Basic energies can be used through heart or throat centre, or for higher creative works, rather than just sexual.
In tantra, the vital and vibrating energies of life are all Shakti. She is the one actively vibrating through us, which we then experience as vitality, sexual energy and enjoyment, and also as the power of our creative expression. These are all aspects of Shakti – or ways in which She is experienced. In tantra practices Shakti is usually referring to the shakti energy – and most specifically the sexual shakti energy as experienced in the love ritual. So in a larger sense of meaning Shakti is the Great Goddess and thus considered to be a Spiritual Being. But in a more practical context of sexual experience, one more usually speaks about the shakti sexual energy or shakti pleasure.
Kundalini is another term often used in tantra teachings, which is essentially related to shakti energy. Kundalini is a primal yet spiritual energy that is latent, or coiled in the base centre, but then can rise up to vitalize and awaken the higher centres above it, and gradually circulate through all centres. So kundalini is a spiritual energy of the body itself, yet remaining merely latent and primal until stimulated by various tantric techniques.
The kundalini is the vitalizing and stimulating energy arising from the base of the spine like a snake uncoiling itself. Everyone has the kundalini energizing the body in some way, for it is at least vital for health, but not everyone has the kundalini rising and awakening the many spiritual centres of the body. Thus, the kundalini remains mostly as a latent or potential energy, lying dormant until its force is awakened and it is allowed to rise upward from the base to the various centres of potency.
What can be confusing, though, is that some tantra-kundalini schools teach that shakti is a particular expression of Kundalini energy, rather than kundalini being a particular expression of Shakti energy. In this meaning, shakti energy is Kundalini 'being sexual', as it rises into the sacral centre and then through the body as a sexual energy, giving sexual enjoyment. But then some other schools say this in its reverse, with kundalini being a particular kind of Shakti expression. Others schools say that shakti and kundalini are really synonymous, both referring to the vital-sexual energies of our body. In this sense, then, both kundalini and shakti are sexual energies as well as vital energies, and in this school of thought all vital energies are sexual energies as well – both energies really being the same. Still other schools say that the Kundalini begins from a centre below the sexual chakra, known as the base chakra, to awaken Shakti who lives in the sacral. In this school of thought, then, kundalini is regarded as the primal-spiritual energy of body which then awakens Shakti who is at first asleep in the sacral.
Our teachings state that all energies of the body are essentially shakti energies, yet kundalini energy is one way that this shakti energy behaves in the body. So the kundalini is a mode of shakti energy or a way that the shakti will be expressed. When various chakras are being stimulated or energized with shakti energy, then we call this the kundalini (or the kundalini phenomena). So when in the mode of energy coiled up in latency in the base chakra, the fundamental shakti energy would then be referred to as kundalini, and one would also say that kundalini is rising and stimulating a centre, if this is being experienced. Thus, the kundalini energy is really the same as shakti energy; but when the shakti energy is rising or stimulating our various centres, then this can more specifically be called kundalini – which is one way that shakti energy vitalizes and effects our experience. So in our meaning of shakti and kundalini, the latent energy in the base chakra and coiling out from the base to energize other centers would be called kundalini energy, yet this is nonetheless shakti energy. Then, when the kundalini energizes the sacral centre and one subsequently feels sexual energy, this is now called shakti, and it is still called shakti when this sexual energy moves through the whole body with enjoyment.
Two kinds of relation are quite interesting regarding the kundalini. First, some other kind of energy has to awaken the kundalini when it is resting asleep in the base centre, in order to stimulate its rising up. In fact, even when the kundalini has risen already into various higher centres, it will often get somewhat stuck in some of the centres, and thus also will need to be stimulated in those centres as well. Then secondly, once the kundalini has been stimulated and awakened, it goes onto stimulate and awaken the other centres. So the kundalini needs to be stimulated and awakened in itself, but then has its own power to stimulate and awaken the sleeping latent centres. All of this is part of the science of kundalini.
This awakening of the coiled snake, of this particular energy locked within the body, and its rise upward into the centres, does not occur organically without some intentional effort and conscious focus. Without a certain use of intentional consciousness, this latent energy will not awaken and rise beyond its minimal use in maintaining body health. So there are practices called 'kundalini yoga’, which are intentional practices for awakening and raising the kundalini, so that it will vitalize the various centres (chakras), of the spiritual human being. But most of these practices should really be avoided if they force the uncoiling of the Kundalini serpent. They may have their use at times for certain people, but only a master yogi can protect that practitioner from overdoing the force and inadvertently burning some wires along the way.
Instead of forcing the kundalini in some fashion one can magnetically attract the energy by focusing a relaxed consciousness on wherever one wishes the energy to rise. This may not have instant results but nothing really does. One has to practice a sustainment of the focus, relaxed but with intent, and allow the vitalizing energy to carry through into that centre through the conscious in-breath and out through the centre expressing through the conscious out-breath.
The kundalini can arise into any of the body centres if there is sufficient and sustained focus of consciousness there, because this will magnetically attract the vitalizing energy, drawing it to the place of consciousness, as though to nurture that place of focus with life-giving energy. But the sexual centre has a unique functional potential, because with sufficient focus and stimulation around that area the kundalini will increase in accumulation there. This can increase sexual feelings throughout the whole body which of course is very pleasant.
