Understanding the Sacral Chakra

Understanding the Sacral Chakra

The Sacral Chakra is the energy center of pleasure, the emotions, creativity, intimacy, and sexuality. Its color is orange, and it is located in the navel area, including the stomach, lower abdomen, and the pelvis.

With the movement into the second chakra we shift from root earth to womb water, and encounter change and transformation. The Root Chakra has provided us with a foundation so we can feel safe and supported as we move into the Sacral, a space of emotions, vulnerability, and honesty. In the first chakra we learned to stabilize like earth; in the second chakra, we learn to flow like water.

Desires and Pleasures

Svadhisthana, the Sanskrit name of the Sacral Chakra, translates as sweetness. It is here we find our desires and the basic need for pleasure in our lives. Desire tells us what we want in order to have joy in our lives, while pleasure invites us to pay attention to our senses, to live fully and enjoy the present moment.

Without desire, we have no energy, no inspiration, no drive. Without pleasure, there is seemingly no payoff for all the hard work we do on a day –to-day basis. Our senses dull and life becomes a chore instead of a joy. Suddenly, our experience is one of apathy and depression.

Our culture tends to deny pleasure in favor of a more controllable, stable experience. We equate being an adult with how much passion, pleasure, and joy we can deny ourselves. Having fun and enjoying ourselves tends to strike us as childish. We are taught to sit still, work hard, get the bills paid, and that we will be able to enjoy our lives when we retire.

We often confuse the object of our desire with the need of our desire. The object is a Rolls Royce, the need is social acceptance and a sense of worth; the object is for Jane/John to be your romantic partner, the need is for intimacy and love. With a balanced Svadhisthana, an evenhanded sweetness, you can decipher which of your desires serve your wholeness by coming to terms with the root of that need. When you know the root cause, it becomes easier to release judgment of yourself and others, and become your authentic self without fear. You can choose healthy and enjoyable ways to honor yourself with pleasure, instead of denying your true feelings and accepting substitutes.

When we deny our pleasures, we become rigid in our thinking and in our bodies. Caught up in various levels of fear, we won’t acknowledge what it is we really desire  – comfort, love, affection, healing, etc – so we act out, and try to find any possible way to just “make it through the night.”

When primary, soul-inspired pleasures are denied, then secondary pleasures take over; this is how addictions are formed. Whether our dissatisfaction manifests itself with substance abuse, overeating, sexual misconduct, etc., these secondary pleasures, while entertaining and numbing, can never gratify because they aren’t what we truly want. So, we just end up craving more. Acceptance of healthy pleasures brings satisfaction and a sense of wellbeing, while denial of those pleasures only leads to craving and misery.

An overactive second chakra can find us too attached to pleasure and fulfilling our desires, sacrificing the wellbeing of others and ourselves in order to get what we want. Too much energy here can also send us into the realm of fantasies and daydreams, where we spend more time ‘wishing’ than ‘doing.’

A balanced Sacral Chakra empowers you to discover, embrace, and fulfill your desires, whether your experience with pleasure is of a sensual or commonplace nature. In this space of acceptance, we can be honest about the things and experiences we long for, and do not deny ourselves the pleasure of attaining them.


The Emotional Self

We find the gateway for our transformation in the honest recognition of our emotional state.

How we feel about ourselves, our loved ones, and the world around us dictates the type of experience we have in this life. The Sacral Chakra the storage center where we hold our emotional self, our responses to life’s joys and challenges, and the wide range of feelings we are capable of. 

As the second chakra also rules movement and the flow of the body, it is home to the emotional aspect of our intuition usually referred to as “a gut feeling.”  Our emotions influence the decisions we make, and these feelings sometimes speak through the body as a deep instinctive knowing.

Our emotions can be seen as the articulation of our soul’s needs, and in our society and upbringing, we are often shamed for expressing those desires. That shame can translate as our needs being invalid, leading many of us to shut down emotionally, fearing judgment and retribution.  We go numb, it becomes difficult to make decisions, and we succumb to unrighteous guilt.

