The Number One Feng Shui Tip for 2017

by Donna Stellhorn

It’s January, and we are between New Year and the Lunar New Year. Typically at this time of year, we imagine how we want our lives to change over the next 12 months. We think about the resolutions we have made in the context of establishing better habits in our lives, and we have begun (or at least are thinking about beginning) to make efforts to make these changes happen!

This year, 2017, the feeling is even stronger! This is a “1” year. When you add 2+0+1+7, you get 10, and 1+0 equal 1. A “1” year signals new beginnings, a fresh start, an opportunity to try a new path or plan. Also, we’re entering a Rooster Year. Rooster energy is one of managing resources and capitalizing on opportunities. This will be the Year of the Fire Rooster! As we feel the Rooster energy this year, we’ll find ourselves being more decisive, focused and ready to work towards our goals.

Feng Shui can help us keep our resolutions. Let’s examine three popular resolutions: working on a side business; losing weight; and finding a new relationship. Let’s explore some easy changes we can make to focus and stay on track.

The number one tip I have for you is to create an environment that supports your goals. After so many years of doing Feng Shui, it’s gratifying to finally see big-time authors like Gary Keller and Tim Ferriss talk about the importance of having a supportive environment. It turns out it’s crucial for success. Distractions in the environment can derail even the most dedicated person. Let’s think about what it means to set up your environment correctly, so it can support you when you’re not feeling particularly motivated or strong.

Let’s take the first popular resolution: getting a side business going. If this is your goal, chances are you’ve already cleared out a space for a home office and have your computer ready to go. Now it’s just a matter of getting into that office. Between the door to the house and your office door, you can run into a whole series of distractions. You may have a large TV in your living room, and just opposite the TV sits a comfy sofa. The remote, with it’s friendly, easy-to-push buttons, is right there on the coffee table. You say to yourself, “I’ll just spend 5 minutes catching up on the evening headlines.”, and then 4 hours later you’re still in front of the TV.

The solution is to make it more difficult to follow the impulse to sit down in front of the TV as you go from your entryway to your office! For example, you could take the batteries out of the remote, or unplug the TV before you leave in the morning. If you must watch the evening news, maybe you can do it from an uncomfortable seat in the living room? Perhaps you can change your schedule upon coming home, and avoid entering the living room at all. Can you have dinner right away, and then go straight from your dinner table to your office?

The point is to identify external hindrances to your goal and find a solution.

If your goal is to lose weight, look to your kitchen to determine whether your environment is helping you or hindering your efforts. Studies show we tend to grab for what’s readily available, something right at eye level. When you open your refrigerator, are the fruit and veggies tucked away in the bins? What’s on the easy-to-see shelves may not be as healthy. Some people advocate removing all sweets and snack foods from the kitchen, but if you have a family, this can be impractical. Instead, simply make it harder to get to the junk food (hide them in the bins and at the back of the shelves) and easier to get to the healthy food (place fruits and veggies at eye level at the front of a shelf).

Back when I had a second refrigerator in the garage, I would store all the snacks in that frig and all the healthy stuff in the frig in the kitchen. Amazingly the extra three minutes it would have taken me to go to the garage was enough to convince me I didn’t want a sweet snack. It curbed the impulse to grab a cookie.

You can do this with pantry items as well. Place the candy and chips on a very high shelf, or far back in a deep cupboard. If you find you have to get on your hands and knees to crawl into a cupboard each time in order to retrieve your favorite cookies, you will eat less of them. This is just one example of dozens of things you can do in your kitchen to reduce distractions and improve your chances of weight loss success.

Finally, let’s think about how your home environment affects you as you look for a new relationship. When looking for love, one of the keys to success is to get out of the house and meet someone! This can be challenging when you’ve come home from a full day at your job. How can you muster the energy to change your clothes and get out the door again? For some people, this can be a serious obstacle. Home may be filled with comforting distractions, essential daily tasks, and home improvement projects.

In this case, keep the things you need to get you out of the house again right next to the door. The further you get into the house, the harder it is to leave again. In the morning print out the event flyer that has attracted your interest, and tape it to the door. If you’re changing your clothes before you go out, perhaps you can place the appropriate selection in the half bath by the door and change there (taking your work clothes to the hamper or closet later.). Hang a romantic picture by a door you often pass to remind you why you’re out there looking. Consider leaving your cell phone in your car, so you have to return to the car to retrieve it.

