Chakra is an ancient Sanskrit word that means circle or wheel. The concept of chakras is an important component in the esoteric and ancient tradition of Tantra, a mystical dimension of Hinduism. Chakras represent seven basic energy centers or energy houses in the body. Each of these houses correlate to major nerve ganglia branching forth from the spinal column. In addition the chakras also correlate to levels of consciousness, archetypal elements, developmental stages of life, colors, sounds, body functions and much more.
The seven houses of chakras are as follows:
- First Chakra House: Muladhara – lower body or root
- Second Chakra House: Swadhisthana – sacrum
- Third Chakra House: Manipura – navel
- Fourth Chakra House: Anahata – heart
- Fifth Chakra House: Vishudha – throat
- Sixth Chakra House: Ajna – brow or third eye
- Seventh Chakra House: Sahasrara – crown
Earth, Physical identity, oriented to self-preservation.
Located at the base of the spine, this chakra forms our foundation. It represents the element earth, and is therefore related to our survival instincts, and to our sense of grounding and connection to our bodies and the physical plane. Ideally this chakra brings us health, prosperity, security, and dynamic presence.
Water, Emotional identity, oriented to self-gratification.
The second chakra, located in the abdomen, lower back, and sexual organs, is related to the element water, and to emotions and sexuality. It connects us to others through feeling, desire, sensation, and movement. Ideally this chakra brings us fluidity and grace, depth of feeling, sexual fulfillment, and the ability to accept change.
Fire, Ego identity, oriented to self-definition.
This chakra is known as the power chakra, located in the solar plexus. It rules our personal power, will, and autonomy, as well as our metabolism. When healthy, this chakra brings us energy, effectiveness, spontaneity, and non-dominating power.
Air, Social identity, oriented to self-acceptance.
This chakra is called the heart chakra and is the middle chakra in a system of seven. It is related to love and is the integrator of opposites in the psyche: mind and body, male and female, persona and shadow, ego and unity. A healthy fourth chakra allows us to love deeply, feel compassion, and have a deep sense of peace and centeredness.
Sound, Creative identity, oriented to self-expression.
This is the chakra located in the throat and is thus related to communication and creativity. Here we experience the world symbolically through vibration, such as the vibration of sound representing language.
Light, Archetypal identity, oriented to self-reflection.
This chakra is known as the brow chakra or third eye center. It is related to the act of seeing, both physically and intuitively. As such it opens our psychic faculties and our understanding of archetypal levels. When healthy it allows us to see clearly, in effect, letting us "see the big picture."
Thought, Universal identity, oriented to self-knowledge.
This is the crown chakra that relates to consciousness as pure awareness. It is our connection to the greater world beyond, to a timeless, spaceless place of all-knowing. When developed, this chakra brings us knowledge, wisdom, understanding, spiritual connection, and bliss.