I’ve written about energy and energy work before and mentioned that all cultures have a concept of energy flow. Today I’m writing about an iconic concept of energy that comes from India and has pervaded into the practice of many witches today.
I’m talking about chakras.
In Sanskrit, the word chakra means “wheel,” that reflects the nature of a human being’s energy. In Indian belief, the life force is called prana, and it is constantly spinning and moving inside of us, like a wheel. There are seven whirlpools, centers of this spinning energy, that run through the human body, roughly from the tailbone to the crown of the head.
Each one of these vortexes of energy governs a different part of the body and a different element of the human person. If a person’s chakras are balanced, then all of the spinning is precisely at the right speed, supplying exactly the right kind and amount of energy to the body systems in question. If the speed is too fast or too slow, or if the chakras are too open or too closed, then illness will result.
Understanding the chakras will help you to align your body, mind and spirit into one cohesive and interrelated chain. Keeping your chakras in balance can help you achieve inner harmony, mental serenity and physical health.
Chakras are usually discussed from the bottom of the chain to the top, starting with the earthiest energy and ending with the most spiritual. These are the seven chakras in detail.
The first chakra is located at the base of the spine, right about at the level of your tailbone. The color associated with this chakra is red, and it’s called the root chakra, or muladhara. This is the energy that connects you to the earth, helps to ground you, and governs your day to day survival in the physical world.
A balanced root chakra makes you feel serene and settled, with a sense of accomplishment, whenever you think about the requirements of life: food, shelter, money, and security.
An overactive root chakra causes fear to take over your life. Fear is necessary to survival, because it keeps you from taking stupid chances. When the energy of your survival instinct is out of whack, though, that fear takes precedence, and you will be overtaken by anxiety.
Physically, an imbalanced root chakra can lead to digestive issues, lower back pain, hip pain, ovarian cysts or prostate issues. An overactive root chakra is caused by an excess of energy in this locus, so it’s important to calm your physical self and reconnect with spirit.
Meditation, prayer and acts of giving with no thought of reward are ways to help drain the excess energy from this chakra and returning it to balance.
An underactive root chakra results from having your survival constantly provided for by other people. This can result in a lack of focus, where you can be sort of an airhead, constantly daydreaming and with your head in the clouds. The best way to wake up a sleepy or underactive root chakra is to reconnect with nature and the physical. Going outside can help raise this chakra’s energies to the proper level.
The second chakra is just a little bit below your belly button. The color associated with this chakra is orange, and it’s called the sacral chakra, or svadhishana. This the energy of the self and your identity as a human being. This is creative life force energy, and it’s about enjoying life’s pleasures, including sexuality.
When your sacral chakra is balanced, you will enjoy the pleasures of life, but in moderation. You will be inspired by enjoyable things like sex and creative activities. Pursuing pleasurable activities will give you a sense of wellness and abundance, and you will feel that your soul is satisfied.
When your sacral chakra is overactive, you could well face problems with addiction. This can be addiction to drugs and alcohol, or to sex, or to too much food. You might find yourself confronted with physical problems like obesity and hormone imbalances.
In order to balance this and drain the excess energy from an overpowered sacral chakra is to stop and really consider whether your actions are healthy. Being conscious of your own needs and the need for moderation can help you slow the spinning of this energy wheel.
If your sacral chakra is underactive, you’ll find yourself focused on the physical and practical parts of your life to the exclusion of enjoyment. You might be depressed, have a decreased sex drive, or have a general lack of passion and creativity.
The best way to overcome this is to take time out and really enjoy life. Make love, eat good food, look at something beautiful, or just eat something delicious. Enjoy yourself. It will help restore your sacral chakra to balance.
The third chakra is a few inches above the belly button. The color associated with this chakra is yellow, and it’s called the solar plexus chakra or manipura. The solar plexus chakra is the seat of your personal power, your identity, your confidence and your strength. This is the energy that gives you insight, and the “gut” feelings that tell you when something is right or wrong for you. This is also called the warrior chakra, because it helps give you the wisdom to know how to pick your battles.
When your solar plexus chakra is fully in balance, you feel centered in your own personal truth, wise and decisive. You will be confident, invested in your own talents and in your own power. You will have good self-esteem.
When this chakra is overactive, you try to extend your personal power into the lives of other people. You become controlling and bossy, and you might feel the need to micromanage your employees or, Goddess forbid, your friends and family. You might have a lack of compassion or empathy. Physically, this imbalance expresses itself as imbalances and illnesses in the appendix, pancreas, liver or kidneys. The best way to overcome this overactivity is to open yourself up to love and compassion. Try to feel love and extend it to others.
When your solar plexus chakra is underactive, your confidence suffers. You become needy, insecure, and fearful. You will be timid and you will allow others to control you. This chakra can be re-energized by the act of meditating on the things that you excel at. You might think you don’t have talent, but you do. Everybody does. Identify and focus on those things you do well, and feed and nurture those things. This will help bring your solar plexus chakra back up to speed.
The fourth chakra is located in the center of the chest. The color is green, and it’s known as the heart chakra, or anahata. This is the home of love, kindness and compassion, not just for other people, but also for yourself. The energy of this chakra is also good for healing and health.
When your heart chakra is balanced, you love yourself and others. You are kind and compassionate to yourself and the people around you.
