The Water Element : How to Flow in Life

The Water Element is the element of stillness, meditation, equanimity. It rules the unconscious mind and is the doorway to our emotional and ethereal realms.

Water carries memories, stories, and our lineage.

Responsive to Fire and Air, it is cleansing, dissolving, balancing, and activating.

In this article, we look at the correspondences of the Water Element – kidney/bladder, fear, winter, hearing, emotions, and sacral chakra. We also look at this element through astrology, tarot, platonic solids, and other relations such as crystals.

Water Element - Kidneys + Bladder

In the context of eastern or eastern-based philosophies, the organs are seen as more than their physicality and physical functions. In TCM, our essence or Jing is stored in the Kidneys.

Jin Shin Jyutsu

The kidneys and bladder are part of the Fourth Depth, “The Liquid of Life”. In Jin Shin Jyutsu, there is a concept called depths which are “dimensions of being, each one responsible for a specific set of functions within the body, mind, spirit.” The depths and dimensions are not separate; rather they are interdependent and interact with one another. Each lower-numbered depth is one step more manifested, more matter than spirit as energy contracts.

The Fourth Depth “family” includes bladder (age 41-48), kidneys (age 49-56) organ functions, index finger, Mercury, Scorpio (Kidney – I Create), Libra (Bladder – I Balance), winter, Wednesday, blue-black, the muscular system, and safety energy lock #23. The attitude related to this depth is Fear or False Evidence Appearing As Real. Fear is understood to be the source of all other attitudes – Worry, Anger, Sadness/Grief, and Trying.


FEAR is a sinister influence of tremendous power. Thoughts are an important factor of healing and harmonizing of disorders. Fear takes thousands of lives, whereas disorder itself takes only hundreds. FEAR causes belief in lack and limitations, greed (“hoarding”), resulting in constipation, tumors, and “stuck” conditions from which various types of “labels” come into existence.

quoted from Jin Shin Jyutsu Text 2, p25


When this attitude of Fear is unbalanced, the natural flow of bodily fluids for which the kidneys and bladder are responsible slows and can stagnate. This can show up as constipation, lower back pain, depression, attention deficit, hyperactivity, ear projects, and muscle spasms.

Try this Jin Shin Jyutsu Self Help for Kidney, Bladder, Fear, and 4th Depth

Hold the index finger for several minutes or as long as it feels good. Holding both sides of the fingers helps both the kidney and bladder.

Place your left hand on the middle of the neck on the right side.
Place your right hand on your right sit bone.
(If you are sitting down, you are basically sitting on your palm)

Reverse and do the other side.

This may be most comfortable lying down with your arm draped behind and cradling your neck. Always choose your most comfortable position to do Jin Shin Jyutsu.

Step 1 Hold your left pinkie toe with your right hand and place your left hand on top of your pubic bone.
Step 2 Move your right hand and place it on your tailbone.
Step 3 Move your left hand to the bottom of your right rib cage.
Step 4 Move your left hand to the heart/breast area, right of the centre line.
Step 5 Move your left hand to the middle of your neck on the right side.

The Five Elements principle is observed in many philosophies, approaches, and health systems.

Each element has its own personality, experienced through its associations in season, time of the day, meridian families, senses, and more.

Abundant energy flows through to the specific primary and secondary meridians and their physical, emotional, and mental aspects hence taking care to support, harmonize, and activate them at specific times of day, month, and year can bring positive shifts.

Be in tune with Cosmic rhythm where there is NOTHING, just FUN-fulfillment, understanding, nothing.

quoted from Jin Shin Jyutsu Text 2


In Nutripuncture1, the vital currents Kidneys (22) and Bladder (31) preside over the formation of the embryo and correspond with a person’s genetic potential, the activation of which is dependent on environmental stimuli.

An imbalanced Kidney meridian can manifest as anguish, anxiety, difficult of hearing, fearful, withdrawn, reckless, bravado, and fearless. With an imbalanced Bladder meridian, it can be confusion, a preference to remain unaware, and pretence not to see.

Balanced Kidney and Bladder meridians is experienced as assurance, alertness, objectivity, and optimal communication of the bodily fluids.

