A Field Guide to the Energy Body

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(Image Credits: Felix Mittermeier via Pixabay)

One of the biggest barriers for beginners in energy work, I’ve noticed, seems to be a lack of foundational understanding in regards to the energy body and how to sense those subtle elements ever-present within and without us. Today, I seek to help demystify these concepts with a breakdown of the energy body, the varying theories that go with it (including my own ideas and perceptions), and a handful of suggestions for improving your subtle senses. A fair warning: Today’s read is a long one – so grab yourself a cup of tea, cozy up, and enjoy this thorough breakdown of everything you need to know to start working with energy.

What Is the Energy Body?

As with many things in the realm of the metaphysical, there are varying theories for exactly how the energy body works and the distinct parts it can be broken down into. The best place to start, I feel, is defining the concept of energy itself. Oxford provides three definitions: One, “the strength and vitality required for sustained physical or mental activity,” two, “power derived from the utilization of physical or chemical resources”, and three, “the property of matter and radiation which is manifest as a capacity to perform work.” It is derived from the Greek energeia (ἐνέργεια), a sort of cosmic vigor. This fascinating (and somewhat abstract even by mainstream definition) substance can, perhaps, be considered synonymous more “spiritual” words such as spirit, aether (αἰθήρ), prana (प्राण), qi (氣), and likely many others I am unaware of. Energy, in a spiritual sense, is pure lifeforce. It is the little unsolved question mark in the equation of existence, and it is heavily associated with concepts such as the Higher Self, the soul, the psyche (ψυχή), the Ātman (आत्मन्) – and, once again, likely many others I am unaware of.*

(*Just to avoid having to repeat myself regarding varying spiritual schools of teaching, please keep in mind that for the remainder of this piece, I will only be offering a window of insight into a world of different paths. The comparisons made are not meant to be perfect 1:1 comparisons, but are meant to highlight similarities between teachings. Likewise, I will not be naming every single theory that exists in writing today. Use this as a guide, but seek your own path.)

Another thing worth discussing before we continue is the first law of thermodynamics in physics: Energy can neither be created nor destroyed. It can only be transformed or transferred from one form to another. The total amount of energy within the universe, per this law, has always been and will always be the same – and yet, the universe expands, per these same authorities in science. Perhaps, if we were to answer this riddle spiritually, we could theorize that our idea of “finite” is not quite the Cosmos’ idea of “finite”. Perhaps it is all one big pool that seems to “multiply” within. Perhaps this is one of those concepts shrouded in mystery by our incredibly limited and binary way of thinking. When we delve into the topic of the energy body today, it recommended that you put your binary way of thinking aside, if only temporarily, to really understand and absorb the material for use on your own path.

Which brings us to the energy body, the aetheric vessel or vehicle which surrounds and permeates our physical existence (our current incarnation) and either connects us directly with our Higher Self (our psyche or soul) or contains it. Depending on your practice, you may also refer to this energy body as the subtle body or the light body. It is often broken down further, across many varying belief systems, into three distinct layers or parts.

In Vedic philosophies, for example, there are three bodies or sharira (शारीर): The physical body, the astral body, and the causal body, each one considered more subtle than the last. The physical body, also called the gross body or the sthula sharira (स्थुलशरीर), is exactly that – the physical body. It is made up of the Panchmahabhutas (पञ्चभूत) or five primordial elements: Akasha (आकाश) or aether, Vayu (वायु) or air, Agni (अग्नि) or fire, and Prithivi (पृथिवी) or earth. It is the densest of the three bodies and requires food, water, and air as sustenance and is bound by cyclical time through birth, subsistence, growth, maturity, decay, and death. Come death, it dissolves. The astral body, also called the subtle body or the linga sharira (लिङ्गशरीर), is the sort of in-between where the mind, intellect, subconscious, and ego reside. It surrounds the physical body as an aura and encourages the movement of the prana through the nadis (नाडी), or energy currents, and chakras (चक्र), or energy centers. It is responsible for our physiological functions, our feelings of pleasure and pain, our five physical senses, and our subtler astral senses (or what some may call our psychic abilities). It is formed prior to the physical body and only dissolves after the last particle of the physical body disintegrates. The astral body may itself be considered synonymous with the energy body depending upon your perspective. Finally, the causal body, also called the seed body or the karana sharira (करणशरीर), is the catalyst for the development of the physical and astral bodies and the blueprint of each incarnation on the whole. It is the doorway to higher consciousness and the link between the individual and the collective, and it contains the knowledge, information, experiences, and habitual patterns accumulated across all lifetimes. These three bodies may be broken down even further still into the five koshas (कोश), or sheaths, but for the sake of the simplicity of this article, I won’t be delving any further into this today. Should you feel called to this path of exploration, feel free to go out and explore the topic further for yourself.

