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“In one thoroughly researched and beautifully written book you can learn…what it took ancient seekers a lifetime to uncover.” Steven A. Ross, PhD, CEO of the World Research Foundation and author of And Nothing Happened… But You Can Make It Happen

“A shining constellation of timeless wisdom and brilliant insights on chakras. This groundbreaking book is an essential conduit to whole-self healing.” Dr. Deanna Minich, founder of Food & Spirit

“[Cyndi Dale’s] ability to organize and communicate complex material in an easily accessible manner is quite remarkable, leaving the seeker enriched and inspired to proceed along their path. This one belongs in every spiritual library!” Linda Howe, author of Discover Your Soul’s Path Through the Akashic Records

“Cyndi Dale’s new book is a comprehensive, erudite, and extremely readable book that covers every aspect of chakras. Highly recommended for beginners and experts alike.” Richard Webster, award-winning and bestselling author of Spirit Guides & Angel Guardians


L L E W E L LY N ’ S

COMPLETE BOOK OF

CHAKRAS


Ab out th e Auth o r Cyndi Dale (Minneapolis, MN) is an internationally renowned author, speaker, healer, and business consultant. She is president of Life Systems Services, through which she has conducted over 50,000 client sessions and presented training classes throughout Europe, Asia, and the Americas. Visit her online at CyndiDale.com.


L L E W E L LY N ’ S

C O M P LETE BOO K O F

CHAKRAS

Your Definitive Source of Energy Center Knowledge for Health, Happiness, and Spiritual Evolution

Cyndi Dale l l e w e l ly n p u b l i c at i o n s

Woodbury, Minnesota


Llewellyn’s Complete Book of Chakras: Your Definitive Source of Energy Center Knowledge for Health, Happiness, and Spiritual Evolution © 2016 by Cyndi Dale. All rights reserved. No part of this book may be used or reproduced in any manner whatsoever, including Internet usage, without written permission from Llewellyn Publications, except in the case of brief quotations embodied in critical articles and reviews.

first edition

First Printing, 2016 Book design by Rebecca Zins Cover design by Ellen Lawson Cover images: iStockphoto.com/41763132/© Julia Snegireva, iStockphoto.com/30364516/© Fuet, mandala courtesy of Cyndi Dale/Essential Energy Interior ornamental pattern: iStockphoto.com/41763132/© Julia Snegireva Interior illustrations by Mary Ann Zapalac, Elisabeth Alba, James Clark, and the Llewellyn Art Department Llewellyn Publications is a registered trademark of Llewellyn Worldwide Ltd.

Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data

Dale, Cyndi. Llewellyn’s complete book of chakras : your definitive source of energy center knowledge for health, happiness, and spiritual evolution / Cyndi Dale.—first edition. pages cm.—(Llewellyn’s complete book; #8) Includes bibliographical references and index. ISBN 978-0-7387-3962-5 1. Chakras. I. Title. BF1442.C53D355 2015 131—dc23 2015026134 Llewellyn Worldwide Ltd. does not participate in, endorse, or have any authority or responsibility concerning private business transactions between our authors and the public. All mail addressed to the author is forwarded but the publisher cannot, unless specifically instructed by the author, give out an address or phone number. Any Internet references contained in this work are current at publication time, but the publisher cannot guarantee that a specific location will continue to be maintained. Please refer to the publisher’s website for links to authors’ websites and other sources. Llewellyn Publications A Division of Llewellyn Worldwide Ltd. 2143 Wooddale Drive Woodbury, MN 55125-2989 www.llewellyn.com Printed in the United States of America


c o n t en t s

List of Exercises…xxxv List of Illustrations…xli Introduction…xlv

Section 1: Chakra Fundamentals and Basic Practices  1 Part 1: What Are Chakras? A Pocket Guide to Your Body’s Points of Light  3 Chakras: One of the Body’s Three Subtle Energy Systems  4

1 

Your Spinning Wheels of Light  7 What Is a Chakra?  9 Chakra Structure  11 What Does the Spin of a Healthy Chakra Look Like?  13 The Three Main Functions of the Chakras  15 Chakras Remember  15 Chakras Are Energy Transformers  15 1. Chakras Process Physically  17 2. Chakras Process Psychologically  18 3. Chakras Process Spiritually  19


Contents

Deeper into Chakras and Energy  21 A Scientific Perspective of Chakras   22 Sanskrit: Ancient Language of Beauty, Complexity, and Power  23 Table 1—The Sanskrit Sounds  24

A Thumbnail History of the Chakras  26 Subtle Energy Across Time  28 Basic Energies in the Hindu Universe  29

A Snapshot of the Chakras   32 First Chakra: Muladhara  32 Second Chakra: Svadhisthana  32 Third Chakra: Manipura  33 Fourth Chakra: Anahata  33 Fifth Chakra: Vishuddha  33 Sixth Chakra: Ajña  34 Seventh Chakra: Sahasrara  34

What Is Kundalini?  2 

37

The Rainbow Serpent: Climbing the Chakra Ladder  39 The Sheaths of Enlightenment  43 The Love Story of the Chakras: Shiva and Shakti   45 The Benefits—and Challenges—of a Kundalini Awakening  46

Part 2: The Hindu Chakra System  51

3 

Hindu Chakras: The Basic Seven  53 What’s in a Chakra?   54 The Hindu Cosmos  60

viii


Contents

The Development and Activation of Our Chakras  62 A Twelve-Chakra Development System  63 Anodea Judith’s Chakra Development System  64 Chakra Development in the Traditional Hindu System  65

The Emotional Challenges of the Chakras  65 The Chakra Powers: Psychic Senses and the Siddhi  66 The Ancient Hindu Siddhi  67

An Outline of Contemporary Psychic Abilities  69 Psychology, Personality, and the Chakras  72

4 

The First Hindu Chakra: Muladhara  75 Most Familiar Sanskrit Name and Meaning  76 Other Names  76 Location   76

The Kanda: The Nadi Chakra  77 Purpose   79 Color 79 Chakra Activation   79

The Adrenals: Muladhara’s Endocrine Energy   79 Associated Gland   81 Body Parts Managed  81 Predominant Sense and Sense Organ   81 Action Organ   81 Vital Breath  81 Related Diseases   81 Psychological Functions  81 Associated Archetypes   82 Personality Profile   82 Deficiencies and Excesses of the First Chakra  82 When the First Chakra Is Balanced  83

ix


Contents Muladhara Symbols: The First Chakra Yantra  84 Muladhara’s Component Parts  85 Cosmic Realm or Plane   86 Ruling Goddesses   86 Ruling Gods   86 Ruling Planet  86 Granthi (Knot)  86 Intuitive Abilities  87 Subtle Body Partners  87

The Second Hindu Chakra: Svadhisthana  5 

91

Most Familiar Sanskrit Name and Meaning   92 Other Names  92 Location 92

Yuga to Yuga: The Changing Nature of Svadhisthana  92 Purpose   93 Color   93 Chakra Activation   93 Associated Gland  93 Body Parts Managed   93 Predominant Sense and Sense Organ  93

