Rainbow Body


Rainbow Body

Rainbow Body

A History of the Western Chakra System from Blavatsky to Brennan

Kurt Leland

CLICK HERE TO ORDER from Red Wheel/Weiser. $26.95

• The first history of the Western chakra system (a term that has not been used before)
• Chronology of how the Eastern chakra system developed in South Asia over thousands of years
• Extensive documentation of rare sources, forgotten figures, and lost teachings on the chakras from East and West
• The author has published eight books on Theosophical history and possibilities of consciousness. He is a National Lecturer for the Theosophical Society in America

Scores of books have been written on the chakras—psychoenergetic centers distributed along the spine, perceived clairvoyantly as wheels of light. Based on the teachings of Indian Tantra, the chakras have been used for centuries as focal points for healing, meditation, and achieving a gamut of physical, emotional, and spiritual benefits, from improved health to ultimate enlightenment.

Contemporary yoga teachers, energy healers, psychics, and self-help devotees think of the chakra system as thousands of years old. Yet the most common version in use in the West today came together as recently as 1977, the result of an unintentional, century-long collaboration between: Esotericists, Clairvoyants, Scholars of Indian philosophy, Mythologists, Psychologists, Yogis, Energy healers

Never before has the story been told of how the Western chakra system developed from its roots in Indian Tantra, through Blavatsky to Leadbeater, Steiner to Alice Bailey, Jung to Joseph Campbell, Ramakrishna to Aurobindo, and Esalen to Shirley MacLaine and Barbara Brennan.

With 8 color plates, 24 tables and 28 black-and-white illustrations showing how the Western chakra system developed from the mid-nineteenth through the twentieth century, many from rare and forgotten sources.

ISBN: 978-0-89254-219-2
Ebook: 978-0-89254-634-3
552 pages plus 9 color plates and numerous black & white illustrations

CLICK HERE TO ORDER from Red Wheel/Weiser.

Product Description


Rainbow Body


  1. :

    Scholars of Indian religions have long known that the chakra system seen in modern art and postural yoga are very modern and syncretic. What Kurt Leland shows us in this marvelous new book is just how modern and how syncretic they really are: we even get precise origin dates, authors, and texts. With an astonishing resume of historical research, Leland tells the story of the Western chakra system from its ancient Indian Tantric roots, through its definitive beginnings around 1880 in Bengal, to its most modern incarnations in color symbolism and energy healing. In a spirit of intellectual generosity, he does not demean or dismiss any of these cross-cultural creations. He sees them all as local relative attempts to harmonize with and activate a multidimensional “rainbow body” of consciousness that we all share and are.

    —Jeffrey J. Kripal, author of Esalen: America and the
    Religion of No Religion, J. Newton Rayzor Professor
    of Religion, Rice University

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