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Chinese Five Elements:

The Season of Earth

by Karen Shaw

Earth Element-LargeEarth 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 arises.

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 Centering tool.

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 others.

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