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Orient with Stars, Sun, Moon & Animal Totems

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28 star mansions, 28 totemic animals & 50 wei qi channel circulations.


Greg Williams

November, 2020


When dawn breaks, yang qi comes out of eyes, and if eyes open (spread, see), that is qi goes to head, circulates on nape of neck, deascends leg greater yang (tai yang), circulates down back, descends to arrive into tip of little toe. That which scatters, divides from both eye’s acute (sharp), descends arm greater yang, and descends to hand’s small finger, arriving at outside tip. 



As the sun moves through one star mansion, human, qi circulates one time and eight tenths.
As the sun moves through two star mansions, human, qi circulates three times and six tenths.
As the sun moves through fourteen mansions, human, qi circulates the body 25 times. 

 - Author’s part translation from old Japanese script of Spiritual Axis 76, from Toyo Gakujutsu Kenkyu

Spiritual Axis (Ling Shu) 76 plots the movement of protective qi (wei qi) around the channels, as the sun moves through each of the star mansions.


It tells us that wei qi circulates 25 times around the yang channels by day, and another 25 times through the yin organs by night, totalling 50 circulations in one day and night. As wei qi circulates through the daytime’s yang, the sun travels through 14 star mansions. As this light yang qi circulates through the night-time’s yin, the sun travels through another 14 mansions. The yang sun and yang wei qi, travelling through 28 star mansions and 50 circulations respectively, constitute one Heavenly circuit of one day and night. 50 ÷ 28 = approximately one time and eight tenths, i.e. 1.8 circulations through channel-organs per each star mansion.


Whilst the Canon of Difficulties (Nan Jing) tells us that wei is the rough-fast qi protecting and warming us from outside of channels on skin surface, this Ling Shu 76 orients wei qi with the sun and stars. This Heavenly yang qi, or virtue (de), is thus our protective shield, which shines from our channel-organs like an aura. Therefore, if our night’s yin sleep and day’s yang activity harmonise, we balance between Heaven and Earth.


If wei’s yang qi can remain submerged deep down in the yin, warming and protecting organs at night, then it is able to vitally arise into eyes – arise into eyes at sunrise. After a peaceful sleep, this yang qi scatters into the acute angles in eyes at Bright Eyes Bl 1, to then descend down both tai yang channels of bladder and small intestine, significantly arriving into tip of little toe and small finger’s outside tip, i.e. their well hollows (points). Well hollows, wei qi and tai yang all share the same very light superficial yang nature, which has an affinity with light in sky. Eyes, being the most yang part of our body, connect us to solar qi and star virtue (de).


If celestially attuned, our wei qi brilliantly arises into Bright Eyes as an inner sunrise, which goes up into head, then down nape of neck, through tai yang channels, into well hollows, arriving (at) Yin Bl 67 and Lesser Marsh SI 1. After tai yang, yang qi shines down the shao yang of gallbladder and triple heater, then the yang ming of stomach and large intestine. After doing 25 circulations around all these three yang channels, following solar qi through 14 star mansions, yang ming’s large intestine sinks back into kidneys, if indeed we let go of the day’s mental-emotional charge. Ling Shu 76 refers to a connection between the hand palms and the foot ‘hearts’ (soles). This connection seems to be made when doing tai chi’s ‘needle at sea bottom’ move.


That which awakens wei qi at sunrise, or just before, is the yang motility (yang qiao) channel, from the eight extraordinaries. Yang qiao activates (opens) at Extending Channel Bl 62 and flows up into Bright Eyes Bl 1 and Wind Pond GB 20 to awaken eyes and brain into sharp yet wide focus. Just as yang qiao awakens wei qi at sunrise, so also yin qiao quietens it down at sunset. Yin qiao activates at Shining Sea Ki 6 to also flow up into Bright Eyes Bl 1. After wei qi sinks back into the kidney channel at sunset, it flows through the kidney organ, then heart organ, lung organ, liver organ, spleen organ, and back to the kidney organ, for 25 circulations, following solar qi through another 14 star mansions.


