Yellow Emperor's Canon - Chapter Two

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Yellow Emperor's Canon
Chapter One
Chapter Two
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How the Changes of the Four Seasons Affect Ones Spirit

Heaven-Qi is clear, bright and pure. It never stops moving, which is why it never reveals it's light. If it did the sky would become bright and the sun and moon would become dim. As a result Evil-Qi would take control.

When that happens Yang-Qi would be blocked from the Heavens, Earth-Qi would fail to ascend, dark clouds and fog would not lift, rain would not fall. The communication between Heaven and Earth would cease, making it impossible for all things in nature to continue developing. Even large trees would die.

If Virulent-Qi emerges, if wind and rain fail to appear at the right time, plants will wither. In addition, frequent attacks of Wind-Evil will lead to the immature death of everything. Only sages can follow such natural changes. That is why they do not fall ill during such disasters. If all things in nature follow the principles of health cultivation, their vitality will never be exhausted.

The changes of Yin and Yang in the four seasons are the roots of all things in nature. So the sages cultivate Yang-Qi in Spring and Summer, while nourish Yin-Qi in Autumn and Winter. Ignorance of these roots means destruction of the primordial base and impairment of the body.

Thus the changes of Yin and Yang are responsible for growth, decline and the death of all things. Ignorance of it brings disasters while abidance by it prevents the occurrence of disease. This is why we follow the law of nature. The law of nature is followed by the sages, but ignored by fools.

Following the rules of Yin and Yang ensures life, while ignoring them leads to death. Abidance by the rules brings about peace, while ignorance of them results in disorders. If ignorance of the rules is mistaken as abidance of them, a disease know as Neige will occur.

Therefore, the sages usually pay less attention to the treatment of disease, but more to the prevention of it. To resort to treatment when a disorder has already been caused, is just like to dig a well when one feels thirsty or to make weapons when a war has already broken out. Isn't it too late then?


Spring is the season when all things on Earth begin to grow and flourish. We should go to sleep late and get up early, taking a walk in the courtyard with our hair running free, relaxing our bodies and enlivening our minds. Such a natural revival process should be activated, promoted and encouraged; we should let ourselves grow.

This is how we adapt to Spring-Qi and how to cultivate health during the Spring. Otherwise, Liver-Qi will be stagnated and we may contract cold-disease during Summer and won't be able to adapt to it's long, hot days.


Summer is the season when all prosper. Heaven-Qi and Earth-Qi converge with each other and all things bloom and bear fruit. We should go to sleep late and get up early. Avoid, hating the long days and hot weather, stay cheerful enabling Qi to flow smoothly.

This is how to adapt to Summer-Qi and how to cultivate health during the Summer. Otherwise, Heart-Qi will be deficient and we may contract malaria in Autumn and become ill in Winter.


Autumn is the season of ripening. In Autumn it's cool, the wind blows fast and the atmosphere is clear. We should go to sleep early and get up at dawn, just like the rooster. We should keep our minds at peace to calm the effect of Autumn's cool weather on the body, moderate our mental activities to balance Autumn-Qi and avoid nostalgic feelings to harmonize Lung-Qi.

This is how to adapt to Autumn-Qi and how to cultivate health in Autumn. Otherwise, Lung-Qi will be dry and distended and may contract Sunxie in Winter.


Winter is the season for storage. Water freezes and the Earth cracks. Care must be taken to avoid disturbing Yang-Qi in our bodies. People should go to sleep early and get up late when the sun is shinning. Mentally maintain quiet just like when keeping a secret. We should avoid the cold and try to keep warm, avoid sweating so as to prevent loss of Yang-Qi.

This is how adapt to Winter-Qi and how to cultivate health in Winter, promoting the storage functions of the body. Otherwise, Kidney-Qi will sink and the energy for the following seasons will be reduced, leading to dysfunction, weakness and coldness of the limbs in Spring.