Friday, November 27, 2020

ANTINOUS WAS BORN ON THIS DAY
1,909 YEARS AGO


ANTINOUS was born on this day, November 27th in the year 111 AD — 1,909 years ago!

Festive celebrations are being held by worshipers all over the world, with special rites being conducted at the HOLLYWOOD TEMPLE OF ANTINOUS.

Antinous was born in the Bithynian city of Claudiopolis, modern-day Bolu in Turkey.

It was a major city in those days with a Hellenistic/Roman heritage dating back centuries. It was nestled among snow-capped peaks and woodlands full of wild beasts and full of mythical magic.

The portrait of the newborn baby Antinous and his mother against the backdrop of a Bithynian conifer forest is by PRIEST JULIEN, a New York artist who now lives in Hollywood.

Modern Claudiopolis/Bolu is a sleepy health resort. Not too many foreign tourists go there, but the area is a popular with Turkish vacationers because of its pine-covered mountains and its sparkling lakes and spa waters.


The altitude makes it refreshingly cooler than lower-lying regions, so Turks go there to get away from the heat and noise of places like Istanbul and Ankara.

Wikipedia says: "Local specialities include a sweet made of hazelnuts (which grow in abundance here) and an eau-de-cologne with the scent of grass. One feature of Bolu dear to the local people is the soft spring water obtained from fountains in the town."
 

Hazelnut candy? Grass-scented cologne? Amazingly soft spring water? Somehow that one little paragraph makes it sound like a place where Antinous would have to have been born.

The area where Antinous was born is a beautiful place, nestled high in piney forests and yet only a short distance from the sparkling Black Sea coast about halfway between Istanbul and Ankara.

The region is teeming with bountiful wildlife and so Hadrian and Antinous went on hunting forays while in Bithynium. As a boy, Antinous must have played in these forests and bathed in these sparkling lakes.

He would have remembered these boyhood days during his travels with Hadrian to the far corners of the Empire. We often forget that Antinous had a family who must have loved him and missed him. They were no doubt proud of him, but they missed him.

And he missed them as he also missed his lovely Bithynia with its mountains and lakes and deep forests which, in winter, are covered in deep snow.

The first snows may have already fallen "back home" at the end of October in 130 AD when Antinous stood on the banks of the Nile in Upper Egypt. Perhaps he had received a letter from home with the latest family gossip and news of the first snowfall. He would have remembered the scent of pine forests and fresh-fallen snow.

As he looked into the green waters of the Nile in far-away Egypt at the end of his brief life, perhaps he thought of "home" and lakes and dark forests and pine cones and the scent of hazelnuts being roasted and mixed with rose water and honey to make candy.


November 27th is an introspective moment ... an evaluation of things past ... and things to come. And above all, it is birthday party time. Let the Festive Season Begin with an Antinous Birthday Party!

Thursday, November 26, 2020

WE ARE STRONG TOGETHER
AS BROTHERS AND SISTERS OF ANTINOUS

By Our Flamen Antonius Subia



TO To the People of Antinous,

My fellow Antinoans, I know that many of you are feeling isolated and afraid, and many are suffering and out of work with little assurance that life will ever return to normal.

Many of you have friends and family members who have fallen sick and perhaps have died, and my heart goes out to you in love and sympathy. 

Many of our Antinous people are considered to be vulnerable and the potential danger is very real and present at every moment for them. 

We have not yet made it through to the end and yet so many people around us are easing off and going about life as if everything is returning to normal, I ask you in the name of Antinous to hold on as best you can for as long as you can and resist the urge to consider that the virus has passed us over and that we are now safe.

Antinous is a god of healing and an image of health and immortality ... but he is also a god of wisdom, prudence and truth.

For your own sake and for the sake of those around you, as a responsible member of human civilization, I ask that you continue in quarantine and practice strict social distancing for as long as we must until we are told that it is safe to come outside.

This is a time for introspection and realignment, to examine our lives so far and address the changes that we have for so long wanted to manifest in who we are and how we want to live the rest of our lives, and also what we want the world to be like when at last we are able to return to the sun.

We can do this together, we must stay strong together as a brother and sisterhood of Antinous believers and create a new world for ourselves in the image that we want it to be, and not let others create the world image for us.

We can do this if we stay together and trust in Antinous and the Clockwork of the Cosmos.

For myself having only just returned from Egypt and witnessing the sunrise event at Abu Simbel, and so many sunrises and their corresponding sunsets and seeing the Clockwork of the Cosmos right before my eyes and touching the sacred sand of Antinoopolis and bringing back relics of our fallen city and Nile water and so many sacred things and then suddenly being confined to solitude as the world around us fell apart and so many people died, who did not have to die ... it has made the event even that much more significant and glaringly clear that the Clockwork of the Cosmos mystery is all too true.

But above it all is the ever-present hope of the Star of Antinous, that all this pain and suffering and misery has been for a purpose that we will understand in due time.

We must hold on to one another, reach out to one another and be there for our brothers and sisters in their time of need. 

This is what the Religion of Antinous has come back from obscurity for, to bring us all together, and this is the time in which we can and must bring his cause into reality.

I was inspired to write these words by listening to an old song by Patrick Wolf (video below), who always seem to have the power to speak to my heart in time of need.

May Antinous bless us and guide us to his light.

~Antonius N. Subia
Flamen Antinoalis



Wednesday, November 25, 2020

THIS IS THE DAY THE ORION NEBULA
WAS DISCOVERED AND NAMED



ON 25 November 1610 French astronomer Nicolas-Claude Fabri de Peiresc (Peiresc) discovered the Orion Nebula and coined the term "nebula". 

The Ancient Egyptians equated Orion with Osiris ... the rise of the Orion Constellation and dog star Sirius coincided with the Nile Inundation ... symbolized by Osiris rising from the dead.

