It is not the strongest of the species that survive, nor the most intelligent, but the most responsive to change. – Charles Darwin
Think of Water in its many various contexts: the bubbling brook, the steady flowing river, the lake, the waterfall and the ocean. Water never strives to go up hill. It makes no effort of its own. If an obstacle is in its way, it goes around, it is patient, it finds a way without effort. Picture the fluid motions of a good dancer, but one who dances with perfect ease. A great river will, with apparent indifference, sweep away anything on its banks if it rises just a little. A waterfall is not without its power. A lake, even a pond, can sit still and be at perfect peace. If a pond sits still for too long however it becomes stagnant and foul.
The Water element represents various times in one’s life as we move through ever changing cycles. It is associated with Winter, the time when the hard work of harvest is done. It is a time for darkness and rest. The world recovers and waits patiently. It is a time to hunker down and be quiet. A time for restorative contemplation.
Yin Water represents deep feelings and psychic gifts. This is the element that is so in touch with nature that it relates on a metaphysical or spiritual level. It interrelates so richly with the physical that it goes beyond into the metaphysical principals underpinning nature. In this element is the ability to fluently communicate profound and poetic truths.
Yang Water represents self-directed, expressive enterprises. Not necessarily knowing where the journey will lead to, but confident to go. In this element it is natural to smooth talk others to accompany you on your journey as the easy confidence is contagious.
Water periods are a time for relaxed contemplation. For allowing thoughts to flow where they will, whether along well-worn routes or new surprising channels; but both without judgement or concern. This is a time for refreshing, recharging, not necessarily being productive in the social or financial arenas, but absolutely essential for long term health and balance.
Water nourishes Wood, and is nourished by Metal. No plant survives without Water. Water readily appears as condensation on any cold metallic surface. Notice also that through Fire, Metal can be made to run like Water!
Water is controlled by Stone/Earth and controls Fire. The shape of the earth directs the course of a river and Stone can be made to damn it up. Clearly in most cases Water can be used to quench Fire.
Jo-Sifu. Mark Ringer