Question of the Month: Year of the Goat charms?

It seems I have quite a handful of Year of the Goat friends which would be normal being that normally we have friends our age, but several of them are 12 years younger than me :) All are wondering about the significance of carrying a horse charm?

Sacha J, New York, NY

Hi Sacha, thanks for your question. It makes perfect sense that you would be friends with many others that are born in the year of the Goat, because goat people tend to hang out with each other! Kind of like a herd!

As far as the significance of the Horse charm in this year of the Goat... the horse is the best friend of the goat. If you look at the Chinese zodiac there are trines (we call them three harmonies) and most ideal relationships (or best friends). The Horse and the Goat have the most ideal relationship and are therefore best friends. 

In the BTB Feng Shui tradition, in any given year, it is auspicious to carry around the best friend of the current year animal. The idea is that the year god is in the hot seat each year. If the year god would want to harm you, it will see you carrying around its best friend (this year the Horse) and will be so enamored by its bestie that it doesn't do you any harm. So it is a protective auspicious charm you should carry on you at all times.

They are available on the Holistic Spaces Store website:

Note: I have many questions in my “question of the month” queue, so I will be answering a few questions per month until I’m caught up! 

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

Chinese Zodiac for 2015: The Year of the Wood Sheep

Once again, the talented Yasha Jampolsky has generously provided the Holistic Spaces readers with suggestions and expectations for each Chinese Zodiac animal in the 2015 lunar year. Yasha has provided a brief description of what each Zodiac animal can look forward to in the Year of the Wood Sheep, but if you are searching for a more in-depth horoscope, you can contact him directly! 

Remember, no matter what your animal, BTB Feng Shui recommends carrying a three dimensional horse charm at all times during the Year of the Sheep to provide protection and good luck. Holistic Spaces has charms available as both keychains and bracelets.  

For each of the years below, if your birthday falls before February 4, use the preceding year for accurate astrological readings. For example, if your birthday is January 13, 2009, follow the Year of the Rat, instead of the Year of the Ox. 


2008 | 1996 | 1984 | 1972 | 1960 | 1948 | 1936 | 1924 | 1912

The Rat may encounter some irritating situations but in general, there will be improvement after what may have been a challenging Horse year. The Horse year is especially challenging for the Rat because they are in opposition on the zodiac. The amount of improvement this year is up to you. One of your greatest gifts as a Rat is your ability to strategize and plan ahead. But you may be frustrated in that department, because during the Sheep year this may not be so easy for you. If you can get beyond that, everything else will be full of ease. Give your mind a rest and flow with it. Most Rats are not accustomed to this, but you will discover you can come out quite well without the constant vigilance. It will leave you positioned for greater possibilities in the upcoming Monkey year (2016), which is a very favorable year for the Rat. 


2009 |1997 |1985 | 1973 | 1961 | 1949 | 1937 | 1925 | 1913 

If you’re born in the year of the Ox, traditionally, Sheep year is said to present some challenges. However the Ox is a strong and resilient creature, and little can deflect you from your chosen course. Your best advice this year is to choose your battles wisely and conserve your strength for things that matter most. Focus on what is going right, and all else becomes noise in the background. The Ox can be very overly generous and end up feeling victimized. Even if it appears that your amazing generosity has been taken advantage of, try to avoid that feeling of victimization. The rewards for your efforts will, in time, come back to you. Frustrations you encounter could be well addressed with self-care and by applying a bit more flexibility than you’re accustomed to. This Sheep year does offer enhanced opportunities in your social life especially time spent with family and close friends. Ox people tend to stay close to home and with the friends that they have, but this is a great opportunity to expand your circle and then meet some new friends, new relations and also business connections. The Sheep year will also support any artistic efforts. Often the Ox can be too focused on work and not enough on leisure or artistic activities. This is a good time for the Ox to experiment with that. Most importantly, take some time for yourself and share whatever personal creative expressions come your way with others. It should be a very good year for you if you follow that advice.


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

For the Tiger, this year is a little quieter and less energized than the Horse year. Although the Tiger likes the crazy energy of the Horse year, this year will still be pleasant. It may provide an opportunity for you to develop your Sheep-like qualities to become gentler, more sensitive to others, and to focus on what’s going on inside instead of focusing what’s happening ahead. The Sheep is supportive to your naturally imaginative and creative streak, so use your creativity to work on projects that you know will serve you in the long run and will also help others. This is a great time for travel, whether for business or recreation. With conflicts that may arise, it is best to address the issues directly with the person or persons involved. This way you are likely to achieve resolution. Avoid the natural confrontational energy that the Tiger possesses, and instead seek resolution and connection.


