Symbolism of the Vajra-kila

The fabrication of kīla is quite diverse. Having pommel, handle, and blade, kīla are often segmented into suites of triunes on both the horizontal and vertical axes. As seen in the photo, the Tibetan kīla may appear as a dagger or axe adorned with Vajras on the pommel.

Sometimes the pommel will bear the umbrella of the ashtamangala or mushroom cap (Amrita/Soma). The very shape of the axe head, identical to the Minoan labrys ritual axe used by Delphic priests known as Labryaden or "double-axe men," appear as a stylized mushroom. In European folklore, black elves or "dwarves" connected to psychoactive mushroom cults were believed to carry such axes.

Thus, the kīla may represent the sacred Soma mushroom itself - god's stake or dagger in the ground which grows after a rainstorm and nearby lightning strike. The Vajra pommel is then the thunderbolt of Indra, Zeus' lightning and Thor's hammer.

In Vedic tradition, the kīla is believed to affix the elemental process of 'Space' (Sanskrit: Ākāśa) to the Earth, thereby establishing an energetic continuum. In this way, it was viewed as the Axis Mundi and direct pathway to heaven and the gods. The kīla, particularly those that are wooden, are used for shamanic healing, harmonizing and energy work and often have two nagas or serpents entwined on the blade. This healing symbolism is the likely origin for the Staff of Asclepius and Caduceus of Hermes used today as a medical symbol.

This now brings us to the origin and meaning of the wooden yupa pole or cross used in the Vedic ascension ceremony as a larger version of the kīla (see link in comments). As a World Axis and pathway to heaven, the kīla, cross, stake or "stauros" symbolized an energetic connection with the afterlife and was believed to possess the power of healing and resurrection. As a stylized mushroom, the cross most likely represented ego death and rebirth as experienced after taking the Soma communion made with Amanita muscaria (the Sanskrit Amrita).

In Christian symbolism, the nails and cross were all symbolic of the kīla as descended from Vajrakila meditation practice. While the Vedic ascension ceremony up the yupa pole was a simulation of ego death through communion, being nailed to the cross would literally kill you with the kīla.