If you are apart of any spiritual community or circle these days you may have come across the concepts of “waking up” spiritually and kundalini symptoms, as well as the concept that the vibration or consciousness on the planet is rising and many shifts are happening.
Kundalini energy naturally dwells within us all. We came into this world with a mission or destiny of sorts. Very few of us are raised in environments or cultural contexts that are fully aware of this and thus, raise children to adapt to their environment, as opposed to seeing who this child came into the world to be and help to grow that soul purpose out of the child at a young age. Thus “spontaneous” or a divine series of events begin to peel the layers of our conditioning to bring forth who we truly are and have come into this world to be.
The signs and symptoms of such awakenings are many and vary slightly from individual to individual and from culture to culture. The most extreme cases show up in our modern world as some form of mental health imbalance where people hear voices or see things that to others aren’t there, or feel highly separated from this world. They may be tormented by negative entities or have extreme ecstatic states of awareness and bliss that cause them to be not fully functional on this physical plane. Milder symptoms can be described as feelings of oneness or sudden openings in certain chakras/energy centers in the body which cause anxiety, depression, headaches and other “detox” like symptoms.
Often times there are symptoms that simply make it hard to function in a way that is considered “the norm,” such as bad luck, having a hard time keeping a job/relationships, repetitively experiencing the same troubles without any forward advancement. These may sound like issues that any one person can experience in a lifetime but when the experience becomes constant and overbearing there is a link between the physical world and the spiritual world that must be made.
From the perspective of the Ngoma, African spiritual tradition, we explain that one is being “bothered by the ancestors.” African spirituality understands that our every experience is connected to the all that is beyond this lifetime, that the web in which we are apart from through blood, lineage, and spirit impacts our daily life. We are made up of all the elements of the earth and carry information that lays active or dormant in our DNA. Our karma, the sum of our actions in this life, past lives, and in the lives of our ancestors, impacts our destiny.
Thus, the ancestors bother us to bring something urgent to our attention, something that needs to be nurtured, addressed, cleared or healed, embraced or achieved. We are because they are. We have the technologies of this life because of their inventions. We benefit from their work/wisdom. We suffer from their mistakes. We are ill of the things that disrupted their life. Our parents taught us what their parents taught them, and so on and so forth. The dead are still living in the spirit realm and through the stories we carry through generational curses and generational gifts.
The African spiritual perspective is that the ancestors are known to bother our dreams, make us ill, take away things and people from our life, induce strong sensations along the spine until the message is received and fulfilled. My awakening was a message to become a traditional healer or isangoma. Sacred wisdom in my family line needed to be reawakened so that I, as well as others, may heal or come into balance with their ancestral messages. Yes, the ancestors still care and tend to their children even from the ethereal realms.
There were times in my life where this awakening felt like some form of punishment. It will feel like this many a times, however truly you are finally crossing the bridge to who you truly are, what is truly real, and the great mystery you question every day. When the kundalini energy rises freely within us, we telepathically know the answers to our life, we can perceive other realms, hear from past loved ones, receive creative ideas/projects, make love in a way that is healing and unites souls, see the world as it truly is, know without fancy scientific tools/experiments beyond the scales or measures of time. The list is truly endless but above all connection is the root of this experience. Aren’t most human problems linked to some sort of feeling of disconnect? Some echo of not knowing who we truly are? One part of the body no longer communicating with another part?
It’s almost like a cosmic surgery, where we are opened up spiritually and all the organs/blood/cells are actually meridians, chakras, and energy lines that can begin to be rewired into bliss, connection, and peace. The Zulu spiritualists identify this masculine and feminine energy rise as nguni (a fiery masculine energy) and ndawe (a watery feminine essence). The rise produces mild or intense trance states where the spirit realms is perceived. The characteristics, sounds, and energy surfaced may be recognized as an ancestral spirit returned or a god/goddess of the region. The energy may rise and vibrate profoundly in the sacral chakra and we feel intense orgasmic bliss, or in the third eye chakra and visions come, the solar plexus where we feel as strong and empowered as a lion.
The shift or awakening is a call to heal something within. In most indigenous or ancient spiritual traditions the shift opens portals for you to navigate. There is an aspect of the journey you must navigate alone but with teachers. Your teachers may appear as spirit guides and elevated ancestors or deities but most will have both spiritual guides and human teachers (Babas, Taitas, Iyas, Gobelas, Gurus, Masters, etc).
I’ve heard the stories of those who were initiated into the cosmic mystery teachings only through spirit guides… trust when I say this is the hardest and scariest journey for most. Those who walked that path had no other choice, the spirits just “took them.” They went missing for months or years, thought to be dead, yet appeared in their villages anew through intense sacrifices and rites of passages. If you already find life to be hard, you don’t want to deal with life in multiple dimensions alone.
No one chooses to awaken, in a sense, it chooses you. Even if you seek it, that initial desire that sprung up within you was a resonance with something greater than yourself. And the truth is that many are called but few answer it.
Putting kundalini awakenings to the side for a moment, many of our earthly experiences still link us back to the ancestors. When our ancestors passed with unresolved issues, mistakes, traumas, oppression, and wrong-doings, they often seek the children to help them release that karma, almost like a second chance. The eastern teachings refers to this in terms of past lives but our past lives and our ancestors’ lives in the spirit realm are one in the same or inherently linked. So the symptoms and imbalances require some form of ceremony to lend energy to that ancestral story and help them elevate to a higher consciousness and state of being thus creating balance for past and future generations.
Well-being from a more indigenous spiritual perspective is so expansive, holistic even. It speaks to the whole, the village, the family, our connection to all things, the land and its stories. We are literally walking on the land that houses the bones and stories of many and as long as our feet are planted on this land or for as long as our ashes return to the elements… we carry their stories with us. When we wake up, we wake up to this truth.
Whether we speak in terms of chakras or ancestors or human experiences, this is what being an eternal soul comes with.
Also by Gogo Thule Ngane:
About the author:
Gogo Thule Ngane is a Sangoma Traditional Healer, Priestess, and Medicine Woman. She is guided by the Amadlozi, Elevated Ancestors of her lineage. Her work includes divination, traditional healing, and leads workshops, ceremonies, and retreats on ancient African healing and spirituality. She is devoted to awakening ancestral wisdom on the earth.
Journey with her at: