The Earth Element: Being Supported and Nourished Through All the Seasons

Earth differs from the other four Elements in that its seasonal correspondence, while often associated with Late Summer, is also associated with the two weeks that mark the final week of one season, and the first week of the successive season. (Late Summer is recognized with the month of August until the autumnal equinox. The Chinese calendar also associates this time with the first half of Autumn.)


In keeping with the function of the Earth element as a pivot between the other elements, diagrams representing the Five Elements of Chinese medicine often place the symbol for the Earth element at the center, surrounded by the other four elements.


The Earth in our bodies is expressed in the qi of the Stomach and Spleen and can be diagnosed by palpating the center of the abdomen and the area surrounding the navel. The job of Earth energies is to transform food into blood and qi that nourishes all parts of the body. On the physical level, digestive health and the nourishment of all tissues with adequate blood and qi indicates the smooth movement of Stomach and Spleen in our bodies.

When well-balanced with the other four Elements, Earth supports us mentally and emotionally by assisting us to experience a balance between our capacity to nourish others, and our experience of being nourished (by ourselves and by others). Spiritually, this is expressed as a profound sense of being supported and nourished in life, and knowing oneself as part of the web of life.