The Water Element
The Water Element reflects the time of winter when reserves are accessed and the world prepares to let go of the past and get ready for a new cycle of life and rebirth. 70% of the earth is made up of water yet only 2.5% is drinkable and most cannot survive without water. When this reserve is threatened or missing, great panic and fear come about and death is inevitable. The emotion associated with water is fear, much like the fear experienced when our resources are depleted and our future is unknown. The gift of the Water Element is purity and strength of spirit. The Water Element within contains our will and determination, giving us the ability to tap into strength to overcome obstacles that keep us from achieving our true destinies and paths. Our bodies are made up of 66% water found in our blood, lymph, and cells and is regulated by the Kidneys and the Urinary Bladder.
The Bladder Official gives us a fluidity and purity of mind and spirit helping us to maintain an inner reserve of strength and will, allowing us to grow, flourish and move through the inevitable obstacles of life. The Bladder meridian pathway starts at the eye, going up the head and back down the back of the neck, down the back, back up the back and down again through the buttocks, down the legs to the side of the feet. When the Bladder is sick we can physically see problems along the channel, such as back pain. In mind and spirit, when the Bladder is sick someone might experience no flow at all like being stuck, or feel very scattered and depleted. Because Bladder is responsible for storing the reserves, if one doesn’t feel like they have enough reserves, they will begin to experience deep fear and insecurities and the need for self preservation could become all consuming. On the other hand, one might have a lack of fear and no regard for the storage of resources and reserve, expending them thoughtlessly.
Working in partnership with the Bladder Official is the Kidney Official, responsible for distributing the water stored in the Bladder’s reservoir. The Kidneys are considered to be the root of life, believed to store the ancestral energy we receive from our parents and are responsible for storing the Qi received from breath and food. This Official allows us to draw on the reserves of energy, much like a savings account. When the Kidney Official is sick there will be problems within the ears, reproductive system, bones and teeth, back and spine. One might be unable to tap into the energy stores that give them the strength and will to survive and find their true path in life, leaving them hopeless, listless, and dull minded.
The Water Element, consisting of the Kidney and Bladder Officials, has the great responsibility of holding the reserves for the other Officials in the body, accessible when more than just the daily intake is needed for our mental, emotional, and physical well being and survival.
References: Worsley, J.R., The Five Elements and the Officials, J.R. and J.B. Worsley. 1998