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alt.magick.tantra FAQ

To: alt.magick.tantra,alt.magick.tyagi
From: catherine yronwode 
Subject: Re: alt.magick.tantra FAQ (long)
Date: Sun, 16 Nov 2003 06:26:46 GMT

sa87 wrote:
> tyaginator wrote:
> > Archive-name: magick/tantra/faq
> > Updated: 1999/11/04
> > Posting-frequency: monthly or by inquiry
> >
> > ---------------------- The alt.magick.tantra FAQ ---------------------
> >
> >
> >         1.1  What topics are fit for discussion in alt.magick.tantra?
> >
> >
> >         Tantra yoga is a general name for a confluence of mystical
> >         and religious systems developed in India over the past
> >         several centuries in reflection of certain traditional
> >         texts, called 'Tantras,' often attributed to divinities
> >         or mythological beings.
> >
> >         Tantric systems maintain a variety of cosmological
> >         presuppositions, sometimes biological in metaphor (e.g.
> >         disks or wheels -- chakras -- of energy or 'prana' that may
> >         be found throughout the body and in particular along the
> >         spine), sometimes religious in character (e.g. the
> >         disciplines which attempt to influence the deities Siva
> >         and/or Sakti, thought to be resident to the human body).
> >
> >         Typically yoga is an ascetic set of disciplines recommended
> >         by a historical or tutelary guru or instructor and is
> >         presumed to aid the practitioner in purificatory, conscious,
> >         or moral development.
> >
> >         Tantra (sometimes "tantric") yoga in particular often
> >         includes a context of sexual symbolism, if not actual sexual
> >         activities, which are described as constituting this aid.
> >         Often there will also be an ultimate aim supposed (e.g.
> >         "moksha" or "liberation") which serves to bolster the
> >         practices based on a presumed cosmology (e.g. better
> >         rebirths or an escape from rebirth into the world).
> >
> >         For a further historical description of some the varied
> >         traditions of Indian tantra yoga, see also
> >
> >    
> >
> What does WoMan Want?- Timothy Leary
> see also the comics and flurry of work put out circa 1997
> >
> > 2.2  Do you have to be Hindu or Buddhist to practice tantra yoga?
> >
> >         Generally tantric yogis or yoginis are Hindu, and by this
> >         generalization we may presume that they accept a cosmology
> >         or have been assimilated by a culture which is Saivite,
> >         Saktiite, or, in some unusual cases, Vaisnavite. Some
> >         schools of Buddhism (but by no means all) endorse tantra
> >         yoga or tantric practices; this is especially true in
> >         Tibetan Buddhism. In addition, there are Taoists who
> >         incorporate tantra-like disciplines into their teachings,
> >         although they are not likely to use the term "tantra."
> >         It is assumed by most scholars that both the Buddhist
> >         and Taoist forms of tantra derived from Hindu sources
> >         centuries ago. However, with the popularization of books
> >         as sources of mystical disciplines, it is possible that
> >         some of the instructions provided by these cultures may be
> >         followed by interested people quite outside Hindu, Buddhist,
> >         or Taoist traditions.
> >
> >
> >         There are complex systems of physical and/or psychic
> >         developments described within Taoist alchemical texts,
> >         often purely through implication (called "shadow
> >         language"), but sometimes in terms that are unequivocally
> >         sexual. Such texts at times seem to make explicit references
> >         to copulation, though interpreters differ in their instruction
> >         as to how much the reader ought take literally and how
> >         much to understand as solely symbolical. Features such as
> >         inner furnaces and crucibles, mythical animals such as
> >         dragons and phoenixes, and living species like tigers and
> >         tortoises become references to internal and external mystical
> >         and sexual elements only decoded by those who have the proper
> >         keys.
> >
> extremely hard for westerners normally to grasp any of this- remember we
> didn't have paper and bikes in 400 or 700 like the Chinese
> 'even' the Maya had comparably advanced civilization when the barbarian
> hoardes descended e.g. Vandals, Goths etc.
> > 2.6  What is meant by "neo-tantra"?
> >
> >         "Neo-tantra" is a term coined recently to distinguish
> >         between traditional Asian tantra yoga and modern syncretic
> >         techniques for spiritual sexuality being taught in "workshops"
> >         and through periodicals and books in Europe and the
> >         Americas. Neo-tantra typically makes use of the
> >         traditional tantra yoga asanas (positions), breath
> >         control, and meditation, but it is taught outside the
> >         framework of Hindu culture and religion. It differs from
> >         karezza in that its emphasis is not so openly eclectic and
> >         mystical. Unique to neo-tantra is a modern or New Age
> >         tendency to include massage (so-called "tantric massage"),
> >         Reichian body-work (e.g. "bio-energetics"), and even
> >         counselling (e.g. "sexual healing") to the course of study.
