THE FEMININE TAO 
CHAPTER SIX
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Tao Te Ching (Daodejing) (Intro) : 32 Nature Mystic Chapters :
gender-inclusive translations, calligraphy, commentary, seal scripts :

01, 04, 06, 07, 08    09, 10, 11, 15, 21, 22, 23    26, 28, 29, 32, 35,
40, 43, 45, 47    48, 49, 51, 52, 56, 63, 67    70, 73, 77, 79.
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Hymning the Tao Te Ching
(Literal 81 Chapter Chinese-English Study Version)
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Hyperlinked Bibliography: Women Authors on the Tao Te Ching
Woman Crookback (Chuang-Tzu)
Picturing Tao (photo above): Waterfall Crow Reflecting the Sky
Hudson Crossing
Women's Prehistoric Jomon Pottery

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Chinese Character Shen, Spirit
SPIRIT (神 = Shen)
Spirit, Soul, God/Goddess
Pictograph: Omen from Heaven extending
to all Living Things (zhongwen.com)

Tao Te Ching: Chapter 6
translated by Tolbert McCarroll (1982)

The valley spirit never dies.

It is the unknown first mother,
whose gate is the root
from which grew heaven and earth.

It is dimly seen, yet always present.

Draw from it all you wish;
it will never run dry.

---

Chinese Character Pin 牝 Mare
MARE / MOTHER (牝 = Pin)
Female of Species, Yin, Womb

Tao Te Ching: Chapter 6
translated by Ellen M. Chen (1989)

The Valley Spirit is deathless,
It is called the Dark Mare.

The door of the Dark Mare,
Is called the root of heaven and earth.

Continuous, it seems to exist,
Yet in use it is inexhaustible. [*]

---
[**] ELLEN M. CHEN (2011) comments:
"Dao is a productive emptiness. [...] In comparing Dao to the dark mare and then calling it the root of heaven and earth, Chapter 6 is literally determining Dao to be an organic female principle."

Tao Te Ching: Chapter 6
translated by John Chalmers (1868)

The Spirit of the valley never dies.
This I call the Abyss-Mother.
The passage of the Abyss-Mother
I call the root of heaven and earth.
Ceaselessly it seems to endure,
and it is employed without effort. [*]

---
Seal script for Daodejing Chapter 6a
Seal script for Daodejing Chapter 6b
(1) the river-valley (2) spirit (3) never (4) dies
(5) this (6) is called (7) the dark (8) mare

---
[*] ELLEN M. CHEN comments:
"In this chapter, Tao acquires two new names: the
valley spirit and the dark mare, both symbols of
fertility."
---
[*] EMILY DICKINSON says:
"Emblem is immeasurable-that is why it is better
than Fulfillment, which can be drained."
---

Chinese Character Gen 根 Root
ROOT
Essence, Foundation (根 = Gen)

Tao Te Ching: Chapter 6
translated by Kari Hohne (2009)

Yin is like a valley that is always present.
It is the unknown first mother,
whose gate is the root of all things.
Dimly visible, it only seems as if it were there.

Draw from it all you wish;
it will never run dry.

---

Tao Te Ching: Chapter 6
translated by Ursula K. Le Guin (1998)

The valley spirit never dies
Call it the mystery, the woman.

The mystery,
the Door of the Woman,
is the root
of earth and heaven.

Forever this endures, forever.
And all its uses are easy.

---

Tao Te Ching: Chapter 6
translated by Livia Kohn (1993)

The valley spirit does not die,
It is called the mysterious female.
The gate of the mysterious female
Is called the root of heaven and earth.

Forever and ever, it exists continuously,
Use it, yet you'll never wear it out.

---

Tao Te Ching: Chapter 6
translated by Chao-Hsiu Chen (2004)

The spirit is as deep as a valley and will never fade.

It is the great mysterious mother.

The gateway of this mysterious creature is the root of Heaven and Earth.

Although it is invisible, it endures;
it will never end.

