How To Give Your Home An Energetic Makeover This Fall, According To Feng Shui

featured on MindBodyGreen

In feng shui philosophy, the season of autumn is related to the metal element. Metal, water, wood, fire, and earth make up the five "phases," or elements, that Taoists and Buddhists observe to relate the cycles of nature with the patterns in our homes, bodies, and lives. Many different ancient cultures have their own five-element system, such as the Native Americans, Tibetans, and Hindus. 

So what's "metal" about autumn? It's the feeling of the cool, crisp air on your skin, the poignant sadness that summer is ending, the leaves on the trees begin to die and fall away, and the sense of contraction—a hibernation of sorts.

Conceptually, metal is about precision, beauty, and completion. Metal can be wielded into a mighty sword or exquisite shiny jewelry. As a sword, it can swiftly cut through confusion and chaos with intelligence and compassion. A beautiful gold necklace can magnify the radiance embodied by the wearer. Metal and autumn is connected to the time when we work hard to harvest the fruits of our labor as well as celebrate our successes. The mouth and right speech are also connected to the element of metal.

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by Anjie Cho


If you’d like to learn more about feng shui check out the Mindful Design Feng Shui certification program. Laura Morris and I launched our program in September 2018. To get on the list about it, sign up at: www.mindfuldesignschool.com.

Mindful Design is a new way to learn feng shui. Our 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.


Make Room for Metal and Clarity with the Autumnal Equinox

Make Room for Metal and Clarity with the Autumnal Equinox.jpg

I can't believe it's already time to say goodbye to summer! In two days, we will experience this year's Autumnal Equinox and feel the shift from long, warm summer days to shorter, crisper fall days before we head into winter. Many of our friends have shared incredible ways to adjust to the new season and welcome the equinox. Be sure to check those posts out! We've also pulled together a few tips for this year to make autumn your best season yet!

What is the Autumnal Equinox?

Let's cover the important bases, first. Just what is the equinox, and why is it so important? The September equinox, also referred to as the Autumnal Equinox, marks the point in the year when the sun crosses the celestial equator, a sort of extension of the earth's equator that "sits" above the planet, from north to south. So essentially, the sun is crossing the earth's equator.

The term "equinox" comes from Latin roots "aequus" and "nox", meaning "equal night," which corresponds to the belief that, on an equinox, night and day are equal length. As it turns out, daylight still typically lasts longer than night. The center of the sun sets 12 hours after rising on this day, but each half of the sun still has to travel through the sky, so day and night times will vary. In fact, the equinox is not an all-day event, but the specific moment when the center of the sun reaches this point. This year, in Eastern time, that will happen at 4:02 pm on September 22. 

For everyday purposes, the equinox most notably represents the change from summer to autumn. As some of our holistic experts have noted, this is the time to move from yang energy, high activity and cool foods to more inward, yin energy, self-care and a warming, nourishing diet. And, based on the feng shui bagua map and five elements, autumn is a season of Metal.

Autumn and the Metal Element

In feng shui and the five elements theory, the autumn season corresponds to the Metal element and the Completion area of the bagua, which relates to the color white, the number seven and the element of joy. Metal is also associated with clarity, which is one of my focus words for this year!

If you're looking to update your space for the new season, you might think you should add more Metal. But in fact, for the most part, because this season carries more of this element, there can be an overabundance of Metal. Metal relates to metallic colors (think gold, silver) and the colors white and grey, as well as to joy and the mouth, and governs order and beauty. It's associated with efficiency and organization, circular shapes and a general turning inward. So what does an overabundance of Metal mean? Metal out of balance can be rigid and inflexible, stuck on having everything perfect. Since Metal is related to the mouth and speech, individuals with an excess of this element often speak without precision and boundaries. If this describes you in fall, you may have too much Metal!

Some ways to adjust a Metal imbalance: add Water, which drains Metal, or Wood, which dulls and softens the Metal element. For more Water, try enjoying walks along the water, bringing wavy patterns into your space or incorporating the sound of water into your home, like with music or a fountain. If you'd rather add Wood, add blue and green tones or plants to your space! Check out our My Favorite Things series for more insight on adding Water and Wood

Get Clarity with Metal 

Autumn is also the time for harvest, both in agriculture and metaphorically in life. The planting season is ending, so maybe it's good to look at this in terms of your life and space. What no longer serves you in your home? It could be as literal as summer clothes you haven't worn in three years or letting go of old food in the fridge and composting it. Think about things or people in your life that are no longer serving you, as well. Metal element can also be like a sharp sword, cutting through what's unnecessary. It's time to harvest what's come to fruition, look at why some things didn't grow and think about planning for the next year. 

