Sunday, June 25, 2017

HADRIAN'S VILLA OBSERVATORY TOWER
IS ALIGNED TO THE SOLSTICES


HADRIAN designed his personal observatory at his sprawling villa outside Rome to be in alignment with the Solstices

Imagine the scene during the Solstice cycle: First, he would observe the setting sun sending a shaft of goldish-red light through a certain slit in his observatory tower to illuminate a golden statue of the Egyptian Goddess Isis.

Then there would be oracles at midnight. You can just see the cluster of priests and augurs, chanting and offering sacrifices amidst billowing clouds of incense. 

An Etruscan haruspex or two would be wearing yellow robes and conical hats as they inspected the entrails of animals. Patrician augurs would be wearing their finest ceremonial togas as they listened for messages from nocturnal birds. Babylonian astrologers would be clad in garish robes with multi-tiered crowns as they scanned the heavens and babbled to each other about their arcane calculations. 

And naturally the Egyptian priests would do their utmost to out-do all the others with outlandish make-up, headdresses and robes to the cacophony of sistrums, gongs and the whoosh of incendiary incense sending up pastel-colored clouds of smoke to the wailing of a priestess of Isis in the throes of a trance.

Scores of Imperial court officials and hangers-on would be stifling yawns as the oracles took most of the night. 

But yawns would turn to gasps of wonder and praise when the Emperor announced that he had just seen the RISE OF THE STAR OF ANTINOUS over the eastern horizon.

Then at dawn, the Emperor would climb stairs to the upper chamber to observe the Solstice Sunrise on June 21st.

He would announce the outcome of the oracles and whether the Antinoian Auspices for the coming year were favorable.

Modern Priests of Antinous annually celebrate rites at the HOLLYWOOD TEMPLE OF ANTINOUS to mark the Solstice.

Meanwhile, an Italian archaeologist and her team spends Solstice at the ruins of a tower on a hillock at Hadrian's Villa which was the Emperor's own private observatory. 

These experts, led by MARIA DE FRANCESCHINI, have demonstrated that the observatory tower is in fact aligned to the Solstices. She believes the observatory was dedicated to the Egyptian goddess Isis, who raised Osiris from the dead to become a god of resurrection and transfiguration — just as Hadrian declared Antinous a god of resurrection and transfiguration.
 

For centuries, experts had been mystified by the layout of the sprawling complex of marble baths, banquet halls, luxurious residences, gardens, shrines and unidentified structures 30 kilometers outside Rome.

Hadrian's Villa was a sprawling complex of buildings, temples, gardens, a zoo and — yes — even an observatory tower on a hillock on the edge of the compound from which Hadrian could observe the heavens. 


 But, in an article published in the journal Nature last year, De Franceschini wrote that she believes the mystery-shrouded Rocca Bruna Tower, long held to be Hadrian's private observatory, is in fact aligned so as to produce sunlight effects for the seasons.

She describes her findings personally in the video at the top of this entry. 

De Franceschini says that during the summer solstice, rays of light pierce the tower and another of the villa's buildings. In the Rocca Bruna Tower, dawn sunlight during the summer solstice enters through a wedge-shaped slot above the door and illuminates a niche on the opposite side of the interior (image courtesy nature.com). And in a temple of the Accademia building, De Franceschini has found that sunlight passes through a series of doors during both the winter and summer solstices. 

"The alignments gave me a new key of interpretation," says De Franceschini, who adds that the two buildings are connected by an esplanade that was a sacred avenue during the solstices. Based on ancient texts describing religious rituals and study of recovered sculptures, she thinks the sunlight effects were linked to religious ceremonies associated with the Egyptian goddess Isis, who was adopted by the Romans.

De Franceschini, who works with the University of Trento in Italy, has published a book describing the archaeo-astronomical work, VILLA ADRIANA ARCHITETTURA CELESTE. She credits two architects, Robert Mangurian and Mary-Ann Ray, for initially noticing the light effect in Rocca Bruna.

According to nature.com, Robert Hannah, a classicist from the University of Otago in New Zealand, says that De Franceschini's ideas are plausible. "They're certainly ripe for further investigation," he says.

Hannah believes that the Pantheon, designed by Hadrian in Rome with a circular opening at the top of its dome, also acts as a giant calendrical sundial, with sunlight illuminating key interior surfaces at the equinoxes and on the spring equinox on April 21st, the city's birthday.

Few classical buildings have been investigated for astronomical alignment, says Hannah, partly because it is much easier to check for alignments in prehistoric structures such as Stonehenge, which do not have potentially contradictory artefacts.

De Franceschini spends every solstice at Hadrian's villa, seeking further verification. Our thoughts and prayers go with her during this special season of the Solstice.


We can envision Hadrian, sick with grief and alone after the death of Antinous, ensconced in his observatory tower scanning the heavens for a sign from his Beloved Boy, praying to Isis for her to work her magic on Antinous.


Saturday, June 24, 2017

MADRID PRADO CELEBRATES GAY PRIDE
WITH HISTORIC EXHIBITION



GAY PRIDE is always a big event in Madrid, with thousands of people joining the street parade in the city’s center to celebrate the LGBTQ community and advocate for equal rights. But this year will be the biggest yet, as the Spanish capital will host WorldPride, becoming the international hub for the 2017 celebrations.

The festival … which takes place from June 23 to July 2, and coincides with the 40th anniversary of the first Gay Pride protest in Spain ... encompasses a broad program of cultural activities.

Among them is a particularly beguiling exhibition at the Museo del Prado titled “The Other’s Gaze. Spaces of Difference” … a rehang of some 30 paintings, sculptures, and drawings from the museum’s permanent collection that focuses on same-sex relationships.


The show, co-curated by the Prado’s Álvaro Perdices and Carlos G. Navarro, explores how understanding and tolerance towards these stories of love and friendship have changed throughout the centuries.

It features artworks ranging from the Greek sculpture of Orestes and Pylades by the School of Praxiteles, to Caravaggio’s David with the Head of Goliath and El Maricón de la Tía Gila by Goya.