These are just some examples. Your situation is unique to you, but you can absolutely set up your home to be a supportive environment for your goals. I would love to help you with this and show you how to shift your environment to bring you success. You can email me at donna@fengshuiform.com

Mars Retrograde – April 17, 2016 – June 29, 2016

Mars represents energy and action

Action tips for Mars Retrograde

The Mars Retrograde cycle is the time to slow down and think about what you are doing and where you are going. Mars Retrograde gives you time to accomplish this; in fact, the current Mars Retrograde cycle will continue until June 29, 2016.

Now is the time to clean out and clear up that which was not done. Focus on the areas where you’ve been procrastinating, blocked by circumstances beyond your control, or have simply been unable to catch up. Liberate yourself from the, “I’ll get to it later list”! Finish up, let go, release, terminate, end.

Review and rework projects which are already in process: add new information, edit, improve, tweak, and adjust.

Saturn is also in its retrograde phase during the Mars Retrograde cycle. Together these two planets indicate actions and plans must be carried out in a disciplined, consistent and persistent manner – commitment is key. You need to be organized and resourceful, yet the tools and information you need may not be right at your finger tips. You need to create a firm foundation from which to build your dreams and aspirations, step by step, brick by brick, literally and figuratively. And not least of all, you need to be patient as things will take longer to develop and grow than you might expect or prefer.

You may feel frustrated because some aspect of your life feels stuck, or it seems you’ve lost momentum, or the same problem is repeating over and over again. Often the issues pertain to work, a close relationship, or health issue.

Pay special attention to problems you experience during Mars Retrograde. Problems encountered now indicate the areas where you need to rethink and redirect the action you’re taking. Slow down and think about where you are focusing your energy and effort. Think about how you are using/spending your money. Who is the beneficiary of your time, energy and money? Are you being adequately compensated? Are you focusing your energy and resources on things which are relevant to your life now? Or are you operating on autopilot and not really paying attention to what you’re doing and where you’re going?

Remember, you make a decision about an action before you take action. Decisions made without thoughtful consideration (knee jerk response) often result in unintended consequences. Thoughtfully consider where you’re headed; question your plans, goals, and strategy for reaching your goals, before you take action!

Reflect, redo, reconsider, rethink, rework, reconstruct, remember, reevaluate, reclaim, review, redirect, renegotiate, reschedule, rearrange, retrace, and repeat!

During Mars Retrograde people have a tendency to operate from “avoid-mode”, “over-react -mode”, or a process which alternates between the two. Ego and reactive behavior can derail joint ventures which require cooperation and compromise. Deal with problems as they arise. Ignoring them won’t make them go away, they will simply fester and become bigger problems.

What can you do if you happen to be on the receiving end of someone having a Mars Retrograde meltdown? You need to give them space and time to calm down; sometimes people just need to vent before they can rationally deal with a problem. Once they have regained their composure, the problem can be addressed, but in a way that doesn’t put them on the defensive. Effective problem solving requires patience, awareness, and a thoughtful and balanced approach.

Okay, that’s the big picture with regard to the overarching effect of Mars Retrograde. Now here’s an example of the small and petty annoyances that pop up during Mars Retrograde.

The remote control for my TV stopped working and I assumed the batteries needed to be replaced. I took the back of the remote off and discovered one of the batteries had leaked powdery battery acid inside the remote. I carefully remove the batteries, trying to keep the battery acid from getting all over, but of course it did anyway.

Now I needed to clean the battery acid from the inside of the remote, wipe off the counter and the floor! I was focused on doing everything so carefully but the powdery substance just seemed to drift. Amazingly, I had the batteries I needed but I wasn’t sure if the remote would still work? It did! So the simple battery changing project which should have taken a minute or two ended up taking more time and effort than I had expected = Mars Retrograde!

Because things take longer than we think they will, deadlines can be particularly stressful now. The only way to get through Mars Retrograde with a shred of sanity is to prioritize. You simply can’t do everything you normally do in the usual amount of time. If you can buy yourself a little more time, do so, but that’s not always possible. Decide what absolutely has to get done now, focus on that particular task, and stick with it (as much as possible) until it’s completed. Then move on to the next project.

The way our world and especially our country operates now, there’s not enough time to slow down and reboot. It’s up to each of us to find the time in our busy over-committed lives to temporarily interrupt the continual flow of forward movement. We simply must apply some restraint from time to time in order to regroup, rethink and reconsider what we are doing and where we are going. Mars Retrograde is the signal from our Universe it’s time to cease forward progress just long enough to catch up and refocus.

