What Are Chakras?
Chakras are energy centers in the body which connect the spiritual and physical bodies. The chakra system comes to us from Hinduism.You can read about it in the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali, among other texts.
Western writers about the chakras include Leadbeater, Sir John Woodruff,and Johari. One of the most accessible and helpful books I have found is The Chakras, by Ruth White.
Seven Main Chakras
The first chakra is situated at the base of the spine; its color is red. It is called the Muladhara Chakra. It isruled by Ganesh, and symbolized by a four-petal lotus. Issues of reproduction, grounding, the physicalbody, elimination are some of the things ruled by the first chakra. Your connection to the earth and tobeing in a body is ruled here.The seed syllable is Lang.
Quieting fragrances:(if you want to be calmer about the material world): cedarwood, patchouli
Stimulating fragrances: musk, hyacinth, lavendar
Gemstones for the First Chakra:
smoky quartz ,garnet, ruby, agate bloodstone, onyx , tiger's eye, rose quartz
The second chakra is located an inch and a half below the belly button. It's color is orange; it is called the Svadhisthana chakra. It is characterised by water, by a circle of white with six lotus petals. It's deity is Vishnu, Lord of Preservation. Johari says of this chakra: "Centering on this chakra enables the mind to reflect the world as the moon reflects the sun. One acqures the ability to use creative and sustaining energy to elevtae himself to refined arts and pure relationships with others, having become free of lust, anger, greed, unsettledness, and jealousy."(Chakras, Energy Centers of Transformation, by Harish Johari, p58) Musk and amber stimulate the second chakra; rosemary and rose geranium quiet it. The seed syllable is Yang.
gemstones: amber, citrine, aventurine, topaz, moonstone, jasper
The third chakra is located at the solar plexus. It's color is yellow. It is called the Manipura Chakra. The seed syllable is Rang; it's element is fire. It's image is a downward pointing triangle in a circle surrounded by ten petals. The ruling deity is Old Shiva, who rules destruction. Meditating on this chakra will improve digestion. It also rules issues of personal power and interpersonal power. You are likely to find issues with your boss, parents, and coworkers in this chakra. It is ruled by the sun, and involves the energy of ego deveopment and identity. Johari says that"A person dominated by the third chakra will strive for personal power and recognition,even to the detriment of family and friends."ibid, p.62) The balance for that is selfless service.
Stimulating fragrances are bergamot and ylang-ylang; quietening fragrances are vetivert and rose.
Gemstones are many and varied.
The fourth chakra is the heart chakra, also called anahata. The bija syllable is yang. Chanting yang 16 times will open your heart. The ruling deity is Ishana Rudra Shiva, who is blue-skinned and holds a trident in one hand, a drum in the other. He wears a tiger skin and the Ganges flows from his locks, representing self-knowlege. The snakes wrapped around his body represent the passions, which he has tamed. The function of the heart is to provide balance between the upper and lower chakras. Desires cease to be a problem; fourth chakra people has a nature of detachment from the world and perpetual happiness.
Color: green; Planet: Venus; Bija vehicle, the deer. Quietening fragrances: sandalwood, rose, Stimulating fragrances: pine, honeysuckle. Crystals: emerald, green calcite, rose quartz, jade, amber, rose and watermelon tourmalines. People with their heart chakras too open spend all their time giving and feel depleted. People with closed down heart chakras don't feel anything and don't let anyone in. A healthy heart chakra keeps some energies out and allows the person to function in a worled where someone is always suffering.
The fifth chakra is located at the throat. It is called the Visuddha chakra; its color is blue. It governs expression as well as hearing and listening. The seed syllable is hang; the deity is Panchavaktra Shiva, or five headed Shiva.The yantra form" is a silver crescent within a white circle shining as a full moon surrounded by sixteen petals. The silver crescent is the lunar symbol of nada, pure cosmic sound...The crescent is symbolic of purity, and purification is a vital aspect of Vishuddha Chakra."Johari, Chakras, p 71 The presence of the moon also indicates that the fifth chakra is very involved with psychic energies, particularly the nonverbal messages from spirit. Meditating on this chakra brings calmness, serenity, purity according to Johari. I would add a freedom of expression and creativity, a freedom from the bondage of the words others would impose on us.