May 28 16 1:29 PM

Tags : : , , , , , , , , , , ,

It been slow lately so lets talk about something I know we all love.  Men turning into women and Vice Versa~!

In particular, people changing sex in Mythology.  

I have always loved myths.  They are full of stories of transformations that people honestly believed happened once upon a time.  At least the Greek and Roman kind to which I am most familiar.  Yet, despite their wealth of stroies of people turning into spiders, swans, and flowers, stories about people changing sex are few and far between.

So with that I thought we could create a thread for us to share, or discuss our favorite transgender myths from around the World.

Last Edited By: Lost247365 Aug 4 16 2:13 AM. Edited 10 times

Quote    Reply   

#1 [url]

May 28 16 1:37 PM

Men into Women: Tiresias and Siproites


This is probably the best Known Transgender myth that I know.


According to this myth, a man named Tiresias came upon two snakes mating.  He decided to hit these two snakes with a club, which incensed the Goddess Hera.  To punish him, she Transformed him into a woman.  Wanting to return to being a man she tried to make amends by being a priestess of Hera.  She even gave birth to several children during this time.  Finally, after 7 years she came upon two more snakes copulating and struck them again and was returned to being a man.


From here, Zeus summoned Tiresias to Mount Olympus to settle a dispute between Hera and himself. They asked him who derived more pleasure from love making.  The woman, as Zeus claimed, or the man as Hera insisted.  Tiresias, who had experienced sex as both a man and a woman said that women recieve 9x the pleasure men experienced.  Once more furious with the Tiresias, Hera struck him blind for not agreeing with her.  Unable to get Hera to restore his sight, Zeus gave him the ability to talk to animals and the dead, and the gift of foresight.

Tiresias went on to become the most famous prophet in all of Greek mythology.  So much so that years after Tiresias's death, the Greek Hero Odysseus sought out his aid in the underworld amidst his Odyssey.  



Most of this myth has been lost to the passage of time, but supposedly, before Aceteon had his fateful encounter with the Goddess Artemis, another Cretan Hunter Named Siproites (sometimes spelled Sypretes) had the misfortune of coming upon Artemis bathing nude.  

However, rather than turning him into a stag, she changed Siproities into a woman for the rest of his/her life...which doesn't sound much like a punishment to me Cute.  Regardless, much better than being turned into a stag and hunted by your own dogs.smiley: ohwell

Last Edited By: Lost247365 Jun 17 16 11:09 PM. Edited 6 times.

Quote    Reply   

#2 [url]

May 28 16 1:38 PM

Women into Men: Caeneus And Iphis/ Leucippus



In this myth, Poseidon takes an interest in a young nymph named Caenis (the daughter of the demi-god Atrax).  So one day while she was at the beach he rapes her.  Afterwards, she is so distraught by what happens that Poseidon regrets his actions and decides to make it up to her by granting her any wish that she desires.  


Caenis wishes to be a man and that no one would ever penetrate her again.  Poseidon then goes to Hephaestus and has him create a magic spear for her.  He  gives the spear to her and it turns her into a man and makes his skin impenetrable to any weapon.  Caenis then masculines his name to Caeneus and goes and joins the Lapith army.


Invulnerable to any attack, he becomes renowned as one of the greatest warriors in the world.  After countless victories and endless praise Caeneus becomes proud and arrogant.  Eventually, in an act of extreme hubris, he walks into the middle of a village and slams his spear into the ground and demands that the people worship his spear as their only god.  This enrages Zeus who then plots Caeneus demise.

So during a banquet for the Lapith queen Zeus causes the leader of the Centaur Contingent, Latreus, there to become drunk.  While inebriated, he insults Caeneus and mocks his achievements claiming that they are all frauds because Caenis is really a woman, making sure to call him a her and refusing to use anything but his former female name of Caenis.

Enraged Caeneus strikes Latreus, when the centaur strikes back he sees that it has no effect upon Caeneus.  Fighting breaks out and Latreus sees Caeneus killing centaur after centaur.  He then orders his fellow centaurs to take the Queen of the Lapith hostage and has them find large logs.  They then all attack Caeneus at once with the logs pounding him down into the ground until he suffocates, dies, and becomes a woman once again.


During his visit to the underworld, Aeneas sees Caeneus, in female form, in the fields of mourning

Iphis/ Leucippus

In Crete, there was a poor couple who were expecting a child.  The father, believing they were so poor that they couldn't possibly afford a dawry if they had a daughter decided to kill the child if it was a girl.  The mother didn't want to have her child killed regardless of the sex and prayed to the gods.  

