by Kathryn Costa
Little did I know when I started drawing chakra art that I would begin an incredible healing journey. As a mandala artist, I was first drawn to the traditional symbols of each chakra. Chakras are energy centers in the body where energy is stored, regulated, and distributed. What I learned in my research and later working with them is that each chakra has a specific tone and impacts the health of the body, mind, emotions, and spirit.
I am a lifelong learner and I love to share my discoveries with others. I was invited to teach an eighty minute workshop at a women’s wellness weekend and I knew that I wanted to focus on the root chakra. How was I going to have enough time to explain the root chakra, offer a meditation, teach them how to draw the art, and give them time to explore their creativity? In solving this problem, I came up with the idea for designing the chakra stencils. It was the perfect solution as the stencil made it super easy to draw the chakra art in minutes and offer more time to focus on adding colors, patterns, and healing intentions.
When I received the stencils and began using them, I discovered a way to work with them as a spiritual practice. I begin with a meditation that may be as short as a few minutes. In the meditation, I use my breath to relax and tune in. I ask myself what needs my attention. It may be a health issue, a relationship matter, or a concern at work. It may be physical, emotional, mental, or spiritual. Once I have a clear intention on something I want to bring my attention to, I reach for the chakra stencil that will support it. As I trace the shapes, I take slow breaths that set a pace to relax. I use affirmations that lift my spirit and give me confidence.
Here are examples of how you can use each of the seven chakra stencils.
The root chakra is all about our sense of feeling safe, secure, and having our basic needs met. When this energy center isn’t balanced you may feel anxious and fearful. Reach for the root chakra any time when you have been “uprooted” such as job loss, divorce, and receiving an unexpected diagnosis. Even positive changes can cause an unbalance like starting a new job, relocating your home, and welcoming a new baby into your family. Create root chakra art to help you feel grounded and secure.
Reds and earthy tones are colors that will help you to feel grounded and centered. I designed these stencils to have the traditional symbols at the center and an extra ring of lotus petals to give you more room for creative expression. Each shape is a place you can add patterns and doodles.
Affirmation: I am safe. My family is safe.
The second energy center is the sacral chakra that relates to our emotions and how we interact in the world through our senses. As the seat of our creativity, the sacral chakra helps us to get into creative flow when it’s balanced. We delight in our senses, we’re playful, whimsical, and filled with awe and wonder in everyday living.
When it’s unbalanced, we may feel creatively blocked, experience mood swings, get easily upset by others, have a difficult time expressing our feelings, or feel guilt and deny ourselves simple pleasures in life. At the center of this design you’ll see a crescent moon. The moon is also associated with emotions. Create sacral chakra art to activate your creativity and bring more delight and play to your life.
Use the zesty, refreshing color of oranges for your sacral chakra art. There are so many colors that look great with orange. Try blues, purples, and greens for a gorgeous contrast.
Affirmation: I follow my curiosity. I’m open to the many creative possibilities in this moment. I greet each day with awe, wonder, delight, and an adventurous spirit.
Solar Plexus Chakra
The solar plexus chakra is the center of our personal power. When it’s balanced we feel confident, we have a clear vision of our life’s purpose, and we choose the best for ourselves.
When it’s not balanced we feel insecure, we put other’s needs before our own, we don’t feel like we are ever enough, we give our power away, and don’t have a clear sense of purpose. Create solar plexus chakra art to boost your confidence, explore your why, or any time you are faced with a decision.
Have you noticed how your energy and mood rises when the sun comes out after it has been gray outside? This is the energy of the solar plexus. Work with yellows and golds to invoke the energy of the sun within you.
In this example, I traced the chakra stencil over a background that I had painted by simply scraping acrylic paint along the surface. Once dry, the stencil design was traced and embellished with a black fine liner pen and colored pencils.
Affirmation: I am enough. I am strong, powerful, and resilient. I am free to choose in any situation.
