Thus the three days of this particular blogging devotion comes to a close…
On the first dayfirst day, you’ll see I was pretty well able to keep most of my answers short; on the second day, however, they tended to exceed the twenty-word projected limit…oops. I suspect this particular batch might end up being more like the second day than the first, but still…and on this day, some of the most difficult questions are asked, in my opinion.
Thus, here we go…
XXI. Music that makes you think of this deity
Several things by Lady GaGa (including “Hair,” “Edge of Glory,” “Alejandro,” “Bad Romance,” and “Poker Face”); Shakira’s “Whenever, Wherever”; Shania Twain’s “I’m Gonna Getchya Good”; and a variety of other songs that I’ve ended up associating Antinous with over the years in particular contexts or as a result of certain experiences–others of which I detail in Devotio Antinoo.
XXII. A quote, a poem, or piece of writing that you think this deity resonates strongly with
In addition to the hymns, inscriptions, and such which have survived from the ancient world, I’d have to say the next thing that is highest on the list is many of the things that have been written or posted on the present blog. Another is a few excerpts from Bruno Goetz’s The Kingdom Without Space, which I’ll perhaps quote on here at some stage (I was actually thinking of it earlier).
XXIII. Your own composition – a piece of writing about or for this deity
Where do we begin? (Unfortunately, I’m not quite in the state at present to be writing new poetry, so I’ll just have to take a few “From the Vaults,” as it were…)
“Nine Days Along the Nile,” I, II, III, IV, V, VI, VII, VIII, IX
“The Orphic Hymn to Antinous”
“The Last Hunt” and “The First Flower”
(A Short Prayer to Lunar Antinous)
“The Bath of Antinous”
(And there have been many others, before these and since/amidst them, which mention him on this blog!)
XXIV. A time when this deity has helped you
August of 2010, not long after this blog started: I was closer to committing suicide than I ever have been before or since, and had the knife in my hand, literally. I had the sense to go before my shrine (which recently had the life-size bust of Antinous that I now have enshrined upon it) before I started cutting, and my prayers were answered by him immediately.
XXV. A time when this deity has refused to help
I don’t know if it’s a “refusal” as such, but he’s been relatively quiet in many respects for the past two months, at least for my direct senses, even though I’ve been praying more, and have been in deeper need of solace recently than I have been for a long while. Perhaps this is another “dark night,” though since I’ve been through those several times before (of soul and of spirit), what could be next? I don’t know…
XXVI. How has your relationship with this deity changed over time?
Very definitely. Even despite my initial “successes” and results with visionary experiences and such, and the frequent “library angel” (or Harahel) occurrences I had in 2002-2003 in relation to Antinous, my first few years of devotion to him were in many respects more abstract and impersonal than I’d like to admit now, because of fear of all that it means to be devoted and to worship him, rather than just admiring him and feeling inspired by him. August of 2003 is where it all started to turn around, though July of 2003 also had its amazing experiences in terms of my pilgrimage to Newcastle and Hadrian’s Wall; the intervention of Hanuman really started to speed things along starting from that date. I had my hands full quite often doing other things in the pre-Schism days, both with my Ph.D. and managing one specific difficult personality in the earlier group that devotion often suffered as a result. From 2007 onwards, though, my devotion has increased dramatically, and has resulted in all of the public things I’ve done (all of my publications, this blog, the further Antinoan Mysteries initiations, and really the existence of the Ekklesía Antínoou generally speaking).
XXVII. Worst misconception about this deity that you have encountered
I’d say there’s two:
1) That he is the “god of homosexuality.”
2) That he isn’t a god at all, he’s (at best) a really important ancestor, and can never be more than that.
XXVIII. Something you wish you knew about this deity but don’t currently
Oh, tons…How/why did he die, on what date did he die; who his parents were and what they were like; how he met the Emperor, what he thought about many of the other people in Hadrian’s life at the time; what year he was born (with certainty); if he left any writings that were preserved but have been destroyed; what the writings about him that we know existed but which no longer do (by Numenios, Mesomedes, Pancrates, and others) said/contained; if Julia Balbilla ever wrote about him (I can’t imagine she wouldn’t have…); what the Emperor said about him in his memoirs; and so forth…
XXIX. Any interesting or unusual UPG to share?
A lot of my own UPG on Antinous has become part of the modern lore–for example, the Three Aspects of Antinous, a.k.a. Antinous the Lover, Antinous the Liberator, and Antinous the Navigator, which was part of my own experience of him as early as July or August of 2002, and yet is part of the everyday jargon and vocabulary of the modern cultus of Antinous now, and not just in the Ekklesía Antínoou. Another major one was the notion of Antinous as the God of Peaceful Connections. I tend to share these things publicly rather often when they occur, other than when they have to do with the Antinoan Mysteries.
XXX. Any suggestions for others just starting to learn about this deity?
1) Even erroneous or incomplete writings on Antinous can be useful to read.
2) Never underestimate the power of simply looking at the images of Antinous that exist for stimulating not only one’s senses, intellect, and spirit, but also one’s understanding of him and his personality.
3) As the Jesuits say (but let’s not discount it at all because of that!): “If you begin to pray with your lips, you will find yourself praying with your heart; if you begin to pray with your heart, you will find yourself praying with your lips.” Never forget that you cannot pray to Antinous without moving your lips, your body, or in some way making the “thoughts of your heart” visible or audible outside of your heart–he is not omniscient, and therefore you must get into the habit of speaking what you think, feel, want, need, and wish in order for Antinous to be able to do anything about it.
Hail Antinous–may every time that you are hailed be a lengthening of your life and a memorializing of your majesty for a thousand years to come!