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The Erotic Body Alchemy of the Chakras

Meditations on the chakra system tend to focus on abstract symbolism or the commonly-held notion that they are centres of subtle body energies, and related to nerve or glandular plexuses and so forth. Here are some suggestions for erotic alternatives to exploring the chakras, prompted by one of the experiences of Sri Ramakrishna:

"Just before my attaining this state of mind, it had been revealed to me how the Kundalini is aroused, how the lotuses of the different centers blossom forth, and how all this culminates in samadhi. This is a very secret experience. I saw a boy twenty-two or twenty-three years old, exactly resembling me, enter the Sushumna nerve and commune with the lotuses, touching them with his tongue. He began with the center at the anus and passed through the centers at the sexual organ, navel, and so on. The different lotuses of those centers - four-petalled, six-petalled, ten-petalled, and so forth - had been drooping. At his touch they stood erect.

When he reached the heart - I distinctly remember it - and communed with the lotus there, touching it with his tongue, the twelve-petalled lotus which was hanging head down, stood erect and opened its petals. Then he came to the sixteen-petalled lotus in the throat and the two-petalled lotus in the forehead. And last of all, the thousand-petalled lotus in the head blossomed. Since then I have been in this state.

The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna, pp.829-830.

This vision of Sri Ramakrishna has a distinct erotic (particularly homoerotic) subtext. It suggests a range of possibilities for erotic meditations on the chakras. You could visualise yourself as entering each chakra in turn and stimulating it into ‘wakefulness’, perhaps visualising the ‘lotuses’ as labia or phalluses. As a variation, you might visualise an appropriate god or goddess-form (Shiva, Mohini, etc. or even succubi & incubi) doing the same, or a lover, or an ‘ideal type’ lover-image. Alternatively you might visualise the goddess Kundalini (in female or male form) entering each chakra and making love to it, in whatever manner you find appropriate. This sequence could be further enhanced by masturbation, oral sex or intercourse. The lotuses could be imagined as pulsing, erotic landscapes of sensitive tissue and structures which require careful and loving attention as opposed to the sexual meditations based on Aleister Crowley’s Liber SSS where the chakras are visualised as vaginas (or anuses!) which are successively (and aggressively) ‘pierced’ by the phallic fire-snake. The symbolic association between the phallus, the snake and the tongue is of course, well-known. You could, for example, visualise yourself being enfolded by each chakra - or each chakra becoming a tangle of Shaktis (or Shivas - or indeed both) with which you become drawn into the myriad permutations of divine and erotic orgia. It might be useful to retain some level of the orthodox symbolism of each chakra in structuring visions - imagine for example, what Ganesha might get up to with his trunk!

I would suggest the dream-like sequences in some of the works of Angela Carter (in particular, The Infernal Desire Machines of Dr. Hoffman) or the "phallic garden" sequence in William S. Burroughs’ novel, The Wild Boys might provide sources of imagery for ‘fleshing out’ such meditations. For a magical retirement, one idea would be to take a day (week, month even) to concentrate on each chakra in turn, using whatever forms of sensual stimulation appropriate to create an atmosphere of erotic languor. I would also suggest, particularly if one is working with a partner or three, that one does not restrict any one chakra to the bodily region that they are commonly associated with. Let your whole body become that chakra and let the sensation flood through you.

The benefits of this kind of meditation include enhanced bodily awareness and sensitivity. This is particularly useful in widening the erotic sensitivity of the flesh beyond the primary and secondary erogenous zones. Further, the deep relaxation and lassitude induced by this kind of exercise can be helpful in ‘loosing’ oneself from one’s Kleshas (attachments) - particularly those relating to sexuality, self-love, and bodily awareness.

For more details on the erotic aspects of Sri Ramakrishna’s visions, I refer the reader to Jeffrey J. Kripal’s Kali’s Child: The Divine and the Erotic in the Life of Ramakrishna. (University of Chicago Press). A lengthy exposition of the qualities of the different chakras can be found in Arthur Avalon’s classic, The Serpent Power. This work, a translation of the Sat-Cakra-Nirupana Tantra, contains some beautiful lyric passages which one tends to miss if one is only using the oft-quoted ‘lists’ of chakra correspondences which seem to pass from book to book without, as Peter J. Carroll once put it "any intervening thought." Remember that in invocation, nothing succeeds like excess!