Straightening the Spine and Raising the Djed Pillar

(from The Passion of Isis and Osiris: A Union of Two Souls by Jean Houston)

Raising the djed pillar is a critical step for the voyager into the Egyptian mysteries. Yet, it should be noted, the raising of kundalini is not the mark of an accomplished adept. If anything, it means the neophyte has only just begun. Nevertheless, it is not a work to be taken lightly or to be boasted of. Discipline is the key to this work. Self-control is at the center of this task and self-discipline will be the saving grace. Enlightenment is not an end product, it is a lifelong process. (p. 265)

During the week before you begin this process, you may wish to perform several centering and clearing rituals for yourself. For example, finish up or set aside any demanding work for the rest of the week. Put your house in order and get any bill paying out of the way. Then purify yourself with an Epsom salts or Dead Sea salt and baking soda bath, or an aromatic bath in orange blossom essence or some other substance good for the nerves. Purify your sacred space with incense or other sweet-smelling herbs and spices. Enter the process with a ritual affirmation that you will be safe and protected throughout the djed process. Ask that the energy and light will become available in a manner that is appropriate for you.

Make a recording of the script, with appropriate musical background. Leave sufficient pauses to do the exercises and processes indicated. Because the second part of this process is extremely powerful, it is wise to have someone nearby to look in on you from time to time over the next few weeks. Be sure to avoid driving or operating machinery right after finishing the process because you may become disoriented for some minutes or hours following the experience. Before you resume your normal activities, walk around the room, clap your hands, stamp your feet, and do a number of simple daily things that will ground you in "ordinary" reality. (p. 266)

Part 1

SCRIPT FOR THE GUIDE:
Make enough room for yourself in your sacred space so that you can lie comfortably stretched out on your back. You will be lying down for a while, so if you think you might be cold, add a layer of clothing. You will probably also want to take off your shoes. Close your eyes and allow yourself to relax.

Let us now enter into the mystery of the djed of the spine. Osiris is being prepared for immortality. The child, the beloved Horus, is soon to be conceived. The depths have been broached, the entrance to the other reality is available. The engendering of a new form of being is taking place. And now the spine is to be straightened so that the primary restorative and creative energy, the kundalini energy, may be raised.

First, allow yourself to wriggle along your spine on the floor like a serpent. Scan your body; notice how it lies on the floor. Be especially aware of your lower back, the place of the djed ... Without moving, do you sense that there is space beneath your lumbar (the small of your back)&mdas;the place of the djed—and the floor? How large is that space? Feel with one of your hands and determine if the space is what you sensed it to be. Then use your other hand to check this from the other side. Note whether the sides of the back lie equally, or whether one side lies lower or higher than the other ...

We are going to change and straighten your spine. This will allow your body to lengthen, and for some to allow the spine to lie flat on the floor, often for the first time in years. In ancient Egyptian parlance this is called "extending the serpent."

Sense how you lie. See if you are more aware of your back. Be aware of the curving of the back, the upper and lower spine, the neck and the head ...

Now sit up, close your eyes, and place the soles of your feet together. Extend your arms to the side and behind you, placing the palms on the floor to give you support ...

In this position rock your pelvis forward and backward, so that you are moving from your tailbone to your sitting bones, and from your sitting bones to your tailbone. Keep your hands in back of you on the floor to support you. Continue the rocking ...

The movement can be increased if you push out your abdomen as you go forward, and suck it in as you come backward. Make the movement as large as you can without discomfort. Push out your abdomen as you go forward. Suck it in as you come backward...

Be aware that this involves a considerable curving of the spine in the lower back. As you come forward the back is arched. As you go back the spine curves in the opposite direction. So you are going from an arch to a curve as you go forward and backward. Forward and backward, arching and curving like the great serpent that your spine is. Arching and curving. Curving and arching. Going forward, pushing the abdomen forward. And backward, sucking it in. Arching and curving. Curving and arching ... Arching and curving ... Curving and arching ...

Continue rocking for a while, pushing the abdomen out and then sucking it in, being aware of the movement in the hip joints, and the movement in the knees and the legs as well. But keep most of your awareness focused on the lower back and spine. There is also, of course, some movement in your upper back and shoulder joints and throughout your body. Do not ignore these sensations, but keep your main focus on the lower spine and pelvis ...

Now, once again, lie on your back and scan your body. Are you lying the way you were before? Notice this. Is the space under your spine smaller or larger? Notice. What other changes do you note? ...

Bend your legs so that your feet are flat on the floor, and gently raise and lower your pelvis a number of times. Each time you lower your pelvis, try to place your entire lower back flat on the floor. So you raise your pelvis, and you bring it down to the floor. just raise your pelvis a little bit off the floor, then down. A little bit off the floor, and down. A little bit off the floor, and then down.

