Showing posts with label Taoist. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Taoist. Show all posts

Totem Animals of Shamanism

Creatures, as well as all trees, shamanic rocks, tradition, cliffs, and other elements of shamanism – play a vital role in the community's well-being in Huachuma elements of shamanism. 

Each living aspect of nature, I believe, has a spirit and, as such, should be valued as a spiritual companion. Animals are far more than mere terrestrial beings that are often referred to as "domestic companions." 

They are a fundamental "connection" in the physical sense, assisting mankind in deciphering Nature's mysteries and returning to their basic position of wholeness in and with the Universe. 

Furthermore, since all facets of the natural world must be recorded in our DNA at different points of humanity's evolution, I agree that all aspects of the natural world must be registered in our DNA. 

As a result, we will watch animals in the wild, listen to their calls, and learn a lot about them, including the physical benefits of certain medicinal plants, soothing ingredients, and therapeutic workouts. Totem species are animals that have a particular meaning about them. Their job is to assist us in a variety of circumstances that, in typical cultures, could mean life or death, or that, in the contemporary world, could help us reconnect with our more instinctual self. 

Totem animals are animals that represent each region of the earth. 

The Spirit of the Kangaroo may be used by Australian Aborigines to lead them through their Dreamtime. 

On their long sea travels, Polynesians could have the spirit of the Whale as a reference. When doing Pipe Ceremonies, North American Indians may have an Eagle as their totem. If they tread gently down their spiritual journey, people with wisdom watch the influence and behaviour of all these creatures to better appreciate their harmonious position as one of Nature's children, and therefore their effect on the earth. 

The Eagle in the Pipe Ceremony, for example, will assist an individual or a group in approaching a situation from a perspective other than that of the ego. It will soar to great heights in the sky (the sky reflecting the Higher Self) and sail away from tensions and personal complexities, transcending mundane and confined circumstances that could be creating discord in the individual or group. It sees life from an entirely different angle (for example, it can see the larger picture without being distracted by small details). 

Totem creatures, as spiritual companions and protectors, will convey very valuable personal messages to us. 

They have the ability to draw attention to areas of our lives where there is a disparity. Let us use domestic animals as an example since most of us in the Western world are familiar with them. A cat, for example, may kiss a portion of our body or a dog may stay unusually close to us for an extended period of time. 

What the animals are doing, whether we realize it or not, is actually shamanic: they are assisting us in removing toxic energy from our bodies. We may be shocked to learn later that we have arthritis in the same spot where the cat licked us, or where the dog stuck next to a part of our body that is now injured. 

These animals sensed an imbalance until it became apparent. They removed the toxic energy from our bodies as spiritual partners, allowing us to easily regain equilibrium. We can help ourselves before the imbalances appear if we can understand what they, our animal totems, are saying to us.

Elements in Nature and Totem Animals Rather than merely becoming conscious of the unnatural universe in which most of us in the modern world exist.

It might be more necessary to become aware of our totem animals and all of the forces of nature that come to us, either physically or in visions, in order to keep in contact with Mother Earth and live in peace with her. 

The Ayahuascero families with whom I lived in the Amazon were inextricably linked to the forest and all of its species. The Jaguar is a totem animal for the Ayahuasceros, which means that its spirit assists the group on both a physical and metaphysical basis. The shaman sings an icaro, his "song of influence," and calls to the Spirit of the Jaguar, requesting it to be present in the mesa shamanic ritual (see the chapter "The Four Direction and the Mesa"). 

He converses with the Jaguar as if he were conversing with a mate. He recognises the animal's personality and becomes one with him as a result of this contact. In reality, the terms for shaman and jaguar are synonymous in many Amazonian languages. The shaman can walk effortlessly on the ground and in the water thanks to the power and determination of the jaguar, whose soul is not different from his own. 

This animal's piercing eyes allow him to see in the dark, climb trees, observe the energy of the land, water, and sky, and be more easily in touch with the natural world. Members of the group will participate in this rite if they see the shaman embarking on a long journey into the forest. 

They regard him as a jaguar. As the ritual progresses, they continue to ask him questions that will allow the group to see the world in a new light by gaining the animal's vision, strength, and mental abilities. The group members can discover better ways of collecting food, capturing fish, and discovering special areas where they can collect valuable items by having their totem animal, the Jaguar, as a guide and companion (such as gold, medicinal plants, seeds, remedies etc). We wouldn't dream to have such a close bond with a jaguar as the Ayahuasceros because we don't dwell in the South American rainforest or jungle. 

However, we often see or feel the spirits and/or powers of animals, trees, rocks, rivers, and other objects in our dreams. 

A child might dream of a tiger, for example. This indicates that he is dreaming of a part of himself that wants to be honored (possibly the part of himself that is scared of growing up alone, away from his parents and the security he has known). 

Sometimes, the boy in his dream is terrified of this aspect of himself, and instead of loving the tiger and the pleasure of growing up, he runs away from it. He is sticky and sweating when he wakes up, and he tells his parents about his dream feverishly, seeking consolation from them. His parents, who have been raised to assume that the tiger does not exist, and the boy, who trusts his parents implicitly, do not know that the tiger reflects his own fears about which he is attempting to come to grips, and he believes his parents when they say he has just had a "bad dream"... even though he also investigates to see if there is no tiger lurking under his bed! 

