“From a purely metaphysical standpoint, what we observe changes.” -my best friend, and proponent of Yoni Gazing.
Ever had a sense, a knowing, that something “wasn’t quite right” down there, but didn’t know who to talk to or how to talk about it? Wanting to talk to a Mother, Lover, or Friend, and for some reason stopped yourself. I did, many times. Sexual and body shame are embedded deep in the psyche of our human lineage. I can see it now, but when I was operating from that mindset I couldn’t.
Out of sight, out of mind. Ignoring a message as it grows ever louder and wishing it away with “it’ll just work itself out.”
I say I walk a path of “service to the Goddess.” I hold space for women to bleed, cry, rage, and transform in Red Tents and women’s circles. I sing and drum in the forest and city, and walk into the night with no light. I bleed into a sponge and give offerings to the earth,
and yet: six weeks ago I had a “severe” case of bacterial vaginosis and was diagnosed with having a sexually transmitted parasite (Trichomoniasis) that I’d probably been carrying around since college. Even me, who claims to live in devotion to empowered womanhood, was affected by deeply engrained shame that kept me from having a relationship with this taboo part of my body, and thus prevented me from caring for myself on the most basic physical level.
–Side note: I’d been tested various times before this, most likely since coming in contact with Trich and came out clean. Trichomoniasis is a very common sexually transmitted disease/infection, and my doctor said it is missed from being diagnosed in about 50 percent of cases. My understanding is that it can also lay dormant. Like any imbalance in the body, carrying the parasite makes it more likely to contract other diseases. Trichomoniasis is passed from penis-to-vulva or vulva-to-vulva sex (Sheri Winston please forgive my clinical language here). That information made it easy for me to identify who I most likely received this little friend from and who I may have passed it to, and we all took appropriate measures to address it.–
After crying about taking antibiotics, the first conventional medicine that I let touch my tongue in years (probably the same number of years I carried the parasite), placing said antibiotics on my altar and subsequently washing them down with a romantic dinner of liver and desert of cacao, I saw the blessing in this wake up call.
How many women feel that they are at the mercy of a sterile, clinical, medical system when it comes to caring for this most sacred, beautiful, mysterious part of our bodies? We’ve found herbal tooth powder, natural deodorant, and dry shampoo. We breathe and stretch and dance and can some of us have even learned to see how our emotions affect our physicality and eliminate cysts with meditation. Yet, do we really know how to care for our yonis when they are in distress? Even the most Radical-DIY-Goddess Worshipping-Herbally Inspired women that I know give it all up to the system when it comes to “severe” vaginal issues, and so often the story from the medical world is that our bodies are “normal” or an “emergency.”
The very Gate of Life is the last frontier of empowered self-care.
I have a theory that this is because we are out of practice with being in relationship with our Yonis. They cry out to us with smells, sensation, and fluids, and we are more accustomed to hiding or ignoring these messages than we are to listening to them. And if we did attend to them…what would we do?
I’m here to reclaim tending my Yoni like I do the rest of my wondrous body-temple. For me, it’s starting with Yoni Gazing, which is not just a woo-woo new-age cute idea. I’m going to remind us here of the wisdom that lies in a best friend: “from a purely metaphysical standpoint, what we observe changes.”
I invite you to look, and see what you discover.
My intention is that this post is a beginning of a dialogue of sharing wisdom, experiments, questions, and discoveries of tending not just the spiritual-emotional but also physical aspect of yoni health. What you can expect next from me is a post on testing vaginal pH at home with test strips, and my experiments of what to do with that information (sneak peak: it involves ferments and tincture droppers). What I ask of you is to send in your inquiries, self and community acquired knowledge and wisdom, and your own trials, tribulations, and jubilations on this path to self-empowered yoni health.
Comment here, or email firstname.lastname@example.org, with the subject: “I love my Yoni”
In the meantime, I give you this, which came while gazing at the Gate of Life:
I watch you morph before my eyes
So close to the horizontal mirror all I see is
my thighs wild hair
As you shape and shift from
Full bloom Blossom
dragon eyes glistening
as I watch you
and the realization that we are breathing together
each breath all day
that this wondrous part of me
is as much me
as my eyes face lips…