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Chakras - The Inner Meaning

Chakras - The Inner Meaning



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Published by Michael Erlewine
An astrological article or book by Michael Erlewine, well-known astrologer with fifty years of experience. This book is copyright by Michael Erlewine and is available free and may be shared, but not sold or bundled. Erlewine can be reached at Michael@Erlewine.net
An astrological article or book by Michael Erlewine, well-known astrologer with fifty years of experience. This book is copyright by Michael Erlewine and is available free and may be shared, but not sold or bundled. Erlewine can be reached at Michael@Erlewine.net

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Published by: Michael Erlewine on Jan 07, 2011
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Chakras: The Inner Meaning
Chakras: The Inner Meaning
By Michael Erlewine
Astrology of the Heart
 In this article, we will start by examiningthe astrological planets as they relate tothe system of subtle internal energiescalled the chakras, a branch of esotericastrology. Also called occult or secretastrology, esoteric astrology is bydefinition somewhat difficult to study. Itis occult (hidden) or secret, not becauseit is some deep dark secret, and notbecause someone or some group istrying to keep it from us, but because itis, by its very nature, subtle and hard tograsp with the mind. It might be morehelpful to say, as the Tibetans do, that itis self-secret. It hides itself from us. We
can‟t grasp it.
 And this knowledge is hidden orsecreted in the one place we mightnever think to look and that is: in plainsight. In other words, the secret heart ofastrology (esoteric astrology) is hiddenby the fact that it is so obvious andpresent to us that we have no way tograsp it or keep it in mind. Although it iswith us and present all the time, ourmind has trouble grasping ormaintaining an awareness of it.
Self Secret
 An example of something that is self-secret would be consciousness itself.Try using your consciousness to look atitself. Take a moment right now and lookat who is reading this page. Who isthat? See what I mean?This subject is, by its very nature, hard
to grasp and thus is “self 
secret,” which
is what mind training or meditationtechniques are all about. If you just triedthe little experiment mentioned above,you have some idea of how difficult it isto point out the nature of the obvious,yet that is our task here.Although esoteric astrology of this typeis very subtle and hard to grasp, it isvery much worth our efforts tounderstand it, and has very practicalbenefits. To rephrase this: Unlike ourday-to-day world, in the realm ofesoteric astrology even the tiniest bit ofincreased vision or progress canradically affect how we see things. Whatseparates the initiate from theuninitiated may be only the width of ahair in terms of understanding, yet thisdifference could be all the difference inthe world. It could be the differencebetween ignorance and vision.
Esoteric Teachers
 I have been studying astrology for morethan forty years. During that time,although I am considered quite technicalby my fellow astrologers, my primaryinterest has always been on esotericastrology, what astrology means, refers,or points to. I have had the very goodfortune to be instructed in esotericstudies by a number of fine teachers. Itis to their credit that I am able to presentany of this information here.In particular, I trained for a number ofyears with Andrew Gunn McIver (atraveling Rosicrucian initiator) who wasborn in Scotland and later settled inCanada and then the U.S. It was he whointroduced me to some of the innerworkings of shamanistic astrology, theesoteric or hidden side.There have been a number of other fineteachers that I have been lucky enoughto meet in this world. One such teacherwas Iotis Wilder, a Unity minister fromDetroit. In recent years, since the early70s, I have been working with Tibetanpsychological methods of mind practice,
Chakras: The Inner Meaning
in particular with Khenpo KartharRinpoche, a Tibetan lama. It wasKhenpo Rinpoche who introduced me tothe Eastern view of esoteric knowledge.I have made two pilgrimages to Tibetand China, one with my teacher.In these pages, I would like to sharewith you various esoteric ideas. I am notclaiming to be any great expert in all ofthis, but I do have a sincere interest inthe subject and am happy to examineand discuss these ideas with others. Mywish is that this discussion may be ofbenefit to readers and to astrology ingeneral.
The Planets as Chakras
 The chakras, vital force centers withinthe body, are much discussed in theesoteric literature of India, not tomention all kinds of New Agepublications. I imagine that most of youreading this have seen illustrations of ayogi sitting in a meditation posture, witha vertical line of colored spheres (thechakras) running up and down theirspine. These diagrams, while accurate
in themselves, don‟t tell the whole story,
and can be misleading in that theysuggest that the chakras are, somehow,only something (points of light) withinyour personal physical body.While the chakras or planetary forcecenters can be said to be within yourphysical body, as in the diagramsmentioned, these seven centers withinour body are but pointers to chakrasalso outside our body in the world itself,vast areas of life through which each ofus live and wander. Or, another way to
