Androgynes

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ANDROGYNES

ANDROGYNES . The androgyne (from the Greek andros, "man," and gune, "woman") is a creature that is half male and half female. In mythology, such a creature is usually a god and is sometimes called a hermaphrodite, after Hermaphroditus, son of Hermes and Aphrodite, who is said to have grown together with the nymph Salmacis (Ovid, Metamorphoses 4.347388). In religious parlance, androgyny is a much more comprehensive and abstract concept than is implied by the literal image of a creature simultaneously male and female in physical form. To say that God is androgynous is very different from saying that God is an androgyne. But if we limit ourselves to the relatively narrow interpretation of the bisexual god, usually a creator, we are still dealing with a very broad and important religious concept.

It is often said that androgynes are universal, or even archetypal. This is not true. It has been demonstrated that the androgyne is confined in its distribution either to areas formerly of the early "high civilizations" or to areas affected by influences from these centers. Nevertheless, this distribution does extend over a very wide area indeed, testifying to the great appeal of the image. The myth of the splitting apart of a bisexual creator is implicit in the Hebrew myth told in Genesis and is explicit in related texts from ancient Mesopotamia; it appears throughout the ancient Indo-European world and in the myths of Australian Aborigines, African tribes, North American and South American Indians, and Pacific islanders; and it is an important theme in medieval and Romantic European literature. Yet many religions, particularly "primitive religions," have managed to survive without it, and it has very different meanings for many of the cultures in which it does appear. (See Baumann, 1955, p. 9; Kluckhohn, 1960, p. 52; Campbell, 1983, map on p. 142.)

One might attempt to construct a taxonomy of androgynes in various ways. Beginning with the visual image, androgynes may be horizontal (with breasts above and a phallus below) or, more often, vertical (with one side, usually the left, bearing a breast and half of a vagina and the other side bearing half of a phallus). One may also distinguish "good" and "bad" androgynes in two different senses: morally acceptable and symbolically successful. In the first sense, it must be noted that although androgynes are popularly supposed to stand for a kind of equality and balance between the sexes, since they are technically half male and half female, they more often represent a desirable or undesirable distortion of the male-female relationship or a tension based on an unequal distribution of power. Thus in some societies, divine or ritual androgynes play positive social roles, affirming culturally acceptable values, while others are despised as symbols of an undesirable blurring of categories.

In the second sense, androgynes may be regarded as "good," in the sense of symbolically successful, when the image presents a convincing fusion of the two polarities and as "bad" when the graft fails to "take" visually or philosophicallythat is, when it is a mere juxtaposition of opposites rather than a true fusion. "Bad" androgynes often turn out, on closer inspection, to be not true androgynes but pseudo-androgynes, creatures with some sort of equivocal or ambiguous sexuality that disqualifies them from inclusion in the ranks of the straightforwardly male or female. These liminal figures include the eunuch, the transvestite (or sexual masquerader), the figure who undergoes a sex change or exchanges his sex with that of a person of the opposite sex, the pregnant male, the alternating androgyne (queen for a day, king for a day), and male-female twins.

Perhaps the most important way in which androgynes may be split into two groups, as it were, is in terms of their way of coming into existence. Some are the result of the fusing of separates, male and female; others are born in a fused form and subsequently split into a male and a female. In orthodox mythologies of creation, chaos is negative, something that must be transcended before life can begin; distinctions must therefore be mademale distinguished from female, one social class from another. This corresponds to the Freudian belief that the desire to return to undifferentiated chaos, to return to the womb or the oceanic feeling, is a wish for death, for Thanatos (though it has been demonstrated that this is a facile and incorrect interpretation of the wish to return to chaos; see Eliade, 1965, p. 119). In the mythology of mysticism, however, chaos is positive; the desire to merge back into chaos is the goal of human existence, the supreme integration toward which one strives. In many rituals, too, androgyny is "a symbolic restoration of 'Chaos,' of the undifferentiated unity that preceded the Creation, and this return to the homogeneous takes the form of a supreme regeneration, a prodigious increase of power" (ibid., pp. 114, 199, 122). The mystic striving toward positive chaos is a clear parallel to the Jungian integration of the individual, for it celebrates the merging of two apparently separate entities (the self and God) that are in fact one. Thus, fusing androgynes may be viewed as instances of positive, Jungian chaos, and splitting androgynes may be viewed as instances of negative, Freudian chaos. Let us consider these two types separately.

