The Ultimate Union
Tantra is an ancient Sanskrit word that is sometimes translated as "the Weaving".
I see it as the polar "threads" (vibrating strings of "masculine" and "feminine" energy flows) which weave the fabric of this reality as we know it into being. Tantra is not just about "sex" - it is a worldview and philosophy which includes everything there is and has ever been. It is an understanding that everything is connected to everything else, and there is really only ONE Source consciousness experiencing itself in infinite forms, forgetting and remembering itself. As a spiritual philosophy, the left-hand path of Divine Feminine Tantra understands that the body, the earth, our sexuality, and our desires are not separate from our divinity, they are not "bad," wrong, or "evil". We don't have to deny them, or punish ourselves, to escape and enter "heavenly" realms. In fact, the body and the senses are our way back into union with our Innermost being, with God. Heaven is a frequency. It is a remembering.
"Tantra as a whole is all about embracing our complete being and expressions in order to become and be a whole person, without separating our various inner and outer aspects in distinct realms. It means to come to a liberation of the suppressed parts of our being, which often lay in the moral, sensual and sexual sphere. It’s basically about bringing all parts of our being into full consciousness and to finally transcend them into bliss and spiritual enlightenment."
The branches of Tantra can sometimes be categorized by "colours" to define different aspects of it. White tantra can be seen as being focused on spiritual growth and purification of mind and body. It is very "energy"-based; it is often associated with meditation, breath, physical postures/asanas, chanting mantras and sound frequencies, meditating on yantras (sacred symbols), meditating on the qualities of certain divinities and ascended masters. Kundalini yoga practice is an example of this. It is often more focused on the upper chakras (energy centres) and "higher" dimensions. It perhaps has less to do with physical "sexuality" and some practitioners attempt to transcend or "ascend" out of the "lower natures" through meditation and focus.
To me this is incomplete.
Pink Tantra to me is the tantra of the heart. It is where the physical practices and the ascending earthly/primal energies marry with the descending cosmic/"higher self"/heavenly energies. It is the union of both sensual/physical and purely energetic/spiritual sides of tantric awareness. It can involve conscious non-genital self-touch or touch from another and loving bodywork.
Red Tantra is the one that most people in the west associate with "tantra" when they hear the word. It can involve sacred sexuality, conscious intimacy, therapeutic genital massage for deep healing, and sacred sexual union.
"Red Tantra practitioners focus on the lower body chakras (including root, sexual and power), and the physical, sensual arts in order to generate and master sexual, life-force energy for deep physical experiences and physically energetic growth."
"Red Tantra is more focused on using and transforming sensuality and sexuality into spiritual realms. There’s the idea of looking into and embracing that what is forbidden, the taboos, in order to release trapped energy. It’s thought that this trapped energy causes blockages and frustrations and hinders us to become a complete, whole human being expressing our inner self in a healthy and balanced way. This has often to do with suppressed emotions and desires, in which suppressed sexuality plays an important part. But it can extend also to other issues, like, for instance, the use of drugs, eating meat, or uncontrolled dancing, and such. In fact, it’s about liberating ourselves from perceptions, prejudices, rules, morality, and judgments prevalent in society.
"Notably within the Neo-Tantra movement we see a lot of work done in the intimacy, sexual, and genital sphere. Think of modalities and practices such as Lingam Massage, Yoni Massage, Tantric Breathwork, Sexual Union and Tantric Sex, Sexual and Emotional Dearmoring Bodywork, Yoni Mapping, and Yoni Wand practices."
"Dark Tantra can be considered a 'specialized' form of Red Tantra and moves into areas such as domination, bondage, sensory play, sensation play, kink, fetishes and other sadomasochistic practices, but in a space that’s sacred and safe. The idea here is to overcome suppressed sexuality, accepting and embracing our sexuality, desires and "dark side" [which is not evil, but is PRIMAL/animal], and unlocking and moving Tantric vital energy through the body. In fact, in its highest form it’s about transformation and healing.
On a practical level, one could see Dark Tantra as a blend of BDSM (bondage and discipline, domination and submission, sadism and masochism), Tantra and Tantric Massage, creating a combination of that what is forbidden and blissful at the same time. Examples of contemporary Dark Tantric bodywork are blends mixing Tantra, Taoist Bodywork, Kink, Fetishism, Bondage and Massage."