The 8th Chakra
Taken from the book Working with Earth Energies by David Furlong
One of the spiritual traditions that we have inherited from India suggests that there are seven main chakras, or energy centres in the body. In this article I argue for the existence of an eighth, located not above the head but under the feet.
The concept of the chakras stems from ancient Yogic traditions, which suggests that there are spiritual energy centres focused in specific places along the front of the body. This Sanskrit word chakra literally means wheel and indicates the spiralling pulsating, vibrational quality of these energy points. Different symbols, sounds and god names were assigned to each of the chakras but interestingly enough the symbolic connection of the seven colours of the spectrum is a relatively modern Western addition being introduced in the 1920’s by Charles Leadbeater, one of the leaders of the Theosophical movement. It never formed a part of the original tradition.
The Seven Traditional Chakras
Most people are aware of the placement of these chakras, which are normally given Western names, rather than their Sanskrit originals. The Sahasrara chakra is the crown on the top of the head, the Ajna chakra is known as the brow, whilst the throat is the Visuddha. The heart chakra symbolised by two interlocking and inverted triangles, like the Star of David, is called the Anahata, and the Manipura chakra is located at the Solar plexus. The lower abdomen or sacral is the position for the Svadhisthana chakra, whilst the chakra at the bottom or base of the spine is known as the Muludhara.
In studying Hindu texts it is clear that they too suggested many additional minor chakric points and there were also differences in Tantric Buddhist traditions, which adopted the chakric concepts. But the main association of seven chakras has endured for a very long time so why do I suggest a change?
Cross-Referencing Spiritual traditions Offers Unique Insights
Part of my karmic task through more than thirty year’s study and exploration into metaphysical subjects has been the search to discover the underlying essence within all spiritual traditions. We live in amazing times on this planet for never before in the history of the world have so many traditions been so readily accessible to us. We can now explore Chinese, Tibetan, Ancient Egyptian, Celtic, Kabbalistic, Shamanistic and many, many more traditions with considerable ease. This is a unique gift allowing people to touch again those spiritual paths which their soul has experienced before in its karmic journey through different incarnations. The underlying principles in all of these traditions must, like the laws of physics, be consistent. God in His, Her or Its process, whichever pronoun you like to use for the Ultimate, would not have created a different set of principles for each of these traditions. They all must be seeing the same underlying matrix and then translating it into a form that makes sense for them.
Throughout my life I have been deeply interested in patterns; the patterns that can be found in the landscape, the patterns that weave through our life and the patterns that can be found by comparing different spiritual traditions. Spiritual truths are consistent through all traditions and mythologies whereby the intrinsic patterns we find replicated in one tradition must and are, in the whole or in part, reflected in another.
Archetypal Patterns Reflecting Eight Principles
Through many years of research I have come to recognise that there are eight distinct primary spiritual principles, which revolve around a central core of Light generally symbolised by the Sun. This is most apparent in the eight trigrams of the I Ching, which form the basis of the eight directions in Feng Shui. The Scandinavian and Germanic Runes are dived up into three Aettir of eight runes in each, and there are eight main festivals in Celtic mythology. Many other associations can also be found through all of the major mythologies too numerous to mention here. Because of this eightfold patterning I have, for a long time, felt that collectively humanity needs to be working with eight main chakras and not seven; a proposal which has been powerfully endorsed by my spiritual teachers on the inner planes. See article on Mythology
Others, too, have recognised this need but in most cases any additions to the chakric system are placed in the upper part of the body or even above the head. A significant part of my incarnation has been the recognition of that it is vital to our well-being to fully ground ourselves within the physical body and more important still to energetically align our energies to that of the pulse of the Earth. Our planet is going through a major transformational shift with new frequencies becoming available to us all of the time; we need to be continually updating our connection with these new vibrant Earth energies to keep pace with the changing dynamic of our planet.
The Root or 8th Chakra
The connection to the ground is through our feet. They are crucial to this process, for it is through our feet that we can connect with the vibrational energies of the Earth. For many years now I have worked the feet as the 8th chakra, which I feel should be appropriately named the Root chakra. The energy of this chakra not only connects us to the planet, but also to our roots or origins. Its energy helps us access past lives and karmic patterns as well as the genetic blueprint that we receive from our parents and above all to root us firmly into the vibrational essence of the Earth.
The feet are significant in two other ways. It was the feet of his disciples that Jesus washed. In this act he was drawing attention to the importance of the feet and also washing away past karmic imbalances. We too can do the same for ourselves in washing our own feet. Secondly the feet are used as a primary focus of treatment in Reflexology. This would only be possible if the feet themselves carried a chakric impulse, which has a special quality that allows it to be used for helping re-balance the other systems of the body.
The Colour and God Associations
The archetype or god form that I associate with this chakra is the Greek god Hermes or his Roman equivalent Mercury who wears winged sandals and carries in his hand the Caduceus staff, the symbol of healing with its entwining snakes and wings at the top. As to colours we can, of course, easily introduce an eighth, for when the colour spectrum is put into a circle, then another colour is found between violet and red, the colour magenta. It is easy to see this colour when you look at the spectrum in a CD disk. However I do not really like the usual ordered association of colours with the chakras for, in my experience, they do not work in reality. For example, on many occasions within groups I have run over many years I have asked individuals to tune into the quality of love and then to ascribe the colour that they inwardly felt reflected this love. I have then asked them to determine where in body they felt was the focus of their love. In the vast majority of cases the heart was seen as focus of love energy. Yet with the colours then blue, pink and deep red are the most common; very rarely green. I would prefer to mix up these colours so that I would ascribe green to the Root chakra of the feet, red fits with the Base chakra, whilst turquoise is a better colour for the Sacral. Orange fits with the Solar Plexus and sky blue with the Heart. Yellow connects to the Throat and violet to the Brow, which leaves magenta for the Crown chakra. As you can see I love traditions but am not a traditionalist. The suggested list is not meant to be definitive but as spur to further thought.
These can be shown thus:
1. Crown – Magenta (although some people prefer white or gold)
2. Brow – Violet
3. Throat – Yellow
4. Heart – Blue
5. Solar Plexus – Orange
6. Sacral – Turquoise
7. Base – Red
8. Feet – Green
By locating the 8th chakra on the sole of the feet we create a balance with the Crown chakra and a point of contact with the Earth in a way not considered before. To fulfil our collective karmic task we have to go through this process of Earth linking, of Earth harmonisation. The Root chakra allows this to happen.
This article was first published in Mina Olen Magazine in 2002 and later appeared in a chapter in Working with Earth Energies published in 2003.
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