Sunday, January 23, 2022

THE MARTYRS OF ANTINOOPOLIS


ON January 23rd the Religion of Antinous honors the first of the many Christian Martyrs of Antinoe, also known as Antinoopolis. The first of the Egyptian martyrs with whose name and acts we are acquainted was Asclas of Antinoopolis.

This part of Egypt, near the nome sacred to Anubis, has always been a hotbed of religious fervor ever since the days when the "heretic pharaoh" Akhenaten built his capital city here, a scant 20 kms from our Sacred City of Antinoopolis. Christians and Jews constituted a major portion of the population of Antinopoolis. 

After all, the city was the flower of Greek civilization deep in the desert of the Thebaid, and it was a haven for dispossessed and exiled thinkers and theological revolutionaries.

There was a period of time in which Antinoopolis fell under the sway of the fear and violence that had swept across the world. The Christian faith was suffering one of the bloodiest persecutions in its history. Diocletian had sought to curb the rising tide of Christianity with brutal violence. He issued decrees that all citizens should be compelled to demonstrate their piety to the Roman Gods by offering sacrifice. It was a direct challenge. Any person who refused was not only insulting the Gods of Rome, but showing disloyalty to the Emperor and to Rome herself.

Such treason was punishable by death. This was a legal way to persecute Christianity, it was not an attack on the Christian doctrine, or its practices, but was an unavoidable line that no Christian would cross.

It is interesting to note that though many of the Christians were executed by beheading or by being shot through with arrows, some were executed by being drowned in the Nile. This similarity between their death and the death of Antinous must have been very moving to the Ancient Priests of Antinous. And it is also interesting that the authorities were not sensitive to the nature of this form of execution in the Sacred City of a boy who had become a god simply by drowning in the Nile.
The first was Asclas, who was arrested and tortured for his faith by order of Arrian, the governor of Antinoopolis who himself would later convert to Christianity. While Asclas was being tortured in prison by hot irons which left his flesh hanging down in strips, Arrian had reason to cross the River Nile to go to Hermopolis on government business.

Antinoopolis lies on the east bank of the Nile (depicted at left in its heyday), and Hermopolis (Sacred City of Hermes) is located diagonally across from Antinoopolis on the west bank of the Nile. But inexplicably, Arrian found he was absolutely unable to leave the water's edge.

Asclas sent word that the governor would never be able to cross the river until he acknowledged Christ in writing. Arrian wrote out the statement, and was promptly able to leave the river bank. He crossed the Nile, and the moment he was on the other side, he ordered that Asclas be thrown into the Nile with a stone tied around his neck, whereupon he drowned. 
This story, while odd-sounding to us today, was very clear to Egyptians. Hermopolis is the Sacred City of Hermes/Anubis, or Hermanubis.

This remarkable deity, who lives on in Christianity as St. Christopher, is responsible for conveying souls across the Celestial Nile after death. People in Antinoopolis worshipped both Antinous and Hermanubis.

The miracle of St. Asclan is meant to show that the Christian god is the equal of Hermanubis. Within a few generations, Hermanubis "morphed" into Christopher who, in this early Coptic mural at right, still has canine features. Next time you see a plastic St. Christopher statuette on a taxi dashboard, remember that it is actually Anubis without his doggy ears. He's not carrying the baby Jesus on his shoulders. He's carrying the Boy God Antinous over the celestial Nile to eternal divinity.

Against that background of intermingling spiritual beliefs, the Religion of Antinous acknowledges the suffering of St. Asclas and of all the Christian Martyrs of Antinoopolis out of our Love for Antinous in whose Sacred City they died. Though their faith was in Christ and not in Antinous, we nevertheless honor them and glorify them because they were Antinoopolitans, people of Antinous.

We ask their forgiveness for the murder and persecution of the Christian Martyrs and in their memory ask that we may be free from intolerance and never again partake in the crime of the ancient citizens of Antinoopolis.

