The Heart Chakra

by Sasha Fenton

Location

Unsurprisingly, the heart chakra is based in the center of the chest in the area of the heart. It is associated with the heart, lungs, thorax, upper digestive tract, and ribs.

Basic Purpose

The heart chakra is concerned with love and also with the ability to relate to others. It is also associated with the ability to love and respect ourselves, to be creative, and to be wise. This chakra is the gateway between the humanity-orientated lower chakras and the more divinely-orientated upper ones. The heart chakra is concerned with emotional security and with loving comfort. It seeks to form a balance between the need for love and for spiritual excellence, so it rules selflessness, compassion, devotion, and a sensible measure of sacrifice on behalf of others. The heart chakra concerns physical and emotional healing, but also creativity, artistry, music, and crafts. In a way, it is also connected to the ideas of those things that offer us fun, amusement, and uplift , in addition to relaxation, rest, and recovery.

A Strong Heart Chakra

This is the second of the emotional chakras, as opposed to the instinctual, mental, or spiritual ones. Obviously those with strong heart chakras are loving and unselfish, but they don’t allow themselves to become martyrs or to be manipulated by others. These people don’t flee from emotional commitment, because they are happy to love others, but they like to be loved in return. They don’t need to play games. They forgive themselves when they do something wrong, and they understand and forgive others. Those with strong heart chakras neither hoard money nor spend it stupidly; they are neither stingy nor overly generous. They are balanced in every aspect of their lives. Those who have a strong heart chakra are reasonable to live with, work with, and to be around because they have a healthy self-respect, and they also gain the respect of others. Some of those with a strong heart chakra take a calculated decision to give up the chance of fun and freedom in order to take care of sick relatives, while others might even take up vocations in a religious order. Many choose to work with the needy.

One aspect of this chakra is the ability to cope when times are bad, which means that these individuals can handle loss, separation, bereavement, and heartache with a degree of equilibrium. They are not cold or unemotional, but they don’t fall into a heap of self-pity or dejection when things go wrong. They have a measure of spiritual acceptance, and they know that even bad times are necessary for growth and understanding. These folk hope for the best, and they trust others unless they find a good reason not to.

Someone with a good heart chakra will often choose a career that involves working with people. They work in the public sector or in jobs that require teamwork and that help people in some way. They work with children, the elderly, the weak, the handicapped, or those who need advice, and if they don’t happen to need money, they take up voluntary work. There is a measure of self-acceptance and of self-knowledge, so this person knows that while he or she may not be perfect, he or she is pretty much all right.

Too Much Heart Chakra
These subjects can put the needs of others above their own to a great extent, perhaps by choosing a partner who is very needy or needs to be rescued from alcohol, drugs, gambling, or some other destructive habit. Misplaced loyalty is common. At the worst end of the spectrum, these people can be manipulative and possessive or fond of making emotional scenes. Their love is conditional; it is only doled out when the other person does what they want, and they will withhold love when the other person needs it most. They can make a partner or child’s life a complete misery. Sometimes the person is self-centered, possessive, and jealous, or power hungry, bitter, and prone to hatred. This subject finds it impossible to forgive.

Not Enough Heart Chakra
Just as an angry and confrontational person can drive others away, so can a whining, self-pitying, and dependent one. Both behaviors are a form of manipulation. Just as those with too much heart chakra can give too much of themselves to others, so can they if they don’t have enough, because this is two sides of the same coin. Some people give far too much of themselves in the hope of obtaining or maintaining the approval of others.

In many ways, this chakra is about courage. All situations that involved relating to others, whether at home, at work, or elsewhere, require courage, common sense, and the ability to set limits. Thus, those who lack heart chakra energy may allow others to walk all over them. Alternatively, they might feel unlovable or unworthy of love. The individual might be stuck in a rut and lack the courage or energy to move out of it. Other problems might arise due to fear of the future. The person might be paralyzed by envy or they may feel unattractive, immobile, and helpless to effect change in their lives.

Interestingly, this individual may be perfectly happy, but just not be interested in romantic love or in relationships at all. He or she may get fulfillment in life through other routes—perhaps by creating a great garden, creating great art, looking after pets, or via some absorbing job or hobby.

