Sunday, January 31, 2016

DEREK JARMAN
SAINT OF ANTINOUS


ON January 31st the Religion of Antinous celebrates the life of Saint Derek Jarman.

St. Derek, born on this day in 1942, created eleven extraordinary feature films ... including "Sebastiane," "Jubilee," "The Tempest," "Caravaggio," "The Last Of England," and "Edward II" ... and over three dozen shorts.

This multi-talented artist is also acclaimed for his painting (several major exhibits), stage and film design (for director Ken Russell and for a glorious Pet Shop Boys concert tour), gay and human rights activism, literature (memoirs, social criticism, poetry), and, on a serene note, his exquisite gardens full of "found" art.

Most gay men have seen Sebastiane which, when it came out more than 30 years ago, was the first British film to feature positive images of gay sexuality, not to mention the first film entirely in Latin.

Edward II raised eyebrows among critics for its upfront depiction of the brutal assassination of England's openly gay monarch by means of rectal assault.


The exquisitely beautiful Caravaggio is Saint Derek's best-known film.

We Antinoians remember Saint Derek for his art and we honor him as well for his boundless courage. His death from AIDS was cruelly slow and agonizing. And yet, as AIDS robbed him of his mobility and even of his eyesight, he turned the tables on Death and Dying by turning Death and Dying into an art form. 


His last feature-length film, Blue, consists of a single shot of saturated blue color filling the screen as Derek talks about his "vision" of life and art. How very typical of Derek Jarman. 

Thumbing his nose at fate right up to the end. A dying man who is blind and yet who talks about his vision.

The light of his eyes faded until all he saw was the darkness where the Night Terrors feed on fear and doubt. And what did Derek do? He turned the darkness into vibrant color. He turned his fear and his worries into artistic energy. The dramatic lighting and brilliant colors of his films were so very dramatic and brilliant because they were always, always set against the inky darkness.

That is why we consecrate Derek Jarman a Saint of Antinous. Just like Saint Caravaggio, also one of our Blessed Saints, Martyrs and Exemplars, his "vision" lay in turning the Darkness into Light and Color. He died February 19, 1994.

Saturday, January 30, 2016

THIS BIOGRAPHY SAYS LIVIA WAS NOT
THE WICKED WITCH OF ANCIENT ROME


MENTION the name Livia, and the image pops to mind of a treacherous and vindictive woman, as beautiful as she was wicked and cruel — a kind of Ancient Roman Disney witch. 

Second wife of the Emperor Augustus and the mother of his successor Tiberius, Livia has been vilified by posterity (most notably by Tacitus and Robert Graves) as the quintessence of the scheming Roman matriarch, poisoning her relatives one by one to smooth her son's path to the imperial throne.

Played by Siân Phillips with viperish glee in the classic BBC TV drama series "I, Claudius", she hissed and writhed through the marble halls of the emperor's palace, leaving corpses in her wake as she ruthlessly intrigued to get her one surviving son, Tiberius, to the Imperial throne — finally even poisoning Augustus himself and forging his will.

Now a new book says Livia was not evil, she was merely a powerful and ambitious woman — and as such, she was damned by male historians. 

Like Egypt's Hatshepsut, Livia MUST have been a wicked and cruel step-mother who would stop at nothing in her own quest for power. Or so it was claimed by male historians from Tacitus to Robert Graves in the 20th Century. 

In recent years, Hatshepsut has been vindicated, most notably by historian Joyce Tyldesley. Dr. Tyldesley says Hatshepsut's name was erased from historical records by male successors who feared a "female pharaoh" was a dangerous precedent — dangerous to male domination.

Now it is Livia's turn to be vindicated in the new historiographical book "Empress of Rome: The Life of Livia" by Matthew Dennison. In this elegant and rigorously researched biography, Dennison rescues the historical Livia from the crudely drawn sexist caricature of the popular imagination.

He depicts a complex, courageous and richly gifted woman whose only true crime was not murder but the exercise of power, and who, in a male-dominated society, had the temerity and chutzpah to create for herself both a prominent public profile and a significant sphere of political influence.

As with the life of Hatshepsut, the challenge facing any biographer of Livia is the lack of recorded facts. To handle this problem, "Empress of Rome" tells her story in a series of thematic chapters in roughly chronological order.

It makes for riveting reading.

All that we can be certain of is that Livia enjoyed a reputation for probity and traditional values. She seems to have taken care not to interfere in politics, although always on hand to give confidential advice to her husband Augustus. And he has gone on record as having valued her advice.

Dennison convincingly demonstrates in his biography of this much put-upon woman that she hardly needed to resort to poisoning anyone in an age when poor hygiene and lack of antibiotics meant that anyone might die at any time. 

Reports of poisoning in the Roman empire tended to coincide with epidemics, unrecognised or misunderstood by the unreliable medical science of the day. 

In some cases Livia was many hundreds of miles away from her putative victims and would have had to hire agents to do the dirty deed for her — an extraordinarily foolhardy risk.

A line of hopeful young noblemen, one after another, was struck down mysteriously. The first was Marcellus, Augustus's nephew, who (probably) died of typhoid fever at the age of 20.

The whisper spread that Livia had administered poison. Similar rumours blamed her for the deaths of her younger son Drusus, the emperor's grandsons Gaius and Lucius Caesar, and even Augustus himself (supposedly she smeared figs on his favourite tree with venom).

Her alleged motive was love for her eldest boy Tiberius, in whose interest she meant to eliminate all competitors for the imperial succession. She was a Claudian and wanted to ensure a Claudian dynasty, or so the story goes.

