Yoni (Sanskrit) The womb; more generally, the female principle. In ancient India the yoni was the common female symbol of the universal Mother of the gods. This symbol corresponds to Noah's ark, and to the navis or shiplike form of the crescent, the sidereal vessel. The ancient Hindu interpretation of the linga and yoni is entirely metaphysical and psychological, but the once highly philosophical and sublime worship of the linga and yoni of Siva worship has degenerated in modern times to mere phallic worship. The Hebrew interpretation of these same symbols likewise finally became realistic and physiological (cf SD 2:469-70). However, as Monier-Williams wrote in Folklore Record (vol 3, pt 1, p. 118): "[The linga and yoni are] mystical representations, and perhaps the best possible impersonal representatives, of the abstract expressions of paternity and maternity."