Metal Element


Emotion: Grief and Loss
Season: Autumn
Struggle with: Arrogance
Need: Respect
Strength: Honest and Reliable
Organs: Lungs and Large Intestine

Nature of Metal:

The Chinese symbol for metal depicts hidden ‘nuggets’ buried deep within the earth, representing the vast scope of this element. Beyond the common association with ‘Gold,’ metal encompasses all earth minerals, from mountains and rocks to crystals, metals, and trace elements within us and the soil. This enduring element endows qualities of resilience, stability, reliability, malleability, patience, and persistence. Throughout history, metal and rock have served and protected humans, from early stone and metal tools to the sophisticated devices reliant on rare earth elements. Reverence for metal, gems, and gold has adorned human history, initially honouring gods and, in modern times, symbolizing status and self-worth instead.

Nature of Autumn:

Autumn ushers in a time of introspection and letting go. Nature sheds its exuberant growth from spring and summer, preparing for the forthcoming winter nights. Grieving the fallen fruits and bidding farewell to the warmth and fun of summer might evoke a sense of melancholy. Nevertheless, autumn presents its gems, with vibrant colors and the earthy aroma of regeneration. Accepting that everything has its end becomes the essence of renunciation in this season, appreciating what remains.

Yin in Yang: As the summer’s long days (Yang) recede, autumn marks the return of darkness (Yin), where nights become longer than days during the equinox.


The Lungs: The tender organ, constantly exposed to external contaminants, play a dual role in Chinese Medicine. They take in ‘Heavenly Qi’ and distribute it, inspiring us in both literal and metaphorical ways. They help us appreciate life’s precious moments and enable us to discern inherent value in ourselves and others. Moreover, the Lungs play a vital role in the immune system and defend the body from external threats, aligning with metal’s protective nature. Peak time: 3-5 am.

The Large Intestine:

Functioning as the drainer of the dregs, the Large Intestine completes the digestive process, absorbing remaining nutrients and preparing waste for excretion. Energetically, it plays a significant role in discerning what we should keep or discard at various levels. Imbalances can lead to clinging onto unhealthy habits or prematurely letting go of opportunities. Peak time: 5-7 am.


Grief/Loss: Imbalanced metal can evoke a deep sense of grief or loss, stemming from a perceived lack of value in one’s life or self. This feeling may lead to hoarding or abandoning everything in search of approval.
Lack of Grief/Loss: Alternatively, metal imbalance may lead to emotional numbness, creating an appearance of callousness and detachment from life’s positive emotions.

Sense Organs:

Nose. The most ancient of senses, smell, connects the outside world directly with the human body, reflecting metal’s tender nature. Smells have a strong link to memory and emotions, triggering vivid recollections and influencing mood and behaviour. The sense of smell is closely connected to taste, contributing to the perception of flavour. It played a vital role in our ancestors’ survival, helping them detect dangers and communicate socially.

Aspect of the Spirit:

The Lungs house the aspect of the spirit called the Po, representing the most ‘Yin’ aspect, closely tied to the vital functioning of the human body through breath. Letting go of ego’s attachment to negative emotions can restore tranquil breathing and a peaceful state.
Taste: Pungent



The emotion of Metal is associated with grief and loss. It is linked to the Lungs and Large Intestines, which are connected to the processes of taking in and letting go. Moments of inspiration and letting go can be bittersweet, a mixed feeling of happiness and sadness. Metals may experience regret, rumination, and nostalgia, which are often fueled by a sense of loss and a focus on the past. This can lead to disconnection and difficulty in forming meaningful connections with others, which may result in loneliness. Some Metals respond by shutting down their emotions to protect themselves from pain. Putting up dense emotional shields at a young age.

As they journey through life, metals may find themselves yearning for something more, doubting their own brilliance compared to the “nuggets of gold” they perceive in others. A sense of incompleteness pervades their being, creating a drive that propels them towards societal achievements. Either a quest for deeper meaning beyond the ordinary or a striving for external respect and success to bolster low self-esteem, becoming perfectionists in the process. This can lead to hubristic pride and narcissism.

Regardless of the chosen path, the underlying motivation remains constant: the need to feel successful, valuable, and respected, both by others and, most importantly, by themselves.

Examining the essence of metal within the grand tapestry of nature, its yearning for significance becomes evident. Precious and rare, metal constitutes a mere fraction of the earth’s composition, yet its presence is indispensable. Trace elements such as iron, zinc, copper, magnesium, and nickel in the soil are the vital keystones for healthy growth – the very foundation for life itself.

