Monday, June 1, 2020

WE PRAISE GILBERT BAKER
CREATOR OF THE RAINBOW FLAG


ANTINOUS embraces Gilbert Baker ... creator of the rainbow flag. He was a civil rights activist, army veteran and self-taught tailor. He created the symbol of the LGBTQ movement 40 years ago. He would have celebrated his 66th birthday during Pride 2017.

Gilbert Baker is a Saint of Antinous!

Antinous abraça Gilbert Baker ... criador da bandeira do arco-íris. Ele era um ativista de direitos civis, veterano do exército e alfaiate autodidata. Ele criou o símbolo do movimento LGBTQ há 39 anos. Ele teria celebrado seu 66º aniversário durante o Pride 2017 .

Antinous abraza a Gilbert Baker ... creador de la bandera del arco iris. Era activista de los derechos civiles, veterano del ejército y sastre autodidacta. Creó el símbolo del movimiento LGBTQ hace 39 años. Habría celebrado su 66 cumpleaños durante el Orgullo 2017 .

WARREN LEE WILLIAMSON
JUNE 2, 1939 - MARCH 13, 2012


BROTHERS,

(as Warren always saluted us) 


Today we remember our dear gay wizard friend Warren Lee Williamson, born on this day in 1939, and who  succumbed to bone cancer at a hospital in Dallas on March 13, 2012, leaving behind Bob, his life's companion of 45 years. 


I want to send out a huge blessing from the bottom of my heart to the Wizard Warren on the occasion of his birthday!
I know that he is sitting there on the deck of the ANTINOUS BARQUE OF MILLIONS OF YEARS,
watching the hot young ancient Greek sailors manning the oars,
sipping champagne from an old fashioned (Marie-Antionette) glass,
on an Egyptian chaise-lounge next to Hadrian and Antinous and Lucius and all the rest of the sacred gays,
when suddenly our prayers will waft up from down below (or where ever it is that we are)
And the ship's DJ will announce over the amazing speaker system that it's Warren's Birthday!
The whole ship will freak out...a disco ball will drop from the mast...and confetti will shoot from the cannons!

He is the first of the NEW BELIEVERS IN ANTINOUS to check in with his boarding pass for the Barque of Millions of Years.

May Antinous give the Blessed Wizard Warren a special First Class seat with a window.

I love the Wizard Warren...he always had something right out of the cosmos to say,
...he gave me a tremendous boost of confidence when I was feeling out of my mind.

Warren was the holy grandfather of the Religion of Antinous...he was a magic presence among us,

We still continue to feel the ripples of his magic course through us even now.

The Blessed Wizard Warren is now the first of us to stand before ANTINOUS THE GAY GOD!

I know that the Wizard will sit down with Antinous and explain to the ancient boy-god,

what all our modern crazy madness is about (because Antinous must surely be confused)

...and then, with a wave of a divine hand, Antinous will restore the Wizard Warren to his pinnacle of eternal youth,

And in that perfect state of bliss, Antinous will reveal all the mysteries of HOMOTHEOSIS

That can only be known to those who have shed their mortal flesh forever.

I hope to join them there one day on the ship of millions of years.


The Wizard Warren was the 1st champion of the FIRST ANTINOUS GAMES,

He won with a beautiful story and a Haiku poem.

There were other great submissions, of course,
...but it was obvious to me that Warren's submission was something deeper
Than a devotional tribute to Antinous might usually be,
but it had what I can only describe as A VOICE OF MILLIONS OF YEARS
and this is why I insisted that Warren be named the winner.

In Memory of the Great Wizard, I want to share these two emails that were sent by Warren in 2006 during the First Sacred Games,
They are wonderful to read because it is only now that the uncanny VOICE OF MILLIONS OF YEARS
Is clearly obvious.


The Wizard Warren Lives Forever!


ANTONYUS SUBIA


______________________________________


April 13th 2006


Brothers:
I do not know whether I should relate this evenings occurrence, or
just keep it to myself. I choose to tell you; think of me what you will.
I went to church this evening, Thursday before Easter, not because I am a christian but because I love the music. Arriving late, I sat at the back.
I don't know when I first noticed Him, but it was with disapproval.
In the pew in front of me, but at the other side of the sanctuary,
stood a young man, probably 17 or 18 years of age. I felt that he was too casually dressed for such an occasion; he wore a rock style T-shirt, short pants and what we used to call in the old days (1970's) "Jesus boots', the roman style lace up sandals. During the service I kept feeling myself drawn to him; I purposely tried to look away.
He seemed familiar. And I loved His curly hair; He seemed Mediterranean.
As the sermon droned on I kept hoping he would look back at me, and then he did! It was as if someone had slapped me in the face. I was stunned! It was Him........It was Him. I knew....I knew it was Him.
He smiled and my heart stopped. I stood for the hymn not even aware I was doing so. It was by Bernard of Clairvaux. During the second verse his eyes never left me and I realized I was singing it to Him.

