MARCH 31st is Transgender Day of Visibility ... the time for education, empowerment, and action! Join the celebration! Start a protest! Host a movie night! Organize a rally! Make the world a better place for transgender people.
Transgender Day of Visibility (TDOV) is a day to show your support for the trans community!
Every March 31st, it aims to bring attention to the accomplishments of trans people everywhere while fighting cissexism and transphobia by spreading understanding of trans people.
Unlike Transgender Day of Remembrance on November 20th, this is not a day for mourning: this is a day to be empowered and give the recognition trans people deserve
Visibility is not about being seen as an individual: it’s working together to transform society. Learn more about TDOV here.
Friday, March 31, 2023
Thursday, March 30, 2023
She was originally a goddess of dogs and depicted with a dog's head. Possibly because dogs were believed to be able to cure sores and wounds if they licked them, she became the goddess of healing.
Antinous probably loved dogs.
The only portrait which shows Antinous alongside an animal is by the artist Antonianus of Aphrodisias found at Lanuvium showing Antinous harvesting grapes ... with a small dog looking up at him adoringingly.
Antinous no doubt was familiar with the Haralez, the beneficent canine spirits of the remote mountains of his native Bithynia and Armenia.
While the mountain mythology of that region possesses many heroes, monsters and spirits, the Haralez have always been the most beloved.
The Haralez assume canine form and guide and protect humans in peril.
Few people in modern-day Turkey know of the Harelez, and indeed, these Celtic myths were fading by the time Antinous was born in the 2nd Century AD.
But he might have heard old-timers speak of how, when a valiant man falls in battle, the Haralez comes to his rescue and, by licking his wounds, restores him to life.
The popularity of the Haralez never died out completely. Even today, Armenian folk tales mention the "perpetual lickers" who restore life to the dead.
Wednesday, March 29, 2023
ON March 31st the Religion of Antinous solemnly commemorates the glorious life and cruel death of Saint Hypatia of Alexandria.
Hypatia is one of the most important female philosophers who ever lived, and her tragic murder at the hands of fanatical Christians on the steps of the Great Library of Alexandria is symbolic of the barbaric forces which brought down the worship of Antinous and other Classical deities.
The brutal stoning-flaying-immolation death of Hypatia in about the year 400 AD is regarded by many historians as the beginning of the Dark Ages.
St. Hypatia was a philosopher and mathematician who lived in Alexandria during a time of turmoil and conflict between Christians and the last pagan philosophers of the Great Library.
Her father was the Philosopher Theon, and Hypatia studied among the Neoplatonists. She was the author of several highly reputed works and commentaries, none of which has survived. She held a reputation of excellence that exceeded her contemporaries.
Hypatia taught among the male philosophers and attracted a large following even among Christians. Her beauty was highly desired by numerous men, but she remained chaste (or at least unmarried) all her life, which leads some to suspect lesbianism.
The proud life of Hypatia came to an end at the end of March during the season of Lent when she was attacked by a Christian mob, led by a fanatic Deacon named Peter, who dragged her through the streets to a church called Caesareum.
There she was stripped naked and killed by the mob with their bare hands. It was said that they stoned her with ceramic roof tiles, then flayed her flesh with razor-sharp shards of oyster shells, tore her limb from limb and burned her.
"Saint" Cyril, Bishop of Alexandria, who encouraged her assassination, was then praised for eradicating the city of "idolatry and witchcraft".
The Martyrdom of St. Hypatia of Alexandria is one of the most profound examples of Christian violence against paganism, women, and philosophy. And she is noted as one of the last reasoning pagans murdered by the irrational religion which has dominated Western Civilization ever since.
Her death is among the heinous crimes of the Christian Church, whose atrocities continue to this day. The image at right, by Charles William Mitchell, portrays Hypatia just before her death, naked at the altar, imploring her attackers to take heed of their own faith, which they continue to ignore.
Her death is among the heinous crimes of the Christian Church, whose atrocities continue to this day. The image at right, by Charles William Mitchell, portrays Hypatia just before her death, naked at the altar, imploring her attackers to take heed of their own faith, which they continue to ignore.
For these reasons and in memory of the unnamed Ancient Priests of Antinous who suffered similar fates, the Religion of Antinous has proclaimed Hypatia of Alexandria a Saint and Venerable Exemplar and honors her with a Feast Day on March 31. As Sacred Synchronicity would have it, her Antinoian Feast Day in 2009 coincided with the release of major motion picture based on her life.
Openly gay Chilean-Spanish filmmaker Alejandro Amenábar's $75-million production AGORA stars Oscar-winning actress Rachel Weisz and was the biggest box-office hit in Spain for the year 2009.
In the film set in Roman Egypt in the final days of the 4th Century A.D., Weisz plays the astrologer-philosopher Hypatia of Alexandria, who fights to save the collected wisdom of the ancient world. Her slave Davus (Max Minghella) is torn between his love for his mistress and the possibility of gaining his freedom by joining the rising tide of Christianity.
Tuesday, March 28, 2023
Monday, March 27, 2023
IN March of 129 AD Antinous and Hadrian arrived in the ancient city of Pessinus in Phrygia which was the cult center of the Great Mother of the Gods, Cybele.
It was from here that the Cult of Magna Mater, the Great Mother of the Gods, spread out into the world even unto Rome.
Pessinus was ruled by the transgender high priestess known as the Archigallus who together with her transgender galloi priestesses worshipped a black stone that had fallen from the sky and was the embodiment of the Great Mother herself.
During the War with Hannibal, the Senate consulted the Sibilline Book and received an oracle instructing them to bring the Great Mother of Phrygia to Rome.
They sent an emissary to the city of Pessinus and, amazingly, the Phrygian priests freely handed over the black heavenly Stone that was the most sacred emblem of their goddess.
