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 Llewellyn’s Little Book of

c ha k r a s

Katie Cannon Photography


yndi Dale is an internationally renowned author, speaker, healer, and business consultant. She is president of Life Systems Services, through which she has conducted over 35,000 client sessions and presented training classes throughout Europe, Asia, and the Americas. Visit her online at

 Llewellyn’s Little Book of

Chakras cyndi dale

Llewellyn Publications wo odb u r y, m i n n e s o t a

Llewellyn’s Little Book of Chakras © 2017 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, 2017 Book design by Rebecca Zins Cover cartouche by Freepik Cover design by Lisa Novak Interior illustrations © Mary Ann Zapalac Llewellyn Publications is a registered trademark of Llewellyn Worldwide Ltd. Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data is pending. ISBN 978-0-7387-5155-9

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. The information in this book is not meant to diagnose, treat, prescribe, or substitute consultation with a licensed healthcare professional.


Llewellyn Publications A Division of Llewellyn Worldwide Ltd. 2143 Wooddale Drive Woodbury, MN 55125-2989 Printed in China


List of Exercises  vi List of Tips  vii List of Illustrations  viii Introduction 1

Part 1: Understanding Chakras • 11 1: What Is a Chakra?  15 2: Chakra Constellations  45 3: The Seven Classical Hindu Chakras  77

Part 2: Practical Practices for Chakra Magic • 115 4: Working with Your Chakras  121 5: Assessing Your Chakras  139 6: Clearing and Healing  157 7: Stress Relief  179 8: Getting Sleep  197 9: Protection  207 10: Manifesting  213 11: Receiving Spiritual Guidance  219

Conclusion 231 Bibliography 232

Exercises 1: Locating a Chakra with a Pendulum...............................................129 2: Transferring a Chakra to the Palm..................................................131 3: Locating a Chakra with Your Hands..............................................132 4: Discerning Between Your Receiving and Sending Hands..............134 5: Locating a Chakra Intuitively........................................................135 6: Using a Pendulum to Determine Receiving and Sending Spins.... 140 7: Using a Pendulum to Assess a Chakra’s Spins................................141 8: Using Your Hands to Assess a Chakra..........................................143 9: Using the Intuitive Gifts to Assess a Chakra................................153 10: Using Your Hands to Clear a Chakra..........................................158 11: Using Your Hands to Perform Chakra Healing.............................162 12: Using Your Intuition to Heal a Causal Issue ................................. 167 13: Special Healing Focus: Pain Relief Through Your Hands.............. 174 14: Releasing Pain Through the Koshas............................................. 177 15: Chakra Breathing for Stress Relief............................................. 180 16: Coloring Your Chakras................................................................182 17: Sounding Through the Chakras....................................................184 18: Psychological Stress Relief Through Archetypes.........................188 19: Chakra Gemstone Therapy for Physical Tension......................... 190 20: Heart-Based Chakra Sleep.......................................................202


21: Golden Beam Protection.......................................................... 208 22: Manifesting Through Chakra Specialties.....................................215 23: Physical Intuitives—Opening to Omens.....................................221 24: Spiritual Intuitives—Attuning to Love........................................223 25: Verbal Intuitives—Writing Revelations.......................................224 26: Visual Intuitives—Seeing a Sight................................................226 27: Mystical Intuitives—Calling On All Angels.................................228

Tips 1: Double-Checking with a Pendulum...............................................149 2: Clearing a Chakra on Your Palm...................................................161 3: Hands-On with Chakra Subdivisions............................................166 4: Pendulum-Checking a Causal Issue............................................ 172 5: Chakras and Child Development.................................................. 173 6: Sounding with the Elemental Color.............................................. 187 7: Adding Essential Oils to Any Chakra Process...............................194 8: Aromatic Soothing..................................................................... 206 9: Magnifying Your Manifesting with Gemstones..............................218 10: Obtaining a Mystical Message for Another............................... 230


Illustrations 1: The seven in-body chakras................................................................9 2: The chakra vortices........................................................................ 26 3: The vibrational bands of the chakras.............................................. 28 4: A chakra’s two wheels.................................................................... 54 5: The three main nadis and the kundalini........................................... 68 6: The seven auric fields......................................................................73


