“Sexuality is the highest state of duality. As such, unless we transcend sex, we cannot rise beyond our basic ordinary human condition which is marked by life, procreation, death. Oneness is sexless, gender is bodiless.” ~ Shakti Verah Andro
Although Tantrism is a term coined by western philosophy, the ancient tradition of Tantra is more widely known as a religious practice that has absolutely nothing (or very little) to do with sex.
The earliest records of Tantric texts appeared in 600CE and researchers have found evidence of these practices; which combine mantra, ritual and the visualization of deities, in Vedic texts and Buddhist reliefs. For the purpose of this article, however, I will draw on the more popularized end of the spectrum of Neotantra where Tantric practices have been translated into an act of divine union.
This divine union is a recapitulation of the bliss achieved by Shakti and Shiva, and in its modern day usage reflects the act of discovering the deity within by harnessing sexual energy. This sexual energy and the power of orgasm is manifested as an act of service to the Whole and is directed back into the cosmos as divine and purified love; shifting the focus from the root chakra to the heart, third eye or crown.
By drawing this energy from the denser vestibules of primal instinct and channelling it into a Kundalini awakening, we can direct the energy into higher chakras therefore deepening our connection with the divine. The act of divine union could be seen to transmute these lower energies as a lightworker would when transmuting dense frequencies.
“This Vedic hymn is speaking of those “lost in thoughts” whose “personalities are not bound to earth, for they follow the path of the mysterious wind”.” ~ Karel Werner
In the Kaula tradition of Eastern Tantra – although scholars disagree on the accuracy and significance of this – bodily fluids were seen as power substances that contained life force and were not to be wasted. This practice is one which has survived into Neotantra, in that we are encouraged to see our sexual body fluids as precious and not to be shared with just anyone.
Similarly they should be preserved and only sent back to the cosmos when the energy has been raised to a transcendental level. This means that orgasm is achieved while lovers are vibrating at a high frequency and have taken a dimensional shift or moved out into the astral body or etheric template and away from the immediate layers of the body (physical, emotional and mental).
Partners can achieve this by delaying orgasm and engaging in various methods of orgasm control such as the venus butterfly (look it up!) or pressing gently on the base of the penis (again, for specifics look it up), but generally speaking the idea of Neotantra is to embrace the entire experience as a spiritual practice.
This includes appreciating eye contact, the brushing of hands, the experience of kissing; all to be encompassed under the art of making love rather than seeing sex as goal-orientated, as this can cause sexual imbalance and numbness in the heart centre.
The union of the Yoni (vagina); which represents birth and source, and Lingam (penis); which represents endless fire, when combined together in sacred union represent the pure state of nonduality. This state is one which transcends duality; dissolving gender and all notions of separation and honours the balance of the feminine and masculine within ourselves and/or our partners.
Polyamory is another progressive sexual platform that has gained new wind recently and we can hope to study it in a new light as perspectives move away from patriarchal norms of the male gaze and into a more balanced and inclusive point of view.
Polyamory, often confused with polygamy is now viewed as responsible non-monogamy; it has been under new scrutiny under the watchful eye of LGBT rights over the past few years in particular and is now seen as a sexual identity. In this sense, polyamory IS the new polygamy, but one which shies away from group or multiple marriage in the legal or traditional sense.
To be poly-amorous means to love in the romantic sense – either physically or platonically – multiple partners. The boundaries of such relationships seem to be the thrill here and we can make this an inclusive spiritual practice when, as it applies to Tantra, we uphold the practice with personal integrity and respect.
This would apply to ourselves as much as with others; we can easily sense when our sacral centre is being violated or disrespected. In the realm of feelings, the emotions may get tricky but Polyamory could be seen as an opportunity for the death of the ego; jealousy, comparison and competition arise but those involved in a polyamorous triangle (or whatever shape you wish to draw) encouraged to deal with these feelings lovingly and with compassion.
The drawbacks of such relationships could be seen to incite toxic masculinity in heterosexual partnerships where the masculine uses it as an excuse to have multiple partners. This would then push the feminine into having meaningless connections as a means of ‘catching up’ or not feeling left out or cheated on.
Where any gender has more masculine qualities or an imbalance in the sexual aura this could also apply. The key would be in observing and talking openly about such instances and ensuring that multiple connection honours our free will and that it comes from the heart each time. This is quite a tall order and you can see how polyamory is a lifestyle rather than a sideline. With this in mind one relationship can be quite enough for most people let alone more than that!
So as we evolve as a species many more sexual platforms may appear to us as well as all the nuances it brings. Exploring and transcending our gender duality appears to be one of the most enthralling experiences humans can muster and so we must keep an open heart and in the spirit of Tantra; above all, enjoy the journey.