Welcome the Summer Solstice with Feng Shui

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Happy Summer Solstice! Tomorrow is the first day of summer, finally!

What is the summer solstice? A solstice is one of two points at which the path of the sun is either the furthest north or the furthest south it can be during the Earth’s rotation around it. As a solstice causes a change in the amount of daylight we see on Earth, both solstices (summer and winter) are associated with the beginning of a new season, respectively, in the top half of the planet.

During the summer solstice, the sun travels its longest path through our sky all year, which results not only in longer daylight hours, but also warmer weather in our hemisphere due to the direct angle of the sun’s rays. Thus, the name “summer solstice.” Every year, the summer solstice falls on June 21, and its effects will last until mid-September, when we experience the autumnal equinox, thus beginning fall.

What does this mean in terms of feng shui? This means that we are shifting from wood yang energy into a time of more explosive yang fire energy. We will naturally hold more heat in our bodies and be more active. At this time it’s helpful to balance the hot yang energy of fire with cooling water or earth energies. You could add cooler blues, greens, pinks and grays into your home accents and fashion choices. Also take care to eat cooling, raw foods such as melons and salads.

I also just put away my winter clothing and made way for summer clothes. When going through your clothes, make sure to take time and see what items still work for you. If it has not been worn in three years it is time to donate that piece of clothing. If there is a piece that needs mending, make a decision to get it repaired or let it go. Finally, if it does not fit… again, it is time to let it go.

This is my favorite time of year! Be sure to enjoy it! 

by Anjie Cho


Feng Shui and Mother's Day

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Mother’s Day is an annually and widely celebrated holiday in America and in other countries as well, but few of us know when or why we began this celebration.

Though ancient Greeks and Romans celebrated their “mother goddesses” with festivals and parties, and European Catholics celebrated “Mothering Sunday,” a specific Sunday during Lent dedicated to “mother churches,” the American version of Mother’s Day originated in the 1900’s as the brainchild of Anna Jarvis. Anna created Mother’s Day in tribute to her deceased mother and as a way to praise the act of motherhood in general.

Originally, Mother’s Day was an intimate celebration between a family with no gifts or monetary focus. Individuals simply visited their mothers or church in honor of all that moms do. After Mother’s Day was added to the official holiday calendar at Anna’s insistence, Mother’s Day gradually picked up the traditions of gifting and celebration we observe today.

So where does feng shui fit into Mother’s Day? There's actually an area of the feng shui bagua map that's related to the mother. This area is related to relationships, partnerships, the mother, marriage, the color pink, the number two, square and flat shapes, and the element of yin earth. This area is probably the second most popular because it can also activate attracting a primary relationship.  

BUT you can also use the Relationship area to honor, call upon, or heal the relationship with your mother. The element of earth is associated with nourishment and support – just like “mother earth”. To honor or call upon the energy of your mother on Mother’s day in the style of feng shui, you could place something with positive memories of your mother in the Relationship area of your desk or bedroom. If you want to heal the connection, you could place a plant in the same area to represent growth and change for your relationship.

Either way, be sure to recognize the nourishment and support that your mother has provided today! Happy Mother’s Day!

by Anjie Cho


Join Me for a Feng Shui Evening Hosted by the Alix Experience!

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I'm so excited to share that I am doing another Alix Experience this year for Chinese New Year! If you're in the New York area, please join me Tuesday, February 20 or Wednesday, February 21 for an intimate dinner in Chinatown, including a personalized numerology analysis for the upcoming Year of the Dog! Visit The Alix Experience to register, and check out Beth Grace's Chinese zodiac readings for the new year on the Holistic Spaces blog. Don't forget to also grab a three-dimensional Rabbit charm for good luck and prosperity, and take a peek at our Chinese New Year Kit!

Chinese Zodiac for 2018: Year of the Earth Dog

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Happy New Year! The Chinese New Year is also coming up, and Beth Grace, of Beth Grace Design, is here again to share this year's horoscopes for the Chinese zodiac! In almost one month exactly, we will say goodbye to the Year of the Fire Rooster and hello to the Year of the Earth Dog. Peek below for some insight into what's in store for your sign in the year ahead!

Remember, BTB Feng Shui always recommends carrying a three-dimensional rabbit charm (regardless of your sign) to welcome good luck and protection in 2018, since the Rabbit is the Dog's best friend. As usual, you can grab a charm in your favorite color in the Holistic Spaces store! Don't forget to check out our 2018 Chinese New Year Kit as well for a rabbit charm, custom aromastick and Happy Mist!

*Please note, if your birthday is between January 1 and February 4 your animal sign is the same as the preceding year.  
**In addition to your year animal, you can see which animals are in your chart based on the month of your birth by simply following the date guidelines listed for each animal. Calculating your day animal requires assistance of either software or a Chinese astrology consultant, but it is easily obtained so just ask!
***Chinese months can shift a day or two each year, so if you are born on the cusp of the Chinese month you may need to double check.

