Sanskrit Name: Sahasrara | Location: Crown of Head | Element: Thought, Cosmic Energy | Color: White & Violet | Crystal: Amethyst, Selenite, Lepidolite
Over the past six weeks, we have explored the intricacies of our chakras, how they work, and why they matter. Starting from the bottom up, we begin to find our foundation in our root chakra, which is the first of the three chakras of matter. Just like a baby, we explore the world and learn from our parents the importance of being grounded. As we continue to grow and learn, we begin to explore our inner child, developing our inner creativity and inspiration through balancing our sacral chakra. Then, we dive into our solar plexus chakra, the final chakra of matter, where we begin to actualize our desires, pleasures, and dreams.
With this solid, open, and balanced foundation in the three chakras of matter, we focus on the bridge that brings harmony between the chakras of matter and the chakras of spirit. This connection at our heart center through our heart chakra allows us to move through life with an open, understanding, and loving power that encourages us to be open to all that the universe offers to us. We balance this chakra in order to understand who we are at our core in a loving way. This allows us to transition into balancing the first chakra of spirit, the throat chakra.
When opening this chakra, we begin to find open and honest communication with ourselves and those around us, creating a safe process for us to communicate our inner truths. Once we realize who we are, what we desire, and what we need to turn our dreams into reality, we move into honoring the third eye chakra. This is the epicenter of finding balance, harmony, and wisdom, allowing us to experience spiritual growth. The third eye chakra expands our heart and mind to open space for us to truly connect to the earth and universe, creating a life full of peace, wellbeing, and gratitude.
The Crown Chakra Symbol
The seventh and final chakra in the chakra plane is the crown chakra, or Sahasrara in Sanskrit. Sahasrara translates to “thousand-petal lotus”, which is also the traditional depiction of the crown chakra symbol. In many ancient traditions, particularly Buddhist and Hindu, the lotus flower has held powerful symbolism. The lotus flower grows in dark muddy waters, in places that seem odd for such beautiful growth to occur naturally. It blooms during the day and returns within at night, but it is always clean and pure when it reemerges the following day. This is what promoted the famous Chinese philosopher, Confucius, to say, “I have a love for the lotus. While growing in mud, it still remains unstained.”
The beautiful lotus flower blooms in areas where there is murky confusion and mud, much like the mind when we are exploring the seventh chakra. Where there is no clarity, the mind can still become enlightened by balancing the chakras and expanding the mind through the powers of the crown chakra. Just like the vibrant and beautiful crown chakra symbol that is the lotus with a thousand petals, your crown chakra finds balance when the mind lets go of the self-confinement it has created through ego. The mind is stronger than the physical body, but not until we give it attention and learn to let go of all that holds us back. This is the basis for finding balance in the Sahasrara.
In addition to the powerful connection the crown chakra has to the thousand-petal lotus, it is also governed by the element of cosmic energy and thought. Sahasrara’s symbol is often depicted in violet and white, both of which are connected to the cosmic energy that energizes the crown chakra. Violet is the highest color in the light spectrum, just as the crown chakra is the highest chakra on the body, as well as being higher and closer in connection the spiritual universe. The lotus petals on the crown chakra symbol are often depicted in a bright white light which is connected to the energies of the cosmic and ethereal plane. Both the violet and white colors, in conjunction with the connection to cosmic energy and higher thought, all support the wisdom, vitality, heightened intuition, awareness, higher consciousness, and spiritual awakening that comes with a balanced and open crown chakra.
Understanding the Crown Chakra
Since the crown chakra is heavily connected to the mind and spiritual awakening, it is no surprise that it is located at the top of the head and is associated with the pituitary gland, the pineal gland, and the hypothalamus. With such a strong connection to the brain, it is important that the crown chakra is nurtured frequently, although many of us often give less attention to the seventh chakra than any of the other chakras.
This is typically because “spiritual awakening” and connecting to our spiritual self – whether through religion, the Divine, or just being in tune with nature – is difficult, especially when every part of the world has their own belief systems that tell you they are right and the other is wrong. This deep-rooted beliefs in a faith are important, but does not need to look like organized religion (but this is not to say that religion is wrong either). Basically, by finding and setting realistic goals that fit you and your spiritual needs, you can begin to find clarity and stillness in the mind, supporting the crown chakra.
