true witches

October 23, 2019

The world needs more witches. Women who fly in their dreams, and who have decided to rid themselves of everyday labels and walk free. Woman who can laugh out loud and ignore the people who call them crazy – because they have renounced submission and merged with the natural world around them. Women who have left captivity and risen – now they will stop for no one, they are invincible and without doubt. They are transformed. They are true witches.

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A deeply erotic god (Dionysus), he appears both in a masculine and an effeminate form. He is often depicted as a mature, bearded man and is associated with the phallus. Yet, he also frequently appears as a beardless youth with rather feminine features. Roman-era authors, such as Seneca, Nonnus and Pseudo-Apollodorus, narrate that Bacchus grew up disguised as a girl to escape the wrath of Hera. The Suda Lexicon ascribes to him the titles Androgynous, Unmanly (Anandros in Greek), and Hermaphrodite.

Yet, Dionysus was not the only deity that had features of both sexes. The motif of androgyny, or gynandry as I prefer to call it to emphasize the feminine, appears again and again in Hellenic mythology, as well as in different traditions around the world. Its origins are lost in the mists of time. The Neolithic inhabitants of Greece, for example, created a host of female figurines whose necks and heads take a phallic form.

Sometimes the combination of genders becomes blatantly obvious. The Vinča culture, developed in Southeastern Europe along the Danube River from the 6th to the 3rd millennium BCE, created figurines that have male genitals and female breasts, also possessing beaks and protruding buttocks. Furthermore, two female statuettes with male members have been found in the Neolithic settlement of Makri in Thrace, in Northern Greece. We often come across similar figures on the island of Cyprus too.

Harita Meenee
Dionysus, the Bearded Goddess, and the Pride Festival
Blog article 26th July 2014