How to Use a Body Layout on the Chakras

1chakra02

Hello, everyone!

Our workshop this past weekend on body layouts was very popular.  For those of you unable to make it, here is a summary of the basics: how to use a body layout on the chakras.

Sarva mangalam (Sanskrit, “May all be blessed”),

Christopher

What are the chakras?

The subtle body is believed to mirror our physical body and consciousness, support our health, and represent our spiritual development.  Models come from many different spiritual traditions and often disagree, even within the same religion.  The version most popular in the metaphysical community today is derived from Hinduism.  The first documentation for this shat chakra model (Sanskrit, sat chakra, “six chakras [energy centers]”) comes from the 11th century.  Although named after six, it actually describes seven energy points called chakras (Sanskrit, cakra, “wheel, circle, turning”), produced where lines of moving energy called nadi (Sanskrit, nḍi, “flow, river, conduit”) cross at locations across the body.  The chakra above the head was thought to be so different, representing the Divine, that it was not included in the count.

Why place stones on the chakras?

Disturbances in the energy body are said to correspond to imbalance in the physical, mental, and emotional bodies, interpersonal relationships, and obstacles in the outer world.  Energy work is believed to restore balance by removing stagnant dense energies, replacing them with fresh refined energy, restoring proper movement, reintegrating parts of the system to the whole, and spiritually sealing the work for longevity over time.

Energy is also thought to flow through stones, when they are used intentionally.  When placed on, around, or under the body, like beneath a massage table, bed, or yoga mat, their energy field is said to entrain the energy body.  The most popular method for the laying on of stones is using a stone on each of the major chakras.  The stones are spiritually activated through prayer, connecting to universal energies around us, or working with a particular healing modality like Reiki.

Although located along the spine and skull, each chakra traditionally has a trigger point on the front of the body, known as a kshetra/kshetram (Sanskrit, ksetra, “field, place, sacred site”) in the original Hindu model.  The term originally referred to the boundary of a sacred space, defining its sphere of influence, like the aura of a temple.  Therefore stones may be placed at the chakra positions on the back or at their equivalent positions on the front of the body.

What are the colors of the chakras?

Although the position of the chakras has been fairly consistent over time, other elements have radically changed, like their symbolic correspondences, directionality, and color.  Most models today adapt a rainbow color scheme introduced by Christopher Hills in the 1970’s:

1chakra03

(Example of a chakra set with 3 root, 2 heart, and 2 crown chakra compliments used in the workshop.)

Crown Chakra:  Violet
Third Eye:  Indigo
Throat Chakra:  Blue
Heart Chakra:  Green
Third Chakra:  Yellow
Second Chakra:  Orange
Root Chakra:  Red

Over time, additional chakras and colors have become popular.  Clear, white, and golden stones are now associated with the Crown Chakra, or chakras believed to exist above it, pink stones with the Heart Chakra, and opaque, black, and brown stones with the Root Chakra, or chakras believed to exist beneath it.  These other colored stones may be selected or used at additional positions beyond the main chakras.

chakrasetundertable

(A series of mini grids underneath a massage table at the workshop.)

Placing stones near the Root Chakra and Second Chakra may be difficult on yourself or inappropriate on another person.  A set of stones may be used instead.  For example, place a stone between the legs and one on each hip to support the Root Chakra.

Although using stones that represent the contemporary rainbow model are a popular technique for chakra work, it is not the only one.  Stones may also be selected and placed intuitively.

Copyright 2015, Christopher Lee Matthews

5 Steps for Effective Energy Work: Responsible Practices

So, okay… you’re ready to rock and roll and get some good work done.  Perhaps you have something you’d like to accomplish and put into motion, but you’re not entirely sure what kind of logical flow is the most efficient?  Pretty much all energy work follows a similar progression.  I consider these steps a big part of “responsible practices” as you go forward with your energy work.

There are some things you should be doing to make sure you aren’t being inappropriate or somehow missing the point of working within Divine Will.  Just because you CAN do energy work to support the manifestation of some goal you desire, doesn’t mean you always SHOULD.  “Spiritual CYA” features predominantly in the flow of work I do.  Fer shizzle.  I know I’m just a wee bit of a being and I always kick things back to the Divine to edit me.

