The Contemporary New England Witch

The Contemporary New England Witch
Ms Faith

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Happy Chinese New Year!! What magicks can we learn from our Asian friends?

 Evening Greetings,

Wow, what a jammed packed beginning to February we've had. Let's see, first, on the first we celebrated Imbolc. Then on the second, yesterday, we celebrated Groundhog's Day.  Now, today, we celebrate Chinese New Years.  I love celebrations don't you?  Well, tonight we'll be discussing the magicks to be found from our Asian neighbors to the East or West, depending where in the world you hail from.

First, Chinese New Years or Spring Festival, as its also known as, is the most significant holiday in China. From not just an economic standpoint but from a social one as well.  This holiday was at one time linked to both the sun-solar and the moon-lunar calendar followed by the Chinese.  This was a holiday that would be very familiar to the pagans of the Western world.  This was an extended- family holiday replete with many favorite luxury foods and much feasting.  The Chinese would honor not only their deities during this holiday , but also household spirits and ancestors.  

The Chinese adopted the widely recognized Western Gregorian calendar in 1912, and started following the rest of the world in watching the ball drop on December 31st, and celebrating January 1st as the first day of the year.  The twentieth century as it entered the technological age really made it necessary for all First and Second world countries to be in sync with the yearly calendar, especially where business and economics are concerned. Yet China, although it adapted, continues to celebrate the traditional Chinese New Year, which in the past century has started to be known as the Spring Festival.  I see so many similarities as we often compare our modern holidays with their ancient counterparts. Also, people everywhere, may adapt for political, economic and survival purposes, yet they will still hold close to them the traditional, the familial. 

Traditionally the Chinese New Year was an opportunity to renew family ties, although now many young people use it as an opportunity to take vacations and time off from work. Just as our holidays in the Western world have morphed and evolved and today may be as individualistic as the people who celebrate them, so the same is true for those halfway across the globe. A holiday like Chinese New Year is fun to celebrate and open to everyone.  As it is a holiday that is celebrated for an entire week, you can celebrate anytime this week. 

The Asian people have a long history of magickal practice and I'm not very familiar with most of it. I just know their understanding of energy and energy movement, which is very similar to how modern Western pagans and magickal practitioners view energy.  The art and science of Feng Shui is widely accepted and respected in many Asian cultures.  One does not need to be Asian or a descendant from, for Feng Shui to work for you. The principles are sound and for those familiar with energy work as any self respecting witch should be, will recognize the validity of Feng Shui and its benefits. 

Now, I will preface this portion by saying Feng Shui is an art and a science and as such one needs to study and practice considerably to be considered a master.  Yet, you can use simple Feng Shui principles in your home or office everyday and benefit from the results right away.  It would be a complete column in and of itself to discuss this ancient art of energy movement and object placement in its entirety, but we'll touch on some simple principles. 

Feng Shui is the understanding that energy moves and flows around us at all times. Consider the air currents in a room with air conditioning or heat on. If its on high enough we can even feel the wafts of air as it brushes past us, tickling our skin or blowing our hair slightly.  Energy currents also flow around us always. It is believed by those of us who believe in this stuff, that these currents can bring prosperity, good fortune and good health or cause these things to be driven away from us.  By using care in the placement of objects in your home or office, you can affect these currents in ways that will benefit you. 

A common understanding in Feng Shui is sharp edges and straight lines are reminiscent of a knife blade and can cause harm or illness in a person. If you have tables, counters and other surfaces with sharp corners, spending a lot of time around them, is believed to make a person susceptible to illness or fatigue.  We fabricated our counters in our kitchen so we rounded all the corners and our table has squared corners, but they are rounded or beveled along the edges making the necessary curve.  For those who are not able to chop off corners you can change the energies to more beneficial ones by hanging a living plant or a set of wind chimes in the area. Wind chimes are used often indoors in Feng Shui practice to correct little issues like this. Suspending a quartz crystal over your office desk is said to keep clutter from accumulating.  Having a quartz crystal on or near your desk can keep even a busy desk, with many files and papers, neat and organized.

