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Tuesday, January 1, 2013
FENG SHUI TIPS for SNAKE YEAR 2013
BY SUSAN LEVITT
2013 is the year of the WATER Snake. Water is the most yin/feminine element, but yin is not considered weak in Chinese astrology and feng shui. Instead, Water is the most powerful element for it can move around any obstacle in its path without losing its essential nature. Water can, in time, dissolve the hardest mountains.
Snake year is quiet and introspective, yet still powerful and intense. The volume is turned down after the energy of the previous Dragon year. In Snake year, events occur very slowly preparation and planning are key. So in a Snake year, more than any other year, it is very helpful to focus on your bedroom in your home for rest, healing, and retreat.
In feng shui, a Water environment is a cool dark room. The ideal Water environment is quiet, soft, and restful. Water's colors are black, blue, and shades of blue like turquoise and azure that bring a sense of calm and peace. The element Water when taken to the extreme in an environment is like the bedroom of a depressed person: too dark, cluttered, lacking light, the curtains drawn, and it feels melancholic. You don't want that much Water in your environment, but it is important to have a Water room to rest and restore, such as the bedroom or bathroom. 2013 is the year for feng shui in your bedroom. Water objects in the home and office include all types of reflective surfaces including mirrors, glass, and cut crystal. Water is also represented by waterways, rivers, streams, pools, fountains, and aquariums. Visual art that is abstract and asymmetrical also symbolize Water. Indoor fountains are often used in feng shui to move energy and add Water to an environment. If you add a fountain to your home in Water Snake year, be sure that your fountain is always in good working order. And listen to it. If it makes a sputtering sound, or the motor is too loud, then that fountain is not a peaceful addition to your home. Another way to add water is with an aquarium. But live fish are a commitment. If you do not have the time, interest, or love of small animals to dedicate time to keeping fish as pets, even in a fish bowl, then do not get any fish.
Feng shui is important at New Year to welcome new opportunities. Clean your home as if it is spring cleaning but done now. Move any piece of furniture that has not been moved during this past year to clean behind and below it. Do not start a new year and a new cycle in a messy or dirty home environment. Snake year should be calming, so no chaos or clutter in 2013! If you have clutter anywhere, now is the time to get rid of it. What is clutter? Any item that you do not use. Clear out all closets, drawers, and storage areas if they have clutter and are not organized and tidy. If how to handle money is not clear to you, or you have no idea where or how to invest, or if financial information seems hidden, then you definitely must have no clutter hidden, stashed, or hoarded. Money is symbolized by Water in feng shui. Money can flow like water -- if your home is clean, and you use your Water room the bedroom to heal, rest, and stay balanced in Snake year.
FENG SHUI TIPS:
Fresh flowers bring fresh aroma that clears the air for New Year, especially if your home feels dark, over heated, or musty. Add beautiful flowers to welcome the New Year and to increase abundance. And plants offer fresh oxygen to improve health. The energy of a room is brightened by the addition of flowers and plants. So be sure to follow this one tip and add fresh cut flowers or a healthy plant to your home for Chinese New Year. Lucky flowers are orchids, peonies, and lilies. Chrysanthemums have a scent that not everyone likes, so be fussy about scent. Roses are fine in a home or office, but remove them if there is much arguing (influence of the rose's thorns.) No thorny plants like a cactus, indoors or outdoors. Instead, grow lush plants that have soft round leaves like a jade plant or philodendron. Outdoors, it is more fortunate to have plants that stay ever green and do not ever lose their leaves. Healthy bamboo is lucky because the stems become longer and stronger as the plant grows.
If you bring home a lovely orchid, after the flower wilts, cut away the dead stalk and insert a good-quality silk orchid into your container. Then your orchid seems to be always in bloom, instead of a dead stalk tied to a wooden stake. Silk flowers are a wonderful way to add light and life to your environment. A red blossom adds to your money luck. So if you are budgeting a bit and money conscious in this Hare year (which is advised) use a silk flower to have an orchid always in bloom without spending on a new orchid. FIRST THING SEEN
When entering your home, what is the first thing seen? Your eye goes somewhere, so be observant in every room of your home. Make sure that the first thing seen in each room is inviting, clean, and inspiring when you enter. You do not want to see a pile of paperwork or any type of mess. Organize each room so that the first thing seen sets a pleasant tone and makes the room inviting to enter. The first thing seen should be so attractive that you want to be near it.
Not everyone has natural artistic talents, but everyone can aspire to improve the beauty, comfort, and general appeal of their immediate surroundings. Read a few interior design books or magazines. Be open to cultivating your own sense art, beauty, and aesthetics.
PAY OFF DEBT
It is very fortunate to start the Chinese New Year with no debt. (A mortgage or a school loan are not in this category.) If you have personal debt on New Year, get out of debt in 2013 and organize your finances so next year Horse 2014 you can start the year with an even balance of your accounts.
Financial responsibility is easier in a Snake year because Snake is naturally thrifty like Snake's best friends the Ox and Phoenix (Rooster). Learn to cook if you enjoy fine food, or learn to bake if you enjoy good-quality deserts. No need to spend when you can do it yourself. Are there public gardens near where you live, or a nature area, or body of water? That's free and healing, perfect for the Water Snake.
PAINT ONE ROOM
The energy of any environment can be transformed completely by adding a couple of coats of paint. If each room of your home has white or ivory walls, all that white is too much of the element Metal which can lead to arguing and bickering. When the weather warms up in summer of Snake year (which is Snake's power season) be sure to paint at least one room with color. It can be a small room such as a bathroom, but all-white walls in a home is too much Metal which leads to imbalance. Good colors for a small room are soft blue for a bathroom or light green for a bedroom. Be sure the blue or green are restful and not too bright. Yellow is good in the kitchen, gold in the dining room. What room to paint? Paint the area that looks the most rundown and is in most need of sprucing up.
