Terracotta Warriors

Alison JamesArticles

Unification is not a new concept.  At various times in earthly civilizations, man has attained certain levels of awareness that a life lived in harmony with his neighbor would be beneficial.  As we move closer to our “official” transition into the New Golden Age (The New Camelot), we are learning to hold the consciousness that not only can we enable this reality on Earth, but we are its creators. When we understand in our hearts that All is Divine and of God, then we can move into a place of unity and acceptance, embracing our past and witnessing the Divine Plan at work.  This is a necessary awareness when one learns about the First Emperor of China, Emperor Qin (pronounced ‘chin’) and his role in unifying China.

Emperor Qin succeeded to the throne at the age of thirteen, a time in China’s history when there had been three centuries of brutal warfare under the Zhou Dynasty. Battles between the feudal lords had become very large in scale with fearsome crossbowmen, armored infantry (with bronze swords and axes) and horse-drawn chariots. In 221 BCE Qin Shi Huangdi (which means ‘first emperor’) declared his own divinity, named himself the First Emperor and the Qin Dynasty began (221 BCE – 207 BCE). The nation at that time was formed of seven states. Under Qin, unification was established by war and bloodshed. Tales of his harsh acts have survived: he executed those who spoke against him, he was displeased with the followers of Confucius, scholars’ books were burned and he taxed his subjects heavily which led to widespread suffering and starvation.

The five-clawed dragon became Qin’s emblem, this deity being chosen for its wisdom, strength and favor. The ancient Chinese believed that dragons inhabited rivers, lakes, oceans and rain clouds. A Chinese dragon may have the head of a camel, the horns of a stag, the eyes of a demon, the scales of a fish, the claws of an eagle, the pads of a tiger, the ears of bull and the long whiskers of a cat.  A dragon was believed to be able to make itself as small as a silkworm or large enough to overshadow the world. It was intended to appear fearsome! Lady Kuan Yin, the Goddess of Mercy of Mercy and Compassion, who has vowed not to return to Nirvana until all souls on Earth are saved, and who is often seen riding a dragon, says:

“There is much to be done on Earth to raise the consciousness of the collective heart so that all may return to the ways of Love and Compassion. Your loving kindness in your daily lives will make a difference to those round about you.  There is no need to fear the dragon; claim your inner dragon of irritability and fear.  Be strong in the knowledge that you are alive on planet Earth at this time for her ascension and your own.  Every one of you may choose to return to the Light.  Look forward now to a new future of Light and Love where all are protected and safe and cherished.  Loving your neighbor will start the domino effect around the world.  It IS happening now and we the Ascended Masters are assisting you in all ways. I send you my Love and omnipresence to assist you in all things.”  ~ Lady Kuan Yin

Emperor Qin, like many rulers in history, wanted to have immortality and protection in the afterlife. In 200 BCE, he ordered to have built an army of over 8,000 life-size terracotta soldiers and horses to accompany him. Over 700,000 slaves were used to build the corridor tombs beside Mount Lishon in the northwestern province of Shaanxi, China. No details were spared or overlooked. Some have declared the terracotta warriors the Eighth Wonder of the World. I can attest that the visiting Exhibit of the Terracotta Warriors to New York is quite amazing.

In 1974, a farmer in Xiyang village was sinking a well when he hit the neck of one of these soldiers underground. Each warrior is 6 feet tall and weighs over 500 pounds; they were discovered standing in formation under a pearl covered wooden ceiling and on a stone floor. Each warrior was built from the ground up, the feet and legs first (unlike Greek and Roman statues that were carved from one piece of stone). Great attention was paid to shoes, costume and even fingernails; every face is different. The warriors’ head gear, footwear and robes are fashioned according to rank, but their actual weapons were stolen by grave robbers after Qin’s demise. The clay horses are life-size and detailed down to saddle carvings and braided horsetails. The Exhibit includes horse bridle and chariot fittings made of gold as well as a variety of other vessels and household items, mostly decorated with farm animals, pigs, hares, deer, dogs, toads and wild geese and horses. Illustrations of animals are evident throughout this Exhibit, particularly dogs, male dogs having straight tails and female dogs curly tails.  It is said that dogs go back 9,000 years in China. Other animals included in this Exhibit were a magnificent life-size swan made of hollow metal and the zhuque vermilion bird (or phoenix-like bird) associated with the Empress and fire, on decorative items. Bronze swords, wine vessels and decorated belt hooks all survived particularly well and with lovely detail.

The mass production of the human warriors, animal statues and their wooden accoutrements (which mostly were lost) remains for us an indication of the organization Emperor Qin employed. In real terms, he had a large army to feed and agriculture was a large and organized undertaking. There was trading in the North with the Dian nomadic people from over the border with ornamental items remaining depicting with camels, deer and dragons. Gold and bronze currency was found in the shape of a knife – no surprise in light of the military might the Emperor wielded.

It was the Emperor’s intention to form a uniform culture and this he achieved with an iron fist. On a stone table was inscribed that he developed “standards for 10,000 things … all under heaven and of one mind, single in will.” He established a centralized bureaucratic system that replaced the Zhou feudal system.  All forms of writing and coinage were standardized and these standards were spread throughout the nation. For example, the length of the wheel axle was unified and roadways standardized to ease transportation throughout the country. There was conscription into the army for men between seventeen and sixty for one year in the army. Qin’s greatest material achievement was perhaps the construction of long sections of the Great Wall of China, aimed at keeping the Xiongnu nomads out of China.  It is the longest structure ever built.

The items on display in the Exhibit of the Terracotta Warriors are marvellous examples of Chinese symmetry, not least among them being a pair of gate panels illustrated by Nüwa (round heaven) and Fuxi (square earth), an early representation of yin and yang. According to legend, brother and sister Nüwa and Fuxi survived a great flood and retired to the Kunlun Mountains (the paradise of Taoism) to pray for a sign from the Emperor of Heaven. When their union was approved, they set about procreating the human race. In order to speed up the process, they used clay to create human figures, and with the divine power divine entrusted to them, made the clay figures come alive. Emperor Qin likely believed the terracotta warriors would come alive for his journey in the afterlife; what say you?