Monday, March 17, 2008

GAY WISDOM: St Patrick's Day....the Burning Times

GAY WISDOM for Daily Living...

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March 17

1928 – Capucine, French model and actress born (d: 1990); A Golden
Globe-nominated actress and fashion model best known for her role as
Simone Clouseau in the 1963 comedy The Pink Panther. At 17, while
riding in a carriage in Paris, a commercial photographer noticed her.
She quickly became a successful fashion model, working for fashion
houses Givenchy and Christian Dior. She also adopted a new moniker,
Capucine (French for nasturtium). During this time, Capucine met
future actress Audrey Hepburn. Both were modeling in Paris, and the
two would remain friends for the rest of Capucine's life. A manic-
depressive, Capucine's life had on several occasions been saved by
Hepburn (both women lived at the time in Switzerland) after repeated
suicide attempts. In 1949, Capucine made her film debut in the French
film Rendez-vous de Juillet. On the set of Rendez-vous, she met
Pierre Trabaud. The two married the following year. The marriage
lasted only six months, and Capucine would never marry again.

1938 - Rudolf Nureyev, Russian-born dancer and choreographer (d.
1993); Nureyev became the most famous male dancer in the West before
he was 30 – and the most publicized. His influence on the world of
ballet changed the perception of male dancers; in his own productions
of the classics the male roles received much more choreography.
Another important influence was his crossing the borders between
classical ballet and modern dance by performing both. Today it is
normal for dancers to receive training in both styles, but Nureyev
was originator, and the practice was much criticized in his day.
That he partied everywhere and was photographed partying everywhere
was as clever a manipulation of the press as Diaghelev's successful
attempts to get the public to focus on Nijinsky's crotch. "We want
Rudy," the fans screamed, "especially in the nudi!" It was all part
of the show. So when Dave Kopay, an athlete of a different sort,
casually mentioned in his best-selling autobiography that Nureyev
visited Gay bars, no one particularly cared. The Celebrity Register
had already printed the peculiar warning of an English friend: "I
told Rudy he can be as naughty as he likes, but if he isn't more
careful, they're going to find him…some morning in an alley in Soho,
his lead laid open with a lorry driver's spanner." This writer
actually found him at his kitchen table in the mid-70's, in the
company of his attractive roommate.
When AIDS appeared in France in about 1982, Nureyev took little
notice. For several years he simply denied that anything was wrong
with his health: when, about 1990, he became undeniably ill, he is
said to have attributed these to other ailments. He tried several
experimental treatments but they did not stop his deteriorating
health. Towards the end of his life, as dancing became more and more
agonizing, he resigned himself to small non-dancing roles. At the
urging of Fonteyn, he had a short but successful conducting career,
which was cut short due to health problems.
Eventually, he had to face the reality that he was dying and he won
the admiration of many of his detractors by his courage during this
period. The loss of his looks pained him, but he continued to
struggle through public appearances. At his last appearance, a 1992
production of La Bayadère at the Palais Garnier, Nureyev received an
emotional standing ovation. The French Culture Minister, Jack Lang,
presented him with France's highest cultural award, the Commandeur de
l'Ordre des Arts et des Lettres. He died in Paris a few months later,
aged 54.

1969 - Alexander McQueen, British fashion designer, born; An English
fashion designer, Alexander McQueen's early runway collections
developed his reputation for controversy and shock tactics (earning
the title "enfant terrible" and "the hooligan of English fashion"),
with trousers aptly named "bumsters", and a collection
entitled "Highland Rape". It has also been claimed that he was on
income support and that he needed to change his name for his first
show so that he could continue to receive benefits. Some of Alexander
McQueen's accomplishments include being one of the youngest designers
to achieve the title "British Designer of the Year", which he won
three times between 1996 and 2003. He has also been awarded the CBE,
as well as being named International Designer of the Year at the
Council of Fashion Designer Awards. December 2000 saw a new
partnership for McQueen with Gucci Group acquiring 51% of the
company, and McQueen serving as Creative Director. Plans for
expansion have included the opening of stores in London, Milan, and
New York, and the launch of his perfumes Kingdom, and more recently
My Queen.

1976 - Luchino Visconti, Italian director, died (b. 1906); An Italian
theatre and cinema director and writer, best known for films such as
The Leopard (1963) he was born into a noble and wealthy family (one
of the richest of northern Italy), in Milan, Visconti's father was
the Duke of Grazzano. Visconti made no secret of his sexuality. His
last partner was the Austrian actor Helmut Berger, who played Martin
in The Damned. Berger also appeared in Visconti's Ludwig in 1972 and
Conversation Piece in 1974 along with Burt Lancaster. Other lovers
included Franco Zeffirelli. He died in Rome of a stroke at the age of
69. There is a museum dedicated to the director's work in Ischia.

