For other uses, see Tarot disambiguation. Tarotology provides the theoretical basis for Tarot reading, a subset of Cartomancy, which is the practice of using cards to gain insight into the past, current and future situations by posing a question to the cards. Variations on the reasons for such belief range from believing on guidance by a spiritual force, to belief that the cards are but instruments used to tap either into a collective unconscious or into their own creative, brainstorming subconscious. Tarot decks have seventy-eight cards divided into four suits of fourteen cards each plus the twenty-two trumps. The trumps and suits are part of a trump style game with many historical and national variations. Trumps are cards like the Fool, The Magician, et al.
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Kundalini is described as being coiled up at the base of the spine, usually within muladhara chakra. The image given is that of a serpent coiled three and a half times around a smokey grey lingam. Each coil is said to represent one of the three gunas , with the half coil signifying transcendence. Through meditation, and various esoteric practices, such as Kundalini Yoga , Sahaja Yoga , and Kriya Yoga, the kundalini is awakened, and can rise up through the central nadi , called sushumna , that rises up inside or alongside the spine.
The progress of kundalini through the different chakras leads to different levels of awakening and mystical experience, until the kundalini finally reaches the top of the head, Sahasrara chakra , producing an extremely profound mystical experience that is said to be indescribable. Meaning A number of descriptions exist that attempt to describe exactly what the kundalini experience is: Sri Ramana Maharshi mentioned that the kundalini energy is nothing but the natural energy of the Self, where Self is the universal consciousness Paramatma present in every being, and that the individual mind of thoughts cloaks this natural energy from unadulterated expression.
Advaita teaches that Self-realization , enlightenment , God-consciousness, nirvana and kundalini awakening are all the same thing, and self-inquiry meditation is considered a very natural and simple means of reaching this goal. At the lower end of the hollow canal is what the Yogis call the "Lotus of the Kundalini". They describe it as triangular in form in which, in the symbolical language of the Yogis, there is a power called the Kundalini, coiled up. When that Kundalini awakes, it tries to force a passage through this hollow canal, and as it rises step by step, as it were, layer after layer of the mind becomes open and all the different visions and wonderful powers come to the Yogi.
When it reaches the brain, the Yogi is perfectly detached from the body and mind; the soul finds itself free. We know that the spinal cord is composed in a peculiar manner.
Suppose you add eight after eight, piled one on top of the other, that will represent the spinal cord. The left is the Ida, the right Pingala, and that hollow canal which runs through the centre of the spinal cord is the Sushumna. Where the spinal cord ends in some of the lumbar vertebrae , a fine fibre issues downwards, and the canal runs up even within that fibre, only much finer.
The canal is closed at the lower end, which is situated near what is called the sacral plexus, which, according to modern physiology, is triangular in form. The different plexuses that have their centres in the spinal canal can very well stand for the different "lotuses" of the Yogi.
Etymology According to well-known teacher and translator Eknath Easwaran , kundalini means "the coiled power," a force which ordinarily rests at the base of the spine, described as being coiled there like a serpent. When kundalini Shakti is conceived as a goddess, then, when it rises to the head, it unites itself with the Supreme Being Lord Shiva. Then the aspirant becomes engrossed in deep meditation and infinite bliss. Self-Realization is said to be equivalent to Divine Wisdom or Gnosis or what amounts to the same thing: self-knowledge.
There are two broad approaches to kundalini awakening: active and passive. The active approach involves systematic physical exercises and techniques of concentration, visualization, pranayama and meditation under the guidance of a competent teacher.
These techniques come from any of the four main branches of yoga but for this purpose could be termed kundalini yoga. The passive approach is instead a path of surrender where one lets go of all the impediments to the awakening rather than trying to actively awaken the kundalini. Shaktipat only raises the kundalini temporarily but gives the student an experience to use as a basis. When awakened it pierces through six chakras or functional centres and activates them.
Without a master, awakening of the kundalini cannot take any one very far on the Path; and such indiscriminate or premature awakening is fraught with dangers of self-deception as well as misuse of powers. The kundalini enables man consciously to cross the lower planes and it ultimately merges into the universal cosmic power of which it is a part, and which also is at times described as kundalini The important point is that the awakened kundalini is helpful only up to a certain degree, after which it cannot ensure further progress.
