Book List – Women’s Energy Body Teachings
This list is of books that include teachings on the chakras or other subtle body mappings specific to women. Many energy body teachings do not reference the differences between men’s and women’s energy bodies, and indeed much of our subtle body mappings are the same. But there are differences in emphasis, flow, and energy interdependence tied to our physical differences, and our specific reproductive life phases. These have wide-ranging implications for both energy medicine, and spiritual paths that utilize energy-based contemplative practices.
In general, this list starts with healing and practice-based books, and then progresses to more metaphysical and spiritually oriented ones. I have tried to make the book descriptions explicit enough that they serve as a kind of overview of women’s energy body teachings on their own.
Energy Medicine for Women, by Donna Eden
Movement, breath, and meditative exercises and healing modalities drawn from both meridian-based traditions and chakra-based traditions (with other modalities introduced as well.) The focus is on women’s wellness and the common health problems of women. The introductory chapters provide an excellent and accessible overview of energy body maps.
Women’s Bodies, Women’s Wisdom, Dr. Christiane Northrup
This book is an overall women’s health reference with sections on every part of a woman’s body, mind, and life phases, covering both conventional and natural/alternative healing methods. The introductory section contains a chapter on Women’s Energy body mappings, with an overview of both the earth-based/centripetal theories of women’s chi/qi, and of the 7 main chakras, with a special focus on the lower three chakras and their significance for women. Later sections of the book then reference how holding certain kinds of energy in these centers can cause or aggravate reproductive health problems.
New Menopausal Years, Susan Weed
This is primarily a guide to herbal remedies for menopausal related issues, but it also does a great job of covering some of the kundalini-based changes that occur during this time, and the spiritual opportunity that menopause truly represents in a woman’s life. The focus is on menopause as a transition time in which we grow into our wisdom years, fully owning our power, gifts, and insight. As the kundalini moves through us in deeper and deeper waves, we are offered unprecedented opportunities for growth.
Earth Qi Gong for Women, Tina Chunna Zhang
This book is a general introduction to the practice of Qi Gong, with a special focus on women’s lower tan dien (energy center), associated with the pelvic area, and through which women pull earth energy up and through. Detailed instructions and illustrations are provided for doing Qi Gong practices that strengthen and maintain this energy center, providing overall reproductive and energy health. This book is meant to serve as an introductory guide, even for someone not enrolled in a class (although a class is recommended to accompany it.)
The Woman’s Book of Yoga and Health, by Linda Sparrowe
Guide to yoga poses and breathing exercises that are especially supportive of women, including those appropriate during menstruation, those designed for pregnancy and birth preparation, and those that help with menopausal symptoms. Although this book does not explicitly deal with energy body mappings, because these are intrinsic to yoga poses, indirect information on energy lines and chakras are spread throughout.
Wild Feminine: Finding Power, Spirit, and Joy in the Female Body, by Tami Lynn Kent
Written by a physical therapist specializing in women’s health, this book is a deep exploration of the pelvic bowl from a physical, emotional, energetic, and spiritual perspective. Drawing on her work with many clients, the author outlines how women store different repressed feelings in their pelvic bowl, and how blocks there limit our ability to fully express ourselves, own our femininity and own our personal power. She explores both physical and energetic teachings, including the role of different parts of the female anatomy – ovaries, uterus etc. – in our energetic and spiritual being. The book includes many exercises and contemplations.
Kundalini: Divine Energy, Divine Life, by Cyndi Dale
This is a full exploration of kundalini, or spiritual life force energy, drawing on both classic kundalini yoga teachings and the spiritual teachings of many other traditions. Although not only for women, it does include separate sections on the differences in kundalini awakening within both men and women. Another book of Cyndi’s, The Complete Book of Chakra Healing, includes teachings on the mother/child energy cord and how this impacts both.
