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Thread: Androgynous/Homosexual Deities?

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    Member Alice's Avatar
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    Androgynous/Homosexual Deities?

    Are there any androgynous, genderqueer or homosexual gods or goddesses?

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    Silver Member monsno_leedra's Avatar
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    Re: Androgynous/Homosexual Deities?

    The only one I can think of is HERMAPHRODITOS. http://www.theoi.com/Ouranios/ErosHermaphroditos.html Other's it's more difficult in that they may have laid with another man / women but did it in another form so is it homosexual or not? Loki is one that comes to mind for that aspect though you could probably ask it about a lot of gods who take various forms to seduce.

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    Opinionated Rae'ya's Avatar
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    Re: Androgynous/Homosexual Deities?

    There sure are, in several different pantheons.

    Agdistis of the Greek and Roman pantheons is hermaphroditic (or was, until s/he was castrated). And of course Hermaphroditus is an obvious one. Dionysis was male until he was castrated, thus changing his gendered status. Baphomet is only considered a deity by some but is hermaphroditic.

    Androgynous deities include Jormungand of the Norse pantheons and the Rainbow Serpent of the Australian Aborigines. Also most of the Great Divine, overarching deities are considered to be androgynous, or both male and female, or ecompassing of the entire gender spectrum.

    There are also some deities who present as a binary gender most of the time, but have some aspects or occasional escapades as another gender. Loki of the Norse pantheon is a good example of this... he spends whole months living as a woman and even gives birth while in the form of a mare. And almost all of the Hindu deities have an aspect that is the opposite gender, or merge with their consorts into a hermaphroditic deity at some point. There are many Demons who have identities in both genders.

    And then there are some who are a particular gender, but who play societal roles outside of their gender. Athena is a good example of this. Artemis could loosely be considered in this category also. Othinn spends a period of time dressed as a woman learning seidhr, and is therefore accused of being 'unmanly'.

    Many of the fertility, love and sex deities are bisexual, and inspire lust in both binary genders. Aphrodite, Eros and Freyr, for example. The Greek myths are rife with male deities and heroes who have homosexual relationships.

    And quite aside from deities, there are many historical sects of priests, devotees and commoners who are identified to be genderqueer, trans, third gendered or otherwise outside of binary male or female.

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    Sr. Member Riothamus12's Avatar
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    Re: Androgynous/Homosexual Deities?

    Quote Originally Posted by Rae'ya View Post
    There sure are, in several different pantheons.

    Agdistis of the Greek and Roman pantheons is hermaphroditic (or was, until s/he was castrated). And of course Hermaphroditus is an obvious one. Dionysis was male until he was castrated, thus changing his gendered status. Baphomet is only considered a deity by some but is hermaphroditic.

    Androgynous deities include Jormungand of the Norse pantheons and the Rainbow Serpent of the Australian Aborigines. Also most of the Great Divine, overarching deities are considered to be androgynous, or both male and female, or ecompassing of the entire gender spectrum.

    There are also some deities who present as a binary gender most of the time, but have some aspects or occasional escapades as another gender. Loki of the Norse pantheon is a good example of this... he spends whole months living as a woman and even gives birth while in the form of a mare. And almost all of the Hindu deities have an aspect that is the opposite gender, or merge with their consorts into a hermaphroditic deity at some point. There are many Demons who have identities in both genders.

    And then there are some who are a particular gender, but who play societal roles outside of their gender. Athena is a good example of this. Artemis could loosely be considered in this category also. Othinn spends a period of time dressed as a woman learning seidhr, and is therefore accused of being 'unmanly'.

    Many of the fertility, love and sex deities are bisexual, and inspire lust in both binary genders. Aphrodite, Eros and Freyr, for example. The Greek myths are rife with male deities and heroes who have homosexual relationships.

