Saturday, 31 August 2013

Post No. 468 - Living in chakras and other stuff - Part I

Well, I've survived another week.

I left work early, yesterday (Friday), partly because of exhaustion (although I've brought work home :( ), partly in deference to my colleagues, who thought my coughing fits sounded like a death rattle.

I had a few nice things happen on the way home, though.

First, as I walked from the office to car park, I had a Willy Wagtail singing and dancing in front of me for most of the way. Then, on the way home I saw a couple of ducks flying through the trees beside the road as I sat in Traffic Jam No. 3 (of 4 on the way home - they're the reason I don't normally bother to leave work early, but no-one - no matter how much I say that - seems to take any notice of it: "Oh why don't you just go home a bit early?" Well, because doing so doubles the travel time. Idiots). Spring is definitely here - time to use the lovely compost I've been nurturing over the weekend and do my planting (just corn, this year) and re-potting.

I also had a magnificent rainbow to look at as I drove home - there was a spring storm ahead of me, and the setting sun behind me gave one of the brightest rainbows I've ever seen. I've been blest by quite a few very spectacular rainbows in my life - seeing the complete circle of a rainbow, or double rainbows - once seeing almost complete circles of a double rainbow as I drove over a ridge into a valley; another time I saw a ghostly third rainbow.

Ah, lovely. [3]

I'm not going to make any trite remarks about such things making up for the trials and tribulations of life, because they don't. They're lovely - magnificent, marvellous, worthy of being enjoyed, but seeing them doesn't make up for the sorts of trials people may have. How could, for instance, a family starving to death in a lovely valley think seeing a rainbow compensated for what they are going through? It does happen you know - some of places where calamities (whether physical or social) occur are physically lovely.

Anyway, to work - my other, done-for-love-not-money, work :)

I mentioned recently that I had delivered a chakra workshop. It went well - and I had one person say that the chakra I thought only I was developing, between the throat and heart, had been identified by someone else - gushingly - as a way of connecting to Universal wonderfulness.Well, nice that someone else has confirmed the existence of the chakra, but it's just connecting the heart and the throat - which I could see could actually be interpreted by some as connecting to something wonderful, if they were "living in the throat chakra".

Now, "living in a chakra" is a concept I have discussed previously [4], and I also touched on it in the chakra notes (a copy is included as Part II of this post - albeit with a few problems around layout and figures; as always, if you want to buy a PDF copy, email me - the email address is at my website), but I came across something in my daily life which illustrated it even more effectively. It all started when I read a media article commenting about a recent, far too publicised incident that led to a debate on the so-called "raunch culture". The writer started off by indicating largely indifference to the incident (which was largely, in many ways, busybodies minding other people's business [5]), and then continued to make the point that neither side was completely right in their claims. I haven't given a link to this article, you'll notice: that is because the author made the mistake of finishing with a line which was probably intended to be humorous, but actually came across rather unpleasantly, and spoiled the whole article.

But the basic point was basically correct: neither side was entirely right, which I would also extend to neither side was entirely wrong, either - that is, both sides had some valid points.

The "debate" can probably be summarised thus:
  • on one side are people, stereotyped as young but I have to say that people of all ages are capable of a health sexuality (I recently read an article about Masters and Johnson's [2] work, written as an obituary for Virginia Johnson, which gave a timely extra angle on this debate), who are of the view that "raunch" is empowering / liberating / "what-will-save-the-world"; 
  • and on the other side are people, stereotyped as old but I know a few such who are young, who - allegedly - claim that such behaviour will end the world and cause the sky to fall.
Well, the extremist protrayals of each side in the media are really just the vain imaginings of a desperate editor wanting to sell more papers through sensationalism, perhaps, but I have a different take on this.

As we mature, we tend to "activate" (use more, or use the attributes of more effectively/consciously) the chakras, beginning at the base and working upwards. The stereotypical younger exponents of raunch culture seem to me to be those who have discovered the sexual aspects of the first chakra (which are the "me-focused" elements of sexuality; they haven't necessarily got the true intimacy of the sexual aspects of the second chakra) and, to some extent, the third chakra (in particular, the me-focused emotions aspect of that chakra). To some extent, they remind me of our cat Luna, who was incredibly timid when she first came to us (the runt of the litter and, I suspect, abused by the people we got her off), but now is confident and has made that incredible realisation that she can ask for, and get, pats. In much the same way, these stereotypical younger(the qualification is significant) people have realised they can get pleasure through sex, and can do so openly, as an adult. As a result, they start to draw on some of power of the base chakra, and it is a marvellous, magnificent, truly personally empowering experience for them ... and then they make the mistake, based on lack of life experience, of thinking that it's wonderful for them, so it must therefore be wonderful for all the rest of reality.