2011 | 1999 | 1987 | 1975 | 1963 | 1951 | 1939 | 1927 |1915

If you’re born in the year of the Rabbit, this should prove to be a very auspicious year for you. The year will encourage you to be exactly who you are, someone who likes people and centers life around social occasions, since there will be lots of opportunities for that. If you are interested, you will have new job opportunities, new possibilities for romantic encounters and also the opportunity to renew romance if you’re already involved with someone. Most importantly, this Sheep year allows you to build on past achievements so that you can feel some continuity and stability in your life. Rabbits often feel under-appreciated, but this is a year you may feel the appreciation not just from people that you work with and encounter, but you may also be able to experience some self-appreciation, which is very important.


2012 | 2000 | 1988 | 1976 | 1964 | 1952 | 1940 | 1928 | 1916

Dragons will experience a moderately pleasant year in most areas of life. For the best results, a bit of adaptability and a great deal of care in relationships is required. Decisions that you make in regards to career and work during the Sheep year may have far reaching influence, so choose carefully. If you are seeking improvements, you may find that tried and true measures are no longer effective. You may have to be more flexible and use a different approach. It’s most important that you learn to not focus on the self as the source of all information. This is a good time to learn how to seek advice and support from others. Although the Dragon is a very powerful and strong individual, this is a year where you will find that you cannot move ahead on your own. This is a time when it’s best to work with people


2013 | 2001 | 1989 | 1977 | 1965 | 1953 | 1941 | 1929 | 1917

If you’re born in the year of the Snake, there are many opportunities offered with some caution. It is best to stick to more familiar interests. This is not the time for the Snake to reach out and experiment with things that are too foreign and difficult. The Snake and the Sheep share the love of beauty, so it is a great time for the Snake to be involved in creative matters such as the arts or the performing arts. This is a great year for the Snake to come out of its burrow and even put a little more of yourself forward and expose yourself to the world. You may also be pleasantly surprised with new romance or a rekindling of an old romance. Family connections will be especially satisfying. In your finances, is best to remain your usual cautious and vigilant self. Things will go well enough to carry through times and into greater opportunities if you are careful with your finances. Avoid engaging in risky ventures and try not to overspend. You will gain a great deal of satisfaction from using restraint and ultimately see rewards in finances.


2014 | 2002 | 1990 | 1978 | 1966 | 1954 | 1942 | 1930 | 1918 

For the Horse, Sheep times are generally very favorable, although a bit slow moving. You have just been through your own Horse year, which was stimulating and exciting, with never a moment of rest. Yet, it could have been challenging, because during the Horse year, you’ve had to face yourself in no uncertain terms, and sometimes you may not have liked what you faced. If you took the effort to look carefully at yourself and seek improvement and growth then ultimately the year should have been a wonderful year for you. During the Sheep year, you get to relax a little bit, take it easy and benefit from whatever moves forward you have made. Finances should be adequate to cover you through the year, so there’s no need to make any big rushes or any movement forward. You’ll do just fine with things as they are. All in all, it should be a gratifying and rewarding year for you.


2015 | 2003 | 1991 | 1979 | 1967 | 1955 |1943 | 1931 | 1919

If you are born in the year of the Sheep, this should prove to be a very positive time for you. Sheep simply love being with their own kind, there’s always a compassionate ear, someone to commiserate, and someone to work with on the many creative or artistic projects that you’re interested in. During Sheep times, you are at your best when things slow down to reasonable place allowing time to plan your next move and engage in your personal process. You’ll find most parts of your life well aspected. To make the most of this year, you will have to be well organized. Do not be caught up in your emotions ,especially any negative ones that may arise. If negative emotions do arise, simply try to focus on all the good that is around you, and there is an abundance for good during this year. Try to avoid sinking deeply into any kind of sadness or dissatisfaction you may have. The Sheep relishes relationships whether they be with family, friends or work related and this year, you will have the opportunity to have the depth of relationship that your heart and soul really crave. This is a good time to open yourself up to it and to allow it. At times you may feel some difficulty, but any difficulties you encounter in your relationships will pass quickly. You’ll have many enjoyable interactions, social events and times with family, friends and people that you are closest with. 


2004 | 1992 | 1980 | 1968 | 1956 | 1944 | 1932 | 1920 | 1908

If you’re born in the year of the Monkey, this should be a fairly positive year for most areas, but some caution should be observed. In relationships, take the time to be sure that other parties are in agreement with activities you have included them in. Be sensitive to other people’s needs and most importantly, be more aware of other people’s needs than you normally would be. Do the same at work and in business, especially if you would like a promotion or to improve work relationships. Take extra time to verify that others are truly in agreement before you expect certain reactions and support from them. Support is there but the importance is on connection and awareness of what other people want. Take extra time for budgeting for any upcoming advances. Spending money frivolously can lead to uncomfortable situations. Travel is also well aspected during this year. Take time to budget for any travel and carefully make all the arrangements. Don’t jump into a travel situation until you’ve thoroughly investigated it and understand the implications of the flight and where you’re staying, etc. to avoid any confusion. If caution and care is taken, you can be assured a very pleasant and enjoyable year in all aspects.


