Sacred Nights: Antinous Triumphantus


O Antinous Triumphant,
Beautiful, Just, Benevolent,
You who have triumphed over death,
Man become God:
May you triumph also over every evil
that binds and hinders human souls,
over fear, over hatred, over bigotry, over greed,
over lust for control and control through lust,
over violence and injustice, over cruelty and malice,
over each and every archon that opposes freedom,
whether chthonic or empyrean,
whether hidden in the dark or veiled by the light,
that we may triumph with you
and traverse the otherworlds as your companions
in your Boat of Millions of Years.
May it be so!


Sacred Nights: Foundation Day

Today the body of Antinous is found on the banks of the Nile, yielded up by the sacred river near the town which is called Hir-Wer and Besa.

Today Hadrian weeps openly like a woman and vows to found a city in honor of Antinous on that spot.

Today Antinous is revealed as a hero who has walked with knowledge into the underworld.

… As a daimon who quickens the earth to life and causes the river to rise and fructify the land.

… As a god, one with Osiris, enthroned with the gods of Egypt.

Today the gods of Kemet, Hellas, and Roma welcome him into their company, as Hadrian, Pharaoh and Emperor, bewails his death aloud and his mortal remains are preserved with the honors once bestowed only on kings.

Today the Naos Antinoou celebrates its first anniversary as a queer, Graeco-Roman-Egyptian polytheist community dedicated to Antinous, the Beautiful Boy of Bithynia, the son of Mantinoe, the beloved of Hadrian.

Dua Antnus! Khaire Antinoos! Ave Antinous! Hail, most beloved god! Once again, with gratitude for all your blessings, with praise for all your worthiness, I dedicate myself to your worship and service.


Sacred Nights: Ananke Antinoou

POEM: A day in the life, or, John Lennon, Antinous, and me

I read the news today, oh boy
About a lucky boy who made the grade
He went from nobody to the Imperial Court
Wound up in Hadrian’s bed
Nobody was sure if he belonged in the Imperial Court

One day he went out on the Nile
Just a boy in a boat, boating on the Nile
The reeds waving, the lotus fragrant
The crocodile and the hippo watched him go
But where he went only the long river knows

I read a book today, oh boy;
A Greek boy from the provinces
Had turned the Emperor’s head
And then he wound up dead
Nobody was really sure what was going on
Their affair might have gone on too long

They say he turned into a god

Woke up, fell out of bed
Got underneath the shower head
And listened to the song
That swiftly ran along inside my head

Any day now, you know, you could be dead
That voice inside my head
Walk into traffic and you could be dead
Because you crossed the street
Now wouldn’t that be neat

Ah I read the news today, oh boy
The rich are stealing from the poor again
Somebody wants a war, somebody closed a door
Somebody shot a man who raised his empty hands
But he was black and they were cops
He was a thug and they were not
Maybe he turned into a god

They say he turned into a god


Sacred Nights: Panthea


POEM: The Dark Sister

I do not stand in Her shadow: I am Her Shadow.

She is the throne and I am the house.

She is the giver of life and I am the welcomer of the dead

She is the grieving madonna and I am the hysterical whore

She is piteous and I am maudlin

She is white and gold and rose and blue

I am red and black and red and red and red

Behind Isis, Nephthys. Behind Tara, Vajrayogini.

Behind Mary of Nazareth, Mary of Magdala.

I am red and red and red and red and red.

I am black. I am empty. I am ashes.

I am the cast-off mother of the unacknowledged child

Who will never inherit the throne or call the house his own.

He can only come and go, obedient as a hound,

At his brother’s will. She can only throw off her veil

And dance in the broad daylight, beneath a searing sun,

Because no one dares look at her. I am the dark mother

Of the unremembered daughter, Nebt-Het, Melinoe,

Sara la Kali, red and black and bloody and beautiful.

Honor me, or you have not honored all the goddesses.

Honor me, or the Beautiful Boy is without his bride.

Music for the season

The Sacred Nights have a soundtrack for me, just as much as Christmas did and does, or Holy Week in the Church. In past years I’ve shared songs from the movie Hedwig & the Angry Inch, music written to accompany the traveling exhibition of Tutankhamen’s grave treasures, and songs by Irish musician (and possible youthful god) Hozier. This year Dead Can Dance’s first album has been digitally remastered, and it’s available on Amazon Prime. So tonight I offer you The Serpent’s Egg.