A Journey Through the Celtic Chakra Spiral
What is the Celtic Chakra Spiral?
We honour with gratitude and reverence the practices & traditions carried forward from the Ancestors of the East, may they help us & guide us to discover the lost & hidden ways of the Ancestors of the North.
In this series, we follow the Celtic Chakra Spiral, a concept I discovered in Elen Sentier's 'The Celtic Chakras' but that has been gathering greater circulation in the last years. The Spiral & its Cauldrons are a powerful tool for energy transformation, transmutation & transfiguration. Writings on the Cauldrons indicate the ancient Celts, or people of Northwestern Europe, had an understanding of energy & energy manipulation closely aligned with the Chakras system of the Eastern tradition but the traditional teachings were not recorded as you will see. The goal is not to appropriate the tradition of one culture and map it onto another but to adapt an energy-work method aligned with what we know of Celtic pagan practices.
The Three Cauldrons used in the Celtic Chakra Spiral are derived from a 16th- century Old Irish manuscript based on a 7th-century poem composed to demonstrate training & teachings of the ancient Irish poets, the fili. Western tradition, having strict reverence for language and word-craft did not believe in the written record so most of the information we have today comes from later Christian scribes recording stories from the oral tradition. Poets did seem to have a written language, the Ogham: an encrypted language used to imbue objects with power or to share messages between poets.
These manuscripts describe the values and responsibilities of the Three Cauldrons of Poesy: the Cauldron of Warming, Cauldron of Wisdom, & Cauldron of Vocation. Each, in essence, is said to be an internal energy source for the creation of poetry. Poesy or poetry, to the ancients, was not merely the composition of pleasing words and phrases but rather a powerful & magickal practice carried out by skilled practitioners. Poets would train for nine years, studying etymology, usage, variation, and subtle power of words so they became masters of language. People would fear the power of the poets' ability to manipulate reality through story, song, and incantation. Story and poetry contained all sacred knowledge and would demonstrate transformative metaphors for spiritual, emotional, & physical healing. Now, we regard a Poet--in a spiritual sense--as a kind of guide or teacher for healing, like a shaman or medicine wo/man.
"Where is the root of poetry in a person; in the body or in the soul?
Some say it is in the soul, for the body does nothing without the soul.
Some say it is in the body where the arts are learned, passed through the bodies of our ancestors.
It is said that this is the truth remaining over the root of poetry,
and the wisdom in every person's ancestry does not come
from the northern sky into everyone,
but into every other person."
Translation by Erynn Rowan Laurie 1995/1998
The spiral is a powerful symbol in Celtic tradition. The spiral can represent life, growth, the shaman's journey, energy, myth, genetics, & time etc. All things move in these cycles around the spiral, we feel or sense a progression, unlike a circle that will perpetually repeat itself, there is a motion or movement back and away, with subtle shifts and differences. If we reach what we perceive as the top of the end of the spiral we discover there is always another beginning, another spiral to transcend.
The Hindu & Buddhist traditions worked with a column of chakras from the crown of the head to the root at the base of the spine. In the Celtic Chakra Spiral we use the location of these energy centres but work with them in a spiral and in pairs, or cauldrons. It is helpful to merge the Eastern & Western traditions in this way, firstly because the west does not have enough written to recreate a strictly Celtic energy work practice, and secondly, because it takes what is familiar and reinterprets it, it becomes an accessible tool. The spiral is not meant to replace the linear, we can work with both for different reasons & results.
We begin our journey with the Cauldron of Vocation, the pairing of heart & solar plexus, and from the heart, we move through each energy centre to our third eye. The spiral follows Heart, Solar Plexus, Throat, Sacral, Crown, Root, Third-Eye and returns the way it came. The chakra spiral functions as an energy filtration system. Our heart & the third eye as our beginning & end represent the primary energetic homes of our inner-knowing & inner-wisdom.
When we filter the pure emotions of the heart and the pure visions of the third eye through all other energy centres,
we come back to a place of trust & balance within ourselves.
