Welcome the Summer Solstice with Feng Shui

Welcome the Summer Solstice with Feng Shui.jpg

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


My Favorite Things: 5 Ways to Bring the Earth Element into Your Spaces

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.

For March, our theme is 5 Ways to Bring the Earth Element into Your Spaces. The Earth element is about self-care, nourishment and stability. Be sure to listen to our most recent podcast, Feng Shui and the Earth Element, for more about the Earth element!


EARTHY YELLOW RUG

I love this Distressed Rococo Wool Rug in Horseradish by West Elm. Although a square shape is slightly more earthy, this rectangular rug has a subtle large square pattern.

Rectangular or square yellow rugs add earth element to your spaces because of the shape and color. Rugs also create boundaries, which are often an issue to look at when working on Earth imbalances. 

Available at: West Elm


KUAN YIN STATUE

Kuan Yin is the bodhisattva of compassion. A bodhisattva devotes her entire being to supporting the enlightenment of others. For me, she exemplifies the Earth element.

I have a Kuan Yin statue in an Earth gua of my desk (in the Relationship area) to remind me to have compassion for myself and for others. This keeps my Earth element in balance!

Available at: PhenomeGnome on Etsy


FANCY JASPER MALA

Some of you may know that Satya Jewelry is not only one of my favorite jewelry designers, but Satya is one of my favorite clients. We designed her two most recent stores in NYC.

Satya is truly an amazing woman, and her jewelry is such a beautiful way to bring spirituality, intention and change into your everyday life. 

This mala is created with Fancy Jasper. "Tranquility is within your grasp. Fancy jasper encourages gentleness, ease of mind and repairs that which is broken to a state of wholeness. Wear this Mala, a traditional necklace of 108 beads, as a reminder that when you let go, you achieve peace." This is a wonderful way to bring the Earth element into your personal qi space.

In general, Fancy Jasper is a wonderful way to add focus, creativity, and grounding to bring some Earth element into your spaces.

Available at: Satya Jewelry


FOCUS BLEND & CARNELIAN MIST

The Holistic Spaces store offers a room mist called Focus. It's a blend of essential oils and 18 pieces of carnelian. 

Our formula no.2 FOCUS is a blend of rosemary, cedarwood, frankincense and other essential oils with carnelian crystals for clarity, precision and direction. 

  • Rosemary supports mental precision
  • Cedarwood is grounding
  • Frankincense provides meditative focus
  • 18 pieces of carnelian in each bottle for grounding and stabilization

This room mist is perfect to ground and provide some more Earth in your spaces!

Available at: Holistic Spaces


Jizo BUDDHIST statue

"Jizo is one of the most beloved figures of Buddha, Buddhism and is the protector of children, expectant mothers, travelers, and most significantly, of deceased children. It is told that Jizo hides children beneath his robes to protect them from demons and other such evils." 

A spiritual statue, like with Kuan Yin above, can bring Earth element into our spaces. The weight provides stability, and I really love Jizo for family homes.

Available at: WestWind Home Garden



This Week on Instagram

feng shui in the bedroom  with the  five elements  - water (image), wood (plant), metal (white walls, earth (brown furniture), fire (LED lamp) 

feng shui in the bedroom with the five elements - water (image), wood (plant), metal (white walls, earth (brown furniture), fire (LED lamp) 

#41 . do not wear shoes as a hat.  #ChogyamTrungpa   #lojong  #shambhala

#41. do not wear shoes as a hat. #ChogyamTrungpa #lojong #shambhala

what's your vedic numerology?!? mine is  #3 , Jupiter. look at holisticspaces.com  #vedicsquare  #sacredgeometry   #numerology

what's your vedic numerology?!? mine is #3, Jupiter. look at holisticspaces.com #vedicsquare#sacredgeometry #numerology

happy  #mantraMonday . today DURGA yantra, for rebirth. Mantra: Om Hring Dung Durgaye Namah Om. Durga is a Hindu goddess, a symbol of the divine mother. In Sanskrit, Durga means “invincible”, as she also destroys evil and transforms it into harmony and balance in the world. This is a powerful yantra because it can create destruction, but for the sake of universal harmony. You may need to let things go before you can welcome the new. The overlapping triangles also invoke fire energy. Fiery passion is required to destroy and bring forth new beginnings. This Durga yantra mandala is the symbol in the  Holistic Spaces  logo because we seek to establish balance in your spaces.  #mantra   #yantra  #mandala   #healing   #vedic   #holisticspaces