At the museum, the issues of of same-sex relationships, the artists’ identity politics, and the persecution that they suffered in some cases hadn’t been properly explored or teased out across the collection, except in some specific examples, like Matteo Bonuccelli’s Sleeping Hermaphrodite or José de Ribera’s Maddalena Ventura,” the exhibition’s curators told artnet News.

This is the latest in a series of high-profile institutional exhibition and events around the world exploring LGTBQ issues, including, most notably, the recent show at London’s Tate Britain “Queer British Art (1861-1967).”


But in terms of classical art, it seems that the Prado might be truly breaking ground since, according to the curators, other key art historical museums like Paris’s Louvre, New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art, St Petersburg’s Hermitage, or London’s National Gallery have yet to implement such readings of their collections.

“The response has been incredibly positive,” Perdices and Navarro added. “The art world at large has praised this initiative and, at the museum, conservators and other staff have been extremely collaborative and enthusiastic.

In fact, the Prado has asked that this reading of the collection become available on a permanent basis, through audio guides and on the website. And the catalog is almost sold out already!”

Friday, June 23, 2017

EXPERTS SUGGEST ROMAN CHARIOTS
WERE PULLED BY SHETLAND PONIES



A horse bone unearthed at Britain's only Roman hippodrome horse-race track suggests that chariots could have been pulled by Shetland ponies, according to archaeologists.

The find was made in Colchester, England, when a large entrance gate was uncovered.

The "well preserved" gate was thought to be one of 12 that gave 8,000 spectators access to the site for 150 years.


It was the fifth to be discovered by archaeologists from the Colchester Archaeological Trust (CAT) since the excavation work at the 450m-long circus started in 2004.

Experts have also been examining the "ambiguous" hoof which appeared to belong to a large Shetland Pony which was used for chariot racing.

CAT Director Philip Crummy said: "This is our most interesting find for a long time at the Roman circus in Colchester.

"Also, as the bone of a Roman horse from the site of a Roman circus, it is very rare.


"It is another exciting find but quite ambiguous as to what it means.

"There has been a long-running debate about the size of the horses which would have been used to race the chariots and this discovery suggests they would have been quite small.

"It suggests it would have been about nine hands quite is small but the bone has not been looked at properly yet.

"It also looks like the bone is showing signs of arthritis which can be common in horses which work too hard and it can be made worse by them doing sharp turns.

"Of course, we are not certain why it was in the circus bit it is a very exciting to see it.

"If we could do more excavating and then found some more horse bones of a similar size it would help us to be more confident about what it was used for."

Thursday, June 22, 2017

THE HYACINTHIA FESTIVAL HONORS
ANTINOUS AS APOLLO-HYACINTHUS



AT THE height of summer, during the cycle of the June Solstice, the Ancient Spartans noticed that the hyacinth flower began to wilt in the intense heat ... which reminded them of the untimely death of Hyacinthus, lover of Apollo.

The Ancient Spartans celebrated a three-day festival called the Hyacinthia, which began with mourning for Hyacinthus and ended with rejoicing for the majesty of Apollo.

This solar cycle is sacred to Antinous in the form of Apollo-Hyacinthus. ... Antinous being the beautiful flower boy Hyacinthus who dies, just as the sun begins to die, but who was raised from the dead and deified by the love of the God of Light, who forbade Dis Pater from taking his beloved boy to the place of Death.... 


Hyacinthus arose as Apollo, to live forever within the rays of the Unconquered Sun, an allegory of ourselves awakening to the light of reason, truth and sacred Homotheosis.

The beautiful boy from Sparta known as Hyacinthus, whose astonishing beauty and long, flowing blonde hair, was first noticed by Zephyrus, the God of the West Wind.

The moisture laden Zephyrus fell madly in love with the boy, and attempted many times to seduce Hyacinth, but every time the boy rejected the wind god whose breeze is the most lovely and most arousing.

It was then that Apollo noticed Hyacinthus and fell completely in love with him also, however when Apollo revealed his love to Hyacinth, he was not rejected, but his shining love was returned many fold. 



The two, who were like twins, whose long, blonde curls, rustled together in the jealous wind of Zephyrus, enjoined a passionate love affair, until one day, the sight of their happiness proved too much for Zephyrus to endure.

While Apollo and Hyacinthus were throwing the discus together, the wind god sent a gust of air, when Apollo threw the golden disk, causing it to fall directly on the perfect head of Hyacinthus who died instantly from the blow. 

It was all an accident, and a tragedy, but Apollo was beside himself with grief, like Hadrian holding the body of his beloved Antinous.

The Sun God turned the blood that flowed through the soft curls into the flower that we call the Hyacinth. 


The Death of Hyacinthus is the divine metaphor for the beauty and tragedy of life taken from the young in their full vigor, falling victim to the accidents of youth.

It is also a warning to those who would approach the majesty of the great god Apollo, who is rightfully called the Far-Shooter, and the falling of the golden discus is a sign that the powers of the sun at this time of the year, though at their greatest, are slowly fading. The disk strikes Hyacinth on the head and the days grow shorter.

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

HADRIAN'S PANTHEON PUTS ON
SPECTACULAR SOLSTICE SHOW



ON June 21 Hadrian's Pantheon is the place to be during the Solstice. 

Hadrian's Pantheon brings tears to your eyes. Imagine being with ANTONIUS SUBIA as he describes the monolithic columns each carved from a single stone from Egypt ... "as if he could snap his fingers and have such columns appear here" ... and the marble in the interior coming from every corner of Hadrian's vast empire. 

Then you stand under the oculus ... the eye of the cosmos ... the most spiritual architectural element anywhere.

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

ANTINOUS MERGES WITH APOLLO
DURING THE GLORIOUS JUNE SOLSTICE



THE JUNE SOLSTICE is one of the most sacred days in the Liturgical Calendar of the Religion of Antinous.

It is the day when Ra Herakhte, the heavenly father of Antinous, stands still for a moment. In the Northern Hemisphere it is the longest day  and from now on the days become shorter and shorter. For our brothers in the Southern Hemisphere, this is the Shortest Day and from now on the days become longer and longer.