> >
> >         Some prominent neo-tantra teachers (all of whom,
> >         regrettably, claim they are teaching tantra yoga) are
> >         Lori Grace, Margo Anand, and the Muirs.
> essential stuff in California
> >
> > 2.7  What is meant by references to "Western, non-religious tantra yoga"?
> >
> >         "Western, non-religious tantra yoga" is an oxymoron. Tantra
> >         yoga is always Asian in origin and always religious in nature.
> certainly etymology will lead to this view
> >
> >         The term "Western, non-religious tantra yoga" may be naively
> >         applied to the syncretic Western form of sex-mysticism that
> >         is more properly called neo-tantra (see above), but since
> >         even the most heterodox of neo-tantra teachers strive to
> >         preserve and transmit truly mystical and spiritual insights,
> >         clothed though they might be in New Age self-help paradigms,
> >         they cannot really be said to be "non-religious."
> >
> >         Very often the label "Western, non-religious tantra yoga"
> >         is just a cover for what were previously called "swingers'
> >         parties" or "promiscuity." As such, this term capitalizes on
> >         the paltry education provided to modern adults regarding
> >         sexuality in order to sell itself as a mystical tradition.
> >         These posers call what they are doing "tantra" merely because
> >         it involves sexuality. Spiritual and religious elements are
> >         removed in favour of mostly sexual instruction. While there
> >         is nothing wrong with instruction on the techniques of
> >         sexuality, categorizing this as "tantra," "sex mysticism,"
> >         or "karezza" robs these important references of their deeper
> >         meanings.
> every one must find hir OWN way
> >
> > 2.8  What is sex magick / sex magic?
> >
> >
> >         Generally, practitioners of sexual folk magic seek to obtain
> >         results in the realms of sexuality and relationships, while
> >         those involved in ceremonial sex magick may have similar goals
> >         or may wish to use the energy of sex or its physical adjuncts
> >         (such as semen, menstrual fluid, or vaginal fluid) to achieve
> >         other goals, including money-drawing, improved health,
> >         casting curses, contact with discarnate entities or spirits
> >         (e.g. the dead, angels, demons, and deities), mental telepathy,
> >         psychic visions, and so forth.
> >
> >
> Milarepa is an interesting source, at least from my european or western
> orientation. Not on sex magick or tantra per se, but in a general, a
> very good book to see if one is a western aspirant approaching the
> mysteries, like bardo thola
> >
> > 2.9  Is a sex religion like tantra yoga the same as ceremonial sex
> >       magick or folkloric sex magic?
> >
> >         Ceremonial magick is a Hermetic enterprise which assimilates
> >         what it can from a number of global mystical disciplines as
> >         it is able to apprehend them. Tantra yoga has preceded
> >         ceremonial sex magick (of various types) by centuries, but it
> >         is often re-interpreted within the Hermetic framework to add
> >         mystery and draw membership. It is often engaged by individuals
> >         who are members of an occult group and often presumes the
> >         "expertise" or "power" of physical (rather than merely symbolic)
> >         sexuality as a part of the ritual.
> >
> >         Folkloric sex magic has roots that go back to the neolithic
> >         period. Insofar as tantra yoga is thought to derive from a
> >         prehistoric form of goddess-worship, it shares some imagery
> >         and beliefs with folk magic, such as the notion that there
> >         are special magical consequences attendant upon contact
> >         with menstrual blood or other sexual effluvia. However, the
> >         distinguishing characteristics of yoga -- body postures,
> >         breath control, and meditation -- are generally absent in
> >         folk-magic. Folkloric sex magic is most often embarked upon by
> >         solitary practitioners or by professionals (e.g. a root worker)
> >         on behalf of a client. It often presumes the efficacy of an
> >         object (herb, mineral, charm) or an incantation (spell or
> >         prayer) in the manipulation of sexuality.
> >
> >         Tantra yoga is usually undertaken with the guidance of a guru
> >         in a religious group and often presumes the "inferiority" of
> >         practice which includes mere sexuality. It generally involves
> >         a great many supplementary beliefs about cosmology and the
> >         nature of divinity that go far beyond magical workings.
> >
> >         Hindu t antrics seem to regard magic per se as a byproduct
> >         of mystical endeavour, rather than something which infuses
> >         the accomplishment of mystical disciplines. This premise
> >         is at odds with how a variety of Western occultists (e.g.
> >         Aleister Crowley) have portrayed their mystical systems --
> >         Crowley, for instance, placed yoga as a *precursor* to
> >         his sex-magical practice.
> >
> >         For further comparison between sex magic and spiritual sexual
> >         practices see also
> >
> >    
> do all thee dinosaurs lao-tzu, buddha, tahuti et. al. have a secret
> tantric compenent(sp.) to their word?
