Thursday, January 18, 2018

RUFUS WAINWRIGHT'S HADRIAN OPERA
TO PREMIERE IN OCTOBER IN TORONTO



THE long-awaited opera about Antinous and Hadrian by Rufus Wainwright will have its world premiere in October 2018 with the Canadian Opera Company in Toronto, it was announced today.

The opera by Wainright and Daniel McIvor, entitled "Hadrian," which explores the relationship between Roman Emperor Hadrian and the young Antinous, will run October 13–27 at Toronto’s Four Seasons Centre.

Peter Hinton will direct a cast that includes Thomas Hampson as Hadrian and renowned tenor Isaiah Bell as Antinous, with Karita Mattila as Plotina.

Wainwright and MacIvor's Hadrian (October 13-27) is a major draw for the company's 2018/19 season. 

The piece marks playwright/actor MacIvor's first libretto (the text of an opera) and Wainwright's second opera, following his 2009 Prima Donna. 

Their piece tells the story of the Roman emperor and his young lover Antinous, who was deified after his mysterious and premature death.

Between the Wainwright factor and Hadrian's subject matter, it's fair to say that this world premiere comes with a lot of hype.

Wainwright has offered the promise of something provocative:

"I think in our modern world," he says, "among younger audiences especially, there's a hunger for a sort of spectacle that the opera world thinks is no longer relevant."

The COC rounds up a fascinating cast of big names (Thomas Hampson, Karita Mattila and Ben Heppner ... who will venture out of retirement for the occasion) and rising stars Isaiah Bell (pictured at right) as Antinous and Ambur Braid as Hadrian's wife, Sabina.

"What's interesting about the story of Hadrian is he was actually in love with Antinous, who was another man," Wainwright says

"And he was persecuted for it. A lot of the same problems that exist today with homophobia and so forth were very much present back then," he adds.

Wainwright is the gifted Canadian singer/songwriter/musical man about the world who has forged a unique career in mainstream contemporary music as an original, quirky, thinking person's pop star. And he's not new to the world of opera.

"Prima Donna," his 2009 debut, which told the story of an aging opera singer attempting to make a comeback, has been presented in Manchester, London, New York, Toronto and around the globe, to reviews that roamed from the enthusiastic ("a love song to opera," wrote The Times of London) to the outraged (The New York Times called it "an ultimately mystifying failure") – the quality of reaction being determined, more or less, by the closeness of the reviewer to the world of classical music.


Wainwright started talking about Hadrian around the time he was serenading his mother with the opera's overture in early 2010.

As his mother, Kate McGarrigle, faced her final days in January, 2010, Wainwright played his latest composition for her at the family piano ... the overture to his new opera about Antinous and Hadrian.

What attracted him to Hadrian was the power of the story Wainwright wanted to tell. 

Certainly the story of the Emperor Hadrian has plenty to offer contemporary audiences. Quixotic, domineering and visionary, Hadrian represented the end of the Classical era in Roman history, a fascinating period when the influence of Greek ideas began to predominate in Roman society, changing its political landscape in significant ways.

Wainwright adds, "And then there's Antinous, essentially the male equivalent to Helen of Troy ... though we know he actually existed and exactly what he looked like. At one point he was neck and neck with Christ in terms of cult status after disappearing in the Nile. Imagine what a different world that would have been if he had lived!"

Wainwright explains, "When I first discovered the story of Hadrian, I was instantly struck with the idea of transforming this historical subject into operatic form. 

"Both its intimate nature and wild grandeur seemed perfectly suited for what opera does best: creating a hyper-illustration of the dark inner lives of people up against formidable outer circumstances while at the same time musically careening through the jagged and surreal dimensions of what lies in between. 

"No other theatrical form truly refracts life into myriad vibrantly bright colors as much as opera does, and the tale of Hadrian, arguably Rome’s greatest ruler, is a diamond perfectly cut for such a task.

"I could go on and on exploring all the fascinating ideas which swirl around the subject of my second opera. But I am a composer, and therefore my armchair intellectual reach should be superseded by the music … music that I hope you enjoy."

NEW HADRIAN EXHIBITION OPENS
IN HIS FAVORITE CITY ATHENS



HADRIAN loved all things Greek (especially Antinous) and Athens was his favorite city.

Now an exhibition entitled "Hadrian! Savior and Builder," dedicated to the emperor, will feature at the newly restored Fethiye Mosque in Athens’ Roman Agora this week.

The exhibition opens on Wednesday and is being organized by the Ephorate of Antiquities of Athens.

A wealth of material on Hadrian’s architectural and infrastructure works which benefited Athens during Roman rule will be on display.

Hadrian was an avid admirer of Greek culture and he visited the city three times as Roman ruler. At the same time he brought important state reforms.

The new exhibition also features artifacts from Athens itself, influenced by the spirit of Hadrian.

Fethiye Mosque was built in the second half of the 17th century when Athens was under Ottoman rule. It is located in the northern part of the Roman Agora, near the Tower of the Winds, built on the ruins of a three-aisled basilica of the Middle Byzantine period.