But also, this accumulation can be built up to such a degree that it can rise to and rush through the centres with greater power than usual, but not overstimulate any one. One can attract the kundalini to any of the centres with a focused conscious intention, but this requires a sufficient degree of sustained practice, and such a focus on any centre may overstimulate what that centre can as yet handle.
The tantric method of building up the sexual energy, the Shakti, or accumulating kundalini in that centre, two ways of saying the same, is a method which can safely stimulate the other centres with the excess of kundalini accumulated. It’s like building a reservoir with rainwater and then allowing out that water to various places, rather than focusing a rainstorm on any one particular area. The special functional capability of the sexual centre is that it has the special capacity to accumulate a huge amount of kundalini force or vital energy without any harm, since it automatically releases itself by orgasm if the energy overfloods, whereas the other centres can be harmed by over-stimulation or too much kundalini. The other centres don’t have an automatic safety valve, so they can be hurt some by unbalanced intentions or practices. So the sexual centre acts as an accumulator.
Once accumulated in force, the awakened kundalini is immediately ready to flow anywhere without delay to expand that centre, and there can be enough accumulated to charge up all of the centres and open up a rhythmic flow between all the centres. So the kundalini vital energy can flow fully through the centres, even mixing with the exciting sexual quality of energy as it expands through the body. It won’t necessarily flow through the other centres, for it could merely build and accumulate at the sexual centre until having to release there, but it’s possible to allow the accumulation out of that centre and into others if consciousness can be shifted some from the sexual accumulator to other centres one by one. This is itself an important tantric practice.
To simplify it, the yogi stimulates and accumulates energy at the sexual level until ready to overflow, then draws consciousness upward to a higher centre through the rising breath where it pauses, relaxed and poised, then most easily breathes some of the excess energy through that centre. The key is raising the consciousness from the intensity of the sexual accumulator to whatever other centre beckons it, which requires a conscious use of breath, and some of the accumulated kundalini-sexual energy will naturally or magnetically attract to that place of consciousness.
Energy follows consciousness, like Shakti following Shiva. Thus, it is possible for the accumulation to gradually release through the other centres, so that the energy will not over-accumulate in the sexual enough to release itself there and the other centres can be gradually awakened with this vital energy, until it is possible that all centres come awake and flowing in one experience during a sustained period of time, which is the complete ecstatic body enlightenment of the tantric ritual. There is also an inherant safety factor that the other centres do not get overstimulated, because the sexual has become more magnetized than any other centre so that it never allows consciousness to over focus in any other centre, for it has the tendency to draw one back or at least keep a lot of the available energy within the sexual centre. But this is no problem because the other centres can gradually build up their own accumulation and magnetization, with the sexual as a kind of continual reservoir and grounding of excess energy as well.
related this is - Conscious Breath
Fire has positive heating and energetic properties, but it also can be destructive. Fire is, thus, both revered and feared. But we should not necessarily view destruction negatively, nor fear it. Destruction of the old is needed to make space for the new to unfold. Destruction of the dross or of harmful elements in the body is needed for physical and emotional health. Destruction of illusion is needed to clear the mind for directly realizing the truth. Destruction of feeling separate from others and life is needed to finally feel in union with another or with life itself. And the destruction of self-ego or personal perspective in the love ritual is necessary to reach Union and final Oneness.
So, the tantra does not view destruction in the usual negative manner, though there are warnings against intentionally concentrating too much fire or kundalini into the higher centres, else they be burned or temporarily harmed. Any any tantric practitioner would agree that destruction of the body through harmful drugs or a toxic environment is a negative thing.
Shiva, as well, is considered the God of destruction, though His instrument of destruction is light rather than fire. Shiva is the God of Light; Shiva is the Light, and thus Light is the power of consciousness. Shiva's powers are in the realm of mind and consciousness, so Shiva is also the God mind. Thus, Shiva is a purifying Light in the realm of mind. He destroys illusions and ignorance, just as light destroys darkness. Some say that Shiva comes from the Sun, while the fire of Shakti comes from deep in the earth, bringing to physical life the vitality of fire.
Shakti's powers are in the realm of physical nature and life. She is the Goddess of physical existence. Shakti's powers are physical and energetic in the body, which also empower the emotions and eventually effect the mind via the brain. These powers or forces, whether viewed as physical or emotional, have the fire of kundalini at their base.
The kundalini rises as a fire within to energize our emotions, physical habits and activities. The kundalini can destroy our functioning, just as some unresolved and out of control emotions can destroy our lives. Thus, the kundalini should be allowed to flow freely but not completely uncontrolled, just as a useful fire is regulated but not smothered. Fires of love or desire are beautiful and warming, if allowed to grow and burn, but we do need to regulate these energies rather than allow them to run chaotically through us. Though the tantra equally recognizes the value of abandonment and unregulated wildness, we need to find a good balance when it comes to these energies. Generally though the tantra teaches that abandonment of our usual disciplines of self-regulation are safe in the sanctity of the love ritual. For the fire of love can heal us. Love is the highest form of fire. Love is the Divine Fire, and Shakti is this Divine Fire of Love.
The Divine Fire of Love grows within our heart and eventually draws all else into it. The sexual fire within the sacral centre grows to energize the exciting and pleasurable struggle for union which is really the consummation within the Divine Fire of Love. So the sexual fire eventually becomes consumed within the Love Fire or transformed in the Fire of Love, though not before energizing that Love with sexual excitement and pleasure. So the two fires merge to be One within the other. They merge to being One Fire, the Fire of Love with sexual fire inside it.