Friday, December 16, 2011

The Winter Solstice and Qi



December 22nd is the Winter Solstice in the Northern Hemisphere. The Sun is at 270 degree on the ecliptic. In the past times, the Winter Solstice in China was regarded as an official holiday and the New Year's day. The scholars and practitioners of metaphysics have done important divination namely during the day of the Winter Solstice.

At the Winter Solstice the Yang energy starts to increase (and the days start to get larger), while the Yin energy gradually starts to decrease (and the nights are becoming smaller). Slowly and almost unnoticeably Yang in Nature and within the human body is awakening and increasing from inside towards outside.



To a certain point, this is also related to the month of Rat (Zi) 子月, in which we are now. It is represented by “Fu” - the 24th hexagram in I Ching:
    Lao Zi says "Returning is the movement of Dao". Fu hexagram means “Returning, Coming back" and it consists of 1 Yang and 5 Yin. The past month (Hai) 亥月was completely Yin – with 6 Yin lines, but now a new cycle is beginning, in which the first rays of the Yang energy start to appear. In Chinese this is called “the appearance of first Yang” 一阳出 (yi yang chu).

   In ancient China the 10th month was named "kun month"坤月 representing the Kun hexagram 坤卦, which consists of 6 Yin lines. It was also called "Yin month" 阴月 and "Dark Winter" 玄冬. In comparison, the 11th month, in which happens the Winter Solstice, was named "the month of Returning"复月, "New Yang" 新阳 and "Return of Yang" 阳复.

  The several days before and after the Winter Solstice are characterized with very powerful energy in Nature. This is important time for more meditation and relaxation. Even in a non-meditation state one can feel  that the energy and the blood circulation are very intensified as if in a deep state of meditation. Now the qigong meditation is very qualitative, it gets easier and faster to enter into the deep levels of subconsciousness.

During the different 24 solar terms of Chinese calendar, qi is concentrated at different energy points (guan 关) on the small heavenly orbit 小周天.



  In the 15 days after the Winter Solstice the energy is concentrated at hui yin acupoint in the body as well as in the lower dan tian. Now qi starts to activate du mai (the Yang meridian) of the small heavenly orbit. At the same time, the energy flow is faster throughout the whole body.
                                                                              


  The days around the Winter Solstice are regarded as important time for qigong meditation, during which easily occurs "interaction between Water and Fire" 水火相交. Here "Water" is a symbolic representation of the kidneys in the body.  The 63rd hexagram ("After completion") in I Ching is also called "interaction between Water and Fire" 水火既濟.  It describes a process that is very important in qigong.


   Here Water trigram (Kan 坎) is above Fire trigram (Li离). The Water flows downwards and the Fire goes upward, so when we have the conditions presented by this hexagram, the Water is above to nourish and balance the heart, and the Fire is below, so to warm up the Kidneys. In this way a good interaction is generated between the energies of the heart and the kidneys.

   The famous I Ching scholar Kong Yingda 孔穎達 from Tang Dynasty in China has commented that this hexagram gives a picture of cooking - "Drink and food are completed by it". This is related to internal alchemy - a natural process of generating and transforming  qi during qigong meditation.




  Happy Winter Solstice to all!
          

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