23 Apr Fear and the Coronavirus Pandemic
Dear Readers: Lately, many of you have inquired if the Five Elements can help manage the fear we’re all feeling regarding the global coronavirus pandemic. We are afraid that someone close to us will get Covid-19, or that we will get it. We’re afraid that we will lose our jobs, or that we won’t be able to make ends meet if we do become unemployed. We fear the future with no reliable cure or treatment for the virus in sight. All of this is very understandable and yet, I do think there are ways we can approach our lives now that will help mitigate some of this fear. And of course, I think the Five Elements can help.
In the Five Elements model, the emotion of fear is usually associated with the Water element. Balanced Water energy is where hope, trust, optimism, and belief sit. Out of balance Water energy will usually lack these attributes and become fearful, pessimistic, and distrusting. This usually happens when there isn’t enough Water energy flowing. In a state of deficient Water, the usually optimistic Water question of “What if we do/create/imagine this exciting thing?” instead becomes the fearful question of “What if something bad happens?” When we start asking this question, we have opened the door to fear.
There are many ways to address this state of deficient Water using the Five Elements model as a guide (You can find a detailed discussion of the model and its dynamics here: https://vickimatthews.com/the-five-elements/). The bottom line is that, at a global level, each of the other four elements can contribute to a state of deficient Water as follows:
- Via the Nurturing Cycle, since Water feeds Wood, Wood can pull too much energy from Water and deplete it. Also via the Nurturing Cycle, since Metal feeds Water, Metal can withhold energy from Water and create deficiency.
- Via the Controlling Cycle, since Earth controls Water, Earth can overcontrol Water to create the deficiency. Also via the Controlling Cycle, since Water controls Fire, if there is too much Fire energy, Water can be depleted from trying to keep Fire under control.
Usually, we experience just one or two of these dynamics and can use a few simple interventions to restore balance. However, a pandemic is not a usual situation. By definition, a pandemic is an out of control spread of a virus or other pathogen that causes illness, death, and destruction. To date, the only way available to address this pandemic has been to shut down our cities and industries to create the social distancing necessary to stop the spread of the virus. But in many places, this has created some degree of economic collapse. Because of the gravity of the situation our world is facing, I think for most of us all four of the scenarios listed above are in place in varying degrees. Let’s take a look.
- Wood is pulling too much energy from Water: The out of control nature of the pandemic strikes at the core of the elemental Wood personality. Wood people will go to great lengths to avoid any out of control situation because chaos takes Wood people down quickly. The Wood personality will move into hyperdrive to try to manage a potentially out of control situation, even if it’s just at their own personal level. The energy for Wood to do this will be drawn from Water.
- Metal is withholding energy from Water: The only elemental personality that has bigger control issues than the Wood elemental personality is the Metal elemental personality. Maintaining control is Job 1 for Metal people. And yes, they will work longer and harder (and smarter) than most to make sure control is maintained. The energy for Metal to do this is withheld from Water.
- Earth is overcontrolling Water: The Earth elemental personality values deep, close, lasting relationships and will move heaven and earth to make sure that the people closest to them stay safe, healthy, and happy. Again and again, Earth people will do what it takes to keep their loved ones safe. This increase in Earth energy to a point of excess will eventually overcontrol Water.
- Fire is overenergized and Water must manage it: Panic and chaos sit in the Fire element. For most people, the double-whammy combo of economic instability and uncontrollable disease is a panic-worthy event that builds Fire energy. Too much Fire energy in the human form can create physical issues like heart attacks and even cancer. Fire must be controlled, and the energy to do this will be drawn from Water.
So, what do we do?
To address fear, we need to make sure we keep our Water energy up. We need the trust, belief, and hope that are all positive expressions of the Water element. But we also need balanced versions of the other four elemental personalities, as well. We need the management and can-do energy of Wood, the inspiration and ability to find joy in the little things of Fire, the connection and love of others found in Earth, and the wisdom and experience of Metal.
In addition to the usual recommendations to help keep Water balanced (surround yourself with the color blue and/or water, wear lapis lazuli, sapphire, or aquamarine crystals, drink ginseng tea, and/or use frankincense or myrrh essential oils), it’s also very important these days to keep the other elemental energies (including Water) balanced, as well. The easiest way to do this is to use the holding points described for each element in the March 26th post of this blog that dealt with managing stress. You can access them here.
These are trying times and I encourage all of us to dedicate 10 minutes a day to holding these points. No one will go untouched in one way or another during this pandemic. The best we can do for ourselves and those we love is to avoid fear, remain present in the moment, and stay as energetically balanced as possible. Blessings to all.