Link to this Article: http://www.llewellyn.com/encyclopedia/article/256

The Llewellyn Encyclopedia

Visuddha - The Throat Chakra

This article was written by Anodea Judith on May 30, 2002
posted under Chakras

Element: Sound
Color: Bright Blue
Verb: I speak
Attributes: Sound, vibration, communication, creativity

Chakra 5 is located in the region of the neck and shoulders and is the center of communication and creativity. Its color is a bright turquoise blue, mixing the deep indigo of the sixth chakra with the green of the heart. Its lotus has 16 petals, upon which are inscribed all the vowels of the Sanskrit language. Vowels are generally thought to represent spirit, while consonants give the edges and definitions which define matter. As we enter chakra 5, we are crossing deeper into the realms of mind and spirit.

This lotus is called Visuddha, which means "purification." To successfully reach and open the fifth chakra, the body must attain a certain level of purification, which helps to achieve the sensitivity needed for the subtler levels of the upper chakra.

Classically, the element associated with this level is ether, or akasha, meaning "spirit," as well as the element of sound. Sound is a rhythmic vibration of air molecules as they are impacted by matter in movement. If I clap my hands, the sound that reaches you is from the air I have displaced. All sound is a vibration, and all things, living and nonliving, have a unique vibration. At this level, we do not see the world as individual things or their activities but as a complex interwoven net of energies with characteristic vibrational rhythms.

The Hindus believe that the universe itself is made of sound. Mother Kali, the destroyer, is said to have the power to remove the letters of the alphabet from the petals of the chakras when she chooses to destroy the world. Without sound and language, there is no form.

Sound waves are subject to a principle called resonance, also known as "rhythm entrainment" or "sympathetic vibration." Resonance is what occurs when sound waves of similar frequency meet—they lock into phase, with their vibrations oscillating at the same time. That which is in phase tends to remain in phase; hence, the interlocking of vibrational waves creates the ongoing harmony and substance that we experience in the world. Our breathing, heart rate, brain waves, and sleeping and eating patterns are all rhythmic activities that "entrain" or connect us with the world around us. When we are feeling harmonious with our surroundings, then our internal rhythms are resonating within ourselves. This resonance will, in turn, call other wave forms into harmony with it, bringing strength and integrity to the organism.

From sound we get communication. Communication is the activity and function of the fifth chakra. Here we have language, a complex pattern of sound and rhythm, through which we symbolize the physical world around us. Through symbol, we have a more efficient way of dealing with the world. I can describe my car, but I can’t bring it into the room with me. I can call New York without actually going there. Our minds work with symbols. We think in words, as well as image and sensory memory. The world of the upper chakras is symbolic of the world below.

Communication is a rhythmic activity. The more resonant our own internal rhythms, the more easily and pleasantly we will communicate. Studies have shown that regardless of the content of words used, listeners and speakers enter into a rhythm entrainment as they converse. It is believed that understanding occurs only when entrainment can take place.

Communication involves both listening and speaking. If one’s fifth chakra is closed down, then there is fear of expressing oneself, fear of speaking one’s truth, or excessive shyness. The voice itself is timid and the words are few. If the chakra is too open, we are so busy expressing that we forget to listen, or our voice is dissonant, and we are unable to enter into resonance with those around us.

Ideally, the fifth chakra should be connected to the self—to all the other chakras above and below—to visions of the mind and the feelings from body with equal ease.

Chanting is an activity that increases the overall resonance of our being, allowing all our internal systems to enter into a rhythmic harmony. When chanting is practiced as a group activity, it enhances resonance and communication with the group as a whole. From Zen monasteries to rock concerts, this is a powerful tool for enhancing collective consciousness.

The fifth chakra is also a center of creativity, another form of symbolic communication. As we open up this center, we open up our creative potential. The greater our resonance within, the greater the power within our creations.

Experiment with the resonant frequency of your chakras by chanting the following tones with each chakra, varying the pitch from low to higher as you climb up the chakras. Try to find the pitch that resonates with your body. Work on letting your sound be full-bodied and resonant.

Chakra One: Ooo as in home
Chakra Two: U as in rule
Chakra Three: Ah as in father
Chakra Four: Ay as in play
Chakra Five: Ee as in free
Chakra Six: Mm as in hum
Chakra Seven: Ng as in sing

Please note that the use of Llewellyn Encyclopedia articles
is subject to certain Terms and Conditions