Academia Antinoi: The Academy of Antinous
The Academy of Antinous is an online, electronic correspondence-based curriculum in a variety of courses taught by P. Sufenas Virius Lupus, the Doctor (“Teacher”) of the Ekklesía Antínoou. All courses (except for Queer Youth Spirituality and Antinoan Mysteries Preparation) are intended to be offered as an eight-week term, but a more “independent study” approach can be taken, as not everyone can have the luxury of knowing that they’ll be able to keep to an eight-week term consecutively in any given period of time. Queer Youth Spirituality and Antinoan Mysteries Preparation are each offered in four-week courses.
Those who sign up for a course will receive the following as part of their tuition:
1) A weekly PDF introduction to the week’s topic of study, including assigned readings and a list of further suggested reading, and three further assigned tasks to complete: an activity to do, a cultic or devotional practice to work on, and a short writing exercise that integrates an examination of the topic for the week combined with reflections on the activity and the spiritual practice for the week.
2) A discount code for the purchase of any required textbooks by P. Sufenas Virius Lupus to obtain them from CreateSpace “at-cost.”
3) An in-depth written commentary each week on the assignments returned to each student by Lupus, with suggestions for improvement as well as discussion of the most salient points for future development of one’s own engagement with the issues concerned.
4) Access to an online discussion group where one can further communicate with fellow classmates in one’s course of study.
5) Each student will receive both a “final grade” in traditional American collegiate-style educational form (e.g. A, B, C, etc.), as well as a comprehensive written evaluation of one’s performance in the course.
All courses are open in enrollment, with the exception of the series Antinous and Antinoan Spirituality (101), The Antinoan Pantheon (201), and The Serpent Path (301), which must be taken in sequence; although, with some negotiation, it may be possible for some potential students to surpass the prerequisite 101 (or, on certain occasions, the 201) stage of the sequence, or to take two of the courses simultaneously.
Each course will involve at least 2-3 hours per week of individual work (reading, writing, and other activities) on the part of each student, and the feedback from the Doctor will be guaranteed to be at least an hour devoted individually to each student in the course they have selected.
While these courses are not, at present, accredited through any institution, it may be possible for those engaged in spiritual education at other institutions to negotiate for partial credit for work performed here. Completion of four or more courses in the Academia Antinoi curriculum will earn one either a D.A., D.H., or D.T.M. (Discipulus Antinoi, Discipulus Hiberniae or Discipulus Theologiarum Modorum) certification, depending on one’s distribution of completed courses. As course offerings expand, higher “degrees” and certifications may be possible in the future!
Tuition is $200 per course, with the exceptions of Queer Youth Spirituality, Queer Spirituality Concerns for Non-Queer People, and Antinoan Mysteries Preparation, which are $75. Enrollment in two courses at a given time will be $350, enrollment in three courses will be $500, and enrollment in four will be $600. (Under certain circumstances, barter for goods and/or services can possibly be negotiated…)
The courses are available at all times, so feel free to get in touch if one of these interests you!
Course Offerings and Descriptions
Antinous and Antinoan Spirituality (101) A basic introduction to the history and modern cultus of Antinous, including his visual representations, surviving ancient texts (with a special focus on the Obelisk of Antinous), syncretism, the other deities and divine figures associated with him, and several other topics.
The Antinoan Pantheon (201) An examination of Antinous in relation to the many other divine figures with whom he is connected, including the deities to whom he was syncretized, the Divine Emperor Hadrian and the Divine Empress Sabina (and other Divi), Polydeukion and the Trophimoi of Herodes Attikos, Glykon, the Tetrad (Panpsyche, Panhyle, Paneros, Pancrates), many goddesses, and the Sancti. Prerequisites: Antinous and Antinoan Spirituality.
The Serpent Path (301) The evolving form of mystical/magical-experimental practice with Antinous and the divine figures related to him, covering the topics of syncretism, magic and theurgy, the Eleusinian and Orphic Mysteries, and several important divine figures related to this developing process. Prerequisites: The Antinoan Pantheon; Understanding Syncretism; Reconstruction as Methodology.
Understanding Syncretism Examining the role of syncretism in ancient and modern practices, in particular cultural manifestations, and in the phenomenology of several super-syncretistic deity cultus.
Reconstructionism as Methodology Understanding the distinction between “reconstructionism” as a religion or religious practice and “reconstructionism” as a methodology which can be applied and employed in particular religious and spiritual contexts, including examples from several modern reconstructionist paths and practices, and the methodology as applied to recovered premodern rituals, myths, prayers, and spells.
Hero-Cultus: Ancient and Modern Examines the phenomenon of hero cultus in the ancient Greek and Roman world in particular, while also examining the extensive literate and mythological sources for the building of hero-cultus in some of the non-Greek and Roman cultures in Europe, with particular attention to how these practices might be revived for modern polytheists.
World Religions from a Polytheist Perspective Learn some basic religious studies methodologies (like the phenomenological approach) for use in studying other world religions, the pitfalls of the study of world religions from other sectarian viewpoints (like the “evolutionary” view of religious development), and examine some of the basic aspects and histories of religions including Shinto, Hinduism, Jainism, Buddhism, Taoism, Sikhism, Judaism, Christianity, and Islam, amongst others.
