Posted by: aediculaantinoi | August 20, 2014

2015 World Parliament of Religions…and the Ekklesía Antínoou?!?

In addition to planning ahead for 2015, including this and at least two (and possibly as many as three) conferences at the moment, I just learned via The Wild Hunt today that the World Parliament of Religions will be held in some city in the U.S. in 2015, which has yet to be determined.

I first heard about the Parliament back in 2003, when the Ekklesía Antínoou was quite new (a year old, in fact!), and it was being held in Barcelona, Spain in 2004. I considered submitting a proposal to present at it, given that I was in Ireland–really just one country (and a body of water) away from Spain. However, I was dissuaded from this, not only because of the cost of attending, but because my “superior” at the time in the previous Antinous group said that what we were doing wasn’t important enough to be represented there, that we had nothing to contribute, and that anything like the Communalia (which I first envisioned when I thought about the World Parliament of Religions in 2003) was just an exercise in “ass-kissing” at that point. So much for connecting with the wider world in that group, including paganism or polytheism more widely…

However, a great deal has occurred since then, and I’ve become a bit more known in the modern pagan and polytheist scenes. Plus, it still would be good to attend an event like that–we may not be as old or large a tradition as many others, but we deserve to be counted amongst the world’s religions for the distinctive things we are doing on behalf of our gods, especially Antinous.

So, I’d be interested in knowing: would you like to see the Ekklesía Antínoou attend the Parliament, whether a whole contingent or just me as a delegate? (I’d prefer there to be several of us, but anyway…!)

If so, then you might make your opinion known, both here in the comments, and by filling out this survey. Since it sounds as if they’ll have a focus on youth programs there, that might be something else that our group could bring to the mix, as I’ve tried to convey before.

Imagine if we could do Communalia with representatives of a few of the major world religions–Antinoöpolis had both a Catholic and an Orthodox titular episcopal see, and Muslims live there now…!?! ;)

Posted by: aediculaantinoi | August 20, 2014

Death of the Sacred Band of Thebes, 2014

The Memorial at Chaeronea

“Tell me, Pelopidas, is this memorial a sick jest?”

“How so, Theagenes?” “The lion stands above us,
but what does he represent? Our enemies’ conquest
of our lives, or the spirit of our Sacred Band?”

“I still do not understand the roots of your trouble.”

“Was it a triumph for every last one of us to die,
to have given our lives for Hellas’ liberty,
and for our brothers-in-arms at our sides,
or was it a defeat since not a one of us lived
to see another dawn with our comrades?”

“You are fortunate, Theagenes, to have carried
our banner in the generations after my death.
You executed your duties, as sworn in your oath,
by facing Philip and Alexander with bravery,
even though you knew defeat was likely.
There is no glory in shirking one’s duty,
and there is no failure in the death of a warrior
if that death comes on the battlefield
in a just war in which the stakes are known.”

“And yet, is it glorious to die in such a way?
Hellas was conquered, and Thebes’ honor was sullied.”

“We are in the line of Herakles and Dionysos.
Was Herakles’ death on the pyre his best moment?
Was Dionysos’ being torn asunder by Titans a triumph?
Did sphinx-conquering Oedipus have a noble death?
Or what of Pentheus, slain by his own mother?
These great ones of our great polis
did not have the most glorious of deaths,
and yet each of them is accorded a hero-shrine,
or is considered amongst the gods of Olympus.
There is no glory nor lack of it in death itself,
for the virtuous and the vicious must all die in time;
glory is only in the life leading up to death.
An obol on each eye for Charon at one’s passing,
and for the heroes, a fire of transfiguration
to hasten one’s feet to the Isles of the Blessed.”

“And yet, Pelopidas, the lion above, the beast
who holds death in its jaws…it is as if he taunts us,
his paws tramping our fallen bodies into the dust,
the curls of his mane a repugnant wig
standing for the fairer locks of a hundred and fifty pairs
of great warriors and their charioteer lovers.”

“Think on Herakles, Theagenes: the lion of Nemea–
the place of the first-born hero, the child Archemoros–
was his crown, his mantle of glorious renown,
and its defeat by the hero became its glory in time
by the immortality of he who slew it and wore it.
Alexander is a god, like Dionysos or Herakles now,
and you who were slain with difficulty at his hand
were also honored by him before you were cold on the ground:
if Alexander had glory as a god, it was only
because the Sacred Band of Thebes was his lion mantle and crown.”

