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Seriously, check it out when you get a chance. I've made some additions to the information, but the majority is the hard work of someone else.
What is Cultivation?
Cultivation is ultimately the refinement and usage of qi.
Slowly incorporating more and more of it to achieve a form of “immortality” and
power. There are many ways to integrate it and use it to affect the world
around, so there isn’t just one method.
Qi - the vital
energy which exists in all things. The cultivation of Qi is a major theme in
Wuxia, Xianxia & Xuanhuan novels.
- Qi is sometimes written as “Ki” or “Chi”.
- Spiritual Energy of Heaven and Earth - the natural
energy of the world.
Cultivator – a person who trains in martial & mystical
arts, generally in order to become powerful and increase their longevity.
Meditation and the cultivation of Qi are common practices among cultivators.
Rogue Cultivators – literally translates as “Loose
Cultivators”. Independent cultivators unaffiliated with any sect, clan, or
other martial organizations. Cultivators in this category typically have
much less resources and near to no backing from any large groups.
Demonic Cultivators –
also translated as Devil Cultivators. Wicked cultivators who emulate Devils (魔) and seek power by any means necessary. They are often said
to follow the Devil Path / Devil Dao , in opposition to the orthodox Immortal
Cultivators. In this novel, they are cultivators who practice
sacrificial or evil cultivation methods.
Righteous Cultivators - Cultivators who are purportedly more righteous and
'good' than the Demonic Cultivators. This is most definitely not always the
case. On the whole, though, you can expect a righteous cultivator to attempt to
maintain the image of doing the right thing.
Sect – an
organization dedicated to the practice of cultivation and/or martial arts.
Typically led by a Sect Leader or Patriarch. With the help of Sect Elders, they instruct Disciples in the proper methods of cultivation or training in the
martial arts styles of the Sect. The Disciples live in the Sect, which provides
for their daily needs. There is practically always a strict hierarchy amongst
members of a Sect, and respect for the elder generations is demanded.
In some novels, the common Disciples are divided into
another hierarchy of Core Disciples, Inner Disciples , and Outer
Disciples – based on their level of talent and meritorious service to the
Sect. Disciples higher on the hierarchy have greater status and receive more
resources from the Sect.
This Novel's Sect Hierarchy:
1. Sect Founder:
The Founder is not always the Patriarch, if they’ve fallen out of power.
If weaker than or deferential to the Founder, they will come in second
2. Council Sect Elders/Advising Sect Elders
3. Sect Elders/ Spell Formation(Array) &
Talisman Experts/ Alchemy Experts
4. Core Disciples
- Sect Elder Direct Servants: Treated with respect by lower rankings, but less than
from core disciples
5. Inner Court Disciples
a. Core Disciple Direct Servants: Should be
treated as respectfully as Inner Court Disciples
6. Outer Court Disciples
7. Sect Servants
8. Normal People
a school of cultivation or martial arts. Doesn’t differ much from a Sect.
Clan – an
extended family related by blood, sharing a surname. They often pass down
heirlooms from generation to generation along with secret cultivation methods
& martial arts styles which were developed by the clan’s ancestors. They
tend to guard these jealously from outsiders.
Spiritual Roots –
The foundation of one’s body and spirit
- This ties into natural talent
Cultivation Base –
The total amount of qi stored in a user
- Stored in the dantian
- Dantian –
Where a person’s qi is concentrated
- Normal usage is the lower dantian, but true
purification can unlock the middle and upper dantian, allowing for
extraordinary qi storage. 3 Dantians total.
- Meridians -
act as reservoirs or pathways for the circulation of Qi.
- Acupoints -
"acupuncture points", related to pressure points. There are
several hundred of them on the body, mostly located along the meridians.
Knowledge of acupoints can be used in healing (through acupuncture or
similar practices) or in combat by deliberately striking them to achieve
- the act of controlling Qi to flow from the dantian,
through the meridians, and back into the dantian in a cycle. The purpose
of this varies between novels, but usually it helps replenish stamina, purify
the Qi, or strengthen the meridians.
Breathing Exercises -
A special way of breathing which expels the turbid Qi within the body and draws
in the Qi of the natural world.
- Embryonic Breathing–
also known as Taixi or Fetal Breathing. A form of breathing without using
one’s nose and mouth. Instead, the practitioner might breathe through
their pores or dantian (for example). This is generally considered to be a
highly-advanced Breathing Exercise which grants mystical benefits and
brings the practitioner closer to nature.
a practice for training or calming the mind and spirit.
- Cultivators spend a great deal of time in meditation,
as both the cultivation of Qi and contemplation of Insights generally
Lotus Position -
sitting in a cross-legged meditative position.
Pecularities of the body and soul that either benefit or hurt cultivation or
Cultivation Furnace – Using someone’s else’s cultivation base to
fuel your own (unwillingly).