The Black Stone was brought to Rome, and met at the port of Ostia by a large congregation of the matrons of the city. They carried her in their arms, from one lady to another, into the city.
Along with the stone came the transgender priestesses who castrated themselves as an offering to the goddess and served her for the rest of their lives dressed as women, in keeping with the beautiful boy Attis, who sacrificed his manhood to the goddess. They danced wild ecstatic dances to the beat of drums and cymbals drawing their blood as an offering.
The religion of Magna Mater is one of the oldest faiths of mankind, extending far back into prehistory. Evidence has been found of her veneration in one of the oldest human settlements known as Catal Huyuk in modern Turkey.
The image here shows a mother figure on a chariot drawn by two lions, an image always central to the Great Mother.
She was known under several names, Idea, Dydima, Sipyla, Agdistis, Rhea, Kubaba, Khaba, Khabala, and Cebele, daughter of Uranus and Gaia, wife of Saturn, mother of all the gods.
It is believed that her religion was spread throughout the Middle East during the conquests of the Hittite Empire, led by eunuch priests headed by the Archigallus, who was the earthly representative of the divine consort Attis.
The sacred shrines of the goddess were established where a black stone had fallen from heaven, and there a prophetess, known as a Sybil took up residence, speaking oracles from Apollo. The religions of Dionysus, Apollo, Diana and Persephone are deeply and intimately related, through their connection to Magna Mater.
They are the vestiges of a faith and culture that long preceded Greece, yet whose traces remain even now, in the concept of Holy Mother Church, in the black stone embedded in the Khaba at Mecca, and as the spirit of the Holy Tree known as the Kabalah in Jewish mysticism.
Antinous was very probably brought up as a devotee of her religion, since Bithynion had a mountaintop shrine to Attis, and was very near to the center of her worship at Pessinus.
The proximity of Bithynium-Claudiopolis to Pessinus makes it likely that Antinous was familiar with and participated in the Cult of Magna Mater.
And the discovery of an image of Antinous in the sanctuary of Magna Mater in the port city of Ostia outside of Rome suggests that the cult of Antinous was connected to the transgender cult of the Mother Goddess.
The festival of the death and rebirth of Attis, who was transformed into a Pine tree, was celebrated at the March Equinox in Rome and in Pessinus and it was at this time that Hadrian and Antinous attended the festival in its ancient sacred city. We pray for the blessing of Magna Mater and the reborn transgender goddess Attis.
Sunday, March 26, 2023
ON March 26th the Religion of Antinous takes a moment to celebrate the life of one of our most popular Antinoian prophets ... Saint Walt Whitman.
Walt Whitman was born on May 31, 1819, on the West Hills of Long Island, New York. He was lavished with love by his mother, but treated with stern discipline by his carpenter father.
After only a few years of school, Whitman was pulled out to help with the family earnings. He educated himself, reading all that he could, worked in a printing house, and eventually became a schoolteacher who taught with refreshing openness and excitement, allowing his students to call him by his first name. After years of teaching, he went into journalism, and in time was the editor of several publications.
However, Walt Whitman is said to have experienced a life-transforming epiphany. He left New York, and returned to live for a period with his family, then returned from isolation with Leaves of Grass, one of the most powerful collections of poems in American literature and the first to allude heavily to homosexual love.
It is often said that, during his time in isolation, a religious sense of purpose entered his heart, which he revealed in the Calamus poems.
The aromatic, psychotropic calamus plant with its phallic spadix flower pods was his symbol for homosexuality. The calamus has special meaning for us because Kalamos of Greek myth fell in love with the beautiful youth Karpos.
Like Antinous, Karpos died by drowning. Grief-stricken Kalamos wept among the reeds at the waterside until he was himself transformed into a reed, whose rustling in the wind is his sigh of woe.
When the American civil war broke out, Walt Whitman was 42 years old and served as a hospital nurse, falling in love with all the soldiers, especially those who died in his arms.
Open expressions of love between men were accepted without issue during the war, and it was when the visionary enlightenment of Walt Whitman became clear to him. He saw that the origin of this love, brotherly, or friendly perhaps, if not more, was the salvation of the human race, and certainly able to heal the divide between North and South.
His final years were spent communicating his message to the new torchbearers, such as John Addington Symonds and Edward Carpenter. After his death, and as Gay Liberation took strength, he was called a Prophet, particularly by the George Cecil Ives and the Order of Chaeronea.
We, adherents of the ancient/modern Religion of Antinous, proclaim him to be St. Walt Whitman the Prophet of Homoeros, and we elevate him to his own stratosphere in our devotion.
He died March 26th, 1892 of tuberculosis compounded by pneumonia. Over 1,000 mourners paid their respects. St. Walt told us how he wanted us to remember him, not as a great poet, but as "the tenderest lover":
You bards of ages hence! when you refer to me, mind not so much my poems,
Nor speak of me that I prophesied of The States, and led them the way of their Glories;
But come, I will take you down underneath this impassive exterior ... I will tell you what to say of me:
Publish my name and hang up my picture as that of the tenderest lover,
The friend, the lover's portrait, of whom his friend, his lover, was fondest,
Who was not proud of his songs, but of measureless ocean of love within him ... and freely poured it forth,
Who often walked lonesome walks, thinking of his dear friends, his lovers,
Who pensive, away from one he loved, often lay sleepless and dissatisfied at night,
Who knew too well the sick, sick dread lest the one he loved might secretly be indifferent to him,
Whose happiest days were far away, through fields, in woods, on hills, he and another, wandering hand in hand, they twain, apart from other men,
Who oft as he sauntered the streets, curved with his arm the shoulder of his friend while the arm of his friend rested upon him also.
Saturday, March 25, 2023
AS worshipers of Antinous, people look to us to see how we Navigate these dark days of war and pandemic and economic crisis amidst a collective consciousness and culture of fear all over the world.
