Friday, May 26, 2017

EMPRESS REGINA FONG
BELOVED SAINT OF ANTINOUS


ON MAY 26th the Religion of Antinous celebrates the life of Reg "Regina Fong" Bundy, a blessed saint of Antinous, who was born on this day in 1941 and died on April 15, 2003. A brazenly gay cabaret artiste — she disliked being called a drag queen — she was a well-known AIDS charity host who influenced a generation of post-Stonewall gays in Britain with acerbic send-ups of politics and popular culture.

Regina Fong was not just a "queen", she was an "empress" — the last of the Russian Imperial Dynasty of the Romanoffs. Forget Anastasia (and Ingrid Bergman in a '50s film), Regina Fong was the REAL heir to Russian nobility. Like so many Russian aristocrats, she sought asylum in monarchical Britain after the Russian Revolution. There were indeed members of the Russian Imperial family who lived (albeit rather modestly) on the grounds of Windsor Castle during the 20th Century. Empress Regina lived (albeit rather immodestly) in London's West End.

Her Imperial Highness (HIH) Regina Fong did in fact become an Iconic cult figure on the European Cabaret stage. Known to friends as Reg (pronounced "Redge"), she lost her battle to cancer April 15, 2003.

But Reg, by creating Her Imperial Highness Regina Fong, a flame-red-wigged champion of gay rights, was insistently committed to being the knight in shining red armour who carried the banner of charities involved in transforming the AIDS epidemic from mortal tragedy into spiritual triumph. She reminded us all that gay cabaret, especially in London at that time, was (and continues to be) a central part of gay life.

After the "Gay Liberation" in the late '60s and '70s, drag queens and cabaret artistes were pushed to the back of the room, to more mainstream, homogenized images of gay life.

Regina Fong, and other Gay pioneers like Lily Savage, changed this forever and brought Gay Cabaret back to its rightful spot in the London Gay Scene. The Cabaret Tent at London Gay Pride events as the epicenter of Gay culture in good times and bad is the direct legacy of this valiant drag queen — er, ahm — cabaret artiste!

Our own Knight Stephanos personally knew Empress Regina Fong and conferred with her often in the legendary Black Cap gay bar in the heart of the Camden Town District of London. And so it is fitting that KNIGHT STEPHANOS (pictured right with Her Imperial Highness) explains her Sacred Significance to us:

"Happy Birthday Regina Fong even though you and the Black Cap are now gone.

"What can one say in this current day except to pay a tribute to the one and only Reg...Regina Fong, Queen if them all….

"Regina Fong the Empress of Camp. Queen of the Black Cap.

"You Reigned supreme. Sage of the rejected, muse to all that were affected.

"Daily she held court at the corner of the front bar, vodka and tonic, laughter, dialogue quite chronic. Nightly you drew the crowds: shaking us from the  melancholy of the expected life, denial waking strife.

"Cabaret Artiste beacon of hope, torch carrier of all who could but strive to such heights.

"Black cap memories to be had everyday at the end of the front bar at 11:00 am. Sitting to Michael Jeffries swapping war stories giving advice...in comes Steffens and Camp David...last of the Polari...Vada, Vada, Naff, Convo...Laughter, drinks, and scams galore.

"Always aching for the next adventure of days gone by…. If you could smell and hear the wonder of the front bar of the black cap...nicotine stains and morning shakes...characters and creatures of a world gone by...but not forgotten...bastions of an age of defiance, survival, and overwhelming urge to be fabulous.

"Happy Birthday H.I.H. Regina Fong...the likes of you could never be wrong."

Thursday, May 25, 2017

'TOTALITER ALITER'
THE TALE OF THE TWO PRIESTS OF ANTINOUS

(From THE MEMOIRS OF AN ANCIENT PRIEST OF ANTINOUS by Ernest Gill)


TWO PRIESTS  of Antinous at the Temple of the Blessed Boy in Rome had devoted their lives to the Good God and were getting on in years.

As young men they had become priests together. Their love for each other was symbolized and enhanced by their love for Antinous. They had lived out their lives together at the great Temple of Rome under the most exalted Priest Nikias.

Nikias of Rome was the author of a famous inscription in Greek which addresses Antinous as NEOS HERMES the "New Hermes" who conveys the deceased through the portals of death into transcendent light. A great Antinoo-Hermeticist, Nikias had taught them much about the triumph of Antinous over death.

And now, as toothless old men, they were approaching the final stage of their earthly priesthood. Both men were frail and ill. They knew death was imminent.

But they were unafraid, for they were confident that they would be re-united in death through the grace and love of the Most Great and Good God whom they had served so faithfully all their lives.

But how exactly would that re-union occur? The ancient texts spoke of the Barque of Millions of Years sailing across the heavens towards the Star of Antinous. But that was the Egyptian imagery, and these priests were both Romans and had only ever served in the Antinous Temple of Rome.

The Rome Temple would of course place their death masks in niches in a special area of the temple dedicated to former priests.

Incense and prayers would be offered to them. Would their shades inhabit those niches?

Would Antinous welcome them in Hades, despite the fact that Antinous the Boy God had come from Bithynia in Asia Minor?

Would their souls be reincarnated as some Eastern mystics believed? Would they hover between heaven and Earth or perhaps be consigned to spending part of the year in the underworld and part of it as lemurs roaming the Earth?

They weren't afraid. But they were exceedingly curious to find out. Confidentially, they believed amongst themselves that they would sail with Antinous aboard the Boat of Millions of Years —  a perpetual journey which would never end. But they weren't sure ....

They had spent years perfecting their meditation skills and, without false modesty, they could claim to be masters at the art of trance vision travel. They both knew that the Egyptian hieroglyphs had told the truth in promising that Antinous speaks through dreams and visions. They also knew how to send psychic messages to each other, and had done so on many occasions.

So they made a deal. He who was the first to die would appear to the other in a dream and reveal what the afterlife was like.

As accomplished as they were, they nonetheless knew that such astral communication must be as succinct and simple as possible.

