2017 Fire Phoenix (Rooster) Feng Shui Tips

February 7, 2017 § Leave a comment

fire-phoenix

Please join me this coming Saturday Feb 11 2017 for my Chinese New Year lecture at East West Books in Mt. View CA!

2017 Fire Phoenix year is time for transformation.  Read about the personality traits of the Phoenix. Phoenix correlates to the Western sign Virgo, the sign of health, healing, rebirth, and dedicated work that brings rewards.

Chinese Medicine

ceramic-phoenixAll eight limbs of Chinese medicine work together to create good health: feng shui, astrology, herbology, exercise (tai chi, chi kung), meditation, diet, massage and acupuncture, and moxibustion. (Moxibustion uses heat to stimulate points in the body, similar to how acupuncture needles stimulate points.)

Feng shui is the limb of Chinese medicine whereby health is restored and maintained in a calm, peaceful environment. Phoenix year is ideal for restoration of your health.

Tidy Phoenix

Tidy up before you leave your home and office. Then a peaceful home awaits you as you enter into a clean, not chaotic, environment. Especially at your place of work, it is not favorable to leave a mess over the weekend. Stop mess before it builds up to create good luck in Fire Phoenix year.

Fire Phoenix is an active go-getter. Home is important to Phoenix to provide a secure, safe place when they come home, especially for Phoenix children. Some activities might be out of your control in a Phoenix year, but you can control how you maintain and keep clean your living space.

Luck Enters

classic-phoenix-birdWhere to start to bring in luck in Phoenix year? Start at your front door. Clean your entry to welcome all the good luck that will come into your home and place of business in the new year. Wash, sweep, or vacuum the front steps, porch, entry hall, lobby –whatever the entry is where you live. Make this area clean, well lit, and inviting. Check the entry’s lighting fixtures, make sure the doorbell works, and touch up scuff marks with a fresh coat of paint, or add a new rug.

Ba-Gua Map

One style of feng shui is to overlay a map of eight tri-grams, called ba-gua in Chinese.

baguafawnchangfengshui1Ba-gua focus to create abundance for Fire Phoenix year is to emphasize the Wealth and Prosperity corner. This is located in the far left-hand corner from the entry. The more money that Phoenix receives for their hard work, the more inspired they are to accomplish and create. Acquiring, spending, and investing money offers Phoenix a sense of security and power. Once Phoenix feels secure about finances, they can make a powerful contribution to humanity as healers and helpers.

Because Fire Phoenix’s strong personality can clash with others who do not want to hear the truth, also embellish the Partnership and Relationship corner, located at the far right-hand corner from the entry. This can ease the path to harmonious interactions, especially with co-workers. Fire Phoenix energy can, at times, bring out the type A personality in even the most laid back person.

When using the ba-gua map, be sure that all areas are clean with no clutter! Don’t get stuck in life by living with too much stuff. Avoid all clutter in Phoenix year, or you could experience poor health.

Enhance Your Living Room

lovely-phoenixEvery room of your home or office has a Wealth corner to focus on in Phoenix year. But the most important room this year is your living room because that is the room of the element Fire, and 2017 is the year of the Fire Phoenix. Fix your living room, a major yang room.

Start by standing at the entry of your living room. Then observe what is in your Wealth and Prosperity corner. Really look at your living room to make it the living room that you want. Then focus on the Partnership and Relationship corner.

Flying Stars

In a feng shui system of flying stars, every year the stars change location. I know this system but do not use it. For those who do, the direction South is supposed to be bad, and the Southwest is also unfortunate and a place for robbery. See why I don’t use this system? It’s too fatalistic. If you have concerns about a direction being unlucky, then be sure that area is clean, made conscious, and nicely decorated!

East is good, avoid the West. But no need to avoid half of a room. Just make the entire room balanced. The Southeast is good, and I’ve seen recommendations online to add a SE fountain. But I do not recommend any fountains where the climate is cold, snowy, damp, prone to flooding, foggy, or close to a body of water.

Phoenix is Thrifty

Phoenix year is time to manage your finances. Phoenix, like Phoenix’s buddies Ox and Snake, are good with money. But Phoenix can be a dandy, and pays attention to the details of clothing. Looks matters to Phoenix so groom well and perhaps purchase one or two items for an upgrade this year. Travel is fortunate this year, but find the best bargain.

