In Western literature the spleen has always been denigrated and in medicine mostly ignored. TCM (Traditional Chinese Medicine) and Feng Shui revere the spleen as the official in charge of boosting the immune system. Together with its partner, the stomach, the spleen resonates with the earth element. It is the largest lymphatic organ, and from its position in the center it regulates distribution and transport through the system. As a pair, the spleen and the stomach are a hub for bodily functions and energy flow. This central location is significant in feng shui and the layout of your space. The center, also known as the Tai Ji or “Grand Ultimate” is the hub around which all other activities radiate. In cross-dynamic patterns of the bagua where feng shui connects and relates pairs of guas in support of each other, the pathways always lead through the center hub.
The stomach is crucial for nutritional input and output which is then filtered by the spleen for purified essentials and essences. This essence of life, made manifest in energy levels, is the sheng qi we all depend on for well-being and good health. The center of our space which is the health gua in feng shui needs to be constantly monitored and refreshed. This important sector is attributed to the earth element, but earth permeates other areas of the bagua as well relating to feng shui principles in more than one sector. The relationship corner which is the trigram of the mother or feminine principle, is an earth gua, as is the wisdom and knowledge area, endemic to the mountain trigram.
Earth in addition to its many other responsibilities also governs transitions. Late summer or Indian summer is earth, when nature reaches fruition in time for harvest. Some TCM practices identify the last ten days of each season with the earth element as a transition period.
Earth is the element of equilibrium and stability, therefore, if our element profile is well balanced, we should feel centered and grounded. Earth is the element of containment. The stomach is the container that receives nutrition and holds it through the initial digestive process. The spleen holds purified blood cells and platelets.
Earth is the plateau on which we create our lifestyle. All flat tops and surfaces are earth, and any kind of container, ie bowls, vases, chests and closets serve to receive gifts from mother earth. In symbolic feng shui we replicate natural phenomena with auspicious objects, colors and shapes to reinforce our intentions. If we honor these aspects in our space, we must realize that earth abhors clutter and stuffed closets. Excess and overabundance creates an earth dilemma that will make us feel stagnant and stuck.
Earth likes check lists and favors routine and regularity. The spleen needs concentration and focus. In that spirit we offer our feng shui considerations for an earth friendly environment:
• First and foremost, let's go on a space-clearing crusade. Get rid of all unnecessary clutter and debris.
• Once you have cleaned surfaces and containers, and pushed everything out of closets and drawers, you may start with creating “beauty.” Anything that is pleasing and gratifying to your perception can be considered as beautiful. As an attractive focal point, it is probably auspicious for your spleen.
• Mark the center with a special object that attracts your gaze. This could be a chandelier, a mobile, a crystal, a special rug or unique piece of furniture.
• Identify the health sector by placing the bagua on your floor plan.
• Create feng shui enhancements within the health area. This can be done with objects, colors and shapes.
• Yellow is a wonderfully uplifting earth color, and a bouquet of yellow flowers, sunflowers or mums, will give you the needed boost.
• Enjoy the time of harvest and tonify with foods in earth colors. Earth foods are tightly layered around themselves or densely packed.
• The spleen prefers room temperature beverages and can be damaged with artificial and concentrated sweeteners.
• The stomach and spleen connect to the lips and mouth, and since they control tasting, it explains why the preferred earth flavor would be “sweet.”
• Sound and music for energizing earth types would be repetitive or drum pieces, as in Philip Glass or Ravel's “Bolero.”
• Heavy, flat and low pieces of furniture are anchors and keep you grounded and bound to your space. In case you intend to move, consider removing them as part of your relocating strategy.
• Enjoy your newly discovered peace of mind that comes with feeling grounded and centered after you have honored earth with considerations for the needs of your stomach and spleen.