Also in this meridian family are several secondary meridians – Adrenal Glands (09), Veins (29), Cerebellum (02), Retina (23), and Thyroid (27). The Adrenal Glands vital current provides source energy as well as being involved in communicating genetic potential. The Veins vital current governs receptivity; the Cerebellum, posture balance; the Retina, depiction of reality; and Thyroid, rhythm of the biological clock.

Optimize cellular communication relating to this meridian family with trace minerals or nutris. An example would be Nutri Yin, Nutri Yang, 22, 31, and additional nutris for the secondary meridians you wish to energize and harmonize.

Water Element - Fear

Fear elicits mostly negative feelings. People start thinking about their own phobias and deep fears. Spoken and unspoken. Common objects of fear include spiders, heights, fire, and public speaking. People are scared of being alone, unloved, unwanted, and abandoned. There is FOMO – fear of missing out. Humans are plagued by fears and it is also these fears, this negative mental bias, that has served us well, allowing us to survive to this day.

In Language of Emotions, Karla McLaren reminds us that all emotions, even fear, have positive value, teaching, and wisdom.


Most of us think we know fear because we have experienced the mood states of worry, anxiety, trepidation, terror or panic. However, none of these emotions is fear!…We have so completely confused it with anxieties and terrors that we have lost our ability to identify fear as the distinct and vital capacity…Because we can’t identify fear when it’s active, we often confuse the aftermath of fear with the fear itself.

Karla McLaren, The Language of Emotions


Researcher storyteller Dr Brené Brown found in her studies that the average number of emotions adults can articulate is three. 3. The number of core emotions for emotional literacy is 30. Greater vocabulary helps us unpack and understand on a granular level what we are feeling. Then we can see more clearly the story behind the emotions and the actions that stem from them. We can communicate better with others. We can make better choices. We can write the stories we want.

→ Find out what the 30 core emotions are

Fear is protective, caution, pause. Fear makes us stop and prepare. Maybe we are not ready and we have to gather our resources. It “hones senses, alerts innate survival skills, increases ability to respond effectively to novel or changing environments.”2 Karla McLaren believes that our depression epidemic, which is in part due to impaired boundaries, is now an anxiety epidemic. She sees anxiety disorder as arising “from us learning to devalue, reject, disable our fear.”2

We must honour our own fear, listen to its wisdom, ask “what action should be taken?” and we must honour other people’s fear. How often were/are we ridiculed for our fears? And you theirs? Let’s just stop.

For balancing all emotions, having a strong personal boundary is important. When we can stand within our space and energy with integrity, we will learn not to feel the need to automatically reject, overprotect, and preempt. This engenders generosity as well, which allows greater compassion.

→ Read more about Fear on Karla McLaren’s website

Winter scene Water Element Winter
photo by Teddy Kelley

Water Element - Winter

Each element relates to a season, with the water element relating to Winter. This time of the year is natural for people to gear down in the darkening days and dwell in the silence that lives within.

In his book, Silence in the Age of Noise, Erling Kagge explores this idea of silence. This is the man who was the first to walk alone to the South Pole and the first to summit all “three poles” – North, South, and Mount Everest. Being alone and facing silence is not new to him and yet he still struggled with it, documenting his journey to understand it in his 2017 book. The three questions he wanted to explore were what is silence, where can it be found, and why is it now more important than ever.

Within himself, he recognized this “vague angst about something I can’t quite put my finger on. Something which causes me all too easily to avoid being present in my own life. Instead I busy myself with this or that, avoiding the silence, living through the new task at hand. I send text messages, put on some music, listen to the radio or allow my thoughts to flit about, rather than holding still and shutting out the world for a single moment.”3

He learned that “nature spoke to me in the guise of silence. The quieter I became, the more I heard….I was neither bored nor interrupted. I was alone with my own thoughts and ideas. The future was no longer relevant. I paid no attention to the past. I was present in my own life.”4

Water Element - Hearing

Silence is so accurate.

Marc Rothko


Winter is the time to sharpen our hearing. On the simplest level, we move inward, into our own silence, so that we may better perceive what is being communicated within, and from without. This tuning strengthens our alertness and ease, dissipating fears.

