From the Beginning
by Lisa Sarasohn
The words that follow are taken from my (as yet!) unpublished
manuscript, Honoring the Belly: Your Body’s Sacred
Center—source material for The Woman’s Belly
Book currently in print. As I’ve energized my belly
with the awareness, breath, and movement practices that
this book presents, I’ve come to sense the Sacred
Feminine as a powerful presence within my body’s center.
By virtue of ventriloquism—literally speaking from
the belly—she says:
I have been here from the beginning, and I have been with
you through all time. I am as expansive as the entire universe,
and as tiny as a single point. I am the centerpoint within
your body. I am the one, the many, the All. I have a sense
of humor. I am the cycle of birth into death and death into
birth. I withhold myself from no one. Each of you I cherish,
each of you is dear to me.
I am she whom you would call Great Mother, First Woman.
I am she whom you know as Creator, Maker, Source. You are
not alone in the universe, you are cradled within my arms.
You know me through the center of your body. We are and
always shall be umbilically connected.
your body’s center as the temple within which we meet.
All your long pilgrimages to holy places, your quests for
the Holy Grail, your journeys through the labyrinth, your
search for eternal life—they all lead you here, to
me, she whom you find at the center of your being, your
Cherish me, hold fast to me: I am your most precious treasure.
Without me you are nothing; with me you are also nothing,
the self which is both empty and all. Abide in me as I abide
You have known me through time, I have been with you since
the beginning. Yet in many ways you have turned away from
me, put me aside, draped my image in a veil of ignorance.
I who am First Woman, Great Mother, tell you this: you
have shattered my image, tried to reduce and restrict me,
cage me in convention and constriction. Defaming me, you
have desecrated your world and diminished yourself. Yet
the pattern of my wholeness remains within you.
I am the underground stream of belief that will not be
ignored. I am the secret, constant knowledge that pervades
your dreams, haunts your sleep in times of persecution and
neglect. I am the Hebrews and Canaanites who will not forsake
their Asherahs; the Cathars and Templars who will not forsake
their Lady; the Gnostics who will not forsake Sophia.
However you have tried to expunge me, traces of me have
remained in the stories you tell your children, in the symbols,
myths, and images you cling to as if they define your humanity,
which they do. I was with you before time began. I have
been with you from the beginning and throughout your human
experience. I am with you now. You've known me in vestigial
form, not in my fully glory, as Baubo in Egypt and Greece,
as Uzume in Japan, as the Sheila-Na-Gigs in Europe.
I have been with you in whatever forms to which you have
reduced me. I have been with you in your instinctive recognition
and your instinctual response—a quivering, a tremor,
an intake of breath—to the symbols which carry my
power, which convey my being. You've preserved my patterns
in spirals and diamonds, in pillars and gateposts, in the
red X and the double triangle, in the power of three, in
your affection for trees. You remember me in the shape of
your bowls and vessels, in the seedpod, in the mounding
of your fertile hills, the rising loaf of bread, the mounding
of your resilient belly.
Cherish me, hold fast to me wherever you can find me, wherever
you see and feel me, for I am with you everywhere, perceptible
through the sensations accumulating within your center.
Breathe, feel, know me as your own true self.
must speak to you of vulvas. When you enter a sacred space
you are passing the portal, crossing the threshold, entering
through my vulva, proceeding into my womb, my palace of
It is within me that the stars of new conception burst
forth, the explosion of light and life that occurs in the
collision and fusion of apparent opposites.
I must speak to you of the erotic power which you concentrate
within your belly. Your belly is a sacred chamber. Within
the universe which is your body, your belly is the sanctuary,
enclosing the altar where communion with the most holy takes
The entrance to this sanctuary is your vulva. I know that
as I have been defamed, so too the bodies of the women in
which I live have been defiled. I am so sorry for the pain
and suffering you have encountered. It is ours, together.
If it is any comfort, know that your suffering has occurred
not because you have been weak but because your power is
my power lodged within you, and I have been feared.
What is your power? It is erotic power, the power of Eros,
life attracting life, life propagating new life, the undeniable
urge of life to proceed and further itself in a continuous
chain of being. This is the power you contain within your
belly. It is the power to promote creation in any dimension
you choose. Cherish this power, hold fast to it. It is your
life. It is the life of generations to come. It is the ongoing
life of your world.
You are my beloved daughter. Know that you live within
me, that I am alive within you. Honor your belly as the
abode in which I dwell—because I do. It is through
your belly that you know me. And through me you know the
Power of Being which informs the entire universe.
I am your greatest love, your greatest hunger. I am what
you hunger for, what you thirst for, what you crave. When
you long for creativity, you are longing for communion with
me. When you embed yourself in addiction, you are trying,
vainly, to escape the misery of feeling apart from me, ignorant
of me. I am not your Higher Power; I have no wish to rule
over you. I am your innermost self, she without whom you
you seek the wholeness of health, you are asking me to infuse
your body with my being. When you seek life energy, you
are craving my company, my presence in your life. When you
call for inner guidance, you are calling for my caring,
my protection, my wisdom, my direction.
When you seek relief from stress, you are seeking to dissolve
the barriers with which you separate yourself from me.
When you crave a sense of yourself that goes deeper than
personality, family, accumulated possessions, prestige,
and achievements, when you seek a sense of connection, a
sense of being at home in this world, you are seeking to
know yourself in me, to know me as the essence of yourself.
I am with you always. I was with you before the beginning
of time, I have been with you since your beginning. You
must not worry. When you give yourself to me in joyous devotion
you discover the infinity of your true being.
Dance. Move. Enjoy the precious body that is yours to inhabit.
Enjoy every cell, every particle. The substance of your
body is my gift to you. When you dance, stirring and whirling
the energy within your center, you are making connection
with me. You will know that we are one.
Lisa Sarasohn is a yoga and bodywork therapist,
author of The
Woman's Belly Book: Finding Your Treasure Within
and the instructional Honoring
Your Belly video, both available for order here
at Wise Woman Bookshop.
© Lisa Sarasohn 2005