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Book List – Women’s Energy Body Teachings

August 5, 2010

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 WomenEnergy 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 WisdomWomen’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.

NewMenopausalYearsNew 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 WomenEarth 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.)

Womens Book of YogaThe 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 Sorcerers CrossingThe 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 PowerThe 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!)

Dakinis Warm BreathDakini’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.)

awakeningshaktiAwakening 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 ShaktiThe 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!

Namaste-

25 Comments leave one →
  1. August 6, 2010 12:48 am

    Lisa,

    I am always so grateful for your book recommendations. Because of you I found and loved the Simmer-Brown book. I am glad to see C. Northrup on here too. She is such a good resource for women, solid and true. Any of her books are so helpful.

    I hope you enjoy the rest of your summer with your lovely ones. Play! xo

  2. August 6, 2010 10:33 am

    fab list. STILL haven’t read any castaneda. looking forward to that womb post.

  3. August 6, 2010 4:59 pm

    I really appreciate your posts, and just read with great interest the post and comments on energy lines. Just ordered two of your recommended books thru your Amazon Affiliate, and appreciated your reviews!

  4. August 6, 2010 6:38 pm

    Jan – thank you, I’m glad you liked the Simmer-Brown book, and I think every woman should own a Northrup book! Enjoy your summer too:-)

    Mon – I thought of you right away when I read the ‘winds of the womb’ thing. I have mixed feelings about Castaneda, he can get very heavy and dark and I just want to tell him and all his fellow apprentices to lighten up whenever I read him. But there is no shortage of fascinating stuff in his writings. Hopefully I can pull that post off, for some reason I am finding it hard to articulate it…

    Cate – wow, thank you! I hope you like them. If not, let me know and why – and I’ll refund the affiliate $!!

  5. August 6, 2010 10:22 pm

    Hey Lisa

    John Irving has said that if you want to be a writer you’ve got to get obsessed and stay obsessed. I’ve certainly been there, not only with writing but with reading as well. I can read a book in a day and then the next day I want another one. I’m almost afraid to pick one up anymore. Plus, my current obsession with the internet leaves time for little else. But we go through phases and stages, don’t we? Maybe someday I’ll find a better balance between reading, writing, and surfing the worldwide web.

    Keep pushing on that Castaneda post. I view his writing as some strange blend of fiction, cultural archaeology, and phantasmagoria. I love that stuff!!🙂

  6. August 7, 2010 12:25 pm

    Oh wow! Women’s stuff. This is cool. I might sound biased if I concentrate my comment on Carlos Castaneda’s work, so let me just say that all of the books sound really interesting. My knowledge is quite limited regarding the intricacies of spiritual practices for women, so I will definitely learn a lot from your future posts. Searching for references also seems not to be a problem coz you regularly provide them here. May the force of all the devas and dakinis be with you, Lisa.

    Peace and respect,
    Ryhen

  7. August 8, 2010 12:47 am

    Wow, what a list! I’m just getting wet in the sea of the sacred feminine, and hope to explore these as I journey deeper and deeper into the Godess within. This is the third mention of the Northrup book, so I guess I’ll be reading that soon.

  8. Anonymous permalink
    August 8, 2010 9:45 am

    Thanks for your list. Very timely for me as I am working with the spiritual/energy side of the menstral cycle at the moment. Looking forward to the womb post. Peace, Nicki

  9. August 8, 2010 5:41 pm

    Brenda – yes, if there’s one thing focusing on writing has taught me the last couple of years, it’s how to wait. Sometimes things just need to germinate/mature on another level it seems. I like your view of Castaneda, similar to my own I think.

    Ryhen – biased for or against Castaneda? Either way. could be an interesting conversation.

    Kaveri – yes, as a physician I think you will appreciate Northrup books especially, since she is also.

    Nicki – there’s another book I almost included here called Meditation Secrets for Women, by Camille Maurine, because it has a chapter on honoring our cycle/inner rhythm through meditation, that you might want to take a look at (I ended up not including it only because it didn’t have much technical energy body info, which was more the focus of this list.)

