Winter: The Water Element

Winter brings on the energy of the water element. Water rises to its fullness in the frost of winter as plants submerge their energy into their roots, animals coats and hides thicken, and ponds and lakes harden. Movement slows as matter and energy accumulate. This is a time of apparent stillness and idleness, yet beneath the surface is the hidden activity of gestation and germination that will bring forth renewal in spring. Before seeds and bulbs germinate,  they demand a spell of chilly slumber. During this period of hibernation the essence of life persists in its most primitive state. The kidney abides within us like a bear in a cave, harboring the germ of being, the Essence, that feeds and renews our life force.

In Traditional Chinese Medicine:

-COLOR of the water element is BLACK





There is also a strong correlation between the water element and our reproductive organs. According to the 5 element theory our kidneys govern our vital life force energy. The Zhi, or spirit of kidney energy, connects to the unified field of consciousness and our instinct to perpetuate life and “surthrive”. It gives us courage to ally ourselves with what the Chinese refer to as the Tao (the “Way” or primordial nature of the Universe) and our innate wisdom.

Winter teaches us that the only way to fully enjoy the powers of the season is to surrender to it and learn from what it has to offer us. In winter the earth lies fallow; nature appears frozen and dead. Winter calls us to look into our depths, to reconnect to our inner being, to befriend the darkness within us and around us. In winter—like the seeds that are beginning their metamorphosis and starting to manifest their destiny in the deep recesses of the earth—all of our energies are being called to examine the depths of our being.

In winter, nature seems to be at rest, and in this rest replenishes itself.

This depth—our core—is the place where we are afraid to journey; so in this season of darkness we try to fill it with what appears to be light. We celebrate the holidays, eat and drink heartily, socialize frequently, and try to avoid the aloneness that winter calls us to, without realizing that the entry to our inner world is most accessible during this time of the year. Make sure you take the time to go inward during this season and find out what your mind and body are asking from you!


“Of all the elements, the Sage should take water as his preceptor.

Water is yielding but all-conquering. Water extinguishes Fire,

Or finding itself likely to be defeated, escapes as steam and reforms.

Water washes away Soft Earth, or, when confronted by rocks, seeks a way around.

Water corrodes Iron till it crumbles to dust; it saturates the atmosphere

So that Wind dies. Water gives way to obstacles with deceptive humility,

For no power can prevent it following its destined course to the sea.

Water conquers by yielding; it never attacks but always wins the last battle.

The Sage who makes himself as Water is distinguished for his humility,

He embraces passivity, acts from non action and conquers the world.”

Tao Cheng

Eleventh century A.D.