Feng Shui + Embracing the Year of the Fire Monkey

featured this week on Over the Moon

image credit: Alexannabuts/shutterstock via  Over the Moon

image credit: Alexannabuts/shutterstock via Over the Moon

On the lunar calendar, we welcome the 2016 Fire Monkey year on Monday, February 8th. This is also referred to as Chinese New Year. In feng shui, we celebrate Chinese New Year with much joy, as it represents the shift in energies and marks the start of spring on the lunar calendar.

In 2016, we are leaving the Wood Sheep year, which was more about growth and community, and heading into the Fire Monkey year, which has more of a theme of heart-focused passion and playfulness. As we welcome the new year, there are a few feng shui-specific ways of celebrating and preparing for the year ahead.

Space Clearing with Intention

One of the most important things to do for Chinese New Year is clear the space of your home and fill it with positive intention. In feng shui, one preferred method for space clearing uses the scent of oranges. You can scatter fresh orange peels around your home or use an orange essential oil mist to uplift your space. Oranges represent and create life-affirming, bright, yang energy.

I like to start at the front door and go around the whole home in a clockwise fashion. Visualize sunlight filling every corner of your home and the new intention filling your space and every cell in your body. It’s especially effective to do this on Chinese New Year’s Eve or day.

Declutter Nine Items

Removing nine pieces of clutter on Chinese New Year’s Day or on the eve of Chinese New Year will create movement and activity on a physical and energetic level in your environment. This activity works in two ways. First, you’ll be moving the qi (or life energy) around by moving the objects in your home. Sometimes we get stuck, and we can see that manifesting as clutter around our homes. By moving these nine items around, we’ll be “unsticking” that qi.

On a second level, when we remove those nine items from our homes, we essentially create a vacuum for the universe to fill with something better! A new opportunity, inspiration or insight. When the environment is static, our inner lives also become stagnant, so shake things up in your life by removing nine items!

Carry a Chinese Zodiac Charm

Many people might read this and think it would be beneficial to carry around a monkey charm in the monkey year. But in my feng shui lineage, we have been taught that it’s especially auspicious to carry around the current year animal’s best friend! The idea is that the year god (animal) will see its best friend and be so enamored that it will do you no harm.

In the Chinese zodiac system, the monkey’s best friend is the snake. A snake charm acts as a protective talisman and provides support as well. So find yourself a little snake figurine to carry around with you at all times in this Fire Monkey year. As a note, the snake must be three- dimensional and realistic looking. 

In the Western world, we don’t often celebrate the Chinese New Year as much as the beginning of our own calendar, but in the world of feng shui, the beginning of the lunar year is a very important time for starting anew and taking control of the energy in our lives. Even if you don’t want to celebrate this occasion, clearing and refreshing your space can be a start to making positive and much-needed changes! 

by Anjie Cho

This Week on Instagram

Proud to be featured alongside the inspirational  @mariekondo  in this month's issue of  @drozthegoodlife   #livelighter   #declutter   #fengshui

Proud to be featured alongside the inspirational @mariekondo in this month's issue of @drozthegoodlife #livelighter #declutter #fengshui

Funny monkeys  #yearofthemonkey  inspiration from  #yani  painted with  #sumiink

Funny monkeys #yearofthemonkey inspiration from #yani painted with #sumiink

Chinese Zodiac for 2016: Year of the Fire Monkey

Chinese Zodiac for 2016- Year of the Fire Monkey.jpg

I'm so happy to have my friend Beth, of Beth Grace Design, for this year's Chinese Zodiac readings. As of February 8, we leave the Year of the Wood Sheep and enter the Year of the Fire Monkey. This should be a year of passion and playfulness, and Beth has graciously agreed to share her suggestions for each of the Chinese Zodiac animal signs for the new lunar year with Holistic Spaces readers. The original readings, along with additional information including the overall energy for this year, considerations for the five elements and more, can be found on Beth Grace Design here

No matter what your sign, BTB Feng Shui recommends carrying a three dimensional snake charm at all times during this year. The snake is the best friend of the monkey, so this charm ensures protection and good luck throughout the Year of the Fire Monkey. Head over to Holistic Spaces to get your own snake charm in one of six colors, or grab the 2016 Chinese New Year kit, which includes a snake charm and more. 

*Please note, if your birthday is between January 1 and February 4 your animal sign is the same as the preceding year.  Also, your animal sign is only 1/8 of your birth chart so year animal effects can vary depending on the other animals and elements in your chart.


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

Monkey year people will feel in their element this year and may find that the monkey energy ignites their innate love of travel and adventure. They should be cautious, however, as this year may prove to be too much monkey business for comfort. There are several negative stars affecting the monkey this year, so be prudent with spending as you will be tempted to overspend, and be careful with your health by making time for relaxation and regular exercise. For single monkeys, your romance luck is not strong this year, but there could still be opportunities depending on the other elements in your chart. Overall, clever monkeys should keep a positive mindset and a sense of humor; both will serve them well through the ups and downs of this year.


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

Rooster year people, and even people with rooster elsewhere in their charts, have likely found the goat year to be a challenge, but your luck is about to change for the better. Like the monkey, the rooster is a metal element animal and, as such, will be in sync with the energy of the year, which will present opportunities for career advancement and the development of your skills and talents. You will also have the presence of helpful people to assist you this year, but be sure that you pay it forward by offering your assistance as a mentor and support to others as well. There is also the possibility for a steamy short term romance, which is great for singles, but if you are coupled, make sure these opportunities don’t interfere with your relationship. Instead channel this lusty energy into reviving the spark with your loved one.


