ON April 15th the Religion of Antinous remembers Jean Genet as a Saint of Antinous.
Saint Jean Genet was one of the first and most modern gay poets, whose elegance and sordid love for the street life was unprecedented, and has never been matched.
Among his most fervent desires, expressed from the very beginning was that he should one day be elevated to Sainthood.
We of the Religion of Antinous, fully and faithfully, take faith in the spirit of Saint Jean Genet, through whom the eternal voice of Antinous spoke with the most voluptuousness and vain-glory.
Saint Jean Genet died on this day in Paris in 1986.
Thursday, April 15, 2021
ON April 15th the Religion of Antinous remembers Jean Genet as a Saint of Antinous.
Wednesday, April 14, 2021
WE honor Kenneth Weishuhn as a blessed Saint of Antinous because he killed himself at age 14 after bullies taunted him relentlessly for being gay.
April 14th, 2012, Kenneth James Weishuhn, of Primghar, Iowa, succumbed to the bullying he'd been receiving since coming out as a gay teen only a few short months earlier.
He was a very happy young man. Handsome and full of life. He was loving to others. More than that, he was loved by his friends and families.
Unfortunately, coming out of the closet cost him his young life. The bullying was relentless and severe to the point where he couldn't take it any longer.
Two of Kenneth's friends, Kristi and Brandi, made a YOUTUBE VIDEO TRIBUTE to their gone-too-soon friend.
Antinous is the God of teens who suffer for being gay. Kenneth Weishuhn is in the embrace of Antinous the Gay God.
Tuesday, April 13, 2021
THE religion of Antinous honors one of our most blessed thespian saints and martyrs, St. John Gielgud, who was born 14 April 1904.
The most terrible moment in John Gielgud's life ... on which he maintained a public silence for 50 years ... was the subject of a critically acclaimed play in the London West End.
The play, entitled "Plague Over England", was about the scandal which swept across Britain in 1953 when John Gielgud was arrested by an undercover policeman in a public toilet in London.
But the 2008 play was concerned with much more than Gielgud's arrest in on the charge of "importuning for immoral purposes". The play showed the plight of gay men in the 1950s Cold War atmosphere when gays were associated with Communist espionage.
Its characters include the producer who nearly ended his career, the virulently anti-homosexual Lord Chief Justice Rayner Goddard, an American fleeing his own country's anti-Communist paranoia, and a doctor who claims to "cure" same-sex attraction with "Clockwork Orange"-style electric shock therapy.
Homosexuals had long been feared and hated in England as men who, it was believed, preyed on the innocent young, and were thus unfit to lead normal, happy lives. Until 1967, they risked prosecution for what the law called "acts of gross indecency between male persons", even in private, and could be arrested for merely showing -- in a police spy's opinion -- an intent to commit them.
Police throughout England were alert for any hints of homosexual behaviour. Just before Gielgud was arrested, two prominent high-class gay men had been uncovered as KGB spies, resulting in a further crackdown on all gay activities. The officer who arrested Gielgud was part of a Metropolitan Police squad established in 1930 that regularly lurked in central London toilets.
The year in which Gielgud came to grief in a Chelsea public convenience was a particularly dangerous one for homosexuals, as the increased frankness of the period allowed politicians, the police, and the press to profit by inflaming public hysteria, warning that a "plague" or "epidemic" of sodomy and Communism was sweeping the land.
The climate of fear was chilling to gay men who paid even the slightest attention to the news.
Gielgud, however, was, in his own words a "silly gubbins" who took no notice of anything outside of acting. On October 21, following the rehearsal for the play "A Day By the Sea", this supremely unworldly man, then 49, had a few drinks at a party and then visited a public lavatory popular with "cottagers" -- English gay slang for men who cruise toilets.
