A Hymn to Antinous-Osiris, Triumphant Over Homophobia

antinousosirisGlory to you, Antinous-Osiris the justified, the great god who dwells in Antinopolis, a city of his own whose foundations were measured by Ptah and whose temples are filled with many offerings in all hours of the day and in all hours of the night. You are the eldest son of Mantinoë, engendered by Seb, and beloved of the emperor Hadrian Augustus. You emerge daily and are raised at dawn by Re-Herakte whose light illuminates your countenance, in the evening you receive the light emanation of the headdress of Djewty which is also the dew of Menw that fills your body with life forever.

Homage to you king of kings, lord of lords, ruler of princes, who from the womb of Nut emerges triumphant over the serpent in the boat of millions and takes his seat in the Underworld. Hapy is pleased and rejoices, he sends forth many waters and brings verdant life in both Upper and Lower Egypt. Seb rejoices and is glad, he causes barley to grow and flourish in your honor. All are fed and content, none lack anything in your holy city and all receive their share of good things. The bulls rut in the fields of your precincts and cows issue forth many calves.

Praises to him who is just in his commandments and true when he speaks, whose words are pure like the fathers of Ma’at and like cymbals to those who hear them. All obey his edicts forever and their lives are beautified accordingly, smooth and radiant like his members, steadfast and strong like the pylons in his Hall of Judgement.

Woe to those who obstruct his laws and harden their hearts against their fellows, for Antinous-Osiris the justified shall speak, saying: You have caused the river to dry and plants to wither, you have made barren the land and caused enmity between mother and son, between father and daughter, between spouses and neighbors.

He shall speak again, saying: Woe to them who hate one another because of their differences, spiteful ones who hate their fellows and obstruct Ma’at. Then the nine arrows shall be conquered, Antinous-Osiris will raise the standard of Wepwawet in Upper Egypt and they shall disperse, if they flee to the marshes, they will be hunted by the armies of Pehkhet and the strong arm of Antinous-Osiris will scatter them into the sea.

All shall rejoice in he who cared for Antinopolis, who avenged Khemenu, who opened the quarters that were barred. Antinous-Osiris the justified has freed the many shut up in all districts, he has given oracles to the temples, he has let incense be brought to the gods, he has let the noble citizens retain their possessions, he has let the humble frequent their towns.

Glory to him who protects his supplicants, and orders justice, and heals the afflicted. His works are mighty and he is beautiful among the gods, beloved by many gods, who is fair and upright. It is from him that all life comes and is brought into order, that all may rejoice and be free from bondage. This is the triumphant hymn of Antinous-Osiris the justified, to be spoken throughout all ages.”

(C) Otter, 2017

 

LGBTQ Pride Month

Once again we find ourselves in the midst of LGBTQ Pride Month, a month dedicated to remembering the collective history and struggles of the LGBTQ communities and to support their self-affirmation, dignity, equal right, and visibility as well as to building community together.

As a queer, Græco-Roman-Egyptian, polytheist community honoring a god with many contemporary devotees who are either lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, or allies to the queer community, the magistrates and mystagogues would like to take a moment to recognize and reaffirm our dedication to recognize the devotees of Antinous and those who support Naos Antínoou. You are the aedificators of the New Antinoopolis and the tireless work and devotion you show in your lives and communities all contribute to make a world that is beautiful, just, and filled with benevolence.

During this time as well, we would like to encourage our members to take some time to learn something new about LGBTQ history as well as to honor the dead who have come before us and helped to pave the way for the rights many of us are able to enjoy today and to remember those who’ve passed beyond the horizon due to persecution. In the practice of Naos Antínoou, as in Egypt and Greece during the time in which Antinous lived, we believe that nobody ever truly dies unless they have been forgotten, so take a moment now to remember someone in our community you may have known who is now in the land of the blessed dead.

