© Copyright 2011 Judy Jennings
The year I had cancer was when I learned about chakras. It was 1983, and it wasn’t until later that I fully realized what a lucky gal I was. My habit of avoiding the doctor meant I hadn’t had a check-up in five years, but one weekend I catered an event at a community health fair. When a friend encouraged me to take advantage of a low-cost exam, I couldn’t think of a reason not to. From that decision, I was spared much suffering. Thank you Bo, wherever you are! A call from the doc the next day left me shocked to learn I had a life-threatening disease, which thankfully we’d caught at the beginning. A month and a minor surgery later, I was good to go, feeling more advised of my own mortality and a lot more understanding about the importance of health insurance.
During that process I picked up a book that claimed the body can rid itself of cancerous cells through meditation. For the purposes of this article, let’s not go into that. More to the point, the book taught me about the seven chakras and associated a color with each one. It also explained how to draw universal vibratory energy into myself and release negative emotions. Twenty-nine years later the bills are paid and the cancer is gone, but the lessons on meditation linger and impact my life daily.
Not surprisingly, noted Tarot authority Paul Case associates the chakras with seven of the major arcana, and he does so in an uncharacteristic shroud of mystery. Referencing the ancient Patanjali’s Yoga Aphorisms, Case writes that meditation on the symbols in the cards related to the chakras can yield the same powerful results found in the Yogic tradition. Behind these symbols, he tells us, are “practical secrets of occultism which cannot be put into words”. Case continues on to say that there are lesser secrets that might be written, but “the first rule of occult teaching is that the pupil should be told almost nothing that he can find out for himself.” Clearly the Tarot/chakra associations are an important clue, which we’re left to figure out.
Here are those associations, which Dr. Case bases on astrological ties:
First chakra, The World, 21.
Second chakra, The Tower, 16
Third chakra, Wheel Of Fortune, 10
Fourth chakra, The Sun, 19
Fifth chakra, The Empress, 3
Sixth chakra, High Priestess, 2
Seventh Chakra, Magician, 1
Naturally, my next stop was a little research. I learned that the Sanskrit word “Chakra” translates to “wheel” or “circle” in English, and that it refers to a continuous flow of power known as “Shakti” in the Hindu religion. But the catch of the day was an engaging video I stumbled across by peterpandoer, in which he discusses the meaning of the chakras and the desires that accompany them. Do yourself a favor and check it out at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DVIYpgV02XY&feature=player_embedded.
Now that I was wielding a little more knowledge on the subject, I decided to look for what would surely be the obvious. Settling into relaxed deep breathing, I gazed on The World and waited for insight. When nothing happened, I tried to provoke it by thinking about the desire of the first chakra, which is for security. Still, the connection eluded me. Contemplation on the next card resulted in more of the same. How does the ceaseless transformation of The Tower express the desire for pleasure that’s found in the second chakra? Remembering the lesson found in The Lovers about how the subconscious mind cannot be coerced convinced me to move on.
Finally, a light dawned in the consideration of The Wheel Of Fortune, representing the third chakra and the desire to be respected. A link between karma and one’s status in life was a connection I could follow. Encouraged, I turned to The Sun. The relationship between that card and the desire of the fourth chakra, which is for love and to be part of a group, was a concept I found radiantly easy to grasp.
The fifth chakra is associated with knowledge and deep understanding. It’s located at the throat, and therefore has obvious connections with our words and speech. While, ironically, I can’t put it into words quite yet, the link between this chakra and The Empress was something I could feel, and I found myself looking forward to more time with this one.
The last two cards in this series are The High Priestess and The Magician, and it makes sense that the cards representing the right and left brains would be associated with the chakras of the head. The sixth chakra, located at the “third eye”, embodies the qualities of all the earlier chakras in vibrational seed form. Again, the connection between The High Priestess and this idea resonated for me on an instinctive level. The Magician, however, was a different story.
The seventh chakra, also known as the Crown chakra, represents a state of mind that is beyond all of the desires found in previous chakras. Confusingly, the Tarot key associated with it is the card of conscious self-awareness. It would seem to make more sense if the positions of The World and The Magician were reversed in this comparison, at least superficially.
Superficial, however, is most definitely not the nature of this exercise. I suppose I’ll keep trying to gain a greater understanding by not actively working on it for the moment. That’s kind of confusing, too, but I can go there. Anyone care to add their own insights to this discussion?