For much of the day yesterday, I was in Seattle, brought thence by one of my students and future Mystes of Antinous. We met up with another Mystes, Michael Sebastian Lvx, and went to various bookstores and shops, got some alcohol offerings, and then had a lovely “conveyor belt sushi” dinner on Capitol Hill before heading toward Redmond.
The event we were going to in Redmond was Sacred Well Ministries’ hosted discussion, with me as the guest presenter/ritualist on behalf of the Ekklesía Antínoou. Including myself, there were a total of 11 people present, and among those were a total of three Mystai of Antinous (Michael Sebastian Lvx, Jay, and BlackCat), and one future Mystes, plus several people who are readers or commenters on this blog, among them Turning Tides, who it was a great pleasure to meet and speak with (though, on the latter, all too briefly!). There were some Wiccans present–as Sacred Well Ministries is a Wiccan group–and several ADF folks as well. Someone–who if they wish to identify themselves in the comments may do so–also came all the way up from Portland for this, for which I’m most humbly grateful! It was a good turnout overall, I thought: large enough to make it feel “real,” if you understand what I mean, but small enough that it was still quite intimate.
Here, you can see me, and the back of two of our Mystai’s heads (!?!). We started a little bit later than expected to allow those whom we were certain would arrive to get there–and the weather last night was quite rainy, almost the rainiest I’ve ever seen it in Western Washington at some points. (The last time I was in Redmond, which involved presenting on behalf of the Ekklesía Antínoou at Concentric Circles last September, the same thing happened…!?!) I was thus somewhat more abbreviated and scattered in what I would have normally said for such an occasion, but it went pretty well, I thought. I ended up focusing a lot more on Hadrian than I have often done, and likewise on Herodes Attikos and the Trophimoi–and appropriately so, given that we’re in the midst of their festival.
Then we had our ritual.
While you can’t quite see the festival shrine I set up here in all its details, you can certainly see all of the 2′ x 2′ canvas banners that I had made for PantheaCon this year, and which I’ll be using for many rituals and other events in the future, which were deployed quite effectively for this occasion. I should have noted that the image I used of Attikos Bradua and for Lucius Claudius Herodes and Regillus are not actually of them, because no known images of them survive; but otherwise, the images used are relatively securely identified as the persons in question.
We began with the prayers to Wepwawet, Hekate, and Ianus, in which I was assisted by some of the Mystai and our Mystes-to-be, and then I did the “Frankensteinian Hymn” to Antinous, and then the prayer to Polydeukion as well. I then did a cavalcade of offerings of both food (chocolate orange!) and alcohol (Powers Irish Whiskey!) to Antinous, Divus Hadrianus, Diva Sabina, Lucius Marius Vitalis, the Tetrad++ Group, Glykon, Sabazios, Polydeukion, Memnon, and Achilles, Herodes Attikos and Appia Annia Regilla, Athenais and Elpinike, Lucius Claudius Herodes, Regillus, Attikos Bradua, and the other children of Herodes Attikos. We were going to do the Obelisk of Antinous, but on consultation we didn’t, as the space was protected and energized at that point, and the presence of Antinous (and others) was being very strongly felt by several people, and this was confirmed later on as well.
We did the Prayer Against Persecution, and also the Orphic Hymn to Antinous; we were going to do the Antinoan Petition, but again we decided against it on reflection and consultation at that moment. Then, we did “Hadriane.” At some point, there was the explanation that despite Antinous and the Trophimoi being a god and heroes, and over 1800+ years old at this point, they’re still teenagers, and likewise Hadrian himself enjoyed a joke. This was particularly funny because some of the banners started to fall off the walls (partially because certain folks didn’t take my advice on how to get them to stay up best, but also partially because I think Antinous and Polydeukion in particular were really getting in on the action!).
And, as we were about to do the next part of the ritual, we were informed that there had been a mistake, that a tango group had booked the building we were in, and we were supposed to have been in another building on the site…oops! We were given a bit of time to finish up, and we ended up having the time to do the rest of what I had hoped we’d be able to, thankfully, but things were somewhat abbreviated as a result. (Not unlike Lupercalia at PantheaCon, things didn’t quite go to plan, thus.)
The remainder was reading the various poem/prayers I had written this year, which served to not only honor the character of each of the people in the family of Herodes Attikos, but likewise to honor many of the deities. After that was finished, we did the V.S.L.M. together, which we may just do in the future, as it seems to work really well and gets everyone in on the action. Then, we tore down and headed out, and in the hustle I didn’t quite get to properly thank Kathi DeAnda of Sacred Well Ministries for her hospitality and invitation and all of her assistance, so allow me to do that now! (And I’ll probably e-mail her, too!)
As mentioned in the subject line above, one of the most wonderful aspects of this event was that I was able to share the Trophimoi with a wider audience. Since the time I’ve been celebrating festivals to them–I’ve known about them since about 2005, but didn’t start these festivals until 2010, and then especially 2011 was when they kicked off properly–I’ve usually had to celebrate them on my own, in a rather low-key fashion, which is fine, but all of these things are far better when shared, I think. So, that was a real treat from my perspective, and I thank everyone who was present for their attendance and participation!
After that, we went back to Seattle to drop off Michael, and were there for a lot longer than anyone expected. There were several occasions involved in that in which the phrase “How does that feel on your perineum?” (and variations thereon) ended up being used, and some photos exist of this as well…but, I will reserve those for the moment until I have the requisite permission of the parties involved to share them. Ahem.
Then, driving home without too much rain and hardly any traffic at all, we stopped at Denny’s for some much-needed re-proteinization on my part, and very good and important conversations on life, the universe, and everything (including Antinous!), and I arrived back here around 5 AM. It reminded me of the days when I was a late teenager or in my early 20s, when I’d often frequent late-night diners at about that time after being out all night conversing, or perhaps doing rituals. Perhaps the teenage energy of Antinous and the Trophimoi was impacting all of us a bit more than it might often do otherwise last night.
It was quite an enjoyable series of events altogether, and I’m thankful for having done it and for having everyone’s assistance and contributions to its success!
Hail, Thanks, and Praise to the Trophimoi and the Family of Herodes Attikos!
Hail, Thanks, and Praise to Hadrian and Sabina!
Hail, Thanks, and Praise to Sabazios, Glykon, and the Tetrad++ Group!
Hail, Thanks, and Praise to Lucius Marius Vitalis!
Hail, Thanks, and Praise to Antinous!