The Chakra Signatures
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Planetary Affinities for Certain Chakras
Having clarified that any planet can function through any chakra, we can also make the suggestion that certain planets will more likely point toward certain chakras, when they are appropriately placed within the birthchart. We will discuss what it means to be appropriately placed in a minute.
First, let’s consider each chakra in turn, and make a few assignments. I don’t have time to go into a great deal of detail here in my reason for making these assignments, but in my book, I do. The important thing to note here is that when one or more of the planets associated with a given chakra are in mutual aspect to each other, we have what I would call a classic chakra signature, meaning that issues and challenges related to the chakra in question are likely to be emphasized in the life of the individual soul.
I spell out the astro-logic of these classic signatures in great detail in my book, and apply them more specifically to individual birthcharts of participants in the workshop. Here I would just like to give a sense of some of the thinking behind the idea.
The Theosophists were not entirely misguided in assigning Saturn to the 1st chakra, as Saturn most certainly does contribute greatly to our sense of safety and protection, or lack thereof, and can thus be understood as a primary 1st chakra player.
Given that the 1st chakra is where we experience our greatest and most fundamental vulnerability in life – related to our very capacity to survive – I assign the Moon to be the second primary 1st chakra player. It is no accident that the Moon represents our relationship to mother, and to the experience of being in the womb, as this is also the primary source – in this life – of the health and vitality of our 1st chakra.
Together Saturn and Moon represent the parental influence in our lives, and it should come as no surprise that the relationship between Saturn and Moon provides an astrological measure of the relative strength and viability of the container of safety and protection afforded us at the level of the 1st chakra.
Of the transpersonals, the planet that most acutely galvanizes 1st chakra issues will be Pluto, traditionally understood as the planet of death and rebirth, and consequently a central player in all 1st chakra issues related to matters of life and death.
Although I did not discuss this in my book, I also include Ceres among the primary first chakra planets. Ceres (or Demeter in the Greek) was the goddess who withdrew the life force from the Earth after her daughter Prosperina (Persephone) was abducted into the Underworld by Hades. Obviously such an action would greatly impact not just our personal survival but the survival of our species – a consideration brought into increasing focus by climate change, the loss of biodiversity, the use of toxic pesticides on our food supply, genetic engineering, and other collective issues that threaten our survival and our health, as well as our quality of life.
When Saturn, Moon, Pluto and/or Ceres come together in a birthchart, you have a strong 1st chakra signature. Other planets can and often do also play a role in 1st chakra dynamics, but these planets are primary, and their combination is an especially potent 1st chakra indicator.
The Theosophists associated Jupiter with the 2nd chakra, which they considered to be a chakra of expansion, of movement into life. While this is most certainly true, when the 2nd chakra is functioning in a healthy way, it is not the primary source of 2nd chakra dynamics. The Theosophists felt somewhat squeamish about the association of the 2nd chakra with sexuality, and in fact, skirted the issue entirely by associating the 2nd chakra not with the organs of sexuality and reproduction, but with the spleen. My sense is that this is a by-product of a 19th century Victorian mindset that we can now safely discard.
When we do so, it becomes quite natural to assign the sexual planets Venus and Mars to the 2nd chakra, rather than the somewhat more abstract Jupiter. Jupiter certainly can function as a 2nd chakra planet, but my sense is that Venus and Mars are more primary. Our association with Venus and Mars also extend beyond the sexual, of course, to encompass the entire range in which a given soul might pursue the pleasures of life and seek enjoyment of desires and natural tendencies – that is to say, the pursuit of life as a joyful, erotic, and soulful adventure of delight.
To complete the 2nd chakra dynamic, I would add the transpersonals Neptune and/or Pluto. Neptune contributes to the dissolution of boundaries that occurs between subject and object in any sexual or erotic dance, while Pluto becomes a driving engine kicking the pursuit of pleasure up a notch in terms of psychological and emotional intensity. A wide range of problems and issues can arise, for example, when Neptune transmutes desire into addiction, or when Pluto transmutes the pursuit of pleasure into obsession and/or complicates it with a need to dominate.
Obviously, this is a very fertile field for further exploration well beyond the scope of this series. If relevant to a particular participant, however, we do explore such issues in the safe container of the workshop.
For now it is enough to know that strong 2nd chakra signatures are formed when both Venus and Mars and either Neptune or Pluto or both are in mutual aspect to one another.
In the 3rd chakra, where our task is the essentially ego-based challenge of finding and securing our functional place within the world, the two primary players are Sun and Mars. These two planets most associated with development of the ego and the pursuit of 3rd chakra preoccupations – functionality, social status, and worldly success. In the 3rd chakra, outer planets can contribute in one of two ways.
When in mutual aspect with Sun and Mars, Jupiter, Uranus and Pluto will contribute to 3rd chakra patterns of excess, while Saturn or Neptune will contribute to patterns of deficiency.
