This is a portion of an ongoing series which seeks to chronicle the occult, magickal and mystical alchemy roots of the transgender and postgender movements from secret societies and mystery religion sources. I have chronicled these in the Postgender Androgyny, Hermaphroditism & Beyond section.
Isaac P. Cory Ancient Fragments (1923 AD, intro. 34) is quoted thusly:
By comparing all the varied legends of the East and West in conjunction we obtain the following outline of the mythology of the Ancients: It recognises, as the primary elements of things, two independent principles of the nature of Male and Female; and these, in mystic union, as the soul and body, constitute the Great Hermaphrodite Deity, THE ONE, the universe itself, consisting still of the two separate elements of its composition, modified though combined in one individual, of which all things are regarded but as parts……[ellipses in original]
If we investigate the Pantheons of the ancient nations, we shall find that each, notwithstanding the variety of names, acknowledged the same deities and the same system of theology; and, however humble any of the deities may appear, each who has any claim to antiquity will be found ultimately, if not immediately, resolvable into one or other of the Primeval Principles, the Great God and Goddess of the Gentiles.
The text The Divine Pymander – Hermes Mercurius Trismegistus (1650 AD) is attributed to Hermes. In the section “The Second Book, Called, Poemander” it states:
And from this cause Man…being above all Harmony, he is made and become a servant to Harmony, he is Hermaphrodite, or Male and Female, and watchful, he is governed by and subjected to a Father, that is both Male and Female, and watchful.
C.A. Musés notes the following in Esoteric Teachings of the Tibetan Tantra (1961 AD), Part I, “Seven Initiation Rituals of the Tibetan Tantra,” chap. I, “The Initiation Ritual of the Fierce Guru”:
With fiery anger he wrenched out the hearts of all the Eight-Divisional Demons, and crushed them on the plain. Afterward he revived them and said:
“When hungry I am the being who eats the flesh of the male demons. When thirsty, I drink the blood of the she-demons. When active, I tear the double-sexed demons to pieces.”
B.Z. Goldberg noted the following in The Sacred Fire (1930 AD), chap. I, p. 202, “Love in the Synagogue”:
Just as the universe is a dualism seeking unity, so was man himself originally dual; for God created man two-faced, that is double-sexed, and cut him asunder into male and female. Ever since that separation was accomplished, neither man nor woman has been complete alone. To realize one’s self, to find completion and harmony, he must seek union with his mate of the opposite sex.
In chap. III, “In the Foundry of the Gods” he notes:
Here again the evolution of the generative god followed the development of sex in nature. As man came to clothe his sex god with the human form, he had one individual contain both sex organs. Janus of the Greeks was not only double-headed, but also double-sexed, hermaphroditic , like a plant that produces both stamens and pistils in the same floral envelope. Siva, the great god of India, is the Reproducer. He was originally a single substance; but of his own free will he divided himself into male and female.
On p. 96, chap. V, “Love’s Hidden Ways” Goldberg wrote:
Seeing the generative process in the union of the sex organs, primitive man came to conceive of it as essentially hermaphroditic in nature. And so the scarab, because it was believed to be double-sexed and capable of fructifying itself, became a sacred emblem. It was symbolic of the generative force in nature. In Egypt, it was the emblem of Khefera, god of creation, father of gods and men, creator of all things and the rising sun. In times of famine and poverty in medieval Europe, the people resorted to an old symbolic service to secure divine aid.
In some places, the “need-fire” was kindled by two naked men, who rubbed two dry sticks together, an action in itself symbolic of the sexual process. With the flame they lighted two fires between which the cattle were driven to insure fertility in the herd. In other places the monks kindled the fire in the presence of the faithful. Near the fire they raised the image of the lingam.
