Posted by: aediculaantinoi | April 21, 2014

The Second EVAR Megala Antinoeia Athletic Agon’s Winner!

This is the eleventh time the modern cultus of Antinous has celebrated the Megala Antinoeia on April 21st. The first time was in 2004, and that was the only other time, thus far, that a true athletic agon was held.

That time, it was myself and an Irish friend of mine. We went to the pool. I was learning to swim at the time. My friend had not been to a pool in around a decade. I suggested we swim about ten yards, and whoever got there first would win. I won; but, I also almost drowned. Thus, doing anything in the water of that sort on any major Antinoan holy day has since become highly inadvisable: when your deity of devotion is someone who drowned, it’s sort of tempting fate rather heavily to be in that position, especially if imitatio Antinoi is at all in one’s tendencies. 😉

Since then, I’ve tried to get people to do various athletic competition things with me, and have not ever been able to convince anyone to join me. A leisurely walk? Sure. A bit of time in the gym by myself? Why not. But anything that actually involves winners and losers? Nope, not since that first time that I won, and nearly drowned. I have even tried very hard to perhaps get someone to go miniature golfing with me, as that would satisfy the requirements…but, nope.

That is, UNTIL NOW!

We had talked last week with some of my local associates about perhaps going bowling tonight–that “sport” that actually does take some skill, and has shown me how truly out-of-shape I am, and yet that people who may look out-of-shape can still do and be quite good at. Various things seemed to undermine the possibility of this occurring, but in the end, we made it work, and had a lovely dinner followed by the game. Dinner included discussion of various topics, including divination.

There were three contestants: myself, Zack, and Jamie (both of whom were at the hero-feast of Cú Chulainn and the Apotheosis of Sabina earlier this year, too–and, they’re not even “pagan” officially!). We did one game, and Zack was the overall winner, with a score of 136 (with two strikes and three spares); I came second with a score of 102 (better than my usual!–with one strike and two spares); and Jamie came in third, with 94 (one strike and one spare). At various points, we were each leading, but after about the fifth frame, Zack was unbeatable.

Earlier in the day, I had done more ritual-y things: I made my food offerings at my home shrine this morning after my daily practice; this morning at my office, I prayed when I arrived and throughout the day, and also wrote (and then subsequently revised/added to at least once!) my poem for the occasion this year. The communal portion in the form of this agon was a nice way to complete the observances for the day, and crowning the first victor of the Sacred Athletic Games of Antinous was a distinct pleasure and honor…

Though I wish I could give him a garland of red Nile lotus flowers for his victory, it seems that Zack kind of has a “permanent” one, so to speak…


A fierce competitor, to be sure, and someone to be reckoned with in the years to come–perhaps at bowling, perhaps at miniature golf…who knows?

So, how did all of you celebrate the Megala Antinoeia this year? I’m eager to hear! 🙂


  1. No athletics today, I’m afraid, but I did sing (badly) the Megala Antinoeia hymn.

    • The newest (blues) one, or one of the others from previous years, or (even better yet!) your own? *curious* 😉

      • The classic one from 2005. :o)

  2. I offered Antinous a light, water, some lotus incense, and half of a Ritter chocolate bar (I confess I ate the other half myself) and recited the hymn. I wrapped the chocolate bar in a clean tea towel to keep it safe from my birdie, who was out of his cage at the time; I didn’t reckon with the intrinsic attractions of the tea towel! My bird kept going up and tugging at the towel, hoping to make it fall… somewhere.

    What do you do with food offerings to Antinous? How do you dispose of them afterward?

    • It depends: if it is an outdoor ritual, I follow Greek custom, and (pending, of course, that the foodstuffs are safe to leave outdoors where dogs or cats might get them, i.e. no chocolate!) leave them outdoors, often deposited into the earth, water, or on some wayside area. If it is an indoor ritual (i.e. at my home shrine, or another temporary shrine), I follow Egyptian custom, and leave the offerings on the shrine for a while so the gods can take the spiritual portion, and then the material portion that is left over “reverts” to the priests and people, usually to be shared in a communal setting afterwards.

  3. […] were students of mine from the college, members of the Pagan Student Union, and Zack is a one-time Megala Antinoeia victor!), went out to Rosario. We had a fairly-detailed plan for the ritual, and all of what we needed. We […]

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