Exploring the Chakra system side-by-side with shamanic journey work reveals animal helping spirits for each of the energy centers. The third Chakra, Manipura, which means “lustrous gem,” is your personal power and transformation center. In your solar plexus, located between your naval and your sternum, the fire element lights up your sense of self-worth. The animal spirits that visit to help you work with this Chakra are confident, unflappable, and at the top of the food chain.
Tiger always comes to mind when I think of the third Chakra. The big cats embody the energy of this Chakra as they stalk their prey, never doubting the power they are projecting and their ability to take action. Action is the theme of solar plexus Chakra work. No transformation will happen in your life unless you are ready to pounce. Call on the spirit of tiger to show you how to move assuredly.
The radiant yellow sun is a symbol of the third Chakra, and lion’s mane reminds me of the sun’s rays. Like tiger, lions are dominant, confident hunters, especially the females. Unlike solitary tigers, lions form prides and hunt cooperatively, so lion is an excellent totem to work with when exploring power dynamics and your role within teams or communities.
A snake’s shed invokes the transformative power of Manipura. When its outgrown skin no longer serves, snake leaves it behind. Thus snake has become a symbol of death and rebirth as part of a spiralling cycle of transformation. Surviving the bite of a venomous snake – being able to transmute the toxin in the body – was an initiation into shamanism in some indigenous cultures in the Americas. In dreams and journeys, a snake bite might be nudging you to let go of an old way of being so you can be reborn.
If you have ever witnessed a duel between rams, butting heads until one is dominant, you can understand why the Hindus chose ram to symbolize the third Chakra. Rams represent great force and power. Consider “battering rams” used to break down doors and castle gates. If the spirit of ram comes to help you with your solar plexus Chakra work, consider your own power struggles and where you might need to stand up for yourself. Rams also trust their ability to land safely as they leap from one tiny foothold to another. Do you trust yourself enough to take a risky leap? Ask the spirit of ram to show you how.