ON January 31st the Religion of Antinous celebrates the life of Saint Derek Jarman.
St. Derek, born on this day in 1942, created eleven extraordinary feature films ... including "Sebastiane," "Jubilee," "The Tempest," "Caravaggio," "The Last Of England," and "Edward II" ... and over three dozen shorts.
This multi-talented artist is also acclaimed for his painting (several major exhibits), stage and film design (for director Ken Russell and for a glorious Pet Shop Boys concert tour), gay and human rights activism, literature (memoirs, social criticism, poetry), and, on a serene note, his exquisite gardens full of "found" art.
Most gay men have seen Sebastiane which, when it came out more than 30 years ago, was the first British film to feature positive images of gay sexuality, not to mention the first film entirely in Latin.
Edward II raised eyebrows among critics for its upfront depiction of the brutal assassination of England's openly gay monarch by means of rectal assault.
The exquisitely beautiful Caravaggio is Saint Derek's best-known film.
We Antinoians remember Saint Derek for his art and we honor him as well for his boundless courage. His death from AIDS was cruelly slow and agonizing. And yet, as AIDS robbed him of his mobility and even of his eyesight, he turned the tables on Death and Dying by turning Death and Dying into an art form.
His last feature-length film, Blue, consists of a single shot of saturated blue color filling the screen as Derek talks about his "vision" of life and art. How very typical of Derek Jarman.
Thumbing his nose at fate right up to the end. A dying man who is blind and yet who talks about his vision.
The light of his eyes faded until all he saw was the darkness where the Night Terrors feed on fear and doubt. And what did Derek do? He turned the darkness into vibrant color. He turned his fear and his worries into artistic energy. The dramatic lighting and brilliant colors of his films were so very dramatic and brilliant because they were always, always set against the inky darkness.
That is why we consecrate Derek Jarman a Saint of Antinous. Just like Saint Caravaggio, also one of our Blessed Saints, Martyrs and Exemplars, his "vision" lay in turning the Darkness into Light and Color. He died February 19, 1994.
Sunday, January 31, 2021
ON January 31st the Religion of Antinous celebrates the life of Saint Derek Jarman.
Saturday, January 30, 2021
Friday, January 29, 2021
ON January 29th in the year 131 AD a new star appeared in the constellation Aquila, the Eagle.
The court astrologers declared that it was Antinous taking his place in the heavens. Hadrian ordered them to draw a new constellation embraced by the Eagle, and called it ANTINOUS.
Our Flamen Antinoalis Antonius Subia explains:
"The Roman historian Dio Cassius was skeptical that a new star had appeared in the sky, but simultaneously, the leader of the Jewish revolt named Bar Kochba, which means 'Son of the Star,' was declared the Messiah because a celestial event had proclaimed him the savior of Israel. The mystery of the star is real, a celestial even of great magnitude occurred shortly after the death of Antinous within the constellation of the Eagle for the New God.
"The three sacred stars of the constellation Aquila, named Tarzad, Altair and Alshain, rise above the horizon just after dark on this night and are an allegory of the assumption of Ganymede into heaven. This date is suggested by Chinese Novae observations which have been dated as occurring on the 29th of January 131 AD, and are compared to the Star or Comet of Antinous."
(To be said before a sacred flame of Antinous)
Antinous of the Heavens, God of Eternal Fire
In your name, Uranian Lord, Antinous Phanes,
May this consecrated Lucerna shine forth
With the celestial light of your Sacred Dark Star.
Antinous our God, whose Star has Come into Being
We are the Influence of your holy constellation,
May our devotion ignite the burning embers
Of your flame among the ashes of the world.
Arise Antinous Ganymedes as the Eternal Narcissus,
Your Homotheosis shines from this tongue of fire
Let this Flame commemorate the conflagration
That once consumed the Sacred Sodomites
Purify us in the pain and brilliance of Gay Splendor.
We rise as the Unconquered Sun
Soaring as a falcon among the heroes.
Your Hand turns the everlasting sky.
