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Tantra and Magic, Sex Magic

From: (nagasiva)
Newsgroups: alt.magick,alt.magick.tyagi,alt.paranormal.spells.hexes.magic,alt.magick.tantra,alt.religion.sexuality,talk.religion.buddhism,alt.consciousness.mysticism
Subject: Tantra and Magic, Sex Magic (was Re: "Tantra has nothing to do with sex")
Date: 1 Oct 1999 07:43:51 -0700
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49991001 IVom

"Jim Raynor"  writes in alt.magick.tantra:
# "Tantra has nothing to do with sex" I've seen said in this newsgroup.

and every time it is a ridiculous statement, though there is truth
to distancing an *identification* of tantra with sexuality,
especially a narrow and conventional significance for either term.

# Can someone give practical techniques of Tantra magic 

the question is somewhat awkwardly phrased and specialized in its
request, so you may not get the kind of response that you desire.
I think it is particularly applicable for this forum and so take
a great deal of space and time here (rather than spend it on the
flameworks in other threads) in addressing it in detail.

"tantra magic" is a peculiar reflection of the usage of usenet as 
a forum of interaction. if you examine the FAQ (located at this URL: you'll see that the
newsgroup "alt.magick.tantra" was used in place of ""
and therefore what you're really asking about here is sex magick,
which some people might equate with "tantra magick" if they use
the terms synonymously. 

"sex magick" per se appears to most often relate to the usage of
sexual energy and fluids for the purposes of causing change in
the world through symbolic and/or associative means. when it is
related to 'tantra' this change is usually psycho-spiritual in
nature (i.e. mystical), yet sex magick can have absolutely
nothing to do with spirituality -- it can focus on completely
materialistic and acquisitive or interactional results such as
the procurement of wealth or the decimation of an enemy, the
exploration of the underworld or the domination of one's mate.

some practical techniques (spells) of sex magick and magick
that has nothing to do with sex can be found at the following 

(the sex-related spells are under the "RED" category). many of 
these have been collected from the alt.magick.* hierarchy of 
usenet. however, you appear to be talking here about a more 
mystical objective:

# that allows the soul to be liberated and expand that has 
# nothing to do with sex?

hindu tantra
Hindu tantrics seem to regard magic per se as a byproduct
of mystical endeavor, rather than something which infuses
the accomplishment of mystical disciplines per se. this is
at odds with how a variety of Western occultists (e.g.
Aleister Crowley) have protrayed their mystical systems --
Crowley places yoga as a *precursor* to magical practice 
and defines 'white' (apparently 'good' or 'recommended') 
magick as that which has as its goal the accomplishment of 
his particular mystical goals. 

Hindu yogis seem quite fond of pranayama (breath control
and discipline) to achieve certain states of awareness,
meditation, and in some cases, asanas or bodily positions
maintained through the course of breathing and attentive
shift. these typically do not include sexuality at all.

buddhist tantra
as a mystical application, the focus on yidams and recitation
of mantras are practical magical techniques used by Buddhist
tantrics. when I was empowered by a lama in the Nyingmapa
lineage of the Vajrayana he gave us all an awareness spell
(mantra) related to Yeshes Tsogyal, who was the focus of that
evening's empowerment.

you can presently find this data at:   

in no case did sexuality per se enter into the spell. or
the predominantly meditative techniques outlined therein.

"christian tantra"
I am not yet aware of the details of what should be called
'magical' techniques amongst Christians such as Savory or
Noyes. Savory appears to have been a breast-lover and I
think sexuality was an integral element of his techniques.
sri catyananda would have more complete information here.
Noyes favored what I would call tantra inasmuch as he
sought to refine male technique (Male Continence) and was
the innovator of utopian communities that experimented
with disciplines of romance and relationship (e.g. Complex
Marriage). neither called his activity 'tantra', though I
would personally classify them as types of de facto tantrism.

