Thursday, November 30, 2023
Wednesday, November 29, 2023
WE all know that the Ancient Egyptians believed you can take it with you ... that death does not mean you have to part with everything that was important to you in life ... but few people today understand that there was a far more sophisticated spiritual interpretation.
Yes, of course, the simple folk believed that you literally took things with you to the afterlife ... mummified body, ushabti figures, food, clothing. There was a huge industry specializing in tomb furnishings, mummification and supplying the dead with sustenance.
But the material goods in tombs were only symbolic of a far richer, and spiritually deeper understanding of "taking it with you" after death.
The curious-looking winged snake on the papyrus of the 19th Dynasty scribe Amenemwija in Berlin's Egyptian Museum hints at that far deeper spiritual meaning.
The deity is called "Nehebkau" (Harnesses KAs) ... and he is poised in front of the deceased ... taking in the every spiritual essence (KA) that the deceased wants to take with him in the afterlife.
November 29th was one of this deity's feast days.
The Egyptians believed you give up only those things you don't want to take with you ... you take anything and everything else which you deem worth saving for eternity.
Nehebkau represents an advanced spiritual element. In computer parlance, he "downloads" the spiritual essence or "KA" of everything you want to have with you ... and Nehebkau defrags and condenses everything for instant retrieval.
The "KA" is the spiritual essence of everything. Each human has a main KA plus many subsidiary ones. Everything has at least one KA ... every blade of grass, every object, every animal ... everything.
Nehebkau literally takes all the KAs of the person and all the KAs that the person wants to have with him/herself in the afterlife ... all friends, memories, pets, pleasant experiences, houses, furnishings ... the spiritual essence of EVERYTHING ... and then he "downloads" them by swallowing them into his slender serpentine body ... and condenses them like zip files and defrags them and compacts and configures them all into an infinitely small corner of his infinitely vast mind ....
It is important to point out that this does not mean that the dead person drains the life force from all friends and family and leaves them empty. It does not mean they all have to die to accompany the deceased.
Instead, it is exactly like "downloading" the essence of the persons or objects. The persons and objects themselves remain intact ... their spiritual essence is unaffected ... but Nehebkau has downloaded the spiritual essence to accompany the deceased.
Nothing is diminished. Nothing is lost. The KA is copied and saved and filed away.
And in the afterlife, the deceased retrieves any and all docs, jpegs, YouTube URLS and files ... eternally fresh and alive ... for all eternity.
We tend to buy the Judaeo-Christian idea of ashes-to-ashes, dust-to-dust which means that we must "let go" while our loved ones, memories and treasures all crumble away and end up on the conveyor belt of the garbage incinerator ... like the final scene from a "Toy Story" movie.
Or we opt for the Eastern idea that you become one with the universe and everything dissolves away into one-ness ... no self, no ego, no death, no suffering, no end to suffering, no end to death ... etc. ... like the final scene of a movie about Tibetan monks and a little boy from Seattle.
These scenarios would have been appalling to the Egyptians. You take whatever and whomever you want along with you into the afterlife ... no carry-on bags necessary ... everything is neatly defragged and compressed and configurated and stored away in the infinitely vast mind of Nehebkau.
Yes, all of your earthly friends, pets and possessions will crumble away ... but their spiritual essence has been downloaded as a back up for you to keep with you ... for all eternity ... thanks to Nehebkau.
Tuesday, November 28, 2023
"THE most salient feature about Antinous, and the thing that makes our religion different from others, is that Antinous was a mortal human being who actually lived," said Antonius Subia in global Zoom ceremonies celebrating the birthday of Antinous.
Speaking from the Hollywood Temple of Antinous to celebrants taking part from North and South America, Europe and Africa, he noted that we know his birth date ... 27 November ... and we know what he looked like from countless statues.
"He was a human being just like you or me," Flamen Antonius said. "He was not some ray of light of divine perfection. He was a person with faults and failings just like any of us. And yet he became the last deity of the Classical era ... we know he lived ... and we know he became a god."
ON November 28th the Religion of Antinous honors Saint Jean-Baptiste de Lully, who was born on this day in 1632 in Florence, Italy.
Parlaying his looks, his dancing and his musical genius into an erotic/artistic career, he rose from being a scullery knave to becoming director of music in the Court of French King Louis XIV.
By the time he died on March 22, 1687, he had created a new art form and had changed the course of the performing arts forever.
Lully's story has some parallels to the story of Hadrian and Antinous. The parallels are not exact. It is more as though Lully and Louis XIV were a "parallel universe" story of Antinous and Hadrian with bizarre twists thrown in to the plot of the story.
Lully was totally dependent upon the Sun King and was totally devoted to him. When the king expressed a whim to learn to dance, Lully became his dance instructor, creating a whole new art form involving dance and song.
Quite aside from his infamous carousing with boys, Lully was desperately in love with Louis XIV. It was an impossible love, of course. It could never be consummated.
The king viewed Lully as his artistic mentor, but nothing more. Lully viewed the king as the love of his life, and his art was merely an expression of that love.
