Back To The Garden with Nadine Artemis
A discussion on tending to the functions of our fertile crescent
One of my favorite women in the universe is the vanguard in beauty care Nadine Artemis from Living Libations. She has been at the forefront of natural beauty with her pure essential oils, beauty products, holistic dental care and now she is reeducating us on how to take back our yonis. I know this can be a sensitive topic. I have always been extremely shy of speaking about this topic even with my ex mother in law being Eve Ensler (Vagina Monologues), however recently I had a major realization. I realized that today most people would be more shocked about not getting a bikini wax, than about getting a piercing or some other alteration on the yoni. Seriously when was the last time any of us saw an un manicured situation? Nadine’s article definitely struck a cord since I feel as mother to two daughters, I will have to work extra hard to teach them to value their beauty without succumbing to this obsession of denuding the delta of venus. I am in admiration for Nadine for this completely logical, passionate and incredibly informative article about how we are destroying our fertility, power and beauty with these barbaric practices. I have said this before and will say it again, I think there is a direct correlation to what is happening to women’s health and what is happening to our mother the earth. Maybe we need to take back our yonis and bring the gardens of delight back before its too late.
Back to the Garden: Tending to the Virtues of the Vagina by Nadine ~
The vagina, the savoury peach, the fertile crescent of our femininity is not just the reproductive plumbing that reductionist science would have us believe. Neither are these jewels of the nether region a receptacle. The vagina is, in fact, a gateway and a passage to the brain, the body, and the spirit. It is a sublime portal where the form and formlessness of a soul coalesce.
The geography of a woman’s vagina is much more expansive, diversified, multifaceted, and nuanced than has been imagined by medical study, the far-reaching foibles of Freudian philosophy, and the mass-marketers of feminine hygiene.
We are taught to skip past our lunar rhythms, the waxing and waning of our womb. Trading in our uterus’ compass for synthetic birth control our estrus becomes rhythm-less. We trade the wisdom of knowing when our eggs are in full bloom for dangerous products to consumei.
Periods are plugged with the unsterile fibers of rayon, plasticizers, and cotton made of GMOs as our vaginal canals drink in their dioxins, bleaches, pesticides and moldsii subjecting us to the risks of toxic shock syndrome, disease, pelvic inflammation and bioaccumulation. Could we be so bold as to celebrate our monthly cycle as gold?
We grew up as a nation out of touch with ovulation. We have accepted artificial assistance that has proven time and time again to be more treacherous than trustworthy. From the contraceptive contraptions that cause uterine perforations,iv the plethora of birth control pills that have made us hormonally ill, provoked pulmonary embolisms, disrupted the thyroid’s metabolism, and caused blood clots. These false pharmacy plots have proven to increase breast and cervical cancers. Eliminating periods and preventing ovulation is just not the answer.
Arrays of industrial tricks promise to perfume and make polite the effluvia of feminine fluids. We submit our secretions to be technologically tamed. Shamed, we attempt to scrub clean in a dangerous daily routine of douches, deodorants, wipes, powders, and shower gels – drenching us all to glorify some marketer’s dream of holy hygiene.
These devices, sprays, foams, spermicides, and gels invented to sanitize smells and prevent pregnancy cause our vaginal cells to atrophy, devitalize, recoil, shrivel, and shrink. We used to think of our Yoni’s as a Perfumed Garden with Kulamritavi nectars, nectars so divine they were thought to originate from heaven. Once revered, now sheared, promises of self-esteem smeared on with vaginal-bleaching crème.