Like Osiris, Antinous died in the Nile and rose to divinity. The first miracle of Antinous was the bountiful Nile Inundation in 131 AD which ended a long drought ... bringing life from death.

Tuesday, November 24, 2020

FREDDIE MERCURY
SAINT OF ANTINOUS



ON November 24th the Religion of Antinous celebrates the outrageous life of St. Freddie Mercury.

St. Freddie Mercury whose death from AIDS on this date in 1991 shocked the world, was a courageous performer whose gayness, while not always stated, was a visible part of his persona. He served as an inspiration for millions of gay men, particularly those who, like him, fight ethnic prejudice every day of their lives.

St. Freddie, who was of Indian Parsi descent, and who was born on the island of Zanzibar and grew up in India, has been referred to as "Britain's first Asian rock star."

Like all great showbiz artists, St. Freddie was acutely aware of his public image and went to great lengths to cultivate the persona of Freddie Mercury -- and to hide any trace of the little Parsi boy named Farrokh Bulsara. Freddie Mercury -- or rather the showbiz image called Freddie Mercury -- was beyond all definitions of ethnic origin, or sexual orientation or political affiliation. Not surprisingly, many people were confused and sometimes irritated by the image.

People criticized him for "hiding" his ethnic background. But as a friend told an interviewer after Freddie's death, "[Farrokh] Bulsara was a name he had buried. 

He never wanted to talk about any period in his life before he became Freddie Mercury, and everything about Freddie Mercury was a self-constructed thing."

People also criticized him for not "coming out" publicly. But again, Freddie Mercury (the showbiz image) was beyond gender limitations. 

In fact, Mercury referred to himself as "gay" in a 1974 interview with NME magazine. He was frequently spotted at the cruisiest gay bars across Europe, the UK and America. On the other hand, he would often distance himself from partner Jim Hutton during public events in the 1980s.

Freddie Mercury (the rock icon) was too big to be contained in one gender mold.

He was diagnosed with HIV in 1987. Everyone knew he was sick and everyone surmised the reason. But Freddie Mercury (the image) could never die.

And so it was, that Freddie Mercury never acknowledged his illness until November 23, 1991, when a tersely worded statement was issued announcing that he had AIDS.

A few hours later, he was dead. At the age of 45.

Although he cultivated a very flamboyant stage personality, several sources (including people of my own acquaintance who knew him "intimately") refer to Mercury as having been very shy in person. He also granted very few interviews. Mercury once said of himself: "When I'm performing I'm an extrovert, yet inside I'm a completely different man."

One man was an Indian Parsi kid called Farrokh Bulsara who had been born in Zanzibar.

The other man was FREDDIE MERCURY:

Farrokh Bulsara died on November 24, 1991.

Freddie Mercury will live forever.

The Religion of Antinous honors Freddie Mercury as a Saint of Antinous because he embodies the artistic genius and the flamboyant courage that inspires each of us to strive to be a "star". St. Freddie Mercury admonishes us to strip off the guise of conventionality and the put on our "star" outfits and to take the stage of life. He teaches us to live each day as if it is forever.

Monday, November 23, 2020

YOU DON'T NEED A TEMPLE OF STONE
TO CELEBRATE THE BIRTHDAY OF ANTINOUS



THE birthday of Antinous is November 27 and worshipers all over the world are planning celebrations.

But some people are unable to celebrate as expansively and as joyously as they would like. 

We received the following succinct smart phone message yesterday from a very dear adherent of Antinous in the American Bible Belt who said:

"I am a bit envious that you get to celebrate his birthday openly. I've got two straight housemates. Oh well ... maybe some day ...."


And like many people, he also has to work on that day ... and others have to work perhaps at two jobs to make ends meet. And then there are the people who just don't have the money or the facilities for a formal celebration.

There is a common misconception that you need to have a large and elaborate ALTAR OR SHRINE in your home. But the truest shrine is in your heart. You can download a photo of Antinous and put it in your wallet ... and it truly becomes Antinous the Gay God if you see HIM in it.

A shrine or sacred image of Antinous can be very SMALL AND MODEST.

The Ancient Priests of Antinous were experts in such things ... though 1,800 years of Christianity has resulted in that knowledge having become lost for the vast majority of people in Western civilization.

For the Ancient Priests of Antinous, what existed on the physical level drew to itself the specific spiritual energies of which the physical form was a type.

For the Magical Consciousness, every ritual action done on the physical level, every form created, every word spoken or written, acted as the magnet to which its spiritual counterpart irresistably was pulled.

Thus, a consecrated image of Antinous is not an "idol" and his worshippers are not "idolators."

Why not?

Because an idol is a physical object and nothing more than a physical object. The statues of Antinous were not "idols" because the Ancient Priests of Antinous could  never have conceived of such a notion. It is important that we remember that the Ancient Priests of Antinous conceived of a world which was ... unlike our own ... an ANIMATED world from the beginning. Everything in their physical world was alive with spiritual dimensions.

They didn't PROJECT a spiritual entity into a hunk of carved marble. Instead, they APPREHENDED the spiritual entity that was already inside the stone.

Anybody who has been around our own FLAMEN ANTONIUS SUBIA has seem him use his Inner Eye to do the same thing. He will look at a statue of a "Greek Ephebe" and will look inward for a moment and then will say, "It's Antinous!"

Some have criticized him for doing this, saying he can't possibly know the provenance of the statue and whether it was perhaps actually supposed to be Hermes or someone else. Antonyus uses his Inner Eye and "sees" the spiritual Blessed Boy in the stone ... or says it is not Antinous, as the case may be.

The Ancient Priests of Antinous did the same thing in carrying out religio-magical services for the faithful. Not only could a physical image (whether two-dimensional or three-dimensional) provide a "body" for an already existent spiritual entity, but images could also become the spiritual base for "thought forms" that were called into existence through their being represented in miniature on the physical plane.

