Wednesday, January 31, 2018

DEREK JARMAN
SAINT OF ANTINOUS


ON January 31st the Religion of Antinous celebrates the life of Saint Derek Jarman.

St. Derek, born on this day in 1942, created eleven extraordinary feature films ... including "Sebastiane," "Jubilee," "The Tempest," "Caravaggio," "The Last Of England," and "Edward II" ... and over three dozen shorts.

This multi-talented artist is also acclaimed for his painting (several major exhibits), stage and film design (for director Ken Russell and for a glorious Pet Shop Boys concert tour), gay and human rights activism, literature (memoirs, social criticism, poetry), and, on a serene note, his exquisite gardens full of "found" art.

Most gay men have seen Sebastiane which, when it came out more than 30 years ago, was the first British film to feature positive images of gay sexuality, not to mention the first film entirely in Latin.

Edward II raised eyebrows among critics for its upfront depiction of the brutal assassination of England's openly gay monarch by means of rectal assault.


The exquisitely beautiful Caravaggio is Saint Derek's best-known film.

We Antinoians remember Saint Derek for his art and we honor him as well for his boundless courage. His death from AIDS was cruelly slow and agonizing. And yet, as AIDS robbed him of his mobility and even of his eyesight, he turned the tables on Death and Dying by turning Death and Dying into an art form. 


His last feature-length film, Blue, consists of a single shot of saturated blue color filling the screen as Derek talks about his "vision" of life and art. How very typical of Derek Jarman. 

Thumbing his nose at fate right up to the end. A dying man who is blind and yet who talks about his vision.

The light of his eyes faded until all he saw was the darkness where the Night Terrors feed on fear and doubt. And what did Derek do? He turned the darkness into vibrant color. He turned his fear and his worries into artistic energy. The dramatic lighting and brilliant colors of his films were so very dramatic and brilliant because they were always, always set against the inky darkness.


That is why we consecrate Derek Jarman a Saint of Antinous. Just like Saint Caravaggio, also one of our Blessed Saints, Martyrs and Exemplars, his "vision" lay in turning the Darkness into Light and Color. He died February 19, 1994.

Tuesday, January 30, 2018

THE SACRED STAR OF ANTINOUS

 

 (To be said before a sacred flame of Antinous)



Antinous of the Heavens, God of Eternal Fire

In your name, Uranian Lord, Antinous Phanes,

May this consecrated Lucerna shine forth

With the celestial light of your Sacred Dark Star.

Antinous our God, whose Star has Come into Being

We are the Influence of your holy constellation,

May our devotion ignite the burning embers

Of your flame among the ashes of the world.

Arise Antinous Ganymedes as the Eternal Narcissus,

Your Homotheosis shines from this tongue of fire

Let this Flame commemorate the conflagration

That once consumed the Sacred Sodomites

Purify us in the pain and brilliance of Gay Splendor.

We rise as the Unconquered Sun

Soaring as a falcon among the heroes.

Your Hand turns the everlasting sky.

You pass through Heaven before the Starry Beings

You are the Golden Eagle of the Heavens

In whose wings all Catamites are assumed

Into the glory of Eternal Homotheosis

Antinous Phanes, twofold, egg-born,

Glorying in your golden wings,

Antinous of celestial power, ineffable,

Dark Star, all-shining flower of flame, glory of the sky.

“Hadrian declared that he had seen a star

Which he took to be that of Antinous,

And gladly lent an ear to the fictitious tales woven by his associates

To the effect that the star had really come into being

From the spirit of Antinous

And had then appeared for the first time.”

Behold the Star of Antinous!

(light a fire for Antinous)


Monday, January 29, 2018

ANTONIUS SUBIA ON THE DISCOVERY
OF THE STAR OF ANTINOUS



MAY the Light of the New Star of Antinous shine into all our hearts and illuminate our souls!

We are still trying to figure out exactly what took place in the sky and when, and why it was so important that it confirmed the deification of Antinous, whether it was a comet or a new star, a Nova in what is now the constellation of Aquila.  I lean towards the Nova possibility, because of of the use of term "new star" by Dio Cassius, with no reference to a comet, or "long-haired" star...and also becaus some of th most dramatic known Nova's have been located in the constellation Aquila, such as the Nova Aql of 1918

"Two major novae have been observed in Aquila: the first one was in 389 BC and was recorded as being as bright as Venus; the other (Nova Aquilae 1918) briefly shone brighter than Altair, the brightest star in Aquila."

So it is possible that there was a Nova in the year 131...and by the way, our previous estimate of year 132 is most likely wrong...the year 131 would have been only a few months after Antinous died...and if this is so, then the appearance of the new star would have occurred about six months before the miraculous inundation of the Nile the following summer.  I've always wondered about the timing issue, whether or not the constellation Aquila was actually visible in the sky at the time of year...but it seems that it is, for about one hour before sunrise.  This is called a Heliacal rising, when the first appears above the horizon just before sunrise, and then on each succeeding night seems to rise higher and higher every night thereafter.  This is what they mean by the Rise of the Dog Star, which signaled the beginning of the Egyptian calendar and which signaled the annual flooding of the Nile.  The star Sirius and Altair (which is the brightest star in the constellation Aquila, the star traditionally located right above Antinous's head) are on almost exactly opposite of the night sky...yet strangely enough, they are the two brightest stars in relatively close proximity to our Sun, part of the local group.

