Monday, April 22, 2024

ON EARTH DAY
ANTINOUS IS IN YOU HERE AND NOW



FOR us in the Northern Hemisphere it is Spring. For us in the Southern Hemisphere it is Autumn. For Antinous, all moments in time are NOW, all locations in space are HERE ... in your spiritual heart ... HOMOTHEOSIS ... Gay-Man-Godliness-Becoming-the-Same.

Dia da Terra. Para nós no hemisfério norte é Primavera. Para nós no  Hemisfério Sul é de Outono. Para Antinous, todos os momentos no tempo é agora, todos os locais no espaço são AQUI ... em seu coração espiritual ... HOMOTHEOSIS ... Homem-Deus-Gay-tornou-se o mesmo que-Homem-Deus-Gay.

Día de la Tierra para nosotros en el hemisferio norte es la primavera . Para nosotros en el hemisferio sur es otoño . Para Antinoo , todos los momentos del tiempo están ahora , todos los lugares en el espacio está aquí ... en su corazón espiritual ... HOMOTHEOSIS ... Gay-Hombre-Dios-Ser-el-mismo-como-Gay-Hombre-Dios .

Sunday, April 21, 2024

HAPPY BIRTHDAY, ROMA!
By Flamen Antinoalis Antonius Subia





MATER ROMA,

Thank you for saving me from perdition,
Thank you for giving my life meaning and purpose again
Today you have given me so much joy and mystery
I don't even know what to say sometimes
About the way you work your magic over my life
But I feel your power all around me.
You are with me where ever I go,
Where ever I am...You Are There.
Wolf Mother! 
My Latin forefathers flow through my blood
My allegiance to you will never die
I give my life, my strength, my courage to defend you
...and to restore your glory.
Happy Birthday Roma!

~ANTONIUS SUBIA

THE EROTICON
WHEN ANTINOUS HUNTS A BEAR


ON April 21, as the Sun moves into the Sign of Taurus the Bull, we celebrate the ancient festival of THE EROTICON.

On this day we honor the great God of Love, Eros-Cupid, in his guise as Antinous-Phanes, the "radiant being of light who emerges from the egg of night". 


We also honor the Great God Priapus the divine phallus, the column of male virility, the bestower of the fertility of fields, vineyards, orchards and gardens. Priapus is the axis of the cosmos.

On this date we also commemorate the founding of the city of Rome, Natalis Urbis, personified by the Romans as Our Lady Roma. We celebrate the consecration of her sacred border, and of her birth, and eternal life, and remember that we are her children.

And also on this date we remember the Sacred Bear Hunt. While in Mysia in Asia Minor, in the year 129, the court engaged in a Bear Hunt near the city which Hadrian had founded (on an earlier trip) called Hadrianotherae, "Hadrian's hunting ground". It is the modern-day city of Balikesir in a lovely area of wooded forests and lakes in northwestern Turkey.

Hadrian loved animals and is known to have built tombs for his dogs and horses (according to Royston Lambert) and he loved to hunt. The Bear is the sacred animal of Diana-Artemis, and symbolizes the solitary, forest-roaming character of the Virgin Huntress. In the ferocity of the bear lies the secret of Diana's power, against which Hadrian and Antinous pitted themselves, as shown on the tondo from the Arch of Constantine.

The grand themes of the Eroticon are Love and Sex and Ferocious Anger. The Beast is always lurking inside of us. The mystery teaching surrounding the Bear Hunt involves getting to know your animal instincts -- sex and lust and rage -- and to become one with them and to turn them into powerful allies for your spiritual development.

Flamen Antinoalis Antonius Subia has expressed this mystical mystery meaning as follows:


"Antinous, under Hadrian's guidance, was an accomplished hunter, indeed it is perhaps his natural skill and bravery in the chase that elevated him to the absolute love and adoration of Hadrian. The Emperor was madly in love with hunters, and Antinous was one of the best. Antinous had perhaps been silently stalking and hunting the Emperor's favor for quite some time, and now, in Asia, in the sacred Hunting Grounds of Hadrian, Antinous closed in on the heart of his prey and captured the Emperor completely. In our commemoration of the Sacred Bear Hunt we recognize that Artemis and Antinous are twin deities, and we seek the Dianic-Artemis-Bear within ourselves."

HADRIAN'S PANTHEON BECOMES A SUNDIAL
FOR THE FOUNDING OF THE CITY OF ROME



THE crowds of tourists at Hadrian's Pantheon witness a spectacular light show on April 21, the anniversary of the founding of Rome, when a ray of sunlight illuminate the temple portals.

The phenomenon, similar to one on the March Equinox, is one of the mysteries that have always surrounded what lies behind the unusual design of the Pantheon, the giant temple in the heart of Rome that was built by the Emperor Hadrian.

Now experts have come up with an intriguing theory – that the temple acted as a colossal sun dial, with a beam of light illuminating its enormous entrance at the precise moment that the emperor entered the building on the anniversary of the founding of the city of Rome each April 21.

Constructed on Hadrian's orders and completed in 128 AD, the Pantheon's hemispherical dome is punctured by a 30 foot-wide circular hole known as the 'oculus'.

It provides the interior of the building with its only source of natural light and allows in rain and – on rare occasions – snow.

Giulio Magli, a historian of ancient architecture from Milan Polytechnic, Italy, and Robert Hannah, a classics scholar from the University of Otago in New Zealand, have discovered that at precisely midday during the March equinox, a circular shaft of light shines through the oculus and illuminates the Pantheon's imposing entrance.

A similar effect is seen on April 21, which the Romans celebrated as the founding date of their city, when at midday the sun beam strikes a metal grille above the doorway, flooding the colonnaded courtyard outside with light.

