The Goddess Inside: Testing the Magic of the Yoni Egg
Step 1: Put the gemstone in your vagina.
It was an unseasonably warm fall evening in my childhood bedroom, and I was sweating. I’d squatted over a floral carpet that matched the ballet pink wall paint; my thighs were starting to shake. Sweatpants around my ankles, my commemorative Puppy Bowl t-shirt scrunched up in one hand while my other hand fished around inside me. I tried to remember what TV doctors tell TV pregnant women: push, breathe. I probed a hooked finger into parts of me that I’ve never personally seen, grunting, hoping my little sister couldn’t hear me from her room down the hall. I was searching for a small chunk of semiprecious gemstone that had gotten lodged in my vaginal canal, but I guess you could also say I was also searching for myself.
The yoni egg is a crystal, polished and carved into a tapered sphere, that one inserts into the vagina to reclaim one’s sacred pussy powers. Over the last few months, I noticed a growing number of holistic influencers touting their eggs. Maybe this is because as witchery and wellness have become intertwined in contemporary marketplaces, we have a twin desire for spiritual enlightenment and earth plane aesthetics. Essential oil bath bombs and gothy athleisure are tolls we happily pay on a road to enlightenment that seems to court femme pilgrims, in particular. Maybe it’s because it’s radical to mention a vagina without a masculine gaze. Maybe it’s because yoni eggs work.
“Yoni” is a Sanskrit word for female genitalia, while most yoni egg websites attribute the practice of vaginal gems to ancient China. The women who sell and champion yoni eggs follow no discernable pattern in terms of age, race, or geographical location; overall, they seem connected by a general aura of entrepreneurialism and an affinity for posting quotes about the divine feminine on Instagram. They seem like the sort of women who greet you by taking both of your hands in theirs.
I approached purchasing a yoni egg like dating: Is this the one I want in my vagina? I wanted to meet my egg in person before buying, but none of my local witch stores stocked them. Amazon seemed corporate and impersonal, and Etsy could be a crapshoot, so after a few nights of research, I went with Gemstone Yoni Eggs because they’re a small business, they offer transparency regarding their chain of supply, their eggs were on sale, and my purchase came with a free download of a goddess coloring book.
Gemstone Yoni Eggs offered a cornucopia of egg options, and my choice of gem seemed like one of the most important decisions I would make on my journey. Jade is considered the “traditional” material for yoni eggs, but users are encouraged to choose any crystal they connect with. A friend told me that she chose an egg crafted from green aventurine, a stone whose properties promote wealth and abundance, and was offered two full-time jobs within the first few weeks she wore it. There are stones for serenity, stones for luck, stones for love. Scrolling through my options, I wondered what I actually wanted.
I’d just moved to Los Angeles, back into my parents’ house, while I looked for a new job. I had vague plans to move out again in the next month or two, so my Oakland studio apartment was boxed up in my former playroom and every day I wore some combination of the same two pairs of jeans, four shirts, and three sweaters. My boyfriend was on a six-week silent meditation retreat outside Boston and couldn’t communicate with me. My dog fought with my parents’ dog. I drifted through a haze of cover letters and Law & Order: SVU reruns, and long walks through a neighborhood whose lush, manicured gardens were a sun-drenched fuck you to California’s crippling drought. Reality doesn’t touch my parents’ neighborhood, and neither do I, I thought, floating a few inches above my body while my dog barked at a lawn mower.
I wanted to feel at home inside myself.
I chose obsidian, a grounding, healing, and protective volcanic glass. I’ve always liked that obsidian is dark and owns its darkness, it shields the wearer without exposing its own secrets. My yoni egg arrived in a sanitized, sealed plastic pouch. A separate cloth bag housed a handful of complimentary pocket crystals and a short user guide. The egg was satiny black, about the size of a quail egg, and felt satisfyingly dense in my palm. It was scentless. At the fat end – which goes into your body first – it was slightly larger in circumference than a super tampon.
I spent my first night with the yoni egg under my pillow, so we could bond. The next day was the big one: a scrub with Dr. Bronner’s, followed by a few passes over a smoldering sprig of dried rosemary. I read the instructions again, even though the instructions amounted to “put it in your vagina.” I inserted the egg, and waited.
Before insertion, my expectations ranged from positive (my life will turn around) to deranged (I will somehow suffer a blow to my pelvis that will either shove the egg into my uterus in a sort of reverse-birth, or shatter it inside of me). Mostly, I expected the sensation of shitting with a tampon in, when the tampon is pushed down uncomfortably low. It turned out my concerns were unwarranted: the shiny lil guy fit surprisingly well inside me, and I felt nothing but a slight pressure in my pelvic floor. I putzed around my bedroom, checked my email, used the egg’s fabric pouch to clean my glasses. Ten slightly underwhelming minutes later, it was time to remove my egg. That’s when I discovered it was somewhere near my cervix.