Since 1834, when Athens became the capital of the Greek state and until the first decades of the 20th century it was used as a military bakery. Since then it has been used mainly as a warehouse for antiquities discovered in the excavations of the Agora and the Acropolis.

In the autumn of 2010, the Ministry of Culture decided to empty the building of the various antiquities and launched a renovation project.

Wednesday, January 17, 2018

ROBOTS TO PROBE MYSTERY 'VOIDS'
DETECTED DEEP IN THE GREAT PYRAMID



USING cosmic particles called muons, and possibly tiny robots, scientists hope to figure out what created two mysterious voids inside the Great Pyramid.

Possibilities range from a new burial chamber to a sealed-off construction passage.

In November 2017, scientists using an imaging method based on cosmic rays have detected a mysterious and very large chamber-like "void" in the Great Pyramid of Khufu.

Researchers announced the discovery on today but said they did not know the purpose, contents or precise dimensions of what they are calling a "void" or "cavity" inside the pyramid.

To peer inside the pyramid, the scientists used an imaging technique called muon tomography that tracks particles that bombard Earth at close to the speed of light and penetrate deeply into solid objects.

They said the newly discovered "internal structure" was at least 100 feet (30 meters) long, and located above a hallway measuring about 155 feet long (47 meters) called the Grand Gallery, one of a series of passageways and chambers inside the immense pyramid.

The researchers said it constitutes the first major inner structure found in the Great Pyramid since the 19th century.

"What we are sure about is that this big void is there, that it is impressive, that it was not expected by, as far as I know, any kind of theory," said Mehdi Tayoubi, president and co-founder of the HIP Institute in France, one of the leaders of the study published in the journal Nature.

"We open the question to Egyptologists and archaeologists: what could it be?" added Hany Helal of Cairo University.

The findings come from a project called Scan Pyramids that relies on non-invasive scanning methods to probe the internal structure of the pyramids of ancient Egypt's glorious Old Kingdom period and understand how they were built.

"We are not doing this mission in order to find hidden cavities," Helal said.

Muon particles originate from interactions between cosmic rays from space and atoms of Earth's upper atmosphere. The particles can penetrate hundreds of yards (meters) into stone before being absorbed. Placing detectors inside a pyramid can discern cavities within a solid structure.


Tuesday, January 16, 2018

GOLDEN GREEK GOD ON THE GO



OUR Flamen Antonius Subia was amazed today when he was commuting to work and saw Antinous beaming at him from the side of an organic produce delivery truck in Hollywood, California.

"I saw HIM this morning!" Antonius said. "I really needed a good sign ... thank you, Antinous, sometimes I just need to know you're there!"

The Antinous motif is one of several emblazoned on the fleet of trucks operating for the GOLDEN GREEK FRESH organic produce company.

The trucks got their Antinous style make-over recently, so Antonius is among the first people to see it.

The trucks deliver produce to food retailers throughout the Los Angeles and Orange County area.

That means HOLLYWOOD TEMPLE OF ANTINOUS worshipers can expect to see their God on the highways and byways of their city.

Monday, January 15, 2018

ANTINOUS IN HIERAPOLIS
CITY OF SACRED PROSTITUTES



IT was on this day in January of the year 130 AD that the Imperial entourage of Hadrian and Antinous arrived in the sacred city of Hierapolis in Asia Minor (Turkey) on what would be one of the last festively upbeat stops on the emperor's fateful final tour of his sprawling empire.

Hieropolis was the City of the Sacred Prostitutes, including gay prostitutes.

Today only scattered ruins remain, including those of the amphitheatre which was built in honor of the Divine Hadrian's visit in late 129 and early 130. 


But in its heyday, Hierapolis was a city of 100,000 inhabitants and was noted for its fine temples and, above all, for its healing thermal springs ... hot springs which to this day continue to draw people seeking healing relief.

Apollo was the chief god of Hierapolis, along with Pluto, whose healing energies fed the miraculous thermal springs which were famed throughout the Roman Empire.


But the most extraordinary temple in this Sacred City of Temples was indeed the Temple of Astargis, a Hellenized form of Astarte-Venus.

The Temple was famous (or "infamous" in the view of early Christians) for its sacred prostitutes, the "hierodules", who were priestesses of the love goddess.

The Bible mentions Hieropolis briefly as an iniquitous site of whoredom and wickedness, an obvious reference to this Temple. The Christians did their worst to convert the city. Paul came here. 


And the Apostle Philip proselytized in this city for three years before finally being stoned to death. He was buried in Hieropolis.

Recently, archaeologists identified the Plutonium (Pluto's Sacred Cave) as the legendary  GATEWAY TO HADES of ancient mythology.

Like the thermal waters seething in the Plutonium, Hieropolis was a seething hotbed of religious turmoil.

Hadrian and Antinous arrived in Hierapolis to a joyous welcome.


