Avatar: The Last Airbender (ATLA) aired between 2005 and 2008 in the USA. The cartoon has been heralded as one of the greatest of all time. The story of a young boy discovering who he is and how to wield the power given to him by his ancestors and mentors is one that resonated with the magical community back then and still does to this day.
A specific episode in Book 2, episode 19 to be exact, featured a man named Guru Pathik. He met young Avatar Aang at the Eastern Air Temple to teach him how to cleanse and energize his chakras. At the time, Aang knew absolutely nothing about chakras. What Pathik taught him was actually a very wonderful [basic overview of how our chakra systems work.] https://youtu.be/StrbppmsZJw
“So chakras are pools of spiralling energy in our bodies?” Aang asks after Pathik shows him an example using pools of water in a river, blocked by moss and other plants. After joyfully confirming the boy’s observation, Pathik clears one of the pools which allows the rest of the water to flow easily. This is an easy way to visualize chakras if you’re having difficulty seeing it.
In the show, the names of the chakras have been changed but not the basic meanings or the bodily placements. Pathik walks Aang through opening all seven of his, in a style that can easily be copied and applied to real life. No onion and banana juice required!
The Root chakra, Muladhara, is named the Earth chakra in ATLA. It deals with survival, and is blocked by fear. This takes the root chakra down to one of its very base meanings, and although it ignores the connection and community aspects, it’s still technically correct. If you are allowing yourself to be blocked by fear in everything you do, you will never allow yourself to connect to anything. You have to release and overcome your fears in order for your root chakra to truly thrive and activate.
The Sacral chakra has been renamed the Water chakra from Svadhisthana. It deals with pleasure and is blocked by guilt. This is, again, an extremely basic interpretation. Pleasure, emotions, creativity, intimacy, these are all things ruled by the Sacral chakra. Guilt that you have over enjoying or experiencing any of these things will weaken your Sacral chakra and likely cause you to think you don’t deserve any of the nice things that happen to you. Going further down the line, that train of thought will also shadow and sour your relationships. Forgiving yourself for mistakes you’ve made, doing your best to make amends and potentially even repent, will free you from your guilt and allow your sacral chakra to thrive. In doing so, you’ll be more comfortable accepting and enjoying the things that bring you joy and pleasure.
Manipura, the Solar Plexus chakra, is called the Fire chakra in ATLA. It deals with willpower, and is blocked by shame. There isn’t a better word for the solar plexus than willpower, even though it also rules personal power and confidence. If you are ashamed of any aspect of yourself, you’re not allowing your own personal power to shine. You need to accept and love all aspects of what you are to allow this chakra to thrive. This could involve some intense shadow work, therapy, or other psychological help. Whatever you need to do to no longer feel ashamed of yourself will be worth the personal power and confidence you will gain when your solar plexus chakra is activated and energized.
The Heart Chakra, called Anahata in our world, is simply referred to as the Heart chakra in the show. It deals with love, and is blocked by grief. The heart chakra is absolutely the seat of love, in all its forms. Unconditional, platonic, romantic, familial. It’s blocked by so much more than just grief, it can be blocked by hatred or betrayal, or any other type of hurt that targets your love or someone you love. Guru Pathik tells Aang to lay all his grief out in front of him, and reminds him that the love he had for his people is not lost. It is an energy, and energy cannot be created or destroyed, only changed. In this case, it’s a line from WandaVision that makes the most sense. “What is grief if not love persevering?” If you allow yourself to change with the energy running through you, your heart chakra will thrive and energize. Grief just means you still have love to give.
The Throat chakra, Visuddha, is called the Sound chakra. It deals with truth, and is blocked by lies. The Guru specifically points to lies that we tell ourselves or to others. A common epithet that tends to go along with the throat chakra is “speaking your truth.” Releasing your denial about things and allowing yourself to see the truths of yourself and others is how you can activate and energize this chakra. Another way, not mentioned by Pathik, is allowing yourself to speak up when needed. Allow yourself to set boundaries and speak them. Telling people your truth is one of the strongest ways you can nurture your throat chakra.
For the third eye chakra, Ajna, it is given the name of the Light Chakra. It deals with insight, and is blocked by illusion. The key is allowing illusions that you’ve let stay fade away. Similar to the throat chakra, a common epithet with this one is “knowing your truth.” Peeling back learned behaviors and coping mechanisms that are the result of other people’s treatment of you will allow you to see your own true self. Knowing who you are and what you stand for is a prime habitat for a strong third eye chakra. Once you have that, insight will flow. In the witch community, this chakra is strongly tied to psychic abilities and divination. Second guessing yourself is another form of illusion. Trusting your instincts and whatever you think of first while doing a tarot or other divinatory reading is you relying on your third eye chakra.
The Crown Chakra, Sahasrara, is named the Thought chakra. It deals with pure cosmic energy and is blocked by earthly attachments. With this specific wording, it sounds a bit more like we’re dealing with The Force and its Jedis from Star Wars. Allowing yourself to release attachments sounds like you have to live without friends and family at first glance, as Aang thought when told to release his. However, what’s more likely is that we are being told to release the idea of who we are in relation to our earthly attachments. Labels such as spouse, partner, sibling, child, parent, these are all things we use to describe ourselves in relation to our earthly attachments. To allow ourselves to think differently, to think of ourselves as a whole person without those types of labels, allows us to release the earthly attachments. We are all whole beings on our own, and recognizing that will help activate our crown chakras and open up the direct line to the universe, to spirit, to whatever form of divinity you work with.
Aang wasn’t able to release his earthly attachments, and therefore didn’t properly activate his crown chakra. This was a lesson he had to deal with for the majority of the series, as he was then cut off from his very powerful Avatar State. We may not have our own avatar states, not in the same way at least, but we can unlock the untapped power and energy inside of us and harness it in a similar fashion. Clearing your chakras allows healthy energy to flow between them. Think of it as a river with small pools, like the demonstration Guru Pathik gave. Fresh, running water is some of the safest to drink. Why wouldn’t fresh, running energy be the safest as well? (This does not apply to electricity, of course.) Keeping our chakras and the pathways between them open and clear can help us learn to balance our emotions in a healthy manner, keeping us tapped into our own great potential.
A basic outline of the chakras and how they’re represented in the show
– Root/Earth Chakra
Deals with survival, blocked by fear.
Let your fears flow down the creek.
– Sacral/Water Chakra
Deals with pleasure, blocked by guilt.
Accept the reality that things happened, but don’t let them poison your energy. Forgive yourself.
– Solar Plexus/Fire Chakra
Deals with willpower, blocked by shame.
Accept and love all aspects of what you are
– Heart Chakra
Deals with love, blocked by grief.
Lay all your grief out in front of you (what is grief if not love persevering?)
– Throat/Sound Chakra
Deals with truth, blocked by lies.
Release your denial and accept the truths about yourself/others.
– Third Eye/Light Chakra
Deals with insight, blocked by illusion.
Step through the fog and allow yourself to see clearly.
– Crown/Thought Chakra
Deals with pure cosmic energy, blocked by earthly attachments.
Let your attachments go, let them flow down the river.
Written by Divinaytion