Thursday, June 24, 2021

THE SCENT OF ANTINOUS






FOR Pride Month, an aromatherapist and parfumier in Brazil shares this image of Antinous/Antenociticus adorning a small temple in Newcastle England.

He adds this poem:

THE SCENT OF ANTINOUS

When contemplating the beauty
of your divine body
adorning the altar
in this ancient temple
my heart calms down
When smelling the perfume
of your bare skin
Saturating this sacred space.

Poetry by Edhie Laureano Pires Yata'wá
@yatawamirim (Instagram)
 

This small temple is dedicated to a curly-haired boy god called ANTENOCITICUS ... a deity worshiped by soldiers and local people at the eastern end of Hadrian's Wall.

Antinous in the guise of Antenociticus is not mentioned at any other Romano-British site or on any inscriptions from Europe, which is why it has been identified as a local deity.

Antinous priest and writer MARTINUS CAMPBELL, author of THE LOVE GOD about the life of Antinous, says it is highly possible Antenociticus is a local aspect of Antinous ... perhaps in honor of a visit to this outpost by Antinous and Hadrian.

Martinus says: "Archaeologically there is a period of time in AD 126 to 127 when we have no record of where Hadrian was. We do know, however, that the wall was completed in Ad 128."

He says: "It is believed he would have come to Britannia to oversee the final stages of the wall. It is further believe he would have brought Antinous with him."

Martinus adds: "That is why the locals (mostly of mixed Roman and British blood, by then) connected Antinous to a local deity Citicus and re-named him Antenociticus."  Stone heads of Antenociticus have been found nearby.

Wednesday, June 23, 2021

ANTINOUS IN PETRA



TRAVELING across the Arabian desert along the caravan routes, and the border road constructed for the Legions to patrol the frontier with Parthia, Hadrian and Antinous went south from Palmyra towards Arabia, crossing the country that is now called Jordan. They visited the city of Gerasha where a monumental arch of Hadrian was constructed to celebrate his visit.


They followed the trade routes to the capitol of the province of Arabia, the famous city of Petra, where merchants arrived from Yemen, carrying sacred frankincense, the most important religious offering in the Roman religion.


The great temples of Petra, carved out of rock, were dedicated to their primary god, Al Qaum, who is compared to Mars, the war god, and was said to be the protector of the Caravans. Al Quam was never depicted, but was represented as an un-worked, cone-shaped stone set on a golden pedestal, that somewhat resembles a phallus.


The Nabateans of Petra were conquered by Pompey, but were allowed independent rule, until Trajan made their kingdom a Roman Province.


Hadrian was so pleased with Petra and the reception he received that he lavished great sums on the people, and he elevated the city to the status of a Metropolis after which the city was called Hadrian's Petra.


The importance of the Nabateans and their fantastic city of rock is that they are the ancestors of the Arabian culture as we know it, their language and writing is what evolved into Arabic. 


Their entire culture and religious foundation were embraced by the tribes of the whole Arabian Desert, Medina and Mecca were outposts of Nabatean culture along the trade routes to the south.


The elegance, love for poetry and war of the pagan Arab people extends from the Nabatean culture that so impressed Hadrian.


It was in Hadrian's Petra that Antinous was immersed into the Arabian culture which would in centuries to come overtake half of the Roman world especially the cities and provinces where the Antinous religion was strongest, leaving little trace of his cult behind.


We pray that the wisdom of the pagan Nabateans of Arabia Petra will return to calm the crisis of our modern age. We offer sacred olibanum of Petra in honor of the ancient gods and as a symbol of our faith in Antinous the gay god.


Ave Antinous of Petra!


Tuesday, June 22, 2021

THE HYACINTHIA FESTIVAL HONORS
ANTINOUS AS APOLLO-HYACINTHUS



AT THE height of summer, during the cycle of the June Solstice, the Ancient Spartans noticed that the hyacinth flower began to wilt in the intense heat ... which reminded them of the untimely death of Hyacinthus, lover of Apollo.

The Ancient Spartans celebrated a three-day festival called the Hyacinthia, which began with mourning for Hyacinthus and ended with rejoicing for the majesty of Apollo.

This solar cycle is sacred to Antinous in the form of Apollo-Hyacinthus. ... Antinous being the beautiful flower boy Hyacinthus who dies, just as the sun begins to die, but who was raised from the dead and deified by the love of the God of Light, who forbade Dis Pater from taking his beloved boy to the place of Death.... 

Hyacinthus arose as Apollo, to live forever within the rays of the Unconquered Sun, an allegory of ourselves awakening to the light of reason, truth and sacred Homotheosis.

The beautiful boy from Sparta known as Hyacinthus, whose astonishing beauty and long, flowing blonde hair, was first noticed by Zephyrus, the God of the West Wind.

The moisture laden Zephyrus fell madly in love with the boy, and attempted many times to seduce Hyacinth, but every time the boy rejected the wind god whose breeze is the most lovely and most arousing.

It was then that Apollo noticed Hyacinthus and fell completely in love with him also, however when Apollo revealed his love to Hyacinth, he was not rejected, but his shining love was returned many fold. 


The two, who were like twins, whose long, blonde curls, rustled together in the jealous wind of Zephyrus, enjoined a passionate love affair, until one day, the sight of their happiness proved too much for Zephyrus to endure.

While Apollo and Hyacinthus were throwing the discus together, the wind god sent a gust of air, when Apollo threw the golden disk, causing it to fall directly on the perfect head of Hyacinthus who died instantly from the blow. 

It was all an accident, and a tragedy, but Apollo was beside himself with grief, like Hadrian holding the body of his beloved Antinous.

The Sun God turned the blood that flowed through the soft curls into the flower that we call the Hyacinth. 


The Death of Hyacinthus is the divine metaphor for the beauty and tragedy of life taken from the young in their full vigor, falling victim to the accidents of youth.

It is also a warning to those who would approach the majesty of the great god Apollo, who is rightfully called the Far-Shooter, and the falling of the golden discus is a sign that the powers of the sun at this time of the year, though at their greatest, are slowly fading. The disk strikes Hyacinth on the head and the days grow shorter.

Monday, June 21, 2021

ANTINOUS WORSHIPERS WORLDWIDE
CELEBRATE JUNE SOLSTICE VIA ZOOM



WORSHIPERS of Antinous from around the world converged via Skype tonight for ceremonies held at the Hollywood Temple of Antinous celebrating the festival of Incipit Amor ... the day when Hadrian first met Antinous.

Each year we gather ... in person in Hollywood ... and via Zoom from around the world ... during the cycle of the June Solstice. It is the day when Ra Herakhte, the heavenly father of Antinous, stands still for a moment. 

In the Northern Hemisphere it is the longest day  and from now on the days become shorter and shorter. For our brothers in the Southern Hemisphere (who join the festivities via Skype), this is the Shortest Day and from now on the days become longer and longer.

That is an important aspect to remember about the Religion of Antinous. The Blessed Boy is beyond such constraints as Summer and Winter or even Life and Death. For Antinous, the days are ALWAYS getting longer and the they are ALWAYS getting shorter.

For HE lives in our hearts — wherever we are.

