Posted by: aediculaantinoi | January 27, 2013

Antinous and Polydeukes/Pollux of the Dioskouroi/Gemini

Today, amidst this season of festivals of stars, with the bright light of the moon each night, we come to one of the syncretism festivals of Antinous that gets observed several times during the year: that of Antinous and the Dioskouroi, celebrated on this day due to a temple dedication to them in Rome that occurred on this date. But in this case, the focus is upon Polydeukes or Pollux, the “immortal” twin of the two (and, strangely, the one who received less attention in Rome). It sort of presages our observance of the hero-feasts of Polydeukion and his family that will be coming up in March…

…and, in many respects, Polydeukion is the earthly counterpart to Polydeukes, and is in fact named for him. That would make Antinous Castor/Kastor, the “mortal” one, even though in their respective apotheoses Antinous was fully divine and Polydeukion was only ever called a “hero.” But, that’s only one possible interpretation…

Mostly, today I’m thinking about how tired I am. My work has taken up much more of my time this quarter than last, and also much more of my space, too–I am away from my home for two nights a week this quarter no matter what because public transport has stopped by the time I’m out of class on three days a week–and thus I’m finding I have less and less time to devote to things in life that I enjoy doing, and that are in fact the most important things in my life, e.g. my gods and honoring them.

How nice it would be to have someone, like Polydeukes, who was the immortal one, giving his own immortal energy so that his dead mortal brother would live at least partially thereafter. How wonderful it would be if, during the course of my daily life, my own mortal limitations and needs for sleep and food and so forth could be alleviated and raised up by the gift of immortality from a divine twin who loves and cares for me as to have no fear of death and utterly defy it by meeting it head-on…

Of course, I do have gods that, as I understand them, feel something like that for me; but, the actualities of existence and my own health and other limitations don’t allow me to dance in that particular rainstorm, or to exult under that particular burden as much as I would otherwise wish. But, I do know it’s there, even if I can’t feel it all the time, and can’t always be as energized by knowledge of its presence as I might be under other circumstances.

It’s much easier to be a hero when no poet has written parts of one’s personal myth about the day-to-day affairs of having to keep a house, pay for student loans, and earn enough to get medical benefits…in such a situation, when there is nothing keeping one from leading a heroic life, it’s a lot easier to live that heroic life. To do otherwise in such a situation would be the most supreme indolence and apathy. But it is not the hero’s life that I seek…

…And, for the moment, that’s fine.

May all of your gods bless each of you, and give you the strength and the peace to carry on through whatever good events and difficult trials you might be experiencing at the moment; and if you pray for me, pray likewise.

Khaire Polydeuka!
Ave Pollux! Ave Ave Antinoe!


  1. I understand what you mean. It is a rather constant struggle between my spiritual pull, and the constant desire of my own being to engage in worship of the gods throughout the day and enjoy the relationship I have with Apollon, the other various relationships I have with other gods…..and then the cold hard reality of living where I live in the time that I live and in the circumstances of my life with the struggle for paying bills and working over 40 hours a week to be able to pay said bills. It can sometimes make one’s focus a bit harder to hold onto.
    I do think that the relationship between Polydeukes and Kastor is a very important one spiritually, and one that speaks of the divine essence within each human soul (which Plato speaks of in regards to the two horses of the soul, one which is good and divine) and the elevation of the whole through the effort of the soul.

    • Very excellent points–thank you!

      I freely let my spiritual activities (and even “communal spiritual activities,” like writing and commenting on this blog!) bleed into my daily ones during the week, as for example this very moment, when I’m at college and could be grading papers or other such things but am doing this instead–but, this gets me through it a lot of the time.

  2. I missed the date. Dang. The temple dedication is always on January 27th then?

    And, yes, I hear you in terms of the strain of life. The twins do sustain but it’s not easy.

    • Yes, it’s one of those fixed Roman dates (which makes it easier to determine for us!…though, of course, Roman recons back-date it to the Julian calendar due to the change during the medieval period, etc., but is that really necessary? I don’t think so…if anything, calendars should adapt to the broader times rather than being an archaic thing one has to adjust for in order to accord with something 2000+ years old…crikey…but that’s another issue altogether!).

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