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IMBOLC – The Initiation of Spring Life springs forth, the sap begins to rise

At Imbolc, the sap is rising The sap is rising in the trees. Leaf buds are ever-so-slightly swelling. Under the snow-covered belly of the Mother Earth, the faint stirring of seeds has begun. Bulbs are pushing up.  Snowdrops and crocuses are breaking through the snow. You can hear the difference in the chirping sound of your backyard birds, and you know they are building nests. Ewes and nanny goats are ready for lambing and kidding. The Wheel of the Year has turned once more. 

Imbolc marks the halfway point between the Winter Solstice and the Vernal Equinox. It is hard sometimes to think of Spring in what feels like the depths of Winter. But if we look at the ground, we can see the first shoots of green beginning to reach towards the Sun. It is the true start of Spring — a new awakening under the sparkling frost of the slumbering fields.

Now is the time for the banishing of Winter and the welcoming of Spring. This is the time when the waters begin to melt and flow, a time for cleansing and purification. It is the time when we notice the sun’s light lengthening and our own spirits growing brighter as well. This is the time both of water (the melting snow) and of fire (the growing light and warmth). Imbolc blessingsThis is a time of hope and preparation. It’s time to creep out of the hibernation of winter, cautiously, like the Ground Hog who emerges on this day to check his shadow. It’s the time of germination, the traditional time for new beginnings. This is the time of the growing of the Light. It is a time to go to the well for healing, and to the fire for inspired creativity. It’s the time of soul-stirring, when we begin anew.

Now is when we start our Spring cleaning, not only of our homes, but also of our bodies and minds. It’s a good time for purification diets (particularly for the liver and gall bladder) and for new perspectives, ideas, plans and goals. It’s the right time to do a thorough house cleaning, banishing the gloom of winter and creating a sparkling, shiny new setting for spring. We give life and light to our own visions and wisdom, and take the first brave steps toward manifesting them into reality. We sweep away the cobwebs, not only from the corners of our rooms, but also from our minds, and clear space for the newness that is blossoming within.

THE STORY OF THE GODDESS AND GOD

Pregnant Goddess Brighid at the Imbolc cauldron At Imbolc (February 2nd), the goddess has become young once again, and is recovering from the birth of her son. She delivered the Light from the darkest of the dark days. She has nurtured the child and now brings him forth as the new hope. The lengthening periods of light awaken her. The little god feels his strength increasing day by day, as the days grow longer with the power of the waxing sun. The warmth fertilizes the Earth (the goddess) and causes seeds to germinate and sprout. And so, the earliest beginnings of Spring occur.

The Goddess of Spring seeds the land at ImbolcThe promises of the return of the light and the renewal of life which were made at the winter solstice are now becoming manifest. It’s the dawn of the year.

Common Rituals

Imbolc is also known as Candlemas. In times gone by, it was the day when the fireplace and hearth were completely and thoroughly cleaned.  All the lights in the house were extinguished and new candles were made for the entire year ahead. It took hours! At the end of the day, when the sun went down, the first new candle was lit in honor of the returning light with its promise of the warmth and abundance of Summer’s fruits and Autumn’s harvest.

If you have a fireplace, go ahead and clean out your hearth, and then light a new fire. Sit around the fire and reflect on your hopes for the coming year. What do you hope to accomplish? What are you passionate about? What seeds do you wish to plant? Discuss these ideas with others or write them down in a journal, but make them concrete in some way so that on Lammas (August 2nd, the festival of the first harvest), you can look back to see what progress you’ve made.

As Imbolc marks the dawn of a new Spring, seeds are a third symbol of the season, along with Water and Fire.  If you like, you can make a simple ritual of taking a seed and “planting” a project, goal or pledge. Whisper or breathe it into the seed and put it into a pot with fresh soil. Nurture it, water and feed it, maybe plant it in your garden when it’s ready, and help it grow strong and healthy for reaping at Lammas.

For myself, I like to go from room to room in my home, lighting a candle in each room as I go, and chanting. I don’t remember where this chant came from, but I find it to be lovely and completely within the spirit of the emerging Spring.

I open

Gently open

To the divine inside me

I open

Gently open

To the sacred Light

8 candles lit for an Imbolc ritual

 

May you find strength and warmth in the returning light of the sun.

I wish you illumination and inspiration.

I wish you love and light.

 

 

I wish you a blessed IMBOLC!