That night the Egyptian Goddess Isis came to her in a dream to told her that she would have a daughter but to fear not, that Isis would protect the child.  So, after giving birth the mother lied to the Husband and told him she had given birth to a son.  They gave the child the gender neutral name of Iphis and raised her as a boy.


Upon reaching adolescence the father arranged that Iphis marry a woman named Ianthe.  Upon seeing Ianthe, Iphis fell in love with her, and she fell in love with "him."  Scared that her child's sex would be revealed she prayed to Isis to help them.  That night Isis appeared before Iphis and transformed Iphis into a man.


Iphis and Ianthe were married and lived happily together till the end of their days.

This story is almost completely identical to the myth of Leucippus.  Leucippus was the daughter of Galatea, whose husband said he would kill their child if female.  Galatea lied and said she gave birth to a boy name Leucippus.  However, once Leucisppus reached adolescence it was becoming impossible to hide that "he" was actually female.

Galatea prayed to the Goddess Leto for help citing others who the gods had changed their sex such as Caeneus, Tiresias, and Siproites; and begged that she would do the same for Leucippus.  Leto took pity on them and granted her wish and made Leucippus a man.


Last Edited By: Lost247365 Jun 17 16 4:10 AM. Edited 5 times.

Quote    Reply   

#6 [url]

Jun 4 16 12:36 AM

Good post, Lost. Can I throw in a couple more? 

Hermaphroditus, son of Hermes and Aphrodite, was loved by Salmacis, the nymph of the fountain in which he bathed. He refused her advances. She prayed to the gods to make them one body and her prayer was answered. In art Hermaphroditus is depicted as a beautiful youth with developed breasts. The pool which was the scene of Hermaphroditus's transformation was then infected with the power to effeminize any man who stepped into it. (Ovid, Metamorphoses, Book IV).

The travel writer Pausanias (2nd C AD) recorded a novel variant of the Narcissus story, in which the youth falls in love with his twin sister rather than himself (Description of Greece, 9.31.7-8):

[7] On the summit of Helicon is a small river called the Lamus. In the territory of the Thespians is a place called Donacon (Reed-bed. Here is the spring of Narcissus. They say that Narcissus looked into this water, and not understanding that he saw his own reflection, unconsciously fell in love with himself, and died of love at the spring. But it is utter stupidity to imagine that a man old enough to fall in love was incapable of distinguishing a man from a man’s reflection.

[8] There is another story about Narcissus, less popular indeed than the other, but not without some support. It is said that Narcissus had a twin sister; they were exactly alike in appearance, their hair was the same, they wore similar clothes, and went hunting together. The story goes on that Narcissus fell in love with his sister, and when the girl died, would go to the spring, knowing that it was his reflection that he saw, but in spite of this knowledge finding some relief for his love in imagining that he saw, not his own reflection, but the likeness of his sister. (tr. Jones/Ormerod)

Quote    Reply   

#8 [url]

Jun 4 16 11:16 AM

Dabrela wrote:
Good post, Lost. Can I throw in a couple more? 

I intentionally avoided posting every myth I know (like about the Norse God Loki* or Hypermnestra/Mestra*) in hopes of others posting some!  In fact, unless someone posts them before me, I was planning to post a couple more tomorrow from India.

*I also held back on those as listing shape-shifters seems like cheating as they can be whatever sex they want and aren't really suck with a gender.

Quote    Reply   

#9 [url]

Jun 6 16 12:14 AM

Woman into a Man: The story of Shikhandi/Srikandi

In my search for other myths since making this thread, one that has entranced me is the Story of Shikhandi/Srikandi.  Fair warning, this is a very LONG myth.

This story is from the Mahabharata, considered the longest epic poem in history.  It is 10 times the length of the Odyssey and Illiad combined and tell the tale of the war for succession between two groups of cousins.  This particular myth actually starts long before Shikhandi's birth.  


The Story before the Myth

The Birth of Devavrata/ Bhishma

This myth begins when the eight elemental god attendants of Vishnu (the Vasus) visit the Sage Vashishta's ashram.  There, the wife of theVasus Prabhāsa tells her husband that she wants Vashishta's sacred wish granting cow Kamadhenu.   Prabhāsa gathered the other Vasu proceeded to steal the cow.  For this crime they were all cursed to be born as the humans on Earth.  They begged for mercy and they were told that with the exception of Prabhāsa their time as humans would be brief.  He, however, as the ringleader, would have to live an entire lifetime as a Human, however he would be the greatest hero of his generation while alive.

