Wednesday, August 20, 2014

THE SACRED BAND OF THEBES
THE ARMY OF LOVERS


AUG. 20 the Religion of Antinous commemorates the Sacred Band of Thebes, the Army of Gay Lovers whose courage and valour have echoed down through the ages as an inspiration that Gay Love is a magical means of Conquering Fear and  Doubt.

The Sacred Band of Thebes, also called The Theban Band, was a battalion composed entirely of homosexual friends and lovers. This military unit, consisting of 150 male couples, was based on the belief that men fighting alongside their lovers would die rather than shame one another.

According to Aristotle, the Army of Lovers were sworn into military service at the Tomb of Iolaus, one of the many male lovers of Hercules. Iolaus had helped the god in the Twelve Herculean Tasks. 

He often acted as Hercules' charioteer and companion, and the closeness of their relationship was such that he was known as Heracles' symbomos (altar-sharer), since the two could be honored at one and the same altar — a very rare occurrence in ancient Greece, where each divinity would have his or her own altar.

Iolaus was called the eromenos (beloved boy) of Hercules, and was thus a Sacred Hero of same-sex love in Thebes. Hercules, Iolaus and Eros were often depicted together.

That is probably why the army of gay lovers was called the Sacred Band, since they took their oath of allegiance at the Sacred Tomb of Iolaus, which was at the same time a shared sacred altar to Hercules. In effect, the warriors were swearing that they would fight alongside their comrades the same way Iolaus and Hercules fought together — armed with the arrows of Eros.

You can see the parallels to Hadrian and his beloved boy Antinous, and later this week the parallels become even clearer when we commemorate the SACRED LION HUNT. After that hunt in the Libyan desert in the summer of the year 130 AD, Hadrian and Antinous made sacrifice to the Great Lion Slayer Hercules — thus cementing the identification between Hadrian/Hercules and Antinous/Iolaus — and their affiliation with the Sacred Band of Thebes.

The great Theban general and tactician Epaminondas is generally credited with establishing The Sacred Band, although some sources claim it was his "beloved friend" Pelopidas who was responsible for recruiting them. No matter — they both fought side-by-side at the head of The Sacred Band.

This corps d'elite first took to the battlefield against Sparta, which had dominated Greece since the fall of Athens in 404 BC. The Spartans were confident of victory, as they had never suffered a defeat on the battlefield — never ever.

Deploying the Sacred Band on his front left wing, "Epaminondas made his left wing fifty deep and flung it forward in the attack." 

The "extra weight" of this wing and the "fanatical bravery of the Sacred Band" broke the Sparta right wing, which contained their best warriors. In the ensuing hand-to-hand combat, the Spartan king was killed and their right gave way.

Witnessing this, the rest of the Spartan forces, who had not yet been engaged, fell back in disarray, running for their lives. Thus, Sparta suffered their first recorded defeat in more than 400 years — at the hands of an Army of Gay Lovers.

But the end came in 338 BC at the battle of Chaeronea when King Phillip II of Macedonia and his son Alexander (later called Alexander the Great) defeated the combined forces of Athens and Thebes-Boetia. Alexander confronted The Sacred Band of Thebes, the elite corps of 300 homosexual lovers who were by that time the most respected soldiers in the world.

But alas! They were no match for the Macedonians under Phillip and Alexander. It was a rout. The Athenian and Theban armies gave way and began retreating from the advancing Macedonians. Only The Sacred Band stood their ground — and died. Only a few were subdued and captured. Of those who died, it was found that not one had been wounded in the back — a sign that they had not turned away from the fight.

Alexander was so moved by their nobility and courage that he asked his father to bury them with honour and raise a monument in the form of a Sacred Lion over their mass grave. In 1881, the shattered fragments of this Lion Tomb were discovered, surrounded by the bones of 254 pairs of men with their weapons, arranged in a phalanx of seven rows, the battle formation of the Sacred Band.

In 1902 the fragments of the Sacred Lion were reconstructed and placed again over the tomb of The Sacred Band (depicted left) by the secret homosexual society known as the Order of Chaeronea, founded by gay-rights pioneer George Cecil Ives.

It reminds us once again of the Sacred Lion Hunt which we celebrate later this week.

So, what has all of this got to do with us in our daily lives? We're not soldiers. We're not brave and courageous. Like Dorothy Gale, we're meek and mild. Timid. We know that if we were on a battlefield, we would turn and run. We would hide and "play dead" and hope nobody found us.