Lit candles sit on the snow, illuminating the blossoming snowdrops

The EAST – SPIRIT MEET YOUR 5 PERSONAL SPIRITS TO MAKE LIFE JOYFUL & INTENTIONAL

January 31 – February 2  ~  Fri, 6-9PM  ~  Sat & Sun, 10AM-5PM

Do you need more physical & emotional “oomph” to move toward that “extra something” you want in your life?  Do you long to get back in touch with your original joyful spirit?  Forging a relationship with your 5 Personal Spirits helps you stay strong and live your life with intention.  They protect you from giving your energy away.  And they’ll keep others from taking it from you, too!

  • Your Anima attaches your soul to your body
  • Your Biological Spirit keeps you strong and healthy
  • Your Social Spirit helps you function well in society
  • Your professional Spirit brings you skill and luck
  • Your Soul develops your wisdom for making good life choices

The Walking the Four Directions series of 4 weekends: $1,370.00 with early registration. Each separate weekend: $445.00

East - Spirit
$445.00
$16.00 (processing fee)
Total: $461.00
All 4 Weekends
$1,370.00
$49.25 (processing fee)
Total: $1,419.25

For more information, contact Grandmother WinterJade Forest:

 grandmother@grandmotherwinter.com

847-975-7959

The SOUTH – Emotions CHARGE YOUR CHAKRAS TO CLEAR STUCK EMOTIONAL ENERGY

march 20 – 22  ~ Fri, 6-9PM  ~  Sat & Sun, 10AM-5PM

Do you sometimes feel you really just need to escape the grip your emotions have on you? Clearing your Chakras will loosen that grip.  And charging up your Chakras will lighten your mood so that you can get out from under the weight of their heaviness.

  • Ÿ Increase the vibrational strength and spin of your Chakras
  • Bring forth the spiritual energy that clears emotional blockages
  • Cultivate the clear, clean, intelligent flow of your thoughts and feelings
  • Improve the health of your emotions in your body, mind and spirit

The Walking the Four Directions series of 4 weekends: $1,370.00 with early registration. Each separate weekend: $445.00

South - Emotions
$445.00
$16.00 (processing fee)
Total: $461.00

For more information, contact Grandmother WinterJade Forest:

 grandmother@grandmotherwinter.com

847-975-7959

THE WEST – Healing Journey Through Space and Time to Retrieve Lost Pieces of Your Soul

June 5 – 7  ~ Fri, 6-9PM  ~  Sat & Sun, 10AM-5PM

Do you ever feel that parts of yourself are missing?  That you gave away pieces of yourself to someone before you noticed?  Or had them stolen from you?  Learn to retrieve lost soul pieces & get yourself back!  You know it’s happened if you:

  • Feel someone has a part of you that you want back
  • Find yourself exhausted after interacting with particular people
  • Give too much of yourself when caring for or interacting with others
  • Have never been the same since a certain experience or trauma

The Walking the Four Directions series of 4 weekends: $1,370.00 with early registration. Each separate weekend: $445.00

West - Healing
$445.00
$16.00 (processing fee)
Total: $461.00

For more information, contact Grandmother WinterJade Forest:

 grandmother@grandmotherwinter.com

847-975-7959

The NORTH – Guidance Activate Your Divine Blueprint for Youth, Vitality & Rejuvenation

July 31 – August 2 Fri, 6-9PM  ~  Sat & Sun, 10AM-5PM

Would you like to feel more youthful, vital and energized?  Would like to hear your inner guidance, loud and clear, and know you can rely on it?

Your DNA houses your Divine Blueprint of perfection.  When you activate it,  every cell in your body begins to generate its own light energy.  Every cell routinely regenerates and returns to a state of purity and health. 

REACTIVATECellular Growth and Repair

REJUVENATEEvery Cell In Your Body

RESTOREYouthful Health and Vitality

The Walking the Four Directions series of 4 weekends: $1,370.00 with early registration. Each separate weekend: $445.00

North - Guidance
$445.00
$16.00 (processing fee)
Total: $461.00

For more information, contact Grandmother WinterJade Forest:

 grandmother@grandmotherwinter.com

847-975-7959

SAMHAIN The Most Sacred Day of the Year

The Celtic Wheel Of The Year is also known as the ever-turning circle of life.  SAMHAIN is the most sacred holiday in this cycle.  It is considered the New Year, as it is both the ending of one cycle and the beginning of another. 

