In just a few days it will be the official start of winter, or at least that’s what it says on the calendar. In Five Element tradition the season of Winter marks a time for death, 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”.
We often view fear as a “negative” emotion, one we need to eliminate or squash. To be sure, an unbalanced relationship with fear can lead us down a path that is filled with panic, anxiety, suspicion, and mistrust. And the experience of fear can have 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 will have trouble remembering our Divine Destiny. Without this inner knowing, we can 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 best interests. We may go without sleep or decent food or neglect important relationships, creating undue stress on the mind, emotions, and body in order to achieve a goal, only to find little satisfaction once we have it in our possession.” – from Soul of the Seasons by Melody A. Scout
But our fear can assist us in some very essential ways. First, fear challenges us to consider the risks in making the choices that support our physical, emotional and spiritual survival. It 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, to create new beginnings, and to experience the excitement in birthing our dreams.
Following our dreams requires us to step off into the unknown, however, to say good-bye to old ways of being, to trust that we’ll be supported in our endeavors. To know that we are enough.
The approaching season of Winter is the perfect time to take a quiet rest rest and answer the following questions:
What needs a good death in your life right now?
What dreams lay dormant in the mire of your past pain and the fear of disappointment?
When did you last take a deep and quiet rest so that you might hear that “still small voice” of wisdom?
What awaits you on the other side of fear?