Now, while the Vedic teachings of the energy body may offer the most thorough breakdown, there are other relevant philosophies worth exploring. In Ancient Greek teachings, Plato breaks the psyche down into three parts: The epithymia (ἐπῐ́θῡμοια) or the part of the psyche related to desire and instinct, the thymos (θυμός) or the part of the psyche related to passion and drive, and the logos (λόγος) or the part of the psyche related to logic and wisdom. In more general spiritual philosophies, this is simply called the body, mind, and spirit (or sometimes heart). In addition, there are also varying New Age ideas of the energy body including things like the etheric layer, the emotional layer, and the mental layer.

In my practice: On my path, I’ve studied and compared many, many cultures, teachings, and mythos as they relate to an understanding of spirituality. From these studies, I currently theorize – as many people do – that they are all describing the same thing. As it applies here:

The Parts of the Energy Body (Vessel for the Psyche):
Epithymia ↭ Body ↭ Physical Body ↭ Vital Sheath (of Astral Body)
Thymos ↭ Mind ↭ Astral Body ↭ Mental Sheath (of Astral Body)
Logos ↭ Spirit ↭ Causal Body ↭ Intellectual Sheath (of Astral Body)

It’s not that these are explicitly the same (and certainly not in the case of the bodies and sheaths in Yogic philosophy), but that they bear many undeniable similarities. They each offer valuable insight and information which does not unravel but, rather, supports one another and only serves to further our understanding of these concepts the deeper we delve into them.

The goal of mastering the energy body, typically, is to liberate the soul, the rawest and “truest” part of your being. In doing so, we begin to remember this part of ourselves and are able to leave behind the cycle of reincarnation. In addition, this benefits the current incarnation by freeing you from emotional burdens and obsessions, expanding your awareness (which I define as the window of existence we are “currently” perceiving), and improving your subtle senses and abilities (which we will be discussing later in this article).

Finally, before we move on, there is one additional concept relevant to the energy body that I’d like to discuss, and that is the concept of vibes or vibrational frequency. In my experience, there are two different types of vibrational frequencies that tend to intermingle within the same space: What I call the energetic signature – or the raw, identifiable energy that is unique to a person, place, or thing – and what I call energetic impressions – or energies that have been influenced and shaped by intention, emotional output, or lingering energies that have passed through. When we do energy work, when we manifest, or when we enchant, we are creating an energetic impression. That energetic impression will also contain, beyond our intentions, a piece of our own energetic signature and a piece of the energetic impression that may be dwelling within us based on a particular emotion we’ve been accumulating. To put it into simpler terms: You can think of this process like signing your name on a letter to someone. Your energetic signature is your name, and it will always be linked to you directly. Let’s say it’s a love letter. In this case, you may choose to sign your name in red and add a little heart to the end of it. The way you decorate this signature is the intention you are imposing upon the letter’s overall energetic impression. Let’s also say you’re nervous, though, as you write this letter. Perhaps your signature is shakily written, despite your best efforts. This shakiness would be your internal energetic impressions coming through. It is not directly connected to you, but it is still present within you and makes itself known on the page. What you are left with is a letter from you that conveys romance and anxiety, and that is the energetic impression of letter. Keep in mind that the letter also has its own unique energetic signature on top of this, and for simplicity, we’ll say that, in the case of this example, the energetic signature of the letter is that which is meant to convey a message.