That is an important aspect to remember about the Religion of Antinous. The Blessed Boy is beyond such constraints as Summer and Winter or even Life and Death. For Antinous, the days are ALWAYS getting longer and the they are ALWAYS getting shorter.

For HE lives in our hearts — wherever we are.

The Religion of Antinous celebrates a whole cluster of Sacred Events on this magical day, which we call The Delphinea as a collective term. The Delphinea is the celebration of the beautiful, golden-haired god of light, Apollo. 

Antinous would be associated with many deities in the generations to come. Among his many names, the Beauteous Boy was adored as Antinous-Apollo (image above).

The Delphinea is the celebration of the beautiful, golden-haired god of light, Apollo, and of his triumph over the great and monstrous Python which was wrapped around holy mount Parnassus. The Python was the creation of Juno, a creature of jealousy whose coils were meant only to stifle and constrict the grace of that which was to proceed from the Sacred Way of the holy city of Delphi.


Apollo shot the Python and destroyed it, when he was only three days old, which is like the brilliance of the Sun dispelling the covering of night. He set the black stone which had fallen from the sky, called the Omphalos, over the navel of the Earth, and charged a Sibyl, a priestess of the Great Mother to watch over the stone and to convey his wisdom to mankind.

Flamen Antinoalis Antonius Subia explains the significance for us Antinoians:
"The Oracle of Delphi, called a Pythoness, was overtaken while seated atop a golden tripod, by a fire that is the breath of the God. Apollo is the Flower Prince reborn, he is the Twin brother of Dionysus, the Twin brother of Diana. He is the Son of Zeus, and the inheritor of his Kingdom, just as Aelius Caesar was the chosen son of Hadrian.
"Apollo is the God of wisdom and art, the speaker of truth, the deliverer of radiance, reason and beauty. Apollo is the God of Socrates and Plato, and he is the God of Pythagoras who claimed to be his son, exhibiting a golden thigh as proof. Apollo is the unconquered light, the full manifested brilliance, power and wisdom of Orpheus.
"Of all the gods, Apollo is the most boy-loving, though the touch of his heart was invariably fatal. He is the genius of the dying boy-gods. We pray to Apollo, the great god of homosexuality, and seek his guidance on this day, the longest day of the year."

Also on the Solstice we celebrate the day that Hadrian and Antinous met and fell in love ...  "Incipit Amor"

In the year 123, Hadrian toured the Danube region and Asia Minor. It was on this occasion that he met and fell in love with Antinous, in the ancient Bithynian capital city of Nicomedia, according to current research. One portrayal of the event has Hadrian in a garden, surrounded by the youth of the city, hearing a poetry recital.


Antonius tells it this way:


"Towards the back of the crowd, Hadrian notices a boy of extraordinary beauty who did not bring a stylus and tablet for taking notes, but sat removed from the others, silently gazing into the fountain, contemplating the words of the reader, as if in a dream. Hadrian was captivated, and is said to have gained the blessing of the boy's parents to have Antinous join the court, where there were already other boys of Hadrian's interest. Antinous would have been twelve years old. He was then sent to Rome to attend the Paedagogium, a finishing school for boys. This day marks the beginning of the love upon which our religion is based."
The relief sculpture at right shows Hadrian addressing a crowd with a boy who bears a striking resemblance to Antinous foremost in the crowd, touching the robe of the Emperor.

Monday, June 19, 2017

NICK DRAKE
SAINT OF ANTINOUS


ON JUNE 19th the Religion of Antinous commemorates the birth of SAINT NICK DRAKE, the sexually ambivalent English singer who died under very mysterious, Antinous-like circumstances at a young age and who became an artistic icon for future generations of dreamers and artists.

Nicholas Rodney Drake was born on June 19th, 1948, to an upper middle class English family living in Burma. His father was an industrialist and there was never much question about Nick's financial future. Indeed, he would have been a wealthy middle-aged man today had he done nothing at all. 


But Nick never ceased to wonder and worry about his spiritual future. Despite or perhaps precisely because of his admission to Cambridge University, Nick Drake was convinced that he should shun a financially certain future and pursue a future as a musician.

Nick Drake learned to play piano at an early age, and began to compose his own songs, which he would record on a reel-to-reel tape recorder he kept in the family drawing room in rural England.

In 1966 he spent some time in the South of France where he purportedly became acquainted with "the best sort of pot" and perhaps experimented with LSD — and possibly sex with both females and males.

Returning to England, he realized he was not suited to receive a degree from Cambridge University. Nick abruptly and shockingly (as far as his family was concerned) ended his studies at Cambridge nine months before graduation, and in autumn 1969 moved to London to concentrate on a career in music.

Nick signed to Island Records when he was 20 years old and released his debut album, Five Leaves Left, in 1969. By 1972, he had recorded his second album — Bryter Layter and part of his third, Pink Moon. Neither of the first two albums sold more than 5,000 copies on their initial release in Britain, much less abroad. He never made an American breakthrough, unlike other major British artists of the era.

Nick was devastated and depressed. His excruciating shyness to perform live or be interviewed further contributed to his lack of commercial success. Despite this, he was able to gather a loyal following.

He managed to complete his third album, Pink Moon, recorded in midnight sessions in the winter of 1971, immediately after which he withdrew from both live performance and recording, retreating to his parents' home in rural England. Once again, it did not sell well. He felt he was a failure. On November 25th, 1974, Nick Drake retired to his upstairs bedroom where he took a cocktail anti-depressants which killed him. He was found stretched over his bed next morning by his mother.

The Religion of Antinous honors Nick Drake as a prophet of Homoeros. He was a man who saw through the transparent barriers between sexuality to see the spiritual truth of reality. He was one of those many men who are never sure of their sexuality. But it is unimportant whether he was "gay" or not.

Nick Drake is a symbol of these sorts of dreamy and shy men who live existences of quiet despair. Nick Drake could play better riffs on the guitar than almost anybody of his generation. He had a beautiful voice. He was a gifted song-writer. He knew he had more  talent in his little finger than most well-paid artists would ever possess. But his career never took off. The big break never happened. Nobody appreciated him. He was broke and disillusioned.

