When I was a young girl, the Spice Girls were the most popular female band in the world. I had their poster hanging on my bedroom wall and their song lyrics plastered to the walls of my mind. Most sexual innuendos and provocative overtones flew right past me. What stuck to me most was the sense of feminine empowerment.
I was also a huge fan of the Powerpuff Girls, a Cartoon Network trio of sisters who are known for kicking ass and taking names. My personal favorite was Buttercup, the toughest, most aggressive of the three (RE: the obvious wild woman archetype).
Back in those days, I would often rock a itty-bitty t-shirt with, "GIRL POWER!" scribbled across the chest.
I guess you could say I've been a feminist since early on. But I have not consistently treated my body, my feminine essence, with the type of reverence that this bold statement inspires. While I have always believed in the idea of equality and empowerment, I have also struggled with modern feminine issues like eating disorders, low self esteem, and bullying. There have been times in my life where I have been at war with my body and my femininity.
The toxic relationship I had with myself is a microcosmic example of our larger culture's abusive relationship towards the divine feminine. The conventional, modern way of life is built upon the premise that we can outsmart nature through manipulation. Just as patriarchal society has so long repressed, controlled, and enslaved the bodies of millions of women and girls, so has it repressed, controlled, and enslaved the sacred feminine. As modern culture sanitizes, plasticizes, commercializes, and exploits the body of our Mother Earth, so do we sanitize, plasticize, commercialize, and exploit our own bodies.
And I say this not to bash or demean the masculine. Each individual contains both feminine and masculine. I know the divine masculine to be really beautiful. However, we have arrived at an age where many of the worlds institutions function from an authoritarian, hyper masculine, aggressive, power-by-force paradigm. This includes science, religion, politics, education, health care, food systems, economics, environment. There is an imbalance in the system. In our modern culture, power over nature is a rule, not an exception. This goes for our bodies as well... especially our lady parts.
Over 20% of American women use hormonal birth control, actively dosing their bodies with synthetic hormones meant to control their natural menstrual cycle by mimicking the bodies response to pregnancy. This year thousands of western women already have elected to go through plastic surgery to modify the natural beauty of their vaginas. Over 8000 women and girls in Africa and the Middle East have been forced to undergo a painful and dangerous female circumcision procedure in the past 24 hours alone. To manage their menstrual cycle, the average American woman will use more than 11,000 tampons or pads in her lifetime. This practice regularly exposes the most sensitive and absorbent tissues in the body to synthetic materials, genetically modified ingredients, and toxic chemicals. And many women use manufactured lubricants to cover up a symptom of lost succulence without ever actually addressing its root cause, opening their bodies to harmful petrochemicals and preservatives.
In the wake of madly trying to outsmart nature, we are now left with skyrocketing rates of female cancers, mental illness, and infertility. Our quest to outsmart nature is slowly and methodically killing off our yoni power.
I say NO MORE! The time has come to fully embrace and embody this latent, yet incredibly potent, power.
And what exactly does "yoni power" mean?
Yoni is a Sanskrit word that originates from the ancient lands of India. The word is not only used for the vagina and womb, but it also refers more generally to the goddess, the divine feminine, and the source of all life.
Vaginas have long been symbols of worship and reverence. The vagina is the sacred passageway, the gateway between the worlds, the entrance to the magical. The upside town triangle, an ancient representation of the yoni, is the creative matrix of the cosmos and the primordial mother. It is the point of origin, the nest, and the eternal vessel.
Yoni power is to love our vaginas, refusing to manipulate it for the sake of convenience and potentially harmful cultural norms.
It is to consciously choose to recover the physical feminine form and the feminine Earth body as sacred.
It is to honor our innate wisdom and interconnectedness with everything.
It is to reconsider how we relate with our own femininity, our sisters, and ourselves.
I truly believe that there is no need to outsmart nature, because nature does not make mistakes. Like the rest of our wild nature, our bodies and our yonis are incredibly efficient self-regulating, self-managing, self-cleaning systems. Douching and deodorizing, plugging up and surgically "enhancing," ignoring and manipulating... Let us stop the madness!
Women have a right to question the messages they receive from society, from politicians, from our teachers, from men, from other women. Girls' self esteem shine when they are nurtured to be accepting, forgiving, and loving towards their bodies and their sexuality. Human beings gain a sense of connection and harmony when we honor and work with our own natural cycles, as well as the rhythmic cycles of the Earth. Our lives become imbued with a sense of the sacred when we venerate the yoni and the female form.
The 14th Dalai Lama said that the world will be saved by the western woman. I think he may be onto something. And I believe the way we start saving the world is by first saving ourselves. The time has come to reclaim our yoni power.
For truly at its core, yoni power is the embodiment of the divine feminine: the receptive, the reflective, the sensual, and the creative. It is the living, breathing, female archetype: the maiden, mother, crone, wild woman, medicine woman, seductress, the protectress. Yoni power is the integration of mind, body, and spirit. It is turning towards the darkness, the shadow, and the great mystery. It is power-with nature and the deep well of intuition. Yoni power knows the strength in community and in sisterhood.
Yoni power is what's needed to save this beautiful world.
In the words of the great wild woman Betty White,
And in the words of the great wild woman Betty White,
What does "yoni power" mean to you? Do you fully embody your yoni power? What are your yoni power practices? How have you witness yoni power making a comeback?