If Osiris had a mantra, and he were still honored on a wide basis in the late 1990s, it might be something like:
I get knocked down, but I get up again
You’re never gonna keep me down…
Or, perhaps not.
However, that is how I feel at the moment in many respects. I’ve had many setbacks in my life, and I’ve had them lately as well. Gods, I’ve even been clinically dead on several occasions…but, I got up again. And, I’m still here now.
I think I know how Osiris may have felt, thus. He got killed by a coffin that was too fitting which resulted in his drowning; then, for his trouble, he got torn apart into fourteen pieces. When all the king’s dogheads and all the king’s falcons, plus a damn knowledgeable queen, put him back together again, better than before, he was divine at the end of it, and remains divine at the end of everyone’s lives to this day.
What a thing to think about as one goes into the Sacred Nights of Antinous, our spirituality’s “days of awe” and high holy days–certainly, there are other MAJOR holy days throughout the year for us, but these particular days are especially significant in many ways. It’s going to be tough to keep them, in certain respects, this year because I’m working so much…but, as I said above, “I get knocked down…”
Though the photo here is a little blurry, a very dear friend of mine–may Her Name be inscribed by Thoth himself in the Book of Life–sent this small image of Antinous as an Egyptian god to me recently, and I’m glad it arrived in time for the Sacred Nights. (He’s actually been here for a few weeks, but anyway…!?!) Antinous as an Egyptian god pretty much means “Osiris” for most people; and yet, something that I finally realized when I was at the King Tut exhibit the other day is that the nemes headdress that Antinous wears in these depictions–which were mostly found at and around Hadrian’s Villa, possibly from the Antinoeion that was there–is that not just anyone wears the nemes: it’s a royal symbol, and something reserved for the Pharaoh himself. I don’t know if any deities are generally depicted wearing it, but the fact that Antinous is doesn’t, I think, reflect a lack of this specialized knowledge on the part of the Egyptians. I’d suspect the direct hand of Hadrian in the matter. Perhaps, not unlike Osiris, Antinous was meant to be the king of all the Two Lands eventually, in that perhaps Hadrian hoped to have him as his successor–even though that’s not a popular theory these days amongst scholars, if the symbolism of the nemes holds true, then…
In any case, Antinous is a king and a lord for many of us in ways that are more than metaphorical, and so on this day, when we remember the death and regeneration of Osiris, so too let us remember Antinous, whose death and apotheosis are coming in the days to follow…
In Neos Alexandria, it’s also the Festival of Ma’at–and it is very fitting indeed that her holy day falls on this occasion, as Osiris’ just judgement of the dead, and Antinous’ apotheosis, are both things which are pleasing for and within the balanced scales of Ma’at. May we always uphold Ma’at in all that we do!
And, on this date, I also recall a Sanctus whose death happened just before the original Foundation Day in modern Antinoan worship in 2002: Harry Hay, founder of the Radical Faeries (amongst other organizations!), one of the first major queer-focused spiritual groups of the last century. Without Harry Hay and others like him, the modern Ekklesía Antínoou and queer spirituality in general would not have been possible, and so I celebrate his memory and his accomplishments, and thank him for being the Osiris to the Horus of Antinous which followed and carried on his legacy after his death. May his memory persist with us, may his soul be at peace with his friends and lovers under Antinous’ protection, and may his work continue and expand through us! Ignis Corporis Infirmat; Ignis sed Animae Perstat!
Dua Wesir! Dua Ma’at! Dua Antnus! Khaire Khaire Antinoe! Ave Ave Antinoe!