Each chakra is associated to a specific color: Red for Muladhara Chakra, Green for Anahata Chakra, etc. And we seldom even wonder where these colors come from in the first place! So why are chakras and colors paired up? Is there any historical significance of the chakra colors? We’ll delve into this chakra question, rainbow-side!
What is a chakra?
Quick chakra review here to start!
Chakras are the body’s energy centers. “Chakra” comes from Sanskrit and it means “wheel, vortex”. Chakras lie within the body, or close enough, within our body’s energy field.
Most spiritual schools and traditions talk about 4 to 7 main chakras (and up to a thousand secondary ones!!).
Here we’ll be talking about the 7 main in-body chakras. These chakras align along the axis of the spinal column, from the tail bone all the way to the crown of the head. And each chakra is often associated to a specific color:
Chakra and color associations
Chakra 1, Muladhara – Root Chakra, RED
Chakra 2, Svadhisthana – Sacral Chakra, ORANGE
Chakra 3, Manipura – Solar Plexus Chakra, YELLOW
Chakra 4, Anahata – Heart Chakra, GREEN or PINK (as the mix of Red –from Muladhara Chakra, and White –from Sahasrara Chakra)
Chakra 5, Vishuddha – Throat Chakra, BLUE
Chakra 6, Ajña Chakra – 3rd Eye, PURPLE (or deep blue)
Chakra 7, Sahasrara – Crown Chakra, WHITE (or Purple, or Violet)
We see these colors/chakra associations so often –in yoga, meditation, energy work, even in home decoration, we barely ever question it!
Are Chakras traditionally paired up with colors?
Well, actually : no!
The Vedas, India’s ancient scriptures, mention the chakras, as do ancient Buddhist, Jain or Tantric texts. Old illustrations of the chakras show divinities, mantras and shapes (circles, squares, lotus…) associated with the chakras, but no specific colors.
Contemporary Chakra system and rainbow colors
It wasn’t until the 1970s that the idea of chakras paired up with colors came to be! Spiritual author Christopher Hill wrote about the chakras associated to rainbow colors in his book called “Nuclear Evolution: Discovery of the Rainbow Body”. And from there, the rainbow chakras were born!
The rainbow contains ALL the colors in the visible spectrum of electromagnetic radiation (the entire spectrum covers U.V light, radio frequencies and even those used by your microwave oven).
Basically, color is energy vibrating at a frequency that we CAN SEE. So it’s kind of cool to associate the idea of energy centers with the energy of colors. I find it makes working with the Chakras visual, accessible and down-to-earth.
Are the Chakra colors fake and is using Chakra colors wrong?
I don’t think so. Just like everything else in this world, the perceptions of chakras and ways of working with them have evolved. They have adapted to different cultures, different times and different needs. Humanity is constantly evolving, and to me, spiritual techniques and technologies also evolve. We welcome the rainbow chakra system!
I personally don’t see the chakras as colors, but I perceive them as moving balls of energy, and I’ll sense the stickiness or fluidity of the energy flow. I sense them more like fields of energy and not so much as seeing through funky color tinted lenses. And that’s me! Each person will see and feel chakras differently. If you are seeing chakras full of color, that’s the way it works for you!
Plus, I do love a good rainbow, in the sky or on puffy stickers. So, inviting a rainbow into my chakras? Yes please!