Our lovely labia, we have become afraid o’ya’. With the surge of internet pornography and vagina’s now air-brushed as a commodity, we have new found fears about our
genitalia’s geography. We have come to doubt the design of our lady lotus leading to an epic increase in the plastic surgeries of labiaplasty, vaginoplasty, “revirgination”, and G-spot augmentation. This mutilation includes female circumcision, often thought of something that happens in distant lands, was covered by Blue Cross and other health insurance until 1977 in America. Now it falls under the category of FGCS, Female Genital Cosmetic Surgery, where the surgeon plays god. A 1973 issue of Playgirl Magazine promoted the article, “Circumcision for Women: The Kindest Cut of All”.vii The clitoris has the unique history of being both the encourager of masturbation and the physiological cause for a woman’s orgasmic failure. What was once viewed as circumcision to prevent masturbation now becomes fashionable; “clitoral unhooding” as a sexual enhancement therapy. The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists caution that women seeking “designer vaginas” should be “informed about the lack of data supporting the efficacy of these procedures and their potential complications, including infection, altered sensation, adhesions, and scarring.”
The sacred Venus mound has become a modern dumping ground of negative thoughts, surgical alterations, and a receptacle for industrial violations. But the thing is – they like fresh air and rebel at polyester underwear.
I like to use the term Yoni, which is the sacred Sanskrit word for vagina, because it is a fun word that prevents me from blushing and also because its meaning expands to include the creative force that moves through the universe: the vagina as the “origin of life,” the “divine passage,” and “sacred temple.” I will use the words yoni and vagina interchangeably as umbrella words for the whole region including the vulva, clitoris, labia, vaginal canal, and womb. We all came into being through a womb and, whether we bear children or not, this divine passage resides within us.
In ancient Taoist and Tantric texts the vagina was held in reverence as a source of wisdom connected to the female mind as precious, unique, fragrant, a treasure, a seat of divinity, a gateway to the Atma, the True Self. These texts describe it as: sweet, juicy, succulent, a precious pearl, a jade gate, the mysterious valley, and the lotus of her wisdom. In poetic detail, the yoni was described as a “flower [that] loves to absorb the sun’s rays… [And] her juices have the fragrance of a freshly blossoming lotus flower.”1
The sacred Taoist text, The Great Medicine of the Three Peaks,viii highlights the medicinal fluids that women secrete from their vagina. It is written that the lover’s goal, for the sake of his own health, is to unlock the “mysterious gate” in order to stir the release of these precious fluids. As the woman’s fluid-gate opens and her secretions overflow, Chi is released and her fluids strengthen the man’s primal Yang and nourish his spirit.
This is in vast contrast to the Western history of the vagina dentata and Freud’s declaration that women’s bodies are the genitally deficient “dark continent”. This history swept women’s pleasure and precious fluids under the rug of time leading to a cascade of cultural impulses that maimed and defamed the juice-jewel of our body. This history leaves us vulnerable to the modern marketing maze that socializes our fertile- fluids into shame, scrutinizes insecurities, and holds our bodies to blame. It is a dangerous game that has led to disease and death.
Denuded of mystery, the power of our petalled-pool is tamed with names like kitty and the faux-empowerment of commercial labels, such as froo-froo, hoo-haa, and the infantile la-la.
The yoni is celebrated only when its vitality is sealed in saran and the menstruum, ovum and orgasmic broth are captured by toxic tampons, obliterated by the pill, or impeded by tubes of petroleum lube. The loquacious-liquids of our womanhood get curtailed by chemicals that deodorize and cute maxi-pads that accessorize as the life force gets civilized. In this, women are empowered solely as consumers of manufactured choice.
Take a moment to connect to the wisdom of your womb:
Close your eyes.
Feel your breath, feel life breathing you.
With each breath, drop into the seat of your womb and drop into the seat of your root chakra.
Visualize a tiny version of yourself bowing to the wisdom, to the supreme strength, to the alchemy of your womb.
Bowing in reverence to the life force of this cauldron that can gestate and bring forth life
Bowing to the womb from whence you came.
Acknowledging the interconnectedness of your womb as contained within a cosmic womb, your womb as part of the creative force that moves through the universe.
Feel life’s innate wisdom, its consistency, its infinite reliability, its beauty, its benevolence, Feel the sparkling effervescence of life in your cells.
We are stardust
We are golden
And we’ve got to get ourselves Back to the garden
– Joni Mitchellxxvi