After Life (Buffy, Season 6, Episode 3)

The problem with magic, or perhaps with any decision, are the inevitable consequences.  In this episode, the consequences of bringing Buffy back from the dead have resulted in a Poltergeist twin.  The poltergeist haunts each of the Scoobies until it (she?) discovers that to survive, all she needs to do is kill Buffy.

Anyone notice the Maxfield Parish painting in Willow and Tara’s room? An acquaintance of mine when I lived in SF had one at the top of his stairs; it was a nice reminder to me of my first life in California.

This episode was about making connexions, typically through going out into the world and exploring it. Of course, it was also about poltergeists, dead photos, and thomogenesis, too.  What connects those three aspects is memory:  a poltergeist is a haunting of something which has not been properly lain to rest; the dead photos are exactly that:  all photos are of a time that lives only in memory; and thomogenesis, in this case, is about the creation of a twin whose life isn’t embodied.  It is the recreation of the sense of what was.  Of course, the particular poltergeist in this episode has a less than pleasant idea of what was, perhaps…

In terms of the Extraordinary vessels, the Du Mai is concerned with sensory perception, making connexions, and going out into the world.  The third of the initial triad in human development, the du mai is associated with the spine.  It lends qi to the upright posture, moves yang to the sensory orifices (in concert with the ST meridian), and flows through the brain, where jing and shen meet to form memories in the ‘sea of marrow’.

The Du Mai is also concerned with consequences:  it is the first really yang channel, the first channel concerned with movement, rather than reception.  It is also a channel intimately connected with thought, the generator of karma.  (Thoughts have consequences, after all.)  Interestingly, the Du Mai is also the vessel by which the spirits exit the body at death.

When a person dies, it is said the po-spirits leave by Du-1, while the hun exit at Du-20 (which happens to be the end of LV channel).  This is an interesting idea, since the Du Mai also contains Ming Men, the gate of destiny, which is the drive to live and be embodied. The seven stars of the Big Dipper constellation (where spirits go to enter the other world) are embedded in Du Mai as well, and ancient sources conceive of the body hanging from the stars via a cord emerging form Du-20, like a marionette.

Clearly, for the acupuncture treatment in this episode, I will choose the Du Mai.  Lies and speech circle around one another in the episode.  Du-15, ‘Mute Gate’ seems to be a particularly apt point to needle after opening the channel at SI-3.  I might also stimulate yang qi with moxa at Du-4.  Du-16, Du-23 and YinTang, plus Du-26 (when bled), are all ghost points, and so may be useful for expelling the poltergeist — though I might settle for just bloodletting Du-23, the first of the ghost points.  YinTang is one of the last of the ghost points.  Perhaps I might combine just those two:  Du-26 and YinTang, with Du-15 added in to give voice to Buffy’s body.

Something about ghosts, though, is that they need some yang energy to move onwards.  The Du Mai is the sea of yang.  Ye Tian-Shi recommends Lu Rong as the herb to tonify the yang of Du Mai.  Xi Xin is used for expelling ghosts, but should only be used with ginger to moderate its toxicity.  A simple, though awkward formula would contain just those three herbs, in very small amounts.  I might consider instead the formula Ma Huang Fu Zi Xi Xin Tang, as an analogue, in which I substitute Sheng Jiang as the exterior-releasing herb, Lu Rong as the yang tonic, and Xi Xin remains the same.  The purpose is to warm the yang to transform phlegm and resolve the ghost.

As always, these posts are for entertainment purposes only.  If you or a loved one have accidentally generated a homicidal ghost-twin, please see a qualified practitioner. 

Happy Slayage!


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