Friday, June 30, 2017

GAD BECK, SAINT OF ANTINOUS


ANTINOUS is the God of the Men with the Pink Triangles, gay victims of the Nazis. 

So it is with profound humility that we proclaim an anti-Nazi resistance fighter and the last known gay Jewish survivor of the Holocaust to be a Saint of Antinous.

GAD BECK died in Berlin in 2012 six days before his 89th birthday on June 30.

Beck was a pioneering gay activist and educator in a severely anti-homosexual, repressive post-World War II German society. He was famous for his witty, lively style of speaking.

On a German talk show, he said with a wink to his small physical size, "The Americans in New York called me a big hero. I said no... I’m really a little hero."

Perhaps the single most important experience that shaped his life was the war-time effort to rescue his boyfriend. Beck donned a Hitler Youth uniform and entered a deportation center to free his Jewish lover Manfred Lewin.



After bluffing his way out of the deportation center, as the two youths were hurrying down the road to freedom, Manfred stopped and said he couldn't go on. 

He tearfully said he would never forgive himself if he abandoned his family. So, with a parting kiss, he turned back and Gad never saw him again.


The Nazis would later deport the entire Lewin family to Auschwitz, where they were murdered.

Gad's only memento of Manfred was a little notebook with poems, sketches and essays which Manfred had written, plus a photograph. Gad treasured them all his life.

Speaking about his life as a gay Jew, Beck invoked a line frequently cited about homosexuality: "God doesn't punish for a life of love."

He was featured in the film THE LIFE OF GAD BECK (Die Freiheit des Erzählens: Das Leben des Gad Beck) as well as in the German documentary film PARAGRAPH 175. (The notorious Paragraph 175 of the German Penal Code outlawed homosexuality before Adolf Hitler became chancellor in 1933, and the Nazi party radically intensified the enforcement of the anti-gay law, including deportations to extermination camps.)

Aside from the two documentaries, however, he said with typical humor that he was still waiting for the blockbuster, feature-length movie about his life, and he knew just the man to bring it to the big screen.


"Only Steven Spielberg could film my life – forgive me, forgive me," Beck quipped.

He had immigrated to Israel in 1947. After his return to Germany in 1979, the first post-Holocaust head of Berlin's Jewish community, Heinz Galinski, appointed Beck director of the Jewish Adult Education Center in Berlin.

In a telephone interview with Judith Kessler, editor of the Berlin Jewish community's monthly magazine, Juedisches Berlin, she told THE JERUSALEM POST that Beck would organize gay singles meeting in the center.

"He was open, sweet and would speak with everybody," she said. Kessler, who knew Beck since 1989, added that he would attend the annual Christopher Street Day Parade for gay pride in Berlin and wave an Israeli flag.



Beck's father was an Austrian Jew and his mother converted to Judaism.

The Nazi racial laws defined Beck as mischling (mixed-breed), and he and his father were carted off to a holding compound in the Rosenstrasse in central Berlin. 


After the non-Jewish wives of the prisoners launched a massive street protest in 1943, Beck was released. There were "thousands of women who stood for days... my aunts demanded 'give us our children and men'," he said.

The Rosenstrasse demonstration helped debunk the widespread myth in post-Holocaust German society that resistance against Nazism was futile.

"The Rosenstrasse event made one thing absolutely clear to me: I won't wait until we get deported," said Beck.

Following his release, Beck joined Chug Chaluzi, an underground Zionist resistance youth group, and played a key role in securing the survival of Jews in Berlin.

According to the entry about him at the Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, he noted that "as a homosexual, I was able to turn to my trusted non-Jewish, homosexual acquaintances to help supply food and hiding places."

Shortly before the end of the war in 1945, a Jewish spy working for the Gestapo betrayed Beck and some of his fellow resistance fighters.


He was held captive at a Jewish transit camp in Berlin. After the defeat of Nazi Germany, Beck continued his Zionist work and helped Jewish survivors emigrate to Palestine. He remained in Israel between 1947 and 1979.

