It rules power, will, energy, fire, metabolism, control, humor, authority, aggression, and the stomach, liver, spleen, small intestines, pancreas and gall bladder.
A healthy 3rd chakra appears as ease, warmth, laughter, joy, humor, pleasure, harmony, and graceful/purposeful action. An unhealthy 3rd chakra shows itself as a fear of rejection, issues in one's physical appearance, a lack of self-confidence and self-esteem, and a tendency to blame others.
One of last week's assignments for class was to "observe the world the the lens of fire." I couldn't do it. I couldn't look at the world through fire. You see, Fire frightens me.
Astrological signs can be broken down into four categories: Earth (of which I am), Air and Water (of which most of my friends are) and Fire. I think I only have one or two friends who are Fires. While I know Fire brings many admirable qualities to the table (laughter, and passion among them), those are not what I fear. You see, when you live your life as someone who plays her cards close to the vest, being in the presence of someone who lives out loud can be overwhelming and and frightening.
Self-esteem and body issues are no stranger to me; I've been struggling with them all of my life. So, I suppose it is not real surprise that my struggle with these aspects of Manipura allowed me to be susceptible to someone who was pretty much the personification of every negative aspect of the 3rd Chakra. While he was never abusive towards me during our brief relationship, I know from one of his previous girlfriends (now one of my besties) that I got off lucky. He was manipulative, perpetually angry, had control issues... hell, he even had digestive troubles. I came out on the other end of that warped relationship the better for having been through it, but I was definitely burned in the process.
I have a tarot card deck that I designed myself (I think I've mentioned it here before). It's much smaller than a normal deck, but it does pretty good, considering. I included elemental cards in it, and they usually signify a person. Whenever Fire pops up, it terrifies me because I am sent right back to the thought of him. I have to stop and remind myself that Fire has many good qualities, and there ARE good people out there who are Fires.
Fire can mean many different things, and unfortunately right now, my default setting for Fire is discomfort bordering on fear. I realize this is not healthy and that by fearing it I am depriving myself of many of its positive aspects. I am just coming to terms with the fact that confidence in who you are and what you bring to the world is not a bad thing.
My journey within the 3rd chakra has only just begun.