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  • Writer's pictureZsuzska Juhász


The same way as autumn can be considered the energetic opposition of spring, we can also say that winter is the other side of the coin of summer, which positions it as the energetic low point of the year. If you observe nature during this time of the year, you can see everything withdrawn under the surface: movement, activity and life is hidden. The winter landscape is stripped down and covered with snow, giving a clean, peaceful and simple horizon. This is the time to rest, retreat, contemplate and reflect.

In ancient times when people for obvious reasons were significantly closer to nature, winter was truly the time of life and death, because the reserves gathered during autumn and the way we handled and protected, or mishandled and wasted them, during winter absolutely determined if we lived or died. Nowadays, this seems no longer to be true, however Water Element still bears the will and determination, the endurance and unyielding power of those times.

Winter, as the last of the season in our series, belongs to Water Element as well as the qualities I have just mentioned above. Of course Water also, as all the Elements, have a lot of associations and these blog post series are far too short to include everything, but as we did with all the Elements, let's take one or two important aspects of Water Element and expand on them.

If we consider mental health, winter being the energetic bottom point of the year has a high impact on us human beings. The days are short, we miss the sunshine, we miss the joy of life - which belongs to summer and Fire Element-  and the nights seem terribly long. We wake up and go to work when it is still dark and we finish work and come home when it is already dark. Each of these, but rather all of them together have a huge influence on our mood and experience. No wonder this, for a lot of people, is truly the most depressive part of the year.  

Water Element calls you to descend to your own depths, where you might face your inner darkness.  It is easy to understand why for all emotions fear and its counterpart courage also belong to this Element. Take the example of the physical water both can be demonstrated.

Courage is when water is in its natural, harmonic form, it is flowing, highly adaptable, always able to find a way, while can take any shape and still maintain and preserve its essence remaining true to its original nature as water. 

Fear on the other hand would  be like frozen water. Ice is no longer able to change its shape or form, it is not able to flow any more and has lost its flexibility to adapt to the changing environment.

Just for the record, there is nothing wrong with fear in and of itself. Fear is a natural emotion, has its place and its function in the life of every human being. Only when it reaches the extreme, only when it becomes too much and freezes us does it become something detrimental. And the situation is similar with all of our emotions regardless if they are generally considered usually positive or negative. From Oriental perspective everything will become disharmonic with time if excessive.  

As a summary of winter, considering mental health therefore you can ask yourself how you manage your fear (or even in more general your emotions), what tools, methods you have, what level your  awareness is to be able handle them in a healthy way avoiding emotional escalation and subsequently overwhelming yourself. And another important point would be to understand what your approach is when things get out of hand, because sometimes they just do, and you have no chance to control everything anyway :) Nor can it be a fruitful attitude to try to control everything anyway.

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