We assume that the Army of Gay Lovers were all fearless. We think they were unafraid. We don't think of them as being saredy-cats like us. We think they didn't mind the prospect of agonizing death. We think they were somehow above such mortal fears and doubts.

That's nonsense, of course. They were scared out of their wits. We can scarcely imagine how afraid they were. As they stood there alone against the mightiest army in the Ancient World, their emotions shifted beyond the mere terror of possibly being killed, to the actual horror of inescapable agony and death. It is one thing to be terrified — we all know the fears generated by terrorists who fly airliners into buildings. 

But the emotions experienced by those trapped in the planes or inside the burning buildings go far beyond mere terror to the actual horror of inescapable agony and death. That is the Mystery of Terror as opposed to the Mystery of Horror. We tend to forget the distinction!

The Army of Gay Lovers were not without fear. On the contrary, they were staring into the horror of impending pain and death. But they did not allow their fear to overwhelm them. 

Instead, they turned their fear "inside-out" and used it as a magical shield. The barbs of fear were no longer poking inward to themselves, but instead were pointing outward towards their foes.

And that is the Mystery Teaching of the Army of Gay Lovers. It was no doubt part of the initiation which the recruits underwent at the Tomb of Iolaus. They were schooled in magico-religious methods for handling fear. It's about learning to harness Mars energy. Mars is all about the double-edge sword of fear/bravery and how you can learn to wield that Sword of Mars.

It's not about being fearless. It's about being able to transform your fear into a mighty force which wins the battle of life. Mars Warrior Energy is not about death. It is about LIFE. It is about harnessing fear and doubt and turning them into useful energies in your daily life.

Life — from the time you are born until the time you die — life is just one constant battle. And if you give in, then you are lost. And if you give in to the fear and doubt that constantly confront you each and ever day, then you are lost. It's about using selfless love and transcendant awareness to transform fear and doubt into constructive energies which empower you to stand up and wade into the fray of daily life.


The Band of Thebes were initiated into Mystery Teachings which showed them how to transform fear and doubt into a magical force which made them invincible — capable of asserting their will and making their dreams become reality. 

And the catalyst was male-male love and devotion.

This is one of the deepest and most profound Mystery Teachings of the Religion of Antinous

We are talking about the Mysteries of Antinous-Mars. This is why Flamen Antinoalis Antonius Subia has painted Antinous in the guise of the War God (top left). 

Antinous is not just about gay male beauty. He is about gay male warrior energy.

Mars is a very important constituent aspect of Antinous. In Fixed Star Astrology, the STAR OF ANTINOUS is characterized by a mixture of Jupiter/Mars energy along with Venus energy — unique among Fixed Stars. To overlook Mars is to overlook a major component of what Antinous is all about.

Mars and his Alchemical Intelligence Graphiel and Daimon Barzabel (Deimos and Phobos) is much misunderstood by philosophers and occultists. 

The fiery Graphiel/Barzabel energies of the red planet ("terror" Deimos and "horror" Phobos) are often seen as frightful and horrific and destructive and warlike with no other qualities. This is a shallow analysis and one that should be discarded. Understanding your Martial nature — the Antinous-Mars warrior inside you — is essential to your survival and growth as a gay man. Terror and horror accompany us all our lives.

We are all afraid every day. We are all riddled with doubts every day. Look around you — most people are consumed with fear and doubt. Fear fuels their lives! But each of us can learn to turn our fears and doubts "inside-out" so that their barbs no longer point inward towards us, but instead so that these barbs of fear and doubt form a protective shield around us. 

It girds us with a constructive energy which helps us to advance through the Herculean travails which we face in our daily lives. Instead of being "fearfully" timid, we become "fearsomely" determined not to let life get us down.

Tomorrow, this transformational ability to turn fear "inside-out" will help us to understand how Antinous was able to charge the man-eater during the SACRED LION HUNT.

He must have been terrified. He was young and inexperienced and alone on his steed and armed only with an adamantine-tipped lance.

But through his loving bond with Hadrian/Hercules, Antinous/Iolaus was also magically armed with the "fearsomely strong" energies of the Sacred Band of Thebes.

Flamen Antinoalis Antonius affirms: "We consecrate and honor their memory and call upon their strength and courage in our own hearts, that we may become the New Sacred Band."

