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Posts Tagged Chinese New Year

New Beginnings in the Year of the Rooster

By Carole Hyder

Lao Tzu said,

“New beginnings are often disguised as painful endings.”

Year of the Rooster (2)For many of us, the Year of the Monkey can be done already. But rather than shaking off the monkey pranks of this past 12 months, perhaps we could look at how they’re defining the upcoming 12 months.

The Year of the Rooster began February 3rd at 11:49 PM, but its influence was being felt some weeks before that. The Rooster is just plain more predictable. There’s less drama and fewer surprises with the Rooster—for which I think I can safely say we’re all pretty much relieved about that.

The Rooster energy stays close to the ground (although a Rooster has wings it doesn’t really take to the skies), pays attention to details (pecking around for food requires a keen eye), and is image-conscious (no argument that their feathers are quite beautiful).

There aren’t too many people I know who haven’t been stretched this past year—-personally, professionally as well as politically. The monkey-shenanigans have been tiresome, cruel even, but they’ve taught us about being resilient and about being vigilant.

It’s a perfect lead-in to the time of this Rooster—-a fire Rooster. Bringing the Fire element to the Rooster is going to sustain the need for resilience and vigilance but without as much wild drama we’ve just endured. We’re a practiced bunch in how to ride through the tempest so we’ve got this going forward.

We can expect some additional turmoil in 2017 but it’s nothing we can’t handle. The Rooster could bring some opportunities we might not ordinarily embrace and our new-found determination could propel many of us forward.

It’s not the time to hold back just because we came off a challenging year. Rather it’s a time to spread some wings, strut a bit and crow.

Happy Year of the Rooster everyone!

P.S. Want to know some specifics about the Year of the Rooster?

Check out a webinar Lisa Janusz and I did about this very topic.

Chinese New Year of the Monkey

Chinese New YearBy Carole Hyder

The Chinese New Year begins on the second new moon after winter solstice—-this year that date is February 8. If you celebrated the western New Year, this could be a time for you to recommit to or revise your resolutions for 2016.

The Chinese put as much effort into the preparation of the New Year as they do to the actual celebration. You might find some of these helpful in your own New Year rituals.

  1. On days preceding the New Year, Chinese families give their homes a thorough cleaning. It is believed cleaning sweeps away any remaining bad luck from the year before and makes their home ready for good luck. The brooms and dust bins are put out of sight on New Year’s Day so that the newly arrived luck isn’t accidentally swept away.
  2. Painters do a booming business right before New Year, painting doors and window-frames with a new coat of red paint. Homes are often decorated with a set of couplets written on long strips of red paper (one on each side of the door) upon which have been calligraphy-ed a poem or a good luck saying.
  3. Purchasing new clothing and shoes is encouraged to symbolize new beginnings.
  4. Any haircuts are done before the New Year. The Chinese word for hair (fa) is also the word for prosperity so no one wants to cut short their prosperity.
  5. Businesses try to pay off all outstanding debts, and they send gifts to close business associates and family members.

On New Year’s Day there is often a lion dance to symbolize protection. In addition, people give out red envelopes to spread further good wishes for the New Year, which contains a coin for wealth, a piece of candy for life’s sweetness, and a wish for continued good luck and success.

However you may decide to bring in the New Year of the Monkey, make it a special and intentional celebration.

Happy New Year Chinese Characters
Xin Nian Kuai Le – Happy New Year

Ready, Set, GOAL! Feng Shui for Your New Year’s Goals

Happy New Year 2016

By Lisa Janusz

As we embark upon the start of 2016, many of us are in forward-looking state of mind. This is the time to set goals for the year ahead – and I encourage you to do so.



As you set your 2016 goals:

  • Make them SMART – Specific (and simple), Measurable, Achievable, Relevant and Time-limited.
    Write them down or share them with someone.
  • Watch self-talk: “Whether you think you can, or you think you can’t–you’re right.” –Henry Ford
  • Remember that there isn’t “failure” – just more information. “I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.” –Thomas Edison
  • Push yourself. “If you hit the target every time, the target is too near or too big.” –Tom Hirshfield

Be open to adjusting your goals as the year goes on. It’s not to let yourself “off the hook,” but rather allow yourself to change course when it’s appropriate.

From a Feng Shui perspective you can support those goals by paying attention and seeing what’s happening in these areas:

  • The related area of the bagua (if you know it). For example the career area of your home if you are looking for a new opportunity.
  • The room or place that “holds” the energy around your goal. For example, the front door (where opportunities knock) for a new job or the kitchen for health.
  • Your bedroom since this is place to focus on rest and rejuvenation to keep your chi up.
  • Your sacred space. This could be a meditation area, your favorite place to sit or even a vision board (any size – even an index card!).

All of these will help you support your journey for the next year.

Not sure ”goals” is the right focus this year? Maybe a different type of thinking will resonate more with you. See our past blog posts about being resolute and setting an intention for the year.

Whatever you decide to do: know that we are a community that supports you. As we all keep growing and moving forward, we bring out the best in ourselves, and that of others.

Herding the Sheep: What Does 2015 Have in Store for You?

sheep_webBy Carole Hyder

The Chinese calendar is comprised of a 12-year cycle with each year assigned an animal. There are a few stories of how these exact animals were selected. One of the legends says that Buddha summoned all of the animals of the earth to come visit him before he died. In appreciation for those who showed up, the Buddha named a year after each of them, given out in the order they arrived. The Horse was the 7th animal to show up which corresponds to last year (2014); the Sheep arrived right after the Horse so is the 8th in the 12-cycle line-up. The Monkey came in 9th so will be the animal representing 2016.

