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The Chakras in Shamanic Practice

Eight Stages of Healing and Transformation

Foreword by John Perkins
Published by Destiny Books
Distributed by Simon & Schuster



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About The Book

How to work with the chakra centers to heal unresolved psychic wounds

• Reveals how psychic injuries become lodged within the energy body

• Links one major developmental stage with each major chakra

• Provides a detailed guide to healing and clearing the tensions each chakra holds

The chakra system identifies eight centers in the psycho-anatomy of humans, each one associated with a different part of the physical or energy body. Susan J. Wright, a practicing shaman and Gestalt psychotherapist, uses her own life journey to show that each chakra also is linked to a different stage of emotional and spiritual development. In The Chakras in Shamanic Practice, she identifies eight key developmental stages of life, from birth to old age/death. Each of these life stages has various developmental challenges and potential traumatic events that will likely occur and affect the health and well-being of the individual.

Wright explains that life traumas experienced in particular developmental stages become lodged within the energy body as they cling to their corresponding chakra. By identifying and working with the chakra involved, a doorway can be opened to a world of transformative images, allowing powerful shamanic techniques to heal these psychic wounds. Providing both physical exercises and guided meditations that utilize the techniques of soul retrieval, working with power animals, and transcending trauma, Wright offers practitioners a way to gather and nurture the fragmented parts of their energy body and lead themselves to physical, emotional, and spiritual well-being.


from Chapter 5


Portal to the Infinite

A Journey to the Expression of Spirit

THE FIFTH CHAKRA IS THE ENERGY CENTER of expression, specifically the expression of the truth of your spirit as you journey through this life. It is both literally and figuratively the singing of the song of your soul, as the energy of this chakra spins out from the throat area.

From the shamanic perspective, it is the very powerful chakra generating and containing the very powerful element of ether, the fifth element, which transcends the other elements leading to manifestation. This is the place within the universe of the human being where matter meets spirit. This is the chakra where we weave our dreams and shapeshift, and distinguish between dreams and fantasies and nightmares. With the support of the energy from this chakra, we can create a wonderful life, for ourselves and all the beings on this planet. It is truly the portal to the infinite.

Since the ego state embodied in this chakra is the self from age twenty-five to age forty, the developmental crisis seeking to resolve itself is generativity vs. stagnation. The life force is thrusting its way into adulthood to actualize our dreams, some of which we have been nurturing since childhood, some of which may arise spontaneously, day by day, and everything in between. The spiritual, shamanic questions for this chakra ask about how you are proceeding with realizing your dreams. Are you pursuing someone else’s dreams, your parent’s or the culture’s, because you haven’t successfully resolved earlier developmental crises? Do you choose to have a protracted adolescence and romanticize about what life should be at the expense of productive action?

Or, do you dare to dream the sacred dreams you nurture in your heart and use the energies of all five elements to actualize your love? When you can start to answer this question with a yes, you have become the shaman and the shapeshifter.

Work in this chakra may include dreaming to heal your other chakras. This is especially true if your energy is stuck actualizing someone else’s dreams, mourning the tragedy of our perpetual human drama at the expense of your dreams, or still feeling too unloved in the young places inside yourself so that it is not yet possible to have consistent empathy and compassion for yourself or others. The desire for effective expression in the world, which is the energetic function of this chakra, may create a desire to go back and heal unfinished business in the previous chakras.

You can start to use this chapter by observing your life in the present, and how your energy is dancing to create your current reality. Are you happy with it and fulfilled on every level of your being? Does your current dream contribute to making the world a better place? If not, you can change the dream.


Finding your dream

The first step to changing the dream, involves finding your dream. Your dream will be related to your identity and your mission, so at this point it may be wise to review chapter 3. Since you are older in this chakra, your dream may be your mission plus your capacity to hold duality and create intimacy. These are fourth chakra qualities and since air is the element of the fourth chakra, when you breathe life and love into your mission it becomes your dream.

Journey to your sacred place. As always, experience it through your senses. Take in the safety, the nurturing and love. Feel yourself held in your sacred healing place.

Invite all the elements in your healing place to cleanse you and dance with you. Take time to really sensually experience earth, water, fire, and air. Then feel the fifth element, the ether, moving around you and through you, the energetically tangible presence of the process of all possibility.

Connect to your spiritual protection and guidance. Feel connected to spirit, in your heart and with your whole being. Then ask your dream to bring you to it. Invite it to call you. Perhaps you will hear the song or voice of your dream. It may be a deep hum, like the sacred sound of “om.” Maybe you’ll hear someone or something calling your name.

Notice if you journey into your body, or to some place or element in your sacred place. You may journey beyond your sacred place. Perhaps there is some person you have to see, or some place in the world you need to go on your journey. Go wherever the voice of your dream calls you. A house, garden, town, city, mountain, country, the universe . . . anywhere and everywhere. It doesn’t matter where you go in this journey, as long as your dream calls you there.

Feel your dream present itself to you. Your dream may present itself as an image, vision, being, symbol, song, or dance. Your dream may speak to you about its presence in your life, what it brings to you, and what it requires of you. Feel yourself received by your dream. You may need to allow the meaning of your experience to unfold over time. Your dream may become your beloved. And spirit will support you in your relationship to it.

It is important that we learned about relationship and intimacy in chapter 4, as successful resolution of the developmental crisis in this chakra involves being able to have a responsible relationship with our dreams. Certainly we should be gratified on every level by our dream, though it is also important to ask what the dream requires of you on an ongoing basis. This may be holding certain intentions, emotions, meditations, connections, and actions in both non-ordinary and ordinary reality. As in all dynamic healthy relationships, what you and your dream require of each other may change over time. How does your dream ask you to prove your devotion, to help actualize in this reality?

About The Author

Susan J. Wright, a practicing shaman and licensed massage therapist since 1981, is also certified as both a Gestalt psychotherapist and yoga teacher and is a licensed clinical social worker. She created and facilitates a shamanic training program at her healing center, Birth of Venus, in Mamaroneck, New York, where she integrates social work, psychotherapy, and shamanism with yoga, belly dancing, and craniosacral therapy and other bodywork techniques. She lives in Mamaroneck, New York.

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Raves and Reviews

“Susan Wright’s creations epitomize the true meaning of magic. They take us to new levels of consciousness, empowering us to accomplish goals we previously only imagined, to realize our deepest dreams. Read, learn, enjoy--and shapeshift yourself and the world."

– From the foreword by John Perkins, bestselling author of Confessions of an Economic Hit Man, Shapesh

"This book is accessible even to those with no knowledge of the healing arts."

– C. Amber Pearce, The Feminist Review, Oct 2007

"This is a wonderful book that blends [Wright's] teachings on shamanic practice, the chakras, and energy healing in a manner that is very understandable for people who have any level of knowledge, from novice to expert."

– D. Tigermoon, The Pagan Review, Dec 2007

"Sharing her own personal experiences, the author of The Chakras in Shamanic Practice shows readers how Shamanic practices can be used to heal wounds associated with trauma at each stage of development."

– Dr. Tami Brady, TCM Reviews, June 2008

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