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Satyr
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PostSubject: Re: Gender Fluidity / Transgender / Cis Thu Feb 18, 2016 8:43 pm


The process is snowballing.
Next pedophiles, using the argument one of their sick lot once did on this site.
it's love, and then discrimination against children, ageism...and the bullshit concept that sexual intercourse is not an act of aggression...no it is loving, and so pedophiles will argue that children deserve love just like adults do.
When you open the stupid box, you must follow the "logic" down, down, to its inevitable conclusion.

After that?
Animal rights?
Will bestiality be the next frontiers of human rights, and humanism ...the final stages of the Judeo-Christian/Islamic, Marxist ideal.
A nihilistic continuum, producing the quantities it then uses to justify itself.
A self-perpetuating mess.

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AutSider

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PostSubject: Re: Gender Fluidity / Transgender / Cis Tue Feb 23, 2016 10:00 pm

I think bestiality/zoophilia will come before pedophilia because people care far more about protecting children than animals. Furthermore, pedophiles pose a threat to all children, zoophiles would most probably have their own animal, as attempting to fuck a random animal is likely to result in injury.

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This one little exchange has so much meaning attached to it

(I'm Qua Sar)

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This sums up how the average person relates to politics, and why liberalism/leftism is so prevalent.

First the moron has an instinctive outburst against zoophilia and considers there being something wrong with people who fuck animals, his tone clearly shows zoophilia disturbs the very core of his being and that he is very emotional about the subject. Of course, like a good boy, he finally makes an appeal to authority too, to convince himself more than others, that he has good reasons to believe zoophilia is 'wrong'.

Then I say two words - just two words, nothing else. "zoophilophobic bigot". This is a good summation of the liberal/leftist arguing strategy also. Use words that denote a form of discrimination/differentiation, let them have an emotional effect on the other and make them submit to your ideology by implying you have the moral highground. If they respond with reasoning, observations, evidence, whatever to counter you, just repeat the first step until they submit or give up.

The average moron, trained in a Pavlovian fashion by the liberal/leftist ideology to respond with submissiveness after being called out on his discrimination, immediately apologizes, stating as an excuse his inebriated state. All of a sudden fucking animals is just... "kinda stupid". He makes sure to affirm the modern 'as long as it feels good it is good'/'as long as nobody is harmed all is good' standard, and tells me it's ok to fuck an animal, if I promise not to hurt it.

What's worse, I don't even think the moron is wrong in this regard... it follows from the premises of leftism/liberalism that, since discrimination is bad, discriminating based on species is also bad. Peter Singer, a stanch liberal, agrees, and so do others who think speciesism is a thing.


This also demonstrates how easy it is to indoctrinate an average imbecile and convince him of almost anything, which is why democracy is pretty much the rule of the elites. It might have been a possible system in the past, but by now too much about human nature is revealed, and as it turns out humans are not so complex after all... at least not the average nitwit. If I can achieve such an effect with two words, imagine the extent of brainwashing political elites consisting of people far more educated and intelligent than I are capable of conducting. The average person is a simpleton with easily manipulated needs, and they make up the majority of voting population. The masses are too easily seduced and controlled, and if you control the masses, in a democracy, you control everything.
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PostSubject: Re: Gender Fluidity / Transgender / Cis Wed Feb 24, 2016 12:49 am

Imagine what it will be like a thousand years from now.
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PostSubject: Re: Gender Fluidity / Transgender / Cis Wed Feb 24, 2016 6:15 am

Drunkenness brings out truth and instinctive responses.
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PostSubject: Re: Gender Fluidity / Transgender / Cis Sun Mar 27, 2016 9:05 am

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Hats of to these people for stating the truth plainly and unapologetically.
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PostSubject: Re: Gender Fluidity / Transgender / Cis Sun Apr 03, 2016 8:54 am

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So now both of the brothers who produced the Matrix have become trans.
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PostSubject: Re: Gender Fluidity / Transgender / Cis Sun Apr 03, 2016 9:16 am

Coincidentally or not, most of the transfolk I've seen transition from male to female. Perhaps media tend to portray the male-to-female transitions more, but I think it's a reflection of the modern society's preference for femininity over masculinity. People perceive it, even if on a subconscious level, and respond to it by transitioning from a male to what is considered superior - female. It provides them with attention and raises their societal value, at least in current circumstances when transsexuality is celebrated.
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PostSubject: Re: Gender Fluidity / Transgender / Cis Sat Apr 09, 2016 5:37 pm

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"ἐδιζησάμην ἐμεωυτόν." [Heraclitus]

"All that exists is just and unjust and equally justified in both." [Aeschylus, Prometheus]

"The history of everyday is constituted by our habits. ... How have you lived today?" [N.]

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PostSubject: Re: Gender Fluidity / Transgender / Cis Fri Apr 22, 2016 2:25 pm

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"ἐδιζησάμην ἐμεωυτόν." [Heraclitus]

"All that exists is just and unjust and equally justified in both." [Aeschylus, Prometheus]

"The history of everyday is constituted by our habits. ... How have you lived today?" [N.]

*Become clean, my friends.*
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PostSubject: Re: Gender Fluidity / Transgender / Cis Wed May 04, 2016 10:21 am

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PostSubject: Re: Gender Fluidity / Transgender / Cis Wed May 04, 2016 9:00 pm

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PostSubject: Re: Gender Fluidity / Transgender / Cis Sun May 08, 2016 8:03 pm

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---

Oregon’s state government released a set of guidelines for schools Thursday informing educators that students must be allowed to use whatever locker rooms they want and play on opposite-sex sports teams as long as they say it reflects their chosen gender identity.

Not only that, but if the student doesn’t want his or her parents to know, teachers don’t have to tell them.

The 15-page document makes Oregon one of just a handful of states to release detailed guidelines for how states should handle the topic of transgender students. In general, the guide tells teachers to adhere to the wishes of students when it comes to affirming their chosen gender identity.

“A student who says she is a girl and wishes to be regarded that way throughout the school day should be respected and treated like any other girl,” it says. “So too with a student who says he is a boy.” Students should be called by whatever name they wish (regardless of their legal name), and they have the right to use bathrooms and locker rooms of either sex in accordance with their wishes.

There is no need for the student to prove their new gender. The student’s declaration of their gender is acceptable,” the guide adds.
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PostSubject: Re: Gender Fluidity / Transgender / Cis Mon May 09, 2016 8:28 pm

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---

Oregon’s state government released a set of guidelines for schools Thursday informing educators that students must be allowed to use whatever locker rooms they want and play on opposite-sex sports teams as long as they say it reflects their chosen gender identity.

Not only that, but if the student doesn’t want his or her parents to know, teachers don’t have to tell them.

The 15-page document makes Oregon one of just a handful of states to release detailed guidelines for how states should handle the topic of transgender students. In general, the guide tells teachers to adhere to the wishes of students when it comes to affirming their chosen gender identity.

“A student who says she is a girl and wishes to be regarded that way throughout the school day should be respected and treated like any other girl,” it says. “So too with a student who says he is a boy.” Students should be called by whatever name they wish (regardless of their legal name), and they have the right to use bathrooms and locker rooms of either sex in accordance with their wishes.

There is no need for the student to prove their new gender. The student’s declaration of their gender is acceptable,” the guide adds.
 
Pretty freaky.

At this rate, why bother even having guidelines or rules or policies at all? Or schools? Or teachers? Or classrooms?

Let's abandon any and all need to teach kids anything. Just throw a pile of male and female outfits in the middle of the playground, and let em have at it. Anything goes. What's a penis? What's a vagina? Who knows...its all a matter of finding the correct 'definition', it has to be defined as some vague subscription so it can then be subject to all forms of dismissals and denials. The "trans-anything" culture.
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PostSubject: Re: Gender Fluidity / Transgender / Cis Sat May 14, 2016 9:20 am

Fallon Fox (born November 29, 1975) is an American mixed martial artist (MMA). She is the first openly transgender athlete in MMA history. [She fights only against women, competing in the women's division of MMA, only.]

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Criteria for Transgender athletes?:
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Henry Quirk

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PostSubject: one more reason to not go to new york Fri May 20, 2016 10:10 am

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PostSubject: Re: Gender Fluidity / Transgender / Cis Fri May 20, 2016 11:55 am

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If we can dress up a sheep and fool you, at least for a while, then you better not object to fornicating with the sheep afterwards.
If we can dress up an old woman and make you believe she is young and fertile then you better not reject her afterwards, that would be ageism.

When I fool you and you learn that I have fooled you then you better pretend that you are okay with it after all. I'll make them all pretend by making them think it is shameful to judge in certain ways.
And I will hide behind the unspoken assumption that being non-judgemental is morally good.
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PostSubject: Re: Gender Fluidity / Transgender / Cis Fri May 20, 2016 2:31 pm

Transphobic: is that what we're calling an objection to false advertising these days?

If so, then, yes indeed, I'm transphobic.
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PostSubject: Re: Gender Fluidity / Transgender / Cis Mon Jun 06, 2016 1:53 pm

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PostSubject: Re: Gender Fluidity / Transgender / Cis Mon Jun 06, 2016 8:23 pm

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In stead of medical advancement in brain surgery; they focus it all on the genitals..
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PostSubject: Re: Gender Fluidity / Transgender / Cis Tue Jun 07, 2016 1:14 pm

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"ἐδιζησάμην ἐμεωυτόν." [Heraclitus]

"All that exists is just and unjust and equally justified in both." [Aeschylus, Prometheus]

"The history of everyday is constituted by our habits. ... How have you lived today?" [N.]

*Become clean, my friends.*
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PostSubject: Re: Gender Fluidity / Transgender / Cis Tue Jun 07, 2016 2:12 pm

Democracy, where every stupid cancer cell of a human being can change reality by simply raising your arm.
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PostSubject: Re: Gender Fluidity / Transgender / Cis Tue Jun 28, 2016 1:15 am

Local and federal officials joined members of the LGBT community at a dedication ceremony officially designating the historic Stonewall Inn as a national monument to gay rights.

“This new national park is for all American,” said Theresa Pierno, president and chief executive officer of the National Parks Conservation Association. “Let us use this national park site to overcome hatred.”

President Barack Obama named Stonewall and the area of the Stonewall riots as the first national monument to gay rights on Friday.

Police entered the bar for a raid because at the time, being gay was illegal. Nearly half a century later on June 26, 2015, marriage equality was declared the law of the land by the U.S. Supreme Court.

A year after that, President Obama officially designated the Stonewall Inn a national monument.

“Stonewall will be our first national monument to tell the story of the struggle for LGBT rights,” Obama said in a video presentation.


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PostSubject: Re: Gender Fluidity / Transgender / Cis Sat Aug 06, 2016 5:48 am

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Hermes + Aphrodite

Marie Delcourt explores the figure of the andro+gyne or the Hermaphrodite from its cultic beginnings in Sparta.

Starting with this transgenderism of bearded women, and male cross-dressers in initiatory history, one ends up understanding more on the figure of the Phoenix, and its symbolic significance in the Ar rune, and other modern masonic heraldry…
The laborious book helps tie up many loose ends.


Marie Delcourt wrote:
"There are many instances of men ceremonially assuming women's clothing, and women men's. It is only towards the end of Antiquity that these practices are attested, and by then they are no more than strange isolated survivals of customs that had certainly been more widespread in earlier ages. They had long ceased to be understood, and the apparent lack of motive behind them was overlaid by explanations, on historical or moral grounds, which were far removed from primitive beliefs.

A striking figure stands out from a whole series of rites and legends—that of a male being in female clothing (and, secondarily, that of a female being endued with male attributes). This figure is often curiously split into two complementary forms, on the one hand a youth in girl's clothing, on the other a woman armed for battle.

Fifty years ago a favourite explanation of disguises, of whatever kind, was that they were a ruse to ward off evil spirits;  and this is indeed the argument used to explain mourning garb, a survival which we have not yet succeeded in sweeping away. A relative, whose kinship with a dead man exposes him to danger, disguises himself to avoid being recognised by the evil spirits still lurking about the house from which they have just chosen their victim. Why did the Lyceans wear women's clothes as mourning? Because, say Valerius Maximus  and Plutarch,  this shameful dress should remind men to cut short the lamentations which women alone may indulge.

A precaution of this kind is seen in wedding festivities in the presentation of the substitute bride;  a small girl or, more often, an old woman acts the part of the bride, to attract the attention of the hostile spirits and allow the real bride to escape notice. But what we know of sexual disguise in the wedding customs of Greece indicates that the real explanation is very different.

In Sparta, the young bride's head is shaved by the woman in charge of her, she is dressed in a man's shoes and clothes, then laid on the bed alone and without a light. The husband comes to her secretly.

At Argos, the bride wears a false beard for the wedding night. At Cos, the husband puts on woman's dress to receive his wife.

If Plutarch draws attention to these customs, it is because they seem to him curious: isolated survivals of customs which were certainly more widespread in earlier times. The presence of masculine accessories in the bride's attire is not formally attested outside Sparta and Argos.

But we are better informed about the reverse case.

Oppian  describes the young bridegroom approaching the nuptial room 'after the women in charge of the bride have adorned him with white clothing, crowned him with purple flowers, scented him with myrrh'. The disguising of the bridegroom as a woman appears too in some tales with a distinctive psychological colouring. The strange story of Hymenaios links the themes of marriage followed by death  and of sexual disguise.  In some versions Hymenaios is an ephebe, 'fair as a woman'. Others say that he assumed woman's clothing and allowed himself to be kidnapped by robbers in order to rescue the Athenian virgins whom they had ravished and hidden in a desert place. Among them was his beloved. His ruse succeeded, but Hymenaios died at the very moment of attaining felicity. Pindar laments his sad end: Tate seized him on his wedding day, when he had scarcely tasted the joys of marriage.'  In other versions, he dies or is struck dumb at Dionysos' nuptials.

