Elemental Balance: Earth and Air Within Us

By Marysia Miernowska
Human Meditating in a Sphere of the Earth Elements

As I circle with my students in classes, a common theme is how intense things have been, with the recent full moon eclipse and then the mercury retrograde. In response, the spirits of the Earth whispered in my ear:

We are here. We can receive it all. Lay your worries on the Earth. Ground and we will hold you.

Enter Libra. The sign of balance – an air sign striving for harmony, beauty, equality, with a theme around relationships. This energy arrives on the New Moon – a time to find stillness, and to go into the fertile void and rest, trusting that like the moon, our prayers and intentions will begin to grow in light as we birth the start of a new cycle.

The Elements of Magic

One of the greatest threads between people and plants, the elements of Air, Fire, Water and Earth exist within us and all around nature. They can balance the elements present in people, but go far beyond that. They relate to symbols, archetypes, myths, organs in the body, emotions, diseases, places in nature, crystals, types of music, etc.

To keep this very expansive subject in simple terms, the general idea is to become aware of how certain elements show up in your life and within you, so you can seek to create more harmony among them.  Based on where we are in the year, balancing Earth and Air is the focus.

Earth Medicine

The element of Earth is the densest of all of the elements, associated with the direction North, the Winter and the night.

When our Earth is in balance, we take good care of ourselves, eat nourishing whole foods, take time to rest and we are present in our bodies. Earth people are very connected to their physical home and environment.

Ask yourself if you are feeling grounded. If you have been experiencing a lot of nervous energy (air), then bring in more Earth.

Feel into your self-care practice. Do you have one? Do you have rituals that keep your mind and body healthy? Do you take time for silence? Do you remember to check in with your body throughout the day? Or do you sometimes even forget that you have a body (a sign of too much air)?

Look around your home. Does it express who you are? Do you feel safe and comfortable there? Do you take care of your surroundings and enjoy your space?

Consider your relationships. Is there a solid foundation of mutual respect? Have you developed useful tools that help you communicate harmoniously? Do you take care of each other? Is there an aspect of devotion and service to self and other? Is it in or out of balance?

The fall offers us plenty of remedies. The nights are becoming longer and we are being told to slow down. Harvest time is upon us and we are to take that figuratively as well as literally. It is a good time to reflect on the blessings in our lives, to appreciate our abundance and to share it with the ones we love.

Root vegetables are in season and they are the perfect food for nourishing our Earth element. Roast some veggies, beets, turnips, sweet potatoes. Eat warm, richer foods and soups. Healthy fats are grounding and calm any excess air element, while increasing our earth element.

Restorative yoga, meditation, massage, gardening, warm baths, walks in nature are all nourishing to the earth element. Get outside. Lay down on the earth and close your eyes. This will instantly calm your nervous system and bring you into greater balance.

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Air Medicine

Air element is connected to the East, the season of Spring, the energy of a new dawn. We need air to survive, and just as breath expands our lungs, so too the element of air expands our mind. Associated with the nervous system, it is the element of inspiration, imagination, and intellect,

When balanced, we feel inspired and uplifted. Our mind is clear and focused, yet also able to imagine new possibilities and creative ideas. When in balance with Earth, we are able to take these ideas (air) and bring them into the physical plane (earth), manifesting them with ease. When air and earth are not in balance, we may have many ideas and are unable to follow through on any of them.

If you feel “stuck in a rut” and are unable to imagine an alternative, perhaps you need to nourish your air element. Mountaintops, places with expansive views, feeling the wind on our skin – all of these awaken our air element. Visualizations, positive affirmations and prayer are connected to air. Flute music, singing, kirtan and chanting can awaken the breath and the presence of air in our bodies. Pranayama, the yoga of breath is a good practice, as well as any yoga with conscious breathing. To awaken its presence in your home, consider burning sacred resins or incense, using clear, white or light crystals, bringing in white flowers, grasses or any other tall and thin plants.

If you have been experiencing too much air, you can balance your air by increasing the element of earth.

Ask yourself if you are feeling inspired and creative. Notice if your air feels calm and centered (in balance) or nervous and anxious (out of balance).

With Libra being an air sign, there is a lot of air energy right now in the cosmos and we must remember that a balancing act never ends. So look at your general tendencies with your earth and air elements, but also check in moment to moment. At any sign of nervousness, ground. You can come back to Air in an instant if you wish- as soon as your next breath. But grounding is always the place to start. Getting to the calm and quiet place of being centered is the fertile ground for anything healthy to grow.

The earth, with her golden fall, is conveying that most of us need a little more earth medicine now, a little less mental stimulation. A little less technology, chatter, anxiety. She always knows what’s best, and she gently whispers to us in the autumn wind. Go outside and listen to what she shares with you.

She blows the dead leaves from the trees showing us the beauty of letting dead things go. She lifts her smell of leaves surrendering to the earth so we too can ground and nourish our roots, going back to her fertile body. She pulls the blanket of night over our eyes telling us to quiet. Winter is coming, the time for dreaming will soon be here, so slow down and prepare for the medicine of the dream. Like before a great slumber, use the evening that is Fall, to gather with your most beloveds for dinner.  Share the season’s harvest with your community. Eat a grounding meal, enjoy the golden glow of candlelight and count your blessings. New plans will be born in spring.

For now, nourish your Earth.

A multilingual and multicultural devotee of Pachamama, Marysia has traveled extensively studying earth wisdom and ancient healing practices from different cultures around the world. She is the director of the California branch of The Gaia School of Healing and Earth Education and teaches workshops on herbal medicine, plant shamanism and earth magic. You can follow Marysia on instagram @thegaiaschoolofhealingca and on facebook by liking The Gaia School of Healing and Earth Education California Branch. For more information on the Fall 2015 apprenticeships please visit www.thegreenwoman.com

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