Posted by: aediculaantinoi | September 6, 2013

Lucius Marius Vitalis’ Day, 2013

The day is mostly over at this point, but before too much more of it ticks away, I wanted to at least get the “opening salvo” of the day’s holy purpose underway, for your further thought and practice.

For the observances of previous years, and for a day that happened not too long ago as well, see the following entries: for 2010, for 2011, for 201, and 55 days ago. Also, as he is a member of the Treískouroi, you might want to read up on that concept here and search for that term elsewhere on this blog as you might wish.

On this day, I often lament that we have no images of Lucius Marius Vitalis, and while I’ve used various ones in the past from antiquity for this purpose, I’ve realized over the last year and change that doing this constantly makes it seem as if the gods, heroes, and other divine beings we worship are, well, stone, colorless, lifeless, and often broken or fragmentary, rather than living, breathing, existing beings who change, who have likes and dislikes, and who are not passive and unchanging like the materials from which their images were composed. So, here’s a photo of a young man who could very well be Lucius Marius Vitalis.

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[Or, if he's not, at least he's pleasant enough to look at! ;) ]

I hope to have a poem of some sort composed by later this evening; and, if all goes well, at least one and up to three other blog posts as well besides that. We shall see…

But for now, let us praise and remember the Prince of the Sancti, Lucius Marius Vitalis!


Responses

  1. I suppose he *is* pleasant to look at, though I prefer a cuddly bear myself ;)

    I must say, the more I read about your holy days, celebrations, and ways of doing things, the more I determine that I *must* take some of your classes on Antinoian spirituality. Just a matter of acquiring the funds.

    • No worries–they’ll be there for a long time, and meanwhile, buying books on the same subjects is cheaper! (Though the hands-on guidance of the course is also useful, if and when it can take place.)

      There are many people who join in Antinoan spirituality because they love youthful beauty. There are others, who while a minority are nonetheless noteworthy, important, and worthy of recognition, who join it because they love Hadrian and all he represents; and, I know, some of them prefer his style of looks to the more Antinoan type. Perhaps you’re in that category? Few “bear-preferers” these days have many objections to his bearded glory! ;)

      • I personally almost *always* prefer a teacher. It is easy to miss important stuff when you are self-guided, though sometimes one cannot afford (or even have access to) such a luxury.

        As for Hadrian? Oh my yes. In fact all of the lovers I’ve had that I’ve actually you know *loved* are pretty much just a variation of that kind of look (and all were at least 5 years my senior), and ironically much like Hadrian did for Antinous they have enabled me to embark upon journeys and pursuits that would have been entirely inaccessible otherwise. Not that I’d be so arrogant as to equate my looks with those of Antinous.

        Mainly though, I have such a strong interest in it all as an extension of my devotion for Aphrodite who, if I am recalling correctly, had a play in Hadrian meeting Antinous and could thus be said to be a Goddess capable of helping mortals reach Apotheosis (and can we be surprised that the plunge into divinity can be brought on by love and beauty?).

        But yes, the beauty that Hadrian embodies is what I find more beautiful, though I can see the allure and popularity of the youthful beauty which Antinous exemplifies.

      • I think humans are evolutionarily hard-wired to do better with a real-live teacher than learning on their own, etc. It’s one of those things that keeps us as communal-minded and bonded, I think. It’s certainly better from my viewpoint to teach students in a classroom rather than online (which I hate, hate, hate!), and I know I always learn things better if I get even a few words from a specific author at a talk or a workshop than if I just read their book, etc. That I can personalize and sensualize what they teach with a fuller picture as a result of having been in the same room with them rather than just reading their words on screen or page is a large part of it…

        Indeed, Hadrian prayed to Eros and Aphrodite Ourania for a youthful lover right around the time that he met Antinous, and so she certainly “breathed kharis soberly” upon him in that instance. I think your reading of her part in Antinous’ apotheosis is also quite keenly observed.

        It heartens me to hear of your predilection for Hadrian-esque gentlemen. Too many young gay men that I meet these days seem to have this notion of “No old guys/people over 25,” as if 25 is dead in gay years these days (which has been true for a while, granted…). Not that I’m in the running at all, given that I’m “beyond dead” in age by these standards, and also not a man, but anyway…it’s disheartening to know that someone thinks one is an irrelevant fossil simply because of their age. (And, I suspect this has some further implications for why a lot of young gay men get into Wicca and other forms of modern paganism rather than reconstructionist polytheism, because if it wasn’t born after BaceFook and Twaddler, then it isn’t relevant…!?!)

      • And as a fellow who has taken an online class or two I can affirm that I get FAR less out of the course when I have absolutely no interaction with the instructor beyond “HEY GUYS, I MADE A POWERPOINT. WATCH IT” okay, thanks I guess? I paid 1200 dollars to have powerpoints e-mailed to me? Awesome!

        I too have noticed that particular predilection among my peers, it is also one of the reasons why I don’t date guys my age really (though, my upper limit seems to be about 30 or so, though I don’t intentionally set limits on the ages I’m willing to go for. . .at least in the upward range.) I think it is a sign of a generation that is obsessed with innovation and ‘newness’ and thus has an inverse association with age. The newer the better, the older the worse, and this method of thinking extends into all areas be they religious or romantic. From some of my fellow students and actors I’ve even been chided because there is an age difference of about 6 years between my guy and I, with remarks like “Oh, you go for older guys” etc, variations on that theme. The fact of the matter is that 6 years is not that big of an age difference at all. It being regarded as such is rather. . .telling to me of their views on time, age, and maturity. I actually suspect that age gaps help provide more stability to relationships, but I can’t cite anything to back this up (I’m sure there is research out there). The guys my age are doomed for a rude awakening when they reach their thirties, thats all I can say about that.

        All things a man holds must fade. . .and youth is the first to go.

      • Alas, I expect you’re right about your peers…

        My thirties are almost over–I’m in my “early late thirties,” as Hedwig might say!–and while I’m not entirely happy with my physical state at this age, at the same time, many other things are much better than they were during my twenties. Emotional development in particular, even without some of the useful situations and interpersonal contexts in which to exercise such matters, has jumped orders of magnitude in the last seven years. But anyway…


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