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Siva as Savior; non-Asian sacred sex

Date: Fri, 28 Aug 1998 12:32:56 -0800
From: catherine yronwode 
Newsgroups: alt.magick.tantra,alt.magick.tyagi
Subject: Re: Siva as Savior; non-Asian sacred sex

Ingeborg S. Norden wrote:
> Greetings, Catherine!
> You originally wrote:
> >> >In recognition of my own personal heterodoxy, I twist a specific
> >> >Christian phrase and tell folks that "I have accepted Lord Siva as 
> >> >my personal Saviour." Some people get the meaning, others do not.
> I responded:
> >> I seem to understand at least partially--that your relationship 
> >> with Siva is as intimate and meaningful as a devout Christian's
> >> relationship with *his* deity.
> You confirmed that, then answered my question about whether Siva 
> actually *is* described as a savior in Hindu sources.  So did a few 
> other subscribers; consider this part a "thank you" to everyone who 
> helped!
> In a way, you're lucky that your own religious texts are worded in a 
> way that lets you throw other people's buzz phrase right back.  My 
> relationship with Freyr often does get as intimate as yours does with 
> Siva, yet I can't use the ready-made comeback you do. Because 
> salvation as such is not a goal of my religion, calling any Germanic 
> god a "savior" would sound just plain wrong. 

The unspoken irony of my saying that i have "accepted Lord Siva as my
Personal Saviour," is that i find it impossible to really "believe" in
the transmigration of souls along typical Asian lines of thought about
reincarnation. So the fact that Siva is said to grant liberation from
rebrith is meaningless to me. The "salvation" i desire from Siva can
only be called "personal" -- and thus i reclaim and redefine the word
"personal" in that stock Christian phrase. 

> (According to Asatru teachings, only people who commit heinous
> crimes suffer significantly in the afterlife; and reincarnation, which
> usually takes place along family lines, is not an evil to be avoided.)  

Interesting ... a semi-genetic model for reincarnation. I like it. But,
tell me, how do Asatru folks (Asatruans? Asatruites?) explain the huge
recent upswing in human (over)population? Where are all these souls
coming from????

> The  best I can do is to latch onto the fundies' "Lord" references, as 
> that's  what "Freyr" means in Old Norse:  it's a title that eventually 
> got used in place of the god's real name.

What was his "real" name (his birth name?), if i may inquire? Do you
know him under other name(s) or only as Freyr? And how is Freyr

> I originally wrote:
> >> As for myself, I have tried to integrate sacred-sex practices into 
> >> my Northern spirituality....[my remarks on the near-lack of 
> >> "authentic" Norse material on sacred sex, and the fact that new-
> >> but-consistent rituals still work within a non-Asian tradition]... 
> >> There is a definite sense of connection to my god's holy, creative 
> >> power; something more is going on than just provoking a physical 
> >> response to a stimulus.
> You replied:
> >Hey, you don't need to fall into the orthodoxy of believing that just
> >because a text is a few hundred or a few thousand years old, it
> >represents a higher or better glimpse of ETERNAL truth than what you
> >yourself see when you look into your beloved's eyes today.
> Touché, Catherine!  While both my tradition and yours do respect the 
> ancient texts we have, they are not the be-all and end-all of 
> spiritual practice (sexual or otherwise).  Sometimes I wish I could 
> feed the older-is-always-better fanatics a week-old moldy cheeseburger 
> and see if THAT doesn't change their tune!...

We sure agree on that! My research has been directed toward finding
commonalities between various historical and contemporary magical,
mystical, and spiritual approaches to the act of physical sexual
intercourse. To that end, i do read and study old texts, but i try to
discount their obvious cultural biases (e.g. the poor status of women in
a given society) and impleemnt the meaterial that WORKS for me. 

For instance, in a several-hundred-year old Taoist/Buddhist
spiiritual-sex guide to "women's solo practice," i found instructions
for a way for women to "cultivate" chi (energy) in the breasts. The
Chinese cultivation of chi in the breasts does not seem to correspond to
the Indian model of raising kundalini to the heart chakra; rather in
this practice the breasts of women are perceived as a point of
generation or manifestation for chi, similar to that found in the
genitals in both   sexes. Once chi is "cultivated" (in the genitals or
in the breasts of women) it is then "circulated" through the body. The
path followed by circulating chi does not correspond to the Indian
chakra system but is rather parallels the model found in traditional
Chinese medicine (the  "meridian" system). 

The ancient text called for placing the palms of the hands on the
breasts with firm but gentle pressure and rotating the hands alternately
clockwise and counterclockwise, making 36 times passes each way, for a
total of 72 moves to each breast. It said that this should be a daily
practice of all (solitary) women. 