Polytheist Mysticism and Spiritual Direction Dedicated mystics often find themselves in need of spiritual direction; likewise, some of the best spiritual directors are often mystical practitioners themselves. The two fields are inter-related, but still distinct. This course will examine each of them, and some of the major topics in each realm–including spiritual pride, discernment, the “dark night” experience, psychological concerns, holy listening, theology, apophatic vs. cataphatic forms, and more–with the development of specific methods and terminologies for usage in a polytheist context as a primary concern throughout.
Queer Theology and Spirituality Asks basic questions about the different understandings of queerness, and applies these expanded definitions and interpretations to theology generally, as well as in several queer-specific theological issues (including radical inclusiveness and history).
The Enneagram: The Basic System (101) Learn the history and mechanics of the enneagram system of personality typologies, the prevailing interpretations of them (both psychological and spiritual directional), and learn to identify your own type in the course of understanding the characteristics of the nine types, their subtypes, wings, and arrows.
The Enneagram: The “Augmented” System (201) A new interpretation of the enneagram from a polytheist and balance-centered perspective, which seeks to re-adjust the traditional system to make it truly equal, opening a realm of possibilities for interconnection of the various types not previously accounted for in the general system. Prerequisites: The Enneagram–The Basic System.
Romano-British Deities Understand the history of Roman Britain (particularly the Roman “conquest” by Caesar, the Iceni revolt, the building of Hadrian’s Wall and the Antonine Wall, and the Maeatae rebellion) and a selection of the main deities who were worshipped almost uniquely there–including Coventina, Brigantia, Senua, Sulis, Cocidius, Belatucadrus, Maponos, Huitiris, Nodons, and others–and their possible cognates in later Irish and Welsh medieval literatures.
Irish Deities A survey of the sources and identities of the major members of the Irish polytheist pantheon–including the Dagda, Lugus, Brigid, the Morrígan, Macha, Nuada, Óengus, Midir, Manannán, and others–with particular attention paid to the tales Cath Maige Tuired and parts of Lebor Gabála Érenn in coming to an understanding of these deities.
Welsh Deities An examination of the main mythological narrative of medieval Welsh literature, Pedeir Keinc y Mabinogi, as well as a selection of the Trioedd Ynys Prydein, Cyfranc a Llefelys, Culhwch ac Olwen, and Cad Goddeu, with attention to the identities and characteristics of the gods and goddesses of Wales as understood within these texts.
Lycanthropic Spirituality Lycanthropy (human-wolf transformation/identification) and cynanthropy (human-dog transformation/identification) has played a major role in many human societies throughout history. Learn the basic outlines of this social and ritual phenomenon, as well as its particular manifestations in several ancient and medieval European contexts, and the practical dimensions of it for modern spiritual engagements, including holidays, associated deities, and other practices.
Gentlidecht: An Introduction Gentlidecht is the Middle Irish word for “gentilism,” which is to say, Irish paganism and polytheism as understood from the medieval viewpoint. Understand the nature of the sources for Ancient and Medieval Irish reconstructionist practice, as well as their biases and limitations, and a survey of the holidays, myths, practices, deities, and syncretistic elements of both medieval and modern gentlidecht.
Filidecht: An Introduction Filidecht is the practice of the fili, the ancient and medieval Irish “poet” (note, NOT “bard”!), understood both in terms of social role and divinely-derived spiritual practice. Understand the nature of the sources on this subject, as well as extended work with the “Three Things Required of a Poet,” and other important topics.
Queer Youth Spirituality A four-week introductory course in the issues facing modern queer pagan/polytheist youth, intended especially for those under the age of 22. The role of Antinous and Polydeukion, as well as the offerings of the Ekklesía Antínoou and its practices in this regard, will be examined.
Queer Spirituality Concerns for Non-Queer People A four-week introductory course on basic premises in queer spirituality, why sexuality and gender identity are important concerns to take into account and are influential factors in any embodied and practical spirituality, how non-queer friends, allies, and advocates can better support their queer co-religionists, and how non-queer clergy can better serve and be aware of the needs of their groups’ queer members.
Antinoan Mysteries Preparation While anyone over the age of 18, and who can be in the physical presence of the Mystagogos of the Ekklesía Antínoou’s Antinoan Mysteries practice, is eligible to undergo the ritual of initiation, this course is designed to guide practitioners through the process in an in-depth and specific manner. Everything needed to pass the challenges of the mystery ritual successfully will be covered in this preparatory course. NOTE: Only those who are seriously considering doing the Antinoan Mysteries will be accepted as students in this course; it is not for “general interest” or those simply seeking further information about Antinous.
And coming in the future/in development:
Sortilege and Bibliomancy
The PGM: An Introduction
FOR FURTHER INFORMATION, or to enroll, send an e-mail with “Academia Antinoi” in the subject-line to P. Sufenas Virius Lupus Doctor at aediculaantinoi (at) hotmail (dot) com for further instructions and enrollment forms.