So they agreed that, if the afterlife was as they had envisioned it, the deceased would appear to his friend and utter the word TALITER meaning "exactly so" as they had expected it to be.

And if it was not as they had imagined, the deceased would say ALITER meaning "different" from what they had expected.

The fateful day came not long afterward, and the surviving priest lit incense and recited prayers before the niche mask of his beloved friend and fellow priest.

That night, almost immediately after his head touched his pillow, his deceased friend appeared to him. He was no longer old and sick and frail. He was as young and handsome as the day they had entered the temple. And he was smiling and clearly very excited and seemed to have forgotten the agreed-upon words.

"Taliter or aliter, which is it?" the sleeping priest asked his departed friend.

The friend smiled bigger than ever and said: TOTALITER ALITER  "totally different"  and still beaming with joy, he turned and vanished into golden light.

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

TAIWAN COURT LEGALIZES LGBT MARRIAGE
VICTORY FOR CHINESE DEITY OF GAYNESS



TAIWAN's top court has cleared the way for the island to recognize same-sex marriage … a landmark decision for LGBT rights in Asia.

The Constitutional Court ruled that current laws, which say that marriage is between a man and a woman, violate the constitution.


The ruling means gay weddings could soon be consecrated at Taiwan's temple of the Chinese "Rabbit God" of homosexuality.

Just as Antinous is being re-discovered in the West, Hu Tianbao alias Tu Er Shen the "Rabbit God" is being rediscovered by Chinese gays. 

Incredibly, both deities involve young gay men who were in love with men of high standing ... and who died tragically ... and who became gods of the spiritual essence of homosexuality. 

Antinous is a true-life historical figure, of course, but his Chinese counterpart is shrouded in myth and legend ... involving rabbits.

According to Zi Bu Yu (子不語), a book written by Yuan Mei (袁枚, a Qing dynasty writer), Tu Er Shen (兔兒神 or 兔神) was a mortal man called Hu Tianbao (胡天保).

Hu Tianbao fell in love with a very handsome imperial inspector of Fujian Province. One day Hu Tianbao was caught peeping on the inspector through a toilet wall, at which point he came out to the other man. To save face, the imperial inspector had no choice but to have Hu Tianbao beaten to death.

One month after Hu Tianbao's death, he is said to have appeared to a man from his hometown in a dream, claiming that since his crime was one of love, the gods decided to right the injustice by appointing him the god and safeguarder of homosexual affections.


After his dream the man erected a shrine to Hu Tianbao, which became very popular in Fujian province, so much so that in late Qing times, the cult of Hu Tianbao was suppressed by the homophobic Qing government.

A slang term for homosexuals in late imperial China was Tuzi (兔子) (bunnies) which is why Hu Tianbao is referred to as the RABBIT GOD, although in fact he has nothing to do with rabbits and should not be confused with TU-ER-YE (兔儿爷) the famous "Rabbit in the Moon" which is the Chinese version of the "Man in the Moon".

However, the rabbit association stuck, and even today his devotees portray him with rabbit ears and make offerings of carrots to his altars. The handsome statuette in this image is lovingly clothed in a rabbit-fur cloak.

While no one knows if gays in mainland China worship him ... there is a temple in Yonghe city (永和市)in Taiwan that venerates Hu Tianbao, alias Tu Er Shen. The temple is known as the RABBIT TEMPLE (兔兒廟). The address is Taipei, Yonghe City, Yonghe Road Section 1, Alley 37, No 12.

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

ANTINOUS IN THE STRANGEST PLACES
EVEN AT THE SUPERMARKET


ANTINOUS shows up in the most extraordinary places ... even at the supermarket magazine rack.

Some years ago, Hachette published a magazine series entitled THE GODS OF ANCIENT EGYPT which featured special issues on scores of Egyptian deities ... nearly 100 in all.

Each edition featured a glossy brochure and an epoxy resin figurine in a little plastic "display case." The magazines were widely available at booksellers and newsstands around the world.

Antinous was featured in Issue 88 — possibly the most collectible issue in the whole series.

The Hachette magazines have long since gone out of print, but the figurines are still found on eBay and other online marketplaces.

Antinous is hard to find, but occasionally he turns up and the bidding turns fierce as ANTINOMANIACS fight to possess the little 4.5-inch (14 cm) figurine.


The one pictured here sold on eBay for nearly $50 in "NRFB" condition — "Never Removed From Box."

It is "only a fake" of course. 

But that does not make it any less sacred or magical to anyone who loves Antinous. 

In ancient times, Antinous figurines, images, coins and medallions were prized by his worshipers as a sort of portable Sacred Token or Pocket Shrine.

In his authoritative book about Antinous, BELOVED AND GOD, Royston Lambert points out that in ancient times many followers of the Blessed Youth felt it was necessary to have a tangible representation of Antinous with them at all times for protection and for blessings:

"Some of the devotees evidently could not bear to be parted from the beneficial and reassuring presence of their Antinous and therefore had small, light-weight travelling busts or bronzes made to accompany them on their journeys."

Poor people made do with more crudely made representations, such as coins and figurines and medals made of lead, clay and other base materials. The demand was so great that there was a rife trade in which we would nowadays call "copyright piracy" among artisans turning out "illicitly yet more crude and cheap medallions of this hero whose images, miracles and protection were obviously sought by countless poor folk of faith."


People of modest means who were lucky enough to get their hands on one of his clay figures or commemorative coins would carry them with them for protection, often even wearing them:

"Many were pierced by holes and hung from the neck as talismans: Antinous' image offering protection against evil, sickness and death," says Lambert. 

Other such tiny statuettes, figurines, coins and medallions were placed in portable shrines or pouches or adorned away-from-home altars, and others were buried with the dead "to invoke the god's aid on the perilous journey into the unknown."

We look at the little Hachette Antinous figurine and see only a cheap epoxy resin plastic action figure, crudely hand-painted in some Chinese sweat shop. 

