LOCATION: The second chakra is located at the navel. The navel was once our umbilical cord that was our attachment to our first physical home, our mother and the nurturing that she provided. The second chakra also represents our attachment to Mother Earth as well as all the plants and creatures that call Her home.
PETALS: This chakra has six petals or spokes. In numerology, six is the number that represents responsibility and nurturing for family and community as well as finding balance and harmony with our environment.
NOTE & MANTRA: The note for this chakra is D and the mantra is “vam” or “o” as in home. Chanting these mantras in the key of D while focusing our attention on this area of our body can enable us to more consciously access the second chakra.
COLOR: The color of this chakra is orange. Orange is the color of emotion. In the Hindu chakra system, the color orange is associated with death of the old. This “death” refers not only to physical death, but also to death, or total liberation, of painful emotions that have been repressed. This “death” also refers to the discharge of the defense mechanisms that were created in order to survive those emotions, as well as the situations that caused them.
RULES: The second chakra rules our VITAL, SENSUAL body. This chakra governs sexuality, reproduction, emotions, instincts, food, and general communication of the body with the consciousness that lives inside it. The second chakra rules the feminine component of sexuality, whereas the first chakra rules the masculine component of sexuality. The second/navel chakra is more sensual than sexual. It tells us how we feel about sex and having children, whereas the first chakra rules sex that is for enjoyment, power, and/or procreation.
Besides reproduction, the second chakra also governs other kinds of creativity. Swimming, hiking, and gardening make use of the second chakra’s connection to nature. Sculpting and carving use materials and objects of nature as a medium, and nature is often the “subject” of painters and photographers. With dancing and martial arts, the navel area is seen as the base, the Hara Center, the area to be kept in alignment with the earth so that perfect balance can be maintained.
Like the first chakra, the second chakra governs survival, but from the perspective of the feminine polarity. The first chakra governs the fight for survival, whereas the second chakra rules the instincts for survival. The first chakra would urge us to battle for and protect, whereas the second chakra would aid us in using our instincts to find a safe place to hide, to live, and to rear our young. Like the first chakra, the second chakra also rules money, but again, in a different manner. The first chakra rules money and the power that it holds, whereas the second chakra rules money and the security that it brings.
SENSE: The sense of taste is related to this chakra. The sense of taste is important for identification of edible vs. non-edible food and for the enjoyment of eating, which is also ruled by the second chakra. Taste is a very emotional experience and is the basis for the nurturing and comfort that eating provides. Eating, more specifically suckling, forms the important first bond between mother and child and serves as comfort as well as nutrition.
Preparing and serving food is often an act of love and community, and “family meals” bind the family together. Eating and food is very culture specific. For generations after a family immigrates to a new area, they maintain their preference for the food of their culture because of the security and sense of belonging that it provides.
ASTROLOGY SIGN: The astrology sign of Cancer is associated with the second chakra because Cancer rules emotions, receptiveness and fertility.
ELEMENT: Water is the element associated with the second chakra. Our first physical home in the amniotic sac was one of water. This chakra reflects how we feel about being in or near the water. Psychologically, water is the metaphor and symbol for emotion. The second chakra deals with “gut instincts,” basic emotions such as fear, rage, and joy and basic interpersonal emotions that are often unspoken.
The second chakra also rules the kidneys, which is where we eliminate our water. This chakra rules our second dimensional self, which is represented by the plant kingdom and less evolved creatures such as fish. Both plants and fish must have water to survive.
CONSCIOUSNESS: The second chakra depicts our emotional consciousness, our “animal instincts” and our tribal consciousness. This chakra represents the mammalian portion of our brain where the limbic system rules our emotions and short-term memory. The limbic system is an important center for creativity and learning because it is where emotion and memory combine. We all know that it is easier to learn when we are emotionally engaged than when we are bored. Also, a deeply loving experience is usually imprinted in our conscious mind. However, an extremely frightening experience is often banished to our unconscious mind, as the memory of it is too painful.
Higher mammals such as dogs and monkeys remember what they are taught because they have an emotional relationship with the teacher, or because the food that is given as a reward makes them feel happy and nurtured. Humans also use emotions and food as a means of reinforcement and reward.
PERSONAL TIMELINE: The second chakra represents ages 2 to 4 when the child is going beyond basic survival and is beginning to develop his or her position in the family. It is also a time when they are creating their own sense of individuality, but they are still dependent on their “tribe”. It is at this age that children are beginning to associate their emotions with specific events, but they are dependent on their caregivers for interpretation and guidance. Emotional events that occur during this age are often unconscious to our adult self, but they form the basis of many of our core beliefs about our selves and our abilities.
SOCIAL TIMELINE: Anthropologically, the second chakra represents the time when civilization advanced beyond living in caves and was able to settle into tribes. At this time, many tribes began agriculture and animal husbandry. Since the people lived off the land, they worshiped the Goddess with ceremony and sacrifice.
ENDOCRINE GLAND: The endocrine glands for the second chakra are the gonads, which consist of both male and female sex organs. These include the ovaries, testes, and prostate gland. The prostate gland is also ruled by our first chakra. Hormones have a strong influence on mood, as any woman with PMS will confirm. What is not as often noted is the interaction between testosterone and adrenaline. When a man’s fight/flight syndrome is activated, the adrenaline in his system interacts with the testosterone to create an explosive combination. Steroids also create strong emotional reactions.