The dramatic displays would have been seen by the Romans as elevating an emperor into the realm of the gods – a cosmological affirmation of his divine power as he entered the building, which was used as an audience hall as well as a place of worship.

He was in effect being "invited" by the sun to enter the Pantheon, which as its name suggests was dedicated to the most important deities of the Roman world.

"The emperor would have been illuminated as if by film studio lights," said Professor Magli.

"The Romans believed the relationship between the emperor and the heavens was at its closest during the equinoxes. It would have been a glorification of the power of the emperor, and of Rome itself."

The sun had a special significance for the Romans, as it did for the ancient Egyptians.

The god Apollo was associated with the sun, and the emperor Nero was depicted as the Greek sun god Helios in a giant statue called the Colossus, which gave its name to the Colosseum.

One of antiquity's most remarkable examples of engineering, the Pantheon's fine state of preservation is thanks to the fact that it was converted into a church in the seventh century, when it was presented to the Pope by the Byzantine Emperor Phocas.

It retains its original bronze doors and marble columns, some of which were quarried in the Egyptian desert and transported by the ship down the Nile and across the Mediterranean to Rome at huge expense.

Saturday, April 20, 2024

SLAIN GAY PARISIAN POLICEMAN
IS A BLESSED SAINT OF ANTINOUS



ON April 20th we honor gay French police officer Xavier Jugelé who laid down his life when an Islamic extremist opened fire on Paris' Champs Elysees on 20 April 2017.

He is a saint of Antinous. 

At a memorial ceremony, Jugele’s husband, Etienne Cardiles, paid loving tribute to his late partner.

"This pain makes me feel closer to your comrades who suffer in silence like you and me," Cardiles said, holding back tears. He described Jugele as a man who lived "a life of joy and huge smiles."

"I have no hatred, Xavier, because it is not like you and does not fit with what made your heart beat," he added. "Nor what made you a guardian of the peace."

A spokesperson for the French association of LGBT police officers described Jugelé as "a simple man who loved his job, and he was really committed to the LGBT cause."

"He was aware of the risks of the job and the terrorist threat," said Mickaël Bucheron, "although we did not speak a lot about it."

Jugelé, 37, grew up in Romorantin-Lanthenay in central France and was in a civil union with Cardiles.

He had been among the first responders when DAESH Islamic State terrorists attacked Paris' Bataclan theater in 2015, and was actually preparing to leave the Paris gendarmes to join the Judicial Police, which pursues suspects and serves search warrants, among other duties.

After his death, flags at police stations across France flew at half-mast, and President Francois Hollande made him a posthumous knight of the Legion d’Honneur.

Friday, April 19, 2024

JOHN ADDINGTON SYMONDS
SAINT OF ANTINOUS THE GAY GOD


THE Religion of Antinous honors St. John Addington Symonds, the English poet and literary scholar who shocked Victorian sensibilities by openly promoting the cause of same-sex love.

John Addington Symonds was born on 5 October 1840, to a wealthy middle-class family in Bristol England. His father was a liberally minded doctor with connections and close friendships with many of the most illustrious and forwards minds of the time.

It was this environment of Victorian middle-class sexual repression that caused John Addington Symonds to blossom into one of the first and most prolific proponents for the cause of love between men.

While teenager in school, he was awakened by Plato to the awareness of love between boys among his schoolmates and almost immediately and unhesitatingly came out of the closet, even to his father, who was initially dismayed but ultimately supportive.

From then on, Symonds devoted his entire life to the study of homosexuality through art and history. He was the most pronounced defender of the ancient and glorious legacy of love between men, and a champion of social change.

He was a deep admirer of Walt Whitman, and later worked closely with Edward Carpenter, and Dr. Magnus Hirschfeld, co-founding the British Institute for Sexual Science, which advocated a methodical study to overturn the laws against homosexual love.

For his life-long work and devotion, and for his early recognition and exultation of his sexuality, John Addington Symonds is a canonized Saint of the Religion of Antinous.


The most sacred of his many contributions to the enlightenment of our freedom are the words that he wrote about Antinous, whose beauty he glorified with poetry and elegance in the language of a lover of the homosexual, erotic beauty of Our God. John Addington  Symonds died in Rome on the 19th of April 1893.

Thursday, April 18, 2024

ACTIVISTS IN SOUTH AFRICA PETITION
FOR AN LGBTQ LIBRARY AND ARCHIVE





EFFORTS are underway by a small group of activists in South Africa to establish an LGBTQ library and archive at a university with an unfortunate human-rights history.


Students & alumni at the University of the Free State in Bloemfontein city in the Free State province of central South Africa have started a petition asking the university to found an LGBTQ history archive and library on its campus. Alternatively, they ask merely for permission and premises to be granted for them to do so themselves. 


They are in dire need of help and rely as heavily on international as on local support, and they ask people from elsewhere in the world as well as in South Africa to sign the petition. Theirs is going to be an uphill struggle and they face near overwhelming odds, but the support that has been coming in is bolstering them & they believe in their quest and its worthiness.


YOU CAN ALSO FOLLOW ON INSTAGRAM OR YOUTUBE.

Wednesday, April 17, 2024

SAINT SOR JUANA INÉS DE LA CRUZ


ON April 17th the Religion of Antinous honors Saint Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz, 17th Century Mexican nun, scholar, poet, scientist, playwright, musician and lesbian.

She was exceptional not only for her intelligence and beauty, but also because she wrote literature centered on intellectual and sexual freedom.

In the poem "Redondillas" she defends a woman's right to be respected as a human being. "Hombres necios" (Stubborn men) criticizes the sexism of the society of her time, and pokes fun at men who publicly condemn prostitutes, among other things, but privately hire them.