So were they reborn as children of Shantanu, the human king of Hastinapura, and Ganga the goddess of the Ganges River.  Ganga, knowing that her children where the Vasus reborn, took each child one year after their birth and drowned them in the Ganges River.  This devastated the King, but long ago he had sworn to never question her action in order to marry her so he suffered in Silence.  Child after child she drowned until it was time to drown her eighth and final child, Devavrata.  The king couldn't take it anymore and stopped Ganga from drowning their young son begging for an explanation.


Ganga, set the child down and told her husband about the Vasus and their punishment.  How they were all cursed to be humans for one year and that by drowning them she was letting them return to their divine forms.  All except for Devavrata, who was destined to live a lifetime as a human and to whom divine power had been given from each child drowned.  She then told the king that she would be taking their son to be taught by eight of the greatest sages in the world, and then she would return him to the king, and he would never see her again.  With that Ganga and Devavrata vanished.

Ganga did as she vowed and had her son study with the sages.  He learned of Science, spirituality, virtue, and warfare.  Then before being returned to his father he was given divine weapons by the god Indra.  Finally, as a full grown man and warrior, Devavrata was returned to his father the king and made heir apparent to the throne.


The Oath of Devavrata

One day while walking the bank of the Ganges, the king, Shantanu, noticed the most fragrant perfume he had ever smelled.  Following it he came across a beautiful woman bathing in the river.  The woman was Satyavati, adopted daughter of the chief of a nearby village.  The king fell in love and begged the Chief for permission to marry Satyavati.  The Chief agreed upon the condition that her children would be the heir's to Shantanu's throne.


However, Shantanu had to refuse because Devavrata was his heir.  He went home and told his son about what had transpired.  Devavrata that night went to the village and promised the Chief that he would never seek the throne and if asked would refuse to be king.  However, this was not enough.  The chief said that if Devavrata ever had children they would be heir over the children of Satyavati.  So Devavrata made an oath that not only would he never seek or accept the throne himself, but that he would live out his life in celibacy and never father a single child.  This convinced the chief to agree to the marriage.

However, Devavrata was beloved by the people of Hastinapura for his wisdom, devoutness, his skill as an Archer, and his unmatched ability as a Warrior.  In order to quell the people's worries he promised the people that he would watch over and teach the heirs to the throne.  He would make sure they grew up to be great Rulers.  And so, from then on, because of his vow of celibacy, Devavrata become known as Bhishma, meaning "Terrible Oath."


The Story of Shikhandi Begins



In trying to keep to his promise to make sure his half siblings would grow up to be worthy of being rulers, Bhishma decided to abduct 3 princesses of the Kingdom of Kashi and have one of them marry his half brother Vichitravirya.  Among the princesses he kidnapped was Amba, the eldest daughter of the Kashi king who was already in love with a Saubala prince named  Salwa.  Prince Salwa set off in a daring attempt to rescue his beloved but was completely outmatched by the peer-less combat abilities of Bhishma.  He ended up retreating in shame and defeat.


Upon arriving back in Hastinapura, Amba made it clear to Bhishma that she wouldn't ever marry his half brother as she was deeply in love with Salwa.  So Bhishma sent her back to the man she loved and hoped to marry.  But, he turned her away, refusing to marry her.  He told her that Bhishma had won her in the battle and as such Bhishma was the only man she could ever marry.  Further, he informed her that he believed that she had happily ran off with Bhishma and for that he no longer loved her.  Distraught, Amba went back to Bhishma demanding that he marry her since he had ruined her relationship with the Prince.  But Bhishma refused saying that he could not marry her due to his oath of celibacy, and that there was nothing that could ever convince him break that oath.  This left Amba unable to ever get married.

Angry, Abandoned and alone, Amba sought out warriors to kill Bhishma for her, but since Bhishma was considered invinsible she found none who were either willing or able to kill Bhishma.  Failing to find a capable warrior she prayed to the God Shiva for help.  Shiva came to her and gave her a a wreath of ever fresh lotus flowers telling her the man who wore this wreath would be the bane of Bhishma.


