Tuesday, May 26, 2020

EMPRESS REGINA FONG
BELOVED SAINT OF ANTINOUS


ON MAY 26th the Religion of Antinous celebrates the life of Reg "Regina Fong" Bundy, a blessed saint of Antinous, who was born on this day in 1941 and died on April 15, 2003. A brazenly gay cabaret artiste — she disliked being called a drag queen — she was a well-known AIDS charity host who  influenced a generation of post-Stonewall gays in Britain with acerbic send-ups of politics and popular culture.

Regina Fong was not just a "queen", she was an "empress" — the last of the Russian Imperial Dynasty of the Romanoffs. Forget Anastasia (and Ingrid Bergman in a '50s film), Regina Fong was the REAL heir to Russian nobility. Like so many Russian aristocrats, she sought asylum in monarchical Britain after the Russian Revolution. There were indeed members of the Russian Imperial family who lived (albeit rather modestly) on the grounds of Windsor Castle during the 20th Century. Empress Regina lived (albeit rather immodestly) in London's West End.

Her Imperial Highness (HIH) Regina Fong did in fact become an Iconic cult figure on the European Cabaret stage. Known to friends as Reg (pronounced "Redge"), she lost her battle to cancer April 15, 2003.

But Reg, by creating Her Imperial Highness Regina Fong, a flame-red-wigged champion of gay rights, was insistently committed to being the knight in shining red armour who carried the banner of charities involved in transforming the AIDS epidemic from mortal tragedy into spiritual triumph. She reminded us all that gay cabaret, especially in London at that time, was (and continues to be) a central part of gay life.

After the "Gay Liberation" in the late '60s and '70s, drag queens and cabaret artistes were pushed to the back of the room, to more mainstream, homogenized images of gay life.

Regina Fong, and other Gay pioneers like Lily Savage, changed this forever and brought Gay Cabaret back to its rightful spot in the London Gay Scene. The Cabaret Tent at London Gay Pride events as the epicenter of Gay culture in good times and bad is the direct legacy of this valiant drag queen — er, ahm — cabaret artiste!

Our own Knight Stephanos personally knew Empress Regina Fong and conferred with her often in the legendary Black Cap gay bar in the heart of the Camden Town District of London. And so it is fitting that KNIGHT STEPHANOS (pictured right with Her Imperial Highness) explains her Sacred Significance to us:

"Happy Birthday Regina Fong even though you and the Black Cap are now gone.

"What can one say in this current day except to pay a tribute to the one and only Reg...Regina Fong, Queen if them all….

"Regina Fong the Empress of Camp. Queen of the Black Cap.

"You Reigned supreme. Sage of the rejected, muse to all that were affected.

"Daily she held court at the corner of the front bar, vodka and tonic, laughter, dialogue quite chronic. Nightly you drew the crowds: shaking us from the  melancholy of the expected life, denial waking strife.

"Cabaret Artiste beacon of hope, torch carrier of all who could but strive to such heights.

"Black cap memories to be had everyday at the end of the front bar at 11:00 am. Sitting to Michael Jeffries swapping war stories giving advice...in comes Steffens and Camp David...last of the Polari...Vada, Vada, Naff, Convo...Laughter, drinks, and scams galore.

"Always aching for the next adventure of days gone by…. If you could smell and hear the wonder of the front bar of the black cap...nicotine stains and morning shakes...characters and creatures of a world gone by...but not forgotten...bastions of an age of defiance, survival, and overwhelming urge to be fabulous.

"Happy Birthday H.I.H. Regina Fong ... the likes of you could never be wrong."

Monday, May 25, 2020

ANTINOUS THE ASTEROID IS A NEIGHBOR
WHO COULD VISIT US WITH A BANG



THE Sun aligns in Gemini today with Antinous ... or rather with Antinous the near-Earth asteroid which could one day pay us a visit ... with a bang.

The Antinous Asteroid … officially called "1863 Antinous," was discovered in 1948 by an American astronomer named Carl. A. Wirtanen. 