 Introduction

Chakras as Prisms of Light


hen I was a child, I saw colors. Of course, every child sees colors—noteworthy are the redness of an apple and the green of leaves. The moon is white, the sun is yellow, and everyone’s favorite jeans are denim blue. I saw colors, however, that others didn’t notice. I knew my mother was in a good mood when a pink haze surrounded her. My dad was happy when yellow flowed from his stomach area. When my parents were getting along, their hearts emanated green. When they were mad at each other, I hid in my room. The jagged red 1

lightning bolts flashing between them spoke of trouble ahead. As I grew older, I was surprised to discover that others didn’t perceive the world with the same Crayola distinctions. I learned to ignore my oddball perceptions, although they never disappeared. Still, I always wondered about the source of these whirling and twirling movements of tints and hues, as well as the sounds, senses, and information that frequently accompanied them. These, too, were not obvious to others. How come certain parts of my body seemed to hum in specific tones? Why did my hands heat up when another person was sick? Why did I usually dream about my grandfather the day before he called? These anomalies weren’t addressed in school; neither were they discussed in church. My family was Norwegian Lutheran. There wasn’t a lot of thinking—or coloring—outside the lines. I didn’t learn about the origin of these extrasensory prisms of light, sound, and information until I was in my twenties and took my first class in energy healing. My world changed when the teacher explained chakras. The word chakra is Sanskrit for “wheel” or “disk.” In this most ancient of languages, the term is spelled cakra. My teacher explained how chakras have been a mainstream int rod uc t ion


phenomenon in a variety of cultures. Her list included the Mayan, Aztec, Hopi, Cherokee, Celtic, Egyptian, Zulu, Sufi, Tibetan, Chinese, and—as we’ll concentrate on in this book—the Hindu culture. Every one of these cultures postulated the existence of subtle energy organs, also called centers or bodies. “Subtle” signifies the ability to operate beyond, but also through, physicality, and that was the chakras’ job: to manage all things physical, psychological, and spiritual. My first teacher taught the Hindu classical chakra system, which is composed of seven in-body centers, each spatially anchored in the spine and related to an endocrine gland. A unique energy called kundalini activates these centers, flushing hidden issues, emotions, and problems, but also awakening spiritual powers, thereby setting off a cascade of profoundly transformational events. Although body based, my teacher pointed out that every one of these chakras is also interdimensional. The vortex shape of a chakra enables it to link to various planes of reality. What enables the uniqueness of a chakra is the fact that each functions on a different vibrating band of frequency. And here is where my eureka moment occurred: the teacher said that each band of frequencies—or chakra— int rod uc t ion


can be related to a tone, element, shape, or other quality, including a color. A color! Now I knew why my parents’ hearts glowed green when they bonded. Green is the color of the fourth chakra, which is based in the heart and relates to love. It made sense that their angry exchanges would spike as red. The first chakra is on the vibrational spectrum equated with red and represents passion, security, and emotions, including rage. The extrasensory colors I’d always seen, as well as the accompanying sensations or insights, hadn’t been gratuitous; they were related to the chakras. By the time I had completed my first class, I had fallen in love with chakras. Chakras described me to myself, but they also illuminated reality. Not only do chakras illustrate a human being (and every other living soul, for that matter), but they also showcase the innate divinity we collectively long to realize. Since my first introduction to these amazing subtle bodies, I’ve excitedly continued my study of and experimentation with chakras and related concepts while traveling in Asia, Northern Africa, Europe, and in the North, South, and Central Americas. I’ve nose-dived into ancient teachings, cross-cultural scriptures, and even science manuals and studies, constantly seeking to further int rod uc t ion


explain these prisms of life to myself and to others. I’ve used the knowledge and concepts I’ve gathered over the decades to help nearly 60,000 clients better their lives. Maybe you can imagine how thrilled I am to author this book about chakras, which is part of Llewellyn’s series of little books exploring the marvels and mysteries of our world. I’ve experienced firsthand the incredible power of these energy bodies, and I want you to experience the same. Personally, I consciously interact with my chakras every day. As a busy mom, dog owner, businessperson, teacher, and author, they supercharge me to get everything done and enjoy my life at the same time. I completely rely on the inspiration I receive through these subtle organs and employ the techniques in the latter part of this book to keep myself healthy and happy, as well as cope with stress. Through my work as an intuitive and an energy healer, I employ chakra knowledge to help people accomplish the following: • excavate the potential causes of life’s puzzles and predicaments

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• bolster healing and recovery from illness, psychological wounds, problematic patterns, and other physical and mental challenges • free repressed emotions • express current feelings effortlessly and productively • transform work into a joyful vocation • solve financial and career difficulties • soothe the heart and create more loving relationships • attain a more constant state of peace and well-being • attune to spiritual guidance And guess what? All the benefits on the above list— and more—are available to you, too. In short, chakra wisdom can help you live the dream, not only dream a dream. Toward this end, I invite you on a magical mystery tour of all things chakra, beginning with part 1. These chapters are fashioned to help you answer the basic question of what a chakra is. From such a simple beginning, you’ll experience profound complexities because chakras are multifaceted. This is why it’s so important to underint rod uc t ion


