As you get more acquainted with your Named One, take a look at how She’s shown up in nature, religious and spiritual traditions and art. These are images taken from the book, The Yoni: Sacred Symbol of Female Creative Power by Rufus C. Camphausen. “Yoni” is the Sanskrit word for female genitalia, the source of life. It’s counterpart is the Lingam, the phallus.
Notice, as you pay more and more attention to your Named One, which stage you are in (we all go through most all of these stages): disgusted, numb, indifferent, interested, celebratory, awe, reverent.
1. Natural rock formation!
2. The “lips” of this natural rock formation in the southern California desert were painted before the site was used for initiation ceremonies for the girls and women of the indigenous Kemeyaay tribe.
3. Natural rock carving!
4. A unique altar of the goddess, clearly designed for the practice of Yoni Puja. This eighth-century stone sculpture clearly showe the rim where the libations poured upon the Yoni would collect.
5. Another natural rock formation used as a place of worship in the US. this one can be found on the Crawford Ranch in California’s San Diego County.
6. In this unique Japanse terra cotta, the Buddha is seen meditating in front of, and perhaps, about, the Golden Gate, a Chinese term for the Yoni. Although it may be surprising to many contemporary Buddhists, this sculpture conveys the same message as a passage from the Condamaharosana Tantra, wherein the Buddha is quoted as having said, “Take refuge in the yoni of an esteemed woman.”
7. Most famous among all the sheelas is this stunning stone carving from the church at Kilpeck, Herefordshire. By opening her vulva as wide as possible, this figure seems to show us where we come from and, perhaps, to invite us back into her womb once life comes to an end.
8. In this fifteenth-century painting, the artist has embedded Mary and her divine child within a madorla, a universal symbol of the Goddess and the Yoni.
9. Georgia O’Keefe’s GRay Line With Black, Blue and Yellow (c. 1923) is as beautiful as it is suggestive.
10. This beautiful wood carving from southern India shows a woman menstruating, most likely during a ritual celebration in which this specific female energy was both venerated and absorbed by the practitioners.
11. Fascination as well as a feeling of inferiority are depicted in artist Gottfeild Helnwein’s surreal work Lulu (1988), an imagery harking back to prehistoric times.
12. For his time, Gustave Courbet’s Origin of the World (1866) (L’Origine du Monde) was a daringly realistic and explicit work of art. Although his title suggests a respectful stance toward the Yoni, his contemporaries could not but regard this as pornography.
13. A real live yoni! (nope, not mine! ;-P) Body adornment. In essence, piercing one’s genitals is not truly different from piercing one’s earlobe. It does, however, require a positive view of the body and sexuality.
14. The famous Doni of Laussel, a 26,000 year old limestone relief found in France. In her hand she hold the archetypal mode of what later became known as the “horn of plenty” or the infamous “box of Pandora.”
15. Convincing evidence of yoni worship can be found in this 12th C stone carving from the Sixty-Four-Yogini Temple at Bheragat, Madhya, Pradesh, India.
16. Natural rock formation. A place of mystery and stillness, but not of solitude. To the worshiper, the Goddess resides in such natural formations that reveal the Yoni of Mother Earth.
17. The Virgin Mary of Guadelupe; any resemblance to a Yoni or is it just me? (this image is NOT from the book Yoni)