Tag Archives: Spiritual Development


All living things (humans, animals, plants) have an aura or energy field.  So too do all physical objects such as pebbles, crystals, furniture, although the aura of a living thing is much more colourful and vibrant than that of an inanimate object.  The aura is the electro-magnetic field that emanates from all matter. It oscillates around the human body as multi-coloured waves of light.

The human energy field or aura is comprised of numerous different layers. In this blog I will be looking at the three levels closest to the human body – the etheric body, the emotional body and mental body.  These three layers together provide a guide to a person’s energy, emotional and mental health.

Etheric Body

This layer is closest to the physical body, extending up to 1” away from the body. Its colour varies between light blue to white and it can most easily be seen around the fingers.  Clairvoyants can interpret illness in the body through the presence of dark energy. Pain or inflammation can be indicated through the presence of red ‘hot’ spots.

Emotional Body

This layer extends 1”-3” from the physical body.  It is concerned with emotions and feelings and varies in colour between bright, clear colours to dark and muddy shades. Because our feelings can change frequently throughout the day, the colours in this auric layer also change.  Bright clear colours relate to healthy emotions. For example light blue would indicate a peace-maker, someone is a calm, caring and sensitive; while orange would indicate someone who is lively, witty and sociable.  Muddy shades relate to more negative character traits, such as muddy green indicating jealousy and envy.

Mental Body

This layer extends 3”-8” from the physical body and is concerned with the mind and thought processes.  People with a positive mind and strong intellect have a vibrant mental body. This layer is usually predominantly yellow as this colour is most concerned with the mind but I have also seen blue here (indicating the blues) and a dark indigo blue indicating a serious, introverted character or depression.

Viewing the Aura

Here are two methods you can try:-

  1. Look at the side of a person’s head, about 6” away, and let your eyes go into soft focus.
  1. Look directly at a person, let your vision go into soft focus, and allow colours to form in your peripheral vision in the other person’s energy field.

In both cases, relax the body and mind first with some deep breathing and basic meditation. You can also try the eye exercise below to improve eye sight, particularly your peripheral vision, and strengthen the eye muscles.

Exercise to improve your peripheral vision

  1. Close your eyes and take some deep breaths. With your eyes still closed and keeping your head still, look up to your forehead as high as you can, then look straight down as far as you can. Repeat this up and down movement 8 times.
  2. Return your eyes to the centre. Without moving your head, look to the left then look to the right. Repeat this left-right movement 8 times.  You should be able to feel the eye muscles working!
  3. Return your eyes to the centre. Again, without moving your head, look up diagonally to the top left corner, then down diagonally to the lower right corner. Repeat this movement 8 times.
  4. Return your eyes to the centre. Again, without moving your head, look up diagonally to the top right corner, then down diagonally to the lower left corner. Repeat this movement 8 times.
  5. Return your eyes to the centre. Without moving your head, look upwards as high as you can, then move the eyes round in a clockwise direction to form a circle. Repeat 9 times.
  6. Then from the point at the top of your vision, move the eyes round in an anti-clockwise direction forming a circle. Repeat 9 times.
  7. When you have done, rest a few moments with your eyes closed.

An Exercise to Strengthen the Aura

When a person is tired, run down or very ill, the energy field as a whole shrinks down in size. This can also happen when a person has been emotionally and mentally drained, such as through bullying or abuse. In this case the aura becomes dim and difficult to read.  This exercise will help to strengthen, clear and balance your aura. Ideally it can be practiced once a day.

  1. Close your eyes and imagine the colour red.
  2. As you inhale, try to feel your breath drawing the red up the back of your body, from your feet to the top of your head, then pause, holding the colour at the top of your head. As you exhale, feel the red flow down the front of your body before sweeping under your feet.
  3. Still imagining the colour red, breathe in and draw the red up the right hand side of your body to the top of your head, then pause. As you exhale, send the red down the left hand side of your body, again taking the colour under your feet.
  4. Move the circle of colour further out from your physical body and continue for 4 breaths, this time focusing on the colour orange.
  5. Each time, move the circle of colour further out and continue the 4 breaths with yellow, green, sky blue, indigo then violet/lavender.
  6. Finish off the exercise with a white or golden light.

