- Metal (classical element)
Chinese philosophy, Metal is classified as one of the Wu xing(zh-cp|c=五行|p=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 strategyand martial arts. The original foundation for the idea is based on the concept of the Five Cardinal Points.
yinor feminine in character, its motion is inwards and its energy is contracting. It is associated with the west and autumn, old age, the planet Venusand the color white. The archetypal metals are silverand 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. Yangmetal years end in 0 (eg 1990), while Yinyears end in 1 (eg 1991). Metal governs the Chinese zodiac signs Monkey, Rooster, Sheep 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. [ Wolfram Eberhard, "A Dictionary of Chinese Symbols", pp238-9, Routledge and Kegan Paul, London, 1986 ] 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 recognizing 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 conductive 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. [ Theodora Lau, "The Handbook of Chinese Astrology", ppxxix - xxx, Souvenir Press, London, 2005 ]
* [http://www.compassionatedragon.com/astrometal.html Chinese Astrology - The Metal Element]
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