Astronomers had known for some time that asteroids were plentiful between Mars and Jupiter. But no one had expected to find any in the Inner Solar System ... certainly not near Earth.

But Wirtanen turned his Lick Observatory telescope inward and discovered eight asteroids in our own vicinity. 

These Inner Solar System bodies are called "Apollo Asteroids" all named for Classical deities, including of course Antinous.

Apollo Asteroids are collectively named after the first one to be discovered. The asteroid "1862 Apollo" was sighted in 1932 and then lost until 1973. 

Apollo asteroids are so small and faint that they are difficult to see except when close to the Earth.

Astronomers fear 1862 Apollo may one day strike Earth, however, they currently do not expect 1863 Antinous to hit Earth … assuming it does not stray from its current admittedly erratic orbit.

Antinous is about 2 km (1.2 miles) in length and spins on its axis one revolution every seven hours. It takes more than three years to orbit the sun.

Antinous Asteroid is a "Mars Crosser" and also an "Earth Crosser" or even "Earth Grazer" planetoid ... meaning it crosses the orbit of Mars and also the orbit of Earth ... and comes very close to Earth.

Antinous came close to the Earth in 1992 and 1999 ... 18 million miles (30 million km) and it is supposed to come past Earth again in the 21st Century ... but hopefully won't hit us! 

A collision with an "Apollo Group" asteroid 65 million years ago may have been one of the causes of the extinction of the dinosaurs. A closely related group, the "Amor Group" of asteroids, come close to Earth but do not cross its orbit.

The art of Asteroid Astrology is very arcane ... only a minority of astrologers employ "Astrals," as astrologers call these planetoids ... and then usually only a couple of major ones such as Chiron and Lilith. 

Quite honestly, they are so new that astrologers haven't quite agreed on what they mean.

The whole focus on asteroids got a boost when astronomers officially down-graded Pluto from a "planet" to a "minor planet" or "dwarf planet" ... the same category to which Chiron belongs.

So astronomers and astrologers alike are having to take another look at their definitions as humankind's knowledge of the cosmos grows by quantum leaps.

Sunday, May 24, 2020

WE JOYOUSLY CELEBRATE
PANSEXUAL VISIBILITY DAY 2020


MAY 24th is Pansexual Visibility Day. Much like Bi Visibility Day, when bisexual people remove their invisibility cloaks and instead don their beautiful bi vis jackets, Pan Visibility Day is a day to celebrate and recognise those who identify as pansexual. 

To help you do that, here are five things you should know.

1. The word pansexuality originally comes from Greek ... just like the Greek god Pan in the poster here. 

Pan means ‘all’, and is related to words like panorama. Pansexual people aren’t attracted to all other people, but they are attracted to people of all genders. This is different from being attracted to everyone; in the same way that a heterosexual woman will not be attracted to all men and a lesbian woman will not be attracted to all women, pansexual people will experience attraction to specific people and not others.

2. It’s nothing to do with saucepans or frying pans. Pansexual people have nothing against old jokes but the one about being sexually attracted to pans isn’t just old, it’s also just not funny.

3. Pansexuality is different from bisexuality but the two aren’t mutually exclusive. Being bisexual means being attracted to more than one gender, while being pansexual means being attracted to people regardless of gender. Pansexuality and bisexuality are not in conflict. In fact, some bisexual people also identify as pansexual, and vice versa. Pansexuality is included under the bisexual umbrella, which covers anyone who experiences sexual or romantic attraction to more than one gender.

4. There are lots of famous pansexual people! Recently, the fabulous Janelle MonĂ¡e came out as pansexual, saying ‘I’m open to learning more about who I am’. Other notable pansexual people include Miley Cyrus, Angel Haze, Laci Green and of course the not-quite-superhero Deadpool.

5. Being pansexual is just one part of who someone is. A pansexual person may also be trans, or disabled, or a person of colour, or all three. Pansexual people come in all ages and sizes and enjoy a range of activities and hobbies. On pansexual visibility day it’s important to remember that we’re celebrating pansexual people from all backgrounds and all walks of life.

