Q&A Sunday: Easing Tension at Family Gatherings

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Could you suggest easy-to-implement tips on how to relieve tension at a family summer holiday gathering in a rented place? 

Guiliana G., Lille, France

 

Hi Guiliana,

Thanks always for your thoughtful questions that you send in and your diligent readership :)

Yes, tensions can run high during any family gathering, especially the extended ones, like a summer home, or during the extended end-of-year holidays. I have two suggestions for these challenging times. You can do both!

Clear the space with Oranges

Our Holistic Spaces store launched an apothecary section, carrying room mists. Happy | Orange & Clear Quartz Mist, for uplifting abundance and positivity, would be totally perfect for the summer vacation home or during the holidays, when you have a lot of guests over and family conflicts, to brighten and cheer up your home. or to just lift your spirits :) Oranges are used in feng shui to clear out any negative energy such as family tension. 

Harmonize the Family

Another feng shui adjustment is to activate the three harmonies of family-wood in the entire home, whether that be the rented vacation home or your home where you have many family members visiting you. If you also have family issues in general, activating the three harmonies of family-wood will also be very effective to perform in your bedroom.

The three harmonies of family-wood can be activated by locating three green living plants or 3" round mirrors in each area indicated on the image above. The mirrors can go on the walls, or the plants can go on the floor, wall or on a stand. Green plants are the most effective, because they represent the wood element of kindness, flexibility and open-heartedness. 

These three areas also relate to Chinese zodiac animals: Rabbit, Goat and Pig, which also relate to feng shui bagua map areas: New Beginnings, Relationships and Benefactors. Finally, it all ties back to support the family, because they also represent Family, Mother and Father.

I hope this brings some ease, understanding and joy into the holidays of all of my readers.

by Anjie Cho


Mindful Design is a new way to learn feng shui. Our a unique training program takes an holistic approach to learning the art of feng shui design. Mindful design is about becoming aware, and attentive, to the energy around you: both inner and outer qi. It is about promoting a better way of living and creating sacred spaces that support, and nourish. Visit us at mindfuldesignschool.com.


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!

Chinese Zodiac for 2019: Year of the Earth Pig

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Happy New Year, and welcome 2019! The Chinese New Year is coming up very soon as well, on February 5. In just a few weeks, we’ll welcome the Year of the Earth Pig, so check below for insight for the coming year, and remember that even challenging years can bring great results!

I’m a Dragon, so the Year of the Dog was challenging for me, but with the help of my good friend, Laura Morris, who is a Rat, we launched our new feng shui school, Mindful Design Feng Shui School. Through the school, we’re excited to offer a Golden Cicada class to welcome the lunar new year. This is an especially powerful ritual for Snakes and Monkeys, since these signs clash with the Pig, but everyone can benefit from these practices! You can also find a Golden Cicada ritual kit, which includes a tiger charm, on Holistic Spaces here.

BTB Feng Shui always recommends carrying a three-dimensional charm to welcome good luck and protection each year. This year, since the Tiger is the Pig’s best friend, we recommend a three-dimensional tiger charm, available in the color of your choice in the Holistic Spaces store! Don't forget to check out our 2019 Chinese New Year Kit (available here) as well for a tiger charm, custom aromastick and Happy Mist!

*Please note, if your birthday is between January 1 and February 4, your animal sign is the preceding year.  
*Lunar 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.

Rat 子

Years: 1924, 1936, 1948, 1960, 1972, 1984, 1996, 2008

Rats are best friends with Dragons, Snakes, Monkeys, and especially Oxen! Because Rats are in a neutral relationship to the Pig. this year will be generally good. And we recommend you carry a 2019 charm (Tiger) with you for extra support.

In January, February and March, you have very good potential with money and fortune. It’s a good time for investments and financial opportunities. Try activating your front door for more opportunities or the Abundance area for more wealth.

Be careful in April, May, June, July and August. Be sure to be flexible and open. But also take extra precautions for safety and your physical health. The Health area of the bagua map would be a good place to start.

