Understanding the Feng Shui Metal Element

Updated March 5, 2019
Brass bells and silver bowls

Metal is one of feng shui's five elements based on the five Taoist elements of Wu Xing. Appropriate placement of metal elements and colors in homes, rooms, or spaces can facilitate the optimal flow of chi.

Feng Shui Metal Element Attributes

The metal feng shui element is one of five elements, strengthening water and destroying wood. It is strengthened by earth and weakened by water. Metal has dynamic and flexible energy and supports the sectors of helpful people, benefactors, children, and family. Items with a metallic finish, as well as those in the colors of gray and white can help boost the metal element in those sectors.

Metal Is Primarily Yin

The metal element is primarily yin (receptive and feminine) in nature, signifying energy moving inward and contracting. However, as with all other elements, it also can be yang in expression in certain circumstances. Metal has associations with the season of autumn and with the cycle of slowing down in the period immediately preceding dormancy. It can also represent strength, rigidity, or powerful determination.

Metal Element in the Feng Shui Constructive Cycle

In the constructive (productive) cycle, earth strengthens or produces metal, and metal strengthens or produces water. This means you can strengthen the elements of metal in a space or location by also adding elements of earth. Likewise, you can use elements of metal to strengthen water elements in certain areas of your home.

Metal Element in the Destructive Cycle

In the destructive cycle, fire destroys or weakens metal, and metal weakens or destroys wood. Therefore, if you have too much of a metal element, you can add a small amount of fire elements to weaken its impact. Likewise, if you have too much wood energy, then you can use a small amount of metal to weaken its impact.

Ultimately, a space benefits from the appropriate balance of all five elements in their proper places.

Feng Shui Design With Metal Element Colors

The colors associated with metal are gray and white. Decorating spaces in these colors and using decorative items with these colors strengthens the element of metal.

Feng Shui Design With Metal Element Objects

You can use many decorative objects to stimulate metal energy. This includes any and all metallic objects such as:

  • Vases
  • Flatware
  • Dishes
  • Wind chimes
  • Metallic Buddhas
  • Coins
  • Metal picture frames
  • Artwork depicting metal

Other Attributes of the Metal Element

Metal has other attributes, as well, and you can incorporate these into your decor to strengthen metal energy.

  • The feng shui animal for the metal element is the white tiger.
  • In astrology, metal is associated with the planet Venus.

Metal Element on the Traditional Bagua

On the bagua of the traditional school of feng shui, metal is associated with two trigrams: Qián and Duì. To determine the placement of these areas in a space, you will need to take compass readings.

Qián Trigram

Qián trigram
Qián trigram

The Qián trigram is represented by three yang lines. In the I Ching, this trigram represents Heaven and is sometimes called ch'ien. In physical locations such as a home, room, or space, Qián is located in the northwest, which is the sector of helpful people and benefactors.

To help create auspicious chi, bring helpful people into your life and strengthen the support of benefactors, you can use any of the above elements and colors of metal in the northwest sector of any space.

Duì Trigram

Duì trigram
Duì trigram

The Duì trigram is represented as two yang lines topped by one yin line. In the I Ching, this trigram represents Lake, and it is sometimes called tui. Physically, Duì is located in the western sector of a home, room, or space, and the energy supported here is children and creativity.

To strengthen these aspects in your life, you can decorate the western sector with the colors and elements of metal noted above.

Metal Element on the Western Bagua

Some people choose to follow the Western School of feng shui (also sometimes called black hat feng shui). To determine each area of your home in western feng shui, stand at the front doorway facing inward and divide your space into nine equal sectors. It is best to use either western or traditional feng shui, but not both.

On the Western bagua, the metal areas of your home are the areas of helpful people and travel, which sits in the front right sector, and children and creativity, which sits in the center right section of any space. You can use any of the metal elements noted above in these areas to strengthen these life aspects.

Auspicious Feng Shui Metal Element

While your spaces should judiciously balance all five of the Taoist elements for appropriate feng shui, proper placement of the element of metal is essential for optimal chi. Doing so can help you to strengthen the areas of children, creativity, travel, and benefactors.

Understanding the Feng Shui Metal Element