Trapcode Particular is great at making abstract-y things, and there are quite a few tutorials out there that show you how to create them. Adding another to the list, is Motion graphics artist, voxyde, who shows us how to create a great looking electrified spiral, with the After Effects particle plugin system.
Voxyde walks through setting up the scene, which uses lights that are in a radial array. This is easily created using voxyde’s free Utility-Box script for After Effects. The script has a lot of useful functions and utilities that are great to use when working with multiple layer, or creating arrays, like the one in this tutorial.
Also covers are a walkthrough of the settings in Particular to achieve the final effect, including Particular’s Turbulence Field and Aux System. There are some tips for getting a nice Depth of Field Blur and finally some easy color adjustments using curves in After Effects.