The Gonads: Svadhisthana’s Endocrine Energy   94 Predominant Sense and Sense Organ   95 Action Organ  95 Vital Breath  95 Related Diseases  95 Psychological Functions  95 Associated Archetypes   96 Personality Profile   96 Deficiencies and Excesses of the Second Chakra  96 When the Second Chakra Is Balanced  97

x


Contents Svadhisthana Symbols: The Second Chakra Yantra   97 Svadhisthana’s Component Parts  97 Cosmic Realm or Plane   99 Ruling Goddesses   99 Ruling Gods   99 Ruling Planet   100 Granthi (Knot)   100 Intuitive Abilities  101 Subtle Body Partners  101

The Third Hindu Chakra: Manipura  6 

103

Most Familiar Sanskrit Name and Meaning   104 Other Names  104 Location 104 Purpose   104

Does Kundalini Start in Manipura?  104 Color   105 Chakra Activation   105 Associated Gland   107 Body Parts Managed  107

The Pancreas: Manipura’s Endocrine Energy   107 Predominant Sense and Sense Organ  108 Action Organ  108 Vital Breath  108 Related Diseases   108 Psychological Functions   109 Associated Archetypes  109 Personality Profile   110 Deficiencies and Excesses of the Third Chakra  110 When the Third Chakra Is Balanced  110 Manipura Symbols: The Third Chakra Yantra   110

xi


Contents Manipura’s Component Parts  111 Cosmic Realm or Plane   112 Ruling Goddess  112 Ruling God   112 Ruling Planet   112 Granthi (Knot)  112 Intuitive Abilities   113 Subtle Body Partners  113

The Fourth Hindu Chakra: Anahata  7 

115

Most Familiar Sanskrit Name and Meaning   116 Other Names  116 Location   116 Purpose   116

Anahata as the Seat of Jivatnam  117 Color   118 Chakra Activation   118 Associated Glands   118 Body Parts Managed  118

The Two Possible Endocrine Glands for Anahata  119 Predominant Sense and Sense Organ  122 Action Organ  122 Vital Breath  122 Related Diseases   122 Psychological Functions   122 Associated Archetypes   122 Personality Profile   123 Deficiencies and Excesses of the Fourth Chakra  123 When the Fourth Chakra Is Balanced  123 Anahata Symbols: The Fourth Chakra Yantra   123 Anahata’s Component Parts  124

xii


Contents Cosmic Realm or Plane   124 Ruling Goddess   124 Ruling God   124 Ruling Planet   125 Granthi (Knot)   125 Intuitive Abilities   125 Subtle Body Partners  126

The Fifth Hindu Chakra: Vishuddha  8 

129

Most Familiar Sanskrit Name and Meaning  130 Other Names  130 Location   130 Purpose   130 Color   130 Chakra Activation   130 Associated Gland  130

The Thyroid: Vishuddha’s Endocrine Gland and Its Accompaniment, the Parathyroid  131 Body Parts Managed  133 Predominant Sense and Sense Organ  133 Action Organ   133 Vital Breath   133 Related Diseases   133 Psychological Functions   133 Associated Archetypes   134 Personality Profile  134 Deficiencies and Excesses of the Fifth Chakra  134 When the Fifth Chakra Is Balanced   134 Vishuddha Symbols: The Fifth Chakra Yantra   135 Vishuddha’s Component Parts   135 Cosmic Realm or Plane   136

xiii


Contents Ruling Goddess   136 Ruling Gods   136 Ruling Planet   138 Granthi (Knot)   138 Intuitive Abilities   138 Subtle Body Partners  139

The Sixth Hindu Chakra: Ajña  9 

143

Most Familiar Sanskrit Name and Meaning  144 Other Names  144 Location   144 Purpose   144 Color   144 Chakra Activation   144 Associated Gland  145

The Pituitary: Ajña’s Endocrine Gland  145 Body Parts Managed   147 Predominant Sense and Sense Organ  147 Action Organ   147 Vital Breath   147

History of the Third Eye: The Gift of Clairvoyance   147 Related Diseases  150 Psychological Functions  150 Associated Archetypes  150 Personality Profile  150 Deficiencies and Excesses of the Sixth Chakra  151 When the Sixth Chakra Is Balanced   151 Ajña Symbols: The Sixth Chakra Yantra   151 Ajña’s Component Parts   152 Cosmic Realm or Plane  152 Ruling Goddess  152

xiv


Contents Ruling Gods   153 Ruling Planet   153 Granthi (Knot)   153 Intuitive Abilities   153 Subtle Energy Partners  155

The Seventh Hindu Chakra: Sahasrara  10 

159

Most Familiar Sanskrit Name and Meaning  160 Other Names  160 Location   161 Purpose 161 Color   161 Chakra Activation   161 Associated Gland  161

The Pineal Gland: Sahasrara’s Endocrine Gland  161 Partners in Perception: The Pineal and the Pituitary   168 What Is Amrita Made Of?  169 Body Parts Managed  170 Predominant Sense and Sense Organ  170 Action Organ   170 Vital Breath   170 Related Diseases   170 Psychological Functions   171 Associated Archetypes  171 Personality Profile   171 Deficiencies and Excesses of the Seventh Chakra  172 When the Seventh Chakra Is Balanced   172 Sahasrara Symbols: The Seventh Chakra Yantra   173 Sahasrara’s Component Parts   176

xv


Contents Cosmic Realm or Plane   177 Ruling Goddess  177 Ruling God  177 Ruling Planet   177 Granthi (Knot)   177 Intuitive Abilities   177 Subtle Body Partners  178

Kundalini Matures: An Overview  181

Part 3: Fundamentals of Chakra Medicine  185 The Benefits of Chakra Medicine  11 

187

The Far-Reaching Benefits of Chakra Medicine  188 Chakras Increase Clarity  189

Why Do We Take In the Energies of Others?  190 Chakras Clear Out Negative Beliefs and Emotions  191 Chakras Release Trauma  191 Chakras Access Insight  193 Chakras Relieve Stress  193 Chakras Strengthen Immunities and Boundaries  194 Chakras Clear and Keep Out Others’ Energies  195

Chakra Medicine: Your Lexicon of Terms  196

Chakra Medicine Methods I: Preparation and Analysis  12  The Chakra Medicine Building Blocks from A to Z  200 Physical Tools for Chakra Medicine   202

The Intuition Building Block  205

xvi

199


Contents

The Four Intuitive Styles  206 Physical Intuition   206 Spiritual Intuition   206 Verbal Intuition   207 Visual Intuition   207

Locating the Chakras  207 Evaluating Issues Through the Chakras  208 Backgrounder: A Word About Blocks  209 Chakra Assessment Using a Chakra Chart  213 The Chakra Medicine “Cheat Sheet”  214 Assessing Chakra Health with Pendulum Testing  216

Chakra Medicine Methods II: Healing  13 

221

Chakra Cleansing  222 Pulling Out or Moving Chakra Energy  226 Energizing or Charging the Chakras  227 The Light Wand: A Universal Sewing Kit   228 Aligning the Chakras  229 Beliefs and Your Chakra Anatomy  230 Systems 233

Chakra Medicine Practices: Eastern Methods  14 

235

The Yamas and Niyamas: The Importance of Living a Clean Life  236 The Five Yamas  236 The Niyamas  236

Pranayama: The Breath of Spirit  237 Poses for Seated Meditation  241 Mudras: Signs of the Soul  243 Eleven Buddhist Mudras to Accomplish Any Goal  247

xvii


Contents

Making Use of the Eyes  252 Secret of the Golden Flower  252

Trataka 253 The Four Bandhas  254 Chakra-Focused Asanas  257

Chakra Techniques: From Mantras to Gemstones 15    and Everything in Between  267

Mantras and More: The Music of the Spheres  268 About Mantras  268 Seed Syllables  269

Yantras: The Shapes and Colors of Light  270 Reiki Symbols for Your Chakras: Another Form of Yantras  274 The Power Reiki Symbol: Cho Ku Rei  274 The Harmony Reiki Symbol: Sei Hei Ki  274 The Completion Reiki Symbol: Raku  275

Archetype Healing Through the Chakras  275 Homeopathy as Chakra Medicine  277 First Chakra Homeopathy  277 Second Chakra Homeopathy  277 Third Chakra Homeopathy  277 Fourth Chakra Homeopathy  278 Fifth Chakra Homeopathy  278 Sixth Chakra Homeopathy  278 Seventh Chakra Homeopathy  278

The Power of Flowers  278 Hindu Flowers Related to Days of the Week  279 Hindu Flowers for Specific Results  279 Flower Essences  280

xviii


Contents The Lotus  280 Essential Oils  282

Chakra Stone Therapy  283 Chakra Flower Essences, Gemstones, and Oils   286 Feeding Your Spirit with Food  288

Section 2: Chakras in Depth—Historical, Scientific, and Cross-Cultural Understandings  293 Part 4: The History of Chakra Knowledge Through the Lens of Ancient India  295 Ancient Vedic Scripture: The Four Canons  16 

297

The East Indian Backdrop: The Four Main Vedic Scriptures  298 Dating the Vedic Canons  300 The People Behind Vedic Scripture: Who Was There “In the Beginning”?  302 A Key Philosophy of the Vedic Scriptures: The Yugas  304 The Rig Veda and the Chakras: The First Appearance  306 Chakras in the Atharva Veda  308

Echoes of the Vedas in Other Parts of the World  308 The Evolution of the Hindu Gods  309 Early Vedic Deities   310 The Deities in the Puranas  310 A Fourth Major Deity: Shakti  311 Shakti in Tantric Tradition  311 Additional Gods   312

xix


Contents

Chakras Taking Form: Divining Three Movements 17 

  from the Upanishads and Other Early Sacred Texts  315 Ancient Tantric and Yogic Developments: A Brief History in Relation to Orthodox Hinduism  317 What Came First: Vedic or Tantric (and Yogic) Traditions?  318

Early Appearances of the Words Tantra and Yoga  319 The Upanishads: Vedic Underpinnings of Chakra Magic  320 A History of the Rainbow Serpent  322 The Earliest Upanishads: Roots of Chakra Consciousness   324 Chandogya Upanishad  324 Prashna Upanishad  325 Yoga Kundalini Upanishad  325

Mid-Range Upanishads  326 Darsana Upanishad  327 Yoga Sikha Upanishad   327 Yoga-Tattva Upanishad   328 Dhyana Bindu Upanishad  330 Brahma Upanishad  331

Pronouncing the Oldest Written Language in the World  331 Non-Vedic Texts from Ancient Times  333 Mahabharata 333 Yoga Sutra of Patanjali  334

The Eight Limbs of Raja Yoga  334

Following the Light of Tantra and Yoga  18  What Is Tantra?   338 A History of Tantra  341 Our Subtle Body Emerges from the Texts  342

xx

337


Contents

A Closer Look at the Divisions of Tantra  343 Avalon Spotlights Three Texts  344

A Review of Vedic and Tantric Traditions  345 A Sketch of Yoga  347

Part 5: The Science of Subtle Energy  351 Your Energy Primer: Understanding Physical and Subtle 19    Energy (And a Few Matters in Between)  355 Critical Definitions  356 A Primer on Energy: Toward a Working Definition  359 The Apple Universe: Classical Physics  361 Level One: Fundamental Concepts  362 Level Two: The “Charge” of Relationships  363 Level Three: Light and Sound  364

The Sound That Created Life on Earth  370 Laws of Classical Physics  371 The Orange Universe: Quanta and More  372 Laws of the Orange Universe  373 Key Figures in Energy History—Who Got Us Here?   374 Explaining Subtle Energy  377 The Many Worlds Theory  378 The Pilot Wave Theory and the Supersonic Nature of Energy  378 Connective Tissue Theory  380 The Virtual Nature of the Vacuum and the Role of Consciousness  380 My Personal “Many Speeds Theory” in Relation to Chakras  382

Various Names for Subtle Energy  384 The Role of Torsion Fields  385 Putting It All Together: A Brave New Model  386 xxi


Contents

The Multidimensional Model: Subtle Levels Between the Physical and Heavenly  390 Levels of Subtle Reality Over Time   391

Did Earlier Peoples Harness Subtle Energy?   392 Did the Hindus Get It Right?  392 Was Atlantis the Source of Energy Knowledge?  394

Chakras as Part of the Subtle Energy Anatomy  20 

397

The Big Picture: Meet the Family of Subtle Energy Structures   398 The Subtle Channels  399 Subtle Channels: The Nadis   399

Ida and Pingala in Everyday Life  404 Subtle Channels: The Meridians  406 Subtle Channels: Parallels Between Nadis and Meridians  408 Meridian and Chakra Linkages  409

The Energetic Fields  410 Energetic Fields: The Auric Fields  410 Energetic Fields: The Seven Rays  411

Energy Bodies in Addition to the Chakras  415 Energy Bodies from the Ground Up   416

How the Etheric Body Operates  419 Do Subtle Bodies Instruct the Physical Body?  420 Energy Bodies: The Light Body  422 Energy Bodies: The Dantians  423

A Snapshot of the Energetic Anatomy  425

The Science and Structure of Chakras  21  Chakras as Psychophysiological Organs  428 Chakras and the Nervous System  428

xxii

427


Contents

A Closer Look at Neurotransmitters  432 Chakras and the Endocrine System  437

Chakras and Fields and Frequencies  441 Backgrounder on Fields and Frequencies  442 Measuring Chakras’ Fields and Frequencies  444 A Complete Picture of Chakras as Bands of Frequency  448

The Sound of the Body  451 Chakras in Multiplex: Ladders of Light  452

Chakras and Embryonic Development  455 The Structure of the Chakras  458 Chakras, Structure, and Spin  459

Which Way Is the Chakra Spinning?  465 Chakras and the Famous Lotus  466

Kundalini Rises: The Chakra Serpent  22 

467

Kundalini in Indian Literature: The Mother of Love  468 A Homeward Journey  470 The Stages of the Kundalini Climb  470 The First Kundalini Stage: Purification  470 The Second Kundalini Stage: Activation  472 The Third Kundalini Stage: Rising  473 The Fourth Kundalini Stage: Integration  481