Arrested, and aware that he should give a false identity, he said he was a clerk called Arthur (his real name) Gielgud. The next day he appeared before a magistrate who did not know who he was, fined him 10 pounds, and ordered him, with the disdain and sexual ignorance of the period, to "see your doctor the moment you leave this court".
Unfortunately, a better-informed Evening Standard reporter was there, too. When that afternoon's paper hit the streets, he was on the front page.
You can imagine the shame and the terror with which Gielgud turned up at rehearsal (he had considered suicide) for the role of a bachelor diplomat whose mother worries that he is lonely and unloved.
But the company, led by his co-star, Dame Sybil Thorndike, in fact welcomed him with open arms. "Oh, John," she said, in one of the most magnificent double entendres of all time, "you HAVE been a silly bugger!"
The producer of "A Day By the Sea", however, the immensely powerful Binkie Beaumont, saw the newspaper articles and the hate mail, and worried that the public would stay away.
Yet his thoughts of firing the star were thwarted by Gielgud's brother, Val, who applied a little judicious blackmail about Binkie's very own private life.
Everyone was nervous that the audience might react with silence or even boos.
But as the curtain came down he was cheered to the rafters.
Gielgud was known for having a penchant for anonymous bathroom sex -- It's one of the reasons his knighthood (just a few months before the arrest) was postponed for years. He even had a "cruising cap" for such forays, an attempt to disguise himself so as to avert detection by fans who might recognize him.
The arrest had important consequences, and not only for Gielgud, who was told by the British embassy in Washington to forget about a planned American production of "The Tempest". because he might prove "an embarrassment".
Afterwards, the floodgates opened as the public was confronted by the disturbing fact that an extremely distinguished and beloved artist was one of the people they, in theory, despised. The fuss contributed to the Wolfenden Commission, set up the following year to study prostitution, taking on homosexuality as well. Its recommendations eventually led to decriminalisation in Britain.
While the affair broke Gielgud emotionally, he put himself back together in a way that made him better suited to a theatre in a world of greater change and upheaval.
For his talent and for his courage, the Religion of Antinous honors Saint John Gielgud as a Prophet of Homoeros.
Monday, April 12, 2021
ANTINOUS is always guaranteed to turn heads and catch the eye of readers in advertisements.
The Uffizi Gallery Antinous bust photo bombs the male model in these advertisements for a new Étalon Pearl Choker By Steve Canar ... 10mm Fresh Water Pearls. Adjustable Length (17 Inches to 20 Inches) or (14 Inches to 17 Inches). Stainless Steel ... US$130.00 available HERE.
Sunday, April 11, 2021
POCKET shrines are a handy and magical way to take Antinous with you wherever you go.
Facebook COMPANIONS OF ANTINOUS is an online meeting meeting place for adherents of Antinous, and recently we have been talking about creating portable altars and pocket shrines.
Many group members have shrines at home but would like to have a sacred little something to take with them, not only on long journeys but even when they go to work, to school or run everyday errands.
One group member said a household altar can be a multi-purpose center. He told us: "As I prepare a new altar and shrine to Antinous, I've dedicated a place to put my wallet, money, and keys in a niche in the shrine thus connecting my life source — money — with that of Antinous' caring, protective spirit."
Everyone can create ANTINOUS ALTARS in even the most limited space. It need not be large and expensive. Even a photo of Antinous on a shelf can be a sacred spot.
Many people think they have to have lots of space and buy out a whole home-hardware store to build an overly elaborate shrine which takes up practically a whole room. That's not true. You can create a Sacred Space anywhere — on a table top, on a shelf or a special box or bag — for a portable shrine such as travelers and pilgrims used to have with them on arduous journeys in bygone centuries before the advent of paved roads and reliable transport.
Just as a bonsai tree embodies a forest giant, a pocket shrine is the embodiment of the Great Temple of Antinous in ANTINOOPOLIS.
"Some of the devotees evidently could not bear to be parted from the beneficial and reassuring presence of their Antinous and therefore had small, light-weight travelling busts or bronzes made to accompany them on their journeys."
