Monday, October 23, 2017

THE SCORPION GODDESS SELKET
GUARDS THE TOMB OF ANTINOUS



23 October is the feast day of the Egyptian scorpion goddess Selket/Serqet ... on this day the Sun enters Scorpio. When Isis went off in search of the body of slain Osiris, she left her baby Horus in the protection of Selket ... because everyone knows scorpions are good mothers ... scorpions carry their babies on their backs. Selket is the guardian of Horus and ... by extension ... she is the guardian of Antinous.

23 de outubro é o dia da festa do escorpião deusa egípcia Selket / Serqet ... neste dia o Sol entra em Escorpião. Quando Isis saiu em busca do corpo de Osíris morto, ela deixou o bebê Horus na proteção de Selket ... porque todo mundo sabe escorpiões são boas mães ... escorpiões carregam seus bebês em suas costas. Selket é o guardião de Horus e ... por extensão ... ela é a guardiã dos Antinous.

23 de octubre es el día de fiesta de la diosa egipcia escorpión Selket / Serqet ... en este día el Sol entra en Escorpio. Cuando Isis fue en busca del cuerpo de Osiris muerto, ella dejó a su bebé Horus en la protección de Selket ... porque todo el mundo sabe que los escorpiones son buenas madres ... escorpiones llevan a sus bebés en sus espaldas. Selket es el guardián de Horus y por extensión ... ... ella es el guardián de Antinoo.

Sunday, October 22, 2017

SOME MODERN ANTINOUS WORSHIPERS
PURCHASE NEWSPAPER DEATH NOTICES



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

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

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


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

The exact date is uncertain. 

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

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

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

SUNRAYS ILLUMINATE INNER SANCTUARY
OF ABU SIMBEL AT DAWN TODAY



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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Saturday, October 21, 2017

ARCHAEOLOGISTS AT ANTINOOPOLIS
SET TO DIG OUT MYSTERY STRUCTURE



After a spectacular 2016-17 dig season, archaeologists have returned to ANTINOOPOLIS in Egypt for the 2017-18 season, during which they will dig for an "intentionally buried stone structure" in the heart of the city founded by Hadrian at the spot where Antinous died in the Nile.

Arriving at the site this past week, the experts said they will use the first two weeks of the new dig season to survey the foundations of what they believe to be a Temple of Antinous-Osiris.

Writing in his first 2017-18 report, James B. Heidel, president of the Antinoupolis Foundation, says: "We are very excited to be back at the site for a shortened two-week excavation this autumn." More work will follow a short break.

"In the first week of work we have focused on removing layers above what we believe to be the other half of the rectangular temple we were uncovering last season (in February)," he wrote.

"This is necessary to determine if it is a free-standing rectangular temple in the middle of the much larger court, or if it is connected in some way architecturally with the surrounding peristyle," he added. See the peristyle court illustration below.

"This is the temple we now are able to say with some certainly is part of the complex dedicated to Osiris-Antinous, the titular deity of Antinoupolis, due to an inscribed cornice block (pictured above left) we discovered in February," he pointed out.

The highlight of the 2016-17 season came when archaeologists detected a "deliberately buried" structure with ground-penetrating radar in February and suggested it could be an OSIREION ... symbolic Tomb of Osiris ... raising hopes that this could be the Lost Tomb of Antinous.

But initial excavation failed to yield results ... results which the archaeologists hope to find during the 2017-18 season.


Other spectacular discoveries include column capitals and a cornice stone with the name of Antinous inscribed in hieroglyphs.

The stones apparently come from a shrine to the Egyptian goddess Hathor ... not however the Great Temple of Antinous, as had been suggested initially.

The stones from the shrine are a mixture of Egyptian and Classical styles which enable the archaeologists to come up with an architectural rendering showing what the shrine and its adjacent peristyle colonnade might have looked like.

Work now resumes on these dig sites in October.

The great fear, however, is that local villagers might build houses on top of the site when archaeologists are away ... since law-enforcement is lax in the region.