Unwittingly, Lully planted the seeds for his own doom. Others took his idea and developed it further: And Opera was born.
The king became infatuated with Opera and totally lost interest in Lully's Baroque stage productions. He forgot all about Lully.
For Lully, that was tantamount to death, and he soon died as the result of a tragic "accident" -- he plunged a sharp baton-sceptre through his foot in a rage of despair after the king failed to appear at the debut of his latest masterpiece.
The wound became gangrenous, but when physicians advised that the foot must be amputated, St. Jean-Baptiste refused, saying that if he could never dance again, then he would prefer to be dead.
Yes, his life was like some nightmare, parallel-universe version of the Hadrian and Antinous story, set against the backdrop of men in silk brocade costumes and in four-inch heels and wearing ornate wigs. It is a story of a man's unconditional love and self-sacrifice for his Sun King.
St. Jean-Baptiste de Lully had a deep fondness for the Roman Gods, and he portrayed them with the gay flourish of the the court of the Sun King. It remains a style all its own, completely out of fashion...even among classical music weirdos.
We adore St. Lully's music...we adore the grace and profound emotions that pour from his chords. We love the beauty of his style of dance.
No doubt when Monsieur St. de Lully arrived at the Divine court of Hadrian the God, he immediately set about rearranging the Imperial Orchestra, replacing the Ney Flutes with Bassoons and Oboes, dismissing the Cythara in favor of Violas de Gamba.
Perhaps the old Greek musicians might have taken insult at being swept aside, but with a wave of his hand...Antinous calmed them.
So it was that the celestial Imperial Orchestra performed the new opera Of Saint Jean-Baptiste de Lully. The Imperial Court was astonished to hear the new sound. Even the Greeks were amazed (and the Greeks had heard everything). And With a wreathed nod of his illuminated head, Hadrian enthroned commanded his beloved Antinous to dance.
Monday, November 27, 2023
ANTINOUS was born on this day, November 27th in the year 111 AD — 1,912 years ago!
Festive celebrations are being held by worshipers all over the world, with special rites being conducted at the HOLLYWOOD TEMPLE OF ANTINOUS.
Antinous was born in the Bithynian city of Claudiopolis, modern-day Bolu in Turkey.
It was a major city in those days with a Hellenistic/Roman heritage dating back centuries. It was nestled among snow-capped peaks and woodlands full of wild beasts and full of mythical magic.
The portrait of the newborn baby Antinous and his mother against the backdrop of a Bithynian conifer forest is by PRIEST JULIEN, a New York artist who now lives in Hollywood.
Modern Claudiopolis/Bolu is a sleepy health resort. Not too many foreign tourists go there, but the area is a popular with Turkish vacationers because of its pine-covered mountains and its sparkling lakes and spa waters.
The altitude makes it refreshingly cooler than lower-lying regions, so Turks go there to get away from the heat and noise of places like Istanbul and Ankara.
Wikipedia says: "Local specialities include a sweet made of hazelnuts (which grow in abundance here) and an eau-de-cologne with the scent of grass. One feature of Bolu dear to the local people is the soft spring water obtained from fountains in the town."
Hazelnut candy? Grass-scented cologne? Amazingly soft spring water? Somehow that one little paragraph makes it sound like a place where Antinous would have to have been born.
The area where Antinous was born is a beautiful place, nestled high in piney forests and yet only a short distance from the sparkling Black Sea coast about halfway between Istanbul and Ankara.
The region is teeming with bountiful wildlife and so Hadrian and Antinous went on hunting forays while in Bithynium. As a boy, Antinous must have played in these forests and bathed in these sparkling lakes.
He would have remembered these boyhood days during his travels with Hadrian to the far corners of the Empire. We often forget that Antinous had a family who must have loved him and missed him. They were no doubt proud of him, but they missed him.
And he missed them as he also missed his lovely Bithynia with its mountains and lakes and deep forests which, in winter, are covered in deep snow.
The first snows may have already fallen "back home" at the end of October in 130 AD when Antinous stood on the banks of the Nile in Upper Egypt. Perhaps he had received a letter from home with the latest family gossip and news of the first snowfall. He would have remembered the scent of pine forests and fresh-fallen snow.
As he looked into the green waters of the Nile in far-away Egypt at the end of his brief life, perhaps he thought of "home" and lakes and dark forests and pine cones and the scent of hazelnuts being roasted and mixed with rose water and honey to make candy.
November 27th is an introspective moment ... an evaluation of things past ... and things to come. And above all, it is birthday party time. Let the Festive Season Begin with an Antinous Birthday Party!
Sunday, November 26, 2023
IN November we commemorate the arrival in the year 129 AD of Antinous with the entourage of Emperor Hadrian in Apamea.
One of the four great cities of Syria, Apamea was founded by Alexander the Great as a military encampment to guard his rear as he advanced into Persia and was fortified later to become one of the richest and most important trading cities in Syria, originally called Pella.
It was renamed Apamea by Seleucus I Nicator after his Bactrian wife and became one of the most beautiful Hellenistic cities which a great colonnaded avenue, temples, theater and baths.
