Baubo (“belly”) is the goddess of ribald sensuality, of creativity and laughter, the oft forgotten shamanic goddess who uses the absurd as a catalyst for growth and healing.
Baubo’s story is but a small reference in the Homeric Hymn to Demeter, but her influence and icons are found throughout the world. She looks silly, a woman from the waist down, a face on her belly. In some iconography, Baubo is depicted riding a boar/pig and carrying a lyre, but this may also be her twin sister, Iambe. Or the imagery may also come from her association with Hekate. And still others say Baubo was actuallyHecate in disguise.
So it goes that in her bout of depression, Demeter, the goddess of grain, wandered the countryside in search of her daughter, Persephone, when she came to a well and sank into an exhausted heap on the ground. By this time in Demeter’s search for her kidnapped daughter, the world was dire with dead vegetation and crops that would not grow. There was no food so people were starving and beginning to lose faith in the gods. As Demeter lay there crying, heaped over hunched over head on arms, Baubo approached her and offered a glass of wine. Demeter refused demanding a drink of barley and pennyroyal instead.
Baubo responded to the request by lifting her skirt and exposing her vulva to Demeter, who giggled at the sight, followed by a deep belly laugh. This energized Demeter enough to carry on and continue her search, but more importantly, at this laughter, the world began to see green again -- vegetation began to sprout anew.
This part of Demeter’s story is so subtle and yet so important. First, coded within this myth is the message to never take anything too seriously. it reminds us that all life springs forth from the vagina. And it is a reminder of the sacredness of the yoni.
In her book Women Who Run With The Wolves, storyteller and Psychologist Clarissa Pinkola Estes, PhD, references Baubo as the energy of raunch that every good woman will express and experience in woman-only spaces. While she goes into detail about the element of surprise, Estes also alludes to the importance of women-only connections and that when times are tough, it is good to turn to our women friends to help us push through. In my personal experience, I can say that I am forever grateful for the friends I had to help me through when I could not carry on. While at first I thought they were being insensitive to my plight, I do admit it was refreshing to spend time with them to get away from my own madness. It was good to laugh, to break free from my pitiful thoughts for awhile and get some respite from life’s challenges.
I also like to think of Baubo as a metaphor for unblocking the creative wellsprings. With her strange looks and her weird behavior Baubo reminds us to keep it a little weird and look to the absurd if we wish to uncover new solutions to old problems. In Demeter’s case, laughter was a powerful catalyst for change. Is it any wonder comedy has such a long standing popularity? It creates a space for people to safely escape their everyday worries and return again with a freshened sense of motivation to carry on.
Sensuality and laughter. Both of these qualities are embodied by the goddess Baubo, the hilariously raunchy goddess of liminal space who reminds us to rock the yoni power!
Chakra: 2nd Chakra, the Sacral chakra or Svadhistana
Element: Air (and the element of surprise! ha!)
Moon Phase: Waning Crescent, New Moon
Symbols: Yoni, Vulva, Vagina, Laughter, Lyre, Belly, Legs, Sensual acts, suprise,
Simple ways to connect to the deeper meaning and to honor the energy of Baubo in everyday life:
Appreciate your body - with a sharpee pen, draw a heart over your belly button. Stop criticizing your muffin top, your crows feet, your gray hair. Get to know your vagina -- yes. i am suggesting you take a mirror and look at it.
Laugh with your girlfriends -- make an effort to spend time with only your women friends. Lots of magic transpires at these outings!
Express your sensuality through dance and movement, or any kind of creative pursuit. Just remember, though, that creativity is not something you do, it is who you are!
Relish in your sexuality! Do things that make you feel like your goddess self! Play up your femininity!
Your turn! What can you do to get in touch with your inner Baubo? Leave a comment in the section below!
My name is Dawn Champine and I am the Creatrix of The Goddess Diaries. I am very passionate about helping women remember their REAL GODDESS selves.
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