Happy Pansexual Visibility Day! 

NOT ANTINOUS THE GAY GOD
BUT ANTINOUS THE SATURN MOON CRATER



THE STAR OF ANTINOUS is well known. And many people are aware that there is also an ANTINOUS ASTEROID ... but few people have heard of the ANTINOUS CRATER.

It is located on one of the moons of Saturn, the moon named for the Titan sea goddess Tethys, daughter of Uranus and Tellus/Gaea. The Antinous Crater is located at the bottom of this photo taken by the Cassini probe in a flyby. The bigger crater is Penelope.

This crater was named in 1982 after the "OTHER" Antinous — the infamous Antinous of Homer's Odyssey and the Iliad. That is obvious from the association with Penelope. It is highly possible that our God Antinous was in fact named for Homer's Antinous.

For the Ancients, names were not a matter of coincidence. A person's name MEANT something. Nomen est omen 
— a name is a sign. So why was Antinous given the name of someone who is generally considered to be a scoundrel?

Homer's Antinous was one of the "Suitors of Penelope," the group of moochers who showed up at her doorstep while her husband Odysseus was off fighting the Trojan wars and attempted to woo her and abscond with as much of Odysseus's fortune as they could before he returned 
— if he EVER returned. 

After all, he had been gone for years. Their argument was that he was a "dead beat" spouse and that he had abandoned Penelope and, at any rate, was most probably dead.

 Antinous was the craftiest of the suitors and plied Penelope with costly gifts. 

Then at last — at long last — Odysseus returned in the disguise of a beggar. 

Only his faithful dog recognized him. Penelope did not! 

Antinous did not recognize him either and, thinking he was just a homeless street schizo, attacked him with a chair to drive him off.

Later on, during an archery tournament, Odysseus "accidentally" shot Antinous and killed him.

As with much of the Odyssey and the Iliad, it is hard to tell who the "good guys" are and who the "bad guys" are. Homer's Antinous is not exactly a saint, but he in't really guilty of any crime either.

Penelope is the guilty one. As so often in Greek mythology, the women are treacherous and untrustworthy (just think of Pandora). One small detail which you probably did not learn in school was that Penelope had sex with Homer's Antinous and with ALL the other suitors. 


FLAMEN ANTINOALIS ANTONIUS SUBIA explains:
"And the resulting child from that pan-sexual tryst was born a little monstar with horns and hooves. He was called Pan because he was the son of Antinous and ALL the suitors. Penelope couldn't look at him, so she abandoned him, and he was taken in by Mercury, who absolutely adored the little monster.

"Ah yes, Penelope gave birth to Pan in Mantinea!"

Mantinea/Bithynia is the ancestral homeland of our own Antinous. So the name was of regional origin.

But that is not all because, in actual fact, Homer's Antinous was associated with magic. He was something of a wizard. 

According to legend, Homer's Antinous possessed the fabled Mirror of Vulcan/Hephaestus, which enabled him to peer into the past and the future.

So the name Antinous was always associated with myth and magic, even in ancient times. Hadrian, who was fascinated with all things Greek, would have recognized the association between young Antinous and the ancient Greek myth and magic.

As for the fabled Mirror of Vulcan/Hephaestus — that is the stuff of Antinoian myth and magic for a future blog entry ....

Saturday, May 23, 2020

JAKOB 'ZAUBERJACKL' KOLLER
SHAPE-SHIFTING SORCERER OF SALZBURG


THE early Christians "demonized" Antinous and all other deities. In essence, we are all demon worshipers in the eyes of fundamentalist Christians.

In a perverse reversal of polarities, fanatical seekers of righteousness often become the very force of darkness and evil that they profess to fight. By identifying too strongly with one pole ("Good", "Righteousness") they call into being its opposite pole. They conjure up a "demon." 


We call these demonized individuals "Anti-Saints" ... people who, through no fault of their own, are demonized by self-righteous fanatics because they are outsiders.

