Historically, the Egyptian view of life after death has been examined based on its spiritual and religious merit. There are other aspects of Egyptian culture, however, that lead us to believe that gender and sexual androgyny played a massive role in their religious practices. Ancient creation myths, such as the stories of Atum’s phallic creation and the separation of Nut and Geb, hint towards a more sexually ambiguous Egypt, created by gender switching gods. In addition, the astronomy of the time pointed towards the center of the universe as being both a masculine and feminine entity; this is embodied in the constellation Ursa Major, whose shape is that of a bull’s foreleg. Perhaps the most outstanding evidence of Egyptian sexuality, however, is their belief of gender reversal after death. Based on the outside of ancient sarcophagi, the common conviction was that a woman was transfigured into a man just before she entered the world of the dead. Therefore, the reversal of gender was a facet of Egyptian life, the center of their physical universe, and the epitome of death itself.
Dawson, Ashley N. Ms.
"Reversal of Gender in Ancient Egyptian Mythology: Discovering the Secrets of Androgyny,"
Oglethorpe Journal of Undergraduate Research:
1, Article 2.
Available at: http://digitalcommons.kennesaw.edu/ojur/vol1/iss1/2