There are seven major energy centers in the human body that have physical and emotional implications when they are either open or closed. Known as chakras, these energy centers are represented by chakra symbols with their own specific locations, colors, and symbolic meanings. In this post, we’ll discuss these seven main chakras and their effect on your body, so you can start channeling your inner powers!
What are Chakras?
The chakra system is a complex network of energy centers located in the human body. These energy centers are responsible for the harmonious flow of the vital life force energy, known as prana, throughout the body. This energy system consists of seven major chakras, each corresponding to different organs and glands, as well as physical, emotional, and spiritual aspects of our being.
The word chakra originates from Sanskrit and translates to “wheel” or “disk,” referring to a spinning disk of energy. These disks are located along your spinal column, starting from the base of the spine all the way to the crown on the top of the head, connecting the mind, body, and soul.
The seven chakras spin freely when they are aligned or “open,” which means they bridge the consciousness of the body and the mind, working to maintain balance and harmony in the body. When in alignment, they enable us to experience good health, emotional stability, mental clarity, and a sense of spiritual connectedness and pure consciousness.
When a chakra is “closed,” it can manifest as physical symptoms and emotional turmoil associated with that particular chakra. We may experience physical ailments, emotional distress, mental fog, disconnection from our higher self, and a general sense of chaos in our inner world.
The importance of the chakra system lies in its ability to serve as a roadmap for personal growth and healing. Through meditation, energy healing, and other spiritual practices, we can become more aware of our chakras and work to balance and align them. This process can help us to release physical and emotional blockages, tap into our intuition and creativity, and connect with our higher purpose.
In essence, the chakra system is a tool for personal transformation and spiritual evolution. By understanding and working with our chakras, we can unlock our full potential and live a life of health, happiness, and spiritual fulfillment.
What are the Chakra Symbols?
Each chakra is represented by a unique symbol or geometric design known as Yantra. Yantras depict spiritual beings and deities, according to Hindu scriptures, and help us gain strength from the symbol when we tune into them.
The first five main chakras correspond to fire, water, earth, ether, and air, and each has its own specific Yantra that enables us to identify its specific function. It is important not to confuse the chakra yantras with mandala, which are less complex circular patterns.
The chakra symbols are intricately linked to the sacred geometry of the cosmos – the universal language that describes the patterns and structures that make up everything in existence. These patterns and structures are often found in nature and are believed to have a profound impact on human consciousness.
The use of sacred geometry in chakra symbols is thought to have a powerful effect on the human body and mind. It is believed that when we focus on these symbols, we are connecting with the underlying energetic patterns that make up the universe, helping to balance and align our chakras.
History of the Chakra Symbols
The history of chakra symbols dates back thousands of years and has its roots in ancient Indian culture. The concept of chakras can be traced back to the Vedas, the earliest scriptures of Hinduism, which were written between 1500 BCE and 500 BCE, while the earliest mention of the ‘chakra’ term itself can be found in the Upanishads, which are a collection of Tantric texts that explore the nature of reality, consciousness, and the self.
The chakra symbols themselves emerged later as visual representations of these energy centers. They were popularized in the West by the Theosophical Society, a spiritual organization founded in the late 19th century. The society was interested in the esoteric teachings of various cultures, including those of India, and helped to introduce the concept of chakras to a wider audience.
Today, chakra symbols are widely recognized and used in various spiritual practices, including yoga, meditation, and energy healing. They continue to be a powerful visual tool for understanding and working with the body’s energy centers, and have become an integral part of many people’s spiritual journeys.
The Sacred Geometry of the Chakra Symbols
Across the chakra symbols, there are three re-occurring elements: the circle, lotus flower, and triangle.
- The circle is a symbol of infinity and completeness, representing the continuous cycle of life, death, and rebirth. The circle has always been a symbol of infinity, and in this case, it denotes the cyclical and infinite nature of energy. It also signifies the connection we have with ourselves, other creatures, and the divine.
- The lotus flower is a common symbol in Eastern religions, representing spiritual awakening, growth, prosperity, and purity. In the context of the chakra system, the lotus flower represents the opening of each chakra and the blossoming of spiritual energy within the individual. Each chakra is associated with a specific number of petals, with the number increasing as you move up the chakra system, reflecting the increasing complexity and depth of each energy center.
