What the Seven Subtle Bodies Are and Why They’re Essential

The Subtle Energy Bodies are what keeps us alive.  They rule our capabilities of thinking, emotions, activities, and memories. In fact, these bodies facilitate spiritual growth and transcendence to higher levels of consciousness.

The Subtle Bodies consist of mostly invisible universal etheric energy. Our physical body holds universal etheric energy both inside and out.

Etheric energy is one of the three fundamental types of energy in our universe. The three kinds of universal energies are electric, magnetic, and etheric.

The idea that we have more than one body can be mind-boggling. Most in mainstream society are unaware of these bodies and that they constitute our human design and enable consciousness.

So, if we have numerous bodies, why can’t we see them?  The answer lies in the word subtle. The word subtle indicates that most of these encompassing bodies are invisible and can’t be tangibly seen or felt.

The Human Dynamic Energy System

We have an overall subtle dynamic energy system which facilitates consciousness. This system includes our chakras, aura, along with our energy bodies.

According to Bhagavad Gita, one of the most sacred texts of Hinduism, the subtle body is composed of mind, intelligence and ego, which controls the physical body.

The energy of the subtle bodies enables all our human faculties. Without these bodies, we can’t survive as living, thinking, and feeling beings. In their entirety, the subtle bodies are the vehicles which enable our entire existence.

The Physical Body is Not a Subtle Body

The Physical Body is not a subtle body. The Subtle Bodies begin with the Etheric Body.

Adepts trained in perceiving energy and auras can see the outline and sometimes the machinations of the Etheric Subtle body. Largely, these individuals are energy healers, psychics, and clairvoyants. However, almost anyone can learn to see the human aura or it’s outline.

Not All Models for the Subtle Bodies are the Same

Not all models for the subtle bodies are the same. I first noticed this when I began studying the subtle bodies. It caused me confusion as it may also cause you. Not to worry. Most models are highly similar, and the exact order and naming of subtle bodies make little difference. Importantly, the functions of each remain the same.

Subtle Bodies All

To illustrate, this model of the subtle bodies lists them in ascending order. Each energy body has a specific vibrational frequency from the lowest (etheric) to the highest (buddhic/christic). This frequency rate increases with each subsequent body. In other words, it vibrates faster.

Weight and Density of the Subtle Bodies

Each body has more density and ‘weight’ than the one above it. Thus, the Astral /Emotional Body is less dense than the Etheric Body, and the Mental Body is less dense than the Astral Body, and so forth.

Most importantly, each subtle body “governs” the body below it. For example, the Astral/Emotional Body is shaped and directed by the Mental Body, and that body in turn shapes and directs the Etheric Body.

The Subtle Bodies Interpenetrate One Another

It’s essential to understand that the subtle bodies interpenetrate one another due to the unique vibrational frequency of each. This is what keeps them separate and at the same time yet connected. Thus, these bodies are not placed around your physical body like a layer cake. They blend to form a loosely defined shape.

Finally, each subtle body, in turn, interpenetrates our Physical Body. Often depicted as rings of graduated colors around the human body in an oval or egg shape, this is what you’ll see in most illustrations of the subtle body. However, as you’ve probably surmised, it’s difficult to accurately depict a picture of the subtle bodies as they really are.

Ultimately, as an individual, or soul, advances in spirituality, the rings expand in size.

The Functions of Each Subtle Body

The Etheric Body:

Let’s explore the seven subtle bodies and why they’re an essential part of our being. Everything that exists on the physical plane has its own subtle body counterpart. Trained individuals see the Etheric Body which is the first subtle body.

Specifically, the Etheric Body is an exact template of our Physical Body. It holds the blueprints of our organs, muscles, tissues, and bones. As an interesting note, individuals who’ve lost a limb swear they can still feel the limb. Why? Because the limb remains intact in the Etheric template regardless of what destructive traumas happen to the Physical Body.

Also, an additionally primary function of the Etheric Body is that it holds a series of channels and our chakra centers which play a significant role in our vitality and well-being. Subsequently, this body generates our aura or primary energy field which surrounds us. The Etheric Body exists as matter in the lower to mid-level Etheric/Astral Plane.

The Astral/Emotional Body:

The next subtle body of importance is the Astral/Emotional Body. The Astral Body can separate from the Physical Body at will and does so often–especially during sleep. This body also contains our emotional memories and patterns. Since the Astral/Emotional body is the receptacle for our memories, it’s where we begin to process emotional responses to the events in our lives.

We all have astral bodies, as mentioned, which reflect our emotions, desires, and feelings. In terms of the aura, the Astral Body is known as the emotional aura. Significantly, the Astral Body exists as matter from the Astral Plane.

The Causal Body:

The Causal Body is the root of your soul. It’s the first level of your immortal self.

Importantly, the Causal Body is named such because it’s the originating source for the personality that incarnates in each lifetime. When your life ends, the essence of who and what you were, is then absorbed back into the Causal Body. Significantly, the Causal Body exists as matter from the Causal Plane.

At this point, I know you’ve absorbed a lot of information. Keep going to understand that the higher frequencies of subtle bodies are our gateway to bliss.

The Mental Body:

The Mental Body facilitates the process of acquiring knowledge and understanding through thought, and experience. It enables us to make judgments, evaluate situations, reasoning, problem-solving, decision making, comprehension and the forming of language. Therefore, the Mental Body is instrumental in making it possible for humans to discern, hold beliefs, and arrange thoughts in contextual order. Significantly, the Mental Body exists as matter from the Mental Plane.

Note: As a side note, it’s also believed that the Mental Body facilitates elevated psychic abilities.

The Spiritual/Soul Body:

The Spiritual Body is considered the root of the soul. It’s the essence of the “divine spark.” Like the other “bodies”, it holds all the other energy bodies within its confines.

Many believe that the Spiritual Body holds the last remnant of individuality before merging back into the creative source. Ultimately, this powerhouse represents the point of contact between the human microcosm and the Supreme Being. In theological and spiritual terms; we call this Supreme Being God, the Divine, Father, Mother Goddess, The Creator, Source, or Source Field, etc. Significantly, the Spiritual/Soul Body exists as matter from the Spiritual/Soul Plane.

The Buddhic/Christic Body:

Finally, we arrive at the Buddhic/Christic Body. Although you might assume this subtle body is named after The Buddha and The Christ (Jesus), it’s actually named for the level of consciousness these avatars* achieved during their sojourn on earth.

Ultimately, the Buddhic/Christic Body facilitates the expansion of consciousness beyond the separate personality and breaks free of individuality. Significantly,the Buddhic/Christic Body exists as matter from the Buddhic/Christic Plane.

The Buddhic/Christic level is the true source of happiness for the soul. Upon reaching this level, the soul experiences a perpetual state of bliss.

*Avatar refers to the physical appearance of a deity on earth. This concept originates from certain sects of Hinduism and means “descent.”
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by Carol Nicholson, Ph.D., and Certified Psychic-Medium

Hi! I’m Carol Nicholson and I hope you enjoyed this post! I’m dedicated to providing helpful, valuable, and fascinating blogs on a wide range of spiritual and psychic arts topics. Don’t forget to subscribe so you won’t miss out on my most recent posts and announcements of new courses!






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