Chakras, many people talk about them and try to understand just what they are. Chakras are like the transformers in your computer ,they transfer energy, only in this case, it's spiritual energy rather than electricity. You have two bodies for all intents and purposes, the one you can see with your eyes, and the one you can not see as a general rule, unless your gifted with the Sight, and they work with, and for each other, what effects one, generally effects the other. Working with the Chakras is part mental , part physical and part spiritual.
The Light body is the way of the spiritual. Chakras are the connective centers for that light body ,that allow you to use the physical body to channel spiritual energy. So what does that mean in practical terms ?
First off, lets look at the thing itself
step by step. Note: The numbers appear backward, simply because we work
with Chakras from the ground up, but their number is traditionally counted
from the top down so the first one we talk about is seven, not one.
Called many names over time, the coiled snake, the fire within, and others, which all refer to its position in the reproductive i.e.: sexual areas of the body. It is the first the Chakra to be activated and used, it is therefore, important to keep it open or any attempted draw of power can be stopped before it even begins, just like a kink in a garden hose, can stop the water from running through it.
Which means on a mental level, one must come to terms with ones own sexuality, in whatever form that takes. Even if it's the fact there is none, as in the case of willing celibacy. Repressed sexuality can clog and block this most vital of energy center and must be handled accordingly. As the mind directs , the body complies, which means if your head is all bent out of shape with regard to your sexuality, so will this Chakra be similarly warped.
This openness about sexuality often gives the Pagan faith a bad reputation with the more conservative faiths in the world. However, this is a matter of sheer practical reality in terms of working high rites.
Does this mean go out and make like a rabbit, or become obsessed with sexuality ? NO.. it means come to terms with it and be comfortable with you own sexuality in a healthy fashion.
Note: While there is not a one to one ratio between the physical body and light body, there are things to consider. For women in particular, in the case of this Chakra. Our reproductive system can create problems in controlling this center by the very disruption that our menstrual cycle or child bearing creates. Many female praticioners must work harder to maintain energy flows due to this disruption. Knowing that it can disrupt them, is the first step to working around the problem.
Note: Lack of sexual organs does not equal a lack of ability to control this chakra center. I myself have been physically neuter since I was 25, and its never made a bit of difference, other than I no longer had the problems of the monthly disruption. Menopause has the same effect for most women. This is not so for everyone. Most women I know state they find things tend to work better, once the reproductive years have passed. This is due to many factors, time and experience being only one. But part of it, for many, is the lack of the disruption of this Chakra, due to natural forces.
I believe, for myself, this is one reason why vows of celibacy were and are common place in many religious houses, where meditation is commonly practiced, to avoid conflicts based on sexuality, without getting into any moral implications they may or may not promote.
This is very often an incorrect stance
in my opinion, as unless one has willingly become celibate, one
is suppressing ones sexuality and defeating oneself in the process, as
sexual expression is not only a natural event, for many forms of magick
or ritual, it's a very needed event , as sexuality generates power, as
in the case of Tantric magick ( more on that later ).
The power house of the body. Given where it is, something that effects the gut would effect the chakras effectiveness. Like ,simple constipation for example. So maintaining a healthy diet becomes essential for this important chakra to work well. So, to do well, one must take in the right foods to sustain the body and the demand you place on it. And ritual done well, can be very demanding.
This is the point of balance for the body and power levels. This point on the body houses the largest organ ,your intestinal system, without which the body could not digest food, and therefore feed itself, so, while we don't consider the gut as very glamorous, we literally could not live without it.
This area is also the center point for
the Chi as the oriental beliefs call it, which name it as the seat of a
persons power. I am a Martial artist and learned this concept for self
defense many years ago and it does work very well to summon up physical
power and balance. Likewise the same center can be used for the same reason
as a center point of balance, in calling on Chakra energy.
It is the chakra of the self, the Id of the system. It is centered on the stomach, which is why the taking in of food restores and "grounds" a person back into themselves after a ritual. The pot luck after high ritual is not just a social event ,it has very direct purpose.
It is also why fasting before a ritual is recommended, to free this area from the more mundane use of digestion. This chakra is called the self, because again, we must power the body, which means we must eat. But notice one thing in common with many meditative orders, ascetics, part of which means the taking in of very little food. This is not by accident, or for any moral standing, again, it's a matter of simple physics.
If the stomach is full of food, that area of the worldly body is going to be very busy and not free to run energy, therefore not work as well for the calling of power through the Chakra. This is not to say it will not work on a full stomach, but you may find yourself somewhat nauseous or even ill in some cases, if you try to do so.
Some orders have taken or do take this
to extreme, in an attempt to force the body out of the equation by near
starvation or other deprivations. This is not sensible. We must work with
the body, not try to ignore it.
All things related to love, emotion, and feelings are centered here. As such, it is almost the most important one of all, as it relates to your state of being. One must have their emotions under control, in order to do high ritual. A heart in turmoil would find doing high rite very difficult indeed.
