Consciousness is the experience of "Be-ing" which represents everything that is possible for us to experience. All of our senses, perceptions, and possible states of awareness can be divided into seven categories that are associated with each of the seven chakras.
The chakras represent not only a particular part of our body, but also a part of our consciousness. Each chakra represents how our unconscious and superconscious selves communicate with our conscious self.
Tensions that are felt in our consciousness are also felt in our body via the chakra system. Conversely, tensions that are felt in our body are felt in our consciousness.
In other words, if we were having a:
First chakra problem: it would express through our
Second chakra problem: it would express through our
Third chakra problem: it would express through our
Fourth chakra problem: it would express through our
Fifth chakra problem: it would express through our
Sixth chakra problem: it would express through our
Seventh chakra problem: it would express through our
The Physical Body Door in the Conscious Section represents the heart chakra. The life force of the physical body is thought by many cultures to be held in the heart. The heart is also thought of as the center of our ability to love. Indeed, as we move up the chakras to the fourth chakra - the heart chakra - we have moved past the areas of our consciousness that are too often "unconscious" to us and into the areas of our life that are primarily "conscious". These are the areas of our daily interactions with others and with the world around us.
Our happiness, or lack of it, arises from whether these encounters are filled with fear or filled with love. These encounters begin within ourselves. If our consciousness is filled with fear then many of our encounters with the outside world will be fearful. On the other hand, if our consciousness is filled with love then many of our encounters with the outside world will be loving.
A chakra is like a wheel that creates a vortex which can "download" energy from the higher dimensions. This higher dimensional energy, known as prana (or chi), is not physical. Prana is the life force or animating principle of our physical bodies. Our ego, emotions, intellect and mind, as well as the physical elements of earth, water, air, fire, and ether are creations of the life force within us.
This "downloaded" prana is an aspect of our consciousness in the same way that our aura is, but it is denser than our aura and less dense than our physical body. Our chakras interact with our physical system via a connection with a specific endocrine gland and nerve plexus, which associates each chakra with a different area of our bodies.
Higher and Lower Chakras
The Fourth Chakra is the Heart Chakra. Chakras one through three are often called the lower chakras; probably because they rule our "lower", more primal nature, while chakras four through seven are often called our higher chakras. The fifth and sixth chakras are an octave above the second and third chakras, but they rule similar areas of physical life. For example, the fifth chakra rules creativity and communication just like the second chakra, but the second chakra rules our basic communications in our homes and our procreative creativity, while the fifth chakra rules our more complicated communications and our creativity in the world.
The sixth chakra is an octave higher than the third chakra. Our third chakra rules our issues of "power over" and "power within" and our abilities to tune into messages sent to us via the fourth dimension, whereas our sixth chakra rules our spiritual power and our ability to commune with our higher guidance.
The first chakra (Root Chakra), the fourth chakra (Heart Chakra), and the seventh chakra (Crown Chakra) are connected in a somewhat different fashion. Our Root Chakra brings our feminine, physically manifest, energy up into our bodies and our Crown Chakra brings our masculine, spiritually unmanifest, energy down into our bodies. These two transpersonal polarities meet with a burst of light in our Heart Chakra.
Our Heart Chakra is also where our personal feminine/matter and masculine/spirit energies integrate. Therefore, the Heart Chakra is often thought of as the chakra of relationships. These relationships begin with the relationship between our inner male and female polarities as well as our human and divine polarities. The success of these integrations has a strong impact upon our external relations and our ability to be happy and successful in our lives.
Masculine and Feminine Energies
Certain chakras demonstrate primarily masculine energy and others demonstrate primarily feminine energy. Masculine energy flows outward and is related to expression and action while feminine energy flows inward and is related to reception and emotion.
Emotion here is defined as "energy in motion". The second chakra (Navel Chakra) and the sixth chakra (Third Eye) are of a feminine energy while the third chakra (Solar Plexus Chakra) and fifth chakra (Throat Chakra) are of a masculine energy. Therefore, we are receptive to emotions with our second-feminine chakra and express those emotions with our masculine-fifth chakra through creativity and communication.
Our feminine-sixth chakra is an octave above our masculine-third chakra. Our sixth chakra allows us to receive spiritual power and information from our higher guidance, and our third chakra can use our personal power to express that information through "right action" and clear, intellectual and/or psychic interactions.
The first, fourth and seventh chakras hold both feminine and masculine energy. Therefore, these three chakras assist us in learning how to integrate our masculine and feminine energy fields. The Root Chakra pulls energy up from the earth to serve as a source of grounding and vitality, a quality which both men and women need. The Crown Chakra pulls energy down from the universe to open our multidimensional awareness, a quality which both men and women need.
The Heart Chakra is where we integrate our masculine and feminine energy as well as our human self and spirit self. Within our Heart Chakra, we can raise our consciousness through the power of love or lower our consciousness through the power of fear. Our Heart Chakra is where we wage our battle between the Light and the Dark. Many cultures think of our Heart as the Seat of our Soul.Suzan Caroll has a Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology. She is a counsellor and a seeker and has been on the Spiritual Path for almost 30 years. Visit her very comprehensive website at www.multidimensions.com
The First Chakra
LOCATION: The first chakra is located at the base of the spine.
PETALS: This chakra rules the lowest vibration of our body and has the longest wavelength. There are four spokes, or petals. Four is the number of the square and foundations. The square is related to being honest (or giving a "square deal), the four energies of earth (earth, air, fire, and water), and the four directions. Four walls, four legs, or four wheels represent a strong foundation.
NOTE & MANTRA: The note for this chakra is C and the mantra is "lam" or "e" as in red. Chanting these mantras in the key of D while focusing our attention on this area of our body can enable us to more consciously access the first chakra.