~ ~ ~


St Patrick's Day

The story of St Patrick's driving the snakes from Ireland is probably
apocryphal and it has been suggested by some scholars that it
represents the Roman Catholic Church's driving out of the "Old
Religion" or Wicca. As the Old Religion was largely practiced by the
crones and faeries of the time, i.e. the gender variant, and strong-
female, same-sex people and the "driving out of the snakes" coincides
with The Burning Times" this early holocaust is remembered by modern
day Radical Faeries with the approving "hissing" heard at circles and
bonfires, as a method of quiet remembrance and an expression of
support or approval...

An ancient Italian witch legend tells us of Diana. "In the beginning,
there was a great darkness. This great darkness covered all and was
all, and its name was Diana. Then Diana, through the power of her own
will, divided herself into two equal but opposite forces. The two
halves were called night and day. Diana ruled over the night herself
in the form of the moon.

"The opposite force, her alter-ego/brother, ruled over the day in the
form of the sun, and was named Lugh. Through countless aeons Diana
followed her brother, Lugh, across the skies. In time she fell in
love with him. Diana crept into her brother's bed while he was sleep
by in the guise of his pet cat. While in bed with him, she seduced
him and from this union a daughter was born, named Aradia (though
some call her Herodias). Aradia became the patroness of all witches.
Diana gave Aradia permission to teach the knowledge of witchcraft to
those on earth."

Some Italian witches believe that Aradia's life on Earth paralleled
that of saviors and prophets. Similar legends are quite common; they
all encompass the sun and moon for the ancients drew their religion
from the life-giving forces around them.

There is another legend which is both beautiful and intriguing. Parts
of this legend are noted in the Bible as well as being parts of other

"Azael was one of the first created beings of heaven. He was born in
the primordial fires. His names were many. He, and those like him,
were called angels or messengers by the Christians. The Greeks named
them demons. Azael and his followers disobeyed their masters/creators
and descended to earth countless aeons ago. Through pity for
primitive man, they came. Their purpose was to educate and civilize
man. These sons of gods became known as "watchers of the heavens."
While on earth, they fell in love with the women of the earth and
took them as wives. It is not known whether this is a part of their
original plan or if it just happened through contact with the women."

At this point, the legend divides into two stories. From the Book of
Genesis, "And it came to pass when men began to multiply on the face
of the earth and daughters were born unto them, that the sons of god
saw the daughters of earth, that they were fair, and they took wives,
all of which those chose...."

The second form is from the Book of Noah (a book which has long been
omitted from the Bible). "And the angels, the children of heaven, saw
and lusted after the daughters of men, and said one to another: 'Come
let us choose wives from among the children of men and beget us
children...and all the others together took unto themselves wives,
and each chose for himself one, and they began to go in unto them and
defile themselves with them, and they taught them charms and
enchantments and the cutting of roots, and made them acquainted with
plants...and Azael taught men to make swords, and knives, and
shields, and breastplates, and made known to them the metals and the
art of working them. Semjaza taught enchantments and root cuttings.
Amaros taught the resolving of enchantments; Baracijel taught
astrology; Kokable taught the constellations; Ezequeel taught the
knowledge of the clouds; Araqiel taught the signs of the earth;
Shamsiel taught the signs of the sun; and Sariel taught the course of
the moon."

Azael and his followers had to assume tangible bodies to descend to
earth. Because of their revolt against the heavens and the ties they
formed with the earth, they were unable to leave their material forms
to reascend to heaven. It is from these beings these "watchers" that
all true magickal knowledge and power is said to have been obtained.

The offspring of these watchers were a different matter entirely.
They were tall in stature like their fathers, some were men like
their fathers with the wisdom and desire to help their fellow man.
Others, however, sought to harm all beings and lusted after power.
The children of the watchers, good and evil, were called Nephelim.

The evil of the Nephelim horrified their fathers. The good of that
parent generation toward the people of the earth was turned into
blasphemy. The watchers finally combined their powers and destroyed
the lands wherein the Nephelim resided. In one day and night, this
devastation was completed by volcanoes, earthquakes and floods. The
upheaval was of such magnitude that even now its traces can be seen
in the geological strata of the earth. Legends of this great
catastrophe are tied to the great flood that destroyed Atlantis.
Renditions of this battle between father and son is found in Norse
mythology, Greek mythology, and others.

