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Introduction to the 2nd Chakra and Tantric Sexuality

April 26, 2009

If you are interested in women’s energetics work, please consider my self-paced DailyOm course Fall in Love With Your Feminine Power, which includes print, video, and audio material. If you are working to heal from sexual abuse, trauma, or disempowerment, please consider my teleseminar Energy Work for Sexual Abuse and Trauma, offered twice yearly.

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This post is part of a series on the 2nd, or sacral, chakra that includes: 1) Tantric sexuality (this post), 2) Intuition and Seeing, 3) Motherhood and Creativity, 4) Spirituality and Bliss, and then wrapping it all up with 5) 21 Ways to Care for Your 2nd Chakra.

As background, I talked a bit about why I wanted to do this series in this post, and about women’s energy bodies in general in this one. I don’t think you need to have read those posts to follow this series, but I do want to repeat one theme from those posts: I think anyone, and particularly any woman, can benefit a lot from some contemplation and understanding of the 2nd chakra, even if your own chosen spiritual path does not address chakras.

I don’t want to get bogged down with too much background on the chakras, but I do think it’s worth mentioning that current Western chakra writing primarily focuses on chakras from the perspective of health – mental, emotional and physical health. That’s a relatively new development in the history of chakras, because classic sources (which are mostly Indian and Tibetan) were interested in them for occult and spiritual purposes. I feel both are valid, but my focus here is more on the latter, and thus some of what you read might be quite different from sources that are more health oriented.

One of the differences you find between the traditions is the chakra mappings themselves, particularly the placement of the 2nd chakra. Here’s the map I use, which corresponds to that used in most Tibetan lineages that address chakras (and sorry I couldn’t find a picture of a woman, or at least a cuter guy – for some reason these mappings are always very unattractive!):

Chakra Mapping

Chakra Mapping

As in most chakra systems, the 1st chakra is at the tailbone, and you work your way up to the 7th at the crown of the head. The mapping most Westerners are familiar with places the 2nd and 3rd chakras differently from this picture – the 2nd is typically at or just under the navel (where the 3rd is here) and the 3rd is at the solar plexus (where there is just a black dot here designating a minor energy node.)

As Cyndi Dale discussed when I interviewed her, there are actually many different chakra mappings that have developed around the world, and even pretty profound differences in mappings amongst classic Indian and Tibetan sources. How to account for these differences? I think of them in terms of different types of maps: You can have a roadmap, a geologic map, a hiking map, a natural resources map, and more, all for the same area. They are all equally valid, they are each just meant to serve a different purpose. And none of them is the place itself. So various chakra mappings are tools for helping us identify and work with energy patterns and structures within our non-physical being. And they are each slightly different depending on the purpose for which they evolved.

The chakras are often described as mind/body/spirit nexuses, or intersections of our physical and non-physical energies. Within the Tantric traditions, of which there are both Indian and Tibetan Buddhist lineages, they are often also described as awareness vortexes. Some people describe the shape of them as spheres, others as cones, others as planes. Don’t get caught up on the shape. The important thing, for women especially, is understanding the centerpoint of the 2nd chakra in this system. It is at the cervix, the opening of the uterus. In some women, this corresponds to the g-spot, the semi-mythical point of maximum sexual arousal (hopefully that sentence won’t get me boycotted by the search engines, which a friend warned me about!) Assuming this location, this chakra is associated with some pretty amazing experiences and functions in our physical body: It is associated with internal orgasm, with holding a baby into the womb during pregnancy, and with opening to bring that baby into the world during the birth process.

Is it any wonder then, that as a spiritual doorway, it is pretty intense?

In the meditative systems that utilize chakras there are two different themes or ‘purposes’ to chakra meditation that you find: 1) Bringing the kundalini, or life force energy, up through all the chakras into our crown chakra, and 2) Going through the ‘doorway’ of each chakra into spiritual dimensions of awareness (I don’t like that phrase ‘spiritual dimensions’ but the words used are usually something along those lines.) What fascinates me is that the experiences described by mystics from pretty much any tradition – Christianity to Zen to Sufism to Eckhart Tolle to Kaballah to Vedanta – correspond to one or more of those described in the classic chakra texts. So, one of these two things occurs spontaneously whenever we have an experience that we classify as ‘mystic’ or ‘spiritual’ – either some kundalini has risen up our main spinal energy channel or we have ‘walked through’ the doorway of a particular chakra. We may not describe it that way, but ‘under the hood’ of our energetic system, that is what is going on.