She also has a philosophical approach to the relative immorality of prostitution. This was exemplified when she posed the question, "Who sins more, she who sins for pay or he who pays for sin?"

In the romantic comedy entitled "Los empeños de una casa" about a brother and a sister entangled in a web of love, she writes using two of her most prominent themes, love and jealousy.

She did not moralize, but rather, in the spirit of her lifetime interests, inquired of how these deeply emotional matters shaped and carved a woman's pursuit of liberty, knowledge, education and freedom to live her life in self-sovereignty.

Her revolutionary writings brought down upon her the ire of the Roman Catholic Church at the end of the 17th Century. She was ordered to tone down the sexuality of her writings. She did not.


However, powerful representatives from the Spanish court were her mentors and she was widely read in Spain, being called "The Tenth Muse". She was lauded as the most prominent poet of the post-conquest American Continent. Her work was printed by the first printing press of the American Continent in Mexico City.

She is believed to have penned 4,000 works, but only a few have survived. They were rescued by the Spanish Viceroy's wife, who was rumoured to be her female lover. In April 1695, after ministering to the other sisters struck down by a rampant plague, she is said to have died at four in the morning on April 17th.

For her love of learning and her devotion to the beauty of sexuality and for her courage to write about controversial things in the face of the Spanish Inquisition, we honor Saint Sor Juana as a Prophet of Homoeros.

Monday, April 15, 2024

JEAN GENET ALWAYS WANTED TO BE A SAINT
HE IS A SAINT OF ANTINOUS


ON April 15th the Religion of Antinous remembers Jean Genet as a Saint of Antinous.

Saint Jean Genet was one of the first and most modern gay poets, whose elegance and sordid love for the street life was unprecedented, and has never been matched.

Among his most fervent desires, expressed from the very beginning was that he should one day be elevated to Sainthood.


We of the Religion of Antinous, fully and faithfully, take faith in the spirit of Saint Jean Genet, through whom the eternal voice of Antinous spoke with the most voluptuousness and vain-glory.

Saint Jean Genet died on this day in Paris in1986.

Sunday, April 14, 2024

WE CELEBRATE THE SACRED BEAR HUNT
AND THE BIRTHDAY OF ROME




WORSHIPERS on both sides of the Atlantic have convened in an international Zoom conference to celebrate the ancient festival of THE EROTICON, the Sacred Bear Hunt of Hadrian and Antinous, and the birthday of Rome.

April 21 marks the anniversary of the founding of the city of Rome in 743 BC by Romulus and Remus.

Adherents from North America, Africa and Europe joined via Zoom as Flamen Antonius Subia celebrated the rites at the Hollywood Temple of Antinous.

On this day we honor the great God of Love, Eros-Cupid, in his guise as Antinous-Phanes, the "radiant being of light who emerges from the egg of night". We also honor the Great God Priapus the divine phallus, the column of male virility, the bestower of the fertility of fields, vineyards, orchards and gardens. Priapus is the axis of the cosmos.

On this date we also commemorate the founding of the city of Rome, Natalis Urbis, personified by the Romans as Our Lady Roma. We celebrate the consecration of her sacred border, and of her birth, and eternal life, and remember that we are her children.

And also on this date we remember the Sacred Bear Hunt. While in Mysia in Asia Minor, in the year 129, the court engaged in a Bear Hunt near the city which Hadrian had founded (on an earlier trip) called Hadrianotherae, "Hadrian's hunting ground". It is the modern-day city of Balikesir in a lovely area of wooded forests and lakes in northwestern Turkey.

Hadrian loved animals and is known to have built tombs for his dogs and horses (according to Royston Lambert) and he loved to hunt. The Bear is the sacred animal of Diana-Artemis, and symbolizes the solitary, forest-roaming character of the Virgin Huntress. In the ferocity of the bear lies the secret of Diana's power, against which Hadrian and Antinous pitted themselves, as shown on the tondo from the Arch of Constantine. 

The grand themes of the Eroticon are Love and Sex and Ferocious Anger. The Beast is always lurking inside of us. The mystery teaching surrounding the Bear Hunt involves getting to know your animal instincts -- sex and lust and rage -- and to become one with them and to turn them into powerful allies for your spiritual development.

Flamen Antinoalis Antonius Subia has expressed this mystical mystery meaning as follows:

"Antinous, under Hadrian's guidance, was an accomplished hunter, indeed it is perhaps his natural skill and bravery in the chase that elevated him to the absolute love and adoration of Hadrian. The Emperor was madly in love with hunters, and Antinous was one of the best. Antinous had perhaps been silently stalking and hunting the Emperor's favor for quite some time, and now, in Asia, in the sacred Hunting Grounds of Hadrian, Antinous closed in on the heart of his prey and captured the Emperor completely. In our commemoration of the Sacred Bear Hunt we recognize that Artemis and Antinous are twin deities, and we seek the Dianic-Artemis-Bear within ourselves."

SIR JOHN GIELGUD
SAINT OF ANTINOUS


ON April 14th the Religion of Antinous honors one of our most blessed thespian saints and martyrs, St. John Gielgud, who was born on this day in 1904.

The most terrible moment in John Gielgud's life -- on which he maintained a public silence for 50 years -- was the subject of a critically acclaimed play in the London West End.

The play, entitled "Plague Over England", was about the scandal which swept across Britain in 1953 when John Gielgud was arrested by an undercover policeman in a public toilet in London.

But the 2008 play was concerned with much more than Gielgud's arrest in on the charge of "importuning for immoral purposes". The play showed the plight of gay men in the 1950s Cold War atmosphere when gays were associated with Communist espionage. 

