In attempting to define the term sacred sex in a modern western context, we are faced with a variety of different practices, sourced from a diversity of cultural and religious backgrounds. Sacred sex has gained considerable attention in the west over the last two decades as a catch-all phrase encompassing practices and disciplines from western and eastern traditions and philosophies that draw on teachings of Tantra, Taoism, yoga, Goddess spirituality, Neo-Pagan, Wicca and shamanism Albury My research has shown that Tantra is a term often bandied around by advertisers who use it to describe multiple practices that have no connection with the religious Tantric teachings of Hinduism or Buddhism.
Traditional Tantra refers to a specific set of beliefs and practices such as meditation and breathing exercises intended to develop enlightened spiritual qualities and to awaken pathways to the divine by arousing and harnessing energy within the body. It is unique among religious beliefs and esoteric or spiritual practices in that it does not repress or ignore the sexual nature, but fully embraces it. Tantra honours sexual energy and the sacred union of male and female as a pathway to the divine, but its focus has nothing to do with intercourse.
Modern western Tantra takes aspects of these ancient teachings and uses them to aid couples or singles to enhance their sexuality and lovemaking skills, and to heal relationship issues. Whilst Albury speaks of the Tantric traditions which are generally recognized as influencing modern sacred sexual practices, she explains that what many teachers or practitioners utilise, are techniques that broadly aim to accumulate, store and focus sexual energy.
What is sexual energy? We all have sexual energy. It is simply our life force, found as easily as taking in a breath.
In eastern traditions this life force is know as prana, chi or ki. All refer to the same vital life force energy that enters the body through the breath and circulates as an electrical energy or current. Sexual energy, also known as kundalini in the Hindu tradition, is perceived of as laying dormant and wrapped around the base of the spine like a coiled serpent.
When harnessed through meditation, yoga, dance or visualization practices, the kundalini can be transformed into high potency chi or prana which not only energetically enhances the body, but can also cultivate higher spiritual experiences. Many exercises are designed to enhance and extend orgasmic pleasure. Many of the practices used to enhance and manipulate life force energy into achieving an enlightened sexual experience, are focused on what Chia and Chia in Albury describe as: …having an inward orgasm where the orgasm actually travels through all the organs, glands and nervous system, thrilling and revitalizing them with the life-force of sexual, creative and regenerative energy.
Having defined what sacred sex is from its roots in multiple cultural and religious traditions, through to how modern western practitioners are interpreting that information, I now turn to the market place and explore how advertisers present their services to contemporary consumers. Sacred sex for sale As described above, the 21st century western experience of sacred sexuality can take many forms and sacred sexual practitioners today are more likely to be seen as teachers, healers, therapists or tantrikas teachers of Tantra.
Sacred sex does not necessarily require a physical sexual exchange between two or more people either. In the modern context, sacred sex becomes a catch all term that can incorporate aspects of dance, massage, Tantra, sex magic, Wiccan or shamanic rituals, workshops, ritual drug taking, therapy, surrogates and indeed prostitutes. This is borne out in the array of advertisements currently to be found in new age or spiritual magazines. Three spiritual magazines I viewed in the month of June Inner Self, Nova and Insight magazine , all contained articles or advertisements on sexuality.
The Tantra Goddess directory3 site is more explicit and lists profiles of tantric goddesses in various areas of Australia and explains in detail the cost, practices and exercises employed in a session with a tantric goddess, together with photo images of your particular goddess. My own experience and background is relevant to this exploration and I outline my personal involvement and interest in the subject matter below. My personal journey The Goddess Spirituality movement which I will explore more fully has interested me from the sidelines for up to fifteen years.
My disenchantment with patriarchal religions in which I found scant reference to the feminine, has seen me seek alternative expressions of the divine, immersing myself in the manifold expressions of the new age movement throughout the s. For me, that involves finding meaning in a relationship with the sacred as it manifests in nature, in other individuals and in God, Goddess, All That Is, rather than in doctrine or dogmatic belief systems as set down by any one distinct religious practice.
