"Unless I am part of everything I am nothing."

~ Penelope Lively (1987)

Mind Caviar, Vol. 3 Fall Issue, 2002

Transgenderism: Blurring the Boundaries
Part Three: Female to Male

by Sabrina Qedesha

So far the transgendered images we've explored deal with a kind of dynamic blending: male to female, female to male, where the outer display is of one gender while the inner essence is of the other. The blended form of transgenderism imagines two in one -- male and female equally blended into a single being which is both and neither.

William Shakespeare called man and woman locked in embrace "the beast of two backs," a powerfully evocative image of two people lost in the bliss of union, grunting and moaning as a beast, exuding animal power.  In the mystical traditions of antiquity, stretching into the Middle Ages, the primal act of sex has been used as a symbol of the most sacred mystical teaching -- union with the divine.

Classic Sensual Art by Rodin
"The Kiss" Marble Sculpture 
by Auguste Rodin (1886)
In ancient Gnosticism, as in Tantric mythology, the "bridal chamber" is used to symbolize the state of mind where this union was consummated. The mystic, the one who hopes to achieve harmony with God, is represented by the bride, the receptive partner, while God is represented by the groom. This symbolism can be found even in some parts of the Bible, especially in the Song of Solomon

Very similar imagery occurs in modern sex magick. The 69th chapter of Aleister Crowley's Book of Lies describes this mystical union as an act of mutual oral sex: 

The Red Triangle is the descending tongue of Grace; the Blue Triangle is the ascending tongue of prayer. This interchange, the Double Gift of Tongues... is the sign of the Great Work, for the Great Work is accomplished in Silence. ... This Work also eats up itself, accomplishes its own end, nourishes the worker, leaves no seed, is perfect in itself.
In Plato's Symposium, the image of the syzygy is used to describe the mythical original state of humankind. The syzygy is a person with four legs, four arms, and two heads; male and female merged into a single being. Catclysmically, the humans are split in half, so that each half has only one head, two arms, and two legs. This image is used to explain the need that humans have to merge with one another sexually and amorously. The bliss of sex is a pale reflection of the joyous ecstasy that would come from reuniting the lost opposites. More recently, Clive Barker used the image of the divided syzygy in his novel Sacrament.
When the syzygy-humans were divided, their world became a world of loss, of sorrow, of pain, and of incompletion. Thus the reunion afforded by sacred sex is redemption - restoration of that which was lost.
The image of man and woman locked in an embrace so closely that they have united into a single being can also represent the mystical integration of the various parts of the individual into a single whole. The tantric image of this is the Hindu deity Ardhanarishvara, whose left half consists of Shakti and whose right half consists of Shiva, her husband. Statues of Ardhanarishvara depict a half-man-half-woman with one breast and a single testicle with a penis that leans to the right.

In many of the illustrations accompanying medieval alchemical texts, gold and silver are represented symbolically by a king and queen. The king and queen are united in the mystical bridal chamber, to symbolize the gold and silver being melted together. Sometimes they are depicted as a single being that is half-man/half-woman.

This form of inner union represents the integration of the conscious mind with the primal, uncharted part of the self called the unconscious. If we are not familiar with the contents of our unconscious mind, we are literally said to be "scatterbrained." We commit "Freudian slips" and suffer from unexplained neuroses. Thus the first task facing the one who sets out on the mystic path is to achieve this inner union.

The Gospel of Thomas describes this mystical teaching in a now-famous passage considered heretical by the church: 

When you make the two one, and make the inside like the outside, and the above like the below, and that you might make the male and the female one and the same, so that the male might not be male nor the female be female... then you will enter [the kingdom of heaven]. 
I have created a homework assignment for you that may help you to try to achieve this Divine state of being.

Sexual Unity Homework Assignment

The goal of this assignment will be to attempt to merge with your partner. This ritual could be used in either a heterosexual or homosexual context, but is really only suitable for two participants.

Prepare the bedroom into a mystical "bridal chamber" by use of incense, candles, and soft music, and arrange it so that you will not be interrupted. It was customary for initiates, before entering the bridal chamber, to be "baptised" or immersed in water, to wash away the old self and make initiates feel renewed - so a bath in scented water would be an appropriate way to begin the rite. 

Face one another on the floor or bed, and sit in a comfortable position. Remain still, and breathe slowly and deeply, to instill a sense of calm. Close your eyes and imagine the man or woman of your dreams -- if possible, a man or woman about whom you have literally dreamed and, in the dream, felt great attraction for. Or, it could be your imagined "ideal lover" or a celebrity about whom you have fantasized. It could be your actual spouse or partner, if that person is indeed your dream lover. In the terms described by Carl Jung, this person is your anima (inner female, for men) or animus (inner male, for women) and represents the mysterious parts of your mind from which your dreams and fantasies come. 

Imagine making love to this dream lover in the most erotic way imaginable -- whatever that means to you. Indulge your imagination, and feel your arousal build. The first step towards mystical union with the unconscious is sharing love with your inner self, indicating to your inner self that you are ready to listen to its primal, language-transcending wisdom. If it helps you to build arousal, you could also masturbate while imagining the fantasy, though men should avoid masturbating to orgasm at this point. If your physical passion builds, you might indicate your arousal to the partner in the room with you by means of sounds or words. 

When it feels right, come out of this fantasy and now face the physical partner in the room with you. Stand or sit closely, touch one another, kiss, embrace, and imagine that your partner is the embodiment of life and pleasantness and everything good. You are not merely going to fuck this person; you are going to seek union, to take that goodness and vitality into yourself and to share freely of your own essence. 

Lovemaking should be joyous and passionate, but when you are ready, slow down and come to a stop, locked in a face-to-face embrace. Stare into one another's eyes, and imagine that you are merging with your lover. You might enhance this by matching the rhythm of your breathing, or by whispering in union "I am you" or "I love you." If you are male, imagine that you no longer possess a penis, but a vagina; if you are female, imagine that you now have a penis. When you begin to feel a degree of union between you, resume motion, but slowly, savoring the sensation. You should find, if you are male, that it is not hard to imagine that you actually have a vagina being penetrated by a large cock; or, if you are female, it should not be hard to imagine that you are penetrating your lover's new vagina.

After you have savored this sensation, imagine that your bodies are, in fact, linked so that there is no separate penis or vagina, but a single point of blissful union giving you both the same pleasure. Your pleasure is the same pleasure felt by your partner; and you are no longer two individuals, but a single being -- a literal beast of two backs. 

As always I'd love to hear back from anyone who takes on the homework assignment! Email Sabrina

Copyright © 2002 Sabrina Qedesha and Jamie Joy Gatto. All Rights Reserved. Do not copy or post in whole or in part. 

Sabrina Qedesha Sabrina is a polyamorous, bisexual, transgendered mathematician and computer expert living in the decadent city of New Orleans with her beautiful wife and three precious cats. Her goal in life is to become one with the Divine through sex, drugs, rock and roll, in no particular order. Her esoteric work has appeared in Zibaq! and The Sistrum, while her erotic work can be found at A Bi-Friendly Place as well as in suspect thoughts. She has also published fiction in Lost Worlds of SF and Fantasy

Email Sabrina or visit her home pages.

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