Ancient worshipers of the Beauteous Boy knew that a little Antinous quite literally can go a long way ....
Saturday, April 10, 2021
AS the fires of intolerance under the guise of "freedom of religion" rage all around us, we remember St. Apollonius and St. Philemon of Antinoopolis, two loving friends who died together as martyrs to religious persecution.
Antinoopolis was built upon the bank where Antinous had fallen into the Nile. From its birth the city was enshrouded with the specter of death.
The Religion of Antinous under the Curia of Antinoopolis was a death cult. The city's two major temples, that of the Egyptian faction and the larger Antineion which is the second possible site of the Lost Tomb of Antinous, were places for the perpetual lamentation of the death of Antinous, and for the passing of all beauty and youth in the world.
Antinoopolis 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 of all sorts. But there came a time when even liberal-minded 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. In the 4th Century CE, as Antinoopolis was in full flower, Emperor 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 also showing disloyalty to the Emperor and to Rome herself. Such treason was punishable by death. This was a legal way to persecute Christians. It was not an attack on the Christian doctrine, or its practices, but demonstrated an unavoidable line that no Christian would cross.
It is interesting to note that, although 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 deaths and the death of Antinous must have been very moving to the Ancient Priests of Antinous.
And it is also curious that the authorities apparently 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.
Of these Martyrs, the most profoundly moving are Apollonius and Philemon. Apollonius was a Deacon of the Church, also called a reader. The story goes that he was ordered to make a pagan sacrifice at Antinoopolis in order to prove that he was not a practicing Christian. He couldn't bring himself to do that, so he asked his "dearest friend" Philemon to make the sacrifice for him, since Philemon was a pagan.
Philemon is said to have been a flute player, an occupation notoriously held by homosexuals. While one was a young Christian priest and the other a pagan, it is indeed noteworthy that Apollonius the priest would have the confidence and trust to ask Philemon to take his place, and that Philemon would risk his life to aid the young priest. The two must have had a very close friendship, the nature of which has escaped the attention of the Christian martyrologists.
In the end, of course, the ruse was found out and they both died together by being drowned after the manner of Antinous, in the Nile.
One key element of the story is the irrefutable fact that Philemon, though not a Christian himself, refused under torture to renounce his friendship. In other words, he would rather die with his friend than renounce him and live on without him.
The details of the story of their martyrdom are shrouded in legend. In one version, they were tortured separately and were to be executed by archers.
But the story goes that the arrows bounced off their bodies. And in one version, an arrow point ricocheted back at Arian himself, blinding him in one eye.
Saint Philemon predicted that, after his martyrdom, Arian would be healed at Philemon's tomb on condition that he became a Christian. Arian did so, was cured miraculously -- and subsequently was put to death himself for being a Christian.
After arrows failed to kill them, Apollonius and Philemon, bloody but alive, were chained together and placed in a sack and thrown into the river. In one version, they were thrown into the sea at Alexandria.
Their deaths occurred on April 10th in the year 305.
What would cause a man to link his fate with that of another man, the two of them residents of a city founded in honor of a man who linked his fate with that of another man?
As for Apollonius, he must have been regarded as a rebellious hothead and self-destructive with his talk about this martyred Hebrew carpenter boy being an alternative to Antinous -- right there in the Sacred City of Antinoopolis!
What thoughts went through Philemon's mind as he was being bound up in chains together with his beloved friend and they were shoved into the river?
They probably weren't very nice men. Remember that actor/musicians were considered scum in ancient Rome. One was an actor and the other was a rabble-rousing religious fanatic. Not nice men.
Theirs was not a very pretty story. But then, few of the saints of any religious canon were very "sweet and nice" people to actually be around. "Nice" people obey the rules. "Nice" people obey the rules.
These people did not. They stood up against authority and convention. And their life stories generally are not very pretty.