COLOR: The color for this chakra is red, which is the lowest frequency of human's visible light spectrum. Red is the color of anger and/or vitality.
RULES: The first chakra rules our PHYSICAL energies. Also known as the root chakra, it governs our vigor, heredity, survival, security, passion, money, job, and home. This chakra aids us in our everyday survival.
SENSE: The sense of smell is related to this chakra. Our sense of smell is our most primitive sense, and is the first sense that awakens upon our physical birth. The receptors for smell are located at the base of our brain and feeds directly into our limbic system, which is the area of memory and emotion. Therefore, aromas can immediately access emotional memories stored in our unconscious.
ASTROLOGICAL SIGN: The astrological sign associated with the root chakra is Taurus. The symbol for Taurus is the bull. Like our root chakra, the bull is a symbol of masculine power and fertility. The bull roots in the earth with his front hooves and lowers his nostrils toward the ground to warn any whom would threaten his "herd". There are many cows in the herd, but only the strongest bull will be able to preserve the genetic integrity of the group.
The first chakra is actually the basis of both our masculine and feminine energy. It represents our masculine will and male sexual organs as well as the feminine energy of the Goddess Kundalini. Therefore, a man can learn to integrate his feminine power and a woman can learn to integrate her masculine power through the clearing and opening of this chakra.
ELEMENT: Earth is the element associated with the first chakra and the mineral kingdom is the top of that hierarchy. Crystals have been prized by humankind for
Even though the first chakra has many masculine qualities it is also the "seat of the Goddess Kundalini" and is therefore often associated with our relationship with our mothers and with Mother Earth. Our relationships with our mother set up our attitude toward home, security, and money. If we are cut off from our roots, we feel cut off from the earth as well.
CONSCIOUSNESS: The first chakra rules our survival consciousness and represents our deepest unconscious and most primitive self. This chakra represents the reptilian portion of our brain, which is our brainstem, our center for life support. The brainstem and the area immediately above it are called the reptilian brain because all creatures from reptiles to humans
PERSONAL TIMELINE: The first chakra represents birth to two years of age. This is the time before we have completed our process of individuation and still perceive ourselves as a part of our parents. This chakra represents our struggle to come to terms with our physical life and physical body.
SOCIAL TIMELINE: Anthropologically, the first chakra represents the time when humankind was cave dwellers. At that time in our "civilization", we lived from day to day and to assist in our struggle for survival we worshiped animals and other aspects of our physical environment.
ENDOCRINE GLAND: Each chakra feeds prana into a different endocrine gland. Just as there are seven chakras, there are seven endocrine glands. Both the chakras and the endocrine glands are located along the spinal cord. The endocrine glands manufacture hormones and supply them to the bloodstream. These glands are called "ductless" because there is not a duct to any specific part of the body. Instead, hormones are released into the bloodstream where they are carried by the blood to every organ and tissue to exert their influence on all functions of the physical body.
Each gland is internally related to the other glands and also works closely with the nervous and circulatory system. In order for the organs of the body to work efficiently, the blood must contain certain chemicals and many of these chemicals are secreted by the endocrine glands. The secretion of the glands within the endocrine system is vital for the health of the entire system. Our bodies can become diseased if there are too many or too few hormones.
The endocrine gland for the first chakra is the adrenal glands. There are actually two adrenal glands located with one on top of each of the two kidneys. The adrenal glands are the body's call to battle. When adrenaline is released into the system our perceptions become clearer, we have added vigor and feel more courageous. The release of adrenaline activates the fight/flight syndrome, which prepares us for battle or flight. Release of adrenaline and activation of fight/flight is brought on by real or imagined danger. Therefore, our emotions can activate a release of adrenaline when we feel extreme fear or even chronic anxiety. The first chakra is the "survival chakra" and the fight/flight syndrome is vital for the survival of the species.
NERVE PLEXUS: The first chakra is located near the sacral plexus. The sacral plexus is the nerve center, which rules the skeleton, legs, feet, eliminatory system, male reproductive organs, and the prostate. If there is a problem with the leg or foot on the right, masculine, side of the body it can indicate issues of trust in one's will. If there is a problem with the leg or foot on the left, feminine, side then it can indicate issues with trust of one's emotional life.
CLEAR: When the first chakra is clear we feel secure, grounded, and stable. We can use good "common sense" to balance our finances as well as our everyday responsibilities and still initiate new activities and interest. Our eliminatory system functions well, neural activity in our legs and feet is healthy, and our ability to initiate sexual encounters is comfortable and natural. Our root chakra is the home of the Sleeping Serpent, our Kundalini. When this chakra is clear and balanced the Goddess Kundalini Shakti can awaken and begin her gradual rise towards reunion with Lord Shiva.
UNCLEAR: When the first chakra is unclear we feel insecure and fearful. We can also become absent-minded because we are ungrounded. We may also have a difficult time with our finances and day to day necessities. Whatever security we derive from material things can become threatened. There can also be problems with our home, which is our base of operations in physical life. We can become self-indulgent and self-centered and suffer from depression and grief. We may suffer from hemorrhoids, constipation, sciatica, or prostate problems.
All of the above emotional, behavioral, and physical health issues have to do with the ability to let go. We cannot let go of our sadness, let go of material sources of comfort when finances require, or even let go of the waste material of our bodies. If we cannot release what is holding us back, we cannot move forward. Difficulties with our sciatic nerve and problems with our legs and feet display this dynamic. Prostate problems can arise from frustrated sexual or creative drives.
EARTH'S CHAKRAS: Just as the first chakra represents our physical body, the Earth's first chakra represents its physical body. The planetary first chakra is located at Mt. Sinai in the Middle East. Lady Gaia is allowing Her Kundalini to rise to meet her Divine Mate. It is TIME now that we hear Her call.