The Ancient Priests of Antinous were deeply aware of the interdependence between the Divine World and the Human World. In the times in which they lived, these two spheres were not experienced as separate from each other in the way that they have come to be experienced today.


"As Above, So Below" was not just a catch-phrase for them, but instead it was a way of life.

It is our goal in this distant, soulless, post-modern age, to rediscover this ability to live in relationship to, and act as a conduit for, Antinous the Gay God.

We cannot recreate the ancient religion of Antinous. It is dead and we human beings have developed in other directions. We are not attempting to "reconstruct" the Religion of Antinous. Our goal is to fashion a Religion of Antinous which meets the spiritual needs of post-modern, post-Christian and post-pagan gay men.

But we can learn from the Ancient Priests of Antinous. The cosmos of which they were aware was primarily spiritual and only secondarily material. In their physical world, everything was spiritually alive ... even soft-toys, coins and bronze (or maybe brass) statuettes bought on eBay ... even a downloaded photo in a hip wallet.

The main task of the Ancient Priests of Antinous was to build a magical bridge between physical and spiritual reality, momentarily bringing them into conjunction.

So the answer to the question "Is that image really Antinous?" would be answered this way by an Ancient Priest of Antinous: "It is so if you MAKE it so. Open your eyes to the 'Antinous Within'. Apprehend HIS presence which is already inside the earthly reproduction. Through you, then, it IS Antinous!"

HOMOTHEOSIS ... Gay-Man-Godliness-Becoming-the-Same.


You don't need to build a temple of steel, stone and glass. You ARE the temple.

Sunday, November 22, 2020

WE PRAY TO ANTINOUS/DIANA
TO GUIDE US IN OUR HUNT BY MOONBEAMS


TONIGHT, November 22,  is one of the festivals of Diana goddess of the Moon and hunting. 

She is goddess of wild places and wild animals and the protector of young women, pregnant women and those giving birth. 

Diana is the twin sister of Apollo. 

As Antinous is often assimilated to Apollo, he therefore substitutes as the twin of Diana, though he can often be viewed as her male double, so that Antinous is Diana. 

Antinous and Diana are both hunters, and moon deities, and they are also gods of magic and darkness. 

Diana is often compared to Hecate, the supreme goddess of Theurgian magicians, who rose to prominence during the reign of Marcus Aurelius. 

Antinous therefore is the male equivalent of Hecate.

ANTONIUS SUBIA says: "We pray to Diana to guide us in our hunt and to illuminate our nights with the silver light of her sublime power. We recognize that the Moon of Diana is the Moon of Antinous."

Saturday, November 21, 2020

YOUR ONLINE ANTINOUS SHOP



LOOKING for that perfect holiday season gift? One-stop shopping is just one click away at the online TEMPLE OF ANTINOUS SHOP

This shop features official Antinous articles selected and designed by FLAMEN ANTONIUS SUBIA personally.

If you admire the artwork of Antonyus, then order your own posters of his hand-picked favorite paintings and photographs.

A wide range of T-shirts is available, including classic "T", fitted "T", ringer "T", sleeveless, long-sleeve and baseball jersey — in up to nine colors, depending on the style and design you prefer.

The handy Antinous Tote Bag is a must-have as is a wide array of Antinous lapel buttons and refrigerator magnets in various sizes and designs.

Naturally, there are coffee mugs — and even an official Antinous beer stein appropriately adorned with the well-known Subian portrait of Antinous/Dionysus.

One of our favorites is the Antinous Keepsake Box, available in red-mahogany or black, with a tile cover portrait of the Louvre's breath-taking Ecouen Antinous. This roomy box is perfect for any home shrine or altar and is the perfect jewelry box.

And of course the ever-popular Antinous bumper sticker (at the top of this entry) provides the Beauteous Boy's blessings on any vehicle.

All items are ordered with safety and guaranteed efficiency through cafepress, which has a sound reputation for speedy delivery around the world, with secure payment in all major currencies.

Friday, November 20, 2020

ICONIC GAY PORN STAR JOEY STEFANO
IS A SAINT OF ANTINOUS



WE honour iconic gay porn actor Joey Stefano as a saint of Antinous. 

Nicholas Anthony Iacona Junior was born January 1, 1968, in suburban Philadelphia USA and died November 21, 1994, of a drug overdose. 

Over the course of his five-year career, Stefano appeared in 58 gay adult films, and two music videos with Madonna. 

Despite his success, Stefano did not save his earnings and relapsed into drug and alcohol abuse. 

In 1990, he was diagnosed HIV positive. 

On November 21, 1994, Stefano's body was found in a motel room in Hollywood. He was 26 years old.

He symbolizes gay men who skyrocket to celebrity but who fall into disillusionment and ruin just as quickly.

QUENTIN CRISP
SAINT OF ANTINOUS


ON November 21st the Religion of Antinous honors Saint Quentin Crisp, who died on this day in 1999. He was born on Christmas Day in 1908. 

He became a gay icon in the 1970s after publication of his memoir, The Naked Civil Servant, his true-life account of his defiant exhibitionism and longstanding refusal to conceal his homosexuality.

John Hurt helped to make Quentin Crisp a media star in the movie adaptation of The Naked Civil Servant in the 1970s. In a sequel 30 years later Hurt made him a screen legend, very much in keeping with the lifelong ambition of Quentin Crisp.

In the second film, An Englishman In New York, Hurt portrayed the elderly Quentin Crisp as the New York gay icon based in Manhattan's funky-gritty Lower East Side in the 1980s and '90s.



At an age when most people would retire to a nursing home, Quentin Crisp left his native England and moved to New York City, where he pursued a career as a bon vivant and raconteur.

