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  • Alina Barlogeanu

Winter Transmutation: A 5-Element Ritual to Fully Experience the benefits of the Winter Solstice

Dernière mise à jour : 15 janv.

French version here.

light shining through trees in a winter environment
It's within the depths of darkness that light emerges.

The Winter Solstice, that pivotal moment when the cosmos leans into its most yin state, looms on the horizon, precisely on December 22nd at 4:27 AM.

We find ourselves at the peak of winter, immersed in a period of maximum darkness, marking the beginning of a new cycle—a true transmutation from one state to another. For the Chinese, solstices and equinoxes mark not the beginning but the apex of seasons.

This pivotal moment, where yang, symbolizing light and warmth, reaches its minimum, and yin, evoking cold and darkness, reaches its peak, inevitably confronts us with extremes. To celebrate this significant occasion, I've crafted a two-act ritual: before and after the solstice.

Guided by the wisdom of the 5 elements, a theory applicable to any cycle, I've chosen to start with a transition from Metal to Water. Winter, dominated by the Water element, thrives when nourished by its predecessor, the Metal of Autumn. Thus, I celebrate the energetic movement from Metal to Water, a maternal gift from the Metal element to its child, Water. This deliberate emphasis on the descending movement towards yin during the most yin moment of the year would not have been suitable for someone in a depressive state or lacking yang. Not being in this situation, I see in this process an opportunity not only for horizontal transformation (temporal passage from one stage to another) but also for exploring depths (an external-internal movement) that resonates perfectly with my current work.

For the post-solstice phase, I will focus on the transition from Water to Wood (Spring), thus fostering the start of the new cycle—a yang rebirth within the yin ocean. Life regains its momentum, and ideally, we will ascend to a higher cycle in our personal evolution (with acupuncture aiding the way!).


After the first treatment, I found myself in a meditative state, quite distinct from the one I discussed in the article about choices. Here, I experienced a physical sensation of relaxation around the temples, as if a thawing river started to flow downward. A profound sense of grounding, accompanied by physical and mental relaxation.

The second treatment had a very different effect. Still within a state of calmness, I felt an internal realignment, akin to an awakening (without spiritual connotations) from bottom to top: I visualize the sap of a tree rising and awakening various structures, especially the upper part (the head). It was a gentle awakening that didn't prevent me from falling asleep (it all occurred around 11 pm). A very pleasant sensation, probably more beneficial during the day than at night


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