According to a belief which has parallels in other countries, one of the two consorts endangers the other. This comes to the surface in the legend of Minos as told by Antoninus Liberalis.  Minos caused the death of all his brides, one after the other, because he ejaculated snakes, scorpions and centipedes. Procris had the idea of fashioning a goat's bladder in the form of the female sexual organ, which enabled Minos to copulate with her afterwards and have children by her. Here we can recognise a rite of incorporation which involves preliminary union with an animal. There is no transvestism in the main episode, but the sequel shows Procris disguising herself as a man to win back Cephale. Elsewhere the mere sight of one of the consorts is dangerous for the other, as in the case of Psyche to whom Eros, like the Spartan bridegroom, comes only in darkness.

Sexual disguise appears again in the story of Leucippos of Elis, as it was told by Parthenios in his Love Romances,  and as it was current in Arcadia. Falling in love with the fair Daphne who hated men and took pleasure only in the chase, Leucippos dressed himself as a woman and succeeded in wining the favour of Daphne, who could not bear to leave him and caressed him constantly. But Daphne's maidens discovered Leucippos' secret as he bathed, attacked him with their darts and killed him. Here we can glimpse a nuptial rite with a reciprocal exchange of clothing, for the maidens, opposed to Leucippos in disguise, play the masculine part with their manly weapons and bearing. Leucippos' tragic fate, like that of Hymenaios, seems to transpose the dangers which threaten the consorts when they first come together.

Crete knew another Leucippe, whose story has odd analogies with that of the prince of Elis.  Lampros, a citizen of Phaestos, was a poor man, and when his wife Galatea was pregnant he told her that he  would not rear her child unless it was a boy. It was a girl.
When the child's sex could no longer be easily concealed, she besought Leto to change the little girl into a boy, and the goddess granted her prayer. 'The people of Phaestos commemorate the metamorphosis by sacrifices to Leto Phytia, because she gave a male organ to the girl. They call the feast Ekdysia,  the Divestment,  in memory of the moment when Leucippe laid aside the feminine peplos. It is the custom for the bride, before the nuptials, to sleep beside an image of Leucippe.'

When the child's sex could no longer be easily concealed, she besought Leto to change the little girl into a boy, and the goddess granted her prayer. 'The people of Phaestos commemorate the metamorphosis by sacrifices to Leto Phytia, because she gave a male organ to the girl. They call the feast Ekdysia,  the Divestment,  in memory of the moment when Leucippe laid aside the feminine peplos. It is the custom for the bride, before the nuptials, to sleep beside an image of Leucippe.'

The young Roman women who, up to the time of their marriage, wore the toga as boys did, united themselves on the eve of their nuptials with a wooden image representing Mutinus Tutunus, the phallus. These customs are related to each other, but are not synonymous. The Roman bride gave herself to the personification of virility. The Cretan girl lay beside a phallic being which had female aspects and, if we are to believe legend, a female past. The feast of the Ekdysia  included a  sacrifice to Leto Phytia—the goddess of growing thing probably related to some Great Mother capable of procreating alone.

More probably a collective ceremony took place, in which boys wearing feminine clothes took them off and donned those of their own sex. This episode was important, for it gave its name to the feast. In view of these collective rites we are reluctant to give a special interpretation to the nuptial rites of Sparta, Argos and Cos, and above all to regard the intersexual disguise of consorts as simply a method of baffling demons. Ancestral fear of the deflowering act was certainly not unknown to the Greeks; it is present still in the story of Hymenaios. But anxiety to put hostile forces off the scent cannot explain an intersexual disguise, presided over by the figure of a twofold being,  analogous to the Cretan Leucippe. Moreover, the precautions attested in folklore are especially concerned with the young bride, who is more vulnerable and more exposed to danger.

The Greek legends, on the other hand, usually speak of boys dressed as girls. This practice is characteristic of initiations. Everything leads, then, to the conclusion that first and essentially we must see here a passage-rite, applied alike to boys and girls on entering the nubile group. With the decline of emphasis on age sets the custom lost its collective character, and its social value as marking the coming of age; as it became individual, it was reduced to a nuptial custom. And the fact that masculine initiations retained their importance longer than feminine explains the one-sided character of the legends.

A ceremony of the same kind underlies the story of Aristodemus, tyrant of Cyme in Campania about 500 B.C., who, says Plutarch, compelled boys to wear long hair and gold ornaments, but girls to cut their hair and take the cloak of a man; the custom was no longer understood and was interpreted as a form of ragging. The disguise in the Athenian Oschophoria appears in a context which promises a wealth of valuable detail. The feast took place on the seventh or eighth day of Pyanepsion, towards the end of October, after the pressing of grapes. It included libations, a sacrifice, and a race of naked adolescents, then a procession from one of the Athenian temples of Dionysos to the sacred precincts of Athene Skiros at Phalera. At the head of the procession walked two boys in girls' clothing, carrying a vine-stock still laden with its fruit, the osche,  which gave the feast its name. The procession went to Phalera because, it was said, Dionysos had landed there when he brought the vine to Attica. The ceremony as it is described to us was certainly a vine-growers' feast, but we can glimpse an older substratum, a probation test characterised by sexual disguise.

The Minyae, descendants of the children begottenby the Argonauts on the women of Lemnos, were driven from their island by the Pelasgi. They fled to Laconia and settled on Mount Taygetos, where they kindled fires. The Lacedemonians welcomed them, even allowing the refugees to marry Spartan women of the noblest families. So encouraged, their insolence overstepped all bounds. The Spartans, angered beyond endurance, seized them and imprisoned them in Sparta, waiting till nightfall to kill them, for no execution ever took place till the sun had set.

The wives then sought leave to visit their husbands, and the moment they were inside the prison exchanged clothes with them. As a result the men succeeded in escaping and returning to Mount Taygetos. Georges Dumezil20  rightly interprets this romantic story as the pseudo-historical explanation of a ceremony which included a procession from Sparta to Mount Taygetos of men dressed as women, and a bonfire on the mountain—'one of the few evidences we have of a genuinely Lacedemonian rite'—which probably embraced, like the Oschophoria, several elements which were originally heterogeneous.

The Oschophoria, indeed, display three strata, one over the other; a survival of male initiations, a feast of the vintage, and a commemoration of the return of Theseus.  The Oschophoria were interpreted then as a commemoration of Theseus' return from Crete with the fourteen young people he had saved from the Minotaur. To explain the presence of the two boys in disguise, Athenians told how Theseus, having to take seven boys and seven girls to Minos, had replaced two of the girls by boys of girlish appearance, carefully disguised, who on the return led the procession with him. Thus, as is often the case, the disguise was explained by a stratagem  which, however, has not the slightest value here since none of the existing versions of the tale records that the boys in disguise were of any practical assistance to Theseus.  Who is it, in this feast of the vine pressing, who carries the stocks carefully kept back at the time of the grape harvest, so that in mid-autumn their branches are still intact? No other than the two boys disguised as girls. We have been given an opportune reminder that the vine-stock  and the scrotum  are homonymous in Greek.

Vase-painters depicting bacchic scenes often interpret the bunch of grapes as a sexual symbol.

It is idle, then, to argue, with some modern writers who have discussed the name of the feast, whether the better authenticated form is oschophories, from waxy* vine-stock,  or oschophoria, from ocrxq, scrotum.  The first seems to have the better case. But did it occur to the Greeks themselves to oUscriminate between the two?

They superimposed one on the other. Thus the youths in women's  clothing, bearing the sacred vine-stock, evoke exactly the same image as does the Cretan Leucippe, the phallic maiden.

And so we are reluctant to see in the feminine garb merely the symbol of breaking with an earlier life. If it represented simply the world which the novice is leaving behind him, why is it that the sources lay stress on the clothing which he is about to repudiate, without ever underlining the change which will make him a member of the freer masculine world? In other words, why is the garb of the transitional period alone mentioned, and not that of the moment of incorporation? None of those who describe the Oschophoria says even that the Bearers of the Vine-stock throw off their disguise. It is this divestment  that apparently gave its name to the Cretan feast. If legend fails at this exact point to follow the ritual closely, is it not because it fails to give the feminine clothing the positive importance which it had in the ceremony?

Apart from the Oschophoria, exchange of clothing has left only fleeting traces in the Theseus legend. But it is said that when he arrived in Athens, just as he was passing in front of the Delphinium, some workmen who were busy on the roof took him for a girl and made fun of him. Theseus seized a chariot which was standing before the building and hurled it over the roof. The anecdote ends in a theme of folklore, the unexpected prowess of someone whose apparent weakness has been made a matter for jest; it supposes a mistake like that of the Minotaur who thought that those standing before him were only girls, whereas among them, and resembling them, were the young men who would destroy him.

The part played by transvestism in the legend of Achilles is much plainer, at least in the version of the Cyprian Lays  and the later poets, for Homer chose to omit this episode, which probably seemed to him little to the credit of his hero. Thetis, to prevent her son joining the Trojan expedition, sent him to Lycomedus, in Scyros.

Disguised as a girl, he shared the life of his playmates until one day the Greek leaders set a trap for him, and by offering him weapons induced him to betray his sex. The breaking with his life as a girl is here strongly emphasised, and indicates a passage-rite. Moreover, tradition gives several names to Achilles in his role as a girl; the novice often receives a new name when he is admitted to the masculine world. Tested by fire and water, he is in the highest sense the initiate. It need certainly not surprise us that the legend stresses the feminine episode of his adolescent life; Servius says that there was a statue of Achilles at Cape Sigaeum which wore a jewel in the lobe of his ear in the manner of women.

After Theseus and Achilles we have Heracles donning the clothes of Omphale; Dionysos wearing the long robe and the girdle of a woman. The juxtaposition of these four names suggests the following observation, which does not seem to have occurred to anyone else. The Amazons are the daughters of Ares, and Artemis is the pattern on which they model themselves.

Their legend is ancient, for it is already established by the time of the Homeric poems. Their story, as told by late writers (Quinrus of Smyrna, Tzetzes), had much earlier served as a theme for vase painters. There are three groups of episodes. Penthesilea resists Achilles, who kills her. Theseus subjugates another Amazon, called either Antiope or Hippolyte; she marries him, bears him a son, and dies. A third, Melanippe or Hippolyte, is conquered by Heracles.

This amounts to saying that the gods or heroes who have dealings with the Amazons—Dionysos, Heracles, Achilles, Theseus—are also those whom we have seen disguising themselves as women. Now, whatever the origin of the Amazons, the Ancients saw them as women who bore themselves like men. In other words, the pairs Achilles-Penthesilea, Theseus-Hippolyte, Heracles-Melanippe display that essential contrast which we stressed earlier between Leucippe and Daphne: on the one hand a man disguised in woman's dress, on the other a woman bearing a man's weapons. In the stories of the three Amazons, it is the woman who dies, and the disguise is no more than an episode in the life of her adversary.  

Certain ceremonies in the Bacchic feasts required the worshippers to don women's clothes. Those who performed the dance called Ithyphallos,  in honour of the god, as well as those who escorted the phallus and were themselves known as ithyphalloi,  all wore the dress of the other sex. In Egypt at the beginning of the fourth century, men arrayed themselves as women for the procession of Dionysos. The philosopher Demetrius of Phalera refused to do this, and so incurred the displeasure of the king of Egypt, who regarded himself as the reincarnation of Bacchus. And in the first century A.D., Apollonius of Tyana is said to have seen in the disguises of the Anthesteria at Athens an insult to the heroes of Marathon. Neither Demetrius nor Apollonius' biographer grasped the meaning of the old custom; it shocked them because they interpreted it as a sign of effeminacy.  At the great feasts of Hera at Samos, men donned long white robes sweeping the ground, their hair loose in golden nets, and wore chlidones  which the lexicographers define as feminine bracelets and necklaces.  Other feasts, in which disguise was assumed by both sexes and was an essential part of the proceedings, suggest fertility rites.

