The fifth chakra, located at the hollow of the throat, is the last of the Earth Chakras. Its Sanskrit name is vishuda, 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:

Element: Light
Body Aspects:
Throat, mouth, neck, esophagus
Psychic expression
Psychological Aspects:
Manifesting dreams, creativity, communication, faith

Glands: Thyroid, parathyroid
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 being 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 peoples 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.

We’ve all had mornings when everything seems to be working against us, and we wonder if we should have stayed in bed. We go into the kitchen and discover that there is no cereal left; we get into our car and hit all the red lights on the way to work. When the universe turns adversarial, when things are out of sync, we can bring ourselves back into a synchronous relationship with life by clearing the throat chakra and dispelling the debris and dense energies that clutter it, because an awakened throat chakra brings us into synchronicity with life. For ordinary persons 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.

Most people use their voice nearly exclusively to communicate the emotional needs of their lower chakras. As we become conscious of our psychological and spiritual resources, the fifth chakra grows in strength—and we discover our true voice.