Fengshui and the ancient Chinese philosophy
Fengshui is the ancient art of understanding and harmonizing oneself with the surrounding environment. When thinking about fengshui, we usually only consider house contents, buildings or decorations, but the truth is fengshui studies can be applied to every type of environment, not only buildings, but also climate, whole countries or regions, work environment, interpersonal relationships, and even moments in time (hours, days, months, years). All these types of environments are characterized by different types of energy, having different patterns and tendencies. If we know what the energy patterns are and how they are characterized, seeing all likely outcomes and tendencies becomes very easy.
This system is based on the energetic analysis of several factors, using ancient Chinese methods and theories, like Yin-Yang, Wuxing (or five elements/phases), Bagua (also known as the eight trigrams) and the I Ching (the divination method, which considers 64 possible hexagrams for describing energy patterns), and can be applied to studying cycles of 60 years (sexagenary cycles). The combination of all these elements gives us the exact energy pattern that permeates each given year, and that allows us to predict what will most likely happen, or not.
2019, the Yin-Earth Boar Year
According to the Chinese lunisolar calendar, 2019 started on February 5th and will end on January 24th. In terms of energy, it’s classified as a Yin and Earth year, and due to its association with the corresponding Chinese Zodiac sign, also as a “Yin Earth Pig year”.
Having Yin-Earth qualities, this year will be slower than the previous one, which had a more Yang and fiery influence. The Earth nature is related to the center, nurturing and grounding. The Yin nature means it is time to calm down and look within.
2019 is also associated with I Ching’s 5th hexagram xū, which literally means “attending”, and the bagua’s 8th trigram gèn, which is usually translated using the word “mountain”. By their very nature, this denotes a slow (although stable) growth, patience, calm, nurture and waiting.
The mountain trigram (represented by the number 8) is usually associated with the southwest (or northwest, if you’re in the southern hemisphere), so this can be considered a lucky direction in which to travel.
Generally speaking, this means “be patient and calm down”. It is also a known indicator of “slow beginnings”.
Life in 2019
2019 will be a year of internal work and slow development. It’s not a year for big enterprises or to start huge projects. Rather, we should calm down, nurture ourselves and others, and steadily work on the projects already in our hands. This year will be a special challenge to all those who struggle with perseverance and patience. On the other hand, it will seem like a blessing to all those who value comfort and slowness.
From all the five different types of energy/elements, Earth is considered the “mother” type of energy. Due to the calm and patient nature of this energy that rules 2019, the tendency is that conflicts and confronts will be resolved in a more peaceful manner, and personal relationships are more likely to improve, even on a worldly perspective. Of course, this probably does not mean that wars and worldwide conflicts will all end, but the tendency is that they may somehow become softer.
At a professional level, the work is likely to be and feel a bit slow, which may give rise to feelings of frustration at times. This is especially true if it’s in your nature to be more active or used to precipitate into matters.
From a personal level, there will be an inclination to look within and focus on ourselves, but also a desire to nurture those we love and not get into unnecessary arguments and conflicts. Financially, this will not be a year of great economic growth.
At a health level and given the strong influences that Yang-Water and Yang-Wood energies have on this Yin-Earth year, gastrointestinal, kidney, or liver problems may arise more frequently or start to manifest (especially in very humid climates). Mentally, there may be issues with obsessive thought, frustration, irritation, anger or fear.
General advice for 2019
- Start a regular meditation practice. Time to calm down and look within, keeping your emotions in check.
- It’s not a great idea to start huge projects that require a lot of effort at first. The slow nature of this year will most likely make you feel frustrated and irritated. If you have no choice and must do it this year, try to push these types of tasks towards the end of the year, when the energy pattern will slowly begin to shift to a more auspicious one.
- It’s not the time to make great financial investments, so be mindful of where you spend your money. Also, be patient and don’t despair. Good and steady work (even if slow) has its rewards.
- Time to start nurturing the relationships you value. Don’t fear conflict as it will be resolved peacefully.
- That care of yourself. This means getting enough rest, indulge (a bit!) in whatever makes you feel good and comfortable.
- Beware of feelings of greed and selfishness, as these will most likely arise if not kept in check. Also, avoid falling for the other extreme, which is obsessively focusing on others.
- Try not to fall into complete stagnation and excessive self-indulgence. Remember, it may seem slow, but things are moving.
- Try your best not to lose focus and let yourself be dragged by the currents. Indulgence and comfort? Yes. Passiveness and carelessness? No.
- Do not rush things, or you will most likely fail. Patience is highly required to succeed this year.
General astrology aspects
- Any Pig will feel especially good this year. The energy is calm and patient, providing those born under Pig with their most appreciated nurture, tolerance and indulgence.
- Those born under the signs of Ox, Goat, Rat, Rabbit, and Dog, may also appreciate this inward and nurturing-focused energy.