stand their basic functions, structure, history, science, and typology, the main areas addressed in part 1. In the first chapter you’ll learn that chakras are subtle energy organs that affect all levels of your being: physically, psychologically, and spiritually.You’ll see why these spinning wheels of energy, which look like vortices, are the key to living at your highest potential. An explanation of energy is emphasized here, as chakras are fundamentally energetic organs. Because chakras are composed of subtle or immeasurable rather than physical or measurable energy, they are extrasensory organs. Subtle energy actually underlies all of physical reality, acting like a trellis upon which physical energies organize. If you alter subtle energies, you shift physical reality. This means that maneuvering through your chakras enables you to direct and guide your everyday life. In the initial chapter you’ll also be briefly introduced to the basic seven in-body chakras that constitute the classical Hindu chakra system (see figure 1). In the second chapter you’ll learn about the structure of an individual chakra as well as examine chakras within the context of their “family system,” a three-part subtle energy family also composed of subtle energy channels and fields.You’ll int rod uc t ion


also meet the infamous kundalini, the divine spark that activates transformation through chakra interaction. In chapter 3 the broad-stroke introduction to the chakras will be expanded into a detailed rendering that will impart details about each center, including information about each chakra’s Hindu name, location, color, sound, planetary connection, archetype, and more, as well as its physical, psychological, and spiritual effects. And now, chakra aficionados, roll up your sleeves! Part 2 is hands-on. Within these chapters are multiple techniques to help you benefit from chakra interaction. In chapter 4 you’ll be introduced to basic chakra principles and learn how to locate your chakras. Chapter 5 specializes in exercises for assessing your chakras, and chapter 6 shows you how to clear and heal through the chakras. Chapter 7 is devoted to helping you effectively reduce stress with chakra management. And what better way to reduce stress than to sleep? Achieving this prized commodity is the subject of chapter 8. Of course, we can’t eliminate all of life’s stressors or events; we aren’t in control of the rest of the world, only ourselves. As you’ll discover in chapter 9, chakra management is one of the best ways to create boundaries. int rod uc t ion



seventh chakra (white)


sixth chakra (purple)


fifth chakra (blue)


fourth chakra (green)


third chakra (yellow)


second chakra (orange)


first chakra (red)

Figure 1: The seven in-body chakras int rod uc t ion


Without subtle boundaries, it’s all too easy to lose your energy to others or carry their feelings, senses, or even illnesses within yourself. Now for the other side of the coin: manifestation. Simplistically, healing involves releasing unnecessary or harmful energies, and manifesting involves attracting desirable or helpful energies. In chapter 10 you’ll be shown how to employ your chakras to attract what you need. And finally, in chapter 11, you’ll be guided into one of the most beautiful gifts afforded a chakra devotee: that of receiving spiritual insight. Are you ready for the journey? It has been readied for you. As you learn about the prisms of joy called your chakras, know that the higher aim is to learn about yourself. By turning on more of your own inner light, you will be brightening the entire world.

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 Part One

understanding chakras

Wheel After Wheel

You don’t have to reinvent the wheel every day.

chuck close


hink of how much energy you spend setting goals and working toward them. Of course, it takes perseverance to reach a dream—as well as a little bit of luck, some would add. Little do most of us know that prisms of energy innate within us can ease our struggles and quicken our gains. These prisms are the chakras, defined as subtle organs of energy. Subtle doesn’t imply weak; in fact, subtle energies direct and even transform physical energies. You’ll discover that chakras, which look like swirling vortices of light or wheels, are perfectly designed to help you better steer your life. Part 2 showcases techniques that will enable you to operate these “steering wheels” more consciously. Your success in these endeavors, however, depends on understanding what chakras are, how they function, and what they do. The chapters in part 1 are designed to help you gather this knowledge.


In the first two chapters of part 1 you’ll learn about the basic functions and structure of your chakras and their “kissing kin,” the other subtle systems with which they interrelate. You’ll discover that chakras manage physical, psychological, and spiritual concerns and can also be understood scientifically. You’ll also be thoroughly acquainted with the classical Hindu system, which features seven in-body chakras (see figure 1). It is knowledge of these seven chakras that will enable the transformation detailed in part 2. By the time you are ready to interact with these splendid prisms of light, you’ll have fully realized that you don’t have to reinvent your life to meet each and every goal. The chakric steering wheels—and that special dash of good fortune—have been available to you all along.

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Chapter One

What is a chakra?


ur ancestors continually examined the human body, seeking to understand the mysteries of life. Imagine their surprise at perceiving swirling wheels of light and energy emanating from the spine’s front and back sides. The same spirals were apparent in the flow of water and air and also within storms of dust and lightning. Similar motions defined the curve of a conch and the undulation of the stars. They concluded that these vortices must convey something ineffable, dynamic, and immortal to the human family—and they were right. 15

When you look in the mirror, you don’t see vortices. Your high school biology book sure left them out, and you don’t have to leave your coat unbuttoned because emanating funnels get in the way. They are there, however; thank goodness! The vortices in your body are called chakras, and in this chapter you’ll learn what they are, how they work, and why it’s important to understand them.You’ll also be introduced to the most popular rendering of the chakra system, the seven in-body chakras featured in the classical Hindu system. It is these in-body chakras that guarantee your ability to function like the vibrant and interdimensional being that you are. As you delve into the mystique of these invisible but very real bodies of energy, know that you are actually learning more about your own body, mind, and soul, for it’s in the chakras that these three aspects of yourself are unified.


