Tuesday, June 30, 2020
ANTINOUS is the God of the Men with the Pink Triangles, gay victims of the Nazis.
So it is with profound humility that we proclaim an anti-Nazi resistance fighter and the last known gay Jewish survivor of the Holocaust to be a Saint of Antinous.
GAD BECK died in Berlin in 2012 six days before his 89th birthday on June 30.
Beck was a pioneering gay activist and educator in a severely anti-homosexual, repressive post-World War II German society. He was famous for his witty, lively style of speaking.
On a German talk show, he said with a wink to his small physical size, "The Americans in New York called me a big hero. I said no... I’m really a little hero."
Perhaps the single most important experience that shaped his life was the war-time effort to rescue his boyfriend. Beck donned a Hitler Youth uniform and entered a deportation center to free his Jewish lover Manfred Lewin.
After bluffing his way out of the deportation center, as the two youths were hurrying down the road to freedom, Manfred stopped and said he couldn't go on.
He tearfully said he would never forgive himself if he abandoned his family. So, with a parting kiss, he turned back and Gad never saw him again.
The Nazis would later deport the entire Lewin family to Auschwitz, where they were murdered.
Gad's only memento of Manfred was a little notebook with poems, sketches and essays which Manfred had written, plus a photograph. Gad treasured them all his life.
Speaking about his life as a gay Jew, Beck invoked a line frequently cited about homosexuality: "God doesn't punish for a life of love."
He was featured in the film THE LIFE OF GAD BECK (Die Freiheit des Erzählens: Das Leben des Gad Beck) as well as in the German documentary film PARAGRAPH 175. (The notorious Paragraph 175 of the German Penal Code outlawed homosexuality before Adolf Hitler became chancellor in 1933, and the Nazi party radically intensified the enforcement of the anti-gay law, including deportations to extermination camps.)
Aside from the two documentaries, however, he said with typical humor that he was still waiting for the blockbuster, feature-length movie about his life, and he knew just the man to bring it to the big screen.
"Only Steven Spielberg could film my life – forgive me, forgive me," Beck quipped.
He had immigrated to Israel in 1947. After his return to Germany in 1979, the first post-Holocaust head of Berlin's Jewish community, Heinz Galinski, appointed Beck director of the Jewish Adult Education Center in Berlin.
In a telephone interview with Judith Kessler, editor of the Berlin Jewish community's monthly magazine, Juedisches Berlin, she told THE JERUSALEM POST that Beck would organize gay singles meeting in the center.
"He was open, sweet and would speak with everybody," she said. Kessler, who knew Beck since 1989, added that he would attend the annual Christopher Street Day Parade for gay pride in Berlin and wave an Israeli flag.
Beck's father was an Austrian Jew and his mother converted to Judaism.
The Nazi racial laws defined Beck as mischling (mixed-breed), and he and his father were carted off to a holding compound in the Rosenstrasse in central Berlin.
After the non-Jewish wives of the prisoners launched a massive street protest in 1943, Beck was released. There were "thousands of women who stood for days... my aunts demanded 'give us our children and men'," he said.
The Rosenstrasse demonstration helped debunk the widespread myth in post-Holocaust German society that resistance against Nazism was futile.
"The Rosenstrasse event made one thing absolutely clear to me: I won't wait until we get deported," said Beck.
Following his release, Beck joined Chug Chaluzi, an underground Zionist resistance youth group, and played a key role in securing the survival of Jews in Berlin.
According to the entry about him at the Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, he noted that "as a homosexual, I was able to turn to my trusted non-Jewish, homosexual acquaintances to help supply food and hiding places."
Shortly before the end of the war in 1945, a Jewish spy working for the Gestapo betrayed Beck and some of his fellow resistance fighters.
He was held captive at a Jewish transit camp in Berlin. After the defeat of Nazi Germany, Beck continued his Zionist work and helped Jewish survivors emigrate to Palestine. He remained in Israel between 1947 and 1979.
Monday, June 29, 2020
THE next installment on the Heart of Antinous is Bravery.
It takes a lot to be brave. Just imagine any soldier facing a battle or coming out to your family and friends.
In the case of our Gay God Antinous the heart of bravery was shown when he left home to go to Rome.
Also, to face the fierce lion of Libya and most of all how brave against all odds to be in love with the Emperor of Rome.
Of course, there are many more instances of Bravery that our God Antinous encountered. I have named just a slight few.
What are your thoughts on the bravery that is in the heart of Antinous?
Sunday, June 28, 2020
THE last of our three Uranian Patriarchs, Edward Carpenter was born in Brighton England on the 29th of August, 1844, to a very large middle-class family.
While his brothers went into the military, Edward became a scholar, with great success and eventually even taught at Cambridge where he was required to become ordained as a curate of the Anglican Church.
It was at this time, when he was 24, that he first read Leaves of Grass by Walt Whitman and was completely changed. He resigned his position at Cambridge and devoted his life to the working class, becoming a Socialist philosopher, lecturing, organizing and speaking for working men.
When his parents died, he received an inheritance that he used to purchase a rural estate at Millthrope, which he turned into a veritable Socialist Commune. He repressed his homosexuality for much of his life, channeling his desire into politically inspired friendships.
But the Millthrope house gave him the freedom to express his feelings more openly, and he began to write books on the subject of Uranian Love. He was deeply influenced by Hindu spirituality, and visited India, all of which emerged in his spiritual view of the Socialist movement, which was not so much about political revolution, but directed towards a change in human consciousness, of which homosexuality rapidly became his greatest cause.
While returning from India he met George Merrill on the train. It would be the love of his life. The younger man soon moved into the house at Millthrope, the two became inseparable lovers whose relationship lasted over forty years.
