The Complete Beginner’s Guide to the 7 Chakras
Pronounced ‘sha-kra’ or ‘cha-kra,’ this Sanskrit term for wheel refers to the 7 energy centers found in the body, starting with the Root or base chakra at your tailbone, stretching all the way up to the Crown chakra at the top of your head.
Chances are, you’ve turned to astrology, Tarot, dream interpretation, meditation, crystals, runes, and Reiki for answers, healing, or out of sheer curiosity. Think of chakras as another tool in your enlightenment and abundance toolkit. Many of these tools can also work together for maximum impact!
There are many ways to balance your chakras, and doing so can lead to a clearer mental state, healthier relationships, and even increased abundance and wealth.
What do they do though? How do you know if they’re working properly? How can you ‘fix’ them? Let’s take a look at the basics of the fascinating world of chakras - and help you get back to spiritual health!
What Are Chakras?
Chakras can be a complex concept because we don’t see them with the naked eye, but we know they exist. Often described as energy centers in your body, chakras run up your spine from your tailbone to the top of your head. These invisible spinning wheels of energy within your body are important for spiritual development and growth - and keeping them healthy helps you avoid other issues.
Like zodiac signs, each chakra is associated with a specific set of body parts it influences, its own color and its own characteristics. Folks who are knowledgeable in this art can point to which chakra is blocked, based on the physical and mental ailments we suffer from.
Chakras connect your physical and emotional self. When all energy flows properly throughout the whole chain of 7, you feel empowered, relaxed and in control of your life and decisions. In this way, any recurring problems we are suffering from may well be linked to a blocked chakra.
If you’ve been feeling off - and nothing else seems to work, maybe it’s time you took a closer look at your chakra alignment!
Root Chakra – Power – Red
Issues with personal power? Money troubles? Located at the base of your spine on your tailbone, the Root chakra rules basic survival needs and personal power. When you feel you’ve no power to influence your life or are perpetually broke and tired; your power karma is out of whack.
- Garnet - improves self-esteem
- Black Tourmaline - helps us feel grounded and protected
- Red Goldstone - uplifting, can be used to find your drive
Linked to: Legs, feet, ankles, knees, tailbone, bladder and large intestine
If you’re suffering from any physical ailments associated with these areas, you might want to look to ways to unblock this chakra.
Sacral Chakra – Sex – Orange
Your Sacral chakra is orange and located in your pelvis or in your fertility organs. This is your sexual chakra, so sex karma is a big deal here. If you’re not living an honest and responsible sexual lifestyle, you’re going to have problems here.
- Citrine - brings abundance - increases courage and ability to be honest
- Carnelian - reduces anger and rage, very grounding
- Amber - releases negative energy, balances emotions
Linked to: reproductive organs, spleen, gallbladder, and kidneys
Solar Plexus Chakra – Confidence – Yellow
Your confidence karma is found in your Solar Plexus chakra, which is yellow and located in your chest. If you ever feel really proud of yourself, that’s your Solar Plexus chakra singing in joy. If you haven’t felt confident or proud of something you’ve done in a while you may need some healing here.
- Golden Tigers Eye - Used for protection and helps negate self-criticism
- Abalone Shell - improves communication, brings a sense of balance
- Amber - used to balance and cleanse, promotes confidence
Linked to: digestive system, your small intestine, and your pancreas
Heart Chakra – Love – Green
The Heart chakra is responsible for love karma, and located in your chest near your heart. If you’re feeling heartbroken, this chakra is blocked or in need of healing. Heartbreak is the literal definition of a blocked Heart chakra and must be fixed!
- Rhodonite - brings emotional balance, harmony and forgiveness
- Serpentine - Used for abundance and eases irritability
- Rose Quartz - brings positive energy, acceptance and encourages self-care
Linked to: lungs, thymus gland, bronchial tract, heart, shoulders, arms, and hands
Throat Chakra – Communication – Blue
Your Throat chakra is located around your vocal cords and rules communication. If you’re not feeling heard or people don’t understand you, you may need healing here. If you’re getting mixed messages from someone, you may also be sending mixed messages, and that’s not good for communication karma either.
- Sodalite - Focuses energy, helps channel intuition
- Lapis Lazuli - eases anxiety and despair, brings hope and inner power
- Dumortierite - increases confidence and mental clarity
Linked to: tongue, mouth, gums, neck, vocal system, throat, glands, and perspiration
Read this next: 7 Facts About the Throat Chakra You Should Know
Third Eye Chakra – Vision - Indigo
Your Third Eye chakra is located on your forehead between your eyes. The color indigo, this chakra rules your foresight and ability to see or predict outcomes in your life. With healthy vision karma, you have good instincts for what will happen as a result of your actions, which makes for a high functioning Third Eye chakra.