Energy Points & The Chakra System

There is much debate about whether or not working with the chakra system outside of the practice of Hinduism is to be considered frowned-upon appropriative behavior. I will state my opinion simply: If you explore thoroughly and with respect to the source material and its teachers, find spiritual benefit in your life after applying your findings, and do not commercialize yourself as the one and only authority of the one and only truth (which is quite a big problem in the spirituality community in general), you should be able to do so without being met with venomous looks. Often, it is not the followers of a path barring the curious from entry onto it, and I find the desire to deter people from walking any sort of spiritual path that seeks the deeper potential truths of human existence to be a bit questionable. To me, this implies that either the path in question holds no truth or that certain people are simply not permitted to seek such a truth. It also completely ignores the tremendous amount of cross-cultural influence among these spiritual paths. That said, I am aware of closed practices and sacred spaces that are closed at the discretion of those practicing within them, and though Hinduism on the whole is not considered a closed practice by many of those who live by its teachings, I again urge utmost respect when dealing with any sort of cross-cultural exploration (including confronting any hidden biases you may have).

There is another sector of people who feel that the purpose of the chakra system (either initially or by corruption over time) is to create energetic sockets, as it were, for various external entities and energies to easily attach to you, drain you, and/or manipulate you. Without getting too deeply into the why’s and how’s of it, this has popularized the idea of a process known as chakra removal, which can be a bit confusing, as the processes I’ve read about seem something more like chakra unification than removal. The process usually involves the condensing of the seven-point chakra system into a three-point or one-point energetic spring that can flow more easily without “stopping” at these various destinations along the way in the case of a blockage. In doing so, as well, it is thought that there are less “entry” points for unwanted entities or energies to creep into. I’ll give my opinion on this shortly, but before I do, I’d like to return to the seven-chakra system itself to give a bit of foundation.

The chakras (चक्र), in Vedic teachings, are swirling centers of energy connected by nadis (नाडी), currents of energy which allow travel between the chakras. To clean up the first misconception: There have been and still are many varying chakra systems beyond the seven-chakra system most of us are familiar with today, and this is because the chakra system is not one of solidity, but are rather one of function and organization – a method of working with the very fluid energy body in a way that we are able to comprehend, the creatures of method that we are as human beings. In most cases, the common points among these systems include the sexual center, the heart, and the crown (which lines up quite well with our look into the layers of the energy body). Outside of this, though, systems can vary greatly, and one system is no better or worse than another. Returning again to the seven-chakra system: The concept of a myriad of correspondences as being intrinsically linked to certain chakras seems to be another rigid misunderstanding of the original teachings. In my understanding, the elements and symbols associated with the chakras are meant to assist in the visualization process known as nyasa (न्यास), wherein mantras (मन्त्र), or divine recitations, are installed at specific chakras with the intention of inviting in the gods into them.

None of this, by the way, is to discredit the westernized chakra system which does indeed have a focus on correspondences, as per traditional western mystic practices which is big on the concept of correspondences on the whole. Just because something is newer or derivative does not inherently make it less effective, and I’ve seen many people find positive, life-changing results from working with the western interpretation of the chakra system. To me, it is just another variation, and a lot of ideas born of this variation have even been incorporated into more modern practices overall. Where I think the contention really comes in, however, is when this particular chakra system is presented as “the ancient way”, similar to the way Wicca is sometimes presented as an ancient religion. Both are derivative of much older practices, and there is nothing wrong with this. The sooner we become okay with this, the sooner we can be honest about it and the more open to learning and exploring both the old and the new ways we can become. Learning and growing in an eternal role of “student of the universe” is one of my favorite aspects of spirituality. I hope you all carry a healthy curiosity, as well.

With all that said, let’s have a basic look at the modern interpretation of the seven-chakra system as it is commonly presented within the spiritual community today:

The Root Chakra | Muladhara (मूलाधार)/Hieron Osteon (ἱερόν ὀστέον) | Formed at the base of the spine. Intended for the vibration of “LAM” and the installation of Ganesh and Brahma. Associated with the element of earth. Other correspondences include the color red, the reproductive glands, and the frequency of 396 Hz. It is worked with to assist in grounding, confidence, and base instinct.

The Sacral Chakra | Svadhisthana (स्वाधिष्ठान)/Gonades (γονάδες) | Formed at the navel. Intended for the vibration of “VAM” and the installation of Vishnu. Associated with the element of water. Other correspondences include the color orange, the adrenal glands, and the frequency of 417 Hz. It is worked with to assist in sexual desires, passion, and creativity.

