Do you know what chakras are? In the simplest of definitions, they are apparently vortexes in your body through which your life force flows. I know, it may sound very odd if this is the first time you’re learning about all this, but trust me, it gets rather interesting.
I have lived a decent few years so far and I have observed people of various faiths doing various deeds in various relations to those various faiths. (You will now find the word ‘various’ really weird)
However, after much tossing and turning through the internet, I have perhaps found eastern philosophies to be the most intriguing. Whether it be Hinduism or Buddhism, there is a very distinct flavor that runs through these beliefs that separate them from the more western and middle eastern Abrahamic faiths.
Now, before anyone gets all fired up, I want to clarify that I’m not saying one system is better or worse than the other. I am merely making an observation about a topic that piqued my interests, that’s all. Now first, let us take a deep breath.
Let us begin.
I have always been a fan of Chinese martial arts movies. There is something so loveable about a well choreographed fight; the push and pull, the delicate movements, the beating-a-whole-group-of-bad-guys-by-undergoing-some-next-level-training-with-a-bearded-master. You know, the usual. Around 2013, I delved further into the philosophies of these arts. Along the way I rewatched some classics of course. Bruce Lee has and will always be an inspirational figure to us large bellied, fat, lazy bums.
But it is actually a cartoon show called Avatar: The Last Airbender, that really pushed me to knock on those doors I didn’t know existed. You see, the series’ setting, premise, philosophies, really the entire package was inspired by eastern beliefs. Even the fighting styles in the show replicated, beat for beat, actual martial arts, such as Xiaolin Kung Fu and Tai Chi.
What am I getting at with this though? As I fell in love with the story and characters, I also fell in love with their inherent reality. Something about that mystical world kept calling me and on a whim, I dived into research.
I came across quite a vast treasury of information. (It is the internet after all). Hold on tight folks, the trippy part begins here.
Chakras, as I mentioned before, are said to be vortexes, or wheels, through which your energy flows.
There are the major seven ones, arranged from the base of your spine to the top of your head and they all play a part in your spiritual well-being.
1) Root Chakra
This one resides in the base of the spine and you could say that it’s the most removed from the ‘other worldly’ aspects of existence.It deals with survival and basic needs of life, such as food, shelter and even financial security. It is basically the foundation upon which our lives are built, so an imbalanced root chakra leads to situations such as you feeling constantly afraid, or perhaps excessively greedy, depending on if the chakra is too shut off or more open than necessary. (Think of it like a pipe)
2) Sacral Chakra
Going up from the base of the spine to the lower abdomen, just below the tailbone, is the sacral chakra. Coloured in bright orange, the sacral chakra is said to deal with our emotions and our senses. In addition our creative energies are also linked to it, so it really is quite a powerhouse, especially for the modern world that is run by the sensual pleasures of life. An imbalanced sacral chakra can lead to being ruled by your emotions instead of the other way around, ranging from overindulgence in food and substances to less than appreciable sexual drive.
3) Solar Plexus Chakra
The solar plexus chakra is located in, well, the solar plexus. If you don’t know what that is, it’s alright. I didn’t know either when I first heard the term. It is basically in the upper part of the belly, around the region where your diaphragm resides. Now if you don’t know what the DIAPHRAGM is, that’s a problem…
Anyways, the solar plexus chakra is all about power and assertion of ourselves in the world. Coloured bright yellow, this chakra is responsible for traits such as willpower, discipline and confidence, among others. Imbalances could lead to overconfidence, lack of purpose or direction in life and even being manipulative. Yikes.
4) Heart Chakra
In the middle of everything rests the evergreen heart chakra. This is perhaps as straightforward as it gets to describe and I’m sure most of you already know what I am going to say. The heart chakra is all about love: love for oneself as well as love for everything other than oneself. It deals with compassion and forgiveness, the ability to look beyond and forgive others. Signs of an imbalanced heart chakra range from trying to please everyone to being completely emotionally shut off from the world. You gotta spread the love!
5) Throat Chakra
Ah yes, we are finally in the final three!
Being well rested at, well, your throat, this turquoise throat chakra is all about self expression and communication, as well as being a heavy player in making you understand what your purpose is (as hippie as that sounds, but then again all of this is hippie as well, so). Needless to say, the person who is very socially awkward or too boisterous and oversteps boundaries with what they have to say could use some rebalancing of this chakra. Other problems include not being able to keep confidential information and feeling somewhat purposeless (I suppose it is due to the whole metaphorical issue of not finding your voice)
6) Third Eye/Brow Chakra
We’re finally stepping into trippy territory!
I’m sure you’ve seen at least a few depictions of beings having a third eye in the middle of and a little bit above their eyes. In many discussions about chakras, I have seen this particular one being the most discussed topic among those who follow eastern beliefs.
The third eye shines with a strong purple (or it should be shining with a strong purple but you know us…) and it deals with various traits or feats that one would consider as ‘supernatural.’ For example, high intuition and psychic abilities, being able to predict the future, seeing past the ‘illusion of the physical world’, these are all attributed to the third eye. In addition, creativity is also one of the lesser considered characteristics. (Honestly, creativity would be a pretty low priority when reading minds is involved) Imbalances in the brow chakra can lead to lack of clarity as one of your whole ways of looking at things is blocked. In contrast, an overactive one could lead to being completely lost in vivid fantasies but in severely unhealthy manners.
7) Crown Chakra
Finally we have reached the top of the skyscraper.
The crown chakra is located just around the top of the head. It boasts a magnificent indigo hue and in direct contrast to the root chakra, which ties us to the physical and very carnal realms of existence, the crown is all about connecting to the universe, being able to experience realms of existence far beyond the limiting physical world. (Do I sound crazy? I told you things were going to get weird around this point.)
Imbalances of the crown chakra could lead to complete closed mindedness on one end of the spectrum and complete obsession with all that is spiritual and divine at the other end. This whole chakra system is basically something that needs the correct amounts of push and pull from each other to be in proper healthy and active states.
Well that was a doozy, wasn’t it? I honestly barely scratched the surface of the complex philosophies and years of dedication involved in order to ‘truly’ understand what these are. Entire books can be written about each and every chakra, and here’s the kicker:
I’ve heard people say there are more than 7! Some have said there are nine and others have claimed there are eight. What is the truth? Well, I don’t know. I’m just a regular non spiritual human being who could do well with losing a few pounds.
Here is a website that looks at chakras in more depth. It doesn’t use any difficult language and the articles are always a fun read. If you’re procrastinating on doing your homework at 4 in the morning, this might just be a nice site to take refuge in:
Also, you probably didn’t ask for it, but here’s a picture of me standing in front of a tube light pretending my third eye has opened to make way for magical realities:
Hope you have a very colourful day!