The Time Between Elements: Transitions

By Eric Hartmann, M.Ac. L.Ac. 

In 5 Element acupuncture, each Element corresponds with each Season. The qualities of the Season informs the energetics and functions of each Element. You may be saying to yourself, 5 Seasons? Yes! The 5 Seasons are: Spring, Summer, Late Summer, Fall and Winter.

The Late Summer, the time of the harvest, is associated with the Earth element. The Earth element represents the solid ground beneath our feet or, in other words, stability. As anyone who has experienced an earthquake can attest, when the earth isn’t stable, one doesn’t feel secure, safe and steady. 

The organs associated with the Earth element are the Stomach and Spleen. These are considered organs of digestion. It makes sense that the organs of digestion would be associated with the season of the great abundance of fruits, berries, and vegetables which nourish us. 

As each Season moves into the next season, so do the Elements. One Element transitions into the following Element. That time between seasons, that transition when it’s still Winter and a little bit of Spring or it’s not quite Spring and it’s not quite Summer, for example, is associated with the Earth element.

Recently, I had the interior of my house painted, the ENTIRE house! I had to move furniture, clothes, wall hangings, books, etc.. out of every room in order to paint.  I threw plastic tarps over the furniture that remained in the rooms so as not to get paint on them. Everything in my house was in disarray, in different places and/or covered up. In the morning, I wandered around looking for my socks, a spoon for my tea and my briefcase. My entire routine was upended and I felt discombobulated. This temporary rearrangement of my house is similar to what happens between Seasons. It’s a period of adjustment as we leave the ‘old’ Season and move into the ‘new’ Season.

I realized that my external environment had shifted (temporarily) and left me feeling disoriented.  However, I also realized that my internal environment had not changed and when I turned inwards and focused, I felt steady and stable. It’s times like these that I repeat my personal mantra of, “Don’t just DO something, STAND there”. It’s when I quiet myself, steady myself, that I realize I have the inner resources. And it is a repeated practice, every time I notice myself wandering around the house looking for my socks (which happens frequently), I repeat my mantra.

So, as we transition from one Season to the next, from one solid place to the next, remember your own mantra, your own access to your inner resources.

May your feet be solid on the Earth and your head up in the Heavens!


Eric Hartmann, M.Ac., L.Ac. is a licensed 5 Element acupuncturist who has practiced for almost 20 years on Capitol Hill. You can find information on Eric & his practice here.

And be sure to join us for May 12: Harmonious Living Through The Guidance Of Nature with Eric.