Tuesday, February 28, 2023


THE J. Paul Getty Museum is set to acquire an over-life-size ancient Roman marble bust of the emperor Antoninus Pius (ruled AD 138–161).

The work was purchased for $5 million at auction in December. Its final acquisition is subject to an export license being granted by the Arts Council England. First documented in 1851, the bust was previously unknown to scholars or the public.

A prime example of Antoninus Pius's main portrait type, the bust was created some time after he ascended the throne in AD 138. With minor variations, this portrait type remained the emperor’s official image throughout his reign until AD 161. 

Carved from a single block of fine-grained white marble, the bust shows the emperor as a mature man with distinct facial features, a full, neatly trimmed beard, and thick curly hair. He wears a tunic, a cuirass (body armor), and a fringed paludamentum (a general’s cloak) folded in half and pinned at his right shoulder.

"This exquisitely sculpted and remarkably preserved portrait ranks among the finest of more than 100 versions of Antoninus’s image that have survived from antiquity," says Timothy Potts, Maria Hummer-Tuttle and Robert Tuttle Director of the Getty Museum. "The bust adds a new highlight to the series of high-quality imperial portraits at the Getty Villa, including the full-length statue of Antoninus' wife Faustina the Elder, and the busts of Augustus, Germanicus, Caligula, and Commodus."

Born in Lanuvium to a family that had migrated to Italy from Nemausus in southern Gaul (today's Nîmes in France), Antoninus was not groomed to become emperor. At the advanced age of 51, following a career as governor of the province of Asia and as Roman senator, he was adopted by Emperor Hadrian to be his successor. Antoninus’ long and exceptionally peaceful reign brought great prosperity to the Roman Empire, and the economy, culture, and artistic production flourished. The emperor started the dynasty of the Antonines, which lasted for more than two generations and ended with the death of Commodus in AD 192.

"Many objects in our collection were made in the Antonine period, as it is known today, including portraits, mythological sculptures, sarcophagi, and numerous other works," says Jens Daehner, associate curator of antiquities at the Getty Museum. "The bust of Antoninus provides a firmly dated visual reference for what characterized Roman aesthetics during that period. On display in our galleries, the bust will convey to visitors how, for example, Antonine sculptors carved drapery folds, used drills to give texture to hair, or incised the eyes of their sitters."

The marble bust was acquired in 1851 in Naples, Italy, by Robert Martin Berkeley (1823–1897), who brought it to his estate at Spetchley Park, Worcestershire, in England. It remained there with his heirs until it was offered at auction late last year at Sotheby's, London. Although documented in the estate's archive, the bust was previously unknown to the public or scholars.

Once acquired, the bust of Antoninus Pius will go on display in the Getty Villa's Later Roman Sculpture gallery with its selection of other Antonine period portraits.

Monday, February 27, 2023


February 27 is commemorated as the date of the conception of Antinous ... Antinous was born 27 November 111 AD. He is no myth. He truly was conceived. He truly was born. He lived. He died. The most powerful man in the world loved him so much that he declared Antinous to be a god ... the last Classical deity ... the ultimate Classical deity!  (Art by Priest Julien.)

27 de fevereiro é comemorado como a concepção de Antínous ... Antínous nasceu em 27 de novembro de 111 dC. Ele não é um mito. Ele realmente foi concebido. Ele realmente nasceu. Ele viveu. Ele morreu. O homem mais poderoso do mundo o amava tanto que ele declarou Antínous como um deus ... a última divindade clássica ... a última divindade clássica! 

El 27 de febrero se celebra como la concepción de Antinoo ... Antínoo nació el 27 de noviembre del año 111 DC. El no es un mito. Realmente fue concebido. Él realmente nació. El vivió. Él murió. El hombre más poderoso del mundo lo amaba tanto que declaró que Antínoo era un dios ... la última deidad clásica ... ¡la última deidad clásica!

Sunday, February 26, 2023


THE 26th of February is the Feast Day of Hygeia. A Greek goddess, she is one of the daughters of Aesculapius (Aeskelapios), the god of healing. Her symbols are a water basin and a snake. Hygeia's name means "wholeness" and she is concerned with maintaining the wholeness of the body thus ensuring a long and healthy life. She is goddess of cleanliness, which give us the words "hygiene" and "hygienic". Later she became protectoress not only of the body, but also our environment, the way we live and keep our home clean to help ensure continued health. Offer her pure water and healing incenses such as white sage and lavender.

26 de fevereiro é o dia da festa de Hygeia . A deusa grega , ela é uma das filhas de Esculápio ( Aeskelapios ) , o deus da cura . Seus símbolos são uma bacia de água e uma cobra. O nome de Hygeia significa "totalidade " e ela está preocupada com a manutenção da integridade do corpo garantindo assim uma vida longa e saudável. Ela é a deusa da limpeza, que nos dão a palavra "higiene " . Mais tarde ela se tornou protetora não só do corpo, mas também o nosso ambiente , a nossa maneira de viver e manter nossa casa limpa para ajudar a garantir a saúde continuada. Oferecer-lhe água pura e cura incensa tais como sage branco e lavanda.

