Imagine as a soul, we descend from the non-physical formless realm of Universal Consciousness into the physical realm of form. We find ourselves alive within the Earth based duality, having gone through the journey of manifestation while forgetting our origin as spiritual beings. As we travel down the chakras to root into the manifested world, the layers get denser and denser - from consciousness to light to sound to air to fire to water to earth. The frequencies slow down, from something vibrating too fast to be seen in the 3D world, to a slow, long cycle - very much manifest with all the senses of a physical body. Each chakra corresponds to a wavelength, and a dimension of reality. Relating to the body and to the non-physical experience, our energy centres share properties in the metaphysical as well as the physical.
At the root we are made manifest in a body, we touch the earth with our feet, legs and the base of our spine. This lower realm is occupied with our most base needs in a physical reality - our survival as a Human Being, and as out of touch with the idea of our eternal nature as could possibly be. This is the chakra of separation - of being in a body as an individual, with a life that is constantly in need of maintenance and protection. To be strong and survive, we need a tribe - a group of people we can root ourselves in with. We need a shelter to base ourselves, and very basic needs for nourishment. If any of these are threatened, our fear kicks in, perhaps even anger if the threat comes from another human being. When we are grounded into the earth and have a feeling of general stability in our lives, we have a strong base upon which to build our sacred emotional + creative experience. If this base chakra is not healthy, anything we create on top of it will feel unstable. This correlates to family, home, physical vitality, work, and money. The heavier emotions which are based on the concepts associated with this chakra are also likely to become buried here - primarily grief, anger, and fear. When in balance we are grounded, we experience health and know the limitless nature of earth’s abundance. We experience a stability within our lives that feels deeper than the conditions of living in a world of unstable forms. Grounding activities are often neglected in our modern age, as we, as a species, have evolved from our primitive days of the root chakra to the adolescent age of the solar plexus. Rather than rest and nourish, we take pride in busyness and pushing forward. We have ascended into the ego’s dwelling, the narrowly focused mental arena, and our task as a collective is to continue into the spacious Heart for the next phase of our evolution. The chakras are an upward journey into enlightenment - each having a chapter to experience in the hero’s journey home. We can’t skip through the chapters to the end as each forms a continuum where our understanding is cumulative.
As babies, we were only concerned with our survival, we were completely dependent on our parents to provide that for us. We use our only tool to make sure we live - our voice - we cry to make sure our needs our met. We only have two fears at birth - the fear of falling, and the fear of loud noises. Everything else we learn as we grow. Babies are souls manifesting as human, completely enmeshed in the experience of the root chakra. As we grow to toddlers, we begin to feel our emotions, to play, and to get creative. Once we are stable, we grow into a new phase - the phase of the sacral experience, relating to others and emoting. And as teenagers we go through the awkward phase of puberty, and our solar plexus. We live for our independence, we strive to find out who we are and what we want to do with our lives. We exit the powerful need to be part of our family and value the feeling of friendship over all else. We become desperate to belong and be approved of by our peers. We either have a lucky break with popularity and feel confident in ourselves, or we are the norm and totally insecure. We need outside validation because we lack the understanding of our heart - we are too young to realise that the world can never satisfy the insatiable desire for our own approval. This is the ego’s seat and where we find ourselves as a species. I have found that what is true on an individual level, will also be true for the collective as a whole. So as we are tasked with moving through our own journey home, so is humanity. We are still adolescents. Our role now is to move into young adulthood - to begin to feel into the expanse of the heart. This is the home of all that we have ever wanted. We don’t need to fit in and find where we belong, because in this sweet and tender space we find our souls - our very essence, which is eternal, which is complete yet always evolving. From the heart we begin to feel what is true, and we know with out a doubt that we are connected to it all. This is wholeness - healing. Imagine if our species could live from the heart as a whole - we would not see each other as threats, we would rather move together to experience our true nature while in form. We would heal how we relate to one another. From this place, we move up with all the wisdom of the heart into the throat - we express our true selves. We create, we speak about what is coming up from the heart, we give it a voice and an outward vibration. And then as we grow older, we move into wisdom - the third eye which sees and knows, and the crown which understands. As the journey unfolds, each chakra is strengthened by the upward expansion to our True Self.
The chakras move energy in the direction of liberation, yet also in the downward direction of manifestation. Always, we have two currents of energy running up and down our energy body. In yoga this is referred to as the Shakti and the Shiva. Shiva is perpetually reaching downwards to meet Shakti, who is always reaching upwards to meet Shiva. These are seen as the primordial energies of all of creation. While Shakti is called ‘the divine aspiration of the human soul,’ Shiva is named ‘irresistible attraction of divine grace.’ If you have a clear idea, inspiration (meaning: in spirit) comes like a flash, and you speak about it - begin to share the idea, talk to others to help you make sense of the path it wants to take. Then you begin to imagine it, feel it, experience the richness of it in your heart, then with the solar plexus you take action, you give it your unique energy, move it downwards still to begin creating it, until it itself becomes a manifested form in the world. It's not enough to have an idea - we must give it the earth based practicalities of action to make it an earth based form. With our emotions, we want to move energy up to liberate ourselves. The tendency amongst us all (especially amongst the British!) is to shove it all down - swallow our emotions along with our pride. They become lodged in our lower chakras, heavy weights that make us feel stuck. To release them, we need to first recognise that they are there, feel them, and allow them to make us uncomfortable. Only in our willingness to see what we’ve hidden can we unearth and release. In our throat we either speak to a loved one, a professional, or ourselves. As Reiki Practitioners, we can hold space for our emotions as they bubble up in self-treatments. In our willingness to witness the reality of things - the truth - we can release the feelings through tears or compassionate understanding. This is how we heal.
