Start of Winter is the first of the six seasonal phases that constitute the season of winter. In this edition of the newsletter we will consider the nature of winter in general and then turn our attention to Start of Winter.
If we create a correspondence between the four seasons and the four stages of life, then springtime corresponds to birth and childhood, summer to adolescence and early adulthood, fall to maturity and midlife, and winter to elderhood. On November 7th the year will officially become an “elder” as the Chinese seasonal clock crosses over the three-quarter point of its yearly circuit ad we can glean the meaning of winter in concrete terms by meditating on elderhood.
What is an elder? You might picture an eighty-two year old white-haired patriarch dispensing wisdom in a traditional Chinese family. Wisdom emerges as an attribute of elderhood for an obvious reason: The longer you live, the more experience you gather and the less likely you are to repeat mistakes you’ve already made. Relative to those younger and less experienced than yourself, you are a fount of wisdom. Accordingly, winter is the oldest and wisest part of the year.
As winter unfolds over the next three months, you will have the opportunity to develop insights by reflecting back on the experience of the last nine months, and to use those insights to guide yourself and others towards the realization of your dearest goals.
With that notion in mind, let us examine the meaning of Start of Winter. The first stage of any season establishes a new energy that will unfold over the rest of the season. So what kind of energy should we aim to establish during Start of Winter?
Often, when we cross the last quarter of a cycle, we experience an automatic surge of energy, a second wind that gets us to the finish line. “Three-quarters of the way” implies that we are down to the home stretch. We can sense the end of the journey and reinvigorate. That feeling boosts our kidneys and stimulates the production of adrenaline. The theme of this seasonal cycle, is the renewal of energy.
Let’s connect the dots between the themes of wisdom (winter) and the renewal of energy (Start of Winter). There is a saying that goes, “There are two ways to get rich. The first is to make more money. The second is to need fewer things.” Wisdom can help us discriminate between what is truly essential to our wellbeing and what isn’t. One way to generate additional energy is by “needing less” and wisely discarding what is unnecessary.
During this seasonal cycle, you are encouraged to lighten your load. Maybe you’ve been holding on to a dream or a relationship that you’ve outgrown. Now is the time to surrender attachments to heavy burdens. Hold on to what really matters and let go of any negative energies that no longer serve you and are holding you back. As you release the heavy baggage that you have been lugging around, you’ll feel lighter and more energized. That extra energy will help you push ahead and realize your goals before the year ends.
I encourage you to do the Start of Winter Empowerment. This practice will set you on the right course by enhancing the quality of your Winter Qi. The empowerment happens on Wednesday, November 7th between 6:31 AM EST and 8:31 AM EST (remember to adjust for the time difference if you live in another time zone).
The Start of Winter seasonal cycle lasts until Thursday, November 22nd at 4:01 AM EST when Minor Snow, the second phase of winter, begins. Until then, let go of excess weight and energize.