The Universal Nature of Kundalini  483 Kundalini in the Body: The Science of the Shakti   489 Distinguishing Prana and Kundalini   489 The Neurology and Hormonal Activity of Kundalini  491 Kundalini’s Electromagnetic Capacities  495 A Summative EMF Theory  497

Beyond the Science: The Snake as Transcendent  498

xxiii


Contents

Part 6: Chakra Systems of Asia  501 Chakra Systems of India  23 

503

The Kriya Yoga System: Of Chakras and Kshetras  505 Ayurvedic Marmani and the Chakras: The “Spock” Points  507 Ayurveda: The Science of Life  510 The Marma Points: Lucid and Lethal  511 The Marmani and Chakra Medicine  511

Shaivism: Hinduism Emerging from India  518 Kashmir Shaivism: Trika Science  519 Kashmir Shaivism and the Energetic World  519

Guru Gorakshanath: A Nine-Chakra System  524

Tibet: Indian Tantra Meets Buddhism  24 

529

Buddhism: A Backgrounder  530 Theravada Buddhism   531 Mahayana Buddhism  532 Vajrayana Buddhism  533

Tibetan Buddhism and the Channel Wheels  534 An Overview of the Tibetan Buddhist Subtle System  534 The Tibetan Channels and Channel Wheels  536 Mahasukha or Svabhavika Wheel: Great Bliss Chakra  538 Sambhoga Wheel: Enjoyment Chakra  539 Dharma Wheel: Dharma Chakra  539 Nirmana Wheel: Transformation or Manifesting Chakra  539

Meeting the Medicine Buddha: The Tibetan Buddhist Medical System  539 Channel Wheels Versus Chakras: Differences Between Systems  542 xxiv


Contents

The Vajra Diamond Body  543 Kalachakra Tantra: Stars Across Time  545 The Subtle Story of Kalachakra Tantra  547 Digging Deeper: Details About the Subtle Kalachakra Structures  549

Himalayan Bon: A Tibetan Energy System  553 The Subtle World of Himalayan Bon  553

Other Asian Chakra Systems  25 

557

Taoist Alchemy and the Microcosmic Orbit  558 The Taoist Tradition  559

Lessons from a Taoist Monk  560 A Featured Hsien: Taoist Grand Master Chang San-Feng  561 The Taoist Subtle World  561 Apples, Oranges, and Taoist Energy  566

Reflexology and the Chakras  568 Zen: Meditation Buddhism  571 The Korean Chakra System  573 First Chakra  574 Second Chakra  574 Third Chakra  574 Fourth Chakra  574 Fifth Chakra  575 Sixth Chakra  575 Seventh Chakra  575

Thai Massage and Energy Lines  576 From Japan: Shiatsu  576 Kubota Healing System: A Chakra Blend  577 Master Choa Kok Sui’s Pranic Healing  577

xxv


Contents

Part 7: Ancient Chakra Systems Across Africa, Europe, the Middle East, and the Americas  581 The African Continent  26 

585

The Kamitic Tree of Life   588 The Meanings of the Spheres  588

Early Egyptian Energetics  589 Egyptian Energy Bodies  590 First Chakra: The Khab  591 Second Chakra: The Khaibit  591 Third Chakra: The Sahu  591 Fourth Chakra: The Ab  591 Fifth Chakra: The Shekem  591 Sixth Chakra: The Khu  591 Seventh Chakra: The Ba  591

The Seven Powers of Egypt  591 First Chakra: Sefekht  592 Second Chakra: Tekh  592 Third Chakra: Ab   592 Fourth Chakra: Kheper  592 Fifth Chakra: Sekhem  592 Sixth Chakra: Mer  592 Seventh Chakra: Ikh  592

Zulu Energy Bodies  592 The Yoruba Chakra System  593 Yoruba Medicine: The Art of Divination  595 Obatala Orisha: First Chakra  597 Elegba Orisha: Second Chakra  597

xxvi


Contents Ogun Orisha: Third Chakra  597 Yemoja Orisha: Fourth Chakra  597 Oshun Orisha: Fifth Chakra  597 Shango Orisha: Sixth Chakra  597 Oya Orisha: Seventh Chakra  597

Chakra Systems of Old Europe  27 

599

Scandinavian Chakras: The Vikings Go Esoteric  600 The Creation of the World  601 Chakras and the Scandinavian World  602 Chakras on the World Tree  602

Celtic Chakras  603 Greek Chakras  604 Seventh Chakra: Crown  605 Sixth Chakra: Brain   606 Fifth Chakra: Neck  606 Fourth Chakra: Heart and Lungs  606 Third Chakra: Belly  606 Second Chakra: Gonads  606 First Chakra: Sacrum  607

The Greek Shoulders Upon Which We Stand  607 Traditions Related to Greek and Other Western Thought  608 Hesychasm: Chakras in Eastern Orthodox Christianity  611 Christian Chakras  612

The Middle East  28 

615

Zoroastrian Chakras: The Holy Immortals  617 Sufi Chakras: The Lata’f   622 The Chakric Lata’f within the Sufi World (in the Kubrawiyya Lineage)  622

The Naqshbandi Sufi Cosmology  625 The Practice of Sufism  626 xxvii


Contents

The Hriday Chakra: Moving Deeper into the Heart  628 The Jewish Kabbalah and Sephiroth  628 The Vital Energy Bodies: The Tree of the Sephiroth  629 The Ten Sephiroth  631 The Sephiroth and Other Esoteric Systems  635

Chakra Medicine in the Americas  29 

637

North American Chakra Medicine Concepts  638 Hopi Chakras  639 Prayer from Father Sun and Mother Earth   641

The Tsalagi (Cherokee) Energy System  641 The Earth Shells and Energy Bodies  642

The Sioux Nation: Energies of Spirit  643 The Iroquois: “The Mystic Potence”  643 Intertribal Centers of Higher Knowing   645 The Ten Eyes  646 The Five Ears  647

Mesoamerican Chakra Systems  647 Huichol Indians and the Light of the Gods  649 The Ancient Mayan Chakra System  651 Mayan Elements  653 The Mayan Factor of José Argüelles  654

South American Chakras: The Andean Chakra Systems  654 Atlantis and the American Continent  656 Basic Andean Shamanism  657 The Qollahuayas: Energies in the Mountains  658 Chumpi Incan Teachings: The World of the Qero  659

Incan Terms: The “Eyes” Have It  663 The Chumpi: Energy Belts  663 The Incan Pukios Model  665 xxviii


Contents First Pukio  666 Second Pukio  666 Third Pukio  667 Fourth Pukio  667 Fifth Pukio  668 Sixth Pukio  668 Seventh Pukio  668 Eighth Pukio  669 Ninth Pukio  669 Andean Chakras: The Nawis in the Feminine Quilagos Tradition   671

Part 8: Modern Western Chakra Systems  677 Early Western Mystics and Esoteric Orders  30 

681

A Profile of Paracelsus: A Mystical Light Bridging East and West  682 A Foundational Esoteric Order: The Rosicrucians  683 The Rosicrucian Cosmos  684 Chakras as Psychic Lamps  689

