Tantra 101: Introduction

My old friend Lupa has an ongoing series at her own blog entitled Totemism 201, in which she seeks to help fellow non-Native “totemists” to move beyond the shallow and selfish model found in most popular New Age and Neo-Pagan sources on the topic. Her format has inspired me to undertake such a series myself on the topic of Tantra and Yoga. It would be far more presumptuous of me to call mine “201”, however, than it is for Lupa to use such a designation, so I’ll start with 101.

It’s actually quite pragmatic to start with 101, anyway, as there seems to me to be far more dangerous misconceptions about Tantra and Yoga than about many—perhaps all—other esoteric topics. While it would be impossible for me to clear all of them up, let alone to re-educate the numerous people who are misinformed or even willfully ignorant, I’d like to at least be able to give the sincerely interested a few good places to start exploring and a source for “unlearning” a lot of the problematic false knowledge.

I should also make clear that there are innumerable forms of Tantra based in Saivism and Saktism (not to mention the Buddhist and Jain varieties). There are points of commonality among them all, so certain general ideas and techniques can be discussed, but it is important for me to say that all of the technical details and modalities which I introduce are from my own background.

No blog post, book, weekend “intensive”, or really anything else, can take the place of a genuine Guru. As such, only those practices which can serve prior to the tutelage of such an initiating Mentor can usefully be included.

With all of that said, I hope that you find this series helpful. As usual with this blog, I will update irregularly, but will try to do so more frequently. You can find each article in order linked in the Table of Contents page.

Jai Siva-Sakti!