The complete energies calendar calculates and presents all the energetic cycles in activity in Man’s environment. These cycles were defined by the ancient Masters of Taoist sciences starting with the observation of the constants and changes in manifestations in the Sky and on the Earth. The regularly returning changes characterized certain types of manifestations with their relationships and their periods forming the primordial cycles.
However, not all cycles in activity in the universe are perceptible by direct observation with some largely exceeding a human lifespan and others being derived from Taoist speculation, such as the Kalpas (by borrowing from India). The cycles returning to their original state each year were called regular cycles and the cycles whose annual modalities change were called irregular cycles. The SU WEN HUANG TI NEI CHING documents and describes the periods and values of the modalities of all the energetic cycles exerting a definite influence on man’s energy or on his environment.
The graphic below schematizes the areas or Energy fields in which the yin yang cycles listed in the complete calendar spread out.
- The Master of Heaven energy spreads out in the universe where our galaxy is moving.
- The Central Movement energy spreads out in the galaxy where the solar system is moving.
- The energy of the annual Stems and Branches spreads out in the solar system, and the Earth and the Moon (with the other planets) move therein.
The Breaths spread out on different levels in the universe, but the energies they generate all follow the Circular Way (place and period) with each one in its own space of expansion. In this space, circulating and transforming according to its own cycle, it has an effect on everything within it. The energy fields fit together, one in another, like Russian dolls, from the largest to the smallest. However, the calendar’s energetic cycles are not exactly those of the energies which circulate in the universe, rather they are those of “our encounters” with some of these energies or their cycles. Let us now talk about the diagram above starting from the ground, in other words, from the Earth:
- Breaths of the days:
It is because the Earth turns on itself that our nearby sky meets the daily yin and yang, of which the Sun and the Moon are the agents. One day is a complete rotation and each point on the Ground and the sky above are thus exposed every day to the Moon and the Sun. It can be said that by its movement, the Ground (the Earth) positions and orientates itself, and moves in the fields of a yin cycle modality and then a yang cycle modality. They are the Stems and Branches of the days. Relative to our observation point of origin, a fixed point on the ground, the sky concerned is the very near sky which is just above the ground. The rhythm is daily.
- Breaths of the months :
Whereas the Earth and its satellite turn together around the Sun, the Moon itself takes 29 to 30 days to finish its orbital revolution. Although the Moon is much smaller than the Earth, we are not any less in its field of influence. The revolution of the Moon defines the lunar months, to which the twelve annual Branches of a yin cycle are associated. During this time, the Sun has advanced by approximately 30 degrees on the ecliptic of the Earth equatorial plane, on which the 28 mansions are placed. This defines one solar month. This step of 30° of the Sun corresponds, of course, to a real movement of the Earth in its orbit in the Sun’s energy field. This period is associated with the two modalities of a pair in a sexagesimal energetic cycle (60 months ((5 years)), of which the Sun and the Moon are once again the clocks and the inducing agents. They are the Stems and Branches of the months. The relevant sky is primarily the sky around and just above man, like that of the weather. The rhythm is monthly.
- The Breaths of the years:
While the lunar and solar months come one after another, the Earth and the Moon advance around the Sun with the other planets. Certain alignments and revolutions of these planets make it possible to group the years by ten, twelve (revolution of Jupiter), thirty (revolution of Saturn) and sixty. During the Earth’s orbital revolution, it also moves in the field of the Sun and the five main planets. The energy of this field fills all the space of the solar system and, of course, encompasses all the earthly sky. One orbital revolution of the Earth, one year, is associated with one phase of the energy cycle which thereby spreads out in the solar system. As for the days and the months, the years are thus linked to a sexagesimal cycle Jia Zi with each phase including one yin and one yang modality (pairs). They are the annual Stems and Branches. The relevant sky is the whole sky of the planet. The rhythm is annual.
- The Median Breath:
From year to year, it can be noted that the stellar sphere of the planets and the nearby stars shift, they slowly slide into the background of the distant stars. The ancients knew that this came from the fact that all the solar system also moves in the galaxy, and called the energy encountered in this space the Energy of the Central Movement, or Median Breath. This latter name is related to the fact that this energy is in all the space, the median space, between the planets and the Sun, which pass through it. This energy is of a yang nature and its annual modalities are controlled by the five agents and the ten Heavenly Stems. The energy field of the Central Movement has the galaxy for space, it is derived from the purest yang, which fills the entire universe and animates it. Its cycle in the calendar is that of the encounters of our sky with the current modalities in the median space. For Man, the relevant sky is all the environment of the solar system. The rhythm is annual.
- The Breath of the Anterior Sky:
Eventually, the ancients noticed that one single star remained fixed in the firmament, and that the entire stellar sphere pivoted around one axis which itself appeared to be the summit. The sky also rises up towards it and then falls down throughout the year. Through the combination of these two movements, our galactic sky moves in different sectors of the universe and encounters the modalities of the Master of Heaven energy. This energy is derived from the Anterior Sky, with life being breathed into the universe by Taï Ji. However, its manifestation in the universe, in our Posterior Sky, takes the form of an energy cycle linked to the purest yin. It is yin in nature and its annual modalities are thus controlled according to the six energies and the twelve Branches with a complete cycle taking twelve years. The Master of Heaven energy field has the universe for space and the cycle defined in the calendar is that of the encounters of our sky with the modalities in place in the heavenly sectors in which we move. The rhythm is annual.
