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The Essence Of Winter

Winter, according to Chinese medicine, Taoist belief, and many other traditions, is associated with the Water Element. Both Water and Winter are symbolically about discovering the Depths of who we are. It is a quiet and internal time. It is a time to re-charge the battery pack of our adrenal systems and kidneys with rest, relaxation, and inward reflection.

Winter symbolizes a holding. It is a time of holding for our bodies, as we, and all the animals, retain an extra layer to keep warm. This holding also symbolizes the gestation that occurs within our beings as we dive deeper into the communication from our souls. Water can also symbolize the Dark night of Soul,... a time when we are called to step into and embrace the Mystery of Life; to dance with the unknown, and courageously trust that we will again step into Light and certainty. Thus, Winter is the best time of year to dive inward, face our deepest fears, summon our greatest courage, and examine our inner most selves.

The Water Element is represented by Blue, Groaning, Fear and Courage, and the Philosopher Archetype. The incredible power of water…flows to the deepest point possible…it hides in the deepest crevices,... it formed the Grand Canyon.

The water within us loves to know and understand things, loves solitude, and, if balanced, knows how to restore ourselves with quiet serenity. Courage, Will and Determination are also best cultivated in winter time and are a very important qualities that are either well nourished or lacking most during this season.

Physically, the Water Element and Winter are associated with the Kidney and Bladder system, bones, ears, teeth, cold, and Jing, which is the foundational essence of the entire body and the source of longevity. To unify with winter, one emphasizes the Yin principle to become more receptive, introspective, and storage-oriented to retain physical energy. A time to restore the body, mind, and spirit and dive into the depths of who we are, winter nudges us to rest, sleep longer, meditate deeply, and refine the spiritual essence.

In the solace and depth of Water we find our strength, our renewal, and our rejeuvenation. The winter provides an undeniable suggestion from the earth itself to move inwards, rest, restore, to accept darkness and hibernate within ourselves. To honor this natural cycle is to recharge the battery pack that generates energy, fire, and stamina for the year to come; for the body and soul. As we embrace the depth and solitude of the season and of ourselves, we also cultivate the energy to burst forth in the spring to come. In the dormant seed of darkness lies the promise of spring, new growth, and the outward expression of re-birth that awaits us at the end of the long winter.

Posted by Mark at December 21, 2004 10:49 PM


Hello Mark! This was a wonderful post! I totally love winter. Your blog has so much to offer, but this post really touched me. I recently started a blog that will only contain inspiring quotes, stories and borrowed posts from other blogs. I would be honored if you'd allow me to use this post on that blog. Please click the link to go check it out. You'll receive a link to your blog in the post, as well as in the sidebar. I thank you for your time in reading my comment and look forward to your reply. Have a GREAT day! And pass it on!

Posted by: Julia [TypeKey Profile Page] at January 12, 2005 04:56 PM

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