hermetic (neo)tantra
the hermetic tantrics such as Randolph, Reuss, Crowley,
Spare, Grant and many others (whose names I omit solely for
the saving of space) have approached the subject of magick
with a great deal of variety. some seem never to mention
the term, though delving somewhat into sexual techniques
of an obvious magical character for the purposes of
mystical achievement. indeed, many of these seem predisposed
to placing a *moral* (if not metaphysical) limitation on the
use of sexual states and energies for magical purposes, 
while others are quite plain in their support of ordinary
magical objectives as well as taboo-breaking for the purposes
of personal liberation. until modern times these primarily
mystical individuals (often of Judeochristian and/or quite
syncretic religious persuasion) did not identify what they
were doing as 'tantra', though their focus on a unification
with the divine and an integration with the cosmos through
sexual and nonsexual methods allows the categorization (and
I am not the first to make it -- see King's text on 'Western
Tantra'). it should be noted that there is a healthy cross-
breeding of Western occultism and Eastern tantric traditions
(which individuals such as Mr. Magee and, when he is not too
busy dissing members of usenet, Tzimon Yliaster, can speak
of with some authority).

satanist (neo)tantra
I understand the Satanist tantra which I am learning to
include quite a bit of magick, though of particular types.
I can't be sure at present why there would be any limits
to what magick one might use within satanist tantra,
because the aspirant will have different needs at different
times and this will range the spectrum of magical result.
my focus here will be on what I would call 'agapic' aims.

the particular practical techniques which have served me
well have been 

	* the use of tarot in becoming acquainted with 
	  my dedicatory deity (first through the deck 
	  and then in direct conversation) -- there was
	  no consistent sexual element to tarot reading;
	  for more information about tarot, consult the
	  alt.tarot FAQs in the alt.magick REFerence
	  files, obtainable from the alt.magick FAQ at:

	* the invocation of gods and goddesses for the
	  purposes of integrating their power and nature
	  into my own -- sometimes this did include
	  sex, such as when my partner and I would invoke
	  deities prior to making love, but it did not
	  always, such as when I was present at rituals
	  and was infused with gods such as Siva or Odhin.

	* visualizations in exploration of the Underworld,
	  particularly the Faerie and the Qliphotic Shells,
	  though my work with the latter was hampered by
	  by difficulties with creationist and linear
	  cosmological temporal mythical systems.

	* divination using numerology and a general
	  symbolic interpretation of the world around me
	  (this could be called the discernment of omens
	  and signs, though my experience has been rather
	  more blatant and direct than these would seem
	  to indicate, my goddess speaking to me at times
	  in no uncertain terms and, when through symbols,
	  with an unambiguous clarity which these terms
	  do not usually convey); this has also included
	  gematria, which application to the English
	  language I have already found immense benefit
	  in the interpretation of my tantric partner's
	  nature and theme while in reverie after a
	  sojourn to her abode and a reflection on how
	  the number 108 resolved to 'come'). if any are
	  interested I'll be happy to post the poem in
	  which this gematria appeared, especially if
	  sri catyananda does not mind ;> -- sexuality
	  was not usually a part of divination, though
	  occasionally it would become one it was not
	  at all necessary.
	* love spells; these have become important in
	  the relationship I have with sri catyananda. 
	  we have utilized magical potions (oils) and
	  herbs (incenses) to intensify the fusion of
	  our lives; we have sold one another our souls, 
	  which I would consider a magical act; we have
	  exchanged declarations of our dedication and
	  used magnetic stones and sand in a composite
	  spell of lovemaking; we have bathed in an herb
	  bath designed to enhance love and intimacy;
	  we have constructed a special bedchamber taking
	  cues from ancient taoist manuscripts with altars
	  for our dedicatory deities -- I'd say that most
	  of these magical techniques did NOT require
	  sexuality in the strict sense, though they did
	  were at times included in or accompanied it.

