Sunday, January 23, 2022

THE MARTYRS OF ANTINOOPOLIS


ON January 23rd the Religion of Antinous honors the first of the many Christian Martyrs of Antinoe, also known as Antinoopolis. The first of the Egyptian martyrs with whose name and acts we are acquainted was Asclas of Antinoopolis.

This part of Egypt, near the nome sacred to Anubis, has always been a hotbed of religious fervor ever since the days when the "heretic pharaoh" Akhenaten built his capital city here, a scant 20 kms from our Sacred City of Antinoopolis. Christians and Jews constituted a major portion of the population of Antinopoolis. 

After all, the city was the flower of Greek civilization deep in the desert of the Thebaid, and it was a haven for dispossessed and exiled thinkers and theological revolutionaries.

There was a period of time in which Antinoopolis fell under the sway of the fear and violence that had swept across the world. The Christian faith was suffering one of the bloodiest persecutions in its history. Diocletian had sought to curb the rising tide of Christianity with brutal violence. He issued decrees that all citizens should be compelled to demonstrate their piety to the Roman Gods by offering sacrifice. It was a direct challenge. Any person who refused was not only insulting the Gods of Rome, but showing disloyalty to the Emperor and to Rome herself.

Such treason was punishable by death. This was a legal way to persecute Christianity, it was not an attack on the Christian doctrine, or its practices, but was an unavoidable line that no Christian would cross.

It is interesting to note that though many of the Christians were executed by beheading or by being shot through with arrows, some were executed by being drowned in the Nile. This similarity between their death and the death of Antinous must have been very moving to the Ancient Priests of Antinous. And it is also interesting that the authorities were not sensitive to the nature of this form of execution in the Sacred City of a boy who had become a god simply by drowning in the Nile.
The first was Asclas, who was arrested and tortured for his faith by order of Arrian, the governor of Antinoopolis who himself would later convert to Christianity. While Asclas was being tortured in prison by hot irons which left his flesh hanging down in strips, Arrian had reason to cross the River Nile to go to Hermopolis on government business.

Antinoopolis lies on the east bank of the Nile (depicted at left in its heyday), and Hermopolis (Sacred City of Hermes) is located diagonally across from Antinoopolis on the west bank of the Nile. But inexplicably, Arrian found he was absolutely unable to leave the water's edge.

Asclas sent word that the governor would never be able to cross the river until he acknowledged Christ in writing. Arrian wrote out the statement, and was promptly able to leave the river bank. He crossed the Nile, and the moment he was on the other side, he ordered that Asclas be thrown into the Nile with a stone tied around his neck, whereupon he drowned. 
This story, while odd-sounding to us today, was very clear to Egyptians. Hermopolis is the Sacred City of Hermes/Anubis, or Hermanubis.

This remarkable deity, who lives on in Christianity as St. Christopher, is responsible for conveying souls across the Celestial Nile after death. People in Antinoopolis worshipped both Antinous and Hermanubis.

The miracle of St. Asclan is meant to show that the Christian god is the equal of Hermanubis. Within a few generations, Hermanubis "morphed" into Christopher who, in this early Coptic mural at right, still has canine features. Next time you see a plastic St. Christopher statuette on a taxi dashboard, remember that it is actually Anubis without his doggy ears. He's not carrying the baby Jesus on his shoulders. He's carrying the Boy God Antinous over the celestial Nile to eternal divinity.

Against that background of intermingling spiritual beliefs, the Religion of Antinous acknowledges the suffering of St. Asclas and of all the Christian Martyrs of Antinoopolis out of our Love for Antinous in whose Sacred City they died. Though their faith was in Christ and not in Antinous, we nevertheless honor them and glorify them because they were Antinoopolitans, people of Antinous.

We ask their forgiveness for the murder and persecution of the Christian Martyrs and in their memory ask that we may be free from intolerance and never again partake in the crime of the ancient citizens of Antinoopolis.

The image above left is not Asclas, but is a burial painting of a person whose mummy was buried in the desert of the Fayoum in Egypt, which is the region of Antinoopolis. It is presented here as a contemporary image of what St. Asclas may have looked like.
 

Saturday, January 22, 2022

ANTONIUS SUBIA STRIDES THROUGH
HADRIAN'S GATE AT PHILAE ISLAND




A highlight of my pilgrimage to Egypt

Was the Philae Island Temple 

On the Upper Nile

Last stand of the Pagan religion.

Long after Theodosius outlawed the old religions,

The priests of Isis continued their devotions.

It was a great honor to visit that beautiful little island

And there is a corridor called Hadrian's gate

In my photo at the top of this entry!

Ave Antinous!


~ANTONIUS SUBIA

                        MORE PHOTOS BELOW:







Friday, January 21, 2022

THE ASSUMPTION OF GANYMEDE


OUR Father Jupiter descended upon the slopes of Mt. Ida in the form of an eagle and carried away Ganymede, the beautiful young prince of Troy, ravaging him, and elevating him to live among the immortals.

At the table of the Olympian gods, Jupiter installed his Ganymede as the divine cup-bearer who pours out nectar-wine from the cup of eternal life.

This love affair between the Phrygian prince and the Father of the Gods is a divine parallel of the love between Antinous and Hadrian.

Ganymede is the emblem of the coming Age of Aquarius, when peace and love will rule the hearts of all men.

On this day, the beginning of the sign of Aquarius, we observe the deification of Antinous as having made union with the Thunderbird-Phoenix-Eagle, and having been elevated to reign among the immortals in the manner of Ganymede. And we pray for the hastening of the coming age.

Thursday, January 20, 2022

WE HAVE A PRIEST OF ANTINOUS
IN AFRICA FOR THE FIRST TIME

Priest Adriaan van den Berg






WE have a new priest of Antinous! Adriaan van den Berg of Blomfontein, South Africa, was consecrated tonight as the priest of the newly established Temple of Antinous in Southern Africa.

His priestly name is Adriaanus Hostilius van den Berg and he took his vows during international Zoom ceremonies attended by attendees in North America, South America, Britain and Europe.

