After the passionate energy of the fire element we move to the earth element. Earth is the element related to late summer; the time after the growth of spring and productivity of summer when we harvest the abundance of produce and begin to rest, nourish ourselves, and stock up for autumn and winter.
The earth season is warm, stable and replete. We have all we need and all our productivity has come to fruition at this time, ready to be enjoyed. This is a time of celebration, generosity, and surplus.
When our earth element is well balanced, our nervous system is not stuck in the fast paced adrenaline rush of the sympathetic nervous system in which we are stressed, hurried and anxious. Rather we are returned to calm parasympathetic functioning, otherwise known as ‘rest and digest’ which signals to the body there is no danger and all is well.
Earth is associated with the colour yellow and the centre. It is seen as central because earth is needed to support all the other elements. Earth is how we ground ourselves. The earth element helps us stay centred, balanced and stable.
Think of ways we talk about someone as being down to earth as opposed to up in their heads or off the planet. When describing stability we talk about planting ourselves, feeling well-rooted. We feel a connection with mother earth and see her as our natural home.
The organs of the earth element are the stomach and spleen. The role of these organs is digesting and transforming our food into nourishment for distribution to all our cells. Healthy earth energy is attuned to the feeling of having enough and doesn’t operate from the anxiety of lack or insecurity. The earth element nourishes us on all levels.
When earth energy is out of balance we may feel there is not enough and we have to work hard to get or keep what we have. We may believe that we are not enough and strive to perfect ourselves. Constant anxiety and constant striving are not good for our wellbeing. When out of balance we may find it difficult to digest or assimilate our food, and feel weak or depleted.
Healthy earth emotions are balanced empathy and trust. Emotionally, when earth energy is out of balance we may feel stuck, overwhelmed and ungrounded, shifting from our centre into our minds and overthinking and overanalysing situations. Obsessive worry is a clear sign of the earth element out of balance.
Balancing our earth energy through inner alchemy helps us find and hold our centre when there is movement and change all around us. We are able to find ease and harmony despite the many demands on us from busy lives. Balanced Earth qi can give us back our trust and faith in life to sustain us.
Original artwork by Dyana Wells © 2020