Friday, April 30, 2021

YOU'VE HEARD OF BELTANE AND MAY EVE
BUT WALPURGIS IS INCREASINGLY POPULAR



YOU all know about Beltane and May Eve, but few people today still remember Walpurgis Night ... which is still celebrated on a mountain top in central Germany. 

Up to 150,000 witches, pagans and the simply curious are converging for May Eve revelries on the summit of the highest peak in the Harz Mountains in central Germany Thursday night for the four-day May Day holiday weekend.

Children in spooky costumes will participate in parades and street fairs in villages on the slopes of the Brocken, the mountain immortalised in Alexander Borodin's "Night on Bald Mountain" orchestral suite.

Bonfires will light the nighttime skies on mountain tops in the Harz region as local communities held their own May Day Eve festivals marking the end of winter and the coming of summer.

In the town of Schierke, a four-hour Walpurgis Night open-air play is being held, tracing the history of the persecution of witches, with players performing writhing modern dances to Medieval music.


The day of the Saint Walburga is celebrated on May 1. 

But the night before, April 30 or May Day Eve (Beltane Eve), is called Walpurgis Night, formerly the date of the pagan festival marking the end of winter. 

Of course, its autumnal counterpart, six months later on October 31, is Halloween, Samhain.

Walpurgis Night is celebrated from the Mediterranean up to Scandinavia, but no where as much as in the forested mountains of central Germany where so many Brothers Grimm fairy tales are set.

According to Germanic legend, this festival has been associated with a witches' carnival, and on this night it was believed that witches met with the devil for one final night of revelry before being consigned to the underworld until they emerge again exactly six months later on October 31 ... Halloween.

The Harz Mountains region is the location of many German fairy tales featuring witches and goblins and the Brocken is the highest Harz peak at 1,142 metres.

For 40 years, the region was split down the middle by the fortified border between East and West Germany.

But in the years since unification in 1990, the region has regained its title as one of the most romantic fairy-tale areas ... and spookiest.


The mountain also features in the drama "Faust" about an alchemist nobleman who sells his soul to the devil … on Walpurgis Night.

Thursday, April 29, 2021

ANTINOUS MAY HAVE SEEN THIS MOSAIC
OF A DRUNK SKELETON IN ANTIOCH



A 2,400-year-old mosaic in Antioch shows a drunken skeleton admonishing the living to eat, drink and be merry … for one day they shall join him in death.

It is possible that Antinous and Hadrian saw the remarkably intact mosaic, because it was found in the ruins of the dining room of a wealthy person's home in Antioch ... and they spent several months in that city on their tour of the Eastern Provinces in 129-130 AD.

It was found by accident during excavation construction work for a cable-car route in the modern city of Antakya … built partly over the suburbs of ancient Antioch in what is now Turkey's Hatay Province.

Excavations were then launched to search the area for more remains.

The mosaic shows a skeleton reclining on a cushion with a kylix drinking bowl in his left hand and its right arm thrown drunkenly over his head, with legs crossed.

Next to the skeleton, two loaves of bread are strewn on the floor and a large amphora of wine waits to refill his drinking bowl.

A Greek inscription says: "Be merry ... enjoy being alive," according to archeologist Demet Kara at Hatay Archeology Museum.

Kara further noted that professors have referred to the mosaic as the 'skeleton mosaic' and have concluded that the mosaic belonged to the dining room of a house belonging to the upper class back then.

She noted that there is a similar mosaic in Italy, but this one is more comprehensive, making it a unique piece.

The ancient city of Antioch was established by Seleucus I Nicator … who is one of Alexander the Great's generals ... in the 4th Century BC.

Hadrian and Antinous visited Antioch, so it is possible that they saw this mosaic at some point in their extended stay over a period of several months.

Hatay is known for its Roman-era mosaics dating back to the 2nd and 3rd Centuries BC.

Wednesday, April 28, 2021

EMPEROR HADRIAN'S ATHENAEUM
WAS WHERE ANTINOUS WENT TO SCHOOL



THIS is probably where Antinous went to school after Emperor Hadrian brought him to Rome … the first university west of Athens ... Hadrian's Athenaeum, modeled on the original school in Athens.

The ruins were unearthed in 2009 by archaeologists excavating at the Piazza Venezia, just across the street from the colossal Victor Emmanuel Monument. Experts spent the next three years working the site.


