Antinous and the Kingfisher

Falling river, flowing river
With the Kingfisher does he fly
Falling river, flowing river
With the Deschutes he brings new life

Antinous was born in Bythinia, drowned in the Nile River and became a God in its sacred waters, and his cultus was observed and celebrated in the Roman Empire.  Many of his modern day devotees, however, are not in those physical locations.  We are spread out across the globe, practicing devotion in our own home shrines and altars, situated in a physical place defined by its own unique topography and ecology.  This is what we had in mind when The Ekklesía Antínoou offered to host a ritual at Many Gods West this past weekend in Olympia, WA.

Many Gods West is a yearly gathering of polytheists of all sorts. It’s a weekend of presentations, workshops, panels and rituals. The Ekklesía was happy to participate in this year’s conference and host a ritual on Saturday night honoring Antinous and local river spirits, retelling the God’s story in a local setting, giving attendees an opportunity to practice personal devotion to our Deity, and also to receive a ritual purification.  All of the feedback we received has been very positive and many people expressed how meaningful the ritual experience was for them.  It was wonderful to be able to honor and practice devotion to Antinous and the other Gods present with our wider polytheist community.

belted_kingfisher_6One of our goals with the ritual was to emphasize how Deities who are connected to a specific time and place can be encountered locally, wherever that God’s devotees might be.  In this case, we wanted to connect Antinous to the local rivers in and near Olympia, WA where Many Gods West was taking place.  Antinous was drowned and became a God in the Nile in Egypt, but we sought to encounter him, along with any other Gods and spirits already present, in the Deschutes River in Washington.  To this end, Christodelphia Mythistorima (Sister Krissy Fiction), her partner Dan, Otter, and Jay Logan met at Tumwater Falls on the Deschutes River to introduce themselves to the river and say hello.  It was a beautiful day in early July, and there’s a nice trail along the river to the lower falls that we decided to walk together.  There were actually quite a few people out and about, but down by the lower falls we managed to sneak off the regular trail and find a spot where the river veers off and forms a kind of secluded pool of still water.  Otter collected rocks and built up a small cairn that we used as a makeshift altar. Jay brought milk and honey that we used as an offering to the river.  And as we were standing there, two kingfishers fluttered and bobbed and swirled around each other… and then one of them plunged into the water and died.  At first, we weren’t sure what was going on.  The bird lay in the water and flapped its wings a few times, but soon that stopped and it was apparent that life had left it.  Was this an omen?  If so, was it good or bad?  What did this mean?  We were mystified.  Jay did a quick bit of a divination and received a positive response. But still, the immediate meaning was elusive.

What resulted from the experience related above was a story.  Or more properly, a myth.  It’s the retelling of the Antinous story written by Jay, set not on the Nile, but on the Deschutes.  The story is true.  the story is not true in the literal and factual sense, although some of what is mentioned in the story did actually happen,.  It will never appear in a history book.  But the story is true nonetheless. We present it here, as one way to honor our Gods, regardless of where they originate, in our own home shrines, in our local forests, in the shadows of our local mountains, and along the banks of our local rivers.

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Jay Logan and Otter making an offering to the Deschutes

Antinous and the Kingfisher
– Jay Logan

There was once a young man and a river
Not the Lykos, which runs through Bithynia, the land of his birth
Nor the Alpheiós, running through the mountains of Arcadia, home of his ancestors
Nor the river Tiber, home of the grand city of Rome, whose emperor he dearly loved
Nor do I speak of the Ilisos, near Eleusis, though he witnessed many mysteries there

There was once a young man and a river
Not the Kaystros, home of Artemis, the Great Mother of Ephesus
Nor the Nile, bound to him by fate and necessity
Nor the river Aniene, which runs near his beloved’s villa in Tivoli, where his body now rests
Nor do I speak of the Astura, which fed a temple and collegium dedicated to him and Diana in Lanuvium

There was once a young man and a river
No, the river I speak of is the Deschutes, River of the Falls
The river I speak of is one of falling cascades, known as Pu-kal-bush by the First peoples here
It is the river that feeds these very lands, all around us in the heart of Cascadia
It is the river of cedar and maple; the river of salmon and black bear

There was once a young man and a river
The river was Deschutes, and the young man was Antinous.

