Chinese Zodiac for 2018: Year of the Earth Dog

Chinese Zodiac for 2018 - Year of the Earth Dog.jpg

Happy New Year! The Chinese New Year is also coming up, and Beth Grace, of Beth Grace Design, is here again to share this year's horoscopes for the Chinese zodiac! In almost one month exactly, we will say goodbye to the Year of the Fire Rooster and hello to the Year of the Earth Dog. Peek below for some insight into what's in store for your sign in the year ahead!

Remember, BTB Feng Shui always recommends carrying a three-dimensional rabbit charm (regardless of your sign) to welcome good luck and protection in 2018, since the Rabbit is the Dog's best friend. As usual, you can grab a charm in your favorite color in the Holistic Spaces store! Don't forget to check out our 2018 Chinese New Year Kit as well for a rabbit charm, custom aromastick and Happy Mist!

*Please note, if your birthday is between January 1 and February 4 your animal sign is the same as the preceding year.  
**In addition to your year animal, you can see which animals are in your chart based on the month of your birth by simply following the date guidelines listed for each animal. Calculating your day animal requires assistance of either software or a Chinese astrology consultant, but it is easily obtained so just ask!
***Chinese months can shift a day or two each year, so if you are born on the cusp of the Chinese month you may need to double check.

Dog 戌

Years: 1922, 1934, 1946, 1958, 1970, 1982, 1994, 2006
Month: October 8 - November 6

Dog people, this is your year, literally. All eyes are on you, and your hard efforts are more likely to be noticed this year, no more hiding in the shadows. This is also an excellent year to hone your skills or add new skills to your CV, as you have the ability to attain mastery if you apply yourself. Just don’t overbook or over schedule yourself, as you are more prone to health issues this year. Taking care of yourself should be a priority. While there may be some bumps along the way, you are generally in sync with the energy of this year, which puts you in the flow to accomplish your goals.

Pig 亥

Years: 1923, 1935, 1947, 1959, 1971, 1983, 1995, 2007
Month: November 7 - December 6

Pig, you are one of the luckiest animals this year, and the stars are on your side. While you may find your star rising and the center of attention don’t overlook those around you who may need your help. You should share your good fortune this year and make helping others a priority; what you give will come back to you many times over. In general, this is a year of happy events and celebrations. Pig people, if you are looking for love you may find a life partner this year if you are willing to take the chance. Those already committed may hear the pitter patter of little feet as babies and grandchildren may add to your joy. The only thing stopping you this year is you - make sure you put your words into action and there is very little you can’t do.

Rat 子

Years: 1924, 1936, 1948, 1960, 1972, 1984, 1996, 2008
Month: December 7 - January 6

Rat people can expect a pretty lucky year overall. If you are not on social media already you really should consider setting up an account. If you have social media accounts that are rather dormant, it's time to dust them off and make them work for you. A little social media effort can go a long way for you this year, as you are more likely to be seen and you may even find posts going viral. Show the world what you have to offer! If you feel like you need to polish yourself before putting yourself out there, this year is a great year to hone your skills or learn some new things. Time spent learning and improving yourself is never wasted, and this year you will be able to learn more than usual. Just make sure to schedule time for self care and well being amidst your other activities, as this year as you may be more challenged by health issues. So make maintaining yours a priority.

Ox 丑

Years: 1925, 1937, 1949, 1961 1973, 1985, 1997, 2009
Month: January 7 - February 3

Ox, you are one of the lucky ones this year. This year will empower you for career growth and wealth creation. Your employer is likely to notice your value to the company with a raise or promotion. Those who work for themselves are also likely to have great success this year, especially when it comes to connecting to the right people. If you find yourself struggling at any point this year, make sure to ask for help, as you will receive it so be sure to speak up and ask! Just be sure not to get too carried away by your success this year; pace yourself and be sure to invest some of your extra earnings for the future. 