The child's psyche, which has not accepted the tiger, has now been conditioned to be separate from this aspect of his deepest Being, and this programming has become a personality trait. Under the influence of humanity, the tiger under the bed fades out, and through maturity, the sense of alienation and loneliness has been strengthened. This child is attempting to flee from the shaman, with whom he is acquainted. The shaman experiences Totality rather than isolation. 

To take things a step further, an adult who once dreamed of being pursued by a tiger will continue to confront photographs or items depicting tigers or other members of the cat family, with each encounter providing a chance to overcome his childhood fears. He could work as an archaeologist and be intrigued by the cats that guarded the pyramids (places of initiation and transformation) in ancient Egypt, or he could become a veterinarian, nature photographer, or zookeeper, or simply cultivate a hobby of collecting cats (books, stamps, porcelain, etc). If this scenario occurred in a shamanic society, the shaman may suggest a ritual to help the adult understand and acknowledge the guiding force behind his behavior. 

The person is encouraged to develop a more full friendship with the tiger during the ceremony. He would then be able to let go of certain situations that have kept him from realizing his childhood dream of owning a tiger over the years. He might realize that he had to choose between confidence (love) and fear in his dream. 

Returning to fear now will mean going down the path of escape, which at this point leads nowhere. In the other hand, if he acknowledges the tiger as a valuable mate, a totem animal, and wishes to trust and respect, to welcome and become one with the tiger, he will learn to trust that Life nourishes us all the time and belongs to all of us with bravery and strength. The tiger can instill trust in him in any situation that causes him panic. 

With such questions, the shaman's activity in the Amazonian forest is a phase of transition towards Unity and Totality. This, I think, has been forgotten in the West for a long time. 

The shaman's transition is driven by Nature's majestic unity, which includes its birds, trees, cliffs, and rocks, so Nature will make us realize that our inner life cannot be kept in the darkness of isolation on a continuous basis. Nature, in turn, offers all of the answers we need if we can recognize them as such.

Over everything, life is derived from a close friendship with Mother Nature and the Cosmos. 

Totem animals and other natural elements are there as divine companions to assist us in reuniting the fragmented parts of ourselves. Similarly, metaphysical work will assist others in reclaiming their lost link to the Universe. And if we do not live in the Amazonian wilderness, we need even more totem animals and natural elements to help us in our "urban jungle." Our bodies, our inner selves, need a connection to and a harmony with Life's instinctual rhythms. Nature's influence can therefore be evoked by engaging in a direct interaction with all of its facets. Seeing a bird in the sky encourages our body, mind, and spirit to take flight. Since our cells have remembered this room of liberation, we will fly in our dreams. It's important to remember that when we fly, we're reconnecting with our natural sense of independence and our place in the Universe, not just a conceptual relationship with a bird or some other part of nature. In truth, all elements of nature work together to create a harmonious cosmos; otherwise, everything will fall apart. 

Nature will remind us of its rules in a positive or negative way when a part of our self is distracted by anxiety and imbalance. For eg, we may fantasies about a blazing sun and a sky so devoid of clouds that our planet becomes a barren wasteland. The desert represents our lack of connection to the outside world, or we can freely embrace sunshine into our bodies, minds, and feelings, allowing our Spirit to shine like the Sun. In the need to dominate Nature, humanity has lost the basic fact that being one with the animals, trees, and mountains allows us to accept a significant part of ourselves.

You may also want to read more about Shamanism here.

Also, be sure to check out our section on Religion.

Shamanic Taoism - Meditating on Nature's Forces

The pakua can be used to concentrate energy during meditation.

The pakua produces a whirlwind, allowing the practitioner to gather, condense, and collect chi. This energy vortex can be used to construct not only a close bond between ourselves, but also a harmonious relationship with all of nature's powers, which are portrayed by the pakua's eight sides. 

This is accomplished by the Fusion practice, which gathers and condenses the abundant energy that consumes us into something that the body can use and absorb.

Forming four pakuas is the first step:

1. Front (or navel) pakua: One and a half inches inside the navel, below the navel.

2. Back pakua: One and a half inches in from the Door of Life, at the back of the body immediately opposite the navel between Lumbar 2 and 3.

3. The junction of a mentally drawn line running vertically downward from the left armpit and a line extending horizontally on the left side from the level of the navel and the Door of Life on the left side of the body. This intersection point is approximately one and a half inches away from the pakua.

4. Right pakua: On the right side of the body, approximately one and a half inches in, at the junction of a visualised vertical line drawn down from the right armpit and a horizontal line drawn from the level of the navel and the Door of Life.

These pakuas receive energy, which is then blended and transformed. The cauldron is then formed at the center of the body, between the four pakuas, as a self-center of being or power.

You may also want to read more about Shamanism here.

Also, be sure to check out our section on Religion.

Shamanic Taoism - Nature's Eight Immortals


The eight immortals represent the universe's eight powers outside the visible.

Each of the eight immortals, which represent natural powers, is aligned with a specific geographical path, season, color, earth, species, organ, and so on. We'll start in the southeast with Han Hsien-Ku and work our way counterclockwise around the pakua, listing the characteristics of each of the eight immortals.

The eight immortals represent the universe's eight powers. The directions associated with each of the powers in this configuration of the trigrams correspond to the normal compass-point directions seen on every map, with north at the top and south at the bottom. For a more in-depth look at each of the eight immortals, we'll stick to this plan.


Characteristics of Han Hsien-Ku

Purple is the color of choice (green)

Sun (wind) (force) (force) (force) (force) (force) (force) (

The number four (4)

The season is late spring.

