Just as the seven chakras relate to areas on the human body and earth's elements, they also have corollaries for earth destinations. Travel with us—and the many travelers now making pilgrimages these energetic spots—to the seven chakras of the body and of Mother Earth.
Root Chakra: Mount Shasta (USA)
The first chakra also called the root chakra, or Muladhara, is located at the base of the spine. The root chakra is responsible for feelings of safety, security, and groundedness and is associated with our basic needs for food, water, and safety, as well as our emotional needs to feel rooted and secure. Its energy is based on the element of the earth. The root chakra is like the foundation of a house and forms the bedrock to our lives.
The earth's root chakra is Mount Shasta in California's snow-capped Cascades Range. This gorgeous peak has a long history of sacred observation and mythology about lost civilizations. The Native Americans considered the mountain the center of the spiritual universe. Perfect home for the Muladhara, a word based on the Sanskrit for "root" and "base."
After visiting the peak, "Lonely as God, and white as a winter moon,' as poet Joaquin Miller wrote, see the three charming towns at its base, each with first-rate amenities: Dunsmuir, Mt Shasta City, and McCloud.
Sacral Chakra: Lake Titicaca (Peru)
The second chakra or sacral chakra is the seat of creativity and sexuality. Located above the pubic bone and beneath the navel, Svadhisthana translates to "the dwelling place of the self" in Sanskrit and is associated with the element water. When the second chakra is in balance, we feel an abundant and expansive sense of wellness, pleasure, and joy. Nice, right?
Travel to Lake Titicaca, between the border of Bolivia and Peru, to recognize the earth's second chakra. This large, deep lake is central to many myths; in Incan mythology, the god Viracocha emerged from the lake to create the sun, the stars, and the first civilization. Lake Titicaca is also the birthplace of the first Incan king, Manco Capac. The areas surrounding the lake, including Machu Picchu, Cuzco, and Iquitos, are also recognized as having powerful energetic forces. Because it's a popular tourist destination, you can reach the lake from either Bolivia or Peru. Bolivia's capital city La Paz glimmers on the eastern shore, and from Peru, the lake is easily accessible from Lima or Cuzco.
Solar Plexus Chakra: Uluru and Kata Tjuta (Australia)
The third chakra is your warrior chakra. This is the chakra that gives a baller presentation at work and then asks for a raise—and gets it. Located between the navel and the breastbone, the solar plexus chakra governs self-esteem, motivation, confidence, and a sense of purpose. Its associated element is fire, and in Sanskrit, Manipura translates as "lustrous gem."
Sacred to Australia's indigenous Anangu Aboriginal people, Uluru is a huge sandstone monolith 2.2 miles long and 1.2 miles wide. Together with Kata Tjuta, a collection of rock domes sixteen miles to the west, these astounding natural formations play an important part of the traditional belief system of one of the oldest human societies on earth. They are also recognized as the earth's third chakra.
You can fly directly to the spiritual center from Sidney on a three-hour flight, or opt to explore the outback in a more leisurely way by driving on the Northern Territory's Centre Way.
Heart Chakra: Glastonbury (UK)
Located in the center of the chest, the fourth chakra forms the nexus between the physical and spiritual realms. The element associated with the heart chakra is air, and the Sanskrit name, Anahata, translates to "unstruck" or "unhurt." When the heart chakra is in balance, we feel love for ourselves and others, reservoirs of compassion and empathy, and a deep connection with the life that surrounds us.
In England's Somerset, Glastonbury is seen as the site of the earth's heart chakra. Here, the flat green landscape is presided over by Glastonbury Tor (from the Old English for a high rock or hill) atop which St Michael's Tower seems to rise from the mist. The site has been associated with many spiritual and mythological traditions dating from pre-Christian times, and include Celtic mythology, King Arthur, and the Holy Grail. The area also hosts to a very muddy annual music festival.
To really see the spectacular countryside, hop in a car in London for the three-hour drive west to Glastonbury stopping in every charming village along the way.
Throat Chakra: Great Pyramid (Egypt)
At the fifth chakra or throat chakra, we move into the spiritual realms. Located at the center of the neck, the throat chakra governs expression and communication. In Sanskrit, the word Vishuddha means "pure" or "purification." When the throat chakra is in balance, we have an ability to express our truth, both verbally and nonverbally, live our purpose, and translate our plans and dreams into reality. This chakra has a natural association with the second or sacral chakra, the seat of emotions and creativity.
On earth, the throat chakra is associated with the Pyramids of Giza. The voice of the earth is calling to us with a message, writes WanderLuxe: "many believe that the constant wars and tragedies in the middle east are a physical manifestation of the mother Earth calling us to come to consciousness and follow the light."
Nine miles from Cairo, it's simple to reach the pyramids by private driver and guide; public bus; cab; or with an organized tour sold at hotels.
Third Eye Chakra: Mount Fuji (Japan)
The sixth chakra is the third eye chakra, located on the forehead between the eyebrows. This chakra goes by several names in Sanskrit; the most common, Ajna, is translated as "command," "perceiving," and "beyond wisdom." The third eye is the center of our intuition, that sixth sense that perceives beyond sight, smell, hearing, touch, and taste. When the sixth chakra is in balance, we can experience a sense of clairvoyance as well as an increased sense of access to wisdom, insight, and illumination.
On earth, the sixth chakra can be hard to pin down. Some say the sixth chakra has no fixed point on earth and moves with the earth's rotation. Those who subscribe to this theory pinpoint the sixth chakra as currently aligned with the heart chakra in Glastonbury and whose next destination will be Brazil.
But others say the sixth chakra's home can be found on volcanic Mount Fuji. The holiest of the country's Three Holy Mountains, Japan's tallest peak is an active volcano named for the Buddhist fire goddess Fuchi. At its 12,000-foot summit, find a shrine to the Shinto goddess Sengen-Sama.
A two to two-and-a-half hour express bus from Tokyo is the simplest way to reach Mt Fuji, which drops you off at Kawaguchiko 5th Station at the mountain's base.
Crown Chakra: Mount Kailash (Tibet)
The seventh chakra or crown chakra is located at the top of the head. In Sanskrit, Sahaswara is the thousand-petal lotus chakra and our portal to enlightenment and spiritual connection to all that is. An open crown chakra connects us not only to our higher selves but to all beings. This chakra's energy is transcendent, connecting us to the divine, universal energy.
"True opening of Sahaswara means the realization that you are pure awareness," writes Michelle Fondin at the Chopra Center. "You are pure consciousness, undivided, and all expansive. Like a drop in the ocean, you are a part of that ocean that contains and encompasses every aspect of it." This is the apex of the chakra journey.
The earth's crown chakra is found among the Himalayas of Tibet on Mount Kailash. A sacred site for several religions including Buddhism, Hinduism, and Jainism, it's not hard to understand why the magnificence of this 22,000-foot peak would inspire thousands of pilgrims and signify transcendence here on earth.
The best time to do a Kailash tour is from April to mid-June and September to mid-October. Fittingly, though, it's not simple to reach pure consciousness. A trip to Tibet requires four permits, and the mountain itself is not easily accessible. Your best bet is to work with a local travel agency who can help arrange the logistics for you. Search travel forums to make sure you're going with a reputable agency.
"The human body resonates at the same frequency as Mother Earth," writes Suzy Kassem. "If you really want to remedy the earth, we have to mend mankind. And to unite mankind, we heal the Earth. That is the only way. Mother Earth will exist with or without us. Yet if she is sick, it is because mankind is sick and separated. And if our vibrations are bad, she reacts to it, as do all living creatures."
Heal ourselves, open our chakras; heal the earth. Namaste.