Happy New Year! Happy Holidays!
May your home be filled with warmth, happiness and joy as you celebrate with your family and friends. Best wishes for a happy, healthy, successful 2018. This will be an interesting year from any perspective. The Chinese New Year doesn’t begin until February 16th so make your New Year’s Eve “resolutions” first and then be sure to implement the feng shui cures by February 5th. Ask me to send them to you by e mail, if you are a client. We need to balance the elements in our places as best we can to make the year 2018 a little less volatile.
Time to clean house
In China, the weeks before the Chinese New Year holiday are spent cleaning house, repairing or discarding anything that is broken or not at its optimum. Sweeping out dust and discarding excessive clutter, useless papers and unnecessary items will get rid of any bad luck they possess and make room for good positive chi to enter the house. Front doors are painted, windows are washed. There are great preparations and excitement for improving ones surroundings to get ready for the new year. It is believed doing so will improve ones success, health and happiness in the new year. The energy you put into these seemingly mundane chores will be rewarded. Think of your goals as you do these physical tasks.
New Year Rituals – The Cicada sheds it skin
Professor Lin gave us this ritual to be done on Chinese New Year or your birthday for a fresh start or rebirth. Do it between 11 pm and 1 am. If you don’t have a copy of the ritual, as a client you may ask me for it. The idea is to put your energy into clearing out the past year’s difficulties to make yourself open, yet protected, for the new year. You can create your own ceremony because the more of your own energy you put out there, the better. The results are commensurate with the energy expended. Give it your all for the best year yet.
New Year predictions
The fire element takes the center stage in the year of the Earth Dog. The fire element intensifies whatever is going on. According to the Chinese predictions, this will be an intense year that continues what is already happening. We’ve already have forest fires, firearms in excess and extreme weather. This will continue. The economy has risks and uncertainty and possible inflation, but isn’t this always the case? The good news is that there will be many celebrations for most people this year. Whether in marriages, births, transitions or success at work, the mood will be positive and a reason to express your happiness. Look for the joy in your heart. Take care of your heart and your vision every day. If you put out your goals and desires in your meditations, visualizations and/or prayers, on some level the results are manifesting.
The Tao – part one of Asian Culture
Lao-Tzu , one of the earliest writers in Chinese history, in his “Tao Teh Ching” wrote about the Tao. The Tao promotes Non-action concepts that are central to unique teachings of thousands of years ago. While the Tao is not feng shui, per se, it represents the cultural attitude of feng shui. The goal is to achieve balance (no violent extremes) and harmony (living and working together peacefully, productively with the purpose). In feng shui, we use our surroundings, our environment, our homes and work places to help achieve this balance and harmony by being in a supportive place. Perhaps Lao-Tzu has some good advice to neutralize, slow down any turbulent chi in 2018 in the year of the Earth Dog.
If someone strives to be the ruler(s) of the world, I do not see how he (they) can succeed. The world is a spiritual vessel which one cannot strive after. Those who strive after it, fail. Those who try to grasp it, lose it. Thus it is that creatures either lead or follow, puff strongly or softly, grow powerful or weaken, or persevere or fall. And therefore the Sage does away with excess, extravagance and extremes.
(Lecture note: Spirit has no shape, while a vessel has no spirit. Speaking of a vessel endowed with spirit stresses that the world is something that one can neither strive for nor grasp.)
Loa-Tzu: “My Words are Very Easy to Understand”*
From the Tao-deh Ching lecture by Man-jan Cheng
*Lao-Tzu’s words can be easy to understand when taken in context with The Tao. This may be the time to look into the Tao to keep our balance during times of extreme actions, behaviors and possible chaos. Extreme is the opposite of balance and harmony.
I’ve been in the feng shui field for twenty-six years and have been doing newsletters on-line almost that long. We’ve explored the basic principles of feng shui in many ways, many times. (Many of these newsletters can be found on this web site or on my Facebook page Pam Kai Tollefson LLC.) I would like to resume monthly newsletters with new information and a more Asian and spiritual theme. We have explored the physical and touched on the transcendental – the seen and the unseen aspects of feng shui. I was fortunate to have studied directly with the late Grandmaster Professor Lin Yun and want to do my part in keeping his work and legacy alive as well as update on the moving energies of the compass.
