Winter: The Other Side of Fear

Winter streamThe Winter equinox notes the official start of winter, or at least it says so the calendar. In Five Element tradition the season of Winter marks a time for rest, death, contemplation, and for entering the unknown. It is represented by the element of water and the emotion of fear. Water represents the womb of our consciousness, the place where our dreams can safely gestate until they’re ready to be borne into the world.  It is the quiet place where we can hear that “still small voice”.

The fundamental emotion of Winter is fear. Fear is often labeled a “negative” emotion, one we need to eliminate or dominate. To be sure, an unbalanced relationship with fear can lead to a path filled with panic, anxiety, suspicion, and mistrust. The experience of fear has an addictive quality to it, drawing us back, again and again to the things that terrify us. Fear sells. Think: Mainstream news and 95% of all advertising.

“When we fail to maintain our spiritual balance, when our connection to divine guidance is clouded or broken, we forget our Divine Destiny, God’s purpose for us. Without this inner knowing it becomes a struggle to make decisions that are in our best interest. As a result, we may run after money or material goods or relationships that do not serve our highest purpose. If, in order to achieve our goals, we go without sleep or decent food or we neglect important relationships,  we will only create undue stress on the mind, emotions, and body resulting little satisfaction once  those goals have been met.” – from Soul of the Seasons by Melody A. Scout

The emotion of fear can assist us in some very essential ways, however. Fear challenges us to consider the risks in our physical, emotional and spiritual survival choices, and then supplies the excitement of stepping into those choices. Fear pushes us to the edge, demanding that we reach deep within the dark corners of our spirit to access the wisdom we need in order to move forward. By facing our fears we can more easily access that creative spark, the creation of new beginnings, and, the excitement of birthing our dreams.

Following our dreams requires us to step off into the unknown, to say good-bye to old ways of being, to trust that we’ll be supported in our endeavors, and the confidence to know that we are enough.

Winter is the perfect time to contemplate the following questions:

What needs a good death in my life right now?
What dreams lay dormant in the mire of my past pain, frozen by the fear of disappointment?
When did I last take a deep and quiet rest in order to hear that “still small voice” of wisdom?

What awaits you on the other side of fear?


I wish you a rich and cozy Winter.

With Love,


Melody A Scout is an author and Intuitive Spiritual Advisor. Her deep connection to the natural world has influenced her work as a Sacred Landscape Consultant and Plant Spirit Medicine practitioner. She is currently writing a book called Soul of the Seasons which explores the wisdom embedded within the seasonal cycles of the natural world and how to find balance and joy in both our inner and outer landscapes.

Thinking the Unthinkable

IMG_2815The recent events in Paris and now San Bernadino, CA ,and Savannah, GA are just the latest in the string of unthinkable losses that befall us each and every day. Somewhere on the planet someone is experiencing their own horrific trauma. Rest assured, whether we are consciously aware of it or not, we all feel it. No one is exempt from these gut-wrenching emotions, not even terrorists.

The mind simply doesn’t want to comprehend these hugely tragic acts of violence–that they are a part of our everyday world.Our collective unacknowledged grief begs for our attention. Violence and hatred find a perfect breeding ground of a denial that separates us from our grief.

The recent horrific events here in America and countless other locations around the world resurrect within me old feelings of anger, powerlessness, fear, and despair. So many questions have been running through my mind. What would I do during a catastrophic event such as this? How can I protect myself and my family? What do I do with my grief, fear, despair and anger over so much tragedy and loss? When will enough be enough?

As I prayed and meditated on these questions, questions that have been troubling me since 9/11, I asked God the following: In the face of senseless destruction how do we keep from being overwhelmed by our fear and grief? What do we do in the face of such evil, an evil that wants only to destroy? How do we deal with a group of people who’s credo is ‘We love death more than you love life.’?

St. James church ruins overlooking the Potomac in Harper’s Ferry, WV

Here is the response that came to me:

“You can start right now by building and strengthening your communities at the most personal level. Develop more intimate relationships with your family, your loved ones and especially your neighbors. Build relationships that embody compassion, kindness, and affirming another’s worth. Learn to resolve conflict with an empathy that includes both the laughter of children and the wisdom of your elders. Create a space of honor, respect and value for all–a place where all benefit just from being there.  Comfort each other. Be a witness to another’s pain and grief and help them to bind up their wounds.  Create a place where together you can work toward the best and prepare for the worst.

“When you develop your communities in this way there’ll be no room for evil. By developing your relationships and becoming more intimately acquainted with all whom you encounter, you will KNOW when your brother or sister is in trouble. You will know when they become filled with darkness or are being led astray. In creating greater awareness in your communities you can help others become more aware of their needs and their gifts, their capacity for love and the depth of their shame. Of course, you will first have to do the same for yourself.”

Once again I’ve underestimated the power of my prayers. It was crystal clear; my responsibility to my community included a responsibility to myself.  I need to work toward the best, but prepare for the worst. I need to comfort and bind up my wounds in order to have the capacity to heal or comfort others. I need to resolve my personal conflicts with offering empathy and kindness to those who show hate. I have no excuses. There’s no reason to throw up my hands in despair declaring, “What can I do?” There’s always a soul to comfort and a spirit to lift, and that includes my own.