In Chinese medicine each of the seasons relates to a different element. Winter to water, Spring to wood, Summer to fire, and Autumn to metal. Each of these elements relates to a yin and a yang organ and their corresponding meridian systems within the body.
This is useful to note as during any particular season it can be good to bring attention and nourishment to the corresponding organs. We can achieve this with foods and an understanding of the seasons and elements and how they affect our bodies. Interestingly the earth element does not have its own season but instead belongs to the change of each seasons. This is the time in which we are now.
On Saturday March 20th, 2021 is the Autumn equinox. This means the day and night will be equal in length. This is the point that yang turns to yin. It is said that this is the true beginning of Autumn.
A week either side of both the equinox and solstice is the energy of the earth element. The earth element corresponds to the spleen and stomach and their meridian systems. As you can imagine the earth element relates to our sense of groundedness. Our place in the world.
It is good to spend time in nature during the change of seasons. Maybe take your shoes off and feel the earth beneath your feet. Acknowledge the change from longer days to longer nights. The crisper evenings. The later sunrise.
The spleen and stomach love foods that grow within the earth like potatoes and beetroots. The colour of the earth element is yellow and the spleen and stomach benefit especially from vegetables that are yellow, orange, and red like sweet potato and pumpkin.
The spleen and stomach are responsible for digestion of food and thoughts. When eating it is beneficial to focus on the food you are eating and the nourishment that it is providing for your body.
Being busy and eating on the run can hinder the digestive process. Too many raw and greasy foods can injure the spleen and stomach as well as eating at sporadic times and late at night.
The emotion related to the earth element is worry. When the earth element within the body is out of balance, we may find ourselves overly pensive. In balance, thoughts are clear and easily let go of.
So, in the next two weeks feel free to get dirty and out in amongst the earth. Revel in both the day and the night. Enjoy some delicious nourishing food, allowing yourself the time to really take it in. And get ready, because Autumn is on its way, with all its harvest and its release.