Your Subtle Energy Organs Often what appears in nature is mirrored in the body. The vortices you see in the draining bathtub, the wild river, and the whirling leaves also exist in your body. These

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chakras are subtle energy bodies that manage all parts of your life. At a primal level, chakras are very similar to your physical organs. Like your liver or heart, each chakric organ has a home and a special job. Like your physical organs, chakras interrelate with each other, assuring optimum health. As with your physical organs, if a single chakra is compromised, the entire system can plummet downhill. But unlike your liver or heart, a chakra is a full-service station, able to perform psychological and spiritual duties in addition to physical ones. For instance, if you have hepatitis C (a chronic liver infection), a physically oriented doctor would probably provide prescription medications. A chakra-based approach might also help you figure out the emotional issues affecting the infection, enable a beneficial healing attitude, bolster the positive effects of the medical treatment (and maybe even minimize the side effects), and connect you to spiritual guidance for support. A chakra can do all this because it’s composed of subtle rather than physical energy. Everything is made of energy. Energy is simply information that vibrates and moves. However, there are two c hap ter one


basic divisions of energy. There are physical and subtle energies, defined as measurable and immeasurable, respectively. The differences between these explain the distinction between your bodily organs and your chakras. And because your chakras are subtle organs, not physical, they are able to accomplish all of the following goals: • serve a part of your body, including a nerve plexus and/or an endocrine gland • regulate physical elements, creating healthy interactions with the natural world • determine your susceptibility to, immunity toward, and recovery from a variety of diseases, illnesses, addictions, allergies, traumas, and more • manage emotional and mental issues • create psychological constructs to encourage success in work and relationships • run psychic or intuitive abilities • receive messages from the world and interpret them • share messages with the world, affecting how others will respond c hap ter one


• store memories to retrieve when needed • nurture a special part of your spiritual identity These Herculean feats are possible because subtle energy underlies, affects, transforms, and can eventually turn into physical energy. We’ll take a look at this special relationship between subtle and physical energies later in this chapter. That information will mean more to you, however, if you’ve already met your basic chakras and become acquainted with their incredible powers. While meeting them, remember they’ve already met you. In fact, they’ve been helping you create yourself for a very long time.

Your Seven In-Body Chakras

A Framework for Your Body, Mind, and Soul Most Westerners are acquainted with the seven in-body chakras that are referred to as the orthodox or classical Hindu model. In general, the classical Hindu view is that the chakras enable release from bodily anchors and oneness with God or the Divine, called Brahma in Hindu. In other words, chakras elevate us away from physical reality and into a more heavenly one.

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There are actually many chakra systems. Some number dozens of chakras; others note only a handful. Additional systems categorize chakras as in-body and outside of the body, as well as major and minor. One of the reasons for the popularity of the classical Hindu model is that our most well-known source of chakra knowledge is the Vedic texts, the most revered scripture of Hinduism. In fact, the appearance of the word chakra was in the Vedic texts, the oldest scriptures in the world. The four original Vedic canons emerged in the Indus Valley, an inhabited floodplain around the Indus River. This area is currently located in part of Afghanistan, Pakistan, and northwestern India. These texts contain information at least 8,000 years old and have stimulated hundreds of related writings that became the backbone of the East Indian universe—and much of our chakra knowledge. Vedic and non-Vedic scriptures also spawned views of the chakras related to tantra (a set of philosophies and practices that lead toward enlightenment) and yoga (practices that include breath control, meditation, and the use of bodily postures). Ironically, considering the modern views of chakras as spiritual bodies, the word cakra first alluded to a cart c hap ter one


rim, the wheels of a chariot, a disk, and a process for irrigation through an iron wheel; it also served as a symbol of dynamism (Encyclopaedia Britannica). Through subsequent literature, chakras began to take form and finally emerged as subtle bodies sparkling like royalty within the complex subtle energetic anatomy described in the next chapter. Along the way, chakras became a mainstay in a broad array of religions, including Buddhism, Sikhism, and Taoism, and they have been incorporated in thousands of health and spirituality methodologies, including yoga, qigong, tai chi, meditation, martial arts, and more. Many of these approaches, however different, incorporate the basic seven chakras (or a version of them), as they are the most accessible and commanding. Also called centers, points, bodies, and nodes, each of the seven in-body chakras serves the three main aspects of your being. Most of us realize that we have—or are—a body, mind, and soul. The body is your physical self.Your mind is the expression of feelings and thoughts, which create emotions and beliefs. And your soul is a timeless aspect of you that seeks to understand the self, reality, and the Divine through experiences. Chakras manage functions for each of these three parts of you in the following ways: c hap ter one


physically (serving the body): Spatially, each of the seven in-body chakras anchors in a nerve plexus, a branch made of interconnecting nerves and blood vessels; connects to an endocrine gland, which makes hormones; and regulates an area of the body. This means each chakra is responsible for a certain set of physical conditions.