DIMENSIONS: The first chakra rules our first and second dimensional selves. Our first dimensional self represents the genetic coding, cells, and minerals of our bodies. It also represents our most primitive "animal self", which is represented by the fight/flight response that serves to assure the survival of the species. The root chakra also rules the male sex glands and the testosterone that they secrete. This testosterone drives the males in our society, and the male polarity of our psyche, to perpetuate and protect humanity.
SUMMARY: The body of Mother Earth and Her consciousness, Lady Gaia, is the third dimensional planet that supports our physical body. Just as our physical body communicates with our consciousness by its state of health, disease, comfort, and discomfort, Lady Gaia communicates with us via the health of Her planet. Our Western society has traveled so far into our third dimensional individuality that we have lost sight of the fact that we are members of a greater whole. We have forgotten that we are members of a planet that we all must share. This forgetfulness has allowed us to overlook the fact that our individual destinies are intrinsically tied to the destiny of Mother Earth who houses and feeds our physical self.
Our physical bodies and the body of earth send messages to us via the first and second dimension. If there are disruptions and diseases on a genetic and cellular level, if the elements of earth that are around and within our bodies are disrupted, if plants and animals are becoming extinct on a daily rate, there is a message that is being sent. We can say that we have heard these messages, but if our behavior has not been altered, then we have not LISTENED.
We can deny or ignore our bodies and the body of earth upon which we live, but it is difficult to deny or ignore our behavior. Our actions interact with our environment and with others to create a mirror that forces us to look at ourselves. We can hold on to a victim mentality, which allows us to stay in denial and lie to ourselves, but our actions do not lie. In today's world, a lot of our needs for survival is "getting what we want". We must learn to recognize that our actions dictate to us what we truly want for that is what we find time to "do". Only when we can recognize the messages from our unconscious as they are displayed in our behavior, can we take full responsibility for our actions.
However, how much time do we have to learn to listen to the needs of our planet and Her future generations? Has our individuality, which we so dearly prize in the West, cost us our ability to see the bigger picture? When our first chakra is closed, it is difficult for prana to infuse our physical body. We are then out of touch with our own power to listen to and respond to the needs of our body and the home of our body-Earth. Our actions then become reactions and our ability to take responsibility for our personal power is diluted into a dismal struggle for survival. However, when the first chakra is awakened, spirit lives in matter and all of our behavior is directed by spirit, the spirit within our physical bodies and the spirit within our Earth.
While the word "chakra" has Hindu (Sanskrit) roots, the energy involved is not partial to any particular religion. It is a universal energy, and all people inhabiting physical bodies on this earth have them. These energy vortexes are the channels through which spiritual energy flows through to manifest in the physical. (Matter is merely slowed down or crystallized energy, hence, our bodies are energy!) The chakras and other smaller energy vortexes (such as acupuncture points) are openings and channels for universal energy to flow into and out of the aura. Through chakra meditation and learning and experience with the energetic nature of the universe, we can awaken our conscious minds to our true spiritual natures.
The following is a general summary of my current understanding of the physical locations and elements associated with each chakra. Over the years I have noticed some discrepancies between how different people "define" each chakra, (particularly the second and third chakras), but the differences have only been minor. Certainly the colors and locations of the chakras are generally consistent. The base chakra extends down and the crown chakra extends up, while the chakras in between have vortexes both to the front of the body and to the back.
When all the chakras are "whirling," open, bright and clean, then our chakra system is balanced. When a chakra becomes blocked, damaged, or muddied with residual energy, then our physical and emotional health can be affected. Often this occurs habitually as the result of negative or incomplete belief systems. The effects of our habits, feelings, beliefs, thoughts, fears and desires can be found in our chakras.
For example, if you eat poorly (a lot of processed food, for instance) and don't exercise, chances are your root (red) chakra is going to become sluggish, darkened and dull. If you "close off" your emotions because they're painful or overwhelming, your heart chakra is likely to become tight and closed and block emotional energy. If you are extremely centered in your intellect, you may have a bulging and bright brow chakra, but a disproportionately small heart chakra or root chakra. Or perhaps you're cerebrally focused on finding answers to deep questions about "reality" (as I was for many years). In the West we tend to value the upper chakras over the lower chakras. This probably has its roots in our ancestors' religious aversion to the "flesh" and their focus on the rewards of "heaven."
The goal is a strong, clear, balanced energy system. The more open, clear and balanced the chakras, the more energy can flow through your system. This energy is essential for vitality, health, and continued growth on all levels.
I use this type of meditation whenever I need to "recharge" and when beginning astral projection practice and sometimes when beginning psychic readings. More commonly I used a grounding meditation when performing readings. Both are effective and powerful.
Lie or sit in a relaxed and comfortable position, as you would for any meditation. Your spine should be straight and your head in alignment with your body. This meditation is in script mode, should one want to tape it and listen to it while performing the meditation. It is preferable to learn about energy and the methods of balancing, cleansing and charging the chakras and allow one's own inner voice to lead the meditation. The following is just one way of performing this balancing.
Allow your meditations to evolve and to reflect your individual values and beliefs. If taped, a slow, deliberate pace should be used with a mild voice and the appropriate pauses. The body should already be relaxed and the mind tranquil when beginning this meditation. Eyes are closed.
Now that you are relaxed and feeling very much at peace, take a moment to ground yourself here in this moment, in this body, in this place, in this time...
Take some deep breaths...in...and out...in...and out...
Follow the breath as it flows toward your nostrils, as it enters your nose, as it fills your lungs and then as it is expelled. That's it, just relax into this quiet moment. Breathe in...follow your breath...and out.
Feel where your body meets the (chair/bed/floor). Become aware of your body from head to toe, of your weight, of the heaviness of your limbs.