The Splitting Androgyne

The more dominant of the two types is the splitting androgyne, which appears in a variety of cultures, both Indo-European and "primitive." A few examples taken from very many will have to suffice to establish the general pattern.

Greek

Plato depicts Aristophanes as the author of a complex myth of the primeval androgyne:

In the ancient times there were three kinds of beings, each with four legs and four arms: male, female, and androgynous. They grew too powerful and conspired against the gods, and so Zeus sliced them in two. The parts derived from the whole males are the ancestors of those men who tend to homosexuality and pederasty; the parts derived from the whole females are the ancestors of women who incline to be lesbians. The androgynes, who are nowadays regarded with scorn, gave rise to men who are woman-lovers and adulterers, and to women who are man-lovers and adulteresses. (Symposium 189e191e)

The androgyne is explicitly denigrated in this myth, not only in the statement of reproach for its present-day physical manifestations but in the implication that creatures derived from it are excessively lustful; the splitting of the androgyne is responsible for the fact that we expend (and, by implication, waste) so much time and trouble trying to get back together again.

Judaic

No account of the myths of androgyny can fail to mention Genesis, though we shall discuss the myth of Adam and Eve at greater length in the context of European myths. The midrash on Genesis 1:27 explicitly states that when God created the first man he created him androgynous; thus Adam gave birth to Eve. If man be made in the image of God, the creator himself would be an androgyne, although there is nothing explicit about this in the text of Genesis itself. It is, however, interesting to note that Genesis (2:24) does attribute to the origin of Eve from Adam the fact that, just as Plato noted in the same context, men and women have ever since sought to unite physically.

Indian

The earliest of all Indo-European androgynes, Sky-Earth (Dyāvā-Pthivī in the gveda ) is a splitting androgyne: the first cosmogonic act is to separate the two halves. In the Upaniads, Prajāpati, the Lord of Creatures, becomes a more explicit androgyne:

In the beginning this world was Soul [ātman ] alone, in the form of Purusa [the Man]. He had no joy, and desired a second. Now he was as large as a woman and a man in a close embrace, and so he caused his self to fall into two pieces, which became a husband and wife. Therefore it is said, "Oneself is like a half-fragment." He copulated with her and produced human beings. But then she thought, "How can he copulate with me when he has just produced me from himself? I will hide." She became a cow; he became a bull, copulated with her, and produced cattle. She became a mare; he a stallion. Thus were born all pairs there are, even down to the ants. (Bhadārayaka Upaniad 1.4.34)

The splitting of the androgyne is here tied directly to the more general, and nonsexual, splitting of the primeval man, Purua; androgyny is seen as a variant of sacrificial dismemberment. In other Indo-European myths, too, the primordial dismemberment is not of a man but of an androgyne. The incestuous implications of androgynous splitting and procreation are here made explicit; they continue to pose a moral problem for later Indian variants of this myth, in which the role of the primeval androgyne is played by Brahmā, and then by Śiva (cf. Liga Purāa 1.70).