His sister says she believes he took an overdose of anti-depressants  thinking he wanted it to either cure him or kill him, because he couldn't go on living in such despair of being an artistic failure. How many people in the economic meltdown of the early 21st Century don't feel the same despair? And yet ....

Nick Drake could scarcely have dreamt as he swallowed a handful of pills on a dreary November evening in his parents' house in the English Midlands that he would become a major recording star with fans around the world — 30 years after his death. His three albums now are cult chart-busters around the world.

When we remember Saint Nick Drake, we must remember too that Antinous is the patron of these sensitive souls who die untimely and tragic deaths at an early age. Antinous is the River Man who drowned in the Nile ....



Sunday, June 18, 2017

EGYPTIANS INVENTED SUMO WRESTLING
SAYS MODERN EGYPTIAN SUMO CHAMP



THE Ancient Egyptians invented sumo wrestling, according to a modern Egyptian man who has become a champion in the ancient Japanese art of one-on-one combat.

Abdel Rahman Shaalan recently won the title of world champion in sumo wrestling despite suffering an injury to his knees which threatened his performance in the world championship held in Japan.

Shaalan also received the title of "ambassador of Egyptian tourism in Japan" and completed a documentary about Egyptian monuments, which will be screened in Japan this August.

He started the sport eight years ago when I was 16 and went professional player at age 19.

His most significant victory was winning the Professional Sumo League as the first Egyptian and Arab to do so.

Despite a knee injury, he managed to win 13 matches, losing only two.

He is now one of the top 40 sumo wrestlers internationally.

He is something of a celebrity in Japan, where he has been given the nickname "Osana Arashi" (Great Sandstorm) and has even been named an honorary police chief in one Japanese province.

His study of sumo took him back to ancient Egypt.

He was led to tomb wall art in cliff tombs at Beni Hassan a few kilometers north of Antinoopolis on the Nile which shows Ancient Egyptians engaged in ceremonial wrestling.

"Although sumo is a Japanese sport, it actually has Egyptian origins," he says. "Pharaohs were the ones who first practiced the sport. In Beni-Hassan, Minya, hieroglyphics and drawings on the walls of cemeteries show Ancient Egyptians practising sumo wrestling."

Saturday, June 17, 2017

CHECK OUT THESE GORGEOUS IMAGES
OF ANTINOUS FROM AN ADMIRER



WE love it when people who love Antinous send us unsolicited stories, poems and art. These images were created by our Twitter follower @Son_of_Sekhmet in the Netherlands. These images show Antinous wearing the Egyptian "nemes" headdress and wielding a "khopesh" blade.







Friday, June 16, 2017

A FANTASY SUBWAY TRANSIT MAP
OF ANCIENT ROMAN ROADS



THEY say all roads lead to Rome, but they also lead outward to a number of intriguing places. There’s Antinoopolis in Egypt, Londinium in what we now know as England, and … should funding from the mighty Emperor Hadrian arrive … the yet-built Panticapaeum station along the Pontus Euxinus, or Black Sea.

If the Roman Empire had managed build a continents-spanning transit system for its empire, it might have looked like this.

Or so says this wonderfully thought-out fantasy transit map from Sasha Trubetskoy, showing the major thoroughfares of the Roman Empire circa 125 A.D. as dozens of stops along multicolored subway lines.

Trubetskoy started poking into the idea after noticing there was a dearth of good maps of Rome’s old road network, let alone train-themed ones. So he decided to go for it, pouring about 50 hours of research and design work into his sprawling “Roman Roads.”


“I enjoy reading about history, though I’m not a huge classics buff,” says Trubetskoy, a 20-year-old statistics major at the University of Chicago.

“But there’s something alluring about Rome’s ability to carve out such a huge and advanced empire, with a legacy that lasts today.”

Trubetskoy’s primary points of historical reference were the Peutinger Table, sort of a gas-station highway map of Rome dating from ancient times, and the Antonine Itinerary, an atlas of thousands of places in the empire with estimated distances calculated among them. He also used Stanford University’s ORBIS tool and the Pelagios Project from Sweden’s Johan Åhlfeldt, which he describes as “kind of like Google Maps for Ancient Rome.”

Trubetskoy didn’t try to represent every single road and town in the empire, going instead for major routes and large-population cities to mark some “stations.”

In certain cases he mapped routes with real titles … the famous Via Appia, for example, the first major road in Rome.

When the historical name didn’t exist or was unknown, he chose creative nomenclatures like the Via Claudia for a road built under Emperor Claudius and the Via Sucinaria (or the Amber Road) to mark an old trade route running from Italy to northern Europe.

“I thought of myself as a Roman government official designing a map that people would actually be using … how do I make it effortless to look at?” he says. “I also had to make sure things were evenly spaced, colors were distinct, and the labels were unambiguous. I started from scratch at least five times before I arrived at the current design.”

So how’s it work? Well, if Emperor Aurelian wanted to send troops from Rome to the front during the Battle of Immae … a third-century conflict against rebels in the east led by Queen Zenobia … they’d have to get on the yellow Via Flaminia, two stops later transfer to the green Via Sucinaria, make additional transfers at Carnuntum, Sirmium, Singidunum, and then switch a whole hell of a lot more among orange/blue/purple lines until arriving at the Palmyra stop in modern-day Syria.

If that sounds exhausting and a nice way to cultivate a galaxy of blisters, it is … making such a journey on foot would take roughly 121 days covering 2,235 miles, according to Stanford’s distance calculator.


Of course, back in the day travelers sliced a lot of mileage by using waterways … sailing through rivers and over seas.

There was also a nifty Roman method for getting messages and property around quickly that relied on a network of horse-riding couriers.


“They had a system called the cursus publicus, kind of like a mail service,” says Trubetskoy.

“Forts and stations were spread at even intervals, each with stallions ready to go at a moment’s notice. It could relay messages from Rome to Constantinople in a handful of days, while normal travel would take nearly a month.”


Look closely and you’ll notice a few clever twists. Like most modern transit maps, dotted lines delineate routes planned for the future.

