Tanja and Neo Tantra Part 1- Blog
I will admit I ignored Neo Tantra for the longest time. After being Classical trained it seemed like taking a step backwards. In my Classical training when all the lineage were passed to me, ancient secrets of sexuality and how to harness sexual energy were passed along – however Classical Tantra’s focus was not sex.
There is one school of Tantra that taught sexual ritual to reach enlightenment however the practitioners spent years in practice before the sexual ritual to get past sex for the base desire of it.
I have always had a vast interest in sex, not just techniques of sex but how something that can be so primal can also be the source of creation. Sex as healing and destruction is pretty amazing really.
I studied many sexual traditions from Africa, Asia and South America and looked for the roots of healing and the similarities that ran through all of them. I have lived all over the world and witnessed the cultural difference around sex and the attitudes that prevails as a society because of it.
One thing that is very clear to me is that if we are shamed about being sexual beings we can carry that wounding in all aspects of our lives. We cannot successfully compartmentalize our sexuality and store it away without feeling the effects everywhere.
When I came back to Neo Tantra years later it was by accident. Charles and Caroline Muir were at the forefront of Neo Tantra along with Margo Anand, David Deida, and a handful of others. Neo Tantra had become about sexual healing and sexual freedom. There were workshops where people were taking their clothes off and participating in rituals to release shame and guilt and as far as I could tell very little Tantra actually happening.
Through a strange event I ended up being asked by an energy worked I went to see to go to a workshop in California one weekend, I said yes and did not even ask what it was. I weirdly felt compelled to say yes even though I knew this guy was actually being unethical and wanting to take advantage of me sexually.
I went and was accepted even though the workshop was full. I rode on the plane with the energy worker and had little to do with him at the event. I went my own separate way.
Here I was in Santa Cruz on a Friday night, so clique, in a room of 60 or more people who were all anxious or titillated and I kept hearing the work Tantra. I was at Tantra: The Art of Conscious Loving Beginners weekend seminar and I had no idea what I was in for.
The gist of this weekend was a sexual healing ritual, one for the women and one for the men. I was there single and I got that on Saturday night I would be picking a single man to do a ritual with. Are you kidding me??? I’ll write more about the details about the workshop another time (see part 2)
Anyway I really enjoyed and was challenged by the weekend and decided that I wanted to know more about this sexual healing ritual and convince Charles and Caroline to let me attend the Level One teacher training that was taking place in 10 days. Apparently there was a two year prerequisite and it was already full… I told them I was coming and I would camp out on the lawn till they let me in.
I never told them about my training as I had told no one. The lineages I carried were secret as many ancient lineages of consequence were.
We were the first batch of teachers they were training and I came away from it with a very different idea about what we were doing than most of the others. I did take their second level but after that I became pretty disenchanted by Charles. I adore Caroline Muir and always will.
Suffice to say my brand of Neo Tantra has some influences from the Muirs although we diverge in the sexual healing ritual where my emphasis is on holding space as a healer not as a lover.
I have been teaching workshops about Neo Tantra and sexual healing for the last 15 years combining the foundations of Classical Tantra within it. I have also done hundreds of sexual healing ritual over the years.
These rituals are powerful, magical and the healing I have witnessed is beyond extraordinary and I am in gratitude every time someone trusts enough to be in that space. It is so clearly the needed format to heal sexual abuse and blocks around sexuality I wish it were available everywhere.