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January 15, 2004
If you're at all like me, you start off the new year with lots of ambitious plans then suddenly it's half-way through January and already you feel like you're falling behind...
Fortunately, the Chinese New Year comes along several weeks after January 1st to give folks like us (and everyone else) a second chance at a fresh start.
The Lunar New Year always starts at the new moon, so this year it is on Jan. 22 in China and Jan. 21 here in Hawaii. Check a newspaper or calendar for the exact time of the New Moon in your time zone, and you'll know which day to plan your activities for.
Chinese Zodiac Forecast for the Year
of the Monkey
2004 will be characterized by abundant activity and hectic energy, a focus on environmental and social activism, and the potential for natural disasters such as hurricanes, floods, and volcanic activity. Monkey energy is jumpy, impetuous and lots of fun, but can sometimes be hyperemotional. Those who enjoy novelty and adventure will feel energized and inspired this year. Those who prefer the security of a familiar routine may feel less than comfortable with Monkey energy. How will this new year affect you? Read the forecast for your Chinese animal sign below.
If you don't know your Chinese animal year, click here: http://chinese.astrology.com
Note: The Chinese Zodiac forecast is intended for general information and entertainment purposes only. Much like the Western Astrology characterization based on the Sun signs, the twelve Chinese Zodiac animals describe broad cycles of influences that are thought to affect people born during certain times of the year. Other factors, such as the finer details of the person's astrological chart, education, cultural and environmental influences, feng shui, unconscious beliefs, conscious intentions, etc., determine any final outcome.
(Instead of a Q+A this issue, I decided to continue the New Year theme by sharing Kathryn Weber's great advice on how to prepare your home for a fresh start. You may want to print this article out and paperclip it to the December page of your 2004 calendar, so you'll remember to take these important steps again next year. BTW, you can use these tips before the Western New Year on Jan. 1, the Chinese Lunar New Year, or both if you are truly organized and ambitious!)
FENG SHUI NEW YEAR
It's important to start the New Year off on a positive, hope-filled note. This can include everything from stocking the refrigerator to clearing out old junk from the closets. The Chinese New Year isn't until next week.... so you've still got time!
To greet the New Year, set aside a couple of hours to give your house, bedroom, or office a New Year Blitz. Just remember, you are inviting a very special guest to your house: the New Year. So treat your house the way you would a very important dignitary. This is a new year of your life, so welcome it in a grand way!
Take the list below in hand and check off the items one by one! Are you ready? Then, let's get ready for a new year! Remember to get everyone in the house in on the act.
OUT WITH THE OLD!
1. De-clutter. Grab a laundry basket. Next, set a timer and take it with you from room to room. Set it for five minutes. Now, start throwing out old papers, magazines, empty bottles of shampoo from the bathroom, old clothes you know you'll never wear again! Do it. Got CDs you never listen to? Throw those out or donate them to charity. Have some old coffee mugs that don't match, or odd drinking glasses still hanging around in your cabinets? Pitch 'em. When in doubt, throw it out. Don't forget to look under the bed, too! And toss that lipstick you haven't worn in two years! Remember to clean out the pantry, and toss that half-empty box of Rice Krispies that's gone stale.
2. Sweep or vacuum. Get the old energy out by making the floors clean.
3. Do the laundry. Don't have dirty clothes hanging around. You can throw in a load or two while you declutter. Be sure to fold and put the clean clothes away.
4. Clean the bathroom. Make it sparkle. You don't want a nasty mess to greet the next year of your life!
5. Empty all trashcans. Don't want last years' trash hanging around, do you? Toss, toss, toss.
6. Clean out the refrigerator. Got a half-empty jar of apple butter? Get rid of it. You don't want to go into the New Year with old food or a moldy science project lurking in the fridge.
7. Clear out visual clutter. Too much stuff everywhere? Clear off the counters in the bathrooms and kitchen. Clear off your desk and dust it. Pitch the sticky notes and papers and things taped everywhere! You can do it. Don't forget the refrigerator! Make it a blank slate. Make as much space as possible. You cannot bring in new things if there is no room for it and we want a fantastic year, right? Then make your space "open" for the abundance of the New Year!
8. Yard work. Make sure the yard is picked up and the front door step is swept and clear.
9. Change the sheets and towels. Put clean sheets on all the beds on New Year's Eve and clean towels in the bathroom and kitchen. New sheets are even better.
10. Clean the car. This is what gets you around during the year. Drive through a car wash, take out the trash and do a quick cleaning.
All done? Wow, doesn't that feel good! Now you're ready for the next step.
IN WITH THE NEW!
1. Fill your pantry and kitchen. Stock the refrigerator with food and make sure the pantry is also stocked. It's bad feng shui to have an empty refrigerator and pantry. If you have canisters in the pantry or on the countertops, be sure to fill these.
2. Got citrus? Oranges are excellent symbols for the New Year and the Chinese often celebrate the New Year by rolling oranges (symbols of gold) into the house. Place a big bowl of oranges in the living room or central location in the house next to dishes of nuts or candies to symbolize an abundant, fruitful home.
3. Buy a new plant. Put a beautiful new plant in the East (health & family relationships) sector of your house or office to symbolize a healthy beginning. You can also display some beautiful flowers here to symbolize your good health in the coming year.
4. Welcome good news. Place a golden bell in the NW corner of your home, office, or bedroom to bring good tidings from helpful people. Like old school bells? If so, place one of these in the NW corner of your yard for good news from helpful people.
5. Hang up new calendars. What better way to greet the New Year than by throwing out the old one? Take down all of last year's Calendars.
6. Fill your wallet. You don't want to go into the New Year with an empty wallet. Even ten $1 dollar bills is enough to put a bulge in your purse!
7. Invite a toad to your house. Place an old, broken clay pot upside down next to a water spout so a toad can make its home here. Toads are believed to invite money into the household; they're especially nice by the door. You can also place figurines of toads by the door.
8. Feed the birds. Birds are excellent feng shui and believed to bring good news. Fill your feeders or put out a feeder for the New Year.
9. Have fun and celebrate. Fun is good feng shui. A happy vibrant home or space is a good space. And a home or office with good feng shui is easy to spot: it's the one where everyone goes and doesn't want to leave! Make your space that kind of place!
(c) Kathryn Weber, reprinted, with permission, from the Red Lotus Letter. Kathryn Weber is a certified feng shui master practitioner in traditional Chinese feng shui and is the publisher of The Red Lotus Letter, the Web's largest weekly feng shui e-zine. To subscribe, logon to http://www.redlotusletter.com
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2004 Stephanie Roberts. All rights reserved.
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