"I stuck to the spirit of the subway map and made them look like ‘proposed lines/stations,’” he says. “These were areas like Crimea, Mesopotamia, Armenia, and Nubia that Rome had conquered at some point, but didn’t hang onto for very long or didn't exercise full control over them.”

To truly complete the effect, Trubetskoy also created snappy-looking modern logos for the ancient empire, like a stylized SPQR emblem of the Roman Republic (it stands for Senatus Populus Que Romanus or the “Senate and the People of Rome”).

In the middle there’s a wreath of laurels, a Roman symbol of power, and Quattuoviri Viarum Curandarum, a reference to an infrastructure-strengthening organization formed under Augustus.

“It’s sort of like a Roman DOT,” Trubetskoy says. “Literally the name means, ‘Four officials who care for the roads,’ although it grew to more than four officials.”

The text in that last box is an inside joke for Latin-speaking cartographers: “The final one is an inscription that says, ‘The Emperor, Caesar Augustus, Supreme Bridge Builder, created this map with a computer program,’” Trubetskoy says. “The meaning is silly, but it echoes plaques that were found all around Roman roads.”


Thursday, June 15, 2017

WHEN IT IS ALL TOO MUCH TO BEAR



MANY of us carry intolerable burdens on our fragile mortal shoulders. The priests of Antinous receive messages from people around the world ... from people who have loved ones who are terminally ill or otherwise incapacitated.

Some have horrendous health problems themselves. Not to mention financial problems. Emotional problems. Addiction problems.

It can all be too much to bear. Oftentimes you think you have been abandoned by the Great and Good God and that you must bear this burden all alone.

But the Great and Good God is there, standing right behind you, and he is making sure that you don't falter.

There is a famous relief from the ruins of the Temple of Zeus in Olympia, Greece, which illustrates the myth of the day when Herakles stepped in to relieve Atlas of the heavy burden of carrying the weight of the world on his shoulders.

The relief shows Atlas stretching out his hands to grasp the Apples of the Hesperides -- and Herakles struggles to hold the world -- which turns out to be a lot heavier than he had anticipated.

Herakles despairs of being able to hold the world. He strains with all his might and is only just barely able to keep it from tumbling.


But standing behind him is the goddess Athena ... out of Herakles' field of vision.

Athena calmly lifts her left hand and gently steadies the burden with her fingertips. 

She's not doing any heavy lifting. She is only using her little finger to steady the load.

There is great Sacred Symbolism in this relief's message. Herakles thinks he is carrying the burden all by himself and he fears he cannot do it.

But in fact he is not carrying it all by himself. Athena is behind him all the time.

The Sacred Symbolism applies to all of us.


You have to strain with all your might and you may despair and you may feel abandoned and all alone. And yet ... the Great and Good God is there behind you, lifting his little finger to help you bear the weight of the whole world!

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

ANTINOUS TAKES UP RESIDENCY
IN KAISER'S PALACE IN BERLIN



ANTINOUS has returned to the restored Imperial Palace of the German Kaisers ... as a replica facade statue.


In this photo, sculptor Wojciech Rostocki is putting the finishing touchess to a Baroque-style Antinous Statue which will adorn the facade.

The statue is made of reinforced plaster and is based on 3-D imagery of statues of Antinous.

The Berlin City Palace (Berliner Stadtschloss) was a royal and imperial palace in the center of Berlin, the historical capital of Prussia and subsequently Germany. 

It was the winter residence of the kings of Prussia and the German emperors … the kaiser in German.

The palace was almost destroyed in Allied bombing raids in World War II.

The ruins were razed by the Communist regime in East Berlin after the war because the palace represented "imperialist capitalism."

 In 2013 work started on reconstruction and a part of the exterior of the palace has been rebuilt. The completion is expected in 2019. The reconstructed palace will house the Humboldt Forum, a world centre for culture.


Tuesday, June 13, 2017

KING LUDWIG II of BAVARIA
SAINT OF ANTINOUS


ON JUNE 13th the Religion of Antinous commemorates the life of King Ludwig II of Bavaria, who died on this date in 1886 under mysterious circumstances in an Alpine lake. As with Antinous, his death is shrouded in myth and legend and it will never be known whether he drowned accidentally or whether he was assassinated.

Born August 25, 1845, Ludwig was only 18 when he ascended to the throne of Bavaria in 1864. He was the  last truly sovereign monarch of that Alpine nation, which was engulfed by Prussia during his reign and very much against his wishes.

While the king of Prussia was planning a war against France, and various other crowned heads of Europe were scheming and conniving to commit war and bloodshed, "Mad" King Ludwig (as he was called) devoted the entire resources of his land to the performing and visual arts, commissioning operas by Richard Wagner and building the most astounding fairy-tale castles and palaces.

In the build-up to the Franco-German war, as troops were marching off to battle, Ludwig did not bother to see off his military forces. Instead, he went off on a jaunt to Switzerland to confer with Wagner on plans for a Wagnerian opera house in Munich. The opera house was never built, due to opposition from local critics. Instead, it was built at the Bavarian town of Bayreuth to the specifications of the composer, paid for by Ludwig personally.

Shockingly, in a staunchly Roman Catholic land, Ludwig never married and instead surrounded himself with handsome manservants, artists and architects.

Indeed, Ludwig is best known as a closeted gay man whose legacy is intertwined with the history of art and architecture, as he commissioned the construction of several extravagant fantasy castles (the most famous being Neuschwanstein below) and was a devoted patron of Wagner, who might never have finished his "Ring" cycle without Ludwig's ostentatiously generous support.

In an age of fiercely militaristic nationalism, Ludwig came under intense pressures from his advisers to abandon his artistic projects and to devote himself to empire-building. Feeling harassed and irritated by his ministers, he considered dismissing the entire cabinet and replacing them with fresh faces. The cabinet decided to act first.


 Seeking a cause to depose Ludwig by constitutional means, the rebelling ministers decided on the rationale that he was mentally ill, and unable to rule.

Medical psychiatry was in its infancy, and a panel of "experts" assembled mostly anecdotal evidence of the king's "madness" to satisfy the ministers.

