5 Ways to Celebrate Chinese New Year with Feng Shui

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This year, Chinese New Year falls on Thursday, February 18th in 2015. We say goodbye to the snake and welcome the year of the horse. There are magnificent parades, dancing in the streets, dragon costumes all around, and the entire continent of Asia is in celebration. But what is Chinese New Year all about?  This momentous occasion marks the beginning of spring in the Lunar calendar, a time for new beginnings and renewal. To ring in this new year, why not make some feng shui adjustments to bring some balance to your home? Feng shui is an Asian art of placement — or as I like to say, the original “green design”. Through observing and shifting the built environment, feng shui teaches us how to live in harmony with nature. Keep reading to learn more.

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by Anjie Cho


Question of the Month: Understanding Yearly Astrological Horoscopes

How is it that horoscopes for Dragon & Monkey are the opposite of what my partner and I are going through? I know they are general horoscopes, but it is so different from our reality this year. I just don’t understand.

Nancy J.

Hi Nancy, this is a common question. While I was on the interviewing Yasha Jampolsky a few days ago for our 2015 forecast for the upcoming year of the Wood Sheep (watch for it next Wednesday!), I asked him to chime in on this response.

First, from my perspective, these horoscopes are like a weather forecast, like with Juno this week. We thought in NYC we might get 36” of snow, but in reality we received around 9". In Four Pillars astrology there is an animal that is related to your year, month, day and time of birth. The year animal is the most general, and the prediction may forecast rain so you know to bring an umbrella in case it does. 

Did you know the word “disaster” means “without the stars?" I believe there is something to be gained from looking at the patterns in the natural world around us. Horoscopes of any type may give you an objective perspective on what is happening in your life. Hopefully you can benefit from that! 

Yasha adds:

“This is a very basic and simple analysis based on all the single animals (your year pillar) whereas the Four Pillars Astrology charts are made up of 4 different animals and a whole lot of elements. If you know what your 4 animals are, you can get a more accurate analysis by reading the auspices for all 4 animals. The most precise reading requires an in depth Four Pillar analysis. 

First, there are 5 elements, and a yin and yang version of each – so, really 10 elements. Then we have 12 animals, which gives us 60 possible combinations. Of those 60 combinations, we can get a certain amount of information. But when you start to combine it and multiply that by 4 pillars, it gives us a possibility of over a half a million different astrology charts. Just looking at the year pillar is not the entire story.

What I have learned from doing astrology for many, many years, is that nothing we encounter is ever meant to punish us. When things challenge us, it’s always to our benefit because with every challenge is a possibility to improve ourselves. How we respond to the challenge is what determines the outcome. If you respond in a way that takes your power away, that’s really what you end up with, disempowered life. But if you respond in a way that pushes you to be the best version of who you are, then life is improved. 

Astrology is a door that you can open and walk through, but there is so much more to how our lives unfold. My approach to astrology is always as if it’s research; I never assume anything. When you look at the auspices, it may not be a perfect fit, but take from it what you can and what does seem to fit within your life. It’s always difficult to predict the exact nature of what’s coming down the road because there’s always free will involved in the choices that we make. Astrology helps clarify our choices and can identify general trends that might be helpful.

Don't forget to purchase a 2015 Chinese New Year Charm (keychain or bracelet) to protect you during the new year! Now available at the new Holistic Spaces online store!

 


Thanks for reading our “Question of the Month."  We will be answering questions submitted by our readers.  Click here to submit any Feng Shui or Green Design questions!

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


2014 the Year of the Wood Horse

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Yasha Jampolsky was kind enough to speak to me about what we have in store for us in the year of the Wood Horse in 2014.  This is looking specifically at how the energy of the Horse year affects us all.  Last week I also posted about the influence of the Horse year on each animal. Read about your individual Chinese zodiac animal and the relationship with the year of the Wood Horse here!

AC:  Please tell us about what we have in store for us in this new Wood Horse year and how it compares to the previous Snake year.

