The Spirit of the Kidneys

The zhi spirit lives in the kidneys and presides over the most inaccessible parts of the psyche, the instinctual responses of the sex organs, the biochemical intelligence of the endocrine system, and the knowing of our bones. The zhi connect us to the collective unconscious, the part of our psyche that draws us out of, and back into, the infinite. The power of the zhi can be likened to the power of a hot spring, a geyser or the steaming vents of sulfurous fire that shoot up from the trenches of the deep ocean floor. This energy cannot be argued with. It emerges and bursts upward in a fantastic display of negentropic potency. In the human microcosm, it is related to the power of the life force, the instincts, the will, and the driving urgency of ambition. Zhi is the will to live, the unknowable mystery of quickening life. Zhi rises from the wellspring of our being and imbues us with the desire to grow, thrive, and live fully. We encounter this mystery each time a child is conceived, a seed sprouts, or a new creative impulse is engendered. - Five Spirits: Alchemical Acupuncture for Psychological and Spiritual Healing, by Lorie Dechar.

I view the zhi spirit, the deepest aspect of our instinctual, yet shadow selves, as the darkness that causes germination. Indeed, the pictogram of zhi is a sprout hidden within the depths of the heart. Its color is deep navy blue, almost black. The light of spirit is pure, bright, and untainted, but almost imperceptible in the depths of the zhi. It is like a cinema. The light still shines, but if the film is very dark, it colors what shows up on the screen of our lives. Because the mind is a rapidly moving succession of thoughts and images, we must be still and face our fears to access the power of zhi.

This is the most potent practice I know of, and yet the one that most people are averse to. They want something productive, something to know, something to DO! “How will being still and facing my fears help me become pregnant?” The answer is that it unleashes the power of the life force. Unexamined fears contract the kidney energies, and reduce blood flow and access to the reproductive essence.

Exercises which enhance the reproductive essence are very yin. Very still and quiet. Exercises which feed the desire to do, to be productive, to get something done, are very yang. They deplete the essence.

Take some time every day in stillness to quiet the mind and attend to your internal landscape. If you feel like you need something to do, soak your feet in warm Epsom salt with calming essential oils to relax you and improve blood flow to the lower body.