The anonymous author of the The Hermetic Arcanum – The Secret Work of the Hermetic Philosophy who is said to elucidate, “the secrets of nature and art concerning the matter of the philosophers’ stone and the manner of working are explained in an authentic and orderly manner” wrote:
46. The Philosophers’ Mercury hath divers names, sometimes it is called Earth; sometimes Water, when viewed from a diverse aspect; because it naturally ariseth from them both. The earth is subtle, white and sulphurous, in which the elements are fixed and the philosophical gold is sown; the water is the water of life, burning, permanent, most clear, called the water of gold and silver; but this Mercury, because it hath in it Sulphur of its own, which is multiplied by art, deserves to be called the Sulphur of Argent vive. Last of all, the most precious substance is Venus, the ancient Hermaphrodite, glorious in its double sex …
58. Recipe then the Winged Virgin very well washed and cleansed, impregnated by the spiritual seed of the first male, and fecundated in the permanent glory of her untouched virginity, she will be discovered by her cheeks dyed with a blushing colour; join her to the second, by whose seed she shall conceive again and shall in time bring forth a reverend off-spring of double sex, from whence an immortal Race of most potent Kings shall gloriously arise.
Ante-Nicene Fathers, Vol. VIII, chap. XVII, “Gentile Cosmogony”:
And I immediately rejoined: “Seeing that when you were disputing at Tripolis, as I said, you discoursed much concerning the gods of the Gentiles profitably and convincingly, I desire to set forth in your presence the ridiculous legends concerning their origin, both that you may not be unacquainted with the falsehood of this vain superstition, and that the hearers who are present may know the disgraceful character of their error.
The wise men, then, who are among the Gentiles, say that first of all things was chaos; that this, through a long time solidifying its outer parts, made bounds to itself and a sort of foundation, being gathered, as it were, into the manner and form of a huge egg, within which, in the course of a long time, as within the shell of the egg, there was cherished and vivified a certain animal; and that afterwards, that huge globe being broken, there came forth a certain kind of man of double sex, which they call masculo-feminine.
This they called Phanetas, from appearing, because when it appeared, they say, then also light shone forth. And from this, they say that there were produced substance, prudence, motion, and coition, and from these the heavens and the earth were made. From the heaven they say that six males were produced, whom they call Titans; and in like manner, from the earth six females, whom they called Titanides.
And these are the names of the males who sprang from the heaven: Oceanus, Cœus, Crios, Hyperion, Iapetus, Chronos, who amongst us is called Saturn. In like manner, the names of the females who sprang from the earth are these: Theia, Rhea, Themis, Mnemosyne, Tethys, Hebe.
Ovid ’s Metamorphoses (1717 AD) includes the following statement within “Book the Fourth”:
So pray’d the nymph, nor did she pray in vain: For now she finds him, as his limbs she prest, Grow nearer still, and nearer to her breast; ‘Till, piercing each the other’s flesh, they run Together, and incorporate in one: Last in one face are both their faces join’d, As when the stock and grafted twig combin’d Shoot up the same, and wear a common rind: Both bodies in a single body mix,
A single body with a double sex.
Albert Pike wrote the following in Morals and Dogma of the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite of Freemasonry (1871 AD), XXVIII, “Knight of the Sun, or Prince Adept”:
The doctrine of Ocellus was the general doctrine everywhere, it naturally occurring to all to make the same distinction. The Egyptians did so, in selecting those animals in which they recognized these emblematic qualities, in order to symbolize the double sex of the Universe.
Their God KNEPH, out of whose mouth issued the Orphic egg, whence the author of the Clementine Recognitions makes a hermaphroditic figure to emerge, uniting in itself the two principles whereof Heaven and the earth are forms, and which enter into the organization of all beings which the heavens and the earth engender by their concourse, furnishes another emblem of the double power, active and passive, which the ancients saw in the Universe, and which they symbolized by the egg.
Orpheus, who studied in Egypt, borrowed from the theologians of that country the mysterious forms under which the science of nature was veiled, and carried into Greece the symbolic egg, with its division into two parts or causes figured by the hermaphroditic being that issued from it, and whereof Heaven and earth are composed.