Continuing with the historical approach, I first learned of the 7 chakras of Hinduism and Buddhism.
They are probably well known to you. But let me reiterate them for completeness, as they are the basis of what`s to come. And I cannot use graphical illustration. I will number them by the numbers they eventually get in my scheme of things.
Number 1 is the base chakra, located in the pocket just below the lowest intestine in the front center of the body. All the chakras seem to be in pockets that allow access to the inside of the body.
Number 3 is the navel chakra, located just above the belly-button.
Number 5 is the solar plexus chakra whose location is difficult to describe. The best I can do is to say that it is half way between the belly-button and the deepest recess of the chest cavity.
Number 7 is in that chest cavity, the heart chakra.
Number 9 is the throat chakra located not on the throat but on the bone structure of the chest about one inch(2.5 cm) below the top of the bone structure of the chest.
Number 12 is the so-called third eye, located just above the brow.
Number 16 is the top of the head chakra, so located.
Seven in all in eastern religions. Sometimes it`s six as the top of the head chakra is not counted by certain Indian practitioners.
The Kabbala speaks of 10 chakras corresponding to the 10 names of god. Just as in Buddhism where there are mantras associated with each chakra, as I`ve specified earlier, it is the names of angels associated with the 10 names of god that are used by the Jewish mystics as mantras. I`ll locate them by the same numbers as before and indicate the names of the angels.
Number 1- Kerabim- same location (as base chakra)
Number 3- Ashim- same location(solar plexus)
Number 5- Bnai Elohim and Tasashim, 2 chakras located at the same level, up and down, as the navel chakra, but with one on either side of the body. They seem to be located right over the ascending and descending large intestines. I think the angel Bnai Elohim is on the left looking forward, but I`m not sure.
Number 7- Molahim- same location(as heart chakra)
Number 9- Seraphim on the left and Hasharalim(Hasharalim also has another name depending on which mystic you read. This one seemed to work best for me) on the right, located a bit below the level of the throat chakra, on the top of the chest muscle.
Number 12- Arelim on the left and Ofanim on the right, at the same level as the third eye and over the temples. Arelim is the destroyer angel and Ofanim is the angel of peace.
Number 16- Haim and Hiot, male and female names for the same angel, located at the top of the head chakra.
For a long time my practice was to use Arelim the destroyer, in conjunction with Bnai Elohim, a kind of vacuum cleaner angel. The idea is that if you injest seemingly inappropriate substances like nicotine, caffiene, ice cream, etc. you could use these 2 angels to dispel the bad effects- first to break up the substance and then to sweep it away. For example when my children had tommy aches, the following mantra seemed to help: arelim intestine bnai elohim. Notice the ryhmming. That seems to increase the effect of the mantra. I first found the value of this when I ate ice cream after somehow getting my spiritual energy activated. The ice cream would stop the energy, but the mantra would restore it.
What broke me from this practice is that in 1992, when I was living and teaching in a Hindu ashram, a lady from England who visited for a couple of weeks, showed me her practice; which involved placing the finger tips of one hand(don`t remember which) on the top of the head chakra, and placing the fingertips of her other hand over a chakra until her fingers resonated with the pulse of the heart. Then she would move on to the next chakra. Sorry but I cannot remember the name of her practice. Please inform me if you do.
She used all the Hindu or Buddhist chakras plus 3 more all on the head:
Number 10- chin chakra, just below the lower lip.
Number 11- nose chakra, on the top of the nose just below the brow.
Number 13- top of the forehead chakra, just about at the hairline.
Never being able to leave well enough alone, I soon began probing my body along the centerline in between the above so established chakras. I found number 2, half way between 1 & 3. And I found number 4 half way between numbers 3 & 5. Likewise number 6 and number 8, half way between the adajecent chakras.
I could not find any others until I got above number 13 at the top of the forehead. There I found 2 between the hairline and the top of the head, 14 & 15.
But since I had known about the Jewish mystic chakras on the sides of the main line, I also probed off to the sides. And at each of the 16 chakra levels I found another chakra to the right and another to the left. Actually I found even another 2 vertical lines of chakras further out, but never established mantras for them. That`s 5 times 16 chakras or a total number of 80, and probably even more if I could probe my back side.
However, the thinking of the modern Jewish mystics- the ones I know are also Hindu- is that the active points off to the side of a center line chakra is just the manifestation of the center line chakra. So lets say that there are just 16 for now. And the access points to each chakra line on a horizontal circle that surrounds the inner chakra.
Since the body according to Yoga practice has 3 main channels of energy, I`m content to stick with just 3 lines of 16 or 48 active points. Active points is a much more scientific terminology since it leaves what the points actually are undefined.
As I`ve said before, when scientists do not know what something is, they just give it a name so they can talk about it as if they do know what it is. Usually, like the case of an electron, they know what it does, but not what it is. Likewise, I know what happens to my active points when I excite them with fingers and mantras and breathing, but I do not really know what that means.
The active points below the level of the hairline seem to be well localized. But above the hairline it seems that you can make almost any point active. I just tried to isolate the strongest points.
There may be variations from person to person, and if any of you take the significant amount of time to try this and get some results, whether in agreement with mine or not, I would like to hear about them on this forum. Afterall it`s an entirely empirical approach.
When I find some more time I will indicate what mantras I use corresponding to each active points. But do not take any of this as dogma. I was constantly adjusting my practice until I found something that seemed to work for me. Yours might be quite different. My sin right now is that I do not yet take a whole hearted approach to my own practice.