In the month Hermaios the Argives celebrated the Hybristika, where women dressed as men and vice versa.  H. Jeanmaire has clearly shown in his Dionysos  the psychological importance of such breaks in Bacchic rites. So it is not surprising to find Philostratus describing in these terms komos,  that is Feast  or Carousal.  But the komos  is too an element of the feasts of Dionysos. 'He is accompanied by a numerous train in which girls mingle with men, for komos  allows women to act the part of men, and men to put on women's clothing and play the woman.'  The custom must have been widespread, for some fifteen vases depict bearded figures in women's clothes, all bent on pleasure. Some are obviously men in disguise; others are women, recognisable by their hair knotted into a bun or gathered under a kerchief, wearing false beards. It has often been asked whether these vases represent some particular ceremony; it is probably the komos  which characterised all the feasts of Dionysos.  some notes on the

Laconian feasts of Artemis give a hint of an archaic past in which the inter sexual carnival still kept all its religious value. Men dressed as women, rigged out in grotesque masks, danced, sang, and bandied coarse jests. It is very probable (though our sources are corrupt) that over against them were women bearing the phallus. A note of Hesychius says: 'The women who lead the sacrifices to Artemis are called lombaiy  which is the name of the phallus, because of the equipment which the festivity calls for.' From the little we know of the ceremonies they seem to have involved not only an intersexual disguise, but a complete exchange of roles, in the course of dances with a very exact significance. Artemis had been a goddess of vegetation and growth before she became a retiring virgin. She was honoured at Elis as Artemis Kordaka,  from the name of the kordax,  which was a ritual dance before it became a comic entertainment. Sexual union stimulates the fruitfulness of the earth. Demeter and Jason copulated in a thrice-ploughed furrow; it is not so long ago that the peasant of the Campine in north Belgium used to sleep in the fields with his wife so that the harvest should be good. And Ernst Buschor is perhaps right to see as the origin of disguise in comedy a synthesis of man and woman incarnate in demons with big bellies and posteriors. The curious point about the Laconian dances is that the sexual roles were reversed in them.  In Rome, at the feast of the Lesser Quinquatria, celebrated at the Ides of June in honour of Minerva, the flute-players were suffered to roam through the town for three days, masked and in long motley robes resembling women's dress. The Romans explained this as commemorating the retreat of the flute-players to Tibur; they had been brought back drunk, and had been mistaken for prostitutes. Superimposed meanings, difficult to separate one from another, can be glimpsed in all these carnivals, in the komos of Dionysos, in the rites of Laconia, Argos and Rome. It is not impossible to see lingering in them, mingled with much else, the last traces of initiation ceremonies. In the course of such ceremonies the exchange of clothing seems to signify not only separation from one group and incorporation in another, but longevity and fertility,  Once the meaning was forgotten, the attribute misinterpreted, transvestism necessarily degenerated into buffoonery and licence. That is, indeed, the fate of everything that touches on the sexual life. To begin with, reverence and fear surround it with a mysterious atmosphere of taboo. When this fear is overcome it dissolves into laughter, leaving no place for any intermediate feeling. The little sexual emblems which the Ancients used to avert the evil eye were called geloia, ridicula. All that we can say of the Amathus rite is, in the first place, that it was a part of the Ariadne-Aphrodite cult, and that in this same island of Cyprus there existed the cult of the androgynous Aphrodite. Furthermore, intersexual disguise was not unknown in Crete, Ariadne's native land, even if the monuments which represent it are inexplicable.

The constant link between transvestism  and sexual union  prevents our considering the exchange of garments as merely a passage-rite signifying no more than the final incorporation of young men in complete manhood. Symbolic androgyny must have had a positive and beneficent value, each sex receiving something of the powers of the other.

In speaking of the feminine aspects of Dionysos, we rim the risk of evoking the slender, languid adolescent of the Hellenistic age, which often leaves us wondering whether we are looking at a Bacchus or a Hermaphrodite; the insipid distortion of an archaic conception which reveals Dionysos not as effeminate,  but in the full power of his double nature.

Archaic vases show him bearded and lusty, wearing c the heavy Ionian robe, Eastern in cut and appearance, brightly patterned; he is swathed in the full, thick mantle which reaches to the calves and leaves only the forearm uncovered—the costume of a king or priest, and prototype of that of the tragic actor'. That is so. And yet the Greeks never recognised the god's attire as the clothing of a king or priest, but only as a woman's. The worshippers who assumed the krokotos,  the saffron-coloured veil of a woman, to take part in the Bacchic train, did so in imitation of the god; and in the later period the custom was often interpreted as a sign of effeminacy and debauchery. But at the same time the ribald epithets applied to the god—The Testiculous, The Codded—show that his virility was not in question. So on every score he resembles the priest of Cos, the Leucippe of Crete, and the Athenian leaders of the Oschophoric procession, surrounded like these last with symbols of masculinity, ithyphallic sileni, bunches of grapes, and vine-stocks. The archaic figure of Dionysos, to which both vase painters and the costume of his worshippers bear witness, is that of a twofold god.

This same figure can be glimpsed in the tragedy of Aeschylus which told of the struggle of Dionysos and Lycurgus. Someone cried out on sight of him: 'Whence comest thou, man-woman, and what is thy native land? What garb is this?'

In Euripides' Bacchae,  the young king Pentheus scornfully calls him 'the woman-like stranger'. Hoping to overcome the god, Pentheus is to assume the dress of a Bacchante and, like Lycurgus, to learn how terrible is the vengeance of the man-woman.

When the Greeks no longer understood the deep religious needs which were met by the god's double nature, they invented legends to explain them. It was said that when Zeus had delivered Semele's child from his thigh, he ordered Hermes to carry the infant to Ino, sister of Semele, to be reared by her and her husband Athamas in girl's clothing. But Hera was not taken in by the ruse. She spared the child, but struck the foster-parents with madness so that they killed their own children. The same themes appear, differendy ordered, in the story of Minyas' daughters, Alcathoe, Arsippe and Leucippe  (it is by no means surprising to find this Amazon name in a tale of transvestism). As they would take no part in the orgies, Dionysos came in the guise of a girl to invite them to join the festivities; but in  vain. He then reassumed his mighty virility in the successive forms of a bull, a lion, and a panther, with the result that the women lost their reason. As Agave killed Pentheus, so Leucippe killed her son Hippasos and tore him to pieces with the help of her sisters. Hermes then touched the women with his wand and turned them into birds. Pursuit; transvestism; victims, human or animal, torn to pieces—we may note in passing familiar rites for which no single explanation can be found. Some of them were designed to promote plant growth; the Oschophories too are, among other things, a feast of the vintage.

Polyaenus alone mentions a cult of Dionysos Pseudanor, in Macedonia, and he explains it as originating in a stratagem. Argaios, king of Macedonia, routed his enemies by sending down from the mountains Bacchantes who, thyrsus in hand, their faces hidden under their garlands, were taken to be soldiers. In gratitude for his victory the king raised a temple to Dionysos Counterfeit-Man,  We know nothing of this cult. Polyaenus' anecdote introduces into the story of Pentheus the kind of balance that we find in the tales of the Amazons; on the one hand Pentheus, in imitation of Dionysos, disguises himself as a woman and follows the Bacchantes; on the other the Bacchantes in Macedonia are mistaken for men.

In short, the warrior-women bore themselves towards him as towards Theseus, Heracles, and Achilles, all of whom, like him, wore women's dress. Here is a double representation of androgyny: armed horsewomen contrasted with a virile god, wearing a long robe twice girdled.

The Christians scoffed at the feminine Dionysos. For the tragic poets, the saffron-coloured peplos inspired awe, then anguish, and finally terror, as the discordance grew between the outward aspect of the man and the audacity of his actions. Meanwhile, Hellenistic  art ceased to regard Dionysos as the man-woman,  that is, a double being, doubly powerful, and saw him as effeminate.  It stripped him of the garments that symbolised his double nature—the saffron veil, the girdle, the golden mitra.  It left him naked, not indeed despoiled of his virility, but too frail to assert it. Ovid  and Seneca  speak of him as 'girl-faced', a phrase that would certainly have astonished the archaic painters, who represented him with a vigorous growth of beard. And Pliny recalls a statue of him dressed as Venus. The development was gradual, and no-one noticed in its course how it was distorting the myth, robbing it of both meaning and beauty; such a loss could not be offset by a few agreeable statues that pandered to the Greek taste for adolescent beauty.

It is then hardly surprising if the Orphic poets, who attributed bisexuality to so many divine beings, gave themselves free rein in writing of him: thelumorphos, arrhenothelus, diphues, dissophues. These full-blooded adjectives from the old poets protest against the paltry art which deprives him of his manly stature and allows him only the superficial aspects of femininity. The Orphic poets look back to the long-robed and terrible Dionysos of the tragedians, who wears the mitra  the better to dominate the Bacchantes whom he has tamed.

In ancient initiation ceremonies, boys cast off a feiriinine garment and so renounced whatever in their childhood had been feniinine. Here, young women renounce their own sex to become, as the biographers smugly put it, eunuchs. We cannot find this surprising, since already in Ovid we have seen that androgyny and a-sexuality are synonymous.

A similar renunciation is explicitly formulated in the stories of bearded female saints.

The interpretation of the Volto Santo as a woman gave rise to several legends, which are listed here, in ascending order of romantic elaboration:

1. Galla, daughter of Symmachus, was a Roman widow who was unwilling to marry again. The doctors warned her that the excessive heat of her body, deprived of outlet, might cause the growth of a beard, and this in fact came about. Sed sancta mulier nihil exterioris deformitatis timuit quae interioris sponsi speciem amavit.  She died of a cancer of the breast.

2. Paulaj a virgin of Avila, who was being pursued by a suitor, threw herself at the foot of a crucifix and implored Christ to disfigure her. Her prayer was immediately granted: barba agrestis enata, frons distorta, genaefoedatae.  Her suitor passed by without recognising her.

3. Wilgeforte (virgo fortis)  was the daughter of a pagan king of Lusitania who threatened to marry her to the king of Sicily in spite of her desire to remain a virgin. At her prayer Christ caused her to grow a beard. Furious at her resistance, her father had her crucified. Thenceforward she was called Liberata.

The cult of the bearded woman saint spread through western Europe, but its value was everywhere preserved unchanged. The beard, like the masculine dress, denotes renunciation of sex. In the stories of Galla and Paula the aetiological theme of the crucifixion has not yet appeared, and the renunciation is symbolised by the cancer of the breast and by the altered face which went unrecognised by the suitor. The crucified bearded saint is the Liberated — St Livrade  in France, Librada  in Spain (altarpiece and tomb in the cathedral at Siguenza), St Dkbarras  at Beauvais, Ohnkummer  in Germany, Ontcommere  in Flanders, Uncumber  in England—and these names were responsible for extensions to the legend; in England it was said that the saint helped women who wished to disencumber themselves of their husbands. Disfigurement by a beard has the same value as the leprosy with which St Enimia prayed to be stricken ob virginitatis custodiam, or the mutilations undergone by St Lucy who tore out her own eyes or St Eusebia who cut off her nose. Further, the transformation is accompanied by bitter hostility towards the family, a hostility still more marked in the superstitions of popular hagiography." [Hermaphrodite]

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PostSubject: Re: Gender Fluidity / Transgender / Cis Sat Aug 06, 2016 6:05 am

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Marie Delcourt wrote:
"The people of Cyprus worshipped a bearded Aphrodite,  called Aphroditos.  In this island, lying between Europe and Asia, where the rite of Amathus provides an example of transvestism, we might expect to find an oriental cult naturalised by the Greeks—all the more since there was also a bearded Aphrodite in Pamphylia. A close examination, however, reveals that the Cypriot Aphroditos has links with the Greek, and especially with the Latin world, which make a foreign origin doubtful.

The androgynous deity of Cyprus had a woman's body and clothing, but the beard and sexual organs of a man; it carried a sceptre. To do sacrifice to it, men dressed as women, and women as men. The statue was certainly ithyphallic, for comic poets and lexicographers associated Aphroditos with priapic demons. Here once more, this time in Cyprus, is the figure of the Cretan Leucippe, of the Heracles of Cos. We know this figure only from descriptions;  no monuments portray it.

Many statuettes of Aphrodite have been found in Cyprus; none is bearded; all are completely feminine.  The little that we know of the Cypriot cult comes to us from Latin commentators attempting explanations of curious passages in the poets—a line of Virgil,  where the goddess is referred to in the masculine; a phrase of Calvus describing her as pollens deus  In the special case of Venus, this belief appears in a fragment of the poet Laevius, quoted by Macrobius in his dissertation on Venus in her double role of god and goddess.  'Worshipping Venus, the foster parent,' says Laevius,  'whether male or female, after the fashion of the foster-mother Light of Darkness. . . .' The worshipper of this indeterminate Venus seems to have been the bird Phoenix, which Laevius, in another fragment, speaks of as feminine. Laevius was a precious writer, eager for any kind of novelty. But here he does not seem to be indulging in gratuitous whimsicality. The Phoenix was at once male and female. Moreover, the words sive mas sive femina  are part of the ritual in a great many invocations in Latin; the cautious formula betrays some uncertainty about the sex of the divinity. Indeed, more than one deity of primitive times seems to have hesitated between the two sexes. Pales  was masculine before definitely becoming a goddess. After the god Porno  came the goddess Pomona. Tellumon  and Tellurus  are recorded beside Tellus.

Other figures are divided into two persons, one masculine and one feminine; such are Consus and Ops, Faunus and Fauna, Liber and Libera, Ruminus and Rumina, Cacus and Caca, Caeculus and Caecilia. These couples are always sterile, and do not represent wedded deities; they are pairs, invented by the human imagination to embrace all the aspects of a single power endowed with the two natures side by side; they represent the ambiguous god, as the Roman genius conceived him.

Yet the Romans did not entirely reject the image of a single being possessing both sexes, as we can see from the Italiot Hercules in woman's dress and from the ancient cult of the bald Venus.  Latin commentators have found edifying explanations in history for the baldness of the goddess. A scholion on the Iliad  says—and this is of greater interest to us—that the statue, which was bearded, had male and female organs; it held a comb; c it was said that she was the protector of all births'.

To reject this evidence on the ground that an androgynous Venus is Asiatic, not Roman, would be to argue from premises still to be proved. On the contrary, a number of details encourage us to consider it carefully.

The Etruscan Venus (Turan) wears the tutulus,  the conical hat which not only is obviously the symbol of the phallus, but even seems to bear its name—that of Mutinus Tutunus,  a priapic deity associated, as we have seen, with a prenuptial rite. It must be remembered too that in the very same note in which Servius speaks of the bald Venus  he says that in Cyprus the goddess was worshipped 'in the form of an umbilicus or, if one prefers it, of a standing-stone'. Conversely, in Greek (kteis)  as in Latin (pecteri),  the comb signifies the sexual organ, usually the female organ.