happy #mantraMonday. today DURGA yantra, for rebirth. Mantra: Om Hring Dung Durgaye Namah Om. Durga is a Hindu goddess, a symbol of the divine mother. In Sanskrit, Durga means “invincible”, as she also destroys evil and transforms it into harmony and balance in the world. This is a powerful yantra because it can create destruction, but for the sake of universal harmony. You may need to let things go before you can welcome the new. The overlapping triangles also invoke fire energy. Fiery passion is required to destroy and bring forth new beginnings. This Durga yantra mandala is the symbol in the Holistic Spaces logo because we seek to establish balance in your spaces. #mantra #yantra#mandala #healing #vedic #holisticspaces

dont you just love this kitchen?!?  #beforeafter   gut renovation where we opened up the kitchen to the living room

dont you just love this kitchen?!?#beforeafter gut renovation where we opened up the kitchen to the living room

A cute little model we just did to do paint color studies  #3dmodel   #interiors  #architecture   #rhino

A cute little model we just did to do paint color studies #3dmodel #interiors#architecture #rhino

Connect to Mother Earth with Feng Shui

featured this week on Over the Moon 

image credit: Gromovataya/Shutterstock via  Over the Moon

image credit: Gromovataya/Shutterstock via Over the Moon

In feng shui and other eastern philosophies, the yin side of the earth element is connected to maternal, feminine and receptive energies.

On the feng shui bagua map, the Relationship area is connected to this maternal element which also relates to your primary partnership, the south-west direction, the abdomen, spleen, internal organs and is symbolized by square shapes, the color pink, and soft, loose sand or soil.

To locate this area in your bedroom, stand in the doorway while looking into the room. The relationship/mother area is the furthest corner back on the right side of the room.

Below are some feng shui adjustments to strengthen mother earth energy to support and nourish you. These adjustments can be done in your bedroom for the best results.

Add the element of fire to your space with red accents. Fire produces and creates earth. The flames of a fire create ashes which turn into earth. Just a little bit of red goes a long way!

Rose quartz is a healing and nurturing natural crystal that also supports self-love. This is a wonderful crystal that you can place in the Relationship area of your bedroom to support you.

Heavy objects such as statues also characterize the earth element. If you have a deity statue that you love, or even a heavy stone, this is great in any area of your bedroom to provide stability and contribute to the earth element.

Cultivate more nature in your bedroom or home with indoor plants. Plants relate to the element of wood, which can balance earth. The strong roots of a tree can overcome any stubborn hard earth. Plants also encourage kindness and the color are healing. 

Finally, to strengthen your mother earth energy, be open and receptive to embrace what comes to you through your environment, both positive and negative. Sometimes inaction and observation is the best reaction.

Take some time this month and honor the mother earth in you with some feng shui! 

 by Anjie Cho


2015: The Year of the Wood Sheep (Or Goat, Or Ram)

Holistic Spaces is so happy to welcome Yasha Jampolsky back to provide insight on the Year of the Wood Sheep. This year is also called the Year of the Wood Ram or Wood Goat. Yasha has been kind enough to gift us with astrological advice for the past two lunar new years (Wood Horse and Water Snake), and I'm very excited to see what he has in store for 2015! Be sure to check in Wednesday February 18th (Chinese New Years Eve!) to read individual forecasts for each zodiac animal!

YJ: I hope you are ready for the year of the wood sheep. After the frantic energy of the wood horse year, it is a welcome relief to step in to gentler, calmer energy, more welcoming and a whole lot more heart-centered. This year is about connection with people. It’s also about looking at the bigger story and looking at the problems that we encounter as humans and viewing them as solutions rather than conflicts. 

Last year, we experienced a lot of strife throughout the planet. The good news is that during the year of the sheep, any kind of conflicts that come up, resolution can be reached. One thing we can look forward to the year of the sheep is peaceful resolutions for the planet. 

In the mythology of the Asian Zodiac, there were originally no animals, but rather 12 cycles of change. Through each cycle, we are able to improve ourselves as people. The sheep is the 8th cycle. The issues that come up during this 8th cycle involve looking at ourselves. If we have the qualities that the sheep inspires, we can enjoy the year and those traits that we’ve developed. If we do not have these qualities, this is the time to take a good look and take the opportunity to improve. 