September and October are more auspicious months, and will be a good time to make plans and start new projects. The New Beginnings area of the feng shui map might benefit and support in these months.

Be cautious again for the rest of the year in November, December and January 2020. Be careful and selective with who you will trust. There is possibility for unexpected accidents. Activate Benefactors so you will be surrounded by more helpful people in your life at this time.


Ox 丑

Years: 1925, 1937, 1949, 1961, 1973, 1985, 1997, 2009

Oxen are best friends with Snakes, Roosters and especially with Rats! Although there is no clash with the Pig, this year will prove challenging and bumpy. So, we recommend you carry a 2019 charm (Tiger) with you for extra support.

Be careful in the start of this year in January, February and March. There may be difficult people and legal issues. Stay stable and wait it out. Activate the Benefactors area of the bagua map so you will be surrounded by more helpful people in your life at this time.

April is a better month, with opportunities for recognition. Maybe it’s good time to bring some fire into the Recognition area of your desk.

May, June, July and August are also months where you can be more cautious. If you’re traveling, be sure to take care of yourself. If you have a health problem, take care of it.

September see more opportunities for recognition, maybe even the same ones that came up in April. Use what you learned earlier and be modest in your spending.

There is caution again for October, November, December and January 2020. However in December things really do perk up and there is opportunities for good fortune if you work hard. During this four month period it may be helpful to work with the Abundance area of your home and business.


Tiger 寅

Years: 1914, 1926, 1938, 1950, 1962, 1974, 1986, 1998, 2010

Tigers are best friends with Horses, Dogs and especially with Pigs! Tiger and Pig are best friends in the Chinese Zodiac, so this means it’s a super auspicious year! And we recommend you carry a 2019 charm (Tiger) with you for extra support!

It’s smooth sailing during January, February, March and April. Everything has potential to do well, including your energy, finances and love life. Be careful not to overspend all the money that comes in! If there’s an area of your life that you want to work on, activate that area during these months.

Be cautious in May, June, July, August and September, especially concerning finances and investments. June is an auspicious month within this time period. But be careful with money during this entire time period. It may be helpful to activate your Abundance area with something earthy for stability.

October and November sees more improvement in overall luck, but pay attention to your health.

Finally in December and January 2020, keep your eyes open and be careful with who you get involved with, especially financially. Again probably a good month to activate the Abundance and Benefactors area.


Rabbit 卯

Years: 1927, 1939, 1951, 1963, 1975, 1987, 1999, 2011

Rabbits are best friends with Rams, Pigs and Dogs. Rabbit and Pig are in harmony and have a very good relationship, so it makes for a good year for the Rabbit.

Be cautious in January, February, March, April, May and June. Watch out for your health and any legal problems. But remember overall you have a good year with the support of others. It’s beneficial to carry a 2019 charm (Tiger) with you for extra support.

July , August, September and October are very good, and you have luck on your side. Again, remember you always have the support of others and you can also be generous and mirror their generosity. Just be careful in September in terms of health, finances and legal issues.

November, December and January 2020 are times to be cautious. Work hard and again, remember you have helpful people in your life. The more you give the more you receive. It’s a good time to activate the Benefactors and Abundance areas. Contemplate on what generosity means to you and how you can cultivate this practice in your life.


Dragon 辰

Years: 1928, 1940, 1952, 1964, 1976, 1988, 2000

Dragons are best friends with Rats, Monkeys and Roosters. Dragon and Pig are in a neutral year so 2019 will be pretty good, especially considering that the previous Dog year was a clash. We also recommend you carry a 2019 charm (Tiger) with you for extra support.

The year starts out pretty good in January and February. It’s advised to remain flexible at this time and strengthen any areas you want to work on.

March, April, May, June and July are more challenging, a time to be careful. April is a clash to the Dragon so take care of your health. Activate the Health area and take care of yourself.

August and September are auspicious months for the dragon. Jump on anything that arises. This is a good time to manifest your wishes.