Which is where training and meditation come in. The typical year and a day of Witch training is all about learning the self inside and out, warts and all and coming to terms with yourself. Repressed emotional states and un-resolved problems, cause difficulty in using this center, for much the same reason as repressed sexuality.
While we know that emotional issues are a factor of the mind, this center is most often the one that suffers in terms of productivity, if one is upset or in turmoil over an emotional state.
Again ,you might note this is also a
reason some orders forbid sex or any emotional ties. Again this is not
reasonable, we are intended to have feelings and emotions, they just need
to be under control.
This is the Chakra of the will, clearly because it is the voice we use to make our will known, no matter if we speak or not. The will is what matters in any rite or ritual...it's what it is all about .... clear directed will, sent out to a clear purpose. Are we talking the real voice here..? Not really, but the idea of the voice and what it represents.
This Chakra responses very well to chants and other tonal sounds. The Chant for example of Om mada Pada om... which is common in Buddhist traditions, is a form of meditation using the voice. There are many other such examples, however make note here, that physical sound is not required, it's the idea of sound, that is being used here.
Real sound is fine to use however, I myself use imposed sound in the form of instrumental music, what kind depends a great deal on what I plan to do. Drumming is yet another example of sound based meditation. All of these primal sounds have a major effect on the mind, body and spirit of a person and therefore effect the Chakra energy.
But the physical voice has limits on
how long one can use it before the vocal cords protest, the mind however
is able to keep a "sound " going for as long as it's required. Many people
report hearing a "sound" when they release this Chakras energy during ritual,
they are not mistaken. They are "hearing" this "sound" that is in many
ways more real, than that we hear with our ears ,as it's the sound of the
energy of the universe.
The mind is the seat of knowledge and the director of thought. It goes without saying , but I will say it again anyway, that a mind in turmoil would not do a ritual or use Chakras very well. It's also why it's a good idea to memorize your rites, to where there is no stumbling over words and taking away the minds concentration from the force your trying to raise using Chakra energy.
Much has been written about this third eye of the mind. What is it ? It is to see without eyes ,to see with the mind directly, without the intermediary of the senses. This is not as surprising a thing as it sounds, as the eyes merely gather information, they do not "see" in the literal sense, they gather input ,which the mind then perceives as sight. So it is the mind that does the real seeing, just as it does hearing and touching and tasting, all the other parts are merely specialized information gathering systems. So to "see" with the third eye is to skip the other information gathering systems' and use the mind directly. This step is essential in controlling this Chakra energy. This ability to step beyond the mundane and escape the limits of the senses.
In many traditions their are hand positions that literally close the eyes, ears, nose etc. leaving only the mouth open to breathe, cutting off all sensory input and forcing a focus on ones breathing. This is simply a means to an end, by cutting off other sense data, the mind is forced to use the only one left to it, the third eye of the mind. This takes practice as one might imagine, as we are trained by the body to use the senses to gather information. Once freed of the limits of the body, the mind is very able to gather information that the senses cannot perceive.
To open the third eye, is to open oneself to extrasensory perceptions, which is where we get that whole idea from, beyond the senses. The Third eye "sees' auras, which are invisible by and large, to the body's eyes, it sees the colors that surround a person. It can also see chakras.
This work is of the highest order of Magick and the Craft, as this is the point where it all happens, not the senses which we leave behind, nor the body, which gets left also, this is what allows us to see on the astral planes.. to see into things and situations where the body's eyes do not function, we know this on a instinctive level.. as children we do it quite well, but for most of us .. over time .. we unlearn how to do it. We ground ourselves out in concrete reality, until that's all we can do. We must then train to re-learn what we knew how to do at birth.
The primary point is, to accept that
there is more out there than can be perceived with the senses of the body
in order to use this Chakra well. If we can do this, we
"open " the third eye.
The crowns or halos seen in old paintings, are referring to this ,most pure of forms, in a way that made it visible. Historical note: Now you know why the old masters painted religious icons with halos, and kings who where considered the divine on Earth, with a "crown" this is where that whole concept comes from
It is the point where the force leaves
the body and reconnects with the power from which it came. With some small
changes done to it by the force of Will, which is a rites intention. This
is the point where we release the power back into the void to effect changes,
which is why its not connected to a physical body center. In order to work
healing for example one tends to channel this same power through ones hands
into the body of another, the effect is much the same, just more direct
as with Reiki ( more on this later )
In the practice of the Craft, one draws Earth energy, through the Chakra centers of the body and uses it to power a ritual, do healing etc. One must be in control of , and in tune with, these energy centers to do this well.
And one of the best ways prepare to do that, in my opinion, is Meditation on the Chakras themselves.
These centers are related to our physical and emotional life as noted above. Focus on these centers allows you to make them work for you. When you call on the power in the Craft, if the Chakras are aligned, and you are in tune with them, the flow is that much easier and more powerful.
Why such colors, in that order, and why do these things make Craft work better/easier ?A little science fact . Light is a portion of the electromagnetic spectrum surrounding us. The light frequencies are recognized as color through the eyes and brain. When white light hits a prism it is seen as seven rainbow colors
It should come as no surprise, that
the human body has these seven main chakras, that vibrate harmoniously
with these seven primary color frequencies. The list of things that relate
go on and on, so you can believe or not as you please, but this works,
for your health, well being, and the serious work of the Craft.
