Monday, September 27, 2021
Sunday, September 26, 2021
DURING weekend ceremonies at the Hollywood Temple of Antinous, worshipers (worldwide via Zoom) commemorate the Equinox, the Stag Hunt and the visit of Antinous to the fabled city of Heliopolis a few weeks before Antinous drowned ... where Antinous said he would be willing to give his life for Hadrian.
According to texts newly translated by Antonius Subia this was the fateful decision which is the key to understanding why Antinous was deified. is the festival of Re at Heliopolis.
Heliopolis is a city which our spiritual leader ANTONIUS SUBIA visited during his 2020 sacred pilgrimage to Egypt.
After leaving Alexandria, the first important stop for Antinous on the Nile journey in late 130 AD was at Heliopolis, the ancient center of the worship of Re, the sun god.
The Obelisk of Antinous speaks of Antinous being full of the "Semen of the First God" which is the creative force of the universe.
That means Antinous can assume "any form his heart desires" since he (like Osiris) is one with the First God ... and one with the Bennu Bird.
Antinous IS the Phoenix.
As sacred synchronicity would have it, "Bennu Phoenix" birds (Egyptian storks) flew over Antonius Subia's head during his 2020 pilgrimage ... most notably when three Bennu bird storks flew overhead during the ABU SIMBEL SUNRISE cosmic event on September 22nd.
So it was imperative for Antonius to visit Heliopolis ... which he died on the final day of his pilgrimage ... despite hindrances and setbacks.
From the day we arrived I was trying to get there but it kept getting pushed back for another day. Finally the last day came and I was not going to be dissuaded from seeing Heliopolis.
It turned out to be an arduous ordeal across the worst parts of Cairo ... In the Rain and at rush hour ... all of which turned what I thought would be a short solo excursion ... into a four-hour journey.
I decided just to take a taxi ... made arrangements to meet everyone later at the Dervish dancers at 6:30 (actually I was supposed to go back to the hotel first then we would all go together).
The taxi driver didn't speak a word of English but when I showed him where I wanted to go he said okay ... as we left I realized that he thought I wanted to go to a Hotel called Heliopolis ... and he had no idea where to go.
Eventually he called a guy from the sidewalk who spoke a little English to translate ... and then he said he knew and off we went.
I had no idea how far it actually was ... and in a rough industrial area full of burning garbage (and I have been in some extremely rough parts of Egypt ... but this was the worst.
The taxi driver and I eventually could chat using the "translate conversation" function on my phone ... even he said that it was in a Bad Neighborhood.
Suddenly in the distance I see it ... The Giant Obelisk! ... one of the only Obelisks still standing in its original location.
There was a lovely little park surrounding it with what little remains of the once glorious city of Ra, where the Great Temple once stood, which is said to have been larger, older and more spectacular than Karnak.
The Great Temple of Ra at Heliopolis was where the creation story involving the god Atum masturbating the universe into being took place. (Illustration above: "Israel In Egypt" by Edward John Poynter)
The city where Orpheus, Pythagoras, Homer and Plato all came to study with the priests of The Temple of Ra-Atum.
It is also where Antinous and Hadrian came during their visit a few months before Antinous drowned, the place where the event in which Antinous said he would be willing to give his life for Hadrian occurred.
I needed to see Heliopolis
I needed to stand where Antinous once stood,
Where he willingly dedicated his life to Hadrian
So many obstacles tried to prevent me from getting there.
I went all by myself into the wild worst parts of Cairo, and paid a heavy fare to get there and back.
I spent as long as I could, absorbing the presence and power beneath what could be seen around me ... and thanked Antinous for making it possible for me to have this magical moment.
My last adventure in Egypt.
The way back was worse than getting there, I barely made it on-time to see the dervish dancers ... which was surreal in its self.
Then back to the Hotel to pack and head to the airport where I am now.
Heliopolis was wonderful ... and heart-breaking.
Egypt was wonderful and heart-breaking.
It has been the most powerful experience of my life so far and it will take a while to go through all that I have experienced.
The Obelisk of Heliopolis will stand as my final pilgrimage station in Egypt. Although so many obstacles endeavored to prevent me from getting there ... I overcame all that came before me and stood in the footsteps of Antinous.
Saturday, September 25, 2021
ON International Rabbit Day, observed on the fourth Saturday in September, we honor the Chinese "Rabbit God" of homosexuality.
Just as Antinous the Gay God is being re-discovered in the West, Hu Tianbao alias Tu Er Shen the "Rabbit God" is being rediscovered by Chinese gay people.