The idea of Livia as serial killer was given new life by Robert Graves in his historical novel "I, Claudius", and she reached a mass audience in the television series of the book, memorably interpreted by Siân Phillips.

Where did Graves get his Livia? The key figure is Tacitus, a Roman historian whose "The Annals Of Ancient Rome" is one of the great masterpieces of historical literature.

Tacitus disliked Livia. In fact he loathed her. Writing slightly more than a century after Livia's heyday, he never directly accused the empress of mass murder but slyly insinuated it with a nudge and a wink. Graves simply fleshed out those insinuations in his historical novel — historical fiction which readers accepted as historical fact.

But Dennison points out that at least two historians of the Roman Empire, who were actually writing at the time, made very few criticisms of Livia.

Born in about 58 BC, she came from an upper-class Roman family living under a strict moral code, which was even stricter for women.

They wove a lot. They looked after the household and the education of their children. A contemporary wrote that an ideal wife "can relax with her husband and he can confide all his secrets to her since it is like confiding in himself".

That explains the genuinely close relationship between Liva and Augustus.

This doesn't change the fact that she was a Claudian and family dynasties were what really mattered. Octavian Caesar (who became Augustus) married into Livia's Claudian family because it gave him more power. She conveniently left her husband to marry Augustus because he was rich and powerful.

The problem for Livia was that Augustus wanted to create, in essence, a hereditary monarchy. That would exclude her sons by Claudius Nero, and she could have none by Octavian (now dubbed Augustus). 

That meant the end of the line for the Claudians. 

The rivals who stood in her way went down like ninepins, although not necessarily by Livia's hand. 

Marcellus, Augustus's nephew and the first to go, could well have died of typhoid, says Dennison.

Augustus's daughter Julia was exiled to a rocky islet off the Italian coast after Livia fed the puritanical Augustus stories of her wanton immorality. No proof, says the author.

Lucius and Gaius Caesar, grandsons of Augustus, dying abroad mysteriously? Tacitus suggests Livia's "secret hand" but no other historians mention the rumor.

Postumus, another grandchild of Augustus, murdered, while unarmed, by an unknown hand on the islet to which his mother Julia had been exiled? The identity of the killer is still open to debate, we are told.

However, there is little question about the death of Augustus himself. It is a near contemporary historian who records Livia smearing poison on some figs and offering them to him with her own hand.

And there is no question that Livia, skilled in "medicinal potions", lived to be nearly 90 years old — more than twice the average life span. And she did indeed ensure that the Claudians remained in power through Tiberius, Caligula, Claudius and Nero.

And, of course, it was her grandson Claudius who proclaimed her an immortal goddess, thus absolving her of all earthly misdeeds — whether factual or only fictional.

Friday, January 29, 2016

ANTONIUS SUBIA ON THE DISCOVERY
OF THE STAR OF ANTINOUS



MAY the Light of the New Star of Antinous shine into all our hearts and illuminate our souls!

We are still trying to figure out exactly what took place in the sky and when, and why it was so important that it confirmed the deification of Antinous, whether it was a comet or a new star, a Nova in what is now the constellation of Aquila.  I lean towards the Nova possibility, because of the use of term "new star" by Dio Cassius, with no reference to a comet, or "long-haired" star...and also because some of the most dramatic known Novas have been located in the constellation Aquila, such as the Nova Aql of 1918

Two major novae have been observed in Aquila: the first one was in 389 BC and was recorded as being as bright as Venus; the other (Nova Aquilae 1918) briefly shone brighter than Altair, the brightest star in Aquila.

So it is possible that there was a Nova in the year 131...and by the way, our previous estimate of year 132 is most likely wrong...the year 131 would have been only a few months after Antinous died...and if this is so, then the appearance of the new star would have occurred about six months before the miraculous inundation of the Nile the following summer.  I've always wondered about the timing issue, whether or not the constellation Aquila was actually visible in the sky at the time of year...but it seems that it is, for about one hour before sunrise.  This is called a Heliacal rising, when the first appears above the horizon just before sunrise, and then on each succeeding night seems to rise higher and higher every night thereafter.  This is what they mean by the Rise of the Dog Star, which signaled the beginning of the Egyptian calendar and which signaled the annual flooding of the Nile.  The star Sirius and Altair (which is the brightest star in the constellation Aquila, the star traditionally located right above Antinous's head) are on almost exactly opposite of the night sky...yet strangely enough, they are the two brightest stars in relatively close proximity to our Sun, part of the local group.

As an argument for the comet:  It was the Chinese who recorded what is said to have been a comet on January 29th 131.  It is known that from the point of vie of China the tail of a comet might be visible, but in Europe, the the tail might be hidden...not sure if I understand why, but this is what I've read, so it may be that from Hadrian's point of view, for the brief hour or so before sunrise, all they saw was a single point of new light in the sky.  I'm still not sure what I think about this...and also...I keep thinking that I recall reading in Beloved and God a brief mention by Royston Lambert that there had been a comet in the sky in the year 130 which had given rise to foreboding prophesies...but I keep trying to find this reference and come up with nothing...if any of you can take another look at Beloved and God and find this reference, I would be much ingratiated.  And then there is the reference that in the year before Antinous died, that a Phoenix had been seen in Egypt, perhaps another allusion to a comet.  If a comet did in fact occur in the months before Antinous died then it would indeed perhaps confirm the Chinese reports, though the dates would disagree but the ancients were terrible about recording dates so there is ever possibility that some confusion might have taken place.  A comet before his death and a new star (nova) afterward would however be a significant narrative of spiritual significance.

