Opening the Autumn Gates

Mystery of the Valley-Spirit
School of Healing Arts

谷神不死, 是谓玄牝。玄牝之门, 是谓天地根绵绵若存, 用之不勤。
The Valley-Spirit does not die: her name is the Divine Mother.
The portal to the Divine Mother is called the birthplace of Heaven and Earth.
Her song continuously resounds as though she is always birthing.
Use her song (to its completion), yet she remains.

Liqiu: Autumn Newsletter, 7 August 2018

Dear Friends,

Here at the Valley-Spirit School, we are forming community and building relationships. We are preparing to form a Non-profit organization that can serve, teach, share, support, nourish, and heal. We are now an official Chinese Medicine CEU/PDA provider. We also offer a full certificate program open to all in Valley-Spirit Herbalism. All are welcome to participate in our endeavor, to join our classes, to become members, students and teachers with us, and to collaborate and practice with us.

As of 6:32am, the Autumn gate has opened and the Great Heat of summer no longer can continue to come from the Heavens. We are called by the Earth to begin the harvest. The Earth now begins to offer up the necessary conclusions and reflections of all our spring and summer strivings and what they have brought about. She prepares us for what is to come. It is the time of Earth-Fire, a time of great abundance, bursting and exploding with ripeness, or with over-fullness. It is the beginning of conclusions, the completion of the forms; yet she models the healing gesture: give generously of yourself to others.

According to the Wuyun Liuqi (五運六氣 “Five Migrations and Six Influences) system, Taiyin Earth will now (through the rest of the year) increasingly play a role in balancing the clash between Fire and Water, in this Taiyang Water year. When Fire flares, as it is doing, what else is there to do but for Water to find a way to bring about balance and harmony? Yet, when Water is stirred, is it really stoppable?

In the Qimen Dunjia (奇門遁甲 “Extraordinary Gate Through Which One Can Hide the Most Essential Thing”) system, a system of describing and predicting change in a given time and space that is deeply linked with the foundations of Chinese medicine, it is recognized that there is no way to actually control Water. We have all learned that Earth controls Water, but how can it actually do this other than emptying a space for it? The Earth must use the Water and let it flow; it must guide it by getting out of its way. There is no greater power than Water.

Seen from the cosmos, Earth is essentially a water droplet; she is a great power in the cosmos. Like Water, she does not fight: she only gives of herself.

上善若水。
水善利万物而不争,
处众人之所恶, 故几于道。
The highest good is like water:
Water’s goodness benefits all and not itself;
the place seen as evil by most people: this is just like the Dao.

居善地,
心善渊,
与善仁,
言善信,
政善治,
事善能,
动善时。
A place’s goodness (comes from) the Earth
The heart’s goodness (comes from) its Abyss
A community’s goodness (comes from) its Compassion
Speech’s goodness (comes from) its Truthfulness
A government’s goodness (comes from) its Organization
A thing’s goodness (comes from) its Capability
An action’s goodness (comes from) its Timing

夫唯不争, 故无尤。
And one who does not fight has no evil (and is without blame).
- Daodejing 8 (my translation)

Sincerely,
Michael