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What is Semen?

In practical spirituality, the word semen has a much deeper and profound meaning than the words as used in everyday language. 

The modern usage of the word semen is for the male reproductive cell of most organisms that reproduce sexually. Yet, this usage is relatively recent, and ignores the true importance of the word.

The Original Meaning of Semen

The word semen is from Latin semen, which means:

  • seed (of plants)
  • seed of people and animals
  • ancestry, lineage, race, blood
  • origin, cause, germ
  • seed philosophy, element, principle, atom

The Latin word semen is derived from serere `to sow.' 

The Latin goes back to the Indo-European root *se-, source of the words seed, disseminate, season, seminar, and seminal. The word seminary (used for religious schools) is derived from semen and originally meant ‘seedbed.’

The English word semen originally meant 'seed of male animals' in the 14th century, and it was not applied to human males until the 18th century. 

That the semen is the source of all virtue is known from the word “seminal,” derived from the Latin “semen,” and which is defined as “highly original and influencing the development of future events: a seminal artist; seminal ideas.”

The Meaning of Semen in Sacred Sexuality

In the esoteric tradition of pure sexuality, the word semen refers to the sexual matter and energy, whether in a male or female. This is because male and female both carry the "seed" within: in order to create, the two "seeds" must be combined.

Preservation of Semen

The Judeo-Christian scriptures are very clear about not releasing semen (whether male or female): Leviticus 15: Orgasm.

"Whosoever is born of God doth not commit sin; for his seed remaineth in him: and he cannot sin, because he is born of God." - 1 John 3:9

“Now to Abraham and his seed were the promises made. He saith not, And to seeds, as of many [offspring]; but as of one, And to thy seed, which is Christ.” – Galatians 3:16

“Being born again, not of corruptible σπορά [seed, semen], but of incorruptible, by the Logos of Theos, which liveth and abideth for ever.” - 1 Peter 1:23

“According to Yogic science, semen exists in a subtle form throughout the whole body. It is found in a subtle state in all the cells of the body. It is withdrawn and elaborated into a gross form in the sexual organ under the influence of the sexual will and sexual excitement. An Oordhvareta Yogi (one who has stored up the seminal energy in the brain after sublimating the same into spiritual energy) not only converts the semen into Ojas, but checks through his Yogic power, through purity in thought, word and deed, the very formation of semen by the secretory cells or testes or seeds. This is a great secret.” - Sri Swami Sivananda, Brahmacharya (Celibacy)

Religious Words Related to Semen

Smen: In the ancient Egyptian language, smen means “order, foundation," or “to be established or founded upon.” Compare with Simon in the Gospel:

He [Jesus] saith unto them, “But whom say ye that I am?”

And Simon Peter answered and said, “Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God.”

And Jesus answered and said unto him, “Blessed art thou, Simon Barjona: for flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but my Father which is in heaven.”

And I say also unto thee, “That thou art Peter [Petra: rock], and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. And I will give unto thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.”

Amen Smen: the Egyptian Paradise.

Smen: (also sman, semneh, or sminn) a traditional cooking oil common in North African and Middle Eastern cuisines that is produced by a process of straining and refining that can take months or even years. In the Bible, oil is a symbol of transmuted, refined sexual energy, as in:

Shemen: (Hebrew שמן) Usually translated as "oil," as in the essential extract pressed out of a plant or fruit (such as the olive). What is the essential extract of a man, but semen? In fact, שמן is pronounced "semen."

[There is] treasure to be desired and שמן [oil] in the dwelling of the wise; but a foolish man spendeth it up [through lust]. - Proverbs 21:20

Semnos: (Greek) worthy of honor, noble.

Byan sems: (Tibetan) Can be translated either as "semen" or "bodhichitta: the mind of enlightenment." Tibetan Tantra is clear on the relationship between spiritual development, mind, and sexual energy.

Sems: (Tibetan) “mind, thought, thinking process.” Associated word: sim: “pleasure, well being.”

Sems can: (Tibetan) animated being.

Semen in Various Languages

Hebrew: זרע zera, “seed.”

And I, behold, I establish my covenant with you, and with your semen after you... - Genesis 9:9


  1. reta; (compare with Hebrew, above) related to urdhvareta, “a celibate intending to control the semen and direct it inwards and upwards.”
  2. viirya, “vitality, enthusiasm, semen,” the root of the words “virile, virtue, vira (warrior).”
  3. Shukra: the planet Venus. The word also means “semen or sexual secretions.”

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