- The triangle symbolizes the connection between the physical, mental, and spiritual aspects of our being. In the context of the chakra system, the triangle represents the balance that must be achieved between these three aspects to achieve optimal health and well-being.
The use of these three patterns in chakra symbols is meant to convey a sense of unity and interconnectedness between all aspects of our being and the wider universe. They represent the journey of self-discovery and spiritual growth that we all must undertake to achieve a deeper understanding of ourselves and our place in the world.
The Seven Main Chakras Symbols
With this in mind, let’s dive into the individual meanings of each of the chakra symbols and understand their individual elements.
1. Root Chakra Symbol – Muladhara
The root chakra symbol is a circle with a square carrying an inverted triangle inscribed within it and a four-petaled lotus on the borders of the circle. The root chakra, as the name suggests, is located at the base of your spine, around the tailbone and pelvic floor, and is responsible for keeping you grounded and stable. It is also called Muladhara chakra, which is a combination of two Sanskrit words: mula, which means ‘root’, and –adhara, meaning ‘base.’
- The color red: The Root Chakra is represented by the color red due to its association with the earth element. It signifies our need to feel secure and firmly rooted in our essence while at the same time symbolizing our primal instincts of survival, strength, and vitality.
- The four-petalled lotus: Each of the four petals of the four-petaled lotus symbolizes the four states of mind: mind (Manas), ego (Ahamkara), consciousness (Chitta), and intellect (Buddhi).
- The square: This basic geometric shape represents foundational energy and represents stability, physicality, balance, and structure. The four equal sides of a square are an important part of the physical realm, signifying the four seasons (spring, summer, winter, and autumn), the four elements (earth, air, fire, and water), and the four directions (north, south, east, and west).
- The inverted triangle: The inverted triangle within the square represents the way humans evolve: from seed to their full human potential. This is also an alchemical symbol of the earth, relating to the grounded energy of Muladhara.
- Chakra symbolic animal: The root chakra is associated with the elephant as it is representative of its strong connection to the earth.
2. Sacral Chakra Symbol – Svadhishthana
The sacral chakra is located below your navel button and just above your pubic bone and associated with the element of water, which is why it is associated with pleasure, sexuality, and creativity. It is a central chakra that allows us to feel our sense of self in its trueness, due to which it is called Svadhisthana, where swa means ‘self’ and adhistana means ‘established.’
- The color orange: The sacral chakra is represented with the color orange as it signifies happiness, intimacy, sexuality, and creativity.
- The six-petalled lotus: Each of the six petals of the lotus symbolizes the six negative qualities that you need to overcome to keep this chakra open: jealousy, cruelty, hatred, anger, pride, and desire.
- The Circles and the Moon: The circles represent the cyclic nature of everything, such as birth, death, and rebirth. As the sacral chakra symbol is associated with the water element, the multiple circles reiterate the flow of life. An “open” sacral chakra allows us to move with the ups and downs of life without losing control of our emotions. Similarly, the crescent moon shape inside the inner circle denotes the cyclic nature of the moon’s phases and the way life is never still but constantly moving and changing.
- Chakra symbolic animal: The animal that represents the sacral chakra is the crocodile. This animal symbolizes insensitivity, laziness, and danger: all the negative traits that arise when the sacral chakra is blocked. The water element also reminds us of its soft yet powerful nature. Water can easily become a force to be reckoned with when out of control. In the same way, our negative emotions can get the best of us when we fail to keep them in check.
3. Solar Plexus Chakra Symbol – Manipura
The solar plexus chakra is located in our abdomen, in our stomach area, and is related to the fire element. The fire symbolizes our personal power, energy, will, and determination. This chakra is also known as Manipura, where mani means ‘city’ and pura means ‘jewels.’
- The color yellow: The solar plexus chakra is associated with the color yellow. This vibrant color is related to the fire element and represents our individual power, knowledge, and enlightenment.
- The 10-petalled lotus: The 10-petaled lotus that symbolizes the solar plexus chakra stands for the ten pranas present in humans, according to Indians. Prana means “vital principle” or “life force” and includes Prana, Udana, Apana, Samana, Vyana, Naga, Devadatta, Krikala, Kurma, and Dhananjay.
- The downward-pointing triangle: The inverted triangle depicts the transformative nature of the fire element and its ability to turn matter into energy, which is then used to harness forward momentum.