As an argument for the comet:  It was the chinese who recorded what is said to have been a comet on January 29th 131.  It is known that from the point of vie of China the tail of a comet might be visible, but in Europe, the the tail might be hidden...not sure if I understand why, but this is what I've read, so it may be that from Hadrian's point of view, for the brief hour or so before sunrise, all they saw was a single point of new light in the sky.  I'm still not sure what I think about this...and also...I keep thinking that I recall reading in Beloved and God a brief mention by Royston Lambert that there had been a comet in the sky in the year 130 which had given rise to foreboding prophesies...but I keep trying to find this reference and come up with nothing...if any of you can take another look at Beloved and God and find this reference, I would be much ingratiated.  And then there is the reference that in the year before Antinous died, that a Phoenix had been seen in Egypt, perhaps another allusion to a comet.  If a comet did in fact occur in the months before Antinous died then it would indeed perhaps confirm the Chinese reports, though the dates would disagree but the ancients were terrible about recording dates so there is ever possibility that some confusion might have taken place.  A comet before his death and a new star (nova) afterward would however be a significant narrative of spiritual significance.

The Star of Antinous was the proof that Antinous had indeed arisen to the heavenly sphere...that he had taken his place among the immortal gods...more than anything else..it was what all the disbelievers would have required to recognize that Antinous was more than just Hadrian's little pretty boy.  It would have needed to be a very significant new star in order to make an impact upon the general populace...it would have needed to be an obvious sign in the sky that even an untrained astrologer could look up and seen for themselves..it would have needed to be as bright as Altair...there were a great many people all over the empire who were familiar with the stars...sailors and temple soothsayers...all of whom would have had enough familiarity with the constellations to know if a new star had actually appeared in the night sky for the first time.  If there really had appeared a new star for the first time, as Dio Cassius skeptically reports, then the "experts" would have noticed it, and would have confirmed the official reports from Hadrian's court that Antinous had arisen to godliness...and the word of their confirmation would have spread, dispelling whatever doubts the general, uninformed populace might have felt when the Edict of Deification was announced.

The Star of Antinous was the mos significant event in the formation of our religion...this is what separates Antinous from other gay demi-gods such as Achilles and Hephestion...they were deified in the same way and for similar reasons as Antinous, but their cults never assumed world-wide importance or longevity...they never crossed the line from heroism to godliness...for one basic reason...because there was no cosmic confirmation to solidify their deification.  I just read a Spanish book about Antinous by De La Maza written in 1969 which emphatically states that the New Star of Antinous was the most important event that elevated Antinous to the immortal state that we recognize him to hold to this day.

The Star of Antinous represents the spirit of Antinous within our heart...the Fire of Homotheosis...this is what I feel when I consider the star of Antinous shinning inside of me.

May my light shine upon you all,
May your light shine upon me.

~Antonyus Nicius Subia
Flamen Antinoalis

THE DISCOVERY
OF THE STAR OF ANTINOUS



ON January 29th in the year 131 AD a new star appeared in the constellation Aquila, the Eagle.

The court astrologers declared that it was Antinous taking his place in the heavens. Hadrian ordered them to draw a new constellation embraced by the Eagle, and called it ANTINOUS.

Our Flamen Antinoalis Antonius Subia explains:

"The Roman historian Dio Cassius was skeptical that a new star had appeared in the sky, but simultaneously, the leader of the Jewish revolt named Bar Kochba, which means 'Son of the Star,' was declared the Messiah because a celestial event had proclaimed him the savior of Israel. The mystery of the star is real, a celestial even of great magnitude occurred shortly after the death of Antinous within the constellation of the Eagle for the New God.

"The three sacred stars of the constellation Aquila, named Tarzad, Altair and Alshain, rise above the horizon just after dark on this night and are an allegory of the assumption of Ganymede into heaven. This date is suggested by Chinese Novae observations which have been dated as occurring on the 29th of January 131 AD, and are compared to the Star or Comet of Antinous."

Sunday, January 28, 2018

WORSHIPERS ON BOTH SIDES OF ATLANTIC
CELEBRATE HADRIAN'S BIRTHDAY



WORSHIPERS on both sides of the Atlantic joined hands via Skype in ceremonies celebrating the climax of five days of Emperor Hadrian's birthday at the Hollywood Temple of Antinous.

Flamen Antonius Subia had issued a global invitation via social networks for participation in the evening's ceremonies commemorating the 1,942nd anniversary of the birth of Hadrian.

"We honor Hadrian because without him there would be no Religion of Antinous," Flamen ANTONIUS SUBIA told the worshipers who had gathered in Hollywood, along with live participation from priests and adherents in Europe.

"Hadrian loved Antinous with all his heart and with all his soul. And yet, when Antinous died he could have kept Antinous in his heart to treasure alone for all eternity," Antonius said.

"But instead, he shared Antinous with the world," he added, raising his hands toward images of Hadrian and Antinous on the temple's sacred altar.

"He issued an imperial command that temples to Antinous be erected throughout the Empire," the Hollywood high priest explained, "and that statues, busts and sacred images of Antinous be created to perpetuate his memory."

Even in the darkest times after the Fall of Rome, Antinous continued to serve as a beacon for homosexuals through the centuries.

"Antinous was revered by gay people throughout the centuries, even in the Killing Times when gays were burned and persecuted, even during the Gay Holocaust at the hands of the Nazis ... and also as gay people continue to suffer today," he said.


"Instead of keeping Antinous locked in his heart, Hadrian shared a portion of Antinous with us," Antonius added, speaking in English and in Spanish for participants in Mexico City. 

"He permitted us to share in his loving relationship with Antinous, and in doing so, he forever changed the way gay people have seen themselves," he told the congregants.

