Autumn and the Metal Element invite us to journey inward to our center; to reflect on what is truly of value, to connect with the preciousness of life, and to consolidate our strengths. It also helps us to let go of old ways of doing, acting and perceiving that no longer serve us, and to transform imprinted feelings and beliefs that limit our choices and keep us in reaction rather than action.
Autumn heralds a change in the rhythms of nature. After the flowers of Summer and the fruits of Late Summer, the movement is down and inward, letting go of all the activity and beginning to consolidate the energy back into the seed and root, tuber and bulb, where they rest during Winter. We too need to rest and recollect the energy into our core and our bones.
I know how difficult it is to find the time to go within and do this kind of inner housekeeping. So often we have to maintain an outward attention to the myriad of details that we deal with every moment of our lives. We gather and process huge amounts of information from the outside world in a constant stream of activity, especially as the holiday seasons of Halloween, Thanksgiving and Christmas press upon us. The pressing commitments of these Holidays are always a bit overwhelming as they go against the flow of Nature, and you may be feeling the energy needed to maintain this outward attention to be even more intense in recent years.
I invite us all to take a few moments every day to look within, to clean house, to forgive and be forgiven, to accept and let go, to recollect and consolidate our energy. It is so easy to succumb to the promotion of consumerism that keeps us focused outward on acquiring more things. When the next version of our toys and fashions emerges, so too does our discontent and desire to own the next best thing increase. It is a vicious cycle that we have been programed into repeating year after year. This deliberate strategy drains our energy and uses up our reserves, leading to sickness, apathy and depression in the winter, and early spring because we have not taken the time to consolidate our energies now, nor realize what is truly of value. Banks, corporations and Big Pharma use this strategy to make huge profits. Since the recession in 2008 the top four banks that dominate the economy have increased their gains by 30%. Shall we let them control us like this?
Instead, why not use the energy of this time of the year, which is associated with the Lung organ function, to do the work that will reclaim our essence and our health. The lungs and our breath directly inter-face our personal self with the world around and within us. We can use our breath to focus the intention of our mind, to loosen the ego's focus on maintaining the status quo, and to connect our personal self with the transpersonal field of information around and within us. We can use the breath to move from the finite to the infinite, to connect with the possibilities and probabilities latent within the Infinite Space of Love and bring them back to the finite. Remember we are 99.999999% space, while the remaining matter is what we think of as real. A recent discovery in physics shows the vacuum of space is not empty as we thought. Rather, it is full of oscillating and vibrating streams or flows of information. We can consciously journey into this Great Nourishing Abyss, ask for help to feel and heal our old wounds, and fill up with the Loving Light and Power to become our most authentic selves.
There is a breathing exercise to gather and consolidate the qi/energy/prana inspired with our breath. Focus on the heart center and inhale gathering all the qi/prana/information/loving energy and on the exhale consolidate it into the heart center. The wave of inhale and exhale focused at the same spot cancel out each other and form a scalar wave which doesn’t go anywhere or do anything but spiral. This angular momentum wave connects us with the realm of possibilities held in the vacuum. Draw in what you desire to manifest.
May the vacuum be with you!
WINTER is associated with the WATER Element. Water is the most Yin Phase of the Movement of Nature. The Power of Winter and the Water Archetype is to re-collect and consolidate the gains of the year. In this way we restore the essence of self and rest while accessing the DNA of possibility to begin new projects and goals for the next year’s cycle.
WATER can be still or flowing. Water teaches us to be patient, to be still and quiet until it is time to move, then to move quickly to catch the wave of action that leads to success and joy. Water is connected with the Will to be and do. Both the volitional will and Divine Will (the will that can’t be willed) are embedded in the Water Archetype. When our will and Divine Will come together we can surrender into the moment, to be present, to be empathic, to be in feeling, to share the feelings of another. This principle of being in the moment, appreciating the sensations of the present and ultimately loving life has been called EROS. Eros is not about sexuality but sensuality. Our fluids are an important aspect of our ability to be present and to communicate with the nature of our being and the nature around us.
