THE CHAKRAS
OF YOGA

Chakras

There are seven Grades of Initiation in the Thelemic Order of the Golden Dawn which correspond with the seven Chakras (Wheels) or Padmas (Lotuses) of Yoga. The symbol of the Thelemic Order of the Golden Dawn is a Gold Cross of Elemental Equilibrium surmounted by a White Triangle of Supernal Light. This symbol represents the Great Work of our Thelemic Order and corresponds with the seven Chakras. The Cross represents the four elemental Chakras of Yoga called Muladhara, Svadhisthana, Manipura, and Anahata; and the Triangle represents the three higher Chakras called Vishuddhi, Ajna and Sahasrara. Muladhara is the Root Chakra, Svadhisthana is the Navel Chakra, Manipura is the Solar Plexus Chakra, Anahata is the Heart Chakra, Vishuddhi is the Throat Chakra, Ajna is the Pineal Chakra, and Sahasrara is the Crown Chakra. These Chakras, and the sevenfold symbol of our Order, correspond with the seven Metals of Alchemy and the seven traditional Planets of Astrology, all of which represent seven Steps to Spiritual Illumination or Enlightenment. Moreover, the sevenfold symbol of our Order represents a Universal Principle called Sulphur, which denotes the Secret Fire of Alchemy. This Secret Fire, which is the First Matter of the Great Work, is the Kundalini or Serpent Power of Yoga.

The Serpent (Kundalini) is a phallic symbol, representing the creative force of reproduction or Sexual Energy. The Kundalini is Sexual Energy–the Libido–also called Shakti (Power) in the Sanskrit tongue. It is our work to awaken the Kundalini, or the Secret Fire, into Spiritual Life, to make it ascend through the vertebral column in the Sushumna (a hollow canal, running through the spinal cord, extending from the base of the spine to the brain), to make it strike upon the Chakras or Lotuses, making them right side up and active in the Subtle Body. Kundalini, when it is awakened, rises through the Sushumna and pierces each petal of the Chakras which then rise up erect, blossoming into full Lotuses. The Kundalini sleeps until it is awakened in the Muladhara Chakra, closing with its mouth the entrance to the Sushumna. When the Kundalini (Shakti) is awakened, by way of proper initiation, She enters the Royal Way in the Central Nadi (Sushumna) to embrace her Lord Shiva above in the Brahmarandhra or Sahasrara, the Crown Chakra. The Sushumna, which is the Middle Pillar of Yoga Philosophy, is the Brahmayartman, or Pathway to Brahman, who is the Yogic equivalent of the Sephira Kether or Crown of the Middle Pillar, the Qabalistic symbol of the Yechidah or True Self.

The first Chakra, called the Muladhara (Root Support), is located at the base of the spine, between the anus and genitalia. It contains the Mystic Energy of the Shakti or Kundalini (Serpent Force). The Kundalini is coiled three and a half times around a central Lingam–the Shiva Lingam–a phallic energy source that is contained in the Muladhara Chakra. The Kundalini is asleep and inactive until this Chakra is energized and opened through the work of initiation. The Muladhara Chakra (Lotus of 4 Petals) corresponds with the Planet Saturn, the Element of Earth (Prithivi Tattwa), Alchemical Lead, and the Atu of Thoth called “The Universe.” Its special symbol is the Square; its Hindu Deity (God) is Brahma; its Shakti (Goddess) is Dakini or Savitri; and its Bija (Seed or Root Letter) is LAM.  In the initiation system of the Thelemic Order of the Golden Dawn, the Muladhara Chakra pertains to the Grade of Zelator (also called the Magician).

The second Chakra is called Svadhisthana (One’s own Place), and is located on the spine directly behind the area about one inch below the navel. The Svadhisthana Chakra (Lotus of 6 Petals) corresponds with the Planet Mars, the Element of Water (Apas Tattwa), Alchemical Iron, and the Atu of Thoth called “The Tower.” Its special symbol is the Crescent Moon; its Hindu Deity is Vishnu (Hari); its Shakti is Rakini; and its Bija is VAM. In the initiation system of the Thelemic Order of the Golden Dawn, the Svadhistthana Chakra pertains to the Grade of Adeptus Major (Master Magician).

