Updated: Sep 10, 2020
What is a chakra?
Chakras are focal points of our energetic body that vibrate at specific frequencies and are constantly in flux bringing in and putting out energy into our auric field. For this reason, they are referred to as vortexes of energy.
We are familiar with the fact we have a physical body but as energetic beings we go far beyond which can only be experienced with the 5 senses, experiencing emotional range is proof of this. The state of our chakras are a window into the emotional body and the link between emotional and physical wellbeing.
The energy involvement of the seven primary chakras can be visualized as a tree that runs vertically along the spine. Starting below at the dark, deep roots and growing upward to the area of the heart where branches begin to spread outward growing up into the heavens above the crown of the head.
The observation, healing and opening of the chakras are part of what is called, Tantric practice. Tantric practices in the most general sense are ways of opening to spiritual self-healing. They are theories based around attaining physical and spiritual awareness with an aim towards enlightenment. They involve esoteric practice (practice not understood by all) and sacred ritual (valued uniquely by the person participating in it).
Manipura: The Solar Plexus Chakra
The naming of the chakra system is Sanskrit, an ancient Indian language which migrated to different parts of the world finding itself across several different ancient teachings including Hinduism and Buddhism. Every chakra has a respectable Sanskrit name and symbol associated with it. It also has a color and sound frequency it vibrates at and other unique qualities that are not defined to limit the complexity of the energy.
Location: Celiac Plexus, Above the Naval and Below the Diaphragm
(Seed Mantras also known as Bija (seed in Sanskrit) Mantras are one syllable phrases chanted to cleanse the specific energetic point for healing.)
Mudra: Fingers and palms together with the right thumb over the left thumb
(Mudra in Sanskrit means ‘gesture’, they are specific hand positions that bring intentional energy to a particular energy vortex/chakra during meditation.)
Endocrine Gland: Pancreas
Each of the chakras interact with a gland from the endocrine system, this is the communication with the physical body. Messages are passed through hormones secreted by the glands and communication with the nervous system.
Sacred Symbol: Yellow/Gold 10 Pedal Lotus with an Inverted Triangle
Yellow is the color of radiance and intellectual spark that acts as a light for others. Gold is a higher expression of this energy. The inverted triangle is representative of awakening brought to the lower chakra energy and the 10 pedals represent the 10 vital forces in Hindu tradition.
The Solar Plexus/Third Chakra is an evolution in consciousness, home to our personal identity (Ego); it is also the control center of our personal power. It is the third and final of the lower body energy centers. Its physicality is our health maintained by our vitality. The purpose of this chakra is to move us forward into life as the individual who has their own function and purpose to serve to the whole. It energizes us with the resolve of realizing the power we have within. Its state reflects how capable we see ourselves and how we translate that into a societal standpoint. From this center we bring in the energies manifested by the sacral and root chakras.
This is where we can ‘feel’ whether or not we have control over our lives. The key here is power; a spiritual journey inevitably includes realizing where your power is. It could be one of the most vital realizations you ever have. Where is my power? Is it in my body, is it with a particular person, in the past, in a certain belief, or projected into a future ‘when’? Why would we let our power be anywhere but within? Simple, fear; we are scared of our own power and what fully realizing it would mean for our lives. Also, when in deep states of fear our power can leave our body. This is not a comfortable truth, but on this level, it is true, and it can set you free.
It is from this energetically charged seat of our being that we are able to expand our consciousness upwards to living an enriched, vital, and intimate life. This is our ‘life force energy’ in movement and it has a multitude of names through different ancient dogmas. Some examples are, but not limited to, prana, chi, bioenergy, source energy, ki, and spiritual energy.
Fire is the most powerful element for its sense of intensity and changeability; it is most notable for its transmutable quality of turning energy from one form into another. It is a symbol of passion with emotional focus combining with physical action to create unlimited potential.
The Solar Plexus is also known as the fire chakra and it is closely linked to the digestive system. How our digestive system changes food into energy, is how this chakra processes thoughts and ideas bringing them into action and physical manifestation. People can be unconsciously resistant to leaving the symbolic womb (sacral chakra/below) this fear turns into overdrive thinking, ruminating, and the pro and con weighing of the solar plexus ‘mind’. At the location of the solar plexus are complex nerve plexuses (networks) that meet the spinal cord, brain and other neuroendocrine matrixes. Together these coordinate with the stress response. Ever feel your stomach flip or butterflies? That is this network and where the link between anxiety and digestive issues and gut toxicity and mental health coincide.
At the Solar Plexus we have virtues that influence our relationship with life. Virtues are attitudes that abide to our own personal moral code. This isn’t to say this code was designed entirely by you, but it is owned by you. Our social culture contributes largely to these, but our identity is built off our relationship with these qualities. At the foundation we have integrity, our stride to live an ‘honest’ life. Do you practice what you preach? These personal entities can include our self-control, ability to upstand adversity (endurance), and fulfill life’s duties (responsibility).
The evolution of the ‘self’ can be a trying one. When developing as a social creature our identity becomes fragmented keeping only what seems acceptable. The more these acceptable qualities are validated by the external world, the more deserted the other natural parts become. To keep those buried parts at bay we can become self-critical and judgmental. Becoming aware of these parts of ourselves and seeing their value to our personality allows us to transcend the limiting beliefs brought on by this fragmentation.
Inhibited by shame, when the Solar Plexus is blocked, we feel a sense of powerlessness or are unconscious to this and spend excess energy trying to protect our precious ego. Without a sense of internal power, we go to our environment to seek control and can act in ways that are impulsive, reclusive, secluded and not in alignment with our values. We can experience digestive issues brought on by inflammation, food sensitivities, hard to digest feelings, and the bodies’ struggle to properly utilize nutrients from food. We consume erratically to keep us from the feeling we are being consumed by something in our waking life we do not have power over. We are critical towards others and beyond brutal to ourselves. With too little fire we go cold and too much we burn out. An imbalance can be felt as a constant fluctuation between the two.
When this chakra is open, we are in the driver seat of our life. We know our core values and live in alignment with them. We are confident in our entirety and in uncomfortable times there is a sense of self-reliance and perseverance. Also, you trust your motives and do not require validation from others to honor them. You have honor and with that you honor your word to yourself and others. You do not fear or under-play your success. The opinions or feelings of others do not deter you from your path because you know in good faith one has nothing to do with the other. Your focus is on your self-mastery and center is so strong you do not need to derive power from external sources. Your light radiates and inspires others to go in search of their own.