Mind, body, and spirit

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Energy of the Body

Your human body consists of five layers of energy. The first layer is your physical body. The outer four layers of energy are commonly referred to as your aura. Collectively, these five layers or “energy bodies” are the human energy field. An energy medicine practitioner treats all layers of the human energy field, not just the physical layer.

  1. The Physical Energy Body – The first layer is our physical energy body. This is the layer that we generally think of as our physical selves. But, our physical bodies are also energy, same as the other layers of the body that most people cannot see or sense on a physical level.
  2. The Etheric Energy Body – The second etheric layer of our energy body is located approximately one quarter to one half an inch (not more than one inch) from the physical body. Energy medicine practitioners who are adept at psychically sensing this layer have described it as feeling “webby.” Much like a spider web, it feels sticky, or stretchy. It is also grey or grey-bluish in color. The etheric energy body has also been referred to as the blueprint or holograph of the physical body.
  1. The Emotional Energy Body – The emotional layer of our energy body is the third layer. Centrally located among the five layers this body is the keeper of our feelings. It is here where both our fears and jubilations reside. This layer can be quite volatile when we are experiencing extreme high and low emotions.
  2. The Mental Energy Body – It is in the mental layer where our ideas spring from. Our belief systems are also stored here. This is where our thoughts are assimilated and sorted out. In this layer our personal truths, or rather, our perceptions based on our experiences are housed.
  3. The Spiritual Energy Body – The spiritual layer of the human energy field is the final layer. It has been said to be the place where our “consciousness” or “higher awareness” resides.

CHAKRA

chak·ra
/ˈCHäkrə/
(in Indian thought) each of the centers of spiritual power in the human body, usually considered to be seven in number.

What Are Chakras?

Chakras are our energy centers. They are the openings for life energy to flow into and out of our aura. Their function is to vitalize the physical body and to bring about the development of our self-consciousness. They are associated with our physical, mental and emotional interactions. There are seven major chakras. The aura is often referred to as the eighth chakra. The first chakra (root) actually hangs outside of your body. It is located between your thighs, about halfway between your knees and your physical body. The seven chakra (crown) is located on the top of your head. The remaining chakras, (sacral, solar plexus, heart, throat, and third eye, are aligned in sequence along your spine, neck, and skull. Individually, your chakras look similar to funnels with petal-like openings. Chakras are invisible to the human eye, but they can be perceived intuitively by trained energyworkers.

Chakra stands for the Sanscrit of “Wheel”. As such it implies movement and one should not think of the chakras as a static display but rather an everchanging interplay of subtle energies.

In Indian phylosophy chakras are the expressions of consciousness, mental and sppiritual forces that shape a person. Each chakra has associations to color, tone, sound, mantra, breath, the senses as well as spiritual and mental aspects.

What Do Chakras Look Like?

Chakras have been depicted as a funnel of sorts with smaller funnels within the funnel. They are also often referred to as looking like lotus flowers. I have intuitively viewed the intake of individual chakras as appearing similar to the blades of a fan or windmill in circular motion.

Introducing the Seven Major Chakras

Root Chakra

The Base or Root Chakra is associated with the color red. This chakra is the grounding force that allows us to connect to the earth energies and empower our beings. Focusing one’s attention on the color of a cherry popsicle or a juicy red apple can help bring our energetic body down to earth and in alignment with our physical body when we find ourselves energetically fleeting or in other words… spacing off.

There are many different grounding visualization techniques that can be used to pull and maintain the very important connection to your root. These include imagining growing tree roots through the soles of your feet into the earth, visualizing embedding anchors into boulders or stone. You can also incorporate the color red into your wardrobe as a reminder to ground your energies, specifically for your lower body such as socks, leggings, or slacks.

The root chakra is also the seat or slumber spot of the kundalini. The kundalini is often symbolized as a coiled snake at the base of your spine. When the kundalini is awakened (spiritual awakening) the snake is aroused and moves upwards. The awakening is pictured as a burning flame shooting through the chakras.

Are You Adequately Grounded?

