London: Twisted Trunk, 2018. Chapbook, 32pp. New.
Wheels Within Wheels: Chakras in the Tantric Traditions is a new chapbook from Phil Hine, based on his lecture series at Treadwells. The first of four booklets examining the early history of the chakras, this first book focuses on how chakras were thought of in the Indian tantric traditions within which they originated. Intended as an introductory overview, the book introduces concepts such as the 36 Tattvas, the Sakta Pithas, early perspectives on Kundalini-sakti, Mantras, and the deities associated with the chakras. Hine outlines a variety of chakra systems, including one late Tradition: the Bengali Sahajiyās – which have a subtle body map which doesn’t have chakras at all. He gives some examples of chakra-related practices from early texts and argues that the deities associated with the chakras are central to tantric practice. With an extensive bibliography and illustrated throughout by artist Maria Strutz, this chapbook provides some startling insights into how chakras were utilized in early Tantric thought and practice.