Dog 戌

Years: 1922, 1934, 1946, 1958, 1970, 1982, 1994, 2006
Month: October 8 - November 6

Dog people, this is your year, literally. All eyes are on you, and your hard efforts are more likely to be noticed this year, no more hiding in the shadows. This is also an excellent year to hone your skills or add new skills to your CV, as you have the ability to attain mastery if you apply yourself. Just don’t overbook or over schedule yourself, as you are more prone to health issues this year. Taking care of yourself should be a priority. While there may be some bumps along the way, you are generally in sync with the energy of this year, which puts you in the flow to accomplish your goals.

Pig 亥

Years: 1923, 1935, 1947, 1959, 1971, 1983, 1995, 2007
Month: November 7 - December 6

Pig, you are one of the luckiest animals this year, and the stars are on your side. While you may find your star rising and the center of attention don’t overlook those around you who may need your help. You should share your good fortune this year and make helping others a priority; what you give will come back to you many times over. In general, this is a year of happy events and celebrations. Pig people, if you are looking for love you may find a life partner this year if you are willing to take the chance. Those already committed may hear the pitter patter of little feet as babies and grandchildren may add to your joy. The only thing stopping you this year is you - make sure you put your words into action and there is very little you can’t do.

Rat 子

Years: 1924, 1936, 1948, 1960, 1972, 1984, 1996, 2008
Month: December 7 - January 6

Rat people can expect a pretty lucky year overall. If you are not on social media already you really should consider setting up an account. If you have social media accounts that are rather dormant, it's time to dust them off and make them work for you. A little social media effort can go a long way for you this year, as you are more likely to be seen and you may even find posts going viral. Show the world what you have to offer! If you feel like you need to polish yourself before putting yourself out there, this year is a great year to hone your skills or learn some new things. Time spent learning and improving yourself is never wasted, and this year you will be able to learn more than usual. Just make sure to schedule time for self care and well being amidst your other activities, as this year as you may be more challenged by health issues. So make maintaining yours a priority.

Ox 丑

Years: 1925, 1937, 1949, 1961 1973, 1985, 1997, 2009
Month: January 7 - February 3

Ox, you are one of the lucky ones this year. This year will empower you for career growth and wealth creation. Your employer is likely to notice your value to the company with a raise or promotion. Those who work for themselves are also likely to have great success this year, especially when it comes to connecting to the right people. If you find yourself struggling at any point this year, make sure to ask for help, as you will receive it so be sure to speak up and ask! Just be sure not to get too carried away by your success this year; pace yourself and be sure to invest some of your extra earnings for the future. 

Tiger 寅

Years: 1914, 1926, 1938, 1950, 1962, 1974, 1986, 1998, 2010
Month: February 4- March 5

Tigers, you generally enjoy the energy of the Dog, but this year may not be all smooth sailing. You may find petty people and gossip surround you, but issues and obstacles can be overcome by with the help of noblemen  - you should look to your greater social network for the right people to get you out of sticky situations. If you are willing to put in the right amount of effort, you can make good strides in your career and with your finances this year. With the right attitude and hard work you could see yourself rewarded with a promotion so hang tough!

Rabbit 卯

Years: 1927, 1939, 1951, 1963, 1975, 1987, 1999, 2011
Month: March 6 - April 4

Rabbits and Dogs get on like peanut butter and jelly, so this should be a good year for you and a welcome respite after the challenges that the Rooster year likely brought to you. You should find things coming to you more easily this year. If the Rooster year changes included an end to your relationship, never fear, as you may find yourself on the receiving end of romantic attention this year. You may find yourself feeling flirty and ready for fun, so don’t stay home; get out there and enjoy the attention. The only thing you may have to watch out for is your health, so make sure to take care of you too.

Dragon 辰

Years: 1928, 1940, 1952, 1964, 1976, 1988, 2000
Month: April 5 - May 5

Dragon people, this is your clash year, and before you go into fear mode just remember that clashes bring change, not necessarily doom and gloom. Change is inevitable, so embrace it and direct the force of change if possible. External circumstances could bring challenges and curve balls, but you get to decide what to do about it and how you want to handle it. If you are feeling like you are stuck or stagnating, then change can be a welcome force that brings something new and wonderful into your life. So be on the lookout for happy surprises as well. One change that is common during a clash year is moving. If you find you are not happy where you are, then this is a great time to pick somewhere more supportive to you and go. Remember, Fate is what happens to us; Destiny is what we make of it. Your challenge this year is not to be a victim of fate but a person who charts their own destiny. You can do it!

