June 1st, 2019

Our Physical and Subtle Anatomy: Part Three

Excerpted from Part One…

… ”The important consideration is that each system is dependent on the other either directly or through the bridge of another in producing the necessary life force to keep us alive. When we consider the complexity and precision of this life force and its active components that keep us functioning it truly is a profound and deeply humbling analysis. These same structures apply to every living thing in their own way of specificity and in larger scope to the entire universe. It is for this reason that our first point of connection to that which is part of, yet independent of ourselves is through the knowledge of our own smaller universe that is our physical being. Once we begin that exploration we see the broader picture of our connectivity to all manner of life and how work on the self, produces far-reaching effects beyond that self.”…

In the last postings we discussed the mechanics and physiology of our physical form. Now we will consider the components of our energetic and subtle anatomy that surround, interpenetrate, inform and enliven that physiology.

Our Subtle or Energetic Anatomy is composed of three major divisions:

The Subtle Bodies (Bodies)- Expand and hold energy
The Chakras (Vortices)- Filter, receive and disburse energy
The Meridians and Nadis (Channels)- Control and direct the flow of energy

Each of these components works in connection with the other and all are important dynamics that insure the health and well-being of our physiological state. In fact, the state of dis-ease usually begins within the subtle bodies and eventually works it way out and into our physical level becoming manifest as a disease process. This is the underlying principle of the mind being able to heal or produce the state of health we choose as our focus. The mental working in tandem with the emotional is potent in its ability to manifest, both positive and negative energies within our physical body and each impact and interact with our subtle energy.

Another component of our energetic physiology is that of the impact these subtle energies have on the physiologic Endocrine system. The seven glands, often referred to as the Seven Stars or the Seven Gates play a major role in spiritual development in accord with our ability to stimulate and engage them at a spiritual and energetic level. Notably, in the spiritual practices of Tibetan Buddhism and Egyptian High Alchemy, specific exercises and/or sound are used to stimulate these centers: the gonads, the liver and spleen, the adrenals, the thymus, pituitary and pineal glands. We’ll take a look at these in future postings.

The Subtle Bodies are sheaths of energy that surround us. Depending on the system you adhere to there are seven to twelve subtle bodies, each forming a layer of energy that is composed of the densest to the most refined of energies as the layer extend out and beyond the form and shape of our physical body. The seven layers are thought to be a reflection of the universe and represent the overlay of our energy as part of that of the Universal whole. See the picture below:

The Chakras are the conduits through which universal energy flows in and through us. They are represented as wheels or vortices that are positioned along the etheric central column pathway that parallels our physical spinal column. These gateways contract and expand opening and closing like the petals of a flower. They are often compared to the Lotus, each having a specific number of petals in accord with the vibratory rate they emit and respond to and in accord with the level of refinement.

There are seven major chakras that are the usual staple of reading and energetic practice, however, there are hundreds of minor chakras. Each chakra has a specific color, elemental and function associated with its energy. See the charts and figure below for the basic information relating to the seven major and Transpersonal chakras:

Additionally, each of the seven chakras have a specific tonal quality. The chart below lists the Hermetic tone and the Eastern Bija mantras that are associated with each chakra.


Emmet B. Keefe, Introduction to Know Your Body: The Atlas of Anatomy (Berkley, CA;Ulysses Press, 1999)
Cyndi Dale, The Subtle Body:An Encyclopedia of Your Energetic Anatomy (Boulder, CO:Sounds True Inc., 2009)


About the Author:

Robin Fennelly is a Wiccan High Priestess, teacher, poet and author.

She is the author of (click on book titles for more information):

The Inner Chamber Volume One on Amazon

It’s Written in the Stars


The Inner Chamber, Vol. Two

poetry of the Spheres (Volume 2) on Amazon


The Inner Chamber, Vol. Three

Awakening the Paths on Amazon


A Year With Gaia on Amazon

The Eternal Cord

Temple of the Sun and Moon on Amazon

Luminous Devotions

The Magickal Pen Volume One (Volume 1) on Amazon

A Collection of Esoteric Writings

The Elemental Year on Amazon

Aligning the Parts of SELF

The Enchanted Gate on Amazon

Musings on the Magick of the Natural World

Sleeping with the Goddess on Amazon

Nights of Devotion

A Weekly Reflection on Amazon

Musings for the Year

Her books are available on Amazon or on this website and her Blogs can be found atRobin Fennelly 

Follow Robin on Instagram & Facebook.