The Psychic Centers and the Garden of Eden  692 The Order of the Freemasons  693 The Early “Easterner”: Johann Georg Gichtel  695 Swedenborgianism: Representing the Spiritual World  698 Mesmerism: Of Hypnotherapy and Animal Magnetism  700 Homeopathy: Like Cures Like  700 The Od: Nature’s Unceasing Natural Force  700 The Golden Dawn  701 Manly Hall Integrates Chakras Across Time   701 Spiritism: Communicating with the Dead  702

xxix


Contents

The Theosophical Society  31 

705

An Early Theosophist: Helena Blavatsky  706 The “Soul” Theosophist: Alice Bailey  710 Bailey’s Energetic Universe  710 Bailey and the Chakras: Centers of Force  714

Charles Leadbeater: Theosophical Giant  719 Leadbeater’s Cosmos  721 Leadbeater’s Etheric Chakras  723 The Chakras and Prana: The Vitality Globule   727 Chakras and the Kundalini Force   728 Thoughts and Emotions: Forces in the Chakras and Mental and Astral Planes  729

Two Krishnamurtis Awaken  732

Chakras Come of Age in the West  32 

735

The Later “Easterner”: Sir Arthur Avalon  736 Education and Beyond: Rudolf Steiner  737 Steiner’s Theory of Our Threefold Nature   739 Steiner and the Chakras  740

The Association for Research and Enlightenment (A.R.E.) and the Sleeping Prophet  743 Chakra: First  744 Chakra: Second  744 Chakra: Third  745 Chakra: Fourth  745 Chakra: Fifth  746 Chakra: Sixth  746 Chakra: Seventh  746

xxx


Contents

The “Fourth Way”: The Subtle Anatomy Opens a New Path  748 Psychology Opens Its Doors: Carl Jung  748 The New Age: The Culminating Movement  750 Chakra Psychology: Christopher Hills  752 Putting It All Together: Anodea Judith  753 Spiritual Traditions Front and Center: Carolyn Myss  754 First Chakra  755 Second Chakra  755 Third Chakra  755 Fourth Chakra  756 Fifth Chakra  756 Sixth Chakra  756 Seventh Chakra   756

A NASA Scientist Describes Energy: Barbara Ann Brennan  758 Planes of Reality and the Auric Fields  758 Brennan’s Chakras  759

East Is West: Donna Eden and David Feinstein  762 Chakras Around the Body: My Own Twelve-Chakra System  764 Additional Points, Chakras, and the Spine  766

David Furlong: Adding an Earth Chakra  767 Katrina Raphaell: Transpersonal Chakras Make a Stand  768 The Subtranspersonal Chakras  768 The Hara Line  770 Hara Line Example 1: Transpersonal and Subpersonal Chakras  772 Hara Line Example 2: The Microcosmic Orbit Version   772

Chakra Changes Over Time  775

xxxi


Contents

Part 9: Chakras Et Cetera: Natural and Unusual Chakras  777 Chakras in Nature  33 

779

Chakras and the Earth’s Songlines  781 How Earth Grids Are Formed  782 How Earth Chakras Are Formed  783

Do Earth Chakras Signify That We Came From or Have Been Visited By the Stars?  784 What Do Earth Chakras Look Like?  789 The Effects of Earth Chakras   789 Earth Chakra Systems  791 Erickson’s Contemporary Earth System  791 Coon’s Earth Chakra System  792

Legends Linked to Earth Chakras  793 The Keys of Enoch: Chakras and the Egyptian Mysteries  795 Crop Circles and Other Metaphysical Earth Art: Images from the Stars or…?  796 Of Earth and Sky: Rudolf Steiner’s Astrogeographia System  799 Animal Chakras: The Energy of Our Earth Friends  801

New and Unusual Chakras and Chakra Systems  34  Unusual Chakras: A Sign of Times to Come?  806 New Chakras Broadcast in the Energetic Media  806

The Expanded Twelve-Chakra System  811 Spiritual Energy Points  812

xxxii

805


Contents

The Outer Bounds of the Twelve Chakras: The Energy Egg  813 Innermost Layer   813 Middle Layer   813 Outer Layer   813

Chakra Seals  814 The Back Sides of the Chakras  814 The Back Sides of the Seven In-Body Chakras  815 The Back Sides of the Five Out-of-Body Chakras  815

Amazing Energetic Bodies  816 The Silver Cord: Your Link to Life  816 The Vivaxis  818 The Soul Records  819

Emerging Systems of Kundalini  821 A Final Note: An Emerging Paradigm of Unified Energetics  822 Conclusion: Your “Great Perhaps”…825 Acknowledgments…827 Glossary…829 Endnotes…853 Index…975

xxxiii


EXERCI SES

The Two Vital Airs  31 A Grounding Tool for Muladhara   83 Special Muladhara Mudra Through “Knowing Your Nose”  87 Left Nostril Breathing to Activate Water and Moon  98 Increase the Flow of Prana to the Second Chakra   99 Meditating on Svadhisthana  100 Sounding the Universe Through Your Manipura  108 Firing Up Your Manipura  111 Pit Pose for Manipura Chakra  112 Mantra to Create Peace Instead of Fear  121 Wishing Upon the Celestial Tree  127 Resonating the Bija Ham 136 The Khechari Mudra: Opening to the Nectar of the Gods  137 The Five Steps for Grounding  201 Spirit-to-Spirit 202 Finding Chakras with a Pendulum  203 Establishing a Polarity Baseline Using Muscle Testing  204 Establishing Your Sending and Receiving Hands  205 Locating Chakras with Applied Kinesiology  207 Locating Chakras with Hands-On Interaction  208 Locating Chakras Intuitively  208 Testing for Chakra Spin with a Pendulum  217 xxxv


Exercises

Assessing with Applied Kinesiology  218 Assessing with Hands-On Interaction  218 Assessing with Intuition—Four Styles  219 Chakra Clearing with Hands-On Interaction  222 Chakra Clearing with Intuitive Meditation  224 Healing Chakra Blocks  224 Relieving Congestion in a Chakra  227 Charging a Chakra  227 Using a Light Wand  228 Aligning Another’s Chakras  229 Aligning Your Own Chakras  230 Working with Beliefs in Seven Steps  234 Ujjayi Pranayama  239 Bhramari Pranayama  239 Bhastrika Pranayama  239 Anulom Vilom (Alternate Nostril Breathing)  240 Udgeeth Pranayama  240 Sukhasana Pose  241 Padmasana Pose  243 Jnana and the Chin Mudras  244 Shambhavi Mudra  245 Ashvini Mudra  245 Navamukhi Mudra  246 Dhyani Mudra (also called Samadhi Mudra)  247 Vitarka Mudra  247 Dharmachakra Mudra  248 Bhumisparsha Mudra   248 Abhaya Mudra  249 xxxvi