While the adult human body is around 60% water, according to H.H. Mitchell, Journal of Biological Chemistry 158, the brain and heart are composed of 73% water, and the lungs are about 83% water. The skin contains 64% water, muscles and kidneys are 79%, and even the bones are watery: 31%, with the ribs being almost 70%. Tissues with more fat have less water. Any healing modality must address the fluids for the system to be healthy and to increase communication between cells and systems.The excellent ability of water to dissolve so many substances allows our cells to use valuable nutrients, minerals, and chemicals in biological processes.
Water's "stickiness,” or viscosity, plays a part in our body's ability to transport nutrients and waste products. The carbohydrates and proteins that we use as food are metabolized and transported by water in the bloodstream. No less important is the ability of water to transport waste material out of our bodies. Stress (physical, emotional, environmental) causes our fluids, (blood, lymph, joint fluid, mucin film of the gut and spinal fluid, etc.) to thicken. If the fluid is too sticky, too viscous, the health of the body suffers as the tissue gets so dense and gummy that metabolism slows. We degenerate rather than regenerate. Fluids stagnant, bacteria blossoms, forms clumps, cysts and tumors. The cell no longer has what it needs to function as the lab or workshop of our body. Even the cell’s nature can change. The cell is affected by its extracellular environment. This extracellular matrix surrounding the cell can become profoundly blocked, even changing the epi-genome. Environmental toxins mold our genome through these epigenetic changes. The lack of methyl detox enzymes has now been identified as a huge factor affecting the expression of genes in many disease processes. Certain genes that code for cortisol and stress hormones are also profoundly affected by trauma and toxins. This toxic overload leads to a loss of flexibility in body and mind and an inability to adapt to changing situations or ideas.This is bad news for our genetic history, but the good news is we can affect the epi-genome through diet and lifestyle. Simply adding Vitamin B6 to our diet can be extremely helpful. In several studies, rats who had 4 generations of increasing mutations were turned around in one generation after giving B6. This requires us to be more responsible for choosing our lifestyle. Yet provides a means to address these problems.
There are many things that stress our bodies. Many substances that we are exposed to and have been measured as acceptable levels of toxicity are proving to be unacceptable, due to accumulation from a myriad of sources. Dental amalgams are one of the known toxins. Many of us have extreme heavy metal exposure from the fish we eat and the air we breathe, and from dental amalgams and this hardens us as well. We become more rigid and vulnerable to injury as the heavy metals are heavy and compete with the minerals we need for healthy cell regulation by displacing them in the cell wall and blocking up the GAGS in the matrix. GAGS act as a strainer or sieve, bringing nutrients into the cell and waste material out. GAGS are mucopolysaccharides that often have a sulfur component giving them a very strong negative charge. This electric charge is responsible for strong cell signaling. All the negative charges of the GAGS repel each other so the chains formed are extended and slippery. This slippery quality makes them ideal as mucus for lubrication, synovial fluid for joints, protective barriers in gut and skin as well as the vitreous humor of the eye as a shock absorber. Examples of GAGS are chondroitin sulfate, hyaluronic acid, heparin sulfate and heparin. When these structural chains are damaged, we degenerate. While most GAGS are structural, heparin is involved in blood viscosity. Many diseases become established when the blood is too thick.
We are also being exposed to greater amounts of radiation from microwave towers, DECT cordless phones, cell phones and wi-fi computer connections, which also harden our tissue, making it more vulnerable to disease. Sedentary lifestyles also thicken the fluids. The hardening of our arteries and organs and tissues the older we get and the more dense and tense and stressed we get is a recipe for disease. Conversely, when our fluid is liquid and active we lose some of the restrictiveness of boundaries and open to a deeper experience and to a wider core of knowledge. There can be a non-local communication through the fluids. The closest metaphor for this kind of communication is the way the web of the internet connects us. Although this is not the best description as the computer and our anatomy are trapped in time, but when our tissue is fluid and our water is liquid, we decentralize the tissue and there is a body-change-of-scene, it is less specific, more generalized, less locale, more a wave continuum and we are hooked up to ourselves in a very primal way and we belong. We belong to the land and to the natural world in ways we are only beginning to re-member. Let your water reconnect you to the Holo-verse!
