Saturday, December 31, 2016

THE APOTHEOSIS OF AELIUS CAESAR


ON December 31st we commemorate the Apotheosis of Aelius Caesar.

Hadrian adopted Lucius Ceionius Commodus Verus, and called him Aelius Verus Caesar (portraits by Priest Uendi).

It was said that beauty was his only recommendation. His poor health soon overtook him and Hadrian is reported to have said, "We have leaned against a tottering wall and have wasted the four hundred million sentences which we gave to the populace and the soldiers on the adoption of Commodus."

He died on the Calends of January in the year 138 ... only a few months before Hadrian ... from an overdose of medicine given to help him make a speech to the Senate thanking Hadrian for the succession.

After Aelius Caesar's death, Hadrian adopted Antoninus Pius (September 19, 86 - March 7, 161) on the condition that Antoninus Pius adopt the younger Lucius Verus and Hadrian's great-nephew by marriage, Marcus Aurelius (April 26, 121 - March 17, 180).

Marcus later co-ruled with Lucius as Marcus Aurelius until Lucius' death in 169, at which time he was sole ruler until his own death in 180. Collectively, they are remembered as the Antonine Dynasty of emperors who ruled wisely over a period noted for its peace and prosperity.

In his classic text The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, 18th Century historian Edward Gibbon considers the reign of the Antonines, as well as those of their predecessors Nerva, Trajan and Hadrian, the height of the Roman Empire, after which time the empire began its inexorable decline.

Aelius Caesar is a major character in Marguerite Yourcenar's epic historical novel Mémoires d'Hadrien (Memoirs of Hadrian).

Lucius, as we affectionately call him, is the recipient of much bittersweet love and adoration from followers of the Religion of Antinous

For us he represents so many pretty young men whose bright futures are thwarted by tragic illness.

Aelius Caesar is often called the Western Favorite, because of the possibility that he rivaled Antinous for Hadrian's love.

We venerate Aelius Caesar as the fallen Prince of Flowers, the spiritual twin brother of Antinous whose death is the end of the Saturnalia.
 

Friday, December 30, 2016

IN RUSSIA, PAGAN SYMBOLS
PUSHING JESUS OUT OF CHRISTMAS


IN our series on Saturnalia/Yule customs ... in Russia Grandfather Frost and his sidekick the Snow Maiden are pushing Jesus out of Christmas ... and generating an industry worth hundreds of millions of dollars.

Tomorrow night, Ded Moroz, or Grandfather Frost, will act as compere at hundreds of Russian New Year's Eve parties.

At one shindig, rumored to cost $500,000, he will descend from a helicopter laden with trinkets from Tiffany's in his sack. 

Alarmed that Russians were embracing all things Western ... including Christmas ... after the fall of communism, the Kremlin launched a concerted campaign to bring Ded Moroz back from the verge of obscurity.

He was given back his magical staff, his flowing fur-trimmed coat and his assistant, the snow maiden Snegurochka, a Stalinist invention of the 1930s, and sent out on to the streets.

Snegurochka is a unique attribute of Ded Moroz ... no traditional gift-givers from other cultures are portrayed with a female companion, though the German analog Sankt Nikolaus comes with a Krampus and the Dutch analog Sinterklaas (Saint Nicholas, who wears a bishop's mitre and vestments) has Zwarte Piet ("Black Pete") a young Moorish attendant/companion.

A few years ago, despite widespread protests that he lived in the North Pole, the government installed an official Ded Moroz in the remote town of Veliky Ustyug, north of St. Petersburg. Subsequently, he acquired a winter residence in Moscow.

A government committee is writing his official biography, which claims he has been part of Russian myth for 1,000 years, rather than a 19th century import from Germany.

The historical revisionism seems to be working. Santa Claus has been eclipsed, with just six per cent of Russians celebrating Christmas Day, down from a high of 19 per cent only a few years ago.

The Russian Church is unhappy too. Orthodox Christmas, commemorated on Jan 7, remains very much in the shadow of New Year's Day.

Thursday, December 29, 2016

ANTINOUS AND HADRIAN ARE FOCUS
OF BRITISH 50-YEAR LGBT CELEBRATIONS



THE 2,000-year-old relationship between the Roman emperor Hadrian and his beloved Antinous is the focus of cultural events marking the 50th anniversary of one of the most important moments in gay British history.

In July 1967 the Sexual Offences Act finally decriminalised private homosexual acts between men over 21 in England and Wales. It was a momentous, transformative moment, although it took until 1980 for the law to be changed in Scotland, and until 1982 in Northern Ireland.

Galleries and museums across Britain will celebrate the anniversary with a blizzard of exhibitions and events, with the British Museum putting on a display that shines light on the gay histories that are often overlooked or hidden in its vast collections ... "a great unrecorded history," as EM Forster put it.

The display's co-curator Stuart Frost, head of interpretation at the museum, is bringing together objects that might challenge assumptions we make when we look at items not from our time.

The project was inspired by the 2013 book A Little Gay History by Richard Parkinson (pictured above), a former curator in the museum’s ancient Egypt department, and there was a lot to go at, said Frost.

"There are so many works here … it is hard to stop, I keep finding things. Hopefully we may be able to use them further down the line," Frost said.

Among the objects going on display are a particularly impressive silver medallion of Hadrian and a coin bearing the head of Antinous.