YJ:  To begin, I’d like to explain the difference between the Lunar New Year and the Solar New Year and how they are used for two different purposes. The Lunar New Year is generally celebrated by most Asian communities. It's usually the first New Moon of the year and the date can vary as much as 3 or 4 weeks from year to year, as early as mid-January or as late as mid-February. This is the official New Year celebration that most people are familiar with. The Solar New Year is the midpoint between the winter solstice and the spring equinox. It’s based on the agricultural or farmer’s almanac. In ancient agrarian times activities were entwined with movements of the sun. They became very good at observing the sun and created an almanac calendar for when to plant and all the various tasks that had to do with growing food. Similarly, it is believed that all the chi on the planet comes from the sun initially. For these reasons, the solar calendar is very important and often used for all types of astrology and calculations that have to do with the natural world. In 2014, the lunar new year was January 31st and the solar calendar began on February 4th at 6:21 AM.

And so...we came charging in to the year of the Horse! Almost everyone I know could feel the impact of the Horse as soon as it galloped in. There's such a contrast between the energy of the Horse and the Snake. The Snake is much slower moving and is related with submerged energies, what goes on beneath the surface and introspection. The Snake is a sign of wisdom, whereas the Horse is a sign of action. The Horse is about forward movement, so whatever we learned from the year of the Snake, can now be put in to effect. Go full throttle and head on with everything that was learned. As long as we come from a place of integrity, we should do really well. 

So what about the qualities of the Horse year?

Amongst the qualities of the Horse is optimism, so this will be a year of optimism. Of course optimism affect everything. It affects the economy, our personal choices, and our daily lives. When we have an optimistic approach, things turn out better. So, we have the optimistic nature of the Horse helping us this year. The Horse is not subtle, so things become very obvious. Pretty much, what you see is what you get and not very much is hidden.

The Horse is also powerfully charismatic, so charisma and attraction are powerful forces this year. We will feel drawn to certain things, almost irresistibly and often find ourselves doing things that we normally would not be doing this Horse year. For example, associating with people from the past that we haven’t talked to in a long time. Perhaps they are rambunctious and not the everyday friend type. We might attend many celebrations and joyful events because the Horse is the "party animal" of the zodiac. We can expect to have a lot of partying going on, so choose wisely, so as not to burn ourselves out.

The Horse is interested in academics and the pursuit of knowledge. Horse people tend to always be studying something, so this is also an excellent year to catch up on some of the courses that you’ve been thinking of taking to expand your career or simply your own personal curiosity. Even if you’re not studious nor enjoy attending classes, this year you may feel very energized by the pursuit of knowledge.

The Horse is also relentless as far as goals are concerned. All the goals, dreams, the things that you’ve been doing and planning, this year you have a green light to go ahead and go forth. It is very likely that if you persist, you’ll succeed in almost anything you undertake. Watch out to not speed through, because the faster you travel, the more likely you will run into obstacles. Even though you have the green light this Horse year, you also have to learn how to navigate through any of the challenges that may come up. Anything in your path is a lesson to be learned. It’s worth taking the time to stop for the moment, learn the lesson and then proceed. This will guarantee a greater amount of success.

Another thing that the Horse is known for its impulsive nature. Part of that impulsive nature may have to do with spending. Therefore, it is a good idea to set up a budget and look at what is your earning potential as it is now, not as will be. It may increase this year, but don't plan that way. There will be many baubles and interesting things that you want to buy but have some restraint. If you end up with some extra money at the end of the year, celebrate and buy yourself something special.

The Horse is obvious, loud at times and makes no bones about announcing intentions. Again, this is an aspect of the Horse where what you see is what you get. The Horse will let you know exactly what is happening and that's the nature of what life will be like this year. You won't have to figure things out as much because they'll be coming right at you. They'll be on the media, in things that you read. Your friends will come and deliver the same message. In this way, we have a lot of clarity as to how proceed. Things become obvious and very apparent and it’s one of the reasons that people really enjoy the Horse year. There’s no mystery. Should I do this? Should I do that? You'll receive strong messages all around. And if you’re paying attention, rather than having to choose, you may have the opportunity to be able to do both.

