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 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

osiris-in-his-boat

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

antinous-rosary-2

31 Days of Devotion, Day 29

What is something you wish you knew about this deity but don’t yet?

Unfortunately, one of the things that many of us in devotion to Antinous wish we knew about him is something that we’ll likely never know, not with any certainty at least, namely, what were the circumstances of his death? There has been speculation about this since his death and deification, but nothing we can say for certain to be true. There were only a couple of references even then, and they swiftly became outrageous with each telling.

“During a journey on the Nile he lost Antinous, his favourite, and for this youth he wept like a woman. Concerning this incident there are varying rumours; for some claim that he had devoted himself to death for Hadrian, and others — what both his beauty and Hadrian’s sensuality suggest.” Augusta Historia Hadrian (14.5-6):

“Antinous was from Bithynium, a city of Bithynia, which we also call Claudiopolis; he had been a favourite of the emperor and had died in Egypt, either by falling into the Nile, as Hadrian writes, or, as the truth is, by being offered in sacrifice. For Hadrian, as I have stated, was always very curious and employed divinations and incantations of all kinds. Accordingly, he honoured. Antinous, either because of his love for him or because the youth had voluntarily undertaken to die (it being necessary that a life should be surrendered freely for the accomplishment of the ends Hadrian had in view), by building a city on the spot where he had suffered this fate and naming it after him; and he also set up statues, or rather sacred images, of him, practically all over the world.” Dio Cassius (69.11)

He either fell into the Nile and drowned, as Hadrian was said to believe, or he had devoted himself to death and was offered in sacrifice for the sake of Hadrian’s health or the health of the empire (i.e. so that the inundation of the Nile could come and bring fertility to the land). Or, as was insinuated in the Augusta Historia (‘what both his beauty and Hadrian’s sensuality suggest’), Antinous killed himself because his station in life as the emperor’s favorite was due to end, as his youth and beauty faded.

Now, there are some things that I would prefer to believe about his death, that it was simply a tragic accident, and not some grisly sacrifice or despairing suicide. Would knowing the true circumstances change my devotion to him? That’s hard to say. So much of what I know and love about Antinous is from what occurred after his death, so perhaps it doesn’t matter. But, it would be nice to know regardless, for every bit of knowledge increases our understanding and appreciation of our god. In this matter, though, the world may never know.

We shall never know.  His death, as his life, was his own, and all that we can know is that darkness took him, and that he ceased.

Death of Antinous

When Necessity comes, it is best to simply bring out the fresh linen and welcome her as best you can.

I had hoped, however, to make one last prayer at his altar,

Just one last exultation in praise of his beauty and benevolence

Yet she comes, and it seems too soon;

Always too soon.

The inexorable rush of the River current.

And so my altar remains barren –

The brazier is empty, no sweet incense rising, carrying my prayers and praises, bathing the temple with their fragrance

The candles are unlit, no light to keep the darkness of death at bay

His image is veiled, covered in a black shroud, all opportunities lost to catch glimpses of that enigmatic smile on that beautiful face

And so we lament – My god is dead!

And so we cry out – My god is dead!

And so we rend our hair and beat our breast – My god is dead!

My god is dead

My god is dead

MY GOD IS DEAD

Even the land cries out, the heavens rent as the rain falls down

And though these tears bring healing and life to the earth, they are no less painful in the shedding

There will be a new dawning, a new day of celebration

But it is not this day.

On this day we mourn.

— Jay Logan (2015) ©

drowning2

 

31 Days of Devotion, Day 25

Share a time when this deity has helped you.

A few years ago, I was preparing a trip to visit some friends from college who I hadn’t really seen since graduation. We’ve kept in touch through social media, but that’s so often such a shallow connection which really doesn’t substitute for in-person interaction. The plan was to stay a few days with friends who had moved to Virginia (near where I lived for a short time in my youth), travel to Michigan where I went to school, and then travel around the state visiting people before reuniting with the rest of my family for a family reunion. It was to be my first real vacation since I started working, too, so I wanted to make sure that I was able to make the most of the time that I had with my friends – days at most, and sometimes only hours. I wanted to renew the bonds of frith between us, ensure that the wellspring of friendship flowed easily, not obstructed by awkwardness and small-talk.

To this end, I called upon Antinous, often known in our circles as a god of peaceful connections, as well as Hermes, to help with some social lubrication, as it were. I also called upon some nymphs, spirits of the land, to help me be grounded wherever I traveled, to help me know that I am connected.

And, it worked – beautifully, and in surprising ways. First, there were these little instances that surprised me, for instance, people recognizing the town where I’m from, i.e. Poulsbo. This is broadly in the Seattle area, and I frequently come across people in that city who I have to explain where that is. But then there was the TSA agent who was from Spokane, and the clerk at the service desk of the Montiecello House (you know, Thomas Jefferson’s eccentric home), both who recognized where I was from. And, again while I was in Virginia, we went to this old comic shop I frequented as a child. Talking with the owner, I learned he was originally from Bremerton, not ten miles from my town. Small world, eh? Things like this to help a young traveller know he’s being looked after.

Second, there was this beautiful moment on Buckroe Beach, the first time I’d felt the warm waters of an ocean in over a decade. Just walking there on the shore at dusk with my friends, when one of them asked if I could help them with a headache, since I knew some Reiki. Headaches were already kind of my specialty, but in this instance, the magic proved…. effortless. I placed my hands in the aura above her head, the warm wind from the sea going through our hair, and I tapped, ever so gently, into the power of the land, asking for their aid, and then I lifted that headache right from her head, the energy of it dispersing in the wind. We were both surprised at how quickly the pain had fled, and I felt intimately connected to that place. I can’t wait to go back, actually.

Finally, there were the great connections I rekindled with my friends. When I landed in Michigan, I experienced what under normal travelling circumstances would be incredibly inconvenient and frustrating – my flight was incredibly late and my luggage didn’t arrive with me. As a consequence, I arrived late to the first gathering of the trip. But, my host was generous and invited me to stay for an extra day until my luggage arrived, which gave us an opportunity in disguise to really spend time together. All of my connections with friends during that trip proved very deep, no matter how long the duration. I spent an evening with my ex, a lunch with a couple from my alma mater, an afternoon performing a Wiccaning for my Sister Dearest’s baby, and a couple of days with my artsy friend in Kalamazoo, checking out the farmer’s markets and drinking in the heat and sight of fireflies, something we don’t get in Cascadia.

I left my little sojourn feeling so full, the channels between me and my friends flowing strong and clear. I hadn’t really known before that friendships could be sustained over such long distances and across such a significant span of time, as if no time had passed at all. And this gift, this realization, is something that I have Antinous to thank for. He heard me when I called upon him, and helped me feel and be connected to my friends and the lands I travelled through. Such a gift is irreplacable, and I’m forever grateful to him.

Ave Antinoe!

il_570xN.1012360527_pgs6

Antinous by Lynn Perkins (2016)