Key Question: How can I feel respected?
This key question can lead individuals on a journey of self-discovery and growth, as they seek to find genuine self-worth and love. Resourceful individuals with Metal imbalances harness their ambition and perseverance to achieve greatness in various aspects of life. They strive for excellence and continuously improve themselves, aiming to make a positive impact on the world.

Along this path, the pursuit of perfection becomes a transformative journey of self-improvement, allowing them to embrace their strengths and acknowledge areas for growth. Real pride and humility emerge as they recognize their value and embrace a grounded openness to learning and new perspectives.
Instead of being consumed by shame and defensiveness, they develop a deeper understanding of themselves and others. Empathy blossoms as they connect with the shared human experience of joy and sorrow, uniting with others through their emotions.

Grief, a natural part of life, is viewed not as a burden, but as a testament to the capacity for love. It serves as a profound reminder of the beautiful moments shared with loved ones and the importance of cherishing every experience. Embracing sadness with empathy allows them to appreciate life’s meaningful moments more deeply.
In their quest for growth, they learn the art of renunciation, willingly letting go of unnecessary attachments to embrace a life of generosity. Giving freely becomes a source of joy and fulfillment, creating a strong sense of connection and belonging with others.

With newfound awareness, they break free from the chains of unconscious reactions, gaining control over their thoughts and emotions. This heightened consciousness enriches their lives, leading to greater creativity, contentment, and overall well-being.

As they embrace their unique contributions, they recognize the value of their presence in the grand tapestry of life. Like the precious trace elements vital for growth, they understand that their unique essence enriches the world, making it a more beautiful and harmonious place.

Ultimately, this positive journey of self-discovery and growth fosters a deep sense of love, connection, and belonging, bringing individuals closer to a fulfilled and purposeful life.

Unravel the enigma of the Metal Element, where vulnerability meets strength and resilience. Embrace the beauty of this precious element that mirrors our own quest for significance within the vast cosmos. Just as metals shine with hidden brilliance, so too can we embrace our uniqueness, finding our worth, and becoming an integral part of the intricate dance of life’s growth and renewal.
Top of Form
Bottom of Form

Metal Supports

  1. Meditation: Mind-wandering, caused by craving and aversion, can negatively impact happiness. Meditation helps to reduce mind-wandering and activates regions in the brain associated with well-being. Practicing meditation, such as loving-kindness meditation, concentration on breath, or choiceless awareness, can lead to increased gray matter density, positive emotions, mindfulness, purpose in life, and social support.
  2. Letting Go: Renunciation and giving to others can lead to increased happiness. Studies show that people are happier when they spend money on others than when they spend it on themselves. Giving to charity is associated with higher life satisfaction, comparable to the happiness gained from doubling household income. The act of giving must feel like a choice and not coerced or shamed to have a positive impact on happiness.
  3. Work with Character Strengths: Character strengths are universally recognized human qualities that lead to fulfillment and satisfaction. Utilizing character strengths at work is associated with greater job satisfaction, productivity, and overall happiness. People who use four or more signature strengths in their work are more likely to consider it a calling.
  4. Exercise: Qi Gong and Tai Chi are recommended for the Metal element as they serve as moving meditations linked to breath and the defensive aspects of Metal. A review of over 500 trials and 120 systematic reviews found various health benefits of Tai Chi, including preventing falls, improving cognitive capacity in older adults, rehabilitation for chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, and more. Tai Chi also shows promise in benefiting depression, cardiac and stroke rehabilitation, dementia, and increasing strength in the lower limbs.
  5. Social Connection: For individuals with a Metal predominance, social connection can be initially challenging due to the barriers they put up at a young age. However, engaging in activities where they collaborate on a common goal with others, such as singing, can help facilitate social connection. Choral singing has been shown to elicit positive responses in choristers, improve respiratory health, and positively impact mental well-being. Volunteering in the community can also enhance social connections and overall well-being.
  6. Gratitude: Awe, the feeling of being struck by the beauty or majesty of something, is associated with pro-social behaviour and personal growth. Engaging in experiences that inspire awe can lead to positive changes and growth in individuals.
  7. Nature Connection: Slowing down and connecting with nature can benefit the Metal element. Activities like climbing a mountain, finding a sit spot with rocks or crystals, or simply walking in autumn can be helpful.
  8. Diet: The Metal element is associated with the colour white, so white foods like cauliflower, mushrooms, and alliums (e.g., onions, garlic) are beneficial for the lungs. Strong-tasting foods like garlic or blue cheese are also good for Metal, which is associated with the pungent taste. Eating local, seasonal, organic, and unprocessed foods is recommended whenever possible.