The Solar Plexus Chakra | Manipura (मणिपुर)/Gaster (γᾰστήρ) | Formed at the solar plexus. Intended for the vibration of “RAM” and the installation of Rudra. Associated with the element of fire. Other correspondences include the color yellow, the pancreas glands, and the frequency of 528 Hz. It is worked with to assist in self-esteem, determination, and willpower.

The Heart Chakra | Anahata (अनाहत)/Phrenes (φρένες) | Formed at the center of the chest. Intended for the vibration of “YAM” and the installation of Ishvara. Associated with the element of air. Other correspondences include the color green, the thymus glands, and the frequency of 639 Hz. It is worked with to assist in love, compassion, and emotional stability.

The Throat Chakra | Vishuddha (विशुद्ध)/Trachelos (τράχηλος) | Formed at the throat. Intended for the vibration of “HAM” and the installation of Sadashiva. Associated with the element of aether. Other correspondences include the color blue, the thyroid glands, and the frequency of 741 Hz. It is worked with to assist in communication, trust, and individuality.

The Third Eye Chakra | Ajna (आज्ञा)/Enkephalos (ἐγκέφᾰλος) | Formed between the eyebrows. Intended for the vibration of “OM” and the installation of Ardhanarishvara. Other correspondences include the color indigo, the pineal glands, and the frequency of 852 Hz. It is worked with to assist in expanded spiritual awareness and a sense of time.

The Crown Chakra | Sahasrara (सहस्रार)/Koruphe (κορυφή) | Formed at the top of the head. Intended for the vibration of “OM” and the installation of Bhairava. Other correspondences include the color violet, the pituitary glands, and the frequency of 963 Hz. It is worked with to assist in divine liberation and return to pure consciousness.

There many other associations and correspondences out there, including ones that may be very different from those I’ve listed here. Let the teachings that resonate with you guide you on your own path of exploration, but only keep with you that which you find beneficial. One additional note about the above list: You may have noticed I’ve also included terms for a Hellenic interpretation of the seven-chakra system. If you path takes on a Hellenic slant as mine does, have a look at this website for this interpretation, which has a heavy focus on healing.

In my practice: As promised, I now offer my opinion on the chakra system and the theories that surround the practice of “chakra removal”: I do not personally feel that the purpose of the chakra system is inherently malicious as some others do, nor do I feel like having your system err on the side of “open” is inherently bad practice. I do think, though, that if you are going to work with an energy body system that is more open, it is a good idea to have a regular practice of cleansing and cord cutting, and it is an equally good idea to get to know your own energy body well enough to know when it is in need of extra attention. On the other hand, if you opt for a more closed system, it would probably be wise to be mindful of potential stagnation. The system you choose to work with, unified or otherwise, however, I feel, is largely up to the practitioner.

I think it’s also worth noting that when some people step into the realm of the spiritual – and certainly when they begin to step away from modern Biblical rhetoric – they pull a great deal of anxiety with them, whether that’s due to programming from that Biblical rhetoric or amplified fears of the unknown by Hollywood dramatization. With this kind of hypervigilance, it can become unfortunately quite easy to apply your everyday worries and blues to whatever new practice you’re exploring. Be careful not to neglect the tricks of the mundane.

Psychic Abilities of the Energy Body

In the first section of this article, I mentioned that working with the energy body – beyond aiding in liberation of the soul – can offer some additional benefits in the current incarnation by freeing you from emotional burdens and obsessions, expanding your awareness, and improving your subtle senses and abilities. But what is this “expanded” awareness, and what does it feel like? Further, what are these “subtle senses and abilities” you should be prepared to encounter?