In 1908, he published The Intermediate Sex, the first widely available book on the subject of homosexuality. After the death of John Addington Symonds, with whom he had been closely allied, Edward Carpenter assumed the role as torch bearer, and subsequently published dozens of books and essays for the cause of gay liberation.
He died on the 28th of June, 1929, in Guildford England, and though not widely known at the time, was to later become a spiritual patriarch for the gay liberation movement of the late 1960s and '70s. He is regarded as a Saint and Patriarch of the Religion of Antinous, and remembered as one of the first fathers whose work changed the world with subtle power.
Saturday, June 27, 2020
THIS is the day the Liturgical Calendar of the Religion of Antinous sets aside for remembrance of Saint Judy Garland, whose death was the spark that ignited the Stonewall Riots on a sultry night in 1969 when a bunch of drag queens and assorted other gay men decided they weren't in the mood to put up with yet another raid by the corrupt and brutal NYPD.
Gays had had enough and they had just suffered a terrible shock — Judy Garland's tragic death on June 22 had rocked the gay world. It was said that 13 twisters raged through Kansas the day Judy died, which — in Kansas — in June — is a pretty safe bet, in any case. But still, and all the same ....
Judy had died in London, and amid much news media hype, her body was flown back to New York for a memorial service which drew a huge crowd of grief-stricken gay men who gathered outside Campbell's Funeral Chapel in Manhattan — on June 27, 1969.
Afterwards, the bars were jammed with gay men drowning their sorrows in booze and drugs while listening to Judy Garland songs full blast on every jukebox.
The mood was electrified by a sense of solidarity in grieving for a fallen idol. Gay men had surprised themselves by turning out en masse for Judy's funeral. They had experienced strength in numbers for the first time. They had been on national TV news.
In an unprecedented move by prime-time national news anchormen, Walter Cronkite and Huntley-Brinkley had talked about Judy Garland's "tremendous appeal among male homosexual fans" — at supper time when whole families were watching the evening news!
Blacks were standing up for their rights. Women were burning their bras. The Chicano Movement was gathering steam. And now "ho-mo-sexuals" (the announcers were unaccustomed to speaking the word aloud) were having the audacity to congregate outside a sacred chapel in broad daylight — and they even showed their faces on the evening news!
Straight people were being confronted with homosexuals right there on television beamed into their homes. And — more importantly — homosexuals were seeing themselves and their brothers/sisters on national television news. Gays in isolated places who had worshipped Judy Garland at the movies or on LP and tape, were now watching other gay people weeping for her in New York. For the first time, gay people in isolated places saw themselves on TV. We were not alone in our grief at the passing of a star with whom we somehow innately felt connected.
It was a Friday night. Late June. Hot and steamy. The bars were filled to bursting. Gay men were sharing a rare moment of solidarity in powerful emotions. There was a feeling, not only in New York, but around the world, that a paradigm shift had taken place. A gay icon had died suddenly and tragically (shades of Antinous) and we gay people everywhere found ourselves in a catharsis of identity change. None of us understood what was happening. Just as it was with being gay, we gay men couldn't explain it, we just "felt" it and "knew" it to be true.
And THAT moment was when the Manhattan police happened to stage one of their periodic raids on queers. Basically it was a routine raid on an average gay bar. Nobody had reckoned with what would happen next. Even gay men were surprised by what happened next.
ESPECIALLY gay men.
We were men who had been accustomed to being timid fraidy-cats. Men who had never dared to stand up for their sexuality. Drag queens and faggots never fought back. That was a fact of gay survival. We knew we were gay. And we knew what we weren't. We were not "MEN".
Grief turned to outrage. It was a spontaneous uprising fuelled by rage. The vice squad was overwhelmed. Reinforcements had to be sent in. Gay men stood their ground and advanced on the police, pushing them back.
It was the turning point for us. Gay men throughout America — and later in London, Berlin, Sydney and elsewhere — began standing up for themselves under the banner "Remember Stonewall".
In a sense, Judy Garland died for us. Had it not been for her tragic death — strangling on vomit over a toilet bowl in a London hotel suite — there might not have been any Stonewall Riots.
Flamen Antinoalis ANTONIUS SUBIA puts the Stonewall Riots into a spiritual context:
"It was the first resistance by homosexuals against the repression of two thousand years, and the beginning of the Gay Liberation movement. The importance of the Stonewall Riots is the awakening of gay consciousness, the throwing off of the coils of the python that had for so many centuries enveloped our divine form of Love. This sacred revolt is holy to Apollo, Dionysus, and Diana combined as the guardian spirits of Homosexuality. Our modern Gay society was born on this occasion, and all of the peace and freedom that we have obtained in the these short decades are due to the courage that erupted on that Sacred Night in front of the Stonewall Bar."
Friday, June 26, 2020
OVER the next several days I want to share and also get your thoughts. The topic is: The Heart of Antinous.
When you think about the heart of Antinous, what comes to mind?
Recently I set up a larger working altar that when visitors come over there is a place for us to meet.
After sitting up the altar I just sat in front of it and felt I needed to grab some paper and write what I was feeling.
So The Heart of Antinous came about.
Now this is not in any order, just thoughts that were impressed upon me.
The first on The Heart of Antinous is. His heart was full of wonder. As he traveled first from his home to Rome and then with Hadrian the things he saw and witnessed. The magnificence of Rome, Greece and Egypt. The mighty Pyramids of Giza. All this and more were breathtaking to Antinous.
