The Root Chakra
Unit 5 - Master Your Energy E-course.
The root chakra.
At home in your body and on the earth.
We will describe the Root chakra following four main maps: the original Vedas, the 5 Elements of the Medicine Wheel, the Inca shamanic tradition and A. Judith’s Age development model.
(For an overview of the models, see Unit 3 ‘The Energy of Chakras’)
Description and Archetypes
With the root chakra Spirit is born into Matter. This is the densest level of energy, where we access the ascending Kundalini energy. Out of this raw earthy energy the whole creation is born, galaxies, our planet and all children in their primal scream of life. The dance of life and death is starting.
The root chakra represents our relationship with the material reality, with the physical world, with nature, the body, material wealth and the building of solid structures. It is here that we feel our belonging, our rootedness and stability, our sense of safety.
The chakra is positioned at the perineum between the anus and the genitals and in the Vedas is called Muladhara, meaning the root of all existence.
In the Vedas we have different symbols and archetypes that describe this energy center.
The Square (inside the four petals lotus) refers to structure and stability, the four corners of the sacred temple holding Spirit, in the same way our physical body holds our Soul.
The deity Brahman resides here, representing the Creator taking on the innumerable ways of manifested form.
The Serpent coiled around a Lingam represents the Kundalini Shakti, meaning coiled energy, as our wild life force, at one with Shiva-Lingam, meaning no-thing, as the unmanifested consciousness. Kundalini Shakti rises up from dense matter to meet Shiva descending from source. The union of Shakti and Shiva is the dance of Matter and Spirit being One Energy only.
In the root chakra begins the duality of feminine and masculine, with the kundalini energy splitting in two main rivers of light, the Ida and Pingala nadis. Ida (Moon-feminine) and Pingala (Sun-masculine) start as one in the root chakra to split and spiral upwards along the Shushumna nadi, the central channel of the body. Ida and Pingala meet again at the third eye to receive Spirit energy spiraling down. (See picture 1)
Earth is the element of the root chakra, both in the Vedas and in the shamanic medicine wheel. The earth represents our primal connection to nature, our body and our ancestors. Like the metaphor of the tree, in the roots lies our strength, because only with solid foundations we can grow and blossom in our finest expression. Our family and our ancestors give us this sense of foundation with a bio-connection extending far away in time, in the line of our grand-fathers and grand-mothers, whose genetic is imprinted in our DNA and whose power flows through us. The earth is where we belong, she is our home and mother, providing us with everything we need for nourishment and comfort. When we are in harmony with the earth element we love and respect our body and the natural environment, feeling a deep sense of belonging and communion with all life.
Similarly, in Inca shamanism we are meant to walk in beauty on the Earth, Pachamama, in harmony with nature and respecting all creatures. The symbol in the Inca tradition is the Serpent, slithering slowly on the ground and perceiving every vibration with its body. In the root chakra we are in fact connecting with the slow, dense energy of matter and the physical world. The serpent is also periodically shedding its skin, which symbolizes the eternal cycle of life and death and the transformation needed for the continuous process of growth.
In order to understand the nature of power in the root chakra, we find it very useful to refer to the shamanic division of Underworld, Middle world and Upper world. Shamans journey into the Underworld to access earthy primordial power, which has a feminine and masculine essence.
The Earth Feminine has many aspects: she the fierce warm nurturing mother, the ecstatic passionate lover, the nature-magic powerful witch and the wise spiritual crone.
The Earth Masculine is the father leading and protecting his family and tribe, the creative eclectic magician-artisan, the fierce warrior and lover and the wise powerful elder.
The Earth Feminine and the Earth Masculine live as archetypes in the underworld of our psyche. The nature of their power is raw and wild, like the kundalini energy rising up from the molten lava of the earth core. Their power is creative, instinctual, magical and primitive, but can also be aggressive and destructive. Historically it has been misused for domination, manipulation and control, creating a lot wounding and causing root chakra energy to be feared, disowned or abused.
In the Age development model, in the root chakra the child is 0-12 months and is experiencing the warmth of primal unconditional love from both parents, and especially mother. She/he is totally vulnerable and depending on others for survival. The focus is all about physical needs and the body. The bonding created with mother and father heals the separation experienced at birth. The unconditional love experienced in the mother’s womb and in the close family around will help the child to feel safe and protected. Trust in herself and in the world will be imprinted vibrationally in her body, supporting a natural and healthy development. When the primal love of mother and father is accessed, the child learns how to open and trust, and as an adult will know the power of vulnerability, as the ability to feel and connect deeply and at an intimate level.