Falling river, flowing river
            With the Kingfisher does he fly
            Falling river, flowing river
            With the Deschutes he brings new life

The river is the very heart of Antinous, the beginning and end of him. Wherever those rushing currents flow, the crashing waves upon rock and fallen tree, and the smooth and steady stream – there he is. The Deschutes was no different.

But when he and his beloved Hadrian, once upon a time, came across these waters during the course of their travels, they stumbled across a wasteland. The river was just a trickle, drying, the cedar and maple on its shores wilted, dying.

And the salmon, who were beginning their run, were merely a drop of red in the stream, rather than a healthy river of flowing blood. The land was suffering, and it seemed like there was naught that they could do….

Falling river, flowing river
            With the Kingfisher does he fly
            Falling river, flowing river
            With the Deschutes he brings new life

There was one sight of hope that Hadrian and Antinous found as they made their way along the riverbank – a pair of Kingfishers diving and chasing each other, a brilliant display of striking blue and white that streaked through the air.

The birds were a welcome spectacle amongst all the stagnation, one that helped to lift their spirits. However, it was an ill-omen that they witnessed there along the river. For what they had surmised was a mating display – they being ignorant of the season – soon turned deadly as one bird pierced the heart of the other, which fell into the placid pool before them.

He lay upon his back at first, his wings flapping lazily in the water. Antinous thought, “Surely he must be taking a bath? Birds do do that on occasion, though I have never seen one do so while floating on their back….”

In no time at all, it seemed, the flapping of the wings ceased, the bird’s beak dipping below the water, and all life fled that small body floating there upon the water.

Falling river, flowing river
            With the Kingfisher does he fly
            Falling river, flowing river
            With the Deschutes he brings new life

The evening came to them distraught and despondent. Antinous and Hadrian sought comfort in each other’s arms, there upon the riverbank, and shivered in the summer heat until a dim and restless sleep took them.

Antinous dreamed…. And in that dream he saw a tall young man, dark of features, with long cascading hair falling upon his shoulders. The man stared intently at Antinous and appeared to shout at him, but all Antinous could hear was the roar of water. Suddenly the man rushed towards him. Antinous turned to flee, his heart racing in a fear he did not understand, but the man sped faster than sight, quick as the current and seized him.

Antinous looked into his pleading eyes, eyes the deepest cerulean blue. As he looked up at him, those eyes softened and the man spoke once more, the relaxing sound of a burbling brook. When Antinous still did not express comprehension, the man looked away in despair. Instinctually, Antinous took the man’s face and brought it to his own and gave him a gentle kiss. When their lips met, Antinous’ eyes widened in understanding.

And Antinous woke.

            Falling river, flowing river
            With the Kingfisher does he fly
            Falling river, flowing river
            With the Deschutes he brings new life

That understanding did not leave Antinous upon waking, even though the pall of sleep lifted and took away most of the details from the night’s dreaming. He knew that he had spoken with the river, and that the river needed something from him.

The vision distracted Antinous from the world around him, no matter how much Hadrian cajoled him, tried to draw him out of himself with stories of hunting exploits from a bygone era.

As night settled in around them and their fire, Antinous finally broke his silence and told Hadrian of his dream, and what he had decided to do. Hadrian begged him not to – “Just this once, let the river starve! Why must you help the river? Who are they to you?”

But Antinous was resolute: “The River is home to the people here. If the land is lost, what will become of them? What will become of anyone? If there is something that I can do to help, I must. I must.”

Falling river, flowing river
            With the Kingfisher does he fly
            Falling river, flowing river
            With the Deschutes he brings new life

Hadrian embraced Antinous gruffly, giving him an ardent kiss, his beard grazing him with swollen lips. They tumbled to the ground and made love beneath a copse of maples, there along the riverbank, fulfilling a desperate, grasping desire.

Antinous left the embrace of his lover, dozing contentedly, as the moon rose high in the night’s sky. He walked steadily along the river until he found a calm pool deep enough to submerge himself. He swam gently by the soft light of the moon, delighting in the cool waters that played upon his body, even laughing with pleasure at the tickle of plants and what small fish remained to nibble at his toes.

