Bazi 八字 means “eight characters” or “eight words” in Chinese. It is a spiritual and practical tool that was developed to understand the elemental energies that govern and influence us. Each person has one major characteristic that is ascertained by one of the five elements.

The five elements are: wood, fire, earth, metal and water. One of the unique aspects of the Chinese Bazi system is the inclusion of the element of ‘metal’ in lieu of air. Metal 金 jīn can be used to make axes as well as jewellery. The elements are neither inherently good or bad, but neutral. They possess certain gifts and challenges. It is up to us to wield them for our greatest good so that we may actualise our true potential in order to serve humanity.

Astrologically, the element metal is ruled by Saturn and Venus. In traditional Chinese medicine, metal governs the lungs and the large intestine as well as the nose and skin. The two primary emotions that are associated with metal are grief and courage. Without grief, we can never find our courage.

The earth element has a strong natural relationship with metal. All metal has to be extracted from the earth in which it resides.


Whoever governs Singapore must have that iron in him. Or give it up. This is not a game of cards! This is your life and mine! I’ve spent a whole lifetime building this and as long as I’m in charge, nobody is going to knock it down.

The Late Mr Lee Kuan Yew, Former Prime Minister of Singapore

From a scientific perspective, metal is a material that when freshly prepared, polished, or fractured, shows a lustrous appearance, and conducts electricity and heat relatively well. Metals are typically malleable or ductile. A metal may be a chemical element such as iron; an alloy such as stainless steel; or a molecular compound such as polymeric sulfur nitride.

Metal, by its very nature, is tough and resilient; but also charitable and benevolent. An axe, a knife and a sword can be used to cut through objects from our daily vegetables to large trees that reside in the forest as well as wage war on your enemy and is a valuable tool in defence. Due to this, people ruled by metal have the capacity to make choices based on judgment that is fair and right.

People ruled by metal have an excellent memory. They will never forget anything. If an individual has done something wrong, metal will seek justice. While people governed by metal are humanitarians at their very core, they are not compassionate people. To them, wrongs must be made right and imbalances must be evened out. They believe in creating, preserving or sustaining laws that can benefit as many people as possible.

One of the strongest traits of metal is its inherent quality of stubbornness. This can also make metal inflexible and set in its ways. Frequent arguments can be common in their lives. But for the metal person, a good argument is part of the process of judgment. If you have ever sat in a court hearing, you know that all sides are permitted to have their say before a judgment is reached.

Metal cannot change; instead, this element must be forged over a period of time to reach its full potential. Metal people usually see success in their later years. In their younger days, they may face difficulties or obstacles in utilising their natural gifts for a higher purpose. Due to this, they can withdraw into themselves and grow isolated. Metal people have a hard time forgiving others due to their strong sense of memory. It takes a great deal to effort to mould the metal person; but when you succeed, you will be rewarded with gifts that are incomparable and will last for a long time.

Metal has the ability to make things–and people–change or the better. By interacting with fire, metal is able to accept new forms of existence. Metal people have excellent instincts when it comes to money and can easily create and accumulate material wealth. They are blessed with the Midas Touch.

While they don’t inherently have taste for luxurious living, they are destined to enjoy and accumulate great wealth. After all, precious metals are prized possessions that have both practical use and are also valued for the aesthetic beauty.

This article is authored by Dipa Sanatani with the help of Eugene Lee.

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6 thoughts on “Bazi and The Metal Element

  1. I loved how you included that quote by the late Mr Lee Kuan Yew. All leaders must have that iron in them.

  2. I’ve never had a Bazi reading. I’ve seen my Vedic and Western astrology charts, though. Metal is a Saturnian quality. This article deepened my understanding on the planet and how to view it through another cultural context. The key takeaways are pretty similar, though. I wonder why the Chinese decided to use metal in lieu of air.

    1. One of the interesting things about Bazi is the inclusion of ‘luck pillars’. In Western and Vedic astrology, this concept is not quite there. I think there is a lot to be learned by blending different cultural traditions together to get a more wholistic view of how we can use astrology as a tool to progress both spiritually and materially.

  3. So wonderful to see my cultural heritage being shared with the world! Happy Chinese New Year, folks.

  4. “Without grief, we can never find our courage.”
    This line is so beautiful and so true. From all my experiences, I can so relate to this line.

    Metal people have such Saturnic qualities… I guess I know a metal person, and she is simply amazing.

    Truly, an awakening post.

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