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. She runs a range of spiritual themed workshops including Developing Intuition and Connecting to your Spirit Guide. Please ring her on 07748 591690 to book a treatment or visit her website http://helenshortland.com for further information.

Upcoming workshops:

Developing Intuition workshop  Sat 26th April 2014, 2.30-5pm, £15.

Please email me at helenshortland@live.co.uk for further information/booking.


Your aura is the energy field that surrounds your physical body.  It is made up of electromagnetic energy generated by your physical body, including infrared radiation from your body heat, and electrical activity from your nerve and muscle cells.  It also comprises etheric or vibrational energy generated by your spiritual body.  Your aura is the ‘real you’ – the energy field that extends far beyond the physical body which can be called your spirit, soul, essence or etheric body.

Everything has an aura or energy field, including living things such as people, animals, plants and crystals, as well as buildings, places etc which have an energy of their own.  The human aura or energy field is comprised of our thoughts, feeling and emotions, as well as past experiences.  Proficient clairvoyants can also see past lives in the aura and the things we are attracting into our energy field in the near future. The aura is not usually seen with the naked eye but can become visible to those with clairvoyant ability or through practices such as meditation and visualisation. The aura can also be seen through a specific photographic technique called Kirlian photography.

A Mirror of your Health and Feelings

Your aura reveals a wealth of information about your mental, emotional and physical health and can also indicate how developed you are spiritually. The more relaxed and happy you are, the bigger your aura will be.  A bright, clear aura is a sign of good health while a blurred, dull, irregularly shaped aura indicates ill health or distress. Unhappiness can cause it to shrink, while a sudden shock can make your aura retract momentarily.

Learning to Read Auras

The first time you see an aura, you will see it as white or gold. This is not the true aura colour; just the first stage of clairvoyant sight.  When looking into the aura, try to remain emotionally detached, not excited, just remain as relaxed as possible.  When you are more practiced, you may start to see colours in the aura. You may only see white but flashes of a colour may come into your mind.  Ask to be shown a person’s aura colours. Ask your higher self what colour is in their aura. When trying to see the aura, look to the side of a person in soft focus rather than directly at their physical body.  It is always easier to see an aura against a plain dark background.  When working with smaller objects such as plants or crystals with a smaller life force, you need to look directly at the object and slightly unfocus your eyes.  Any time you want to relax more, try a sigh and drop your shoulders. Take a deep breath in, hold it for a moment, then as you sigh, breathe out and let all your muscles go.

How to see your own aura

When looking for your own aura, hold your hands either palms up or down on your lap, holding the fingers apart. Do not stare too hard, just soft gaze at your hands. You will soon start to see a white outline around your fingers.  It may be thicker on one side than the other. You may also see what looks like smoke moving between the fingers: this is just your own energy attaching itself to itself.  Practice bouncing energy between your hands.

How to see someone else’s aura

Ask a friend to stand in front of a plain coloured background such as a wall.  Let your eyes fall into soft gaze in the space a few inches to the side of their head and above their crown.  You may start to see what looks like a halo of light around the person’s head.  Alternatively choose one spot on which to focus, such as the centre of their forehead.  Focus on this spot for at least 60 seconds then attempt to ‘see’ the energy surrounding their head with your peripheral vision while still concentrating on the centre of their forehead.  Try not to look away or let your mind be distracted. You should start to notice that the energy around your friend is brighter and a different colour from the wall against which they are standing.

When sensing a person’s aura with your hands, you will feel a slight resistance when your two auras touch.  This is what happens when two energies meet, eg. two electrical currents coming together cause a spark. You can feel that resistance as warmth, tingling or even cold.

Interpreting the Colours of your Aura

Different colours reflect different characteristics and personality traits, a list of which is below.  Please note however that different colours also have different meanings in different layers of the aura (ie. the emotional, mental and physical body) as well as having a divinatory meaning.

Violet:  A spiritual person with psychic abilities.

Purple:  Sensitive and spiritual.

Pink:  Loving and compassionate.

White:  Keeps things to self, detached.

Dark blue/Indigo:  Intuitive, introverted, serious.