- Selenite - very high vibration, eases chaotic thoughts and feelings
- Turquoise - helps us find kindness and empathy
- Labradorite - transformative, encourages inner strength
Linked to: ears, nose, and throat as well as your brain
Crown Chakra – Divine – Purple
This chakra is located at the crown of your head and is your connection to the Divine. People who pray or meditate usually have very good divine karma because they’re always in communication with the Divine. Those activities are an excellent way to restore your karma in this area.
- Blue Kyanite - powerful healing abilities, can activate psychic abilities
- Amethyst - reveals self-destructive patterns, helps with mental clarity
- Clear Quartz - can amplify any psychic abilities, encourages clarity
Linked to: nervous system and pituitary gland
How to Use Chakra Stones
OK, so we now know the gemstones and crystals associated with each chakra, but how do they work together?
Chakra stones can be used in many ways but the easiest and most common is to wear them close to your body as jewelry. A crystal pendant can subtly influence your energy throughout the day, as can putting a healing stone in your pocket.
Chakra stones are also useful during meditation and energy healing. Resting a healing stone just below your navel as you meditate can bring additional healing and focus to your practice. If you prefer a sitting meditation, holding a stone in each hand or cupped in your hands as they rest in your lap can have the same results.
Chakra pendulums are another divination tool used to help bring these energy centers into alignment. By paying attention to how the pendulum swings and in what direction, we can start to get an idea of which chakras are open or closed, balanced or unbalanced.
For example, if your dangling pendulum hovers over your Throat chakra and doesn’t move at all, you probably have a blockage, as it’s not picking up on any energy flow in that area. This is just one way to determine blockage. How else can you tell?
Read this next: Your Beginner’s Guide To Using Your Chakra Pendulum
Are Your Chakras Blocked?
We go for physical checkups, and when treated, we feel better. Think of working on the alignment of your energy centers as a spiritual checkup. Just like with our physical bodies, when one of our chakras is out of joint, our spiritual health suffers.
Believe it or not, there are many ways to learn just by stopping and engaging in a few moments of self-awareness to see if one of your chakras needs a tune-up.
For example, are you often suffering from headaches? Frequent headaches are a sign of many things, but if you can’t pin it to one physical reason, there could be chakra issues. Band-around-your-forehead headaches could be a cue from your Third Eye chakra that something is up. Top of the headaches may point to your Crown chakra in the same way.
Lying down for a few moments with a warm or cool cloth on your head will do wonders. Empty your thoughts, allowing your body to relax, physically picturing your body moving away from the headache. Wherever your headache emanates from, close your eyes and visualize the colors indigo, white, or violet. Focus on those colors and you should feel the headache lifting.
Let’s look at some of the emotional and physical issues that may pop up if you need to align your chakras.
Your Root Chakra May Be Blocked If:
Emotionally blocked: feeling lethargic or unsettled, frustrated, having a hard time letting go of things, low motivation in general
Physically blocked: Anemia, weight problems, fatigue, hemorrhoids
What You Can Do:
Warming red oils such as sandalwood, ginger, cayenne, and clove are excellent choices, but a little goes a long way! Dilute in a carrier like jojoba or almond oil before applying to bare skin. Massaging the area, reiki healing, working with red stones, and wearing red clothing will provide gentle and non-invasive therapy for an ailing Root chakra. If the problems persist, though, see your healthcare provider.
Meditating regularly wearing the color red and performing acts that pertain to meeting basic survival needs for others will also help you to keep this power karma in check.
Your Sacral Chakra May Be Blocked If:
Emotionally blocked: Unhealthy sexual appetite - or lack of one, stifled creativity, and not really caring about your personal appearance are other signs
Physically blocked: Eating disorders, urinary tract infections, candida, depression, and alcoholism
We all go through periods when our sex life is in the toilet, but if you’re abnormally worried about it, your Sacral chakra may need a tune up. This chakra rules fertility and sexuality, so when it hums in excitement, so do we!
Once in a while you may find yourself in a rut, feeling like the more you try to fix it, the worse it gets. The problem could actually be with your spiritual center, and have nothing to do with your actual relationship. That’s a natural concern of course, but this is not necessarily the case!
Orange is the fiery color for this chakra, igniting our energy and getting our blood flowing. Wearing orange, particularly around the waist area, is a great way to start subconsciously aligning this chakra. Meditating on this color will also help.