SAMHAIN marks the beginning of the Season of Darkness and the Festival of Death.  Now, these may seem scary or negative in today’s terms, but the dark time of the year is welcomed for deep introspection, just as the darkness of every night is welcomed for sleep.  And, without Death, there can be no rebirth.  Therefore, at Samhain, we celebrate the Eternal Cycle.

At SAMHAIN, the veil between the worlds is at its thinnest and our consciousness has easy access to both the land of the living and the land of the dead.  So we honor our ancestors and our loved ones who have passed on.  This is not the time for mourning them (though we may miss them).  This is when we release their spirits and celebrate them.  We light candles.  We can visit and talk with them in ceremonial journeying.  We feast and tell stories, sing and celebrate the triumph of LIFE!  So go ahead and tell them how much you appreciate all their efforts on your behalf (to spend their blood, sweat and tears so that you could be here!).  Tell them you want to continue to do a good job at life on their behalf, and ask them if they have any suggestions for your best next steps for the coming year.  Then, just be quiet in your mind and soul, and wait to see if you get any inspirations or feelings about something that seems to right to you.  You might be surprised at what occurs to you!

The Wheel of the Year is often explained by the relationship between the Goddess and God.  SAMHAIN is the time of the Third Harvest, when the God has grown old and died.  His spirit is deep in the ground now, waiting to be born again as the son of the Goddess. 

The Goddess, who never dies, has nonetheless become very old.  As the Crone, she now commands her most powerful and magical aspect.  She is both the destroyer and the healer.  She is the Wise Woman and the Midwife of Transformation.  SAMHAIN is the peak time of her power.  Although she is now the Hag, the Crone, the Ancient Wise One, her cauldron is the womb from which all things are conceived, nurtured and grown, and finally born forth.  The God is now a sleeping seed in the womb of the Goddess.

SAMHAIN is the time of the year for introspection.  We look back at our accomplishments and disappointments/defeats to receive their lessons.  We contemplate these lessons to look ahead at what is coming.  We ask our ancestors and our personal spirit guides to help us decipher these lessons, and we incubate our new dream for the coming year in this wisdom. It is a time to assess and re-tune ourselves to two seminal beliefs: 1) the oneness of all spirits, and 2) that physical death is not the final act of existence.  We plan and dream our new dream for ourselves and for the generations that will follow us.

May the ancestors deliver blessings on you and yours . . .

 May the New Year bear great fruits for you . . .

 May your granted wishes be as many as the seeds in a pomegranate . . .

 May the slide into darkness bring you light . . .

 May the memories of what-has-been keep you strong for what-is-to-be . . .

 May this Samhain cleanse your heart, your soul, and your mind!

 Blessed Samhain to all, and a Magical Night!!!

MABON – the Autumn Equinox Shifting Winds and Crinkling Leaves – The Second Harvest

At Mabon – the Autumn Equinox – the time of the harvest, we gather what we need to see us through the coming cold and darkness of winter.  As the light fades from the outdoors, we take it inward, into ourselves.  We give thanks for all the beautiful and nourishing blooms, fruits and vegetables of summer’s bounty, and all the harvested grains that will keep us fortified through the still, quiet restfulness of winter.

This stage between summer and winter is the time of transformation. Things die to be reborn.  And this Autumn Equinox, this day of Mabon, when daylight and nightdark are equal, beckons us to honor this moment of balance as an opportunity to accept and harmonize our own polarities – our yin and yang, our female and male, our strengths and vulnerabilities, our thoughts and actions, our need for rest and activity – and to find their appropriate proportions and timeliness . . . their seasons within us.

May your journey begin

Through darkening nights

To your paths within    

And to your inner light

Mabon, the Autumn Equinox, divides the day and night equally. It is a time of balance. It is a time of the Mysteries. We honor the changing seasons and the Aging Deities of the Spirit World, and pay our respects to the impending dark. We watch the earth die a little each day and consciously embrace this slow descent into the dark as another dimension of appreciating the light. Thus begins the traditional time of year for meditating on the themes of life, death, and rebirth.

At the same time, we give thanks to the waning sunlight, as we store our second and final harvest of this year’s crops – the fruit that has stayed on the trees, and plants that have ripened under the summer sun. We thank the Earth, in her full abundance as Mother and Giver, for the great harvest. As Autumn begins, it is the time to stop and relax and enjoy the fruits of our personal harvests, as well.

