To many, the word massage summons up experiences of being pummelled or kneaded like dough. Immediately banish this image from your mind! Tantric Massage is completely different. It is a path to self knowledge. It is an unimaginably sublime experience in which we travel through layers of our being to reach the hidden treasures of one’s own self and that of the other. Here teacher Ben Carver describes to student Vivienne Rush the myriad delights of Tantric Massage.
“The Principle of Polarity states that all manifested things have ‘two sides’; ‘two aspects’; ‘two poles; and, ‘everything has its opposite’ with manifold degrees between the two extremes.” – The Kybalion, a text of hermetic wisdom
The study of alchemy and the seven Hermetic Principles of the Universe demonstrates the importance of understanding the Principle of Polarity and how it reflects in the Greater Whole. Polarity is a principle that governs everything in creation, and is expressed in many other philosophies and traditions, as well as in science.
Polarity is an expression of universal duality. To better understand polarity, it is necessary to begin from the perspective of the universe as a unit that perpetually generates two poles that mutually co-exist. The idea or plan of the universe unfolding in creation is made possible by the constant, dynamic generation of the pairs of opposites.
In ancient Chinese wisdom the symbol of Yin and Yang, Taijitu, is expressed by a circle divided equally into black and white halves. Each half of the circle contains a spot of the opposite colour. The Yin, the black half, and the Yang, the white half, each represent different qualities.
This symbol shows how opposites are connected and cannot exist without each other. They exist as part of the same whole, and the two opposite characteristics can exist in harmony and complement each other. This last aspect is represented by the soft ‘S’ shape that divides the two halves, rather than a sharp line. The small circles within each half show that nothing is absolute. In all yin, some yang inevitably exists, and vice versa. The outer circle of this symbol represents the entirety of the Universe.
In Hindu mythology, Brahma emerged from the Cosmic Golden Egg and created everything ‘good’ and ‘evil’, and ‘light’ and ‘dark’. In Christian tradition, God also created everything in creation from his single being, and all opposites, good and bad, life and death, flesh and spirit. These pairs are often seen as being separate, but they are actually interwoven as part of a greater whole.
The Tantric Perspective on Polarity
In Tantra it is said that,
“All that exists is a creation of the two complementary principles: masculine and feminine. In Creation, the Supreme becomes Shiva and Shakti, the static and the dynamic aspects of the transcendental Consciousness.”
It is said that the whole universe is sustained by the cosmic lovemaking between Shiva, consciousness or the masculine principle, and Shakti, the energy or feminine principle.
Shiva and Shakti, the cosmic couple, represent archetypal polar opposites: masculine and feminine; yang and yin. Shiva is symbolised by the erect lingam, or phallus, and Shakti by the all-embracing yoni, or vulva. The lingam and yoni are polar opposites, but at the same time they perfectly complement each other, easily uniting in amorous ecstasy.
In the ancient times, Hermes Trismegistus said:
“The Sun is its father, the moon its mother”
Here he refers to the game of polarity played in nature – a duality that is born from non-duality. The complex game of polarity is an expression of the universal duality. The universe is a unit that constantly generates two poles, and gives birth to all pairs of opposites.
Nature reflects this cosmic perspective; the game between the masculine and feminine is constantly played out in all fauna and flora on this planet, including humans, since time immemorial. At the time of the Kama Sutra the natural game between the masculine and feminine was a vivid part of life. Men and women had distinct and complementary roles, which when united, created a magic both between them and individually.
The Scientific Perspective
According to science, polarity is
“a state or a condition of an atom or a molecule inherent in a body that exhibits opposite properties or powers in opposite parts or directions.”
It is discussed in connection with bonds formed between molecules and atoms because of different electronegativities. In chemistry and physics, a negative pole has the most electrons, while the positive polarity has fewer electrons. Polarity can be easily observed in magnetism and electricity, and can be understood by observing the simple attraction and repulsion between magnets. The plus and minus poles of two magnets attract each other, while the same poles, minus-minus, plus-plus, repel each other.
The Perspective of Alchemy
Within every phenomena or system there are three forces, generally referred to as ‘plus’, ‘minus‘ and ‘neutral’. The first two forces represent opposite poles of any phenomena – positive/negative, light/dark etc. These two poles make up the entire range of possible phenomena. The ‘0’ or neutral or ‘0’ aspect exists at a higher level, and is difficult to perceive as it is beyond the physical and that which can be seen. This neutral (0) aspect exists because of the unity of the two polar aspects i.e., when plus and minus unite, they are perfectly balanced. This neutral (0) aspect unites the polar elements and is considered to be the essential nature of spirit.
Although the creation seems to be very diverse, by understanding the principle of polarity and other principles, we see that this complexity comes from a core of laws that are essentially simple, and which then unfold through different resonance processes.
It can thus be said that from any state of unity, the state of duality and polarity comes. And since nothing in the universe is completely static, the two polarities develop a dynamic character, which manifests as endless variations in creation, such as plus / minus, male / female, hot / cold.
Alongside the alchemists, science has confirmed, that these polarities are found everywhere, in all levels of creation, from small particles to cosmic bodies, and these are all harmoniously and profoundly connected. They are also inside us. Our body is made of structures of polar alternations vibrating continuously.
