The vortexes described in The 5 Tibetan Rites define the physical and spiritual contact points in the human body. 

"The life of the physical body is one of perpetual change, and in order that it shall live it needs constantly to be supplied from three distinct sources. It must have food for its digestion, air for its breathing, and vitality in three forms for its absorption. This vitality is essentially a force, but when clothed with matter it appears to us as though it were a highly refined chemical element. It exists upon all planes, but our business for the moment is to consider its manifestation in the physical world." C W Leadbeater, The Chakras

In his book, The Eye of Revelation, Kelder referred to "vortexes" but not chakras. The Eye of Revelation was published in 1939 & updated in 1946 - it is the source of all material on The Five Tibetan Rites. 

Here is what Kelder had to say about the vortexes. The images below are scans of rare copies of the original 1939 (left) and 1946 (right) versions of The Eye of Revelation.

eye of revelation 1939 describing
eye of revelation 1946 describing

There are SEVEN Psychic Vortexes in the physical body.

  • Vortex "A" is located within the forehead (1946 version: is located deep within the forehead.)
  • Vortex "B" is located in the posterior part of the brain.
  • Vortex "C" is in the region of the throat at the base of the neck.
  • Vortex "D" is located in the right side of the body above the waist line (1949 version: is located in right side of body (waist line). 
  • Vortex "E" is located in the reproductive anatomy, and is directly connected with Vortex "C" within the throat (1946 version: is in the reproductive anatomy or organs.) 
  • Vortex "F" and "G" are located one in either knee.

These Psychic Vortexes revolve at great speed. When all are revolving at high speed and at the same rate of speed the body is in perfect health. When one or more of them slow down, old age, loss of power, and senility set in. (1946 Version: When all are revolving at the same speed the body is in good health. When one or more them slow down, old age, loss of power or senility begin to set in almost immediately). - Peter Kelder, The Eye of Revelation

Vortexes and Chakras

Kelder never used the word "Chakra" in The Eye of Revelation, but the concept of the vortexes he described corresponds to ancient Hindu and Buddhist practices and beliefs. 

Chakra is a Sanskrit word (cakra), and in Pali, cakka, meaning "wheel" or "cycle," and can also refer to the  "wheel of time" or the "wheel of dharma." 

According to noted Indologist David Gordon White, "the Chakras are part of esoteric medieval-era beliefs about physiology and psychic centers that emerged across Indian traditions."  They believed that human life existed simultaneously in two parallel dimensions, the "physical body" and the "non-physical or subtle body." 

The subtle body consists of 72,000 (or more) nadi (energy channels) connected by centers of psychic energy called chakras, mostly aligned along the spine.

This vital force or life-energy is described in many cultures as prana, Chi, Qi and Ki. Similar concepts exist in various cultures, including the Latin anima ("breath", "vital force", "animating principle"), Islamic and Sufic ruh, the Greek pneuma, the Chinese qi, the Polynesian mana, the Amerindian orenda, the German od, and the Hebrew ruah. One of the earliest references to prana is 3,000 years old.  

five-tibetan-rites-6th-rite-nadis

Number of Chakras

The number of major chakras varies between various traditions, typically between four and seven - some traditions describe many more, including both major and lesser chakras. 

"In fact, there is no "standard" system of the cakras. Every school, sometimes every teacher within each school, has had their own chakra system." David Gordon White. 

In Tibetan Buddhist (Tantra) practice, there are five main chakras of the "subtle body," but there can be four, five, seven, or ten chakras. The most important of which are the crown, throat and heart chakras.

 In 1919 an important book, The Serpent Power (download here) by Sir John Woodroffe (Arthur Avalon) was released. Avalon's translation of two important Tantric documents revealed among many revelations, the philosophical and mythological existence of the chakras and their progressive awakening; and the yoga associated with this. 

The seven chakra system we are most familiar today is the Hindu system which was  introduced to the West in 1927 with the publication of C W Leadbeater's book, The Chakras. - in which the author draws upon the information contained in Arthur Avalon's book and others. 

