Golden Elixir Quote of the Week
The Five Agents (wuxing) in Internal Alchemy
Awakening to Reality: The "Regulated Verses" of the Wuzhen pian, a Taoist Classic of Internal Alchemy, translated by Fabrizio Pregadio, page 10
In Internal Alchemy, Wood represents True Yin, and Metal represents True Yang. Accordingly, the ingredients of the Elixir are often referred to Wood and Metal. The same, however, is true of Water and Fire, respectively. In addition, Internal Alchemy assigns a crucial role to Soil (tu). Being placed at the center, Soil stands for the source from which the other four agents derive, and therefore guarantees the conjunction of the world of multiplicity to the original state of Unity.
One of the typical representations of the alchemical process (also mentioned in Awakening to Reality, Poem 14) is the reduction of the five agents to three and then to one. The whole process happens by the virtue of Soil, which acts as "mediator" between True Yin and True Yang and makes their conjunction possible.
The Golden Elixir Quotes of the Week are short quotations on Taoist Internal Alchemy (Neidan) from books published by Golden Elixir Press. They are sent at no cost to subscribers. See a sample and an index of the Quotes of the Week sent to subscribers until present.