Thursday, June 29, 2017

THE CAVALRY IS COMING BACK
TO FORTS ALONG HADRIAN'S WALL



TURMA! Hadrian’s Cavalry Charge takes place in Carlisle England on Saturday, July 1, and Sunday, July 2, and will see a troop ... or Turma as they would have been referred to in Roman times … of 30 cavalrymen appear together for the first time in more than 1,500 years.

Performing intricate manoeuvres on horseback and showcasing their skills with javelins and other weapons, the event is set to attract an audience of more than 4,500 people.

Bill Griffiths, head of programmes for Tyne & Wear Archives & Museums and chair of the Hadrian’s Cavalry steering group, said: “Turma! Hadrian’s Cavalry Charge in Carlisle is a major highlight of the six-month HADRIAN'S CAVALRY blockbuster events which are going on this summer at about a dozen museums and outdoor locations along Hadrian's Wall.


Skirmishes with barbarians ... cavalry horse demonstrations ... gladiator fights ... participatory events for visitors of all ages ... here we look at the background to the ambitious project and what you will be able to see.

Hadrian's Cavalry starts on April 8 and runs until September 10 at the museums and sites along Hadrian's Wall at venues LISTED HERE.

The Hadrian's Cavalry exhibition will focus on the story of Roman cavalry regiments which were a vital but less well known aspect of the frontier garrison. Cavalry and part-mounted units were the elite of the auxiliary forces of the Roman army providing long-range reconnaissance, high-speed communications, shock tactics and mopping-up operations on the battlefield.

Alongside presentation of the training, equipment, daily life and military operations of cavalry troopers and their horses, the exhibition will explore the role of the regiments in projecting the Roman imperial image through their impressive armour and other equipment, and the powerful individual stories of regiments who came to Hadrian’s Wall from other parts of the empire. 

Each participating Roman site and museum across the Wall will host part of the exhibition.

Cavalry regiments were stationed at key locations on major road and river crossings along Hadrian’s Wall supported by part-mounted regiments at many other forts. The cavalry regiment at Stanwix just north of Carlisle was one of only three 1,000 strong cavalry regiments in the Roman army.

The cavalry regiments were costly to raise and maintain. The troopers were highly paid and lengthy training was required for both men and horses. Their equipment – including full face parade helmets like that found at Crosby Garrett and horse armour such as the Vindolanda chamfron – was expensive, exotic and designed to impress.

The exhibition programme will include live re-enactment, learning and community engagement activity.

“The sheer quantity, quality and range of objects from sites across Hadrian’s Wall provides opportunities to tell many different stories as well as celebrating the beauty and interest of the objects themselves,” said Bill Griffiths, chair of the Wall-wide project steering group and head of programmes for Tyne & Wear Archives & Museums.

“Evidence from sites along Hadrian’s Wall has informed understanding of cavalry regiments across the Roman empire.

“From Segedunum we know that cavalry horses were stabled with the troopers in adjacent rooms in customised barrack blocks, while Chesters Roman Fort is the best preserved cavalry fort in Britain.

"Many of the best known writing tablets from Vindolanda were written by Batavian troopers posted there following their deployment as shock troops to overpower the druids on Anglesey and before their subsequent deployment to the Danube to support Emperor Trajan in his war against the Dacians.

"The three metre high tombstone of Flavinus from Hexham Abbey is one of the most celebrated portrayals of the cavalryman-barbarian motif from across the empire.

“We are also hoping to work with museums across the Frontiers of the Roman Empire World Heritage Site to assemble a unique collection for this exhibition.”

Hadrian’s Cavalry will cost £790,000 in total, and the remaining £100,000 needed will be generated through ticket sales, donations and sponsorship.

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

EDWARD CARPENTER
SAINT OF ANTINOUS


THE last of our three Uranian Patriarchs, Edward Carpenter was born in Brighton England on the 29th of August, 1844, to a very large middle-class family. 

While his brothers went into the military, Edward became a scholar, with great success and eventually even taught at Cambridge where he was required to become ordained as a curate of the Anglican Church.

It was at this time, when he was 24, that he first read Leaves of Grass by Walt Whitman and was completely changed. He resigned his position at Cambridge and devoted his life to the working class, becoming a Socialist philosopher, lecturing, organizing and speaking for working men.