There are two workable systems that I am aware of that attempt to categorize and help you reach certain states of awareness. The first system is related to the koshas of Vedic philosophy – which again, you should feel free to explore should it call to you – and the second system is that of the “focus levels” taught by the Monroe Institute. After working with the Monroe Institute myself, and in particular the Gateway Experience curriculum, I have my own opinions and ideas regarding their work, which I will be divulging at a later time. For now, though, I do have to say that their breakdown of “focus levels” provides a nice little linear map of forward momentum in an expanding awareness. As outlined on their website: Focus 1 represents normal, waking consciousness within the realm of this physical reality. They then skip ahead to Focus 10, which represents the body in a state of sleep while the mind remains awake and alert. Focus 11 is considered the “Access Channel” and represents a state of open communication between the mental, the physical, and the emotional. Moving onto Focus 15, we find ourselves in a state of “No-Time”, wherein consciousness is far removed from the physical body, and linear time in no longer relevant to experience. Some may call this the Void State. Skipping again to Focus 21, and things begin to get a bit weirder. This point is described as the very edge of perception of the space/time continuum and the “Bridge” to other realities. Focus 23 is said to be the territory of “new arrivals” who have just experienced physical death. Focus 24 through 26 are grouped together as “Belief System Territories”, where the divine concepts of religion and mythos reside. Focus 27 is said to be the “edge of human thought capacity” and a “way-station” for those recovering from the trauma of physical death and planning the next phase of experience. Focus 34 and 35 are labeled the “area of the Gathering”, and from here on out, it only gets more obscure and a bit irrelevant to the point of this article. While I cannot, after my experiences, recommend the trainings and audio offered directly by the Monroe Institute, if it is calling to you, feel free to explore it for yourself. I do think there are gems in there, but I have to wonder how much higher-up meddling may have poisoned the cookie jar, as it were, to some degree.

You may have noticed that these experiences broken down above deal predominately in the realm of deep meditation or sleep, but as our overall awareness grows, so too does our overall abilities to perceive the subtler aspects of existence, and we may find ourselves having equally “strange” experiences in our waking lives. You may already be familiar with the following:

• Claircognizance: Intuition, discernment, and knowing. This is the first thing, in my experience and the experiences of many others, that seems to strengthen upon an expanded awareness. It seems to be what is most commonly referred to as a generic “psychic ability” and can be exercised by developing trust in your inner voice and practicing mindfulness meditation.

• Clairvoyance: Seeing clearly what is “unseen” in the mind’s eye. Sometimes this can come through as a visual imprint of energies/entities existing in other realms. This ability can be exercised by “predicting” unseen visual cues and practicing visualization meditation.

• Clairaudience: Hearing clearly what is “unheard” in the mind’s ear. Sometimes this can come through as an auditory imprint of energy/entities existing in other realms. The ability can be exercised by “predicting” unheard audio cues and practicing the expansion of your auditory awareness while sitting in “silence”.

• Clairsentience: An intuitive awareness of present energies, the strongest to come through usually being emotional. People who naturally find themselves picking up on and absorbing these energies like a sponge to water, and who may be subconsciously shaping energetic cords as a result, are often referred to as empaths. I recognize that the term has been greatly watered down, so I tend to stress that empaths are energetically sensitive rather than emotionally.

• Telepathy: The ability to project intended mental energy, such as the energy of certain information or emotions. Beyond the typical presentation of “communicating with others via thought”, I feel as though many popular manifestation techniques could fall into this category.

• Telekinesis: The ability to project intended physical energy, often to bring about a realm-time physical response. Beyond the typical presentation of “moving objects with your mind”, I feel as thought many popular energy healing techniques could fall into this category.

This is by no means the edge of possibility, I am sure – merely the most commonly discussed of the subtle abilities. Additionally, contrary to what some believe, I am of the belief that any and all of this abilities can be achieved by absolutely anyone. Though they may – as with any skill – come more naturally to some than others, with a regular practice of working with the energy body, I am sure you will find that these experiences begin to develop.

Burdens of the Energy Body

There are a plethora of beliefs regarding the formation of energetic blockages and the problems that can cause for you in your current incarnation, in the afterlife to follow, and in subsequent incarnations after that (whatever “after” may imply in what may be quite a timeless realm overall). The first of these blockages I’d like to discuss in this section is that of generational curses and generational trauma, both of which apply to the current incarnation alone (though, there are other theories out there considering the possibility of reincarnation taking place within the bounds of a bloodline). In a Biblical sense, generational curses may be likened to the concept of “original sin” as it related to the alleged wrongdoings of our ancestors and the responsibility of consequence being passed onto us by nature of blood relation. Even outside of the Biblical context, however, the concept of familiar curses can be seen in folklore, in classical works, and in modern media. Breaking these curses comes two-fold: Cleansing with intention and then breaking the cycle of questionable family habits through shadow work, therapy, or some other preferred form of thorough introspection. Generational trauma, on the other hand, is more solid of a concept, rooted in psychological study, and is explained as being passed down through the coping mechanisms and unhealthy behaviors resulting from traumatic experiences being learned and mirrored through the family’s descendants. Each generation is shaped by the previous, and again, echoes the sentiment of a need to break the cycle. Even for those who consider generational trauma to be a more spiritual experience, self-work seems to be the most optimal solution for that problem, whatever the preferred method of self-work is.

