There are seven primary energetic vortices in every human system. The yogic traditions call these chakras, which translates loosely to “wheels of Light.” Shamanic Touch (TM) teaches the seven “tunnels of Light.” My preferred translation is the seven Hearts since each has its own pulsing beat that connects elementally (macrocosm) and then again at the human heart (microcosm). Each of these centers is a microcosmic energetic converter and a macrocosmic translation unit. Our chakra connects with the correspondent element in the Earth herself. Each of these subtle energy centers connects at a major endocrine gland, which informs its basic function and sphere of influence. It also connects to a nerve plexus that innervates particular realms of the microcosmic body and speaks the language of the macrocosmically connected elemental realm.
The first and deepest of the seven centers is the root located at the base of the spine. In Sanskrit this is Muladhara. This is the red heart that connects us to our tribe. It is associated with survival, instinct, and the ancient wisdom that connects us with all those who have gone before. This space links us with the people of Stone and the ancestral voices. It is the deepest, densest area. Yet the core issues of life are held here and if we wish to unlock our energy in a safe way with firm foundations we must address the root first. The root holds issues of ancestral healing, financial security, early familial relationships, and issues of safety and abandonment. The rooting heart is associated with our bones and the skeletal structure of our physical bodies and it connects to the macrocosmic stone skeletal body of our Mother. The rooting heart links with the adrenal gland, which governs fight or flight and the regulation of stress hormones. It also corresponds with the sacral-coccygeal nerve plexus, which innervates the lower body allowing us to physically transport our- selves in local space. The rooting heart keeps us linked to our tribe and ancestors, which frees us to move and explore on our own. It is the tether that keeps us safe as we fly.
Today I make offerings to my ancestors that we may heal together. As their wisdom fills my bones, my voice joins them in Song.
The second of the seven hearts is commonly called the sacral. In Sanskrit it is Svadisthana. This is the orange watery heart. The sacral governs our sexual fluids, which are the source of our personal light, vitality, creativity, and empathy. It also governs our blood, lymph, and cerebrospinal fluid. This space links us with the people of Water and the emotional realms of empathic cleansing and connection. This is where we begin to differentiate from the ancestral group-mind and make links with others through energetic bonds. We learn the arts of connection, empathy, and cleansing. This heart pulses with all our inner waters (and recall we are 80% water). Water is the messenger molecule of the body and it carries emotional imprints through the entire system.3 The sacral connects with the endocrine system at the gonads, which regulates sex hormones, and with the sacral nerve plexus, which innervates the repro- ductive system and the genitourinary system, which literally cleanses our watery waste out of the body through urination.
Today I bless my inner waters and dip myself in the cleansing seas of our Mother…
The third center is the solar plexus or Manipura. This is the bright yellow inner sun located at the tummy. This is our fiery heart, our sun. It fuels us, distributes energy, and warms our inner fires. It is the seat of the ego and personal will. It connects with the Earth’s sun, who is the central star of our existence. Like Leo the Lion, our sun is the ego exalted who gives warmth, healing, and energy with his benevolent rays. When we grow in this heart we swallow the sun and elevate our ego to higher service. The navel is the connecting point of our egoic self in its multiplicity. It is at the umbilical cord that we disconnect from our bodily mother and take form as individual beings at birth. It is through the umbilicus that we connect with all the many parallel existences of personal experience. In Ayurveda the navel is the home seat of all 72,000 nadis (energy centers). In Traditional Chinese Medicine the solar plexus is home of the lower Tan Tien (dandien), which sits approximately three cun, or finger widths, below the belly button. The Tan Tien (hara in Japanese) is the seat of Chi in the human body. It is the focal point of personal power and is a major point for meditation in Chi Gong, martial arts, TCM. The physical region is the center of digestion and it is associated with the pancreas, which secretes insulin and balances the intake of sugars to regulate energy levels. The related nerve plexus is also called the solar plexus and it innervates the digestive system. When this system is malfunctioning we cannot properly utilize the energy, physical or subtle, we take in.
Today I swallow the sun that my lower ego may elevate to Service & Love…
The fourth center is the heart or Anahata. This vortex is associated with connection to the heart of the Earth and the group Heart-mind itself. It is through the heart that we connect deeply in a compassionate way with ourselves and others as Souls rather than simple physical, biological beings acting out patterned behaviors. This is, in my experience, the heart of the Greening, in which the tendrils of our individual hearts reach out to those we love and honor and link to in an intricately intimate way. We learn how to love in all ways in this place. There is no sense of power over in this space but rather a sacredness of interconnection and a dream of true intimacy. Like our Green siblings, the trees and plants of our Earth, we link together to share resources and communicate through the subtle turnings of our leaves in the wind. The heart of the Greening is associated with the color green and with the nerve plexus of the physical heart itself, which regulates the entire circulatory system. The heart of the Greening is also associated with the endocrine system, and the thymus gland. The thymus gland is typically associated with the mysterious im- mune system that protects us from disease. The thymus, although allopathically considered vestigial, boosts our ability to heal from and prevent disease by connecting with the larger group Heart-mind. It activates our ability to connect with universal Light to heal more quickly and efficiently than we ever could on our own.