The image above left is not Asclas, but is a burial painting of a person whose mummy was buried in the desert of the Fayoum in Egypt, which is the region of Antinoopolis. It is presented here as a contemporary image of what St. Asclas may have looked like.
 

Saturday, January 22, 2022

ANTONIUS SUBIA STRIDES THROUGH
HADRIAN'S GATE AT PHILAE ISLAND




A highlight of my pilgrimage to Egypt

Was the Philae Island Temple 

On the Upper Nile

Last stand of the Pagan religion.

Long after Theodosius outlawed the old religions,

The priests of Isis continued their devotions.

It was a great honor to visit that beautiful little island

And there is a corridor called Hadrian's gate

In my photo at the top of this entry!

Ave Antinous!


~ANTONIUS SUBIA

                        MORE PHOTOS BELOW:







Friday, January 21, 2022

THE ASSUMPTION OF GANYMEDE


OUR Father Jupiter descended upon the slopes of Mt. Ida in the form of an eagle and carried away Ganymede, the beautiful young prince of Troy, ravaging him, and elevating him to live among the immortals.

At the table of the Olympian gods, Jupiter installed his Ganymede as the divine cup-bearer who pours out nectar-wine from the cup of eternal life.

This love affair between the Phrygian prince and the Father of the Gods is a divine parallel of the love between Antinous and Hadrian.

Ganymede is the emblem of the coming Age of Aquarius, when peace and love will rule the hearts of all men.

On this day, the beginning of the sign of Aquarius, we observe the deification of Antinous as having made union with the Thunderbird-Phoenix-Eagle, and having been elevated to reign among the immortals in the manner of Ganymede. And we pray for the hastening of the coming age.

Thursday, January 20, 2022

WE HAVE A PRIEST OF ANTINOUS
IN AFRICA FOR THE FIRST TIME

Priest Adriaan van den Berg






WE have a new priest of Antinous! Adriaan van den Berg of Blomfontein, South Africa, was consecrated tonight as the priest of the newly established Temple of Antinous in Southern Africa.

His priestly name is Adriaanus Hostilius van den Berg and he took his vows during international Zoom ceremonies attended by attendees in North America, South America, Britain and Europe.

Below is Adriaan's formal statement of faith:

My Declarion of Belief 
Pledge of Duty and Commitment 
My Request for Blessings

By Hadrianus Hostilius van den Berg 
as a Priest of Antinous

To be Presented and Read at My Consecration 
as a Priest of Antinous on 20 January 2022


To be consecrated as a Priest of Antinous, I render this Declaration of Belief and a Statement of Acceptance of Commitment as a Priest -

With this Declaration, I hereby acknowledge the god Antinous and state my belief in him.

1) As such qualify this belief as belief that recognizes •The earthly life of Antinous as a mortal, •His life as the companion and as the beloved to the founder ofour faith, the Emperor Hadrian and •The death of Antinous in the Nile and his descent into the underworld,

2) I believe in and bear testimony of these as the important seeding experiences and events that would culminate in and become the great sacred gifts of •His deification, of •His faith and •His mysteries.

3) I hereby specifically proclaim Antinous’ deification as a god as an article of my belief since it is the foundation of Antinous’ godliness central to my belief in him…I therefore recognize our Founder Hadrian for deifying Antinous and for calling upon the gods for his deification and pay tribute to the gods here amongst us who attended to Antinous’ deification since I believe that it was by confluence of their wills, by their decrees and powers that Antinous was given his divinity and granted his godliness, they bestowed upon him their essences and conferred upon him some of their powers, they wished humanity to receive as a helper and a friend such a being as they raised from the dead and for whom they threw open the gates of the underworld and who stepped from the Nile as our god Antinous. My beliefs therefore recognize the honored gods Hapi, Anubis, Osiris, Persephone, Re-Herakte, Horus and Thoth and the gods with whom Antinous would become syncretized, and I include the godly deity whom the Obelisk of Antinous names as the Lord of Time and as the Creator who according to the Obelisk “filled Antinous with his seed” upon elevating him to godliness.•I declare belief in and bear testimony that Antinous was made and confirmed a god several times over, and upon this god I fix my beliefs. 

