The Outer Chakras: The Energy Centers that Connect You to the Universe with Cyndi Dale
Healers know the chakras as the seven key energy centers in the body that govern our physical, mental, and spiritual well-being. Yet Cyndi Dale teaches that healing is only the beginning—the chakras have much more to offer than most of us realize. A teacher who has earned worldwide acclaim as an emerging authority on the chakras, Dale views the chakras as amazingly versatile gateways to spiritual growth and realization of our most important life goals. Here she talks to us about the innovative twelve-chakra system she teaches in her first audio-learning course, Advanced Chakra Wisdom.
Sounds True: Most people teach about the seven primary chakras, but you work with a system of 12. What are the other five, and why are they important?
Cyndi Dale: People are familiar with the “normal” seven chakras, but there are dozens if not hundreds of chakra systems. If you study Tantric, Yogic, and Hindu history, as well as Chinese medicine and shamanic cultures, you find anywhere from four or five primary chakras all the way up to fifteen or more. There's not really a standard number of chakras. It all depends on what tradition you come from and what you perceive to be a “primary” or “secondary” chakra.
In my work with clients, it struck me that the seven “core” chakras we normally discuss are only the ones in the body, arrayed along the spine. But for centuries, mystics and shamans have known that we're actually an open system, connected energetically to the entire universe, and that our energy is contained at least loosely in an “energy egg.” We have a kind of energy cocoon around our body that shamans in different places in the world have worked with for thousands of years.
This matched what I found in my work with clients. There were times in my practice when I would notice a lot of energy was congealing or coming through a certain spot underneath the feet. Or different energy spots over the head or around the body. So I started to work with myself and clients, and see where these hot-spots were, or “power centers,” which is the Mayan term for the chakras.
The 12-chakra system I use comes from a blend of my research and my experience with what works. I started to focus on five major additional energy centers located outside the body. These link us to the spiritual realms and the earth itself, and they also interpenetrate the body through the endocrine glands. I've learned that you can actually create more change—physically, mentally, emotionally, spiritually—working with these outer chakras, because you're working with more powerful energies than what's just in the body itself.
Sounds True: Why do you think the seven-chakra system has become so prevalent?
Cyndi Dale: It's our tendency to think of ourselves as closed, isolated units instead of acknowledging that we're part of a greater whole. Research into biofields and subtle energy bodies shows that we're interconnected. Quantum physics is revealing that particles interact even if they're light years apart. We don't stop at the skin—and neither do our chakras.
It's interesting—we often hear things like: “People who are mechanistic and only go to allopathic doctors, they're really stuck. They think we stop at the skin and that everything is just mechanical.” But I find this mindset still persists unconsciously even in the spiritual community, and that it causes us to focus only on the in-body chakras.
Frankly, I'm not hooked into being the one to say there's a “right” number of chakras. If somebody came to me and said they use a 48-chakra system, I'd say: “Terrific! What can you do with them?” To me, it comes down to practicality. Is this effective information? Can we use it to better our lives? Can we use it to better the world around us?
Sounds True: Could you describe the five “outer chakras” and what they're for?
Cyndi Dale: Let me start with the 10th chakra, because this is the one that really roots you and brings you into your body. It's under the ground, about a foot and a half. This one opens to your genetic patterns, to your legacy in terms of family history, to the history of the earth in general, and links you into the environment and nature.
In terms of energetics, the lower half of the body works with the lower spectrums of light, while the higher part of the body from about the waist up works with the higher frequencies. So the 10th chakra underneath the feet is working with a lot of infrared energy, which is very powerful for energizing and healing the physical body. For instance, if someone is dealing with a genetic abnormality, I work with the 10th chakra. That energy center actually helps to program our DNA, and we can work with it to help with hereditary issues.
There are two chakras that are found above the head. The 8th chakra is an inch or so over the crown. It opens to the outer worlds and the Akashic records (a recording of everything you've ever done, thought, or said). But also up here you access parallel present realities and potential futures. This is the place of the shaman and the mystic. It's up here that you can open your perceptions to different universes, time periods, dimensions. 8th chakra practices are incredibly effective for gathering information, working with spirits, and bringing in healing properties and healing energies from the shamanic realms.
Positioned above it is the 9th chakra, which is a beautiful energy center. It contains the seat of our soul. So whereas the 10th, which is underneath the ground, has our physical genetics, on the opposite side is the energy center that contains our “soul genetics”—encoded information about your higher purpose and spiritual destiny. We can perceive this information as numerical symbols, geometric patterns, or our own unique archetypal codes. If we're not getting any benefit working on the physical plane, that may mean it's time to go up and work with the soul patterns through the 9th chakra.
Then outside of the body are the 11th and 12th chakras. The 11th is the most immediate: it's the “energy egg” I mentioned around the entire body, which is accessible through the hands and feet. This is our connection to different forces, both natural and supernatural. I call it the “command center,” because people—like shamans—who are really able to access the energy of this chakra, are extraordinarily powerful magicians. They are able to influence the world around them and summon the supernatural energies that can make an instant and effective change in our lives.
And right outside of that is the 12th chakra, which is where we find the plane of mastery. It's here that we can identify ourselves with the best of being human, and then stretch beyond into the spiritual planes that lie on the other side of the energy egg and discover unity with the whole universe. Through the 12th chakra, we are able to achieve our own spiritual uniqueness and purpose.
Sounds True: Do these outer chakras have a direct relation to any part of the body?
Cyndi Dale: Yes—they connect to the body through the endocrine glands. So as with the primary seven, if you have a problem with a specific organ you want to work with the connected chakra in order to heal it. The 10th chakra works with the bones and the bone marrow, and any diseases related to the bones. People sometimes say that's not an endocrine gland, but there's research that's now proving that the bones and bone marrow produce hormones.
The 8th chakra above the head plugs into the thymus, which relates to our immune system; working here can effect great change in autoimmune disorders. The 9th chakra above the head interfaces with the diaphragm. This is why so many yoga and spiritual practices emphasize breath work: the breath brings oxygen to the body and is a vessel for spirit.
The 11th chakra links to our hands and feet, and connects into the fats, muscles, and connective tissues like cartilage. A lot of research is showing that the connective tissue is the house of the meridian system. A Swedish researcher named Dr. Björn Nordenström has found a secondary electrical system that is interconnected through the connective tissue that may be our link into the subtle energy fields. The 11th chakra seems to be connected in on a subtle level as well as the physical, and is our main conduit for harnessing the placebo effect and mind-over-matter healing.
I see the 12th chakra as interconnecting to a lot of secondary points in the body. If you've just got a general problem and you don't know where to start, work with the 12th chakra. It's going to balance the small points, like the kneecaps, the chakras in the hand, and the other organs. It's good for general overhaul.
You can see why I'm in love with these outer five chakras. They're so versatile and effective.
Sounds True: How do the advanced techniques you teach expand chakra practice beyond healing?
Cyndi Dale: We run our lives through our chakras. Since the chakras regulate all things physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual, we can do much more than use them solely for physical concerns. Certain people in spiritual practices open them up to get to Samadhi or a higher state. There's a lot of untapped potential.