Hadrian, who was emperor from 117 to 138 AD, was far from the only Roman emperor to sleep with boys. 

But it is the intensity of the emperor's grief when Antinous died that has always been striking to historians. 

Not much is known of Antinous’s life or how he became a favourite of the emperor, but it is known that he was an attendant during a lion hunt in Libya in 130 and that he drowned in the Nile.

The exact circumstances of his death are unknown, with one account saying Antinous had hurried into the river to purify the lion's blood by pouring some of it into the water.

Whatever happened, Hadrian was grief-stricken ... he “wept like a woman," according to the Historia Augusta ... a level of grief for a boy lover that was unprecedented.

Hadrian founded the Egyptian city of Antinopolis in the boy's memory and had him deified, while other cities queued up to produce coins with the head of Antinous as well as creating or converting statues in his honour. 

"It was a way of local cities being able to express their allegiance and sympathies to the emperor," said Abdy. "They were sucking up."

Not far from the planned exhibit are marble busts of Hadrian and Antinous that are always side by side, part of the museum's permanent display.

Visitors will be encouraged to go on a trail through the museum to find other objects that may have LBGTQ (lesbian, bisexual, gay, transgender, queer) stories.

Some of them are more obvious than others. 

For example, the Warren Cup is a Roman silver drinking vessel that many visitors look at but perhaps don't inspect closely enough to see two explicit sex scenes ... one between two teenage boys and the other a young man lowering himself on his older, bearded lover.

Visitors will also be directed to the prints gallery where curators plan to displayDavid Hockney’s series of sometimes homoerotic illustrations made for the poetry of CP Cavafy, one of the earliest modern authors to write about same-sex love.

Frost said the display, opening in May, would have objects from 9000BC to the present day. 

The oldest is a phallic stone sculpture that shows two figures making love, whose genders are open to question.

There will bfigurines from the mid-1920s made by the German artist Augusta Kaiser which shine light on her lesbian partnership with the expressionist artist Hedwig Marquardt, highlighting a biographical detail that almost slipped through the records.

The British Museum display, to be called "Desire Love Identity: exploring LGBTQ histories," is one of many exhibitions and events taking place in 2017.

In Suffolk, the years leading up to the law change will be explored through the prism of Benjamin Britten, whose lover, muse, collaborator and recital partner for 39 years was the tenor Peter Pears.

The majority of those years were before the change in the law, when homosexuality was both illegal and socially stigmatised. 

Yet their relationship was something of an open secret, said curator Lucy Walker, and Britten wrote some extraordinary works such as the 1951 all-male opera Billy Budd and the extended solo vocal work Canticle I, My beloved is mine (1947), an open declaration of love for Pears.

"Before 1967, having been together nearly 30 years, it would have been impossible for them to admit in public they were a couple, and they remained discreet on that matter even after then," said Walker.

Comparisons will also be drawn with other high-profile figures who lived lives at odds with the law. 

There are letters written by Saint of Antinous ALAN TURING, the code-breaking hero prosecuted for "gross indecency" and chemically castrated; edits of EM Forster’s homoerotic novel Maurice; and photographs of Nöel Coward and his long-term companion Graham Payn.

Queer Talk: Homosexuality in Britten's Britain will take place at The Red House, Britten and Pears’s home in Suffolk.

The biggest art exhibition is likely to be Tate Britain’s Queer British Art 1861-1967, which will include work by artists including Hockney, Francis Bacon, Dora Carrington, Duncan Grant and Simeon Solomon, the pre-Raphaelite artist who was ruined after his arrest in a public toilet.

It will also include a full-length portrait of Oscar Wilde being exhibited in the UK for the first time.

There will be numerous events across the UK. For example, the National Trust is running a "Prejudice and Pride" programme exploring the history of sex and gender diversity in its properties. 

In Liverpool, the Walker will open a show in July drawing on works in the Arts Council Collection and its own collection; and in Bournemouth, curators at the Russell-Cotes museum and gallery will work with members of the local LGBT community on an exhibition opening in May.


Wednesday, December 28, 2016

EDWARD PERRY 'NED' WARREN
SAINT OF ANTINOUS


ON December 28th the Religion of Antinous celebrates the life of Saint Edward Perry "Ned" Warren, who died on this day in 1928. 

Estranged and ostracized by "decent" socialites, Saint Ned Warren was a famed gay Bostonian art collector who virtually single-handedly built up the collections of the New York Metropolitan Museum of Art and Boston Museum of Fine Arts through his passion for Classical art.

As a sissified schoolboy who suffered the taunts of bullies, he wrote a poem comparing a classmate in whom he was infatuated to Antinous.

He and his lover John Marshall travelled around Europe seeking out and buying art treasures for great museums. They were referred to snidely as "the bachelors of art" among society circles in Britain and America. 

But Warren was so fabulously rich, and museums depended on him  so much, that nobody dared say anything to his face about his blatant homosexuality. His gifts to the Boston MFA made up 90 per cent of its Classical collection, one of the finest in the world.

Even so, he found puritanical Boston deeply disagreeable, and spent most of his life in England when he was not at his apartment in Rome.

The famous Warren Cup and Rodin's statue The Kiss are just two of the most well-known objects he rounded up -- both of which were rejected by museums in Britain and America as being too raunchy. Museum curators feared museum-goers could be lured into thinking unwholesome thoughts.


