Life isn’t about finding yourself. Life is about creating yourself. – G B Shaw
The traditional place of Metal involves cutting and adornment. Both weapons and agricultural implements are generally used to cut; often they were the same tools, if you found an area that was forested, you wouldn’t be surprised if the local men tended to fight with axes. Metal jewellery, other adornments like buckles and fine crafted weapons were not only intended to be beautiful, but also to last for years, usually longer than their original owners. This means they become invested with sentimental value in addition to their financial worth. Hence Metal also has connotations of dramatic sentiment, especially grief. Metal therefore refers not only to Autumn/harvest time and war, but also to the evening, when, if one is working during the hours of daylight, one might wear fine adornments.
The Metal Element also represents different times in our life as we move through different cycles. As we’ve said it is associated with the Autumn, the time when crops are harvested. But more generally Metal suggests success; whether in harvesting, cutting down one’s enemies or in being able to afford valuable trinkets or jewellery.
Yang Metal is symbolized by knives, swords, ploughs, and other such sharp implements. It represents the need to succeed at any cost. It is aggressive and astute.
Yin Metal is symbolized by jewellery, pocket watches, trinkets and coins. Yin Metal represents the fruits of success rather than succeeding itself.
Metal periods are a time for success and having a lot of personal esteem tied up in the success. Consequently failure in these times would be a personal tragedy with a dramatic expression. Have in mind that if a harvest failed, or if a battle was lost, it could be the death of an entire community.
Metal nourishes water, and is nourished by Earth. Any cool metal will encourage water to condense on it. Metal is found within the earth of course.
Metal is controlled by Fire and controls Wood. The blacksmith’s furnace is the primary tool in manipulating Metal. Metal tools are the primary way of controlling plants, whether it is the axe, the scythe or the carpenters chisel.
Jo-Sifu. Mark Ringer