Part six of the Chakras 101 series brings us to the third eye chakra! (If you’re just now checking out this series, start with my first post on the root chakra, followed by the posts on the sacral, solar plexus, heart, and throat chakras.)
The Third Eye Chakra at a Glance
The third eye chakra, or ajna chakra in Sanskrit, is known as “the seat of intuition.” Translations of the Sanskrit name include, “perceive,” “beyond wisdom,” and “command.” Located in the center of the forehead, it acts as the individual’s center of wisdom, conscience, and higher consciousness.
The third eye allows for clear thought, spiritual contemplation, and self-reflection. It is the highest chakra in the physical body, allowing it to provide visionary perspective. The third eye also helps to determine one’s reality and beliefs based on what one chooses to see in the world.
The third eye chakra primarily has to do with clairvoyance; as a result, the concept of the “sixth sense,” or strong intuition, came from this sixth chakra. As the most perceptive part of the human body and spirit, it governs self-awareness, higher wisdom, visualization, clarity, discernment, imagination, and creative dreaming. When balanced and in alignment, the third eye chakra trades typical black-and-white or “me versus them” thinking for wider perspectives and interconnectedness.
The third eye chakra has a feminine energy. It is symbolized by the color indigo and an upside-down triangle and lotus flower. Elementally, it is associated with light, although some argue that the third eye is associated not with any specific element, but with everythingness. Its mantra is, “I see.”
On the Earth
Just as the seven chakras exist in the human body, so too do they exist on our planet. The third eye chakra is perhaps the most interesting of the Earth chakras because it does not have a permanently fixed location. Instead, it can shift locations on Earth, supposedly in coordination with the constellations or the rotation of the Earth on its axis. Another name for the third eye Earth chakra is the Aeon Activation Center, which reflects the belief that its location changes every new astrological age or aeon.
The current Age of Aquarius determines that the third eye lies with the heart chakra at Glastonbury, England; this location is expected to shift to Brazil with the coming Age of Capricorn. (For reference, astronomers believe each astrological age to last between 2,100 and 2,500 years.)
When Blocked or Out of Balance
When the energy of the third eye chakra is out of alignment or not flowing freely, a variety of physiological, mental, emotional, and spiritual ailments can pop up.
For one thing, one might notice physical signs like tension in the brow area, headaches, eye strain, blurred vision, sinus issues, hearing problems, or dizziness. Cognitive indicators of an unbalanced third eye chakra may include dissociation, issues concentrating, nightmares, sleep disturbances, mental fog, and confusion (this is not intended to replace the advice and evaluation of a qualified medical pro).
Meanwhile, common emotional cues are self-doubt, worry, overthinking, close-mindedness, feeling lost, or relying on others for validation and permission. Lastly, some spiritual ailments which point back to the third eye include a lack of confidence in one’s path or purpose, feeling an “absence” of intuition, being too rooted in the physical world to heed higher guidance and wisdom, or being too rooted in daydreams to focus on the present reality.
One way to bring the third eye chakra back into alignment is through physically moving the body in ways that target the third eye region. For one thing, yoga asanas like fish pose, shoulder stand, and child’s pose can be conducive to moving energy through this area. Try following along with a yoga video like this yoga and affirmations for intuition and insight, third eye chakra yoga sequence, or third eye balancing flow. Further, it can be helpful to consistently focus on releasing tension in the head, face, and neck, which can block the flow of energy to and from the third eye.
Harnessing a variety of cognitive and emotional tools can help balance the third eye chakra, as well. Visualization, for example, is one way of using the mind and the focus to benefit the third eye. (One visualization to try is to imagine light flowing in and out of the center of the forehead, cleansing the third eye of any stuck or negative energy.)
Meditation in general is perhaps the most powerful tool for bringing the third eye chakra into alignment. This can be as simple as choosing to sit in silence and stillness in order to grow in touch with the self and feelings. (This can lead to awareness and clarity, as well as teach us how to listen to inner guidance and intuition.) Or, follow a guided meditation designed specifically for the third eye chakra, like I share here.
Even consider a sound meditation: by slowly verbalizing the seed syllable, “aum,” the vibrational energy targets the third eye region to open energy flow there. (Note that this syllable is pronounced with an “oh” vowel sound, not an “ow” vowel sound.)
Open-mindedness is also important for the third eye because of its connection to perception, wisdom, and guidance. Growing a stronger personal sense of open-mindedness is possible by actively stretching one’s perspective through day-to-day activities: whether it is trying a new cuisine, reading literature by authors of different backgrounds, or listening to a new genre of music, diversity is key here. After all, each of us is just one individual in a world of nearly eight billion people — there is so much learning that we have not yet experienced. Plus, the feelings of growth and connectedness which result from this widening of perspective are inspiring!
Incorporate a handful of affirmations into any of the aforementioned activities to focus in on a state of balance and alignment for the third eye. Or, work them into a small part of a daily routine, such as a morning skincare ritual. Some affirmations for the third eye chakra could be:
- I honor and trust my intuition.
- I learn from my experiences.
- I am connected to the universe,
- I have clarity and peace of mind.
- I look both inward and outward for wisdom.
- I am receiving and I am trusting.
Other solutions for a troubled third eye chakra include aromatherapy, crystals, and healthier diet modifications. Using essential oils like frankincense, rosemary, sandalwood, patchouli, and myrrh, as well as crystals such as tanzanite, iolite, sapphire, lapis lazuli, and labradorite, can help realign the third eye. The same can be done by introducing deep blue and purple foods into the diet, like blueberries and eggplant. Lastly, writing or journaling to find clarity, especially through a dream journal, can be helpful in gaining wisdom and opening the third eye chakra!
The element of the third eye chakra is light; therefore, immersing oneself in a light-filled environment could create more mindfulness of the third eye chakra and help to realign it. One great geographical region in which to do this is the Arctic Circle, where the northern lights are visible. Choose a location in Northern Europe like Sweden, Norway, Finland, Iceland or Russia, or the northernmost parts of North America like Alaska and Canada. More fascinating still is the fact that many of these places see daylight nearly 24 hours a day during the summer, a phenomena commonly referred to as the “midnight sun.” Meanwhile, in the Southern Hemisphere, the southern lights are visible in New Zealand, Australia, and the Falkland Islands.
However we choose to care for our third eye chakras, it is important to remember that only by pouring into ourselves will we be able to pour into those around us. By seeking first personal wisdom, clarity, self-awareness, and open-mindedness, we are better able to grow fully confident in our paths and purposes, thus making us even more powerful in bringing about that which we wish to see in the world.