Autumnal Equinox in Feng Shui Terms

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Maybe you know this Monday, September 23, was the autumnal equinox this year, but what exactly does that mean?

The autumnal equinox is one of two times per year, the other being spring equinox, that the sun crosses the equator, temporarily rendering day and night the same length and signifying the change of seasons from summer to fall. These times are also referred to as the autumnal and vernal equinoxes. On a more scientific level, the autumnal equinox occurs when the Earth's equator crosses the center of the sun, meaning that for one of two times each year, the Earth is not tilted one way or the other in reference to the sun. 

Since autumn is ultimately a transition into winter, it's important from a feng shui perspective that we take time to nurture ourselves in preparation for colder, darker months. Below are some tips to help you and your home fall back into autumn in harmony.

De-Clutter Your Closet

It is that time again - time to put away the off-season summer clothing and bring out the warm, autumnal gear. While you go through your clothes, take some time to de-clutter your closet. If your closet is full, you are energetically telling the universe you have no room for anything new. Make space for some amazing opportunities!

Refresh Your Bed Linens

As the weather gets cooler, adjust your bed linens accordingly. Autumn and winter lend to soft blankets and heavier duvets. If possible, treat yourself to some organic bedding. The chemicals used in conventional fabrics not only off-gas VOCs (Volatile Organic Compounds), the toxins also get absorbed into your bloodstream through skin contact. 

Also think about the colors of your bedding. Warmer earthy colors like burgundies, browns and taupes are great for the cooler months.

Deep Clean The Refrigerator

Along with the clothes you wear and bed you sleep in, the change in season also lends to a change in the food you eat. This is the time to transition into warmer, cooked foods, and fewer raw, cold foods. Look at this as an opportunity to deep clean and de-clutter. Empty out the refrigerator and remove anything expired, old and/or spoiled. Spoiled and expired food symbolize neglect of one’s overall health. If possible, compost the organic material, or find a compost drop-off location and recycle or reuse the glass and plastic containers.

When cleaning the interior of the refrigerator, I prefer to use natural non-toxic cleaners, such as baking soda to scrub, and a mixture of vinegar, water and eucalyptus essential oil to wipe down and disinfect. Then open up a new container of baking soda to absorb any odors in your newly organized and clean refrigerator.

I also keep a clear natural crystal quartz in my refrigerator. I program that crystal with the intention to enhance the life energy and nourishment for the food that I will later eat.

Let's welcome the autumnal equinox with positive feng shui adjustments to our home with these three simple tips.

Also be sure to read my interview with Angela Mastoris about the Chinese Medicine considerations for Adjusting to the Fall Equinox here!

by Anjie Cho


If you’d like to learn more about feng shui check out the Mindful Design Feng Shui certification program. Laura Morris and I launched our program in September 2018. To get on the list about it, sign up at: www.mindfuldesignschool.com.

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Recipe: Fire Water from Stiggly Holistics

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The charming Sacha Jones of Stiggly Holistics shares her recipe for Fire Water.  This is a savory cleansing concoction that Sacha drinks every morning. I highly recommend this drink-- it's a wonderfully warming broth.

It’s also a huge part of the menu for the group cleanses that she organizes. If you are interested in a guided cleanse, Sacha organizes cleanses at least once every season.  She welcomes participants at ALL levels and it's international!

Sacha recommends drinking Fire Water every morning.  After you wake up and have a full glass of water, then move onto your Fire Water.  It is a great "zingy", super cleansing kickstarter and the perfect replacement for coffee.  Sacha explains, “it’s very cleansing, has anti-inflammatory properties, good for digestion and blood sugar balance.  It’s pretty awesome!”

