Please enjoy this feature article by Tantra Teacher, Ella Shannon. 

Tantric practitioners have a different understanding of Chakras than that of the new age system. Rather than seeing chakras as spiritual organs that open and close, chakras are understood as different levels of consciousness available to us as part of the human experience, and each person will have more or less activation at each level.  Some of this is nature and nurture (what you were born with and how you were raised) and some of this can be influenced by how you live your life and what daily practices and disciplines you subscribe to. 

Many of us have some activation on the first 3 chakras, particularly Muladhara the base, which is our sense of stability and security in the world. Many people have a lot of activation at the level of Svadhisthana; this level of consciousness has us grasping after pleasure, wanting to look a certain way to appeal to what others think and sucks us into whatever tastes sweet or is in fashion. Manipura the solar chakra is about power, confidence, discipline and will. It is the ability to delay immediate gratification for longterm gain and is also related to being able to surrender yourself to a higher ideal. Most people in modern society have much more activation of Svadhisthana than Manipura, therefore when a person comes along with a strong activation at the level of Manipura; the rest of the people with lots of Svadhisthana are very drawn to follow them. Sadly, it is easy to think of many leaders who have taken advantage of this willingness to follow those with a strong arousal of Manipura and they lead with much disharmony,

Tantric practitioners spend a lot of their daily practice building Manipura so that they are not easily led, so that they can stand strong against temptation and live by their values.

Anahata, the heart chakra, is even more rare. That is why someone like Jesus, who had a massive activation of the sacred heart stood out so dramatically from everyone else, and why his message (when distilled from the problems religion has caused) still has a positive influence on many people worldwide. Most of the rest of us have moments of heart activation, but we are largely dominated by the activation of the first 3 chakras, and also ‘live in our minds’ with some activation of Ajna chakra too.

Having more than a little activation of Vishuddha, the throat chakra is also uncommon. This chakra is about purity, gracefulness, refinement of the senses and the highest level of creativity. Svadhisthana gives us Walt Disney movies and pop music hits, while Vishuddha gave us the Sistine Chapel and Mozart.

A person with a strong activation at the level of Vishuddha finds it very difficult to be part of modern society. They are delicate and sensitive, it is like hearing fingernails down a blackboard when they are around people discuss anything besides Truth, Love or Spirituality.

These refined humans are drawn to monasteries and retreats, or you might find them at home painting, meditating or enjoying the stillness of nature.

So to talk about Vishuddha and relationships is difficult. If one person in a couple is awakened at this level, they will seek a lot of alone time. They will prefer to pray or mediate than sit and watch Netflix. Sexuality at this level is extremely rare, as the person with lots of activation here is more likely drawn to periods of celibacy. Although if this level is reached during love making, it is like communing with the angelic realm. It is a level of exquisite purity that takes you to states of consciousness beyond space and time to where knowledge begins and where worlds are born and destroyed.

If Vishuddha activation arises in one person in a relationship, communication is needed regarding how worldly needs and desires will be fulfilled, as the other party may feel lonely and unimportant. Meditating together, reading sacred poetry and being in nature together may help to sustain the connection between you, and these activities can also help to bring a deeper activation of Vishuddha to all of us.

To live a full and rich life, it’s wonderful to be able to access to all 7 levels of consciousness, and in a society that often values that which is crass and cheap some more refinement, purity and grace would not go astray. 

Sanskit names of the Chakras:

Muladhara– Base Chakra. Safety and Stability

Svadhisthana– Sacral Chakra. Sensuality and Fantasy.

Manipura– Solar Chakra. Discipline, confidence, will power.

Anahata– Heart Chakra. Love, compassion, wonder, awe.

Vishuddha– Throat Chakra. Purity, refinement, higher creativity.

Ajna– Third Eye. Knowledge, Spiritual Wisdom.

Sahasrara– Crown Chakra. Connection to higher self / source.

Ella Shannon is a relationship therapist, tantra teacher and trauma counsellor. She runs ‘Evolution of Intimacy’. www.ellashannon.com