Symbols - What does heaven look like
Androgyny is the symbol used to express the idea that you have achieved balance. That the Conscious and Subconscious are in balance, that the female principle is in balance with the male principle [see also Brain split].
Yab yum is a common symbol in the Buddhist art of India, Bhutan, Nepal, and Tibet representing the male principle ‘in union’ with the female principle. It is to be found for example in Tantric Buddhism. When the two principles merge you obtain a balancing of the two sides of the personality or soul.
Note that this does not represent the meeting or merging with the Higher spirit – an altogether different thing, but it is an essential prerequisite.
Interestingly enough, many cultures around the world celebrate – whether consciously or unconsciously – this balancing and merging of the two principles by dress.
Many male shamans dress and dressed in women’s clothes and started to do feminine things. Siberian shamans, for example, became very feminised giving up all aggressive pursuits, all killing and instead looked after children, ‘took to the needle’, didn’t fight, grew their hair and even braided it and became ‘soft men’.
Shamans who had achieved this balancing act were considered to be ‘the most potent of all wizards’.
There are numerous examples in Greek myth and Norse myth of legendary shamans (gods and goddesses) wearing the apparel of the opposite sex. For example in Norse myth Thor dressed as Freyja to get Mjölnir back in Þrymskviða. Odin dressed as a female healer as part of his efforts to seduce Rindr. Frotho I dressed as a shieldmaiden in one of his eastern campaigns. Hervor from the Hervarar saga dressed as a man, calling herself Hjörvard. In Indian mythology: The Mahabharata describes how Arjuna crossdressed as Brihannala and became a dance teacher. And we have numerous other examples
- the Pope
- Priests of the krishna cult in India
- Arab dress – the djallaba gets its name from the word ‘tjalabai’ meaning imitation woman
Mircea Eliade – Shamanism Archaic techniques of ecstasy
Transvestisism and ritual change of sex are found, for example, in Indonesia (the manang bali) of the Sea Dayak), in South America (Patagonians and Araucanians) and among certain North American tribes (Arapaho, Cheyenne, Ute etc). …Ritual tranformation into a woman also occurs among the Kamchadel, the Asiatic Eskimo and the Koryak of northeast asia.........
The bisexuality and impotence of the basir, arises from the fact that these priest/shamans are regarded as the intermediaries between the two cosmological planes – earth and sky – and also from the fact that they combine in their own person the feminine element and the masculine element. We have here a ritual androgyny, a well known archaic formula for the divine biunity and the coincidentia oppositorum.
Women who have got in touch with their male side are not so demonstrative in dress, but we should perhaps remember that the Greek goddess Diana was a woman who appears to have got in touch with her male principle.
It is also worth mentionning that many ancient societies regard the Supreme Being – what in Judaic religions is called God – is androgynous – both male and female. In essence God is not a He, God is a He and She combined and thus any intermediary needs to be the same.
The following picture comes from the Nuremberg chronicles .
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