5. Sacred Beliefs

Humans began to create objects and rituals, inspired by nature and belief, over 40,000 years ago. Their innate desire to understand life beyond death inspired epic stories between life on earth and in the night sky. Over thousands of years these stories evolved into thousands of different stories containing multiple nature and sky deities. Eventually some of these stories formed the basis of laws, which were enforced by powerful men and women. As these different stories and laws grew in power they brought conflict versus harmony, which separated people from nature and from each other. By bringing awareness to these stories we can begin to consciously heal these wounds of separation. As we heal our hearts with an open mind, we honor those who came before us and clear a new way of living for our children.  When we reconnect with our true nature as both human and divine, we can see that our diversity makes us stronger.  By seeing through the walls that divide us, we can see the shared dream of love and peace.

Note: Mandala Chakra aligns belief in a chronological order beginning with the root chakra representing our indigenous roots. This is not intended to be seen as a hierarchy, it is organized as a natural progression of chronological events and how they chronologically align with the chakras. My hope is that by understanding the basic historical context of each belief and how they subconsciously align within us that we will be able to awaken to all that is within each of us. Our diversity is what makes us unique, our unity is what makes us whole. To be whole is to be “holy”. We are the ones we have been waiting for.

Root Chakra – Our Roots – Indigenous Belief “original belief” was practiced by various cultures throughout the world beginning around 40,000 BCE. These original beliefs were based in man’s observation of nature and their relationship with it. As hunter gatherers they were deeply connected to all of nature through their senses.  They honored the seasons of the sun and the cycles of the moon.  Woman were seen as sacred because of their ability to birth, nurture and destroy life.  Agriculture began when they charted the sun and moon by observing shadows cast from trees and built structures to track the planets and stars. They created calendars as a way to bring order from the chaos of everyday life. As mankind looked to the stars they shifted from ancestor spirits to deities (Gods and Goddesses) that took on numerous forms. Early seers, sages, mystics and shamans were often women who provided an important role of passing on wisdom and teachings based in nature. As the agriculture age grew the “male seed” was seen as superior to the “female container”. This gave birth to patriarchy as men created laws, based on ancient stories, to bring order and a sense of ownership of their lives. Unfortunately this created more conflict between different cultures as they fought for ownership of land. The word “pagan” means to “live in nature”, as people were uprooted from their “homeland” at a time when they were just beginning to plant their own roots. This created confusion and scarcity as powerful patriarchs began to rule over those who worked the land and fought to defend it. Those who lived in harmony with the land were eventually seen as a threat to those who wanted to control it. This original wound of not feeling safe on earth begins in the root chakra. Our work is to release this wound and rebuild our reciprocal relationship with nature and each other.

Sacral Chakra – Our Duality – Taoism originated in the far East with the WU Shamans of China around 5000 BCE.  They developed a circular cosmology based on the harmony of opposing forces (Yin/Yang) in nature.  The dots within the Taoist symbol represent aspects of the other.  Taoists see life as a continual balance between Yin and Yang, any shift to one extreme will be self-defeating. Yin is the feminine, receptive aspect of nature as seen in earth, lakes, marshes and fire light.  Yang is the masculine, penetrating aspect of nature seen in the sky, mountains, thunder and large bodies of water.  These eight aspects of nature are directly related to the four primary and four secondary directions. This sense of direction and connection with nature led to the creation of the eight-sided Bagua around 1200 BCE.  This compass-like tool was used to channel Chi or Life Force energy in the practice of Feng Shui (Wind Water).  These eight aspects of nature form the foundation of the I Ching, which is the oldest divination system still practiced today. Its purpose is to provide direction for the body, mind and soul. This desire for harmony and direction feeds our sacral chakra as we seek to create balance in our life.