The list of "mad" behavior included his extreme shyness, his distaste for politics and state affairs, his complex and expensive flights of fancy (including moonlit picnics at which his young groomsmen were said to strip naked and dance), conversations with imaginary persons, sloppy and childish table manners and sending servants on lengthy and expensive expeditions to research architectural details in foreign lands.
He was deposed on June 9, 1886, and placed under house arrest at a castle on the shores of Lake Starnberg south of Munich where he was under the constant watchful eye of a psychiatrist.

On June 13, around 6:00 pm, Ludwig asked the psychiatrist to accompany him on a walk along the shore of Lake Starnberg. The doctor agreed, and told the guards not to follow them. The two men never returned. At 11:30 that night, searchers found both the king and his doctor dead, floating in the shallow water near the shore.

Ludwig was known to be a strong swimmer, the water was less than waist-deep where his body was found, and the official autopsy report indicated that no water was found in his lungs. Nonetheless, the official death certificate listed suicide by drowning. The death of the doctor was never explained.


Most other monarchs of his era have been forgotten, or else their names have been cursed by succeeding generations for laying the groundwork for the First World War. But Ludwig was only interested in laying the groundwork for grand architecture and enduring cultural masterpieces. His legacy of art and architecture — and homoerotic romance — continues to inspire and to enchant.

Monday, June 12, 2017

ANTINOUS CONTINGENT TAKES PART
IN WASHINGTON EQUALITY MARCH


A contingent of Antinous adherents made history this weekend by marching in the Equality March in Washington.

Heading the Antinous contingent was novice priest Michael Isom, who carried an Antinous the Gay God banner and distributed leaflets.

He also paid respects at the Obelisk of Antinous in the Congressional Cemetery's LGBT Section. The monument ... the only Antinous Obelisk in the Western Hemisphere ... honors Antinous and Henry Moses III, who is a beloved saint of Antinous.

Across the United States, supporters of LGBT rights mobilized for marches and rallies Sunday, celebrating their gains but angered over threats to those advances.

The centerpiece event, the Equality March in Washington, was endorsed by virtually every major national advocacy group working on behalf of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender Americans.

Leaders of those groups have been embittered by several actions of President Donald Trump's administration ... including the rollback of federal guidance advising school districts to let transgender students use the bathrooms and locker rooms of their choice.

Throngs of marchers, many thousands strong, paraded past the White House and toward the Capitol, trailing behind a giant rainbow flag near the head of the procession.

We are proud that Michael Isom and his contingent held the banner of Antinous high!








FELIZ DIA DOS NAMORADOS
WHEN ANTINOUS SPROUTS WINGS OF CUPID



Feliz dia dos namorados! 12 de junho ... Happy Valentine’s Day in Brazil! 12th June (English below)

ANTÍNOO-EROS
Como a última divindade clássica do panteão romano, Antínoo, o Deus Gay, se fundia com muitos outros deuses antigos, que melhor expressavam determinado aspecto do Garoto ou ajudavam a disseminar o culto em determinada região. Antínoo foi comparado a (e identificado como) Dionísio, Apolo e até Diana, a Caçadora.
E, dentre as entidades nas quais Antínoo se metamorfoseava, estava Eros, o Cupido.

É Flamen Antonius Subia, Supremo Sacerdote da Religião de Antínoo, que diz: "Como Eros, Antínoo é Amor, é a força que a Beleza inspira nos homens. Antínoo é o amante que seguimos em nossos corações. Essa veneração da beleza e da sensualidade masculina é a pura expressão do amor de Antínoo-Eros.”

“Antínoo-Eros é o mais poderoso de todos os deuses, o mais inegável, aquele que nos domina quando menos esperamos, que facilmente nos abandona e nos deixa desolados, que é capaz de nos levar às raias da loucura, forçando-nos a cometer todo tipo de extravagâncias. Em Seu nome, estamos dispostos a entregar nossas vidas e morrer por quem Ele nos determinou amar. Nenhum outro deus tem esse poder. Antínoo-Eros é a única força a superar a Morte.”

Sim, é Antínoo, com as asas do Cupido, que se encarrega pessoalmente de flechar o coração de todo gay que se apaixona. Foi Ele que uniu os amantes-guerreiros de Esparta e o Batalhão Sagrado de Tebas. Que uniu Aquiles a Pátroclo, Felipe a Bartolomeu, Verlaine a Rimbaud.

Hoje, dia 12, quando você se perder no olhar do seu namorado, quem vai te encontrar vagando, sem rumo, e te guiar até o coração dele é ninguém menos que o Garoto em pessoa - Antínoo, o Deus Gay.

JUNE 12th – Valentine’s Day in Brazil
As the last Classical deity, Antinous the Gay God morphed with many previous deities, that better expressed some aspects of the Boy or helped the spreading of the religion to different regions. Antinous was compared to (and identified with) Apollo, Dionisos, even Diana the Huntress.

And among these deities Antinous also morphed into Amor/Eros, the Cupid.

Flamen Antonius Subia says: "As Eros, Antinous is love, the force that beauty inspires in men. Antinous is the lover after whom we follow in our hearts. The veneration of beauty and sensuality in men is an expression of the love of Antinous-Eros.”

"Antinous-Eros is the most powerful of all deities, the most undeniable, the one who overtakes us when we least expect him, the one who as easy deserts us and leaves us destitute, the one capable of driving us over the edge of insanity, forcing us to commit all manner of extravagances. In His name, we are willing to surrender our lives and die for the one whom he has deigned that we should love. No other god has this power. Antinous-Eros is the only force that can overcome death…."

Yes, it’s Antinous, sprouting Cupid’s wings, who personally sends an arrow through the heart of every gay man who falls in love. It was He who united the lovers-warriors of Sparta and the Sacred Band of Thebes ... who joined together Achilles and Patroclus, Phillip and Bartholomew, Verlaine and Rimbaud.

Today, when you lose yourself in your boyfriend’s eyes, He will find you wandering alone and guide you to your boy’s heart – Antinous the Gay God.