I like the sound of that! 2014 is the year of the Wood Horse.  What does this mean?

One of the specific qualities of the Wood Horse is rigidity which is related to the element of wood. When you encounter challenges, don’t expect the world to bend to get out of your way. It's up to you to negotiate around things because the energy of the Horse is not negotiable. The energy is fairly rigid and set in the direction that it chooses to go. So again, this requires attention and mindfulness so you’re acting according to your own principles. Things will be moving so quickly, you may find yourself in an unplanned situation. This may be a pleasant surprise and more fun than you ever anticipated. But in other cases, you may find yourself in hot water or a situation that’s not too easy to back away from. Mindfulness and attention is very, very important this year. But whatever you do, enjoy yourself! This is the year of encouragement, celebration, enjoyment and fun. The more fun the attitude, the easier it is to deal with almost anything that may be come up.

Although it's the Wood Horse year, the Horse is related to the fixed element of fire.  How does this affect us this year?

The Horse is related to the fixed element of fire, so it has an easily inflamed nature. It doesn’t take very much to upset the Horse, even though it is generally a happy creature. When contradicted, its fiery temper can flare up. It’s always good to read the ambient energy in an inflammatory situation and not contribute to the inflammation but rather assist in the cooling off process. Because of the intensity of Horse energy, we need to pay attention in situations that are easily inflamed and not encourage conflict, but rather try to be a peacemaker and cool things down. 

This is also true in our own physical bodies in terms of health. During Horse years, inflammation seems to be rampant and happens a lot more easily so we should take much better care of ourselves such as the kind and quality of the food that we eat. Eat plenty of anti-inflammatory foods with turmeric and cumin, as well as a lot of fresh organic vegetables which aid with inflammation especially cruciferous vegetables like broccoli and brussels sprouts. Asparagus is an especially wonderful anti-inflammatory vegetable. We want to guard our bodies against inflammation. Of course a good amount of exercise, especially outdoors, is recommended as well as centering activities like meditation and yoga. If you have regular meditation, spiritual or yoga practice, this is a really good year to step it up because we will be out there so busy and active. There will be a much a greater need to come back and do some kind of restorative relaxing work to bring us back to center. It's highly recommended that if you have a practice to step it up a little bit and if you do not, take something up to help you to balance the year.

Finally, what is something we should remember for this Horse year?

The one caution during Horse times we’ll find ourselves going from one project, to the next to the next...whether it’s professional or personal. This year time will seem to fly by and we may to feel like nothing has been accomplished. So, it’s really important that every time we come to the end of the particular project or activity, we take a moment to pause and connect with what we’ve actually accomplished. Give ourselves some time to appreciate and pat ourselves on the back for the good work that we’ve done so that we don’t end up doing a lot of things and then end up feeling as if we haven’t accomplished anything. 

Thank you so much Yasha!  I'm excited to see what this Horse year has in store for all of us!

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


Chinese Zodiac for 2014: Year of the Wood Horse

What's in store for your Chinese Zodiac animal this year?? 

Yasha Jampolsky is a talented Four Pillars Astrologer that I'm fortunate to know.  He generously offers the Holistic Spaces readers suggestions for each Chinese Zodiac animal in the 2014 Year of the Wood Horse.  You should definitely contact him if you'd like an in-depth Four Pillars Astrology and Chinese Zodiac analysis. 

And no matter what animal you are, In BTB Feng Shui, we also recommend you carry with you a three dimensional RAM charm on your body at all times for protection.  Ram is also known as Sheep or Goat.

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RAT

The Rat is a very clever and charming archetype.  In Chinese culture, Rats are incredibly smart and crafty.  They are experts at adaption and innovation.  At the same time, Rats can be manipulative and self-serving. Rats are in harmony with Dragons and Monkeys.  The Ox is their best friend.