> >
> > ____________________________________________________________
> >
> >
> > 3.1  What are the tantra yoga techniques that prolong intercourse?
> >
> >         Traditional tantra yoga techniques include visualization,
> >         selection of certain positions, breath control, various forms
> >         of manual pressure on the genitals, and muscle relaxation.
> >
> >         More remains to be written, but for now, see
> >
> >    
> >
> > 3.2  How do tantra techniques differ physically from karezza techniques?
> >
> >         Tantra yoga places more emphasis on visualization, asanas
> >         (body positions), and breath control than karezza does. In
> >         addition, each tantric school's style is relatively fixed
> >         and even dogmatic, whereas karezza is eclectic.
> >
> >         More remains to be written, but for now, see
> >
> >    
> >         and
> >    
> >
> > 3.3  Are tantra yoga and karezza techniques the same as extended
> >       sexual orgasm (ESO)?
> >
> >         Some of the physical techniques are the same, but ESO and other
> >         so-called "sex-positive" teachings do not contain a mystical or
> >         magical component. Interestingly enough, however, people who
> >         learn the techniques of ESO often report "spontaneous" mystical
> >         experiences. A theoretical model explaining the biological
> >         basis of this phenomenon can be found at
> >
> >    
> >
> > 3.4  Will refraining from orgasm harm one physically in any way?
> >
> >         Apparently not, but overemphasis on avoidance of orgasm may
> >         lead to a special form of "performance anxiety" or to some
> >         temporary physical discomfort, especially in men.
> >
> >         In the practice of sex magic(k), orgasm is often the focal
> >         point of the ceremony or spell, and its resultant products
> >         (e.g. mingled sexual fluids) may be ritually consumed,
> >         offered to a deity, or used to create a sigil or talisman.
> >         Such mingling requires that both parties be free of
> >         sexually transmitted diseases, for these can be more
> >         harmful in the long run than refusal to have an orgasm!
> >
> > 3.5  How can one interest one's partner in tantra or karezza?
> >
> >         That would of course depend on the type of person one's
> >         partner happens to be. Those who are open to sexuality and
> >         mysticism are more likely to be persuaded to study or
> >         experiment, and, personal tastes being what they are, the
> >         presentation, style, or education of instructors may or may
> >         not conform to one's partner's tastes or ethics.
> >
> >         A good place to start is by sounding out in discussion what
> >         the partner's interests and possible limitations might be in
> >         the investigation of sexual mysticism. If sexuality turns them
> >         off, then more ascetic and symbolic disciplines may become
> >         valuable introductions to the subject matter. If mysticism
> >         brings goose-bumps, then framing the enterprise as an
> >         exploration and study of consciousness (and the outer limits
> >         of ecstasy) may prove to be more palatable.
> >
> >         The important thing is not to push too strongly or put such an
> >         emphasis on the study of the subject that it becomes tantamount
> >         to an unintentional ultimatum. Sometimes talking about matters
> >         of intimacy is much more frightening than actually *exploring*
> >         them, and with the right level of patience, understanding, and
> >         flexibility, combined with a sincere desire to make it the
> >         project of a *combined* effort, any obstacles may be overcome.
> >
> > 3.6  Can a solitary person practice tantra or karezza through
> >       masturbation? Can sex magicians work with masturbation?
> >
> >         To "practice tantra" is not the sole privilege of the
> >         partnered or polyamorous. First, the wide range of
> >         descriptions for the practice and its goals allow a variety
> >         of possible objectives, and second, the exploration one
> >         does on one's own easily becomes invaluable groundwork for
> >         what one does with any future lovers.
> >
> >         Although some tantric gurus forbid the practice, many
> >         neo-tantrics find the ritualization of masturbation to be
> >         liberating, some integrate it into their devotionals
> >         (fucking their god, for example, or dedicating their
> >         pleasure to a deity as an offering), some explore the
> >         parameters of their sexual excitation and arousal cycles,
> >         and others try to integrate an attitude toward themselves
> >         and their aesthetic relish that has the propensity to lead
> >         to very important life-transformation.
> >
> >         Masturbation serves in a two-fold manner as an effective
> >         neo-tantric practice. It combines, especially within a
> >         puritanical culture, the violation of the cultural
> >         dissuasion against self-pleasure with an ecstatic
> >         experience that can develop mystical results.
> >
> >         Sex magicians are somewhat divided on the subject of
> >         whether masturbation is an efficacious method of working.
> >
> >         Generally speaking, folk magicians have long used
> >         masturbation as a technique to produce sexual fluids
> >         needed in spell-casting. For instance, in African-
> >         American hoodoo, it is common for a single person
> >         to dress a lodestone with his or her sexual fluids
> >         as part of a spell to attract a lover. Such an act
> >         is masturbatory in nature, and is considered perfectly
> >         good work.
