A Journey Through the Chakras: Tapping into Universal Consciousness

Oakland Alameda Oakland Yoga StudioSahasrara Chakra

Other names- 7th Chakra, Crown Chakra, 1000 petaled lotus, Seat/Throne of God

Location-Crown of head

The nervous system, pituitary gland, pineal gland, hypothalamus

Mantra- Silence or AUM

Vetiver, Frankincense, Rosewood, Lavender

Detoxing, fasting, vegetarian diet, drinking lots of water

The peace pipe, plant medicine, shamanism- all mind-altering substances

Color- white or violet


“We are a way for the cosmos to know itself” – Carl Sagan


In Sanskrit Sahasrara means thousand petaled, referring to the lotus flower. While it might be hard to imagine a 1000 petaled lotus flower, that’s exactly the point.  


In Eastern traditions, like Hinduism and Buddhism the lotus flower is a powerful symbol of triumph over circumstances because it grows out of murky muddy waters.  It’s beauty is amplified by it’s dark surroundings.


Now envision a lotus flower resting inside the bowl of a human skull, roots extending down the spine and reaching out in the body like the electric network of the nervous system. At first closed tight in a bud, over time and with proper nurturing, the bud begins to bloom. Each petal that falls open touches the perimeter of the skull.  As it blooms, a crown of petals forms. In full bloom, the brain cavity is full of petals, representing mind-full-ness


Each petal representing a lesson that helps relinquish the grip of the mind to the ego, the identity, the physical body, and the intellect. One thousand lessons in full bloom, they are now liberated. White light flows freely through them from their roots out through their crown and up into the infinite expanse of the universe, connecting them to everyone and everything. Lit up and glowing, representing the attainment of enlightenment. God energy, universal energy is released from within and a throne made of a bed of petals has been earned, which is why this chakra is sometimes called the seat or throne of god, the god energy potential in us all. The crown chakra serves as the gateway to the cosmic self, the higher self, the universal self, and the infinite.  


In many traditional cultures around the world plant medicine and shamanic ritual is used to help people release the ego and experience this type of mental freedom.  In such cases the medicine opens the portal of the mind and the shaman becomes the grounding force tethering them to earth to prevent them from traveling too far that they lose their way.  Often drumming, singing, chanting, incense, and physical movement are used as tools to root them to earth. In recent western culture some mind-altering substances like MDMA, LSD, DMT, and psychotropic mushrooms are being used to treat trauma, depression, and anxiety with the help of a trained therapist.  These scenarios resemble what traditional cultures have been doing for years, using a trained person to act like an anchor, allowing the person experiencing the substance to soar high above their usual vantage point, creating new neural pathways through directly experiencing the feeling of interconnectedness.


Unfortunately, some people get addicted to the sensations curated through mind-altering substances and end up with an overactive 7th chakra and the additional side effects of neurological mis-regulation and disorder.  Other people with overactive 7th chakras fall in the category of obsessive spiritualists. In both cases, people in these categories seem to live in the clouds, operate on another mental plane entirely, and find it difficult to communicate with people who are not like them or with anyone at all.  Usually people in these categories neglect the earthly tasks required to operate in society.


On the other side of the spectrum, a blocked 7th chakra can cause over analytical thinking, narrow-mindedness, closed-mindedness, selfishness, and spiritual disconnection. The inability to see the bigger picture, consider other points of view, and to pause before reacting emotionally are also tell tale signs.  


The crown chakra requires balance and the rooting earthly energy of the 1st chakra.  A balanced 7th chakra can be experienced during moments of bliss, during profound experiences of connection, during the peace and stillness found in meditation and savasana, and during illuminating life experiences like death and birth.  Moments that spark a deep truth and moments where you experience oneness with other people, animals, nature, and the cosmos. Most 7th chakra alignment is felt in moments, moments that expand the mind and alter the fabric of your spirituality through direct experience.


“When you touch the celestial in your heart, you will realize that the beauty of your soul  is so pure, so vast and so devastating that you have no option but to merge with it.” – Amit Ray



I am an extension of the universe

Everything is happening in divine alignment

I am connected to my highest self

I am the universe embodied

I am in the precise place I need to be

I belong here

I am liberated from my conditions and false identities

I am open and receptive to guidance from the universe

I can see above my individual perspective and see the bigger picture

I am connected to all of existence

I am because you are


Tips to balance the 7th chakra

  • Daily moments of silence
  • Develop the perceiver mind by practicing pausing before reacting
  • Practice taking a step back (or above) and try to see the bigger picture
  • Keep a dream journal (sleeping dreams and daydreams)
  • Reduce screen time
  • Get outside yourself by helping someone in need or a cause you believe in
  • Spend time in nature
  • Plant a tree
  • Adopt a pet
  • Practice inversions


This piece was written by Valerie Tao Marco.

Valerie is co-leading a workshop series called A Journey Through the Chakras. The last workshop of this seven part series will be on Sunday, March 31st from 12:30pm-2:30pm.  Sign up for this special offering here.