 

I open,

Gently open

To the Divine

Inside me

 

 

Mabon, the Autumn Equinox, is a time for harvesting and reflecting on the past year.  Considering the theme of the balance of light and dark, we take a few moments to contemplate the contrasts in our own lives. Is there any unresolved issue inside us we’ve been longing to reap the rewards of?  

Now is the time to take this energy and turn it to our own purposes. Regard it as part of the harvest of your life; food for thought; something to chew on, etc. Feast on the nutritious parts – the lessons . . . and eliminate the waste – the pain, hurt, negative feelings. Offer the “waste” to the Earth Mother as compost. It will enrich your ground, the ground of your being. Count your blessings!

May your hearts and spirits

be filled to overflowing!

The Medicine – Old And New

What is meant by the Old Ways?

When we speak of the Old Ways, we are referring to the innate spirituality of human beings across cultures, from the beginning of time up until the industrialization of our modern era. It holds all of nature in reverence. It calls the earth Mother, and the sun or sky, Father. Indigenous cultures throughout the world shared a surprisingly common creation story despite their separation by continents – and without any means of communicating, or even knowing of the others’ existence. The story goes something like this:

In “the time before Time,” all beings lived together in harmony. They spoke an unspoken language and understood each other’s hearts and souls. In the words of Chief John Snow, Nakoda elder, “We talked to the rocks, the streams, the trees, the plants, the herbs and all nature’s creations. We called the animals our brothers. They understood our language; we understood theirs. Sometimes they talked to us in dreams and visions. At times they revealed important events or visited us on our vision quests to the mountain tops.”

The interplay between the spiritual world and the material world was a common daily awareness. However, as time passed, humans lost their way. They lost connection with the imagining and intuiting functions of their spiritual nature and could no longer speak the language of Spirit. The more they relied on their physical senses alone, the more separated they became from their inner direction. They fell out of harmony and balance. They invented weapons and began killing and eating animals, birds and fish. Later, they even began killing each other. And so the story goes. Each culture has its own details and characters.

There are a few aboriginal tribes, however, who have resisted becoming “civilized” to this day and still live according to the Old Ways. They are known for their uncanny ability to “know” and prepare for events that they have not read or heard about.

The Australian Aborigines may be the best known to us for this skill. They say they get their knowledge from the “dreamtime.” The Dreamtime is where the Aborigines’ world came from. The Dreamtime also brought the knowledge of the laws of existence. Aborigines continue to observe these laws to this day; they are the laws for survival. In addition, they continue the Dreamtime (Creation) as the Dreaming. That is, they continue to dream the world into existence.

What is Medicine?

While this type of knowledge is not typically brought into play in today’s busy lifestyle, it IS still part of our make-up, and we can avail ourselves of its benefits. The Old Ways offer methods for developing the spiritual side of our intrinsic nature – the means to know and understand who we truly are, our best options and actions to take, and how we can contribute to good of all. In many indigenous cultures, this is called Medicine.

Medicine is the power to heal and strengthen the body, mind, heart and soul. That Medicine may be a physical substance, like herbs; a non-substantive agent, like music; or something with both qualities, like touch. Anything that eases the mind or body . . . anything that uplifts the heart and soul . . . that’s Medicine. The means for developing your Medicine is also Medicine. In addition, each being (animal, plant, mineral) has its own special Medicine, a quality or gift that is unique. And you have your own Medicine. Your Medicine is whatever gifts and talents you possess for contributing to that beauty.

The Medicine the Old Ways

There are age-old traditional prayers, songs, practices and ceremonies that have been done in the same way, for the same reasons and commemorations, for incalculable generations. These practices and ceremonies are commonly called the Medicine of the Old Ways. They include ways of praying, meditating, honoring Mother Earth and Father Sky, Moon ceremonies, feast days, sacred songs, pilgrimages and vision quests, to name just a few. There are also prescribed task for rites of passage, as well as practices for clearing and purging oneself. They are tried and true, and still have a potent impact to this day.

Any medicine, be it spiritual or pharmaceutical, has to meet the challenges of a changing world. It must stay abreast of the needs of the people facing new demands. The Medicine of the Old Ways shapeshifts effortlessly to accommodate the needs of the current times. However, that is not what makes it “new,” as that is a quality of the “old” Medicine.

The New Medicine of the Old Ways

The New Medicine of the Old Ways is a term I coined to address the contemporary direction of the latest surge of interest in the Old Ways. Many seers of Native American (and other) Medicine people foretold of the day when the knowledge that had been kept secret and protected for so long should be shared with the white man. Although many indigenous people do not believe they should do that, many others began sharing a few decades ago, believing in complying with the prophecies.