You pass through Heaven before the Starry Beings
You are the Golden Eagle of the Heavens
In whose wings all Catamites are assumed
Into the glory of Eternal Homotheosis
Antinous Phanes, twofold, egg-born,
Glorying in your golden wings,
Antinous of celestial power, ineffable,
Dark Star, all-shining flower of flame, glory of the sky.
“Hadrian declared that he had seen a star
Which he took to be that of Antinous,
And gladly lent an ear to the fictitious tales woven by his associates
To the effect that the star had really come into being
From the spirit of Antinous
And had then appeared for the first time.”
Behold the Star of Antinous!
(light a fire for Antinous)
Thursday, January 28, 2021
ANTINOUS shows the way ... for tourists in Naples Italy looking for their vehicles at a SIXT car rental agency.
The famous Delphi statue of Antinous miraculously has a left arm to show customers how to "Go straight this way."
We wonder if the pun was intended by the advertising agency!
And look what a tourist in the Middle East spotted recently ... street art depicting Antinous giving his blessings to passersby from the walls of a five-story combination retail and residential building.
Antinous and Hadrian toured the Eastern Provinces of the Roman Empire in 128, 129 and 130 AD.
That fateful tour culminated in Antinous dying tragically in the Nile in Egypt in October 130 AD.
Grief-stricken Hadrian proclaimed Antinous a god, and issued an imperial command that the Religion of Antinous be spread throughout the world for all time ... a command which modern-day priests of Antinous continued to strive to carry out to the best of our abilities!
We love it when Antinous makes cameo appearances in advertisements.
He is routinely seen around Los Angeles on the sides of organic produce delivery trucks and WAS SIGHTED RECENTLY by our own Flamen Antonius Subia.
Meanwhile, Antinomaniacs in Britain and Europe could hardly believe their eyes when Antinous made a cameo appearance in a TV COMMERCIAL for an eyeglasses firm.
And Antinous miraculously also appeared recently literally around the corner from the Hollywood Temple of Antinous.
A larger-than-life, hand-painted wall advertisement adorned a building at the corner of La Brea and Melrose in Hollywood for a month.
The advertisement was for Sabrina Carpenter's single "Almost Love", and the image was all over social media.
The ANTINOUS MURAL featured Sabrina kissing the Townley Antinous/Dionysus bust.
That is the famous British Museum bust ... an exact replica of which adorns the altar of the HOLLYWOOD TEMPLE of Antinous.
"As soon as I saw the picture I knew where it was and ran down to see if it was true," our spiritual leader Antonius Subia says. "It's a miracle! It's a great sign from Antinous!"
Wednesday, January 27, 2021
IN Nazi Germany, on January 28th, 1935, the Ministry of Justice revived and amended "Paragraph 175", the old Prussian statute created in 1871 that made Homosexuality a crime punishable by imprisonment.
We will never forget their painful and miserable deaths, and we pray to Antinous the God of Homosexuality, to watch over their immortal souls and give them rest. On this day we remember the horrors that were raised against us through the Amendment of "Paragraph 175."
Tuesday, January 26, 2021
WE believe Hadrian may have celebrated his birthday on November 24th, 129 AD, in the city of Tripolis in what is now Lebanon during his tour of the Eastern Provinces with Antinous at his side.
Tripolis was an important Phoenician trading city founded in the 8th Century BC. it was where the three major Phoenician city-states of Aradus, Tyre and Sidon came together to form a trading alliance.
The Greeks called it Tripolis, or "Three-Cities" because it was composed of three separate, walled communities for each of the three city-states.
The patron gods of the city were probably the three Baals of the separate quarters, but during the Hellenistic and Roman eras, the Dioscuri twin gods became prominent and appear on the coins of Tripolis.
It should be noted that the Dioscuri were actually Triplets according to some traditions. The twin brother gods Castor and Pollux had a twin sister, Hellen of Troy. The two brother gods, together with their mysterious sister were therefore a symbol of city-states coming together.
Hadrian may have celebrated his birthday there as he inspected the many building projects that he had initiated, as Tripolis was one of the most Hellenized cities of Syria, being connected with the Greeks from an early age and not being under the full control of any one Phoenician state. It was therefore an open port that embraced modernization and would have welcomed the Greek-loving Emperor Hadrian.
