|Wendy Stefansson. Kundalini. Acrylic on Canvas. 2000|
Kundalini is derived from an ancient Sanskrit term meaning, “coiled up like a snake.” In yogic practice, the image of a snake rising from the sacrum and coiling up the spine is one of spiritual awakening, and is associated with the “mothering intelligence.” Outside of Christian mythology, the snake is widely associated with the concepts of death and rebirth, because of its ability to shed its skin and emerge newly made. In this painting, I have combined the image of the snake with the image of the rose -- also a spiral, as well as a symbol of feminine sexuality. What I am trying to say is that as women, our spirituality and our bodies are inextricably intertwined; from the pelvis where new life begins to the mind (at the top of the spine) our understanding of the universe is awakened and informed by our experience of living in female, cyclical, life-giving bodies.