In this episode, the First slayer appears to Buffy and tells her, despite having a house full of potential slayers, ‘It’s not enough’. The episode tackles the question of using one’s power while one has it, vs waiting with fear for something to react to. This is very much a question for the Liver and Gallbladder organs: the Liver is the general who strategises, while the GB is the one to give courage to take up a challenge. Especially when exchanging one’s strengths for a demon. Although that happened for Buffy and the Scoobies, it also happened on a more metaphorical level for the potential slayer, Chloe. She exchanged her strength for a demon.
This is also the episode in which Chloe is found hanging from a noose she made for herself. Buffy says Chloe was weak. I disagree. Suicide happens when pain outweighs the resources to cope. Chloe had no resources to alleviate the pain she experienced in the face of uncertainty, verbal abuse from Kennedy, and who knows what else from her past. She may have had a mind well attuned to the creation of verbal feedback loops, which can be a strength and provide for a strong memory. But it can become a demon as well, creating loops which serve to racket up pain after each cycle.
For Chloe, an intervention using the Liver Channel Divergence may have been helpful. The LV CD beings at BL-59, which treats pain of world. Again, suicide occurs when pain outweighs the resources to cope. Chloe’s weakness? Perhaps, perhaps not. I would suggest a weakness in the group, though, too. Kennedy’s own weakness was shown in being unable to wield power without it going to her head, and someone else paid the price for her hubris.
As mentioned, the trajectory of the Liver Channel Divergence begins at BL-59. This point is the Xi Cleft point of Yang Qiao Mai, It is also the Luo point of Yang. Xi Cleft points are used for alleviating pain. Luo points, through their relation to blood, are associated with emotions. The Yang Qiao Mai concern how a person sees the world. Taken together, this point treats the emotional pain of seeing the world. It is thus very powerful, and sets up the tone for the rest of the Channel Divergence.
From BL-59, the Channel Divergence proceeds to the Chong Mai point ST-42. This point also, because of its association with BL-1, treats how one sees the world, gazes out at it, or takes it in. Specifically, as a Chong Mai point, it treats how one’s perception relates to one’s ‘blueprint’ or ‘mission’ in life. Does one’s life seem disconnected from that mission? Is the ‘curriculum’ out of focus? Is it lacking in substance? ST-42 nourishes yin, to bring substance to the blueprint as it meets one’s emotional vision of the world.
The relationship to blood continues as the channel passes from ST-42 to LV-5, the luo point of the Liver channel. The Liver luo goes to the genitals and to the breasts. This point, ‘wormwood canal’, treats all sorts of parasites, including those desires which gnaw at a person emotionally. Often those desires can be sexual or romantic, but not always. It can be any desire that haunts a person emotionally. As a haunting, it includes emotions which repeat themselves without any real passing on, without bearing children — sterile emotions, as it were. Such could have been going on in Chloe’s mind, with Kennedy’s assessment of her as a ‘maggot’ echoing and augmenting the pain caused by emotions-blood stagnating. Luo points treat counterflow and stagnation.
From LV-5, the channel divergence meets with either CV-2 or CV-3, at the margin of the pubic hair. This is the Lower Confluent point with the GB channel divergence. (The LV channel goes to both CV-2 and CV-3.) CV-3 is the ‘Central Pole’ around which the heavenly constellations revolve. As such, it has a very archetypal resonance, helping one find their ‘spiritual centre’ as it were. (It would pair well with ST-25, Celestial Pivot, in another type of treatment, perhaps.)
From CV-3, the channel then meets with five mu points, similar to the GB Channel Divergence. The five mu points in order are KD (GB-25), SP (at LV-13), GB (at GB-24), LV (at LV-14), and HT (at CV-14).
At GB-25, we see the wood element supporting its mother, water, In terms of Channel Divergence physiology, this is LV blood supporting KD jing to keep a pathogen latent. It can also be seen as the sinews (yang of yang) supporting the bones (yin of yang). In fact, bones develop through the tuggings and pulling of muscles on the periosteum surrounding the bones.
LV-13 is the SP mu (wood controlling earth, mulling and pensiveness), but it also drains ‘baggage’ to the Dai Mai (GB-26). If the emotions do not drain here, they go to GB-24, the GB-mu point, so that decisive, courageous but cautious action can be taken on them. From there, LV-14, the LV mu point, will store the emotions, just as this is the point which strongly affects the LV’s storage of blood.