Next, we have the concept of miasma (μίασμα) or soul pollution. In order of severity, this miasma can be produced by: Natural death, childbirth, contact with human blood, excretions, or sexual fluids, illness, imperfections in ritual – and moving up into what is deemed hamartia (ἁμαρτία), or the more harmful and more serious producers of miasma – murder, incest, hubris, and malevolent magick. Left uncleansed, miasma is said to cause a spiritual disconnect and result in ineffective rituals. It is also considered contagious and may be picked up or spread through people, places, and objects. It is important to note that this is not at all related to the Abrahamic concept of sin, but more a natural side effect of having a physical experience. The more consumed by the physical we are, the denser our own energy becomes, and the less connected we are to our own divinity. This doesn’t mean you can’t or shouldn’t enjoy this physical experience. You should – and in my opinion, have a pleasant existence is very much about finding the right balance in your life. Regular cleansings easily solve the issue of miasma.

Then we have what is typically referred to as etheric cords, and these sticky energetic strings can form in at least two ways that I am aware of: By unintentionally giving your focus and, therefore, energy to another person, place, or thing or by intentionally attaching your energy to a person, place, or thing. People or entities who conscious attach to other living beings with the purpose of draining their energy for their own benefit are often referred to as spiritual parasites or psychic vampires. Though, I do want to note as well that there are many psychic vampires I have come across who have been doing this subconsciously and find themselves totally unaware of it. There are many who have become aware who now practice the conscious absorption of exclusively negative energy and the transmutation of it into positive, thereby making the practice beneficial. Definitely a topic worth delving into another time. In any case, the solution for these etheric cords is a process known as cord cutting, which typically involves a visualization of these cords being cut or disconnected and is followed by a cleansing.

One issue you may be more familiar with is that of the Evil Eye – also known as mati (μάτι), al-’ayn (العين), mal de ojo, and many other names across many other cultures, with slight variations across each piece of folklore surrounding it. Similarly to etheric cords, this curse is formed by focused attention on a subject – in this case, specifically negative, caused by envy, judgement, or dislike. Though, it is important to mention that in some cultures, it is by looks of admiration, and it is believed that the young are especially vulnerable. Though done unintentionally, the result is bad luck, feelings of unpleasantness, and, in more serious cases, physical illness. There are many cleansing techniques out there specifically intended to target Evil Eye, but it is growing increasingly common for people to keep an Evil Eye amulet, commonly a Nazar (نَظَر‎) or Hamsa (خمسة), to help neutralize the effects of Evil Eye.

Moving our focus across incarnations, we’ve got concepts like karma (कर्म), another term that has gotten quite watered down. Karma, as a cosmic law, is much closer to the idea of manifestation than it is to justice, but cosmic justice can indeed be a result. It is a cosmic cause and effect – an action and the energy that is then produced by it – and karma itself is not something that is set in stone. You are capable of setting positive intentions and taking positive actions that can change the tides for you at anytime. You are not guaranteed an eternity of suffering because you did something bad one time. What you are guaranteed, regardless of the nature of your action, is a return on the nature of your action, in whatever way that may manifest. If you are very concerned about “bad karma”, however, self-work is, as I say for many other things, the best medicine – and self-flagellation for assumed bad deeds from previous lifetimes will only result in a manifestation of those beliefs continuing.