First Thing Seen

What is the first thing seen when you enter your home? Your eye goes somewhere, so direct the eye by organizing each room so that the first thing seen sets a pleasant tone. This makes the room inviting to enter. Make sure that the first thing seen in each room is clean and inspiring. You do not want to see a pile of paperwork or any type of mess. Stay tidy, especially in a Fire year that brings lots of activity.

Pay Off Debt

It is most fortunate to start the New Year with no debt. (A mortgage or a school loan are not in this category.) If you have personal debt on New Year, think ahead by budgeting and planning. Organize your finances to get out of debt this year. Watch out for overspending, especially in autumn.

 Paint One Room

The energy of any environment can be transformed completely by adding a coat 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. Be sure to paint at least one room with color.

The painted room can be a small room such as a bathroom. Good colors for a small room are light 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, or gold in the dining room.

Which room to paint? Paint the room that looks the most rundown and is in the most need of sprucing up.

5 elements brightPaint Colors

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 Fire colors red, purple, and all shades of red 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, because it’s too yang and not restful.

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. Light blue is fine.

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, so white walls are best. But green accents or a plant are recommended to introduce the Wood element into this Wood room.

Flowers and Plants

feng_shui430x300Add beautiful flowers to welcome the New Year! It’s fortunate to add plants, flowers, and healthy bamboo to your home and workplace to increase abundance. Fresh flowers bring fresh aroma that clears the air for New Year, especially if your home feels dark, over heated, or musty.

The energy of a room is brightened by the addition of flowers and plants. And plants offer fresh oxygen to improve health. So be sure to add fresh cut flowers or a healthy plant to your home for New Year.

Plants

For both home and office, add green house plants with round leaves such as a lily (peace plant), jade, pothos, Chinese evergreen, or orchids with round leaves. If you do not have a green thumb, bring in fresh flowers on Monday to the office, or add silk flowers in lively colors.

Lucky Flowers

Lucky flowers are orchids, peonies, and lilies. Chrysanthemums have a scent that not everyone likes, so pay attention to scent. Roses are fine in a home or office, but remove them if there’s arguing (influence of the rose’s thorns.) Avoid thorny plants like a cactus, indoors or outdoors. Instead, grow lush plants that have soft round leaves like a jade plant or philodendron.

Stay Evergreen

Outdoors, it is more fortunate to have plants that stay ever green and do not ever lose their leaves. 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 original container.

Healthy Plants Only

Be sure that your plants stay healthy throughout the 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

Silk flowers are superb in feng shui because they are a wonderful way to add color and life to your environment. 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 appears to be always in bloom — instead of a dead stalk tied to a stake.

Avoid the Money Plant

Perhaps you’ve seen 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 long stringy branches weighed down by the charms. So this money plant is not a good choice. A lush round jade plant is better choice than the so-called money plant.

Fish Tank or Fountain

If you do add a fish tank or fountain, be sure you can commit to the work involved in maintaining a tank. These are living creatures! A fountain requires maintenance too. A fountain in this Fire year is not particularly fortunate because Water extinguishes Fire, although adding Water can help calm Fire energy if it gets too argumentative in Fire Phoenix year.

Contact Susan Levitt  to schedule your own feng shui consultation or astrology forecast.
Wishing you good luck in Fire Phoenix year!

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Interview about Monkey Year for Houston Chronicle

February 18, 2016 § Leave a comment

Lunar New Year promises a little monkey business!

Thing are about to get a little crazy with the arrival of the Red Fire Monkey

By Kyrie O’Connor February 5, 2016
Houston Chronicle

Nadya Shakoor paper sculpture / Mark Mulligan photo / Houston Chronicle

Nadya Shakoor paper sculpture / Mark Mulligan photo / Houston Chronicle

We are about to enter the year of the Red Fire Monkey. If that sounds to you like a year that calls for a helmet and elbow pads, you may be right.

Today marks the start of the Lunar New Year, or as it’s known in Vietnam, Tet. On Asian calendars, each Lunar New Year is associated with one of five elements, in this case fire, and one of 12 animals, in this case the monkey.

You say you want a revolution? Tumultuous 1968 was also a Fire Monkey year. So was 1776.

“In the Year of the Monkey, the status of events is changing quickly,” says Nan Hall Linke, almost certainly Houston’s only astrologer/therapist/landscape architect. “Watch the parade. Don’t be in it.”

The monkey is “smart, naughty, wily and vigilant” according to Allen Tsai, who runs the chinesefortunecalendar.com website, so the year will take on that character.

The year has yang, or masculine, energy, so it’s forceful, highly charged and resourceful, which of course has good aspects and bad.