What language shall I borrow,
To thank thee, dearest friend,
For this thy dying sorrow,
Thy pity without end?
Let me be thine forever.
And, should I fainting be,
Oh, let me never, never,
Outlive my love to thee.


His eyes pierced to my soul, and his smile was more than I could bear. I kept thinking this was not happening.....it couldn't be! I have looked at his statues for years.....I know his visage well.......and it was Him.
At the moment the hymn ended he turned full front to me and I saw what rock band was emblazoned there on his T-shirt: OSIRIS RISING.
My knees went weak, and tears streamed down my cheeks. The woman next to me, thinking I had been overcome by the service, put her arm around me to comfort me.
The service over, I looked up to locate Him, to follow Him, but He was on the other side of the church and the crowd was thick. I saw Him move into the narthex and I pushed my way through the crowd to get there as quickly as possible. But of course, He was not there. He was no where to be found......and I looked for several minutes. I asked casually if anyone had seen the 'young man', but no, no one remembered seeing Him.
I left sadly, yet strangely content. Because I know deep inside it
was Him. So I know He is watching; He is more than myth, much more.
And I shall never forget that smile as long as I live. Antinous lives!
 


-----------

(Following Submission to the First Antinous Games)


April 21st 2006


Dear Brothers:

Believing that the time of Antinous has truly come, that he is no 
longer a local phenomenon only, but has taken his place with the eternal Olympians, I offer the following haiku poem to His honor and for the glory of His games throughout the world.


"Antinous Epiphanios"

Maundy Thursday's King, 

Brazen, Antinous smiling,
Osiris Rising!



Also,a sad note. I attended both Good Friday and Easter services,
searching each face, hoping that He would be there. But, of course,
He was absent, as I reckoned He would be. I will keep searching,
but I knew it was but a single epiphany. He is indeed Antinous
Epiphanios
!


I appreciated, so much, your comments. And I asked myself the same questions you did...........what would I have done had I met Him? I have no answer; I only felt compelled to touch His hand, to be with Him for a moment.


Glory to Antinous and peace to the Ecclesia Antinoi!

ANTINOUS VIVIT, AVE!

Sunday, May 31, 2020

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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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

ANTINOUS CAN HELP YOU TO MEDITATE
By Our Novice Priest Adriaan van den Berg


ON World Meditation Day, May 31st, let us take a look at HOMTHEOSIS as a Meditative Concept.

I don't have scientific proof, but if I'm right, this little word we have been casting about may possibly as a regular meditative practice stimulate the immune system, elevate mood, foster psychological integration, counter stress and improve the health of practitioners over time as well as in certain immediate regards. 

"Homotheosis" refers to a certain oneness of a gay man with the god Antinous who we regard as the "Gay God." 

As a concept it is to a certain inherent extend also a reference to a practice which can combine elements of meditation, prayer and veneration and devotions to Antinous to arrive at a unique experience that is transcendental. 

It is up to you to incorporate and integrate it's elements to your liking, to for instance invite Antinous into your existing regimen of meditational practices. 

"Homotheosis" is a concept with potential we have but begun to explore. Gay men & LGBTGQI people as well as straight all stand to benefit from the acquaintance with Antinous offered by Homotheosis. 

Let us know of your personal experiences in this regard.

Ave Antinous!
Adriaan van den Berg
Novice Priest of Antinous

Saturday, May 30, 2020

THE ANCIENT RENAISSANCE MAN IMHOTEP
SET THE EGYPTIAN PRECEDENT
FOR ANTINOUS TO BECOME A GOD


SOME 3,000 years before Antinous, the Egyptians deified another mortal commoner ... the ancient "Renaissance Man" Imhotep ... Egyptian magician, physician, scribe, sage, architect, astronomer, vizier, and priest.

Imhotep's many talents and vast acquired knowledge had such an effect on the Egyptian people that he became the first individual of non-royal birth to be deified ... setting a precedent for Antinous to attain the status of a god.

 Imhotep, or "he who cometh in peace," was born in Ankhtowe, a suburb of Memphis, Egypt. 


The month and day of his birth are noted precisely as the sixteenth day of Epiphi, third month of the Egyptian harvest (corresponding to May 31) but the year is not definitely recorded. 


It is known that Imhotep was a contemporary (living in the same time period) of the Pharaoh, or king of Egypt, Zoser (also known as  Neterikhet) of the Third Dynasty. But estimates of the era of his reign vary by as much as three hundred years, falling between 2980 and 2600 B.C.E.

