something i have been thinking about a lot lately- and of which i have yet to find any substantial information on- is tantra and it’s connections to the astrology chart. i am interested in what planets, signs, and other points/asteroids may coincide with the tantric path. westernized tantra, which is how most people in the west conceive of it, is NOT what true tantra is about. in the west it has been conceptualized as all about sex. if you google tantra teachers or workshops in america you find anything from porn sites to teachers who purport to teach you how to ‘have a bigger, better orgasm’. yet this is not an accurate depiction of tantra. tantra is a way of life. sex is to tantra just as sex is to life. sex is a part of life, but it is not ALL of life. and if you think it is you are probably a sex addict and you should get some help.
tantra as a spiritual path is about living erotically in every moment. you can live erotically and not be sexually aroused or involved. you can live erotically and be celibate! living erotically is about living fully alive from the inside out. living eros is about bringing passion to everything you do- from washing the dishes, to making love, to enjoying a glass of wine, to meditating in silence. everything can be done passionately- and it doesn’t have to precede/involve/or occur right after sex. unfortunately, most people in the west think tantra means sex. and because of this i have shied away from learning more about it (not because i am anti-sex but because i am anti-superficial- which is what i think western society does to pretty much everything- it takes the soul of the lived experience).
when i was in india i was first introduced to tantra by accident. i did a 10 day vipassana meditation retreat in which we were taught a certain type of awareness meditation which we were to practice the entire 10 days (approximately 14-16 hours a day!). after i got the technique down and was able to practice it as though i knew it like the back of my hand- i began to spontaneously do another type of meditation. i was focusing on my third eye (ajna) and started to feel cosmic waves of ecstasy. i felt like i was tuned into the pulsating of the universe. i could feel everything. then i began to feel this crazy out of body experience and it felt like i was on drugs (which i clearly was not). then i began to feel this build up in my spine and i realized it was eerily similar to the feeling of an orgasm that was building up quite quickly and quite powerfully. at that point i freaked out and stopped it. i was in a room of 80 people who were meditating in complete silence. from experience i knew that orgasms were not silent experiences (at least for me) and i was totally mortified by the possibility of letting the experience happen and causing a spectacle in the meditation hall. well i found out later, when i met someone who knew what it was that i had experienced, that i really shouldn’t have stopped it. interestingly, right after i stopped the experience i got really, really ill (giardia) and was told that when you stop something that powerful you can get sick. who knew?
anyhow- as i mentioned, i had no idea what i was doing as the draw to this type of meditation was spontaneous- as if i was led to it or it was led to me. but the meditation teachers who were there could give me no answers when i asked what was happening to me. all they said (and in a very derogatory manner) was that i was not following their meditation instructions and that i shouldn’t be doing any other type of meditation other than their own (i did not have a very good vipassana experience for many reasons- the lack of teacher support was one of them). it wasn’t until months later when i met someone who knew what the hell it was that happened to me that the pieces of the puzzle finally came together. this man told me i had been doing tantra meditation, and that the feelings i experienced were the raising of my kundalini. i asked him how i’d be doing this without knowing what i was doing and he said clearly i was a tantrika in a past life. clearly.
so about the astrology of this all. my thoughts are that tantra, the path, is related to pluto- the planet of the soul, sexuality and transformation- since all three seem key on the tantric path. pluto is also connected to obliteration and demolition- and the tantric path is about obliterating and demolishing the egotism. i also think that the asteroid eros is related to tantra, particularly considering tantra is about living life erotically. and finally i think that black moon lilith may have something to do with tantra. black moon lilith is a hypothetical point that is not an actual body, but is considered by some astrologers (myself included) to be a very important point in the chart. there is true and mean lilith- depending on how you calculate it- and i have found in my experience that true is more accurate as true accounts for black moon lilith’s erratic orbit. lilith was the first eve, made at the same time as adam, who was very independent and willful. adam wanted her to lie beneath him and be subjected to him and lilith wanted nothing of this, so she took off and procreated with devil spawn (i love how the patriarchal interpretation of this story makes her out to be evil!). my experience of lilith is that she represents the powerful, independent, and at times wrathful dark feminine energy. she is similar to kali in hindu mythology. she is deep, soulful and not one to mess with. i believe she is connected to tantra for intuitive reasons that i have not done enough research to support as of yet- so i am just throwing it out there.
in terms of my chart and why tantra is coming back up for me in my life right now- close to 5 years after my initial experiences in india (which i have to say, after the weird things that happened to me in india (there were others i have not mentioned) i kind of avoided tantra on purpose because it seemed like pandora’s box and i couldn’t find anyone who was learned enough to teach me about it)- i believe it has to do with the pluto transit i am experiencing right now which is opposite my natal eros/lilith/sun conjunction. if pluto, eros and lilith are all connected to tantra in some way then i am going through a doozy of a transit which would inevitably bring tantra into focus as part of my path in life right now. in my chart at the time i was in india uranus was on my ascendant and trine my eros/lilith/sun conjunction nearly exact. neptune was also almost exactly trine my pluto. and the north node/south node was sextile/trine my eros/lilith/sun conjunction, and ascendant as well. so it seems like in 2004 the first experience activated something latent, but now pluto is in position to truly unearth this energy fully. good lord- what have i got in store for myself in the not-too-distant future?
i do know that very odd things have been happening to me lately. for one, my normally vegan with seafood diet has morphed to include black coffee, eggs, cheese and meat- and i have been drinking red wine quite often as well as eating very dark chocolate. it’s very peculiar- but i have just been craving strange things lately. i know that in some texts i have read tantra practicioners consume all manner of foods and beverages that are indulgent and primal- likely to connect to the primal instincts and desires in a more authentic way. tantra is unlike other spiritual paths where they idealize the good/beauty/light and condemn or attempt to dissociate from the bad/ugly/dark. tantra is about embracing both. it’s about finding the sacred that lies concealed in the profane. many spiritual circles eschew eating meat or drinking alcohol, but not tantra. tantra embraces everything- and at times even seems to revel in rebelling against the spiritual norm.
in addition to the eating thing, i have also been keeping weird hours when it comes to sleeping. it’s all over the map right now, but sometimes i am up till 2am reading/writing and sleeping in till 10am. my old, typical schedule involved getting to sleep by 10/11 and being up at 6/7. so don’t ask my why it’s changing.
another interesting change is that i am finding that my psyche is drawn to darker, more intense experiences and images. my soul is finding different things evocative- and some of what draws me is stuff that my friends and family are repelled by or have negative, visceral reactions to. it’s quite interesting and funny to me because what i find beautiful and compelling others are finding ugly and repulsive. it’s all perception really, but what is it in me that is perceiving things differently? i am still in the process of figuring that out.
anyhow- these are my thoughts on tantra and astrology. if you have thoughts about the topic yourself please share! and if you can point me to books/sites/teachers who are authentic and not westernized please do as well.
i have one book in my hands right now that i highly recommend. it’s called ‘what is tantric practice?’ by barnaby b. barratt. i am only halfway through it but it is proving to be very enlightening. it’s a very scholarly approach on the subject- as scholarly as one can get about a topic that defies rational, logical explanation. but my intellectual mind is devouring it- while my soul is definitely benefiting from the transmission of information/energy. check it out if you feel so inclined.
i hope you have an erotic day :)