The Religion of Antinous celebrates a whole cluster of Sacred Events on this magical day, which we call The Delphinea as a collective term. The Delphinea is the celebration of the beautiful, golden-haired god of light, Apollo, for starters.

And then we celebrate the day that Hadrian and Antinous met and fell in love. 


But on this date we also celebrate the beautiful boy Hyacinthus.

And we celebrate June 21st as the day in the hot summer of the year 130 AD when the Imperial entourage crossed the Sinai desert and entered into Egypt on the final, fateful leg of that final, fateful journey. A year earlier, on this date, they had entered Ephesus in triumph. 

On June 21st of the year 130 AD, however, they were entering a drought-stricken Egypt (breadbasket of the empire) where the local populace looked to their emperor for a miracle.

That miracle would occur, but at a terrible price. Antinous would plunge into the Nile and drown. The following season, the Nile would inundate the croplands, bringing bounty and abundance once more to Egypt and, as a consequence, to the hungry empire.

The Bountiful Flood of the year 131 is the first of the many miracles attributed to Antinous the Gay God.

And on June 21st of the year 131, Hadrian would commission the OBELISK OF ANTINOUS, the Egyptian hieroglyphic text of which comprises our religion's greatest single document of faith.

Antinous would be associated with many deities in the generations to come. Among his many names, the Beauteous Boy was adored as Antinous-Apollo.

The Delphinea is the celebration of the beautiful, golden-haired god of light, Apollo, and of his triumph over the great and monstrous Python which was wrapped around holy mount Parnassus. The Python was the creation of Juno, a creature of jealousy whose coils were meant only to stifle and constrict the grace of that which was to proceed from the Sacred Way of the holy city of Delphi.

Apollo shot the Python and destroyed it, when he was only three days old, which is like the brilliance of the Sun dispelling the covering of night. He set the black stone which had fallen from the sky, called the Omphalos, over the navel of the Earth, and charged a Sibyl, a priestess of the Great Mother to watch over the stone and to convey his wisdom to mankind.

Flamen Antinoalis ANTONIUS SUBIA explains the significance for us Antinoians:
"The Oracle of Delphi, called a Pythoness, was overtaken while seated atop a golden tripod, by a fire that is the breath of the God. Apollo is the Flower Prince reborn, he is the Twin brother of Dionysus, the Twin brother of Diana. He is the Son of Zeus, and the inheritor of his Kingdom, just as Aelius Caesar was the chosen son of Hadrian.

"Apollo is the God of wisdom and art, the speaker of truth, the deliverer of radiance, reason and beauty. Apollo is the God of Socrates and Plato, and he is the God of Pythagoras who claimed to be his son, exhibiting a golden thigh as proof. Apollo is the unconquered light, the full manifested brilliance, power and wisdom of Orpheus.
"Of all the gods, Apollo is the most boy-loving, though the touch of his heart was invariably fatal. He is the genius of the dying boy-gods. We pray to Apollo, the great god of homosexuality, and seek his guidance on this day, the longest day of the year."

 Which segues into the "Incipit Amor". In the year 123, Hadrian toured the Danube region and Asia Minor. It was on this occasion that he met and fell in love with Antinous, in the ancient Bithynian capital city of Nicomedia, according to current research. One portrayal of the event has Hadrian in a garden, surrounded by the youth of the city, hearing a poetry recital.

Antonius tells it this way:


"Towards the back of the crowd, Hadrian notices a boy of  extraordinary beauty who did not bring a stylus and tablet for taking notes, but sat removed from the others, silently gazing into the fountain, contemplating the words of the reader, as if in a dream. Hadrian was captivated, and is said to have gained the blessing of the boy's parents to have Antinous join the court, where there were already other boys of Hadrian's interest. Antinous would have been twelve years old. He was then sent to Rome to attend the Paedagogium, a finishing school for boys. This day marks the beginning of the love upon which our religion is based."



The relief sculpture at right shows Hadrian addressing a crowd with a boy who bears a striking resemblance to Antinous foremost in the crowd, touching the robe of the Emperor.

During the June 21st Solstice, when we celebrate the Delphinea,  the Religion of Antinous also commemorates the entry of Hadrian and Antinous into the fabled city of Ephesus in the year 129.

Ephesus had 300,000 inhabitants at its peak in the time of Hadrian, and it drew thousands of devotees to the shrine of the goddess annually. Even today, Ephesus is one of the most complete and most splendid ancient sites in the world and still draws thousands of tourists every year. The Great Library of Ephesus, which Hadrian patronized and greatly expanded, has been lovingly restored.
The Temple of Ephesus was one of the wonders of the ancient world. It was consecrated to Artemis, in her Asian element as a Phrygian-Hittite goddess of the hunt, a youthful manifestation of the Great Goddess of Mount Ida and Didymus.

The old Temple had burned down on the night that Alexander the Great was born, but after his conquest, Alexander ordered the reconstruction of the Temple, which was still standing when Hadrian and Antinous visited.

Antonyus Subia explains the parallels between Artemis and Antinous and why we celebrate this Sacred Day:
"Artemis is considered the female Antinous, as his divine twin, the only goddess to exhibit lesbian qualities. She was worshipped as Diana alongside Antinous by the funeral society of Lanuvium. Ephesus was one of the first cities to proclaim Hadrian a living God, and one of the first to adhere to his veneration as a Divus.
"The presence of Antinous and Hadrian with their very pronounced Artemisian qualities must have made a deep impression on the Ephesians, in that they were aware that the city was being visited by living gods. It is to Artemis of Ephesus that this day is Sacred, as the female twin of Antinous, the Bithynian hunter god."
And on June 22nd the Delphinea concludes when we honor the beautiful boy from Sparta known as Hyacinthus. The astonishing beauty of Hyacinthus and his long, flowing blonde hair was first noticed by Zephyrus, the God of the West Wind. The moisture laden Zephyrus fell madly in love with the boy, and attempted many times to seduce Hyacinth. But every time the boy rejected the wind god, whose breeze is the most lovely and most arousing.

Antonyus relates what happened next:



 "It was then that Apollo noticed Hyacinthus and fell completely in love with him also. Unlike with Zephyrus, when Apollo revealed his love to Hyacinthus, he was not rejected, but his shining love was returned many fold. The two, who were like twins, whose long, blonde curls, rustled together in the jealous wind of Zephyrus, enjoined a passionate love affair ...


"... until one day, the sight of their happiness proved too much for Zephyrus to endure, and while Apollo and Hyacinthus were throwing the discus together, the wind god sent a gust of air, when Apollo threw the golden disk, causing it to fall directly on the perfect head of Hyacinthus who died instantly from the blow.


"It was all an accident, and a tragedy, but Apollo was beside himself with grief, like Hadrian holding the body of his beloved Antinous. 


"The Sun God turned the blood that flowed through the soft curls into the flower that we call the Hyacinth. The Death of Hyacinthus is the divine metaphor for the beauty and tragedy of life taken from the young in their full vigor, falling victim to the accidents of youth. It is also a warning to those who would approach the majesty of the great god Apollo, who is rightfully called the Far-Shooter, and the falling of the golden discus is a sign that the powers of the sun at this time of the year, though at their greatest, are slowly fading. The disk strikes Hyacinth on the head and the days grow shorter."