Eventually, though, fate took him. How, we do not know. The only witness that night, the Moon, shrouded herself with clouds in dismay as his thread was about to be cut. Did the current become too fast for him to navigate? Did he rush headlong into giant glacial rock? Did his feet become tangled in some water plant so that he was not able to escape the water’s strength?

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.

Falling river, flowing river
            With the Kingfisher does he fly
            Falling river, flowing river
            With the Deschutes he brings new life

Sleep had lain so heavily upon Hadrian, that he only noticed his lover’s absence at the first of the day’s light. Knowing his Antinous, he searched for him frantically – pushing aside branches, skidding down hills, and scrambling over river rocks in his haste for it to not be true:

“Not his beloved!
Not his Antinous!”

All day Hadrian searched, until at last he found him, washed upon the shore. His body remained remarkably unblemished, his fair skin as lovely as the last time Hadrian gazed upon it. It was as if Antinous was merely sleeping there upon the wet earth.

But as Hadrian lifted his body from the water, Antinous’ head fell back, his damp curls falling back – a blossom snapped at the stem. And again he felt the keen agony of Apollo over the loss of his Hyakinthos. Hadrian brought Antinous’ body close and he wailed and wept, having no care for who might witness his grief – be they creature, man, or god!

And the heavens opened up and wept….

Falling river, flowing river
            With the Kingfisher does he fly
            Falling river, flowing river
            With the Deschutes he brings new life

Seven days and seven nights it rained, a veritable deluge. When the skies cleared on the morning of the eighth day, the land had changed – fresh green leaves growing from the shrubs and trees; a full, rushing current in the riverbed; and there, at last they saw the return of the leaping salmon, filling the river to brimming with their squirming bodies, making it red as blood.

With the storm now passed, Hadrian was at last able to build a funeral pyre for his beloved Antinous.

Ignis corporis infirmat
 Ignis sed animae perstat
           
The fire of the body diminishes
But the fire of the soul endures!

As the fire died down at dawn, Hadrian saw a curious sight – a Kingfisher flying and dancing in circles before him. The sight of that noble bird pierced his heart, for he knew it to be the form of his beloved. He wept anew, this time in joy.

As his tears fell into the water, he prayed to the river, to mighty Deschutes, to give him too the form of the Kingfisher, so that he and his beloved could be reunited. Filled with gratitude and thanksgiving for his lover’s sacrifice, the River granted his prayer.

And so the Day was greeted by the sight of two birds dancing and flying around each other in renewed joy and ecstasy of love’s return. They flew over the land and the river reborn. On and on they flew toward the dawn, seeking new life and new adventures.

There was once a young man and a river
This concludes their story, the river Deschutes, and the young Antinous

Falling river, flowing river
            With the Kingfisher does he fly
            Falling river, flowing river
            With the Deschutes he brings new life

Antinous at Many Gods West

The Ekklesía Antínoou is excited to be participating in the upcoming Many Gods West conference this weekend, August 5-7, in Olympia, Washington.  Members will be hosting a discussion and ritual on Saturday evening titled River Gods West: Antinoan Devotions to Cascadian River Deities

Much of Devotional Polytheism is local practice.  Regardless of where our Gods originated we are often practicing our rites and devotions at our home altars or temples, in our local forests, and in the shadow of our local mountains.  Antinous was made a God in the waters of the sacred Nile River in Egypt, but His devotees are all over the world doing devotion near their own local rivers.  The Ekklesia Antinoou will host a discussion on how to bring wider mythology into local practice, and will invite attendees to participate in a devotional ritual to Antinous that honors River Gods and Antinous, focusing on the spirits and deities of various rivers worldwide, but especially the rivers of the Pacific Northwest and the Deschutes River in Washington that ends in Olympia.

 

We wish Christodelphia Mythistórima (Sister Krissy Fiction), Jay Logan, Otter, any other devotees of Antinous who will be present, and all those in attendance at the ritual and at the conference, the blessings of the beautiful boy on this undertaking!