The Religion of Antinous has one special "Anti-Saint" ... JAKOB "ZAUBERJACKL" KOLLER, the shape-shifting gay sorcerer of Salzburg. 

In one of the most horrific witch hunts of the 17th Century, 139 youths and pre-adolescent boys were put to death as werewolves and witches ... at the hands of religious fanatics determined to rid Salzburg of demons.

Orphans were common in the aftermath of the 30 Years War, and their begging and thievery became a nuisance to upstanding people of Salzburg, who "demonized" them as the apprentices of evil sorcerers ....

Zauberjackl (Magic Jake) was a 20-year-old man with red hair in the Salzburg area of Austria in the late 17th Century who "fancied the lads" and who had a reputation for hanging out with adolescents and teaching them the black arts.

Growing up in the chaos after the war, he lived on the streets under a cloud of suspicion after his mother (under torture for stealing) told investigators he was a sorcerer skilled in the black arts. But she claimed he was dead ... the authorities heaved a sigh of relief.


Then a few years later, in 1677, routine questioning of a 12-year-old crippled street urchin named Dionysus Feldner spawned a witch hunt.

Whether out of spite or fear or for whatever reason, little Dionysus claimed that the "Zauberer Jackl" (Sorcerer Jake) was very much alive. (Interrogation scene re-enacted in an Austrian TV documentary film about Zauberjackl.)


Dionysus said he had spent the previous three weeks in the company of Zauberjackl, who he claimed was engaged in very active instruction of scores of boys and young men in the arts of black magic.

Dionysus said Zauberjackl had a black cap which made him invisible. He said Zauberjackl could transform himself into a fox, wolf or any other animal at will. 


He said Zauberjackl could conjure up an infestation of mice, rats and other vermin to wipe out the crops and grain storage warehouses of anybody who crossed him.

News of Dionysus's testimony swept Salzburg like wildfire, creating a frenzy of hysteria in a town that was just beginning to recover from the ravages of the 30 Years War. 


Authorities began rounding up every homeless boy and young man for interrogation -- there were a lot of homeless war orphan refugees.

Any adolescent street waif or roustabout lad was immediately suspected of membership in the Zauberjackl gang.

The illustration shows boys and young men being interrogated for witchcraft in Salzburg. 

In particular, those who were physically or mentally disabled were thought to be in league with "demons" -- whose mark they bore on their bodies, if not on their souls.

Under torture, and given leading questions, sobbing boys gave their interrogators the most hair-raising stories of Zauberjackl' s occult exploits.

In all, over the next 15 years, 139 young people were rounded up and executed. Of that total, 113 were males. All but 21 were under age 21. And 39 of them were under the age of 10. One-third were classified as "infirm of mind or body". Most were garrotted and their bodies burned.

The youngest, in a show of mercy, were given a quick death: Rather than slowly strangling to death, they were beheaded and then their bodies were burned.

Zauberjackl himself was never apprehended. There were in fact no reported sightings of him. Ever. People from his village insisted he had died of natural causes years earlier, but the authorities assumed they were under his magical spell.

The fact that nobody had ever seen him only added to the phantom mystique surrounding Zauberjackl.


Those high-minded officials in Salzburg evoked the gay werewolf/wizard demon named Zauberjackl. And in doing so, he got out of their control and took on a life of his own.

This woodcut shows popular methods of executing witches in Salzburg.

 It's unimportant whether a 20-year-old, red-haired guy named Jakob Koller was ever actually a shape-shifting gay wizard who inculcated bad boys with the secrets of the black arts. 

The sad fact is that great evil was carried out and that scores of young lives were lost. The terrible irony is that this evil was done in the name of righteousness and in pursuit of a demonic force.

A demon did indeed stalk the streets of Salzburg in the last quarter of the 17th Century ... it murdered 139 homeless street boys.


Similarly, various horrific demons are still on the loose today, all of them inadvertently evoked by self-righteous people who are grimly convinced they are carrying out the will of Allah or Jesus.

