University of Vienna

Psychedelic kuṇḍalinī. The interrelation of kuṇḍalinī and DMT

Since Sir John Woodroffe has published his book The Serpent Power (1919), the notion of kuṇḍalinī, the rising serpent, has experienced dissemination and popularization throughout the Anglo-American world and has fascinated a broad spectrum of believers ever since. In the course of its popularization in the 1960s in the US, also members of entheogenic circles became acquainted with kuṇḍalinī. They were especially interested in its mind-altering implications and compared it with psychedelic substance such as DMT, LSD, or mescaline. Nowadays, this perception celebrates a comeback by means of experience reports in designated online forums, where practitioners exchange associated belief systems and personal experiences.

In this paper I shall illuminate the belief in the entanglement of the Tantric concept of kuṇḍalinī and the psychedelic substance DMT. A special focus shall be further placed upon contemporary experience reports and practises of entheogenic devotees.

Marleen Thaler