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Five Element Personality Types: Earth

Brown gradient. Text with Five element personality types
This month's post is dedicated to the earth types.

I’m sitting down to write this and going back over previous posts that I’ve written about each of the Five Elements and discovering that I never wrote one about the earth element. That’s actually a good thing, as this element has special characteristics that the others don’t and are better understood in the context of this discussion on personality types. So, let’s talk a little bit about the earth element before discussing earth personalities.


In Chinese medicine school, I was taught that the earth element was associated with the late summer, just before we transition into autumn. That’s technically true, but there’s so much more to it than just that, which I’ve learned while delving into this aspect of Chinese metaphysics. The earth element has no season of its own. Why? Because the earth is always there. No matter if the fire of summer is blazing, the wood of spring growing, the metal of autumn going down and in, or the water of winter flowing downwards, there is always earth. Rather than having its own specific season, the earth element is dominant in the final month of each season, as it transitions to the next, and takes on the energy of the season on its way out. Friendly reminder here that I am talking about seasons guided by the Chinese solar calendar, which begins yearly on February 4th. This means the earth element is most active in April, July, October, January, and generally strongest in the summer, as the fire energy of summer generates earth, according to the generating cycle of five element theory. During these season-ending months, it is called spring earth, summer earth, autumn earth, and winter earth respectively. If this sounds confusing, think of it this way: the earth is the element that connects all the other elements. In the same way we are different races, creeds, have different values and opinions, and speak different languages, we are all of the earth, that life giving entity that links us all.


Whew. Okay, with that context in place, let’s move on to our earth types and daymasters. Here’s the link to Chinese Metasoft to plug in your date and time of birth and find your daymaster (the top box under the day column):


The Earth Type


The Yellow Emperor’s Classic of Internal Medicine describes the earth type as being well proportioned, having a strong back, legs, and shoulders. They have roundish faces and yellowish complexions, are seen as calm and steady people, known to be extremely trustworthy, and like building relationships with people. Back when I was still in acupuncture school, I saw the photo below of an earth type in my textbook and burst out laughing. Well, I guess I know what type I am, I thought. I even had that haircut at the time.

drawing of a female person on white paper.
A drawing of the earth type, taken from Giovanni Maciocia's 'Diagnosis in Chinese Medicine', 2nd edition


The Earth Daymaster


My people! For those of you who know me well, you will recognize lots of these characteristics. The earth daymaster looks inward, is thoughtful, practical, and a hard worker. Earth daymasters know much, but say little, much like how soil holds minerals and mountains hold ore. We are slow decision makers, taking time to see every side of things, and seldom risk-takers. At best, these traits make the earth daymaster responsible, nurturing, rooted, and trustworthy. At worst, they make them stubborn, resistant to change, have difficulties with boundaries, and overly tolerant of bad situations. Earth daymasters are born nurturers, caring for everyone around them, constantly seeking to bring those around them into harmony.


Wu (戊) Yang Earth Daymaster


The image of Yang earth is that of a mountain: solid, solitary, and strong. Yang earth people are highly private, keeping to themselves, but fiercely principled and loyal, seeking bonds in their families and a few close friendships. We can all use a Yang earth daymaster in our corner. Persistent and practical at their best, the Yang earth daymaster can also use their solitary nature to be a loner, a procrastinator, and singularly minded when it’s clearly time to let go.

rock mountain peak with sky above and grass below.
Wu Yang Earth is like a mountain


Ji (己) Yin Earth Daymaster


Have you looked down at your garden soil lately? The Ji Yin earth daymaster is like the fertile soil from whence grows 10,000 things. While this Daymaster possesses many of the same characteristics as its Yang counterpart, it is also considered to be highly resourceful, intelligent, and able to learn (absorb) almost anything. Just like the soil needs to put things forth, be they weeds, flowers, or food, the Ji Yin earth daymaster needs to be productive. In their best forms, these daymasters are supportive, nurturing, patient, and hard workers. When their energies are out of balance though, they put others first to their own detriment, are possessive, and tend to overthink everything.

Garden soil
Ji Yin earth takes as its visual the idea of moist and fertile soil.


In Five Element theory, the general idea of earth energy is that of trust, and a sense of security. This idea flows into careers suitable to the earth daymasters, which include real estate, insurance, building materials, dealing in arts and antiques, minerals and stone, and all forms of the healing arts. Perhaps by now you’re starting to notice how careers best suited to each daymaster has either a direct or symbolic relationship to its element. What I also find interesting as I analyze more and more people’s personality types is that they will often gravitate towards those lines of work without any of this knowledge.


This wood dragon year can be very good for the earth daymasters if they let it be. It is said that earth energy likes to stagnate, so the moving and dredging quality of wood helps to keep the earth energy moving as well. When the earth element needs supporting, slower and more contemplative activities such as Yoga, gardening, sculpting, and walking barefoot help restore it to balance.


Five Element theory teaches that the earth element has a close relationship with the spleen and stomach. Earth daymasters will find that they greatly benefit from Qigong patterns that support these systems such as Plucking Stars, Merry Go Round, and Dancing Fairy. Are you one of the daymasters that I’ve discussed so far? Have you noticed something of yourself in these descriptions? Tell me in the comments!

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