In the wake of many teachings popping up about Tantra, I feel it is important and even urgent to share the difference between the three main types.
Tantra, in simple form, means “to weave or loom together.”
Some might define this union as when two become one for mutual and individual awakening, and others might believe that it’s about union with all things—no titles, no definitions, and “it’s all God baby.”
What lies between is anything from those who use the sacred mysteries for fame, fortune, or just plain old sex and power, to others who are genuinely seeking enlightenment through knowing God via restraint within scientific chastity or brahmacharya.
Undoubtedly, the subject of Tantra is rich—it has the power to heal or make our lives a living hell. The good news is that this choices is ours and the path of rectification is there for all.
In essence, there are a few main types of Tantra:
White Tantra, Grey Tantra, and Black Tantra. There is also Red or Pink Tantra, and when working directly with Kundalini, we might find that while you think you’re involved in White Tantra, when you really dive in, it’s more grey or even black—just like a love gone wrong—but let’s do our best to categorize them with these three basics styles so we can seek the truth that will illuminate us.
Within these three different types of Tantra, my intention is to share with this beloved elephant journal community that, just like all yoga is not created equally, neither is Tantra.
I want to mention that I started this blog in a very personal manner, including many intimate details of my life, but realized that for right now…that might be a distraction.
I will be honest and tell you though, to add some context and humility, the following intimate details.
I have stood with every aspect and possibility of Tantra within these different types. I am beyond grateful that I was open enough to listen to a guide who was able to help me redirect my subtle energies and change my life.
I have been working to understand these sacred jewels and now can honestly say it’s been part of my process of alchemy, which has both strengthened my connection and refined my life, not to mention that it eradicated depression and addiction. The overall chaos I use to dream up has now been replaced with creating the most incredible life I could imagine.
I pray that wherever you are along this map, that you listen with your being and an open heart and mind. Above all, I pray that we respect and understand the true possibilities that sacred sexuality can offer us.
I won’t go far into what is considered normal sexuality, but all we have to do is open our eyes to the sex slave industry, sex trafficking, abuse, molestation, rape, seeing suggestive images at every turn, and exploitation of our sexuality—which was once truly sacred—to realize the great power that lies within this force and what the perverse, un-awake mind does with this energy.
All of the failed marriages, the painful upbringings, abandoning new beginnings, lying, cheating, losing love where there once was, sexually transmitted and incurable diseases, heartbreak and everything in between—these are all symptoms of sexuality used in the wrong way, which is opposite to our healing.
Something in our sacred sexuality has gone awry, and there is a need for healing within ourselves.
The first step is to understand. Just how we might think we know what yoga is in the beginning, we learn that there are many different styles, types, and ways of practicing to create different results.
A down dog with wide legs might open the hips in a different way than having the feet hip-width together, and yet another way when the feet are a tennis ball’s width apart. It’s important that we understand which variation does what so we can choose from a state of awareness.
Our sexual energy is the most powerful energy there is.
If we honor and respect it, we can revive our organs, minds, and lives, and reconnect to that which we have lost.
If we understood it when we were younger, we would not need to rectify, but continue to maintain the electric and vital potential that is held within our organs.
We must realize that Shakti is not something for us to control in others, rather, it allows us to use these sacred practices to awaken within ourselves. By honoring the sacred feminine and humbling ourselves at her feet, she has the power to arise great energy within us—and this will have an effect on our lives and our futures.
Let’s go back to the beginning to understand the story of that which was originally sacred, and that no longer is.
If you understand how to read them, you will find illustrations written on the temples of India and Indonesia, or on the walls of Egypt—secrets of preserving the sacred waters of life (or our sexual fluids)—which are illustrated to communicate the path of inner alchemy. They show us how to draw the sexual energy up along the vertebrae of the spine rather than release this precious energy for instant gratification.
Sacred sexuality was practiced in the temples for a couple’s honeymoon, with beloved partners continuing the practice as an offering to God and Goddess, so that they would become more like them.
When, out of pride, we chose lust, our practices became a gateway for negative aspects of our being, and we began to witness the egos of the pedophile, the adulterer, the incestuous, the addict and onward.
Just look around and realize that something has gone terribly wrong. At the root of this all was our pride and our lust.
There is a need to bring sacredness back into our planet and our lives:
>> is when there are practices of multiple partners.
>> is the visualization of others, and perhaps fantasizing while with another.
>> is when profanity or pornographic qualities are accepted and not rejected.
>> includes chanting and retaining energy—depending on the teacher.
>> includes texts that communicate the sacredness of releasing the important waters of life.
>> has the belief that drinking the seminal fluid will give you certain powers.
>> includes rituals and other practices to use for power over others or self.
>> is when the Kundalini is turned downward into a tail (rather than energy being released up the spinal column).
>> is when there is union and fidelity within the marriage.
>> is when one would only make love if they were in love and in a committed relationship.
>> is a true commitment toward creating sanctity and ceremony within the family life.
>> is when the couple is loyal and in love—the reason they are together.
>> is when the practice might result in the loss of the seminal fluids, which has a fragmenting effect on the consciousness of the couple and can ultimately lead to affairs, disease, hair loss, dependency of pills for erectile dysfunction, and the slow depletion of our subtle bodies.
>> The above practices do not support the inner alchemy, thereby creating more negative feelings instead of positive ones.
>> is the path of two becoming one.
>> is when the sexual practice is sacred, where they do not release the sacred water of life, but rather sublimate this energy with perineum contractions, bringing it up the spine and through the crown of the head, finally planting this energy into the heart.
>> visualizes the Egyptian staff of ever-lasting lift, called the Ankh, which is a beautiful representation of how we can use the sacred mysteries for our awakening.
>> includes the belief that a couple’s time together in the private chambers are for sacred temple work, and is a process of evolution.
>> is practiced in a relaxed state to draw the energy up the spine to nourish the organs, the Kundalini, and the relationship.
>> believes that nothing ever stops, that it only ever continues.
>> views communication as important as fidelity and consistency.
>> is when the ego and negative aspects of our psyche are slowly dissolved—we become walking offerings of light for divinity.
>> is meant to be practiced daily unless one is sick, menstruating, pregnant, or away.
>> is meant to be practiced without lust and without the ego of releasing.
>> is a coming together for the sacredness of love and sensuality, without the need for anything other than breathing in an upward direction to awaken the self and each of the temples of the vertebra.
>> is where we eliminate the egos and negative aspects of our psyche for a greater purpose.
I urge you to understand and seek out the clean and virtuous practices of white tantra, and to create a space of sacredness for yourself. Even if you’re single, you can begin to look for your true, divine partner and abstain from making love unless your’re truly in love.
I invite you to remember the sacred mysteries that we once knew but that many of us have forgotten. From here, we can reconstruct so much of what we have lost.
We can use the scared waters of life to awaken out hearts and souls again, and create a more loving and peaceful yoga community and planet.
In reverence and service,
Author: Rainbeau Mars
Images: Author’s Own
Editor: Catherine Monkman