Thursday, June 25, 2020
ON June 25th we remember Sir Lawrence Alma-Tadema, who died on this day in 1912, one of the most famous painters of the late 19th Century who was forgotten in the 20th Century and is only now beginning to be rediscovered in the 21st Century.
No Victorian artist painted marble as well as Alma-Tadema ... or painted faces so that you could read the emotions from facial expressions ... as in "Bacchanale" 1871 above.
Alma-Tadema, the now sadly forgotten painter who was one of the biggest celebrities of the Victorian art scene.
Born in Holland on 8 January 1836, and trained in Antwerp, he settled in England in 1870 and became the toast of London with his enormous, wall-sized paintings of scenes of luxury and decadence in Ancient Egypt, Greece and Rome.
Viewing his paintings in a London gallery was the equivalent of going to an Imax 3-D Sense-Surround cinema today.
His attention to color and to near-photographic detail was superb. Every petal of every flower was always perfect. Each face had a personal story to tell.
The painting "Hadrian Visiting a Romano-British Pottery" (above) displays Alma-Tadema's mastery of textures, colors, facial expressions and architectural details ... just look at the exquisite mosaics.
Alas, fame and celebrity are fleeting things. Styles changed and his work went out of fashion. He died a bitter and disappointed man in June 1912.
That was only a couple of weeks after Nijinsky had shocked ballet-goers in Paris by masturbating on stage, and it was barely a month after the Titanic had sunk.
Very soon war would break out and the world would never be the same.
It was the end of the Gilded Age of complacency, comfort and ease.
Alma-Tadema' s paintings were derided as "kitschy" and were stored away in attics and warehouses.
Once the most famous artist in Britain, he was soon forgotten and serious art historians ignored him for decades.
In recent years, however, his genius has been rediscovered and a new generation of admirers delight in his magnificent paintings, a few of which have been brought out of storage for display for the first time in more than a century.
Wednesday, June 24, 2020
A LETTER FROM THE ANTINOANS
TO ALL YOUNG PEOPLE WHO INHERIT
THE CORONA AND VIOLENCE TORN WORLD
By Our Novice Priest Adriaan van den Berg
TO ALL YOUNG PEOPLE WHO INHERIT
THE CORONA AND VIOLENCE TORN WORLD
By Our Novice Priest Adriaan van den Berg
TO All Young People (at university, at school and all others) -
We are the Antinoans, believers of a loving, benevolent God who first lived as a young mortal. We realise that young people of today are perhaps going to inherit a world much changed by the Carona virus and the recent violence in some countries ... Certain freedoms, abilities and opportunities we had previously enjoyed may not be available to you and your generations anymore and you may have inherited a set of new problems and challenges not faced by anyone before.
And we feel we have to express solidarity with you, state our support and pronounce our hopes for you & for a better future & to at least offer you this letter.
May we begin by commending young people on their often silent endurance and for their help and assistance during the epidemic, for the supportive roles so many of them had assumed in these trying times ... on which their families & communities have come to depend.
Especially in countries and communities under Lockdown, you have dealt remarkably with your loss of freedom and movement and with the trying conditions imposed under Lockdown.
You, possibly more than others, were under duress, challenged to cope with restrictions on those things that we traditionally take for granted as the prerogatives of the young, the very things that mark and define the lives of the young. Your generations are the first of a certain kind of new and brave young people.
However, we can not hide the deprivation, problems and challenges you face by flattering you. Rather, we should pass on to you that which you can use in confronting these things. Short on material support, we offer these words, but hoping and intending it as potentially translatable into concrete action and strategies.
First, as our spiritual leader Flamen Antonius Subia recently stated, we solemnly believe it is possible to build a new world from the one devastated and afflicted by the virus and recent violence.
It might be different from that which had preceded it, without certain previous glories and graces, but we believe it can be imbued with a new sort of richness, with new crowning accomplishments and triumphs.
Much of the latter, of what is possible, will depend on and comprise the quality of your humanity and the kind of people that you choose to be.
In realising this foreseen new world, a good point of departure would be a belief in humanity, in us as people and in our abilities, which means belief in yourself.
Our history is marked by the overcoming of great adversity, by instances of people shaping their world and creating new lives for themselves, it is marked by human ingenuity and innovation. And at times survival measures had to be found which were no contribution towards ease of existence, nevermind lending itself to bringing beauty to people's lives, but we endured through belief in ourselves.
Trust in innovation, originality and creativity ... abilities vested in you. Find and create opportunities, and be as productive as you can.
Do not deny or forget our present realities and the now constant challenges of this virus affected world, don't neglect meeting it's basic requirements for survival and for health imposed on all of us: That means being vigilant in protecting yourself and others against the virus and meeting all it's attendant everyday practical requirements for ensuring your health.
Make safe-living a habit and your way of life.
Personal protection is a responsibility of every individual, but because we are dealing with a contagious disease, each one of us also now has a social responsibility of protecting others or those around us.
We have to mention social distancing since in a certain regard it seems so repellant, anti-social and like an expression of unspoken suspicion and fear and even of animosity towards other people.
It is a necessary measure, but do not allow it to become an attitude of distrust and hostility towards others.
Maintain it, but be polite in maintaining and enforcing it. Self-isolation and anti-social tendencies are fostered and bred by the very nature of the disease as contagious and by the Lockdown and quarantine sometimes imposed.
Needless and excessive self-isolation will harm the individual while anti-social tendencies will be to the detriment of both individuals and others or to society at large.
Do not let safety measures or certain tendencies prompt you to limit your perspectives and the horizons of your life and world. Do not grow suspicious and dismissive of people out of disproportionate fear. Cooperation on every level is required if we are to counter the virus or move beyond it and create something new.