Warren in fact actually commissioned the The Kiss from Rodin, explicitly saying he wanted large genitals on the man. To this day, photographs of the famous statue tend to avoid a full-frontal male view for that very reason.

The Warren Cup is a solid silver goblet which dates back to the 1st Century CE/AD and was found near Jerusalem. It is believed that it was deposited along with other valuables (some gold coins, jewellery and other precious items) in a cache by the servants of a fleeing Roman nobleman during one of several Jewish uprisings. It is even possible that it was buried during the uprising that was crushed by Hadrian's legions. 

The cup itself is considerably older, and may date to Republican times. And it is done in a retro-style which was a bit archaic even when it was new.

As the photos demonstrate, the Warren Cup shows two scenes (one on each side of the cup) of a man and a youth having sex on a couch. The silverwork is exquisitely done and the hair and draperies and facial expressions are beautifully rendered. It also reflects a bit of tongue-in-cheek wit by showing a servant boy peering curiously around a door frame at the lovers.

On one side a young man (barely more than a boy himself) is having his way with a young boy. On the other side, an older man with a beard is having anal sex with a younger man who is seated on top of him and holding onto what appears to be perhaps part of the drapes of a canopy bed. A servant looks on from the doorway off to the right side.

Saint Ned is believed to have purchased the Warren Cup from an antiquities dealer in Italy.
His efforts to sell it to museums in London and the U.S. were rebuffed.

The Warren Cup's unabashedly gay sex theme is impossible to ignore. The cup has been controversial in the art world ever since it first came to light in the 19th Century.

For many, many years, museums on both sides of the Atlantic refused to obtain it (despite its unquestionable value as a remarkably important historical piece of art) because of Victorian and Edwardian moral objections to its "immoral and beastly" theme.

At one time a curator for the British Museum was interested in acquiring the Warren Cub.

But other experts reminded him that one of the members of the board of directors of the British Museum was the Archbishop of Canterbury. The result was that museum officials were loathe to show his reverence even a photograph of the cup, let alone ask him to condone purchasing it for the collection.

So the cup languished in Warren's personal collection for many years and changed hands many times after his death, never ever being put on public display.

The British Museum finally purchased the Warren Cup for a large sum in 1999 -- and even then there was much titillation in the tabloid press.

Ned Warren wrote extensively about his views that homosexuality is a spiritual state of being, something divinely magical. Taunted as a schoolboy for being a bookworm and a sissy (he would get up at 5 a.m. to read Greek until breakfast), he nonetheless had many crushes on other schoolboys. He wrote about them all in his diary, and even wrote a poem about one especially beautiful boy whom he called a modern Antinous.

As an adult, he continued to proclaim his notion of idealized homosexual love, much to the distress of his family in Boston.

He even wrote a book entitled The Defence of Uranian Love about the same time that Oscar Wilde's The Picture of Dorian Gray was published. 

He also used his wealth to sponsor the educations of numerous boys and young men who showed promise but had no money.

He was very generous and had a big heart. For example, he heard that the daughter of a vicar in his district in England had become pregnant out of wedlock and was going to be forced to give up the child. 

Saying "this is as bad as Boston," he was so outraged that he legally adopted the little boy himself. He allowed mother and son to live upstairs in his home in England at his expense and loudly defied anyone to besmirch her honor or that of Travis, the little boy.

Ned Warren and his lover John Marshall had a stormy, on-again off-again relationship, but they were together at their flat in Rome in February of 1928. On the evening of the 15th, John went to bed early not feeling well. Ned tiptoed in later and kissed him good night and got in bed beside him. John was dead by morning.

Ned never recovered from that blow. He returned to England, where his health declined rapidly. Saying he couldn't face Christmas and New Year's without John, he died in a nursing home in England on December 28, 1928, at the age of 68.

He was cremated on January 1, 1929. But because he had always been blatant about his homosexuality, no members of his family attended the funeral and none of the museums that had benefitted so much from his largesse sent a representative to the memorial service.


His ashes were buried in the non-Catholic cemetery in Bagni di Lucca, Italy, a town known as a spa in Etruscan and Roman times.
  
We honor Edward Perry "Ned" Warren, 1860-1928, who wrote a poem likening a boy he loved to Antinous.

Tuesday, December 27, 2016

'MY DEATH NEEDS TO MEAN SOMETHING'
17-YEAR-OLD TRANS GIRL SAID IN FINAL NOTE



ANTINOUS weeps for Leelah Alcorn (November 15, 1997 – December 28, 2014) the 17-year-old US transgender girl who committed suicide to make a statement about the societal standards of transgender people. 

A suicide note was published on her Tumblr page in which she declared that she wanted her suicide to cause an impact and create a dialogue about the discrimination and abuse of transgender people.

Meanwhile, Leelah Alcorn rallies are planned and a candlelight vigil is scheduled to be held at Leelah's high school near Cincinnati, Ohio, on January 3.

Laverne Cox and Emmy Rossum are a few of the celebs who spoke out after Leelah took her own life after struggling for many years as a transgender girl. 

At the Hollywood Temple of Antinous, Antonius Subia said he was devastated by the news, coming on the heels of many hundred deaths this past year involving LBGT youth.

