The Microcosmic Orbit
The Small Heavenly Cycle
The Small Heavenly Cycle, also known as the Microcosmic Orbit, is the legendary Taoist practice that leads to the opening of the “third eye” and enlightenment – the ability to see clearly, perceive reality, be authentic, and be completely human.
The Small Heavenly Cycle is composed primarily of seven levels, which correspond to seven levels of individuation and consciousness. These seven levels need to be cleared of parasitic, emotional charges in order to allow a healthy flow of life force and the attainment of true humanity. At the energetic level, this means attainment of a solid anchoring in reality while being open to the marriage of heaven and earth and the fulfillment of our destiny.
The Seven Steps of Individuation of the Microcosmic Orbit
Level 1 contains the sexual center from which energy is created for the enjoyment of life. It contains three centers:
- Starting from the ground level at the pelvic floor, we have the area related to COMFORT and REST, the ability to feel unconditionally supported and validated. When contracted or weak, this area of the body holds emotional charges preventing the full enjoyment of comfort. In this case, we might find it difficult to receive or give support or hard to feel free to be authentic. We can never feel at home. We can never really be ourselves, and we feel like we have to play a role in order to be accepted. Being comfortable here means that we can naturally enjoy our place in the sun. We enjoy the earth, and we feel like the earth is enjoying us. We trust the earth and existence to support us.
- The coccyx at the end of our sacrum is our tailbone. Even though we don’t have a real tail, the energy there gives us MOMENTUM FOR LIFE. A tucked-in coccyx is a sign of depression – people often get chronically depressed after a fall on their coccyx and any activity feels like a chore. At the other extreme, a chronically protruding sacrum and coccyx is often a sign of submission. An aligned coccyx, free of tension and stagnation, means that we can gather momentum and easily spring into action.
- The sexual center is the center of ENJOYMENT. This does not mean that we have to have sex continually in order to enjoy life, but that any enjoyment involves the use of sexual energy. Sexual energy is the strongest energy we have. It is the power of life-giving force, CREATIVITY, WILLPOWER, DETERMINATION – the power without which we wouldn’t care about meeting anyone. Without it, we couldn’t be social. We constantly use our sexual energy when we are creative, when we communicate, and for all relationships.
Level 2 of individuation represents our basic life force.
- On our back, opposite our navel, is the DOOR OF LIFE, our lifetime “bank account” containing our genetic background and INHERITANCE – our ancestral asserts, birth gifts, KARMA. When we experience chronic pain here, we often have some ancestral issues concerning our inheritance. Maybe we inherited too many debts and unfinished business from our bloodline. We need to heal from the past and trade old values for new ones. When strong and relaxed here, we feel the gentle power of life running through our veins, and we can relax and accomplish anything without forcing.
- At our navel, we store our daily budget in life force currencies with ENERGY immediately available for our activities and projects. This is the energetic hub of our body. Tension and imbalance here point to the different places in us that need attention
Level 3 of individuation is self-consciousness.
(Each level supports the next one. So, just as the enjoyment of life is the necessary support of our personal energy, the basic life force of our second level is necessary for the fulfillment of the third)
- On our back, right behind our solar plexus at the eleventh thoracic vertebra (T11), is the center that gives us CHOICE. T11 is the vertebra that allows us to bend over and backward, rotate and change direction. When stiff or painful here, we are confronted with emotions that keep us trapped and make us feel stuck. We need to be able to perceive the energetic chains that prevent us from being ourselves. When relaxed and free here, we can easily change direction to adapt to the evolution of life.
- Our solar plexus is probably the most emotionally susceptible place in our body. Here we tide all the emotional charges connected with how we are made to feel about ourselves, and all the EMOTIONS related to self-consciousness, shame, guilt, and poor self-esteem. When free of these emotional negativities, we know ourselves and have a strong sense of authenticity. We feel comfortable and at ease in any situation.
Level 4 of individuation relates to spirit and freedom.
(Only when we know ourselves can we manifest our spirit freely).
- On our back, opposite our heart, is the place of BURDEN. This is where we carry our baggage, our unfinished business, our OBLIGATIONS and DUTIES. When the load is too heavy, we cannot open our hearts. When our heart is open, our spirit is free to be.
- Our heart center is where we carry our PASSIONS, our ENTHUSIASM for life, our JOYS and SPIRIT. This is where our WISDOM, INTUITION and CONSCIENCE reside. When relaxed, this location lets us know our LIFE PURPOSE, what we like and don’t like, who we are supposed to be with, where we are supposed to be.
Level 5 of individuation is about communication.
(Once we are in touch with our spirit, we want to share it)
- At the base of our neck, at the seventh cervical vertebra (C7), we have the center that allows us to REACH OUT, TRADE, EXCHANGE, GIVE and RECEIVE. When burdened here, we feel like the weight of the whole world is upon our shoulders, and we are unable to ask for help. When free of tension here, we can easily open our arms to the world.
- Our throat is our center of EXPRESSION and VERBALISATION. It is also connected with our ability to swallow our emotions.
Level 6 is about introspection and consciousness.
- At the base of our skull is our center of ABSTRACTION, where our DREAMS emerge. It encompasses the widest spectrum of CONSCIOUSNESS and provides INSIGHT.
- At the mid eyebrow, we have our center of CLARITY and UNDERSTANDING, LOGIC, and RATIONALITY. When these centers are open and relaxed, we are clearly in touch with ourselves and others.
Level 7 of individuation covers the full Heavenly Cycle within the limits of our physical body.
It connects the crown to the pelvic floor and aligns the seven levels at the Central Channel to form the chain of Chakras, the centers of energy and information manifested physiologically in our main endocrine glands: the pituitary and pineal in our head, the thyroid in our throat, the thymus in our chest, the pancreas at our solar plexus, the adrenals at the level of our navel, and our reproductive glands – ovaries for women and testes for men – in our lower abdomen.
- The top of our head, or crown, connects us with GUIDANCE and SPIRITUAL LIFE. This is the place we send our PRAYERS and receive answers to our questions regarding our life.
By training to keep all these centers free of tension, we enhance our capacity to be truly human.