Its characters include the producer who nearly ended his career, the virulently anti-homosexual Lord Chief Justice Rayner Goddard, an American fleeing his own country's anti-Communist paranoia, and a doctor who claims to "cure" same-sex attraction with "Clockwork Orange"-style electric shock therapy.

Homosexuals had long been feared and hated in England as men who, it was believed, preyed on the innocent young, and were thus unfit to lead normal, happy lives. Until 1967, they risked prosecution for what the law called "acts of gross indecency between male persons", even in private, and could be arrested for merely showing -- in a police spy's opinion -- an intent to commit them.

Police throughout England were alert for any hints of homosexual behaviour. Just before Gielgud was arrested, two prominent high-class gay men had been uncovered as KGB spies, resulting in a further crackdown on all gay activities. The officer who arrested Gielgud was part of a Metropolitan Police squad established in 1930 that regularly lurked in central London toilets.


The year in which Gielgud came to grief in a Chelsea public convenience was a particularly dangerous one for homosexuals, as the increased frankness of the period allowed politicians, the police, and the press to profit by inflaming public hysteria, warning that a "plague" or "epidemic" of sodomy and Communism was sweeping the land.

The climate of fear was chilling to gay men who paid even the slightest attention to the news.

Gielgud, however, was, in his own words a "silly gubbins" who took no notice of anything outside of acting. On October 21, following the rehearsal for the play "A Day By the Sea", this supremely unworldly man, then 49, had a few drinks at a party and then visited a public lavatory popular with "cottagers" -- English gay slang for men who cruise toilets.

Arrested, and aware that he should give a false identity, he said he was a clerk called Arthur (his real name) Gielgud. The next day he  appeared before a magistrate who did not know who he was, fined him 10 pounds, and ordered him, with the disdain and sexual ignorance of the period, to "see your doctor the moment you leave this court".

Unfortunately, a better-informed Evening Standard reporter was there, too. When that afternoon's paper hit the streets, he was on the front page.

You can imagine the shame and the terror with which Gielgud turned up at rehearsal (he had considered suicide) for the role of a bachelor diplomat whose mother worries that he is lonely and unloved.

But the company, led by his co-star, Dame Sybil Thorndike, in fact welcomed him with open arms. "Oh, John," she said, in one of the most magnificent double entendres of all time, "you HAVE been a silly bugger!"



The producer of "A Day By the Sea", however, the immensely powerful Binkie Beaumont, saw the newspaper articles and the hate mail, and worried that the public would stay away. 

Yet his thoughts of firing the star were thwarted by Gielgud's brother, Val, who applied a little judicious blackmail about Binkie's very own private life.

Everyone was nervous that the audience might react with silence or even boos.


But as the curtain came down he was cheered to the rafters.

Gielgud was known for having a penchant for anonymous bathroom sex -- It's one of the reasons his knighthood (just a few months before the arrest) was postponed for years. He even had a "cruising cap" for such forays, an attempt to disguise himself so as to avert detection by fans who might recognize him.

The arrest had important consequences, and not only for Gielgud, who was told by the British embassy in Washington to forget about a planned American production of "The Tempest". because he might prove "an embarrassment".

Afterwards, the floodgates opened as the public was confronted by the disturbing fact that an extremely distinguished and beloved artist was one of the people they, in theory, despised. The fuss contributed to the Wolfenden Commission, set up the following year to study prostitution, taking on homosexuality as well. Its recommendations eventually led to decriminalisation in Britain.

While the affair broke Gielgud emotionally, he put himself back together in a way that made him better suited to a theatre in a world of greater change and upheaval.


For his talent and for his courage, the Religion of Antinous honors Saint John Gielgud as a Prophet of Homoeros.

Saturday, April 13, 2024

DID ANTINOUS HAVE A DICEY TIME
WITH GAMES OF CHANCE LIKE THIS?


WE wonder what games Antinous loved to play ... and surely dice games such as this were a favourite among many boys and men in the Roman Empire ... as demonstrated by this amazing dice tower which had all the bells and whistles.

Okay, maybe it didn't have whistles. But it certainly had bells.

The Vettweiss-Froitzheim Dice Tower dates to the time when Hadrian and Antinous were touring the provinces.

It was found in Germania near the Roman military fortress at Colonia (modern Cologne) on the Rhine. It's name comes from the modern-day village where it was discovered.

Roman soldiers must have loved it because it was found neatly packed away for protection.

The modern reproduction at left by Steve Wagstaff shows how it would have looked with all its playing pieces.

It was intended to produce a trustworthy throw of one or more dice.

It is an upright, hollow cuboid of copper-alloy plate designed to sit level on a flat surface. 

The top of the dice tower is open so that you can toss dice into it.

And it contains three levels of projecting baffles which would produce random motion in the dice as they fell through the tower.

The dice would then emerge at the base of the tower via a miniature flight of steps. 

The dice, while emerging, would ring three bells which formerly hung above the exit. One of these bells survives intact.

The tower is decorated on all faces with pierced patterns and two short Latin texts are displayed prominently.

The front face of the tower bears the words:

PICTOS VICTOS
HOSTIS DELETA
LVDITE SECVRI

Which may be translated as:

THE PICTS ARE DEFEATED.
THE ENEMY IS DESTROYED.
IT'S SAFE TO PLAY!

Around the top of the three remaining faces is the phrase:

VTERE FELIX VIVAS

Which may be translated loosely as:

LIVE HAPPILY AND HAVE FUN PLAYING 

Friday, April 12, 2024

GREEK AND ROMAN STATUES
WORE TECHNICOLOR DREAMCOATS



GLEAMING white marble and limestone sculptures dominate our image of the Mediterranean world in classical antiquity.

However, it is not generally known that ancient architecture and sculptures were once painted in vivid colours.