Patterns of excess will generally involve an overexuberant assertion of self into the world, with all of the attendant problems that such an extroverted, often aggressive, often abrasive approach to finding one’s place in the world can precipitate.
Patterns of deficiency will generally make it more difficult for one to find one’s place in the world because of some lack – in confidence, ability, ambition, clear sense of identity or purpose, or some combination thereof.
In the 4th chakra, where the focus is relationship to self and other, we have the quintessential planets of relationship Sun and Moon and Venus. Sun is also the planet most associated with dharma, or fundamental sense of purpose, while the Moon carries the collective evolutionary memory of wounding having arisen in relationship to the pursuit of purpose – a wounding that invariably gets played out in relationship. Venus, of course, also plays a central role in relationship and is here implicated as a primary player, not so much on the sensory Taurean level, but on the relational Libran level.
Here the outer planets add color to the mix in various ways. My sense is that the asteroids, which often represent fractured sub-personalities also play their part here. Ceres, for example, can often show up as eating disorders that on some fundamental level signal an inability to love the sense because of some profound sense of unworthiness. Vesta can reflect difficulties in finding meaningful work, or in problems with sexual dysfunction in relationship. Pallas can be involved where one experiences difficulties balancing career or pursuit of dharma with cultivating quality relationships. Juno can be implicated in the common predicament of triangulation, manifest most often as marital infidelity.
In my book, for example, I use Bill Clinton as my 4th chakra case study, showing how his affair with Monica Lewinsky and possibly his history of affairs was reflected by a strong 4th chakra pattern in his chart involving Sun, Moon, Venus and Juno.
5th and 6th chakra patterns, related to centers of consciousness in the head, are naturally more cerebral. 5th chakra patterns in general, which revolve around one’s quest for a personal truth that one can live often involve the more mental planets, Mercury and Jupiter – Mercury related to the everyday garden variety mental functions of thinking, processing information, forming beliefs and making decisions based on those beliefs; Jupiter with the formulation over time of a personal philosophy of life or worldview. Venus can also sometimes be involved in 5th chakra signatures in her role as a mitigator of values, which are what get called into play in the 5th chakra as we are admonished to “walk our talk.”
The primary transpersonal planets involved in 5th chakra patterns is Uranus. Uranus is the classic planet of individuation, which is a major focus of the 5th chakra. Uranus can also be invoked in its role as trickster when inauthenticity is a 5th chakra issue.
5th chakra patterns can also sometimes involve the maverick body Chiron – the first of a class of celestial objects astronomers now call centaurs – especially when one undergoes some kind of apprenticeship to a teacher or mentor, or when one becomes a teacher or mentor to others. Chiron also relates to the process of addressing and healing ancestral wounds that are passed down from one generation to the next, which is often a central feature of the process of coming into a full realization of one’s own truth.
Strong 5th chakra patterns are thus formed when Mercury, Venus and Jupiter form mutual aspects with Chiron or Neptune.
6th chakra planets are more typically related to the experience of vision, which transcends both personal belief systems and the collective. Thus in shifting from the 5th to the 6th, Mercury – associated with a more strictly personal level of consciousness – falls away, while Jupiter takes central stage. Here, Jupiter is the planet of broad perspective, born of exposure to a wide variety of viewpoints and experiences.
To Jupiter, we add the Moon, which here precipitates the release of unconscious contents into the conscious mind, facilitating a more intuitive approach to existence; and Venus, which at this level, allows a profound realization of the interconnectedness of all things – essential to any true 6th chakra vision worth its weightlessness.
Here, transpersonal planets Neptune and Pluto are most essential. Neptune represents a higher octave of both the Moon and Venus, enhancing intuitive perception and deepening the experience of interconnection or what anthropologists used to call participation mystique, the erasure of the normal barriers between subject and object, thus allowing a more intimate immersion in the mystical dimensions of one’s experience. In the 6th chakra are experienced a wide range of altered states of consciousness, and Neptune is instrumental in making these possible.
Pluto, at this level, facilitates a quest for hidden esoteric knowledge, available only to the most sincere and most severely tested of spiritual initiates. In the 6th chakra, one enters fairly rarified territory, and here both Neptune and Pluto facilitate the journey beyond the pale of the known.
When Moon, Venus, Jupiter and either Neptune or Pluto form mutual aspects to each other, you have a full-blown 6th chakra signature.
At the 7th chakra, the reunion of soul and Spirit is precipitated by what Jung called the hieros gamos, or union of all opposites. This rarest and most exquisite of experiences, which reverberates more subtly in each of us, comes into sharp focus at the time of Full Moon, and perhaps to a lesser extent at New Moon, which are the strongest alignment of the quintessential male and female principles, as depicted astrologically.
When combined with mutual aspects to one or more transpersonal planets, then, the Full Moon becomes the signature for a classic 7th chakra signature.
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