Because of the widespread dissemination of ancient traditional practices across cultural lines at this time, people who have not been brought up in a discreet lineage are prone to mixing and mat

ching the practices from separate traditions. While I can understand how some perceive this to be a misappropriation and watering down of ancient wisdom (and to a certain extent I have to agree), I also see that every generation has a similar complaint about the upcoming generation, even within their own culture.

The best analogy I can come up with (and it may, or may not, be a very good one) is to liken it to adapting a foreign country’s cuisine to one’s own. The taste is not exactly like the country of origin’s typical palate, nor is it like the customary taste of the adopting country’s food.

However, if the persons eating it have an open attitude to something new, both sides will find the adventure stimulating, the taste fresh and the experience rewarding.

There is another difference. The Old Ways require the shaman, priest/priestess, Medicine man or woman, etc. to do all the work on behalf of the person who asks for help. It is my belief that we have reached a time in our evolution where it is not just “special” people who have the power to maneuver in higher realms. I recognize that we have grown enough that Spirit is asking us to assume a more active role in the goings on of everyday life. We’ve been given a promotion, if you will. We’re faced with a new responsibility to step up and be part of the team.

The way I practice the New Medicine is to bring you up to speed on the skills you need for the new position you are wanting to hold in your life. Rather than perform ceremonies for you, I help you conceive your own “ceremonies,” your own new beneficial ways of thinking, new habits, etc. And, most especially, I help you deepen and strengthen your own connection with Spirit and the profound assistance that connection affords you.

I believe the New Medicine of the Old Ways is true to the traditional values of honoring Mother Earth, Father Sky and all living beings. I believe it respects and requires the custom of grounding, centering and clearing oneself to connect with Spirit with a calm mind and open heart. I believe that ancient practices, carried out in their traditional ways, are powerful and have a place in the New Medicine. And I also believe that all the wisdom from all the teachers – if practiced with commitment over a long period – can come together in a new way. It will go straight to the heart and soul of a present-day seeker to touch her and change him in deep and positive ways. The New Medicine takes substance and meaning from the Old Ways and respectfully makes something fresh, stimulating, profound and meaningful for the person journeying in these current times.

All About Smudge

Smudge is the term used for an herb, combination of herbs, or resin that is burned as incense for the purpose of purification. The herb may be burned loose, or in the form of a smudge stick. The “stick” is made by bundling the herb or herbs together with hemp cord or string to form easy-to-burn smudge sticks. A resin is usually burned on a coal.

The most common herb used by Native Americans is sage, but just as familiar are cedar, copal, lavender, sweet grass, or pinon. Common to the Celtic traditions are copal, frankincense, myrrh, and Dragon’s Blood, among others.

When you smudge/purify yourself, you are clearing your mind and auric field. You attune yourself to a higher vibration that reminds you to speak and act in a sacred way, with an open and compassionate heart, and with your ears open to hearing the guidance from your spirit helpers and from Creator or the Goddess, depending on your tradition. Keep in mind that when you smudge yourself, you traditionally want to be very thorough and take at least ½-hr or more.

You can also smudge a house or room to clear it of previous owners’ energy or any negativity that may have entered in the form of arguments, illness, or other entities. You can smudge an object to clear it and make it “clean” or “pure” for use by the new owner – like a book, jewelry, second-hand clothing or furniture, etc.

You can use smudge to pray. The smoke from the smudge will carry your prayers to Creator.

Here is more about Smudging . . .

 

Clear Your Energy and Lift Your Spirits With the Sacred Art of Smudging

by: Bess O’Connor

If you’re feeling stuck, negative, sluggish, or even downright depressed, it may be due to some stagnant energy in your field. Your field can include your emotional, energetic, mental, spiritual or physical body, and your environment—whether it’s your home, office, or other physical space. Stagnant or negative energy can have extremely detrimental effects on your mental and physical state and is even believed to manifest into things like a lack of happiness and success as well as pain and disease.

Smudging can help combat this negativity, clear the energy in your field, and help you start anew. Smudging is an ancient ceremony in which you burn sacred plants, such as sage, to allow the smoke to clear and bless a space.

To get some insight into the ancient art of smudging, healer and singer Grandmother Wapajea Walks on Water—with lineage from the Choctaw, Creek and Cherokee tribes—sheds some light on the topic.

