The Historical Roots of Neo-Tantra

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What are the historical roots of neo-tantra?

The way the word “Tantra” is used in Western culture typically conflates this ancient spiritual practice with, as one practitioner describes it, “a hand job with a stick of incense”, or candlelit orgies, or, “hands-free” energy orgasms that somehow “heal trauma” by bypassing the physical body entirely – even though trauma is a physiological issue with psychological repercussions.


But, for those of us who practice authentic, lineage-based Tantra, the conflation of Tantra with group orgies and erotic massage is a gross misrepresentation of these ancient wisdom traditions, and is, in fact, profoundly racist – as the misinterpretation and misappropriation of the word “tantra” is firmly rooted in the white supremacist ideology of colonialism.


Join Devi Ward Erickson and Relationship Coach and practitioner of ​​​​Kashmir Shaivism, Mel Cassidy, as they discuss the historical roots of Neo-Tantra in the West.


In this episode, find out:

  • The importance of lineage in authentic Tantra
  • The signs and symptoms of not practicing Tantra within a lineage
  • The sinister roots of Neo-Tantra
  • How “sex magick” started as ritualistic abuse of underage boys and girls and how it is NOT in any way related to authentic Tantra.
  • How to be an ethical practitioner of Neo-Tantra


Join us for a joyfully expressive interview in which we are sure to press many Neo-Tantra buttons!



Articles for reference:

Tantra and Its Impact on Modern Western Esotericism

Aleister Crowley, Tantra and Sex Magic in Late Victorian England 



Mel CassidyAbout Mel Cassidy

My name is Mel, and I want to live in a world where people can connect fearlessly.

I guide social misfits and cultural rebels to experiences of joyful, embodied, authentic, open relationships.

My goal is to empower you to have relationships that are healthy, courageous, and fulfilling.

I believe in your ability to craft and co-create the kind of relationship landscape you are excited to be part of every day.

I compassionately challenge you to examine how old ideas might be holding you back, how fear might be running the show, and I guide you through new skills and perspectives for building radical relationships.


The Monogamy Detox will support you by:

  • Introducing you to new models for relating and tools for communication.
  • Supporting you to create your own unique liberating framework for relationships.
  • Teaching you about Trauma-Informed approaches to relationships, with particular focus on open/non-monogamous relationships and Relationship Anarchy.
  • Giving you access to direct coaching and feedback specific to your situation.
  • Include you in a community of individuals who are also working on their Monogamy Detox.
  • Giving you first access to exclusive content from Radical Relationships, including monthly group calls on topics related to the Monogamy Detox.

Learn more about the Monogamy Detox HERE

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