Sunday, June 20, 2021

HADRIAN'S VILLA OBSERVATORY TOWER
IS ALIGNED TO THE SOLSTICES

 




HADRIAN designed his personal observatory at his sprawling villa outside Rome to be in alignment with the Solstices

Imagine the scene during the Solstice cycle: First, he would observe the setting sun sending a shaft of goldish-red light through a certain slit in his observatory tower to illuminate a golden statue of the Egyptian Goddess Isis.

Then there would be oracles at midnight. You can just see the cluster of priests and augurs, chanting and offering sacrifices amidst billowing clouds of incense. 

An Etruscan haruspex or two would be wearing yellow robes and conical hats as they inspected the entrails of animals. Patrician augurs would be wearing their finest ceremonial togas as they listened for messages from nocturnal birds. Babylonian astrologers would be clad in garish robes with multi-tiered crowns as they scanned the heavens and babbled to each other about their arcane calculations. 

And naturally the Egyptian priests would do their utmost to out-do all the others with outlandish make-up, headdresses and robes to the cacophony of sistrums, gongs and the whoosh of incendiary incense sending up pastel-colored clouds of smoke to the wailing of a priestess of Isis in the throes of a trance.

Scores of Imperial court officials and hangers-on would be stifling yawns as the oracles took most of the night. 

But yawns would turn to gasps of wonder and praise when the Emperor announced that he had just seen the RISE OF THE STAR OF ANTINOUS over the eastern horizon.

Then at dawn, the Emperor would climb stairs to the upper chamber to observe the Solstice Sunrise on June 21st.

He would announce the outcome of the oracles and whether the Antinoian Auspices for the coming year were favorable.

Modern Priests of Antinous annually celebrate rites at the HOLLYWOOD TEMPLE OF ANTINOUS to mark the Solstice.

Meanwhile, an Italian archaeologist and her team spends Solstice at  the ruins of a tower on a hillock at Hadrian's Villa which was the Emperor's own private observatory. 

These experts, led by MARIA DE FRANCESCHINI, have demonstrated that the observatory tower is in fact aligned to the Solstices. She believes the observatory was dedicated to the Egyptian goddess Isis, who raised Osiris from the dead to become a god of resurrection and transfiguration — just as Hadrian declared Antinous a god of resurrection and transfiguration.
 

For centuries, experts had been mystified by the layout of the sprawling complex of marble baths, banquet halls, luxurious residences, gardens, shrines and unidentified structures 30 kilometers outside Rome.

Hadrian's Villa was a sprawling complex of buildings, temples, gardens, a zoo and — yes — even an observatory tower on a hillock on the edge of the compound from which Hadrian could observe the heavens. 


 But, in an article published in the journal Nature last year, De Franceschini wrote that she believes the mystery-shrouded Rocca Bruna Tower, long held to be Hadrian's private observatory, is in fact aligned so as to produce sunlight effects for the seasons.

She describes her findings personally in the video at the top of this entry. 

De Franceschini says that during the summer solstice, rays of light pierce the tower and another of the villa's buildings. In the Rocca Bruna Tower, dawn sunlight during the summer solstice enters through a wedge-shaped slot above the door and illuminates a niche on the opposite side of the interior (image courtesy nature.com). And in a temple of the Accademia building, De Franceschini has found that sunlight passes through a series of doors during both the winter and summer solstices.

"The alignments gave me a new key of interpretation," says De Franceschini, who adds that the two buildings are connected by an esplanade that was a sacred avenue during the solstices. Based on ancient texts describing religious rituals and study of recovered sculptures, she thinks the sunlight effects were linked to religious ceremonies associated with the Egyptian goddess Isis, who was adopted by the Romans.

De Franceschini, who works with the University of Trento in Italy, has published a book describing the archaeo-astronomical work, VILLA ADRIANA ARCHITETTURA CELESTE. She credits two architects, Robert Mangurian and Mary-Ann Ray, for initially noticing the light effect in Rocca Bruna.

According to nature.com, Robert Hannah, a classicist from the University of Otago in New Zealand, says that De Franceschini's ideas are plausible. "They're certainly ripe for further investigation," he says.

Hannah believes that the Pantheon, designed by Hadrian in Rome with a circular opening at the top of its dome, also acts as a giant calendrical sundial, with sunlight illuminating key interior surfaces at the equinoxes and on the spring equinox on April 21st, the city's birthday.

Few classical buildings have been investigated for astronomical alignment, says Hannah, partly because it is much easier to check for alignments in prehistoric structures such as Stonehenge, which do not have potentially contradictory artefacts.

De Franceschini spends every solstice at Hadrian's villa, seeking further verification. Our thoughts and prayers go with her during this special season of the Solstice.


We can envision Hadrian, sick with grief and alone after the death of Antinous, ensconced in his observatory tower scanning the heavens for a sign from his Beloved Boy, praying to Isis for her to work her magic on Antinous.




HADRIAN'S PANTHEON PUTS ON
SPECTACULAR SOLSTICE SHOW



ON June 20th and 21st Hadrian's Pantheon is the place to be during the Solstice. 

Hadrian's Pantheon brings tears to your eyes. Imagine being with ANTONIUS SUBIA as he describes the monolithic columns each carved from a single stone from Egypt ... "as if he could snap his fingers and have such columns appear here" ... and the marble in the interior coming from every corner of Hadrian's vast empire.

Then you stand under the oculus ... the eye of the cosmos ... the most spiritual architectural element anywhere.

ANTINOUS MERGES WITH APOLLO
DURING THE GLORIOUS JUNE SOLSTICE



THE JUNE SOLSTICE is one of the most sacred days in the Liturgical Calendar of the Religion of Antinous.

It is the day when Ra Herakhte, the heavenly father of Antinous, stands still for a moment. In the Northern Hemisphere it is the longest day  and from now on the days become shorter and shorter. For our brothers in the Southern Hemisphere, this is the Shortest Day and from now on the days become longer and longer.

That is an important aspect to remember about the Religion of Antinous. The Blessed Boy is beyond such constraints as Summer and Winter or even Life and Death. For Antinous, the days are ALWAYS getting longer and the they are ALWAYS getting shorter.

For HE lives in our hearts — wherever we are.

The Religion of Antinous celebrates a whole cluster of Sacred Events on this magical day, which we call The Delphinea as a collective term. The Delphinea is the celebration of the beautiful, golden-haired god of light, Apollo. 

Antinous would be associated with many deities in the generations to come. Among his many names, the Beauteous Boy was adored as Antinous-Apollo (image above).

The Delphinea is the celebration of the beautiful, golden-haired god of light, Apollo, and of his triumph over the great and monstrous Python which was wrapped around holy mount Parnassus. The Python was the creation of Juno, a creature of jealousy whose coils were meant only to stifle and constrict the grace of that which was to proceed from the Sacred Way of the holy city of Delphi.