Tiger 寅

Years: 1914, 1926, 1938, 1950, 1962, 1974, 1986, 1998, 2010
Month: February 4- March 5

Tigers, you generally enjoy the energy of the Dog, but this year may not be all smooth sailing. You may find petty people and gossip surround you, but issues and obstacles can be overcome by with the help of noblemen  - you should look to your greater social network for the right people to get you out of sticky situations. If you are willing to put in the right amount of effort, you can make good strides in your career and with your finances this year. With the right attitude and hard work you could see yourself rewarded with a promotion so hang tough!

Rabbit 卯

Years: 1927, 1939, 1951, 1963, 1975, 1987, 1999, 2011
Month: March 6 - April 4

Rabbits and Dogs get on like peanut butter and jelly, so this should be a good year for you and a welcome respite after the challenges that the Rooster year likely brought to you. You should find things coming to you more easily this year. If the Rooster year changes included an end to your relationship, never fear, as you may find yourself on the receiving end of romantic attention this year. You may find yourself feeling flirty and ready for fun, so don’t stay home; get out there and enjoy the attention. The only thing you may have to watch out for is your health, so make sure to take care of you too.

Dragon 辰

Years: 1928, 1940, 1952, 1964, 1976, 1988, 2000
Month: April 5 - May 5

Dragon people, this is your clash year, and before you go into fear mode just remember that clashes bring change, not necessarily doom and gloom. Change is inevitable, so embrace it and direct the force of change if possible. External circumstances could bring challenges and curve balls, but you get to decide what to do about it and how you want to handle it. If you are feeling like you are stuck or stagnating, then change can be a welcome force that brings something new and wonderful into your life. So be on the lookout for happy surprises as well. One change that is common during a clash year is moving. If you find you are not happy where you are, then this is a great time to pick somewhere more supportive to you and go. Remember, Fate is what happens to us; Destiny is what we make of it. Your challenge this year is not to be a victim of fate but a person who charts their own destiny. You can do it!

Snake 巳

Years: 1929, 1941, 1953, 1965, 1977, 1989, 2001, 2013
Month: May 6 - June 5

Snake people, last year was likely full of ups and downs, but this year should be calmer waters and smooth sailing ahead. Heaven is smiling on you now, and any troubles you have lingering from last year can be overcome with relative ease this year. You will have no shortage of people working with you and helping you to achieve your goals this year. You will also have access to more resources this year, so its a great year to raise capital and kick off a new venture, as you will also have greater access to powerful people who can help you realize your plans. Single Snakes will also be lucky with relationships this year; you may even find love at first sight. There seems to be no shortage of heavenly blessings coming your way this year, so be grateful for each one.

Horse 午

Years: 1918, 1930, 1942, 1954, 1966, 1978, 1990, 2002
Month: June 6 - July 6

Horse people, get ready to take charge this year. New opportunities could arise for leadership positions, so be ready to step up to the challenge. Increased responsibility and leadership could also come with financial rewards, and you may also see your assets increase in value as well. If you are thinking of cashing in on the increased value of property, this should be a great time to sell for a good price. You are one of the luckiest animals of the year, but don’t get too cocky or to take on dangerous activities, as you are more prone to accidents. This is a good year to skip the skydiving and make sure you have good insurance instead.

Goat 未

Years: 1919, 1931, 1943, 1955, 1967, 1979, 1991, 2003
Month: July 7 - August 7

You are one of the lucky ones this year, Goat folks. In general, this will be a year of fun times, and you will likely find yourself with a full social calendar. You may find yourself enjoying many parties and events this year. However, all those parties may add to your waistline, as you are more prone to weight gain this year - remember all things in moderation. In general, you will find plenty of people at your side helping you to reach your goals and overcome any challenges that come your way. It should be a fun and prosperous year for you, so enjoy it!

Monkey 申

Years: 1920, 1932, 1944, 1956, 1968, 1980, 1992, 2004
Month: August 8 - September 7

Monkey people, you may feel a bit out of sync this year. Some of the ups and downs of the Rooster year may continue into this year; some new challenges pop up as well but, with the right frame of mind you should be able to overcome them. What is working for you this year is the Intelligence Star, which gives you great ideas and a boost to any course of study you undertake. This is an excellent year to challenge yourself and learn new things. It’s also a good year for you to travel, as there is always so much to learn from new people and places - all in all it's a great year to expand your horizons!

