Can you just feel spring trying to push winter out of the way? This is the perfect month to go ahead and get in the groove, as well as in the flow by allowing big light to enter and inspire your life. But before we do that, we need to do a little housecleaning. Literally.
Now, if you think about it, you'll remember that the broom has long been associated with all things magical. This is partly due to its propensity for purification, as well as its accordance with magical wands and staffs. In fact, in some parts of the world, the broom is so sacred that there are actually gods, goddesses and even deities associated with it.
In ancient Chinese legend and lore, there is a broom goddess named Sao Ch'ing Niang. She is known as the Lady of the Broom who lives on the Broom Star, Sao Chou, and is believed to both bring and preside over good weather. Smooth sailing and sunshine are imminent when she is invoked.
Make some magic of your own this month with your own mystical little sweeper -- on whatever star you live on. For instance, if you have an hankering to get married, one tradition shares that you should jump over a broom nine times; then sometime within the next year, your love life will be a clean sweep and you'll be walking down the aisle with your perfect mate.
More magic of the broom variety: Make a wish when a new broom is first used and it will quickly come true. Also, if a broom falls from your grasp while you're sweeping, you should make a wish before picking it up again; that wish will come true.
If you're thinking you might want some of that Sao magic to make some rain, then stand outside and swing a broom over your head. It's long been believed that placing a tiny broom (think whisk) under the pillow of a teensy sleeper will protect the baby from bad dreams or other forms of negative energies. Elsewhere, placing a broom outside your front door will protect the whole household from things that go bump in the night.
As you can see, there are many reasons to bring on the broom. So go ahead and make this one of the more memorable months of a very good year!
Oh, I know, I know. Usually in this space we're discussing the right colors to wear in order to flow with the prevailing energies of the month. (Think pink in February.) Or perhaps we're ruminating over what the shape of your skirt could possibly mean in terms of inspiration and opportunity.
But I thought that this month, what with February's emphasis on the heart and all, we could explore a little fashion accessory that can get right to the, well, heart of the matter. I'm talking about wearing keys, of course.
(Get it? The key to your heart? Yeah, I'm clever, I know.)
Keys actually hold their own special combination of the magical and mystical. In ancient Egypt, it was believed that Hecate, the Goddess of Magic, held the keys to the Universe; in Roman lore, Janus, the God of Doors, was almost always portrayed holding a set of keys. Across almost every culture and tradition, priests and priestesses have held keys in order to symbolize, activate and trigger all sorts of magical powers and energies.
So let's explore what can happen when you wear one!
Wearing a small key on a chain or bracelet, or even as a brooch, is believed to help its wearer discover wisdom and a true love of life. Wearing a golden key guards against negative energy -- the 'evil eye' -- while wearing three keys on a chain around your neck will bring you Feng Shui's Three Great Blessings: Health, Happiness and Prosperity.
You can unlock a love by wearing a key backwards -- literally! Alternately, a small key worn down the back will bring good luck. Wearing a key the right way can promote fertility and conception, so if you're trying to turn those energies in your favor, wear this symbol.
As you can see, simply carrying keys is completely passe. If you want to be the first on your block to lock down love, money and a host of other good stuff, be sure to slip a key around your neck, wrist or anywhere else it'll travel well next to your skin. Talk about slipping into something comfortable ... protective and powerful, too!
And if that ain't what a key to your heart should be, I don't know what is!
Sneezing and sniffling, sure. But not the swine flu ... thank goodness! In fact, all that 'achoo' without any ache could just be the beginning of another allergy season.
There are almost as many allergies as there are species of flora and fauna -- and almost as many people who have allergies! Of course, when I say that, I'm including allergies to foods and stings and synthetics, as well as ones that are seasonal in nature. But for today, we're going to talk about an allergic response to mold, and how Feng Shui suggests we should address it.
First, there's a Feng Shui tip for enhancing your health that also allows you an in-house evaluation to see if you have mold growing in your home. The exact center of your main floor-- the heart of your home -- is associated with energies of health according to this ancient philosophy. To trigger the positive energies accorded this same space, Feng Shui says you should put a big bowl of large, juicy, ripe, fresh lemons in that same space. If for reasons of design this accessory doesn't match the rest of the items in that room, go ahead and do this in the kitchen. The fresh fruit offers a balancing aid, while the color yellow is believed to bring calm, serenity, peace, and happiness. Nice.
Now, here's the trick. If any of those lemons begin to show mold within a nine-day period, you probably have a mold problem in your home. Are you irritable without explanation? Do headaches come and go for no reason at all? Are you sneezing and sniffling, but don't know why? Mold could be the culprit, and those lemons will let you know!
Also be aware that if you're a plant person, even though bringing fresh and healthy green plants into your living space will help your health, their containers can become a source of the sniffles. Wicker baskets that hold potted plants are the most culpable culprits, as they tend to retain moisture.
Okay, so let's say you think you have a mold issue in your home after all. What's next? Trees! That's right, any essential oils associated with trees such as pine, cypress, or even spruce (think Pine Sol, and you're heading in the right direction!) will help make that mold disappear. Put ten drops each of those tree oils in an atomizer filled with distilled or spring water, then begin spraying. These essential oils are known to absorb and mitigate mold, so spray away ... and away .. and away.
