Stomach and Spleen
The mysterious powers of the earth create humidity in Heaven and fertile soil upon the earth. They create the flesh within the body, and the vicera they create the stomach. Of the colours they create the yellow colour and they give the human voice the ability to sing… of the flavours they create the sweet flavour, and of the emotions they create consideration and sympathy…
The Yellow Emperor’s Classic
The earth element represents the center of the five elements. Within the qi cycle and in between the seasons we always return to the earth. Its spiritual quality is that of a balanced, earth person will be supportive, relaxed, considerate, well-integrated and centered. Any excess will manifest as over-protectiveness and worry while deficiency could result in a hunger for nourishment, an obsessive individual constantly searching for answers outside themselves. Imbalance can manifest as addiction, being ‘flaky’, and not being able to uphold their boundaries.
Earth is mother, peacemaker, and lover of harmony, her devoted, receptive nature is perfect complement to the creative powers of heaven.
In the House of the Moon
The period just between the transformations of one phase to another and in between one season and another is when the phase moves to earth. Earth represents the centre, it is neutral and the balance of yin and yang energy is equal and thus can relate to all phases. Afternoon is the earth phase of the daily cycle. Earth corresponds to the season known as Indian summer. That intense time when all four seasons combine to create heaven on earth. This is the twilight period at the end of one season and the beginning of another.
Earth calls us back home, offering a safe haven where we can rest and refresh our spirits.
In the House of the Moon
Earth is the center point, between opposing forces. Being grounded helps us to resolve our differences and find sensible solutions to even the most difficult of times. Earths wisdom is contained within the wise words of the Tao Te Ching “just stay at the center of the circle and let all things take their course”
Yi, or our intent, is the spirit residing in the spleen, our earth organ. Another of its functions is mental digestion. When we have a healthy yi, our thoughts are balanced, for it presents the heart with images that create our thoughts. The nurturing and bonding aspect of the earth element has its crucial first beginnings with the mother-child relationship. This first bond is a template for future relationships. If our early relationships and bonds are unhealthy then these create an unhealthy yi. It may result in unhealthy relationships and bonds, with people, substances and addictions, later on in life.
The Earth in its devotion carries all things, good and evil, without exception. In the same way the superior woman gives to her character breadth, purity, and sustaining power, so that she is able to support and to bear with people and things.
The I Ching
Stable, quiet, compassionate and well-grounded are traits that a balanced earth nature holds. You can move out of yourself and experience another’s world and with ease return to your centre. Earth is being able to know yourself so well and hold strong boundaries that you can experience another without confusing who you are in the process.
“Everything that is created by the Universe meets in the centre and is absorbed by the Earth”
The Yellow Emperors Classic
In the House of the Moon
Earth: The Peacemaker
An individual with an affinity to Earth has the capacity to nurture herself and others, mediate disputes, and create loving communities. Earth types thrive on peace and harmony and are thrown off balance by disagreement and discord.
Natural quality: fertile, nourishing, solid, restful
Emotion: caring and concern
Balanced: supportive, relaxed, considerate
Imbalanced Excess: over protective, worried, meddlesome
Deficiency: hungry for nourishment, attention and love
Spiritual Quality: grounded
Season: Indian Summer or the transition period between seasons
Climate: dampness, thunder
Time of day: 7- 11 am
Smell: fragrant, ripe, sweet, fruits
Taste: subtle sweetness and simple foods
Organs: Yin/Spleen Yang/Stomach
Bibliography and References
1 Lao Tzu, Tao Te Ching, trans D C Lau, 1963, Penguin Books Ltd
6 ATCCM, 1st year class notes, TCM Philosophy, 1997
7 ATTCM, Lect. Jim Hoberg, class notes, The five humanly aspects, 1997
8 The Yellow Emperors Classic of Medicine, Neijing Suwen, trans Maoshing Ni
PhD.,1995, Shambhala Pub. Inc., ISBN 1-57062-080-6
9 Australian College of Natural Medicine, class notes, Differential Diagnosis 3,
Spiritual Resources, 2003
10ATCCM, J Hoberg,1st year class notes, 1987
11 L. Hammer M.D., Dragon Rises Red Bird Flies, Psychology and Chinese Medicine, 1990, Station Hill Press, Inc., ISBN 0-88268-062-5
14 J Elias, K Ketcham, In the House of the Moon, reclaiming the feminine spirit of healing, 1995, Hodder Headline Aust Pty Ltd, ISBN 0-7336-0128-5