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Chinese Five Elements:
The Season of Earth
by Karen Shaw
Earth is the name the Chinese give to the energy of
Late Summer. it is the Energy of the “Long Summer” that brings all of life
to harvest. In some ancient texts the Earth time of year is the last 15
days of each season and as such, each seasonal transition, the Energy is
said to come to “Center” before transforming into the next season. Late
Summer, Earth, is the completion of the growth cycle. The rising
energies of Yang in Spring and Summer and the sinking energies of Yin in
Autumn and Winter are now at a momentary balancing point. The Energy is
settling, not yet descending. It is a time of stillness, a time of Oneness.
We have gone from the deepest within, having created many fruits of our
labors, and now there is a pause, a moment to receive, a moment to harvest,
a moment to utilize, a recognition of the continuity of Life. We will now
store for Winter what we have created throughout the year.
Earth is the ground beneath our feet, it is the
very ground we stand upon. Earth forms our own “Center”, the place of
exchange within us. In our bodies, the Earth Energy governs our ability to
nourish ourselves through the food we eat. Mentally, Earth Energy enables
us to digest ideas, process experiences, form thoughts. Emotionally, Earth
Energy grants us the capacity to to be empathetic towards others,
compassionate towards all of Life, able to give of ourselves when the need
In our physical bodies, the Earth Energy
governs the organ systems of the Stomach and Spleen. The Stomach receives
the food we ingest and transforms it into energy our bodies can use. The
Spleen is in charge of distributing this energy, as Nutrient
Chi, throughout the body, all the way to the extremities. This is
the Earthly aspect of Post Heaven
Chi. The air we breathe is the Heavenly aspect of Post Heaven
Chi. This Post Heaven
Chi is what maintains our Life Force Energy after birth. It is what
nourishes us and sustains us through our lives.
In health, Earth Energy is abundance. There is
plenty of food, nutrition, rest, balance, harmony. We feel satiated,
content, able to provide for ourselves and others. We feel complete,
nurtured and capable of nurturing others from our bounty.
If we are balanced with the Earth Season we
feel secure, grounded, connected to Life on all levels. We have stability
of the ground under our feet and a felt sense of our own “Center” as we
come into the rhythm of Earth’s still point transition of momentary pause.
What are some of the ways we can nourish
ourselves so we can be in balance with the Earth and better serve others?
We can increase our awareness of what helps us
regain our sense of “Center” and practice that as our personal
We can notice when we are hungry and what we are
hungry for and seek the proper “food”.
We can become more aware of the cycles of the
Earth and live in tune with them, really paying attention to the weather,
the rising and setting of the sun, the movement of the moon, the subtle
changes of the seasons.
We can, like Nature, be
bountiful, and find ways to share ourselves and our gifts with
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