Exercises

Varada Mudra  249 Uttarabodhi Mudra  250 Mudra of Supreme Wisdom  250 Anjali Mudra (also called Namaskara Mudra)  251 Vajrapradama Mudra   251 Karana Mudra  252 Activating the Eyes  253 Trataka 253 Mula Bandha  254 Uddiyana Bandha  255 Jalandhara Bandha  255 Maha Bandha  255 First Chakra Pose: Virabhadrasana I (Warrior I)  257 Second Chakra Pose: Parivrtta Trikonasana (Twisting Triangle Pose)  259 Third Chakra Pose: Ustrasana (Camel Pose)  261 Fourth Chakra Pose: Bhujangasana (Cobra Pose)  263 Fifth Chakra Pose: Dhanurasana (Bow Pose)  263 Sixth Chakra Pose: Adho Mukha Svanasana (Downward Facing Dog)  265 Seventh Chakra Pose: Savasana (Corpse Pose)  266 The Gayatri Mantra  269 Employing a Yantra  270 A Reiki Chakra Practice  275 Archetype Meditation  276 Lotus Meditation  281 Using Gemstones for Chakra Healing  284 A Guided Meditation to Visit the Heart of Brahman  324

xxxvii


Exercises

A Self-Assessment—Which Siddhis Have You Already Activated?  328 Becoming the Peace of the Ancient Texts  331 Breathing the Kriya Breath  507 Putting Marma Touch Therapy into Practice  518 Meditation on the Shakti Chakra  524 An Experience of Theravada Buddhism  531 Receiving a Tibetan Blessing  541 Meditating on the Vajra Body  544 Clearing Winds Exercise  554 Massaging Away Negative Emotions  567 Chakra Hand and Feet Reflexology   568 Simple Zazen: Being One with Your Breath  571 Strengthening Your Chakras  575 Quick Shiatsu Energy Boost   577 Clearing a Space with Crown Chakra Energy  580 Clearing Your Orishas  598 Entering the Fire Temple  621 Remembrance with the Sufis  627 In Times of Trouble  645 Listening with Your Five Ears  647 Cooling Off with the Kuna Indians  650 Experiencing the Nawis  661 Activating Your Own Chumpis  664 An Incan Chakra Harmony Rite  669 Walking This Good Earth: The Nawis of the Feet  674 Living as a Rosicrucian  690 Rosicrucian Meditation for Chakra Healing and Prayer  691 Healing Techniques Using the Rays  713 xxxviii


Exercises

Perceiving the Colors in the Astral Body  731 Steiner’s Advice for the Fifth Chakra  742 Meditating the Cayce Way  747 The Seven Catholic Sacraments  757 Strengthening Your Hara Line  774 Is There a Vortex in Your Area?  790 Creating Your Own Songline in Your Environment  799 Steiner’s Planetary Energy in Your Body  800 Disembodying the Pain Body  810 The Etheric Mirror: Seeing the Healing  810 The Book of Life: Transforming the Negative to Positive  820

xxxix


I L L U S TR A T I O N S

1—Chakras As Vortexes  10 2—The Location and Basic Functions of the In-Body Chakras  16 3—The Plumed Serpent and an Ouroboros  38 4—Kundalini and the Three Main Nadis (left) and the Energy Flow of Ida and Pingala (right)  40 5—The Three Main Granthis  42 6—The Five Koshas  44 7—The Greek Caduceus and Kundalini  49 8—The Endocrine System  56 9—The Seven Hindu Chakras  58 10—The Muladhara and Parts of the Spine  78 11—The Pancreas  106 12—The Celestial Tree Wishing Chakra  127 13—The Thyroid and Parathyroid  131 14—The Lalana Chakra  140 15—The Three Main Secondary Chakras of the Ajña  154 16—The Location of the Pineal Gland  162 17—Sukhasana 242 18—Padmasana 242 19—The Jnana and Chin Mudras  244 20—Navamukhi 246 21—Dhyani or Samadhi Mudra  247

xli


Illustrations

22—Vitarka Mudra  247 23—Dharmachakra Mudra  248 24—Bhumisparsha Mudra  248 25—Abhaya Mudra  249 26—Varada Mudra  249 27—Uttarabodhi Mudra  250 28—Mudra of Supreme Wisdom  250 29—Anjali or Namaskara Mudra  251 30—Vajrapradama Mudra  251 31—Karana Mudra  252 32—First Chakra Pose  256 33—Second Chakra Pose  258 34—Third Chakra Pose  260 35—Fourth Chakra Pose  262 36—Fifth Chakra Pose  262 37—Sixth Chakra Pose  264 38—Seventh Chakra Pose  264 39—The Seven Sacred Geometry Signs of the Chakras  272 40—Reiki Symbols  274 41—Vishnu and the Sudarshana Chakra  307 42—The Greek Omphalos  309 43—Nadis within the Sushumna  403 44—The Auric Fields  412 45—The Seven Rays  414 46—The External Energy Bodies  417 47—The Dantians  424 48—The Human Spine  430 49—Parts of the Brain  438 xlii


Illustrations

50—Close-Up of the Glands  440 51—The Electromagnetic Spectrum  443 52—Gap Junctions  457 53—The Torus, Zero-Point Insert, and the Chakra  460 54—Two-Sided Chakra (left) and the Heart’s Field (right)  461 55—The Rising of Charges  463 56­—Bodily Areas Where Emotions Appear in Kundalini Situations  478 57—A Thirteen-Chakra System  506 58—The Kshetram Points  508 59—The Kshetram and Chakra Points in the Brain  509 60—The Five Elemental Areas of the Body  512 61—The Five Koshas in the Body  513 62—The Marmani Related to the Chakras  514 63—The Kalachakra Six-Chakra System  552 64—The Four Taoist Forces  562 65—The Microcosmic Orbit  564 66—The Seven Chakra Points in the Hand  569 67—The Seven Chakra Points on the Foot  570 68—The Korean Dahnjons  572 69—Pranic Healing and the Eleven Major Chakras  578 70—The Kamitic Tree of Life  586 71—The Yoruba Cosmology  594 72—The Yoruba Chakra System  596 73—The “Chakra” Worlds of the Norse  601 74—The Zarathustrian Amesha Spentas  620 75—Physical Location of the Lataf ’a  624 76—The Sephiroth on the Tree of Life  630

xliii


Illustrations

77—The Chakras and the Kabbalah  633 78—The Taoist I Ching and the Kabbalistic Tree of Life  634 79—The Seven Stones of the Sioux  644 80—The Chumpi Energy Belts  662 81—The Hidden Thirteenth Nawi  672 82—The Nawis in the Feminine Quilagos Tradition  673 83—Leonardo da Vinci’s “Vitruvian Man”  685 84—The Rose Cross Lamen  686 85—The Rose Cross with Seven Roses  687 86—The Power of Ten  688 87—The Rose in the First Chakra Square  688 88­—Blavatsky’s Planes Within Planes  708 89—The Theosophical Constitution of the Human Being  720 90—The Shape and Structure of a Chakra  722 91—Leadbeater’s Chakra System  724 92—Brennan’s Planes of Reality and Auric Field Layers  760 93—Brennan’s View of the Chakras  761 94—The Twelve-Chakra System  765 95—Transpersonal Chakras  769 96—The Hara Line Chakras  771 97—The Antakarana Symbol  774 98—Crop Circles and Chakras  798 99—Animal Chakras  802

xliv


in t r o d u c t i o n

If the stars should appear one night in a thousand years, how would men believe and adore…