Yin has a lot of energy (-)

The year is 800 CE.

Pluto is a planet.

Sensitivity is a mental trait.

Mountain is another name for it. Sage is a kind of sage

Nervous System

Quality: Increasing

Air is the element (wood)

Generating Movement

Magic is a symbol. Flute (flute)

Adrenal Gland

Sprouting seed

Pull-down in Tai Chi

Penetration/following in the I Ching

Southeast is the direction.

Kindness, forgiveness, graciousness, and friendliness are good emotions.

Jealousy, resentment, jealousy, and rage are negative emotions.

Chi is a word that means "to warm up."

Tendon nourishes

Buffalo is a kind of animal.

Determination is a positive attitude.

Tung-Pin, Tung-Pin, Tung-Pin, Tung-Pin

Gallbladder is a form of gallbladder.

Tears are made.

Climate: Wet

Function: Making a decision

Green Dragon Spirit

Sense: Observation (eyes)


In the eighth century CE, Han Hsien-Ku (Han Xiang Zi) was born (see fig. 4.2). He was the nephew of Han Yu, the famous Tang poet and scholar. He learned and qualified for the state civil exams, but he chose not to take them, much to his uncle's chagrin. He was a bright but rambunctious boy who despised the world's pomp and arrogance.

Despite being expelled from a Buddhist temple for being disrespectful and mischievous, he enjoyed silence and anonymity. When he was only a youth, fellow Immortal Lu Tung-Pin introduced him into the secrets of Taoism, and he soon became immersed in the art of internal alchemy. He delved into the mysteries of heaven and perfected the five energy phases (elements).

The divine knot on his robe represents his achievement in fusing the yin and yang forces into one original force.

Han Hsien-Ku (Han Hsien-Ku) is a Taiwan

Lu Tung-Pin once took him up to the legendary World Tree's vantage point to show him the cosmos. Han Hsien-Ku was killed after he fell from the tree, but he soon revived. He was impoverished, but he was unconcerned about it because he was enamored of the Tao. He was able to accomplish amazing feats and predict the future. He made wine without grapes and flowers bloomed in the dead of winter. He mysteriously grew a bunch of rose peonies one winter, with verses written in gold on each petal foretelling his uncle's fate.

He is often portrayed with a floral bouquet. He holds a flute and does the Six Healing Sounds on it. He is depicted riding a buffalo, a legendary creature that represents the Taoist goddess Hsi Wang Mu, queen of the west.


Light green in color

Chen (thunder) (+) Force

The number three (3)

Early spring is the season

Great Yang's energy (-)

Year: 200 CE

Jupiter is a planet.

Emotional: Mental

Tendons are also known as the General System.

Growth: Quality

East is the direction.

Generosity, forgiveness, benevolence, and benignity are also good emotions.

Negative emotions include blame, aggression, remorse, and annoyance.

Chi means moist in Chinese.

Nerves are nourished.

Chimera is a kind of animal.

Decisiveness is an attitude.

Lao-tzu was my teacher.

Wood is an element (air)

Developing Movement

Feather fan as a symbol

Hypothalamus is a gland in the hypothalamus.

Sprouting seed

Tai Chi: Push and Pull

Intuition/action in the I Ching

Liver is a body organ.

Tears are made.

Warm climate

Controls are the function of this object.

Green Dragon Spirit

Sense: Observation (eyes)


Chuan Chung-Li (Fig. 4.3)

In the third century CE, Chuan Chung-Li (Quan Zong Li) was born (fig. 4.3). He was an army general (Marshall of the Empire) under the Han Dynasty. He quit government service and went to the mountains to become a wanderer and beggar after encountering an old man who told him about the Tao. The stone wall of his mountain home crumbled once when he was meditating, revealing a jade jar. Secret meditation notes on how to become invincible is hidden within the case. Following the orders, his chamber was filled with rainbow clouds and divine music one day. A crane appeared and took him into the realms of immortality on its back.

After that, he was free to roam the heavens on his own. During a severe drought, he converted copper and pewter into gold and silver, which he distributed to the needy, saving thousands of lives. After reminding Lu Tung-Pin of the emptiness of creation, he taught him the mysteries of Taoism and convinced him to join him in his blissful existence as a fellow immortal.

He is shown as lightly dressed and bearded. On the sides of his ears, his hair is gathered in two coils. A fan is his mark, which he uses to reincarnate and resurrect the spirits of the dead. He has frequently appeared on Earth as a messenger to Heaven despite being over 1,800 years old. He's riding a chimaera, a legendary being associated with Hsi Wang Mu, the Taoist goddess of life.


Kuo-chiu Tsao Identifying Features

Blue is the predominant colour (brown, associated with yellow and the center)

Fairness, transparency, peace, and recognition are constructive emotions.

Lesser energy Yang Yang Yang Yang Yang Yang Yang Yang Yang (-)

1100 years ago

Uranus is a planet in the Solar System.

Chi is a balancing force.

Flesh Nourishes

Spirit Animal equine

Stabilizing mentality

Tung-Pin, Tung-Pin, Tung-Pin, Tung-Pin

Spleen is a digestive organ.

Saliva is a product of the salivary glands.

Mild climate

Balances-integrates is the function of this object.

Yellow Phoenix is a being.

Taste is a sense (mouth)


Northeast is the direction.

Ken (mountain) (+) Force

The number eight (8)

Early autumn is the season (Indian summer)

Worry, fear, false sympathy, and diversion are examples of negative emotions.

