The 7 Chakras: An Overview
As we enter the age of Aquarius I am coming upon so many people who are beginning their spiritual awakening. I know that all sounds super duper hippy-ish, but its a great thing! I've already written about how to ground yourself and how to smudge to protect yourself from bad energy. Make sure to read those before you begin chakra work as you will need both to prevent negative energy from entering as well as to remove current negative energy.
Also, this post is a very, very, VERY brief overview of the 7 chakras and is meant to just get you started so you know what to further research. Don't even begin to try to heal your chakras if this is your first introduction to them. Once you learn how to protect yourself and what the chakras are you can read about how to heal them.
Also, the chakras work from the bottom up. Activating your root chakra allows your other chakras to awaken and they must be worked on in order from bottom to top. For example, if you were to try to take hallucinogenic drugs to open your crown chakra, but your other chakras were blocked, you would have a very bad trip and it could have many negative effects. (Just never take hallucinogens without the guidance of a shaman... ever...).
The Root (Muladhara) Chakra
Starting from the bottom (now we're here ;]), the root chakra is the first chakra. The color is red to represent life energy, passion, and strength, it has four petals, the element is earth, the basic symbol is a square, the associated planet is mercury, the associated sensory function is smell, and the primary mantra is LAM.
Muladhara literally means "root support". This is where you draw your groundedness, self-preservation, stability, trust, and sense of security. This chakra is activated the strongest by the full moon and is associated with sunset, sunrise, and fire. Our energy is connected to the earth through our root chakra and is how we draw our life, kundalini, and creative energy.
The root chakra is also where we pull our passion for life and strength for living. When we have a strong root chakra we feel secure in our existence, have an abundant amount of energy and finish what we start.
How to tell if your root chakra is blocked
First, you will not feel like you have a good relationship with Mother Earth. I can really only describe this as you can tell when she is fighting against you and if you don't know what I mean you're probably not subjected to it, or you're so blocked you don't even realize it. Pay attention to your relationship with Mother Earth and see if you observe this.
Also, you will feel lethargic, like you don't have the energy to do everyday tasks, apathetic, critical, and you won't trust in others, yourself, or in your life's path and future. Working on activating your chakras will ensure you feel secure, calm, and confident.
The Sacral (Svadhisthana) Chakra
The next chakra is the sacral chakra. The color is orange to represent sexuality, sensuality, creative life energy, and fertility, it has 6 petals, the associated element is water, the associated symbol is the crescent moon, the associated planet is Venus, the mantra is VAM, and the associated sensory function is taste.
The term Svadhisthana means "one's home base", "sweetness", or "loveliness". It is sometimes referred to as the sexual chakra. Because water is its element, free-flowing water is purifying and central to sacral chakra energy. This chakra is the strongest in the waxing phase of the moon and the moon, along with water, connects us to feminine energy. This helps us be more open to wisdom in our unconscious mind.
The sacral chakra drives human sexuality, feminine energy, creative energy, sensuality, and joy. Activating the sacral chakra helps us enjoy all of life's pleasures with all of our senses. Additionally, when activated the sacra chakra helps with erotic fulfillment, self-esteem, joy and self-awareness.
How to tell if your sacral chakra is blocked.
The most apparent symptoms of an unbalanced or blocked sacral chakra are anxiety, diminished sex drive, jealousy, addiction, guilt, and aggression. When activated and in balanced we enjoy life, and have a healthy relationship with our sexuality and sensuality and ultimately a balanced emotional life.
The Navel (Manipura) Chakra
Moving along, the next chakra is the navel chakra. The color is yellow and represents willpower, self-control, feelings, power, and sensitivity. There are 10 petals, the associated element is fire, the associated symbol is a triangle, the associated planet is Mars, the mantra is RAM and the sensory function is sight.
Manipura means "shining jewel" because this chakra is considered rich energy. Sometimes this is also called the solar plexus chakra. The element is fire to represent the fiery energy radiating from the navel chakra. The navel chakra is the strongest during the moon's waxing stage.
Because the navel chakra lies right above the navel, it controls the intestine, liver, gallbladder... essentially the entire digestive system. This makes it the most important chakra. Additionally, the navel chakra supplies us with a healthy personality, feelings, self-assurance, a high energy level, and will help us achieve goals.
This is the chakra that, when activated and balanced, will help you pursue and fulfill your destiny. You'll be able to "follow your gut" and it will always be the right decision. You will also respond appropriately to your feelings such as laughing when you feel joy, crying when you feel sorrow, and becoming angry when appropriate.
How to tell if your navel chakra is blocked
A blocked navel chakra has serious effects such as insecurity, apathy, lack of feelings, low self-esteem OR the opposite leading to aggression, arrogance, a need to control, obsession with power, thoughtlessness or rage. Balancing your navel chakra will help you balance your emotions with objectivity and self control.
The Heart (Anahata) Chakra
Next is the heart chakra. The color is green and represents love, empathy, compassion, humanity, and tolerance (why I always say this world needs more heart chakras opened), there are 12 petals, the associated element is air, the associated planet is Jupiter, the symbol is a hexagon, the mantra is YAM, and the sensory function is touch.
