Learn how to strengthen your chakras
Chakra, in Sanskrit, literally means “wheel”. According to Ayurvedic medicine, the chakras are seven main energy centres, all located along the spine to the top or crown of the head. Each chakra corresponds to and affects the major nerve centres and organs of the body.
Your chakras influence your physical, emotional, psychological and spiritual wellbeing. Because energy is in a constant state of flux, it is important to keep these energy centres balanced, aligned and open. If your chakras become blocked, energy is prevented from flowing properly throughout the body. This can cause a variety of problems on a physical and metaphysical level.
Did you know, though, that there is a link between chakras and astrology? Each spinning wheel of energy is connected to a corresponding sign and planet. Yes, chakras display the characteristics of their ruling planet (although there are varying opinions as to which planet rules which chakra). In this way, you can think of these dynamic spheres as being the equivalent in the human body as planets are in the universal system.
As we explore how astrology and the chakras work together, you’ll see how matching the planets to their chakra can benefit your health.
First chakra: Saturn, Capricorn and Aquarius
The muladhara or root chakra is located at the base of the spine, near the coccyx. It represents your foundation and is associated with stability, security and meeting basic needs. It also represents the structures and routines you put in place in your everyday life in order to survive and thrive.
This chakra’s element is earth and it is ruled by Saturn, the planet which rules Capricorn, and is the co-ruler of Aquarius. This is not surprising since Saturn is known as the planet of structure and discipline — an example of how astrology and the chakras are intertwined and can complement each other beautifully. Gaining a better understanding of Saturn and taking the necessary steps towards becoming grounded through routines and boundaries can help ensure your root chakra is working well.
The best way to strengthen your second chakra is through artistic pursuits and hobbies.
The muladhara chakra encompasses the first three vertebrae, the bladder and the colon. When this chakra is open, you feel safe and fearless. The root chakra is the most primal and is related to the fight or flight reflex; when the energy of this chakra is obstructed, anxiety or an excess of nervous energy can result. Counteract this by becoming “grounded” through using the earth’s forces: walk on soft grass, do some breathwork or connect with crystals. Prioritise, write lists and, like the Capricorn goat, just be. Separate yourself from toxic connections and environments that cause you to feel worried or pessimistic.
You can further optimise and strengthen the wellbeing of your first chakra through establishing a healthy routine by eating, sleeping, working and exercising at regular times, and by eating “clean” and drinking plenty of fresh water.
Remember, there’s a difference between stability and predictability. You don’t want life to be mundane or boring — something Aquarians utterly loathe — so make sure to include lots of variety within your own framework or guidelines.
Second chakra: Pluto, Aries and Scorpio
The svadhisthana or sacral chakra is located just above the pubic bone and below the navel in the lumbar vertebrae region. It is responsible for creative expression and sexuality. This chakra’s element is water and its corresponding planet is Pluto, the planet associated with sexuality, power and transformation. Pluto rules Scorpio, the sign famed for its resilience and sexual charisma, and co-rules Aries, the assertive go-getters of the zodiac.
The second chakra is responsible for desire and pleasure. The most fundamental expression of this chakra is reproduction. This chakra also represents your need to create and express yourself on an artistic level and in a way that is unique to you. Pluto, master of transformation, encourages you to evolve and to activate your creativity and desire.
The more you embrace and connect with your Sun sign, the easier it will be to maintain a healthy third chakra.
The svadhisthana rules the sex organs, reproductive systems and kidneys. When this chakra is unobstructed and flowing, you feel sexy, inspired and vital. When something isn’t as it should be, you can feel apathetic, uninspired and ineffectual. Physically, this can manifest as problems with the kidneys and reproductive organs, or recurring issues such as UTIs.
As you become more connected to Pluto in your chart, or when it is affecting you via transits, you can combine its cosmic influence with the energy of your svadhisthana chakra to enhance your sexuality. This can be the perfect tonic for a flagging sex drive or a pick-me-up if your relationship could use some spice. Your creativity may also improve.
