8962Spiritual psychology of the chakras
- Oct 29, 2011The Spiritual Psychology of the Chakras
by Grace Ross RN MSc @ soulground.com
The Window to the Soul: Chakras,
auras, subtle bodies and energy healing have become common topics of
discussion. What once was considered esoteric or fringe spirituality
has become increasingly mainstream. In line with this more people are
developing a new awareness of their own body energy â€“ some from a
desire for inner growth, others from a scientific (quantum physics)
perspective and still others from a renewed sense of the sacred.
of the language and teaching about energy is not new. Throughout the
ages many cultures have described energetic connections between the
mind, body and spirit. Chinese medicine relies on energy meridians that
correspond to psycho-physiologica l states. Vedic scholars, centuries
ago described the seven energy centres of the body (chakras) from a
spiritual context. It is interesting to note that the qualities,
attributes and characteristics of the chakras have continued to be
described with often surprising coherence among widely differing
cultures and religious traditions over centuries of time.
recently, esoteric philosopher/ scientists such as Alice Bailey, Anodea
Judith and Carolyn Myss have sparked a renewed interest in the
physical, psychological and spiritual interaction of the chakras. They
describe the chakras as having not only physical landmarks, nerve
meridians and specific endocrine glands associated with them, but also
unique psychological attributes, emotional issues and spiritual
To some degree, most people already have an
intuitive, culturally defined sense of the spiritual psychology of the
chakras. Visual artists, for instance paint â€œhalosâ€� of energy to
represent the crown chakras of spiritual teachers or mystical
individuals. We are familiar with euphemisms that tend to locate energy
in particular areas of the body. We speak of having a â€œbroken heartâ€�
and feel actual pain in the chest when we lose someone we love (heart
chakra). We criticize others for being â€œunrootedâ€�, or â€œpulling the rug
out from under usâ€� (root chakra). When a situation threatens our
self-confidence we feel â€œbutterflies in our stomachâ€� (solar plexus
chakra), and get a â€œlump in our throatâ€� when grief remains unexpressed
Scientists are now confirming these intuitive
sensations from the perspective of quantum physics. They are able to
measure the presence and speed of energetic vibrations within the DNA -
the very vibrations that we intuitively sense as our chakras and that
clairvoyants â€œreadâ€� when they scan the human energy field. Energy
healers and medical intuitives believe that if one can manipulate these
energies and somehow change their frequency or patterning it is
possible that physical, emotional and spiritual healing effects might
For those who can clairvoyantly â€œseeâ€� energy,
disease, distress and physical or emotional pain may show up as
blockages, disruptions or cloudiness in the normal patterns of the
chakra. Those who do energy healing can help pinpoint and identify
these disruptions and train their clients to do the same. By developing
an inner awareness of the chakras it is possible to begin a process
that includes transforming and reconfiguring these energies.
Additionally, by increasing awareness of the spiritual psychology of
the chakras it is possible to help achieve a more balanced, energized
and meaningful life.
What follows is a brief description of each of the chakras from the perspective of spiritual psychology.
The Root Chakra
(located at the base of the spine)
birth, we experience an acute sense of disorientation and
disconnection. Not only are we cut off from the physical security of
the womb, but existentially we experience separation from Spirit as we
find ourselves embodied in a human form. As the umbilical cord is cut
we find ourselves thrust into a dangerous, insecure and vulnerable
Our human incarnation means we have a dense, sensate,
physical body made up of carbon and hydrogen - the constituent elements
of the earth. In our attempt to re-establish a sense of spiritual
connection, the root chakra becomes activated at birth - a connection
that flows downward, and energetically connects deeply with the â€œsacred
matterâ€� of the earth. We cannot survive if we do not feed and nurture
the physical body - making our relationship with the earth both
necessary and integral to our survival. Part of that survival means
also that we belong to a family or clan - a group that can ensure that
we are fed from the earth and protected from the elements. Early cave
dwellers soon learned that they could not survive without a sense of
belonging and protection from the family or â€œclan.â€�
If our early
needs for security and belonging are not met, if disruption and fear
are the norm, or if our connection to nature is tenuous, we end up
feeling unrooted, anxious and insecure about our right to be here.
Psychological symptoms may surface - neuroses, chronic anxiety, fears
of becoming ill or dying, feeling vulnerable, ungrounded and afraid of
getting oneâ€™s hands dirty.
