The Base Chakra
Excerpt from the Summer 2006 Newsletter
More and more people are familiar with - or at least have heard of - the chakras: the seven energy centres that absorb and distribute vital life force energy to various parts of the body.
The chakras act as emotional and spiritual energy processors, holding the memories of the emotionally charged events and traumas we have experienced. As a result, the flow of energy or “prana” through the chakras to our physical body is strongly affected by how we deal with various emotional and spiritual issues. When our chakras are blocked (or misaligned as a result of shock or toxic emotions), life force energy does not circulate properly and we can experience physical, emotional or mental problems.
In her book Anatomy of the Spirit : The Seven Stages of Power and Healing (ISBN 0-517-70391-2), Caroline Myss describes the chakra system as "an archetypal depiction of individual maturation through seven distinct stages. The chakras are vertically aligned, running from the base of the spine to the crown of the head, suggesting that we ascend toward the Divine by gradually mastering the seductive pull of the physical world. At each stage we gain a more refined understanding of personal and spiritual power, since each chakra represents a spiritual life-lesson or challenge common to all human beings. As a person masters each chakra, he gains power and self-knowledge that become integrated into his spirit, advancing him along the path toward spiritual consciousness in the classic hero’s journey." If you would like to learn more about the chakras, we highly recommend her book.
There are many essences that help balance specific chakras (for example, Terre & Cosmos has a series of essences devoted to each of the chakras). In this issue we will be looking at essences that correspond to the First Chakra, also called the Base or Root Chakra which is located at the base of the spine. In many ways it is the most complex, as it is the root of our energy, and the beginning and foundation of our journey through life. The Base Chakra has three main areas of influence:
1) grounding and connection to the Earth and Nature;
2) issues of survival and safety;
3) relating to family and society.
Grounding and connection to the Earth
To function properly in all aspects of our lives, we need to be fully present and grounded. Sundew (Australian Bush) helps to ground people who are vague and indecisive, who do not pay attention to detail, and who tend to be daydreamers and easily distracted. Grounding (Green Hope Farm combination) helps us to be grounded in the present, neither worried by the past nor preoccupied with the future. When we are fully present in our bodies and in the present moment, we are better able to align with our inner guidance. For those who have a difficult time fully accepting their physical incarnation, Romarin (DEVA) helps to link and reinforce the connection between body and soul, while Red Lily (Australian Bush) and Corn (South African) help us stay grounded and practical, while at the same time allowing us to experience and integrate spiritual energy.
Flower essences are not the only source of assistance in balancing the chakras. Many of the essences from the animal kingdom are also grounding. Buffalo (Wild Earth Animal) and Turtle (Wild Earth Animal), in particular, help us to slow down, be grounded, and connect with the rhythms of the Earth. The mineral kingdom also offers assistance in grounding. Black Tourmaline (Crystal Energy) reinforces and strengthens our connection to the Earth while protecting us from parasitic energies. Pyrite (Crystal Energy) increases our connection with the Earth, so that we keep our feet firmly on the ground and stay focused on the task at hand. Botswana Agate (Crystal Energy) grounds us into our body and helps us to be fully present in the Now.
Survival and safety issues
Many blockages in the Base Chakra are related to survival issues and to fears and feelings of insecurity. When we are fearful we often go into old survival patterns instead of trusting the flow. Narcissus (Pacific) balances the Base Chakra, strengthening our connection to the Earth and our impulse for survival. Cape Almond (South African) grounds and centres, enabling us to feel secure and to find a safe space within. It addresses fears of the unknown, of the future, and of failure, as well as emotional paralysis and an inability to move forward. Loquat (South African) is for those who experience fear and anxiety when faced with the demands of life and who seek to escape by withdrawing and avoiding participation in the life process.
Orange Pincushion (South African) assists those who are experiencing trauma, panic, fear of annihilation, or terror to become grounded and centred. The origin of the fear can be real, or unfounded and irrational. In either case, Orange Pincushion brings courage, tranquillity and peace. Coral Tree (South African) is for more generalised fears that result from unconscious feelings that we are not safe. Staghorn Algae (Pacific) is an essence of inner security. It helps us to remain grounded amidst turbulence and confusion. If we feel lost and disconnected from our source, it helps re-establish the connection. Dog Rose of the Wild Forces (Australian Bush) calms and centres us in times of inner or outer turmoil and establishes emotional balance. Brown Kelp (Pacific) alleviates fear and helps us to feel safe by balancing the energy between the Base Chakra and the Crown or 7th Chakra - our connection with the macrocosm. Gazelle (Wild Earth Animal) helps us to face our vulnerability, yet feel safe in the world. It grounds us so that we develop a highly tuned sense of alertness and awareness.
Relating to family and society
According to Caroline Myss, the Base Chakra represents the sacred truth that All is One. We explore this truth through our tribal connection to our family and society, evolving to the realisation that we are part of a broader global tribe which encompasses all Life.
Therefore, connections with our family and the society we live in are an important part of our personal development. Problems in these areas are typically reflected in our Base Chakra. Tall Yellow Top (Australian Bush) brings a sense of belonging to those who have always felt isolated or alienated. Indian Pipe (Pacific) helps us participate in family and community without losing our individuality.
Boab (Australian Bush) and Black Currant (Green Hope Farm) can eliminate negative family patterns that are passed from generation to generation. This is extremely important because clearing such patterns (which often involve prejudice and abuse) allows us to evolve on our path without being encumbered by our ancestral history. Bloodroot (Green Hope Farm) helps us to understand the gifts of our ancestry and the challenges our particular family energy represent for us personally.
Red Grevillea (Australian Bush) promotes independence and boldness in those who feel stuck and need help moving forward. This often means breaking with family or societal traditions. Freshwater Mangrove (Australian Bush) helps us become open to new experiences, people, and perceptual shifts and allows a healthy questioning of traditional standards and beliefs. Ruby (Crystal Energy) reminds us of our roots, so that we look back on our journey and appreciate the events of our life. It is an essence that keeps us grounded and gives us the courage to move beyond customs and beliefs that no longer serve us, without feeling uprooted and lost. Wolf (Wild Earth Animal) assists in defining relationships and setting healthy boundaries with others. It encourages sociability and community.
In this issue we have examined some of the essences (flower, animal and mineral) that assist in balancing the Base Chakra. In future issues, we will continue to explore the chakras and the role essences can play in supporting these vital energy centres and our well-being.