You might have heard about them in a yoga class, or perhaps you’ve read something about chakra symbols on a wellness blog. But maybe you’re still not sure about what they are.
In the simplest terms, chakras are energy centers in the physical body. In Sanskrit, the word chakra means “wheel” and is a perfect descriptor for how they function in the human body.
These ancient energy centers help us understand the intricacies of our life force energy and how we can use them to our advantage. When our chakras aren't working, our life isn't either, so it's essential to be mindful of the flow of energy.
Let’s delve into each of the seven main chakras, learn about chakra symbols, and explore how this energy system can empower you to live your best life.
The Root Chakra Symbol
Welcome to the root chakra. The Sanskrit word for the root chakra is the Muladhara, which means “support” or “root” and is associated with the color red.
The chakra symbol for the Muladhara chakra is that of a square, representing stability and foundational energy, along with a triangle emphasizing the grounded nature of the earth.
If you’ve ever sat in yoga class and heard the teacher talking about your kundalini energy, this is where it’s coming from. The root chakra is located at the base of the spine and rules your sense of security and safety. Think along the lines of Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs: food, shelter, and water. If you’re able to let go easily and feel safe, then it’s a pretty safe bet that your root chakra is humming along nicely.
According to Jill Willard’s “Intuitive Being,” our chakras are associated with particular ages and phases in our life. Since the root chakra deals with the foundation of our lives, it comes to fruition during infancy through age seven.
How Do I Know If My Root Chakra is Aligned?
When your Muladhara chakra is aligned and working in your life, you feel secure and comfortable with yourself and, ideally, in all aspects of your life. If you’re meeting your basic needs, you’ll probably notice that you’re more stress-free too. It’s easier to be present and enjoy each moment.
On the flip side, you’ll feel the opposite of grounded if your root chakra is weak. In Athena Perrakis’ book, “The Ultimate Guide to Chakras,” she shares that Muladhara chakra imbalances manifest themselves as anxiety and an inability to make forward progress in your life. When you feel like you keep repeating the same situations over and over again (and you’re frustrated by them), your root chakra might be telling you something.
If you’re struggling with an imbalanced root chakra or you’d like to support it and keep the energy flowing, black obsidian can help keep you grounded and protect you from negativity.
The Sacral Chakra Symbol
As we move up the body, the next energy wheel we’ll find is the Sacral chakra. Also known as Svadhishthana in Sanskrit, this chakra is the seat of your creativity and sexual energy and associated with the color orange. It’s located just above the root chakra, between your reproductive organs and below the navel, forming between the ages of 7-14.
The chakra symbol for the Svadhisthana is represented by a lotus flower and reminds us of the cycles of life, death, and subsequent rebirth.
If the root chakra is all about foundations, the sacral chakra takes it to the next level with our relationship to ourselves and others. Think back to a time when you weren’t sure how you were going to overcome a challenging situation at work or in your life, but somehow you managed to come up with the perfect solution — that’s your sacral chakra at work for you.
How Do I Know If My Sacral Chakra is Aligned?
When your Svadhishthana chakra is doing its job, Perrakis notes that you won’t lack for creative ideas and solutions to any challenges that come up in your life. It’s not just issues of problem-solving, either. You can exercise creative expression in your work, with your hobbies, and feel a deep sense of joy and happiness in living.
Are you feeling closed off from others and generally uninspired? If you struggle with feeling motivated in your life and unable to go after the things you really want, there might be a misalignment with your sacral chakra.
If you need a little extra boost in getting your creative juices flowing or finding the motivation to tackle some projects on your to-do list, the stimulating energy of carnelian can help.
The Solar Plexus Chakra Symbol
Next on our journey through the chakras is the solar plexus chakra or Manipura chakra. When it comes to feelings of self-worth, willpower, and having a sense of agency in our lives, the third chakra governs it. Located just above your belly button and associated with the color yellow, your solar plexus chakra develops between ages 14-21.
The chakra symbol for Manipura shows ten petals, each representing the ten pranas in your body. Prana is your life force energy, and it flows through each of your chakras. The triangle reminds us of the "lower triangle" of energy centers.
The solar plexus is all about confidence and personal power. Having a robust Manipura chakra makes it easier to manifest what you might be looking for in your life, whether it’s a new job, a loving relationship, or a supportive circle of friends.
How Do I Know If My Solar Plexus Chakra is Aligned?
Having strong and functioning lower triangles (your first three chakras) is essential for manifesting, but it’s particularly crucial when it comes to the solar plexus chakra. If you’re feeling confident and have high self-esteem, you feel more capable in your life. And who doesn’t want that?
If you struggle with feelings of low self-worth and like you just can’t make the changes you’d like to see in your life, your Manipura chakra might need some help. Getting the energy moving in this chakra can help eliminate any feelings of stagnancy in your life.
Citrine is a beautiful stone that can increase creativity and confidence, along with being particularly supportive of the solar plexus chakra.
The Heart Chakra Symbol
Located in your heart center is, you guessed it, your heart chakra. Your Anahata chakra helps you feel love and connection to all living things. According to Willard, it’s usually represented by the color green, light pink, or gold and becomes fully mature between ages 21-28.