4) My belief in Antinous’ godliness also is inspired by and encompasses recognition and belief in his miracles:In his two greatest miracles of which the first was •his great inundation and flooding of the Nile to end an enduring drought visiting the horrors of famine upon Egypt upon whose harvests an entire Empire depended and whereby Antinous’ fed and saved the people of nations upon three continents.

5) My belief recognizes the 400 years of ancient worship of Antinous and of his service and relationship with humanity and •the innumerous private and personal miracles that Antinous had worked in the lives of his believers for which he was known, loved and worshipped by his ancient believers as the Great and the Good God Antinous.

Insofar as my belief in Antinous the miraculous and in his miracles concern his second great miracle, I have to remember how this 400 year-long ancient worship and relationship with humanity was ended by an upsurge of fanaticism and hatred in which Antinous was especially singled out for his homosexual relationship with Hadrian during his mortal life and for supposedly being the god of the sexually perverted and of the gender deviant. This hatred and destruction and the thousand two hundred years of darkness that came in its wake, invited and prompted and was followed by the second of his two greatest miracles. 

6) And arriving at this second of his greatest miracles, my belief professes that his second great miracle was the triumph of Antinous over death a second time, being his triumph over the murder and death visited upon the ancient gods conceived and attempted within the fullest of human abilities and begun by Theodosius in the year 395AD.This belief of mine recognizes Antinous the miraculous persevered for a thousand two hundred years without sustenance and support of belief and prayers from followers, that he survived without offerings and devotions from Priests, that grievous willful destruction and desecration of his statues and of anything that bore his image did him no harm and that his temples was toppled yet that he would endure a thousand two hundred years without sanctuary and without any of these things.

Thus my belief is in a god who prevailed and triumphed over the attempted murder and destruction of the pagan gods’ in all their known forms of existence, their toppling from all their earthly stations and above all their total banishment from human hearts, minds and lives and the inference and imposition of death upon them by the complete denial of them and their existence and its replacement with belief in their non-existence and that they were dead.

The second great miracle in which I believe is however not merely Antinous’ survival and endurance and his second triumph over death, but also his triumphant and magnificent re-emergence and manifestation in what was the beginning of the modern world. As such my belief in the second of Antinous’ great miracles is based on what are recognized and recorded real world events and verifiable historical facts which began his stunning re-emergence and manifestation in the world with the people supposedly still dedicated to blotting out any trace of him suddenly beginning to seek and to dig out his statues and likenesses with their own hands and to lovingly restore and to protect it as their very own leaders (like the cardinals de Medici and Albani and the pope himself)becoming the most ardent collectors and protectors of Antinous’ statues and objects bearing his images until these stood and were presented in their highest seat of power of the Vatican itself where they still remain under Christian protection today. My belief is inspired by the then unprecedented coinciding eruption at that same moment in history of curiosity and interest in Antinous that compelled people to speak of him, and by the fact that books of the early Church Fathers that inveighed against him and which intended to destroy any belief in Antinous became sources of learning about Antinous and his cultus, from the writing of Oregen of Alexandria, to Saint Jerome, Prudentius, Tartullian, Celement and Saint Athanasius and Justin Martyre whose god has anyway been allied with Antinous since the time of Antinoopolis and whom Antinous has never nutured any enmity for.

