I will be in humble service to grace and radiance this weekend, teaching the Taoist mystery traditions of female qi cultivation at RA MA Institute’s Immense Grace Weekend with Guru Jagat & Friends. Come get the yin nectars a’flowing and bask in your birthright as an eternal enchantress!
Yogic Secrets to Deep Radiance
An Immense Grace Weekend with Guru Jagat & Friends
January 12-13, 2018.
FRIDAY JANUARY 12, 2018
7:00pm - 10:00pm
An Immense Grace Special Evening with Harjiwan, Guru Jagat, & Gurujas
SATURDAY JANUARY 13, 2018
9:00am - 6:00pm
An Immense Grace Full Day with Guru Jagat - Kundalini Yoga, Meditation & Women’s Practice with Guru Jagat
-Yogic Nutrition Demos with @harmonjotkaur . .
-Anti-Inflammatory Cortisol Release & Self-Massage with @shabadpreet11 . .
-Jade Guasha Facial Fascia Lifts and Group Radiance Adjustment with Carolyn Barron of @botanarchy . .
Friday Drop In $70 Advance / $75 Day Of * In-Person or Online RA MA TV PPV*
Full Weekend $225 Advance / $250 Day Of *In-Person Only*
Tickets in @ramainstitute
Ahhhh, the cerulean splendor of a cool slab o' seagreen jade swept sultrily across the face during a sweltery summer heatwave to soothe those lock-jawed, teeth-clenching, fever dream-drunk, heat-vexed blues. Call it what you will - beauty qigong, facial rejuvenation, holy rolling - this resplendent routine of face-melting mirth culled from the annals of traditional Chinese medicine is most certainly the manna of immortal Taoist poetry.
Gentle, upward strokes along the facial meridians performed with a jade guasha tool can help move lymphatic fluids, drain puffiness, relax tight facial muscles and fascia, and boost blood and qi flow to the skin. It also improves the skins hydration and circulation, which can glamor you with a youthful glow that betrays the reality of moon-drunk all nighters spent knocking back body shots of Reishi and bumps of cordyceps. One of the myriad things I love about the medicine I practice is the DIY ethos that permeates through it. There is so much hot tech that doesn't require the prowess of a doctor or the savvy of years spent in clinical practice. In fact, the most refined medicines are those which you can give to yourself, in heavy rotation, on the daily... gigoing, nutrition, meditation, guasha, healthy sex. For anyone interested in how to perform DIY facial guasha, I will be hosting a workshop on Taoist women's self care later this summer. Details coming soon!
My most cherished qigong ritual you can use to bro down with the nascent magic of your Ovarian Palace and align with the potent gestational power of the shifting spring season. Throw a yoni egg in the mix to add a hefty dose of fertile spring mojo and cosmic egg medicine!
1. Sit quietly with the eyes closed in a comfortable seated position, with the hands in Yoni Mudra, forming a downward triangle over the ovaries.
2. Begin by doing a few rounds of Ujjayi ‘throat breathing’, rasping the breath over the throat, making an ocean-like sound with your tongue resting on your palate, mouth closed and lips soft.
3. Focus your loving attention on the ovaries until you feel their energy expand and become warm.
4. As you breathe in, gently contract the opening to the yoni using your kegel muscles, and as you breathe out relax the muscles. Use your mind, breath, and muscles to do this gently. This motion draws qi and energy into the Ovarian Palace (the Taoist name for the womb, essentially the mid-point between ovaries), allowing more and more qi to gather here with each out breath.
5. Continue pumping qi into the Ovarian Palace using your yoni muscles, and begin to collect the warm energy in your ovaries like a vessel filling with honey.
6. As this energy builds, you can start to allow the Ovarian Qi to flow down to the perineum, and then gently pump this qi up the back of the body to the brain.
7. Spiral this potent qi inside the brain to allow it to charge up all the master glands. Spiral 9 times counter clockwise and then 9 times clockwise, breathing normally. Don’t feel the need to be too exact about this. Experiment with the energy in a way that feels natural and organic.
8. When you feel the energy potently spiraling in the brain, on an out-breath, allow the qi to flow back down the front midline, and either send it around the orbit again, or finish by gathering and storing the qi into the womb.
