THE SACRED THIRD GENDER
Centuries before colonization a sacred and unique people existed within the villages and communities of the indigenous cultures around the world. Along with male and female there was an additional person living within the community, a third gender. Known in India as hijra, chakka, khusra, Aravani/Aruvnii; Southern Africa knew them as chibudi, /chibanda, gangas; the South Pacific they are called mahu, on the Island of Hispaniola they were known as guevedoche. Descriptions of third-gender beliefs can be found throughout the region of South America as well, particularly within the Aztec and Mayan cultures. It is recorded that third gender natives especially honored Xochiquetzal, the Aztec goddess of spring and sexuality, and were known as patlacheh. In North America male and female “Two Spirits” have been documented in over 130 tribes. Known as neither male nor female they held a high status leading the communities in conducting marriage rites, rites of passage and death ceremonies. In some cultures they were called high priestess, powerful wizards, and medicine people. Also seen in the community in the role of teacher and healers as in the following examples from several North American tribes.
The reason for this acceptance within the community was based on the fact that the indigenous people did not have within their culture a learned bias regarding gender. What we now call intersex people, hermaphrodites, and those that had bodies that did not conform to male or female were considered special people “blessed” by the Creator. Most appeared neither exclusively male nor female however many time noticeably both.
Those who were born with both female and male genitalia were considered a sacred being, protected by the village especially in time of warring. They were not considered different, but they were accepted as an addition to the culture, and community, thus a third gender. We are reminded by the understanding of the indigenous culture regarding intersex people, that gender is the role you play along with your contribution within your community, and family.
Early on in the development and behavior of these children their uniqueness was noticed and nurtured. If a boy did not want to hunt with his father or the other men, but wanted to stay behind with the women it was simply accepted. Also if a girl did not want to stay behind but choose to go to hunt or battle, the men invited her to go with them. This was not an embarrassment for the parents, even when the boy wanted to dress like a woman, or the opposite for a girl who dressed like a warrior. Being designated a “Two Spirit” within the village was an honor, and usually meant the child was educated and trained with the medicine people. This designation also gave the child higher status within the society.
If they played such an important role in these communities the question is not that they existed but why were they targeted for discrimination, stereotyping, and for most often death during and following colonization? You must only look to the history of the church and Christianity for its role in destroying a sacred group of people on the planet.
Christian dominance and authority began enforcing strict rules and systems that set gender standards leaving little room for third gender people on the planet, which threatened their existence for centuries. Faced with ridicule, abandonment, persecution, imprisonment and even death they were unable to freely be who they were born to be.
THE AWAKENING BEGINS
A Supreme Court decision in Nepal added a “third gender” category to national census surveys and citizenship documents, announced by the United Nations Development Program in 2007. The action was seen around the world as a positive step for human rights, designating Nepal as a pioneer in equality for a minority disadvantaged group. Recognized as precedence in South Asia for the struggle of a better future for people who have been forced into unemployment, prostitution, and panhandling for livelihood. Nepal has become “AWARE” of new ideas, attitudes and respect towards this most misunderstood gender.
Germany leads Europe in legalizing “third gender” by an announcement that was made just recently. Legally a German doctor may not designate a child who is born indeterminable because of certain physical conditions. In the past such children were generally labeled a boy by medical staff. Years later according to physical development, about the time of puberty, questions surface about their gender role. For many it was obvious at a much earlier age, as the child expressed disappointment in the gender that was assigned to them.
The new legislation also means that babies who are born without gender-defining physical characteristics can be registered as having an undetermined or unspecific gender on their birth certificate. The new law aims to remove discrimination against intersex people, a category that includes those born with both male and female genitalia, formerly known as hermaphrodites, and those affected by medical conditions that mean their bodies do no conform to a male or female standard. Pilgrim, Sophie (2013) Connect with France 24.
This decision in Germany is a major break through for all intersex people throughout the world regarding their rights of equality.
The first people, and the indigenous cultures lived harmoniously with the third gender, nature, and the Universe. A great enlightenment has been happening according to indigenous prophecies concerning the return of harmony and a “thousand years of peace”, that is coming to our planet. Many connect this to the Spirit of Jesus, and the return of the prophet of love. A Cherokee prophesy states that the “Pale One” will return and bring harmony, some think they are also referring to the Spirit of Jesus. This time of peace is coming because of reincarnation, all the great masters, and goddess are reincarnating at this time. We are they, the ones that have arrived again, and are ‘Aware’. We are the ones who understand the sacredness of nature, the stars, and the sacredness of all people. The old paradigms, and systems that persecuted, oppressed and ruled the inhabitants of Earth, by fear, will pass away. We humanity are a living pendulum swinging back to our original understanding and reconnecting to the Creator. The Soul remembers, and never dies as recorded by all cultures. Our soul is celebrated, anticipated, and reincarnated into a new body, one that brings with it thousands of years, or more of lifetimes. Humanity is going to save themselves regardless of the forces of evil that ruled this world for eons. Earth will survive, and clear her waters of the poison that industries have poured into her lakes and streams, her plants and trees will rejuvenate, and her sacred creatures will thrive again. There has always been a Divine Plan for our planet from the Supreme Creator, a plan that included the welfare of all sacred creations.
Nancy Oakes is a member of the Free Cherokee, and an adopted member of the United Lenape Band. Nancy is currently involved in the study of psychology, and cultural anthropology. Her passion is “A humanity free from the addictions of drugs and alcohol. She is also an activist for the Freedom of Tibet, and the preservation of sacred life on this planet. Her first two books will appear soon on amazon.com. The Return of Sophia, Mother of the Universe, and Remembrance, Living in the Fifth World. You can contact her at her email address of firstname.lastname@example.org,