26 de febrero es el día de la Fiesta de Hygeia . Una diosa griega , que es una de las hijas de Esculapio ( Aeskelapios ) , el dios de la curación . Sus símbolos son un depósito de agua y una serpiente . El nombre de hygeia significa "totalidad " y que tiene que ver con el mantenimiento de la integridad del cuerpo garantizando así una vida larga y saludable . Ella es la diosa de la limpieza , que nos dan la palabra "higiene " . Más tarde se convirtió en protectora no sólo del cuerpo , sino también el medio ambiente , la forma en que vivimos y mantener nuestra casa limpia para ayudar a asegurar la salud continua . Ofrécele agua pura y la curación inciensos tales como salvia blanca y lavanda .

Saturday, February 25, 2023


AT the end of February and beginning of March the Religion of Antinous marks Three Holy Days involving the Divine Antoninus Pius.

On February 25th we celebrate the Adoption of Antoninus Pius by Hadrian. And on March 7th we commemorate the Apotheosis of Antoninus Pius . Also on March th, we celebrate the Ascension of Marcus Aurelius and Lucius Verus.

After the death of Aelius Caesar, Hadrian adopted Antoninus, imposing on him the condition that he adopt two sons, Lucius Verus and Marcus Antoninus to be his successors. Antoninus supported the dying Hadrian for the remainder of his years, and obeyed his commands even after his death. For this Antoninus is called Pius.

As the Fates would have it, March 1st is the date when Antoninus Pius died in 161 AD after 23 years as Emperor. His rule is marked by an almost unbroken period of peace and tranquility. The golden era of Rome, known as the Age of the Antonines, takes its name from Antoninus, because every emperor afterward took up his name as an emblem of glory. Antoninus is the emperor most responsible for the perpetuation of the Religion of Antinous.

He had served as Proconsul of Asia Minor under Hadrian from 130 to 135, while the Religion of Antinous was being formed, and it was during his reign that construction of the Sacred City of Antinoopolis was completed.

The Senate deified Antoninus Pius shortly after his death. The base of the column erected in his honor, shows Antoninus Pius and his wife Faustina the elder, rising up to heaven. They are ascending upon the wings of an Aeon, with Mother Rome on one side, and a beautiful reclining male figure on the other who grasps an obelisk. We believe this figure to be Antinous, guardian spirit of the Age of the Antonines.

Upon the occasion of the Death and Apotheosis of Antoninus Pius, Marcus Aurelius and Lucius Verus became co-Emperors, both surnamed Antoninus, a name which the ancient Romans equate with inestimable glory.

Marcus being the elder and wiser, was given the title Augustus, while Lucius took the name Caesar. They remained cordial to one another though their vastly different characters were always a cause of discord, though never of rivalry or outright animosity. They were a harmonious and cooperative pair of rulers, the only example of effective imperial brotherhood in the long history of Rome.

Friday, February 24, 2023


ART historians study the hair of Antinous in detail. Incredibly, each and every curl of his hair has a special position and form. 

It seems apparent that Hadrian gave explicit instructions to the sculptors. 

Priest Julien, known for his ironic sense of humor, made plaster curls as modern relics.

Os historiadores de arte estudar o cabelo de Antinous em detalhe. Incrivelmente , cada cacho de seu cabelo tem uma posição especial e forma. Parece evidente que Adriano deu instruções explícitas para os escultores . Sacerdote Uendi , conhecida por seu senso de humor irônico , feito cachos de gesso como relíquias modernos.

Los historiadores del arte estudian el pelo de Antinoo en detalle. Increíblemente , todos y cada rizo de su cabello tiene una posición especial y la forma. Parece evidente que Adriano dio instrucciones explícitas a los escultores . Sacerdote Uendi , conocido por su sentido del humor irónico , hecha de yeso rizos como reliquias modernas .

Thursday, February 23, 2023


THE 23rd of February is the Terminalia, the feast of the Roman God Terminus, god of boundaries who stops intruders while protecting everyone inside his boundaries. Terminus is associated with Zeus/Jupiter because he deified Jupiter by establishing his position atop Capitoline Hill. Thus, statues of Terminus/Jupiter (like this modern replica) symbolize devotion and steadfastness. Today is an appropriate day to create or renew a magical boundary around your home, to keep out psychic nasties and any negative energies. A simple way to do this is to walk the boundary of your home three times, as you do so imagine magical blue light springing up as you walk. You can also carry with you a bowl containing an offering for Terminus: grain, honey and wine are traditional, you can also include an egg as a "sacrifice." When you have walked three times around, dig a hole at the boundary and put your offering into it, then fill in the hole and put a marker stone on top. Another year you can carry a lit incense stick around the boundary and leave an offering of incense and flowers at your stone.

