Q&A Sunday: Symbology of the Six Pointed Star

I came across your site and it is beautiful. Really like the idea of incorporating feng shui and zen in your living space. I was searching the mandala site and saw the Ketu yantra, which got my attention. I noticed the center looks like a Jewish star. I wonder if that's your intention that it is actually a Jewish star - which I absolutely find appealing, as my husband is Jewish and I am Chinese. 

Emily B., Encino, CA

Hi Emily,

Thanks for your email, and I’m so glad you like the website and the Ketu yantra. A lot of people are drawn to this one. It’s very healing. It’s actually related to my Vedic destiny number, so it’s one of my mandalas that’s very personal to me.

Many of the yantras (like Ketu) have the six pointed star in the center, which is the same symbol as the Jewish Star of David. In Vedic symbology, this symbol is the combination two equilateral triangles. One is triangle is upward pointing (male, yang, fire), the other downward pointing (female, yin, water), and the overlap of the two create balance of these opposite energies, like the yin and yang symbol

I hope you find the use of these shapes as interesting as I do! Since I love sacred geometry and symbols, I really loved responding to this question. On a final note, my yantra teacher Mavis Gewant, describes geometric symbols in an interview I did with her

A yantra is a geometric pattern of energy specific to deities and planets. It has been said that they are the physical form of a deity, where mantra is the sound form. Yantras give a structure or pattern to energy. They are composed of geometric forms like squares and circles. Since all cultures have these kinds of shapes, they resonate in our DNA when we see them. Yantras are archetypal and universal.
— Mavis Gewant

PS: I am Korean (also Asian), and my husband is also Jewish! 

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!

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My Favorite Things: 5 Meaningful Mother's Day Gifts

Welcome to My Favorite Things! Each month, we highlight products to help you create a holistic lifestyle that inspires and nurtures you, so that you can be happier and feel supported.

This month is the month of moms, since Mother's Day is this weekend! If you're still wondering about the perfect gift for the perfect mom, we've got some great ideas for meaningful options that go past a beautiful bouquet (but check out our suggestions if you prefer flowers!). From spiritual art to sustainable beauty products, there is something here for almost any mom!

Abundant Tranquility Mala

One of my friends and favorite clients, Satya Scainetti, has a beautiful collection of jewelry, any piece of which makes an amazing gift. 

Satya does mala workshops, which I highly recommend as a wonderful experience, but if you missed last week's, you can still find meaningful, beautiful malas online. This one represents unconditional love, joy, good fortune and creativity and is one of Satya's choices for Gifts of Love!

Available at: Satya Jewelry

Moon II Yantra Mandala for Nourishment and Creativity

The Moon II yantra, which depicts feminine colors like light blues, pinks and purples, is associated with femininity, nourishment, creativity and emotions. 

This mandala represents self-nourishment and self-care and corresponds to the Relationship area of the feng shui bagua, which is also related to the Mother, making it an ideal gift for the upcoming holiday!

Available at: Holistic Spaces

Warming Herbal Neck Wrap

Being a mom can be tough work, and it's not always easy to find time or money to relax or take a spa day. These warming herbal neck wraps from Savor Beauty, sustainably created from flax seeds, are an easy way to get a little relaxation without having to take an entire day!

They come in various designs, can be used as hot or cold and are great with essential oils! Just pop in the microwave or freezer and soothe stress! You can order wraps online or check in at their newest location in the Upper West Side, designed by Anjie Cho Architect, PLLC!

Available at: Savor Beauty

Feng Shui Consultation

Sometimes the best gifts are actually experiences, and feng shui can be a wonderful, guiding experience for any mom! Feng shui can be helpful on many levels in matters spiritual and mundane. 

I offer a variety of feng shui consultations, including online services, so even if you're not in NYC or LA, helping your mom improve her feng shui and create a personalized holistic space is a possibility!

Available at: AnjieCho.com

7-Free Vegan Nail Polish Set

Another popular gift for Mother's Day is a trip to the nearest salon for a manicure and pedicure. Nothing quite relaxes like being treated to a massage and some nail upkeep!

This year, instead of relying on traditional nail polish, opt for ella + milla, an eco-friendly nail polish option free of seven nasty chemicals in addition to being vegan and animal cruelty-free. ella + milla comes in many colors and is even PETA approved! 

Available at: ella + milla

Q&A Sunday: Choosing a Yantra

Mandala Art Note Card Set.jpeg

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

Q&A Sunday: Artwork in Pairs

I have purchased the Venus mandala, and I want to hang it my bedroom, but just ran across a post on decorating a couple’s room, and it says to hang artwork in pairs. Do I need to get another mandala, or is this ok, since it symbolizes relationships?