How often have you been told that “grounding” is important? What does it mean to be ungrounded anyway? Taking this quiz will offer you clues as to which characteristics you have, and whether the actions or reactions that you take are helping you to stay grounded or are actually aiding your energetic retreats from your physical self.

Chakra One – Associations
Color red
Sanskrit Name muladhara
Physical Location base of spine
Purposes kinesthetic feelings, movement
Spiritual Lesson material world lessons
Physical Dysfunctions lower back pain, sciatica, varicose veins, rectal tumors, depression, immune related disorders
Mental / Emotional Issues survival, self esteem, social order, security, family
Information Stored Inside Root Chakra familial beliefs, superstitions, loyalty, instincts, physical pleasure or pain, touch
Area of Body Governed spinal column, kidneys, legs, feet, rectum, immune system
Crystals / Gemstones hematite, black tourmaline, onyx
Flower Essences corn, clematis, rosemary
Foods That Nourish Your Root Chakra carrots, potatoes, parsnips, radishes, beets, onions, garlic, eggs, meats, beans, tofu, soy products, peanut butter, horseradish, hot paprika, chives, cayenne, pepper

Sacral Chakra

The Sacral Chakra is associated with the color orange or red-orange. I usually visualize a juice orange that has been dyed to attract the produce buyer, or the orange-red of an evening sunset whenever I’m focusing on spinning my second chakra.

This chakra often offers us the opportunity to curb our power struggles and find a balance in our lives, teaching us to recognize that acceptance and rejection are not the only options in our relationships.

The process of making changes in our life stream through our personal choices is a product of second chakra energy. A well-functioning second chakra helps one to maintain a healthy yin-yang existence.

House of Sex

Much like the sun sign of Scorpio, is designated as the personality with the most enhanced sexual prowess among the twelve zodiac signs, the second chakra is considered the house of sex. It is here where our most base desires or natural sexual urges spring forth from. Whereas the heart chakra or love center of our bodies is needed to function in concert with the sacral chakra to keep our emotions in check.

No single chakra works on its own… the chakra system is a partnership.

Source of Ideas and Creativity

The sacral chakra is also where the seeds of inventions and original ideas are planted and nurtured. Your dreams and ideas would not be realized without the help of the chakra system’s petri-dish (AKA sacral chakra). It is here where the soil is the richest to sow, grow, and harvest your creative self.

Chakra Two – Associations
Color orange
Sanskrit Name swadhisthana
Physical Location lower abdomen to the navel
Purposes emotional connection
Spiritual Lesson creativity, manifestation. honoring relationships, learning to “let go”
Physical Dysfunctions low back pain, sciatica, ob/gyn problems, pelvic pain, libido, urinary problems
Mental / Emotional Issues blame, guilt, money, sex, power, control, creativity, morality
Information Stored Inside Sacral Chakra duality, magnetism, controlling patterns, emotional feelings (joy, anger, fear)
Area of Body Governed sexual organs, stomach, upper intestines, liver, gallbladder, kidney, pancreas, adrenal glands, spleen, middle spine
Crystals / Gemstones garnet, moonstone, orange tourmaline
Flower Essences Indian paintbrush, lady’s slipper, hibiscus
Foods That Nourish the Sacral Chakra melons, mangos, strawberries, passion fruit, oranges, coconut, almonds, walnuts, cinnamon, vanilla, carob, sweet paprika, sesame seeds, caraway seeds

Solar Plexus Chakra

The Solar Plexus Chakra, one of our seven primary chakras, is associated with the color yellow. This is the area of our bodies which defines our self-esteem. The personality that develops during puberty is housed in this chakra; otherwise it known as the “EGO.”

Anyone who is experiencing dysfunction of the third chakra will have difficulty obtaining or maintaining her own “personal power.”

This chakra is our instinctual center, it is where we our gut instincts come into play. The gut signals us when something is amiss, urging us to take action, or the opposite, not to move forward. Strong self-esteem is a required for developing intuitive skills. Learning how to interpret the quiet rumblings, as well as blatant outcries, that emit from the solar plexus area of our body is an important lesson.