Whereas the sun travels through all 28 star mansions to complete one day and night, so also the moon travels through them, over a 28-day month. Mathematically symmetrical, 4×7 days = a 28-day month; 4 weeks ×13 months = a 52-week year.


‘Rat-horse (zi-wu), rabbit-rooster’ refers to the four cardinal directions in the 12 branches, which constitute the Chinese Clock/Compass. As a clock, rat↔horse orients with 11-1am and 11-1pm, and rabbit↔rooster with 7-9am and 7-9 pm. As a compass, rat↔horse orients with the longitude of north↔south, whilst rabbit↔rooster orients with the latitude of east↔west.

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Since the Moon’s journey through the 28 mansions takes approximately 28 days, it must have seemed appropriate to allocate one of the hsiu (lunar mansions) to each day of a 28-day cycle.


– The Complete Guide to Chinese Astrology (P82), Derek Walters



The 12-branch Chinese Clock/Compass, expands to become the 28 lunar-star mansions, with 16 extra totemic animals, such as the rain dragon, unicorn, earthworm and fox.


Moreover, the moon travelling through each star mansion, on average approximately 13° of sky each night, becomes a 4-directional ×7 lunar-star compass. Each of the directions, facing south, north, east and west (Northern Hemisphere), take on the nature of the vermillion bird (red phoenix), black tortoise, jade dragon and white tiger (tigress), respectively. With seven lunar-star mansions/totemic animals in each of these four directions, the seven-day week and five planets come into play, through the yin yang five elements.


By looking at the weekdays in Japanese, this becomes apparent. Sunday, nichiyōbi, meaning day of sun, orients with the sun.  Mo(o)nday, getsuyōbi, day of moon, orients with the moon.


Tuesday, kayōbi, day of fire, orients with Mars. Wednesday, suiyōbi, day of water, orients with Mercury. Thursday, mokuyōbi, day of wood, orients with Jupiter. Friday, kinyōbi, day of metal, orients with Venus. Saturday, doyōbi, day of earth, orients with Saturn.  


I propose this compass orients our wei qi channels with the stars via the sun, and with the totemic animals via the moon. In the Northern Hemisphere due south, facing the phoenix direction celestially orients with the star cluster of Hydra, and terrestrially with the wild stallion (yang fire horse). Due west, facing the tigress direction celestially orients with Pleiades, and terrestrially with the totemic spirit of the Rooster. Jiao as north-east, as the horns of the eastern dragon, orients with Virgo and rain dragon.


The central pivot of this compass is the 7 Northern Stars, which relate to the Pole Star and include Arcturus. To qigong this central pivot, yi-focus the centre of Hundred Meeting GV 20 on your crown and extend it down through your body into Meeting of Yin CV 1. Then mentally transpose the Star Compass around Hundred Meeting, red phoenix facing south and jade dragon facing east.


Whilst a yin yang five elemental root treatment orients a patient’s ‘wei qi channels’ to one of these star mansions/animal totems, a Chinese Clock treatment then realigns them through the heart mind body.  


For more information on these root and Chinese Clock treatments, as well as Southern Hemispheric orientation, please refer to Awaken Qi Within, or contact 
Qi Arts.  

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Qibo says, it is made up of 12 months, in one day there are 12 dragons,rat-horse (zi-wu) become longitude, rabbit-rooster become latitude. One heavenly circuit is 28 stars, therefore for one segment, there are seven stars, four sevens, 28 stars.


– Author’s part translation from old Japanese script of  Spiritual Axis 76, from Toyo Gakujutsu Kenkyu


Greg Williams

Greg Williams Having begun studies of Taiji in Nanjing China and acupuncture in Tokyo Japan 20-yrs ago, Greg now practices & teaches a form of Qigong acupuncture, which combines YangSheng life-cultivation & treatments. Last year he published his third book, ‘Awaken Qi Within’, which combines his own classical translations, poetic-prose interpretations and colourful illustrations. After working in Brisbane for a decade & a half, he now plans to move to the Sunshine Coast hinterlands, where he will reopen his Qi Arts clinic and training centre. Please contact me at Qi Arts, (soon to be opened), FB Qi Arts, 0427199606, if interested.  

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