Emotions, Core beliefs and Issues
There are many possible causes of wounding in the root chakra and due to the primal nature of its energy they often come down to the core emotions of fear and feeling unloved. These core emotions can manifest in different ways and are often covered by anger, hurt, rejection or other forms of suffering.
In the Matter/Spirit relationship, as described in the Vedas, we may have become too spiritual or too materialistic. Turning to an exclusive spiritual reality may indicate fear of being trapped by matter, by the limitation of form, like in those religions that deny the body. Traumatic experiences in life and in our Soul journey can create fear of suffering in the material reality and deplete our root chakra. We become therefore energetically ungrounded, too much in the upper mental-spiritual chakras, ineffective at manifesting and afraid of commitment. At the other end of the spectrum the same fear of survival or the belief we are separated and unloved by Spirit, may lead us to excessive materialism, where we look for power, safety and love in material belongings and achievements. We then may become conservative and controlling, building an armor of rigidity that ultimately leads to being stuck, unmoving and more separated from Spirit. Attachments to primal fulfillments, i.e. sex, food, money are often connected to feeling unsafe, unloved and to a vibration of fear.
Dysfunctions in the ability to feel grounded in our body and to live in harmony in the world can have deep roots in our family story and ancestral line. We may lack a sense of belonging, of being held and protected by our tribe. Our mother and father blood-line may carry energies of fear, grief, abuse or other wounding patterns that are imprinted in our biology and that affects our relationships, beliefs and behaviours.
The Earth Feminine and Earth Masculine archetypes may be unbalanced when we repress our natural wild power or when we overplay it. Cultural conditioning or trauma may cause suppressing our natural sexual drives, our instinctive surviving skills and our magical intuition. We may be afraid of this raw power, as it has been historically aggressive and abusive, and therefore disown it in different ways. When these instinctual selves are held back in the shadow of our psyche, or when they are wounded, they can lash out inappropriately, in various degrees of anger and violence towards others. Repressed kundalini can also drain our vitality, causing fatigue and depression, as we are not accessing its power but also because it takes a lot of energy to suppress it. Furthermore, it is not infrequent that we turn this aggressive energy against ourselves, with self-criticism and self-loathing.
A game often played in this chakra, is the triangle of the Victim/Rescuer/Persecutor. The victim plays out when we do not feel safe in the world, doubting we are able to survive and thrive. The victim doesn’t trust herself and feels scared and insecure. In our society the victim has often been associated with the Feminine, more as a quality of being than a gender. The feminine nourishing, receptive and sensitive aspects of our psyche have been either disowned or abused and we have abdicated our power to protect them. Instead, the persecutor has often been identified with a dominating Masculine, again more as a quality of being than a gender. The masculine wise, protective and holding energy has turned into controlling and overpowering, if not violent and abusive. As the third actor of the triangle the rescuer plays out in different patterns of codependency. The rescuer cares for others or bargains her/his talents in order to feel safe, loved, worthy and accepted. Victim, persecutor and rescuer share the same core pattern of not feeling safe and loved, typical of an unbalanced first chakra.
In the Age development model we understand that core wounding in our first connection with our parents has caused us to feel unloved or unlovable, struggling with patterns of rejection and fear of intimacy. Mother or father may have been abusive or absent, leaving us emotionally closed off or feeling abandoned or rejected. If love had been conditional, we may have developed issues of worthiness and lack of confidence. At the opposite end we may have found parents who, having sacrificed their own needs and overwhelmed children with too much attention and expectations, have blocked their independence and self-trust. The theme is vast with archetypes such as the unpredictable angry mother, the suffocating weak mother, the emotionally absent father, the dominating father or the high achieving parents and more. In order to repattern feelings of safety, trust and unconditional love we need to learn to connect with our Inner Child. In my experience the work on family patterns and inner child healing is preliminary to any kind of work on this chakra. Our inner child needs to feel safe and protected, before we can embrace the power of the Kundalini energy. Our task is to parent our own child attending to her needs, with unconditional love and respect for her independence.
Core beliefs in the root chakra:
Beliefs about reality on Earth, such as life is suffering, dangerous, predatorial.
Beliefs about nature, the body and health.
Beliefs about prosperity, survival and safety.
Beliefs about self-worth, deserving to be loved unconditionally.
Beliefs connected to traditional tribe/cultural values.
Beliefs of the Victim archetype: I am helpless, the world is against me.
Beliefs of the Abuser: I need to fight and compete to impose my will.
