Saturday, April 15, 2017


 Last week's blog on the Wounded Healer Archetype is really about a primal spiritual crisis which has been on the planet since the beginning of time. This crisis turns the potential "healer" inward so that s/he can actualize a difficult rite of passage or hero/ines journey to become a shaman (but also a seer, guru, healer, musician, artist etc - all of these subcategories being part of a broader visionary archetype.)

Spiritual awakening usually occurs as a result of vibrational energy moving up the body in a positive and sometimes a seemingly negative way. At the end of the day, however, if channeled correctly, no matter how drastic, it usually turns out to be positive. This type of illness is poorly understood among most mental health professionals. It requires nurturing in such a way that it leads to spiritual transformation. Instead, however, it is usually misdiagnosed as psychosis requiring administration of powerful anti-psychotic medications which block any further spiritual growth.
Psychiatrist Lee Sanella has written a seminal book on the modern day misunderstandings of the Kundalini crisis.
Like a Near Death Experience which also leads to spiritual transformation Kundalini rising can be pleasant and even ecstatic but also dark, drastic and extremely difficult to manage. With more and more Westerners doing intense forms of meditation the phenomenon is becoming more prevalent. I have dealt with Kundalini in earlier blogs but some repetition and background is needed. 

Kundalini is potential primal feminine energy residing at the base of the spine. The intention is to move this Shakti power gently up the spine balancing the two main Sun and Moon energy channels  that spiral around the Central channel and that energize the seven Chakras. The Kundalini takes the form of a serpent. All indigenous Southern African shamans acknowledge a snake like energy which resides in the lower belly that is key to spiritual power and sangoma and Bushman initiation. The Zulu call it Umbilini and the San Bushman call it Num. The phenomenon is universal and not  unique to Eastern traditions.
Normally energy in the sun and moon energy channels oscillates up and down these two "nadis." However, when balanced with spiritual practice they can move into the central channel and mobilize the Shakti, Kundalini power to ascend. If it travels all the way up the central channel to the crown or seventh Chakra  it unites with Shiva the male principle leading to an ecstatic or a Onenes Experience. This occurs when the Knower (the seeker,) the Known (the object being observed) and the process of Knowing fuse into one thing - also called Unity consciousness. The observer "becomes" 
the object or the music or the sunset etc s/he was 
This experience can take many forms depending on culture, upbringing, belief or religion. 
Below are two examples; 
the Bushman experience of Kia which is similar to the Eastern Samadhi or Nirvana; 
a healing experience rendered to a woman in the Amazon  with the help of Ayahuasca - the vision vine of the jungle. 
Heat, trembling or vibrations moving up the spine and in the body are the hallmarks of this phenomenon. Kia is the Bushmen equivalent of Samadhi.
This photo of a Bushman rock painting demonstrates this vibrating energy moving up the body. 

The description of De Wys's spontaneous healing of her breast cancer by a curandero (shaman) 

The typical Kundalini symptoms include; heat rising up the spine, creeping, tingling, vibrating, shaking, paralysis, falling, light experiences, inner sounds like bees buzzing in the ears, smells, an empty mind, out of body experiences, control of fire and other paranormal phenomena including channeling and in shamanic instances shape shifting into power animals. Mudras (hand gestures) and krias (spontaneous movements often resembling yoga postures) do not only occur among Yogis but Westerners too. Experiences of past lives and de ja vu can also be part of the experience for some.
The master guru can induce a Kundalini experience in a devotee by just touching the spine. Bushman shamans are known to shoot invisible arrows of "Num" to help the dancer trance and travel out into the spirit world for non local information with his or her "Kia."
For the Yogi this awakening is a hero/ine journey as it is for anyone who has come through the ordeal.
They can also be extremely unpleasant and include; traveling into the underworld, demonic encounters, dismemberment or being torn apart by wild animals, and death like experiences. This can be the classical crisis of the wounded healer/shaman.
The shamanic personality is typically a wounded healer who has come through this ordeal in order to help and heal the tribe. Psychotic breaks, seizures and other phenomena are also reported and all of these result in s/he having psychic powers once the energy has been channelled through formal initiation. This ultimately leads to the helping and healing of others. Indigenous cultures are expert in managing this phenomenon which is usually controlled and suppressed by Western physicians who are ignorant of the mechanism.

In the case of the Yogi the energy is channelled towards enlightenment and self-realization. 

For those who may have travelled to sacred places of power such as the water at Lourdes in France the energy is coming from spirit to heal the believer. Faith and frequently Kundalini like expressions are a prerequisite to the countless numbers of spontaneous remissions of incurable diseases that have occurred here and similar places of spiritual power (eg. John of God.) 

The person who has come through the trial by this type of initiation is usually never the same after. Forgiveness, compassion, love, trust, surrender, gratitude, a greater sense of meaning, no fear of death, equanimity, contact with spirit guides, scripted dreams and the Field manifest.
Maslow's Peak Experience is a manifestation of the same thing and can be induced by many events but as described by him commonly; childbirth, dancing, drumming, music, spiritual practice  sex, mind altering substances and immersing in nature.
An example of a nature driven onness experience is this description by Bunnell one of the first white people to enter Yosemite valley.

“Haze hung over the valley, light as gossamer and clouds partially dimmed the higher cliffs and mountains. This obscurity of vision increased the awe with which I beheld it and as I looked a peculiar exalted sensation seemed to fill my whole being and I found my eyes in tears with emotion.” Dr. L. Bunnell

Some of the paranormal benefits include; increasing synchronicity in their lives, superfluidity or getting into the "zone," telepathy, precognition, clairvoyance/audience/sentience, remote viewing or diagnosis, distant healing and a richer "instructional" dream life.
Most people have had similar experience but sadly we either forget, trivialize or rationalize them instead of bringing them home to our hearts,

This Candelabra, a Tree of Life like symbol in Paracas in the Peruvian desert was a place of initiation for shamans. The Celts also have a Tree of Life that is nature bound as are they.
The most popular energy map is the Chakra system of the Yogis. More mysterious - the Tree of Life of Kabbalah.

For those interested I recommend this upcoming event on the topic
April 24th, 7pm, Montecito Hall, 1469 E. Valley Rd.

To listen to the song click to highlight and then download and play

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