Serpents in the Spine

The force of Life has many names—at least one from each culture and cosmology that speaks of this divine energy. Among these many names, a highly recognized term is Kundalini. This name comes from the ancient language of Sanskrit and translates roughly to “coiled one.”

When we speak of Kundalini, we are talking about a primal life force that physically and energetically resides at the base of the spine, and is associated with transpersonal and spiritual awakening. This energy can uncoil and rise upward, coursing through the spine and chakra system during activating experiences and highly focused, intentional meditation practices. When fully awakened, this energy can reach the pineal gland (third eye) and thus throughout the body, transforming energetic blockages and profoundly altering consciousness.

There is a large body of myth, debate, and philosophy around Kundalini energy as well as a growing number of people who are connecting with this primal force. Those who have experienced kundalini rising or awakening often describe the physicality of it as feeling like two serpents are undulating and moving around inside their body. For some, this experience of awakening consciousness can be unsettling or even frightening. For others, it can be ecstatic and orgasmic!

Symbolically, the two serpents spiraling upwards around the staff represents the restructuring of DNA as consciousness is awakened. Through this transformative experience, we are able to unwind our DNA and recode genetic and epigenetic structures. This healing is integrated all the way down to physical level of our cells, changing the way we view ourselves and the world forever.

When we do intuitive embodiment practices (things like ecstatic dance, breathwork, activating the core fire, and stretching), we encourage our kundalini to move more freely. Mystery schools all over the world have known this intuitively for generations, and Western medicine is beginning to understand the molecular and physically healing changes these practices can induce.

Working with the serpentine ‘coiled ones’ is another way to get in touch with the deep wisdom that our DNA holds and begin to decode the multidimensional information stored within. Snakes move belly-to-belly with the Earth at all times, grounding out the cosmic energies that move through. This is an important key we can adopt as humans bridging ‘heaven to earth’. When we honor our sacred self-expression, we open ourselves more to the currents of universal life force that wish to move through us.

The true essence of Kundalini energy is that of infinite consciousness, made manifest in the physical world. The sacred union of masculine and feminine energy, together in balance and fully awake to Life and Death. It is paradox; the space where light meets shadow and creates a full spectrum of color. It is the power of transformation, moving through cycles, shapeshifting, and shedding old patterns and beliefs like worn out skin.

This power is our birthright, and each of us holds its potential within like a sleeping serpent. With humility and grace, we can enter the portal of initiation and learn to hold this power in a sacred way.

Artwork by Alex Grey
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