The Feng Shui Elements of Wood and Metal

Apr 02, 2024
The words

Feng shui is an ancient Chinese practice that involves arranging your living space to promote balance, harmony, health, and potentially, prosperity. Feng Shui has its roots in early Taoism and translates to the words "the way of wind and water.”. Think about the energy flow of wind and water. That flow is the connection between your environment and your feelings about your surroundings.

And how you feel promotes the positive vibes you want to bring into various aspects of your life.

There are many components to Feng Shui and it can get very complicated for those who wish to delve deeply into the practice. Not only must you consider the five elements (water, wood, fire, earth and metal), color, direction/position, shape, light and numbers are also contributing factors.

This post is the first in a series of articles about the basic components of Feng Shui. To keep things simple, we are going to start by exploring the five elements. Today we will gain an understanding of the elements of wood and metal.

I chose these two elements because of the house we currently live in. When we purchased our home three years ago, I had been renting the place for almost two years prior. The house was overrun by wood and metal décor. I found it depressing. It made me tired and interferred with my creativity. I couldn’t stay focused on any project.

I knew the whole house required renovation and I wanted to do it based on Feng Shui principles. Once I began exploring the practice of Feng Shui, I understood why the house drained my energy. The excessive amount of wood and metal in my environment left me overwhelmed and critical about my lack of progress towards personal and professional goals.

The Element of Wood in the Practice of Feng Shui

Traditionally, the element of wood is associated with growth, vitality, and new beginnings. Incorporating wood elements into your space promotes health and prosperity. Think of the energy of springtime. Everything springs to life and flourishes during this time of year.

There is also a sense of flexibility and/or adaptability to growth in the spring. Flowers sprout through layers of yard debris and shrubs begin to blossom despite the changing weather. Trees bend and sway with the wind, holding firm to their roots. They are intent on progress, in pursuit of their goal of growing strong and healthy, producing fruit or color or inspiration through nature’s beauty.

The element of wood encourages expansion and progress. It fosters creativity and the exploration of new ideas. In many ways, wood brings the old back to life (rejuvenation) and at the same time invites the newness of spring (birth).

In the more modern interpretation of the wood element, growth, vitality, and new beginnings continue to be valued associations in Feng Shui practice. But now there is a new emphasis on sustainability and eco-friendliness.

For those of us living a country lifestyle, the blending of the modern and traditional interpretations of the use of the wood element is easy to incorporate into our living environment. And we can do it in a practical and budget-friendly way.

Look around you. From where you are sitting, you can probably list 5-10 objects in your space made of wood (unless you are traveling, then you will have to imagine a room in your home!).

Your list may start with obvious things like furniture, paneling, flooring, and doors. Other things to include would be plants, picture frames, small wooden accents, cutting boards, coasters, shelving, and books (paper). Cotton, a natural plant-based fabric, also falls under the category of wood element.

While wood represents traits such as growth, strength, health, flexibility and prosperity. Too much wood can make you feel overwhelmed, stubborn and possibly a little greedy. Too little of the wood element shows up as a lack of creativity, ambivalence and a sense of stagnancy because wood also harnesses the power of creativity and expansion.

The Element of Metal in the Practice of Feng Shui

The element of metal traditionally represents strength, clarity, focus and precision. In modern interpretations, it is still valued for those qualities. However, there is a more flexible approach to its use and representation. For instance, technology and digital devices are considered forms of the metal element of Feng Shui.

It is not surprising that metal represents strength as most of us have experienced the difficulty of trying to move, cut, or change something made of metal. That same attitude of strength also supports discipline and determination in order to overcome obstacles and achieve success.

Because metal elements promote precision and efficiency, it supports organization which often leads to productivity.

Clarity and focus are also represented by the element of metal. Image a metal knife cutting through confusion to gain a clearer perspective on your thoughts and actions. Instead of being overwhelmed by your emotions, you acquire a certain amount of emotional detachment allowing you to be more focused and determined to accomplish your goals.

In our modern world, it is not difficult to incorporate metal objects into our home environment. Although it can be expensive, it doesn’t have to be. And, for many of us, it is important that we include objects that have a practical use.

Consider what metal objects you currently have in your home. Start with appliances, digital devices, televisions, heaters or radiators, woodstoves or pellet stoves, light fixtures, plumbing fixtures, and metal décor.

Those of us that enjoy a country living lifestyle often incorporate old metal objects like buckets, utensils, and galvanized tin planters into our rustic décor. Picture frames, wall art, vases, and candle holders can be used to enhance the metal element in almost any room of your home. And they can be very budget friendly to purchase or create.

Even small accents like pillows decorated with metallic thread embroidery, drawer pulls, or decorative metal trays increase the energy of metal into your home. Anything made of, or incorporating metals in its design, including aluminum, gold or silver, adds to the power of this element.

So, it is important to remember, when surrounded with an over abundance of metal, you may become too detached emotionally, be critical of yourself and others, and lean toward speaking without thinking. If there's too little metal, you might be overly cautious and lack of focus. You could find yourself quieter than usual too.

The Importance of Balance, Style, and Usefulness

These are the basic meanings connected with the wood and metal elements in Feng Shui. Incorporating these elements into your living space can help create harmony, balance, and invite positive energy.

The key is to balance the elements based on your personal needs and goals. And as you will learn in future posts, shape, position, and color will also factor into the use of any of the Feng Shui elements.

Both modern and traditional Feng Shui perspectives are suitable to country living where we all want to create harmonious space that support our well-being and invite prosperity. But we also want to be practical and not overcrowd our homes with useless objects in the hopes of achieving prosperity.

There are many practical and low-cost ways to incorporate wood and metal elements into our home environment, especially if you embrace a country living lifestyle. While traditional Feng Shui beliefs and practices provide a solid foundation, it is easy to incorporate modern approaches in our everyday lives.

When it gets right down to it, how we feel about our surroundings, the visual and physical reminders of why we chose certain objects, and the energy flow in our homes are what makes Feng Shui principles a beneficial practice to follow.

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