It also allows me to find the divinity inherent within myself and heal the separation between body and spirit. My own search for meaning saw me become a massage therapist, Reiki Master, cranio sacral practitioner and indulger in numerous other healing therapies, but the Goddess remained an underlying theme throughout, representing the divine feminine principle that had been missing in my conventional Christian upbringing. It was in , in conjunction with my Masters studies that I joined an Order of Goddess women called the Pomegranate Grove.
This intensely physical and practical training was aimed at opening the energetic centres of the body known as chakras, to facilitate the awakening of the kundalini serpent energy within the body. Eastern religious practices and philosophies have for millennia cultivated the sexual energy inherent within the body known as kundalini, and it is this very energy that tantric practitioners utilise to awaken transcendent experiences of union with the divine.
It was through awakened kundalini energy that I did achieve transcendent spiritual states.
Cupid and Psyche
Soon after completion of my training I travelled to India, spending time in an Ashram cultivating meditation techniques and working with kundalini energy. On returning to Australia, I have taught kundalini dance workshops for three years, and have a theoretical, practical and personal understanding of this powerful sexual energy and the transcendent spiritual states able to be reached when employing techniques that raise this energy. As a priestess of Goddess, kundalini dance facilitator and spiritual journeyer for more than 15 years, my background informs this work and provides an insider understanding to the research I undertake and the women I interview.
The next chapter looks at the evidence of matriarchal societies which worshipped the Goddess and discusses the way sexuality was viewed as evidenced through the archaeological discoveries of Goddess imagery. It examines how the patriarchy which superseded worship of the Goddess, created a schism between women, their bodies and sexuality as sacred.
This was later to give rise to the feminist spirituality or Goddess Spiritual movement which itself was influenced by the rise of interest in Witchcraft and Pagan practices. In the beginning, people prayed to the Creatress of Life. At the very dawn of religion, god was a woman. Do you remember? Merlin Stone cited in Christ As more scholarly research is compiled and more interest given to the view that our primitive societies were female centred, the rediscovery of the Goddess has provoked a new reconsideration of the roles of women in the origin and history of the earliest religions.
The oldest images of the Goddess come to us from the Old Stone Age c.
Sexuality Bibliography | Bloomwork
Feminist scholarship has challenged the popular view of early man as a savage club toting, hunter gatherer. The small statues found from this period were round and hand held and probably represented the status of women as birth givers, food providers and the essential religious element of creation. Cynthia Eller in Living in the Lap of the Goddess proffers the view that human society from our earliest archaeological records to the rise of patriarchy in circa BCE was matriarchal or Goddess worshipping. She claims these matristic, matrifocal or gynocentric cultures emphasize the central role as female, reflecting a predominance of feminine values with women responsible for the invention of agriculture, language, mathematics, medicine etc, with the central deity worshipped being the Goddess in her myriad forms.
While modern western society is familiar with the depiction of God as a white male, it would be incorrect to imagine Goddess as a direct feminine reinterpretation of God. It is more correct to understand Goddess as alluding to a pantheon of different names and images, and the Goddess could just as easily be a mountain or a river.
In this multiplicity of representations of the Goddess, Mantin offers the view that predating patriarchy, the Great Mother Goddess was seen as the sacred made imminent in the natural world, expressed in the diversity of all forms of life and death, in alignment with the cycles and seasons of the earth — that her body is nature.
Likewise, Goodison does not view these societies as being the inverse of patriarchy with a monotheistic Mother Goddess at the helm reigning over men, rather she sees a concurrence that did not split the sexes, but rather men and women living harmoniously. Eisler citing Gimbutas writes that from burial artifacts it appears that while women held more important religious roles, there is no evidence that women played the oppressor role over men. Instead, what Gimbutas adds is that the archaeological evidence supports or seems to support the theory that these prehistoric societies were based on matrilineal kinship lines which suggests a female focused society as opposed to a male dominated society.
