Colonel Bradford's book 'The Eye of Revelation' (download it free here) only gives instructions to spin in a clockwise direction.
…“The first Rite”, continued the Colonel, “is a simple one. It is for the express purpose of speeding up the Vortexes. When we were children we used it in our play. It is this: Stand erect with arms outstretched, horizontal with the shoulders. Now spin around until you become slightly dizzy. There is only one caution: you must turn from left to right. In other words, if you were to place a clock or watch on the floor face up, you would turn in the same direction the hands are moving.”…
Please note that Colonel Bradford defines "clockwise" as being the direction in which the person is turning when facing forwards and turning from left to right; regardless of his/her location on the planet.
Since Bradford's location was in the Northern Hemisphere when he wrote that 'you should turn from left to right' ( in a clockwise direction) - some people have questioned whether we should change his instructions and spin anti-clockwise in the southern hemisphere.
When I asked them, "Why do you think we shoud change the direction of the spin?"
The answer is normally along the lines of, "Well water spins anti-clockwise in the southern hemisphere and clockwise in the northern hemisphere."
However this concept itself is based on a popular myth, and is therefore not a viable reason as to why we should change our spin direction in the southern hemisphere.
Alistair B. Fraser, Ph.D. Emeritus Professor of Meteorology, Penn State University, USA, explains in great detail (Reprinted with permission of author) -
..."Compared to the rotations that one usually sees (tires on a travelling automobile, a compact disc playing music, or a draining sink), the rotation of the Earth is very small: only one rotation per day. The water in a sink might make a rotation in a few seconds and so have a rotation rate ten thousand times higher than that of the Earth. It should not be surprising, therefore, to learn that the Coriolis force is orders of magnitude smaller than any of the forces involved in these everyday spinning things. The Coriolis force is so small, that it plays no role in determining the direction of rotation of a draining sink anymore than it does the direction of a spinning CD.
The direction of rotation of a draining sink is determined by the way it was filled, or by vortices introduced while washing. The magnitude of these rotations may be small, but they are nevertheless gargantuan by comparison to the rotation of the Earth."...
Furthemore to describe the Coriolis Effect is actually very complicated particularly without resorting to mathematical equations or complicated concepts such as angular mechanics! First of all there is your frame of reference "What you see depends on where you are." This assumes that we are on firm ground when in fact we are not as the earth is a spinning disc.
In physics, the Coriolis Effect is an apparent deflection of moving objects when they are viewed from a rotating reference frame. For example, consider two children on opposite sides of a spinning roundabout (carousel), who are throwing a ball to each other (see Figure 1). From the children's point of view, this ball's path is curved sideways by the Coriolis effect. From the thrower's perspective, the deflection is to the right with anticlockwise carousel rotation (viewed from above). Deflection is to the left with clockwise rotation.
Figure 1: In the inertial frame of reference (upper part of the picture), the black object moves in a straight line, without significant friction with the disc. However, the observer (red dot) who is standing in the rotating (non-inertial) frame of reference (lower part of the picture) sees the object as following a curved path.Wikipedia
If you are really keen to have a better explanation of the Coriolis Effect read Dave Van Domelen's article. For further information on actual sink experiments to measure the Coriolis Effect see Joe Kissel's article "Taking an Urban Legend For A Spin."
Spin Direction of The Chakras
Colonel Bradford did not describe the direction of the vortexes (chakras):
The body has seven centres, which, in English, could be called Vortexes. These are kind of magnetic centres. They revolve at great speed in the healthy body, but when slowed down - well that is just another name for old age, ill-health, and senility. The quickest way to regain youth, health, and vitality is to start these energy centres spinning normally again. There are five simple exercises that will accomplish this. Any one of them alone is helpful, but all five are required to get the best results. These five exercises are not really exercises at all. The Lamas call them rites, and so that is how I shall refer to them, too"... Colonel Bradford -"The Eye of Revelation"
I wonder if Bradford deliberately avoided mentioning an anti-clockwise direction? According to Barbara Ann Brennan, ex NASA research scientist and noted authority on the human energy field, healthy chakras should spin in a clockwise direction - and closed, unbalanced chakras spin in a counter clockwise direction.
In her successful book, "Hands of Light" she says,
..."When the chakras are functioning normally, each will be "open", spinning clockwise to metabolize the particular energies needed from the universal field. A clockwise spin draws energy from the UEF (Universal Energy Field) into the chakra, very much like the right-hand rule in electromagnetism, which states that a changing magnetic field around a wire will induce a current in that wire.