But imagine how the Ancient Priests of Antinous would have gaped in wonder at this little figurine swaddled in cellophane, along with a book of shiny pages unlike any papyrus, pages adorned with inscrutable glyphs and breathtakingly realistic images. 

Where we see ordinary plastic, the Ancient Priests would see a wondrous statuette fashioned in what to them would be a magical putty-like material not like anything found on Earth.

Clearly, it was fashioned by the Gods themselves — clearly, ANTINOUS THE GAY GOD truly is "immanent" (in-dwelling) in this miraculous vessel.

And the Ancient Priests would, of course, be absolutely right. 

Monday, May 22, 2017

HARVEY MILK, SAINT OF ANTINOUS



ON May 22nd the world honors Harvey Milk ... his birthday (22 May 1930) is commemorated as Harvey Milk Day around the world. 

Champion of the early gay rights movement, in 1977 Harvey Milk became the first openly Gay person to be elected to the Board of Supervisors in San Francisco.

He advocated the liberation of homosexuality for the benefit of society in general, and jokingly claimed to be a gay recruiter. He was instrumental in passing the Gay Civil Rights Bill in San Francisco, which was to be his undoing.

On November 27, of 1978, Milk was murdered City Hall along with Mayor George Moscone by former City Supervisor Danny White who had resigned his office after the enactment of the bill. Dan White was acquitted of murder but sentenced to only seven years on manslaughter charges.

Following his acquittal on May 21st, 1979, riots broke during a demonstration in front of City Hall, and later, 100,000 people marched on Washington in support of Gay Rights chanting "Harvey Milk Lives!" He became the first gay saint and martyr following the movement that began at the Stonewall.

In a tape recording made one year before his assassination, as if in prophecy, Harvey Milk said, "If a bullet should enter my brain, let that bullet destroy every closet door."
 
For his actions, for his life, for the changes that he effected, and for the love that continues to burn for him in the memory of his gay, lesbian and transgender children, we priests of Antinous recognize and sanctify Harvey Milk as a Heroic Saint and Martyr.

ANTINOUS WAS PHOTOGRAPHED IN 3-D
FOR VICTORIAN ARMCHAIR TRAVELERS



PRIEST UENDI recently found this old stereoview with Antinous. 

It is from the Louvre Museum and is dated 1860 on the back of the card. The image shows the Antinous-Aristaeus statue.

Stereoviews are designed to be seen through a stereoscope, which she does not have but is tempted to purchase. 

When looking through the scope it produces "3-D" version of the image. 

It is amazing to think how many hands held this image and were able to see the glory of Antinous.

Sunday, May 21, 2017

THE BIRTH OF PLATO
SAINT OF ANTINOUS



ON May 21st the Religion of Antinous honors Plato, Saint of Antinous, because May 21st is Plato's birthday, and no worshipper of Antinous could possibly forget HIS birthday.

The greatest of all western mystics and philosophers was born on this day in the year 427 BC. He was originally named Aristocles, but was called Plato by one of his teachers because of the breadth of his shoulders and of his speech, and we might also say because of the magnitude of his legacy of wisdom.

He was a follower of Socrates and the majority of his works are written as Dialogues of Socrates, wherein Plato elaborates his vision of the Universe, the inner workings of mankind, the complexities of human relationships, and the virtues of civilization.

All we know about Socrates is in reality only what Plato has told us of his teacher. Out of loyalty, Plato gave all personal credit to the wisdom of his divine teacher.

Plato founded the Academy in Athens that was dedicated to the love of wisdom and to the perfection of the minds and souls of young men. The image above is a mosaic from Pompeii showing Plato and his academy assembled under his famous olive tree.

Plato studied Pythagoreanism in Italy and made further speculation into the mathematical mysticism of the first philosopher thereby creating the model upon which western monotheism is based. The Platonic system was essentially a unification of the social inquiry of Socrates with the cosmic ramifications of the teachings of Pythagoras.

Here is how Flamen Antinoalis Antonius Subia explain's the significance of Saint Plato:


"In the vision of Love that Plato expounded, Venus Urania, Celestial Love, is glorified as highest form of human affection, above the earthly requirements of procreation. The love between two men, what is innocently called Platonic Love, was considered by Plato to be the most divine form of relationship.

"Hadrian, in all ways the most Platonic of all Emperors, the veritable manifestation of the Philosopher King as glorified by Plato in The Republic, was demonstrating the meaning of Venus Urania, for all the world to see, in his passion for Antinous.

"For the beautiful light in which Plato illuminated the inner nature of homosexual love, he is venerated as a divine Saint of the Religion of Antinous."

Saturday, May 20, 2017

CASTOR AND POLLUX
TWIN GODS OF HOMOSEXUALITY



TODAY the Sun enters the Sign of Gemini — the sign of the Twins Castor and Pollux, Gods of Homosexuality.  This is the zodiac sign which ushers in a special sacred time in the Religion of Antinous, for this is the time of year when the STAR OF ANTINOUS rises, after having been hidden below the horizon since the Death of Antinous at the end of October.

We honor the Dioscuri who were born as triplets with the beautiful Helen as their sister. The mother of the three was Leda who was seduced by Zeus who came to her in the form of a swan. Leda gave birth to an egg from which emerged Castor, Pollux and Helen.


The photo above shows the Prado's Ildefonso Group, twin statue of Castor and Pollux, with a marble head of Antinous "restored" to the left figure.

The identical brothers were inseparable, and had a deep affection for one another, for which reason they were often worshipped as gods of homosexuality. Helen was constantly being abducted and in need of rescue, which the brothers were usually successful in accomplishing, however, her beauty was eventually to lead to the Trojan War.


Castor was a skilled horseman, and Pollux was an unconquerable boxer. They took part in the voyage of the Argonauts, and with Orpheus they calmed a storm, for which reason they were worshipped as the protectors of sailors.

Later in the voyage, Castor was killed. Pollux was so overwhelmed that he begged Zeus to accept his life in exchange for his brother's. 


Out of compassion, Zeus immortalized Castor and proclaimed that Pollux would spend half the year in the underworld and half the year in heaven with his brother. 

