June 28, 2006 at 4:56 pm #15218
I have read the free booklet offered in this site (but own some chia and michael winn booksdvd besides that). But the boklet, regarding the Loushu magic square and Dragon Turtle numbers, and the deriving cosmology on which Chi Kung and TCM are based, have raised some questions in my mind:
1. In the five elements system, why does East belongs to ‘Wood’ and West to ‘Metal’? Intuitively, from my VERY LIMITED alchemical logic, it would seem maybe that Fire would ‘belong’ to the East as this is where the sun fireball originates from…
2. Why is East-Wood-Jupiter-3 is represented on the left, and the West-Metal-Venus-7 ccmbo represented on the right? Orientating West as being on the Left is almost a universal practice and believe it is more accurate with the earth’s 23 degrees axis…
3. Is there a resource which could explain the ‘logic’ or numbering the elements with ceraint numbers, like wood=3 and water=1 and especially fire=9? It seems almost random…
4. am having a hard time cocenpualizing the role and logic behind naming Metal as an element [except for social-religious reasons such as that in the bronze age metal played an increasing vital role in life and so paying it a tribute by making it an element] Could anyone help me with it?
In the daoist cosmoslogy as compared to western alchemy, it seems that there is an expasion towards the classes of ‘earth’ (adding metal and wood and subtracting air as an element). WHile in daoism the general feel as if there are 4 elements circling a central one (earth), in western alchemy it is more like a hierarchy of subtle to gross.
I fear there are more questions to come.. 🙂
GeminiJune 28, 2006 at 7:25 pm #15219
Wow, I completely forgot I have this on my PC. Thanks for the reminder. 🙂
While I`m not experienced in alchemy, I have some thoughts on this.
1. That is true, but don`t you think of heat when you hear south? As for Metal west and Wood East, I think of the advenced technology in the west, and more simple stuff in the east. This is generalizing, and I doubt the creators of this had this in my mind. But it is my assocciation.
2. Depends in which direction you look. If you look south, west will be on your right side, if you look north, west will be on your left side.
3. Interesting question, I have no idea about it though.
4. Hmmm, I think Michael Winn equates Metal with Gold, if I`m not mistaken. Can`t put anything else into words right now.
5. Hmmm, I didn`t get the feeling that they are circling around a central element in the daoist tradition. To me they are they are not cicling around one element, but more like circle around each other, blend into each other. The daoist five elements/phases/energies are more about change IMO, the western/buddhist are more static. I don`t think the taoist substracted anything. I believe the western ones are just on a more subtle level. Both can be related though.
I hope someone more knowledgeable can enlighten you more. Interesting questions. 🙂June 28, 2006 at 8:51 pm #15221
I got one more idea on your first question, from your own example, the Sun. Coincidentally it dawned me while doing my sound practice for the wood element. 🙂
As wood is actually expansion (growth), and metal contraction, you could see the sunrise – east as expansion of light (and heat, etc.), and the sunset – west, as contraction of that light.June 29, 2006 at 12:49 am #15223
You should try to work on your Alchemical intuition.:)
Alot of what you will read was arived at by studying life Exoterically, conceptually, and esoterically.June 29, 2006 at 1:05 am #15225
Gemini- The magic square is that of the planet Saturn and the bagua, of the center with eight directions, comes from that. Saturn is the planet of choice here because the “Old Ones” realized that it is the higher vibration of earth and, as we learn in kan and li, the gateway to the sun. This is where the number assignments for the bagua come from.
“In the five elements system, why does East belongs to ‘Wood’ and West to ‘Metal’?”
You have to understand that this is a circular flow of energies through the elements and the corresponding directions. If you are in the northern hemisphere- Wood/warm/east/liver is spring-ing, growing energy phase of the lifeforce manifesting itself after winter- water/cold/north/kidneys, and is followed by the fullest manifestation of the lifeforce, the hottest time, the summer/south/fire/heart. After summer, things cool off and begin to expire- west/fall/lungs/metal/cool. Metal is a result of the process as fall brings harvest. So while the sun may rise in the east, that is where it is just getting started.
“Why is East-Wood-Jupiter-3 is represented on the left, and the West-Metal-Venus-7 ccmbo represented on the right? Orientating West as being on the Left is almost a universal practice…”
It is a practice only if you use facing north as your orientation. The chinese face south keeping the fire in front of themselves as the heart is in front. The water element is the kidneys which are in the back, so they have the back facing north. Their maps were made this way too.
“Is there a resource which could explain the ‘logic’ or numbering the elements with ceraint numbers, like wood=3 and water=1 and especially fire=9? It seems almost random…”
Yes, this is hard to find info and you have to intuit and gather. But again, it is taken from the Saturn square. And if you think about the feng shui meanings of the different guas (sections of the bagua) you will see that the water area, #1, is the beginning of one’s life, the path or “career” one takes. Water births us. The end, #9, is the fire of illumination and realization, the recognition or “fame” area, mundanely.
If you are standing in the center (the #5, for earth) of a bagua that is on the floor, you can easily see that the beginning is behind you, you face the end, you have the past, your roots, on your left, and your future, what you will create on your right.
Your last question about metal and the “hierarchy” of elements is a difficult one. I had a hard time with it too when I started because of ideas I had in my head that I couldn’t get the five element system to fit into. You’ll have to see it over time as you practice especially after you start mixing things in fusion practice. They see it as a practical flow of very real things. Nothing to do with homage or anything like that. It’s a thing you have to feel to get.
The word for metal in chinese is the same word they have for gold, according to Michael. The subtle/gross thing is not looked at the same way by the daoists. “The subtle” comes after you refine yourself, your energies, through practice and make the gold out of whatever grosser stuff was there. This becomes your inner earth, the refined substance, the pearl- alchemical gold. Daoists do not look at it as an etheric thing like western alchemy does. It is spirit brought into matter so that (your) matter is raised.
I hope that helps,
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