The city was a Byzantine stronghold until it fell to the Muslims, only to be conquered by the Crusaders and then later by the Ottoman Turks.
Tripolis was famous for its luxurious bathhouses, which the Ottomans called Hammams.
Some of these bathhouses date to the Roman era and may have been visited by Antinous, for whom bathing was a sacred ritual and which later became part of his religion.
We celebrate the bathing ritual of Antinous and the spirit of cooperation between different people and cultures which made Tripolis so strong and prosperous. The Twin Gods are equated to Gemini and are also said to represent lovers, such as Hadrian and Antinous, who share a close spiritual bond known as twin flames.
We pray to the Twin gods to watch over us as we unite with Antinous and Hadrian in our hearts.
Monday, January 25, 2021
WORSHIPERS on both sides of the Atlantic joined hands via Zoom in ceremonies celebrating Emperor Hadrian's birthday at the Hollywood Temple of Antinous.
Flamen Antonius Subia had issued a global invitation via social networks for participation in the evening's ceremonies commemorating the 1,945th anniversary of the birth of Hadrian.
"We honor Hadrian because without him there would be no Religion of Antinous," Flamen ANTONIUS SUBIA told the worshipers in North and South America, Europe and Africa.
"Hadrian loved Antinous with all his heart and with all his soul. And yet, when Antinous died he could have kept Antinous in his heart to treasure alone for all eternity," Antonius said.
"But instead, he shared Antinous with the world," he added, raising his hands toward images of Hadrian and Antinous on the temple's sacred altar.
"He issued an imperial command that temples to Antinous be erected throughout the Empire," the Hollywood high priest explained, "and that statues, busts and sacred images of Antinous be created to perpetuate his memory."
Even in the darkest times after the Fall of Rome, Antinous continued to serve as a beacon for homosexuals through the centuries.
"Antinous was revered by gay people throughout the centuries, even in the Killing Times when gays were burned and persecuted, even during the Gay Holocaust at the hands of the Nazis ... and also as gay people continue to suffer today," he said.
"Instead of keeping Antinous locked in his heart, Hadrian shared a portion of Antinous with us," Antonius added, speaking in English and in Spanish for participants in Mexico City.
"He permitted us to share in his loving relationship with Antinous, and in doing so, he forever changed the way gay people have seen themselves," he told the congregants.
Officiating at the Hollywood Temple as others took part via Skype, Antonius lighted incense and offered libations in celebration of the birth and life of Hadrian and his unprecedented step to deify his gay lover ... the ultimate Classical deity.
"He was the most powerful man in the world, who loved Antinous so much that he declared him a god," Antonius told worshipers.
"He did that as representative of Zeus on Earth, emblem of the ruler of the Cosmos, the great eagle," Antonius added.
"Hadrian is the bringer of order out of chaos, founder of our religion," he went on. "He is the divine lover of Antinous ... our model ... and our God."
Future interactive ceremonies will be announced in advance.
Sunday, January 24, 2021
ON January 24th the Religion of Antinous celebrates the Birth of the Divine Hadrian.
Publius Aelius Hadrianus was born on this day either in Italica, Spain, or else in Rome, in the year 76.
His father was Publius Aelius Afer, his mother was Domitia Paulina. His uncle was the Emperor Trajan who had been adopted by Nerva.
Trajan employed Hadrian as a general in his conquests across the Danube, where Hadrian proved his military prowess, and gained the love and devotion of the Legions.
It is said that the relationship between Hadrian and his uncle was strained, and they are even known to have quarreled over beautiful boys. But Hadrian was very close to the Emperess Plotina, whose intellectual depth he preferred to the military harshness of Trajan.
During the unsuccessful campaign against the Parthians, in modern day Iraq, Trajan suddenly fell ill and died. Plotina is said to have insured that Hadrian be his successor, allegedly even forging the documents of adoption.
The New Emperor Hadrian inherited the largest Empire that the world had ever known, the borders of Rome had reached their greatest extent.
