In Part 1 of this series, I described why the Middle Pillar Ritual matters. The basic concept is that it’s a “step up” from the traditional bedrock magickal skills of the LBRP. But what, specifically, does this mean?
When you look at the LBRP, there are two important energetic concepts: raising/generating energy and directing it outside of yourself to empower the visualized pentagrams. I’ve had people report amazing phenomena just from this work alone. With the Middle Pillar, we turn that energy “in.”
As you note, I put the word “in” within quotation marks. This is because most people, when considering bringing something (such as magickal energy) into ourselves, generally think that this means “within our physical body.” This brings to mind a quote from the movie, Star Trek: First Contact, where the Borg Queen tells Captain Picard:
You think in such three-dimensional terms.
How small you’ve become.
For thousands of years, mystics have realized that there is far more to us than just our physical bodies. The ancient Tantrics believed we have five bodies or “sheaths” (Sanskrit: koshas) of which the physical body is the smallest.
- Vital Air
The theosophists claim we have seven bodies:
- Higher Mental
- Lower Mental
- Atmic or Spiritual, and
- Monadic Spark
Some traditions claim we have dozens of non-physical bodies. Others claim we have just two or three beyond the physical. Of course, I’m not counting the materialists who claim we only have the physical body, but since materialists are generally not magicians, for this discussion their position isn’t relevant.
Whether you accept the concept of humans having one non-physical body or dozens, the important aspect is that for this ritual you either believe in the non-physical body or at least acknowledge its potential existence.
The Tantrics have a concept of what is called kundalini energy. This energy—which can be triggered in a variety of ways including a gift from the Goddess, visualization, breathwork, a present from your teacher/guru, or erotic activity—is said to rest in a dormant stage, wrapped 3.5 times around the base of the spine. The goal of working with Kundalini is to cause it to rise up the spine, resulting in transcendent experiences of enlightenment.
There have been numerous claims about working with the energy:
- It’s dangerous!
- If you force the energy through the chakras before they’re open you could have serious problems.
- You could develop “Kundalini Psychosis!”
- One famous writer claimed to have had such an experience resulting in his being confined to his bed for years while his wife waited on him hand and foot.
I can just imagine that conversation: “Dear, I’m enlightened. I have to stay in bed. Do everything for me and bring me something to drink.”
That sounds more like abuse than enlightenment.
As you may have detected, I’m more than a bit skeptical about the supposed dangers of working with Kundalini. Most of the people claiming such problems are simply repeating what they’ve read and never actually worked with Kundlalini—or had a transcendent experience as a result of their work with Kundalini—themselves. But let’s assume, for a moment, two things:
- Working with this energy is powerful
- Working with this energy can be dangerous
Is there a way to work with the energy that would not be dangerous? There would need to be more mental control but we’d want to be able to have the same sort of results. The answer is The Middle Pillar.
Kundalini work begins by stimulating the serpent of energy that rests at the base of the spine. Now look: the ancient Tantrics were not idiots. They created the healing system known as ayurveda that is still practiced all over the world, especially in India and Tibet, today. Variations of it became major parts of Traditional Chinese Medicine such as acupuncture. The ancient Tantric healers performed surgery and were familiar with anatomy (although they divided things in different ways than modern Western medicine). They performed autopsies (often following stringent laws concerning them) and knew that we don’t have some weird-looking snake curled around our tail bones! The Kundalini serpent is not physical, its supra-physical and spiritual. Therefore, working with it does not mean we have to begin at the base of the spine.
Although I was theoretically familiar with the concept, the first time my teacher led me in the Middle Pillar Ritual, I had the instant realization that this was reverse Kundalini. Or to be more accurate, it was forward-moving Kundalini, but the exercise was the reverse of practice known as Kundalini Yoga. The advantages, since you begin at the head which is metaphorically associated with the mind, is that you may have far greater mental control of the process, and that because you’re moving down rather than up the spine, you don’t have the same supposed issues that could result from “forcing” open the chakras when you start from below.
So the Middle Pillar Ritual can have the same effects of Kundalini yoga (but perhaps more safely), allows for greater mental control, fills your body/bodies with spiritual/magickal and healing energy, and helps you develop even greater control over the magickal energy than you learned when you practiced the LBRP. Not bad for a little ritual!
Basic instructions for this ritual in my next post.
Do you have any ideas of what this ritual does for you that I haven’t covered? Please share them in the comments section.