Understanding the Layers of Your Aura & 7 Primary Chakras for True Enlightenment
Updated: Apr 25
Explore your Energetic Anatomy & Energy Centers of Transformation
Many ancient civilizations throughout the world held the belief that the material aspects of the body are subordinate to the energetic aspects of the body, many still hold this belief. Though they may have different names for this vital life force, each of these people believe that disease is a product of an imbalance or blockage in the energy flow of this vital life force rather than the energy blockage being a result of a physical ailment. One of the most popular catchall names today for referring to this subtle energy is the “aura”. Check out What Is an Aura? How To See and Read Auras, and the Top 7 Aura Cleansing and Strengthening Tips.
All you need to do is Google “aura” and down the rabbit-hole you go with various names, layers, terms and wildly different opinions between mainstream science and indigenous knowledge. Have no fear, I’m all about practicality so I’m here to give you a simple snapshot of the “need to knows”. Before we dive in, I want to point out that mainstream science is catching up with new instruments making it possible to detect, measure, and even study this energy field once believed to be purely science fiction.
The aura is similar to what modern electromagnetic field theory of physics has termed the “biofield”, however, leading Biophysicist Dr. Beverley Rubik of the Heart Math Institute states that the biofield is believed to include acoustic and other more subtle energy fields not yet known to modern science:
The important difference between traditional and modern views of the vital force is that the biofield rests on physics principles and can be measured, whereas the traditional concepts remain metaphysical. Nonetheless, considerable similarities exist between ancient concepts of the life force and modern biofield concepts in their assumption that a form of life-giving energy flows throughout the body and that illness arises as a result of blockages, excesses, or irregularities in its flow.
Ready for a crash course on the aura layers and 7 “primary” chakras?
Let’s do this!
7 Layers of the Aura according Brennan’s model
Brennan's model is divided into three Planes: the Physical, Astral (exist between the physical and mental/spiritual world), and Spiritual.
The Physical Plane is composed of the Etheric Body, Emotional Body and Mental Body
Etheric Body = the blueprint for our physical structure and governs protection of life energies.
Emotional Body = governs processing and regulation of feelings and emotions
Mental Body = governs processing ideas and beliefs
The Astral Plane is composed of the Astral Body.
Astral Body = an intermediary between the physical and spiritual body and governs how we interact with others and our energetic environment.
The Spiritual Plane is composed of the Etheric Template, Celestial Body, and Ketheric Body.
Etheric Template = governs guidance for existence (“what’s for your highest and best”)
Celestial Body = interacts with the universal energies
Ketheric Body = connects us with Spirit and the Divine
Personally, I don’t derive much value from differentiating the layers of the aura this way; however, I (and millions of others) do find significant value in working with the chakras.
The 7 Primary Chakras
Chakras, meaning “wheel” in Sanskrit, is a subtle energy center in the body that is intrinsically tied to the body, mind and spirit aspects of a person. They are typically envisioned as circular or funnel-like, and differ in location, function, and even number according to various systems (even within Hinduism). These subtle energy centers pull information from within the body, as well as stimulus from outside of the body to make changes in our mental, emotional, physical and spiritual states of being. This circuitry spreads subtle energy throughout the body and creates a micro universe within the self. The lower in the physical body the chakra, the denser and slower the vibrational frequency, and the higher in the body, the higher the vibrational frequency. They are intrinsically tied to everything that we are and do, and can be worked with as a ladder of enlightenment through the awakening and enhancing of our vital life force. This is represented by the unfoldment of the lotus flowers whose petal number and arrangement represents the physical aspects of the vital life force in the living body. Each Chakra, with the exception of the Crown, has a vibration or “seed sound” at the center of it’s lotus that is the subtle sound of that lotus/chakra. These vibrations when performed correctly and under the right conditions, aid in communication with Universal energy and the unfoldment of the lotus.
Let's dig into the popular concepts and definitions of the 7 “Primary” Chakras!
Root Chakra, First Chakra
MULADHARA, Adhara, Patala
LOCATION: In the physical body, it is at the base of the spine between the anus and genitals. Interestingly, this is where the morula (the first 8 cells of an embryo resides as it develops into a baby, and is considered to be when a soul enters a body according to the Egyptians).
BODILY ASSOCIATION: The skeletal structure that you are built upon, the coccygeal nerve plexus and adrenal glands.
