Saturday, May 23, 2009
I'm going to try to not be so wordy from now on. I've been wanting to talk about chakras for a while, though. I still have more to say, but I didn't want to go off on a huge tangent. Oops.
Chakras are the wheel- or flower-like vortices of energy that, according to traditional Indian medicine, are believed to exist in our bodies from the crown of the head to the tailbone. Each chakra is thought to influence or even govern specific bodily functions. Practitioners of both Hinduism and New Age Spirituality (and many Pagans are more similar to New Agers than either group might admit) believe the chakras interact with the body's ductless endocrine glands and lymphatic system by feeding in good bio-energies and disposing of unwanted bio-energies.
Since there is an incredible amount of chakras from the traditional perspective available on the internet and in the more archaic vessels of information known as books, I will only discuss the Pagan and New Age point of view regarding chakras. For these groups, the chakras are usually flower-shaped, and each chakra is associated with a different color and sound. When a person is suffering from a physical malady or several ailments, it is often thought that the chakras are out of balance. Fortunately, it is easy to re-align one’s chakras, if one is a ‘professional’. The so-called professional may incorporate crystals, lights, and even tuning forks and singing bowls into the therapy, and charge the patient hundreds of dollars.
Check this quote from healing.about.com: When your back or hip gets out of alignment you will make a trip to the chiropractor's office for a spinal adjustment. Similarly, a healer trained in manipulating the energy flow of energy can assist you in getting misaligned chakras back to functioning properly. It may take one or more appointments with a practitioner to get your energy levels up to par.
For those of you who aren’t familiar with the chakra system, here is a quick and dirty guide:
Red – Base of the spine. Earth and grounding.
Orange - Spleen: Located just beneath the navel, and related to our sexual and reproductive capacity.
Blockage manifests as emotional problems or sexual guilt. (A person who claims you have blockage in this chakra could possibly be up to no good.)
Yellow – Solar Plexis. Emotions. Blockage manifests as anger or a sense of victimization. (Obviously, no one gets angry for any other reason than a blocked third chakra.)
Green – Heart chakra. Blockage can manifest itself as heart problems or problems with the immune system. It can also manifest as a lack of compassion. (If you’re having heart problems, please see a cardiologist, NOT a chakra ‘specialist’.)
Blue – Throat chakra. If this is blocked, it supposedly means you are not communicating your emotions properly. Apparently it manifests as a slight strangling sensation…
Indigo – Third Eye chakra. The pineal gland. This is where psychic abilities manifest.
Purple – Crown chakra. This is the one that connects us with god.
Do the chakras really exist? Possibly. There is a lot of wisdom in the ancient traditions of Asian cultures and their medical practices. Some therapies have proven effective, such as acupuncture. Still, it is important to remember that physical and mental ailments are not necessarily connected, and not being able to communicate your emotions doesn’t mean your throat chakra is blocked. If someone you know and trust is telling you this, take it with a grain of salt, then see a medical professional, especially if you are experiencing serious health problems, such as heart problems. If you are being given advice on your chakras by someone you have never met, there’s a pretty good chance that person wants to make some money off of you.
Many Pagans like to talk about realigning chakras. Sometimes they incorporate chakras, Reiki, and crystals into one big spiritual mish-mash, no matter what their chosen path. There are plenty of chakra meditations to be found, not only for balancing the energy fields, but for strengthening them or even just learning more about these mysterious energy fields. It's just another way in which people take old knowledge, mix it with a few other facts and a lot of crap, put a modern twist on it, and insist it's part of their Old Ways.