The days might be gettin’ longer but the snow’s a’gettin higher. Updating you on the ongoing saga of the recliners on the lawn:
My world looks like the surface of the next planet out. A good time to write about Winter.
Not one word on this website, about personality or anything else, applies to every member of any group. Not even half, and character least of all.
As we know, I have tremendous respect for Bernice Kentner, founder of Color Me a Season. Back in the 80s, this is the person who I think had colour analysis well figured out, given the colour technology of the age. In her writing, she has apologized for sounding hard on Autumn personalities. Allow me to channel a hero and apologize for how I portray Winter.
Dark Season does not mean dark everything. If it snowed last night, it is probably not Autumn.
A Winter Overview
Let me tell you something about us Winters: We are more fragile than we look. Everyone else is as fragile as they look, or less. That’s the difference, you see.
The strategy that I learned from Summers about managing Winters and coming through intact: Let’em win. They calm right down.
Another thing I learned from Summers. How to smile patiently and politely despite not believing a word you are hearing. A little glaze in the eyes helps put the scene behind a screen, in a box. How worked up can you get over what is on a TV? So when you let the Winter win, plant a Summer smile on your face and invoke what my kids say, at once meaningful and meaningless: “I dunno. It’s like whatever, right?”
Who cares who wins, except the Winter? And they do care. At least the conversation will be over and you get to move on. Winters lack the contentment of Summers, the short attention span of Springs, and the ability to get busy of Autumns, none of whom are hauling Winter’s Worry Buggy behind them. Winter women worry. The men, not so much.
Careful though, when you wear that Summer smile, or get bored with drama and wander away like a Spring, or go back to your To Do list like an Autumn. A Winter is a clever creature. They can feel when you’re playing games or not engaging.
Some beautiful neutral colours in this image.
I have at times wondered if the Neutral Seasons align more closely with their neighbour Neutral but cannot see it that way. The strong Neutral blends of a True Season are closer in almost every way to the parent Season than the other Neutral. Dark Winter is nearer True Winter than it is to Dark Autumn, even the warm or muted ones.
About the Winter colouring in general,
Even the most neighbourly Winter (does that even happen?) can block a part of themselves off and never let you near it. Cozy and casual never seem to apply. Some of this person is remote and not easily reached. They will let you see what they want under their control.
We are all a balance of positive and negative. We need our vulnerabilities as much as our strengths. Our constructive emotions are the flip side of our destructive ones. They are of equal importance. Winter just happens to draw from the far ends of the branches.
Red-violet is the core and undertone colour of this person. Red wavelengths are way at the bottom of the spectral range of human vision. Red feels hot, heavy, dense, and solid, the Root Chakra, our connection with Earth. Violet is way at the high end, our connection to pure energy, the Crown Chakra. Violet is near weightless, the cosmic colour of spirituality that can be our link to the divine.
Winter’s gray scale reaches fully, or microns away, from pitch and pure, black and white at the extremes of human light and dark vision. The archetypical associations with colours – the Mystery, Chaos, and Death of black together with the Purity, Peace, and Rebirth of white.
Now, I ask you. What hope does this soul have of being balanced?
The little bit of heat is very important in any cool-neutral Season. The image loses power if the beak is lemon or ice yellow. Beautiful browns and whites. Still not playing games.
Winter is a Season of extreme opposition. I can appear motionless on the outside, frozen equanimity. The inside is being scrubbed with a bottlebrush. Ask my significant other.
As steady as they might appear, the inside is on the way up or on the way down at warp speed.
I love you, I hate you.
I am so mad that it is perfectly reasonable for me to gut you and leave you bleeding. Five minutes pass. Wanna go shopping?
Rabid anger and the depths of despair. Either your suggestion is perfect or nothing about it is right, not one single thing. I’m gonna make you pay. If I’m going down, I’m taking you with me.
Drama. You are 100% on my side and support every word I say or you are letting me down, you said you were behind me, now what am I supposed to do???????
What, you still like me? The relief! The joy! Wanna go shopping?
Reactive? One comment and we’re off the handle, the emails are flying. Have you seen the T-shirt? Anxiety Girl! Able to jump to the worst conclusion in a single bound. Winter is calmer when they have (imaginary, of course) control over the future.
The deepest thinkers and the biggest babies.