I’ve made peace with the biological human tendency to wantonly throw skepticism and belief at things, the mad assumption that there is a universal order to what we believe in. If I had doubts going into this, they were less with the magic side of things than the human: the idea that I could reclaim my body by buying something, heal my vagina by filling it. As I slid the tips of my fingers against the egg’s smaller point, I touched parts of myself that didn’t seemed so far from me, I wondered at my ability to believe in them.
Retrieving the egg took about eight minutes of huffing and fumbling. I was reminded, a little, of getting inexpertly fingered, that weird, probing sensation that feels sanitized and gross at the same time. I tried to remember that this was my hand, that I was doing this for me, with love. And finally, with a sticky pop, I birthed the egg. I thought about my life choices. I felt a little sore.
In September, Regina Hall dangled a yoni egg before the crowd on Conan. “The idea is, yoni means womb, and this is where life starts,” she said. I revisited this video several times over my experiment because Hall clearly explains how to clean, charge and insert the egg, and because she speaks with conviction when Conan and some other male guest interrupt her to tell her she’s being weird. When Conan suggests that he wouldn’t have sex with a woman wearing a yoni egg, Hall asks him, “You’re not afraid of a rock, are you?”
After only a few nights of meditating with my egg, I was able to kegel it out of my body under a minute. Another new thing was the crying. It started around day two and continued forever. I’m already a crier, but this was different – I wasn’t sad, just overwhelmed by the world, often pleasantly. I cried watching a video of a baby bear befriend a baby deer. I cried looking at photos of Michelle Obama. I cried driving home from the supermarket, because I realized how having tote bags full of food made me feel safe, and I was grateful.
I like myself, but I can’t decode myself when I’m in me. My vagina, especially, often feels like a deep sea creature, blipping randomly onto the sonar of my consciousness: UTI, horniness, cramp. In its neutral state, it’s miles beneath the waves.
My go-to yoni meditation featured chimes, birdsong, and a soft voice that asked nothing of me except that I be comfortable and aware. The point (if meditation exercises can be said to have points) seemed different from the ambitious manifestation and calls to power that my favorite yoni egg purveyors celebrate. This meditation just had me feeling myself, the air on my arms, the waistband of my shorts against my hip bones, the intricate configuration of my genitalia. I could picture the anatomical thing, the swooping Fallopian tubes, but in my head it looked like some image I’d found online, Photoshopped over my pelvis. “If you don’t feel anything, that’s totally okay,” the narrator whispered. “Numbness is also very normal.”
Over the course of my experiment, I dropped my egg twice and was pleasantly shocked that it didn’t break. I learned that if you’re on your period, you absolutely will not enjoy wearing a tampon and a yoni egg at the same time. I learned that a little lube never hurt anyone. I also learned that a yoni egg will not heal a hangover, but something about the egg’s patient weight inside of you will make you miss it, so that you want to leave the next party a little early, wash your face, and read before bed with a crystal in your cunt, like a grounded and sensible human.
I wore my yoni egg during a job interview and felt it in my body, pressing me closer to the earth, when I got nervous and felt tempted to talk too loud. I wore the egg to apartment viewings and tried to line up obsidian’s values – security, sanctuary – with those of a potential home. I didn’t find a place that embodied what I was looking for, but I consider it a partial win that the stone in my vag kept me from signing a lease out of insecurity.
For the final night of my yoni egg experiment, I wanted to wear my egg to a party. I chose an event that I believed would amplify the vibes of solidarity and sisterhood that might be symbolized by a gemstone in one’s vagina. I chose a viewing party on election night. As states on the televised map flicked red, my pelvis burned. The yoni egg sat heavily next to a knot of fear in my gut, and I remembered why I had, for years, avoided the sensation of having a vagina. Having a vagina hurt. I left the party early because I wanted to get to my childhood bedroom and purge myself of the egg. But I also didn’t want to be one more thing letting my vagina down. I meditated.
I think it’s hard for a lot of women to be present, when being present requires taking in what the world throws at you, processing it, owning and caring for the way you’re interrupted and intruded upon and belittled and threatened. I think election week was maybe a shitty time to explore my divine feminine. Magic is more about process than product, and ultimately, the yoni egg is an object. Yes, my pussy is tighter. The thing that interests me most, though, is how my yoni egg used its objecthood in ways that speak to the witchcraft’s power of liminality: the hidden ritual, the overwhelming, painful resistance that is proving that you exist. I spent the week believing in my body. Magic is about manifestation, transformation, sublimation. I remain in motion. But I exist. I’m my own assistant sawed in half, glittery and smiling, and I am also the question: How? For what it’s worth, I feel changed.