The myth of Baubô

Sometimes a servant, a queen or even a goddess, Baubô's story reminds us of the positive force of female sexuality, the importance of joy and the healing power of the vulva.

When Baubô meets Demeter, the goddess of Agriculture and the harvest, in Eleusis near Athens, the latter is in despair because of the disappearance of her daughter Persephone.

Welcomed in Baubô’s house, Demeter, who is depressed, refuses any food or drink, her sadness bringing about a drought in the whole country.

A free, fun and wise Baubô whispers secret words to Demeter, then suddenly lifts her tunic to unveil her sex. Demeter is surprised and bursts out laughing, and then finally accepts a drink, and through this gesture the cycle of seasons is reborn with her.

Baubô, though her bawdy words, which are never revealed, takes the goddess out of her stupor and restores the balance of the world. There are many representations of this myth, with Baubô depicted as a grotesque but endearing vagina-woman, with a face on her bust and the vulva as mouth. Baubô is our “sacred fool”, ancestral healer and clown.

The Eleusinian Mysteries, in Demeter’s temple, celebrated Baubô for a long time, encouraging women to live joyfully, to dance, to free themselves sexually, and to face death without fear as part of the great cycle of life.