The first week of November marks the change of seasonal energies from fall to winter. The peak of winter occurs on the shortest day of the year, which is associated with midnight and rebirth, the Winter Solstice.

In Chinese medicine, the time of cold and snow is also the time when the kidney and bladder organ systems do the heavy lifting. These organs work energetically with the bone marrow and nervous system, with energy reserves, with prenatal and inherited energy, and on an empowerment level urge you to take action on what you know, and discover the wisdom that comes from knowing when to yield and when to push forward. Bladder energy straightens the spine and supports the will to overcome our fears. The handle of the Big Dipper turns and points to north, the direction most supportive of regeneration, stillness, contraction toward the silence, and the mystical borealis blue of the darkening sky.

In winter we must sometimes cross the ice, even as the cold black water rushes under our careful step. Conserve and nourish your energy at this time, and enjoy bone marrow soups, or find vegetarian marrow in ocean vegetables such as kelp, kombu, or dulse. Asparagus root is an illustrative yin tonic. Sesame oil is warming, and black-colored spices such as black sesame or black cumin support kidney function. Black tea is preferred over green tea during this season, as dark miso over light.

This is the best time of year for inner cultivation, meditation, and reflection. The inner light shines stronger, “though the days grow dark.” We can connect with family and friends in a special way when the stars have more time to shine and we find warmth together on those deep, cold nights. One night, you may want to go out and find the Big Dipper and then the North Star. The whole sky is wheeling around that still and silent point, and as the old man says, “It is the center ‘whole’ that makes the wagon move.”

— William Vitalis is Director of Esoteric Sciences for Biomic Sciences, LLC, Makers of RESTORE. He shares a passion for the science of medicinal movement, known as QiGong, with many herons, egrets, big cats, and monkeys, among others.