Silk Reeling – Literally

A discussion on the Chen Style Taijiquan (Tai Chi) group on Facebook about the meaning of “silk reeling” sent me searching for a description of how actual silk is made from silkworm cocoons, and I can across this page:

I suppose I was half-expecting to see a picture of a cocoon being unwound by hand to make thread, but what I actually saw was a spinning reel (half-way through the page). From this I infer that “silk-reeling energy” isn’t so much like the unwinding of silk thread from a cocoon, but more like the continuous spinning of the reel. It makes sense – when we practice silk-reeling, we aim for a continuous, circular energy, much like the spinning of the reel.

You can also take the analogy further by considering that when one part of the silk reel is spinning, then all of it spinning, and the reason it spins is because the centre moves, and the arms follow.

Makes perfect sense when you think about it.

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