Updated: Dec 16, 2022
Transgenderism - What are the Concerns?
It's been a highly charged topic recently and caused some divide in thought in our collectives. The topic of sex and gender was recently discussed in the documentary What is a Woman? by Matt Walsh. It's a sensitive topic and important to be open-minded when reflecting on these issues and to reflect upon them at the deepest levels so that we can find ways forward regarding any negative patterns that have been observed. Some people, for example, have raised concerns about transgender athletes who have been winning medals and the ethical implications of this. It is healthy in our society to be able to have honest conversations and not shut people down if they are concerned about something. And there are concerns. And more are speaking up, including people who have had operations and later regretted their decision. Recently the Tavistock gender identity clinic in London announced that it will close its doors by spring 2023 - many complaints surfaced regarding the administering of puberty blockers. Some have spoken up about their regrets in transitioning and the health and emotional impacts on their lives which they claimed were not properly outlined to them in the beginning or that they were rushed into making decisions.
Many of these themes were discussed in the documentary What is a Woman? Alerts have also recently surfaced regarding school-children in America who were taken to transgender clubs, encouraged by teachers and parents. One transgender person spoke up on this topic with the concerns that children shouldn't be taken to an adult drag-club which can encourage a sexual environment at front and backstage where many people can be found nude or taking drugs.
Statue of Hermaphroditus, 120-140 AD.
What is clear is that there seems to be a lack of spiritual or astrological understanding in many of the discussions. I hope that this blog-post gives some pointers regarding these themes which people can pursue further and I have included some broad themes which have appeared in my healing work with clients who have been reflecting on these issues.
From a spiritual perspective, we are not the body - we are spirit which has incarnated into form. When we lose connection with the presence of our soul and get lost in our body, thoughts and personality we may lose a connection with our truth and fall into confusion and uncertainty about our life and direction. We are reaching the end of an astrological cycle, and it is a time of confusion for many who have lost a connection with the spiritual dimensions. Yet as we prepare for the shift into the Age of Aquarius, we have the chance to heal our relationship with Source and our soul.
According to spiritual laws, life operates on a system of polarity - yin and yang - moon and sun - negative and positive. Every atom operates according to these laws with its protons and electrons. This is not to say that one energy is 'good' and one is 'bad' - they are different and both are needed for life to unfold. Every human contains both yin and yang energies within and these can be seen clearly with the differing functions of the left and right hemispheres of the brain. When we deny or suppress one of these life-forces, we can fall out of balance.
The left hemisphere of the brain is more ‘masculine’ in energy and often associated with logic, analysis, rational thought, maths and planning. The right hemisphere is more ‘feminine’ and associated with intuition, emotion, creativity and is non-verbal. Through many patriarchal astrological Ages, it could be argued that we have allowed the left hemisphere (masculine) to dominate our lives, yet the true spiritual path requires us to live in balance, honouring all aspects of our potential including the overlooked right hemisphere – the female side. Our yang side enables us to take action and move outwardly - our yin side enables us to reflect and find meaning in life.
Balance - Attacks on Femininity
But that does not mean that we should reject the masculine left hemisphere or deny its presence in our body in order to collectively heal - balance is needed. It also does not mean that we should reject the law of polarity when in a relationship, including same-sex relationships - one person will usually have a more feminine polarity and the other will usually be more masculine. This polarity is illustrated beautifully in the yin yang symbol - within yin there is a small circle of yang and within yang there is a small circle of yin. True femininity has been attacked by dark forces on our planet for a long time and many women have experienced masculinisation and conditioning about what it is to be an empowered woman. It is key that women do not lose touch with genuine femininity and that men encourage their strong masculinity to flourish.
Sex is biological and means that a body generally embodies a certain polarity - male or female in form and determines whether we will be either a man or a woman. Yet each man or woman contains both masculine (yang) and feminine (yin) aspects. At the global level we see this polarity on the earth too with the North Pole and the South Pole.
Yet the spectrum of polarity is a vast and complex dance and influenced by our unique astrological placements.
