‘Shakti’ and ‘Kundalini’ are words from the ancient Sanskrit language, yet they’re being used more and more today in our Western culture. Perhaps you’ve heard me using these terms a lot in my classes, bodywork and women’s gatherings. So why’s this ? In this post I will share a little about what it means to me and, for the first time, tell the story about how this energy spontaneously awoke in me and changed my life.
Like all Sanskrit words, a simple word is packed with so much more meaning. This is a huge field of science and mysticism, so I will just be touching on the surface.
What is Shakti?
‘Shakti’ can be translated as “power”. It describes the dynamic and creative power, or intelligence, of life. We might refer to it also as “life-force energy”.
Yep, it’s the subtle, non-visible stuff, that you and I are made of.
It’s the feeling you have when you are truly in pure ‘flow’. It’s the energy that moves you when you dance, sing, paint, and express yourself but it feels like something else, greater than you, is moving you.
Shakti can flow through your body in ecstatic orgasmic waves of bliss and it can shake you to the very core of your being. It is pure raw energy in motion (emotion).
Shakti is the intelligent web of life connecting all things, and the field by which everything is made manifest. It is an unstoppable, primal force, abundant, free, and spontaneous.
It is your big YES! to life.
I referred to Shakti as ‘she’ in the title. This is because in Tantra and Hinduism (Shaktism), Shakti is considered feminine, and referred to as ‘Goddess’, of which she has a many manifestations.
All ancient cultures and traditions revere one or more Mother or Earth ‘Goddess’ with their own names, such as Pachamama in South America, Isis in ancient Egypt, and Anu in Celtic Ireland.
That which is conscious or aware of Shakti is considered masculine energy (Shiva).
This is not the same as man and woman. We all have and need both energies within us to function and awaken fully. Shakti without Shiva is life force with no direction, i.e. chaos, and Shiva without Shakti is thoughts without ability to manifest, i.e. all heady.
Kundalini Shakti and sexual energy
‘Kundalini’ is Shakti energy, said to be coiled like a snake at the base of your spine, and lying dormant until it is awakened. This is not something you can or should force to happen, although you can support your body to release tension and open the channels for subtle energy to move.
As it uncoils inside you, Kundalini rises up from the pelvis, through a subtle nerve or channel in the spine, awakening and releasing energy at the main energy centres or chakras, until it reaches and opens the crown of the head.
Shakti is, by its nature, sexual energy since life itself is sexual.
It is procreative evolutionary energy rising up from the sexual centre of your body to awaken and transform your consciousness.
Without the sexual or life-force energy you easily feel depleted, burnt-out, depressed, and lacking interest in life.
From my personal experience, so, I believe understanding and awakening Shakti is critical to our health, vitality and happiness.
My first experience of Kundalini Shakti
I remember it so clearly. In June 2013, at the time of the summer solstice, I was sitting in a large circle at a shamanic gathering at Dunderry Park in Ireland. We were holding hands, preparing our intentions for a sacred fire-walking ceremony.
Suddenly my body started to jolt, as if I was holding an electric fence and getting electric currents shooting up my body. It was crazy! It wasn’t painful but it was a bit scary as it was completely out of my control and came on so suddenly. We weren’t doing any breathing or energy activation practice.
I put my hands on the ground to stay connected to the Earth and tried to breathe deeply as these jolts continued. The facilitator, Martin Duffy, came to support and reassure me with hands on my feet and head. Once I understood what was going on, I must admit, I thought it was kind of cool!!
The powerful experience lasted a few minutes but the energy kept on jolting me every so often for hours. In fact for the next few months these involuntary jolts kept coming. Sometimes at night in bed. Sometimes just little shock waves during the day.
How Shakti’s fire woke me up
A couple of months later I was sitting again in a Circle, or an amplified energy field, at my first Heart IQ Accelerated Awakening Retreat with Christian Pankhurst. Here ‘she’ activated with super strength. For no apparent reason, my body suddenly started jolting back and forward strongly. I started crying and gasping for breath, holding on to the earth for support. I had no story or thoughts related to my tears but something wanted to move in me.
With the support of Christian sitting behind me this time, arms tightly around my belly, and pressing into my belly, I finally let out the most powerful screams, cries and roars of my life. Sounds I had never heard before. Emotions and power I had never felt in my body before. Full power to the core of my being.
It was like I was connected to the primal raw force of life itself, to the grief of all of humanity. These were labour pains that were awakening me, rebirthing me, to what it means to be fully alive in a woman’s body, in a human body.
And then suddenly it stopped. There was a profound sense of stillness.
35 people were in the circle with me. No-one moved. We’d all felt it. Every sense in my body was heightened. I felt like I had super powers and that every cell in my body was expanding with life-force. I was wide open and solidly connected down into the earth and up to the sky.
My eyes were wide open. I never blinked. I took a long time to look at every person in the eyes, as if I needed to transmit something to them. I was seeing their Souls. In that moment I met my brothers and sisters from a whole different level.
I would never see people in the same way again.
So what changed?
Well, everything really. Experiencing Shakti changed my life as it changed my experience of myself and of others, and well, of life itself really. I had an insight to super powers!
I was given another perspective on humanity. I FELT it. I had never before felt so alive in my body, as if I was inhabiting it more fully, and more than my body at the same time.
I could see something different in people, something deeper, something far beyond their superficial personality or conditioning. I felt a profound connection. There was no more fear or ego or separation needed to protect myself.
I felt incredibly loving, wise and beyond all notion of time or space.
I now had a physical, embodied memory of a much greater potential. (Please read this sentence again!)
This is key. Your potential is limitless!
It is not knowing something in your head, reading it in a book or being told it by someone else, that your life transforms. It is a personal embodied experience that transforms you. I will add to that the importance of being witnessed by others there too, as key to anchoring and integrating.
I also now had an embodied experience of life-force energy.
The potential of life and life-force energy is limitless. In my process of recovering from burn-out and chronic fatigue, this was to prove crucial since I learned that we can tap into the life-force of the universe and flow in her natural waves.
To be continued
So, this little story was only the very beginning. I have continued ever since to educate myself, explore and in fact dedicate my life to this intelligence, and experience so much more in my body.
I have since then helped my body release tension and open up to allow this energy flow more freely and fluidly through me, so that it feels more blissful. I have learnt how to activate it and refine the gates.
It is a life-time project for me to truly dance with Shakti and master my energy body, and it is my absolute passion to share her wisdom with others. I would have loved to have known more and understood better what was happening for me at the time.
I believe that awakening Shakti is vital to healing and transforming the individual, the collective and our relationship to the Earth.
So, yes, I have so much more to say about this, but I’ll have to keep it for future posts……
I’d love to hear from you. Please do share your comments, questions and your own experiences.