psychologically (serving the mind): Every chakra manages distinct feelings and thoughts. Together, these form the basis of emotions and beliefs. Some emotions and beliefs are positive, motivating us toward goodness and success. Others are destructive or neutral at best. The latter trap us in psychological constructs that are repressive, depressive, or anxiety producing. Chakras can formulate either type of construct, which, in turn, affects our attitudes, activities, and relationships.

spiritually (serving the soul): Each chakra supports our spiritual well-being and our way of expressing our divinity in the world. As part of this effort, various psychic or intuitive gifts are linked to each chakra. These enable us to receive c hap ter one


guidance, mature our consciousness, and share the light that we truly are. How might these chakra functions intertwine? I’d like to provide an example from my own life. A few years ago I was a single mother with three children and five animals. There was no way I could work and also walk dogs, weed the garden, and cook the variety of meals required by kids of differing ages and taste buds. I decided to do some chakra work. As you’ll discover, each of the seven in-body chakras manages a different set of concerns. Since I needed real live people on my team, I focused my desire on my fourth chakra, which manages relationships. I then went to bed and meditated on my heart area, the location of this chakra, until I fell asleep. You’ll learn a variety of techniques in part 2 that will aid you in concentrating on a selected chakra. I had a dream in which an angel appeared and pointed to my heart. I saw an armoring around it. Instantly I knew that I was blocking my heart from accepting assistance. I also knew the reason. My dad had grown up in the Depression and had lectured my sisters and me over and over again. c hap ter one


“Always refuse handouts,” he had insisted. “If you can do something yourself, you should.” As a child, my father had been embarrassed when his family accepted welfare to make ends meet. Apparently this message had psychologically blocked my relationship chakra, making me feel shameful if I accepted help. Well, I was done with that perception. In the dream I asked the angel to remove this strident and very unhelpful shielding. The next day a friend called me. I had told her how overwhelmed I was in previous conversations, and at her yoga class she had asked if any of the group members needed extra work. Four individuals offered to help me out at extremely low hourly rates. By the following day I had a “staff ” busily at work. My story shows how interacting with a chakra can support our everyday lives. All three chakra roles are apparent in it. Physically, real live people showed up to assist me. Psychologically, my chakra interface cleared up an unhelpful belief. Spiritually, an angel brought guidance. How can chakras affect these three life areas simultaneously? Let’s take a look.

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Chakras as Multi-Performing Vortices Chakras can meet such diverse needs because, as I’ve been sharing, they really do look like vortices and operate like wheels. They are eddies of light and sound, a convergence space for your body, mind, and soul. In fact, the easiest way to relate to your chakras is to picture these vortices (shown on figure 2). The bottom six chakras emanate from both sides of the body. At the top of the head, a single whirlpool flows from the seventh (crown) chakra toward the heavens. (Even though only one funnel is pictured, it’s generally understood that there is still a functional back side to this chakra, which fulfills the back-side chakra tasks explained in chapter 2.) No matter how complicated the exploration of the chakras gets, we always return to their spiraling dance that defines their infinite effects. As the chakric vortices circle gracefully, they broaden in circumference, linking the physical world with far more ethereal planes of existence. Simultaneously, these rotations connect all aspects of you—body, mind, and soul—to these realms, continually revolving either clockwise, counterclockwise, or even both ways at the same time.

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7 6


5 5 4



3 2

2 1


Figure 2: The chakra vortices c hap ter one


If you were to press the “stop” button on your chakra remote, stilling the action, you would perceive images of tapering lotus flowers. This is the reason that so many pictures of the chakras display them as lotuses. A different number of petals emanate from each of the seven chakras, indicating diverse spins and frequencies, and therefore expressing functions and qualities unique to each chakra. Most important, however, the reach of these rotating twisters hints at the full impact of the chakras on your life. Guess what happens as these spirals stretch from a single point in your body to the farthest reaches of the skies? They invite you to expand with them, from the roots of your bodily self to the highest of spiritual heights. Yet another reason for the broad effects of the chakras is that each operates on and emanates its own band of vibrational frequencies. Every band of energy exists on both physical and subtle realms, and links these two. An individual chakra interacts with all the energies that match the frequencies on its band. The source of the external energy doesn’t matter. It could originate in a person, an animal, or a book. It’s simply about matching energies.

