Dear Vicki: I am happily married to a wonderful, sensitive fellow who is very inspirational. We have been married a long time and I love him dearly. He is retired now from his position as a researcher, and even though he excelled at that, I suspect he is a primary Water. And that’s my concern. Since retiring, he seems stuck and unable to act on many of the “new” ideas he has for himself. He is initially very enthusiastic about a particular topic but doesn’t seem able to follow through, so quickly loses interest and moves on to the next idea that attracts him. He is very intelligent but seems to fear not being able to do things perfectly enough to share with the world. I am an Earth with secondary Metal and want to help him, but am afraid that my Earth will feel overly controlling to his Water. What can I do? Signed: Hoping for Action
Dear Hoping: You have described your situation perfectly. Because you relate to your husband on the Controlling Cycle (Earth controls Water), it could be cause for concern if your Earth came on too strong with your Water husband. But let me remind you that, while the other elements “control” by decreasing an element’s energy, Earth controls by guiding Water. In nature, think of the way earthen banks guide the flow of water through lakes, rivers, and streams. This makes Earth the perfect element to provide structure for Water. Without structure, Water will spread and dissipate. So you can be a great help to your husband, but for more reasons than just your Earth.
Your husband had a successful career as a researcher, which means he possessed enough structure to accomplish whatever he set out to do. Research is usually considered the domain of Metal because it requires looking into what has already happened, discovering how different pieces of history and fact fit together, then determining how they answer the question. This looking back, synthesizing, and selecting what to take forward is pure Metal. I think this makes your husband a Water/Metal who used the structure of his secondary Metal to accomplish what was necessary during his work life. And in truth, his Water would have brought creativity and imagination to his work, another factor in his success.
Before offering you suggestions on how you can lovingly help your husband follow through on his ideas, let me point out one other important dynamic between you and your husband: You are both secondary Metals. This would have made you a very suitable companion for your husband during his work life given that he was acting from his secondary Metal. Remember, Metals usually like things streamlined and ship-shape. It’s even possible that you skewed more toward you own Metal while he was acting from his, although his Metal would have loved your Earth and appreciated your Earth attentions (Earth feeds Metal). That connection will stand you in good stead now as you use your Earth to help guide his Water going forward. Let’s look at how you might do this.
The fact that your husband fears “not being able to do things perfectly enough” suggests that Metal is a factor. Metal seeks perfection, but it also feeds Water, so will affect how much Water your husband expresses. Fear sits in Water and usually indicates a deficiency in that element. Lack of hope or optimism also indicates a Water deficiency. I’m wondering if your husband is so stuck on the idea of perfection that his Metal isn’t allowing enough energy to flow from Metal to Water. This lack of enough energy in his Water would mean that he’d not only feel hopeless about an idea and lose interest in, but would be unable to send enough energy from Water on to Wood (Water feeds Wood) to follow through on the idea. Wood is where manifestation sits.
To help your husband arrive at the Wood ability to manifest, I suggest you consider the following approaches. 1) Help his Metal understand that the time for perfection, which was so important during his career, is over. This is a fun time, a time of new beginnings. 2) Use your Earth to guide his Water activities. Support his enthusiasm toward a particular topic and when this enthusiasm wears thin, step in with your Earth and help him see a possible next step in the flow of the project. Your Metal will help you here, but be careful not to use your Metal to engage his Metal. That’s where perfection lies and you don’t want him stuck on that. Playfulness is a great way to engage his Water and help maintain flow. 3) When he has moved past the usual “lose interest” stage, begin building his Wood. The most important way to do this is to banish Metal from your house for a while because Metal controls Wood. It’s highly possible that all of the Metal in his career life (and even his home life) has diminished his Wood. Now is the time to build it! You can do this in any number of ways, including surrounding him with green (the color that builds Wood), using peppermint or lavender oils with him, encouraging him to drink dandelion or milk thistle tea, or keeping green plants in his work area. A particularly good way to build Wood is to wear a malachite or amber stone against the skin. Men usually don’t appreciate jewelry, but he might be willing to wear a single green malachite bead around his neck or wrist.
Ultimately, I believe that if you use your Earth to help guide his creative process and then help both of you step away from your Metal while you build his Wood energy, he will be very able to take projects to the stage of manifestation. But remember, if he is really being true to his Water, successful manifestation may be less important to him than it is to you. Waters don’t really care about that. For them, the joy is in the creativity. Blessings to you and your husband!