Chakra Three – Associations
Color yellow
Sanskrit Name manipura
Physical Location solar plexus
Purposes mental understanding of emotional life
Spiritual Lesson acceptance of your place in the life stream. (self-love)
Physical Dysfunctions stomach ulcers, intestinal tumors, diabetes, pancreatitis, indigestion, anorexia/bulimia, hepatitis, cirrhosis, adrenal imbalances, arthritis, colon diseases
Mental / Emotional Issues self esteem, fear of rejection, oversensitivity to criticism, self-image fears, fears of our secrets being found out, indecisiveness
Information Stored Inside Solar Plexus Chakra personal power, personality, consciousness of self within the universe (sense of belonging), knowing
Area of Body Governed upper abdomen, umbilicus to rib cage, liver, gallbladder, middle spine, spleen, kidney, adrenals, small intestines, stomach
Crystals / Gemstones yellow jasper , golden topaz, yellow tourmaline
Flower Essences chamomile, golden yarrow, peppermint
Foods That Nourish the Solar Plexus Chakra pastas, breads, cereal, rices, flax seed, sunflower seeds, milk, cheeses, yogurt. ginger, peppermint, melissa, chamomile, turmeric, cumin, fennel

What Is Meditation?

Solar Plexus Chakra Meditation – Focusing on the Sun
Sit back, relax, and take in an easy, deep breath. Release your muscles. You do not have to exert any effort to sit or lie there. Allow yourself to be fully supported by the chair or floor. Take in another gentle, deep breath and release as you exhale. Now turn your attention to your solar plexus. This is the area of your body between your chest and abdomen. Picture a vibrant, glowing sun in your solar plexus. Feel its warmth and energy. Focus on this sun for a moment. You may never have paid attention to this area of your body before. This sun represents your inner strength, your intuition, and all your inner resources. Allow your sun to glow brighter and stronger each time you pay attention to it.

Heart Chakra

The heart chakra is associated with the color green or the color pink. This love center of our human energy system is often the focus in bringing about a healing. Thus, the words Love Heals All have great truth.

Hurtful situations that can effect our emotional well-being include divorce or separation, grief through death, emotional abuse, abandonment, and adultery. All of these are wounding to the heart chakra and can make the physical body more vulnerable to illness or imbalance. Physical illnesses brought about by heartbreak require that an emotional healing occur along with the physical healing.

Heart Chakra and Your Emotions

Whenever our emotions are in a state of overdrive the heart chakra is in threat of distress. It is helpful to get in touch with your feelings. But, it is NOT helpful to wallow in those emotions. How we FEEL allows us to acknowledge our current emotional state. The remarkable thing about emotions is that they are always influx…so is the heart chakras.

The chakras are not static. Actually a chakra can be static. This would mean it is stuck, indicating that there is a problem. However, a normally functioning chakra has a pulse. If the hearth chakra is stuck, has a low pulse, or is energetically overblown, then balance is needed.

Big Heart VS Large Heart Chakra

When someone is said to have a BIG heart, it means that person is filled with love. Someone with an enlarged heart-physically is a symptom of heart disease, high blood pressure, infection of the heart or blood, etc. In the heart chakra… a large or blown up chakra is also a sign of alarm. A heart chakra that is too open is suspect. The emotions are in need of healing.

Learning to love yourself is a powerful first step in securing a healthy fourth chakra. The wounded child resides in the heart chakra.

Chakra Four – Associations
Color green or pink (mostly viewed as green)
Sanskrit Name anahata
Physical Location center of chest
Purposes emotional empowerment
Spiritual Lesson forgiveness, unconditional love, letting go, trust, compassion
Physical Dysfunctions heart conditions, asthma, lung and breast cancers, thoracic spine, pneumonia, upper back, shoulder problems
Mental / Emotional Issues love, compassion, confidence, inspiration, hope, despair, hate, envy, fear, jealousy, anger, generosity
Information Stored Inside Heart Chakra connections or “heart strings” to those whom we love
Area of Body Governed heart, circulatory system, blood, lungs, rib cage, diaphragm, thymus, breasts, esophagus, shoulders, arms, hands
Crystals / Gemstones malachite, emerald, rose quartz
Flower Essences holly, poppy, California wild rose
Foods That Nourish The Heart Chakra pastas, breads, cereal, rices, flax seed, sunflower seeds, milk, cheeses, yogurt, ginger, mints (peppermint, spearmint, etc.), melissa, chamomile, turmeric, cumin, and fennel.
Flower Essences holly, poppy, California wild rose

Throat Chakra

The Throat Chakra is associated with the color sky blue. This chakra is also our will center. The healthfulness of the throat or fifth chakra is in direct relation to how honestly one expresses himself or herself. Being untruthful violates both the physical body and the spiritual component of the whole self.