    And quite aside from deities, there are many historical sects of priests, devotees and commoners who are identified to be genderqueer, trans, third gendered or otherwise outside of binary male or female.
    There's no suggestion that Freyr was. If there ever was, I have not heard of it.Also Jormungand was not considered a deity.

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    Silver Member monsno_leedra's Avatar
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    Re: Androgynous/Homosexual Deities?

    Quote Originally Posted by Rae'ya View Post
    There sure are, in several different pantheons.

    Agdistis of the Greek and Roman pantheons is hermaphroditic (or was, until s/he was castrated). And of course Hermaphroditus is an obvious one. Dionysis was male until he was castrated, thus changing his gendered status. Baphomet is only considered a deity by some but is hermaphroditic.

    Androgynous deities include Jormungand of the Norse pantheons and the Rainbow Serpent of the Australian Aborigines. Also most of the Great Divine, overarching deities are considered to be androgynous, or both male and female, or ecompassing of the entire gender spectrum.

    There are also some deities who present as a binary gender most of the time, but have some aspects or occasional escapades as another gender. Loki of the Norse pantheon is a good example of this... he spends whole months living as a woman and even gives birth while in the form of a mare. And almost all of the Hindu deities have an aspect that is the opposite gender, or merge with their consorts into a hermaphroditic deity at some point. There are many Demons who have identities in both genders.

    And then there are some who are a particular gender, but who play societal roles outside of their gender. Athena is a good example of this. Artemis could loosely be considered in this category also. Othinn spends a period of time dressed as a woman learning seidhr, and is therefore accused of being 'unmanly'.

    Many of the fertility, love and sex deities are bisexual, and inspire lust in both binary genders. Aphrodite, Eros and Freyr, for example. The Greek myths are rife with male deities and heroes who have homosexual relationships.

    And quite aside from deities, there are many historical sects of priests, devotees and commoners who are identified to be genderqueer, trans, third gendered or otherwise outside of binary male or female.
    I'd not say castration served to create an androgynous being in Greek and Roman mythos. Figure nearly every male priest of Cybele / Kybele was castrated from what we can gather but it did not change how they were viewed in relationship to their gender. Some suggest the same may have applied to priest of Hecate / Hekate at Lagina given the influence Cybele / Kybele had upon that temple or potentially even at Ephesus / Ephesos considering Cybele / Kybele's influence there as well. Dionysus is still considered male and many times compared against Artemis in the forms of exstasy they created within their followers against one being structured and the other free flow and without restrictions.

    Artemis would also be hard to see as being outside of her gender roles when most of her punishments are against trangressors of those roles. Especially when you consider that the Artemis most know would be more of a pre-pubscent girl than and adult goddess in her Olympian role. When seen in her adult roles at Ephesus, Orthia, Syracuse, etc she is not outside of the normal gender roles but plays heavily upon the fertility & fecundity roles.

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    Copper Member Ula's Avatar
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    Re: Androgynous/Homosexual Deities?

    Quote Originally Posted by Riothamus12 View Post
    There's no suggestion that Freyr was. If there ever was, I have not heard of it.Also Jormungand was not considered a deity.
    I would say both of these are considered pretty standard UPG in the Northern Tradition.

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    Re: Androgynous/Homosexual Deities?

    Quote Originally Posted by Ula View Post
    I would say both of these are considered pretty standard UPG in the Northern Tradition.
    With regards to stuff like this I look to the original sources. Those people had been communing with them for thousands of years before we came along and if they didn't get it then I'm skeptical. That said there was connection to Freyr that seems to deal with some manner of "pleasure". It can be inferred that given his relationship to fertility rites that this pleasure likely included the sexual variety. That is pretty much certain. Even if Freyr himself was not considered to be so, I don't believe the holiest ones would just revoke their blessings because of someone's sexual orientation. Even if it were against their will, I think there are a number of things that would far exceed it in terms of importance to the point where it may as well not matter.

