Tuesday, October 19, 2021

SAINT DIVINE
HARRIS GLENN MILSTEAD


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Monday, October 18, 2021

THE FESTIVAL OF CERNUNNOS



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

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

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

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

Sunday, October 17, 2021

EL SANTO NIÑO FIDENCIO


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

Saturday, October 16, 2021

DICTIONARY OF HOW EGYPTIANS SPOKE
WHEN ANTINOUS VISITED THEM



A revolutionary new dictionary is giving Egyptologists new insights into the way the Ancient Egyptians spoke and lived in the days when Hadrian and Antinous visited the land of the Nile.

Since decipherment of Egyptian hieroglyphs, there have been several dictionaries over the past two centuries for translating hieroglyphic texts written in the language of the pharaohs, primarily Middle Egyptian. But there has been no proper dictionary for Demotic, which was the post-pharaonic form of the Egyptian language which was in use when Egypt was a Roman province.

Demotic Egyptian, a name given by the Greeks to denote it was the tongue of the demos, or common people. It was written as a flowing script and was used in Egypt from about 500 B.C. to 500 A.D., when the land was occupied and usually dominated by foreigners, including Persians, Greeks and Romans. The language lives on today in words such as adobe, which came from the Egyptian word for brick. The word moved through Demotic, on to Arabic and eventually to Spain during the time of Islamic domination there, explained Janet Johnson, editor of the Chicago Demotic Dictionary. Ebony, the dark wood that was traded down the Nile from Nubia (present-day Sudan), also comes from Demotic roots. The name Susan is indirectly related to the Demotic word for water lily. "Demotic was used for business and legal documents, private letters and administrative inscriptions, and literary texts, such as narratives and pieces of wisdom literature," said Johnson, the Morton D. Hull Distinguished Service Professor at the Oriental Institute. "It was also used for religious and magical texts as well as scientific texts dealing with topics such as astronomy, mathematics and medicine. It is an indispensible tool for reconstructing the social, political and cultural life of ancient Egypt during a fascinating period of its history," she continued. "The University of Chicago is pretty much Demotic central," said James Allen, PhD'81, the Wilbour Professor of Egyptology and chair of the Department of Egyptology and Ancient Western Asian Studies at Brown University. "Besides the Demotic dictionary, the University also has some of the world's top experts on Demotic on its faculty. "This dictionary will be very useful, as there are more unpublished documents in Demotic than any other phase of ancient Egyptian," he said. The Demotic language was one of the three texts on the Rosetta stone, which was also written in Egyptian hieroglyphs and Greek. In addition to being used on stone carvings, the script was left behind on papyrus and broken bits of pottery.

Read more at: http://phys.org/news/2012-09-chicago-demotic-dictionary-refines-knowledge.html#jCp
Demotic Egyptian, a name given by the Greeks to denote it was the tongue of the demos, or common people. It was written as a flowing script and was used in Egypt from about 500 B.C. to 500 A.D., when the land was occupied and usually dominated by foreigners, including Persians, Greeks and Romans. The language lives on today in words such as adobe, which came from the Egyptian word for brick. The word moved through Demotic, on to Arabic and eventually to Spain during the time of Islamic domination there, explained Janet Johnson, editor of the Chicago Demotic Dictionary. Ebony, the dark wood that was traded down the Nile from Nubia (present-day Sudan), also comes from Demotic roots. The name Susan is indirectly related to the Demotic word for water lily. "Demotic was used for business and legal documents, private letters and administrative inscriptions, and literary texts, such as narratives and pieces of wisdom literature," said Johnson, the Morton D. Hull Distinguished Service Professor at the Oriental Institute. "It was also used for religious and magical texts as well as scientific texts dealing with topics such as astronomy, mathematics and medicine. It is an indispensible tool for reconstructing the social, political and cultural life of ancient Egypt during a fascinating period of its history," she continued. "The University of Chicago is pretty much Demotic central," said James Allen, PhD'81, the Wilbour Professor of Egyptology and chair of the Department of Egyptology and Ancient Western Asian Studies at Brown University. "Besides the Demotic dictionary, the University also has some of the world's top experts on Demotic on its faculty. "This dictionary will be very useful, as there are more unpublished documents in Demotic than any other phase of ancient Egyptian," he said. The Demotic language was one of the three texts on the Rosetta stone, which was also written in Egyptian hieroglyphs and Greek. In addition to being used on stone carvings, the script was left behind on papyrus and broken bits of pottery.