As worshipers of Antinous we don’t have to contribute to it, nor do we have to be oppressed by it. (Healing Antinous Art above by Miranda Baggins.)
1. First make a list: What all do you have to do? Look at it again – what do you have to do, and what can wait till later? What’s easy and can be cleared out of the way with little effort? What’s most important and deserves the bulk of your time? Start working the list and checking things off. Making a list doesn’t sound very spiritual to you? Haven’t you heard of the 42 Negative Confessions? The 12 Labors of Hercules? The Four Noble Truths of Buddhism? Making lists is a near-universal religious practice – put it to use in your life.
2. You feel in Despair: Things are bad, and you can’t see how they’re ever going to get better. Intellectually, you know you’ll manage one way or another, but right now you can’t see that far ahead and you’re not in the mood to listen to anyone’s cold hard logic.
Pray and make offerings. You can’t control how you feel, but you can control what you do – and it is always good to worship the Gods. Giving to Them reminds us that there’s something bigger than ourselves. And giving promotes reciprocity: we give to Them and trust that They will give to us.
ANTINOUS PRAYER BEADS
THERE are Catholic rosary beads, Eastern Orthodox beads, Swedish Lutheran Frälserkransen beads, Islamic prayer beads, Buddhist meditation beads, Hindu japa mala beads and even Wiccan prayer beads ... now several adherents of Antinous are designing ANTINOUS PRAYER BEADS.
Look to Your Ancestors
Many of our ancestors have faced situations like this before, but with different diseases. Though it is new to most of us, it is not new to the world. We can draw strength and hope from the wisdom of our ancestors, as well as their compassion and resilience. They adapted, and we are also now adapting.
Whatever comes, whatever we face, they stand behind us and beside us as our protectors and as our guides, and we ourselves are evidence that life goes on. We can take hope from that.
Give thanks for what you have, even if you don’t feel very thankful right now. Speak the yearnings of your heart, even if they’re clouded with pain. Don’t know what to say? Find an ancient prayer (The Hymns of Orpheus) to recite, or perhaps a modern one.
Pour libations and make food offerings. Worshippers of Antinous in ancient times would have given votive offerings to him at his altars; there is evidence that he was given gifts of food and drink in Egypt, with libations and sacrifices probably being common in Greece. Making offerings in a fire is a powerful act at any time. If it’s part of your tradition and appropriate for the deities you’re approaching, make your offerings to Antinous and any other gods you worship, and then after a suitable period of time, revert the offerings and consume the now-sanctified food and drink. As you eat and drink, you ingest the blessings of the Gods.
Cultivate Life & Create
It’s incredibly important to focus on life-giving and life-affirming experiences at times like this. Plant flowers start seeds. Learn the wisdom of the plants. Nurture your connection to the earth.
Make something with your hands. It doesn’t matter what it is but give yourself to the experience without attachment to the result. You’re utilizing your sacral energy when you do so, which is where the joy of living springs from. It’s incredibly important to remember the joy of living at a time like this.
Making list and prayer and offerings and even long walks outside are very helpful but one spiritual practice that is especially suited for difficult situations is:
3. Divination: Whether you use Tarot, Runes, or Scrying. Pick your favorite. Divination can’t make your decisions for you, but it can show you where a particular path will take you and what things will be like when you get there. If a path displayed is not what you wanted maybe you need to make some changes before it gets too late.
4. Sigil Magic: There may be hard situations you are going through, financial, job, better place to live, etc. Any magical system can help. The term sigil derives from the Latin sigillum, meaning "seal" Though Sigil Magic is thought to have started in the Medieval period there is no reason you can’t use it in your worship of Antinous. This link is an easy step by step method that I have used. http://sigildaily.com/activating-rituals/
5. Meditation: There are several ways to mediate You can use mediation focused on Antinous or other gods and spirits or ideas. There is the Buddhist-style “empty your mind”. Focus on your breathing or on a candle flame. If thought pop into your head, acknowledge them, let them go, and return to your breathing. Just sit. The physical and psychological benefits of meditation are clear – the spiritual benefits can be every bit as dramatic.
Build a foundation of regular devotion. Do the necessary prep work. Do your rituals in wild places and in dark places. Be patient but be persistent. Be open to the workings of Antinous and be receptive to his call.
These are the spiritual practices that work for all of us in difficult times. They won’t prevent bad things from happening – nothing will do that. They don’t keep us from getting upset or stressed or stuck. But they help us regain our center faster and they help us respond to difficult times in the ways we want to respond.
And lastly: Saturn is in the sign of Aquarius
Saturn is now in the sign of Aquarius which puts a significant focus on the questions of innovations, technology, and collective progress. The energy is going to be focused on anything new, anything modern, and anything progressive. Saturn is returning to the position it was in between 1991 and 1994, effectively giving people born at that time their “Saturn return.” As much as it can be a difficult time for people to go through their Saturn returns, it’s also a time where people are given a significant chance to grow and take responsibilities.
Michaelus, Priest of Antinous.
Sources: Patheos website “7 Spiritual Practices for Difficult Times” and “How to Navigate the Pandemic Pandemonium”. Also, Antinous The Gay God blog.
Friday, March 24, 2023
The date of her elevation to godliness is not known, but because she was so often compared to the Mother Goddess Ceres-Demeter, we declare her Apotheosis to coincide with the return of spring in Rome, and dedicate our celebration of the Equinox to our mother and Empress, Nova Dea Ceres, Sabina Augusta.
This relief sculpture of her deification, in which she is shown rising up from the cremation flames on the wings of a female Aeon, shows Hadrian enthroned, behind him is a figure that resembles Antoninus Pius.
And reclining on the floor is one who could possibly be Antinous, the resemblance to the youth on the Apotheosis of Antoninus is remarkable.