It is within what possibly was the Great Temple of Antinous and is a rectangular chamber which is subdivided into three sub-chambers ... apparently an antechamber, a middle chamber and an inner sanctum.

Writing in his first 2017 report, James B. Heidel, president of the Antinoupolis Foundation, says: "The clearest part of the results show a large stone structure which is about 12 x 22 meters in the form of a tripartite shrine."

He adds: "This simply means three rooms of the same size lined up at the end of an axis, and it is a common feature of Egyptian temples for thousands of years."

The ground-penetrating radar shows that the structure is covered by soil which was placed on top of it all at one time, not in layers which accumulated over time.

"This indicates that the structure was intentionally buried.  This is intriguing," the report continues, "because in ancient Egypt buildings known as Osireons were sometimes constructed (the most famous of which is the Osireion constructed by Seti I as part of his temple at Abydos) and were seen as model tombs of the god Osiris.  As model tombs these structures seem to have been intentionally buried," the archaeologists add.

"Since Antinoupolis is the cult city of the new Osiris, Osir-Antinous,  an Osireion would make sense as part of the urban ensemble," the archaeologists state. The structure, whatever it may be, is still covered by two meters of intentional fill.

As a final exciting detail, the stone tripartite structure and the arrangement of the surrounding walls indicate an axis which would not only correspond to the grid of the Ramses II temple, but an axis which would enter that temple in the middle of the side of the "hypostyle hall," which is the hall of columns between the back shrines of the temple and the court at the temple's entry.

"This axis is a normal place for the main side entrance into an Egyptian temple precinct," the report goes on. 

"And it appears that this structure, if built by Hadrian, was intended by his designers to be an extension of the Ramses II temple complex."

The team also found what appears to be a grand stairway in the center of a large temple dedicated to Antinous-Osiris and a large harborside peristyle court ... waterfront structures which were found in the previous season.
Finding the exact location of the ancient waterfront is important since it may indicate the site at which Antinous died.


We know that Emperor Hadrian commanded that a sacred city be founded at the location where Antinous drowned in the Nile.

We also know from an ancient papyrus that an impressive quayside port facility was constructed at or near that site.

Using ground-penetrating radar (GPR), archaeologists found a large  square compound of paving stones bordered by columns ... which could mark the site where Antinous drowned.

Heidel, president of the Antinoupolis Foundation, says the discoveries in the past two years at the site have exceeded all expectations.

Finds include ornate capitals which once adorned colossal columns.

Heidel also says LOOTING has abated somewhat following a return to a semblance of stability in Egypt.

Since the revolution in Egypt, which resulted in runaway lawlessness, the site has been subject t"SYSTEMATIC LOOTING" for three years. 


The scope of looting diminished in recent months, although local villagers still search for "trinkets" to sell on the black market, he writes.

Heidel says his archaeologists working at Antinoopolis (also known as Antinoe) say local villagers continue to encroach on the dig site ... ostensibly to create new space for housing and graves.

However, it is an ages-old practice in Egypt for villagers to build houses over places where they can "accidentally" unearth ancient treasures by digging tunnels under their homes. And excavation of new graves can "accidentally" reveal more ancient treasures.

DOCUMENTARY FILM HIGHLIGHTS PALMYRA
SEEN BY ANTINOUS AND HADRIAN



Antinous visited the fabled city of Palmyra with Hadrian the ruins of which were destroyed in recent months by DAESH Islamic State barbarians.

Now a stunning French documentary film recreates the once-fabulous "Garden City of the Sands" and its destruction ... and efforts to rebuilt the ruins.

The documentary is being shown today on the Franco-German cultural television channel ARTE and can be streamed for viewing.

Only a few months ago DAESH barbarians blasted the Palmyra amphitheater and had destroyed the tetrapylon, a cubic-shaped ancient Roman monument. 

These satellite images by the Boston-based ASOR Cultural Heritage Initiative and taken by satellite imagery company DigitalGlobe displayed the destruction.

