The Flesh of the World

autumn boundaries breath metal element Oct 10, 2022

Last night the Hunter’s Moon rose- defiant of the heavy hand of gravity- her body fleshy from a summer of eating honey and mullein flowers.

I swear I could see her every pore, her backlit goosebumps, awake with the cool air and conjunctive rapture. Her flesh, my flesh, the flesh of the living world covering every surface in some vast tissue of interdependent perception.  

The change of season into autumn heightens our sensing bodies with unpredictable temperatures, lowering light levels, and the curiosity of wind, wanting to plunge itself into uncovered ears and necks. My pores are awake but thin; I am a wild pony who has not yet grown in her winter coat. 

Themes of skin, nose, lungs, and immune system all arise this time of year. On the trembling edge of my awareness, I perceive the strange vulnerability of my lungs, so deeply protected in my chest, and yet entirely available to oak breath, possum breath, whale breath. 

Barrier systems and protective shields are themes, both energetically and emotionally. East Asian medicine calls this our Wei Qi, the defensive energy that uplifts our immune system and acts as a sort of force field. In this Metal Element/autumn season, our Wei Qi is needing time and support to transition.

Your lungs want to know: have you been breathing? Like really breathing through your full bounds? Do you let yourself inhale and exhale everything, taking and accepting all that life brings you?

The fall winds tell me we are in the long exhale part of the cycle. There is a contraction happening, a falling downwards towards the ground, a letting go, perhaps even a soft sense of loss. 

At the same time, the energies of the Metal Element offer a sleek sword of clarity, cheering you to cut back until you discover what feels absolutely essential. And in the process you might close your Facebook account, you might spend a year wearing only the clothes you like, you might decolonize your imagination, you might reach out and say it when something really moves you. 

Let us forge our metal and cut away the unnecessary. 

Despite the pressures we are all under to keep glossing over the surface of our lives, actively living through the Five Elements acts as a portal to consciously engage with the natural cycles of life, the crush and hum of the primordial movements. If you are looking to better understand or consciously work with the Five Elements, take a listen to my conversation with fellow acupuncturist Lindsay Fauntleroy about her new book,  “In Our Element.” Her take on the Five Elements is fresh, playful, and easy to understand in your body.

I leave you with this autumn wish:

May your people, plant, animal, mineral and beyond pull you back from the edge, push you up the mountain, raise you up while sometimes falling over, falling down, falling apart, all the while continuing, more supported than you can ever know.

In joy and gratitude,



(Excerpt from October 2022 Newsletter)