When his parents died, he received an inheritance that he used to purchase a rural estate at Millthrope, which he turned into a veritable Socialist Commune. He repressed his homosexuality for much of his life, channeling his desire into politically inspired friendships.

But the Millthrope house gave him the freedom to express his feelings more openly, and he began to write books on the subject of Uranian Love. He was deeply influenced by Hindu spirituality, and visited India, all of which emerged in his spiritual view of the Socialist movement, which was not so much about political revolution, but directed towards a change in human consciousness, of which homosexuality rapidly became his greatest cause.

While returning from India he met George Merrill on the train. It would be the love of his life. The younger man soon moved into the house at Millthrope, the two became inseparable lovers whose relationship lasted over forty years.

In 1908, he published The Intermediate Sex, the first widely available book on the subject of homosexuality. After the death of John Addington Symonds, with whom he had been closely allied, Edward Carpenter assumed the role as torch bearer, and subsequently published dozens of books and essays for the cause of gay liberation.


He died on the 28th of June, 1929, in Guildford England, and though not widely known at the time, was to later become a spiritual patriarch for the gay liberation movement of the late 1960s and '70s. He is regarded as a Saint and Patriarch of the Religion of Antinous, and remembered as one of the first fathers whose work changed the world with subtle power.

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

THE DEATH OF JUDY GARLAND
SPARKED THE STONEWALL RIOTS


THIS is the day the Liturgical Calendar of the Religion of Antinous sets aside for remembrance of Saint Judy Garland, whose death was the spark that ignited the Stonewall Riots on a sultry night in 1969 when a bunch of drag queens and assorted other gay men decided they weren't in the mood to put up with yet another raid by the corrupt and brutal NYPD.

Gays had had enough and they had just suffered a terrible shock — Judy Garland's tragic death on June 22 had rocked the gay world. It was said that 13 twisters raged through Kansas the day Judy died, which — in Kansas — in June — is a pretty safe bet, in any case. But still, and all the same ....

Judy had died in London, and amid much news media hype, her body was flown back to New York for a memorial service which drew a huge crowd of grief-stricken gay men who gathered outside Campbell's Funeral Chapel in Manhattan — on June 27, 1969.

Afterwards, the bars were jammed with gay men drowning their sorrows in booze and drugs while listening to Judy Garland songs full blast on every jukebox.

The mood was electrified by a sense of solidarity in grieving for a fallen idol. Gay men had surprised themselves by turning out en masse for Judy's funeral. They had experienced strength in numbers for the first time. They had been on national TV news.

In an unprecedented move by prime-time national news anchormen, Walter Cronkite and Huntley-Brinkley had talked about Judy Garland's "tremendous appeal among male homosexual fans" — at supper time when whole families were watching the evening news!


Blacks were standing up for their rights. Women were burning their bras. The Chicano Movement was gathering steam. And now "ho-mo-sexuals" (the announcers were unaccustomed to speaking the word aloud) were having the audacity to congregate outside a sacred chapel in broad daylight — and they even showed their faces on the evening news!

Straight people were being confronted with homosexuals right there on television beamed into their homes. And — more importantly — homosexuals were seeing themselves and their brothers/sisters on national television news. Gays in isolated places who had worshipped Judy Garland at the movies or on LP and tape, were now watching other gay people weeping for her in New York. For the first time, gay people in isolated places saw themselves on TV. We were not alone in our grief at the passing of a star with whom we somehow innately felt connected.

It was a Friday night. Late June. Hot and steamy. The bars were filled to bursting. Gay men were sharing a rare moment of solidarity in powerful emotions. There was a feeling, not only in New York, but around the world, that a paradigm shift had taken place. A gay icon had died suddenly and tragically (shades of Antinous) and we gay people everywhere found ourselves in a catharsis of identity change. None of us understood what was happening. Just as it was with being gay, we gay men couldn't explain it, we just "felt" it and "knew" it to be true.