But now, thanks to technology, experts are delving into the "archaeo-polychromy" of ancient reliefs and sculptures. They use digital scanners to detect faint smidgens of pigment. And then they do computer projections of what the original must have looked like.

For 20 years now, the traveling exhibit GODS IN COLOR (original title in German: Bunte Götter – Die Farbigkeit antiker Skulptur) shows statues such as "Paris the Trojan Archer" (above), from the west pediment of the Aphaia Temple in Aegina, the way that scientists believe the Ancient Greeks intended them to look.

The traveling exhibition has been seen in major cities on every continent and is still heading to new cities. Watch for it at a museum near you ....

The experts stress that these mock-ups are only "best guess scenarios" of what the originals must have looked like. And there are many, many possible variations. The result is very flat and uniform.


After all, the experts are going by only minute flakes of pigment on a chin or cheek to project the color of the entire face.

No doubt the Ancient artists used varying hues, so that this bust of Caligula (left) would look much, much more lifelike than it does here in this modern mock-up.

The experts claim that even bronze statuary was often gilded and painted. We think of bronze being beautiful when it has acquired a patina of greenish age. But the Ancients thought that was dreadful. 


They went to great pains to keep their bronze statues polished so that they gleamed in the sun. They put gemstones in the eyes and they gilded the lips and the brows and eyelashes.

Be sure to watch for this traveling exhibition at a museum near you!

Thursday, April 11, 2024

NOW THERE IS AN OBELISK OF ANTINOUS
ON THE NORTH AMERICAN CONTINENT



YOU all know of the ANTINOUS OBELISK in Rome ... there is also an Antinous Obelisk in North America.

On Monday, April 11, 2017, a cenotaph obelisk inscribed with Antinous' name and dates was erected by an Antinous adherent in the Congressional Cemetery in Washington DC. 

It is thought to be the only cemetery with a LGBT section. 

Above is a picture of the grave of Leonard Matlovich under the blooming cherry tree. If you should visit Leonard's grave and turn around, directly behind you you will see the obelisk in the second picture. 

Take the short walk to the obelisk and you will see the name of Antinous and his dates inscribed on the fifth niche down from the top. 

The Antinous worshiper's name, James Crawford, is on the plate as well as that of Henry Moses III, a saint of Antinous, whose urn is within the niche. 

The names of two other gay men immortalized on this cenotaph are covered over out of respect for their wishes. 

Antinous is now inscribed on an obelisk on the North American continent. 

The landscaping has not been completed because the installation just occurred yesterday. 

If you are ever in Washington, DC, and intend to visit the very historic and interesting Congressional Cemetery, you might want to stop by and give a remembrance to our Antinous.

Wednesday, April 10, 2024

APOLLONIUS AND PHILEMON
SAINTS AND MARTYRS OF ANTINOUS


AS the fires of intolerance under the guise of "freedom of religion" rage all around us, we remember St. Apollonius and St. Philemon of Antinoopolis, two loving friends who died together as martyrs to religious persecution.
 

Antinoopolis was built upon the bank where Antinous had fallen into the Nile. From its birth the city was enshrouded with the specter of death.

The Religion of Antinous under the Curia of Antinoopolis was a death cult. The city's two major temples, that of the Egyptian faction and the larger Antinoeion which is the second possible site of the Lost Tomb of Antinous, were places for the perpetual lamentation of the death of Antinous, and for the passing of all beauty and youth in the world.

Antinoopolis was the flower of Greek civilization deep in the desert of the Thebaid, and it was a haven for dispossessed and exiled thinkers and theological revolutionaries of all sorts. But there came a time when even liberal-minded Antinoopolis fell under the sway of the fear and violence that had swept across the world.

The Christian faith was suffering one of the bloodiest persecutions in its history. In the 4th Century CE, as Antinoopolis was in full flower, Emperor Diocletian had sought to curb the rising tide of Christianity with brutal violence. He issued decrees that all citizens should be compelled to demonstrate their piety to the Roman Gods by offering sacrifice. It was a direct challenge.

Any person who refused was not only insulting the Gods of Rome, but also showing disloyalty to the Emperor and to Rome herself. Such treason was punishable by death. This was a legal way to persecute Christians. It was not an attack on the Christian doctrine, or its practices, but demonstrated an unavoidable line that no Christian would cross.

It is interesting to note that, although many of the Christians were executed by beheading or by being shot through with arrows, some were executed by being drowned in the Nile. This similarity between their deaths and the death of Antinous must have been very moving to the Ancient Priests of Antinous.


And it is also curious that the authorities apparently were not sensitive to the nature of this form of execution in the sacred city of a boy who had become a god simply by drowning in the Nile.

Of these Martyrs, the most profoundly moving are Apollonius and Philemon. Apollonius was a Deacon of the Church, also called a reader. The story goes that he was ordered to make a pagan sacrifice at Antinoopolis in order to prove that he was not a practicing Christian. He couldn't bring himself to do that, so he asked his "dearest friend" Philemon to make the sacrifice for him, since Philemon was a pagan.

Philemon is said to have been a flute player, an occupation notoriously held by homosexuals. While one was a young Christian priest and the other a pagan, it is indeed noteworthy that Apollonius the priest would have the confidence and trust to ask Philemon to take his place, and that Philemon would risk his life to aid the young priest. The two must have had a very close friendship, the nature of which has escaped the attention of the Christian martyrologists.



In the end, of course, the ruse was found out and they both died together by being drowned after the manner of Antinous, in the Nile.

One key element of the story is the irrefutable fact that Philemon, though not a Christian himself, refused under torture to renounce his friendship. In other words, he would rather die with his friend than renounce him and live on without him.

The details of the story of their martyrdom are shrouded in legend. In one version, they were tortured separately and were to be executed by archers.

