Metal Adjustments in Feng Shui
Metal is the most-used adjustment or “remedy” in the practice of Feng Shui. Many equate it with the needles used in acupuncture. Using this analogy, Feng Shui could be considered acupuncture for the built environment. There are other elemental adjustments of course. Feng Shui practitioners use 5 natural elements to bring harmony to an interior space. These elements are Wood, Fire, Earth, Metal, and Water. We use these natural elements as adjustments (aka “remedies”) following an analysis of the building, to bring the built environment back into balance with the natural environment. The ancients realized that once humans, who once lived in nature, lost their connection with the natural environment inside buildings. They devised a way to calculate the imbalances within a building and devised a means by which the building could also be harmonized with nature, and support the people who occupied the building as well.
Metal is the single element that will be used to rebalance the energy of every building. There may be portions of the building that will require other elements (water and fire are the next most often missing elements) but metal will always be involved. Why? Buildings are built in/on the earth and Earth Energy, while it can be very stabilizing, also has erratic magnetic energy from the core and surface. It absorbs the energy of the sun and reflects it back to the earth’s surface. There are natural inherent magnetic fields and grids, as well as underground water that affects all life on the earth’s surface. While there are other means by which these can be addressed, such as dowsing, the ancient Chinese developed a method for assessing the earth’s favorable and unfavorable energy at any given time and place. Metal is the natural adjustment for any dominant earth energies that are not supportive. Using logic of the quantum theory of energy transformation/transmutation, metal is the element that reduces earth through its extraction from the earth, so by adding metal to an area of unsupportive dominant earth energy, that energy is transmuted.
When using metal as an adjustment/remedy, there are different schools of thought as to the character of the metal. It is widely accepted that it shouldn’t appear extraordinary…it should blend into the decor of the building. A stack of barbells in the middle of a living room is not in keeping with the function of the space, so that wouldn’t be an acceptable option. But in a gym, it would be a perfect solution. There are differing opinions regarding how to calculate the required volume, but I prefer to use the expression, “significant” with my clients. And it doesn’t necessarily have to be a single object, though it can if that object is significant in the scale of the space. For instance, a small brass sculpture isn’t significant, but one that’s large, weighing in excess of 50# would certainly be significant. For most of my clients, I use a “cumulative” formula. They may have a brass fireplace set & screen, metal lamps, furniture with a metal base, and other metal decorative pieces such as frames and other wall art. All of those metal pieces will combine to serve the purpose of a metal remedy. In certain instances, I will prescribe “moving metal” and that can be anything from a metal clock (particularly pendulum clocks) to metal kinetic art. In the absence of metal decor, metal weights can be tucked behind and under furnishings that hide them (not in a closed cabinet or closet).
When you’re looking for decorative pieces, I encourage you to find pieces that have been handcrafted by local artists/artisans. The photo of the plant stand in this article was handcrafted by a San Diego artisan, and it’s made from recycled automotive parts. This piece weighs about 80lbs (a substantial amount) and costs less than $100. I love seeing re-purposed and up-cycled art and decor. There are artists and artisans in your local community, whom you can support and you’ll own a unique piece of functional art. You can even commission a piece that’s specific to your needs in style and scale.
For other ideas for metal and moving metal, here are a couple of my Pinterest boards:
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