The word Yoni is a Sanskrit word. Translated, it means womb, origin, source, and vulva. It is also known as the divine passage or sacred temple. The Yoni consists of the entire female genital system. Many of us have chosen to use the word Yoni in preference to vagina as it offers us the opportunity to reclaim the sacredness and power of our sexuality as women, as goddesses. The Yoni is where we find Shakti, the universal creative energy.
A woman’s yoni has been worshipped all over the world. In India the yoni is worshipped as the sacred symbol of the Divine Feminine, referred to as the Devi, the Great Goddess, the source of life, the Universal Womb.
Since the beginning of time, we have created artistic expression for the forces of creation. We see Yoni symbolism as a part of spiritual traditions all over the world. We see the Yoni in naturally occurring rock formations, in Hindu temples, in early Celtic sheela-na-gig carvings as well as images in Japanese ritual. We see it in folk tales, in alchemy, in Tantric practices and in contemporary art.
For those of us who practice pagan traditions, we are entering the season of Beltane, the season of the blossoming Earth. Festivals and traditions focus on fertility, creativity and sexuality. Within Goddess Traditions this season is the perfect time for honoring our sexuality as women. I recently attended a small women’s festival here in Austin and presented a Yoni Blessing Rite in the temple. Our theme for the weekend was honoring our women’s bodies. Much of this rite consists of sacred texts from eastern traditions. I offer it to you here, for it is something you may do for yourself if you wish.
We begin by inviting Kameshvaari.
Kameshvari, renowned Goddess of Desire, we welcome you to this sacred space. As the Yoni of Mahadevi, You are recognized as not only the form of desire but also as the very source of our desires. You are also the One who grants our desires. You are desire itself, as well as its fulfillment.
Woman is the creator of the universe,
the universe is her form;
woman is the foundation of the world,
she is the true form of the body.
Whatever form she takes,
whether the form of a woman or man,
In woman is the form of all things,
of all that lives and moves in the world.
There is no jewel rarer than woman,
no condition superior to that of a woman.
There is not, nor has been, nor will be
any destiny to equal that of a woman.
There is not, nor has been, nor will be
any holy place like unto a woman.
There is no prayer to equal a woman.
There are not, nor has been, nor will be
any riches more valuable than woman.
Saktisangama Tantra (edited)
The desire aroused by seeing the Yoni never dies.
The Yoni is named the mysterious female,
and the doorway of the mysterious female
is the base from which heaven and earth sprang,
It is there with us all the while.
Draw upon it as you will, it never runs dry.
Ma-wang Tui texts of the I-Ching edited
Her lap is the holy altar, her hair, the sacred grass; the lips of her Yoni are the fire in the middle.
From Brhad Aranyika Upanishad
Imagine that your body is in the form of the Wisdom Goddess, naked, and with hair flowing. Imagine yourself as her, in the center of an emergence of light, holding an elixir bowl close to her heart with garlands of red flowers.
Think to yourself that the Goddess enters you through your open Yoni and resides in your heart.
Then imagine the Wisdom Goddess above the crown of your head, having just shared in the act of love. She is naked, with disheveled hair, and her Yoni is moist and overflowing with sexual secretions. Her eyes are filled with erotic emotion and look toward the vast expanse of sky, which as she begins to dance, becomes filled with similar forms of herself.
Black Hat sect, a branch of the Karma Kagyu edited
She hands you a small symbol (a cowry shell). She places it in your hand. It is lovely. You look closely and behold a symbol of your sacred Yoni – the divine symbol of woman – the Holy Altar of Life.
May it always remind you of your power as woman. May it always be for you, a symbol of the sacredness of life.
Let us all now bless and consecrate our symbols of divine love.
Take your Yoni symbol in your hand, touch it to your third eye and say these words…
I bless and consecrate this Yoni symbol with the gift of my all seeing eye – with my wisdom vision that I may see clearly and share myself fully when I chose.
Now, place the Yoni symbol close to your heart and say these words …
I bless this Yoni symbol with the gift of my love, may I be open to love in all my life.
Now place the Yoni symbol at the solar plexus and say these words…
I share the power of my will so that I may be empowered with strength of purpose. May I trust my instincts and be strong in my resolve.
Finally, place the Yoni symbol close to your own Yoni, your own sacred Altar and say these words …
This is my powerful center of creation, my own life giving force. This is my Holy Sacred Altar! When I choose to share of this energy, it is a gift given freely – never taken – but given in love.
May the power of creation bless and consecrate this symbol for holy use, as I freely choose.
So Mote It Be!
Kameshvari, renowned Goddess of Desire, we thank you for being with us this day. May we bless and sanctify your gift of desire in our lives each day. May we always honor you at our own holy altar.