Friday, May 22, 2020

HARVEY MILK, SAINT OF ANTINOUS



ON May 22nd the world honors Harvey Milk ... his birthday (22 May 1930) is commemorated as Harvey Milk Day around the world. 

Champion of the early gay rights movement, in 1977 Harvey Milk became the first openly Gay person to be elected to the Board of Supervisors in San Francisco.

He advocated the liberation of homosexuality for the benefit of society in general, and jokingly claimed to be a gay recruiter. He was instrumental in passing the Gay Civil Rights Bill in San Francisco, which was to be his undoing.

On November 27, of 1978, Milk was murdered City Hall along with Mayor George Moscone by former City Supervisor Danny White who had resigned his office after the enactment of the bill. Dan White was acquitted of murder but sentenced to only seven years on manslaughter charges.

Following his acquittal on May 21st, 1979, riots broke during a demonstration in front of City Hall, and later, 100,000 people marched on Washington in support of Gay Rights chanting "Harvey Milk Lives!" He became the first gay saint and martyr following the movement that began at the Stonewall.

In a tape recording made one year before his assassination, as if in prophecy, Harvey Milk said, "If a bullet should enter my brain, let that bullet destroy every closet door."


For his actions, for his life, for the changes that he effected, and for the love that continues to burn for him in the memory of his gay, lesbian and transgender children, we priests of Antinous recognize and sanctify Harvey Milk as a Heroic Saint and Martyr.

Thursday, May 21, 2020

CASTOR AND POLLUX
TWIN GODS OF HOMOSEXUALITY



TODAY the Sun enters the Sign of Gemini — the sign of the Twins Castor and Pollux, Gods of Homosexuality.  This is the zodiac sign which ushers in a special sacred time in the Religion of Antinous, for this is the time of year when the STAR OF ANTINOUS rises, after having been hidden below the horizon since the Death of Antinous at the end of October.

We honor the Dioscuri who were born as triplets with the beautiful Helen as their sister. The mother of the three was Leda who was seduced by Zeus who came to her in the form of a swan. Leda gave birth to an egg from which emerged Castor, Pollux and Helen.


The photo above shows the Prado's Ildefonso Group, twin statue of Castor and Pollux, with a marble head of Antinous "restored" to the left figure.

The identical brothers were inseparable, and had a deep affection for one another, for which reason they were often worshipped as gods of homosexuality. Helen was constantly being abducted and in  need of rescue, which the brothers were usually successful in accomplishing, however, her beauty was eventually to lead to the Trojan War.


Castor was a skilled horseman, and Pollux was an unconquerable boxer. They took part in the voyage of the Argonauts, and with Orpheus they calmed a storm, for which reason they were worshipped as the protectors of sailors.

Later in the voyage, Castor was killed. Pollux was so overwhelmed that he begged Zeus to accept his life in exchange for his brother's. 


Out of compassion, Zeus immortalized Castor and proclaimed that Pollux would spend half the year in the underworld and half the year in heaven with his brother. 

Together they were placed in the sky as the sign of Gemini.

The Divine Twins miraculously appeared in Rome to announce the victory of the Republic over the allies of the last king by watering their horses in the Fountain of Juturna in the Forum.

Flamen Antonius has this further insight into Castor and Pollux:

"The sacredness of the Twin Gods, with their third twin sister Helen is found in Norse Mythology as the Alcis and as the twins Frey and Skirnir with their third twin sister Freya.

"The symbolism of brotherly love, and of sacrificing one's life for the immortality of a brother is at the heart of the Religion of Antinous, and is an example of the sacrifice that Antinous is said to have committed for the prolongation of the life of Hadrian. The Dioscuri are Antinous and his "rival" Aelius Caesar, and they are also seen in the two brothers of Hadrian's court, Macedo and Statianus Caesernius, who were servants, protectors, confidants, lovers, friends, witnesses and first priests of Antinous.

"The Sacred Star of Antinous rises during the sign of the brothers Castor and Pollux."