Contact me if you would like more information regarding the areas of life where you will personally experience the energy of Mars and Saturn Retrograde.

Kelly O’Tillery

www.kellyotillery.com

March 2016 Solar and Lunar Eclipse Charts

Hi!

Here are the March, 2016 Solar and Lunar Eclipse charts, here on the West Coast. You’ll notice a really big 6th house on the Solar Return, with the Sun/Moon in Pisces Eclipse, and the Mercury/Neptune conjunction, as well as Venus and the Vertex at 25 Aquarius! That’s an amazing amount of energy to be expressed in health, service/support and daily routine, pets, and other 6th house energies!

And the Sun/Moon Eclipse conjunction is opposite Jupiter in the 12th house, bringing protection, but also the possibility to feel overwhelmed or to feel “distant”and dis-connected, to feel fear and dis-comfort — or to feel very detached and to seek quiet and meditative states. Spiritual practices like prayer and meditation or physical exercise that emphasize stretching/breathing and focusing on the NOW are important ways to use this energy. Also, giving yourself a break (or a nap) during the day, and a little extra time to get things done is the best way to use this energy. There are rewards to what Jupiter is bringing, you can see the Part of Fortune between the Jupiter and the Ascendant, and the North Node, but you need to take the time to be aware of them; you need to be open to receiving and accepting these gifts.

You are at the end of a couple of cycles at this point, this Eclipse cycle has threads going back 18 years and 9 years — you might even find hints from what was going on in your life 4-1/2 years ago. It is time to think about what was going on in your past in those times; then bless and forgive (or love) yourself for the effort you have applied in the past to the process of learning this lesson in a way that helps you do so well this time around!

Also, this Eclipse marks the end of a particular learning curve in your life represented by the 12-year cycle of Jupiter Retrograde in Virgo, which in this Eclipse Season is in the same sign as the North Node. You can think back to the early part of 2004 to find hints about the type of lessons currently on your “required learning” list — lessons that are being brought up for additional study at this time.

This Pisces Solar Eclipse itself shows up in the chart for the West Coast as part of a Grand Cross with the Asc/Dsc (with Jupiter and the Lunar Nodes and Chiron) and the MC/IC (with Saturn conjunct the IC), suggesting that the structure of your life is under consideration (and under construction). Are you ready to make changes in important areas of your life — internally, on a daily basis, to create a better life for yourself? You may be dealing with guilt and frustration, but realize that without these feelings you would not have the impetus to move forward into your best life, to create1` a future you want to live!

************

The March, 2016 Lunar Eclipse shows us where we can find the energy to take action on the plans/goals/desires/intentions the Solar Return has awakened for you. The Sun in Aries is opposite the Moon in Libra (Moon says “others are important, and I must be there for them”; Sun says, “It’s my turn, I have things to do to make life better for me first, others thereafter. (Think of the airplane warning: “In case the oxygen masks come down in an emergency, apply the mask to yourself first, then to any you hope to help …”).

The Lunar Eclipse Sun is also conjunct Mercury. Your ideas and ideals are important, significant, need your attention, and need to find their way out into the world! It’s OK to offer others a chance to connect with you, but in return they need to support and encourage you, join in a project that excites you, offer advice (you can take or ignore), and express generosity of spirit and friendship towards you! Notice how big the 1st house is with the Sun/Mercury conjunction, and with Neptune conjunct Venus, Chiron and South Node. This combination can represent the need to heal past wounds and sadness related to a lack of acceptance, lack of support (past or present) in order to turn a page on people who have not been there for you.

You will feel the urge to reach out to others to provide the Lunar, accepting, loving, encouraging, supportive Energy represented by the Moon in the 7th house of the chart. Jupiter is also in the 7th house, between the Vertex and the North Node. The Vertex signifies people who have a karmic/dharmic link with you, and who need to bring you support in this life. The North Node in the 7th house, widely conjunct the Moon, opens doors and brings other people into your life — new (or re-connecting) friends, partners, associates —  seek to connect with you going forward. They want to be part of the life you are creating, to support your dreams/goals/wishes for the future.

Notice the Part of Fortune in this Lunar Return, in the 6th house, but conjunct the 7th house, offering a lot more fun and creativity, friendship and opportunity to participate in mutual activities on a regular basis!