9. Breathe deeply, smiling unconditional love into the Ovarian Palace.
If you long to be initiated into the Mystery School of the Pelvic Floor, do yourself a favor and dive beave first into a Yoni Egg practice. As a dearly devoted DIY gynecologist and eminent vaginamancer, believe me when I say that vaginal kung fu is real and it will change your life one kegel at a time. I started my Yoni Egg practice with this glowing orb of sweet seraphic rose quartz, with the intention of bro-ing down with my pubo-coccygeus muscles to dive deeper into my meditation and Ashtanga yoga practices. The goal was to cultivate and refine my Mula Bandha, the pelvic root lock that begins at the perineum and extends inwards to the deepest embryonic abdominal muscles, locking all that juicy qi into the body and moving that sweet auric nectar from the tailbone up the spine. While my initial motivation was to be able to hold poses deeper and longer and leap into inversions with sprightly grandeur, I soon came to understand that the pelvic floor is quite literally the cradle of our nascent magic. By mastering its mercurial muscular mirth and learning to control it at will, you can harness its regenerative power to accomplish the impossible (and up the #orgasm ante while you're at it, for the love of infinite ecstasy). Yoni eggs have a rich tradition in Taoist alchemy & medicine (peregrinate upon some Mantak Chia if you'd like a primer in this Jade Egg juju), with yoni eggs being used to improve physical and spiritual health by moving sexual energy inward and upward, alchemically transforming it into germinal spiritual mana in your body's own alchemical altar. On the western front, toning the urigenital and pelvic diaphragms helps ease childbirth and menstruation, prevents organ prolapse, tonifies the sex organs, aids in postpartum recovery, ignites the libido, stops urinary incontinence, and alights witch powers heretofore unspoken. Vaginamancy and Yoni Eggs: coming soon to Botanarchy. 🔮
If one cannot obtain medicines
One can live still to several hundred years of age,
If one fully grasps the principles
Of cultivating Qi and practices daily.
Indeed, humans exist within the Qi
And Qi exists within humans.
From Heaven and Earth to the myriad things,
Qi is pervasive.
There is nothing that does not rely on Qi for life.
-Master Ge Hong, The Book Of The Master Who Embraces Simplicity, 4thCentury C.E
Ritual and Medicine were once entwined in a caduceus of consanguinity, an ouroboros of serpentine synergy. Mutually engendering one another, they coaxed forth each other’s latent powers and filled in the gaps in their respective repertoires. Most traditional medical systems still honor this alchemical marriage, but our current hegemonic medical paradigm has been ripping up the paperwork and denying them rights. As a healthcare provider, it’s fashionable and expected that I shirk away from this brouhaha and peddle the antiseptic certitude of allopathic care with sophistry & absolutism. However, indigenous medicine places the physician as a mender of chasms, honoring the prosaic prowess of each paradigm and fusing ritual and remedy as one.
On a forced sabbatical recuperating from the pernicious three-week flu that recently swept Los Angeles, I was reminded of how important it is to fuse ritual & medicine, particularly when you’re wilted and supine, struggling to find your mojo in a disempowered mire. There’s nothing more humbling then being banished to your bed by a gruesome malady, a victim of capricious circumstance failed by your own flailing biology. It is in these ashen hours that a call to arms is ever so crucial, so that we may remind ourselves of our ferocious latent powers and re-connect with the seeds of our quieted magic. This is a simple, homespun ritual that I like to do at the advent of cold & flu season, when I feel an itchy tingle beckoning in the back of my throat, or when I’ve got tendrils of pestilence bristling within my body. The purpose of this rite is to strengthen the body’s energetic shield and first line of defense, and allow its innate curative alchemy to expel any lingering pathogens. As magic is best when it’s a prosy pastiche of incongruent passions, this ritual draws upon Traditional Chinese Medicine, kitchen witchery, and the ancient Taoist art of qigong. This can also be done as a protection rite in a circle of priests & priestesses, should you be lucky enough to have a slew of fellow witches and warlocks to bro-down with.
Qigong is the ancient Taoist art of cultivating qi from the abundant environment, and circulating its healing helices of gossamer elixir throughout the body. Through qigong, we can tap directly into the diaphanous motive power that operates the universe, and sycophantically siphon it into our own body cauldron. Qi is everywhere…within, without, above, below, giving life to all things. Its nature is to move and change, and the root of all health problems, be it injury, illness, or aging, involve the stagnation and circulation of qi and blood. Its harmonious flow is the basis of all ancient Asian medicinal and magical practices.
This simple equation, culled from the magnificent book The Healing Promise of Qi by Roger Jahnke, appeases both the science nerd and wizard in me, and distills the myriad mysteries of qigong into a basic formula:
Practice + Intention = Inner Harmony = Qi Flow = Health and Longevity
In Traditional Chinese Medicine, the lungs are inextricably linked to qi. Doctor Shen’s Compendium of Honoring Life (Shen Shi Zunsheng Shu), a Chinese medical text from1773, states that “the lung is the master of qi. Above, it connects to the throat; below, it connects to the orifices of the heart and the liver. It is in charge of inhalation and exhalation, and, in more general terms, the flux of coming in and going out.” The optimal functioning of the lungs ensures vitality and fortitude for the body en masse. The Statutes of Medicine (Yimen Falü), another Chinese medical text from 1658, illuminates this relationship, stating that “all bodily qi has its physical origin in the lung. If the lung’s qi is clear and straightforward, then there is not a single type of qi in the body that will not obey and flow along smoothly. However, if the lung qi becomes obstructed and turns murky, then the qi dynamics of the entire body will start to go against their natural flow and start to move upwards instead of downwards.”
