Sleeper (Buffy, Season 7, Episode 8)


The opening sequence for this episode ends with a scene of Spike digging a grave for the people he sired.  At the climax of the episode, they rise up from the dirt of a cellar and attack Buffy.  The vampires hold her still so that Spike can be the one to kill Buffy; but upon tasting her blood, his memories of killing humans comes back to him.  The episode closes with Spike brought to the Summers house to be watched.  (Technically, the episode ends with an axe being swung at England-based Giles by one of the Bringers.)  In the midst of the episode, references about rumours of Spike hunting are framed as ‘accusations from a pile of dust’, alluding to the vampire Buffy slayed in the previous episode.  She staked him; the body returned to the earth.  In this episode, we also see the First continuing to take the form of dead things, or at least things that had died, and were (presumably) buried at some point.

All these references to dust, dead people, and things rising from the earth make me think of a key aspect of Channel Divergences:  the channel trajectory often moves from points collectively known as ‘Doorways to the Earth’ and ascend to the ‘Windows to the Sky’.  This post, then, will look at the physiology of Doorway to the Earth points in more detail.

To begin with a list, the Doorways to the Earth generally include the six primary channel points of BL-40, KD-11, GB-30, LV-12, ST-30, SP-12, and the four Extraordinary vessel points of CV-1, CV-4, Du-1, and Du-4.  Their psycho-spiritual purpose is to eliminate what is no longer part of one’s ‘realised being’ or ‘authentic self’ (zhen ren).  They are thus used for draining out of heavy yin pathogens, and are often paired with yang-oriented Windows of the Sky points.  The pairing of Doorway and Window points serves also to ‘return to the self’:  after having transformed qi into shen and shen into xu (void), the person must return to him or herself and continue to live life.  The doorway points, all located on the lower body, also help ground a person; but this grounding is in what is essential to the person, that is, they clarify jing and yuan qi circulation.  In origin, they relate to the 12 earthly branches, while the windows to heaven relate to the ten heavenly stems.

That is is the general overview of the points.  How does each point serve these functions?  What differentiates each point with regard to their general applications?

Bl-40, ‘Middle Defence’ or ‘Wei in the Centre’:  Starting at KD-1, this point pushes wei qi into gluteus.  It is an important point in the practice of Tai Ji, as it helps spiral qi between the Dan Tian or Ming Men down towards the ground at KD-1.  Physiologically, it is the end point of a channel which emerges at BL-23, and is capable of opening the Ming Men (‘Gate of Fate’).   As one of Ma Dongyuan’s constellation points, it treats wind bi, spasms, and tremors.  Functionally, it is also known for treating diarrhea, lumbar pain, and numbness of lower extremities.  In other words, it strengthens the centre to enable the body to consolidate its qi.  If diarrhea is due to wei qi attacking the fu organs, it helps disperse the wei qi outwards; or rather, through moving yin into the hips and legs, it draws the wei qi out from the interior body.  BL-40 drains excess so that qi will not leak out (loss of qi often accompanies episodes of diarrhea, one reason for salt moxa at CV-8 in patients with recurring diarrhea).  Because BL-40 drains yin into the lower extremities, sometimes pairing it with a yang point like ST-36 will help prevent the legs from feeling too heavy.  Pairing the point with ST-30 will help regulate the flow of yin through the pelvis.

KD-11, ‘Curved Bone’:  This is a Chong Mai point, and therefore relates to blood and emotions in the person.  It treats dysuria, pain of genitals, pain in Dan Tian, and treats shriveled genitals.  In terms of yin or authenticity, it treats the pain of letting go and transformation.  It also enables a person to pass on his or her essence to others (e.g. progeny, disciples, students).  This ‘essence’ can include what is no longer his or hers, and in terms of the patient him or herself, enables the patient to recognise what is authentically part of one’s own life to work out and what is not.

GB-30, ‘Jumping Round’:  Another of Ma DongYuan’s constellation points, this point is associated with Yuan Qi when cupped.  From BL-40, wei qi gets moved to the gluteals at GB-30, enabling the patient to jump, to move to heaven.  This point gives renewal in the sense of deepening one’s breathing (the point treats asthma) in order to make those leaps of faith.  Functionally, the piont is usually used to treat atrophy of the lower limbs and  pain or numbness in low back.    Psycho-spiritually, the point is effective in addressing grieving, especially for the self.  When needled and moxa applied, the patient may sob and let go of loss; moxa brings warmth they look for.