In essence, Sahasrara encompasses letting go of all that holds back your mind, body, and spirit – the ego. When we begin to explore the deeper meaning behind our ego, we learn that a deep connection to everyone and everything should motivate us through life, not our ego; a pure oneness and connectedness with the universe and everything within it. Sahasrara is known philosophically for being a giver and receiver of energy, consciousness, and light.
This energy flow allows us to sustain life, all while working to give positive energy and light into the world to enhance the collective plane of higher consciousness. Through the exploration, grounding, and expansion of our crown chakra, we can learn to meld the body and ego with the universe and soul – because everything in this universe is interconnected and larger than ourselves. It also allows us to be open to what is being offered to us, creating a sense of daily gratitude for all that life gives to us, the good and the bad. This is when we learn to live a life fueled by gratitude, ease, and trust rather than through anxiety and fear – this is where we learn true balance that allows us to transcend our own limitations.
Signs Your Crown Chakra is Blocked or Overactive
Like the other two chakras of spirit, the throat chakra and the third eye chakra, Sahasrara is more noticeably unbalanced through spiritual and emotional ailments than physical. Since the crown chakra is strongly connected to the brain and connecting glands, it is still very possible to notice crown chakra issues in the physical body. Both overactive and underactive crown chakra issues can be manifested through constant mental fog and confusion, insomnia, night terrors, depression and anxiety, chronic fatigue, light sensitivity, and migraines. If you are struggling with deeper neurological and endocrine disorders, chances are your crown chakra needs some attention.
If your crown chakra is blocked, deficient, or underactive, you may experience intense emotions and a feeling of disconnectedness. You have lost touch with the world around you, both physical and spiritual, and are not open to the guidance of the universe. This leads to overwhelming feelings of apathy and depression which pave the way to loneliness. You start to become greedy and materialistic in hopes of filling a void that is spiritual in nature. You also begin to lack inspiration to move forward in life with no goals to drive you towards the future success you are capable of achieving.
However, if your crown chakra is receiving too much energy, becoming overactive or excessive, you may start to become too absorbed in the ego. When this happens, you start to lack empathy and compassion for those around you, also creating a sense of isolation and disconnection from the greater collective consciousness. You are no longer in tune with your body, mind, and spirit, which ultimately means you are not nurturing yourself anymore. The egotism and greed that you use to fill this void will lead to feelings depression, anxiety, and fear.
How to Balance Your Crown Chakra
While reaching a spiritual awakening and enlightenment sounds like a huge feat that only monks do, it is an attainable goal for anyone. By starting to explore what spirituality looks like to you, regardless of what anyone else tells you it must look like, you can begin to connect to your Sahasrara. Through our daily lives, we can begin to find ways to lower the aspects of our life that inhibit spiritual growth, such as a fast-paced lifestyle that forces us to ignore our mental and physical needs. Having too many stressors in life will cause us to disconnect from our crown chakra, so we must find ways to become more present in our day to day actions. Just by setting clear and attainable intentions each morning to find ways to be more present and mindful in what you are doing can help to balance your crown chakra.
This intention could be starting out with a daily five to ten-minute meditation. It is not easy, but it is the most practical, realistic, and attainable goal for many of us – there is no reason to not set aside five minutes for ourselves. You can use color visualizations, imagery visualizations, chants, prayers, affirmations, or whatever else helps you tune into the deeply spiritual and connected nature of the crown chakra while you meditate. As you begin your meditation, be sure to breathe in gratitude for another wonderful day full of surprises, all while exhaling the ego that is holding you back in that moment. You can even incorporate powerful yoga poses that bring the crown of your head closer to the floor, such as with downward dog or headstands.
Most importantly, incorporating these poses, meditations, affirmations, chants, prayers, and overall spiritual connectedness with the outdoors is essential. Our closest connection to the ethers is through the land that sustains us. Mother nature has offered us life, and we must always honor this. Get outside, experiencing the light that is always there even if it is hidden behind the clouds, and give thanks to the opportunity we have to be connected to everyone and everything through nature. We are nothing without a sense of gratitude and love for the whole universe and our connection to it all.