Dwelling in our silence and equanimity, we learn to let go of the need to fix, including the need to fix other people’s lives and to heal their pain. We must allow other people their lessons and the wisdom that can arise from challenge and adversity, including the wisdom that perhaps pain is not the only way to gain.

A basic Nutripuncture protocol to try is supporting the meridians Veins (29) and adrenals (09).1 This may be Nutri Yin, Nutri Yang, 09, 29 or you may add 22 for Kidneys and 31 for Bladder.

When one sense is weak, we tend to develop greater ability and dependance on our other senses. However, this reliance and demand on the other senses can disrupt the meridians. Overuse of other senses can lead to decreased vitality. Not restoring the weakened sense can further isolate it from the “active support” of other meridians. Therefore it is important to work on, harmonize, and energize all our meridians and senses which allows us to capture wide-ranging information.

water element flowing with life

Water Element - Emotions

The Water Element is all about our emotions. Are we able to dive deep and fearless into the depths of how we truly feel? Can we allow our emotions to flow, even when we were once taught not to show them because emotions are vulnerabilities?

Denying this natural movement of energy leads to its stagnation and rigidity of the body, mind, and soul.

The three most destructive and dangerous stories we can tell ourselves, according to Dr Brené Brown, are those that question our lovability, creativity, and divinity. Unused creativity can metastasize into sadness, anger, and hard stuff. It is crucial never to allow anyone to question our creativity, this is what the sacral chakra (see below) is about.

Water Element - Sacral Chakra

[Chakras] are eddies of light and sound, a convergence space for your body, mind, and soul..As the chakric vortices circle gracefully, they broaden in circumstance, linking the physical world with far more ethereal planes of existence.

Cyndi Dale, Llewellyn’s Little Book of Chakras


The chakra that corresponds to the water element is the second or Swadhisthana chakra. Moving up the body from the groundedness and rootedness of the first chakra, the energy meets change with the water element. The lesson here is allow water to break down form and be in movement. This is creative, emotional, sexual, sensual energies. Judith Anodea calls this the self-gratification of the emotional identity.

The sacral chakra includes the kidneys, bladder, reproductive organs, hips, lower back, sacrum, and sacral plexus. When imbalanced, challenges may manifest as fertility challenges, writers’ block, psychological issues, non-engagement, insecurity, lack of self-worth, urinary and kidney infections, fear, and jealousy.

A balanced second chakra supports graceful movement, ability to enjoy pleasure, balanced motions, unafraid of life and changes, whole-body experiences, and the ability to taste the “sweetness of life with great relish.”

This chakra brings waters of sweetness so that roots can grow down into soft earth and if the roots are watered, the fruit is sweet, and we have the sweetness of life to nourish ourselves with.

Judith Anodea

Chakra Breathing Exercise

Take a few cleansing breaths. Bring to your mind the second chakra. See the chakra fill with cleansing light on the inhale. Exhale and visualize the chakra releasing toxic and unhealthy energies. As you continue, perhaps the chakra glows with a more and more beautiful orange.

Enjoy the essential oils Ylang Ylang and Sandalwood to balance this chakra or add amber and citrine crystals to your home or wardrobe.

Water Element - Astrology

The Western Astrological Signs of the Water Element are Cancer, and Scorpio, Pisces, the fourth, eight, and the twelve zodiac signs. Sun in Cancer is around June 21 to 22 July; Scorpio, October 23 to November 21; and Pisces, February 19 to March 20. As a water element, these three zodiac signs are about assimilation and fluidity and are deeply emotional.

Cancer, the sign traditionally most associated with moodiness, is “to contain, be defensive” – holding and containing energy – and has affinity with the Moon. Emotional security is important to Cancer people who are protective of what they care for.

Scorpio’s disposition is to scrutinize and be intensely penetrating, seeking to delve deep and gain access to the inner. Ruled by Pluto, Scorpio seeks transcendence.

Pisces can be nebulous and its disposition is to merge, be impressionable. Great experience can gained by being absorbed into “other”, blending, intermingling, and immersing. Ruled by Neptune, the functional need is refinement which is achieved through subtle interpretation.