Today I connect my heartbeat to the rhythms of Earth herself and clear the spaces between…
The fifth heart is the throat chakra, Vishuddhi, or in our language, the Mist. This center is associated with the Soul’s true song, its voice, and higher knowing. In the throat center we learn how to express what we learned of ourselves in the solar plexus and refined in the connections of the heart. We enter a state of true power in which we must share the very essence of ourselves with the world in the way only we are able. This center is our true song. It is our numerological soul’s urge and our astrological ascendant. It is how we synthesize all of our experiences in a way that will assist others within the labyrinth. It is the true beginnings of bold and active service. The throat is typically thought of as the color turquoise. It is the voice of the prophet, cantor, and visionary. It is associated physically with the thyroid gland who in dysfunction becomes a visible goiter on the throat. The nerve plexus that innervates the throat is the cervical ganglia medulla plexus, which operates the vocal apparatus, arms, and hands, which open themselves to give and to sing as only we can.
Today I open my throat to sing my Song…
The sixth center is the chakra of Light, Ajna. This is the storied third eye and the center of Light. As we grow in our hearts we grow in our third eye, which allows us to take in more Light, expanding reality with the realization there is more than meets the physical eyes. This is the center that opens us to things unseen (until we see them) and the higher intuition of which the human being is capable. When we realize that we are both made of light and perceive via light, suddenly an entire new reality is open to our perception. This chakra is associated with the color indigo blue and the pineal gland, which regulates not only our sleep, and melatonin creation, but also our processing of elemental Light. The associated nerve plexus is the entire autonomic nervous system, which operates our fundamental reactions to the wider world. “Fight or flight” and “feed or breed” are evoked based on the input of the autonomic nervous system. When we exist in a constant state of stress we activate the fight/flight/ freeze sympathetic nervous system, which causes vasoconstriction, the narrowing of blood vessels, drawing energy to our limbs and away from our central digestive system, and emits neurochemicals that keep us ready to run, fight, or play dead at any given moment. Because so many people live in a state of constant stress they exist in an almost permanent sympathetic state. This stress colors our understanding of the world and has dramatic physiological results such as constant inflammation and chronic illness. The body is not meant to live in a cortisol flooded state. Contrast that with the parasympathetic nervous system, which stimulates a relaxed state. In this state the body is flooded with endorphins (natural opiates), blood flow and energy is directed to the organs, healing factors are emitted, and we experience states of bliss and connection. The pineal gland, which regulates our intake of Light, is intricately connected to how we perceive the world. When we regard the world as frightening with monsters around every corner we stay in a state of stress, which reinforces itself with more stress. When we perceive it as a safe, loving place we are rewarded with a healthier body and mind.
Today I ask for protection from shadows of my mind and the clarity of Sight…
The final seventh heart is the crown itself, the Sahasrara. It is at this point that we link with the eternal Breath, the Divine Ruach. This is our connection to the realms beyond our immediate physical Light and where we draw in the Breath. It is the color violet and associated with the pituitary gland, that master gland that governs all other influences within the body. It is where we connect with the non-local mind of the All. The corresponding nerve plexus is the cerebral cortex pineal plexus, which regulates the brain and the central nervous system itself.
My breath is the shared Breath of the All… Today may I be aware of the interconnections.
The seven hearts are the main energy vortices, but each organ has its own set of chakras and, indeed, each cell has its own energy centers! We are microcosmic holographic images of the whole and as such each one of our cells is a microcosmic holographic image of us. As above, so below. As within, so without. And so there are infinite centers interacting at every given moment to create balance and homeostasis. This can seem mind boggling but imagine yourself as a great earth with billions of inhabitants living within your system. Your health and integrity depend on theirs and theirs depends on yours. This is very much the way our Mother Earth in her solid state interacts with us. We are her living cells. As we heal we help her to be healthy and well. Our emotions, thoughts, and actions are intricately connected to hers. A friend once said the greatest gift we could give our Mother is for us all to awaken to our Light by remembering we are Love. May we do so!
The seven chakras are the first lesson in esoteric anatomy, which expands the standard mechanistic understanding of anatomy, the external and internal workings of the physical form, to include the subtle layers of the energetic body. Each layer of the energetic body corresponds to one of the seven chakras and to specific elemental flavors of Light. The seven sacred Hearts are the primary connecting points between microcosmic and macrocosmic reality. It is through these centers that we translate the energy of each of the seven elements.