Fire Water - The Basics:

  • Boiled water, enough for your mug
  • Fresh squeezed juice from a half or full lemon
  • Cayenne pepper, to taste
  • Cinnamon, Ginger Powder & Turmeric, approximately ¼ teaspoon each
  • Pink Himalayan Salt (or other high quality sea salt) & fresh cracked Black Pepper, a pinch of each
  • Virgin coconut oil, 1 teaspoon 
  1. Boil the water.  Sacha reminds us “remember not to watch your kettle - you know what they say!”
  2. Squeeze the lemon juice into “your biggest, most favourite, chunky ceramic mug."
  3. Add the cayenne pepper to taste, as well as the other spices, salt and pepper. The above measurements are general guidelines.  Sacha recommends you “play with the quantities, start with smaller pinches of each if you prefer."
  4. Then top off the Fire Water with virgin coconut oil
  5. Finally, Sacha instructs us to “stir, sit down, breathe, smile, and when it's cool enough, sip.  And enjoy.  You will likely want to stir it as you go, to keep all the lovely ingredients from settling to the bottom”.

Finally, a lovely video of Sacha making Fire Water


5 Ways to Embrace the Summer Solstice

It's officially summer! As of today, the 2017 summer solstice, we've moved from spring to summer and are welcoming the fire season after a cold winter! The earth will travel its closest to the sun today, bringing longer days, warmer weather and the official beginning of a new season in the northern hemisphere. We're always fans of the summer season, and in feng shui terms, it's a great time to refresh your space and prepare the coming fire element. Here are our favorite ways to switch to summer in a holistic space!

Clear Your Space

I recommend space clearings on a regular basis to my feng shui clients. They are great ways to refresh the energy in your home, send stagnant energy on its way and welcome positive qi to your space. There are any number of ways to clear the space, but I prefer the BTB feng shui orange peels method or our Holistic Spaces white sage mist during the summer months! The Space white sage spray is finally back in stock, and it's also perfect to travel with during the summer. You don't always want to burn sage when you're staying away from home, so the mist is a brilliant way to clear the space of that guest room without setting off any alarms!

Clean Out Your Closet

We all know the value of closet space, and though it might be necessary to leave out a few warmer pieces for the spring season, summer is hot and vibrant, and it's the ideal time to pack away those winter clothes and make space for light, comfortable summer clothes. You may even find there are clothes you haven't worn that you can get rid of! Each piece of clothing that leaves your space leaves room for a new, quality piece you love. Check out some of our past posts about cleaning out the closet!

Stock Up on Fruits and Veggies

Just as we change our eating habits at the beginning of fall, winter and spring, the summer season brings with it a new list of optimal foods, most notably raw fruits and veggies. With the rise of the heat, fruits and veggies offer a healthy, nutritious way to cool the body, and many (think lettuce, watermelon) even contain a high amount of water to help combat the fire season! My favorite thing is to make watermelon juice. Be sure to juice the rind, too! Watermelon rind contains a wealth of nutrients not found in other fruits and can even help improve blood circulation! 

Swap Out Design Accessories

If you changed up your holistic space to get cozy during the cooler months, it's time to switch back to breezy, cooling accessories for your space. Replace darker colors with light blues, greens and pastels; swap heavy drapes for thin curtains; opt for airy, organic linens and maybe even throw in a few summer-themed pillows! Check out our next My Favorite Things post for our favorite summer design accessories.

Add the Water Element

June is the peak of the fire season, and the best way to balance out excess fire is to add water. You can do this by adding actual water, kidney shaped items, dark blues and blacks and representations of water. Check out my favorite ways to add water to a space!

by Anjie Cho


How to Welcome the Autumnal Equinox, with Stiggly Holistics

After a long, hot summer, it's finally time to welcome a new season! It's always important to take care of ourselves, both inside and out, when changing from one season to another, and this year, our friend Sacha Jones, from Stiggly Holistics, has volunteered her insight! It's been a while since we spoke with Sacha, and we're happy to welcome her back to talk bringing in Autumn in a healthy, holistic way. 

AC: Tell us a little bit about Stiggly Holistics and what you're up to these days. 