Hadrian is the Father of the Antonines, the bringer of the Golden age of Rome. He put an end military expansion of the Empire and turned instead to improving the interior.
He is the prime deity of the imperial cult as recognized by the Religion of Antinous. He is the representative of Zeus on Earth, emblem of the ruler of the cosmos, the great eagle. Hadrian is the leader of the Archons, the bringer of order out of chaos, founder of our religion.
He is the divine lover of Antinous, our model and God.
Saturday, January 23, 2021
ON January 23rd the Religion of Antinous honors the first of the many Christian Martyrs of Antinoe, also known as Antinoopolis. The first of the Egyptian martyrs with whose name and acts we are acquainted was Asclas of Antinoopolis.
This part of Egypt, near the nome sacred to Anubis, has always been a hotbed of religious fervor ever since the days when the "heretic pharaoh" Akhenaten built his capital city here, a scant 20 kms from our Sacred City of Antinoopolis. Christians and Jews constituted a major portion of the population of Antinopoolis.
After all, the city was the flower of Greek civilization deep in the desert of the Thebaid, and it was a haven for dispossessed and exiled thinkers and theological revolutionaries.
There was a period of time in which Antinoopolis fell under the sway of the fear and violence that had swept across the world. The Christian faith was suffering one of the bloodiest persecutions in its history. Diocletian had sought to curb the rising tide of Christianity with brutal violence. He issued decrees that all citizens should be compelled to demonstrate their piety to the Roman Gods by offering sacrifice. It was a direct challenge. Any person who refused was not only insulting the Gods of Rome, but showing disloyalty to the Emperor and to Rome herself.
Such treason was punishable by death. This was a legal way to persecute Christianity, it was not an attack on the Christian doctrine, or its practices, but was an unavoidable line that no Christian would cross.
It is interesting to note that though many of the Christians were executed by beheading or by being shot through with arrows, some were executed by being drowned in the Nile. This similarity between their death and the death of Antinous must have been very moving to the Ancient Priests of Antinous. And it is also interesting that the authorities were not sensitive to the nature of this form of execution in the Sacred City of a boy who had become a god simply by drowning in the Nile.
The first was Asclas, who was arrested and tortured for his faith by order of Arrian, the governor of Antinoopolis who himself would later convert to Christianity. While Asclas was being tortured in prison by hot irons which left his flesh hanging down in strips, Arrian had reason to cross the River Nile to go to Hermopolis on government business.
Antinoopolis lies on the east bank of the Nile (depicted at left in its heyday), and Hermopolis (Sacred City of Hermes) is located diagonally across from Antinoopolis on the west bank of the Nile. But inexplicably, Arrian found he was absolutely unable to leave the water's edge.
Asclas sent word that the governor would never be able to cross the river until he acknowledged Christ in writing. Arrian wrote out the statement, and was promptly able to leave the river bank. He crossed the Nile, and the moment he was on the other side, he ordered that Asclas be thrown into the Nile with a stone tied around his neck, whereupon he drowned.
This story, while odd-sounding to us today, was very clear to Egyptians. Hermopolis is the Sacred City of Hermes/Anubis, or Hermanubis.
This remarkable deity, who lives on in Christianity as St. Christopher, is responsible for conveying souls across the Celestial Nile after death. People in Antinoopolis worshipped both Antinous and Hermanubis.
The miracle of St. Asclan is meant to show that the Christian god is the equal of Hermanubis. Within a few generations, Hermanubis "morphed" into Christopher who, in this early Coptic mural at right, still has canine features. Next time you see a plastic St. Christopher statuette on a taxi dashboard, remember that it is actually Anubis without his doggy ears. He's not carrying the baby Jesus on his shoulders. He's carrying the Boy God Antinous over the celestial Nile to eternal divinity.
Against that background of intermingling spiritual beliefs, the Religion of Antinous acknowledges the suffering of St. Asclas and of all the Christian Martyrs of Antinoopolis out of our Love for Antinous in whose Sacred City they died. Though their faith was in Christ and not in Antinous, we nevertheless honor them and glorify them because they were Antinoopolitans, people of Antinous.