Now focus on the area at the base of the spine, the area between your legs. This is the root chakra. Its energy is red, and it governs your physical body, your physical health and vitality. In your mind, study the appearance of this chakra; note its color and vitality. Mentally envision the chakra and note any symbolic symptoms of dis-ease.
Have you been caring well for your body? If your chakra is dusty, dirty, torn, or otherwise less than a perfectly brilliant red whirling vortex, imagine your hands (or those of a guide) working on the chakra. If it is dirty, clean away the dirt and throw it into an imaginary pail with a lid. Allow those hands to repair any imperfections, and when the chakra is clean, mentally take the pail and hurl it into the sun. Watch it as it travels through space and then bursts into a zillion bits of energy upon solar contact. Allow the sun to recycle this energy back into the universe.
Now turn your attention back to the root chakra. It is clean and red. You are surrounded by infinite root energy. Imagine the room glowing red with this energy, feel its strength and power. See red swirls of energy flowing to your root chakra. You can feel this as a tingling as the energy fills your root chakra. As the energy swirls in, your chakra grows large and deep red and strong. Allow the energy to fill your chakra until it is so vital that it extends several feet out from your body. In your mind you can see your root chakra, a brilliant red swirling vortex of physical energy.
Now turn your focus up to your abdomen, to the area of the "womb" or spleen. This is the orange chakra, that which controls clear thinking and creativity. Take a moment to observe the chakra. Note its color, its vitality. Is it clean and strong? Or is there work to be done here? Allow those invisible hands to cleanse the chakra, to repair or heal it. Discard any imperfections in the pail, and send the pail to the sun to recycle the energy.
Focus on the orange chakra again. It is now clean and whole, and a bright orange. Call out to the universe for orange creative energy and feel the space around you begin to glow orange. With a tingle you feel the energy begin to swirl into your chakra, charging it with vitality, with creativity, with clear-thought. Watch as your orange chakra grows and whirls, until it extends out from your body for several feet, just as the red root chakra is still whirling and strong.
Turn from the red chakra, up through the orange chakra, to the solar plexus. This is the heart of the yellow chakra, that which governs will and ambition. Take a few moments to examine this chakra. Note its color and appearance. Have you been lazy of late, or perhaps too driven? Examine your will through this chakra. Allow the invisible hands to cleanse the chakra and heal it, discarding any imperfections or impurities in the pail. Send the pail to the sun for recycling.
Now return your attention to the yellow chakra, that of will. It is now clean and a bright yellow. 'Universe, send me yellow energy, will energy, energy to achieve my goals, to work for that which I value and desire.' Feel the yellow energy surrounding your body, and with a tingle feel the energy swirl into your solar plexus. In your mind you can see your red/root chakra glowing, whirling, your orange/womb chakra pulsing brilliantly, and your yellow/solar plexus chakra glowing strongly, extending several feet out from your body.
Turn your attention to the middle of your chest, to the heart chakra, the green chakra. You may feel an instant wave of emotion. This chakra governs your feelings, your emotional connections to others and to the universe, to life itself. Examine this chakra. Note its color, vitality, any impurities. Gently allow those invisible hands to cleanse and purify the chakra. Reflect a moment on how you've been feeling emotionally lately. Are there bindings holding in pain? Or is the chakra tight and hard with anger? Release any tensions, imperfections or impurities to the pail. Send them to the sun for recycling. They are still yours if you choose to hold them, but for now, release any pain or anger.
Now focus back on the heart chakra. It is clean and a beautiful green color. It whirls strongly and evenly. 'Universe, send me green energy for my heart! Open my heart to the world, to all beings big and small, with compassion for our shared experiences and journey. Fill my heart with love energy, that I may in turn give love to others.' Feel the green energy whirling into your heart. Watch the chakra grow and glow and spin with this new energy.
From the red chakra through the orange chakra through the yellow chakra through the green chakra, your chakras are cleansed and charged and huge with energy.
Focus on the throat, center of the blue chakra which governs communication and personal magnetism. Examine the chakra, noting the color and any imperfections. Perhaps you haven't been honoring your own beliefs and speaking out when you should. Or perhaps you've been talking over others, or not listening well. Perhaps you've been feeling shy and afraid to extend your energy in communication. Allow the hands to heal and cleanse the chakra and when finished, send the impurities to the sun for recycling.
Now the chakra is clean and strong and bright blue. Feel the air fill with blue universal energy. Feel the throat open as this energy swirls into the throat chakra. This energy charges your aura with magnetism, drawing others to you. Feel your throat open with this swirling, strong blue energy.
Focus on the middle of your forehead, the third eye. This chakra is indigo and governs psychic vision and intuition. Examine the chakra for imperfections. Perhaps it is locked up due to fear. Perhaps it no longer spins out of neglect/stagnation. Allow the hands to cleanse the chakra, to heal any imperfections and recycle them in the sun. Now look at the chakra. It is a beautiful deep indigo, clean and whirling.
There is psychic energy available to you beyond measure. Feel it charge the air, swirl in and around and fill your third eye chakra with deep, vital indigo energy. Feel the third eye open, and note any mental visions as this occurs. Now is a good time to pray for increased psychic power. Note the red/root chakra, the orange/womb chakra, bright, strong, big! Move your attention up to the yellow/solar plexus chakra, to the green/heart chakra, open and brilliant, to the blue/throat chakra and the indigo/third eye chakra. Your chakras are huge, whirling, and fully charged.
Now focus your attention at the crown of your head. This chakra is violet near the body, fading to white further away. This chakra governs your connection to the universe/God/Goddess/The Creator, etc... This chakra is like an umbilical cord to "home." Reflect on your spirituality of late, examine the chakra and allow any healing needed. In my experience this chakra generally needs much less work than the others.