  1. Crown Chakra - On the top of the head (Vortex "B" - Kelder states it is located in the posterior part of the brain)
  2. Brow Chakra - In the space between the eyebrows (Vortex "A")
  3. Throat Chakra - At the front of the throat (Vortex "C")
  4. Heart Chakra - Over the heart (Not described in The Eye of Revelation)
  5. Spleen Chakra - Over the spleen (Vortex "D" is described as being on the right side of the body where the gallbladder, liver and right kidney are located (the spleen is on the right side near the stomach)
  6. Navel Chakra - At the navel, over the solar plexus (Not described)
  7. Root Chakra - At the base of the spine (Vortex "E"  in the reproductive organs or anatomy)
chakras-Gichtel-1897-similar-five-tibetan-rites-location

Source:  Johann Georg Gichtel's book Theosophia Practica (1696), in which Gitchtel directly refers to inner force centres. Theosophia Practica, published in 1897 in the Bibliotheque Rosicrucienne 

leadbeater drawing plate 8

Source: CW Leadbeater's book The Chakras

THE CENTRES

According to Leadbeater: "The chakras or force-centres are points of connection at which energy flows from one vehicle or body of a man to another. Anyone who possesses a slight degree of clairvoyance may easily see them in the etheric double, where they show themselves as saucer-like depressions or vortices in its surface. When quite undeveloped they appear as small circles about two inches in diameter, glowing dully in the ordinary man; but when awakened and vivified they are seen as blazing, coruscating whirlpools, much increased in size, and resembling miniature suns."

crown chakra Leadbeater

C W Leadbeater's Crown Chakra Illustration


The Source of The Five Tibetan Rites Information on the Chakras

The Eye of Revelation’s publishers claim the Rites are"25 centuries" (478) BC) old.

rare-copy-eye-of-revelation-1939-peter-kelder

Rare 1939 copy of the original 5 Tibetan Rites, 'Eye of Revelation' by Peter Kelder

25 centuries

This places them during the lifetime of Buddha (around the 5th to 4th century BC), who traveled throughout the fertile Indus-Ganga Plains teaching meditation practices and guidelines for attaining enlightenment—in other words, similar to the yoga practices as we understand them today: The cross-legged posture (asana) for meditation, contemplation of the breath (pranayama), meditation (dhyana), withdrawal of the senses (pratyahara), and the ethical guidelines (restraints and observances) of the yamas and niyamas with the goal of attaining samadhi (bliss).

I am not an expert on Tibetan Buddhism, but in broad terms, Tibetan Buddhism evolved from the later stages of Indian Buddhism and incorporated various indigenous Tibetan practices. Bön, the pre-Buddhist religion of Tibet, is similar to Tibetan Buddhism, although technical terms and viewpoints are explained differently. Controversy about which religion influenced the other remains uncertain, but what is unique to early Bon is a strong belief in the afterlife, particularly the in-between state and the use of animal sacrifice. (1)

Records from this period are scarce but well documented, and there is no mention of the Rites. The primary method of sharing knowledge was oral—traditionally passed from master to student, which means we have little chance of discovering the Rites’ elusive history. This is further compounded by the Chinese Communist regime’s invasion of Tibet in 1950, when they ransacked and destroyed 97 percent of Tibet’s monasteries.(2) Sadly, so many ancient religious texts have been lost forever.

We may never know the source of the Rites, but what we DO know, is that they produce great benefits for those that practice them. 

the-chakras-by-charles-leadbeater-five-tibetan-rites-vortexes

Download Leadbeater's book free here (with thanks to theosophy.world who have made these resources freely available.)


Click links to Download

  1. FREE eBook, The Eye of Revelation
  2. FREE Five Tibetan Posters
  3. Learn The Five Tibetan Rites

© This work is the intellectual property of its author and is fully copyrighted. It may not be copied or republished in any medium (including but not limited to electronic and print media) without the express permission of the author. All rights are reserved.


Carolinda Witt


Author of a number of books about The Five Tibetan Rites, including "The Illustrated Five Tibetan Rites," and her bestselling T5T Five Tibetans DVD. Carolinda has been practicing and teaching the Five Tibetan Rites for 20 years. She is one of the world's foremost experts on the Five Tibetans Rites. She has further developed the original teachings to create a safer, more complete version of the Five Tibetan Rites called T5T® (The Five Tibetans.)


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