Thursday, March 23, 2023
TONIGHT, in observance of the Ancient Roman Vernal Equinox, modern-day priests of Antinous around the world conferred via Zoom to carry out rituals commemorating the Sacred Boar Hunt.
The priests from both sides of the Atlantic joyously celebrated the Sacred Boar Hunt of Antinous which was one of the few recorded events in the actual life of Antinous.
This wonderful, mysterious hunt represents the pinnacle of his life ... Antinous at the highest point of his brief mortal existence, full of youth, beauty and vitality ... mounted on horseback in the forest with his lover Hadrian, hunting a boar.
This is what our festival means ... to enjoy life ... to take it all in right now and be glad that we are alive and well.
I ask Antinous to bless us as we begin the transition into this new phase of development. May the Companions of Antinous gather together in great numbers from all over the globe!
Wednesday, March 22, 2023
THE cycle of the March Equinox is Sacred to the Great Mother of the Gods, and to her divine lover-son Attis, who dies and is reborn at this time of year.
Persephone returns from the underworld, and the verdure returns to the face of the Earth.
The death of Attis is symbolic of the fruit flowers that appear at this season and then fall away, making room for the ripening fruit.
It was celebrated in Rome with the introduction of a great pine tree that was carried into the Temple of Magna Mater.
An image of the dead Attis was carried on a bier and hung from the tree which was decorated with purple ribbons and violet flowers.
On the Day of Blood, the priests performed austerities including the self-castration of new priests, and the bloodletting of the old priests to the accompaniment of drum and cymbal music.
After the Day of Blood, when Attis was said to have risen again, the festival turned to joy and elation and was known as the Hilaria.
The final part of the sacred days was the day of cleansing, when the image of the Great Mother, a black stone encased in silver, was taken to the river Arno and washed by the priests.
Flamen Antonius Subia says:
"The five-day cycle of the Equinox ... the Mithraic Mysteries and all the other remembrances ... are all contained in the Death and Resurrection of Attis, the beautiful boy, who severed his own testicles and died giving his blood to the bosom of the earth ... but did not die."
Tuesday, March 21, 2023
But Adonis was unmoved and completely rejected her advances. She became infatuated and abandoned herself to the boy who only cared to hunt.
Mars was jealous of his rival, and outraged to see Venus subjected to desperation and lust, so he contrived to lure Venus away by having Mercury recall her to her neglected duties, because without her influence to temper the raging schemes of her Erotic son, there was no love in the world.
While she was away, Mars transformed himself into a wild boar and let Adonis pursue him through the woods.
The God of War suddenly charged the young God of Beauty and disarmed him, and with a deadly kiss, gored Adonis in the groin sinking his razor tusk between his perfect white legs.
When she returned, Venus found her beloved boy dead and cut her hair in mourning, she immortalized his soul as a flower, and made the river that bears his name flow red.
The love between Venus and Adonis was unfulfilled, her adoration for him was unreturned because Adonis had no care for women, and he preferred his hunting dogs to her gentle caresses.
Only the War God Mars had his way with Adonis, though motivated by jealousy and rage, it was a violent sexual attack, for which all the world must mourn, because in the savagery of the Lust of Mars, the world was forever robbed of the beauty of Adonis.
Flamen Antonius Subia says:
"We venerate Adonis and seek his shadow in the gardens of human beauty. Antinous is the 'Adonis of the Underworld' ... our perfect desire who flees from our embrace ... but we, like Venus, never abandon him to his endless hunt, and caress his cheek even though our hands can never touch him."
Monday, March 20, 2023
AT the March Equinox the Religion of Antinous commemorates the Sacred Boar Hunt.
In our Liturgical Calendar, it is the day when Hadrian and Antinous arrive at the sacred city of Bithynium/Claudiopolis, the home of Antinous, in the spring of the year 129 AD.
Imagine the jubilant welcome they must have received as the city's populace turned out en masse (including all of the extended family and acquaintances of Antinous) to see the imperial entourage with Hadrian and Antinous at the forefront.
The region is teeming with bountiful wildlife and so Hadrian and Antinous went on hunting forays while in Bithynium.
The Boar Hunt had deeply mystical symbolic meaning for Hadrian, as exemplified that it was elevated to mythic proportions for use in public monuments.
The image above shows Hadrian and Antinous (looking backwards) during the Sacred Boar Hunt, immortalized on the Arch of Constantine in Rome.
Flamen Antonius Subia explains the mythic symbolism this way:
So it was that Antinous went with Hadrian
To hunt the wild boar of Phrygia, to test his manhood
The boar symbolizes strength, courage, honor, & truth
And was an emblem of warriors and of fearlessness
The Boar is sacred to the beautiful hunter god Adonis
Whom Venus so loved that she chased after him through Briars and thorns, and when he was killed by the Boar, Which was her jealous lover Mars in disguise
She compelled the world to mourn his death
Her love for Adonis was so strong that she brought him
Back from the underworld again for half the year.
The Boar is the emblem of the fertility god Freyr
Whose mighty phallus purifies and protects the fields
The Boar is sacred to the sun god Belenus
Of the Cisalpine Gauls, of whom there is an inscription From Hadrian’s Villa that reads:
“Antinous and Belenus are equal in age and beauty
For this reason Antinous is also be worshipped like Belenus appropriately, by Quintus the Sicilian”
We praise the god Belenus, whose bonfires protect us
From the malevolent spirits of darkness and chaos
The beautiful Sun God Belenus is Antinous of the North
We praise Antinous as Mercurius, the son of Maia
Maia is the Bona Dea, leader of the Pleaides
She is the bringer of goodness and plenty of summer
We praise Diana the Huntress and ask her blessing
On this night of the Sacred Boar Hunt
May the Strength of the Boar be with us
May the Power of the Boar be with us
May the Courage of the Boar be with us
In celebration of Antinous the Hunter
We now consume the meat of the Sacred Boar
So we may be blessed
Ave Antinous – Adonis
Ave Antinous – Freyr
Ave Antinous – Belenus
Ave Antinous – Mercurius
May flesh of the Sacred Boar give us his blessing
Ave Antinous Venator!