North American

The Navajo say that First Man and First Woman had five sets of twins; the last four sets were each composed of a boy and a girl, but the first pair were barren hermaphrodites (Long, 1963, p. 53). The last four sets procreated, but the first set were the first people to die, and "she" (i.e., the female hermaphrodite of the pair) went to the underworld to become associated with the dead and the devils in the lower world (Spencer, 1947, p. 98). The male hermaphrodite simply dies; the female androgyne becomes the devil. Both are barren. Among the tribes of the Northwest Coast, too, mythic hermaphrodite dwarfs are killers, banished not to the underworld but to the moon (Boas, 1895, vol. 23, pt. 3, p. 53). Among the Zuni, however, one does find a central and positive androgynous creator, named Awonawilona ("he-she"; Stevenson, 1887, pp. 23, 37), an early precursor of nonsexist language and a powerful mythological figure.

African

Sudanese and Dogon art depicts horizontal androgynes, with breasts as well as penises. These figures may represent the primeval state of androgyny: man the way God made him, before the intervention of society made possible the perpetuation of the human race through the reduction of dangerously complete creatures to more manageable and useful halves. At birth every Dogon child has both a female soul and a male soul; at puberty every child undergoes ritual circumcision or clitoridectomy in order to remove the androgyny with which he or she is born.

In so far as the child retains the prepuce or the clitorischaracteristics of the sex opposite to its own apparent sexits masculinity and femininity are equally potent. It is not right, therefore, to compare an uncircumcised boy to a woman: he is, like an unexcised girl, both male and female. If this uncertainty as to his sex were to continue, he would never have any inclination for procreation. (Griaule, 1965, pp. 156158)

The Dogon divine androgyne is a true androgyne, a creative figure containing both male and female physical and psychical elements; but it must be transformed into a human androgyne manqué, a figure whose complete nature has been defaced both physically and psychically. God may be an androgyne; but man must not.

The Fusing Androgyne

The fusing type of androgyne is originally created as a male and female in isolation and must fuse in order to create. The separate components are barren; only the androgyne is creative (in contrast with the splitting androgyne, which is creative only when the male and female parts have separated). The most common variant of the theme of the fusing androgyne is the Two-in-One or hierogamy (i.e., sacred marriage). In broader theological terms, this symbolizes the merging of complementary oppositesthe conjunctio oppositorum (Eliade, 1965, pp. 103125). But the more straightforward form of the fusing androgyne, in which the male and female partners each give up one half of their bodies to fuse into a single being, half male and half female, is relatively rare.

Indian

All early myths of the androgynous Śiva are myths of splitting androgynes; medieval Sanskrit texts and folk traditions, however, describe a fusing androgyne that arose when, out of passion, gratitude, or some other emotion, Śiva embraced Pārvatī so closely that their bodies fused into one. According to one account, Śiva was a beggar, but one day he smoked so much hashish that he could not go out on his usual rounds; Pārvatī begged in his place, and when she returned she fed him with the food she had collected, which so pleased Śiva that he embraced her violently and became one with her.

On another occasion, Pārvatī became jealous of Śiva's infatuation with another woman and left him. Śiva came to her and said, "You are the oblation and I am the fire; I am the sun and you are the moon. Therefore you should not cause a separation between us, as if we were distinct people." And as he said this, Śiva caused her to enter the side of his own body, as if she were hiding there in embarrassment, and their paired bodies became one, because of their love (Skanda Purāa 1.3.2.1821).

Elsewhere, it is cynically remarked that Pārvatī took over half of Śiva's body in order to curb his philandering with other women. But the quintessentially fused Saiva androgyne is the so-called Śiva-liga, or phallus, which is, in fact, almost always accompanied by the yoni, the symbol of the Goddess's sexual organ, and as such is an iconic, though not anthropomorphic, androgyne: the male is surrounded by the female, in a representation of sexual union.

North American

A more complex candidate for androgyny is the notorious North American trickster. Even though primarily male, he not only masquerades as a female but actually gives birth to children. He normally keeps his detached phallus in a box and is thus self-castrating (like many Greek androgynes); in order to have sexual intercourse, he removes the phallus from the box and sends it to the woman. What his character represents, however, is a coincidence of opposites far more general than androgyny: it is primeval chaos, in which the basic social, moral, sexual, and even gross physical distinctions are yet unmade (Radin, 1956). The trickster is thus androgynously creative and psychologically "full," but the bitter humor with which he is depicted and the tragedy that follows upon his creative enterprises produce a sardonic vision of theological "wholeness" and a satire on human sexual integration. This aspect of his nature has led many scholars to identify him as a devil rather than a god, but this is not a useful distinction in dealing with a character who is morally so protean as the androgyne.