October, November, December through January 2020 are again times to be cautious. Rest and take care of your own business. Health again would be a good area to activate. Take care of yourself and let others be.


Snake 巳

Years: 1929, 1941, 1953, 1965, 1977, 1989, 2001, 2013

Snakes are best friends with Oxen, Rooster and Monkey. Snakes clash with the Pig, so it’s very important in BTB feng shui to practice the Golden Cicada Ritual. If you’re interested, there is a class available here. We also highly recommend you carry a 2019 charm (Tiger) with you for extra support.

January, February, March, April and May are generally good. In February, there is an exception - where it will be quite challenging. It’s a good time to change up your environment and look at your friendships. Otherwise, most aspects of your life will be promising.

June, July, and August are months to be careful of your health and investments. Take care of yourself and rest. It would be helpful to activate the Health and Abundance areas of the bagua.

There is improvement with your luck in September and October. Your career has opportunities for improvement, so be sure to activate the Path in Life area of the bagua!

November, December and January 2020 are months to be cautious again. But with the clash to the year, remember there’s much to learn and you can grow tremendously. Just practice self-care, and you can improve this by working on the Relationship area which is about self-love.


Horse 午

Years: 1918, 1930, 1942, 1954, 1966, 1978, 1990, 2002

Horses are best friends with Tigers, Dogs and Rams. Horse and Pig are in a neutral year.

January, February, March and April are auspicious times for the Horse. Most areas in your life have potential for luck and improvement. Activating the Benefactors area is going to be super important to attract helpful people at this time.

Be cautious in May, June, July, August, and September. Be careful in all areas of your life including health, travel, friends, and law suits. We recommend you carry a 2019 charm (Tiger) with you for extra support.

October is a very good month for you. Take advantage of this time! Activate the one feng shui bagua area you want to improve.

November, December and January 2020 are months to be cautious again. Be flexible. Activate the Benefactors area so you can be supported and bring in other energies at this time.


Ram 未

Years: 1919, 1931, 1943, 1955, 1967, 1979, 1991, 2003

Rams are best friends Pigs, Rabbits and Horses. Since the Ram is in harmony with the Pig, 2019 will be a good year! Regardless, we recommend you carry a 2019 charm (Tiger) with you for extra support.

January, February, March, April and May are months to be cautious. Slow down and hang out with positive and healthy people. This will keep your qi healthy and prosperous. If you do things with the right intention, things will turn out well. Activate the health area to protect you and your family.

June is an auspicious month for travel and business. The Benefactors area is also related to travel, so that would be a good one to work with.

July, August, September, October, November, December and January 2020 are all months to again be careful. Be careful with your health and avoid too much stress. Take the time to strengthen your Health area of your home so everyone in your home and family can benefit. But remember, Ram is in harmony with Pig so overall it’s a good year (even with a few bumps).


Monkey 申

Years: 1920, 1932, 1944, 1956, 1968, 1980, 1992, 2004

Monkeys are best friends with Dragons, Rats and Snakes. Monkey has a challenging relationship to the Pig, so be aware. But many good things can come! We also recommend you carry a 2019 charm (Tiger) with you for extra support. It’s also very important in BTB feng shui to practice the Golden Cicada Ritual because you’re a clash to the year. If you’re interested, there is a class available here

January, February, March and April are generally good. Just be cautious in February, when there will be some ups and downs. Just keep an eye on your health, and activate the Health area for extra support.

May, June, July, August, September are months to be careful. Stay safe and be flexible with others, including family. Stay stable and still.

October, November, December, and January 2020 are good months overall. However again be super cautious especially in November and January, where you will see ups and downs again. Be careful!


Rooster 酉

Years: 1921, 1933, 1945, 1957, 1969, 1981, 1993, 2005

Roosters are best friends with Snakes, Oxen and Dragons. Roosters has a neutral relationship to the Pig, so we recommend you carry a 2019 charm (Tiger) with you for extra support.

January, February, and March are months to be careful with your health. It’s important to be diligent and work hard at this time. Activating the health area in the entire home would help with any family health issues.

