Tuesday, October 25, 2016


PETE BURNS, the vivacious and androgynous frontman for British pop and New Wave band Dead or Alive, has been nominated for sainthood following his sudden death 22 October 2016 from cardiac arrest at age 57.

Dead or Alive's biggest hit was also its first ... "You Spin Me Round (Like a Record)" ... which charted around the world and peaked at No. 11 in the U.S. in 1985. 

The band, known as much for its proto-Goth style as its music, had a handful of lesser hits including "Brand New Lover" and "Something in My House."

Burns, who appeared on Celebrity Big Brother in 2006, went through extensive rounds of plastic surgery around that time and significantly altered his appearance.

He talked openly about his ever-changing looks in interviews and a television special. 

At one point he won a significant settlement from his surgeon for a lip procedure gone wrong.

Burns was married to Lynne Corlett in 1980, and the two separated in 2006. A short time later he married Michael Simpson, a union that lasted less than a year.

"He was a true visionary, a beautiful talented soul, and he will be missed by all who loved and appreciated everything he was and all of the wonderful memories the has left us with," said Priest Uendi in nominating him for sainthood. 

"He was a visionary artist and all of his fans are devastated by the loss of this special star who will inspire millions forever," she added. "He never conformed to gender rules. He inspired a generation of people to be all that they could be and to settle for nothing less than their ultimate goal."


A 2,400-year-old mosaic in Antioch showing a drunken skeleton admonishing the living to eat, drink and be merry will make its debut in Paris in time for Halloween.

It is possible that Antinous and Hadrian saw the remarkably intact mosaic, because it was found in early 2016 in the ruins of the dining room of a wealthy person's home in Antioch ... and they spent several months in that city on their tour of the Eastern Provinces in 129-130 AD.

The Happy Halloween skeleton is part of the MOSAIC ROAD PROJECT which is touring European capitals this year and will be going to North America in 2017. The project is aimed at boosting interest in archaeological sites in Anatolia in Turkey.

The drunken skeleton mosaic was found by accident during excavation construction work for a cable-car route in the modern city of Antakya … built partly over the suburbs of ancient Antioch in what is now Turkey's Hatay Province.

Excavations were then launched to search the area for more remains.

The mosaic shows a skeleton reclining on a cushion with a kylix drinking bowl in his left hand and its right arm thrown drunkenly over his head, with legs crossed.

Next to the skeleton, two loaves of bread are strewn on the floor and a large amphora of wine waits to refill his drinking bowl.

A Greek inscription says: "Be merry ... enjoy being alive," according to archeologist Demet Kara at Hatay Archeology Museum.

Kara further noted that professors have referred to the mosaic as the 'skeleton mosaic' and have concluded that the mosaic belonged to the dining room of a house belonging to the upper class back then.

She noted that there is a similar mosaic in Italy, but this one is more comprehensive, making it a unique piece.

The ancient city of Antioch was established by Seleucus I Nicator … who is one of Alexander the Great's generals ... in the 4th Century BC.

Hadrian and Antinous visited Antioch, so it is possible that they saw this mosaic at some point in their extended stay over a period of several months.

Hatay is known for its Roman-era mosaics dating back to the 2nd and 3rd Centuries BC.

Monday, October 24, 2016


HERE are the nominations for Gay Saints of Antinous for 2016 (Anno Antinoo 1905).

The priests of Antinous are deliberating on these nominations and will announce their decision at Foundation Day ceremonies at the Hollywood Temple of Antinous on 30th October.

Then the names of the new saints will be added to our LIST OF SAINTS.

The nominees are:

DAVID BOWIE, whose death in early 2016 at age 69 stunned the world, since his battle with cancer remained a family secret until the end. When homosexuality was still considered a shameful secret to many, Bowie told the world he was gay, and music ... and the lives of many of his fans and followers ... would never be the same. "I'm gay," he declared, "and always have been, even when I was David Jones." When he uttered these now-immortal words in the Jan. 22, 1972, issue of England's Melody Maker, the fledgling starman had just released December 1971's Hunky Dory and already was giving his interviewer a taste of his glam-rock milestone, June 1972's The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and The Spiders From Mars. Married to Iman, a Somali-American, since 1992, Bowie let unconventionally matched and gendered ­heteros know their nonconformity would be cool too. They could all be heroes, each and every day.

JUAN GABRIEL, a superstar Mexican songwriter and singer who was an icon for millions of LGBT people in the Latin music world. He died suddenly on August 26th at age 66. His ballads about love and heartbreak and bouncy mariachi tunes became hymns throughout Latin America and Spain and with Spanish speakers in the United States. The adjectives "flamboyant" and "eccentric" followed him all his career, and he was imitated by drag queens in gay clubs throughout Mexico. He was once famously asked by a television interviewer: "People look at you and say you are homosexual. What do you say?" His answer became part of his enduring myth. "Lo que se ve no se pregunta," he answered … "Don't ask about something that is obvious."