~ ANTONIUS SUBIA
Sunday, March 19, 2023
WHEN the Sun enters the Sign of Aries at the March Equinox, we honor Antinous in his special guise as Antinous/Mars.
Mars, God of War, son of Jupiter and Juno, father of Romulus and Remus, founders of Rome, was the divine spirit of the Roman Army whose legions subjugated the world.
His power ran like molten steel in the blood of Romans who he made them invincible.
The ram was sacred to him, and thus the sign of Aries was devoted to him, as it was in the early spring, after the fields were sown and before the harvest that the men went to war.
Originally Mars was an agricultural deity, whose duty was to protect the fields from marauders. But he soon became an aggressive conqueror, whose sacred spears were ritually shaken by the Flamen Martialis when the legions were preparing for war.
He had twin sons who accompanied him and went before the armies in battle, their names were Phobos and Deimos, fear and panic.
He was the illicit lover of Venus, and it is said that they were the co-creators of Rome who through war brought love and peace to the whole world. It was in this spirit that Hadrian worshipped the pair.
Mars is the great spirit of masculinity, the violent, courageous power of the male sex, the penetrator and subjugator.
His emblem, an iron spear, is a symbol for the phallus, and so it is that Mars is the great potent Phallus of Man, the impregnator.
In this sense he is venerated as the warrior within all men, and as our most extreme, animalistic, carnal, aggressive nature.
He is the conqueror of winter, the dominator of spring, the protector of life, and the bringer of death.
He is war and fury, selflessly courageous, for the protection of the weak and for the defeat of the strong.
Mars never surrenders, and this is why Venus is so mad with lust for him, and why we adore him as our protector.
Saturday, March 18, 2023
SAINT Charlotte von Mahlsdorf, who was born on this day in 1928, was a Berlin trans/gay who survived the Nazis and East German communists and about whose life a Pulitzer Prize winning play, "I Am My Own Woman", has been staged at theatres around the world.
The title is misleading since the original German is "Ich bin meine eigene Frau" and the word "Frau" can mean either "Woman" or "Wife".
The phrase was Charlotte's answer to her mother's question: "Don't you think it's time you got a wife?"
Charlotte was her own man and her own woman and her own husband/wife. In a long life amidst dictatorship, war and oppression of human-rights, Charlotte learned to create her own identity. We honor Charlotte as a Saint of the Religion of Antinous.
St. Charlotte, who liked to wear frumpy house dresses with a clunky handbag and a strand of pearls and matronly shoes, somehow managed to survive the Gestapo, the East German Stasi secret police and assaults by neo-Nazis. In doing so, Charlotte made serious ethical compromises along the way in order to stay alive.
Charlotte amassed a huge collection of Victorian antiques which some said came from the homes of Jewish Holocaust victims and (later) from homes of people fleeing East Germany.
But Charlotte DID stay alive in dangerous times during which others perished. Charlotte's life forces you to ask yourself what YOU would have done in similar circumstances.
After German unification, Charlotte became something of a reluctant gay icon in Germany in the 1990s. Charlotte never had any pretensions of being intellectual or a political activist.
Charlotte never quite fit in with post-Stonewall activists, who were a bit puzzled by her dowdy grand-motherliness and her passion for 19th Century Renaissance Revival style antiques. Like Quentin Crisp (also a Saint of Antinous), Charlotte belonged to another era.
But unlike Quentin Crisp, Charlotte wasn't especially witty or campy (despite her appearance) and was not an artist of the arch one-liner the way Quentin was. In appearances on talk shows, she would sit there, smiling politely, with not a great deal to say unless it was about collecting and restoring 19th Century antiques. But what she did say was eloquent in its simplicity:
People should be kind to each other and let each other get on with their lives the way they want to.
Above all, she didn't much like being a celebrity. Too many people expected things of her. She became a target for neo-Nazis, mostly drunken, youthful vandals in the 1990s. Not surprisingly perhaps, considering all she had lived through, she became somewhat paranoid towards the end of her life. In the end, she fled to Sweden where she spent her final years in virtual isolation before dying in 2002.
We honor St. Charlotte von Mahlsdorf for being someone who was not afraid to be openly trans/gay in the face of totalitarian dictatorships and police states. Someone who survived the Nazis and the Stasi secret police ... wearing a dress, a strand of pearls and a handbag.
Friday, March 17, 2023
MARCH 17th is the anniversary of the death of Marcus Aurelius and we in the Religion of Antinous set aside this day each year to remember the last of the great philosopher-emperors, and a man who knew both Hadrian and Antinous.
What follows, is adapted from writings over the years by Flamen Antinoalis Antonius.
As a young boy Marcus Aurelius had caught the eye of the Emperor Hadrian. He was appointed by the Emperor to priesthood in the year 129 (just a year before the death of Antinous), and Hadrian also supervised his education, which was entrusted to the best professors of literature, rhetoric and philosophy of the time.
Marcus Aurelius discovered Stoicism by the time he was 11 and from his early twenties he deserted his other studies for philosophy. The Emperor Antoninus Pius, who succeeded Hadrian, adopted Marcus Aurelius as his son in 138.
Antoninus Pius treated Aurelius as a confidant and helper throughout his reign; Marcus Aurelius also married his daughter, Faustina, in 139. He was admitted to the Senate, and then twice the consulship. In 147 he shared tribunician power with Antoninus. During this time he began composition of his Meditations, which he wrote in Greek in army camps.