Meanwhile, DAESH goons also summarily executed civilians in the embattled city. Since sweeping to power across Iraq and Syria, Isil systematically erased signs of their pluralistic histories. Palmyra has been a particularly egregious target of their hatred.

Palmyra was called the "Garden City of the Sands" and scientists say it was TERRA-FARMED to create a lush green oasis of life and civilization in the midst of the desert.

Islamic State fighters destroyed two ancient temples at the site, described by Unesco as one of the most important cultural centres of the ancient world.

In 2015, DAESH destroyed the PALMYRA TRIUMPHAL ARCH through which Hadrian and Antinous strode.

DAESH meanwhile blew up the BAALSHAMIN Temple in Palmyra. The photo at right shows how impressive even its ruins were prior to its being blown to bits by DAESH.

The photo at left shows all that is left of the Triumphal Arch now. 

The ruins are a testament to the barbaric nature of DAESH renegades.

We know Antinous & Hadrian saw it because Hadrian decreed a vast expansion of the temple.

During the DAESH occupation of Palmyra, KHALED ASSAD, an 81-year-old antiquities scholar who devoted his life to understanding Palmyra, was beheaded by DAESH militants, his bloodied body hung on a pole. He had even named his daughter after Zenobia, the queen that ruled from the city 1,700 years ago.

DAESH claims ancient relics promote idolatry and say they are destroying them as part of their purge of paganism. However, they are also believed to sell off looted antiquities, bringing in significant sums of cash.

Meanwhile, the UN Security Council has been told that DAESH militants have killed 30 suspected gay men for "sodomy" in recent months.

DAESH released a video showing CHILDREN STONING two gay men to death after they had been thrown off a building in Homs Syria. It is one of a grisly series of such gay execution videos. 

A year ago, DAESH released a video showing two other men accused of being gay THROWN OFF A BUILDING and then stoned by a crowd in Palmyra.

Only a few weeks earlier, more than 25 men were EXECUTED BY CHILDREN at the famous theater in Palmyra.

Friday, October 20, 2017

WAS ANTINOUS HERE?
AT JERUSALEM'S HADRIAN THEATER



ISRAELI archaeologists on Monday announced the discovery of the first known Roman-era theater in Jerusalem's Old City, a unique structure around 1,800 years old that abuts the Western Wall and may have been built during Roman Emperor Hadrian's reign.

The edifice's elegant masonry was found during excavations carried out in the past two years below the Western Wall tunnels, a warren of ancient subterranean passageways running alongside a contested Jerusalem holy site built by King Herod in the first century B.C.

The excavations plunged over 6 meters (20 feet) below ground, exposing eight previously uncovered courses of the Temple Mount's western retaining wall.

Jews consider the Temple Mount the holiest site on earth, while Muslims refer to the walled compound as the Noble Sanctuary and consider it the third holiest after Mecca and Medina.

It was the site of two Jewish temples in antiquity ... the second renovated and expanded by Herod ... and today is home to the Al-Aqsa Mosque and Dome of the Rock.

Joe Uziel, an Israel Antiquities Authority archaeologist heading the dig, said that  the theater-like structure is believed to date to the second or third centuries ... the period after Rome razed the city in 70 and the Emperor Hadrian rebuilt it in the mid-second century as a Roman colony, Aelia Capitolina.

Ancient historical accounts mentioned the presence of theaters in Roman-era Jerusalem, but until now archaeologists had not found any of the structures.

Uziel speculates that the unfinished semi-circular theater may have been intended to serve as a small odeon, a venue for musical or theatric performances, or a bouleuterion, a place of assembly for the colony's municipal officials.

It was relatively small, and might have been designed to seat around 200 people. The excavations have exposed the first row of seats, orchestra area, and part of the stage. Wilson's Arch, part of a monumental causeway leading into the temple that soars above the theater, may have been employed for its acoustic properties.

"One of the amazing things is that because we're beneath an arch, they would have had the arch to use as their roof," Uziel said.

What remains unanswered is why the building wasn't finished.

Thursday, October 19, 2017

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.