The Queen Mother of the West (???) is an ancient Chinese goddess whose origin can be traced back to oracle bone inscriptions of the fifteenth century BCE that record sacrifices to a “western mother”. (Cahill, 1993) Even though these inscriptions illustrate that she predates organized Taoism, she is most often associated with Taoism. The Taoist Xi Wang-mu is referred to as the ‘Royal Mother of the West’, and rules over the western paradise of the immortals, and that which must die.
Xi Wang Mu is called “the Original Breath of the
Great Yin” and “Mother of All Creatures,”
whose life spans she determines. She gives life,
causes and cures diseases, and imparts mystic wisdom.
Energies of new growth surround her like a cloud.
The Taoist classic Zhuang Ze says of Xi Wang Mu:
“Nobody knows her beginning, nobody knows her end.”
The Tao, is all that exists; the Supreme Power of the Universe, representing the physics of all things, the power that gives life, the energy that holds atoms together. When we try to define or name this power, we limit it.
The Tao’s primal Energies divide into Heaven and Earth, Day and Night as they separate into Yin and Yang forces. As Yin and Yang converge and rejoin, life is produced. The feminine nature of creation is soft, yielding, and forgiving, yet can be strong and violent. The Way emphasizes The Mysterious Female. And the Mysterious Female encompasses the root of our very being.
The Immortal Sister’s teachings from the third to the 12th century portray the spiritual strength of women before Confucius’ patriarchal influence in China. There was once great value placed on the ability of women to connect with universal forces like the pull of the moon in order to create life. The Immortal Sisters, accomplished women who achieved spiritual mastery, passed on these poems to illustrate the importance of the feminine aspect in Taoism:
Before our body existed,
One energy was already there.
Like jade, more lustrous as it’s polished,
Like gold, brighter as it’s refined.
Sweep clear the ocean of birth and death,
Stay firm by the door of total mastery.
A particle at the point of open awareness,
The gentle firing is warm.
There is one energy, to which we have access when we pay it honor. Its being is not limited by duality, so its creations are unfathomable. We can clear our mind of ideas, beliefs, and thoughts, which limit our ability to accept this strength. The door of total mastery is called the Mysterious Female, made of creativity and receptivity. When one spirit and one energy combine, yin and yang mass together, and through the Mysterious Pass, Life begins. This is the greatest power of life, and it begins, always, with a state of openness. “Openness turns into spirit, spirit turns into energy, energy turns into blood, blood turns into form, form turns into an infant, and infant turns into a child…” When we begin with a state of openness, the elemental particle, at the point of transformation, can be gently sparked to life.
THE WOMB BREATH
If You want the elixir to form quickly,
First get rid of illusory states.
Attentively guard the spiritual medicine;
With every breath return to the beginning of the creative.
The energy returns, coursing through the three islands;
The spirit, forgetting, unites with the ultimate.
Coming this way and going this way,
No place is not truly so.
The elixir comes from the knowledge of who we are at our core. That is where we focus and breathe with the Qi gong breath. When we shed the illusory states, the bondage of self, we regain a subtle connection with our Source. This energy courses through the brain (the true mind), the heart (spirit), and the source of life, the womb.
The beginning of all creation begins with openness. With every breath we return to the beginning of creation, in our own womb. Another female adept said, “The secret of the receptive must be sought in stillness”. The most potent healing power in the universe is openness and receptivity. We cannot access the healing power of the universe through grasping or effort. We can only attain it through letting go. Unclench and go within–there you will find the wisdom of your own inner healer.