Unit I.  Fifth Chakra Themes


1.    Chakras as energy transformers
2.    Symbols of the fifth chakra

Materials needed: Journal, crayons or colored pens or paints

Books needed:

Chakras: Energy centers of transformation*

Exercise:  Fifth chakra diagram

* If you have been working with these guidebooks before, you may have this book.

We go now to the symbolism of the fifth chakra. You will remember that the ancient rishis drew pictures for their students to illustrate their teachings as this was a time before the written word had been invented. Symbols also tap into intuitive knowledge and are the language of that domain. Each of the symbols in the fifth chakra has a particular significance for spiritual development at this level. We will see that the senses have become refined as have the elements. Usually this means the vibratory levels have increased. Through spiritual practices, we have been able to raise the frequencies. So now, what we do has an impact on the more subtle bodies in our auras. A good example of this is the functioning of homeopathy and flower essences that are used for healing. In both of these healing techniques, the basic idea is that less is more potent. So an extract of the basic physical remedy is made, then diluted six times, or more often up to a thousand times. At this level of dilution, there may be no molecules of the original remedy, but the action is much more powerful. This is because such remedies act upon the subtle body or the causal body. You̓ll remember the embedded model of the person you met in Book II. Activity in one of the higher levels of consciousness impacts all the lower levels and may finally manifest on the physical level. The difference between these levels lies in the frequency of vibration.

    Chakras are Energy Transformers

Chakras are energy transformers. They conduct prana or life energy into the body from the outside environment if they are open and unimpeded. Since they are in the energy body, they provide a link between the body and the upper levels of beingness: the mental and spiritual bodies. Bodywork practitioners and therapists work with the energy body to assist in opening and relaxation of not only the chakras, but also the meridians and/or nadiis that connect them. Chakras also represent increasingly higher levels of consciousness and sensitivity/awareness as they ascend in the the body.

Fifth Chakra Visuddha Chakra. This is the visuddha chakra. Visuddha means purity. The seeker is made pure by becoming united with the divine One. This entity is called hamsa which in Sanskrit means “I am He.” In the  fourth chakra, hamsa was in the center. Now, in this chakra, we must acknowledge our identity with the divine One.  [Note:  In what follows, only the first time a Sanskrit word is used will it be italicized.]

Symbols of the Fifth Chakra

Blue Circle (Nabho-mandala). This is the ethereal region and, as a circle, represents wholeness. In this case, wholeness means that there is no independent existence. All that is, is part of the whole, the divine unity. Therefore, in order to attain unity consciousness, we must give up our illusion of a separate existence.

Trikona. This is the downward facing triangle which represents the divine One reaching down for us. It is also an expression of the feminine, so the focus here is one the maternal, loving care of the One who, it is said, deeply wishes to be united with us. In my experience this is true of Spirit who is constantly imploring, “Come to Me, Be Mine, Be Me, Be My Love.” The Trikona also stands for healing through surrender to this Love.

Candra-mandala. This is the inner circle which is the full moon, a lunar symbol that is associated with the goddess. The Candra-mandala is the gateway of great liberation for those who have purified themselves, those who realize that their Higher Self (Atman) is God (Brahman), those who have achieved inner stillness and peace of mind. Such a person is called a jnani, one who sees the three periods of time (past, present and future) and who is free of disease and sorrow. This is a person who is identified with his/her authentic Self.

Smoke. The petals on this chakra are a smoky gray. This represents the confusion and unclarity that still exists in the individual. Confusion is thrown up by the threatened ego to aid in its defenses. One is not yet connected to and
listening to the inner guide. We will see that it also refers to the dark night of the soul.

Red sanskrit letters and ruddy filaments. This aura of this chakra is suffused with red, the color of fire. The substance of the fifth chakra is tejas which is the fire that purifies, especially the intellect and ego. Since the petals represent speech, we will be looking at how speech and hearing influence and are influenced by the essential surrender.

