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by Michael J. Santangelo, ND, PhD, LMT

In another post, I explained a bit about PsychoSpiritual Energetcis. I also covered some of the techniques I use in this system here. In this third installment on PsychoSpiritual Energetics, I will explain how the chakras are viewed.

Anyone familiar with New Age thought, yoga, or most any mystical system, is aware of the chakras. (For those of you who aren’t, here is an introduction to the concept.) Depending on the system, however, the number of chakras and the colors associated with them change. To mention a few, Daoism holds that there are three primary energy centers, or dan tien, in the body, located at the forehead, heart, and abdomen. Tibetan Buddhism has five centers: forehead, throat, heart, solar plexus, and abdomen. The system that most of us in the West have heard of is the Hindu system, which has seven chakras. These include the five of the Tibetans, with the addition of one at the crown of the head, and one in the perineum. (Please note that various sources even differ in these basic details. Nevertheless, the above reflects a general consensus.)

In every system of reckoning the chakras, a color is assigned to each. In the 7-chakra, Hindu system, this color assignment follows the rainbow:

  • 1st (Root) – Red
  • 2nd (Sacral) – Orange
  • 3rd (Solar Plexus) – Yellow
  • 4th (Heart) – Green
  • 5th (Throat) – Blue
  • 6th (Third Eye) – Indigo (or Violet)
  • 7th (Crown) – Violet (or White)

In PsychoSpiritual Energetics, the chakra locations correspond with those found in the Hindu system, but the color assignment is quite different. Why is this? Because this system uses the Western Mystery Tradition’s take on the chakras. This is primarily an astrologically based system, with one of the planets of the ancients assigned to each chakra. (They considered the Sun and the Moon to be planets.) Since each planet has a card from the major arcana of the Tarot associated with it, and each card has a particular color associated with it as well, the chakras take on the color of the planet/card combination. Here are the associations, with the color, planet, and Tarot card:

  • 1st (Root) – Indigo (Saturn; The World)
  • 2nd (Sacral) – Red (Mars; The Tower)
  • 3rd (Solar Plexus) – Violet (Jupiter; The Wheel of Fortune)
  • 4th (Heart) – Orange (Sun; The Sun)
  • 5th (Throat) – Green (Venus; The Empress)
  • 6th (Third Eye) – Blue (Moon; The High Priestess)
  • 7th (Crown) – Yellow (Mercury; The Magician)

    The diagram below depicts these associations. In this figure, the chakras are arranged in order of the number of the Tarot card associated with them, not according to their locations.

    western chakras

    These planetary associations make sense when we look at the traditional functions of each of the chakras.

    The 1st chakra is our Root, that which grounds us to physical existence. It reflects survival and belonging. Saturn is the planet of limitation and of making things real, if you will. (I have compiled a series of blog posts at my personal website that briefly cover the planets from an esoteric perspective. The Saturn blog is here). The Tarot card The World is the card signifying, in part, the completion of a cycle or the manifestation of a result. On a grand scale, this is what the material plane is.

    The 2nd chakra is one of action. Though it is often associated with sexual energy, which is true. But in the broader sense, our 2nd chakra is creative in the most basic understanding of the word. It provides the raw energy for action and creation at all levels. The action planet? Why, Mars, of course. (Mars blog is here.) The Tower is the card of Mars in the Tarot. It is an action card, sometimes a drastic change of course, but raw power, to be sure.

    The 3rd chakra is how we put ourselves out into the world. It is frequently associated with our sense of self-esteem and personal power. The planet for this is the expansive Jupiter, a planet which is not shy about showing itself in bold ways. (Jupiter blog is here.) The Tarot card The Wheel of Fortune is Jupiter’s card. Often a positive card, it is also a card which tells of the great cycles of the Universe, and is expansive in an archetypal way.

    The 4th chakra is our heart, our sense of universal and unconditional love. When it is functioning well, it lifts us up to the highest levels of caring and compassion. It is the connection to our soul. The Sun is assigned here. It is the center of our solar system and symbolizes the Divine Light that shines within each of us. (The Sun blog is here.) The card paired with this planet is The Sun (duh!). A fortunate card, it shows our place within the system of the Universe, and how we are connected to all the elements of creation.

    The 5th chakra is another creative one, but at a more refined level than the 2nd. While the Mars chakra is creative, it is more primitive, in a sense, being devoted to procreation and raw energy. The 5th is more artistic, so to say, and concerned with outward creation, such as speaking, building, drawing, etc. No planet is better suited for this than Venus, planet of art and beauty. (Venus blog is here.) The Tarot card The Empress is the card of Venus. The Empress is the quintessential card of creation in the Tarot, and she helps us in all manner of manifestation.

    The 6th chakra is our intuition. It is our way of knowing without knowing. It is quite possibly the new-agey-est of the chakras. The Moon is the planet here, as it has always been linked to our subconscious, intuitive, feminine energies, just as the Sun has been linked to our conscious, in-your-face, masculine energies. (Moon blog is here.) The card of the 6th chakra is The High Priestess, guardian of the unconscious and the intuition. She is a card that appeals to our sense of trust in our higher knowing.

    The 7th chakra is our connection to the Godhead. It is a primary animating chakra, and gives us our sense of purpose in the Universe, as the 7th performs a similar function on the Earthly plane. No planet is better suited to this chakra than Mercury, messenger of the gods, that force which connects us to these higher realms. (Mercury blog is here.) The card for Mercury is The Magician. It is a card that symbolizes one’s ability to contact and channel the highest forces of the Universe, and can be an indication of mastery.

    O:n the physical level, the chakras are paired with organs and physiological processes, in particular the functions of the endocrine glands. As such, they are valuable to work with at all levels of our being.