Below is Adriaan's formal statement of faith:

My Declarion of Belief 
Pledge of Duty and Commitment 
My Request for Blessings

By Hadrianus Hostilius van den Berg 
as a Priest of Antinous

To be Presented and Read at My Consecration 
as a Priest of Antinous on 20 January 2022


To be consecrated as a Priest of Antinous, I render this Declaration of Belief and a Statement of Acceptance of Commitment as a Priest -

With this Declaration, I hereby acknowledge the god Antinous and state my belief in him.

1) As such qualify this belief as belief that recognizes •The earthly life of Antinous as a mortal, •His life as the companion and as the beloved to the founder ofour faith, the Emperor Hadrian and •The death of Antinous in the Nile and his descent into the underworld,

2) I believe in and bear testimony of these as the important seeding experiences and events that would culminate in and become the great sacred gifts of •His deification, of •His faith and •His mysteries.

3) I hereby specifically proclaim Antinous’ deification as a god as an article of my belief since it is the foundation of Antinous’ godliness central to my belief in him…I therefore recognize our Founder Hadrian for deifying Antinous and for calling upon the gods for his deification and pay tribute to the gods here amongst us who attended to Antinous’ deification since I believe that it was by confluence of their wills, by their decrees and powers that Antinous was given his divinity and granted his godliness, they bestowed upon him their essences and conferred upon him some of their powers, they wished humanity to receive as a helper and a friend such a being as they raised from the dead and for whom they threw open the gates of the underworld and who stepped from the Nile as our god Antinous. My beliefs therefore recognize the honored gods Hapi, Anubis, Osiris, Persephone, Re-Herakte, Horus and Thoth and the gods with whom Antinous would become syncretized, and I include the godly deity whom the Obelisk of Antinous names as the Lord of Time and as the Creator who according to the Obelisk “filled Antinous with his seed” upon elevating him to godliness.•I declare belief in and bear testimony that Antinous was made and confirmed a god several times over, and upon this god I fix my beliefs. 

4) My belief in Antinous’ godliness also is inspired by and encompasses recognition and belief in his miracles:In his two greatest miracles of which the first was •his great inundation and flooding of the Nile to end an enduring drought visiting the horrors of famine upon Egypt upon whose harvests an entire Empire depended and whereby Antinous’ fed and saved the people of nations upon three continents.

5) My belief recognizes the 400 years of ancient worship of Antinous and of his service and relationship with humanity and •the innumerous private and personal miracles that Antinous had worked in the lives of his believers for which he was known, loved and worshipped by his ancient believers as the Great and the Good God Antinous.

Insofar as my belief in Antinous the miraculous and in his miracles concern his second great miracle, I have to remember how this 400 year-long ancient worship and relationship with humanity was ended by an upsurge of fanaticism and hatred in which Antinous was especially singled out for his homosexual relationship with Hadrian during his mortal life and for supposedly being the god of the sexually perverted and of the gender deviant. This hatred and destruction and the thousand two hundred years of darkness that came in its wake, invited and prompted and was followed by the second of his two greatest miracles. 

6) And arriving at this second of his greatest miracles, my belief professes that his second great miracle was the triumph of Antinous over death a second time, being his triumph over the murder and death visited upon the ancient gods conceived and attempted within the fullest of human abilities and begun by Theodosius in the year 395AD.This belief of mine recognizes Antinous the miraculous persevered for a thousand two hundred years without sustenance and support of belief and prayers from followers, that he survived without offerings and devotions from Priests, that grievous willful destruction and desecration of his statues and of anything that bore his image did him no harm and that his temples was toppled yet that he would endure a thousand two hundred years without sanctuary and without any of these things.

Thus my belief is in a god who prevailed and triumphed over the attempted murder and destruction of the pagan gods’ in all their known forms of existence, their toppling from all their earthly stations and above all their total banishment from human hearts, minds and lives and the inference and imposition of death upon them by the complete denial of them and their existence and its replacement with belief in their non-existence and that they were dead.

The second great miracle in which I believe is however not merely Antinous’ survival and endurance and his second triumph over death, but also his triumphant and magnificent re-emergence and manifestation in what was the beginning of the modern world. As such my belief in the second of Antinous’ great miracles is based on what are recognized and recorded real world events and verifiable historical facts which began his stunning re-emergence and manifestation in the world with the people supposedly still dedicated to blotting out any trace of him suddenly beginning to seek and to dig out his statues and likenesses with their own hands and to lovingly restore and to protect it as their very own leaders (like the cardinals de Medici and Albani and the pope himself)becoming the most ardent collectors and protectors of Antinous’ statues and objects bearing his images until these stood and were presented in their highest seat of power of the Vatican itself where they still remain under Christian protection today. My belief is inspired by the then unprecedented coinciding eruption at that same moment in history of curiosity and interest in Antinous that compelled people to speak of him, and by the fact that books of the early Church Fathers that inveighed against him and which intended to destroy any belief in Antinous became sources of learning about Antinous and his cultus, from the writing of Oregen of Alexandria, to Saint Jerome, Prudentius, Tartullian, Celement and Saint Athanasius and Justin Martyre whose god has anyway been allied with Antinous since the time of Antinoopolis and whom Antinous has never nutured any enmity for.

7) It is my belief that since the advent of the second great miracle, Antinous has persistently manifested and assumed a place in the modern world for more than three centuries since that astonishing miraculous emergence right at the beginning of the modern world. I believe he persistently assumes new forms and manifestations and ways and means of speaking to people in contemporary idioms and through available artistic conventions and in guises recognizable to modern people and my belief hereby becomes based on my personal witnessing of Antinous in his most vibrant presences, forms, with his likenesses recreated, updated, glorified, adorned and exalted by numerous contemporary artists and by ordinary people in the newly created virtual worlds, in the digitalized dimensions and in the electronic ether and in the media and lives online of people today. Thus I believe in the last of the ancient classical gods who is now also a thoroughly modern deity.