Ok, on to Tantric sexuality. You may be familiar with this term from the numerous ‘sex aid’ books on the market bearing this name. These have little to nothing to do with true Tantric sexuality. Most of these books have just borrowed a few positions and ‘sex is union’ or ‘sex is sacred’ type themes from the original texts, and repackaged them as methods for attaining maximum physical and emotional pleasure from sex. Which I have no problem with. Life is short, have as much fun as you can. BUT, this is not Tantric sexuality.

I also feel duty-bound to mention that many modern Tibetan Tantric Buddhist traditions do not incorporate actual physical sex into the practice. All those robed Tibetan monks that you see are not secretly having orgies behind monastery walls. Tantric Buddhism does work with themes of desire differently than other Buddhist branches, and often visualizations of male and female deities in sexual union are one of the meditative techniques used, but for most that’s as far as it goes. The best introduction to Tantric Buddhism in this regard that I have found is Lama Yeshe’s Introduction to Tantra: The Transformation of Desire.

For those lineages that do practice Tantric sex (and there are Hindu yogic lineages that do so also, not just Buddhist ones), the same approaches are described as in meditative techniques: The ‘goal’ is either to bring the kundalini up through all the chakras into the crown, OR to catapult through a particular chakra, using it as a vortex into pure awareness or source. The difference is that you are using the incredible energy of sexual desire – one of the most powerful human urges – to drive this process. Properly directed, you use this energy to catapult yourself into experiences that could take years to reach sitting on a meditation cushion. Basically, you are using rocket fuel instead of plain old gasoline. In formal lineages, it takes years of preparatory training before you’re allowed to try this, and even then it’s considered a challenging practice.

So why am I talking about this?

Because the biographies of some of the female teachers within these lineages, and some other completely unrelated traditions (like some pagan texts, the Carlos Castenada books, and the books of female ‘sorceresses’ within his group), elude to another possibility within this kind of sexual practice. They discuss the womb – or really, the 2nd chakra, NOT the associated physical organ – as a doorway into creation itself. It is in a way the ultimate vortex, a doorway directly into the creating aspect of the universe/God/Goddess/the tao/nirvana/whatever-name-you-want-to-use. And both partners can walk through this doorway – the doorway of the woman’s 2nd chakra – during sexual union.

This aspect of the 2nd chakra in women – as the ultimate vortex into creation itself – is the background I wanted to provide for the rest of this series, and the only reason I wanted to cover Tantric sexuality at all. I went through all this to support the idea that women’s 2nd chakras are fundamentally different from men’s. (Other contemporary women writing about chakras have said this also – Cyndi Dale mentioned that she believes the 2nd chakra is the true seat of women’s kundalini, rather than the 1st chakra, which is the traditional teaching.) So this is the technical case for why, if you are a woman, you should view your 2nd chakra, and an understanding of it, as particularly important.

Hopefully that didn’t leave you blurry-eyed, and piqued your interest enough to read the next post on Intuition, which should be a little less theoretical…

Please feel free to comment, dispute, or ask any questions you have in the comments, so that I can address them as the series progresses…

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37 Comments leave one →
  1. April 26, 2009 4:09 pm

    Hi Lisa,
    This sounds to be a great series! I’m excited to follow.
    I’ve noticed the 1st and 2nd chakra location / function issue between men and women. I’d love to learn your understanding about this.
    BTW with Ascension going on, I find many women experiencing the resurge of female sexual power. (Or the complete dis-interest in sex, which appears to be the opposite but I doubt if it is.) It’s certainly fun …

  2. mommymystic permalink*
    April 26, 2009 9:06 pm

    Akemi – that’s interesting about Ascension because of course a lot of ancient cultures required women (and men) who were priestesses, seers or healers to be celibate, because it was believed that preserving and redirecting the 2nd chakra energy in this way was essential for those skills…It makes a lot of sense to me that individuals going through an intense transition like Ascension would have some sort of 2nd chakra reaction, one way or the other….