The city was destroyed by an earthquake in 115 shortly after Hadrian became Emperor. He ordered the city rebuilt on a grander scale than before, and returned with Antinous and the Imperial entourage in the late autumn of 129 to inspect the restored city.
Apamea again came to prominence when it sided with the young Emperor Elegabalus against his enemies and was instrumental in his victory. The city was ravaged by continual war in the Bizantine era and during the Crusades, and it was destroyed again by an earthquake in 1152 never to be rebuilt.
The titular deity of Apamea was the goddess Tyche also known as Fortuna to the Romans.
She was portrayed wearing a turreted fortress crown, holding a cornucopia and standing on a wheel of fortune.
Fortuna was revered by the Apameans because they understood the cyclical vicissitudes of fate as their city was alternately blessed by tremendous wealth and prosperity only to succumb to total destruction repeatedly.
They revered their Goddess for the blessings she bestowed upon them which they learned to appreciate, and for the strength and fortitude they learned to endure during times of misfortune. It was only when the Cult of Fortuna was no longer honored that the Amapeans were unable find the will to continue.
We seek to become Lovers of Fate, like the Apameans, to patiently endure hardship within the fortress of our hearts and be joyous and thankful for the blessings we receive.
Saturday, November 25, 2023
Like Osiris, Antinous died in the Nile and rose to divinity. The first miracle of Antinous was the bountiful Nile Inundation in 131 AD which ended a long drought ... bringing life from death.
Friday, November 24, 2023
ON November 24th the Religion of Antinous celebrates the outrageous life of St. Freddie Mercury.
St. Freddie Mercury whose death from AIDS on this date in 1991 shocked the world, was a courageous performer whose gayness, while not always stated, was a visible part of his persona. He served as an inspiration for millions of gay men, particularly those who, like him, fight ethnic prejudice every day of their lives.
St. Freddie, who was of Indian Parsi descent, and who was born on the island of Zanzibar and grew up in India, has been referred to as "Britain's first Asian rock star."
Like all great showbiz artists, St. Freddie was acutely aware of his public image and went to great lengths to cultivate the persona of Freddie Mercury -- and to hide any trace of the little Parsi boy named Farrokh Bulsara. Freddie Mercury -- or rather the showbiz image called Freddie Mercury -- was beyond all definitions of ethnic origin, or sexual orientation or political affiliation. Not surprisingly, many people were confused and sometimes irritated by the image.
People criticized him for "hiding" his ethnic background. But as a friend told an interviewer after Freddie's death, "[Farrokh] Bulsara was a name he had buried.
He never wanted to talk about any period in his life before he became Freddie Mercury, and everything about Freddie Mercury was a self-constructed thing."
People also criticized him for not "coming out" publicly. But again, Freddie Mercury (the showbiz image) was beyond gender limitations.
In fact, Mercury referred to himself as "gay" in a 1974 interview with NME magazine. He was frequently spotted at the cruisiest gay bars across Europe, the UK and America. On the other hand, he would often distance himself from partner Jim Hutton during public events in the 1980s.
Freddie Mercury (the rock icon) was too big to be contained in one gender mold.
He was diagnosed with HIV in 1987. Everyone knew he was sick and everyone surmised the reason. But Freddie Mercury (the image) could never die.
And so it was, that Freddie Mercury never acknowledged his illness until November 23, 1991, when a tersely worded statement was issued announcing that he had AIDS.
A few hours later, he was dead. At the age of 45.
Although he cultivated a very flamboyant stage personality, several sources (including people of my own acquaintance who knew him "intimately") refer to Mercury as having been very shy in person. He also granted very few interviews. Mercury once said of himself: "When I'm performing I'm an extrovert, yet inside I'm a completely different man."
One man was an Indian Parsi kid called Farrokh Bulsara who had been born in Zanzibar.
The other man was FREDDIE MERCURY:
Farrokh Bulsara died on November 24, 1991.
Freddie Mercury will live forever.
The Religion of Antinous honors Freddie Mercury as a Saint of Antinous because he embodies the artistic genius and the flamboyant courage that inspires each of us to strive to be a "star". St. Freddie Mercury admonishes us to strip off the guise of conventionality and the put on our "star" outfits and to take the stage of life. He teaches us to live each day as if it is forever.
Thursday, November 23, 2023
LOOKING for that perfect holiday season gift? One-stop shopping is just one click away at the online TEMPLE OF ANTINOUS SHOP
This shop features official Antinous articles selected and designed by FLAMEN ANTONIUS SUBIA personally.
If you admire the artwork of Antonyus, then order your own posters of his hand-picked favorite paintings and photographs.
A wide range of T-shirts is available, including classic "T", fitted "T", ringer "T", sleeveless, long-sleeve and baseball jersey — in up to nine colors, depending on the style and design you prefer.
The handy Antinous Tote Bag is a must-have as is a wide array of Antinous lapel buttons and refrigerator magnets in various sizes and designs.