Clarity in mind

Mountain Hermit is his nickname.

Lymphatic system

Equalize the quality

Earth is the element.

Centering: Movement

Castanets is the symbol for Castanets.

Castanets, Castanets, Castanets, Castanets, Cast

Ripening Seeds

Shoulder attack in Tai Chi

Stopping/Stillness in the I Ching

Tsao Kuo-Chiu (Cao Guo Jio) is one of two royal brothers (fig. 4.4). During the eleventh century CE, their sister was a Sung empress. He was so afraid of his murderous and hedonistic brother that he gave away all of his riches to the poor and fled to the mountains in search of the Tao.

He dressed himself in wild plants and lived as a hermit in the mountains.

He eventually harmonised his mind, body, and spirit to the point that he could effortlessly turn into the Tao.

Kuo-Chiu Tsao

He encountered two of the eight immortals, Chung-Li and Lu Tung-Pin, one day while wandering around his mountain world. “What are you doing?” Lu Tung-Pin inquired. “I am cultivating the Tao and learning the Way,” he answered. Kuo-Chiu looked to Heaven when asked where the Tao was. He pointed to his heart when asked where Heaven was. “The heart is Heaven, and Heaven is the Tao,” Chuan Chung-Li beams. You did, in fact, discover the truth and the path. You're aware of the origins of things.” They asked him to join them on their adventures as immortals.

His icon is the castanets, which he uses to inspire meditation and journeying across the world by playing them in a calming and stimulating pattern. He's riding a horse whose spirit may have assisted him in discovering the Tao's mysteries and attaining immortality. He is said to still be alive on this planet.


Kuo-Lao Chang Kuo-Lao Chang Kuo-Lao Chang Ku Identifying Features

Black in colour (blue)

(+) Kan (water) force

The number one (1)

Winter is the season.

Fear, shock, tension, worry, doubt, and anxiety are all negative emotions.

Chi: To chill

Bones are a good source of nutrition.

Spirit Animal equine

Willpower is an attitude.

Lao-tzu was my teacher.

Kidneys are a type of organ.

North is the direction.

Positive emotions include gentleness, stillness, alertness, and appreciation.

Greater Yin in terms of energy (-)

The year is 800 CE.

Mercury is a planet.

Mental: Unpredictability

Mountain is another name for it. Hermitage

Arrangement: Absorbing Element: Water Urinary Quality

Gathering: Movement

Urine is made.

The weather is chilly.

Ambitions is a feature.

Blue Turtle is the spirit of

Sense: Auditory (ears)


Phoenix Feather as a Symbol

Adrenal Gland

Dormant seed

Tai Chi: Defend yourself

I Ching: Danger/passion

Kuo-Lao Chang 

In the eighth century CE, Chang Kuo-Lao (Zang Guo Lao) was born (fig. 4.5). He claimed to have served as a grand minister to the mythical Emperor Yao (2357–2255 BCE) in a former life. When he mastered the mysteries of immortality and became "the Original Vapor," he was an elderly mountain hermit. He had a magnificent horse that could transport him thousands of miles in a matter of seconds. He used to ride backwards a lot. He would topple the horse, fold it like a piece of paper, and store it in his pocket until he arrived at his destination. He'd pull it out and moisten it with water to transform it back into a horse until he was able to ride again.

Many Tang emperors welcomed him to court, but he refused much of the time. He amused one emperor by disguising himself and drinking poisons.

The emperor conferred the title of "Master of Understanding the Mystery" upon him, as well as a high rank and his daughter in marriage. Chang Kuo-Lao turned down both offers; but, when he got another, he accepted it.

While receiving an imperial order, he lied down and died. He was buried in a coffin, but it was later discovered to be hollow when his disciples opened it. He was frequently seen alive after that.

His emblem is a wand-filled funnel or a "Phoenix feather," which he uses to predict luck and misfortunes. He is credited for assisting souls in reincarnation. His portrait can still be seen in the bedrooms of many in China who are seeking to start a family.


Tsai-Ho Lan Lan Tsai-Ho Lan Tsai-Ho Identifying Features

Silver grey in colour (gold)

Chien (heaven) (+) Force

The number six (6)

Season: Late autumn

Yang is the most powerful energy (-)

The year is 300 CE.

Neptune is a planet in the Solar System.

Intuition is a mental concept.

Often known as: Respiratory Minstrel System

Condensing quality

Metal is a metal element (ether)

Compressing movement

Flower Basket as a Symbol

Thyroid gland

Falling Seeds

Single whipping in Tai Chi

Strength/creativity, according to the I Ching.

Northwest is the direction.

Righteousness, dignity, order, and substantiality are good emotions.

Depression, loss, gloom, dejection, and down are destructive emotions.

Chi is a Chinese word that means "cooling."

Skin is nourished.

Elephant is a kind of animal.

Vitality is an attitude.

Lao-tzu was my teacher.

Colon is a kind of colon.

Mucus is made.

The weather is nice.

Stabilizes the situation.

White Tiger's Spirit

Smell is a sense (nose)


Lan Tsai-Ho (Lan Cai He) was born under the Tang Dynasty, and at the age of sixteen, he became the first male immortal (see fig. 4.6). He was a performer who, like some ancient shamans, dressed and looked like a woman. He was a beggar and a street performer who gave his money to the sick.

