As the extreme heat of summer begins to climax, moisture seeps into the air, making it not only hot but humid. The summer heat transforms into clouds which produce rain, often in the form of a summer storm. This in turn triggers the ripening of the crops. It is the power of Earth, the power of transformation. Not only in the Late Summer but also in between seasons, which I will explain further on. The seeds from Spring have transformed to plants and trees, which are now bearing fruit that are ready to be harvested. The Earth is the initiator and the binder of change.
The 5-Element theory explains to us that there are different ways in which the 5 Phases interact with one another; the Sheng (Generating) Cycle and the Ke (Controlling) Cycle, both of which I wrote of in my first post a while back. But there is a third Cycle, the Seasonal Cycle. Often this cycle displays the 5 Phases together with its correspondences together with the cardinal directions of the Earth. The Earth is the centre of all the Elements. It links all Phases together as seen in the Seasonal Cycle diagram. An Element manifests and returns its energy to the centre, to the Earth. It is the transition-maker; the one that transforms one to the other, the one that links everything together, the one that smoothens the change. Sounds like someone we know - the Mother.
We can observe this now, by the concurrent warming and cooling. Thus, creating stormy weather. It is not just here but all around the globe, August-September is a time of storms; the countless hurricanes and typhoons often peak around this time. In fact, due to the global overheating, we are experiencing the transitions and changes stronger. These "18 days" that was indicated by Zhang Jie Bing almost 400 years ago was almost 30 days this past April. What we knew of April showers in the past, is no longer true, it came in May. But that is the nature of life, change.
Most of us find change and transitions challenging. But it is simple. The Elements show us, we need to come back to our centre. Begin by finding centre in your body, through movement and stillness. Somewhere between these two points is the middle but you have to find it for yourself. No one can feel it for you but yourself. How does that work? Go walking, dancing, do Qi Gong, Tai Ji Quan or Yoga. Then find the stillness in these practices. This is one of the reasons that drew me to my practice of Tai Ji Quan and Yoga, the incorporation of both movement and stillness meditation. Find breath, this links us to our inner rhythms and the environment. It also gives us a way to deal with things better when we are stressed; we breathe deeply to calm our minds, we feel more connected to our bodies and suddenly, what we perceived as a stressful situation is no longer one. Eat seasonal-ripening foods and eat in moderation. When we overeat, it is harder to feel/ find our physical centre and, thus our emotional and spiritual centres are impeded.
This time of transition is like a bridge into the next phase of the year and of life. If we accept that change is inevitable and move along this bridge with awareness, the journey becomes easier.
Image by Mustang Joe on Pixabay
Diagrams by Elaine