LOTUS: Four blood red petals
RULING GOD/DESS: Brahma, Ganesh & Dakini
RULING ASPECTS: security; food and shelter
The Root Chakra is the first in-body chakra lying at the base of the spine, it forms the physical and psychological foundation of our lives. It helps us persevere, to harness and direct the energy needed to endure and thrive in life. It is where we get the need to “ground” or tap into the universal energy of being rooted in a solid foundation like a tree’s roots anchor it to the earth. This chakra regulates our primal needs and (food, shelter, security, safety) and physical existence which is why it is so closely related to our physical survival. This is our survive or thrive mechanism. Needing support in this area? Check out Grounding.
Sacral Chakra, Second Chakra
LOCATION: In the physical body, it is in the lower abdomen between the navel and genitals.
BODILY ASSOCIATION: Sexual organs, uterus, urinary tract system, prostate, sacral nerve plexus.
COLOR: Orange Red
LOTUS: Six bright red petals
RULING GOD/DESS: Vishnu & Rakini Shakti
RULING ASPECTS: Procreation, family, creativity
The Sacral Chakra is the instinctual development of the personality, the expansion of our individuality, how our psyche expresses itself and how we co-mingle with others during this evolution. This is a creative process where our desires, passions, and dreams are also in a constant state of development and evolution. Where we are asked if we will live and share our authentic self and passions.
Solar Chakra, Third Chakra
LOCATION: Between the navel and the base of the sternum (roughly two finger widths above the navel).
BODILY ASSOCIATION: Digestive system, immune system, nervous system (debated), solar plexus based nerve plexus.
LOTUS: Ten blue petals
RULING GOD/DESS: Rudra & Lakini Shakti
RULING ASPECTS: Personality/Ego and form
The Solar Chakra is our ability to internalize and process our mental, emotional and physical experiences. It allows us to break it down, organize it, understand it and then decide what needs to stay, go, or be transformed for strength, courage, and support while moving in the world. It is both constructive and destructive, the center of our personal power and will. This is where we are able to harness, direct, and create our future to live our purpose rather than our past.
Heart Chakra, Fourth Chakra
ANAHATA; Hritpankaja, Dvandashadala
LOCATION: The heart, the center of the chest
BODILY ASSOCIATION: Cardiac nerve plexus, respiratory and cardiac systems, thymus gland
LOTUS: Twelve deep red petals
RULING GOD/DESS: Isvara & Kakini Shakti
RULING ASPECT: Balance of the three chakras above and below; love and relationships
The Heart Chakra is where we navigate ourselves and our world beyond physical matters (“matters of the heart”), and it is through this center that we can experience true love, acceptance, and compassion for ourselves and others. It is our mystical approach to Divine or higher-love in its purest form; the heartbeat and rhythm of the Universe.
Throat Chakra, Fifth Chakra
BODILY ASSOCIATION: Laryngeal nerve plexus, vocal cords, mouth, throat, ears, thyroid and parathyroid glands
LOTUS: Sixteen smoky purple petals
RULING GOD/DESS: Ardhanarishvara & Sakini Shakti
RULING ASPECTS: Communication and Self Expression
The Throat Chakra is our center for communicating our truth to the world, to give our inner heart a voice. In this space of pure truth, it allows us to be open to psychic communication from our Holy Guardian Angel, Guides, and the Universe/Divine; this often by way of our dreams. As the last chakra that processes the physical elements, it is where we prepare to ascend the ladder of enlightenment and shift our awareness and focus to that of spirituality and the awakening of Divinity in the consciousness . This is where we ask ourselves what needs to be said in order to proceed in whole hearted truthfulness.
Third Eye Chakra, Sixth Chakra
AJNA; Bhru Madhya, Dvidala Padma
LOCATION: Above and between the eyebrows
BODILY ASSOCIATION: Medulla plexus, pituitary gland, eyes
LOTUS: Two petals
RULING GOD: Shiva & Hakini Shakti
RULING ASPECTS: Perception and self-awareness
The Third Eye is where we see the dissipation of duality, where there is no “right” or “wrong”, “good” or “bad”, you or me, black or white. Rather everything is recognized as a reflection of the One. It is here where we find unity within ourselves and everything that ever was and ever will be; the opportunity to see the tiniest speck of dust to the milky way itself as something sacred and integral for the continuation of existence. When we look through this singular lens, we see things more clearly with a higher awareness that allows us to utilize our concentration, determination, and meditative practices to control our drives, desires and compulsions; where self-actualization occurs.