23 de fevereiro é o Terminalia, a festa do deus romano Terminus, deus dos limites que pára intrusos ao mesmo tempo proteger todos dentro de suas fronteiras. Terminus está associado a Zeus / Jupiter porque ele deificado Jupiter, estabelecendo sua posição no topo de Monte Capitolino. Assim, estátuas de Terminus / Jupiter (como esta réplica moderna) simbolizam devoção e firmeza. Hoje é um dia apropriado para criar ou renovar um limite mágico em torno de sua casa, para impedir a entrada de sujeiras psíquicos e quaisquer energias negativas. Uma maneira simples de fazer isso é andar a fronteira de sua casa três vezes, como você então imagine a luz azul mágico surgindo como você anda. Você também pode carregar com você uma tigela contendo uma oferta para Terminus: grãos, mel e vinho são tradicionais, você também pode incluir um ovo como um "sacrifício". Depois de ter caminhado três vezes ao redor, cavar um buraco na fronteira e colocar a sua oferta para ele, em seguida, preencher o buraco e colocar uma pedra marcador no topo. Mais um ano você pode levar uma vara de incenso aceso em torno do limite e deixar uma oferenda de incenso e flores em sua pedra.

23 de febrero es la Terminalia, la fiesta del dios Terminus romana, dios de los límites que se detiene a los intrusos al tiempo que protege todo el mundo dentro de su límites. Terminus está asociado con Zeus / Júpiter porque deificado Júpiter mediante el establecimiento de su posición al frente Colina Capitolina. Por lo tanto, las estatuas de Terminus / Júpiter (como esta réplica moderna) simbolizan la devoción y constancia. Hoy es un día apropiado para crear o renovar una frontera mágica alrededor de su casa, para mantener fuera desagradables psíquicos y todas las energías negativas. Una forma sencilla de hacerlo es caminar el límite de su casa tres veces, mientras lo hace imaginar la luz azul mágica que salte al caminar. También puede llevar consigo un recipiente que contiene una oferta para Terminus: cereales, miel y vino son tradicionales, también puede incluir un huevo como un "sacrificio". Cuando haya caminado tres veces alrededor, cavar un agujero en el límite y poner su oferta en él, a continuación, rellene el agujero y poner una piedra marcador en la parte superior. Otro año se puede llevar a una varilla de incienso encendida en torno al límite y dejar una ofrenda de incienso y flores a su piedra.

Wednesday, February 22, 2023


OUR spiritual leader ANTONIUS SUBIA witnessed one of the world's most spectacular cosmic events when, at the climax of his sacred pilgrimage to Egypt in February 2020, he saw the rays of the rising sun illuminate the inner sanctum of the main temple at Abu Simbel.

On two days, traditionally the anniversary of the birthday and coronation of pharaoh Ramses II, a shaft of sunlight pierces the gloom, illuminating statues of gods and the king in the temple's inner sanctum.

On February 22, a day celebrating the king's birthday and again on October 22, a day celebrating his coronation, sunlight illuminates seated statues of the sun gods Re-Horakhte and Amon-Re, as well as a statue of king Ramses II. 

The statues sit in the company of the Theban god of darkness, Ptah (who remains in the shadows all year).

The spectacle ... which has endured more than 3,200 years of Egyptian history ... draws thousands of tourists to Abu Simbel to watch this ancient tribute to a pharaoh whose name is still known up and down the Nile Valley for his military exploits and monumental building projects.

Ramses, who ruled Egypt for 66 years from 1270 to 1213 BC (about 50 years after the death of Tutankhamen, better known as King Tut) made a name for himself by battling the Hittites and the Syrians, Egypt's enemies to the north.

To celebrate his victories, Ramses erected monuments up and down the Nile with records of his achievements. 

He completed the hypostyle hall at Karnak (Thebes), and completed the funerary temple of his father, Seti I, at Luxor on the West Bank of the Nile.

The main temple at Abu Simbel, which Ramses ordered built near the border of Nubia and Upper Egypt, was dedicated to two sun gods, Amen-Re and Re-Horakhte. 

Standing 100 feet (33 meters) tall, the temple was carved into an already-standing sandstone mountain on the banks of the Nile.

Four colossal statues of Ramses, each 66 feet (22 meters) high, guard the entrance to the temple.

Rising to the pharaoh's knees are smaller statues of family members: his mother; favorite wife, Nefertari; and son, Prince Amonherkhepshef.

Inside the temple, three connected halls extend 185 feet (56 meters) into the mountain. 

Images of the king's life and many achievements adorn the walls. 

A second temple at Abu Simbel is dedicated to Nefartari, who appears to have been Ramses' favorite wife.

"Abu Simbel was one of, if not the largest, rock-cut temples in Egypt," says Bruce Williams of the Oriental Institute of Chicago, "The rock was sacred because the Egyptians believed the deity was living inside the mountain."

Rock-cut temples may have been especially significant in ancient Egypt because the bulge in the otherwise flat land may have signified the location where the gods emerged from the Earth, says Williams.


Tuesday, February 21, 2023


FEBRUARY 21st is the Day of Counting the Parts of the Eye of Horus. During one of the battles between Horus and Seth, Seth shattered one of Horus' eyes. Thoth, the god of writing and magic, found all the pieces and numbered them as fractions and reconstructed the Horus eye. But nothing on Earth is perfect, and when Thoth remade the eye, he found that he only had 63/64ths ... one tiny piece was missing ... the missing fraction is magic! Each fraction of the Eye also represents one of the senses: 1/64 is Touch, 1/32 Taste, 1/16 Hearing, 1/8 Thought, 1/4 Sight, and 1/2 Smell. And when these are added together we also find it is 63/64ths ... and thanks to Thoth, the last 64th is Magic!