Imhotep's father, Kanofer, a celebrated architect, was later known to be the first of a long line of master builders who contributed to Egyptian works through the reign of King Darius the First (522–486 B.C.E. ). His mother, Khreduonkh, who probably came from the province of Mendes, is known today for having been deified alongside her son, an Egyptian custom.


Vizier under King Zoser


The office of the vizier in politics was literally described as "supervisor of everything in this entire land." Only the best educated citizen could handle the range of duties of this position that worked closely with the Pharaoh, or king of Egypt.


The capital city was Mennefer (Memphis) called the city of the "White Walls" for the enormous walls around the Temple of Ptah compound (right).


As vizier, Imhotep was chief advisor to Zoser in both religious and practical matters, and he controlled the departments of the Judiciary (court system), Treasury, War, Agriculture, and the General Executive.

There are no historical records of Imhotep's acts as a political figure, but his wisdom as a religious advisor was widely recognized after he ended a terrible famine (a severe shortage of food) that dominated Egypt during seven years of Zoser's reign. It is said that the king was failing in his responsibility to please the god Khnum, and his neglect was causing the Nile to fall short of a flood level which would support Egyptian farms. 


Imhotep, having a vast knowledge of the proper traditions and methods of worship, was able to counsel Zoser on pleasing Hapi, the the god of the inundation, allowing the Nile to return to its usual flood level.


The first miracle attributed to Antinous was a bountiful Nile inundation in the year 131 AD. 


Architect of the famous pyramid at Sakkara


 The Step Pyramid at Sakkara is the only of Imhotep's achievements that can still be seen and appreciated today. Its reputation is largely based on Imhotep's accomplishments as the pyramid's inventor and builder. 


This pyramid for King Djoser, also called "Netjerikhet" (Incarnation of the Gods), was the first structure ever built of cut stone, and is by far the oldest of the Seven Wonders of the World, the seven structures of the ancient world that were astonishing accomplishments for their time. 


It took twenty years to complete—not very long, given the newness of the idea and the state of structural science in the Bronze Age (between 3000 B.C.E. and 1100 C. E.), the period of development where metals, particularly bronze, were used for the first time.

Imhotep wanted the tomb to accommodate the Pharaoh's rise into the heavens. To do this, he planned to improve upon the flat, rectangular mastabas, or built-in benches, which were the traditional tombal structures. 


The pyramid was raised on top of the base mastabas in five smaller steps, one on top of the other.


He added a passageway on the north side issuing upward within the structure from a sarcophagus chamber (where the stone coffin holding the mummy is kept) seventy-five feet below ground. 


The total height of the pyramid and base is just under two hundred feet, unimaginably large for a single structure before Imhotep's design.

The project at Sakkara was designed in its entirety as a way for the deceased to perform the rituals of the jubilee festival, or Hebsed. The complex consisted of many other buildings, as well as ornamental posts some thirty-seven feet high. 


The protection of the king and his burial gifts—about 36,000 vessels of alabaster, dolomite, aragonite, and other precious materials—was the other primary function of the burial site.

The entire complex was enclosed within a stone wall about thirty-five feet high. Imhotep added several false entrances to throw off possible tomb raiders. As a final measure, the king's treasure was lowered through vertical shafts around the tomb into a long corridor one hundred feet below ground. The digging of just this corridor without machines of any kind is an amazing accomplishment by modern standards.

When Antinous and Hadrian visited Egypt in the year 130 AD, they stood atop the plateau at Sakkara and marveled at the achievements of Imhotep.

It is likely that Imhotep was the architect and master builder of many other projects completed during a forty-year period of the Third Dynasty, though none of them compare in size or stylistic influence to the burial site at Sakkara. 


Imhotep was also the author of an encyclopedia of architecture that was used as a reference tool by Egyptian builders for thousands of years.
 

Physician-magician, God of medicine


As a god of medicine, Imhotep was beloved as a curer of everyday problems who could "provide remedies for all diseases," and "give sons to the childless."


Members of the cult of Imhotep in the Twenty-sixth and Twenty-seventh Dynasties (between 525 B.C.E. and 550 C. E.) would pay tribute to the God at his temple just outside Memphis. 


The temple also contained halls devoted to the teaching of medical methods, and to the preservation of the materia medica, which details the entirety of Egyptian medical knowledge which may actually have originated with Imhotep.

Imhotep's name was often grouped with such powerful deities as Thoth, God of Wisdom, Isis, the wonder-worker, and Ptah, a healer and the ancient God of Memphis. 