It cannot dispense with the need for the grace of a Perfect Master. The student is advised to follow the path in an openhearted manner. Some sources attribute spontaneous awakenings to the "grace of God", or possibly to spiritual practice in past lives. The symptoms are said to resemble those of kundalini awakening but are experienced as unpleasant, overwhelming or out of control. Unpleasant side effects are said to occur when the practitioner has not approached kundalini with due respect and in a narrow egotistical manner.
Kundalini has been described as a highly creative intelligence which dwarfs our own. Kundalini awakening therefore requires surrender; it is not an energy which can be manipulated by the ego. A personal experience was described by Brian Van de Horst: he felt an activity at the base of his spine starting to flow so he relaxed and allowed it to happen. A feeling of surging energy began traveling up his back, at each chakra he felt an orgasmic electric feeling like every nerve trunk on his spine beginning to fire.
Butler describes a similar experience accompanied by a wave of euphoria and happiness softly permeating his being.
He described the surging energy as being like electricity but hot, traveling from the base of his spine to the top of his head. He also reported that the more he analyzed the experience, the less it occurred. However, there are a number of differences. When the fire reaches the crown of the head, the white bodhicitta melts and flows down to the lower chakras, producing profound spiritual experiences of bliss and emptiness. Western interpretation Kundalini is considered an interaction of the subtle body along with chakra energy centers and nadis channels.
Sir John Woodroffe pen name Arthur Avalon was one of the first to bring the notion of kundalini to the West. His translation of and commentary on two key texts was published as The Serpent Power.
Woodroffe rendered kundalini as "Serpent Power" for lack of a better term in the English language but "kundala" in Sanskrit means "coiled". Kundalini yoga presented Jung with a model for the development of higher consciousness, and he interpreted its symbols in terms of the process of individuation". In those works, kundalini is called an Igneous Power or Serpentine Fire. However, some commentators, such as transpersonal psychologist Stuart Sovatsky ,  disapprove of New Age authors and groups who have appropriated certain Yogic Sanskrit terms, such as chakra, kundalini, and mantra, and claims that they defined them in ways that relate only superficially, if at all, to the traditional meaning of the words.
Psychiatric literature notes that "since the influx of eastern spiritual practices and the rising popularity of meditation starting in the s, many people have experienced a variety of psychological difficulties, either while engaged in intensive spiritual practice or spontaneously". According to the psychiatrist Carl Jung, " The biological changes of increased P amplitudes that occurs with certain Yogic practices may lead to acute psychosis.
Biological alterations by Yogic techniques may be used to warn people against such reactions . See also.
For other uses, see Arcane disambiguation and Esoteric disambiguation. The earliest traditions to later be labelled as forms of Western esotericism emerged in the Eastern Mediterranean during Late Antiquity, where Hermetism, Gnosticism, and Neoplatonism developed as schools of thought distinct from mainstream Christianity. In Renaissance Europe, interest in many of these older ideas increased, with various intellectuals seeking to combine "pagan" philosophies with the Kabbalah and Christian philosophy, resulting in the emergence of esoteric movements like Christian theosophy. The 17th century saw the development of initiatory societies professing esoteric knowledge such as Rosicrucianism and Freemasonry, while the Age of Enlightenment of the 18th century led to the development of new forms of esoteric thought. The 19th century saw the emergence of new trends of esoteric thought that have come to be known as occultism.
The year is presented as being the birth year of "our Christian Father," and it is stated that he lived years. After studying in the Middle East under various masters, possibly adhering to Sufism ,  he was unable to spread the knowledge he had acquired to any prominent European figures. Each member undertook an oath to heal the sick without payment, to maintain a secret fellowship, and to find a replacement for himself before he died. Three such generations had supposedly passed between c. The manifestos directly state: "We speak unto you by parables, but would willingly bring you to the right, simple, easy, and ingenuous exposition, understanding, declaration, and knowledge of all secrets.
Rose Cross In the early 17th century, the manifestos caused excitement throughout Europe by declaring the existence of a secret brotherhood of alchemists and sages who were preparing to transform the arts and sciences, and religious, political, and intellectual landscapes of Europe. Wars of politics and religion ravaged the continent. The works were re-issued several times, followed by numerous pamphlets, favorable or otherwise. Between and , about manuscripts and books were published which discussed the Rosicrucian documents. The peak of the "Rosicrucianism furore" was reached when two mysterious posters appeared on the walls of Paris in within a few days of each other.