Monday, February 20, 2023

By 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!

Sunday, February 19, 2023


ANTINOUS worshipers on both sides of the Atlantic tonight celebrated the Lupercalia.

Taking part via Zoom were priests and worshippers from North America, South America, Europe and Africa. They watched and participated as Flamen Antonius Subia officiated at ceremonies held in the Hollywood Temple of Antinous.

Hadrian and Antinous would not have known the precise origins of the Lupercalia  ... the ancient rite of spring when young nobles stripped off naked except for fur pelts and ran around the Palatine Hill flinging rawhide strips at females.

But Antinous might well have visited the cave-like grotto ... the Lupercale ... at the foot of the Palatine Hill. 

The cave-like structure was found a few years ago and experts are carrying out an extensive archaeological dig at a site which they believe is the ceremonial site of the Lupercale grotto where the caesars honored Romulus and Remus.

It is intriguing to think that Hadrian and Antinous took part in the rites in this subterranean chamber.

For centuries, the cave-like grotto was revered as the sacred site where the "She-Wolf" suckled the orphans Romulus and Remus. Young nobles called Luperci, taking their name from the place of the wolf (lupa), ran naked from the Lupercale grotto around the bounds of the Palatine, and used strips of hide to slap the hands or buttocks of girls and women lining the route ... reenacting a prank attributed to Romulus and Remus as randy teenagers.

Here is how Flamen Antonius Subia explains its significance for the Religion of Antinous:

"The Lupercalia is the festival of the wolf mother of Rome, and sacred festival of Antinous Master of Hounds.

"The Lupercalia remembers the she-wolf who raised Romulus and Remus, twin sons of Venus and Mars, who later founded the city of Rome.

"The wolf-like nature of the twins and of the Roman character was imparted through the milk of the wolf-mother.

"The spirit transferred through the loving milk of the ferocious mother is celebrated on this day, and is integral to the concept of Antinous the Hunter.

"Antinous took his place at Hadrian's feet, and accompanied him bravely and loyally through the forests and lived by the Emperor's side for seven years, which is equivalent to the life of a strong hunting dog."

In conclusion, Antonius says:

"The Canine nature of Antinous is celebrated on this day and is seen as an allegory for the Priesthood of the Religion of Antinous.

"This is a time of renewal and restoration, a time to set new forces loose in our lives, and let go of old faded energies. 
May Antinous flood our hearts with his power and presence and may the gods be with us!

Ave Antinous et Roma"


ON the 19th of February we celebrate the birthday of Minerva/Athena, goddess of wisdom, trade and commerce, arts and crafts, music, poetry, strategy and weaving.

She was said to have invented numbers and medicine and to have taught weaving. 

She knows war, being the goddess of strategy, but understands that there are both winners and losers, and rather than standing in triumph over her enemies, she empathises with them. 

Ovid called her "Goddess of a thousand works" and she can be approached in many ways. One of her symbols is the spider, as it weaves its web, she weaves the web of destiny, and into it the strands of magic. 

If you have been a victim of theft, then you can also appeal to Minerva for restitution. Image: Athena/Minerva by Chrisra.

19 de fevereiro é o aniversário de Minerva / Athena , deusa da sabedoria, comércio, artes e artesanato , música, poesia , estratégia e tecelagem. Ela foi dito ter números inventados e medicina e ter tecelagem ensinado. Ela sabe guerra, sendo a deusa da estratégia, mas entende que há vencedores e perdedores, e ao invés de em pé no triunfo sobre os seus inimigos , ela empathises com eles. Ovid a chamou de " Deusa de mil obras ", e ela pode ser abordada de várias maneiras. Um de seus símbolos é a aranha , uma vez que tece sua teia , ela tece a teia do destino , e nele os fios de magia. Se você tiver sido vítima de roubo, então você também pode apelar para Minerva de restituição .

19 de de febrero es el cumpleaños de Minerva / Athena , diosa de la sabiduría , el comercio y el comercio, artes y artesanías , la música , la poesía , la estrategia y el tejido. Ella se dice que tienen números inventados y medicina y tener tejer enseñado. Ella sabe que la guerra , siendo la diosa de la estrategia, pero entiende que existen ganadores y perdedores, y en lugar de pie en el triunfo sobre sus enemigos, empatiza con ellos . Ovidio la llamó " la diosa de un millar de obras " y que se puede abordar de muchas maneras . Uno de sus símbolos es la araña , mientras teje su tela, teje la red de destino, y en ella los hilos de magia. Si usted ha sido víctima de un robo , entonces también puede apelar a Minerva para la restitución.

Saturday, February 18, 2023


FEBRUARY 18th is the day when the Religion of Antinous honors Michelangelo, who died on this date.

Saint Michelangelo was the ultimate Renaissance Man, a painter/sculptor/architect/engineer, a man of art and science. A man torn between his passions and his religion. 

In the Renaissance, his voluptuous depictions of the male form were accepted as expressions of the Divine in art. 

It was the Victorians who went into denial over any hint that he may have been gay, despite the fact that he never married.

His male art is done with a passion for detail and obvious love of the male form. The only females he sculpted were maternal figures.