Assuming you don’t want to attract the worst of the monkeyshines, what can you do to counteract the bad?

Susan Levitt advises starting with a tidy, organized home.

“In a monkey year, do your frantic cleaning up before you walk out the door,” says Levitt, who lives in San Francisco and has written five books about astrology. “You’ll come home to a clean, nice place.”

Levitt specializes in feng shui, the Chinese practice of finding harmony with one’s surroundings. “Organize your home so you’re not living in the crazy,” she says, because there will be crazy aplenty outside the door. “You don’t want to live in a place that looks like a bomb went off.”

The same goes for your car and workspace. Sadly, those can’t be messy either.

But don’t buy new furniture or change your house around dramatically, says Levitt, who writes at susanlevitt.com. Feathering the nest is a task for 2017, the Year of the Rooster. And watch your diet, she adds. During the Year of the Monkey caffeine, candy and power bars will be oh so tempting, but oh such a bad idea.

Linke takes the decluttering a step further to include our inner lives. She advises decluttering your mind; just because the world is nuts, we don’t have to be.

“Be detached, still and optimistic,” says Linke, who has found yoga and Buddhist practices useful in her own life. “Do not continue the ‘compulsive extroversion’ that is the monkey year’s dominant energy.

On the other hand, she says, a child born in this year will be fun, creative, a bit wild – a little monkey. “A kid born this year will be very interesting and not at all passive or submissive,” Linke says.

She also harks back to some of the old sayings from ’68 that will have new relevancy in the new year, such as “make love, not war” and “be here now.”

A sense of humor – a monkey’s forte – becomes a life skill in this type of year. Keep a sense of humor and laugh a lot,” Linke advises. “Don’t take it seriously. What else can you do?”

Both Levitt and Linke cite “Journey to the West,” a 16th-century Chinese literary classic, as a good text for 2016. It’s a fantastical story of a monkey who becomes a disciple to a monk journeying west to India to bring Buddhist teachings, called sutras, back to China. “It’s a journey from unevolved to evolved,” Levitt explains.

But Levitt also urges people who have dreams they’ve always dreamed of acting on – far-flung travel, guitar lessons – to do so this year.

“Yes, go for it,” she says. “If you’ve always wanted to do something, do it. You’ll find out by the end of the year if you’ve succeeded or failed.”

And remember: We live in a fire monkey kind of country.

“We have so much crazy nuttiness, and we don’t even think it’s unusual,” she says. “There’s a lot of energy in America.”

2015 TAURUS FULL MOON

October 23, 2015 § 3 Comments

Bull Head from Bicycle Seat and Handle Bars

Bull Head from Bicycle Seat and Handle Bars

FULL MOON in TAURUS

October 27, 2015 at 5:05 am PT is a full Moon in Taurus. Sensuous Earth sign Taurus is ruled by Venus, the planet of love, art, beauty, and creativity. All the delights of Mother Earth – especially good food and drink – are in the realm of Venus making this full Moon time to appreciate the beauty that surrounds you, and to share your abundance with others. And this full Moon can shine some light on practical, earthly concerns: your money, financial security, career and the work you do, health, and the foods you eat.

Many planets are in Earth signs at this time. Venus, Mars, and Jupiter are conjunct in Earth sign Virgo. This is ideal for enjoyable social times, and augers a very fun and festive holiday season this Sheep year. Plus Venus and Jupiter trine Pluto in Earth sign Capricorn. Relationship bonds are strengthened, and it’s fortunate to redo, remodel, or redesign your environment.

HALLOWEEN

October 31 is a solar holiday that marks the point between Autumn Equinox and Winter Solstice. There is increased sensitivity during this time of seasonal change. A feng shui tip is to decorate with symbols of success and abundance such as pumpkins, flowers, and a cornucopia full of fresh vegetables. Halloween is close to November 2 the Day of the Dead (Dia de los Muertos). Both Halloween and Day of the Dead celebrate the Crone aspect of the Goddess.

Luck for Taurean power and creativity is for all, especially the Earth signs Taurus, Virgo, and Capricorn and those born in Snake, Phoenix (Rooster), and Ox years. Call me at 415.642.8019 or email susan@ susanlevitt.com to schedule your tarot, astrology, or feng shui consultation.

