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Over the past three years we have been studying some of the myths and stories of the Celtic Lands.

The first work we did was on the Mabinogi……….the well-known collection of stories from Wales. The Mabinogi are a series of teaching tales aimed at aristocratic young men. The tales guide them through life lessons on how to deal with women, honour and above all, relationship with Nature, the Otherworld, its inhabitants and lore. A subject of many a blog from me has been aspects of Sovereignty, and the Mabinogi is packed with challenges where the young nobleman learns how to deal with living on the sacred Land.

We followed that course with one on Taliesin, the master magician, and more recently a course called Celtic Source, looking at the myth and stories of the Celtic Lands and from whence they arose.

Interestingly, as part of a discussion on the Celtic Source course …… we touched on something that has always fascinated me. From a detached viewpoint it was noticed in the modern-day spiritual scene there seemed to be two camps. One camp looks to refining personal energy as a means to move forward in spiritual growth. Seeking that which is beyond as a means of redemption, echoing many religions.

The other camp finding that gaining greater contact with the planet and nature aids spiritual growth. The latter, having a self-labelled, broadly pagan approach, the former looking to attention on the subtle energies of the body and to the subtle layers of being beyond the body.

So, where did the ‘it has to be better somewhere else’ come from? It brought memories of reading ‘Be Here, Now’ by Ram Dass in the 1970s and not totally ‘getting it’ then, but totally on it now.

The ‘better somewhere else’ simply looks outside or beyond what is in the Now.

The counterpoint indicates we have all we need ‘Now’, but we just don’t realise it. There is no ‘somewhere else’ better. Pining for ‘elsewhere’ just gets you further from ‘being here, now’.

Looking back to the roots of myths and stories of the Celtic lands, they were told to those who were not the workers but the next layers up. The workers knew how to have a good relationship with the Land, the cycles of Nature and the input of the liminal energies around them. They could not function in their daily lives without this innate knowledge.

The more gentrified had lost that link and the stories were for them. True, storytellers would have regaled both worker and overlords with the stories, but the land workers knew what the storyteller was on about. The workers did not have to be reminded, but probably smugly listened to the antics of the young warriors in the stories, messing up and being punished for it.

Where did these land workers get their innate knowledge from? One thought emerged that in the very distant past, the liminal energies of the Land taught them, much like it is believed that plants taught people (actually plants still do teach) how to use them for healing. The Land energies still do teach too, if you are open to listen.

However, as is apparent from these old myths and stories, if the Land is ignored and contact with it is lost, trouble follows fast. The past shows what needs to be heeded. Ignore it and the suffering will be repeated.

In 2019 our leaders who have no idea what ‘living in the real world’ is like. They know nothing of being poor, homeless, having to work 24/7 and still not having enough to keep food on the plate and a roof over the head. So not much different from the noble young men in the Mabinogi and other tales……..

Our leaders are ungrounded with their heads full of ideas that are not practical and in fact damaging to the wider populace.

Without being grounded, respectful of the Land and Nature…. those who lead are going to always fuck it up………. and here we are today…. Those with little or no connection with the Land and Nature are in charge and are destroying the planet.

Without being grounded, people will not be in touch with who they really are.

Without being grounded, people will not be able to learn from the Land and Nature. They might think they are, but will be unable to put what they have learned into practice.

Without being grounded, people will experience high levels of stress on every level (physical, emotional, mental and spiritual) and be less able to adapt to changes in environment.

We have no bards or poets today whose job it was to train the young noblemen and to cunningly persuade their Lords to ‘do the right thing’. The media (modern equivalent of bards and poets?) have sold out to the leadership and use their influence to coerce the minions about the achievements of their leaders. A complete 180 degrees turnaround on the ancient role.

The latest batch of leaders have even consigned the wisdom of and respect for the womenfolk to pointless gossip or to tasks as handmaids.

The phrase “we want our sovereignty back” rings hollow, when real sovereignty is about having a good relationship and working hand-in-hand with the Land and Nature.

Real sovereignty is recognising what women have to offer, having a good relationship and working hand-in-hand with women.

When the ‘peasants’ revolt against the craziness of today they risk being labelled as terrorists.

These ‘terrorists’ are simply being ‘here, now’, mindful of Nature ……………

They want to be financially wealthy and secure, and are destroying Nature (e.g fracking) for short term financial gain.

They pay lip-service to caring for the environment and put pressure and responsibility onto the ‘peasants’ do their bit. In reality, those in leadership could demand scrubbers on cement factory chimneys, which would cut down carbon emissions hugely in one simple move.

Which begs the question of why are the leaders doing what they are doing?

I also sense that those in charge are afraid….they are scared…… scared of the things they are consigning swathes of the population to……. lack of money, loss of status…… they are scared of things they cannot control………they are scared of the power of Nature.

The planet with a quick shiver could kill us all, ants that we are, on her surface.

River2Mind you, we are doing a pretty good job of destroying ourselves……

 

 

 

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There is a lot of information on the web and a lot of chatter on social media about kundalini and related subjects. It is also becoming a selling, peddling and marketing description for workshops, crystals, energy healing tools and spiritual exercises. Many people also are very keen to ‘awaken’ their Kundalini, as it is understood to be a sign of spiritual progress and development.
Responding to a request, myself and a few friends have put together this short information sheet to help clarify what it is and what it is not.