Grandmother Wapajea says, “The goal of smudging is to make a place clear of lingering energy that is different from what you may be intending for that space. You want to prepare the space for ceremony, the way you would clean your house, cook, and decorate when your family comes for a holiday. We are welcoming Great Spirit, angels, and ancestors to come and share clean space with us as well.”

What you use to clear a space depends on your location and what plants you have access to. Grandmother Wapajea says that people on the East Coast use tobacco, cedar, sweet grass, juniper, pine needles, deerstongue, cypress, and sage. Out west they use tobacco, pinion, desert sage, and sweet grass.

“My family uses sage and cedar to purify, tobacco to send our prayers to the Chihowa, and sweet grass to attract angels and sweet-spirited ancestors. We also use sweet grass to bring ease to a space when we need to discuss something that is difficult to say,” Grandmother Wapajea says.

What You Need

  • Sage or other sacred plants listed above. Sage represents the earth element and when burned, the smoke from it represents the air.
  • Abalone shell. This is meant to hold and burn the plants. The shell represents the water element.
  • Matches or a lighter. These represent the fire element.
  • Feather. This represents the air element.
  • Drum(s) or sacred drumming music, which represent the beat of the heart.

For indigenous people Great Spirit is in all of nature and creation, each thing representing a different aspect of divinity and sacredness. Therefore they honor the elements, and all natural things, from plants and minerals, to animals and people.

The Smudging Process

Often, smudging involves a four-direction ceremony. Here’s a guide to help you get started.

Clear your space of clutter and mess and open up windows and curtains and allow for clean air to enter. Light your sage (or other herbs) on fire and then fan the smoke with your feather around your body and anyone else in your space.

Wapajea’s Smudging Process

  • “We start in the East where the sun rises, and brings us the opportunity to begin again with each new day. Breath.
  • We go to the South and honor our creativity, our children, the child in us, our playfulness, joy, and hope. Earth.
  • We go to the West where the sun goes down, and the blackness of introspection begins when the day is done. Water.
  • We go to the North where our rest awaits us. Knowledge, stamina, compassion, silence. Fire.
  • We use a feather to fan the sacred smoke in each direction, one drums, one sings, one dances, one prays, until we have circled back to the east.”

Tips for Smudging

The art of smudging is a sacred act and Grandmother Walks on Water says these are some things to keep in mind.

  1. Hold sacredness and respect when connecting with the plant people who help you in this ceremony and when you pray.
  2. Remember and honor your ancestors with good deeds.
  3. Honor the divine by caring for what the Great Spirit has created.
  4. See the divine Mother in everything. Women are the embodiment of Great Spirit’s creation on Earth, thru the gift of birth, so women are holy. We are all from the same womb.
  5. Everything is related to everything; nothing is random.
  6. Caring for creation is everyone’s responsibility.
  7. This will is not religion; this is love.

Clearing Your Body

Smudging is not only for spaces; it’s also for clearing your body, mind, and spirit of any negativity, stagnation, or energetic disturbances within or surrounding you. Make sure to invite the sacred smoke around your body from head to toe and front to back before smudging your space.

 

A Smudging Prayer

May your hands be cleansed, that they create beautiful things.

May your feet be cleansed, that they might take you where you most need to be.

May your heart be cleansed, that you might hear its messages clearly.

May your throat be cleansed, that you might speak rightly when words are needed.

May your eyes be cleansed, that you might see the signs and wonders of the world.

May this person and space be washed clean by the smoke of these fragrant plants.

And may that same smoke carry our prayers, spiraling, to the heavens.

CHAKRAS 101

Chakras are vibrational wheels, or globes, of energy located within and without various areas of the body.  Their purpose is to organize and regulate your energy.  Chakras receive, assimilate and transmit the life force that is in you.  When you increase the power of your chakras’ vibrations, you upgrade the quality of your cellular intelligence.  You amplify the energy that improves health and happiness, and you build mental strength and spiritual fitnessChakra Development usually results in a renewed zest for life and a sense of inner sturdiness.  You acquire an elegant map for revitalizing your body and mind and making them compatible.  It is a way to enjoy your reality and blend it with your developing spiritual nature.  It prepares the way for a gentle opening of consciousness and gives you a new view of your life and world.

