The sacredness of the vagina in the tantric tradition
The tantric tradition places great importance on sexual energy, more than possibly any other spiritual path. It’s beyond doubt that this truly is a powerful and overwhelming force. Just see how much space sexuality occupies in people’s lives, how much it affects their daily existence.
Tantra teaches us to use all the energies at our disposal for spiritual evolution. The body then becomes sacred, a vehicle with enough power to drive transformation in the deeper layers of our being, all the way to our very soul. In this perspective, the body becomes a temple and the genitals are nothing less than a sacred altar.
This no idle comparison: Sanskrit word for “vagina,” the name used in tantra, is “yoni,” which literally means “sacred temple.” I have always found this incredible, especially in our society where women’s bodies are certainly not respected and venerated but on the contrary, often loaded with millennia of socio-cultural taboos, and in modern times even commercialized. The mere fact of considering the vagina as a sacred area of my body was truly a revelation. Now that I am the bearer of this centuries-old esoteric path, teaching hundreds of women to find it for themselves, I realize that rediscovering this sacredness is already a great healing in itself.
This is especially true for women who have lived through sexual abuse and come to my seminars with their self-worth in tatters, weighed down by disgust for everything related to their vagina that has been violated. For these women, discovering that there are men who are ready to bow before their yoni as in front of an altar is indeed a great healing. From this more “human” floor, however, we can take the elevator up towards that metaphysical and esoteric vision that lies behind the tantric reverence for the yoni.
In tantra, the yoni becomes the symbol of the feminine in her essence. It is the space where Shakti dwells. All of tantra revolves exactly around this, the attraction between Shiva—the archetype of masculine energy, who represents consciousness: immobile, eternal and immutable—and Shakti, the archetype of feminine energy, representing everything in the manifest universe in which we live and of which we are a part, which is by its nature changing, always in motion.
The sacred form of the yoni therefore is a cosmic vagina from which the entire Universe was born! Imagine being able to transfigure your body, or the body of your partner, seeing between your legs not only a vagina made of flesh but a portal to an infinite source of universal energy. It could be really different to make love from this perspective, don’t you think? In fact, if you think about it, it is precisely through the yoni that a woman can open herself to that experience of total dissolution that is orgasm.
Attention, with this we are opening the door to the true essence of tantra!
Orgasm is a truly unique phenomenon for human beings. Through stimulation of the body and the intensity of pleasure, enough to break down walls within ourselves, something very special happens. It is as if for a moment the limits of your being expand to infinity, losing that sense of limited personal existence. Does this resonate?
A moment in which you forget everything, even yourself! The ego finally releases its grip. This experience is considered extremely important in tantra, not only for pleasure but as a moment of expansion beyond the limits of your individual being, a total dissolution into something greater, universal. In short, a true cosmic experience! It is exactly the revelation that all spiritual practice is pointing to, whether through meditation, hatha yoga, prayer or anything else.
For tantrics, making love is like praying. It is an energy practice like that you might do on the yoga mat, intended to induce elevated states of consciousness and experience your own nature which is infinite and eternal. Divine, in fact. The yoni is exactly this, a portal to Infinity, which through orgasm can open you to the experience of total dissolution and to the revelation of your true Self.
How to cultivate sacredness with your yoni
In the tantric tradition, there is whole ritual of “transfiguration” with the vagina, viewing this part of the body as something cosmic. The very act of transfiguring, which starts by setting the intention, opens a portal to universal dimensions and raises energy to the throat chakra (vishuddha).
Tantric practice is imbued with transfiguration. The ritual dedicated to the yoni is called yoni puja. It is an act of offering, flowers, honey, milk, clarified butter, incense, mantras and chants to the yoni.
This can be performed in a ritualistic way towards a symbolic object representing the yoni, be it a statue, a drawing or a yoni-shaped mandala made from flower petals, etc. Even more powerful, however, if the adoration is done directly on a woman’s body, which at that moment, naked or clothed, becomes the altar to which offerings are given. But what I want to suggest as a first step, alone or with your partner, is the simplest practice you can do by taking just a few minutes to connect with your yoni (or your partner’s yoni).
The ritual of the yoni
If you are alone, you can sit with your legs open in front of a mirror, possibly naked, and remain in contemplation of what you see in the mirror. If you are in a couple, sit with your legs open in front of your partner who will be engrossed in the wonderful vision in front of their eyes. Gather a moment inside yourself. Rest in your heart, center yourself. The ritual begins:
- Observe the yoni as if your eyes were a projection of your heart. Let yourself be absorbed by that vision. Bow down in front of her for the first time to show her your respect—after all you too were born from there. You are honoring the woman in front of you (yourself in the mirror or the vision of your partner) and also this part of her body that is so powerful and, in some ways, mystical.
- In the second part of the ritual, expand your vision beyond the woman in front of you. You are honoring all the women in the world, and even further on, all the femininity that exists. Try to see the incarnation of the cosmic feminine, the expression of the Divine Mother. See the yoni as a symbol of something larger, a universal yoni that gives birth to the universe. Cultivates the attitude of transfiguration as long as you feel like it, letting yourself be permeated by a sense of depth and sacredness.
- As a last part of the ritual, you can imagine offering the yoni a gift (or actually offer a flower, incense or a candle). You can also simply offer your heart to her, with a wave of your hand from your chest to the yoni, or with the thought of her. Remember that the intention is everything in tantric rituals. Charge every moment with a special energy.
- Conclude the ritual by joining your hands in prayer in front of your heart, bowing gently in gratitude to the Universe.
At the end of the ritual, you may feel a very strong echo in your being, energetically and in your mind: a sense of depth, savoring the mysteries of the universe. You can decide to meditate if this is your practice, or you can feel the desire to make love, alone or with your partner… and I assure you that, after the ritual, it can be very, very special.