You can do this kind of work with or without tools.  Everything I can do with a rock or physical tool, I can do without one… so I want to share both the direct action statements that I use, as well as physical tools that I would recommend.  All good.

1) Connect to the Divine/Spiritual Helpers
There are many traditions, cultures, and strategies for connecting to the Divine.  Use whichever way is in alignment with your own belief system.  

Direct Action Statement: “I request to connect to the Divine and appropriate Spiritual Helpers, now please.”

2) Create Sacred & Protected Space
Again, there are a ton of ways to create Sacred Space depending on your particular tradition.  Use what works for you.  I often Call the Directions, which is a bit shamanic, while smudging in the direction that I’m calling.  I usually make a cross within a circle in each direction.  Smudging is the use of ceremonial smoke, such as white sage, palo santo, or some other kind of cleansing herb or incense.

Direct Action Statement: “I ask for love and protection from the North, South, East, West, Above, Below, and Within, now please.”

Alternate Action Statement: “I ask for the creation of Sacred Space, now please.” 

Tool Recommendations:  I’m a firm believer in maintaining solid energetic boundaries, both around myself and my environments.  You know, it’s just a good idea to lock your energetic doors.  All black stones are protective in some way, lodestone has an attract/repel thing going on, stones that call in the Divine help, because Spiritual Helpers being “on task” is probably the best way to create sacred space in the first place.  You can also use smudging items, such as palo santo, white sage, or ceremonial incense like sandalwood, frankincense, or whatever.  My favorite grid for this is the Guardian Angel Shield grid.  Heck, when it comes to spiritual and energetic protection, I say layer up and do several things.  No such thing as too much protection.  Put your back into that shit.  Word.

Guardian Angel Grid

3) Prepare Yourself for Work
Getting yourself in the space to work is always a groovy idea too.  You’ll want to do some kind of cleansing and aligning activity.  Much of the protective steps/tools you use to create sacred space also have cleansing and purifications qualities for you, so additional aligning/centering work within your system becomes quite useful.  The more centered and aligned you are, the easier it is for spiritual energy to move through you without obstruction.

Direct Action Statement: “I request to clear, align, and harmonize my system, now please, and to be prepared in any other way necessary for the work.”

Tool Recommendations:  I really like the Chakra Alignment Whirlwind Grid for doing centering and aligning work.  Again, the individual stones from the grid would be useful too.  Petrified wood is another good option, so is selenite, kyanite, chiastolite, double terminated points, that kind of thing.  You’ll want to work with something that has an aligned structure.  I have been especially impressed with how wonderful ammonites and nautaloids are for chakra and energy system alignment, which is a huge feature in the Chakra Alignment Whirlwind Grid.  Christopher made a believer out of me over  year ago when I began having kundalini misfiring issues, which hurt like a mo’ fo.  I used some combination of ammonites, nautaloids, and sand dollars.  You can check out the following pocket rock sets: Kundilini Rising: Nadi & Meridian Sweep, Chakra Aligning & Protection.

whirlwind Grid

4) State Your Intentions Clearly & Allow for Spiritual Assistance
I am such an advocate of using clarified intention, either by itself or with the use of tools.  I mean a  Big Advocate.  My book, Awake in Angelscape, is essentially a highly structured progression of healing activities that are woven and able to be downloaded through the use of meticulously defined intention sets. When you list your intentions, really put your back into it.  Be redundant if the intention has a nuance you want to address.  Also be sure to allow the Divine to “correct and perfect” your work so that it can be edited.  I call this “Spiritual CYA” (CYA= Cover Your Ass)  You don’t want to be asking for shit that is not within Divine Will, eh?  Since we’re little… just, you know… allow the Divine to tweak your work.

Direct Action Statement:  “I request for the intentions that I have stated to be corrected in perfection, brought within Divine Will, and manifested in the most appropriate way possible with Ease & Grace.  I give permission to the Divine and the appropriate Spiritual Helpers to assist in whatever way to accomplish my  goals.”  (Usually a good idea to say thanks…)

Tool Recommendations:  To create your goals and intention sets, you need mental clarity and guidance, as well as a way to ground and anchor and manifest the gathering energies that show up to support your work.  Clear quartz, citrine, root chakra support stones, blue stones, fluorite, that kind of thing.  I’d say that the Root Chakra Grid, after working with aligning tools, would be good “manifestation” support.