Officiating at the Hollywood Temple as others took part via Skype, Antonius lighted incense and offered libations in celebration of the birth and life of Hadrian and his unprecedented step to deify his gay lover ... the ultimate Classical deity.

"He was the most powerful man in the world, who loved Antinous so much that he declared him a god," Antonius told worshipers.

"He did that as representative of Zeus on Earth, emblem of the ruler of the Cosmos, the great eagle," Antonius added. 

"Hadrian is the bringer of order out of chaos, founder of our religion," he went on. "He is the divine lover of Antinous ... our model ... and our God."

Future interactive ceremonies will be announced in advance.

Saturday, January 27, 2018

LAST VICTIMS OF LAST BOMBING RAID
WERE GAY CONCENTRATION
CAMP INMATES



AS we honor the men who wore the Pink Triangles, we remember the hundreds who endured a forced march to the sea ... only to be bombed and strafed and gunned down before they could be liberated by British soldiers.


Auschwitz was liberated by the Red Army on January 27th, 1945, and the pictures of skeletal camp inmates shocked the world. 

In response, Heinrich Himmler issued an order to all camp commandants that they were to ensure that no camp inmates should ever fall into the hands of Allied forces. He didn't specify what they should do, leaving it in the hands of camp commandants.

Some commandants at Dachau and other camps, began gassing all surviving inmates so that none would be left alive. Others began evacuating their inmates.

Hundreds of homosexuals were interned at Neuengamme Concentration Camp near Hamburg, Germany. 

The camp commandant ordered them to leave their camp on a forced march to the Baltic Sea, 100 kms (60 miles) away, where the converted cruise liner Cap Arcona was at anchor.

This was in mid-May 1945. Hitler was dead. The Allies were advancing on all fronts. 

Everyone knew that the war was over. All the inmates had heard the news. 

British forces had dropped leaflets saying they would be in Hamburg within hours.

And yet these men were sent on a Death March march to the sea. Stragglers were shot
. Others died of exhaustion. 

But hundreds made it to the Baltic Sea docks where the Cap Arcona was waiting and they were herded aboard.

It was May 19, 1945. The British RAF was conducting intensive air raids to pave the way for ground forces, which were only a few miles away. 

RAF fighter-bombers had been told that Nazi officials were seeking to flee Germany aboard a big ship disguised as a refugee vessel.

The RAF planes came in and bombed and strafed the Cap Arcona, setting it ablaze and sending it to the bottom. 

Those inmates who managed to dive into the water were either killed by the bombs and strafing from the planes or else were machine-gunned by Gestapo men as they tried to climb ashore.

A handful found shelter in reeds along the shore and were found shivering in the water by British soldiers a few hours later.


The Cap Arcona had been the last bombing raid of the war in Europe … and it involved the men who wore the Pink Triangles.

THE MEN WITH THE PINK TRIANGLES
VICTIMS OF THE GAY HOLOCAUST



IN Nazi Germany, on January 28th, 1935, the Ministry of Justice revived and amended "Paragraph 175", the old Prussian statute created in 1871 that made Homosexuality a crime punishable by imprisonment. 

The law was increased in severity and became the legal basis for the systematic persecution of male Homosexuals. 

The Nazis believed that homosexuality endangered to the purity of the German people, that gay men corrupted the youth, preventing them from living normal married lives, and were therefore a threat to the race. 

Homosexuality was denounced as an unnatural lust, and accused of being intrinsically Un-German, a disease imported by Jews and supported by Communists, the enemy of the Aryan People. 

Imprisonment and sterilization were the initial penalties, but Heinrich Himmler revealed his true design when he said that the "extermination of degenerates" was in keeping with ancient Nordic principles (an interesting idea considering that many of the Dying-Boy-Gods, to whom we compare Antinous, were killed as ritual human sacrifices.) 

Men were arrested and sent to the concentration camps by the tens of thousands. 

They were distinguished by the sign of the pink triangle, and subjected to extreme conditions of abuse. 

The Men of the Pink Triangle were beaten regularly, subjected to hard labor, deprived of food and exposed to the elements. 

They were abused by the Nazi guards and by other prisoners alike because everyone considered homosexuality the lowest of low, a sin and an aberration, even the homosexuals themselves. 

An estimated 60,000 men were legally sentenced under "Paragraph 175," nearly all of them died, and this number only includes those documented in Germany. The number of unrecorded homosexuals, and those outside of German is impossible to know, but may be twice as many. 

The Men of the Pink Triangle were so successfully persecuted that even after the Nazi defeat, Paragraph 175 remained law, and many gay inmates were sent to regular prison to complete their sentences. It was not until 1969 that the law was finally repealed. 

We sorrowfully remember the legions of Men of the Pink Triangle who died cruel and vicious deaths under the Nazis. 

We remember the evil that was perpetrated with the blessing of "Paragraph 175." 

These men are our Martyrs, our Holocaust, our Guardian Saints, they suffered so that we would be Free.

We will never forget their painful and miserable deaths, and we pray to Antinous the God of Homosexuality, to watch over their immortal souls and give them rest. On this day we remember the horrors that were raised against us through the Amendment of "Paragraph 175."

Friday, January 26, 2018

FEATURED ANTINOUS STATUE OF THE DAY
THE ANTINOUS OF ELEUSIS


THIS statue of Antinous from Eleusis - Ἐλευσίς - is the only one that seems to refer back to an incident in his life, his initiation into the Eleusinian Mysteries of death and resurrection in September 128 AD.

The sculpture was erected after his death in the outer courtyard of Eleusis and captures this instant of his life, though officially it depicts him as the god Dionysos Zagreus, a divinity of suffering abd resurrection associated with the Eleusinian Mysteries.

Technically it is not one of the best of the depictions of Antinous, but it evokes a mood and a moment.


The sulptor clearly envisaged the young lad draped in his himation, standing in the darkened Telesterion (the initiation hall) and confronted with the Eleusinian Mysteries of death and resurrection.

He clutches at the folds of his himation anxiously, insecure, staring wide-eyed, his mouth pursed in awe, with an expression of apprehension, intent rapture and awareness of the tremendous significance of what was being revealed to him.

Even though it is a mediocre statue in workmanship and details it is redeemed by its expressiveness and pathos.


This statue is now housed in the Archaeological Museum of Eleusis: Antinous as Dionysus Zagreus, Inv. 5092, 1.83 m, in marble of Thasos.

Thursday, January 25, 2018

NOW THIS IS THE PROPER WAY
TO MAKE NUDES PALATABLE TO PRUDES


IN America and Europe right-wing conservatives are seeking to roll back gains made by LGBTI people and even want to tighten censorship.

With tongue planted firmly in cheek, we suggest that museums might consider dressing Classical statues as hipsters.

French photographer Léo Caillard and art director Alexis Persani have created a tongue-in-cheek photo series that depicts ancient Louvre’s sculptures wearing modern day clothing. 

With the power of a camera and photoshop, these guys show how hilarious two worlds of old and new look combined. 

They call the series STREET STONE and the incident in Rome shows how timely it is.

We wonder what the sculptors would think if they saw their creations donning hipster chic clothing and accessories. We'd say either rolling in their graves or laughing hysterically. 

It's actually quite amazing how the addition of the clothing instantly gives these guys and girls a personality very separate from the one they had before. 

They gain a bit of edge mixed with some androgynous sex appeal.

This idea could spawn an entire new clothing line. Stone Stylings: Extremely uncomfortable clothing for those who don't move.

Wednesday, January 24, 2018

THE BIRTH OF HADRIAN


ON January 24th the Religion of Antinous celebrates the Birth of the Divine Hadrian.

Publius Aelius Hadrianus was born on this day either in Italica, Spain, or else in Rome, in the year 76.

His father was Publius Aelius Afer, his mother was Domitia Paulina. His uncle was the Emperor Trajan who had been adopted by Nerva.

Trajan employed Hadrian as a general in his conquests across the Danube, where Hadrian proved his military prowess, and gained the love and devotion of the Legions.

It is said that the relationship between Hadrian and his uncle was strained, and they are even known to have quarreled over beautiful boys. But Hadrian was very close to the Emperess Plotina, whose intellectual depth he preferred to the military harshness of Trajan.

During the unsuccessful campaign against the Parthians, in modern day Iraq, Trajan suddenly fell ill and died. Plotina is said to have insured that Hadrian be his successor, allegedly even forging the documents of adoption.

The New Emperor Hadrian inherited the largest Empire that the world had ever known, the borders of Rome had reached their greatest extent.

Hadrian is the Father of the Antonines, the bringer of the Golden age of Rome. He put an end military expansion of the Empire and turned instead to improving the interior.

He is the prime deity of the imperial cult as recognized by the Religion of Anti
nous. He is the representative of Zeus on Earth, emblem of the ruler of the cosmos, the great eagle. Hadrian is the leader of the Archons, the bringer of order out of chaos, founder of our religion. 

He is the divine lover of Antinous, our model and God.

Tuesday, January 23, 2018

CENTAUR MOSAIC AT HADRIAN's VILLA
OFFERS INSIGHTS INTO EMPEROR's MIND



THE FAMOUS Centaur Mosaic from the grand dining pavilion of Hadrian's Villa at Tibur has intrigued art historians for decades. The mosaic is on view at the Altes Museum in Berlin, along with stunning sculptures of Hadrian and Antinous. But few people have had the opportunity to view it up close with commentary by eminent art historians — until now!

This new video (below), with a running narration by Dr. Steven Zucker and Dr. Beth Harris, provides brilliant insights not only into the Roman interpretation of Greek art, but also into the subtle differences in the way that the Romans and the Greeks perceived their place in the cosmos.

One important point which Drs. Zucker and Harris do not make, however, is that Hadrian was called "The Lion Slayer" because the Emperor and Antinous killed a man-eating lion in Egypt in the summer of the year 130 AD — only weeks before the tragic death of Antinous. 

Another detail is that the centaur downed by the tiger is a female, presumably the mate of the centaur holding the boulder. It is unclear whether the downed mate is dead or only stunned and is about to be rescued — just as Hadrian rescued Antinous from the Egyptian lion in real life.

So Hadrian's dinner guests could look at the mosaic and interpret the bearded centaur as being a mythic aspect of the emperor himself — protecting the Empire from the beastly forces of chaos. Hadrian could also be equated with Chiron, with Antinous perhaps his tutor.

In Greek mythology, Chiron was one of the Titans, the greatest of the Centaurs. Chiron was the tutor to a great many gods and demigods, including Prometheus, Theseus, Achilles and Hercules, to name but a few.

Astrologically, Chiron represents a person's healing energies and, indeed, the word for "surgery" in many European languages (chirurgie in French and German, cirugya in Spanish, chirugia in Italian and Portuguese) comes directly from the Ancient Greek words for "Chiron Hands" — a healer with the skilled hands of the Titan Chiron.

Astrologically, the asteroid Chiron currently is in a highly fortuitous aspect to Pluto — an aspect of cosmic healing which will last on and off through September. Hadrian, who was obsessed with astrology himself, could hardly have looked at this mosaic without pondering cosmic implications.

