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Harvesting & Letting Go, the Duality of Autumn

It’s the time of year when lanterns are lit and sent into the heavens. Neil Young haunts our internal jukebox with forever love, singing of the harvest moon. While all Chinese pastry shops are stacked with Mooncakes filled with sweetness and often, golden eggs.

This is the time when most traditional cultures celebrate the abundance of the earth, gathering the fruits of seeds sewn in the spring, the fertility of summer that provides the nourishment for the scarcity of the coming seasons.

When we gather we take in what we need. We feast so we may not waste, preserve what we can, and gather seeds for the next generation to be planted in the spring.

It is this time that we’ll find our allergies acting up. Seasonal allergies this time of year are generally related to ragweed and mold spores. The ragweed ensures its life by pollinating in the fall. The mold spores are a reminder of death & decay as organic matter is broken down, covering the earth with nutrients to feed the next growing season.

The beginning of Autumn is the turning point, the transitional time from the high sun of summer into the dark underworld of winter. In Chinese Medicine Autumn is represented by the element of Metal. We can recognize its nature in the colour of light that falls around us. We see now the golden light, soon cooper and bronze and later the stark silver as the trees have let go of their foliage.

As the plants and trees let go of their fruit and leaves we too must let go. The energy of this time of year calls us to pay attention and hold onto what we need but allow what no longer serves us to fall away.

We’ll begin to notice more and more itchy and flaking dry skin. The skin relates to the Lung, one of the organs of Autumn. In Chinese Medicine we use herbs like mulberry leaf & lily bulb to help keep the Lungs moist, dry coughs are common this time of year.

The other seasonal organ is the Large Intestine. Quite literally we associate it as the organ of letting go. Cleansing is an important part of digestive health and immunity and the start of Autumn, before it gets too cold, is one of the best opportunities to cleanse the bowels.

This duality of gathering and letting go is the nature of finding balance. Energetically and physically we are bombarded and challenged in our every day lives. Now, the temperature changes, the days get shorter, cold and flu viruses run rampant and who knows, it could just be allergies!

However by taking stock of what we have, keeping what we need and letting go of the rest we synchronize and find harmony in the dual nature of Autumn.

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