Shayna G., New York, NY

Hi Shayna,

Thanks for your question! I’m so glad you got the Venus mandala. I really love that one. The Venus yantra was the first yantra I ever created; it’s so delicate and pretty. And yes, the Venus mandala relates to romance and emotions, which would be a wonderful addition to your bedroom.

Now onto your question! It is ideal to have things in pairs in the bedroom, such as pairs of pillows, or two nightstands, but it’s not a strict rule. For instance, it makes a lot of sense to have a pair of pillows and two nightstands because there’s something for you and something for your partner. But for instance, artwork of a single woman may not be the best thing for a woman who’s lonely and looking for a partner. In one case, I visited the home of a woman with several images of singular things. It was very obvious. But it’s perfectly okay to have things not in pairs, such as your Venus mandala, especially because the purpose of that mandala is to support your relationship. In fact, I have that first yantra I ever painted hanging in my bedroom, and it’s not in a pair. 

Most principles in feng shui are highly personal, and this one is no different. If there is a beautiful piece of art that you want for your bedroom and really love it, it's most likely acceptable. In this case especially, as the art represents relationships. If you find that the artwork in your room is singular and much of it has to do with being alone or isolated, then you may want to take a look at what that reflects for your life. 

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!

My Favorite Things: 6 Sacred Art Must-Haves

Welcome to My Favorite Things! Each month, we highlight products to help you create a holistic lifestyle that inspires and nurtures you, so that you can be happier and feel supported.

Last month we talked with my Tibetan Buddhist art teacher, Carmen Mensink, on the podcast. Carmen shared her experience with sacred art and how we can use it to enhance our holistic spaces, so this month, I wanted to share my favorite ways to do just that! Whether you're an experienced artist, a beginner or just a fan of pretty pieces, these six items will help make your house into a holistic home filled with intention and inspiration

Tibetan Buddhist Art

As we shared last month on the podcast, Carmen Mensink is a talented artist with many beautiful pieces of Tibetan Buddhist art, including painted thangkas like this one. 

Each thangka contains deep symbolism and is an original piece of art by Carmen. This one is the Medicine Buddha, the embodiment of the buddha's healing qualities, both physically and mentally.

I encourage you to take a look through Carmen's work to find a thangka that embodies what you need most in your life and space!

Available at: Tibetan Buddhist Art

Planet Mandala Coloring Book

This coloring book is the work of one of my other teachers, Mavis Gewant. Mavis is a highly trained sacred arts teacher with whom I practice the art of yantra painting. 

Yantra mandalas are my favorite form of meditation, and this coloring books makes them easy for those with any artistic skill level! Mavis even includes color guides for each mandala as well as a duplicate so you can try out the colors of your intuition. 

Among all the trendy coloring books on the market for adults, this is one of my favorites and is a great way to engage in sacred art and meditation to find inspiration and peace. 

Available at: Amazon

Buddhist Art Coloring Book

Another beautiful option for adult coloring books, these Buddhist art coloring books by Robert Beer put each of us in Carmen's seat...sort of. 

Though we may not all be talent and well-practiced like Carmen, we can each indulge in the sacred Tibetan Buddhist art form through this unique coloring book! 

Not only does the book provide an accessible route to sacred art meditation, it's a great way to produce some art to display in your holistic space, even if you can't draw a stick figure! 

Available at: Amazon

Prismacolor Blenders

I love Prismacolor pencils. They're absolutely wonderful for use in coloring books and other sacred art.

Maybe the best invention ever for coloring is the blender pencil, and these Prismacolors are my favorite. 

Blender pencils blend separate colors together so well, giving work a beautiful look. The only thing better than sacred art is stunning sacred art!

Available at: Amazon

Tibetan Calligraphy Book

Another of my favorite ways to meditate is through calligraphy. This book is a great way to practice Tibetan calligraphy, even if you're not skilled in the art or even familiar with the Tibetan language. 

Sacred calligraphy is a great way to learn to let go, and you can even pair this guide with a Buddha board to keep your practice neat and add the water element to your space!

Available at: Amazon

Sacred Mandalas

Like the sacred Tibetan thangkas in Carmen's portfolio, mandalas are also a fantastic, symbolic way to add meaningful art to your space. 

Our shop has many varieties of sacred mandalas to match whatever area might be lacking in your life. This Jupiter yantra brings expansion and illumination and is wonderful as a feng shui adjustment to a holistic space. 

Try out our Mandala Matchmaker to find the best sacred mandala for you and your space!

Available at: Holistic Spaces

My Favorite Things: 5 Ways to Bring Wood Into Your Space

Welcome to My Favorite Things! Each month (every few weeks during the Five Elements podcast series), we highlight products to help you create a holistic lifestyle that inspires and nurtures you, so that you can be happier and feel supported.

