One of the characteristics of Tantra as a spiritual path is that it highly venerates the feminine. In contrast to so many spiritualities and religions that see the feminine principle as a hindrance to enlightenment, a distraction or even as an inferior gender. Tantra on the other hand venerates Shakti, the feminine principle and honours it as a fast track way to support awakening.
“Shakti” means energy or power. This of course can be seen in the power of female sexual energy. Feminine sexuality is one of the most powerful forces in the universe…one need only take a glimpse at modern advertising to see the use of female sexuality worldwide. Or watch a woman in labour to see the awesome power of the female energy at full force.
So in Tantra, to become a woman in her full power is celebrated. To be a woman with awakened sexual energy is highly prized. Rather than creating stories of being disempowered by such a woman, tantric men celebrate female power by worshipping the Shakti principle in women. Tantric women in return worship the aspect of Shiva in the men…the aspect of consciousness itself.
How do you take steps to becoming a tantric goddess? This idea of becoming goddess in Tantra is not a mere fantasy. The body is seen as the temple of the spirit, and thus to advance in Tantra there are many practices to assist the women’s embodiment of Shakti energy. Here are seven ways to enhance your goddess nature:
- Resonance. This is a principle in Tantra which means to meditate upon something in order to create a resonance with it. Therefore, you can take images of goddesses and put them around your home as mirrors of your own essential nature. Traditionally, a group of ten goddesses called the “mahavidyas” were used by tantrikas for this purpose. However, in this multi cultural era we are in, you may want to seek inspiration from other sources. A Great tool to use is an oracle deck of cards with goddess images and associated meditations such as “The Goddess Oracle” or “Kuan Yin Oracle”.
- Transfiguration. Similar to resonance, transfiguration means to see the divine within the form. This means that when you look in the mirror you focus on seeing your beauty and radiance, qualities of Shakti. If you are used to looking in a mirror to focus on perceived faults, recognize this as a mere habit and train yourself to override it. Stand naked in front of a mirror and make the determination to see the light shining through your form. Celebrate your own unique expression of the feminine, whether you are naturally curvy or naturally lean. Try to transcend cultural dictates of what beauty is.
- Get back to Nature. Shakti is seen in her perfection through Nature. Indeed Mother Nature is seen as the ultimate Goddess, or “parashakti”. We have also the idea of Gaia as a Goddess…the earth is alive and a huge lifeforce energy run through her which is a Goddess. Therefore, we as woman are all little pieces of Nature, like the flowers in the garden! You can cultivate your own Goddess nature by spending quality time in nature. Especially try to connect to the energy found in nature, breathe it in. Many of the ancient Tantric methods and Taoist Sexual Arts work directly with this energy to help a woman develop her sexual energy. A tarntrika moves away from developing a cultural sexuality and instead develops a natural sexuality.
- Enjoy your Pleasure. Tantra is not an ascetic path. It does not use self-punishing as a method of awakening, nor does it deny desire. Rather, it uses desire as a pathway to the divine. The pleasure principle is thus highly important in Tantra. Tantra is sometimes even described as the union of hedonism with consciousness. The key aspect here is consciousness, and when you look around you soon see that most pleasure in society is taken under the influence of drugs or alcohol or in the dark! Reclaim your pleasure! Eat a juicy fruit with its nectar dripping down your fingers with wild abandon! Let pleasure become the object of your meditation. Before you know it, you will becoming more orgasmic in all ways!
- Celebrate your sisters! Tantra is not a solo path for hermits in caves. It is a path of life, relating and community. Sadly we have mostly been raised to cultivate jealousy and competition with other women. Nothing could be more harmful to a Tantrika’s sisterhood. Rather, the tantric woman aims to transfigure her sisters…to see the living Goddess within each and every one of them. If you find your mind judging another woman, choose consciously to replace that with a celebration of her beauty. Speak your comments out loud and compliment women you meet each day.
- Move your body. Dance has traditionally been a practice for women on the tantric path. In ancient tantric temples in India, there would be found the temple dancers, or devadasis. These women had embodied the female energy so perfectly that people could become enlightened (seeing the divine within form) just watching them! It is an essential practice for women on the tantric path to move energy in their bodies by dancing. Put on your favorite music and let loose!
- Choose supportive men. The tantric men of ancient days would go to temples to watch women dance, not seedy night clubs! They venerated the female principle as a divine embodiment. A man can also awaken the Goddess within you by transfiguration…by seeing the goddess within you. This explains why women have traditionally liked men who buy them flowers and compliment their clothing. So let yourself be celebrated! Let yourself be loved! Let yourself be seen as the Goddess that you are!
These are some of the foundations of the Tantric way to become a living Goddess. As most cultures are not tantric, you may find it nourishing to immerse yourself in a tantric energy field for a while to build your Goddess nature. Luckily there are more and more feminine workshops and events all over the world.
I will be teaching at the following three up-coming events. Please feel free to join us on our tantric adventures!
The Shakti Tantra Pilgrimage, India is the home of Tantra and carries a special resonance with this path, especially through the ancient temple sites. The Shakti Pilgrimage will be a very special opportunity to visit the world’s most famous tantric temple site, bringing together tantra teachings with the energy of the temples.
October 24-29th Delhi, India
Tao Tantric Arts Teacher Training: Sacred Femininity. If you have been on the Goddess path a while and are ready to take it a step further, immerse yourself into a one-month intensive in a woman-only retreat. Learn ancient Taoist sexual arts and Tantric methods for healing and awakening, and become empowered to share these with other women.
Next TTC: January 10th – Feb 6th 2016 Thailand