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I'm currently translating a poem from a Tai Chi Manual about "Sleeping Immortal" (睡仙歌), a related style of Qigong. The following passage seems to contain a lot of alchemical symbolism, and my current translation is as follows:

养得汞儿性圆,等待他铅儿花现。

“Cultivate Mercury, with a circular nature. Wait for his Lead to appear like a blossom."

Is this translation on the right track? I'm particularly not unsure whether “儿” in this phrase is supposed to be a diminutive suffix or not.

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    Mercury is light; lead is heavy. they are used here to represent the light and heavy Qi
    – Tang Ho
    Oct 10 '20 at 0:18
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    The density of mercury is 13.5 g/cm3 while that of lead is 11.3 g/cm3. Mercury is denser, heavier than lead.
    – joehua
    Oct 10 '20 at 1:55
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    Here is a reference that might help m.sohu.com/a/24672861_114748/?pvid=000115_3w_a
    – River
    Oct 10 '20 at 2:39
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    In both cases, you seem to have transposed 兒with the character next to it. 鉛花 is a proper noun. Any translation that relates 花 to flower or blossom is probably incorrect.
    – joehua
    Oct 10 '20 at 13:27
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the verse quoted is, well, different from the original text, which is in 道藏輯要 三丰全集 玄要篇下:

蟄龍吟

睡神仙・睡神仙・石根高臥忘其年・三光沉淪性自圓・氣氣歸玄竅・息息任天然・莫散亂・須安恬・温養得汞性兒圓・等待他鉛花兒現・無走失・有防閑・眞火候・運中間・行七返・不艱難・煉九還・何嗟嘆・靜觀龍虎戰場戰・暗把陰陽顚倒顚・人言我是矇矓漢・我卻眠兮眠未眠・學就了眞臥禪・養成了眞胎元・臥龍一起便昇天・此蟄法・是誰傳・曲肱而枕自尼山・樂在其中無人諳・五龍飛躍出深潭・天將此法傳圖南・圖南一派儔能繼・邋遢道人張丰仙

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in taoism, the lead (鉛) - mercury (汞), dragon (龍) - tiger (虎) are metaphor. depends on the alchemy (external or internal); and sects, these terms might be explained diversely.

Is this translation on the right track? I'm particularly not unsure whether “儿” in this phrase is supposed to be a diminutive suffix or not

on the right track? i believe not. “兒”, yes, a diminutive suffix.

try this page, in english, not too peculiar 😸

https://deeptrancenow.com/exc_taoist_language.htm

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    儿 has no meaning, OP's quotes also make sense, you can place 儿 anywhere after nouns. Taoist priest 炼丹, they usually play with the lead, mercury, and other things to make 丹, but it always hurt their health, they just don't know.
    – wolfrevo
    Oct 10 '20 at 18:26

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