Further, shaving the head is a purification rite and a passage-rite which appears in nuptial customs, for example in Sparta. It is not attested in Rome, where we know practically nothing of archaic customs. A goddess with shaven head recalls the Lacedemonian bride; a bearded goddess recalls the bride of Argos with her false beard. The bald Venus is invoked to protect births, that is, to watch over the fulfilment of marriage. The cult of Aphrodite was introduced into Attica, it was said, by a king who longed for children. And the Cyprian Aphroditos received the spring offering of the eiresione>  the may-bough of branches of laurel or olive, hung about with the symbols of fertility — cakes, figs, vials of wine, oil and honey. The emblem was borne in procession in adolescent initiation rites and nuptial ceremonies. All this forms a homogeneous background against which the bald Venus, guardian of marriage and birth, claims her place beside the duplex of Amathus; on both figures light is shed by the beliefs of Antiquity about the androgynous character of the Moon.

Asia Minor venerated a divinity whom the Greeks incorporated, under the name of the Great Mother, among their own maternal goddesses, Rhea and Demeter. Like Ge and Hera, who were able to procreate without consorts, the Anatolian deity had her adrogynous aspect. This was far more marked in her case than in her Hellenic sisters, and resulted in some strange incarnations in Greek legend — Agdistis and Misa, both bisexual. Though the figure from which they derive is extremely archaic, the traditions concerning them are late, strange to the Classical world and drawn from distant lands. This is apparent in the 52nd Orphic Hymn,  which addresses Misa:

"I invoke Dionysos thesmophoros, bearer of the ferrule, renowned stock of the hundred-named Good Counsellor, and the pure and holy Misa, the lady not to be named, male and female, double-natured, Iacchos the Unbinder: whether at Eleusis thou delightest in the fragrant temple, whether in Phrygia with the Mother thou presidest over the mysteries, whether in Cyprus thou dalliest with the fair-crowned Cytherea, whether thou rejoicest in the holy fields where the wheat grows, with thy mother, holy Isis, black-veiled, by the river of Egypt, along thine attendant nurses. Come, kindly goddess, and reward us after our strife."

Here is syncretism indeed: a goddess daughter of Isis, companion of the Phrygian Mother, worshipped at Eleusis, in Cyprus, and Egypt. Male and female, she is first associated with Dionysos, and then identified with the Eleusian Iacchos. Like Demeter, she is a rural deity, whose real name is taboo, whose cult is shrouded in mystery. The first mime of Herondas (about 300 B.C.) tells us that somewhere (but we do not know where) processions in honour of Misa took place. She is little known in Greece, where she is mentioned only by some theologian or other searching out religious curiosities; and her native land is really Phrygia, where her name was one of those borne by the Great Mother, and is indeed identical with that of Midas, whom the Greeks made into a king, as they made Attis into a prince of Lydia. Misa, once naturalised in Greece, joined the Eleusian cycle of Iacchos and Demeter. She was said to be a daughter of the ribald Baubo, who mocked Demeter in her distress by pulling up her dress in her presence. Baubo signifies the belly, baubon the phallus, bauban means to sleep. Baubo's gesture, the anasyrma, which we know too from several statues of Hermaphrodite, was certainly a ritual act, majestic and mysterious, before it fell into vulgarity.

Agdistis is another incarnation of the Phrygian Great Mother. He was born of Earth, conceived of the seed of Zeus, and was bisexual, violent and terrible. The gods feared him, and castrated him. From the blood that fell from the wound a tree sprang; the daughter of the river Sangarios plucked its fruit and put it in her bosom, and conceived Attis, through whose adventures the theme of castration was to run like a leitmotif. The cult of Agdistis is known in Asia Minor, Southern Russia, Lesbos, Egypt and Attica. Moreover, at Pessinus the Great Mother was venerated under this name.

The story of Agdistis, like the hymn to Misa, bears witness to the androgynous character of a divinity which, at first glance, seems entirely maternal. Her priests, the Galli, castrated themselves; in the thought of the Ancients (for whom, fairly early, bisexuality became synonymous with a-sexuality), this made them androgynous like Misa and Agdistis, hypostases of the Great Mother. As was their way, the Greeks sought to explain this mutilation, which they  found surprising and puzzling, by precedents in legend. Perhaps at the same time they furnish us with the means of carrying further an explanation which cannot be considered satisfactory as it stands. In Ouranos-Varuna,  Georges Dumezil has put the castration of Ouranos back in a context of beliefs that gives it a plausible meaning: the symbolic sacrifice of king or priest to promote the natural forces. How can we fail to see that the legend of Agdistis, in which Zeus behaves exactly as Ouranos in fertilising Earth and raising a monster, is made up of images which illustrate the unity of generation, the interdependence of all its elements? A god raises from the earth an androgynous being, from whose blood, and sperm, grows a tree; a girl has only to touch its fruit to become a mother. Then her son Attis castrates himself and dies; the Great Mother gathers up his scattered organs, wraps them in her robe and buries them, and violets grow over his tomb.

Death and resurrection, immortality. The feminine Heracles of Cos is the conqueror of Eurypyle, Death; the Roman Hercules in his long robe is the Health-giver; Dionysos arrhenothelus  governs the growth of trees; the Aphroditos of Cyprus receives the may-branch, token of abundance; Venus Calva is the guardian of birth; Misa rejoices in good harvests. However scanty and imperfect our knowledge of these cults, they encourage us to give a special and positive value to the idea of bisexuality." [Hermaphrodite]

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"ἐδιζησάμην ἐμεωυτόν." [Heraclitus]

"All that exists is just and unjust and equally justified in both." [Aeschylus, Prometheus]

"The history of everyday is constituted by our habits. ... How have you lived today?" [N.]

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PostSubject: Re: Gender Fluidity / Transgender / Cis Sat Aug 06, 2016 6:20 am

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Marie Delcourt wrote:
"Greek traditions make mention of some beings who, in the course of their existence on earth, passed through both sexes.

The most striking case is that of the soothsayer Tiresias, born a boy, who was to become a woman and die a man, fabulously old. In this kind of successive androgyny  we must not see a transposition of  genuine cases where an adolescent turns out not to be of the sex supposed at his birth. The stories of Kaineus and Tiresias do not spring from concrete experience. They are indeed myths,  born of customs or beliefs—and, moreover, each one requires a separate explanation. Through their psychological aura we can approach the ideas which the Greeks associated with bisexuality.

The Cretan Siproites was changed into a woman for having seen Artemis bathing.  Sithon, like Tiresias, seems to have passed through both sexes; all we know of him comes from two enigmatical lines of Ovid :

"Nee loquor, ut quondam naturae jure novato
Ambiguus fuerit modo vir modo femina, Sithon.

" Nor tell how once, revising nature's plan,
Sithon by shifts now woman was, now man."

Kainis, daughter of the king of the Lapithae, is loved by Poseidon who buys her favours by promising to fulfil any wish that she makes.

She asks to become a man and invulnerable, and he grants this. She becomes the tyrant Kaineus, plants her spear in the middle of the market-place, and orders that all shall pay it divine honours and swear by it. Zeus decides to punish this impiety and raises the Centaurs against Kaineus, whom they overwhelm with tree-trunks. Conquered though still invulnerable, he is buried alive. 'Struck down by green fir branches', says Pindar, 'Kaineus kicked the ground and disappeared in the cloven earth'.

The kernel of the story seems here again to be a rite involving exchange of garments. Storytellers have enriched it with remarkably clear and coherent symbols. The wish of Kainis implies both invulnerability in the ordinary sense and sexual invulnerability. The vocabularies of Greek and Latin, at all stages, from the style of tragedy to that of farce, assimilate the sexual act to a wound. The spear is a phallic symbol. Alexander of Pheres venerated his as a god, calling it Tychon, 'him who strikes home', in gratitude to it for killing his uncle Polyphron. But Tychon is also a phallic demon.  Whatever the real etymology of the name Kaineus, the Greeks saw in it at one and the same time kainis,  the sword; kaino,  to kill; kainumai,  to excel; kainos,  new.

Transvestism is a passage-rite and an initiation rite. This youth who has renewed  himself is invulnerable, and stands erect  and living  under the trees that have overwhelmed him. Though the story has been twisted to fit a morality foreign to its primitive meaning, the ethics of rites of adolescence are still perfectly distinguishable in it.

Ovid, alone in the whole tradition, ends Kaineus' career by an epiphany; he emerges from his grave of heaped-up trunks in the form of a bird with fiery plumage, such as has never been seen before and will never be seen again'.7  This bird is not named, but we know it well: it is the Phoenix. The Pheonix has at one and the same time the two sexes which Kaineus possessed one after the other. He dies on a pyre, but is reborn immediately, always unchanged in his successive rebirths. Ovid, as far as we know, is the only poet who has introduced into the legend of Kaineus an episode clearly coloured by the story of the Phoenix, but we know that the Ancients had already connected the two names. Ovid, who combines an extraordinary intuition for mythology with a taste which is often deplorable, sensed a genuine relationship between them. The Phoenix is an image rather than a legend,  in which the thought of the waning Ancient world found strange links with the problems that preoccupied it.

In his poem on the Bath of Pallas,  Callimachus tells how Tiresias, then no more than a boy, went hunting one day. By ill fortune he passed by a river where Athena was bathing. The angry goddess deprived him of his sight. But when the boy's mother, the nymph Chariclo, interceded for her son, Athena promised that to compensate for the loss of his eyes which were now closed for ever 'he should know how to read the flight of birds, auguries favourable, indifferent, and evil; and after his death, held in honour by the god of the underworld, he alone should keep among the shades his spirit of prophecy'.

On the other hand, old poems, particularly the Melampodia attributed to Hesiod, tell how and why he changed his sex. One day, on a journey, he saw a pair of snakes copulating; he separated them with his staff, and in so doing injured them, and immediately became a woman. Seven years afterwards he saw the same snakes in the same act, and became a man again. A variant of the story says that on the first occasion he wounded the female, and on the second the male, each time taking the sex of the reptile he had injured. After that Zeus granted that he should live for seven (or nine) generations of men.

The old story-tellers tried at all costs to fashion the two themes into a biography. Indeed, the poets knew only the man Tiresias, the same soothsayer who, in the Odyssey,  warned Ulysses against the dangers that beset his return, and who revealed his unwitting crimes to Oedipus. Only one anecdote relates to his feminine experience. One day Zeus and Hera were discussing the pleasures of love, and consulted Tiresias, who knew both aspects. He replied that the woman experiences nine times more pleasure than the man. The writers who tell of this episode add that the goddess was so angered by this disclosure that she, not Athena, struck Tiresias blind in retaliation.

The folklore of all nations knows that there is danger in the sight of snakes copulating. There is a trace of this belief in Pliny not, as might have been expected, in his chapter on snakes, but in that on piety  so careful were the Latins to mingle history and moral precepts with their tales and superstitions. The father of the Gracchi, returning home, saw serpents as Tiresias had done. The augur told him that his life would be safe if he killed the female. 'No', he answered, 'kill the male, for Cornelia is young and can still bear children.' In the Roman tale, the sight of the snakes threatened the life of the onlooker; in the Greek tale, it threatened his sexual integrity.

On the other hand, Tiresias was blinded for having seen Athena bathing. Blindness, indeed, is the usual punishment of the man who has violated an ocular taboo.

Seen from this angle, the two explanations seem perfectly satisfactory, the meeting with the snakes causing change of sex, the sight of the naked goddess causing blindness. But if we consider them more closely, it is obvious that permutations are possible, since each explanation goes beyond the limits of the episode which it is supposed to cover.

In fact, in the Classical world and elsewhere, serpents confer the gift of prophecy. The soothsayers Melampus, Cassandra and Helenos owed theirs to snakes who licked their ears; afterwards they understood the language of animals and could interpret the noises of the natural world. This occurs too, in a version of the story of Tiresias, where Athena caused a serpent which lay along the edge of her shield to lick his ears. On the other hand, a mortal to whom a goddess revealed her deepest secret knew that he was physically threatened, but did not know what part of his body would be stricken. Artemis caused Acteon's death; Siproites, who surprised her bathing, was turned into a woman. When the Trojan prince Anchises learnt that the nymph who had given herself to him was none other than Aphrodite, he begged her not to make him amenenos, deprived of his menos, inconstant as the forms of dreams. Indeed, the Asiatic goddesses, even more than the Greek, imperilled their lovers: Attis castrated himself, and the love of Aphrodite was fatal to the fair Adonis.

This is why A. H. Krappe, reversing the order of events in the ancient records, explains the gift of prophecy as a present of the serpents (but in that case we must suppose, after an Indian architype, a version in which Tiresias by wounding the female serpent does a service to the male and earns his gratitude); and he argues that the soothsayer became a woman (that is, impotent) as did Siproites, for having seen a goddess bathing (but the story of Siproites could very well be simply a replica of that of Tiresias). As for the blindness, he thinks that no explanation is needed, because it is the price paid for second sight.

We cannot but entirely agree with him on this last point. The idea underlying the many stories of blind soothsayers, of suffering or mutilated magicians, is that superiority in any one direction must be paid for, and often at a high price. When the Greeks had lost the sense of this mysterious contract whereby a god could claim from a human something of his substance in exchange for a special gift, they represented blindness as a punishment. This is clear in the story of Tiresias.

If the explanations which the Ancients found for the prophetic gift on the one hand, for the change of sex on the other, are interchangeable, as Krappe has shown, we propose, far from reversing them as he has done, to relate both to another and wider explanation in which each can find a place.