The best way to strengthen your second chakra is through artistic pursuits and hobbies. Whether it’s sculpting, painting, singing, acting, photography or something else, if it makes you feel inspired and lights a fire in your belly, it can help activate this chakra. Feeling energetic and full of life will have a scorching effect on your sex and love life.
Third chakra: the Sun and Leo
The manipura or solar plexus chakra occupies the area from the navel to the breastbone and is the source of personal power. It is responsible for your willpower, confidence, warmth and personality. Its corresponding planet or “luminary” is the Sun, which rules Leo, a sign known for its regal presence, charisma and generosity. Impulses, reactions and instincts stem from this chakra, which is instrumental in guiding hunches in the pursuit of power and fulfilment.
The main challenge for the third chakra is discovering a way to use your personal power in a balanced manner — for example, finding the balance between being confident but not arrogant, or expressing enthusiasm without being bossy. You can do this by consciously harnessing the energy of the solar plexus chakra so that you are proactive rather than reactive or passive.
The manipura chakra rules the digestive system, liver and gall bladder. When this energy centre is successfully doing its job, you’re connected to your gut and instinctively know when and how to approach situations. Think of common expressions such as, “It was just a gut feeling” or “I felt it in the pit of my stomach”. Your third chakra can let you know when things are and aren’t on track, as an unbalanced third chakra can result in problems with the organs it rules, such as issues with the digestive tract.
The Sun and the manipura are both aligned with your identity. Even though other planetary placements like your Moon and rising sign can override the influence of your Sun sign, it’s still important to develop your sense of self.
The more you embrace and connect with your Sun sign, the easier it will be to maintain a healthy third chakra. Self-acceptance and self-love, like owning your identity, is essential to help you transform from feeling lethargic to inspired, to meet challenges and move forward.
Fourth chakra: Venus, Taurus and Libra
The anahata or heart chakra is the fourth chakra. It’s located at the centre of the heart and governs expressions of love. It is the middle chakra and connects the first three chakras, considered to be more physical, with the last three, which are associated with spirituality. It provides unity and balance between body, mind and soul.
Venus, the planet of love, beauty and values, governs the heart chakra as well as the signs Taurus and Libra. Taurus is known for its sensuality, loyalty and love of earthly pleasures. Libra is the sign of partnerships, harmony, balance and beauty. The fourth chakra is about how your material needs are met and your attitude towards money, as well as how you behave in your relationships, including your ability to give and receive love.
As well as the heart, the anahata rules the lungs, circulatory system and hands. It is your source of love, compassion and altruism. The way you experience pain in turn affects the heart chakra. If you put up an emotional wall as a self-defence mechanism, your heart chakra can become blocked. This can flow through physically and have a detrimental effect on the associated body parts. On an emotional level, your ability to empathise and experience joy wanes. Creativity can also become stifled.
If you become anxious or stingy, especially around money, it may be linked to a feeling of unworthiness. The best way to get the heart chakra flowing again is through random acts of kindness and, trite as it sounds, letting love in by being more open and affectionate. You can activate anahata energy by becoming involved in artistic pursuits and by nurturing or pampering yourself. Remember, hugs are healing!
Fifth chakra: Mercury, Gemini and Virgo
The visudda (or visuddha) chakra is the throat chakra, located in the throat. It influences your style of self-expression and the way you learn. This chakra’s corresponding planet is Mercury, which is associated with communication and mental faculties. It rules Gemini and Virgo, both of which are among the most intelligent of the zodiac. Driven by an instinctive curiosity, Gemini is forever accumulating information, engaging in conversation and articulately relating witty, interesting stories. Analytical Virgos are great problem-solvers with an innate eye for detail.
The driving force of the fifth chakra is to express yourself in an authentic manner and speak your truth. People with an effectively operating visudda tend to be persuasive, engaging and great storytellers. They’re able to empathise by making people feel heard and also tend to be optimistic.
The sixth chakra influences inspiration, spirituality and connection with the higher realm.