Solar Plexus Chakra – Our Fire – Hinduism was officially formed around 1500 BCE, when the Rig-Veda (Rig “to praise”, Veda “knowledge”) was written. The first deity mentioned in the Rig-Veda was Agni, the God of fire and wisdom. Agni serves as the messenger between humans on earth and the sky above. Offerings, also known as sacrifice, are given to Agni fires to carry blessings on paper or to carry the soul after death. Atman is the Hindu word for Soul. Brahman is the “spirit” of the Atman. The spirit of the soul is expressed through multiple deities (Gods and Goddesses.) Some Hindus are followers of Shiva (Destroyer God) or Vishnu (Preserver God). Brahman is the unifying “spirit”. Hinduism is not a unified religion but a diverse set of practices and beliefs that evolved over time. Many Hindus consider their religion as an “eternal path” or “sanatama dharma.”  Reincarnation is a central belief for all Hindus. The Atman or Soul, as the divine self, is eternal. The soul is affected by karma (action). When the soul reincarnates into a human body, a person’s actions create reactions. This is the eternal law of karma, which impacts future incarnations. This cycle of reincarnation is called Samsara where the soul is reborn over and over again according to their karma. The goal is to achieve liberation (moksha) and be free from Samsara. Agni fires are used to help clear karma within lifetimes and to carry the karma of souls between lifetimes. This concept of fire is symbolic of the power within our solar plexus. We carry the ability to create and to destroy, to connect and to disconnect by empowering ourselves to choose the right path for our soul.

Heart Chakra – Our Heart – Buddhism is an off shoot of Hinduism. Siddhartha Gautama (Buddha) was born a Hindu Prince in 623 BCE. His father, a warrior king, sheltered him from the world. Siddhartha left the palace and saw an old man, an ill man, a dead man, and a suffering man. He feared that suffering was the inevitable end of life and renounced himself as Prince. He dedicated his life to seeking the meaning of suffering and almost died in search of it. On his 35th birthday, Siddhartha sat under a Bodhi tree to contemplate life. When a seedpod fell on his head, he saw that he had the choice to feel hurt or to see it as a gift. In that moment he chose to be free of suffering. This awareness transformed him into the Buddha or “Enlightened One.” Buddha taught this lesson until his passing at the age of 81.  Buddhism is a form of positive atheism for he renounced the idea of god by believing in the laws of karma and reincarnation as they manifest within the heart or soul of a person and the choices they make.

Throat Chakra – Our Stories – Judaism represents the roots of the monotheistic tradition (the belief in one God – which includes Judaism, Christianity and Islam) All three faiths have roots to Abraham of UR in Sumeria, modern day Iraq.  It was the voice of God who spoke to Abraham asking him to cast away all others Gods and believe in only one true God.  Judaism is based on the oral tradition of storytelling that was passed down from the time of Abraham. The Persians, who ruled the land around 500 BCE, asked the Hebrew people to write a book of “laws”. The Sanhedrin or “Men of Great Assembly” wrote the five books of the Torah (Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, Deuteronomy) and presented them to the Persians as “law”.  Historically the Epic of Gilgamesh (circa 2100 BCE), is the first “story” to be etched in stone. It also originated in Sumeria, the land of Abraham. It shares many of the same themes found in Genesis. Stories passed from on from one generation to another often change over time, but once they were written in stone, these “words” became laws, which formed the foundation of monotheistic belief. Judaism’s mystical roots are hidden in the ancient teachings of the Kabbalah, known as the Tree of Life. Studying the Kabbalah is a process of receiving and revealing wisdom to assist the self and soul to join as a spiritual one. The story of the Kabbalah was forced underground during a time of Roman rule. The throat chakra reminds us to consciously heal the stories we have received from our ancestors and to seek the truth of the stories that impact our collective unconscious.