During that time they discovered that it was far more than just a school.

It was a veritable CULTURAL CENTRE for the performing arts which included a 900-seat auditorium suitable for poetry readings, recitals and other artistic entertainment that reflected Hadrian's refined tastes.

The location came as something of a surprise since Hadrian's Athenaeum traditionally was believed to have been located on the Capitoline Hill. 

The ruins are located below the hill on the fringes of the Forum.

The experts say they are convinced this must be the site of the Athenaeum because the ruins appear to be those of a large auditorium-style lecture hall which could have accommodated hundreds of students.

They uncovered twin monumental staircases of six steps each which were buried under debris that was the result of the collapse of upper floors of the building, probably during an earthquake in the Middle Ages.

Each of the staircases ... with wide, shallow, deep steps ... are on opposite ends of a rectangular room with granite and yellow marble paving. Experts believe the "stairs" were actually lecture hall seating.

Little is known of the details of study at the Athenaeum, but some literary sources suggest that young men from all parts of the Roman Empire, after finishing their usual school and college studies in their own town or province, came to Rome for higher education.

In keeping with his dream of creating an empire based on Hellenistic principles of beauty, tolerance and learning, Hadrian established the Athenaeum in 123 AD for the promotion of Classical Liberal Arts studies.

It set the standards for subsequent schools of higher learning in Western Europe. Royston Lambert, in his biography of Antinous BELOVED AND GOD, calls the Athenaeum "the first university in the West."

Tuesday, April 27, 2021

WE JOYOUSLY CELEBRATE THE FLORALIA



ANTINOUS assuredly took part in the Floralia, a multi-day Roman feast which started on April 27th in the Republic era, but which began on April 28th in the Imperial era when the Beauteous Boy lived during the reign of Emperor Hadrian.

This day was the start of the Floralia, the Roman festival of Flora, goddess of flowers, actors, sex workers, comedies, comic theatre. 


The festival had a licentious, pleasure-seeking atmosphere. In contrast to many festivals which had a patrician character, the Games of Flora were plebeian in nature.

New comedy plays premiered in the theatres. There may have been nocturnal observances, since sources mention measures taken to light the way after the theatrical performances.

In contrast to the Cerealia, when white garments were worn, bright and colorful clothing was customary during the Floralia.

There was dancing and revelry of every sort. Ovid says that hares and goats ... animals considered fertile and salacious ... were ceremonially released as part of the festivities. 

Persius says that the crowd was pelted with peas, beans, and lupins ... all of them also symbols of fertility.

Professional sex workers participated in the Floralia as well as the wine Vinalia festival which commenced on April 23. 

According to the satirist Juvenal, prostitutes danced naked and fought in mock gladiator combat.

Adorn yourself and your home. Make libations of milk and honey to Flora and to Antinous.

Monday, April 26, 2021

HAPPY BIRTHDAY, MARCUS AURELIUS


ON April 26th the Religion of Antinous joyously celebrates the birth of one of the wisest rulers in history, a man hand-picked by the Divine Hadrian personally to become Emperor of Rome.

Marcus Annius Verus was born on this day in the year 121 to a Spanish Roman family, related to Hadrian. From the very start, the young Marcus showed a deep interest in learning and particularly in philosophy.

The Stoic philosopher Epictetus had the most profound influence over him, and his truthful and pious nature gained Hadrian's attention and Hadrian is said to have called him "Verissimus", or most truthful, and to have taken an interest in the future of the young philosopher.

Marcus would have been 9 years old when Antinous died, and he is not believed to have been with the court in Egypt.

When Aelius Ceasar died shortly after being chosen Emperor in 138, it is believed that Marcus was Hadrian's next choice. However, the ailing and grieving emperor felt that the 17-year-old Marcus was too young.

So Hadrian decided to elect Antoninus Pius instead, requiring Antoninus to choose Marcus and the son of Lucius, called Lucius Verus, to be Antoninus's successors in turn.

This became known as the Dynasty of the Antonines, the last flowering of the glory that was Imperial Rome.

Hadrian believed that the old Antoninus would only rule for the few years needed to allow Marcus to mature. But instead, Antoninus remained in power far longer than Hadrian, and Marcus was 40 years old when he at last took power.

But the Empire that he inherited was succumbing to more and more trouble along its borders, as the Germanic hordes began their slow migration across the borders. The Philosopher-King Marcus was doomed to spend the majority of his reign leading the armies along the cold northern border.