From the above, it would be logical to deduct that each energy field is particularly influenced by the largest field that encompasses it, which is not really false, however this is not the only parameter regulating the relationships between the different energies extending out in these fields. Neither should we forget that the Master of Heaven energy also generates the At the Source energy, the cycle of the seasonal Guest energies through its annual modality, and the Central Movement, the cycle of the seasonal Guest movements through its annual modality. There are also the regular seasonal cycles, five movements and six energies, ten Stems and twelve Branches of the year. They all have their own field. What is referred to as “the encounters” between the modalities of the different cycles is on the one hand regulated by the order of magnitude, but also by the laws of the energies theory. As this article is an adaptation of the book by P. Chao Ming, we shall only take the main encounters into account.
The Essential encounters
- Annual encounter between the Master of Heaven energy and that of the Central Movement:
From the perspective of the ground and of man, the Central Movement energy is dominating, closer and has powerful yang modalities. However, the Master of Heaven energy may modify the modalities in various ways through its transformation into movement. When there is ‘similarity of transformation’, meaning that the annual energy of the Master of Heaven is in harmony with that of the Great Movement, we call this period Tien Fu, “Heavenly Concord".
-Encounter between the Central Movement energy and that of the annual Branch:
The energy of the Great Movement, Da Yun, or Central Movement, extends through and governs the year. It influences the energy of the annual Branch and, when its own energy is identical to the latter, this is then referred to as Suï Hui, “Encounter with the year".
- Encounter between the Central Movement energy and the At the Source energy:
When the Central Movement energy is in harmony with the At the Source energy, this is referred to as Tong Tien Fu, “Similar to the Heavenly Concord".
Other encounters occur between the different cycles and modalities of the energies, over the course of a year. Particularly between those of the seasonal Guest energies and the regular seasonal Master Movements, the seasonal Guest Movements and the regular seasonal energies, but also the Stems and Branches of the solar months and the twelve annual Branches (the lunar months), and also the energies of the same Stems and Branches of the solar months with respectively those of the Branches and Stems of the days.
In conclusion, it should be noted that the three types of encounters described above do not necessarily generate energies that are beneficial for man and his environment. Indeed, the fact that the modalities of the different cycles are in “harmony" with each other does not however mean that it is beneficial to man’s own energy. But quite the contrary, combining or mutually reinforcing certain modalities of different cycles are generally causes of imbalances in the energetic relationships of its environment. The amplification of the excess or deficiency of a modality is potentially pathogenic and it is primarily to prevent its harmfulness that doctors have a duty to study the calendar of the coming year at the end of each year.
After reading the above, it is already possible to get an idea on the structure and calculation complexity of the complete calendar. However, to know the different cycles, to calculate them and establish the calendar is one thing, to understand the data and to interpret them correctly is another thing altogether. To do this, it is necessary to know the definitions derived from the General Theory for each cycle and modality:
- On the type: yin or yang.
- On the transformation: the agents, the climatic energies.
- On the circulation and orientation: residing at, coming from and going to.
- On the period: the time arising from the relationships between yin and yang, of the generation of the elements and the energies. Each cycle and modality which occurs “within man’s space” and then disappears clearly corresponds to a period in man’s time, and thus in the calendar. These are the periods that are possible to measure in astronomy, but it should be said again, that heavenly phenomena, in their entirety just as in their details, are expressions of universal yin yang. They are not the original and unique source of energy that some of them undoubtedly emit, in a way as visible and perceptible as the light and heat of the Sun. Concentrations, manifestations and agents of yin yang in their nature as in their movements, their forms, their circulations and all the influences they may have on their environment, are all linked to and the expression of the one same dynamic process, as explained in the Taoist theory of general evolution and also in the Energies Theory.
- On the relationship of generation, engendering and control of the modalities within the cycles.
- On the relationship of the body-spirit entity which is Man. Nowadays, according to varying schools of thought, many theories define man as a structure that functions at various levels. First of all there is, of course, the definition on the physical level, the very tangible one of anatomy, physiology and biology, not to mention chemistry. There is the emotional level, the mental level, the spiritual level, the subjective and unconscious levels, the level of transfer and that of transgression, the etheric, astral and karmic levels and many other levels. Thus, we often encounter this type of definition: “the whole body-psyche-spirit", “the energies of the physical body, emotional body, astral body", “the body-mind-spirit entity". Fundamentally, according to the Taoist definition of Man, everything pertaining to the emotional, sentimental, mental, instinctive and to the discursive consciousness is linked to the body (yin), which has its origin in the universal yin yang. What pertains to the objective consciousness, spiritual consciousness and individual spirit is related to the Universal Spirit and finds its origin in the Tao itself.
As explained in traditional cosmogony and in the Taoist theory of evolution, Man was created by the union of the heaviest breaths from the Primordial Vital Breath which, while rising (expanding), becomes yang and form the Sky (emptiness, space), and the lightest breaths from which, while descending (concentrating), become yin and form the Ground (matter, ground). The universal yin yang has multiple resonances in man’s body. As the cycles and their energies have relationships of exchanges and affinities, this is the case between man’s interior and exterior and between the different planes of expression of his physical entity: anatomical and physiological, organic and nervous, emotional and mental. The Chinese medical theory has thus integrated the Taoist concepts in its method, according to the indications of the SU WEN and the subsequent writings.
Those who practice Qi Gong must also take into consideration the relationships between the energy fields defined by the calendar and the Elixir Fields of human physiology. The superior Tan Tien is related to the Heavenly energies, the medium Tan Tien to the energies of the median space and the inferior Tan Tien to the energies of the Ground.