Visions of Antinous/ Part 5 of My Story
When the Fall of 2000 approached I was at a crossroads in my life, having recently left an abusive domestic relationship and begun anew on my own, dedicating myself in between my two nearly full-time jobs to my spiritual studies and meditation practice. It was at this time that the healing presence of Antinous appeared in my life directly as a source of guidance and compassion, but also as a source of renewing my sexual and emotional life as a liberated Gay man. As incongruous as it may seem, it was during a meditation I was doing on the physical form of the historical Buddha Siddhartha Gautama that the God Antinous took form out of the body of the Buddha, Whom I had visualized as a naked ascetic seated in lotus posture beneath the sacred Bodhi Tree. Little by little, the hair, body, and Indian features of the Buddha were transfigured into the sensual muscles and curves of Antinous, his curled locks a lustrous blue-black, and his olive-toned skin gleaming with an inner light that sparkled like gold dust. His rich brown eyes were lined with black kohl in the Egyptian manner, and in the center of his forehead appeared the royal cobra with its dramatically flared hood.
My energy had felt so depleted as of late, and I had become desperately lonely, unable to see the possibility of ever finding a Soul-Mate or true love again. Even though it had been an impossible, volatile partnership, the long term relationship I had just left was the physical and emotional norm I had come to depend on, thus my bed at night felt like a very empty place indeed. I had tried to date, with no success, and had engaged in casual sex with men who seemed to be of no consequence whatsoever. I would wake up the next morning to a naked jock in my bed, covered in the bites and scratches and fluids from the night before, and I would wonder why I had even bothered. Men sometimes seemed like such loathsome creatures to me, and I couldn't help but count myself among them, pathetically drawn to my physical desires without the use of my heart and mind. I knew better, but finding temporary relief seemed better than nothing at all. The men I had sex with were always physically perfect. Their souls were rotten beyond recognition. Was I any different, when I looked into the mirror the morning after a night of anonymous sex?
So, when the God Antinous made an appearance in my meditations, I couldn't help but ask if there was some purpose to the anguish and loneliness I had been feeling for so long. I wanted peace back in my life, which I knew was my own choosing. I had put myself into the situations I was in, and had determined my own fate by consciously (and unconsciously) engaging in the relationship and behaviors I had. But what I wanted was not casual exhilaration or even romance, but something much higher than that...a spiritual partnership with a lover who also knew the Gods and was walking the path of union with the Sacred. Such union, in my comprehension, did not mean becoming an ascetic or renunciant, retiring from the world and transcending the senses and desires of the flesh. Liberation instead was living fully in the world, without being of the world. To serve the Gods as the very embodiments of the entire world and our life in it, that was my personal goal in my spiritual journey, which I admit I have not always lived up to very conscientiously.
Antinous had, up until that moment in my life, remained a figure of history and Classical aesthetics, a beautiful youth who had been the lover of a renowned emperor, and a tragic hero who had drowned in the Nile and then been deified by a local populace who saw him as an incarnation of the God Osiris. I knew that the cult of Antinous had been celebrated with the cult of Isis, my Goddess, Who, as Isis-Sothis-Demeter had watched over the cultic rites Emperor Hadrian had established in honor of the resurrection passion of Antinous. Antinous was a god embraced openly by homosexuals throughout the ages, who saw in Him the esteem, love and adoration of male to male desire, which was a sacrament according to the ideals of Antinous, not a sin or degeneration.
Of these things I was well aware, however, the God Antinous had remained on the periphery of my spiritual vision, because my heart had not yet been prepared to receive His Mysteries or walk through the initiations necessary for the accomplishment of His work. My experience has been that Antinous will wait for that opportune moment to introduce Himself, which I have learned means when our heart has been emptied and is ready to be filled up again.
My vision of the Buddha become Antinous surprised me, but this very powerful waking dream did
not end there, for after showing Himself to me in His full and naked glory, Antinous transformed Himself into the Nile, pouring forth from beneath the Bodhi Tree, and then becoming the stream of the River Ganga, shooting out from the high piled dreadlocks of the Hindu God Shiva! It was then that the celestial blue skin of Shiva deepened into the green of the Egyptian God Ausir-Osiris, Who was none other than Antinous again, muscled and handsome, arrayed in the Pharaonic nemes headdress and royal kilt.
"I am all these things to those who know me", He said, "...and more! I surpass the millions of transformations of the God Ra, and I am known in every temple in Egypt, and by every name! Offer yourself to me in the service of love, and I will bestow upon you the boon of true love, which can only be known by him who loves without expectation of a reward!"
Antinous showed me what had happened to Him on His journey down the Nile, how He had sacrificed Himself so that the Nile would rise, ending a drought, and bringing with it life and the blessing of the Gods for Hadrian's rule over the Earth.
It was for this love of His that He had sacrificed Himself, knowing that it would be through His death that the Gods of Egypt would spread to the nations of the world, who would know Antinous as Osiris, and be blessed by His sacrifice and resurrection. To sacrifice yourself selflessly for love, to love altruistically...to give love through true charity, without wanting something in return. These are the ideals that Antinous cultivates in the heart of His devotees, for Antinous knew the first-fruits of the highest love, passion, and fulfillment, which He freely gave and received from His beloved Hadrian; however, Antinous' love for Hadrian was so great, so selfless that He thought nothing of offering Himself to the Gods on Hadrian's behalf if They would extend the life and reign and prosperity of Hadrian, who reigned over so much of the known world.
I decided to ask Antinous to fulfill my heart's desire for a soul-mate and spiritual consort, invoking Antinous as part of the family of Great Isis, Who, together with Ausir-Osiris, and Ptah, formed the primary deities of my priestly devotions. If You do this one thing for me, I prayed in my heart of hearts, I will raise a temple to You, and I will spread your name and your worship in every place that I go!
Did I truly believe, kneeling there before the flames and icons glittering on my household shrine, that Antinous and Isis, Osiris and Ptah would actually fulfill my request? I suppose part of me had doubts, for I was truly taken by surprise when, in the early Fall of 2000, a man stepped into my life who would be the direct fulfillment of everything I had prayed for. The God Antinous had worked His miracle on my behalf.
Blessed Antinous, Beloved of every god,
Whom Egypt honors in every sanctuary,
the Hearer of Prayers Whose ear is compassionate,
Shining with the sunbeams of Harakhty,
Anointed with the diadem of Ra,
He of shining locks Whose body dazzles the
Eyes of men!
O Lord of Grace, Son of Ptah, Nefertum the
Lotus-Born, the lion of great strength in
The South, come forth in peace and glory
To receive the offerings of every heart!
O beautiful god, suckled by Isis-Sothis,
the darling of heaven's queen,
For Whom the temples are filled with
the god-making fragrance!
O Antinous, may Your face be ever
Amongst us in our time of need,
For You are the conqueror of death.
You are the resurrected and the
Homage to You, Antinous-Osiris,
the beautiful of face and Lord of the Two Lands!