Snake 巳

Years: 1929, 1941, 1953, 1965, 1977, 1989, 2001, 2013
Month: May 6 - June 5

Snake people, last year was likely full of ups and downs, but this year should be calmer waters and smooth sailing ahead. Heaven is smiling on you now, and any troubles you have lingering from last year can be overcome with relative ease this year. You will have no shortage of people working with you and helping you to achieve your goals this year. You will also have access to more resources this year, so its a great year to raise capital and kick off a new venture, as you will also have greater access to powerful people who can help you realize your plans. Single Snakes will also be lucky with relationships this year; you may even find love at first sight. There seems to be no shortage of heavenly blessings coming your way this year, so be grateful for each one.

Horse 午

Years: 1918, 1930, 1942, 1954, 1966, 1978, 1990, 2002
Month: June 6 - July 6

Horse people, get ready to take charge this year. New opportunities could arise for leadership positions, so be ready to step up to the challenge. Increased responsibility and leadership could also come with financial rewards, and you may also see your assets increase in value as well. If you are thinking of cashing in on the increased value of property, this should be a great time to sell for a good price. You are one of the luckiest animals of the year, but don’t get too cocky or to take on dangerous activities, as you are more prone to accidents. This is a good year to skip the skydiving and make sure you have good insurance instead.

Goat 未

Years: 1919, 1931, 1943, 1955, 1967, 1979, 1991, 2003
Month: July 7 - August 7

You are one of the lucky ones this year, Goat folks. In general, this will be a year of fun times, and you will likely find yourself with a full social calendar. You may find yourself enjoying many parties and events this year. However, all those parties may add to your waistline, as you are more prone to weight gain this year - remember all things in moderation. In general, you will find plenty of people at your side helping you to reach your goals and overcome any challenges that come your way. It should be a fun and prosperous year for you, so enjoy it!

Monkey 申

Years: 1920, 1932, 1944, 1956, 1968, 1980, 1992, 2004
Month: August 8 - September 7

Monkey people, you may feel a bit out of sync this year. Some of the ups and downs of the Rooster year may continue into this year; some new challenges pop up as well but, with the right frame of mind you should be able to overcome them. What is working for you this year is the Intelligence Star, which gives you great ideas and a boost to any course of study you undertake. This is an excellent year to challenge yourself and learn new things. It’s also a good year for you to travel, as there is always so much to learn from new people and places - all in all it's a great year to expand your horizons!

Rooster 酉

Years: 1921, 1933, 1945, 1957, 1969, 1981, 1993, 2005
Month: September 8 - October 7

Rooster, as your year comes to a close you may feel let down after riding such a high, but it is also a good time to get off the ride and take a time out. You are likely coming into this year a bit tired and run down. This year it is really important to recharge physically and take care of yourself, as you are more vulnerable to illness. Your focus should be on rest, good diet, mental health and spiritual cultivation. It's a good year to make healthy eating and more exercise your resolutions for this year and stick to them to ensure you come out of the Dog year strong and ready to tackle the Pig year in 2019.

As always, thank you, Beth for sharing your suggestions for the Year of the Earth Dog. If you're interested in more personal, in-depth predictions, please reach out to Beth for a consultation! Also remember, feng shui recommends a three-dimensional rabbit charm this year, no matter what your animal signs. Grab one in your choice of six colors on Holistic Spaces!


Beth is the founder of Beth Grace Design, launched in 2008 to use love of textiles and experience in Decorative Arts to help clients create beauty within their homes. Over the past 8 years, Beth and her work have evolved to include feng shui, design, space clearing, water dowsing, and Chinese astrology. Her training as a certified feng shui practitioner and space clearer has deepened her awareness of space and informs her decisions as a designer. Using feng shui principles of balance and harmony, Beth is able to create spaces that not only look good, but feel good as well. She is passionate about creating healthy, supportive spaces and believes in using natural materials and sustainable practices whenever possible. For more information about Beth, her astrology readings or feng shui, please visit her website, Beth Grace Design and sign up for her newsletter!


Q&A Sunday: I Ching Divination for Moderation and Self Care

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What would be the most effective way to bring, health, protection, and prosperity to our home? My 87-year-old mother lives with us. My husband is struggling, and his mental and physical energy is very low. Can you help prevent him from forgetting so much and struggling to concentrate and increase his mental and physical energy?

Eliane B., Coral Springs, FL

Hi Eliane, 

Thank you so much for your question! It's a little complicated and there are a lot of things going on in this question. I understand you're having problems with health, protection and prosperity and with your husband forgetting a lot and having mental health issues. My intuition guided me to an I Ching reading for this question, so I'll share that insight with you.