Asked by a BBC interview if he intended to die in New York, Saint Quentin emphatically said: "Oh no, I didn't come to New York to die. I came to New York to LIVE."

Arriving in New York in his 70s, he lived in his accustomed artistic squalor in a Lower East Side walk-up with a view through a grimy window pane of the next door neighbor's grimy bedroom window.



Every bit the considerate Englishman, he turned off his bare-bulb light at 11 p.m. and sat in the dark, lest the neighbor complain the glare from the 60-watt bulb (through two filthy window panes) kept him awake.

Saint Quentin experienced a meteoric rise after his cunning agent launched him into a career as a raconteur in an off-Broadway one-man show and he became a movie reviewer for a Christopher Street magazine.

But he experienced a meteoric fall from grace when, during one of his frequent TV talk-show appearances, he flippantly remarked that AIDS was "just a fad" which would soon be out of fashion, and the gay community viciously turned on him. Quentin, who had never apologized for anything in his life (and was not about to start apologizing), was perplexed when he was dropped by his agent and editor until his eyes were opened when he got to know young artist Patrick Angus, who later died of AIDS.

But in a Hollywood happy ending, Quentin was rescued by performance artist Penny Arcade, who put him back on stage, and Christopher Street re-hired him, paving the way for a glorious comeback and reconciliation with the gay community when he was in his 90s.


It is fitting that most people know Saint Quentin only through these two films. As might be expected, the best recommendation for the films comes from Quentin Crisp himself, who once famously said: "Any film, even the worst, is better than real life."

Thursday, November 19, 2020

FLUSHED WITH PRIDE, WE OFFER
THE LATEST UPDATES ON WORLD TOILET DAY



TODAY November 19 is WORLD TOILET DAY and we are flushed with pride to have kept you on the edge of your seats for two years with headlines on what's new in ancient toilets.

We were the first to report the discovery by Philippe Charlier, a Parisian forensic expert, that Ancient Greek ceramic discs which hitherto had been thought to be gaming pieces may actually have been used as a form of ANCIENT TOILET PAPER.

Charlier (pictured here) presented among other things, a Greek proverb stating, "Three stones are enough to wipe one's arse," as evidence that such stones were used to clean up after going to the bathroom.

This blog also was among the first to report on the discovery of the world's oldest WOODEN TOILET SEAT (top of entry) in September 2014 at Vindolanda Roman Fort near Hadrian's Wall in northern England.

The Vindolanda experts also unearthed a WRITING TABLET (shown here) believed to be from 105-120 AD. The tablet was found just 12 inches (30 cm) from the wooden toilet seat. 

The tablet is one of 12 found at Vindolanda this year and one of seven found from the same building level.

Andrew Birley, head of the dig, stated he was "looking forward" to reading the tablet's text.

The site, near Hexham, has earlier revealed gold and silver coins and other artefacts of the Roman army.

Dr Birley stated : "If we are really lucky the person using the seat will have had verbal diarrhoea and we will be able to get their personal thoughts regarding life 1,900 years ago."

The Romans used wooden tablets covered with a layer of wax for writing. They would scratch words into the wax using a stylus.

Wednesday, November 18, 2020

THIS STUNNING VIDEO RECREATES
LOCATIONS IN HADRIAN'S LIFE


A stunning video by the ALTAIR4 team of 3-D archaeological recreations portrays locations in Emperor Hadrian's life.

The video shows portions of Hadrian's Villa, Nero's Golden House, the Acropolis in Athens, the Temple of Isis at Philae and Karnak in ancient Thebes....



Tuesday, November 17, 2020

QUINTUS AURELIUS SYMMACHUS
VENERABLE SAINT OF ANTINOUS



WE are proud to consecrate Quintus Aurelius Symmachus as a Venerable Saint of Antinous for his unyielding efforts to uphold the Religion of Antinous in the face of Christian opposition.

A Roman statesman, orator, and man of letters who lived 345 – 402 AD, he held the offices of governor of proconsular Africa in 373, urban prefect of Rome in 384 and 385, and consul in 391.

Symmachus sought to preserve the traditional religions of Rome at a time when the aristocracy was converting to Christianity, and led an unsuccessful delegation of protest against Gratian, when he ordered the Altar of Victory removed from the curia, the principal meeting place of the Roman Senate in the Forum Romanum.

Two years later he made a famous appeal to Gratian's successor, Valentinian II, in a dispatch that was rebutted by Ambrose, the bishop of Milan.

Symmachus's career was temporarily derailed when he supported the short-lived usurper Magnus Maximus, but he was rehabilitated and three years later appointed consul.

Much of his writing has survived: nine books of letters, a collection of Relationes or official dispatches, and fragments of various orations.

Antonius Subia says:

In an age when almost all other Roman Nobility were turning away from our ancient Religion, this gentleman stood strong and faithful and was a voice of dissent against the tidal wave of Christianity that was enveloping the Roman world.  This was the time when the Ancient Religion of Antinous was finally suppressed and destroyed.  We can be sure that this Great Noble Roman was one of the last champions and defenders of our God.


The portrait above shows the Apotheosis of Symmachus ... a relief depicting Symmachus being carried up to the realm of the gods by two divine figures as though he were being deified.  The Zodiac figures may indicate that his Deification took place around the Winter Solstice.

Monday, November 16, 2020

LOZEN, APACHE WARRIORESS
SAINT OF ANTINOUS



WE honor Lozen, the two-spirit Apache warrioress and holy woman who fought with Geronimo, and who was with his final band of warriors when they surrendered.

She is a blessed Saint of Antinous.

A contemporary observer said:


"Lozen had no concern for her appearance and, even though she is seen in several famous photos of Geronimo with his warriors, there is nothing to indicate that she is a woman. You would never spot her. She was very manly in her appearance, dressed like a man, lived and fought like a man. She never married, and devoted her life to the service of her people, to the very end."

