A recent article about six words for “love” in the Greek language lay simmering on my brain’s back burner until I had the thought: why six? Might these words line up with the chakras somehow, and if so, what word for love was missing from this list?

The chakras represent the universal human path of spiritual growth or awakening. That is, they offer an abstract account of the process of spiritual maturation. In the classic diagram, they are associated with symbolic locations in the human body:


The names given to each of these locations describe their symbolic meaning:

chakra system

I found that I could locate the six Greek words for “love” in this scheme:


What was missing?

It turns out that in Greek there are two words that we translate into English as “worship”: proskunema (obeisance) and latreia (devotion). It seems to me that, for Unitarian Universalists, it makes more sense to stand on the side of devotion than on the side of obeisance. So latreia it is.

Unable to stop myself, I lined up the seven Unitarian Universalist principles alongside these:


I know I am not the first to notice the progression from the one to the many in the seven principles. That they might line up with different ways to love was an unexpected find that has me musing and thinking.

CODA: An eighth word for love in Greek, storge (familial love), was omitted from the list of six in the article I read. A common alternate scheme of Greek words for love lists it as one of four (along with eros, philia and agape).