"When these kids say that there is no hope for them, it's because that's all they see," Antonius said.  

"We need to look into our souls and see how we can change the world for them, what we can do to give them hope. The list of Saint nominations for 2015 keeps growing," he said.

"May Antinous take Leelah Alcorn into his arms and give her a place on the Barque of Millions of Years," Antonius added.

Leelah was born in November 1997 to parents Doug and Carla Alcorn. Her birth name was Joshua Ryan Alcorn. One of four children, she was raised in a fundamentalist Christian environment. 

In a suicide note, she referred to herself as Leelah Alcorn.

According to the suicide note, she identified as a transgender female from age 14, when she became aware of the term, having felt "like a girl trapped in a boy’s body" since she was four. 

She subsequently came out online, and turned primarily towards the internet for friendship. 

She attempted to convince her parents that she had to medically transition, but claims she instead received therapy and "biased" counseling from Christian therapists.

The note also describes her coming out as gay at age 16, hoping it would be a stepping stone to coming out as transgender at a later date. 

She wrote that she was instead taken out of school by her parents and cut off from the outside world for five months as her parents denied her access to social media and many forms of communication. She described this as a large contributing factor towards her suicide.

She committed suicide by walking into the path of a tandem-trailer truck on a highway near her home in Ohio on December 28, 2014.

Sunday, December 25, 2016

ANTINOUS EMBRACES GEORGE MICHAEL
(25 June 1963 - 25 December 2016)



George Michael (25 June 1963 - 25 December 2016) now is with Antinous among  the glittering stars. He has found his Freedom and his Faith. It was his Last Christmas, and we shall miss him. He has been nominated to join DAVID BOWIE, JUAN GABRIEL and PETE BURNS as celebrity saints of Antinous who died in the year 2016.

George Michael (25 de junho de 1963 - 25 de dezembro de 2016) é com Antinous agora entre as estrelas brilhantes. Ele encontrou sua liberdade e sua fé. Foi seu último Natal, e vamos sentir falta dele.

George Michael (25 de junio de 1963 - 25 de diciembre de 2016) está con Antinous ahora entre las estrellas brillantes. Ha encontrado su libertad y su fe. Fue su última navidad, y lo extrañaremos.

THE SATURNALIA
THE GOLDEN AGE OF SATURN


IN celebration of the return of Antinous Invictus, for the five days between December 25th and the 1st of January, we commemorate the Golden Age of the reign of Saturn.

This is a time outside of time, and an occasion for joy and freedom from the world.

The divine twins are born, Osiris and Isis, Seth and Nephthys, Castor and Pollux, Freyr and Freya (for whom this time is also known as Yule).

(Image: Antinous as the Ghost of Christmas Present by S.L. GORE.)


We celebrate the Saturnalia with indulgence and as the festival of Liberty and total Freedom. There shall be no authority and no submission during this sacred period.

There is to be no war, and no form of violence committed, only peace and harmony and the many joys of ecstasy are allowed.

The rejoicing of the Saturnalia ends with the apotheosis of the Prince of Flowers, Aelius Caesar, on January 1st.

Saturday, December 24, 2016

LOVELY 'BIRTH OF MITHRAS' SCULPTURE
OLDEST DEPICTION OF ZODIAC IN BRITAIN


ON what is now Christmas Day, troops on Hadrian's Wall 1,800 years ago were celebrating the birthday of the god Mithras.

Born on December 25, Mithras was worshipped at sites on at least three locations along the Wall.

This stunning sculpture of Mithras was discovered at Housesteads Roman fort in the 19th Century.

The stone relief shows Mithras emerging from the Orphic Egg – the symbol of eternal time.

The god is surrounded by an egg-shaped representation of the signs of the zodiac, representing the cosmos.

This is the earliest representation of the signs of the zodiac to be found in Britain.

It would have been lit from behind to present a powerful image for worshippers entering the semi-underground temple at Chapel Hill at Housesteads.

The sculpture is one of the main exhibits in a collection of Mithraic items from the Wall on show at the Great North Museum in Newcastle.

"It is one of the best collections of Mithraic material in the world," said Andrew Parkin, keeper of archaeology at Tyne Wear Archives and Museums.

It was totally repaired and conserved in recent years and is one of the most breath-taking works of art at the museum.

The carving is on display underneath a relief sculpture which shows a scene of Mithras slaying a bull, which was also found at Housesteads and was a common depiction in Mithraic temples.

"Our Mithras stone is a unique and powerful Roman object that blends several religious traditions," Andrew said. "We still have offerings left at the museum at Christmas time. Previously we've had a pot plant, pine cones, money and even a Chocolate Orange."

The stone is part of the Society of Antiquaries of Newcastle upon Tyne's collection.

The cult of Mithras was popular amongst the military and originated around 1400 BC in Persia.

It was confined to male worshippers and involved progression through several grades of worship with different ranks and costumes.

Mithraic temples have been identified in Northumberland at Housesteads, Rudchester and Carrawburgh, where three altars were found along with the remains of cockerels which had probably been sacrificed and statues of the god's helpers.

The complex imagery of the Housesteads sculpture suggests the sophistication of the cult at the fort. The celebration of Christmas became superimposed on earlier religious and ritual practices.

"To some extent there have always been mid-winter festivals at what is the darkest part of the year to mark the turning point when it will begin getting lighter," said Andrew. "In the early days Christianity was competing with a lot of different cults around the world."

