We are already at the end of January 2015, but it feels like just a week ago we were celebrating New Year’s Eve. Now we are on the verge of celebrating another new year milestone. The Chinese New Year celebration begins February 19th, which welcomes in The Year of The Wood Sheep.
The yin energy of the sheep year brings with it a bit more calm than the galloping yang energy of the horse year. I thought I was well-prepared for the wild ride of 2014’s Wood Horse, but I’ve been saddle-sore these last several months. An unanticipated quick move during the summer, business plans that fell through, a serious family health issue and the passing of a beloved family pet threw me into a whirl of activity and emotions. Did anyone else feel such intense energy as well? Well, I for one am looking forward to the more reserved energy of the sheep.
2015 will be a time to turn more inward and embrace the supportive energy of our homes, family, and friends. Although the Wood element will help to keep things moving forward at a constant pace, it should not be the wild ride of energy we experienced with the horse. This will be a year to catch our breath, enjoy the fruits of our labors and simplify what’s around us. The sheep also reminds us to relax and play a bit more. Sounds good, doesn’t it?
If you would like to observe and make the most out of the Chinese New Year celebration, here are a few general preparations you can make.
One or two days before
1. Do a thorough cleaning of your home. It is believed that cleaning and sweeping on the first day of the new year sweeps good fortune away rather than bringing it in. Maintaining a clean house throughout the year signals to the Universe that good energy is always welcomed.
2. Refresh your home’s decor. Remove what feels old and stagnant. Organize what you have and bring in a few new energy pieces such as new decorative pillows, a piece of art, or a new plant. Make your bed with fresh linens.
3. Buy fresh flowers for your entry and/or kitchen. Red, orange or yellow flowers represent the active fire energy, but a bouquet of assorted colors will represent the harmony of all the elements in feng shui. Remove them once they start losing their vibrancy. Consider purchasing flowers for your home on a regular basis throughout the year as well.
4. Set out a bowl of fresh oranges or tangerines, which represent gold and financial abundance. Start eating them on the new year, as a sign of accepting good fortune into your life.
5. Buy a new outfit to wear on New Year’s Day. New clothes represent the new energy you are looking forward to in 2015. Add red to your clothes and give an extra spark to your intentions. In the Chinese culture, red is the color of choice for happy celebrations! Each new year I also recommend purchasing a new red, purple or gold wallet, to energize your wealth in the coming year. With this being a wood energy year, black or navy also work as both colors represent the water element, which feeds and supports wood. A great choice for women – a red or purple wallet with a new black or navy handbag.
On the first day of the New Year’s celebration
1. Wear your new outfit and go out to eat. It is considered bad luck to cook or use sharp knives on New Year’s Day, as it is looked upon as burning up or cutting your luck. Besides, it’s a great excuse to have someone else cook for you and clean up afterwards!
2. Write your wishes or intentions for the coming year on red ribbon or paper and hang or tack them outside on a tree to let them blow in the breeze. Keep them up until they are worn down. You may choose to do this on a tree in your backyard to avoid any conflict if you have a strict Homeowners Association where you live.
3. Maintain a positive outlook all day. Starting off the new year in a bad mood creates negative momentum. Avoid anything that can affect you such as watching or listening to the news, reading the paper, or getting into arguments with family members (which includes yelling at the family dog). Go to the movies and watch a comedy, or meet up with friends for a fun evening out. Take a deep breath, or two or three, if you have to work or drive in traffic that day. Be tolerant and offer a sincere smile to everyone. We can’t control how other people behave, but we have control over how we respond to that behavior. I, for one, do not want someone else dictating the energy of my yew year!
There are other remedies and enhancements suggested by more traditional schools of feng shui, but my focus is on practical feng shui advice for our Western society. Try a couple, or all, of these suggestions and begin this wonderful Year of The Wood Sheep feeling more positive and inspired!
Gung Hay Fat Choy! Wishing You Prosperity & Health!