And finally, we have the concept of soul contracts, the plans or missions that we allegedly set for ourselves prior to incarnating into a new lifetime – and this is where ideas like fate and destiny come into play. It is believed by many that these so-called contracts are made with an overarching spiritual purpose – a purpose for our soul’s growth, for our soul family, for existence itself. Still, this brings into question the necessity of more negative behaviors, assuming that these behaviors are a product of these contracts and not some sort of subconscious rebellion. It may also have one questioning things like autonomy and free will, and I very much value the availability of knowledge and the informed freedom that comes as a result. You must decide for yourself whether you share this view or you view this as a necessary mystery in the grand spiritual puzzle – if you believe in the idea at all – but should you decide that something must be done about this in your life, there are many who suggest that revoking consent, either verbally or internally, is a powerful and life-changing practice.

Your beliefs about all of these things, by the way, do have the potential to cause their own energetic blockages. Additionally, our belief systems on the whole are not immune to forces of external programming – but that is another conversation for another time. I must stress, above all, that self-work is so very important, and I am currently working on a free three-part course for those looking to get started on this, so please keep an eye out for that. I’ll, of course, update this article when the course goes live. And for those of you who would like a more foundational article pertaining to cleansings and spiritual safety in general, I have an article on that you can check out right here.

Energy Body Activations

“Activation.” That was always sort of a funny word to me in the realm of spirituality, as if these parts of ourselves are by default dormant and deactivated. I, on the other hand, feel that they are always present and active in our day-to-day, guiding us through life’s many twists and turns, albeit perhaps beyond average perception and beyond average control. In the thoroughly modern times we live in, and within a society constantly spoonfeeding you that lifestyle, our spiritual side becomes neglected. By being reassured over and over again how mundane the world is and how helpless we are to it, our spiritual “muscles” may grow weak, but I do not feel that they are ever fully “deactivated”. On my path, I would liken the term “activation” more closely to the idea of “awakening”, which to me is synonymous with remembering who we really are. Activation. Awakening. Ascension. All of these things mean roughly the same thing to me. That said, only you can decide how you feel as we explore the idea of activations.

The most commonly discussed activation or awakening – outside of the very general “spiritual awakening” – is that of Kundalini (कुण्डलिनी) awakening. In Tantric practices, Kundalini is described as a sort of primordial life-force energy of the Divine Feminine, a source of creative energy and spiritual liberation, lying coiled at the base of the spine, which upon awakening flows up through the energy body and out and around you through the crown like a cyclical fountain. When flowing freely, it is common for the results to be felt quite intensely. These results are sometimes referred to as “Kundalini syndrome” in individuals who are not quite prepared or in the ideal state of mind to be receiving such a surge of energy. As with any other type of ill-prepared experience with spiritual awakening, this has the potential to lead to things like increased anxiety, dissociation, derealization, physical illness as a result of high stress, or even psychosis in some of the worst cases. For this reason, it is highly recommended that you let a Kundalini or spiritual awakening come naturally as you move forward on your path and that you maintain balance and keep a regular practice of grounding. For those interested in working towards the experience, the following practices are recommended: Tantra, pranayama, meditation, rhythmic movement, gratitude and openness, and energy work in general. It should be noted, however, that there are those who believe it cannot necessarily be “brought on”, but rather that it happens when it is meant to, regardless of how prepared you may be.

In my practice: I’d like to mention that, from my perspective, there seems to be a colossal distortion in much of western culture of both the Divine Feminine and the Divine Masculine energies. I see a lot of repression of the healthier expression of these energies alongside the touting of unhealthier expressions as inherent parts of our identities that should not be changed for anyone or anything. And to clarify, this has nothing to do with gender, as we all have aspects of both energies within us at varying levels. The Divine Feminine, in particular, is a cosmic energy that has been demonized for a very long time. Thus, this aspect of the spiritual awakening process is where I think a lot of people start to stagnate on their path – and to say nothing of the endless bombardness with notions of powerlessness supposedly intended to keep us rooted in “reality” at all times on top of it all. It’s unfortunate that these things are the case, but it’s something to be aware of nonetheless if you really want to see growth.