Allow the hands to heal, to cleanse, and recycle the discarded energy in the sun. Now examine the chakra. It is brilliantly violet, glowing white around the outside. Mentally reach out to that which you consider your "source..." to "God" or the Universe. Feel the response, the energy flowing back to you. Pray for the peace and joy of a strong crown chakra connection. Feel the violet energy flowing in, a loving embrace of your whole self, of your soul. See the crown chakra grow enormous, and the white energy surround your body.
All your chakras are now clean, charged and in balance. From the red/root chakra, to the orange/womb chakra, to the yellow/solar plexus chakra, to the green/heart chakra, to the blue/throat chakra, to the deep purple/third eye to the violet/crown, your chakras are spinning and whirling, full of energy and vitality. See the white energy that extends up and out from the crown chakra enveloping your whole body in an egg of white energy.
You are completely refreshed, calm, and peaceful. Your energy is balanced. You are full of vitality.
To explore more on the chakras, the human energy field, energy healing and a host of other metaphysical topics, check out the author's personal website, MuseNet.Julia Melges-Jablonski is a professional medium/clairvoyant. She is an ordained minister in the Spiritualist tradition, a prolific metaphysical author, web mistress of MuseNet and the editor at www.kajama.com
Overview and Muladhara
The chakras have been a topic of conversation for literally centuries. Ancient healers knew of them and accessed their marvelous potential to balance the energies of the body in healing, and seers of all cultures have been privy to their spiral colored designs. The work "chakra" is Sanskrit for wheel, and no discussion of natural healing would be complete without at least a mention of this fascinating concept.
Of all the systems in the body, the least tangible and most mysterious is that of the chakras for it is invisible, except to those who possess the precious gift of 3rd eye vision. Yet, this system interfaces with and assures the good health of all the other bodily systems as you will soon learn.
The purpose of the chakras is to transform the higher vibrational energies into a form that is usable by the human body. Think of using a delicate piece of equipment like a laptop computer or a tape recorder, for example, without that little black box that we see connected to the power cord. The results would be disastrous because the intensity of the electrical power coming directly from the outlet would fry the insides of the device if it weren't for the "little black box". So it is with us "frail" humans as well; a good dose of the universal life force would knock our socks off without the chakras to convert the energy.
There are many chakras in our bodies. We have them in our hands & feet as well as the bendable (flexion) surfaces of our arms, legs and fingers. The most prominent and best known ones are the seven major chakras in the midline of our bodies, parallel to the spine. Each of them is associated with a particular color, musical note, gemstone, fragrance, organ (s), psychological profile and spiritual lesson. Because of the last three, a good working knowledge of the chakras is a tremendous asset to those involved in the healing arts as a guide to understanding the possible reasons behind the energetic imbalances, and foster the empathy necessary to truly be an effective facilitator in the healing process.
It seems appropriate to mention here that in order for healing to occur, there needs to be a change in consciousness. That change may certainly be facilitated by an openness to the lessons and challenges that each of the chakras presents and incorporating their subtleties into our conscious awareness.
Muladhara, or "root support" located at the base of the spine. The color is vibrant red & sometimes black. It relates to the element earth and is the seat of the Kundalini, the coiled serpent which, when awakened, makes its way up the chakra column to the crown, bringing healing and enlightenment. This should be done with the utmost caution and respect for the process as the results have proven disastrous when undertaken as a lark.
Anatomical associations incorporate: the spine and everything below it including the legs and feet, colon, anus, urethra and adrenal glands. The flight or fight instinct (from the adrenal glands) is alive and functioning well here. It governs the sense of smell. The most basic issues associated with this chakra are survival and groundedness.
When we are secure in the lessons of the first chakra, we radiate a vibrancy in our physical health, a sense of belonging on the earth, and a strong identification with our immediate community /family. We are able to meet a crisis with equanimity.
We instinctually identify and honor our basic needs and manifest all that is required for our survival and success as well as respecting the needs of others Muladhara fosters a sense of connection with Mother Earth and respect for her many gifts.
Gemstones: garnet, Apache tears, black onyx, hematite, red coral, smoky quartz and petrified wood.
Svadhisthana, The Second Chakra
Now that you've familiarized yourself with the basics, and become grounded in the energy of Muladhara, the first chakra, let's journey forward and explore the wonders of Svadhisthana.
The color associated with this chakra is orange and one of the translations of the name is "her special abode".
Svadhisthana is located between the navel and the pubic bone and relates to the element of water, hence to our emotional life and the subconscious, of which water is thought to be the symbol. She introduces the aspect of relationships into our lives as we reach out beyond the family unit for validation, new experiences and perhaps companionship. Our work ethic relates to the healthy development of this chakra.
Balanced pleasures are a result of an intact functioning second chakra, as is assimilation of nutrients i.e. food & energy, including oxygen. Therefore, there is a direct relationship (energetically speaking) with the way we breathe and utilize the pranic energy of air.
The second chakra energy influences our sexual and creative energies, not to be confused with the generative function of the first chakra. Monastics and warriors have classically directed the energies of the 2nd chakra upward to achieve goals in areas other than sexual release.
Physically this chakra relates to the kidneys, bladder, ovaries, uterus, small & large intestines, and the lumbar spine.
Svadhisthana governs the sense of taste.
Gemstones: Moonstone, carnelian, coral, jasper, bloodstone, raw ruby Unakite.
Manipura, The Third Chakra
After experiencing the lessons of the first and second chakras, we may continue up the chakra column to Manipura, the third chakra which is located between the navel & sternum and it relates to the element of fire, being our internal sun or solar plexus. Its color is yellow.