He was successful in keeping the barbarians outside the Empire, and in maintaining the peace and prosperity in the heart of Rome that had been left to him by Hadrian and Antoninus.


We celebrate the birthday of Imperator Caesar Marcus Aurelius Antoninus Augustus.

Sunday, April 25, 2021

WE CELEBRATE THE SACRED BEAR HUNT
AND THE BIRTHDAY OF ROME




WORSHIPERS on four continents convened in an international Zoom conference tonight to celebrate the ancient festival of THE EROTICON, the Sacred Bear Hunt of Hadrian and Antinous, and the birthday of Rome.

April 21 marks the anniversary of the founding of the city of Rome in 743 BC by Romulus and Remus.

Adherents from North and South America, Africa and Europe were on hand via Zoom as Flamen Antonius Subia celebrated the rites at the Hollywood Temple of Antinous.

On this day we honor the great God of Love, Eros-Cupid, in his guise as Antinous-Phanes, the "radiant being of light who emerges from the egg of night". We also honor the Great God Priapus the divine phallus, the column of male virility, the bestower of the fertility of fields, vineyards, orchards and gardens. Priapus is the axis of the cosmos.

On this date we also commemorate the founding of the city of Rome, Natalis Urbis, personified by the Romans as Our Lady Roma. We celebrate the consecration of her sacred border, and of her birth, and eternal life, and remember that we are her children.

And also on this date we remember the Sacred Bear Hunt. While in Mysia in Asia Minor, in the year 129, the court engaged in a Bear Hunt near the city which Hadrian had founded (on an earlier trip) called Hadrianotherae, "Hadrian's hunting ground". It is the modern-day city of Balikesir in a lovely area of wooded forests and lakes in northwestern Turkey.

Hadrian loved animals and is known to have built tombs for his dogs and horses (according to Royston Lambert) and he loved to hunt. The Bear is the sacred animal of Diana-Artemis, and symbolizes the solitary, forest-roaming character of the Virgin Huntress. In the ferocity of the bear lies the secret of Diana's power, against which Hadrian and Antinous pitted themselves, as shown on the tondo from the Arch of Constantine. 

The grand themes of the Eroticon are Love and Sex and Ferocious Anger. The Beast is always lurking inside of us. The mystery teaching surrounding the Bear Hunt involves getting to know your animal instincts -- sex and lust and rage -- and to become one with them and to turn them into powerful allies for your spiritual development.

Flamen Antinoalis Antonius Subia has expressed this mystical mystery meaning as follows:

"Antinous, under Hadrian's guidance, was an accomplished hunter, indeed it is perhaps his natural skill and bravery in the chase that elevated him to the absolute love and adoration of Hadrian. The Emperor was madly in love with hunters, and Antinous was one of the best. Antinous had perhaps been silently stalking and hunting the Emperor's favor for quite some time, and now, in Asia, in the sacred Hunting Grounds of Hadrian, Antinous closed in on the heart of his prey and captured the Emperor completely. In our commemoration of the Sacred Bear Hunt we recognize that Artemis and Antinous are twin deities, and we seek the Dianic-Artemis-Bear within ourselves."

Friday, April 23, 2021

'THE LOVE GOD' BY MARTIN CAMPBELL
IS A BRILLIANT NOVEL ABOUT ANTINOUS


FOR World Book Day, April 23rd: The most brilliant novel about Antinous to appear in over half a century ... THE LOVE GOD ... is authored by our own MARTINUS CAMPBELL, priest of Antinous.

While that sounds like biased praise, we Antinomaniacs are hard to please and would not hesitate to pick apart a poorly researched book or one that denigrated Antinous, even if it were written by one of our best friends ... perhaps especially if it were. 

At the same time, a sycophantic book that presented Antinous as being cloyingly sweet and angelic would be unbearable and not believable.

So we are gratified (and greatly relieved) to report that this book truly is a remarkable work of historical fiction right up there with Marguerite Yourcenar's landmark MEMOIRS OF HADRIAN 60 years ago.

Martin traces the life of Antinous from the moment his tousle-haired head emerges from his mother's womb under auspicious stars in Asia Minor to the moment his head sinks beneath the swirling waters of the Nile on a starry evening in Egypt.