Naturally, there are coffee mugs — and even an official Antinous beer stein appropriately adorned with the well-known Subian portrait of Antinous/Dionysus.
One of our favorites is the Antinous Keepsake Box, available in red-mahogany or black, with a tile cover portrait of the Louvre's breath-taking Ecouen Antinous. This roomy box is perfect for any home shrine or altar and is the perfect jewelry box.
And of course the ever-popular Antinous bumper sticker (at the top of this entry) provides the Beauteous Boy's blessings on any vehicle.
All items are ordered with safety and guaranteed efficiency through cafepress, which has a sound reputation for speedy delivery around the world, with secure payment in all major currencies.
Wednesday, November 22, 2023
ANTONIUS SUBIA says: "We pray to Diana to guide us in our hunt and to illuminate our nights with the silver light of her sublime power. We recognize that the Moon of Diana is the Moon of Antinous."
Tuesday, November 21, 2023
He became a gay icon in the 1970s after publication of his memoir, The Naked Civil Servant, his true-life account of his defiant exhibitionism and longstanding refusal to conceal his homosexuality.
John Hurt helped to make Quentin Crisp a media star in the movie adaptation of The Naked Civil Servant in the 1970s. In a sequel 30 years later Hurt made him a screen legend, very much in keeping with the lifelong ambition of Quentin Crisp.
In the second film, An Englishman In New York, Hurt portrayed the elderly Quentin Crisp as the New York gay icon based in Manhattan's funky-gritty Lower East Side in the 1980s and '90s.
At an age when most people would retire to a nursing home, Quentin Crisp left his native England and moved to New York City, where he pursued a career as a bon vivant and raconteur.
Asked by a BBC interview if he intended to die in New York, Saint Quentin emphatically said: "Oh no, I didn't come to New York to die. I came to New York to LIVE."
Arriving in New York in his 70s, he lived in his accustomed artistic squalor in a Lower East Side walk-up with a view through a grimy window pane of the next door neighbor's grimy bedroom window.
Every bit the considerate Englishman, he turned off his bare-bulb light at 11 p.m. and sat in the dark, lest the neighbor complain the glare from the 60-watt bulb (through two filthy window panes) kept him awake.
Saint Quentin experienced a meteoric rise after his cunning agent launched him into a career as a raconteur in an off-Broadway one-man show and he became a movie reviewer for a Christopher Street magazine.
But he experienced a meteoric fall from grace when, during one of his frequent TV talk-show appearances, he flippantly remarked that AIDS was "just a fad" which would soon be out of fashion, and the gay community viciously turned on him. Quentin, who had never apologized for anything in his life (and was not about to start apologizing), was perplexed when he was dropped by his agent and editor until his eyes were opened when he got to know young artist Patrick Angus, who later died of AIDS.
But in a Hollywood happy ending, Quentin was rescued by performance artist Penny Arcade, who put him back on stage, and Christopher Street re-hired him, paving the way for a glorious comeback and reconciliation with the gay community when he was in his 90s.
It is fitting that most people know Saint Quentin only through these two films. As might be expected, the best recommendation for the films comes from Quentin Crisp himself, who once famously said: "Any film, even the worst, is better than real life."
Monday, November 20, 2023
ON November 20th we honor a modern-day mortal whose loving support has been instrumental in establishing the Religion of Antinous in the 21st Century.
Klaus Witzeling, born on this day in 1944, spearheaded the effort to expand our religion from North America back to its roots in Europe.
Born in Graz, Austria, he was trained as an actor at the famed Max Reinhardt Institute in Vienna before moving to Hamburg, Germany, where he become a well-known drama and dance critic.
His open gayness and his tireless efforts to promote new talent were instrumental in the resurgence of modern dance and independent theatrical groups in the German-speaking world over the past 30 years.
He was known for his fair and unbiased critiques. And he was especially noted for promoting obscure dance troupes and unknown actors. His insistent emphasis on furthering new talent helped to make stars out of actors and dancers who otherwise might never have become well known.
Modest to the point of introversion, he wanted no funeral services or wake. But following his death on September 29th, 2013, scores of theatrical directors, actors, dancers, agents and fellow journalists spontaneously organized a gala evening at a theatre in Hamburg in his honor.
As a Blessed of Antinous, Klaus intercedes on behalf of those in the performing arts who know the angst of standing in the wings ... waiting for their cue to go out on stage. We offer this prayer to Antinous for Klaus to intercede on their behalf:
Sunday, November 19, 2023
TODAY November 19 is WORLD TOILET DAY and we are flushed with pride to have kept you on the edge of your seats for two years with headlines on what's new in ancient toilets.
We were the first to report the discovery by Philippe Charlier, a Parisian forensic expert, that Ancient Greek ceramic discs which hitherto had been thought to be gaming pieces may actually have been used as a form of ANCIENT TOILET PAPER.
Charlier (pictured here) presented among other things, a Greek proverb stating, "Three stones are enough to wipe one's arse," as evidence that such stones were used to clean up after going to the bathroom.