CV-14, the next point on the trajectory, is where LV blood is brought to support HT blood and yin. It is also the place (when both LV-14 and CV-14 are needled simultaneously) where the hun and shen meet, that is, where personality, piety, and affect all come together so that a person can be present in the world to do what must be done at the appropriate time, in consonance with one’s overall character and habitus.
After the Hun and Shen meet at CV-14, the trajectory passes on to PC-1: Pain is brought to PC, to spare the Heart. PC-1 is the place where blood is clarified, where emotions can be stilled and and their place in the interior life of the person assessed. The trajectory then moves to ST-12, which I’ve mentioned before is the basin into which the SCM drains shock and trauma, but which also connects to the diaphragm to regulate the movement of things interiorly and exteriorly.
From ST-12, the Liver Channel Divergence meets up with ST-9, ‘Welcome to Humanity’, with all its pains and joys, sufferings and insights. ST-9 is a window to the Sky point, and has a powerful ‘redemptive’ quality to it. It is known for its ability to regulate both blood and qi, and thus it has an effect on pain, by moving those areas in which pain is ‘stuck’. As a Stomach point, it can also affect fluid stagnation, which manifests as a ‘pain that isn’t really pain’.
The channel then moves to CV-23, a common CD point, associated with Yin Wei Mai, and thus affecting posture, continuity and contingency (if this, then that). It is a point which helps resolve the accumulations which have not yet gone to the Dai Mai to be passed on to future generations. These are still personal, in the way that what is personal ‘binds up’ a person’s identity. Perhaps, ‘wraps up’ is a better image, more in keeping with the ‘net’ image of the ‘wei’ character.
The idea of ‘binding up’ is seen in the next point, ST-5. This is a holding area of latency, and we see it in the clinic with people who grind their teeth at night. Although that can sometimes be a sign of parasites (see LV-5), it is also a sign that the patient is ‘gnawing’ at something. Still chewing something over.
From here, the channel meets CV-24, before ending at GB-1.
GB-1 treats jie, ‘binding’ — in this case, that which binds up the eyes from seeing properly. This can be thought of as acting like mindfulness therapy: it moves a person back from his or her thoughts, to see them; it distracts them enough that their momentary ‘attentional blindness’ is removed and they can see ‘gorillas in the midst’ of whatever problem they are working on. (The reference is to a Harvard study in which people are told to count the number of passes a team in white jerseys makes with a basketball; while the teams are playing, a person dressed as a gorilla wanders through the court. Most people do not see the gorilla, so focused are they on counting the number of passes made.) On a more physical level, the point also treats tingling after Bell’s Palsy has resolved. That is important: it treats a tingling, an echo, of a past inability to move or react.
The LV CD is thus a channel intimately associated with how a person processes emotions in life by trying to bring them into alignment with the meaning of one’s life (chong mai), with one’s desires (LV-5), with one’s personality and values (LV-14, CV-14), with the idea of being human (ST-9), and with loosening the things with which our attention is too often bound up (GB-1).
In terms of herbal medicine, Wu Zhu Yu Tang has been mentioned as alleviating suicidal tendencies (this is not a recommendation; see a qualified practitioner if you are suicidal). However, to look for a Channel Divergence formula, I might suggest the Wen Dan Tang, with the addition of Sang Ji Sheng and Ju Hua. The formula already goes to the GB; adding Sang Ji Sheng will take it to the yuan level and help move blood, while the Ju Hua helps open the eyes. If absence of LV yin is an issue, Shi Jue Ming could be added. Do be careful to assess whether the condition is hot or cold, and make subtractions to the current formula as necessary. Also remember, Yan Hu Suo and Wu Ling Zhi are two of the most potent pain-relieving herbs in the pharmacopeia.
As always, these posts are for entertainment and educational purposes only. If you or a loved one are suffering in such pain that you are contemplating suicide, please call a suicide hotline and trust that your anonymity will be respected. Remember, suicide happens when pain outweighs the resources to cope. Focus on increasing your resources, especially your social ties and friendships with other people, if you cannot also work to alleviate the pain you feel.