Liberation is one of those words that can evoke a lot of different ideas in different people, depending on their lens of the world.
We commonly speak about ‘sexual liberation,’ and different folks can have very different ideas of what that means… but an image probably comes up in your mind of people feeling sexually free and expressive without shame. Maybe that looks orgiastic and wild, maybe it looks like wet t-shirt contests, maybe it looks like a long-term partnership with regular sexcapades in your mind. Maybe the idea excites you or maybe it repulses you, and you have more conservative ideas around sex and don’t want it any more ‘liberated.’
We can talk about liberation in the context of social justice and politics, evoking the image of freedom and peace for oppressed people: the end of slavery, women voting, the taking of hijabs and being allowed to work in any job people want.
And we can talk about spiritual liberation, which is related to freedom from suffering. Perhaps a Buddhist monk with no desires for fortune or fame comes to mind or some saint. Different traditions have different definitions of liberation.
From my perspective, based on that of the Tantric tradition that I practice, liberation is being free from ‘shoulds,’ stories and conditioning that are not in alignment with your true nature. It is having a free mind and being able to be with whatever situation in life is arising, as it is. It’s moving beyond dualitistic thinking, dogmas and rules that aren’t aligned with the truth of your reality.
Based on that context, for me, sexual liberation is being free from any stories or conditioning that don’t align with your inner truth… and being free to express your sexuality in a way that is authentic and real for you.
This includes being free from any idea that you SHOULD have more or less sex, that you should be monogamous or polyamorous, that you should do it slow or hard or anything like that. It definitely for me involves being free from gender conditioning that says it’s my role to do anything or be anything in my relationship, or getting stuck in rigid roles or identities, because that’s not in alignment with my fluid, ever-changing nature.
It’s being free from pressure and expectations around it looking any particular way at all!
It means not getting attached to sexual identities and labels (even spiritual ones!) And not making it mean anything when my usual way of being shifts.
It’s being able to flow naturally with what is REAL and what you really desire, which can and will change over time given different contexts and the way we develop and evolve.
So to feel liberated we have to allow old identities to die, which can take some grieving when you really enjoyed that particular story about yourself.
In love, it’s being free from stories about how your partner should or shouldn’t be, from ideas or dogma about what is the right or ideal way to relate to one another, and from any idea of a linear progression in the relationship or projections on your partner/s. It’s letting your beloved/s reveal themselves again and again as fluid and changing beings and learning to release your stories about them (stories such as: you ALWAYS Do this, you NEVER do that!)
Relating to body image, it’s being free from shame or judgment about how your body ‘should look, or ideas that there is a certain way it should be or how it should function. That you should be more energized, not have so many gray hairs, should have bigger boobs/muscles/whatever or feel more or be healed and healthy by now.
Emotionally, it’s being free from imposed hierarchies of emotions, from beliefs that certain emotions are good or bad, or that certain states are more spiritual. And it’s being free from tying emotional experiences to spiritual alignment with life (if you’re struggling you’re doing it wrong! If you’re ecstatic you’re good and successful!)
And it even goes into relationship with life: believing things should be other than they are or that life is getting it wrong. Or that I should be more loving or should be more sweet or feminine or successful or whatever else.
Liberation is total permission to be exactly how you are, and for life to be exactly as it is, and to not make it a problem.
This doesn’t mean we don’t have morals and ethics (it’s beneficial if you’re someone on the spiritual path to work towards your actions having positive benefits rather than harming others), but we can strive to accept our very human flaws and imperfections, and keep opening to love and to the unfolding of life regardless.
My work is to help people to let go of their stories, shame and conditioning that get in the way of their true expressions that want to emerge. And to let go of harmful repression of their sexuality and unhelpful beliefs, without installing new dogmas about some supposed ‘right’ way to do it. I don’t want to swap one set of conditioning for another or project what works for me as what is best for other people.
I want you to feel free to explore what is true for you, what feels good and what life wants to express through you. I want those who feel the call to shed those layers, and to have a space to do the work and let it go.
That’s my intention for the retreats I run, and that’s the underlying philosophy of my facilitator training and programs.
It took me quite some years to own that the flavor of my work is liberation, because it’s a big word and a powerful statement… but it clearly came through again and again: this is what I am here for and it is the underlying current in all I offer.
What’s your relationship to liberation, particularly sexual liberation?
That’s the mission, motive and hope behind the creation Curiously Carnal Tarot.
In Love & Liberation,
Your Intimate Oracle