Take some time as we transition to fall and consider how your "harvest" has turned out. And what do kind of energies do we want invite the next time around?

by Anjie Cho


Here's What To Put On Your Walls To Be In A Good Mood Every Damn Day

featured this week on MindBodyGreen by Emma Loewe

image credit: Stocksy via  MindBodyGreen

image credit: Stocksy via MindBodyGreen

While a minimalist mentality will probably never go out of style, we're noticing a new trend in home design: one that's less stark and more showy, less uniform and more flexible. Color has found its way into the muted, hushed feeds of popular design blogs, and the homes we visit for dinner parties are starting to look like people actually live in them.

Instead of keeping the house incredibly tidy and organized, we're starting to encourage a little mess—granted, thoughtful mess. Spaces that are curated with items of personal significance are becoming the norm, and possibilities for creativity abound.

4. Add an element of sound.

In feng shui, metal represents clarity and freshness. Architect and feng shui expert Anjie Cho recommends working metal accessories like bells or wind chimes into your design to pull in some of this joyful energy. "Be sure to select metal accessories that make sounds that are pleasing to you and hang them slightly off the wall so they can actually make some noise when a breeze comes by," she adds. "You can also sing along to some uplifting music while you decorate to really imprint your intention into this new accent wall."

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The Feng Shui Home Cleanse That Will Bring Your Intentions To Life

featured this week on MindBodyGreen

image credit: Stocksy via  MindBodyGreen

image credit: Stocksy via MindBodyGreen

Whether you're an entrepreneur or work for a company, most of us have offices in our homes. Home offices can be a whole room, a desk at the end of the hall, or even sometimes the dining room table. In many cases, I've found that a home office comes with all sorts of challenges. The predicament that I hear most often as an interior architect and feng shui expert is "I can't get anything done! I get too distracted."

Well, there are things we can do to help with that. In feng shui, your home office is an important space, as it is a symbol of your career and affects how you succeed in the world. I'm so happy to share a few simple feng shui tips to create the perfect home office and transform how effective you are!

Location, location, location!

It's really quite important to have a spot for your home office away from the bedroom(s) and toward the front of the home. The bedroom area is about rest and relaxation. If you have trouble with focus in your home office, it's best to move the office out of the bedroom and closer to the front door. The rear of the home is more insular and more "yin," quiet and inward, whereas the front of the home is closer to the world and more "yang," outward and active. It's better to be alert and awake when you're working, especially when you have deadlines or need some motivation.

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by Anjie Cho


Q&A Sunday: Bells, Chimes and Abundance

Hi Anjie! I love your five elements series. In the post My Favorite Things: 5 Ways to Bring Metal into Your Home, you mention that you have a bell on your desk to promote abundance. Is this always the case with bells and chimes? If I'm looking to promote prosperity and wealth, is adding a bell to my abundance area a good adjustment?

Cole P., Akron, OH

Hi Cole!

I'm happy to hear that you're enjoying the podcasts and blog posts! I'd be happy to elaborate on using bells as feng shui adjustments. 

Bells and chimes are not necessarily related to abundance. Bells and chimes are metal element, but there is not a direct connection to abundance. I suggested bells and chimes for adding metal element, because they are that...the metal element!

However, the sound that bells and chimes make create vibrations that move out into the universe. Just like the butterfly theory. The butterfly effect reasons that small changes can result in big differences. In the same way, when you ring a bell or chime, it creates a sound and vibration to extend out into the world and let the universe know that you may want to attract more clients or wealth into your life. You can doubly reinforce that by doing this in the abundance area of the bagua map.

But you could also do this in, for instance, the benefactors area to attract more helpful people into your life and home. which actually in turn creates more abundance, though not necessarily monetary. :)  Or you could ring a bell or chime in the relationship area to attract a partner.

Overall, ringing a bell or chime does send out a message to the universe that you are opening your space to something new, but just adding these to your space, and not ringing them with intention, is not enough to attract prosperity and abundance. 

If you're looking to increase your wealth, prosperity and abundance, take a look at some of the other posts on the blog for suggestions like adding citrine, activating the self-knowledge area of your space, adding plants and more. There are many ways to welcome abundance through feng shui!

by Anjie Cho


Thanks for reading our "Q&A Sunday" (formerly “Question of the Month”).  We will be answering questions submitted by our readers.  Click here to submit any Feng Shui or Green Design questions!