Baubo is the Greek Goddess of bawdy jokes. She gives us permission to release pent-up emotions when we need to take a break. Grieving, working hard or working through complex life problems can and does take a lot of energy; but there is an appropriate time to welcome a respite from the focus or experience of the journey and enjoy the pleasures of life. This helps us bear in mind that life’s not all about hard work, but that play too is instrumental in the healing process.
As a wizened goddess, Baubo helped the mourning Demeter take a breath from her deep grief. To mourn is to remember, and she reminds us that we don’t have to travel the tunnel into total despair and get lost in the weight of sorrow. In the mythological goddess realm, while Demeter mourned the loss of her beloved Persephone, winter took over the world. There was no growth, longer darkness, quiet and reverence. It was said that this season lasted a few years.
Presenting encouragement, Baubo sparked enough energy for Demeter to walk into the next phase of her remembering. Baubo lifted her skirts showing the essence of female. Her bawdy spirit and hilarity brought deep laughter to the weeping mother. Baubo danced and twirled, showing her vulva. The silliness of the gesture reminded Demeter that all is not lost. Laughter was experienced as relief and honor to the sacredness of well-being. This is a reminder to us that no matter the abuse, the loss, the darkness or despair; laughter also heals and moves our heart’s energy to accept the promise and hope of a new day.
As a result of Baubo’s free spirited play, Demeter released the hold winter had on the earth and allowed spring to peek through the frozen lands. While having her daughter for a few months, she focused on the renewed joy of those few months therefore allowing time for growth and rejoicing and then time for renewal.
Baubo asks us to find those people who help us laugh with hilarity and hang on for the ride. Gather your friends for some fun, because laughter dispels anxiety and lifts our mood and opens us to optimism. If you are that person who adds humor and zest, find those people who love you and need you and inject them with your infectious high spirits.
Consideration: Who in your life helped you find levity and it is done the right way at the right time? How did it help your healing?
Goddesses for Every Season – by Nancy Blair – p. 16
New Book of Goddesses & Heroines – by Patricia Monaghan p. 46
Goddesses for Every Day – by Julie Loar – November 13