Just as the womb of the mother creates the basic requirement for the growth of the embryo, the Root Chakra (Mūlādhāra Chakra in Sanskrit) forms the basis and the starting point for our spiritual development. It is the foundation from which we climb the ladder of the Chakras; the root from which we receive the nourishment for our spiritual development. For this reason, and because it lies at the lowest point of the spinal column below the Coccyx, it bears the name “Root Chakra”.
Everyone admires the leaves and flowers of a plant, but hardly anyone takes any notice of the roots that lie hidden in the darkness of the earth. But the roots form the basis of the vegetation. From the sustenance received from the roots the sprout gains the power to penetrate the dark soil, grow upwards towards the sun and produce flowers, fruit and seeds.
The first Chakra is the center for vitality and physical energy. This instills the virtues of innocence and wisdom. It provides the being with attributes of survival, stability, and self-sufficiency. It is the foundation of our system. It relates to the Earth, our feeling of being grounded, or having a strong, steady presence, both physical and psychological, and our sense of security. It is the building block of all the other Chakras – built from the bottom or “foundation” up. The Root Chakra controls how you deal with family, money, basic needs, and survival.
It is important to balance the energy radiated from this Chakra. A proper balance endows us with immense physical energy, hope, health, joy, self-discipline and an abundance of positive traits. On the other hand, if there is an imbalance in the energy radiated, the result is a feeling of discouragement, hopelessness, impurity and confusion.
Symbol: This Chakra rules the lowest vibration of our body and has the slowest wavelength. There are four spokes, or petals, depicting the four points of the compass. They represent the four fundamental psychic functions of mind, intellect, consciousness and ego – whose roots also lie in the Mūlādhāra Chakra. Four is the number of the square and foundations. The square is related to being honest, the four elements – Earth, Air, Fire, and Water, and the four directions. Four walls, four legs, or four wheels represent a strong foundation.
Another symbol of the Mūlādhāra Chakra is an inverted triangle. The tip pointing downwards indicates that we are at the beginning of our spiritual development; and the sides that spread upwards and outwards show the direction of the developing consciousness.
Color: The color for this Chakra is red, which is the lowest frequency of human’s visible light spectrum. The color red means energy and vitality. It indicates the existence of a strong, dense energy and is connected to the earth. Our existence has its roots in the earth and therefore the EARTH element (Tattva) is assigned to the Mūlādhāra Chakra.
Sense: The sense of smell is related to this Chakra. Our sense of smell is our most primitive sense, and is the first sense that awakens upon our physical birth. The receptors for smell are located at the base of our brain and feeds directly into our limbic system, which is the area of memory and emotion. Therefore, aromas can immediately access emotional memories stored in our unconscious. The awakening of the Mūlādhāra Chakra can lead to a heightening of sensory perceptions, especially the refinement of the senses of smell and hearing, so that we become aware of aromas and sounds that are not perceptible to others. Some people can see auras or feel the thoughts and moods of others.
Element: Earth is the element associated with the first Chakra and the mineral kingdom is the top of that hierarchy. Crystals have been prized by humankind for eons and have also been used in esoteric healing. Since it rules our first dimensional self that is unable to reflect upon itself, perceptions from our root Chakra are usually unconscious. This first dimensional portion of us can only be aware of a “hive or species consciousness”. The Earth is our Mother. Our body is formed from her elements and she supports and nourishes us. We should always be grateful to our Mother Earth and demonstrate our respect by protecting and caring for her.
Consciousness: The first Chakra rules our survival consciousness and represents our deepest unconscious and most primitive self. This Chakra represents the reptilian portion of our brain, which is our brainstem, our center for life support. The brainstem and the area immediately above it are called the reptilian brain because it is possessed by all creatures from reptiles to humans. For reptiles, this area is their entire brain, but for humans it is the base, or stem, of their brain. In fact, part of this area is known as the brainstem.