That extrapolating from the small to the universal is something that has always annoyed me - when we were children, one of my sisters said no-one should go to bed with wet hair because that had absolutely categorically resulted in split ends for one of her friends. .... As an adult, I've had (female) friends state just as absolutely and categorically that getting hair trimmed every six weeks will result in more growth. Rubbish. I've even demonstrated, getting shorter and shorter hair, and the ... person still wouldn't admit that she was wrong. Other examples of this sort of unthinking stupidity are those morons who say that "exotic" forms of white bread are healthy because they're not mainstream (wholemeal is ALWAYS better), or that sugars in fruit don't matter for diabetes because it's in fruit so it's "healthy" - which is bullshit.

I've also encountered similar stupidity around chakras - especially claims that a certain meditation will raise the kundalini.

Again, rubbish - super-double-rubbish-with-cream-on-top, in fact.

If your kundalini has raised, you will be able to do miracles - levitate, telekinesis, etc. If you can't do miracles, you haven't raised your kundalini.

And don't dare be so stupid as to claim that something which takes great mystics years of dedicated, intense, ongoing work living away from the world, can be done by a half hour meditation.

The TRUTH is that, much as we apparently use only a small percentage of our brain, we also use only a very small percentage of our chakras capabilities. If, as a child you are using, maybe 1 to 3% of your base chakras strength, and then you found - perhaps through sex - that you were using maybe 6 to 8% of the chakras capabilities, you would experience an up to eight-fold increase in those characteristics ... and still be using only one twelfth to one fifteenth of the chakras capabilities. (The people who claim to be stimulating the kundalini seem to be getting the percentage up to 20 to 30%, which is a valid and worthy increase in use of the chakras capabilities, but it is still NOTHING to do with the kundalini.) Even more overwhelming would be the lack of anything to judge the experience by - which is part of the trials and tribulations of growing up.

A similar situation applies to the opponents of raunch culture - those who are stereotypically older. I can see they are living in other chakras, and what i wrote earlier also applies.

Neither side in this unbecoming "debate" is being mature, or particularly considerate of other people, but to a large extent, they are just people living their lives as they experience them.

And, on that, I had an interesting dream recently, where I perceived each life we live as a single lecture at a university. Each life was part of a longer series of lectures that was a course aimed at developing a set of skills - and that really is, in many ways, a better way of thinking about reincarnation than obsessively focusing on all the lessons of just one particular life. True there is a lot to learn in any one life, but don't let attention to detail rob you of the bigger picture here.

OK, so moving briefly on to other matters ...

I've mentioned previously that Blogger let's us see generalised statistics. Well, I've decided I might try starting my readings link posts with a summation of greetings from some of the countries the stats page says my blog has been viewed from.

Of course, I view such stats with a degree of caution - I don't know that just because Blogger says my blog has been viewed from nation X means the person is in nation X, nor do I know that it is not some sort of check or collection of data, but I do get some hope from the repeated viewing of my blog from some places that at least some people get something useful from this small part of my life's work ...

Anyway, here's what I have come up with so far (although I haven't been able to access the stats for places with only a few hits, such as some African nations, and so haven't been able to include those, and in some cases I have had to use what I can find off the Internet, but ... well, here's what I've come up with so far:

G'day, Hello, Howdy, Hi, Zdravstvujtye (some of my work colleagues are Russian), guten Tag, sveiki, czesc (I have friends - not just colleagues - work who are Polish), bonjour, selamat pagi (the best junior engineers I ever worked with was Malaysian), annyeonghaseyo, pryvit, Como vai, ¡Hola, selamat pagi, ni hao

And now ... the housework. Yes, even bloggers dust, sweep the floor and clean the loo!

Hmm ... might give myself a few more hours of rest yet. At least this weekend it has been agreed that I can take some time off to go out of the city - anywhere will do, so long as I have a chance to escape the endless psychic pressure here, and even better if it has some nice scenery.

Of course, the problem with such actions is that they risk simply emphasising what I don't have in my everyday life ...

[3] On rainbows, I used to have step-grandchildren in a previous relationship (I miss them - not the relationship, though ... ah well, that part of life is over now), and while driving one of them from her home to visit other family a few hundred kilometres away, we saw a rainbow: 
"What's that?" 
"It's called a rainbow, dear" 
... a few minutes after we'd driven out of sight of the rainbow: "I wouldn't mind seeing another rainbow now"

[4] See and

Also,,,,,,,,,, and

[5] I often wonder if such reactions are because those reacting are resentful that someone has shown them that they had a choice, and didn't have to live in  particular way. I think I started thinking about that when, in my early 20s, I heard a couple of very elderly women discussing modern knickers: 
"That's all they wear these days" 
"Must be all they need" 
"Yes - ah well, good on 'em" 
There was a note of ... envy, I guess in their voices - perhaps a wish that they also had had such garments available when they were younger. 