  10. August 9, 2010 2:51 am

    I am like Kaveri, I do not know much about feminine energy and Goddesses but I have read the Castaneda books. I could not make head or tail of those at first and had to read them more than once. Now of course I love them and they make a lot more sense. I do appreciate your introductions and your explanations, I love a guide into these worlds and you do it very well.
    Much love, Wilma

  11. August 10, 2010 9:40 pm

    ooh i found your site from mom renewal and LOVE IT. Love the Spiral Dance and all of these books. I plan on doing some chakra writings as soon as school starts for my babe. So glad I found you. I hope you stop by and have a look around my blog too.

  12. August 12, 2010 7:22 pm

    Wilma – isn’t it amazing how we can read a book at some point and it means nothing to us, and then later on it is an entirely differently experience? Proof that ‘wherever you go, there you are’ – we can see only what we are capable of perceiving at a given time. This has really been true for me with the Castaneda books.

    Dina – Welcome! I’m glad you liked this list, and I will definitely check out your blog too.

  13. awakeningofminds permalink
    August 6, 2011 5:42 pm

    Great recommendations! In regards to the book ‘Earth Qi Gong For Women’ I also recommend Lee Holden’s DVD on “Moving Meditation” Qi Gong. It’s helped me so much over the past few weeks (regarding health and healing). Will definitely give your book a try though!

  14. October 11, 2012 8:10 pm

    I just ordered two of these books….The Sorcerer’s Crossing and Wild Feminine. ! I already have Womb WIsdom and The Power of Shakti! Excellent Choices thank you….I am going to repost this list to my blog….

  15. October 12, 2012 6:55 pm

    SensualTantricHealing – Excellent choices – 2 very different offerings. Let me know of any other books that you have found. And thank you so much for the reblogs. Yes there is a lot to discuss re: these topics, perhaps I will contact you separately for a guest post here, and I love you writings on these topics too:)

  16. February 17, 2015 5:43 am

    Good teacher and superb DVD.

  17. March 8, 2015 3:38 am

    Reblogged this on Mommy Mystic and commented:

    Happy International Women’s Day (March 8th!) I will be back soon with a new post, but in honor of this day wanted to reblog an updated version of my Women’s Energetics book list, as there are many great resources here. Feel free to suggest any other books of your own. Also, for any of you working to heal from sexual trauma or abuse, please note that I will be offering my teleseminar on energy work for this again in April, clickthrough to the site and check the sidebar for the link. – Lisa

  18. Antoinette permalink
    March 9, 2015 10:07 am

    Such a fab list Lisa! Thanks for this. I’ve read a couple of these, (Northrup’s books I keep on my shelves, so useful), but lots more I’m yet to explore. Also, I’m really interested in reading the Judith Simmer-Brown – hadn’t heard of that one. xx

  19. March 9, 2015 7:02 pm

    Hi Antoinette, have you read the Susan Weed book, if not it is so up your ally! Yes the Simmer-Brown book is excellent, and then within Tibetan Buddhism if you are interested in learning more specifically about Machig Lapdron, the female founder of Chod (which Feeding Your Demons is based upon) there are two good books on her, Sarah Harding’s Machik’s Complete Explanation and Jerome Edou’s Machog Lapdron and the Foundation of Chod.

  20. Antoinette permalink
    March 9, 2015 9:27 pm

    Great! Thanks for the further recommendations Lisa. I appreciate it as I’m always on the lookout for that subject matter, but never sure where to start! I’m going to save this post so I can keep them on hand. Best to you. Antoinette xx

  21. August 14, 2015 7:43 am

    This is so helpful. Just what I need at the moment as I confront 2nd chakra issues. Thank you. I’ve ordered a couple of the books and have started gentle pelvic stretching exercises.

  22. August 18, 2015 1:17 am

    Great mm, if you haven’t already you may also want to try out some of the free 2nd chakra guided meditations I have available – you can find links to them on the Chakras page here. If you like them, you can consider the DailyOm course too.

Trackbacks

  1. 2nd Chakra Series – 21 Ways to Care for Your Sacral Chakra « Mommy Mystic
  2. A Guided Yin Chakra Meditation – Not Just For Women! « Mommy Mystic
  3. 2nd Chakra Series-21 Ways to Care for Your Sacral Chakra from Mommy Mystic Blog « sensualtantrichealing

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