Brain scan revealing the activity of the left and right hemispheres of the brain and their varying functions from 'The Body Keeps the Score' by Van der Kolk. Van der Kolk has done extensive research about the nature of trauma and how it affects the two hemispheres of the brain and the nervous system:
“The left and right sides of the brain also process the imprints of the past in dramatically different ways. The left brain remembers facts, statistics, and the vocabulary of events. We call on it to explain our experiences and put them in order. The right brain stores memories of sound, touch, smell, and the emotions they evoke. It reacts automatically to voices, facial features, and gestures and places experienced in the past… Under ordinary circumstances the two sides of the brain work together more or less smoothly, even in people who might be said to favor one side over the other. However, having one side or the other shut down, even temporarily, or having one side cut off entirely (as sometimes happened in early brain surgery) is disabling…"
Through this kind of neurological research we are learning more and more about the sensitivities of our nervous system and the left and right hemispheres and how to heal from situations which may have caused pain or disconnection.
Cardinal, Fixed and Mutable Signs
The 12 astrological signs are divided into three different aspects. The four cardinal signs (Aries, Cancer, Libra and Capricorn) begin the seasons and are natural leaders, unafraid to begin new cycles. The four fixed signs (Taurus, Leo, Scorpio and Aquarius) have a strong energy to push this momentum forward until completion - they do not embrace change or transition easily since they will put their heart into the movement. The four mutable signs (Gemini, Virgo, Sagittarius and Pisces) will complete the season, reflecting on what was experienced and learnt and therefore are changeable regarding how they approach life and flexible as to what they take in and process, however their ability to handle many aspects of life may make them lose focus or direction which is vital for them to master.
How does Astrology influence Gender?
If mutable signs are strong in our astrological chart we may find that our sense of gender is not as strong as those with with strong fixed or cardinal placements. One example is Mercury, the ruler of the mutable sign Gemini whose wand which he carried, the caduceus, was sometimes used to symbolise androgynous people in ancient and medieval times. The wand, which portrayed two entwining snakes, had been created by Tiresias, representing his transformation into a woman by Hera (Juno,) the wife of Zeus who had punished him for striking mating snakes; he became a priestess of Hera, had children and after seven years of being a women Tiresias came across some mating snakes again, this time she left them alone and was transformed back into a man. This wand was later carried by Mercury in Roman mythology (Hermes in Greek mythology) and is sometimes adopted as a symbol by transgender people. The Mercury astrological symbol is adopted from this sign of the caduceus.
In a birth-chart it is therefore relevant to notice where the placement of the asteroid Juno (who turned Tiresias into a woman) is and if this has any kind of influence. Juno was connected to snakes and snake rites – one rite included the feeding of a sacred snake with barley cakes by virgins as an agricultural fertility ritual. Snakes are very archetypal and associated with Lilith, the wounded feminine who was known in many myths as the serpent in the garden of Eden which led to the fall of Adam and Eve by eating from the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil. The serpent can also symbolise our DNA - it is up to us whether we fall down or rise towards goodness. Tiresias did not respect Juno's snakes and felt her wrath. In this way, if our thoughts and sense of identity have fallen into confusion and uncertainty then there may be an archetypal energy connected with the serpent (DNA) which we can heal. Understanding more about our Juno placement may help in this regard.
Hermes (Mercury) was associated with androgyny in other ways - his child, Hermaphroditus, was born from Aphrodite (Venus) and embodied both feminine and masculine qualities and his name was a combination from his parents. According to some myths, his androgyny came from a sacred union between his soul and a water naiad, whereas the Greek historian Diodorus Siculus wrote that he had been born with both characteristics. From this god, we have our word, hermaphrodite. Interestingly, Venus was also associated with gender themes in a more ancient form, from which she originated. Ishtar or Inanna, the Mesopotamian goddess associated with the planet Venus was also a goddess of love and justice (and warfare) and had the ability to change people's gender:
"To turn a man into a woman and a woman into a man are yours, Inana." A Hymn to Inana, 115-131
Inanna was described as a rainbow in the poem Inanna and Shukaletuda in which she flew "across the sky like a rainbow." A rainbow requires polarity to appear, both sunlight and rain, so this is an apt symbol for a goddess who had powers to change gender (polarity.) In her Ishtar aspect, more information was given in the Agushaya Hymn in which it was described how she terrified the gods with her wild antics:
“She dances around gods and kings in her manliness” and “young men are cut off as if for spears.”
Yet it's clear that fear permeated this religion - Inanna ruled with weapons and held a growling, chained-up lion in one depiction. In order for our society to evolve we will need to get in touch with the planet Venus in her purity who can guide people through duality and polarity (the balancing scales between goodness and evil) towards the one true path of non-duality (love.)
A Roman copy of a Greek original of Hermes, holding the caduceus in his left hand.
