The Three Chariots
Foundations of Internal Alchemy: The Taoist Practice of Neidan, by Wang Mu, pages 83-84
When the alchemical practice reaches the time of collecting the Medicine, the Fire Times go through three stages, called the “sheep chariot” (yangche), the “deer chariot” (luche), and the “ox chariot” (niuche).
From the Barrier of the Caudal Funnel to the Barrier of the Spinal Handle, one should proceed carefully and with a short pace, similar to the lightness of a chariot drawn by a sheep. From the Barrier of the Spinal Handle to the Barrier of the Jade Pillow, one should proceed quickly and in large steps, similar to the nimbleness of a chariot drawn by a deer. From the Barrier of the Jade Pillow to the Muddy Pellet, since the Barrier of the Jade Pillow is extremely fine and subtle, one should charge forward with much power, similar to the strength of a chariot drawn by an ox.
These similitudes apply to the stage in which the Medicine has been formed. They are referred to in the saying, “Loading gold on three chariots, you ascend to Mount Kunlun,” and they are also the meaning of the verse, “The spokes converge onto the hub, Water returns to the source” found in a poem of Awakening to Reality.
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