We also condemn the murder of George Floyd in Minneapolis and call upon the police for restraint and to respect the people and their right to demonstrate, but we also should think of young people in this instance and have to work with you to give you social justice.
We hope to work with you for a better world. Be safe and believe in your gods or in your god if you will, but whether you believe in a god or gods or not, believe in yourself. We will stand by you and you have our support in these trying times.
From the Antinoans, believers of the God Antinous.
Adriaan van den Berg
Novice Priest of Antinous
Tuesday, June 23, 2020
WE always like to share Antinous-related art by our followers. Just look at this breath-taking image of an Antinous altar.
It is by Jeffrie Samuelson, whose artistic nom de plume is WOLFKITH.
"I wanted to share this piece I just finished today. For those who may not be familiar, this is a 3D render. Essentially, this means that everything was created in a computer in a virtual environment.
"It may seem strange to use such a modern tool to celebrate something so ancient, but perhaps in the end it's really the feeling behind a piece of art, and the feelings that it evokes that really matters.
"This piece is called 'The Theophany of Antinous'. I'm fascinated by what it would have been like to worship 2,000 years ago, so I keep being inspired by visions that result.
This one follows from me imagining what it would be like to have Antinous actually appear while you were in the temple. The statue in the niche behind the god was inspired by the Braschi Antinous."
We can't wait for Wolfkith's next work of Antinous-related art!
Monday, June 22, 2020
AT THE height of summer, during the cycle of the June Solstice, the Ancient Spartans noticed that the hyacinth flower began to wilt in the intense heat ... which reminded them of the untimely death of Hyacinthus, lover of Apollo.
The Ancient Spartans celebrated a three-day festival called the Hyacinthia, which began with mourning for Hyacinthus and ended with rejoicing for the majesty of Apollo.
This solar cycle is sacred to Antinous in the form of Apollo-Hyacinthus. ... Antinous being the beautiful flower boy Hyacinthus who dies, just as the sun begins to die, but who was raised from the dead and deified by the love of the God of Light, who forbade Dis Pater from taking his beloved boy to the place of Death....
Hyacinthus arose as Apollo, to live forever within the rays of the Unconquered Sun, an allegory of ourselves awakening to the light of reason, truth and sacred Homotheosis.
The beautiful boy from Sparta known as Hyacinthus, whose astonishing beauty and long, flowing blonde hair, was first noticed by Zephyrus, the God of the West Wind.
The moisture laden Zephyrus fell madly in love with the boy, and attempted many times to seduce Hyacinth, but every time the boy rejected the wind god whose breeze is the most lovely and most arousing.
It was then that Apollo noticed Hyacinthus and fell completely in love with him also, however when Apollo revealed his love to Hyacinth, he was not rejected, but his shining love was returned many fold.
The two, who were like twins, whose long, blonde curls, rustled together in the jealous wind of Zephyrus, enjoined a passionate love affair, until one day, the sight of their happiness proved too much for Zephyrus to endure.
While Apollo and Hyacinthus were throwing the discus together, the wind god sent a gust of air, when Apollo threw the golden disk, causing it to fall directly on the perfect head of Hyacinthus who died instantly from the blow.
It was all an accident, and a tragedy, but Apollo was beside himself with grief, like Hadrian holding the body of his beloved Antinous.
The Sun God turned the blood that flowed through the soft curls into the flower that we call the Hyacinth.
The Death of Hyacinthus is the divine metaphor for the beauty and tragedy of life taken from the young in their full vigor, falling victim to the accidents of youth.
It is also a warning to those who would approach the majesty of the great god Apollo, who is rightfully called the Far-Shooter, and the falling of the golden discus is a sign that the powers of the sun at this time of the year, though at their greatest, are slowly fading. The disk strikes Hyacinth on the head and the days grow shorter.
Sunday, June 21, 2020
PRIESTS of Antinous wish all gay dads a very Happy Father's Day.
Priest MICHAELUS ISOM, who is a gay father himself, says:
"We honor Hadrian on Father's Day.
"He is the Father of the Empire, so to speak
"And a Father figure to Antinous."
Art by FELIX D'EON.
Saturday, June 20, 2020
HADRIAN designed his personal observatory at his sprawling villa outside Rome to be in alignment with the Solstices.
Imagine the scene during the Solstice cycle: First, he would observe the setting sun sending a shaft of goldish-red light through a certain slit in his observatory tower to illuminate a golden statue of the Egyptian Goddess Isis.
Then there would be oracles at midnight. You can just see the cluster of priests and augurs, chanting and offering sacrifices amidst billowing clouds of incense.
An Etruscan haruspex or two would be wearing yellow robes and conical hats as they inspected the entrails of animals. Patrician augurs would be wearing their finest ceremonial togas as they listened for messages from nocturnal birds. Babylonian astrologers would be clad in garish robes with multi-tiered crowns as they scanned the heavens and babbled to each other about their arcane calculations.
And naturally the Egyptian priests would do their utmost to out-do all the others with outlandish make-up, headdresses and robes to the cacophony of sistrums, gongs and the whoosh of incendiary incense sending up pastel-colored clouds of smoke to the wailing of a priestess of Isis in the throes of a trance.
Scores of Imperial court officials and hangers-on would be stifling yawns as the oracles took most of the night.
But yawns would turn to gasps of wonder and praise when the Emperor announced that he had just seen the RISE OF THE STAR OF ANTINOUS over the eastern horizon.
Then at dawn, the Emperor would climb stairs to the upper chamber to observe the Solstice Sunrise on June 21st.
He would announce the outcome of the oracles and whether the Antinoian Auspices for the coming year were favorable.