The Magistrates of the Ekklesía would also like to remind readers that P. Sufenas Virius Lupus, while an esteemed devotee, scholar, and poet of Antinous, and founder of the Ekklesía Antinoou for whom we have much gratitude and respect, is no longer a member, does not speak for us, and has no authority to determine who may communicate with Antinous. Nor do we, as Magistrates, have any such authority.

We strongly affirm that any person, regardless of sexual orientation, gender, gender identity, ethnic origin, age, culture, disabilities, nationality, race, or socioeconomic status, may approach Antinous directly and worship him as they see fit, without recourse to the Ekklesía, or to any other person. The Ekklesía Antínoou defines ourselves as a queer, Graeco-Roman-Egyptian, syncretist, reconstructionist, polytheist group devoted to the spirituality and worship of Antinous and related divine figures. Our purpose is not to act as intermediaries between Antinous and individuals, nor to establish dogma or make proclamations on how individuals choose to fashion their own devotional practices.  Rather, our hope is to offer information and resources here on the Naós Antínoou blog and web site, as well as our Facebook page, that will make it easier for individuals to approach our God in their own practice with confidence and respect, and seek His blessing, which is His to give or withhold as He chooses.

May the blessings of Antinous abound to all who will be in attendance at Many Gods West, and to all who practice devotion to him!

Ave Vive Antinoe!

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Otter building an altar along the bank of Deschutes River, Olympia, WA.

Tragedy in Orlando

While there is much to be considered in the present situation regarding the act of violence committed at Pulse Nightclub in Orlando, Florida; the Ekklesía Antínoou joins with the lovers, families, friends and entire LGBTQIAA++ communities in mourning the loss of life and offering prayers for those injured.

In this time may we offer our love and support to one another, extend our hands to those who need aid, and like he who is beautiful, just, and benevolent work toward a peaceful end to the systems of oppression and neglect that abetted this violence to come to pass.

Prince and Antinous the Lover

While today is the Megala Antinoeia, many of us are also hearing the news about the death of Prince, which is kind of putting a different spin on things for the day for many people. While I have never heard that he identified as anything other than heterosexual, his explicitly erotic lyrics, his often flamboyant presentation, as well as walking the line between what is considered masculine and feminine would definitely fall under the wider umbrella of what I would consider “queer” and he certainly was an icon and inspiration for many queer people. Playing some of his more erotically themed music might be one way of mourning Prince while also celebrating the transition of Antinous into his aspect as Lover, as well as the Erotikon aspect of the Megala Antinoiea. What is remembered lives!

 

Megala Antinoeia 2016

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Blessings on this day, the Megala Antinoeia!

Today is one of the more prominent festivals in the yearly calendar of Festivals for the Ekklesía Antínoou.  In some ways, this festival can be seen as a collection of several festivals and observances and draws inspiration from several sources.  As such, there are many different opportunities and options on how one chooses to observe this greater festival day.  Read more about the Megala Antinoiea at the main festival page here.

In honor of the day, we’re sharing a new piece of ritual poetry written by one of the Magistrates of the Ekklesía, Merri-Todd Webster.  Enjoy!!

Laudes Antinoi

Praise to Antinous, the Bithynian Boy, the Man God, the Emperor of Peace!

Praise to Antinous, the Liberator, the Navigator, the Lover!

Praise to Antinous, the beloved of Hadrian, beautiful, just, benevolent!

Praise to the Liberator who frees us from our bonds,

who loosens inhibitions, unties the knots of memory,

and strikes down the archons who would hold us thrall!

Praise to the Navigator who crosses the heavens,

who shows us the way, who guides us across!

Praise to the Lover who is lovely and loving,

beloved of an emperor, passionate and loyal!

Praise to Antinous Osiris, Wesar-Antnus,

deified by the Nile, enthroned with the gods

of Egypt, ruler in the Am Duat!

Praise to Antinous Dionysus, the god who comes

dancing, the god who comes singing, the god

who comes rejoicing!

Praise to Antinous Hermes, herald of the gods,

speaker for mortals, host of the eternal banquet

where gods and mortals mingle!