The I Ching is also known as the Book of Changes, and it's a way of divination based on Taoism. As is the I Ching practice, I threw coins for your question and received what is called Hexagram #39, which is Water over Mountain. This hexagram represents obstacles. One thing the I Ching tells me is that right now you have a lot of stumbling blocks in your life, and that's obvious in your question. It feels like you may have a lot of confusion there as well. I Ching reflects that as you're experiencing these obstacles, now is not a good time for you to push ahead into the danger. Imagine you're like a rushing river, but you have a lot of snags in your way. If you wait and build up your strength, you will push through these difficulties naturally, much like a river makes its way through a mountain.

So my suggestion would be to not use force right now. Instead, just sit and be patient. The I Ching suggests you don't have the strength to move past these obstructions yet, so focus on building your power and vigor. The second hexagram that comes up is 15, which is Moderation. This confirms that now is a time of moderation, not stubbornly moving forward. Practice moderation in your eating habits, how you spend money and in everything you do, and be careful not to go to extremes, because that could actually create more problems for you. 

As for a feng shui adjustment that could support this path, you may begin to cultivate patience and moderation in your journey to gaining the might you need for this task. I recommend working on a few opposite areas of the feng shui bagua: Self-Knowledge and Relationships, which is also related to self-care. Both of these areas are Earth elements, so nurturing them is not about doing anything, but about taking care of yourself, moving slowly and implementing self-control as you build strength. Since this is an issue between you and your husband, I suggest activating these bagua areas of your bed. To do this, place a nine-inch long red ribbon under your mattress in each area, Knowledge and Relationships. When working with a bed, set the bagua at the head of the bed so that the headboard runs along the Abundance, Recognition and Relationships areas, and the foot borders Knowledge, Path in Life and Benefactors. 

Facing your headboard from the foot of your bed, the left corner closest to you would be Knowledge. Put a nine-inch long red ribbon there. The far right corner, near the headboard, would be where you place another ribbon to activate Relationships. That's my advice for now. Make these small adjustments with intention and keep the idea of moderation in mind. You are experiencing setbacks, but instead of focusing on that, really take care of yourself and actively work on your self-cultivation and self-care right now. Good luck!

by Anjie Cho


Thanks for reading our "Q&A Sunday".  We will be answering questions submitted by our readers. Click here to submit any Feng Shui or Green Design questions!


Holistic Spaces Podcast, Episode 051: Creativity and Feng Shui with Laura Morris

VISIT:

HOLISTICSPACES.COM/PODCAST 

 

AVAILABLE ON ITUNES

 

TUNE IN OCTOBER 9 FOR THE NEXT HOLISTIC SPACES PODCAST


BE SURE TO ALSO LISTEN IN OCTOBER 1 FOR OUR EIGHTH EPISODE OF THE MINI-SERIES, ASTROLOGY & FENG SHUI!

Holistic Spaces Podcast, Episode 043: Clutter and Five Elements with Katherine Metz, Part 2

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TUNE IN JUNE 12 FOR THE NEXT HOLISTIC SPACES PODCAST


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Q&A Sunday: Choosing a Yantra

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I would like to buy a yantra canvas from your site, but I'm having a bit of trouble choosing which one would be right for me. I want to focus on health for myself and my family, and I would like to put it in the center of the house to coordinate with the feng shui bagua. Would the most appropriate be the Sun yantra? If not, could you please make a suggestion?

Charmaine B., NJ

 

Dear Charmaine,

Thank you so much for your email and question about yantras. One of the reasons why we developed the “Mandala Matchmaker” is because a lot of people ask me similar questions regarding which yantra is right for them! There are a few different ways to approach the mandala selection.

When I painted my first yantra, I was asked to select which one I was most drawn to. First thought, best thought. This is tapping into your intuition. That’s a wonderful way to select a yantra mandala, because we are often intuitively attracted to what we need. 

As I began to learn more about painting yantras and mandalas, my teachers started teaching me about Vedic numerology - which is also an excellent way to work with things that you need. You can explore your own number and see what challenges and what successes arise from this.

With my Vedic studies, I began to connect the concepts to feng shui. I created a section of the Mandala Matchmaker that relates to your intention. This is also, of course, very useful. I connected it to the feng shui bagua map, because there was a lot of interconnectedness in the two modalities. 

This leads us to your question. You would like to select one based on what you need — which is health for your family, to be located in the center of your home

If there is need of great healing, the Mahāmṛtyuṃjaya yantra, on the top right is the best. 

If it's health in general the Ketu yantra, on the bottom right is better.

For both:

The blues/greens are Wood element, which is great for the health/Earth area. It gives a ground for the Wood to root and can break up the stagnation in any Earth.

I hope this helps!

Also, if you need more assistance I’m available for consultations where we can pinpoint and focus on what is best for you based on our specific circumstances.

by Anjie Cho


Holistic Spaces Podcast, Episode 031: Nine Star Holiday Dynamics with Rosalie Prinzivalli

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AVAILABLE ON ITUNES

 

TUNE IN DECEMBER 12 FOR THE NEXT HOLISTIC SPACES PODCAST