January 30, 2006 at 12:52 am #10089
Inside Chi Flows Naturally:
1. Happy Chinese New Year! Get the heads up on what is coming our Way in the Year of the Red Fire Dog. I offer an astrological and I Ching reading to help you align with the current cycle of powerful changes that are coming to Planet Earth.
2. Visit http://www.HealingTaoRetreats.com, which now has updated descriptions of 30 low-cost, high-energy, great-fun summer retreats. Tuition is as low as $400. per week plus possible discounts for juniors, seniors, and foreigners. It is a bargain for what one attendee called the best Energy Body trainings on planet earth!. Dao Mountain Retreat Center is great place to hang out during a Red Fire Dog year.
3. The China Dream Trip in May 2006 is now full. Get on the waitlist in case there is a cancellation, which usually happens. Call 888-999-0555.
4. Check out the new Healing Love product page, with 17-CD retreat package and new article: Sexual Qigong: Secret Tao Path to Completing our Human Identity. http://www.healingdao.com/healinglove.html
5. Be sure to check out the Tao Forum to get your questions answered by a legion of talented Taoist adepts. http://www.healingdao.com/cgi-bin/tpost.pl
Dear Celebrants of the Fire Dog Spring Festival,
Half of the planet (most of Asia) is celebrating their New Year on January 30, on the second new moon after Winter Solstice. Here in the West it was Jan. 29 due to time zone differences. Technically, the Year of the Red Fire Dog and Spring doesnt begin until Feb. 3 with the start of the lunar Tiger Month. This is all part of cycles that goes back 4703 years, when the Yellow Emperor allegedly instituted this solar-lunar calendar in 2697 b.c.e.
The Year of the Green Wood Rooster (2005) has passed, and it was a pretty feisty Rooster. You may recall my I Ching reading for last year was Wind over Wind (also = wood). I suggested this Double Wind element would blow dramatic changes through the planet. And blow hard they did. Planet earth had the wind kicked out of its guts, between tsunamis, earthquakes, and hurricanes.
We can expect more dramatic changes in this upcoming yang fire year, as fire creates rapid change. But fortunately the changes will be mostly of a different kind. So it will seem like a breather on the outside. But the spiritual changes on the inside may prove even more radical and uncomfortable for many.
Body-Centered Chinese Astrology
What makes Chinese and I Ching astrology interesting to me is the body-centered interpretations that have been applied to it over the millennia. In other words, what is happening in the sky and cosmos is directly reflected inside our body. They are part of the whole-body enlightenment promoted by the path of Tao.
There are ten heavenly rays (five elements or phases going in endless yin-yang cycles) and a very grounded zodiac of 12 earthly branches symbolized by 12 animals. This gives us a basic 60 year cycle of these heavenly and earthly combinations (5×12=60, which repeats twice for total of 120 year cycle.). In sacred geometry, earth is symbolized by the dodecahedron, with 12 interlocking pentagons forming the tectonic grid of the planets energy body.
Inside our human body this cosmic shape is reflected in the five vital organ spirits pulsing in expanding and contracting cycles, and interacting with the chi flowing in 12 surface meridians. Chinese medicine is based on this cosmic calendar and 5:12 shape, and it explains why staying in harmony with nature is a basic tenet of Tao and considered essential to good health and success.
Some of the big religions (Christianity in West and Chan Buddhism in China, or Zen in Japan) frown on astrology, because they dont want people messing with God or figuring out their Destiny using imperfect minds and without the guidance of a trained priesthood. They are partly correct, as it is useless to think youve responded to the Life Force by simply looking at a chart of astrological symbols.
But according to the inner alchemy school of Taoism, with the right internal training, you can know and shape your destiny. Experiencing these cosmic communications from sun, moon, planets and stellar constellations can be powerful, straightforward and safe. The key is to always seek the center point of balance and harmony as you expand yourself while merging your little self with your big self. Inner alchemy and qigong (chi kung) are the time-tested methods for directly interacting with these forces using the language of the chi field.
Auspicious Qualities of Fire Dog Year
This year the heavenly stem aspect is yang Fire, symbolized by the spiritual fire of the Sun. The earth branch is the Sleeping (or earth phase) Dog. Each human being and humanity as a whole is mediating between this heavenly Fire stem and its earthly Dog branch. Sun/Fire and Dog /Earth are the energetic terrain in which we will play out our destiny this year.
The last Red Fire Dog Year was 60 years ago, in 1946. So it may hold some clues for us as to what might happen this year. 1946 was a year of peace and recovery from the ravages of World War II. But it also had the Nuremburg trials for war criminals, and 15 governments went through major changes in power and structure. The United Nations got its first legs typical of the community building that occurs in a Dog Year. Dogs love to run in groups.
