The word yoni is the Sanskrit word for vagina – but it also has a much deeper meaning. Yoni is source or creation – it is the divine passage, womb or sacred temple.
Hindus believe the yoni is an abstract representation of the creative force that moves through the entire universe. Yoni is celebrated as the sacred, creative power of nature and represents the goddess Shakti - divine feminine creative power, or ‘The Great Divine Mother.’ And on the earthly plane, Shakti (energy) actively manifests through female creativity and fertility.
Of course, Hindu culture has long celebrated the goddess and holds great admiration for the powerful and exotic nature of the feminine. Often Hindu statues and images do not hide the female body, but instead celebrate it, and include the body (and all of it’s ‘parts’) as a natural facet of the art itself.
But the celebrations don’t stop there. In Shaktism the yoni is celebrated and worshipped during the Ambubachi Mela, an annual fertility festival held in June, in India, which attracts upwards of 100,000 (male and female) pilgrims per day. There is also Yoni Puja, a sacred ritual that goes back thousands of years and still practiced today, where many homes and temples create an altar to worship the yoni as the source and seat of life. (see photos)
So how is it that one culture exalts the vagina while the other exploits it?
While women are certainly respected in American culture, our bodies are still held to critical standards. These embellished standards lead us to have shame around our bodies – and particularly around the yoni itself. Our mainstream art is censored and it seems anytime a vagina is featured, it is in a vulgar or suggestive light. The West created whole industries and media empires not to celebrate the sacred center of the feminine, but to exploit sex for men. And add to that the problem of manufactured products and services from scented douches, v-dazzled jewels, and creative waxing patterns…all commercial efforts created under the guise of making this area more “appealing” — as if it wasn’t good enough in its organic form.
For years society has cast a complex on how women should view their sexuality, in particularly, their vaginas. We’ve allowed society to give our vaginas a foreign voice. Instead of embracing it as magnificent, sacred creation, we are unsure of it – or even ashamed of it.
Just as we store tension in our shoulders and backs, we store emotional imprints in the lower regions of our body. Any negative, painful, or uncomfortable experiences you may have had towards your vagina is stored in the genital tissue. This impedes our ability to fully experience confidence, pleasure in general, and creativity.
Thus, many women are struggling to embody feminine qualities because we don’t have role models or a healthy point of reference. It is time for western women to connect themselves to an empowering feminism, one that celebrates our femininity and the yoni, and the sacred power of creation that it holds. It’s about recognizing ourselves as sacred beings. When we come into that knowingness, and are free of all forms of shame, we are more free to be bold, to fulfill our missions and to be part of the healing force for all of the planet.
Within the Yoni is the origin of the worlds, the Gods and all living beings. – Vedas
And please don’t miss this video – our inspiration for this article. The lovely Reena Desai from FeminineAwakening.com beautifully explaining the power of the yoni and it’s sacred, fertile, creative power. We are in awe of her ability to deliver this message so beautifully and think you will be as well.
Isn’t refreshing to completely turn an old belief around by seeing it with a new cultural perspective? Does this subject make you uncomfortable? (Us too, but we admire and are grateful to those who are helping us gain more consciousness around this cultural issue.)
If you enjoyed this article, you may also enjoy this piece on Egyptian Goddess Ma’at – Goddess of Divine Principles of Truth, Justice and Righteousness.