Mithras was celebrated as the Lord of Ages and a god of light, who is often shown carrying a torch and bringing light to the world.

Friday, December 23, 2016

'THE LOVE GOD' BY MARTIN CAMPBELL
IS A BRILLIANT NOVEL ABOUT ANTINOUS


THE most brilliant novel about Antinous to appear in over half a century ... THE LOVE GOD ... is authored by our own MARTINUS CAMPBELL, priest of Antinous.

While that sounds like biased praise, we Antinomaniacs are hard to please and would not hesitate to pick apart a poorly researched book or one that denigrated Antinous, even if it were written by one of our best friends ... perhaps especially if it were. 

At the same time, a sycophantic book that presented Antinous as being cloyingly sweet and angelic would be unbearable and not believable.

So we are gratified (and greatly relieved) to report that this book truly is a remarkable work of historical fiction right up there with Marguerite Yourcenar's landmark MEMOIRS OF HADRIAN 60 years ago.

Martin traces the life of Antinous from the moment his tousle-haired head emerges from his mother's womb under auspicious stars in Asia Minor to the moment his head sinks beneath the swirling waters of the Nile on a starry evening in Egypt.

Antinous comes to life as a young man of breath-taking beauty who is filled with conflicting passions and loyalties. He is a young man who at times is naive, yet at other times worldly wise with an ability to see the world as it is ... and to describe it with at times brutal honesty to the most powerful man in the world.

Above all, this is a gentle love story between Antinous and Emperor Hadrian, himself a man of contradictory passions and priorities.

Martin himself is a man shares these passions. He has rebounded from a series of debilitating strokes to resume a daunting array of political activism for LGBTIU health and rights issues ... while working on this novel.

Based in a hilltop home overlooking the sea in Brighton England, he spent the best part of a decade researching this novel, retracing the footsteps of Antinous across Greece and Italy, as far north as Hadrian's Wall and as far south as the Nile in Upper Egypt.

Historical facts are excruciatingly accurate ... even the positions of the stars and planets at the moment of the birth of Antinous have been calculated to precision.

An academic scholar can read this book with satisfaction, noting obscure and arcane references which only the experts in the field of Antinology fully appreciate.

At the same time, however, this is a fun book to read even for those who have never heard of Antinous in their lives and who have no firm grasp of Roman civilization in the 2nd Century AD.

There is intrigue, skulduggery, near-death by lightning, getting lost in a subterranean labyrinth, a storm at sea, earthquakes ... and some fairly hot man sex as well, albeit tastefully brought to the page.

The narrator is the Classical Love God himself: Eros. He shoots his amorous arrows and ensures that Antinous and Hadrian fulfill the destiny which the Fates have in store for them ... despite efforts by certain people in the Imperial Court to thwart the Fates.


But the genius of this book is that there are no black-and-white villains or heroes. Antinous is a young man with all the problems and drives of late adolescence. Hadrian is a man with a mid-life crisis of doubt and regret.

Others such as Empress Sabina and her constant companion Julia Balbilla and their coterie of fawning courtiers and freedmen are not really hateful towards Antinous so much as they are simply perplexed by him. 

They view him the way some members of the Royal Household might look at the favorite Corgi of the Queen, unable to comprehend her affection for it, her grief when it dies.


They whisper amongst themselves: What hold does Antinous have over Hadrian? 

Just who does he think he is? And is he a threat to them? 

What is so different about Antinous that Hadrian doesn't grow weary of him ... as he always has with previous toy boys? 

Because they cannot understand how he fits in the scheme of Imperial court life, some really rather wish he would just disappear ... voluntarily or otherwise. 

And through it all is the boyhood friend of Antinous who has accompanied him on this long journey with mixed feelings and with growing envy and jealousy. 

The boiling emotions all stem from Eros, who winks knowingly at the reader as he shoots one arrow after another with unerring accuracy to ensure that Antinous fulfills his destiny ... to take his place alongside Eros as a God of Love.

The result is a richly entertaining and beautifully written novel which appeals to those seeking authoritative scholarly accuracy as well as readers who just want a riveting and memorable adventure yarn.

The Love God is available as Kindle and as a paperback ... CLICK HERE to order.

Thursday, December 22, 2016

ANTINOUS ARRIVES IN DELPHI
SITE OF THE FAMED APOLLO ORACLE



DURING the December Solstice, the Religion of Antinous commemorates the magical day in the year 128 AD when Antinous and Hadrian visited the Oracle of Delphi. 

Hadrian and Antinous entered Delphi at the magical time when Dionysus was the supreme deity of the shrine. 

They solemnly advanced in procession up the sacred way, and entered the Temple of Apollo, the oracle of Apollo.

The Oracle may not have been in consultation, and there is no evidence of Antinous or Hadrian receiving her words. 

Antinous was further instructed in the mysteries of Orpheus by his priests who were a religious order devoted to Dionysus, and limited to men.

Having been initiated in Athens into the dark mysteries that Orpheus revealed of death and resurrection, Antinous was here shown the high Orphic Secrets of Creation.

The meaning of the egg of the dark bird of Night was infused into the deepening abyss the mystery of Antinous during this visit.

And the full brilliance of Antinous Invictus was ignited as Phanes-Beauty, Eros-Love, and Zagreus-Ecstasy were awakened within him.