2005 | 1993 | 1981 | 1969 | 1957 | 1945 | 1933 | 1921 | 1909

The Rooster can expect many improvements and fortune this year. The slow pace of the Sheep year suits your careful and cautious nature. Your social life is well aspected, and you can expect an increase in invitations to a wide variety of social events. You may be the initiator of these events. You can also expect some good fortune in romance. If you are single, expect more opportunities. If you are already involved, expect a renewal of passion and romance. Career and work opportunities will also improve this year. Although you may enthusiastically want to jump in, take the time to set realistic goals, even if it means delaying a project until it can be accomplished at a reasonable rate. Most importantly, this is a year where you need to be gentle and caring with yourself. Your normally self-critical nature does not work this year. If you find yourself not living up to some standard that you’ve created, be gentle, flexible and loving for yourself and notice, more than anything else, what’s going on in your heart instead of what’s going on in your head.


2006 | 1994 | 1982 | 1970 | 1958 | 1946 | 1934 | 1922 | 1910

If you’re born in a Dog year, this year may be a little demanding in certain aspects, but your Dog nature, which is one of great responsibility and skill, will rise to the occasion and make the most of the abundant opportunities that come your way. This is an excellent time to choose the things that serve you most and clear out the rest. To maximize positive results, take guidance from trusted advisors; don’t take it on alone. Work closely with colleagues on collaborative projects and seek out their opinions as to the best way to proceed. Most of all, get support in addressing any troubling situations. Your finances may be strained this year, but careful management will guarantee the most sustainable results. You may encounter a challenge with a specific family or group member. Seek the help of the other members of the family or group to help resolve. You don’t have to do it alone. Discuss plans and arrangements to guarantee their support. Regardless of how busy you may feel, be sure to take time for leisure and social activity. It will provide some welcome relief from the work at hand.


2007 | 1995 | 1983 | 1971 | 1959 | 1947 | 1935 | 1923 | 1911

If you’re born in the year of the Pig, this is a highly favorable time. You can expect excellent developments in all important aspects. You play a central role in organizing activities amongst family and friends and are greatly appreciated for it. The general gathering energy of the Sheep is very much aligned with your own. Friends and family also provide support and encouragement. This is a good time for your business or career. You can expect an increase in business or possible promotion at work. If you are considering a change, you can count on opportunities coming your way, whether starting a new business or finding new employment, but don’t stop there. If you’re seeking new employment, persist in your search and you may have surprising results that far exceed your expectations. If it’s your own business, efforts at promoting yourself would be greatly rewarded. It is also a good time to consider doing things in a different way. You can expect an improvement in finances. In spite of resulting good fortune, be careful with undue risk. You may feel compelled to spend money on your home. Your nature is to overindulge, so when things are going well, you may want to just go out and benefit by buying or spending. Be cautious with that, because you can easily find yourself with difficulties. If trying to make a decision, make a list of the pros and cons, and go with whichever side carries the greatest weight. Be sure to stick to that and not go back to asking the questions again. Try to avoid letting your enthusiasm and generous nature compel you to take on more than you can handle. This should be a very energetic and active year for you, and it’s very important to pace yourself. If you do encounter any difficulties, be sure to seek help and support from others. Working within a group and seeking the support of the group is a very important theme this year.

Visit Yasha's website below or contact him directly for more information, and remember to select a three dimensional horse charm you love to guide you through the Year of the Sheep with protection and good luck! 

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:

An Invitation to Rituals: Lunar New Year

This post is part of the #MYRITUAL2015 event!

My good friend Amy Won of TreeSpace Studio has invited me to participate in her “Rituals” event. I love rituals, particularly traditional rituals that have depth, meaning and story to them. For Amy’s exploration into ritual, I have decided to share two of the most currently relevant. Watch out for the second one coming out a in a few weeks.

As some of you may know, Chinese New Year, or Lunar New Year (also known as Spring Festival) falls on Thursday, February 18th this year. To celebrate the Lunar New Year, my BTB feng shui teachers have transmitted to me several meaningful rituals. I’m so pleased to share a simple, yet powerful new year ritual called “Changing the Qi of the Home.”


This ritual is best performed ON Chinese New Year's day, but may also be performed within 9 days. The best time to perform this ritual is between the hours of 11am and 1pm, which are considered the most “yang” hours of the day. Yang energy is super bright, full of life, and powerful like the sun at high noon.