Another popular concept circulating within the spiritual community right now is that of DNA activation. It’s interesting how this trend is reflected even in the more “mundane” sectors of life in the way of DNA test kits that reveal your supposed ancestral origins. In terms of benefits, they seem to be not unlike the list of benefits that come with the more general spiritual awakening. I have my own opinions on the matter, which I’ll address later, but for now, this is the only process I was able to find among the sea of people selling their “unique” services:

DNA Activation, Part 1: First, ground yourself. As soon as you feel like you’re ready, bring Earth’s energy up through your feet, up through your crown, and out into the universe. Continue carrying this beam of energy out beyond the universe and into the realm of the Divine. Once there, command the Divine to activate what is referred to as your “youth and vitality chromosomes” and to reveal to you “the master cell in the pineal gland”. Observe in your mind’s eye what is shown to you, and it is done. Return your awareness to your body and cleanly cut any cords you may have formed. Circulate your own energy within you. You may experience a sort of energetic purge after this point, so give yourself some time to adjust.

DNA Activation, Part 2: Repeat part one up until you reach the realm of the Divine. Once there, command the Divine to activate your remaining chromosomes, and once again ask them to reveal the “master cell”. Observe in your mind’s eye what is shown to you, and it is done. Return your awareness to your body once more, cut cords, and circulate your energy. After this point, the process of DNA activation is complete, and the promised benefits will follow.

Less talked about – but still talked about enough to be worth mentioning in this article – is the concept of light body activation, in which there seems to be 12 levels of activation that vary from source to source. As with DNA activation, it is difficult to find a method of doing it yourself versus an array of people simply offering their own services, and the only freely available recommendations I could find fall right in line with the suggestions given for advancing a Kundalini awakening. The benefits, as well, are quite similar if not completely the same.

I’m sure there are more activation techniques out there than the above two I’ve mentioned, which brings me to the question: Are all of these “activations” true, or are these people simply trying to sell you something? Of course, it is not the case that every spiritual service is a con, and I take not issue with spiritual services provided for convenience. It’s when people present themselves as the only ones capable of doing something for you that I’m inclined to tilt my head. People may have their own methods of doing things, and they are well within their right to offer that method as a service or class or book or however they may choose to present it, but make no mistake, anyone is entirely capable of achieving the same result on their own. In fact, I encourage it, because the spiritual path is a deeply personal one, and learning how powerful you are is such an important part of it. Still, disingenuous con artists do exist within our community, and it’s important to be aware of that and raise questions when necessary.

In my practice: There are some of you who may feel offended regarding my opinions on certain activation processes – those of you who have found them to be beneficial especially. I am not denying anyone what works for them. You should explore anything that resonates with you, and if something works for you, then it works for you, and you should give no one the power to take that away. All I am suggesting is two things: That you don’t need a special and mysterious activation process offered by a stranger online and that these parts of you don’t necessarily need “activation” at all. In my opinion, it happens naturally as you move forward on your spirit path, as you explore deeper parts of yourself, as you become familiar with your own energy body. All of these concepts that I’ve studies – spiritual awakening, spiritual ascension, Kundalini awakening, DNA activation, light body activation, etc – they all have so very much in common in terms of goals and benefits. Perhaps it is another case of different people talking about the same thing. That said, in the case of DNA activation, I do have to wonder if a focus on the current incarnation could present some problems, particularly in the very tribal society we currently reside in. Again, though, I cannot take from you that which works for you.

Starting to Sense Energies

It all has to start somewhere, and if you’re planning on getting into any sort of energy work, the first step is to begin trying to sense those subtle energies. One exercise I really enjoy is given in this video by one of my favorite witches on YouTube, Lady Gravedancer. The process is very simple and easy-to-understand, and it can be applied to anything and everything. These subtle sensations come differently to everyone. You may feel a warmth, a tingling, a buzzing, a fluidity, or something completely different, but the more you work with it, the more you’ll familiarize yourself with how you personally perceive and transpose energy.

If this is too difficult for you at this time – and it’s okay if it is; we are all at different points on our path – I suggest taking a step back and implementing a practice of daily meditation and regular exploration (both of the self and of varying pre-built paths our there). When ideas come to you, or when things call to you upon your explorations, take them and run with them. Peel them open like fresh fruit and revel in the sensation of something new. You may find that they resonate and take your further along your journey – or you may find that they don’t, and in that case, you continue on as you were, keeping the mind’s eye out for the next thing worth trying.

The destination is exciting, but the journey is just as enthralling. I hope that you’ll allow yourself to enjoy it, and I hope that this article has found those of you who craved it. Much love and many blessings to you, wherever your path may take you, until we meet again.

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