Apollo shot the Python and destroyed it, when he was only three days old, which is like the brilliance of the Sun dispelling the covering of night. He set the black stone which had fallen from the sky, called the Omphalos, over the navel of the Earth, and charged a Sibyl, a priestess of the Great Mother to watch over the stone and to convey his wisdom to mankind.

Flamen Antinoalis Antonius Subia explains the significance for us Antinoians:
"The Oracle of Delphi, called a Pythoness, was overtaken while seated atop a golden tripod, by a fire that is the breath of the God. Apollo is the Flower Prince reborn, he is the Twin brother of Dionysus, the Twin brother of Diana. He is the Son of Zeus, and the inheritor of his Kingdom, just as Aelius Caesar was the chosen son of Hadrian.
"Apollo is the God of wisdom and art, the speaker of truth, the deliverer of radiance, reason and beauty. Apollo is the God of Socrates and Plato, and he is the God of Pythagoras who claimed to be his son, exhibiting a golden thigh as proof. Apollo is the unconquered light, the full manifested brilliance, power and wisdom of Orpheus.
"Of all the gods, Apollo is the most boy-loving, though the touch of his heart was invariably fatal. He is the genius of the dying boy-gods. We pray to Apollo, the great god of homosexuality, and seek his guidance on this day, the longest day of the year."

Also on the Solstice we celebrate the day that Hadrian and Antinous met and fell in love ...  "Incipit Amor"

In the year 123, Hadrian toured the Danube region and Asia Minor. It was on this occasion that he met and fell in love with Antinous, in the ancient Bithynian capital city of Nicomedia, according to current research. One portrayal of the event has Hadrian in a garden, surrounded by the youth of the city, hearing a poetry recital.


Antonius tells it this way:


"Towards the back of the crowd, Hadrian notices a boy of extraordinary beauty who did not bring a stylus and tablet for taking notes, but sat removed from the others, silently gazing into the fountain, contemplating the words of the reader, as if in a dream. Hadrian was captivated, and is said to have gained the blessing of the boy's parents to have Antinous join the court, where there were already other boys of Hadrian's interest. Antinous would have been twelve years old. He was then sent to Rome to attend the Paedagogium, a finishing school for boys. This day marks the beginning of the love upon which our religion is based."
The relief sculpture at right shows Hadrian addressing a crowd with a boy who bears a striking resemblance to Antinous foremost in the crowd, touching the robe of the Emperor.

HAPPY FATHER'S DAY



PRIESTS of Antinous wish all gay dads a very Happy Father's Day.

Priest MICHAELUS ISOM, who is a gay father himself, says:

"We honor Hadrian on Father's Day.

"He is the Father of the Empire, so to speak

"And a Father figure to Antinous."

Art by FELIX D'EON.

Saturday, June 19, 2021

NICK DRAKE
SAINT OF ANTINOUS


ON JUNE 19th the Religion of Antinous commemorates the birth of SAINT NICK DRAKE, the sexually ambivalent English singer who died under very mysterious, Antinous-like circumstances at a young age and who became an artistic icon for future generations of dreamers and artists.

Nicholas Rodney Drake was born on June 19th, 1948, to an upper middle class English family living in Burma. His father was an industrialist and there was never much question about Nick's financial future. Indeed, he would have been a wealthy middle-aged man today had he done nothing at all.


But Nick never ceased to wonder and worry about his spiritual future. Despite or perhaps precisely because of his admission to Cambridge University, Nick Drake was convinced that he should shun a financially certain future and pursue a future as a musician.

Nick Drake learned to play piano at an early age, and began to compose his own songs, which he would record on a reel-to-reel tape recorder he kept in the family drawing room in rural England.

In 1966 he spent some time in the South of France where he purportedly became acquainted with "the best sort of pot" and perhaps experimented with LSD — and possibly sex with both females and males.

Returning to England, he realized he was not suited to receive a degree from Cambridge University. Nick abruptly and shockingly (as far as his family was concerned) ended his studies at Cambridge nine months before graduation, and in autumn 1969 moved to London to concentrate on a career in music.

Nick signed to Island Records when he was 20 years old and released his debut album, Five Leaves Left, in 1969. By 1972, he had recorded his second album — Bryter Layter and part of his third, Pink Moon. Neither of the first two albums sold more than 5,000 copies on their initial release in Britain, much less abroad. He never made an American breakthrough, unlike other major British artists of the era.

Nick was devastated and depressed. His excruciating shyness to perform live or be interviewed further contributed to his lack of commercial success. Despite this, he was able to gather a loyal following.

He managed to complete his third album, Pink Moon, recorded in midnight sessions in the winter of 1971, immediately after which he withdrew from both live performance and recording, retreating to his parents' home in rural England. Once again, it did not sell well. He felt he was a failure. On November 25th, 1974, Nick Drake retired to his upstairs bedroom where he took a cocktail anti-depressants which killed him. He was found stretched over his bed next morning by his mother.

The Religion of Antinous honors Nick Drake as a prophet of Homoeros. He was a man who saw through the transparent barriers between sexuality to see the spiritual truth of reality. He was one of those many men who are never sure of their sexuality. But it is unimportant whether he was "gay" or not.

Nick Drake is a symbol of these sorts of dreamy and shy men who live existences of quiet despair. Nick Drake could play better riffs on the guitar than almost anybody of his generation. He had a beautiful voice. He was a gifted song-writer. He knew he had more   talent in his little finger than most well-paid artists would ever possess. But his career never took off. The big break never happened. Nobody appreciated him. He was broke and disillusioned.

His sister says she believes he took an overdose of anti-depressants   thinking he wanted it to either cure him or kill him, because he couldn't go on living in such despair of being an artistic failure. How many people in the economic meltdown of the early 21st Century don't feel the same despair? And yet ....

Nick Drake could scarcely have dreamt as he swallowed a handful of pills on a dreary November evening in his parents' house in the English Midlands that he would become a major recording star with fans around the world — 30 years after his death. His three albums now are cult chart-busters around the world.

When we remember Saint Nick Drake, we must remember too that Antinous is the patron of these sensitive souls who die untimely and tragic deaths at an early age. Antinous is the River Man who drowned in the Nile ....




Friday, June 18, 2021

ANTINOUS IN ARABIA SAW PETRA GARDENS
NOW REDISCOVERED AFTER 2,000 YEARS



EXPERTS have made an astonishing find at Petra, the fabled caravan trade route crossroads city which Antinous and Hadrian visited on their way to a rendezvous with destiny in Egypt.

They have revealed a startlingly advanced irrigation system and water storage system that enabled the desert city's people to survive ... and to maintain a magnificent garden featuring fountains, ponds and a huge swimming pool.

The engineering feats and other luxuries attest to the ancient Nabatean capital's former splendor and wealth some 2,000 years ago.

Earlier a GIANT MONUMENTAL PLATFORM was discovered just a kilometer from the ruins of the city in Jordan. The archaeologists describe the unparalleled find as "a large rectangular platform" that measures 55 meters by 50 meters (184 feet by 160 feet) and was essentially "hiding in plain sight."

Petra is perhaps best known for its sandstone canyon that leads directly to Al Khazneh, The Treasury, seen in the climax to "Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade" where the heroes, played by Harrison Ford and Sean Connery, ride out of the canyon and into the Treasury in their quest for the Holy Grail.