Modern Priests of Antinous annually celebrate rites at the HOLLYWOOD TEMPLE OF ANTINOUS to mark the Solstice.
Meanwhile, an Italian archaeologist and her team spends Solstice at the ruins of a tower on a hillock at Hadrian's Villa which was the Emperor's own private observatory.
These experts, led by MARIA DE FRANCESCHINI, have demonstrated that the observatory tower is in fact aligned to the Solstices. She believes the observatory was dedicated to the Egyptian goddess Isis, who raised Osiris from the dead to become a god of resurrection and transfiguration — just as Hadrian declared Antinous a god of resurrection and transfiguration.
For centuries, experts had been mystified by the layout of the sprawling complex of marble baths, banquet halls, luxurious residences, gardens, shrines and unidentified structures 30 kilometers outside Rome.
Hadrian's Villa was a sprawling complex of buildings, temples, gardens, a zoo and — yes — even an observatory tower on a hillock on the edge of the compound from which Hadrian could observe the heavens.
But, in an article published in the journal Nature last year, De Franceschini wrote that she believes the mystery-shrouded Rocca Bruna Tower, long held to be Hadrian's private observatory, is in fact aligned so as to produce sunlight effects for the seasons.
She describes her findings personally in the video at the top of this entry.
De Franceschini says that during the summer solstice, rays of light pierce the tower and another of the villa's buildings. In the Rocca Bruna Tower, dawn sunlight during the summer solstice enters through a wedge-shaped slot above the door and illuminates a niche on the opposite side of the interior (image courtesy nature.com). And in a temple of the Accademia building, De Franceschini has found that sunlight passes through a series of doors during both the winter and summer solstices.
"The alignments gave me a new key of interpretation," says De Franceschini, who adds that the two buildings are connected by an esplanade that was a sacred avenue during the solstices. Based on ancient texts describing religious rituals and study of recovered sculptures, she thinks the sunlight effects were linked to religious ceremonies associated with the Egyptian goddess Isis, who was adopted by the Romans.
De Franceschini, who works with the University of Trento in Italy, has published a book describing the archaeo-astronomical work, VILLA ADRIANA ARCHITETTURA CELESTE. She credits two architects, Robert Mangurian and Mary-Ann Ray, for initially noticing the light effect in Rocca Bruna.
According to nature.com, Robert Hannah, a classicist from the University of Otago in New Zealand, says that De Franceschini's ideas are plausible. "They're certainly ripe for further investigation," he says.
Hannah believes that the Pantheon, designed by Hadrian in Rome with a circular opening at the top of its dome, also acts as a giant calendrical sundial, with sunlight illuminating key interior surfaces at the equinoxes and on the spring equinox on April 21st, the city's birthday.
Few classical buildings have been investigated for astronomical alignment, says Hannah, partly because it is much easier to check for alignments in prehistoric structures such as Stonehenge, which do not have potentially contradictory artefacts.
De Franceschini spends every solstice at Hadrian's villa, seeking further verification. Our thoughts and prayers go with her during this special season of the Solstice.
We can envision Hadrian, sick with grief and alone after the death of Antinous, ensconced in his observatory tower scanning the heavens for a sign from his Beloved Boy, praying to Isis for her to work her magic on Antinous.
Then you stand under the oculus ... the eye of the cosmos ... the most spiritual architectural element anywhere.
THE JUNE SOLSTICE is one of the most sacred days in the Liturgical Calendar of the Religion of Antinous.
Antinous would be associated with many deities in the generations to come. Among his many names, the Beauteous Boy was adored as Antinous-Apollo (image above).
The Delphinea is the celebration of the beautiful, golden-haired god of light, Apollo, and of his triumph over the great and monstrous Python which was wrapped around holy mount Parnassus. The Python was the creation of Juno, a creature of jealousy whose coils were meant only to stifle and constrict the grace of that which was to proceed from the Sacred Way of the holy city of Delphi.
Apollo shot the Python and destroyed it, when he was only three days old, which is like the brilliance of the Sun dispelling the covering of night. He set the black stone which had fallen from the sky, called the Omphalos, over the navel of the Earth, and charged a Sibyl, a priestess of the Great Mother to watch over the stone and to convey his wisdom to mankind.
Flamen Antinoalis Antonius Subia explains the significance for us Antinoians:
"The Oracle of Delphi, called a Pythoness, was overtaken while seated atop a golden tripod, by a fire that is the breath of the God. Apollo is the Flower Prince reborn, he is the Twin brother of Dionysus, the Twin brother of Diana. He is the Son of Zeus, and the inheritor of his Kingdom, just as Aelius Caesar was the chosen son of Hadrian.
"Apollo is the God of wisdom and art, the speaker of truth, the deliverer of radiance, reason and beauty. Apollo is the God of Socrates and Plato, and he is the God of Pythagoras who claimed to be his son, exhibiting a golden thigh as proof. Apollo is the unconquered light, the full manifested brilliance, power and wisdom of Orpheus.
"Of all the gods, Apollo is the most boy-loving, though the touch of his heart was invariably fatal. He is the genius of the dying boy-gods. We pray to Apollo, the great god of homosexuality, and seek his guidance on this day, the longest day of the year."
Also on the Solstice we celebrate the day that Hadrian and Antinous met and fell in love ... "Incipit Amor".
In the year 123, Hadrian toured the Danube region and Asia Minor. It was on this occasion that he met and fell in love with Antinous, in the ancient Bithynian capital city of Nicomedia, according to current research. One portrayal of the event has Hadrian in a garden, surrounded by the youth of the city, hearing a poetry recital.