When root chakra issues arise, they
can be addressed through compassionate self-healing techniques. These
include finding ways to reconnect to the earth - â€œrootingâ€� in nature
through walks, gardening or camping; honoring the sacred in the Earth -
(Indigenous people have much to teach us here); caring for the earth
through addressing litter and pollution; healing estrangement from
family or friends or joining groups or associations that foster a sense
of belonging and security.
The Sacral Chakra
(located at the base of the belly and sexual organs)
established a secure connection to physical reality, the next energetic
challenge for the newborn arises in the second chakra - the centre of
relationship energy. The second chakra holds the energy of all
relationships we encounter in our lives - the nurturing or rejection of
our parents; the give and take of sibling rivalry; the devotion or
betrayals of friendship; the intimacy and vulnerability of sexual
attraction; and the ability to produce and nurture our own children.
we do not learn to connect to others through emotional intimacy we
remain alone, estranged or dissociated. When our early needs for
intimacy and love are thwarted through abandonment, abuse or neglect,
we find it hard to trust and begin to doubt our ability to attract love
or find passion and joy in life. Second chakra issues include avoidance
of emotional intimacy; accepting or perpetrating abuse in
relationships; sexual dysfunction; parenting problems and a lack of
Healing the second chakra involves learning to
recognize and respond to our wounded â€œinner childâ€�; uncovering and
healing painful memories of abuse or neglect; learning to forgive; and
releasing blame and guilt. It means gently finding the courage to open
ourselves to emotional intimacy. Often a wise and trusted counselor or
healer can facilitate this process. Developing self-compassion and
self-nurturing is key.
The Solar Plexus Chakra
(located around the upper abdomen just under the rib cage)
established some success with relationships, the next psycho-spiritual
challenge is to create a sense of self in relationship to the world in
which we live. The psycho/spiritual qualities of the solar plexus
chakra include self-worth, self-esteem, mastery, empowerment, humility,
self-control, and awareness of life meaning and purpose.
our desire to develop a strong sense of ourselves is met with
controlling, shaming, authoritarian or intentional ego-damaging
behaviors we are left with a debilitated and wounded solar plexus
chakra. This manifests as a sense of unworthiness and guilt; lack of
confidence and poor self-esteem; a feeling of being disempowered,
victimized or lacking a sense of purpose. Conversely, in response to
feeling deprived of power, we may ourselves resort to controlling,
manipulative or tyrannical behaviors.
Healing the solar plexus comes
about through restoring a sense of personal power, self-respect,
courage, humility and grace. Learning to identify and respond
compassionately to our own painful stories is empowering, as is using
love to heal fears. Issues of guilt and shame can be transformed
through healing work that nurtures a sense of innate goodness, while
awareness of co-creatorship with the Divine instills a sense of power.
Finally, becoming aware of the deep spiritual qualities of our own
nature helps us to act responsibly and move forward with
self-initiative, meaning and purpose.
The Heart Chakra (located in the chest)
we come to experience ourselves as safe, connected and respected, the
energy begins to shift from a focus on the individual self towards a
more generous and altruistic outlook. We notice that we feel grateful
for the opportunity to live life, and want to give back. The heart
chakra now becomes activated as the centre of love, compassion,
devotion and generosity. The direction of energy in the body begins to
move upwards in its desire to reconnect to the greater source of Divine
love. We begin to experience universal compassion - the sense that we
are connected to all beings on the planet. We may feel our hearts
touched by images of young children a world away playing amongst the
rubble of war. We know and have a sense of caring both for ourselves
and others and feel compelled to take this love out into action.
however, we have not experienced security, intimacy and self-esteem in
the lower chakras, the heart chakra will remain closed and shielded.
Issues such as lack of compassion, anger, hatred, stinginess, being
overly concerned with self protection, fear of loving too much, grief
and heart-ache may all indicate wounding in the heart chakra.
the heart chakra involves paying attention first to the wounds that are
still lurking in the lower chakras. Learning to love ourselves and our
shadow places is the first step towards creating a sense of love and
compassion for others. The gift of forgiveness allows deep healing
within the heart chakra - forgiveness both for ourselves and others.
Visualisation, devotional chanting, yoga, prayers and Buddhist Metta or
Tonglen meditation are powerful vehicles for opening the heart. Many
people find that compassionate encounters with the suffering of others
is a means to open their own heart. Important also is becoming aware of
our own divine nature and beginning an intimate, sacred process of
surrender to the Divine order.
