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A practical way to work your chakras, by Thomas Geddes

September 30, 2012

Thomas Geddes

“We can use it [the chakra system] as a spiritual map insuring that we are engaging in activities in all areas of life, leading to a rounded and full existence.”

All too often I find that nearly everything written about working with chakras seems to focus around the thing of ‘Imagine a spinning ball of (coloured) light opening like a flower‘.

To those of us with an agnostic (or atheistic) outlook, we want something a bit more practical! 
Is imagining a ball of light going to help us to energise and balance the areas of our lives that the chakra is suppose to govern? 
 Well, maybe, but personally I like to combine that method with other more grounded activities.

I propose a new way of thinking about and working with the chakra system. 
We can use it as a spiritual map insuring that we are engaging in activities in all areas of life, leading to a rounded and full existence. 
We can use this system to see when we are too focused on one area, or are ignoring another.

Maybe this will simply be a way of insuring a full and balanced life, BUT if these energy centers are actual, objective, things within us- then I believe these activities would go a long way to opening and energising them.

And so I have put together a very brief outline with ideas for activities that could be used for connecting to the sphere of life governed by each chakra.

Base:
-Practice mindfulness.
This can be while you exercise, while at work, any time at all. The main goal is to get you back into close contact with your body and the texture of your life.
-Live below your means to insure financial stability.
One of the main attributes of the base chakra is stability. And financial worry is one of the main things said to throw this energy center out of balance.
-Garden.
For this chakra the aim of gardening is to really just get your hands dirty and experience a very tangible feeling of groundedness.
-Dance.
Also mindfully, but here the focus is more on experiencing your body in ways it usually doesn’t get to move.
-Eat healthy; eat local.
In a later essay I will cover this more fully, but for now I will say that eating in general, and eating local produce in particular, creates a very literal and tangible connection between the person and the earth.

Sacral:
-Sex! Lots of it!
This chakra is all about sex, so have it!
-Hot, scented baths.
This chakra is also about feelings and emotion, so taking some time to relax and take care of your self is a great idea.
-Prepare food mindfully.
Instead of simply making a meal, CREATE a meal. Turn the preparation into a creative act.
-Dance.
Be creative with your body.
-Create or enjoy art, flowers, colours, music, and beautiful things.
Create, Create, Create!

Solar Plexus:
-Learn knew things, or deepen your knowledge.
This is the chakra of self-knowledge and personal power. Learning can increase self-knowledge. Not to mention, of course, that knowledge is power.
-Sunbathe.
Sunlight is good for all the charkas and the body in a few ways, I mention it under this chakra mostly for it’s connection to energy and the sunny colour usually associated with this energy center.
-Core exercises, such as sit-ups.
The physical body around the charkas is said to be connected to them, so strengthening the core, should help this chakra- and if not you will still be sexier and more fit!
-Learn to, or practice standing your ground.
Personal will and power. Learn to use it. But don’t be a jerk about it either!
-Laugh, deep belly laughter.
Similar theory to the core exercises mentioned above- however laughter will make you happy rather than fit.

Heart:
-Spend time in nature.
This chakra is all about emotions and connection to others. Time alone in beautiful/peaceful surroundings can be a fantastic way to get the heart balanced.
-Spend time with friends and family.
Really open up and connect with those you are close to.
-Garden.
The emphasis this time is on the act of caring for another living being.
-Let the people you care about know.
Often the people we care about are not really aware that we care, so let them know!
-Attempt to cultivate compassion for all.
This is a tricky one, and a whole lifetime could be spent developing this skill! Start small.
-Cultivate gratitude.
A spiritual practice that I feel to be greatly overlooked. Try simply listing the things you are grateful for at the end of each day. Get as silly and trivial as you like, as long as you are grateful for it, it counts!

Throat:
-Sing.
Doesn’t matter if you do it badly!
-Have meaningful conversations.
Not something that can be easily forced, but a deep conversation is a great way to exercise the communication center that is the throat chakra.
-Improve and practice communication skills.
Get better at communication. Learn and apply a few basic skills that relate to talking, listening, and accurately conveying meaning.
-Write in a journal or diary.
This can be an amazing release for stress and emotion. It will stop you getting all bottled up by the things you cannot say.
-Learn to listen.
As they say, you have two ears.
-LISTEN.
Hint: this one is important.

Third Eye:
(From a humanistic view point this chakra is the trickiest. It relates almost purely to “supernatural” ideas of intuition and spiritual sight.)
– Star gazing.
Try to really feel and experience the depth of the sky. Feel the distance between yourself and the stars, and the distance between the stars.
-Meditation.
Well this one is pretty much good for everything.
-Dreams and journaling them.
Get in touch with the “inner sight” of your dream world. You can likely learn a lot from your own mind this way.
-Drawing, art, and close observation.
Practices the physical eyes.

Crown:
-Star gazing.
As above.
-Meditation.
As above.
-Spiritual exploration.
Explore religions and philosophies. Explore new spiritual practices.
-Prayer.
Doesn’t matter what you pray, or who to, or even if you think anyone is really listening.
-Contemplate the ways all things are connected.
This is a big one for me. There are many ways in which all people, all life, and all things are connected. Some subtle, some abstract, and some utterly literal. Meditate on it.

This article was first published at Up the Styx.

The author

Thomas Geddes

Thomas Geddes is a Witch/Sorcerer, a Mystic, an Agnostic, a seeker, and a sometimes artist, traveler, and free spirit living in far off New Zealand.

Though young, he has been on the path (a path) for somewhere between 10-15 years.  The path he is following, or creating, is an odd mix of Neo-Paganism, Humanistic Paganism, Greek Myth, “Traditional” witchcraft, and European folklore.  With a big side-serving of skepticism, agnosticism, and science.  He can find no straight line of agnosticism, but rather flips back and forth between humanism and literalism.

Thomas writes a blog about his explorations in agnosticism and witchcraft at Up The Styx.

3 Comments
  1. September 30, 2012 4:42 pm

    Thanks for writing this Thomas. While not believing in any kind of energy centers, I have used the idea of “chakras” in different spiritual practices for as long as I have identified as Pagan and it has been helpful to me to connect my mind with other parts of my body and self.

  2. Emeliene permalink
    November 15, 2012 4:37 am

    Again – awesome article lovely :)
    I find that too much of ‘paganism’ or pagan-associated ideas focus on the non-tangible nowadays. It gives us this excuse, or a way to pretend we’re active in our own.. spirituality?oOr even personal mindfulness, when in reality we aren’t, we aren’t willing to put in the work, or we want a quick fix, easy way to feel better. Practice and practical ways to delve into the spirit are so appreciated by my brain! xx

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