What you need:

9 fresh oranges – Oranges and orange peels produce a happy bright citrus scent that is very “yang” and has the power to clear out any negativity and transform it into brilliant and life-affirming energy.


  • Open all of the windows and doors that open to the outside for a minimum of 15 minutes. Allow fresh air to move throughout the entire home.
  • While the windows are open, wash each orange. Carefully cut 9 round pieces of orange peel from each orange. You should have 81 pieces total. The orange peel pieces can be roughly the size of a quarter. Place these in a beautiful clean bowl that you love.
  • Close the windows and doors.
  • With your bowl of orange peels, walk to your front door.
  • As you move around the perimeter of each room in your home in a clockwise fashion, carefully and thoughtful squeeze a piece or orange peel. Smell the scent and then drop the peel. The clockwise circumambulation creates a tightening of the energy in the space and makes it sacred.
  • When you end up back at the front door, set your intention that you are filling your home with bright white light and contentment for the new year ahead of you.
  • This is a wonderful and strong ritual that I suggest all of you do! It can be done throughout the year, but it is especially powerful at the Lunar New Year. 

Gong Hey Fatt Choy!

by Anjie Cho

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!

For more information on feng shui and Chinese New Year, visit

About Anjie Cho:

Best selling author of "108 Ways to Create Holistic Spaces: Feng Shui and Green Design for Healing and Organic Homes" and Architect for clients such as Satya Jewelry, Anjie Cho is a sought-after expert in the fields of feng shui and green living. Anjie Cho is a registered architect and certified feng shui consultant. A graduate in Architecture from the College of Environmental Design at the University of California at Berkeley, she has been creating beautiful and nourishing environments since 1999.

Visit her blog at

Follower her on Instagram @anjiecho | Twitter @HolisticSpaces

GIVEAWAY: Win a DIY Feng Shui prize pack for Chinese New Year!

featured this month on by Laura Mordas-Schenkein

Chinese New Year is just around the corner, and according to Feng Shui principles, now is the time to get your home in order for 2015. During this time of renewal, we can think of no better way to start a new year than to clear the clutter and create a more holistic space. If you’re feeling completely clueless about how Feng Shui works, we’ve got good news for you! Thanks to our good friend, architect and Feng Shui practitioner Anjie Cho, you can learn how to Feng Shui your home the easy way—we’re giving away a signed copy of Anjie’s newly released book, 108 Ways to Create Holistic Spaces, to 9 lucky winners, and one very special grand prize winner will receive a signed copy of the book in addition to a $108 gift certificate to Anjie’s Holistic Spaces Online Store, a 2015 Feng Shui Charm Keychain for Protection & Luck, and a Natural Crystal Bagua Set. Find out how to win this lucky prize pack below!

1. SIGN UP FOR THE INHABITAT NEWSLETTER HERE > We’ll be announcing the winners in our weekly newsletter, so if you want to find out who won, you’ll need to receive it!

2. LEAVE A COMMENT BELOW telling us why you’re interested in Feng Shui and how you feel it might improve your living space. The deadline for this giveaway is Monday, February 23rd at 11:59PM. We’ll pick the comments we like best and announce the winners in our February 26th newsletter, so make sure you’re signed up!


SIGNED BOOK: 108 Ways to Create Holistic Spaces

Feng Shui can be life-changing, but it can also seem overwhelming at the very beginning. In 108 Ways to Create Holistic Spaces, Anjie provides easy to understand tips for implementing Feng Shui and green design principles into any indoor space. Her simple, straightforward tips will help you transform your home or your workplace, from discovering where to place your furniture to understanding the power of color. This book is a great resource to help you improve the flow of energy throughout your life.

10 winners will be selected to win author-signed copies of 108 Ways to Create Holistic Spaces!


2015 welcomes in the Year of the Ram, otherwise known as the sheep or goat. According to Feng Shui tradition, the horse is the ram’s best friend, so it is especially auspicious to carry around a three-dimensional horse with you, as it is said to bring protection and good luck. For those of us who don’t have real-life horses in our lives, this beautifully handmade keychain will do just fine! Made with an eco-friendly hemp cord using Feng Shui dimensions, it’ll grant symbolic protection and good luck to its owner all year long.



The Feng Shui bagua map is used in the BTB tradition of Feng Shui and divides the different areas of our personal lives across nine quadrants of our homes. This set of nine tumbled semi-precious gemstones correspond to each Feng Shui bagua area, symbolizing well-being in nine different areas of our lives, including health, relationships, knowledge, and abundance. Our grand prize winner will receive this exquisite gift set from the Holistic Spaces Store, featuring a stunning assortment of natural gemstones including amethyst, tiger’s eye, and rose quartz.




Tell us why you’d like to win this essential DIY Feng Shui prize pack in the comments below!

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: