FOR the Mercury New Moon in Gemini...I consecrated my new sacred vessel to store the Frankincense that we use in our Antinous ceremonies. I searched long and hard for the right vessel and finally found a pewter bowl with a lid that is exactly what I was searching for.
It is important that it have three legs because tripod vessels are sacred to Antinous-Apollo, the form of Antinous that rules over the burning of incense.
I recently stocked up on frankincense and we blessed it together as a group at the Equinox ceremony. The offering of incense is one of the most important parts of our ritual.
It is the communal act, an act of devotion to Antinous, a demonstration of faith in him, and by offering incense before a sacred idol, we are upholding the ancient traditions of the Roman religion.
It is one of the elements of our tradition that makes us part of Roman paganism and mildly differentiates us from other forms of modern pagan spirituality.
It brings us closer to Antinous individually and also as a group because we mingle our "tears"of incense together upon a single coal and join our spirits together in one column of smoke rising up to our god. We use a tripod incense burner because this was sacred to Apollo who is one of the foremost gay gods and a major component of the Antinous "alter-egos."
I also stocked up on coals, enough to last a long while...I was down to the very last coal at the Boar Hunt and lately they've been difficult to light since the lighter fluid they are infused with had all dried out...hopefully now they will just light more easily.
This is also the part of the ceremony where I need an assistant...or altar boy to light the coals for me while I read the Litany. Eventually I would like to add more components that will require a co-priest to carry out certain functions while I read.
I think that after so many years of conducting these ceremonies I must now prepare a litany specifically for the lighting of the coals since there is so much meaning and symbolism in igniting the cold black lump of carbon with the all-consuming FIRE of Antinous power...until it glows hot and orange, ready to receive the piety and devotion that we shed upon it as an offering to the God we love.
With deep faith we place a tear of our feelings upon the burning coal as a way of showing belief in what he stands for and what he means to us.
The lighting of the coal is exactly the same as what Homotheosis does in our heart when the power of Antinous touches us with his Fire.
The beautiful perfumed smoke is our Homo-psyche rising up to meet him and become as one with him...to become Homotheos...Just as the Eagle took Catamitus (ganymede) into his wings...of smoke and fire...and ascended to the heavens where the boy became one with Jupiter the God.
The offering of incense is perhaps the most significant part of the ceremony...and tonight...the realization of what this means is the message that the Gemini New Moon has conveyed to me.
It is an act of tremendous Homotheosis power...not only in the brief moment of connection that is made with Antinous by each individual as they step forward, take some incense and offer it to him, but also in the profound connection that is formed between us all as a group. The importance of what this means has suddenly become clear to me as never before!
May the Blessing of the New Moon be with you all...and may the power to convey Homotheosis be with me ... and with all those who take up this calling.