DYI Feng Shui Tips

DYI FENG SHUI TIPS for 2018 Dog Year

Chinese year 4715

The new Moon in Aquarius on February 15 2018 at 1:05 pm PST, also celebrated on February 16, began the year of the Earth Dog and the month of the exciting Wood Tiger. 

This new Moon was a solar eclipse, so what is hidden can come to light this year. Under the influence of vigilant Dog, the truth is sniffed out, and integrity is rewarded. 

Dog year is a time of fairness and equality. Controversial issues are given their due, revolutions are successful, politics are liberal, and political oppression is opposed. Justice and honesty are the values that lead to success during Dog year. 

2018 is an Earth year, so time to heal and regain balance after two Fire years of 1016 Fire Monkey and 2017 Fire Phoenix (Rooster). During an Earth year, create a warm, cozy, and inviting environment that helps you live simply in your truth.

Take care of your diet and digestion this year because the element Earth rules the stomach in Chinese medicine. 

Chinese Medicine

All 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. This Earth year, and next year 2019 Earth Pig, are naturally fortunate years to focus on your home environment. During these two years, create your home the way you really want it to be. If you’re home is OK, then maintain and refine what you have, and be appreciative! Those born in Dog year are naturally gracious. 

Learn to Stay Tidy 

Stop mess before it builds by creating the habit of tidying up before you leave your home or office. Then a peaceful environment awaits you when you enter. You arrive to a clean environment, with nothing chaotic. 

Dog year is an excellent time to learn new tidy habits! Like a trained dog, develop a routine or structure to maintain a clean environment. 

Especially at your place of work, it is not favorable to leave a mess over the weekend. And tidy up your outdoor area.

Home is important to those born in Dog year or on Dog day. They require a secure, safe environment, they can be very protective of their space, and they respect clear boundaries. 

Luck Enters

Where to start to bring in luck in 2018? 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.

For a business, make sure that your entry is clean and inviting, and that there is good signage with clear address numbers. One third of business success is good feng shui at the entrance.

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, and sets the tone.

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 this Earth year when it’s easy to get bogged down in clutter and just too much stuff.

Ba-Gua Map

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

baguafawnchangfengshui1Focus on the Marriage and Partnership corner in Dog year to create abundance. Social Dog loves the pack. This corner is located in the far right-hand corner from the entry.

Good connections with family and friends are important to Dogs who are dedicated to contributing to humanity as healers and helpers. The more solid that Dogs feel in their relationships, the more inspired they are to accomplish great feats and to fight for the underdog. 

Because Dog can be such a rescuer, also embellish the Helpful People (and Travel) corner, located at the far right-hand corner from the entry. In this way, Dog will not be taken advantage of or depleted when assisting others. 

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, or you could experience poor health.

Soften Your Dining Room

Every room of your home or office has a Marriage and Partnership corner to focus on in Dog year. After that is complete, another important room this year is your dining room because that’s the room of the Element Earth, and 2018 is the year of the Earth Dog. 

Start by standing at the entry of your dining room. Really look at your dining room to make it softer and easy to eat and digest. This is a yin room so round or oval shaped tables are best, and round or oval mirrors. 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.

Apply the ba-gua map and observe what is in your  Marriage and Partnership corner. If it’s one lone chair, remove the chair. Then focus on the Helpful People (and Travel) corner making sure it is not cluttered and that the entry is not blocked. 

If you do not have a dining room in your home, you can still focus on diet, nutrition, food choices — what you dine on. Keep your kitchen clean and inviting in this Earth Dog year.

Flying Stars

In a feng shui system of flying stars, every year the stars change location. I know this system but don’t use it because each year a direction indicates an unfortunate place, meaning unfortunate for events such as a robbery. If you have concerns about a direction being unlucky, then be sure that area is clean, made conscious, and nicely decorated! If you fear robbery, install a security system and rescue a dog this year.

Pay Off Debt

It’s fortunate to start 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, 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. Even a backsplash will do.

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.
Strong FIRE brings passion, energy, and creativity.

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.
Strong EARTH brings stability. balance, and patience.

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.
Strong METAL brings logic, clarity, and intelligence.

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.
Strong WATER brings wisdom and serenity.

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.
Strong WOOD brings growth, enthusiasm, and creativity. (Fire, the most yang element, also brings creativity. Wood is minor yang in Chinese medicine.)

Lucky Plants

feng_shui430x300It can be fortunate to add plants, flowers, and healthy bamboo to your home and workplace to increase abundance. The energy of a room is brightened by the addition of flowers and plants. And plants offer fresh oxygen to improve health. 

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

For both home and office, a favorite plant is Chinese evergreen (aglaonema). It grows well in all types of locations and climates, it muffles noise, and you can smell oxygen when near it.

Also good are green house plants with rounded leaves such as the indoor lily or peace plant (spathiphyllum), prayer plant (maranta), jade plant (crassula ovata), and pothos (epipremnum aureum). Also include orchids with round leaves. You want to avoid plants with spiky leaves like cacti.

Plants that can live in low light are the ZZ plant ((zamioculcas zamiifolia), the peace lily, the cast iron plant (aspidistra elatior), the chamaedorea palm, and philodendron.

Perhaps you’ve seen what is referred to as a “money plant.” This potted plant usually is decorated with gold or red charms. Bu tit can get leggy as it grows, with long stringy branches weighed down by the charms. So this money plant is not always a good choice unless you have a green thumb and can keep your money plant thriving. A lush round jade plant is a better choice if you have a gray thumb.

Bamboo is lucky in feng shui because as it grows, the new growth is longer. Bamboo sways gently in the wind, meaning that it’s easily adaptable to change.  If you have bamboo, keep it watered and transfer it to a larger container when it outgrows the original container. 

If your bamboo dries out and becomes yellow, put the dried bamboo in the mulch pile and get a new one, or replace it with a different type of plant that you can grow. Be sure that your plants stay healthy throughout the year. If not, recycle the withered plant and replace it with a fresh, healthy one. 


Lucky Flowers

If you do not have a green thumb, consider bringing fresh flowers to the office on Monday. Or add silk flowers in lively colors. 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.

Lucky flowers are orchids, peonies, and lilies. Chrysanthemums have a scent that not everyone likes, so pay attention to scent. Also favored are colorful tulips and roses. 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 most types of cactus.


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.


Fish Tank or Fountain

If you add a fish tank or fountain, be sure you can commit to the work involved in maintaining it. If you add an aquarium, you are responsible for the lives of living creatures! Even a simple fountain requires maintenance. A fountain in this Earth year is not particularly fortunate because Earth blocks Water, like a dyke or damn. But adding Water can help if you live in a dry, arid climate. Fountains are not recommended in places where the climate is cold, snowy, damp, prone to flooding, foggy, or close to a body of water where more water is not needed.

Contact Susan Levitt to schedule your feng shui consultation or astrology forecast.

Read TAOIST ASTROLOGY to learn feng shui structure and history.

Use TEEN FENG SHUI as your personal workbook to learn feng shui.