The Alternate Genders: Where Homosexuality Fits In In Shamanic Cultures

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    Jun 22, 2010 9:22 AM GMT

    Within RJ, and in the LGBT community at large, there is much talk of what in older cultures is termed "alternate genders" that is, people and characteristics of people who do not fit in with the Western categorisation of male and female. Confusion arises in people as to their sexual identity, sexual orientation, and even their physical gender, and those who do not fit the mould are generally spurned... As these "alternate genders" are so often ridiculed... often for reasons purely due to genetics.. I thought it would be fitting to give an account of how more traditional shamanic societies deal with these phenomena.

    In most shamanic traditions... the universe is a constant flux between two aspects, namely, the positive and the negative, the yin and the yang, and also, the masculine and the feminine. Though the traditional roles of the males as warriors, and the females as care-givers, are universally set among shamanic cultures, most of these cultures do in fact have a special role assigned to those people who do not belong to either one of these genders traditionally: that of males or females, having characteristics typical of the opposite sex, or even people who have characteristics of both sexes.

    Universal throughout all shamanic cultures, is a recognition and honouring of people born as double-gendered, or alternate gendered. They consider them to be endowed with natural balance of the two opposites. They are seen as extra powerful, and are considered to be able to bridge the world of the physical and the world of the spiritual, where messages are transmitted to the living. Thus, alternate gendered people are considered as prophets, as healers, seeers, and generally, the keepers of the sacred sciences and lore, and are held in the highest possible esteem by the worlds oldest cultures.

    In conclusion:
    Alternate-gender people have a lot of ridicule to suffer nowadays, even, and often more harshly, from the people within their own ranks. It would be beneficial to us al if alternate gendered people begin to reclaim their honour, and respect themselves and each other in the way they were created Hopefully, in this way, respect may be returned back to us in the future,

    Thank you for reading and commenting,

    Excelsior
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    Jun 22, 2010 3:30 PM GMT
    Great stuff, thanks for posting.
  • yogadudeSEATT...

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    Jun 22, 2010 3:31 PM GMT
    Beautifully said, brother. Thank you for sharing this. I once read a book about Native American Shamans called "Berdache." They were the most highly honored member of the tribe. They were healers, both physically and sexually. When the warriors went to battle, the Berdache went with them to both tend to their wounds and their sexual needs. Amazing, huh? And early Americans called Native Americans savages. It sounds to me like they were very evolved.
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    Jun 22, 2010 4:37 PM GMT
    ... or the 'fafafine" in Samoan culture .

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fafafine

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    Jun 22, 2010 4:45 PM GMT
    Cool, I have read the same thing and really liked it. Cept you left out the part where the natives, although looked to them as spiritual guides, segregated them from the rest of their tribe and children were not allowed around them.
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    Jun 22, 2010 4:48 PM GMT
    Will Roscoe wrote the first popular book on this subject, I believe:

    http://www.amazon.com/Zuni-Man-Woman-Will-Roscoe/dp/0826313701/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1277225018&sr=8-1

    Since then, a huge amount has been written about "two-spirited" people.

  • calibro

    Posts: 8888

    Jun 22, 2010 6:27 PM GMT
    yeah, i hate how people conflate sex with gender. being one sex doesn't dictate your gender identity.
  • Delivis

    Posts: 2332

    Jun 22, 2010 7:27 PM GMT
    Eden saidThis is the first forum post in which I am participating with a smile on my face.

    I've always thought we, gays, were sent down to earth to heal, guide and reconcile extremes of any kind so that balance is maintained.

    The modern twist to what being gay is, sadly, confines it to asking for what we won't give; maligning difference within our own community, yet condemning maligning from outside of it; wasting time and opportunity by projecting arrogance and superiority.

    I am smiling no more, at this point.

    Great post. Thanks for reminding me of such pivotal perceptions.


    How on earth do you square the criticism against projecting arrogance and superiority while believing that you were "sent to earth" to heal and guide and bring "balance"?
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    Jun 23, 2010 2:06 AM GMT
    drjon2ko saidCool, I have read the same thing and really liked it. Cept you left out the part where the natives, although looked to them as spiritual guides, segregated them from the rest of their tribe and children were not allowed around them.


    LOL, that does happen in some... however there is a lot of variation... there's tribes in Papua New Guinea that require boy children to give the adult men fellatio in order to become more "masculanised".... soudns wierd to us, but accepted practice to them...
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    Jun 23, 2010 2:07 AM GMT
    Eden saidThis is the first forum post in which I am participating with a smile on my face.


    Come on man, keep up the cute smile!! icon_smile.gif
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    Jun 23, 2010 2:10 AM GMT
    Delivis said
    Eden said
    How on earth do you square the criticism against projecting arrogance and superiority while believing that you were "sent to earth" to heal and guide and bring "balance"?


    Well, I would say that healing and guiding are not necessarily superior... superiority and arrogance is more akin to the act of "muscling out" your opponents in some way, to show dominance.... "controlling" and "leading" is a form of dominance, whereas "healing" and "guiding" is a form of giving
  • kew1

    Posts: 1595

    Jun 24, 2010 6:31 AM GMT
    amar_m said
    drjon2ko saidCool, I have read the same thing and really liked it. Cept you left out the part where the natives, although looked to them as spiritual guides, segregated them from the rest of their tribe and children were not allowed around them.


    LOL, that does happen in some... however there is a lot of variation... there's tribes in Papua New Guinea that require boy children to give the adult men fellatio in order to become more "masculanised".... soudns wierd to us, but accepted practice to them...


    I watched a documentary on that tribe a few years ago & was about to mention them when I read your comment. You mean these

    http://www.therai.org.uk/film/volume-ii-contents/towards-baruya-manhood/
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    Jul 06, 2010 6:11 PM GMT
    From my faith perspective (One that deals heavily with Shamans [though, the definition of a qi'an shaman isn't necessarily the same as the common concept of a shaman]) Shaman Are Often of a varying sexuality/affection. Ideally, we grasp that Love is good function, And to deny it any form, be it from first person or second perspective, is counterproductive. Therefore, we strive for Omnisexuality and Panaffection; loving and sharing our bodies with others, regardless of their physical gender.

    Just as you said, homosexuals are often seen as spiritually venerable because their function in life is not to procreate. Because they aren't producing life from themselves, they are tending the lives that already exist, so essentially, our function is to better the world without contributing to our numbers ( this statement relates to the Soul Quota; the limited amount of neutral energy left in the universe to bring life to the pairing of consciousness and matter )


    I am a Homosexual Shaman of the Qi'an Faith, a Writer under Snow Spirit Xue.