If you spend a lot of time in a basement room or area that has exposed ceiling beams, it is believed your health and temperament can be affected as if they are knives cutting into your aura, or soul energy. This you can change by hanging a wooden flute overhead. These wooden flutes, which by the way are not musically functional, are sold at Oriental markets just for this purpose. It is believed that the energy is re-directed through the flute changing it and making it beneficial rather than harmful.

A straight sidewalk coming straight to the front door is also a no no, but the question is how to change such a permanent hard-scape feature, without major reconstruction? Planting circles of flowers along the path. If some of the plantings trail over the edges of the sidewalk, all the better.  We actually re-surfaced our sidewalk with wood and built in a slightly sloping bridge towards the end, which brings in the ideal curvature required, while the sidewalk remains straight.

Always keep the door to the bathroom closed, as its thought an open door can allow financial prosperity to flow down the drain. If you have a cover on your toilet, keeping it closed is also helpful with keeping money in your life.  One of the worst case scenarios is a house built so the front door and back door are in a direct line and when both are opened one can see out of both. Its an unusual enough construction design, but for those who have this issue be aware that it allows financial prosperity to not stay within your home or family and can cause other serious issues. Rectify this by placing large potted plants along the sight line, which causes the energy to flow in a curving line and not a straight one. Wind chimes hung along this straightaway are also recommended.

The placement of furniture in an office or home is also very important, and if you have an area where you just don't feel comfortable, pick up a book on simple Feng Shui for some simple ideas for placement of your objects.  With a-little financial investment, and a bit of re adjusting and considering the area you spend the most time in, you can make the energies around you much happier and peaceful. If you are highly sensitive and very intuitive, and if you listen carefully  you may be able to hear your home or office speak to you.  But a book on Feng Shui is quite helpful and fun to work with.

A book on Feng Shui will teach you of the Bagua Chart and how it can help you in re-arranging your home. The bagua chart I've featured below in two common varieties. One uses it to map out a room, or an entire home. It tells you the areas of your room or home and how these areas interrelate to your life. Yes, each room and building has an area for friendships and romance, wealth and prosperity, creativity, children etc. By placing the chart over a diagram of a room or even your entire house you can see what needs to be done. Of course, this works best with a corresponding book to help you decipher  what's going on. 

For instance if you place the chart over a diagram of your house, and you see the area of relationships in over a room that has lots of clutter, say the laundry room, well its common to find the relationships in your life to also be cluttered and in disarray.  An organization and clean up of this room or area of a room is very beneficial.  Is your financial -wealth area of your home over a bathroom!!?? Oh no! Yet things can be done to help change this event.  How are things in your family? Check the chart and notice the area of your home that family covers, and look to the room.  If the room is just fine but family matters are not as you'd like, you can change the color of the room, put accents of that color, in this case, green is for family, to help things move int he direction of harmony and happiness.

Its important to note that in the Asian culture the colors we are familiar with are not necessarily the colors they us. They use purple for financial wealth where in the West we are more comfortable using green. When utilizing Feng Shui I use the colors of the culture. I find it important not to become rigid and inflexible in my magickal practice. Magick, much like the energies recognized in the art and science of Feng Shui must flow unrestricted. 

There is a lot more to this interesting subject and I hope if you find it fascinating you will explore it deeper. I have been using Feng Shui principles for many years and find it makes a big difference in how comfortable and happy I am in any given space.  My blessings to you and I hope you have a great Chinese New Year! 

Peace and Happiness

© 2010 Enchantments, LLC Portions of this blog posting may include materials from my book “Enchantments School for the Magickal Arts First Year Magickal Studies.” For more information, see or go to the title of tonight's discussion and click, it will link you to my school's website. 

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