We ask their forgiveness for the murder and persecution of the Christian Martyrs and in their memory ask that we may be free from intolerance and never again partake in the crime of the ancient citizens of Antinoopolis.
The image above left is not Asclas, but is a burial painting of a person whose mummy was buried in the desert of the Fayoum in Egypt, which is the region of Antinoopolis. It is presented here as a contemporary image of what St. Asclas may have looked like.
Friday, January 22, 2021
ON January 22nd the religion of Antinous commemorates the brief, shining life of Saint Heath Ledger, the gifted actor whose on-screen portrayals inspired millions of gay people and whose off-screen life paralleled so many more. Not gay himself, Saint Heath nonetheless is a gay icon, like Saint Judy Garland and others.
Saint Heath died on this day in 2008 under mysterious circumstances after taking anti-depressants and sleeping pills at the age of 28.
His body was found lying across the bed of his Manhattan apartment. The manner of his death bore eery parallels to the death of English singer/songwriter Nick Drake, who is also a Saint of Antinous.
Best known for his Oscar-nominated role as a gay cowpoke in "Brokeback Mountain", the acclaimed Australian-born actor also played The Joker in the blockbuster "The Dark Knight", for which role he posthumously was awarded a Golden Globe Award for best supporting actor. On the first anniversary of his death, he posthumously won an Academy Award as best supporting actor for his role as the psychopathic criminal mastermind The Joker.
No one will ever know why Saint Heath overdosed on anti-depressants, as had his idol Nick Drake. No one will ever know why Saint River Phoenix took a fatal cocktail of booze and alcohol, just as no one will ever know why Saint Richey Edwardsjumped off a bridge to his death (if he did), and no one will know why so many talented and overly sensitive young men meet death so tragically and so young.
Just as no one knows for sure what happened to Antinous. Thus they are all Saints of Antinous.
Shortly before his death, Heath Ledger made a video tribute to Nick Drake (photo right), the ambisexual English singer/songwriter who died in 1974 under almost identical circumstances to Saint Heath.
Saying he planned to make a movie about Saint Nick, Heath appeared in a self-made video (about drowning) to the tune of Nick Drake's song Black-Eyed Dog. It was the last song that Nick is believed to have recorded before he died under mysterious circumstances after taking anti-depressants and sleeping pills at the age of 26. His body was found lying across his bed.
The black-eyed dog is thought to be a reference to Winston Churchill's famous "little black dog." Throughout his life Churchill was shadowed by violent mood swings, fits of depression and periods of emotional doubt. He felt that he was followed by this unpredictable darkness and uncertainty. He called it his "little black dog."
Heath seems to have been very well acquainted with the "little black dog" of depression, the black demon which nips at the heels of so many sensitive young souls who cannot find their way in this harsh world.
And thus Antinous is the God of Lost Boys. He knows their suffering. He knows how it is to stand on the shore at the twilight of the world, with one foot on dry land and the other foot in the murky depths of oblivion — and he understands how a beautiful soul can slip off into that oblivion.
Antinous is the God of these very sweet, shy, sensitive and talented artists, young men who agonize over their shortcomings and who can only cope with the harsh realities of showbiz by taking tablets with unpronounceable names in private.
Saint Heath represents so many young men who seek what Nick Drake called the fruit of the tree of fame. "Fame is but a fruit tree, so very unsound", Nick sings in a song which Heath loved. It is a song about sensitive souls who reach for the fruit of fame and then, when it is within their grasp, they discover that its taste is very bitter.
Thursday, January 21, 2021
OUR Father Jupiter descended upon the slopes of Mt. Ida in the form of an eagle and carried away Ganymede, the beautiful young prince of Troy, ravaging him, and elevating him to live among the immortals.
At the table of the Olympian gods, Jupiter installed his Ganymede as the divine cup-bearer who pours out nectar-wine from the cup of eternal life.
This love affair between the Phrygian prince and the Father of the Gods is a divine parallel of the love between Antinous and Hadrian.