What You Can Do:
Massage boosts your immune system, relaxing your muscles and your mind. Put a drop of orange essential oil such as jasmine, ylang-ylang, or rose and put into a neutral carrier and rub between your palms. Starting at your pubic bone, rub your abdomen upwards to your navel. Take deep relaxing breaths, in your nose and out your mouth as you do. Ask a trusted person to rub your back in the same way.
Your Solar Plexus Chakra May Be Blocked If:
Emotionally blocked: too shy or too assertive, feeling a bit self-important, or maybe not important enough
Physically blocked: difficult to focus, and you might even be susceptible to food allergies, and other digestive ailments
What You Can Do:
Meditating and wearing the
Simple massage techniques will also benefit this area. Use a yellow oil - frankincense, rosewood, and myrrh are a few - in a neutral carrier oil. Place a few drops on your palms, warming it by rubbing your hands together. Apply to your Solar Plexus area, massaging upwards with gentle but firm strokes.
Do your stomach and sides, and ask your partner or another close friend to do your back for you. Inhale the scent of the oils deeply in your nose, out your mouth, envisioning soothing yellow bringing this area back into alignment.
Your Heart Chakra May Be Blocked If:
Emotionally blocked: disappointment, feeling taken advantage of, trust issues, holding onto grudges
Physically blocked: respiratory issues, sore shoulders and arms, high blood pressure
Perpetual stress is one thing, but are you angry all the time too? It doesn’t mean you’re a bad person, but it does mean you might need a spiritual tune-up, especially if this isn’t normal behavior.
This is the joy chakra, and you can eliminate some of your anger by tuning it up. Focusing on the color green is a great way to begin harmonizing your Heart chakra. You also want to start using the word “love” more, in small ways, graduating up to bigger ones. When you’re in an angry place, approach every situation with love even if it’s frustrating.
Kindness and love tune this chakra up faster than any other method. When you do that, you’ll find yourself less angry and more filled with joy.
What You Can Do:
There may be love karma issues here - are you suffering from a recent
Green is the color here, so wearing clothes or working with crystals and consuming food and drink in shades of that grassy hue can help the healing. For healing massage, take a few drops of jasmine, lavender, or hyssop oil and add them to a neutral carrier.
Place a few drops on your palms and rub together, starting to gently massage your upper chest, in smooth, firm upward motions. Get a friend or a partner to help with your back. Inhale the scent, in through your nose and out through your mouth. Envision a soothing green light restoring the balance to your Heart chakra.
Your Throat Chakra May Be Blocked If:
Emotionally blocked: difficulty communicating or expressing yourself
Physically blocked: toothaches, fevers, cases of flu, TMJ, thyroid conditions, speech impediments, and mouth sores
If you’re usually skilled at communicating, or generally don’t have a problem getting your point across, you may find your Throat chakra is a little out of joint.
What You Can Do:
Blue is the power
Keeping blue crystals in your purse, work bag, on your desk, or even on your nightstand are also effective ways of aligning the energy center of this chakra.
Being honest in both word and in deed can clear things up as well. Be careful with your communication, ensuring you have pure intentions. When you do, your communication karma balances and you’re sending and receiving clear signals.
Your Third Eye Chakra May Be Blocked If:
Emotionally blocked: extra competitive, being judgmental, skeptical and directionless
Physically blocked: vision problems, insomnia, migraines, and anxiety
What You Can Do:
Enhance your dream world and day to day life by healing this chakra. With more work here, your vision karma can be en pointe, helping you visualize positive outcomes that will manifest into reality. Wearing indigo and using purple crystals are very helpful methods to promote healing of this chakra.
Massaging this area with essential oils is more difficult because it’s not always practical to get the oils into your hair! However, they can still be used - one way is to use an oil diffuser. Add a few drops of essential oil such as patchouli, cypress or clary sage to the burner, and take deep relaxing breaths. Focus on the color purple (bright if you want to stimulate your chakra, muted if you want to settle it), and let the oil do its work!
Your Crown Chakra May Be Blocked If:
Emotionally blocked: inflated sense of ego, feeling alienated from your faith
Physically blocked: issues with lymph nodes, skin, veins, and mental disorders as well as confusion and senility
What You Can Do:
The Crown chakra is either white or violet, so wearing these
Using essential oils on the scalp is beneficial, but not always practical, for they get into your hair. Oil diffusers are one way of avoiding this while still reaping the benefits. Add a few drops of Crown chakra oil, such as myrrh, helichrysum or spikenard to the warmer. Breathe deeply and feel the scent of the oils working, bringing your chakra back to balance.
Common Chakra Blocks
There are some general triggers that can indicate a blocked chakra!
You use the word “stress” a lot.