An exquisite statue of Antinous was discovered at Delphi. The forearms had been broken off, but the ancient priests had lovingly buried the statue standing upright.

That was the way it was found in the 19th Century, incredibly intact except for the missing forearms.

Alas, Antinous would drown in the similarly magical waters of the River Nile only a few scant months after visiting Delphi, during what we call the imperial "Three-Year Peregrination" ... the wondrous and fateful final three-year Eastern Empire travels of Hadrian and Antinous.

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

ODE TO CAPRICORNUS
By Flamen Antinoalis Antonius Subia



WITH the Solstice, the Sun enters the sign of Capricornus ... the Sun Sign of Antonius Subia and the home sign of the Star of Antinous. Antonius Subia says: 

ANTINOUS-MITHRAS
 

I pray to the New Born Sun,
 

Pater Saturn, Attis, Invictus,
 

The One who walks
 

Across the spine of the cosmos
 

Here, now, always in darkness,
 

The blood of the bull is my wine
 

The stars are my crown
 

The lotus-rose is my heart
 

My hooves cloven among tombs
 

I am Bacchus
 

Rising from stone by night
 

...returned,
 

Capricornus!

~ ANTONIUS SUBIA

ANTINOUS INVICTUS AND THE SOLSTICE


ON Wednesday at 10:45 Universal Time (2:45 a.m. at the Hollywood Temple of Antinous) the sun "stands still" ("Sol Stasis") — the 21 December 2016 Solstice. 

This is a special day every year in the Religion of Antinous for it marks the return of Sol Invictus, the Unconquerable Sun.

The return of the sun is the Conquest of Unconquered Light over chaos and darkness, the emergence of Phanes-Eros-Dionysus from the cosmic egg (image at right).

On this day, we observe the moment when the unknown god Bythus-Narcissus gazed into the pool of the abyss and saw his own reflection. 


His image caused the birth of the thrice-great Phanes-Eros-Zagreus, the saviors, who together are called Antinous Invictus.

The three-fold mystery of their birth is the descent of Phanes-Beauty, Eros-Love and Zagreus-Ecstasy into our world. 


These great spirits are the divine light of Antinous the God, it is their presence at the ground of our soul that is our immortal spark.

Within us all is the perfect image of the perfect face of light and love, a reflection of Narcissus-Bythus gazing down into the darkness of our world.

Antinous Invictus the perfect image of the perfect face of light and love will illuminate the way ahead.


It was Hadrian's dream to create the perfect civilization ... a civilization based on the Hellenistic principles of love, beauty, learning and tolerance. And it was his dream to create the perfect religion ... a religion which would encompass all others.

In the Northern Hemisphere today is the Winter Solstice and the days will be getting longer now. In the Southern Hemisphere it is the Summer Solstice and the days will become shorter now.


Wherever you live on this blue marble of ours, it is the same moment in the eye of Antinous the Gay God.

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

HADRIAN'S WALL SYCAMORE GAP TREE
NAMED ENGLAND'S TREE OF THE YEAR



A tree along Hadrian's Wall which has been featured in Hollywood movies has been named England's "Tree of the Year."

It is known as the "Sycamore Gap" tree, and it grows on a stretch of Hadrian's Wall in Northumberland.

The Tree of the Year competition is run by the Woodland Trust, which described the winner as:


"One of the most photographed trees in the UK, growing in a dramatic dip alongside Hadrians Wall."

The winner will compete against trees from all over the Continent for the title of European Tree of the Year, organised by the Environmental Partnership Association.

The sycamore, which secured 2,542 votes out of a total 11,913 which were cast, is also known as the Robin Hood tree following its appearance in the 1991 movie "Robin Hood: Prince Of Thieves" starring Kevin Costner.

Monday, December 19, 2016

SHOCKING SIGNS OF DOG SACRIFICE
UNEARTHED AT PAESTUM ITALY



ARCHAEOLOGISTS at the ancient Greek colony of Paestum in Italy have found disturbing indications that dogs were sacrificed in pre-Roman times.

Nine weeks into the excavation, archaeologists have reached the so-called "sterile" layer, the layer is not affected by human presence.

Paestum Archaeological Park director Gabriel Zuchtriegel says in an interview with Rep TV that experts found dog bones and ceramics related to an ancient ritual.


While the ancients sacrificed many species of animals to the gods, dogs generally were not considered sacrificial animals.

However, we know that the Romans annually crucified dogs every year on the 3rd of August ... the date in 390 BC when the when Gauls nearly conquered Rome because watchdogs fell asleep!

Only the Sacred Geese of Juno/Hera squawked to wake the Roman defenders and save the city.

Afterwards, on 3rd August, a dog would be crucified as admonition to all watchdogs to be vigilant.

Paestum was a major ancient Greek city on the coast of the Tyrrhenian Sea in Magna Graecia (southern Italy). 

The ruins of Paestum are famous for their three ancient Greek temples in the Doric order, dating from about 600 to 450 BC, which are in a very good state of preservation.

The amazing temple of Poseidon/Neptune is shown above.

In addition, Paestum is famous for Etruscan-era tombs which are adorned with stunning art with Greco-Etruscan motifs, often homoerotic art.