Body and Health

Naturally, the heart is ruled by this chakra, but the heart chakra also rules the circulation, lungs, and rib cage. The heart chakra is associated with such ailments as asthma, allergies, and pneumonia, and it is also associated with problems in the upper spine and shoulders. The heart chakra is metaphorically linked to the air element, so it rules breathing difficulties. Those with a powerful heart chakra might cough or find it hard to breathe when they are upset or excited. This chakra also rules the immune system; therefore, it is associated with chronic fatigue syndrome, AIDS, Type I diabetes, and problems with cell growth. The heart chakra is also associated with the thymus and growth hormones, and it also rules the shoulders, arms, and breasts.

Spiritual Link

Tradition says that this chakra is associated with out-of-body experiences and astral travel. It also rules spiritual knowledge, so those who have a healthy heart chakra make wonderful counselors, healers, doctors, psychologists, and therapists. Some spiritual healers feel this chakra opening when they start to work.

Those who have a strong heart chakra can make excellent salespeople. They like and understand people, so they know instinctively how to make customers feel comfortable. This chakra can denote “putting one’s heart” into things like charitable work or social work—any activity that is for the benefit of others.

Exercises for the Heart Chakra

Affirmation: I Give and Receive Love

• Visualize a green bud at your sternum. With each breath you inhale, the bud expands and unfolds its leaves, increasing the life force within this chakra.
• Get out into nature. Stand with your back against a tree, your shoulder blades making contact. Breathe in the energy of the tree, feeling it entering your back and entering your heart
• Resist the urge to find fault in everything.
• Give a prayer of thanks every day for all you have

Excerpted from Chakras Plain & Simple by Sasha Fenton

Born in Bushey, near London (UK), Sasha Fenton became a professional astrologer, palmist, and tarot card reader in 1974. She has written 127 books, mainly on mind, body, and spirit subjects, with sales of more than 6.5 million copies and translations into 12 different languages. Sasha has written articles for every national newspaper and major magazine in Britain and many overseas publications as well.

Preparing Yourself for Spellcasting

by Leanna Greenaway

Some people love the idea of meditating, others think that it will be boring or a waste of time. The fact is that you won’t get anywhere with your spellcasting if you can’t attune your­self, so the following easy meditation techniques will begin to turn your mind, your psyche, and your aura in the right direction for the work that you wish to do.

Before you begin to cast spells, you must try to clear your mind and thoughts and rid yourself of any negative vibrations. Now let us take a look at meditation and visualization. It is impor­tant to focus when you perform ritualistic tasks, because you need to master the art of tuning in to your inner self so that the spells that you use will be effective.

When someone begins to learn the art of meditation, they usually follow the guidelines written in certain books or teach­ings. This is fine as a beginner’s guide, but as you progress, you will form your own methods and exercise your own techniques. There are many different ways to meditate, and I am sure that you will eventually discover the system that suits you best. What suits you may not work for another person, but as long as you practice regularly, you will find you can really can tap into your subcon­scious and become at one with yourself.

Meditation and visualization are not only useful for putting yourself into the right frame of mind for performing rituals, but they are also a fantastic sleep aid. I read somewhere that ten min­utes of good meditation is equivalent to four hours sleep, so it really is worth giving it a try. I usually advise my students to spend a couple of weeks working on their meditation before starting to cast spells.

How to Meditate

Find a quiet place in your home. It is probably best to lie down on your bed, but relaxing in a scented tub can create the perfect setting. Take care, because meditation can make you sleepy; so for goodness sake don’t drown! Surround yourself with scented candles. Ensure that you have complete peace and quiet and that your family and pets are unlikely to disturb you.

Take three deep breaths and clear your thoughts as you do so. In your mind, recite your protection prayer for whatever day of the week it happens to be and imagine that you are looking out through your inner eye. Keep your breathing steady as you do this. In your mind, count down from thirty to zero. Your body should start to feel light, floaty, and relaxed at this point.

Next, take ten deep breaths, but this time, imagine that with every inward breath you are inhaling all the magical energies of the universe. As you exhale, imagine that you are ejecting the negativity that is within you. This is called spirit purification, and if performed properly, it can give you a wonderful sense of well­being. The next stage is to take a further ten deep breaths, letting the magic that you have allowed in to envelope your spirit. It takes practice to perfect this, so don’t be too disappointed if you fall asleep; enjoy the rest and try again the following night.

Excerpted from Practical Spellcraft by Leanna Greenaway9781571747549


For the past 11 years, Leanna Greenaway has had her own monthly column in Take a Break’s Fate and Fortune magazine. As their resident witch, she answers reader’s questions and offers quick and easy spells to combat problems. She is the co-founder of The Psychic Study Centre and lives in the south of England.