[1] BPF = Balanced Positive (spiritual) Forces. See here and here for more on this.

[2] Please see here and my post "The Death of Wikipedia" for the reasons I now recommend caution when using Wikipedia. I'm also exploring use of h2g2, although that doesn't appear to be as extensive (h2g2 is intended - rather engagingly - to be the Earth edition of "The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy")

Love, light, hugs and blessings

(pronounced "new-MYTH-ear"; ... aka Bellatrix Lux?)

My "blogiography" (list of all posts - currently not up to date) is here.  

I started this blog to cover karmic regression-rescue (see here and here), and it grew ...  See here for my group mind project, here and here for my "pagans for peace" project, and here for my bindrune kit-bag.
  • One size does NOT fit all. 
  • May the world of commerce and business be recognised to be a servant, not a master, of the lives of people.
  • A home is for living in, not feeling, becoming or being rich or a “better” class than others.
  • The secret to being (financially) rich is not to have lots of money: it is to have an income above the poverty line, and then make whatever sacrifices are necessary in order to live within 90% of your means.  
  • Like fire to the physical, emotions to the soul make a good servant, and a bad master. 
  • Armageddon is alive and well and happening right now: it is a battle between the indolence of "I only ..." and/or "I just ..." and/or "Everyone knows ... " and what Bruce Schneier [2] calls "security theatre" on one side, and perspicacity and the understanding that the means shape the end on the other. 
  • The means shape the end.  
  • Sometimes you just can't argue with a biped that is armed with a sharp stick, a thick head and not too much in the way of grunts.
  • Spiritual love is far more than just an emotion - it is a concept, thoughts, actions and a way of living. 
  • One of the basics of serious spiritual / psychic work is that the greatest work is that which we do on ourself, which seems trivial to many. Our own Innermost Essence, which is our Higher Self / Soul / Spirit, has the power to do so much, and is actively participating in the creation and sustenance of this physical reality. Some mote of our conscious or unconscious knows that, which is why we seem inclined to be dismissive of Self Mastery - which is a bit like the child who sees an adult spending money to buy toys, and fails to recognise the daily grind of work which has led to having the money. 
  • My favourite action movie of all time is "Gandhi". However, I loathe the stereotypical action movie - and, for similar reasons, I loathe many dramas, which are often emotionally violent, more so in some cases than many war films.
Do not pray for easy lives. Pray to be stronger [people]. JOHN F. KENNEDY 

The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good [people] to do nothing. (based on writing by) EDMUND BURKE

Your children are not your children. ... They come through you but ... they belong not to you ... for their souls dwell in the house of tomorrow KAHLIL GIBRAN

We didn't inherit the Earth from our ancestors, we only borrowed it from our children ANTOINE DE SAINT-EXUPÉRY

Like an unchecked cancer, hate corrodes the personality and eats away its vital unity. MARTIN LUTHER KING, JR.

True compassion is more than flinging a coin to a beggar; it is not haphazard and superficial. It comes to see that an edifice which produces beggars needs restructuring. MARTIN LUTHER KING, JR.

Those whom we cannot stand are usually those who we cannot understand P.K.SHAW

Few men are willing to brave the disapproval of their fellows, the censure of their colleagues, and the wrath of their society. Moral courage is a rarer commodity than bravery in battle or great intelligence. Yet it is the one essential, vital quality for those who seek to change a world which yields most painfully to change." SENATOR ROBERT F. KENNEDY (US Attorney General 1966 Speech)

People I'm currently following or reading, or have considerable respect for, include:
You can find news sources I use here

Tags: about me, attitudes, chakras, immaturity, maturity, prejudice, society, stages of life,
First published: Laugardagr, 31st August, 2013

Last edited: Saturday, 31st August, 2013

Post No. 467 - Living in chakras and other stuff - Part II

1.1   Basics

Comprehensive notes on what I consider “basic” psychic matters are included in Appendix A. For now, I will only point out that:
Ø  there is more to reality than just the physical: there is also a set of non-physical worlds;
Ø  we have bodies in many of those non-physical worlds, and are sensitive to greater or lesser degree of those non-physical influences.