8) My final belief in Antinous is in and recognizes two of his divine purposes: 1) Antinous’ first divine purpose is to not force belief in him, but to open a way to experience with him. Thus he inspires private as well as open public worship of him as conduits for this experience –and open public worship of him was initiated in the year 2000, in the exact birth year of the new millennium, by the vanguard of a small inspired cadre of believers. 2) His second divine purpose recognized in my beliefs is that Antinous has come to be the god and the recourse of an outcast, despised, oppressed and persecuted people who have been denied even the right to turn their faces to and to address themselves to any god and who has been the victims of the longest and most enduring holocaust in human history who were and are still punished for their love: So my beliefs salute the god who came to be a god of homosexuals, to lesbians and to the transgender and to people of every sexual orientation and every possible gender variant but also for all and any people who may need and want him as friend and to be a god to them.

9) This is the Antinous I believe in: Conceived from divine seed, as the son of gods, made immortal and divine to be a gift from the gods to us, whose coming was marked by appearance of a star that has signalled his presence to successive generations ever since and that has recently been recognised to be a pulsing supernova also known as the Star of Antinous that at the right times can also be visible to all and any of you in the night sky, a befitting reminder that this also the god who is to be a beloved to other gods and to us, the agatho daemon, a godly spirit servant and helper to mankind, a faithful attendant to us throughout life who is tasked with also being a companion to us in the passing over of death and then to also be a guide in the beyond, this is the god unlike any other, known since ancient times as the Great and Good God Antinous.

10) I hereby end my declaration of belief with expressed gratitude to you who were witness to it. I seek not to convince you to share in my beliefs, neither does Antinous, my attempt was rather aimed at declaring my belief to ground and motivate and qualify my decision to become his Priest. It is my hope that you and Antinous could discern by my declared beliefs just how I see and perceive him and that him and you will consider it as a view and belief befitting of and qualifying me as worthy of becoming his Priest.


Acceptance of Commitments and Duties
and of Recognition as a Priest of Antinous

 

I hereby acknowledge and accept the following commitments and duties as a Priest of Antinous…

·       That I will commit myself to Antinous the god for as long as I live, and commit myself to his faith and to his believers.

·       That as such, I will offer Antinous devotions, offerings, hymns and prayers– thus rendering it as a daily and lifelong service to him.

·       That I will maintain and promote his faith in accordance with its ancient and contemporary customs and forms.

·       That I will be of service and succour to his believers and care for their welfare and wellbeing.

·       That as a mark of my acceptance of these commitments and duties as a Priest of Antinous, I accept the priestly names of Hadriaanus Hostilius in honor of Antinous and Hadrianus the Founder and Hostilius Marcellus, the ancient Priest of Corinth

And as a Priest, I recognize:

·       The cadre of pioneering believers who re-established worship of Antinous in and since the year 2000 as the founders of our modern Antinoan faith, who consecrated themselves as the first new Priets of Antinous in the modern world and whose legacy I will protect and advance.

·       The Temple of Antinous as my spiritual home and the organisation within which I will live and develop my spiritual life as a believer and Priest of Antinous.

·       I recognize within the Temple of Antinous: Flamen Antonius Subia as our spiritual leader, the Priest Hernestus as our Epistrategos and as my personal priest and mentor, the Sacerdotium of Priests and the Priests as my peers as my fellows and as my brothers, teachers and guides.

·       I recognize and accept that I will abide by the authority, customs, rules and directives of the Temple, the Sacredotium and our leaders.

·       Finally, I wish to recognize and state my gratitude three believers for having been my teachers and mentors: The Priest and Epistrategos Herenestus whose apprentice I have been, Flamen Antonius Subia and Doctor P. Sufenas Virius Lupus whose student I had been. To the three of them I offer special thanks.

May Antinous and you all be witnesses to allow this and may Antinous bless you all.

Ave Antinous!
ADRIAAN VAN DEN BERG
Priest of Antinous

SAINT SEBASTIAN


ON January 20th the Religion of Antinous honors SAINT SEBASTIAN who, despite being a Christian martyr, has been identified by homosexuals of all beliefs over the centuries as a symbol of our persecution and suffering.

Sebastian was an officer in the Imperial Guard of Emperor Diocletian, and he was a Christian.

In 302 A.D. Diocletian subjected the Christians to a brutal persecution, and it was during this period that Sebastian was "outed" to the Emperor as a practicing Christian.

When asked to sacrifice before a pagan altar, Sebastian refused and  was sentenced to death. He was tied to a column before Mauritanian archers, who shot him with arrows...but to no effect. 


Sebastian was strengthened by his faith, and did not die. He was finally clubbed to death in front of Emperor.
  
Homosexuals over the centuries have looked to Sebastian as a patron saint. His manner of death, which is like an affliction of Eros, and the sight of the beautiful young soldier plumed with arrows, has moved our hearts over the ages more than all other Christian saints.

In the Middle Ages, he was said to have power over the plague. And during the Black Death, his popularity grew among the penitent flagellants.

His image was a favorite subject of homosexual artists during the Renaissance who were fascinated by the erotic charge of his death. 

During the early 19th Century he was taken up as the model for homosexual suffering and persecution, some writers even claiming that he was the young lover of Diocletian and that his martyrdom had a jealous, sexual subtext.

In our time, the power of St. Sebastian over the Plague has made him a spiritual force in the fight against AIDS. And so we recognize his sanctity as the patron saint of homosexuals and as a protector from our modern plague. 

We consecrate him to the Religion of Antinous and offer our own quivering-hearts as a target for his thousand arrows of love.

Wednesday, January 19, 2022

THE GOING FORTH OF ANUBIS


ON January 20th is the Ancient Egyptian Feast of "The Going Forth of Anubis" (Yinepu) when his statues are carried through the streets for worshipers to honor ... in hopes that Anubis will convey them through the darkness of death to eternal light and life. 

This feast occurs between the completion of the mummification of Antinous on January 11th and the birthday of Hadrian on January 24th.

Anubis leads the new god Antinous to the Home of the Gods amongst the Imperishable Stars.