  3. April 27, 2009 9:18 pm

    It’s true that many (most) spiritual workers had to be virgins, but there were a few spiritual practices that utilizes the power of sex. You certainly know the temple whores of the ancient Mesopotamia and some spiritual festivals of mating? Sexual acts contain great creative power (not just for making babies) and connect people like no other.

  4. April 27, 2009 9:20 pm

    BTW those yogis are not practicing tantric sex (whatever that really means)? You just destroyed one of my fantasies … ;)

  5. April 28, 2009 1:53 am

    Thanks for doing this series on chakras. I need to learn more about these myself; so I will be looking forward to reading your posts. You’ve also provided detailed explanations, which are particularly useful for my understanding.

    I was attending Kundalini yoga sessions for a while last year. My friend who is pretty advanced in both yoga and meditation, introduced it to me. Yes, what she says confirms with your notes “this energy to catapult yourself into experiences that could take years to reach sitting on a meditation cushion”. That reminds me!! I was told if nothing else, to just practice one particular posture everyday. It is enough to awaken the Kundalini energy. *Sheepishly*…I haven’t been very diligent.

    Will be back to your site for more!

  6. mommymystic permalink*
    April 28, 2009 3:36 am

    Evelyn, glad this is relevant for you. I was tickled to see so many of us writing about chakras on the exact same day. As I twittered to Nadia, clearly the universe wants some chakra focus out there right now. I did some kundalini yoga when I was pregnant, although I am by no means an expert, but the historical Indian traditions that that form of yoga comes from is definitely one of the lineages that uses chakras in this way, along with the Tantric yoga and Buddhist traditions To me, using the chakras in this way is just one path, but one that works for me, and I feel it has some relevance for others too, even if their core spiritual path is something else.

  7. Azfar Aziz permalink
    October 21, 2009 5:10 am

    I am a musician and practise sufism that includes activating chakras or latifas. I like this site and convey my sincere appreciation. I would be really honoured if you consider me a member of your group

  8. mommymystic permalink*
    October 21, 2009 2:02 pm

    Azfar, glad you liked, please come back!

  9. Kari permalink
    January 21, 2010 12:11 am

    Wow ! I just found this article. I’m so glad because I had what the doctors labelled a “psychotic episode” but I believe it to be a spontaneous Kundalini awakening triggered by falling in love. It opened up my 2nd chakra, and after a few weeks of what my pychiatrist labelled a manic episode I had a mystic experience (saw white light and it was also profoundly erotic).

    So this article speaks to me directly.

    Feel free to contact me if you want more details.

  10. mommymystic permalink*
    January 21, 2010 2:41 am

    Kari, I hope things have settled down. Mystics actually have a long history of having their kundalini experiences labeled psychotic, and there is also a long history of 2nd chakra/erotic type experiences triggering mystic experiences as well (St. Teresa of Avila’s descriptions of her ‘raptures’ are often very erotic sounding, for example)…I hope your energy has settled down. The purpose of properly taught yoga and kundalini/chakra meditation experiences is for the kundalini to awaken gradually and smoothly, but sometimes life events do trigger these extreme examples…if you are energetically prone to such things you might want to really consider a yoga and/or meditation practice (if you don’t have one already)…none of this is meant to override medical/psychiatric care of course (my standard obligatory disclaimer!)…but if you have any other issues, please do feel free to contact me (my email is in despammable form on the About page – don’t want to print it here because it attracts auto-spam!!). Thanks for sharing- Lisa