1.2   A Cautionary Note: Ethics

I have seen enough to be personally convinced that karma exists, and what we give out or create comes back to us (including the good, not only the bad). Anything that exists can be used for good or bad: I expect everyone here to be committed to using these skills only for good (technically, for the “Highest Spiritual Good” – see Appendix A for more on this).
That sounds fairly easy, or at least like a good idea, for most people. However, it can be trickier than people expect, and usually the issue of free will is where people get caught out. The situation where this is most commonly a problem is when someone we love, such as a close family member, is doing something that we consider is harming them. Unless the harm is such that action such as calling a Crisis Assessment Team or the police is justified, often what has to happen is that we have to accept that the person we love has the right to make their own mistakes. We can OFFER to help, but if they say no, or they listen and then ignore what we have to say, we have to accept that.
In those circumstances, we can work on ourselves to making bearing our grief easier, but we can NOT compel them to do things the way we wish.
There is more on ethics in Appendix A.
I would also like you to keep in mind the concepts of Highest Spiritual Good - a term acknowledging that one may have to go through turmoil and challenges and trouble for karmic reasons, strengthening or learning purposes, or as a task one may have agreed to take on for others.

1.3   Levels of Reality and Frequency

Reality comprises more than solely the physical reality we see about us. There are also a range of non-physical levels of reality, all frequently described as operating at different fundamental frequencies. Probably the most common description of these, starting at the lowest frequency, which is closest to the physical level of reality and ranging up in increasing frequency, is:
Ø  etheric;
Ø  astral (there are actually  a few levels here);
Ø  mental; and
Ø  spiritual / soul / causal, depending on who you talk to / which book you read J .
A portion of us exist on all of these levels.
We have, for instance:
Ø  an astral body (which leaves the body during sleep and at death, which it survives);
Ø  an etheric body (which is capable of leaving the body: in my experience, there can be some confusion about whether one is experiencing astral travel or etheric travel);
Ø  the higher levels of our being are what we interpret as our Higher Self, and at even higher levels, connect us to all of creation.
To elaborate on that last point a little, what we generally conceive of as “mind” is associated with the function of the physical brain. In an esoteric sense, what is most commonly considered to be “mind” is probably part of the astral body's activity. There is, however a higher frequency level of reality which is described as the "mental" level, which is a level of reality where, in effect, one lives in and explores/experiences concepts (Alice Bailey's [1] work is good to read and understand this topic). Above that is the level of our Overself, or Atman [2] - our "soul", in a sense, which is where our parallels and ourself become united. This is the level that most Buddhists mean when they refer to "mind".
These various levels of our being all impact on each other. To some extent, this is the principle behind healing - put in energy at a higher level of reality, such as one of the astral levels, and the benefits created will then trickle down to the physical. (This also applies in reverse: if you are tired, stressed or ill, your etheric, astral, mental etc. bodies will be harmed - which is one part of the mechanism by which things like excessive stress can cause problems such as mental ill health.)
More broadly, the various levels of reality also impact on each other, for good or bad.
The classification I am going to use for this workshop is as follows:
Spiritual (I will alter this term later in the workshop :) )
the level of existence from which higher spiritual inspiration comes, and the highest frequency level in this system
Upper mental
the level of existence of our “higher consciousness”
Lower mental `
a level of existence which is intermediate between the mental and the astral
Upper astral `
the level of existence of our astral body, which survives death
Lower astral
a level of existence which is intermediate between the astral and the physical, which may be where some earthbound entities find themselves
the level of existence of an energetic model for our physical self, which may survive death for a while until it dissipates, and can cause some (not all!) apparent hauntings
the level of existence of our physical body, at the lowest frequency in this system, which does not survive death
This system is a simplification – the nature of these levels is, in some cases, so different that it can not be explained by simple changes in frequency – it is more like trying to compare AM and FM radio.

1.4   Energy and Frequency

There are some broader concepts around energy which can usefully be kept in mind as we work through the concept of chakras. For this workshop, keep in mind, the concept of harmony and disharmony:
Ø  some energies combine in a way that is beneficial (in the case of musical notes, these generally sound more pleasant), whereas other combinations are not so pleasant (in the case of musical notes, these generally are described as discordant).

2.     Introduction

2.1   What are Chakras?

Chakras are energy centres – sources of energy, much as Uluru or the Great Pyramid or other places are sources of energy.
The energy of these energy centres is generally characteristic of that energy centre in a unique way – for instance, I know a few energy centres in natural bushland that are great sources of peaceful energy, and other energy centres may be associated with energy that leads to psychic phenomena.
The same applies to chakras – for instance, the chakra perceived as being located in our forehead, and often termed the Third Eye, is often associated with clairvoyance.
I used the word “perceived”: that is a useful point to introduce that the word “chakra” is a Sanskrit word meaning “wheel”, and came into use because that is how “chakras” have been reported to be perceived by psychics some time ago – as wheels of energy. I tend to see the “wheel” as more of a vortex, as shown below (using the heart chakra as an example):

Figure 1 – vortex flow of energy in chakras
I don’t perceive the multi-petal shapes that tend to be associated with chakras, and do not know anyone who does, so I avoid using those shapes. (If you would like to know more about this aspect, including the interplay of forces that is supposed to underlie the patterns seen, read C. W. Leadbetter’s 1927 book “The Chakras”. This book has other interesting information as well, such as the location of chakras in relation to nerve centres.) For the sake of simplicity and clarity, and because I could never be bothered learning the Sanskrit names, that is about the only Sanskrit word I will use. (The Sanskrit names and symbols are in Appendix B.)
In the same way that there can be a range of energy centres of various strengths in the natural world, so too do we have a range of chakras: for most of this workshop, I will focus on the major chakras, but there are also minor chakras associated with major organs, joints, hands, etc.
The most important fact for me is that chakras are connected to other levels of existence – specifically, in many cases, to our existence on those levels. To jump ahead of myself a little, look at Figure 2.

Figure 2 – connection of chakras to various levels
Explaining the significance of this will take a little time – basically, this workshop J

2.2   The Seven Chakra System

Let’s begin by considering the chakras that are most commonly known and worked with.
Typical properties and associations
(note: there is some variation in associations amongst sources)
Connected level of existence
Crown (top of the head)
Violet – intuition, connection to Spirit and our oneness with Spirit
Third Eye (centre or lower centre of the forehead)
Indigo – ability to receive information psychically, and to access and use the powers of Higher Self, ability to understand spiritual matters and interact on a spiritual level
Upper mental
Throat (throat)
Blue – self-expression and communication, mental ability
Lower mental
Heart (near the heart)
Green – love, self-acceptance, compassion, balance
Upper astral
Solar plexus (“stomach”)
Yellow – emotions, personal sense of power, “gut feeling”, self-esteem, confidence,  
Lower astral
Second (just above the base of the spine)
Orange – creativity, self-expression, independence, sexuality
Base (base of the spine)
Red – security, grounding, survival, sexuality, will to live, vitality, joy in life.


Practical Exercise: Finding a Chakra

Practical exercise – dowsing to find a chakra location.

2.3   Changes

When I’ve done dowsing to find chakras on some of the many cats that have been in my homes at times (both mine and visiting), I’ve noticed that some had four chakras, others five.
That resonated with me, as Shirley Maclaine has written that humans are evolving a new chakra between the heart and the solar plexus chakras. Katrina Raphael has also mentioned additional, major chakras beyond the seven most commonly worked with.
All things change, and evolution is the aim of existence, so the possibility of change does not surprise me. In fact, the colour system used in the preceding section has generally been used in the West only since about the 1940s.
I have combined my experience and the writings of Shirley Maclaine and Katrina Raphael to develop a thirteen chakra system.

2.4   The Thirteen Chakra System

The additional chakras I use are:
Stellar Gateway:
Ø  This chakra, from Katrina Raphael’s crystal books, is located 300 mm above the head, and is described as being to connect us to world of spirit generally: I describe this as being a connection to the best of the world of spirit, not only the best of humanity. This chakra enables us to connect to the Universe.
Soul Star
Ø  This chakra, also from Katrina Raphael’s crystal books, is located 150 mm above the head, and is described as being to connect us to world of spirit generally: I describe this as being a connection to the best of humanity’s potential.
Causal Star
Ø  This chakra, also from Katrina Raphael’s crystal books, is located on the same level/height as the crown chakra, but behind that chakra (and outside the head), and is described as being the one that connects us to our Higher Self.
Between the heart and throat:
Ø  This is a new chakra I am specifically aiming to develop , and is based on making it easier for to “speak from the heart”, or “speak my truth”.
Between the heart and solar plexus:
Ø  Shirley Maclaine first commented on this chakra, to the effect that it is helping to unify heart and solar plexus, and is a chakra being developed by humanity.
Earth Star
Ø  This chakra, from Katrina Raphael’s crystal books, is located in the aura, around 150mm (6 inches) below the feet. This chakra anchors us to the planet, and enables us to be connected to Mother Earth, and draw sustenance – including energy – from Gaea.
Adding these into the table I gave previously changes it to the following:
Typical properties and associations
Connected level of existence
Stellar Gateway
Concept of energy, rather than a colour I describe this as being a connection to the best of the world of spirit, not only the best of humanity.
Upper Spiritual
Soul Star
Pure brilliance, so bright it’s colour cannot be known - I describe this as being a connection to the best of humanity’s potential.
Lower Spiritual
Causal Star
I use a rainbow of all the colours – also connects us to our Higher Self
Upper Soul
Crown (top of the head)
Violet – intuition, connection to Spirit and our oneness with Spirit
Lower Soul
Third Eye (centre or lower centre of the forehead)
Indigo – ability to receive information psychically, and to access and use the powers of Higher Self, ability to understand spiritual matters and interact on a spiritual level
Upper mental
Throat (throat)
Blue – self-expression and communication, mental ability
Lower mental
Connecting throat and heart
Intended to make it easier to “speak from the heart”,
Heart (near the heart)
Green – love, self-acceptance, compassion, balance
Upper astral
Between heart and solar plexus
I use blue and green - helping to unify heart and solar plexus.
Solar plexus (“stomach”)
Yellow – emotions, personal sense of power, “gut feeling”, self-esteem, confidence,  
Lower astral
Second (just above the base of the spine)
Orange – creativity, self-expression, independence, sexuality
Base (base of the spine)
Red – security, grounding, survival, sexuality, will to live, vitality, joy in life, .
Physical – personal
Earth Star
I use blue, yellow, green and red-brown - anchors us to the planet, and enables us to be connected to Mother Earth, and draw sustenance – including energy – from Gaea
Physical –supra-personal


