In our culture sexuality can be seen as a currency or something we do which doesn’t always honour us. Even in long term relationships with people we love we might sometimes lose the magic or importance of our sexual union. In ancient cultures going back to the very first civilizations, sex was a sacred act and an expression of the divine. One of the very first Goddesses, Ishtar/Innana, was very in touch with her sexuality and in that culture sex was a sacred act. Making love is powerful magic and connects us to our divinity. We are each sacred beings and making love can connect us no only to that source of the divine but to ourselves and each other. You don’t have to have a partner to experience this sacredness you are a reflection of the divine. Perhaps you do treat yourself as sacred but if not how would your life and your love life change? There are many miracles in life we take for granted or do not fully see, but if we pay attention and open our eyes the act of connecting with someone else on such an intimate level really is the dance of souls and a bonding of our very essence.
Hindus believe that the entire universe and everything in it is the manifestation of a kind of perpetual cosmic dance by Shakti and Shiva. Shakti and Shiva are female and male, but they are also Goddess and God and on a much grander scale, the divine universal forces of feminine and masculine permanently involved in the ecstatic weaving of creation itself. This transcends gender each of us have both energies within us.
Spiritual practices and rituals devoted to Shakti are captured within written scripts, or ‘Tantras’ that seek to bring us all to liberation and enlightenment. And it’s firmly believed that sex or sensuality has a role to play in that.
You might be most familiar with Tantric sex as involving a few seemingly impossible or highly athletic positions lifted from the famous Kama Sutra, but there is a great deal more subtlety and depth to Tantric sex than positions! For me it is the art of living and loving and honouring myself and my partner, of paying attention to the divine within and going to a deeper level.
It’s actually about the sacredness of a physical union that can lead us towards bliss and enlightenment. For those who practice Tantric Sex, its purpose is procreation, pleasure and liberation. In its highest form, which some call kundalini energy (what some believe is the life force itself) is circulated around the body in order to raise the practitioner to a higher state of consciousness.
In fact, Tantra tells us that, in the state of ecstatic union, we actually embody the energy of Shakti and Shiva. In other words, we become divine. you don’t have to be a Hindu to practice this. No matter what symbolism you are drawn to, the magic of two people or even you connecting to your own sexuality can always be divine and a form of connection with the whole.
Taking its practices and translating them into a whole new reverence that we can hold towards our selves in our everyday lives, think about the following.
1/ Start from the understanding that you are a shard of the divine. If you are female, you are Shakti’s (or Goddess) representation on earth (as is every other woman!) and if you are male, understand that you and every other man are the embodiment of Shiva (the male divine).
2/Start small and review every aspect of the way that you treat your physical self. We all have times where we collapse on the sofa with a TV dinner and a box set of DVDs, but if that’s your daily practice, you need to make some changes if you want to unleash your inner Goddess or God!
3/Develop your own sacred rituals that enable you to build a deep connection with your body. It might involve a weekly luxurious soak in a bath, taking up a practice such as yoga or getting regular massages. We can get really disconnected from our bodies which actually cuts us off from a huge source of power and guidance. Looking into the eyes of your lover and seeing the divine within.
4/You might want to spend some time thinking about the levels of intimacy that you share with others. Intimacy isn’t just about sex. It’s about being seen at a soul level. Not everyone is going to engage at that level all the time (your newsagent doesn’t have to see you as sacred, although it’s nice if they do!) But do you keep yourself sacred when it counts? Everyone has to decide and find out what’s right and good for them, but we can betray our own sacredness when we blurt our precious secrets to those who won’t handle them with care, or when we engage in acts of physical intimacy against an inner voice that tells us no. Decide where you want to hold yourself in precious privacy and where you want to share yourself with whom at what level.
5/ Look at your intimate relationships and see how your sensual experience reflects the outer levels of your relationship. What does your sensual life say about you and where you are right now? What does it tell you about your relationship? Is it expressing your authentic self?
Adopting and adapting what Sacred sex tells us about our relationship to ourselves and who we truly are can make a profound difference in your life and help you transform what you have been treating as ordinary into the sacred. And when you treat yourself as though you are sacred, others magically follow suit!
Loads of love,
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