The Seal of the Unity of the Three (Cantong qi)


Under an allusive poetical language and thick layers of images and symbols, the Cantong qi (Seal of the Unity of the Three) hides the exposition of the teaching that gave origin to Taoist Internal Alchemy (Neidan).

Materials listed on this page are selected from:


Chrome bullet Qian and Kun, Kan and Li

"Qian ☰ and Kun ☷ are the door and the gate of change, the father and the mother of all hexagrams. Kan ☵ and Li ☲ are the inner and the outer walls, they spin the hub and align the axle. . . ."

Chrome bullet Nourishing Inner Nature

"Innerly nourish yourself, serene and quiescent in Empty Non-Being. Going back to the fundament conceal your light, and innerly illuminate your body. . . ."

Chrome bullet The Principles of Alchemy

"Know the white, keep to the black, and the Numinous Light will come of its own. White is the essence of Metal, Black the foundation of Water. . . ."

Chrome bullet The Lovely Maid and the Yellow Sprout

"The Lovely Maid of the River is numinous and supremely divine: when she finds Fire she flies away, leaving behind not a speck of dust. . . ."

Chrome bullet   Other Selections

Other short selections from The Seal of the Unity of the Three:

The Three Treasures
The Way of Heaven Renders No Favors
The Joining of Sun and Moon
The Artisan and the Charioteer
The Timeless Instant between End and Beginning
"The Seal of the Unity of the Three"
The Way of the Golden Elixir


Chrome bullet An Introduction to the Cantong qi

A seven-part essay on the authorship, date, and contents of the Seal of the Unity of the Three.

Chrome bullet Commentaries and Editions

An overview of more that two dozen commentaries to the Seal of the Unity of the Three and their editions.

Chrome bullet Other Materials

Two Biographies of Wei Boyang, on the reputed author of the Cantong qi
The Alchemical Model of the Cantong qi
The Title of the Cantong qi (PDF)
Main Subjects in the Cantong qi (PDF)
Chinese Text of the Cantong qi (PDF)