“Then let us, Pelopidas, each with our fellow,
go to the feast on this blessed isle
and sit at the table laid by Alexander and Philip:
there is no treachery in a warrior’s feast
amongst the mighty fallen that in death achieved glory.”

*****

Ignis Corporis Infirmat; Ignis sed Animae Perstat!

Posted by: aediculaantinoi | August 19, 2014

Decision Time…

I can’t believe August is pretty much 2/3 over now. There’s A LOT I have not completed that I had hoped to by this point, and many other failures to acknowledge, which I suppose means I will have no small number of such things to recount and think about this coming Thursday when we have the festival of the Lion Hunt. But, there is little time to devote to further expansion on that at present…

What I wanted to ask the general readership’s opinion on is something that will not impact most (if not all) of you, but nonetheless I’d be interested in any thoughts you might have on the matter.

One of the colleges I teach for does a study tour every few years, and a couple years back, they were going to do one to Turkey and Greece, going to several sites of Antinoan significance. They ask their various nationwide professors to submit course proposals that are relevant to the study tour in question (which are given online a few months before the actual tour occurs), and so I proposed one on “Hadrian and Greek Religion,” which they accepted. Unfortunately, in the lead-up to it, they did not give me a spot in their teaching schedule when I had expected them to, and thus I didn’t have the money to pay for the tour for myself (isn’t that a stinker–they get us to offer the courses, but we have to pay our own way…!?!), so I had to cancel it…and, yet, they still enrolled some students in it, who were then confused and writing to me asking me what textbooks they needed and when the class would be starting. It was a crappy situation all around, needless to say…

However, they’re doing it again this year, and the places the tour is going are Rome, Naples, Pompeii, and Sicily.

!!!???!!!

The first two have a TON of important Antinoan sites and statues, and perhaps I could even squeeze in a quick side-trip to Hadrian’s Villa one day.

So, the question is: should I propose a course for this? It will mean missing about a week of class during Spring quarter for my other regular job, which might be a bit iffy…and, while I am reasonably assured to have other streams of income that can cover the cost of the trip when it needs to occur, nonetheless it may not get enough people registered to even be allowed to happen as a class (which is always a possibility no matter what), and then a lot of time and possibly money gets wasted in the process.

The course I’d propose would be on Roman Religion, and I’m fairly certain they’d take it. It all has to be in by September 1st. If I do decide to do it, I’ll probably have to get it together this coming weekend (along with several other projects that need doing that are due around the same date). It always feckin’ pours when it rains, dunnit?

So, do you think it’s worth the possibility, and all the time and effort it will take to even get the proposal in? Or would it be better to go to those sites at some other point in the future, when I’m on my own and can make my own time, and can do the entire process in as much of a pilgrimage mindset as possible, rather than being limited by what is on the tour schedule, and having to keep a bunch of college students entertained? I’d be interested in your thoughts on the matter.

Posted by: aediculaantinoi | August 18, 2014

Several Amusements…

…some of which are more–and a different type of–amusing than others…!?!

First, the most common search terms that have turned up pages on my blog recently include the following four things:

–polytheist nuns
–how a continuum with exclusivity at one end and inclusivity at the other can be used to describe religious views
–aedicula antinoi a small shrine of antinous
–hot egyptian goddess

Aha! Here’s the culprit!

This is amusing to me because, really, only the third thing on this list at all applies to this blog, in a vague and non-specific (by being so specific as to only usefully turn up the present blog!) sort of fashion…Maybe #1 and #4 could, too, but far less so on the latter than the former, though I’m no nun but am certainly in favor of their existence. As for the second one…that is weird that it’s been a search term appearing on the top of the list for the past two weeks or so.

Sannion’s search-term poetry posts are far more interesting than what I turn up here, alas. :(

And speaking of San-San-san (see what I did there?–though maybe it will make more sense in the context of the next thing on the present list…!?!), quite a while back he posted a variety of things about the rather poorly-known sea-god Glaukos and his relation to various other deities, including Melikertes (better known post-apotheosis as Palaimon). THis was significant to me over the last twenty-four hours in connection to Portunalia yesterday, because Portunus is who the Romans most often syncretized Palaimon to in their own pantheon…So, being that I’m myself, I had to follow up on this matter last night at 3 AM.