The third Chakra is called Manipura (Jewel City), and is located on the spine at the height of the solar plexus. The Manipura Chakra (Lotus of 10 Petals) corresponds with the Planet Jupiter, the Element of Fire (Tejas or Agni Tattwa), Alchemical Tin, and the Atu of Thoth called “Fortune.” Its special symbol is the Triangle; its Hindu Deity is Rudra; its Shakti is Lakini; and its Bija is RAM. In the initiation system of the Thelemic Order of the Golden Dawn, the Manipura Chakra pertains to the Grade of Adeptus Exemptus (Perfect Magician).

The fourth Chakra is called Anahata (Unstruck Sound), and is located on the spine at the height of the heart. The Anahata Chakra (Lotus of 12 Petals) corresponds with the Sun (or the Planet Mercury), the Element of Air (Vayu Tattwa), Alchemical Gold (or Mercury), and the Atu of Thoth called “The Sun.” Its special symbol is the Circle or Hexagon; its Hindu Deity is Isha; its Shakti is Kakini; and its Bija is YAM. In the initiation system of the Thelemic Order of the Golden Dawn, the Anahata Chakra pertains to the Grade of Adeptus Minor (Adept Magician).

The fifth Chakra is called Visuddha or Vishuddhi (Purity), and is located on the spine at the height of the throat. The Vishuddhi Chakra (Lotus of 16 Petals) corresponds with the Planet Venus, the Element of Spirit (Akasha Tattwa), Alchemical Copper, and the Atu of Thoth called “The Empress.” Its special symbol is the Egg; its Hindu Deity is Sada-Shiva; its Shakti is Shakini; and its Bija is HAM. In the initiation system of the Thelemic Order of the Golden Dawn, Vishuddhi pertains to the Grade of the Magister Templi, who is the Master of the Law of Sorrow (Dukkha) and of the Mystery of Joy (Ananda).

The sixth Chakra is called Ajna (Command Center), and is located behind the area between the eyebrows, in the pineal center of the brain. This is the Third Eye. The Ajna Chakra (Lotus of 2 Petals) corresponds with the Moon, the Element of Mind (Manas Tattwa), Alchemical Silver, and the Atu of Thoth called “The Priestess.” Its special symbol is the Eye; its Hindu Deity is Parama-Shiva; its Shakti is Hakini; and its Bija is OM (Pranava). In the initiation system of the Thelemic Order of the Golden Dawn, the Ajna Chakra pertains to the Grade of the Magus, who is the Master of the Law of Change (Anicca).

The seventh Chakra is the Sahasrara (Thousandfold), it is symbolically located above the head and represents, among many others things, the continuation of the Force of Kundalini beyond that of the physical being. This is the mystical sphere of Cosmic Consciousness, the Invisible Throne of Enlightenment, and the Ultimate Place of Union between Shiva and Shakti. It is the supreme dwelling-place of Shiva, “whiter than the full moon”. In this highest Chakra there exists a great Triangle of Mystery, in the center of which there is a great Void (Shunya), the Eternal and Formless Nature of All. The Sahasrara Chakra, the Lotus of 1,000 Petals (or more correctly 1,001 Petals), corresponds with the Planet Mercury (or the Sun), Alchemical Mercury (or Gold), and the Atu of Thoth called “The Magus.” Its special symbol is the Crown; its Hindu Deity is Parabrahma. The fifty letters of the Sanskrit alphabet, from A to La, go round and round, twenty times, the thousand petals of the Sahasrara Chakra. The Sahasrara is not really a Chakra or Lotus; it is rather a metaphorical center of the Infinite. In the initiation system of the Thelemic Order of the Golden Dawn, the Sahasrara Chakra pertains to the Grade of the Ipsissimus, who is the Master of the Law of Unsubstantiality (Anatta), which concerns the Mystery of Selflessness, called also the Mystery of Pan (Mystery of All).

By David Cherubim.
Copyright © 2000 e.v.
All rights reserved.

David Cherubim

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