Posted by: aediculaantinoi | October 25, 2013

Sacred Nights of Antinous 2013, II: Panthea

Today, the second day of the Sacred Nights of Antinous, is the Panthea festival, the festival dedicated to “all the goddesses.”

In a certain older group dedicated to Antinous of which I was a founding member, a certain person within the group used to tease and cajole myself and some of the other founders because we considered the worship of various goddesses and divine women to be important to the emergent system of Antinoan polytheism. On one occasion, said individual taunted us with what he thought was a pejorative term, and he called us a bunch of “fuckin’ maenads, MAE-NADS.” Reader, we killed him and roasted his heart while we laughed. Needless to say, none of us who were so called are still in that group…! ;)

Thus, a festival like this one could not have emerged in modern Antinoan devotion within such a group…which is yet another reason why I thank all of my gods relatively regularly for the schism having taken place. But, anyway…

There are various goddesses who have a direct relationship with Antinous in some fashion or other: among these are Aphrodite, Artemis/Diana, and Selene. There are others who have a likely connection to him, which may not be directly attested in inscriptions, papyri, or other sources, but are relatively certain due to geographical considerations, religious associations, or other factors, which include Hathor, Isis, and Demeter and Persephone. There are further ones that seem likely for more remote reasons, and yet are still compelling in their suggestiveness, like Sekhmet, Hekate, and Bendis.

Then, there are others with which Antinous has no single attested or intuited connections whatsoever…and yet, I’d argue that they are no more or less important for our potential consideration than any other. These include Athena, Hera/Juno, Thetis, Nyx, and Leto. And, I think it’s important to remember all of them today, too. Have a look at this page for more goddesses, Sanctae and Divae who have some potential connection to Antinous and Hadrian.

To resume part of the thread of what I was discussing yesterday, I’d like to return to Aaron Cheak’s article and some very fascinating parts of it. The specific patterns and practices of apotheosis that his article deals with are not those of the gods themselves (like Osiris), or of humans (like Antinous), but instead of the usually animal components of certain spells from the Greek Magical Papyri. He deals with one in particular in which the “deification” of a hawk is called for. While Nile water was the usual substance for this process, two other possibilities are often presented as well in the PGM at certain points: milk (sometimes mixed with honey), or the oil of lilies. I remember back to the first Foundation Day, and the first formal Antinous-related ritual I ever did, in 2002 while I lived in Ireland, and something which was a part of our celebrations of that day from then and ever since was the use of milk and honey…

Of course, from the Obelisk of Antinous, we are familiar with the phrase “The semen of god is truly in his body,” which is a somewhat sidelong reference to Antinous’ deification by drowning. And yet, not just that particular fluid, understood as Nile water, can bring about deification…

But, much more interestingly, Cheak goes on to discuss how the milk of Hathor or Isis, understood to be in bovine form, plays into all of this, and in various places is the manner of deification for the dead or for other significant figures; thus, to drown in it is almost doubly-deifying, as it were. But the oil of lilies is also fascinating, because it too has a connection with milk, but via the Greek tradition, where lilies were said to have sprung up everywhere that Hera’s milk sprayed from her breast when she was suckling Herakles. It all ends up making sense…

And, of course, he also connects this to the Orphic line “A kid, I fell into milk.” Not surprisingly, guess what Sannion posted today? Circles, folks…! ;)

What, indeed, could we do without all of the Goddesses? Nothing, that’s what; and where would Antinous be without them? Nowhere, that’s where…

Praise to all of the Goddesses of Egypt, of Greece, of Rome, of Thrace, of Canaan, of Gaul, of Britain, of Ireland, of the Northern Lands, of the Near East, of India, of China, of Japan, of Africa, of the Americas, and of every island and nation upon the Earth!
Praise to Antinous!


  1. […] yesterday hasn’t even finished yet for me; but perhaps I’m taking a few too many notes from […]

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