Five Element Acupuncture, Autumn and the Metal Element
The ancient Chinese understood that the seasonal cycles of nature – the Five Elements – are also at work within us. Five Element acupuncture uses the healing power of nature to balance and harmonize the energy of the Five Elements within the human body, mind and spirit. This article explores the qualities of Autumn and the Metal Element in the human spirit.
Inward and Downward: Let Go of the Old, Take in the New
In Autumn, season of the Metal Element, life energy turns inward and downward. Plant life withers, dies back, rots and decomposes. As the rotten and dying are let go, it creates the opportunity for something of value to be taken in. Metal energy gives us the ability to both let go of the old and take in the new.
In every sphere of life, Autumn is a time for letting go of what no longer serves you. It’s a good time to clean out the closets, materially and spiritually. This might include: personal relationships that no longer nourish you, business interests that are not profitable, or simply material clutter clogging up your house.
Elimination and Inspiration
Within the human body/mind/spirit, Metal is expressed in the energies of the Colon and Lung meridians. Physiologically, the Colon gets rid of waste and toxins at the end of the digestive process. Energetically, a healthy Colon also allows us to let go of the mental and spiritual toxins we absorb through the stressors of daily life.
For example, negative, fear-based political campaigns and “fake news” are common mental and spiritual toxins that assault all of us on a daily basis. The Colon meridian’s function of elimination may become overwhelmed by the excess.
Imagine the impact of living in a rubbish heap with no way to get rid of it all. Five Element acupuncture can balance and restore a Colon meridian that has been overwhelmed by toxins.
Lung meridian energy, on the other hand, is primarily about inspiration and taking in the new from above. Through the physical process of breathing, we exchange gases with the atmosphere, both taking in nourishment and letting go of gaseous waste. The breath is our connection with heaven.
Self Esteem: the Heavenly Divine Spark
The Metal Element, via the Lung meridian’s ability to inspire and take in pure air, connects us with the heavenly aspects of spirit, much like the Earth Element connects us to the ground below. Metal expresses positive, paternal energy of “the good father,” just as Earth is identified with “the good mother.” Metal embodies the divine spark of higher consciousness and the qualities we associate with it: wisdom, authority, guidance. It gives us the inner spiritual teacher.
Self esteem manifests naturally from a robust Metal element and connection to divine nature. The god within gives us respect for self and others, and inspires respect in return. (“Love thy neighbor as thyself.”) Our ability to feel connected to the world around us, and understand our significance within it, springs out of our inner divine spark.
Self-respect can be seen in how we care for our body and mind, and in our ability to recognize and bring quality into our lives – what we eat, how we dress, what we read or watch on tv. It inspires us to be our best selves and to treat others with integrity.
Grief: Letting Go
One aspect of Metal is seen in our ability to take in value and quality, and respect the divine nature within and around us. Another aspect of Metal is our ability to let go of whatever no longer serves us. Life is a process, and everything – ideas, relationships, feelings, possessions – has its time. Nothing is permanent. Everything must be let go at the proper time, neither too soon nor too late.
Feelings of grief and a sense of loss are a healthy response to letting go. Robust Metal energy allows us to move through and express grief without hanging on. Grief allows us to honor what we once had in its time. Connection to the divine gives us the inspiration and respect for life that allows us to welcome the new.