- Those born under the signs of Tiger, Dragon, Horse, Rooster, Snake, and Monkey, may have more tendency to feel frustrated and stagnated, due to the slowness of the year. Might be a good time to sit and evaluate how things are going.
- To those born under the sign of Snake: be ready for a challenging year. According to Chinese astrological traditions, Snake and Pig are conflicting signs, and therefore this may create some difficulties for any Snake. Nonetheless, keep in mind that this is not a doom sentence; just make sure you balance your energy and that of the surrounding environment, do not make rash, unpondered decisions or risky moves, and you’ll be just fine. Also, and although Snake is usually known as the “contrary sign” to Pig, those born under Monkey will probably face similar constraints and challenges, so be observant of the situations you’re in.
How to use the 5 elements to balance your home in 2019
Contrary to popular belief, you don’t necessarily have to buy exotic fengshui remedies or completely remodel your home to harmonize the environment (although in severe cases, it may help). There are a few simple things you can do at home that will have a great impact in different areas of your life.
By knowing the energetic profile of 2019 and having some knowledge of the Chinese 5 elements, you can easily know which elements will drain and conflict with 2019’s Earth energy, and what are the best ways to balance those relationships.
The Wuxing theory and the relationships between the 5 elements. (Source)
Use Earth colors/materials to promote comfort and calmness, and to prevent anger and rage.
- Use natural fibers and materials in your home. Besides being eco-friendly and healthier, they naturally establish a connection to the Earth. This is the easiest way to start harmonizing your home and, within this year’s energy pattern, it’s a powerful way of improving your personal relationships.
- The use of Earth elements and colors in the yellow-beige range, as well as pillows, cotton, wool or linen materials, will accentuate the already existing energetic tendencies and promote comfort, slowness and grounding. Using these types of materials and colors is especially helpful if you’re feeling stressed or angered. Also, since these colors promote Earth energy, they contribute to increase pleasantness and maternal instinct. Colors in this range, along with browns and goldens, can be considered “lucky colors” because they accentuate and tonify 2019’s ruling Earth energy.
Use Metal elements to fight the tendency to stagnation and promote flow. To promote passion and creativity, use Fire and Wood elements.
- Metal and Wood elements can balance the Earth energy, either by draining it (in the case of Metal) or by cutting it (in the case of Wood). So, avoid using the color white (a Metal color) in areas where you want to promote the Earth energy; this color serves the purpose of accelerating the energy flow, promoting a certain degree of flow and draining the Earth energy. Excessive greens (Wood-related colors) can also have the effect of cutting the Earth energy, but make sure you use house plants as they promote energy movement, balance, and counteract the excessive stagnant energy of the Earth.
- As a general advice, wherever you want to increase the energy levels, do not use Earth elements. Excessively soft materials, yellow-beige colors, will only accentuate the already Yin-Earth energy and promote stagnation. To promote rising energy, use well-placed vertical tiles of wood or bamboo, as well as tall and expanding houseplants, to naturally balance out the excessive Earth energy without being in direct conflict with it.
- This year it may all seem too slow and like it’s not moving or developing, but you can counteract this feeling by including elements that stimulate creativity and energy. Just do not use too much of these elements, otherwise you’ll probably begin to feel a little agitated and therefore frustrated by the slowness of the year. To stimulate creativity and passion, use green, purple and red, in the appropriate environments (for example, not in areas where you want to promote rest, grounding and comfort).
- Use Metal-related colors and materials (white, finely polished stone or metal surfaces) to promote energy flow and the feeling of “letting go”. But beware of its excessive use, since Metal can very easily drain the Earth energy and let you feeling agitated and unable to rest.
The best way to stop crippling stagnation, counteract financial instability and promote vitality and health, is always to harmonize the Water elements.
- Water energy is related to our vitality (also called life-force) and our financial life. As this is an Earth year, and excessive Earth has the tendency to dry and drain Water, we all need to pay special attention to this important connection. Maintaining the Water balance in your home is of vital importance for a good health and financial stability.
- Make sure there are no leakages, they symbolize both money and vitality loss.
- Avoid stagnant water and infiltrations at all costs. The ruling energy is already stagnation-promoting, so we do not want to exacerbate this tendency. As a rule, keeping water at home is great for stimulating flexibility of thought, practical thoughts and objectivity. Just make sure it’s running and clear water.
- Besides actual water, you can use elements like well-placed mirrors, as well as blue, dark blue, or black. But keep in mind these elements strengthen the Yin aspect of the environment, so if in excess, they can drain the energy and make you feel lethargic and slow.
Overall, 2019 is a year to nurture, build your strength, health, and resources, but not the time to go into the proverbial battle. It’s time to connect to the Earth, yourself and those around you, to feel comfortable and content. So instead of trying to build big enterprises, make tremendous investments and forcefully try to advance processes and projects, just sit back, enjoy life, and let things run slowly. And most importantly, don’t let the slow energy bring you down! Remember, slow and steady wins the race. And, most importantly, “slow” does not mean “dead”.