29. Indigenous

29_Indigenous - Root

29. Indigenous – Root Chakra – Belief

The word Indigenous means original people. Humans traveled out of Africa over 150,000 years ago planting roots of belief throughout the world. These early cultures co-existed with animals, plants and trees as climates changed and seasons passed. Eventually their curiosity led them to observe the stars at night and the ongoing cycle of birth, life, death, and rebirth played out by the sun and moon each day.  Trees became ladders or bridges that provided a way to travel between the earth and the heavens. Trees became hitching posts to the stars and the sun.

The sun guided them by day and the moon and stars by night providing inspiration for the mind and soul. The sun also helped to establish the agricultural cycles of the seasons and the eight sacred directions. Ancient stories written in the stars became epic tales of deities that ruled over nature and the universe. The word pagan actually means, “one who lives in nature.” The root chakra reminds us to live in harmony with nature to reconnect with our roots.

Message: Ground yourself by walking among the trees. Imagine yourself as a tree connecting the earth with deep roots streaming from your feet. Feel your body anchored in the present as you reach to the stars.  Release any burdens you are carrying. Open yourself to feeling loved and supported by nature and all of its many gifts.

“A year of beauty. A year of plenty. A year of planting. A year of harvest. A year of forests. A year of healing. A year of vision. A year of passion. A year of rebirth. This year may we renew the earth. Let it begin with each step we take. Let it begin with each change we make. Let it begin with each chain we break. And let it begin every time we awake.” – A Celtic Chant

This symbol of the Celtic Cross represents Europeans connection with the solar year and the seasons.

The Celtic Solar Calendar

East – Spring – Equinox – Birth – Festival of Eostre

SE – Beltane – Festival of Beltane – Blossoming of Spring

South – Summer Solstice – Life – Festival of Love

SW – Lammas – First Harvest of Wheat

West – Fall – Equinox – Death – A Time to Release

NW – Samhain – Honoring the Ancestor Spirits

North – Winter – Solstice ‐ Rebirth ‐ Go Within

NE – Imbolc ‐ Festival of Brigid ‐ Bringer of the Light

32. Buddhism

32_Heart Chakra - buddhism

32. Buddhism – Heart Chakra – Belief

The heart chakra embodies Buddha, who taught that peace comes from within. 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 seek the meaning of suffering. After years of searching he entered a cave to meditate on the answer. He stopped eating and drinking to go to the edge of death for answers.

A girl found Siddhartha dying and convinced him to drink. She fed him until he was strong enough to walk out of the cave. Siddhartha saw that death would have stopped him from understanding the meaning of suffering or sharing his insights with others. 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 this as a gift. He chose to free himself of suffering. This awareness of choice transformed him into the Buddha or “Enlightened One.” Buddha taught for almost 50 years until his passing at the age of 81. Statues of Buddha were created for people to remember the Buddha within them. Buddhism is a form of positive atheism as he renounced the idea of god. He believed in the laws of karma and reincarnation. The heart chakra reminds us that we are what we believe.

Message: You have the choice to let go of any belief that limits you. Look deep within your heart and see that everything you need is within you.  By seeing that you are the source of love will you be open to loving someone else.

“The way is not in the sky. The way is in the heart.” – Buddha 

The Dharma chakra or eight-spoked wheel encompasses Buddha’s teachings. The four gates symbolize the Four Noble Truths; the spokes represent the Eightfold Path.

The Four Noble Truths:

1. Suffering exists.

2. Suffering arises from attachment to desires.

3. Suffering ceases when attachment to desire ceases.

4. Freedom from suffering is possible by practicing the;

Eightfold Path:

1. Right View

2. Right Intention

3. Right Speech

4. Right Action

5. Right Livelihood

6. Right Effort

7. Right Mindfulness

8. Right Contemplation.

33. Judaism

33_Judaism - Throat

33. Judaism/Kabbalah – To Receive and Reveal – Throat Chakra – Belief

The throat chakra is associated with Judaism for it was a voice that spoke to Abraham asking him to renounce all other deities to believe in one God (monotheism.) Through the children of Abraham, storytelling formed the roots of Judaism, Christianity and Islam. The Jewish people are seen as direct descendants of Isaac, the son of Abraham and Sarah. A voice spoke to Moses asking him to lead the Hebrews out of Egypt into the Promised Land. This voice gave Moses the Ten Commandments and instructed him to build the Ark of the Covenant and a Menorah, as the Tree of Life.

Between 586BCE – 130CE these oral stories were finally written onto paper. The first five books are known as the Torah, Genesis is the first book. Throughout Genesis, it is the voice that created heaven and earth, and the breath that gave life. The voice also cast Adam and Eve out of the Garden of Eden. This voice was known as El, YHWH, Adonai, Elijah, Elohim etc. Judaism formed the roots of monotheism, belief in one God, from which Christianity and Islam grew.

Judaism’s roots are also based in the ancient mystical traditions of the Kabbalah, known as the Tree of Life. Studying the Kabbalah is a process of receiving and revealing wisdom from and for the self and soul to join as a spiritual one. The roots of this story were forced underground. The throat chakra reminds us to consciously heal the stories we received from our ancestors so we can reveal them to help future generations.

