Growth starts in the dark - what we can learn from it

It's fair to say that just at a time when we have needed light the most it seems to have been lacking. We haven't been gifted much light this summer and the outer world, to me at least, doesn't feel like it's pointing much toward the sun.

Living in lower light levels can make us feel less energetic, and it can cause anxiety and low mood in those people who are more susceptible to this seasonal change. But it is quite natural for this darker season to bring about energy changes in all of us.

Silhouette of a woman looking up at the moon
Moonlight in beautiful Crete. Just like solar, lunar energy exerts a powerful influence over body & mind

Aligning with the natural world is a theme found in many ancient systems. They offer a wealth of wisdom that is just as relevant for us in our modern lives today as it ever was. They recognize the five elements and that everything is comprised of two opposing, but complementary energies.


Summer is considered to be Yang energy - it's quality is masculine with an essence of quick, dry heat. It has fire, height, passion and action. Fire destroys and it purifies. It brings about anew, but it also burns out and it's height is limited by the object that it's burning.

Autumn onward is Yin energy - it is feminine in nature and after the fire of summer it brings about a turning inward towards a cool, slow, watery creativity that's able to heal, flow and nurture with a quiet enduring strength. Interestingly this sits in direct opposition to the frenzy of the world especially at Christmas time.

This type of knowledge is useful because understanding and embracing both these qualities, as well as those of the elements can help us to be accepting, appreciative and in natural balance with those energies within us, within others and within our environment.


The more harmoniously we can co-exist with our whole world and others in it, the less stress we will experience in our mind and bodies. The elements are part of us. Earth is represented in our world, our food and physical tissues. Fire can be seen as acids and metabolism, and also our need for the light of the sun. Water is represented by our own water content as well as our vital fluids. Air fills, nourishes and animates us - we literally take the outside in. Ether, known in the yogic system as 'Akash' meaning space, exists between everything.


When we look at ourselves in this way it's easier to see that we are not meant to be an endless summer or one single energy all the time, but the modern world is not often accepting of that.


This outlook is not meant to bright side everything, deny negative feelings or promote false positivity, but the truth is we rarely make any significant shifts in ourselves when we are in a position of continual comfort.


In the dark is where things grow. Including us. Maybe it's not always such a bad thing.