At the age of 40, in 161 Marcus Aurelius ascended the throne and shared his imperial power with his adopted brother Lucius Aurelius Verus. Useless and lazy, Verus was regarded as a kind of junior emperor; he died in 169. After Verus's death he ruled alone.
Most of his reign was spent fighting and negotiating with the Germanic barbarians who were steadily crowding around the borders of the Empire. Marcus was able to hold them back with a succession of victories and peace treaties. In 177 he made his son, Commodus, joint-Emperor, though Commodus had no interest in the responsibility, caring more for the gladiatorial sports, but Marcus, the philosopher- king, took no notice of his son's blood-lust, which was to later cost the Empire dearly.
For much of his reign, Marcus Aurelius had suffered from severe illness, but his calm devotion to stoic virtue gave him the strength to continue without rest and without his poor health interfering with his duties. While with the legions on the German frontier, Marcus Aurelius suddenly died on March 17th in the year 180AD.
His ashes were conveyed to Rome and placed in Hadrian's Mausoleum. Commodus assumed power and began the chain of tragic events that are said to have brought the decline and fall of the Roman Empire.
For his wisdom, and strength, and because he was the last instrument of Hadrian's plan that brought so much glory, and prosperity to Rome, we venerate the deified Marcus Aurelius as a god of the Religion of Antinous.
An important feature of the philosophy was that everything will recur: the whole universe becomes fire and then repeats itself.
Constantly regard the universe as one living being, having one substance and one soul; and observe how all things have reference to one perception, the perception of this one living being; and how all things act with one movement; and how all things are the cooperating causes of all things which exist; observe too the continuous spinning of the thread and the contexture of the web. (from The Meditations)
There are several versions of the story of Endymion and the Moon.
In all of them, he and the Moon become united in love for each other.
He sleeps eternally bathed in moonbeams, guarded by animal spirits associated with lunar deities: Selene, Diana, Artemis.
Pliny the Elder mentions Endymion as the first human to observe the movements of the Moon, which (according to Pliny) accounts for Endymion's love.
In other versions, he is the son of Jupiter/Zeus and the personification of the Moon's Magic on Earth. He sired 52 children with Diana/Selene ... the 52 Lunar Phases of ANTINOUS MOON MAGIC.
Thursday, March 16, 2023
Wednesday, March 15, 2023
Traditionally, the 12 Zodiac signs are said to represent 12 body parts, from the head down. It is referred to as Zodiac Man, or Astrological Man, and it is a very common motif in illustrations and art of the Middle Ages and the Renaissance.
Tuesday, March 14, 2023
THE 14th of March is the Ancient Egyptian festival of Osiris Unnefer .. life reborn after the dead of winter.
Antinous has always been identified as Osiris, and on this date we commemorate his victory over death by celebrating the joy of life.
The ancient festival is the celebration of the death and resurrection of Osiris.
The ancient story tells how the evil god Set and his seventy-two accomplices had murdered Osiris by drowning him in the river, and then they dismembered him, scattering his limbs up and down the valley.
His sacrifice causes the annual floods that bring life to the rainless valley.
Osiris arises from the dead, but needs the constant supplication of his devoted followers to strengthen his return.
It is said that, in ancient times, young boys, chosen for their exceptional beauty were thrown into the Nile to drown, just as Osiris had drowned, as a sacrifice to the God of the Nile for the benefit of the living.
Those who drowned in the Nile were considered to have become gods, especially if the water responded the following year with a deep inundation.
During his tour up the Nile with Emperor Hadrian in 130 AD, Antinous underwent a transformation the likes of which we can only wonder, because from this point onward, the history of Antinous takes on mythical proportions.
Antinous fell into the Nile. There is no way to know if he was pushed, if he committed suicide, if he gave himself as a human sacrifice, or if he slipped and drowned by accident.
No explanation was given, perhaps even then it was a mystery.
Hadrian "wept like a woman," we are told, in front of the entire court. This shameless display of emotion became a scandal that for so many centuries discredited the achievements of Hadrian.
It made plain that their relationship had transcended what was usual and what tradition held to be manly and appropriate for an Emperor of the warrior Rome nation.
The High Priests of Osiris came privately to Hadrian that Night and revealed what they believed had taken place. Antinous had joined the river inundation god Hapi, and had become the river inundation god.
They showed Hadrian that the local people had already taken up the lamentation and exaltation of Antinous, proclaiming that he had become a God, after their custom. Hadrian took these sentiments to heart.
The following day he consulted with his advisers and with the Roman pontiffs of the court, and revealed his astonishing plan.
On October 30th of the year 130 AD, Hadrian founded the Holy City of Antinoopolis on the bank of the river where Antinous had drowned, tracing out the major streets with his own rod in the sand.
He then proceeded to do the unthinkable, as Pontifex Maximus, High Priest of the Roman Religion, he declared that Antinous was a God, that he had conquered death, and risen up to dwell among the never-ending stars ... as Osiris.
Proclamations were sent out to ever corner of the world, inaugurating the religion of the New God Antinous-Osiris.
Monday, March 13, 2023
IN Berlin, Antinous lives in Greek-revival, neo-Classical splendor in the Altes Museum designed by Karl Friedrich Schinkel, who was born 13 March 1781.
When in Berlin, be sure to drop by for a visit. Antinous will receive you in grandeur ... along with Emperor Hadrian, Empress Sabina, Emperors Augustus Caesar and Caracalla ... and many others.
Sunday, March 12, 2023
MARCH 12th is the Egyptian festival of the intoxication of Sekhmet, lioness deity of war and protection.
She could cure or kill, so Egyptians called her the "Lady of Terror" and "Lady of Power."