Crown Chakra, 7th Chakra
SAHASRARA, Bhru Madhya, Dvidala Padma
LOCATION: Top of head
BODILY ASSOCIATION: Cerebral cortex, pineal gland
VIBRATION: Visarga (a particular breathing sound in the pronunciation of Sanskrit)
LOTUS: 1,000 petals in rainbow colors
RULING GOD: Shiva & Shakti
RULING ASPECTS: Spirituality and the awakening of Divinity in the consciousness
The Crown Chakra, is the fusion of the masculine and the feminine for the transcendence of the individual aspects of the self and the world into the essence of the One. Where a soul becomes free from the senses, the breath, and everything that is mundane. It is the purest and highest state of consciousness where we are free from the wheel of physical existence in a material world. This chakra is considered beyond comprehension and symbolic representation, and is NOT a bodily chakra; it lies atop of the head rather than in the top of the head.
It is important to note that we tend to draw energy from one or more chakras more so than others at any given time depending on our mental, emotional, physical and spiritual states of being. Most importantly, please understand that the ascension of the ladder of enlightenment or the raising of our vital life force is a process, it does not happen in a single day and some would even reasonably argue that it takes a lifetime to achieve.
DISCLAIMER: Chakras, or at least the idea of chakras that comes to mind for most of us, came from India over four thousand years ago through ancient Sanskrit texts, the Tantras. While the concept of chakras became a fascinating topic that has spread rapidly through the west over the last couple of centuries, particularly during the Spiritual movement at the turn of the 20th century, they have unfortunately lost a lot of their true essence. Not only was a lot of this ancient knowledge lost in translation from Sanskrit to English and a product of Western occult lens rather than yogic philosophy, what the West knows of chakras NOW is in large part a product of oversimplifications, mass publications and a quick buck by those trying to feed you a pill not a practice. The 7 Chakra System that so many Western yogis follow (listed above) was actually written in a treaty (not scripture) by Pūrṇānanda Yati in 1577 and translated into English by John Woodroffe (Arthur Avalon) in 1918 (Shakti and Shâkta). According to Sanskrit scholars, in the original teachings on the chakras, it was through the vibrations of the mantras, the visualization of the lotuses, and most importantly the connection with the Hindu deities that made the yogic practice of value (I chose not to discuss the Hindu deities out of respect). All of the other various pieces that we associate with chakras (uh huh, all that stuff I listed above), including the colors and psychological states, are modern constructs of which most (if not all) are from the West.
So then is what you just spoke of above useless? Absolutely not!
What you need to understand about working with your chakras is that it is a practice, meaning that it requires conscientious repeated effort. It is not as simple as saying “do XYZ to clear the root chakra”. Working with the chakras is a prescriptive process in which we employ a variety of mystical methods to alter the energy centers, it is NOT a list of items to buy or a quick fix pill. The key here is change in our psychological state in order to impact our physical reality which in turn feeds the circuit and microverse within. Chakras, just like anything else of spiritual or esoteric value, have evolved over time as minds have opened and new information has been received. This evolution has allowed it to be introduced to those that would not have otherwise had access, and to be understood by those that are able to understand it in their frame of reference and make it of value to them and their personal development. As one of my master teachers says in quoting Dion Fortune, “a practice that does not evolve, dies.”
So how do I know if a chakra is blocked and how to work with my chakras? Checkout How To Use a Pendulum for Accessing Your Subconscious Mind.
What causes blockages or stagnant energy in my aura? Checkout Energetic Awareness and Hygiene for Mindful Living.
This blog post is post 2 of a series covering the parts of the energy body (aura), various ways to work with it for optimal mind, body and spirit health, and using it to better connect to Universal energy and awareness. Subscribe and you’ll be the first to know when the next blog posts drop.
Looking for something more specific to you and your unique aura and chakra health and needs?
I offer Custom Healing Crystal Consults for this very thing! Checkout this 30 day plan where I walk you through day-by-day what crystals to use, how to use them, and additional modalities to incorporate for maximum impact on your auric health and chakras HERE.
In the meantime, here are some great resources for digging into the chakras!
© Brandy Rachelle
Uncredited images from my personal collection or stock images