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Thursday, February 23, 2012

Moon and Thunder

Funny few days, a lot of Tao discussions on several forums sparkling my brain, then Ash Wednesday, a Catholic holy day, but with, for me, oddly Taoist overtones.  All that ashes to dust stuff and beginning of a set period of self-examination, above and beyond the self-exams I do pretty much constantly.  (I could accomplish something serious if I meditate regularly over the next 40 days.)

I failed to notice that today was in fact not only the day after the ash day, but also the birthday of Tu Di Gong, the Taoist Earth God. "Why today?" I asked a forum participant. "Is it lunar?"  And indeed it is. Everything is connected, in synchrony with sun and moon, yang and yin, breathing in and out, send and receive.
"Shengri kuaile, Tu Di Gong!"
Much earlier today I had been reading from Thomas Cleary's translation of Understanding Reality (Wu Zhen Pian), a verse called "On the Crescent Moon Furnace. " (What do you read in the passenger seat on your commute?)  This is a treatise on Quanzhen Internal Alchemy, neidan, by  Zhang Bo Duan,  dating from the Song Dynasty.

"Stop wasting effort at an alchemical oven;  to refine the elixir you must seek the crescent moon furnace. It has of itself the natural true firing--you do not need purple coal or bellows."  There are a lot of obscure metaphors here.

In the accompanying commentary by Liu I-Ming, I read:

"The crescent moon refers to the moon of the third day of the lunar month, appearing as a hook of light in the direction of earth (southwest). That light curves upward, that is why it is called the crescent moon  What this crescent moon symbolizes in humans is a point of yang light shining through in the middle of extreme quiet.  Among the trigrams, it is thunder (two yin lines over one yang)."

So it was like a little burst of thunder when, driving home, the Wizard pointed his finger to the west where the crescent moon was setting. (I pulled out my iPad to confirm the status of the moon, waxing gibbous, one day after the dark moon, with a nifty little app called Luan.)  Not only a nice upturned bowl (impossible to photograph) settling over the mountain, but a remarkable vertical alignment with Venus and Jupiter (confirmed with another nifty iPad app called Starwalk). Looks like Uranus is in the line too, but not visible from where I am.  Suddenly the alchemy text, the Earth God birthday, and my own odd energy all combined, mixed up in that crescent bowl.  Duh.

Energy shifts.  The calendar moves on, filling up and emptying. I was thinking life would be boring in the near term, but not only did I enjoy my regular weekly lunch with a friend today, but tomorrow the third and final opera of the season (Bizet's Pearl Fishers) gets underway, and I have tickets to see the Dalai Lama in Honolulu April 15, and I think I have a business meeting in Kona later that week.  Something's going on in March too, but I'll have to check my calendar to remember what it is.

Actually, I come to discover, that the 22nd was Tu Di Gong's birthday, and the 23rd is the birthday of the God of Literature, which seems appropriate.  And in March, I have a dim sum date with a friend! Perhaps that will be a food god date?

1 comment:

sybil law said...

Energy is definitely always shifting, and thank goodness it is! Seeing the Dalai Lama should be really cool!