The solar plexus chakra relates energetically to the pancreas, spleen, stomach, liver, gallbladder, midback, diaphragm, kidneys and it governs the sense of sight. The solar plexus chakra is the seat of empowerment ie: control over one's life, self-acceptance, and inner harmony. The beginning of psychic perception, it finds it's expression as a gut reaction. One whose energies are well integrated here experiences a healthy appetite with good physical digestion and a healthy metabolism. The individual knows a sense of comfort within the universe and a well-defined sense of right and wrong.
This relates to our view of our relationship with others, hopefully admitting objectivity and acceptance into the interaction .
Gemstones: Amber, citrine, honey calcite, yellow tiger eye, gold, pyrite, sunstone, unakite.
Anahata, The Fourth Chakra
After experiencing the more physical lessons of the first three chakras, you are lovingly invited to meet: Anahata- The Pure Sound of Creation. This is the fourth chakra located in the mid chest, expressing its gentle energy through the vibrations of the pink & green color and relating to the element of air. Physically, the thymus gland, heart (and blood circulation), bronchi, lower lungs, ribs, upper back, skin & hands & the immune system are governed by this chakra as well as the sense of touch.
The heart chakra is the pivotal point in the energy system, the seat of unconditional love; the crucible through which celestial energy and lower energies unite.
A healthy heart chakra enables one to give and receive love in all it's forms. One feels connected to the physical world and yet realizes a consciousness of the divine. The function of the physical heart and thymus gland, hence the immune system are mediated by this energy.
To love unconditionally is crucial to our ability to thrive on a physical plane. Empathy and compassion are the first steps toward the development of higher consciousness. Malfunction here includes the inability to give/receive love, to nurture or trust. An individual might also experience the opposite: giving or trusting to such an extreme that their own well-being suffers. One may experience a sense of detachment from humanity suffering loneliness and depression, or might even be the kind of person who uses others to his/her own end.
Gemstones: Rose quartz, ruby, tourmaline, green aventurine, chrysoprase, emerald, infinite, lepidolite, malachite, rainbow calcite.
Visshuda, The Fifth Chakra
Now that you have been introduced to the transcendent nature of Anahata, the fourth Chakra, you may feel intrigued to pursue the mysteries of Visshuda, the 5th chakra located in the throat between the collar bone & lower bone of the eye socket.
Its name means "purified" to help us better understand the process of transformation that the more dense energies undergo as they follow the serpentine path up the chakra column. Visshuda relates to the element of sound and its color is blue, manifesting in its many shades and hues, evoking rainbow images of blues swirling in and around this chakra to strengthen the voice and creative expression in any form.
Physically the voice box, thyroid and parathyroid glands are located within the domain of Visshuda as well as the hearing apparatus.
The gift of clairaudience, or hearing sound on the astral plane, finds its home here.
This chakra relates to our ability to speak our own truth. The creative energy of the first chakra: song, music, all artistic expression, and the gift of clairaudience, or hearing sound on the astral level, are expressed here. A fully functioning 5th chakra results in a clear strong voice and direct, truthful and respectful communication. The thyroid and parathyroid glands function optimally resulting in balanced calcium and general metabolism . Neck and jaw muscles are relaxed and strong.
Gemstones: Blue Kyanite, Blue Lace Agate, Sodalite, Apatite, Blue Aventurine, Aqua Aura, Turquoise. and Aquamarine to name just a few.
Ajna, The Sixth Chakra
Entering into the realm of Ajna evokes a certain reverence as we recall a time when the seers of antiquity were revered for their oracular wisdom and sought after for their ability to guide their people based on the ability to see into the future and align themselves with the implicate universal order.
Her name is Ajna, meaning absolute, not in the sense of stasis; rather in the sense of dynamic order and integration. The colors usually associated with this chakra are purple and indigo.
The third eye center is the seat of intuition and wisdom. The gift of clairvoyance, or clear seeing, is found here bringing movie-like visions to consciousness. Conscious awareness resides here as well as a healthy metabolism from the pituitary, the master gland. Clear thought and comprehension are functions of a balanced sixth chakra.
Physically, Ajna is located in the center of the forehead just above the brow line. It relates to the pituitary (master gland), left brain hemisphere, left side of head and spinal cord. It is related to the perception of light, both on the physical and metaphysical planes.
Manifestations of health and balance in the third eye chakra enable us to discern and respond to intuitive information, formulate ideas and initiate appropriate action causing materialization on a physical plane.
Imbalances may present as disordered thought process, irrational fears, illusions, bewilderment and confusion, delusions and faulty judgment or an inability to translate ideas into manifest form ,and insomnia.
Gemstones: Azurite, lapis lazuli, sodalite, blue sapphire, fluorite, sugilite, amethyst, and charoite.
Sahasrara, The Seventh Chakra
At the pinnacle of our journey. Sahasrara, one knows no separation from the source. One is complete, centered and grounded, even as one traverses the higher realms, realizing that, while we may access the divine, our place is on the earth plane. We are now completely comfortable with the fact that we have chosen a physical vehicle with which to learn our lessons during this incarnation; and we are able to face that fact with maturity, having conquered the frustrations of the earlier years. Our true home is recognized, but so is the value of this, our temporal dwelling.
We no longer experience an inordinate longing for, nor an obsession with our spiritual life as it is now an inseparable and undeniable part of us. We are completely self assured in this respect.
Ego dissolves, and a sense of wholeness pervades . Peace reigns in our hearts, and it is from this platform that we are able to interact with, and honor our fellow man; and fully adapt to the realities of linear time and containment.
These are some of the attributes of Sahasrara, the many-petaled lotus, located on the top of the head, opening upward toward the heavens. Sahasrara relates to the element of thought, and the color is perceived to be violet or white.
This chakra is anatomically associated with the pineal gland, right brain hemisphere and cerebral cortex (outer layer of the brain), right eye and right side of face.
