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 

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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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Does Anyone Love Winter?

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, but my sister (a writer) loves December: The darker and colder, the better for her. 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 have no clue what mine is, but I sure hate winter! Signed: Hates the Cold and Dark

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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 within the Five Elements model, the Winter Solstice represents a pause in the year-long journey from longest day to longest night, then back again. December 21st is the shortest day of the year, and thus the longest night. Beginning the next day, the nights shorten and the days lengthen. So if you hate the dark, Winter Solstice is actually good news for you because beginning December 22nd, the days get longer. But the cold? Well, that’s around for several more months.

To answer your question, how we respond to a particular time of year absolutely can have to do with our elemental personality, especially since – as we have mentioned in previous posts – each elemental personality has a seasonal affiliation. On the surface of things, it seems logical that each personality would resonate positively 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 expression, they may not do well with their own season. 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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He’s Giving Her the Cold Shoulder

Dear VickiI started dating a guy last spring and we connected immediately. Jack is a super outgoing guy who does voice over work and is lots of fun to be around. We laughed and had tons of fun all summer. It was perfect and seemed to get better and better, so I thought he might be the one. But as winter rolled in, it seems like he’s drifting away. We did a few things around the holidays, but now he says he’s really busy and will call later, but he never does. I’m really busy too – I’ve just started a career as a nurse – but I still have time to reach out to him. When I do, he says he’ll get back to me, but nothing. It’s rude of him, I know, but I really loved being with him. What did I do that drove him away, and what if he never comes back? Signed, Nervous in New York

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Dear Nervous in New York: I am so sorry you find yourself in this difficult situation. It’s never easy to be in a relationship that is changing in a way that you don’t want, so let’s take a look at what might be going on between you and Jack. As a nurse, it seems very likely that you are a primary Earth personality. The caring and desire to do for others that nurses embody is characteristic of the Earth personality. As for Jack, the intensity with which you connected last spring, as well as his occupation as a voice over actor, suggest that he is probably a primary Fire personality. Intensity, especially around relationships, is not uncommon with Fire people, and most forms of acting usually come naturally to them.

In the Five Elements model, Fire and Earth relate on what is called the Nurturing Cycle, with Fire feeding Earth. That would explain why the relationship felt so good to you. It probably even felt natural to Jack for a time. In nature, an earthen hearth is a very comfortable container for Fire’s energy, at least in the beginning. So what’s going on now?

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She Can’t Relate to Winter!

Dear Vicki: 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 month, no matter how beautiful people say they are. I hate being cold! Even worse, I’m pretty sure I’m a Water personality, which makes winter “my” season. Yuck! So why do I hate it so much? Dreading Winter

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Dear Dreading: This is an excellent question at an excellent time. Winter is just around the corner. In past posts we have touched on the fact that the seasons absolutely affect how our personalities manifest. 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 personality 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. So 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 Controlling 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 the Wood element. But it doesn’t work that way for other elemental personalities, so let’s see what can be done to help you.

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Winter Solstice and the Five Elements

Dear Vicki: The Winter Solstice is approaching and I’m dreading it as the start of winter. The dark and cold make me very unhappy. But my sister (a writer) loves December: The darker and colder, the better for her. 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 elements? I don’t even know what element I am. Signed: Dreading Winter

Dear Dreading: Winter Solstice does herald the start of winter in the northern hemisphere; December, January and February are usually the coldest, darkest months here. But within the Five Elements model, Winter Solstice represents a pause in the constant cycling between light and dark. December 21 is the shortest day of the year and the longest night. Beginning the next day, the nights shorten and the days lengthen. So if you hate the dark, Winter Solstice is 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 element, especially since each element has a seasonal affiliation. On the surface of things, it seems logical that an element 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, they may not do well with their own season and may really need what another season has to offer. Let’s look at how this might work and perhaps you will recognize yourself.

Continue reading