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

FEDERICO GARCÍA LORCA
SAINT OF ANTINOUS


ON AUGUST 19th, the Religion of Antinous honors St. Federico García Lorca, who was openly gay and who is one of the greatest poets of the Spanish language. 
He was executed by the Fascists on this day, August 19th, during the Spanish Civil War in 1936.

García Lorca's central themes are love, pride, passion and violent death, which also marked his own life.


The Spanish Civil was just getting underway in August 1936 and García Lorca was seen by the right-wing forces as an enemy. The author hid from the soldiers but he was eventually found.

An eyewitness has told that he was taken out of a Civil Government building by guards and Falangists belonging to the "Black Squad". García Lorca was shot in Granada without trial. The circumstances of his death are still shrouded in mystery. He was buried in a grave that he had been forced top dig for himself. 

According to some sources, he had to be finished off by a coup de grâce. One of his assassins later boasted, that he shot "two bullets into his arse for being a queer".

It was the end of a brilliant career as a poet and dramatist who was also remembered as a painter, pianist and composer.

In the 1920s he was close friends with Luis Buñuel and Salvador Dalí, among many others who later became influential artists in Spain. Despite the accolades from artists and critics, he suffered from bouts of depression brought on largely by his inner conflict about his homosexuality.

He was tortured by the demands of being a celebrity in a homophobic society and the yearnings of his gay soul.

During his lifetime only a handful of close friends were allowed to read the collection of gay poems which would be published many years later as his Sonnets of Dark Love. Here is one of them, entitled Love Sleeps in the Poet's Heart:


You'll never understand my love for you,
because you dream inside me, fast asleep.
I hide you, persecuted though you weep,
from the penetrating steel voice of truth.
Normalcy stirs both flesh and blinding star,
and pierces even my despairing heart.
Confusing reasoning has eaten out
the wings on which your spirit fiercely soared:
onlookers who gather on the garden lawn
await your body and my bitter grief,
their jumping horses made of light, green manes.
But go on sleeping now, my life, my dear.
Hear my smashed blood rebuke their violins!
See how they still must spy on us, so near!


With the Catalan painter Salvador Dalí and the film director Louis Buñuel he worked in different productions.

Dalí and Lorca had met in 1923. From the beginning, Lorca was fascinated by the young Catalan's personality and looks. Also Dalí had admitted that Lorca impressed him deeply.

When Buñuel and Dalí made their famous surrealist short film Un Chien Andalou (1928), García Lorca was offended: he thought that the film was about him.

Lorca's friendship with Dalí inspired a poem, a defense of modern art and at the same time an expression of homosexual love. Dalí dedicated his painting of Saint Sebastian to his friend, who often compared himself to the tortured homoerotic martyr.

"Let us agree," Lorca wrote to Dalí, "that one of man's most beautiful postures is that of St. Sebastian."

"In my 'Saint Sebastian' I remember you," Salvador Dalí replied, ". . . and sometimes I think he IS you. Let's see whether Saint Sebastian turns out to be you."

García Lorca was capable only of a "tragic, passionate relationship," Dalí once wrote — a friendship pierced by the arrows of Saint Sebastian.

The Religion of Antinous honors this great artist who lived and loved tragically and passionately and who died tragically for being gay.

Monday, August 18, 2014

ROME HONORS AUGUSTUS CAESAR
ON 2,000th ANNIVERSARY OF HIS DEATH



ROME commemorates the 2,000th anniversary on August 19 of the death of Augustus, the first emperor of Rome, with a full calendar of special events throughout the Eternal City.

On the Palatine Hill, the route available for public viewing in the House of Augustus will be doubled, and there will be new Augustus-themed routes through the Palatine Museum, according to Minister of Cultural Heritage Dario Francheschini and Special Superintendent for the Archaeological Heritage of Rome Mariarosaria Barbera. 

Other special events to mark the anniversary will be held at the House of Livia (Augustus's third wife) plus events at the Mausoleum of Cecilia Metella, which was built during Augustus's reign.

Other events are planned as well as at the Diocletian Baths, the Antiquarium at the Villa of Livia, the Crypta Balbi Museum, and finally Palazzo Massimo, the National Roman Museum. 

This year has seen a major exhibition dedicated to Augustus at  the Scuderie del Quirinale which brought together various pieces of cultural heritage related to the emperor from many museums both locally in Rome and abroad.

For that exhibition, the Louvre in France lent the statue Marcellus as Hermes Logios, a sculpture of Augustus's nephew that was brought there from Rome by Napoleon Bonaparte in 1802. 