He marched about with one bare foot, still jumping and singing, and was surrounded by people that thought he was crazy. He wrote and sang songs that questioned life, its ephemeral pleasures, and its inexorable and pointless reincarnations. In the night, he'd sleep soundly in the snow, steam emerging from his body, a sure indication that he'd perfected internal alchemy techniques. He was always seen buying wine for everybody in taverns.

Lan Tsai-Ho

After singing and entertaining in a pub one evening, he climbed aboard a crane that had descended among the strains of a heavenly chorus.

In front of a stunned audience, the crane gracefully lifted this "Holy Fool" into the sky. A bowl of flowers, herbs, and branches from trees synonymous with longevity, such as the chrysanthemum, peach blossom, fir, and bamboo, serves as his emblem. He rides an elephant, which is a sign of intelligence, courage, and prudence.


Tung-Pin Lu Identifying Features

Metallic white in colour

Tui (lake) (+) force

The number seven (7)

Early Winter is the season.

Lesser Yin Energy (-)

The year is 800 CE.

Venus is a planet.

Intuition is a mental concept.

Wise Sage is a term used to describe anyone who is wise.

Respiratory Quality: Condensing System

Metal is a metal element (ether)

Contracting movement

Symbol: Sword of the Whisk

Pineal Gland

Falling Seeds

Roll back in Tai Chi.

I Ching: Attraction/joy

West is the direction.

Courage, righteousness, appropriateness, and boldness are optimistic emotions.

Sadness, loss, dejection, and sadness are negative emotions.

Chi: the process of drying

Skin is nourished.

Tiger is a kind of animal.

Vitality is an attitude.

Hsi Wang Wu, Hsi Wang Wu, Hsi Wang Wu, Hsi

Lungs are a kind of organ.

Mucus is made.

Dry climate

Strengthens the body

White Tiger's Spirit

Smell is a sense (nose)


 Tung-Pin Lu

Lu Tung-Pin (Lu Dong Bin), also known as Ancestor Lu or Lu Yan, is a magnificently wise hero who lives on Stork Peak (fig. 4.7). He was born in the eighth century CE and is still living, according to legend. He was a Confucian philosopher who converted to Taoism after being introduced by fellow immortal Chuan Chung-Li into the mysteries of internal alchemy. He's riding a tiger, who represents the divine force that flows from the Taoist goddess Hsi Wang Mu, who rules the west. Lu Ting-Pin wears a horsehair whisk, which represents his desire to climb and walk on clouds. He is often shown with a magic sword with two edges (“demon slaying”) strapped to his back. A dragon gave him this sword of magical abilities. It enables him to take refuge in the heavens and become invisible to evil spirits. The three Thrusting Channels used in internal alchemy are symbolized by his three-part beard. He has the ability to fly thousands of miles in an instant and was known to scour China for people with good hearts, especially those who sacrificed their security and well-being to support those in need. When he came across those people, he would use his mystical abilities to assist them in becoming Taoist immortals.

When he caught the wealthy and wealthy oppressing the weak and vulnerable, he used the excuse to humiliate and execute them. The Chinese people have always adored and revered this legendary figure known as "Ancestor Lu." He lived 400 years on Earth and reappears on a regular basis.

He can be reached through mediums or direct contact during meditation or shaman journeying.


Hsien-Ku Ho Hsien-Ku Ho Hsien-Ku Identifying Features

Pink is a colour (yellow, which is associated with the center)

Good emotions include: openness, compassion, assurance, and certainty.

Worry, fear, uneasiness, and anguish are negative emotions.

Chi is a balancing force.

Muscles are nourished.

Female is her name. System of Asceticism: Digestive system

Neutralize the quality

Earth is the element.

Centering: Movement

Lotus blossom as a symbol

Parathyroid gland

Ripening Seeds

Shoulder attack in Tai Chi

Receptivity/docility, according to the I Ching.

Southwest is the direction

Kun (earth) (+) is a powerful force.

The number two (2)

Late summer is the season

The greatest source of energy is Yin is a Chinese character (-)

700 years ago (CE)

Saturn is a planet.

Deer is a mental animal.

Stabilizing mentality

Tung-Pin, Tung-Pin, Tung-Pin, Tung-Pin

Pancreas is a kind of organ.

Saliva is a product of the salivary glands.

Mild climate

Balances is the function of this object.

Yellow is the spirit colour. Phoenix is a city in Arizona.

Taste is a sense (mouth)

Who's that sound?


Ho Hsien-Ku (He Xian Gu) was born in the seventh century CE and is still alive today, at the age of over 1,400. (fig. 4.8). After meeting fellow immortal Lu Tung-Pin, who taught her internal alchemy and gave her a precious rare peach of immortality, she became an immortal at the age of fourteen. She was able to travel in her spirit body shortly after consuming the peach to pay tribute to Hsi Wang Mu, the great Taoist goddess of immortality. The goddess took her off to Ho Hsien-new Ku's home, the gardens of infinite space. She was able to stop menstruating and save her life-force vitality as a result. She also developed the capacity to feed herself solely from the sweet heavenly dew and the ever-present chi. She spent her childhood fortune-telling and travelling and floating from mountain peak to mountain peak collecting herbs and food for her mother and the sick. She even travelled to the mountains on a regular basis to meet other female immortals.

Hsien-Ku Ho 

She rose to prominence and was called to the empress of China to introduce herself. She disobeyed the royal order and rose to Heaven in broad daylight, vanishing from Earth. She was also seen floating on a rainbow cloud over the temple of Ma Ku, a renowned female Taoist adept, a few years later. Ho Hsien-Ku continues to appear to the righteous, innocent, and poor who are in desperate need of divine help.