However, 2,000 years ago, Petra was renowned for completely different reasons.

It was one of the most famous water stops in the Middle East, where camel caravan routes linked distant cities.

Now archaeologists are discovering the Nabataean capital, situated in the southwestern deserts of Jordan, once was adorned with an exquisite, artificially irrigated garden.

It featured paths likely shaded by vines, trees and date palms, and grasses, which were cultivated next to a huge, 44-meter wide swimming pool.

The Nabataeans’ ability to tame nature, and conspicuous consumption of a precious resource, water, was pure propaganda.

It was a means to display wealth and power, which they could do thanks to the ingenious hydraulic system they invented, which allowed the people not only to reserve enough water for their own needs, but to water the lavish garden with fountains and an open-air pool.


It had previously been unthinkable that water, a scarce resource in the desert wastes, would have been used for anything but necessity.

"The pool marks the terminus for an aqueduct that transported water from one of the springs, 'Ein Brak, located in the hills outside of Petra," Leigh-Ann Bedal, anthropologist from Penn State Behrend College, told Haaretz. "The pool’s monumental architecture and verdant garden served as a visual celebration of the Nabataeans' success at providing water to the city center."

Ongoing excavations in Petra have uncovered a shaft that appears to have led water more than 10 meters downward, from the aqueduct system to the pool level.

The archaeologists have also found underground channels that helped control runoff during the rainy season, revealing the true complexity of the system for the first time.


Occupied since prehistoric times, the lost Nabataean civilization made the part-carved, part-built city their capital and a major caravan center of trade from the 4th Century BC to the first century AD.

During Hellenistic and Roman times it became a major caravan centre for the incense of Arabia, the silks of China and the spices of India ... a crossroads between Arabia, Egypt and Syria-Phoenicia.

Hadrian and Antinous stopped at Petra on their way from Antioch to Alexandria.

Thursday, June 17, 2021

DISCOVER THE MYSTERIES OF ANTINOUS
IN YOUR DAILY LIFE NOW



JUNE 17th is the traditional anniversary of the wedding of Orpheus and Eurydice. Antinous was initiated into the Orphic Mysteries of the power of love transcending death. Discover the Orphic Mysteries in your daily life. 

The Orphic Mysteries teach you to remember that you are the musician. You are the dancer. You are that which dies and enters the Underworld. You are also that which rises re-born bright and shining like the dawn sunrise ... today ... every day ... forever ... Homotheosis, Man-Godliness-Becoming-the-Same. 

For a clue to the Antinous Mystery Teachings, just check out French director Marcel Camus' unforgettable film Orfeu Negro, which is a rendition of the Orphic Mysteries in the setting of 1950s Rio de Janeiro during Mardi Gras, or Carnival. 

It is based on the Greek myth of Orpheus and Eurydice. Orfeu is a trolley-car motorman and gifted guitarist. Amid the joyous frenzy of Rio's Carnival, he becomes enthralled with the beautiful, doomed Eurydice. 

Against a backdrop of Rio's favelas (shanty-town ghettos on the hills), the lovers sway in a never-ending rhythmic samba among the crowds. But Eurydice is stalked by a man in a skeleton costume. 

Eventually, Orfeu finds her body in the morgue. In the house of the dead, voodoo rites are performed to bring her back to life. But impatient Orfeu looks upon her too soon ... and the spell is broken. 

In the end, bearing her body in his arms, he falls to his death from a cliff. His guitar, standing in for the lyre of Orpheus, is taken up by one of the street urchins who follow him as a sort of Greek chorus.

The movie is the stuff of pure myth. The movie shows a Rio which no longer exists. In fact, it shows a Rio that never existed. The movie was based on a highly political stage play which satirically condemned the poverty of the favelas. 


When the movie came out, Brazilians criticized it for portraying a Frenchman's romanticized TechniColor tourist vision of Rio.

So what?

That's what myths are about. Myths don't tell the plain old every-day truth that we see on the streets. Myths tell Sacred Truths that exist within our hearts and our souls.

Hadrian and Antinous had both been initiated into the Orphic Mysteries. That is the darker aspect ... the Antinous Mystery Teaching ... which was brought to the screen in Orfeu Negro. Mardi Gras (Carnival) ultimately is a Masque of Love and Death. 


The frivolities are fleeting. Death will catch up with each of us. But a few mortals are privileged ... like Hadrian and Antinous ... to have been initiated into the Mysteries which enable a mortal to cheat death. And that is why we put on gay costumes and dance until we drop.

Most mortals are dancing just because it's party time. But a few mortals are dancing because they have been initiated into the Mysteries of Life and Death. Initiation into the Orphic Mysteries promised advantages in the afterlife. Hadrian and Antinous were well-versed in both Mystery Schools.

But, like Orpheus in the Underworld, poor grieving Hadrian must have known as we wept over his lost boy that the Mysteries not only offer a promise of advantages in the afterlife. The Mysteries of Antinous are lived on a daily basis.


We face a dark demon every day, if not several dark and deathly demons. Physical death is only one of those demons. There are many other forms of death, and the Mysteries of Antinous help us to overcome them on a daily basis.

Bringing Light out of Darkness is a spiritual miracle each of us faces every day. Rejuvenating our spiritual life out of the setbacks and trials of mortality is a task we face every day of our lives, and not just at the hour of our death.

The Afterlife is Now! And THAT is the ultimate Mystery Teaching. The Mysteries of Antinous are not about the Afterlife. They are about your Spiritual Life on an everyday basis.

That's why we dance and sing till we drop ... and never look back! When we dance the Masque of Love and Death, then our lives become imbued with the stuff Sacred Myths are made of ....





Wednesday, June 16, 2021

WE REMEMBER THE NIGHT OF THE TEARDROP
WHEN WEEPING ISIS WORKED A MIRACLE



THE 16th of June is the Egyptian "Night of the Teardrop" festival. 

On this night, when the moon rises into the sky, Isis sheds one blessed and mournful tear for her beloved, Osiris, as the breeze from her wings fans the breath of life into him ... so that he is reborn to eternal life. 

That precious tear is then collected by intersex Nile inundation deity HAPI, signalling the start of the build up to the inundation in July. 

Similarly, Hadrian wept for Antinous after he died in the Nile in late 130 AD, and subsequently proclaimed Antinous a god. 

Divine Antinous called upon HAPI to bring forth a bountiful flood in the summer of 131 AD to end a famine. 

It was the first miracle of Antinous! 

The mystery teaching: Even in tears of grief, the divine miracle of life comes forth.

Tuesday, June 15, 2021

NOW THIS IS WHAT WE CALL AN AGED BREW
3,200-YEAR-OLD BEER MAKER'S TOMB FOUND



IT is possible that the last beverage which Antinous drank was Egyptian beer ... a thick barley beverage that had to be sipped through a straw.

It was just the thing to quench a tourist's thirst under the hot sun of Egypt. The Egyptians had been brewing beer for thousands of years before Antinous visited the Land of the Nile in 130 AD.

Now an archaeological find sheds new light on Ancient Egyptian beer.