But most of us are not very "sweet and nice" people, once you get past the smiling exteriors that most of us present to neighbors and co-workers. Most of our life stories are not particularly very pretty.
But "nice" people with pretty life stories don't become saints. Most saints are usually just ordinary people who were placed in an extraordinary situation and who did something extraordinary as a result. We read the lives of the saints because they shock us into facing the reality of our own not very nice selves and our own not very pretty little lives.
It is very fitting and appropriate that we remember Philemon and Apollonius, two friends from the Sacred City of Antinoopolis whose lives were linked by bonds of love and whose deaths were linked by bonds of chains.
Friday, April 9, 2021
EGYPTIAN archaeologists led by Dr. Zahi Hawass have found a "Lost Golden City" in Western Thebes, proving once again that the sands of Egypt still hold many secrets ... possibly also the Lost Tomb of Antinous.
The sprawling city, with sinusoidal or curvileanear walls, was the hometown of artisans working at nearby temples and tombs. Incredibly, pots and jars and cooking utensils and artists' tools were found in striking states of preservation.
"It has glorious sinusoidal walls, and looks as if people had just got up and left ... a real Egyptian Pompeii," says Egyptologist Salima Ikram. "There are pots and grinding and cooking emplacements, areas where amulets were made, and people laboured. It is the most important urban find since the discovery of Tell el Amarna!"
Hawass says the city was called: "The Rise of Aten." The city is 3,000 years old, dates to the reign of Amenhotep III, and continued to be used by Tutankhamun and Ay.
"Many foreign missions searched for this city and never found it. We began our work searching for the mortuary temple of Tutankhamun because the temples of both Horemheb and Ay were found in this area," Hawass said.
The Egyptian expedition was surprised to discover the largest city ever found in Egypt. Founded by one of the greatest rulers of Egypt, king Amenhotep III, the ninth king of the 18th dynasty who ruled Egypt from 1391 till 1353 B.C, this city was active during the great king’s co-regency with his son, the famous Amenhotep IV/Akhenaton.
It was the largest administrative and industrial settlement in the era of the Egyptian empire on the western bank of Luxor.
"The city’s streets are flanked by houses, of which some of their walls are up to 3 meters high," Hawass says. "We can reveal that the city extends to the west, all the way to the famous Deir el-Medina."
Betsy Brian, Professor of Egyptology at John Hopkins University in Baltimore USA, says, "The discovery of this lost city is the second most important archeological discovery since the tomb of Tutankhamun. The discovery of the Lost City, not only will give us a rare glimpse into the life of the Ancient Egyptians at the time where the Empire was at his wealthiest but will help us shed light on one of history's greatest mystery: why did Akhenaten & Nefertiti decide to move to Amarna," Brian adds.
The excavation area is sandwiched between Rameses III's temple at Medinet Habu and Amenhotep III's temple at Memnon. The Egyptian mission started working in this area in search of Tutankhamun’s Mortuary Temple.
Tutankhamun's successor, King Ay, built his temple on a site which was later adjoined on its southern side by Rameses III’s temple at Medinet Habu.
Egyptologists believe Ay's temple may formerly have belonged to Tutankhamun as two colossal statues of the young king were found there. The northern part of the temple is still under the sands.
The excavation started in September 2020 and within weeks, to the team's great surprise, formations of mud bricks began to appear in all directions. What they unearthed was the site of a large city in a good condition of preservation, with almost complete walls, and with rooms filled with tools of daily life.
The archaeological layers have laid untouched for thousands of years, left by the ancient residents as if it were yesterday.
The first goal of the mission was to date this settlement. Hieroglyphic inscriptions found on clay caps of wine vessels.
Historical references tell us the settlement consisted of three royal palaces of King Amenhotep III, as well as the Empire's administrative and industrial center.
A large number of archaeological finds, such as rings, scarabs, colored pottery vessels, and mud bricks bearing seals of King Amenhotep III’s cartouche, confirmed the dating of the city.