- Analytic sets. London school 1978!
- Polymers for Electronic Components!
- Critical Realist Activity Theory: An engagement with critical realism and cultural-historical activity theory.
- Advances in Understanding the Biology of Halophilic Microorganisms.
- The Truth, the Whole Truth, and Nothing But ... : a Police Officer’s Guide to Testifying in Court.!
So while the evidence points to the existence of matriarchal societies, we have no knowledge of societal relations within them nor that they represented some idealized version of feminine authority. Rosemary Ruether also argues that although there may be evidence for worship of the divine as female within Goddess societies, it does not necessarily imply significant social power for women nor that they avoided suffering oppression at the hands of men.
So whilst there is debate about the exact nature of the Neolithic and prehistoric societies who left behind artifacts of the female image across many cultures and eras, numerous scholars do believe these finds show evidence of worship of a female deity, a Goddess based society that revered the feminine, and where women held at least an equal balance of power.
It is to this evidence of Goddess based societies that I now turn, to examine the female body as it was depicted erotically and spiritually and to trace how the physical body, so revered by the Goddess, became an object of derision by the Gods. The sacred feminine — the eternal archetype In Goddess based societies, sexuality expressed in the naked female form was honoured and revered, not only within the erotic sexual act, but in the female body as a symbol for both reproduction and creation.
She is the Goddess, the divine represented as female as opposed to male. At once, both imminent and transcendent. The Hieros Gamos rituals invoked the transcendent qualities of the Goddess through the ritual act of sex, allowing access to the sacred feminine through the physical body of a woman. Viewing sex then as a sacrament through which the divine is accessed, aids in understanding how vastly different the attitudes were towards sex and sexuality in our ancient past as compared to patriarchal Fig 1Venus of Willendorf religious ideology.
Their huge breasted and hipped bodies with pronounced vulva speak not only of their fertility but their erotic sexuality. Whether made from bone or shell, stone or pottery, the figures may be depicted naked or wearing a skirt, could be pregnant, highly stylized or basically round, but common to most is the clear portrayal of their sex and reproductive function.
Sometimes the slit or hole of the vagina is clearly defined and sometimes the inverted pubic triangle is dominant Fig 2 Goddess of Laussel Goodison Often huge breasts and belly dominate the figure hiding arms and legs which seem unimportant by contrast. What is unmistakable though is the emphasis placed on the sexuality and fertility of these female figures.
BE THE FIRST TO KNOW
These images very strongly indicate that the original creative source of life on earth was seen not as a divine father, but as a divine mother. From her body sprung forth new life. In Goddess worshipping societies, the creative sexual power resident in the body of woman was revered because it could be seen and experienced, just as her menstrual cycles in alignment with that of the moon, sun and seasons were all seen as wondrous manifestations of the creative and life- giving powers of the universe. She answers by stating that some historians discount these figures in various ways, either treating the objects as secular or primitive engaged in superstitious practices, or that they are cultic expressions of fertility and nature worship, but hold no religious significance.
Raised as they were in patriarchal societies and male-oriented religions of Judaism or Christianity.
- Aphrodite's Daughters: Women's Sexual Stories and the Journey of the Soul;
- Aphrodite's Daughters!
- See a Problem?.
- Ehrlichs geomicrobiology.
- Aphrodite's Daughters: Women's Sexual Stories and the Journey of the Soul.
- CheckPoint NG Security Administration.
- About This Item.
As Christ explains, naked images of the Goddess stand in stark contrast to the views Christian society holds of God as an old, white bearded man who legitimates power as male, holding female power depicted in the naked form of Eve as wicked and shameful. Christian and Judaic beliefs hold female will as the source of all evil in the universe and the naked female body is to blame.
Related Aphrodites Daughters: Womens Sexual Stories and the Journey of the Soul
Copyright 2019 - All Right Reserved