Choices and Your Throat Chakra

We speak our choices with our voices (throats). All choices we make in our lives have consequences on an energetic level… positively or negatively.

Choosing avoidance and therefore not making a choice can also affect the well being of the throat chakra in an adverse way. For example: Repressing our anger (not speaking out) could manifest itself into laryngitis. We have all experienced that lump in our throats when we feel stymied or find ourselves at a crossroad of not knowing how to speak the right words in any given situation, perhaps even stuffing our own emotions.

The healthfulness of the throat chakra is signified by how openly and honestly a person expresses himself or herself.

A challenge to the throat chakra is for us to express ourselves in the most truthful manner.

Reception and Assimilation

In addition to vocal expression, the throat chakra also governs how we receive and assimilate information.

Seek Only the Truth

Ask yourself how honest you are in conveying truthfulness, not only to others, but also to yourself. It might seem odd, but an habitual liar will often begin to believe his own deceptions to some degree. When you present yourself outwardly through speech and demeanor in a false way you are infecting the energy intake and outtake flow of your throat chakra It is really unfortunate when we lose our authenticity. And when it happens the throat chakra shuts down.

Chakra Five – Associations
Color sky blue
Sanskrit Name vishuddha
Physical Location throat, neck region
Purposes learning to take responsibility for one’s own needs
Spiritual Lesson confession, surrender personal will over to divine will, faith, truthfulness over deceit and dishonesty
Physical Dysfunctions laryngitis, voice problems, gum or tooth issues, TMJ (Temporalmandibular Joint {jaw temple joint} disorder)
Mental / Emotional Issues personal expression, creativity, addiction, criticism, faith, decision making (choices), will, lack of authority
Information Stored Inside Throat Chakra self-knowledge, truth, attitudes, hearing, taste, smell
Area of Body Governed throat, thyroid, trachea, neck vertebrae, mouth, teeth, gums, esophagus, parathyroid, hyperthalemus
Crystals / Gemstones chrysocola, lapis, blue opal
Flower Essences cosmos, trumpet vine, larch

Brow (Third-Eye) Chakra

The Brow Chakra is associated with the color indigo. It is also often referred to as the third eye or the mind center. It is our avenue to wisdom – learning through our individuals experiences and putting them in perspective.

Intuitive Reasoning

Our ability to separate reality from fantasy or delusions is in connection with the healthfulness of this chakra. Achieving the art of detachment beyond “small mindedness” is accomplished through developing impersonal intuitive reasoning.
Visual Window

It is through an open brow chakra that visual images are received. The brow chakra, because of its visual aspect, plays an intricate role in the art world, imagination, and creativity in general. It is often utilized to assess the artist’s muse. If we can imagine it, we can create it!

Dreaming is a Function of the Brow Chakra

Your brow chakra functions automatically while you are in slumber. You call its function dreaming. If you are having difficulty seeing with your third eye when you are awake be assured that this chakra does work if you are remembering your dreams.

On the flip side, if you are having trouble remembering your dreams, you can nudge your brow chakra open while laying in bed before succumbing to sleep. Use your imagination to stir up images to open up the curtain. I did this often as a child to prompt flying dreams. I would imaging sitting atop a magic carpet and riding to school in style between the clouds and the streets.

