The Hindu pantheon of deities presents us with a playground of playfully shifting gender expressions. Nonetheless, the force of conventional gender role expectations and confusion plays itself out everywhere, including in spiritual communities.
The group of traditions and lineages that comprise what is called “Hinduism,” and Tantra, include the worship of deities that manifest all of the conventional gender roles. But we also have male deities who appear in half-male/ half-female forms, or even who show up as all-female at times. We have dancing male deities and male deities who give birth. We have female deities who ride lions and tigers and are fiercer warriors than their male counterparts. Everybody gets to wear jewelry and grow their hair long.
A rare image of Shri Vidya Ganesha, a female form of Ganesha
My Guru, Anandamayi Ma, at times incarnated as Durga or Chinnamasta, both female deities, and, at other times as Krishna or Lord Shiva. Read On…