Sunday, November 15, 2020

HOW TO PLAN YOUR OWN
FESTIVE ANTINOUS BIRTHDAY PARTY



ANTINOUS was born on November 27 and worshipers around the world are busy planning their own festivities ... from Chile to Canada and from New England in the US to New South Wales in Australia.

November marks the start of the ancient pagan Festive Season, a season which is still full of fabulous party dates ... including Christmas, New Year's Eve, Twelfth Night and of course American Thanksgiving. Dia de los Muertos and Halloween/Samhain usher in this Festive Season of twinkly lights and over-eating and drinking way too much. 

Our brothers and sisters at the Fundación Epithimia Antinoo in Mexico are busy making final preparations for an Antinous birthday fiesta. 

For worshipers at the Templo de Antinoo México Temple of Antinous in Mexico City, the fiesta requires weeks or even months of preparation because the papier-mâché icons are created by artist Yanko Garibaldi ... each a work of art. Caricaturist Sirius has also created iconic images of the Martyrs and Saints of Antinous.


Other images on this page offer inspiration for Antinous Birthday festivities. 

At right is "Das Gastmahl" (The Symposion Feast) by Anton von Werner (1877) - preliminary color sketch as part of a series of wall murals on the theme of "Roman Life" for the Café Bauer (53 x 89 cm) (Privately Owned).

Images below are courtesy of the gifted artist FELIX D'EON and serve as an inspiration for Antinous Birthday festivities in the open air ... in the Southern Hemisphere, where the jacarandas are in bloom and summer will soon be here.

These ancient festivities go back WAAAAY before Christianity, of course. So it's a safe bet that Hadrian and Antinous would recognize many of the features of these festivities

So when you plan your Antinous Birthday Party, you can mix-and-match customs from all sorts of pagan Festive Season holidays, in full knowledge that Hadrian and Antinous would nod in approval.

It should be celebrated with feasting and drinking and singing and carousing. Green boughs (palm fronds, holly, pine boughs or whatever is native to your climate) should decorate the feast room in honour of the forests of Bithynia, the highlands of modern-day Turkey where Antinous was born.


Electric lights should be turned off in favor of candlelight or at the very least those strings of tiny "fairy lights" Moslems use during Ramadan and Hindus during Divali and Christians at Christmas.

The one really bright spot in the room should be a bust or image of Antinous, which is spotlighted, signifying our belief that Antinous brings light into the world.

The Antinous Rosy Lotus would be perfect. But since not everyone has access to lotus blossoms in late November, orchids would also be fine. 



Bithynia was well known even in Ancient Times for its forest orchids and the Romans loved orchids ... even orchid root beverages!

Orchids would be lovely as well as being a Hellenistic conversation piece. 


If they are too pricey, then your favorite seasonal flower will do. 

Look around and find something that is beautiful and unique to your own locale which you think would be very nice.

The Birthday of Antinous would be a wonderful opportunity for a costume party, also in keeping with the Halloween-Carnaval-Christmas flavor of these ancient pagan holidays. Guests might be encouraged to come as Greco-Romans or Egyptian priests.

The menu could be Mediterranean, with lots of finger foods such as tahini and couscous and humous and pita bread, stuffed olives, eggplant/aubergine, goat's cheese and so on. 



Refried beans (which the Egyptians call "fuul" and eat for breakfast) would be ideal since the theory goes that the Moors introduced "fuul" to the Spaniards, who introduced it to the New World, where it became refritos ... Mexican refried beans.

But you should feel free to go local with favorite regional dishes of your home area. 


There must be lots of good South American dishes which would be perfect, or Scottish specialties, or Aussie barbecued prawns or New England pot pies ... good simple "plebeian" food which is festive and spicy and filling.

In keeping with these pagan festivals, foods should represent birth and regeneration: beans, peas, black-eyed peas, pumpkins, squash, nuts, berries.

It doesn't really matter what food is served, of course, as long as it's delicious and plentiful, and as long as there is plenty of drink to wash it down, wine or beer or just good old iced tea.



Beer is appropriate, since the Ancient Egyptians were brewing beer thousands of years before Antinous was born.

Antinous' last meal may have been refried beans and beer and flat bread.

In a change from holiday cakes and cookies, how about baking Antinous cookies? 


Bake simple sugar cookies which have been cut out to resemble stars, comets, an imperial crown and Bithynian fir trees and lions and so on and decorate them with Antinoian lettering or symbols.

Instead of gingerbread men, make gingerbread Antinouses. The gingerbread man, after all, is thought to come from pagan rituals for honoring Thor or other gods. 


Generally, they are sweet dough which is filled with a nut-date-spice filling representing rebirth and spiritual sustenance. You still find them today on St. Nicholas' feast day throughout Europe.

Whatever you bake, make sure to include a small "surprise" somewhere in the cake or muffin or cookes for some lucky guest to chomp down on. It doesn't have to be a diamond ring, but a trinket of some sort is always fun. 


If that is too challenging for your skills as a confectioner, then just an ordinary cake with the letters "A-N-T-I-N-O-U-S" in store-bought candy lettering would do the job just as nicely. 

Or just a large "A" in icing in the middle of the cake.

Another tradition should be oracle games. This is the first major festival of the New Year in the Antinoian liturgical calendar, so oracles are appropriate.

And when your guests suggest you are robbing traditions from Christian festivals, just look them square in the eye and insist that the Christians stole these wonderful traditions from us pagans because the Christians didn't have any of their own. 



Where would Christian holidays be without pagan traditions?

Who knows? Perhaps Hadrian and Antinous enjoyed these very same pagan traditions in their Saturnalia revelries.

One more thing: Mistletoe. Mistletoe is plentiful in the forests of Bithynia. You can never have enough mistletoe ... as these two 1928 vendors in Paris show.


