Blogs » My Writing » Myth-y Mondays Week 6- 2/8/21; Trans/Intersex Deities!

Myth-y Mondays Week 6- 2/8/21; Trans/Intersex Deities!

  • Ohoho! Renee’s chanting got to me and now I have been engulfed into the world of trans/intersex deities. And the thing is- there’s a LOT of them! So without further ado, let’s get started!


    Our first stop is in Africa! In Dahomey, the creator deity is called Mawu-Lisa. They are a combination of a twin brother and a sister. Mawa (the Sun) and Lisa (the Moon). Mawu-Lisa is presented and referenced as androgynous! Another intersex deity is the mother of Mawa and Lisa; Nana Buluku. She is recorded as being both female and male, and is presented as female. The Akan people from Ghana also have androgynous deities! They believed in the personification of celestial bodies, and these celestials were transgender and/or intersex. In Zimbabwean myth (specifically from the Shonas), Zimbabwe’s creator god was an transgender deity called Mwari, who was normally androgynous but sometimes male or female. 


    Next up, Japan! There’s a popular deity called Inari- the kami (a kind of divine being in the religion of Shinto) of rice and agriculture. They are fluid in gender, and their main forms are a beautiful young girl, a non-binary budhist monk, or an old man carrying rice. Another transgender deity is Oyamakui; a friendly mountain spirit that helps mothers and is a patron for pregnancy. But it doesn’t stop there! There’s also the kitsune (remember our good friend Tamamizu?); clever foxes that can transform into any gender- regardless of their original one. 


    Transgender deities also reside in the colorful world of Hindu mythology. Just look at avatars and reincarnation! Many times, males are reborn as females, females are reborn as males, and you could even be reborn transgender/intersex! Avatars (the human form divine deities take when going to Earth) can change their gender too, regardless of what the deity’s gender was before. In other stories, divine beings changed the gender of normal humans as the result of blessings/curses. Ardhanarishvara is an androgynous deity formed from the combination of Shiva and his wife Parvati. A similar instance is with Lakshmi and her husband Vishnu, and they combine to form Laksmi-Narayan, another intersex deity. 


    The moment you’ve been waiting for… you know him, you love him, you’ve probably been forced to lick something by him… LOKI! Ah, my man Loki. Let’s talk about 'em! So I’m sure you know that Loki (Norse god of tricksters, snakes, symbol of fluidity and change) is transgender! He (they normally present as he) is often portrayed as gender-fluid or androgynous (as seen in Margaret Clunies Ross’ “Reading Þrymskviða”, and translations/dissections of “The Poetic Edda.&rdquo Anyways, lotso stories about him! Here’s a short Norwegian rune poem:

    Bjarkan er laufgrønster líma;

    Loki bar flóðatíma.

    (See if you can translate that from Old Norsk ;D)


    Whew okay! That was a lot. And there’s so much more! I didn’t even get to talk about Hermaphrodite, or Aravaan, or the two-spirits and shamen of the native American tribes. Anyways, if you guys really want I could do a part two? Trans/androgynous deities are just so darn cool!