The Seven Churches of the Revelation of Jesus Christ to St. John have many meanings.
In keeping with multiple levels of interpretation the Churches can be understood as messages relating to historical Churches of the period, messages regarding the seven divisions of Church history and in the most esoteric of interpretations, to the seven spiritual centers of the body.
The seven Churches of Revelation each can be related to the seven psychic centers, or Chakras, with the teachings given to each Church (warnings, blessings etc.) relating to the consciousness and activity at that level.
These attributions illustrate how each Church can be understood as a centre of energy within the psychic organism.
Throughout the mental, astral, etheric and physical organism there are networks for the transmission of energy. Nerves, synapses, meridians and marmas all transmit various degrees of Prana to and from various systems. Within each system there are major receiving and distribution points, these are the seven Chakras.
These seven centres are interface stations whereby energy from the Solar sphere can be received and where, via spiritual practise, the energies of the mind and astral-etheric organism can be transformed.
The Seven Chakras are located within the astral and etheric bodies (with links to the various related levels of consciousness) and are seen as a sequence of energy receptors and distributors.
The term ‘Chakra’ literally means ‘wheel of energy’. The size of the Chakra tends to be from two to six inches, varying according to the degree of spiritual development.
Each of these centres is related to a state of consciousness and a colour. The states of consciousness can also be discovered by an esoteric reading of the seven days of creation in Genesis.
Part 1 – Book of Revelation: The Mystery of the Seven Churches
The Four Attributes of the Churches
The four attributes of each Church help us to appreciate the unique nature of each of the energy centres. These centres are central to the process of transforming the electromagnetic field of the individual from the Dialectic to the Static.
The Kundalini or Serpent power based in the lowest centre is energised in such a way that the serpent seed (the Taint of the Archons) is replaced by the Serpent of Wisdom (the Messiah). The four attributes of each Church as given in the Book of Revelation are:
1. Characteristics of the Church and City.
2. Commendation of the Church.
3. Counsel and Warning.
4. Promises to Overcomers.
The Church of Ephesus
The Church of Ephesus is the Base Chakra. It is known as ‘desirable’ and is that of the primal instincts. It is desired by, and desires, Laodicea – the Sahasrara (Crown Chakra) Centre.
The union of these centres locks the organism into the Static currents of the Pleroma (The original, true world, as opposed to the ‘bad copy’ false world of the Archons).
The Characteristic of the City is that of change; the change from earthly to Gnostic worship. This represents the transmutation of purely ‘nature’ orientated vibrations into forces that serve the spiritual goal.
This technology includes the correct use of passion and desire with the process of Transfiguration. The key here is that all drives and goals must be directed towards the Pleroma.
The Commendation of the Church is given for its patience and labour and it is especially commended because it has not fainted. These images refer to the immense effort and perseverance required to keep control over the energies of the base centre. The ideal situation would be total awareness or, in more Biblical terms, ‘not fainting’.
The Counsel and Warning is that the Church has left its true love. This clearly refers to the need for the base centre to be totally directed to the Pleroma. Whether it is swayed by family, lust, desire or even love, any movement away from the goal is ‘sin’. (The word ‘sin’ literally means ‘to miss the mark’).
The Promise offered to those who correctly use the Base Chakra is the ability to ‘eat from the Tree of Life’. This has many different shades of meaning, ranging from the promise of immortality to the liberation of the Self through the activation of the Tree of Life.
The Church of Smyrna
The Church of Smyrna is the Svadhisthana Chakra in the Hindu system, or the Sacral Centre. It is related to the sexual organs.
The Characteristics of the City include life, earthquakes, plagues, fires and massacres. These refer to the intense dangers associated with the energies of this centre.
It is the centre of sexual fire, and when the base centre is activated and force is manifested at this level it must be totally controlled so that the energies continue on upwards towards redemption. Loss of control can mean destruction or obsession.
The Commendation given to the Church is for standing strong in the time of tribulation and persecution. This refers again to the great discipline needed to control this energy centre.
While the base centre refers to all manner of desires, this centre is clearly sexual in nature and demands initiated control.
The counsel and Warning is against hypocrites and blasphemers. These descriptions refer to those who use esoteric techniques to propagate the World of the Archons, to satisfy an addiction to pleasure or power.
It can also be applied to the supposed Christian churches that have no knowledge of the inner teachings and offer pithy morality and prejudice in the place of wisdom.
The Promise is the gift of the Crown of Life. That is returning to the Pleroma, reaching the Crown Chakra at the pinnacle of the Tree of Life (Kether).
The Church of Pergamos
The Church of Pergamos is the Solar Plexus Chakra. It is known as ‘elevation or height’, for it governs the balance of the organism through its central position. It is also elevated in that it dominates and controls the lower Chakras.