But the story goes that the arrows bounced off their bodies. And in one version, an arrow point ricocheted back at Arian himself, blinding him in one eye.

Saint Philemon predicted that, after his martyrdom, Arian would be healed at Philemon's tomb on condition that he became a Christian. Arian did so, was cured miraculously -- and subsequently was put to death himself for being a Christian.

After arrows failed to kill them, Apollonius and Philemon, bloody but alive, were chained together and placed in a sack and thrown into the river. In one version, they were thrown into the sea at Alexandria.

Their deaths occurred on April 10th in the year 305.

What would cause a man to link his fate with that of another man, the two of them residents of a city founded in honor of a man who linked his fate with that of another man?


As for Apollonius, he must have been regarded as a rebellious hothead and self-destructive with his talk about this martyred Hebrew carpenter boy being an alternative to Antinous -- right there in the Sacred City of Antinoopolis!

What thoughts went through Philemon's mind as he was being bound up in chains together with his beloved friend and they were shoved into the river?

They probably weren't very nice men. Remember that actor/musicians were considered scum in ancient Rome. One was an actor and the other was a rabble-rousing religious fanatic. Not nice men.

Theirs was not a very pretty story. But then, few of the saints of any religious canon were very "sweet and nice" people to actually be around. "Nice" people obey the rules. "Nice" people obey the rules.

These people did not. They stood up against authority and convention. And their life stories generally are not very pretty.

But most of us are not very "sweet and nice" people, once you get past the smiling exteriors that most of us present to neighbors and co-workers. Most of our life stories are not particularly very pretty.

But "nice" people with pretty life stories don't become saints. Most saints are usually just ordinary people who were placed in an extraordinary situation and who did something extraordinary as a result. We read the lives of the saints because they shock us into facing the reality of our own not very nice selves and our own not very pretty little lives.

It is very fitting and appropriate that we remember Philemon and Apollonius, two friends from the Sacred City of Antinoopolis whose lives were linked by bonds of love and whose deaths were linked by bonds of chains.

Tuesday, April 9, 2024

CHIRON COMES TO THE RESCUE



THE Sun aligns with the asteroid or minor planet CHIRON IN ARIES this week to empower you to access your inner healer. (Art by Miranda Baggins entitled: "Antinous as the Horseman of Conquest!"

It is nice to remember who Chiron is ... the wisest and noblest of all the Centaurs in Classical Mythology. While all the other centaurs galloped off to riotous ruin and drunken oblivion, Chiron alone shared the knowledge he had inherited from the Titans ... tutoring a series of sensitive youths ... Achilles, Jason, Perseus, Theseus, Ajax, Dionysus, Hercules ... an endless list of heroes and demigods. He schooled them in the arts and sciences ... teaching them to be musicians and physicians.

This week healing energies get a sudden and dramatic boost when the Sun aligns with Chiron in Aries. This is a good time for health checkups and medical treatment ... also, you can expect a positive and expansive outlook, which can benefit your well-being at this time. 

You may be more open-minded with regard to experiencing new things, which will allow healing of your mind, body, and spirit. 

For instance, you could seek higher understanding and meaning in your life through a guide, mentor, or spiritual person or increase your inner knowledge by means of educational processes, religion, or meditative practices during this period. 

An urge to travel to far-away places (real or imaginary) may also be experienced. You may discover new perspectives on your beliefs, faith, and sense of hope. 

Restoring peace and harmony in your personal life and relationships is possible now through your interest in healing your own wounds, as well as extending compassion and generosity to others.

Monday, April 8, 2024

WE HONOR VASLAV NIJINSKY
SAINT OF ANTINOUS


ON April 8th the Religion of Antinous honors St. Vaslav Nijinsky, the greatest gay ballet dancer/choreographer of all time, who died on this day in 1950 in an insane asylum.

He was a living Antinous who innately understood our religion's idea of Homotheosis ... Gay-Man-Godliness-Becoming-the-Same.

Homotheosis can only be accomplished by a self-inflicted act of faith after the example of Antinous. 


One must deny this mortal existence of death and decay, which existence is rightfully called transient, and cast the mortal self into the rushing waters of the Nile that flows within the veins and arteries of our true, perfect, interior self. A body that is the same as and as beautiful as the marble flesh of Antinous the Gay God. 

This is not turning away from life, but turning to it for the very first  time, and finding the light of the Unconquered Sun that has always shone within.

One of this religion's favorite Hadrian and Antinous stories is the tumultuous love affair between Vaslav Nijinsky and Sergei Diaghilev. Nijinsky completely changed ballet, inventing what we now consider to be modern dance. Of course he was out of his mind, and after his relationship with Diaghilev ended, he went certifiably insane and spent the rest of his life in an asylum.

Vaslav Fomich Nijinsky was born in Kiev on March 12th, 1888. Both his parents were ballet dancers, and Vaslav was introduced to the stage as a child. When he was a 18 he became the lover of Prince Paul Dmitrievitch who then introduced him to Sergei Diaghilev, the ballet impresario, whose lover he became in 1908.

Diaghilev took Vaslav to Paris where he was starting the famous Ballet Russe, an experimental production company that brought together the finest composers of the day with the most innovative scenery artists, costumers, and of course the greatest ballet dancers in the world.

The volatile relationship between the teenage Nijinsky and the 40-year-old Diaghilev led to the some of ballet's most profound and moving works. Nijinsky was the male star of the Ballet Russe, but he soon showed that his true talent lay in choreography. His debut as a choreographer came when he was 21 in the short piece entitled L'aprés-midi d'un Faune (Prelude to the Afternoon of a Fawn) with music by Claude Debussy, in which Nijinsky starred as the lustful faun trying in vain to seduce a group of nymphs.