The lung also has the unique distinction of being the uppermost organ in the body, an envoy between the external evils and the internal sanctum, uniquely susceptible to pathogenic factors like wind and cold. The lungs control the strength and circulation of Wei Qi, the ancient Chinese medical term for the body’s defensive energy and proverbial force field. Wei Qi warms the body and protects one’s self from the rigors of the outside environment. If you catch colds easily, have low energy or require a long time recuperating from an illness, your Wei Qi may be deficient. This ritual uses qigong and kitchen alchemy to strengthen the lung energy, boost Wei Qi, and ensure the harmonious flow of qi throughout the body.
Your ritual libation will be a magically-charged ‘Wei Qi Tonic,’ comprised of horseradish root, white onions, hot peppers, garlic, ginger root, and apple cider vinegar. In some circles, this is called ‘Fire Cider,’ though amongst my kinfolk it is lovingly referred to as ‘Plague Tonic.’ Plague Tonic is white and pungent to support the lungs, as this combination of color and taste resonates with the element metal in five element correspondences within Traditional Chinese Medicine. You can find directions on how the Botanarchy test kitchen makes this infernal brew here. Priests & Priestesses could also use an immunity alembic of their choice in lieu of the Plague Tonic. A strong hot toddy, a shot of fresh pressed garlic juice, oil of oregano, cayenne & lemon water, whatever tickles your pickle. Ideally, your libation will be zesty, fiery, and entirely NOT sip-worthy. But with a dash of magical zeal, anything radiating with the harmonics of healing will do.
When you fall ill, first regulate the breath,
Ingest the Qi, and fix your attention on the afflicted area.
Practice holding the breath,
And by means of conscious attention
Visualize the breath concentrating in the afflicted part.
Visualize the Qi attacking the illness.
When you can no longer comfortably hold the breath,
Exhale very slowly.
-The Immortal Master’s Treatise on the Absorption of Primordial Energy
1. Prepare the space with a banishing ritual that you vibe with, and an incense or smudge wand of your choice. Ai Ye, Mugwort, would be an excellent fumigant for this rite, as it is used in Traditional Chinese Medicine to purify pathogens, and ‘warm’ deficient conditions within the body.
2. Sit your Priests & Priestesses in a circle in a comfortable seated position, each with a chalice of Wei Qi Tonic. If you are rolling solo, just plop down and have at it.
3. Call upon a pathogenic factor you wish to expel. This could be an ‘emotional pathogen’ plaguing the body, such as lingering bad habit or traumatic event, or it could be a physical ailment, such as a runny nose or sinus headache. Attune to the physical locus of the pathogen within the body, and fix your attention on the afflicted area. Where does it linger? Is it heavy, oppressive, constricting? Does it feel hot? Sticky? Smokey? Summon it forth, feel its viscerality, and let it grow. Connect with its noxious character and feel it licking the walls of your viscera.
4. When the pathogen has been effectively summoned, slowly imbibe the Wei Qi Tonic, and feel its vigorous heat burning away the putrid evil of the pathogen. Sip slowly and with fierce intention until a visceral response is elicited. This could be anything from a hearty sweat, to a cough, tearing eyes, digestive noises, cathartic breath, or a sensation of lightness within the body. When you feel you have expelled your pathogen, push your ritual chalice to the center of the circle. If you are working with a group, this will signal to the other Priests & Priestesses that it is time to move on to the Wei Qi cultivation portion of the rite.
5. Now that you have purified your body, gather the Heavenly Qi of the universe and store it within you. Begin by standing comfortably in Horse Pose. Circle your arms over your head as you inhale Heavenly Qi through the lungs, drawing the qi down through your arms as you rest them in a circle over your umbilicus, exhaling Evil Qi out of your lungs. Visualize spirals of healing qi descending into the lungs, and disseminating protective Wei Qi over the surface of the body. Repeat at least 5 times.
6. Electrify the Wei Qi, and increase the diameter of its energetic field by relaxing and shaking the body vigorously for at least one minute. Imagine golden white light enshrouding you with protective mojo that no ills can permeate.
7. Give yourself a Wei Qi bath, by rubbing your hands lightly over the entire surface of the body, starting with the head and face, moving down the outer legs, and back up through the inner legs, dousing the body in energized, electric Wei Qi.
8. Once thoroughly exulted, close the rite by taking a few deep breaths to honor your inner physician. Whenever you feel persnickety, pestilent, or fatigued, know that qi is bounteous, free, and omnipresent, the marrow of the universe ripe for the suckling. Enjoy in robust health~!