The Star of Antinous was the proof that Antinous had indeed arisen to the heavenly sphere...that he had taken his place among the immortal gods...more than anything else..it was what all the disbelievers would have required to recognize that Antinous was more than just Hadrian's little pretty boy.  It would have needed to be a very significant new star in order to make an impact upon the general populace...it would have needed to be an obvious sign in the sky that even an untrained astrologer could look up and seen for themselves..it would have needed to be as bright as Altair...there were a great many people all over the empire who were familiar with the stars...sailors and temple soothsayers...all of whom would have had enough familiarity with the constellations to know if a new star had actually appeared in the night sky for the first time.  If there really had appeared a new star for the first time, as Dio Cassius skeptically reports, then the "experts" would have noticed it, and would have confirmed the official reports from Hadrian's court that Antinous had arisen to godliness...and the word of their confirmation would have spread, dispelling whatever  doubts the general, uninformed populace might have felt when the Edict of Deification was announced.

The Star of Antinous was the most significant event in the formation of our religion...this is what separates Antinous from other gay demi-gods such as Achilles and Hephaestion...they were deified in the same way and for similar reasons as Antinous, but their cults never assumed world-wide importance or longevity...they never crossed the line from heroism to godliness...for one basic reason...because there was no cosmic confirmation to solidify their deification.  I just read a Spanish book about Antinous by De La Maza written in 1969 which emphatically states that the New Star of Antinous was the most important event that elevated Antinous to the immortal state that we recognize him to hold to this day.

The Star of Antinous represents the spirit of Antinous within our heart...the Fire of Homotheosis...this is what I feel when I consider the star of Antinous shining inside of me.

May my light shine upon you all,
May your light shine upon me.

~Antonius Nicius Subia
Flamen Antinoalis

THE DISCOVERY
OF THE STAR OF ANTINOUS



ON January 29th in the year 131 AD a new star appeared in the constellation Aquila, the Eagle.

The court astrologers declared that it was Antinous taking his place in the heavens. Hadrian ordered them to draw a new constellation embraced by the Eagle, and called it ANTINOUS.

Our Flamen Antinoalis Antonius explains:

"The Roman historian Dio Cassius was skeptical that a new star had appeared in the sky, but simultaneously, the leader of the Jewish revolt named Bar Kochba, which means 'Son of the Star,' was declared the Messiah because a celestial event had proclaimed him the savior of Israel. The mystery of the star is real, a celestial even of great magnitude occurred shortly after the death of Antinous within the constellation of the Eagle for the New God.

"The three sacred stars of the constellation Aquila, named Tarzad, Altair and Alshain, rise above the horizon just after dark on this night and are an allegory of the assumption of Ganymede into heaven. This date is suggested by Chinese Novae observations which have been dated as occurring on the 29th of January 131 AD, and are compared to the Star or Comet of Antinous."

Thursday, January 28, 2016

NOW THIS IS THE PROPER WAY
TO MAKE NUDES PALATABLE TO PRUDES


IN Italy there is outrage over the government's desperate attempt to prevent embarrassment for the visiting president of Iran by HIDING NUDE STATUES at the Capitoline Museum.

We suggest that next time they should dress the statues in modern street clothes.

French photographer Léo Caillard and art director Alexis Persani have created a tongue-in-cheek photo series that depicts ancient Louvre’s sculptures wearing modern day clothing. 

With the power of a camera and photoshop, these guys show how hilarious two worlds of old and new look combined. 

They call the series STREET STONE and the incident in Rome shows how timely it is.

We wonder what the sculptors would think if they saw their creations donning hipster chic clothing and accessories. We'd say either rolling in their graves or laughing hysterically. 

It's actually quite amazing how the addition of the clothing instantly gives these guys and girls a personality very separate from the one they had before. 

They gain a bit of edge mixed with some androgynous sex appeal. 

This idea could spawn an entire new clothing line. Stone Stylings: Extremely uncomfortable clothing for those who don't move.


Wednesday, January 27, 2016

THE MEN WITH THE PINK TRIANGLES
VICTIMS OF THE GAY HOLOCAUST



IN Nazi Germany, on January 28th, 1935, the Ministry of Justice revived and amended "Paragraph 175", the old Prussian statute created in 1871 that made Homosexuality a crime punishable by imprisonment. 

The law was increased in severity and became the legal basis for the systematic persecution of male Homosexuals. 

The Nazis believed that homosexuality endangered to the purity of the German people, that gay men corrupted the youth, preventing them from living normal married lives, and were therefore a threat to the race. 

Homosexuality was denounced as an unnatural lust, and accused of being intrinsically Un-German, a disease imported by Jews and supported by Communists, the enemy of the Aryan People. 

Imprisonment and sterilization were the initial penalties, but Heinrich Himmler revealed his true design when he said that the "extermination of degenerates" was in keeping with ancient Nordic principles (an interesting idea considering that many of the Dying-Boy-Gods, to whom we compare Antinous, were killed as ritual human sacrifices.) 

Men were arrested and sent to the concentration camps by the tens of thousands. 

They were distinguished by the sign of the pink triangle, and subjected to extreme conditions of abuse. 

The Men of the Pink Triangle were beaten regularly, subjected to hard labor, deprived of food and exposed to the elements. 

They were abused by the Nazi guards and by other prisoners alike because everyone considered homosexuality the lowest of low, a sin and an aberration, even the homosexuals themselves. 