Make a light rapping noise with the small of your back on the floor as you raise and lower it. Rap, rap, rap, with your pelvis. Rap, rap, rap ... rap, rap, rap.

Stop and rest, keeping your feet flat on the floor. Notice whether your spine has straightened even more ...

Bring your thighs back toward your chest. Keep your knees spread apart and your feet together. Now perform the following movement very gently. Exercising care, swing your feet and legs lightly from side to side. Make it a light, flowing movement, so that you can clearly feel the contact of your lower spine with the floor as the sides of your pelvis alternately move up and down along the floor. Swing your feet and legs gently from side to side ...

Whenever you feel like it, leaving your knees up, stop and rest. You may hold on to your knees with your hands if you like, to ease the effort of lying in that position.

Continue the side-to-side movements, but vary them somewhat. Varying the movements helps the brain to stay interested and focused. For example, you can do some movements with the right foot on top of the left. Then you can reverse that, doing some movements with the left foot on top of the right. Also, move with the sides of the feet together. Always concentrate your main awareness, however, on the contact your lumbar spine, your lower spine, is making with the floor ...

Now stop. Take hold of your knees for a minute, keeping your spine as flat on the floor as you can, and gently lower your legs so that your feet are flat on the floor. Gently. Gently. Then raise and lower the pelvis a few more times until you can place the lower spine fully on the floor, or as close as you possibly can at this time, as you straighten the lower spine, the place of the djed ...

Flex your ankles and while exhaling through your mouth, very gradually extend your legs while trying to keep your lower back and spine on the floor. Slide your heels along until the legs are extended, trying to keep the lower back on the floor ...

Bring your legs back up so that the feet are again flat on the floor. And lift the pelvis up and down, repeating the whole process. Place the spine on the floor as fully as you can, flex the ankles, exhale through the mouth, extend the legs, and only release the tension in the ankles when the legs are extended ...

And rest. Sense how your body is lying. Does it feel longer or different in any way?

Now bend your legs again so that your feet are flat on the floor, and roll your legs and lower back from side to side a little. Don't go all the way over, just enough so that you are rolling over your spine and lower back and sensing their contact with the floor. You can put your feet and knees closer together and continue ...

Expand the movement a little so that the knees come closer and closer to the floor on each side, even making contact with it. Sense clearly what happens in your lower back and spine. Be sure that somewhere in the movement your spine and the lower back are making contact with the floor ...

Your head can remain stationary or turn in the same direction as the knees. Or, while your legs go in one direction, your head goes in the other. Your head goes right; your legs go left. Your head goes left; your legs go right. Experiment with all possibilities to determine how your head movement affects the leg movement, the flexibility of the lower back and spine, and the contact your back and spine are making with the floor ...

Now stop. Leave your feet flat on the floor. Let your knees sink just a little bit to the left, then push gently with the right foot so that the right buttock and the right side of the body leave the floor, then bring them back to the floor again. Keep doing that, pushing with the right foot so that the right buttock and the right side leave the floor gently, and lower it to the floor again. Continue doing this, sensing how the lower back and spine are moving. Be sure that you return the entire back and spine to the floor each time ...

And stop. Now let your legs sink slightly to the right, and push gently with your left foot so that the left buttock and left side of the body leave the floor and then return. Push with the left foot so that the left buttock and left side of the body leave the floor, then come back, lying flat on the floor ...

Let both legs sink left again, and press a little with both feet, arching the back and curving the spine, which then returns to the floor. Legs sink over to the left, pressing a little with both feet, arching the back, curving the spine, which then returns to the floor ...

Now bring the legs over to the right and do the same thing. Arching, curving, down. Arching, curving, down ...

Next, feet flat on the floor, raise and lower your pelvis a few times. Leave your lower back on the floor after you have done that. First raise and lower your pelvis a few times, then leave your lower back on the floor. Flex your ankles, exhale through your mouth, extend your legs straight out in the air, then begin to lower them to the floor. When you reach the floor, release the ankles ...

Bring the legs back so that your thighs once again approach your rib cage. Feet together, very gently move your pelvis left and right. Left to right, but gently. You can do it with the right foot on top of the left, or with the left foot on top of the right ...

Note how your back is contacting the floor. Lift your legs into the air a little and use their weight to swing yourself up to a sitting position. Keep your eyes closed ...

Put the soles of your feet together, hands behind you on the floor, and again rock your pelvis back and forth. Extend your abdomen as you go forward, and suck it in as you go back; let the movements in the lower spine and back be as large as possible. Does the movement feel any different now than it did at the beginning? ...

