The four instinctual drives - fear, feeding, fighting, and sex - are mirrored in the agendas of the lower chakras. These are the basic programs required for physical and emotional survival. The compulsion to overeat or to hoard money or toys is one of the negative expressions of the feeding instinct. We can never get enough to satisfy us. An unbalanced first chakra manifests in feelings of scarcity and lack. Even those who have a great deal may fear loss of their possessions. Ironically, the poor often are more generous than the rich. With a clear first chakra, the mentality of scarcity disappears. We come to realize that nothing is lacking and that we live in abundance. Intellectual understanding is not enough. We must know with every cell in our body that we are being cared for and sustained by the Universe. A collapsed first chakra makes us build fences to protect what we own from our neighbors. An unhealthy second chakra makes us gather piles of stones to defend ourselves from them.
Testosterone and estrogen are the hormone associated with the first chakra. Laboratory studies show that testosterone elicits two primary responses in the human male: sex and aggression. When women are given testosterone injections the complain that they cannot stop thinking about sex. An imbalance in the first chakra can exacerbate the effects of testosterone, causing a man to confuse the two instinctual impulses of this hormone. When that happens he begins to hurt the moan he loves and eventually destroys the intimacy in his love relationship. It leads to sexual abuse, which is widespread throughout not only America but also the rest of the world, particularly in countries making the transformation from a village-based society to a city-based one. In South Africa, which is undergoing such a transition, a woman is raped every twenty-six seconds. When I work with a woman who has experienced sexual abuse early in life, I often find her first chakra shut down, many times from a subconscious fear that she might harm others as she was harmed by her father or another male in her family.
Estrogen, which is produced by the ovaries, is essential for maintaining bone mineral content. Estrogen production drops off dramatically after menopause, which can make a woman susceptible to osteoporosis. In no industrial societies women do not seem to have the high incidence of osteoporosis that we find in America. Some investigators argue that this is because women in the third world do not live as long and therefore never got to suffer significant bone mineral loss. I am convinced that another reason is that women in no industrial societies maintain an active connection with the feminine Earth throughout their lives. The first chakra induces in women powerful feelings of nurturing, desire for the relationship, and mating. Imbalances in this chakra can result in a woman’s overwhelming concern for security in her relationship at the cost of her autonomy.
Tribal cultures perform first-chakra rites of passage to celebrate a youth’s coming into manhood or womanhood.
[royster’s comment: This is acknowledging the transformation puberty brings. In an advanced society, “ascension” rites would be joyously conducted, as well.] The ceremony encourages the youth to release the parental bonds holding him to his mother and father. During the ceremony the youth claims the Earth as the mother who will never leave him and the Heavens as the steadfast, reliable, enduring father. [royster, again, reminding you all: it’s not too late for this proclamation!] This ensures that the young person will continue to be parented, but now by powers greater than his biological mother and father. The youth is now able to participate in ceremonies and offerings to Heaven and Earth, therefore maintaining a conscious connection to these cosmic parents. Lacking these rites of passage into puberty [or ascension] , Westerners are spiritual orphans. We struggle through life feeling motherless and fatherless, and later find that we do not know how to be dependable parents.