Happy full Moon,

Susan

Hot Tubs and Feng Shui

September 6, 2015 § Leave a comment

home_woodenhottub

A feng shui client sent me an email asking about the placement of a hot tub in her backyard. It’s still warm in September and October here in the San Francisco Bay Area, so it’s not that unusual to set up a hot tub in September. The client had read to never place a body of water to the right side of the garden as you are standing inside looking out, as this placement will cause marriage issues. But she didn’t remember me saying that.

My advise about her hot tub:

1. Set it up so that there are no chemicals. Try reverse osmosis, or research how to keep the water clean — and free of breeding mosquitoes.

2. Consider if a hot tub is best for you, or is a dry sauna better for your body type to receive the most health benefits?

3. Like a pet dog, this hot tub needs daily upkeep.

The right-hand far corner, as you are standing inside looking out, is the relationship corner. This is good placement for the hot tub because if in a relationship this is the place for you & your partner to snuggle up and enjoy! If not with a partner, then invite friends and socialize in the hot tub. Maybe have things in pairs in this corner too. Also good is to center the hot tub on the area to your far right, between the far corner and the near corner. Even the hot tub in the near right corner is fine, especially if it’s on a patio and you want to be close to the door. The marriage warning is about having a hot tub in a relationship corner. That is a disaster if the tub is neglected; dust and leaves on a blue plastic cover over watery chemicals. Doing feng shui, I’ve seen old hot tubs in Marin that just had to be removed. And most hot tub stuff does not age well, especially tubing and filters. So if you are 100% committed and can do it green with no chemicals, you can pull this off in Monkey month.

The client emailed back that yes she was using some chemicals, it was a lot of work, she had to do a weekly checkup, and then go to the hot tub store and to have the water analyzed. She got so frustrated that she just drained out all the water.

I wrote back to her that yes, hot tubbing is a lot of work! Really consider if it’s worth it to sustain the commitment. An empty hot tub is not good feng shui because it’s clutter since it’s not being used. So far this tub seemed to cause more stress than healing. I encouraged her to take action now, instead of seeing it in the yard and feeling bad. Move it now, fill it, and focus on maintaining it — or it goes by the end of this Monkey month (September 12). Don’t let that tub sit out there empty for months, or years like I’ve seen in Marin.

Fortunately, she emailed back that she is checking into reverse osmosis, and moved the tub closer to the door from the far right corner. That felt much better to her, she and her husband re-stained the deck, her gardener planted a bunch of plants, and her backyard deck is becoming, in her words, “a nice zen space.”

NEW MOON IN TAURUS BEGINS SNAKE MONTH

May 14, 2015 § 2 Comments

Tapestry TaurusNEW MOON IN TAURUS

May 17, 2015 at 9:13 pm is a new Moon in Taurus. The new Moon and Sun are both in Taurus, a sensual Earth sign ruled by Venus, planet of love, art, and beauty. Taurean Moon and Sun are conjunct Mercury and Mars in early degrees of Gemini. This brings intellectual stimulation, new ideas, inspired creativity, and interesting conversations. But Sun, Moon, and Mars are opposite Saturn to pace yourself and be thorough. Plus Mercury and Mars square Neptune to think before acting on emotions.

MERCURY RETROGRADE

The ability for introspective thought and wise decision making is helped by Mercury retrograde from May 18 until June 11. Mercury is comfortable in rulership sign Gemini so you can cover much ground. Use these three weeks to get organized in preparation for the next new Moon on June 16 that begins Horse month, a time for action. Call me at 415.642.8019 or reply to this email to schedule your tarot, astrology, or feng shui consultation for clarity about life direction.

METAL SNAKE MONTH

This new Moon in Taurus begins the month of the Metal Snake. The Snake lunar cycle is time to shed skins of the past, recycle, replace, and clean out the old. In feng shui, the Metal environment is clean, pristine, and highly functional. Now is the time for a transformational spring cleaning! Snake and Sheep (and Rabbit) are the artists of the Chinese zodiac making this Snake month in Sheep year ideal to beautify your environment. Fortunately, Venus in Cancer trines Neptune for enhanced creativity and an artistic eye to appreciate beauty.

Jupiter continues to trine Uranus for sudden luck and good fortune, and Uranus continues to square Pluto for political change on a global scale.

Happy new Moon,

Susan Levitt

Feng Shui for the Holidays 2014

December 13, 2014 § Leave a comment

RED is lucky in feng shui.

RED is lucky in feng shui.