  11. August 12, 2011 9:44 pm

    Akemi and your mommymystic articles are quite a comfort. I was surfing for research and found you both. I have to say that for me it began with 7 yr celibacy to recapitualte and regroup to obtain a greater sense of awareness associated with the feminine or Yin energy to initiate a deeper understanding of the kundalini and how it is related to a higher source of healing on a cosmic level that extendes even beyond my abilty to express in words even today. The 2nd chakra is a power source, a key element – goes beyond tantra that isn’t about leaving seed or the actucal ‘act’ yet that is what I called the gran finale or the lanyape :) associated with the journey overall. I’m not making sense. But I know that what you speak is definitely on target. I experienced myself explode on a cosmic level as my Ka or Ba witnessed every cell and bone of this physical vessel explode to minute particles only to be keenly aware of the reconstruction as it reconstructed before my ethereal body. The spirit who was along my side shared the event and it was and continues to be beyond words and or thoughts. It is all about the experience and how we are so much more than what appears to be on the physical and spiritual levels. I’m rambling. I don’t know . . . you are just right in hour own perception about the 2nd chakra. I’ve yet to be able to repeat the experience because my alchemy partner is no longer with me. It took a special chemistry of two joining souls . . . . 3 yrs of exploration to build up to that point. It is what I call the ability to drink from the cup to hear the White Dove Cry. I hope it helps. You ladies are so wonderful. Thank you for the moment. Lucine

  12. September 7, 2011 6:30 pm

    Hi Lucine, thanks so much for sharing. Have you read Womb of Wisdom or the Power of Shakti by Padma Aon Prakasha, they both speak directly to a 2nd chakra awakening and you will recognize much of what you write here in their teachings…I highly recommend.

  13. September 13, 2011 4:33 am

    So glad you visited my blog, otherwise I wouldn’t have found yours. I like how you describe the chakras as doorways. This totally explains the transcendental experiences I have been having while dancing Tango. Each experience seems to happen through the door way of different chakras. Totally amazing. I can’t wait to read more of your blog.

  14. September 13, 2011 4:47 pm

    Tangoheart – I’m glad it resonated for you. This is something I have always felt about the best dancers – that they are making their bodies into doorways, that they connect the worlds through their movement. People often say things like that about singers and poets – that they make other worlds tangible, or work from another plane – but you don’t hear it so much about dancers, but I think it is so true…and that is what the Tantra traditions have always been about too, the body as this interface, the chakras as doorways, so I am glad we found one another! – Lisa

  15. September 13, 2011 8:00 pm

    Yes, after reading your post it helped me articulate something that happened to me in Tango: I was deeply connected with my partner at the second chakra and heart chakra. I felt a loop of energy passing between each connected chakra in a figure eight movement of energy flow. So essentially, there was a figure eight between our second chakras and another figure eight between our heart chakras. Within seconds we both went into profound bliss, which lasted for the entire duration of the dance. When I say bliss, I mean that we were completely merged into oneness. There was no sense of two separate people. It was like a Vulcan Mind meld, but not through the mental bodies: More through the emotional or spiritual bodies. I couldn’t find where I ended and he began. I couldn’t find my body in relation to the dance floor or the entire room. There was only oneness and pure consciousness. The lingering ecstasy from this experience lasted for a week or more. This happened with the same partner on two different occasions. So after reading your post, I’m wondering if I was receiving his second chakra energy through my second chakra? And I am wondering if that brought him through the doorway of my chakra which looped up my spine and back out my heart chakra and into his heart chakra? Is this how the woman tantrically takes the man into bliss? Because this is precisely what I felt happening. Let me know your thoughts, I would like to post a Tango Tantra map of this experience on my blog. I would like to post a referencing link to your blog entries about 2nd chakra. Would that be ok?

  16. September 13, 2011 10:30 pm

    “I’m wondering if I was receiving his second chakra energy through my second chakra? And I am wondering if that brought him through the doorway of my chakra which looped up my spine and back out my heart chakra and into his heart chakra? Is this how the woman tantrically takes the man into bliss?” – I would say yes! Although these things are hard to talk about in words, and there are many different tantric pathways. But the figure eight thing is something that comes up a lot – between chakras in one person as well as between people. I do a guided meditation based on drawing figure eights between all the ‘feminine’ chakras in sequence, i.e. first between the earth and 2nd, then between 2nd/4th, then between 4th and 6th, then between 6th and ‘sky’. It’s a variation of exercises I found in two excellent (although definitely ‘out there’) books by Padma Aon Prakasha) – The Power of Shakti and Womb Wisdom.