The explanation is not difficult to find. Ethnographers have more than once described the Shamans of Eastern Asia who, after initiation, put on feminine clothes and keep them all their life, assuming the role of a woman so completely that they have sometimes been known to take a husband. 'Transvestism, with all the changes that it brings with it', says Mircea Eliade, is accepted after a supernatural command has been thrice received in dreams; to refuse it would be to court death.' 'In South Borneo, the intermediaries between men and gods are true hermaphrodites, clad as women and bearing themselves as women.' Is Mircea Eliade right to see in this strange custom 'definite traces of a feminine magic and a matriarchal mythology'? It is very doubtful. He puts forward another explanation as well, which, in view of our own conclusions, we are far readier to support. 'Bisexuality depends on the fact that the priest is regarded as intermediary between two cosmological planes—Earth and Heaven—and also on the fact that they unite in their person the feminine element Earth and the masculine element Heaven. We are concerned here with a ritual androgyny, the well-known formula of the divine bi-unity.'

Some fifty years ago, W. R. Halliday very rightly pointed out that it is in the bisexuality of the Shamans that the explanation of the mysterious Scythian Enarees must he. Herodotus says that when the Scythians invaded Asia, king Psammetichus dissuaded them from entering Egypt, and offered them rich presents to return home. This they did. But some of their number pillaged the temple of Aphrodite Ourania at Ascalon in Palestine, the oldest of all the temples of the goddess. She afflicted the pillagers and all their descendants with the feminine disease.
'Such is the story by which the Scythians explain this disease; moreover, travellers can see for themselves the condition of those the Scythians call Enarees.'  Unfortunately the meaning of this word is unknown, but elsewhere  Herodotus mentions the Enarees again, speaking of them as androgynous, and adding that they have from Aphrodite a gift of divination. Hippocrates, in his treatise Of the airs,  describes the Enarees precisely enough for us to recognise in them shamans  similar to those of Eastern Asia, 'true hermaphrodites'.

The Scythians in general, says Hippocrates, are not prolific. Moreover, there are among them many who are impotent and who do women's work, speaking like women. They are called Anarieis.  The people of the country attribute their condition to a divinity, honour them and prostrate themselves before them, each man fearing lest a similar affliction fall on him.' Hippocrates admits no supernatural cause, and attributes the disease to the fact that the Scythians are always on horseback. He goes on: 'When they go to a woman and cannot have intercourse with her, they are at first little perturbed, but then imagine that they have committed some sin against the god and put on women's clothing. They declare their impotence, five like women and devote themselves to feminine occupations. This illness attacks only rich men, those powerful by birth and wealth.'

Herodotus represents the illness as a punishment from the gods, and certainly a pious Greek could hardly see it in any other fight.

Although the goddess of Ascalon whom Herodotus calls Aphrodite is a very close relation of the Greek Mother, of the Dea Syria to whom the priests made bloody sacrifice of their virility, it is clear that here there is no question of brutal castration, but of an attitude of mind, a way of life which Greek rationalists could interpret only as an illness, either physical or mental. Hippocrates does his best to explain why the poor do not suffer from it; it is because they do not ride to excess, and go on foot. Aristotle too  treats the feminine disease as peculiar to the kings of the Scythians. The two descriptions reveal clearly an ambivalence which all ethnographers have stressed, that the 'feminine shamans' are at once respected  and despised',  the two Greek scholars interpret this in their own fashion, by talking of kings and lords stricken with a disease that diminishes them.

Greek mythology has kept only one trace of androgynous shamanism, in the legend of Tiresias, the prophet who experienced both sexes. The hazy memory of an archaic reality long ago left behind has been changed into a biography put together with the help of folklore themes that give it perfect cohesion. Tiresias loses his sight because he comes upon a goddess bathing; she has pity on him and grants him the gift of divination; he surprises snakes in the act of copulation; his sexual life is affected. What could be more logical, more convincing? An undertone of implied criticism runs through the story: misfortune falls on Tiresias because he has seen what should be hidden. In popular opinion the man who has knowledge of secret things is always foolhardy, and that is very near to being guilty.

What we know of shamanism explains the periodic nature of Tiresias' metamorphoses; he is seven years a woman, then becomes a man again. Students of the initiations of magicians, in Celtic legend where they play so large a part, and in the regions of the world today where they are still practised, stress the importance of the numbers seven and nine in the probationary periods. The feminine life  is final for the Scythian shamans, and for those described by Mircea Eliade; in Tiresias' career it is a kind of retreat, lasting as long as that of Hephaistos. The stories give no details about it, for wherever the soothsayer appears in the poems it is as a man, and carrying a sceptre, which is a symbol easy enough to interpret. He was credited with a line of descendants, mostly daughters. Is the famous Manto simply a hypostasis of the feminine Tiresias?

Like Leucippe the Cretan, Kaineus appears to us as a figure born of ritual transvestism.

The legend of Tiresias seems to be a Greek interpretation of the artificial androgyny of the shamans.

The Phoenix is a mythical figure.

These three heterogeneous stories may have completely different settings, ritual or psychological, yet they have exactly the same conclusion.

The Phoenix is the very symbol of eternity.

Kaineus is invulnerable. He lives on unconquered under the earth.

Tiresias lives for seven  or nine  generations. We should be making a commonplace of his longevity if we explained it by literary necessity, and argued that the poets had involved him in so many adventures that they had no choice but to make him outlive several generations of men. Ulysses in distress on his homeward journey called on the shade of the great soothsayer, who had lost none of his wisdom in the underworld, for Persephone had willed that even in death he alone should keep sense and reason among the flying shades; and he appeared to the hero, his golden sceptre in hand, still lordly, even in Hades.

Finally we must remember that Achilles, who lived at Scyros in feminine attire, received at Leuce an eternal life like that of the gods. Are we rash in thinking that bisexuality, symbolised by the exchange of garments, had a positive value, bound up with human aspirations to perpetual life?" [Hermaphrodite]

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"All that exists is just and unjust and equally justified in both." [Aeschylus, Prometheus]

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PostSubject: Re: Gender Fluidity / Transgender / Cis Sat Aug 06, 2016 6:23 am

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Marie Delcourt wrote:
"In both rites and legends the Hellenic spirit may be seen advancing towards the concept of the double man or god, then drawing back and, just as it is on the point of achieving exact representation, contenting itself with allusions or symbols. That for them hermaphroditism was an exalted state of nature and the divine is proved by the traditions in the first theogonies of goddesses who conceive unaided, and will be proved again by the myths which the philosophers elaborated.

But the ambivalence of sacred things is nowhere so clearly revealed as in the realm of bisexuality. An abnormal formation of the generative organs seemed to the Ancients the extreme of monstrosity.

When a child was born bearing real or apparent signs of hermaphroditism, the whole community felt itself threatened by the anger of the gods. To avert its consequences they must first suppress the abnormal child, who was thus made to bear the sins of which he was the token. As it was repugnant to the Ancients to kill where the victim could be left to die, the new-born child was exposed.   Another case could easily arise. True hermaphroditism is extremely rare: it exists only in individuals who have both sets of organs complete or, at least, one set complete with, in addition, characteristics of the other sex. What the Ancients termed androgyny is apparent hermaphroditism, or hypospadias, where only the external organs are abnormal. A hypospadic boy may be registered as a girl; the mistake is discovered at puberty. On the other hand, there are girls whose external genital organs resemble those of boys, and it is difficult to distinguish a little girl so equipped from a hypospadic boy. When the Ancients (and for that matter moderns too) speak of a change of sex, they are simply describing the moment when the real sex, undisclosed at birth, is revealed. The two phenomena, sexual ambiguity and evolution from one outward form to another, are thus one and the same thing and appear equally maleficent.

Livy too relates that about 200 B.C., when Italy was just recovering from the terrors of the Carthaginian occupation, a number of deformed animals were born and, in Sabina, an androgynous child, while in another place a second was discovered, already sixteen years old. 'All these things seemed to be the result of a nature confusing and mingling the germs. Hermaphrodites especially were held in horror; they were led to the sea.'  We must understand that they were exposed on water so that they should perish without anyone being defiled by their blood.


'Formerly', says Pliny in the first century B.C., 'hermaphrodites were considered as terrifying apparitions, but today only as objects for jest.'

The cult of the god Hermaphrodite perhaps helped to undermine gradually the old terror of maleficent androgyny. It is certain, though, that the two existed for some time side by side, for the cult seems to date from the fourth century and it is not until the Christian era that we hear the superstition spoken of as a survival of bygone days. This is sufficient indication of how far beliefs about the double gods are dissociated from experience. Androgyny is at the two poles of sacred things. Pure concept, pure vision of the spirit, it appears adorned with the highest qualities. But once made real in a being of flesh and blood, it is a monstrosity, and no more; it is proof of the wrath of the gods falling on the unfortunate group in which it is manifested, and the unhappy individuals who reveal it are got rid of as soon as possible.

The origins of Hermaphrodite are extremely obscure, and it is indeed for this reason that we have begun by describing his psychological components. His religious existence presents a number of problems.

In this composite name, which was to meet so strange a fortune, the presence of Aphrodite is perfectly justifiable. The presence of Hermes is more of a riddle. The legend which made Hermaphrodite the child of the two divinities was a later invention, to explain the name. The ambiguous young god, brother of Eros, bears a close resemblance to his mother, but little to his supposed father, whom the ancient painters depicited as sturdy, bearded, and extremely virile.

That is why it has sometimes been suggested that Hermaprodite was originally a herm bearing the bearded image and the erect organ of the Cypriot god Aphroditos who was clad as a woman. Not only is the existence of such a statue entirely hypothetical, but composite words of the type Hermathena, Hermares, Hermeros,  etc., to denote a herm of Athena, Ares or Eros, date from Roman times and are practically never found outside the Latin writers. If Hermaphrodite had simply been the personification of a herm of Aphrodite,  the god Hermes would have had no part in the creation of the new god, and would appear in his name only by favour of a kind of play on words. To exclude him thus would be unwise, and would deprive the double god of a part of his meaning.

Indeed Jessen  has opportunely focused attention on the cases where Hermes and Aphrodite are found associated by the cult, where they share the same altar, where they are represented together on coins and in terracotta; and especially where they appear together as protectors of sexual union. Athens had a combined cult of Hermes Psithyristes, of Aphrodite and of Eros Psithyros.  At Halicarnassus, one temple brought Hermes and Aphrodite together near the famous spring of Salmacis which played a part in the legends of the origin of Hermaphrodite. Argos honoured the two divinities together. It was said that the ancient statues of them were an offering of Hypermnestra, the only one of the fifty Danaides who refused to kill her husband.  It will be remembered that at Argos the young brides put on a false beard to enter the nuptial bed; there too was celebrated, and in the month sacred to Hermes, the Hybristika  in which the two sexes exchanged clothing. the cult of Hermaphrodite can be contained in a few lines. At least we know that his feast fell on the fourth day of the month. Now Hesiod, in his Works and Days,9  gives this advice:

"It is on the fourth day that you should lead home your bride.' And Proclus adds in his commentary, 'This day is consecrated to Hermes and to Aphrodite, and for this reason it is excellent for setting up house.' In the proem to his Conjugal Precepts,  Plutarch advises 'praying to the Muses that they may work together with Aphrodite, for it is their office to bring harmony to a union and to a household."

That is why the Ancients joined together the images of Aphrodite and of Hermes (for the pleasure which springs from marriage can least of all pleasures dispense with speech) with those of Persuasion and the Graces, so that the consorts may agree each with the other by persuasion and without conflict.' This is a symbolic interpretation; the Hermes who with Aphrodite protected marriage was certainly not the divine discourser, but rather the god whom Pausanias saw still honoured at Cyllene in Elis10  in the form of an erect phallus. Jessen supposes then that a phallic Hermes was invoked with Aphrodite as protector not exactly of marriage, but of sexual union. They made up a double god, similar to that figure, masculine in sex, feminine in attire, which we have at every stage of our argument found associated with initiations, that is with the ceremonies of incorporation in the nubile group. Hermaphrodite thus appears at the close of a series which must have been very long, though we know only a few of its types from rites and especially from legends: the leaders of the Oschophoria, the Cretan Leucippe, Achilles, Heracles,  Dionysos, Aphroditos, and Venus Calva. In old times this figure probably bore signs of a vigorous virility that later art attenuated. As for his name, it was created by analogy with the adjectives androgynes, arrhenothelus.

These compound words belong to a type that is very common in Sanscrit, rare in Greek, and still rarer in Latin. Indian grammarians call them dvandva>  and modern scholars copulative compounds, for the two elements combine to make a whole in which they are the two opposite poles.11  In an Orphic hymn Zeus is called Metropator,  'at once Father and Mother'. In the same way Christian theologians created Theanthropos,  'at once Man and God'; the Huiopatores  are heretics who affirm the identity of the Father and the Son. It is a striking fact that the only dvandva  compounds current in Greek are androgynos  and its converse gynandros; arrhenothelus  which was applied to Dionysos; and Hermaphrodites,  which was a proper name until common use made it an equivalent of androgynos.  From this it would seem as though it was only between the sexes that a polarity existed which the Greeks were concerned to bring back to an essential unity. As for Latin, religious and legal vocabulary have preserved some very rare copulative compounds (ususfructus; suovetaurile)  the sacrifice of swine, ram and bull). There are more frequent examples of juxtaposition of terms {condus promus).  We remember then that their religion had scarcely any double gods, but several pairs of twin gods who are in fact the equivalent of double gods. Linguistic development corresponds exactly with religious imagination.