Together they were placed in the sky as the sign of Gemini.

The Divine Twins miraculously appeared in Rome to announce the victory of the Republic over the allies of the last king by watering their horses in the Fountain of Juturna in the Forum.

Flamen Antonius has this further insight into Castor and Pollux:

"The sacredness of the Twin Gods, with their third twin sister Helen is found in Norse Mythology as the Alcis and as the twins Frey and Skirnir with their third twin sister Freya.

"The symbolism of brotherly love, and of sacrificing one's life for the immortality of a brother is at the heart of the Religion of Antinous, and is an example of the sacrifice that Antinous is said to have committed for the prolongation of the life of Hadrian. The Dioscuri are Antinous and his "rival" Aelius Caesar, and they are also seen in the two brothers of Hadrian's court, Macedo and Statianus Caesernius, who were servants, protectors, confidants, lovers, friends, witnesses and first priests of Antinous.

"The Sacred Star of Antinous rises during the sign of the brothers Castor and Pollux."

Friday, May 19, 2017

PETER WILDEBLOOD
SAINT OF ANTINOUS


ON May 19th, the Religion of Antinous honors our Saint Peter Wildeblood, a British journalist, novelist, playwright and gay-rights campaigner, who was born on this day in 1923.

He became one of the first men in Britain to declare publicly that he was gay, when he was arrested and put on trial in a headline-making case in 1954. 

He was sent to prison on a conviction of "conspiring to incite acts of gross indecency and buggery." 

His case created such an uproar that it helped to lead to the 1960s reform of anti-gay laws in the UK.

In the uptight post-war years of the early '50s, Wildeblood had made something of a name for himself in the theatre and as a roving reporter for a major newspaper, London's Daily Mail, when he happened to meet a 23-year-old RAF corporal named Eddie McNally in Piccadilly Circus. 

Although Eddie McNally was not Peter Wildeblood's type, they developed a relationship over time. In the summer of 1952 they arranged to go on holiday together at Edward Montagu's beach hut on the English coast. John Reynolds, who was also an airman and a friend of Eddie McNally, also joined them.

About 18 months later, on Saturday, January 9, 1954, Peter Wildeblood was arrested at his home and his house was searched. He was charged with conspiring with Edward Montagu and Michael Pitt-Rivers to incite Eddie McNally and John Reynolds to commit indecent acts.

The police tipped off the press and the story was headlined in all the Sunday newspapers the next day. Eddie McNally and John Reynolds became witnesses for the prosecution.

The media went on a feeding frenzy and his picture was plastered all over the front pages for weeks. One paper retouched his photos to make it appear that he was wearing lipstick. He was vilified in public. He later described one incident when a woman recognized him being driven past in a vehicle.



"That night, a woman spat at me," Wildeblood wrote later. "She was a respectable looking, middle-aged, tweedy person wearing a sensible felt hat. She was standing on the pavement as the car went by. I saw her suck in her cheeks, and the next moment a big blob of spit was running down the windscreen.  

"This shocked me very much. The woman did not look eccentric or evil; in fact she looked very much like the country gentlewomen with whom my mother used to take coffee when she has finished her shopping on Saturday mornings. She looked thoroughly ordinary, to me. But what did I look like to her? Evidently, I was a monster."

What so troubled the decent people of the day was not that homosexual practices went on — everybody knew they always had and always would — but that anybody would openly declare himself to be "a homosexual." 

He was in the news constantly until his conviction and sentencing to 18 months in prison. Because he was (understandably) depressed, he was considered suicidal and was transferred to a dire hospital for the criminally insane where the squalid conditions affected not only his mental health but also his physical health.

He was released after 12 months and immediately launched a personal crusade to overturn anti-gay sex laws in Britain. He lobbied in Parliament and wrote articles and a book entitled Against the Law which outlined how gay people can be entrapped and harassed in their own homes for consensual activity among adults which does not affect anyone else.



His three main points were: homosexuality between consenting adults in private should not be illegal, that prison only encourages homosexuality, and that prison hospitals were inhumane.

While writing this he bought a small drinking club in Soho which attracted a mixture of types on the fringes of society. This provided material for his fictional autobiography about the club, A Way Of Life.

It was a surprise success and encouraged him to write more novels and plays which were hits on stage in London's West End in the late 1950s. In the '60s he became a well-known TV scriptwriter and producer. In the '70s he was lured by Canadian television with a lucrative contract, and emigrated to Canada, where he adopted Canadian citizenship and was responsible for numerous hit productions over the next 16 years.

When he retired in the 1980s, he went to live in a wooden Edwardian cottage in Victoria on the western coast of Canada which had a stunning view over the Juan de Fuca Straits to the Olympic Mountains above Seattle. He suffered a series of debilitating strokes in the mid-'90s which left him speechless and quadriplegic. He learned to communicate via a computer using movements of his chin. He suffered a final stroke and died November 13, 1999, at the age of 76.

In saluting Saint Peter Wildeblood, the Religion of Antinous honors the beacon of courage and hope which he represented in an age of darkness and despair for gay men everywhere. Everyone advised him to remain quiet, and yet he chose to speak out. He did not choose to be exposed but, placed at the mercy of events, he chose to become their master.

His book was a courageous act of defiance against the kind of injustice which the straight world called justice. 

"Very faintly," he wrote, "as though at the end of a tunnel, I could see what I must do. I would make a statement ... I would simply tell the truth about myself ... I would be the first homosexual to tell what it felt like to be an exile in one's own country. I might destroy myself, but perhaps I could help others."

Thursday, May 18, 2017

TODAY IS THE FESTIVAL OF ANTINOUS
IN HIS GUISE AS PAN AND CERNUNNOS



THE 18th of May is the festival of Pan and Cernunnos, Old Horny ... an aspect of Antinous in this art by ANTONIUS SUBIA.

Pan represents the masculine energy in nature, virility and the link between civilization and the wild places. 

He is of two natures: human and animal and reminds us that we are not separate from the animal kingdom. 

