Phil Hine - Kundalini: a personal approach
The Awakening of the Kundalini or Fire-Snake is a central feature of contemporary Magick, which has assimilated the concept from its original Tantric source. Although the concept of Kundalini was first introduced to Western occultists by Theosophists such as Alice Bailey and C.W. Leadbeater, it took the more detailed writings of Arthur Avalon and Aleister Crowley to launch significant numbers of Western occultists in search of this experience. It was Crowley in particular who provided a synthesis of Western and Eastern magical practices, and left for future occultists an integrated approach towards Kundalini experience, identifying it as the central 'magical power' in the human organism. Crowley's (enthusiastic) experiments with both drugs and sexual magick were a far cry from the "spiritual asceticism" expounded by many of his contemporaries. While "spirituality" was generally seen in terms of philosophies that reject the bodily or somatic experience, Crowley laid the foundations of a Western approach to development which integrated both the psychic and somatic areas of experience. It was not until the 1960's, and the arrival of the "Psychedelic Era" that such an approach received widespread (and serious) attention. The 1960's ushered in the beginnings of what Timothy Leary terms "hedonic technology" - the discovery of pleasure over restriction via drugs, sexuality, dance, music, massage, yoga and diet. The "Psychedelic Era" also brought with it a great "Occult Revival", with particular interest in hedonistically-orientated magick, such as Tantra and Crowley’s cult of Thelema.