Ralph Waldo Emerson

I

often think of the chakras as stars that descended to earth and embedded in our human form. In some ways, the story of chakras is similar to that of the stars. As Emerson implies, their presence can be overlooked, ignored, or assumed simply because they are content to exist, seen or unseen, as surely as day follows night. But to explore the chakras is to investigate one of the truly great tales of the universe. I have spent years uncovering its many twists and turns, an array of stories enfolded within the larger tale. I wrote this book to present a compendium of these stories pulled together into a single source, a definitive storybook about chakras. Chakras are energy centers in our bodies that, when perceived by those of us who are blessed to be able to see them, look like wheels of light spinning in and around the body—stars in miniature. Chakras are also “subtle” structures, meaning that, in many ways, they operate under the radar of most people’s perception, on a psychic or spiritual level. But they are also intricately intertwined with our physical and emotional capacities. As key parts of a greater subtle energetic anatomy that you will learn about in this book, they have no less important a job to do than to manage all levels of our existence. Chakras have been studied by hundreds of cultures over thousands of years. These dynamic energy centers are linked with myriad aspects of our being, from the body’s electrical system—measurable to an extent with diagnostic and other medical devices—to subtler categories of vibration such as colors, sounds, and elements. I call this gigantic basket of chakra ideas—and especially the practices associated with them—“chakra medicine.” This term honors the traditional meaning of medicine: the sum total of all knowledge, skills, theories, and practices we can engage in to increase our well-being. Because chakras manage all aspects of life, they can be seen as the key to health, happiness, and prosperity. Chakras have been a subject of study by so many diverse peoples and for so long that writing a book about chakras could take forever—a never-ending account that starts in the early mists of time and slips over the horizon ahead. I have dedicated myself to putting two covers on this eternal story, to serve as markers; hence, I have aimed to make this book a comprehensive compilation of the knowledge of chakras and chakra medicine as it exists today, drawing from sources worldwide, beginning with the xlv


Introduction

ancients and adding information of my own that I have gained through extensive study and my energy healing practice. But never fear: we will unfold this massive tale in bite-sized pieces. The information I will share begins at a basic level and grows in complexity. It is, therefore, an invitation to learn the fundamentals of “all things chakras” and then go deeper, ever deeper. Eventually, through your own explorations, I hope that you will add your own chakra discoveries to our shared wisdom base. As you travel though this book, you’ll discover that I continually return to the theme I already introduced: that the chakras in our bodies can be compared to the stars in our galaxy. I enjoy this beautiful metaphor, but as you dive into the discussions of the nature of energy in later chapters, you will see that this connection is more than symbolic. Like our feelings about the stars, chakras operate at all levels, and most practitioners would agree that they are ultimately spiritual, pointing the way to our souls’ dreams. I’ll start by covering the most fundamental aspects of the chakras and how they perform; this will be the subject of chapters 1 through 15. I open part 1 with a question: what is a chakra? This entire book has been written to fully answer that question, but I will first answer it in basic terms. I’ll include a thumbnail sketch of the history of chakra-related ideas, spanning civilizations and eras, as well as a review of ancient Hindu ideas about energy, as the venerable Hindu system is one of the best known today. This information will help you set your discovery of chakras in a chronological context and reveal the mindset upon which all modern data has been built. Later in the book we’ll explore these Hindu roots in much greater depth. Next I’ll outline scientific thought about the nature of energy. After all, as I mentioned, chakras are essentially energy centers, so it is helpful to get a refresher on what we have learned about the physics of energy. Again, this will be a brief backgrounder that I will expand upon later in the book. As you’ll soon discover, chakras are powerful tools for spiritual transformation. While they do play physical and psychological roles in our lives, ultimately chakras encourage spiritual growth. To begin orienting you to this aspect, I’ll briefly describe an energetic force that awakens the chakras and paves the way toward enlightenment. This force is called kundalini energy. A thorough understanding of chakras requires many more and much deeper layers of understanding, including an exploration of the nature of the energy in our bodies; the psychological, intuitive, and physiological effects of the chakras; the imagery and symbolism people have associated with them; and both traditional and contemporary views of chakras’ aspects that include everything from spiritual icons to archetypes. We will begin this in-depth journey in part 2. Part 2 examines the most familiar chakra model: the Hindu system. We will travel through the seven in-body chakras in order, from the base of the spine to the top of the head. Our first

xlvi


Introduction

goal is to look at how they function in the most fundamental of ways: physically and psychologically. We also will begin to add the layers of knowledge needed for a fuller picture: Sanskrit names, purpose, color, associated gland, and the part of the body that each chakra manages. I’ll outline practical considerations, including related diseases and psychological functions, and move into more esoteric topics such as the gods and goddesses that reign within each bodily star. Symbols, archetypes, intuitive abilities, and explorations of secondary chakras, as well as other features, help round out our chakra profiles. We then turn the corner to engage in part 3, Fundamentals of Chakra Medicine. Here you will learn chakra medicine procedures and techniques. The first chapter in this part introduces the concept of chakra medicine: practices you can follow to work with chakras for greater health and well-being. You will learn various ways chakras can assist you, and I’ll provide a plethora of processes you can use to do everything from locating your chakras to clearing and balancing them. Practices are loosely organized into Western and Eastern approaches. Then it will be time to walk through the next doorway and into section 2, Chakras in Depth: Historical, Scientific, and Cross-Cultural Understandings. Up to this point, you will have spent your time with the book learning and enjoying all the basics of chakra methodology as if peering through a telescope into the great night sky. Section 2 is the equivalent of getting into a spaceship and actually flying to those stars, carrying precise equipment such as spiritual treatises, finely tuned microscopes, and geographic maps. You will embark upon a thorough review of the history of chakra concepts, examining Vedic, tantric, and yogic chakra legends stretching as far back as 12,000 bce. This history, which we’ll cover in part 4, will prepare you for part 5: The Science of Subtle Energy. Part 5 kicks off with a primer on physical and subtle energy that reviews relevant classical and quantum physics and all things scientific about the nature of energy. With a better understanding of the energetic scenery in which chakras grow, you will be ready to picture chakras within their larger familial structure: your entire energetic anatomy. To truly work with chakras, you must also place them within the physical body, which you will examine to better understand the chakras’ unique structure. Finally, you will devote your time to the scientific explanation of kundalini, the force that activates the chakras. Then it’s around the world you go, plunging into a deeply meaningful odyssey in parts 6 through 8. Chakras are not exclusively Hindu in origin; they have appeared in jungles, deserts, mountains, and seasides around the world and across time. In addition, they are the subject of modern academic, spiritual, and philosophical disciplines. Dozens of chakra systems are outlined and explained within the context of their spiritual and cultural surroundings. On this around-the-world tour, you will visit Asia, discover the ancient chakra systems of Africa, the Middle East, Europe, and the Americas, and investigate modern Western chakra systems.

xlvii


Introduction

Unique and contemporary chakra concepts and systems are the subject of part 9, Chakras Et Cetera: Natural and Unusual Chakras, coverage of the relationship between chakras and the earth, animals, and skies, as well as an analaysis of contemporary and emerging chakra systems. Does the earth itself have chakras? What about animals? This fascinating review is followed by a one-two-three of recent and unusual chakras that are just making their way into our common chakra medicine bag. As will become clear throughout your pilgrimage, chakras are nothing new—and they are always new; we never complete our chakra adventure. These points of light touch every aspect of our lives as embodied reflections of the starry sky we gaze upon when we count our blessings.

xlviii


S ec t i o n 1

C hakra F undamentals

and

B asic P ractices

There is room in the heart for all the affections, as there is room in heaven for all the stars.