The city walls and amphitheatre are largely intact, and the bottom of the walls of many other structures remain, as well as paved roads. 

The site is open to the public, and there is a modern national museum within it, which also contains the finds from the associated Greek site of Foce del Sele.

After its foundation by Greek colonists under the name of Poseidonia (Ancient Greek: Ποσειδωνία) it was eventually conquered by the local Lucanians and later the Romans. 


The Lucanians renamed it to Paistos and the Romans gave the city its current name.

As Pesto or Paestum, the town was abandoned in the Early Middle Ages, and left undisturbed and largely forgotten until the 18th century.


CLICK HERE for the news story and video interview.

Sunday, December 18, 2016

WHAT'S NEW IN ANCIENT PORN?
CHECK OUT THESE POMPEII MURALS



POMPEII is famous for being one of several ancient Roman metropolises preserved by the catastrophic eruption of Vesuvius in the year 79. What you may not know about it is that it was also home to some fairly zealous sexual activity and imagery.

Both this buried city and nearby Herculaneum are literally covered with carvings of phalluses, including one bronze chandelier that depicts a flying male member. Pompeii itself is home to a mural of Mercury who appears to have an incredibly oversized erection.

As reported by CBC News, new images of an excavated brothel within Pompeii are giving the public new insight into the randy shenanigans of the long-list residences of this part of Italy.


It's safe to say that these particular murals fit in perfectly well with a city that is also home to an intricate sculpture of a deity copulating with a goat.

Much of the art in this particular brothel depicts sex acts that archaeologists think were advertisements to potential clients.


Only the wealthiest Pompeiians could afford to spend their time here, some of who appear to have scrawled on the walls their tales of sexual derring-do.

The only known brothel in the city, it was five storeys high and was equipped with a balcony from which sex workers called down to potential customers on the street.

There were both male and female prostitutes working at the so-called "Lupanar of Pompeii," and each were thought to have had to officially register with local authorities and pay taxes on their earnings.


That is about all the equal opportunity you would find back then. Despite prostitution being legal in Pompeii, most of the women working there were slaves.

Married men were allowed to get it on with anyone except the wives of other men. 


Married women were forbidden from sleeping with anyone other than their husbands.

Western University's Professor Kelly Olson, an expert in Roman culture, told CBC News that the brothel was a rather unpleasant residence.

"It's not a very nice place to work,” she said. "It's very small, dank and the rooms are rather dark and uncomfortable."

If you are not able to make it to Pompeii to see the remnants of the Lupanar in person, you can tune in to CBC's The Nature of Things, a recently aired documentary featuring a tour of the notorious brothel.

Saturday, December 17, 2016

JALALUDDIN RUMI
SAINT OF ANTINOUS


ON December 17th the Religion of Antinous celebrates the life of the Sufi mystic Jalaluddin Rumi who dedicated his life to the illumination he received through the love of another man.

The mystic lover and poet Jalaluddin Rumi, better known simply as Rumi, was united with his beloved on this day. 

Born in Afghanistan in 1207 CE, his family moved to Turkey while he was still young. 

In the city of Konya, not far from the Bithynian birthplace of Antinous, Jalaluddin Rumi established himself as a traditional Islamic teacher.

But then one day he met Shams-e-Tabriz, a wandering Sufi mystic. 

Shams set Jalaluddin free from worldly concern and revealed the inward love of god as expressed through music, poetry and the whirling dance that simultaneously confuses and centers the soul of one who spins.

When Shams mysteriously disappeared, Jalaluddin went in search of him, only to discover that Shams was within his own heart.

From that day forward, Jalaluddin Rumi became a profound teacher of mystic eloquence whose poetry refers to god as the Lover within. 

The homoerotic character of Jalaluddin Rumi's spirituality, referring both to his love for Shams and his love for god, has ingratiated him to gay men because of the depth and sensitivity and sacred intimacy that his words exude.

Jalaluddin Rumi and his Mevlevi Order are the last remnants of the Bithynian-Phrygian ecstasy cults of Dionysus and Attis, and they are distantly connected to the Religion of Antinous, through the mystical charge of homoerotic spirituality.

Jalaluddin Rumi expressed total love, proclaiming that all religions were one. And on the day of his funeral, his bier was followed by a procession made up of representatives from five different faiths.

We sanctify Jalaluddin Rumi as a Saint in the Religion of Antinous. He died on December 17th, 1234.

Friday, December 16, 2016

THE BRAVE HOPLITE BUGLER BOY
WIELDS HIS PIPES AS A SONIC WEAPON



HOPLITES invade Holborn in the heart of London! We love this photo of historical men in full Hoplite gear on their way to a historical reenactment event. They form a phalanx which commuters can't get through.

The "phalanx" of Ancient Greece was a formation in which the "hoplites" (warriors) would line up in ranks in close order. 

The hoplites would lock their shields together, and the first few ranks of soldiers would project their spears out over the first rank of shields. 

The phalanx therefore presented a shield wall and a mass of spear points to the enemy, making frontal assaults against it very difficult. 

It also allowed a higher proportion of the soldiers to be actively engaged in combat at a given time (rather than just those in the front rank).


This image is from the Chigi Vase, found in an Etruscan tomb. This famous frieze shows Greek hoplites marching into battle. 

Note the brave bugler boy just behind the front row, channeling all his terror into his pipes, creating a banshee wail which amplifies all the fear.