The Throat Chakra (located around the throat, mouth and ears)
we grow into deeper awareness and opening of all the chakras, we also
begin to expand our ability to tap into the vibrational energy field
around us. The patterns of sound are our connection to the world. The
throat chakra is the centre for making sense of these vibrations, for
communication, self-expression, creativity, speaking our truth, and at
the subtlest levels, telepathy, channeling and clairaudience (ability
to perceive sounds outside the physical realm).
If we encounter
repression or attempts to stifle our innate ability for
self-expression, the throat chakra closes down and energetically
appears blocked. The natural flow of vibration is impeded - energy goes
in but cannot go out. We are all too familiar with the childhood maxim
â€œchildren should be seen and not heardâ€�, the silencing of womenâ€™s
voices in patriarchal systems and the stifling of creative talent for
fear of ridicule. Other threats to the throat chakra include keeping
shameful family secrets, living with chronic fear, being yelled at or
shamed into silence. When the throat chakra is closed, all other
chakras find their expression stifled too.
The key to healing
the throat chakra is finding the place of our own truth and relearning
the ability to express ourselves. We can give ourselves permission to
cry, to voice our fears, share our stories and engage in active
listening with others. We can honor self-expression through finding
creative outlets - writing, art, gardening or music. For some people it
is important to reduce the pollution of vibrational noise through
meditation or silent retreat.
As the throat chakra begins to
heal, the grosser vibrations of sound no longer create interference. We
begin to tune into more subtle layers of vibration, including the
development of psychic abilities such as telepathy and clairaudience
and opening to divine revelations such as those experienced by mystics
through the ages.
The Third Eye Chakra(located around the eyes, forehead and the brain)
third eye is the center of intellect, inner knowing, discernment,
wisdom, and clairvoyance (intuitive seeing). It is the place where we
develop our â€œwitness consciousnessâ€�, the ability to stand back and
consciously observe and make choices in our life.
This is the
place where we create our beliefs and our judgments, and where, if we
encounter fear-based or authoritarian belief systems, we come to doubt
our own knowing and sense of ourselves. Confusion, negative beliefs,
blindness to the truth, irresponsibility, close-mindedness and mental
rigidity result. We may feel cut off from our emotions and become
overly attached to empirical, dogmatic theories and beliefs.
the third eye means first of all a willingness to see. It includes
opening to the truth beyond what we can physically see, and allowing
intuition and inner knowing to become our primary teacher. Healing
includes accessing our fear-based belief systems, judgments and
criticisms and being willing to let them go. It also means a gentle
opening to the messages of the heart.
include developing inner awareness and witness consciousness; looking
for the symbolic importance behind events or interactions; recording
and analyzing dreams; practicing equanimity, detachment, and
surrendering judgments. As we become aware of the deep spiritual
qualities of our own nature, we move into a place of greater clarity,
wisdom and acceptance in the third eye.
The Crown Chakra
(located at the top of the head)
we grow into deeper awareness of our spiritual nature, our energy is
drawn increasingly upward in its desire to reconnect to the source of
our Being. This process of spiritual awakening or enlightenment is
facilitated through opening the crown chakra. Energetically, an open
crown chakra appears as light emerging from the top of the head.
crown chakra indicates the extent to which we are willing to live our
lives connected to Spirit and living from truth. It allows for
inspirational and prophetic thought, mystical connection and devotion,
ecstasy, transcendence and liberation from identification with
When we are distracted or overwhelmed by the
difficulties and pain of life, we may experience loss of faith in a
compassionate Divine force. Issues of doubt, disbelief and depression
cloud our inner knowing and overshadow the belief that we are spirit
beings. We falsely identify with the finite world and feel â€œexistential
angstâ€�. Some may experience a period known as the â€œdark night of the
soulâ€� immortalized by the poetry of St. John of the Cross. For some the
sense of isolation and spiritual depression may seem unbearable.
and healing the crown chakra involves trust, surrender to Divine love
and commitment to spiritual practice. It means living in the present,
fully conscious and open to the experience that life offers. Mystics
through the ages have turned to prayer, meditation, yoga and silent
retreat to support their spiritual journeys. A trusted spiritual guide
or teacher may offer compassionate facilitation along this path.
chakras are an elegant window to the soul. There is much we can learn
through deepening our understanding of the qualities, attributes and
spiritual nuances of these amazing vortexes of energy in the human body.
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