Put on some comfortable clothes and sit down in a comfortable position, on the floor ( it's best to brace your back against something, they even sell special "chairs" for this but anything that will support your back will do..) And make the mind and body still. Once you have achieved a relaxed state ,breathing comfortably, then try these images:
Imagine that there is a pole running through your body, and attached to this pole , like a row of lights ,are your Chakras. The objective, make each one light up with the right color.
Remember when I say one, I am referring to the first one used, not the number, which would properly be seven, six, five, and so on in the opposite order, I will list them here. This is the order in which we tend to use them however, so it's best to think of them in those terms while doing meditations.
Number one, think sexy, grounded, reality, they all work as they are all correct, think red, fire, heat,until you can feel the chakra heat up ,feel the redness spread throughout your pelvis, for me I know I have woken it up when it feels like I am sitting on a heating pad on low. :)
Number two think golden glow, think stoking the furnace, the coals on the grate, the place of digestion which runs it all, with energy ,until you can feel the flow to the body of the glow of energy like warm lava flowing about.
Number three, think of the yellow of sunshine, the comfort of a good meal, the feel of warmth on your face on a lazy day, until you feel the quiet flow of energy from this center spill out over you like the sunshine in a window.
Number four, think of the green of growing things, the growth of love in the heart, the spinning of passion for a lover, for life, until you feel the energy of this center, ray outward towards your hands/feet/head.
Number five, think of the blue of cool water, the color of sky and the voice which is the instrument of the will, with words we communicate think of it vibrating softly like the vocal cords do, until you feel a buzz in that area.
Number 6, the color purple, the center of the mind, think of lightning, strobe lights, all in purple, the color of the stormy sky ,until you feel your mind electrified.
Number 7 is the higher self , the crown above your head , whose color is indigo, the last color of the spectrum , it is all colors at once, so from the end , to the beginning back to bright white and upwards, out of your head
See the indigo fade to shinning white light, running around your head like a halo
See them run up the pole faster and
until they are one stream of white light
Drawn the energy from the ground,
Run that energy through the chakras
Out the top of your head like a whale breaths air from the deep.
Keep doing this until you can run this flow independent of the breath, and sustain a continuous flow of energy through the chakras and out. This is just a visual I came up with , you can and should, invent your own as time progresses, and you come to understand them better.
Do you need to run through at warp speed. all the time?
I just want you to get the feel for it, as this is what one does, at speed and without thought, like when doing ritual. Only at this point you are trying to do it deliberately, which is very different than instinct. It is a good thing to work with each center, alone as noted above, and become familiar with them.
There is great healing work that can be accomplished in such a manner, which is a common use of Chakric energy. And for keeping the self in balance and harmony, the body fit, and the mind at rest, which is a good thing for anybody, so no big mystery, just plain common sense that to do demanding work one must be fit. It's just that fit, takes on more meaning for the Craft ,than just for day to day life.
Does this mean that one has to be perfect to do the Craft ? Of course not :) One of the most powerful Witch's I know is completely disabled in a physical sense. But she can draw power that would put G.E. to shame. I myself come under the category of "wounded healer" Being a healer, who is herself, ill.
The Chakras effect the body and are effected by it, but the relationship is not absolute.
As Yoda said, it is the spirit that
matters, not the crude matter of which we are made. :) But it does help
a heck of a lot if you are as fit as you can be, just the same as for any
Ok why does the body's position matter to the Light body ? As noted before there is a effect from one to the other. So if one changes the way electrical energy of the body flows, one also changes the way Chakra power flows.
The position of lotus is commonly used as it presents a feedback loop of energy. The lowest chakra is closest to the power source, the ground, the legs being tucked out of the way, the position of ones hands has the same effect, providing a feedback loop of energy. The trunk of the body is in the best position for breathing, and there is little chance of falling over due to a trance state, as the position is very stable. And once accustomed to it, there is no part of the body under undue stress.
So no big mystical thing, just simple practicality. There are a great many other things happening here with regard to blood flow etc. which is beyond this missives intent, I recommend reading up on Yoga to learn more about that. But in order to do Yoga, one must be flexible, and at least reasonably physically fit. Just getting into the required positions takes practice and time. Which changes ones fitness for channeling power. And Each Yoga position can be used for a different purpose.
Think of it this way, you are moving the wires that run the power into different configurations. It's what makes your headset for your cell phone, different than say your car speakers, they both use a lot of the same parts, but they are arranged differently. So too with Yoga positions, and the flow of energy.
It's why everybody has a favorite way to do Chakra meditation. As it's not the same for all. The same goes for doing ritual work, everybody does it from a different stance, if you will. This is an effect of the light body creating changes on the physical actions of the individual.
So whatever way works best for the individual is fine, as long as there is a plan, and direct effect.
Lesson Six Reiki what is it and how to use it