Fire in Water

Of the Five Phases in Chinese Medicine, Fire is the most extremely Yang, and Water is the most extremely Yin.  The interaction of Yin and Yang is, essentially, what makes life happen in the physical world.  So it’s pretty important to maintain the balance between these two Phases.  During winter, the Water season, a Fire type person may have some difficulty maintaining this equilibrium.

Within the Five Phase cycle, Water controls Fire (water puts out fire).  This means that overabundant Fire types who may typically have difficulty in warmer weather will enjoy this cold season, because the abundant Water energy around them will temper their Fiery nature.  If this describes you, make the most of this time.  We’ll address the Fire/Water relationship again in the summer…

For the less fortunate depleted Fire type, winter can be a trying season.  Cold, dark and still, the Water season can further tax this individual.  Seasonal Affective Disorder symptoms such as lethargy, depression and general apathy can feel overwhelming during these months of reduced daylight, and a depleted Fire type will certainly show at least some of these.

In order to balance these energies, it is of course important to add warmth, light and socialization to each day.  Light candles, eat warm, slightly spicy foods, and make sure that the naturally slower pace of winter does not keep you from going outdoors and spending time with family and friends.

One very important activity, though, may seem counterintuitive.  Depleted Fire types (well, all Fire types, really) will benefit greatly from daily meditation and reflection.  More and more people of all types are discovering the health and emotional benefits of meditation, but it can make an especially noticeable difference to a Fire type.

Whether you are an overabundant or depleted Fire type, one of the challenges you face on a daily basis is being too outwardly focused.  Fire moves upward and outward, but it must be firmly rooted to its energy source in order to remain strong.

Meditation and self-reflection connect the Fire and Water phases, allowing your gregarious nature and drive to enjoy life and the moment to remain grounded in a strong sense of self and purpose.  While it is most challenging for a Fire type to develop a sound, regular routine of meditation, over time such a routine will actually strengthen a depleted Fire type and temper an overabundant Fire type by adjusting the deep, yin, Water energies with the outward, yang Fire energies.

Try starting with just a minute or two a day, and expand from there.  There are many types of meditation to explore, and you will find one that works for you.  After a week or two, you may notice that the cold doesn’t seem so oppressive, and the darkness isn’t as hard to take.  By the time spring arrives, you may even feel that you’ve enjoyed yourself this winter.

Posted in Chinese Medicine, Five Phase Theory.