In my half century of teaching, I’ve found I’ve needed to explain this topic in various ways, depending upon the orientation of each student.
I’ve also found that since we all have emerged from infinite spirit and are attempting to hold, realize and manifest spirit in the limited container of a physical body – no one method of understanding our work on earth will suffice. Each approach will add another feather to the wings of our personal flights between spirit and matter.
The merkaba – also called a star tetrahedron and a Star of David – is used by most traditions to graph what occurs when one source separates to understand itself, and to expand its abilities. It is the core geometric form in many sacred graphs, such as the Far East Mandalas and Yantras. In these traditions, the merkaba represents source examining itself – what it is and is not – the polarities that exist to hold energy in place. It is often used as the symbol for creation itself, and in some cases the central symbol for certain deities.
In the West, the merkaba is often included in the symbol for various high esoteric orders, as their statement of recognition of the polarities underlying matter. Around two hundred years ago it also became a standard symbol of Judaism.
The merkaba is actually spinning. It is actually two counter-rotating pyramids, each spinning in the same direction when seen from its origin point, but when facing each other they appear to be spinning in opposite directions. When the energy of each side is equal, the motion of the merkaba is continual and is self-clearing. But when one side becomes more active/powerful and over-rides the other side, the spin starts to slow down and energy gluts and gradually stagnates. Eventually, each side needs to be cleared of debris and brought back into balance.
You can see the effects of this in any situation where there should be an equitable balance and there is not. For instance, the recent (current in some places) inequity between males and females throws all of a society into imbalance. When the feminine is disparaged as inferior, it affects all the feminine energies in a situation: compassion, community, concern for all in the environment. The current efforts to bring the feminine back into equality with the masculine energies are seen in the great changes, and arguments over the changes, in all current events.
On a personal level, you are a merkaba as well. You are balanced between the feminine and the masculine energies of the universe, which have given you form. When you are in balance, your energy is spinning well. When something gets out of balance, your energy gluts and slows down. You can see the energy of a person’s merkaba – we call it the aura.
Besides our overall personal merkaba, we have many internal merkabas formed by our various actions and activities. This makes our personal energy field complex, subtle and manageable.
If you would like to learn more about how merkabas work, I recommend my book We Are Not Alone, which deals extensively with the topic and includes exercises to help you learn how to control your energy.