2.5   Minor Chakras

In addition to the “major” chakras outlined above, there are other energy centres, often referred to as “minor” - each major organ and joint has a chakra, for instance.
These “minor” chakras can be particularly useful – for instance, the hand chakras are often key for channelled energy healing, and joint chakras can be a way to improve healing of arthritis.

3.     Working with Chakras

3.1   Basic Work

3.1.1 Balancing

In much the same way that our muscles can become tired or tight as a result of dealing with the normal stresses of life, so too can our chakras become the equivalent of “tired or tight”. One of the most common conditions is when a chakra becomes “unbalanced”, which I perceive as the vortex not spinning correctly – it looks, to me, like a top that is wobbling, rather than spinning strongly.
Restoring the correct spin to a chakra can be accomplished using a pendulum, or applying crystals or healing.

Practical Exercise: using a pendulum to balance a chakra

In essence, the crystal is -- after being programmed appropriately - brought into the energy field of the chakra, and allowed to spin. When it finishes spinning (it may change direction), the chakra is balanced.
Having chakras balanced regularly can be beneficial to one’s psychic health, just as having regular massage can be beneficial to one’s physical health.

3.1.2 Activating ("opening") a chakra

Probably one of the most common things done in conjunction with chakras is what is termed “opening” the chakra. This basically means increasing the activity of that chakra, and is most commonly done by visualising energy going to the chakra.
This is something that should be undertaken only with caution: if the chakra is overstimulated, then problems can result such as being too open, headaches, dizziness, inability to sleep, distraction, etc, etc, etc. These problems can be particularly pronounced if the chakra is left in its highly energised state.
On the positive side, an energised chakra can be used for any activity of the nature of that chakra – for instance, the throat, third eye and crown chakras can all be usefully energised to enhance psychic work. Energising the heart chakra can help us with compassion.
When this exercise is performed regularly, it has a beneficial exercise on the health and strength of the chakra, which we will touch on later.

3.1.3 Desensitising ("closing) a chakra

It is of great importance that chakras not be left over-active (“open”) when engaging in everyday life, as this can result in one being ungrounded or distracted, and thus vulnerable to accidents (including car accidents), and more vulnerable to negative or simply disharmonious energy. As an example of the latter, opening a chakra and then going to work could lead to headaches, mood swings, uncharacteristic behaviour such as temper tantrums, and so on. This mistake can lead to more severe psychic problems such as obsession.
The procedure for doing this is largely the reverse of the “opening” process.
One point: your chakras are never completely inactive – if they were, you’d be dead. It is, however, very important that they not be overactive.

Practical exercise: opening and closing a hand chakra

Guided meditation based on drawing energy in with breath, and directing to the chakra to open it. To close, using breath to draw energy out, and ground it into the Earth.
Discussion afterwards.

Practical exercise: opening and closing the throat chakra

This will only be done if the situation is considered safe for the exercise to be tried.
One possible outcome would be people being more comfortable or more effective at joining in discussions during the workshop.

3.1.4 Strengthening Chakras

Chakras are like muscles: if you practise using them well, you will find they become stronger and easier to use. That also means the aspect associated with a chakra is more likely to function well in your life – for instance, strengthen your throat chakra and you may find yourself better at communicating (including listening) and expressing yourself – not just verbally, but in the manner in which you live.
The exercises used to “open” a chakra are the basis of the exercise I generally use. As a starting point, I would recommend using the generally associated colour, but, when you are proficient, I would practice using other colours.

