Tuesday, October 22, 2019

SOME MODERN ANTINOUS WORSHIPERS
PURCHASE NEWSPAPER DEATH NOTICES



LATE October is the time of the Sacred Nights of Antinous ... culminating with the death and deification of Antinous.

In the modern religion of Antinous, we commemorate the Death of Antinous on 28 October ... but many scholars and Antinous adherents believe 22 October may have been the date.

Some faithful worshipers purchase obituary death notices in newspapers on the anniversary, such as the one above.

The death notice at the left was published in the Camden New Journal on 17 October 2013.

The exact date is uncertain. 

All we know for certain is that his death occurred in the final week of October during a visit to Egypt with Emperor Hadrian in the year 130 AD. 

Near the Egyptian village of Hir-wer, Antinous fell into the Nile and drowned. Antonius Subia says:

"Antinous fell into the Nile, beneath the swirling waves, but when his body was pulled from the water ... a God emerged. Antinous is our God, he has accomplished the salvation of all lovers of his beauty. His is our salvation. He is Antinous the Gay God. He is the last pagan God of Classical Rome."

Monday, October 21, 2019

SUNRAYS ILLUMINATE INNER SANCTUARY
OF ABU SIMBEL AT DAWN OCTOBER 22nd



FOR most of the year, the inner sanctum of the main temple at Abu Simbel is shrouded in darkness.

On two days, traditionally the anniversary of the birthday and coronation of pharaoh Ramses II, a shaft of sunlight pierces the gloom, illuminating statues of gods and the king in the temple's inner sanctum.

On February 22, a day celebrating the king's birthday and again on October 22, a day celebrating his coronation, sunlight illuminates seated statues of the sun gods Re-Horakhte and Amon-Re, as well as a statue of king Ramses II. The statues sit in the company of the Theban god of darkness, Ptah (who remains in the shadows all year).

The spectacle—which has endured more than 3,200 years of Egyptian history—draws thousands of tourists to Abu Simbel to watch this ancient tribute to a pharaoh whose name is still known up and down the Nile Valley for his military exploits and monumental building projects.

Ramses, who ruled Egypt for 66 years from 1270 to 1213 BC (about 50 years after the death of Tutankhamen, better known as King Tut) made a name for himself by battling the Hittites and the Syrians, Egypt's enemies to the north.

To celebrate his victories, Ramses erected monuments up and down the Nile with records of his achievements. He completed the hypostyle hall at Karnak (Thebes), and completed the funerary temple of his father, Seti I, at Luxor on the West Bank of the Nile.

The main temple at Abu Simbel, which Ramses ordered built near the border of Nubia and Upper Egypt, was dedicated to two sun gods, Amen-Re and Re-Horakhte. 

Standing 100 feet (33 meters) tall, the temple was carved into an already-standing sandstone mountain on the banks of the Nile.

Four colossal statues of Ramses, each 66 feet (22 meters) high, guard the entrance to the temple.

Rising to the pharaoh's knees are smaller statues of family members: his mother; favorite wife, Nefertari; and son, Prince Amonherkhepshef.

Inside the temple, three connected halls extend 185 feet (56 meters) into the mountain. 

Images of the king's life and many achievements adorn the walls. 

A second temple at Abu Simbel is dedicated to Nefartari, who appears to have been Ramses' favorite wife.

"Abu Simbel was one of, if not the largest, rock-cut temples in Egypt," says Bruce Williams of the Oriental Institute of Chicago, "The rock was sacred because the Egyptians believed the deity was living inside the mountain."

Rock-cut temples may have been especially significant in ancient Egypt because the bulge in the otherwise flat land may have signified the location where the gods emerged from the Earth, says Williams.

Sunday, October 20, 2019

BIGGEST MUMMY CACHE IN 100 YEARS
DISCOVERED NEAR HATSHEPSUT TEMPLE



A rare trove of 30 ancient wooden coffins that have been well-preserved over millennia have been found in Egypt, in the archaeologically rich Valley of the Kings in Luxor. 

The antiquities ministry officially unveiled the discovery made at Asasif, a necropolis on the west bank of the River Nile, against the backdrop of the Hatshepsut Temple.

It is the biggest find of its kind in more than a century. 

The 30 ornately decorated coffins of men, women and children were found only three ft underground, stacked in two rows. They are believed to belong to family members of high priests. 
























Saturday, October 19, 2019

SAINT DIVINE
HARRIS GLENN MILSTEAD


ON October 19th we honor Saint Divine (October 19, 1945 — March 7, 1988), born Harris Glenn Milstead. 

Divine was an openly gay American actor, singer and drag queen.