The Characteristic of the City is that of being the capital city where the Supreme Court and priests of Babylon sat in Judgement. It can hence be understood that the Pergamos is the seat of control and discrimination (right-thinking).
However, there is clearly a great danger, for the priests of Babylon are fallen. Accordingly, it is imperative that our self-control comes from the True Self, not just from sub-personalities or the mind. The mind is a great servant, but a dangerous master.
The Commendation of the Church is given because it holds fast to what it has been taught, has not denied the faith and has accepted the fact there are, and will be many, martyrs due to the stand they have taken.
This relates to the achievement of balance through the Solar Plexus, which demands separation from the world and holding securely to the Static currents, even though there is persecution from the fallen kingdoms.
The Counsel and Warning is the message that the Church holds many conflicting doctrines and must repent. (Repentance means to turn around, to go in the other direction). This can be understood on two levels; firstly, one cannot serve two masters.
Beliefs must be either Static or Dialectic; unless you are totally separated from the world and centred on the Pleroma, you are under Dialectic dominion. Secondly, within the psyche will be many Dialectic programs that we carry with us into the spiritual life – they must be rooted and destroyed.
The Promise offered to those who correctly use this Chakra include the eating of the Hidden Manna and the Gift of the White Stone with a new name engraved on it.
These promises are highly symbolic; the Hidden Manna represents a special stage known in the Alchemical process of self-transformation. It is also sometimes known as the White Powder, it is a stage prior to the Philosopher’s Stone.
The Church of Thyatira
The Church of Thyatira is the heart or Anahata Chakra. It is known as ‘sacrifice or contrition’ as it involves the sacrifice of the fallen facets of the organism and the things of the world to the Higher Self.
The Characteristic of the City is that it is a manufacturing town with an altar dedicated to Apollo. These two characteristics are very important.
The first represents the power of the heart centre; when properly activated it manufactures static forces that transform the organism. The second characteristic represents the importance of the Mystery teachings.
Through modern scholarship it has been discovered that many of the Greek Mysteries completed and fulfilled the ancient Hebrew Mystery teachings and, according to Apollo, represents the need to complete our understanding of the nature of all things.
The Commendation of the Church is fourfold – Charity, Service, Faith and Patience. Each of these attributes should be central to the Gnostic life.
The Counsel and Warning is against false teachers, fornication and meat offered to idols. These warnings can be understood in two distinct ways. Firstly, they are a warning against contact with the World of the Archons.
False teachers, fornication (not sex per se but reproduction) and meat offered to idols (fallen gods), all images reflecting facets of the fallen system. In a more esoteric understanding, these images can be related to fallen facets of ourselves.
The false teachers are personas within the psyche that would draw the individual back into the World of the Archons. Fornication is the desire for union with things of the world, and food offered to idols represents the false gods or idols we may have within ourselves.
The Promise offered to those who use this centre correctly is the Gift of the Morning Star. The Morning Star is Venus or Lucifer and represents the state of ‘light bearing’. This is an allegorical way to represent the awakening of the Light or Static fields within the individual.
The Church of Sardis
The Church of Sardis is the throat or Visuddha Chakra. It is given the title of ‘That which remains’, as it is the portal before entering the higher Chakras. It has a similar meaning in the Kabbalistic systems.
The Characteristic of the City is Death. It is the centre of warning and echoes either power or destruction. A further characteristic of this city is that it is a city whose glory has passed away.
This emphasises the role of this centre concerning the transformation of the Mind. The voice or Logos is also indicated by the throat and hence the old mind must pass away and the new mind must be formed through the power of the Logos.
The Counsel and Warning is hold fast and watch. It is clear and precise; to achieve transfiguration takes steadfastness and awareness.
The Promise is that those who correctly use this centre will be confessed before the Father. That is, they will join the Pleroma.
It also has a Kabbalistic meaning; confession before the father means crossing the abyss and being reborn as a master in the Supernals (the top three centres of the Tree of Life). This is to be confessed or witnessed by the Father, Kether.
The Church of Philadelphia
The church of Philadelphia is the third eye or Ajna (Brow) Chakra. It is given the title of ‘Brotherly Love’ because of its awesome power. The insight and force of this centre can only be understood when experienced through Agape or Divine Love. Only by a pure desire to return to the Pleroma can this force be correctly awakened and experienced.
The Characteristic of the City is the ability to grow and spread. This is symbolic of the great power of this centre, and its ability to transfigure the whole organism at its awakening.
The Commendation of the Church is for its keeping of the World. The word here is the Logos, the power manifested in the throat centre, but originating in the Ajna. Only by communion with the Logos can the Ajna be awakened.
