ENCYCLOPEDIA OF TAOISM (PRIVATE NOTES): Wŭzàng 五臟 five viscera, (lit., “five storehouses”)

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1. Medicine

“In Chinese medicine, wŭzàng 五臟 refers to a system of “orbs,” “viscera,” or “depositories,” which have some features reminiscent of the organ system known from Western anatomy. The five viscera comprise the liver (gān 肝), heart (xīn 心), spleen (pí 脾), lungs (fèi 肺), and kidney system (shèn 腎).”
“The wŭzàng 五臟 system went hand in hand with the integration of the Five Phases (wŭxíng 五行) theory into medicine. From the fourth century onward, the system of the Five Phases—Wood, Fire, Soil, Metal, and Water—developed in the context of divinatory calculations as a means for assessing cyclical change.”—Elisabeth Hsu

2. Meditation

“In all cases, the basic system of association is the set of correspondences linked to the wŭxíng 五行, which associates specific colors, physical energies, spiritual powers, numbers, and animals with each organ. The system also identifies specific gods and written symbols with each organ, allowing the meditator to reinvent the inner organs of her body as nodes in a larger cosmic network.”—Livia Kohn

3. Neidan

“In Nèidān 內丹 (inner elixir, inner alchemy), in which the five viscera are energetic centers where transformation takes place, the term wŭqì 五氣 (five pneumas) is often used as a synonym for wŭzàng 五臟. Besides the five viscera themselves, this term denotes the essence (jīng 精) situated in the kidneys, the spirit (shén 神) in the heart, the hún 魂 in the liver, the pò 魄 in the lungs, and the intention (yì 意) in the spleen. Transformation occurs through refining these five components of the human being, and restores the original order of the Dào 道.”—Martina Darga.

Note: Hún and Pò (魂 and 魄: Yang soul and Yin soul; celestial soul and earthly soul), and there is an article on them in the first volume, yes. Traditional Chinese and Pinyin tones inside quotations are mine, as usual. After rereading Neidan by Martina Darga, the 36th line was added to the previous article, Wŭxíng 五行 Five Phases. Are you still sure that you know better place with more lines of clusters of the wŭxíng 五行 theory?

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