Dear Five Faces: This isn’t really a question about a relationship with another person, it’s more about my relationship to a season. I hate winter and actually think I may have Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) because I’m always so depressed during the winter no matter how beautiful people say it is. Even worse, I’m pretty sure I’m a Water, which makes winter “my” season. If so, why do I hate it so much? Dreading Winter
Dear Dreading: This is an excellent question at an excellent time for you. In a recent post we touched on the fact that the seasons absolutely affect our primary element, usually in good ways. During the season associated with our element, we often feel more “ourselves,” as if the incoming energy reminds us of who and what we are. For example, my Wood element is all about getting things done, which is the hallmark of spring. So right around the middle of March, I usually do feel like I’m waking up from a long winter nap and am ready to take on the world. The incoming energy of spring helps me get going in a way that thrills my Wood.
We can also feel more balanced during a season that isn’t our primary energy, but is one that we really need. For example, if I’ve been going full speed ahead all spring and summer, the energy of autumn will help me slow down, not just because the days are shorter, but because it’s the energy of Metal, which sits on my Control Cycle. Autumn helps my productivity-oriented Wood slow down and stay balanced. And if my Wood is depleted, winter can be a great time because the Water energy of winter feeds Wood.
You are correct that winter is usually a time that soothes the souls of Waters – it’s all about quiet, inner-directed focus, something that balanced Waters love. However, if life has created a state of imbalance in you right now such that you have too much Water, the oncoming winter will not feel good at all. At the very time you need less Water energy, the universe is flooding you with more! But, you know what to do, right?
In our brilliant and wonderful Five Element model, we know that Earth sits on the Control Cycle for Water, so it’s Earth that will help you manage your seasonal overabundance of Water energy. You want to bring up your own Earth energy to help manage your “too much Water” state. That means winter will be a great time for you to connect with people in meaningful ways (remember that Earths love meaningful connections) and nurture yourself however feels best (Earths usually use food to nurture in one way or another). Also, a good way to bring up your Earth is to focus on making your surroundings as comfortable as possible. This “nesting” approach is a hallmark of Earth.
Building your Earth to help balance the added influx of Water energy that winter provides is one way to help you move gently – and perhaps even willingly – into winter. But remember, it isn’t really quite this straightforward because we all have secondary elements that help us stay balanced, too. You can always move into your secondary element to avoid some of the Water energy unless your secondary is Metal, which feeds Water and would be the opposite of what you need.
Winter is a lovely, healing time for us all and I wish you the best of luck in embracing “your” season this year!