Mudras and Healing Emotional Problems

by Gertrud Hirschi

One important reason why I started with yoga was an experience I had as a young person taking asthma medication. As a result of tak­ing medication, I could no longer grasp correlations, and my mem­ory was impaired; I was apathetic and immensely indifferent. I thought I might be “sick in the head” and might stay that way. Since then, I have been interested in brain research and everything that keeps people mentally fit. Mudras do true wonders in this field. For a number of years now, hand exer­cises have been successfully used on children in special education classes.

Run your thumb along your fingertips in a gentle and conscious way. This feels wonderful! It’s refreshing for your brain. The brain should be trained like a muscle every day. It has been proved that even after a few days of rest in bed (after an operation, for example), the activity of the brain is reduced. It has also been demonstrated that the brain can regenerate very quickly through the appropriate training. Practicing mudras can be called pure brain training. There is a positive influence on the brain waves, par­ticularly when the fingertips touch each other. When we visualize inner images at the same time, this requires a great deal of ability from the brain and promotes the power of the imagination. This power is one of the pre­conditions for mental alertness and clear thinking.

The accompanying affirmations promote a clear manner of expres­sion, which is also a mental power. When a mudra is done with full concentration, and a state of serenity is maintained, cerebral activity is calmed and regenerated. In addition, many mudras synchronize the right and left hemisphere of the brain. This promotes memory, the general abil­ity to recollect, and, miraculously, creativity as well.

I will risk claiming that a trained brain remains fit up into a ripe old age. The great yogis have also demonstrated this to us with their mental alertness as seniors. I can also observe—and my surrounding world has confirmed this—that my own ability to recollect, my memory, clear think­ing, and concentration have never been so pronounced as today. Colleagues who are as old as I am complain about the opposite. And I am no more tal­ented than they are! The only difference is that I constantly train my brain.

Always see the good in your fellow human beings, put the negative aspects of the past behind you, live completely in the present, and make the best you possibly can of it. Expect the best from the future and remain in constant contact with cosmic consciousness—then nothing will stand in the way of a meaningful and happy life.

I can hardly describe the blessings that this kind of constructive thinking has brought me. Incidentally, this attitude in life is also the best for my health.

Mudras have a wondrous effect on the emotional area of our lives, which includes the soul, our feelings, and our moods. It is no coincidence that people make fists when they are vehemently agitated, or that hands become limp and their movements flighty during depressions. If we want to change oppressive moods, we can do so by changing our breathing rhythm accordingly. The way we breathe can stimulate us, calm us, inflame us, or cool us down.

Mood fluctuations, which many people suffer from today, can often be largely eliminated within a few days by using mudras. However, I recommend that you practice the respective mudra and meditation three times a day for at least 10 minutes (or twice for 20 minutes) while lying down or sitting.

Moods and physical complaints are similar. In order to cure them, we must look for and remedy the cause, which almost always lies within. We should never blame our surrounding world for our moods. Parents, chil­dren, partners, colleagues at work—they are only reflections of our inner life. Even if we initially can’t change our environment, we can work on our inner attitude toward the surrounding world, changing it in small steps.

Perhaps your response to this is, “But I worry.” Does it help you in any way to worry? Does worry improve your circumstances? I know how difficult it is to let go of worry. Conversations to clear up the situation and/or a prayer have always helped me the most in dealing with them. The divine powers have always helped me up to now—without exception. Each of you will be helped, if you only permit it. When you let go of a worry, you no longer have to think about it.

Chronic bad moods of any type (aggression, depression, dissatisfac­tion, fear, etc.) can also be caused by weakened or even sick organs, diges­tive problems, blood pressure, pain, or other physical reasons. As you prac­tice the mudras used for physical healing, these moods may be remedied to a large extent. Meditation, visualization, and affirmation all have a positive effect on the mental-emotional area. If you are attentive to this, you can watch how the positive changes of your mood tread softly as they slip into your life. You will be more content, serene, courageous, and cheerful. Just wait—this is what will happen!

Excerpted from Mudras by Gertrud Hirschi

9781578631391


Gertrud Hirschi has teaches yoga in accordance with the latest medical findings at her own yoga school in Zurich. She holds seminars in Switzerland, Germany, and Greece, and she is the author of Basic Yoga for Everybody (Weiser Books).