Beliefs of the Rescuer: if I care for you, I will be loved, I will be protected.
Imbalances in the body
Any chakra imbalance will eventually manifest in the physical body, if the issue is not healed at its emotional and energetical root. When the pattern of wounding is expressed as an illness or ailment, it means that the energy imprint has developed in its physical densest form.
As the domain of the root chakra is the physical world, any form of disease is also connected to feeling at home in our body and happy to be on the Earth plane.
There are specific correlations between glands, organs and systems with every chakra, mainly depending on the position of the chakra in the body. However, these correlations are not set in stone as the core emotional wounding may manifest in many ways in the body.
Typically, in the root chakra we find imbalances in the adrenals when we go into the flight or fight stress response because of a perceived threat. The skeletal-muscular-joint system may be affected as the holding structure of the body, the digestive system may be involved for its nourishing functions and the immune system as our defense mechanism. Chronic fatigue, stress related pathologies and issues that block mobility of the body are often related to root chakra imbalances.
Healing and balancing the chakra
When dealing with the wounding of the first chakra, we need to balance the axis of vulnerability and power. Here lies our most intimate connection to life and our wildest power. Our inner child, as a representation of our delicate vulnerable nature, needs to feel safe, loved and protected. On the other hand, our raw wild earthy power needs to be acknowledged, owned and managed. To heal any wounding in these areas, we need to be open to feel difficult core emotions, which may run deep, in our family and ancestral story. In my experience this is maybe the most difficult level of vibration to heal, where form is so dense that we feel we cannot change it. However, when the form becomes too tight for our Soul we will change, like the snake shedding its skin. The snake lives in a continuum of head and tail in the same way energy flows up and down the central channel of our body. The kundalini rises up to become one with Spirit at crown and spirit descends into matter, taking the shape of our body as a container. The ultimate wounding of this chakra is, in fact, not feeling at home in one’s body and on the earth. The truth being instead, that energy is One, unmanifested consciousness living in the form.
The chakra is excessive when the energy is dense and heavy, blocking the kundalini from rising up and connecting to Spirit. With an excessive chakra we are stuck in materialism, unable to connect to our Soul light and guidance. The chakra is deficient when the energy is low, depleted, and the downward current of Spirit cannot ground properly. With a deficient chakra we are disconnected from the body and ineffective at manifesting (see Picture 2&3). Furthermore, the Root chakra needs to be as open as the Crown chakra for the ascending and descending currents to flow properly. The stronger and deeper the roots of the tree the more it can grow and expand upwards.
Ultimately the goal of balancing the first chakra is knowing that, as creatures of the material world, we are unconditionally loved and we have the power to protect our vulnerable essence, trusting life and our deep Self. In this space of trust we stand strong in our roots and we can open to channel ever expanding dimensions of our Soul.
As a way to shift core wounding patterns in the root chakra I suggest a series of meditations working on the archetypes of the Earth Child, the Ancestors, the Earthy Feminine and Masculine. I am also offering a few practical suggestions that may help with accessing and balancing the different aspects of the root chakra energy.
Earth Child Meditation
In this meditation we are going to connect to the energy of Mother Earth, holding her creatures in a loving nourishing embrace. Your Earth Child will feel loved, held and protected and will be able to radiate its divine essence.
Whilst nesting in the womb of the Earth Mother, you will be able to relax deeply and let go of any hurt and wounding you may hold in your body as you weren’t loved unconditionally. You will experience deep down in your body that you are loved and safe and that you can trust yourself and life.
Healing the Ancestral Line Meditation
Through the connection to our Mother and Father lines we know we belong as we are not alone in the world of creation. We can stand proud in our power on earth as we live in a continuum of energy with those who came before us. Because of this bio-connection with our ancestors, we embody their gifts and talents but also their unresolved stories of wounding and limitation. In this meditation we are going to clear negative energy imprints transmitted through the ancestral line and make new choices for the future, embodying the essence of love of our ancestors, protecting and holding us in our evolutionary journey. Click here for Healing the Ancestral Line Meditation Earth Feminine and Earth Masculine Meditation
In this meditation you are going on a journey to meet your Earth Feminine and Masculine archetypes, those parts of you most connected to the earthy primordial life force. The Earth Feminine is nourishing, loving and fierce, whilst the Earthy Masculine is holding, protective and active. Both archetypes are grounding forces which support all life. You are going to experience how these archetypes live within you and heal and transform any negative pattern in the way for their power to be fully expressed. By reclaiming their full essence you will be able to celebrate the union of the Earth Feminine and Masculine in their sacred dance. Click here for the Earth Feminine and Earth Masculine Meditation
Tools and practices
Connect to nature.