SJ: Stiggly Holistics will be celebrating her 10th birthday soon, and we are looking to do some celebrating and relaunching between the fall and the spring. This will include introducing some new classes, starting some new women's groups, opening up my pottery studio and expanding that part of the business, and playing around with new packaging ideas for my product line... much good stuff on the horizon! I can't reveal it all now but just to say - between this coming October and the spring of '17, Stiggly Holistics will be seeing a little bit of a facelift, which feels really fun and exciting.

The heart, essence and roots will of course remain true to where we began - "nourish your body, nourish your soul" will always remain our motto. We believe in caring for the whole person - not just the food we put on our plates, but also the quality of our soul food, our home environment, how we care for the planet and so much more. It's all under the same holistic umbrella, and that's a very important part of the Stiggly mission. I'm hoping to have a little celebratory relaunch/anniversary party at some point, I will keep you posted.

Yes, please do! How does the autumnal equinox affect us, internally and externally?

I always love the autumnal and vernal equinox, because to me it's all about balance. Winter is extremely inward, summer very outward whereas spring and fall are a lovely mixture of the two. I love how the shadows change somewhere around the autumnal equinox, and with that there is an energy shift that is almost palpable. With the daylight and darkness being about the same, we tend towards a little more indoor time, perhaps getting to bed a little earlier, slowing down just a little bit, and we tend to get a little more grounded and centered.  

What are some steps we can take to ease into Autumn in a healthy way?

My first suggestion is to get yourself to your local farmer's market and see what's in season. Let that guide your meal planning. Eating seasonally is more than a trend; it's really good for our body and soul. Nature provides what we need, just at exactly the right time. You will start to see more root veggies, and energetically these foods help to ground us. In this same vein I also recommend exploring herbal infusions and decoctions - and nourishing your body with "teas" like elderberry, ginger, oatstra, and other favorite herbs. Have fun experimenting with flavors you like, get really into the ritual of it all and sip, smile, breathe.

Secondly, I suggest really considering the beginning of Autumn as an opportunity to take a deep breath, release your shoulders and honor the moment as a new beginning. Whether or not you have children in school, or are yourself in academia, or if all that is long ago in your memory, there is a "back to school" vibe that's ingrained within us. Let's use that to let go of some non-serving stuff and embrace some new ideas. How balanced is your life? Do you have enough boundaries? Are you always saying yes to others? How is the balance between your work and play time? See where you can cut back in your work obligations a little - and by so doing, increase your time, energy and motivation for play and true relaxation.

Also, in keeping with the theme of balance, I really recommend getting into a daily practice of balancing on one leg. Aim for at least 30 seconds per leg, at least once a day. You can do it while you wait for the kettle to boil, while you brush your teeth, while you wait for a subway, or really anytime...to make this harder, more fun and more beneficial, I also recommend you try and do this with your eyes closed. Time yourself. How long can you balance that way? If it feels impossible, keep at it - like anything it gets easier with practice.

image credit:  Stiggly Holistics

image credit: Stiggly Holistics

What's the best part of the new season, in your opinion?

A new season marks another chance for us to go inward and hit that proverbial "reset button" on ourselves. It's a chance to look within and see what's working, what's not, and a good time to re-evaluate our goals - personal & professional. I also love seasonal clothing, and Autumn is maybe my favorite, since I love jackets and home-made knitwear. It's the time to blow the cobwebs off the knitting needles and, in general, just start being creative. 

Truly it's hard to put into words just how intoxicating Autumn is, but I really love the collective hum, which feels like excitement. It's almost like culturally we become squirrel-like, all rushing around, gathering "acorns," preparing for the colder months ahead while the delicious scents of pumpkin spices and hot cider fill the air. It's all about the ritual, the familiar and the comfort in that.

How can we use the concepts of Stiggly Holistics to create holistic spaces?

When I think of holistic spaces, I think of creating home-space that feels safe and cozy - somewhere you want to spend time. 