She went to kingdom after kingdom begging for someone to take the wreath and kill Bhishma for her, but everyone feared the power of Bhishma.  Finally, she went to the King of Drupad and challenged every man there to take up her cause...but none would.  Overcome with feelings of defeat she hung the wreath upon the gates of the Palace and ran into the woods.  There she met aesthetics who told her to seek out Parashurama, the sixth avatar of Vishnu (and the very sage who had taught Bhishma the art of warfare as a child) for aid.  

Upon hearing her tale of broken love and how none would champion her, Parashurama took pity on her and decided to confront his former pupil.  He went up to Bhishma and told him that it was his duty to marry the woman; but Bhishma refused saying he would rather give up his life than his oath.  So Parashurama challenges Bhishma to battle and the two fight for 23 straight days before the gods come down demanding the two stop fighting and declaring the battle a draw.  Parashurama goes to Amba apologizing for not being able to defeat Bhishma and offers to talk to Salwa and try and get him to marry her instead.


She declines, saying that all love in her heart has turned to hate.  Amba explains that nothing but the death of Bhishma will satisfy her, and swears that no matter how many times she has to be reincarnated she WILL BE THE CAUSE OF BHISHMA's DEATH.  Giving up on the aid of mortals she once more prays to Shiva to grant her wish.  The god appears before her and tells her that he will grant her wish and that in her next life she will remember this life and will be the cause of Bhishma's death.  Pleased and unwilling to wait for rebirth, she sets a funeral pyre and commits suicide.

The Birth of Shikandi/Srikandi

Long after Amba's death, the King of Drupad sought to have an heir but was unable to.  He prayed to the gods and a divine voice told him that he would have a daughter but to raise her as if she was a man.  


Sure enough, the queen soon bore him a daughter and they named her Shikhandi (or in some translations Srikandi).  The king followed the voice's command and raised the girl as a boy eventually setting up an arranged marriage for his "son" with the daughter of another king.  However, when Shikhandi's bride found out that her fiancee was actually female she complained to her father causing strife between the two kingdom's.  Upset Shikhandi, wondered the palace grounds until she found a wreath of lotus, that Amba had hung on the gates years ago, and decided to put it on to cheer herself up.  The King saw this and feared that in addition to the trouble with the other kingdom that Shikhandi's marriage had caused, his daughter had now brought down the wrath of Bhishma.


Angry the King banished his daughter from his kingdom into the forest.  There, while wearing the wreath, the girl prayed to Shiva for help, which caused memories of her previous life as the Princess Amba to return to her.  With her memories restored she wondered why she had been reborn a woman and how she could possibly cause the death of her hated enemy Bhishma.  At this point Shiva had a male Yaksha, a benevolent nature spirit, appear before her.  The Yaksha agreed to trade genders with the girl and through the creatures magic Shikhandi became a man*. 


With that Shikhandi returned to Drupad and married his bride making peace between the two kingdoms and becoming a powerful warrior for the Kingdom of Drupad.

Eventually, he and his country would join the Kurukshetra War against Bhishma.  Here he was approached by the great warrior Arjuna.  Arjuna had heard Bhishma say that the only hope that anyone had of defeating him would be to find a woman to face him as his honor would not allow him to attack a woman.  Seeing as Shikhandi had been born a girl he thought Bhishma might not be willing to take up arms against him.  So the two took the battle field and upon seeing Shikhandi, Bhishma recognized him as the reincarnation of Amba, and threw his weapons down refusing to fight a woman.  At this point Arjuna jumped out from behind Shikhandi and fired all his arrows at Bhishma.


Falling down on a bed of arrow the warrior Bhishma finally died and Shikhandi had achieved his desire of causing the death of the mighty warrior.  Afterwards, Shikhandi sought out the Yaksha who had swapped genders with him to become a woman once again.  However, the Yaksha informed him that the king of Yaksha had found out about their trade and cursed the Yaksha to remain female until Shikhandi died leaving them both stuck.

And so it was, Shikhandi remained male until his death at the hands of the warrior Ashwatthama; at which point she finally returned to being a woman.

*In some versions of this myth, Shikhandi was born and remained a woman throughout her life.  She just so impressed those around her with her sheer skill that they treated her as a warrior and equal to any man.  But, I am going with the more transgender version of this myth for obvious reasons.

Last Edited By: Lost247365 Jun 17 16 4:13 AM. Edited 16 times.

