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No Chakra Left Behind

“On this sacred path of Radical Acceptance, rather than striving for perfection, we discover how to love ourselves into wholeness.”

—Tara Brach

There are numerous perspectives on the seven chakras of our modern esoteric lore. In the most general ways, some see the chakras as prescriptive, meaning they do not exist until we create them through practice. Others see the chakras as descriptive, inherent to incarnation, though they may be so dormant as to have gone unnoticed. Some see the chakras as purely receptive and reflective, used only for diagnosis and treatment in the healing arts. Others find the chakras are potent tools for shaping reality with their magic. Some orient to the chakras as mere stepping stones to get to higher consciousness, while others see the chakras as subtle layers of our higher selves to be explored. Some chakras have bad reputations, while others hold the image of being purely divine forces of nature that must be grasped, earned, or otherwise aspired to avoid the bad chakras.

This last aspect of the chakra perspectives, wherein we feel some chakras are good and some are bad, is a critically misaligned perspective. This distortion likely arises from the Puritan paradigms, which have seated themselves within our subtle psychic spaces, which culture works hard to control. Take this unconscious predisposition to outcast aspects of our being as impure and add to it the fact that most of us have experienced some form of radical trauma which seems to indicate that some things are truly bad, and we get an emotionally supported stalemate between our ideals and our realities. This leaves us in the holding pattern of “me against myself,” which we avoid dealing with by engaging in the outer form of it, which we call “us against them.”

The Gaian Alchemy

The world faces this conundrum on numerous fronts as the Gaian Alchemy plays out. Those of us who walk the psychic path must face it in our own energies. The bottom line is that we must learn to approach our chakras with the spirit of inclusivity of diversity. To blame one chakra for being the cause of some problem not only places the psychic in a war with self (a war which can never be won), but also reflects outwardly into their world as more distortion. That said, we must also strive to find where given chakras are out of balance, where they may be causing distortions for other chakras, and undertake to remedy this. The trick is to neither see an imbalance in a chakra as its inherent form nor to be critical of its imbalance as we tend to it. An alchemist must recognize that their own impatience and judgemental biases about the work at hand are the primary hindrances of an operation coming to fruition.

To this end, we can begin to cultivate a more expanded understanding of each chakra, rather than settling for the color-coded quick reference chakra books which aim to put you in a simplified mental box rather than unfold your psychic path before you. For instance, we can learn much from our chakras when we realize that the 1st chakra teaches the alchemical principle of “coagulation” or the gathering together of energies, and the creation of patterns. Likewise, the 2nd chakra teaches us the counterpart principle of “dissolving,” or the dispersing of energies from their forms, and their patterns. The 3rd chakra brings the principle of burning things to test and transform them. This is the power of will, of choice, the riddle of which requires we reclaim not only our creative but also our destructive potentials to be able to craft the path with heart. As we explore the 4th chakra and beyond, we begin working with subtler and subtler versions of these first three chakras for “as above, so below.”

The Art of Polarity

It could be argued that all of our problems on Earth today result from the polarities we cling to. To be sure, the creators of culture are well aware of the uses of polarities to keep people from unfolding their potential, both as individuals and collectives. But to see this and suppose we must fight against it is merely to take yet another polarized stance in the mix. When we see this paradox, we begin to see how the dance of control is perpetuated both in our world and within our own psyches. Polarities are not inherently bad; they all have their place within a maturing alchemical process. Only when certain ones are left or made to dominate the mixture do we run into the mess we live in today. The way out, as ever, is about working intelligently with the process, tending wisely to the fires and the wills of creation, rather than succumbing to the impulses of the moment that serve only to reinforce our entrainment with defeat by preaching victory.

We can find a very useful psychic image for the art of polarities within the Tarot Major Arcana, right at card number one, most often called the magician. An older name for this card is “the Juggler.” Scholars will be quick to say that this card indicates a kind of trickster character with a sleight of hand we need to watch out for. This reputation of “trickster” unconsciously keeps many from stepping into their full potential as a magician. Some will villainize the trickster and thereby covertly judge and keep themselves from the empowering path of becoming a creator of their world. Others will indulge in the shadiness of the trickster, attempting to ever gain an advantage over others, wield it for control, and likewise bar themselves from the portals of paradox which await those who can walk the crooked path of the riddle of will and endure the pressure chamber of both the individual and the collective empowerment as the same end. It is not a path for those who want things to be certain. It is a path for those who want everything to be fully alive. It is the path of the magician. It is the path of the juggler.