    Anyway, of course you can link here, I am honored, and thanks for sharing your experiences:-)

  17. Matt Gray permalink
    October 28, 2011 4:26 pm

    many lineages, including hinduism and buddhism view the 2nd chakra in females AND males as the seat of the kundalini, and it is from this chakra that the caduceus (the coiled snakes) rises up eventually breaking through the crown chakra and giving us the divine experience of oneness and bliss.

  18. October 28, 2011 11:12 pm

    Hi Matt, thanks for commenting. I have not read of any lineages that view the 2nd chakra as the seat of the kundalini in both men and women, normally the 1st/root chakra is considerd this. But I do know there are many different branches, and although I have many texts and have received many different teachings, mostly from Tantric branches, I am always looking for more perspectives. Do you have a book that you recommend from a particular lineage that I could read that states the 2nd chakra is the root of the kundalin in both men and women?

    Although it’s possible it’s just a difference in terms here, in terms of what ‘seat’ means, or in terms of the placement of chakras, because there is a bit of variation in position of chakras in various lineages. I have read of the first being the ‘seat’ and the second being the ‘abode’ of the kundalini in both men and women, but when I say ‘seat’ I mean this is where the kundalini is lying dormant.

    In any case, I have yet to come across any lineage that addresses feminine teachings that doesn’t talk about the different way this chakra functions in women. Of course many teachings do not address female adherents, because the teachings were primarily given to male monastics. But in the traditions that do address women, mostly the Tantric lineages (although there are others, and many outside of Hinduism/buddhism), the 2nd chakra always plays a special, and different, role in the flow of kundalini for women, and is addressed as a special doorway for women. It parallels the difference in our physical bodies. It’s not a question of better or worse of course, just energetic differences, just like there are physical differences. And in those lineages that address it, the 2nd chakra is another doorway to enlightenment – an alternative to the kundalini rising up to the crown.

    Anyway, please do post any book suggestions, as I have a library on this stuff and am always looking to add more views!

  19. judy permalink
    December 4, 2011 6:26 am

    Hi there.. I have just had a 2nd chakra ping experience.. when a man I liked made eye holding contact.. phew.. the Kundalini went up my spine and through my crown chakra and back down to the second chakra.. .. The energy was enough to nearly knock me off my chair.. we broke eye contact and he didn’t know where to look after that, neither did I..powerful stuff. Tantric sex at its best I’d say..

  20. December 4, 2011 11:53 pm

    Hi Judy, fascinating thanks for sharing…yes it’s amazing when you feel it…the art from a Tantric perspective is not to ‘hold’ that energy or interpret that experience solely in sexual terms…that it is about a connection to Source that somehow the unique chemistry of you two triggered…and that connection is available to both of you individually at all times – the sexual union experience is one doorway to it…it is a great gift to experience the kundalini like that directly though, and so spontaneously, isn’t it?

  21. February 24, 2012 4:49 am

    Hello. I would like to thank you for stopping by my blog and the “like” you gave my post. I am a novice at a lot of spiritual perspectives. But find your post here to be very informative and an exciting read. I am subscribing to spend more time with your musings.
    Namaste
    Walter

  22. February 24, 2012 4:00 pm

    Walter, welcome and I hope you enjoy. I really enjoyed your post.

  23. March 1, 2012 12:21 am

    I don’t find words to tell you “Thank you!” enough.

    I always knew that, but no clear clues…

    I’m a 25 years-old girl, poet and actress, and recently Reiki Master (Tibetan approach), working hard with myself, and empowering people as a way of life.

    I decided to stop to find couple for a time, till I can fill by myself this knots that drives my mind up n down, and doesn’t let me time enough to work in meditation, and silence with myself.

    By many sources, I rediscover Tantra sexuality as a way it has sense to me, and no as the 90% of people who works confusing this approach with do orgies, or searching the tantra master to sex as it would turn you in a tantric person.

    This article it’s one of the best texts I found. It’s quite enlightening! I wonder if I could translate it to put in my “Reiki at home”blog, with references to you, of course!, as related information:

    http://espacioreiki.wordpress.com

    Bless you, very good and positive work!

