Week 14. Tantra and trance states: A tantric ritual Copy

The sacredness of a ritual begins with an attitude of purity, devotion, and a quest for the truth. To support the cultivation of this elevated state it is recommended to decorate the space and have an altar. A typical item found on an altar dedicated for a tantric ritual is the Shiva lingam, representing the divine union of Shiva and Shakti.

Traditionally, women prepare the sacred space for a ritual and invite men to enter the temple and participate in the ritual. Women, as Shakti, represent the creative energy and power of manifestation. They infuse the space with their Shakti spirit.

To further enhance the feeling of sacredness, it is nice to give offerings of fruit, flowers, and incense. The items are blessed through the power of the ritual and can be enjoyed together afterwards. The remains of the fruit (such as skins) and flowers, once they die, should be buried in the ground or put into moving water, like a river or the sea.

Highly elevated music is used to support refined states of consciousness, in addition to applying sublimation, transfiguration, and presence.

When conducting group transfigurations, there are generally two circles formed, one inside the other: women sit in the outside circle and men in the inside circle. Couples sit across from each other. When the ritual leader rings the bell, women stand, elegantly move in a counterclockwise direction, and sit in front of the next man. When a couple sits together, they are in a state of transfiguration. They are to recognize themselves and the person sitting before them as divine.

In Tantra, Shakti and Shiva are representations of the divine feminine and the divine masculine. When the ritual has concluded, participants may approach the altar to offer gratitude and ask for blessings to the divine masculine and the divine feminine, Shiva and Shakti.

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