Described by People magazine as the "Drag Queen of the Century," Divine often performed female roles in both cinema and theater and also appeared in women's wear in musical performances.

Even so, he considered himself to be a character actor and performed male roles in a number of his later films.

He was most often associated with independent filmmaker John Waters and starred in ten of Waters's films, usually in a leading role.

Concurrent with his acting career, he also had a successful career as  a disco singer during the 1980s, at one point being described as "the  most successful and in-demand disco performer in the world."

Divine, the seventh-of-a-ton transvestite star of Mr. Waters's early movies, helped set a new standard for drag that endured long after Divine's death of heart failure in 1988, Mr. Waters said.

"When we started in those days, drag queens were square," Mr. Waters explained. "They hated Divine: they wanted to be Bess Myerson. And Divine would show up in a see-through miniskirt with a chainsaw instead of a pocketbook."

The Divine look, which stylist Van Smith first created in 1972 for Pink Flamingos, had three components. First was the hair, shaved back to the crown to allow more room for eye makeup.

Second was the makeup, acres of eye shadow topped by McDonald's-arch eyebrows; lashes so long they preceded the wearer; and a huge scarlet mouth. Third were the clothes: shimmering, skintight numbers that gave Divine a larger-than-life female sensuality.

The net effect, as Mr. Smith ordained it, was a cross between Jayne Mansfield and Clarabell the Clown.

"If you look at anything that Divine wore, you sure couldn't find that off the rack," Mr. Waters said.

All of Divine's costumes were constructed by a Baltimore woman who made outfits for strippers. Subtle they were not. There was the red fishtail dress from Pink Flamingos, in which Divine looks equal parts mermaid, Valkyrie and firetruck. And there was the sheer wedding gown she wears in Female Trouble (1974), underwear not included.

Divine once famously said that if anybody was shocked by a 300-pound drag queen in a slinky cocktail dress "then maybe they need to be shocked." He himself would describe his stage performances as "just good, dirty fun, and if you find it offensive, honey, don't join in."

As a part of his performance, he would constantly swear at the audience, often using his signature line of "fuck you very much", and at times would get audience members to come onstage, where he would fondle their buttocks, groins and breasts.

He became increasingly known for outlandish stunts onstage, each time trying to outdo what he had done before. At one performance, held in the Hippodrome in London, that coincided with American Independence Day, Divine rose up from the floor on a hydraulic lift, draped in the American flag, and declared that "I'm here representing Freedom, Liberty, Family Values and the fucking American Way of Life."

When he performed at London Gay Pride parade, he sang on the roof of a hired pleasure boat that floated down the Thames passed Jubilee Gardens, whilst at a performance he gave at the Hippodrome in the last year of his life, he appeared onstage riding an infant elephant, known as Bully the Elephant, who had been hired for the occasion.

Divine and his stage act proved particularly popular amongst gay audiences, and he appeared at some of the world's biggest gay clubs, such as Heaven in London. According to Divine's manager, Bernard Jay, this was "not because Divine happened to be a gay person himself... but because it was the gay community that openly and proudly identified with the determination of the female character Divine."

He was also described as "one of the few truly radical and essential artists of the century ... who was an audacious symbol of man's quest for liberty and freedom."

On the evening of March 7, 1988, a week after his starring role in "Hairspray" was released, Divine was staying at the Regency Hotel in Los Angeles. The next day, he auditioned for a part in the Fox network's television series "Married ... With Children". After dining with friends and returning to the hotel, he died in his sleep of an enlarged heart at age 42.

Friday, October 18, 2019

THE FESTIVAL OF CERNUNNOS



THE 18th of October is the Festival of The Horned God, known to us as Herne or Cernunnos. 

He is the protector of wild places and the spirits and creatures that inhabit them. He is the Lord of the Hunt, the mightiest of hunters and yet also he personifies the power of the stag, the subject of the hunt. 

He leads himself and us on a merry dance over hills and through the woods.

In his oldest guises he is Pan, and the dancing shaman wearing the skin and antlers of the stag. We honor Antinous-Cernunnos as a form of Pan.

EL SANTO NIÑO FIDENCIO


ON October 18th  we honor a gay man who is adored as a saint by millions of people in Mexico.

El Niño Fidencio, Saint of Antinous, was a Mexican "curandero" (male witch healer or shaman) in the 1920s and '30s who is regarded as a saint by his modern-day followers (although he is not recognized by the Catholic Church) and who depicted himself in drag as the Virgin Mary.

His millions of believers point to the fact that he has been credited with innumerable healings and other miracles. He is credited with saving countless lives and with curing incrable ailments.

His millions of believers also point to the numerological phenomenon that he was born on October 18, 1898, and he died on October 19, 1938.