Blue:  Calm, loyal, dependable, fair.

Light blue:  People-person, a peacemaker.

Turquoise:  A multi-tasker, busy and organised.

Light green:  Open, honest person.

Green:  Practical, emotionally balanced person. Dark muddy green can indicate jealousy or possessiveness.

Brown:  Down to earth, well grounded person.

Yellow:  Lively mind, intelligent, independent person with lots of ideas.

Orange:  Warm, sociable, witty, happy, confident, creative.

Red:  Frustration, anger, worry. Ambitious, driven, concerned with material issues.

Gold:  Likes learning, gaining knowledge, wise.

Burgundy:  Full of passion and enthusiasm for life.

Lavender:  Intuitive.

Silver:  Persistence. Silver sparklies round head can indicate psychic potential.

Grey:  Fear.

Black:  Working through a lot of emotional pain. Can also indicate those who are victims of abuse or who are substance abusers.

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. She runs a range of spiritual themed workshops including Developing Intuition and Connecting to your Spirit Guide. Please ring her on 07748 591690 to book a treatment or visit her website http://helenshortland.com for further information.

Upcoming workshops:

Developing Intuition workshop  Sat 26th April 2014, 2.30-5pm, £15.

Connecting to your Spirit Guide workshop  Sat 22nd February 2014, 2.30pm-5pm, £15.

Please email me at helenshortland@live.co.uk for further information/booking.



The word ‘spiritual’ derives from the Latin ‘spiritus’ meaning ‘breathing’ or ‘the breath’.  The spirit is the animating or life-force principle.  Spirit is the spark of life we have within us.  It is often said that we are spiritual beings living in a physical body.  There is a part of us, a spiritual essence, that co-exists with our physical body which connects us to the spiritual or life-giving energy of the universe.

Spirituality can be defined as:-

  • Becoming aware of our spirit and thereby becoming aware of our potential for growth and enlightenment, sensing that our lives have a purpose.
  • Recognising the God force within us and therefore our connection to the Source/Creator/All that is.
  • Recognising that we are no longer separate and alone but are in fact all connected to one another.  We learn from each other, attracting and reflecting the experiences, people and situations we need in order to learn and grow.
  • Recognising that we have a spirit that needs nurturing through meditation, positive thoughts and acts of love and kindness.
  • A willingness to practice forgiveness and develop tolerance and compassion, knowing that only love can heal and bring peace to the individual and to the world.

What Spirituality is Not

The proof of spirituality is in how you live your routine day to day life.  It is not about how many attunements you have had, courses you have attended, how many Reiki treatments you’ve received or given, or even how psychic you are.  Some of the most spiritual people live quiet lives, simply taking responsibility for themselves, and being honest, modest and kind to others.  Taking responsibility for yourself simply means making your own decisions, taking credit for your successes and being answerable for your mistakes.  In other words, it is living your life, making mistakes and learning from them.  The end result is a much more well-rounded person who has acquired a sense of what is truly important in life.

Personal Responsibility

We are living at a time of great awakening.  Spirituality is no longer seen as only going hand in hand with religion.  Enlightenment and the experience of oneness are no longer only available to a select special few.  Much is changing in our world at the present time with the decline in traditional religion and the burgeoning interest in spiritual practices such as meditation.  Spirituality connects us to the sense of oneness and unity that lies behind and beyond all the different religious traditions.

Spiritual awareness and the responsibility for personal growth are coming back to rest upon the individual.  We are responsible for our own spiritual development.  Our potential for enlightenment, our spirituality, lies within, and through our own inner work we will find it.

A Final Note Regarding Spiritual Teachers

There is a well-known saying, “When the student is ready, the teacher appears.”  When you find your spiritual teacher, it is important to remember not to give away your own personal power.  You should always discriminate and take responsibility for yourself and not just take for granted anything anyone tells you, whoever they seem to be.  What is true for one person will not be true for everyone else.  Only take from them that which resonates with you and rings true at the time, for that is what you need right now.  You already have within yourself everything you need – a teacher will only help you to find it.


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. Please ring her on 07748 591690 to book a treatment or visit her website http://helenshortland.com for further information.



What is “Healing”?

We are all accustomed to hearing about the healing journey, spiritual healing, energy healing, Reiki healing etc but what exactly does ‘healing’ mean?  The term ‘healing’ means becoming whole, ie. being aware of yourself on all levels (physically, emotionally, mentally and spiritually) and accepting, expressing and integrating all that you are. It is not denying aspects of yourself and living your life according to the expectations and needs of others but loving yourself enough to be who you really are.

The word energy is derived from the Greek words ‘en’ meaning in or inside and ‘ergon’ meaning work, force, power or effort.  Healing energy can therefore be interpreted as doing our inner work so that we can become whole.

Physical Healing

We have all had aches and pains, cuts and bruises, infection and illnesses. We may have needed antibiotics, stitches or painkillers to help and taken time out to rest and recuperate but essentially our bodies heal themselves.

Emotional Healing

We have all suffered emotional pain and injuries too.  We have all experienced unpleasant painful feelings such as anger, fear, sadness, loneliness and rejection.  Our natural response is to deny these feelings as we are too ashamed to admit to them. After all, emotional pain is harder to see and therefore easier to ignore.  However when these feelings are suppressed in the subconscious mind, the body always responds in some way – muscular tension, pain and stiffness, and the autonomic nervous system floods the body with anxiety-stimulating stress hormones such as adrenalin and cortisol.

We learn through experience that society does not deem it appropriate to express painful emotions and we even call them ‘negative’ to reinforce the idea that they are unwanted.  However, when these emotions are not expressed, they become stored in our body, energy system and unconscious mind.  When painful emotions are suppressed or denied, the act of suppression leads to anxiety, worry or depression, physical illness or addition. People usually turn to painkillers, medication or self-medicate with alcohol or drugs.

Pain from the past continues to affect the present.  It can take years to even acknowledge that painful emotions exist.  But until we can finally admit to ourselves that something is wrong, we will find it very difficult to heal.  We remain in this pattern of suppression and denial until we are ready to release and transform.

Becoming Whole

Becoming whole means being in good health and balance of all levels – physical, emotional, mental and spiritual.  Wholeness involves acknowledging and accepting all that we are.  First it is necessary to discover and accept the more ‘negative’ aspects of our character and all the painful emotions we carry.

Few people genuinely love or understand themselves enough.  It is so much easier to judge ourselves and find ourselves lacking in some way, not being worthy enough or lovable enough.  Understanding is key: understanding where those painful emotions came from and the beliefs we have around them.  We must forgive ourselves for the mistakes we have made and we must also forgive others for the mistakes they have made towards us.  If you cannot forgive, you must at least learn to detach from the pain and let it go.  It is the only way to heal, the only way to set yourself free from the pain of the past.

Moving Forward

The best way to develop love, understanding and forgiveness is through a spiritual practice such as meditation; a form of healing such as spiritual, energy or Reiki healing; healing meditation connecting with the energy of love; or even counselling.  Meditation helps you enter the witness state of detachment from thoughts and feelings and experience stillness and clarity of mind.  Healing treatments can help you connect with the divine energy of source, make you aware of what’s in your heart and fully experience your feelings.  Counselling can help you identify painful emotions and explore their origin.  By making the connection with your heart, the soul is more able to connect with the body and infuse the body with more light, or soul energy, that helps you release and move forward.  I do believe that the body wants to heal itself; we just need to get out of the way and let it happen.

A Life-long Process

Healing is a life-long process.  It involves learning about ourselves and being willing to change.  I believe that meditation is one of the most profound methods of self-healing we can do and is something that can be practiced regularly by everyone.  You can meditate upon your thoughts and emotions and discover where they came from. Vipassana Meditation teaches you how to choose and master your thoughts, thereby influencing your moods and feelings, which has a direct bearing on the physical body.  If you practice healing meditation, you can direct a beam of bright white light into areas of tension, pain or illness and visualise the body healing itself.  By being willing to change, accept and integrate all parts of ourselves, we can all lead healthier and happier lives.

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.


Energising the Chakras


A weak, under-active chakra can be brought back into balance in a variety of ways.  This ensures stability and wellbeing of the individual at every level of body, mind and spirit.

Base Chakra

Imbalances in this chakra can manifest as a chronic lack of energy, exhaustion, problems with stiffness and painful movement particularly in hips, legs and feet. Healing and energising is also needed when someone is uncomfortable with their body which can lead to a sense of confusion or unreality, lack of drive or motivation and an aversion to dealing with practicalities and taking physical exercise.

To energise the base chakra:

  • A warm bath.
  • Massage, aromatherapy or reflexology.
  • Walking, running, drumming, dancing or jumping.  Just stamping the feet can improve circulation, co-ordination and our link to the earth.
  • Gardening for extra grounding.
  • Attend to practical matters.
  • Meditation to bring you back to the present and increase focus.
  • Eating, especially high protein foods. A good mineral supplement can also help. (Shortage of zinc is one of the most common causes of ‘spaciness’ and lack of mental focus.)
  • Haematite crystal for increased focus and grounding.

Sacral Chakra

This chakra is concerned with balance and flow including the ebb and flow of the emotions. Any imbalances in this chakra can manifest as poor balance of fluids and lack of flexibility such as irregular or painful menstruation, constipation, lower back pain, sciatica, fertility problems, arthritis and rigidity of joints.  Imbalances can arise when we become fixated on something that is unrealistic or inappropriate which can lead to unhealthy emotional dependency, lack of emotional flexibility and repression of feelings. Adults who display sacral chakra imbalances may have experienced a lack of close physical contact as young children.

To energise the sacral chakra:

  • Tai chi, chi kung, hatha yoga or belly dancing to increase sense of movement and balance and increase chi in the tantien.
  • Creative pursuits such as painting, drawing, writing or making music to help blocked energy start flowing.
  • Moonstone, rose quart and clear quartz crystals placed over the sacral chakra.

Solar Plexus Chakra

This chakra is associated with the element of fire. Fire can bring comfort and warmth but can also bring fear and terror when out of control, echoing the emotional breadth of this chakra.  Imbalances in this chakra can manifest as anxiety, digestive disorders, lack of personal power, victimhood or dominating others.

To energise the solar plexus chakra:

  •  Seated spinal twist hatha yoga pose.
  • Visualise a golden sun in your solar plexus chakra.
  • Learn to accept yourself for who you are.
  • Meditation without form or Vipassana/still point meditation to take you beyond your sense of who you are.
  • Spiritual development including recogising that people and situations are a reflection of ourselves to stop you taking things so personally.
  • Citrine and calcite crystals.

Heart Chakra

This chakra governs our interactions as we reach out to touch and embrace others. It continually strives to bring balance between external stimuli and internal emotions. The state of this chakra indicates our capacity for joy, compassion and tolerance.  Imbalances can manifest as feeling remote and isolated from the world around us or living your life according to other people’s rules. When you listen to your heart, you will be directed along a path which allows you to achieve your maximum potential.

To energise the heart chakra:

  • Join groups/classes or do community work to meet people and make new friends if you have been feeling isolated.
  • Gomukhasana hatha yoga pose to open the heart centre.
  • Find a balance between your personal needs and the needs of others.
  • Examine your values and beliefs to see if they are really yours. If not, identify your own and start to live by them instead.
  • Pink and green crystals to strengthen and energise the heart chakra.

Throat Chakra

This chakra is associated with communication, self-expression and finding a path of inner peace.  Individual expression can be stifled by overbearing discipline. When that happens, energy is either directed upwards where it is locked in a fantasy world of imagination or downwards to distort the lower three chakras as aggression or excessive manipulation and dominance over others. Imbalances here manifest as lack of inner peace, communication difficulties and understanding the communication of others, difficulties swallowing or breathing, throat and thyroid disorders, metabolic disorders, neck and shoulder tension

To energise the throat chakra:

  •  Singing, chanting a mantra or toning to release physical and emotional tensions.
  • Release and purifying hurt, angry feelings by writing them down and burning the piece of paper.
  • Creative/artistic expression such as drawing or painting.
  • Ustrasana (camel pose) from hatha yoga.
  • Examine core beliefs and see where there are conflicting viewpoints.
  • Don’t tell lies; try to practice open, honest communication.
  • Blue crystals such as blue lace agate, lapis lazuli and turquoise to assist self-expression.

