Exploring Chakra Symbols and Meanings

Energy is flowing through your body, but how do you ensure that it is flowing down the right path and is benefitting you at the end of the day?

Did you know that as humans, we also foster energy in our bodies?

We have energy centers that connect us to ourselves and the cosmos, otherwise known as the universe. 

These centers are known as chakras, and in this article, we will explore the seven chakras, the chakra symbols, and what they mean.

What is a Chakra?

The word chakra first originated in India between 1500 and 500 BC and is a part of the Tantrik Traditions. This Sanskrit word’s literal translation means a wheel or a spinning disk; these wheels are considered to be the wheels of energy since our nāḍīs, or in layman’s terms, our channels of energy converge at these points that are located along our spine. 

According to ancient texts, chakras are free-flowing and not stable.

To understand this, let’s imagine that you have been told to sit down, meditate, and visualize a particular symbol significant to what you are trying to achieve in a specific part of your body with the highest sense of energy. However, when you try to do so, you may not find this point in one particular place or a place that you might have been told you would encounter this energy.

These energy points might largely vary from person to person.

When the energy centers themselves are not stable and are constantly flowing, then who is to say that we may not have over 100 centers in one body?!

However, with the modernization and the various interpretations of these ancient Sanskrit texts, we have concluded that our body has only seven chakras. Now whether this is true or not is a mystery best left unsolved, for we would have to decipher thousands of pages from various books to find substantial evidence.

Now, these seven chakras,

  • The Root Chakra (Muladhara Chakra)
  • The Sacral Chakra (Svadhisthana Chakra)
  • The Solar Plexus Chakra (Manipura Chakra)
  • The Heart Chakra (Anahata Chakra)
  • The Throat Chakra (Vishuddha Chakra)
  • The Third Eye Chakra (Ajna Chakra)
  • The Crown Chakra (Sahasrara Chakra)

are represented by certain symbols, colors, animals, etc. This is ideal for the ease of understanding and to make explaining the chakras easier, but these symbols can also mean various things and be associated with different entities.

You will often come across these symbols in your yoga classes, your guided meditation practices, or at times even your reiki practices.

Before getting into the symbols of each chakra, let’s first take a look at general symbols and shapes that are often associated with chakras and try to understand what they each mean.

Key Chakra Symbols

The symbols associated with the chakras, also known as the core chakra symbols, are ideally classified into ten groups.

1. Triangle

The triangle is often found in various spiritual figures. An upturned triangle reflects the flourishing awareness that leads to enlightenment. The downward triangle represents the soul that is in touch with the matter beneath it, a soul that is grounded and one with its surroundings.

2. Circle

The circle that is often used in connection with the lotus flower is symbolic of the circle of birth, death, and rebirth.

3. Hexagram 

The hexagram is two triangles that are overlaid and face different directions, one being upturned and the other facing downwards. Since this star-like symbol consists of two triangles, it is considered the “Union of Opposites.” 

This could symbolize the connection between man and God or the union of masculine and feminine energies. The center of this symbol represents the heart of power.

4. Lotus Flower

The lotus flower blooms and flourishes amongst muddy river beds; this is why it symbolizes purity. It also represents spirituality and spiritual development, along with perseverance, harmony, and unlimited potential.

The petals of this flower are representative of psychic channels in our bodies. 

5. Snake

Serpents are known to shed their skin 2-4 times a year; this act of shedding represents rebirth, transformation, and renewal. It is believed that the sacred serpent, once awakened, rises through the body, opening up all the chakras.

6. Colors

Each chakra is represented by the colors of the rainbow; violet or white, indigo, blue, green, yellow, orange, and red. These colors indicate the current emotional, spiritual and physical state of the individual.

7. Animals

The animals that represent the chakras indicate the evolutionary steps and obstacles that the individual goes through in various stages of life.

8. Goddesses

Each of the seven chakras is associated with a goddess. These goddesses are representative of “Devi Shaktis” that help control and keep in check our desires, emotions, mindset, knowledge, and prosperity.

9. Godly Energy

Since each chakra is associated with a God, their energies can help guide us through divine experiences that first start through our sensory perceptions and later advance to our intuition.

10 Stars and Planets

Stars, also known as Nakshatras, and planets change positions throughout our lifetime. Each chakra is linked to a specific position of these heavenly bodies.

Did you know that since chakras are centers of energy, they can resonate with certain objects like crystals? These crystals for motivation and crystals for self-love are all related to chakras. If that is something that interests you, hop on to our article on crystals and their healing properties!

Now back to chakra symbols!

What about them, and what do they mean?

What are the Chakra Symbols?

Chakra symbols represent the cosmic geometry of the universe. Connecting with these symbols helps us align our inner world with the outer cosmos. 

Aligning our body with the universe will bring an inflow of life force energy, also known as the kundalini energy. When this energy flows through your body, awakening all the chakras, you reach a level of pure consciousness.

Now that we know the importance of these symbols, let’s look at the seven major chakra symbols in our body and their significance in our lives.

1. The Root Chakra (Muladhara Chakra)

The word Muladhara, from the Sanskrit language, means the “Root of Existence.” Mula means root, and Dhara means flux.

This chakra is represented by the color red and has three significant symbols, the four-petalled lotus, the square, and the inverted triangle.

The four petals symbolize the four aspects of consciousness; Manas – mind, Ahamkara – ego, Chitta – consciousness, and Buddhi – intellect.

The square represents the foundational life energy, stability, and rigidity.

The inverted triangle is a reminder of the grounding energy and represents the elemental symbol of earth.