- Chakra symbolic animal: Ram is the symbolic animal for the solar plexus chakra as it symbolizes self-expression, assertiveness, and inner power. It displays determination and the ability to tap into one’s passion for taking action.
4. Heart Chakra Symbol – Anahata
The heart chakra is located just above our heart, in the center of our chest, and is associated with the air element. Because it lies in the center of our body, it connects the three base chakras to the three higher chakras. It is also known as Anahata, which means ‘unstruck sound,’ or a sound that doesn’t have reverb. In simple terms, it means the sounds you hear in complete silence. Due to its proximity to the heart, it denotes compassion and love for oneself and others.
- The color green: The color green represents the various qualities of the heart chakra, such as balance, love, compassion, growth, harmony, and healing. Green also indicates growth and nature and the start of something new.
- The 12-petalled lotus: The twelve petals of the lotus represent the twelve qualities of the divine associated with the heart, namely: love, harmony, empathy, clarity, unity, purity, understanding, compassion, forgiveness, peace, bliss, and kindness.
- The Hexagram: Within the circle, you’ll find two intersecting triangles forming a six-pointed star called a hexagram: an inverted triangle and an upward-pointing triangle. This symbolizes how the lower and upper three chakras are interlinked. Because it’s the merging point of all the chakras, the heart chakra has all six qualities in total. The hexagram also portrays two spirits coming together: the spirit and the matter and the merging of masculine and feminine energies.
- Chakra symbolic animal: The symbolic animal for the heart chakra is the deer or antelope, as they signify gentleness and grace. Both animals symbolize how we deal with things at times. For example, antelopes are vigilant and on the lookout for the slightest threat. As humans, we might undergo the same vigilance in our spiritual journeys; on the other hand, deers are an epitome of innocence, grace, and gentleness: an accurate description of the heart chakra.
5. Throat Chakra Symbol – Vishuddha
The throat chakra, or Vishuddha, is located in our throat and represents communication. It is called Vishuddha or Vishuddhi, which means ‘filter.’ An open or active Vishuddha would filter out the negativity in your life and keep you positive even when things around you aren’t going your way. This chakra is also associated with the ether element that represents authenticity, communication, and purification.
- The color blue: The throat chakra is symbolized by the color blue as it indicates a balance between intellect and emotion. If one feels a lot of emotion, they’ll stop feeling the need to involve themselves with the world and become okay with how they are. On the other hand, if one becomes entirely intellectual, one’ll stop wanting to interact with anyone. For this reason, the balance between the two is important, which can be established by activating the throat chakra.
- The 16-petalled lotus: Each of the sixteen petals of the lotus stands for the sixteen vowels of Sanskrit. As these vowels are easy to pronounce and have an airy quality, they represent the art of effective communication.
- The triangle and circle: The upside-down triangle symbolizes how the lower three chakras accumulate and spin upwards towards the higher chakras, while the circle is a symbol of the full moon. At this stage, the moon represents resting, releasing, and letting go.
- Chakra symbolic animal: The throat chakra is represented by the white elephant, as it is a master of communication and exercises harmony and pleasant interactions with others. The white elephant is a symbol of expression which is the major representation of Vishuddha.
6. Third Eye Chakra Symbol – Ajna
The third eye chakra is located between our eyes, on our forehead, and can also be called the “brow chakra.” It is the center of gravity, intuition, imagination, and wisdom. It is also called Ajna in Sanskrit, meaning “perceiving” or “command.” The third eye also represents insight and enlightenment, due to which this chakra is related to the “supreme element.” So, someone with an active third eye chakra will have transcended the five lower chakras and entered into the realm of ultimate consciousness, where the person’s duality falls away to leave an independent being, free from the shackles of the external world.
- The colors Indigo or Purple: The third eye chakra is represented by purple shades like indigo, violet, purple, or dark blue. This is because these colors symbolize inner wisdom, intuition, imagination, and a higher state of consciousness. They also represent awakening and a greater sense of clarity.
- The two-petalled lotus: The two-petaled lotus flower is a symbol of purity and spiritual enlightenment in Buddhism and Hinduism. The two petals also represent the two elements of consciousness: individuality and universality.
- The Om Symbol: Inside the circle of the third eye symbol is an inverted triangle and an Om symbol. The inverted triangle depicts the rise of energy from the lower to higher chakras, while the Om symbol represents a sacred sound frequently used in meditation. It is known to portray the essence of the universe and reminds us to keep seeking higher forms of consciousness.