Severe feelings of envy, jealousy, anger, and rage are also characteristics of an imbalanced Svadhisthana.

In balancing the second chakra, you reclaim your right to feel. Judgment about whether your emotions are right or wrong for a particular situation is released, and the acknowledgement that all your feelings are valid becomes the focus. You can express yourself without fear or shame, and without becoming overemotional or flooded. You can nurture yourself and others without guilt or embarrassment, and are unafraid to ask for what it is you need in order to feel loved and appreciated.


Spirituality and sexuality have long been in conflict with one another. Many philosophies and religions base their dogma on the need to overcome desire and renounce sexuality in order to truly be holy. This attitude goes directly against the energy and wisdom of the Svadhisthana. The idea of indivisible connection is the core of the second chakra, and the basis of spiritual systems such as Tantra, Wicca, and some Buddhist sects.

All aspects of our lives are sexual, because every connection we make is a type of intercourse, a giving and receiving. Life is a series of connections and expansions, whether we are dealing with our significant others, our jobs, or ourselves.

The Sacral Chakra is concerned with the intimacy (into-me-see) aspect of sex, as a connection to the Self and also as a sharing act and union between two people. It is here we find the archetypal Shiva and Shakti bond, and the duality of divine feminine and sacred masculine within each human being. Through the conscious joining of bodies, we reach heights of pleasure and connectedness which allows us to explore and understand our relationship to ourselves, our partners, and the Divine. With an open and functioning second chakra, we can tell the difference between healthy (spiritual or love centered) and unhealthy (ego-centered) sexual encounters. Quality, not quantity is the power of the Svadhisthana.  

The most profound experience of sex begins with an individual’s self-awareness. A balanced Sacral Chakra manifests as comfort with your own sexuality, and thereby the sexuality of others. It is flowing with your instinctual biological nature to create a physical union for your emotional body. Whether you are into normal play or a bit of kink, you understand what drives these sexual desires and have accepted the role of sex in your life. You’ve explored and now maintain your boundaries, and know the reason you “like what you like.” Embracing our sexuality helps us to evolve into compassionate, authentic, joy-full people.

Traumatic sexual experiences (such as molestation or rape), intimacy issues, and sexual maladjustment can cause a disbalance in the second chakra. This energy center in a weakened or hyper state can lead to repressed or overactive sexuality, mistrust, guilt/shame consciousness, impotence, sexual deviancy, and reproductive issues.


Intimacy and Sensuality

Many people confuse sensuality with sexuality, but living a sensual experience is about more than sex. Sensuality is a large piece of a sexual encounter, but you can be sensuous without being sexual.

The Svadhisthana is the energy of sensuality, the power of our senses in every aspect of life, including our homes, our diets, and our careers. Our senses allow us to connect to the world, to create an intimacy (into-me-see) with everything we come in contact with. A life lived through the senses is about embracing pleasure, and using that joy to expand your mind and your heart. It’s using our ability to smell, taste, hear, see, and touch to unveil ourselves.

Sensuality is the heat of the sun on your skin, the sound of your favorite song. It’s a smile given by a child to a mother.  It’s the smell of a father’s cologne. It’s the taste of a good, rich wine on your tongue. It’s a soft, breathy kiss on the back of the neck.  All these things are sensual, because all these things evoke emotion, delight, and joy; they require us to use our mind, body and spirit to appreciate and experience them.

When the second chakra is unbalanced, we can find it difficult to notice or appreciate the beauty within the world. It doesn’t matter what we eat, how we dress, An underactive Sacral Chakra can express itself as an aversion to physical touch, food allergies and sensitivities, and/or a disinterest in the creative aspects of life.

With a balanced Sacral Chakra, you experience the beauty and physical pleasures of the world with curiosity and appreciation. What do my eyes like to see, what do my ears want to hear, what scents intoxicate me, what does my tongue wish to taste, how do I wish to be touched?


