AOH :: TANTRA.TXT|
Concerning The Sacred Art of Tantra
THE SACRED ART OF TANTRA
Issued by the
Thelemic Order and Temple
of the Golden Dawn
July, 1990 e.v.
In Association with
New Falcon Publications and
the Israel Regardie Foundation, Inc.
By Sir David Cherubim
(Frater Superior Chief of
the Novus Ordo Aureae Aurora)
Copyright (C) 1990 e.v.
Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the Law.
The most obvious and yet the most important thing to know before
all others concerning Tantra is the meaning of the word itself.
Tantra essentially means "action." Tantra is divine knowledge in
action; it is the act of the Divine in manifestation. It
further means "rite" or "ritual" and "method" or "technique".
These various meanings of Tantra essentially entail the same
dynamic idea. Tantra is the method, the ritual and the act of
the Divine in manifestation.
When people speak of Tantra it is usually thought to solely mean
"sex" or some other similar misconception. Sex does in fact play
a major role in the Sacred Art of Tantra, but Tantra further
concerns itself with other divine acts. Any act which is an
intended manifestation of the Divine can be called Tantra. We
must not limit that word to one set of facts alone, but we must
extend that word to include all other acts of a divine or sacred
nature, and so shall we comprehend and experience the infinite
ways in which the Spirit of Tantra can express itself.
Tantra, according to the Eastern wisdom, is the special science
and art of the Kali Yuga or Age of Kali which is now in
manifestation. This Age has been described as one of darkness and
terror and destruction. But these are only veils of language
cast upon the sacred shrine of truth! With darkness and terror
and destruction come the ways of light and joy and creativity.
The Mother of Darkness can be transformed into the Mother of Love
by the Sacred Art of Tantra, and so shall all men and women be
free from the fatal paths of our feared Age of Kali. Symbolism
of Terror has been used by the wise as a medium of conveying to
the minds of men the utter necessity for man to realize his inner
Divinity. This is accomplished by realizing the True Self in
action! Man must become the Divine in his acts. These acts thus
become full of worship and adoration which Tantra, in essence,
seeks to fulfill.
Tantra is the special method of the Age of Kali by which we can
transform the dark spirit of chaos and destruction into the
golden spirit of order and perfection. Whether we practice the
Sacred Art of Tantra by sex or any other appropriate divine act
we are, in fact, assisting Nature to develop in the proper
manner. For Tantra is devoted to uniting man and woman to their
Atman or True Self which is the highest and most divine goal of
Nature. To become the True Self is the principal theme of the
Sacred Mysteries, the one ineluctable aim of the Divine. Tantra
is a most powerful method in this Age of Kali by which to achieve
that grand aim and thus to evolve the soul in accordance with
the Divine Plan.
Tantra, from one point of view, is the sacred art of uniting two
opposites in the self for the awakening of the Middle Way. It is
the union of Shakti and Shiva, that is, the union of the female
and male principles of the soul. Shakti, which is the Kundalini
in the lowest Chakra, arises to unite with Shiva above in the
highest Chakra. It is Mukti or Liberation and also Ananda or
Bliss. It is blissful liberation of the soul from the awful
snares of Maya or Illusion for the realization of the Real, the
Divine, and the Beautiful. The two opposites in the Thelemic
pantheon are Nuit and Hadit. When Nuit and Hadit unite a third
principle is born called Ra-Hoor-Khuit. In Qabalistic symbology
these are Chokmah (Wisdom) and Binah (Understanding) while the
third principle is Daath (Knowledge), the eleventh Sephira on the
Tree of Life. The two Pillars of the Tree of Life are also, in
essence, symbols of the two opposites which constitute the
universe. There are many ways of defining and symbolizing these
two universal opposites. Everywhere they are part of the way in
which the universe operates itself.
