Chakra in Hindu means "wheel." In Buddhist, Jainist, and Hindu beliefs, Chakras
are vital energy centers in the body. Located in the nerve ganglia along the
spine, they are conceived as spinning vortices channeling cosmic energy. Blockages
or interruptions of the flow of this energy is believed to cause illness,
confusion, and emotional difficulty. The true Chakra Color Key appears on all of
Isabelle Hutton's brilliantly designed
reflexology charts.Traditions differ about the total number of chakras, but most agree that seven
are the most potent:
Muladhara, or root chakra, located at the base of the spine it controls
the "animal" body involuntary functions like breathing, instinct, survival.
Swadhistana, or base Chakra, controlling the reproductive drive.
Manipura, or Solar plexus, the center of the base emotions.
Anahata, or heart Chakra, love and self acceptance.
Visuddha, or throat Chakra, controlling creativity and self expression.
Ajna, or third eye, knowledge, intuition, and perception.
Sahasrara, Crown or Lotus Chakra, the link between the human and the
The movement of energy through the chakra system greatly resembles the
cadeceus, or wand of Hermes.
The caduceus is the legendary herald's wand of the Greek God Hermes
(Roman, Mercury). This symbol is nearly universal, found in Egypt, Mesopotamia,
and India, where it is always a symbol of harmony and balance.
The caduceus has been mistakenly utilized as a symbol of the medical industry
in the place of the wand of Asclepius (Asculapius), the Greek God of healing and
medicine. The wand of Hermes is winged, and entwined with a pair of serpents; the
Asclepius wand is not winged, and has only one serpent. The latter has been a
traditional symbol of the medical profession for millennia.
In the Hermetic Tradition, it is a symbol of spiritual awakening, and has been
likened to the Kundalini serpents of Hindu mysticism. The original caduceus was a
Mesopotamian symbol, a sign of authority carried by the Goddess Tanit, the goddess
Ishtar, and others.
The planetary symbol of Mercury is a representation of the caduceus.