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Published January 25th, 2017
Feng Shui
Authentic annual Ceremonies traditionally kick off the festivities for a positive New Year Photos provided

The Chinese calendar is magnificent in its festive Lunar start to the New Year of the Female (Yin) FIRE Rooster on Jan. 28, and the important detail of the solar start on Feb. 3, which is the basis for the beginning for those born in this 2017, year of Yin FIRE Rooster sign.
This annual celebration is observed in places as remote as Tibet and cosmopolitan as Tokyo. Many Asian cultures have their own versions of what is largely associated with the Chinese culture, but which includes many other Asian cultural variations too.
New Years Day is the absolutely most important day of the year in any Asian culture. Top of the New Years "to do" list is deep cleaning the house, annual ceremonial home space clearings and blessings and annual astrology analysis to plan timing, decisions and important occasions. It's also a time for painting the front door, paying off debts, buying new red and gold clothes, which are the traditional colors of happiness and prosperity, wearing new clothes on New Years Day, presenting crisp new money in red envelopes to all the children in the household, and preparing sweet and savory dishes for a New Years feast.
So while most people did not escape 2016's Male (Yang) FIRE Monkey's surprisingly raucous business pace and with so many of the twists, turns and surprises that came quite literally, out of the blue, business chi/energy will continue to bring strong benefits in the upcoming 2017 Female (Yin) FIRE Rooster.
A Chinese Proverb says, "First Avoid the Negative... then Enhance the Positive." It is important to know that we all have a say in how we handle the fortunes of every year, and applying the timeless wisdom of feng shui is a proven tool for navigating greater success in the ever-changing landscape of time. So even if it's challenging "out there" we have time-tested tools to help us, in any year, to reap wealth, health and harmonious relationships. The Rooster promises to be equally as hard working as 2016 but perhaps a more highly prosperous year for many IF we mind our business or hold our beaks!
In a Rooster Year, all of the 12 Chinese animals can reap great rewards by tapping into the more auspicious Rooster traits. Loyalty, passion, commitment, hard work, family values, the excellence in money management, and top-notch appearances are just a few of the Rooster's energetic signatures or characteristics that will mark this 2017 year.
Feng shui practices teach us keen awareness of going with the flow (The TAO) and deft application of the wisdom based and time tested tools for changing times (I CHING). In FIRE years it's wise to make sure we activate some water in our environments, especially for Career/Life Path/Money protective flow but also for carefully indulging in personal care. Conservation-minded rejuvenating water spa activities, or hiking a beach are also very healthful balances to this yearly heat. Adapting wellness strategies that will allow us to be truly living in balance by the summer (ruled also by FIRE element) will help ensure greater personal wellness into the fall and into next winter.
Keep in mind, that the less auspicious Rooster traits will also be energetically present in 2017 and so avoiding them at all costs paves the way for greater success for us all.
The 2017 FIRE Rooster will bring many lessons in focused motivation and multi-talents in the workplace, and for many people, their careers and relationships will hold many new opportunities as Roosters are very fertile and hardworking creatures. In 2017 humble, conservative, joyful, careful, and consistent hard work reaps the harvest as does holding back one's criticisms, not judging others hastily, letting go of the impulse to control others and always needing to be in the right. Equanimity and diplomacy rule supreme.
The Rooster calls for us to remain observant and alert to the immediate opportunities and those we also see on the horizon. Rooster supports careful, conservative, practical growth in the workplace and especially when combined with organization skills, careful strategic planning and truly practical thinking, many career gains will be enjoyed. Going off on risky ventures or wild goose chases are not advised or supported.
The Rooster is colorful, likes to strut its stuff, is confident and dramatic, and your most work-related goals will be well served by avoiding petty disputes, flaunting authority or getting your way using a domineering attitude. The biggest wins this year will be for those that also remember to mind their manners, share others talents, control egos and tempers and work well with the team. 2017 is the year to be truly collaborative and to no longer simply pay lip service to working together to achieve mutual goals. It will require flexibility, grace and generosity of all parties and the rewards of this truly timely course of action will certainly produce results worth crowing about in the end!
