Note from Catherine Carrigan: Please join me in enjoying this article from Katherine Graham, Feng Shui Master and Owner of Haven Feng Shui. I am a raving fan of Katherine Graham’s work and highly recommend you heed her advice.

Gung Hei Fat Choy! Happy New Year 2016

Time to celebrate the year of the yang Fire Monkey and update your annual feng shui to keep the energy in your home fresh and inviting!

Full-speed-ahead! Unlike last year which was ruled by the yin Wood Sheep, 2016 promises to be full of intense, yang fiery energy. The Monkey in the Chinese zodiac represents positive, active, masculine energy. Monkey, the early adopter and quick-witted mastermind, never misses an opportunity. If you can match Monkey’s energy then you are sure to benefit from the upbeat feng shui winds blowing our way this year.

 One note, however, we are completely MISSING WATER in the paht chee chart for the year. That means you need to welcome Water energy into your surroundings through water features, yin water cures and find ways to be in or around water. Getting out in nature is always the best way to reboot your personal energy level along with bringing natural elements into your home. Nature heals, soothes and calms on a level you cannot duplicate through man-made means.

If, like me, you are looking to “up your vision to up your mission” in 2016, the Chinese New Year is the perfect time to sweep out the old energy from last year and welcome the new like a breath of fresh air. It allows us to re-inspect our lives, goals and resolutions that we made earlier in the year. And, as it coincides with the imminent arrival of spring, you are likely eager to shed your old skin and reinvent yourself making this the perfect time to look at all the items around you to see if they still inspire and nourish you or if it is time to make a positive change.

Ways to Welcome the New Year and Create Positive Feng Shui Energy in 2016:

Feb. 6-7th, Sweep Out the Old to Welcome New Opportunity

Beginning on the uppermost floor, sweep from the back to the front of your home, making your sweeping motions toward the front door. This outward sweeping motion physically and symbolically removes the dust and stale energy leaving room for new opportunity to come rushing in. Then, during the first few days of the Chinese New Year, from Monday, February 8-10th do not sweep or vacuum your home to allow all the good fresh chi to settle in.

Get Rid of Clutter

Doesn’t work, don’t like it, find it ugly, remind you of someone/thing you don’t like? Clutter is visual noise that saps your energy and weighs you down. Since energy flows where your mind goes, when you are negatively triggered by an item in your home your mind is being taken off of more important matters. Spring cleaning takes on a deeper level when you realize that clutter keeps you stuck (fat and sick.)

Address These Annual Feng Shui Updates- Protect the Center and NE

In 2016 the dreaded 5 yellow star flies into the NE sector. It is especially strong this year since it’s an earth star flying into an earth sector which requires strong Metal energy here. Metallics, whites and pastels are metal element objects and can effectively subdue the stubbborn and potentially dangerous energy here.

Also, the illness star flies to the center of our house affecting everyone. Do the following this year to protect your family’s health:

-No earth element in the center of your home or office – remove all crystals

-No fire energy in the center – remove all red décor including carpets, pillows, decorative accents.

-Dim the lights and reduce activity in this sector

-If your bedroom is located in the center of your home and you are pregnant or a senior, it would be best to relocate your sleeping location during this year.

Update pictures and place them according to the bagua:

There will always be baby pictures and classic family photos that bring back wonderful memories for you. However, not changing out photos can signal a resistance to change or denial of the progression of time, which the Buddhists believe is the basis of all human suffering.

Perhaps it’s time to hire a photographer to take a professional couples photo and also get a great headshot of yourself. Put the best ones in the South area of your home, which is your Fame and Reputation gua, with family photos either grouped in the hallway, arranged up the staircase or hung in the East area of your home or room, which is the Family and Health gua.

Patriarch photos- pictures of your husband, father or male guardian go in the Northwest, which is our Travel and Helpful people area and where we honor the strong, helpful men in our lives.

Repot your house plants and add fresh ones

Allow your own roots and those of your houseplants to expand into roomier pots with fresh, nutrient dense soil. Lovingly repotting your house plants signifies continued upward growth and success and brings in upbeat Wood energy, which is especially beneficial in the East and Southeast areas ruled by Wood element. Plants signify legacy and stability (putting ones roots down), resources and abundance plus they purify the air and bring nature indoors. The whole point of feng shui is to live in harmony with nature and to surround ourselves with the uplifting and self-renewing energy of the great outdoors. Never allow a dead or dying plant to remain in your home- this is dark yin energy and is very bad so be sure to keep all your houseplants in tip top healthy condition.

Let your walls breathe

This is an incredibly potent way to shift the energies in your home. Often, once we’ve hung a picture on a wall it will stay there- for years, even decades. These images may still carry the creative inspiration they original held but if not, change them out. The best and easiest way to do this is to remove all items hanging on all walls for an entire week or longer. This gives you an instant, clean slate piggybacked by fresh ideas and creative inspiration.

Salt Cleanse and Sage

Whether you have removed all the pictures and paintings from your wall or they are still there, wiping your walls down with a salt water solution does for your home what swimming in the ocean does for your body. The negative ions in the salt bind to toxins in the air to clean and purify your home. This is also the basis behind salt cures (see Number 5, next). In addition to your salt cleanse, the burning of sage has been done for thousands of years to clear and remove cosmic impurities, bump up the energetic frequency of a space and plus, it smells wonderful. “Smudging” with sage can be done on a monthly basis throughout the year to continually purify the air and keep your energy fresh.

Symbolize Spring and Rebirth

The Chinese New Year marks the Lunar New Year and is also known as the Spring Festival in China. This is an exciting time to renew, re-evaluate or strengthen the resolutions you may have already made.

Remember, the goal of feng shui is to have a balanced, well-rounded life that focuses on each of the Eight Life Aspirations. When one part of our life is out of balance, we cannot achieve ultimate unity or, tai chi. For more information on this see my blog titled, Eight Types of Luck.

Happy Chinese New Year! I wish you enormous success and huge blessings in 2016!

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Twitter: @havenfengshui