When the heart chakra is overactive, you lose all sense of boundaries and start to make unhealthy and self-destructive choices in the name of love. You put yourself last, and you sacrifice for other people to an excessive amount, and often your pains aren’t even noticed.
Physically, you might have a fast heart rate, heart burn, heart palpitations and problems in your interpersonal relationships. The best way to slow the overactive heart chakra is to take that excessive love for others and shine some of it onto yourself. Self-love can be healing.
If the heart chakra is underactive, then you might have built impenetrable walls around your heart to that you can’t – or won’t – trust anyone else. You don’t let people get close, because you’re afraid of being hurt. You’ve closed yourself off from the rest of the human race.
Physically, you might feel disconnected from your own body, and your circulation might be problematic. This one is hard to overcome, but the only way to do it is to learn to love yourself until you’re strong enough to knock down those walls you’ve built. Then, and harder still, you have to allow other people in.
The fifth chakra is situated at the depression between your collarbones. This is called the throat chakra, or vishuddha, and the color is blue. This is the energy that gives voice to your inner thoughts, feelings and personal truths. The energy of the throat chakra is connected with communication and self-expression.
When your throat chakra is properly balanced, you can speak clearly and well. You can express your truth with compassion and with honesty. This can help you to inspire the people around you to speak their truths, too.
An overactive throat chakra can make you express yourself too forcefully and too loudly. You might be rude and interrupt other people when they’re trying to talk, because you feel that what you think is much more important than anything anyone else might have to say.
In a physical manifestation, overactive throat chakras might express themselves as throat pain, infections (especially upper respiratory infections), canker sores, mouth ulcers, and cavities. The best way to bring this chakra back into balance is to stop before you speak and ask yourself if what you’re about to say is true, necessary and kind. If you can’t say “yes” to all three, keep quiet.
This can help you moderate your throat chakra energy.
When your throat chakra is underactive, however, you may never speak up at all. You may have been shouted down, ignored or invalidated so often that you’ve just given up. You no longer stand up for yourself, and you have a tendency to just swallow your emotions and upsets. This diverts energy away from your throat and into your solar plexus chakra and can cause digestive problems. This can be prevented or treated by expressing yourself. Speak your truth, even if it’s only to yourself.
The sixth chakra is in the middle of your forehead, above and between your eyebrows. The color is indigo, and this is the third eye chakra, or ajna. This chakra is the seat of psychic power and extrasensory perception.
A balanced third eye chakra is expressed through spiritual development and strong connection with both the mystical and the physical parts of human existence. You are open to your psychic abilities, but you are not bowled over by them. You are at peace and in touch with the divine.
This is the least likely chakra to become overactive, but if it is, you are probably obsessed with mystical and metaphysical things like, well, reading or writing witchcraft blogs, reading Tarot cards, or investigating hauntings. You might be so involved in the matters of the spirit that you forget to be a physical human being living in the material world.
The way to correct this is to ground yourself in the physical. Direct a little of the excess energy from your third eye down to your root and remember that you’re not just on the earth, you’re part of it.
When your third eye chakra is underactive, you are completely closed off to your psychic abilities and your intuition. You are all physical, all the time, and you might not even really believe in things that you can’t touch, see, taste or hear. (You’re also probably not reading this.)
The way to correct this is to meditate and concentrate on opening up to energy and spirit once again. Do energy exercises, tai chi or yoga – another wonderful import from India that actually has a great deal to do with the chakras. Remember that you may be a person of flesh and blood, but you’re an ineffable being of spirit as well.
The seventh chakra is at the very top of your head. The color for this chakra is violet, and it’s called the crown chakra or sahaswara. This is the energy that connects you to the Universe. This is the most esoteric and ecstatic energy in our bodies, and it’s where our little seed of divinity rests.
A perfectly balanced crown chakra is something that few people truly accomplish, because to be fully balanced and fully involved in crown energy, you will have risen above physical human existence. You are one with spirit in a very direct and unconquerable way. You have reached Nirvana.
Because the crown chakra is by its nature eternal, infinite and divine, it cannot be overactive.
An underactive crown chakra means you’re still human and haven’t quite achieved angelhood yet. That’s perfectly okay, obviously. The goal of spiritual perfection is to attain enlightment, which is crown energy. It’s not really possible open the crown chakra until the other six chakras are in balance, so the best way to nurture your crown is to nurture the other chakras instead.
When your energies are balanced and flowing properly from root to crown and back again, you will be completely connected in body, mind and spirit. You will have reached perfection and that obviously means perfect balance can’t really be achieved while we’re in our human meat suits. The balancing of our prana and the ebb and flow of our own personal energy is the work of a lifetime.
Don’t get discouraged if you find that you need to refocus and rebalance from time to time. The human spirit is like a high-performance automobile. It takes constant tinkering to keep it in top form. Consider it a challenge and a gift. Not everyone can even feel their energies. If you can feel your energy, and if you can determine where your energy is blocked or flowing too quickly, then you’re ahead of the game.
You can help to amplify your low-energy chakras by wearing clothing or jewelry in the color of the chakra you’re trying to treat. Like attracts like, as in sympathetic magic… and that is why witches and pagans pay attention to chakras. Knowing our energy is part of working with energy, which is part of magic.
I hope you’ve found this useful, or at least interesting. Until next time, I wish you peace.