This blog also was among the first to report on the discovery of the world's oldest WOODEN TOILET SEAT (top of entry) in September 2014 at Vindolanda Roman Fort near Hadrian's Wall in northern England.
The Vindolanda experts also unearthed a WRITING TABLET (shown here) believed to be from 105-120 AD. The tablet was found just 12 inches (30 cm) from the wooden toilet seat.
The tablet is one of 12 found at Vindolanda this year and one of seven found from the same building level.
Andrew Birley, head of the dig, stated he was "looking forward" to reading the tablet's text.
The Romans used wooden tablets covered with a layer of wax for writing. They would scratch words into the wax using a stylus.
Saturday, November 18, 2023
WE are proud to consecrate Quintus Aurelius Symmachus as a Venerable Saint of Antinous for his unyielding efforts to uphold the Religion of Antinous in the face of Christian opposition.
A Roman statesman, orator, and man of letters who lived 345 – 402 AD, he held the offices of governor of proconsular Africa in 373, urban prefect of Rome in 384 and 385, and consul in 391.
Symmachus sought to preserve the traditional religions of Rome at a time when the aristocracy was converting to Christianity, and led an unsuccessful delegation of protest against Gratian, when he ordered the Altar of Victory removed from the curia, the principal meeting place of the Roman Senate in the Forum Romanum.
Two years later he made a famous appeal to Gratian's successor, Valentinian II, in a dispatch that was rebutted by Ambrose, the bishop of Milan.
Symmachus's career was temporarily derailed when he supported the short-lived usurper Magnus Maximus, but he was rehabilitated and three years later appointed consul.
Much of his writing has survived: nine books of letters, a collection of Relationes or official dispatches, and fragments of various orations.
Antonius Subia says:
In an age when almost all other Roman Nobility were turning away from our ancient Religion, this gentleman stood strong and faithful and was a voice of dissent against the tidal wave of Christianity that was enveloping the Roman world. This was the time when the Ancient Religion of Antinous was finally suppressed and destroyed. We can be sure that this Great Noble Roman was one of the last champions and defenders of our God.
The portrait above shows the Apotheosis of Symmachus ... a relief depicting Symmachus being carried up to the realm of the gods by two divine figures as though he were being deified. The Zodiac figures may indicate that his Deification took place around the Winter Solstice.
Friday, November 17, 2023
Thursday, November 16, 2023
WE honor Lozen, the two-spirit Apache warrioress and holy woman who fought with Geronimo, and who was with his final band of warriors when they surrendered.
She is a blessed Saint of Antinous.
A contemporary observer said:
"Lozen had no concern for her appearance and, even though she is seen in several famous photos of Geronimo with his warriors, there is nothing to indicate that she is a woman. You would never spot her. She was very manly in her appearance, dressed like a man, lived and fought like a man. She never married, and devoted her life to the service of her people, to the very end."
Wednesday, November 15, 2023
ANTINOUS was born on November 27 and worshipers around the world are busy planning their own festivities ... from Chile to Canada and from New England in the US to New South Wales in Australia.
November marks the start of the ancient pagan Festive Season, a season which is still full of fabulous party dates ... including Christmas, New Year's Eve, Twelfth Night and of course American Thanksgiving. Dia de los Muertos and Halloween/Samhain usher in this Festive Season of twinkly lights and over-eating and drinking way too much.
Our brothers and sisters at the Fundación Epithimia Antinoo in Mexico are busy making final preparations for an Antinous birthday fiesta.
For worshipers at the Templo de Antinoo México Temple of Antinous in Mexico City, the fiesta requires weeks or even months of preparation because the papier-mâché icons are created by artist Yanko Garibaldi ... each a work of art. Caricaturist Sirius has also created iconic images of the Martyrs and Saints of Antinous.
Other images on this page offer inspiration for Antinous Birthday festivities.
At right is "Das Gastmahl" (The Symposion Feast) by Anton von Werner (1877) - preliminary color sketch as part of a series of wall murals on the theme of "Roman Life" for the Café Bauer (53 x 89 cm) (Privately Owned).
Images below are courtesy of the gifted artist FELIX D'EON and serve as an inspiration for Antinous Birthday festivities in the open air ... in the Southern Hemisphere, where the jacarandas are in bloom and summer will soon be here.
These ancient festivities go back WAAAAY before Christianity, of course. So it's a safe bet that Hadrian and Antinous would recognize many of the features of these festivities
So when you plan your Antinous Birthday Party, you can mix-and-match customs from all sorts of pagan Festive Season holidays, in full knowledge that Hadrian and Antinous would nod in approval.
It should be celebrated with feasting and drinking and singing and carousing. Green boughs (palm fronds, holly, pine boughs or whatever is native to your climate) should decorate the feast room in honour of the forests of Bithynia, the highlands of modern-day Turkey where Antinous was born.
Electric lights should be turned off in favor of candlelight or at the very least those strings of tiny "fairy lights" Moslems use during Ramadan and Hindus during Divali and Christians at Christmas.
The one really bright spot in the room should be a bust or image of Antinous, which is spotlighted, signifying our belief that Antinous brings light into the world.
