Five Spirits Five Spirits the book The Chinese character LING

About Lorie Eve Dechar
Alchemical acupuncture
Five Spirits the book
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Five Spirits: Alchemical Acupuncture for Psychological and Spiritual Healing

Five Spirits: Alchemical Acupuncture for Psychological and Spiritual Healing was released in January 2006 by Chiron/Lantern Books. To order signed copies of Five Spirits, please send:

  • Your name, telephone number or email, and mailing address,
  • A check for $40.00 per copy made out to Lorie Dechar, and
  • Appropriate shipping and handling fee (for shipments within the U.S., $6.00 for the first book and $2.00/book thereafter; please inquire for international shipping cost) to:

Benjamin Fox
Five Spirits
PO Box 82
East Blue Hill, ME 04629

About the Book

Learn more about the Five Spirits

At the core of Chinese medicine is a nearly forgotten wisdom tradition based on the ancient art of Taoist alchemy. According to this tradition, spirit — the invisible “yang” energy of the divine —is not waiting to be discovered after death, high up and far away in Heaven. Rather, this energy is present, here and now, in our lives on Earth! Spirit may be hidden, yet it can be known and worked with through its manifestation in the cycles, movements and forms of the natural world.

This belief led the ancient Chinese to a reverence for the yin — matter, the Earth, nature and the body. They called the natural world the Mysterious Feminine and referred to it as “the visible face of Tao.” Taoist alchemists believed that all transformation as well as all healing depended on the healer’s ability to understand and work with the divine energies that stream through matter. Only through our devotion to the ways of the Mysterious Feminine — the body, nature and the Earth — can we experience healing that brings us back to the wholeness, authenticity and spontaneity of “our own perfection.”

Five Spirits: Alchemical Acupuncture for Psychological and Spiritual Healing opens the doorway to this ancient tradition as it introduces a vision of acupuncture as an alchemical art. From this perspective, acupuncture is much more than an effective treatment for physical pain. At its best, this system supports profound and lasting changes at the level of behavior, awareness and subjective life experience. It offers tools that are effective for psychological and emotional problems as well as complex psychosomatic and psycho-spiritual symptoms that do not respond to modern Western medical or psychological approaches.

Acupuncturists, psychologists and healers as well as acupuncture patients and people in the midst of challenging life transitions can use the tools of Alchemical Acupuncture presented in Five Spirits. These tools will also be useful to people dissatisfied with our current dualistic way of viewing the world, for anyone who is longing to rediscover the sacred beauty, power, wisdom and healing potential of their own body and the natural world around us.

The Five Spirits can be viewed as the Taoist version of the Chakra System of Vedic India.  Like the Chakras, the Spirits exist as centers of consciousness in the subtle body rather than as structures in the physical body.  Like the Chakras, the Spirits function to balance the yang and yin aspects of our being.  Like the Indian Chakra System, the Taoist Five Spirits is based on the recognition of the inherent divinity of both feminine and masculine, Earth and Heaven.  However, unlike the Chakras, which are visualized as abstract wheels of swirling energy fields, the Five Spirits are thought of as psychic entities, animating deities who reside in us, each with its own nature and psychospiritual function. An understanding of the Five Spirits is the key that opens the doorway to the mysteries of Taoist psychospiritual alchemy.

Select any of the links below to learn more about each of the Five Spirits and their relationship to your health and your life.

The Chinese character LING
The character ling is made up of two parts: a picture of three raindrops falling from the clouds above two sorceresses doing a rain dance. Ling is the light of the divine as it rains down on Earth. Ling is the soul. The word is also sometimes used to refer to the five spirits.

The invisible light of spirit, like sunlight in water, fractures into iridescence as it enters the realm of matter and form. In human beings, this iridescence is ling, the psychic spectrum of being, of mind, imagination, intention, physicality and instinctual will. Each level of this spectrum is a different frequency of vibrating energy. Each level is an aspect of consciousness, a psychic territory governed by one of the five spirits.



Shen: The Spirit of Fire — Inspiration, Insight, Awareness, and Compassion

Hun: The Spirit of Wood — Vision, Imagination, Direction, and Benevolence

Yi: The Spirit of Earth — Integrity, Intention, Clear Thought, and Devotion

Po: The Spirit of Metal — Animal Wit, Embodied Knowing, Receptivity, and Appreciation

Zhi: The Spirit of Water — Instinctual Power, Courage, Will, and Wisdom


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