A Japanese team headed by Jiro Kondo of Waseda University stumbled onto the tomb of ancient beer-maker Khonso Em Heb while working at an adjacent tomb at the Thebes necropolis across the Nile from Luxor.

The tomb, replete with highly colored frescoes, is being hailed as one of the most significant finds of recent times.

Egypt's antiquities minister Mohamed Ibrahim described Khonso Em Heb as the chief "maker of beer for gods of the dead" adding that the tomb's chambers contain "fabulous designs and colors, reflecting details of daily life... along with their religious rituals."

One fresco shows Khonso Em Heb ... who apart from being a brewer, headed the royal storehouses during the pharaonic Ramesside period (1292-1069 BC) ... making offerings to the gods along with his wife and daughter.

Beer became vital to all the grain-growing civilizations of Eurasian and North African antiquity, including Egypt.

It became so important that in 1868 James Death put forward a theory in "The Beer of the Bible" that the manna from heaven that the Hebrew god gave the Israelites was a bread-based, porridge-like beer called "wusa."

These beers were often thick, more of a gruel than a beverage, and drinking straws were used by the Egyptians to avoid the bitter solids left over from fermentation.

Though beer was drunk in Ancient Rome, it was replaced in popularity by wine. Tacitus wrote disparagingly of the beer brewed by the Germanic peoples of his day.

The Romans called their brew cerevisia, from the Celtic word for it.

THE FESTIVAL OF MAAT
AS ALL DEITIES INCLUDING ANTINOUS



THE 15th of June is the Egyptian festival when Ma'at unites as one with all the deities of the heavens. This is when all the gods take on the principle of Ma'at ... including Antinous as the final god of Egypt and ultimate Classical deity. Ma'at is often thought of as representing justice, but her true function is balance. If something has been pushed off kilter, then Ma'at embodies the power that restores equilibrium. This means that she can be appealed to if you are the victim of an injustice, and she will ensure that harmony is restored. However be very sure that you are the victim, because Ma'at is impartial, and will restore balance whoever has been at fault - this is the reason that justice is often shown as blindfolded.

15 de junho é o festival egípcio quando Ma'at une como um com todas as divindades do céu . Isto é, quando todos os deuses assumir o princípio da Ma'at ... incluindo Antinous como o deus final do Egipto e deidade clássica final.. Ma'at é muitas vezes considerado como representando a justiça , mas a sua verdadeira função é o equilíbrio. Se algo está desequilibrado , então Ma'at encarna o poder que restaura o equilíbrio . Isto significa que você pode chamá-la , se você for vítima de uma injustiça , e ela irá garantir que a harmonia é restaurada. No entanto, ser muito certo de que você é vítima , porque Ma'at é imparcial , e irá restaurar o equilíbrio quem foi a culpa - esta é a razão que a justiça é muitas vezes apresentada como com os olhos vendados .

15 de de junio es la fiesta egipcia Maat cuando se une como uno con todos los dioses de los cielos . Esto es cuando todos los dioses toman en el principio de Maat ... incluyendo Antinoo como el dios definitiva de Egipto y la deidad clásica final. Maat se piensa a menudo como la representación de la justicia , pero su verdadera función es el equilibrio. Si algo no es equilibrada , a continuación, Maat encarna el poder que restaura el equilibrio . Esto significa que puede llamar a ella si usted ha sido víctima de una injusticia , y ella se asegurará de que se restablece la armonía . Sin embargo estar muy seguro de que usted es la víctima , ya que Maat es imparcial , y restaurará el equilibrio el que ha sido el culpable - esta es la razón de que la justicia se muestra a menudo como los ojos vendados .

Monday, June 14, 2021

THE 'GHOST' OF AN ANTINOUS STATUE
MAKES HEADLINES IN BRITAIN AGAIN


ANTINOUS is in the British tabloid headlines today ... or rather the purported "ghost" of a statue of Antinous which allegedly "haunts" a multi-millionaire TV celebrity's mansion in Wimbledon England ... so that the celeb now wants to sell the house.

Simon Cowell, whose face is known to millions in Britain, is said to be trying to sell the "haunted" mansion he bought in 2018 for $20 million.

The eerie story of the ANTINOUS STATUE'S GHOST first made headlines in 2013 when an art collector said a marble statue of Antinous "haunted" his mansion in England, forcing him to relocate it to a museum.

"I'm convinced it's haunted," the headlines screamed, quoting financial genius Christian Levett who is worth nearly half a billion dollars.

Levett, who founded the hedge fund Clive Capital, collects antiquities which he houses in his private museum in the South of France, MOUGINS MUSEUM.

But Levett claimed that he got more than he bargained for when he bought an ancient statue of Antinous for his house in Wimbledon.


"It was delivered in a crate," Levett recalled.

"When I was locking up, I heard the sound of heavy objects being knocked over from the drawing room where Antinous was still lying in his box. But there was nobody there.

"The same thing happened the next night and the night after that. In the end, I couldn't stand it any longer. Antinous was going to be in my study ... but I've sent him to the museum."


That was 2013 and all was quiet ... until Levett sold the house for $20 million to British TV talent show host Simon Cowell.

A source told a Sunday tabloid: "Simon believes in spirits so he's been freaked out by this story.

"I don't think he was aware when he moved in. He might have to call a ghostbuster."

A neighbour added: "I know when Christian lived there the family heard unexplained noises. There'd be a bump from a bedroom then the next night a noise from downstairs."

As always, details are scant and confused ... just as they were back in 2013.

British Classicist scholar MARY BEARD DISMISSES THE STORY as nonsense. "But let's hope for a huge spike of interest in 2nd Century Roman history," the Classicist scholar says. 

Sunday, June 13, 2021

KING LUDWIG II of BAVARIA
SAINT OF ANTINOUS


ON JUNE 13th the Religion of Antinous commemorates the life of King Ludwig II of Bavaria, who died on this date in 1886 under mysterious circumstances in an Alpine lake. As with Antinous, his death is shrouded in myth and legend and it will never be known whether he drowned accidentally or whether he was assassinated.

Born August 25, 1845, Ludwig was only 18 when he ascended to the throne of Bavaria in 1864. He was the  last truly sovereign monarch of that Alpine nation, which was engulfed by Prussia during his reign and very much against his wishes.

While the king of Prussia was planning a war against France, and various other crowned heads of Europe were scheming and conniving to commit war and bloodshed, "Mad" King Ludwig (as he was called) devoted the entire resources of his land to the performing and visual arts, commissioning operas by Richard Wagner and building the most astounding fairy-tale castles and palaces.

In the build-up to the Franco-German war, as troops were marching off to battle, Ludwig did not bother to see off his military forces. Instead, he went off on a jaunt to Switzerland to confer with Wagner on plans for a Wagnerian opera house in Munich. The opera house was never built, due to opposition from local critics. Instead, it was built at the Bavarian town of Bayreuth to the specifications of the composer, paid for by Ludwig personally.

Shockingly, in a staunchly Roman Catholic land, Ludwig never married and instead surrounded himself with handsome manservants, artists and architects.