  24. March 1, 2012 8:35 pm

    Hi Cristai, yes of course, as long as you link back here, I’m happy to have you share my work. Thanks. I’ll respond more on your other comment…

  25. May 17, 2012 11:59 pm

    Bless you for taking the tine and effort to dissect and explain something really quite complicated in comprehensible terms. I have heard much recently about te superior spiritual power of women over men. I think you will find this interesting http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WWcoRpnfLko&feature=youtube_gdata_player

  26. May 18, 2012 12:06 am

    Reblogged this on Bluebird Bliss and commented:
    The divine feminine at work!

  27. May 18, 2012 1:37 am

    Nicole, I’m glad you liked it and thanks so much for the reblog! I wouldn’t necessarily put it in terms of women’s spiritual power being superior, but certainly there are different doorways, and different expressions of light, that come through men and women. Our bodies, and our subtle bodies, are vehicles for this expression, and since they differ, our emanations, and our spiritual journeys often differ. But it’s all a whole, a ‘yabyum’ or yin/yang:-) I will check out your youtube link…

  28. Lloyd Bannerman permalink
    May 21, 2012 10:01 pm

    Mystic Mother: Liked your reference to “peaked interest” but I suspect you meant “piqued interest.” In Love and Peace, Lloyd

  29. May 22, 2012 1:47 am

    Lloyd, you are so right, and thank you for letting me know! That post is 4 years old and my post popular week after week and no one has mentioned it, so I do appreciate it:-)

  30. Kamakshi permalink
    June 17, 2013 7:46 am

    Hi Mommy,
    Firstly i like your name Mystic Mommy..makes it feel like you are just my mom:). I wanted to ask you that is it possible for all chakras to be open including the third eye and the sahasrara also when the navel and sacral chakras are under active? My reading shows that result.
    And yes, the kundalini swinging into motion up and and then down for me gets activated not only when looking to the eyes of a “type” of person (kid, granny, milk man or priest) but also starts buzzing on the forehead tremdously when the television is on or if i stare into the mobile phone or gaze at the computer…How does one explain all this? I’m slightly confused.
    Thanks.
    Kamakshi

  31. June 17, 2013 8:50 pm

    Hi Kamakshi,
    Yes, what you are describing is common. All of us typically have certain chakras that are fairly open and strong, the energy moves through them easily, and others that are blocked or weak in some way. This changes over time based on our life experiences and lessons, and at a certain level can even change day to day, depending on our environment and circumstances, but we each have a ‘base’ profile of which chakras are our strongest (in some cases even overactive) and which are less active or challenged.

    In your case, from the little you have told me here, it sounds like you are very centered in your upper chakras, particularly your third eye, but it isn’t anchored by a strong foundation in the lower chakras. Our lower chakras really serve as the foundation or base for our entire energy field, so if someone has a very open third eye, without strong lower chakras, it can cause this kind of frenetic activity in the third eye. It’s like your third eye has no boundaries, and is picking up everything around it. Developing strength in your lower chakras, particularly the root and third will really help. And addressing any wounding in all three lower chakras. We really anchor our energetic boundaries for the type of energies you are talking about (people, electronics, places) with our root and navel chakras, so when those are not strong, our third eye picks up too much. Also simply consciously focusing on the intent to ‘close’ your third eye will help. You do not have to take in everything that you sense – you can filter it.

    It’s particularly important for someone with an open third eye to ‘clear’ it often with time out in nature, and in environments in which you can relax.

Trackbacks

  1. What do You Believe? | Heal Pain Naturally
  2. Sacred Sexuality | Embracing Sacred Sexuality & Ourselves | Earth's Great Awakening
  3. A Tantric Map of Transcendental Tango | Tango Heart
  4. Working with Your Sexual Energy – Part I « Mommy Mystic
  5. Working with Your Sexual Energy – Part II « Mommy Mystic
  6. 2nd Chakra Series-21 Ways to Care for Your Sacral Chakra from Mommy Mystic Blog « sensualtantrichealing

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