Because of his devotion to the Goddess Venus, Hadrian most certainly would have visited the Temple that was the center of a large, wide-spread cult ... the Temple of Astargis, a Hellenized form of Astarte-Venus ... the temple of the sacred gay prostitutes known as "hierodules."

The temple was an imposing edifice whose portals were flanked by towering phallic sculptures. Inside, the temple catered to every sexual persuasion.

Yes, there were also homosexual sacred prostitutes, who likewise served the goddess to the best of their ability.

Flamen ANTONIUS SUBIA believes the connection between their office and the function of Antinous as the lover of Hadrian may have facilitated his initiation into their cult. Thus, Antinous may have been an Honorary Sacred Prostitute.

In the words of Antonius: "We honor the ancient cult of Astargis out of love for Antinous, and seek to embrace and understand the function of the hierodules."

Sunday, January 14, 2018

WE HONOR YUKIO MISHIMA
'THE LOST SAMURAI'


ON January 14 we mark the anniversary of the birth of one of modern Japan's most famous, controversial, and mysterious gay personalities ... and a saint of Antinous.

Yukio Mishima (1925-1970) is regarded as one of 20th-century Japan's most prolific writers, and was the first postwar Japanese writer to achieve international fame. 

Nominated on three occasions for the Nobel Prize for Literature, and author of no less than forty novels, essays, poems, and traditional Japanese kabuki and noh dramas, Mishima’s contribution to Japanese literature was indeed profound.

His samurai-inspired ritual "seppuku"suicide by "hara-kiri" (literally stomach cutting, or disembowelment) and beheading on November 25, 1970, at the young age of 45 marked the end of a life that represented for some, a protest against a post-war Japan that seemed to have lost its traditional identity and values under the tide of mass consumerism, and cultural and political Westernization.

The sharp contrasts between the country he grew up in and the Japan he died in were defining influences in his life, shaping his writings, which often questioned the new Japan and harked for a return to days of old. 

Born Kimitaka Hiraoka in Tokyo on Jan 14, 1925, he assumed the nom de plume "Yukio Mishima," cryptically interpreted as "He who chronicles reason," so that his disapproving anti-literary father would not know he was a writer. 

It was however his paternal grandmother, Natsuko Hiraoka, who was to have the most lasting impact on his life. A mere 29 days after his birth until his 12th year, Mishima was separated from his family and raised by his sophisticated yet capricious grandmother whose own background and personality shaped his character.

The young protégé was forced to live a very sheltered life in which sports, playing with other boys, and even going out in the sun were off limits. She was the illegitimate daughter of a Meiji era daimyo with familial links to the all powerful Tokugawas and was reared in a princely household, a samurai-influenced upbringing which she did not let others forget and which instilled in her, and by consequence her grandson, a reverence for Japan's past, and the samurai fascination with beauty, purity and death. 

Her noble past and yet not so noble marriage to a successful bureaucrat arguably contributed to her frustrations, characterized by violent outbursts and morbid fixations. 

Her character had a lasting yet undeclared effect on Mishima’s later works and personality, particularly the insatiable desire for perfection in the mind and body, and the terrible beauty of death at the moment of perfection exemplified by the honored cherry blossom.

Mishima's complexities were not only confined to his writings. A fluent speaker of English, Mishima wore Western clothes and lived in a Western style house while espousing a return to his country’s past values and practices. 

Much mystery also surrounds the exact nature of his sexuality, and his frequenting of gay bars such as the now defunct Brunswick bar in Ginza despite a rushed marriage at 33 which produced two children. 

Mishima's interest in homosexuality is clearly illustrated in one of his seminal books, "Confessions of a Mask" (1948) where he tells of a man who conceals his true self and sexuality behind a mask of lies and pretense. This book is regarded by many as a semi-autobiographical account of the author's own life.

According to his biographers, he had also considered a marriage proposal to Michiko Shoda, the current empress and wife of Emperor Akihito.  Biographers such as close friend John Nathan contend that the tragic writer married not for love but for respectability.

At the earlier age of 30, conscious of the inevitability of aging, and desiring bodily "perfection," he embarked on a strict bodybuilding regime that lasted for the rest of his life. 

His longing for a return to a spiritual Japan which respected the bushido (way of the warrior) code inspired his expertise in karate and kendo, martial arts that he contended allowed one to experience the border between life and death. 

His extreme nationalist credentials were most notably illustrated in his founding of the Tatenokai (Shield Society) in 1968, a small private army of mostly university students dedicated to the bushido code and the protection of the emperor and the martial discipline of pre-Meiji era Japan. 

This dedication was not to Hirohito per se, whom he had criticized for "dishonoring" the war dead by surrendering, and for renouncing his divinity after World War II, but rather to the symbolism of the emperor system for traditional Japan.

On November 25, 1970, carrying with him a longing for a return to lost samurai values, and an obsession with a purifying and beautiful death, Mishima and four of his Tatenokai followers, entered the Japanese Self-Defense Forces (JSDF) headquarters in Ichigaya and attempted a coup d’etat which they hoped would awaken the Japanese from their spiritual and political slumber. 