Although royal individuals were deified by the Egyptians, Imhotep is unique as the first non-royal man to be known by his own name as a god inferior in power only to Re (chief Sun-God). With that precedence in mind, the Egyptians had no objections to accepting Antinous as a God.


Imhotep was also a member of the great triad of Memphis, with Ptah, Imhotep's father among the gods, and Sekhmet, a goddess associated with childbirth.

It is a matter of debate today how much of Imhotep's reputation as a curer of disease stems from medical skill and how much comes from his command of magic and healing rituals.


More than 3,000 years before Antinous died in the Nile ... Imhotep set the precedent for deification of mortal non-royals in Egypt.

Friday, May 29, 2020

JOAN OF ARC, SAINT OF ANTINOUS


ON MAY 30th the Religion of Antinous honors Saint Joan of Arc who was burned as a heretic on this day in 1431.

She was a peasant girl who led the armies of the King of France against the occupying forces of the English. She claimed to have been chosen by God to drive the English from France and deliver the country to her King.

Joan of Arc said that she conversed daily with Saints Catherine and Margaret and St. Michael the Archangel. Her greatest victory was the liberation of Orleans, where Charles, then Dauphin, was crowned as King of France.

She was later captured by the English and subsequently tried by the Church and burned as a heretic. The focus of her trial was upon the nature of her visions, which the inquisitors condemned as Demonic, and upon her refusal to wear women's clothing.

Joan of Arc was in essence the most courageous of all transvestites, whose insistence upon male dress and hair style, and occupation as a warrior was the excuse used by the Church for her condemnation and subsequent burning as a heretic. The Church however reversed this decision in 1909 by beatifying her, and then finally consecrating her as a saint in 1920.

Though she is a saint of the Catholic Church and a devoted Christian, it is for her courage as a transvestite and possibly as a sacred lesbian that she is included as a Heroic Martyr Saint of the Religion of Antinous.

Thursday, May 28, 2020

JAMES WHALE, SAINT OF ANTINOUS


ON MAY 29th the Religion of Antinous celebrates the life of Saint James Whale (22 July 1889 — 29 May 1957), the openly gay British-born director of such films as Frankenstein, The Old Dark House, Bride of Frankenstein and The Invisible Man.

His movies were modern parables about the cruelty of "normal" people towards "monsters" in their midst. 

All of those 1930s films are recognized as classics of the genre. Whale directed over a dozen films in other genres, including what is considered the definitive 1936 film version of the musical Show Boat.

He became increasingly disenchanted with his association with horror, but many of his non-horror films have fallen into obscurity. Whale was openly gay throughout his career, something that was very unusual in the 1920s and 1930s.

He tended to use gay actors who were friends of his, including Colin Clive, Ernest Thesiger, Charles Laughton and Laughton's wife Elsa Lanchester, who played the "Bride". Thesiger has tea (below) in mad-scientist garb. 

Bride of Frankenstein, in particular, is widely interpreted as having a gay subtext and it has been claimed that Whale's refusal to remain in the closet led to the end of his career.

James Whale's true genius was in making movies which made the audience sympathize with the "monster" instead of the "normal" people, who invariably were portrayed as ridiculous, comic fools.

James Whale's soaring career was dashed by homophobic studio bosses who objected to having a "pansy" directing major movies. He spent the last decade of his life as an outcast in Hollywood.
He "accidentally" drowned in his own swimming pool in the mid-1950s after having become a chronic depressive following a stroke.


His life was brought to the screen in the award-winning movie Gods and Monsters, which is a masterful adaptation of a very wonderfully written gay novel entitled Father of Frankenstein by Christopher Bram.


The book and the movie are about his final weeks of life with flashbacks to his childhood in poverty in northern England and his traumatic experiences during World War I and to his heyday as the toast of Tinseltown, and his plunge into obscurity — and his final plunge into the watery arms of Antinous.


It is a great irony that the only out-and-proud Hollywood director of the 1930s is remembered as a man whose name is equated with monsters.


Sir Ian McKellen, who is also from conservative Northern England and is an openly gay star of stage and screen, was nominated for a Golden Globe and for an Academy Award for his role as James Whale in the 1998 movie Gods and Monsters.


Brendan Fraser also won critical acclaim in that film as Whale's yard boy who identifies with the Frankenstein monster. His compelling portrayal suggests to the audience that all of us are gods and monsters, to some degree. But then, even Antinous was a god to pagans — yet a monster to early Christians.


And Lynn Redgrave won a Golden Globe and got an Oscar nod for her scene-stealing performance as James Whale's disapproving Swedish housekeeper — a tongue-in-cheek characterization drawn from the real-life eccentrics who performed supporting roles in Whale's wonderfully campy old movies.