Cold Dew is the fifth of the six stages of the fall season. By the time we enter the fifth stage of any season, the qualities associated with that season are peaking. The Chinese name for this seasonal cycle is Hanlu. “Han” means cold and “lu” means dew. We have reached the stage of late autumn when we transition from cool to cold as attested by the chilly early morning dew.
There is a popular saying in Guangdong province, “Three mornings after the day of Cold Dew, bridges are needed to cross the river.” In early autumn the ground is still warm like a stovetop that was recently turned off. But gradually, as the temperature drops, the autumn chill penetrates the earth. During Cold Dew and for the next six months, the ground will be too cold to walk on barefoot comfortably.
In Chinese culture we refer to Cold Qi as Han Qi. During Cold Dew, Han Qi becomes prevalent and if you don’t take precautions, you’ll become increasingly susceptible to catching a cold. During early autumn, while the ground is still warm, you can still get away with wearing t-shirts and lightweight summer clothes. But Cold Dew signals that the time has come to switch from cotton to wool.
C7, the vertebra at the base of the neck, is especially vulnerable to an invasion of Han Qi. If you are outdoors and feel cold air penetrating your neck, rub the vertebra vigorously until it feels hot. This is the simplest cold remedy. If you don’t catch the Han Qi right away it will push further internally and could eventually spread to your lungs. If your lungs feel the cold energy invading, take a hot shower and point the stream of water directly on C7 for five to ten minutes. The hot water “neutralizes” the Cold Qi. Then get some sleep to let your Qi energies rebalance internally.
This is also the time to avoid air conditioning. Concentrated blasts of cold air during this season will weaken your internal organs. Additionally, don’t eat cold foods or put ice in your drinks. Instead, hydrate with soup, warm water, or tea. Sipping warm liquids throughout the day helps ensure a cold-free season. Your internal organs will thank you for taking good care of them.
Practicing the Cold Dew Empowerment is the equivalent of an energetic flu vaccine that will boost your immune system during this seasonal cycle. The empowerment is practiced when the sun reaches 195° Longitude (15° Libra) on Saturday, October 7th between 10:22 PM EDT and 12:22 AM EDT (remember to adjust for the time difference if you live in another time zone).
Cold Dew lasts until Monday, October 23rd at 1:26 AM EDT when Frost Descent, the sixth and final stage of autumn begins. Until then, keep your feet and neck happy by making them warm.