Stepping out onto a nearby balcony, Mishima was ridiculed and jeered as he attempted in vain to rouse the present JSDF members below him to his cause. Realizing the hopelessness of his efforts, the "Lost Samurai" went back inside for his final act of drama.

Positioning himself in traditional Japanese manner on the floor of the office which they had seized, Mishima proceeded to ritually disembowel himself with a “tanto” (a small sword), exclaiming “Long live the emperor” just before a pre-ordained “kaishakunin” (the one chosen to decapitate Mishima) and later one other, made an initially botched but ultimately effective attempt at beheading the famed author.

Debate surrounds Mishima’s motivations. Attempting a coup d’etat with only four other people was almost certainly going to be a failure. Comments made to Western journalists about hara-kiri in his writings some years earlier might be more insightful.

At that time, the author claimed that "spiritually, I wanted to revive some samurai spirit. I did not want to revive hara-kiri itself but through the vision of such a very strong vision of hara-kiri, I wanted to inspire and stimulate younger people."

Saturday, January 13, 2018

OUR BRITISH TEMPLE OF ANTINOUS
UNVEILS ITS FACEBOOK PAGE



AT the foot of Hadrian's Wall, bordering northern England, stood a small temple. It was almost certainly for a British God who was a merging of Antinous the Gay God and a local Celtic/Pictish God Citicus - Antenociticus. 

Since then there has not been a recorded temple or priest for Antinous in the UK. Today that has changed. 

Under the auspices of British priest of Antinous Martinus Aristotomus, you can now join other companions of Antinous at the UK Facebook page ANTINOUS THE GAY GOD UK for the new Facebook page which will be updated continually by the first priest of Antinous in the British Isles in the modern era.

Martinus says: "I am honoured to finally put Antinous back on the map in the UK. He is a crucial part of UK LGBT history and an important connection to the divine for LGBT folk pushed to the margins of society and faith in the UK and beyond."

THE BIRTH OF LUCIUS AELIUS CAESAR


ON January 13th the Religion of Antinous celebrates the birthday of Aelius Caesar.

Lucius Ceionius Commodus Verus was born on January 13th, 101, most likely in Rome. He was from an old wealthy Etruscan family. 

His grandfather, after whom he had been named, had been a Consul and his father a Senator.

(Images by PRIEST UENDI)


Lucius Ceionius was beautiful and elegant, well educated, and was given over to a life of pleasure and voluptuousness.

He was a teenager when Hadrian came to power in 117, and his flamboyant and attractive character was a compliment to his physical beauty that soon gained the attention of the new Emperor.

It is believed that Hadrian and Lucius were lovers during the early years of Hadrian's reign, perhaps for the period of six years prior to Antinous

When Hadrian met Antinous in the year 123, Lucius was 22 years old, and in keeping with the Greek philosophy of pederastic love, it is very likely that their love affair had transformed into what would become a life-long friendship between the Emperor and his now matured Lucius.

Antinous entered Hadrian's heart just as Lucius was moving on to his responsibilities as a patrician citizen of Rome. There were rumors of rivalry, as spoofed in this cartoon by Priest Uendi showing Lucius left, Hadrian at right and Antinous between them.

While Hadrian was courting the young Antinous, Lucius married Domitia Lucilla and had three children by her, one of which was the later Emperor known as Lucius Verus, who is often confused with his father.

After the Death of Antinous, as Hadrian began to grow ill, his attention turned again to his still beloved Lucius, and on August 10, 136, Hadrian surprised the world by adopting Lucius and declaring him to be his successor.

Suspicions abounded, as the eccentric and delicate character of Lucius hardly seemed appropriate to rule the Empire after such a man as Hadrian.

But there must have been more to Lucius than history has preserved. He assumed the name Aelius Caesar, and was sent to govern Pannonia along the Danube, but became ill and returned to Rome in the winter of 137, where he died on January 1st.


He is remembered and adored as a god, as the brother of Antinous, the twin and second love of Hadrian. We call him the Prince of Flowers.

Friday, January 12, 2018

ANTINOUS NAVIGATOR


ON January 12th, as the Sun moves out of alignment with the STAR OF ANTINOUS, we celebrate the festival of ANTINOUS NAVIGATOR.

Flamen Antonius Subia explains it this way:

"Antinous the Transfigured steps away and The Boat of Millions of Years in One Moment, leaves the shore of the known cosmos, sailing out into the darkness of the abyss on its voyage to the Black Star, the way of the void, where the heaven of Antinous lies concealed beyond the veil of the cloud of unknowing, where he enters the fullness of the Place of Light, and restores the unity of the Aeons. 


"This is the Via Negativa whereupon the soul-triumphant is lost in the open space of non-being, awaiting the Dark Bird of Night, the Thunderbird-Phoenix-Eagle that will elevate his heroic spirit to immortality. Only Antinous can guide the Boat of Millions of Years across this expanse of darkness.