Tuesday, January 18, 2022

FEATURED ANTINOUS STATUE OF THE DAY
THE ANTINOUS OF ELEUSIS


THIS statue of Antinous from Eleusis - Ἐλευσίς - is the only one that seems to refer back to an incident in his life, his initiation into the Eleusinian Mysteries of death and resurrection in September 128 AD.

The sculpture was erected after his death in the outer courtyard of Eleusis and captures this instant of his life, though officially it depicts him as the god Dionysos Zagreus, a divinity of suffering abd resurrection associated with the Eleusinian Mysteries.

Technically it is not one of the best of the depictions of Antinous, but it evokes a mood and a moment.


The sulptor clearly envisaged the young lad draped in his himation, standing in the darkened Telesterion (the initiation hall) and confronted with the Eleusinian Mysteries of death and resurrection.

He clutches at the folds of his himation anxiously, insecure, staring wide-eyed, his mouth pursed in awe, with an expression of apprehension, intent rapture and awareness of the tremendous significance of what was being revealed to him.


Even though it is a mediocre statue in workmanship and details it is redeemed by its expressiveness and pathos.

This statue is now housed in the Archaeological Museum of Eleusis: Antinous as Dionysus Zagreus, Inv. 5092, 1.83 m, in marble of Thasos.

Monday, January 17, 2022

A PRAYER FOR ANTINOUS
By Our Priest Adriaan van den Berg




Worshipers often ask us how to pray to Antinous. While there is no mandatory official prayer, I suggest this prayer as an example:

Oh, Antinous, hear these words that speak our hearts & our minds -
Young Master of the hunt, help us to live bravely too, guide us to avoid the pitfalls and traps on this path of this life.

Slayer of beasts, help us vanquish the lion of all that vexes us and to avoid all that is grievous, painful and that will bring us harm as a hunter evades the abominable tusks of the boar.

Young Lover of Hadrian, you who knew love, guide us towards it, will you fill the unloved & loveless' hearts?

Faithful Companion, stay with us as we endure our plight, be with the broken, the outcast, those who struggle, with the lonely and with the forlorn.

Healer, tend to our sick, offer them reprieve from their suffering, place your hand upon their brows - you have healed for millennia, remain with us doing so & curb this blight amongst us now.

Our Master & Teacher, bless & assist your scattered followers, your Priests, scholars, scribes, artists & apprentices, our families & friends.

Liberator, guide & inspire those who worship & aspire to know thee - amidst darkness, help us to bring light, in the face of evil, marshall us to fight.

Antinoo-Osiris, you who stride different worlds, tend to our departed, afford them peace, vanquish our fears of the final transition, and when it is upon us, welcome us in your arms beyond.

Agatho Daemon to all of an afflicted, divided & conflicted humanity, us with our perilous, uncertain & muddled future... Grant us vision to see a new future, allow us possibilities.

Tireless Helper, we are grateful for all done in our interest & at our behest, for being able to pass our burdens to thee.

Let the star of Antinous continue to shine as our beacon of hope, may our recourse in thee be our certainty.

Ave Antinous!
ADRIAAN VAN DEN BERG

Sunday, January 16, 2022

SEEK THE LOST TOMB OF ANTINOUS
WITH BEN PASTOR'S 'THE WATER THIEF'


IT's summer vacation time ... for our many thousands of Antinous devotees in the Southern Hemisphere ... and anyone who is interested in historical fiction in general and Antinous in particular should read this book by Ben Pastor, the award-winning Italian-American historian and author. 


She knows more about Hadrian and Antinous than almost any other living expert. 

Her historical novel THE WATER THIEF is an example of fine scholarly research, as are indeed all of her books.

This novel traces the efforts of Aelius Spartianus to discover the fabled LOST TOMB OF ANTINOUS

Aelius Spartianus is a true-life figure who did in fact write a biography of Hadrian nearly 200 years after the death of Antinous.

Set in the year 304 AD, it tells of this very literate Roman army officer who is commissioned by Emperor Diocletian to do research on his predecessor the Divine Hadrian, who had died nearly two centuries earlier. 

It is while delving into the mystery of the death of Antinous and while trying to learn the whereabouts of the Boy's tomb that the officer stumbles onto evidence of a letter penned by Hadrian uncovering a covert conspiracy to bring down the Empire ... a conspiracy that is still very much at work in 4th Century Rome. 

As Spartianus comes ever closer to finding the answer to the death of Antinous, the conspirators' efforts to thwart him become ever more violent, resulting in numerous brutal murders and attempts on the officer's life.

Pastor's descriptions of Rome in the year 304 AD are superb. You get a real feel for the teeming city in mid-summer, with all the odors and noise, colors and steamy heat that that implies. 

Best of all, for those of us who love and worship Antinous, are the chapters in which Spartianus ensconces himself in Hadrian's derelict villa outside Rome. 

It is there, as he stares up into the stars at night, that he makes a startling connection between the layout of the villa and the eight visible constellations in the nighttime sky in late October when Antinous died ... indicating that Hadrian's obsession with horoscopes and astrology led him to create an earthly universe where time stood still at the death of Antinous.

Did Hadrian's belief in astrological fate compel him to have Antinous killed? Or did Antinous take his own life in a bid to fulfill his astrological fate? 

Or was it more mundane? Did he and Hadrian have a lovers' tiff that ended tragically? Was he done in by young male rivals intent on gaining Hadrian's affections for themselves? 

Or was something even more sinister at work? And why is someone desperate to preventing the officer from finding out what happened to Antinous all those years ago?

For those of us who love Antinous, this book is a joy to read. Pastor works in many small and obscure details which are well known to his modern-day followers. 

To give just one example, the Roman officer expends a great deal of effort trying to locate and decipher the OBELISK OF ANTINOUS which today stands in a park in Rome and is the focus of much current research in the 21st Century.

The obelisk's key inscription, which is the focus of modern experts seeking his tomb, says that Antinous "rests within the garden bounds of the great lord of Rome". 

Just as today's researchers have puzzled over the meaning of that phrase, Ben Pastor's protagonist must also make sense of it ... and he arrives at a startling answer that almost costs him his life and jeopardizes future of the Empire.