In Alkhemi the opposites are called the King and Queen, the Sun
and Moon, Gold and Silver, or Sulphur and Mercury. Sulphur and
Salt are, in some cases, used instead to express the opposites
in Alkhemi while Mercury is their product. But in either case,
the idea is the same: there are two chief principles in Nature.
One is masculine, active and positive; the other is feminine,
passive and negative. The uniting of these two principles is, in
one sense, what constitutes the Magnum Opus or Great Work of
Alkhemi. Their union produces a secret stone which partakes of
both principles in essence, yet it is also independent of them.
This stone is the Secret of Secrets and the Mystery of Mysteries.
It is, in Tantra, the same as the Atman or True Self; it is the
sacred jewel in the lotus born from the union of the two
opposites in Nature.
Tantra is the esoteric teaching and practice of the Vedic
Mysteries; it is, in fact, the most ancient wisdom of all
religions. When men first sought to adore their gods, the Spirit
of Tantra became alive with divine life. Sex, which was looked
upon by the ancients as a most sacred art, was used by them to
adore their gods and to make alive that inner force which creates
bliss and freedom in the soul. Sex is the oldest divine act of
man and woman, and it is therefore the most useful and obvious
means to realize the Divine in action.
The sex act is the most complete symbol on earth of the Divine
Union above. What people seek in sex is actually a cosmic
fulfillment. Sex on earth is the most divine act of man and
woman since it is the physical representation of the way in which
the Universe operates itself. This Universe is made up of two
symbolic forces which seek constant unity with each other. Love
on earth is an expression of that constant universal love. To
make love on earth is to unite those two universal principles on
earth and thus to accomplish the Great Work from one point of
view. Sex is the most holy of all acts on earth. For most men
it is a glimpse into the Divine, for the ecstasy of the sex act
is the same as that which the enlightened man experiences at all
moments of the supreme illumination. Sex is the most royal
ritual which we can perform on earth. By it we are able to come
closer to God and meet with the Mystical Marriage above. To
dedicate the sex act to God is to achieve the Summum Bonum. For
in the sex act we come closer to God; it is a sacrament of holy
To imagine that sex is a sin is the most horrible illusion for
man to suffer. Men who preach such madness are more deadly than
a poisonous viper; but they kill the soul, not the body. To say
that sex is an act of sin is to blaspheme God and all of his
creation. Freedom of the sex act is the most healthy and
essential thing for man to have. Without it he is as if dead, a
mere body with no soul. Sex is the best form of expression for
the soul; it is a symbol and extension of its immortality.
Restriction of the sex act leads to total death of the soul, more
horrible than all that is humanly imaginable. Sex is the most
immediate link we have with the Divine on earth. It is the most
holy of all acts, a veritable Holy Mass of Mystic Union. Through
sex man can obtain a glimpse into the Beyond; it is a door into
Sex can be the greatest bondage known to mankind, but it is also
the greatest means of freedom when used in the proper spiritual
or magical manner. Sex has been transformed into the most
horrible evil by perverted souls lost in a wild jungle of
perverse insanity. But the Spirit of Tantra has ever kept
burning alive the holy mysteries of sex in the secret domains of
Nature, for it is the most sacred act that man and woman can
perform on earth.
From an Eastern point of view there are two principal methods of
Tantra. These are called the Vama Marga or the Left-handed Path
and Daksina Marga or the Right-handed Path. The former is
physical Tantra and is dedicated to achieving Bhukti or the Bliss
of the finite world; the latter is symbolic Tantra and is
dedicated to achieving Mukti or the Bliss of the infinite world.
Both Bhukti and Mukti are in essence the same; for the bliss of
the material and the bliss of the spiritual both emanate from the
same essential Ananda or Transcendent Bliss of the Supreme Spirit
of the Universe. In Tantra the terms 'left-handed' and
'right-handed' do not have the same meaning as in the
philosophies of the various branches of Magick and Mysticism.
