Numbers in Internal Alchemy
The World Upside Down: Essays on Taoist Internal Alchemy, by Isabelle Robinet, page 66
Numbers are used in internal alchemy mainly to regulate the Fire regime (huohou); hence they are sometimes called the “numbers of fire” (huoshu), with reference to the rhythm of the alchemical Work. Since the Fire regime involves time and measurement, it makes it possible to organize the functioning of the two Principles, (*) which should be both joined to and separated from one another. The Fire regime reflects the interaction of these Principles, their dynamism, and the measurable and rhythmic nature of their cyclical movements.
(*) While they are typified by the Yin-Yang pair, the two Principles can also be Heaven and Earth, Water and Fire, Lead and Mercury, etc.
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