Quote    Reply   

#11 [url]

Jun 6 16 1:41 PM

^ nice tale! xxx [2]

Your mind is software. Program it.

Your body is a shell. Change it.
Death is a disease. Cure it.
Extinction is approaching. Fight it!

© "Eclipse Phase" by Posthuman Studios

Quote    Reply   

#12 [url]

Jun 17 16 2:01 AM

Man into Woman: Arjuna/Brihannala

Today, I will continue my exploration of Hindu mythology with the tale of the Exile of Arjuna the hero of the Mahabharata.  

The Story of Arjuna


In our previous tale, we met a warrior named Arjuna as we recounted the tale of Shikhandi and his/her quest to defeat the Near immortal Bhishma.  However, would you be surprised to learn that Arjuna, himself once spent time as a woman?

Indeed.  So lets delve into this tale of transformation.

The Origin of the Panvada

As stated before, The Mahabharata is an epic poem detailing a war between two groups of cousin called the Kurukshetra War.  The first group of cousin were known as the Pandava.  This group was comprised of the five son of King Pandu of Hastinapur.  The other group was the Kauravas the 101 sons of Dhritarashtra, the blind half brother of Pandu.  Both Pandu and Dhritarashtra were half nephews of the Warrior Bhishma.

Arjuna was the "supposedly" the third acknowledged son of Pandu, but was in reality the son of the Hindu God Indra.  He along with the rest of the Pandava and the Kauravas were brought up together under the sage wisdom of Bhishma and the sage Drona.  They all grew up accomplishing great feats or great renown.


Eventually the question of succession comes before the cousins and it is decided to make Yudhishthira oldest of the Pandava and Duryodhana eldest of the Kaurayvas as the crown princes and split the kingdom in two.  The Kaurayvas inherit the land of Hastinapur while the Pandava ended up inheriting the land of Khandavaprastha.

Khandavaprastha, however, is a poor and undeveloped land.  So Arjuna and the Pandava end up having to rebuild the land.  During this time Arjuna (along with his cousin and companion Krisna) sets out to aid the Fire God Agni.  The god had come under a great hunger and needed to burn down a forest to sate his overwhelming appetite.  However, his every attempt at this feat was defeated because the Serpent King Takshaka dwelled there.  Takshaka was friends with the God Indra (Arjuna's father), and every time Agni attempted to burn down the forest, Indra would bring down torrents of rain to save his friends home.


Arjuna and Krishna aid Agni by challenging Indra to a battle while the fire god burned down the forest.  In the end they were successful in defeating Indra allowing Agni to burn down the entire forest and all but one of the demons living there.  The great demon architect Mayasura was the only demon spared by Arjuna.  In gratitude he built the Pandava a great palace for Arjuna's elder brother Yudhishthira.

This palace enraged Duryodhana, king of the Kaurayvas.  He went to his uncle Shakuni and together the two scheme a way to get rid of the Pandava and rule all of India.  They invite the Pandava to a game of dice where through treachery they manage to cheat Yudhishthira out of everything they owned.  The Panvada attempted one last game to win back all that they had lost, and were again cheated.  This time, however, the condition of their loss was that they were to be exiled from their lands for 13 years and during the last year if so much as one of them were ever heard of again they would be banished for 13 more years.

The Exile, the Curse, and the Ultimate Disguise 

For thirteen years the Panvada were exiled from their homes and lands.  During this time Arjuna engaged in many great feats and even traveled to Heaven to spend time in the Palace of his father, Indra.  There, Arjuna was allowed to learn the art of song and dance from the King of the Gandharva (nature spirits renowned world over for their musical abilities).  Eventually he was invited to partake in a gigantic banquet while getting to watch the beautiful cloud nymph Urvashi dance before him.  


Arjuna was entranced by the dance and sheer beauty of Urvashi.  He couldn't help but feel overwhelmed because not only was she beautiful but in the distant past she had mothered one of his ancestors.  Unfortunately, his father mistook this look of familial awe for one of lust and after the banquet asked Urvashi to go to his son and seduce him.  Urvashi had noticed Arjuna during the dance, and when asked to go to him was filled with feelings of deep desire.  However, upon coming to him, Arjuna turned her away!  As far as he was concerned she was like his mother due to his ancestory to her.  Even after she told him that as a divine being that it would be okay he refused.