In Native American astrology, the Water Element is the Frog Clan, which includes the Wolf (sometimes Cougar), Snake, and Woodpecker. The medicine of the Frog Clan is to cleanse. This is the element for healing, to allow feelings to flow. Members of this clan are creative and empathetic. Bloat can be an issue if they allow their emotions and energies to stagnate. Being near water is both calming and refreshing for Frog Clan folks.

The Woodpecker Totem belongs to those born June 21 to July 21 (Northern Hemisphere). This corresponds to Cancer. Their lesson is to let go. To the Woodpecker, as to the Cancer, family and home are everything. They are faithful, sensitive, and devoted. It is very important for the Woodpecker to balance how they feel and how they think. Their month is one of “Long Hot Days”.

The Snake Totem belongs to those born October 23 to November (Northern Hemisphere) and corresponds to the zodiac sign of Scorpio. They are here to learn true forgiveness. They are cunning, inventive, and adaptable. They enjoy unravelling enigmas and secrets, at least other people’s and tend to hide their own feelings. Dreamwork and chakra meditation, along with copper and malachite, can support their self-work. Their season is one of transformation.

The Wolf Totem belongs to those born February 19 to March 20 (Northern Hemisphere).  While they are compassionate, generous-hearted, empathic, and family-and community-oriented folks, they need regular solitude. They are a natural seeker, a seer, and walk between worlds. The Wolf Totem corresponds to Pisces. Their month is the month of rebirth. Northeast is their direction and Jade is their stone.

Because water has no boundaries, and takes those of the container, it is easy for people of the Water Element to merge and even get lost in other people’s energy. How do we merge and still emerge as an individual? One within the oneness?

Water Element - Tarot

Water Element

In Tarot, the Water Element relates to the suits of Cups, the emotional level of consciousness. The cards of Cups show us how we are (or not) leading with our heart, creativity, and imagination or how we are suppressing emotions, unable to express ourselves.

Other cards related to the Water Element are the court card Queen and from the Major Arcana, The Priestess, The Chariot, The Hanged Man, Death, and The Moon.

Try this – take the suit of Cups and pull three cards to represent three emotions needing some attention.

Water Element - Platonic solids

Liquid or the Water Element is represented by the icosahedron, with 20 faces, 12 vertices, and 30 edges – 20 equilateral triangles.

The icosahedron is a wonderful meditation tool. You can use it as an object of focus. You can also place it over the sacral chakra to release blocked energies.

Wearing a beautiful icosahedron pendant is a wonderful way to connect with this energy → Take a look at the Christ Consciousness (Chris Grid) Pendant which combines the icosahedron and the dodecahedron, making what many call the Human Consciousness Grid and from which many people find a subtle harmonious healing energy vibrating.

Water Element - Other Relations

The Water Element is feminine and receptive and has many other associations – the elemental beings undines, the animals Dolphin, Jellyfish, and other aquatic creatures, the crystals Aquamarine, Lapis Lazuli, Moonstone, Rose Quartz, and Sodalite, divination, dreamwork, astral travel, chalice, the trees Alder, Hazel, and Willow, and the herbs Aloe, Lemon, and Yarrow.

Five Elements

1 Nutripuncture works with trace elements to activate 38 meridians and vital currents of Traditional Chinese Medicine. These 38 include nutris that are specific for women and men as expressing one’s polarity is a key pillar of how Nutripuncture works. These nutris are mineral blends used by cells and through their use, cellular communication is optimized.

Nutris can taken as an association or sequence. Associations are taken with Nutri Yin and Nutri Yang (the activators) with the nutris for the target meridians. Sequences, as the name suggests, require nutris to be taken in a specific order. Sequences may be five or 10 nutris while associations vary.
2 Language of Emotions by Karla McLaren. ebook
3 Silence by Erling Kagge. Translated by Becky L. Crook. Pantheon Books, 2017. p11.
4 Ibid., p14.

Llewellyn’s Little Book of Chakras by Cyndi Dale
Nuripuncture by Patrick Veret et al.
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