The Awakening of Kundalini and the A.·.A.·. system
by yemeth

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This article is part of a series on Initiation. See them all in this section

A.·.A.·. Hinduism Initiation Thelema


Kundalini might be one of the greatest victims of the New Age and you’ll easily find an overwhelming amount of inaccurate information on the Internet. Still, the awakening of Kundalini is an essential milestone for the Initiate who aspires to the worlds beyond the astral.


The original term comes from hinduism, and refers to a dormant potential energy that sleeps at the root of our spinal column, the Muladhara chakra. It was probably first mentioned in the Tantrasadbhava-tantra (VIII Century). However, snakes and dragons which allude to this concept aren’t unusual; from Uadyet in Egypt to the Caduceus of Hermes (Greece), or even according to some, the Feather Serpent Quetzalcoátl.


Since this would be a process shared by the whole human race, it makes sense that separate cultures have conceptualized it in similar ways. In this regard, I wholeheartedly recommend Kenneth Grant’s “Cults of the Shadow”.





Hod, Kundalini and ceremonial magick


In the magickal and mystical system of the A.·.A.·., our meeting with the Kundalini happens in the sphere of Hod, that is to say, grade Practicus 3=8. A prerequisite for this is the full integration of the shadow archetype.


Since the creation of reality flows from Kether to Malkuth, our way back can climb the Tree of Life using two paths. One is the mystical path, the Path of the Arrow, the straight way that will move from Malkuth to Kether visiting Yesod and Tiphareth. The other path is the magician’s convoluted path, which looks like a snake.


When in Malkuth and Yesod, the paths of the magician and the mystic are still the same. But from Yesod, these paths divert. One will be straight, the other one will coil around the Tree. When the magician reaches Hod, he could already be considered as following the Path of the Snake. Hod is the planet Mercury and Hermes, who wields the Caduceus staff, in which two snakes arise entwined around this staff. 


Kundalini is conceived as a coiled snake that sleeps at the root of our spinal column. There we find the first chakra, muladhara. Hinduism tells us three channels (nadis) run vertically from the base of the spine to the head, in a way that quite resembles Hermes’ caduceus. The two snakes around the staff are here called Ida (moon, feminine) and Pingala (solar, masculine), whereas the staff itself is called Sushumna. Kundalini rises by balancing Ida and Pingala, the masculine and feminine.


The magician’s work with Hod is awakening the Kundalini. But, why now of all times?


Before reaching Hod, the Initiate must have won the Ordeal of the Siren (or Vampire), that which Joseph Campbell named as “The Woman as a Temptress” in his Hero’s Journey. This made him a Zelator 2=9 in Yesod. To win this ordeal, the Initiate must have given up romantically/sexually a person (or several) which seemed to incarnate his/her anima/animus. This person appeared in the Initiate’s life as a consequence of the libido energy liberated after he successfully dealt with his Chapel Perilous / Vision of the Holy Guardian Angel, after the Initiate obtained access to the world of Yetzirah from Assiah.


What does all that work and the anima/animus have to do with this?


Kundalini is precisely the Initiate’s anima/animus. Using Jungian terms, in path 32 between Malkuth and Yesod, the Neophyte fought his shadow (his personal unconscious). Once shadow has been integrated, it is time for the anima/animus to shine- This is a deeper unconscious archetype, linked to the shadow. It represents repressed personal power. Before the anima/animus has been integrated, we project it on others as a positive trait.


The Initiate can only fruitfully work with Kundalini (which is the same as the anima/animus) once he’s stopped projecting it on his lovers. Having dealt with the Ordeal of the Siren is then necessary before working with Kundalini.


Without the shadow, the anima/animus is free to manifest on reality. But also the Initiate can now differentiate and perceive the archetype he is projecting.


The Practicus 3=8 grade in the A.·.A.·.


In the A.·.A.·. system, the Practicus 3=8 work involves a meditation called S.S.S. from Aleister Crowley’s Liber HHH. This meditation is a requisite to get beyond this grade in Liber CLXXXV. Please note this is the true grade work. The aim of meditation S.S.S. is to wake up the Kundalini.


The other requisites to reach the next grade (Philosophus 4=7, which corresponds with the sephira Netzach) are:


- Learning theory (qabbalah, Sepher Sephiroth, Liber 777 correspondences).

- Developing divination abilities, which imply learning to perceive the astral more deeply..

- Mind discipline exercises (Liber XVI vel Liber Turris, and Liber III vel Jugorum)


These requisites may be considered as having a supporting role; however, the Initiate that is working in Yetzirah must learn to manage in the astral and perceive it. However, the true advance comes from the awakening of Kundalini.


Kundalini awakens as an astral phenomenon. Therefore, it will not be possible to awaken it if the magician doesn’t have some working ability to perceive and influence the astral.


Kundalini and Liber AL vel Legis


Aleister Crowley’s references to the Fire Snake are very clear. There’s quite a lot in Liber LXV, but also in his main work, Liber AL.


In Liber AL II-22, it is said:


“I am the Snake that giveth Knowledge & Delight and bright glory, and stir the hearts of men with drunkenness. To worship me take wine and strange drugs whereof I will tell my prophet, & be drunk thereof!”.