Go in nature like a shaman would do, knowing that everything is alive. You can speak to the spirit of the elements, the animals and the plants. You can feel the power of the sea, the lakes and the mountains. Be in nature asking questions and listening to the whispers. Allow nature to teach you about grounding, belonging, feeling safe and loved unconditionally, about your body and health, about your natural gifts and talents as a unique earthling.
Go bare feet. Breathe in the energy into the sole chakras of your feet. The contact to the ground allows you to connect to the electromagnetic grid of the earth and to its base frequency (Shuman resonance). There is scientific evidence that by touching the earth with your bare feet you absorbe its healing vital energy and receive many benefits in your body.
The breath connects the Soul to the body. Any form of breath awareness allows to still the mind and to feel present in the body. Breathe consciously and slowly. At each inbreath expand and receive. At each outbreath let go, relax and release. Put your attention on where you feel the breath in the body, maybe in the belly or in the chest or in your nostrils. Through conscious beathing you connect to your body, to nature all around you. And to the universal field.
Feeling the inner body. Feeling with all your senses.
E. Tolle speaks of feeling your body from the inside and the shaman Starhawk teaches the practice of dropping the attention in the body. Listen to the inner sensations of your body, in your legs, womb, chest, arms, shoulders, head. Pay attention with all your senses to the world around you, to colors, smells, sounds, touch sensations and taste. Feeling your inner body and noticing with all your senses makes you feel grounded and present.
The body likes movement and receives a lot of benefit from physical activity. Make a daily commitment to moving your body, you don’t need to be an athlete, it can be just walking or gentle stretching. By moving the energy in the body, you will feel more present and grounded.
Creating sacred space in your home.
Feeling grounded starts with the body but it extends in space to your close environment. The whole of your energy body is your sacred space and it occupies your home and workplace as well. Put attention on creating material comfort and spiritual well-being around you, with objects, plants, colours, music and more.
Friends and family support.
Us humans we need tribes. Cultivate soul relationships in all areas of your life such as intimacy, intellectual interests, sport, work and recreation. Be with people with whom you feel a sense of belonging and sharing and who support, accept and love you unconditionally. You can start with a few connections and see how the loving vibration will attract a vaster soul group.
A. Judith speaks about ‘the right to have’ in the root chakra. In order to attract financial security and stability we need to put attention to it. In a self-loving way we want to take care of our basic needs so that we can feel safe in the world. Intend healing in this area and keep affirming you have a right to be here supported and sustained, as all living creatures.
Create your own ones and repeat them with a hand on your belly and a hand on your heart, as if holding a child. Here are some suggestions: I am loved unconditionally, I am held, I am safe, I am protected, I breathe and relax in my body, I am a child of the earth, I belong, I have the right to be here, I am naturally powerful, I am Earth feminine power, I am Earth masculine power, I nourish and protect my sacred space, I am nourished by life, I am creator, I manifest, I am abundant, I am healthy, I am connected to my ancestors, I am connected to my Soul tribe, I am Body and Soul, both material and spiritual, I am strongly grounded, I trust myself, I trust life.
Description Name/meaning: Muladhara, the root of all existence Element: Earth Position in the body: Perineum, between the anus and the genitals Energy Body: Physical body
Archetypes Veda: Brahman, creator of the universe Induism: Kundalini Shakti (coiled energy) Inka shamanism: Serpent shedding its skin Shamanism: Earth Masculine/Earth Feminine Developmental model: Child, 0-1 year old
Core emotions, beliefs, issues Issues: primal love, primal needs, grounding, safety, prosperity Core negative emotions: rejection, unloved and unlovable, fear Core positive emotions: unconditional love, trust, safe Excessive: too materialistic, rigid attachments, separated from Spirit Deficient: ungrounded, stressed, ineffective at manifesting
Other information 3rd dimensional colour: red (kundalini, fiery earth core) 5th dimensional colour: platinum (Earth electromagnetic grid) Relationship other chakras: Crown to balance grounding and expansion. Body correlation: adrenals, digestive system, skeletal-muscular-joint system, immune system Fig 1. Pingala, Ida and Sushumna Nadis
Fig. 2 Excessive Root chakra - The energy cannot rise.
Fig. 3 Deficient Root Chakra - The energy cannot ground.
For more information on the imbalances of Lower and Upper Chakras see Unit 4 ‘Power and the Shadow’