In 1532, he met a handsome young nobleman called Tommaso de Cavalieri. Michelangelo was struck by a romantic feeling that simply would not go away. He wrote sonnet after sonnet for the man as well as producing some rather "personal" sketches for his eyes only.

Michelangelo executed a number of exquisite ink sketches of Jove's Abduction of the beautiful youth Ganymede.

Michelangelo most certainly knew that Jove and Ganymede were synonymous with Hadrian and Antinous. As a man of art and science, all he had to do was look at the nighttime sky and see the Constellation of Antinous (formerly the Constellation of Ganymede).

An older man enthralled with a handsome youth. Our modern concept of "gayness" did not exist. But did he really have to spell it out to Tommaso any more clearly than that?

For thirty-odd years, the two were constant companions, but Michelangelo? s passions did not end there. During his relationship with Cavalieri, he also wrote about some deep feelings for other men in his life, including the 16-year-old Cecchino dei Bracci, for whom he wrote 48 funeral epigrams after his untimely death.

Here is an extract from one of his same-sex love sonnets:

"The love I speak of aspires to the heights; woman is too dissimilar, and it ill becomes a wise and manly heart to burn for her."

For his gentle genius and for his love of male beauty and for representing the best strivings of humanity, we proclaim Michelangelo di Lodovico Buonarroti Simoni one of our Blessed Prophets of Homoeros.

Michelangelo reminds us that male beauty IS divine.

Friday, February 17, 2023


EXACTLY three years ago, in February 2020, our spiritual leader Antonius Subia became the first priest of Antinous in 1,600 years to set foot in the sacred city of Antinoopolis, founded by Emperor Hadrian on the banks of the Nile in Egypt where Antinous died in the year 130 AD.

Below is his first-hand account, published on this blog then:

I went to Antinoopolis today, and it was wonderful ... everything I had hoped it would be and so much more!

The trip there was long and crazy but a wonderful adventure and I could tell that it has probably been years since any westerners have been there. The local people were so nice and fascinated. All the little kids along the way came out to see us and say hello. It was great.

First we went to Amarna, saw the tombs while accompanied by police with AK-47s ... that was a really cool start to our adventure.

Then as we left, the cops kept talking to our driver about where we were going. The driver needed directions, but then the cops said they needed to go with us, so one jumped in the van and off we went. 

I also wanted to go to Hermopolis but kept saying that was last on the list. They kept saying Sheikh Abada (Antinoopolis) was far and Al-Ashmunein (Hermopolis) was closer and that we should go there first ... as if I don't know where everything is around there.

But finally they agreed to take us to Sheikh Abada ... so off we went. I saw we were going towards the bridge that crosses the Nile, I saw a little road go north on the East bank which I knew leads to Antinoopolis ... but we kept driving past ... I got nervous, thinking they were taking us to Hermopolis regardless. But the driver said to relax, that it was shorter to go around ... so I was like okay fine what am I gonna do about it. 

So we went through the little town of El Minya, which may be little but it is packed full of people and the traffic is just as crazy as Cairo .... then we went into fields of sugar cane, then turned suddenly right towards the Nile, which I knew was away from Hermopolis so I was thinking ... we are headed the right way now ... but how are we going to get across the Nile. 

Then we pulled up to where the road ends on the Nile bank and right there across the water is what I thought was Antinoopolis, but in fact was just a little north. 

Then I realized that we were where the ferry was going to pick us up and carry us across. I could see the ferry on the other side further downstream. 

So I was thrilled!!! We were going to Antinoopolis by boat across the Nile! 

This man came out and asks us if we wanted to wait in his little riverside cafe while waited, so we did. Our friend Daniel had some hookah, I smoked cigarettes and drank Turkish coffee.

Meanwhile, the boat came. We said we needed to go but the policeman said take your time they will wait ... and they did. 

The driver pulled the car on top of the boat while we had our coffee and hookah and then we boarded with the locals. 

The people were totally fascinated by us. They asked where we were from and where we were going I told them "Antinoe" and they understood. 

When we reached the other bank there was a truck of armed cops waiting to escort us! They led the way through the village streets and then suddenly we stopped and There was the little Ramesseum temple which is SO BEAUTIFUL!

We explored it for a while and then I wanted to explore the streets of Antinoopolis, so off I went followed by the others, with about eight policemen following us. 

I very quickly found THE CARDO ... the main north-south street of the city ... it was just where the old French maps said it would be. 

I was astonished to see how much of it was left. You could clearly see it in sections, many of the flat well-worn smooth paving stones were intact. 

And on either side were the granite columns lying in broken fragments or still standing in broken stumps, the limestone curbs on both sides were still in place here and there. 

We found some beautifully carved acanthus leaf capitals here and there ... they had their own particular style which was Corinthian-like but not exactly. 

In the distance I could see some white marble columns which I thought might be the East-West street and I told the guards I wanted to go over there. 

They said they wanted to go by car because it was far, so we got into the vehicle and drove over there. 

It turned out to be the ruins of a Byzantine church ... but on the way we passed the recent excavation site.

At the Byzantine site, the guards chilled out and sat on the fallen columns, leaving me to explore the area around by myself. 

