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The Earth Element

Favourable; Fire & Metal
Unfavourable; Water & Wood

Canadian Rockies.

The Earth is central to all views of nature. The ancients saw the shape of the Earth as being square. The shape then that symbolizes the Earth Element is the square. Its colour is yellow, which is also the Emperor's colour.

The body's organ system ruled by the Earth Element is the Stomach/Spleen system, which is responsible for digesting and transforming food and water into Qi, and nourishment for the entire body. Many TCM practitioners see the Digestive System as central to overall good health which is consistent with the Five Elements theory that places the Earth Element at the centre of all things.

Yang Earth is symbolized by the Mountain, rocks, crystals, granite, and diamonds.

Yin Earth is generally symbolized by the soil in which food is grown.

The emotion of the Earth Element is Worry or Overthinking. Signs of Earth Deficiency include fatigue, and digestive problems.

The Earth element governs the last half of each of the other seasons, but has a particular effect over the last days of summer and early days of Autumn when crops are being harvested.

Earth people tend to be solid, stable and immutable, like the Earth. They like the traditional ways of doing things and do not respond well to abrupt changes. They work hard and usually put everything they have into a project or a relationship. Earth people make better workers than leaders. On the other hand, Earth people can be obstinate, stubborn, and so set in their ways that they can resolutely resist even beneficial change. Either way, Earth types are determined, resolute, and reliable in their pursuit of any objective.

Yang Earth types tend to have a real connection to the land and are concerned with buildings, construction, or land as a medium of exchange.

Yin Earth types are more concerned with the Earth's potential for growing things, how the earth nourishes and nurtures and what the earth produces as a medium of exchange.

Both are 'down to earth' types, not prone to flights of fantasy. Both are contemplative, meditative types, which may make them appear distant and unconcerned. Neither type is concerned with small talk.

In the Five Elements theory, Earth is nourished by Fire and itself nourishes Metal. In nature it may be seen that when a forest is consumed by fire, the nutrients contained in the ash revitalize the Earth. As well, it is now becoming better known that forest fires are a vital way that nature cleanses the earth. As much as forest fires are an annoyance and even danger to humans, they are as necessary to the health of the earth as oxygen and sunlight. In general Earth types will have a favourable relationship with a Fire or Metal type.

In the controlling cycle, Earth is controlled by Wood, in the sense that trees and other plants cover and hide the earth. Earth itself controls Water in the sense water tends to follow the natural contours of the Earth when it flows, and can be controlled and directed by damns and channels. In general, Earth types will have an unfavourable relationship with a Wood or Water type.

The Ox, Dragon, Goat, and Dog are Earth animals.

Five Elements - Promoting & Controlling Cycles.

Back to Five Elements Page


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