Brow Chakra – Associations
Number six (6)
Color indigo
Sanskrit Name ajna
Physical Location center of the forehead
Purposes action of ideas, insight, mind development
Spiritual Lesson understanding, reality check point, detachment, open mind
Physical Dysfunctions brain tumors, strokes, blindness, deafness, seizures, learning disabilities, spinal dysfunctions, panic, depression
Mental / Emotional Issues fear of truth, discipline, judgement, evaluation, emotional intelligence, concept of reality, confusion
Information Stored Inside the Brow Chakra seeing clear picture (symbolic or literal), wisdom, intuition, mental facilities, intellect
Area of Body Governed brain, neurological system, eyes, ears, nose, pituitary, pineal glands
Crystals / Gemstones purple fluorite, sugalite, lapis
Flower Essences wild oat, queen anne’s lace, madia
Foods that Nourish the Brow Chakra blueberries, red grapes, black berries, raspberries, red wines and grape juice, lavender, poppy seed, mugwort 

Crown Chakra

The Crown Chakra is associated with the color violet or white. Which of these two colors you wish to associate with your crown chakra is your personal preference. My preference is to liken the energy and color of this chakra to the violet flame of transmutation which is a blend of both violet and white. A flame that never completely extinguishes itself in your lifetime. Certainly, any of your chakras, including your crown chakra can become blocked or misaligned, but it will not die. Everyone has the ability to gain access higher knowledge. Discovery of truth and wisdom is dependent on the healthfulness of your crown chakra.
Communication Center

We use the seventh chakra as a tool to communicate with our spiritual nature. It is through this aspiring vortice that the life force is dispersed from the universe into the lower 6 chakras. It has been referred to as our “GOD SOURCE.” But, this terminology might be confusing to anyone who equates God with religious dogma, because of this I choose to call it a spiritual connection or communicator.

Source of Wisdom and Well of Higher Knowledge

This chakra is often pictured in art works as a lotus flower opening as a means to allow spiritual awakening to occur in an individual. The crown chakra could also be considered the well intuitive knowing is drawn from.

Ways to Open and Clear the Crown Chakra

*Fasting
*Detoxing
*Smudging

Clean Out Your Attic and Rain Gutters – The reasoning behind these physical clean-up chores as a chakra health-maintenance activity is explained in my article Spring Cleaning and Your Chakras. Basically, if you think of the home you reside in as mirroring the alignment of your own chakras then you’ll get the gist. The roof and attic of the home corresponds with the crown chakra, whereas the basement or lower level of the home corresponds with your root chakra.

Chakra Seven – Associations
Color violet / white
Sanskrit Name sahasrara
Physical Location top of head
Purposes intuitive knowing, connection to one’s spirituality, integration of the whole
Spiritual Lesson spirituality, living in the NOW
Physical Dysfunctions mystical depression, diseases of the muscular system, skeletal system and the skin, chronic exhaustion not associated with physical ailments, sensitivity to light, sound, environment
Mental / Emotional Issues discovery of the divine, lack of purpose, loss of meaning or identity, trust, selflessness, humanitarianism, ability to see the bigger picture in the life stream, devotion, inspiration, values, ethics
Information Stored Inside Sacral Chakra duality, magnetism, controlling patterns, emotional feelings (joy, anger, fear)
Area of Body Governed top center of the head, midline above the ears
Crystals / Gemstones amber, diamond, moldavite
Flower Essences lotus, angelica, star tulip

Below is a chart of more corospondences for the chakras.

Chakra           Area of Body                 Human Talent            Shadow Emotion              Element
First              Organs of Elimination     Acceptance                  Resentment, Rigidity        Earth
Second         Sexual Organs                     Creativity        Passionate manipulation, Guilt     Water
Third            Navel Center                     Commitment                Anger, Greed                           Fire
Fourth         Heart Center                      Compassion               Fear, Attachment                       Air
Fifth            Throat                                     Truth                           Denial, Abruptnes                     Ether
Sixth            Third Eye                               Intuition                  Confusion, Depression             None
Seventh      Crown of the Head        Boundlessness                             Grief                               None

To be able to make informed decisions about oneself it is important that all chakras are in balance.

From a western point of view the chakras have been equated with the endocrine system, the limbi system, nervous system, instincts, intellectual pursuits, alchemistic symbols and more.

The chakras are interconnected with various pathways along which energies flow and can be balanced. There is a central channel that runs through the center of the spinal column and a pair of complementary channels, Ida (left) and Pingala (right) that express an interplay similar to Yin and Yang in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM).