They say Winters have natural glamour. I disagree that they start with more than anybody else. Unless colouring or lines are piercing in darkness or sharpness, Winter gets out of bed with an everyday face, moving to a shocking level of contrast, colour, and intensity once the makeup is on. The biggest transformations. The more they wear (in their own colours of course, is that not why we’re here?), the better they look.
Every single Winter is this way? No!! Some are so soft spoken, you can barely hear them. Some joke and laugh, love everybody and everyone loves them, able to get along with anybody. These are often married to Seasons other than Winter.
A touch of rustic matters to Dark Winter, not to the point that water melts. That scarf could be one heck of a lipstick, warm side.
Winter is said to be analytic and dissecting because that’s how it comes out of their mouth. Where it begins is usually more intuitive. They are internally guided. As analytically painful and scrutinizing as they can be, this person runs on instinct, which is why they don’t believe anybody as much as themselves. Their gut tells them not to.
They can be self-important, preferring a moment in the spotlight to discretion or the annoying distraction of what it feels like to be the other guy. Consequences? Who cares? Whether their behaviour causes others to get along with them, to go away, push back in exhaustion, or push back in anger, it doesn’t really matter. Take your pick. Flip a coin.
Summers are concerned with making the world better. They will listen and adapt in as many gray zones as it takes, if it means peace all around. You can say something negative and they say, “Oh, how interesting, let me think about that.”
Critique a Winter. Watch the sound and lights. The world is Right and Wrong. Good and Evil. They attack because they feel they’ve been attacked.
Summer is usually calming to be around. They can be ornery or prickly, especially the Softs, and even that is not common at all. Spring will follow negativity with a joke. Autumn is biking or baking. They never feel fierce. You don’t feel a need to protect yourself.
Among my more exciting emails are the ones that tear me to shreds, sent by a woman insisting that she is a Summer. It would be rare as a hornless unicorn for a Summer to ever send such a letter. I hear about the big stirs in the colour groups. Will you all send me a dollar if I guess the main Season of the mastermind?
When one thing means everything, you have entered the Winter realm. One colour. One shape. One reaction. One emotion. Still a natural picture, this is One Tree, not One Ferris Wheel.
Warmer and busier. More Autumn. The repetitive element of marching along and visual near/far feels like Autumn energy to me. The solid vertical lines feel like Winter, not by any logical process. The image is about the many, not The One.
Structured around a reader’s Q&A to keep me on track:
How does a Dark Winter energy differ from a Dark Autumn?
Dark Autumn is more relaxing to be with. Even the Yangest Gamine will be inviting you into her home, feeding you, baking cookies while she visits. She might have some mighty snappy comments, which she will balance with funny faces and voices.
Autumns are not intentionally cruel. Like Doberman dogs, they are smart, sensible, and calm. Armed, yes, dangerous, yes, and willing to deploy, but only with fair provocation. As the Seasons add red (Winter), the oppositions become more extreme. Red signifies both love and rage, bleeding and healing.
Winter can be intentionally cruel. Not in the name of cruelty, more like “I’ll show them how it feels.” What drives them is fairness. You did this to me, I will do it to you. It’s only fair. The knife goes in and gets an extra twist and you know it and I know it. I have spent 55 years being it.
And yet, they live the Golden Rule. That whole Do Unto Others, it’s kind of meaningless except for the big stuff, you know? Best to unlearn it. If I treated others the way I want to be treated, I would get hate mail. Except for the big stuff, as I said. Took me a long time to stop assuming that others want what I want.
Rich red and warm black. As good as it gets on this colouring.
Bonus tip for Getting Along With Winter: Flatter them. Winter is a proud entity. Start every conversation in this way. It will be heard as respect. They will be on your side from the start. The outcome will bias in your favour. Others will wonder how you did it.
How does Dark Winter differ from what applies to every Winter?
Every Neutral Season is a mix of seemingly impossible opposites. The Light Seasons combine the energetic forward movement of Spring (yellow) with the introspective, receding contemplation of Summer (blue). Light Summer is in the world to share the indescribable sparkle of life in its most delicate earthly form. Light Spring somehow elevates the sparkle of life to a place of transcendence, and yet the colours move towards us even more as the yellow infusion rises.