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> >> > > > >

> >

> > > > >



white (violet)


purple (indigo)











Figure 3: The vibrational bands of the chakras c hap ter one


>> > > > > > > >> >

> >

These bands of energy can be pictured as running horizontally across the body; you can see them on figure 3. As you examine the image, pay special attention to the arrows in the cutout. These arrows reflect how energies that match the chakra’s vibrations enter the chakra and physical body and pass through them. A chakra adds its own matching energy in the process. These horizontal waves are described in many ways. Each can be understood as a color, sound, shape, and archetype, among other symbols; each is also connected to a nerve plexus, endocrine gland, planet, god, goddess, intuitive gift, and more. As has already been stated, each chakra also oversees a set of physical, psychological, and spiritual functions. As well, the meaning or purpose of each chakra can be summarized with a specific word. For instance, no matter what it’s doing, the first chakra is constantly affecting your physical self. Physicality is therefore a good word to encapsulate the overall purpose of that chakra. You’ll be shown the specifics related to each chakra in chapter 3, including the Hindu names. For now, you can refer to the following description of the chakras as they are explained by their numerical order: c hap ter one



lo c at i o n










emotionalit y


solar plexus


m e n ta l i t y








c o m m u n i c at i o n






top of the head


spiritualit y

You’ll notice that the colors begin with red and stretch toward white. The in-between colors shimmer like escapees from the crayon box: orange, yellow, green, blue, and purple. Each of these colors reflects the horizontal band of color situated on and expressed from its related chakra. There are other chakra systems, however, which share differing colors. In a differing yet equally popular alternate system, the sixth chakra is indigo, which is a deep, dark blue, and the seventh chakra is purple or violet. In many cultures c hap ter one


blue is associated with spirituality; indigo and purple/ violet are extensions of blue, therefore expressions of spirituality. In particular, indigo is a sign of clairvoyance, the ability to perceive intuitive images. The sixth chakra is frequently considered the house of clairvoyance. Purple indicates royalty and ceremony and reflects the most advanced extension of spirituality; therefore, it makes sense to assign this respected color to the seventh or crown chakra (Hamilton-Parker, “The Aura”). I prefer using the red-through-white system for two reasons. One reason is that the most prevalent source of Western chakra knowledge is based on the work of John Woodroffe. Writing under the pen name Sir Arthur Avalon, Woodroffe’s book The Serpent Power was published in the West in 1919 and became the go-to manual for most future chakra explorations. Included in his analysis were the connections between the chakras and nerve plexuses and the most frequently relayed chakra duties. Woodroffe assigned white to the seventh chakra. It makes sense that white would cap the chakra system, for the crown chakra represents purity and all good things. As well, he interpreted Laya yoga scripture to describe the first chakra’s petals as crimson red, considering it the contrast to white. Along with other chakra experts, c hap ter one


I have interpreted the in-between colors as graduating between red and white; some of his other chakra color assignments relate to the system I’m presenting, and some do not (Avalon 103–180, 317–479). My main rationale for a red-to-white system, however, is that from a scientific perspective this kaleidoscope is revealed through the research briefly mentioned on page 34’s section “The True Nature of Physical and Subtle Energies.” This research, describing the electromagnetic activity of the chakras, discovered the chakras were, in order, red, orange, yellow, green, blue, purple/violet, and white. Of course, perceptions literally color reality. Our thoughts and feelings determine what we see. Most of the time I find that people are loyal to the chakra coloration that they were first introduced to. I suggest that you select the color scale that you best identify with. As the complication of this discussion alone shows, operating through your chakras—whether to perform healing, draw attention to a desire, or gain insight—is an extraordinary process. Let me give you an example of why it’s worth learning about all things chakra via one of the most vital applications of chakra knowledge, which is to perform healing. c hap ter one


A Healing Story

A Shift in Body, Mind, and Soul I once worked with a woman (“Janie”) who struggled with recurring bouts of irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). IBS is a common condition that affects the large intestine. Symptoms include cramping, bloating, gas, diarrhea, and constipation. The medical community isn’t exactly clear about what causes IBS, although it’s been linked to emotional stress, lifestyle and dietary issues, hormones, nervous system sensitivity, and other factors. Janie had seen numerous alternative and allopathic professionals before she walked into my office. She was on a restricted diet and taking medication, but every couple of weeks she underwent a bout of pain and diarrhea. I decided to focus on the chakra related to the abdomen, the second chakra, which relates to emotionality. Janie and I worked together four times. Every session we focused on a sticking point in her emotional history. I would guide Janie into her abdominal center and simply ask her to relay the memory that arose. Our quest was to discover situations related to IBS. Through this process, Janie uncovered several unresolved memories, all of which were creating emotional stress and negative thoughts. As we unknotted the beliefs c hap ter one


that were causing her angst, her colon health improved. Though she remained on her medication and restricted diet after working with me, her symptoms improved significantly. She began to experience less drastic symptoms, and even then it was every two to three months instead of every two weeks. She was thrilled. Sometimes chakra work is miraculous and other times it simply leads to improvements, such as those experienced by Janie. At the very least, though, it invites clarification of our needs and issues and bolsters our ability to make effective decisions. For me, Janie’s story illuminates the simple beauty—and the formidable impact— of chakra interactions. The techniques in part 2 are all designed to usher you into the powerful and poetic world of the chakras and receive gains for yourself. What makes chakras so influential? To understand, we must return to our discussion about energy.

