Usually when talking about subtle body and energetic teachings we are talking about our own subtle anatomy – our chakra (energy center) or meridian (energy line) mappings, and what physical body parts and psychological states they relate to. But within all of the energy healing and spiritual traditions that contain subtle body teachings, there are also teachings on our energetic connections to others – mappings of the ways we connect and share our energies.
Within these teachings, the mother-child energy line, or cord, holds a special place. When we talk about energy lines and cords, we aren’t simply talking about energy exchange. Everything is energy, so of course whenever we interact with someone there is an exchange. Every conversation, encounter, or even glance, involves an interaction of vibration – it is an energetic encounter, based on both parties’ thoughts and feelings. Our intuitions and ‘sixth senses’ stem from these exchanges.
Energy lines and cords go beyond energy exchange. They are direct energy lines that form between us and each of the individuals most prominent in our life. All together they create an energetic tapestry that mirrors our physical and emotional relationships. These lines may be heart-based (heart chakra) for those closest to us, or power-based (navel chakra) with those with whom we have complicated control issues, or in many cases both. They also may be based on shared energy or exchanges linked to almost any of the other chakras – for example, survival-based (first chakra), sex-based (second chakra), communication-based (throat chakra), vision-based (third eye), or spiritually-based (crown chakra.) Often they are a combination of many of these, reflecting the complex nature of our relationships themselves.
Among energy lines, the mother-child energy cord is unique because it is formed in utero and has a physical base. It mirrors the umbilical cord, in that it connects a mother’s sacral chakra with her child’s navel chakra. This means a mother’s creative and emotional energy (both linked to the second/sacral chakra) is directly linked to her child’s will, personal power, and mental constructs (all associated with the naval chakra.)
A big part of understanding the mother-child relationship (and for that matter, your own relationship with your mother!) is understanding this unique energy line. In the first few months of life, this energy cord mirrors the umbilical cord, in that a mother’s energy is literally helping to sustain her child. The first few months of a newborn’s life are often referred to as ‘the fourth trimester’, and although the physical umbilical cord and placenta are gone, energetically a mother is still nourishing her child, but with a special kind of energy. It can be very hard on both mother and child to be separated during this time, and it can feel overwhelming to a new mother. We expect to get some of our body and autonomy back after pregnancy once we have a child, but in fact, the energetic link is stronger than ever for a few months.
Over time this intensity diminishes, and the child becomes more energetically independent. The mother-child energy line becomes more of a line through which imprinting occurs, as the mother imprints mental constructs that help her child begin to order and process the world around her. This doesn’t in any way diminish the role that other individuals play in a baby’s development, including the father, other family members, and caretakers, but from an energetic perspective the way a mother does this through the mother-child energy cord is unique. However, when a child loses or is separated from his birth mother, often other individuals (including adoptive parents) will form lines very similar to this mother-child bond to fill the gap.
A mother also continues to have a unique impact on her child’s health through this subtle body link. This can be exhausting, especially for a new mother that is struggling to maintain her own energy levels and health, especially if she is suffering from the baby blues, or worse, full-blown post-partum depression. Self-care is key. When travelling on an airplane we are told to put our own oxygen mask on first in an emergency, before helping our children, and this is good advice energetically too – making sure our own energetic needs are met will help us meet the needs of our children.
Over the course of childhood the mother-child energy cord lessens in intensity. A child becomes more independent energetically, just as she becomes more independent physically and psychologically. Letting go at the right pace on every level is really the art of parenting. If we try to tie our children down through this line, we inhibit their growth, and their own ability to take care of themselves. We may feel we are protecting them, but in fact we may be providing energetic functions that they will then never learn to provide for themselves.
On the other hand, if we let go too quickly or too fast, or don’t provide our children with the energetic connection they still need, they may not be able to feel grounded and stable. From an energetic perspective, this is often the case for children of addicts or other parents that are not able to fully care for them on a consistent basis – the child has difficulty developing lower chakra functions of stability and personal power. His energetic foundation is shaky or incomplete.
There are different theories on the phases of the mother-child energy line but the most obvious shifts occur around 6 months, 18 months, 3 years, 6 years, 12 years, and 18. While the intensity of the connection is shifting all the time, these ages mark the more dramatic shifts in independence. Often there are emotional upheavals around these times, if either the mother or child resists releasing the energy line. Either side can get ‘stuck’ developmentally if the line doesn’t continue to lessen, with the child taking on more of his own subtle body independence and the mother allowing this to occur.
So what is a mother to make of all of this technical energetic information? Obviously, much of it reflects what any mother can tell you intuitively about motherhood – that it often feels like your heart is walking around outside your body in the form of your children, that what happens to them happens to you too, that it is sometimes exhausting and draining, but that the bond and love is like no other. The art to managing it all – like so much of womanhood – is balance.
Every moment of our lives we are involved in an energetic weave of our relationships, and our children are foremost amongst the threads. We will best be able to enjoy our part in this tapestry when we are able to strike the right balance between meeting our own energetic needs and those of our children. We also need to strike the right balance of independence and dependence, boundaries and sharing, at each point of the parenting journey. There are no hard and fast rules for how to do this – it is something we need to feel out for ourselves day by day, month by month, year by year.
One thing that is important to remember is that balancing these lines, and enforcing energetic boundaries or letting go, has nothing to do with closing our hearts. Our hearts can always be open in the ways that matter, even as our subtle body shifts or protects itself in the ways it needs for us to maintain our personal power and health, and for our children to come into their own. Parenting always involves sacrifice, including energetically, but it isn’t meant to be martyrdom, and in fact we are best able to give when we have a strong personal foundation from which to do so. We are best able to love when we are ourselves firmly planted in our connection to Source, the root energy of all, and can share that freely.