Sex. It’s one of the spiritual mysteries. You can’t really explain it. You have to experience it directly, much like all of the consciousness-expanding mysteries of both Eastern and Western traditions. So many creation stories have the universe being born through the love of the divine couple. But unlike the deep states of yogic meditation and the Qabalistic rituals in secret tongues, most everyday, ordinary people have a chance to explore the mysteries of sex, and find their healing and transformative power. We all seek it out. Though it’s a primal urge, on a higher level, we also seek out sexual experiences to explore the mysteries of divinity.
Through sexual activity, we stimulate the energy centers of the body and can experience a profound sense of altered consciousness. You find sexuality in Eastern tantric yoga and Taoist practices, to Western ceremonial magick and the Wiccan Great Rite. You see hints of a sexual magick tradition in the mysteries of Isis and Osiris, the Song of Solomon, and, some would speculate, the Gnostic mysteries of Christ and Mary Magdalene. The idea of union and healing through sexuality is universal.
Even if we don’t know anything about energy, meditation, or ritual, we activate the sexual current and experience these states of being. Sex is very powerful and because of this, many emotions, feelings, and expectations get wrapped up in our sexuality, making it one of our greatest strengths and joys, but also creating some of our biggest problems. Having an understanding of the esoteric components to sexuality can deeply influence our spiritual development, healing, and attitudes toward sexuality, transforming us.
Of all the sacred sexuality traditions, the word most strongly linked with the practice is tantra. Tantra is an Eastern esoteric system, rooted in the religions of India, and includes a variety of practices, including those associated with sacred sexuality, but you would be remiss to think that tantra is only about sexuality. Some translate the word tantra to mean either “loom” or “text,” referring to a larger tradition. Although much of this lore has traditionally remained hidden from overt eyes, it has luckily come to light and been made available to the public. Anyone who desires to find more information on spiritual sexuality can do so quite easily.
The most famous of these sexual manuals is the widely-known Kama Sutra. A text from India, the most famous translation from Sir Richard Francis Burton appeared in 1883. The Kama Sutra has caused quite a stir because of its diagrams detailing various sexual positions, but overall, the majority of the book is not on sex, but covers topics of relationships, marriage, and how to be a good citizen, in the context of Indian culture at the time it was written.
Modern mystics have taken their own ventures into sacred sexuality and written about their experiences and teachings. They are drawing from traditional tantric sources, as well as those of Taoist alchemy when approaching it from an Eastern view. Western magick traditions look at the role of Western alchemy, and the image of the divine marriage, in their ritual practices. They have expanded upon the explorations of the modern occult revival that has combined theories and teachings of both the East and West.
One of the modern classics from which to look at sexual magick from a Western perspective is Modern Sex Magick by Donald Michael Kraig. Like its predecessor, Modern Magick, this text provides a thorough and detailed manual in the arts of Western sexual magick. Kraig outlines the history from a variety of traditions and innovators, and covers the actual practice of sex magick using terminology and a style that are easy to understand. Kraig has extensive preparation for one seeking to explore sex magick. One of his suggestions involves the use of the Kegel Exercise:
This exercise, named after its inventor, tones up the muscles used during intercourse. An easy way to learn this exercise is to stop the flow when you urinate. Allow the flow to resume and stop it again. It is this contraction and relaxation that comprises the exercise. Be sure you are not merely contracting the anal sphincter. Repeat it several times. You can practice this exercise at almost any time and any place. Work up to doing it at least one hundred times per day. Kegel exercises can help a woman be orgasmic, and also help with some issues around urinary flow and incontinence. Building up this muscle helps prepare one for sexual magick rituals.
— Modern Sex Magick, p. 72.
Sexual contact with spiritual entities gets us in contact with the seemingly intangible divinity, yet we find through sexuality that divinity is also within. Through solo, dual, or group sexual experiences, we find the divine within the participants, seeing the gods within humanity, and find our own inner divine spark. Through finding this spark, we have epiphanies and spiritual revelations that transform our lives.
For a more orthodox view on the subject from an Eastern Taoist perspective, we have Taoist Yoga & Sexual Energy by Eric Steven Yudelove. This is a fourteen-week course presented by the author to incorporate Taoist yoga, Chi Kung, Taoist alchemy, and sexual kung fu into a transformational system. Beginners and those experienced in these arts will benefit from the book.
The first exercise in Week One of the course is called Hair Breathing. It involves drawing surplus energy back into the body. The hair is a storehouse of surplus energy.
This might not feel like a sexual exercise, but many of the preliminary exercises of a tradition must be mastered to go on to the most exotic practices. The Eastern traditions are focused on the energy centers, and refining the energy passing through these centers, in daily life and during sexual interaction. The power of sexual energy moving through these pathways heals us on a variety of levels, increasing our vitality, aiding the immune system, healing disease, and, ultimately, expanding consciousness.
Those looking for more direct instructions in the tantric traditions can benefit from the CD Yoga Nidra: Tantric Meditation and Visualization by Dr. John Mumford and Jasmine Riddle. Dr. Mumford is a renowned expert in the Eastern arts and experienced instructor into their mysteries. Yoga Nidra is a developmental technique that allows you to progress into a refined state of psychic sleep. The twin elements that tantric yoga utilizes are body sensation and visualization. Dr. Mumford and Jasmine Riddle guide you through developmental stages by moving your consciousness through different parts of your body. The visualization component allows you to get in touch with your psychic centers, or chakras. As an example, Riddle guides us through sensational attunement in each hand by focusing individually on each finger. We move through the tip, the nail, the first joint followed by the knuckle, the second joint followed by the knuckle, the third joint followed by the knuckle, and end with the pad on the palm of your hand.
After leading you through your body’s consciousness centers with sensational awareness, the visualizations then move on towards differing senses. Light, heat, cold, and joy are felt, followed by chakra exercises that move from base to crown and back again. Accompanied by meditative music, Jasmine Riddle’s soothing voice gives a relaxing feel that will accompany you along your journey. Ultimately, you can reach a state of conscious movement through body sensations using visualization exercises that culminate towards an enlightened perspective.