The heart chakra is our place of love. It’s central to all healing as it bridges the lower chakras (our physical aspects) with the upper chakras (our spiritual nature). When it’s balanced we are loving, compassionate, friendly, trusting, forgiving, and others feel comfortable and at home with us.
When it’s not balanced, we may be critical of ourselves or others, perfectionistic, demanding, jealous, self-centered, overwhelmed with grief, or lonely. What is powerful about the heart chakra is how it supports the work we do with all of the other chakras. Love truly does heal all. Create heart chakra art any time you need to bring gentleness, loving-kindness, and compassion to a situation in your life.
Emerald green or light pink like the color of rose quartz are typically used for the heart chakra. Here I traced the chakra stencil over a beautiful photo by Lupen Grainne from a page in Flow Magazine. To sent the overall intention, I cut out the words, kindness and awaken your heart. In the spaces around the lotus petals, I wrote down words that help me to awaken the qualities of loving-kindness.
Affirmation: I am loved and lovable. I forgive myself and others.
The throat chakra is the center of communication and expression. When it’s balanced, we communicate clearly, speak our truth, and we’re excellent listeners. Our creativity is expressed through rhythm, music, using our voice, writing, and singing.
When it isn’t balanced we tend to interrupt others, may be shy, tend to gossip, have a difficult time expressing ourselves or a poor communicator. Create throat chakra art when you need help speaking up or finding the right words to express yourself.
Clear blue-bird sky is the color often associated with the throat chakra. In this example I traced the stencil over a piece of scrapbook paper and embellished with a metallic marker and sparkly faux gems.
Affirmation: I express myself with loving-kindness and understanding. I listen to others so they can hear their own wisdom. I speak my truth with clarity and confidence.
Third Eye Chakra
The third-eye chakra is the seat of our intuition. When it’s balanced we are perceptive, intuitive, trust our deep inner knowing, and may be clairvoyant. We are imaginative and can remember our dreams.
When it’s unbalanced, we are unable to think abstractly or use symbolic thinking, lack imagination, may be stuck in one “truth,” aloof, arrogant, unable to see the bigger picture or deeper truth, have a fear of our spiritual self, spacey, flighty, or we don’t trust our intuition. Create third-eye chakra when you are seeking answers and want to tap into your intuitive wisdom.
The color of the midnight sky reflects the third-eye chakra where we can see with our “sixth sense” which we may not see with our regular vision. In this example, I traced the chakra stencil over a page from an old book. After coloring with markers, I created an outer glow using white and light blue colored pencils. I cut out the chakra and glued it down on another page with a watercolor wash printed on it.
Affirmation: I trust my intuition. I make meaningful connections between my outer world and inner world recognizing signs and synchronicity.
The crown chakra is our spiritual center and connection to the Divine. When it’s balanced we experience unity consciousness, the feeling of connection to the Divine and all living things. We are intuitive, perceptive, possess a deep wisdom, and trust that our life has a purpose.
When it is unbalanced, we may feel disconnected, isolated, depressed, apathy, boredom, lack inspiration, unable to understand deeper truths and connections, lack purpose, or feel anger toward or abandoned by God. Create crown chakra art when you want to open up your spiritual connection to the Divine and all living things.
Violet or white are typical colors used in creating crown chakra art. As you trace the many petals in this design, start at the center and imagine a flower opening up. With each ring of petals, feel your inner light and connection to spirit and all living things expand.
Affirmation: I am peaceful, whole, and balanced. I am divinely supported and guided. I see the light in myself and others.
Connect with Kathryn Costa on her websites and
Kathryn Costa’s work centers around soulful and creative living. Kathryn has taught thousands how to draw mandalas in her YouTube videos, workshops, online courses, and her book, “The Mandala Guidebook: How to Draw, Paint, and Color Expressive Mandala Art.” Alongside mandalas, Kathryn works with collage, vision journaling, SoulCollage, and photography for self expression, insight, and healing.