Slowly lie down on your back, leaving your feet flat on the floor for a moment, with some space between your feet and between your knees. Then let your knees go a little to the left, and then to the right. Left and right. Sense the rolling of the lower back and spine across the floor ...

Elevate your pelvis for a moment. And with the pelvis elevated, rock your body up and down along the floor so that your shoulder blades and shoulder joints move. Feel the movements very clearly on the floor.

And stop. Raise and lower your pelvis a few times until your lower back rests entirely on the floor, or as close as possible. Then extend your legs and sense how your body is lying. Note the feeling of length in your spine. Notice how your back is in contact with the floor, and especially how it is lying in the region of the lower spine ...

Roll your head lightly from side to side several times. Then, one last time, bend your legs and push and pull with your feet, rocking your body up and down along the floor, so that when you push up with your feet, your head moves away from your body, and when you pull down, your chin approaches your chest. Your pelvis stays on the floor as you do this. Try to feel the entire length of the spine, the djed, straightening, the serpent straightening as it moves along the floor ...

Good. Now rotate both your head and your pelvis together. Your pelvis is rotating clockwise, along with your bead. First in one direction, then in the other ...

Rotate just your pelvis, so that the small of your back makes circles on the floor, with as much of the lower back as possible circling on the floor. Now extend your legs and observe how you lie. The straightened spine. The serpent extended. What do you notice?

Roll slowly to one side and slowly, gently, come to a standing position. While standing, take note of how you feel, especially any feelings of height you may now have. See if you feel taller. You actually are taller. Your lower spine, where you've been compressed, is now expanded. Now begin to move, slowly, gently. Be aware of that expansion. Standing and moving, observe that your body is longer and lighter, that your posture has significantly changed for the better, and this brings feelings of more pleasurable and effective functioning in areas that perhaps have not been able to function this well or easily.

Walk around. Are you more erect? Now that your posture is improved, are you looking at more things? Instead of looking at the floor, are you looking in different directions—the ceiling, the walls—perhaps perceiving them simultaneously? Your enlarged perspective probably means that your eye muscles are freer than before ...

Increased awareness, increased height, improvement in your posture and how you carry yourself—these are all very objective facts. They mean that your skeletal alignment—what the ancient Egyptians called the djed raising—has changed. Your muscular organization has changed because the organization within your brain and nervous system has changed.

Return to your place and sit down, with your legs extended and your feet together.

For a few minutes, we're going to attempt to prime the kundalini energy. In Part 2 of this process we are going to enter the early stages of the raising of the djed pillar, an internal process that was celebrated overtly and dramatically in ancient Egypt.

Part 2

Closing your eyes, follow your breath. Inhale up the spine—from the base of the spine up through the top of the head to what has been called the transpersonal chakra about a foot above your head, where you will meet the Beloved, the Isis or Osiris of your soul. Then exhale down the front of the body, down the chakras. The crown, the brow, the throat, the heart, the solar plexus, the second chakra, the root, and down through the knees and the feet ...

Inhale up the back. Up the back of the spine from the root, the chakra at the base of the spine, up the spine, all the way to the top of the bead and farther above to the transpersonal chakra, where you will meet and feel a sense of interchange and communion with the Beloved. Then exhale down the chakras on the front. The crown, the third eye, the throat, the heart, the solar plexus, the second chakra, the root ... And up the spine, up the chakras, on the back. All the way up, until you reach the top of the head. Above the head you'll meet the Beloved. Then exhale down the front, passing through the chakras.

Keep doing this as I talk to you. Inhale up the spine, meeting the Beloved at the top of the head in the transpersonal realm, then exhale down the front, down the chakras. Then up the spine, meeting the Beloved, then down the front, down the chakras to the root ...

You are finding yourself becoming aware, gradually at first, of rays of white light reaching down to you, the descent of kundalini. Sparkling white light, a cone of that light, from the Beloved at the transpersonal realm, descends your being ...

This light is entering you now, and growing brighter and brighter, sparkling and shimmering. Brilliantly white, it cascades through you, washing through you and warming you with its radiance. It washes over and through you, suffusing your whole body, changing in appearance from one moment to the next, sometimes white, sometimes golden light. It comes down from the Beloved as a gift of grace through the different chakra centers of your being ...

Wonderful golden white light, perhaps unearthly, perhaps dazzling, moves down through your body. And your body becomes more and more a part of it, merges with it. Your body, which has just been rendered taller, is becoming still taller. It is feeling more and more elongated, for the serpent is straightened. Your body is becoming taller and receiving this light ...

Continue to breathe up the spine to the Beloved from whom the light comes. Then exhale down the chakras. And back up the spine to the Beloved from where the light comes, then breathing down and receiving ...

