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The Wisdom of the Chakras

Updated on December 15, 2010

Book Review

“The Wisdom of the Chakras, Tools for navigating the complexity of life,” by Ellen Tadd

“What better place to review this book?” As I write this review I am actually in the sky – in a passenger jet aircraft. This might be reminiscent of that open-crown-chakra feeling were it not for the cramped quarters and air pressure against my eardrums. Yet here I am, flying – soaring, if you will.

Last summer I attended one of Ellen Tadd’s workshops in Boston. During some of the exercises I received images as sometimes I do when in a deeply meditative state.  I took this as an indication that Ellen is an excellent spiritual facilitator, leading me to my interest in her book. Yet, though I did find the book interesting, I found the process of reading it interesting, too.

After circumstances delayed my receipt of it from the publisher, events continued to interrupt my reading of it. I had experiences that I believe furthered my progress on my spiritual path in the mean time, so at the end of the book I find myself in quite a different place than at the beginning. Like Ellen, I believe that everything happens for a reason – for example, that I should finish this book after these experiences, on this flight, and begin, only now, to write this review.

Ellen takes a non-traditional approach to the chakras, looking at them from the top down instead of from the bottom up. The logic of the tradition is revealed in Ellen’s writing – the topmost crown chakra is the chakra of spontaneity whereas the bottom-most base chakra is the center of order. One could argue it is better to develop the center of order before one concentrates on the center of spontaneity, but in Ellen’s view the advantage to learning about the crown and third eye chakras first is that these top two chakras are key to the health of all the others.

For the most part, “The Wisdom of the Chakras” is a clear and concise owner’s manual for the chakra system. A section is devoted to each individual chakra with good and effective parts descriptions, troubleshooting advice and exercises for improving their performance. Ellen adds generous personal examples from her practice and the practices of others to illustrate her points, adding a valuable personal perspective. She takes for granted the readers’ belief in the chakras – a good thing because proof of the existence of the chakras is really a completely different topic than their care and use.

And really, belief in the chakra system is not necessary to benefit from Ellen’s work. As the author says, the chakra system is a tool for spiritual development. As described in this book, the chakras represent our qualities of spirituality, receptivity, emotion, harmony, identity, and executive functioning. To separate these qualities into cubby holes (i.e. chakras) for the purpose of considering them individually is a good exercise even in the absence of spirituality.

“The Wisdom of the Chakras, Tools for navigating the complexity of life,” Ellen Tadd, Copyright 2010, Lantern Books


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    • kathryn1000 profile image

      kathryn1000 6 years ago from London

      I've started reading more of your work as you seem to have a high quality in your writing that is not common.I admire you doing all that cycling too.

    • Tom Rubenoff profile image

      Tom Rubenoff 7 years ago from United States

      @Denise - thank you for reading my review, and thanks also for adding your reference to "Eastern Body, Western Mind" by Anodea Judith

      @Juneaukid - thanks so much!

      @ Debbie - I used to know someone who read her books back to front, but I have to confess I find the idea disturbing LOL Thank you

    • Debby Bruck profile image

      Debby Bruck 7 years ago

      Hi Tom. I didn't know you were into the chakras. Maybe if you tried to read the book from the end to the front (I have a friend who does this) you would have not had so many delays? That way you could have read it from the bottom up and started with the material and then gotten up to the spiritual. Hugs, Debby

    • juneaukid profile image

      Richard Francis Fleck 7 years ago from Denver, Colorado

      Thank you for sharing this thought-provoking book

    • Denise Handlon profile image

      Denise Handlon 7 years ago from North Carolina

      Hi Tom, thanks for the review. I have done energy healing in the past which involves Chakra work. It is a remarkable process to 'clear' someone in the areas of the chakras. I have a wonderful book called: Eastern Body, Western Mind by Anodea Judith which discusses psychology and the chakras.

      As a spiritual practioner I am well aware of the chakra system and will regularly sense into the centers, especially the head, heart and belly.

      Nice to meet you...I would say I came across this hub by accident, but then, I don't believe in 'accidents'. :)

    • Traqqer profile image

      Traqqer 7 years ago from Atlanta, GA

      I don't think this is my cup of tea, but I'm glad you decided to write about this. It sounds interesting, and it's good to know.

    • Tom Rubenoff profile image

      Tom Rubenoff 7 years ago from United States

      I seem to be bumping into these concepts lately. Thank you for reading my review and your kind words.

    • profile image

      scriber1 7 years ago

      Tom....very interesting -- and for you -- typically eclectic. I have significant experience with far eastern methodologies and circular, as opposed to linear, thinking. But as with all processes, it's essential to learn first and foremost what one isn't before applying a process to determine what one is -- to the point, or should be. Nonetheless, and as always, thanks for your far reaching contributions.

    • Tom Rubenoff profile image

      Tom Rubenoff 7 years ago from United States

      It is an ancient and well-regarded way of looking the interconnected systems of body, mind and spirit.

    • Ivorwen profile image

      Ivorwen 7 years ago from Hither and Yonder

      Hello Tom. This book sounds interesting. I don't know much about the chakra system, but I keep running into things that are talking about it or referencing it as to the overall health of ones body.