Remember, you are all loved and all worthy of pride which is not limited to one time in a year, or merely one celebration, but throughout our lives. Enjoy celebrations and the friendships you have and the communities we all share as well as the shared devotions we carry within our hearts toward Antinous, the beautiful, the just and the benevolent.

Ave, ave, Antinoe!

Hæc est unde vita venit!

– The Magistrates and Mystagogues of Naos Antínoou

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Agon Prizes!

Five days left to complete your entries for the Megala Antinoeia’s artistic agon. Entries can consist of anything artistic that expresses your devotion to Antinous or the gods, goddesses and divine figures related to Antinous.  We will accept poetry, liturgy, hymns, drawings, paintings, photography, music, song, or any other artistic medium you wish to work in. The winner of the Agon will be announced on the Festival of the Boar Hunt, May 1st, and will be awarded $100 and an Antinoan rosary.  Submissions can be sent to naosantinoou@gmail.com

May Antinous and the Muses bless you all with divine inspiration!

And now, enjoy a peak at the Antinoan rosary prepared by Jay Logan, one of our Mystagogues, the garland which will go to the winner of the agon.

Antinous Rosary Prize (10)Antinous Rosary Prize (28)Antinous Rosary Prize (14)Antinous Rosary Prize (17)Antinous Rosary Prize (30)

An Agon for Megala Antinoeia 2017

In just 3 weeks, on Friday, April 21st, Naos Antinoou will be celebrating one of the more prominent festivals in our cycle of festivals, The Megala Antinoeia.   In some ways, this single festival is actually a collection of several festivals and observances and draws inspiration from several sources.  Among those observances is the transition of the role of Antinous as Navigator, which he has been in since the Festival of Stella Antinoi in late January, into his role as Lover.  This transition is partly linked to Hadrian’s dedication of a poem found near Thespiae commemorating his slaying of a bear and expressing a wish to the Cyprian Aphrodite Ourania (goddess of homoerotic love) and the archer Eros (connected to homoerotic love of youths) to have a lover granted to him, and which we speculate that soon after Antinous may have come into his life.  Because of this, we observe this day as the Bear Hunt, and also as the Erotikon  – which is especially fun for those of us who find eroticism in bears in the sense of beefy, hairy, gay men.  Oh, the double entendres!

However, the Megala Antinoeia, which is the name we ascribe to the overall festival, is actually the name used in several ancient texts for the sacred games commemorating Antinous, usually participated in by the youths of the community, who were between the ages of about seventeen and twenty-two.  Many athletic competitions were held, including footraces, wrestling and boxing, chariot races, swimming, and rowing.  There were also artistic competitions involving music and poetry, and there might have even been theatrical competitions in the Dionysian tradition in some places. The coveted prize of these games was the Antinoeios, or red-lotus flower garland.  These sacred games began to take place as early as 131, less than a year after the death of Antinous.

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While the Naos Antínoou has not had organized full-scale athletic competitions as part of our own modern observances of this aspect of the festival, we would like to take this opportunity to announce a new competition for the Megala Antinoeia 2017.  This new Agon will officially be open from March 31st until  11:59pm, April 21st, which is the date of the Megala Antinoeia.  Entries can consist of anything artistic that expresses your devotion to Antinous or the gods, goddesses and divine figures related to Antinous.  We will accept poetry, liturgy, hymns, drawings, paintings, photography, music, song, or any other artistic medium you wish to work in. The winner of the Agon will be announced on the Festival of the Boar Hunt, May 1st, and will be awarded $100 and an Antinoan rosary (which is also a type of “garland”) made by Jay Logan, a Mystagogue of the Naos Antinoou.  Submissions can be sent to naosantinoou@gmail.com

May the Beautiful Boy be blessed through all the entries in this competition and may he, in turn, bless all those who participate!

Ave Antinoe!

