Tuesday, March 15, 2011

The wisdom of Can Tong Qi (周易參同契) - Chapter 4b


三日出為爽,震庚受西方。八日兌受丁,上弦平如繩。十五乾體就, 盛滿甲東方。蟾蜍與兔魄,日月炁雙明,蟾蜍視卦節,兔者吐生光。七八道已訖,屈伸低下降,十六轉受統,巽辛見平明,艮直于丙南,下弦二十三,坤乙三十日,陽路喪其朋。節盡相禪與,繼體復生龍,壬癸配甲乙,乾坤括始終。

My rendition:

Upon the third day one sees brightness, the female Thunder trigram (震) receives Heavenly stem Geng (庚) from the West. Upon the eighth day, the male Swamp (兌) trigram receives Heavenly stem Ding (丁), the upper string set to smooth. Upon the 15th day, the Qian body (乾體) is established, the first Heavenly Stem Jia (甲) is full in the East. The Toad and the soul of the Rabbit represent the brightness of the chi arising from the Sun and the Moon. The Toad inspects the details of the Hexagram whereas the Rabbit spits out light of life. Upon the half way, it turns and descents. Upon the 16th day, it becomes the follower instead of the leader, the female trigram Xun (巽) receives Heavenly stem Xin (辛) and becomes calm and bright, the female trigram Gun (艮) receives Heavenly stem Bing (丙) in the South, the lower string set at 23, and upon the 30th day the Moon Trigram Kun (坤) is merged with Heavenly stem Yi (乙), Yin can no longer be seen. When feminine lines have all been interchanged with masculine lines, the resulting body will be nourished like a flying dragon, the Heavenly Stems coupled among themselves and the Qian (乾) and Kun (坤) embrace the beginning and the end.

Paul's comment: the author's personal inner experience during the inner alchemical process. He used the language of I-Ching and 12 Heavenly Stems freely. One might not be able to get his actual experience (after all, such experience is personal and internal), but fellow practitioners can certainly appreciate what he was talking about. One interesting point to note is that in ancient China, Toad is used as a signification of the Moon (Female symbol), and Rabbit can mean pederast (Male symbol). Another important point to note is that in the first half, it is the trigram changing the heavenly stems whereas in the second half, it is the heavenly stems changing the trigrams. In the end all changed to Yang, or Pure Yang (純陽), the ultimate goal of Taoist inner alchemical process.

10 Heavenly Stems

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