Root Grid

5)  SEAL Your Work!!!! 
That could be it’s own blog article, frankly, the need to seal your work. Seriously, it’s an important an often overlooked step.  You just did a ton of work and if you don’t seal it, it can be unwoven over time, tampered with, or otherwise lose potency.  That isn’t efficient spiritual work if you have to go back and redo things you have already done.  You want to leave the responsibility of the work you do firmly in the hands of the Divine. Below I’m sharing the action statement that I use for all work that I do that I want to, you know… work.  You might want to just cut it down to one word “seal”, but I have never wanted to scale back on the phrase for years, so I figure that there is a reason that I say each word.  Each word is its own intention set, basically. But whatevs.  You can scale down if you want if you feel prompted.

Direct Action Statement: “I request to Bless, Optimize, Stabilize, Amplify, and Seal this work under the Divine.” 

Or “I request to Seal this work under the Divine.”

Yeah, you don’t need tools for that.  You just need to ~remember~ to do it.

Rock on with your fabulous selves. 🙂

Copyright 2014, Stacie Coller and Christopher Lee Matthews
The Metaphysical Department of Enter the Earth
Located in the Land of Sky:  Asheville, North Carolina
“Where Normal is Weird and Weird is Normal.”

 

Land of the Sky: River Cane in Cherokee, NC

cherokee rivercane

A grove of river cane on the Cherokee Indian reservation.  River cane (Arundinaria gigantea) belongs to the only genus of bamboo native to the eastern half of North America.  It was once an essential resource for making baskets, arrows, and structures and a stabilizing element for wetlands and streams.  It is now considered endangered, having lost an estimated 95% of its original habitat.

 

The Metaphysical Properties of Salt (Halite)

Salt is the common name for the mineral halite (NaCl, sodium chloride), a combination of the metal sodium and chloride, an ion related to the gas chlorine.  The name comes from the Greek halos “salt, sea” and the suffix “ite”, derived from the Greek lithos, “stone”  It is pronounced “hay-light”.

The main metaphysical properties of salt are:

* Abundance, manifestation, and anchoring spiritual energies
* Connecting to the ocean, the Moon and its cycles, and grounding spiritual energies into the material plane
* Devotion, spiritual development, and an alchemical return to wholeness
* Hospitality, house warming, and domestic harmony
* Purification, spiritual protection, and releasing unwanted influences
* Insights on life, death, and spiritual rebirth
* Intuition, balancing the emotions, and altered states like dreaming
* Traditionally used for physical well being, vitality, and longevity

The metaphysical properties of salt are derived from a wide range of influences like its functions in the body, cooking, and industry, its association with the ocean and Moon, and its uses cross culturally.

1: Life, Death, and Rebirth: The liquids in the body like blood carry a memory of the ocean.  They have a chemical makeup similar to seawater, although the exact proportion of minerals is different.  Salt reminds us of the origin of life.  Salt is also necessary for life, used by the nerves, digestive system, and for fluid regulation, but too much brings death instead.  For example, conquered enemies may have had their land “salted” in antiquity, salt spread over their soil, to discourage reconstruction because of crop failure.  However this harsher quality of salt may also be harnessed for “beneficial destruction”.  Salt is used to preserve food and clean wounds because it discourages the growth of microorganisms.

Because of its traditional medicinal uses and connection to the origins of life, salt is said to support physical well being, vitality, and longevity.  It also has more metaphorical associations with life and death.  Water often represents spirit.  Because salt dissolves in water but may later precipitate out as new crystals, salt symbolizes both the body and its rebirth, resurrection, and immortality. Similarly salt water is a common tool in the metaphysical community to return people, places, and objects to energetic wholeness.  Just as it dissolves in water but can later recrystallize, salt represents the alchemical process of things being broken down into their individual elements, purified, and returned integrated to the whole.