Often the interplay is displayed as two snakes wrapped around a stake, not unlike the traditional logo of western medicine.

Chakra Imbalances

Lust, anger, greed, pride, and attachment are human qualities that result from the imbalance of the eight energy centers called chakras. When these imbalances settle in, we often experience mental or physical problems.

People often come to me with emotional blocks in a certain chakra that have manifested in the creation of a physical illness. The idea that certain emotions and talents live in certain areas of our bodies is not a new one, but I do think some people have taken this too far, and assume that if they get sick it is somehow their own fault. This is a negative way of looking at this phenomenon, and does more harm than good when it comes to healing our bodies and spirits. Your disease is not your fault. Illness is part of the whole learning experience of life, and everybody goes through it. That’s what it means to be mortal.

Taking an Active Positive Role in Healing Yourself

See your body as the perfect temple, for it is in loving and appreciating our body that we begin the path to consciousness. The eight greatest talents of humankind are located in the eight chakras, the eight major power areas of the body. The Eight Human Talents are the gifts that make us different from all other creatures on earth. Happiness is your birthright. The use and cultivation of these eight talents are keys to the happiness.

Balanced Chakra Expressions

When we are unbalanced in our chakras or energy centers, we use those expressions like, “I’m having an off day,” “I’m having a bad hair day,” “Nothing seemed to go right today.” If the chakras are balanced, you’ll hear expressions like, “It was such a great day,” “It was such a miraculous day,” “Things went so smoothly today!” And that comes when everything is lined up and the energy is flowing throughout your whole body.

There are a few different ways to go about balancing your chakras, some already mentioned previously. Meditation and calm focusing on the chakra one at a time working to clear away the blockage to free up the energies to flow smoothly. When doing this start from the bottom most point and work your way up.

It’s easiest to imagine your chakras like a series of pools where the water flows through a waterfall to the next pool down starting from your crown on through the root. The more debris in the pool the more restricted the water flow is to the next pool. This is the visualizations I use when meditating to clear my energies.

Since I studied Reiki, like a massage therapist for your chakra and energies, I learned to use a pendulum to help me detect under and over flowing chakra points. I use this as a divination technique to help clue into a client and often it turns into an amateur psychology session as I work to clear them.

I don’t recommend messing with anyone’s chakras if you don’t have proper training since you can cause more harm than good when pushing and pulling energies about a person’s being. Though using the pendulum over the chakra points can help you locate and demonstrate the flow of energy.

Some other ways to help clear your chakra after you’ve identified which it is you’re needing to work with is through mantra or chanting. This ties in with meditation as well, but you don’t have to be the one doing the vocalizing, though it helps.

Music. Playing a good relaxing playlist and practicing your breath work with your favorite incense burning in a dimly lit room is my favorite way to unwind and get things going properly.

Ritualistic baths, particularly bubble baths with salts. This one I love to mix it up with my bath oils, bubbles, salts and such and mix it up with the music mentioned before. A few candles and voila!!! Not just relaxing but completely therapeutic for the witch as a whole; mind, body and soul.

Yoga is a major one that most of you, if not all of you have heard of. The breath work, focus, angles, and stillness all play a huge role in helping you become grounded, centered, and balanced. Movement helps to connect our bodies to our spirit and our mind. Yoga isn’t always easy at first, but trust me when I say it gets better as you practice.

Our bodies are the means by which we come to know and understand our spiritual connection to the Infinite. John O’Donohue, gifted poet of the spirit, sums up this relationship beautifully in the Celtic poem from his book Anam Cara: A Book of Celtic Wisdom.

A Blessing For The Senses

May your body be blessed.
May you realize that your body is a faithful and
beautiful friend of your soul.
And may you be peaceful and joyful and recognize
that your senses are sacred thresholds.
May you realize that holiness is mindful, gazing,
feeling, hearing, and touching.
May your senses gather you and bring you home.
May your senses always enable you to celebrate the universe
and the mystery and possibilities in your presence here.
May the Eros of the Earth bless you.

Sources:

Introduction to Oriental Medicine through Charts and Graphs: The Missing Charts Manual

Healing.about.com

Wikipedia- Chakra

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