Each of the chakras is symbolised by layers of imagery and energetic associations such as colour, element, note and a bija mantra sound, which can be used to promote balanced functioning of the chakras. Each chakra also relates to an endocrine gland, an area of the physical body and several mental/emotional qualities, which can result in various physical disorders when the chakra remains out of balance long term. Using a crystal of the appropriate colour can also be used to help re-balance a chakra – hold it over the chakra and visualise breathing its energy into the chakra with the in-breath for 5 or 10 minutes at a time.
Root or Base Chakra
Name – Muladhara, meaning ‘foundation’
Represents fearlessness, stillness, stability, survival instincts, will to live.
Colour – red, Element – Earth, Bija Mantra – Lam
Gland: Adrenal glands
Physical organs: Base of spine, bones, legs, feet, rectum, immune system.
Physical disorders: Chronic lower back pain, sciatica, varicose veins, rectal disorders, depression, alcoholism, immune-related disorders, flu/colds.
Crystals to help rebalance: red jasper, haematite, smoky quartz.
Stage of Development: Conception and birth up to approx 1 yr old – creation of physical body.
Name – Svadistana, meaning ‘sweetness’
Relates to emotions, sensuality and creativity.
Colour – orange, Element – Water, Bija Mantra – Vam
Physical organs: Reproductive organs, bladder, large intestine, appendix, pelvis, hips.
Physical disorders: Lower back/pelvic pain, gynaecological/reproductive disorders, sexual potency, urinary problems, migraine.
Crystals to help rebalance: carnelian, tiger’s eye, rose quartz; rhodonite and rhodochrosite to heal wounds.
Stage of Development: 6 months to approx 2 yrs – becoming an individual, separate from mother.
Solar Plexus Chakra
Name – Manipura, meaning ‘city of gems’
Relates to control of energy, personal power, self-esteem and self-confidence.
Colour – yellow, Element – Fire, Bija Mantra – Ram
Physical organs: Stomach, liver, gallbladder, kidneys, pancreas, spleen, mid back.
Physical disorders: Arthritis, gastric/duodenal ulcers, intestinal problems, pancreatitis/diabetes, indigestion, anorexia or bulimia, liver dysfunction, hepatitis.
Crystals to help rebalance: calcite, citrine, amber, tiger’s eye.
Stage of Development: Small child 18 months to approx 4 yrs – development of language and autonomy and search for balance between freedom and discipline.
Name – Anahata, meaning ‘unstruck’
Relates to harmony in both inner and outer worlds, love and relationships, compassion and forgiveness.
Colour – green or pink, Element – Air, Bija Mantra – Yam
Physical organs: Heart and circulatory system, lungs, shoulders, arms, ribs, breasts, diaphragm.
Physical disorders: Heart failure, asthma/allergies, lung cancer, bronchial pneumonia, breast cancer, upper back and shoulder pain.
Crystals to help rebalance: emerald, green aventurine, rose quartz, kunzite.
Stage of Development: The child 4-7 yrs – relating to others outside immediate family, building self-esteem and self-acceptance.
Name – Vishudda, meaning ‘pure’
Relates to union of the elements, communication, self-expression, creativity and strength of will.
Colour – blue, Element – Ether/Space, Bija Mantra – Ham
Physical organs: Throat, thyroid, trachea, neck, mouth/teeth/gums, oesophagus.
Physical disorders: Sore throats, stuttering, mouth ulcers, gum problems, temporo-mandibular joint problems, laryngitis, swollen glands, thyroid disorders.
Crystals to help rebalance: lapis lazuli, turquoise, blue lace agate, chrysocolla.
Stage of Development: Pre-pubescent 7-12 yrs – beginning of stage of self-expression.
Third Eye or Brow Chakra
Name – Ajna, meaning ‘command’
Relates to seeing clearly, insight, intuition and imagination.
Colour – indigo or violet, Bija Mantra – Aum/Om
Physical organs: Left eye, lower brain, nose, ears, pituitary gland, nervous system.
Physical disorders: Brain tumour, haemorrhage, stroke, neurological disturbances, poor vision, full spinal difficulties, seizures, nightmares, headaches.
Crystals to help rebalance: sodalite, lapis lazuli, kyanite, amethyst, fluorite, sugilite.
Stage of Development: The adolescent – reflecting on patterns in own and others’ lives and creating a role in the world.
Name – Sahasrara, meaning ‘thousand-petalled lotus’
Relates to unity, formlessness, potential, knowledge and understanding.
Colour – violet or white, Bija Mantra – Nng
Physical organs: Upper brain, right eye, pineal gland, skin, muscular and skeletal systems.
Physical disorders: Energetic disorders, chronic exhaustion, mystical depression, extreme sensitivities to light, sound and other environmental factors; co-ordination problems, feeling detached from others.
Crystals to help rebalance: amethyst, clear quartz, selenite.
Stage of Development: The adult 20-27 yrs – fully reacting and interacting with the world.
Cycles of Nature
Each of the cycles of nature can be regarded as a time during which certain skills are developed. The precise shift from one stage of development to another will vary from person to person, often with stages overlapping. In some cases, however, stress or trauma disrupts the chakra energy, often causing an underlying problem for subsequent growth. If one function remains under-developed, all the others dependent upon it will be negatively affected.
Having gone through a whole cycle, root to crown chakra, the individual often asks themselves existential questions such as ‘Why am I here?’, which may cause radical changes in life and work. The whole cycle then begins again, starting at the root chakra, with a metaphorical rebirth. The chakra cycle can repeat itself many times in a single lifetime, providing opportunities to heal and grow and express more of your potential.
A Holistic Approach
When you perceive the chakras as aspects of consciousness, it can be understood that the physical systems of the body cannot be separated from the subtler structures of mind and emotions. In fact, they are all fundamentally linked together. Changes at one level will bring automatic changes at the other levels. Dysfunction at the physical level is echoed in the function of the chakras, while stress in the chakras can manifest as discomfort at the level of body, mind or emotion.
This is the second in a series of 3 blogs looking in detail at the human energy system. Part 3, Energising the Chakras and a Chakra Quiz, will be available at the beginning of July.
Helen Shortland is a Reiki Master Teacher, Meditation Teacher and Holistic Therapist based at Little London Herbal Stores on Kings Walk in Nottingham city centre. For further information about her courses, workshops and therapies, please visit her website at http://helenshortland.com.