Mochanov, Elaine

Journal of Sandplay Therapy, Volume 11, Number 2, 2002

KEY WORDS: individuation, serpent, symbol, snake, sandplay therapy, clinical example, uroborus, kundalini, chthonic, cobra.

ABSTRACT: “Kundalini” is the psychospiritual energy that Indian yoga aims to transform and move to higher “centers” (chakras) in the subtle body. This process, analogous to Jung’s concept of “individuation,” begins in the earthy and underground realms and gradually ascends to the heavenly regions, or in the body from the perineum to the crown of the head. Significantly, kundalini is a serpent, and has the paradoxical qualities of this animal in the imaginal traditions of both West and East, compensating-and often threatening-ego consciousness. It is not surprising that snakes frequently appear in sandplay. In the case presented, the serpent holds and integrates the three worlds (sky, earth, and underworld) as well as the masculine and feminine energies of the client’s psyche.