Antinous would be well familiar with mistletoe. I'm sure he would like it as a reminder of his boyhood hikes through the woods of home.

Use your imagination and you'll come up with lots of ideas.


Let the Festive Season Begin with an Antinous Birthday Party!

Saturday, November 14, 2020

TRACE THE FOOTSTEPS OF ANTINOUS
WITH THIS STREET MAP OF ROME



WE envision Antinous strolling down these streets in Rome's infamous Subura red-light district with other young friends from the "paedagogium" academy.

The wide street that traverses this fragment of a map of the city of Rome from right to left (west to east) has been identified as the Clivus Suburanus, a major street that ran from the Forum and the Argiletum through the Subura neighborhood, past the front of the Porticus Liviae, to the Esquiline Gate.

This fragment is from the Forma Urbis Romae, or Severan Marble Plan of Rome. This enormous map, measuring ca. 18.10 x 13 meters (ca. 60 x 43 feet), was carved between 203-211 AD and covered an entire wall inside the Templum Pacis in Rome. 

It depicted the ground plan of every architectural feature in the ancient city, from large public monuments to small shops, rooms, and even staircases.

This fragment represents a large section on the Oppian Hill of the residential and commercial district called the Subura. 

Roman poets like Martial and Juvenal described the Subura as a sordid commercial area, riddled with violence, brothels, and collapsing buildings. 

In reality, it was probably not different from any other neighborhood in Rome … or many modern European cities, for that matter … where commercial activity intermingled with the religious and political life in the great public monuments and smaller local shrines and meeting halls of the local "collegia" and where the large "domus" homes of the rich stood next to the decrepit apartment buildings that housed the poor. 

An abundance of evidence demonstrates that even in imperial times the Subura housed senators (probably on the upper slopes) as well as sandal makers, blacksmiths, and cloth sellers. Commercial activity was probably concentrated all along the clivus Suburanus.


The Severan Marble Plan is a key resource for the study of ancient Rome, but only 10-15% of the map survives, broken into 1,186 pieces.

For centuries, scholars have tried to match the fragments and reconstruct this great puzzle, but progress is slow … the marble pieces are heavy, unwieldy, and not easily accessible. 

Now, computer scientists and archaeologists at Stanford are employing digital technologies to try to reconstruct the map. 

In collaboration with the Sovraintendenza of the Comune di Roma, a team from Stanford's Computer Graphics laboratory has been creating digital photographs and 3D models of all 1,186 fragments. 

The next step is to develop 3D matching algorithms to "solve the map," and to build a fully searchable database of the fragments … a much-needed tool for archaeological research.

Friday, November 13, 2020

THE FEAST OF JUPITER, JUNO, MINERVA



ON the 13th November we celebrate the Roman feast of Jupiter, Minerva and Juno. Romans celebrate with a lavish feast outdoors, with the statues of the gods being brought in as the major guests. The feast is in the inner courtyard, open to the sky, so that the gods can see that all is done correctly.

13 de novembro é a festa romana de Júpiter, Minerva e Juno. Os romanos celebraram com uma festa pródiga ao ar livre, com as estátuas dos deuses sendo trazidas como os principais convidados. A festa está no pátio interior, aberta ao céu, para que os deuses possam ver que tudo é feito corretamente.

El 13 de noviembre es la fiesta romana de Júpiter, Minerva y Juno. Los romanos celebraban con un festín lujoso al aire libre, con las estatuas de los dioses como los principales invitados. La fiesta está en el patio interior, abierto al cielo, para que los dioses puedan ver que todo está hecho correctamente.

Thursday, November 12, 2020

EXPERTS DECIPHER MAGICAL SPELL BOOK
FOUND NEAR ANTINOOPOLIS IN EGYPT



AN ancient Egyptian handbook containing magic spells in use in or near Antinoopolis has been deciphered by Australian scientists.

The Handbook of Ritual Power – as named by the researchers – explains how to cast love spells, exorcise evil spirits and treat 'black jaundice', a fatal infection still present today.

According to Live Science, the text is written in Coptic and the book is made of bound parchmentpapers. It is about 1,300 years old and was first acquired by Macquarie University in 1981 from antiques dealer Michael Fackelmann.

However, where Fackelmann first got the handbook from is unknown.

"The dialect suggests an origin in Upper Egypt, perhaps in the vicinity of Ashmunein/Hermopolis," which is directly across the Nile from Antinoopolis, researchers Malcolm Choat and Iain Gardner wrote in their book A Coptic Handbook of Ritual Power.

Antinoopolis was always a place of "magic, sorcery and strange religious fervor " according to Royston Lambert in his authoritative book about Antinous, BELOVED AND GOD

We know that the priests of Antinous wrote a LOVE SPELL. Lambert notes that even to this day local villagers believe the place to be haunted.

The ancient Egyptian magic spell book starts with a long series of invocations, annotated with drawings and "words of power", they say.

"These are followed by a number of prescriptions or spells to cure possession by spirits and various ailments, or to bring success in love and business."

The book, which is 20 pages long, includes a spell about how to control someone. To do this, people must say a magical formula over two nails, then drive them into his doorstop: "One on the right side (and) one on the left."

At the time the book was written, Egyptians had become Christians and it contains several references to Jesus. However, there are also mentions of the Sethians – a group that held the third son of Adam and Eve (Seth) in high regard.

Church leaders thought Sethians to be heretics and by the time the book was written, they had been all but wiped out.

The authors believe the handbook could be a transitional text created before all the Sethian spells had been purged. They told LiveScience they believe the spells were originally from separate books, but were later combined to create a "single instrument of ritual power".

Discussing who might have used the book, Choat said: "It is my sense that there were ritual practitioners outside the ranks of the clergy and monks, but exactly who they were is shielded from us by the fact that people didn't really want to be labeled as a 'magician'."