Read more at: http://phys.org/news/2012-09-chicago-demotic-dictionary-refines-knowledge.html#jCp
Demotic Egyptian, a name given by the Greeks to denote it was the tongue of the demos, or common people. It was written as a flowing script and was used in Egypt from about 500 B.C. to 500 A.D., when the land was occupied and usually dominated by foreigners, including Persians, Greeks and Romans. The language lives on today in words such as adobe, which came from the Egyptian word for brick. The word moved through Demotic, on to Arabic and eventually to Spain during the time of Islamic domination there, explained Janet Johnson, editor of the Chicago Demotic Dictionary. Ebony, the dark wood that was traded down the Nile from Nubia (present-day Sudan), also comes from Demotic roots. The name Susan is indirectly related to the Demotic word for water lily. "Demotic was used for business and legal documents, private letters and administrative inscriptions, and literary texts, such as narratives and pieces of wisdom literature," said Johnson, the Morton D. Hull Distinguished Service Professor at the Oriental Institute. "It was also used for religious and magical texts as well as scientific texts dealing with topics such as astronomy, mathematics and medicine. It is an indispensible tool for reconstructing the social, political and cultural life of ancient Egypt during a fascinating period of its history," she continued. "The University of Chicago is pretty much Demotic central," said James Allen, PhD'81, the Wilbour Professor of Egyptology and chair of the Department of Egyptology and Ancient Western Asian Studies at Brown University. "Besides the Demotic dictionary, the University also has some of the world's top experts on Demotic on its faculty. "This dictionary will be very useful, as there are more unpublished documents in Demotic than any other phase of ancient Egyptian," he said. The Demotic language was one of the three texts on the Rosetta stone, which was also written in Egyptian hieroglyphs and Greek. In addition to being used on stone carvings, the script was left behind on papyrus and broken bits of pottery.

Read more at: http://phys.org/news/2012-09-chicago-demotic-dictionary-refines-knowledge.html#jCp

Demotic Egyptian was the tongue of the demos, or common people. It was written as a flowing script and was used in Egypt from about 500 B.C. to 500 A.D., when the land was occupied and usually dominated by foreigners, including Persians, Greeks and Romans.

The language lives on today in words such as adobe, which came from the Egyptian word for brick. The word moved through Demotic, on to Arabic and eventually to Spain during the time of Islamic domination there, explained Janet Johnson, editor of the Chicago Demotic Dictionary.

Ebony, the dark wood that was traded down the Nile from Nubia (present-day Sudan), also comes from Demotic roots. The name Susan is indirectly related to the Demotic word for water lily.

"Demotic was used for business and legal documents, private letters and administrative inscriptions, and literary texts, such as narratives and pieces of wisdom literature," said Johnson, the Morton D. Hull Distinguished Service Professor at the Oriental Institute.

"It was also used for religious and magical texts as well as scientific texts dealing with topics such as astronomy, mathematics and medicine. It is an indispensible tool for reconstructing the social, political and cultural life of ancient Egypt during a fascinating period of its history," she continued.

"The University of Chicago is pretty much Demotic central," said James Allen, the Wilbour Professor of Egyptology and chair of the Department of Egyptology and Ancient Western Asian Studies at Brown University.

"Besides the Demotic dictionary, the University also has some of the world's top experts on Demotic on its faculty. "This dictionary will be very useful, as there are more unpublished documents in Demotic than any other phase of ancient Egyptian," he said.

The Demotic language was one of the three texts on the Rosetta stone, which was also written in Egyptian hieroglyphs and Greek. In addition to being used on stone carvings, the script was left behind on papyrus and broken bits of pottery. The new dictionary combines all three:


Chicago Demotic Dictionary refines knowledge of influential language

OSCAR WILDE
SAINT OF ANTINOUS


ON October 16th, the Religion of Antinous honors SAINT OSCAR WILDE who was born on this day in 1854. He died in ignominy and poverty on November 30th, 1900.

Ostensibly, Saint Oscar Wilde was an Irish playwright, poet and author of numerous short stories and one novel.

Known for his biting wit, he became the most successful playwright of the late Victorian era in London, and the greatest "celebrity" of his day.

His plays are still widely performed, especially The Importance of Being Earnest.

As the result of a widely covered series of trials, Wilde experienced  a dramatic downfall and was imprisoned for two years' hard labour after being convicted of homosexual relationships, described as "gross indecency" with other men.

After Wilde was released from prison he set sail for Dieppe by the night ferry and he never returned to Ireland or Britain.


That is the truth, pure and simple, of his life. But as Saint Oscar himself once famously said: "The pure and simple truth is rarely pure and never simple."