2: The Ocean, Moon, and the Feminine:  Deposits of rock salt were created by the evaporation of shallow seas millions of years ago.  Because of this literal connection to the ocean and the Moon, the classical ruler of all water, salt is given qualities culturally associated with the “feminine” like balancing the emotions, intuition, and altered states like dreaming.  Because of its age, salt that is mined rather than evaporated from sea water is associated with deeper emotional patterns, like those rooted in our childhood, the past, or past lives.  Rock salt usually contains trace amounts of other minerals, especially gypsum (selenite), another mineral closely associated with the Moon.  Lunar substances like salt and selenite are said to support personal growth, bless the home, and help individuals spiritually harness the cycles of the Moon.

3: The Cube of Earth, Manifestation, and Anchoring Spiritual Energies:  Although it comes from the sea, salt is an ancient symbol of the Earth instead because of the cubic growth of its crystals.  The cube is a symbol of stability, equality, and the material world, often paired with a celestial sphere.  A cube or groups of cubes were often the model for temples, altars, and thrones historically.  It expands the symbolism of the square, representing things like the four directions, to six, because of its six faces.  Six based geometric figures like the hexagram (Star of David) symbolize the union of opposites like male/female, the six directions (East, South, West, North, Above, and Below), and concepts like the six days of Creation in the Bible.  Because of salt’s relationship to the cube, it is associated not only with grounding but manifestation and anchoring spiritual energies into the material world, mirroring cosmology like sacred architecture.

4: Incorruptibility, Purification, and Protection:  Salt represents the Divine and our own spiritual development because of its incorruptibility.  It does not spoil and prevents other things from spoiling.  Because of its preservative qualities and association with holiness, salt is cross culturally used for purification, spiritual protection, and releasing unwanted influences.  Many religions use salt against “spiritual decay” by sprinkling it, creating circles, lines, or piles of it, and adding it to holy water.

5: Abundance, Hospitality, and the Sanctity of the Table:  Like all former luxury goods, salt continues to carry the signature of abundance.  It was once so precious that your proximity to it at meals revealed your social standing.  Nobility were seated “above the salt”, closer to the head of the table.  Cross culturally the sharing of salt, especially the sharing of salt and bread, became a symbol of hospitality, friendship, and mutual respect between guest and host.  Those who had shared salt together should not harm one another.  Salt became associated with peace, domestic harmony, and the sanctity of the shared table.  Many cultures in antiquity, from the Greeks to the Jews, added salt to their offerings. This not only purified them spiritually, it adapted a custom for honored guests to show respect to the Divine.  Salt came to symbolize a renewal of one’s relationship to God.

6: Colored Salts and Specific Chakras: Salt may be colored by trace inclusions of other minerals or deformations of its crystal structure that change the way light passes through it.  Contemporary metaphysical sources associate these colored varieties of salt with the chakras that correspond to them in color.  Because of salt’s association with the ocean and emotions, they are also said to balance feelings attributed to those chakras.  For example, modern sources say pink halite is connected to the heart chakra and balances feelings related to love, self worth, and one on one relationships.

saltcave

This handout was produced for “The Sacred Mysteries of Salt”, a workshop on the metaphysical properties of halite, presented by Stacie Coller and Christopher Lee Matthews of the Metaphysical Department of Enter the Earth and hosted by Jodie Appel of Asheville’s Therapeutic Salt Cave.

Asheville’s Therapeutic Salt Cave is located at 12 Eagle St. l Asheville, NC l 28801.  For more information, please visit www.ashevillesaltcave.com or contact us at 828.236.5999.

Enter the Earth is located at 1 Page Avenue Suite 125 Asheville, NC 28801.  For more information about the Metaphysical Department, please visit www.etemetaphysical.com or contact us at 828.350.9222.