And the British Museum in London lent the Blacas cameo, a profile portrait of Augustus carved in onyx, which most likely dates to shortly after his death in 14 AD.


Augustus was Julius Caesar's adopted son and became Rome's leader after defeating Mark Antony and Cleopatra.

Sunday, August 17, 2014

THE SACRED LION HUNT
POEM BY PANCRATES OF ALEXANDRIA


AVE ANTINOE!


May you all be blessed 

as we prepare for 

THE SACRED LION HUNT

beneath the light of the 

LUCIUS MOON OF BROTHERS.


~ANTONIUS N. SUBIA

Saturday, August 16, 2014

GREEKS HOPING HUGE TOMB IN MACEDONIA
IS THAT OF ALEXANDER THE GREAT



THE Greek Prime Minister has announced the discovery of a tomb that many are claiming – or hoping – belongs to Alexander the Great.

More details will come in the next couple of weeks, but the massive burial site has been uncovered in the area of Amphipolis in the Macedonia region of Northern Greece.

Experts will only say it "belonged to an important figure dating back to the last quarter of the 4th Century BC", according to the BBC.

Lead archaeologist Katerina Peristeri confirmed it "certainly dated from after the death of Alexander the Great", in Babylon in 323 BC. 

However, the broader opinion is that Alexander was buried in Egypt and that the Amphipolis tomb is more likely to belong to one of his favoured generals.

Earlier this year, a Polish team of archaeologists claimed they may have found the TOMB OF ALEXANDER in Alexandria, Egypt.

In the modern Religion of Antinous, Alexander is a SAINT OF ANTINOUS for being an example of the greatness of homosexuality.

Alexander assumed the Grecian throne at the age of 20 when his father was assassinated. Before he died 13 years later, he had built an empire that stretched from the Danube across Persia almost to India.

The Greek Prime Minister, Antonis Samaras, said only of the find that it was "especially significant".

"The land of Macedonia continues to move and surprise us, revealing its unique treasures, which combine to form the unique mosaic of Greek history of which all Greeks are very proud," he said.

Here's what's known about the burial mound so far:

  • The large mound complex has so far taken two years to unearth at the Kasta hill site.
  • It’s 10 times bigger than that of Alexander’s father, Philip II of Macedon.
  • It’s nearly 500m long and made of marble imported from the nearby island of Thassos.
  • There are claims it was made by Alexander’s close architect friend, Dinocrates.

Friday, August 15, 2014

TOURISTS BUSTED HAVING A THREESOME
IN POMPEII'S RED-LIGHT DISTRICT



THEY wanted to enact a fantasy said to be very much in fashion in Pompeii: having sex in the ancient city’s red light district. 

But that dream was soon put to bed after the threesome ... one Frenchman and two Italian women ... was caught in the act.

When the three, aged between 23 and 27, climbed over the gate of Pompeii in the middle of the night, they had just one goal in mind: to revive the original purpose of what has been described as the ancient city’s raunchiest location: the Suburban Baths, Il Mattino reported.

The communal baths, which were popular with rich Roman merchants, are decorated with some of the site’s most explicit sex scenes, including those depicting group sex.

Researchers say that the pictures may have indicated the services offered by prostitutes before the city was wiped out by Mount Vesuvius in 79 AD.

"It's ridiculous and vulgar, but young people are fascinated by this and sometimes try to play this game," Giuseppe Galano, a tour guide at Visit Pompeii, told The Local.

"They don’t understand the cultural value of the frescoes at all," he said.
Galano added that there have also been some other cases of couples using the site to "get intimate".

The three were immediately escorted to the police station, where they were charged with trespassing.

But they showed no sign of regret or embarassment, reportedly saying they planned to go back to Pompeii live out their fantasy again.

Erotic frescoes were not just restricted to the city’s red light district - they also adorned the walls of many homes.

Meanwhile, another Frenchman was caught behaving badly in Pompeii last week after trying to STEAL RELICS from the ruins.

Thursday, August 14, 2014

THE HISTORY OF THE ROSY LOTUS
OF ANTINOUS THE GAY GOD





When Emperor Hadrian visited Alexandria,
the poet Pancrates presented him
with a beautiful lotus flower.


Awestruck by the magnificent rosy-red petals,
Hadrian agreed to name the flower
after his beloved Antinous.


Drawings by Uendi


Beautiful CG Art by Antonyus Subia


Music by Kevin MacLeod


For more info: THE TEMPLE OF ANTINOUS