The novel's characters are well drawn and the reader identifies with Spartianus as he attempts to unravel this Gordian Knot while at the same time pulling together the strands of his own personal life.

There are numerous gay characters and they emerge as well-rounded and believable characters, especially the flamboyant Egyptian gays who find themselves unwittingly the target of unscrupulous killers in their very midst.

The tales of Antinous and Hadrian which unfold as the investigation progresses are a true pleasure to read, if only because they are all so contradictory and often far-fetched ... precisely as they are to today's researchers. 

Spartianus must work his way through this thicket of tall tales and outright lies and defamations in order to determine precisely what sort of persons Hadrian and Antinous were ... in order to save the Empire two centuries after their deaths.

One of the more outlandish tall tales is told to Aelius by a Roman transgender hustler named Cleopatra Minor who claims to have frequented a notorious whorehouse which specializes in boys for aristocratic customers whose villas line the Bay of Naples. 

Cleo claims it is "well-known there" that Antinous was a boy prostitute who had just arrived from Bythinia and "had barely become accustomed to his little bed" when Hadrian stopped by the whorehouse and took a fancy to him.

There are lots of other, equally intriguing characters in this book. But the most intriguing character of all, of course, is the one character who cannot take active part in the plot but whose presence is felt at every turn of the plot:

Antinous himself.

Though the 4th Century murders take center stage in the story, this book actually is more concerned with telling the story of Antinous and Hadrian and their abiding love affair which spans the gulf of the centuries.

As you read the novel, you get a growing awareness of Antinous as the living, breathing, three-dimensional human being that he must have been in life. 

The more Spartianus looks into the life of Antinous, the more he becomes obsessed with the Blessed Boy. He simply has to find that tomb, even if it means his death and the downfall of Rome.

We won't give away the thrilling ending, except to say that, when Spartianus finally "exchanges glances" with Antinous (in a manner of speaking), Spartianus is overcome with emotion ... and the reader finds it hard to hold back the tears.

CLICK HERE to order, but don't wait too long ... or the Water Thief will catch up with you.

Saturday, January 15, 2022

SCARAB BEETLES NAVIGATE
BY STARLIGHT FROM THE MILKY WAY


SCIENTISTS have confirmed what the Ancient Egyptians always knew ... that scarab beetles can use the Milky Way to help them navigate at night.

Experts have always known that African dung beetles use the sun and the moon as directional markers when rolling balls of dung containing their precious eggs away from other beetles.

But it had never been scientifically proven that the beetles ... sacred Egyptian symbols of transformation ... used the Milky Way as a directional marker on moonless nights.

Dung beetles are known for rolling up balls of dung for later use as food and a depository for their eggs. Once they collect the dung, the beetles quickly roll the ball away from the dung pile to avoid having it stolen by other beetles. They do this by moving in a straight line.

With the dung ball deposited in a safe place, the eggs hatch into larvae which then metamorphose into winged beetles ... and fly off, soaring towards the warmth-giving sun. Thus, the scarab became associated in Ancient Egyptian mysticism with the transformation of base material into the divine. The Egyptian glyph for scarab beetle ... "kheper" ... means "transform".

The Egyptians also associated the scarab beetle with movements of the sun, moon and stars. While the link to the sun and moon were easily proved, scientists did not have proof of a link to the stars ... until now.

To test whether the beetles were using the stars as a navigational aid, scientists put the beetles into a dung-rolling course and filmed their behavior. The beetles were able to move in a straight line on moonlight nights and also on moonless nights when the Milky Way was visible.

When the sky was overcast, the beetles were unable to roll the dung balls in a straight line. When the beetles had tiny visors taped onto their heads to block their view of the night sky, they spent their time wandering aimlessly.

Next, they tested their speed on a 2 meter platform. On nights when the Milky Way was visible, the beetles were able to cross the platform in as little as 40 seconds. On cloudy nights, it took the beetles nearly 2 minutes to cross the platform.

Lastly, scientists tested the beetles inside of a planetarium. The dung beetles moved more efficiently when the ground was lit by the light of the Milky Way. When the ground was lit by the light of only a few bright stars, the beetles performed worse.

Friday, January 14, 2022

WE HONOR YUKIO MISHIMA
'THE LOST SAMURAI'


ON January 14 we mark the anniversary of the birth of one of modern Japan's most famous, controversial, and mysterious gay personalities ... and a saint of Antinous.


Yukio Mishima (1925-1970) is regarded as one of 20th-century Japan's most prolific writers, and was the first postwar Japanese writer to achieve international fame. 

Nominated on three occasions for the Nobel Prize for Literature, and author of no less than forty novels, essays, poems, and traditional Japanese kabuki and noh dramas, Mishima’s contribution to Japanese literature was indeed profound.

His samurai-inspired ritual "seppuku"suicide by "hara-kiri" (literally stomach cutting, or disembowelment) and beheading on November 25, 1970, at the young age of 45 marked the end of a life that represented for some, a protest against a post-war Japan that seemed to have lost its traditional identity and values under the tide of mass consumerism, and cultural and political Westernization.

The sharp contrasts between the country he grew up in and the Japan he died in were defining influences in his life, shaping his writings, which often questioned the new Japan and harked for a return to days of old. 

Born Kimitaka Hiraoka in Tokyo on Jan 14, 1925, he assumed the nom de plume  "Yukio Mishima," cryptically interpreted as "He who chronicles reason," so that his disapproving anti-literary father would not know he was a writer. 

It was however his paternal grandmother, Natsuko Hiraoka, who was to have the most lasting impact on his life. A mere 29 days after his birth until his 12th year, Mishima was separated from his family and raised by his sophisticated yet capricious grandmother whose own background and personality shaped his character.

The young protégé was forced to live a very sheltered life in which sports, playing with other boys, and even going out in the sun were off limits. She was the illegitimate daughter of a Meiji era daimyo with familial links to the all powerful Tokugawas and was reared in a princely household, a samurai-influenced upbringing which she did not let others forget and which instilled in her, and by consequence her grandson, a reverence for Japan's past, and the samurai fascination with beauty, purity and death. 