Theophrastes wrote his Characters  about 300 B.C. Here is what he says, among other things, of the Superstitious Man:  

'On the fourth and seventh day of the month, he forbids his household to cook wine, then he goes to the market to buy myrrh, incense and cakes, and on his return* he spends the rest of the day in garlanding Hermaphrodites.'

In the collection of Alciphron's letters Epiphyllis confides to her friend Amaracine:

I had woven an eiresione  of flowers which I was intending to offer to the Hermaphrodite of Alopece; but of a sudden I fell into an ambush prepared for me by some daring youths. The ambush served the desires of Moschion who, ever since I lost my poor Phedrias, has constantly pestered me with talk of marriage. For my part, I rebuffed him, both in pity for his youth and in loyalty to Phedrias. I little knew what awaited me: a marriage without ceremonies, in a ditch for a bed. In vain I drew round me my veil, whose thickness gave me as much protection as that afforded by the trees; I blush, my dear friend, to tell you what I was forced to undergo. Violence gave me a husband, very much against my will, but even so I have one ' Alciphron is a contemporary of the first Antonines, that is, a little later than Lucian. Like Lucian, he is an Atticist poet, and the society he described is believed to be that of Athens in Plato's time. If the young widow intended to honour the god, it was clearly so that she might find another husband. The piquancy of the passage lies in the fact that her prayer is at once answered, but quite otherwise than she wished, for Moschion, resolute lover as he is, is probably a poor match. Epiphyllis brings Hermaphrodite an eiresione  of entwined flowers: it is more than a garland, it is a composite offering by which a divinity is prayed to stimulate the growth of what is laid before his image. The complete form of the eiresione  is the may-branch, a bough laden with flowers, fruit, cakes, wine and other symbols of abundance—the offering that Theophrates' Superstitious Man  makes, in a more or less complete form, to Hermaphrodite; the offering that the Cypriots brought to their Aphroditos. Epiphyllis' letter supports Plutarch's comment on the protection that Hermes and Aphrodite accord to those about to be united. They are the gods not of marriage, but of sexual union. This confirms what we know of the images of bisexuality and of their significance in the initiations and nuptial rites of archaic times." [Hermaphrodite]

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"ἐδιζησάμην ἐμεωυτόν." [Heraclitus]

"All that exists is just and unjust and equally justified in both." [Aeschylus, Prometheus]

"The history of everyday is constituted by our habits. ... How have you lived today?" [N.]

*Become clean, my friends.*


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PostSubject: Re: Gender Fluidity / Transgender / Cis Sat Aug 06, 2016 6:28 am

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Marie Delcourt wrote:
"Such must have been the primitive Priapus, very different from the attractive young scamp of Hellenistic art. Yet if the sculptors made him into a pleasing figure, the writers never forgot that he was a monster. One legend attributed his deformity to the malevolence of Hera, who was jealous of Aphrodite. Another added that Aphrodite refused to rear her son, 'unwelcome, misshapen, and frightful', and exposed him. A shepherd took him in, and soon found everything prospering for him, his household, his farm-lands, and his stock. Here we see the ambivalence associated with the androgynous figure, protector of unions and births. But the child who is born with the signs of the two sexes is malignant, and condemned to death. Priapus brings fertility to gardens and cowsheds, yet parents would be horrified at a new-born child who resembled him. An idea may be translated into symbols, so long as they do not become so exact that they coincide with concrete reality.

For the rest, the Ancients have described the deformity of Priapus in several ways, sometimes making his phallus of monstrous size, sometimes placing it above his buttocks. A geographer of the second century B.C., Mnaseas of Patara, in a fragment of doubtful meaning confused Priapus with Hermaphrodite or, if we prefer to take the noun as an adjective, made him androgynous. This assimilation is by no means surprising. The artists at first portrayed Priapus as his worshippers saw him, that is, as the personification of virility, bearded like the archaic Dionysos, and even a little grotesque, for everything that touches on sex easily inspires laughter. Little by little they gave way to the temptation to beautify him, and at the same time to make him more feminine. He has the breast of a girl; he no longer wears the pointed bonnet or the fillet or crown of Bacchus, but the mitra;  his long hair is drawn into a scarf. 'His nature', says Hans Herter, 'now embraces both sexes and contains all the strength of a god.' That is, he has become identical with Hermaphrodite. And more than once Herter, studying some painting or drawing, has wondered whether it portrays Priapus or Hermaphrodite, and has hesitated over his answer.  Nevertheless popular belief tended to keep the individual traits of each figure distinct. The idea of the Sondergott, with clearly distinguished attributes like those of the saints in our own times, is an inborn part of country piety. Just because he was the phallus and nothing but the phallus, Priapus entered very much more than Hermaphrodite into the hopes and fears of the peasant, of the landowner, great or small. The phallus, which is still represented today at the door of Mediterranean farmsteads by a great yew, carefully trimmed, has a threefold quality: apotropaic, possessive, and fecund.

As the principle of generation, of all abundance and prosperity, the Ancients portrayed it on tombs. Priapus was called Benefactor and Protector by the Greeks, and by the Latins Father, the Holy One, Mighty Friend. He was god of life and god of death, guardian of cultivations, enemy of robbers, and even, on occasion, protector of sailors;20  and he had a place in everyday life that Hermaphrodite never attained, perhaps because Priapus had stripped him of some of his attributes. Hermaphrodite, in face of Priapus who was so deeply involved in the toil of daily life, gradually retreated from that sphere, surrendered some of his offices, and returned to his original role as an architype of religious thought. Priapus thus took over some of his functions, and certain aspects of androgyny.

Here is another paradox. While the concept of the double god is assuming particular importance in the philosophy of the time, poets and artists are moving in exactly the opposite direction.

Refining Hermaphrodite as they had refined Dionysos, they succeeded in reducing the juxtaposition of the two natures to something so indeterminate that it amounted to a-sexuality. For the rest, in so doing they were only following popular opinion, which found it easy enough to confuse the conditions which are now called intersexual. We find proof of this in the description of the philosopher Favorinus of Aries, a contemporary of the Emperor Hadrian who, says Philostratus, was androgynous (diphues and androthelus), beardless, wrinkled like an old man, with a high voice—'in short, such as nature has made eunuchs'.

The same concept—the equation bisexual = asexual—underlies the story of Hermaphrodite as the nymph Alcithoe relates it to her sisters, in the third book of Ovid's Metamorphoses,  From the love of Hermes and Aphrodite, she says, a boy was born. He received the name of his two parents and was brought up by the Naiads of Ida. When he was fifteen he began to travel, and went to Lycia, then to Caria, to the spring of Salmacis, near Halicamassus. The nymph of the lake saw him, fell in love with him, and confessed her passion. Not knowing how to answer her, for she awoke no response in his heart, he kept her at a distance. Then, thinking she had left him, he bathed in the clear waters. At once she threw herself after him, 'seized him despite his resistance, snatched from him caresses that he would fain have avoided, clasped him in her arms, pressed herself to his reluctant breast, and, little by little, enveloped him in her embraces. . . . So does the ivy twine round the trunk of great trees; so does the octopus unfold his thousand arms to envelop his prey.'

The nymph besought the gods, 'Command that nothing may separate him from me nor me from him'. Her prayer was granted. Their bodies were united in one body. In a double form, they were neither man nor woman: they seemed to have no sex, and to have both:

"Nee duo sunt, et forma duplex, necfemina dici
Nee puer ut possint; neutrumque et utrumque videntur."

Then, in the waters he had entered as a man, finding himself now half woman, his members without strength, in a voice no longer manly he prayed his father and mother that every man who dived into that water should emerge like him, in the condition of a semivir; and his prayer was at once granted.  Bisexuality here, as one might expect, amounts not to an increase of powers but to a deprivation. Like Philostratus' Favorinus, Hermaphrodite becomes not a double god but asexual; and in retaliation he cursed the lake which was responsible for his metamorphosis.

An epigram in the Palatine Anthology?*  by an unknown author, is supposed to have been inscribed on a statue serving as a sign for mixed baths:

For men I am Hermes, and Cypris for women; I bear the symbols of my two parents. That is why I have been set up, a child of equivocal nature, in these baths where come both men and women (androgynois loutrois).

These establishments had a bad reputation, and the patronage of Hermaphrodite probably had ironical value. But the mere allusion implies a connection with physical union, even if morally reprehensible.

To what extent did the Greeks' conception of love influence the idea of the androgynous god? The god seems to us to result from a concept and a body of aspirations in which eroticism played no part.

But things take on a different aspect if we pass from the genesis of a religious creation to its elaboration. All the evidence is that paedophilia strongly influenced all Greek art, from its archaic phase to the turn of the fourth century when Praxiteles created 'the ideally graceful type of the ephebe, Apollo, Dionysos or Eros, indefinite in form, beautiful with the double beauty of man and woman', says Louis Couve. Of this type, as we have pointed out, Hermaphrodite is simply the final development. A homosexual dream expresses itself without shadow of doubt in these ambiguous forms. In the past which men were forgetting, the image of the double being had been a symbol of abundance, richness, a promise of eternity. At the very moment when Greek thought was finding its way back to these meanings, the artists, it would seem, lost interest in them, and were concerned only with gratifying a kind of sensuahty that was universal and unquestioned by the morality of the age. Their statues and paintings are marked, to a greater or lesser degree, by a certain complacency. The Pompeian frescoes often sink to the depths of vulgarity. The respicientes (from the satyrs to Hermaphrodite, from Hermaphrodite to the Callipyge of Naples) convey more than one meaning in the glance. In the reclining figures, an all-enveloping sensuality displays itself without discretion. As for the figures of the standing god, they are the more disturbing as the opposition of characteristics normally felt to be incompatible is the more stressed. The very insistence of the artist betrays the frivolity of his art; for him, the subject is no more than a game of skill, an opportunity to gratify unhealthy fancies and to pander to tendencies in his public completely foreign to primitive feeling, for which the union of the sexes was the survival of the race.

W.Deonna was one of the first, I think, to give up the attempt to find a substratum of reality for monstrosities like steatopygia which, he says, is entirely conventional, simply a symbol of generative power. Exaggerations of the same kind, and of the same origin, are to be found in Cretan art. The Minoan serpent goddesses have small waists, and their heavy breasts swell out above their dress. The early artists were expressionists, anxious to convey every significant detail.

Greek art from its archaic period onwards, however, follows the completely opposite tendency. It dwells as little as possible on the differences of structure between the male and female body. Certain critics have even gone so far as to claim that sculptors studied only male anatomy, that the portrayers of the Corai put feminine heads on draped masculine bodies (H. Lechat), that the goddesses of the Parthenon differ in no essential detail from the gods (P. Hertzt).

Charles Picard, while he rightly stresses the feminine character of the Corai  and the great classical figures, clearly points out the conventions which all tend to merge the two types.

The Couroi  have, for men, small waists, salient buttocks, and well defined pectorals. The Corai  have narrow hips, hardly noticeabl waists, and small breasts set wide apart; such is the Aphrodite of the Ludovisi Throne. The faces are so similar that even the best judges, confronted with a head detached from its body, are uncertain whether it is feminine or masculine. From the fourth century onwards the ideal form, which had until then been virile, becomes feminine. As for the works which go back to the time of Scopas, the mutilated statues leave much room for doubt. Modern authorities have more than once made mistakes, restoring an ephebe as a girl, or giving a beard to a feminine figure in a vase painting. What is perhaps even more curious is that sculptors and painters seem to avoid representing women as smaller than men, as would be normal practice. This is the case at all stages, and cannot be explained as an attempt of the sculptors to bring their faces to the same level; for in the Electra and Orestes of the Villa Ludovisi, where Orestes is a very young boy, Electra is half a head taller.

These conventions are diametrically opposed to those of Rubens, for example, who emphasises the contrast between the male body on the one hand, vigorous, muscular, tanned to an ochre shade by open-air life; and on the other the female body, pink and white, soft and plump. It all seems, in fact, as if the Greek artists, from the end of the archaic period to the beginning of the decadence, had had before them the ideal of a human body showing as few signs as possible of sexual dimorphism, as if an androgynous figure had haunted their imagination.

That is why, among so many youthful figures (Satyrs, Eros, Himeros, Pothos, Hypnos, Plutos, Triptolemus), and so many indeterminate deities (Dionysos, Apollo and Aphrodite of Cyrene, Anadyomene whose statue in the Museo delle Terme so strikingly resembles the torso in the Louvre which is said to be of Apollo), the authentic Hermaphrodite appears simply as an idea carried to its final stage.

A number of monuments represent him: statues and statuettes in bronze and marble, low reliefs and vases and sarcophagi, Pompeian paintings, gems.  All the indications

are that the first type goes back to the school of Praxiteles. 'The sculptors of this time', writes Salomon Reinach, aim at the realisation of a kind of synthesis in which the beauty of man and the beauty of woman blend into one. Under different names, they portray Hermaphrodites; and it is not surprising that the type of Hermaphrodite itself dates from this time. . . a pensive, sensual ephebe, similar to Dionysos and Eros.' Sometimes Hermaphrodite is simply one of these fourth-century adolescent gods; sometimes we find him surrounded by motifs which are elsewhere associated with Aphrodite, the Maenads, the Nymphs or Priapus. And then we have to decide on which side the borrowing has been: has a motif of foreign origin been adapted to Hermaphrodite or, on the other hand, has he influenced other related figures? Each case must be studied separately.

