(Five elements – Part 2)
Usually we don’t start with description of the Earth element, but rather with Water or Metal. But let’s start with Earth since we live on it and from it (it provides everything for our existence), we walk on it and it’s so obvious to us that we forget to be connected with it at least with our feet, if not with our minds or hearts.
Love for the planet Earth can be helpful while you treat or want to heal your Earth element. When you love your planet, you realize you don’t need to worry, you don’t need to hurry. Take a time for break and enjoy the sweetness of life. Laziness doesn’t come on your mind, there are so many tastes to try with your mouth and tongue, because the Earth provides every taste, not just sweet. Every taste of this world.
Sweet taste of Earth
Sweets degenerate Earth element. Why? Because sweets are rather empty calories and as the Earth in the outer world provides everything, it is the same with Earth in the inner world, it supplies us with nutrients from food that we eat and taste with our tongues. We chew our food and this is how the process of digestion starts. Earth element crushes and grinds the food, that we eat into smaller particles, which can be used for production of other subtler substances, fluids, essence… and energy Qi. Every taste becomes sweet if you chew it enough, that is why the taste that is associated with Earth is sweet. When you are hungry every food tastes sweet, no matter how bitter it is :).
And if you want to know, I eat sweets, lots of them, and my Earth element is healthy. I eat only healthy sweets like fruits, fresh and dried, honey, molasses… and these are the best for us as they contain everything necessary for us. Minerals and vitamins combined with simple and structured sugars, or carbohydrates if you want.
Function of Earth Element
The Earth element is thus very important for two reasons, for stability or grounding, which can be mental or physical and for our nourishment. Two organs that represent Earth element in our bodies are Spleen with Pancreas and Stomach. These are also two meridians. Spleen is considered Yin and Stomach is Yang. So this pair forms a YinYang of the Earth element.
Their time is from 7-11 am, which is the time when the energy Qi is most active in them. In Stomach from 7-9, which is the time when according to ancient wisdom we should eat breakfast, the most important ration. And we should digest it afterwards in peace from 9-11 am, not worrying or being under stress. Worries and stress stops our digestion. We weaken our bodies and our minds with this modern day living. Often the most stressful time of the day, for 8 hour workers, is from 9-12 or so for the first part. No wonder why people doesn’t want to eat breakfast or maybe they can’t, since they know they won’t be able to digest it properly, but rather live on coffees and as we used to, on cigarettes :). Not anymore.
Earth is so silent and so supportive, even the ulcer needs years to develop. Earth or Spleen as you know with its lymphatic system represents part of our immune system that cleanses our body of waste material.
Short facts about Earth Element
Associations: Stability, Support, Fertility, Receptivity, Nourishment.
Earth is all the things that represent to us security: it can be a place, relationship, intellectual structure, belief or principle, a physical process like eating. First thing that comes to my mind is a Mother. The first relationship, first security that we build when we come to this world and the same way we named our planet Mother Earth.
Earth and mind
Earth Element is the one that allows to intellectual concepts in human mind to grow from an idea. When the Earth is receiving it nourishes itself. Do we need to be more allowing and receiving mentally to heal our minds of worries and overthinking? Maybe. We receive and process and give out again not only physical but also emotional and intellectual nourishment. Spiritual capacity of Earth is intellect. In spleen resides Yi and means Heart and Mind combined into verbally expressed thoughts – intellect. When we lack security we tend to overthink ourselves with intellectual concepts and structures even start living in the world of concepts. Logical thought is governed by Spleen. Healthy Earth perceives contrasts and our intellect becomes our source of sense of humor.
Weakness of Earth shows as lack of appetite. Spleen deficiency in developed world is oftentimes connected with sedentary lifestyle and mental overwork. Balanced Earth Element in human spirit will give and receive in equal measure, receiving emotions from others and giving out support and nourishment and vice versa. Earth which is out of balance might tend to give only and not receive or be with great neediness but lack of sharing.
Movement of Earth element is stillness. Element’s sound is Hu or Phu (blowing the candle sound) and singing, empathic and soothing singing to calm down yourself or ease someone’s discomfort (child’s, patient’s…)
Colour of element is yellow. Since in most parts of China colour of earth is yellow this became traditional. It symbolizes peace and abundance. If the Stomach or Spleen energies are out of balance yellow hue can be seen around eyes or mouth. Odour is fragrant, which is only noticeable when element is out of balance.
Earth extracts essence from food. All Qi and essence from food, which is not used for living is stored in Kidneys. Failure of spleen to transform fluids efficiently will manifest in symptoms such as thirst, water retention and urinary problems. Fluids can remain in body tissues as internal dampness. Spleen transforms food into Qi for the tissues governed by Earth Element which are muscles, the fleshy part. Earth energy keeps us up, holding our body and supporting us in a healthy standing position. Any internal organs prolapse, haemorrhoids, varicose veins are problems of Spleen to raise Qi or contain blood.
Blood is made in heart from food essence and pure fluids extracted from food by stomach and spleen. If there’s a problem with Earth Element there might be problem with blood deficiency such as scanty menstruation, dizziness, insomnia, depression.
Weather that affects this element is dampness, which penetrates the body and affects Spleen meridian, which causes shortage of distribution of Qi for our physical body especially muscles, making us lazy and lethargic. Remember how you feel when there’s rain outside and it’s been raining for some time, heavy humidity is in the air… can you remember?
As our earth planet beneath our feet provides us the safe ground and solidity, same way the Earth Element shows the quality of stillness. Earth element is the calmness in centre. Balanced Earth Element allows us to be grounded and centered, if it is out of balance it causes lethargy or purposeless activity.
May the Qi be with You!
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