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Ardhanarishwara - the god who is half woman
Ardhanarishwara - often referred to as a hermaphrodite or androgynous deity, is one of the principal forms of Shiva. In this essay, I will examine the mythographic dimensions of this deity, and in doing so, discuss the related issue of magical androgyny, particularly within the context of Indian magic & myth. I will also attempt to make some suggestions for appropriate forms of sadhana for magical work with Ardhanarishwara.
Ardhanarishwara is described by Daniélou and others as an primordial androgynous deity. The sacred androgyne, both as a deity, and as the human being who crosses or otherwise blurs the gender-divide are related. Daniélou for instance, notes that homosexuals, hermaphrodites and transvestites can be considered sacred beings - "images" of Ardhanarishwara.
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