7) It is my belief that since the advent of the second great miracle, Antinous has persistently manifested and assumed a place in the modern world for more than three centuries since that astonishing miraculous emergence right at the beginning of the modern world. I believe he persistently assumes new forms and manifestations and ways and means of speaking to people in contemporary idioms and through available artistic conventions and in guises recognizable to modern people and my belief hereby becomes based on my personal witnessing of Antinous in his most vibrant presences, forms, with his likenesses recreated, updated, glorified, adorned and exalted by numerous contemporary artists and by ordinary people in the newly created virtual worlds, in the digitalized dimensions and in the electronic ether and in the media and lives online of people today. Thus I believe in the last of the ancient classical gods who is now also a thoroughly modern deity.

8) My final belief in Antinous is in and recognizes two of his divine purposes: 1) Antinous’ first divine purpose is to not force belief in him, but to open a way to experience with him. Thus he inspires private as well as open public worship of him as conduits for this experience –and open public worship of him was initiated in the year 2000, in the exact birth year of the new millennium, by the vanguard of a small inspired cadre of believers. 2) His second divine purpose recognized in my beliefs is that Antinous has come to be the god and the recourse of an outcast, despised, oppressed and persecuted people who have been denied even the right to turn their faces to and to address themselves to any god and who has been the victims of the longest and most enduring holocaust in human history who were and are still punished for their love: So my beliefs salute the god who came to be a god of homosexuals, to lesbians and to the transgender and to people of every sexual orientation and every possible gender variant but also for all and any people who may need and want him as friend and to be a god to them.

9) This is the Antinous I believe in: Conceived from divine seed, as the son of gods, made immortal and divine to be a gift from the gods to us, whose coming was marked by appearance of a star that has signalled his presence to successive generations ever since and that has recently been recognised to be a pulsing supernova also known as the Star of Antinous that at the right times can also be visible to all and any of you in the night sky, a befitting reminder that this also the god who is to be a beloved to other gods and to us, the agatho daemon, a godly spirit servant and helper to mankind, a faithful attendant to us throughout life who is tasked with also being a companion to us in the passing over of death and then to also be a guide in the beyond, this is the god unlike any other, known since ancient times as the Great and Good God Antinous.

10) I hereby end my declaration of belief with expressed gratitude to you who were witness to it. I seek not to convince you to share in my beliefs, neither does Antinous, my attempt was rather aimed at declaring my belief to ground and motivate and qualify my decision to become his Priest. It is my hope that you and Antinous could discern by my declared beliefs just how I see and perceive him and that him and you will consider it as a view and belief befitting of and qualifying me as worthy of becoming his Priest.


Acceptance of Commitments and Duties
and of Recognition as a Priest of Antinous

 

I hereby acknowledge and accept the following commitments and duties as a Priest of Antinous…

·       That I will commit myself to Antinous the god for as long as I live, and commit myself to his faith and to his believers.

·       That as such, I will offer Antinous devotions, offerings, hymns and prayers– thus rendering it as a daily and lifelong service to him.

·       That I will maintain and promote his faith in accordance with its ancient and contemporary customs and forms.

·       That I will be of service and succour to his believers and care for their welfare and wellbeing.

·       That as a mark of my acceptance of these commitments and duties as a Priest of Antinous, I accept the priestly names of Hadriaanus Hostilius in honor of Antinous and Hadrianus the Founder and Hostilius Marcellus, the ancient Priest of Corinth

And as a Priest, I recognize:

·       The cadre of pioneering believers who re-established worship of Antinous in and since the year 2000 as the founders of our modern Antinoan faith, who consecrated themselves as the first new Priets of Antinous in the modern world and whose legacy I will protect and advance.

·       The Temple of Antinous as my spiritual home and the organisation within which I will live and develop my spiritual life as a believer and Priest of Antinous.

·       I recognize within the Temple of Antinous: Flamen Antonius Subia as our spiritual leader, the Priest Hernestus as our Epistrategos and as my personal priest and mentor, the Sacerdotium of Priests and the Priests as my peers as my fellows and as my brothers, teachers and guides.

·       I recognize and accept that I will abide by the authority, customs, rules and directives of the Temple, the Sacredotium and our leaders.