Our practice is designed to help us maintain the balance of these Cauldrons, to turn them upright in some cases where we might be draining, leaking. or overflowing, and keep them functioning at full potential. Imagine cauldrons between each of these pairings and as we build health in each they come to an upright position. In cases of ill-health in our energetic, emotional, or physical bodies, the balance of these cauldrons is compromised. When tipped they begin to spill, leak or empty depending on severity. Likewise, an overabundance of energy filling the cauldron can disrupt the balance and overwhelm the system.
Each cauldron offers its own form of wisdom & healing & you may find you are drawn to one more than the others. It is advised that you move through the practices in order for your first time for the most potent experience.
Dedicated to the goddess Brigid--her triple aspects as Healer, Prophet, Smith--for her assistance in our transformational healing experience.
Cauldron of Vocation
Cauldron of Vocation
Heart & Solar Plexus
Healer aspect of the Celtic goddess Brigid.
Also known as the Cauldron of healing, this is your power centre, a container for motion, direction, & drive.
The solar plexus has a protective & active divine masculine energy whereas the heart sits in powerful feminine energy. When the heart is threatened or fragile it closes off and cuts us off from key aspects of her power. If the heart opens without our first having a strong sense of self, the heart is easily influenced and easily bruised. Likewise, the solar plexus, the home of our ego and our sense of self has its own protective tendencies. When our sense of self is threatened we may want to attack. We can become arrogant, angry, and think too highly or lowly of ourselves.
In the Cauldron of Vocation, we couple the heart and solar plexus together so the heart can soften the impulses of the solar plexus and in turn, the solar plexus protects the opening heart. Together they generate the energy of movement, almost like a push but sometimes experienced as a blast.
Moving into the Solar Plexus to Throat the space between Healing & Wisdom is the ability to speak the self.
Cauldron of Wisdom
Cauldron of Wisdom
Throat & Sacral
Poet aspect of the Celtic Goddess Brigid
The Cauldron of Prophecy is generative & creative. When we are born, the Cauldron of wisdom comes to us upside down. Through learning and growing, creating and surrendering yourself to the pursuit of higher knowledge, the Cauldron begins to fill up. It is possible to live your entire life with the Cauldron of wisdom reversed, it is not necessary for life like the others. However, within this Cauldron is the energy to create, generate, transmute, transform, and evolve. When this Cauldron is upright it strengthens and balances the others.
Our throat chakra acts as a gatekeeper between the upper and lower chakras and for this reason the throat chakra is often blocked. Information & visions received through the crown and the third eye can become stuck in this space when there is no movement to integrate and push the knowledge through to the rest of the body. Likewise, the powerful pressing energy from the lower chakras can become caught in the throat when the mind is incapable of understanding the language of the body. Compartmentalization is often a function of this imbalance where we seek to keep the heart and mind, the root and crown, from communicating, whether from fear, overwhelm, or the need to feel in control.
The sacral chakra is a basin for deep feelings and desires. Sacral energy is creative, generative, and nurturing.
Moving to Sacral & Crown this is the space of co-creation with the divine, between poetry and life. Perhaps best understood with the question, is art imitating life, or is life imitating art?
Cauldron of Warming
Cauldron of Warming
Crown & Root
Smith aspect of the Celtic Triple Goddess Brigid
The Cauldron of Life connects to universal energy, the song that sings the universe and to the root, the history of all material things and beings. -affirming connections. Warming is born upright and with the fluctuations in our health and well being the cauldron rocks, sometimes spilling, sometimes turning itself over toward death. It is in this cauldron that we access the influences of the space between genetics & environment, nature & nurture, ancestors & descendants.
Our crown chakra is our connection to the realm of universal Teachers, guides, energies, entities, and spirits. In Reiki, it is our source for healing energy and we attune to the frequency so we can channel & direct it through ourselves concentrating the flow. Psychics & mediums have an open crown chakra and are conduits for collective spiritual and intellectual knowledge and experience.
An unbalanced & open crown chakra can leave us feeling ungrounded, dizzy, unable to grasp reality, and prone to illusions and delusions both self-made and otherwise. Imbalance in the crown chakra is directly linked to mental illness and psychosis. More extreme cases indicate that the openness is creating disease and distress and further exploration of that space should be discouraged. The crown chakra should only be open to the extent that it creates in us a healthier body and mind.
Moving to the Third-Eye home of our inner vision and spiritual messaging centre.
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