The Antinous Rosy Lotus would be perfect. But since not everyone has access to lotus blossoms in late November, orchids would also be fine.
Bithynia was well known even in Ancient Times for its forest orchids and the Romans loved orchids ... even orchid root beverages!
Orchids would be lovely as well as being a Hellenistic conversation piece.
If they are too pricey, then your favorite seasonal flower will do.
Look around and find something that is beautiful and unique to your own locale which you think would be very nice.
The Birthday of Antinous would be a wonderful opportunity for a costume party, also in keeping with the Halloween-Carnaval-Christmas flavor of these ancient pagan holidays. Guests might be encouraged to come as Greco-Romans or Egyptian priests.
The menu could be Mediterranean, with lots of finger foods such as tahini and couscous and humous and pita bread, stuffed olives, eggplant/aubergine, goat's cheese and so on.
Refried beans (which the Egyptians call "fuul" and eat for breakfast) would be ideal since the theory goes that the Moors introduced "fuul" to the Spaniards, who introduced it to the New World, where it became refritos ... Mexican refried beans.
But you should feel free to go local with favorite regional dishes of your home area.
There must be lots of good South American dishes which would be perfect, or Scottish specialties, or Aussie barbecued prawns or New England pot pies ... good simple "plebeian" food which is festive and spicy and filling.
In keeping with these pagan festivals, foods should represent birth and regeneration: beans, peas, black-eyed peas, pumpkins, squash, nuts, berries.
It doesn't really matter what food is served, of course, as long as it's delicious and plentiful, and as long as there is plenty of drink to wash it down, wine or beer or just good old iced tea.
Beer is appropriate, since the Ancient Egyptians were brewing beer thousands of years before Antinous was born.
Antinous' last meal may have been refried beans and beer and flat bread.
In a change from holiday cakes and cookies, how about baking Antinous cookies?
Bake simple sugar cookies which have been cut out to resemble stars, comets, an imperial crown and Bithynian fir trees and lions and so on and decorate them with Antinoian lettering or symbols.
Instead of gingerbread men, make gingerbread Antinouses. The gingerbread man, after all, is thought to come from pagan rituals for honoring Thor or other gods.
Generally, they are sweet dough which is filled with a nut-date-spice filling representing rebirth and spiritual sustenance. You still find them today on St. Nicholas' feast day throughout Europe.
Whatever you bake, make sure to include a small "surprise" somewhere in the cake or muffin or cookes for some lucky guest to chomp down on. It doesn't have to be a diamond ring, but a trinket of some sort is always fun.
If that is too challenging for your skills as a confectioner, then just an ordinary cake with the letters "A-N-T-I-N-O-U-S" in store-bought candy lettering would do the job just as nicely.
Or just a large "A" in icing in the middle of the cake.
Another tradition should be oracle games. This is the first major festival of the New Year in the Antinoian liturgical calendar, so oracles are appropriate.
And when your guests suggest you are robbing traditions from Christian festivals, just look them square in the eye and insist that the Christians stole these wonderful traditions from us pagans because the Christians didn't have any of their own.
Where would Christian holidays be without pagan traditions?
Who knows? Perhaps Hadrian and Antinous enjoyed these very same pagan traditions in their Saturnalia revelries.
One more thing: Mistletoe. Mistletoe is plentiful in the forests of Bithynia. You can never have enough mistletoe ... as these two 1928 vendors in Paris show.
Antinous would be well familiar with mistletoe. I'm sure he would like it as a reminder of his boyhood hikes through the woods of home.
Use your imagination and you'll come up with lots of ideas.
Let the Festive Season Begin with an Antinous Birthday Party!
Tuesday, November 14, 2023
THE birthday of Antinous is November 27 and worshipers all over the world are planning celebrations.
But some people are unable to celebrate as expansively and as joyously as they would like.
We received the following succinct smart phone message yesterday from a very dear adherent of Antinous in the American Bible Belt who said:
"I am a bit envious that you get to celebrate his birthday openly. I've got two straight housemates. Oh well ... maybe some day ...."
And like many people, he also has to work on that day ... and others have to work perhaps at two jobs to make ends meet. And then there are the people who just don't have the money or the facilities for a formal celebration.
There is a common misconception that you need to have a large and elaborate ALTAR OR SHRINE in your home. But the truest shrine is in your heart. You can download a photo of Antinous and put it in your wallet ... and it truly becomes Antinous the Gay God if you see HIM in it.
A shrine or sacred image of Antinous can be very SMALL AND MODEST.
The Ancient Priests of Antinous were experts in such things ... though 1,800 years of Christianity has resulted in that knowledge having become lost for the vast majority of people in Western civilization.
For the Ancient Priests of Antinous, what existed on the physical level drew to itself the specific spiritual energies of which the physical form was a type.
For the Magical Consciousness, every ritual action done on the physical level, every form created, every word spoken or written, acted as the magnet to which its spiritual counterpart irresistably was pulled.
Thus, a consecrated image of Antinous is not an "idol" and his worshippers are not "idolators."
