chakraChakra is a concept originating from Hindu tradition.  Its name derives from the Sanskrit word for “wheel” or “turning”.  The word chakra literally translates as wheel or disk and refers to a spinning sphere of bio-energetic activity emanating from the major nerve ganglia branching from the spinal column.  Seven chakras make up the primary system.  Each chakra is believed to be a center of activity that receives, assimilates, and expresses life force energy.  They are the key to our ability to interpret the symbolic meaning of your life.  Six of these wheels are stacked in a column that spans from the base of the spine to the middle of the forehead correlating with the basic states of consciousness, the seventh lying beyond the physical world.  The eighth center is the transpersonal point that marks the point where the soul manifest into matter.

Each chakra has its own intelligence, function, and purpose working best when all chakras function harmoniously.  Each energy center has a living pulse.  Each chakra in your spinal column is believed to influence or even govern bodily functions near its region of the spine.  Because autopsies do not reveal chakras, most people think they are a fancy of fertile imagination.  Yet their existence is well documented in the Eastern traditions.

The chakras are thought to vitalize the physical body and to be associated with interactions of a physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual nature.  They are considered the center of life energy, which is thought to flow among them along pathways or channels.  The function of the chakras is to spin and draw in this energy to keep the body in balance.  Some believe that they reflect the unified consciousness of humanity represented through different aspects of earthly life identities of universal, archetypal, creative, social, ego, emotional, physical, and spiritual consciousness.

The study of the chakras is a part of many philosophical and spiritual traditions, as well as many therapies and disciplines.  In eastern traditions, the theory of chakras is a central part of the Hindu and Buddhist Tantra and they play an important role in attaining deep levels of realization.  Yoga, Pranayama, Acupuncture, Shiatsu, Tai Chi, and Chi Kung are practices used for balancing the energy meridians, which are an integral part of the chakra system.  In Western tradition, the subtle energy of the chakras is explored through practices such as aromatherapy, mantra, Reiki, hands-on healing, flower essences, radionics, sound therapy, color/light therapy, and crystal/gem therapy.

Anodea Judith speaks of the chakras as "sacred centers" that provide the “architecture of the soul”.  These energy centers map out a path for wholeness and spiritual transformation.  They give us the ability to interpret symbolic meaning.  Each chakra represents a degree of spiritual awareness and personal power to manage consciously.  In her book, Eastern Body Western Mind, she points out that the goal is o be "as conscious as possible about the entire journey--to bring as much depth and wisdom as we can to each and every level. They also align with and are represented by archetypal symbolism.  When a chakra is unbalanced, it will be either blocked or too open.  Looking through the personality of the archetype as it manifests in either state can offer insight into what needs to be released to promote balance and bring the system into alignment.  In her book, Chakras and Their Archetypes, Ambika Wauters speaks of the positive and negative energy within the chakras and associated archetypes and the importance of integrating these two energy systems.

Examination of the chakras can be very helpful in understanding where blocks are in our system and negative patterns that need healing.  Included here is a brief summary of each of the seven chakras taken from Anodea Judith and Sacred Centers.




Chakra Seven




Thought Universal Identity Oriented to Self-knowledge

This crown chakra relates to consciousness as pure awareness.  It is our connection to the greater world beyond, to a timeless, spaceless place of all knowing.  When developed, this chakra brings us knowledge, wisdom, understanding, spiritual connection, and bliss.

Chakra Six




Light Archetypal Identity Oriented to Self-reflection

This chakra is known as the brow chakra or third eye center.  It is related to the act of seeing, both physically and intuitively.  As such it opens our psychic faculties and our understanding of archetypal levels.  When healthy it allows us to see clearly, in effect, letting us “see the big picture.”

Chakra Five



Sound Creative Identity Oriented to Self-express

This is the chakra located in the throat and is thus related to communication and creatively.  Here we experience the world symbolically through vibration, such as the vibration of sound representing language.

Chakra Four



Air Social Identity Oriented to Self-acceptance

This chakra is called the heart chakra and is the middle chakra in a system of seven.  It is related to love and is the integrator of opposites in the psyche: mind and body, male and female, persona and shadow, ego and unity.  A healthy fourth chakra allows us to love deeply, feel compassion, and have a deep sense of peace and centeredness.

Chakra Three


Fire Ego IdentityOriented to Self-definition

This chakra is known as the power chakra, located in the solar plexus.  It rules our power, will and autonomy, as well as out metabolism.  When healthy, this chakra brings us energy, effectiveness, spontaneity, and non-dominating power.

Chakra Two


WaterEmotional IdentityOriented to Self-regulation

The second chakra located in the abdomen, lower back, and sexual organs, it is related to the element of water, and to emotions and sexuality.  It connects us to others through feeling, desire, sensation and movement.  Ideally this chakra brings us fluidity and grace, depth of feeling, sexual fulfillment, and ability to accept change.

Chakra One


EarthPhysical IdentityOriented to Self-preservation

Located in the base of the spine, this chakra forms our foundation.  It represents the element of earth, and is therefore related to our survival instincts, and to our sense of grounding and connection to our bodies and the physical plane.  Ideally this chakra brings us health prosperity, security, and dynamic presence.


Download a PDF of Sacred Centers

The Chakra Centers shows the location of each center, energetic centers, shadow and light aspects, lesson, and the affirmation for each center.

Download a PDF of Chakra Centers 

Information for summary of chakras taken from Anodea Judith and Sacred Centers website used by permission. For further reading go to