What is Kundalini?
‘Kundalini’ was a word first used in the 7th Century and it was used to describe the creative force of the universe. In its original usage, it was closely linked to written Sanskrit and the power of language and sound.
Nowadays the name has become synonymous with the energy that most people describe as lying dormant or in a quiet state near the base of the spine. The word itself means ‘coiled up’. In traditional texts there are two energy flows that are important – a downward flow, often referred to as ‘Shakti’ or upper Kundalini and a lower one or red Kundalini that flows upwards.
It may help if we look at the subtle channels in the body according to Vedic tradition.
Many people are familiar with the chakras. The main chakras are only part of a much larger complex of subtle energies that go to make up the human being. There are many other chakras throughout the body, all of which are expressions of different kinds of consciousness and energy.


Intersecting each chakra are channels of energy or ‘nadis’ that interact with the rest of the body. (These nadis do have a relationship with some aspects of the autonomic nervous system and also with the meridian channels, but they are of a much finer subtle substance.) There are said to be, in total, seventy two thousand nadis. Three are of prime importance: the ida, the pingala and the sushumna. These three main channels run parallel to the physical axis of the spinal column. The sushumna is the central channel. Ida, the left channel, carries a lunar energy that is nourishing and purifying. Pingala, the channel on the right side of the sushumna, carries the solar energy, that is activating. They can be represented in two different ways, the first has all three channels running parallel to each other, the second shows the solar and lunar channels weaving between the chakras until all three meet at the brow chakra.

The lower Kundalini energy remains dormant until activated. This would normally happen after the person experiences a descent of upper Kundalini or Shakti from the crown chakra down to the root chakra.

What is Shakti energy?
‘Shakti’ is the name given to a type of cosmic energy that is given or transmitted to an individual via another person or energy archetype. Traditionally this is accompanied by the ‘laying on of hands’. This process is not tied to any particular belief system or religion. It can be referred to as the ‘Descent of Grace’ or ‘Descent of the Dove’ (in Christian traditions) or ‘Shaktipat’ (in Vedic Traditions). This descending energy compresses and activates the lower kundalini, sustaining and supporting its progress. The ‘Shakti’ energy and lower Kundalini energy need to unite to move up the central channel.

The upper Kundalini can also be stimulated through traditional spiritual practices.

Without activation of ‘Shakti’?
Sometimes the lower Kundalini energy gets activated without the descent of the Shakti energy. This can happen through specific meditation or visualisation, use of drugs (recreational or pharmaceutical), acute stress, types of physical activity or extreme situations.
There are two problems with this:
1. There is no connection to a teacher or archetypal energy that would support and guide the process.
2. Without the Shakti energy to help to clear the energy blocks on its way down, when the lower kundalini starts to rise up the central channel it hits energy blocks.

These energy blocks or samskara are the subtle scars we carry from previous actions, memories and habits.

When Kundalini becomes active without Shakti, its upward movement brings problems that need to be resolved. This can be a difficult process as the ‘scars’ or blocks are moved or try to be moved. Many people in this situation find their mental and emotional well-being becomes very delicate. If life experience has included particular stress, abuse or negative habits, these will become pronounced. This creates vulnerability and can create psychotic breaks. It leaves a person open to those who would manipulate, both physical people and subtle entities. Over stimulation of the lower Kundalini adds more energy into the process and can aggravate the situation. Even well-meaning friends sending absent healing can make things worse.
Pro-active steps need to be taken to integrate energy, to ground. Therefore, doing daily, physical chores can help to deal with the situation. Sometimes a complete withdrawal from spiritual practices of any sort may be the only way to cope with the effects of premature Kundalini activation until the energies have settled down.

Traditional spiritual paths prepare the person for Kundalini activity by basically dealing with samskaras. This takes time, maybe even lifetimes. These days, few people are attracted to this slow, but safe process of clearing the central energy channel.
There are three areas or ‘knots’ where the progress of kundalini is naturally checked -the solar plexus, heart and brow chakras. With the descent of shakti, these are loosened. When no Shakti activity has occurred when the lower Kundalini energy gets to these chakras there are major issues to be dealt with before the energy moves on. Each chakra’s correspondences will reflect the energies to be resolved.

Clients and Students
People working as therapists need to be aware of spontaneous, temporary stimulation or ‘flashes’ of Kundalini activity in their clients. Similarly tutors of energy work need to be aware of the same thing in their students.
If this happens, grounding is vital. Get them to eat something sweet can bring the energy back to a manageable state.
This temporary stimulation is not the same as a permanent awakening.
Anybody might experience a temporary stimulation but this is not something to be encouraged, sought after or set as a goal. It can only be of use as a result of the body naturally clearing the central channel.

Worldwide
All spiritual traditions have their own words to describe this process. We have used the Sanskrit here as most people use that terminology.
Different traditions have different ‘flavours’ of shakti, so a spiritual seeker may experience several types of energy descent to ease or manage the progress of Kundalini rising.
“There are no secret teachings or activities that will awaken you faster. All the steps to take are already outlined in all the major spiritual teachings. – Gopi Krishna”.

Sue Lilly, Simon Lilly, Swami Prakashananda Saraswati 2017

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