I climbed the top of an enormous ruined building from which I could see the whole city around me and I could see the Hippodrome in the distance (which is HUGE by the way) and realized that I was on the far north end of Antinoopolis near where the theater once was, though I'm sure I was not on it.

While I was alone, a took the time to pray and meditate and take the place in deeply, and feel the spirit of he city flow through me ... all I can say is that it was the most powerful experience of my life to stand there looking over the Enormous ruins of Antinoopolis ... The Holy City!

When I came down, the head policeman said that they were tired so I knew my visit was soon to be over, so we wouldn't be going to the Hippodrome unfortunately, which was too far away.

But I can say that even from the distance I could tell that it was enormous! 

There was a local man walking around by the entrance and, from his size, I could see that the remains were at least two stories tall and this is just the base without any of the limestone seats and arches that might have made it twice as big.

It was almost as large as the Circus Maximus in Rome and must have been able to seat 20,000-40,000 people.

I am the first Priest of Antinous to return to the holy city in over 1,600 years. I feel very blessed to have been able to go there. And from the way the authorities were acting and the reaction of the locals we are probably the only outsiders to have visited there in a long long time ... at least since the archaeological digs two years ago.

So, for our last stop on the way back, I asked to stop at the dig site, which was open and like everywhere in Egypt was full of garbage including goat bones, jaws with teeth and hips and leg bones here and there.

This is where they believe the Antinoeion once stood. There is the outline of a small temple with steps, a circular pit that looks like a cistern with the remains of spiral steps (much like the catacombs of Alexandria) and the opening of a subterranean passage with steps and a peaked stone ceiling that ended in mud. 

The area is surrounded by a pavement and a few broken columns with papyrus capitals.

Even though the guards were right there and the village children had gathered around, I took a moment to say my prayers to Antinous and place a specially made paper ivy leaf between the foundation stones on the Temple.

I took a little piece of the limestone from the Temple and gathered some sand from the foot of the steps.

The guards were totally cool with us taking things that we found on the ground.

I found a perfect little square of cut white marble with a rounded edge that was probably from some stairs and nearby I found a little piece of marble which on closer examination has the remnant of a curl of hair and some drill work which must have come from a broken statue of Hadrian or one of his successors.

I found it along the Cardo, so it might even be a little semi-lock of Antinous hair ... in any case to me it is a treasure. 

The entire site is full of broken pottery sherds. We found way more than we can carry and have no idea what we can bring through customs but we are going to try.

The important thing is that I have been to Antinoopolis ... one of the greatest dreams of my life, and it was so much more than I expected! 

First of all the boat ride across the Nile was an unexpected wonder ... my first trip on a boat on the Nile and it was to Antinoopolis ... and I loved being among the people, they are all so friendly and welcoming ... the police escort was also very cool I have to admit, made us feel very important ... I am after all the High Priest of Antinous.

Antinoopolis was way larger than I anticipated. I also did not anticipate for so much of it to be intact that I could find my way around based on what I have read ... I anticipated a wasteland ... but instead we found a forest of broken columns everywhere ... but all in line showing exactly what the major street must have been like.

I have been to Antinoopolis

If I die now my life is fulfilled

I have been to Antinoopolis.

When we were driving away from Antinoopolis I took one last look at the city which will live in my heart forever. I knew all about the neighboring towns. Our driver even said, "You know your way around. Were you born here?" I said, "Yes ... I am from here."

I am from Antinoopolis.


Thursday, February 16, 2023


YES! This is Antinous! February 16, 1878, is the birthday of Pamela Colman Smith, who is a canonized Saint of Antinous. Happy Birthday to Pixie (as her friends called her). 

When she was working on the Waite Tarot Cards in 1909, the British Museum had a special exhibition featuring the Sola Busca Tarot Cards ... the only Tarot Cards in which all 78 cards were illustrated. 

Traditionally, only the Trump Cards were illustrated, and the other 56 Lesser Trumps had numbers and suit emblems but were otherwise not illustrated. 

Pamela was so impressed by the Sola Busca Cards that she dragged Waite to the British Museum and insisted that ALL 78 cards must be illustrated and that she would create the art for each and every card. 

She forced Waite to agree, despite his reservations that it was unorthodox to illustrate ALL of the cards. 

Her version of the Three of Swords is inspired by the Sola Busca deck as you see above right.

Pamela put her heart and soul into each and every card, drawing inspiration from a variety of sources. 

The "Seven of Cups" shows the seeker of the Higher Trump Seven (The Chariot) choosing which goal to pursue. 

He has "Seven Visions": 

On the lower plane are earthly stability (the castle), earthly riches (jewels), earthly fame (a laurel wreath in a death's head chalice representing fleeting fame) and earthly power (dragon). 

On the higher plane he can decide between divine perfection of magic (the serpent from the Magician's belt), divine perfection of illumination (the glowing figure), and divine perfection of spiritual beauty ... symbolized by the face of Antinous! 

Pamela Colman Smith clearly took her inspiration from the Townley bust of Antinous in the British Museum.

Be sure to read our FULL TRIBUTE to Pamela Colman Smith, the visionary artist who was forgotten in her own lifetime and who died penniless ... but who is immortalized in her Tarot art, which continued to inspire seekers of spiritual illumination ... as exemplified by the seeker in the Seven of Cups.