"This journey, which ends as it begins, which arrives as it departs, is the eternal heaven which Antinous has accomplished for all those who are his chosen, who answer his call, and who believe in him."

Thursday, January 11, 2018

WE CELEBRATE "VICTORIA ANTINOI"
WHEN THE SUN ALIGNS WITH
THE STAR OF ANTINOUS


ON January 11th the Sun aligns with the STAR OF ANTINOUS for the most glorious day in our liturgical calendar ... Victoria Antinoi.

This is the day that the 72 days of mourning and mummification are finished and Antinous emerges from the perils of the Underworld to shine "younger than the newborn sun," as the Ancient Egyptian texts say.

Flamen ANTONIUS SUBIA says:

"Antinous in glory and radiance, stands between our cosmos and the abyss that is known as the Veil. He has returned as Antinous the Savior. This is the End of the sacred period of 72 days following the earthly mummification of the body of Antinous.

"The preservation of his perfect body was completed by the Egyptian priests, providing him with a carnal vessel for millions of years.

"This is the day upon which Antinous overcomes the 72 princes who rule over the cycles of life and death in the underworld and the outer limit of the cosmos, and our god becomes Antinous the Victorious.

"This is the Coming Forth By Day of Antinous so that he can sail in his Barque of Millions of Years. His triumph becomes the celestial procession, and together with the saints and blessed spirits of the immortals and divinized men, Antinous prepares to step away from the limit of the cosmos and enter the darkness of the void beyond."

Wednesday, January 10, 2018

THE BURNING OF THE SODOMITES



ON January 10th we solemnly remember the gays who were burned at the stake in the Middle Ages..

The Heretics of the Middle Ages were the last defenders of the Gnosis, against the authority of the Catholic Church. Like the Gnostic Fathers before them, they advocated homosexuality as a sacred form of love.

When the Order of Knights Templar was disbanded in 1310, the inquisitors discovered (under torture) that Heresy, Homosexuality and Devil Worship were interrelated. They represented a united Satanic assault on the power of the Church and the stability of Christian Civilization.

Heresy infected the soul by undermining faith, Witchcraft bred hatred in the form of hexing, but Homosexuality was the vilest of the three because it infected Love, turning a man from his natural affection for a wife, and causing him to waste his seed in lecherous desire.

The homosexual was a danger because he was a threat to the perpetuation of the family and of the human race. He fostered chaos, and weakened the already tenuous position of a society hemmed in by Islam, infected with Plague, and torn apart by War. The Bible warned that any city guilty of the crime of Sodomy would be destroyed by the fire of heaven, so the solution of the Church, in order to avert god's wrath, was to burn the Sodomites.

The Gay Burning Times lasted six hundred years, seven hundred including the Nazis Holocaust (which was based on the same principles) a period of torture, murder and all out war against our kind, lasting much longer than Heresy and Witchcraft combined, which even continues to this day.

The most intense period of burning was the 1600's through late 1700's in France and England, hundreds of thousands were burned at the stake.

The word "Faggot" which means fire-log is said to have derived from the practice of piling the Sodomites upon the pyre, at the feet of the Heretics, because a Sodomite was not worthy to burn standing up.

Flamen Antonius Subia says:

We who believe in Antinous, and in the sanctity of Homosexuality, solemnly remember the cruel death of the Sodomites who burned for us. Antinous was with them, he burned by their side.

On this last day, Antinous the God redeems the souls of all those who were burned, tortured, strangled, beheaded, or otherwise executed and condemned to Hell by the Church.
That we may never forget the human sacrifice that was inflicted on our brothers and sisters, we consecrate the overthrow of the last Archon to the memory of the Heroic Sodomites who knowing that our form of Love was punishable by death, Loved as Homosexuals nevertheless, and almost willingly gave themselves to be Burned at the Stake. We pray that they will bless us with their fire in our own struggle for liberation.

Tuesday, January 9, 2018

NO ANCIENT ROMAN WAS EVER ALONE
BECAUSE PLUMBING SPREAD WORMS, LICE



THE good news is that Romans had indoor plumbing centuries before the rest of the world had running water and flushing toilets.

The bad news is that Ancient Rome's toilets, baths, aqueducts and sewage systems those public baths and shared latrines spread intestinal parasites and body lice.

People in the pre-historic times as well as in the Dark Ages who had to make do without plumbing actually had fewer worms and lice than the Romans.

The findings are contained in an article in the latest edition of Parisitology journal by Piers Mitchell, an archaeologist at the University of Cambridge.

Mitchell surveyed parasite numbers from latrine archaeological sites, in mummified remains and in fossilized feces before and after the implementation of Imperial Rome's hygiene projects.

The data suggest that roundworms and other parasites that spread through contact with feces maintained their numbers despite sanitation efforts ... perhaps because Romans used human feces to fertilize their crops and rarely changed the water at some public bath houses.

Romans also had no toilet paper, instead sharing a sponge-on-a-stick.

