Writing began in the Age of Gemini, the age of
the Twin Gods. Holdovers from this are the myth of Adam and Eve and
the many Indo-European religions with their Primal Androgyne, both
sexes in one body, often with two heads and four arms. The
Brhadaranyaka Upanishad said the Primal Androgyne was of the same
size and kind as man and woman closely embracing." Some said the
male and female elements lived together in one skin, experiencing
constant sexual bliss and spiritual completeness.
Shiva and Shakti-Kali appeared as the adrogyne Ardhanarisvara, the right side male, the left side female. Rudra, the older form of Shiva, was known as "the Lord Who is Half Woman." Brahma and Vishnu also appeared as bisexual beings united with their Shaktis. Chinese Taoists held the mandala of Yang and Yin to represent the androgyne.
Western myths also assigned androgyny to the elder gods or the first humar beings. The Orphic creation myth said the firstborn deity was a double-sexed Phanes or Eros, "Carnal Love," whose female half was Psyche, the soul, Greek equivalent of Shakti. Hermes owed his phenomenal wisdom to his former androgynous existence with Mother Aphrodite, as double-sexed Hermaphroditus.
Often, the androgyne appeared in myth as male-female twins born simultaneously, e.g. Isis-Osiris, Jana-Janus, Diana-Dianus, Fauna-Faunus, Helen-Helenus or Artemis-Apollo, the "moon and sun" united in their Mother’s womb. Several forms of the sun god were represented as requiring close physical union with the moon goddess, as even Brahma was useless without his female counterpart Bhavani, "Being." Egypt’s "supreme" sun god was often an androgyne; the sun was his right eye, the moon his left. The same androgynous being is still worshipped in Dahomey as Nana-Buluku, Moon-Sun, who created the world and gave birth to the first pair of human beings.
Many myths model the first human beings on the androgyne. Persians said the first pair in the garden of Eden lived together in one body, until Ahura Mazda separated them. Jewish imitators of the Persians also said Adam and Eve were united in a bisexual body. Some rabbinical sources said Eve was not "taken out of" Adam; they were parted from one another by a jealous God who resented their sexual bliss, which was too Godlike for human beings, and should be reserved for deities. Casting man out of the "garden" meant detaching him from the female body.
Greek myths of the golden Age told the same tale of a jealous God: Zeus, who punished Promethius with eternal torture because he tricked the gods for the sake of humanity. The people of the Golden Age had been created androgynous by Prometheus, who made their bodies of clay, and Athene, who gave them life. Father Zeus took out his anger on them by tearing them apart. A piece of clay was torn out of the female part and stuck to the male part. That is why women have an orifice that bleeds, and men have a loose dangling appendage that seems not to belong to them but always craves to return to the female body it came
Cruel Zeus permitted human beings to return the male appendage to its female home sometimes, to sense briefly their former bisexual existence. Some Gnostic mystery cults of the first centuries A.D. taught Tantric techniques to prolong the moment of bliss, which angered the Roman Church, whose bishops denounced this training as schooling in wickedness." Church fathers especially deplored making—or remaking—the Being with Two Backs, another term for the Primal Androgyne.
Though orthodox Christianity renounced both sexuality and androgyny in religious images, Gnostic Christians used them. As Kali was the female half of Shiva, so the Gnostic Great Mother Sophia was the female half of Christ. This was revealed "in a great light": the Savior was shown as an androgyne coupled with "Sophia, Mother of All."
Gnostic Christians said those who received the true revelation of the Father-Mother spirit were the only ones prepared for the secret sacrament called apolytrosis,"release," a concept identical with Tantric moksha or "liberation."’ Obviously influenced by Tantrism or its prototype, western Gnostics had made a direct translation of the Hindu Yab-Yum, "Father-Mother," the sexual union of a sage and his Shakti at the crucial moment of death. Sexual sacraments were in effect practicing for that moment, when the enlightened one would be restored to the condition of primordial bliss as an androgynous creature.
The Naassenes said no enlightenment was possible without the Father-Mother spirit, an androgyne sometimes called Heavenly Horn of the Moon. In the 5th century A.D., Orphic initiations sought to awaken a female spirit within man, to render him sensitive to the message of the Mysteries. After meeting the deities in a death-and-rebirth experience, he carried a bowl, emblem of the womb, and touched his belly like a pregnant woman, signifying "a spiritual experience uniting the opposed ways of knowledge of the male and female, and fused with this idea is that of a new life conceived within."
Such Gnostic subtleties were disliked by the orthodox, who viewed all mergings of the sexes as unequivocally sinful. After the Gnostic sects were wiped out, the androgyne was consigned to hell and gave birth to many curious devils with both male and female attributes. A 16th-century book showed Satan himself seated on a throne, wearing a papal tiara, with bird feet, a female face in his genital area, and pendulous female breasts.’7 The Devil of the Tarot pack was usually androgynous, as were many of the devils represented in cathedral carvings.