Rooster 酉

Years: 1921, 1933, 1945, 1957, 1969, 1981, 1993, 2005
Month: September 8 - October 7

Rooster, as your year comes to a close you may feel let down after riding such a high, but it is also a good time to get off the ride and take a time out. You are likely coming into this year a bit tired and run down. This year it is really important to recharge physically and take care of yourself, as you are more vulnerable to illness. Your focus should be on rest, good diet, mental health and spiritual cultivation. It's a good year to make healthy eating and more exercise your resolutions for this year and stick to them to ensure you come out of the Dog year strong and ready to tackle the Pig year in 2019.

As always, thank you, Beth for sharing your suggestions for the Year of the Earth Dog. If you're interested in more personal, in-depth predictions, please reach out to Beth for a consultation! Also remember, feng shui recommends a three-dimensional rabbit charm this year, no matter what your animal signs. Grab one in your choice of six colors on Holistic Spaces!


Beth is the founder of Beth Grace Design, launched in 2008 to use love of textiles and experience in Decorative Arts to help clients create beauty within their homes. Over the past 8 years, Beth and her work have evolved to include feng shui, design, space clearing, water dowsing, and Chinese astrology. Her training as a certified feng shui practitioner and space clearer has deepened her awareness of space and informs her decisions as a designer. Using feng shui principles of balance and harmony, Beth is able to create spaces that not only look good, but feel good as well. She is passionate about creating healthy, supportive spaces and believes in using natural materials and sustainable practices whenever possible. For more information about Beth, her astrology readings or feng shui, please visit her website, Beth Grace Design and sign up for her newsletter!


Q&A Sunday: Laying a Bagua with Unusual Door Placement

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I'm an interior designer just starting to learn about Feng Shui - I just discovered your podcast and I love it! Thank you for sharing your knowledge about this. I popped the floor plan of my apartment into Autocad - It's attached here. I have no idea how you would impose the bagua on this layout, because the entrance is in a strangely shaped corridor in the middle of the space. I would love your opinion on the right way to look at the space. 

Laura K.H., Brooklyn, NY

Hi Laura,

Happy New Year! Thank you so much for your email, and I’m glad you like the podcast! 😃 Hopefully I’ll bring it back one day!

Laying a Bagua with Unusual Door Placement - Floor Plan.png

It's great that you have a nice floor plan drawn of your home. You’ve labeled that the front door of your apartment, the door by the kitchen, is the “main entrance”. I’ve graphically place a big red arrow there for reference. If that is indeed the main entrance, you would lay out your bagua as shown on my sketch here in solid red lines, with the Path in Life/Career area as shown. This arrangement leaves your entire dining room, living room and office outside of the bagua area, as extensions of the bagua areas adjacent. For instance, Career extends to part of the dining room and the sofa area of the living room, as shown with the dashed red lines. The dashed blue area could be considered part of the Career extension creating a boot like shape. 

I would strongly advise that you rethink the “main entrance” to your space and start using the door in the living room, which would place the bathroom, bedroom and office as extensions. In addition to switching up and using the living room door, you can also use the first step when you reach the landing of your hallway as the “yin” door and lay a second bagua. It looks like you may be on the top floor of this building, so you could claim that hall area as part of your bagua. This would give you the most balanced bagua. And it’s slightly better to walk into the living room first than the kitchen and bedroom area.

You can claim the hallway as part of your second bagua layout with energy, or with color or rugs or other visual ways

Let us know what you think! 

by Anjie Cho 


Thanks for reading our "Q&A Sunday".  We will be answering questions submitted by our readers. Click here to submit any Feng Shui or Green Design questions!


Essential Oils and Aromatherapy

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My sister gave me an aromatherapy diffuser from Christmas and I've been obsessed!  My recent favorite essential oil combination is frankincense with sweet orange oil.  My friend Andrea Giordano specializes in essential oils and aromatherapy, so I interviewed her about them!

AC:  What brought you to study essential oils?