So, Rest Well, Eat Well, Laugh, And Get Up and Move that Honey!
Summertime, and the living is easy...usually. The summer of 2014 found the Fire Element, associated with the Heart and Small Intestine, asking for us to connect on deeper and deeper levels to the truth of who we are. It continues this summer of 2017. Events have spiraled into greater turmoil and confusion, bringing up fear and doubt as we face uncertain times amidst poor leadership. Old paradigms are breaking down, with little to replace them. It is easier to shut down and numb ourselves out than really feel the depths of changes stirring. Yet, we are being moved by the cosmos to open the space of the heart to enter deeper into love and wholeness. Yogi Bajan, founder of Kundalini Yoga in America, says, “...we fake love and we make love, but never just experience love.” Instead of allowing our hearts to soften enough to feel joy and sadness, passion and tenderness, connection and rejection, we harden and armor our heart centers until they become a prison, where the only heart energy allowed expression is that used to ransom, or bargain, seduce or manipulate for the things we want. Is that working out for you?
We think it is a kindness to protect ourselves from pain and suffering. In reality, denial of what we feel cuts us off from truly experiencing the joy and wonder of life. It is the job of the heart center to mate the contrary forces of yin and yang, feminine and masculine, emotions and consciousness. Without a true heart to connect them, they have a gap between them and remain at war with one another. Allowing oneself to fully digest an emotion or sensation, painful though it may be, enables the heart to pass the experience through and present it to spirit to be transmuted into its most loving action and virtue.
The Buddhists have a saying that if we are always looking for the waters of pleasure, we will get burned! Rather, it is necessary to jump from the frying pan right into the fire. The alchemical fire of love and transformation, forgiveness and compassion will transmute the pain and we will find ourselves in the pleasures of water, satisfied and content to float for a while before the next action is required.
Let this summer continue to awaken the heart to its true identity and role within our being and becoming. Breathe through the Heart Center. Inhale and gather in all that you need from the Cosmos, build the sacred fires of eternal love with your Gratitude. Exhale and radiate them out like a flower of undulating petals into every cell, space and place of your entire Being. As the alchemical fire of love builds in the altar of your chest, radiate out this Fierce Love into the Cosmos.
May the Heart Breath deepen the flowers of our devotion and love blossom in the garden of our heart. May the flowers grow and mature and lead us to late summer with a fuller ability to harvest the fruits of our labor and tap into the abundance of the Universe.
Late Summer / Early Autumn is the Earth Element.
John Keats expresses it so well:
Season of mists and mellow fruitfulness
Close bosom-friend of the maturing sun
Conspiring with him how to load and bless
With fruit the vines that round the thatch-eaves run;
To bend with apples the moss'd cottage-trees,
And fill all fruit with ripeness to the core;
To swell the gourd, and plump the hazel shells
With a sweet kernel; to set budding more,
And still more, later flowers for the bees,
Until they think warm days will never cease,
For Summer has o'er-brimm'd their clammy cells.
The Earth Element is generated by the Fire Element and the Flowers of Summer. Late Summer develops the fruits of our earlier endeavors. The Earth Phase is the time of late summer, and allows us to harvest the fruits of our earlier activities. The organ functions are Spleen, Stomach, and Pancreas. The taste is the sweet flavor. The Five Phases, while usually set up as a circle can also be set up with the Earth Element in the center. The Earth is associated with the consciousness of possibilities. In other words, this principle is what enables us to see what is possible, focus our intention, and stay with it long enough to bring something to fruition and fulfillment. Just as there are days between each season when we have these strange warm, balmy days that don’t really fit the season, so too the earth can be in between each direction or more accurately in the center, like the hub of a wheel. The earth becomes the center and directs the potential action to the other elements on the wheel and the circle of directions and seasons and cycles of life. May you harvest the fruits of your earlier labors and fill with the abundance of the Universe. Remember, everything that you need to ripen into your truest Nature comes to you by Divine Right and in Divine Order. Do your part and the Universe will respond; keep up and you will be kept up, knock and the door will be opened.