Sunday, June 11, 2017

THE RISE OF THE STAR OF ANTINOUS


ON JUNE 11th, the Religion of Antinous celebrates the Rise of the Star of Antinous.  This is the date in our Liturgical Calendar when the Constellation of Antinous begins to rise over the horizon at sunset. It is visible on the eastern horizon along the banks of the Milky Way.

Wherever you live on Earth, you can see the Constellation of Antinous on starry nights from mid-June through late October when, in synchronicity with the Death of Antinous in late October, the Star of Antinous descends below the western horizon in the glare of the setting sun.
 

The Constellation of Antinous is no longer recognized by astronomers (just as Pluto has been demoted to the rank of "dwarf planet"). But it is still visible from any point on Earth nestled between Sagittarius and Capricorn and in the talons of Aquila (the Eagle Constellation) representing the Imperial Eagle which carried Antinous to lofty heights.

The most visible identifiers are the three bright stars of Aquila — Altair at the crown of his head, Tarazad, and Alshain. Alshain is derived from Arabic for "Two Friends" which astrologers have cited as a hint as to how to interpret the Sign of Antinous.

The Star of Antinous is however difficult to see. Most people cannot see it at all. You won't find it on any star chart. Like the Star of Bethlehem, it is a mystery and a conundrum about which many theories have been written.

And even if you could see it, the light which reaches your eyes would have left the star thousands of years ago — perhaps about the time that Emperor Hadrian discovered the star.

The simple truth of the matter — and the most beautiful facet of all — is the fact that Hadrian discovered the Star of Antinous with his own tear-filled eyes as he looked skyward in grief after the death of his beloved Antinous. Distraught and weeping, the emperor stood under the canopy of the star-studded heavens and looked up the River Nile towards the spot where his Beloved Boy had died. And he saw a new star which he recognized as a celestial sign that the gods had taken Antinous to be one of them.


You have to realize that Hadrian was a keen astronomer/astrologer himself. He knew the heavens like the back of his hand and he was so adept at casting horoscopes that it was said he had determined the exact hour of his death. He built an observatory at his sumptious villa outside Rome. And the tour of Egypt had brought him into contact with the finest Egyptian magician/priests, one of whom taught him how to cast a binding spell which could give him dream-visions and could also cause someone to fall hopelessly in love with him or — depending on how it was cast — even cause that person to die in agony.

Hadrian was that sort of control freak. Despite the fact that he was the mightiest man on Earth who could send a man to death on a whim (and did so, on occasion), he also wanted control over the future. And he wanted to be able to force someone to love him and never, never leave him.

Much has been theorized about those fateful final days leading up to the death and deification of Antinous and Hadrian's discovery of the STAR OF ANTINOUS.

Yes, much has been written about these events and about Hadrian's obsession with magic and astrology and soothsayers. One of the more fanciful versions was published in a novel in the mid-1950s by the German author Ernst Sommer. Entitled simply Antinous, the novel suggests Antinous sacrificed his own life to save his beloved emperor during the imperial tour of Egypt in the year 130 AD.


The dramatic climax of the plot has Hadrian lying in a villa in Hermopolis, feverish and at death's door after having been bitten by a mosquito. The emperor writhes in bed, calling out Antinous's name. The Empress Sabina and heir-apparent Lucius, jealous but also fearful that the presence of Antinous might further agitate the emperor, issue orders that the boy be kept away from the emperor.

After several daring attempts to sneak into the villa, Antinous is finally put under house arrest aboard an imperial vessel anchored a few miles upstream near the fallen-down Temple of Bes (the future site of the Sacred City of Antinoopolis). Lucius has ordered that he be put in irons to prevent him from sneaking off to visit Hadrian. But the guards cannot bring themselves to place the beauteous boy in irons, in defiance of Lucius's orders. Instead, they merely confine him to his quarters below deck with a single porthole overlooking the nighttime waters of the Nile.

Sensing that the emperor is dying, Antinous realizes his love for Hadrian is boundless and that nothing can keep them apart. Thinking back to his discussions about life and death with Jewish Rabbis, Christian clerics and Egyptian priests of Osiris, he realizes that the day has come. The hour has arrived. It is time to surrender everything he has — in a pure act of love that will transform everything.

He opens the porthole hatch and sees an unusually bright star which seems to beckon. He steps out of his clothes and leaves them (his last earthly possessions) lying in a heap on the floor. He climbs deftly out the porthole and slips quietly into the water.

At the same moment, Hadrian breathes his last breath, to the horror of Sabina and Lucius and the others who are gathered at his bedside. In a state now beyond physical life, Hadrian opens his eyes to see Anubis standing before him with outstretched hands, lifting him out of bed and guiding him away down many dark corridors. At last, Hadrian is taken through a massive portal and into a chamber where Thoth is waiting beside scales placed before Osiris.

Thoth begins the Weighing of the Heart ceremony as Osiris asks who this person is who seeks admittance to his realm. In the midst of the solemn proceedings there is a loud banging at the portal and Anubis announces that someone has arrived to offer his own heart in exchange for the emperor's heart, so that Hadrian might live and walk the earth again. That person is standing unseen just outside the portal. After brief discussion, the Egyptian deities acknowledge that the Law of Maat specifically envisions such an exchange and that, indeed, it is the most sacred and powerful of covenants — surrendering one's own heart on the Scales of Truth for that of a loved one. Such love cannot be denied. The offer cannot be denied.

Genesthoi — So Be It Done!

Back at the death bed in the Hermopolis villa, Hadrian gasps suddenly and his eyelids fly open, to the amazement of everyone who thought he had just expired. Sensing what has happened, he speaks hoarsely of a vivid dream involving deities. He looks around and demands to know where Antinous is.

"Where is he? What have you done with him? I know he would be here at my side if he were physically able. Bring him to me at once!"




But as Sabina and Lucius stammer excuses, and before the runners can summon Antinous, a boat crewman bursts into the room with the news that Antinous is missing and presumed to have drowned in the Nile.