Antinous comes to life as a young man of breath-taking beauty who is filled with conflicting passions and loyalties. He is a young man who at times is naive, yet at other times worldly wise with an ability to see the world as it is ... and to describe it with at times brutal honesty to the most powerful man in the world.

Above all, this is a gentle love story between Antinous and Emperor Hadrian, himself a man of contradictory passions and priorities.

Martin himself is a man shares these passions. He has rebounded from a series of debilitating strokes to resume a daunting array of political activism for LGBTIU health and rights issues ... while working on this novel.

Based in a hilltop home overlooking the sea in Brighton England, he spent the best part of a decade researching this novel, retracing the footsteps of Antinous across Greece and Italy, as far north as Hadrian's Wall and as far south as the Nile in Upper Egypt.

Historical facts are excruciatingly accurate ... even the positions of the stars and planets at the moment of the birth of Antinous have been calculated to precision.

An academic scholar can read this book with satisfaction, noting obscure and arcane references which only the experts in the field of Antinology fully appreciate.

At the same time, however, this is a fun book to read even for those who have never heard of Antinous in their lives and who have no firm grasp of Roman civilization in the 2nd Century AD.

There is intrigue, skulduggery, near-death by lightning, getting lost in a subterranean labyrinth, a storm at sea, earthquakes ... and some fairly hot man sex as well, albeit tastefully brought to the page.

The narrator is the Classical Love God himself: Eros. He shoots his amorous arrows and ensures that Antinous and Hadrian fulfill the destiny which the Fates have in store for them ... despite efforts by certain people in the Imperial Court to thwart the Fates.

But the genius of this book is that there are no black-and-white villains or heroes. Antinous is a young man with all the problems and drives of late adolescence. Hadrian is a man with a mid-life crisis of doubt and regret.

Others such as Empress Sabina and her constant companion Julia Balbilla and their coterie of fawning courtiers and freedmen are not really hateful towards Antinous so much as they are simply perplexed by him. 

They view him the way some members of the Royal Household might look at the favorite Corgi of the Queen, unable to comprehend her affection for it, her grief when it dies.

They whisper amongst themselves: What hold does Antinous have over Hadrian? 

Just who does he think he is? And is he a threat to them? 

What is so different about Antinous that Hadrian doesn't grow weary of him ... as he always has with previous toy boys? 

Because they cannot understand how he fits in the scheme of Imperial court life, some really rather wish he would just disappear ... voluntarily or otherwise. 

And through it all is the boyhood friend of Antinous who has accompanied him on this long journey with mixed feelings and with growing envy and jealousy. 

The boiling emotions all stem from Eros, who winks knowingly at the reader as he shoots one arrow after another with unerring accuracy to ensure that Antinous fulfills his destiny ... to take his place alongside Eros as a God of Love.

The result is a richly entertaining and beautifully written novel which appeals to those seeking authoritative scholarly accuracy as well as readers who just want a riveting and memorable adventure yarn.

The Love God is available as Kindle and as a paperback ... CLICK HERE to order.

ANTINOUS IN TYRE/SIDON


IN spring of the year 130 AD, the Imperial entourage wound its way through the mountains of Asia Minor (modern-day Anatolia) and visited such cities as Ephesus and Tarsus before arriving in Antioch.

Antioch was their base of operations for the rest of that autumn and winter. From Antioch, they made excursions to other cities.

One jaunt in late summer was to the the ancient Phoenician twin cities of Tyre and Sidon on the Mediterranean coast.

Tyre and Sidon were famous for the production of the dye called Tyrian Purple which was used to color the robes of Emperors and Kings.

The dye was derived from "milking" thousands of sea snails known as porphyra in Greek and purpura in Latin ... from which we get the word purple.


The snails secrete a silvery semen-like mucous which is dripped on hand spun cotton thread. The color makes several color shifts and eventually colors the thread a beautiful violet color.

Arriving here in the Spring of 130 AD, Antinous and Hadrian were draped in purple as they entered city gates and ascended to the temple of the great god Melqart also known as Baal Sur.  The Greeks called the city Tyros.


Melqart was the sky god, god of war and the bestower of fertility, son of El who placed Baal on the throne of the world, from which Baal fought against evil and brought life-giving rain. 


Tyre was the home of Europa, who Zeus seduced in the form of a white bull and carried off to Greece, her brothers would go on to found some of the most ancient Greek cities such as Minos in Crete, and Cadmus who founded Thebes.


