Dear Vicki: I am a recently divorced Earth. My Wood husband and I separated early last year and I’d hoped we’d get back together. But several months ago he stopped by, told me it was time to get on with it, and handed me papers to sign. I was shocked. But according to my lawyer it was a fair settlement, we could get a great price for the house, so I signed. Now I feel lost and lonely. My one child is married with a family and lives out of state. She has offered for me to come stay with her, but I think that just prolongs the pain. My ex is probably right: It IS time to get on with it. But no matter how hard I try, I can’t imagine my life going forward. I really don’t want anything new. I just want my old life with my old husband and my old house. But that’s all gone. How do I start over? Can the Five Elements help? Signed: Sad and Single
Dear Sad and Single: I am so sorry you’re going through this. It is very hard to cope when change is thrust upon us rather than something we select. And as an Earth, the end of a marriage and loss of the home where you raised your daughter is even harder because home and family are so important to Earths. You don’t mention if you have a counselor, but if not, I urge you to consider one. And yes, the Five Elements do offer wisdom regarding how you can start over. It rests in the model itself.
If you look at the model, it’s actually a road map for starting and stopping. The decreasing energy of stopping something flows along the Controlling Cycle represented in the model by the star pattern. The building energy of starting something flows along the Nurturing Cycle, which is represented by the circle pattern. Because you want to start something new, we will be using the Nurturing Cycle to help you.
We are going to start at the Earth element not only because you are an Earth person, but because what you’ve lost is a home and sense of family, both of which sit in Earth. Where you want to go now is to Water, the place where ideas and imagining sit so that you can imagine a new life. Ultimately, you want to end up in Wood, which is where manifesting that new life will occur, but you can’t manifest what you can’t imagine, so we are heading to Water first.
If you look at the model, you will see that to get to Water from Earth via the Nurturing Cycle you need to go through Metal, which makes sense. One can’t call the new into being without letting go of the old. Or as I love to say, you can’t park a new car in the garage while the old one is still there. And while Metal is all about endings, grief, and letting go, it’s also about systematically reviewing the past to learn from it and decide what should be passed on to Water to be incorporated into the next cycle. All of this is exactly what must happen for you to prepare to start over.
It may not be easy, but you need to spend some time in Metal. With the help of a counselor, I encourage you to review your marriage and decide what aspects of it worked for you and what did not. An Earth/Wood marriage is a Controlling Cycle relationship where the Wood controls the Earth. But as we’ve discussed in this blog before, Controlling Cycle relationships can also feel supportive and moderating. Did your marriage feel controlling or supportive? Every marriage has its ups and downs, so take some time to assess in an honest fashion what worked about your marriage and what did not. For starters, it sounds like you would probably like a mate who remains as committed to the relationship as you are. Commitment to a relationship matters to Earths, it’s less important to Woods.
This analysis time in Metal will be of great help in imagining your life going forward. It will also allow your Earth energy – which does not move fast – an opportunity to process the grief and loss you are feeling. And the magic of the whole thing is that the moment you are done processing will be the exact moment you are ready to let go and begin a new. Metal energy is often associated with alchemy and this is one reason why. From the old, comes the new. Or as Seneca said, “Every new beginning comes from some other beginning’s end.”
When you do let go, you will automatically move into Water. This is where, because of your time in Metal, you will finally be able to imagine what your life will look like going forward. An additional benefit of Water time is the inner focus and peace it brings. The wisdom you garnered in Metal will take flight in Water and help you imagine exactly how to move forward. And once you have that vision firmly in mind, you will be ready to use your own Wood energy to manifest the new.
I wish I could tell you that this will be an easy and/or short process, but I cannot. Each person travels this path of endings and beginnings in their own time, at their own pace. What I can promise you is that if you allow the elements to guide you, your process will feel like a natural path to a desirable destination. Blessings to you!