Even though Theoi.com has a lot on Glaukos and on Palaimon/Melikertes, the passage below concerning mostly a lot of miscellaneous lore about Glaukos, and two tidbits connecting him to Melikertes, does no occur on the site. It is from Athenaeus’ Deipnosophistae Book VII:

Nausicrates in The Skippers: “A. Two sons, they say, gentle and fair, of the t god who before this has often appeared in the ocean’s embrace to seafaring folk, and who, they say, foretells the fortunes of mortals. B. You mean Glaucus. A. You’ve got it.” Now the sea-god Glaucus, as Theolytus of Methymna says in his Epic of Bacchus, fell in love with Ariadne when she was carried away by Dionysus on the island of Dia; overpowered by Dionysus, he was bound hand and foot in the withes of a grape vine, but released when he entreated him in these words: “A city, then, there is by the side of the sea, Anthedon, over against Euboea, hard by the currents of Euripus. There is my birthplace, and the father who gat me was Copeus.” But Promathidas of Heracleia, in his Hemiambi, derives the birth of Glaucus from Polybus, the son of Hermes, and Euboea, the daughter of Larymnus. And Mnaseas, in the third book of his European History, derives his descent from Anthedon and Alcyonê; having proved himself a good seaman and diver, Glaucus came to be called Pontius. He carried away Symê, the daughter of Ialysus and Dotis, sailing back to Asia, and settled the island, which was deserted, near Caria, giving it the name Symê from his wife. The epic poet Euanthes, on the other hand, in his Hymn to Glaucus, says that he was a son of Poseidon and the nymph Naïs, and that, falling in love with Ariadne, he lay with her in the island of Dia when she had been deserted by Theseus. Aristotle, in The Constitution of Delos, says that Glaucus settled in delos in company with the Nereids, and gives prophecies to those who desire them. Possis of Magnesia, in the third book of his Account of the Amazons, says that Glaucus was the architect of the Argo and was its pilot at the time when Jason fought in company with the Etruscans, being the only one who escaped without a wound in the naval battle; but by Zeus’ decree he disappeared in the depths of the ocean, and in this way became a sea divinity. He was seen only by Jason. Nicanor of Cyrene, in Changes of Name, says that Melicertes had his name changed to Glaucus. Alexander Aetolus also gives an account of him in the poem entitled The Fisherman. He says that Glaucus was engulfed in the sea “after he had eaten an herb which the untilled earth bears in springtime for shining Helios in the isles of the Blest. And Helios tenders that herb unfailing, as a soul-satisfying supper to his steeds, that they may accomplish their course unwearied, and no distress may overtake any in their mid-journey.” Aeschrion of Samos, in one of his iambic poems, says that the each-god Glaucus fell in love with Hydnê, daughter of Scyllus, the diver of Scionê. He also has his own story to tell about the herb, which if eaten made one immortal: “Thou hast found even the food of the gods, dog’s-tooth grass which Cronus sowed.” Nicander, in the third book of Europia, records that glaucus was loved by Nereus. Again, in the first book of his Aetolian History, Nicander says that Apollo was taught the art of prophecy you Glaucus; and that Glaucus was once hunting on Oreia, which is a high mountain in Aetolia, when he caught a hare; since it was faint after the pursuit he took it to a spring, and just as it was breathing its last gasp he rubbed it with the grass which grew about. The hare completely revived with the help of the herb; and Glaucus, recognizing the virtues of the herb, tasted of it and was seized with a divine madness; and when a storm arose by Zeus’ decree, he cast himself into the sea. But Hedylus of Samos (or Athens) declares that Glaucus cast himself into the sea through love of Melicertes; and Hedylê, this poet’s mother, who was the daughter of Moschinê, the Attic poetess of iambic verse, records in the poem entitled Scylla that Glaucus, in love with Scylla, entered her cave carrying “gifts, either cockleshells from the Erythraean crag, or the still wingless young of halcyons — toys for the nymph before whom he was diffident. But even the Siren, virgin neighbour, pitied his tears; for she was swimming back to those shores and the borders of Aetna.”