Urvashi, the most beautiful of all nymphs, took this rejection as an insult and Cursed Arjuna to be woman* for the rest of his life.  Fortunately for Arjuna, Indra came to his aid and convinced the nymph to amend her curse to only last one year and to start at the time of Arjuna's choosing.  Thus, was Arjuna was able to turn a curse into a gift.  For during the last year of his exile he would have to remain in hiding and now he had the ultimate disguise.

So, upon entering the last year of his exile hiding in the Matsya Kingdom, he enacted the curse and became the maiden Brihannala.  From there he manages to enter the Court of the King Virāta and become the song and dance teacher for the king's daughter Uttarā for the Pandava's last year of exile.  (S)he grows close to the girl while teaching her the song and dance techniques he learned in Heaven from the Gandharva, and comes to see her as a daughter.  


Near the end of the year of Exile, the Pandava's enemy Duryodhana receives word that they are possibly hiding in Matsya.  After some scheming he decides he will convince the rival tribe of Trigarta to attack and steal all the cattle of the Matsya one day and then sending an army of his own to destroy Matsya the next.  

Sure enough, King Virāta falls for the trap and sends his entire army to retrieve the cattle after the Trigarta's attack leaving his kingdom Defenseless.  Upon learning that an enemy army is invading while the kingdom is without any warriors to defend them, the king's son, Uttar brashly decides that he will fend off the Kaurayvas on his own.  At the last moment, he is talked into bringing Brihannala as his Charioteer.

The War Begins

Once on the battlefield, the prince realizes that he has no chance of defeating the Kaurayvas on his own and attempts to flee.  However, he is blocked by Brihannala who takes up all his/her mystical weapons that he/she gained from a lifetime of epic feats and charges the army.  Single-handily she drives off the army and saves the Kingdom.  She and the Prince return to the palace where (with the year being cursed and of hiding now over) Brihannala reverts back into Arjuna before the King.  Learning of the true identity of the Panvada the king is so impressed with Arjuna that he offers him the hand of his daughter Uttarā .

Arjuna, due to viewing Uttarā as his own daughter, declines the proposal; but, offers instead that Uttarā marry his own son, Abhimanyu, The king and princess agree and the two are married.  Then Arjuna and the rest of the Panvada finally come out of hiding. With the aid of Krishna and their allies the Drupad kingdom, they raise an army and go to fight the Kaurayvas beginning the Kurukshetra war.


Arjuna from their goes on to fight and defeat his nigh-immortal former master Bhisma with the Help of the Drupad warrior Shikhandi and ultimately wipes all all 101 of the Kaurayvas and re-establishing his elder brother Yudhishthira as ruler of all of India.  Years later, Arjuna's grandson born from the marriage of Abhimanyu and Uttarā, goes on to succeed Yudhishthira as King.


*Most versions of this myth have Arjuna turn into a Eunuch.  However, some versions say he became a woman.  Either way, he lived as a woman and with the other women of the palace.

Last Edited By: Lost247365 Jun 17 16 4:03 AM. Edited 4 times.

Quote    Reply   

#13 [url]

Jun 17 16 3:41 AM

The Enchanted Spring Al-Zahra

Salaam and good evening dear readers.  If you will let me, I would like to take you from the jungles of India to the Searing Deserts of the Middle East!


The Anthology series "One Thousand and One Nights" when it was released revolutionized the West's understanding of the Middle Eastern Culture and Mythology.  Who here hasn't heard of Sinbad the Sailor or Ali Baba and his fourty theives?  And above all who hasn't heard of the Chinese Thief Aladdin and his wondrous lamp!

Oh, how many Crossdreamers have turned to these stories in one way or another when crafting their fantasies.  How many men have become women (or women have become men) in the stories found on the databases at Fictionmania?  Surely it is beyond count.

Yet, there is not a single story of a Genie transforming anyone into the opposite sex found in 1001 Arabian Nights.  Not only that, with the rise of fundamentalism, theocracy, and theonomy in certain countries in the Middle East, who would ever suspect that there would be a myth about gender change outside of that context?  But, that is exactly the case with our next story!  

I present to you, from the 6th Volute of 1001 Nights, "The Enchanted Spring"

The Spring of Al-Zahra


This story begins with a Sultan of an arabian kingdom had his one and only son.  He greatly cared for this son and when he was old enough he arranged his son to marry a beautiful princess of a nearby kingdom.  Unbeknownst to either of them, the princess had a cousin who was deeply in love with her.  Jealous and full of hate he wrote to the Wazer of the Sultan and Prince and offered him immense riches if he would aid him in killing or getting rid of the prince.