LV-12, ‘Urgent Pulse’, treats hernia and bulging disorders.  Hernia is an accumulation of yin qi at the expense of yang qi.  It also treats pain in the external genitalia and in the lower dan tian.  Again, like KD-11, it helps a patient let go of the pain of transformation, particularly when this transformation entails delegating tasks to other people, future progeny or disciples.  The master who jealously guards secrets so that his or her disciples will never be better than him or her, or the official who will never let the assistants take on responsibility and grow into effective leaders — this point is for that sort of person.  But LV-12 is also, perhaps even primarily for, for the person who has taken on too much themselves, and their ability to actually get the work done is leading them to literally break at the seams.

ST-30, ‘Surging Qi’ or ‘Qi of the Chong Mai’, is the upper point of Grains and Fluids.  It is known for treating food toxicity, allergies, and indigestion — conditions in which wei qi has become stuck internally.  ST-30 ascends yin to the pelvis in order to cool the stuck wei qi.  A person who is having trouble digesting the experiences of life, feeling constantly on the defence against how they interact in the patient’s inner world — this is the point for them.  It will help bring an internal stillness to the person.

SP-12, the Gate of Chong, was addressed in the previous post.  As a point on the Sea of Blood, it gives an entryway into seeing how one’s emotional life connects with one’s ‘blueprint’ in life.  Alternately, it can help bring emotion back into that blueprint, for people who have become ‘burnt out’.  Again, yin is addressing yang at this point.

CV-1, ‘Meeting of Yin’:  This is a ghost point, ‘ghost hide-away’.  As such, it treats certain types of psychological symptoms.  These symptoms often take the form of rapid or disconnected thoughts; ideas which are difficult to grasp, or a train of thought designed to keep a person from actually thinking through the root of a problem (i.e. a ‘ghost’ is trying to throw people of the right track).  It is an area of concentrated yin, being on the lowest part of the trunk of the body.  CV-1 also treats local symptoms, like  vaginitis, retention of urine, hemorrhoids, and nocturnal emissions.  It regulates the inflow and outflow of essence in a person’s body (emissions, urine).  It also treats wind in the lower body (vaginitis, hemorrhoids) through its ability to bring yin to bear in the region.

Du-1 has two names, ‘Gate of Po’ and ‘Long Strong’.  It is the place where the po-spirits exist the body at death (or every seven years).  It connects with lower orifices to treat an excess or lack of peristalsis and an inability to consolidate.  As the Luo of Du Mai, it functions to treat the spine as a whole, whether manifesting as stiffness or a shaking head.  It treats the emotions as they relate to individuation, being able to raise one’s head and gaze directly out at the world.  It allows that solidity by securing the yin at the root of the trunk, firmly grounding the person in his or her body.

CV-4, Gateway to the Origin:  This commonly used point is known for its ability to benefit the yin, nourish and stabilise the kidneys.  Less well known is is function of restoring yang, through which it is able to regulate the qi of the body.

Du-4, Doorway to Destiny:  Awareness of this low back point is essential for proper movement, and as such, it is emphasised in most martial arts training.  A powerful point, Ming Men nourishes yuan qi and the kidneys.  it is the place from which the Triple Warmer mechanism begins to raise up the yuan qi to irrigate the shu points of the body’s viscera.  Original qi (yuan qi) is drawn up from here, dispersed to nourish the kidney organs (the kidneys store the essence, but they still need an externally-received nourishment from that essence), then upwards to the Spleen, Liver, Diaphragm and blood, Pericardium, Heart, Lungs, and the Orifices of the Brain.  The hollow organs are interspersed throughout this pathway, and also receive nourishment from the Ming Men.  As the Doorway to Destiny, it is the place where a person begins to see how his or her lineage meets his or her particular ways of being in the world, and what areas of life will need the strongest resources in order to meet those challenges and goals.

Spike, of course, was busy closing up any doorways to the earth, so that he would not be found out.  Had Buffy not entered the scene and one by one addressed the dead things that were latent in those holding zones, they would have acquired too great a number and ultimately overwhelmed her.  Our Slayer, however, had an idea already of what her authentic self was:  a warrior, a strategist, who knew just which resources were the strongest and in need of saving.  The inadvertant offspring of Spike were quickly dusted, and Spike himself brought inwards, to the Summers’ household.

As always, these posts are for entertainment and educational purposes only.  If you or a loved one is being attacked by things long buried, please seek qualified assistance.

Happy slayage!

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