put this is that the term “physical body,”
in the esoteric sense, does not justmean your personal body, your armsand legs, but the physical aspects of alllife, the physical body of the life in thisworld -- the world itself as our physicalbody. We are all wandering in thatworld.
The Chakras in the World
 In other words, our physical body(shamanistically speaking) is also theentire world out there. While it can besomewhat difficult to grasp the chakrasas spheres of light along the spine, it isnot so difficult to see these samechakras in the world around us, and tolearn to use them in astrologicalcounseling. That is what this section ofthe book is about, learning to useshamanistic techniques for helpingyourself and others, particularly throughthe counseling process.Here, as mentioned, we will not primarilybe focusing on the planets as physicalpoints or centers within our particularpersonal body. Instead, we will examinethe idea that the planets (chakras) arevast areas of consciousness and lifewithin the larger body of our existence,the external life of the outside world inwhich we each wander and learn. Weare concerned here not only with the
chakras as states or “places,” but also in
the process and journey each of usmakes from one to another of thesechakras.
Reflected In the World
So, let‟s put aside for now trying to find
the seven planetary force centers or
chakras along our spine. You can‟t see
them in the mirror and, although youmay be able to sense something aboutthem from meditating on their qualities,there is a much easier way to learnabout these sacred centers, asprojected by ourselves onto the worldaround us. We each have a built-inprojector within us.As astrologers, we are alreadycomfortable with associating celestial
Chakras: The Inner Meaning
events (planets, aspects, houses, etc.)in the heavens with correspondingevents personally here on Earth, so wecan extend that kind of understanding tothe chakras. These areas along thespine correspond with the vast planetarycenters in the world around us.We are familiar, from day-to-day life,with the idea that the mind controls thebody, and that if we can learn mentalcontrol and stability, the body willusually follow along. If nothing else, weknow that what we see and feel in ourmind psychologically can affect how weview life outside ourselves, which in turncan affect us physically. We project ourinner view onto the outside world, andthen proceed to live in that outsideworld, colored by our own innerpsychology, by what we believe andsee. If we are still more experienced, weknow there is no absolute differencebetween inner and outer, no hard line --subject and object are one.We live in a world of projectors, andevery person projects their inner worldon the screen of life around them andthen lives in that world. The phrase
“when worlds collide” takes on new
meaning in this context.Then it should not surprise us to learnthat the chakras, these great planetarycenters, are also vast areas of our mindand life where we exist and live out ourlives. If we want to think of the chakrasas areas within our body, then weshould understand that we are speakingalso here of the entire body of existence-- our life.
The World is as ‘We’ See It
 Yes, these centers are subtle energycenters, a part of our mind, but thatmind, for better or for worse, very muchcontrols and colors (projects) how wesee and act in the outside physicalworld. In other words: there is nooutside physical world that is not filteredor first colored by our mind, by the viewin-here from which we see that world out
there. „Out there‟ is in here projected to
a marked degree. Inside and outside arehopelessly interdependent. If we changeour mind, we also change the way wesee the world. This is not a new idea.That having been said, it remains topoint out to you how to identify andexperience these inner planetarychakras in the world you are now livingin, and this is not that difficult. So far, Ihave indicated that you will be lookingoutside in the world around you forthese subtle planetary chakras, and not just within your mind, in the sense thatwe tend to think of the mind asconnected to our head or our personalbody. The chakras are also magnifiedareas of the mind projected in the worldaround you and quite easy to see.
Living in the Chakras
 Although we all have seen diagrams ofthe seven chakras or sacred forcecenters within the human body, thesediagrams are hardly very useful withouta lot of instruction and practice. Aspointed out, it is misleading to think thatthe chakras are limited to a series ofglowing spheres along our spinal cord
within our physical body. We don‟t see
them in the mirror, and without a lot of
training, we can‟t really sense them
within our personal physical body.As pointed out earlier, more useful tomost of us will be to learn that thesechakras are more practically understoodto be vast areas of our mind (andtherefore our life) through which wewander, a journey each of us takesthrough life, one that lasts as long as lifeitself. In other words, at any given time,

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