In this upheaval, many lost their lives, but their spirits remained.
These spirits became the invisible powers collectively called
the "Elemental Hierarchy." Not all the Nephelim were destroyed, nor
was all the knowledge lost. Some of the children remembered the minds
of their fathers and hid this knowledge to preserve it for a time
when mankind would be advanced enough to use it wisely. This wisdom
continues. The watchers, the true parents of humanity, are the gods
of the witches. In Y Dynion Mwyn, the word "Witch" means "one who
knows, one who follows the ancient ways."

The survivors of the great flood are the subject of many traditional
stories: the Biblical Noah, the Greek Deucalion, the Babylonian Uta-
Napishtim. All have a striking similarity. Witch lore tells us of
settlers from the lost lands settling in Britain and Northern Europe.
The Celts discovered these people during their journeys in 500 B.C.
They were called Prytani. They were small, dark, stocky recluse-type
people. They were solitary even within themselves. The German
invaders called them elves, which later evolved into "pixies" from
the people called the Picts.

Another name was the "people of the heath, 'heathens'." As the Picts
retreated to the north from their invaders, they had to struggle to
live in the barren and desolate land. This daily struggle coupled
with in-breeding to continue their culture caused their size to
reduce even smaller.

Though their size was quite petite, the legends surrounding these
people were huge. The witches are said to be the offspring of the few
marriages between the Picts and the invaders. As the children
of "faeries," they learned the secrets and magical methods from the
ancestral lineage.
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Poems of Provocation & Witness
March 20-23, 2008
Washington, DC

You are invited to our nation's capital for a festival that
celebrates our great tradition of poetry of witness and resistance.

Split This Rock Poetry Festival will feature readings, workshops,
panel discussions on poetry and social change, youth programming,
LGBT poetry, films, parties, historical walking tours (on Whitman,
and on LGBT Poetry in Dupont Circle), and activism—a unique
opportunity to hone our activist skills while we assess and debate
the public role of the poet and the poem in this time of crisis.

As citizens and artists, our obligation has never been greater. We
call on poets of conscience to move to the center of public life as
we forge a visionary new arts movement for peace and justice.

Featured poets: Chris August, Jimmy Santiago Baca, Melissa Best (aka
Princess of Controversy) , Robert Bly, Kenneth Carroll, Grace
Cavalieri, Lucille Clifton, Joel Dias Porter (aka DJ Renegade), Mark
Doty, Martín Espada, Carolyn Forché, Brian Gilmore, Sam Hamill,
Galway Kinnell, Stephen Kuusisto, Semezhdin Mehmedinovic, E.
Ethelbert Miller, Naomi Shihab Nye, Sharon Olds, Alix Olson, Alicia
Ostriker, Ishle Yi Park, Sonia Sanchez, Patricia Smith, Susan Tichy,
Pamela Uschuk, and Belle Waring.

White Crane Institute is proud to be a sponsor of this important
festival of witness.

For more information visit www.splitthisrock. org

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You are invited to participate
in a groundbreaking Leadership Academy
that will provide you
with the skills and support needed
to lead pioneering work
to improve the health and well being
of Gay men's communities and subcultures.
Open to men and women of all sexual and gender orientations who are
seeking to make a difference in the future of Gay men's health, at
the local and national level.
March 21-24, 2008
Wildwood Retreat Center, Guerneville, California
The Leadership Academy is a sponsored project of of the White Crane
Please find out more about the White Crane Institute at

About the Leadership Academy

A growing Gay men's health movement has achieved major achievements
over the past ten years, including: the birth of new organizations
that are shepherding innovative approaches to the broad range of
issues faced by Gay men's communities and subcultures the organizing
of a new generation of men and women to fight for Gay health and
build community nationwide the creation of a new model of health
promotion, focused on supporting Gay men's commitment to one another
the development of exciting new programs and campaigns to promote the
assets of our strong Gay communities.


This growing movement requires a new generation of leaders of all
ages who are willing to go back to their home communities and lead
the fight for innovative strategies, organizing, and programs. With
the skills you develop at the LEADERSHIP ACADEMY you can become part
of a national movement to create programs that build upon the strong
strengths and assets of Gay men toss out shame and fear and panic as
central strategies for health promotion celebrate the strategies that

All registrations and payments must be received in full one week
prior to the scheduled academy.

Only 40 participants are allowed for each academy, so please register

You can register by filling out our registration form, printing it
out and mailing it in.

The form is at www.Gaywisdom. org

Registration is not complete until payment is received.

The cost of the four-day, three night retreat is $350 room and board
and $400 tuition for a total of $750.

Scholarships are available.

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