When I consider nourishment and self care, it goes so much deeper than what we eat, as I've mentioned. And a very big component of that is home environment. I always want to know from my clients what home feels like. Does it feel safe, comfortable? Would you be comfortable inviting people over, even if your space is tiny? Do you make your bed every morning? Are the sheets and pillows comfortable? What is your lighting like? Do you have somewhere to sit and just be quiet - whether that's to read, meditate or just relax after a busy day at work? Are the things in your home relevant? Do you still love the art on the walls, the books on the shelves? Do you look around your abode and smile? Have a sense of pride? 

You can start small when creating a holistic home environment - you don't have to spend a lot of money, but get a few things in place. Clean out your fridge and fill it with healthful, life-giving foods and try to avoid a build up of leftovers. Use green cleaning products (make them yourselves), and avoid chemicals in your home (this includes laundry detergent so you can sleep better on eco-cleansed sheets). Every season, go through your "stuff" and have a little clean out. I'm a fan of natural, "organic" materials and found objects (as well as antiques, thrift, stoop sales...), and believe holistic home spaces should be as void of plastic as possible.

Our "stuff" contributes to the energy of a home, and what we lay our eyes on contributes to the way we feel, so let's make our home spaces as beautiful and comfortable as possible - in a way that works for ourselves. Your home may not be featured in Dwell magazine, but do you love it? Do you feel truly at home there? That's what really matters. Home is truly is where the heart is, and I think keeping that concept at the core when you declutter, design and get cozy will help guide you to really loving where you live.

As always, such wonderful advice from Sacha on remaining true to yourself and taking care of you! What can you do in the coming months to treat yourself with loving care as we transition from warm, yang weather to the colder, yin season? Be sure to try out Sacha's recipe for cleansing fire water too! 

by Anjie Cho


Sacha Jones is the founder of Stiggly Holistics. he hails originally from Wales but is a long time New Yorker and spends her time between the East Village, and Sullivan County upstate. Stiggly Holistics specializes in holistic wellness - we want to get to know the WHOLE you and get you on the path to feeling your very best self. We run group classes, women's groups & offer individual counseling - as well offering a line of organic body balms and herb teas, and returning soon to the line - hand made ceramics. You can learn more by visiting our website, www.stiggly.com and you can sign up for our Juicy Tuesday Newsie musings for weekly motivation right here.


Why You Should Give Yourself the Best You Deserve

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For those of you who read my newsletter, I promised that I’d write a blog post about Deepak Chopra’s Creating Affluence. And if you’re not signed up for the newsletter, sign up HERE! I write about things there that I only share on my newsletters!

You can read the first part of what I wrote on knowledge and prosperity by looking at the newsletter archive HERE. The second part that I wanted to share is the idea that we always deserve the “better and best." Deepak writes: “People with wealth consciousness settle only for the best. This is also called the principle of highest first. Go first class all the way and the universe will respond by giving you the best.”

I sometimes forget that I deserve the best. The best doesn’t necessarily mean the most expensive, but I see it as meaning the best that you need at that time. What it doesn’t mean is settling for something that’s mediocre. I see how I used to do this with clothing, for example. I would fill my closet with many inexpensive items that weren’t the best. The quality and styles were not ideal, and it showed! The items would either never get worn, or not complement my look. Now I try to buy one thing that I love, rather than a handful of pieces that are mediocre. We can apply this to food, too! Perhaps eating a modest amount of something delicious is preferred to eating a lot of something that’s average. With books, even though I want to get everything, I’m trying to be patient and first finish the book I’m reading before I purchase another :)

If we translate this into our homes, we are able to create more SPACE! We have less clutter and, as Deepak says, the universe will respond by giving us the best. It’s true! If you make some space in your life (and your home!) you will attract even more of the best. And we all deserve the best. Sometimes it’s easy to forget that. We deserve the best within our means. More isn’t always better!

Is there something you can let go of to create some space in you home? Can you remember to settle for only the best?

by Anjie Cho