Antonius tells it this way:
"Towards the back of the crowd, Hadrian notices a boy of extraordinary beauty who did not bring a stylus and tablet for taking notes, but sat removed from the others, silently gazing into the fountain, contemplating the words of the reader, as if in a dream. Hadrian was captivated, and is said to have gained the blessing of the boy's parents to have Antinous join the court, where there were already other boys of Hadrian's interest. Antinous would have been twelve years old. He was then sent to Rome to attend the Paedagogium, a finishing school for boys. This day marks the beginning of the love upon which our religion is based."The relief sculpture at right shows Hadrian addressing a crowd with a boy who bears a striking resemblance to Antinous foremost in the crowd, touching the robe of the Emperor.
Friday, June 19, 2020
ON JUNE 19th the Religion of Antinous commemorates the birth of SAINT NICK DRAKE, the sexually ambivalent English singer who died under very mysterious, Antinous-like circumstances at a young age and who became an artistic icon for future generations of dreamers and artists.
Nicholas Rodney Drake was born on June 19th, 1948, to an upper middle class English family living in Burma. His father was an industrialist and there was never much question about Nick's financial future. Indeed, he would have been a wealthy middle-aged man today had he done nothing at all.
But Nick never ceased to wonder and worry about his spiritual future. Despite or perhaps precisely because of his admission to Cambridge University, Nick Drake was convinced that he should shun a financially certain future and pursue a future as a musician.
Nick Drake learned to play piano at an early age, and began to compose his own songs, which he would record on a reel-to-reel tape recorder he kept in the family drawing room in rural England.
In 1966 he spent some time in the South of France where he purportedly became acquainted with "the best sort of pot" and perhaps experimented with LSD — and possibly sex with both females and males.
Returning to England, he realized he was not suited to receive a degree from Cambridge University. Nick abruptly and shockingly (as far as his family was concerned) ended his studies at Cambridge nine months before graduation, and in autumn 1969 moved to London to concentrate on a career in music.
Nick signed to Island Records when he was 20 years old and released his debut album, Five Leaves Left, in 1969. By 1972, he had recorded his second album — Bryter Layter and part of his third, Pink Moon. Neither of the first two albums sold more than 5,000 copies on their initial release in Britain, much less abroad. He never made an American breakthrough, unlike other major British artists of the era.
Nick was devastated and depressed. His excruciating shyness to perform live or be interviewed further contributed to his lack of commercial success. Despite this, he was able to gather a loyal following.
He managed to complete his third album, Pink Moon, recorded in midnight sessions in the winter of 1971, immediately after which he withdrew from both live performance and recording, retreating to his parents' home in rural England. Once again, it did not sell well. He felt he was a failure. On November 25th, 1974, Nick Drake retired to his upstairs bedroom where he took a cocktail anti-depressants which killed him. He was found stretched over his bed next morning by his mother.
The Religion of Antinous honors Nick Drake as a prophet of Homoeros. He was a man who saw through the transparent barriers between sexuality to see the spiritual truth of reality. He was one of those many men who are never sure of their sexuality. But it is unimportant whether he was "gay" or not.
Nick Drake is a symbol of these sorts of dreamy and shy men who live existences of quiet despair. Nick Drake could play better riffs on the guitar than almost anybody of his generation. He had a beautiful voice. He was a gifted song-writer. He knew he had more talent in his little finger than most well-paid artists would ever possess. But his career never took off. The big break never happened. Nobody appreciated him. He was broke and disillusioned.
His sister says she believes he took an overdose of anti-depressants thinking he wanted it to either cure him or kill him, because he couldn't go on living in such despair of being an artistic failure. How many people in the economic meltdown of the early 21st Century don't feel the same despair? And yet ....
Nick Drake could scarcely have dreamt as he swallowed a handful of pills on a dreary November evening in his parents' house in the English Midlands that he would become a major recording star with fans around the world — 30 years after his death. His three albums now are cult chart-busters around the world.
When we remember Saint Nick Drake, we must remember too that Antinous is the patron of these sensitive souls who die untimely and tragic deaths at an early age. Antinous is the River Man who drowned in the Nile ....
Thursday, June 18, 2020
ANTINOUS and Hadrian may not have seen all Seven Wonders of the Ancient World (they didn't make it to Babylon), but they definitely visited most of them ... including the Temple of Artemis at Ephesus in June of 129 AD.
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.
The image above gives you something of an idea of what greeted the eyes of Emperor Hadrian and Antinous as they entered the fabled city of Ephesus during the cycle of the Summer Solstice in the year 129 AD as part of their three-year tour of the Eastern Empire.
Ephesus had 300,000 inhabitants at its peak in the time of Hadrian, and it drew thousands of devotees to the shrine of the goddess annually. Even today, Ephesus is one of the most complete and most splendid ancient sites in the world and still draws thousands of tourists every year. The Great Library of Ephesus, which Hadrian patronized and greatly expanded, has been lovingly restored.
The Temple of Ephesus was consecrated to Artemis in her Asian element as a Phrygian-Hittite goddess of the hunt, a youthful manifestation of the Great Goddess of Mount Ida and Dydimus.
The Ephesus form of Artemis looks strange to our eyes ... and looked strange to Roman eyes as well.
The Roman Artemis ... called Diana ... is a virgin huntress. She carries a bow and wears a short, simple tunic suitable for the chase.
But Artemis of Ephesus ... presumably more ancient ... stands stiffly upright with her bent elbows against her body, her forearms extended and her hands open.
She wears a crown, and outlining her head is a nimbus decorated with winged bulls.
More bulls and other animals adorn the stiff garment that covers her lower body, almost like a mummy casing.