By becoming more conscious, we can begin to recognise the importance of knowing how to harmonise these rhythms or we lose our inner equilibrium, which will also show on the outside in the actions we do. Thus, we understand, sooner or later, that our personal rhythm is in an intimate natural connection to the Universal rhythms which we come from in fact, and the only way for us to find inner fulfilment is to profoundly tune ourselves in to these Universal Rhythms. But first we need to understand these rhythms which are based on the polar alternations.
When the alchemist understands the principle of polarity, they can understand all their inner processes and will become able to raise or lower their vibrational frequency and tune in, at will, to what is beneficial. By consciously applying the principle of polarity, the alchemist canperform physical, mental, and spiritual alchemy both within his own being, and in the outer environment.
How does the understanding of polarity fit in today’s society?
Men and woman are the clearest examples both of polarity, and the importance of understanding this principle in life.
Most people in society today can be considered to be out of balance. There is a huge predominance of what can be defined as yin energies in society – creating inertia, lethargy, over sensitivity, greater susceptibility to disease, poor digestion and a lack of motivation. As the embodiment of masculinity, yang-ness, solarity, men should be more yang, and less yin, but men are also prone to excessive yin-ness. This imbalance is due to many factors such as poor diet – the overuse of refined sugar, processed food, preservatives and chemicals in food, and environmental determinants, such as electromagnetic fields, plastic and other pollution, hybrid crops and ignoring the natural circadian rhythm. Excessive yin-ness can be counterbalanced by amplifying its opposite – solarity and yang-ness. This will bring more centredness, dynamism, verticality, and much more emotional balance, as well as greater physical and mental health overall.
It is also necessary for women to amplify their yang-ness, despite their being the embodiment of yin, to balance the prevailing amount of yin energy within their inner universe. If excessive yin is not polarised by yang, it can lead to the issues described above, including emotional rollercoasters and a lack of direction and harmony.
When yin and yang are completely balanced in either a man or woman, a very special state of consciousness known as the glorious androgynal state awakens, that is connected to the zero point, or neutral state, the plus and minus uniting in perfect balance. The androgynal state very much enlivens and awakens the spiritual power of the being.
The game of polarity is also a secret key to happiness in a couple relationship, keeping attraction and passion alive. As weak magnets will have a weak attraction to each other, strong magnets can attract each other even from a distance, and unite with a much greater force. The attraction in a couple is also due to the strength of the opposite polarity between them. The stronger the masculine and feminine energies in the couple, the stronger the attraction between them. When strong masculine meets strong feminine, sparks fly.Human beings are very complex however. Each of us have a little part of the opposite pole within, just as in the yin-yang symbol there is a small circle of the opposite in each side. Thus, when a woman truly relaxes in her femininity and a man feels at ease in his masculinity, it is much easier to find fulfilment in the relationship.
Ways in which individual polarity can be balanced
- The practice of Yoga – Hatha Yoga means the ‘union of sun and moon’, the sun being the masculine, yang, emissive aspect, and moon the feminine, yin, receptive aspect. The union of these two poles reflects the middle way. Many Yoga postures as they are practised in this school work on directly balancing both the Yin and Yang aspects of the different levels of the practitioner.
- Vira and Shakti groups – At Tara Yoga Centre, we run groups especially for women, called Shakti groups, and for men, called Vira groups, where spiritual notions and practices that are directly related to the feminine and masculine are explored, for the purposes of personal growth and transformation.
- Rest well – Sleeping sufficiently and early increases yang energies.
- Exercise – Exercising causes deeper breathing, making the body more yang.
- The practice of erotic amorous continence – Practising erotic amorous continence with love and transfiguration, and separating orgasm from ejaculation amplifies yang energies.
- Reduced exposure to Electromagnetic fields – Electromagnetic fields amplify yin.
- Reduced Stress – Stress has a very yin effect on the body, depleting us of vital nutrients and damaging the system, leading to degeneration.
The Principle of Polarity is an essential principle to understand and apply in order to support our spiritual growth. By observing this principle in all aspects of our life we can reach a state of balance and harmony that is essential for true spiritual awakening, empowerment and the revelation of our Godly Nature.
In this interview, our 4th-year Tantra student Vivienne interviews Tantra teacher Morgan Arundel about the Archetypes of the Soul, and how knowledge of the archetypes can be used to aid spiritual transformation.
While some people may have heard about the masculine and feminine archetypes – Warrior/Heroine, King/Mother, Lover/Fascinating woman, Magician/Initiator – perhaps not so many consciously use understandings of these archetypes to affect their evolution.
Here Vivienne discusses with Morgan why we should consider learning about these archetypes and how by understanding each one, we come to know ourselves more deeply. And if you want to go even deeper, we periodically run an entire weekend workshop dedicated to this topic. Keep an eye on our events listing, and sign up to our newsletter to be notified when it is running again!
“Archetypes of the soul implies that there would be some fundamental patterns that exist at this level, at this soul level of the human being. These patterns end up expressing themselves into our personality. And when we look at those patterns, they help us understand our personality to a much greater extent.”Morgan Arundel, Yoga and Tantra Teacher