Ordered by Ra to punish humans, she went on a blood-fueled killing spree, killing every living thing on Earth. Alarmed, Ra created a lake of beer dyed red. She lapped it up and passed out dead drunk.
Celebrate tonight with a mug of beer ... or two!
Incredibly, in recent years the German archaeological mission operating at the King Amenhotep III Temple area in Luxor has discovered more than 100 statues of the ancient Egyptian lioness goddess Sekhmet ... and more are likely to be found.
The discoveries are part of an enormous CACHE OF SEKHMET STATUES found in recent years during a restoration project for the Colossi of Memnon, two massive stone statues of King Amenhotep III and his temple.
Early in the year, 66 statues were found. That already would have been a record. But then in December 2017, nearly 30 more statues were found.
The project began in 1998 with the goal of preserving the remnants of the temple and rebuilding it anew, said head of the Egyptian Antiquities Sector at the ministry, Mahmoud Afify.
The discoveries were made during excavations by the German mission in the area between the courtyard and the hall of columns in the temple. The excavation was originally made to search for the remains of the wall separating the two sites.
Some of the discovered statues represent goddess Sekhmet in a seated position, others depict her while standing and holding in her hand the symbol of life and a scepter of the papyrus flower, said mission head Professor Horig Suruzaan.
She pointed out that all the discovered statues are made of Diorite rock.
The statues are in good condition and well-preserved; they have an important archaeological value as they should provide a full image of the temple, especially after its collapse in a devastating earthquake in the pharaonic era, Suruzaan added.
The statues are undergoing restoration before being replaced in their original locations at the temple, she mentioned.
King Amenhotep III installed a large number of statues of the goddess Sekhmet to protect the temple from dangers and the king from diseases.
Sekhmet, who is depicted as a lioness, was a warrior goddess and the goddess of healing, known to ancient Egyptians as the "powerful goddess."
Saturday, March 11, 2023
ON March 11th the Religion of Antinous solemnly commemorates the assassination of Elagabalus, Rome's transgender teen emperor.
Imperator Caesar Marcus Aurelius Antoninus Augustus was born on an unknown date in the winter of 204 AD in the city of Emesa in Syria.
His birth name was Varius Avitus Bassianus, and he is believed to have been the son of Caracalla, for which reason he was declared Emperor by the Legions of Syria during an uprising against the short-lived Emperor Macrinus who had assassinated Caracalla and taken the throne.
Varius Bassianus was only 14 years old when he became sole ruler of the Roman Empire and took the name of Antoninus. He was the last Emperor to bear the sacred name of the most glorious rulers of the world, the Antonines. He is known to history as Elagabalus, because he was from birth the high priest(ess) of the androgynous sun deity Elagabal.
He brought his strange, phallic religion to Rome, and very shortly began to impose Elagabal, going so far as to nullify all other cults and force the Romans to accept his one god. It is even claimed that he closed and demolished the temple of Antinous at Tibur and perhaps others, but this is rumor.
What Elagabalus is famous for is that he was an extreme homosexual phallus worshipper with an insatiable fondness for chariot racers who he often elevated to the highest positions of authority simply based on the size and grace of their penises. He is criticized by ancient historians for portraying himself as Venus on Mount Ida, and allowing himself to be sodomized on stage by his chariot racers in the roles of various gods in full view of an audience.
History is slanted by anti-tranny prejudice. Elagabalus is recorded as having been one of the most infamous and degenerate figures in Roman history.
This despite the fact that he was not particularly cruel or demonstrably mad. He simply offended the sensibilities of later historians ... particularly Victorian historians who were appalled by the fact that a trans teen had been acclaimed emperor of Rome.
Elagabalus, devoted to the androgynous god Elagabal, made it his priority as emperor to demote all others gods and goddesses to the position of servants to the principal deity. A black stone phallic representation of the god was processed through the streets of Rome to the temple annually.
Many of the sacred symbols of other religions were moved to the temple of Elagabal, including those of Jews and Christians. To persuade followers of other deities to worship Elagabal, the emperor participated in the rituals of several other religions. On a daily basis animal sacrifices were performed, consistent with the practices of many of the religions.
Victorian historians record Elagabalus' life as scandalous, yet an examination of their remarks reveal a troubled trans youth struggling with his identity.
"Not only was he bi-sexual, but also a transvestite. He would go to the taverns at night wearing a wig, woman's clothes and makeup and ply the trade of a prostitute. This activity only ended when he met Hierocles, a Carian slave, and became his wife. Hierocles was even permitted to beat the emperor when displeased, as any man might beat his wife. Even more scandalous Elagabalus not only acted and dressed like a woman, but he wanted to be physically transformed into one. He asked his physicians to contrive a vagina for him, promising huge rewards for success."
In other words, he was a transgender teenager who had the power and money at his disposal to create the gender-bending reality he desired to live in.
At the age of 14, in 218, Elagabaltus, a zealous believer, declared a religious initiative giving Elagabal precedence over all other gods, even Jupiter himself.
The god was also to have a consort. Pallas Athena was the first choice, a goddess tended by the Vestal Virgins. As part of his strategy Avitus married one of the vestals. When Romans balked at the violation of a vestal virgin, however, he opted for the symbolic marriage with Urania, a moon goddess.
His attempt to unify Rome under one religion met with strong resistance and did nothing to moderate his unpopularity. In the very year that Elagabalus became emperor the Third Legion, which had placed him in office, attempted to replace him with Verus, their commander. The attempt failed. Over time, subsequent attempts by the Fourth Legion, by the fleet, and by a pretender named Seleucus also failed.
But as unpopular as he was with the nobility and commanders of the Legions, he was not at all unpopular with the plebs, upon whom he lavished gifts and games. As emperor he had a Temple built to Elagabal, restored the Flavian Amphitheatre (the Colosseum) that had been damaged by fire and completed the construction of the public baths of Caracalla in the Vicus Sulplicius. He also had built a palace complex, the Horti Variani, with an amphitheatre, a circus, a bath, and audience hall.