AG:  I have always had a great love for plants and their healing properties.  Essential oils are just one area of study for me. While studying feng shui and my background of study in ornamental horticulture I thought it would be SO great to put the two together. And I have! The aromas and energetics of essential oils are very powerful.

Can you tell us about the powers of essential oils?

The energetics of the plant are present in all forms of plant medicine - flower essences, herbal tinctures, dried herbs, essential oils, etc. Depending on what you are treating - physical vs. emotional, internal or external and the potency you want to use, you have all of these different choices of preparation. The human sense of smell is very powerful.   We relate happy, sad, and different periods in our lives with smell. Just think what you could do to change that with different aromas.

What essential oil do you recommend for space clearing, and why?

I find White Sage to be very powerful in clearing all negative forces followed by some Orange to brighten and lighten (uplifting) the area.

What essential oil do you recommend for relaxation and bedrooms, and why?

There are many essential oils to chose from depending on what mood you want to achieve. For relaxation I recommend Lavender mixed with some Sandalwood and a bit of Orange.  For a romantic bedroom, try Jasmine, Ylang Ylang, Neroli or Rose mixed with some Sandalwood. Sandalwood grounds the spirit.

What essential oil do you recommend for focus, such as at the desk and workspace, and why?

For me, I love Rosemary, Basil (for getting my brain working) Clary Sage (calms the nerves) and a touch of Peppermint (uplifting) 

What essential oil do you recommend for entertaining, such as at the living room area, and why?

Once again I love Orange (lifts the sprits) refreshes and relaxes.  I call Orange “The happy oil"!

OOh!  I can't wait to try these different combinations throughout my home to create a truly holistic space that supports my needs!  Thanks Andrea.

Are there any special essential oil combinations you want to share with us?

by Anjie Cho


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Aroma - The Scent     Thera - The Healing     Chi - The Energy

AromatheraChi was created from a lifetime interest in plants combined with a devotion to natural and organic products.  These interests led AromatheraChi owner, Andrea Giordano, to pursue a degree in Ornamental Horticulture and begin exploring natural applications for health and beauty.  Ten years ago, she began making and selling all-natural soaps.  It is important to her to make sure that she always delivers the highest quality products.

While there is much to love about the essential oils themselves, the true passion and focus of AromatheraChi is the science behind the oils.  Scientific studies have shown that different scents have positive impacts on well being.

Aromatherachi was born out of the desire to wish for everyone to have access to fantastic essential oils, GC/MS tested, at a fraction of the price typically found elsewhere. 

You can read Andrea's AromatheraChi blog here!


Q&A Sunday: Improving and Starting Careers

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We bought crystals from the Holistic Spaces Store recently to hang one each above main entrance door, study and bedroom (as my bed in line with the door). I want to move up in my career with higher education, and my husband needs to start his training/career/job. I feel like for the seven years we've lived in our current house, things have been stressful, creating anxiety and stagnant. Any feng shui help or suggestions are appreciated!

Arjun S., Muncie, IN

Hi Arjun

I hope the first part of your question that we answered last week was helpful, when you asked about pregnancy losses and feng shui. Thanks for your patience for part two of this question.

Your second question is in regards to improving careers for both you and your husband. You also noted that your last seven years have been stressful, anxiety ridden and you’ve felt stagnant. It sounds like you're seeking insight as to what the next steps are in your career, and you also suggested that you need to continue your education. Sometimes our career is not doing well or is stuck because we need to gain more skills, so going back to school or taking additional courses can be very helpful in kickstarting a positive change. Skillfulness in this case is associated with the Knowledge area of the feng shui bagua. I recommend that you study in this area of your home, and if this space is neglected, direct some attention there. Can you spend time there regularly or move nine items around to stir the energy in this area?

For your husband, you noted that he needs to start his career, so maybe he can also work on this same Knowledge area. If he has trouble getting started, he can also look to activate the New Beginnings area. You can do this by adding a new green plant, for instance. Our recent post on How to Grow Fresh Air suggests several options for welcoming new energy, promoting growth and cleaning the air in your space all at once. If your husband needs more clarity, he can also place a new feng shui crystal ball in this area. 

