ENCYCLOPEDIA OF TAOISM (A NOTE WITH ELEGANCE AND MYSTERY OF SEX): Xuánnǚ 玄女 Mysterious Woman

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The longer my life is the harder is writing about what I truly think about man-woman relationships. Not of that I am tired mass media brainwashing any topic reporters can fetch but mainly the fact that young generation (my guess only) doesn’t feel elegance and mystery of ancient Chinese text the way I feel. Sad thing, right, but there is still a small trace of stuff worthy to think this evening, I mean three quotes from the second volume of Encyclopedia of Taoism. The author of this entry is Gil Raz, and he has some other publications on the topic.

Just let’s imagine for a couple of hours a woman who can teach a modern man ‘military, sexual, alchemical, and divination techniques’.

“Also known as Mysterious Woman of the Nine Heavens (Jiŭtiān Xuánnǚ 九天玄女) or Mysterious Woman, Damsel of the Nine Heavens (Jiŭtiān Xuánnǚ niángniang 九天玄女娘娘), the Mysterious Woman instructed the Yellow Emperor (Huángdì 黃帝) in military, sexual, alchemical, and divination techniques.” — Gil Raz.

“In relation to sexual practices (fángzhōng shū 房中書), the Mysterious Woman is usually mentioned with the Pure Woman (Sùnǚ 素女). While absent from the early manuals unearthed at Mawandui, their names are listed among the main sexual practitioners in post-Han sources, including the Baopu zi.”— Gil Raz.

My other guess today is we are still lucky having several wonderful examples of fángzhōng shū 房中書 from Mawandui findings. I mean my favorite sources of erotical fantasy: Hé Yīn Yáng 合陰陽 (Conjoining Yin and Yang), Shí Wèn 十問 (Ten Questions), and Tiānxià Zhìdào Tán 天下至道談 (Discourse on the Ultimate Way Under Heaven).

“Within numerological divination, the Mysterious Woman is particularly associated with the liùrén 六壬 method (see Kalinowski 1983; Kalinowski 1989—90, 91) based on the shì 式 (cosmic board, cosmograph), which is also known as Xuánnǚ shì 玄女式. — Gil Raz.

Unfortunately, I don’t feel myself familiar with this particular kind of divination, but that reminds me another source of divination technique—I Ching— and it looks much, much stronger to my taste.

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ENCYCLOPEDIA OF TAOISM (PERSONAL NOTES): Róng Chéng 容成

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The specialists tell us that Rong Cheng probably was a teacher of the Yellow Emperor (Huangdi) and Laozi and he was an ancient master of esoteric techniques, especially known for sexual practices (fángzhōng shū 房中書), and that is why we have an article in encyclopedia written by Gil Raz: “The fourth of the ten interviews between mythical rulers and sages contained in the Mawandui manuscript, the Shí Wèn 十問 (Ten Questions), is between the Yellow Emperor and Rong Cheng who expounds on breathing techniques and preservation of pneuma (qi).”

The book Róng Chéng Yīndào 容成陰道 (Rong Cheng’s Way of Yin) was lost very long ago and sad things  happen in history every day (we know that too), the good news is that men will always try to get equal information from other sources. Usually it helps (Welcome to the Computer Age!). Recently people interested in fángzhōng shū 房中書 reading can find several translations of what have been found in Mawandui manuscripts (Hé Yīn Yáng 合陰陽 (Conjoining Yin and Yang), Shí Wèn 十問 (Ten Questions), and Tiānxià Zhìdào Tán 天下至道談 (Discourse on the Ultimate Way Under Heaven) and much more. Practically, we can choose translation referring to our taste only, from academical to popular and fictional, containing huge commentaries or nothing at all.

For example, you can choose to read Volumes I and II of ENCYCLOPEDIA OF TAOISM for four months of your life or you can read these short notes every time you want pleasure of reflection on ancient aura of philosophy, cosmology and cosmogony, hygiene, sexual guidance, daoyin gymnastics, and longevity.