Indeed, Ludwig is best known as a closeted gay man whose legacy is intertwined with the history of art and architecture, as he commissioned the construction of several extravagant fantasy castles (the most famous being Neuschwanstein below) and was a devoted patron of Wagner, who might never have finished his "Ring" cycle without Ludwig's ostentatiously generous support.

In an age of fiercely militaristic nationalism, Ludwig came under intense pressures from his advisers to abandon his artistic projects and to devote himself to empire-building. Feeling harassed and irritated by his ministers, he considered dismissing the entire cabinet and replacing them with fresh faces. The cabinet decided to act first.


 Seeking a cause to depose Ludwig by constitutional means, the rebelling ministers decided on the rationale that he was mentally ill, and unable to rule.

Medical psychiatry was in its infancy, and a panel of "experts" assembled mostly anecdotal evidence of the king's "madness" to satisfy the ministers.

The list of "mad" behavior included his extreme shyness, his distaste for politics and state affairs, his complex and expensive flights of fancy (including moonlit picnics at which his young groomsmen were said to strip naked and dance), conversations with imaginary persons, sloppy and childish table manners and sending servants on lengthy and expensive expeditions to research architectural details in foreign lands.

He was deposed on June 9, 1886, and placed under house arrest at a castle on the shores of Lake Starnberg south of Munich where he was under the constant watchful eye of a psychiatrist.

On June 13, around 6:00 pm, Ludwig asked the psychiatrist to accompany him on a walk along the shore of Lake Starnberg. The doctor agreed, and told the guards not to follow them. The two men never returned. At 11:30 that night, searchers found both the king and his doctor dead, floating in the shallow water near the shore.

Ludwig was known to be a strong swimmer, the water was less than waist-deep where his body was found, and the official autopsy report indicated that no water was found in his lungs. Nonetheless, the official death certificate listed suicide by drowning. The death of the doctor was never explained.


Most other monarchs of his era have been forgotten, or else their names have been cursed by succeeding generations for laying the groundwork for the First World War. But Ludwig was only interested in laying the groundwork for grand architecture and enduring cultural masterpieces. His legacy of art and architecture ... and homoerotic romance ... continues to inspire and to enchant.

Saturday, June 12, 2021

FELIZ DIA DOS NAMORADOS
WHEN ANTINOUS SPROUTS WINGS OF CUPID



Feliz dia dos namorados! 12 de junho ... Happy Valentine’s Day in Brazil! 12th June (English below)

ANTÍNOO-EROS
Como a última divindade clássica do panteão romano, Antínoo, o Deus Gay, se fundia com muitos outros deuses antigos, que melhor expressavam determinado aspecto do Garoto ou ajudavam a disseminar o culto em determinada região. Antínoo foi comparado a (e identificado como) Dionísio, Apolo e até Diana, a Caçadora.
E, dentre as entidades nas quais Antínoo se metamorfoseava, estava Eros, o Cupido.

É Flamen Antonius Subia, Supremo Sacerdote da Religião de Antínoo, que diz: "Como Eros, Antínoo é Amor, é a força que a Beleza inspira nos homens. Antínoo é o amante que seguimos em nossos corações. Essa veneração da beleza e da sensualidade masculina é a pura expressão do amor de Antínoo-Eros.”

“Antínoo-Eros é o mais poderoso de todos os deuses, o mais inegável, aquele que nos domina quando menos esperamos, que facilmente nos abandona e nos deixa desolados, que é capaz de nos levar às raias da loucura, forçando-nos a cometer todo tipo de extravagâncias. Em Seu nome, estamos dispostos a entregar nossas vidas e morrer por quem Ele nos determinou amar. Nenhum outro deus tem esse poder. Antínoo-Eros é a única força a superar a Morte.”

Sim, é Antínoo, com as asas do Cupido, que se encarrega pessoalmente de flechar o coração de todo gay que se apaixona. Foi Ele que uniu os amantes-guerreiros de Esparta e o Batalhão Sagrado de Tebas. Que uniu Aquiles a Pátroclo, Felipe a Bartolomeu, Verlaine a Rimbaud.

Hoje, dia 12, quando você se perder no olhar do seu namorado, quem vai te encontrar vagando, sem rumo, e te guiar até o coração dele é ninguém menos que o Garoto em pessoa - Antínoo, o Deus Gay.

JUNE 12th – Valentine’s Day in Brazil
As the last Classical deity, Antinous the Gay God morphed with many previous deities, that better expressed some aspects of the Boy or helped the spreading of the religion to different regions. Antinous was compared to (and identified with) Apollo, Dionisos, even Diana the Huntress.

And among these deities Antinous also morphed into Amor/Eros, the Cupid.

Flamen Antonius Subia says: "As Eros, Antinous is love, the force that beauty inspires in men. Antinous is the lover after whom we follow in our hearts. The veneration of beauty and sensuality in men is an expression of the love of Antinous-Eros.”

"Antinous-Eros is the most powerful of all deities, the most undeniable, the one who overtakes us when we least expect him, the one who as easy deserts us and leaves us destitute, the one capable of driving us over the edge of insanity, forcing us to commit all manner of extravagances. In His name, we are willing to surrender our lives and die for the one whom he has deigned that we should love. No other god has this power. Antinous-Eros is the only force that can overcome death…."

Yes, it’s Antinous, sprouting Cupid’s wings, who personally sends an arrow through the heart of every gay man who falls in love. It was He who united the lovers-warriors of Sparta and the Sacred Band of Thebes ... who joined together Achilles and Patroclus, Phillip and Bartholomew, Verlaine and Rimbaud.

Today, when you lose yourself in your boyfriend’s eyes, He will find you wandering alone and guide you to your boy’s heart – Antinous the Gay God.

Friday, June 11, 2021

THE RISE OF THE STAR OF ANTINOUS


ON JUNE 11th, the Religion of Antinous celebrates the Rise of the Star of Antinous.  This is the date in our Liturgical Calendar when the Constellation of Antinous begins to rise over the horizon at sunset. It is visible on the eastern horizon along the banks of the Milky Way.

Wherever you live on Earth, you can see the Constellation of Antinous on starry nights from mid-June through late October when, in synchronicity with the Death of Antinous in late October, the Star of Antinous descends below the western horizon in the glare of the setting sun.
 

The Constellation of Antinous is no longer recognized by astronomers (just as Pluto has been demoted to the rank of "dwarf planet"). But it is still visible from any point on Earth nestled between Sagittarius and Capricorn and in the talons of Aquila (the Eagle Constellation) representing the Imperial Eagle which carried Antinous to lofty heights.

The most visible identifiers are the three bright stars of Aquila — Altair at the crown of his head, Tarazad, and Alshain. Alshain is derived from Arabic for "Two Friends" which astrologers have cited as a hint as to how to interpret the Sign of Antinous.

The Star of Antinous is however difficult to see. Most people cannot see it at all. You won't find it on any star chart. Like the Star of Bethlehem, it is a mystery and a conundrum about which many theories have been written.

And even if you could see it, the light which reaches your eyes would have left the star thousands of years ago — perhaps about the time that Emperor Hadrian discovered the star.