Left-handed Tantra and Right-handed Tantra are essentially aimed
at the same divine object of Bliss, but one is achieved by
physical means and the other by symbolic means. One is not evil
and the other good. Both are equally valid and both are proper
methods of achieving the sacred goals of the Art of Tantra.
Votaries of Vama Marga use the sacred discipline of the Ritual
of the Five M's. The Five M's are madya or wine, mamsa or meat,
matsya or fish, mudra or parched cereal, and maithuna or union
with woman. These correspond with the five Eastern Tattvas and
five Magical Elements. Wine is Tejas or Fire, meat is Vayu or
Air, fish is Apas or Water, cereal is Prithivi or Earth, and
union with woman is Akasha or Spirit. The latter correspondence
is most revealing as to the sacred role of woman in the Art of
Tantra and how important she is in practical work. Her role is
highly significant in this Age of Kali, and until we see her and
worship her as such we shall never transform the Great Mother of
Darkness into the Great Mother of Love.
The essence of the philosophy of Left-handed Tantra is the use
of the five senses to transcend the senses and thereby achieve
liberation in the True Self or Atman. Ceremonial Magick, which
uses the five senses in various ways, is a perfect example of
this operation. The Magician in some cases uses fire for sight,
wine for taste, incense for smell, a dagger for touch, and a bell
for hearing. By using these various magical tools the Magician
is able to focus each of his senses in their appropriate places,
and he is thereby able to concentrate his attention on higher
and more exalted planes of the Spirit. By this method the
Magician uses Nature to transcend Nature. The same applies to
the use of the five senses in sexual Tantra.
But, I must emphasize, Tantra is not contained in the sex act
between a man and woman alone; it is contained in all divine
acts of worship and adoration. Whenever man seeks to realize his
God or Goddess in his actions, whether by Ritual or any other
method, he is in fact adoring and manifesting his Divine Self.
This is Tantra! If you are a Thelemite, then Tantra is alive and
real when you are adoring and invoking Nuit, Hadit, or
Ra-Hoor-Khuit. These adorations and invocations may be performed
in innumerable ways. A man can perform Tantra by any action
which is a dedication to his God or Goddess, for there are no
limits to this sacred art.
In Eastern Tantra there is initiation by Mantra. Mantra is the
word of the Spirit; it is a symbol of the Eternal Word or Pranava
(Aom). Japa is repeated mantra. It is of three kinds: audible,
silent, and mental. When true japa is achieved, the mantra
should repeat itself in the infinite. In other words, the Word
should become an eternal sound vibrating in the soul. Then is
mantra fully realized and the Spirit of Tantra is made manifest
in all divine action. There are also Mudras which are gestures
of the limbs of the body and which are the language by which the
body communicates and communes with the Deity of one's worship.
There are also Murtis which are images of the Deity and which are
used as representations of the same; and there are also Yantras
which are form symbols of the Deity. All of these are used in
the Eastern Art of Tantra that the Divine may be realized by
ritual which is action.
The principal theme of all Tantric initiation is Action. We must
do in order to be! To be God is the chief theme of Tantra as of
all other true and sacred arts of the Mysteries. The only way to
become God is by being God, by manifesting God in action. Action
is true worship of the Highest; it is experience, and experience
is knowledge. Knowledge is the key to achieving eternal
consciousness of the Divine, and this is only made possible when
the Highest is made manifest in action.
To perform Tantra is to fulfil the Law of Love. Tantra is Do
What Thou Wilt. This is an injunction to do the True Will of
the True Self; in other words, it is the dynamic spiritual Law of
Action. We must put into action our True Will to express the
dynamics of our spiritual being. The True Will is the True Self
in action; and thus by performing our True Will we see and
thereby realize the True Self which is God, and thus are we able
to worship that God in the golden light of its own sacred and
sublime essence. Tantra is true worship of the Highest; it is
the Supreme Method of achieving awareness of the Divine Self by
the Supreme Ritual of Worshiping that True Self in action.
Love is the law, love under will.
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