While study and pursuit of the Kundalini is considered part of the 'New Age' repertoire, it's interesting to note that like most things New Age, it's roots are very ancient and actually pervade almost every part of human culture.
Everyday we see symbols of the Kundalini all around us, but because few people are aware of the Kundalini and it's impact, almost no one realizes what they are seeing. While entire books could be written on this subject, I'm only going to give a few (very brief) examples. Due to space constraints I chose not to include any pictures, but much of this is so common that pictorial examples won't be hard to find.
Basically the Kundalini is seen as a serpent coiled at the base of the spine, where upon awakening it flows up the spine and out through the top of the head, thus transforming the student/victim and connecting their 'lower' energy to the 'upper' energy.
One of the most well-known examples of Kundalini is the story of Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden. Even the simplest Kundalini neophyte can recognize the connecting and combining of the male and female energies (Adam and Eve) with the Kundalini (Serpent) and the "Tree of Life" (which bore the fruit of "knowledge") also seen as the spinal column.
I'm sure everyone is familiar with the symbol of the medical profession, as represented by the twin serpents entwined around a staff with a knob on top.
This ancient symbol actually represents the 3 energy channels of the body, the Sushumna (represented by the staff and running up the middle of the body), the Ida (representing Lunar, Yin and feminine energy) and the Pingalla (representing male, solar and Yang energy). The Ida and Pingalla are seen as snakes entwined around the Sushumna.
Kundalini in Folklore
According to Dr. Swami Gitananda Giri (http://www.echoedvoices.org/Aug2002/Chakra_Kundalini.html) the folk tales of Cinderella, Snow White and Sleeping Beauty are also illustrations of Kundalini Awakening with the Seven Dwarves seen as the seven chakras and Snow White as a representation of Shakti "who under the good auspices of her kind stepmother, was awakened by Shiva. Shiva disguised as the "prince" who pushes his way through the tamasic brambles to discover her".
It's interesting that symbols of something considered to be hidden and hard to access can actually be found all around us, all the time. An interesting metaphor for the Kundalini, don't you think?
Robert Morgen is a Reiki Master who currently holds a
Black Belt in Hoshin Roshi Ryu. He's the founder of
the Kundalini Awakening Discussion Group, the Druids
Circle Discussion Group and the (offline) Druids
Circle in Lakewood, CO. You can find more info on all
these at; www.druidscircle.info
He's also the founder and Executive Director of the Windhaven Foundation for Sustainable Living.
He writes a regular column on subtle energy for Fight Times Magazine and a twice monthly column on Kundalini Awakening at Alumbo.com.
In addition to teaching about energy work and Kundalini Awakening he donates time to teach about Renewable Energy, Alternative Building and Creating Sustainable Lifestyles in various Public Schools.
He travels and teaches as much as possible and you can find out how to attend one of his Kundalini Awakening seminars at his website at; www.windhavenco.org
His new book "Personal Mastery: Develop Your True Inner Power By Awakening Your Kundalini" is now available at http://www.lulu.com/RobertMorgen.