The 1st, or Root Chakra is located at the floor of the pelvis, which is at the base of the tailbone, and is associated with the adrenals.  It represents stability, life, and existence itself.  It helps ground our spiritual nature onto the material plane.  The more you ground yourself, the greater your chance of developing into the person you would like to become, and of making your dreams real.  This first level of personal and spiritual development bestows the right ‘to be’ and ‘to have.’  It entrusts you with the responsibility of loving and taking care of yourself, your body and your physical needs.  It spins clockwise.

The 2nd, or Navel Chakra is located all around the navel, and is associated with the gonads (ovaries and testicles).  It develops your sense of boundary and enables you to understand what will enhance and enrich your life. It represents love, perception, sensitivity and protection.  At this level, extra-sensory awareness begins to develop, and you learn how to feel the world from the viewpoint of another.  This second level of development bestows the right ‘to feel’ and to pursue gratification.  It entrusts you with the responsibility of caring about others as yourself (see First Chakra responsibility).  It spins counterclockwise.

The 3rd, or Solar Plexus Chakra is located at the solar plexus, just below the ribs, and is associated with the pancreas.  It represents hope, justice and fairness.  It gives you your self-esteem, self-worth, confidence, decision-making ability and personal power.  Developing this chakra allows you to make satisfying and healthy relationships.  This chakra bestows the right to act.  The responsibility of the Third Chakra is self-acceptance and the duty to love not only another, but to have best wishes for your associations, societies and communities.  It spins in the direction of a wheel rolling backwards.

The 4th, or Heart Chakra is located in the center of the chest at the heart area, and is associated with the thymus gland.  It represents peace, faith and compassion.  It brings you into unity and kinship with the entire universe.  It expands your love and understanding to the point of accepting the entire world.  This level of development bestows the right ‘to love and be loved.’  It entrusts you with the responsibility of loving all of creation as though it were you (refer to the responsibility of the Root Chakra).  The Fourth Chakra spins in the same direction as the Third Chakra, like a wheel rolling backwards.

The 5th, or Throat Chakra is located at the level of the Adam’s Apple, and is associated with the thyroid gland.  It channels mental energy to your mind and heart, giving a voice to your feelings, thoughts and experiences.  It represents truth, communication, integrity, self-expression and creativity.  When you reach the potential of control and authority possible at the Fifth Chakra, you master the Law of Attraction.  This level of development bestows the right ‘to speak and be heard,’ as well as the ability ‘to listen deeply and to hear truly.’  It entrusts you with the responsibility to control yourself and your surroundings.  It spins at an oblique angle from the right ear, backward, toward the spine and the heart.

The 6th, or Third Eye Chakra is located at the forehead, just above and between the eyes, and is associated with the pituitary gland (some say the pineal gland).  It allows simultaneous awareness of your inner state and the world around you.  It represents wisdom, knowledge, intuition, discernment, imagination, goal and time.  A developed Brow Chakra gives the ability to clearly see what is important for your happiness and well-being, and connects you to your goal and purpose.  This level of development bestows the right ‘to see.’  It entrusts you with the responsibility of self-reflection.  The Sixth Chakra does not exactly spin; rather, it beams out in two directions: from the forehead to the far horizon in front of you, and out the back of your head to the far horizon behind you.

The 7th, or Crown Chakra is located just above the top of the head, and is associated with the pineal gland (some say the pituitary gland).  It provides a point of connection to an abiding sense of peace and joy, based in the knowledge that you are one with Source.  It represents beauty, spirituality, connection with the Divine Source and existence in God.  This level bestows the right ‘to know.’  It gives the responsibility of self-knowledge and requires that you align your will with your divine guidance and inspiration.  It spins clockwise in some people, counterclockwise in others.

Usually, all the chakras are operating together, though some may function more or less optimally than others.  When they are weak or out of alignment, you will commonly experience physical and emotional symptoms.  Chakra Development diminishes these irregularities.  It promotes health and balance throughout the Chakra System.  You will notice some benefits: increased power and stamina in your mind and body, heart and soul; more energy reserves for the activities and challenges of everyday life; less reaction to stress; less fatigue; and an overall sense of well-being.

If you are interested in learning how to activate your Chakras, please consider taking a 7-week class or weekend workshop.  You will learn both simple and sophisticated methods to increase the vibrational strength and spin of your Chakras.  These practices remove blockages and cultivate the clear intelligent flow of healthy energy through your entire system.  You will learn about the Crystal Mountain, the Seven Chakras, Eight Directions, and you will experience them first-hand through specially-designed exercises.  Hand-outs are included.