DRAW ANOTHER CUP OF JOY
whose grace is beyond eternity
My friends and I will draw another cup of joy
from the wellspring
of your radiant heart…
from Soft Moon Shining, by Ethan Walker III
We are considering one of the gifts bestowed upon us by the youngest of the Graces, Aglaia. The Grace of splendor and beauty, She awakens the Serpent Fire within us, the powerful force sometimes known as The Dragon and widely understood in Eastern traditions as kundalini.
As I mentioned yesterday, the unplanned, or explosive kundalini awakening can be life-shattering and may result in years of difficulty, as we try to integrate and stabilize our changed sense of identity. This is why most yoga practices that work with this soul fire attempt to teach the seeker to gently raise the energy through meditation and awareness of the subtle energetic body.
Still, these awakenings may result in profoundly erratic behavior, speech, and emotional states in the individual experiencing them. Observers have noted that the subject may exhibit involuntary and spasmodic body movements and postures; pain; abnormal breathing patterns; paralysis; tickling itching; vibrating sensations; hot and cold sensations; inner sounds, such as roaring, music, whistling, and chirping; insomnia; hypersensitivity to environment; unusual or extremes of emotions; intensified sex drive; distortion of thought processes; detachment; disassociation; sensations of physical expansion; and out-of-body experiences (OBEs).
One of the earliest yogis to introduce the kundalini practices to the Western world was Gopi Krishna. After his own dramatic experience, his body eventually adapted to the new energy and stabilized, but he was permanently changed.
“After my first experience [with kundalini],” he wrote, “I oscillated between life and death, sanity and insanity… For part of this period my mental state became so acute that, when retiring to my bed at night, I was never sure whether or not I would rise alive or sane in the morning.
“But almost by a miracle my reason and judgment remained unimpaired, which allowed me always to evaluate my mental condition day and night. I clearly saw my whole organism battling with a new situation in my interior, as if a new and powerful psychic energy was operating in my brain and the nerves in place of the former, much weaker, current whose passage I could not feel at all.
“But the powerful energy now circulating in my system filled my head with a silvery luster and darted through my nerves and organs in flashes of light. At the same time, I started to hear an inner cadence, varying in tone and pitch, from time to time, which has lasted to this day. This play of sound is known as unstruck melody in all the books on kundalini or yoga in India and is an unmistakable sign of the awakening of this power.”
Of course, kundalini is just one name for this phenomenon that is the gift of the Grace Aglaia. And despite the perils and terror of actually awakening this Dragon within us, tomorrow, we’ll see how it is so closely tied to this youngest Grace’s qualities of beauty and splendor.