While no one knows if gays in mainland China worship him ... there is a temple in Yonghe city (永和市）in Taiwan that venerates Hu Tianbao, alias Tu Er Shen. The temple is known as the RABBIT TEMPLE (兔兒廟). The address is Taipei, Yonghe City, Yonghe Road Section 1, Alley 37, No 12.
Friday, September 24, 2021
CANOPUS and Heracleion! Where Hadrian and Antinous spent pleasant days away from the hubbub of steamy Alexandria in August and September of the year 130 ... just weeks before tragedy.
Heracleion is a real-life Atlantis which sank off the coast of Egypt nearly 1,200 years ago has now been brought back to the surface with the help of 3-D ... and Antinous and Hadrian visited this city ... before a massive earthquake caused it to sink beneath the waves.
The city of Heracleion, home of the temple where Cleopatra was enthroned, was one of the most important trade centres in the Mediterranean area before it disappeared into what is now the Bay of Aboukir.
The Imperial entourage visited Alexandria and nearby Canopus in August or September 130 AD.
It is hard to believe they would have passed by fabled Heracleion without at least a brief stop to pay respects at the famous temple of Hapi the Nile inundation deity ... it was Hapi who helped Antinous perform his first miracle after deification.
Heracleion had been the primary Egyptian port at the mouth of the western arm of the Nile prior to the founding of Alexandria.
By the time Hadrian and Antinous saw Herakleion the city had been in genteel decline for 300 years but was still an important destination for annual pilgrimages by the Egyptian faithful during the annual inundation of the Nile.
Nearby Canopus had a reputation as the fun spot of the ancient world, a sort of Las Vegas or Monte Carlo or Club Med where those who could afford it played in the sun (and in the pleasure houses) of what is recorded history's first fun-in-the-sun resort.
Canopus was a welcome change from Alexandria, where Christians and Jews waged bloody street battles and where the snooty Greco-Egyptian social classes looked down on the upstart Romans and gossiped viciously behind their backs ... "but not too far behind their backs," as Antinous authority Royston Lambert notes.
"Hurt and resentful," Lambert writes in "Beloved and God," "Hadrian and his circle may in late August have removed themselves from the intense and captious city along the canal to the elegant and relaxed pleasure resort of Canopus with its elegant villas, its vine-threaded arches straddling the water to shade its revellers and its splendid Serapeam."
Lambert points out that "it was delicious Canopus and not mocking Alexandria" that Hadrian used as the motif in a special "resort-theme" area in his villa at Tibur.
In Marguerite Yourcenar's novel "Hadrian's Memoirs," it is at Canopus that Hadrian (increasingly obsessed with omens and astrological prognostications as his health fails) consults a "heka" (Egyptian magic) mistress and asks the old witch if there is any way to extend his lifespan.
Antinous' beloved tame falcon is sacrificed and its ka is added to the many kas of the emperor's in what the witch says is a guaranteed way to prolong Hadrian's longevity.
An even more sure-fire way would be for a human being to sacrifice his life in love and total devotion to the emperor.
But human sacrifice had been banned by Hadrian's predecessor Tiberius and Hadrian was known to oppose such practices.
So Hadrian and Antinous return to Alexandria and Hadrian considers the matter closed. Only later does he learn that Antinous secretly goes back to Canopus.
"He paid another visit to the sorceress," Hadrian writes in his memoirs.
Only a few pages later, with the Nile flood lagging and with Hadrian's health flagging, Antinous makes a burnt sacrifice of a lock of his hair at an Egyptian temple on the banks of the Nile opposite Hermopolis.
Then he sheds his clothes and folds them neatly on the bank ... and walks out into the Nile....
Thursday, September 23, 2021
ON THE EQUINOX in September the Religion of Antinous commemorates the FEAST OF THE PERSEPHONEA — the initiation of Antinous into the ELEUSINIAN MYSTERIES in Greece at the outset of Emperor Hadrian's Imperial Tour of the Eastern Provinces.
Historical records state that, in the late summer of the year 128, the Imperial Court embarked on a grand tour of the East. The Empress Sabina, Hadrian's wife, and her attendants were members of the entourage.
But on this particular journey, Antinous was the most favored of Hadrian's companions. Their love affair was openly, and gracefully displayed before the eyes of the world. This journey through the East, what we call the SACRED PEREGRINATION, is the only part of the short life of Antinous that history has conveyed to us.
