Late Summer: The Fifth Season

Late Summer is the fifth season in Traditional Chinese Medicine. While it is a short season, it is, in many ways, the most important, as it represents the transition from the expansive yang energy of spring and summer to the quieter yin energy of fall and winter. This is the point at which all seasons converge. As Paul Pitchford writes in Healing with Whole Foods, Late Summer represents “the instant where the pendulum reverses its swing.”

The late summer season is associated with Earth, the mother of the elements. There is an emphasis put on nurturing, nourishing, and most of all, grounding. The earth represents a balance of yang and yin, an even energy flow.

This is a time of stability, where we have the opportunity to slow down, look around, and appreciate the feeling of abundance and contentment. The feeling of “home” is especially important.

This season is the point of clarity between Summer and Fall, when we can stop and look around us and figure out what we need to do to prepare for winter.

In our lives, we see this reflected socially. This is the late harvest time when the earth offers up a wealth of nutritious food, which we gather to enjoy and also preserve for the coming cold months when fresh food is not as plentiful.

This is also when children get ready to head back to school at the beginning of September.

Grounding and centering during this period are key. We must protect the immune system for autumn by preparing our bodies and minds.

Leave A Comment