Inanna’s Body Coverings and the Human Chakra System Notes by Dr. Honora M. Finkelstein The protective coverings Inanna arranges on her body prior to her trip to the underworld suggest an influence from a system of physiology that recognizes the importance of the energy system known as the chakra system.  We know about this system in a widespread way in the modern West just since the introduction of Ayurvedic medicine.  Basically, it indicates that the physical body is surrounded and influenced by an energy body, in which there exist seven major vortices of energy called chakras; these begin at the bottom of the torso and rise up the front of the body to the top of the head.  These are also referred to as “wheels of light,” because for those who see or sense them, they seem to spin.  Each has a color associated with it, and each has a gland in the body that it influences. (The chakras are also associated with the Kabbalistic Tree of Life, about which there will be more discussion later.)  The chakras are as follows: Chakra  Crown  Third Eye  Throat  Heart  Solar Plexus  Pancreas/ Spleen Base/Root  Gland  Pituitary  Pineal  Thyroid  Thymus  Adrenals  Pancreas/ Belly Sex Organs  Location  Top of head  Brow  Throat  Center of chest  Just above navel  Below navel  Bottom of spine  Color  Purple/white  Indigo  Blue  Green  Yellow  Orange  Red  Function Spiritual knowing Intuition/psychic ability Communication/will Emotion/love Use of power/fight or flight Physical maintenance; personal identity/ sexuality Creativity/sexuality/ physical energy The lower three chakras are associated with the physical plane (money, sex, and power); the three upper chakras are associated with spirit (will, intuition, spiritual knowing); and the heart (love) is the bridge. Inanna prepares her body—and chakras—for her descent to the underworld, beginning with a crown on her crown chakra; then she arranges curls across her forehead (the third eye); ties lapis beads around her throat (will/communication); puts a double strand of beads on over her breast (the heart); then puts her robe around her body (controlled by the lower three chakras).  Then she puts ointment (eye shadow?) on her eyes for enhanced vision; a breast plate around her chest for protection; a gold ring on her wrist for action; and takes up a lapis measuring rod and line for enhanced judgment. She actually has seven items with her that she must leave behind one at a time as she passes through the gates of the underworld. One thing to look for as we make our journey through time is just which of the chakras the writers may be coming from.  Are they coming from the lower centers (money, sex, and power),  the upper chakras (communication, clear seeing, or mystical revelation), or are they acting from the bridge (love)?  Are they dominator cultures with no means of balancing themselves, or does the feminine aspect somehow make its way into the culture to exert a balancing influence?  Here’s a clue—most dominator cultures are focused on the lower three chakras.  So while you read, keep this pattern in mind; it may help you understand the consciousness of the people who produced the literature. And finally, we’ll have occasion to look at the chakras again at the very end of the course, for recent research has shown that a series of seven medieval cathedrals were built for the purpose of stimulating the different chakras of those who made  pilgrimages there, and we’ll be taking a look at the art, architecture, geographic placement, and astrological significance of those particular churches. For more information on the chakra system, see the following: Gunther, Bernard. Energy Ecstasy and Your Seven Vital Chakras.  North Hollywood, Calif.: Newcastle Publishing Co., Inc., 1983. Judith, Anodea.  The Truth about Chakras. St. Paul, Minn.: Llewellyn Publications, 1993. Judith, Anodea.  Wheels of Life.  St. Paul, Minn.: Llewellyn Publications,  1990. Rendel, Peter.  Understanding the Chakras.  Wellingborough, Northamptonshire, England: The Aquarian   Press, 1979. Made with Xara Website by Susan Smily