As the veils thin...Our Po Spirit Awakens

autumn lifestyle metal element metal element Jan 20, 2021


As the veils thin this coming week the celebration of All Hallows Eve, All Souls and Samhain festivities have the spirit realm on high alert listening to the calls of the living. Whether you are courting your shadows or calling upon the strength of your ancestors, the breath and its connection to the subtle realms is where this journey and ritual begins. The classics allude to the spirit of the lungs. known as the Po, as holding the soul aspects of our animal instinct and the part of our living being that connects us between the realms of seen and unseen. It is this spirit that is responsible for binding us to the heavenly and subtle realities and modulates how we react and respond to those worlds, curating our instinct through each breath. 

An incantation is traditionally used to call upon the energies of the spirit realm and can be recited as a spell to charm and connect with spirit energy. Celebrate this ushering into the darker half of the year by cultivating a relationship to your Po spirit and waking up all its power so your dealings in the spirit realm remain clear, connected and transformative. 

Incantation for the Seven Po Souls

Jade Emperor the Highest Sovereign,
the Highest ruler of Ultimate Divine.
The ten thousand spirits pacify the country,
the seven corporeal souls are sealed in the body.
Must not commit mistakes and not be influenced by the evil.
After long dwelling in the body, completely to transform into immortal.
Eternally preserving the spirit form, guide me to attain the truth.
Travel the celestial palace as an imperial visitor.
Inside is the spiritual essence, within the body flows the jade saliva.
Protect and defend me against the evil influence of sexual desires.
Immediately execute this command.

The Po, also recognized as the white soul, is associated with the season of autumn and the metal element. It is the spirit form of our existence that needs the body to survive. It is attached to the physical form of the body and returns to earth after death. The Po is known as the Yin aspect of the soul of the body, and responsible for somatic expression movement, agility and balance. It serves to modulate our growth, and our physiology. This feature of our spirit connects us to our instincts. It is aligned with our breath and modulates responsiveness to our environment. The Po helps support our natural ability to thrive.

Po is connected to the Hun, Soul of the liver, which is more related to purpose and our pathway of direction in behavior. It is said that the PO serves the Hun working to come back to its need to fulfill our unique truth. It is important when we think of this connection to recognize what we instinctively respond to and react to, and how we modulate our growth and development in relation to our purpose in life. The Po is all about our passions and the responsive reactions that dominate people’s lives and desires. It is said to support tangible consciousness through the two eyes, two ears, two nostrils and one mouth. With its relation to sensory organs, it also connects us to mental awareness and the shaping of our image of reality. It directs our present or immediate behavior in our environment. Po is known as the animal soul because of its relationship to instinct and reactions. We liken the Po’s existence to the deeper drive arrangement of the individual.

Po relates to the metal element by modulating how we allow the environment to enter and exit our individual system through breath. It regulates how and where we show up as people within response to our environment. It is responsible for our desires and is anchored to our physical foundational energy through the structures and tissues of our body. Po allows us to feel and seek sexual experiences, wealth and food. Clinically when these aspirations become out of balance, a variety of issues show up in the human psyche and behavior. We typically know Americans for excessive behavior, everything is big, fast, immediate, overwhelming and over indulgent. This sets up a perfect storm for distraction of the Po . When the Po energy does not have a relationship to purpose and feeds on the lower sources of sex wealth and food, it can bring up a host of negative psychological behaviors that cause problems with how we interface with the world.

When we reduce ourselves to the carnal desires of pure physicality, the maturation and development of our connection to source or higher self becomes limited, resulting in a shallow personality that feeds off the egoistic beliefs of the mind. When out of balance or unruly, the Po can also lead to betrayal and revenge. When we look at the driving forces under betrayal, one has to question why they would be incapable of honesty and protecting or maintaining the structures of relationship. It is coming from these deeper overtaking drives of desire, whether that be through success or attaining pleasure and satiation that feed the self, distracting us from considering the bonds or ties that we have committed to. This can lead to a host of destruction of self-esteem and trust issues in our partners and family members when loyalties are broken.

