Here’s a brief nutshell account about the energetic of winter according to wisdom Chinese Medicine.
The winter months are resonant with the Water Element-the Kidney, the Bladder, the Adrenal glands and one’s Essence. These organs are the very foundation upon which all physical energy rests as well as the protection of Spiritual energy (the Heart). The ears are the external sensory organs of the Kidneys and we listen for the sound of silence within.
This is the time of year where the energy is moving the slowest and is the deepest. The increased cold weather and decreased luminosity are an invitation for us to move deeply within ourselves, ’tis the season of interiority-of “Being”. This is the time when we are called to recoil into the most profound aspect of our essential Self and in doing so, we stoke our Inner Sacred Fires of transformation with the flame of our Spirit.
Winter is the apogee of Yin and so the emphasis is on introspection, receptivity and storing energy and resources. The cooling of the external part of the body invites our Spirit and energy to delve deeply within and warm our interior-the core of Being. This is a time for depth; for deep meditation, contemplation and refining our Spiritual essence and development. Lower abdominal breathing is really important all year long but especially important in the winter. Lower abdominal breathing is likened to stocking our internal Fires with the energy of Heaven. Kidney Yang (Adrenal glands) is the expansive force of the Kidneys that give us power, will and drive. Infusing the lower abdomen with expansive Heaven energy is an excellent way of grounding the body and stocking the internal Fires.
This is also the time for us to store and conserve physical energy in the form a little bit of weight gain to increase our resources and warm us throughout the cold winter months. Although stillness of the mind and body are of great import at this time of year, we must still exercise in order to keep our joints and spine warm, lubricated and flexible.
In the spring, we dust ourselves off breaking out of the interiority of winter, breaking free of the limitations and the slow movement of the cold weather, we begin the movement towards Becoming. In the spring, we ask ourselves, “who am I?”
In the summer, we frolic through flowery meadows in glee and delight basking in the intense sunshine, we revel in the apogee of Becoming. We ask ourselves, “why am I here and now?”
In the Fall, we begin to move inwards and contemplate all that has happened, all that we have produced and gleaned. We seek to extract only the essence and let go of that which no longer serves us, we move into our depths into the state of “Being” . We transparently ask ourselves, “how shall I live?”
In the winter, our energetic physiology is in the interior, deep within ourselves, within our homes. We are well equipped with only the essence of that which we have gleaned throughout the year, no longer needing to ask any questions. We are now in the state “Being”, we simply live according to “who we are”, “why we are here and now” and “how we shall live.” We are free from the attachments of the exterior world, being intimately in touch with our inner reality, the essence of our Being.
It’s perfectly normal for us to feel more fatigued, for us to desire more sleep, the sensation of fatigue is the body’s way of motivating us to rest. This is the time of year when the hours of and intensity of sunlight are least so we naturally sleep more, this is quite physiological, even the sun is sleeping more! It’s even quite normal for us to feel less sociable then we do in the spring and summer, now is the time of physiological solitude, a time to socialize with our inner Self. It is the season of profound silence, listening to our inner guidance, inner knowing and inner reality.
The key to spiritually and physically realizing the beneficial essence of the winter and the Water Element is freedom. Freedom of all external constraints and attachments-freedom from money, belongings, false personal beliefs about ourselves and the world that bind us into continuously recreating a similarly patterned life for ourselves, instead of creating a new and better reality for ourselves. Our external reality is a reflection of our vibration which is in large part determined by our mental and emotional programming, which is in largely shaped by our beliefs, both of ourselves and of the world we live in. Cleansing ourselves of our false beliefs is crucial if we want to improve our lives and live according to our true potential.
The positive emotions and mental states that are associated with the Water Element are:
-Power, will, drive, personal freedom from attachments, personal power and healthy ambition.
The negative emotions and mental states that are associated with the Water Element are:
-Fear, anxiety, feeling defeated or impotent, too much or too little ambition, unhealthy territorialism and jealousy,
The name of the game this season is conserving, preserving, and enhancing our internal Fires and Essence so that we may spring forth with power, will, drive and determination in creating newness in our lives in the spring. It’s the freedom from external attachments; knowing that deep within ourselves lies unlimited potential to be who we really are and who we want to be, regardless of the inductions of the outside world. We endeavour to cultivate the inner power, will and drive in order to manifest our full potential as fully incarnated beings according to the uniqueness of our essence (genetics).
The Winter Solstice period being the time of year that is least endowed with luminosity-when the nights are the longest, thusly, it’s the apogee and quintessence of winter from an energetic stand point – it is the most still time of the year. With the Winter Solstice fast approaching we should be seeking to harmonize ourselves with the prevailing movement of the apogee of winter and find that point of stillness within ourselves.
In the days before and after the Winter Solstice, the most important acupuncture points that promote the expression of stillness within us are: Bladder 66 and Kidney 10 (in that order). These are the energetic points in the body that resonate holographically with the Winter Solstice and therefore harmonize us with the quality and attributes of this important cosmological event.
Here are some links with pictures that image the locations of the Winter Solstice acupuncture points.
Blessings of health and happiness
Michael Margulis, Ac.