The Introduction of Chakra Theory and Practice to Western Esotericism

Wheels within Wheels is a new book by noted occult author Phil HIne that was released earlier this year. The posted description says:

Wheels within Wheels examines the passage of chakras into Western Esotericism. Beginning with an overview of how chakras were conceptualized in early tantric traditions, Phil Hine traces how chakras captured the imagination of both Indian and European Theosophists in the late 19th century. He explores their appearance in the early Western Esoteric imagination, from the Christian mysticism of James M. Pryse to the practical exercises of Aleister Crowley. He examines the influence of Sir John Woodroffe’s The Serpent Power and the writings of Charles Webster Leadbeater, and how chakras were psychologized in the work of Jung, to their role in contemporary therapy culture.

“Spinning radiant circles of infinite hue, each containing secret mantras to bring miraculous powers to those who seek – such are the reputed properties of the Chakras that have beguiled New Age practitioners for nearly 150 years. In this highly readable and groundbreaking book, Phil Hine explores the available texts from Indian tantrik sources and contrasts them with modern Western notions that have infiltrated and changed the way the East regards the chakras too.”
Mike Magee, author of Kālī Magic and Yakṣiṇī Magic

Wheels Within Wheels is absolutely essential reading for both scholars and practitioners, telling the important story of the emergence of chakras into the canon of contemporary Western magic. This lucid and erudite history traces the development of chakras from their origins in Indian and Tantric esotericism to becoming a foundational and often unquestioned schematic of Western occultism in the modern era. With his characteristic clarity, Hine sifts through challenging primary sources and disambiguates the earliest Tantric conceptions of chakras from their modern counterparts. In so doing, Hine offers an opportunity for contemporary practitioners to enrich their practice while historians of esotericism will enjoy this deep dive into how “Western” esotericism has incorporated, appropriated, and recontextualized “Eastern” esoteric practices.
Amy Hale, author of Ithell Colquhoun Genius of the Fern Loved Gully, editor, Essays on Women in Western Esotericism

Throughout my life I have encountered only two types of information about Chakras. The first is aimed at western magicians or yogis that are not practicing in a traditional system. These books either provide partial information out of context, or modern takes on the subject that bear little resemblance to how chakras are understood in India, Nepal, Tibet or anywhere else. The second type of information is aimed at Tantrikas who are familiar already with the systems that Chakras emerge from, as well as other equally important parts of the subtle body like nadis, bindus, and prana. Digesting this info is a high bar to meet for someone primarily interested in Witchcraft, Occultism, or just getting fit at the local Yoga studio.
Phil Hine has presented a much-needed third option. A text written in clear language that traces the strange journey that chakras have taken in the west, while also shedding clear light in how they are understood in India. Wheels Within Wheels is aptly named because inside the wheels that western magicians thought they knew, lies a much deeper and richer truth.
Jason Miller, author of Real Sorcery and other books and courses.

Frater Lux Ad Mundi

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