westerners use the word "Tantra" to mean sacred sexuality. Tantra, or
Neo-Tantra, as practiced in the west, borrows from many traditions including Taoism,
Hinduism, Buddhism, Native American Quodoshka, Wiccan, Christian Gnosticism and more. Real
"Tantra" is a rigorous spiritual discipline and a vast field of study, with the
sexual aspect being an important part of it. Mystical experiences and altered states of
consciousness result from many of the processes, especially the ones with sexual energy at
their core. The act of ritual lovemaking is a participation in cosmic and divine
processes. The experience of transcending space and time, of surpassing the phenomenal
duality of spirit and matter, of recovering the primal unity, the realization of the
identity of God/Goddess, Shiva/Shakti and of the manifested and unmanifested aspects of
the All: these constitute the very mystery of Tantra.
The origins of Tantra can be traced back at least 20,000 years to markings on cave walls
that resemble the symbols still used in Tantra today. Associated with fertility worship
and paganism, early Tantric beliefs were based on observations that life itself was a
result of the act of love. This simple fact is difficult for us to remember at a time when
sex is considered shameful and dangerous by many.
The establishment of Tantra as a religion in India goes back to about 800 AD when the
great sacred erotic temples were built. This golden age of Tantra began when the people
rebelled against the stratified upper caste priesthood that controlled religious worship.
The central theme of the new spirituality that swept through India was direct spiritual
experience through ecstatic sexual practice, meditation and the use of sacraments. This
era lasted until the invasion of India that led to the destruction of most of the Tantric
temples and the killing of many of its practitioners. It has been largely an underground
force in India since that time.
Many of the same issues seem to exist today as they did in India during the time that led
to the golden age of Tantra . We all have an inner spiritual force that guides us.
Throughout history this guidance has led us to organized religion. Unfortunately,
religions sometimes lose their original essence as they become over-burdened with
centuries of new ideas.
Neo-Tantra is an eclectic mix based on personal experience as was the original Tantric
"anti-religion" in India. This is why it is so hard to define. What these
beliefs have in common is the vision of sexuality as a spiritual force or as a pathway to
direct spiritual experience. Sexuality is the vehicle, not the destination. Our true
spiritual nature is the goal.
We invite you to explore further.