The Solar Plexus or Manipura is the third chakra within the chakra energetic system. The Sanskrit translation of Manipura is “city of jewels” or “lustrous gem”. Mani means gem, and pura or puri means city. While the root chakra represents the earth element, and the sacral chakra represents the water element, now we arrive at the solar plexus chakra, and enter the fire element. We have evolved from mere instinct and survival, into the desire for pleasure and merging with another.
Matter combined with movement becomes friction and energy. The third chakra represents the spark that is generated: metabolism, enthusiasm, ignition of will power. It is will power that drives us out of inertia and old, destructive patterns into change and new beginnings. Earth and water are passive elements, following gravity and traveling downward. Fire energy is explosive and reaches upward into the heavens, transforming form into heat and light. The first three chakras are so interconnected with one another that they can only be understood separately on an intellectual level. Mass, movement, and energy cannot be separated from one another, and represent the trinity of forces that are integral to the physical world.
The solar plexus is associated with the fire element. It is located in the solar plexus, over the adrenal glands. It is symbolized as a ten-petaled lotus, the ten petals representing the ten intersecting nadis or energetic pathways at this chakra. A lotus resides within a downward pointing triangle. Inside the lotus is a ram, a most powerful and energetic animal associated with Agni, the Hindu god of fire. The solar plexus chakra is visualized in a bright yellow color. The bija mantra or seed syllable is Ram; when chanted the sound vibration cleanses and heals this chakra.
Fire is radiant and dynamic, therefore the third chakra is yang energy. It is ruled by planet Mars and the Sun. Common crystals associated with this chakra are Amber, Topaz, Yellow Citrine, and Rutilated Quartz. It is connected to the sense of sight.
The solar plexus chakra serves the purpose of transformation and represents power, autonomy, will, energy, metabolism, transformation, and self-esteem. The power of this chakra is that of life, vitality, and connection. With a preponderance of fear, shame, or the feeling of powerlessness, one withdraws and shuts down, and becomes depleted. Since fire requires air, this self-induced closed system quickly extinguishes the vital energetic force of this chakra. This is job security for the local coffee shops, as we turn to massive amounts of caffeine, sugar, or other stimulants just to get through each day.
Within the realm of “power”: an appropriate balance of cooperation, without domination. If there is an overabundance of submission, one loses their spark, desire and vitality – which is crippling to self-esteem. With regard to “will”: this is the essential link necessary for transcending inertia and moving into a conscious, meaningful path. An overabundance of victim mentality can lead to emotional powerlessness. With regard to “self-esteem”: when it is high, one is brimming with confidence and assertiveness, is self-disciplined, and has an enthusiastic zest for life. When self-esteem is low, one is filled with fear, doubts, and negative self-talk. The paralyzing fear often causes one to travel backwards into inertia.
It is said that damage occurs at the astral or subtle levels long before physical symptoms appear. Chronic Manipura imbalance can manifest physically in a variety of ways, including ulcers, diabetes, hypoglycemia, and a variety of digestive disorders.
The three astrological signs associated with the fire element are Aries, Leo, and Sagitarrius.