The Primary Chakras
In today's course on the chakras, we'll focus on the 7 primary energy centers and their functions & associations. We'll begin with the Mooladhara, the base chakra located at the coccyx which relates to security and survival, among other things.
This is a grounding energy center which houses Kundalini (Sanskrit: coiled one). It is considered a feminine force, and upon its rising it is believed to heighten spiritual enlightenment. Its ruling deity is Ganesha, with Dakini as his Shakti.
Moving up the body, the next primary energy center is the Sacral chakra, aka the Swadhisthana, aligning the ovaries/prostate. This is the chakra most associated with creativity and sexuality. This chakra is responsible for sexual pleasures, including taste (Sanskrit: Swadh).
This chakra's ruling deity is Brahma, with Rakini as his Shakti.
Moving further up the body, we hit the Manipura, located at the navel. This chakra is said to correspond to the roles played by the pancreas and the outer adrenal glands, the adrenal cortex. These play a valuable role in digestion, the conversion of food matter into energy for the body. It is also the chakra that controls the human ego and sense of individual identity.
Nurturing this chakra appropriately is important in order to maintain mental acuity, and with the proper training one can can even learn to extend personal control over the subconscious mind. Its ruling deity is Bradda Rudra, with Lakini as his Shakti.
Continuing on our journey up the body, we hit the 4th primary energy center Anahata/Anihata located in the chest. This is the chakra associated with love, well-being, and balance, as well as compassion, healing, and sensory perception through touch. This chakra also regulates the function of the lungs and the thymus. It is often referred to as the seat of passions.
This chakra is governed by the Mother of the Universe, who provides security. She is called Jagadamba in Sanskrit language, and she represents pure and detached love.
Moving up still, we reach the 5th chakra, the throat chakra known as Vishudha/Vishuddhi associated with hearing and self-expression, as well as communication and growth.
Nurturing this chakra appropriately will heighten one's command of words and expressions, and will lead to elevated perception of words and expressions used by others. This chakra is ruled by the fivefold Shiva (Panchavaktra Shiva) who performs the fivefold functions of creation. Shakini is his associated Shakti.
Continuing on, we reach the Ajna (Third Eye), responsible for intuitive and psychic knowledge and located between the brows.
Hindus and Buddhists often place a ritual dot or elongated mark at the location of the Ajna chakra, particularly after prayer. This symbolizes an awareness that our actions should be dictated by the mind’s eye instead of just the two physical eyes we possess.
The Third Eye can be said to be a link to a sixth sense, beyond the physical world that science can perceive but well within the realm of the human soul’s abilities.
(Some argue that the pineal and pituitary glands should be exchanged in their relationship to the Crown and Brow chakras, based on the description in Arthur Avalon's book on kundalini called Serpent Power or empirical research.)
This chakra represents the dual state of Shiva as Shiva and Shakti. Hence, it is said to be presided over by Ardhanarisvara.
Finally, we reach the Sahasrara, the Crown Chakra (located at the top of the head). This chakra is said to be a representation of the highest plane of awareness of which we are capable. It is of pure consciousness and the destination of the rising Kundalini whereupon one enters the state of Samadhi or unified consciousness without the distinction of subject and object. Its role would be very similar to that of the pituitary gland, which secretes hormones to control the rest of the endocrine system, and also connects to the central nervous system via the hypothalamus. The thalamus is thought to have a key role in the physical basis of consciousness.
It is by mastering this chakra that the mystic approaches ‘moksha’, the state of being completely free of the baggage and limitations of the material world.
Even reaching the periphery of the Sahasrara’s infinite abilities will imbue the yoga practitioner with a sense of happiness, bliss and transcendence that no other experience can induce. The thousand-petalled lotus, symbol of an Enlightened being like the Buddha is synonymous with this chakra. While it is ruled by Lord Shiva, I've come to form a personal association of my own with this chakra and Hera, the Greek goddess of the air and starry constellations.
As a Tantric Wytch, I'd also like to add that in Tantra we acknowledge yet another primary energy center. This is the Bindu energy center.
In most Yoga books the Bindu Chakra is not mentioned, but in Tantra Yoga great importance is attached to the healing and rejuvenating effects of this Chakra.
Whilst this energy centre “sleeps” it is similar to a dot, but when awakened its energy begins to flow or to “drip”. The Bindu Chakra produces truly astonishing effects. It is a “health centre” that brings about improved physical, psychic and spiritual health, and is therefore a valuable aid on our spiritual journey. It also helps to quieten our emotions and brings harmony and a sense of wellbeing.
With the help of this Chakra we are able to control hunger and thirst and overcome unhealthy eating habits.
Concentration on the Bindu Chakra can also be beneficial for depression, nervousness, feelings of anxiety and an oppressive feeling within the heart. A slight pressure with the fingernail on the site of the Bindu Chakra gives rise to a spontaneous feeling of happiness that spreads to the heart. When a child is restless and will not go to sleep it helps to gently massage the Bindu Chakra with soft circular movements for a few minutes – the child will soon become quiet and sleepy.
But the most outstanding effect of the Bindu Chakra is the production of AMRITA, the nectar of immortality. For more information on working with this chakra and experiencing its abundant benefits in your life, you may wish to seek training and initiation into Tantric Witchcraft & Sex Magick.