A very Happy Lunar New Year and welcome to the year of the Earth Dog! On February 16, 2018, we welcome a new beginning and a year of great opportunity. The dog is considered an auspicious sign in Chinese astrology. One of the most likeable signs, dogs are loyal and valiant, clever and intelligent, and always straightforward. Charismatic and attractive, they are also protective and take their assumed responsibilities most seriously.
And, of course, every sign has its weaknesses: sensitive and prone to cantankerous moods, stubborn and emotional, the dog will look for trouble around every corner. They also have a nose to discern who is friend and foe; if you’re a foe, watch out—as a dog threatened will defend his family, home turf, and causes with a passion and will bite if they feel threatened.
Gratitude can transform common days into thanksgivings, turn routine jobs into joy, and change ordinary opportunities into blessings. —William Arthur Ward These words remind me of how powerful our thoughts and feelings are and how they affect our view of others, our environment, and ourselves. In Feng Shui, our personal and world views have an enormous impact on the energy that we create internally and externally for our homes and ourselves.
We can follow all the Feng shui “rules” regarding placement and use of space, but still not achieve the desired effect. There can be multiple energetic causes for problems in an environment, but attitude can have a profound effect on the efficaciousness of whatever we may do to change the energetics in a particular space or aspect of our lives.
As summer’s fiery qi makes its perennial transition to the earth energy of late summer and then to the metal qi of autumn, we are compelled by nature to go increasingly inward. The yang, active energy of summer, at its highest peak on summer solstice, has been gradually decreasing to make way for greater yin energy.
We experience this transition as the days still remain warm, but temperatures are much cooler at night, as the sun is setting much earlier and now rising later. All the fullness and abundance of nature we experienced in spring and summer has reached its peak as harvest time nears; the branches and vines are full and heavy, but will increase no more.
Summer is in full bloom and what better way to be surrounded by good qi than bringing your garden into your home with fresh flowers, which bring color, beauty and fragrance into your home. Both flowers and live plants are carriers of rejuvenating yang energy.
Any room is enhanced with fresh flowers, although there are differing feng shui opinions as to their appropriateness in the bedroom. This is because the bedroom—as a place of rest—should be slightly yin to induce and enhance sleep. Personally, I can’t think of a nicer way to doze off and travel to the realms of sleep than being bathed in the fragrance of fresh roses!
Spring is coming… No, it’s still snowing! Spring is coming… Wait, wait, spring is here! It’s in our nature to know that this is a great time to get up, get moving, and clean things up. Cleaning and decluttering our environments have been favorite subjects of many Feng Shui practitioners and writers. Since we already know that this is the clearing season (ever heard the phrase spring cleaning?), I won’t give you the traditional de-cluttering advice!
But why is spring the time to clean and clear? From winter solstice onward, the days progress towards Spring Equinox—this year it’s on March 20. Yin energy decreases and yang energy begins to increase; the days begin to get longer and warmer once again and there is movement stirring at every level in the earth.