Fish tapeworm was even more common in Roman times that in the Bronze or Iron Ages, Mitchell claims.

He attributes to the popularity of GARUM, a fermented fish sauce in ancient Rome.

Regular bathing throughout the Empire also appears to have done little to curb populations of ectoparasites like head lice. 

Monday, January 8, 2018

DAVID BOWIE
SAINT OF ANTINOUS



WE honour David Bowie as a SAINT OF ANTINOUS.

He was born 8th January 1947 and died of cancer 10th January 2016 ... having revolutionized Western popular culture.

When homosexuality was still considered a shameful secret to many, Bowie told the world he was gay, and music ... and the lives of many of his fans and followers ... would never be the same.

"I'm gay," declared David Bowie, "and always have been, even when I was David Jones."

When he uttered these now-immortal words in the Jan. 22, 1972, issue of England's Melody Maker, the fledgling starman had just released December 1971's Hunky Dory and already was giving his interviewer a taste of his glam-rock milestone, June 1972's The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and The Spiders From Mars. 

The British Parliament had only decriminalized homosexuality in 1967 ... post-­Stonewall U.S. gay life was not yet three years old.

He wasn't the first British pop singer to come out (that was Dusty Springfield in 1970); he did it while newly married to Angie Bowie, months after fathering future film ­director Duncan Jones.

But Bowie led the way in contextualizing pop through LGBT identity. The Hunky Dory song "Queen Bitch" is sung in gay vernacular ("She's so swishy in her satin and tat!") from the perspective of a participant in gay life and set to buzzing guitar chords clearly cribbed from The Velvet Underground, which earlier chronicled this gender-mutable world through its ties to Andy Warhol, who had a Hunky Dory tune written about him too.

That same year, Bowie scored a U.K. hit with "John, I'm Only Dancing," a wham-bam of pansexual knowingness considered too outre for U.S. release until hisChangesOneBowie collection in 1976.

That was when Cameron Crowe prodded Bowie to tell Playboy, "It's true ... I am a bisexual. But I can't deny that I've used that fact very well."

By then, Bowie's glam had transformed Elton John from stern balladeer to Technicolor rocker; gave ex-Velvets leader Lou Reed his first smash (the Bowie-produced account of Warhol's stupendously queer Factory, "Walk on the Wild Side"); shook U.K. pop out of its post-Beatles doldrums through glam-rockers SweetSladeT. Rex and so many others; and shaped Elektra Records founder Jac Holzman's final signings before handing the reins to David Geffen: Those were Jobriath, an even more whimsical dandy, and Queen.

And through his R&B radio ­success with "Young Americans" and "Fame," Bowie bolstered disco's early link between clandestine gay dance halls and ­defiantly upscale soul. 

He used his outsider stance not simply to be breathtaking; he also built bridges. You can bet his sartorial influence on the cross-dressing New York Dolls and sponsorship of both Mott the Hoople (he wrote and produced "All the Young Dudes") and Iggy Pop similarly paved a path for what became punk.

And when he went electronic in the late '70s, he begat Gary NumanThe Human League and the New Romantic club scene of Culture Club and Duran Duran.

Suddenly, England's New Wave was awash with baby Bowies both male (Spandau Ballet) and female (EurythmicsAnnie Lennox) that filled the first playlists of MTV.

Even disco's Grace Jones fully ­actualized her ­freakiness when she covered the Bowie/Pop tune "Nightclubbing," which set a stage for today's art-pop transgressions of Lady Gaga and Janelle Monáe.

"I loved how he challenged people about how gender was represented," says Adam Lambert of Bowie's beyond-music contributions.

Married to Iman, a Somali-American, since 1992, Bowie let unconventionally matched and gendered ­heteros know their nonconformity would be cool too. They could all be heroes, each and every day.

Sunday, January 7, 2018

JUAN GABRIEL IS A SAINT OF ANTINOUS
GAY ICON TO MILLIONS IN MEXICO



WE honour Juan Gabriel, a superstar Mexican songwriter and singer who was an icon for millions of LGBT people in the Latin music world. He is a saint of Antinous.

Born 7 January 1950, he dropped dead 28 August 2016 at his home in California only hours after performing a standing-room-only crowd. He performed for two hours at the Los Angeles Forum on Friday, clad in one of his typical brightly colored outfits. In its review of the concert, Billboard called him "the ultimate showman." He was 66.

Juan Gabriel was Mexico's leading singer-songwriter and top-selling artist. 

His ballads about love and heartbreak and bouncy mariachi tunes became hymns throughout Latin America and Spain and with Spanish speakers in the United States.

He brought many adoring fans to tears as they sang along when he crooned his songs about love and heartbreak, including his top hits, "Hasta Que Te Conoci" ("Until I Met You") and "Amor Eterno" ("Eternal Love").

His hit "Querida" ("Dear") topped Mexico's charts for a whole year.