Dark Winter is a mixture of earth and history (Autumn) and candy and the future (Winter). Not only is the person complicated, so is dyeing clothes in the colours apparently. Finding truly Dark Winter clothing besides black and burgundy is not so easy. She is dressing as a True Winter much of the time. Cosmetics are pretty easy for her so she can balance things out.
Dark Winter develops Autumn’s productivity gene to Ruthless Productivity. She is getting it done, whatever it takes. Some are more caught up in their looks than others but when there’s a job they want done, it moves up to #1, never mind about the lipstick.
How would you feel in the presence of a Dark Winter?
Me myself? Kind of like when people from the same town meet in faraway airports. There’s recognition for sure. I get where their head is, what is likely to motivate them, and what I don’t have to pretend to be. The conversation starts up as between people who have met a few times. The groundwork has been laid. I can be who I am without feeling that I need to soften anything or make space for anything. I like working with Dark Winter because our level of focus, intensity, and speed are about the same.
How do others feel in the presence of Dark Winter? I couldn’t say :)
Imposing sometimes. A woman I know, E, is around 65. Swirling, thick, shoulder-length, iron gray hair pinned back, striking facial geometry, cherry chocolate lips, the most refined character. Even silent, she might as well be the only person in the room so magnetic is her personal power. Hand her a scepter, balance a big crown on her head, and the picture is ready to take. In the past, I compared Dark Winter to the Tzarina with E. in my mind’s eye.
Easy and undemanding at times. Another woman I love, L. An optimistic Winter, she doesn’t think of every reason why something won’t work. She loves to laugh, is socially relaxed, and is not married to a Winter.
Kindness personified in some people. M. is a Winter who acts like a Summer. Her soul radiates faith, love, patience, and empathy.
Is there an energetic difference between a Dark Winter who leans toward Dark Autumn and a Dark Winter who leans toward True Winter?
Yes. Getting subtle now. The Autumn one goes better with the flow. As even as Winter looks on the surface, there is a storm beneath. Stuff gets to them. They worry, they store it, they obsess, they can make molehills into mountains. The more Winter, the less “Meh.”
Autumn has a high level of physical energy. She can live in her own world as Winter does, but without all the intensity, though Dark Autumn can be getting up there. As a dear and respected colleague said of Autumn, “They sure do get shit done.”
What kind of careers would put a Dark Winter in their element?
I’m not able to answer this because of much variability not related to colouring. With the capacity to lead and produce coupled to the unparalleled ability to get in their own way that Winter has, she can do absolutely anything or absolutely nothing.
Are there certain facial features unique to, or commonly seen in Dark Winters?
With every colouring, there are two or three that are seen often. The Sandra Bullock/Jackie Onassis/Ellen Page/Selena Gomez/Bianca Jagger pattern of strong jaws and a dark overall look is very common, but there are many others.
There is a certain face of a dialed-up Autumn with a sharper intensity in a background that feels medium. IDK any celebrities. Maybe she looks like me in certain ways.
Sometimes long faces, perky or baby faces…the same variability as in other Seasons.
Is there a song or kind of music that captures the essence of Dark Winter energy?
In the spirit of being to opposite to what we are trying so hard to prove about ourselves, perhaps the song speaks of learning to release, to neither force nor struggle, of an abandon she can only dream of.
Nobody is an island though Dark Winter thinks she might be happier that way. A little Autumn grit in a song about the humanity we all share. Put your money down. You bet she can get shit done. Just not alone.
What kind of dance captures the essence of how a Dark Winter moves through life?
For the life of me, I am not seeing anything. Could it be that they don’t dance? Workaholic that I am, all my dancing happens at my computer. I meditate about releasing and relaxing but am not capable of it.
Does Dark Winter come at the beginning of the winter season or the end?
At the beginning. It is the transition from Autumn. Seasons don’t flow from Winter to Autumn in Nature.
If we detach the symbolic associations, which I can hardly deny are strong for me, the illumination of objects by light and the portion of colour space occupied by Dark Winter are continuums that flow in both directions.
Colour is simply a relationship. No, colour is a wavelength. Our perception of the wavelength is via relationships. Our perception of anything visual is simply a relationship called contrast. Humans do not see white writing on white backgrounds.
What is Dark Winter’s gift? What is it here to contribute to the world?
Focus. Once she locks on to a target, spacetime folds a little tighter.
