Chakras and Astrology

Chakras and Astrology

(religion, spiritualism, and occult)

The chakras are the seven main energy centers located from the base of the spine to the crown of the head. First described by the Hindu yogis thousands of years ago, the chakra model for understanding human consciousness has survived the test of time and cultural changes. Chakra is the Sanskrit word for “wheel,” and each of these seven chakras is said to be a spinning wheel, creating a vortex of subtle life energy. The universal life energy is received by the chakras, transformed, and then distributed to the various levels of human activity associated with each chakra.

The chakras fall into two main categories: personal or lower chakras (1–3) and universal or upper chakras (4–7). There are many yogic practices and meditations for balancing the lower chakras and then raising one’s consciousness to the refined energy of the upper, universal chakras.

The basic associations of each of the chakras are as follows: First Chakra, located at the base of the spine—survival and security. Second Chakra, located just above the pubic bone—pleasure and sexuality. Third Chakra, located at the solar plexus—personal power. Fourth Chakra, the heart region—love. Fifth Chakra, at the throat—creative expression. Sixth Chakra, the third-eye at the brow—intuition and inspiration. Seventh Chakra, crown of the head—divine realization.

Astrology and the chakras are two of the most profound and longstanding models for understanding the human experience. It is natural that researchers would seek the correlations between these two systems and much thought has been put forth in this direction. The difficulty of direct correlation stems from the fact that the number of chakras (7) does not readily transpose to the number of planets (ten) or signs (twelve).

C. W. Leadbeater, in his classic book The Chakras, cites the seventeenth-century German mystic Gichtel for planetary correspondences. Just using the seven visible planets seems natural for correspondences to the seven chakras. Gichtel’s system of correspondences, which are used by Leadbeater, are as follows: First Chakra—The Moon; Second—Mercury; Third—Venus; Fourth—The Sun; Fifth—Mars; Sixth—Jupiter; and Seventh—Saturn. Although a tidy arrangement in terms of number, this system falls short. For example, Venus, the planet of pleasure, is given to Third Chakra of power; and even more unsettling, Saturn, the planet associated with limitation, is given to the seventh chakra of divine rapport beyond limitation.

Ray Grasse, author of The Waking Dream, presents a thorough and comprehensive model of planets and signs for each of the chakras. His correspondences are as follows: First—Saturn and its signs Capricorn and Aquarius; Second—Jupiter, with Sagittarius and Pisces; Third—Mars, with Aries and Scorpio; Fourth—Venus, with Taurus and Libra; Fifth—Mercury, with Gemini and Virgo; Sixth—Moon and Sun together with Cancer and Leo; and Seventh—beyond personal, so he does not correlate planets or signs with the crown chakra. Although Grasse’s model is impressive in its scope, again there are unsettling correspondences. In the planetary model, the Sun, Moon, Mercury, Venus, and Mars are considered personal planets; Jupiter and Saturn are known as social planets. Grasse associates the social planets with the personal chakras and the personal planets with the transpersonal chakras. Also awkward is that both Grasse and Leadbeater simply ignore the outer planets of Uranus, Neptune, and Pluto.

David Pond, author of Chakras for Beginners, presents an alternative understanding. The planets represent concentric rings of consciousness expanding outward on a horizontal plane. The chakras represent layers of consciousness arranged on a vertical plane. Instead of the awkwardness and incompleteness of one-to-one correspondences, a vertical plane allows for an understanding of each planet at each chakra level of consciousness.

Using Mercury as an example, this planet relates to the mind—how we think, gather information, make the information useful, and communicate with others. At the first chakra level, Mercury will be consumed by thoughts concerning security. At the second chakra level, Mercury will dwell on desire for pleasure and memories of previous pleasures. At the third chakra level, Mercury will focus on its current ambitions and struggles for success. At the fourth chakra level, Mercury will pull out of its concerns for self and focus on love. At the fifth chakra level, Mercury aligns with the universal mind and will receive “flashes” of insight. At the sixth chakra level, Mercury quiets its activity and observes life from the witness point of consciousness. At the seventh chakra level, Mercury becomes totally intent upon God realization and aware of eternal, spiritual realities.

—David Pond

Sources:

Grasse, Ray. The Waking Dream. Wheaton, IL: Quest Books, 1996.
Leadbeater, C.W. The Chakras. Wheaton, IL: Quest Books, 1927.
Pond, David. Chakras for Beginners. St. Paul, MN: Llewellyn Publications, 1999.