Third Eye/Brow Chakra

This chakra governs perception, understanding, interpretation, perspective and thought processes.  It interprets information received by the brain. Imbalances here manifest as confusion, poor vision, jumping to conclusions or a closed mind.

To energise the brow chakra:

  •  Creative visualisation with images of light.
  • Cultivate a sense of detachment from strong emotional involvement to increase possibility of flashes of intuition and inspiration arising in the mind.
  • Send distant healing regularly to increase inner vision/clairvoyance.
  • Practice psychometry, with an open mind and sense of fun!, to receive impressions about an object, its history and owner.
  • Practice tratak (candle-gazing) meditation to strengthen third eye.
  • Indigo or violet crystals such as lapis lazuli or amethyst.

Crown Chakra

This chakra relates to spirituality understanding and concept of oneness or unity. The crown chakra is also the main co-ordinating centre of the body and connects the individual to universal sources of energy. Imbalances here manifest as limbic system disorders (body temperature, appetite, sleep patterns, emotions and movement), chronic fatigue syndrome and ME, lack of co-ordination, dyslexia, detachment and isolation or over-dependence on a person or way of living.  If the crown chakra is weak or prevented from working normally, it cannot provide all the energy and information required by the other chakras.

To energise the crown chakra:

  •  Physical exercises such as cross crawl (right elbow to left knee etc) to improve co-ordination.
  • Adho mukha svanasana (downward dog) hatha yoga pose to balance energy between feet and crown.
  • Improve body-mind co-ordination with activities such as juggling and rubbing your stomach while tapping your head.
  • Practice meditation and develop an interest in spirituality.
  • Reiki or other energy healing attunements.
  • Practice yoga nidra to visualise flow of energy and information throughout the body.
  • Clear quartz crystal to energise whole auric field and selenite crystal to live more in tune with higher self.


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.


The Chakras: Qualities, Correspondences and Stages of Development

This picture depicts the seven major Chakras w...

This picture depicts the seven major Chakras with descriptions. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

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.

Sacral Chakra

Name – Svadistana, meaning ‘sweetness’

Relates to emotions, sensuality and creativity.

Colour – orange,  Element – Water,  Bija Mantra – Vam

Gland:  Ovaries/testes

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

Gland:  Pancreas

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.

Heart Chakra

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

Gland:  Thymus

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.

Throat Chakra

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

Gland:  Thyroid

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

Gland:  Pituitary

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.

Crown Chakra

Name – Sahasrara, meaning ‘thousand-petalled lotus’

Relates to unity, formlessness, potential, knowledge and understanding.

Colour – violet or white,  Bija Mantra – Nng

Gland:  Pineal

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.

The Chakras: Their Purpose and Vibration


What are they?

‘Chakra’ is a Sanskrit word meaning ‘wheel’ which describes their spinning motion while absorbing, giving out and distributing life force energy (ki) throughout our subtle and physical bodies.  The chakras are the major energy centres of the body: when they are functioning correctly there is good free-flow of energy throughout the physical, emotional, mental and spiritual bodies, resulting in balance and harmony.  Chakras should be open to let energy flow freely in and out and between the different auric levels.  The more energy that flows, the healthier we are.  Illness in the system is caused by an imbalance of energy or a block in the flow of energy: in other words, lack of flow in our energy system eventually leads to disharmony and dis-ease.

There are 7 major chakras – crown, 3rd eye or brow, throat, heart, solar plexus, sacral and root/base.  Each is positioned along a central channel called the sushumna which runs from the base chakra to the crown chakra.  The base and crown chakras form our connection to earth and spirit.  The sushumna is encircled by two energy channels called Ida and Pingala which spiral upwards in opposite directions from the base chakra.  The points where they meet along the central channel are known as the chakras.  Chakras can be likened to multi-dimensional gateways that allow us to access different experiences and states of consciousness.

Each chakra relates to a different colour, note, element, endocrine gland and auric layer, which I will address is more detail in the next two blogs.