Overall if you feel that your life has been challenging with stress, anxiety and stagnation, it may help to assess the condition of the trees and greenery around your home. Are they in good shape and healthy? Give some attention to the vitality of the natural landscaping around your house, because it can also affect your health, both physically and mentally.

It sounds like the past few years have been very taxing for you. I recommend trying a few of these feng shui adjustments. Be sure to note your intention when you make these changes and practice patience. Feng shui is not a magic pill, and you must do the mundane work as well!

by Anjie Cho 


Thanks for reading our "Q&A Sunday".  We will be answering questions submitted by our readers. Click here to submit any Feng Shui or Green Design questions!


How To Hack Your Suboptimal Holiday Sleeping Arrangements

featured recently on MindBodyGreen by Lindsay Kellner

image credit: Katarina Radovic via MindBodyGreen

image credit: Katarina Radovic via MindBodyGreen

There's no place like home for the holidays, and yet, if you're like most people, you're traveling. While it can be wonderful to travel, getting out of our regular routines can shock our bodies, making it more difficult to eat healthfully, stay regular, and, perhaps most importantly, to sleep well. We spoke to our experts Anjie Cho, a feng shui specialist, and Ellen Vora, M.D., mbg class instructor who specializes in anxiety and is a board-certified psychiatrist, licensed medical acupuncturist, and certified yoga teacher. Both provided tips on how to ready your space and body to get your best sleep ever no matter where you are. Here are their pro tips:

1. Clear the space.

Whether it's a hotel room, sofa, or your childhood bedroom—a space that's been used by someone else or left dormant for weeks (or months) needs clearing. "There can be residual energies from the people that have stayed there before or just from the people you're staying with," Cho said. The holidays in particular can make you feel more sensitive than usual to "foreign energy," she warned. "By clearing the space, you're just giving the place a little perk to provide a restful and spacious sleeping situation while traveling."

...read full article


Q&A Sunday: Pregnancy and Feng Shui

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We bought crystals from the Holistic Spaces Store recently to hang one each above main entrance door, study and bedroom (as my bed in line with the door). My husband and I lost a lot of pregnancies without any medical explanation. Could you please suggest the changes we need to make to our bedroom? Also I want to move up in my career with higher education, and my husband needs to start his training/career/job. I feel like for the seven years we've lived in our current house, things have been stressful, creating anxiety and stagnant in addition to pregnancy losses and the loss of my dad (he doesn't live with us). Any feng shui help or suggestions are appreciated!

Arjun S., Muncie, IN

Hi Arjun,

Thanks so much for shopping with us! It sounds like you have put the feng shui crystal balls to good use, and in appropriate locations (good job!)

I'm also very sorry to hear about your pregnancy difficulties. A couple of general feng shui suggestions for pregnancy are the following: first, be sure to halt any sort of renovations in the home. Any sort of disturbances in your home can affect a pregnancy. Second, refrain from cleaning under your bed. I know this sounds odd, but in BTB feng shui, this is a big no-no. If you want to conceive, it's best to avoid cleaning or dusting under the bed.

And while we're talking about the bed, be sure that you have a sturdy headboard with plenty of space and good air flow under the bed. Many people have platform beds or no bed frames, which can affect health and stability.

Check in next week and we'll respond the the second part of your question 😃

by Anjie Cho


Thanks for reading our "Q&A Sunday".  We will be answering questions submitted by our readers. Click here to submit any Feng Shui or Green Design questions!


Let Us Welcome the Winter Solstice

It’s officially winter! Happy (late) Winter Solstice!

Many months after we celebrate the Summer Solstice, our longest day of the year, the Northern Hemisphere observes the Winter Solstice, our shortest day of the year. These celebrations are actually opposite in the Southern Hemisphere, where Winter Solstice brings the longest day of the year.

Our earth is tilted on its axis as it revolves around the sun, which means that the different hemispheres experience seasons and solstices (Latin for “sun stands still”) differently. During the Winter Solstice, the Northern part of our planet reaches the furthest point from the sun we will experience during the year.