The Problem of the Androgyne: Getting Together

From the preceding survey, selective and sketchy though it is, it becomes apparent that most cultures have felt more comfortable with the concept of the splitting androgyne than with that of the fusing androgyne. Androgyny is thus not always a symbol of perfect union and balance. Many myths point out that the permanently fused androgyne is, technically, the one creature in the world who is certain to be unable to copulate. As Alan Watts has remarked, the androgyne symbolizes a state "in which the erotic no longer has to be sought or pursued, because it is always present in its totality" (Watts, 1963, pp. 204205). Yet the androgyne may also imply that the greatest longing may be felt in complete union, when satiation is so near and yet so far; water, water everywhere, nor any drop to drink. Thus the androgyne may symbolize satiation without desire or desire without satiation.

Western androgynes, which are usually fused rather than splitting, are often unsuccessful. Many visual images of medieval androgynes that express complicated alchemical and occult concepts are ludicrous to the eye. Maurice Henry has produced a brilliant and hilarious series of cartoon androgynes who can neither fuse nor split and who are at last driven to saw themselves apart so that they can come together. A far more horrible sort of cartoon is Goya's Disorderly Folly, Also Known as Disparate Matrimonial, depicting a married couple grotesquely joined together back to back, like Siamese twins.

In our day, androgyny has once again become trendy, particularly in feminist and homosexual circles; but we are still not truly comfortable with the physical androgyne. Michel Foucault has pointed out, in his introduction to the memoirs of Herculine Barbin, a nineteenth-century French hermaphrodite, the ironic contrast between the Romantic idea of androgyny and the barbarism with which an actual androgyne was treated. This dichotomy can best be understood in the context of the history of modern European and Christian responses to the androgyne, a subject to which we now turn.

European Mysticism and Esotericism

The Judeo-Christian myth and theology of the androgyny of the primal man were successfully reinterpreted and revalorized by Jakob Boehme (15751624). For this great mystic and theosophist, Adam's sleep represents the first fall: Adam separated himself from the divine world and "imagined himself" immersed in nature, by which act he lowered himself and became earthly. The appearance of the sexes is a direct consequence of this first fall. According to certain of Boehme's followers, on seeing the animals copulate Adam was disturbed by desire and God gave him sex to avoid worse (texts in Benz, 1955, pp. 6066). Another fundamental idea of Boehme, Gichtel, and other theosophists was that Sophia, the divine virgin, was originally part of the primal man. When he attempted to dominate her, the virgin separated herself from him. According to Gottfried Arnold (16661714), it was carnal desire that caused the primal being to lose this "occult bride." But even in his present fallen state, when a man loves a woman he always secretly desires this celestial virgin. Boehme compared the break-up of Adam's androgynous nature to Christ's crucifixion (texts in Benz, 1955, pp. 125ff).

Jakob Boehme probably borrowed the idea of the androgyne not from Qabbalah but from alchemy; indeed, he makes use of alchemical terms. Actually, one of the names of the "philosophers' stone" was Rebis (lit., "two things"), the "double being," or the Hermetic androgyne. Rebis was born as a result of the union of Sol and Luna or, in alchemical terms, of sulfur and mercury (Eliade, 1965, pp. 102ff).