Practical Exercise: using colour to strengthen a chakra (hand and throat)

In principle, for each chakra:
Visualise ball of the appropriate coloured light at each chakra (build the ball up using your breathing, if you wish). Allow the ball of light to gradually expand, then hold it - increase diameter and time of holding each day. Then allow the ball of light  to shrink until it disappears, leaving a tiny open door. Close the door.
When this exercise can be done comfortably, practice changing the colour of the light, first to white, then – after some days or weeks of practice – to purple, and then, as one becomes more practised, to all the colours of the rainbow, and then to a rainbow of all the colours at once.
Some people also use sound and shapes as part of this visualisation: if you wish to try this, refer to the table below.
(There are advanced exercises for developing one’s ability to use chakras which I will only teach one-one-one with students who have proven their ability and trustworthiness. These exercises will do for a start)

Practical Exercise: adding a colour to balance a chakra (hand and throat)

The information provided indicates the colours generally associated with a chakra. If a particular chakra is not, when viewed over time, that colour, it may need an extra colour added, e.g. by visualising that colour going to that chakra, in order to return to a more complete, holistic, balanced state.
As an example, if a chakra is “meant” to be green, but is blue, then I would add yellow.
Diagnosis can be achieved using clairvoyance, pendulum or other dowsing, or muscle testing.

Shape and sound
Stellar Gateway
Concept of energy, rather than a colour.
No shape.
For a sound, I chant “Ain Sof Aur” (from the Qabbalah).
Soul Star
Pure brilliance, so bright its colour cannot be known.
No shape.
For a sound, I chant “Kether” (from the Qabbalah).
Causal Star
I use a rainbow of all the colours. 
No shape.
For a sound, I chant “Eheieh” (from the Qabbalah).
Shape – lotus.
Sound - “Aum”.
Third Eye
Shape - six pointed star.
Sound - “ah” (from a book by Bernard Gunther [3] ).
Shape – cup.
Sound (from Bernard Gunther) - “ha”.
Connecting throat and heart
No particular shape or colour or sound, as yet ... :) 
Shape - cross (I actually use an ankh).
Sound (from Bernard Gunther) - “Ya mm”.
Between heart and solar plexus
Blue and green.
Shape - I visualise a mini-Earth.
Sound (from Bernard Gunther) - “Hum”.
Solar Plexus
Shape – cylinder.
Sound (from Bernard Gunther) - “Ra”.
Shape - a truncated pyramid.
Sound (from Bernard Gunther) - “La”.
Shape - rectangular box.
Sound (from Bernard Gunther) - “ba”.
Earth Star
Blue, yellow, green and red-brown
Shape - I visualise a mini-Earth.
Sound – I chant either “Malkuth” or “Adonai” (from the Qabbalah).

4.     More Advanced Work

4.1   Advanced concepts

There are more advanced ways of viewing chakras, including consideration of each half (left and right) of a chakra, and multiple levels - I have been taught of up to 7 levels for the chakras from base to third eye (this was apparently based on work by an American named Peter Binder, but I haven’t been able to find a public source for this).

4.2   Combining Chakra Energies

So far we have focused on the energy of each chakra separately from the energies of other chakras. As part of that, for instance, I’ve illustrated the vortex pattern of energy which I perceive occurring in chakras.
That, however, is not the whole story. The energies from each chakra blend together in our aura, and thus contribute to our whole being. If all chakras are balanced, clear and working well, they are likely to be contributing to us having good non-physical (emotional, mental, psychic and spiritual) health, well-being and strength. (Also, Leadbetter includes, in his 1927 book “The Chakras”, a diagram showing the circulation of “vitality” between the various chakras inside the body – so the connection may not solely be in the aura :) .)
For some work, I may specifically open several chakras, not just one – for instance, if I wish to meditate, I may open all the chakras from throat to causal star; if I am going to counsel someone, I need to make sure that not only my heart chakra is working properly, but also my solar plexus chakra, so I can understand what the person I am counselling is going through.
Also if a chakra needs a particular colour, the chakra which associated with that colour may be the best source of that energy. For instance, if the heart chakra needs yellow, I may visualise energy going to it from the solar plexus chakra.
The chakras do not exist in isolation: they are perfectly capable of doing as they normally do –working to help other chakras, and we should be prepared to use that at times.