She is depicted holding a magical lotus blossom, which represents her strength and innocence and is the flower of openheartedness and spiritual genius. She is astride a deer, which is a sign of endless energy and immortality.


Tieh-Kuai Li Tieh-Kuai Li Tieh-Kua Identifying Features

Red is the predominant colour.

Li (fire) (+) is a force.

The number nine (9)

Summer is the season.

Greater Yang's energy (-)

Year: 200 CE

Mars is the name of the planet.

Heating is referred to as Chi.

Blood cells are nourished.

Chimera is a kind of animal.

Prosperity is the attitude.

Hsi Wang Mu, Hsi Wang Mu, Hsi Wang Mu, Hsi

Heart Direction: South Organ: Heart

Good emotions include joy, affection, respect, pleasure, honour, and patience.

Hatred, impatience, desire, envy, and cruelty are negative emotions.

Mental: Ingenuity

Lame is a term used to describe someone who isn't very bright. System of the Beggars: Exciting Vascular Quality

Fire is the element.

Expansion in movement

Sweat is generated.

The weather is hot.

Function: energizes

Spirit Color: Red Bird of prey

Sensibility: (tongue)


Symbol: A crutch made of iron.

Thymus gland

Blooming seed

Tai Chi: Protect Yourself

Attention/awareness is a theme in the I Ching.

Tieh-Kuai Li Tieh-Kuai Li Tieh-Kua

During the Han Dynasty, Li Tieh-Kuai (Li Tie Guai) or "Iron Crutch Li" (fig. 4.9) was born (second century CE). He spent forty years in the mountains, committed to yoga to the point of forgetting to feed or sleep. According to tradition, he was directly exposed to Taoist practices by the great Taoist sage Laotzu. According to legend, he learned the art of immortality from the Taoist goddess Hsi Wang Mu, queen of the west.

He was once a handsome and well-built man of imposing height, but he was depicted as a lame and hideous beggar. Since his spirit body visited Lao-tzu, he underwent a transformation. He asked his student to keep an eye on his physical body for seven days, preventing it from being destroyed by birds, insects, and other spirits. If his student did not return within seven days, he ordered him to burn his corpse. The student discovered that his own mother was dead after just six days, so he burned Li's body and went to his mother's bedside. On the seventh day, Li returned and expressed his desire to join his body. He entered the corpse of a lame beggar who had just died, seeing that his body had been killed. He transformed the beggar's bamboo staff into an iron crutch and a magic staff by blowing water on it.

The staff and gourd are his symbols (a symbol of the universe). He will transmute matter with the staff and invent remedies and potions from his gourd after mastering the five phases of energy and effectively merging yin and yang into the one original energy.

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Eight Forces of Shamanic Taoism



Each of the eight forces—Kan (water), Li (fire), Chen (thunder), Tui (lake), Kun (earth), Ken (mountain), Sun (wind), and Chien (heaven)—is represented by a trigram made up of yin and yang lines.

Kan translates to "water."

Kan is the water element's power emblem, the collecting yin power, and is associated with the kidneys, ears, and sexual organs.


Li is the heart-connected power emblem of flames, the prospering power.


Chen is the thunder and lightning force emblem. Chen is associated with the liver and lungs, as well as the wood aspect and the ability to collect strength.

Lake Tui

Tui is a lake and rain power emblem, linked to the lungs and nose, the metal element, and contracting power.

Earth (Kun)

Kun is the earth's strength emblem, representing the calming power of peace. It is connected to the stomach and throat, as well as the spleen and pancreas.

Mountain Ken

Ken is the mountain's strength sign. It is a potent and stable force that is connected to the bladder, right sexual organs, and the back of the skull.


The sun is the wind's strength sign. The gallbladder and the base of the skull are also attached to it.

Chien - A Chinese word that means "heaven."

Chien is the expanding yang force of heaven's strength emblem. The left genital organs, the large intestine, and the forehead bone are also connected to it.

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Shamanic Taoism - Life-Force Energy's Essence

The Pearl: Life-Force Energy's Essence

An energy ball is formed by the pure life-force energy obtained from the organs and fused together during the Fusion practice. 

This energy ball can appear as a crystal or a gem, but it's most often mistaken for a radiant pearl. The first step in transitioning consciousness to a different dimension is to form the pearl.

The pearl is not perceived in the same manner by everybody. Some people do not see a pearl, but they may perceive it as an increased sense of focus or concentration. Some people can experience a surge of heat.

The pearl is seen by all as the essence of life-force energy. The Microcosmic Orbit then circulates this pearl. The pearl stimulates and consumes universal and earth powers as it circulates. 

They are also used to reinforce and purify the human body, particularly the organs and organ meridians, glands, and senses. Later on, the pearl is essential in the development and nourishment of the soul body, also known as the energy body. In the higher-level Kan and Li meditations, it is further established. 

You may also want to read more about Shamanism here.

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Shamanic Taoist Energy Centers


The Taoist shaman masters reasoned that in order to bind to the outside world, they had to first master their own inner universe.

They felt a surge of energy through their bodies, which they called chi. They found that two parental meridians circulate beyond the elemental system in addition to the organ-meridians. They have direct communication with spirit and interaction with the rest of the meridian network via the central energy centers (similar to yoga chakras).