Zucker and Harris, founders of Smarthistory, aptly point out that this mosaic only a tiny fraction of the dining pavilion's mosaic must have been a profound source of dinner conversation.

Monday, January 22, 2018

HEATH LEDGER
SAINT OF ANTINOUS


ON January 22nd the religion of Antinous commemorates the brief, shining life of Saint Heath Ledger, the gifted actor whose on-screen portrayals inspired millions of gay people and whose off-screen life paralleled so many more. Not gay himself, Saint Heath nonetheless is a gay icon, like Saint Judy Garland and others.

Saint Heath died on this day in 2008 under mysterious circumstances after taking anti-depressants and sleeping pills at the age of 28.


His body was found lying across the bed of his Manhattan apartment. The manner of his death bore eery parallels to the death of English  singer/songwriter Nick Drake, who is also a Saint of Antinous.

Best known for his Oscar-nominated role as a gay cowpoke in "Brokeback Mountain", the acclaimed Australian-born actor also played The Joker in the blockbuster "The Dark Knight", for which role he posthumously was awarded a Golden Globe Award for best supporting actor. On the first anniversary of his death, he posthumously won an Academy Award as best supporting actor for his role as the psychopathic criminal mastermind The Joker.

No one will ever know why Saint Heath overdosed on anti-depressants, as had his idol Nick Drake. No one will ever know why Saint River Phoenix took a fatal cocktail of booze and alcohol, just as no one will ever know why Saint Richey Edwardsjumped off a bridge to his death (if he did), and no one will know why so many talented and overly sensitive young men meet death so tragically and so young.

Just as no one knows for sure what happened to Antinous. Thus they are all Saints of Antinous.

Shortly before his death, Heath Ledger made a video tribute to Nick Drake (photo right), the ambisexual English singer/songwriter who died in 1974 under almost identical circumstances to Saint Heath.

Saying he planned to make a movie about Saint Nick, Heath appeared in a self-made video (about drowning) to the tune of Nick Drake's song Black-Eyed Dog. It was the last song that Nick is believed to have recorded before he died under mysterious circumstances after taking anti-depressants and sleeping pills at the age of 26. His body was found lying across his bed.

The black-eyed dog is thought to be a reference to Winston Churchill's famous "little black dog." Throughout his life Churchill was shadowed by violent mood swings, fits of depression and periods of emotional doubt. He felt that he was followed by this unpredictable darkness and uncertainty. He called it his "little black dog."

Heath seems to have been very well acquainted with the "little black dog" of depression, the black demon which nips at the heels of so many sensitive young souls who cannot find their way in this harsh world.

And thus Antinous is the God of Lost Boys. He knows their suffering. He knows how it is to stand on the shore at the twilight of the world, with one foot on dry land and the other foot in the murky depths of oblivion — and he understands how a beautiful soul can slip off into that oblivion.

Antinous is the God of these very sweet, shy, sensitive and talented artists, young men who agonize over their shortcomings and who can only cope with the harsh realities of showbiz by taking tablets with unpronounceable names in private.


Saint Heath represents so many young men who seek what Nick Drake called the fruit of the tree of fame. "Fame is but a fruit tree, so very unsound", Nick sings in a song which Heath loved. It is a song about sensitive souls who reach for the fruit of fame and then, when it is within their grasp, they discover that its taste is very bitter.

Sunday, January 21, 2018

THE ASSUMPTION OF GANYMEDE


OUR Father Jupiter descended upon the slopes of Mt. Ida in the form of an eagle and carried away Ganymede, the beautiful young prince of Troy, ravaging him, and elevating him to live among the immortals.

At the table of the Olympian gods, Jupiter installed his Ganymede as the divine cupbearer who pours out nectar-wine from the cup of eternal life.

This love affair between the Phrygian prince and the Father of the Gods is a divine parallel of the love between Antinous and Hadrian.

Ganymede is the emblem of the coming Age of Aquarius, when peace and love will rule the hearts of all men.

On this day, the beginning of the sign of Aquarius, we observe the deification of Antinous as having made union with the Thunderbird-Phoenix-Eagle, and having been elevated to reign among the immortals in the manner of Ganymede. And we pray for the hastening of the coming age.

Saturday, January 20, 2018

THE GOING FORTH OF ANUBIS


ON January 20th is the Ancient Egyptian Feast of "The Going Forth of Anubis" (Yinepu) when his statues are carried through the streets for worshipers to honor ... in hopes that Anubis will convey them through the darkness of death to eternal light and life. 

This feast occurs between the completion of the mummification of Antinous on January 11th and the birthday of Hadrian on January 24th.

Anubis leads the new god Antinous to the Home of the Gods amongst the Imperishable Stars.

SAINT SEBASTIAN


ON January 20th the Religion of Antinous honors SAINT SEBASTIAN who, despite being a Christian martyr, has been identified by homosexuals of all beliefs over the centuries as a symbol of our persecution and suffering.

Sebastian was an officer in the Imperial Guard of Emperor Diocletian, and he was a Christian.

In 302 A.D. Diocletian subjected the Christians to a brutal persecution, and it was during this period that Sebastian was "outed" to the Emperor as a practicing Christian.

When asked to sacrifice before a pagan altar, Sebastian refused and  was sentenced to death. He was tied to a column before Mauritanian archers, who shot him with arrows...but to no effect. 

Sebastian was strengthened by his faith, and did not die. He was finally clubbed to death in front of Emperor.



Homosexuals over the centuries have looked to Sebastian as a patron saint. 