To see our upcoming workshop schedule, check out:

Metaphysical Department Workshop Schedule
WNC Crystal Toting Tree Huggers

©2014, Christopher Lee Matthews, Enter the Earth

 

He Said: My Top Five Stones for Crystal Grids

This blog is part of our “She Said, He Said…” series, where both Stacie and I explore the same topic at the same time.  We write without the input of the other, believing where our opinions overlap and differ can both give their own insight.  My guesses for her choices are at the bottom, along with a link to her blog.  If you are unfamiliar with crystal grids, please check out:

 Crystal Grids and the Seed of Life Templates

Sarva mangalam (Sanskrit, “May all be blessed”),

Christopher

1: Quartz for Efficiency:  Quartz is both readily available and associated with so many metaphysical properties that it is often dismissed as common.  However many of its qualities are especially well suited for gridding like setting intentions, clarity, and balancing the entire chakra system, which supports the inner work that corresponds to the grid’s goals.

Further nothing is believed to direct energy quite as efficiently as quartz.  A point, sphere, and rough chunk each produce a different “feel”.  The most successful grids are those whose energy field corresponds to their intention, determined in part by the shape of its components.  For example, a sense of evenness for peace, sharpness for meditation, density for protection, etc.  Because clusters , ” elestial quartz”, and double terminated quartz, including “Herkimer diamonds”, all have themes of balancing individual parts within larger systems, they may also help all the stones in a grid harmonize.

2: Metal for Conductivity:  Metal is believed to both transmit and retain spiritual charges very effectively, just like it conducts electricity.  Grids may incorporate specimens, minerals rich in a particular metal, or man made products like dishes, metal leaf, or coins.  Jewelry is especially well suited as a center stone and often combines gemstones and metals.  It may then be worn as a talisman, incorporating the energies into your subtle body, or even linked to a running grid as a carry piece.

Individual metals have their own additional metaphysical properties, ultimately derived from their association with different planets: Sun: gold, Moon: silver, Mercury: mercury and all alloys, Venus: copper, Mars: iron, Jupiter: tin, and Saturn: lead.  For example, copper’s connection to abundance, love, and sexuality were all originally traits of Venus.

3: Lodestone for Problem Solving:  Lodestone is the naturally magnetized variety of the mineral magnetite.  Most popular stones in the metaphysical community are beautiful.  Lodestone is heavy, metallic, and gray instead, often covered in iron filings to reveal its magnetism.  Despite its humble appearance, it is incredibly potent.  Lodestone represents both the power of attraction, calling in abundance, love, and business opportunities, and repulsion, pushing away what no longer serves our highest good.  Historically it was given the qualities of Hercules like empowerment, problem solving, and overcoming obstacles.  Lodestone signifies our efforts for change and the root intention of most grids is resolving an issue.

Like most gray to black stones today, lodestone is associated with the Root Chakra, grounding, and manifestation.  Because of its magnetism it is thought to connect to both the electromagnetic and subtle bodies of the Earth.  Therefore lodestone carries the signature of the master grid that all crystal grids invoke, the ley lines and vortices of the planet itself.

4: Garnet for Durability:  Most of garnet’s metaphysical properties derive from the carbuncle, a name used historically for several dark red to reddish black gemstones.  The word comes from the Latin carbunculus, meaning “a little coal”.  People believed the carbuncle glowed like a hot charcoal, symbolizing fidelity, vitality, and spiritual understanding.  Today garnet is still used to “tend the spark of life”, from the passion in a relationship, to physical well being, and the efforts required to meet a goal.

Garnet’s association with staying power makes it a good support for the long term effectiveness of a crystal grid.  Just like individual stones need to be periodically cleansed and reactivated, grids will break down over time.  The addition of garnet may support their longevity.  The name garnet comes from the Latin granatum, “a pomegranate seed”, after the small size of many of its crystals, typically red in color. Garnet has taken on the symbolism of the fruit.  Because its tough rind protects a large number of juicy seeds inside, it represents abundance, productivity, and options on the material plane for something to develop.

5:  Kyanite for Clarity of Intent and Energy: The mineral kyanite is typically light blue.  Its name comes from the Greek kyanos, meaning “blue”.  Because the throat chakra is represented in a similar color, the stone has taken on its qualities in modern stone books.  Kyanite represents clarity of thought, understanding, and communication.  Its bladed shape also suggests the spinal column, associating it with both balancing individual chakras and aligning the entire subtle body.  The most successful grids are those created with clear intentions and maintained energetically for a long time.  Just as kyanite is said to maintain the chakras and nadi (Sanskrit, “current, energy channel”) within the spiritual body, it may strengthen the placement points and geometric lines that serve a similar function within a grid.