4.3   Pairing of Chakras

One of the things I have found with chakras is that they seem to have a system of pairing in their functioning, with one being self or inwardly focused, and the other outwardly focused. For instance, the heart chakra is typically associated with more giving emotions, such as love, whereas the solar plexus chakra is more focused on emotions relating to our personal state of being - which is not “bad”, it is simply something to be aware of when choosing which chakras to work with.
Once again, I have summarised this into a table, using the terminology “self-focused” and “others-focused”, which is a bit of a simplification or a generalisation, as each of these chakras can be used in ways that are self-focused or others-focused. You’ll also notice that some of these chakras are actually mediating between pairs, thus forming a trinity, a triangle or, to use a term from the Qabbalah, a triad.
This awareness contributes to our understanding of the dynamic interactions between chakras – they don’t exist in isolation, they work together, including in pairs and triads, and we should be aware of that.
Stellar Gateway
Exists beyond the boundaries of the pairing system.
Soul Star
This chakra connects us to “the best of humanity”, and thus I describe it as the others-focused spiritual chakra.
Causal Star
This is the chakra that connects us to our Higher Self, which is a connection between us as individuals and what I have described as “the best of humanity”.
This chakra is often a source of intuition that can be of great benefit to us and others, but as it is located within our physical body, I view it as self-focused spiritual chakra.
Third Eye
As this is associated with matters such as clairvoyance, which is potentially used for relaying messages to others, I have described this as the others-focused communication chakra.
The self-focused communication chakra.
Connecting throat and heart
Not covered in this system.
The others-focused emotional chakra – dealing with caring for others, etc.
Between heart and solar plexus
Acting to unite the opposites of the emotional pair.
Solar Plexus
The self-focused focused emotional chakra, dealing with (emotional) threats to oneself and caring for oneself.
The others-focused physical chakra – dealing with survival of the race (procreation), and contributions to society such as creativity.
The self-focused physical chakra – dealing with survival of the individual body.
Earth Star
Exists beyond the boundaries of the pairing system.
Note: sexuality can be associated with either the base or the second chakra: with the former, it may be simply physical release, whereas with the second chakra, it is more likely to be about intimacy and sharing.

4.4   "Living Within a Chakra"

One of the useful things about any system of knowledge is that it can help give us a different way of viewing us and our lives. In the interests of giving you a new way of looking at yourself and your life, and thus a way of perhaps learning more about yourself and your life, and have a perspective that could be useful in terms of helping you grow, I would like to introduce the concept of
which chakra (or chakras) do you mostly live in?
To simplify, if you’re, for instance, mostly a thinking person, perhaps your focus is on the higher chakras. If you’re more a feeling person, then perhaps it is the solar plexus or heart chakras, and the base and second if you are more tactile.
There is no right or wrong answer here, but if I was asked what an ideal would be, my answer would probably be along the lines of, just as it is best to open the set of chakras which is most relevant to a particular task you are going to do, and then close them when you are finished, it would be good to be able to live within whichever of your chakras is most relevant to a particular situation – to be feeling when it is appropriate, thinking when that is appropriate, tactile when that is appropriate, and so on.

4.5   Problems and What to Do About Them

4.5.1 Problems in General

When considering problems, , keep the following little diagram in mind:


Very few problems are beyond solving: it is a case of staying as calm as one can, analysing the situation as best one can, and working through whatever options you and those helping you (both physical and nonphysical) can come up with – which is generally termed “trial and error”, but more usefully should be termed “trial and correction”.

4.5.2 Chakra Related Problems

The most common chakra-related problem that I have come across is failing to properly close down a chakra. Quite a few people who are beginning with this type of work consider the biggest problem is not having the chakra active enough, or not getting the chakra to open easily enough, but the consequences of that are, mostly, simple frustration, whereas having a chakra that is too open can have dire consequences, as outlined previously – and that list is a basis for diagnosing a possibly over-open chakra.
If you are having trouble closing a chakra down, refer to the section on grounding in the Appendix, try eating or drinking, and if those do not work, seek competent help.
The other problem I wish to cover is a blocked or overloaded chakra. This can be evidenced by pain in the region of the chakra, for instance. To address this:
Ø  stop any exercises you may be doing with that chakra immediately;
Ø  allow some time for rest;
Ø  if the problem persists, get healing for that chakra and the other chakras near it, as increased functioning by them may help to drain away some of the overload, all of which should be done by someone who is experienced.
Finally, you may know of the kundalini, and that it ultimately rises through channels and the chakras at a certain stage of one’s spiritual evolution - of its own accord when one is ready. Attempts to raise the kundalini before one is ready can cause problems, including insanity. Don’t try to force that – rather, focus on making oneself a better person, and let this happen automatically. The dangers associated with this are why I have not included it in this introduction to chakras.

[3] "Energy Ecstasy and Your Seven Vital Chakras”, Bernard Gunther, pub. Newcastle, 1978, ISBN 0 87877 066 6