In reproductive biology, a hermaphrodite is an organism which has both types of reproductive organs and therefore either partner can act as the male or female. Most earthworms, slugs and molluscs are hermaphrodites and some species of fish. Many plants are also hermaphrodites.
Drawing by by Antonio Maria Zanetti (circa 1721) depicting Hermaphroditus and Eros.
Androgyny and Intersex
Whereas hermaphrodites possess both reproductive organs, androgyny (intersex) refers to mixed sexual characteristics at birth - intersex people may be born with congenital variations making it difficult to assign their sex.
It could be said that Mercury, ruler of the mutable sign Gemini, is connected with androgyny in its healthy and balanced aspects – by recognising the male and female aspects of ourselves in balance – the yin and yang. Gemini is represented as the twins and further illustrates this duality and changeability.
Yet there is a playfulness to Mercury and Gemini and in its natural form, it is peaceful and content and balanced and playful about its mutability (not lost in confusion.) When we align to these stronger forces of the stars we can find clarity amidst any mutable energy and not get lost. If mutable energy is strong in your birth-chart then you may be invited to embrace the fact that on certain days you may feel more masculine and on other days you may feel more feminine. An intersex person may discover a lot of mutable energy in their birth-chart for example.
It is also possible to balance this ‘changeable’ energy out by focusing more on any fixed or cardinal aspects of the birth-chart if the mutable energy is too strong. Many women have been described as a 'tom boy' - by embracing their masculine energy in balance. This does not mean that the right (feminine) hemisphere or feminine physical attributes need to be disowned.
Statue of Hermaphroditus, from Pergamum, Istanbul, 3rd century BC.
Rejection of Identity
The key question to ask is whether someone is happy in how they are living their life? It's understandable that many people have very complex situations regarding their relationship with sex and gender but the key is whether they have found contentment in that relationship. The problem is the huge amount of confusion and discontent that still seems to linger with many who have transitioned or are considering it. If this is the case, it might be pertinent to wonder if mental health issues are exacerbating problems. People may deny masculine or feminine aspects of themselves due to self-hatred. If we grew up with a care-giver who was abusive, we may deny parts of ourselves as we grow up. Some men may fear growing up to be 'like their father' for example. Women may also adopt more masculine frequencies, emulating the more powerful father and reject the model passed to them from a more submissive mother. We may also inherit past life karma or ancestral energies which may influence our thoughts and feelings. We need to clear any past lives in which we were overly attached to a certain gender or judgemental of a gender. In the past, women may have faced abuse or rape from invaders and therefore may have adopted strong masculine frequencies to protect themselves, losing connection with their genuine femininity which needed to be hidden. These patterns will continue to get passed down until someone does the healing.
We may deny, suppress or reject uncomfortable parts of ourselves in a transition process rather than examining where those core wounds came from. By bringing ourselves into balance we can also feel a sense of completeness or wholeness, while embracing the polarity of our form (male or female) - this was spoken about in medieval alchemy as the Rebis - the purification of two opposing qualities so that they can return and unite once more - the union of feminine and masculine energies, the sun and moon, to a state of completeness.
Rebis from Theoria Philosophiae Hermeticae (1617) by Heinrich Nollius
Negative Thoughts and Programming
If we have contentment on our path then we should be encouraged on our journey - yet this requires honest self-reflection.
Many people would prefer to deceive themselves - some do not realise that their thoughts are not even their own and have allowed their subconscious to be programmed with negative thoughts from others or their communities. There are also dark forces and entities on our planet who seek to cause confusion, disempowerment and suffering and it is important to be mindful of this. It is vital that we are able to discern what are our genuine thoughts and feelings so that we do not get manipulated by others. In the documentary 'What is a Woman?' - some recommended pushing puberty blockers on people to avoid them becoming 'suicidal' without considering what the true roots of the instability might be.
Planets in Retrograde
It is also important to examine the astrological chart for any planets in retrograde in connection with these aspects already mentioned. If many planets are in retrograde, we may fall into the danger of going too 'inwards' and overly philosophical - we may analyse ourselves too much, rather than direct that energy forwards. The key is to become aware of this tendency and to take note it if it happens, especially in these areas.
If you have experienced any of these issues and found any interesting patterns in your own birth-chart I would love to hear from you.
We now have a chance to heal these patterns as we shift collectively into an era of truth and clarity, guided by the divine and the harmony of the stars.
May your soul continue to guide you and light the way.