Dr. Paul Richter, who as an anatomist has devoted a scholarly and detailed study to Hermaphrodite, stresses like Reinach the androgynism which permeates all Greek art, especially fourth century works. He groups the surviving statues according to two different morphological conceptions:

"The first, which is perhaps over-simple, consists in bestowing the attributes of the male on a female body with well-developed characteristics. The second and more interesting is the merging in an extraordinary synthesis of the two types, virile and feminine.' 'The Greek sculptor must have had an extraordinar knowledge of human morphology to realise this improbable blending of the masculine and feminine types, which was, so to speak, the culmination and the magnificent display of knowledge slowly acquired but extraordinarily complete and profound."

This is the judgment of an anatomist, convinced that the startingpoint of the sculptors was real facts furnished by experience. Our point of view is quite different, since for us the figure of Hermaphrodite is a pure symbol, transferred at a late date from the realm of imagination to that of concrete reality. In the works which chance has preserved for us we search for signs of a religious attitude of mind." [Hermaphrodite]

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Marie Delcourt wrote:
"Musaeus, it is said, was the first to make a theogony and a sphere. He taught that all things come from one, and are resolve into one and the same."
- DIOGENES LAERTIUS, Proem, 3

We must now pass on from the rites and cults to the speculations on cosmogony which, at the end of Antiquity, interpret a common aspiration towards unity, a dream of regeneration and eternal life, an attempt too, to reconcile the idea of a God who is necessarily perfect with a reality which is not. In Stoic philosophy, and then to a much greater extent in gnosticism, in the revelations of Hermes Trismegistus, in the mystical commentaries on the writings of the classical philosophers, in magic, and finally in the teaching of the alchemists, the figure of Hermaphrodite frequently appears, with values ranging from an exact image to pure abstraction.



Orphism.

The poets whose works claimed to be a revelation of Orpheus seem to have been the first to take the idea of the androgynous being in a half-real, half-symbolic sense. Unfortunately these texts are difficult to date, and their authenticity is often suspect. Besides a collection of hymns, dating probably from about the third century A.D., by a single, unknown poet, the texts consist largely of quotations from various sacred books by Neoplatonic writers and Christians eager to support their own doctrines by the authority of Orpheus who, at this time, was regarded as pre-eminently the sage, earlier than Homer and Hesiod who were thought to have plagiarised him.

Commentators reading the texts in this spirit will have no hesitation in making the freest possible use of them, or even on occasion interpolating them.

Yet however corrupt the surviving versions may be, the ideas are old. A dream of primordial unity, of regeneration and return to unity, is expressed by the image of the bisexual being divided into two, of the egg breaking to give birth to the world, of the cauldronmatrix in which the members of Zagreus, hewn in pieces by the Titans, are boiled to be born again, of the pyre which consumes the Phoenix: all symbols which were to dominate the mysticism of waning Antiquity.

Aristophanes in the Birds  (415 B.C.) celebrates a cosmology which, of course, establishes the pre-eminence of winged creation:

"At the beginning were Void and Night and Erebos and Tartarus. But Earth was not, nor Air, nor Heaven. In the abysmal womb of Erebos, before all things, Night produced a clear egg  whence, in due time, sprang Eros the longed for, pinions of shining gold on his back. . . . It was he who, commingling with the dark, winged Void, brought forth our race and gave it before all else to the light of day."

We have noted in Hesiod traces of primordial androgyny, though they are by no means expressly stated; the existence of neuter beings (Chaos, Erebos), and of feminine beings (Night and Earth) who procreate unaided before the series of divine marriages begins. There are the same implications in the myth of the Birds,  in which the poet has adapted Orphic traits to suit the perspective of his play. Chaos and Erebos exist before the world. Night creates unaided an egg without germ (the exact significance of this escapes us), whence springs Eros, whom the Greeks of all ages represented as hermaphroditic. The ancient poets shed no light at all on the archaic value of this representation of him; yet to us it is clear that it expresses an aspiration towards a divine Urkind,  whose powers are not as yet differentiated. Later the dream of a primordial unity is expressed with more exactitude, and there appears at the beginning of life, a pledge of eternity, a double being born from an egg, symbol of growth and totality. In an Orphic cosmogony summarised in the fourth century B.C. by the Peripatetic Eudemus, an egg is the embryo of the world, and the two fragments of its broken shell become Earth and Heaven.

"According to Orpheus' says the Christian Rufinus, writing in the fourth century A.D. (frag. 55, 56), 'in the beginning was Chaos eternal, immense, uncreated, from whom all is born; neither darkness nor light, nor damp nor dry, nor hot nor cold, but all things mingled, eternally one and limitless. The time came, when, after infinite ages, in the manner of a gigantic egg, he caused to emanate from himself a double form, androgynous (masculofeminam), made by the conjunction of opposites."

This picture resembles at first that drawn by Anaximander of Miletus, about 550 B.C. Religious poet and philosopher—which influenced the other? Or are they both expressing a common architype  of the human imagination? The confused state which they describe is a perfect picture of the unconscious.

The Androgynous Being which issued from the egg has various names, all synonymous: Phanes, Protogonos, Erikepaios, Metis, Dionysos.

They considered Zeus as co-extensive with the whole universe. About ioo B.C. the poet Valerius Soranus wrote:

"Juppiter omnipotens regum rerum deumque,

Progenitor genitrixque  deum, deus unus et omnis."

That means, says Varro, that Jupiter is the world, that all seed comes from him and returns to him.

So Zeus became the great One, such as he appears in the Orphic Hymn  which we know from several quotations, among others the De Mundo  attributed to Aristotle:

"Zeus appeared first, Zeus will continue last, lord of the thunder.—Zeus is head and middle, all things come to pass through him.—Zeus is the bed of the earth and of the starry heaven.—Zeus is male, Zeus is the immortal wife.—Zeus is the breath of whatever breathes, impulse of the unwearying fire.—Zeus is root of the sea, Zeus is sun and moon.—Zeus is king, director of all things. Chrysippus (third century B.C.) said that Zeus-Ether is all things and that, remaining ever the same, he is at once Father and Son."

There was a danger that these metaphors might be taken literally, for at this time, after having seen a little cosmos in man, thinkers were beginning to look for a magnified projection of man in the world around. So Chrysippus and his disciples cautioned their readers against too literal an interpretation of allegorical bisexuality; it is ridiculous to give a human form to gods and, what is more, impossible; there are no male and female gods; masculine names are given to the powers of action, feminine names to the powers of increase. And if it is said that some gods have the two sexes, it is because they are regarded as male in action, as female in potentiality. Many commentaries have repeated this explanation, without succeeding, in all probability, in uprooting the picture of physical bisexuality which Orphism had helped to popularise; for example this late oracle which Father Festugiere quotes, in which Zeus is thus addressed:

"Thou art father, and lovely mother, and tender flowering of children, idea among ideas, soul and breath, harmony and number."

An image of autogenesis derived from Orphism by way of gnosticism, allusions to Plato's Ideas,  to the Stoic pneuma,  to the mathematical harmonies of Pythagoras—all these are associated with the combined and, indeed, synonymous symbols of bisexuality and reversion: the double being fertilises and engenders himself. The bird Phoenix is to become the chosen image of this: androgynous,  autopator, at once father and son and therefore eternal, because always capable of re-engendering himself. These are exact images, similar to those of Orphism, which define something quite different from the symbolic bivalence of the gods of Stoicism.  A primordial androgynous being symbolises then the union of what is complementary, and the original unity to which the world will perhaps one day return. The Chinese synthesis of thcyang  and theyin,  the two principles held in balance; the Hindu couple Purusha-Prakriti, 'as big as a man and woman enclasped'; the bisexual character of infinite Time (and perhaps even of Ormuzd) in the teaching of the Zervanist magi: all these parallels suggest possible influences less than unchanging elements of human dreams. A Chaldean cosmology of which Berosus gives an account, places at the beginning of things water and darkness, whence were born monstrous beings, men half animal and others who were double, with a single body but two heads, one masculine and one feminine, and with both sexes. Then came Bel who created Heaven and Earth by separating the mingled elements. Similar images are to be found in Empedocles, whence they passed to Lucretius.

We must now go back to a great myth which has both date and signature.

About 385 Plato wrote the Symposium,  which is thought to have taken place in 416. Some friends are attempting a definition of love, and five speakers describe it, not inaccurately but incompletely. Aristophanes then intervenes and tells an extraordinary story which must be read in its entirety, but which may be summarised in these terms:

"In the beginning, humanity consisted of double beings, spherical, with four arms and legs, and two identical faces, back to back on a circular neck. They had double sexual organs too, either masculine or feminine, or one male and one female. The first kind proceeded from the Sun, the second from the Earth, the third from the Moon, which shares something of the nature of the other two heavenly bodies. These beings were of extraordinary strength and vigour, and their pride was such that they took it on themselves to find fault with the gods. To bring them to their senses, Zeus decided to cut each one through the middle, charging Apollo to turn their face with the half of the neck in towards the cut, so that man might be more restrained, having ever under his eyes the sign of his punishment. So Apollo brought the skin back on what is now called the belly, tying the edges in a knot at what is now the navel."

Thus the cut had divided each natural being into two. Then each half, sighing for its other half, sought to rejoin it; enclasped one with the other, aspiring to become a single being once more, they ended by dying of hunger, without succeeding in uniting, for the sexual organs were on the outside; then Zeus, yielding to pity, placed these organs where they are today, and so allowed human beings to unite and to procreate.

Each of us, therefore, is the half of a single thing; as a result, each of us is constantly searching for our complementary fraction. Those men who come from a mixed being are lovers of women, and the women of men. As for the women who are a section of a feminine being, they pay no attention to men, but their inclination is towards women. Finally, the man who is a section of a male being seeks out males. . . . If one of them chances to find the half from which he has been separated, he is possessed by feelings of intimacy, kinship and love, so much so that he refuses to let himself be parted from the other, desiring to mingle with his beloved so that their two beings may again make one.  These spherical beings, moving by rotation, remind us of the formless, circling world described by Anaximander.

Empedocles too  imagines nature groping and raising from the earth monsters, 'beings with two faces, two breasts, men with bulls' heads, mixed beings with a man's form here, a woman's there, with sexual organs concealed in darkness', who die out because they cannot unite. In this system Philotes rescues life, as Eros in Plato's system by causing men and women to accomplish together the work of reproduction. Lucretius has the same image (though he owes it to Empedocles, not to Epicurus) of the earth throwing up monsters with strange limbs, some androgynous, some lacking arms or legs, or dumb or blind, their limbs stuck to their sides, incapable of movement. After their disappearance came beings capable of uniting to perpetuate their race.  Magic and alchemy make use of the same symbolism, directed towards concrete realisations. Alchemy is a double system, a regeneration realised through the purity of the soul, matter and world all united. Jung has clearly shown that the alchemists were guided by the same images that direct our dreams when we try to bring order into the confusion of the unconscious.

The theme of androgyny appears with values ranging from the translation of a concept into simple allegory to a real evocation permeated with sexual affectus.

'The Pythagoreans' [says Iamblichos], 'call the monad not only God, but Intelligence and male and female. Inasmuch as it is the germ of all things, they define it as male and female, because it is conceived as being mother and father. . . . As for the germ which, once sown, can produce males and females, it shows indivisibly the nature of both, up to a certain point in its evolution; only when it begins to become the fruit of animal or plant does it admit of separation or differentiation, for it has then passed from potentiality to action. They call it too the receptacle of all seminal reasons or Chaos, that is, Hesiod's Chaos the first-born, from which all else springs, as from the monad.'

So an image borrowed from the classical theogony is given an 'Orphic' value, designated by a Platonic term (receptacle), and associated with an Aristotelian formula and an observation of nature. This last point is unusual. The Ancients wrote of the hyena, one year male and the next female, of the mandrake, the unicorn, and the one-horned scarab, self-generating like the serpent and dragon, and of the sex of stones. Far from drawing inferences from reality, they project symbols on to it. Even the bisexual character of most plants does not seem to have contributed anything to their symbolic representation of the double being.

With the Neoplatonists, the representation remains allegorical.

The god makes use of the four elements to create a cosmos that is male and female, i.e. complete, as is also the divinity. Commenting on a passage in which Plato advises simply that women's nature should be harmonised with men's, Proclus admires this concord between the sexes, and adds that 'in the case of the gods, they are so interfused that the same being may be said to be male and female, like the Sun, Hermes, and others'.* But in gnosticism symbols cease to be the servants of reason, and it was in part as a result of this that oriental influences found their way in.  The god of gnosticism is the generator, not the maker as was the god of the Timaeus  and the Neoplatonists. The starting point of generation is not a first couple, but one Principle, intelligible or above intelligence, whose emanations descend in a series of steps to the multiple and the sensible. At the top of the ladder is a male and female power, dividing itself into a syzygy which in its turn procreates.

Such a picture stands out from the fine gnostic text (the oldest we have, and the best known) with which Father Festugiere prefaces the Corpus Hermeticum,  although the revelation is there attributed not to Trismegistus but to the sage Poimandres. An androgynous Nous  sends forth a demiurge Nous,  god of air and fire, which have already become separated from the rest of the Physis. The demiurge creates the spirits of the seven spheres which in their heavenly courses encircle earth and water and determine Destiny. Then the first Nous  produces its favourite son, the First Man, Hke to itself, that is, bisexual. Man detaches himself from his father, and passing into the world of the demiurge, leans out over earth and water and delights in them and in the reflection of himself. Physis embraces him passionately and gives to the world seven androgynous beings corresponding to the seven planets. These men become the leaders of the peoples, whose gods are the lords of the planets and of destiny. When the time was accomplished, the Nous  decided to divide the double beings into male and female, whom he ordered to unite and multiply. Simon Magus admits an arrhenothelus  Dynamis which divides itself into upper and lower, procreates alone, increases alone, seeks for and finds itself; its own mother, its own father, its own brother, its own consort, its own son, Mother-Father, Unity that is root of all.  It is tempting to think of the Heraclitan polarities which make God Day-Night, Winter-Summer, War-Peace, Superfluity-Hunger. But HeracHtus conveys totality by the synthesis of opposites, without attaching any particular importance to the images of generation which, however, obsess the gnostics.