The androgyne as the primal and final perfection became extremely popular with the theosophists of the eighteenth century, from Friedrich C. Oetinger (17021782) and Karl von Eckartshausen (17521803) to Michael Hahn (17581819), Pierre-Simon Ballanche (17761847), and their disciples (cf. Faivre, 1973, pp. 67ff.). Boehme was the principal source of inspiration, either directly or through Franz von Baader (17651841). According to Baader, the androgyne had existed at the beginning (Adam) and will be again at the end of time. Baader borrowed from Boehme the conception of Adam's first fall, the sleep in which his celestial companion was separated from him. But, thanks to Christ, man will again become an androgyne, like the angels.

Baader wrote that "the aim of marriage as a sacrament is the restoration of the celestial or angelic image of man as he should be." Sexual love should not be confused with the instinct for reproduction; its true function is "to help man and woman to integrate internally the complete human image, that is to say the divine and original image." Baader considered that a theology presenting "sin as a disintegration of man, and the redemption and resurrection as his reintegration" would conquer all other theologies (see the texts reproduced by Benz, 1955, pp. 219ff).

To the German Romantics the androgyne was the perfect, "total" human being of the future. J. W. Ritter (17761810), a well-known doctor and friend of Novalis, sketched in his Nachlass eines jungen Physikers a whole philosophy of the androgyne. For Ritter the man of the future would be, like Christ, an androgyne. "Eve," he wrote, "was engendered by man without the aid of woman; Christ was engendered by woman without the aid of man; the androgyne will be born of the two. But the husband and wife will be fused together in a single flesh." The body that is to be born will then be immortal. Describing the new humanity of the future, Ritter uses alchemical language, a sign that alchemy was one of the German Romantics' sources for their revival of the myth of the androgyne.

Wilhelm von Humboldt took up the same subject in his youthful Über die männliche und weibliche Form, in which he dwells particularly on the divine androgyne. Friedrich Schlegel, too, envisaged the ideal of the androgyne in his essay "Über die Diotima," in which he attacks the value attached to an exclusively masculine or feminine character, a value produced, he charges, only by education and modern custom. The goal toward which the human race should strive, he believed, is a progressive reintegration of the sexes, ending in androgyny (Eliade, 1965, pp. 98ff).

From Balzac to Aleister Crowley

Balzac's Séraphita is undoubtedly the most attractive of his fantastic novels. Not because of the Swedenborgian theories with which it is imbued but because Balzac here succeeded in presenting with unparalleled force a fundamental theme of archaic anthropology: the androgyne considered as the exemplary image of the perfect man. Let us recall the novel's subject and setting. In a castle on the edge of the village of Jarvis, near the Stromfjord, lived a strange being of moving and melancholy beauty. Like certain other Balzac characters, he seemed to hide a terrible secret, an impenetrable mystery. But here it is not a secret to be compared with that of Vautrin, the master criminal who figures in several other Balzac novels. The character in Séraphita is not a man eaten up by his own destiny and in conflict with society. He is a being different in quality from the rest of mankind, and his mystery depends not on certain dark episodes in his past but on the nature of his own being. This mysterious personage loves and is loved by Minna, who sees him as a man, Séraphitus, and is also loved by Wilfred, in whose eyes he seems to be a woman, Séraphita.

This perfect androgyne was born of parents who had been disciples of Swedenborg. Although he has never left his own fjord, never opened a book, never spoken to any learned person or practiced any art, Séraphitus-Séraphita displays considerable erudition; his mental faculties surpass those of mortal men. Balzac describes with moving simplicity the nature of this androgyne, his solitary life and ecstasies in contemplation. All this is patently based on Swedenborg's doctrine, for the novel was primarily written to illustrate and comment on the Swedenborgian theories of the perfect man. But Balzac's androgyne hardly belongs to the earth. His spiritual life is entirely directed toward heaven. Séraphitus-Séraphita lives only to purify himselfand to love. Although Balzac does not expressly say so, one realizes that Séraphitus-Séraphita cannot leave the earth before he has known love. This is perhaps the last and most precious virtue: for two people of opposite sex to love really and jointly. Seraphic love no doubt, but not an abstract or generalized love all the same. Balzac's androgyne loves two well-individualized beings; he remains therefore in the concrete world of life. He is not an angel come down to earth; he is a perfect man, a complete being.

