Earth (土 tǔ) is one of the Wu Xing (Chinese: 五行; pinyin: wǔxíng), also known as the Five Elements, Five Phases, the Five Agents, the Five Movements, Five Processes, the Five Steps/Stages and the Five Planets or “the five types of chi dominating at different times“.
We decided to use the word Element to describe it because it is the most used even if it is not the most accurate.
Generation cycle: Generated by Fire Element (火 huǒ), the Earth Element generates Metal Element (金 jīn).
Control cycle: Controlled by Wood Element (木 mù), the Earth Element controls Water Element (水 shuǐ).

Important Note

Earth Element features can slightly change according to the model you are following. In the evolution of the [5ElementTheory]], the Earth Element, that was at the beginning the central element, the pivot that allowed all other to transform into each-other, was moved on the side of other 4 Elements between Fire Element (火 huǒ) and Metal Element (金 jīn).

  • In Classical Chinese Medicine (older model), Earth is considered the center, the element that nourishes the other 4 and is the Movement that controls the changes. It has not an associated 72 days long season as the 4 other Elements, but is in charge of the “change” periods (4 18 days “mini” seasons between the other “main” seasons) (picture 1).
  • In Traditional Chinese Medicine (newer model), Earth is part of the cycle. It is generated by Fire Element (火 huǒ) and generates Metal Element (金 jīn). Its season is Late Summer, between Summer and Autumn and lasts 72 days like all others.

Related Features

Related Features can vary if you refers to:

  • Traditional Chinese Medicine and many complementary and integrative medicines: the described features are related to the 5 consecutive seasons model.
  • Classical Chinese Medicine: the described features are related to the 4 season + 4 “change” periods” model.

Season: Late Summer: the time for the harvest. Alternative model: 4 inter-seasons of “change”.
Climate: Dampness, humidity.
Classic/Diagnostic Color: Yellow, Sandy/Earthy, light Brown
Therapeutic Color: Yellow
Odor: Fragrant
Taste: Sweet
Sound: Singing
Emotion: Sympathy, Empathy
Life period: Late adolescence
Personal power: Decrease
Faith/Worldview: Conventional/Synthetic faith
Related Yin meridian: SP (Spleen Channel – Zu Tai Yin)
Related Yang meridian: ST (Stomach Channel – Zu Yang Ming)
Related tissue: Muscle
Related sense organ: Touch