Purpose of the Chakras

The chakras have three main functions:-

1. To vitalise each auric body and therefore the physical body.

2. To promote the development of different aspects of consciousness.  Each chakra relates to a specific psychological function.

3. To transmit energy between the auric layers.

Why do they vibrate at different frequencies?

Everything in the universe consists of vibrations occurring at different frequencies.  The colours we see all around us are different frequencies of visible light as perceived by our physical senses and interpreted by the brain.  Beyond this range lies ultra-violet light, radio waves and other light waves.

In eastern esoteric literature, each chakra is seen as having a certain number of petals.  These appear to be small rotating vortices spinning at very high rates.  Each vortex metabolizes an energy vibration that resonates at its particular spin frequency.  For example the base chakra has 4 small vortices and metabolises 4 basic frequencies of energy, vibrating at the colour red.  Four vortices is a relatively small amount of energy being metabolized and so this chakra relates to the physical, material world and issues of survival and security.  The 3rd eye chakra has 96 vortices and corresponds to the colour indigo.  Now consider that the crown chakra has 972 vortices and vibrates at the colour violet-white.  This seventh chakra metabolizes the greatest amount of energy out of all the 7 major chakras and carries a very high spiritual vibration.

The chakras vibrate at different frequencies according to the spiritual qualities that govern each chakra:-

Root/base chakra – security and survival – colour red

Sacral chakra – relationships with others, power and control – colour orange

Solar plexus chakra – sense of self, self-esteem and self-worth – colour yellow

Heart chakra – compassion, tolerance, joy and love for others – colour green or pink

Throat chakra – self-expression and communication – colour blue

Brow/3rd eye chakra – vision, direction, understanding and mental processes – colour indigo or violet

Crown chakra – sense of connection, oneness and spiritual awareness – colour violet or white

Personal Variations

Each chakra deals with particular functions but the quality of the energy in the chakra can vary from person to person.  For example, a strong red root chakra indicates someone who is well grounded with strong physical energy and vitality.  If this chakra was dull in colour or weak, it would indicate an imbalance in the corresponding mental/emotional qualities such as lack of stability and financial security.

For most people the heart chakra vibrates at the colour green but in those who have developed greater compassion and universal love, it vibrates at the higher vibration colour pink.  Similarly the crown can be violet, lavender or white, according to the level of spiritual development of the individual.  If the higher crown chakra, the seat of the soul, is activated, the crown area is likely to be white, indicating a person living in line with their higher self, and living by higher truths with a strong sense of oneness and spiritual connection to others.

Suggested further reading:-

‘Hands of Light’ by Barbara Brennan

‘Anatomy of the Spirit’ by Caroline Myss


This is the first in a series of 3 blogs looking in detail at the human energy system.  Part 2, The Chakras: Qualities, Correspondences & Stages of Development, will be available at the beginning of June.


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.


The Power of Intention applied to Healing

A couple of months ago I came across an article about a new therapy called Resolution Magic which was based on the idea that we can firmly tell painful conditions such as stomach ache, back ache, joint pain, migraines and headaches to go away. Could something so simple actually work I thought? Well I tried it with my own lower back pain, on another occasion when I had stomach ache and with a sore throat and runny nose when I thought I was going down with a cold, and I have to say that I was very pleasantly surprised! I found I had to repeat the phrase “pain go away now” or “runny nose be gone now” every now and again when the symptoms seemed to return but the effectiveness of this totally natural approach to pain management and healing was truly remarkable. When saying the words, I said them silently to myself, (ideally they should be said out loud), with a real force or energy behind them. According to the article, you can also use this technique to say “Go away!” to conditions like anxiety, low mood and bad memories.

How It Works

The theory behind Resolution Magic states that abnormal electrical waves in our nervous system are the cause of symptoms of dis-ease, for example epilepsy is known to be caused by a disruption to the brain’s electrical activity. Electricity travels along the nerves to the various parts of the body, causing painful symptoms. Memories and unwanted feelings can trigger this movement of electricity. By telling our bodies to stop the pain, we are aiming to retrain the subconscious part of the brain so that it gradually stops sending out abnormally strong electrical waves. I believe that when we send a new command to a part of the body that is functioning incorrectly, the energy that travels with that intention creates new neurological pathways that bypass the old ineffective ones.

