After the peak of Summer and before Autumn sets in there is a space where time seems to stand still, a sort of suspension where crops ripen for harvest and we can savour the fruits of our labour. This is Late Summer and here we move into the Earth Element.
“Earth is the pivot for all the other elements…it is a place of stability within the body, mind and spirit. From this stable anchor, change and growth can take place.”(Hicks, Hicks & Mole, Five Element Constitutional Acupuncture)
The Earth Element corresponds to the colour yellow, the taste is sweet, the the sound is singing, the emotion is sympathy and it’s flip side is worry, over-thinking or obsessive rumination.
The Stomach and Spleen meridians sit in the Earth Element. The stomach receives and ripens food and fluids. Food begins to decompose in the stomach and sends part of this to the spleen for transformation into Qi and blood. The rest is sent to the small intestine for further sorting. An imbalanced Earth Element can result in digestive issues, nausea, or feeling heavy, tired and listless. Nutrition for the Earth Element includes vitamin B as found in wheat germ, whole grains, liver, tripe and brewers yeast. We should chew food well and avoid sugars and sweets.
The archetype is the Peacemaker, the guiding principle here is Unification. “Through her power to establish and sustain relationships, she nurtures and promotes our connectedness with each other and our world…negotiating peace for its own sake, she tirelessly serves humanity as the great balancer and equaliser, the preserver of families and societies. ” (Beinfield and Korngold, Between Heaven and Earth)
Let yourself be sustained be the energy of the earth and sustain each other through acceptance and support.
It’s Summer and this means we have moved into the Fire Element. In Chinese medicine all elements have a sound, a taste, an emotion, a season and a colour. The Fire Element colour is red, the taste is bitter, the sound is laughter, the emotion is joy and of course the season is Summer.
The Heart and Small Intestine meridians sit here in Fire, which is the most Yang and expansive time of year. I’m sure we’ve all noticed more people out and about, as the weather warms up we begin to socialise more, chat with friends – all indicators of the emotion that relates to the Fire Element, Joy. When the Fire Element is in balance we feel able to reach out and be nourished by others, when the Fire Element is out of balance we feel like we can’t reach out to others and we may move into isolation and loneliness.
The heart governs every other organ in the body, it is the emperor and if it is well and balanced then all the other officials do their job effectively. Our spirit sits in the heart and when our heart is healthy the spirit can rest peacefully within it.
The small intestine sorts food for absorption or elimination, nutrients move into the blood and waste into the large intestine. Food nourishes our mind and spirit and a well nourished being is able to sort the pure from the impure not only in terms of food, but also in terms of decision making and relationships. It can help with fuzzy thinking and moving between closeness and distance in our relationships.
The archetype that relates to fire is the Wizard, who through the organising principle “seeks to imbue the mundane with the extraordinary, merging human aspirations with divine purpose. Just as the Fire of love unites male and female to form new life, so the Wizard wields a miraculous power to overcome separation by welding divergent elements into one.”(Beinfield & Korngold, Between Heaven and Earth)
So let’s warm our spirit in the sun and nourish it by having joyous times with our friends and family.
With the onset of daylight saving I have been struggling to get up to walk the dog at our usual time. Today I did a time of day balance to bring the body clock in line with the change of time. The meridians relate to different times of the day so if we bring ourselves into the right meridian time we can function normally again. This adjustment of the body clock is also good for jet lag or for anyone doing shift work.
Carefree Essence soaking up the sunshine
- Freedom from Fear
- Stream of Life
The Carefree essence helps to set free the core of the self when expression has been stunted, stifled or suppressed. The feeling is one of being frozen, the flow of self into the stream of life is held back. Strangely, once this frozen feeling is released, we do not quite know what to do with our new found freedom. The sense of being carefree is so unfamiliar that we feel empty. No longer weighed down by our fears we don’t quite recognise the new reality as a positive. Actually our ease of movement through life now will allow us to move to new depths of being and understanding, as fear is no longer blocking our way. We are no longer held captive to attitudes, beliefs or any of the other fear-based limitations that have held us back in the past. This change takes time to assimilate. Give it time, time to settle and diffuse, time to relax into the sensation of flow. Because this is what being carefree is – relaxing into the self.