Kennedy finally manages to make her move on Willow in this episode. To Kennedy’s shock, Willow turns into Warren as a result of a rather passionate kiss. We later learn that the transformation resulted from a curse Amy had placed on Willow (setting up a conflict for Season 8), though Amy did not choose the form Willow would take. The magic decided on the ‘Form the soul requires’ to use Amy’s phrase. Slowly, Willow begins to adopt Warren’s characteristics, even to the point of bringing a gun to the Summer’s household and almost replaying the scene which led to Tara’s death. Ultimately, Kennedy manages to reverse the spell with another kiss, and Willow resolves her feelings of guilt about potentially betraying Tara by moving on with life, and love, in this world.
The other storyline in this episode is that Spike’s chip has begun to misfire, causing him severe pain. He and Buffy seek a way to have it fixed or removed. Giles takes the potentials into the desert to meet the First Slayer. The potentials fight over who gets to drive, and Buffy comments that she bets Giles is really regretting letting his CA driver’s license lapse after he returned to England. (As a curious side note: I just happened to have recently renewed my CA State driver’s license, after being away in England. the little driver’s ed booklet notes it is illegal in CA to put people in the trunk of a vehicle.)
This episode presents a perfect means to remember that Channel Divergences treat Form, not Function: Willow becomes Warren, outwardly. She takes Warren’s form, but she still functions as Willow, at least at first. In contrast, Spike’s chip is misfiring: function, not form. No CDs for him. Amy, though, seems to have a functioning BL-KD channel divergence. Her Jing-essence met wei qi in such a way that she was able to see herself, even if that only happened when she hit rock bottom. For Amy, the channel divergence functioned to weave together karma (rock bottom repercussions), lineage (from her mother’s magicks), and form (Amy did turn herself into a rat at one point, now that I think of it…).
Although outward form may be thought of as a jing issue, in fact, the root of Willow’s pathology lies elsewhere, in the shen, and by extension, the Heart. Yet all Channel Divergences go to the Heart, so to make a diagnosis, first consider the ‘trigger’: Kennedy’s kiss. Willow has cold feet, or cold limbs. (A psychoanalyst might even have ventured that Willow wants to be ‘frigid’ sexually.) The trigger shows that the pathogen current resides in the sinew vessels, affected with cold. Then, look at where the pathogen will move next: Willow is starting to act like Warren: the shen, affect, and brain will take on the pathology. All elements — the source-spell, the trigger, and the progression — point to the Small Intestine – Heart Channel Divergence as the appropriate channel to treat.
In general, the SI-HT Channel Divergence is where the marrow-nourishing ye-thick fluid begins to be consumed. Wei qi heat enters the marrow, chasing the shen and hun spirits, giving rise to increasing pyschosis, schizophrenia, or epilepsy. Regarding the SI CD specifically, ye is drawn away from the muscles, resulting in cold limbs (sexual sense), muscle atrophy, MS, and Raynaud’s symptoms. The cold limbs result from lack of wei qi, as the wei qi has gone interior and can no longer circulate exteriorly to keep the body warm. Motility and mobility of muscles is compromised as they are no longer nourished by either blood or ye-fluid. Sinew wind symptoms, such as seizures, convulsions. and epilepsy begin to manifest.
It should come as no surprise then, that the SI CD trajectory contains a variety of points which relate to the sinew vessels, marrow, and wei qi.
The channel begins at SI-10. This point moves blood into sinews. Here, the body can harnesses qi to move blood and expel wind, or pathologically, blood and fluid are drawn away by this point from muscle in order to keep pathogenic factors latent. Indications for using this point include a loss of strength, and numbness. The body needs blood to hold onto feeling. It is a useful point to add to treatments for MS.
From SI-10, the channel moves to HT-1, ‘Ultimate Spring’, before reaching the confluent point of the SI-HT Channel Divergence at GB-22.
GB-22 is also the confluent point of yin sinew meridians of the arm. Both the sinew vessels and the channel divergences pertain to the terrain of wei qi, and this point is a place where chronic conditions often enter the body. GB-22 was also once a contender as the point for the Great Luo of the Spleen. It therefore connects to the luo vessels, to blood, and to the Da Bao. Not only is the association with the sinews and blood continued at this point (an association usually thought of as related to the Liver’s mastery of the sinews and it’s relationship to storing blood in order to nourish the sinews), but at this point the relationship between blood and essence is established: Blood enters essence to help give rise to marrow. GB-22 is the canyon by which ye-thick fluid supports bone, marrow, and the brain.
From GB-22, the channel moves to CV-17 and CV-14: Wei qi homes to chest for sleep, and these to points guide the channel to the heart. From the heart, the channel enters the diaphragm and the small intestine organ, going to CV-4. CV-3, nearby, is the meeting of the leg yin sinew vessels and the end of the crura of the diaphragm. The channel then rises back upwards to ST-12.
ST-12, a very common point in CD trajectories, is the basin into which trauma to the SCM — and therefore also to the Window of the Sky points — drains. This pertains to both physical and psychological trauma. When something cannot be ‘redeemed’ or connect to what comes from heaven, it goes interiorly at this point. Alternately, trauma to concepts of redemption cause a counterflow into the heart, helping to create the ‘antihero’ archetype. I mentioned the importance of neck releases in my treatment of the sinew vessels in Season Six — so again, the relationship of the SI Channel Divergence to the Sinew Meridians.
The next point on the trajectory is SI-18, the confluent point of yang sinew channels of legs. Finally, the channel ends at BL-1, which brings the pathological dryness of a ye-depleted SI CD to the brain. The result is that wind in brain begins to chase the shen and hun. Brain fever is one possible symptom of this pathophysiology. If BL-1 is too sensitive to needle in such a case, ST-42 may stand in its stead.
My favourite herbal formula to nourish the ye-fluid is Zeng Ye Tang. To treat the sinew vessels, Niu Xi (for the legs) or Sang Zhi (for the arms) should be added. Sang Ji Sheng pairs nicely with Sang Zhi to form a CD envoy combination, although Di Gu Pi, which cools the blood, and Sang Ye which releases the exterior, also make a good pair. For a stronger focus on the sinews, Chuan Lian Zi, which goes to the SI meridian and regulates LV qi may also be a useful addition. Qu Mai goes to the SI meridian and moves blood, to resolve wind symptoms.
As always these posts are for entertainment and educational purposes only. If you or a loved one have suddenly become your own worst enemy, please seek qualified assistance.