“Yoniverse” is a collection of stories written and performed by Sharmita Bhattacharya, Sapna Kumar, Chhaya Néné, and Tanya Thomas. [The show premiered at this year’s Hollywood Fringe Festival directed by Marianne Davis, receiving rave reviews, awards and encore performances and also a spot in the Hollywood Independent Theater Festival on Monday, September 18th.]
I appreciate how each woman owned their stories, because it’s not easy to experience a transgression, process and synthesize into an art form. The women describe their unique circumstances of places, names and situations that reveal a loss of innocence – violating their personal physical space – the vagina; breaking trusts in their relationships and understanding of the world; and weaving those pain points towards growth and renewal.
As each story unfolds, the heroine breaks out of the cocoon of blame and shame towards an emerging butterfly with fluttering wings of release like breathing out a breath that’s been held too long. One wonders, how we survive devastating and creepy actions towards the yoni, which is not just an anatomical part, the “birthing canal”. The yoni is sacred. In Sanskrit, it is the “abode”, “source”, “womb” or “vagina”; symbolic of the goddess Shakti, the consort or Shiva.
The woman's body is the first world to the newborn. The child's projections of anima will be of her from then on. - from the "A Joseph Campbell Companion", selected & edited by Diane K. Osbon
Together, the Shakti and Shiva are both the male and female aspect of God. Shiva, the tranquil, inactive state, while Shakti is the dynamic aspect of God. – Swami Shraddhandanda.
The concept of God can be mythological as the “higher consciousness” that is “the part of the human mind that is capable of transcending animal instincts”. – Dawn DeVries https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Higher_consciousness
Destiny is “simply the fulfillment of the potentialities of the energies in your own system” – Joseph Campbell. When a man (or anybody) either through ignorance or hatred violates the yoni, the transgression is not only against the other, but to themselves also, because it’s the killing of the potential that is innate in their own being.
When a woman realizes that the power is within her, then the man emerges as an individual, rather than just being an example of what she thinks she needs. On the male side, when a man looks at a woman and sees only somebody to go to bed with, he is seeing her in relation to a fulfillment of some need of his own and not as a woman at all. It’s like looking at cows and thinking only of roast beef.Joseph Campbell from “A Joseph Campbell Companion” Reflections on the Art of Living, selected and edited by Diane K. Osbon
These are the musings I had while watching the story telling of the women bravely owning their stories and laying it out like Tarot cards to be read, interpreted and manifested. I particularly enjoyed the choreography on the stage and each actor wearing a bright hue of the rainbow: blue, green, yellow and red.
“This Mudra is used to worship Devi Durga. It has many benefits. The Yoni Mudra helps in quieting the mind of the practitioner. Practicing this helps the nervous system to be calmed and stabilized, allowing you to redirect your attention inward.”
Go see the Yoniverse and practice the mudra to honor the Yoni. Namaste.