His manner of death, which is like an affliction of Eros, and the sight of the beautiful young soldier plumed with arrows, has moved our hearts over the ages more than all other Christian saints.

In the Middle Ages, he was said to have power over the plague. And during the Black Death, his popularity grew among the penitent flagellants.

His image was a favorite subject of homosexual artists during the Renaissance who were fascinated by the erotic charge of his death. 

During the early 19th Century he was taken up as the model for homosexual suffering and persecution, some writers even claiming that he was the young lover of Diocletian and that his martyrdom had a jealous, sexual subtext.

In our time, the power of St. Sebastian over the Plague has made him a spiritual force in the fight against AIDS. And so we recognize his sanctity as the patron saint of homosexuals and as a protector from our modern plague.


 We consecrate him to the Religion of Antinous and offer our own quivering-hearts as a target for his thousand arrows of love.

Thursday, January 18, 2018

RUFUS WAINWRIGHT'S HADRIAN OPERA
TO PREMIERE IN OCTOBER IN TORONTO



THE long-awaited opera about Antinous and Hadrian by Rufus Wainwright will have its world premiere in October 2018 with the Canadian Opera Company in Toronto, it was announced today.

The opera by Wainright and Daniel McIvor, entitled "Hadrian," which explores the relationship between Roman Emperor Hadrian and the young Antinous, will run October 13–27 at Toronto’s Four Seasons Centre.

Peter Hinton will direct a cast that includes Thomas Hampson as Hadrian and renowned tenor Isaiah Bell as Antinous, with Karita Mattila as Plotina.

Wainwright and MacIvor's Hadrian (October 13-27) is a major draw for the company's 2018/19 season. 

The piece marks playwright/actor MacIvor's first libretto (the text of an opera) and Wainwright's second opera, following his 2009 Prima Donna. 

Their piece tells the story of the Roman emperor and his young lover Antinous, who was deified after his mysterious and premature death.

Between the Wainwright factor and Hadrian's subject matter, it's fair to say that this world premiere comes with a lot of hype.

Wainwright has offered the promise of something provocative:

"I think in our modern world," he says, "among younger audiences especially, there's a hunger for a sort of spectacle that the opera world thinks is no longer relevant."

The COC rounds up a fascinating cast of big names (Thomas Hampson, Karita Mattila and Ben Heppner ... who will venture out of retirement for the occasion) and rising stars Isaiah Bell (pictured at right) as Antinous and Ambur Braid as Hadrian's wife, Sabina.

"What's interesting about the story of Hadrian is he was actually in love with Antinous, who was another man," Wainwright says

"And he was persecuted for it. A lot of the same problems that exist today with homophobia and so forth were very much present back then," he adds.

Wainwright is the gifted Canadian singer/songwriter/musical man about the world who has forged a unique career in mainstream contemporary music as an original, quirky, thinking person's pop star. And he's not new to the world of opera.

"Prima Donna," his 2009 debut, which told the story of an aging opera singer attempting to make a comeback, has been presented in Manchester, London, New York, Toronto and around the globe, to reviews that roamed from the enthusiastic ("a love song to opera," wrote The Times of London) to the outraged (The New York Times called it "an ultimately mystifying failure") – the quality of reaction being determined, more or less, by the closeness of the reviewer to the world of classical music.


Wainwright started talking about Hadrian around the time he was serenading his mother with the opera's overture in early 2010.

As his mother, Kate McGarrigle, faced her final days in January, 2010, Wainwright played his latest composition for her at the family piano ... the overture to his new opera about Antinous and Hadrian.

What attracted him to Hadrian was the power of the story Wainwright wanted to tell. 

Certainly the story of the Emperor Hadrian has plenty to offer contemporary audiences. Quixotic, domineering and visionary, Hadrian represented the end of the Classical era in Roman history, a fascinating period when the influence of Greek ideas began to predominate in Roman society, changing its political landscape in significant ways.

Wainwright adds, "And then there's Antinous, essentially the male equivalent to Helen of Troy ... though we know he actually existed and exactly what he looked like. At one point he was neck and neck with Christ in terms of cult status after disappearing in the Nile. Imagine what a different world that would have been if he had lived!"

Wainwright explains, "When I first discovered the story of Hadrian, I was instantly struck with the idea of transforming this historical subject into operatic form. 

"Both its intimate nature and wild grandeur seemed perfectly suited for what opera does best: creating a hyper-illustration of the dark inner lives of people up against formidable outer circumstances while at the same time musically careening through the jagged and surreal dimensions of what lies in between. 

"No other theatrical form truly refracts life into myriad vibrantly bright colors as much as opera does, and the tale of Hadrian, arguably Rome’s greatest ruler, is a diamond perfectly cut for such a task.

"I could go on and on exploring all the fascinating ideas which swirl around the subject of my second opera. But I am a composer, and therefore my armchair intellectual reach should be superseded by the music … music that I hope you enjoy."

NEW HADRIAN EXHIBITION OPENS
IN HIS FAVORITE CITY ATHENS



HADRIAN loved all things Greek (especially Antinous) and Athens was his favorite city.

Now an exhibition entitled "Hadrian! Savior and Builder," dedicated to the emperor, will feature at the newly restored Fethiye Mosque in Athens’ Roman Agora this week.

The exhibition opens on Wednesday and is being organized by the Ephorate of Antiquities of Athens.

A wealth of material on Hadrian’s architectural and infrastructure works which benefited Athens during Roman rule will be on display.

Hadrian was an avid admirer of Greek culture and he visited the city three times as Roman ruler. At the same time he brought important state reforms.

The new exhibition also features artifacts from Athens itself, influenced by the spirit of Hadrian.