The True Nature of Physical and Subtle Energies Chakras are experts at energy, no doubt about it. To really appreciate their specialty, it’s imperative to gain a better understanding of the differences between physical and subtle energies, as well as their similarities. c hap ter one


Physical energies are measurable. These are the energies that most of us relate to because we’ve been taught that reality is only physical. It’s certainly easier to point to and prove the concrete nature of this world. There aren’t a lot of guessing games with physical things, which we mainly comprehend through our senses of hearing, seeing, tasting, touching, and smelling. What we see (or hear or sense) is what we get. A one-pound stick of butter weighs one pound. A mosquito will sound—and sting— like a mosquito. Besides being measurable, physical information is also highly predictable, which means that when we act, we have a pretty good sense of what will occur. If you follow the instructions on a cake mix, you’ll end up with a cake. This level of certainty is possible because physical objects obey the traffic cops of the universe. These “police” are actually the classical laws of physics. They are the groundwork for classical mechanics and describe the way a body (or object) interacts with forces. In general, these laws explain how chakras, although we can’t see them, affect our physical and psychological well-being, which they can do because they are psychophysiological and also function as machines of light and sound. c hap ter one


The term psychophysiological is a blend of two concepts. Psych represents psychology, related to emotions and beliefs, and physiological represents bodily functions. Physically, emotions are created from electricity and chemicals through a complicated dance featuring the nervous system and endocrine glands. Dr. Candace Pert, a renowned scientist and expert on the mind-body phenomenon, discovered that the cellular receptors for the nerves processing emotions are clustered at chakra points—yes, almost exactly at the location of the in-body chakras—proving our point of chakras as bodies that are both psychological and physical (Pert 245). But they are also more than this. Chakras are also organs of light and sound. Regarding the former, it’s important to understand that from a mechanical point of view, every cell in our body radiates electrical charge or electrical fields. Electricity creates magnetic fields. The two together form electromagnetic fields (EMFs), which is also called light. Research from the 1970s revealed that each chakra functions within a band of EMFs or colored light at frequencies imperceptible to the human eye. The colors that emanated from each of the chakras were those associated with the classical Hindu system, from red to white (Hunt et al). Because c hap ter one


they are made of color, we can use color to interact with our chakras, which you’ll learn how to do in part 2. As sonic or sound machines, chakras also reflect the truth that every part of our body hums. Yes, your liver emanates a distinct sound, as does each cell in your body. This orchestration occurs because vibration creates sound. Everything vibrates; therefore, everything makes sound. As you’ll discover in chapter 3, our Hindu maestros attuned every chakra to a tone, called a seed syllable or bija mantra in chakra language. Literally, chakras are affected by sounds and also share information to the world through sound. Because of this, you can use toning and other verbal tools to improve your life through chakra interactions, and you will be shown how to do so in part 2. In contrast to physical energies, subtle energies are immeasurable. This means that we can’t monitor or predict their activity with modern equipment, such as an X-ray machine. Regardless of the relative invisibility of subtle energies, we know that they exist because of their astounding effects. Other words for subtle energy are psychic, intuitive, etheric, zero point, vital and spiritual energy, od, orgone, scalar waves, tachyons, chi, prana, time-reversed waves, c hap ter one


longitudinal waves, biofields, biomagnetism, and more. I like the label “subtle energy” because the phrase explains its nature. In fact, the first physicist to use the phrase was Albert Einstein, who defined subtle energy as an energy or “force remaining in the absence of all known forces” (Crowe 206). In other words, subtle energy is nonphysical but highly interactive. Its powerful punch is delivered by the information that it carries, regardless of the fact this information can’t be seen (Ibid.). But subtle energy has even more clout. When subtle energies vibrate, everything they connect to is also vibrated, or changed. Since subtle energies “touch” all levels of reality, seen and unseen, changing subtle energy can potentially shift every level of reality, including the physical. Scientifically, quantum physics best explains subtle energy and the spiritual and sometimes miraculous effects of the chakras. Quantum physics is the study of quanta, the smallest units of the universe. In comparison to physical energies, subtle energies are quite fluid. The world of quanta is frequently called “freaky” or “spooky” because anything can happen at any time. A tumor can emerge—or dematerialize. Money can disintegrate— or appear. Still, the quantum world is governed by laws, even if they are more fluid than classical laws. c hap ter one


