Gone (Buffy, Season 6, Episode 11)


The supervillains return in this episode with a new invention:  an invisibility ray gun.  Being invisible is an essential element for any plan to be the ultimate villain.  After all, think of all the security measures which rely on the sense of sight to exert their power!  The villains plan backfires, however, when Buffy turns invisible after being hit with the invisibility gun. This might seem like an excellent addition to Buffy’s arsenal of superpowers.  Problem is, Buffy will slowly turn to goo if she doesn’t become visible again. A return to visibility via magic isn’t in the making now, either:  Willow is learning to do things the hard way, without magic.  So what can Chinese Medicine do?

Qi is that which transforms.  Herbal medicine relies on transforming qi in order to effect change in the body.  Herbal medicine developed hand in hand with alchemy.  Alchemy, too, focuses on transformation:  the transformation of the body into an immortal, an ethereal being, or at the very least, a mindful long-lived person.  Alchemists didn’t rely solely on herbal medicine, however.  In addition to nei gong or qi gong, they also experimented with acupuncture as a way to induce an alchemical transformation of the embodied spirit.  Since Buffy has been transformed in such a way as to become invisible, it makes sense to try to transform her back into a visible person through the use of alchemy.

Several systems of alchemical acupuncture were advanced.  Ma Dong Yuan’s Twelve star-points is one system.  Sun Si Miao was a proponent of another system (or systems).  One of these, described by Jeffrey Yuen, makes use of the Extraordinary Vessels.  The patient, or more properly, the initiate, is taken along the course of the EVs, but not in the order of EV development.  Rather than beginning with Chong-Ren-Du and progressing to Dai Mai, the needling begins by treating the Qiao Mai first, and ultimately bringing the ‘void’ or ‘perception’ governed by the Qiao to the terrain of the Wei mai.  That terrain is the structure of life through time, in cycles of seven and eight.  The goal, in other words, is to progress through the lessons of this life in a much shorter time frame, so that the initiate can get to work on the next stage of existence.

I will only sketch the treatment here, as the fuller protocol draws in points on other channels related to the sequence of EVs.  Note, treatment is not necessarily done over the course of one session only, but usually over the course of several sessions.  A vibrating technique on the needle is important to activate the jing in the vessels.

First, begin by massaging and opening the windows to the sky points, from the back of the neck at Du-14 and Du-16 to the front at ST-9 and CV-22.  Since the purpose of this sort of alchemy is to achieve a stillness of mind and equanimity of the senses, proper circulation of qi in the points which govern those senses is the foundation for further treatment.

Second, address the Qiao Mai.  That is, introduce the initiate to the possibility of void, by bringing awareness of that individual’s experience and vision of the self (yin qiao) and the moment or what is in the world (yang qiao mai).  The points to needle are of course UB-62 and KD-6.  The vessels meet at BL-1.

Third, consolidate that awareness and bring to the surface what else may be hidden.  Prepare the person to let go of experiences so that the future can be approached from a position of spontaneity and creation.  The Dai mai and Bao mai should be needled.  The Dai Mai is opened with GB-41, while the Bao Mai can be activated by needling the luo points on the Ren and Du Mai:  CV-15 and Du-1.  The Bao Mai is mostly an internal channel, but the Dai Mai has several points circling the waist which could be needled.  BL-23 may be a good choice, but so may BL-52, the shu point of the Will.

In theory, the Ren and Du could be needled next, to show the person their remaining foundation, that is the materials they have to work with (Ren Mai) and the construction they can accomplish (Du Mai).  The channels are opened at LU-7 and SI-3, and meet at CV-1.

Finally, now that the person is aware of past visions of life and has been able to let them go, but has nonetheless come to see the materials and tools with which he or she is still nonetheless endowed, the Wei mai can be worked on.  These channels are concerned with bringing forwards the lessons to be learned at each cycle of 7 and 8 years in a person’s life.  It may be that from this point onwards, the treatments will need to return to the Qiao Mai, to clear new assumptions, new attachments, and further concealed creative abilities.  As always, the orifices should be kept open.

Observant readers will note the Chong Mai (blueprint – ethnicity, gender, curriculum) is not used.   Alchemists say chong gives birth to the outer bladder line, the so-called spirit points.  The chong transmutes jing into qi and therefore rises on back, using san jiao, but the fire pushes it out further, into the outer bladder line, to BL-10 and to the Brain with an impact on BL-10 and Qiao vessels).  As a vessel most touching on the development of the Ling through the course of the EVs, the chong need not be worked on.  In theory, however, the chong mai would be the first vessel to work with, primarily for its role in clearing gu-parasites, which are often contained from further harming the body by the blood.  The Chong is the sea of blood, the container of the containing vessel of the three worms (desire, greed, anger).

Classically, Sulfur (lower warmer), Realgar (SP and middle warmer), Antimony (heart and upper warmer) were used as herbal adjuncts in alchemical treatments.  However, since I am trying to focus on the Warm Disease school (or at least Ye Tian-shi as the forerunner of that school), what do concepts of warm diseases and bodily transformation, securing the exterior have to offer us?

One treatment method in the warm disease school, for particularly serious conditions before a patient begins to lose consciousness, is to open the orifices.  Given that Buffy cannot see or be seen, opening the orifices which concern seeing, smelling, tasting, and hearings sounds like a good idea.  Besides, opening the orifices is the first step in an alchemical programme anyway.   As one warm-disease manual by Eastland Press (http://www.eastlandpress.com/preview/wd.pdf ) states, “If the wind-heat has progressed directly to the Pericardium, the heat should be cleared and the orifices opened as quickly as possible with aromatic, bitter, and cold herbs such as Calculus Bovis (niu huang), Borneol (bing pien), Cornu Rhinoceri (xi jiao), Herba Lophatheri Gracilis (dan zhu ye), Radix Salviae Miltiorrhizae (dan shen), Rhizoma Coptidis (huang lian), and Fructus Forsythiae Suspensae (lian qiao).”

As always, these posts are for entertainment and educational purposes only.  If you would like to speed up your curriculum in this world and approach life form a standpoint of ethereal spontaneity, please raise your concerns to a qualified practitioner.  In the meantime,

Happy Slayage!

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