A Combined Approach

It is however worth bearing in mind that pain arises in the body for a reason, and except in cases of mild headache, stomach ache from over-eating or eating the wrong food, or backache from postural aches and pains, symptoms should be checked out with a doctor for any other more serious underlying conditions. This ‘mind over matter’ technique is a natural approach to healing which, along with other therapies such as Reiki, Reflexology or Meditation, should be used in conjunction with other general conventional medical treatment/medication you are already using.

Using the Power of Intention in Daily Life

We can all use this power on a regular basis to help bring about the best possible outcome for any situation. In Reiki Level 2 you learn to visualise events turning out well, for the highest good of all concerned, then send Reiki to that image. Whenever you have a health problem, set the intention by stating to yourself that you will receive all the help and support you need. When you do this, doors can metaphorically open and you will find that you draw the right people to you, find an article or book that can help, discover a different medication or supplement to try, or just find new ways to cope. When visiting the doctor, ask your guides and angels to assist him/her with their diagnosis and help you get the best possible treatment. Help doesn’t always come in the way you expect it to but you will always get the help you need if you remain open to all possibilities.

Using the Power of Intention to Optimise Healing

I believe that the theory behind Resolution Magic can be applied to other forms of healing such as creative visualisation, Reiki and spiritual healing. According to the way energy flows, action always follows intention. You are in effect creating an opening, space or energy pathway which can deliver the greatest possible results. All Reiki healers tap into the power of intention when they give a Reiki treatment. At Reiki 1 you set the intention that they energy flows for the recipient’s highest and greatest good and at Level 2 you use the symbols to establish the same intention.

You can also use the power of your mind to send healing energy to a particular body part. Sit quietly and take some deep breathes in and out then visualise a beam of pure white light shining down upon you, entering your crown chakra and moving down your body to the part that needs healing. (You can also send it to a particular chakra or an area of your mind that needs clearing.) Set the intention for the body part to be returned to its perfect divine blueprint and visualise it healing and repairing itself. Here is where you can start to get creative …! You can visualise a weak organ glowing with health and vitality and functioning effectively; broken or fractured bones knitting together; compressed spinal discs stretching out; lubricating a painful joint with a liquid healing balm; tight, tense muscles relaxing and stretching out, soothed by a blue healing balm. If you have cold or flu symptoms or other infection, visualize your white blood cells attacking an army of invading bacteria and dissolving them.

You can also put the power of intention to work to heal psychological states of mind. For example, if you are prone to shyness, anxiety or anger, you can visualize yourself acting in a more positive manner, thinking the associated positive thoughts and feeling more positive emotions such as serenity and being in control. Repeating this exercise over several days or weeks leads to a marked decrease in the negative emotion concerned and an increase in positive states of mind. Gradually the positive quality will manifest more and more in your conscious behaviour. You will be able to cope with all stressful real life situations more calmly and effectively. The visualization gradually sinks into your subconscious mind, resulting in a new behavioural pattern or ‘program’.

Repeat these exercises regularly and you will be amazed at the improvements you can make to your health, your wellbeing and your life.

“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate.
Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure.”

From ‘Return to Love’ by Marianne Williamson

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.


1. Helen Shortland runs courses in Healing Meditation. Her next workshop will be one Saturday afternoon in the summer (date tbc – please see website or newsletter for details). A Healing Meditation CD will also be available to purchase from May 2013, priced £10 plus £2 p&p, for use at home. If you wish to purchase one, please send a cheque made payable to Helen Shortland to Little London Herbal Stores, 9 Kings Walk, Nottingham, NG1 2AE with a note of your name and address.

2. Helen’s next meditation course is a 4 week Vipassana (Stillpoint) Meditation course commencing Wed 10th April 10.30-11.45am which is open to all with a basic knowledge of meditation. Cost is £28 for full course or £8 for individual classes. Please email helenshortland@live.co.uk for further information and/or to book a place.

3. For more information on Resolution Magic, visit http://www.resolutionmagic.com.