One of the most important quantum laws is that an observer affects the outcome of what is being observed. Another is that if any two objects or people have ever come in contact, they continue to affect each other even if separated by time or distance (Dale 2009, 21–28). What do these laws have to do with chakras? The vortices of each chakra hold them in the physical world but are basically funnels composed of quanta. If you focus on a desire through a chakra, you become the “observer” and can direct energy toward your goal. Through a chakra you can also connect with just about anything or anyone, anywhere. This is the perfect scenario for opening to spiritual guidance, working through challenging relationships, attuning to the past or the future, or figuring out your next steps in life. As different as physical and subtle energies seem, they are quite collaborative. This is an important point to make, for it explains how chakras can affect both physical and subtle energies simultaneously. As an example of interactivity, the electromagnetic field (EMF) actually delivers subtle energies to the physical body (Crowe 206). To understand this concept, picture a multicolored wave of light. Now imagine happy little (invisible) subtle bubbles intermingling with this c hap ter one


wave. Various members of the bubble community bounce atop the wave; others slide under it. Some vacation miles away and still others hide inside of it. Through their complicated dance moves, these bubbly energies continually alter the light wave, and vice versa. Those bands of energy the chakras emanate and live upon are both physical and subtle. On these bands chakras operate like doorways between the concrete and the intangible. One of the reasons that physical energies are so affected by subtle energies—and that subtle energies can so easily worm their way into so-called concrete reality—is that the physical world isn’t rock-hard. In fact, at some level, it is subtle. Research is revealing that physical atoms are made of and connected by vortices of energy that constantly spin and vibrate. These funnels—reminiscent of spinning chakras—merely create the appearance of density and impermeability. In truth, there isn’t any solidity, only moving energies, some easier to recognize than others. Chakras are the ultimate funnels that allow us to move in between our various ways of being, from the physical to the spiritual and back again. Not only do chakras transfer information between the physical and subtle realms, but they can also transform one into the other. It is this, the final point made in this c hap ter one


chapter, that will give you the clearest possible image of chakras as transformers.

Chakras as Transformers On a concrete basis, a transformer is an electrical device that changes the electricity of one voltage or measurement into another. Through this process they can also alter one type of energy so that it becomes a different type of energy. Jerriann J. Taber, author of The Rapid Healing Techniques, explains that chakras direct energy in four directions: up, down, in, and out (Taber 11). This means that chakras move energies from higher to lower states (and vice versa), as well as inside the body to outside the body. They also pass energy between various planes of existence (which will be described in the next chapter) and between one’s own body, mind, and soul and those of others. As if they weren’t busy enough with these tasks, they are also turning physical energy into subtle (and vice versa). In other words, they act like transformers. What might this type of exchange look like in everyday life? Imagine that you are visiting your mother, and you absentmindedly tell her that you are hungry. Your

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father isn’t home; he’s driving home from work—and he doesn’t know that you are at his home. Without your conscious knowledge, one of your chakras packages your physical or measurable words into a quicker-than-light data packet and uploads it into the atmosphere. Unconsciously, your father receives the memo, and one of his chakras happily sets about responding to your need. Without knowing why, you father stops at a fast food restaurant. He orders three dinners. He knows that your mom might be hungry, but an extra meal? His actions don’t even make sense to himself. When he walks in the door, you are all pleasantly surprised to discover that he’s brought enough food for everyone, including an unexpected guest. In this example you can see your own—and another’s—chakras actively employed. Information is shifted from a physical state (your statement) to a subtle state (your dad’s intuition) and back to the physical state (the food). Not bad for a day’s work. The psychic phrase received by your father didn’t hit him in the head as if it were a paper tied around a rock. But he was able to transform an impression— your desire—into a sense he could understand, and this c hap ter one


occurred through his chakras. Maybe his awareness didn’t turn itself into a hamburger and fries, but the knowing stimulated a physical reaction that did. As energy experts, the chakras in two very different people knew how to convert subtle to physical and vice versa. In part 2 you’ll be learning about four types of intuition that will help you comprehend the messages your chakras bring into your universe.

 Are you starting to see how hard your chakras work? The truth is that they can’t keep themselves from helping you, as they are structured to serve the array of functions discussed in this chapter. They also have assistance, as they aren’t the only players in the energy management business. In the next chapter you’ll learn about the structural mechanics of a chakra and also meet the other members of the subtle energy family. You’ll be amazed at the brilliance of the subtle systems that support your body, mind, and soul.

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summary You’ve learned that your chakras are subtle energy bodies. Though there are many chakra systems, the one briefly introduced in this chapter is the popular classical Hindu system, which proposes seven chakras anchored in the physical body that appear as rotating vortices of energy. Each of the chakras enables specific physical (body), psychological (mind), and spiritual (soul) benefits because the spinning “wheel” links it to many different realms of reality. A chakra’s magic lies in its ability to transform energy from one state to another. Everything is made of energy, which is information that moves, but there are two main types of energy: physical (measurable) and subtle (immeasurable). Chakras can translate these energies and even turn physical into subtle (and vice versa) because they exist upon and also emanate distinct bands of vibrating frequencies. The existence of these horizontal bands enables a chakra to be described in many ways, such as by color. You’ll learn more about the ways these chakras/bands are described symbolically, tonally, and in other ways in chapter 3.

Llewellyn's Little Book of Chakras, by Cyndi Dale