Her noble past and yet not so noble marriage to a successful bureaucrat arguably contributed to her frustrations, characterized by violent outbursts and morbid fixations. 

Her character had a lasting yet undeclared effect on Mishima’s later works and personality, particularly the insatiable desire for perfection in the mind and body, and the terrible beauty of death at the moment of perfection exemplified by the honored cherry blossom.

Mishima's complexities were not only confined to his writings. A fluent speaker of English, Mishima wore Western clothes and lived in a Western style house while espousing a return to his country’s past values and practices. 

Much mystery also surrounds the exact nature of his sexuality, and his frequenting of gay bars such as the now defunct Brunswick bar in Ginza despite a rushed marriage at 33 which produced two children. 

Mishima's interest in homosexuality is clearly illustrated in one of his seminal books, "Confessions of a Mask" (1948) where he tells of a man who conceals his true self and sexuality behind a mask of lies and pretense. This book is regarded by many as a semi-autobiographical account of the author's own life.

According to his biographers, he had also considered a marriage proposal to Michiko Shoda, the current empress and wife of Emperor Akihito.  Biographers such as close friend John Nathan contend that the tragic writer married not for love but for respectability.

At the earlier age of 30, conscious of the inevitability of aging, and desiring bodily "perfection," he embarked on a strict bodybuilding regime that lasted for the rest of his life. 

His longing for a return to a spiritual Japan which respected the bushido (way of the warrior) code inspired his expertise in karate and kendo, martial arts that he contended allowed one to experience the border between life and death. 

His extreme nationalist credentials were most notably illustrated in his founding of the Tatenokai (Shield Society) in 1968, a small private army of mostly university students dedicated to the bushido code and the protection of the emperor and the martial discipline of pre-Meiji era Japan. 

This dedication was not to Hirohito per se, whom he had criticized for "dishonoring" the war dead by surrendering, and for renouncing his divinity after World War II, but rather to the symbolism of the emperor system for traditional Japan.

On November 25, 1970, carrying with him a longing for a return to lost samurai values, and an obsession with a purifying and beautiful death, Mishima and four of his Tatenokai followers, entered the Japanese Self-Defense Forces (JSDF) headquarters in Ichigaya and attempted a coup d’etat which they hoped would awaken the Japanese from their spiritual and political slumber. 

Stepping out onto a nearby balcony, Mishima was ridiculed and jeered as he attempted in vain to rouse the present JSDF members below him to his cause. Realizing the hopelessness of his efforts, the "Lost Samurai" went back inside for his final act of drama.

Positioning himself in traditional Japanese manner on the floor of the office which they had seized, Mishima proceeded to ritually disembowel himself with a “tanto” (a small sword), exclaiming “Long live the emperor” just before a pre-ordained “kaishakunin” (the one chosen to decapitate Mishima) and later one other, made an initially botched but ultimately effective attempt at beheading the famed author.

Debate surrounds Mishima’s motivations. Attempting a coup d’etat with only four other people was almost certainly going to be a failure. Comments made to Western journalists about hara-kiri in his writings some years earlier might be more insightful.

At that time, the author claimed that "spiritually, I wanted to revive some samurai spirit. I did not want to revive hara-kiri itself but through the vision of such a very strong vision of hara-kiri, I wanted to inspire and stimulate younger people."

Thursday, January 13, 2022

THE BIRTH OF LUCIUS AELIUS CAESAR


ON January 13th the Religion of Antinous celebrates the birthday of Aelius Caesar.

Lucius Ceionius Commodus Verus was born on January 13th, 101, most likely in Rome. He was from an old wealthy Etruscan family. 

His grandfather, after whom he had been named, had been a Consul and his father a Senator.

(Images by PRIEST UENDI)


Lucius Ceionius was beautiful and elegant, well educated, and was given over to a life of pleasure and voluptuousness.

He was a teenager when Hadrian came to power in 117, and his flamboyant and attractive character was a compliment to his physical beauty that soon gained the attention of the new Emperor.

It is believed that Hadrian and Lucius were lovers during the early years of Hadrian's reign, perhaps for the period of six years prior to Antinous

When Hadrian met Antinous in the year 123, Lucius was 22 years old, and in keeping with the Greek philosophy of pederastic love, it is very likely that their love affair had transformed into what would become a life-long friendship between the Emperor and his now matured Lucius.

Antinous entered Hadrian's heart just as Lucius was moving on to his responsibilities as a patrician citizen of Rome. There were rumors of rivalry, as spoofed in this cartoon by Priest Uendi showing Lucius left, Hadrian at right and Antinous between them.

While Hadrian was courting the young Antinous, Lucius married Domitia Lucilla and had three children by her, one of which was the later Emperor known as Lucius Verus, who is often confused with his father.

After the Death of Antinous, as Hadrian began to grow ill, his attention turned again to his still beloved Lucius, and on August 10, 136, Hadrian surprised the world by adopting Lucius and declaring him to be his successor.

Suspicions abounded, as the eccentric and delicate character of Lucius hardly seemed appropriate to rule the Empire after such a man as Hadrian.

But there must have been more to Lucius than history has preserved. He assumed the name Aelius Caesar, and was sent to govern Pannonia along the Danube, but became ill and returned to Rome in the winter of 137, where he died on January 1st.

He is remembered and adored as a god, as the brother of Antinous, the twin and second love of Hadrian. We call him the Prince of Flowers.

Wednesday, January 12, 2022

ANTINOUS NAVIGATOR


ON January 12th, as the Sun moves out of alignment with the STAR OF ANTINOUS, we celebrate the festival of ANTINOUS NAVIGATOR.

Flamen Antonius Subia explains it this way:

"Antinous the Transfigured steps away and The Boat of Millions of Years in One Moment, leaves the shore of the known cosmos, sailing out into the darkness of the abyss on its voyage to the Black Star, the way of the void, where the heaven of Antinous lies concealed beyond the veil of the cloud of unknowing, where he enters the fullness of the Place of Light, and restores the unity of the Aeons.