Tip: Those of you who took my Mars + Eclipse class, remember, the Moon in a Lunar Eclipse is powerful–and in this case it is approaching a sextile to Mars and the Midheaven. Mars is showing off its Sagittarius offerings hoping to be asked to take action in some regard, “I can do these types of things, offer this “Menu of Options” to help you make your life better and more interesting…” Now it’s up to the Moon to ASK! for what it wants of the nature of the 9th house, Mars in Sagittarius, and the Midheaven in Sagittarius.

The Sun and Mercury are also moving to form an aspect with Mars (conjunct the Midheaven ) and will provide energy for whatever the Moon wants to have happen! Plan now, think about what you want, and prepare to receive!

🙂
Diane

Venus In Aries

by Diane Ronngren

This evening (May 2) transiting Venus will enter the Zodiac Sign of Aries. She will remain in this sign for almost the entire month of May, bringing each of us opportunities to explore her passion and her determination and her courage (words we associate with the energy of the sign).

So, you may be asking yourself, “Why should I care? I’m dealing with the challenges and surprises resulting from a Solar and Lunar Eclipse! And I’ve read about a Grand Cross between Pluto, Uranus, Jupiter and Mars. It all sounds pretty grim, and anyway, Venus is all about sweetness and light, so her trip through Aries is not anything I need to focus on right now.”

Let’s think this through. In the process of dealing with the major changes that affect our lives over the long term, we still live our everyday lives, eat our meals, take jobs, start businesses, fall in love, buy homes, have sex, seek pleasure and benefit from our activities and our relationships. Our lives, our personal reality, our money, our relationships – these are the realm of VENUS. And, since Venus rules all of these things, it is a good idea to keep an eye on her movements, and be aware of her presence, and listen to her messages.

I like to think of Venus as “the iron fist in a velvet glove”. Astrologically Venus is considered the ruler of two signs in the zodiac: Taurus and Libra. Interestingly at this time, Venus in her position as ruler of Taurus (the zodiac sign of the Sun in the recent Solar Eclipse), and Libra (the zodiac sign of the Moon in the recent Total Lunar Eclipse) is the BOSS of all things connected to these eclipses!

So, in a way, Venus in Aries will provide you with your main tool to deal with the challenges and opportunities coming your way this month. And she will give you ample samplings of her passionate and determined Aries energy along the way. Need I say, you will need this energy?

So, how can you identify the tools Venus is bringing you to use in your journey through the month of May, 2014? As I explain in my booklet, VENUS, as with all other astrological significators, we often become aware of their expression in our lives through negative aspects of experience. These are a few of the ways Venus tries to get our attention. Make a note whether these show up in your life, or if similar ones get your attention over the next few days:

  • Poor self-esteem
  • Lack of determination
  • No one to love or care about us
  • No one to love
  • Poor income, or no work
  • Loss of an important person
  • Anger (at something/someone specific)
  • Frustration
  • Discomfort

If you identify one or more of these (or other similar feelings), note them down and recognize these are the tools used by Venus to get your attention. Venus wants to be needed. She can bring things we wish for, hope for, ask for, want, and would be happy with! All we need to do is focus our attention (this month using the Aries tools she is offering) on these actions in order to benefit from her presence in our lives.

When Venus enters a new sign or a new house in your chart, she usually announces her arrival by bringing some kind of discomfort, something that causes you to recognize some specific lack. Whether you identify the lack in your life in the Taurus arena or in the Libra parts of your life at this time, you will now be plugged in to the determination, the passion, the direct focus, the strength, the zest for living and the courage to finish what you set out to do! All you have to do is ask for ________ (fill in the blank), as you launch into battle, meet the challenges, and determine your path into the future!

My booklet, VENUS, is available in print or digital format at Amazon.com.

 

Mid Mercury Retrograde Musings

This morning I am getting ready to start on a project I have thought about doing several times over the past few years. Never quite got to the point of actually investing in the project, but a few days ago I decided that NOW is the time – well, simply because there won’t be a better time, actually. Mid Mercury Rx is a perfect time to do those things you have been putting off for a while: make the phone call, launch the project, get back on your exercise routine or your diet.

Now, when you open your paper or turn on the news, you will find examples of Mercury Rx everywhere. This morning I opened my paper and found several. One highlighted a prominent San Diego cardiologist who had been in New Orleans this past Tuesday giving an address “extolling the use of a small, portable device for examining people suffering heart distress.”

Three hours later, he’s on his flight back to San Diego from New Orleans on a commercial airline, when two attendants move through the cabin asking whether there is a doctor on board who could help someone experiencing symptoms including an abnormal heart rhythm. He takes the heart monitoring device out of his bag, and is able to diagnose her condition and help her.