After only seven months of excavation, several areas or neighborhoods have been uncovered.
In the southern part, the mission found a bakery, a cooking and food preparation area, complete with ovens and storage pottery. From its size, we can state the kitchen was catering a very large number of workers and employees.
The second area which is still partly uncovered, is the administrative and residential district, with larger and well-arranged units.
Thursday, April 8, 2021
ON April 8th the Religion of Antinous honors St. Vaslav Nijinsky, the greatest gay ballet dancer/choreographer of all time, who died on this day in 1950 in an insane asylum.
He was a living Antinous who innately understood our religion's idea of Homotheosis ... Gay-Man-Godliness-Becoming-the-Same.
Homotheosis can only be accomplished by a self-inflicted act of faith after the example of Antinous.
One must deny this mortal existence of death and decay, which existence is rightfully called transient, and cast the mortal self into the rushing waters of the Nile that flows within the veins and arteries of our true, perfect, interior self. A body that is the same as and as beautiful as the marble flesh of Antinous the Gay God.
This is not turning away from life, but turning to it for the very first time, and finding the light of the Unconquered Sun that has always shone within.
One of this religion's favorite Hadrian and Antinous stories is the tumultuous love affair between Vaslav Nijinsky and Sergei Diaghilev. Nijinsky completely changed ballet, inventing what we now consider to be modern dance. Of course he was out of his mind, and after his relationship with Diaghilev ended, he went certifiably insane and spent the rest of his life in an asylum.
Vaslav Fomich Nijinsky was born in Kiev on March 12th, 1888. Both his parents were ballet dancers, and Vaslav was introduced to the stage as a child. When he was a 18 he became the lover of Prince Paul Dmitrievitch who then introduced him to Sergei Diaghilev, the ballet impresario, whose lover he became in 1908.
Diaghilev took Vaslav to Paris where he was starting the famous Ballet Russe, an experimental production company that brought together the finest composers of the day with the most innovative scenery artists, costumers, and of course the greatest ballet dancers in the world.
The volatile relationship between the teenage Nijinsky and the 40-year-old Diaghilev led to the some of ballet's most profound and moving works. Nijinsky was the male star of the Ballet Russe, but he soon showed that his true talent lay in choreography. His debut as a choreographer came when he was 21 in the short piece entitled L'aprés-midi d'un Faune (Prelude to the Afternoon of a Fawn) with music by Claude Debussy, in which Nijinsky starred as the lustful faun trying in vain to seduce a group of nymphs.
The ballet caused a scandal when it premiered in Paris on May 29, 1912, because of the highly suggestive ending in which Nijinsky pantomimed masturbation and orgasm.
But that was nothing compared to the riots that broke out after his next choreography for the orgiastic Le Sacre du printemps (The Rite of Spring).
The style of Vaslav Nijinsky was far ahead of his day. He revolutionized the ballet and single-handedly invented what we call modern dance, rejecting the stylistic forms passed down by tradition in favor of sensuality, odd gestures and unnatural movement that was totally infused with the grace and power of the feel of music.
The relationship between Nijinsky and Diaghilev broke down over time and they separated. Nijinsky married a female fan he had only met once ... simply to spite Diaghilev. But he was slowly succumbing to mental illness, and would eventually lose his mind completely.
He wrote a bizarre diary in the few weeks before he was taken away to spend the rest of his life in various mental institutions. The genius of Vaslav Nijinsky, who was taken as a stupid person because of his shy and quiet demeanor, was revealed in his divine power of dance and in the sublimity of his strange diary.
Here is an excerpt, you'll notice the way that he rambles just barely able to communicate his wandering mind. Nijinsky was already leaving this world and becoming an immortal. He signed the last page, Nijinsky, the God.
