Resolving to Change

Dear Readers,

Welcome to 2021! Here in the United States, it’s certainly starting out with a bang (not necessarily in a good way). It’s been said that it’s hard to change what you don’t know needs changing, so I look at the start of 2021 as offering a pretty clear message that some change might be a good thing. But how does one go about ushering in change? Honestly, I think we begin with ourselves. And when we do, that change will not only reflect out to the collective, it can also guide us in ways that allow us to support the collective if further changes are needed. 

But what do we change? At a personal level, I believe we are the only ones who truly know what we may want (or need) to change about ourselves and our circumstances. There are a variety of ways we can ascertain what we might want to change, and for those of you who know me, it won’t surprise you to hear that I think a great tool to do this is the Five Elements model. The ancient Chinese used the Five Elements model to break down any singular whole into five pieces that could be studied and understood as aspects of the whole. But the brilliance of the model they created is that it works for any whole: a country, a year of seasons, a lifetime, and yes, an individual person. 

This last point is true because we all have all five of the elemental personalities in our energetic make-up. That means that if we want to take the time to review this past year from a perspective of what worked for us (and what didn’t), the Five Elements model can be useful tool.  Basically, we would be exploring which elemental expressions of ourselves we think we nailed this past year, and what aspects we’d like to improve on or resolve to change. Does that mean I’m recommending New Year’s resolutions? Maybe. In truth, New Year’s resolutions are just a fancy way of formalizing desired changes for the coming year. And each of the elemental personalities can and does connect with the idea of a fresh start in their own unique way. But whether you resolve to change in a formal way or not, the idea that each of us can help the world by improving ourselves is important. 

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A Five Elements Blessing for the New Year

Dear Readers: Thank you so much for your enthusiastic support of this blog. I deeply appreciate your letters and comments (and shares), as well as the opportunity to explore with you the wisdom embodied in the Five Elements model. This deceptively simple model not only provides a window into the workings of the universe, it also helps us better understand ourselves, the people in our lives, and our relationships. 

As we say a ready goodbye to 2020, I once again offer you The Five Elements Blessing. As I have mentioned in this blog many times, while we may each reflect a dominant elemental personality, we do have all five of the elements in our makeup. That means that the gifts of each element are ours to access as we need. May we honor these gifts equally in ourselves and others during 2021. 

The Five Elements Blessing

I wish you the hope and optimism of Water:

May you always embody trust.

I wish you the success and productivity of Wood:

May your accomplishments foster peace.

I wish you the joy and celebration of Fire:

May you be a source of inspiration to others.

I wish you the caring and connection of Earth:

May you offer compassion to those in need.

I wish you the knowledge and understanding of Metal:

May you provide wisdom to us all.

Happy New Year! Let’s make 2021 a year of healing at every level, solid relationships, and everlasting kindness.


A Brief Christmas Reminder: It’s Really About the Whole

The Five Elements model depicts a whole made up of five distinctive parts: Water, Wood, Fire, Earth, and Metal. In discussing the model, we usually focus on the unique attributes of each part and how they interact with each other. Water feeds Wood, Wood controls Earth, Earth feeds Metal, Fire melts Metal, etc.

But during this holiday season, I would like to remind us that at its core, the Five Elements model really illuminates how five unique parts contribute to the balance and survival of the whole. And that means any whole.

As we have said here many times, we all have all of the Five Elemental Personalities in our energetic make up and we constantly draw on them to help keep the whole that we are safe and balanced.

In turn, we are each part of other wholes, such as families, communities, cities, states, countries, and even a beautiful planet, and we bring our individual energies to that whole to help keep it safe and balanced. In truth, the Five Elements model is really about the health and well being of the whole, not the individual parts. And I think it is important to remember that.

This Christmas, may your Water, Wood, Fire, Earth, and Metal energies work together to support you as an individual and bring you joy and happiness.

And may each of us bring our individual and combined energies to each connection that we have to help heal the lives that have been torn apart this year and bring desperately needed love, peace, and joy to every corner of our planet.

Merry Christmas to All!

Love, Vicki

She’s Dreading the Winter Solstice

Dear Vicki: The Winter Solstice is approaching and that means the start of winter. I hate it! The dark and cold always make me very unhappy. My sister (a writer) loves December, the darker and colder, the better for her. Personally, I think she’s crazy, but how can we be so different when we’re just one year apart? Could this have something to do with our elemental personalities? I don’t even know which personality I am, I just know that I hate winter. Can you help me understand why? Signed: Hates the Cold and Dark 


Dear Hates the Cold and Dark: Winter Solstice does indeed herald the start of winter in the northern hemisphere; December, January and February are usually the coldest months here. But they are not the darkest months. The Winter Solstice represents a pause in the year-long journey from longest day to longest night, then back again. And while it’s true that December 21, the Winter Solstice, is the shortest day of the year and the longest night, it’s also a turning point. Beginning the very next day, the nights shorten, and the days lengthen. So, if you hate the dark, the Winter Solstice is actually good news for you because beginning December 22, the days get longer. But the cold? Well, that’s around for several more months.

To answer your question, how we respond to a time of year absolutely can have to do with our elemental personality, especially since (as was mentioned in last week’s post), each elemental personality has a seasonal affiliation. On the surface of things, it seems logical that each personality would resonate with their own season – and that can be true – but it isn’t always so straightforward. If someone’s primary element is unbalanced in their personality, they may not do well with their own season and may need what another season has to offer. 

Bottom line, each elemental personality will respond to winter in predictable ways depending on how balanced they are within their own elemental personality and how that personality relates to Water in the Five Elements model. Let’s look at how this might work and perhaps you will recognize yourself in one of these elemental personality descriptions.

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Cancelling the Holidays During a Pandemic

Dear Vicki: I live in a state experiencing high Covid-19 numbers and we’ve all been told we should cancel Thanksgiving, and maybe even Christmas. I’m devastated! No family gatherings? No grandchildren? No best friends? Not even any neighbors? Just me and my husband? Why bother with a turkey or baking pies? I’m so depressed; we probably won’t have anything at like the normal holiday season I look forward to every year. Even my husband, who often complains about all he has to accomplish as part of “doing the holidays” seems a bit frustrated by the changes. Do you have any suggestions on how to cope with all this? Signed: Feeling Empty


Dear Feeling Empty: During these difficult times, we find ourselves moving into uncharted territory: How does one “do the holidays” during a once-in-a-century pandemic? The short answer is that one does the holidays differently. And what that looks like will depend on the situations we find ourselves in. Do we have children living at home? Local family or friends with whom we’ve created a “pandemic bubble?” Weather that allows for outdoor events? How we approach these holidays also depends on our elemental personality, so let’s start there.

Given how upset you seem about not having “normal” holidays, I suspect that you are a primary Earth personality. Family and food, people gathered together, special traditions, etc. are of paramount importance to Earth people. This gives life meaning for them. But the holidays are not just for Earth people. Each of the other elemental personalities will have aspects of the holidays that matter to them, too. And remember that we all have all of the elemental personalities in our energetic wiring, so even though you are a primary Earth personality, you may find that some of what matters to, say, a Water personality might matter to you, as well. So, let’s look at what’s important to each of the elemental personalities during the holiday season and see how you might be able to incorporate aspects of each during a pandemic. I think you might be surprised.

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