According to traditional Chinese medicine, the Metal (金) energetic season begins August 7 and ends October 20. Here’s how to best prepare ourselves physically, mentally and emotionally for Fall in the days leading up to it.
As the wheel of the seasons turns to Fall, the days shorten, the earth cools, and the expanded energy of summer begins to consolidate. – Nishanga Bliss in Real Food All Year: Eating Seasonal Whole Foods for Optimal Health & All-Day Energy.
Metal energy is consolidating with an inward movement much like a flower closing its petals. Focus on being one with nature. It's okay to close your petals for awhile.
Metal’s motion is determined, forceful, strong, unyielding, self-reliant, reserved and sophisticated. Utilize these attributes to your best advantage.
Metal is associated with the lungs, respiratory system and is related to the nose. Consciously breathe in the heavenly chi (also known as prana).
Metal is also associated with the large intestine, an organ of elimination. Through the lungs we not only regenerate ourselves from the prana in the air we breathe, we also eliminate carbonic gas produced by cell metabolism. Elimination and cleansing are both physical and psychological activities. They are the purposes of the Fall energetic season.
Both courage and sadness are emotions associated with energetic Fall. Allow yourself to weep when you feel to but also find the courage to face what's ahead.
Metal represents the Westward direction (the direction of dreams and visions). In Taoist mythology, West is guarded by the White Tiger, known for righteousness, independence and determination. Make it a point to stand facing West and consciously honor the "Westness" of Autumn.
This season's color is represented by white or blue. Light white candles to counter the growing darkness of the season.
As we let go of Summer’s and Indian Summer’s growth and harvest, practice letting go in all things.
As the new season comes close, allow its energies to assist you to release old resentments or hurts and begin anew.
Sadness and discontentment can be prevalent in the Fall. If you are feeling sad or stuck, remember the Law of Impermanence. This too shall pass.
As we approach cooler weather and a time for retreating, take the time and focus now to eliminate negative and destructive habits which could be uncomfortably intrusive during the Fall and Winter times of withdrawing and hibernation.
Meditate or pray. Fall is the time of year when spiritual vision comes easier. Take advantage of these energies.
Cleanse your body on the inside. Support your immune system by consuming more plant-based foods which align best with the human body (organic if at all possible) and less animal products.
Help your body to rehydrate itself by drinking lots of pure water and eating high water content produce. As Winter approaches, the produce of the season is lower in water content so take advantage of the more watery produce now and into Fall.
Breathe in and appreciate the new scents of nature and the season. Note the subtle or remarkable changes in the quality of the air we breathe.
Now is optimum to complete unfinished projects. Prepare for the winter.
Skin ‘Cliff’ Notes for Fall
Dryness is the ruling chi of the Fall/Metal energetic season. For skin, the Metal energetic season is the optimum time to address demineralization, surface dehydration, puffiness and congestion, and dull, lifeless skin. The PHYTO5 Metal energetic line has mineralizing and anti-inflammatory properties, increases circulatory energy, promotes oxygenation of skin, diminishes swelling and puffiness, and rehydrates and rejuvenates the skin.
Food ‘Cliff’ Notes for Fall
For an excellent Fall season Qi Gong exercise to support your optimal lifestyle, check out the YouTube video below.
Editor's Note: This post was originally published July 29, 2016 and has been updated for freshness, accuracy, and comprehensiveness.
Bliss,Nishanga. Real Food All Year: Eating Seasonal Whole Foods for Optimal Health & All-Day Energy. Oakland, CA: New Harbinger Publications, 2012. Print.
Ross, Rosa and Suzanne LeVert. Chinese Healing Foods. New York: Pocket, 1998. Print.
Cohen, Misha Ruth. The New Chinese Medicine Handbook: An Innovative Guide to Integrating Eastern Wisdom with Western Practice for Modern Healing. Fair Winds Press, 2015. Print.