You are experiencing a feeling, a spiritual feeling perhaps, something more than human. Experience what your body is feeling as you sit there so tall, so djed-like, your serpent spine extended, elongated, with the golden white light now passing through you ...

It may seem that your body is becoming more of light than of flesh. That light continues to grow and deepen, passing down through you. Your whole body becomes light. Perhaps you're aware of yourself as showers of sparks descending, descending to become a pool of light there on the ground where your awareness is, where you are. You are a pool of light, for that is truly what you are made of. A pool of light. A pool of energy about to be released ...

Energies, forces are gathering. The light now goes upward from your spine, rises upward. A column of white and golden fire reaches up and up and up, through that long spine, a column of golden white flame. You have no awareness beyond that column of golden white fire that reaches down through you, that reaches up through you.

The column is growing whiter and whiter. You are a part of a column of white fire, reaching upward from the very center of the earth, surging, flowing upward and upward, bursting out through the opening of the earth's surface and surging upward far, far up into the sky.

You are that light, surging from the depths of the earth high up into the sky. You are the pillar of light rising from the earth's center, soaring outward endlessly into the black vastness of space, as if its power would allow you to penetrate the universe. You know the feeling of awesome power, of sublime power, and wonder and energy, as you partake of that great column of fire that you are ...

Now feel yourself sinking back, back and down again, back past the earth's surface, down and down, until only a small white flame is burning, available to you whenever you need it. And you rise out of the fire.

Become aware of your body, a body of flesh, but somehow changed. It's as if your body has passed through some kind of important catharsis of fire; as if it has been made new by that experience; as if you have been given access to more vital energies and powers than your body could draw upon before. This is your Osirian body now, your body of resurrection. The djed body ...

Go deeper and deeper. Able to go still deeper and deeper, yet at the same time find yourself here in this place with all of us together. Know that you have access to some very potent energies within you ...

Focus your consciousness now on the base of your spine, your djed, wholly focused on the base of your spine ... Become aware of a pool of gently swirling but potentially powerful energies there. The djed pillar is trying to rise. Focus on that pool of energy ...

Begin to experience a tingling sensation, perhaps slowly at first near the base of the spine ... then experience increasingly stronger sensations as you direct that energy to rise along your spine. Be aware now of its power growing and growing, and feel it as it gains momentum, Slowly, as it gains more power, as it rises ...

Know that the djed has the capacity to surge with enormous power all the way up the spine, through the chakras, amplifying them, up to your brain. It triggers an unfolding of the reptilian brain, to give you the power of survival. It enters the old mammalian brain, to give you the amplification of the energies of compassion. It travels to the neocortex, to transform you into a citizen of two worlds, one who has access to both the great creative sources and the powers of the universe. The djed mind gives you access to powers only latent within you ...

Be conscious again of that energy system rising up along your djed spine. Restrain it so that its energy can accumulate, but do not prevent its movement. Allow only as much movement as you are willing to take. Hold that movement to a slow, steady progress up your spine. And observe it closely.

The djed is rising. The djed is rising. The djed is rising. Allow the djed to rise, but not with such a force as to be overwhelming, only as much as you can contain ...

You will know when to stop holding back, and when you do release that power, it will rise upward to your brain. There it will trigger the activation of the old brain, the brain of survival. It will amplify the emotional brain, the brain of compassion. It will enhance the brain of high creativity, the new brain, liberating all those powers within you ...

Now concentrate on the task of directing those energies, the Osirian energies, the djed energies, the kundalini energies, up and along your spine. Breathe up the spine, directing the energies upward, until you feel their accumulation, until you feel that by letting go you can send those energies into the activation of your brain, into the initiation of your higher nervous system, into partnership with the Osiris within yourself. Let that happen now. Let the djed rise ...

(Allow a period of silence at this point in the experience.)

Now let the djed energy come back down. Coming down. Extending through the chakras and down the spine. Coming down, and down, and down, and down, and down, and down, and down. The djed flows into the pool of light, which is always there to be sourced, in the pool that is the great vortex of creation. The pool is there at the base of the spine, the base of the pool of life. The djed is always ready to rise and resurrect and bring you to the next stage of evolution, ready to rise from the pool of light ...

You are able to stand up now gently, easily. You are able to walk around. Notice the world and let the world note you, one whose walk and manner express the risen djed. Stand tall and walk forth. Know that much is going on, felt or unfelt, and it will continue through the hours and days and weeks to come. (pp. 264-275)


from Jean Houston, The Passion of Isis and Osiris: A Union of Two Souls (NY: Ballantine Books, 1995), Process 7. For more information on the author and her works, see Jean Houston.

See also The Egypt of the Eternal Return
and Infusing the Body with Neters.


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Last modified on February 17, 2005 by Kay Keys (kay@kaykeys.net)