Autumn and the Element of Metal

April 25, 2015 - by enrica - in Lifestyle

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Autumn is the season of Metal energy. It is a time when the fruit of Late Summer has been harvested and trees drop their leaves, to return to the Earth, enriching it for future growth in the cycle of the Elements. This energy of getting rid of the unneeded keeps us unclogged and allows us to be able to receive the pure and see the essence of who we are.

Grief is the emotion of Metal and expressing our grief appropriately allows us to experience the loss and separation needed, and then let go. It helps us to get rid of what we no longer need and start afresh. When our Metal element is unbalanced within us, grief can be excessive and constant or cannot be expressed at all.

The Large Intestine, the “Drainer of the Dregs”, is one of the Organs associated with Metal and its function is to expel waste products and any toxicity in our body. However, it does this more than at a physical level and applies to the mental and spirit levels, too. In the process of growing up and just day-to-day living, we often have had to deal with a lot of garbage and if we don’t remove it, it creates a toxic dump, clogging us up and making us mentally and spiritually constipated. This doesn’t allow us to experience the purity and beauty around us.

The Lung is the other Organ associated with Metal and it receives the pure, like the crisp Autumn air. It inspires from the Heaven, allowing the new and fresh in. It is the “Receiver of Heavenly Qi”, which allows us to receive pure Qi, connect to spirit and have a deep and real connection to others.

When the Metal element is unbalanced, some of the physical symptoms you can experience include skin problems, asthma, cough, bronchitis, emphysema, constipation and diarrhoea. However, underlying this, we can tend to feel a lack of spontaneity and freshness, depressed, stubborn and isolated.

Metal adds richness to the Earth and in us, it is related to our own sense of richness, our own self-worth. We cannot see how precious we are or how we have something meaningful to contribute. People with an unbalanced Metal element will often be attempting to seek to prove their worth by gaining status, power and assets, which they find still leaves them unfulfilled. They often find it difficult to “let go” because the respect, recognition and quality they seek is gained from  outside of themselves through possessions, achievements, attachments and attitudes.

Treating in Autumn is more effective for the Metal element and you can support your own Metal element by noticing the energy of the season and living with it.

  • Begin to rest and quieten, acting and speaking when necessary, taking care not to overexert yourself.
  • Go through cluttered areas and clear it – give what you no longer need to friends, donate or sell.
  • Review your attitudes, including resentments, jealousies, hatred, envies, and try to resolve them and let them go.
  • Step outside and breathe in the fresh, crisp Autumn air every day and as you breathe in, allow it purify you as you and as you breathe out, allow negativity and impurity to leave you.

Gumenick, N. (1997). The Five Elements: Retrieved 20 April 2015, from

Franglen, N. (2006). Keepers of the soul: the five guardian elements of acupuncture, London, Jessica Kingsley Publishers.



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