The Ubiquitous Sacred Yoni

Yoni of the Rug

The other day I was sitting in the living room and noticed for the first time that the rug, which has been in that room for ten years, is bordered by yonis. I’d looked at the rug plenty of times, often doing yoga with my face right on it, but this shape had never before spoken to me as a yoni.

Living in a phallocentric world, we are accustomed to the idea that the phallus is everywhere, and does anybody really believe that Freud’s cigar was really just a cigar? The very word phallus, which is Latin, is commonly known to American English-speakers, while, to find a word for the feminine counterpart, we have to reach much further, to Sanskrit. (Sanskrit has a word for the symbolic penis, lingam, though we don’t use it so much here, because we already have phallus.)

The yoni is equally ubiquitous, if we look for it. There really isn’t a preference in the natural world for one or the other; the world requires the union of the masculine and the feminine in order to procreate. Of course we needn’t procreate every time these forces unite, nor are we obligated to express sexuality as a play of masculine and feminine, if we are called to do otherwise; but let us celebrate both, the yoni and the phallus, in whatever way we choose. We might begin by noticing the yoni, wherever it’s been in front of our eyes, unseen, every day.