The Metal Element & Autumn

Last Updated on April 4, 2024

The metal element and autumn

In autumn many plants die back to the earth sending their energy into their roots.  In traditional Chinese thought, autumn is associated with the metal element, the color white and the lung organ. 

The process of turning inward and returning to our roots is important after the bursting energy of spring and the fiery energy of summer.  Autumn, represented by the metal element, offers us a chance to reflect on the things that are important to us.  Like looking into a mirror, we reflect on what is beneficial and worth our time and what should be disregarded. 

The metal element is involved in discernment and the clear understanding of true value.  For most of recent history humans have used metal coins to represent money.  Looking deeper into the meaning of value we can discern which pursuits bring us happiness and which leave us unfulfilled. 

As our energy shifts away from the outward pursuits of summer it is a time to take stock of what we have accomplished and send our extra energy back to our roots where it can nourish us through the approaching winter.  

What things are most valuable in your life?  How can you shift your priorities to spend more time honoring your deeper values? Answering these questions can help us take advantage of the unique vantage point of autumn and set us up for a rewarding 2017.  


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