So, this potentially has a lot of relevance for a variety of reasons: either there was some sort of syncretism between Glaukos and Melikertes/Palaimon, or Glaukos loved Melikertes and threw himself into the sea because of it, and perhaps achieved apotheosis for his trouble. This is all the more interesting because Hedylos of Samos was said to have loved someone called Glaukos for whom he threw himself into the sea, and his father’s name was Melikertes. That clears things up considerably, dunnit? ;)

[And while we're on Theoi.com, here's a really handy list of deified mortals in Greek myth, and there's a lot more than you might have thought, even apart from the large number of heroes...all of these, though, were not (just) heroes, but were considered full-on deities.]

Thermae Romae - 01 - Large 01

A short while ago, I posted about the Thermae Romae film, but it turns out (as I was told in the comments) there is also an anime of it, which I was able to view recently. While it was also enjoyable, I can’t say that it was quite as good as the live-action film, though it has its moments, and is different at various parts. The episode in the anime featuring Konsei-sama, Priapus, and Fascinus (though the latter is not called that) is highly amusing, and involves some interesting Japanese puns–namely, tintinabulum, which is what they keep calling the small Fascinus figure that is also a bell, apparently sounds a lot like a word in Japanese that means “dangling penis.” Who knew? ;) But, of course, one of the main things I was concerned with was the portrayal of Antinous and Hadrian in it, and there was a small bit of historical wrongness on that score: to wit, there is a short “history lesson” when Antinous is mentioned, and they go on to say that male homosexuality was looked down upon by the Romans, which isn’t strictly speaking true, and that Hadrian was derided for this…but of course, they fail to mention that the only people who we have on historical record who do that are Christians. Oh well.

02_Thermae

They use actual Antinous statue photos (shown above from the anime) when they mention making statues of him, and though the Farnese does get used, they’re also using the “Capitoline Antinous,” which is actually not Antinous at all, but Hermes. Overall, the art is pretty good, but the animation leaves a lot to be desired; it’s a bit more like a motion comic than it is like a proper anime. Oh well…It’s still quite amusing, if you’re interested in modern takes on ancient Rome combined in with historical comparativism. ;)

Kyzikos column

And finally, I owe my knowledge of the following to Edward Butler, who alerted me to it recently. It appears that archaeologists are hoping to find sculptural reliefs from a temple to Hadrian in Kyzikos (Turkey), and they have already found one of the largest column capitals ever in the area where they think it might be. Turkey has certainly turned up some interesting things relating to Hadrian in recent history, so hopefully this will be another such example, and soon!

So, those brief stories are all I have for today. I hope that these amused you as much as they did me…and if not, tell me something else that amuses you in the comments below!

Posted by: aediculaantinoi | August 17, 2014

Portunalia 2014

Portunalia Prayer

O Portunus, god of harbors,
may my ship not be tossed
nor the waves overwhelm me
as I seek safe passage
and to come home with peace.

O Palaimon, god of waves,
may you steady my feet
when I am on the sea
or on the land, slow-surging,
and keep my senses firm.

O Melikertes, dolphin-borne hero,
may my virtue before the gods
bear me up, in life or death,
by the creatures of the sea
and by the wave crests themselves.

May the gods favor me
whether in Corinth or Rome,
whether on Atlantic or Pacific,
whether on Irish Sea or Puget Sound,
in fair weather and in storms.

*****

Ave Portune!
Khaire Palaimon!

Posted by: aediculaantinoi | August 16, 2014

Who Are Your Favorite Visually-Compromised Deities?

The pain comes and goes very unexpectedly, so the amount of useful writing herein will be severely lacking…

So, going with the subject line above, here’s a few:

Odin by Lynn Perkins

Sanctus John Gielgud as Tiresias in Sophocles' "Antigone" on BBC

Sanctus John Gielgud as Tiresias in Sophocles’ “Antigone” on BBC

balor

These are all relatively obvious. But, you may not have known about this last one…

cuchulainnpreviewcm1_by_pernastudios-d73tuhe

Yes, Cú Chulainn! In Serglige Con Culainn, toward the beginning, it says that any woman of the Ulaid (Ulster) who loved Cú Chulainn became blind in one eye due to the blindness in one eye which he had during his riastrad (“warp-spasm”/battle-frenzy).

So, perhaps it is not entirely inappropriate for me to have the visual problems that I do, even though eventual further laser treatments should fix it considerably…! ;)

Posted by: aediculaantinoi | August 15, 2014

The Eyes Have It…

…if “It” is understood to be blurriness, a bit of discomfort, extreme light sensitivity, and a feeling of lethargic heaviness.