The yang companion, the Governor Vessel or Channel, connects the energy centers of the back; the yin meridian, the Conception Vessel or Functional Channel, connects the energy centers of the front. When they're all linked, the Microcosmic Orbit, the body's main energy circuit, is created.

Microcosmic Orbit Meditation (Basic)

The Microcosmic Orbit meditation strengthens the mind's ability to direct, control, conserve, recycle, and transform energy through the body.

  1.  Touch your tongue to the roof of your mouth just below your front teeth to join the Governor Channel and the Functional Channel to form the Microcosmic Orbit.
  2.  Start with your eyes and encourage your mind to follow the energy as it flows down the front of your body through your tongue, neck, stomach, and navel, then up the tailbone and spine to your head. Allow the mind to drift with the energy as it circulates through the Microcosmic Orbit.

Practice of Fusing the Five Elements

Fusion of the Five Elements is the first step of Taoist Internal Alchemy, and it emphasizes on the association and fusion of all five elements and their correspondences, as well as their transformation into a harmonious whole of high-quality energy. This mechanism transforms, purifies, condenses, and combines the essence of life-force energy present in the lungs, glands, and senses with the universal force. The new source of energy that arises as a result of this mechanism has the potential to transform the human body for the better.

  1. The Governor Channel binds the back energy centers with the Functional Channel at the roof of the mouth to form the Microcosmic Orbit .
  2. The Functional Channel binds the front energy centers with the Governor Channel to complete the Microcosmic Orbit .

The toxic feelings associated with each organ and element are taken out of the organs and converted into a neutralized force during the Fusion practice, effectively “balancing the weather” of the body's total energies. 

This de-energized energy can be combined with positive energies found in the organs to provide pure life-force energy. “Refined red sand transforms into silver,” as the Taoists suggest. 

This suggests that fusing all of the various types of emotional energy together would result in a harmonious whole. Unrefined, "unfused" energy, on the other hand, would have the appearance of sand, fragmented and unable to hold together.

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Shamanic Taoism's Elemental Correspondences

The life-force energy of chi is thought to flow through the human body through a system of channels or meridians in traditional Chinese medicine.

The elements are linked to specific meridians, which are named after the internal organs as defined in traditional Chinese medicine, in addition to their seasonal correspondences. 

There are fourteen meridians in all, which together form a cycle through which chi circulates for twenty-four hours. Each meridian has a two-hour “period” during the day where the most energy is passing through it.

Each organ meridian has a yin or yang designation. The words yin and yang are commonly used to explain how objects interact. 

For eg, men are more yang and women are more yin, but there are others that are more yin or yang in addition to those of the same gender in both men and women. While fire is more yang than water and water is more yin than a tear drop, a candle is more yin than the sun and a wave is more yang than a tear drop. 

Yin meridians refer to the deeper organs of the body, including the heart, lungs, liver, spleen, and kidney. The yang channels attach the hollow organs, such as the intestines, uterus, and gallbladder, to the outer aspects. The yin meridians correspond to the more inner, mental, and metaphysical facets of life, while the yang meridians correspond to the more physical and mundane aspects.

A direction, a sense and sense organ, a color, a guardian animal, and positive and negative emotions are all correlated with each unit.

Fire in the South

Fire moves, it warms, it fires, it makes, and it kills. The sun rises, and fire nourishes the world, which is nourished by wood, which is regulated by metal, which is controlled by water.

  • In its positive nature, love is the virtue of fire force, while impatience is the negative emotion.
  • The sense of taste is the fire element's sense, and the tongue is the feature.
  • The Firebird or Red Pheasant is the guardian animal of fire. Its color is red, its season is summer, and its guardian animal is the Firebird or Red Pheasant.
  • The fire factor has four meridian systems: the Heart, Small Intestine, Triple Heater, and Heart Protector, or Pericardium, each of which serves a distinct function in the realm of the living.

Metal in the West

Metal is the factor of mystery, found in swords and shields, coins, bottles, and silver-backed mirrors. It represents and inspires, cuts and contains. Alchemists of ancient times attempted to transform base metal into gold.

  • Iron, which is formed in the depths of the planet, nourishes water. As in a blacksmith's forge, the sharp edge controls wood and is powered by flames.
  • Metal's positive emotion is bravery, while its negative emotion is misery, with associations of solitude, alienation, despair, and depression, especially the sadness of loss or unrequited love.
  • Smell is the sense of the metal element, so the nose is a characteristic of metal.
  • The metal is white, the season is autumn, and the White Tiger is the guardian bear.
  • Metal's yin meridian is Lung, and its yang meridian is Large Intestine.


The energy of birth, regeneration, and renewal, the unstoppability of creation, the bursting of bud through bough, is represented by the wood aspect. Wood energy is strong, dynamic, and competitive (to the point of aggression). Trees uproot the pavements of city streets, and small plants flourish in the brick walls of houses.

  • Wood (tree, plant life) is a fluid element with roots that reach deep into the soil, a trunk that grows upright toward the heavens, and branches that extend outward.
  • Trees fight for sun above ground to provide shelter for the ground below. They are alive because water nourishes them, and their roots keep the soil in balance. They are sliced by metal and serve as a source of firewood.
  • Wood turns water's conception energy into a desire for life: survival, sexual desire, or the continuity of the species, as well as the need to evolve or develop.
  • In its positive side, the virtue of wood energy is kindness, while the negative emotion is indignation.
  • The sense of sight is the wood element's sense, and it is probably our most strong sense: our eyes receive 90% of our sensory feedback.
  • Green is the color of the wood, spring is the season, and the Dragon is the guardian animal.
  • Liver is the yin meridian for Wood, and Gall Bladder is the yang meridian.