And THAT moment was when the Manhattan police happened to stage one of their periodic raids on queers. Basically it was a routine raid on an average gay bar. Nobody had reckoned with what would happen next. Even gay men were surprised by what happened next.

ESPECIALLY gay men.

We were men who had been accustomed to being timid fraidy-cats. Men who had never dared to stand up for their sexuality. Drag queens and faggots never fought back. That was a fact of gay survival. We knew we were gay. And we knew what we weren't. We were not "MEN".

Grief turned to outrage. It was a spontaneous uprising fuelled by rage. The vice squad was overwhelmed. Reinforcements had to be sent in. Gay men stood their ground and advanced on the police, pushing them back.

It was the turning point for us. Gay men throughout America — and later in London, Berlin, Sydney and elsewhere — began standing up for themselves under the banner "Remember Stonewall".

In a sense, Judy Garland died for us. Had it not been for her tragic death — strangling on vomit over a toilet bowl in a London hotel suite — there might not have been any Stonewall Riots.

Flamen Antinoalis Antonius Subia puts the Stonewall Riots into a spiritual context:


"It was the first resistance by homosexuals against the repression of two thousand years, and the beginning of the Gay Liberation movement. The importance of the Stonewall Riots is the awakening of gay consciousness, the throwing off of the coils of the python that had for so many centuries enveloped our divine form of Love. This sacred revolt is holy to Apollo, Dionysus, and Diana combined as the guardian spirits of Homosexuality. Our modern Gay society was born on this occasion, and all of the peace and freedom that we have obtained in the these short decades are due to the courage that erupted on that Sacred Night in front of the Stonewall Bar."

Monday, June 26, 2017

WHAT THE CHINESE THOUGHT OF ROME:
TALL BUT NOT NICE TO THEIR RULERS


THE Ancient Romans never quite made it to China ... but the Chinese made it to Rome ... and sent back reports of tall and virtuous people who wore odd clothes and tended to dispose of their rulers on a whim.

One of the best Chinese travel reports is in the "Weilüe," a 3rd Century AD account of the interactions between the two nations. Here's what China had to say about their imperial neighbors!

From a translation by the University of Washington’s John E. Hill:


This country (the Roman Empire) has more than four hundred smaller cities and towns. It extends several thousand li in all directions. The king has his capital (that is, the city of Rome) close to the mouth of a river (the Tiber). The outer walls of the city are made of stone.
This region has pine trees, cypress, sophora, catalpa, bamboo, reeds, poplars, willows, parasol trees, and all sorts of plants. The people cultivate the five grains [traditionally: rice, glutinous and non-glutinous millet, wheat and beans], and they raise horses, mules, donkeys, camels and silkworms. (They have) a tradition of amazing conjuring. They can produce fire from their mouths, bind and then free themselves, and juggle twelve balls with extraordinary skill.
The ruler of this country is not permanent. When disasters result from unusual phenomena, they unceremoniously replace him, installing a virtuous man as king, and release the old king, who does not dare show resentment.
The common people are tall and virtuous like the Chinese, but wear hu (‘Western’) clothes. They say they originally came from China, but left it.
They have always wanted to communicate with China but, Anxi (Parthia), jealous of their profits, would not allow them to pass (through to China).

Here's a description of some of Rome's trade goods:


This country produces fine linen. They make gold and silver coins. One gold coin is equal to ten silver coins.
They have fine brocaded cloth that is said to be made from the down of "water-sheep". It is called Haixi ("Egyptian") cloth. This country produces the six domestic animals, which are all said to come from the water.
It is said that they not only use sheep's wool, but also bark from trees, or the silk from wild cocoons, to make brocade, mats, pile rugs, woven cloth and curtains, all of them of good quality, and with brighter colours than those made in the countries of Haidong ("East of the Sea").
Furthermore, they regularly make a profit by obtaining Chinese silk, unravelling it, and making fine hu ("Western") silk damasks. That is why this country trades with Anxi (Parthia) across the middle of the sea. The seawater is bitter and unable to be drunk, which is why it is rare for those who try to make contact to reach China.

You can read the full account at SMITHSONIAN MAGAZINE.

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!