The Counsel and Warning is that there will be a temptation to make others worship at your feet. No semblance of fallen self can be allowed to remain when awakening this force; any dialectic field will cause destruction.
The Promise offered to those who overcome this centre is that they be made a Pillar in the Temple of God. That is, they will have their whole Chakra system activated and transformed, and will thereby become Static in nature and achieve immortality.
The Church of Laodicea
The Church of Laodicea is the Sahasrara or Crown Chakra. It is located above the top of the head and is known as ‘Judging the People’. Its name suggests the immense and awesome power of this centre.
It is that of divinity, Godhood and deification. Through this enlightened state the whole universe and world is seen for what it really is – and judged accordingly.
The Characteristic of the City is a final warning. Arrogance, compromise and destruction will be the ‘reward’ of those who do not awaken to this state correctly. The characteristic of those who have grown correctly is Godhood.
The Commendation has been removed from the description. There is no second chance here, either perfection or destruction. The Counsel and Warning is similar – be zealous and not lukewarm.
‘So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spew thee out of my mouth.’ – Revelation 3:16.
The Promise is that those who correctly open this Chakra, and unite all the centres as one, will achieve Liberation from the fallen worlds.
Part 2 – Book of Genesis: The Chakras and the Seven Days of Creation
Another tradition which expresses the process of re-creation is found hidden within the creation tale of Genesis. Emanuel Swedenborg, the great Swedish mystic, taught that hidden with the seven days of creation was a description of our regeneration.
Though he did not relate these to the chakras, if we link them together we can gain a picture of the spiritual regeneration that takes place in the Gnostic life.
The First Day of Regeneration
The recreation of New Man is the coming of light. From the perspective of the Chakras this day is the time when the great light of Gnosis purifies and transcends the base Chakra and transmutes its desires and drives into something of a higher nature.
The colour associated with the chakra centre is red, as it is the colour of passion and of sacrifice.
It symbolises the struggle and pain requirement to overcome the lower instincts. The central icon of the Rosicrucians epitomises this with its image of a blood red rose on a cross of suffering.
‘The first state is when man begins to know that the good and true are something higher.’ – Arcana Celestia, Emanuel Swedenborg. (AC 20).
The Second Day
This is when we divide the things of the Dialectic from those of the Static. (The firmament from that which is below the firmament).
From the Chakric perspective the Sacral centre, or sexual centre, is where we must make decisions about what we serve – the Gnosis or the World, the instincts or higher things.
The Third Day
This is the time when the various forms of knowledge (seas) are brought together and the dry land appears. The dry land is the state of concrete knowledge; a solid experience of the Gnosis.
At this stage we also have the imagery of vegetation. As in the New Testament allegory of the Sower, we know that seeds and vegetation represent the spiritual wisdom, while the fruits represent the blossoming of these truths within us.
From the Chakric perspective the Solar Plexus is where the focus of our lives lie. Here we must have a firm hold on the Mysteries and be centred on the Static world. The colour here is Yellow, that of the trained intellect.
The Fourth Day
The sun, moon and stars appear. According to the most ancient arcana the sun represents divine love (Agape), the moon divine faith and the stars represent Gnosis or divine wisdom.
‘After the great luminaries have been kindled and placed in the internal man, and the external receives light from them, then the man first begins to live.’ – Arcana Celestia, Emanuel Swedenborg. (AC 39).
The Fifth Day
Fish and birds appear. These reflect the facets of the mind that are rejuvenated and reborn through Transfiguration. The fish represent the creatures that swim in the water – that is those things which exist within the ebb and flow of the unconscious.
The imagery of birds and flight illustrates the way in which the mind can now reach new levels of illumination.
The image of flight is found in many esoteric traditions ranging from the Chariots and vehicles that fly to the higher worlds, which are found within the Kabbalah and the Vedas, to the sacred birds of the Celts and Druids.
From the Chakric perspective the fifth day is the throat centre. The Logos regenerates the mind and new levels of consciousness are reached. It is the blue centre, the colour of devotion.
The Sixth Day
This marks the appearance of the reborn man. He has subjugated his instincts and mind, liberated his innermost Self and united the male and female principles within him.
From the perspective of the Chakra system, the Sixth Day is that of the Ajna centre, where the currents of creation and destruction are unleashed and the Gnostic becomes a Master. It is indigo and represents intuition and inner mastery.
The Seventh Day
Regeneration is complete. In relation to the Chakric system is that of completed regeneration. The Chakra is Sahasrara, the Crown centre and it is violet or purple – the colour of royalty. It is the birth of the New Man.
About author: Julian Websdale is an independent researcher in the fields of esoteric science and metaphysics, and a self-initiate of the Western Esoteric Tradition. His interest in these subjects began in 1988. You can visit his personal blog here.