Because an idol is a physical object and nothing more than a physical object. The statues of Antinous were not "idols" because the Ancient Priests of Antinous could never have conceived of such a notion. It is important that we remember that the Ancient Priests of Antinous conceived of a world which was ... unlike our own ... an ANIMATED world from the beginning. Everything in their physical world was alive with spiritual dimensions.
They didn't PROJECT a spiritual entity into a hunk of carved marble. Instead, they APPREHENDED the spiritual entity that was already inside the stone.
Anybody who has been around our own FLAMEN ANTONIUS SUBIA has seem him use his Inner Eye to do the same thing. He will look at a statue of a "Greek Ephebe" and will look inward for a moment and then will say, "It's Antinous!"
Some have criticized him for doing this, saying he can't possibly know the provenance of the statue and whether it was perhaps actually supposed to be Hermes or someone else. Antonyus uses his Inner Eye and "sees" the spiritual Blessed Boy in the stone ... or says it is not Antinous, as the case may be.
The Ancient Priests of Antinous did the same thing in carrying out religio-magical services for the faithful. Not only could a physical image (whether two-dimensional or three-dimensional) provide a "body" for an already existent spiritual entity, but images could also become the spiritual base for "thought forms" that were called into existence through their being represented in miniature on the physical plane.
The Ancient Priests of Antinous were deeply aware of the interdependence between the Divine World and the Human World. In the times in which they lived, these two spheres were not experienced as separate from each other in the way that they have come to be experienced today.
"As Above, So Below" was not just a catch-phrase for them, but instead it was a way of life.
It is our goal in this distant, soulless, post-modern age, to rediscover this ability to live in relationship to, and act as a conduit for, Antinous the Gay God.
We cannot recreate the ancient religion of Antinous. It is dead and we human beings have developed in other directions. We are not attempting to "reconstruct" the Religion of Antinous. Our goal is to fashion a Religion of Antinous which meets the spiritual needs of post-modern, post-Christian and post-pagan gay men.
But we can learn from the Ancient Priests of Antinous. The cosmos of which they were aware was primarily spiritual and only secondarily material. In their physical world, everything was spiritually alive ... even soft-toys, coins and bronze (or maybe brass) statuettes bought on eBay ... even a downloaded photo in a hip wallet.
The main task of the Ancient Priests of Antinous was to build a magical bridge between physical and spiritual reality, momentarily bringing them into conjunction.
So the answer to the question "Is that image really Antinous?" would be answered this way by an Ancient Priest of Antinous: "It is so if you MAKE it so. Open your eyes to the 'Antinous Within'. Apprehend HIS presence which is already inside the earthly reproduction. Through you, then, it IS Antinous!"
HOMOTHEOSIS ... Gay-Man-Godliness-Becoming-the-Same.
You don't need to build a temple of steel, stone and glass. You ARE the temple.
Monday, November 13, 2023
ON the 13th November we celebrate the Roman feast of Jupiter, Minerva and Juno. Romans celebrate with a lavish feast outdoors, with the statues of the gods being brought in as the major guests. The feast is in the inner courtyard, open to the sky, so that the gods can see that all is done correctly.
13 de novembro é a festa romana de Júpiter, Minerva e Juno. Os romanos celebraram com uma festa pródiga ao ar livre, com as estátuas dos deuses sendo trazidas como os principais convidados. A festa está no pátio interior, aberta ao céu, para que os deuses possam ver que tudo é feito corretamente.
El 13 de noviembre es la fiesta romana de Júpiter, Minerva y Juno. Los romanos celebraban con un festín lujoso al aire libre, con las estatuas de los dioses como los principales invitados. La fiesta está en el patio interior, abierto al cielo, para que los dioses puedan ver que todo está hecho correctamente.
Sunday, November 12, 2023
We know that the priests of Antinous wrote a LOVE SPELL. Lambert notes that even to this day local villagers believe the place to be haunted.
Discussing who might have used the book, Choat said: "It is my sense that there were ritual practitioners outside the ranks of the clergy and monks, but exactly who they were is shielded from us by the fact that people didn't really want to be labeled as a 'magician'."
Saturday, November 11, 2023
ON November 11th the Religion of Antinous honors two men whose love for each other has survived the fall of all ancient civilizations.
We honor Niankhkhnum and Khnumhotep, Blessed Saints of Antinous.They lived in Egypt 2,000 years before the siege of Troy.
They had been dead and forgotten for 2,650 years when Hadrian and Antinous visited Mennefer (Memphis) Egypt in 130 AD.
Most likely Hadrian and Antinous stood directly on top of (or very nearly on top of) the lost tomb of these two men — two men who were buried together at the Memphis necropolis some 4,500 years ago.
When the tomb was discovered in 1964 it sent shock waves through the dusty world of Egyptology. The vividly painted reliefs on the walls of the tomb showed an intimate embrace between two male Royal Manicurists — the first recorded depiction of an openly homosexual couple.
Prudish Egyptologists have argued ever since that the two men were "just good friends" or perhaps that they were possibly "twin brothers".
