MAJOR ORGANS: SPLEEN & STOMACH
ACQUIRED EMOTIONS: WORRY & OBSESSION
ORIGINAL VIRTURES: INTEGRITY & HONESTY
The Earth Element holds the energy of the Centre: “As the Summer draws to a close and the heat eases, the Five Elements recognizes a stabilizing, transitional ‘Indian Summer’ time when nature seems to calm and time seems to slow as the first rains sooth the scorched yellow Earth. This Earth energy actually brings stability to each seasonal transition and also holds the center as the other four seasons cycle around.”
The Earth Element is the stabilizing axis and the nourishing matrix, both connecting and underlying the other four Elements. In this way, it offers us a sense of security, of groundedness, of rootedness, so we can remain calm, centered and focused amid life’s constant transitions and uncertainties.
Earth is the Mother of life, the fertile womb always there below us both to receive and to give, containing, nurturing and supporting. It is our comfort zone, a soothing place of familiarity and community where we feel safe, protected and held.
When the Elements are in harmony, this sure center gives us a stable base from which to expand out into the world with confidence and equanimity – and to which we can return whenever we need some security. With this anchor, we can embrace change and uncertainty as opportunities for growth and delight in life’s endless dance between balance and imbalance, knowing that this state of dynamic equilibrium is the foundation of life as a natural being.
But Earth’s familiarity can be just too cozy, making it somewhere that it is all too easy to stagnate and never venture forth. Life’s uncertainties become terrifying and so we become averse to taking risks, instead living our lives stuck in the same old comfortable (but deadening) ways. We may become obsessive in those ways, with our fear of failure (imbalance) leaving us struggling for perfection – a fixed and unmoving state that is the opposite of true (dynamic) balance.
We may retreat to these narrow confines because we lack any internal, body-felt sense of Earth’s grounding and integrating energy. So we move through life with feeling forever off-balance and disconnected from our center, in a state of easy distraction and confusion.
With no anchor, our desperate efforts to feel secure may make us needy or overly supportive/protective of others. And they may cause us to become obsessive hoarders, living buried in clutter (organized or disorganized) that we just cannot get around to clearing.
The Spleen-Pancreas and the Stomach – the key organs associated with the Earth Element – are the foundations of our physical nutrition and the source of both our Blood and our Qi. They are strongly affected by both sedentary and irregular ways of life, which can be reflected in our physical body by various states of imbalance, such as in our blood sugar levels.
Some additional Yin Energy Examples: Preoccupation, obsession, distraction, stuck in comfort zone, addictive, risk-aversion, slowness, complaining, smothering behavior, hypochondriac, selfishness, self-indulgence, hyper-dependence, neediness, self-disregard.
Some additional Yang Energy Examples: Fairness, groundedness, centeredness, stability, balance, harmony, security, reliability, smooth transition, support, nurture, empathy, community, service, reciprocity, concentration, undistracted attention, sensuality, self-care.
***Text taken from The Five Elements and Our Inner World