Silver crescent. (Nada) This is the first movement in the ideating consciousness leading up to the sound, Sabda-Brahman, which is the creative vibration that formed the world and universe. (Woodroffe, 1973, p. 34) In other traditions, it is called the “word” or “logos.” We
also find this energy described in modern physics.

Ether.   Ether is the element of the fifth chakra and stands for the mind. Yogis speak of mind as the sixth sense because it receives information from the environment and, when it is properly trained, from higher levels of vibration. Ether is the refinement of all the senses to their purest essence which is akasha.

.  This is the tiny drop or point above the crescent moon. It denotes a state of active consciousness in which “I” identify with the total “This.” (Woodroffe, 1973, p. 34) It is a point because there is no longer any subjective “I.” Refer back to the idea that we exist as projections of the lonely deity and are wending our way Home again (figure2.htm). The space within the bindu also implies the void.

Hearing. Hearing is the sense of the fifth chakra, or perhaps sensation is a more descriptive word. This manifests as hearing and listening on the physical level and as intuition on higher levels of sensitivity. Communication as well as communion are related concepts.

White elephant. We have seen that the elephant represents the mind. In the first chakra, our elephant was gray and had five trunks pointing downward indicating an orientation to the earth and the sense of smell. Now our elephant is white and its trunk is pointing upward denoting a changed orientation to sources of spirit. This increased sensitivity and refinement is due to the increased purification and attunement to sources of divine power that is brought about by ego surrender. You can think of it as a transmutation of self-will to spiritual Will.

Bija.   Bija is the essence of a thing, in this case the essence of the fifth chakra. The bija here is depicted as a sanskrit letter seated on the back of the elephant. It is Ham with a dot over the “H.” This, when treated like a mantra and chanted, is said to open the chakra.

Two other symbols that do not appear in the diagram because of its smallness are the deities Sadashiva and Shakti Sakini in the form of Gauri. They are being mentioned here because they hold tools that assist the aspirant at this level.

Sadashiva. This form of Shiva has half of his body in silver and the other half in gold. He has five faces each with three eyes (third eye) and ten arms holding the following tools or reminders of obstacles: noose (pride of knowledge), goad (to keep the elephant mind moving), trident (physical, subtle and causal bodies or past, present and future), battle ax (to cut away personality aspects), sword (of discrimination), vajra or thunderbolt (power), great snake (wisdom), bell (listening), fire (purification), gesture of dispelling fears. He is seated on an elephant and wears a tiger skin to insulate him from the earth energies and a garland of snakes. He is smeared with ashes (fire has burned up all karma).

Gauri. She is the mother of the universe and is white and heatless indicating purity. She has five faces each with three eyes and is holding: bow (tension and alertness), arrow (clear direction), noose and goad (last efforts and struggle with ego). She is clothed in yellow and seated on a bed of skulls (empty mind).

The organization of this guidebook is based on the symbols and each unit attempts to reveal the significance of that particular symbol for the spiritual journey at this level of development taking into consideration relevant materials from other spiritual disciplines and transpersonal psychology as needed.

Exercise:    Fifth Chakra Diagram

Review your book on the Chakras by Harish Johari. You will notice that his drawing of the chakra is different, but it contains essentially the same symbology. The deities are more clearly represented though their tools are different. Differences reflect the different orientations of the teachers through which the information came. One of the values of a symbol is that it is capable of carrying more than one meaning at a time. And they usually do. Select the interpretations that are most cogent for you at this time, yet remain open to the fact that they may change as you grow.

Consult and compare Johari̓s colors with those presented here and make yourself a chakra that reflects your intuitive grasp of the symbols. It might help to trace Johari̓s diagram in the essentials. You might want to use your diagram as a cover for your journal.


Johari, H.  (1987).  Chakras: Energy centers of transformation.  Rochester, VT: Destiny Books.

Woodroffe, Sir J. (1973).  The serpent power: Being the Sat-Cakra-Nirupana and Paduka-Pancaka.  Madras, India: Ganesh & Co.

We have seen how the visuddha chakra symbols suggest the tasks of spiritual development at the fifth level of consciousness. Unit II. Adult Development  lays a foundation from psychology in adult development.

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