So Persephone is abducted by Hades into the Underworld. Her mother Demeter is distraught because she can’t find her daughter and falls into a deep depression. Bawdy Baubo, comes along and starts telling Demeter some dirty jokes. She gets Demeter smiling, then lifts her skirt exposing her vulva. Demeter loses it and starts laughing hysterically.
Bawdy Baubo, is a little known goddess whose salacious sense of humor gives relief to the suffering by making them laugh and forget their problems, even if just for a little while.
Laughter is a way of restoring balance during difficult times. Most of us have probably experienced the kind of laughter that comes at a difficult time and give us a much needed break from what is happening.
Baubo is the part of us that’s “too loud”and crackles at dirty jokes. The one who is having “too much fun”.
But Baubo goes back further than the Greek Myth of Persephone. Figures of her are found in prepatriarchal times when the Goddess was revered.
In Jean Shinoda Bolen’s book, The Goddesses In Older Women, Becoming a Juicy Crone, she writes that Baubo is a reminder of a time when “the pubic area of the goddess was the holy gate through which all life came…”
“With the rise of the patriarchy, the vulva went from being a place of reverence to a puritanical, unmentionable and “dirty” part of a woman. It went from a symbol of the goddess to one of the most demeaning and hostile words (“cunt”) a women can be called”
It’s nothing new for women to be using images of vulva’s in a way of calling up strength.
Baubo did it with humor. I’m doing it by trying to make the image of the vulva (with wings) a part of everyday life. Something we are not shocked or repulsed by, but something that lifts our hearts in freedom and our centers in strength.
Anyone can get one of my Flying Vulva Decals for free by sending a self-addressed stamped envelope to Maria Wulf PO Box 205 Cambridge NY 12816.
I want my Flying Vulva’s to soar, that’s why I’m offering them for free.
But if you choose, you can also support my work by buying one. I’m selling them for $5 including shipping in my Etsy Shop. I also have Flying Vulva Potholders and Pillows for sale. You can see and buy all of them here.