An Ancestor Ritual at PantheaCon 2017

The Naos Antinoou will be hosting a ritual at PantheaCon this weekend at San Jose, and we encourage you all come stop by! We will be offering a ritual to celebrate our various ancestors. Some ancestors are connected to us by blood. Some through various spiritual traditions. Some are linked by “tribes” we feel a kinship with. The traditional Roman festival of Parentalia was a 9 day festival held each February to honor family ancestors. Naos Antinoou invites you to honor all these different types of ancestors with us in a modern Antinoan celebration of the ancient Roman Parentalia festival where we will invite attendees to participate in a devotional ritual that honors Antinous and the diversity and variety of our ancestors of all kinds.

Attendees are welcome and encouraged to bring images and mementos of their Beloved and Mighty Dead, as well whatever offerings they deem appropriate. Offerings of art, song, poetry, and story are particularly welcome – these are our queer ancestors, after all, and they deserve to be celebrated in style and beauty. Doors will close at start of ritual.

Date: Saturday, February 18th
Time: 11:00 p.m.
Location: San Juan/San Carlos room at PantheaCon

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A Garland & an Inauguration

A Garland & an Inauguration

Greetings, fellow devotees. We pray that the wintertides have been treating you well, though we know that for many here in the States, as well as for our fellows abroad, today was something of a somber day, to say the least.  Inauguration Day. From the Latin root meaning “augur” and “augury”, in ancient Rome this referred to the practice of consecrating or installing something or someone when the omens were favorable from the gods. In practice this meant taking omens from flights of birds, or perhaps the Etruscan practice of haruspicy, inspecting the entrails of a sacrificial animal for messages from the gods. In these less civilized times, it is up to each of us to seek omens as we will from our various gods, guides, and spirits, though one does wonder what the omens are saying today in Washington, D.C.

All that we can say at this point is that last night the sun set on this country’s first Black president, and now the sun shines upon the presidency of a racist demagogue. And many of our friends and family are angry and frightened: frightened that their healthcare will be taken away; frightened that their marriages will be annulled, their families broken up; frightened that their famlies, friends, and community members may face deportation because they are Latino or Muslim; frightened that hate crimes against our trans* and nonbinary friend and family, against those who are people of color, and those who are of Jewish ancestry will continue to rise from the fascists that our now-president has inspired and emboldened; frightened of the looming prospect of continued warfare, this time of a particularly nuclear variety. And, of course, let us not forget the damage our planet continues to face under the threat of climate change, which our current president denies to be a real problem.

If there’s one thing that is for certain, though, it is that these are uncertain times. If even half of what this president has promised comes to pass, it won’t bode well for our various peoples. But, these things have not yet come to pass, and in uncertainty there is possiblity. That’s why it is more important than ever in these times to be clear in our intentions, to work our magic, and to say our prayers – and then do what we can to ensure these things comes to pass. In that spirit, we’d like to present this offering of a spiritual tool, a rosary for Antinous:

A rosary is an ancient and traditional practice found in Christian and Buddhist communities alike that involves the use of beads to count prayers. You can create a string made of knots or semi-precious stones, or perhaps a simple bowl filled with river or sea stones, one for each prayer. Whatever best fits your means and circumstances. With this Antinoan rosary practice, we recommend three sets of 28 stones, plus four larger stones to stand as ‘spacers’ between each set of prayers as well as an introductory/closing prayer. The 28 beads make up the bulk of the practice, and in number represent the days that make up the lunar cycle, the Moon being particularly associated with Antinous among the heavenly spheres. If one has the means, we might recommend that they be made of lapis lazuli, a stone precious to the land of Antinous’ birth and as blue as the Nile waters. Each of the three spacer beads represents one of the three faces or aspects of Antinous – the Liberator, the Navigator, and the Lover – and the color should reflect that as best as possible. In modern Antinoan cultus, red has represented the Liberator, white the Navigator, and black the Lover, though do feel free to use colors that seem appropriate. A number of us in Naos Antinoou, for instance, have found blue to work quite well for the Lover, making for an unintentionally patriotic look. And then there’s the introductory bead, which begins and closes the full set of prayers – this can be of any color suitable for your rosary.

