Menopause is Enlightenment translated into German by Katharina Kroeber
The energy aspects of menopause are of special interest to me. As a
long-time student of yoga, I was struck by the many similarities between
menopausal symptoms and the well-known esoteric goal of "awakening
of the kundalini." Though the ideas presented in this section may
seem strange or difficult to comprehend, they contain powerful messages
about menopause which lie at the heart of the Wise Woman approach.
"Kundalini [is] the root [of] all spiritual experiences. . . ."1
Kundalini is a special kind of energy known in many cultures, including
Tibetan, Indian, Sumerian, Chinese, Irish, Aztec, and Greek. Kundalini
is said to be hot, fast, powerful, and large. It exists within the earth,
within all life, and within each person. Psychoanalyst Carl G. Jung
called kundalini anima. Kundalini is usually represented as a serpent
coiled at the base of the spine, but women's mystery stories locate
it in the uterus - or the area where the uterus was, if a hysterectomy
has occurred. During both puberty and menopause, a woman's kundalini
is difficult to control and may cause a great number of symptoms.
East Indian yogis spend lifetimes learning to activate, or wake up,
their kundalini. This is also called "achieving enlightenment."
When they succeed, a surge of super-heated energy goes up the spine,
throughout the nerves, dilating blood vessels, and fueling itself with
hormones. As kundalini continues to travel up the spine, it changes
the functioning of the endocrine, cardiovascular, and nervous systems.
Not just in yogis, but in any woman who allows herself to become aware
of it. Menopause is a kind of enlightenment. Hot flashes are kundalini
To understand the awakening of kundalini during menopause, it is necessary
to look at its effects on us throughout our lives. Before puberty, kundalini
is primarily outside the body. As puberty commences, two-valved energy
"gate" (imaginary opening) in the "root chakra"
(see Figure 1) opens, and kundalini circulates up from the earth and
into the root chakra. This allows kundalini to build up in the uterus
and pelvic tissues until it is released, usually during menstruation.
As much as ten days before bleeding commences, the stored kundalini
can intensify emotions and sensations, expose powerful feelings, trigger
creative outpourings, and generate a house-cleaning frenzy. If pregnancy
occurs, kundalini is retained for the duration of the pregnancy and
is used in the act of birth.
At menopause, one "valve" of the gate closes. The open valve
allows kundalini to enter; the closed one prevents it from leaving.
Now kundalini, unable to return to earth, builds up in the pelvic tissues
leading some women to say that menopause is PMS that never stops. If
this intense energy collects in the uterus for too many weeks, cramps
and flooding may accompany the delayed menses. If it sits in the pelvis
for many years, it can dry out the vagina, erode the integrity of the
hips, contribute to bladder weakness, and depress sexual desire.
But if the kundalini is guided (by thought or by hot flashes, for instance)
up the spine, then it confers enlightenment, not incontinence. But not
all at once. As the kundalini rises, it must pass through six more energy
gates/chakras (see Figure 2). At each gate, symptoms relating to the
chakra may occur. As may shamanic abilities that could cause the menopausal
woman (or her family and friends) to think that she is going crazy.
She has never been more sane. "After kundalini awakes it becomes
impossible to continue believing that external reality is the sole reality."2
No wonder old women are honored and feared throughout the world! 3 If
the energy centers triggered by kundalini are resistant to being activated,
symptoms may get worse instead of remising. Menstrual pain, bloating,
indigestion, heart palpitations, thyroid malfunctions, headaches, and
memory loss are all associated with resistance to the passage of kundalini.
When menopausal symptoms are understood as energy movement (or lack
of it), women feel more at ease. Instead of feeling victimized by her
body, the menopausal woman can use her symptoms as a way to pinpoint
areas that need special nourishment. Quiet time alone in nature, or
sitting in a comfortable chair listening to soothing music allows thoughts
and feelings to arise and opens the way for the flow of kundalini. Specific
exercises, such as those offered by energy-worker Barbara Brennan,x
can also be used to help ease into the increased energy flow. When at
last kundalini moves freely up the spine and out the crown, symptoms
subside, and overall energy increases.
Handling powerful kundalini energies is easier when the nervous system
is strong. Nourishing herbs such as oatstraw infusion, tincture of motherwort,
cronewort (mugwort) vinegar, and the many varieties of seaweed, are
excellent green allies. Hatha yoga (physical exercise), pranayama (breath
exercise), and tai chi (energy exercise) help too.
If you liked this excerpt by Susun S.
Weed, you will want
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