April, May, June, and July starts off very well, but it’s also a time to be cautious and work with helpful people or travel. The Benefactors area of the bagua map is also related to travel, so this is a good gua to activate.

August, September, October, November, December, and January 2020 are all months to be cautious and flexible especially regarding your finances, and lawsuits. Try to get along with everyone and go with the flow, so that you can make this half of the year more beneficial. Activating the New Beginnings area of the bagua map may help to cultivate more flexibility in your life.


Dog 戌

Years: 1922, 1934, 1946, 1958, 1970, 1982, 1994, 2006, 2018

Dogs are best friends with Tigers, Horses and Rabbits. They are in a neutral relationship with the Pig. For extra good luck and support, we recommend you carry a 2019 charm (Tiger) this year.

January, February and March are quite auspicious months. You’ll start the year with improvements to your career. You can activate the Path in Life area to support this good flow of qi.

April and May are more challenging months. Be careful and stay home, take care of yourself. The self-care area of the bagua map is the Relationship area, so take some time to activate that.

June is a very lucky month. Make a effort to put anything in motion that you want to manifest.

July, August, September, October, November, December, and January 2020 are all months to be cautious. Support your health especially. It may be a good time to activate the Health area of the bagua map for this part of the year.


Pig 亥

Years: 1923, 1935, 1947, 1959, 1971, 1983, 1995, 2007, 2019
Pigs are best friends with Rabbits, Rams and Tigers. This is why we recommend you carry a 2019 charm (Tiger) with you for extra support.. because the Tiger is the best relationship with the Pig.

You may think that since it’s the year of the Pig, it would be a very lucky year for anyone born in the year of the Pig. But in fact, it’s a very challenging year, so it’s very important in BTB feng shui to practice the Golden Cicada Ritual. If you’re interested, there is a class available here

January, February and March are better months. It will be a rocky start, but your work and finances may improve. Just be cautious!

April, May, June, July, and August are the most challenging months. Be careful when traveling, with your health and be kind to your family. It would be helpful to activate the Benefactors (travel) and the Health areas of the bagua map.

September, October, November, December, and January 2020 are all months to be cautious. September and December are good, but for the months all around, please be careful. Again, best to carry the charm and perform the Golden Cicada ritual.


Much of this information is derived from the Dr. Edgar Sung’s Classic Chinese Almanac. If you’re interested, please purchase the almanac for Year of the Earth Pig.

OR, If you're really interested in more personal, in-depth predictions, please reach out to a Four Pillars or Bazi practitioner for a consultation!


Don’t forget to grab your three-dimensional tiger charm this year, here at Holistic Spaces!

You can also find our Chinese New Year kits here for the Year of the Pig!

If you’re interested in the Golden Cicada ritual, check out event information here and enroll!


Dive deeper into feng shui to transform your life!

Mindful Design is a new way to learn feng shui. Create sacred spaces that support, and nourish.

visit us at mindfuldesignschool.com


Q&A Sunday: Kids Study Spaces and Where to Begin with Feng Shui

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I like your blog, it is so inspiring. I am new to feng shui and have 3 questions:
1. Is/are there any effective, specific knowledge/ items which help(s) kids to manage themselves to study or encourage(s) doing homework? I am a Tiger mum and have a Pig boy (June 3, 2007) and a Rabbit daughter (May 29, 2011). Based on this info, I would appreciate any recommendation. 
2. I want to practice feng shui. Where should I start ?
3. Do you ship outside the USA?

Oznur R., Turkey

Dear Oznur,

Thank you for your question and compliments, and welcome to the wonderful world of feng shui!

It’s awesome that you have so many questions; it means you’re really interested and curious. In feng shui, you’re encouraged to inquire, test and scrutinize the teachings. 

