Deep within man dwell these slumbering powers; powers that would astonish him, that he never dreamed of possessing; forces that would revolutionize his life if aroused and put into action.
— Orison Swett Marden (1848-1924)
We are exploring the gifts of the youngest of the Graces, Aglaia, who is radiance, beauty and splendor. In the Hermetic magical traditions, according to one source from the early 20th century, Aglaia is the Grace who awakens the Secret Fire energy within us. This Secret Fire has many names, one of which may be more familiar to modern seekers, for it is the kundalini.
Kundalini has been described as “a psycho-spiritual energy, the energy of the consciousness, which is thought to reside within the sleeping body, and is aroused either through spiritual discipline or spontaneously to bring new states of consciousness, including mystical illumination.”
Kundalini is the Sanskrit for “snake” or “serpent power.” It is likened to a serpent that lies coiled, drowsy and waiting, in the root chakra at the base of the spine. In Tantric yoga, the kundalini is an aspect of Shakti, the Divine Feminine energy and consort of Shiva.
The power of kundalini is said to be enormous. Some claim that they have experienced it as a tickling or heightened awareness of the energy that runs along the spinal cord. Although the kundalini awakening may vary in intensity and duration, most adepts question such descriptions, agreeing that it is far beyond such a faint or gentle sensation.
Most agree that instead it is nearly indescribable in its power, often referred to as liquid fire and liquid light. People have reported bizarre physical sensations and movements, pain, clairaudience, visions, brilliant lights, extreme lucidity, psychical powers, ecstasy, bliss, and transcendence of self.
Of course, volumes have been written about this transcendent physical and psychic experience, both in the Eastern traditions by the name of kundalini, as well as in Western mystery traditions, by its many other names – Serpent Fire, the Dragon, and more. A more in-depth discussion of Eastern and Western methodologies and lore is rather beyond the scope of our discussion here.
But tomorrow, I’ll have a bit more to share regarding the Serpent Fire, and our tour guide Aglaia, the Grace of Splendor.