The Sorcerer’s Crossing, by Taisha Abelar
Written as a memoir by a woman ‘apprentice’ in the same Mexican ‘sorcerer’ circle as the infamous Carlos Castaneda (see next book), this book presents teachings for women from the shamanic perspective of this unique tradition. A special emphasis is placed on sexual history, and the draining energy lines that can form from imbalanced or unhealthy relationships (of any type really, not just sexual), and ’embed’ in a women’s 2nd chakra/womb center. Recapitulation, a detailed method of reliving and reclaiming personal power lost through such interactions, is described in detail.
The Second Ring of Power, by Carlos Castaneda
Written by the infamous and controversial Carlos Castaneda, this book presents energy and shamanic teachings for women from his tradition. Overall, this is not my favorite Castaneda book, because his highly entertaining teacher, Don Juan, has already ‘left the world’ by the time the events in this book take place, and from a narrative perspective, he is sorely missed. Carlos, and the women sorceresses he encounters, are a pretty heavy and dark lot in this book. But, the teachings on women’s womb power, including the ‘winds of the womb’ are unique and clearly presented here. The teachings on the energetic price of motherhood are pretty dark, but interesting nevertheless (just read other books on this list too after you read this, to get a more optimistic view!)
Dakini’s Warm Breath: The Feminine Principle in Tibetan Buddhism, by Judith Simmer-Brown
This is a scholarly look at both the symbolism and practice of dakini meditations and rituals in Vajrayana Tibetan Buddhism, but because the author is also a practitioner, it is very insightful. She includes overviews of the subtle body as viewed in Tibetan Buddhism, including differences in men and women, and in the ‘inner’ and ‘outer’ subtle bodies of dakinis, which are not simply symbolic in actual practice. (For those specifically interested in the feminine in Tibetan Buddhism I also recommend Women of Wisdom by Lama Tsultrim Allione and Passionate Enlightenment by Miranda Shaw, although these do not deal as explicitly with subtle body teachings.)
Awakening Shakti: The Transformative Power of the Goddesses of Yoga, by Sally Kempton
This book centers around the major female Hindu deities – Durga, Lakshmi, Kali, Parvati, and many more lesser known – and the ways we can work with them to own their energies as expressions of the different sides of our own feminine selves. The author does a great job of balancing the history and legend of these goddesses with journaling and meditation practices for connecting with what they represent within ourselves in a deeper way. This book doesn’t center on the chakras or energy body teachings explicitly, but because each goddess represents a different expression of our feminine energy, the end result is the same. So if you love goddesses, this may be the approach for you!
The Power of Shakti: 18 Pathways to Ignite the Energy of the Divine Woman, by Padma Aon Prakasha
In many ways the most esoteric and ‘new age’ of the books on this list, but also contains the most in-depth and detailed descriptions of how to work with ‘womb energy’, how to cleanse it, and how to live with it daily. It draws on Tantric teachings from both Hindu and Tibetan sources (including Tibetan ‘womb pulsing’) to awaken the doorway to the universe that this energy center truly is (and ‘lost Ancient Egyptian’ teachings as well.) And BTW, this is for both men and women, as this center is available to men also, it is just not their main doorway.
Womb Wisdom: Awakening the Creative and Forgotten Powers of the Feminine, by Padma and Anaiya Aon Prakasha
By the same teacher as the prior book, but written with his wife, who also teaches workshops on awakening the divine feminine with him. She shares some of her experiences going through the process outlined in the prior book, which makes this perhaps the more accessible of the two. Many of the same exercises are referenced, although there are some additional ones here. A CD is included with sound therapy/healing pieces to accompany the energetic work.
Other books that I like but that don’t have quite as much technical information on women’s energy bodies as other books in this list are Starhawk’s The Spiral Dance, or Diane Stein’s The Woman’s Book of Healing.
If you are looking for a self-guided course on women’s energetics that includes healing meditations and visualizations, please check out my DailyOm course on empowering your feminine energy body. If you are a woman working to heal from sexual abuse or trauma, you might also consider my free e-book Healing the Subtle Body Wounds of Sexual Trauma.
Hope you enjoy!