Last week, before the wildfires in British Columbia brought such a haze to the Cascadian region to affect the air quality and redden the sun in the heavens, a small group of us returned to the Deschutes River, where the story of Antinous and the Kingfisher began. The following week would see the coming of the local polytheist conference, Many Gods West, and after the wildly successful ritual we performed last year, we wanted to continue this tradition of honoring our local river spirits and further the growth of this nascent syncretism.
Otter and I (Jay), along with two relatively new devotees of the Beautiful Boy from the Kitsap Peninsula, journeyed down to Olympia and Tumwater to picnic with Antinous. It was a beautiful day, but thank goodness we were sojourning along the river, where there was plenty of fresh water and cedar and maple to provide shade and coolness. The at-the-time nearly 40 day streak of heat with no rain has been gods-awful. There along the Deshutes, though, it was quite nice, the company even better. When we eventually came down to the numinous location where our story with the Kingfisher began, we set up a simple altar along the riverbank, made offerings to the spirits of the land and the river, as well as Antinous, of course, and then retold the story as I had written it last year. The story has really held up (if I do say so myself), and the simple ceremony concluded with the bathing of our Antinous bust in the river, along with whatever images of Antinous, or rosaries dedicated to him, that others brought with them to cleanse and renew for the coming year.
It is my ardent hope that we can continue this tradition into the future as part of building our local cultus to Antinous in this region.