Chakras come up a lot in energetic healing, and I thought that they might be an interesting topic to tackle. Chakras are points in the energetic body where certain energies pool, making a sort of vortex. If you ask someone in the spiritual community about chakras, a good portion will tell you that you have seven chakras, starting at around the base of your spine and ending at the top of your head. They are assigned different colors of the rainbow, red at your base chakra to violet at you crown. This model of chakras has been popular for a number of years, and people sometimes mistakenly believe that it is the only model.
The idea of seven chakras come from the yogic world, but is by no means the only chakra map from yoga. It has an interesting history that, if you are interested in it, you can read more here. Energy centers have a wider history than India, though. Chinese medicine works a lot with energetic meridians. Qi Gong works with a few energetic centers (that overlap with a few of the chakras). Different Western Occult traditions have their own energy points and pathways that they focus on.
When I first learned Reiki (the energy healing technique with which I began my training), I was taught about the seven chakras that are popular in many Western alternative healing modalities. I learned about body and emotional connections to each chakra. It’s an interesting marriage, Reiki and modern yogic chakras. When Reiki was founded by Mikao Usui, he taught specific ways to place your hands when giving someone Reiki. While there was an overlap in hand placement and where chakras are understood to be, I don’t believe any of his work had anything to do with the seven chakras. I surmise that they found their way into Reiki around the time it came to the states.
Because I was trained to feel them when doing Reiki, as well as trained to feel them in myself in my scattered early years of esoteric research, I still often use them when doing energetic work. I associate different energies with different points on the body. I am left wondering how much of that is how our auric bodies are, and how much is just how I associate energy and place on the body. I also use minor energy points in healing work, such as the ones found at your hands, feet, elbows, and knees.
I have also mentioned different chakra work I do in ritual. When learning the rituals of the Ancient Order of Druids in America (AODA), the first two energy points we are taught to focus on are the third eye and the solar plexus. The third eye connects us to our spiritual senses, while the solar plexus has connections to self (and, as my teacher Adhi like to point out, service). After a while, AODA ritualists begin to store planetary energies where their sacral chakra would be located and solar energies where their heart chakra would be located. Eventually, you use those two currents to create a third, stored where your third eye chakra would be. John Michael Greer, the author that revived the work of the AODA, mentions the different chakra systems. He suggests that it is better to focus on select chakras as points of power, so your internal energies aren’t stretched trying to strengthen a whole bunch of power points.
I believe we have many energy points throughout our body, and it is our practice that strengthens some over the others. There are a few points that seem to be relatively universal. The sacral chakra is one that seems to crop up in other systems with different names, so it seems that it is rather important in our energetic bodies. The third eye, lining up with the pineal gland, is a hotspot for spiritual traditions trying to connect to the more etheric worlds. The heart
seems to also be a popular one, though some systems move that energetic point closer to the physical heart, on the left side of one’s chest.
Though I work mainly with the seven popular chakras, sometimes I’m directed to unexpected parts of the body or aura when doing energy work. Everybody is different, and everyone has their own certain auric quirk. My job as a healer is to roll with it, and listen to what my client’s energy is telling me. Let me know what your experiences are with chakras. I would love to hear a different perspective.
Stay warm out there. It’s frigid up here in the North. Winter has arrived.
-The Green Mountain Mage