The visudda also governs the ears, shoulder and neck. When this chakra is at its best you can convey your ideas and feelings effectively and clearly. You’ll be able to manage tricky situations without getting overwhelmed and can clearly think of solutions. Absorbing new information is a pleasure, not a chore.
When this chakra is blocked, you may become weighed down with a negative mindset. You might be mentally cluttered or notice that you bite your tongue for fear of sounding foolish or causing offence, and you may be less likely to stand up for your beliefs. Physically, ear, nose and throat problems can become an issue.
A simple ritual that helps create a healthier throat chakra is the use of daily affirmations. Connecting with your higher self through meditation and trusting your instincts increases self-worth, which in turn will help you refine your communication skills and replace brain fog with clarity and conviction.
Sixth chakra: the Moon, Neptune, Cancer and Pisces
The anja chakra is located between the brows and is commonly referred to as “the third eye”. Some schools of thought say this chakra is ruled by the Moon, while others think it’s ruled by Neptune. There is, however, no dispute that it relates to intuition, feelings and imagination.
The Moon, which governs emotional expression and nourishment, rules Cancer, a sign that is innately nurturing and sensitive. Neptune, the planet associated with mysticism, music and poetry, rules Pisces, the ethereal, perceptive “old souls” of the zodiac. Both signs are widely known for being gentle, insightful and possessing a heightened awareness of human nature. These signs also have a way of connecting on a profound level, as they instinctually feel people’s moods, thoughts and feelings. Therefore, the sixth chakra influences inspiration, spirituality and connection with the higher realm.
The sixth chakra also rules the eyes and the pituitary gland. When this chakra is open and flowing, you see clearly, carefully listen to your gut and are rarely lead astray by your instincts. When you have a high-functioning anja, you’ll easily connect to the higher realms and have trust, not only in your abilities and intuition, but in circumstances beyond your control. You might ooze originality or have an artistic talent, and will be sensitive, inspiring and creative.
When this chakra becomes blocked, you are more likely to second-guess your decisions and ignore your intuition. You may lack imagination and feel uninspired. The best way to nurture your third eye is to pay attention to your dreams (even jot them down) and look for the meaning behind “coincidences” — it’s the Universe trying to relay a message. Meditation and regular moments of peaceful solitude where you get to connect with your higher self also make for a healthy anja, as does allowing your imagination to soar and releasing your inner poet, painter, writer or musician.
Seventh chakra: Jupiter, Uranus and Sagittarius
The sahasrara or crown chakra is the seventh chakra, located at the top of the head. The first root chakra grounds you to the earth while this last chakra goes that one step further from the sixth chakra, connecting you with the universe and divine source. It is ruled by Jupiter, but some say it is ruled by Uranus, both of which co-rule Sagittarius, the visionary and scholar of the zodiac.
Jupiter is all about expansion and broadening your horizons — yes, all the way out, beyond the ethers! Sagittarians have an innate thirst for knowledge and are often philosophical, exploring religious beliefs and cultures in a quest to uncover the truth.
The desire to experience a profound sense of knowing, serenity and a fundamental unity with nature and all it contains is the impetus behind this chakra. It’s not easy to obtain a healthy functioning sahasrara. It is usually the effort of one or many lifetimes and requires the other six chakras to be harmoniously aligned. This deep sense of meaning, peace and oneness is something many people strive to achieve.
The sahasrara rules the central nervous system and cerebral cortex — the part of the brain that plays a key role in memory, perception, awareness and thought. When it is blocked, there can be a sense of confusion or a feeling of being overwhelmed. Spiritual growth can be severely stunted when you are self-absorbed or so attached to your ego and opinions that you find it hard to listen to others.
The seventh chakra is a transmitter as well as a receiver, taking the energy it needs from the universe and giving back to the collective. It is the last point between the finite contained in your physical being and the infinite.
With a healthy functioning crown chakra, it’ll be easier to know your life purpose. You can enhance the vibrational energy of the sahasrara through selfless acts that benefit others and developing true, deep self-love and acceptance without the interference of ego.