The Phoenicians of Tyre were the greatest seamen of their age and the first explorers setting up colonies all over the Mediterranean, even entering the Atlantic to trade with Britannia and Germania.


One Carthaginian even attempted to circumnavigate Africa reaching as far as the Congo River.  When the Phoenicians colonized the Mediterranean, they brought the religion of Baal to their far-flung colonies.


The city of Tyre created the colony of Carthage in North Africa which over time developed into a major power that rivaled Rome.  The religion of Tyre spread to Carthage and then to Spain where the Carthaginians set up colonies and later conquered, which led to conflict with Rome.


The war with Hannibal and the Carthaginians was the turning point of Roman history, and it was essentially a conflict between the Roman way of life and the Phoenician way as exemplified by Tyre.


The Greeks assimilated Baal Melqart with Hercules viewing him as a cross between Jupiter and his heroic all-powerful son Hercules. Baal was worshiped in Spain when Hadrian was born and so the visit to the ancient Temple of Baal in the city of Tyre was touched with the reminiscence of home.


Tyre was the foremost city of Phoenicia, and though fiercely independent, the Tyrians assisted the Persians in their attempt to conquer Greece, but their navy was defeated by the Athenians.


When Alexander arrived, the Tyrians refused to surrender, and the city had to be taken by siege.  During the Roman age, Tyre flourished as a center of trade with a monopoly on the secret production of their purple dye which was more valuable than gold and therefore became a symbol of kings and emperors.


Hadrian was very pleased by the reception he received by the Tyrians and how they had embraced his policies, he therefore raised the status of the city to a Metropolis.


Antinous came in contact with the ancient Phoenician religion at Tyre with its dark blood-rites and the prominence of the bull cult, but it was the connection he made with the sacred purple dye, which would soon become his emblem and sacred color.


In time the color would also be associated with the early Gay Rights movement as it was the first color chosen for the gay flag, predating the rainbow flag.


The purple stripe at the bottom of the rainbow flag is said to symbolize spirit and therefore is the stripe that represents Antinous and Gay spirituality.  The influence of  Antinous's visit to Tyre is still with us.

Thursday, April 22, 2021

ON EARTH DAY
ANTINOUS IS IN YOU HERE AND NOW



FOR us in the Northern Hemisphere it is Spring. For us in the Southern Hemisphere it is Autumn. For Antinous, all moments in time are NOW, all locations in space are HERE ... in your spiritual heart ... HOMOTHEOSIS ... Gay-Man-Godliness-Becoming-the-Same.

Dia da Terra. Para nós no hemisfério norte é Primavera. Para nós no  Hemisfério Sul é de Outono. Para Antinous, todos os momentos no tempo é agora, todos os locais no espaço são AQUI ... em seu coração espiritual ... HOMOTHEOSIS ... Homem-Deus-Gay-tornou-se o mesmo que-Homem-Deus-Gay.

Día de la Tierra para nosotros en el hemisferio norte es la primavera . Para nosotros en el hemisferio sur es otoño . Para Antinoo , todos los momentos del tiempo están ahora , todos los lugares en el espacio está aquí ... en su corazón espiritual ... HOMOTHEOSIS ... Gay-Hombre-Dios-Ser-el-mismo-como-Gay-Hombre-Dios .

Wednesday, April 21, 2021

HAPPY BIRTHDAY, ROMA!
By Flamen Antinoalis Antonius Subia





MATER ROMA,

Thank you for saving me from perdition,
Thank you for giving my life meaning and purpose again
Today you have given me so much joy and mystery
I don't even know what to say sometimes
About the way you work your magic over my life
But I feel your power all around me.
You are with me where ever I go,
Where ever I am...You Are There.
Wolf Mother! 
My Latin forefathers flow through my blood
My allegiance to you will never die
I give my life, my strength, my courage to defend you
...and to restore your glory.
Happy Birthday Roma!

~ANTONIUS SUBIA

THE EROTICON
WHEN ANTINOUS HUNTS A BEAR


ON April 21, as the Sun moves into the Sign of Taurus the Bull, we celebrate the ancient festival of THE EROTICON.

On this day we honor the great God of Love, Eros-Cupid, in his guise as Antinous-Phanes, the "radiant being of light who emerges from the egg of night". 


We also honor the Great God Priapus the divine phallus, the column of male virility, the bestower of the fertility of fields, vineyards, orchards and gardens. Priapus is the axis of the cosmos.