Ganymede is the emblem of the coming Age of Aquarius, when peace and love will rule the hearts of all men.
On this day, the beginning of the sign of Aquarius, we observe the deification of Antinous as having made union with the Thunderbird-Phoenix-Eagle, and having been elevated to reign among the immortals in the manner of Ganymede. And we pray for the hastening of the coming age.
Wednesday, January 20, 2021
ON January 20th the Religion of Antinous honors SAINT SEBASTIAN who, despite being a Christian martyr, has been identified by homosexuals of all beliefs over the centuries as a symbol of our persecution and suffering.
Sebastian was an officer in the Imperial Guard of Emperor Diocletian, and he was a Christian.
In 302 A.D. Diocletian subjected the Christians to a brutal persecution, and it was during this period that Sebastian was "outed" to the Emperor as a practicing Christian.
When asked to sacrifice before a pagan altar, Sebastian refused and was sentenced to death. He was tied to a column before Mauritanian archers, who shot him with arrows...but to no effect.
Sebastian was strengthened by his faith, and did not die. He was finally clubbed to death in front of Emperor.
Homosexuals over the centuries have looked to Sebastian as a patron saint. His manner of death, which is like an affliction of Eros, and the sight of the beautiful young soldier plumed with arrows, has moved our hearts over the ages more than all other Christian saints.
In the Middle Ages, he was said to have power over the plague. And during the Black Death, his popularity grew among the penitent flagellants.
His image was a favorite subject of homosexual artists during the Renaissance who were fascinated by the erotic charge of his death.
During the early 19th Century he was taken up as the model for homosexual suffering and persecution, some writers even claiming that he was the young lover of Diocletian and that his martyrdom had a jealous, sexual subtext.
In our time, the power of St. Sebastian over the Plague has made him a spiritual force in the fight against AIDS. And so we recognize his sanctity as the patron saint of homosexuals and as a protector from our modern plague.
We consecrate him to the Religion of Antinous and offer our own quivering-hearts as a target for his thousand arrows of love.
Tuesday, January 19, 2021
Anubis leads the new god Antinous to the Home of the Gods amongst the Imperishable Stars.
Monday, January 18, 2021
IN America and Europe right-wing conservatives are seeking to roll back gains made by LGBTI people and even want to tighten censorship.
With tongue planted firmly in cheek, we suggest that museums might consider dressing Classical statues as hipsters.
French photographer Léo Caillard and art director Alexis Persani have created a tongue-in-cheek photo series that depicts ancient Louvre’s sculptures wearing modern day clothing.
This idea could spawn an entire new clothing line. Stone Stylings: Extremely uncomfortable clothing for those who don't move.
Sunday, January 17, 2021
THIS statue of Antinous from Eleusis - Ἐλευσίς - is the only one that seems to refer back to an incident in his life, his initiation into the Eleusinian Mysteries of death and resurrection in September 128 AD.
The sculpture was erected after his death in the outer courtyard of Eleusis and captures this instant of his life, though officially it depicts him as the god Dionysos Zagreus, a divinity of suffering abd resurrection associated with the Eleusinian Mysteries.
Technically it is not one of the best of the depictions of Antinous, but it evokes a mood and a moment.
The sulptor clearly envisaged the young lad draped in his himation, standing in the darkened Telesterion (the initiation hall) and confronted with the Eleusinian Mysteries of death and resurrection.
He clutches at the folds of his himation anxiously, insecure, staring wide-eyed, his mouth pursed in awe, with an expression of apprehension, intent rapture and awareness of the tremendous significance of what was being revealed to him.
Even though it is a mediocre statue in workmanship and details it is redeemed by its expressiveness and pathos.
This statue is now housed in the Archaeological Museum of Eleusis: Antinous as Dionysus Zagreus, Inv. 5092, 1.83 m, in marble of Thasos.
Saturday, January 16, 2021
The Ancient Greek SYMPOSIUM (drinking party for men) was a cultural event at which elite men, young and old, reclined on cushioned couches that lined the walls of the andron, the men's quarters of a household.