For this reason it takes on the importance of a sacred epic. Antinous was in the very flower of his beauty and vigor, he was a shining star held in the wings of the Imperial Eagle, and it is no coincidence that this court of demigods should travel through the lands of Ganymede, Attis, Adonis, Jesus and Osiris, who were all beautiful souls taken from life before their time.
The court stayed in Athens for five or even six months, they arrived in time for the celebration of the MYSTERIES OF ELEUSIS, which symbolically portrayed the rape of Proserpina by Hades, the mourning of her mother Demeter, and the return of Spring.
In the modern Religion of Antinous, we commemorate these ELEUSINIAN MYSTERIES during the September Equinox, for it is believed that Antinous underwent the secret initiations provided by the Priests of Eleusis at the Temple of Demeter/Ceres.
The painting above by Joseph Gandy in 1818 shows how the temple may have looked in the 2nd Century AD. The painting at right is "The Garden of Persephone" by Robert Hale Ives Gammell.
Through the Priests of Eleusis Antinous received the consecration of the dark goddess of the underworld Persephone/Proserpina, which prepared him for his own death and resurrection.
In the Mysteries of Eleusis, the initiates are led into the realm of death and are confronted with immediate death.
Two years later, in 130 AD, Hadrian and Antinous would indeed be confronted by physical death.
In the Mysteries of Eleusis (and indeed in the Underworld after Death), the initiates cannot go back the way they have come.
And they cannot go forward without knowing the Words of Power that will allow the gatekeepers to throw open their gates.
But we face such situations not only in secret initiations, or on our deathbeds. No, we face such "mysteries" every day of our lives.
We put off our dreams and aspirations so we can cope more effectively with the challenges of the present, ostensibly to have more time and leisure to realize our purpose in the future.
Or we tell ourselves that we will chase our dreams someday once we have accomplished other lesser goals.
(Photo left: Antinous statue found at Eleusis.)
In truth, it is our fear that keeps us from seeking fulfillment in the here and now — because we view failure as a possibility, our reasons for delaying our inevitable success seem sound and rational.
If we ask ourselves what we are really waiting for, however, we discover that there is no truly compelling reason why we should put off the pursuit of the dreams that sustain us.
That is what "mystery initiations" are all about. Hadrian and Antinous were forced by the Eleusinian priests to confront their fears and to find a way to go forth into life — NOW. They had no options. It was now or never. Life or Oblivion. In our own lives, we face the same question every day. And usually we try to find a way to avoid the question.
The idols, the images, the icons, the gilded statues and the gods themselves are as nothing.
YOU YOURSELF HOLD THE KEYS TO FINDING AND FULFILLING YOUR OWN DESTINY.
It is yours to find and to fulfill. No one else's. Not even the gods'.
That is what the ELEUSINIAN MYSTERIES are all about. And that is what the PERSEPHONEA is all about. And the Journey Up the Nile by Hadrian and Antinous to their Fateful Destiny with Eternity. And it is also what the symbolism of the Equinoxes is all about.
Even if the days are getting shorter, they are also getting longer — it is all a matter of perspective. The days ARE getting longer — our brothers in South America, South Africa and Australia can look out the window and see the lavender blossoms of the jacarandas in springtime bloom.
Remember Hadrian and Antinous in the Underworld (or on their Fateful Voyage Up the Nile) and understand what they understood: That the keys of fate are in your hands and you can venture forth RIGHT NOW wherever you wish to go.
FOR IT IS WRITTEN ON THE OBELISK OF ANTINOUS:
He is able to enter any place he wishes.
The Guardians of the Gates
Of the Underworld
Say "Praise to You!" to Him...
They loosen their bolts
And throw open their Gates before Him ...
Millions of years ... daily ...
As His duration of life is as the sun,
Never in eternity elapsing!"
Wednesday, September 22, 2021
"All I can ever do is turn the key that they alone suspected was there, but the door is for them to open. The statues, and the stark reality of his life, show that there are many sides to our Antinous, none of which is ultimately and universally true.
Antinous was a flesh-and-blood human being of lowly birth.
Antinous and Hadrian were male-male lovers.
Antinous died tragically, perhaps in sacrifice for his beloved Emperor.
Hadrian "wept like a woman" and issued a decree establishing the Religion of Antinous … declaring Antinous a God … the last Classical Deity.
Because that's the first place to look for him.
Tuesday, September 21, 2021
We look to the story of Cyparissus the beautiful boy who was lover of Apollo or in another version of the forest god Silvanus.
We pray to the Horned God to come into our lives and direct our magical forces as gay men towards fulfilling our goals and accomplishing our dreams. We are both hunter and hunted.
Ave Antinous the Stag Hunter