From her neck hangs a necklace of acorns and a ring of zodiacal figures, and below this you see the most striking feature of Artemis of Ephesus .. a mass of pendulous, gourd-shaped protrusions that hang in a cluster from her upper body.
At first glance, they appear to be multiple breasts. But in fact these protrusions are bulls' testicles.
We can only imagine the festive procession of the goddess through the streets of Ephesus and the sacrifice of scores of bulls to the virgin goddess at the temple ... a ritual which Antinous must have seen with his own eyes.
The Temple had burned down on the night that Alexander the Great was born, but after his conquest, Alexander ordered the reconstruction of the Temple, which was still standing when Hadrian and Antinous visited.
ANTONIUS SUBIA explains the parallels between Artemis and Antinous and why we celebrate this Sacred Event:
"Artemis is considered the female Antinous, as his divine twin, the only goddess to exhibit lesbian qualities. She was worshipped as Diana alongside Antinous by the funeral society of Lanuvium. Ephesus was one of the first cities to proclaim Hadrian a living God, and one of the first to adhere to his veneration as a Divus.
"The presence of Antinous and Hadrian with their very pronounced Artemisian qualities must have made a deep impression on the Ephesians, in that they were aware that the city was being visited by living gods. It is to Artemis of Ephesus that this day is Sacred, as the female twin of Antinous, the Bithynian hunter god."
Wednesday, June 17, 2020
JUNE 17th is the traditional anniversary of the wedding of Orpheus and Eurydice. Antinous was initiated into the Orphic Mysteries of the power of love transcending death. Discover the Orphic Mysteries in your daily life.
The Orphic Mysteries teach you to remember that you are the musician. You are the dancer. You are that which dies and enters the Underworld. You are also that which rises re-born bright and shining like the dawn sunrise ... today ... every day ... forever ... Homotheosis, Man-Godliness-Becoming-the-Same.
For a clue to the Antinous Mystery Teachings, just check out French director Marcel Camus' unforgettable film Orfeu Negro, which is a rendition of the Orphic Mysteries in the setting of 1950s Rio de Janeiro during Mardi Gras, or Carnival.
It is based on the Greek myth of Orpheus and Eurydice. Orfeu is a trolley-car motorman and gifted guitarist. Amid the joyous frenzy of Rio's Carnival, he becomes enthralled with the beautiful, doomed Eurydice.
Against a backdrop of Rio's favelas (shanty-town ghettos on the hills), the lovers sway in a never-ending rhythmic samba among the crowds. But Eurydice is stalked by a man in a skeleton costume.
Eventually, Orfeu finds her body in the morgue. In the house of the dead, voodoo rites are performed to bring her back to life. But impatient Orfeu looks upon her too soon ... and the spell is broken.
In the end, bearing her body in his arms, he falls to his death from a cliff. His guitar, standing in for the lyre of Orpheus, is taken up by one of the street urchins who follow him as a sort of Greek chorus.
The movie is the stuff of pure myth. The movie shows a Rio which no longer exists. In fact, it shows a Rio that never existed. The movie was based on a highly political stage play which satirically condemned the poverty of the favelas.
When the movie came out, Brazilians criticized it for portraying a Frenchman's romanticized TechniColor tourist vision of Rio.
That's what myths are about. Myths don't tell the plain old every-day truth that we see on the streets. Myths tell Sacred Truths that exist within our hearts and our souls.
Hadrian and Antinous had both been initiated into the Orphic Mysteries. That is the darker aspect ... the Antinous Mystery Teaching ... which was brought to the screen in Orfeu Negro. Mardi Gras (Carnival) ultimately is a Masque of Love and Death.
The frivolities are fleeting. Death will catch up with each of us. But a few mortals are privileged ... like Hadrian and Antinous ... to have been initiated into the Mysteries which enable a mortal to cheat death. And that is why we put on gay costumes and dance until we drop.
Most mortals are dancing just because it's party time. But a few mortals are dancing because they have been initiated into the Mysteries of Life and Death. Initiation into the Orphic Mysteries promised advantages in the afterlife. Hadrian and Antinous were well-versed in both Mystery Schools.
But, like Orpheus in the Underworld, poor grieving Hadrian must have known as we wept over his lost boy that the Mysteries not only offer a promise of advantages in the afterlife. The Mysteries of Antinous are lived on a daily basis.
We face a dark demon every day, if not several dark and deathly demons. Physical death is only one of those demons. There are many other forms of death, and the Mysteries of Antinous help us to overcome them on a daily basis.
Bringing Light out of Darkness is a spiritual miracle each of us faces every day. Rejuvenating our spiritual life out of the setbacks and trials of mortality is a task we face every day of our lives, and not just at the hour of our death.
The Afterlife is Now! And THAT is the ultimate Mystery Teaching. The Mysteries of Antinous are not about the Afterlife. They are about your Spiritual Life on an everyday basis.
That's why we dance and sing till we drop ... and never look back! When we dance the Masque of Love and Death, then our lives become imbued with the stuff Sacred Myths are made of ....
While that sounds like biased praise, we Antinomaniacs are hard to please and would not hesitate to pick apart a poorly researched book or one that denigrated Antinous, even if it were written by one of our best friends ... perhaps especially if it were.
At the same time, a sycophantic book that presented Antinous as being cloyingly sweet and angelic would be unbearable and not believable.
So we are gratified (and greatly relieved) to report that this book truly is a remarkable work of historical fiction right up there with Marguerite Yourcenar's landmark MEMOIRS OF HADRIAN 60 years ago.
Martin traces the life of Antinous from the moment his tousle-haired head emerges from his mother's womb under auspicious stars in Asia Minor to the moment his head sinks beneath the swirling waters of the Nile on a starry evening in Egypt.