Hadrian suffers a relapse, but the Egyptian magic is well done. So he cannot die this time. As the search for Antinous continues, with hope waning each day, Hadrian retreats to the rooftop observatory of the villa in Hermopolis which has been placed at his disposal by a wealthy Hermopolite. The emperor stares into the heavens night after night, refusing to give up hope that Antinous might yet be alive, perhaps dazed and confused and lost somewhere along the river.

Then one night he looks into the heavens and sees the proof that he has been looking for since the disappearance of Antinous. He summons the empress and Lucius and the entire court and also calls for the chief astrologer of the Temple of Thoth in Hermopolis to come quickly.

He informs them that a new star has appeared in the heavens and that it is a celestial sign that Antinous has left this earthly existence to ascend to the pantheon of the gods. He has surrendered everything on behalf of his beloved emperor, just as he had always said he would. Everyone thinks Hadrian has suffered another relapse and is delusional with fever. But the astronomer arrives and swiftly confirms that the sharp-eyed emperor has indeed discovered an uncharted star.

As Hadrian leaves to issue orders for the deification of Antinous, construction of the city at the spot where he drowned and erection of temples throughout the world, the astronomer remains behind in the rooftop observatory with the wealthy owner of the house. Where precisely is this new star, the owner asks. "I know quite a bit about the stars for an amateur, but I can't for the life of me see anything at the spot in the heavens where Caesar was pointing just a while ago."

The astronomer says that the new star is definitely there and that astronomers throughout the world will confirm its existence and it will be recorded duly in all the star charts.

"Yes, but can't you point it out to me?" the wealthy man pleas. "I'm straining my eys looking, but I just can't see anything."

The astronomer answers, "And that is why you will never be a good astronomer. You scan the heavens with your eyes, but not with your heart."

So Hadrian looked into the nighttime skies and discovered a new star to point the way to that new religion. As a scholar and man of science he was able to see it with his own two eyes. Perhaps it was a super-nova which flared and then went out — who knows? He saw it and his court astronomers confirmed it and the Constellation of Antinous was recorded in the star charts for 19 centuries to come.

But more importantly, Hadrian discovered the Star of Antinous shining in his heart. The Death of Antinous showed him a way to make his vision of the perfect religion a reality on Earth. It was the Light he was seeking. It was the Light of Antinous.

So when you look up into the nighttime skies tonight in search of the Star of Antinous, don't be surprised if you can't find it with your physical eyes. You can't find it in physical space, which is why Flamen Antinoalis Antonius Subia calls it the Dark Star of Antinous. Look inside your heart and you will find it shining there with all the beauty of a dream of perfection ....

Lumen Antinoi Adiuva Nos!

(Light of Antinous, Sustain Us!)


Saturday, June 10, 2017

WE WEEP FOR THE DEATH OF ALEXANDER
HEROIC PROTECTOR OF ANTINOUS



IT was on 10 June 323 BC that Alexander the Great died at the palace of Nebuchadnezzar II in Babylon, according to the Babylonian astrological calendar.

His subjects wept and shaved their heads in mourning, some killed themselves, unable to imagine a world without their golden-haired leader.

Many theories have been put forth about the cause of death … poisoning … a decayed liver from alcohol excess … typhoid fever … malaria.

Egyptian and Chaldean embalmers who arrived on June 16 are said to have attested to Alexander's lifelike appearance. This was interpreted as a complication of typhoid fever, which causes a person to appear dead prior to death.

It was said to have taken two years to build an enormous funerary catafalque to convey the body from Babylon.

On its way back to Macedonia, the funerary cart with Alexander's body was met in Syria by one of Alexander's generals, the future ruler Ptolemy I Soter

In late 322 or early 321 BC Ptolemy diverted the body to Egypt where it was interred in Memphis, Egypt

In the late 4th or early 3rd Century BC Alexander's body was transferred from the Memphis tomb to Alexandria for reburial.

It was seen there by Julius Caesar and Cleopatra, Augustus and possibly Hadrian and Antinous.

At some point, however, the whereabouts of Alexander's body became unknown. 

In May 2014 Polish archaeologists claimed they found the LOST TOMB OF ALEXANDER in Alexandria. 

Later in 2014 Greek archaeologists made a similar claim to have found the Tomb of Alexander at AMPHIPOLIS, but they eventually said they had been wrong.

We, the modern priests of Antinous, praise the glorious warrior Alexander of Macedonia, and elevate him, and worship him as a God, an example of the greatness of homosexuality, and a heroic protector of the Divine Antinous.

Friday, June 9, 2017

ARCHAEOLOGISTS FIND ROMAN VILLA
WITH STUNNING MOSAICS IN LIBYA



Archaeologists have unearthed statues, elaborate mosaics and other treasures in a 1,700-year old villa in Ptolemais, a key trading port for the ancient Romans on the Libyan coast.

The artifacts and a hoard of 553 sestercii silver and bronze coins hailing back to Roman Republican times were found in a vast building about 600 square meters in area, dating to the 3rd Century AD.


Most of the coins were found inside a room inside the house where terracotta lamps were manufactured. The coins may have been the earnings of local craftsmen, said archaeologist Jerzy Zelazowski of Warsaw University.

The ancient city was established almost 2,300 years ago, at the turn of the 4th Century BC, by ancient Greeks. Its original name is not known, but it gained the name "Ptolemais" during the reign of the Ptolemaic empire over Egypt.

The villa with the recovered mosaics was built hundreds of years later around a courtyard in classic Roman peristyle arrangement.

Among the loveliest of its mosaics is one depicting a sleeping Dionysus and Ariadne … a daughter of King Minos, who according to legend, would become the god's wife.


Two other mosaics in the villa, one in the courtyard and one in the dining room, bear the name "Leukaktios". The name later was superimposed on the stonework, possibly due to ownership change during its centuries of occupation.

The villa walls bore colorful frescos, imitating marble revetments with geometric designs. Several walls are covered with figural paintings, mainly depicting various species of birds.

The end of this elegant house, after centuries of occupation, was probably due to the endless earthquakes plaguing the region. 


Two in particular, striking in the mid 3rd Century AD, may have doomed the house: the treasure of silver and bronze coins were found within the destruction layers inside the house.