Fethiye Mosque was built in the second half of the 17th century when Athens was under Ottoman rule. It is located in the northern part of the Roman Agora, near the Tower of the Winds, built on the ruins of a three-aisled basilica of the Middle Byzantine period.

Since 1834, when Athens became the capital of the Greek state and until the first decades of the 20th century it was used as a military bakery. Since then it has been used mainly as a warehouse for antiquities discovered in the excavations of the Agora and the Acropolis.

In the autumn of 2010, the Ministry of Culture decided to empty the building of the various antiquities and launched a renovation project.

Wednesday, January 17, 2018

ROBOTS TO PROBE MYSTERY 'VOIDS'
DETECTED DEEP IN THE GREAT PYRAMID



USING cosmic particles called muons, and possibly tiny robots, scientists hope to figure out what created two mysterious voids inside the Great Pyramid.

Possibilities range from a new burial chamber to a sealed-off construction passage.

In November 2017, scientists using an imaging method based on cosmic rays have detected a mysterious and very large chamber-like "void" in the Great Pyramid of Khufu.

Researchers announced the discovery on today but said they did not know the purpose, contents or precise dimensions of what they are calling a "void" or "cavity" inside the pyramid.

To peer inside the pyramid, the scientists used an imaging technique called muon tomography that tracks particles that bombard Earth at close to the speed of light and penetrate deeply into solid objects.

They said the newly discovered "internal structure" was at least 100 feet (30 meters) long, and located above a hallway measuring about 155 feet long (47 meters) called the Grand Gallery, one of a series of passageways and chambers inside the immense pyramid.

The researchers said it constitutes the first major inner structure found in the Great Pyramid since the 19th century.

"What we are sure about is that this big void is there, that it is impressive, that it was not expected by, as far as I know, any kind of theory," said Mehdi Tayoubi, president and co-founder of the HIP Institute in France, one of the leaders of the study published in the journal Nature.

"We open the question to Egyptologists and archaeologists: what could it be?" added Hany Helal of Cairo University.

The findings come from a project called Scan Pyramids that relies on non-invasive scanning methods to probe the internal structure of the pyramids of ancient Egypt's glorious Old Kingdom period and understand how they were built.

"We are not doing this mission in order to find hidden cavities," Helal said.

Muon particles originate from interactions between cosmic rays from space and atoms of Earth's upper atmosphere. The particles can penetrate hundreds of yards (meters) into stone before being absorbed. Placing detectors inside a pyramid can discern cavities within a solid structure.


Tuesday, January 16, 2018

GOLDEN GREEK GOD ON THE GO



OUR Flamen Antonius Subia was amazed today when he was commuting to work and saw Antinous beaming at him from the side of an organic produce delivery truck in Hollywood, California.

"I saw HIM this morning!" Antonius said. "I really needed a good sign ... thank you, Antinous, sometimes I just need to know you're there!"

The Antinous motif is one of several emblazoned on the fleet of trucks operating for the GOLDEN GREEK FRESH organic produce company.

The trucks got their Antinous style make-over recently, so Antonius is among the first people to see it.

The trucks deliver produce to food retailers throughout the Los Angeles and Orange County area.

That means HOLLYWOOD TEMPLE OF ANTINOUS worshipers can expect to see their God on the highways and byways of their city.

Monday, January 15, 2018

ANTINOUS IN HIERAPOLIS
CITY OF SACRED PROSTITUTES



IT was on this day in January of the year 130 AD that the Imperial entourage of Hadrian and Antinous arrived in the sacred city of Hierapolis in Asia Minor (Turkey) on what would be one of the last festively upbeat stops on the emperor's fateful final tour of his sprawling empire.

Hieropolis was the City of the Sacred Prostitutes, including gay prostitutes.

Today only scattered ruins remain, including those of the amphitheatre which was built in honor of the Divine Hadrian's visit in late 129 and early 130. 


But in its heyday, Hierapolis was a city of 100,000 inhabitants and was noted for its fine temples and, above all, for its healing thermal springs ... hot springs which to this day continue to draw people seeking healing relief.

Apollo was the chief god of Hierapolis, along with Pluto, whose healing energies fed the miraculous thermal springs which were famed throughout the Roman Empire.


But the most extraordinary temple in this Sacred City of Temples was indeed the Temple of Astargis, a Hellenized form of Astarte-Venus.

The Temple was famous (or "infamous" in the view of early Christians) for its sacred prostitutes, the "hierodules", who were priestesses of the love goddess.

The Bible mentions Hieropolis briefly as an iniquitous site of whoredom and wickedness, an obvious reference to this Temple. The Christians did their worst to convert the city. Paul came here. 


And the Apostle Philip proselytized in this city for three years before finally being stoned to death. He was buried in Hieropolis.

Recently, archaeologists identified the Plutonium (Pluto's Sacred Cave) as the legendary  GATEWAY TO HADES of ancient mythology.

Like the thermal waters seething in the Plutonium, Hieropolis was a seething hotbed of religious turmoil.

Hadrian and Antinous arrived in Hierapolis to a joyous welcome.


Because of his devotion to the Goddess Venus, Hadrian most certainly would have visited the Temple that was the center of a large, wide-spread cult ... the Temple of Astargis, a Hellenized form of Astarte-Venus ... the temple of the sacred gay prostitutes known as "hierodules."

The temple was an imposing edifice whose portals were flanked by towering phallic sculptures. Inside, the temple catered to every sexual persuasion.

Yes, there were also homosexual sacred prostitutes, who likewise served the goddess to the best of their ability.