The root chakra signifies the birth of consciousness and is the perfect foundation or stable structure for the adjoining chakras to rest upon.

2. The Sacral Chakra (Svadhisthana Chakra)

The word Svadhisthana means “where your being is established.” Sva means self, and adhisthana means established.

This chakra is represented by the color orange and has three significant symbols, the six-petalled lotus, the circles, and the crescent moon.

The six petals represent the six qualities one must overcome to attain purity. The qualities being — anger, jealousy, hatred, cruelty, pride, and desire.

The circles represent the cyclic nature of birth, death, and rebirth.

The crescent moon symbolizes the cycle of chaos, never-ending change, and constant movement.

The sacral chakra is associated with the element of water and represents the fluidity and constant movement we require in our lives. It is considered our body’s creative and sexual energy center and houses our emotions, passions, and pleasures.

3. The Solar Plexus Chakra (Manipura Chakra)

The Sanskrit word Manipura translates to “city of jewels” or “resplendent or lustrous gem.”

This chakra is represented by the color yellow and has two significant symbols, the ten-petalled lotus, and the inverted triangle.

The ten-petalled lotus is representative of the ten pranas that reside in us. Pranas are energy currents and vibrations.

The inverted triangle represents the energy of the chakras below the solar plexus chakra that rises towards the adjacent chakras. It also is a reminder to stay grounded.

The solar plexus chakra is associated with the element of fire and is representative of energy, commitment, and determination. This chakra is said to be our source of individual power and self-esteem.

4. The Heart Chakra (Anahata Chakra)

Anahata in Sanskrit translates to “unhurt” or “unstruck.”

This chakra is represented by the colors green and pink and has two significant symbols, the twelve-petalled lotus, and the hexagram.

The twelve-petalled lotus is significant of the qualities associated with the heart — peace, love, harmony, bliss, understanding, purity, empathy, compassion, unity, kindness, forgiveness, and clarity.

The hexagram is significant of the masculine and feminine energies that we carry, also known as the yin and yang.

The heart chakra is associated with the air element and represents the quality of love, relation, connection, and compassion. It helps us awaken our spiritual awareness, forgiveness, and service.

It is a unique chakra since it connects the energies of your lower three chakras with your upper three chakras.

5. The Throat Chakra (Vishuddha Chakra)

In Sanskrit, the word Vishuddha means “especially pure” or the “purest.”

This chakra is represented by the color blue and has three significant symbols, the sixteen-petalled lotus, the inverted triangle, and the circle.

The sixteen-petalled chakra is representative of the sixteen vowels in the Sanskrit language. The ease in pronunciation of these vowels signifies the airy quality of communication, one of the properties of this chakra.

The inverted triangle is symbolic of the energy channel directed to the ground, consciousness, and soul. It is a direct expression of our highest self.

The circle in the throat chakra symbol lies within the triangle and is perceived as the full moon. It is symbolic of a pure mind.

The throat chakra is associated with the element ether and houses our ability to communicate and speak freely. It helps us express and communicate our inner truths. 

Unlike the four chakras below the throat chakra that manifest themselves physically, this chakra is the first of the three spiritual chakras; they speak and heal our inner and higher selves spiritually.

6. The Third Eye Chakra (Ajna Chakra)

The word Ajna in the Sanskrit language has quite a few translations, but the most popular being “command” or “authority.”

This chakra is represented by the color indigo and has two significant symbols, the two-petalled lotus, and the inverted triangle.

The two-petalled lotus symbolizes the sense of duality between yourself and a higher being, or God.

The inverted triangle symbolizes the knowledge and lessons of the lower chakras, your connection to the divine, and your path to true enlightenment.

The third eye chakra is associated with the element of light and is our seat of intuition. It represents wisdom, the center of gravity, and the awakening of your pineal gland. This chakra serves as the bridge between the outside world and your inner self; it holds you responsible for actions that might affect you and the world outside.

7. The Crown Chakra (Sahasrara Chakra)

The word Sahasrara, in the Sanskrit language, means “thousand-petalled.” It can also mean “infinite.”

This chakra is represented by the color violet and has two significant symbols, the thousand-petalled lotus, and the circle.

The thousand-petalled lotus symbolizes your connection with the universe or the divine. The lotus flower represents the prosperity and eternity of these integral connections.

The circle represents the full moon and symbolizes the openness and awakening of your conscious mind.

The crown chakra is associated with space and represents the qualities of self-transcendence, oneness, and the merging of the energies of the infinite sources of creation. It is also the center of enlightenment and can help awaken your pure consciousness that is undivided and expansive.

How to Use and Activate Chakra Symbols?

Chakras often get blocked due to the energies you’re surrounded with or if you happen to be going through emotional upheavals. A blocked chakra can lead to an imbalance in your physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual well-being.

If you feel as though your chakras are blocked or might need some cleansing, you can always get in touch with a yoga guru or a healer who will help you align your chakras and create a clear and pure channel for your energies to flow. Using these chakra symbols for your practice also proves to be beneficial.

You can also use crystals or wear colors representing the blocked chakra to help awaken and activate it.

Wrapping Up

Chakras are the energy centers of our body and are represented by a combination of symbols. 

When used to their fullest potential, these symbols hold different meanings and can yield positive changes for your overall well-being.

There are seven different chakras in our bodies, and they all have different roles to play. These chakras are not only represented by symbols but are also represented by various elements and colors.

Understanding your chakras and how to heal yourself with their help can essentially help you realize your highest self.

Does the idea of being one with the universe intrigue you?

Let us know your take on this topic in the comments below!

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