never have been born. Hadrian is Our Father, Our Emperor and Our Capitoline God, we recognize on this day that the beginning of his age is the beginning of our own."

On August 11th, please take a moment to remember the day on which Hadrian's long and heartfelt dreams and ambitions became reality and the path was paved for him to begin work on creating a civilization based on Hellenistic tolerance — and above-all his dream of founding the perfect religion based on love and beauty.

May the Divine Hadrian help us all achieve our heartfelt dreams and ambitions in this regard.

Sunday, August 7, 2022

HAPPY WORLD CAT DAY
IS YOUR HOME A CAT TEMPLE TOO?


AUGUST 8th is World Cat Day ... so it's the purrr-fect day to look over the shoulders of archaeologists who have unearthed what appears to have been a major temple to the cat goddess Bastet in the royal quarter of ancient Alexandria.

The discovery represents the first trace of the true location of Alexandria's royal quarter, where the Ptolemies resided and which served as the home base for Roman visitors, such as Julius Caesar and Marcus Antonius, and later Emperor Hadrian and his lover Antinous in 130 AD.

The temple was in use for centuries. Presumably it was still in use when Hadrian and Antinous arrived in Alexandria. In later centuries Christians and Moslems used it as a "quarry" for stone to build new structures.

Its ruins remained buried until an archaeological team, doing routine excavations near the Roman theatre in Alexandria, stumbled onto the temple foundations and a cache of 600 Ptolemaic statues, primarily of cats and the goddess Bastet.

The temple was built by Queen Berenike, wife of Ptolemy III (246-222 BC). The temple compound is believed to measure 60 metres by 15 metres and extends underneath the present Ismail Fahmi Street in the heart of Alexandria.

The team, which comprises 18 skilled excavators and restorers, unearthed a large collection of statues depicting the cat goddess Bastet, the goddess of protection and motherhood, which confirms that the temple was dedicated to this popular Delta goddess.

The Bastet statues were unearthed in three different areas of the site  together with other limestone statues of unidentified women and children, according to Al Ahram newspaper. Clay pots as well as bronze and faience statues of various ancient Egyptian deities have also been uncovered, along with terracotta statues of the gods Harpocrates and Ptah.

The temple foundations definitely can be dated to the reign of Queen Berenike, making this the first Ptolemaic temple discovered in Alexandria to be dedicated to the goddess Bastet. It also indicates that the worship of the goddess Bastet continued in Egypt after the decline of the ancient Egyptian dynasties.

An inscribed base of a granite statue from the reign of Ptolemy IV was also unearthed. It bears an Ancient Greek inscription written in nine lines stating that the statue was commissioned by an official of high standing at the Ptolemaic court. Abdel-Maqsoud believes the inscription celebrates Egypt's victory over the Greeks during the Battle of Raphia in 217 BC.

Archaeologists also found a cluster of other ancient structures, including a Roman water cistern, a group of 14-metre-deep water wells, stone water channels, and the remains of a bath area, as well as a large number of clay pots and shards that can be dated as far back as the founding days of Alexandria in the 4th Century BC.


"This find is the first trace of the real location of Alexandria's royal quarter," the newspaper reported.

Saturday, August 6, 2022

WE HONOR KLAUS NOMI
AS A SAINT OF ANTINOUS



SAINT of Antinous Klaus Nomi was a German-trained Baroque opera countertenor who transformed New Wave, Synth Pop and Disco and who inspired David Bowie, Lady Gaga and other artists.

Born 24 Jan 1944 in Bavaria, he died 6 August 1983 in a New York hospital room, shunned and alone because he had AIDS. 

He performed to the end, despite the fact that his body was ravaged by lesions. Watch his last performance: 



Friday, August 5, 2022

CHAVELA VARGAS
SAINT OF ANTINOUS



CHAVELA VARGAS, 17 April 1919 - 5 August 2012, the forceful lesbian songstress who was born in Costa Rica and rose to fame in Mexico, and influenced generations on both sides of the Atlantic, is a Saint of Antinous.

When she died in 2012 at age 93, she was especially known for her rendition of Mexican rancheras, but she is also recognized for her contribution to other genres of popular Latin American music.

Never one to hide her lesbianism, she has been an influential interpreter in America and Europe, muse to figures such as Pedro Almodóvar, hailed for her haunting performances, and called "la voz áspera de la ternura," the rough voice of tenderness.

FLAMEN ANTONIUS SUBIA speaks for millions of gays in the Spanish-speaking world when he says her passing is a saddening loss. He grew up with her music.

ANTONIUS RECALLS:

My parents had always played her music it...among many other singers...she was the only one who made an impact on me.  She was the only one who stood out...mostly because I could tell that she was crazy...she wasn't trying to sound pretty or traditional...but more like someone having an attack of too much feelings.

It wasn't until I was in my late teens that a friend pointed out that all her love songs are sung about women, I hadn't even noticed, I had just taken them at face value, you broke my heart songs, without really thinking about the context...that was when I really started to like Chavela Vargas...when it suddenly dawned on me that this dramatic, bellowing woman, who was such a favorite of my parents, was A LESBIAN!!!

As it turns out she was a hard-core lesbian, though never public about her sexuality, she never actually hid it...it was pretty much right there for everyone to see.  She drank heavily, carried a gun and wore a big red poncho...how can you not love a lesbian such as that?!  Eventually the drinking became too much and she dropped out of making music for a long, long time...only to return about 10 years ago, at 83 years of age with a new album...and it was during her return that I finally learned that, yes indeed, just as I suspected, she was in fact a Lesbian.  My favorite quote is when she said: 

"I've never even been to bed with a man. Never. That's how pure I am; I have nothing to be ashamed of. My gods made me the way I am." - Chavela Vargas

Chavela Vargas is a blessed Saint of Antinous.

ANTONIUS SUBIA