A famous Red Fire Sleeping Dog politician is Bill Clinton. Dog types are marked by charisma and great talent, in his case he indeed slept around like a friendly dog. In the Healing Tao, the most prominent Fire Dog is Senior Instructor Juan Li, who also has a magnetic personality. His illustrations of Mantak Chias books mostly donated as a gift to build community – were essential to the success of the Healing Tao.
The Dog is considered an auspicious animal, always listening empathetically, beaming happy, friendly, loyal, and honest feelings. Dog epitomizes domestic happiness; this year is a good time to consolidate your domestic situation and spend more time at home. Or a good time to seek spiritual community, go on retreats, and honor ones ancestors.
Flashpoints in a Dog Year
The tension this year arises from the innate conservatism of the Dog; it doesnt like its domestic routine disturbed. But the Red Fire-Sun influence doesnt allow for complacency. Yang Fire stimulates idealism and social justice movements in the Dog. In our modern context, concern about global warming, government corruption, and environmental exhaustion of our planet will likely reach a new peak.
Corrupt politicians may be outed and convicted, and dark side events such as the synchronized explosions that took down the World Trade towers (including the inexplicable collapse of WTC #7) on 9-11 may finally get exposure. Testimony of dozens of firefighters about synchronized explosions were just released due to a lawsuit by the NY Times (http://www.911truth.org/article.php?story=20060118104223192). An engineering professor recently proved explosives were necessary to demolish the buildings. When the enormous implications of this are grasped by the public, the Year of the Dog could manifest a collective frenzy of barking citizens chasing down the Dark Side/Black Government.
I Ching: A Time for Deciding Choose a New Paradigm
I asked the I Ching, How can one best respond to change on planet earth during this Red Fire Dog Year? The answer was hexagram #43, Deciding & Parting. Of course, these yin-yang lines are just symbols in a dialogue between my personality and my collective/greater self. But they jive perfectly with the Red Fire Dog Year energies.
Hexagram 43 has got 5 yang lines below and one yin line above. Yang Lines 1 & 4 change into yin lines. 5 yang lines is powerful heaven chi, like the spiritual force of the sun. The nuclear (inner) trigram arrangement is actually six pure yang lines! Wow. There are only four hexagrams out of 64 that have pure Heaven as its nuclear trigrams. That suggests powerful spiritual forces of Pure Creativity are here to change the paradigm at the level of the earths inner psyche.
These 5 Yang lines of hexagram Deciding & Parting put heavy pressure on the lone Yin line above. Yin line here = the personal self. It means youve got to respond immediately, AND announce your response to the world. The ancient Chinese ideogram is of a man holding a piece of jade, which gives him the right to speak.
In the shamanic interpretation offered by Stephen Karchers Total I Ching (my favorite version, which I will review in a future email): The Great Spirit in Heaven spreads joy below on earth through the (intermediary spirits) of the Joyous Dancer on earth). The Noble One extends power and virtue to those below. The situation has a shadowy ancestral ghost seeking revenge for past mistreatment . So if some old family spook has been invisibly impeding your life, this is the time to cut it loose.
Change NOW, or be Changed by Outside Forces
If you change quickly, the power of heaven supports you this year. If you resist, you get run over by change. Its a time to break with the past, clean old wounds, bring things into the Light.
Its a time when you may feel small and isolated, but there are huge positive forces supporting your changes and taking a new direction in life. You dont need to lead anyone else, or go to war. The advice is to confront difficulties without resorting to arms, attack, or defenses. Notify those who love, trust, and depend on you. Impose a direction on things.
The two changing lines generate a second hexagram, #48, The Well. This is an ancient symbol of community gathering around a simple common need: clean water.
Again, the environmental issue, and Dog Year tendency to social activism: The Noble One toils for the common good. But more profoundly, the Well represents human communities all honoring a common Source of Life. Again, a good year to take a spiritual retreat with like minded folks.
This kind of I Ching divination is no exercise in abstract mental symbolism; it is about detecting the subtle patterns of change that are happening right under our nose, in our personal body as well as in the body of humanity. If we are quick enough to catch these changes, we can dance with them. Otherwise we are left with the slow post-reaction of what just hit me?
I use qigong and inner alchemy to keep accelerating my personal sense of change. They let me surf the wave of change smoothly that is why I love sharing them. I am grateful to everyone who has supported Healing Tao USA and its non-profit parent, Dao Alchemy Research institute in the past year.
I look forward to a profound Journey shared with each of you during this exciting Year of the Red Fire Dog!
Love, chi, blessings,
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