The ballet caused a scandal when it premiered in Paris on May 29, 1912, because of the highly suggestive ending in which Nijinsky pantomimed masturbation and orgasm.

But that was nothing compared to the riots that broke out after his next choreography for the orgiastic Le Sacre du printemps (The Rite of Spring).

The style of Vaslav Nijinsky was far ahead of his day. He revolutionized the ballet and single-handedly invented what we call modern dance, rejecting the stylistic forms passed down by tradition in favor of sensuality, odd gestures and unnatural movement that was totally infused with the grace and power of the feel of music.

The relationship between Nijinsky and Diaghilev broke down over time and they separated. Nijinsky married a female fan he had only met once ... simply to spite Diaghilev. But he was slowly succumbing to mental illness, and would eventually lose his mind completely.



He wrote a bizarre diary in the few weeks before he was taken away to  spend the rest of his life in various mental institutions. The genius of Vaslav Nijinsky, who was taken as a stupid person because of his shy and quiet demeanor, was revealed in his divine power of dance and in the sublimity of his strange diary.

Here is an excerpt, you'll notice the way that he rambles just barely able to communicate his wandering mind. Nijinsky was already leaving this world and becoming an immortal. He signed the last page, Nijinsky, the God.


"One day in the streets of Paris I pushed [Diaghelev] in order to show him that I was not afraid of him. Diaghelev hit me with his stick, as I wanted to go away from him. After this we lived for a long time together. I loved the Ballets Russes. I gave my whole heart to it. I worked like an ox. I lived like a martyr. I lived sadly and sorrowed alone. I wept alone. I loved my mother and wrote her letters every day. I was afraid of life, because I was very young. I could not go on composing the ballet 'Jeux.' It was a ballet about flirting and unsuccessful, as I had not feeling for it. The story of this ballet is about three young men making love to each other. I began to understand life when I was 22 years old. I composed this ballet alone, too. Debussy, the well-known composer, wanted the subject to be written down.

"Diaghelev likes to say that he created the ballet, because he likes to be praised. I do not mind if Diaghelev says that he composed the stories of 'Faune' and 'Jeux,' because when I created them, I was under the influence of 'my life' with Diaghelev. The Faune is me and Jeux is the life which Diaghelev dreamed. Diaghelev wanted to make love to two boys at the same time and wanted these boys to make love to him. In the ballet, the two girls represent the two boys, and the young man is Diaghelev. I changed the characters, as love between three men could not be represented on the stage'"

The Parisians called him the God of Dance, and toward the end of his diary, he signed his name, Nijinsky, the God. He died in a London clinic on April 8, 1950.

We consecrate him as a Saint and as a living incarnation of Antinous/Pan/Dionysus. St. Vaslav Nijinsky, who knew how to live  Homotheosis every single blessed day of his life ... which means living daily the Divine Spirit of Being Gay ... and who knew how to express this ineffable spirit in dance as well.

Sunday, April 7, 2024

ANTINOUS IN TYRE/SIDON


IN spring of the year 130 AD, the Imperial entourage wound its way through the mountains of Asia Minor (modern-day Anatolia) and visited such cities as Ephesus and Tarsus before arriving in Antioch.

Antioch was their base of operations for the rest of that autumn and winter. From Antioch, they made excursions to other cities.

One jaunt in late summer was to the the ancient Phoenician twin cities of Tyre and Sidon on the Mediterranean coast.

Tyre and Sidon were famous for the production of the dye called Tyrian Purple which was used to color the robes of Emperors and Kings.

The dye was derived from "milking" thousands of sea snails known as porphyra in Greek and purpura in Latin ... from which we get the word purple.


The snails secrete a silvery semen-like mucous which is dripped on hand spun cotton thread. The color makes several color shifts and eventually colors the thread a beautiful violet color.

Arriving here in the Spring of 130 AD, Antinous and Hadrian were draped in purple as they entered city gates and ascended to the temple of the great god Melqart also known as Baal Sur.  The Greeks called the city Tyros.


Melqart was the sky god, god of war and the bestower of fertility, son of El who placed Baal on the throne of the world, from which Baal fought against evil and brought life-giving rain. 


Tyre was the home of Europa, who Zeus seduced in the form of a white bull and carried off to Greece, her brothers would go on to found some of the most ancient Greek cities such as Minos in Crete, and Cadmus who founded Thebes.


The Phoenicians of Tyre were the greatest seamen of their age and the first explorers setting up colonies all over the Mediterranean, even entering the Atlantic to trade with Britannia and Germania.


One Carthaginian even attempted to circumnavigate Africa reaching as far as the Congo River.  When the Phoenicians colonized the Mediterranean, they brought the religion of Baal to their far-flung colonies.


The city of Tyre created the colony of Carthage in North Africa which over time developed into a major power that rivaled Rome.  The religion of Tyre spread to Carthage and then to Spain where the Carthaginians set up colonies and later conquered, which led to conflict with Rome.


The war with Hannibal and the Carthaginians was the turning point of Roman history, and it was essentially a conflict between the Roman way of life and the Phoenician way as exemplified by Tyre.


The Greeks assimilated Baal Melqart with Hercules viewing him as a cross between Jupiter and his heroic all-powerful son Hercules. Baal was worshiped in Spain when Hadrian was born and so the visit to the ancient Temple of Baal in the city of Tyre was touched with the reminiscence of home.


Tyre was the foremost city of Phoenicia, and though fiercely independent, the Tyrians assisted the Persians in their attempt to conquer Greece, but their navy was defeated by the Athenians.


When Alexander arrived, the Tyrians refused to surrender, and the city had to be taken by siege.  During the Roman age, Tyre flourished as a center of trade with a monopoly on the secret production of their purple dye which was more valuable than gold and therefore became a symbol of kings and emperors.


