Earth has its home in the Late Summer, the harvest time of the year when the golden light is upon Nature, which, to quote Keats, has filled “all fruit with ripeness to the core.” Mother Earth is at her fullest, most round, most pregnant. Nature is dripping with the fruits of her labours. If our Earth is in balance, we are open to receiving the bounty of the world as well as to giving it out. There is no impediment to this giving and receiving which are two sides of the same hand. We can nurture and be nurtured, understand and be understood. We are thoughtful, sympathetic, empathetic, grounded and centred in ourselves, acting and relating to others from that place.
When our Earth is out of balance, we begin to lose our ground and our centre. We spin round and round, repeating worn out patterns that don’t serve us, our thoughts spinning round and round in our heads. There is an imbalance in our giving and receiving. We may become very needy or we may deny our own needs in favour of the needs of others. We feel unsupported in the world, unstable. Our organs of stomach, spleen and pancreas may be out of order. Digestive problems are common, sluggishness, fatigue, oedema and overeating may occur. We may worry obsessively about our problems or about those close to us, or we may cut ourselves off from sympathy altogether and become uncaring. Our intention becomes clouded.
In treating the Earth Element, the practitioner holds points along the meridians of Stomach and Spleen/Pancreas which are the channels of Earth. They support our capacity to give and receive appropriately, to take care of others when necessary while taking care of ourselves.
We can support our Earth by making sure we have a balance between taking care of self and other. In nurturing ourselves, we can consider what it is that we really need. Rather than having that rich dessert or that new dress, what is that we need that nurtures our soul? We can support our Earth by making sure we are grounded and centred in ourselves, doing things that ground us in our bodies, especially our pelvis and legs. Take a walk, dance, dig in the garden. Singing is a very Earth oriented activity. Foods that support Earth are those with a sweet flavour including fruits (not sugar!) and sweet flavoured vegetables; and those yellow or orange in colour such as pumpkins, carrots.
The emotion of Earth is sympathy or worry. Worry can show up as obsessive mental rumination, thoughts going round and round while sympathy out of balance produces over-concern for others. We might ask ourselves: What do I need? What do I want? Can I ask for these things of others? How easy is it for me to receive and to give? Is there balance between my giving and receiving? The way we answer these questions can give insight into the health of our Earth.