> >
> >         Some 19th century hermetic and ceremonial sex magicians
> >         (e.g. Paschal Beverly Randolph) decried both masturbation
> >         and coitus reservatus as "unnatural." Possibly they were
> >         under the influence of then-current negative attitudes
> >         toward masturbation, but be that as it may, their stated
> >         objections were usually that masturbation did not fulfill
> >         the alchemical, magnetic-electrical, or other dyadic
> >         premises underlying their sex magical theories.
> >
> >         Most progressive 20th century ceremonial sex magicians find
> >         uses for masturbation as a technique. However, even among
> >         those most accepting of sexual variety, some demote
> >         masturbation in favour of other, preferred practices (e.g.
> >         the sex magician Aleister Crowley, who advocated anal sex
> >         leading to the consumption of mingled excrement, blood, and
> >         semen).
> >
> > 3.7  Do tantra teachers or sex magicians advocate any sort of
> >       "standard practice" religious ritual or physical techniques?
> >       If so, could you outline them?
> >
> >         There are no universal standards for ritual work in tantra
> >         yoga. However, the following techniques for inducing ecstasy
> >         are used by many teachers in tantric, neo-tantric, and
> >         non-tantric schools of sex-worship and sex-mysticism:
> >
> >    3.7.1  Yoni puja and linga puja
> >             Worship of the generative organs is found in many
> >             schools of tantra yoga. This can take the form of
> >             presenting offerings of flowers and/or food to the sex
> >             organs of a living man or woman, to a statue of a deity,
> >             or to a simple effigy that symbolizes the yoni (vulva)
> >             or lingam (penis). In karezza, such worship is modified
> >             and subdued, but is found in the form of offerings of
> >             flowers, poetry, and other tokens of affection to the
> >             lover. In neo-tantra, meditative sexual massage is
> >             sometimes seen as a form of puja.
> >
> >    3.7.2  Control of orgasm
> >             Volitional control of the male orgasm is taught in all
> >             branches of tantra yoga as well as in some tantra-like
> >             practices of non-Asian cultures, such as karezza and
> >             neo-tantra. Karezza writers also advocate volitional
> >             control of the female orgasm.
> >
> >    3.7.3  Avoidance of orgasm
> >             Male avoidance of orgasm is central to certain branches
> >             of tantra yoga as well as some tantra-like practices of
> >             non-Asian cultures, such as "male continence." Karezza
> >             teachers recommend avoidance of both male AND female
> >             orgasm except at specific times (e.g. when the woman
> >             is menstruating or when the couple wishes to conceive).
> >             The degree of emphasis placed on orgasmic avoidance
> >             varies from teacher to teacher. In some radical Indian
> >             lineages of tantra yoga, irreversible genital mutilation
> >             of the male has been practiced to ensure the complete
> >             impossibility of ejaculation. On the other hand, it
> >             should be noted that there are sexual mystics, such as
> >             the spiritualit sex magician Paschal Beverly Randolph,
> >             who believe that avoidance of orgasm is a metaphysically
> >             dangerous and possibly demonic enterprise and argue
> >             strongly aginst it as "unnatural."
> I keep hearing about this guy PBR. But it's hard to find his books.
> Does anyone have any decent plans to remedy this? I would think this
> would be a City Lights worthy endeavor.

John Patrick Deveney's biography of Randolph contains, as an appendix,
one of Randolph's rarest publications, "The Mysteries of Eulis," a
privately printed treatise on sex magic known only in one copy, which
copy, interestingly enough is from the library of J. Yarker, the
so-called "degree-mill" guy who initiated A. Crowley into Freemasonry.
This text is the "privately printed" supplement to Randolph's more
readily available book "Eulis! The History of Love: Its Wondrous Magic,
Chemistry, Rules, Laws, Modes, Moods and Rationale" -- which latter, i
believe was reprinted by Kessinger at some point during the past 5
years. Used copies of "Eulis!" can be had from antquarian bookstores,
then supplemented with the appendix from Deveney's book. 

Some of the more esoteric of Randolph's materials were published in very
short runs, for students or by subscription only, in order to avoid
legal problems at a time when such material might be deemed "obscebe." 
Among these is Randolph's treatise on hashish use (which almost
undoubtedly inspired Crowley's similar treatise), and which has eluded
collectors to date. This, of all of his "privately printed" works, is
the most sought after by modern scholars and, if found, will most repay
reprinting. See Deveney's biography for an amazingly detailed
bibliography of all of Randolph's published works. See also my page at
for a general overview of Randolph's approach to sex magic and a further
recommendation of Deveney's book. 


cat yronwode

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