Healthy male and female sexual organs make our personality radiant and magnetic, our eyes sparkling and luminous, and give us an air of self-reliance. The inner warmth of vibrant sex glands prevents the tendencies for inflexibility, hardening, and stiffening that can come with aging. In fact, a healthy active sex life can bring a vitality and balance to life even in our “old age.”
NERVE PLEXUS: The second chakra is located at the lumbar plexus, which rules the reproductive system, abdomen, and lumbar region of the back.
CLEAR: When the second chakra is clear we feel patient, enduring, nurturing, and secure. We feel intimate with our family, friends, neighborhood, and planet. We feel “at home” in our bodies and are able to communicate with our “self.” Our emotions are balanced, and we are able to trust our instincts and “gut feelings.”
Our sex life is natural and loving, and we are able to balance both the male and female components of sexuality. We eat the healthy food in the correct amount for our bodies’ needs and enjoy the comfort and nurturing free of any addictive behaviors. Our elimination of waste material is regular and our sex organs, bladder, and kidneys are healthy.
UNCLEAR: When the second chakra is unclear, we feel impotent, frigid, or over-sexed. We may not be able to enjoy sex or we may use it as an addiction to cover what we are really feeling. We may feel disassociated from our friends and family and ill at ease within our home. Our eating and drinking can become addictive in that we eat or drink to comfort ourselves and to cover emotions that we don’t want to consciously face.
Fear and anger are just beneath the surface of our awareness, which makes us anxious and/or depressed. Old core beliefs of limitation and fear sabotage our behavior and keep us in “survival mode.” Life feels like a day-to-day struggle, and we feel like we are living hand-to-mouth because we are unable to make enough money to feel comfortable in our home and secure in our family life.
EARTH’S CHAKRA: Although our Western minds have discounted it, the Earth is a living being just as we are. In “evolving” beyond our tribal consciousness, we have lost our association with and respect for the planet who is a Mother to us all. Mother Earth’s second chakra is in the Brazilian Amazon. This is a fitting place for Her second chakra for it is a paradise of fertility and growth. That is, if we humans do not continue to destroy it.
DIMENSIONS: The second chakra rules our second and third dimensional bodies. This chakra, more than any other, represents our humanoid “animal.” Animals have emotions, just as we do, ask any pet lover. It is through conscious, third dimensional awareness of our second dimensional emotions that we are able to become the protectors of Mother Earth, rather than Her destroyers. If we feel the warmth and protection of a tree, if we can honor the food that we eat and the water that we drink, we will not want to pollute or destroy our planet that provided them for us.
However, if we harbor repressed emotions of terror and rage, we will see the world around us as an enemy, which we must conquer. When we can heal our past pain, we can feel our connection to the Earth and all Her creatures. It is vital that we love our own bodies, for when we can truly love and respect our own bodies, we can love and protect the Earth whose body we call home.
SUMMARY: The second chakra symbolizes our emotions and how they inform us of our feelings about life and our selves. Unfortunately, emotions are often dominated by the pain, guilt, anger, and fear from our past. This backlog of old negative emotions acts like a full wastebasket, and one more piece of paper is enough to cause the contents of the wastebasket to spill out. Our unconscious, specifically the unconscious which is harbored in our second chakra, is that wastebasket. Our repressed emotions are the old pieces of paper that fill it.
Too often we are operating at the edge of “overwhelm” and cannot allow ourselves to “feel” too much for fear that the damn will burst. However, our emotions are important gauges to guide us through both our inner and outer lives. If we can allow ourselves to consciously “have our emotions” without losing our self-control so that “our emotions have us,” they can serve us much like the gauges on the dashboard of our car. These “gauges” tell us when we need repair, when all is working well, when we are in danger, and when we are safe.
The brain centers for emotion and memory are intimately related. Our memory works by association and memories filled with the same emotions are stored in the same “file.” Therefore, repressed emotions from our forgotten past threaten to “tack onto” present situations that activate the same emotion. At this point, the past emotions amplify our present emotions to inappropriate levels.
For example, if we suffered a loss in childhood and never received adequate comfort and support, we will be over sensitized to any losses that we experience as adults. In other words, our “sorrow” file is filled. Since we have repressed our childhood experience, we cannot understand why we feel such sorrow in reaction to what seems to be a relatively insignificant event.
Fortunately, our child is alive and living in our unconscious mind. If we can give our inner child what was needed before and never received, we can begin to heal our old pain. In this manner, we will learn to discriminate between the pain of our childhood and the pain of the present. Then, we can take a moment to reassure our inner child that he or she is safe and that we, the adult, will handle the situation at hand.
One of the foundations for creativity is the sensual sensitivity of our physical body. If we can clear the fear and pain from our past, we can begin to feel our emotions with the same power and clarity that we did as children. When we can do that, we will awaken the wonderful imagination that we “grew out of” as adults. If we can consciously communicate and love inner child, we can be intuitively tuned in, as well as solidly rooted in a mature understanding of how we create our reality.