ELKE MARAVILHA Russian-born drag artiste extraordinaire who was a superstar in Brazil and who died at 71 this year. She was an actress, musical artist, TV star, model, and precursor of an innovative, bold and unique style, who opened the possibilities of aesthetic and behavioral path wherever she went and appeared. Elke was an artistic personality whose charisma provoked strong popular impact, both the image and the message of joy, intelligence and irreverence. Because of this, she already attained legendary status Carmen Miranda and Arthur Bispo do Rosário. Merging exoticism, mysticism, joy, madness and deep knowledge of human, her infectious joy inspired hope. 

JOEY STEFANO, iconic gay porn actor. Born Nicholas Anthony Iacona, Jr., Joey Stefano would have been 47 years old today. He was born January 1, 1968, in suburban Philadelphia USA and died November 26, 1994, of a drug overdose. Over the course of his five-year career, Stefano appeared in 58 gay adult films, and two music videos with Madonna. Despite his success, Stefano did not save his earnings and relapsed into drug and alcohol abuse. In 1990, he was diagnosed HIV positive. On November 21, 1994, Stefano's body was found in a motel room in Hollywood. He was 26 years old. He symbolizes gay men who skyrocket to celebrity but who fall into disillusionment and ruin just as quickly.

JORGE FERNANDES MARTINEZ was brutally murdered by unknown assailants near his home in the the Mexico City suburb of Tultitlán. Forensic tests showed he had been tortured, raped and asphyxiated. His broken body lay undiscovered for days. Grieving neighbors who had known and loved him for nearly 20 years held a wake and asked for dignified funeral services conducted under the auspices of The Temple of Antinous in Mexico City. The rites were held at the famous Shrine of Santa Muerte (Our Lady of Sacred Death) in Tultítlan led by Enriqueta Vargas.

Sunday, October 23, 2016


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. 

Saturday, October 22, 2016


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.

Friday, October 21, 2016


IS a Roman soldier's ghost still dutifully patrolling Hadrian's Wall?

Amateur photographer Stuart Murray was out with friends at night trying to get pictures of the Northern Lights by the Unesco World Heritage Site when this spooky apparition appeared on camera.

The 26-year-old security engineer said: "We had set out because the live data was looking good for a display of the Northern Lights, the stats were good but when we got there it was cloudy.

"On a good night that area near the wall is very good getting shots of the lights," he told the SUNDAY EXPRESS.

"Me and friends were just chatting taking some test shots and then this figure just appeared on camera."

Stuart said he and his pals initially thought it was a sheep or something which had wondered into the frame but when they ran over there was nothing there.

He added: "It was not in any of the other shots, just this one, when we realised there was nothing there which could have popped up like that we got really excited and people started to say it was the ghost of an old Roman soldier.

"I have heard stories about a Roman soldier who has been spotted patrolling the wall, maybe the stories are true ... who knows."

Hadrian's Wall was a defensive fortification in the Roman province of Britannia, begun in 122 AD in the reign of the Emperor Hadrian.

It ran from the banks of the River Tyne near the North Sea to the Solway Firth on the Irish Sea, and was the northern limit of the Roman Empire.

Thursday, October 20, 2016


EGYPT's Great Pyramid of Giza could contain two previously unknown "cavities."

Experts confirmed the existence of the mysterious cavities after scanning the millennia-old monument with radiography equipment.

It follows an announcement by the antiquities ministry last week that "two anomalies" were found in the pyramid built 4,500 years ago under King Khufu.

They said they were conducting further tests to determine their function, nature and size.

At 146 metres (480 feet) tall, the Great Pyramid of Giza, also known as the Pyramid of Khufu, named after the son of Pharaoh Snefru, is considered one of the seven wonders of the ancient world.

It has three known chambers, and like other pyramids in Egypt was intended as a pharaoh's tomb.

"We are now able to confirm the existence of a 'void' hidden behind the north face, that could have the form of at least one corridor going inside the Great Pyramid," scientists from Operation ScanPyramids said in a statement.

Another "cavity" was discovered on the pyramid's northeast flank, said the researchers.

They are using radiography and 3D reconstruction for their study.

"Such void is shaped like a corridor and could go up inside the pyramid," Mehdi Tayoubi, founder of the Paris-based Heritage Innovation Preservation Institute, told Seeker.

He said that currently no link can be made between the two cavities.

Operation ScanPyramids began in October last year to search for hidden rooms inside Khufu and its neighbour Khafre in Giza, as well as the Bent and Red pyramids in Dahshur, all south of Cairo.

The project applies a mix of infrared thermography, muon radiography imaging and 3D reconstruction ... all of which the researchers say are non-invasive and non-destructive techniques.