Wednesday, February 15, 2023


THE brilliant novel about the life of Antinous "The Love God" by Martin Campbell describes how Antinous joined Roman Patrician youths in running the Lupercalia on 15 February 127 AD as "luperci" runners. 

As part of the ancient ritual, a priest sacrificed a dog and a goat and  then smeared their blood on each boy's forehead. Here is the passage from the book (edited for space):

"Hadrian wiped each boy's forehead with wool saturated in milk, stating, 'Romulus and Remus were saved by Lupa who howled her joy at receiving a fresh kill from the Gods. In return Romulus and Remus laughed for joy at receiving fresh milk from the teats of Lupa'."

(Then the priests wrapped the goat's skin around each boy's waist as a loin cloth.)

"This was perhaps the worst part for Antinous. He felt pretty sick as the warm, still bloody skin was tied around his precious nether regions.

"The boys now had to run around the edge of the inner city walls using the strips of goat skin to fake flog as many people as they saw. Each person flogged would receive luck and fertility for the coming year.

"Antinous found no shortage of willing subjects. There was much hilarity. Some offered hands, others offered naked behinds … some attractive, some distinctly not. The latter got the biggest laughs … particularly if they were older men or plump ladies.

"It took Antinous two hours to 'run' a very short distance. Everyone wanted to be flogged by him specifically.

"It was clear that although this was, in theory, a fun event, to be whipped ritually by Antinous was taking on a more serious meaning.

"Women in particular seemed to be calling out to him with some desperation as if calling out to a God...."

Martin Campbell's book "The Love God" is available in paperback or Kindle: CLICK HERE.


EVEN Hadrian and Antinous would not have known the precise origins of the Lupercalia  ... the ancient rite of spring when young nobles stripped off naked except for fur pelts and ran around the Palatine Hill flinging rawhide strips at females.

But Antinous might well have visited the cave-like grotto ... the Lupercale ... at the foot of the Palatine Hill. 

The cave-like structure was found a few years ago and experts are carrying out an extensive archaeological dig at a site which they believe is the ceremonial site of the Lupercale grotto where the caesars honored Romulus and Remus.

It is intriguing to think that Hadrian and Antinous took part in the rites in this subterranean chamber.

For centuries, the cave-like grotto was revered as the sacred site where the "She-Wolf" suckled the orphans Romulus and Remus. Young nobles called Luperci, taking their name from the place of the wolf (lupa), ran naked from the Lupercale grotto around the bounds of the Palatine, and used strips of hide to slap the hands or buttocks of girls and women lining the route ... reenacting a prank attributed to Romulus and Remus as randy teenagers.

Here is how Flamen Antonius Subia explains its significance for the Religion of Antinous:

"The Lupercalia is the festival of the wolf mother of Rome, and sacred festival of Antinous Master of Hounds. 

"The Lupercalia remembers the she-wolf who raised Romulus and Remus, twin sons of Venus and Mars, who later founded the city of Rome. 

"The wolf-like nature of the twins and of the Roman character was imparted through the milk of the wolf-mother. 

"The spirit transferred through the loving milk of the ferocious mother is celebrated on this day, and is integral to the concept of Antinous the Hunter. 

"Antinous took his place at Hadrian's feet, and accompanied him bravely and loyally through the forests and lived by the Emperor's side for seven years, which is equivalent to the life of a strong hunting dog. 

"The Canine nature of Antinous is celebrated on this day and is seen as an allegory for the Priesthood of the Religion of Antinous."

Antonius goes on to explain that the Lupercalia festival is a purification rite, cleansing the way for Spring, nourishing the winter spirit of the dormant wolves within so as to fuel the ruthless courage of Roman warriors. A Dog and a Goat were sacrificed, and the young noble youths raced around the city naked except for goat, or wolf skins, whipping any girls or women who they encountered.

Antonius explains, "The Festival is also sacred to Faunus, the Roman Pan...the one who 'drives away the wolf from the flock.'...we usually think of Pan as Goat-horned and cloven hooved, but 'the one who drives away the wolf'...could quite possibly be a sacred Dog. Lupercalia is therefore quite possibly a dog festival...and it is interesting to note that it falls almost exactly opposite the calendar from the rise of the Dog Star."

Antonius elaborates by adding, "For me, Lupercalia is a time of cleansing and light...the lighted lamp that precedes the coming dawn of Spring...a preparation for the Flowering....

"So a celebration or ritual to observe the Lupercalia should focus on purification. ..self-purification primarily, but also the purification of the home, and surroundings. A cleansing of negative, stagnant, dusty, mildewy, settled, sedimentary influences that we are ready to clear away...from within and without."

He also outlines rituals for purification and cleansing which members of the worldwide Religion of Antinous will be performing this weekend.

Antonius says the Lupercalia harkens to the most ancient of rites of Spring, and he says the cleansing must come from within.

"And then look into your soul, observe your interactions...make changes for the better...be kinder, more polite, or just simply be friendlier to people...and do something strictly for your own pleasure," he says in his Lupercalia Epistle.

