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Earth Element

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Finding Balance with Earth

Earth Element in Late Summer gives us stability, nourishment and integrity. Transported by the stomach and spleen meridians this elements ultimate gift is to help us find our true purpose in life.

Yellow is the colour of late Summer. Whether it blooming flowers on a large shady tree, yellowing grass or paddocks, yellow is everywhere in Nature at this time of the year.

Nature of Earth

The resonance of the Earth Element is unique in that it has no particular direction like the other Elements. Wood in Spring for example, has an upward movement. Instead Earth acts like an axis or the centre in which all other Elements move. It sits between the Elements of Fire and Metal in the cycle but also appears in transitions between seasons. The Neijing states that this the Earth’s season is at its highest in late Summer but is without a distinct season of its own, rather it is seen in the last 18 days of each season. (1)

At a physical level the Earth Element supports health of the organs of stomach, spleen and pancreas. Playing an important role in digestion, immunity and metabolism.

The predominant emotion of Earth Element is worry or sympathy. Traditional Chinese Medicine associate worry as the emotion of Earth. This can also be expressed as pensiveness or overthinking. Eckman (1996) writes that in Five Elements tradition the emotion assigned to earth is sympathy. This comes from the English translation of the Neijing, by Ilza Veith’s (1949), Felix Mann (1962) and in turn J.R Worsley’s understanding. (1) An imbalance of emotion in Earth constitution is seen as either excessive sympathy towards others, focusing on the needs of others at the expense of one self. Or at the other extreme, lack of sympathy and complete self obsession and narcissism.

Gifts of Earth

Late Summer is a time of harvest and gathering of our abundance. Some of he gifts of Earth enjoyed when in balance are stability, giving and receiving, nourishment, empathy, connection and altruism.

Abundance is not a physical state but rather a condition of the mind and the spirit. When Earth energies are balanced, there is a natural recognition of the abundance that the universe offers us, from the bounty and beauty of nature, to the love and connection with others, to the simple fact of being alive. (John Kirkwood)

5 Life Activities to cultivate balance in Earth Element

  1. Cultivate healthy eating habits

    – Reduce sugar intake to support stomach and pancreas

    – Yellow coloured foods support the Earth Element. Orange is also in this category so enjoy banana’s, sweet potato, mango, pumpkin, carrot and lemons.

  2. Create stability with regularity in routine and balance in your daily living activities at home, in leisure and work.

  3. Examine where are your thoughts? How much time is in worry or sympathy for self or others?

  4. Start a gratitude journal. Embody feelings of gratitude, satisfaction, empathy and heartfelt connections.

  5. Practice body awareness meditation or mindful movement to stay grounded.

Setting Intentions with Earth Element

Late Summer in the Southern hemisphere falls just after New Year. This is a natural time for people to reflect on their life and set goals for the year ahead. We are fortunate to have the Earth element at its highest in this time as it helps us set intentions based on our true purpose in life. It gives us the stability to manifest our intentions.


(1) Kirkwood , J (2016) The Way of the Five Seasons. Singing Dragon: UK

Written by Sasha Wray Naturopath, Occupational Therapist and 5 Elements Acupressure Practitioner. Sasha has a special interest in women’s health, pain care and mental health concerns. With over 20 years experience her focus is to help people live well.

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LIFE CYCLES Retreat Dates 2019

Late Summer in Earth Element Retreat Feb 10th, 2019

LIFE Cycles is a series of retreat mornings where we meet each season. We use meditation, mindfulness, yoga, self acupressure techniques and other practical ways of bringing balance into life each season.

Each season relates to a different element in Chinese Medicine, including Earth, Metal, Water, Wood and Fire. Based on John Kirkwood’s teachings of 5 Elements Integrative Acupressure we reflect on the current season, the  qualities it brings to our life and ways we can use this knowledge to facilitate health and wellness.

Occupations shape our life.  What we do and how we feel determine health, happiness and self awareness. LIFE Cycles teaches practical ways of doing, being and becoming in alignment with the natural cycles. We meet 5 times a year to explore the occupation of Life In Five Elements (LIFE).

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