Lorie Eve Dechar: Alchemist and Daoist
Although Lorie Eve Dechar's Five Spirits
is ostensibly a book about acupuncture and traditional Chinese medicine, at its heart it's a book about human consciousness.
The book explores the question of how human beings create reality and how our creation of reality affects not only our health but also the way we feel, live, and interact with our environment. By melding the wisdom of the ancient Chinese with the insights of modern Western depth psychology and the understanding of Taoist and European alchemy, the book aims to help readers discover a new, more efficient, and integrated consciousness. Through this discovery, we'll find not only new ways to heal psychosomatic, psychological, and spiritual distress but also new possibilities for living, and new ways to relate to our bodies, our families, and communities, as well as to our planet.
One important key to this new consciousness is a revised relationship to the yin, or what the ancient Taoists referred to as the Mysterious Feminine. This attitude views the the divine not only as an invisible, unknowable mystery (up there and far away in heaven) but also as a knowable, embodied experience, a sacred illumination that exists here and now, as the life force that flows through our bodies, through nature and all of creation.
is subtitled "Alchemical Acupuncture for Psychological and Spiritual Healing" in order to distinguish it from TCM or Traditional Chinese Medicine, the more medical, symptom-focused acupuncture that it is currently being practiced in Mainland China and most parts of the Western world. Alchemy is the ancient art of transformation, not only the transformation of lead into gold as is most commonly understood, but the transformation of the lead of human suffering into the gold of wisdom, the transformation of an ordinary human being into a sage. The focus of "Alchemical Acupuncture" is not the curing of superficial symptoms and the restoration of old, outmoded ways of living but rather on transformation, on the discovery of new, more exciting and potent ways of living and being on the planet.
Alchemical Acupuncture seeks to find the treasure in the trash, the meaning and the possibilities for spiritual transformation hidden in our painful physical symptoms and psychological distress. This spiritual attitude is found in the earliest Chinese medical texts, written over two thousand years ago. These texts were strongly influenced by Taoist
alchemy, but this attitude has gradually been buried as acupuncture has been taken up by the more materialistic, modern world. It is the premise of this book that in order to tap the deepest potential of Chinese medicine, we must understand the alchemical principles at its core. But an understanding of these principles can also help us to solve problems and resolve insoluble dilemmas that go beyond the scope of of acupuncture.
On a related theme, Ellen Tadd's The Wisdom of the Chakras
examines the ancient Indian healing/spiritual tradition of the chakras. These seven sacred wheels of energy individually and collectively provide a framework and tool to understand numerous common imbalances, individually and in combination, that affect us. In so doing, Tadd helps us integrate the various characteristics and create greater harmony and balance in our daily lives.