Of course, you know I'm only offering this advice if you have an easily treatable mold problem. If your mold is under the foundation of the house or in your walls, you'll need much more than a spritz here and there -- so please be aware that my suggested cure is valid only if the mold is minute!
But if it is, the lemons and the oils will do that mighty trick.
Now, go ahead and sneeze. And as always, God bless you.
Now, besides February being the month most associated with amour, this is also the month in which a sacred holiday called Candlemas occurred on ancient Celtic calendars. Just like it sounds, this was a fire festival dedicated to the goddess Brigid, herself the queen of fire, inspiration and, of all things, sacred wells! Brigid was the embodiment of this season's aspects, when the darkness of winter wanes and the coming seeds of spring begin to take root, bloom and grow!
You can encourage longer days of light by lighting an intentional candle of your own while making a magically delicious omelet of mystical proportions. Light a yellow candle as you cook this celebration of tastes, and rejoice in the opportunities that lay before all of us. After all, the rebirth of the sun offers renewal, a concept contained in the energies of the incredible, edible egg.
4 large eggs, separated
4 tablespoons cream
2 tablespoons salted butter
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1/2 cup diced cooked country ham
3/4 cup freshly grated Asiago cheese
Sea salt and white pepper to taste
4 sprigs fresh rosemary to garnish
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a bowl, beat the egg whites until they are stiff and stand in soft peaks. In another bowl, beat the egg yolks until they are a pale yellow. Add the cream to the yolks, then season with salt and pepper.
Melt the butter in an omelet pan until hot and sizzling, then add olive oil. When pan is heated through, fold the yolk mixture into the beaten egg whites. Pour the mixture into the omelet pan and decrease the heat to low. Cook slowly until the omelet begins to brown on the bottom (approximately 10 minutes).
Place the pan in the oven and bake until the top begins to brown (approximately 10-15 minutes).
Remove pan from oven and make a half-inch-deep crease across the middle of the omelet with a spatula. Drop the cheese and ham onto the omelet, then fold over in half to allow the cheese to melt before plating. Garnish with fresh rosemary.
Ahhhh, spring. More and more of us are scheduling our yearly vacations around that mid year time now ubiquitously known as 'Spring Break,' with our bank accounts often getting broken in the planning process. To make sure every dollar spent is a worthy one -- and to make absolutely sure you get your money's worth during every fun-filled hour -- try this month's travel Shui tips. Then rest, relax and be sure to drop a line while you're zipping through the 'Fast Pass' line.
All this month's travel advisories are concerned with with what to do before you leave, so that when you get back you can claim that this was one of the best trips ever!
The first rule is this: If you don't want to encounter any chaos along your journey, then definitely don't leave any behind. Feng Shui says that if you leave your space a disaster, that's exactly the kind of energy you'll meet along your way -- because no matter where you go, there you are. If you don't want any problems with airline connections or hotel reservations, and you want everything under the Fort Lauderdale sun to run smooth as silk, then leave your living space clean and clutter-free. I guarantee this will more than adequately describe your travels as well.
This next tip is so practical and powerful, you'll think it's almost sophomoric. But I can't tell you how many times I speak to clients who've had a terrible trip ... and then when I ask if they prepared for a safe and cozy return, they admit they didn't have the time or forgot or, worst of all, blame it on somebody else! With apologies to the Las Vegas Tourism Board, I have to remind you that what happens in your space, stays in your space -- right before it spills over into every aspect of your life. So make completely sure that before you leave, prepare for your return: clean out the fridge, give away or get rid of old food that's about to turn bad, empty all trash cans in the house and leave fresh, clean bedding to climb into upon safely returning home. Garbage of any kind, anywhere in the house, packs stagnant and stale energies in your suitcase right alongside the Pepto; it will follow you long after the gas from that last burrito has been expelled. You'll also want to leave some cabinets stocked with easily prepared food to create a feeling of abundance upon your arrival home -- and to save you from that late night trip to 7-Eleven.
Lastly, ask a trusted loved one to come over the day of your return and open all blinds or drapes, crack open some windows and flush all the toilets in the house. Have them turn on some inside and outside lighting as well so you're welcomed home into a well-lit environment.
If you can put any of these ideas into place before you go, ol' Dorothy and her shiny ruby slips won't have nothing on you. Because when you use these travel Shui tips, you really will find that there's no place like home.
Unless you traveled to the Caribbean, of course. Then, all bets are off. Godspeed.
Ancient Chinese secret says that you can shoo Cupid away and make your own love magic on Valentine's Day if you plant seeds for that same intention on that same day. Actually, I'm not sure what I'm about to share is a Chinese secret or not, but since Valentine's Day and Chinese New Year fall on the same day this year, I'm taking a little liberty!
And this next tip takes the cake -- the potential wedding cake, that is!
On the 14th of February, only plant lettuce and some peas in your garden. If you don't have a garden, plant these seeds in a window box, or simply use some space in your kitchen that gets a lot of natural light. Then, to spread more loving potential around your place, light seven pink candles and burn violet incense all around the house, all the while visualizing your living space becoming flooded with love.
Lastly, get yourself an image of magnolia blossoms, and make that the first thing you see not only when you wake up, but also the last thing you see before heading off to sleep. You'll not only sleep like a baby, but you might soon be announcing the birth of one!
Oh baby, this Valentine's Day might just be the start of many more wonderfully sweet and sensual ones!