Archives For Tantra

There are lots of articles and essays of interest to modern Pagans out there, sometimes more than I can write about in-depth in any given week. So The Wild Hunt must unleash the hounds in order to round them all up.

Coilhouse Issue #6

Coilhouse Issue #6

  • Excellent alternative culture magazine and blog Coilhouse is shutting down, though the creators are promising that this is a mere hiatus and that Coilhouse will return in some form in the future. Quote: “We can’t tell you what exactly is coming next, or when; we just know we have no intention of quitting. Potential directions that Coilhouse may move in somewhere down the line: books, apps, limited edition print/art objects, video, fashion collaborations. Smaller, more manageable one-shot projects that don’t break our backs. But first, we will have to re-strategize our business and production plans. Nothing is set in stone at the moment because, simply put, we need a break. We need to rest.” For now, they’ve made the six print issues of Coilhouse magazine available as free PDF downloads, a token of affection to fans and supporters. I highly recommend checking them out. 
  • Is the famous Celtic warrior-queen Boudicca buried beneath a McDonalds restaurant? It is rumored to be so. Quote: “Dr Mike Heyworth, the director of the Council for British Archaeology (CBA), said that experts are on the hunt for her burial place, at one point rumoured to be near what is now a McDonald’s restaurant in Birmingham, and he wouldn’t be surprised if she was unearthed in the next few years. There are contradictory but persistent tales (with “no element of truth”, according to the Museum of London) that she lies beneath either platform eight, nine or 10 at King’s Cross Station.” The big question is: what happens to her resting place once the bones are found? 
  • No, Easter was not originally the celebration of Ishtar. Let’s all be more critical of Facebook image memes, OK? 
  • At the Huffington Post Grove Harris discusses composting as a Springtime spiritual exercise. Quote: “Composting is in many ways one of the most spiritual of practices. It is the process that will feed the next cycle of life, which will take endings and serve new beginnings. It is powerfully renewing on many levels, and offers deep metaphoric guidance.”
  • Enforced celibacy doesn’t really work all that often, no matter what the religion/ideology is. The country of Bhutan is distributing condoms to Buddhist monasteries to stem the spread of sexually transmitted diseases. Quote: “Warning signs of risky behavior among monks first appeared in 2009, when a report on risks and vulnerabilities of adolescents revealed that monks were engaging in “thigh sex” (in which a man uses another man’s clenched thighs for intercourse), according to the state-owned Kuensel daily.” So remember, use protection, make it available, no matter what the official rules are. 
The Joy of Sexus by Vicki León.

The Joy of Sexus by Vicki León.

That’s it for now! Feel free to discuss any of these links in the comments, some of them I may expand into longer posts as needed.

There are lots of articles and essays of interest to modern Pagans out there, sometimes more than I can write about in-depth in any given week. So The Wild Hunt must unleash the hounds in order to round them all up.

That’s it for now! Feel free to discuss any of these links in the comments, some of these I may expand into longer posts as needed.

The Arizona Republic reports on the travails of a downtown Scottsdale Goddess-worshiping temple that neighbors accuse of being a “sex church”. The Phoenix Goddess Temple, run by mother priestess Tracy Elise, claims that they teach Tantra (actually they claim to practice a syncretic “Neo Tantra”) and don’t engage in prostitution (sacred or otherwise).

Scottsdale police spokesman Sgt. Mark Clark said police visited the Phoenix Goddess Temple last week to investigate a complaint that it was a house of prostitution but could not determine if the allegations were true … The temple has drawn police attention because its tenets connect spirituality and sexuality and it employs sexual healers and teaches its members about tantric sexual techniques. “It’s perceived as a sex church,” Elise said. The 48-year-old priestess was unapologetic about the temple and its views on sex, which she said are far more enlightened than those of most other religions. A waiver that members sign states: “I acknowledge that I will not receive any type of sexual gratification in exchange for money during my session” at the temple. A citizen’s complaint to police alleges that prices listed at the temple say services are $204 for one hour and $440 for 2 1/2 hours but do not say what those services are.

Though a police sting operation yielded no arrests, and despite the fact that they seem quite careful to avoid veering into illegality concerning their sex-oriented teachings and sessions (note the rules for a “cuddle party” held at the temple), that hasn’t stopped neighbors from complaining to law enforcement officials and making assumptions about what goes on inside the temple.

Kim Edwards, president of the Scottsdale Southwest Village homeowners group, said she witnessed congestion problems at the church but was unaware of what was going in the home. She figured it was a business operation. “I almost hit somebody crossing the street there,” she said, adding that she complained to the city. “I wouldn’t support any church at that location because of the traffic it draws. But because of the nature of this church, it sends up a lot of red flags.” Another neighborhood leader, Hope Monkewicz, said she was disturbed by a veil of secrecy surrounding the temple. “If you’re operating there and no one knows about it, you can’t be doing something good in there,” she said.

But unhappy neighborhood leaders can breath a sigh of relief, the temple is moving to Phoenix. Not because they were forced out due to their teachings on sex, but because of local zoning laws.

In Scottsdale, the city code enforcement inspectors notified the Phoenix Goddess Temple on Oct. 21 that it needed approval to operate a church out of the home at 68th Street and Exeter, said Malcolm Hankins, the code enforcement manager. After meeting with city planners in December, the temple considered its options for acquiring an adjacent property or moving to a new location. It ultimately decided to move to Phoenix but was still operating this week in Scottsdale … Earlier this week, Elise said she plans to move to a home in 5900 block of East Shea Boulevard in March. Phoenix planner Alan Stephenson said the city has not received an application to operate a temple at the home, but a church would be allowed in that residential zone.

No doubt the Phoenix Goddess Temple will continue to do well for itself, let’s hope the neighbors and local authorities are a bit more tolerant at their new location. Though the only laws they were breaking were local zoning ordinances, I’m disturbed by the neighbor who found them suspicious simply because “no one knows about it”. This is a group that seemed to have no trouble talking to the press, and keep an extensive web site explaining what they do (and don’t do), yet the spectre of sex and female empowerment seemed to trigger suspicion and hostility. If you want a crystal ball to predict how the future growth of modern Paganism will be received once we’re fically robust enough to open temples and sanctuaries in local communities, you could do worse than to examine how these men and women were treated.