Root / Base Chakra
Location: Base of spine
Focus: Physical existence + Survival
Positive Qualities (in balance): Stability, abundance, prosperity, patience, vitality
Negative Qualities (out of balance): Lack, fear, restlessness, feeling stuck, inflexible, longing for home, anger
Physical Body: Legs, knees, feet, hips, elimination system
Gland: Adrenals (this isn’t the physical correlation but rather the relation of the Fight/Flight/Freeze response)
Themes: Survival, grounding, money, home, job, sense of belonging, ‘tribe’
Tools to nurture: Nature walks, eating clean food, stomping feet, exercise, support network, proper rest.
Affirmation: I am grounded, safe and secure. I am stable, strong, and healthy. I am here.
Location: Below naval at soft part of the belly
Focus: Relationships, emotions, creativity
Positive Qualities (in balance): Creativity, pleasure, sensuality, joy, adaptability
Negative Qualities (out of balance): Overtly sexual (or not at all), trapped trauma, unsatisfying relationships, unable to relate to self or others, uninspired, out of touch with ‘gut’ instincts
Physical Body: Reproductive system, lower digestive organs, kidneys, lower back
Gland: Sexual / reproductive
Themes: Relationships, emotions, intimacy, family, pleasure, imagination, the unconscious
Tools to nurture: The sea, swimming, salt baths, journalling, creativity, dancing
Affirmation: I am creative. It is safe for me to feel my feelings. I am worthy.
Solar Plexus Chakra
Location: Below breast bone, where the rib cage comes together
Focus: Ego, individuality, power, identity
Positive Qualities (in balance): Confidence, drive, eagerness, leadership
Negative Qualities (out of balance): Low self-esteem, narcissism, lethargy, anxiety, pessimism
Physical Body: Digestion, diaphragm, liver, spleen, small intestine, middle back
Themes: Individuality, identity, purpose, energy, self-esteem, determination
Tools to nurture: Deep breathing, meditation, teamwork, courage
Affirmation: I can. I am a powerful extension of the Universe. I am confidently moving forward.
Location: Centre of chest
Focus: Love, soul, connection
Positive Qualities (in balance): Love, trust, healing, compassion, connection, surrender
Negative Qualities (out of balance): Cut off, lonely, ‘heart-broken’, lack of emotion, heaviness
Physical Body: Respiratory system, immune system, heart, lungs, upper back, arms, hands, shoulders (as gateway from heart to throat)
Themes: Unconditional love, unity, balance, generosity, limitless, infinite - the bridge between 3 chakras of spirit and the 3 chakras of matter, openness
Tools to nurture: Friendship, meditation, inner work, journalling, working with the hands, deep breathing
Affirmation: I am loving and lovable. I am love. I am connected. I am home. I am whole. It is safe for me to love and be loved. I am vast.
Location: Centre of chest
Focus: Truth, self-expression, life purpose
Colour: Light Blue
Positive Qualities (in balance): Expression, truth, purpose, artistry, service, communication, synchronicity
Negative Qualities (out of balance): Not listening because of talking too much, or not able to give truth a voice - inability to speak up. Sore throat a common symptom.
Physical Body: Voice, neck, throat, parathyroid, metabolism, ears, jaw, mouth, shoulders (as gateway from heart to throat)
Themes: Communication, self-expression, vibration, receiving, creativity, truth
Tools to nurture: Chanting, singing, talking, listening, meditation
Affirmation: I am divinely guided by my deepest purpose. I know my truth and it is safe for me to speak my truth. I am true. I am honest. It is safe for me to voice my truth.
Third Eye Chakra
Location: Middle of brow
Focus: Insight, psychic awareness
Colour: Indigo / Purple
Positive Qualities (in balance): Intuition, dreams, vision, clairvoyance, perception, insight, inspiration
Negative Qualities (out of balance): Muddied thoughts, misunderstanding,
Physical Body: Eyes, ears (between Throat and Third Eye), brain, hypothalamus, head, face
Themes: Imagination, spiritual awareness, insight, individual consciousness, clear-seeing, clarity.
Tools to nurture: Meditation, imagination, dreaming
Affirmation: I am light. I am guided. I see. I am clear.
Location: Top of head
Focus: Spiritual connection, compassion, wisdom, enlightenment
Colour: Purple / Violet / White
Positive Qualities (in balance): Wisdom, unity, intelligence, awareness, understanding, bliss
Negative Qualities (out of balance): Muddied thoughts, misunderstanding,
Physical Body: Brain, mind, skull
Themes: Enlightenment, knowledge, self-realisation, completion, connection to All That Is, Oneness
Tools to nurture: Meditation
Affirmation: I am one with everything. I am connected. I am peace. I understand.
(ABOVE IMAGE BY NEIL KRUG)