Once you have your beads assembled into a rosary, you are ready to begin. This practice can be integrated into your regular daily, weekly, or monthly devotionals, or whenever you deem appropriate as circumstances demand. To begin, set your intention: what do you need? What does your family need? Your community? What are you praying for? Once this is clear in your mind and clearly stated before Antinous – he hears the prayers of those who call upon him! – hold that in your prayer and channel it into this rosary.

Intro & Closing

Behold, the Beautiful Boy rises in the East

Ave Ave Antinoe

Ave Ave Antinoe

Haec est unde, haec est unde,

Haec est unde vita venit

[Repeat Latin text 3x]

Chant (28 beads between each spacer)

Beautiful, Just, Benevolent one

Guide and liberate us through your love

Liberator (1st spacer – red stone)

Antinous Liberator

At whose name the gates of the underworld tremble

Free us from our fetters, free us from our chains

Banish all that would bind, constrict, and poison us

Ave Antinoe

Navigator (2nd spacer – white stone)

Antinous Navigator

Triumphant you will pass over the sky

Help us to ascend to our divine stature, to shine as your star shines amongst the heavens

Guide us, so that we might join you on the Boat of Millions of Years

Ave Antinoe

Lover (3rd spacer – blue or black stone)

Antinous Lover

Beloved who dwells in the limits of the earth

Descend as a dove from the heavens and crown us with your grace

Ensoul our bodies with your love so that we may take on every shape that our heart desires

May your love and beauty pour forth upon the earth and bless all beings who dwell upon Her.

Ave Antinoe

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Opening The Door To 2017

Yesterday, we opened the door to yet another new year, and Naos Antinoou observed the Festival of Janus, the Roman god of beginnings and endings.

There’s been a lot of talk about how awful 2016 has been.  There were several prominent celebrities who passed away – Prince, David Bowie, George Michael – and in the political realm, we have seen an increase in white supremacy and fascism across Europe and in the the United States.  Many LGBT people, women, people of color, and religious minorities feel less safe than ever.  Still, life came into the wold.  For those that died, there were also births.  For those that spewed hate, there were also promises of love.  One of our own Magistrates, Sister Krissy Fiction, was married in October in a fabulous wedding full of fun, laughter, love, and an Antinoan blessing.  The rise of fascism we have seen is alarming, and there is no attempt here to pretend that we shouldn’t be very upset at what we’ve seen in the last year, but we will also add that we have seen renewed commitments to stand together and fight oppression. The year brought us some highs and some very low lows.  So we move into 2017 with some sadness, some apprehension, some fear, some gratitude, some hope, and a lot of devotion to our Gods, primarily Antinous, and all the other Gods associated with Him.  May they look favorably on us as we open the door to this next yet.

On a personal note, the last year saw some big changes in our group as the Ekklesia Antinoou ceased to function and Naos Antinoou was established on Foundation Day.  The Naos is being built from scratch, stone by stone.  We’ll be doing our best over the next year to fill in resources for daily practices and prayers, and also for the primary festivals, but like those contractors you hired to remodel your bathroom, our timetable might go beyond the deadline at times.  Alas, this is one of those times.  Look for an update to the Festival of Janus page sometime later today or tomorrow.  This is technically past the actual festival date on January 1st, but if you want to do something during the first few days of the year, I think we can say we’re still within the “window” of that time.  And, there’s always next year!

This was written last year by one of Magistrates, Merri-Todd Webster.  I think it’s just as fitting, if not more so, this year.

janus-doorOpen the door, I pray you, Father Janus:
Open the door of this year to what is good
but close it to what is ill.
Open the door to friendship and community
but close it against bigotry and hate.
Open the door to prosperity and generosity
but close it against both greed and deprivation.
Open the door to inspiration
but close it against distractions.
Open the door to courage
but close it in protection.
Open the door of this year, Father Janus,
to blessings for me and my beloveds,
and I will return blessing to you
throughout this year.
-Merri-Todd Webster