He is the god of wild, unstoppable sexuality, not of love. He is the hunter and the hunted, he knows both sides of the pursuit. 

Pan is said to have a nap, just after noon for a couple of hours, and it is best not to disturb him during this time.

This is the time when he can send healing dreams to those who ask his aid.

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

TODAY IS INTERNATIONAL DAY AGAINST
HOMOPHOBIA, TRANSPHOBIA AND BIPHOBIA


THE International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia is observed on May 17 and aims to coordinate international events that raise awareness of LGBT rights violations and stimulate interest in LGBT rights work worldwide. 

Commemorations are taking place in almost 120 countries, in all world regions.

The day is particularly strong in Europe and Latin America, where it is commemorated with public events in almost all countries.

May 17 is also marked in multiple countries in all world regions including, 32 of the 76 countries in the world where same-sex relationships are criminalized.

Common actions include large-scale street marches, parades and festivals. In Cuba, for example, Mariela Castro has led out a huge street parade in honor of May 17 for the past several years. 

In Chile in 2013, 50,000 people took to the streets to mark May 17, and the VIII Santiago Equality march.

The main purpose of the May 17 mobilisations is to raise awareness of violence, discrimination, and repression of LGBT communities worldwide, which in turn provides an opportunity to take action and engage in dialogue with the media, policymakers, public opinion, and wider civil society.

One of the stated goals of May 17 is to create an event that can be visible at a global level without needing to conform to a specific type of action.

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

EGYPTOLOGISTS FIND MAGICAL GARDEN
GIVING SUSTENANCE FOR ETERNITY



FOR the first time ever, Egyptologists have discovered a magical funerary garden at a tomb in Egypt which was designed to provide the deceased with herbal nourishment to ensure life throughout eternity.

The 4,000-year-old garden was discovered on a hill in what was once the ancient city of Thebes, As Laura Geggel reports for Live Science, it was found by archaeologists from the Spanish National Research Council (CSIC).

Egyptians loved gardens in their homes, and this discovery proves they created magical gardens for their tombs to give them sustenance for infinity.

The garden was located in a courtyard at the entrance of a rock-cut tomb, according to a CSIC press release

It measures about 10 feet by six-and-a-half feet, and is divided into a neat grid of smaller beds. Two beds in the center of the grid are set higher than the others, suggesting that they once held small trees.

In one corner of the garden, the team came across a remarkable sight: a tamarisk shrub that stood upright, its roots and trunk still attached. 

In a little bowl next to the shrub, they found the remains of dates and other fruit, which may have been placed there as a religious offering.

Researchers will need to analyze seeds found in the area before they can definitively say what other plants grew in the garden. But José Manuel Galán, a research professor at CSIC, ventured a few guesses.

"The plants grown there would have had a symbolic meaning and may have played a role in funerary rituals," he says, according to the press release. 

"We know that palm, sycamore and Persea trees were associated with the deceased's power of resurrection. Similarly, plants such as the lettuce had connotations with fertility and therefore a return to life."

Lettuce was sacred to Min, ithyphallic god of fertility, because of its milky juice, reminiscent of semen ... also related to the god Seth (he became pregnant after eating a mixed salad).

Lettuce also figured prominently in the Egyptian story of the struggle between Seth and his nephew Horus which involved ingesting semen disguised as lettuce juice.

By studying the garden, researchers may be able to gain a better understanding of the physical environment in Egypt thousands of years ago. The garden … and the magical significance of the greenery inside it … can also "provide information about religious beliefs and practices as well as the culture and society at the time of the Twelfth Dynasty," Galán says. 

"The necropolis thus becomes, as the ancient Egyptians themselves believed, the best way to understand and embrace life."

The find dates to about 2000 BC, the Period of Reunification in Egypt. It was a key turning point in ancient history. During this time, the regions of Upper and Lower Egypt were united, and Egyptian culture began to flourish. Thebes rose to prominence as the new capital of the kingdom.

Monday, May 15, 2017

IN PRAISE OF MERCURY


WE lift up our hearts to the great wing-footed God Mercury on this day in mid-May when Mercury traditionally leaves stodgy Taurus and wings his way into Gemini, his astrological home.

The Ancient Romans celebrated this cosmic event on May 15th each year with the Mercuralia festival.

Father of Antinous, son of Zeus and Maia, Mercury is the god of speed, the Lord of commerce, communication, and cunning. 


He is forever young and beautiful, the patron of skilled athletes, especially runners, and yet he possesses the infinite wisdom of extreme old age.

When Mercury was one day old, he charmed Apollo by stealing the sun god's prized cattle and crafting an ingenious story to cover his tracks.

Apollo fell in love with Mercury and from that day forward became his godfather and protector, presenting him to Olympus. Zeus was so taken by his son Mercury that he made him the messenger of the gods, and placed in his hand the sacred Caduceus, the serpent-entwined rod.

Hermes (as he was called by the Greeks) was charged with escorting the souls of the dead to the underworld, and to relay messages between heaven and hell. Thus he acquired his mystic powers, which were the inspiration of the Hermits, and of their religion known as Hermeticism.

He was known to them as Hermes Tristmegistus, the "thrice-great", and was said to have taught the secret knowledge of salvation to mankind.

As Hermes of the crossroads, he was a Phallic god, whose image was a herme, or column with a bearded head and a large penis that was placed at forks in the road to protect travelers.

Mercury made love to Venus and was father of Pan, Priapus, Hermaphroditus, and of Fortuna. He was the craftiest inventor, who created the lyre, which he gave to Apollo. And he invented written language, weights and measurement.

Mercury was the god of good business, but also of dishonesty and absolute capitalism. He invented dice and was the lord of gambling and all games of chance.

Antinous was often compared to Mercury in the statues and in the artefact fragments (bust above). His powers of youth, virility and physical fitness were central parts of the Religion of Antinous. But the hermetic sages, from whom so much of the salvation of Antinous extends, deepened this fascade. He is, along with Dionysus, Apollo and Osiris, a major facet of the Spirituality of Antinous.