When the chakra spins counter clockwise, the current is flowing outward from the body, thus interfering with metabolism. In other words, the energies that are needed and that we experience as psychological reality are not flowing into the chakra when it is spinning counter clockwise. We thus label the chakra as "closed" to incoming energies.”...
Possible Traditional Influences
(a) Traditional Tibetan 'phrul 'khor Yantra Yoga (pronounced "trul-khor"
Chˆgyal Namkhai Norbu one of the great living masters of Dzogchen and Tantra, was born in Tibet in 1938. His book YANTRA YOGA: The Tibetan Yoga of Movement released by Snow Lion Publications
Trul-khor" means "magical wheel," says Alejandro Chaoul-Reich, a teacher associated with the Ligmincha Institute and assistant professor at the University of Texas (U.T) Medical School. He says, ..."The distinctive movements of trul khor arose as the result of deep meditation practice by Tibetan yogic adepts. Traditionally practiced in remote Himalayan caves and monasteries, the trul khor movements are now being made accessible to serious Western students. They are a powerful tool for clearing, balancing and harmonizing the subtle aspects of one’s energetic dimension."...
Ryan Parker, a practitioner of The Five Tibetan Rites is currently doing research comparing The Five Tibetan Rites to Tibetan "trul-khor". According to Peter Kelder in "The Eye of Revelation", the Rites like 'trul-knor' are around 2,500 years old.
In his recent "Comparison Chart" he states, ..."Buddhist ‘phrul ‘khor proposes the existence of clockwise spinning energetic centers. ‘phrul ‘khor is sometimes said to cause the centers of the body to spin. Moreover they are caused to spin in unison. Although all the moments can cause this spinning, rotation of the body is specifically linked to causing the centers to rotate. Clockwise rotation is said to be beneficial and is always the assumed direction of rotation in Buddist‘phrul ‘khor."...
Throughout history Tibet and India have shared ancient knowledge, and it is possible - but unproven - that the first Rite could also have been influenced by the practice of Pradakshina.
In Hinduism, Pradakshina means the act of worshipful circumambulation (walking clockwise around a holy temple, shrine, or place). Dakshina means right, so you walk to the left keeping the spiritual object on your right.
To perform Pradakshina you walk clockwise around a temple, sacred object, person, mountain, place or even oneself. Hindu temples are designed with special passages, so that people can perform these clockwise movements around them.
The purpose of this clockwise circling is to center or purify oneself, or to honor or bond with the object of devotion.
Circumambulation is so common in fact that it can be found in the Greek, Roman, Druid and Hindu cultures. Usually it had to do with sacrifice or purification processes. Interestingly, in all these cultures the direction was always the same - clockwise! For more information see www.sacred-texts.com
Other Interesting Information On The Clockwise Spin Direction
During one of my classes, a dance teacher told me that children are initially taught to spin clockwise. Apparently they find it easier (although there are always exceptions). She said it is well known amongst dance teachers - that if you want to calm children down, you get them to spin anti-clockwise. To energize them, you get them to spin clockwise!
This energizing effect is exactly what most people experience doing Rite No 1 as described by Colonel Bradford. In my view, if the lamas gave instructions to Spin clockwise - then clockwise it is!
A Practitioner Who Dose Spin Anti Clockwise
However, I am in communication with one practitioner “Mary” who spins in an anti-clockwise condition due to a life threatening health condition, which she has and is mastering. She is extraordinarily attuned to the needs of her body as you shall read below:
…”According to Qigong and Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), clockwise movement accelerates life by speeding up the chakras until they are all moving at the same speed. Counter-clockwise movement de-accelerates the chakras. Most who do the rites want to 'speed-up' chakras that have slowed down with age, weight, etc. Therefore, it is logical that the spin be clockwise. However, one morning as I was saying my morning prayers, I understood that, in my case, speeding up all my chakras would have a negative impact as the chakra that impacts my lungs was not capable of speeding up! It made more sense to slow down my other chakras to match the speed of the lung chakra that impacted my lungs! Therefore, I began spinning counter-clockwise. As soon as I did so, I noticed that doing the other rites became easier!"...
To sum up, unless documents or a teacher are found, all attempts at understanding the motive for Rite No 1 therefore can only be speculative – and you must do what feels right for you!
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Copyright (c) 2005 Carolinda Witt - author The Illustrated Five Tibetan Rites (Penguin/Lantern 2005) and The 10-Minute Rejuvenation Plan (Random House/Three Rivers Press 2007)