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Published January 22nd, 2020
Feng Shui

This is going to be a wild, powerful, and intense year for all starting Jan. 25 as it scurries in with the Male Iron Mouse (Tibetan) Male Metal Rat (Chinese).
Rat year marks a new beginning, a new start and signifies a year of profound and practical renewal. Rat is a quick study, and will usher in greater vitality and a fertile ground for growth and success. The positive Rat qualities are many, including intelligence, survival, tenacity, shrewdness, resourcefulness, adaptability, charm, passion, ambition, quick-wittedness and frugality, all forming the energetic signature of 2020.
Rat is the first of the 12 zodiac animals and rules career and life journey, and so there will be many opportunities to earn more money and advance in our career paths. In life we are asked to face challenges and cleverly turn them into opportunities and above all, to remain positive, resilient, and hard working. Using Rat's tenacity and speed toward our work will also mean we will all be very busy, so it's also important to practice 2019 Earth Pig's lessons of greater work-life balance. We will need to stay focused as well, so getting a grip on and better managing our exposure to social media and our screen devices is essential for our concentration and serenity.
Since Rat is social and warmhearted many committed relationships will deepen and experience positive renewal. We do well to focus on one's mates and their needs, and not just on oneself. There will also be many new opportunities for successfully finding new love in 2020, for those who are unattached. Family time will factor largely in 2020 and planning holidays and trips to spend time with family is favored in family-oriented Rat year. This will be an excellent year for marriage as well as a year for many births, since Rats reproductive prowess is significant.
Health will be good if we remember to keep moving, get regular exercise, and refrain from junk food and eat a more healthy diet. Equally important is our personal care, and countering the fast pace of the year with periods of rest, rejuvenation, deepening knowledge, and spending time with family.
The energetic signature of 2020 also includes Rat's love for learning and acquiring wisdom and then also offering guidance, and so if we, collectively, ignore the wisdom of science, climate responsibility and good financial planning, we will be out of alignment with the nature of Rat which will create problems.
In general, if we also work to avoid Rat's shortcomings and faults such as greediness, stubbornness, wordiness, timidity, eagerness for power, deviousness, and gossiping we will have a decidedly successful, new beginning 2020.
While preparing your home for the New Year, first quietly calm your mind and create a clear intention of letting go, releasing anything from 2019 that no longer serves you. Next, visualize the new beginnings details of the specific prosperity, health and harmony you wish for yourself and your family. As you prepare and clean things out, do so with the motivation of releasing old energy and fully welcoming the new energy of the New Year.
How to prepare your home for the New Year (do before Jan. 25):
1) Before you begin cleaning, do a visual space clearing of your home and walk clockwise around the house either burning sage or ringing a bell to energetically remove stale, old energy and invite positive, fortunate, successful 2020 Qi in;
2) Next clean thoroughly every single surface and room, including moving and cleaning behind furniture;
3) Donate any old clothes and shoes, and tidy the closets;
4) Discard any old foodstuffs from the pantry and restock pantry items;
5) Open all the windows and doors for at least an hour and bring fresh Qi in;
6) Prepare special foods, sweets, and foods that Rats enjoy like cheese and nuts, and also be sure to include oranges, which welcome the "Wealth Gods" since they are round and shaped like coins and fruit is symbolic of abundance;
7) On the actual day of New Year's do not clean or you will clean away the New Year's blessings;
8) On New Year's Day wear new clothes and something that is red and as opulent as your budget can afford since Rat loves luxury;
9) On New Year's Day give red envelopes to children with money inside, give gifts to loved ones and have a celebratory beginning.
Happy New Year to all!

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 2019 Feng Shui Consultation, contact Michele at (520) 647-4887 or send an email to spaceharmony@gmail.com.

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