Your first question pertains to supporting children in their studies and education. In general, it’s recommended that when your son and daughter are doing their homework, they have a desk or a dedicated area to do their work. An area of the dining table is fine, as long as it’s clear and spacious, and accommodates them. When it is time for them to study, have this space become a real desk. It’s also important to locate them in the commanding position of the room, whether at a desk or another study area. This means that they can both see the entrance of the space, without turning their heads, but are not in line with the door. The best location is diagonal from the door. This way your children are in a relaxed place in their space so they can clearly focus on homework. There’s more information about the commanding position here, here and here.

You’re also a Tiger mother, and your son is a Pig. This tells me that you have a good, compatible relationship to begin with. Tiger and Pig are best friends and ideal companions. Your daughter is a Rabbit, so your relationship to her is neutral. But your Pig boy and Rabbit daughter also get along well, because they form a harmonious relationship (along with the Ram). By the way, be sure to check out our post where Beth Grace shares the forecast for each Chinese Zodiac animal this year.  

Your second question is about how to start studying and practicing feng shui. Well I have an exciting announcement! I’m starting a Mindful Design teaching program with my talented friend, Laura Morris. The program is set to launch in the fall of 2018, so keep an eye out! We're excited to teach feng shui from our shared Mindful Design perspective.

Last but not least, yes we do ship to Turkey for most items! You can email us at info@holisticspaces.com if you have any specific questions about that! Be sure to check out our new apothecary items… I think the Focus mist might be perfect for your little ones! 

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!


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!

Q&A Sunday: Front Door and the Six Killings

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What do you do when the front door faces your six killings direction?

Soy K., Pinole, CA

Hi Soy!

Thank you for asking this very interesting question. As you may (or may not) know, I’m a BTB Feng Shui practitioner. BTB is one of the many many schools of feng shui. This question is for a classical feng shui expert, so I consulted my good friend Beth Grace, who also does our yearly Chinese Zodiac readings. You can check the 2018 readings here

By the way, I also incorporate classical feng shui here and there in my own life, but my expertise is in BTB feng shui. And in regards to advising others, my teachers have said a beginner (like someone who’s read a book) may know just enough to be dangerous. Of course, it's beneficial to try techniques out and see how they work for yourself. For instance, in BTB and in Buddhism, you are encouraged to experience and work with all the dharma teachings. Keep what works, discard what doesn’t. But when teaching others, your karma mixes with theirs… and it’s a big responsibility! So with that, I am so pleased to share what Beth offers us.

Beth reminds us that in all the schools of feng shui (she’s been educated in quite a few!), the front door to your home is very important. We want the qi, or life energy, coming into our home to be positive, which is good feng shui. Liu sha is translated into English as the “six killings”. Beth says the meaning is “distorted in translation”. The English word “kill” or “killing” provokes fear in us. Instead, Beth and I wish to reconsider this fear-based way of looking at the world. The six killings is not about anyone being killed, but about six negative activities that can be brought on: lawsuits, bodily injury, need for surgery, robbery, scandals and adultery. Of course these are still undesirables, so what to do? I quote Beth: “All is not lost; we have tools!”

In classical feng shui, there are eight directions, four are positive and four are negative. The six killings is one of the negative directions. Beth tells us that each sector, for instance the North, is divided further into three sub-sectors, North 1, North 2, and North 3. An experienced feng shui practitioner can determine which sector the front door actually falls into. Your door may not be in a problematic area.

But if you do find out the door is still in the six killings direction, you can further fine tune your feng shui with Xuan Kong Da Gua, which divides your floor plan into the 64 hexagrams. There are smaller sectors and with this technique, if required, you can change, tilt and/or alter the front door to welcome better energy into your home (and life) based on your personal astrology. For example you can match your personal hexagram(s) to your front door. 

That said, with this fine tuning, I cannot emphasize enough that it’s very important to engage an experienced feng shui consultant for something as specific as this. Be careful!

And many, many, many thanks to the beautiful and wonderful Beth Grace for sharing her knowledge and expertise with us! Be sure to check out her website; she has a great monthly newsletter with Chinese Astrology predictions every month. I highly recommend you sign up! Don't forget to check out your Chinese Zodiac for the Year of the Earth Dog, also thanks to Beth!

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!