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.

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

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.

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.

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

ANCIENT ROMAN SPORTS FANS
USED MAGIC TO HELP THEIR TEAMS



IN the ancient world, sports fans and athletes turned to magic to empower them against their foes … and this was particularly true in the ancient athletic world of charioteering.

Hundreds of curse tablets, amulets and magical recipes survive today.

They reveal that magic in the ancient Mediterranean was often tied to the world of sports.

In the late Roman Mediterranean, factions of charioteers existed instead of football teams.

Each faction was named after the colors draped onto their horses and worn by the charioteers. There were the Blues, the Greens, the Reds and the Whites. 

They drove four horse chariots called quadrigae both in the hippodrome at Rome’s Circus Maximus and the one at Constantinople. 

There were many other chariot racing venues throughout the Roman empire and fans of these factions became quite attached to their color and the star charioteers on them.

Love for their faction and a desire to help their team to victory frequently led athletes, faction managers, and fans to seek out magical methods in order to snatch victory from the other faction.

A curse tablet from 3rd Century AD Carthage notes: "Bind the horses whose names and images on this implement I entrust to you; of the Red [team]: Silvanus, Servator, Lues…bind their hands, take away their victory…Now, quickly."

Another, found on the Via Appia outside Rome, even mentions a charioteer's mother: 

"I invoke you… so that you may help me and restrain and hold in check Cardelus and bring him to a bed of punishment, to be punished with an evil death, to come to an evil condition, him who his mother Fulgentina bore." 

Many within the Greco-Roman world may have written out a curse themselves, but most likely hired a magician to help them with the process I have sketched below:

A. Know Your Curse Types: There were generally five types of curse tablets in antiquity:

1. litigation or judicial curses (e.g. those used against someone prosecuting you in court)

2. business or trade curses (e.g. those curses used to bring down, say, a rival amphora supplier)

3. erotic curses (e.g. the ever-popular love spells)

4. restitution and punishment curses (e.g. those waged against a thief)

5. defixiones agonisticae (agonistic "binding" curses concerning competitions. These are also called κατάδεσμοι).

Frequently, defixiones were used to bind an athletic enemy … their hands, their feet, their mouths … and keep them from movement. 

Often, they wished for a charioteer to fall off their chariot and be dragged by the horses behind it before they could take their knife and cut themselves out of the reins they tied to their bodies.

B. Pick Your Material Wisely: In the ancient world, most curse tablets were made out of lead. It was easy and relatively cheap to procure the material (particularly in Athens, where the silver mines that produced the bi-product were nearby).

Lead was often used in antiquity for magical purposes: oracles, votives, incantations and curse tablets. 

Many curse tablets are written on thin pieces of lead, then had nails used to pierce them.

Sometimes, locks of hair or other identifying features of an enemy were also wrapped into the curse before being buried.

C. Curses Have Power But Need To Be Activated: It is notable that many of the curses from these ancient tablets seem to have an oral component attached to them. Performance carried empowerment. Names had an innate power that was activated by speaking them aloud and by inscribing them. 

A number of magical papyri, called the Papyri Graecae Magicae, reveal that curses were often activated through the oral performance of incantations and perhaps a sacrifice. 

The visual presentation of the written curse was also important; many have triangular shapes and accompanying depictions of the person being cursed or the magical deities being invoked.

Frequently, there is also the use of somethng which is called a palindrome παλίνδρομος … which is Greek for "running back again" and carried power in its symmetry. These words retained potency whether read from right to left or left to write. 

The use of the magical palindrome Ablanathanalba was popular particularly on curses and amulets, and medical evidence from the early 3rd Century AD suggests that the word Abracadabra was used as an "activating word" in antiquity, before becoming highly popular in the medieval period. 

D. Geography Is Key To Curse Potency: If there is one thing archaeologists know, it is that geography matters in the context of ancient magic. Boundary zones and "liminal" areas are the most magical spaces where one can access the chthonic gods that live underground and who are being spoken to. 

That is why we find many curse tablets buried near doorways, in graves, in wells and baths, and on the boundary lines outside sports venues such as the hippodrome. 

Some curse tablets, such as the famous one from around 400 BC found buried in a grave at the Kerameikos Sanctuary, also had leaden representations of the people they wished to curse before being buried. 

Collectively, the curse tablets addressing charioteering and other sports events in the ancient world, such as wrestling, reveal that all sports fans wanted what they couldn't and can't have: the power to sway the outcome of a competition.

Magic was a way to give agency to those that felt powerless to control the future: powerless to retain the love of another, powerless to control the outcome of a court case, or perhaps powerless to effect the outcome of a key race of the Greens against the Blues. 

Monday, October 16, 2017

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.

Sunday, October 15, 2017

NOMINATIONS FOR SAINTHOOD 2017
NOW BEING ACCEPTED BY OUR PRIESTS



THE time has come to Nominate Gay Saints of Antinous for 2017. (Anno Antinoo 1906)

Before making a nomination, please check the current LIST OF SAINTS to be sure that your suggestion is not listed already.

All nominations will be considered, but as a reminder, our traditional criteria is as follows:

I. A Nominee for Sainthood must be:

    1. A person who is no longer alive.

    2. A person who was known to be Gay or reasonably suspected to have been Gay or bisexual to a significant degree.

    3. A person who made a notable contribution to gay society or human society in general.


II. A Nominee for the category of Martyr Saint should be:

    1. Any gay person who committed suicide or was the victim of gay violence.


III. A Nominee for the category of Venerable Saint can be:

    1. Any person who was not gay, or whose homosexuality is uncertain, but who made a significant contribution to gay society or gay spirituality that we feel deserves to be recognized in an official capacity.

IV. Members of Ecclesia Antinoi, and those they love may be nominated for passage on the Barque of Millions of Years.

The deadline for nominations is October 25th, any nominations made after that date will have to be added to the nomination list for 2018.  Discussion is open to all considering the qualifications of any nomination.  The Priesthood of Antinous will make the final decision...an announcement will be made on October 30th, and a ceremony of consecration will proceed that evening.

May the Saints of Antinous be with us,
Watch over us,
And guide us to Antinous Consciousness.

Antonivs N. Svbia

Flamen Antinoalis

Saturday, October 14, 2017

THE ANTINOUS MARLBOROUGH GEM
By Our Flamen Antonius Subia



Just acquired at auction!!!
My own glass copy by James Tassie
Of the Antinous Marlborough Gem!!!
And the best thing about it is that it is
This transitional color between Blue and Purple
Laid flat it looks like Lapis Lazuli,
Held under bright light it looks like sapphire
But mostly it looks like deep grape purple
(See photos at bottom of entry)
Its so wonderful, crisp and heavy like a stone!

The Marlborough Sardonix is a black stone jewel intaglio with the image of Antinous that was signed by Antoninianus of Aphrodisia, who also sculpted the Lanuvium relief now kept in Rome, the only artist known to have signed his name on his work and we have two of his pieces. 

It was proposed by Marguerite Yourcenar that what is known now as the Marlborough Sardonix after the British house of Marlborough who still owns the original, was once worn as a ring by Hadrian himself, which would make it one of the most sacred and precious items of our religion.

Even copies such as this glass cast if a Tassie copy are precious because they capture the spirit of the original...and in our religion...the true image of Antinous is the basis upon which everything is based.

We have brought this gem and many other treasures into the safe keeping of the Antinous Religion, we hope to gather many more precious images of our god together and pass them on as a valuable treasury of Sacred Antinous items to our successors.

May Antinous bless this image of the Marlborough sardonix and bless all those who venerate it as his true image.

~ANTONIUS SUBIA