Message: It is time to tell your story and speak your truth. Whatever has been preventing you from sharing the wisdom you hold is now releasing. Remember the person within you that desires to be heard. Speak up and make your dreams known. Your opinion matters; share it.

“Then the LORD God formed a man from the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living being.” – Genesis 2:7 

The Star of David begins with the legend that this star was on King David’s shield. The top triangle strives upward, toward the sky, while the lower triangle strives downward, toward earth.  A ring of menorahs, seven branched oil lamps symbolic of the Tree of Life, surrounds the Star of David.  The setting is at night in honor of the Jewish calendar, which is lunar. The crescent moon signals the beginning of a new month and a Jewish day begins at Sunset.

Exodus 25:31-40 – “You are to make a menorah of pure gold. It is to be made of hammered work; its base, shaft, cups, ring of outer leaves and petals are to be of one piece with it. It is to have six branches extending from its sides, three branches of the menorah on one side of it and three on the other. On one branch are to be three cups shaped like almond blossoms, each with a ring of outer leaves and petals; likewise on the opposite branch three cups shaped like almond blossoms, each with a ring of outer leaves and petals; and similarly for all six branches extending from the menorah. On the central shaft of the menorah are to be four cups shaped like almond blossoms, each with its ring of outer leaves and petals. Where each pair of branches joins the central shaft is to be a ring of outer leaves of one piece with the pair of branches -thus for all six branches. The rings of outer leaves and their branches are to be of one piece with the shaft. Thus the whole menorah is to be a single piece of hammered work made of pure gold. “Make seven lamps for the menorah, and mount them so as to give light to the space in front of it. Its tongs and trays are to be of pure gold. The menorah and its utensils are to be made of sixty-six pounds of pure gold. See that you make them according to the design being shown you on the mountain.”

 

34. Christianity

34_Christianity - Third Eye

34. Christianity/Gnosis – To Know – Third Eye – Belief

The third eye aligns with the teachings of Jesus of Nazareth, who lived in the land of Galilee (1-34 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 of God” was within everybody. This was contrary to Jewish belief and Roman law. He taught Jews, Gentiles (half-Jews) and Samaritans (non-Jews) to know their divine spark within them. He taught non-judgment, humility, compassion and forgiveness. He saw how money, greed and power were blinding people from seeing their soul’s truth. Most saw Jesus as a teacher/Rabbi; or a charismatic rebel. Some called him “King of the Jews.”

Jesus traveled to Jerusalem for the annual Jewish Passover Festival. He was arrested and brought before the Roman Prefect, Pontius Pilate who asked him if he was the King of the Jews. Jesus replied, “My kingdom is not of this world.” Pilate crucified him for challenging Roman authority. Some called Jesus “Christ” and his followers “Christians.” Some Jewish leaders felt that Jesus had not fulfilled the Messianic prophecy. In 110 ACE, Father Ignatius used the word “Katholikos,” a word by Aristotle meaning: “throughout the whole, of the four winds” to describe this emerging belief. Romans persecuted Christians and Jews until 325ACE, when Roman Emperor Constantine gathered the First Council of Nicaea in Turkey to debate and define who Jesus was. They named him Christ, the Son of God and created Christianity as a way to rule the masses.

Some followers of Jesus were Gnostics (gnosis means knowledge) who felt he taught people to seek spiritual knowledge.

The third eye chakra reminds us to see through the illusion of chaos and believe our inner wisdom.

Message: Look within for the answers you seek. Trust your inner knowing to guide you with love and kindness. If you are pulled in two, listen to your soul and believe in you.

“The light of the body is the eye: if therefore thine eye be single, thy whole body shall be full of light.” – Jesus – Mathew 6:22

The cross is often used the symbol of Christianity as a reminder to Christians of the resurrection of Jesus after being crucified. This cross is in a vesica piscis to symbolize Jesus as human and divine, born from the womb of his mother. Jesus is often referred to as a fisher of men.  The Vesica Piscis is a symbol for birthing a new way of seeing.

35. Islam

35_Crown Chakra - Islam

35. Islam/Sufism – To Dream – Crown Chakra – Belief

The crown chakra aligns with the “dreams” that founded Islam. They are 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. Ishmael and Isaac were sons of Abraham who were told they would be Fathers of Great Nations. Ishmael is the elder son, born of Hagar. Muhammad is believed to be a descendent of Ishmael. He was born in Mecca in 570 ACE. Orphaned as a child, he began receiving visions in his dreams at the age of 40. Gabriel serves 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 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. They seek knowledge through direct experience with the divine within.

Message: Your dreams are bringing important insights for you. Journal them as often as possible, even if they seem insignificant. Writing them down is the first step to making your dreams a reality. Now is the time to dream big!

“None of you is a believer until you love for your brother what you love for yourself.” – Muhammad 

The symbol for Islam is a hilal (lunar crescent of the new moon) cradling a five-pointed star. The Islamic calendar is a lunar calendar the new moon represents a new month.  The star is thought to either represent the archangel Gabriel or the five pillars of Islam.  It wasn’t until 1453, when the Turks conquered Constantinople (Istanbul), that this image became the official symbol of Islam.