For the Ophites or Naasenes, a first being unites in himself the Spirit-Father and maternal Matter, whence proceed the Cosmos and the Man Adamas corresponding to it and likewise androgynous. The castration of Attis symbolises the journey towards the eternal, superior essence where is no longer male or female, but a new creature, male and female. The Perates, who follow the Ophites, consider the sea as male and female. Valentinus admits at the beginning an autopator,  which includes an All in a state of rest and unconsciousness; it is called Eon, eternally young, androgynous. Marcion has the same vision of a Father who is neither male nor female.  The Docetae saw all Eons as male-and-female.

In the Perfect Discourse,  of which we have only a Latin translation wrongly attributed to Apuleus, Trismegistus instructs Asclepius:

"God has no name or rather he has all names, since he is at once One and All. Infinitely filled with the fruitfulness of the two sexes, he gives birth to whatever it pleases him to procreate.
—You say then that God possesses both sexes, O Trismegistus?
Yes, Asclepius, and not only God, but all living beings, and vegetables… ."

Such a God, eager to procreate, dominates the Xlth treatise too:

"God has one work only, which is to bring all things into being. . . . If thou wouldest understand him through thine own experience, mark what passes in thee when thou desirest to procreate. Truly, God experiences no pleasure of the senses and has no partner. As he works alone, he is always immanent in his work, being himself what he produces."  

We have come a long way from the abstract, rational androgyny of the Stoic gods. Here a pantheist is dwelling with satisfaction on the image of a double god, whose carnal and sexual importance he understands with an exactitude which is lacking in the Orphic poems.

Both pagan and Christian mystics in the first centuries A.D. share the same aspirations, translated by the same symbols and images. Some of them prefer to the word arrhenothelus  more involved but nevertheless equivalent expressions: autopator, autometor, autogonos, suus pater , suus heres.  Whether affirmed or suggested, bisexuality, the power of infinite self-perpetuation, is synonymous with ananeosis, the perpetual youth associated with the image of the Great Year.

Lactantius expresses this in his poem on the Pheonix bird, which dies only to be reborn on the pyre he has prepared for himself: 'O fortunate fate, O happy death that God gives to the bird to be born of himself! Happy being, whether male or female or neither one nor the other, who knows nothing of the bonds of Venus! His Venus is death; death, his only love. In order to be born, he aspires to die. He is his own son, his heir, his father. He is he and not he, the same and not the same, winning through death an eternal life.'

The androgynous character of the Pheonix was well known to the Ancients, since the poet Laevius, in the time of Sulla, gives to Venus (of whom he speaks in the masculine) a feminine Phoenix as companion.

But the leaven of mysticism in the last years of Antiquity was needed to give full value to this legend, in which immortality has a double meaning: the Phoenix has both sexes, and  receives the regenerating baptism of fire. Either one of these two traits would have been enough. The presence of both of them, with the symbolic beauty of the image—a bird flying out of the earthly pyre towards the Sun and the East—combined to make the Phoenix the symbol of the dogma of individual resurrection. His androgynous character came to symbolise for the Christian doctors a state similar to that of the souls destined to rise from the dead, set free from the flesh, 'who know nothing of the bonds of Venus', as Lactantius says, expressing in his own manner an idea which he shares with Philo and more than one gnostic. It is an image accepted by the Pelagians and by some orthodox scholars, such as St. Zeno of Verona, but fiercely rejected by St. Augustine.

The rationalist doctors made every effort to dissuade Christians from taking pleasure, 'in the manner of Orpheus and Hermes', as Lactantius says, in the representation of the deity as male-female, autopator and autometor; yet more than one pious effusion retains traces of it. Firmicus Maternus in the fourth century wrote a great treatise on astrology, and the fifth book, on The Horoscope,  begins by this appeal to God:

"Whoever thou art, who day by day dost uphold the earth in its swift course and dost govern the sea . . . thou father and mother of all things, thou who art to thyself father and son in virtue of the one bond of necessity, we raise our hands to thee as suppliants, even as we expound the effective courses of thy stars. May strength to interpret them come to us from thee."

Firmicus was still a pagan when he wrote this work. Yet his prayer would not have offended the Christian Lactantius, author of the Phoenix Bird,  or Bishop Synesius, the converted Neoplatonist who, at the beginning of the fifth century, wrote hymns in which he addressed God thus:

"Thou art father and thou art mother,—thou art male and thou art female,—thou art voice and thou art silence,—nature begetting nature.—Thou art Lord, age of ages,—hail, root of the world,—hail, centre of all things,—unity of the divine numbers, hail to thee, hail to thee, for joy is God's."

Unity and totality,—unity of totality,—unity existing before all things,—seed of all things, root and terminal branch, nature among intelligibles, male and female nature, . . . of thee I sing, monad,—of thee I sing, triad.—Thou art monad, yet triad; thou art triad, though monad.  

The aim of magicians is to bring into their service a synthesis of forces representing a powerful totality. That is why they so frequently invoke god-goddess couples, often artificially composed, or why they attribute the quality of androgyny to the god they invoke: Cronos, Hecate. The alchemists' system is more coherent; spiritual heirs of gnosticism, they look for the regeneration of the world not from God, but from their own opus;  this opus  has two aspects, one material, the other pyschic, each a representation of the other. By dint of constant meditation on the creative processus, their thought has found its way back to the architype of androgyny, which yet has no part in the Christianity which they all practice, and with which they are not in conflict.

The prima materies,  corresponding to the synthesis Heaven-Earth, Spirit-Body, is hermaphroditic; it contains all metals and all colours, and engenders itself. That is why the Philosopher's Stone, which is often identified with it, is represented by a crowned Hermaphrodite. The Adamphilosophicus  too is bisexual, even though he appears in masculine form, for he carries with him, hidden in his body, his wife Eve. That it may be realised in the mystic alembic, the workr equires the synthesis of contraries, fire-water, sun-moon, high-low. The union of brother and sister symbolises this return to primordial unity; that is why the artifex  who seeks to realise it is often helped by his soror mystica. Here we cannot fail to call to mind the many points of contact we have noted (pp. 4, 18, 20, 22, 54) between androgyny and incest of brother and sister. In his Manuel d'ethnographie (re-ed. 1947), Marcel Mauss, after proving that in primitive societies marriage does not create kinship, but derives from it, adds this: 'Incest is often the rule between king and queen; the king marries his sister to preserve the purity of his blood. The king and queen are at the beginning of things; at the beginning there is the incest of Earth and Heaven, and this must be reproduced.' Two explanations are superimposed here; the first implies a line of reasoning, the second the magic of an original totality which must be reconstituted.  Hermetic literature considers the three superior planets as masculine, the inferior as feminine, except Mercury, who is hermaphroditic. Hermes is the Very Great god of waning Antiquity, one of the poles of attraction of the currents of monotheism. The seventh planet appears, then, at the centre of the six others, symbol of the Psychopompus and of the filius hermaphrodites.

Born in the alembic, or issuing from the mystic flower,  or from the blue sapphire of the hermaphrodite, Mercury admirably represents the alchemists' androgynous being. Dissociated as brother and sister, he is reconstituted by their union; he is quick-silver, the liquid metal which dissolves gold and has the virtue of regenerating it; he is the play of colours in the peacock's tail, and the division into four elements. He is the serpent devouring his own tail, and dies to find rebirth as the lapis philosophicus.  He is sometimes represented as a tall youth with ferriinine breasts, sometimes as a naked girl called Mercurius philosophorum. Two symbols are associated with him, the Phoenix and the Rebis.

The Phoenix comes from classical Antiquity and, says Jung, symbolises increase and growth; eternity too, we might add, since he is autopator. In a fine woodcut illustrating the Alchymia recognita of Andreas Libavius (Frankfort, 1601), the processus of the alchemists is represented as a pyramid. Dominating Mercury, Water and Fire, the mystic animals, is the Sphere, which includes the King-Gold and the Queen-Silver, the whole construction topped by the Phoenix burning on his pyre, while gold and silver birds fly out from his ashes. A synonym of the Phoenix is the androgynous Ouroboros, begetting himself, sacrificing himself.

As for the Rebis, it was invented by the alchemists to signify the two-headed hermaphrodite, made up of the Sun and the Moon, directing the planets, and Chaos too, which he tramples underfoot. As for Boehme, he described Adam in Paradise as a mdnnliche Jungfrau, so bringing us back again to the image of the virile girl,  the Cretan Leucippe, who was the starting-point." [Hermaphrodite]

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"All that exists is just and unjust and equally justified in both." [Aeschylus, Prometheus]

"The history of everyday is constituted by our habits. ... How have you lived today?" [N.]

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PostSubject: Re: Gender Fluidity / Transgender / Cis Wed Sep 28, 2016 5:49 pm

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PostSubject: Re: Gender Fluidity / Transgender / Cis Wed Sep 28, 2016 6:16 pm

That is tragic-comic.

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PostSubject: Re: Gender Fluidity / Transgender / Cis Thu Sep 29, 2016 8:56 am

Not to mention, the sympathetic "understanding" nature of the hosts, it's difficult to decide which is more disturbing. It's like a comic show where everybody is play acting, and it kind of is like that, but not really.

The transitioning of gender seems to be ultimately a transition into genderless beautification, where that image is commonly known as a female/feminine one, but it wouldn't surprise me if transsexuals start to claim it as their own so there doesn't have to be any "passing" comparisons in relation to genuine women.

Ladyboys of bangkok is a sign that it's moving in that direction as a celebration of beautification, more than actually identifying as female. Even the name "Lady boy" is very fitting, lady, as in the image and mannerism, and boy to retain the feminine nature of an immature male.

They attached themselves to the LBGT movements, using it as a vehicle to gain social support and to establish the significance of themselves, only to later on separate into their own exclusive gender movement to further refine themselves.

I predict that eventually they will attach themselves to the feminist movements and start to fight for "women's" rights, using that as a vehicle to indirectly reinforce their so called female nature or womanhood, to increase feminization allowing for a safer more powerful establishment ..only to separate eventually into something much larger.
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PostSubject: Re: Gender Fluidity / Transgender / Cis Thu Sep 29, 2016 9:18 am

Yes...in a world with no external limit the mind is liberated from past/nature to play - to pretend to be whatever it wants, only gauging validity by how many it convinces, how many it tricks incorporating them into the performance.

They use "fear" to shame others into joining into a performance where nobody really gets hurt, because it's all fake.

Victim advocacy is already at work.
Gays "out of the closet", free to perform at will, after women were liberated to join the social stage, and now transsexuals.
It's uncertain which group will take center stage next.
It will be difficult for pedophiles to use the same methods, among those who identify as the victims.
Children are the quintessential victims of "reality" where thy are forces to grow and to take care, and not allowed to simply play for a lifetime under parental supervision.
Bestiality also engages animals, another victim group, unable to give consent.

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PostSubject: Re: Gender Fluidity / Transgender / Cis Sat Nov 05, 2016 12:33 pm

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"All that exists is just and unjust and equally justified in both." [Aeschylus, Prometheus]

"The history of everyday is constituted by our habits. ... How have you lived today?" [N.]

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PostSubject: Re: Gender Fluidity / Transgender / Cis Sat Nov 05, 2016 12:34 pm

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PostSubject: Re: Gender Fluidity / Transgender / Cis Sat Nov 05, 2016 12:38 pm


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"ἐδιζησάμην ἐμεωυτόν." [Heraclitus]

"All that exists is just and unjust and equally justified in both." [Aeschylus, Prometheus]

"The history of everyday is constituted by our habits. ... How have you lived today?" [N.]

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PostSubject: Re: Gender Fluidity / Transgender / Cis Mon Jan 09, 2017 7:20 pm

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"All that exists is just and unjust and equally justified in both." [Aeschylus, Prometheus]

"The history of everyday is constituted by our habits. ... How have you lived today?" [N.]

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PostSubject: Re: Gender Fluidity / Transgender / Cis Tue Jan 10, 2017 12:59 pm

Transgenderism was always an Eastern, Asian thing. Does not fit in with the the Hypermasculine characature of the west.

Applejack and Rainbow Dash is a caricature of America, hyper-masculines scornful of the feminine.
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PostSubject: Re: Gender Fluidity / Transgender / Cis Tue Jan 10, 2017 1:14 pm

Are the rainbows and ponies a subliminal message to the world, or is it more obvious?

What does the rainbow represent.
Gay rights...and....treasures never attained...after a rainstorm emerging.
A new hope.
Who rides ponies?
Little boys and girls.
Stunted horses, mares and stallions, for undeveloped humans.
Pederasty.
Insinuating harmlessness, a need to be stabled and taken care of....only taken out for play, not for hard work, not for battle.

Cartoonish....implying unsubstantiality, lack of seriousness...unreal.
It's all a hoax, all pretend.
The real is beneath the colours.
The hand that draws the image in the foreground unseen.

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PostSubject: Re: Gender Fluidity / Transgender / Cis Tue Jan 10, 2017 1:29 pm

Or, implying lack of energy to add detail to all of the frames.

How do you feel about CGI?

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PostSubject: Re: Gender Fluidity / Transgender / Cis Tue Jan 10, 2017 4:20 pm

I think first, and feel later.

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