Séraphita (18341835) is the last great work of nineteenth-century European literature that has the myth of the androgyne as its central theme. Toward the end of the century, other writersnotably the so-called décadents returned to the subject, but their works are mediocre if not frankly bad. One may mention as a curiosity Péladan's L'androgyne (1891), the eighth volume in a series of twenty novels entitled La décadence latine. In 1910 Péladan treated the subject again in his brochure De l'androgyne (in the series "Les idées et les formes"), which is not entirely without interest, despite its confusion of facts and its aberrations. The entire work of Péladanwhom no one has the courage to read todayseems to be dominated by the androgyne motif. Anatole France wrote that Péladan was "haunted by the idea of the hermaphrodite, which inspires all his books." But Péladan's whole productionlike that of his contemporaries and models, Swinburne, Baudelaire, Huysmansbelongs to quite a different category from Séraphita. Péladan's heroes are perfect only in sensuality; the metaphysical significance of the perfect man had been degraded and finally lost in the second half of the nineteenth century.

French and English décadents have occasionally returned to the theme of the androgyne (cf. Mario Praz, 1951), but always in the form of a morbid or even satanic hermaphroditism (as did Aleister Crowley, for example). As in all the great spiritual crises of Europe, here once again we meet the degradation of the symbol. When the mind is no longer capable of perceiving the metaphysical significance of a symbol, it is understood at levels that become increasingly coarse. The androgyne has been understood by décadent writers simply as a hermaphrodite in whom both sexes exist anatomically and physiologically. They have been concerned not with a wholeness resulting from the fusion of the sexes but with a superabundance of erotic possibilities. Their subject has not been the appearance of a new type of humanity, in which the fusion of the sexes produces a new, unpolarized consciousness, but a self-styled sensual perfection, resulting from the active presence of both sexes in one.

This idea of the hermaphrodite has probably been encouraged by the study of certain ancient sculptures. But décadent writers have been unaware that the hermaphrodite represented in antiquity an ideal condition that men endeavored to achieve spiritually by means of rites; they have not known that if a child showed at birth any signs of hermaphroditism, it was killed by its own parents. In other words, the ancients considered an actual, anatomical hermaphrodite an aberration of nature or a sign of the gods' anger, and they consequently destroyed it out of hand. Only the ritual androgyne provided a model, because it implied not an augmentation of anatomical organs but, symbolically, the union of the magico-religious powers belonging to both sexes.

Some Modern Christian Theologies

In a youthful writing, The Meaning of the Creative Act (1916), Nikolai Berdiaev took up again the old theologoumenon; he proclaimed with vigor that the perfect man of the future will be androgynous, as Christ was (Eliade, 1965, p. 103, n. 5). An important ideological contribution was Die Gnosis des Christentums, by Georg Koepgen, published in Salzburg in 1939, with the episcopal imprimatur (but afterward placed on the index). The work gained a certain popularity after C. G. Jung discussed it in his Mysterium Coniunctionis. According to Koepgen, "In the person of Jesus the male is united with the female. If men and women can come together as equals in Christian worship, this has more than an accidental significance: it is the fulfillment of the androgyny that was made manifest in Christ" (Die Gnosis, p. 316). With regard to Revelation 14:4 ("Those are they that were not defiled with women; for they are virgins"), Koepgen asserts:

Here the new androgynous form of existence becomes visible. Christianity is neither male nor female, it is male-female in the sense that the male paired with the female in Jesus' soul. In Jesus the tension and polaristic strife of sex are resolved in an androgynous unity. And the Church, as his heir, has taken this over from him: she too is androgynous. (ibid., p. 31)

As regards her constitution, the church is "hierarchically masculine, yet her soul is thoroughly feminine." "The virgin priest fulfills in his soul the androgynous unity of male and female; he renders visible again the psychic dimension which Christ showed us for the first time when he revealed the 'manly virginity' of his soul" (ibid., p. 319; noted by Jung, 1963, pp. 373ff.). As Jung remarks, for Koepgen not only Christ is androgynous but the church as well. In the last analysis, any Christian is predestined to become an androgyne.

