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The Metal Personality

two axes crossed over each other
Just. Direct. The sword of truth. This is the metal personality.

There are so many jokes that I want to make about heavy metal music or hair metal music. But I’ll spare you that.


This month, we dive into the metal personality type. While I’ve been writing these posts, I’ve been doing so following the generating cycle in Five Element theory. Water generates wood, generates fire, generates earth, generates metal, generates water. Then the cycle repeats itself over and over. By and large, it’s pretty easy to understand the logic of this cycle whether you have studied it or not. We understand how water makes things grow- generating wood. We understand how wood is kindling- generating fire. The ash generated by a fire eventually becomes part of fertile soil- generating earth. But the transitions of earth to metal and metal to water require a bit more of a stretch of the imagination. It wasn’t until I began my study of Bazi and these personality types that I gained a better understanding of these last two parts of the cycle.


I’ll save the metal/water transition for next month. If you’re scratching your head trying to grasp how earth could generate metal, think of it this way: when I discussed Yang earth in last month’s post, I described it as solid and solitary, like a mountain. Mountains are made of stone. What do we find in stone, whether high atop a peak or deep within the earth? Ore. The raw materials we use to refine into the various metals that make up all of the products around us. Hopefully that makes this idea a little clearer. With all that said, let’s move on to our metal daymasters. Here’s the link to Chinese Metasoft to plug in your date and time of birth and find your daymaster (the top box under the day column):


The Metal Type


The Yellow Emperor’s Classic of Internal Medicine describes the metal type as having a paler complexion, a smaller head, shoulders with a square-shaped face, and having a strong voice. Metal people are known for being thoughtful, quiet and calm, and especially for being just and upright. Metal types are also natural leaders and managers.

drawing of metal type
A drawing of the metal type, taken from Giovanni Maciocia's 'Diagnosis in Chinese Medicine', 2nd edition


The Metal Daymaster

If we were able to determine the daymaster of all of our favorite superheros, I’d bet good money on it being metal. Metal daymasters yield powerful inner strength. They are just and upright, and believe everything should be fair and square. The metal type is often capable of overcoming extraordinary hardship to prevail in the most difficult of circumstances. Metal types are highly self-reliant and prefer to do things themselves rather than delegate. They are also known for being neat and organized, as well as minimalists in their lives. At their best, they display courage, strength and determination. At worst, metal types can be controlling, forceful and set in their ways.


Geng (庚) Yang Metal Daymaster


Geng metal represents the raw ore that I mentioned. The Geng Yang metal daymaster achieves their success by the sweat of their brow. They tend to be very hands-on and can endure almost anything. Do or die is the motto of this daymaster. The Geng Yang metal daymaster is loyal, values friendship, and brotherhood, and like an axe cutting down whatever is in its way, will fight for what’s right (and will let everyone else know they’re right). When this metal is healthy, the daymaster is hard-working, responsible, systematic, and shines like a diamond under pressure. When this metal is not in right relationship, the daymaster can be proud, stubborn to the point of being rigid, over-competitive, and judgmental.

Axe splitting a log
Raw metal ore or the axe that cuts are representative of the Geng Yang metal daymaster


Xin (辛) Yin Metal Daymaster


If Yang metal represents the raw ore, Yin metal is shiny and polished, like jewels or precious metals. While both types of metal daymasters love attention and place a great deal of concern on their appearance to themselves and others, these characteristics are even stronger in the Yin metal daymaster. They thrive on praise, seek to make themselves look attractive, have an affinity for the finer things in life, and are elegant, cultured, and witty. Xin metal daymasters are often highly intelligent people, as well as people who are just hard-wired to think differently. At their best, Xin metal daymasters display these qualities, being sensitive people behind a tough exterior. At their worst however, these types can be extremely vain, picky, calculating, and over-sensitive perfectionists.

Gold jewelry and precious stones
Shining precious metals and stone are representative of the Xin Yin metal daymaster


Ideal careers for the metal types include law enforcement and all things legal, strategic planning of any kind, automotive careers, and those related to jewelry or metal in general.


The energetic direction of the metal element, according to Five Element theory is down and in. Or another way of looking at it is that metal is about letting go. In the autumn season when metal is dominant, trees and plants shed their foliage as they go dormant. When our metal element is healthy, we are able to let go of what no longer serves us. As grief and sorrow are emotions associated with the metal element, they represent to us metal when it is unable to let go. Healthy metal finds its courage and sheds what needs to come off. Metal types will find great healing in pursuing mindful practices like Qigong and meditation. The big toughy metal types should also find some time to cry every now and then, as tears represent shedding. Other ways to balance metal energy include all kinds of exercise, wearing jewelry, and intuitive writing at night for those who just can’t let go of the day before bed.


As the lungs are the organ associated with the metal element, metal types will find those Qigong patterns that work on this system to be most beneficial: Separating Water and Dancing Butterfly immediately come to mind. But really any Qigong pattern will benefit these types. In Chinese medicine, we say the lungs govern Qi, so whatever we can do to generate healthy Qi flow will also help our metal element.


Tune in next month to learn all about the water types, our final personality type of this series!

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