An estimated 60,000 men were legally sentenced under "Paragraph 175," nearly all of them died, and this number only includes those documented in Germany. The number of unrecorded homosexuals, and those outside of German is impossible to know, but may be twice as many. 

The Men of the Pink Triangle were so successfully persecuted that even after the Nazi defeat, Paragraph 175 remained law, and many gay inmates were sent to regular prison to complete their sentences. It was not until 1969 that the law was finally repealed. 

We sorrowfully remember the legions of Men of the Pink Triangle who died cruel and vicious deaths under the Nazis. 

We remember the evil that was perpetrated with the blessing of "Paragraph 175." 

These men are our Martyrs, our Holocaust, our Guardian Saints, they suffered so that we would be Free.

We will never forget their painful and miserable deaths, and we pray to Antinous the God of Homosexuality, to watch over their immortal souls and give them rest. On this day we remember the horrors that were raised against us through the Amendment of "Paragraph 175."

NAKED VENUS HIDDEN BEHIND SCREEN
TO AVOID OFFENDING IRANIAN LEADER



ITALY covered up marble statues of nude Roman goddesses in order to spare the blushes of the visiting president of Iran, who is on a visit to Europe to rebuild relations with the West after the recent deal on restricting its nuclear ambitions lifted years of economic sanctions.

With Italian businesses signing deals worth around 17 billion euros with Iranian companies, much was at stake and Rome was anxious not to offend the sensibilities of Hassan Rouhani.

But the decision to encase the statues of Venus from the 2nd century BC and other female figures from antiquity prompted outrage from some commentators and politicians.

The act of self-censorship took place at the Capitoline Museums, one of Rome’s richest repositories of classical art, which the president visited with Matteo Renzi, the prime minister.

The offending statues lined a corridor along which the Iranian delegation passed before holding a press conference.

The president’s aides were also reportedly anxious that he not be photographed too close to a giant bronze statue of the Roman emperor Marcus Aurelius on horseback.

The Iranians objected to what one Italian newspaper delicately described as "the attributes" or genitalia of the huge horse, which dates from the 2nd Century AD.

At the function, wine was not served ... again in deference to Iranian sensibilities.

"Italy bowing down to the Iranians like this is embarrassing," said Daniele Capezzone, a centre-Right MP and a former spokesman for Silvio Berlusconi's party, Forza Italia.

Covering up the statues added "a touch of the ridiculous" to the state visit, he said.

"Is Italy reduced to this? And to not serve wine, again so as not to 'offend'?" he asked.

The French have been less accommodating, at least on the issue of serving wine.After the Italy leg of his tour, president Rouhani will fly to Paris.

During planning for the trip in November, the Iranians asked that wine not be served at the Elysee Palace.

The request was reportedly rejected by French officials, who viewed the whole stand-off as "ridiculous", according to Le Monde.

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

HIJRAS GET OFF THE STREETS
AND GET BEHIND THE WHEEL AS CABBIES



INDIA's first radio taxi service for the LGBTIQ community has been launched in spite of anti-gay laws and homophobic prejudice.

Wings Travel, along with Humsafar Trust, a Mumbai-based NGO that works to promote the rights of India's gay community, launched the pilot phase of the Wings Rainbow initiative by enrolling Chauhan and four others.

They hope to expand to at least 1,500 taxis in Mumbai (formerly Bombay) by the end of this year.

The service, to be called Wings Rainbow, may then be expanded nationwide.

"The LGBT community, especially hijras or transgenders, have very few economic opportunities because of the huge stigma that they still face," said Pallav Patankar, director of programmes at Humsafar Trust in Mumbai.

"We hope that this will set the ball rolling and that it will open up other such opportunities for them."

India’s Supreme Court recognized transgender as a legal third gender in April 2014 and, in a landmark judgement lauded by human rights groups, called on the government to ensure their equal treatment.

Despite this, sexual minorities ... especially hijra transgender people who are more visible ... have been driven to the fringes of society into begging and sex work, and face discrimination in jobs and basic services such as health and education.

"When you see a transgender or a gay person driving a cab in Mumbai, the other transgenders who are begging on the streets will definitely want to be a part of this change," said Ganesh Somwanshi, project director for Wings Rainbow.

Cab driver Sanjeevani Chauhan (seen here smiling in red sari and jaunty cap) used to be a street sex worker.

"There are so many of us who are in the sex trade or begging on the streets," Chauhan, who has been working as a counselor for Humsafar for nearly three years, told Al Jazeera.

"Working as a cab driver will not only give us a job and security but also a different kind of respect and acceptance within the society," Sanjeevani said.

According to government figures, there are 2.5 million gays in India.

In 2013 the Supreme Court of India shocked the world by re-criminalising homosexuality after previously throwing out a colonial era law that banned homosexuality in 2009.

Monday, January 25, 2016

BERLIN OPENS SHELTER FOR LGBT REFUGEES
FACING ABUSE FROM HOMOPHOBE REFUGEES



THE city of Berlin is opening a shelter for LGBTIQ asylum seekers who face verbal and physical attack from homophobic refugees at other shelters.

Between 100 and 120 gay, lesbian and transgender refugees will be given accommodations at the shelter, the location of which is being kept a secret for now pending signing of a lease and to avert protests from neighboring property owners.

Berlin has an estimated 3,500 GLBT refugees, according to Marcel de Groot of the Berlin Gay Counseling Center. 

"We are convinced that this shelter is vitally needed," he says. 

Currently, identifiably gay refugees are housed in a refugee center for people such as single mothers who have special needs and who should not be grouped together in dormitories with men.

