Man has always tried to express the indescribable in visual language. The invisible, divine, was explained by using beings or objects from the visible world. The kundalini energy in the pelvis is personified in most traditions by a goddess (Shakti, Isis, Artemis, Sophia, etc.). Virtually all goddesses represent some aspect of the transforming kundalini.
Images from nature are also common. The yogi sees the source of divine energy as a coiled serpent, which can be awakened and then moves up the spine. To the alchemist, the same source of energy resembles a lobster emerging from the water. In the Bible we find the metaphor of a big fish (whale), which can swallow you in one piece and spit you out alive. The list of symbols and metaphors for the kundalini energy is almost endless; it is as long as the imagination of man.
The process of kundalini awakening
Two important energy channels flow left and right along our spine: They are called ida nadi and pingala nadi in the yoga tradition. These energy channels connect us to the opposites (duality) of creation. Where ida-nadi stands for the feminine, dark, cold, passivity, the moon, and the feeling, pingala-nadi stands for the masculine, light, heat, activity, the sun, and the ratio.
As the kundalini awakens and ascends from the pelvis through the sushumna nadi – the energy channel that runs through the spine – to the crown chakra, all other chakras along the spine are purified and activated.
Arriving at the sixth chakra, ida and pingala nadi merge, opening the so-called “third eye” on the forehead of the spiritual aspirant. The inner duality gives way to the oneness of the divine. This fusion is also called the sacred marriage because it leads to union with God.
At the same time, the kundalini activates the pineal gland, located in the middle of our head, which in turn stimulates the hypothalamus and pituitary gland to produce hormones. The substances that are released in the brain provide an experience of ecstasy, timelessness and unity. Yoga tradition calls this influx of hormones and opiate-like substances amrita, the drink of immortality.
During this process, an overpressure is created in the brain and fluid can enter the back of the throat through an opening in the nasal cavity. This cerebrospinal fluid has a sweet (honey-like) taste. In the myths of the gods of, among others, the Hindus, the Greeks and the Norse tradition, we find references to a mysterious honey drink or nectar, which ensures the immortality of the gods.
Prior to this mystical completion, the kundalini has purged the ego of all superfluous ballast (a process of years). During the sacred marriage the ego leaves the stage for good; the new god-man is born (the “rebirth“).
Left: the caduceus, the staff of the god Hermes, the classical symbol
for a kundalini awakening. The two serpents represent the polar energy channels.
The staff itself represents the spine with the awakened kundalini energy.
The wings symbolize an expanded consciousness.