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About Ermae

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  1. Working with the Three Cauldrons

    Hi Darin and Ian, thank you, those links are fantastic! Some overviews, AND some practices to work on my lower Dan Tian. Exactly what I'm looking for. And thank you for the welcome Rain, I'll be sure to check out the book section. For some context, from the Welsh tale of Taliesin, apparently the 'greatest poet and bard', it talks about his gifts stemming from being set to stir Ceridwen's Cauldron, the cauldron of wisom, as a boy, from which was brewed the potion of wisdom or inspiration, and the three white drops of Awen/Imbas/Inspiration flying out to his thumb, and on sucking the burn, gaining the inspiration that was intended for Ceridwen's son Agfadu. Summarisation of a widely known tale. Then, there's a less commonly known Irish 15th century text normally known as the "Cauldron of Poesy" on how a poet may gain his skill, which talks of three cauldrons in the body. The Coire Goiriath or Cauldron of Warming/Maintenance/Incubation, which is born in all people 'upright', and from other sources, is understood to lie in the belly. The Coire Ermae or Cauldron of Vocation/Motion, which in most people is born on it's side, and in every other person, is upside down, and must be turned by joy or sorrow to be utilised, and as it lies between the other two cauldrons, is presumed to be in the chest. And finally, the Coire Sois, or Cauldron of Wisdom/Knowledge, which can only be turned by joy after the middle cauldron is activated, and from other sources, is understood to lie in the head. Reading this, I remembered the location of the three Dan Tien, and started reading more, to see if there was any connection. From initial reading, I'd humbly submit that - holy crap, is there ever! The end part of the distillation of the three cauldrons from chi, to jing and shen, into the 'white drops' seems to mirror the original tale of Taliesin, and other fragments of mythos. From what I understand, if you look at them as potential energy stores in the body, the lower Dan Tian is a natural place to store energy in all of us (due to the connection with that original energy source, the umbilical cord?), but the upper two generally have to be 'turned' before they can be utilised, and filled with chi, thereby to be used in the greater process of inner alchemy (the three 'burners', also reflecting cultural references to the fire in the belly, the fire in the heart, and the fire in the head). I'm interpreting the middle cauldron as having a connection to the heart chakra as well as Dan Tians, and that the connection between it being turned upright, or on it's side, is that of having an open heart chakra, ie being open to experiencing 'joy and sorrow', and awareness of ones gifts, at which point it can be used. From a riff by, I think it was the UK Barefoot Doctor guy, I'm also understanding this as the major points through which energy moves course of creative, or spiritual endeavour (closer to the chakra view I guess) - from the belly, giving initial energy or desire, up to heart, transmuting to desire to uh, goals? Understanding your 'hearts desire' basically. Up to the head, which turns the 'goal into a 'game plan'. Which also makes sense. Or, y'know, I could just be be wildly theorising, and they may read like very, very weak connections, but basically, that's all an adjunct to some personal experiences of synchronicity here, that mean it definitely feels like it's where I'm supposed to go. I've never really worked with chakras, or taoism, and, well hell, when it comes to it, I consider my knowledge of Irish and Welsh mythology relatively weak, so boom. It looks like I've got a lot to learn. So, cheers guys, for the starters!
  2. Hi all, I'm from New Zealand. And I've been a practising Neopagan for 11 years, but with only a cursory knowledge of anything of Taoism. I'm a complete beginner in this area, but it looks like I'm taking a sharp turn into Taoist territory, due to some interesting synchronicities in my own life that have drawn me to some connections and parallels between Celtic mythology and the concept of the three 'cauldrons'/'burners', or Dan Tian, of the Taoist path of Inner Alchemy. I am interested in looking at exercises and practices to work with first my lower and then middle Dan Tian. From initial reading, I believe my middle Dan Tian could do with some stoking, but I need to walk before I can run, and the only knowledge of the lower Dan Tian I have is some explanations from martial arts, and holding it as your center of balance, or almost as your center of consciousness, when moving. Any suggestions of material to start with would be appreciated. At this point I am investigating Chi Gong classes in my region, etc (is Falun Dafa likely to be of any use in this area?), and just googling to find introductory resources. Excuse me if anything I say sounds uninformed - and feel free to inform me!