We acknowledge and extol Mercury, the wing-footed god, and pray to him as Antinous to run by our side and give us good fortune throughout our travels and in our communication with the divine.

Sunday, May 14, 2017

MAGNUS HIRSCHFELD
SAINT OF ANTINOUS


ON May 14th, the Religion of Antinous honors the life of the Father of Gay Liberation, Doctor Magnus Hirschfeld, who died on this day in 1935 (which was his 67th birthday) while in exile form his native Germany in Nice, France. He died a broken and embittered man.

A life that had started out with such lofty ambitions ended in disillusionment. He was of Jewish ancestry and began his career as a medical doctor but very soon devoted his life to the study of homosexuality.

In 1897 he founded the Scientific Humanitarian Committee, which was an organization whose publication, called The Yearbook of Intermediate Sexual Types, was devoted to the repeal of "Paragraph 175", a law passed by the Reichstag in 1869.

The work of the committee included ongoing lobbying supported by the scientific studies of Dr. Hirschfeld into human sexuality. This study culminated in the formation of the Institute for Sexual Science in 1919.

Dr. Hirschfeld spent the majority of his career writing and lecturing around the world on the nature of homosexuality and other "intermediate" sexual types, including cross dressers. The word "transsexual" was coined by Dr. Hirschfeld to describe the phenomenon that he argued was a natural extension of human sexuality.


His philosophy centered on the contention that there was a third sex, called the Uranian, which was neither male nor female, but a combination of both that was manifested in homosexuality, which was not to be considered an impure deviation, or even as an illness, but as a natural and phenomenal component of human nature.

For his work, the Nazis targeted Dr. Hirschfeld as an example of decadent Bolshevistic/Jewish influence infecting the purity of the German people, luring the Aryan race into impure and destructive perversity. He was ultimately driven into exile and burned in effigy as an emblem of evil. His institute was ransacked May 6th and his books were publicly burned in a bonfire on May 10th, 1933.


The slogan with which he began his speeches, "Uranians of the World, Unite!" was not to be realized until our own time. For his courage and his career of some thirty years, all of which was spent in tireless devotion to the cause of Gay Liberation, we venerate Saint Magnus Hirschfeld.

Saturday, May 13, 2017

LABYRINTH OF CATACOMBS DISCOVERED
ACROSS THE NILE FROM ANTINOOPOLIS



Archaeologists have discovered an underground catacomb containing numerous mummy-filled corridors at an ancient cemetery immediately across the Nile from Antinoopolis, officials announced today.

The Greco-Roman era catacomb, located at Tuna el-Gebel in the ancient city of Thoth/Hermes Hermopolis, can be entered only through a narrow shaft which leads underground. 

At the bottom of the shaft, archaeologists found that "there are many corridors and many burial places for mummies," said Mohamed Salah bn Mohamed Ahmed El-Kholy, a professor at Cairo University, at a press conference held this morning (13 May 2017) at Tuna el-Gebel.

Hadrian and Antinous visited Hermopolis in October of the year 130 AD ... and it was there that Antinous perished mysteriously in the Nile.

Hadrian established the city of Antinoopolis at the spot on the other side of the Nile where Antinous drowned.

Tuna el-Gebel is on the edge of the desert just beyond Hermopolis. Tuna el-Gebel is the site of the famed CATACOMBS OF THOTH filled with thousands of baboon mummies sacred to Thoth/Hermes (photo at right).

The most famous underground catacombs in Egypt are the vast SERAPEUM labyrinth catacombs lined with tombs of bulls sacred to the god Serapis.

It is highly likely that Antinous visited both the Serapeum and the Catacombs of Thoth in the final weeks and days of his life. 

There has been speculation throughout history that Antinous discovered an Egyptian secret of transferring the essence of life from a healthy person to an ailing person ... and that he sacrificed his life to prolong the life of his beloved Emperor Hadrian.

Hermopolis was was one of the most sacred cities in ancient Egypt ... the city sacred to Thoth ... located midway between the traditional capital cities of Memphis/Mennefer in the north and Thebes in the south.

It is no coincidence that the "heretic" Pharaoh Akhenaten established his capital a few miles (20 km) from Hermopolis and Antinoopolis ... to be at the spiritual center of Egypt.

Thoth is the god who hears the words of Ra and brings them into being. He taught magic to Isis.

He is god of many different things: speech, diplomacy, wise government, science, moderation, arbitration, mediation, astrology, astronomy, maths, alchemy and chemistry, literature and learning.

He wrote the famous "Scroll of Life" which contains the incantation by which Isis brought slain Osiris to life. 

Is it possible Antinous learned the secrets of life and death ... in order to become a god like Osiris?

Archaeologists with Cairo University have been excavating at Hermopolis Tuna el-Gebel for about 80 years, El-Kholy said.

Excavations are ongoing and will continue for many more seasons, El-Kholy said.

So far, experts have found at least 17 mummies as well as pottery and numerous long, slender pieces of earthenware vessels that could have held liquids, according to a video interview. The largest examples appear to be about 3 feet (0.9 meters) long. 

Watch this interview released today:



ON MOTHER'S DAY LIGHT A CANDLE
FOR THE MOTHER OF ANTINOUS


Happy Mother's Day! We honour the mother of Antinous, who gave birth to him in Bithynia Asia Minor (art by Priest Uendi). 

Little is known of the origins of Antinous except that he was from the Bithynian city of Claudiopolis modern-day Bolu, Turkey.
It has been speculated that he was a slave ... or even a provincial prince. 

The OBELISK OF ANTINOUS, which now stands atop the Pincian Hill in Rome, is covered in Egyptian hieroglyphs which tell us much about Antinous the Gay God. But sadly, there are huge gaps where the text has been worn away.

There is, for example, an intriguing reference to the mother of Antinous which is incomplete. Did a missing portion of the text talk about his biological family back in Bithynia? We'll never know.

