Bodies of the Human Being
The four ‘normal’ bodies of the human being are the physical, the ethereal, the astral, and the psyche.
The physical body is the lowest body into which we incarnate. All second- and third-density beings live life in one. However, it is ultimately contained and projected into existence by the higher ‘bodies’.
The ethereal body is what keeps us alive; without it, we would be mere masses of dead physical matter. It serves as an ‘uplink’ to the higher bodies.
The astral body, according to Rudolf Steiner, is the seat of ordinary consciousness and the source of normal emotion. This is where our feelings and impressions thrive and originate.
The psyche is the core of being; the lower spirit or soul of a being. It is where thought exists, and is a mediator between the lower bodies and the higher mental and causal bodies as well as the Spirit or Monad, the highest point of existence. In most people, the psyche is still developing and the mental body, causal body, and Spirit/Monad are embryonic, but accessible by esoteric work.
The psyche, mental body, causal body, and Monad are genderless. One living in the egoic, mental, causal, or spiritual/monadic planes is effectively agender.
Transgenderism and the Astral Body
However, the astral body, being the source of most emotion, is gendered by its own nature. Just because the physical body possesses one biological sex does not mean that the astral body has a ‘corresponding’ gender.
When a soul incarnates into a body, it carries astral energies with it. These astral energies include gender, one of the most powerful and resilient energies in the astral body, according to Hermetic tradition.
A weak astral gender will generally cause the incarnate person to become a transgender person who is comfortable in vis own body and who does not desire hormone therapy. A moderately stronger astral gender may cause the person to be a ‘non-op’ transgender person who desires hormone therapy, regardless of identity. A strong astral gender will cause the incarnate person to seek out not only hormone therapy, but also surgery if possible.
This is because stronger astral energies influence the etheric body to greater and greater extents. The same is true of sexuality.
I speak as both a transgender person and an esotericist. I hope you can understand my ideas.
(Note: Originally written 2015-11-28. Revised 2016-02-02 with new terms.)