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.

The Arcanas

by Sasha Fenton

A tarot deck contains two parts, these being the Major and Minor Arcana . The word “Arcana” means secret or hidden, in the same way that the word occult means hidden from view, and this implies that specialized knowledge is required . The Major Arcana is a series of twenty-two stand-alone cards, the only equivalent of which is the Joker in a deck of playing cards . The Minor Arcana is broken into four suits of fourteen cards each, which are similar to those in a deck of playing cards in that they have Aces, numbered cards, and Court cards.

The Major Arcana

Major Arcana cards carry powerful images that refer back to archetypes that have all but lost their original history and meanings. The Holy Roman Emperor, 15th century power struggles between the Popes, and the hatred of Franciscan hermits mean nothing to modern clients. The behavior of a ruler can affect the fate of a nation and its people, which is obvious if we consider Hitler, Stalin, Osama Bin Laden, or Robert Mugabe. However, in the Western world, it is often the fate of the orga­nization for which the client works that influences his life. Each genera­tion has to modernize the meanings of the cards to fit the current ethos. These powerful image cards often show major changes and turning points in a client’s life, but it is left to the Minor Arcana cards to fill in the details.

The Ratio of Fate to Free Will

There are just over double the number of Minor Arcana cards to Major Arcana ones in a tarot deck, so if a spread of cards throws up more than a third Major Arcana cards, the client’s future is, to some extent, being directed by fate . If there are very few Major cards showing up in a spread, the future is mainly in the hands of the client.

One word you will come across in many books on the tarot is arche­type. An archetype is a shorthand description for a particular type of person. Archetypes change according to the time and place that people live in. Figures such as a Pope, Empress, or Hermit would have meant a lot to medieval people, while modern archetypes might include such things as a whiz-kid, a tycoon, a bimbo, a lay-about, a doctor, a teacher, the boss, a tax inspector, or anything else that is instantly recognizable .

The Minor Arcana

The Minor Arcana of the tarot is composed of four suits. In the Rider-Waite deck that illustrates this book, these suits are called by their tra­ditional names of Cups, Wands, Pentacles, and Swords. In other decks, the Pentacles, which are pentagrams contained within a circle, are called Coins. In this book, I use the term Coins for this suit. Wands are also known as Rods or Staves. It is possible to find European cards that are halfway between tarot and playing cards, these being illustrated with Hearts, Acorns, or other similar features, but also showing Wands and Swords. Such cards are often used for playing games, and one can buy Tarocco or Taroc decks in Italy and Spain that are based on some or all of the Minor Arcana of the tarot.

THE SUIT OF CUPS is concerned with feelings, emotions, and the emotional response to a situation. This doesn’t mean only affairs of the heart but also the way a client feels about his job, his home, art, music, the situation that he finds himself in, or any other emotional response. These cards can indicate celebration, depression, and a whole host of other feelings or events that cause an emotional response.

THE SUIT OF WANDS is difficult to categorize because this covers a multitude of daily activities, benefits, and problems. These might include negotiating for something, carrying out a task, the action of moving house, traveling, working, running a home, or just the business of living.

THE SUIT OF COINS deals with a client’s resources, which may be money, goods, property, land, equipment, a business, a career, success, failure, and status or matters related to these topics. This suit deals with the practicalities of a matter.

THE SUIT OF SWORDS suggests those things that require action of some kind in order to put something right. These can indicate health problems, financial or marital issues, or quarrels and dissent of many different kinds. Sometimes they suggest that the only thing a client can do is to accept defeat, walk away from a situation, and do something else with his life.

One way I describe these suits to beginners in my workshops is to tell them the following story:

“You are fed up with your job. The job is unsatisfying, the pay is poor, the place is inconvenient for you to get to, and the people you work for or with are unpleasant. This is a Sword matter, as it shows that something needs to be done.

“You start looking in the local papers and on the Internet for some­thing new; you ask your friends and acquaintances to see if they know where you might find a better job. This is a Wand matter, as it requires travel, communications, and research.

“Finally, you find the job you want. The pay is good, the place is easy to reach by public transport, the job is the kind you want, the people you will work for and among appear to be congenial, and you have the skills and resources at your command with which to do the job. The practical side of this looks good, and practical matters are related to Coins.

“The outcome may be that the job is just what you want and that you are very happy. On the other hand, there may be something that you don’t see at the interview but that gets you down after a while. You may love or hate the product that the firm produces or sells.

“You could make lasting friends as a result of working at the new job and you might even find love there. Alternatively, you may feel uncom­fortable, unhappy, or just that this job is somehow wrong for you and that you could do better elsewhere. These fuzzy-edged emotional issues belong to the realm of Cups.”

To summarize:

Cups: Emotional responses.
Wands: Day-to-day activities.
Coins: Resources and practical matters.
Swords: Pain, action, quarrels, movement in affairs.

Excerpted from Fortune Telling by Tarot Cards 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.