When this center is open and functioning, a person is connected to the totality of the body-mind-spirit experiencing spirituality on the most intimate level of his/her being. The gifts of clairsentience "just knowing" ,and "static" pictures resides here. Brain function is healthy and clear, and physical energy is strong.
In a healthy state, we are open to spirituality, but not necessarily a religious affiliation. One can access higher states of consciousness while being able to function effectively in the physical world. The larger pattern is seen, a natural morality is practiced, and there is a sense of selflessness in balance with realistic limits and boundaries.
Gemstones: Clear quartz, Fluorite, Clear Calcite, Amethyst, diamond, Herkimer diamond, Charoite, phenacite, and opal.Susan Dallmann is a registered nurse, Reiki Master Teacher, Craniosacral Therapist and Certified Hypnotherapist. Her healing practice is located in LaGrange, Illinois.
The Chakras - Introduction
Within every living body, although on the subtle rather than the gross or physical level, there are said to be a series of energy fields or centres of consciousness, which in traditional Tantric teachings are called chakras ("wheels" , ) or padmas ("lotuses"). They are said to be located either along, or just in front of, the backbone, even though they may express themselves externally at points along the front of the body (navel, heart, throat, etc). Associated with the chakras is a latent subtle energy, called kundalini in Shaktism, and tumo in Tibetan Buddhist Tantra.
Speculations and teachings concerning the chakras have occured independently in the religious, spiritual, yogic, and occult traditions of India, China, and the West. Although having certain basic points in common, these also differ in many details. So we have a number of different chakra-doctrines that have developed in different esoteric traditions to greater or lesser completeness.
Early doctrines regarding the chakras
The idea of the subtle vital force (prana) and the channels along which it flows (nadis) appear in the earliest Upanishads (7th-8th century b.c.e.). The heart was said to be the centre of the 72,000 nadis or subtle channels, and the place into which the senses are withdrawn during sleep. As with many ancient civilisations (e.g. Egypt, Homeric Greece), the heart was also considered the seat of waking consciousness.
But it was only in the later Upanishads - the earlier of which were composed somewhere between the 2nd century b.c.e. and the 2nd century c.e. - reference is first made to basic Tantric concepts such as chakras, mantras, and so on.
The Brahma-Upanishad mentions the four "places" occupied by the purusha (soul): the navel, heart, throat, and head. Following common tradition, each place is characterised by a particular state of consciousness: the navel (or the eye) waking consciousness, the heart dreamless sleep, the throat dreaming, and the head the "fourth" or transcendent state. These four states, originally referred to in the Mandukya Upanishad, are identified with the gods Brahma, Vishnu, Rudra (a derivative of Shiva) and Akshara (the indestructable). [Mircea Eliade, Yoga, Immortality, and Freedom, p.128]
The Yogatattva Upanishad speaks of the "five parts" of the body corresponding to the five great or cosmic elements - earth, water, fire, air, and space. Each element corresponds to a particular mantra - a "seed-vibration" or mystical syllable - and a particular deity. Emphasis is also given to siddhis (supernormal powers) that can be attained through mastery of yoga and of the different elements. [Eliade, Ibid, pp.130-1]
The Tibetan Buddhist Theory of Chakras
Tantric Buddhism (or Vajrayana) broke off from the Indian Tantric one at a very early stage. Hence they developed a rather different version of the chakras. Tibetan Buddhism acknowledges four (navel, heart, throat, and head), five, seven, or even ten chakras or "channel wheels"; each with a different number of "spokes" to its Indian Tantric counterpart. The navel chakra for example has sixty-four spokes, the heart chakra eight, the throat sixteen (the only one to agree with the Hindu scheme), and the head or crown chakra thirty-two. There is also, as in Laya-yoga, an elaborate system of correspondences. Note that in this system it is the head-centre, and not, as in many Western interpretations of Hindu Tantra, the Perineal or the base, that is associated with the body and physical consciousness. The throat centre represents a more subtle state of consciousness, the dream state; and the heart centre the refined of all, deep meditataion, dreamless sleep, the peaceful deities and the Clear Light.
Instead of Kundalini, reference is made to the red and white subtle "drops" in the navel and head chakras respectively, although sometimes other drops are mentioned as well. Through the dissolution of these drops, and of the various subtle winds, in the central channel, one attains transcendent awareness. This happens not only during advanced yoga, but also at the time of death; and constitutes the phenomenon known as the "Clear Light".
The Theosophical Theory of Chakras
Tantric theories about the chakras are based very much on the traditional religious concepts and iconography of that particular culture. A much freer interpretation of the chakras was introduced in the West by the Theosophists, beginning with C. W. Leadbeater, in his books The Inner Life and The Chakras. (the latter being the source of the above illustration). The latter book incidentally, first published in 1927, has since sold more copies than any other Theosophical book. In these books Leadbeater makes several important and original observations, which have been followed by almost all subsequent theosophical and New Age writers and clairvoyants, although very few actually give him credit for being the first to come up with these ideas.
According to this understanding, the chakras can be perceived through psychic vision, or Clairvoyance (French: "clear seeing"). This is something quite different from what we find in Tantra. In Tantra, especially Tibetan Tantra, the yogi "creates" the chakras as part of his mental exercises; a sort of stylised yogic visualisation. But the Theosophical and New Age idea of clairvoyance implies that the chakras have an independent objective existence in the subtle bodies that can be perceived by anyone who has developed the appropriate faculties.
According to clairvoyant perception, the chakras are seen as energy vortexes in the each of the subtle bodies. This again is quite different to the Indian, Tibetan, and other traditions, where the chakras are subtle centres of consciousness, but have no energy-status of their own.
