Psychologist, teacher, and former president of the Church of All Worlds, Anodea Judith, who is also probably the world’s authority on the chakra system, has written a book of such passion and thought that to adequately summarize its ideas, a review might require a whole magazine. Basically, what Judith does is relate prehistory and history, with an emphasis on Western culture (because that’s where we live), to the chakra system.


In the earliest times, pre-human and human beings were an integral part of nature. As we worshipped our mothers and our Mother, we were focused on birth and survival, on issues around elemental earth. These are first chakra issues. Judith characterizes the Paleolithic era as the time of the Static Feminine, when life was cyclic, stable, and unchanging. With the Neolithic, when we invented agriculture, domesticated animals, and settled in larger villages, and images of male gods started to appear beside the Great Mother, humanity moved into the second chakra, which is associated with elemental water and oriented toward emotions, sexuality, and procreation. “Rising populations,” Judith writes, “created new challenges for food and land, and required a new means of social organization, including division of labor.” Temple bureaucracies evolved into hierarchical centers of power and led to the rise of kings. This period, the Bronze and Iron Ages, “is typified by the Dynamic Masculine overthrow of the Great Mother cultures, turning most previous values to their opposites. Developmentally [remember, Judith is a psychologist], it corresponds to the childhood stage of awakening will and rebelling against the mother” (p. 105). As the myth of Tiamat and Marduk shows, god and goddess were separated, masculine dominance was established, and humans were made slaves to gods and/or kings and/or high priests. We were marching into the third chakra. We were learning to exert our will, to love power.


Where are we now? In the age of the Static Masculine, the age of heroes and kings, of warfare and technology. The Static Masculine “holds things in place,” Judith writes. It is “linear and grounded in logic. It focuses on distinctions: it divides, rules, and regulates. … Myths and legends increasingly [clash] with the logical discourse” (p. 130). The Static Masculine is invested in the third chakra—power, intellect, and law and order. Judith compares the Roman Empire, which “lost its heart and collapsed,” to world culture today. Everywhere we look, we see “oppressive government, rapacious expansion, ambitious generals, barbarian incursions (read terrorism), power struggles between church and state, sustained inflation, moral decay, and epidemic disease” (p. 156).


Where are we now? In the adolescence of humanity, and it’s a geekish, power-addicted adolescence. (If the facts and statistics collected in chapter 13 don’t depress and awaken a thoughtful reader, nothing will.) But “evolution is the gods’ way of creating more gods,” Judith writes:

Like gods, we have the powers of both creation and destruction, now on a global scale. We can fly to the moon, influence the gene pool, render species extinct, shift the climate, or irradiate the planet with nuclear weapons. Like a cancer, we can continue to expand our population, creating wars and epidemics as a balance…” (p. 226). 

Where do we need to be? Until now, we have been “in a childlike relationship to parental gods.” Now it’s time to grow up. Yes, we have the power to change the world. We need to awaken the global heart. We need to leave behind the love of power and move into the heart chakra and grasp the power of love.


Thirty years ago, we were reading The Aquarian Conspiracy and bringing new ideas to the mainstream. Today, we should be reading Waking the Global Heart and bringing humanity through a new initiation into a heart-chakra culture that can refresh and save the planet we live on. Waking the Global Heart is, in fact, probably the best book you’re going to read in this decade. We need to get our modern god-kings and queens—leaders and politicians at every level from local to international—to read it, too, so they can learn to help us move into the power of the heart chakra before it’s too late.


Note: Along with the powerful, thought-provoking text, this book also gives us complex, detailed timelines by Richard Ely and chapter illustrations by Ian Szymkowiak that are as complex, elegant, and beautifully symbolic as the art of the finest tarot deck.


~review by Barbara Ardinger, Ph.D.

Author: Anodea Judith

Elite Books, 2006

389 pages, $17.95