Yesterday, I wrote that in some Hermetic magickal traditions, Aglaia is the Grace who calls forth the Serpent-fire, or the Secret Fire that is the kundalini energy of fully aroused consciousness. So what is this gift that She offers us?
In the Craft, Paganism, the High Magickal Arts, and, really for anyone interested in human evolutionary growth, a basic goal is to learn to “change consciousness at will.” Many of our exercises, spells, and rituals are centered on awakening our awareness in non-ordinary ways.
Many Westerners have found that ancient practices from Asian traditions are powerful tools for this kind of awakening. The practice of meditation, yoga, fasting, breath control, and other techniques are time-tested methods for shifting into extraordinary states of being. These techniques are, in fact, ways that we can learn to manipulate the “Vital energy” of normal consciousness.
Mark Stavish, Director of Studies for the Institute for Hermetic Studies in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania explains how Western magick has much to learn from the Eastern traditions of kundalini yogic practice:
“In the Western esoteric practices there is an apparent knowledge gap regarding the role of esoteric practices and their effects on the subtle, and not so subtle, bodies of practitioners. In the East, all practices, whether designated as such or not, are designed to awaken the semi-dormant energy resident in all creation, and ‘living beings’ in particular.
“This energy is known as “Kundalini,” “The Serpent Fire,” and the “Dragon,” depending on tradition. Extreme care has been taken, despite contradictions between systems, to chart the effects of exercises on this latent energy, and how it ‘flows’ through the physical, emotional, and psychic body, at what stages, and in relation to which exercises. Such a detailed analysis is lacking in modern Western estotericism.”
Because of this disconnect, Western students of the magical arts may encounter the Serpent Fire without understanding what is happening. As Mark points out, “The function of the Vital energy is to maintain physical life forms and existence. It is completely instinctual and unconscious and is heavily influenced by cosmic cycles, astrological pulses, and other natural phenomena.
“The function of the Secret Fire is to increase in humanity, the only place where it is present, its sense of self, or “I”. At the lowest level of functioning, this is the ego, at its highest, it is Divinity incarnate, as both are two sides of the same coin. One is ‘self’ in relation to the physical world and others; the other is ‘self’ in relationship to all of Creation and as a co-creator.”
For most of humanity, the Serpent-Fire lies dormant, asleep at the base of the spine, coiled like a serpent. We may only be aware of it as the sex urge. There, at the root chakra, it may be thought of as a receptor for the similarly coiled up energy at the Earth’s core.
When our Secret Fire is awakened, however, we awaken to our creative essence, to the awareness of our inner powers, and to our interconnectedness to all of Earth’s creation.
This is but one gift of splendor and beauty given to us by shining Aglaia. More tomorrow.