The adjectives "flamboyant" and "eccentric" followed him all his career, and he was imitated by drag queens in gay clubs throughout Mexico.

He skirted rumors of gayness his whole life. 

He liked to wear jackets covered in sequins or dress in shiny silk outfits in hot pink, turquoise blue or canary yellow, and he was known for tossing his head before dancing or jumping around the stage.

He was once famously asked by a television interviewer: "People look at you and say you are homosexual. What do you say?" His answer became part of his enduring myth.

"Lo que se ve no se pregunta," he answered … "Don't ask about something that is obvious."

Then Juan asked the interview what he saw when he looked at him.

The journalist said: "I see a singer before me, I see a winner" and Juan Gabriel replied: "That is the most important thing, because it is what you do that counts in life."

Juan started out as a waif ... having been sent to an orphanage after his father went insane with grief over the loss of Juan's mother and burned down their village and had to be carried off in a straitjacket.

Little Juan fled abuse at the orphanage by hiding in a rubbish bin and being transported to freedom in a garbage truck. 

Arriving in Juarez, he sang for tips and tricks in seedy clubs, where he caught the eye of a "talent scout" ... and the rest is showbiz history.

In 2015 artist Arturo Damasco painted a 40-square-meter mural of Juan Gabriel on a building in Juarez.

Juan Gabriel never married. According to The Associated Press, a former secretary of his, Joaquín Muñoz, claimed that the two men had a sexual relationship in a tell-all book, "Juan Gabriel and I." 

It confirmed what most fans already believed, but his fans were surprised when years later it became known that he had fathered four children with a friend, Laura Salas.

Juan Gabriel performed to packed auditoriums, including New York's Madison Square Garden and the Kodak Theater in Los Angeles. 

A six-time Grammy nominee, Juan Gabriel was inducted into the Billboard Latin Music Hall of Fame in 1996 and received countless industry awards.

He also garnered ASCAP Songwriter of the Year in 1995, Latin Recording Academy's Person of the Year 2009, and a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame that same year.

The singer, who was born 7 January 1950, wrote his first song at age 13 and went on to compose more than 1,500 songs. He died 28 August 2016 at age 66 … a homeless orphan who came to be loved by millions.

Saturday, January 6, 2018

WE TOAST ANTINOUS THE GAY GOD
DURING THE MINOR BACCHANALIA



ON January 6th we celebrate the Minor Bacchanalia.

The lesser Festival of Dionysus is celebrated when the wine has reached fermentation. Traditionally a secret ceremony l
imited to women, but opened to men during Roman times.

It is the season in which Dionysus rules at Delphi and at Eleusis, though the full ceremonies of the Minor Bacchanalia were only performed once every two years.

Mythologically this is the occasion when the Titans lure and capture the child Dionysus, charming him with a mirror and toys. The Titans murder him, rend his limbs from his body and eat his flesh.


This is the first Wine festival and triumphal procession of the entourage of Dionysus whose arrival signals the Victory of Antinous over the forces of life and death as represented by the Archons.

Friday, January 5, 2018

THE MUMMIFICATION OF ANTINOUS
AS IT MIGHT HAVE BEEN CARRIED OUT


THE newly ordained priests of Antinous were busily overseeing the mummification of his body in the 72 days between his death in late October of the year 130 and early January of 131, many experts believe.

Hadrian founded the city of Antinoopolis on the banks of the Nile where Antinous died and proclaimed the new religion.

While the Emperor continued his tour of Egypt, the priests scurried to carry out his imperial commission.

We do not know for certain what transpired with the remains of Antinous ... or whether they were ever retrieved from the Nile. Perhaps they were cremated. But perhaps the body was mummified.

Using an Antinous Action Figure, we can demonstrate how it may have been done:

We prepared the body by cleansing it with wine. Then we removed the Intestines, Liver, Lungs and Stomach (placing them in Canopic Jars). 

There is a incision mark down his left side to represents where he would have been cut open for the removal of these organs. 

Next we removed the Brains with a hook through the nose (hence the black dot on his nostril). 

The brains were thrown away because the Egyptians felt the heart was the seat of intelligence, not the brain.

We used a basting brush to cleanse him although a hair-dye or cosmetics brush is also applicable. 

The red heart represents the fact that they left the heart in tact, later it will be used in the Weighing-of-the-heart ceremony. 

In the back corner you see Anubis (the God of Embalming) present during this embalming.

We put him in Sea Salt which represents the Natron Salt that the priests would have used. (Himalayan Salt works just as well). 

Then we let him sit in the salt for 40 minutes ... 1 minute for each day the priests would have left the body in the Natron Salt.

Next we wiped him down with spices of Cinnamon, Nutmeg and Allspice with olive oil.

Then the priests would have replaced the eyes with onions stuffed into the sockets. 

Because the salt desiccated the body, then they stuffed the body with mud, sawdust, rags and chaff to make it appear nicely contoured.

Next we began the wrapping process. We used muslin and a mixture of flour and water (1 part to 3 parts) for the paste. 

