A Complete Guide To The Seven Chakra Symbols And Their Meanings
Explore the profound world of energy centres with our comprehensive guide to the seven chakra symbols and their meanings. Delve into the ancient wisdom that defines each chakra, understanding their significance in balance mind, body and spirit.
By Anna Myers / Dec 12 2023
The word chakra is thrown around a lot: in yoga classes, in Instagram posts reminding you to breathe deeply and stay open to life, or even New Age gift shops. It derives from Sanskrit cakra, and as vague our knowledge about the subject could be, we all might have a perception of it having something to do with our emotional and physical well-being.
But what actually are chakras, and why are they represented by each different symbol?
Let’s shed some light on chakra symbols and their meaning, as understanding the power they hold can be extremely beneficial ––not just to someone approaching their yoga practice with new eyes, but really, anyone who wants to draw life energy from the beliefs and discoveries of old millennia.
what are chakra symbols and why are they important?
There are seven primary energy centres throughout the human body, running from the top of the head to the tailbone and making up a complex energetic system with unique ramifications. Originating from traditional Tantric texts, they are known as chakras and each one is associated with different colours, organs, goals and feelings.
As a whole, chakra symbols are believed to represent the beauty and geometry present in the Universe, which is why a steady yoga practice is said to align us with this cosmic energy and bring us closer to a state of kundalini (energy force, or life force.) The chakras and their placements allow this very life force to move through different energy points throughout our body, allowing us to move closer and closer to an ideal of pure light and total consciousness.
For example, they can come in handy during moon rituals or meditations, as they are a helpful image to focus our awareness on and help us transcend our mind. Each symbol is believed to help free us from negativity and mundanity, so we can truly reach our full potential. Here’s a full list of the seven primary chakras, their symbols and hidden meanings.
traditional chakra symbols and their meanings
Also known as Svadhishthana, and located above the pubic bone, the sacral chakra is one of water, fluidity, movement and change. For this reason, its symbol adds a circle and a crescent moon, which both represent birth, death and the constant movement that each different life cycle brings, to a six petalled lotus; the six qualities of the lotus in the sacral chakra symbol are pure and primal, but we must learn to overcome them to reach a superior state of consciousness: they are desire, hatred, anger, jealousy, cruelty and pride.
mind + spirit
Also known as Sahasrara, and located above the crown of the head, the crown chakra is associated with self-transcendence and the merging of one with the infinite, the human and the source of everything. Sahasrara, in Sanskrit, means infinite. The symbol we associate with the crown chakra is that of a circle, associated with the full moon, and a thousand-petalled lotus, which stands for unity, eternity, and our perpetual connection to the Universe.
Its colours are purple and white, and its mantra is “There is only divine oneness.”
Also known as Anahata, the heart chakra is associated with the element of air. It’s located in the center of our chest and it illuminates us with love, compassion, balance, and serenity. It’s an incredibly positive and powerful symbol, as it can help us on the path to gratitude and forgiveness so we can be free from negativity and only live in light and joy. It’s designed with a twelve petalled lotus, each associated to one quality of the heart, and both an upward facing triangle and a downward facing one, representing female and male energies coming together.
Its color is bright green and its mantra is “I open my heart to fully living.”
Also known as Vishuddha, the throat chakra is a power tool for communication and purification. In Sanskrit, visha means poison, and suddhi is purity, its complementary opposite. The Vishudda symbol has sixteen petals in its lotus flower, for sixteen vowels in the sanskrit alphabet, a circle, to bring a full moon (hence, full purity of mind) to the forefront, and an inverted triangle, a communicative and expressive channel connecting us to our soul, our higher self.
Its color is blue and its mantra is “I follow and speak my truth.”
third eye chakra
Also known as Ajna, and located in the space between the eyebrows, the third eye chakra is perhaps the most commonly known or seen in popular culture. Its symbol is made up of a two petalled lotus and an inverted triangle: this represents a sense of connection, a channel between the Universe and the Self, but also our closeness to enlightenment. It commands the awakening of our wisdom as well as our higher consciousness.
Its color is indigo and its mantra “I follow the path of truth and intuition.”
solar plexus chakra
Also known as Manipura, this is the chakra of fire and sun. Its ten petalled lotus and inverted triangle represent energy and power in their purest form, from the ten petals associated with each of the ten pranas (energy vibrations in each of us) and the inverted triangle symbolizing the transformative power of fire, of momentum, the energy rising up toward the top of the symbol.
It is located next to the solar plexus, its color is yellow, and its mantra is “I stand in my personal power.”
Also known as Muladhara, and located at the base of the spina, the root chakra is one of earth and body. It’s a very physical chakra that serves as a stable base or foundation for the life force running through it. Its symbol is made up of a four-petalled lotus representing four different aspects of the human spirit: mind, intellect, ego, and consciousness. There’s also an inverted triangle, representing the earth as a symbol of grounding energy, and a square, representing stability and foundational life force.
Its colour is red and its mantra “I am always safe at the centre of my being.”
what to do with the knowledge you have of each charka
Now you know more about the primary seven chakras and what each of their symbols mean. It’s quite a lot of information! It’s important to not get overwhelmed, but simply focus on one or two at a time and keep an open mind. You could create rituals around these symbols, or the one that most calls to you, and use it in your meditations or yoga sessions as a visual reminder of the energy flowing through your body and throughout the Universe itself.
The rest is just letting go ––and staying open to realizing our potential, and alignment!