Earth's center or southwest

The planet remains motionless. Earth is our Mother, and she takes care of all of our needs. Anything we use is made on Earth, and it just takes a little effort to transform it into anything from a spacecraft to a wheelbarrow.

  • Metal is born deep inside the world. As the sun shines on the world, bringing light and life, the earth supports water, is kept in place by wood, and nourished by fire.
  • The optimistic side of earth energy is calmness, while the negative emotion is worry.
  • The sense of touch is the earth element's sense, and the mouth is its attribute.
  • The earth's color is yellow, the harvest season is when the fields are yellow and gold, and the Golden Phoenix is the guardian animal.
  • Stomach, yang, and Spleen, yin, are earth aspect meridians.

Water in the North

Is it true that creation began when a bolt of lightning hit the sea? If water has the ability to sustain life, it also has the ability to destroy it. Noah's planet was destroyed by a tsunami.

  • Water is the shape-shifter of nature, frozen solid as liquid, boiling into steam, and streaming as a teardrop or a tidal wave. When left to its own devices, pure water adapts to any form, fits in any bottle, and still flows down to the lowest level—a good thing to consider when “going with the flow.”
  • Rivers drain into the ocean, where they evaporate into clouds, and then fall down on the planet, replenishing the rivers. 
  • Water nourishes plant life, such as wood, and is nourished by the minerals through which it is derived, such as metal. Planet keeps riverbanks and seas in place. Water still regulates flames, which you might be aware from the barbecue and the fire department.
  • Water has the virtues of gentleness and wisdom, as well as the feeling of terror.
  • The sense of hearing is associated with the water element: the ears are a part of water.
  • The color of water is blue, and the season is winter, which is the time of death and childbirth. Turtles and deer are the guardians of the water.
  • Kidney, yin, and Bladder, yang, are the water element's meridian.

Each living being, in the eyes of the shaman, is a microcosm of these elemental powers, representing the cosmos and its interacting powers. The interplay between them determines one's health and well-being. 

  • Rage, frustration, anxiety, impatience, and worry are all emotions that arise from interactions between entities. 
  • Kindness, compassion, calm, bravery, and gentleness are all positive emotions that feed each other and help to control negative emotions. 
  • Acting in a way that is counter to our own nature can cause imbalances in our elemental relationships, which can result in a "state" of dis-ease within an individual. 

When such imbalances occur, the shaman will tell which element is threatening the others or which element is too powerless to stand up for itself. Within elements, organs, meridians, and points, the shaman tries to harmonize yin and yang.

You may also want to read more about Shamanism here.

Also, be sure to check out our section on Religion.

Five Elements of Shamanic Taoism

The five elements are five fundamental energy transitions that result from yin and yang interactions. The five tendencies of energy in motion are represented by the physical elements contained in nature (wood, fire, earth, metal, and water). 

  1. Wood is a symbol of growing and producing electricity. 
  2. Fire is a symbol of expanding and radiating light. 
  3. Earth is a symbol of centering and stabilizing powers.
  4. Metal reflects solidifying and contracting force. 
  5. Water is a type of energy that conserves, gathers, and sinks.

The seasons are linked to the five elements. 

  • The green flowering of new growth in plants and trees that bear fruit in the scorching heat of summer occurs in the spring. 
  • Before the grey autumn sets in, ripe yellow fields lie waiting to be harvested.
  • When the water turns to ice in the winter, life goes indoors to perish after conceiving anew for spring. Under Heaven, the seasons shift. 
  • The elements are the spirits of the seasons, which govern the human landscape as rain does the mundane world.

What does fire feel like? 

What exactly does it do? 

  • Fire warms and comforts, burns and kills, dances like flame, and is difficult to comprehend.
  • Earth, the planet is peaceful, well-balanced, and earthy! We don't hear it hurtling through the sun at thousands of miles per hour when we live with it.
  • Metal is strong, rough, and sharp, and it has the ability to cut, contain, mirror, and inspire. Warmth can also be used to melt and mold metal.

The elements of wood and metal are represented by these trees growing around rocks.

Water may be still or turbulent, aggressive or submissive. Water can transform into ice, steam, tears, or tidal waves in the blink of an eye.

Wood has a distinct emphasis and intent, competes for light, and expands in all directions.

Different facets of the elements have different effects on one another, some of which are nourishing and others which are controlling. 

The “Cycle of Support” describes their nourishing influences, while the “Lines of Control” describes their governing influences.

In a cycle of support, the elements nourish one another.

  1. The light, or fire, bestows blessings on the earth.
  2. Metal is formed deep within the planet.
  3. Water gushes out from the metal rock.
  4. Water nourishes plant life and timber.
  5. And fire is fueled by wood.

Too much heat can scorch the soil, causing the springs to dry up, or too little sun can leave crops unripe.

In the Lines of Control, elements regulate one another.

  1. Metal is melted by fire.
  2. Wood is harmed by metal.
  3. The world is gripped by wood.
  4. Water is guided by the Earth.
  5. Fire is regulated by water.

Metal often refuses to melt, either because it is too strong or because the flame is too weak; wood will blunt the axe; eroded soil is too rough or crumbling for roots to grip; flash floods smash the banks; and too much fire evaporates water.

You may also want to read more about Shamanism here.

Also, be sure to check out our section on Religion.