Flamen ANTONIUS SUBIA believes the connection between their office and the function of Antinous as the lover of Hadrian may have facilitated his initiation into their cult. Thus, Antinous may have been an Honorary Sacred Prostitute.

In the words of Antonius: "We honor the ancient cult of Astargis out of love for Antinous, and seek to embrace and understand the function of the hierodules."

Sunday, January 14, 2018

WE HONOR YUKIO MISHIMA
'THE LOST SAMURAI'


ON January 14 we mark the anniversary of the birth of one of modern Japan's most famous, controversial, and mysterious gay personalities ... and a saint of Antinous.

Yukio Mishima (1925-1970) is regarded as one of 20th-century Japan's most prolific writers, and was the first postwar Japanese writer to achieve international fame. 

Nominated on three occasions for the Nobel Prize for Literature, and author of no less than forty novels, essays, poems, and traditional Japanese kabuki and noh dramas, Mishima’s contribution to Japanese literature was indeed profound.

His samurai-inspired ritual "seppuku"suicide by "hara-kiri" (literally stomach cutting, or disembowelment) and beheading on November 25, 1970, at the young age of 45 marked the end of a life that represented for some, a protest against a post-war Japan that seemed to have lost its traditional identity and values under the tide of mass consumerism, and cultural and political Westernization.

The sharp contrasts between the country he grew up in and the Japan he died in were defining influences in his life, shaping his writings, which often questioned the new Japan and harked for a return to days of old. 

Born Kimitaka Hiraoka in Tokyo on Jan 14, 1925, he assumed the nom de plume "Yukio Mishima," cryptically interpreted as "He who chronicles reason," so that his disapproving anti-literary father would not know he was a writer. 

It was however his paternal grandmother, Natsuko Hiraoka, who was to have the most lasting impact on his life. A mere 29 days after his birth until his 12th year, Mishima was separated from his family and raised by his sophisticated yet capricious grandmother whose own background and personality shaped his character.

The young protégé was forced to live a very sheltered life in which sports, playing with other boys, and even going out in the sun were off limits. She was the illegitimate daughter of a Meiji era daimyo with familial links to the all powerful Tokugawas and was reared in a princely household, a samurai-influenced upbringing which she did not let others forget and which instilled in her, and by consequence her grandson, a reverence for Japan's past, and the samurai fascination with beauty, purity and death. 

Her noble past and yet not so noble marriage to a successful bureaucrat arguably contributed to her frustrations, characterized by violent outbursts and morbid fixations. 

Her character had a lasting yet undeclared effect on Mishima’s later works and personality, particularly the insatiable desire for perfection in the mind and body, and the terrible beauty of death at the moment of perfection exemplified by the honored cherry blossom.

Mishima's complexities were not only confined to his writings. A fluent speaker of English, Mishima wore Western clothes and lived in a Western style house while espousing a return to his country’s past values and practices. 

Much mystery also surrounds the exact nature of his sexuality, and his frequenting of gay bars such as the now defunct Brunswick bar in Ginza despite a rushed marriage at 33 which produced two children. 

Mishima's interest in homosexuality is clearly illustrated in one of his seminal books, "Confessions of a Mask" (1948) where he tells of a man who conceals his true self and sexuality behind a mask of lies and pretense. This book is regarded by many as a semi-autobiographical account of the author's own life.

According to his biographers, he had also considered a marriage proposal to Michiko Shoda, the current empress and wife of Emperor Akihito.  Biographers such as close friend John Nathan contend that the tragic writer married not for love but for respectability.

At the earlier age of 30, conscious of the inevitability of aging, and desiring bodily "perfection," he embarked on a strict bodybuilding regime that lasted for the rest of his life. 

His longing for a return to a spiritual Japan which respected the bushido (way of the warrior) code inspired his expertise in karate and kendo, martial arts that he contended allowed one to experience the border between life and death. 

His extreme nationalist credentials were most notably illustrated in his founding of the Tatenokai (Shield Society) in 1968, a small private army of mostly university students dedicated to the bushido code and the protection of the emperor and the martial discipline of pre-Meiji era Japan. 

This dedication was not to Hirohito per se, whom he had criticized for "dishonoring" the war dead by surrendering, and for renouncing his divinity after World War II, but rather to the symbolism of the emperor system for traditional Japan.

On November 25, 1970, carrying with him a longing for a return to lost samurai values, and an obsession with a purifying and beautiful death, Mishima and four of his Tatenokai followers, entered the Japanese Self-Defense Forces (JSDF) headquarters in Ichigaya and attempted a coup d’etat which they hoped would awaken the Japanese from their spiritual and political slumber. 

Stepping out onto a nearby balcony, Mishima was ridiculed and jeered as he attempted in vain to rouse the present JSDF members below him to his cause. Realizing the hopelessness of his efforts, the "Lost Samurai" went back inside for his final act of drama.

Positioning himself in traditional Japanese manner on the floor of the office which they had seized, Mishima proceeded to ritually disembowel himself with a “tanto” (a small sword), exclaiming “Long live the emperor” just before a pre-ordained “kaishakunin” (the one chosen to decapitate Mishima) and later one other, made an initially botched but ultimately effective attempt at beheading the famed author.

Debate surrounds Mishima’s motivations. Attempting a coup d’etat with only four other people was almost certainly going to be a failure. Comments made to Western journalists about hara-kiri in his writings some years earlier might be more insightful.

At that time, the author claimed that "spiritually, I wanted to revive some samurai spirit. I did not want to revive hara-kiri itself but through the vision of such a very strong vision of hara-kiri, I wanted to inspire and stimulate younger people."