He stresses, "It is really a matter of deep and meaningful concentration on cleansing your mind and heart of negative internal influences...so as to strengthen your fortifications against external negative influences."

Tuesday, February 14, 2023


IT is a little known fact that there is a connection between Antinous and the original St. Valentine ... Valentinus of Alexandria. Hadrian and Antinous visited Alexandria in the year 130 AD ... and could possibly have crossed paths with the man who would one day become one of Christianity's most misunderstood saints.

Here is how our own Flamen Antinoalis Antonius Subia explains our own special view of Valentine's Day ... the Day of Love:

"Valentinus was the Gnostic Father who was a bishop of the Catholic Church. He tried to change orthodoxy by introducing the Gnostic speculation.

"Valentinus was from Alexandria and was there, studying with his teacher Basilides, when the court of Hadrian and Antinous arrived.

"He believed that Love was the creator of the universe, and the cause for the fall of Sophia (wisdom) ...

"He believed that Jesus came to reverse the fall of Sophia, that Jesus was the consort of Sophia, the Aeon called Christos.

"The love between them was the reason that Jesus descended to save the world. Valentinus began his teaching in Rome, and gained so much support that he was even nominated for the Papacy but lost by a narrow margin.

"Eventually exiled for heresy, the Gnostic Father formed his own rival church that became an influential and widespread Gnostic sect, influencing Gnostic thought down to our own time.

"Because Valentinus was a witness of the Passion of Antinous, and because he attempted to change the Catholic Church, we sanctify his name and venerate him on this sacred day of Eros, the Day of Love."

Monday, February 13, 2023


FEBRUARY 13th is the Eve of St Valentine and, of course, a day for all sorts of love magic. (Image above entitled "Cupid's Kiss" is by Felix d'Eon.)

In Ancient Rome, February 13th was the start of one of the two feasts of Pan called the FAUNALIA (the other starting on December 5th) ... and it was originally the start of the Ancient Roman festival of LUPERCALIA, which was concerned with fertility, lust and passion ... semi-nude boys chasing virgins around the walls of Rome, whipping their bottoms with thongs dripping with white goat's milk.

It is possible that Hadrian and Antinous encountered Valentinus during their stay in Alexandria in 130 AD, or at least heard of this controversial figure.

Valentinus was a Gnostic firebrand who believed that Love was the creator of the universe, and the cause for the fall of Sophia (Wisdom). He believed that Jesus came to reverse the fall of Sophia, that Jesus was the consort of Sophia, the Aeon called Christos.

The love between them was the reason that Jesus descended to save the world, according to Valentinus, who defied the Christian sect of radicals who created the simplistic concept of hell and damnation for those who did not accept their beliefs.

He said there is no hell ... aside from the hell we create for ourselves on this earthly plane ... and that Love is the key to heaven ... not fear of eternal hellfire and brimstone.

Valentinus began his teaching in Rome, and gained so much support that he was even nominated for the Papacy ... but lost by a narrow margin. Had he become pope, Christianity would be very different today ... and so would Islam.

But the hellfire-and-brimstone brigade triumphed and ... as they would do so often in centuries to come ... they branded Valentinus a heretic ... condemning him to suffer the torments of hell for all eternity. (Image at left: Dancing Fauns by Carlos Barahona Possollo)

One story says that when St Valentine was waiting in prison for execution he cured his jailor's daughter of blindness and they fell in love ... a metaphor for Sophia (Wisdom) and Amor (Christos) uniting in Gnostic mysticism.

After he had been executed it was found he had left a message for the girl, scratched into the wall of his cell: "Always your Valentine."

He was dead and gone, burning in (non-existent) hell. But he was too influential and too popular to be disregarded entirely ... so he was canonized ... perhaps the only Catholic heretic to become a Catholic saint. 

His detractors cloud the issue by saying he was never properly canonized and is only a "folk saint" like St. Nicholas. 

Others insist there were many man named Valentinus so the heretic and saint could be different people ... but the Gnostic teachings of them all are heretical.

So one of the most popular saints is a heretic ... condemned to eternal hellfire and damnation ... because he insisted that Love, and not Fear, is the key to eternal life.

If you are a Protestant, of course, you don't believe in saints. You risk hellfire and damnation if you buy a Valentine's Day box of chocolates or allow your children to share Valentine's cards at school with their classmates.

If your Protestant Sunday School class even mentions Valentine's Day, Martin Luther will spin in his grave.

If your Roman Catholic Sunday School honors St. Valentine ... you are honoring a heretic ... worse, a Gnostic mystic.

If you are a pagan, perhaps you celebrate the Faunalia and the Lupercalia.

Regardless what you do ... you're going to Hades as far as many fundamentalist evangelical Christians are concerned.

So if you're going there anyway, you may as well try a little Valentine's Day Eve love magic. Here's what you do:

To dream of your lover, fasten a bay leaf to each corner of your pillow and one in the centre. Then when you lie in bed with your head on the pillow say seven times:

"Sweet angels in my dreams tonight
"My true love's face, reveal the sight
"Send me a Valentine imbued with love
"Both true and constant may he prove."

Count up to seven between each repetition of the spell ... and your dreams will be "ominous," as the Pagans and the Gnostics would say.