Third Eye Chakra – Our Knowing – Christianity was originally inspired by the teachings of Jesus of Nazareth, who lived in the land of Galilee during 1 ACE to 34 ACE (modern day Palestine and Israel). Jesus was born into a Jewish family during a time of Roman rule. Around the age of thirty, Jesus began teaching that the “Kingdom” was within. This was contrary to Jewish belief and Roman law. He taught Jews, Gentiles (half-Jews) and Samaritans (non-Jews) to recognize the divine spark within them. He taught non-judgment to his followers; that included men, women, fisherman, tax collectors, the rich and the poor. Most saw Jesus as a teacher or Rabbi; some saw him as a charismatic rebel. Others called him “King of the Jews.” Jesus traveled to Jerusalem for the annual Jewish Passover Festival. Here he was arrested and brought before the Roman Prefect, Pontius Pilate who asked him if he was the King of the Jews.  When Jesus replied, “My kingdom is not of this world,” Pilate had him crucified for challenging Roman authority. Some called Jesus “Christ” and his followers “Christians.” But, many Jews felt that Jesus did not fulfill the Messianic prophecy of reclaiming Jerusalem, thus alienating Jesus from Judaism. Some followers of Jesus were Gnostics who felt he wanted people to seek spiritual knowledge. The third eye chakra reminds us to believe in our inner wisdom. In 110 ACE, Father Ignatius used the word “Katholike” (an Aristotelian word meaning: throughout the whole, of the four winds) to describe this belief. Romans persecuted Christians and Jews until 325 ACE, when Emperor Constantine converted Rome to Christianity. The First Council of Nicaea gathered in Turkey defining Jesus as Christ, the Son of God, second in the Holy Trinity of Father, Son and Holy Ghost.  The Roman Empire forced conversion to Christianity onto the people it conquered.  Knowledge became forbidden as books were destroyed and the understanding of our interrelationship with nature was deemed as heresy.  A person’s intuition or inner knowing was seen as evil, which closed the third eye from knowing our inner vision.  The “Dark Ages” refers to this loss of sight, the “Renaissance” in contrast, is called the “Age of Enlightenment.”  The pineal gland is directly associated with the third eye of our inner knowing and is considered a light receptive organ that has calcified, due to inactivity over the past 2000 years. We are being reminded that the “light” is within us. By opening our mind with the wisdom in our heart our inner vision will become known.

Crown Chakra – Our Dreams – Islam was originally based on a series of “night visits” (visionary dreams) between the Archangel Gabriel and the Prophet Muhammad. Islam is the newest of the three Abrahamic faiths, which trace their beginnings to Ishmael and Isaac, as the sons of Abraham who were told they would be Fathers of Great Nations. Ishmael is the elder son, born of Hagar, an Arabian or Egyptian. Muhammad is believed to be a direct descendent of Ishmael. Muhammad was born in Mecca in 570 ACE.  Orphaned as a child, he began receiving visions in his dreams at the age of 40. Gabriel served as a messenger angel in Jewish scripture. At forty-one, Muhammad experienced what is now known as the “Night Journey,” when Gabriel asked Muhammad to ride Buraq, the winged horse of Abraham. They flew over the Holy Lands until they came to the Heavenly Lote Tree rooted in Jerusalem. Gabriel introduced Muhammad to Adam, Enoch, Noah, Abraham, Moses, Jesus and others who spoke of the original stories.  When he entered the 7th heaven, he saw a luminous canopy of leaves. It was here that he learned of the universal spirit and divinity in everyone. In 630 ACE, Muhammad reclaimed Mecca and worshipped Allah as the Lord of the Kaaba. Muhammad died in 632 ACE. The Kaaba, (Arabic for God cube) is in the most sacred mosque in Mecca. The Kabbalah may have influenced Muhammad to receive this information in three ways. Islam, Iman and Ihsan. Islam is the outward practice. Iman is the inward practice. Ihsan is the practice of spiritual union with the divine. Sufism is the mystical aspect of Islam based on Ihsan. The crown chakra asks us to seek knowledge through direct experience as we connect to the divine one within us.

Note: Christianity and Islam are the two largest religions of the world. They are followed by Atheism, Hinduism, Pantheism, Taoism/Confucianism, Buddhism, Sikhism, Juche (North Korean state run belief system), Spiritism (communicating directly with the spirit world) and Judaism in that order.

“The mystic discovers symbols. . .symbols are windows through which we can view the essential nature of our being.” – Ngakpa Chogyam  

If you liked what you read and want more... you may be interested in having the actual guidebook and card deck. The 134 page full-color book is sold separately from the cards. My goal is to find a publisher who can offer this as a set. In the meantime, you can purchase either the book or cards via these links. Thank you for your support. Laural

Mandala Chakra book available at: Amazon

Mandala Chakra card deck available at: Printers Studio

If you wish to gift one of my mandalas to a friend or hang in your home or office they are available in my online gallery: Ink Drop Arthaus

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For more information visit: lauralwauters.com

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