The story of El Niño Fidencio also has many parallels to the story of the Magnificent Religion of Antinous.

Like ANTINOUS THE GAY GOD after deification on the banks of the Nile, El Niño Fidencio was a winsome young man beloved by all who worked miracles along the banks of a great river (Rio Grande) flowing through the barren wasteland of a desert between two lands, the US and Mexico.

The Nile divided the Land of the Living from the Land of the Dead,  the Rio Grande divides (or joins) two culturally merging societies.

The Ancients believed Antinous worked miracles in the lives of his faithful followers. Antinous healed the sick, he granted people love and prosperity, he shielded them from peril.

Historian Royston Lambert's book Beloved and God: The Story of Hadrian and Antinous devotes a full chapter to the Religion of Antinous and mentions the miracles he was able to bring forth.

The oracle priests of Antinous could intercede with the God, or followers could appeal directly to Antinous:

"There is evidence of oracles at Tarsos and perhaps at Rome itself," Lambert writes. "No doubt it was through these pronouncements and visitations that he wrought miracles and healing for which he evidently became famous in the east."

In many areas, people named their children Antinous in the fervent belief that he would watch over and protect their offspring all their lives.

There is the well-documented case of a man named Serapamon who lived in Antinoopolis in the 3rd Century and who called on the priests of Antinous for a love spell to attract a certain woman named Ptolemais. Clearly, his followers truly believed he could work miracles for those who believed in him.

Lambert points out: "The frequent use of his medals as talismans or amulets demonstrates demonstrates a widespread faith in his powers in Greece, Asia Minor and Egypt."

Lambert makes it clear that, for early followers of Antinous, there was no doubt in their hearts or minds that he could work miracles — and did so on an everyday basis.

"Indeed," Lambert goes on to state, "the popular vigour and genuine conviction of the 'belief' in Antinous were widespread and persistent enough to provoke the scorn of some sophisticated pagans and the anxious and unremitting indignation of most Christian apologists for two and a half centuries to come."

We should remember the heart-felt faith of the early followers of Antinous, who knew Him to be their salvation. We should remember their undying faith when we honor El Niño Fidencio in the face of the "anxious and unremitting indignation" of Catholic clerics to this day.

Thursday, October 17, 2019

INSCRIPTION SUGGESTS VESUVIUS
ERUPTED IN OCTOBER, NOT AUGUST



AUGUST 24th (or alternatively October 24th) generally has been accepted as the date of the eruption of Vesuvius in 79 AD ... until now.

Now, graffiti written in charcoal has been uncovered which bears the date October 17th ... proving that Pompeiians were alive and well two months after the supposed destruction of the city. This discovery lends credence to the alternative date of October 24th in the year 79 AD.

Translated, it says: "On October 17th, he over-indulged in food ...."

Italy's culture minister labelled it "an extraordinary discovery."

The August 24th date was based on ancient writings that purported to share first-hand accounts.

They came from Pliny the Younger, an elite lawyer and author of ancient Rome, who wrote about the death of his even more famous uncle, Pliny the Elder.

"On the 24th of August, about one in the afternoon, my mother desired him to observe a cloud..." he wrote in a letter to Tacitus, a Roman senator and historian, about the events of that day."

Pliny wrote this eye-witness account to his friend Tacitus:

"... Behind us were frightening dark clouds, rent by lightning twisted and hurled, opening to reveal huge figures of flame. These were like lightning, but bigger .... It wasn't long  thereafter that the cloud stretched down to the ground and covered the sea ... Now came the ash, though still thinly. I look back: a dense cloud looms behind us, following us like a flood poured across the land .... 

"Someone said: 'Let us turn aside while we can still see, lest we be knocked over in the street and crushed by the crowd of our companions.' We had scarcely sat down when a darkness came that was not like a moonless or cloudy night, but more like the black of closed and unlighted rooms. You could hear women lamenting, children crying, men shouting. 

"Some were calling for parents, others for children or spouses; they could only recognize them by their voices. Some bemoaned their own lot, other that of their near and dear. There were some so afraid of death that they prayed for death. Many raised their hands to the gods, and even more believed that there were no gods any longer and that this was one last unending night for the world."

According to his account, Pliny the Elder was then a fleet commander at Misenum - modern day Miseno - across the bay from Pompeii. He took a ship to stage a rescue for those in danger from the volcano.

But he did not return from the venture.

Pliny the Younger, meanwhile, watched the destruction unfold from the other side of the bay.

"I have faithfully related to you what I was either an eye-witness of myself or received immediately after the accident happened, and before there was time to vary the truth," he wrote.

But the latest discovery calls such certainty into question.