The Five Elements by Kriss Erickson
When I talk about the seasons, and link each to one of the five elements: fire, earth, metal, water or wood, it is because we can use the elements to help us communicate more deeply with our beings and nourish the organs.
Each of the elements is connected to a pair of organs. Why a pair? Because one organ is yang, the other, yin, in energy. So, there is one yin and one yang organ for each season.
The elements are as follows:
The wood element is the element of spring. It is connected to the liver (yin) and gallbladder (yang).
The fire element is the element of summer. It is connected to the heart (yin) and small intestine (yang).
The earth element is the element of late summer and early autumn. It is connected to the spleen (yin) and stomach (yang).
The metal element is the element of autumn. It is connected to the lungs (yin) and large intestine (yang).
The water element is the element of winter. It is connected to the kidneys (yin) and bladder (yang).
The elements also interplay with each other. For example, we have just crossed from the fire element of summer, into the metal element of autumn. Interspersed with the fire and metal elements is the earth element of late summer and early autumn.
That means that toward the end of the fire element season, the energies connected to the heart and small intestine are still in play, when the earth element begins to rise, affecting the stomach and spleen. As the fire element fades, the energy of the metal element rises, connected to the lungs and large intestine, while the earth element is also still in play.
This is the most complex energy of the year, as six organs are affected by three elements working closely together. It is an opportunity to drink in of the strong vitality of the fire element, plant that energy deeply in the earth and delve even deeper, finding treasures represented by the metal element in autumn.
All elements interact. Using opposite elements is also helpful. For example, sending some of the warmth and vitality of the fire element to the winter element of water, can enhance the function of the kidneys and bladder. Sending the cooling, moving energy of water to the heart and small intestine can help those organs flow more smoothly.
In our present season, we can send some of the mutable, transformative metal element energy to the wood element organs of spring. This can help the liver and gallbladder to grow stronger, as well as be more flexible and resilient.
How to Call in the Elements
Each season begins with either a solstice (summer and winter), where the sun stations at zero degrees of Cancer, and the days are either at their longest (summer) or shortest (winter) or an Equinox, where the day and night is equal in length at the equator, and the sun stations at zero degrees of Virgo. These are four main energetic gates of the year. It is ideal to use at least part of these days to contemplate the energy of the season that has just passed, and the energy of the one that is beginning. All of the elements except for the earth element come in on either a solstice or an equinox.
To call in the elements: Set aside quiet time. Meditate and when you feel calm and grounded, call in the element or elements of your choice.
At the time an element changes, I like to call in the previous element, thank it for all it offered, and send blessings to it. Then, I call in the present element, thank it for its arrival and send blessings to it for what it will offer. How I do that is to simply focus on the element I want to call in. For example, if it is water, I picture water. I picture either a body of water, rain or even the moisture in the atmosphere. Using a glass of pure water is also effective.
I hold out my hands (both or either one), and ask for the presence of water (or other chosen element), to make itself known to me. I wait patiently. Sometimes the element responds immediately. Other times, I can feel it slowly moving toward me. I just hold the space, trusting that the element will respond.
Once the element has responded to my request, I speak to it as if it is a dear friend. I think it for its nourishing energy and describe that in as much detail as possible. I ask it to nourish my being, beginning with the organs it is connected to, then expanding to the rest of my being. The water element, for example, is nourishing to all of the being, not just the kidneys and bladder. So, after I feel its energy infuse my kidneys and bladder, I ask it to also infuse all the cells of my body.
I ask the element then to surround me with its energy.
This practice is also helpful if you are facing challenges with any body system. If your liver and/or gallbladder is challenged, you can call the wood element at any time of year. A good way to do that is to go outside and sit under or touch a tree. Feel the energy of the tree, from its roots to the tips of its branches. Feel that nourishing energy flowing through your liver and gallbladder. Thank the tree and the wood element when you feel the process is complete.
As you can see, the energies of the five elements are deeply effective, as well as nourishing. There are many ways to call them. I am always glad to call them friends.