For 2014 Yasha shares:  The Rat is at a 180 degree polar opposite to the Horse and many believe that during Horse times, Rats are in for difficulties. I’ve really never seen that to be 100% true. The Rat is strategic and likes to plan, whereas the Horse is very impulsive and just takes off, and is pure energy. This can make the Rat a little bit uncomfortable. My advice to people who were born in the Rat year is learn how to flow with this Horse energy. The way that the Rat does best during a Horse year is by learning how to become more Horse-like and that means a little more impulsive, a little less attached to controlling things and little more able to flow, go with the flow and enjoy the energy that’s around. In this process of letting go, the Rat may be surprised about a lot of wonderful things that will happen.

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OX

The Ox is dependable, patient and steadfast.  When there's an Ox around, you don't need to worry. They will take care of things, and truly seek to support those around them.  Oxen are hard workers, sometimes to a fault. Take care to not let others take advantage of you. Oxen are in harmony with Roosters and Snakes.  The Rat is their best friend.

For 2014 Yasha shares:  The Ox is known for their capacity to work. When I speak with Oxen, it seems that their life is about their work. The Ox is very steadfast, is slow moving and this is not exactly the energy of the Horse so many Ox people may feel little uncomfortable with the speed and the intensity of the year. The best advice for an Ox during a Horse year is to learn how to flow with that energy. Know that you are safe even though you may feel not as sure-footed or as comfortable. But the real benefit is that you will be amazed about how much more you can accomplish. For the Ox, that really means a lot to be able to get a lot more work done, and you WILL be able to get a lot more work done during the Horse year.

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TIGER

Tigers are a passionate archetype in the Chinese zodiac.  They are aggressive and strong, not afraid to fight.  The Tiger is a powerful and focused animal, but do tend to make rash decisions. Tigers are in harmony with Horses and Dogs.  The Pig is their best friend.

For 2014 Yasha shares:  The Tiger, Horse and Dog are part of the same trinity and the Tiger is a highly energized creature to begin with. Therefore during a Horse year, the energy of that Tiger really takes off. The things that Tigers have not been able to accomplish during other years, will be able to be accomplished now. Much of the resistance that Tigers encountered during the Snake year that just ended is now no longer there. Tigers now have a green light to truly live the classic horse life, full speed ahead. The Tiger can do this by enjoying everything along the way, tackling a lot of projects with success, and taking on a bit more responsibility beyond what you normally could handle.

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RABBIT

Rabbits are very sensitive and sincere animals. They are thoughtful and kind to their friends.  In turn, their friends provide much security for them. Rabbits are in harmony with Rams and Pigs.  The Dog is their best friend.

For 2014 Yasha shares:  The Rabbit is a peaceful, quiet sign and may find the energy of the Horse a little disconcerting. Rabbits may feel almost a little bullied by the energy of the Horse year, but this does not mean that this will be a difficult year. It actually means the Rabbit should learn from and embrace a bit more to that high pace and high energy lifestyle of the year. A benefit for the Rabbit is that the Horse years are very sociable years. The Rabbit absolutely adores social events and being around being around other people and any kind of socializing. So the Rabbit will be able to enjoy a lot more of that.

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DRAGON

Dragons are rather energetic and egocentric animals.  They represent an aggressive energy.  But they also represent luck and auspiciousness in Chinese philosophy.  Dragons will always help those in need. Dragons are in harmony with Rats and Monkeys.  The Rooster is their best friend.

For 2014 Yasha shares:  The Dragon is completely at home with the Horse because they both love high energy and are undaunted by this intensity. Dragons can really flow with the Horse because the Dragon can actually be a lot more Dragon-like during the Horse year. One of the things that the Dragon enjoys more than anything is to feel the bigness and fullness of life. During the Horse year, there are so many opportunities to do that. The Dragon also likes to do things in accordance with their own desires and usually high energy activities. There’s a lot of support for that this year. My advice to the Dragon is to go for it, whatever you would like to do, go ahead and do it, including things you haven’t yet had the opportunity to pursue. Dragons will try anything at almost any time, because they’re really guided by their inner realm. This is the year where you can really just go for it, anything that comes up you will probably succeed at. I would advise the Dragon to take some time after the completion of every project to make sure there’s some self-appreciation. Take enough time for re-centering and unwinding from the high energy activities so that you don’t experience any kind of burnout. The earth energy of the Dragon is very much fueled by the fire energy of the Horse.