Wednesday, November 11, 2020

NIANKHKHNUM and KHNUMHOTEP
SAINTS OF ANTINOUS


ON November 11th the Religion of Antinous honors two men whose love for each other has survived the fall of all ancient civilizations.

We honor Niankhkhnum and Khnumhotep, Blessed Saints of Antinous.They lived in Egypt 2,000 years before the siege of Troy. 

They had been dead and forgotten for 2,650 years when Hadrian and Antinous visited Mennefer (Memphis) Egypt in 130 AD. 

Most likely Hadrian and Antinous stood directly on top of (or very nearly on top of) the lost tomb of these two men — two men who were buried together at the Memphis necropolis some 4,500 years ago.

When the tomb was discovered in 1964 it sent shock waves through the dusty world of Egyptology. The vividly painted reliefs on the walls of the tomb showed an intimate embrace between two male Royal Manicurists — the first recorded depiction of an openly homosexual couple.
Prudish Egyptologists have argued ever since that the two men were "just good friends" or perhaps that they were possibly "twin brothers".

But recent research by more open-minded archaeologists, such as California-based EGYPTOLOGIST GREG REEDER, has offered compelling evidence that the two men were more than "just good friends" or "close brothers."

Greg Reeder has written and lectured extensively on this extraordinary tomb, which was uncovered in 1964 in the necropolis of Saqqara at Memphis, on the west bank of the Nile. The site atop a cliff overlooking the Nile has drawn tourists since ancient times. Julius Caesar and Cleopatra stood atop this cliff and gazed in awe at its ancient tomb structures.

Hadrian and Antinous almost certainly stood on this very same spot in October of the year 130 AD, only weeks before Antinous drowned in the Nile. Beneath their feet was the Lost Tomb of Niankhkhnum and Khnumhotep. The sand has been removed and now that long-lost tomb is no longer lost.

And what a tomb it is! It has a splendid entrance and charming layout befitting a pleasant gay holiday retreat cottage — for an eternal, never-ending holiday vacation.

While grave robbers stripped the tomb of relics in antiquity, the wall paintings reveal tantalizing hints about its original occupants. The men are repeatedly depicted together, sometimes holding hands, sometimes with their arms around each other.

In two instances they are shown with their noses touching — the most intimate embrace permitted in Egyptian art of the time — tantamount to kissing. Their bodies are pressed so closely together that their groins rub against each other in a decidedly intimate sort of way. 

In Ancient Egypt, such male-male depictions were reserved for kings who merged with gods, not for two mortal men.

They are so close together that some Egyptologists have theorized that they may have been Siamese twins joined at the hips.

Other figures, identified as wives and children, are relegated to the background. In one scene, in which the two men share a final banquet before their journey into the afterlife, Niankhkhnum' s "wife" has been plastered over by the craftsmen who decorated the tomb. Khnumhotep's spouse fails to make an appearance at all — highly unusual in Egyptian tomb art, if not totally unprecedented.

Throughout the tomb, the two men are depicted in joyous pursuits, such as this relief vignette (right) showing one of them playing flute accompaniment as the other sings.

The magnificent reliefs show a variety of scenes involving nude or semi-nude males involved in all sorts of artistic and manly activities, such as one scene (below left) of a sort of "Egyptian Rodeo" bull-roping tournament with accompanying scenes of a raucous "beef barbecue" feast.

Or the scene (below right) of athletic youths — so sparingly attired you can see they are circumcised — engaged in a playful mock battle using reed skiffs on the Nile.

Throughout the tomb, the reliefs show men, men, men (and a few token females) engaged in service to the tomb's two male occupants who are — unprecedented in Egyptian Sacred Art — wholly committed to each other. Other tombs invariably show man-and-wife. Not this one.

Hieroglyphs describe the men as "Overseers of the Royal Manicurists" to pharaoh. 
Ostensibly, they were responsible for the care of the pharaoh's hands and were among the select few permitted to touch the ruler. 

However, it is also possible that the title "Royal Manicurist" could be a ceremonial honor similar to the "Order of the Garter".

Though the hieroglyphs say nothing of the two men's relationship, Greg Reeder, an Egyptologist based in San Francisco, believes the wall paintings suggest homosexuality is the answer. Reeder points out that Niankhkhnum and Khnumhotep clearly chose to depict themselves in poses usually restricted to husbands and wives in other tombs. 

"Same-sex desire must be considered as a probable explanation," Reeder said at a lecture in Britain which made headlines a couple of years ago.

"We can only say for certain that the carvings show a profound intimacy between the two men, and the people who built the tomb were possibly unsure how to portray this," the US archaeologist noted.

The tomb was restored by German archaeologists in the late 1970s and opened to the public in the 1990s.

While gay tour operators have not targeted the site, in large part because Egypt outlaws homosexual activity, Greg Reeder's articles and lectures have created gay interest in this long-lost tomb.

"It has now become famous and lots of gay tourists go there," he says with scholarly pride.

Reeder notes that, regardless of whether the two men were sexual lovers, they were definitely two men who loved each other so much that they wanted to spend all eternity in an intimate embrace.

Even their two names are intertwined. Over the entrance to one chamber their names are mingled together so that Niankhkhnum and Khnumhotep become "NiankhKHNUMhotep" — Peace and Life joined in the ram-headed Source-of-the-Nile Deity Khnum, clearly their mutual sacred patron.

Thus, their names blend together, forming a single name: "Joined in Life and Joined in Peace at the Source of All That Lives and Dies and is Born Again for All Eternity". Such is the subtlety of the Egyptian language, which turns a name into a commitment.
Our Flamen Antinoalis Antonyus Subia says:

"Niankhkhnum and Khnumhotep is one of the earliest and most vivid portrayals of homosexual love, crossing all boundaries, binding two men and two families for all time, and demonstrating the profound antiquity and sacredness of our form of love." 