What are these sheep qualities? The sheep is kind, heart-centered, very open-minded and seeks a relaxed life. The sheep is the most humanitarian of the animals of the Asian zodiac. It is interested in doing good in the world. In many ways, the 8th cycle of the sheep is really about opposing forces of the ego. We view ourselves as individuals separate from everyone else, and then there is the group mind, our concern for the greater good. These are the opposing forces that have to learn how to work together. The sheep inspires us to look less selfishly and in a much broader, group-oriented manner. This is a great time for gatherings, to learn how to get along better with our family members, people we work with, people we encounter, and even strangers. 

If you have those sheep qualities and it’s something you’ve been working on, it will feel familiar and comfortable to you. If you have issues with any of these, if these are challenging for you, it’s a great opportunity to lift them out in to the light and do something about it. If you are attempting to change some things within yourself, you’ll be greatly supported during the sheep year.

In Four Pillars astrology, this coming year pillar for the sheep is yin wood with yin earth. In some traditional Asian mythology, wood and earth compete and do not work together but in this particular case, they combine quite well. The yin wood is very flexible and has the ability to enter the rigid and stiff earth to loosen it up. Visualize fingers going into soil, aerating and loosening the earth so becomes more useable. This year offers the stability, comfort and dependability of earth, that is more useable, productive, and yielding. All in all, we can have an amazing year during a yin wood sheep year. 

More qualities of sheep: sheep prefer to move with the herd whether in a work or leisure space. Sheep are happiest and most empowered when the activities revolve around the group. When a group includes family, friends and loved ones, blessings are redoubled. Sheep are warm-hearted and heart centered. They thrive on connection. Connections are easily strengthened or reestablished with all friends and relations. New connections are more easily accomplished during sheep times. 

If it’s romance that you’re seeking, this is a great time to meet your soul mate, a heartfelt relationship -- something that will last as long as you’re genuine within your relationships. It could be very successful. If you are already involved in a romantic relationship, sheep times are an excellent time to renew romance and passion that was once within a relationship that's no longer there. It’s also a great time to make friends and to especially be involved in community activities.

The sheep can be timid and reserved. It prefers to put off enthusiasm until solid footing is achieved. This is a quality of earth. Earth preserves and prefers solidity and sure footed-ness. Last year, things moved at a very gregarious pace. People were running into walls and challenges. This year, the tendency will be to move more slowly and more sure-footedly. The results usually will be superior to what we experienced last year.

The sheep is interested in all manner of creative endeavors. One of the things that sheep times are noted for is intense creativity or a lot of artistic activity. If you have ever had a desire or if you’re involved in activities that are creative, these are highly supported during the sheep year. You are encouraged to pick up that paint brush and start painting again, or that chisel and start sculpting again, or go out and do some amateur theater if that’s your inclination -- because these are wonderful things to be engaged in during the sheep year.

The sheep is also very home-centric. There’s a tendency to nest and to want to be home, to be in warm and very nurturing environment. This is all wonderful, but also we’re expected to pay attention to the broader global issues that is going on. Try to participate in humanitarian activities that you feel inclined towards and attracted to. The sheep is a very committed humanitarian.

Although the sheep may appear gentle and peaceful in nature, it is not afraid of confrontations. Sheep will stand out and go head on where injustice exists, so that change can come about. The sheep is also called a ram, a lamb and a goat. The sheep may appear in any one of these incarnations and when confrontation is needed, we experience the ram. The ram can be quite direct in doing what has to be done. 

Overall, it will be a potpourri of group events, coming together, conflict resolution, facing of social issues in realistic ways where solutions can be found and generally, a big relief from the cycle of the horse. The crazy energy of last year is winding down, and as we get in to the sheep year, we’ll be able to get our footing and think more clearly. We will be able to make decisions that really serve us. But most importantly, have awareness for greater good so that our decisions also will serve others.

Thanks so much to Yasha for giving us another great explanation of what to expect in the coming Chinese New Year. As a note, Chinese astrology always recommends carrying a three-dimensional horse charm during the year of the sheep, no matter what your animal. You can get yours at the Holistic Spaces store as a keychain or bracelet

by Anjie Cho


Yasha Jampolsky is a nationally recognized advisor, author and teacher of the Asian Art of Four Pillars Astrology.  He has appeared on national Radio and Television and has been a contributing writer for local and national publications. His research and innovations have made Four Pillars more accessible to students and clients alike and allowed the possibility to use Four Pillars as a powerful modern healing modality.

For more information, please visit: http://fourpillarshoroscope.com