I did as instructed and found that the activity produced a distinct
oxytocin rush in me, similar to that engendered by suckling a baby or a
lover. For those readers who have never nursed a child or a lover, i can
best describe the experience of this hormone rush (called "the milk
let-down reflex" by dairy-animal keepers) as a swooning uplift in spirit
accompanied shortly by deep, deep, deep feelings of love, compassion,
and protection for the loved one (and/or all sentient beings), plus a
distinct, albeit minor, sexual thrill. If the stimulation of the breasts
persists long enough, a warm physical feeling of "satisfaction" will be
felt in the breasts and experienced by the mind for up to half an hour
after the act is completed. If direct sexual stimulation is undertaken
while the suckling is in progress, the woman's ability to control her
contractive orgasm reflex may be lessened, due to the exra oxytocin in
the system, so her 

Since oxytocin is a hormone intimately connected to the experience of
orgasm as well as to all manner of mammalaian bonding, grooming, and
nesting behaviours, i felt that the author of this "sex-alchemy" text
was on to something righteous. The technique worked for me -- and it
made good biological-spiritual sense as well, specially since the
intention was to stimulate an oxytocin rush in women who were living
solo or celibate lives and would not, one supposes, have had lovers or
children to suckle. I was grateful that the author had taken the time to
write down an account of this technique, even though it was embedded in
a bunch of Taoist / Buddhist material. 

The point of this example is that i believe in learning what i can from
ancient texts -- but i never forget that in discussing spiritual sex,
the majority of us are talking about our BODIES as well as our deities.
The most valuable information i derive from old tantric / taosist  texts
often consists of accounts of what to do with our bodies, not lists of
god-names to memorize, seed-syllables to be chanted, or cultural taboos
to be broken. 

> Within my own tradition, I often remind myself that one of Freyr's 
> titles is "God of the World"--and that the Norse word used for "world" 
> actually means "human lifetime", not the planet or cosmos.  (In the 
> words of a pagan friend who learned that from me:  "Ohhhh, the god of 
> the here and now!")  And what's more important in a sacred-sex ritual:  
> going by what some long-dead philosopher wrote in a book, or 
> experiencing ecstasy *now*?

A good question, and one which each person in this newsgroup will answer
by his or her own way. For me sacred sex is an experiential path.
> >The detailed attention paid by some retro-tantrikas to ancient
> >strictly-followed forms of ritual are, in my opinion, limitations on 
> >something more immense than any given guru, culture, or religion can 
> >describe.
> Just goes to show you that fundamentalism exists in every religion you 
> can  name--and that it has the same choking effect on real 
> spirituality.

The Four-Square Church of Retro-Tantra! What a hoot.  
> >I like Sanskrit as well as the next post-modern hippie, but i have to 
> >laugh at the way some folks defend their hegemony over some Sanskrit 
> >word or another. Do they think Siva and Sakti really CARE?
> And I've done my share of hair-splitting over Old Norse (*blush*), but 
> I'm sure my gods have better things to do with their time than decide 
> who has a more correct interpretation of the Eddas.  

Spelling! What about spelling? And pronuncition! Can you feature the
gods discussing that? Yet over in alt.magick.tyagi (into which i am now
crossposting this) there has been a long thread running on the relative
powerfulness of various names of deities. 

> Again, anal-retentive theologians
> in *any* faith can miss the whole point of following a religion.

It's like they're playing a meta-game about the RULES of the game, you
know what i mean? 

> >My mission in this newsgroup and on the web has been to testify to 
> >the myriad "spontaneous" discoveries of sacred sex that resemble but 
> >are not directly indebted to an Asian religious lineage. These "non-
> >tantra tantras" are our best proof that the experience of sacred sex 
> >is a universally HUMAN experience. And that human universality is in 
> >turn our best clue that this bliss, this ecstasy, this consciousness 
> >of the divine in sexual union is available to all those who seek it, 
> >regardless of their race, creed, or country of national origin.
> *thunderous applause*  If you'll pardon the cliché:  "You go, girl!"  
> Some things are part of everyone's spiritual experience, even if a 
> given culture doesn't record it in the same detail that someone else's 
> does.
> [invocations to various deities snipped]
> Yup, there's a darn good reason that even an atheist feels moved to 
> shout "oh God" when he's climaxing; it's just that we take it a lot 
> more seriously than the atheist would!  *LOL*

You crack me up! 

> Ingeborg Svea Nordén, true kinswoman of Freyr...

catherine yronwode, freelance devotee

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