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Published January 24th, 2018
Feng Shui
Illustration Jaya Griggs, www.jayagriggs.com

Gung Hay Fat Choy! Happy New Year!
The Chinese have a solar and lunar calendar (Lunarsolare) and as you may have realized and noted over the years, the New Year's celebrations of the western or Gregorian calendar are not the same as either of these. The Chinese Solar New Year for the Year of the Yang Earth Dog begins Feb. 4 and is the midway mark between the winter solstice and spring equinox. It's important to note that it is the Solar Chinese New Year date that is used to determine the corresponding Chinese zodiac animal birth sign for individuals. For example, if a person were born Jan. 31, 2018 he or she would be a Fire Rooster and under the preceding year of Yin Fire Rooster year of 2017 which ends Feb. 4, 2018. The Chinese Lunar New Year begins this year on Feb. 16 and is when massive global Chinese New Year's celebrations, fireworks, big parades, and the beginning of the weeklong observances and events begin.
Keep in mind that Chinese astrology is based on astronomy, philosophy, and traditional calendars and is the divination of the timing of the future. In particular, it is based on a 60-year cycle that has been documented since the time of the Shang Dynasty. This basic cycle has been constructed from two cycles: the 10 heavenly stems (the five elements of water, wood, fire, earth and metal in their yin or female and yang or male forms) plus the 12 earthly branches, or the 12-year cycle of animals referred to as the Chinese zodiac (rat, ox, tiger, rabbit, snake, dragon, horse, ram, monkey, rooster, dog and pig). The Chinese animal zodiac also operates on a cycle of months (12 animals rule one each of the 12 months) or 'moons' and of hours of the day (12 animals with a two-hour period adds up to a 24-hour day).
The 2018 Earth Dog year will amplify all that is sincere, moral, loyal, intelligent, stable, practical, reliable, honest, grounded and a feeling for justice and the rules of fair play. Earth Dog is pragmatic, calm and serene and much gentler than his fellow Fire, Water, Wood or Metal Dogs so even though the pace of a male year can be hectic, the overall energy will be more stable, gentle, and less combative or warlike than other Dog years. Calm, clear and patient communication will be key to success this Earth Dog year.
The 2018 Earth Dog will ring in a welcomed grounding energetic favoring integrity, justice, tolerance and empathy, a more pronounced collective consciousness of fairness and justice, trustworthiness, rules of fair play, and making sure in the end, that everyone is treated fairly will be a large part of 2018 unfolding energetically. Reassessing the inner spiritual values of individuals and society at large and consciously integrating "higher-self" values into daily life, will create a spiritual reservoir for many to rely upon in 2018. Dog year will awaken our intuition and deep moral sense and the human values of honesty, integrity, loyalty and generosity will be the values that lead to a successful path under 2018 Dog's watchful eye.
Earth Dog is endowed with some of the finest qualities of all the Chinese Zodiac animals, including overall success at enterprises, generosity, kindness and caring for others. The 2018 Earth Dog year includes a sensitive sense of justice, the rule of law or the sense of right and wrong and balanced support for the underdog. Quiet Dog persuasion and diplomacy will take center stage and those wanting success in 2018 would do well to follow this lead by applying generosity, kindness and patience in all business matters. Finding life's higher purpose, lending a sincere helping hand, generously reaching out to others less fortunate, will also be richly rewarded in the 2018 Dog year.
Many voices around the world will also rise to highlight the importance of universal values of dialogue and solidarity, and individual demagogy will be rejected by the majority. There will be an increase in social awareness and interest in the socially less powerful members of our society, efforts that are aimed at creating a more fair society for all will have wings. Any tendencies to take will be replaced by widespread sentiments of generosity and selflessness, a sense of fair play and honoring commitments. Principles and dignity will be front and center and frivolity and superficiality will not find much support during Dog year. Controversial issues are given their scrutiny and due, revolutions are successful, politics are liberal, and political oppression is opposed usually in Dog years.
The 2018 Earth Dog will require more seriousness in business, a hard working approach and being responsible for greatest success. Dog years are not supportive of waste and unnecessary expenses. This is a great year to start a new business venture, provided the Dog year values are adhered to and integrated into your business plan. If you are investing in Dog year it is advised to seek professional guidance and help. Companies that equitably share success and resources will be most rewarded in 2018 Dog year, as well as those who are practicing sound environmental policies such as implementing solar and wind technologies. Companies investing in the welfare and health of their workers and consumers through increased investment in recycling and renewable energy will be rewarded with increased revenues in 2018.
From a personal health perspective it's a great year to create more balance in our personal care, and avoiding the truly unhealthy. Many will find the consciousness to quit smoking or dramatically increase exercise commitments or refocus on diet improvements. We will be able to be far more consistent with any health changes we decide to make in 2018 Dog year. Borrowing from Dog's well-documented intelligence our creativity is at its height as we forge new paths for a truly balanced lifestyle. We will be more realistic and sustainable regarding our dietary choices and close the gap between work and home balance.
May 2018 Earth Dog year bless you with kindness, balance and deep happiness.
In any given year it's considered wise and prudent to know specifically the nuances of how your personal Chinese animal sign interacts with the animal that rules the year, in 2018, it is the Yang Earth Dog, when making important life decisions about the timing with personal, professional, career, moving, love, marriage, health, or travel decisions.
For your personal Chinese Animal & I CHING 2018 Empowerment Chart Reading, you can schedule an in person or remote/Facetime session. For more details, visit www.mandalafengshui.com.

The Bagua Map: Front Door
Michele Duffy, BTB M.F.S. is an Orinda resident who, since 1999, enjoys creating "Space as Medicine" Feng Shui one space at a time, as well as hiking in nature, cooking, and spending time with her family; Canyon Ranch Feng Shui Master, International Feng Shui Guild (IFSG) Red Ribbon Professional. To schedule a professional 2017 Feng Shui Consultation, contact Michele at (520) 647-4887 or send an email to spaceharmony@gmail.com.

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