Praise to Antinous Apollon, leader of the Muses,

giver of true prophecy, accurate of aim!

Praise to Antinous Dionysus, loosener of bonds,

bestower of freedom, giver of the vine!

Praise to Antinous Hermes, giver of meaning,

god of interpretation, loosener of the tongue!

Praise to Antinous Apollo, the cleanser,

the purifier, the laser light of truth and freedom!

Praise to Antinous Dionysus, the one who

went into the underworld and returned!

Praise to Antinous Hermes, the reliable guide

of souls!

Praise to Antinous Apollo, who shines his beams

upon the road!

Praise to Antinous Dionysus, lover of women

and men, who deified Ariadne!

Praise to Antinous Hermes, father of Pan,

father of Evander, lover of Krokos!

Praise to Antinous Apollon, father of Aristaios

and Asklepios, tender to those who yield!

Praise to Antinous with Hadrian, eromenos

and erastes, lover and beloved, emperor

and favorite, deus et divus!

Praise to Antinous with Sabina, wife of

Hadrian, the new Ceres, mother of

Roma and of Amor!

Praise to Antinous with Serapis,

Wesar-Hapi-Ankh, spouse of Isis,

meeting place of many gods!

Praise to Antinous with Diana,

the shining huntress, the mistress

of Lanuvium, guardian of the grove.

Praise to Antinous with the Tetrad++,

his children, his grandchildren,

defenders of his people!

Praise to Antinous with the Treiskouroi,

praise to Antinous, Lucius, Polydeukion,

god, sanctus, and hero!

Praise to Antinous with Mantinoe,

his mother, beloved of Hermes,

nurturer of the god and of his people!

Praise to Antinous Agathos Daimon,

the good spirit, the god friend,

the divine potential within us all!

Praise to Antinous Heros,

the beautiful boy who died too soon,

his beauty eternally remembered!

Praise to Antinous Homo Deus,

the man become god, the divine boy

with a mortal memory, the accessible god!

Praise to Antinous Imperator Pacis,

Emperor of Peace, supreme in Antinopolis,

city of peace and friendship!

Praise to Antinous Deus Amabilis,

the lovable god, the lovely one,

beloved and loving to his worshipper!

Praise to Antinous Deus Frugiferus,

the fruitful god, bringing forth

the sweetness of life!

Praise to Antinous! Ave Antinoe!

Praise to Antinous! Vive Antinoe!

Praise to Antinous! Ave Antinous!

This, haec est unde, this is where

life comes from: Haec est unde vita venit!

Antinous_AN00022259_624x352dg

Megala Antinoeia 2016 Approaches

Do you have a poem, a song, or some other piece of art inside of you waiting to come bursting out?  The Ekklesía Antínoou is welcoming submissions of poetry, hymns, songs, visual art, liturgy, and ritual in honor of the Megala Antinoeia festival coming up in just a few short weeks!

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The Megala Antinoeia is one the more prominent festivals in the Calendar of Festivals for the Ekklesía, and it’s coming up on April 21st!  This is a festival that includes several elements that are observed together, including the athletic games instituted by Hadrian in honor of Antinous, the coming of Spring, the founding of the Temple of Venus and Roma Aeterna in Rome, bear hunts and the dedication of a bear pelt to Aphrodite and Eros, and the transition of Antinous into his aspect as Antinous the Lover.  It’s a smorgasbord of ritual possibilities!

The Naos Antinoou website now has a page up with information and some resources about the festival.  Check it out here, and check back as resources are added!

Please send us your submissions of poetry, hymns, songs, ritual or liturgical text, or visual art of any kind.  The submissions can be about the Megala Antinoeia specifically or one of its unique elements, or it can be about Antinous and any of his aspects or qualities.  Let your heart be your guide!  We’ll share the submissions on the Naos Antinoou website and facebook page in the week leading up to the Megala Antinoeia.

Submissions can be emailed to ekklesiaantinoou@gmail.com

Blessings to all who read this!!

The Ekklesía Antínoou at Many Gods West

The Ekklesía Antínoou is pleased to announce that the proposal that was submitted to host a discussion and ritual at Many Gods West was accepted!  We will be hosting River Gods West: Antinoan Devotions to Cascadian River Deities.