Victor Hugo

O

ver the ages, chakras have been described in hundreds of ways. As you’ll discover, they have been depicted as chariot wheels, bodily plexuses, psychological gateways, energetic centers, spiritual powers, and more. At one level every assertion is true, and the seeker of truth about chakras will examine every bit of data available (which is why this book is so large). As an analogy, those who seek to understand the heavens look at everything in the sky. We can’t understand the complexity of the cosmos, however, unless we comprehend the basics. The same is true of chakras, which is why section 1 features fundamental chakra philosophies and practices. Part 1 starts with a bird’s-eye view of chakras, briefly touching on the definition, history, science, and functions of the chakras and their other energetic cohorts. Kundalini is also investigated, as this energetic sidekick makes sure that chakras and other energetic structures operate fully on every level, including physically, psychologically, and spiritually. Part 2 is highly detailed, extensively showcasing the Hindu chakra system. Often called the classic chakra system, this seven-chakra system is the most well known and, because of this, arguably the most fully developed. You can put your newfound knowledge to immediate use in part 3, which showcases chakra-based exercises and techniques. These chakra medicine practices are universal and will also help you benefit from the cross-cultural chakra systems covered in parts 6–8, found in section 2. Just as there is room in the heavens for all the stars, so is there room in the seeker’s mind for all the available knowledge that exists on chakras; but first, the groundwork.

1


P art 1

What Are Chakras? A Pocket Guide to Your Body’s Points of Light

Did you say the stars were worlds‌? Thomas Hardy

T

here are worlds within worlds, most of which we cannot perceive with our naked senses. Within our bodies there are cells, and within those cells are an array of component parts. Within each of these are molecules and a humming universe of atoms and subatomic particles. Yet of all the invisible worlds we can investigate and ponder, I find the energy bodies that lie within and around us the most exciting of all, for they are vibrant, like the stars in the sky, and they are part of us. They make us shine. They are vital to our health, happiness, and spiritual evolution. Many scientists and doctors understand the human body only as a conglomeration of tissues, organs, and cells. All of these are localized, meaning they exist where we expect to find them in a single identifiable place, and can be measured using current technology. There are aspects of us, however, that are not localized and that are composed of, lie within, or emanate fields of energy that are harder to measure or can’t be measured at all. This is subtle energy. The most magical of these cosmic forces is the chakra. With its story first told in ancient civilizations and its substantiation in modern science, the chakra is the most powerful energetic force

3


Part 1

within and around the body, useful for performing healing, attracting what we need, obtaining guidance, and expanding and elevating our consciousness.

Chakras: One of the Body’s Three Subtle Energy Systems A chakra is a metaphysical, or “more than physical,” subtle energy center. Subtle energy runs at vibrations outside and beyond those of the physical world. This means we cannot see, touch, hear, or otherwise perceive subtle energy through our physical senses. Nonetheless, subtle energy is all around us. It is the energy that pulses within solid ground and gives direction to our breath. It percolates our coffee, propels our thoughts, flaps the butterfly’s wings, and gives oomph to our emotions. All solid matter incorporates subtle energy, and some scientists believe solid matter is even formed by subtle energy. Compared to physical energy, subtle energy is more like air than clay. Like air, it is present everywhere. Like air, it is vital to our well-being. It is actually the fundamental force that makes life and living possible. And also like air, it follows a set of rules and principles and can be organized systematically. The chakras are one of three main systems that organize subtle energy for human use. These amazing energy bodies actually convert physical energy into subtle energy and vice versa, enabling us to reach into the realms of the subtle universe for support in living our best life. They accomplish this through interaction with the other two main subtle systems: the meridians/nadis and auric fields. The term meridian is typically used in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) to describe the channels in our bodies through which subtle energy flows, while nadi is an East Indian term for the components of a very similar system. Some people believe these channels are one and the same, while others think they are different. We will explore this disagreement in section 2. Auric fields are one of many sets of energy fields generated by the subtle body. Moving in a progression up the body, like the chakras, they look like bands of energy that start close to the body and move farther away; each level links to a chakra. They are similar to the electromagnetic fields generated by the physical body, yet they are a step up in vibration. All three structures interact, which is a topic for more in-depth discussion further along in the book. The important thing to know for now is that together these three main systems form our subtle energetic anatomy. Because the chakras cooperate with so many parts of us—including the subtle meridians/nadis and auric fields as well as body, mind, and soul—if we are to fully understand their beauty and power, we must explore all of these areas. And we will do so together in this book. All cultural systems are in agreement that we have more than one chakra: some identify only two chakras, while others catalogue dozens of them. Later in the book we will gain an overview

4


Part 1

of numerous chakra systems around the world and explore the various ways in which different cultures have perceived these pulsing and vibrant energy centers. But here, in part 1, we will concentrate on laying the groundwork for understanding all the systems and everything else about chakras there is to know. Part 1, then, is a pocket guide to chakras, designed to launch you on the exciting odyssey that awaits you. Chapter 1 provides a quick snapshot of the chakras and investigates the differences between physical, subtle, and other types of energies. These “big picture” discussions will form the basis of your ultimate understanding of the exquisite intricacies of the chakra system. Also in chapter 1, I’ll outline the similar ingredients and qualities the seven main chakras share that most cultures agree upon: the fact that each regulates vital physical, psychological, and spiritual concerns. But, as you will learn, they do much, much more than this. They also assist us with fully embracing our physical needs while attaining the wisdom necessary to become enlightened beings, filled with unlimited understanding and love. Chapter 1 will also briefly investigate the history and science of the chakras, including some of the Hindu beliefs that have built our chakra knowledge. I will also describe some of the attributes often affiliated with the chakras, including matters about the structure and spin of this swirling organ of light. My goal is to prepare you for part 2 and a deep dive into the seven in-body Hindu chakras. Chapter 2 explores the mysterious world of kundalini, one of the many types of subtle energies that enable us to fully activate and make use of the chakras’ powers. This chapter draws heavily from the ancient Hindu understanding of chakras and how they operate, and our discussion will be fairly basic. But there is much more to learn about kundalini energy, and we will return to it in section 2, updating our understanding with the views of esoteric explorers and scientists. Altogether, my aim in this section of the book is to establish a framework of understanding that the rest of the book will fill in, giving you a high-level introduction to the truly mysterious worlds within worlds that are your chakras. Now let us begin.

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Llewellyn's Complete Book of Chakras