It’s holiday season and time to celebrate! “Deck the halls with boughs of holly,” goes the seasonal carol, and from a feng shui perspective that’s a great idea. Adding festive decorations to your home and work can bring luck and improve your feng shui. Bright holiday decorations help elevate your mood, and the festive color red helps temper any holiday blues or seasonal affective disorder in wintertime. Add the color red during the holidays. Red adds fire to our lives. Red spurs us into action, strengthens motivation, and inspires passion for life.

A Christmas tree brings life into your home. The tree’s shape is like a flame with energy moving upwards to the star on top. The tree is decorated with bright lights, and beautiful ornaments add even more vitality. A Christmas tree is lucky in all areas of your home, especially the fame area located in the center of the far wall when entering a room. Your Christmas tree is also very lucky in the wealth corner, the far left-hand corner from the entry. If you have a wall with a red back splash, your tree would look striking in front of the red, and be powerful in any location. If you celebrate Hanuka, the lighting of candles brings fire and is very fortunate. Decorating with the Hanuka colors blue, white, and silver are peaceful and healing. Kwanzaa candles are also fortunate, especially in the fame area. Just avoid placing candles in the wealth corner where you are symbolically burning money!

When decorating your home and workplace, put your heart into your decorating. Create beauty with living things. Instead of tinsel and plastic, this year try decorating with live plants. Like the Christmas tree, live plants bring fresh energy to your environment. The pointsettia is lovely red holiday plant, but only get a couple of them. This year try fresh flowers such as orchids, gardenias, roses, or your favorite flower. If you’re grouping together too much red, which can happen with many pointsettias, separate the red by add green, silver, gold, or a combination of these colors. The color red is especially fortunate in this Horse year.

Feng shui engages all our senses, and than includes sound. So play happy music! Instead of the background noise of your TV, set the holiday mood with joyous and healing music.

Christmas is on a DOUBLE HORSE day: Metal Horse day in this Wood Horse year! Freedom is key, and no one wants to be told what to do. Astrologically speaking, Christmas day will be powerful. On December 25 2014, transformation planet Pluto conjuncts the Sun, Mercury, and Venus. You can accomplish your goals by releasing the past and eliminating old patterns. Ideas and opinions can change when you converse with others, so be open to new ideas. People are serious, and do not want superficial communication today. And relationships dynamics becomes intensified as emotions are deeply felt, especially as the Moon enters sensitive Water sign Pisces.

New Years Eve will be wonderful this year! The Moon will be in sensual Earth sign Taurus, the best sign for the Moon. This beauty-loving Taurean Moon trines Mercury and Pluto for breakthrough conversations and encounters. Plus Moon squares Jupiter, but it is a good square due to the influence of beneficial Jupiter, for strong feelings, enjoying the company of others, and to be in touch with your emotions.

Happy holidays!

Susan Levitt

Snake Year Tips – Especially for Pigs

March 18, 2013 § Leave a comment

green jades

Snake and Pig are opposite signs in Chinese astrology. So Snake year is not considered a fortunate time for Pigs. Snake year began a month ago, and I’ve received emails from concerned people who were born in the year of the Pig. Here is an example of an email from a Pig:

“I learned about you via Chinese Astrology and now follow you on Twitter; I enjoy reading your work! I am a Pig and the Snake year is presenting unique feelings for me. I’ve been scattered, forgetful and irritable- totally out of my character. Do you have any tips to share (gemstones, etc) to increase emotional balance??”

Know that this Water Snake year can be too dreamy, and it’s easy to get lost or confused because the Water Snake is not grounded on earth like the other Snakes. The Earth Snake is naturally very grounded, the Fire and Metal Snakes are focused, and the Wood Snake pursues goals.

A very grounding gemstone for you would be green jade. It’s not too expensive and it’s pretty. Other grounding stones are garnet, jasper, or bloodstone. But they just aren’t as beautiful as jade. Maybe carry a bloodstone with you, and wear jade. Avoid clear quartz that can amplify confused energy.

And when overwhelmed, take a warm bath with a half cup or so of epsom salts. Be sure to submerge your head under the water. Stay for about 15 or 20 minutes in the tub, or until the water loses its heat. You can switch this with a half bottle of hydrogen peroxide. A series of five baths in a row, each evening, should be beneficial. You can add a few drops of organic pure essential oil of lavender for a calming scent.

And good feng shui! Clear out all clutter so you do not have chaos in your home, office, or car.

This Hare month that started a week ago will be better for you. Last month was Tiger month and that can feel like too much aggressive energy for the sensitive Pig. Even though Pig and Tiger are allies, Tiger energy can be a bit much.

Good luck,

Susan

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