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Theosophical Encyclopedia

Androgyne

From the Greek word that means “male-female.” The term refers to forces, organisms or human beings which or who exhibit both the masculine and feminine aspects of nature.

Theosophical literature speaks of androgynous beings on two levels: the metaphysical and physical.

On the metaphysical level, it refers to the stage of emanation where the unity becomes a duality, a “Father-Mother,” or the second Logos. The One Principle is sexless, while its primal radiation is androgynous. It is symbolized by the circle with a diameter line cutting across it, as well as the yin-yang symbol. The Tau represents the same thing.

In its mystical sense, the Egyptian cross owes its origin, as an emblem, to the realisation by the earliest philosophy of an androgynous dualism of every manifestation in nature, which proceeds from the abstract ideal of a likewise androgynous deity. (CW XIV:152-3)

Helena P. BLAVATSKY wrote that this emanation into a duality is also symbolized by various deities in the religions. Brahman for example was androgynous before it split into Vāc and Virāj. Adam Kadmon in the KABBALAH is the celestial androgyne prior to the human Adam and Eve. So was Yod-Havāh, which later became Jehovah.

On the physical level, H. P. Blavatsky wrote of earlier human races which were androgynous. This was during the third root race (see ROOT RACES) when humanity passed through three phases of reproduction: asexual, hermaphroditism, and sexual reproduction.

In higher animals, there are still vestiges of the organs of the other sex.

These relics of a prior androgyne stock must be placed in the same category as the pineal gland, and other organs as mysterious, which afford us silent testimony as to the reality of functions which have long since become atrophied in the course of animal and human progress, but which once played a signal part in the general economy of primeval life. (SD II:119)

Blavatsky wrote that by the fifth ROUND, human beings will once more become androgynous.

From a biological viewpoint, there are plants and animals that are androgynous, that is, possessing the reproductive organs of both male and female. They are thus capable of both self-fertilization or cross-fertilization. Examples of these are certain invertebrates like flatworms. In the case of mammals, including human beings, hermaphroditism is so rare that they are now considered as anomalous, such as Klinefelter’s and Turner’s syndrome.

V.H.C.

 

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