For that reason (and for many others) we remember him not only because he was notorious (something for which he might claim to be quite proud) but because he remembered Antinous.

He kept the name of Antinous alive through his poetry: 

"—A moment more, the trees had stooped to kiss
Pale Daphne just awakening from the swoon
Of tremulous laurels, lonely Salmacis
Had bared his barren beauty to the moon,
And through the vale with sad voluptuous smile
ANTINOUS had wandered, the red lotus of the Nile.

"Down leaning from his black and clustering hair
To shade those slumberous eyelids — caverned bliss,
Or else on yonder grassy slope with bare
High-tuniced limbs unravished Artemis
Had bade her hounds give tongue, and roused the deer
From his green ambuscade with shrill hallo and pricking spear.
FROM "THE BURDEN OF ITYS" BY OSCAR WILDE.


"—Lift up your large black satin eyes which are like cushions where one sinks!
Fawn at my feet fantastic Sphinx! and sing me all your memories!

Sing to me of that odorous green eve when couching by the marge
You heard from Adrian's gilded barge the laughter of 
ANTINOUS
And lapped the stream and fed your drouth and watched with hot and hungry stare
The ivory body of that rare young slave with his pomegranate mouth!


FROM "THE SPHINX" BY OSCAR WILDE.

Here are some quotations from Oscar Wilde:

We are all in the gutter, but some of us are looking at the stars.

Ordinary riches can be stolen, real riches cannot.
In your soul are infinitely precious things that cannot be taken from you.

I have the simplest tastes. I am always satisfied with the best.

Man can believe the impossible, but can never believe the improbable

The critic has to educate the public; the artist has to educate the critic.

Whenever a man does a thoroughly stupid thing, it is always from the noblest motives.

It is absurd to divide people into good and bad. People are either charming or tedious.

I am so clever that sometimes I don't understand a single word of what I am saying.

I love talking about nothing. It is the only thing I know anything about.

Always forgive your enemies — nothing annoys them so much.

A true friend stabs you in the front.

I don't want to earn my living — I want to live.

Every saint has a past and every sinner has a future.

Nothing that is worth knowing can be taught.

The only thing worse than being talked about is NOT being talked about.

A gentleman is one who never hurts anyone's feelings unintentionally.

What is a cynic? A man who knows the price of everything and the value of nothing.

To live is the rarest thing in the world. Most people exist, that is all.

Be yourself; everyone else is already taken.

Friday, October 15, 2021

ANTINOUS IS A GOD OF HEALING
By Our Novice Priest Adriaan van den Berg



Antinous heals! For centuries the ancient believers of Antinous petitioned their God for good health and for Antinous to heal them.


Antinous knows these calls, these petitions and requests, these most dire and desperate pleas, he is familiar with the circumstances and conditions of sickness, he understands the suffering and he intervenes.


His healing power, according to the Obelisk of Antinous in Rome, is expressed through dreams, but he is also a god of the miraculous... Not the cheap trick variety, but of the interventionist kind. 


Yes, Antinous can instantly and immediately cure you from what afflicts you. You just have to ask! A simple prayer to Antinous, as if you were conversing with him, is all it would take. Ask him to heal you. 


Our God is a God of Healing and he will listen to those calling upon him. If you fear the Covid virus, take all precautions, but ask Antinous' to free you of all fear and apprehension, he will give you peace.


Antinous is a friend above all, an intimate and sincere friend to all who profess friendship with him. Again, profess your friendship through prayers to him, and you will be blessed with a companion too.


Ave Antinous!
Adriaan van den Berg
Novice Priest of Antinous

Thursday, October 14, 2021

A PHALLIC AMULET OR TALISMAN
KEPT DOCTOR AWAY IN ANCIENT ROME




IN ancient Roman religion and magic, the fascinus or fascinum was the embodiment of the divine phallus. 

Phallic imagery was everywhere in Ancient Rome: inscribed on paving stones, on pendants and jewelry and as decorative hangings, such as this terracotta fascinus found in Pompeii.

The deity Fascinus was tended by the Vestal Virgins who blessed phallus effigies, amulets and talismans, and spoke enchantments invoke his divine protection. 

Pliny calls it a medicus invidiae, a "doctor" or remedy for envy (invidia, a "looking upon") or the evil eye.

Tintinnabulum hanging wind chimes in gardens warded off insect pests and blights from plants.

A fascinus ring on a child's finger, or pendant around the child's neck served to protect the tot from harm.

Phallic emblems on paving stones were intended to keep away evil spirits who might cause traffic accidents.

A winged phallus whisked harm away with the beat of its wings.