Wielding his pipes like a sonic weapon, he sends the sound into the ranks of the enemy ... penetrating their skulls and deep, deep into their hearts and souls.

The bugler boy wields the sound of his horn as a powerful weapon ... blaring his own fear through the trumpet ... into the heart of the enemy. 

This is one of the great mystery teachings of the SACRED BAND OF THEBES ... the "Army of Gay Lovers"

Thursday, December 15, 2016

BIRTH OF THE DIVINE LUCIUS VERUS


ON December 15th the Religion of Antinous celebrates the birth of the Divine Lucius Verus, who was born 48 days after the death of ANTINOUS in the year 130 AD (Year 19 of Antinous). As an 8-year-old boy he was hand-picked by Hadrian to become future co-emperor with Marcus Aurelius.

And Hadrian's wisdom in choosing him was realized when Lucius Verus proved to be a wise and diligent leader who combined efficiency in government along with a sense of charisma and high-drama style.


A handsome young man with naturally sandy-blond hair, he instructed his team of imperial stylists to sprinkle gold dust in his carefully coiffed hair and beard to highlight the natural blond sheen. 

Verus led a high-stepping lifestyle and kept a coterie of glitterati, actors and favourites with him. He had a replica tavern built in his house -- a sort of in-house Studio 54 -- where he staged lavish parties with his friends until dawn. 

He also enjoyed roaming around the city among the population, without acknowledging his identity. The games of the circus were another passion in his life, especially chariot racing.

Lucius Ceionius Aelius Aurelius Commodus Antoninus was the son of Lucius Aelius Caesar, His mother's name was Avidia. After the unexpected death of young Lucius's father, Lucius Aelius Caesar, Hadrian then adopted Antoninus Pius to be his successor, and ordered that Antoninus adopt Marcus Aurelius, Hadrian's 17-year-old nephew, and the 8-year-old Lucius who took the name Lucius Verus.

As a boy Lucius Verus was educated by the foremost Roman scholars including the historian Marcus Cornelius Fronto. He was watched over by a devoted freedman of his father named Nicomedes, a name with Bithynian connotations and of almost homosexual allusion.

Originally Hadrian desired that Lucius should marry Faustina the Younger, daughter of Antoninus, but then Antoninus canceled this arrangement and Faustina married Marcus Aurelius instead. Lucius married Lucilla, the daughter of Marcus Aurelius, in 161 a year after becoming Emperor in 161.


War broke out with the Parthians and Marcus Aurelius sent Lucius Verus to head the Campaign, but he is said to have spent his time drinking and banqueting, leaving the war in the capable hands of his  generals. It was a wise decision. For this victory, he was awarded a triumph.


In general, the duties of running the government were left in the hands of Marcus Aurelius, while Lucius Verus spent his time with actors and musicians, and at the chariot races. 

He is said to have excelled his eccentric father Lucius Aelius in ostentatiously exhibiting his pleasures on an Imperial scale, much to the disapproval of the stoic Marcus Aurelius. The two co-emperors, however, always maintained cordial relations.

Lucius Verus was born in the year 130, only 48 days after the Death of Antinous. This is of course very important to consider, and certainly must have left a life-long impression of Lucius Verus. Considerations of reincarnation are open for contemplation.

His death in the year 169 was sudden and unexpected, occurring during a military inspection, likely due to dysentery or possibly smallpox, as he died during a widespread epidemic known as the "Antonine Plague". 

Despite the minor differences between them, Marcus Aurelius  grieved the loss of his adoptive brother. He accompanied the body to Rome, where he offered games to honour his memory. After the funeral, the senate declared Verus divine to be worshipped as Divus Verus.

Many people (even modern-day pagans) balk at believing in the divinity of the emperors, preferring instead the Classical deities of the Roman Republic.


Pagans find it extremely difficult to worship human beings as legitimate gods, because they have no believable supernatural powers, it's too obvious. There are other reasons of course, but this is one.


Why not Worship Lucius Verus and Hadrian and Marcus Aurelius and all the Antonines, why not call out to them, why not praise them and declare our loyalty to them and hope for whatever benefit we might gain? 

The odds seem as favorable with them as with anything else that people call Gods.

For this reason, among others...we turn to ANTINOUS...because he IS a human being...and he WAS deified...ANTINOUS is in every way Both God and Man...we can believe whatever we want about him...but only so long as we do not delude ourselves into thinking that we can placate ANTINOUS, that by worshiping HIM, that we will somehow purchase his good favor...that we will be rewarded for our good faith.

We don't see any harm in asking ANTINOUS to give us the Moon and the Stars and the Beautiful Things of the Land and the Sea...and we are proud to ask ANTINOUS to watch over His People, all the Homosexuals of the World, to protect them and Guide into the Future.

This may seem to be a violation of our personal creed of not asking for fulfillment of our selfish whims...but it is not a violation of that creed...perhaps because it is not for ourselves...and also because we  do not expect ANTINOUS to respond in any way or form...it is not so much a response from ANTINOUS Himself that we are seeking, but a Response from the Antinous within Our Hearts and from the Antinous within All of Our Hearts.

It is We who must watch over ourselves and the whole world...through the Power of Antinous Love within us all.


Lucius Verus IS a god and he represents the Power of the Antinous Love which resides within us all.