Because of the metal element’s relationship to value, it draws us closer into the core of what is important within our identity. We recognize a function of the Po in relationships to hold an instinctive support system to allow us to behave and interface in a way that upholds others identities and needs as well as our own equally. This mutual exchange provides for maturation and growth on both sides of the relationship. When modulated by a healthy Po our instincts and responses do not insult others values or betray them and we both grow.

Revenge and the bumbling rage or vengeance that seeks to punish or inflict injury though seeking justice or equality for a possible injury received brings up the old adage an eye for an eye. There’s a bitterness in revenge that connects to our deeper desire for self fulfilling desires. The Po’s natural responsiveness to change and processing behavior as it relates to the influence of surviving our environment should temper the desire for revenge in the most conniving sense.

Revenge has an interesting psychology centered around an inability to let go and and stay immersed in resentment that can fester into a misdirection of a brutal desire for pain. Martin Luther King Jr. said an eye for an eye leaves us both blind. It is within the balanced state of response that we can find new solutions that transcend the desire to inflict suffering on another.

Seeking revenge is the inability to let something go and is connected to motivations around power and control. It serves to block the energy of forgiveness and understanding. This illustrates that the individual seeking revenge is less focused on the connection of relationships, community and universal needs, and seeks to fulfill their own values. Typically there is a sort of catharsis associated with revenge which  leads into understanding that revenge is to fulfill some physical desire within the self to feel complete. Revenge is different than justice because it seeks to fulfill narrow needs of the individual versus social and cultural norms of balance.

Historically, we’re in a time where much of our Po spirits have been finding their way to these unruly states and we are faltering into these behaviors and psychological traits as protective mechanisms. Clinically over many years I’ve seen the disconnect from purpose and potential in life being an underpinning of deep disruption in the Po spirit. Our breath, responsiveness and reactivity has learned to serve something other than our truth. We waste it on seeking attention or gaining attention, fulfilling career pathways or ultimately, being the best at sex money or gain.

This has been a bit of the underpinning of the modern American dream. This year in the case of it being a metal year exacerbated and expanded to highlight some of these norms and behaviors building the undercurrent of our culture.

Looking at the physiological impacts of these behaviors on the body we see patterns of how we have become imbalanced. The Po modulates seven physiological functions of the body, helping to refine instinctual nature and keeping us alive amidst dealing with the environment.

Growth and development when unmoderated by purpose can become erratic and results in maladaptive physical and emotional behaviors causing a host of destruction.

The seven Po spirits:

1. Stinking Lung:
Regulates the breath capacity and exchange of oxygen through the lungs. Modulates the spiritual energy of breath into the body. Imbalances in the function include snoring and sleep apnea

2. Remover of Filth: Processing
This function supports the removal of toxins through the urinary system as well as the colon. Imbalances include bed-wetting and waking up in the middle of night to pee.

3. Flying Poison: Responsible for dissolving
This aspect regulates body temperature and dispersing hot and cold conditions in the body. Imbalances include chills, or night sweats.

4. Thief Swallower: Fight off pathogens
This function is connected to defense and influences the coordination and development of the proper responsiveness of the immune system to fight off illness.

5. Yin Sparrow: Sexual ability
This aspect has to do with recovery after sexual arousal, when in a dysfunctional state can create imbalance in sexual desire.

6. Hidden Arrow: Digestion during sleep
This aspect takes care of processing food in our sleep. Waking up with no appetite after going to bed with a full stomach and potentially bad breath indicate imbalance as a result of undigested material being held in the body

7: The dead dog: Vigilance
This function modulates sleeping awareness. When overactive it creates restlessness or inability to stay asleep, when sleep is too deep or “dead to the world” the body doesn’t arouse in the potential of facing danger.

Want to learn how to optimize your breath with simple qi gong and breathing practices, while deep diving into the physiology and consciousness of the breath? Check out my FREE BREATH 101 course here




Have you checked out our Spring Detox eBook & Microcourse? 

If you're ready for a fresh start – a true inside out restart – then yes, this micro-course is absolutely for you!

Learn More