A Soft Autumn can have a strength of purpose that beats anybody. What Dark Winter tends to have more is the ability to exclude everything else from her radar. It’s like asking any member of the staff at Sephora to match a lipstick colour for you. Off they go, like heat-seeking missiles, till they have it. Don’t interrupt them while they search. Their aim is not to nurture, it is to achieve.
Is a Dark Winter just darkness personified or is that darkness a safe place to nurture and bring forth the light within others, within the self and from within the earth?
Wow, now that’s my kind of question.
Defining what darkness is in the first place is not so easy. Media, folklore, and even art, have attached all sorts of myths to darkness, as has the history of PCA. Children instinctively seem to make the bad guy dark – or is that learned? Is fear of the dark learned? Seems it would be instinctive at least in part. Take one look at the wolf and the moon image higher up.
All that the Dark Seasons do at the end of the day is make darkness visually normal, appearing as it really is, not blacker or duller. The associations that made darkness into something more fall away. Darkness is just darkness, a normal variant of pigment on this planet, of light and life on Earth.
Small shifts towards darkness are absorbed, not amplified, with no particular upper limit. The reverse is true of the Light Seasons, where small shifts towards darkness are magnified into something that needs managing. With a Soft, small shifts towards higher saturation looks bigger than they would on anybody else, which is why their muted colour can appear so full of life and energy on them. With a True cool colouring, the smallest movement towards more heat and they appear totally altered, distorted, and slightly insane. True cool colouring deals with warmth differently.
What kind of clothing does a Dark Winter tend to favor? I know there could be any variety of archetypes within the season, but for instance, you mentioned that True Autumns prefer simple, practical clothing so they can focus on what needs to be done. Is there a similar generality about Dark Winters?
Simplicity is true of many Winters. They hate to be wrong with a capital H. Since they can be sure of black, it becomes the uniform.
As I learn more about Image Archetype (IA), I see people drawing as much authentic self-expression from that inner knowledge as colour. If she knows her IA, she will dress accordingly. Those who are magnificent in a lot of decoration are still that way.
Certain Season adjustments probably apply to all IAs, for instance the use of more graphic, abstract florals and symmetry than a Spring of the same IA would be most attractive in.
If she is not aware of her innate shapes and lines, Dark Winter is no different from anyone else. Her clothing choices will be influenced by what is in her life.
What kind of jewelry captures the essence of a Dark Winter, regardless of archetype?
Strong, rich colour of a deep reflectivity. When other colour systems called this colouring Deep Winter, it wasn’t an accident. Autumn has a richness of colour that is greatly defined by being profound. When you see an Autumn eye in correct colour, the impression is of a kaleidoscopic tunnel that you could travel down forever.
Winter cools the stones, cools the setting more, and adds shine.
In which jewelry box does it live?
What kind of flower, bird, animal, tree has Dark Winter energy?
Flower flower flower…it is red. Dark Winter is outstanding in red. Not roses entirely, needs more substance. Some aspects of poinsettia but not quite, maybe if the pot is in a silver and gold wrapper. Quite possibly a lily of some sort, dark red with a golden throat. Single and strong without the lushness of Amaryllis. That sort of hedonism lives on the Spring side. Maybe like this.
The eagle or hawk. Locked on to a target.
The wolf. The panther. Is there such a thing as a friendly Grim? From my veterinary days, people are far more afraid of black dogs than any other, even taking precedence over breed (except perhaps Newfoundland dogs that are judged by all to be much more friendly than they necessarily are). The mythology of black.
A tree. Never thought about a tree. Wait, yes, I have. A Christmas tree. Sticking with that. An evergreen, nighttime, jeweled ornaments, a resinous scent.
A log cabin that definitely has electricity, coloured foil, and plastic-wrapped candy.
While other Dark Winters are going this way, less tree, more candy.
I don’t know if you did a post on the Dark Winter child or not, but if not I’d also like to know how that child differs from children of other seasons.
It varies enormously with the child, the strength of the family imprint, the siblings, and so on. Children are not defined enough, even if they have settled into their colouring early. Mine were their Seasons when they were 5 years old but the characters were still changing a lot till they were about 14.
My guess is that this is about average. Winters change enormously in colouring and character in adolescence, and even sometimes in early adulthood.