Having spent most of my Ganesa-oriented practice performing long puja with the aim of inter-identification with Ganapati, reading Gudrun Bühneman’s Tantric Forms of Ganesa (DK Printworld, 2008) was something of an eye-opener, as she devotes a good deal of space to the supplementary rituals associated with the various forms of Ganesa in the circa-seventeenth century Vidyanarvatantra and other texts. These rites are the fire sacrifices (Kamayahoma) for achieving special aims, and the non-homa acts classed under the six acts of abhicara: – attraction (akarsana); immobilisation (stambhana); eradication (uccatana); subjugation (vasikarana); delusion (mohana) and liquidation (marana). In this post, I’m going to briefly examine some of these rituals and make some general remarks on the subject on tantric sorcery. Continue reading »
Archive for November 2010
Having abandoned everything, O Goddess, the aspirant should make great effort to seek out the company of women.
One of the most contested topics in contemporary tantric studies is the question of how much agency women had within historical tantric practice. Although many new age and occult representations of tantra speak of it as a “cult of the divine feminine”, more skeptical commentators stress that despite the fact that tantric texts frequently valorise women, tantra is predominantly a masculine practice, in which women are little more than passive objects and sources of power for the benefit of male adepts. Continue reading »
Kali Kaula: A Manual of Tantric Magick by Jan Fries, Avalonia 2010, 574pp, p/bk
Whenever I’ve spoken on the subject of tantra over the last twenty years or so, someone in the audience has invariably asked me if there was one single book – aimed at occultists, providing a thorough overview and introduction to this most complex subject – which I could reccomend. Sadly, I’d shake my head and reply that there wasn’t anything to fit that bill.
Until now that is.
Jan Fries’ Kali Kaula is quite simply the best introduction to tantra written by a contemporary occultist ever. Continue reading »