---

Daodejing / Tao Te Ching / Chapter Six in Seal Script
(Zhuanshu 篆文, with Wang Pi/Wang Bi Version)
Tao Te Ching Chapter Six Seal Script
Chapter 6 Seal Script & Interlinear English
Seal script for Daodejing Chapter 6a
Seal script for Daodejing Chapter 6b
(1) the river-valley (2) spirit (3) never (4) dies
(5) this (6) is called (7) the dark (8) mare / female

SEAL SCRIPT
(1) the dark (2) mare / female (3) the same (4) a gateway [is]
(5) this (6) is called (7) heaven (8) and earth (9) the root / essence
Seal script for Daodejing Chapter 6ef
(1) continually (2) continually (3) barely seeming (4) to exist
(5) [yet] use of (6) the same (7) is without (8) toil
Tao Te Ching: Chapter 6
trans. by Gia-Fu Feng, Jane English (1972)

The valley spirit never dies;
It is the woman, primal mother.
Her gateway is the root of heaven and Earth.
It is like a veil barely seen.
Use it; it will never fail.

---

Chinese Character Mian 綿 Continuously
CONTINUOUSLY (綿 = Mian)
Lit. "Threads like Silk"

Tao Te Ching: Chapter 6
translation by Isabella Mears (1922)

The Spirit of the Valley dies not,
      it is called Mother-substance of the Deep.
The Door of Mother-substance of the Deep
      is called the Root of Heaven and Earth.
Continuously, continuously,
It nourishes and preserves.
Use it,
Thy strength shall not fail.

---

Tao Te Ching: Chapter 4
translated by P. J. Maclagan (1898-99)

1.
The Valley-spirit does not die; it is called the obscure feminine.
The gate of the obscure feminine is called the root of heaven and earth.

SEAL SCRIPT
(1) the dark (2) mare / female (3) the same (4) a gateway [is]
(5) this (6) is called (7) heaven (8) and earth (9) the root / essence

Continuously it is as if surviving; in its use there is no exertion.

---

Tao Te Ching: Chapter 6
trans. by D. C. Lau & Sarah Allan (1982)
(Ma Wang Tui Manuscripts)

The spirit of the valley never dies;
This is called the dark female.
The entry into the dark female
Is called the root of heaven and earth.

Tenuous, it seems as if it were there,
Yet use will never exhaust it.

---

Tao Te Ching: Chapter 6
translation by Arthur Waley (1934)

The Valley Spirit never dies.
It is named the Mysterious Female. [*]
And the doorway of the Mysterious Female
Is the base from which Heaven and Earth sprang.
It is there within us all the while;
Draw upon it as you will, it never runs dry.

---
[*] ARTHUR WALEY comments:
"The valleys, then, are 'nearer to Tao' than the hills, and in the whole of creation it is the negative, passive, 'female' element alone that has access to Tao, which can only be mirrored 'in a still pool.'"

Tao Te Ching: Chapter 6
translated by Wing-Tsit Chan (1963)

The spirit of the valley never dies.
It is called the subtle and profound female.
The gate of the subtle and profound female
Is the root of Heaven and Earth.
It is continuous, and seems to be always existing.
Use it and you will never wear it out.

---

Tao Te Ching: Chapter 6
translated by J. H. McDonald (1996)

The spirit of emptiness is immortal.
It is called the Great Mother
because it gives birth to Heaven and Earth.

It is like a vapor,
barely seen but always present.
Use it effortlessly.

---

Tao Te Ching: Chapter 6
translated by Holly Roberts (2005)

The spirit of the valley never dies.
It is described as a "mysterious female."
The cycle of creation, as well,
can be envisioned as a "mysterious female."
It is the root of Heaven and Earth.
It seems to exist as a subtle continuum.
With ease, it fulfills its role.

---

Tao Te Ching: Chapter 6
translated by Walter Gorn Old (1904)

Like the river in the valley, the spirit is never dried up.

I call it the Mother-Deep.

The motion of the Mother-Deep I regard as the origin of the Heaven and the Earth.

Seal script for Daodejing Chapter 6ef
(1) continually (2) continually (3) barely seeming (4) to exist
(5) yet use of (6) the same (7) is without (8) toil

Forever it endures and moves without design.

---


Chinese Character Wei 謂 Call
CALL, NAME
(The Meaning, 謂 = Wei)

Tao Te Ching: Chapter 6
translated by Shrine of Wisdom (1924)

The Spirit in the Void never dies.
It is called the Mother-Deep.
The opening of the Mother-Deep is called the Root of Heaven and Earth. [*]
      Ceaselessly, ceaselessly,  
      It nourishes and preserves:
      Inexhaustible, without effort.
---
[*] SHRINE OF WISDOM says:
"The Mother is Tao 'conceived as having a name,' therefore She is the Root of Yang and Yin. Between the highest Heaven and the nethermost Earth is the fathomless Void where the forms of existence emerge from the opening of the Mother-Deep."

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