In feng shui philosophy, the season of autumn is related to the metal element. Metal, water, wood, fire, and earth make up the five "phases," or elements, that Taoists and Buddhists observe to relate the cycles of nature with the patterns in our homes, bodies, and lives. Many different ancient cultures have their own five-element system, such as the Native Americans, Tibetans, and Hindus.
So what's "metal" about autumn? It's the feeling of the cool, crisp air on your skin, the poignant sadness that summer is ending, the leaves on the trees begin to die and fall away, and the sense of contraction—a hibernation of sorts.
Conceptually, metal is about precision, beauty, and completion. Metal can be wielded into a mighty sword or exquisite shiny jewelry. As a sword, it can swiftly cut through confusion and chaos with intelligence and compassion. A beautiful gold necklace can magnify the radiance embodied by the wearer. Metal and autumn is connected to the time when we work hard to harvest the fruits of our labor as well as celebrate our successes. The mouth and right speech are also connected to the element of metal.
So what does this mean for my home?
Since autumn is a time to let go, it can quickly deplete our energy. In the five elements, metal depletes earth. (Earth being self-care, boundaries, and health.) Therefore, fall is a time when we may need a little nudge to keep up our physical, emotional, and spiritual health.
In your home (and on your body), you can begin to do so by incorporating more earthy colors. You can also display a beautiful statue or rock, something that has some heft to it, to bring in more earth energy for stability and self-nourishment.
If there's something that needs to end, like an unhealthy relationship or if you have a project that's been dragging on (and on and on…), autumn is the perfect time to harness this metal energy to wrap it up! There's an area of the feng shui bagua map (more on what that is here) called Dui that relates to completion and the metal element.
You can tap into this completion energy by finding that area of the map in spaces where you typically work—you can divide up your desk, for example.
When sitting at your desk, visualize it as a three-by-three square. The square in the middle row, on the right, is your completion area, where you can place a reminder of the project you are looking to bring to fruition. Alternatively, if you're looking to wrap up a relationship, it might be helpful to activate the completion area of your bedroom. Stand in the doorway of your bedroom looking in, divide the room into a three-by-three square. The middle right square would be the place to put something that represents the relationship that needs some closure.
A space clearing to set the stage for fall.
Don't forget that fall is also the harvest season and a time of joy! We can use its coming as a reminder to rejoice and be proud of our successes. Since autumn is connected with the mouth, we can also use this time to look at our speech and contemplate some ways in which we can heal with sound and speech. Here is a quick celebratory ritual to get you started:
For the ritual you need a metal bell, singing bowl, or chime(s).
- Between 11 a.m. and 1 p.m., start at your front door and walk around the inside of the perimeter your home in a clockwise direction.
- While you're walking around the home, ring the bells (bowl or chime) and chant a mantra. I often chant "Om Mani Padme Hum," a Buddhist mantra thought to bring good luck.
- When you ring the instrument, be sure to let the sound resonate and dissipate.
- Upon completing a full circle, end by setting the intention to fill your home with joy this season.
Ready to learn more about how to unlock the power of food to heal your body, prevent disease & achieve optimal health? Register now for our FREE Functional Nutrition Webinar with Kelly LeVeque.