1st Chakra – Muladhara
In Sanskrit Muladhara means “root”. This chakra is literally the root of our energy system and like any tree that aspires to reach the sky will knowingly dig its roots deep, we too must delve deep into our own foundations to make sure they are sturdy enough for our ascension and growth.
The physical and material world are front in center as the focus of the 1st chakra. It asks us to heal anything that prevents us from knowing we BELONG… in this body, in this family, in this life. While we are so much more than just a physical being, the root chakra reminds us that as long as we are breathing, we are spiritual beings incarnated into whatever physical bodies and circumstances we find ourselves. While most spiritual paths profess the need to transcend the limitations and delusions of the physical realm, it is imperative we do so by honoring the physical for what it is rather than condemn it for what it is not.
1st chakra mantra: I belong right where I am as I am.
The gemstone used to create this grounding mala is garnet. Garnet is believed to get its name from the Latin root for “seed” (granate). A seed is the beginning for any plant-life even before the formation of the roots. It often symbolizes the latent potential within each of us that given the right conditions becomes actualized. The seed is the source of everything that comes after it. And what is the source of the seed? The “mother” plant that gave birth to the seed.
The root chakra asks us to stand in awe of the miracle that brought us forth from a mere seed to who we have become and are becoming. It encourages us to look at the ways we dishonor this miracle by abusing, neglecting or disregarding our bodies. We must remember ourselves as holy and therefore nurture ourselves as we would anything we hold sacred.
Sandalwood is another important aspect of this earthy mala. Sandalwood is considered to promote humility and therefore encourages us to accept and surrender to our limitations. In order for something to move from potentiality to actuality it must first be defined. To define something is to limit something otherwise there would be no boundaries; there would be no tree; there would be no you or me. The sequoia seed will never manifest a daisy flower or a human being. It’s potential is limited to a sequoia tree. Our lives are limited by death; our senses by the physical world they observe; our bodies by their basic needs for food, water, sleep, and exercise; our habits to the degree we leave them unexamined; by our past to the degree we can’t or won’t forgive. Limitations abound! And while we may wage war against them or cower in defeat, they are ultimately a part of the human condition. They define us, yet they don’t restrict us… not completely anyways.
They can also be a source of comfort. They can be the hallowed ground we call home. The space where we feel and know we belong.