Thanks largely to the bold and candid research of Greg Reeder, the names of Niankhkhnum and Khnumhotep have been rescued from oblivion, so that their KAs might live forever — together! 

Tuesday, November 10, 2020

THE DEATH OF HEPHAESTION
RECALLS THE DEATH OF ANTINOUS



THE 10th of November 324 BC is thought to be the day when Hephaestion died in the arms of Alexander the Great. Ancient writers said Hephaestion was "... by far the dearest of all Alexander's companions. He had been brought up with Alexander and shared all his secrets." This friendship lasted throughout their lives, and was compared, by others as well as themselves, to that of Achilles and Patroclus ... and by later generations to Hadrian and Antinous.

10 de novembro de 324 aC é o dia em que Hefestião morreu nos braços de Alexandre, o Grande. Escritores antigos disseram que Hefesto era "... de longe o mais querido de todos os companheiros de Alexandre. Ele havia sido educado com Alexandre e compartilhado todos os seus segredos". Essa amizade durou por toda a vida, e foi comparada, por outros como eles próprios, à de Aquiles e Patroclus ... e por gerações posteriores a Adriano e Antinous.

10 de noviembre de 324 AC es el día en que Hefestión murió en los brazos de Alejandro Magno. Escritores antiguos dijeron que Hefestión era "... de lejos el más querido de todos los compañeros de Alejandro. Había sido educado con Alejandro y compartido todos sus secretos". Esta amistad duró toda su vida, y fue comparada, por otros tanto como ellos mismos, a la de Aquiles y Patroclus ... y por generaciones posteriores a Hadrian y Antinous.





SAINT ARTHUR RIMBAUD


ON November 10th the Religion of Antinous honors St. Arthur Rimbaud, the free-spirited French poet whose openly gay lifestyle shocked even the most avant garde artists of London and Paris in the late 19th Century.

On this day, in 1891, the poet Arthur Rimbaud, Saint of Antinous, died of cancer just three months short of his 37th birthday. Despite his early death, he was already an acclaimed and highly controversial literary figure.

In his youth, Rimbaud had been what we would nowadays call a twink. A schoolboy friend said he was prettier than any of the girls and that he had "the most beautiful pale blue eyes" he had ever seen.

Raised by a staunchly Catholic single mother in isolation in the country, Rimbaud ran away to Paris at age 16 with no money but with a prodigious talent for poetry — he had already published a couple of highly praised poems.

In Paris, Rimbaud's behavior became outwardly provocative. The mild-mannered country boy started drinking, speaking rudely and writing scatological poems, stealing books from local shops, and instead of his previous neat appearance and in defiance of short-hair fashions, he began to wear his hair rebelliously long.

At the same time he wrote to an old school teacher of his who had encouraged his poetic talents, telling him about his method for attaining poetical transcendence or visionary power through a "long, intimidating, immense and rational derangement of all the senses. The sufferings are enormous, but one must be strong, be born a poet, and I have recognized myself as a poet."

Still a teenager, he was friends with radical Communists in Paris known as the Communards (hence the name of the '80s pop group) and he even wrote a poem about being sodomized by drunken Communard paramilitary men entitled "Le Coeur Supplicié" (The Tortured Heart).

He solicited the friendship of the established poet Paul Verlaine by audaciously writing a love letter to him and enclosing two hotly sexy poems, including the hypnotic, gradually shocking "Le Dormeur du Val" (The Sleeper of the Vale), in which the forces of Nature more or less rape a sleeping soldier.
  
Verlaine, who was intrigued by Rimbaud, sent a reply that stated, "Come, dear great soul. We await you; we desire you," along with a one-way ticket to Paris.

Verlaine was so smitten with the 17-year-old Rimbaud, that he abandoned his heavily pregnant 17-year-old wife and took up living with Rimbaud instead. Verlaine quit his job to become what he called "a full-time professional drunk" At left is a caricature of Rimbaud that Verlaine lovingly sketched about that time.

All of Paris was shocked by their behavior which, even among avant-garde artists, was considered scandalous.

The two of them fled to London, where they lived the life of starving artists. Rimbaud spent most of his time in the Reading Room of the British Museum for the simple reason that "heating, lighting, pens and ink were free", he later said. 

Verlaine and Rimbaud had a volatile on-again, off-again relationship punctuated by drunken bitch fights and which climaxed with Verlaine firing a gunshot at Rimbaud which resulted in a wrist wound.

In his 20s and early 30s, Rimbaud was a vagabond poet who traveled the world, mostly on foot, doing odd jobs and writing poems. There is a marble plaque on the island of Java commemorating his short visit there as a soldier in the Dutch Colonial Army — he decided the military life was not for him and deserted almost immediately upon arrival there and returned to Europe.
He was living on the Horn of Africa with an Ethiopian mistress (he had had several lovers of both sexes, basically one in every port) when his health began to deteriorate due to what would later be diagnosed as cancer — alas, the diagnosis would be made too late to save his life.

He was 17 years old when he wrote the poem The Drunken Boat: 


"..Lighter than a cork, I danced on the waves which men call eternal rollers of victims, for ten nights, without once missing the foolish eye of the harbor lights! Sweeter than the flesh of sour apples to children, the green water penetrated my pinewood hull and washed me clean of the bluish wine-stains and the splashes of vomit, carrying away both rudder and anchor. And from that time on I bathed in the Poem of the Sea, star-infused and churned into milk, devouring the green azures; where, entranced and pallid, a dreaming drowned man sometimes goes down; where, suddenly dyeing the bluenesses- deliriums and slow rhythms under the gleams of the daylight, stronger than alcohol, vaster than music-ferment the bitter redness of love."

 We dedicate this poem and the course of the free and disordered life  of St. Arthur Rimbaud to the period of 72 Archons, and our difficult passage towards godliness.