A lot of people are happy to cut the reins on the Year of the Horse—-it was a challenging year for many. Some people had plenty of good things happen during the course of the year but it became almost unmanageable; others ran into difficulties like a string of pearls—–one after the other. The difficulties were not specific to one area of life but across the board—-health, financial, relationships, job.

However, we’re moving toward a softer year as 2015 approaches. Just from an outward perspective, Sheep are gentle animals—–they move slow, their coat is soft, they’re rather small—–they are by far less intimidating than Horses. The Year of the Sheep can also be called the Year of the Goat or the Ram which does bring some feistiness and spunk with it as opposed to the ever-docile Sheep. That said, this will be all-round a less frenzied year.

The Year of the Sheep begins on Tuesday, February 3rd at 5:20 PM (Central time). Although this is not the big New Year’s celebration that the Chinese celebrate (their New Year festival will take place on February 18th at 4:47 PM Central), this is the date that Feng Shui adjustments are made.

So in anticipation of a year that will more than likely exude a slower tempo, don’t let yourself get stuck or mired down, which can be the downside to the Year of the Sheep. It will be important to keep some of that Horse energy from 2014 so you can still scale those mountains, but at a slower pace.

Year of the Horse – 2014

year-of-horse-greenBy Carole Hyder

The format of the Chinese calendar is comprised of two components:  an animal and an element from the 5 Chinese Element system. Each year there’s a new animal and every other year a new Element.The year 2014 is symbolized by the Horse and by Wood. The Horse itself has its own Element which is that of Fire so, in theory, this year is represented by Fire and Wood. These two Elements are related in a constructive way since Wood feeds Fire so typically the expectations could be that this would be a harmonious year.

However, this year, the Wood is strong, stubborn and opinionated; the Horse is powerful, charismatic and quick. This is going to be one of those years when you will need to hang onto the reins. Some of this high energy will be exhilarating and some of it will be explosive.

According to Feng Shui Master Raymond Lo, the Wood Horse year is a symbol of optimism and enthusiasm for new innovations and progress. This is definitely a recipe for rebirth and growth—-a time when you won’t want to hesitate with your plans and decisions because everything is going to happen very quickly. That said, this kind of energy can be a set-up for international conflicts, squelching any idea that we might be moving into a time of peace.

For some this Wood Horse energy can be a welcome change after the wishy-washy, vacillating energy of the Snake in 2013.  Debra Duneier, in her article published in the Huffington Post, says that the Horse “will bring you fast successes, exciting journeys and unexpected passion and romance.  This is a lucky year when hard work and determination bring triumph”. I say, just don’t get swept away by the mesmerizing gallop of this magical Horse. It’s a good time to welcome in transformation and move in a new direction, but it always pays to proceed with caution.

When the lunar New Year arrives on January 31 (solar on February 4), it will be a good time to release the old and welcome the new.  To enhance the energy of the Wood Horse, make sure your intentions for 2014 are clear and focused. Place a healthy green plant on your desk to be a reminder to you of all that you want to accomplish.

From the Wild Dragon to the Meandering Snake

Snake 4Many of us are grateful that the Dragon year is over.  Although exciting, it wasn’t without its moments of frenzy and upheaval.  The Snake energy arrives according to the Chinese solar calendar on February 4th and according to the lunar calendar on February 10th.

The year of the Snake will be a gentler and kinder year than we just experienced from the Dragon.  The Snake, by nature, moves slower than the Dragon and, of course, doesn’t breathe fire!  Although the body shape and texture (scales) between the two zodiac animals is similar, the Snake will reduce the energy considerably since it’s lacking feet.

According to the Chinese calendar, 2013 is made up of water and fire (snake).  Because fire and water are at odds we can expect continued conflicts and violence around the world.  The water, however, is yin which means the encounter between the two elements is less turbulent than if the water was stronger in nature.  This is a patient easy-going form of water which could forecast intelligent and innovative reforms and ideas.  On the other hand, it also could prophesy secret plots and deceptive attacks.

The fire element of the Snake is the driving force of all things financial so we could expect improvements in the economic world and the stock market.  From a financial viewpoint, there is a potential for a confidence and optimism.

The animals that will be in harmony with the Snake are the Monkey, the Rooster, the Horse and the Ox.  The Pig will be challenged as will the Snake who, oddly enough, will be challenged in its own year.  The antidote for challenges coming your way during the year of the Snake is the Monkey.  Having a figurine, a poster or a picture of a Monkey will ease any difficulties that may arise between you and the Snake.  Place it where you will see if often.  You do not have to be challenged by the Snake this year to benefit from the presence of a Monkey.

Continue to de-clutter your home and office, and find an appropriate blessing or clearing to do in your space on the eve of February 4th or February 10th.  This would be the time to reflect on any resolutions you made around the time of the western New Year or, if you didn’t make any, to do so now.  One way to assure you are not negatively influenced by the Snake is to do one good deed a day.  This good karma will bless you with a pleasant and memorable year ahead.

CH-15-twitterBy Carole Hyder

Wind & Water School of Feng Shui Founder, Faculty and International Feng Shui Expert


Minneapolis, MN
Phone: (612) 751-3828