“The Castration of Agdistis” by Ruby Wolfe


(gr. Ágdistis)

in Phrygian mythology androgynous (see ANDROGYNE) demonic entity. She was born from the ➚ Zeus’ semen, which fell on the rock (or which the god put near the rock) of Agdo that was considered being the embodiment of ➚ Cybele.

Gods (or ➚ Dionysus) deprived Agdistis of her male genitalia. From the demon’s ripped phallus (or blood) the almond (or pomegranate) tree grew. Nana, daughter of the river god Sangarius, placed its fruit on her bosom, thus becoming pregnant, and gave birth to ➚ Attis, who was known of his extraordinary beauty. Agdistis fell in love with the man but stroke him with insanity, because he intended to marry the daughter of ➚ Midas, king of Pessinus. In the act of madness Attis castrated himself and died. Agdistis mourning was so strong that prevented the decomposition of her lover’s corpse, which even gave signs of life. She buried him anyway in Pessinus and found the college of the priests of Attis (later known as Galli, gállos) and a festival to his honour [1,2]. Another variant of the name: Angdistis (gr. Ángdistis).


[1] A r n o b., Adver. nat., V, 5; V, 12 f.; [2] P a u s., I, 4, 5; VII, 17, 9, ff.