Anahata means "whole" or "unbroken". Our heart chakra tells us that we are perfect just the way we are and that we can always return to love for comfort no matter what happens in life. The heart chakra does not control physical love, that is the sacral chakra. The heart chakra controls that true, unconditional love for others AND for yourself. This love is the selfless, compassionate, harmonious love and that is why the heart chakra is green. This chakra is strongest during the new moon and full moon.
Because the heart chakra is in the center of the chest is controls the heart, lungs, skin, hands, arms, upper back, the thymus, the immune system and the body's circulation of energy. A balanced heart chakra means a person has reached a higher level of consciousness and it will be displayed through compassion, selflessness, and that they have the ability to gain a deep understanding of another person. This love extends to all people and comes from a place of tolerance.
How to tell if your heart chakra is blocked
You can tell a blocked heart chakra in a person who is bitter, heartless, and as a consequence of those, lonely. They'll feel isolated, overwhelmed by others, and often lose their sense of identity. Balancing your heart chakra will help you be open and warm-hearted and have healthy, rich relationships with people.
The Throat (Vishuddha) Chakra
The throat chakra's color is blue to represent communication, creativity, talent, intelligence, truthfulness, and verbal ability. There are 16 petals, the associated element is ether, the associate planet is Saturn, the symbol is a circle, the mantra is HAM, and the sensory function is hearing.
The throat chakra's element is ether because in yoga philosophy, sound travels through the ether and is the medium for communication. The symbol is a circle to represent emptiness and breaking through this circle will help gain deep understanding. The throat chakra is the strongest during the waning moon phase.
Because the throat chakra lies in the cervical vertebrae it controls the neck, jaw, larynx, breath, windpipe, thyroid gland, esophagus, and parathyroid gland. The throat chakra is responsible for communication, speaking one's truth, expressing oneself, verbal ability, expressing feelings, and creating music. A strong throat chakra is present in gifted orators and actors.
How to tell if your throat chakra is blocked
If you have a hard time with public speaking, stuttering/stammering, or with expressing yourself your throat chakra is probably blocked. If you have a thirst for fame, manipulate others, or tend to gossip, then your throat chakra is off balance.
The Third Eye (Anja) Chakra
The third eye chakra is purple to represent intuition, wisdom, awareness, imagination, and realization, has two petals, is associated with the planet Uranus, no element, the symbol is a winged circle, the mantra is OM, and the sensory function is the "sixth sense".
Anja means "to know" or "to perceive". Activation of the third eye chakra is dependent upon a harmonious balance between the feminine and masculine energies (sun and moon, yin and yang, etc). Activation will allow freedom from an unconscious way of thinking as the third eye chakra is where wisdom and enlightenment reside. If you want to enhance your psychic ability, your intuition, your ability to see the truth, you need to open your third eye. The third eye chakra is the strongest during the waning moon phase.
Because the third eye is in-between the eyebrows above the nose, it controls the cerebellum, eyes, ears, nose, face, sinuses, hormones, pituitary gland and nervous system. The third eye is how you enter the spiritual world and develop extrasensory perception (clairvoyance, telepathy, psychic ability, etc). The third eye controls our need for self-knowledge, knowledge of a higher self, and illumination allowing us to look at problems as if we're above them looking down on them and to then become free from them. Additionally, the third eye chakra controls our imagination and therefore allows us to visualize our future or what will happen with our sixth sense.
How to tell if your third eye chakra is blocked
A blocked third eye chakra will lead to mental fog, self-delusion, poor concentration, depression, ADD/ADHD, forgetfulness, spiritual confusion, selfishness, greed, lust, and egotistical behavior.
The Crown (Sahasrara) Chakra
The crown chakra is white for spirituality, enlightenment, knowledge of God, experience of higher planes, and cosmic consciousness. It has one thousand petals, is associated with the planet Neptune, the symbol is the lotus blossom, the mantra is OM and the sensory function is cosmic awareness.
Sahasrara means "thousand" to represent the thousand petals. The crown chakra's energy runs from the root chakra all the way up through the crown channeling kundalini energy. During this energy channeling all of the other chakras are activated and the crown chakra taps into universal consciousness. This journey from the root chakra to the crown chakra connects you with your higher self and is the end goal: enlightenment.
The crown chakra controls the whole body. Activation of the crown chakra results in self-realization and enlightenment, this is how one becomes a mahatma (great soul).
How to know if your crown chakra is blocked
As said in the beginning of this post, you need to make sure that your bottom 6 chakras are aligned, activated and balanced before activating your crown chakra. If you want to work on your crown chakra you will need the help of a very experienced shaman (teacher) as if done incorrectly can result in disorientation from reality, severe depression, and confusion. When you do decide you are ready for this activation, you will feel deep peace, connectedness to the universe, and pure bliss.
As always if you have any questions comment below!
Recommended books where I learned most of this information from: