Chakra Energy Centers: The Heart Chakra
Meaning and Functions
The heart chakra is our fourth energy center. It is located in the center of the chest, resonates with the color green and its element is air. The heart chakra's Sanskrit name is Anahata which means "sound made without two things striking" or "unstruck". This speaks to the meeting of the body, described by the first three chakras associated with earth, water and fire and the spirit of the heart whose element is air. The heart chakra is partially open in early childhood. In early adulthood, it's ready to open further and seeks true and meaningful love through life experiences that will cause this expansion.
The heart chakra is concerned with compassion, love, unity, joy and forgiveness. As we form loving relationships with others we are able to accept them for who they are. Once the heart chakra is open, we are secure in self-acceptance, both our good and not so good qualities. We can be empathetic and show compassion and forgiveness to others knowing they are doing the best they can. When we find lasting love the heart chakra expands with the joy of connection, sharing and unconditional love.
Location: center of the chest
Color: green related to Archangel Raphael, the healer, and pink related to love
Age of resonance: 21-35
Incense/Oils: rose, bergamot, melissa, lily of the valley
Musical note: F
Type of music: choral
Crystals: rose quartz, watermelon tourmaline, emerald, diamond, peridot
Angelic Association: Archangel Rafael
Archetypes of the Heart Chakra
The positive archetype is "The Lover". This archetype loves oneself and others unconditionally. He or she exudes warmth, kindness and trust. The Lover is secure in self acceptance, empathetic, forgiving. The Lover believes love is inclusive of all and unifies people in all walks of life. He or she is delighted with the joy and connectedness that a lasting relationship brings. Life is all about love and we are all one. The Lover is aware and appreciative of the growth and development and self-knowledge relationships can bring and accepts others for who they are.
The negative archetype is "The Performer" who pretends to love but cannot love oneself or others unconditionally. If someone did not receive love early in life the heart chakra will be difficult to open and the love that person will be able to give and receive will be limited to the way they have been loved. The Performer is unwilling to look inward at wounds that are self-limiting and shuns intimacy due to fear of rejection or betrayal. The Performer tends to be possessive and jealous, judgmental and critical. The Performer is incapable of a lasting, meaningful relationship because he or she is unable to hold true love in their heart.
Physical and Emotional Dysfunction
The endocrine gland connection of the heart chakra is the thymus. The function of the thymus gland is assistance with immunity. Our emotional balance is related to the thymus. When the heart chakra is open the thymus is feeding off the joy and love. When there has been an emotional trauma such as loss, rejection or great sadness the thymus may stop functioning correctly. Immunity will be compromised and dis-ease or illness may occur. The other organs and body parts associated with the heart chakra are the heart, lung, liver, circulatory system, shoulders, arms, ribs, breasts and diaphragm. Physical symptoms that may manifest when the heart chakra is imbalanced are heart disease, asthma, lung cancer, pneumonia, upper back problems and breast cancer.
A blocked or sluggish heart chakra can manifest in lack of self-love, self-worth, self-pity, fear of rejection and overbearing love. An overactive heart chakra can result in possessiveness and jealousy and a conditional love that withholds emotions in order to punish their partner.
A well-balanced heart chakra will nurture, love unconditionally and be trusting as well as trust worthy.
Balancing and Healing
- Exercises: yoga exercises such as The Cobra and The Fish. The Windmill (arms outstretched to the sides, twist torso back and forth), Arm Circles (stretch arms out straight to sides, rotate in ever-widening circles, then reverse direction)
- Breathing exercises: Deep breathing, Diaphragmatic (rapid) breathing, Alternate nostril breathing (breathing in through the left nostril by pinching off the right, then exhaling through the right by pinching off left. Alternate this way twenty times)
- Crystal healing: The most effective crystals are the color pink for love, such as rose quartz and shades of green, such as green jade, watermelon tourmaline, aventurine quartz and green calcite.
Crystals can be held in the palm or placed on the heart chakra.
- Positive affirmations