9.15.10_D7C8606Much of Devotional Polytheism is local practice.  Regardless of where our Gods originated we are often practicing our rites and devotions at our home altars or temples, in our local forests, and in the shadow of our local mountains.  Antinous was made a God in the waters of the sacred Nile River in Egypt, but His devotees are all over the world doing devotion near their own local rivers.  The Ekklesía Antínoou will host a discussion on how to bring wider mythology into local practice, and will invite attendees to participate in a devotional ritual to Antinous that honors River Gods and Antinous, focusing on the spirits and deities of various rivers worldwide, but especially the rivers of the Pacific Northwest and the Deschutes River in Washington that ends in Olympia, Washington.

Many Gods West is a gathering of polytheists of all sorts, consisting of three days of presentations, workshops, panels and rituals, meeting August 5 – 7 in Olympia, WA.  We hope to see you there!

Getting Started with Antinous

“On Antinous will be repeated every ritual of the hours of Osiris together with each of his ceremonies in secret. His teachings will be spread to the whole country, helpful in the instruction and effective in the expression. Nothing comparable has been done for the earlier ancestors until today.”– Obelisk of Antinous

Since you found yourself at Naós Antínoou you might be wondering, “What do these people do and where do I start?” Well, those are very good questions. Members of Ekklesía Antínoou tend to be a very diverse bunch of people. Some of us approach our devotions very loosely, often lighting a candle, burning some incense and saying a prayer while others make their devotions a high liturgical affair informed by historical worship in Ancient Greece, Rome and Egypt complete smells, bells and ornate iconography. There’s no one right or wrong way, necessarily, to establish a devotional relationship with Antinous, but for those who want some direction this guide should be of some assistance.

Before we get started, let’s look at some defining characteristics of Ekklesía Antínoou. As a Graeco-Roman-Egyptian syncretist reconstructionist polytheist group, much of the modern worship of Antinous is informed by reconstructing elements of ancient cult practices of these civilizations. We do know that the Emperor Hadrian was a Hellenophile and likely very much influenced by Greek devotional practices in addition to leading Roman state ceremonies, so we can conjecture that when he established the cult of the beautiful Bythinian boy, these would have been the modalities through which he and others would initially give cultus to Antinous. In the above quote from the Obelisk of Antinous which was located at Hadrian’s villa, we can also see that Antinous’ cult was immediately syncretized with that of the established cult of Osiris meaning that these temples would have approached Antinous’ worship in a way familiar to that of Egyptian temples. For our purposes, then, we can take what we know from each of these different practices and reconstruct a form of personal devotion drawing on elements of the past and apply them to our present day circumstances. 

Getting started you will need at minimum an image of Antinous, a candle, an offering bowl (optional), incense burner, a bowl of clean water, a smaller bowl for salt and either a sprig of dried rosemary or a bay leaf. Arrange a clean space with the image in a central position. If it’s a picture, it should ideally be framed – numerous images can be found online and printed out or you can make your own as a personal devotional offering. Once everything is prepared, spend some time centering yourself and aligning your mind and intentions toward communicating with Antinous. Once you feel sufficiently centered, light the candles and incense and wash your hands and face lightly with the water declaring yourself to be pure. From here a simple prayer to Antinous and offerings may be made. The importance here is to foster communication and devotion. Take your time and be attentive. Here is a simple liturgy that can be done once a week or more as you start exploring your relationship with Antinous.

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Photo by Ceinan Kimbrough

A Weekly Antinoan Devotional

Pour clean water into a bowl and add a pinch of salt to the water. Optionally, light a bay leaf or sprig of rosemary and extinguish it into the water, saying:

Be pure!

Wash yourself with the water, touching the appropriate parts of your body, and say:

May I be pure in thought. (forehead)

May I be pure in speech. (tongue)

May I be pure in heart. (chest)

May I be pure in action. (palms of hands)

Next, sprinkle some of the water around your devotional space, saying:

Even at the ends of the earth, you are here, great gods.