Gay groups have registered complaints from GLBT refugees of verbal and physical abuse not only from other refugees, but also from security personnel and interpreters at the shelters.

Germany has taken in more refugees than any other European country since the mass exodus of people fleeing war-torn Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan and other countries began.

More than a million refugees flooded into Germany in 2015.

Berlin is the first city to designate a shelter for gays only, but other regions are expected to follow.

Gay university students in Leipzig announced plans last week to provide shelter to GLBT refugees. Leipzig is a city where Nazi thugs have staged weekly torchlight processions to protest against the influx of "swarthy swine" as they call refugees from Syria, Afghanistan and other war-torn regions.

Spearheading the campaign is Leipzig University journalism student Tarek Hassan.

The Queer Refugees Network in Leipzig aims to provide support for gay and trans refugees who suffer abuse at the hands of other asylum seekers at refugee centers in Germany.

In some cases, refugees whose sexuality is not demonstrably straight are attacked, sexually groped and physically abused by homophobic refugees.

"The refugee center staff are ill prepared for these situations and often play down their significance, which only makes matters worse," says Tarek.

The Queer Refugees Network helps raise the consciousness of center staffers to the problems, and also helps to find off-site housing for gay refugees.

"But our first objective is to offer an ear and a shoulder to cry on for LGBTIQ refugees who find themselves in a strange land," Tarek explains.

Germany has had an influx of one million refugees from war-torn Syria and the Mideast over the past 12 months and an undetermined number of those refugees are LGBTIQ asylum seekers fleeing persecution and death in their homelands.

Organizations in Germany have ISSUED AN APPEAL for Germans to open their homes to gay Syrian refugees who face discrimination from other refugees ... and death threats from radical Islamic militants.

Gay Syrians arriving at refugee camps in Germany say they have been subjected to verbal and even physical attacks from other refugees during the long trek from their war-torn homeland.

While the news cameras focus on families with small children, most of the refugees are in fact young adult males ... and between 5 and 10 per cent are gay or bisexual, according to German LGBT groups reaching out to gay refugees.

In Syria, they faced the threat of death by DAESH Islamic State barbarians who have executed scores of gay men ... throwing them from tall buildings and stoning them to death if they survive the fall.

But even after they arrive safely in Germany, gays and lesbians are the victims of homophobia, according to German LGBT groups.

German television reports that DAESH militants have infiltrated some refugee camps.

"They shout Koran verses all night and scream that they will kill anyone who stands in their way," a Syrian refugee told ARD television. "A friend of mine was beheaded in Syria, so I am scared out of my wits."

Even less militant refugees are hostile towards LGBT refugees in their midst.

"Right now we are handling the case of a man who is in a refugee camp in Magdeburg in eastern Germany who says he fears for his life," says Mathias Fangohr, head of the Magdeburg Pride Organization.

"He is terrified that if other camp residents find out he is gay he will end up dead," Fangohr says. 

"He is totally traumatized from the ordeal he has gone through and is desperate for help," he adds.

The situation is compounded by the fact that many of the support groups are homophobic.

"We have trouble finding Arabic interpreters because many of them refuse to interpret for gays, whom they consider to be filth," he adds. "They won't even mention the word for homosexual in Arabic because it is dirty."

A Berlin group has issued an appeal for gays in the German capital to open their homes to LGBT refugees so that they can avoid homophobic taunts and humiliation at refugee camps.

The group has also launched a program for teaching LGBT refugees language skills and job skills to help them get on their feet in Germany.

With a falling birth rate and declining population, Germany has welcomed the refugees not only on humanitarian grounds ... but also as a boost to immigration.

Sunday, January 24, 2016

THE BIRTH OF HADRIAN


ON January 24th the Religion of Antinous celebrates the Birth of the Divine Hadrian.

Publius Aelius Hadrianus was born on this day either in Italica, Spain, or else in Rome, in the year 76.

His father was Publius Aelius Afer, his mother was Domitia Paulina. His uncle was the Emperor Trajan who had been adopted by Nerva.

Trajan employed Hadrian as a general in his conquests across the Danube, where Hadrian proved his military prowess, and gained the love and devotion of the Legions.

It is said that the relationship between Hadrian and his uncle was strained, and they are even known to have quarreled over beautiful boys. But Hadrian was very close to the Emperess Plotina, whose intellectual depth he preferred to the military harshness of Trajan.

During the unsuccessful campaign against the Parthians, in modern day Iraq, Trajan suddenly fell ill and died. Plotina is said to have insured that Hadrian be his successor, allegedly even forging the documents of adoption.

The New Emperor Hadrian inherited the largest Empire that the world had ever known, the borders of Rome had reached their greatest extent.

Hadrian is the Father of the Antonines, the bringer of the Golden age of Rome. He put an end military expansion of the Empire and turned instead to improving the interior.

He is the prime deity of the imperial cult as recognized by the Religion of Anti
nous. He is the representative of Zeus on Earth, emblem of the ruler of the cosmos, the great eagle. Hadrian is the leader of the Archons, the bringer of order out of chaos, founder of our religion.

He is the divine lover of Antinous, our model and God.

Saturday, January 23, 2016

UPSIDE-DOWN COLORADO BACCHUS
DEPICTS DESTRUCTION OF SCULPTURES


A four-meter statue of Bacchus, the Roman god of wine and intoxication, flipped on its head and splattered with acrylic paint, is being installed outside the Museum of Contemporary Art in Boulder, Colorado.