Harnessing Rooster's keen observation. we will gain great clarity on business opportunities, who to partner with and how to create new partnerships. Most of our career goals are also going to be better served this year by doing more with less, taking on slightly less but doing perfectly what we commit to in business. Stick to practical and well-proven paths to ensure success, rather than risky ventures. Triumph and success is achieved through hard work, persistence, patience and clear and fair communications. The Rooster is confident but being over confident can create nonsensical plans so try in 2017 to be more grounded in practical matters on all fronts.
The 2017 FIRE Rooster will be a powerful year with no middle of the road when it comes to moving forward since Rooster wastes no time and likes to get on with it. This year you will also want to look your best and be especially clear on your intentions concerning love, money and business.
The Rooster loves the limelight and so we must also make effort to appear ready for the spotlight or a new love and go with the flow of another year dominated by the FIRE element, so that which inspires passion can produce real magic.
In love and relationships too many fruitful loyalties and romance can be formed as long as there is also a heavy dose of practicality. Rooster is a fertile bird so many children are born in Rooster years and Rooster is also a very communal bird, so partnerships and the group activities are also a dominant theme. The festive Rooster year is a great year to celebrate the accomplishments of the group and your circle of friends can certainly expand but family will always come first. Rooster year energy will also encourage many happy events like children being born and weddings to attend or host. Relationships should be nurtured and Rooster also asks us to kindly communicate directly with confidence and humble pie, and with the leadership strength of true flexibility to transform any relationship challenge into the potential alliances. Cutting criticisms and contentiousness will only create ruffled feathers so best to hold your beak, speak positively about others accomplishments and be a peace-making member of your community.
Rooster's strong powers of observation will certainly not turn a blind eye this year if we are found to be breaking the rules, creating a scandal or allowing matters to progress towards court, so instead proactively avoid illegal activities, and negotiate compromises that allow you to remain free to create the practical positivity you will need for a good 2017 harvest.
Harvesting comes in many forms and the Rooster also has a keen sense to relax, entertain and host with loving family and friends after a long hardworking day, so also remember to enjoy the fruits of your labor with family and friends. Use your keen Rooster powers of observation in all areas of your life this year and first, skillfully tend to your own business even as you also help others achieve their goals as well.
The Rooster is certainly also known as the Phoenix or a transformational, cheerful bird, brave and dauntless heroes, who nevertheless, if out of balance, can be vain, stubborn, prone to not backing down or being unreasonable if they do not get their way! True transformation is achieved by self-reflection and impulse control, and leaving the more self-serving strategies for another year. This is a great year to jump-start your meditation or contemplative practice, start a yoga class or visit your place of worship more frequently.
Staying healthy in 2017 includes a heart healthy and moderate physical exercise regimen, eating healthy food, and developing spiritual connections. Meditation and contemplative practices work effectively to counter any inauspicious emotional states like aggression, greed or self absorption this year, and will help guide us from within to slow down, listen quietly, and mindfully choose positive courses of action. Even a very basic journaling or gratitude practice can transform aggressive, self-concerned thinking and behavior into skillful mindfulness, abundance, compassion for self and others and the flexibility we will need to achieve our goals.
Communicate clearly, be kind, keep your promises, be devoted to others as much as self, and spend more time illuminating the strengths and talents of others. You will excel by limiting bragging about your own accomplishments and creating a true spaciousness for others, in order to cultivate an inspired community to grow.
So as Jan. 28 approaches with the New Year of the Female FIRE Rooster, remember that the conservative Rooster asks us to stay focused on the practical, mind our own business and negotiate peace along the way by sharing the limelight with our community. It's a yearly plan for reaping a strong harvest from joyful hard work and remaining balanced between family and work, which are truly the ingredients for happiness and abundance in most years but definitely when the Rooster crows!

Activate the WATER Element at your home in 2017 like this Orinda home.
Activating water element protects our health and money sectors in 2017
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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