- Chakra symbolic animal: The black antelope symbolizes Ajna as it represents honesty and trust, two qualities that are attained through an inner journey.
7. Crown Chakra Symbol
The crown chakra is located at the top of our head and is also called Sahasrara in Sanskrit, which means ‘infinite.’ This is the highest form of chakra that represents our communication with the divine. It is associated with nothingness and space and qualities like oneness, self-transcendence, and merging with the infinite.
- The color white: The crown chakra embodies the color white, which signifies enlightenment and spirituality that radiates from the crown of the head when this chakra is “open” or “aligned.” The white color also represents clarity, purity, and the attainment of the highest level of consciousness. One can also relate it to the divine light or the connection with a higher being.
- The thousand-petalled lotus: The crown chakra is represented only by a circle and the lotus flower. The circle is associated with the cyclical and infinite nature of energy, while the thousand-petalled lotus symbolizes our relation with the divine, the universe, and other beings. The thousand petals signify these integral connections and how they are for eternity.
- Chakra symbolic animal: No Hindu texts have shown to associate an animal with the crown chakra, mostly because of its divine qualities. All texts simply talk about the divine nature of this chakra and its use in reaching one’s potential.
How to Use the Chakra Symbols & Create Your Own Ritual Practice With Them
By incorporating chakra yantra symbols into your daily practices, you can deepen your connection with your chakras and promote healing and balance. There are many unique ways to use these symbols, such as incorporating them into meditation, yoga, or even wearing certain symbols as a jewel to remind you of your intentions.
Here are some ideas to get you started:
- Meditation: One of the most popular ways to work with chakra yantra symbols is through meditation. Choose the yantra that corresponds to the chakra you want to focus on, and then sit comfortably in a quiet space with the yantra in front of you. Gaze at the symbol and allow your mind to become absorbed in its beauty and intricacy. This can help to open and balance the energy of the corresponding chakra.
- Altar or sacred space: Create a sacred space or altar in your home and incorporate chakra yantra symbols into the design. You can place the yantras on a table or shelf, along with other items that are meaningful to you. Lighting candles, burning incense or sage, and playing soft music can enhance the atmosphere and help to create a sense of sacredness.
- Visualization: Visualize the chakra yantra symbols in your mind’s eye during your meditation or at any time throughout the day. Imagine the symbol glowing brightly and emanating its unique energy. This can help to bring balance and harmony to the corresponding chakra.
- Body placement: Place the chakra yantra symbol on the corresponding part of your body during meditation or throughout the day. You can use a small piece of paper or fabric with the yantra drawn or printed on it, and place it on your forehead, chest, or abdomen. This can help to focus your attention on the corresponding chakra and enhance its energy.
- Art therapy: Use chakra yantra symbols as a creative tool for self-expression and healing. Draw or paint the yantras or color in pre-drawn images. Allow your intuition to guide you in the colors and patterns you choose. This can be a fun and therapeutic way to connect with the energy of the chakras.
It’s important to approach these practices with an open mind and heart, and allow yourself to fully embrace the healing power of these ancient symbols. By doing so, you may discover new insights about yourself and your place in the universe and find a sense of peace and purpose in your life. Remember to be gentle and patient with yourself on this journey, as true healing and transformation take time and effort.
What is a chakra?
Chakra refers to the energy centers in the body, representing different aspects of our physical, emotional, and spiritual well-being.
How do you unblock your chakras?
You can unblock your chakras through various practices such as meditation, yoga, visualization, and energy healing. By doing so, you may experience more balance, clarity, and vitality in your life.
What do the 7 chakras symbolize?
The 7 chakras symbolize the seven main energy centers in the body, starting from the base of the spine and ending at the crown of the head. Each chakra is associated with different qualities, such as stability, creativity, power, love, communication, intuition, and spirituality.
What religion do chakras come from?
Chakras are believed to have originated in the Hindu and Buddhist traditions, but have since been adopted by various spiritual and healing practices around the world.
What happens when all 7 chakras are open?
When all 7 chakras are open and balanced, you may experience a sense of harmony, vitality, and connection with the universe. This can lead to greater clarity, creativity, and purpose in life, as well as a deeper understanding of oneself and others.