The Wazir, agreed to help the jealous noble and began to craft a plan to do away with the Prince.  The wazir remembered hearing about an enchanted spring found between the two kingdoms called Al-Zahra.  This spring would turn any who drank from it into a woman.  It would be the perfect solution.  So when the day came for the prince to travel to the other kingdom the wazir accompanied him.  Along the way the Wazir informed the prince about a spring nearby.  Hot and thirsty the prince decided to follow his adviser and have a drink.

Once at the Spring, the young royal drank vigorously.  Then, without warning he transformed into a young woman.  Horrified he asked the Wazir what had happened and (s)he should do between sobs?  The Wazir told the prince that (s)he should wait here and that he would go and inform her/(his) father of what happened.  So, the wazir left the prince in the desert to return to the king gleeful at having earned his reward.


The prince, however, was a devout man and (s)he remained at the spring and prayed to allah.  After 3 days a figure found her at the spring and asked what had happened.  Instantly the man knew what had happened.  The man introduced himself as the Prince of Jinn and told the female prince the name of the spring and its power.  Further, he told her that (s)he had been betrayed by her wazir.  However, the Jinn informed her that he could restore her to her former male form if (s)he came with him.  She agreed and the magic steed of the Jinn Prince took them away at a speed beyond comprehension.  In the course of one nights travel they travailed more than a years worth of travel made by normal men.

The Jinn to the Prince to the Palace of the King of Jinn and bade her to eat with him and relax there till nightfall.  That morning the two mounted the Jinn's horse and traveled once more.  This time to a dark and forboding land full of black rocks and stones.  There the Jinn took the prince to a spring and told her to drink.  Upon drinking from the spring she was once more restored to being a man.  Overcome with joy the prince prayed to allah once more thanking him for his blessing.  The Jinn then returned with the prince to the Jinn's palace where they ate and stayed for the night.  The next day the Jinn Prince called forth an Ifrit and had the creature take the Prince post haste to the Palace of his fiancee.


The Ifrit deposited the Prince on top of the palace to the amazement of the neighboring Kingdom's Sultan.  He asked the prince to tell him his tale of how he came to the top of his palace and learned of all the prince had been through.  The Sultan decided to have a  feast and have the Prince and Princess married then and there.  The princess' cousin overcome with jealousy died within a fortnight and the two lived happily ever after.

And, if you want to read this story in full it is public domain and here is a link to a couple of sites hosting it:


Last Edited By: Lost247365 Jun 17 16 3:59 AM. Edited 2 times.

Quote    Reply   

#14 [url]

Jul 3 16 8:02 PM

Male to Female: Calogerant

Sir Calogrenant

Some of the most enduring and beloved myths found in Western Europe are those of King Arthur and his Knights of the Round Table.  These myths were so popular in their time that they inspired numerous authors to craft their own stories of the various knights of the Round table.  These stories are called Arthurian Romances and could be considered one of the first examples of fan fiction.

Not surprisingly, some of these Romances involved stories of men and women changing sex and gender.  In particular, the French Arthurian Romance, "Claris et Laris" features such a transformation befalling Calogrenant, a knight of the round table.

Calogrenant is the Cousin of Sir Ywain and therefore a nephew of his notorious mother, Morgan Le Fay.  Sir Calogrenant was originally presented as a foil to Sir Kay, King Arthur's foster Brother.  Where Sir Kay is a great warrior known for being rude, insulting and boorish; Sir Calogrenant is polite, respectful, and the most inept of all of King Arthur's knights.  He often ends up embarrassing his cousin who has to go out and avenge his cousin for his losses in battle.


This particular romance begins with Sir Calogrenant having been sent on a quest to find the Knight Laris.  During this quest he comes upon an enchanted castle while he is in Denmark.  He is unaware that entering the castle evokes a curse on him that will transform him to be like the first living thing he sees.  It just so happens he sees a damsel when leaving the castle and is transformed into a woman.


Supposedly, he is so small as a woman that he is swamped by his own armor.  He is then informed by a local knight about the curse, and how the only way to return to his original form is to find the world's three greatest Knights, Sir Laris (who he is already searching for), Sir Claris, and Sir Guavain.  Then, three maidens come to help him out of the armor and dress him in an ermine trimmed dress/robe.  While dressed like this a local lord sees his and hits upon the Knight.  Calogrenant politely declines and says he must continue his quest.