So, despite all that, it went about as well as could be expected for the first time, and the doctor taking care of the procedure was really nice (much better than the previous ones), and said “You may not think so, but you’re doing really well.” The water-works in my right eye turned on, and with them also my nasal works, so to speak, and I was dripping all over, and he said “Oh, that’s just normal.” Lovely. :(

I am going to try and take a nap now. I think the next time I do this, I’ll see if I can bring a sleep mask with me and just put it on when I get in the car, as it was actually very uncomfortable to be seeing any light at all, even with my usual sunglasses.

Thanks to Antinous, and all of the gods, for their blessings and favor in this, in any case! ;) (I don’t know if there’s an emoticon that has an eye-patch, but I wish I had one!)

Posted by: aediculaantinoi | August 15, 2014

Off To See The Laser…

I’m headed away in a few minutes.

Thank you all for your good wishes, prayers, and thoughts during this time!

I hope to update later, however briefly.

I wish Antinous’ blessings on all of you, and on myself as well.

Posted by: aediculaantinoi | August 14, 2014

Help to Protect the Yezidis

I’ve been fascinated with the Yezidis ever since I heard of them roughly 20 years ago in a high school history class. They come up every time I teach world religions, and many of my students have often done reports on their religion because it is so fascinating to them.

Now they are under very direct physical attack from a disgusting group whose name sounds like a goddess that we worship, but whose name I will not sully by giving it in relation to this group at present. They’re an Islamic group, and I hope that they are eliminated from the earth as soon as possible.

While it may not seem like much, there is an opportunity to sign a petition to the U.N. to take greater measures to help protect the Yezidis, which I urge all of you to do. They are a long-standing indigenous religion, which has survived by syncretistic adaptation for millennia, and they deserve to continue existing simply based on that fact alone. No matter what some idiotic creedal monotheistic religions think about them, they have no right to simply destroy them, as they are attempting to do at present. Therefore, I urge all of you to publicize this information more widely, and especially to sign this petition NOW!

Posted by: aediculaantinoi | August 14, 2014

Hope to see you again soon…

Today is going to be busy; and tomorrow holds some major uncertainties for me.

With the length of my chronic illnesses, and especially considering my lack of easy and affordable access to medical treatments for more than a decade recently, the fact that I’m having complications at this point isn’t a real surprise to anyone. I deal with them as best I can with what means I have, and that’s about all anyone can do.

I’ve been to the eye doctor recently (twice), and tomorrow will be the first of up to three (per eye) laser treatments in the near future to prevent the further progression of proliferative diabetic retinopathy. What goes on with this condition is that new blood vessels form in the retina, and thus one gets cloudy vision, floaters, and the like. I’ve been having this for more than a year now, and it’s not pleasant. If it goes on without treatment, blindness eventually occurs.

They’ve been doing these sorts of laser treatments for over 40 years now, and it is considered one of the “medical miracles” of the last few decades, as it tends to work pretty well with very few side-effects.

BUT.

What I didn’t know about it when I first found out I would need to do it is that after it is done, they like to keep one around for a few hours just to make sure that the laser hasn’t burned one’s eye horribly and one reacts badly to it. And, given how painful it was just to have a bright light flashed in there at my last exam (I don’t just wear these sunglasses to look cool, though that’s a great side benefit!), and my general tendency to be the extreme of side effects rather than the “mild and tolerated” range for any medication or treatment, this has me very worried indeed. I am not comfortable with eye-related matters in general, and would personally rather have dental and podiatric procedures going simultaneously with being catheterized than to have anything at all done with my eyes, to be honest. (I have yet to have a catheter, thankfully, but I think it would be preferable.) The light in the exam a few weeks ago was so painful that it essentially put me into an altered state of consciousness and practically put me to sleep as a reaction against having to consciously take in the input from the light. Yech…

So, if you can spare any prayers for me tomorrow when I’m undergoing this procedure (around 2:45 PM Pacific Daylight Time), to whomever might help me not either be blind or a cyclops by the end of it, I’d be most grateful. I will do all I can to have Antinous present with me during this, but any other deities who might be able to help would not be unwelcome.

I may not do much updating tomorrow or the following day, depending on how it all went, but as soon as I can, I’ll let you know whether or not it was a success.

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