The sculpture, by Denver artist Dmitri Obergfell, is titled "Go Home Bacchus, You're Drunk" and will stand for one year.

The space has been host since 2003 to a wooden sculpture by Jerry Wingren, which will be returned to the artist when the new piece is installed.

Obergfell said his upside-down Bacchus ... made from fiberglass-reinforced concrete ... is about political symbolism of toppled statues.

The sculpture installation coincides with rampant destruction of sculpture and architecture by DAESH Islamic State hooligans.

"I really wanted to do something that was just sort of a splash of paint, but I didn't want to put any political slogans or anything like that, because I'm more interested in the toppling," he said. "I really want people to consider these sorts of gestures."

Obergfell's work is the first in a series of temporary outdoor sculptures that BMoCA intends to roll out in coming years.

"It's work that we're putting into the conversation in a more outward, forward-facing way than we do with our exhibitions housed inside the museum," curator Mardee Goff said.

"This is a more direct line to the public. We're looking forward to sparking a new dialogue about works of art in communal, public arenas."

The Bacchus statue will be sprayed with paint from a fire extinguisher, Obergfell said. While that may give some passersby the impression that graffiti from the public is encouraged, it's not, Goff said.

But that's not say that viewers can't interact with the piece in other ways.

"The whole idea," Goff added, "is to open up a dialogue that welcomes responsible criticism, and to foster an active public discourse around this. You may not like what is presented. You may love it."

After its one-year term, the sculpture will be sent to the Rocky Mountain College of Art and Design ... Obergfell attended the school 10 years ago ... for permanent display.

Friday, January 22, 2016

HEATH LEDGER
SAINT OF ANTINOUS


ON January 22nd the religion of Antinous commemorates the brief, shining life of Saint Heath Ledger, the gifted actor whose on-screen portrayals inspired millions of gay people and whose off-screen life paralleled so many more. Not gay himself, Saint Heath nonetheless is a gay icon, like Saint Judy Garland and others.

Saint Heath died on this day in 2008 under mysterious circumstances after taking anti-depressants and sleeping pills at the age of 28.


His body was found lying across the bed of his Manhattan apartment. The manner of his death bore eery parallels to the death of English  singer/songwriter Nick Drake, who is also a Saint of Antinous.

Best known for his Oscar-nominated role as a gay cowpoke in "Brokeback Mountain", the acclaimed Australian-born actor also played The Joker in the blockbuster "The Dark Knight", for which role he posthumously was awarded a Golden Globe Award for best supporting actor. On the first anniversary of his death, he posthumously won an Academy Award as best supporting actor for his role as the psychopathic criminal mastermind The Joker.

No one will ever know why Saint Heath overdosed on anti-depressants, as had his idol Nick Drake. No one will ever know why Saint River Phoenix took a fatal cocktail of booze and alcohol, just as no one will ever know why Saint Richey Edwardsjumped off a bridge to his death (if he did), and no one will know why so many talented and overly sensitive young men meet death so tragically and so young.

Just as no one knows for sure what happened to Antinous. Thus they are all Saints of Antinous.

Shortly before his death, Heath Ledger made a video tribute to Nick Drake (photo right), the ambisexual English singer/songwriter who died in 1974 under almost identical circumstances to Saint Heath.

Saying he planned to make a movie about Saint Nick, Heath appeared in a self-made video (about drowning) to the tune of Nick Drake's song Black-Eyed Dog. It was the last song that Nick is believed to have recorded before he died under mysterious circumstances after taking anti-depressants and sleeping pills at the age of 26. His body was found lying across his bed.

The black-eyed dog is thought to be a reference to Winston Churchill's famous "little black dog." Throughout his life Churchill was shadowed by violent mood swings, fits of depression and periods of emotional doubt. He felt that he was followed by this unpredictable darkness and uncertainty. He called it his "little black dog."

Heath seems to have been very well acquainted with the "little black dog" of depression, the black demon which nips at the heels of so many sensitive young souls who cannot find their way in this harsh world.

And thus Antinous is the God of Lost Boys. He knows their suffering. He knows how it is to stand on the shore at the twilight of the world, with one foot on dry land and the other foot in the murky depths of oblivion — and he understands how a beautiful soul can slip off into that oblivion.

Antinous is the God of these very sweet, shy, sensitive and talented artists, young men who agonize over their shortcomings and who can only cope with the harsh realities of showbiz by taking tablets with unpronounceable names in private.

Saint Heath represents so many young men who seek what Nick Drake called the fruit of the tree of fame. "Fame is but a fruit tree, so very unsound", Nick sings in a song which Heath loved. It is a song about sensitive souls who reach for the fruit of fame and then, when it is within their grasp, they discover that its taste is very bitter.

Thursday, January 21, 2016

THE ASSUMPTION OF GANYMEDE


OUR Father Jupiter descended upon the slopes of Mt. Ida in the form of an eagle and carried away Ganymede, the beautiful young prince of Troy, ravaging him, and elevating him to live among the immortals.

At the table of the Olympian gods, Jupiter installed his Ganymede as the divine cupbearer who pours out nectar-wine from the cup of eternal life.

This love affair between the Phrygian prince and the Father of the Gods is a divine parallel of the love between Antinous and Hadrian.

Ganymede is the emblem of the coming Age of Aquarius, when peace and love will rule the hearts of all men.

On this day, the beginning of the sign of Aquarius, we observe the deification of Antinous as having made union with the Thunderbird-Phoenix-Eagle, and having been elevated to reign among the immortals in the manner of Ganymede. And we pray for the hastening of the coming age.