Crowley’s comment on this passage says, “Hadit now identifies himself with the Kundalini, the central magical force in man.“. Nowhere are the “strange drugs” revealed by Crowley, but they are probably peyote and its active substance, mescaline. A blue lotus wine is also speculated about. Be that as it may, in my experience entheogens are useful to raise the Kundalini serpent.


There is another reference a little later, AL, II-26: “I am the secret Serpent coiled about to spring: in my coiling there is joy. If I lift up my head, I and my Nuit are one. If I droop down mine head, and shoot forth venom, then is rapture of the earth, and I and the earth are one.


In Aleister Crowley’s Liber AL comment, he stated this verse also references Kundalini. He wrote that the “rapture of the earth” is where union happens, divinizing the elements. This verse is more meaningful if we consider that Kundalini is an essential vehicle to reach the Knowledge and Conversation of the Holy Guardian Angel.


We should also take into account that Hadit and Kundalini are the same thing. In the S.S.S. meditation I previously mentioned, there’s not any explicit reference to Kundalini, but to Hadit.


There is another reference in Liber AL, III - 4-9: “Choose ye an island! Fortify it! Dung it about with enginery of war! I will give you a war-engine. With it ye shall smite the peoples; and none shall stand before you. Lurk! Withdraw! Upon them! this is the Law of the Battle of Conquest: thus shall my worship be about my secret house”.


How does this relate with Kundalini?. In his Comment, Crowley gives us the key: Every island is a chakra. The war-engine is a meditation method. For practice, he points again to the “Section 3 from Liber HHH”, that is to say, meditation S.S.S.


When he writes about the “secret house”, it is a reference to the Anahata chakra. The HGA awaits in this secret house. These verses are directed towards those who have still not revealed it.





How to awaken Kundalini?


Here I should be careful, since everyone is different. Some methods may work better, some may not be as good.


The A.·.A.·. system recommends meditation S.S.S. from Liber HHH. But just like anywhere else, it should be taken by the witty magician as a suggestion and not as dogma. If the method isn’t adequate for the Initiate, it might be better to try something else.


An alternative method is invoking the anima/animus, or Kundalini itself. After analyzing its characteristics, the Initiate may deploy an altar with props related to the anima/animus. Once the invocation is finished, he should wait in silence until that which has been called manifests. Notice that the first stop from an awakening Kundalini will be the Svadhisthana chakra. That is to say, most probably the first phase of its manifestation will have quite a sexual face to it.


A key to success is the Initiate’s ability to silence his mind. It is positive to have practiced pranayama and asana. Pranayama’s forced breathing helps us forget we are breathing. Asana’s forced positions help us forget about our bodies. Silence from the senses is key to perceive astral reality.


Entheogens are useful as well. Crowley recommends them in Liber AL II-22. However, it would be good that the Initiate has the ability to establish a course to his trips. These substances can amplify the Initiate’s ability to perceive the astral, and intensify the astral itself. Even though on one hand this makes things easier, on the other hand the Initiate will have to refine its will to be able to focus, without getting lost betwixt the astral tides.


There’s more methods. In “Aleister Crowley and the Hidden God”, Kenneth Grant recommends imagining the Fire Snake as phallic, penetrating the Initiate (though Grant’s prejudices consider it a practice more appropriate for women). He also gives a long list of ideas including drugs and alcohol, introversion of the senses, the Dance of Dervishes, sexual magick, sadist or masochist violence, the absolute compassion for all created things, passive ecstasy through art, or devotion to the Absolute through the preferred deity. More ideas are given by Kenneth Grant in “Beyond the Mauve Zone” (The Fire Snake and Parasexual Orgasm)


According to Jung, the process is facilitated through the “coniunctio oppositorum”. This is also part of the reasons to do pranayama, balancing Ida and Pingala:


“Kundalini, however, awakens only when hunger drives her. This hunger arises as a consequence of spiritual discipline, through the appeasement of pairs of opposites. When the external process has finally come to rest, the internal begins. Kundali-shakti springs up, whereby her head becomes light. This is the process of becoming conscious.” [Jung, “The Psychology of Kundalini Yoga”]


Kundalini work


Once Kundalini has been awakened, the Initiate will continue working with it, and with the repressed unconscious archetype we call anima/animus.


Rising from the base chakra, it may burn any obstacles in her path in the third chakra (Manipura). This chakra corresponds with Path 27 and The Tower. In order to pass through, the “feminine” and “masculine” must achieve balance. This Tower “broken by war” as Nemo Pandragon writes in “A Secret Key of Thelema”, will become the sacred Temple of Magick.


This process runs in parallel with the refining of the four elements that the Initiate must balance with Spirit on top of the five pointed star to build the Temple.


The force of his Aspiration will finally then allow the Initiate to pierce the Veil of Paroketh and become an Adept. When the Adeptus Minor (external) has appropriately built the Temple in his chest, and calls Kundalini overflowing with this Aspiration, the Fire Snake will no longer coil and sleep again. It will dwell in the Temple so carefully built, so it will become a “Heart Girt with a Serpent”. The Serpent would entwine around the Orphic Egg she built, in which the feminine and the masculine have blended.


I’m the dance that unleashes your potential.

I’m the arrogant serenity that knows and owns her true power.

I’m not your Holy Guardian Angel, but I’m the door to him.

I’m the Power that will bring you to him.