Betrayal. In theatre and storytelling, betrayal often serves merely to move the action forward. It can also add depth to a character. Either way, it furthers the plot by complicating it, adding new twists and knots to be spun out and unraveled.
In this episode, betrayal serves both ends. In the form of a rogue Watcher, betrayal serves to further the action of the plot by providing a quest for an ancient artefact of evil. It also serves to give us insight into Faith’s character, by playing on her past experiences and foreshadowing her future actions.
It seems Faith has had a history of betrayal, and her outlook on life reflects that. The events of this episode only build on that foundation, and push her further away from trust in other people.
Unraveling a patient’s history is part of what happens in the clinic. Oftentimes, patients come to us feeling betrayed — by parents, children, friends, society, the medical profession. Sometimes this betrayal is strictly perceptual; other times, as in the case of rape or childhood abuse, the betrayal is shockingly physical. Either way, betrayal cuts to the deepest aspects of the patient’s being, touching their essential nature, impacting the expression of their soul in this world.
Because of this depth, the channel system we might choose to work with are the Extraordinary Vessels, in particular, the Qiao, Wei, and Dai Mai.
Usually, betrayal happens when we begin to move out into the world; for this reason we work with the channels which develop only after the person has begun to move into society. This movement into society produces emotions and feelings which may or may not be made sense of. In such cases, the emotions may be held, unprocessed, as Luo Vessels. According to the Nan Jing, these luo vessels will eventually drain into the Yin and Yang Wei Extraordinary Vessels. In this way, the EVs serve as irrigation ditches, to catch the overflow of emotions which cannot be dealt with immediately. Instead, these emotions drain into the EVs, thereby becoming incorporated into the curriculum or karmic path which a person has to work out in their lives and in their health. The jing contains the pattern one is to work with in this life, and the EVs are repositories of jing.
In simpler terms, a person can also incorporate his or her experiences directly into the pattern of response, the stance he or she takes towards the world. The EVs which govern that sort of attitude are the Yin and Yang Qiao Mai.
Some persons, though, might be born into the world with an innate sense of betrayal, something carried over from their particular lineage (as for example, ethnic groups which have experienced attempted genocide, or which have fallen from power as a result of political intrigues). In that case, one might choose to work with one of the ancestral EVs, particularly the Chong Mai, which contains the “blueprint” or “syllabus” for what one will naturally be drawn to explore over the course of maturing in this life.
Since, however, we are focusing on Faith’s character, we will concentrate only on the EVs of what Jeffrey Yuen calls the “Second Ancestry” — that is, the knots we pick up in this life which we add to our future lineage to work out, if we ourselves haven’t been able to resolve those issues ourselves.
First, we would want to work with Yang Qiao Mai, to acknowledge that it is Faith’s view of the world which has been compromised by betrayal. (Later, in the Angel series, we would choose to use Yin Qiao Mai, since it becomes obvious it is her sense of herself which has been lost.) BL-1 is an ideal point to use in these cases, as it relates directly to the eyes, that is, to how we see things.
We would also want to help restore Faith’s trust. KD-8, Xin Jiao, “Meeting Faith” or “Meeting Trust” is the xi-cleft point on the Yin Qiao Mai. The xi-cleft point is used to address pain, and thus this point is particularly known to help those who suffer from pain due to a violation of trust or faith.
The EV which is responsible for how we integrate our experiences is the paired Wei Mai. The Yin Wei Mai is the vessel which deals with contingency plans — and Faith is the epitome of always having a contingency plan (generally of opting out, or relying only on herself, which contrasts with Buffy’s self-confident self-reliance, which isn’t a contingency so much as the initial plan). I would use CV-22, a Window to the Sky point, to help release some of Faith’s pent up reactivity. She habitually closes herself off to speaking her pain, so CV-23 could also be a good choice. For someone who internalised experiences even more than Faith does, I would choose SP-13, the meeting place of the Stomach (which internalises experiences and emotions as well as food) with the LV, KD, and SP channels — in other words, with blood, jing, and intent (or ying qi).
The completed point prescription, which would use a deep and vibrating needle technique, would be:
Left BL-62, bilateral KD-8, BL-1; CV-22, right PC-6. Needles would be retained for 40 minutes. Treatments would be once a week for three months.
As for herbal medicine, one would think of nourishing yin with substances like Xuan Shen (which is used for patients going through a “dark night of the soul”), Han Lian Cao, and Nu Zhen Zi, would come into play. Adding to those three an herb which opens the orifices would help the person release the pathogen, redeem it by returning it to heaven, as it were. Yuan Zhi comes to mind as an excellent herb for this sort of work (especially when the will — the acknowledged overall pattern for one’s life — seems weakened by the experience), although Shi Chang Pu is also highly regarded. I personally favour musk when the blood and emotions seem excessively stagnant. An additional recommendation for Shi Chang Pu is provided by the Shen Nong Ben Cao, which describes its use for helping a person articulate their voice. So using this herb might dovetail nicely with the use of CV-23 as a Yin Wei Mai point.
As always, these posts are for theoretical purposes only. If you feel you could benefit from the tradition of Asian Medicine, please see a qualified practitioner.