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

THE GOING FORTH OF ANUBIS


ON January 20th is the Ancient Egyptian Feast of "The Going Forth of Anubis" (Yinepu) when his statues are carried through the streets for worshipers to honor ... in hopes that Anubis will convey them through the darkness of death to eternal light and life. 

This feast occurs between the completion of the mummification of Antinous on January 11th and the birthday of Hadrian on January 24th.

Anubis leads the new god Antinous to the Home of the Gods amongst the Imperishable Stars.

SAINT SEBASTIAN


ON January 20th the Religion of Antinous honors SAINT SEBASTIAN who, despite being a Christian martyr, has been identified by homosexuals of all beliefs over the centuries as a symbol of our persecution and suffering.

Sebastian was an officer in the Imperial Guard of Emperor Diocletian, and he was a Christian.

In 302 A.D. Diocletian subjected the Christians to a brutal persecution, and it was during this period that Sebastian was "outed" to the Emperor as a practicing Christian.

When asked to sacrifice before a pagan altar, Sebastian refused and  was sentenced to death. He was tied to a column before Mauritanian archers, who shot him with arrows...but to no effect. 


Sebastian was strengthened by his faith, and did not die. He was finally clubbed to death in front of Emperor.
  
Homosexuals over the centuries have looked to Sebastian as a patron saint. His manner of death, which is like an affliction of Eros, and the sight of the beautiful young soldier plumed with arrows, has moved our hearts over the ages more than all other Christian saints.

In the Middle Ages, he was said to have power over the plague. And during the Black Death, his popularity grew among the penitent flagellants.

His image was a favorite subject of homosexual artists during the Renaissance who were fascinated by the erotic charge of his death. 

During the early 19th Century he was taken up as the model for homosexual suffering and persecution, some writers even claiming that he was the young lover of Diocletian and that his martyrdom had a jealous, sexual subtext.

In our time, the power of St. Sebastian over the Plague has made him a spiritual force in the fight against AIDS. And so we recognize his sanctity as the patron saint of homosexuals and as a protector from our modern plague. 

We consecrate him to the Religion of Antinous and offer our own quivering-hearts as a target for his thousand arrows of love.

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

ANOTHER GAY THROWN TO HIS DEATH
AS LGBT REFUGEES SEEK SHELTER



DAESH Islamic State thugs have thrown another gay man to his death in front of a crowd, even as refugees arriving in Germany complain of attacks from homophobic asylum seekers.

The man was executed in the Iraqi city of Rawa after being accused of engaging in homosexual acts.

As the victim was escorted to the top of a tall building by three men, a crowd congregated below. The victim's hands and feet were then bound and he was pushed off the edge of the roof.

Images capturing the execution were posted this weekend by the "ISIS Media office of Euphrates Province."

One caption read: "The execution, as sentenced by God, of the people of Lut in the city of Rawa." Another caption read "Please don't forget to pray for us."

This is at least the 17th man thrown off a rooftop for being gay. Another six were stoned to death, and three were executed by being shot in the head.

At least 26 PEOPLE HAVE BEEN MURDERED because DAESH suspected they were gay, but that number is difficult to confirm and potentially much higher.

Meanwhile, a group of LGBTIQ university students in Germany have joined forces with gay refugees to counter verbal and physical attack from homophobic refugees.

Leipzig has also been the city where Nazi thugs have staged weekly torchlight processions to protest against the influx of "swarthy swine" as they call refugees from Syria, Afghanistan and other war-torn regions.

Spearheading the campaign is Leipzig University journalism student Tarek Hassan.

The Queer Refugees Network in Leipzig aims to provide support for gay and trans refugees who suffer abuse at the hands of other asylum seekers at refugee centers in Germany.

In some cases, refugees whose sexuality is not demonstrably straight are attacked, sexually groped and physically abused by homophobic refugees.


"The refugee center staff are ill prepared for these situations and often play down their significance, which only makes matters worse," says Tarek.

The Queer Refugees Network helps raise the consciousness of center staffers to the problems, and also helps to find off-site housing for gay refugees.

"But our first objective is to offer an ear and a shoulder to cry on for LGBTIQ refugees who find themselves in a strange land," Tarek explains.

Germany has had an influx of one million refugees from war-torn Syria and the Mideast over the past 12 months and an undetermined number of those refugees are LGBTIQ asylum seekers fleeing persecution and death in their homelands.

Organizations in Germany have ISSUED AN APPEAL for Germans to open their homes to gay Syrian refugees who face discrimination from other refugees ... and death threats from radical Islamic militants.

Gay Syrians arriving at refugee camps in Germany say they have been subjected to verbal and even physical attacks from other refugees during the long trek from their war-torn homeland.

While the news cameras focus on families with small children, most of the refugees are in fact young adult males ... and between 5 and 10 per cent are gay or bisexual, according to German LGBT groups reaching out to gay refugees.


In Syria, they faced the threat of death at the hands of DAESH Islamic State barbarians who have executed scores of gay men ... throwing them from tall buildings and stoning them to death if they survive the fall.

But even after they arrive safely in Germany, gays and lesbians are the victims of homophobia, according to German LGBT groups.

German television reported Thursday that DAESH militants have infiltrated some refugee camps.

"They shout Koran verses all night and scream that they will kill anyone who stands in their way," a Syrian refugee told ARD television. "A friend of mine was beheaded in Syria, so I am scared out of my wits."

Even less militant refugees are hostile towards LGBT refugees in their midst.

