Psychic chakras are most often described as whirling vortexes of energy on and over our physical bodies. As a description that can be fitting, but operating with chakras requires a bit deeper understanding of them.
Another way of looking at chakras is to see them as gateway between different aspects of the human existence (physical, emotional, mental etc.) While it may be relatively easy to differentiate between physical sensations, emotional feelings and mental thoughts, finding out where a particular energy stream originates from and where it flows may take a whole lot of self-reflection and self-mastery.
Although there are many different approaches, the traditional view recognizes and operates with seven major chakras - here's a quick rundown:
7th chakra - spiritual godhood
6th chakra - psychic presence
5th chakra - expression and impression
4th chakra - love and balance
3rd chakra - freedom of will
2nd chakra - sexuality
1st chakra - primal existence
It is very unfortunate, but an average human today has most of the chakras closed; maybe 3-8% of each is open. (On the upside, that means there is much room for psychic improvement.)
Base psychic energy generally travels upwards (it is also called 'kundalini energy'). Most of humanity is stuck between the 2nd and 3rd chakras - the obvious characteristics are fear of sexuality along with general anxiety and stress. The clear love of the 4th chakra is a desired myth for most, while the higher states and energies are generally invisible for people who have not cleared the lower steps.