The FIFTH CHAKRA, located at the hollow of the throat, is the last of the Earth Chakras. Its Sanskrit name is Vishuddha, which means “purity.” The most ancient of all yogic texts, inscribed fifteen hundred years ago by Patanjali, speaks about the siddhis, or magical powers, available to someone who has awakened this luminous center: the ability to bilocate, to become invisible, to look into the past, and to discern the workings of destiny.
Its properties are:
Body Aspects: Throat, mouth, neck, esophagus
Instinct: Psychic expression
Psychological Aspects: Manifesting dreams, creativity, communication, faith
Glands: Thyroid, parathyroid
Seeds: Personal power, faith, will
Negative Expression: Betrayal, addictions, psychosis, sleep disorders, lies, fear of speaking out, gossiping, toxicity
The fifth chakra gives voice to the feelings of the heart. It speaks out our love, kindness, and forgiveness. In this center the four elements—earth, water, fire, and air—of the lower chakras are combined into pure energy, which provides the matrix or framework for our dreams, like the honeycomb that gives form to a bee’s hive. The throat chakra deploys this matrix around which we create our world.
The fifth chakra allows us to look within, to become aware of our inner processes. In this energy center, true introspection becomes possible as the fullness of our interior world becomes available to us for the first time. We develop a vocabulary for our emotional, psychological, and spiritual life. This spiritual vocabulary will grow in breadth and scope in our sixth chakra, together with the ability to look for inner resources anytime we feel we need to change the outside world.
A negative expression of this chakra is intoxication with our own knowledge. In this state, people do not listen to others in a conversation; being right is more important than understanding. The danger of the fifth chakra is its tendency to turn spiritual insight into dogma. This fifth chakra pathology has affected nations and churches, as evidenced by the Inquisition and the religious intolerance in the world today.
Chronologically, the fifth chakra corresponds to the ages of twenty eight to thirty five, when we begin to make our mark in the world. When the fifth chakra is clear, we begin to achieve recognition in our fields of endeavor and acquire mastery in our chosen profession. Our experience and knowledge define our status in the world. The fifth chakra gives us the ability to envision possible futures and to act on our vision. We imagine who we can become and feel the freedom of infinite possibilities.
The throat chakra influences the thyroid gland, the temperature regulator in the body. By regulating the rate of metabolism—the rate at which fuel is burned in the body—it affects body weight and the replenishment of vitamins. The fifth chakra is our psychic center, responsible for clairvoyance, clairaudience, clairsentience, and the ability to communicate without words.
In the fifth chakra we begin to develop a global perspective. We no longer fixate only on our group, tribe, or culture. We begin to identify with all people regardless of race or birthplace. In the first chakra we derive our identity from our mothers; in the second it comes from our families; in the third chakra we rebel against our parents and identify with our peer group; in the fourth we identify with our nation or culture. In the fifth chakra we become planetary citizens.
A dysfunctional fifth chakra can result in unwanted psychic experiences, especially troublesome for people with borderline personality disorder who are easily susceptible to psychosis and neurosis. Sleep disorders are common when this chakra is out of balance.
For the ordinary person, the fifth chakra serves as a smokestack to discharge volatile energies combusted by the lower chakras. A simple way to clear this chakra is to tap it three times with the fingertips. I do this several times during the day, especially after I have worked with a very “toxic” client.
The SIXTH CHAKRA, along with the seventh, eighth, and ninth chakras are known as Sky Chakras. They are supported by the Earth Chakras, just as the branches of a tree are supported by its trunk and roots. Through the Sky Chakras we explore increasingly subtle domains and enter into less familiar territory.
The sixth chakra, or third eye, is located in the middle of the forehead. In the Hindu traditions, it is thought to be the third eye of Shiva, who grants knowledge of perfect truth and nonduality. The name of this center in Sanskrit is Ajna, or “unlimited power.”
The properties of the sixth chakra are:
Element: Pure light
Body Aspects: Brain, eyes, nervous system
Psychological Aspects: Reason and logic, intelligence, empathy, depression, stress-related disorders, denial
Seed: Enlightenment, self-realization
Negative Expression: Delusion, neuroses, inadequacy, seizures
A person with an awakened sixth chakra realizes that the authentic self must shed its exclusive identification with bodily or mental experiences. We transcend body and mind, yet welcome both into the field of our awareness. As we begin to observe the mind, we can step into transpersonal states. We follow the mind with curiosity, yet without being absorbed by it. Doubt disappears when we step beyond the mind, and desire and longing cease to be driving forces.
Chronologically, the sixth chakra corresponds to the ages thirty-five to forty two. This is a time of transition where our spirit is emerging and beginning to take charge of our lives. Instead of believing in our own will and power we increasingly turn to Spirit for guidance.
Through the sixth chakra, we enter the realms of knowledge that can be experienced but not told. It is not that these realms lie outside the domain of words, but rather that experience is all there is. Shamans say that this is a realm that cannot be found through seeking, however, only those who seek may find it.
When the sixth chakra is malfunctioning, the individual confuses information with knowledge. He feels he has attained great spiritual truths when all he has is a collection of facts. Spiritual materialism is an endemic dysfunction of the third-eye chakra. These individuals often exercise great power and influence in the world without assuming responsibility for its stewardship. In our media-driven world with its cult of celebrity, the energies of the sixth chakra can become distorted and result in spiritual arrogance and self-aggrandizement.
An awakened third eye allows the shaman to know who he is. It gives him knowledge of the past and future and allows him to envision alternative destinies. Some legends report that those who awaken this chakra can even attain physical immortality. They no longer age or succumb to disease, but rather are able to maintain their youth, vitality and strength. All the desires of one with an awakened third eye come true, and if a number of healers hold the same vision, it comes true for the planet. Native religions have long practiced this tradition. Elders of the Hopi and a similar council of Inka medicine men and women sit in meditation envisioning the kind of world that they want their great-grandchildren to inherit.
How can you discover the true spiritual voice of your fifth chakra and “see” the divine in others with your sixth eye?