The chakra symbol for the Anahata chakra features two triangles, underscoring the merging of the upper and lower chakras. The six-pointed star formed from these triangles and the 12 petals represent all 72,000 nadis, or energy channels in the human body.
When your heart chakra is aligned, you’re able to find self-love easily and can extend that love to others. The Anahata chakra is also the point where your lower and upper chakras meet.
How Do I Know If My Heart Chakra is Aligned?
Love is a unifying force in the universe, and having an open heart chakra allows you to experience it in your own life. You’ll feel the oneness and connectivity that exists in the universe. You know that warm fuzzy feeling when you lock into a loving gaze with your pet? That’s the kind of universal love an open heart chakra can help you experience.
Your Anahata chakra may be misaligned if you find yourself feeling hopeless and disconnected from yourself and others. It may also be challenging to release past hurts or feelings of betrayal.
Whether you want to cultivate more self-love or are looking to keep your heart chakra energy flowing freely, rose quartz is a fantastic choice. This gemstone can fill your space with loving energy and keep you in a positive frame of mind.
The Throat Chakra Symbol
Associated with the color blue and located in your throat is the throat chakra or Vishuddha. This chakra is connected to your thymus gland and fully matures between the ages 28-35.
The chakra symbol for Vishuddha represents the energy moving upward through the chakra system. At the same time, the petals represent communication through the 16 vowels of the Sanskrit language.
Your throat chakra rules your personal and collective truth as well as communication. In her book, Perrakis shares that the Vishuddha isn’t just about how you communicate, but rather what you communicate.
How Do I Know If My Throat Chakra is Aligned?
When you can confidently express yourself and your feelings, you’re reaping the benefits of an open Vishuddha center. You find yourself easily expressing your truth in any situation, and you’re a clear and effective communicator, whether it’s in the boardroom or with your children or partner.
If you feel like you’re always holding your tongue or unable to express yourself the way you’d like, whether with friends and family or even at work, your throat chakra needs some love.
Help clear any blockages in your throat chakra with Apatite. This gemstone can be beneficial for communicating more clearly and with greater ease.
The Third Eye Chakra Symbol
Located in between your eyebrows and associated with your pituitary gland is your third eye chakra, also called your Ajna chakra. Frequently represented by the color purple, your third eye chakra connects to your intuition and wisdom. As stated in “Intuitive Being,” your sixth chakra fully matures between the ages of 35-42.
The chakra symbol for Ajna is an upside-down triangle that shows the merging of the upper chakras with divine consciousness.
Our intuition is always guiding and available to us, but we might not always consciously tune into it. Instead of relying on your five basic senses, your third eye chakra helps you grab information from the unseen (your intuition) and put it to work in your life. This extrasensory perception is your superpower.
How Do I Know If My Third Eye Chakra is Aligned?
If you routinely employ your intuition in your life and decision making, your Ajna energy center is open and flowing freely. Whenever you pick up on something intangible, like when someone’s on your mind and then they give you a ring later in the day, your intuition is working for you.
On the other hand, if you find that you’re feeling dissatisfied with life and searching for more depth in your relationship with it, you might have a blockage in your Ajna chakra. When the energy is flowing freely in the third eye chakra, you’re more connected to yourself and tapped into a universal intelligence.
To support your sixth chakra center, consider working with lapis lazuli. Meditating with this gemstone can help you tune into your inner power and strengthen your intuition.
The Crown Chakra Symbol
The last of the seven major chakras is the crown chakra or Sahasrara. Your crown chakra connects to your pineal gland and is located at the top of the head. It’s represented by the colors white or violet and fully matures in your early 40s and beyond.
The chakra symbol for Sahasrara is that of a circle and lotus flower, representing the connection to Brahma, the Hindu god of creation.
This is the chakra that governs your connection to the source or creator energy in the universe and is your gateway to higher consciousness. When you feel connected and plugged into something greater than yourself, you’re experiencing that through an open and flowing Sahasrara chakra.
How Do I Know If My Crown Chakra is Aligned?
If you feel connected to life and divine guidance, you’re reaping the benefits of an open crown chakra. Feelings of profound peace, balance, and self-acceptance come from merging yourself and the divine consciousness of the universe at the crown chakra.
According to Perrakis, any sensations of disconnection from an energy source greater than yourself can suggest an imbalance in this chakra. If you’ve ever felt like you don’t know what your purpose in life is or what your place in the universe could be, it’s a good indicator something is out of whack.
Amethyst works well to stimulate the crown chakra and can help you clear the energy in this chakra to get it flowing freely.
The Importance of Your Seven Chakra Energy System and Chakra Symbols
Learning about the chakras doesn't have to be intimidating — it can be a rewarding experience. Understanding your chakra system is the key to understanding yourself and can help you move through your life with greater ease. Keeping your energy flowing and working on alleviating blockages as soon as you notice them allows you to experience a more in-depth and vibrant relationship with life.
Build a relationship with your chakras and they'll work for you if you let them. Pay attention to which chakra symbols or chakra stones resonate with you, as this could be your intuition’s way of telling you how to energize your mind, body, and soul.