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What is Tantra?

The word tantra is a conglomeration of two Sanskrit words – tan which means “to extend” or “to expand”, and tra which means “the instrument”. Thus tantra is “the instrument of expansion”, in particular as it relates to love and consciousness. The yoga of tantra, the rituals, meditations and other practices are based on several books written more than 2000 years ago in India as dialogues between two major deities, Shiva and Shakti, [8] not to mention generations worth of oral tradition and experimentation.

Shiva & Shakti

The Hindu god Shiva is considered "the penetrating power of focused energy", the active driving force behind every sexual act, the ultimate creator. His goddess mate Shakti (which actually just means “goddess”) is often referred to as “the power of tantra” and represents the essence of the creative force, the potential of feminine fertility [8].

So what do these ancient Indian deities have to do with you? Using the mythology of these divine consorts, we are reminded that each of us should be treated as god or goddess, as divine beings who deserve to be seen and loved wholly as we are, to worship and be worshipped in safe and sacred space [1]. In fact there are dozens of mythologies from around the world that can help us to understand this inherent divinity, but we’ll get to those later.

So what of this mythology? Shiva, from the Sanskrit word meaning “the auspicious one”, is often named The Destroyer from the Hindu god trinity (creation, preservation, death) where he takes on the form of a virile young man, capable of transforming realities [9]. Shakti, from the Sanskrit word shak, “to be able”, is a goddess of empowerment. She breathes life into that which is lacking and manifests primordial creative energy into being [10]. Who better to embody when you need to make major changes to your love life?

    

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