# I had thought that sexual transmutation was the principle 
# element and/or force in Tantra.

that all depends on what you take 'sexual transmutation' to
mean and what tradition of tantra you come from, as I hope
I have illustrated with my response to your inquiry. from
a traditional perspective of authoritative lineages (often
characterized as 'Hindu' or 'Buddhist'), sexuality in the
strict sense of physical coitus seems to play a rather
minor role, though its symbolism is pervasive and its
relation to the context of certain important rituals and
activities (in particular the Panchatattva Rite and less
well-known Buddhist practices) is not disputed.

when accepting a broader significance for the term 'sex',
then we will discover that much more of that which is
included in even traditional Asian lineages qualifies,
since the combinative and amatory nature of the practice
serves what can rationally be called sexual motivations
(albeit through metaphor or with nonphysical entities, or
using conceptual and graphic tools that refer directly to
conjunction of *some* entities or principles).

where the lineage or instance of tantra expands beyond
the traditional (whether de facto or neo-tantra), sexuality
in the strictly physical sense (coitus) seems to become a 
much more prominent element of practice, and this may be
one of the reasons that there is such great concern on the
part of traditionalists -- it may prove more volatile and
therefore result in precisely the OPPOSITE of the typical
religious aspirant's aim. 

after all, the predominant objective of many religious,
both nominal tantrics and non, is transcendentalism, and
it is quite obvious that fucking as a part of one's
"spiritual practice" is somewhat at ODDS with this general
goal. natural animal behaviors as a *method* would seem to 
draw one to rather enjoy the physical world and one's life
experience within it, and this can run directly contrary to
the desires of those who wish to escape it, transcend it, 
or in some way decrease their attachment to it. think what
would happen if one took up fucking as a religion and also
believed in reincarnation: endless opportunity to worship. ;>

and yet in their wisdom the religious have also indicated
that the buddha Gautama and Indian tantric gods have
communicated the diversity of methods available to those
living through these troubled times. Sakyamuni is said to
have, through his compassion, offered innumerable skilful
means (upaya) to accomplish the extinction (nirvana), and 
some Indian gods and subsequent mystics thereafter are said 
to have explained the liberating value of sex and other 
physical activities -- approaching that which "corrupts" 
directly and utilizing it as a means of freeing oneself. 
often this is accompanied by warnings that going it alone 
is dangerous and that some kind of guidance is probably
necessary to avoid the shoals of debauch and fanaticism, 
hubris and self-deception in the navigation of the mystical 
enterprise. this advice is extremely valuable.

on the other hand, a focus on that to which one is
attached can yield extraordinary results. it is said
amongst taoists that to find yin one may best seek
yang, and this principle can carry into the realm
mystical as well as the ordinary world, however
contrary to our 'common sense' this may appear. we
might presume with transcedentalists that the best
which might be achieved by 'the dedicated discipline
of fucking' is to have had enough of it, to 'get it
out of our systems', or 'to come to such a full
experience of it that it may be abandoned'. 

yet where I think this perspective falls short is in
its primarily OTHER-worldly focus. we are always
moving away from where we have come (that horrid
meatspace from which so many cyberspace citizens flee;
that 'dense classroom' of the spiritualists) rather
than, perhaps more in the tradition of certain yogis,
'being here, now'. it is for this reason that I do not
prefer to separate out 'the soul' from 'the body',
instead taking a clue from religious groups like the
Jehovah's Witnesses who understand that the body is a
*part* of the soul. 

'liberation' or 'release' thereafter takes on meaning
unencapsulated by the transcendentalist vision. sex as
a part of a means of achieving this could become an
example of extreme measures for extreme times. those
daring these risky climes may prove better at
navigating them over time. 'release' becomes a matter
of one's position with RESPECT to life, objects and
sexuality. releasing such a strict hold on them, being
at peace with and relaxed with them rather than 
straining at, obsessed with, and therefore always
struggling to escape them, leave them behind, or to
denigrate them, allows a more fluid departure and
return to their joyous ecstasies and painful trials.

om namah kaliya

"'I can't believe it,' said Alice.
"'Can't you?' the Queen said.... 'Try again; draw a long breath, and 
	shut your eyes.'
"Alice laughed.  'There's no use trying,' she said; 'one can't believe 
	impossible things.'
"'I daresay you haven't had much practice,' said the Queen.  'When I 
	was your age, I always did it for half-an-hour a day.  Why, 
	sometimes I've believed as many as six impossible things before 

Lewis Carroll
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