The simple truth of the matter — and the most beautiful facet of all — is the fact that Hadrian discovered the Star of Antinous with his own tear-filled eyes as he looked skyward in grief after the death of his beloved Antinous. Distraught and weeping, the emperor stood under the canopy of the star-studded heavens and looked up the River Nile towards the spot where his Beloved Boy had died. And he saw a new star which he recognized as a celestial sign that the gods had taken Antinous to be one of them.


You have to realize that Hadrian was a keen astronomer/astrologer himself. He knew the heavens like the back of his hand and he was so adept at casting horoscopes that it was said he had determined the exact hour of his death. He built an observatory at his sumptious villa outside Rome. And the tour of Egypt had brought him into contact with the finest Egyptian magician/priests, one of whom taught him how to cast a binding spell which could give him dream-visions and could also cause someone to fall hopelessly in love with him or — depending on how it was cast — even cause that person to die in agony.

Hadrian was that sort of control freak. Despite the fact that he was the mightiest man on Earth who could send a man to death on a whim (and did so, on occasion), he also wanted control over the future. And he wanted to be able to force someone to love him and never, never leave him.

Much has been theorized about those fateful final days leading up to the death and deification of Antinous and Hadrian's discovery of the STAR OF ANTINOUS.

Yes, much has been written about these events and about Hadrian's obsession with magic and astrology and soothsayers. One of the more fanciful versions was published in a novel in the mid-1950s by the German author Ernst Sommer. Entitled simply Antinous, the novel suggests Antinous sacrificed his own life to save his beloved emperor during the imperial tour of Egypt in the year 130 AD.


The dramatic climax of the plot has Hadrian lying in a villa in Hermopolis, feverish and at death's door after having been bitten by a mosquito. The emperor writhes in bed, calling out Antinous's name. The Empress Sabina and heir-apparent Lucius, jealous but also fearful that the presence of Antinous might further agitate the emperor, issue orders that the boy be kept away from the emperor.

After several daring attempts to sneak into the villa, Antinous is finally put under house arrest aboard an imperial vessel anchored a few miles upstream near the fallen-down Temple of Bes (the future site of the Sacred City of Antinoopolis). Lucius has ordered that he be put in irons to prevent him from sneaking off to visit Hadrian. But the guards cannot bring themselves to place the beauteous boy in irons, in defiance of Lucius's orders. Instead, they merely confine him to his quarters below deck with a single porthole overlooking the nighttime waters of the Nile.

Sensing that the emperor is dying, Antinous realizes his love for Hadrian is boundless and that nothing can keep them apart. Thinking back to his discussions about life and death with Jewish Rabbis, Christian clerics and Egyptian priests of Osiris, he realizes that the day has come. The hour has arrived. It is time to surrender everything he has — in a pure act of love that will transform everything.

He opens the porthole hatch and sees an unusually bright star which seems to beckon. He steps out of his clothes and leaves them (his last earthly possessions) lying in a heap on the floor. He climbs deftly out the porthole and slips quietly into the water.

At the same moment, Hadrian breathes his last breath, to the horror of Sabina and Lucius and the others who are gathered at his bedside. In a state now beyond physical life, Hadrian opens his eyes to see Anubis standing before him with outstretched hands, lifting him out of bed and guiding him away down many dark corridors. At last, Hadrian is taken through a massive portal and into a chamber where Thoth is waiting beside scales placed before Osiris.

Thoth begins the Weighing of the Heart ceremony as Osiris asks who this person is who seeks admittance to his realm. In the midst of the solemn proceedings there is a loud banging at the portal and Anubis announces that someone has arrived to offer his own heart in exchange for the emperor's heart, so that Hadrian might live and walk the earth again. That person is standing unseen just outside the portal. After brief discussion, the Egyptian deities acknowledge that the Law of Maat specifically envisions such an exchange and that, indeed, it is the most sacred and powerful of covenants — surrendering one's own heart on the Scales of Truth for that of a loved one. Such love cannot be denied. The offer cannot be denied.

Genesthoi — So Be It Done!

Back at the death bed in the Hermopolis villa, Hadrian gasps suddenly and his eyelids fly open, to the amazement of everyone who thought he had just expired. Sensing what has happened, he speaks hoarsely of a vivid dream involving deities. He looks around and demands to know where Antinous is.

"Where is he? What have you done with him? I know he would be here at my side if he were physically able. Bring him to me at once!"




But as Sabina and Lucius stammer excuses, and before the runners can summon Antinous, a boat crewman bursts into the room with the news that Antinous is missing and presumed to have drowned in the Nile.

Hadrian suffers a relapse, but the Egyptian magic is well done. So he cannot die this time. As the search for Antinous continues, with hope waning each day, Hadrian retreats to the rooftop observatory of the villa in Hermopolis which has been placed at his disposal by a wealthy Hermopolite. The emperor stares into the heavens night after night, refusing to give up hope that Antinous might yet be alive, perhaps dazed and confused and lost somewhere along the river.

Then one night he looks into the heavens and sees the proof that he has been looking for since the disappearance of Antinous. He summons the empress and Lucius and the entire court and also calls for the chief astrologer of the Temple of Thoth in Hermopolis to come quickly.

He informs them that a new star has appeared in the heavens and that it is a celestial sign that Antinous has left this earthly existence to ascend to the pantheon of the gods. He has surrendered everything on behalf of his beloved emperor, just as he had always said he would. Everyone thinks Hadrian has suffered another relapse and is delusional with fever. But the astronomer arrives and swiftly confirms that the sharp-eyed emperor has indeed discovered an uncharted star.

As Hadrian leaves to issue orders for the deification of Antinous, construction of the city at the spot where he drowned and erection of temples throughout the world, the astronomer remains behind in the rooftop observatory with the wealthy owner of the house. Where precisely is this new star, the owner asks. "I know quite a bit about the stars for an amateur, but I can't for the life of me see anything at the spot in the heavens where Caesar was pointing just a while ago."

The astronomer says that the new star is definitely there and that astronomers throughout the world will confirm its existence and it will be recorded duly in all the star charts.

"Yes, but can't you point it out to me?" the wealthy man pleas. "I'm straining my eys looking, but I just can't see anything."

The astronomer answers, "And that is why you will never be a good  astronomer. You scan the heavens with your eyes, but not with your  heart."

So Hadrian looked into the nighttime skies and discovered a new star to point the way to that new religion. As a scholar and man of science he was able to see it with his own two eyes. Perhaps it was a super-nova which flared and then went out — who knows? He saw it and his court astronomers confirmed it and the Constellation of Antinous was recorded in the star charts for 19 centuries to come.

But more importantly, Hadrian discovered the Star of Antinous shining in his heart. The Death of Antinous showed him a way to make his vision of the perfect religion a reality on Earth. It was the Light he was seeking. It was the Light of Antinous.

So when you look up into the nighttime skies tonight in search of the Star of Antinous, don't be surprised if you can't find it with your physical eyes. You can't find it in physical space, which is why Flamen Antinoalis Antonius Subia calls it the Dark Star of Antinous. Look inside your heart and you will find it shining there with all the beauty of a dream of perfection ....

Lumen Antinoi Adiuva Nos!

(Light of Antinous, Sustain Us!)