“It’s our tendency to think of ourselves as closed, isolated units instead of acknowledging that we’re part of a greater whole. Research into biofields and subtle energy bodies shows that we’re interconnected. Quantum physics is revealing that particles interact even if they’re light years apart. We don’t stop at the skin—and neither do our chakras.”
– Cyndi Dale
I’m excited to extend my chakra meditation series here by offering ways to work with a 12-chakra system. In this first article of the series, I will introduce this system as a whole, including a guided meditation that cycles through all 12 chakras. In subsequent months I will focus on one chakra each month, beginning with chakra 8 and completing with 12, augmenting the meditations already posted for chakras 1 through 7 (which are linked to below.)
In the West, the seven-chakra system has become the most well known, and many people are not aware that there are in fact multiple chakra systems, ranging in numbers and locations. These chakra systems from around the world are remarkably similar – considering the different traditions in which they developed – with all of them essentially subsets or extensions of each other. Some of these mappings – such as the one I’m using here – include out-of-body chakras, and many divide the chakras into primary and secondary centers.
It’s easy to get distracted by all this discrepancy, and become uncertain about which system to utilize. To cut through this, it’s helpful to remember that chakra systems are maps for helping our conscious, sensory-based mind connect with super-conscious, non-physical energies. Chakra maps provide landmarks or ‘hooks’ for our mind to grasp, when we are navigating through the morass of energies we are confronted with every day.
Different maps serve different purposes. For the state of California, we may have a roadmap, a hiking map, a horse trail map, and a geological map. None of these are California itself, but each will help us navigate. Which map we should use depends on what we want to do in California. The same is true for energy anatomy mappings. Which map to use really depends on what we want to do, and how we want to connect with the universe.
I first encountered the 12 chakra system I will introduce in this series through the work of Cyndi Dale, whose excellent books Advanced Chakra Healing and The Subtle Body describe this system in detail (and the latter also outlines several other chakra systems.) This system resonated deeply with my own experience, and I continued my own explorations of it through meditation. It has now become a staple of my own chakra meditations and those I teach.
The beautiful thing about working with this system is that it creates such a sense of connection between all levels of my being – physical, emotional, mental, spiritual, and esoteric. As you work with this system yourself, I suspect you will discover a wonderful expansiveness and fluidity between all of the different levels of your being.
At the same time, distinguishing between the energies represented by each of these chakras has helped me to fine tune my energetic awareness. You may find yourself nodding (as I did) when you learn more about the out-of-body chakras in particular, because you recognize the energies being described but had not yet formulated these intuitions into words. This is the real value of moving beyond the 7 chakras – we are able to bring more of our subtle experiences into our conscious mind.
Since I have covered chakras 1 through 7 already, and will be doing the same with chakras 8 through 12 in future months, below I have only provided a very brief overview of the full system. I have linked to the existing articles and meditations for chakras 1 through 7 (although you do not have to have done those meditations to work with this one.) For each chakra, I’ve listed the physical focal point, the color I like to use when meditating, and a couple of ‘key words’ you can use to help your mind connect with the associated energies. [EDIT- upon completion of the series I’ve added links to the individual articles and meditations for chakras 8-12 as well.]
1st /Root Chakra: Tailbone, Red – Grounded, Supported
2nd/Sacral Chakra: Pelvic Bowl, Orange – Fluid, Adaptable
3rd/Navel Chakra: Just below navel, Yellow – Strong, Centered
4th/Heart Chakra: Breastbone, Green – Open, Compassionate
5th/Throat Chakra: Vocal Cords, Blue – Authentic, Expressive
6th/Third Eye Chakra:Midpoint Just Above Eyebrows, Purple – Insightful, Still
7th/Crown Chakra: Top, Back Part of Head, Indigo – Blissful, United
8th Chakra: 6 Inches Above Head, Silver – Timeless, Connected
9th Chakra: Arms Length Above Head, Gold – Purposeful, Receptive
10th Chakra: In Earth Beneath Feet, Brown/Amber – Rooted, Natural
11th Chakra: Palms of Hands/Soles of Feet, Pink – Energized, Active
12th Chakra: Full Body/Being, White/Clear Light – Doorway, Light
The guided meditation below will help you begin to connect with all 12 of these chakras, and to circulate energy between them. It includes 3 rotations through these chakras, the first with hands, colors, and word cues to help you connect, and the final two more quickly without the word cues.
One of the wonderful aspects about circulating through these 12 chakras is that we move out of the body when focusing on the 8th, 9th, and 10th chakras, and then back into the body on the 11th and 12th, which truly creates this sense of connection between the physical and non-physical. I hope you enjoy it, and I look forward to sharing more about chakras 8 through 12 in future articles!
Meditation: 12 Chakra Cycling Meditation (16 minutes)