"This is the Via Negativa whereupon the soul-triumphant is lost in the open space of non-being, awaiting the Dark Bird of Night, the Thunderbird-Phoenix-Eagle that will elevate his heroic spirit to immortality. Only Antinous can guide the Boat of Millions of Years  across this expanse of darkness.

"This journey, which ends as it begins, which arrives as it departs, is the eternal heaven which Antinous has accomplished for all those who are his chosen, who answer his call, and who believe in him."

Tuesday, January 11, 2022

THE JUTURNALIA
THE ROMAN FOUNTAINS FESTIVAL



ON January 11th Romans celebrated the Ancient Juturnalia Festival.

Flamen Antonius Subia says:

"Juturna, Goddess of fountains, lakes and rivers cleanses Antinous of his mortal remnants and prepares him for his journey of millions of years in one moment. 
"In the ancient history of Rome, it is said that the divine twins Castor and Pollux, miraculously appeared in the Forum, watering their horses in the fountain of Juturna, announcing that the Romans were Victorious at the battle of Lake Regillus. Castor and Pollux, came to the side of Juturna and proclaimed the Freedom of the Romans from the tyranny of their Kings. 
"We observe the coming of the twins as announcing of the Victory of Antinous over the 72 Archons of the high celestial sphere. His victory is our victory. We observe his ascent and departure from our reality by bathing in our own 'fountains of Juturna' in preparation for the elevation of Antinous to the eternal Black Star."

We like to think of the Juturnalia as representing the hermaphroditic Nile Inundation Deity Hapi (who had embraced Antinous when he plunged into the Nile) now rinsing and cleansing ANTINOUS THE GAY GOD of all vestiges of his earthly mortal life so that he is free to ascend to godhood.

WE CELEBRATE "VICTORIA ANTINOI"
WHEN THE SUN ALIGNS WITH
THE STAR OF ANTINOUS


ON January 11th the Sun aligns with the STAR OF ANTINOUS for the most glorious day in our liturgical calendar ... Victoria Antinoi.

This is the day that the 72 days of mourning and mummification are finished and Antinous emerges from the perils of the Underworld to shine "younger than the newborn sun," as the Ancient Egyptian texts say.

Flamen ANTONIUS SUBIA says:

"Antinous in glory and radiance, stands between our cosmos and the abyss that is known as the Veil. He has returned as Antinous the Savior. This is the End of the sacred period of 72 days following the earthly mummification of the body of Antinous.


"The preservation of his perfect body was completed by the Egyptian priests, providing him with a carnal vessel for millions of years.


"This is the day upon which Antinous overcomes the 72 princes who rule over the cycles of life and death in the underworld and the outer limit of the cosmos, and our god becomes Antinous the Victorious.


"This is the Coming Forth By Day of Antinous so that he can sail in his Barque of Millions of Years. His triumph becomes the celestial procession, and together with the saints and blessed spirits of the immortals and divinized men, Antinous prepares to step away from the limit of the cosmos and enter the darkness of the void beyond."

Monday, January 10, 2022

THE BURNING OF THE SODOMITES



ON January 10th we solemnly remember the gays who were burned at the stake in the Middle Ages..

The Heretics of the Middle Ages were the last defenders of the Gnosis, against the authority of the Catholic Church. Like the Gnostic Fathers before them, they advocated homosexuality as a sacred form of love.

When the Order of Knights Templar was disbanded in 1310, the inquisitors discovered (under torture) that Heresy, Homosexuality and Devil Worship were interrelated. They represented a united Satanic assault on the power of the Church and the stability of Christian Civilization.

Heresy infected the soul by undermining faith, Witchcraft bred hatred in the form of hexing, but Homosexuality was the vilest of the three because it infected Love, turning a man from his natural affection for a wife, and causing him to waste his seed in lecherous desire.

The homosexual was a danger because he was a threat to the perpetuation of the family and of the human race. He fostered chaos, and weakened the already tenuous position of a society hemmed in by Islam, infected with Plague, and torn apart by War. The Bible warned that any city guilty of the crime of Sodomy would be destroyed by the fire of heaven, so the solution of the Church, in order to avert god's wrath, was to burn the Sodomites.

The Gay Burning Times lasted six hundred years, seven hundred including the Nazis Holocaust (which was based on the same principles) a period of torture, murder and all out war against our kind, lasting much longer than Heresy and Witchcraft combined, which even continues to this day.

The most intense period of burning was the 1600's through late 1700's in France and England, hundreds of thousands were burned at the stake.

The word "Faggot" which means fire-log is said to have derived from the practice of piling the Sodomites upon the pyre, at the feet of the Heretics, because a Sodomite was not worthy to burn standing up.

Flamen Antonius Subia says:

We who believe in Antinous, and in the sanctity of Homosexuality, solemnly remember the cruel death of the Sodomites who burned for us. Antinous was with them, he burned by their side.

On this last day, Antinous the God redeems the souls of all those who were burned, tortured, strangled, beheaded, or otherwise executed and condemned to Hell by the Church.
That we may never forget the human sacrifice that was inflicted on our brothers and sisters, we consecrate the overthrow of the last Archon to the memory of the Heroic Sodomites who knowing that our form of Love was punishable by death, Loved as Homosexuals nevertheless, and almost willingly gave themselves to be Burned at the Stake. We pray that they will bless us with their fire in our own struggle for liberation.

Sunday, January 9, 2022

'TOTALITER ALITER'
THE TALE OF THE TWO PRIESTS OF ANTINOUS

(From THE MEMOIRS OF AN ANCIENT PRIEST OF ANTINOUS by Ernest Gill)


TWO PRIESTS  of Antinous at the Temple of the Blessed Boy in Rome had devoted their lives to the Good God and were getting on in years.

As young men they had become priests together. Their love for each other was symbolized and enhanced by their love for Antinous. They had lived out their lives together at the great Temple of Rome under the most exalted Priest Nikias.

Nikias of Rome was the author of a famous inscription in Greek which addresses Antinous as NEOS HERMES the "New Hermes" who conveys the deceased through the portals of death into transcendent light. A great Antinoo-Hermeticist, Nikias had taught them much about the triumph of Antinous over death.

