The student of Thelema often jumps to the conclusion that they are hermaphroditic in thought, similar to disregarding the orthodox understandings of True Will before they seek to find their True Will. It serves no practical use for the aspirant to perceive himself as Baphomet before understanding the nature and powers of his own being. Hidden within his/her subconscious mind are often repressed emotions regarding the gender and sexual orientation he/she was prescribed early in childhood.
In objective reality there is no difference and this is made clear; every man and every woman is a star.
Within every star, there lies the same structure representing different parts of the mind and higher self; Man and Scarlet Woman reside in the ruach, their relationship symbolic of the self receving unconditional love and Desire from parents and learning how to exercise his/her reason from external experience, resulting in ethical understanding and Splendour from his environment. Both are equally complimentary, although presenting the first representative interplay of active/passive roles within the self. His/her Desire motivates his/her reason, and similarly his/her reason allows his/her growth of Splendour. The HGA at this developmental stage is still hidden to the student; the ego is what mediates the id and the superego.
With the transcendence beyond the Veil of Paroketh within the self comes also the chance for selection. The Beast is the conscious mind that contains the potential to select, block, and filter that which it seeks to manifest, hence his relation to Chaos. Babalon is the subconscious mind which has the potential to attract that which the Beast selects, given he has not constricted it himself with lust of result. She “gives her love freely to all men” meaning she is neutral in preference to all goals of the Beast. That which the conscious mind represses will seep into the subconscious, giving the appearance of Babalon as the source of emotion, the feminine aspect in life.
Here is where the mundane man/woman receives the first mystery concerning the work of magick. If he/she is to exercise too much reason (666/2) then he/she inadvertently constricts the subconscious mind by anticipation, and his/her goal will not manifest until he/she de-localizes his/her mind by use of the Universal Solvent; gnosis. After he/she acquires Knowledge and Conversation with his/her HGA, True Will becomes the mediator between these two aspects of self.
The ultimate Joy is in the Beast’s surrender into Babalon; and this is portrayed by a man’s absolute trust and fragility towards his partner, she in accepting and loving him regardless of any and all accretions. She allows his Joy, and His Joy becomes Hers.
Although we are all one part Beast and one part Babalon, it is so often overlooked to acknowledge the reality of one’s own biological sex. It is self-evident that in reality there are two sexes but there are now a wider selection of genders. All genders and its prescribed sexual orientations are the result of social programming, unnatural but are deeply rooted in the ego due to early psychological reinforcement. The male is encouraged to perceive himself as a man, and the female is encouraged to perceive herself as a woman, which then leads to social prescribed sexual orientations. This is why it is difficult to strip the ego and our identification with gender. In order to achieve Knowledge and Conversation of the HGA, one must refine the ego by stripping it of all accretions and self-concepts. It is also dangeous to assume the position of absolute gender neutrality before taking the steps to resolve any subconscious restrictions that may arise during the Work.
It then becomes crucial to the development of True Will to surrender the ego–firstly by accepting the sex you were born with and its socially reinforced gender-roles and sexual orientation, second by understanding and embodying that function using the system of Thelema.
A man (that identifies with his biological sex) should strive to develop his Beast to find union with Babalon, and a woman (that identifies with her biological sex) should learn to surrender her Beast to embody Babalon.
The Thelemic structure of having Therion/Babalon, Hadit/Nuit is therefore clearly useful in utilizing the fundamental roles attributed to the two sexes. The goal of the aspirant therefore, is to transmute the societal gender roles into these transcendental Thelemic associations, firstly for Man and Scarlet Woman, to Beast and Babalon, whereby they can unite in Joy and also come to understand both these functions within themselves as Hadit/Nuit combined in Baphomet.
I:29. For I am divided for love’s sake, for the chance of union.
As society stands today, with the exceptions of few, man has yet to overcome his ego by relinquishing his concept of power, and women cannot yet allow themselves to love freely outside the bounds of social reinforcement.
These are the natural steps to acknowledge and eliminate the parts of the ego which have arisen from society’s gender accretions. It is pseudo-Thelemic to ignore this simple fact of society. We do not yet live in a society where complete gender-fluidity is accepted by all and therefore will be subjected to labeling based upon physical appearance, which then influences our psyche whether we are conscious of it or not. We are born and programmed by gender regardless of how hermaphroditic we may consider our thoughts. Only once the Thelemite has been absolved and united by his own forces, can he/she then decide which mask of self to reveal to the world as a King.
II:58. Yea! deem not of change: ye shall be as ye are, & not other. Therefore the kings of the earth shall be Kings for ever: the slaves shall serve. There is none that shall be cast down or lifted up: all is ever as it was. Yet there are masked ones my servants: it may be that yonder beggar is a King. A King may choose his garment as he will: there is no certain test: but a beggar cannot hide his poverty.