    As for Jormungand, there was no apparent cult of Jormungand, he was an enemy of the Gods, and I don't think that in either the prose or poetic edda or any similar source is the world serpent referred to as a God.

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    Re: Androgynous/Homosexual Deities?

    Set might fit with the homosexual label, or at least bisexual. Atum came before the gender binary so He is, in a sense, both male and female (and this has been my experience with Him). To a certain degree Nit (Neith) goes beyond the gender binary in Her creatrix aspects. Kemetic theology is complicated on this subject, however, and you could easily refute these opinions. Well, except with Set. Lol. Anyway, especially in later Kemetic literature, you often read about the "mother-father" of the universe.

    I've heard that Athena of the Hellenic pantheon is androgynous in a lot of ways, or at least ambiguous. I haven't worked with Her much so can't say a lot more than that. I got the same ambiguity from the few Hindu deities I've had contact with, which makes sense, if you understand Hindu theology even a bit.

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    Re: Androgynous/Homosexual Deities?

    Several Hindu divinities are of the "third gender" or otherwise intersex, which could be considered an androgynous or hermaphroditic state. Ardhanarishvara is a prime example where the lord Shiva and his consort Parvati become one being. Ardhanarishvara represents a form of Shiva which encompasses both the masculine and feminine. A list of such deities can be found here

    The Greeks are perhaps the most well known for choices of bisexual deities. Such deities are Zeus, Apollo, Pan, and many many many others. Some deities considered patrons of transexuals and homosexuals were Eros, Aphrodite, Hermaphroditus, Dionysus and sometimes Artemis. Dionysus is a favorite of mine for several reasons. He was born from Zeus after his mortal mother was smitten by seeing Zeus in his godly form. His devotion has a lot to do with being true to who you really are. Commonly he is considered to be androgynous or an feminine male. One of his epitaphs is actually "womanish man" or "man-womanly".

    Norse myth is rather sparse in terms of this topic. It was believed to be unmanly and showed incompetence for a man to be a passive partner in intercourse, let alone have a homoerotic romance. Despite this Loki is probably the closest in that he can freely change his gender with his shape shifting and his mating with Svađilfari in the form of a mare. Odin is sometimes given a feminine role because of his practice of seiđr which was generally considered a woman's magic. Freyr may have been worshiped by homosexuals but there's not much evidence for this (though there isn't much to the contrary either).


    The Aztec god Xochipilli was patron of homosexuals and male prostitutes. He is a god of dance and flowers also. The Mayan deity Chin was said to have shown homosexual intercourse to Mayan nobles leading to the practice of homosexual marriages. There's some discrepancy as to if Chin is male or female. The goddess Tlazoteotl was a patron of prostitutes, both male and female. She is called the "eater of filth" and she is associated with cleansing, life and death, as well as pain and suffering, forgiveness, and the cleansing of sin. She is also the patron of adulterers and those who commit sexual misdeeds.

    In China there is Tu Er Shen, the rabbit god. Tu Er Shen was originally a man named Wu Tianbao who fell in love with an imperial officer. He spied on the officer while he was in the bathroom and was found out. Upon being discovered Wu Tianbao admitted his love for the officer. Unfortunately the officer had him tortured to death. In the underworld the gods said he be appointed to be the patron and protector of homosexuals to right the injustice made on him. So Wu Tianbao became Tu Er Shen and appeared before a villager in the form of a rabbit telling him to build a temple. There were once many temples in China dedicated to Tu Er Shen but many have since been destroyed or converted. However his worship is still fairly popular and a temple dedicated to him stands in Taiwan. The association with rabbits is likely due to the word Tuzi (rabbit) being slang for homosexuals in late imperial China.

    Searching you can find deities or figures associated with homosexuality, either by nature of engaging in homosexual relationships or being charged with their protection.
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    Re: Androgynous/Homosexual Deities?

    Let us not forget Ymir, the first Jotun in Teutonic myth. He gave birth from his armpits, and one of his legs begat on the other.
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