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SNAKE

Snakes are the companion to Dragons, often called the "little dragon".  But Snakes are more subtle and contemplative than the aggressive Dragon.  They are smart and sometimes can be scandalous. Snakes are in harmony with Oxen and Roosters.  The Monkey is their best friend.

For 2014 Yasha shares:  The Snake and the Horse are geographic friends and are both fixed fire signs, so there’s a certain amount of comfort between the two even though they’re vastly different. In spite of the fact that the way of the Snake is not the way of the Horse, the Snake feels perfectly comfortable during the Horse year. This may be a year where Snake people come out and show themselves a little more strongly. They may behave a little more Horse-like, which is more impulsive and energetic. It may be difficult to distinguish Snakes because they may reveal a lot more about themselves this year. It’s actually quite safe to do that because during a Horse year, they have the protection of the Horse.

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HORSE

Horses are friendly animals, they love to talk and socialize with their associates.  They have a cheerful outlook and are often sporty. Horses are in harmony with Tigers and Dogs.  The Ram is their best friend.

For 2014 Yasha shares:  So we have a Horse in a Horse year. Traditionally in Chinese astrology, the Horse is not considered to be one of the archetypes that gets along well with itself therefore there would be a lot of obstacles that would be set in motion for a Horse in a Horse year. But what I've seen with my clients is that actually the Horse year for Horse can be quite wonderful and beneficial. Really the key is to understand that for the Horse in a Horse year, it’s a kind of a "face yourself year." If you’re honest with yourself and able to face your qualities and everything that goes on, then you will have a very successful year. If you blunder blindly forward without thought and without really thinking about consequence, you may encounter some serious challenges that may knock you off your track for a while. Although the Horse is unstoppable, this year may knock you off for a while. This is the time to think about facing yourself and about things within yourself you’d like to change and improve. If you’re able to do that, you should have a wonderful year because the nature of the year is so familiar. It’s such a powerful and celebratory year for the Horse.

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RAM

Rams are known for their selflessness and affection.  They trust and prefer to follow than lead.  Therefore, Rams are best when in the company of friends. Rams are in harmony with Rabbits and Pigs.  The Horse is their best friend.

For 2014 Yasha shares:  For the Ram, the energy of the Horse can be a kind of a mixed blessing. On one hand, the Ram really enjoys social gatherings and all that goes on. But on the other hand, the Ram really prefers to remain within safe and comfortable territory.  The Ram would rather stay within the box of what safety that it has created for itself.  Safety within family, within groups of friends, etc. During the Horse year, the Ram maybe required to stretch a bit more.  The Ram may be challenged to step out and experience a little more than normal. If you are able to do that, there’s a potential for tremendous amount of growth and lots of rewards at the end.

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MONKEY

Monkeys are playful and clever animals.  They can maneuver their way through most situations.  Monkeys often get frustrated when they are not taken seriously. Monkeys are in harmony with Rats and Dragons.  The Snake is their best friend.

For 2014 Yasha shares:  Monkeys are especially suited to Horse years because they love constantly changing scenery and are interested in everything. During this time Monkeys may experience much improvement in money and romance because so many more opportunities will be available. The Monkey is very, very capable of taking advantage of many opportunities. The only caution for the Monkey is that there’s so much going on, it would be very easy to get distracted and develop kind of an ADHD kind of a thing. Therefore it’s very important that the Monkey to be thoughtful and focused. Monkeys who are willing to take some time to set their goals and to be more focused in how to go about doing things should have a tremendous and wonderful year.

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ROOSTER

Roosters are showy and flamboyant.  They love to show off their feathers and strut their stuff!  Sometimes they can border on abrasiveness, because of their egos. Roosters are in harmony with Oxen and Snakes.  The Dragon is their best friend.