Light the candle or lamp to Antinous, burn incense and, optionally make other offerings, saying:

Thus praying always to the Divine Boy,
the Arcadian Greek of Bythinia,

I am made more like you, the lover of Hadrian –

Emperor of the World of Peace;

Defeat every enemy of love

O victorious son of Hermes – may all rejoice! –

And turn the heart of the hateful one

Into a sensible peacemaker.

We pray this through Hadrian, and Sabina, and you.[i]

Here you may ask Antinous to bestow blessings on Ekklesía Antínoou, ask for any personal blessings or perform some devotional activity such as reciting a personal prayer, conversation, poetry, story, or perform other devotional activities.

If inspired you may also perform divination at this time such as Ephesia Grammata [ii] or some other familiar form of divination.

In closing, stand before your shrine and say:

Our time here now has come to its end. To this god Antinous, I give my prayers, supplication and thanks. May all be blessed by he who is beautiful, just and benevolent. Ave, vive Antinoe.

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As you can see, starting a devotional practice doesn’t need to be an overly ornate affair, rather one that is heart-felt and intentional. As you deepen your relationship with Antinous and the related divine figures of Ekklesía Antínoou, you may modify the above ritual to also include their commemoration as well. Establishing a devotional practice can likewise be taken into other realms of activities. For example, as Antinous is a god of love (not just same-sex love!), one may dedicate dating activities or working for marriage equality to him; alternately, as a god of beauty, one may dedicate art, poetry and songs to him; as a god of athleticism and sport, swimming or other athletic activities may be an offering[iii]; . The possibilities are near endless.

Establishing a regular devotional practice is a powerful way to deepen your relationship with Antinous or any god or divine power. Over time it facilitates a process of reciprocity and focus allowing us to become more like the gods and powers that we serve and have them assist us in our daily lives. Hopefully this short essay will help you in becoming closer to the beautiful Bythinian boy.

 

BIO

Otter (Seattle) is a spiritual worker, artist, and writer, mystes of Ekklesía Antínoou since 2009, and student of the Anderson Faery tradition. He hosts regular Antinoan celebrations on a monthly basis as well as holy days sacred to Antinous, and works behind the scenes as an Antinoan liturgist and dedicated Lupercus.

[i] P. 56-57. P. Sufenas Virius Lupus, Devotio Antinoo: The Doctor’s Notes, Volume One (Anacortes: The Red Lotus Library, 2011).

[ii] P. Sufenas Virius Lupus, Ephesia Grammata: Ancient History and Modern Practice. (Anacortes: The Red Lotus Library, 2014)

[iii] I often say a quick prayer before going to the gym asking Antinous to bless my focus and efforts and spill some water from my bottle outside.

Stella Antinoi 2016

stellaantinoi

Today in the Ekklesía Antínoou we celebrate the Festival of Stella Antinoi, or “Star of Antinous.” Stella Antinoi is the day we observe as the first sighting of the star dedicated to Antinous in 131. This star first appeared in the constellation of Aquila, which, as a result, was later named Antinous/Ganymede. This festival  inaugurates the aspect of Antinous as the Navigator. In our own modern Antinoan practices, we recognize three aspects of Antinous: Antinous the Liberator, Antinous the Navigator, and Antinous the Lover. After Foundation Day on October 30th, Antinous assumes his role as Antinous the Liberator and, after facing death and becoming a god, begins his long struggle against the archons, daimones, and forces of oppression.  Today, we see Antinous find “victory” in his role as Liberator and transition to Antinous the Navigator, where he gently and subtly guides us and urges us to use the liberation we have been able to achieve in ways that are beneficial for ourselves and others living in the world around us.

This day can be marked in a number of different ways.  If you are at home at your personal altar, the inclusion of several candles is always nice.  I like to place tea light candles all around the room and offer prayers to Antinous.  Another nice way to mark the day is to find a high spot near where you live where you can observe the stars or even the lights of the city.  And, of course, spoken prayers are always nice.

However you celebrate this festival, may you feel the gentle and present guidance of Antinous in your life, this day and always!!

– Christodelphia Mythistórima (Sister Krissy Fiction)