Feng shui-wise, the winter is considered a yin season, where we start to move inward physically as well as emotionally. The yin concept is also about slowing down, and emptiness. Winter in feng shui is also associated with the water element. In winter it looks like everything is dead outside on the outside, but below the snow there is life (even if it’s dormant). The water element and winter are similar. Imagine the middle of a vast ocean, where it’s very still but there’s so much activity happening if you look beneath the surface.

My meditation instructor, Joe Mauricio, called me out earlier this month on my “speediness”. I spent all year running around, never stopping to be mindful. I can’t just blame it on the year of the Horse (Chinese astrology)! Meditation can help you find that space that many of us fear. During this winter season, I encourage each of you to accept the slower pace and pause to find emptiness and space. Even five minutes a day is enough! Let yourself slow down and feel…. Bored? Empty? Quiet? Rest. Peace. And love for yourself.

Fun facts about the Winter Solstice:

Usually occurring between December 21st and 23rd, longstanding Winter Solstice activities have been combined with the popular Christmas holidays, but many of our traditions began as ancient celebrations for surviving another year! In earlier times, winter was a welcome break from hard work during the rest of the year, and almost every culture celebrates the Winter Solstice in some way.

Some of our most mysterious world wonders, including the Irish Newgrange tomb and Stonehenge, were constructed in a way that perfectly captures the sun’s light at the moment of Winter Solstice.  The Yule log also originated as a celebratory festival for the Winter Solstice. Romans even celebrated the solstice for an entire week!

by Anjie Cho


Q&A Sunday: Bed Direction and Entry Mirrors

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I've just moved into a new condo. Should my bed face the door? And is a mirror bad to have in an entry way?

Patricia G., Buffalo, NY

Hi Patricia

Congratulations on your new home! Hope you're loving it. 

Question one, should your bed face the door? In BTB feng shui, we use the "commanding position" for important furniture placement, such as a bed. Essentially, this question is about what is a good direction to face when you're spending many hours in one spot. The bed ideally faces the door, meaning that when you are laying in bed, or sitting up in bed, you can clearly see the door. However, it's not about placement right in front of, or in line with, the door. Diagonal from the door is the best position for a bed, so when you're in bed, you can see anyone that may be coming into the room with ease, not having to turn around. We have more posts about the commanding position here, here and here.

Onto the second question, is a mirror bad to have in an entry way? It's definitely not bad! It actually depends on they layout of your entry and your home, where exactly you want to place the mirror, etc., etc. But mirrors can expand a space, so if you have a small foyer, a mirror can be very helpful from a feng shui perspective. It can also be very functional. 

As you likely know from reading the blog and listening in on podcasts, feng shui can be a great way to get started in a new space. I'm excited for your new adventure and happy to hear that feng shui is a concern for you. Good luck in your condo, and please reach out with any additional questions!

by Anjie Cho


Thanks for reading our "Q&A Sunday".  We will be answering questions submitted by our readers. Click here to submit any Feng Shui or Green Design questions!


This loft-like UES studio needs work, but the price is right

featured this month on Brick Underground by Leah Rosner

image credit: Brick Underground

image credit: Brick Underground

Priced at just $345,000, this Upper East Side studio at 223 East 78th St. is definitely affordable considering the location. But the loft-like unit will certainly need some renovating to make it habitable, according to architect and feng shui expert Anjie Cho.

“It’s a good price for a starter apartment,” she says.

Cho thinks the place is worth fixing, but she isn’t a fan of many features, especially what’s underfoot.

“Those floors are bad,” she says of the black-and-white checkerboard tiles. “[They're] so in your face that you can’t ignore them.”

For this week’s Reno Ready, we asked Cho to tell us how she’d renovate the space to render it livable. Here are her recommendations:

Kitchen (pictured at top)

How this room is updated will depend entirely on the new occupant’s cooking habits. If he or she is a recipe addict who loves whipping up a meal at a moment’s notice, then Cho would advise putting in a full-sized refrigerator and adding in an island. If, however, he or she is more likely to order a pizza than make one, Cho says she’d probably hang onto the mini-fridge.

...read full article