This month's favorite things center around the Wood element and how to keep it balanced in your holistic spaces. Be sure to listen in to the newest podcast, Feng Shui and the Wood Element, for a more in-depth look at the Wood element and how it relates to us and our spaces. The Wood element relates to kindness, life, human heartedness and the ability to be flexible, so it's very important to maintain harmony with this element. Here are my favorite ways. 

Tolomeo Floor Lamp

The Wood element is represented by tall, columnar shapes, so a floor lamp like this one is a perfect adjustment to balance Wood in your space.

This Tolomeo lamp is one of my favorites. I even have one in my office, next to my desk! Not only does it add the Wood element through shape, it provides light, which adds life energy and the Fire element, and it's made of metal, which adds a bit of the Metal element. Three elements in one!

Bonus, you can even make this adjustment eco-friendly by using an LED bulb! 

Available at: Design Within Reach



Green Plants.jpeg

Green Plants

Adding living green plants to a space is one of the easiest, and healthiest, ways to add the Wood element. I love this video interview with plant stylist, Satoshi Kawamoto. One of my clients hired him to add more plants and life energy to her space, and he is so knowledgable and in tune with the Wood element.

Not only does adding a green plant bring the Wood element and nature into your space, which has been proven to increase health, many plants are also excellent absorbers of VOCs (volatile organic compounds). These toxic fumes can cause serious health issues and come from many of the products we use every day in our homes. With green plants, you can breathe easier and balance your wood element!

Available at: Green Fingers

Ketu Mandala for Spirituality and Healing

If you're dedicated to or experiencing personal, internal growth or healing in any way, this mandala is the one for you. 

The Wood element symbolizes growth, and the Ketu mandala is great for encouraging and facilitating personal growth. This mandala also features shades of green, which relates directly to the Wood element as well! 

This mandala is very close to my heart, because it represents my Vedic psychic number. Keep an ear out for an upcoming podcast on how to calculate yours! 

Available at: Holistic Spaces

Images of Nature

As you'll hear in the podcast, bringing images of nature into your home can also help balance the Wood element. 

Framed or hanging images are great additions, but I love these wall murals depicting trees and other beautiful aspects of the Wood element. 

There are tons of available images of nature that you can get in mural size, but remember that the Wood element is represented by trees, tall, columnar shapes and the colors green and blue. 

As a note, you can also look for darker colors, as they add the water element, which feeds wood. 

Available at: Wallsauce.com

Green or Blue Drapes

I love these full length drapes. They're so elegant and add a touch of color to any room. 

What's more, they're a great way to symbolically add the Wood element into your space, especially if you don't think you can keep a living plant alive

Since these drapes are columnar in shape and come in shades of blue and green, they're perfect representations of the Wood element and beautiful design pieces as well! This specific color blue is an ideal color for balancing the Wood element, so head to your local drapery store and ask about options in this shade.

Available at: Your favorite drapery store. 

This Week on Instagram

Every experience is a message.  #chogyamtrungpa   #trueperception

Every experience is a message. #chogyamtrungpa #trueperception

Read a great  #declutter  article! I'm Featured in  @dr_oz   #thegoodlife  magazine this month  #livelighter

Read a great #declutter article! I'm Featured in @dr_oz #thegoodlife magazine this month #livelighter

#mantraMonday ! the  Venus yantra  today. In Hindu, the planet  Venus is feminine , having to do with relationships, love and higher love.  The associated mantra is: Om Shum Shukraye Namaha Om   #mantra   #yantra   #vedicnumbers  #sacredart   #sacredgeometry  #holisticspaces   #venus   #theplanets

#mantraMonday! the Venus yantra today. In Hindu, the planet Venus is feminine, having to do with relationships, love and higher love. 
The associated mantra is:
Om Shum Shukraye Namaha Om

#mantra #yantra #vedicnumbers#sacredart #sacredgeometry#holisticspaces #venus #theplanets

This Week on Instagram

Happy lower east side holidays with the peanuts!

Happy lower east side holidays with the peanuts!

#mantraMonday ! the  Mercury yantra  today. Because mercury rules intelligence and speech as well as playfulness, it may be place in the  Completion  area of the  feng shui bagua map  to support these intentions.  The associated mantra is: Om Bhum Bhudaye Namah Om   #mantra   #yantra   #vedicnumbers   #sacredart   #sacredgeometry     #holisticspaces   #mercury   #theplanets

#mantraMonday! the Mercury yantra today. Because mercury rules intelligence and speech as well as playfulness, it may be place in the Completion area of the feng shui bagua map to support these intentions.

The associated mantra is:
Om Bhum Bhudaye Namah Om

#mantra #yantra #vedicnumbers #sacredart #sacredgeometry   #holisticspaces #mercury #theplanets