"One day in the streets of Paris I pushed [Diaghelev] in order to show him that I was not afraid of him. Diaghelev hit me with his stick, as I wanted to go away from him. After this we lived for a long time together. I loved the Ballets Russes. I gave my whole heart to it. I worked like an ox. I lived like a martyr. I lived sadly and sorrowed alone. I wept alone. I loved my mother and wrote her letters every day. I was afraid of life, because I was very young. I could not go on composing the ballet 'Jeux.' It was a ballet about flirting and unsuccessful, as I had not feeling for it. The story of this ballet is about three young men making love to each other. I began to understand life when I was 22 years old. I composed this ballet alone, too. Debussy, the well-known composer, wanted the subject to be written down.
"Diaghelev likes to say that he created the ballet, because he likes to be praised. I do not mind if Diaghelev says that he composed the stories of 'Faune' and 'Jeux,' because when I created them, I was under the influence of 'my life' with Diaghelev. The Faune is me and Jeux is the life which Diaghelev dreamed. Diaghelev wanted to make love to two boys at the same time and wanted these boys to make love to him. In the ballet, the two girls represent the two boys, and the young man is Diaghelev. I changed the characters, as love between three men could not be represented on the stage'"
The Parisians called him the God of Dance, and toward the end of his diary, he signed his name, Nijinsky, the God. He died in a London clinic on April 8, 1950.
We consecrate him as a Saint and as a living incarnation of Antinous/Pan/Dionysus. St. Vaslav Nijinsky, who knew how to live Homotheosis every single blessed day of his life ... which means living daily the Divine Spirit of Being Gay ... and who knew how to express this ineffable spirit in dance as well.
Wednesday, April 7, 2021
NOW you can own your own museum-quality Antinous sculpture, thanks to 3-D printing.
Our friend Keith MezaenAset Hoberg shares these photos of the replica of the Farnese Antinous/Adonis statue which adorns the sacred altar of Antinous in his home in Los Angeles.
The full-size original Farnese Antinous is in the National Archaeological Museum in Naples Italy. Keith ordered his 30-centimeter (12-inch) 3-D printed, bonded stone replica online.
"As a Companion of Antinous, having a beautiful depiction of Him to focus on during prayer, devotion, or meditation can be very helpful.
"We are very lucky to be able to find such images of Antinous today, such as this beautiful 3-D printed statue, found in a shop on the Etsy app.
"This reproduction of the Antinous Farnese statue has always been my favorite image of Him. Gazing upon it always calms my mind and fills my heart with love and happiness. He inspires me in so many ways."
Tuesday, April 6, 2021
OUR Flamen Antonius Subia was amazed today when he was commuting to work and saw Antinous beaming at him from the side of an organic produce delivery truck in Hollywood, California.
"I saw HIM this morning!" Antonius said. "I really needed a good sign ... thank you, Antinous, sometimes I just need to know you're there!"
The Antinous motif is one of several emblazoned on the fleet of trucks operating for the GOLDEN GREEK FRESH organic produce company.
The trucks got their Antinous style make-over recently, so Antonius is among the first people to see it.
The trucks deliver produce to food retailers throughout the Los Angeles and Orange County area.
That means HOLLYWOOD TEMPLE OF ANTINOUS worshipers can expect to see their God on the highways and byways of their city.
Monday, April 5, 2021
ON April 5th we remember the anniversary of the Temple of Fortuna Publica for the city of Rome.
It was one of three temples of Fortuna on the Quirinale Hill, where Fortuna Primigenia, Fortuna Brevis and Fortuna Euelpis were worshiped.
The symbol of Fortuna is the ever turning wheel, found in the Tarot pack as the Wheel of Fortune, this indicates that things change and that you should not rest on your laurels but be prepared to grasp opportunities. It also tells us that things will not stay bad forever, the wheel will turn and things will get better.
Remember what the Romans said: "audica favet fortuna" ... fortune favors the audacious.
