My watch list  

Metal (classical element)

Classical Elements
v  d  e



Water Aether Fire



Water Space Fire


Hinduism (Tattva) and
Buddhism (Mahābhūta)

Prithvi / Bhumi — Earth
Ap / JalaWater
Vayu / PavanAir / Wind
Agni / TejasFire
AkashaAether .

Japanese (Godai)
Earth (地)
Water (水)
Air / Wind (風)
Fire (火)
Void / Sky / Heaven (空) .

Life Force / Electricity

Chinese (Wu Xing)

  Water (水)  
Metal (金) Earth (土) Wood (木)
  Fire (火)  

In traditional Chinese philosophy, Metal is classified as one of the Wu xing (Chinese: 五行; pinyin: wǔxíng), or the Five Elements, also translated as five phases, five movements or five steps, by which all natural phenomena can be explained. The system of five elements was used for describing interactions and relationships between phenomena. It was employed in many fields of early Chinese thought, including seemingly disparate fields such as geomancy and Feng shui, astrology, traditional Chinese medicine, Chinese alchemy, music, military strategy and martial arts. The original foundation for the idea is based on the concept of the Five Cardinal Points.

Metal is yin or feminine in character, its motion is inwards and its energy is contracting. It is associated with the west and autumn, old age, the planet Venus and the color white. The archetypal metals are silver and gold. Its Primal Spirit is represented by a White Tiger.



The qualities associated with metal are unyieldingness, rigidity, persistence, strength and determination. The metal person is controlling, ambitious, forceful and set in their ways as metal is very strong; and they are self-reliant and prefer to handle their problems alone. The metal person is also materialistic, business oriented and good at organization and stability. However the metal person can also appreciate luxury and enjoy the good things in life. Just as metal can conduct electricity, the Metal person has strong impulses and generative powers and can bring about changes and transformations for those who come into contact with them. Metal is believed to govern the lungs, nose and skin. The negative emotion associated with metal is grief, while the positive emotion is courage.


In Chinese astrology metal is included in the 10 heavenly stems (the five elements in their yin and yang forms), which combine with the 12 earthly branches (or Chinese signs of the zodiac), to form the 60 year cycle. Yang metal years end in 0 (eg 1990), while Yin years end in 1 (eg 1991). Metal governs the Chinese zodiac signs Monkey, Rooster and Dog.

In Chinese astrology the planet Venus is associated with metal, because it is white in color (the chinese color of death), and rises in the west as the evening star. [1] However, some Western astrologers have stated that the associations of metal are closer to the Western conception of the planet Saturn, and have suggested on that basis recognising metal in Western astrology as a 'Combined Element' or 'Material' derived from Air and Earth; just as the planet Saturn rules the Air sign Aquarius and the Earth sign Capricorn.

Cycle of elements

In the control cycle metal is controlled by fire, as only fire can melt it; and in turn metal controls wood, as only the metal ax can cut down trees. In the conducive cycle, metal produces water (or liquid), either by trapping or holding it in a container, or by being melted into a liquid. In turn metal is produced by the earth, as it has to be dug out of the ground. [2]


  1. ^ Wolfram Eberhard, A Dictionary of Chinese Symbols, pp238-9, Routledge and Kegan Paul, London, 1986
  2. ^ Theodora Lau, The Handbook of Chinese Astrology, ppxxix - xxx, Souvenir Press, London, 2005
  • Chinese Astrology - The Metal Element
This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Metal_(classical_element)". A list of authors is available in Wikipedia.
Your browser is not current. Microsoft Internet Explorer 6.0 does not support some functions on Chemie.DE