Leadbeater was also the first to suggest that the chakras are energy/consciousness transformers, linking the various subtle bodies (the etheric body, the astral body, the mental body, etc) by stepping down the frequency of the consciousness-energy of the higher body, so it can be received by the lower one.
Most esoteric writers now also seem to agree that the chakras are energy/consciousness receivers and transmitters that enable the person to assimilate the cosmic vitality that is so necessary for well-being. Emphasis therefore is placed on the health of the chakras; whether they are open or closed, blocked or clear, rotating clockwise or anti-clockwise.
Each of the chakras is also associated with particular endocrine glands and ganglions or plexii in the sympathetic nervous system; the idea being that the subtle workings of the chakras are related and repeated in the physical body through the activity of the various glands and nerve plexii. Although Woodroffe and various contemporary Hindu writers made some contributions here, it was the theosophists such as Leadbeater and Alice Bailey who actually fixed this idea as dogma. Locating the chakras at specific vertebrae is also a relatively recent idea; the original Tantric writers may have lacked the anatomical knowledge to make precise statements such as this. But it is also a fact that despite modern knowledge, contemporary writers often disagree over the exact positions of the chakras. The Manipura for example is sometimes located in the navel (the Tantric positioning) and sometimes in the Solar Plexus.
The idea of the spleen chakra was taken up by Alice Bailey (or her source, "the Tibetan"), and through both her and Leadbeater became established as "fact" within the general theosophical occult-esoteric world-view.
The Rainbow Theory of Chakras
After Woodroffe and Leadbeater, the next most influential person regarding the chakras is Christopher Hills, a spiritual philosopher and researcher who set up his own university, the University of Trees.
In a very thick book, Nuclear Evolution, published in the early 1970s, Hills suggests that each of the chakras corresponds to one of the seven colours of the spectrum. He then associates each chakra and colour with a particular personality type. A great deal of his book "Nuclear Evolution" is devoted to explaining each of these personality types in detail. His typology is quite fascinating, and certainly equal in profundity to the personality typology of comparable systems of character analysis, such as Carl Jung and Humanistic Astrology. The basic scheme is as follows:
Note that the positions of the chakras are a little different from the standard positions. The Muladhara is identified with the genitals (ordinarily the position of the Swadhisthana), while, following Leadbeater, the Swadhistana is identified with the "splenic plexus", although with total anatomical ignorance this centre is still located more or less beneath the navel [see diagram in Nuclear Evolution, p.435]. The Manipura is then located at the solar plexus, rather than (as in the Indian system) the Navel.
Although the psychological aspects of this theory did not catch on, the idea of matching the seven chakras with the seven colours of the spectrum was so appealing that just about every book on the chakras written since then show the chakras in rainbow colours.
It is my understanding that the chakras referred to here are not the same as the chakras referred to in Tantric yoga. All the attributes are totally different for one thing, and the chakras as described here represent major organs of the external personality, whereas in Indian and Tibetan tantra the chakras (and the tan-tiens in Taoism) represent subtle faculties that are only activated in advanced yogic practice, and that if they pertain to anything, it is the subtle inner being.
It would seem plausible to identify the rainbow chakras with the etheric body chakras in Barbara Ann Brennan's formulation, and perhaps also the focal concentration points in Mantak Chia's "Healing Tao" microcosmic orbit. The rainbow chakras therefore, if they have any validity at all, have validity inasmuch as they pertain to the etheric bodies (and if Barbara Brennan is to be believed only the second ("emotional"), fourth ("astral") and sixth ("celestial") etheric (energy field) bodies at that). They would pertain to the secondary, and even the tertiary, order of chakras.M. Alan Kazlev has spent years studying esoteric philosophies / cosmology, palaeontology and evolution, and describes himself as a chronic workaholic who does not earn a wage. He has an extensive website at www.kheper.net
"An energy center is very much like a flower bud.
Chakra means 'wheel' in Sanskrit. In this context, charkas are wheels of energy - continuously rotating. They are sub-atomic energy centres located along the spinal column. Each vortex carries a special energy level that causes the chakra to rotate at a speed of its own. They are stations along the central axis of your being. The spine acts as an lightning rod, conducting vertical energy flows into the head, down the spine, through the feet into the earth. Each one is a point at which energy can be expressed in a certain set of actions, attitudes and emotions. The Chakra is a map of the soul which you must move along for healing to happen. An underactive chakra is usually one in which the energy is blocked or congested which results in lack of energy. People are believed to fall ill when their charkas loose alignment.
There are Three Master Chakras (Root, Heart, Crown), Four Major Chakras (Spleen, Solar Plexus, Throat, Brow) and over 300 Minor Chakras.
From the survival and ego focus of the first three chakras (Root, Spleen, Solar Plexus) to the transpersonal and transcendent aspirations of the upper chakras (Heart, Throat, Brow, Crown), let us focus on each one of them and note their properties -
Everything in life has a spiritual body and as such contains within it a chakra body. This body can open, expand and experience lessons and the external circumstances associated with it. As we work on a situation in our life, it generates energy which in turn effects a specific chakra point. Everything in life has an energy pattern and it flows through the chakra stem. In order for a particular energy to work, the chakra associated with it must open and join in the process. As we move on in life, the lessons and energy we experience will stimulate a particular chakra which in turn effects the physical body.
For e.g. if a person feels the urge to speak his mind at a meeting/gathering, but is somehow unable to express his feelings and holds back his emotions, he may experience disturbances in the throat.
Einstein theorised that all energy has a sound, a colour and an intensity unique unto itself. He also gave us a clue for creating energy. He said 'Thought is energy. To create it, just use your imagination.' Use the energy that you create to positive ways. Use it to protect yourself from outside influences. Use it in creative endeavours. Use it for others.Jayesh V.V. is a graphic designer, a dreamer and an esotericist.