Tuesday, December 17, 2013

The Principles of Alchemy


"Know the white, keep to the black," (*)
and the Numinous Light will come of its own.

White is the essence of Metal,
Black the foundation of Water.
Water is the axis of the Dao:
its number is 1.

At the beginning of Yin and Yang,
Mystery holds the Yellow Sprout;
it is the ruler of the five metals,
the River Chariot of the northern direction.

That is why lead is black on the outside
but cherishes the Golden Flower within,
like the man who "wears rough-hewn clothes but
        cherishes a piece of jade in his bosom," (**)
and outwardly behaves like a fool.

(*) This sentence is quoted from the Daode jing, sec. 28
(**) This sentence is quoted from the Daode jing, sec. 70


▶ Quoted from The Seal of the Unity of the Three: A Study and Translation of the Cantong qi, the Source of the Taoist Way of the Golden Elixir, by Fabrizio Pregadio, pages 78-79— Read more on and from this book

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