For 2014 Yasha shares:  For the Rooster, the Horse year will probably be one of ups and downs, so make the most of the year by choosing your actions carefully. The Rooster does not like to have its feathers ruffled and that can happen very easily during a Horse year. So, if you can get used to the idea that every once in a while, things will get a little upside down and a little topsy turvy, a little more energetic than you like, you can benefit tremendously from this year. The most important part is to plan within yourself, look inward and determine what you would like to accomplish during this time. If you’re very clear in your goals and focused in way you would like to be going, there’s lots of energy that help you get there. If you encounter any kind of challenges or speed bumps along the way, it’s simply a matter of not dwelling on it so much. Find a way around any challenge that may present itself  and if you can do that, you should have a wonderful, very productive year.

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DOG

Dogs are the most loyal and honest of the animals.  They are humorous and straightforward.  They are likeable and often hard workers. Dogs are in harmony with Tigers and Horses.  The Rabbit is their best friend.

For 2014 Yasha shares:  The Dog is part of the Horse trinity so all of the Dog’s wonderful qualities are enhanced during this year. The sense of justice, loyalty and devotion to the work that you’re doing in life is all enhanced and supported by the energy of the Horse. Not only will you be able to do the things that you want, there’ll be plenty of energy that’s almost like a big puff of wind in your sail to move you forward. Therefore, do plan on expanding your projects, doing things that you had been thinking about doing for a while, coming up with new ideas or things to do in your chosen field, your chosen area of expertise or even within your family and social networks because you will have a great deal of success. What’s really important this year is being able to stop periodically and appreciate what has been accomplished so that the whole year doesn’t go by. You don't want to look back and say "Gee, went by so fast, I don’t even know if I accomplished anything." So the constant pause to remember self-appreciation is a good process for everyone but especially for the Dog.

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PIG

Pigs represent comfort and sometimes overindulgence in the Chinese zodiac.  They are often diplomatic and easy going.  Pigs are generous and trusting.  They are especially fond of pleasure. Pigs are in harmony with Rabbits and Rams.  The Tiger is their best friend.

For 2014 Yasha shares:  For the Pig, it should be a year of improvements. Whatever past losses you may have encountered, for example, during the previous Snake year where you may have had some extra challenges, can be recouped. Forward progress will not only be restored but you will even get ahead of where you’re planning on being. So this is a really great time to put into effect all of those projects that were frustrating you in the past and didn’t seem to be moving. You’ll have the opportunity to pick up from where you left off and see progress that may exceed your expectations. By nature, the Pig is very optimistic and maybe after the Snake year has learned how to curb their enthusiasm. This is the time when Pig people can return to being enthusiastic and excited the way that they generally are. The best part of it is that the Pig loves a good party, loves a good social event, and loves to be around people. There will be lots of opportunities for that this year. The Pig can move freely forward with confidence to accomplish and see the results that you desire. 

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


Listen: Feng Shui for the Lunar New Year

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HAPPY LUNAR NEW YEAR to my readers!

Listen to me discuss with Ian Power of Vancouver’s CKNW Home Discovery Show, Feng Shui considerations for the Lunar New Year.

What is Feng Shui?  What are considerations for the year of the Horse?

Interview Transcript:

IP: Anjie Cho is a Feng Shui interior architect based in New York City and Los Angeles and is a sought after expert in the fields of Feng Shui and Green Design. She’s also the founder of the online blog, Holistic Spaces.

AC: Good morning Ian.

Kung Hei Fat Choi.

Happy New Year to you too.

What is Feng Shui?

Well, Feng Shui is an ancient art of placement that was developed thousands of years ago, specifically in China, and it really seeks to enhance and improve the flow of energy through your space, whether it be your workspace or your home space, to maximize the potential in your life.

Is that the same as chi?

Well, chi is the energy that I referred to. So in Feng Shui, we call that energy, that life force that moves through all of us and it also moves through your space, we call that chi.

Okay. Who is it for?