The Mercury Rx part of the story is, that the cardiologist “…used a device 17 months ago on a flight to determine whether a man was having a heart attack.” In that instance the evaluation led to the pilot making an emergency landing so the man could receive treatment. Around the earlier time, Mercury was in the process of a retrograde in the sign of Sagittarius.

The energy of a Mercury Rx cycle goes through three phases. First, there is something we astrologers know as a ‘shadow’ time, as Mercury (in direct motion) approaches its retrograde point. Then, there is the actual Mercury Retrograde transit. And finally, there will be a second ‘shadow’ time (as Mercury moves forward once again, returning to the degree in the zodiac where it went retrograde). At this mid-way point, we still have time to work with (and benefit from) the current energy cycle. There is time to move a process forward, time to catch up with unfinished business, time to enjoy doing things we love to do, and time to start a process we’d like to re-visit in the future.

Tip: Check out Kelly O’Tillery’s excellent blog about this Mercury Retrograde season (below). Then think about what you feel like doing right now. Is it something you’ve thought about before? Or, something you started doing, but dropped (for whatever reason)? Is it something you wouldn’t mind doing again on a regular basis? Or something you’d like to be reminded of in a future Mercury Retrograde season? And, if you’d like to know more about Mercury Retrograde in general, check out my book here at http://www.etcpublishing.com/html/mercuryretrograde.htm

(Diane Ronngren is the author of Lunar Nodes, Keys to Emotions and Life Experience, Sage & Smudge: The Ultimate Guide, and numerous titles related to astrological and metaphysical topics both in soft cover on this site, and now on digital media.)

Mercury Retrograde

February 23 – March 17, 2013

OMG! Is it that time again?!

Yes, but remember, as much as Mercury Retrograde can be challenging, frustrating, irritating, and delaying, it can also be a very productive, creative, profitable, and useful time. And it can literally save your butt if you’ve been moving ahead with plans, projects, or a relationship too quickly.

Tips – Mercury Retrograde in Pisces survival guide!

  • Mercury is retrograde in the illusive, dreamy sign of Pisces this time around. Pisces energy can be used to create a vision for your life based on your dreams — or to escape reality. You choose.
  • You stuck with and kept your New Year’s resolutions through January and most of February. And then, all of a sudden, without notice: life intruded and turned your carefully scripted routine upside down! Or, your will and determination just seemed to fly out the window; or your momentum and progress seemed to come to a screeching halt! What happened?
  • Mercury Retrograde happened — but you can use the energy of Mercury in Pisces to get yourself back on track if you’re willing to change, adjust, alter, or modify your approach. If you’re working with a schedule be flexible! Instead of every day, try every other day, or different times of the day; and if you slip up, it’s okay – onward!
  • Add music or dance to your exercise routine. Be creative, make a vision board to support your process; this visual reminder can be extremely motivating. Mercury in Pisces enhances receptivity to subconscious messages so, whether you’re trying to kick a habit, adopt a new health regime, or improve your golf game, subliminal message CD’s, NPL (Neuro Linguistic Programming), hypnosis, and meditation can be quite effective.
  • Adopt a creative approach to problem solving during the time of Mercury Retrograde in Pisces. It may sound counterintuitive, but wandering through a variety of potential solutions will likely bring you a better outcome than immediately going with the obvious: “This is what they’ve always done.” quick fix.
  • You’re more sensitive to people and your environment during this retrograde, so it’s important to be mindful of your surroundings and the people you’re spending time with. The Beach Boys had it right with Good Vibrations!
  • Romantic fantasies can provide a fun escape from the mundane aspects of living your life, so go ahead put on those rose-colored glasses. But remember to take them off once you leave the movie theater and step back into reality! If your love life is not all you’d like it to be, allow yourself a daydream or two, and create the vision of your heart’s desire. Then, reflect on your past and/or current relationship, and ponder the question, “What’s blocking my vision?”
  • We all experience brain fog from time to time, but it can be a bit disorienting when you notice everyone around you seems a bit foggy too! Go with the flow, trust your intuition, don’t make any major commitments, and you’ll emerge from the haze of Mercury Retrograde in Pisces with a fresh perspective and a clear sense of direction.
Astrologer, Writer and Teacher Kelly O’Tillery has been a part of ETC Publishing since its inception. Visit her website at www.kellyotillery.com to read more about Mercury Retrograde.