·       Finally, I wish to recognize and state my gratitude three believers for having been my teachers and mentors: The Priest and Epistrategos Herenestus whose apprentice I have been, Flamen Antonius Subia and Doctor P. Sufenas Virius Lupus whose student I had been. To the three of them I offer special thanks.

May Antinous and you all be witnesses to allow this and may Antinous bless you all.

Ave Antinous!
ADRIAAN VAN DEN BERG
Priest of Antinous

SAINT SEBASTIAN


ON January 20th the Religion of Antinous honors SAINT SEBASTIAN who, despite being a Christian martyr, has been identified by homosexuals of all beliefs over the centuries as a symbol of our persecution and suffering.

Sebastian was an officer in the Imperial Guard of Emperor Diocletian, and he was a Christian.

In 302 A.D. Diocletian subjected the Christians to a brutal persecution, and it was during this period that Sebastian was "outed" to the Emperor as a practicing Christian.

When asked to sacrifice before a pagan altar, Sebastian refused and  was sentenced to death. He was tied to a column before Mauritanian archers, who shot him with arrows...but to no effect. 


Sebastian was strengthened by his faith, and did not die. He was finally clubbed to death in front of Emperor.
  
Homosexuals over the centuries have looked to Sebastian as a patron saint. His manner of death, which is like an affliction of Eros, and the sight of the beautiful young soldier plumed with arrows, has moved our hearts over the ages more than all other Christian saints.

In the Middle Ages, he was said to have power over the plague. And during the Black Death, his popularity grew among the penitent flagellants.

His image was a favorite subject of homosexual artists during the Renaissance who were fascinated by the erotic charge of his death. 

During the early 19th Century he was taken up as the model for homosexual suffering and persecution, some writers even claiming that he was the young lover of Diocletian and that his martyrdom had a jealous, sexual subtext.

In our time, the power of St. Sebastian over the Plague has made him a spiritual force in the fight against AIDS. And so we recognize his sanctity as the patron saint of homosexuals and as a protector from our modern plague. 

We consecrate him to the Religion of Antinous and offer our own quivering-hearts as a target for his thousand arrows of love.

Wednesday, January 19, 2022

THE GOING FORTH OF ANUBIS


ON January 20th is the Ancient Egyptian Feast of "The Going Forth of Anubis" (Yinepu) when his statues are carried through the streets for worshipers to honor ... in hopes that Anubis will convey them through the darkness of death to eternal light and life. 

This feast occurs between the completion of the mummification of Antinous on January 11th and the birthday of Hadrian on January 24th.

Anubis leads the new god Antinous to the Home of the Gods amongst the Imperishable Stars.

Tuesday, January 18, 2022

FEATURED ANTINOUS STATUE OF THE DAY
THE ANTINOUS OF ELEUSIS


THIS statue of Antinous from Eleusis - Ἐλευσίς - is the only one that seems to refer back to an incident in his life, his initiation into the Eleusinian Mysteries of death and resurrection in September 128 AD.

The sculpture was erected after his death in the outer courtyard of Eleusis and captures this instant of his life, though officially it depicts him as the god Dionysos Zagreus, a divinity of suffering abd resurrection associated with the Eleusinian Mysteries.

Technically it is not one of the best of the depictions of Antinous, but it evokes a mood and a moment.


The sulptor clearly envisaged the young lad draped in his himation, standing in the darkened Telesterion (the initiation hall) and confronted with the Eleusinian Mysteries of death and resurrection.

He clutches at the folds of his himation anxiously, insecure, staring wide-eyed, his mouth pursed in awe, with an expression of apprehension, intent rapture and awareness of the tremendous significance of what was being revealed to him.


Even though it is a mediocre statue in workmanship and details it is redeemed by its expressiveness and pathos.

This statue is now housed in the Archaeological Museum of Eleusis: Antinous as Dionysus Zagreus, Inv. 5092, 1.83 m, in marble of Thasos.