In ancient times, it took about 15 days to wrap the body and about 20 layers of linen bandages. 

We put Amulets between the layers of Linen … a tiny scarab beetle and a miniature protective eye of Horus.


We allowed him to do a little drying before the final wrapping.

In ancient times the process took 72 days.

In the case of Antinous, this meant his mummy would have been ready for the final ceremonies on January 11th of 131 AD.

By that time Hadrian would have completed his tour of Egypt and would have returned to Antinoopolis for the "Opening of the Mouth Ceremony."

Afterwards, his tomb would have been sealed and the first priests of Antinous would have begun their sacred watch … and the establishment of the new religion.

No one knows the location of the Lost Tomb of Antinous.

Thursday, January 4, 2018

AERIAL LASER TECHNOLOGY TO REVEAL
BRITAIN'S LOST ROMAN ROADS, STRUCTURES


LOST Roman roads and hidden archaeological remains are likely to be uncovered in a new project to map the entire English landscape using state-of-the-art lasers.

Under plans unveiled by the British Environment Agency, specialist aircraft equipped with laser scanners will be touring the country, recording all 50,000 square miles of land in more detail than ever before.

All the data gathered will be made available for free for the public and industry including archaeologists, urban planners and even game developers.

Environment Agency chief executive Sir James Bevan said: “I'm pleased we are able to gather, use and share such valuable data to contribute to environmental improvements and conservation.

“This ambitious project will enhance our understanding of England's unique natural features and landscape.

“It's just one of the many ways the Environment Agency is using technology to help people and wildlife.”

Since 1998 the Environment Agency has used lasers to scan and map the English landscape to help with work such as flood modeling and tracking changing coastlines.

The "lidar" ... light detection and ranging ... technology, measures the distance between an airplane and the ground to build up a picture of the terrain, and can be used to detect sudden landscape changes.

Around 75 per cent of the country is already mapped, but there is only sporadic coverage of upland areas and the new project, which begins in the coming months, will fill in the gaps.

The new data will also be far more detail than ever before with the whole country mapped at a one meter resolution for the first time using the most up-to-date laser technology.

The Environment Agency is hoping the new information will reveal hidden secrets of the country's past, with previous scans already helping archaeologists find missing Roman remains.

Archaeologist David Ratledge, who had been researching Lancashire’s Roman roads for more than 45 years, used the data to find 10 miles of a ‘lost’ Roman road between Ribchester and Lancaster, as well as 10 other routes, river crossings and even a suspected watchtower.

“Previously in Lancashire we only had aerial photographs from the 1940s and 1960s to go on, but with photographs features only show up after a drought and we don’t get many of those,” he said.

“With lidar, once you know what to look for, it’s blindingly obvious – you just know you’ve found a road, It’s been revolutionary.”

The late archaeologist Hugh Toller also found at least four ‘missing’ Roman roads in Northumberland, North Yorkshire and Cumbria including a lost part of the Maiden Way which joined a Roman fort at Low Borrowbridge, near Penrith, to Kirkby Thore, to the site of a Roman cavalry camp.

The new information will also be used by Natural England to assess wildlife habitat and while the Forestry Commission is hoping to learn move about tree coverage across England.


Wednesday, January 3, 2018

MITHRAS TEMPLE IN NORTHERN ENGLAND
WAS ALIGNED TO SUNRISE DECEMBER 25



AN ancient temple constructed by a mysterious cult in northern England may have been built to align with sunrise on December 25, to "recall the birth" of the light god Mithras.

A new analysis using satellite maps and a software that can plot the direction of sunrise and sunset revealed that the Mithraeum beside a Roman fort in Carrawburgh, England, lines up with both the winter solstice and December 25th.

Followers of the cult of Mithras often associated these two dates with the god, and were even said to celebrate the New Year on December 25th, as it marked his birth.

In a paper published to Philica, Amelia Carolina Sparavigna of Politecnico di Torino says the temple at Carrawburgh was designed for the birth of Mithras.

Sparavigna used the SunCal.net software to pinpoint the direction of sunrise and sunset at different times of the year for this location.

And, this revealed "good alignment" for the December 25 sunrise along with the winter solstice (December 21), with a difference of just 0.2 degrees.

"As we can see using software giving the sunrise and sunset directions on satellite maps, the orientation of the temple and the direction of the sunrise on winter solstice are in good agreement," Sparavigna wrote.

"It means that, probably, the orientation of the temple was chosen to recall the birth of Mithras on December 25."

Worship of Mithras spurred the rise of a mystery cult during the Roman era.

It was practiced from the 1st Century to 4th Century AD, and is linked to the sun god Sol Invictus.

"The cult of Mithras, such as that of the Sol Invictus, who was the patron of the soldiers, was very popular in the Roman army," Sparavigna wrote.

"Both Sol Invictus and Mithras, who were often identified in the same god, are linked to winter solstice.


"Actually, the followers of Mithras worshipped the New Year on December 25, to celebrate the birth of Mithras."