The countdown to Chinese New Year has begun. Feb. 18 marks the beginning of the year of the fire boar, which brings with it a clash of the fire and water elements. How does this affect you? And how can you arrange your home in a feng shui style, to make the most of what the year has to offer?
Before learning about the year of the boar, it is important to establish some basic feng shui principles. Feng shui is the practice of
creating a pleasant living environment within your home or workspace. It promotes the right balance of yin and yang energy, while incorporating the five elements in our cosmic universe: fire, earth,metal, water and wood.
Chi is vital energy which is always changing. Everything is alive and connected with chi.“Feng Shui is about managing
the change of this energy from year to year,” says Dolly Sidhu, who co-owns the World of Feng Shui boutique in Vaughan, Ontario with partner Dee Johl.
There are 12 astrological signs in the Chinese zodiac: the rat,ox, tiger, rabbit, dragon, snake,horse, goat, monkey, rooster, dog
and boar. All of the signs are affected by the fire boar this year, each in its own way. Overall, though, the year of the fire boar
brings good luck in the wealth department, but also the possibility of serious illness, hostility or violence. Feng shui principles
can be used to help maximize wealth and minimize illness and other negative energies.
Maximizing wealth “2007 is the year when fortunes can be made, wealth can be created, and some pretty outstanding
achievements can be attained,” says Ms. Sidhu. To maximize your wealth, try to incorporate a water feature in the southeast
sector of your home, and couple that with plants. Water signifies wealth and growth. The southeast sector governs wealth, and
it has very good energy this year. The southeast sector has a wood element, as well, and water strengthens the wood element.
Plants also signify growth.
Minimizing illness “This year, we are more prone to disease. Everyone will be affected somehow. We have to make sure we
have something to protect ourselves from the strength of the illness energy,” Ms. Sidhu says.
Metal is the cardinal protective element against illness this year. Everyone benefits from wearing gold jewellery and gold-fashioned symbols to overcome the illness energy. In terms of decor, try to incorporate metallic items into the physical centre of your home, which is usually the front staircase or foyer. A metallic glass frame ortable is a good choice. Or consider
putting up metallic wind chimes.
One traditional feng shui item is a gourd made of brass, calleda wu lou. Feng shui experts usually recommend placing this item
near the bedside to absorb the illness energy and curb disease. However, because illness will besuch a prominent concern this
year, experts recommend placing the wu lou somewhere in the centre of the home. “Another item that we recommend is a painting
called the Mandala of Medicine Buddha. It symbolically represents different herbs and medicines for healing,” says Ms. Johl.
Minimizing hostility The hostile energy brought by the year ofthe fire boar will affect the patriarch of the family. “The hostility
star is in the northwest sector of the Chinese astrological chart this year. It will bring problems,with plenty of misunderstandings that escalate quickly into serious differences. The northwest sector is also the home of the patriarch of the family, which will cause the father or husband to be less tolerant and more bad tempered,” Ms. Sidhu says.
In other years, the recommendation was to use a red item, which symbolized fire, to suppress hostile energy. However, fire cannot be used in the northwest sector because it will burnaway the father’s good luck (a phenomenon referred to as “fire at heaven’s gate”). So, feng shui experts recommend using what’s called a ksiddigarbah star. Made of metal, the star can stand alone
and is easy to place in the northwest corner of the home. The points of the star symbolize the tips of a flame.
Minimizing violence Violent energy is hitting the north sector this year. “We have to watch out for people cheating or betraying
us, which often results in loss or physical danger. [People who live in] homes facing north have to be extra careful because they
are vulnerable to violent energy this year,” Ms. Sidhu says.
One remedy for this problem is to place a double-horned rhinoceros statue, or two single horned ones, on the floor beside
the door, looking out. The rhinoceros is like a protective guard, and it helps to suppress violent energy. If you want to kill two
birds with one stone, make it a blue-coloured rhino. The colour blue represents the north, which governs the career. So a blue
rhino not only suppresses violence, it also enhances the career.