Kundalini shakti, the primal dormant potential energy which can be awakened, resides in mooladhara chakra, the base of the subtle system of chakras. Shiva, consciousness, resides in sahasrara chakra. In the tantric macrocosmic model every part of Shiva is imbued with Shakti and every part of Shakti is imbued with Shiva. The definable phenomenal universe is Shakti and she has many energy states.
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Her higher energies are most subtle and her lower energy states are physical. Our state of devolution has rested in such a low state that we identify with the gross material and physical matter and have separated from the ethereal and divine. Now we see the divine as something far off to reach for and we struggle to understand it. The physical reality comes and goes, takes birth and dies, yet we look at it as if it is the reality.
Kundalini shakti sleeps in the form of a coiled serpent wound around the Shiva lingam three and a half times. We have managed to differentiate matter from consciousness, we have taken the spirit out of physical life and so the spirit has become dormant and an awakened shakti becomes our potential. Our consciousness has become unconscious; it is sleeping and this is our predicament.
With awakening of kundalini comes the dawn of our hidden powers, abilities and inner knowledge, and without some training we become lost in a sea of doubts and confusions. Our own unconscious haunts us with new images and drives; guilt, fear and violence have forced us to suppress so much and with the awakening of kundalini shakti these experiences are revived. How do we face our own internal horrors? Such awakenings are accompanied by guilt, fear and anger, and this is hard to manage in a timid and polite society.
It is for this reason that many teachers in the kundalini tradition lead their students to first take up the practices for awakening ajna chakra, the third eye, the eye of intuition. Then we can see through the confusion to the way ahead.