Antinous comes to life as a young man of breath-taking beauty who is filled with conflicting passions and loyalties. He is a young man who at times is naive, yet at other times worldly wise with an ability to see the world as it is ... and to describe it with at times brutal honesty to the most powerful man in the world.
Above all, this is a gentle love story between Antinous and Emperor Hadrian, himself a man of contradictory passions and priorities.
Martin himself is a man shares these passions. He has rebounded from a series of debilitating strokes to resume a daunting array of political activism for LGBTIU health and rights issues ... while working on this novel.
Based in a hilltop home overlooking the sea in Brighton England, he spent the best part of a decade researching this novel, retracing the footsteps of Antinous across Greece and Italy, as far north as Hadrian's Wall and as far south as the Nile in Upper Egypt.
Historical facts are excruciatingly accurate ... even the positions of the stars and planets at the moment of the birth of Antinous have been calculated to precision.
An academic scholar can read this book with satisfaction, noting obscure and arcane references which only the experts in the field of Antinology fully appreciate.
At the same time, however, this is a fun book to read even for those who have never heard of Antinous in their lives and who have no firm grasp of Roman civilization in the 2nd Century AD.
There is intrigue, skulduggery, near-death by lightning, getting lost in a subterranean labyrinth, a storm at sea, earthquakes ... and some fairly hot man sex as well, albeit tastefully brought to the page.
The narrator is the Classical Love God himself: Eros. He shoots his amorous arrows and ensures that Antinous and Hadrian fulfill the destiny which the Fates have in store for them ... despite efforts by certain people in the Imperial Court to thwart the Fates.
But the genius of this book is that there are no black-and-white villains or heroes. Antinous is a young man with all the problems and drives of late adolescence. Hadrian is a man with a mid-life crisis of doubt and regret.
Others such as Empress Sabina and her constant companion Julia Balbilla and their coterie of fawning courtiers and freedmen are not really hateful towards Antinous so much as they are simply perplexed by him.
They view him the way some members of the Royal Household might look at the favorite Corgi of the Queen, unable to comprehend her affection for it, her grief when it dies.
They whisper amongst themselves: What hold does Antinous have over Hadrian?
Just who does he think he is? And is he a threat to them?
What is so different about Antinous that Hadrian doesn't grow weary of him ... as he always has with previous toy boys?
Because they cannot understand how he fits in the scheme of Imperial court life, some really rather wish he would just disappear ... voluntarily or otherwise.
And through it all is the boyhood friend of Antinous who has accompanied him on this long journey with mixed feelings and with growing envy and jealousy.
The boiling emotions all stem from Eros, who winks knowingly at the reader as he shoots one arrow after another with unerring accuracy to ensure that Antinous fulfills his destiny ... to take his place alongside Eros as a God of Love.
The result is a richly entertaining and beautifully written novel which appeals to those seeking authoritative scholarly accuracy as well as readers who just want a riveting and memorable adventure yarn.
The Love God is available as Kindle and as a paperback ... CLICK HERE to order.
Tuesday, June 16, 2020
THE 16th of June is the Egyptian "Night of the Teardrop" festival.
On this night, when the moon rises into the sky, Isis sheds one blessed and mournful tear for her beloved, Osiris, as the breeze from her wings fans the breath of life into him ... so that he is reborn to eternal life.
That precious tear is then collected by intersex Nile inundation deity HAPI, signalling the start of the build up to the inundation in July.
Similarly, Hadrian wept for Antinous after he died in the Nile in late 130 AD, and subsequently proclaimed Antinous a god.
Divine Antinous called upon HAPI to bring forth a bountiful flood in the summer of 131 AD to end a famine.
It was the first miracle of Antinous!
The mystery teaching: Even in tears of grief, the divine miracle of life comes forth.
Monday, June 15, 2020
IT is possible that the last beverage which Antinous drank was Egyptian beer ... a thick barley beverage that had to be sipped through a straw.
It was just the thing to quench a tourist's thirst under the hot sun of Egypt. The Egyptians had been brewing beer for thousands of years before Antinous visited the Land of the Nile in 130 AD.
Now an archaeological find sheds new light on Ancient Egyptian beer.
A Japanese team headed by Jiro Kondo of Waseda University stumbled onto the tomb of ancient beer-maker Khonso Em Heb while working at an adjacent tomb at the Thebes necropolis across the Nile from Luxor.
The tomb, replete with highly colored frescoes, is being hailed as one of the most significant finds of recent times.
Egypt's antiquities minister Mohamed Ibrahim described Khonso Em Heb as the chief "maker of beer for gods of the dead" adding that the tomb's chambers contain "fabulous designs and colors, reflecting details of daily life... along with their religious rituals."
One fresco shows Khonso Em Heb ... who apart from being a brewer, headed the royal storehouses during the pharaonic Ramesside period (1292-1069 BC) ... making offerings to the gods along with his wife and daughter.
Beer became vital to all the grain-growing civilizations of Eurasian and North African antiquity, including Egypt.
It became so important that in 1868 James Death put forward a theory in "The Beer of the Bible" that the manna from heaven that the Hebrew god gave the Israelites was a bread-based, porridge-like beer called "wusa."
These beers were often thick, more of a gruel than a beverage, and drinking straws were used by the Egyptians to avoid the bitter solids left over from fermentation.
Though beer was drunk in Ancient Rome, it was replaced in popularity by wine. Tacitus wrote disparagingly of the beer brewed by the Germanic peoples of his day.
The Romans called their brew cerevisia, from the Celtic word for it.