(On a personal note: I’ve been sporadically absent in the last few years while helping my elderly parents stay in their very supportive feng shui home in their final years. They have been gone two years now. A year ago I sold my longtime home in the Milwaukee area and moved my stuff into their Midcentury home on the Lake Winnebago and cleared out their stuff. Prior to that I bought and renovated a Midcentury home in the Madison, WI area. I feel this qualifies me to be empathetic to most of your home situations.)
Three Feng Shui Principles restated:
1. It is undesirable to live near a cemetery, funeral home, hospital or any place where there is sadness or death.
It is recommended to avoid passing these places on your daily route. Every year, Chinese animal signs that are vulnerable to illness that year are cautioned to avoid going to these places. This is not always to do. Today we see these places as a part of the life cycle.
The house below, represents a circumstance never imagined by the ancient masters. It is located down the block from a hospital, was torn down, along with several others, to make way for a parking lot and helicopter pad for the expanded hospital. I grew up in that house.
2. Plants – Of course, dead or dying plants are undesirable to have around.
It is better to have silk plants that were never alive if you don’t have a green thumb. The dead geraniums, annuals and other plant material around the outside of the house need to be removed if you haven’t done this already. It may be too late right now but the January thaw is coming soon.
In feng shui we like to surround ourselves with live energy, not things that once were alive and now are not. It is thought that dead plants near the door are harmful to the oldest member of the household.
The house below was my grandparents’ home. It is a big place with an elevator and a coach house.
It housed a family of four plus elderly parents at various times and then long term renters upstairs, including a blind man.
It is now a B &B.
3. Proportionally speaking: In ancient Asia, if you had a large dwelling you probably had a lot of relatives living with you.
Every inch could be spoken for by multi generations. Grandpa and Grandma were most likely an active part of the household, taking care of the children and cooking. In the US – the trend has been “the more square footage, the better.” 2.1 people are living in mega Mc Mansions in affluent suburbs. Most of us like to have plenty of space. In feng shui we value our personal space and privacy intently. That being said, it is possible to have too much space. Those who are environmentally aware feel we are wasting valuable energy and money on heating and upkeep for these homes. I found one family of four living in the master bedroom wing in suburban Chicago. Except for the kitchen, the rest of the house was closed off to keep the family together and save energy. The Not So Big House books by Sarah Susanka in the late 90’s started us thinking that smaller, custom, quality homes provided a cozier, warmer atmosphere than living in a museum-sized place and had economic advantages.
On the other side of the equation: Have you seen the HGTV shows about the Tiny House? This fairly recent fad seems like a good solution for those who are starting out, in transition or need an additional or temporary location. However, when I see a couple with three toddler children and two big dogs attempting to coexist in 600 square feet, I cringe. It is all about proportion. Any extreme isn’t ideal. It’s about balance and proportion.
3rd – Full Moon – finish up a project, Mercury goes retrograde – communications may be affected, double check your plans
13th – Geminids meteors, Hanukkah
18th – New moon
21st – Winter Solstice – Winter begins with the shortest period of daylight and longest night of the year
22nd – Ursids meteor shower, Mercury goes direct YES
25th – Christmas
26th – Kwanza
1st – Happy New Year on a Full Moon – the first of two full moons in January
16th – New Moon
31st – Full Moon Lunar Eclipse (also called a Blue Moon) two full moons in the same month. This is an infrequent happening. “Once in a blue moon” = a rare event.
5th Solar New year – have your annual cures for feng shui in place, remove old 2017 cure
13th Mardi Gras
15th – Solar Eclipse & New Moon
16th – Chinese New Year of the Earth Dog
Happy New Year 2018
May you be “top dog” in all your goals, in all that is important to you this year of the Earth Dog.
(post originally published December 31, 2017)