Fortuna Publica Romani symbolised the luck of the Roman population and state. Sje is an aspect of the Roman Goddess of luck, fate, and chance, Fortuna. As Fortuna Publica, she ensures the luck of the populice or state, and is a complimentary idea to Fortuna Privata, the Luck of the Individual.
Fortuna was honored with three temples on the Quirinal Hill in Rome in the neighborhood called tres Fortunae, "the Three Fortunas".
At least two of those three temples were to Fortuna Publica. One was to Fortuna Primigenia, whose full title in Rome was Fortuna Publicae Populi Romani, "the Luck of the Roman People".
Another was to Fortuna Publica Citerior (citerior meaning "nearer", probably because it was closer to the center of the city).
There is not much known of the third temple to Fortuna. Some identify it as again belonging to Fortuna Primigenia.
But it is possible that it was more specifically dedicated to Fortuna Publica. The first temple had as its festival date the 25th of May, and the one to Fortuna Publica Citerior the 5th of April.
Fortuna Publica was sometimes known as Fortuna Populi Romani, the "Luck of the Roman People". Under this name She had an altar way up on Hadrian's Wall, at the fort of Vindolana, at modern Chesterholm in Northumberland, England.
Sunday, April 4, 2021
AT the Megalensia we celebrate the introduction of the Cult of Magna Mater, the Great Mother of the Gods, into Rome.
During the War with Hannibal, the Senate consulted the Sibilline Book and received an oracle instructing them to bring the Great Mother of Phrygia to Rome.
They sent an embassy to the city of Pessinus and amazingly, the Phrygian priests freely handed over the black heavenly Stone that was the most sacred emblem of their goddess.
The Black Stone was brought to Rome, and met at the port of Ostia by a large congregation of the matrons of the city. They carried her in their arms, from one lady to another, into the city.
Within a year, Hannibal left Italy and was soon defeated. So it was that Magna Mater became one of the guardians of Rome.
The religion of Magna Mater is one of the oldest faiths of mankind, extending far back into prehistory. Evidence has been found of her veneration in one of the oldest human settlements known as Catal Huyuk in modern Turkey.
The image above shows a mother figure on a chariot drasn by two lions, an image always central to the Great Mother.
She was known under several names, Idea, Dydima, Sipyla, Agdistis, Rhea, Kubaba, Khaba, Khabala, and Cebele, daughter of Uranus and Gaia, wife of Saturn, mother of all the gods.
It is believed that her religion was spread throughout the Middle East during the conquests of the Hittite Empire, led by eunuch priests headed by the Archigallus, who was the earthly representative of the divine consort Attis.
The sacred shrines of the goddess were established where a black stone had fallen from heaven, and there a prophetess, known as a Sybil took up residence, speaking oracles from Apollo. The religions of Dionysus, Apollo, Diana and Persephone are deeply and intimately related, through their connection to Magna Mater.
They are the vestiges of a faith and culture that long preceded Greece, yet whose traces remain even now, in the concept of Holy Mother Church, in the black stone embedded in the Khaba at Mecca, and as the spirit of the Holy Tree known as the Kabalah in Jewish mysticism.
Antinous was very probably brought up as a devotee of her religion, since Bithynion had a mountaintop shrine to Attis, and was very near to the center of her worship at Pessinus.
We adore and venerate the Great Mother on this day, as the savior of Rome, and as the Goddess whose religion was central to the formation of the young Antinous, who is the New Attis.
The bisexuality of her incarnation as Agdistis, and the transvestitism of her priesthood makes her religion of extreme importance to the concept of Homo Deus and of the New Religion of Antinous.
Saturday, April 3, 2021
WE are often asked whether Antinous was gay during his mortal lifetime ... truly gay, at least as we understand the complex sociological and orientation that exist today.
This stunning portrait by famed collage artist DOUG STAPLETON shows modern faces superimposed on the face of Antinous.
But was Antinous "gay" in the modern sense?
