Myth and Medicine II

Hello everyone, I’m back. We embarked on this exciting journey the last time and we are still on the train. Last time, we visited Oedipus and found out about his death and why he was named a complex. This week, we are doing something different. Something better? I don’t know, you decide that yourself. Again, Stay tuned and enjoy


Hermaphroditus was born to Hermes and Aphrodite but he was not raised by his parents. Instead, he resided at Mount Ida, a sacred mountain in present-day Turkey, where he was nursed by nymphs. He was incredibly handsome and knew that he could conquer the world with just his looks. So at the young age of fifteen, he began to travel the world around him. He visited Lycia and Caria.

While in Caria, he explored a patch of woods near Halicarnassus. He came across a pool and discovered a nymph named Salmacis. Salmacis was immediately overtaken with lust for the boy because of his good looks. She tried to seduce Hermaphroditus but he rejected her advances.

When Hermaphroditus thought Salmacis had left, he undressed and entered the pool to bathe. But Salmacis had been hiding behind a tree. She suddenly jumped out and quickly entered the pool. She wrapped her body tightly around the boy while kissing him. Hermaphroditus struggled to get away but was unable to.

Salmacis called out to the gods and asked that they make it so the two could never part. The gods granted her wish but in a way that Salmacis might not have even expected. Their bodies were blended, becoming one being of both sexes, with female breasts, legs, and facial features combined with the genitalia of a man.

Hermaphroditus was grief-stricken. His good looks were gone and he now faced stigma and rejection from the world. As a way to lessen his pain, he asked his parents to curse the pool so that anyone who entered would be transformed just as he was. They agreed, and Hermaphroditus became the god of hermaphrodites and effeminates.

Okay, I enjoyed that way more than the last one. I don’t know about you people but I love how determined Salmacis was. I know you cannot wait for the next one. I just know it. But, sadly, this is where I will stop for the week. It is another story next time. Stay in touch and stay alert! BYEEE!

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