But recent research by more open-minded archaeologists, such as California-based EGYPTOLOGIST GREG REEDER, has offered compelling evidence that the two men were more than "just good friends" or "close brothers."
Greg Reeder has written and lectured extensively on this extraordinary tomb, which was uncovered in 1964 in the necropolis of Saqqara at Memphis, on the west bank of the Nile. The site atop a cliff overlooking the Nile has drawn tourists since ancient times. Julius Caesar and Cleopatra stood atop this cliff and gazed in awe at its ancient tomb structures.
Hadrian and Antinous almost certainly stood on this very same spot in October of the year 130 AD, only weeks before Antinous drowned in the Nile. Beneath their feet was the Lost Tomb of Niankhkhnum and Khnumhotep. The sand has been removed and now that long-lost tomb is no longer lost.
And what a tomb it is! It has a splendid entrance and charming layout befitting a pleasant gay holiday retreat cottage — for an eternal, never-ending holiday vacation.
While grave robbers stripped the tomb of relics in antiquity, the wall paintings reveal tantalizing hints about its original occupants. The men are repeatedly depicted together, sometimes holding hands, sometimes with their arms around each other.
In two instances they are shown with their noses touching — the most intimate embrace permitted in Egyptian art of the time — tantamount to kissing. Their bodies are pressed so closely together that their groins rub against each other in a decidedly intimate sort of way.
In Ancient Egypt, such male-male depictions were reserved for kings who merged with gods, not for two mortal men.
They are so close together that some Egyptologists have theorized that they may have been Siamese twins joined at the hips.
Other figures, identified as wives and children, are relegated to the background. In one scene, in which the two men share a final banquet before their journey into the afterlife, Niankhkhnum' s "wife" has been plastered over by the craftsmen who decorated the tomb. Khnumhotep's spouse fails to make an appearance at all — highly unusual in Egyptian tomb art, if not totally unprecedented.
Throughout the tomb, the two men are depicted in joyous pursuits, such as this relief vignette (right) showing one of them playing flute accompaniment as the other sings.
The magnificent reliefs show a variety of scenes involving nude or semi-nude males involved in all sorts of artistic and manly activities, such as one scene (below left) of a sort of "Egyptian Rodeo" bull-roping tournament with accompanying scenes of a raucous "beef barbecue" feast.
Or the scene (below right) of athletic youths — so sparingly attired you can see they are circumcised — engaged in a playful mock battle using reed skiffs on the Nile.
Throughout the tomb, the reliefs show men, men, men (and a few token females) engaged in service to the tomb's two male occupants who are — unprecedented in Egyptian Sacred Art — wholly committed to each other. Other tombs invariably show man-and-wife. Not this one.
Hieroglyphs describe the men as "Overseers of the Royal Manicurists" to pharaoh.
Ostensibly, they were responsible for the care of the pharaoh's hands and were among the select few permitted to touch the ruler.
However, it is also possible that the title "Royal Manicurist" could be a ceremonial honor similar to the "Order of the Garter".
Though the hieroglyphs say nothing of the two men's relationship, Greg Reeder, an Egyptologist based in San Francisco, believes the wall paintings suggest homosexuality is the answer. Reeder points out that Niankhkhnum and Khnumhotep clearly chose to depict themselves in poses usually restricted to husbands and wives in other tombs.
"Same-sex desire must be considered as a probable explanation," Reeder said at a lecture in Britain which made headlines a couple of years ago.
"We can only say for certain that the carvings show a profound intimacy between the two men, and the people who built the tomb were possibly unsure how to portray this," the US archaeologist noted.
The tomb was restored by German archaeologists in the late 1970s and opened to the public in the 1990s.
While gay tour operators have not targeted the site, in large part because Egypt outlaws homosexual activity, Greg Reeder's articles and lectures have created gay interest in this long-lost tomb.
"It has now become famous and lots of gay tourists go there," he says with scholarly pride.
Reeder notes that, regardless of whether the two men were sexual lovers, they were definitely two men who loved each other so much that they wanted to spend all eternity in an intimate embrace.
Even their two names are intertwined. Over the entrance to one chamber their names are mingled together so that Niankhkhnum and Khnumhotep become "NiankhKHNUMhotep" — Peace and Life joined in the ram-headed Source-of-the-Nile Deity Khnum, clearly their mutual sacred patron.
Thus, their names blend together, forming a single name: "Joined in Life and Joined in Peace at the Source of All That Lives and Dies and is Born Again for All Eternity". Such is the subtlety of the Egyptian language, which turns a name into a commitment.
Our Flamen Antinoalis Antonyus Subia says:
"Niankhkhnum and Khnumhotep is one of the earliest and most vivid portrayals of homosexual love, crossing all boundaries, binding two men and two families for all time, and demonstrating the profound antiquity and sacredness of our form of love."
Thanks largely to the bold and candid research of Greg Reeder, the names of Niankhkhnum and Khnumhotep have been rescued from oblivion, so that their KAs might live forever — together!