The Chinese seasonal calendar divides the year into 4 seasons: Spring, Summer, Autumn, and Winter. Each season is further subdivided into six stages. A total of 24 phases (4x6=24) make up the yearly seasonal cycle. For example, Summer begins with Start of Summer and continues with Grain Full. and the last one is Major Heat. Can you guess what the fourth stage of Summer is called?
|1||Start of Spring|
|Start of Summer|
|Start of Autumn|
|Start of Winter|
|Limit of Heat|
|3||Awakening of Insects|
|Grain in Ear|
|5||Clear and Bright|
THE 24 PHASES OF THE CHINESE SEASONAL CYCLE
4 Seasons/6 Stages per Season
Each of these 24 phases is known as a jieqi (jee-ay-chee) and lasts approximately 15 days. The start of a new jieqi is determined by the position of the sun. Every time the sun advances 15° on it's journey around the ecliptic, a new phase begins.
Qigong masters were keen observers of the flows of Qi energy. They noticed that during the first two hours of a jieqi a powerful wave of energy washed over the earth.
Here is a simple way to envision what happens each time a new jieqi begins: Picture Time Square on December 31st at 11:59 PM, just one minute before the New Year begins. The buildup of energy is palpable. The New Year's Ball hovering above the cheering crowd is about to drop. Then the countdown begins: Ten, nine, eight... three, two, and one!
As the ball hits the ground the crowd lets out a wild roar and a tremendous wave of energy is released. Many of us have experienced this surge of energy, either live or on television. At that moment, we are often inspired to make a New Year's resolution, instinctively realizing that we can leverage the groundswell of exuberance to make real changes in our lives.
The first two hours of a new jieqi are like a mini New Year, and long ago Qigong masters realized that if they timed their Qigong practice to coincide with this narrow window of time, they would benefit tremendously. Practicing Qigong during the first two hours of a jieqi is like raising your sails while a strong wind is blowing - a little effort carries you a long way.
Seasonal Empowerment Qigong (or Jieqi Qigong) was taught to me by my Qigong Master, Xiao Yao (shiao-yeeaow). He would consult a yellow book that tracked the position of the planets to determine the precise time the jieqi began, and we would practice the Seasonal Empowerment together. By joining the thousands of practitioners doing Seasonal Empowerment you join our growing Circle of Cosmic Qi and partake in an ancient tradition.