WORSHIPERS worldwide tonight celebrate The Sacred Bull Hunt of Antinous in ceremonies originating from the Hollywood Temple of Antinous and uplinked globally via Zoom.
The commemoration marks the end of Taurus, the death of the Bull of Heaven ... and the coming of Gemini, the Divine Twins ... or shall we say The Lovers ... Hadrian and Antinous.
The Cycle of the Sacred Hunts are of course a recognition that Antinous was a God of the Hunt, that in his life-time, he is recorded in verse to have participated in a Lion Hunt, and in stone relief, his image has been identified as one of the participants, along with Hadrian in the hunt of the Bear and the Boar, and also the Lion on the tondos of the Arch of Constantine.
We might call this cycle "Hunt Spirituality," an awareness of the active element of Antinous.
From his images we are given to understand him as a melancholy, day-dreaming, slightly self-involved, yet gentle and radiantly peaceful boy...but this is only part of the beautiful story.
Another part, which is in the ancient record and therefore can be regarded as biographical, is that he was a hunter...on horseback...and perhaps on foot...able to chase down wild animals, and kill them with a spear.
The Sacred Hunts commemorate the nature of the animals which then become part of who Antinous is, and by extension, who we may become, or find ourselves to be.
Whether we see ourselves as the Hunter Antinous, or the Hunted Animal...or a mingling of the two...the significance is always through our own personal essence...animalistic...the Sacred Hunts, therefore are one of the significant forms that Animalism has taken up in the New Religion of Antinous.
Antinous was never historically said to have hunted a Bull...so for historical accuracy, this is not a Sacred Hunt with historical precedence...this would be my own invention....but I will try to explain the essence of what I feel it means, and perhaps will you understand and even add your own meaning..or detract from it, or have no opinion at all.
But as I feel now...the Bull Hunt is probably one of the more meaningful and powerful understandings of Antinous that I have discovered.
There is an ancient connection between Antinous and the Bull that has remained unexplained, or unobserved because the meaning is unclear.
If there is no historical precedent to prove that Antinous participated in the bullfights, there is evidence to show that the bull was sacred to Antinous.
There are a number of coins from Asia Minor, that portray Antinous standing by the side of a bull, or have a Bull on the reverse. A coin from Antinous's home town Bithynium-Claudiopolis is among this type.
The majority are of the type that read "Fatherland of Antinous the God"...they were minted in cities where the Religion of Antinous was strongest and most heart-felt, where he was openly proclaimed to be a God of the Country...and so from the coins, we can know that the bull, among other animals, was considered to be a sacred symbol of Antinous.
The Bull, therefore, is an ancient, stone-age and early Bronze age symbol for a King, and it is from this connection that the notion of the Bull of Heaven is derived.
The Egyptians believed that the Ka of Osiris would take the form of a perfect young Bullock...when one of these perfect bulls was discovered, it was treated with deep reverance, and allowed to live in splendor like a living god...because it was a living god...it was Osiris.
When the bull reached the age of 28, the age when Osiris was murdered, the bull was sacrificed.
Certain parts were eaten by the Pharaoh, while the body of the bull was mummified and given a tomb at Saqqara.
Plutarch said "The Apis should ever to be regarded by us, as a fair and beautiful image of the soul of Osiris."
The Apis Bull was the Spirit of Osiris in living form...eternal and ever-present. Antinous was of course first compared to Osiris because he drowned in the Nile. In ancient antiquity when a King died, his Ka and his Ba...soul and spirit, were said to join and take form as Osiris in the underworld, so as to circle the cosmos in the Boat of Millions of Years.
In later history, any person who could afford to have the elaborate ceremonies associated with mummification and the recitation of the Book of the Dead could also join Osiris.
It would seem to be highly probable to suppose that Antinous may have undergone the most elaborate Egyptian burial that Hadrian could arrange....that Antinous was very likely mummified and entombed in or near his temple in Antinoopolis...if he was not bought home and entombed at Hadrian's Villa.
Mummification seems very likely, though there is no proof or evidence that it occurred...but that he was first and very closely identified with Osiris seems to hint that perhaps his association with Osiris would have been elaborated, and not merely allegorical.
Antinous and Osiris were united in one being...known as Osarantinous.
Our sacred Obelisk Text repeatedly mentions him as "The God, Osiris-Antinous the Justified"...because among several other gods, one of the most important elements of the divinity of Antinous was his connection to Osiris.
The living symbol of Osiris was the Apis Bull...therefore, as the Coins of Bithynia seem to suggest...the Bull was likewise, the living symbol of Antinous...the Ka of Antinous...the Spirit of Antinous in living form.
The Bull can therefore be viewed as a symbol of our spiritual connection to Antinous...the living spirit of Antinous, the consumption of which, like the flesh of the sacred Apis Bull is in essence the consumption of the Spirit of Antinous.
There is a strong likelihood that Antinous and Hadrian may have hunted Bulls.
We must therefore wonder what the Bull Hunt means to us, in what of so many contexts we may choose to view the brutal combat between a man and a bull...which is in a sense, a parable of man against nature...against the world (earthquakes for example)...the ferocious forces that are greater and able to destroy us, over which we can only triumph with excessive courage, at the risk of our very existence.
The Bull Hunt, therefore, is a sacred observance of how with intensities of inner strength, we can overcome all those forces that would destroy us.
And so it is, in the Name of Antinous, that I offer you the Sacred Bull Hunt, in observance of which I recommend that you take a moment to think upon the obstacles of your life, those which seem overwhelming, or on the verge of destroying you, or breaking you down, those from which you seek to flee...that you may find the courage to face them, even at the cost of everything that you count as dear and of value.
It is these wild forces that we must face, if we are ever to regard ourselves as Men.
In Commemoration of the End of Taurus,
May Antinous, the Spirit of Osiris give you strength.