See Also

Feminine Sacrality; Gender Roles; Indian Religions, article on Mythic Themes; Masculine Sacrality; Tricksters.

Bibliography

The classic study of androgynes remains Hermann Baumann's Das doppelte Geschlecht: Ethnologische Studien zur Bi-sexualität in Ritus und Mythos (Berlin, 1955), though one awaits with interest the promised volume on hermaphroditism scheduled to appear in Michel Foucault's History of Sexuality. The present article is based in large part upon two published works by the joint authors: Mircea Eliade's The Two and the One (Mephistopheles and the Androgyne ) (Chicago, 1965) and Wendy Doniger O'Flaherty's Women, Androgynes, and Other Mythical Beasts (Chicago, 1980). Three other useful surveys with material on androgyny are Alan Watts's The Two Hands of God: The Myths of Polarity (New York, 1963), Joseph Campbell's Historical Atlas of World Mythology, vol. 1 (New York, 1983), and Clyde Kluckhohn's "Recurrent Themes in Myths and Mythmaking," in Henry A. Murray's Myth and Mythmaking (New York, 1960), pp. 4660.

The material on North American and African androgynes in this article has been taken from Franz Boas's Indianische Sagen von der Nord-Pacifischen Küste Amerikas (Berlin, 1895); Charles H. Long's Alpha: The Myths of Creation (New York, 1963); Marcel Griaule's Conversations with Ogotemmêli: An Introduction to Dogon Religious Ideas (London, 1965); Paul Radin's The Trickster: A Study in American Indian Mythology (1956; New York, 1969); Katherine Spencer's Reflections of Social Life in the Navaho Origin Myth (Albuquerque, 1947); and Matilda Coxe Stevenson's The Religious Life of the Zuñi Child, Annual Report of the Bureau of American Ethnology, no. 5 (Washington, D.C., 1887).

For further material on Greek androgynes, see Luc Brisson's Le mythe de Tirésias (Leiden, 1976) and his "Aspects politiques de la bisexualité: L'histoire de Polycrite," in Hommages à Maarten J. Vermaseren, edited by Margaret B. de Beer and T. A. Elridge (Leiden, 1978), pp. 80122; and Michel Meslin's "Agdistis ou l'androgynie malséante," in volume 2 of the Vermaseren festschrift, pp. 765776. For Indian androgynes, besides O'Flaherty's work cited, see also Adalbert J. Gail's "Die zweigeschlechtliche Gottheit in Indien," Kunsthistorisches Jahrbuch Graz 17 (1981): 719, and Marguerite E. Adiceam's "Les images de Śiva dans l'Inde du Sud," part 5, "Harihara," and part 6, "Ardhanarisvara," Arts asiatiques 13 (1966): 8398 and 17 (1968): 143164.

For European androgynes, see Maurice Henry's The Thirty-Two Positions of the Androgyne (New York, 1963); Ernst Benz's Adam: Der Mythus des Urmenschen (Munich, 1955), an excellent anthology of the most significant texts; Antoine Faivre's L'esotérisme au dix-huitième siècle (Paris, 1973), a concise and learned introduction to a difficult subject; C. G. Jung's Mysterium Coniunctionis, 2d ed. (Princeton, 1970); and Mario Praz's The Romantic Agony, 2d ed. (Oxford, 1951).

New Sources

Feuerstein, Günther. Androgynos: das Mann-Weibliche in Kunst und Architektur. Stuttgart, 1997.

Zolla, Elémire. "L'androgino: l'umana nostalgia dell'interezza." Arte e immaginazione (1989).

Wendy Doniger (1987)

Mircea Eliade (1987)

Revised Bibliography