Three Blossoms on the Crown

Dad: Your pimple is in the same exact spot as the guy’s horn from Tai Chi 0! Hahahahaha!
Me: I know, I noticed it earlier.
Dad: ::pointing at it with nonstop laughter::
Me: -.-
Dad: Did you reach that high a level of kung fu yet? Hahahaha!
Me: -.-
Dad: Did your kung fu friends say anything? Hahahahah!
Me: -.- No, maybe they noticed but were too polite to say anything.
Dad: 三花聚頂 (Three Blossoms on the Crown) was always mentioned in the kung fu 小說 (fictional novels)! Hahaha!
Me: Does it really look like a horn?
Dad: They never described it in detail so I never knew what it looked like! ::still laughing::
Me: -.-
Dad: It’d better not turn black or you’ll have to stop training! Hahahahaha!

三花聚頂 (San1 Hua1 Ju4 Ding3) can be translated as “Three Blossoms on the Crown”, “Three Flowers Condensing onto the Head,” “Three Flowers Reach the Top,” or some other variation.

Although featured in a fantasy martial arts film, it’s an actual concept in Daoism. It’s mentioned in a short paragraph of Dr. Yang’s book, The Root of Chinese Qigong. The Three Blossoms are: Essence (精 Jing), Vital Breath (氣 Qi) and the human Spirit (神 Shen). Basically, 三花聚頂 means that a person has gone through a process of cultivation of skill to a superior level (unification of the Three Blossoms), and reached a divine state where his or her body glows.

Avatar: The Last Airbender uses this concept and incorporates reincarnation. “The Avatar State is a defense mechanism, designed to empower you with the skills and knowledge of all the past Avatars. The glow is the combination of all your past lives, focusing their energy through your body. In the Avatar State, you are at your most powerful, but you are also at your most vulnerable. If you are killed in the Avatar State, the reincarnation cycle will be broken and the Avatar will cease to exist.” ―Roku to Aang in “The Avatar State”

Water (Taijiquan), Earth (Hung Gar), Fire (Northern Shaolin), Air (Baguazhang)

In Tai Chi 0,  三花聚頂 takes the physical form of a horn on Yang Lu Chan’s head. When punched, it gives him supernatural martial arts powers… right before he has aneurysms and passes out. A doctor warns Yang that if he over trains external arts and the horn turns black, his life will be at risk. Yang goes to the Chen village in hopes of learning internal arts to save himself, however, the villagers refuse to teach outsiders. Yang’s persistent attempts lead to many fights with the villagers, who all happen to be tai chi masters.

After watching the trailer (which I fully enjoyed), I thought the film would be as silly as Shaolin Soccer or Kung Fu Hustle. However, it exceeded my low expectations and I’d recommend it for anyone who won’t take it too seriously.

There are more serious trailers out there, but this goofy one is what got me interested:

Who knew a pimple would inspire a little Daoism research and a blog post?

4 thoughts on “Three Blossoms on the Crown

  1. I’ve got it in the same spot. It is a semi hard bump. It doesn’t look like a horn but it is there all the time.

  2. Actually I have one in the same spot too. Just recently found this blog. Funny I used to call it my horn, but found it weird I only had one. But not now. It had gotten pretty large. But now it has shrunk, but it’s still there. Interesting I became a Holistic Health Practitioner and practiced and taught Tai Chi and Qi Gung for over 20yrs. It appeared 5 years after I started that. A friend told me she saw something special about on line, so I googled it and came across this. Always wondered why I never had it removed. For me it was like it was never there. Didn’t phase me a bit. And no one really ever asked me about, except of course my Doctor, she seemed like she couldn’t wait to get to it. Then I retired and its started to shrink. Hmmm!

    • Hello Robert,
      Thanks for sharing your story! Unfortunately, I don’t think there’s much information from ancient documents on it (at least not in English). Maybe one day you’ll come across a practitioner who knows more. Good luck! – Michelle

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