And now, as toothless old men, they were approaching the final stage of their earthly priesthood. Both men were frail and ill. They knew death was imminent.

But they were unafraid, for they were confident that they would be re-united in death through the grace and love of the Most Great and Good God whom they had served so faithfully all their lives.

But how exactly would that re-union occur? The ancient texts spoke of the Barque of Millions of Years sailing across the heavens towards the Star of Antinous. But that was the Egyptian imagery, and these priests were both Romans and had only ever served in the Antinous Temple of Rome.


The Rome Temple would of course place their death masks in niches in a special area of the temple dedicated to former priests.

Incense and prayers would be offered to them. Would their shades inhabit those niches?

Would Antinous welcome them in Hades, despite the fact that Antinous the Boy God had come from Bithynia in Asia Minor?

Would their souls be reincarnated as some Eastern mystics believed? Would they hover between heaven and Earth or perhaps be consigned to spending part of the year in the underworld and part of it as lemurs roaming the Earth?

They weren't afraid. But they were exceedingly curious to find out. Confidentially, they believed amongst themselves that they would sail with Antinous aboard the Boat of Millions of Years —  a perpetual journey which would never end. But they weren't sure ....

They had spent years perfecting their meditation skills and, without false modesty, they could claim to be masters at the art of trance vision travel. They both knew that the Egyptian hieroglyphs had told the truth in promising that Antinous speaks through dreams and visions. They also knew how to send psychic messages to each other, and had done so on many occasions.


So they made a deal. He who was the first to die would appear to the other in a dream and reveal what the afterlife was like.

As accomplished as they were, they nonetheless knew that such astral communication must be as succinct and simple as possible.

So they agreed that, if the afterlife was as they had envisioned it, the deceased would appear to his friend and utter the word TALITER meaning "exactly so" as they had expected it to be.

And if it was not as they had imagined, the deceased would say ALITER meaning "different" from what they had expected.

The fateful day came not long afterward, and the surviving priest lit incense and recited prayers before the niche mask of his beloved friend and fellow priest.

That night, almost immediately after his head touched his pillow, his deceased friend appeared to him. He was no longer old and sick and frail. He was as young and handsome as the day they had entered the temple. And he was smiling and clearly very excited and seemed to have forgotten the agreed-upon words.

"Taliter or aliter, which is it?" the sleeping priest asked his departed friend.

The friend smiled bigger than ever and said: TOTALITER ALITER  "totally different"  and still beaming with joy, he turned and vanished into golden light.

Saturday, January 8, 2022

DAVID BOWIE
SAINT OF ANTINOUS



WE honour David Bowie as a SAINT OF ANTINOUS.

He was born 8th January 1947 and died of cancer 10th January 2016 ... having revolutionized Western popular culture.

When homosexuality was still considered a shameful secret to many, Bowie told the world he was gay, and music ... and the lives of many of his fans and followers ... would never be the same.


"I'm gay," declared David Bowie, "and always have been, even when I was David Jones."

When he uttered these now-immortal words in the Jan. 22, 1972, issue of England's Melody Maker, the fledgling starman had just released December 1971's Hunky Dory and already was giving his interviewer a taste of his glam-rock milestone, June 1972's The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and The Spiders From Mars. 

The British Parliament had only decriminalized homosexuality in 1967 ... post-­Stonewall U.S. gay life was not yet three years old.

He wasn't the first British pop singer to come out (that was Dusty Springfield in 1970); he did it while newly married to Angie Bowie, months after fathering future film ­director Duncan Jones.

But Bowie led the way in contextualizing pop through LGBT identity. The Hunky Dory song "Queen Bitch" is sung in gay vernacular ("She's so swishy in her satin and tat!") from the perspective of a participant in gay life and set to buzzing guitar chords clearly cribbed from The Velvet Underground, which earlier chronicled this gender-mutable world through its ties to Andy Warhol, who had a Hunky Dory tune written about him too.

That same year, Bowie scored a U.K. hit with "John, I'm Only Dancing," a wham-bam of pansexual knowingness considered too outre for U.S. release until hisChangesOneBowie collection in 1976.

That was when Cameron Crowe prodded Bowie to tell Playboy, "It's true ... I am a bisexual. But I can't deny that I've used that fact very well."

By then, Bowie's glam had transformed Elton John from stern balladeer to Technicolor rocker; gave ex-Velvets leader Lou Reed his first smash (the Bowie-produced account of Warhol's stupendously queer Factory, "Walk on the Wild Side"); shook U.K. pop out of its post-Beatles doldrums through glam-rockers SweetSladeT. Rex and so many others; and shaped Elektra Records founder Jac Holzman's final signings before handing the reins to David Geffen: Those were Jobriath, an even more whimsical dandy, and Queen.

And through his R&B radio ­success with "Young Americans" and "Fame," Bowie bolstered disco's early link between clandestine gay dance halls and ­defiantly upscale soul. 

He used his outsider stance not simply to be breathtaking; he also built bridges. You can bet his sartorial influence on the cross-dressing New York Dolls and sponsorship of both Mott the Hoople (he wrote and produced "All the Young Dudes") and Iggy Pop similarly paved a path for what became punk.

And when he went electronic in the late '70s, he begat Gary NumanThe Human League and the New Romantic club scene of Culture Club and Duran Duran.

Suddenly, England's New Wave was awash with baby Bowies both male (Spandau Ballet) and female (EurythmicsAnnie Lennox) that filled the first playlists of MTV.

Even disco's Grace Jones fully ­actualized her ­freakiness when she covered the Bowie/Pop tune "Nightclubbing," which set a stage for today's art-pop transgressions of Lady Gaga and Janelle Monáe.

"I loved how he challenged people about how gender was represented," says Adam Lambert of Bowie's beyond-music contributions.

Married to Iman, a Somali-American, since 1992, Bowie let unconventionally matched and gendered ­heteros know their nonconformity would be cool too. They could all be heroes, each and every day.