1922, 1934, 1946, 1958, 1970, 1982, 1994, 2006

Those born in the year of the dog will need to cultivate patience and fortitude this year, as there will be challenges for you particularly with regard to your wealth and your health. These challenges may cause stress and anxiety, so be sure to make time for relaxation and self-care; a regular exercise regimen will be of greatest benefit. On a positive note, your career outlook is good if you continue to stay focused, work hard, and stay out of office politics.


1923, 1935, 1947, 1959, 1971, 1983, 1995, 2007

Whatever plans you have made for this year, you will have the assistance of helpful people to see them through.  If those plans relate to earning money, so much the better, as you also have wealth stars present to support you this year; just be careful when making investments. However, the best investment you can make this year will be your health and emotional balance, as your health luck is not as strong. The greatest difficulties for you this year will be emotional in nature, as you are likely to feel lonely and may have difficulties in your interactions with others, so guard your tongue, but don’t stay home sulking, as your chance for romance is excellent his year!


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

The rat is part of a harmony trio with the monkey, and this year will be quite favorable for you. You could see recognition for your work as well as promotions and new responsibilities. Your rising status at work is also likely to enhance your earnings this year, as you also have lucky wealth stars supporting you. Your increased visibility at work could garner some negative attention and jealousy, but if you rely on the trusted noblemen available to you, you will be able to overcome these nuisances and shine. Romance is also strong for rat people this year; those who are single have a great opportunity to make a lasting match if you put yourself out there, and for those in relationships, it is a great year to get married.


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

Those born in the ox year AND those with ox elsewhere in their charts will be glad to see the goat year and its clash to them come to an end. A welcome change from last year, this year will be ripe with opportunities and happy events for you. Ox will have many helpful people available as well as opportunities to make new contacts and forge new relationships. Not all the people surrounding you will have your best interests at heart, and you could encounter petty disputes, so keep your true friends close and your enemies closer. Overall, there will be support for wealth creation this year as well and even a job-related change of residence. Single oxen could find true love this year, and married ox may conceive!


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

The monkey is the animal that clashes with the tiger, which normally makes for a difficult time. As the year pillar represents one’s wider social network or work environment, the clash will likely affect this area of tiger year people’s lives. Those with tiger in other pillars could be negatively affected in other ways. Tiger folks should take heart though, as there are many positive stars to support you, especially the Sky Relief star which dissolves problems, so all in all this could turn out to be a pretty good year despite the clash. Tigers should, however, take extra care of their health this year and guard against injury; this is not a year to take up a dangerous new hobby like sky diving. Like monkeys, tigers are one of the travel star animals, and this could be a year where travel brings new opportunities for work and profits; just don’t spend too much time away from your family. While the year will have some challenges, the good news is that there will be plenty of helpful people available to you to get you through whatever comes your way.


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

The rabbit is a wood element animal, and those with wood in their chart will see many opportunities, as you have what people want and need, and your actions will convince others that you are the right person for the job! The rabbit also has an abundance of lucky stars this year, most notably the Emperor Star, which will bring with it status and power and the ability to say what you want and get it! With this upgrade in status also comes extra luck for wealth, so this is a year where your hard work will bear fruit! While luck and fortune will be on your side, you should should be careful to avoid accidents and be aware that unforeseen setbacks and delays could pop up this year, but you will have plenty of supportive people to turn to when you are in need. Since you are feeling particularly lucky this year, you may want to consider making some investments, as you could see good returns.


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

Dragons are also part of the harmony trio with the monkey and should expect a good year overall. The monkey year will be a year of creativity, imagination and productivity with great potential to manifest success. Dragons will have extra luck for academic achievement, so for those not already in school, this is a great year to learn a new skill or undertake additional training, which will open up greater opportunities for you. You should take extra precaution to guard against physical injury and make your health a priority. Love is certainly in the air for dragons, those already in relationships will have a harmonious year, and those who are single could meet someone very special!


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

The snake and the monkey are a heavenly combination, like peanut butter and chocolate or peanut butter and jelly, depending on your tastes. Not only does the monkey support you snakes, but lucky stars do as well; in fact the snake may be the luckiest of all the zodiac animals this year! Snakes will see prosperity and get a taste of the “good life” this year, and should any obstacles arise, the Fortune Virtue Star will be like the Hindu God Ganesha removing your obstacles and smoothing your path. While you may encounter some meddlesome people along the way, your interpersonal relationships will largely be full of supportive people and lucky in love.


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

Horses, like the monkey are animals of travel who may find their wanderlust spurred on this year! Traveling could bring terrific opportunities for you, but be cautious while on the road, as you are more prone to accidents and injury this year. Once you are on your way, you will find that this year brings favorable outcomes for both academic and career success. Whether you wander or stay closer to home, you will find many helpful people there to support you on your path. Romance luck for single horses is not stellar, however, so this is a good year to work hard and focus on your personal goals. With all of your positive momentum, you may be inclined to work too hard, but this could have a negative effect on your less than favorable health luck this year, so stay on top of your health and make time for rest and relaxation.


1919, 1931, 1943, 1955, 1967, 1991, 2003

Goat people should repeat the mantra, “don’t worry, be happy” this year. While the goat may be prone to worry this year, it is important to focus on and be grateful for the people in your life. You may encounter obstacles with your career that make you feel you need to work much harder, but you will have a supportive network of allies and mentors there to help you. The Red Matchmaker Star will ensure extra good fortune in your romantic pursuits; marriage could bless committed couples and single goats could find loving relationships this year. Your loved ones are your lucky charm this year, so be sure to tell them how much they mean to you.

Remember, whatever your Chinese Zodiac sign, BTB Feng Shui recommends carrying a three dimensional snake charm at all times during the Year of the Monkey for protection and support. You can find one in the Holistic Spaces store! 

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!