MONTHLY SHUI ADVICE
In ancient times, people burned the traditional Yule logs in their efforts to ward off illness, accident and disease, as well as to keep lesser sickness at bay. They would then bury the ashes from the burnt log, all the while symbolically burying their fears and worries as well. This would then allow Gaia or Mother Nature to transform any and all negative energies into compost that then would bring forth new life to the coming New Year.
On Christmas Eve, light a Yule log that will represent the dying or burning away of the old year and the emergence of seasonal energies honoring the light. Using your strong powers of visualization, send into the fire any circumstance or agenda of concerns from which you would now like to be released. People. Places. Things. Just let them symbolically go into the fire in order to be transformed.
Then, visualize the rebirth of the Sun during this season of light and remind yourself of the wholeness, the goodness and the brilliance of your being. The promise of this ritual is that now those very same qualities and characteristics are being born anew -- manifested even -- in your life.
If you wish to ensure prosperity for the coming year, you can do more than knock on wood. (You can use this Yule log for that as well.) As you burn the log, watch the fire burn a path by which money may make its way to you. Attract the energy associated with prosperity and abundance by 'seeing' money coming into your possession. Know that this is your divine birthright, and that the source of all light is also the same source of those energies.
Scatter your financial worries with the ashes of this log, and believe that you are about to receive -- because, well, you are!
MONTHLY FASHION SHUI
So, you’ve bought the new Trump tie and matching clip for dad, and have gotten mom the new Zoe faux mink. Now all you have left is to get big bro a new Ralph Lauren golf polo to wear when the weather turns again.
But hey, what about yourself? While you’re out decking the halls with boughs of holly, shouldn’t you be decking yourself out in something positively swell, too? Well, yes -- you’re very in tune with seasonal Shui and quite right, indeed.
The tenets of Feng Shui hold very steady that at least once a year you should do a thorough cleanse of your closet and get rid of anything and everything you haven’t worn in the last two years (or the last two sizes -- whichever is more prevalent.) And of course, this strongly advises that you make quick work of your now-unnecessary couture by giving it to someone who will still use and love these clothes.
The results of these efforts will be twofold. Firstly, by creating space in your closet, you proactively clear a path for something (or even someone!) new and fabulous to enter your life. And by donating worthy pieces of your wardrobe, you sew up some sparklingly good karma, for we all know that what you give away with good intentions always returns threefold.
So then, how about that brand new outfit? Well, Feng Shui also holds that whenever you get all decked out in something shiny and new, your sense of self-esteem and self-worth rises, and sends your stress level down! So why not give yourself the invaluable gift of self-confidence wrapped inside a beautiful new bathrobe or saucy little Stella sweater? Improved self-esteem and a Stella steal? I’d say those are gifts that keep on giving!
MONTHLY HEALTH SHUI
You know, sometimes even I forget the efficacy and speed with which essential oils can work on the human physiology, while helping overcome afflictions in the psyche as well.
The remedies and healing that can come from this fragrant pharmacy often sit in the back of my own brain until I am somehow reminded of their pure brilliance and the totality of healing they offer. The reason I am so passionately pursuing this line this month is because I recently had an occasion to watch them work at the speed of light on an issue I think could be very prevalent during the holidays.
I had a client who was suffering from big bouts of loneliness. And, although she had avenues she could possibly pursue to alleviate this aloneness, she needed an extra boost of aromatherapy to bring her strength, comfort and enjoyment.
And although using essential oils doesn’t necessarily guarantee you’ll get a slew of invites to enjoy holiday festivities with groups of family and new friends, what the oils will do is bring you a sense of inner peace. In turn, they will help ease or even lift those clouds of loneliness. Try this combination:
10 drops Neroli essential oil
5 drops Orange essential oil
10 drops of Rose Otto essential oil
Add together and diffuse throughout the atmosphere to help alleviate loneliness. Period.
MONTHLY RECIPE SHUI
Is there any food more synonymous with yuletide than the proverbial Christmas cookie? Oh yes, we have latkes and fruitcake, candy canes and candied apples. But for my money, there's nothing as special as taking time and sharing stories while baking these warm and wonderful sweet treats. With all apologies to visions of sugar plums and all that, here now is a magical recipe for some mouthwatering, magically delicious cookies:
1/2 cup brown sugar, firmly packed
3 tablespoons salted butter, softened
1 large egg
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon cardamom, powdered or ground
2 teaspoons apple spice or pumpkin spice
Preheat oven to 375. Cream the brown sugar and butter in a large mixing bowl until well blended. Beat the egg separately, then add to the brown sugar / butter blend until well mixed.
Mix the flour, baking powder, baking soda and spices in another bowl. Slowly add the flour mix to the egg mix, blending well.
Divide this dough in half, then turn it out onto a lightly floured surface. Flatten with a rolling pin into a rectangle approximately 10 inches wide. Now, tightly roll the dough towards you, then press each end with the side of your hand to seal it.
Place the dough logs 2 to 3 inches apart on an ungreased baking sheet. Dip a knife in hot water and make 1/4-inch deep diagonal slashes at 3/4-inch intervals. Bake for 10-15 minutes.
Remove from oven, remove from baking sheet and let cool on a wire rack before cutting the cookies at the slashed lines. Cool completely, then add icing or red berries and cream.
These ain't your grandma's cookies, kids, but your family will remember them for years to come!
MONTHLY TRAVEL SHUI
You know, all sorts of categories and customs embrace knowledge of the planets and their influences. However, there is one that I'm investigating today that involves using secret travel tips and techniques that hail from the mystical world of Tibetan astrology. That modality espouses that there are certain mantras that can be recited in the hopes of controlling the elements all around us. These mantras are known to adherents of that astrology as "Jung wa ur nen," and are offered for particular circumstances and situations. In a month where travel by plane, train or automobile is pretty much a given, I’d like to take a closer look at some of the Tibetan mantras associated with going over the river and through the woods -- with health, happiness and prosperity attached!
If you are heading south on your journey, throw a glass of water in that direction and say as many times as possible (at least nine, but 108 is optimal): “Mama come come yeh so har.”
Heading in the opposite direction and going north? Place three mounds of fresh earth in a northerly direction, then recite: “Mama su su yeh so har.”
Going west young man? Light three candles and say: “Mama ram ram yeh so har.”
Finally, if you’re heading east, place a piece of iron in that direction and recite: “Mama kara kara yeh so har.”
(These mantras are strictly used for averting challenge and/or obstacles while traveling, so do remember to treat them with high regard and respect, while also showing a little gratitude for the gift of this empowering knowledge!)
MONTHLY RANDOM SHUI
Either on the night of the Winter Solstice or on Christmas Eve itself, you should take a purifying bath to wash away all troubles, worry, concerns and ills from the previous year. Mix some fresh pine needles, bay leaves and fresh rosemary, and tie them in a piece of cheesecloth or any other material (or netting) that can float in your bathtub with you. Add the herbal mixture to your bath and soak for at least twenty minutes.
And then, eat an apple to ensure good health and prosperity in the days, weeks, months and year to come. Tradition says that by doing this cleansing and restoring ritual on either of the two holiday nights (or both), you will receive more benefits and boons than even Santa could ever offer.
Happy Happy and Merry Merry from my house to yours!
Marjorie Orr has an M.A. (Hons) in English Literature and Philosophy from Glasgow University, and was a current affairs journalist, award-winning BBC TV documentary producer and then a psychotherapist. She has a worldwide following for her astrology... read more