Hadrian was very pleased by the reception he received by the Tyrians and how they had embraced his policies, he therefore raised the status of the city to a Metropolis.


Antinous came in contact with the ancient Phoenician religion at Tyre with its dark blood-rites and the prominence of the bull cult, but it was the connection he made with the sacred purple dye, which would soon become his emblem and sacred color.


In time the color would also be associated with the early Gay Rights movement as it was the first color chosen for the gay flag, predating the rainbow flag.


The purple stripe at the bottom of the rainbow flag is said to symbolize spirit and therefore is the stripe that represents Antinous and Gay spirituality.  The influence of  Antinous's visit to Tyre is still with us.

Saturday, April 6, 2024

ANTINOUS IN THE STRANGEST PLACES
EVEN AT THE SUPERMARKET



ANTINOUS shows up in the most extraordinary places — even at the supermarket magazine rack.

Some years ago, Hachette published a magazine series entitled THE GODS OF ANCIENT EGYPT which featured special issues on scores of Egyptian deities — nearly 100 in all — each sporting a glossy brochure and an epoxy resin figurine in a little plastic "display case." The magazines were widely available at booksellers and newsstands around the world.

Antinous was featured in Issue 88 — possibly the most collectible issue in the whole series.

The Hachette magazines have long since gone out of print, but the figurines are still found on eBay and other online marketplaces. Antinous is hard to find, but occasionally he turns up and the bidding turns fierce as ANTINOMANIACS fight to possess the little 4.5-inch (14 cm) figurine.


The one pictured here sold on eBay for nearly $50 in "NRFB" condition — "Never Removed From Box."

It is "only a fake" of course. But that does not make it any less sacred or magical to anyone who loves Antinous. In ancient times, Antinous figurines, images, coins and medallions were prized by his worshipers as a sort of portable Sacred Token or Pocket Shrine.

In his authoritative book about Antinous, BELOVED AND GOD, Royston Lambert points out that in ancient times many followers of the Blessed Youth felt it was necessary to have a tangible representation of Antinous with them at all times for protection and for blessings:

"Some of the devotees evidently could not bear to be parted from the beneficial and reassuring presence of their Antinous and therefore had small, light-weight travelling busts or bronzes made to accompany them on their journeys."

Poor people made do with more crudely made representations, such as coins and figurines and medals made of lead, clay and other base materials. The demand was so great that there was a rife trade in which we would nowadays call "copyright piracy" among artisans turning out "illicitly yet more crude and cheap medallions of this hero whose images, miracles and protection were obviously sought by countless poor folk of faith."


People of modest means who were lucky enough to get their hands on one of his clay figures or commemorative coins would carry them with them for protection, often even wearing them:

"Many were pierced by holes and hung from the neck as talismans: Antinous' image offering protection against evil, sickness and death," says Lambert. 

Other such tiny statuettes, figurines, coins and medallions were placed in portable shrines or pouches or adorned away-from-home altars, and others were buried with the dead "to invoke the god's aid on the perilous journey into the unknown."

We look at the little Hachette Antinous figurine and see only a cheap epoxy resin plastic action figure, crudely hand-painted in some Chinese sweat shop. 

But imagine how the Ancient Priests of Antinous would have gaped in wonder at this little figurine swaddled in cellophane, along with a book of shiny pages unlike any papyrus, pages adorned with inscrutable glyphs and breathtakingly realistic images. 

Where we see ordinary plastic, the Ancient Priests would see a wondrous statuette fashioned in what to them would be a magical putty-like material not like anything found on Earth.

Clearly, it was fashioned by the Gods themselves — clearly, ANTINOUS THE GAY GOD truly is "immanent" (in-dwelling) in this miraculous vessel.

And the Ancient Priests would, of course, be absolutely right. 

Friday, April 5, 2024

REMEMBER WHAT THE ROMANS SAID:
FORTUNE FAVORS THE AUDACIOUS!



ON April 5th we remember the anniversary of the Temple of Fortuna Publica for the city of Rome.

It was one of three temples of Fortuna on the Quirinale Hill, where Fortuna Primigenia, Fortuna Brevis and Fortuna Euelpis were worshiped.

The symbol of Fortuna is the ever turning wheel, found in the Tarot pack as the Wheel of Fortune, this indicates that things change and that you should not rest on your laurels but be prepared to grasp opportunities. It also tells us that things will not stay bad forever, the wheel will turn and things will get better.

Remember what the Romans said: "audica favet fortuna" ... fortune favors the audacious.

Fortuna Publica Romani symbolised the luck of the Roman population and state. Sje is an aspect of the Roman Goddess of luck, fate, and chance, Fortuna. As Fortuna Publica, she ensures the luck of the populice or state, and is a complimentary idea to Fortuna Privata, the Luck of the Individual.

Fortuna was honored with three temples on the Quirinal Hill in Rome in the neighborhood called tres Fortunae, "the Three Fortunas". 

At least two of those three temples were to Fortuna Publica. One was to Fortuna Primigenia, whose full title in Rome was Fortuna Publicae Populi Romani, "the Luck of the Roman People".

Another was to Fortuna Publica Citerior (citerior meaning "nearer", probably because it was closer to the center of the city).

There is not much known of the third temple to Fortuna. Some identify it as again belonging to Fortuna Primigenia.

But it is possible that it was more specifically dedicated to Fortuna Publica. The first temple had as its festival date the 25th of May, and the one to Fortuna Publica Citerior the 5th of April.

Fortuna Publica was sometimes known as Fortuna Populi Romani, the "Luck of the Roman People". Under this name She had an altar way up on Hadrian's Wall, at the fort of Vindolana, at modern Chesterholm in Northumberland, England.