I guess that Stacie will choose rose quartz, quartz, salt, ruby, and emerald.  Here is her blog:

She Said: My Top Five Stones for Crystal Grids

Wow.  I was pretty close.  I just chose the materials she goes for first when putting our own grids together.  I would second all of her choices but especially salt, which is so much more versatile than people expect.  To read more about salt, check out my blog:

The Metaphysical Properties of Salt (Halite)

©2014, Christopher Lee Matthews, Enter the Earth

She Said: My Top Five Stones for Crystal Grids

She Said: My Top Five Stones for Crystal Grids

I’ve been wanting to write about the most universally useful stones to have handy for gridding purposes for awhile now.  These are the stones that I could use in almost any grid, regardless of the grids intended purpose.

#1: Rose Quartz:  My absolute number one.  I could add rose quartz to any grid for any reason because it brings the energy of “love” to the table.  There is no intention that isn’t made stronger through the inclusion of love energy.  Love protects, expands, nurtures, guides, connects, and so on.  If you want to set up a grid and have a specific purpose, but don’t know what to select, grab rose quartz first.  In fact, my favorite Reiki grid, a simple 7-stone grid of a single rock energy, would be plain ole rose quartz.  All you need is love.  Word.  Plus, pink is my power color.  Rock on.

#2 All Other Quartz:  The quartz family, in general, is universally helpful.  In fact, we should do an informational blog about which quartz variety is helpful for which issues.  Quartz amplifies intention and can be excellent “technical workers” in a grid to help expand the energy field out further, or to create a tighter vortex at the center.  The more quartz, the better.  Buy them in sets of 6 as often as possible.

#3 Rubies:  I love rubies in a grid.  Rubies are somewhere between red and purple, so they add a grounding element to a grid without canceling out higher vibrational themes.  Rubies also add strength and vitality, momentum, if you will, to the other stones.  They tend to be small, but potent, and can work the “super sneaky” position in a grid well without taking up more prominent positions, which are better to reserve for stones that weave very specific energies to address a need.  I also like them flanking the outside stones in a grid, so a set of 12 is nice too.

#4 Salt:  Salt rocks.  If you are setting up a cleansing or protection oriented grid, it doesn’t get much better than throwing salt into the mix.  Also, no matter what the theme of a grid, salt is a “technical worker”, meaning that it helps the grid to work better or be stronger.  In this case, salt keeps the grid itself running more smoothly and for longer periods of time because it keeps the energy within the grid nice and clear.  The  more clear, the less friction… the less friction, the longer the energy field of a grid remains running.  You can add salt by building a grid on top of salt, like a zen garden, or buy getting chunks that actually take up a layer within the grid itself.  I like all salt, but Himalayan salt is likely the easiest to procure in little chunks.  If I was going to do a serious protection grid, I might use the black Hawaiian salt as the base.

#5 Red Jasper:  I kicked emerald off my top 5 list in lieu of red jasper.  I actually like a particular rock called “Starry Jasper” which is red jasper with hematite and pyrite.  It’s not always easy to find that, however.  Red jasper is strengthening and adds a layer of enhanced integrity to any grid, as well as a grounding element.  However, I can add it to almost any grid because red jasper is good at helping us release what is no longer serving us.  In other words, it helps us to release patterns, perceptions, and energies that hold the vibrations of an unwanted or maladaptive outcome or pattern of behavior.  It’s difficult to bring in something “new” if you are still fighting internal patterns which are not in resonance to what is new.  So, there you have it… red jasper.

My guesses for Christopher’s list: rutilated quartz (special mention), all quartz, meteorite, shungite, copper or some mineral that is colored by copper.  ((I know he kicked my butt on this one.))

Christopher’s List

OK, I clearly got wiped on this one.  I absolutely agree about the lodestone, we can plop that stuff in just about anything.  Garnets, love them, but I think I must resonate to rubies more so.  Kyanite, also love it, but I associate it with cleansing, de-cording, communication, and Archangel Michael related stuff, so things perhaps more specific than a stone I would plop into any intention.