The Sacral Chakra is the energy of our creative process, and the power to manifest our desires. All artistic endeavors are ruled by the second chakra. Here, we find the inspiration and drive to write poetry, dance, cook, paint, garden etc.  We are using our creative energy any time we take raw information or physical materials and transform them into something new. This creativity also covers our problem-solving capability, which leads directly to manifesting the life we want.

When the sacral chakra is balanced, you create for joy of creation. Whether in your career or home life, finding solutions to difficulties becomes an attainable task. You find inspiration in the activities that bring you pleasure, and find it easy to have joy for the creative successes of others. You feel empowered to not only envision your best life, but also to make a game plan to bring it to fruition.

When this chakra is unbalanced, we can find ourselves full of ideas but with no drive to follow them through. We stop taking risks, finding it difficult to ignore the voice (of ourselves and/or others) saying we aren’t good enough to accomplish anything. We worry about criticism of our ideas and talents to such an extent that we no longer create or share the work we’ve created. Instead of creating a lifestyle that suits us, we follow the latest trends, and base our decisions on what is acceptable to others. We find it difficult to discern the gray area of a situation, instead only seeing black-or-white, right-or-wrong choices.

On the opposite end, an overactive Sacral Chakra can have you feeling overwhelmed with creativity. Here, we tend to sacrifice our basic survival and emotional needs in order to create art or be of service to others. We can’t eat, sleep, or function normally because we are just “so inspired”.

The sacral chakra also rules the creation of new life, and any issues of infertility can be seen as an issue with this energy center.


The key to understanding the Sacral Chakra is understanding that the energy it houses is all creative, emotional energy. It’s just being channeled in different directions. The force you feel to paint a masterpiece is the same passion expressed in a luscious sexual encounter – it’s all sweetness. Find your joy, explore your desires, and express your passions!



Sanskrit name: Svadhisthana

Color: Orange

Element: Water

Sound: VAM

Virtues: Pleasure, intimacy, emotions, feelings, sexuality, sensuality, desires, relationships, creativity, boundaries, transformation, manifestation, joy through physicality, movement, duality

Vices: guilt, shame, frigidity, oversensitivity, mood swings, addictions, obsessions, fear of change, intimacy issues, impotence, the shadow self

Body Association: lower abdomen, sacral plexus, bladder, kidneys, stomach, bodily fluids, reproductive organs, lower back

Divine Feminine: The Maiden

Sacred Masculine: The Hero / The Inseminator

Scents: All citrus fragrances. Frankincense, ylang ylang, sandalwood, cedarwood, geranium, clove, cinnamon, clary sage, jasmine, patchouli

Crystals: Carnelian, red garnet, ruby, orange calcite, jasper, citrine, topaz, amber, moonstone, fire opal, sunstone

Herbs: Damiana, hibiscus, roses, gardenia, frangipani, cinnamon, chili peppers, fennel, coriander, orange blossoms


  • I love and enjoy my body.
  • I have healthy boundaries.
  • I am honest about my desires.
  • I am open to experiencing the present moment through my senses. 
  • I am passionate, and I love experiencing pleasure.
  • I nourish my body with healthy food and clean water.
  • I know how to take care of my needs.
  • I allow myself to experience pleasure.
  • My sexuality is sacred.
  • I give myself permission to fully enjoy my sexuality.
  • The universe is full of sweetness and beauty.
  • I allow my emotions to flow through me in a healthy way.
  • I access my talents with grace and ease.
  • I am creative and expressive.



The Goddess Sessions: The Wild and Sensual Woman eCourse

The Chakra Yoga Challenge

Eastern Body, Western Mind: Psychology and the Chakra System As a Path to the Self by Anodea Judith

Chakras for Beginners: How to Balance Chakras, Strengthen Aura, and Radiate Energy (Chakra Balancing, Healing, and Meditation Techniques) by Victoria Lane

Chakra Wisdom Oracle Cards: The Complete Spiritual Toolkit for Transforming Your Life by Tori Hartman

Chakras and Their Archetypes: Uniting Energy Awareness and Spiritual Growth by Ambika Wauters



(c) 2015 Brandi Auset

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