We wonder how many brothers and sisters Antinous had? He must have had cousins and other "ephebe" male relatives. How on earth could the mother of Antinous ever have parted from him?

For that matter, no one knows what happened to the earthly remains of Antinous after his tragic death in the Nile in October 130 AD. Were they returned to his family in Bithynia? Did his mother weep over them? Were they interred in a family crypt ... and were the ashes of his mother interred beside his after she died?

This Mother's Day prayer was written by our beloved WARREN WILLIAMSON before his untimely death a couple of years ago. We join Warren in praising the Mother of Antinous the Gay God:



O most glorious Mother of Antinous our God, accept our prayers and present them to thy son our God, that He may, for thy sake, enlighten and bring our souls unto the most holy city of Antinoopolis where we shall dwell with thee and the Imperator God Hadrian forever and ever.  Be it so now and forever. 

Friday, May 12, 2017

JAKOB 'ZAUBERJACKL' KOLLER
SHAPE-SHIFTING SORCERER OF SALZBURG


THE early Christians "demonized" Antinous and all other deities. In essence, we are all demon worshipers in the eyes of fundamentalist Christians.

In a perverse reversal of polarities, fanatical seekers of righteousness often become the very force of darkness and evil that they profess to fight. By identifying too strongly with one pole ("Good", "Righteousness") they call into being its opposite pole. They conjure up a "demon." 


We call these demonized individuals "Anti-Saints" ... people who, through no fault of their own, are demonized by self-righteous fanatics because they are outsiders.

The Religion of Antinous has one special "Anti-Saint" ... JAKOB "ZAUBERJACKL" KOLLER, the shape-shifting gay sorcerer of Salzburg. 

In one of the most horrific witch hunts of the 17th Century, 139 youths and pre-adolescent boys were put to death as werewolves and witches ... at the hands of religious fanatics determined to rid Salzburg of demons.

Orphans were common in the aftermath of the 30 Years War, and their begging and thievery became a nuisance to upstanding people of Salzburg, who "demonized" them as the apprentices of evil sorcerers ....

Zauberjackl (Magic Jake) was a 20-year-old man with red hair in the Salzburg area of Austria in the late 17th Century who "fancied the lads" and who had a reputation for hanging out with adolescents and teaching them the black arts.

Growing up in the chaos after the war, he lived on the streets under a cloud of suspicion after his mother (under torture for stealing) told investigators he was a sorcerer skilled in the black arts. But she claimed he was dead ... the authorities heaved a sigh of relief.


Then a few years later, in 1677, routine questioning of a 12-year-old crippled street urchin named Dionysus Feldner spawned a witch hunt.

Whether out of spite or fear or for whatever reason, little Dionysus claimed that the "Zauberer Jackl" (Sorcerer Jake) was very much alive. (Interrogation scene re-enacted in an Austrian TV documentary film about Zauberjackl.)


Dionysus said he had spent the previous three weeks in the company of Zauberjackl, who he claimed was engaged in very active instruction of scores of boys and young men in the arts of black magic.

Dionysus said Zauberjackl had a black cap which made him invisible. He said Zauberjackl could transform himself into a fox, wolf or any other animal at will. 


He said Zauberjackl could conjure up an infestation of mice, rats and other vermin to wipe out the crops and grain storage warehouses of anybody who crossed him.

News of Dionysus's testimony swept Salzburg like wildfire, creating a frenzy of hysteria in a town that was just beginning to recover from the ravages of the 30 Years War. 


Authorities began rounding up every homeless boy and young man for interrogation -- there were a lot of homeless war orphan refugees.

Any adolescent street waif or roustabout lad was immediately suspected of membership in the Zauberjackl gang.

The illustration shows boys and young men being interrogated for witchcraft in Salzburg. 

In particular, those who were physically or mentally disabled were thought to be in league with "demons" -- whose mark they bore on their bodies, if not on their souls.

Under torture, and given leading questions, sobbing boys gave their interrogators the most hair-raising stories of Zauberjackl' s occult exploits.

In all, over the next 15 years, 139 young people were rounded up and executed. Of that total, 113 were males. All but 21 were under age 21. And 39 of them were under the age of 10. One-third were classified as "infirm of mind or body". Most were garrotted and their bodies burned.

The youngest, in a show of mercy, were given a quick death: Rather than slowly strangling to death, they were beheaded and then their bodies were burned.

Zauberjackl himself was never apprehended. There were in fact no reported sightings of him. Ever. People from his village insisted he had died of natural causes years earlier, but the authorities assumed they were under his magical spell.

The fact that nobody had ever seen him only added to the phantom mystique surrounding Zauberjackl.


Those high-minded officials in Salzburg evoked the gay werewolf/wizard demon named Zauberjackl. And in doing so, he got out of their control and took on a life of his own.

This woodcut shows popular methods of executing witches in Salzburg.

 It's unimportant whether a 20-year-old, red-haired guy named Jakob Koller was ever actually a shape-shifting gay wizard who inculcated bad boys with the secrets of the black arts. 

The sad fact is that great evil was carried out and that scores of young lives were lost. The terrible irony is that this evil was done in the name of righteousness and in pursuit of a demonic force.

A demon did indeed stalk the streets of Salzburg in the last quarter of the 17th Century ... it murdered 139 homeless street boys.


Similarly, various horrific demons are still on the loose today, all of them inadvertently evoked by self-righteous people who are grimly convinced they are carrying out the will of Allah or Jesus.

Thursday, May 11, 2017

THE ICARUS ASPECT ENABLES YOU
TO SPREAD YOUR WINGS AND SOAR



THROUGH the ages, any audacious youth has been compared to Icarus, whose desperate attempt to escape the Minotaur's Labyrinth turned out rather differently than he and his father Daedalus had planned. 

He escaped all right ... but in his elated exuberance, he soared a bit too high. 

Today, children are taught the myth of Icarus as an admonition to children to be obedient and not take risks. 

But in ancient times, Icarus symbolized audacity. Icarus could have stayed in the labyrinth and grown old and died. 

Instead, he spread his wings and took a great leap of faith.