EMBELLISH YOUR MONEY CORNER
Snakes love money. The money corner of each room is located in the far LEFT-hand corner from the entry. This corner represents money, prosperity, abundance, your cash flow, and financial state. This is where you focus to increase your wealth, understand your finances, enjoy affluence, open doors to financial opportunity, and experience luck and fortune. Money and wealth so strongly influence, even control, our lives. Embellish your money corner, keep it clean, and then stay financially balanced. No need to overspend without regard for consequences, and no need to hoard or scrimp. Balance is key.
One way to develop money consciousness in Snake year is to go one full day and do not spend any money at all. No cash or ATM cards pass through your hands for 24 hours. Buy nothing when you are out on the street, even if family members, friends, or colleagues encourage you to do so. You might start to get an idea of how you handle money, or if money is handling you.
How many rooms in your dwelling? That's how many money corners are in your home, and every money corner can be transformed to create wealth, prosperity, and abundance. A one-room home has only one money corner, but a home with many rooms has many money corners, one in each room. More rooms just mean more corners for increased finances, success, and material security.
START IN YOUR LIVING ROOM
Every room of your home or office has a money corner, but the most important room for wealth is your living room. Start in your living room because the living room is where action, movement, and conversation are strongest. In feng shui, this is a “yang” room, meaning masculine and active. Start your feng shui money journey by standing at the entry of your living room. Then observe what is in your far left-hand money corner.
LUCKY MONEY COLORS
In your money corner, add the colors of wealth – red, purple, gold, and sometimes green – which are perfect for your money corner. Decorate with these colors in the money corners of your home and office. Red curtains in the living room bring money and success because red is such a powerful color in feng shui. Red, purple, and gold are recommended for strong financial success.
And remember there that must be no clutter in your money corner, especially in a restful Snake year. New financial opportunities cannot enter if this corner is full of stuff, clutter, and piles of papers. Bankruptcy? Money problems? Look at what you've placed in the money corner of your living room. Really look and become more aware of your environment, especially in this area. No junk, no clutter, and no obviously unlucky items like a paper shredder or garbage can.
NO CANDLES AND NO MIRRORS IN LUCKY MONEY CORNER
Candles, a fireplace, a heater, or other fire feature are not lucky in your money corner because it as if fire is burning your money! If you have candles in your money corner, just remove them. If you have no options about a fireplace in this corner, place three healthy house plants at the base of the fireplace to calm the fire energy. Be sure to chose plants with full round or lush leaves such as a peace lily, jade plant, or philodendron.
And no mirrors in your wealth corner. Mirrors are often helpful in feng shui to reflect light, but mirrors are not good in your money corner! Money comes in, but then goes (is reflected) right out. You cannot get ahead because expenses rise to meet any increased income. If you have a mirror in your money corner, take it down and hang it elsewhere.
FLOWERS AND PLANTS It's fortunate to add plants, flowers, and healthy bamboo to your money corner. Flowers and lush plants with round leaves, such as a jade plant or rubber tree, are also very positive embellishments. Just be sure that your plants stay healthy throughout Hare year. If not, recycle the withered plant and replace it with a fresh healthy one. A bouquet of fresh flowers is excellent to add beauty, fragrance, and luck, but be sure to recycle the flowers when they lose energy and begin to wilt. No dead or dried flowers, and no potpourri. Silk flowers are superb in feng shui so you can add a big bunch of silk flowers to your money corner in a red vase or other lucky money color such as purple, gold, or green.
Bamboo is especially lucky in feng shui because as it grows, the new growth is stronger and longer. Bamboo sways gently in the wind, meaning that it is easily adaptable to change. But be sure your bamboo does not dry out and become yellowed. If you have bamboo, keep it watered and transfer it to a larger container when it outgrows the container it was in when you bought it.
In some Asian markets you can purchase what is referred to as a “money plant.” This potted plant usually is decorated with gold or red charms. But this type of plant tends to get leggy as it grows, with the long stringy branches weighed down by the charms. So this money plant is not your best choice. A lush round jade plant is better choice than a money plant. An overgrown money plant looks tacky, and tasteful Hare dislikes anything tacky or ugly. No cheap charms. This is your year to cultivate beauty. Nature gives us beauty through flowers and plants -- perfect for Snake year money luck.
Paint colors correlate to the five Taoist elements of Fire, Earth, Metal, Water, and Wood:
FIRE/HEART/LIVING ROOM - In Chinese medicine, the element fire is represented by the heart. The living room is the heart of the home. Your living room is best in bright and lively colors, or with bright accents, to stimulate conversation and activity.
EARTH/STOMACH/DINING ROOM - In Chinese medicine, the element earth is the stomach. The dining room is where we eat and digest food. The dining room is best in earthen tones of gold, terra cotta, or other soft yin colors. Red paint in a dining area is too stimulating and people eat too fast.
METAL/LUNGS/BEDROOM - In Chinese medicine, the element metal is the lungs. The bedroom is where we sleep and breathe deeply while resting. Best bedroom colors are white, cream, and soft pastels. Avoid bright big prints on bedding and drapery, especially in a child's room.
WATER/KIDNEYS/BATHROOM - In Chinese medicine, the element water is the kidneys, and therefore correlates to the bathroom. Paint this room in a soft, quiet, and calm color for peaceful elimination of waste and for soothing bathing or showering.
WOOD/LIVER/KITCHEN - In Chinese medicine, the element wood is the liver. Wood is used in a kitchen to feed the cooking fire. The kitchen must be kept very clean because this is where food is prepared, but green accents or a plant is recommended.