On this date we also commemorate the founding of the city of Rome, Natalis Urbis, personified by the Romans as Our Lady Roma. We celebrate the consecration of her sacred border, and of her birth, and eternal life, and remember that we are her children.

And also on this date we remember the Sacred Bear Hunt. While in Mysia in Asia Minor, in the year 129, the court engaged in a Bear Hunt near the city which Hadrian had founded (on an earlier trip) called Hadrianotherae, "Hadrian's hunting ground". It is the modern-day city of Balikesir in a lovely area of wooded forests and lakes in northwestern Turkey.

Hadrian loved animals and is known to have built tombs for his dogs and horses (according to Royston Lambert) and he loved to hunt. The Bear is the sacred animal of Diana-Artemis, and symbolizes the solitary, forest-roaming character of the Virgin Huntress. In the ferocity of the bear lies the secret of Diana's power, against which Hadrian and Antinous pitted themselves, as shown on the tondo from the Arch of Constantine.

The grand themes of the Eroticon are Love and Sex and Ferocious Anger. The Beast is always lurking inside of us. The mystery teaching surrounding the Bear Hunt involves getting to know your animal instincts -- sex and lust and rage -- and to become one with them and to turn them into powerful allies for your spiritual development.

Flamen Antinoalis Antonius Subia has expressed this mystical mystery meaning as follows:


"Antinous, under Hadrian's guidance, was an accomplished hunter, indeed it is perhaps his natural skill and bravery in the chase that elevated him to the absolute love and adoration of Hadrian. The Emperor was madly in love with hunters, and Antinous was one of the best. Antinous had perhaps been silently stalking and hunting the Emperor's favor for quite some time, and now, in Asia, in the sacred Hunting Grounds of Hadrian, Antinous closed in on the heart of his prey and captured the Emperor completely. In our commemoration of the Sacred Bear Hunt we recognize that Artemis and Antinous are twin deities, and we seek the Dianic-Artemis-Bear within ourselves."

HADRIAN'S PANTHEON BECOMES A SUNDIAL
FOR THE FOUNDING OF THE CITY OF ROME



THE crowds of tourists at Hadrian's Pantheon witness a spectacular light show on April 21, the anniversary of the founding of Rome, when a ray of sunlight illuminate the temple portals.

The phenomenon, similar to one on the March Equinox, is one of the mysteries that have always surrounded what lies behind the unusual design of the Pantheon, the giant temple in the heart of Rome that was built by the Emperor Hadrian.

Now experts have come up with an intriguing theory – that the temple acted as a colossal sun dial, with a beam of light illuminating its enormous entrance at the precise moment that the emperor entered the building on the anniversary of the founding of the city of Rome each April 21.

Constructed on Hadrian's orders and completed in 128 AD, the Pantheon's hemispherical dome is punctured by a 30 foot-wide circular hole known as the 'oculus'.

It provides the interior of the building with its only source of natural light and allows in rain and – on rare occasions – snow.

Giulio Magli, a historian of ancient architecture from Milan Polytechnic, Italy, and Robert Hannah, a classics scholar from the University of Otago in New Zealand, have discovered that at precisely midday during the March equinox, a circular shaft of light shines through the oculus and illuminates the Pantheon's imposing entrance.

A similar effect is seen on April 21, which the Romans celebrated as the founding date of their city, when at midday the sun beam strikes a metal grille above the doorway, flooding the colonnaded courtyard outside with light.

The dramatic displays would have been seen by the Romans as elevating an emperor into the realm of the gods – a cosmological affirmation of his divine power as he entered the building, which was used as an audience hall as well as a place of worship.

He was in effect being "invited" by the sun to enter the Pantheon, which as its name suggests was dedicated to the most important deities of the Roman world.

"The emperor would have been illuminated as if by film studio lights," said Professor Magli.

"The Romans believed the relationship between the emperor and the heavens was at its closest during the equinoxes. It would have been a glorification of the power of the emperor, and of Rome itself."

The sun had a special significance for the Romans, as it did for the ancient Egyptians.

The god Apollo was associated with the sun, and the emperor Nero was depicted as the Greek sun god Helios in a giant statue called the Colossus, which gave its name to the Colosseum.

One of antiquity's most remarkable examples of engineering, the Pantheon's fine state of preservation is thanks to the fact that it was converted into a church in the seventh century, when it was presented to the Pope by the Byzantine Emperor Phocas.

It retains its original bronze doors and marble columns, some of which were quarried in the Egyptian desert and transported by the ship down the Nile and across the Mediterranean to Rome at huge expense.

Tuesday, April 20, 2021

SLAIN GAY PARISIAN POLICEMAN
IS A BLESSED SAINT OF ANTINOUS



ON April 20th we honor gay French police officer Xavier Jugelé who laid down his life when an Islamic extremist opened fire on Paris' Champs Elysees on 20 April 2017.

He is a saint of Antinous. 

At a memorial ceremony, Jugele’s husband, Etienne Cardiles, paid loving tribute to his late partner.

"This pain makes me feel closer to your comrades who suffer in silence like you and me," Cardiles said, holding back tears. He described Jugele as a man who lived "a life of joy and huge smiles."

"I have no hatred, Xavier, because it is not like you and does not fit with what made your heart beat," he added. "Nor what made you a guardian of the peace."

A spokesperson for the French association of LGBT police officers described Jugelé as "a simple man who loved his job, and he was really committed to the LGBT cause."

"He was aware of the risks of the job and the terrorist threat," said Mickaël Bucheron, "although we did not speak a lot about it."

Jugelé, 37, grew up in Romorantin-Lanthenay in central France and was in a civil union with Cardiles.

He had been among the first responders when DAESH Islamic State terrorists attacked Paris' Bataclan theater in 2015, and was actually preparing to leave the Paris gendarmes to join the Judicial Police, which pursues suspects and serves search warrants, among other duties.

After his death, flags at police stations across France flew at half-mast, and President Francois Hollande made him a posthumous knight of the Legion d’Honneur.

Monday, April 19, 2021

JOHN ADDINGTON SYMONDS
SAINT OF ANTINOUS THE GAY GOD


THE Religion of Antinous honors St. John Addington Symonds, the English poet and literary scholar who shocked Victorian sensibilities by openly promoting the cause of same-sex love.

John Addington Symonds was born on 5 October 1840, to a wealthy middle-class family in Bristol England. His father was a liberally minded doctor with connections and close friendships with many of the most illustrious and forwards minds of the time.

It was this environment of Victorian middle-class sexual repression that caused John Addington Symonds to blossom into one of the first and most prolific proponents for the cause of love between men.

While teenager in school, he was awakened by Plato to the awareness of love between boys among his schoolmates and almost immediately and unhesitatingly came out of the closet, even to his father, who was initially dismayed but ultimately supportive.

From then on, Symonds devoted his entire life to the study of homosexuality through art and history. He was the most pronounced defender of the ancient and glorious legacy of love between men, and a champion of social change.

He was a deep admirer of Walt Whitman, and later worked closely with Edward Carpenter, and Dr. Magnus Hirschfeld, co-founding the British Institute for Sexual Science, which advocated a methodical study to overturn the laws against homosexual love.

For his life-long work and devotion, and for his early recognition and exultation of his sexuality, John Addington Symonds is a canonized Saint of the Religion of Antinous.


The most sacred of his many contributions to the enlightenment of our freedom are the words that he wrote about Antinous, whose beauty he glorified with poetry and elegance in the language of a lover of the homosexual, erotic beauty of Our God. John Addington  Symonds died in Rome on the 19th of April 1893.

Sunday, April 18, 2021

HOW WOULD YOU RESPOND
IF YOU SAW ANTINOUS TODAY?


FLAMEN Antonius Subia likes to ask new dedicants of Antinous this question:


"If you encountered Antinous right here in your midst today, how would you react? Would you believe it was H.I.M? Or would you say it couldn't be true?"

That is why we love this painting by one of our favorite artists, ANDRÉ DURAND.

He entitles it "The Disciples of Emmaus" from a biblical verse about two men who are so busy talking about the death of Jesus that they fail to recognize him walking towards them on the road to the village of Emmaus.

They "believe in" the promise of eternal life.

But they do not "really believe" that it is possible ... even when they see it with their own eyes.

We are in the midst of the greatest turning point in human history since the discovery of fire … you hold it in the palm of your hand as you scroll your smart phone's apps.

Look around yourself and you see people so engrossed in the the magical world of their smart phones that they are unaware of the magic happening all around them.

It is the same with HOMOTHEOSIS … Gay-Man-Godliness-Becoming-The-Same. Many people "believe in" becoming one with Antinous. But they don't "really believe" it is possible.

Antonius has always believed that a "New Antinous" may already have been born ... or soon will be. He won't be the same "Old Antinous". He will be the Antinous we gay men need in the 21st Century.

Antonius always asks the question to prospective new priests, "Would you recognize Antinous if you were to see him on the street today? And if so, how would you respond?"

Do you "believe in" ... or do you "really believe"? A very good question.

Saturday, April 17, 2021

SAINT SOR JUANA INÉS DE LA CRUZ


ON April 17th the Religion of Antinous honors Saint Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz, 17th Century Mexican nun, scholar, poet, scientist, playwright, musician and lesbian.

She was exceptional not only for her intelligence and beauty, but also because she wrote literature centered on intellectual and sexual freedom.

In the poem "Redondillas" she defends a woman's right to be respected as a human being. "Hombres necios" (Stubborn men) criticizes the sexism of the society of her time, and pokes fun at men who publicly condemn prostitutes, among other things, but privately hire them.

She also has a philosophical approach to the relative immorality of prostitution. This was exemplified when she posed the question, "Who sins more, she who sins for pay or he who pays for sin?"

In the romantic comedy entitled "Los empeños de una casa" about a brother and a sister entangled in a web of love, she writes using two of her most prominent themes, love and jealousy.

She did not moralize, but rather, in the spirit of her lifetime interests, inquired of how these deeply emotional matters shaped and carved a woman's pursuit of liberty, knowledge, education and freedom to live her life in self-sovereignty.

Her revolutionary writings brought down upon her the ire of the Roman Catholic Church at the end of the 17th Century. She was ordered to tone down the sexuality of her writings. She did not.


However, powerful representatives from the Spanish court were her mentors and she was widely read in Spain, being called "The Tenth Muse". She was lauded as the most prominent poet of the post-conquest American Continent. Her work was printed by the first printing press of the American Continent in Mexico City.

She is believed to have penned 4,000 works, but only a few have survived. They were rescued by the Spanish Viceroy's wife, who was rumoured to be her female lover. In April 1695, after ministering to the other sisters struck down by a rampant plague, she is said to have died at four in the morning on April 17th.

For her love of learning and her devotion to the beauty of sexuality and for her courage to write about controversial things in the face of the Spanish Inquisition, we honor Saint Sor Juana as a Prophet of Homoeros.

Friday, April 16, 2021

PAGAN JOURNALIST MARGOT ADLER
IS A SAINT OF ANTINOUS



WE honor Margot Adler as a Saint of Antinous the Gay God.

She was a pioneering modern pagan and well-respected all-round journalist who enabled millions of listeners on NPR radio in North America to get a balanced and informed view of paganism. 


She reported on news and current affairs from New York City ... most notably the 9/11 tragedy ... and her listeners respected her religious beliefs were did not make her "weird" or "demonic."

Margot Adler authored DRAWING DOWN THE MOON, a 1979 book about Neopaganism which was revised in 2006 to include our own modern Religion of Antinous.

The book is considered a watershed in American Neopagan circles, as it provided the first comprehensive look at modern nature-based religions in the US.

For many years it was the only introductory work about the American Neopagan communities. And it mentions Antinous ... and our new religion!

Thursday, April 15, 2021

JEAN GENET ALWAYS WANTED TO BE A SAINT
HE IS A SAINT OF ANTINOUS


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.

Wednesday, April 14, 2021

KENNETH WEISHUHN
SAINT OF ANTINOUS


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

SIR JOHN GIELGUD
SAINT OF ANTINOUS


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 THE ULTIMATE
FASHION ADVERTISEMENT MODEL



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

A LITTLE ANTINOUS CAN GO A LONG WAY


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.


A pouch or bag can hold a photo or figure of Antinous along with other "magical" things which are special to you such as crystals, sea shells, inspirational notes, mementos of people (or animals) you love. A deck of tiny Tarot cards or a small vial of perfume oil, dried flowers and prayer beads. The possibilities — as tiny as they may be in physical size — are absolutely unlimited.

In his book about Antinous, Beloved and God, Royston Lambert points out that in ancient times many followers of the Blessed Youth felt it was necessary to have a tangible representation of Antinous with them at all times for protection and for blessings:

"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

APOLLONIUS AND PHILEMON
SAINTS AND MARTYRS OF ANTINOUS


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.