Since he is now a woman they insist that it is no longer appropriate for him to ride his destrier, a war horse, and force him to ride a Palfrey instead.  Later on, he would encounter King Arthur's son Mordred who attempts to rape him, but Calogrenant manages to escape his advances and actually ride off on Mordred's own horse.  Ultimately, being a woman aids Calogrenant, as he ends up before the Court of King Tallas to deliver a message and is told that were he a man, they would never allow him to leave.


In the end, he finds the three knights and Calogrenant is restored to his original forum.  The romance then follows on the adventures of Claris and Laris.


A webcomic based upon this myth but where Calogrenant is transgender and chooses to remain female:

Last Edited By: Lost247365 Jul 3 16 8:21 PM. Edited 3 times.

Quote    Reply   

#17 [url]

Jul 31 16 8:08 PM

Thank you!

I do love mythology and it was one of the first places I turned when I started crossdreaming in my adolescence.  This has been a work of love and I am glad to know you like it.

That said, I am Sorry that I haven't done any updates in a while, but I have been busy with other pursuits.  I do have a few more tales, but not enough to warrant another post yet.  I guess I am starting to scratch the bottom of the Barrel, though I would love to find some from other parts of the world.  Like central and southern Africa, East Asia, and from the Americas.

If I find some good ones, I will add them!

Quote    Reply   

#18 [url]

Jul 31 16 9:55 PM

(Picture 1) 

(Picture 2)

We must think alike, Lost.  I was just going to add to this thread when you posted ahead of me.  Ok, this one is from my religion (East Asia).  

Since I started thinking about world figures through cross- and transgender motifs, I've been obsessed with 
Avalokiteśvara (picture 2).  I cannot even pronounce this name, but no matter, because this Buddhist "god" figure is the same as the name I was brought up to know, Guanyin (picture 1).  When I was younger, I had gone to a Buddhist temple with my mother at one time, and I remember us staring at a statue of Guanyin.  A temple nun passed by and I had my mother ask why the statue was dressed so inappropriately (picture 1).  I mean, celibate female deities in most world cultures are usually clad from head to toe, yet the statue in picture 1 is dressed loosely with a lot of skin exposed, most noticiby a straight chest.  (When I visited the Vatican, the God squad looked women over to make sure that they were covered up in the legs.  I passed because I'm so modest.  I know, bragging now.)  Well, the Buddhist nun introduced me to the story that Guanyin was originally a MAN who became a woman according to East Indian mythology.  In India, this bodhisattva (successful Buddhist follower) is a man (see picture 2)! (Notice how the string ornament crosses his left nipple - in half male/half female Indian deities, the woman is usually on the left - as if to cover up the female for modesty maybe -  and just almost by chance, the string drapes over the genitals as to not reveal the gender).  Avalokiteśvara is not a half and half being, but somehow, either he could turn himself into a woman, or some cultures decided that a compassionate enlightened peaceful being is better off depicted as a woman. The gender changing part of the tale stuck with me, obviously.  I plan to devote the rest of my life to following the tales of this deity and life in religious orders (though not becoming a nun).  

Quote    Reply   

#19 [url]

Aug 1 16 1:20 AM

Thank you Jen. This is very interesting.

There is another version of the Guanyin or Kwan Yin  myth, that simply states that she is one of the many incarnations of the Buddha.  In this versio n she was a beautiful Indian princess who forsook marriage and the good life to live in a convent in order to become a truly enlightened human being, or bodhisattva. 

As is often the case in myths, both versions are likely to be "true" in a spiritual sense. Your version brings in a new dimension that I like very much.

I have seen quite a few statues of Guanyin travelling in Asia, and I see some similarities to the Catholic devotion to the Virgin Mary, as they are both treated as  "goddesses" of compassion.

More on Kwan Yin here.


Quote    Reply   

#20 [url]

Aug 1 16 6:37 PM

Thank you for your response, Jack.  I have more to contribute to this thread, but first, I want to add to Lost's chapter 3 with regards to Hermaphroditus.  I found some pictures of statues of intersex people (as Hermaphroditus would have looked).  Check it out, girls.     

This mattresses was a sculpted out of marble.  It looks sooooo soft.  Oh, here's another Hermaphroditus.  

Quote    Reply   
Add Reply

Quick Reply

bbcode help