Scholars have quibbled ... especially in Victorian times ... that Hadrian and Antinous were not homosexuals in the modern sense.
Instead, they were engaged in a socially acknowledged erotic relationship between an adult male (the erastes) and a younger male (the eromenos) usually in his teens ... or so the uptight scholars argued.
These semantic nuances allowed academics to sidestep the socially loaded issue of calling some of the greatest figures in history "practicing homosexuals" ... because that might imply that homosexuality was in fact not a degenerate mental illness, but instead was perfectly normal.
Even up until the turn of the 21st Century, many academicians (mostly male) persisted in avoiding the "G" word when referring to Hadrian and Antinous.
All of that changed at a news conference in London a few years ago.
"Hadrian was gay, and we can say that now. The Victorians had a problem with it. But we can say it." Thorsten Opper, a British Museum curator of Greek and Roman sculpture shocked the stuffy world of academia when he made that statement ... at a news conference announcing the Museum's Hadrian: Empire and Conflict" exhibition in 2008.
The British Museum, that bastion of staid and conservative scholarship, signaled a paradigm shift in historical awareness of homosexuality.
The collage portrait of Antinous by artist Doug Stapleton on this page symbolizes the many layers of perception of gayness through the ages.
Our own high priest, Flamen Antonius Subia, explains the change in attitude that has taken place ... it is not so much gayness which has changed ... but rather the cultural perception of gays has changed ... not only society's perception of gays ... but more especially the perception of gayness amongst gays.
"Gay has always been and always will be, or so I feel," Antonius says. "Antinous was gay in the way that gays were in Roman times, which is different from how gays were in the 1950's, which is different from how gays are now," he says.
"Antinous represents the divine essence that we all hold in common, so yes, I believe that in his own way and for his time, Antinous was gay just like we are now."
Friday, April 2, 2021
WE remember Danish fairy tale writer Hans Christian Andersen as a Saint of Antinous because he was gay although he may never have acted on his gayness.
Throughout his life, Hans Christian Andersen thought of himself as the ugly duckling … a misfit undeserving of being loved by anybody.
Thursday, April 1, 2021
ON April 1st we honor Venus Urania, who blesses homosexual love.
When Saturn castrated his father Uranus, and separated the sky from the earth, by cutting away the testicles of heaven, Venus, the Great Goddess of Love was born, where the foam of the testicles washed ashore on the island of Cyprus.
She was attended by the Erotes, the spirits of desire, as seen in this image: "D'après Botticelli" 1984, acrylic on canvas, by the noted Italian artist, Marco Silombria. Soon afterwards she created the three Graces.
She was brought into Olympus by marrying Vulcan, the smith god, but Venus is an older, and more powerful than the Olympians, except for Zeus, because she is directly descended from Uranus, the heavens.
Venus shared her love with almost all the gods, to the humiliation of Vulcan, Juno's son, but her most ardent desire was for the war god Mars, whose virile masculinity is in direct contrast to her voluptuous feminine grace.
Together Mars and Venus fought for the Trojans against the other jealous goddesses, and though Zeus gave victory to the Greeks, he promised Venus that her chosen people would have their revenge.
Flamen Antonius Subia says:
So it was that Venus guided her son Aeneus and his followers out of the burning city and across the world to the place where Rome would one day stand. The descendants of the Trojan refugees and of Mars were Romulus and Remus who founded Rome, whose sons, through War and Love would conquer the world.
Julius Caesar claimed to be descended from Venus through Aeneus, and so she became the guardian spirit of the Emperors.
In the year 135 Hadrian dedicated the Temple of Venus and Roma. Hadrian built one of the largest Temples in Rome for the Great Goddess of Love and for the Spirit of the Deified City.
Hadrian intended with this Temple to proclaim to the Romans that the Empire was the child of Love and War, but that Love, through the Goddess Venus, was to be the foremost power. We dedicate this day to Venus Urania, who blesses homosexual love.