Well, everyone could be interested in Feng Shui. So I practice Feng Shui but I also apply it in my home. I do architecture and interior design, so I can apply it to peoples’ homes, I can apply it to their offices, you can even apply Feng Shui principles to your desk, to your bed, to your body...so anyone can use Feng Shui. Actually, almost every culture has some form of Feng Shui. Ancient cultures looked at what was the best place to locate your home or your farm or your business based on the environment around you and to create the most positive impact.

With the Lunar New Year upon us, are there any special considerations? We’re in the year of the horse, what significance does that play in Feng Shui?

I think in Western culture, we look back at what we did and try to repair that, but we really just absorb. So how do we welcome the new energy that’s coming in to the year? That’s really what the Chinese zodiac is about. Each year has certain characteristic, so for instance, last year was a Water Snake year. If you think about a snake, how does a snake move? It moves indirectly. It goes left and right, and it kinda slithers along, and it’s more subtle. It’s indirect, very serpentine in its direction. So that was the energy of last year. But when you think of a horse, a horse really moves straightforward. It’s very direct, and they work in teams, and they gallop together, and they’re just charging forward all the time. In one way, we look at how do we welcome this new energy, and the best way to welcome the new energy is to do a little space clearing. What that means is taking the old energy in your space and letting it go. Clearing some clutter in your home, maybe there is a box that’s been sitting in your closet for years, and maybe it’s a good time to look through it or just maybe throw it away if you haven’t touched it on years. Also you can literally clear the space by opening up your windows, use fresh orange peels. Orange peels have very strong, yang, life-affirming energy. When you peel an orange, that smell just makes you happy…

It sure does.

… it’s very brightening.

Orange peels are also good for cleaning.

Yes, absolutely. So they can physically clean, spiritually clean, energetically clean as well. It’s all the same thing.

If there’s one thing, what would that one thing be that you would recommend they do?

The first thing that pops to mind is what I talked about with clearing the space so, opening up your windows, literally letting out the old air, open up your closet. Something else that I think is really important is starting in your bedroom and looking at your bed, what’s going on with your bed? A lot of people have a lot of stuff under their bed, and in Feng Shui, it’s actually not a good place to store anything. If you have to store something, you could store bed related things like blankets, pillows, soft things. I know a lot of people who have, pictures or letters from ex-boyfriends, ex-girlfriends, energetically negative items under their bed, and that really influences you. Because think about it, you’re passive in bed for 8 hours a day. You spend so much time in your bedroom, and that energy really affects you so I think that’s a really great place to start.

I’m thinking about all those socks that are under my bed.

I think socks are okay, but it might represent that you’re always moving forward. Because it’s your feet, right, and when you think about your feet, you’re walking along a path. People who have a lot of shoes too, it might be that that they’re always on the go or walking away from things.

Yeah. I’m thinking of the horse too, and we’re just about out of time so I gotta move this along, but I am thinking, with the horse and the horseshoe, is there any kind of a luck component to this?

Well you know how I said we can apply it to any religion or culture? Because in Western culture the horse shoe represents good luck, absolutely, you can use it. I think that’s a great way to tie in the Eastern and Western together, because, traditionally, if you put the horse shoe up above a door, that’s a good luck charm, right?

Mhm. Anjie…

I think that’s great.

As always, a pleasure and a lot of fun talking to you.

Thank you, Happy New Year.

Happy New Year to you. Anjie Cho, a Feng Shui interior architect based in New York City and Los Angeles and is a sought after expert in the fields of Feng Shui and Green Design. Look for the Home Discovery Show podcast at cknw.com. We’re also on Facebook for Zahir Muslin, who is our technical producer and Steve Seaborn, the little contractor, and my name is Ian Power. We’ll be back next week on The Home Discovery Show, here on the Corus Radio Network.

Click here to listen to my other interviews with the Home Discovery Show.

by Anjie Cho


From the leaky faucet upstairs, to an entire back yard overhaul, when it comes to projects around your home, the advice you need is heard weekly on Vancouver’s CKNW Home Discovery Show.

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