"Right now we are handling the case of a man who is in a refugee camp in Magdeburg in eastern Germany who says he fears for his life," says Mathias Fangohr, head of the Magdeburg Pride Organization.


"He is terrified that if other camp residents find out he is gay he will end up dead," Fangohr says. 

"He is totally traumatized from the ordeal he has gone through and is desperate for help," he adds.

The situation is compounded by the fact that many of the support groups are homophobic.

"We have trouble finding Arabic interpreters because many of them refuse to interpret for gays, whom they consider to be filth," he adds. "They won't even mention the word for homosexual in Arabic because it is dirty."


A Berlin group has issued an appeal for gays in the German capital to open their homes to LGBT refugees so that they can avoid homophobic taunts and humiliation at refugee camps.

The group has also launched a program for teaching LGBT refugees language skills and job skills to help them get on their feet in Germany.

With a falling birth rate and declining population, Germany has welcomed the refugees not only on humanitarian grounds ... but also as a boost to immigration.

Monday, January 18, 2016

FEATURED ANTINOUS STATUE OF THE DAY
THE ANTINOUS OF ELEUSIS


THIS statue of Antinous from Eleusis - Ἐλευσίς - is the only one that seems to refer back to an incident in his life, his initiation into the Eleusinian Mysteries of death and resurrection in September 128 AD.

The sculpture was erected after his death in the outer courtyard of Eleusis and captures this instant of his life, though officially it depicts him as the god Dionysos Zagreus, a divinity of suffering abd resurrection associated with the Eleusinian Mysteries.

Technically it is not one of the best of the depictions of Antinous, but it evokes a mood and a moment.


The sulptor clearly envisaged the young lad draped in his himation, standing in the darkened Telesterion (the initiation hall) and confronted with the Eleusinian Mysteries of death and resurrection.

He clutches at the folds of his himation anxiously, insecure, staring wide-eyed, his mouth pursed in awe, with an expression of apprehension, intent rapture and awareness of the tremendous significance of what was being revealed to him.

Even though it is a mediocre statue in workmanship and details it is redeemed by its expressiveness and pathos.

This statue is now housed in the Archaeological Museum of Eleusis: Antinous as Dionysus Zagreus, Inv. 5092, 1.83 m, in marble of Thasos.

Sunday, January 17, 2016

WAS ANTINOUS AS CHUBBY AS THIS STATUE
AT PARIS EXHIBITION OF LOST SUNKEN ART?



WAS Antinous really this chubby? And did Hadrian really look like a lowly bureaucrat as these two sculptures suggest?

Experts on Antinous and Hadrian are hotly discussing this question ... despite the fact that the Alexandria Museum insists they are sculptures of the two lovers.

You can take a first-hand look yourself because both are on view in Paris at the exhibition entitled OSIRIS, MYSTÈRES ENGLOUTIS D'EGYPTE (Osiris Sunken Mysteries of Egypt) which has been extended to run through 6 March 2016.

They are among some fabulous Egyptian monuments and treasures which Antinous himself may have seen ... but which were lost at the bottom of the sea for centuries.

This 2nd Century AD statue (allegedly) depicts Antinous in a Romanized-Egyptian style as a royal personage striding with his left foot forward ... as was the traditional depiction of Egyptian pharaohs and gods.

He is wearing the traditional dynastic kilt which gods and pharaohs were always shown as wearing.

In addition, he appears to have a Uraeus stylized spitting cobra as the centerpiece of his wig-like headdress.


One fist is visible, clinched in the ages-old symbol of divine power seen on countless statues of deities and pharaohs throughout the ages.

It is one of the most unusual statues depicting Antinous as Osiris. The workmanship is more Greco-Roman than Egyptian around the head and face ... but the body adheres to traditional Egyptian artistic style mandates.

He has a rather pensive expression on his face, as if he is gazing off into the far distance.

Originally, of course, the eye sockets would have had gemstone-and-ivory eyes, perhaps outlined with copper "eyeliner."

This splendid statue is part of the stunning exhibition currently on show in Paris which includes sunken treasures.

You have all heard of Franck Goddio, the French marine archeologist who made headlines in the 1990s with his discovery in the Bay of Alexandria of ruins and artefacts which appear to have come from royal palaces, temples and perhaps even the Pharos lighthouse.

It is intriguing to think that Antinous may have gazed on those treasures when he and Hadrian visited Egypt in 130 AD.

Since first discovering the Alexandria treasures, Monsieur Goddio has gone on to trawl the waters a few kilometres east of Alexandria in hopes of discovering the fabled "Lost Cities" of Canopus and HERAKLEION (Heracleion), which he succeeded in finding in 2000.

Goddio's exhibition of "Egypt's Sunken Treasures" has traveled the world.

Now, Goddio is back with even more artifacts retrieved from the bottom of the sea … in the exhibition entitled OSIRIS, MYSTÈRES ENGLOUTIS D'EGYPTE (Osiris Sunken Mysteries of Egypt) at the ARAB WORLD INSTITUTE in Paris.

The exhibition opened in September and runs through 6 March 2016.

It offers the first public viewing of newly discovered Canopus-Herakleion treasures since the two cities vanished below the waves in a series of floods and earthquakes, finally disappearing completely in the late 7th Century AD.

By that time, Egyptian priests had retreated to Canopus-Herakleion and Muslims were sweeping across the land.

Thus the exhibition offers a sort of time capsule of the waning days of paganism when the "barbarians" literally stood at the gates.

There are many statues, mostly fragmentary ones minus heads and limbs ... and one (alleged) statue of Antinous with a facial expression of pensive introspection.