And ... for one brief, soaring moment ... he was free! 

Ever one of us has felt this scary elation when coming out of the closet. It is risky ... disaster could ensue ... but it is better than wasting your life trapped in the confinements of a dark closet.

Saturn and Uranus are in a risk-promoting trine aspect right now.

They are urging you to strap on your wings tonight and fly away to new heights. 

Yes, of course, a certain amount of caution and navigation is necessary.

But the important thing is to take a flying leap!

If you have been dithering and fretting for the longest time about taking some risk in order to achieve a long-cherished dream ... then now is the time when the planets will give you the confidence and derring-do to accomplish it.

Antinous the Gay God is telling you go ahead, jump, take the plunge, dive in. Don't just sit there thinking about doing it ... DO IT!

Saturn/Uranus are saying get ready for a big surprise! Not necessarily a bad surprise (as happened to Icarus). 

No, instead the big surprise may turn out to be that you in fact wing your way to new freedom (as happened to Daedalus).

In Light and Life and Fluttering Feathers,
HERNESTUS

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

THE TWO LOVERS OF ANTINOOPOLIS



ON MAY 10th the Religion of Antinous honors two men we call the Two Lovers of Antinoopolis who lived in the Sacred City of Antinoopolis and who worshiped the Beauteous Boy and whose joint portrait is one of the great mysteries of Egyptology.

This round portrait, called a "tondo" because of its circular format, was used as a face plate on a mummy. The vicinity of Antinoopolis and the Fayoum Oasis region is famous for hundreds of such mummy portraits which give us a priceless look at how the residents of the Sacred City actually looked. It is believed these were portraits which had hung in people's homes and which were interred with the deceased, as a reminder to their Ka about who they were in mortal life.

The tondo is unique, though, because it shows two faces. Archaeologists have no explanation as to why anyone would want the face plate on a mummy to show two men's faces. The conventional explanation is that they were perhaps brothers and when one of them died, his surviving brother insisted on burying him with their joint portrait to show his fraternal love.

But one glance at the portrait shows that the two men bear little resemblance to each other.


Even more striking is the difference in skin coloring. Throughout Egyptian art, males were portrayed as having typically ruddy-brown skin and girls and women as having creamy colored skin — that was the iconic rule in Ancient Egyptian art. The skin colors do not represent the ACTUAL skin tones of the people, just as the idealized features of pharaohs don't reflect how they actually looked.
In Ancient Egyptian art, even if two individuals appear to be identically dressed with wigs and flowing robes, you can distinguish gender roles by skin color. Ruddy skin means male. Creamy skin means female.

That makes it all the more interesting to look at the Tondo of the Two Lovers, because one man has dark "male type" skin coloring and the other man has very light "female type" skin coloring. Such contrasting skin coloring traditionally was used only for married male-female couples in Ancient Egyptian art.


Even when the hairstyles and clothing are barely indistinguishable in Egyptian art, the difference in skin tones is a gender-role clue. Any Egyptian would instantly register the visual "pun" and would think it no accident.
The artist who painted the Tondo of the Two Lovers appears to have been giving us a clue as to the relationship between the two men.



The Tondo has been dated between 130-150 AD which would place them as nearly contemporaries of Antinous, living in His Sacred City in the first bloom of the Religion of Antinous. French architectural historian Jean-Claude Golvin painted this stunning rendering of Antinoopolis at its height.

But of even more significance are the small images of Greco-Egyptian gods placed above their shoulders. The darker man is guarded by a figure which some experts identify as Hermanubis, a god of the underworld adored in the nearby city of Hermopolis. His name is variously interpreted as "Hermes/Anubis" or "Horus-as-Anubis", depending on whether you read the Latin or the Egyptian spellings.

The cult of Hermanubis was on the rise in Rome at this time and he was interpreted as a solar deity who (like Hermes/Mercury and Horus) led the dead through the darkness to everlasting sunlight. A crack runs through the figure, however, making its identity somewhat unsure. At one point Hermanubis had a large cult following in Rome itself and his face graced Imperial coins. But his cult was suppressed almost as quickly as it rose, for moralistic reasons which are hard to reconstruct.

The lighter skinned and more beautifully dressed boy is watched over by Antinous, the patron god of Antinoopolis, who grasps a Dionysiac scepter and who wears the SWTY (Two Feathers) crown of divinity symbolic of his many-faceted Sacred Powers. It is ironic that the Christians later suppressed the cult of Antinous for moralistic reasons, just as the cult of Hermanubis had been suppressed by the Romans. Was there a sexual/moral connection between the two cults?

At any rate, this makes the Tondo of the Two Lovers the only portrait painting of Antinous to have survived, and the only image of two probable followers of HIS religion.

The faint inscription beneath the image of Antinous reads 15 Pachon, which is a date in the Greek calendar that corresponds to the 10th of May. No one knows what the significance of this date might be. An anniversary, perhaps.

The younger figure is wearing a splendid red wrap held in place by an impressive amethyst brooch in a gold setting — a family heirloom perhaps. The artist has gone to pains to render it perfectly. The embroidery on his white tunic is very fine. An oriental swastika good-luck charm is stitched into his right sleeve.

Perhaps the portrait was commissioned for the day (May 10th) when he donned his manly robes for the first time on his 16th birthday, as was the Roman custom. The peach-fuzz on his face gives him the appearance of an adolescent.

The older man (who could 30-something) stands behind him, as if symbolically showing his love and support of his young companion. He could be an older brother or uncle. He could even be the youth's father — life expectancies were shorter then, and people married early in those days and were grandparents by their mid-30s.

But just perhaps the composition and skin-tone nuances are subtle clues by the artist that these two men shared an older-man, younger-man relationship — a Classical Greek-style erastes/eromenos relationship — similar to that of Hadrian and Antinous. After all, this city was founded on Hadrian's love for Antinous.


The Religion of Antinous honors these two men on May 10th — the day which was so special to them, for reasons known only to them and to the gods they worshiped — Hermanubis and Antinous!