His most famous projects, however, were the temple of Elagabal (the Elagaballium) on the Palatine hill and another such temple on the southeastern edge of the city. From these temples the emperor delivered largesse to crowds that gathered below.
None of his works, or gifts to the people, were sufficient to offset his reputation among the elite, tarnished by his promiscuous behavior with men and women. Regardless, provided with almost absolute power one wonders, wouldn't most teenage boys be self- indulgent? Many of the adult emperors did no less.
Many legends have arisen about the decadent lifestyle of Elagabalus, including the tall tale that one of his palace orgies was the scene of an inadvertent massacre when so many flower petals were showered upon the banquet guests that dozens of people suffocated to death as they reclined on their couches.
A colossal, wall-sized painting of this scene by Lawrence Alma-Tadema shocked and titillated Victorian viewers.
As the young emperor's popularity dwindled his mother, Julia Soaemias, and other supporters recognized that the royal family was in danger of their lives. Rome had a tradition of murdering unpopular emperors, and sometimes their adherents as well.
In hopes of rescuing the regime his close family and supporters induced Elagabalus to adopt his cousin Bassianus Alexianus, a young man popular with the praetorian guard, and name him Caesar, heir to the throne.
The scheme backfired in that Julia Mamaea, Alexianus's mother, was as ambitious as Julia Soaemias and desired to see her son emperor as quickly as possible. Mamaea, playing on the praetorian guard's contempt for Elagabalus entreated for the assassination of Elagabalus. Soaemias, discovering the adoption had created greater danger not less, urged Elagabalus to have his cousin killed lest he himself be murdered. However, no one would obey the order.
Here is where we catch up with Julia Soaemias and Elagabalus:
"Mother," spoke the young emperor, 17 years old, the glow of childhood still reflected in his eyes, "they don't understand what I want to accomplish. If they did, they wouldn't hate me."
"Child," replied Julia Soaemias, "they have more than one reason to hate you. You're obsessed with being a woman and you flaunt Roman tradition. You seek to bring down their gods and make them slaves to Elagabal. Elagabal knows I worship him as much as you, but he wants not that we place him above other gods."
"I will go to the praetorian camp and entreat with them, explain what I intend. Surely they will listen. A single god for all Rome would unify us as naught else might. Our former glory would be restored and Rome would endure forever. I will go. I will go now! The armies must be made to understand," declared the emperor, rising from his throne even as he spoke.
"If you go to the guard they are as likely to kill you as listen to you," admonished his mother.
"That is a chance I must take," he retorted, "Rome is more important than my life."
At the praetorian camp:
"All hail Nellie Ellie," sarcastically called a guardsman upon the approach of the emperor.
"Run, fear for your manhood, she comes to drain us dry," screamed another voice.
Other guardsmen laughed and joined in, a little nervously at first, after all this was the emperor of Rome, but with growing enthusiasm.
Stepping down from his chariot Elagabalus, dressed as a woman, his wig meticulously styled and his makeup artfully done, spoke in a loud voice, "I have come to discuss with you the fate of Rome."
His mother, having accompanied him stepped down beside him, on her countenance fear was plainly written. She had a bad feeling about what could happen that night and the crowd of soldiers mocking and jeering did nothing to lessen that fear.
"Alexianus would have me murdered and restore the old gods, the many religions which kept Romans apart. I have dedicated my rule to bringing our great nation together under one god, you must see the wisdom in such a venture," he called out in a loud voice, ignoring the insults and belittling remarks.
"Wisdom from a boy whore," yelled out a disgruntled soldier, "Drunk one night, boy, I had you. Was that your wisdom, Nellie Ellie?" The crowd laughed uproariously.
"I am the priestess of Elagabal. It is my place to be among my people, to suffer the worst and the best at your hands. I am also your emperor and I command you to kill my rival, Alexianus," he ordered.
His mother leaned forward and whispered in his ear, "Tread softly my son, their temper is not to be trifled with. I like not their mood."
"You have had my spear once, priestess," venomously spat a soldier near the front of those gathered. "Now have another!" As the soldier uttered the words he hurled a spear. It landed to one side, but came perilously close to hitting Elagabalus.
"I want nothing but the betterment of Rome," shouted Avitus, taking his mother by the arm and retreating to his chariot. Too late he took the reins of his spirited horses, the soldiers had already surrounded his chariot and taken control.
"You will agree to abdicate in favor of Alexianus before you leave this night, or you shall not leave," spoke up the closest of his adversaries. The army heard the words and began to chant, "Alexianus, Alexianus, Alexianus."
Enraged the youthful emperor screamed, "I am emperor. It is I who know what is best for Rome. Not you traitors. Now, let go of my horses!" With his whip he struck at the face of the nearest soldier, landing a vicious blow that brought blood.
The soldier in turn pulled Elagabalus from the chariot and stabbed him. Others joined in. The last thing Elagabalus saw before he died was the soldiers pulling his mother from the chariot," Let my mother be," he tried to yell, but only a whisper passed his lips.
So ended the reign of the trans teenage Varius Avitus Bassinus, having ruled Rome for but four years.
He had been the first emperor to attempt to unify Rome under one god.
His gender variance, his sexual escapades while frowned on but tolerated had destroyed his credibility. After the murders, his body and that of his mother's, were dragged naked through the streets of Rome.
Finally, beheaded, both bodies were thrown into the Tiber, the punishment for convicted criminals.
Elagabalus reigned only four years, and was 18 years old when he was murdered, the same age as Antinous.
Though his character is condemned as perverse, the open phallicism that he imposed upon Rome, and the dramatic exhibition of his homosexuality warrant his deification.