We live fast-paced lives, and this can cause a lot of stress. Some show it more than others, but even if you rise above, it doesn’t mean you aren’t feeling a pinch. Do you find yourself using the word “stress” in daily conversation? If so, even if you aren’t feeling stressed out, just acknowledging that feeling is going to create more of it.
Frequent anxiety and stress dampens our chakras and our spiritual experience. Meditation is a great way to handle both of those matters. Not only does it calm you down and center you in a place devoid of stress, it also aligns your chakras. Sometimes just 30 seconds a day can be all you need to re-center.
How Do I Work With Chakras?
When our chakras are aligned (or clear), you automatically restore it to its natural karmic state. When that happens, you attract karmic rewards. You strengthen each chakra by committing karmic acts that pertain to them. We call this chakra healing.
Staying on top of your karmic balances is what will send that karmic boomerang right back to your direction. What goes around comes around, or, what you put out into the universe will be given back to you. If you’re putting out negativity, you’ll get it back in spades. We don’t use scorecards for this, and you may not always know for sure why positive or negative things happen to you.
Wouldn’t it be nice if we had a cleaner way to figure out your own karma in own life equations? Believe it or not, you can begin to create more positive karmic reactions in your life by using the chakra system.
Think about a horse at the race track. When they are all racing some are ahead, some are behind, and some are in the middle. You can’t physically see the energy levels that each individual horse is exerting, but you know the energy is there, at different levels.
Energy cannot be created or destroyed, but you can change the flow of it in a way that also maintains your karma balance.
Can Chakras Bring Me Wealth?
Has money been tight? No matter how you try to get over the hump, you’re feeling blocked from every direction and every door slams in your face. If so, it’s possible you’re just approaching it the wrong way.
Sometimes abundance feels blocked, like there’s no way out. If that’s the case, try chakra work to engage the flow of abundance. If one of your money chakras is misaligned, there’s a good chance you won’t be bringing money in. To get the flow of money, work, and abundance flowing in your favor, unblock them and watch the doors open.
Two chakras specifically rule this area: the Root and Sacral chakras. When you understand how they work and engage in activities to align them, you’ll find the money and abundance flowing sooner than you thought possible. Are you ready?
Root Chakra - Your Power is Up for Grabs
This chakra rules basic needs, supplied by…money. It’s also related to confidence and your ability to achieve this in your life. It’s also related to how secure you feel in this world - which can, of course, be related to financial security, because that’s what supplies our basic needs.
Does your Root chakra need tweaking? Besides money problems, physical signs such as feeling perpetually tired or experiencing pain near your tail bone or lower back can be strong indicators. Sciatica is not uncommon with Root chakra issues and many report cold hands and feet as other signs. How then to tweak this power chakra?
Wearing red clothes and crystals, even consuming red food and drinks will make a difference. Get your hands dirty in a practical exercise to get that blood flowing. Pottery, gardening - any activity with your hands will help. You can also get this energy wheel spinning by meditating with the color red. With practice, you’ll soon see your basic survival and security needs met when your Root chakra is open and waiting to help you find abundance.
Sacral Chakra - Orange is the New Age Black
If you need to get back in the black, Sacral chakra work is a great place to start. You can find it just below your belly button, and about two inches. This center is about your personal sense of abundance, and rules your sexual organs and overall sexual health.
It makes sense that work on this chakra would open the flow of abundance in financial matters. When you’re confident, and your feelings are in a good place, you can go into the world and be productive - encouraging financial gain. When aligned, you’re able to be social, intimate, and have a keen instinct for what activities in life will produce financial gain.
If it’s having issues, there are many ways it manifests in your body. You may have problems eating, or even develop an eating disorder. Drug abuse is not uncommon and you may experience allergies or asthma and reproductive system disorders like urinary tract or yeast infections. Impotency is also not uncommon.
This chakra is about connection with the world. If you can’t create that intimacy, you won’t be able to receive abundance from it. Indulge yourself to find that loving feeling again. Massage, hot baths, and water activities can help you find balance. Take advantage of the color orange, from crystals to food or drink, and you’ll find it gets you back in the financial black.
Your chakras are just like horses at the races. Some run faster than others, some are burned out, and some are just fine. When each chakra is running and racing at the same rate, you’re on top of the world, running like a well-oiled machine! Just like those horses, our chakras need constant work, training and maintenance.
What do you think? Are you ready to try some chakra work? How do you know when it’s time for a tune-up? What did you find out there that will be most helpful to you on your quest for enlightenment?
Related Article: Your Beginner’s Guide to Using Your Chakra Pendulum
* Editor’s note: This article was previously published August 15th, 2014 and has been updated for astrological accuracy.