Renew yourself through the following feng shui tips and make 2013 a year to remember


QUESTION OF THE WEEK: The Year of the Snake is coming up and I would like to know what you forecast for this year and why it is called the year of the “black” snake. That doesn’t sound very good! Also, I’ve always been curious as to how Chinese astrology and feng shui relate to each other as one is about the stars and the other about the home. Finally, what are some feng shui specific things I can do to best prepare for this year?


Happy Chinese New Year! Today, New Year’s Day in Chinese culture, is the perfect time to answer your questions! First, a “black” year has nothing to do with anything dark or ominous. Rather, it relates to the element associated with the snake this year. This year is the year of the water snake and, in Chinese art and culture, black represents water.

Understanding the year

Understanding the animal provides insight into the energy and unique opportunities the upcoming snake year offers. The snake, powerful and ambitious, knows to shed its skin when it is time to renew itself, symbolizing intelligence, intuitiveness, gracefulness, wisdom and new beginnings. So, for many of us, this year can be transformative, a time to “shed the old,” letting go of anything that is holding us back — stagnant friendships, deadbeat situations and even bad habits.

Things to keep in mind

This year, like a snake, use your intuition to decide what is best for you; plan for what you want, rather than jumping into any situation that comes along, and seek peaceful surroundings, where you can be your most productive self.

Subtle actions to take to maximize the year


Chinese astrology, based on astronomy, has a close relationship with the Chinese philosophy of feng shui (yin yang theory and the five elements). Ancient feng shui masters relied on astronomy to find a correspondence between the universe and the best positioning of energy for humans on earth. Astrologically, today marks the beginning of the energies of the year of the snake, pushing out the year of the dragon. Below are some emotional and mental perspectives you can adopt to help you enhance the energy of the snake year and some feng shui changes to prepare you for this new energy:

New emotional, mental perspectives 1. Release any fear about the future and what the year will bring, as the year of the snake will bring you everything you need. 2. To make the best of the snake energy year, be cautions in dealings with others and do your homework before you sign or get into anything. 3. The water snake is black like deep water, symbolizing a need for personal reflection, so make sure to schedule time with yourself and avoid getting caught up in the chaos that can take over your life.

Feng shui actions to take in your home

Take these feng shui actions to optimize your home and get ready for the year of the snake: 1. Welcome the incoming year with water energy in the form of colors, adoring your home with black, navy blue or dark green colors. 2. Besides the usual clearing and purging, as soon as possible clear outstanding debts and any misunderstandings between friends and family. Avoid brining this energy too deep into the coming year. 3. Set the intent for maximum wealth for the coming year. It always feels good to have lots of money in your wallet, so fill your wallet with cash today, making it appear stuffed and full, symbolizing the abundance you expect. 4. Wear something new today, representing a new outlook, a new you, and new beginnings. Red, the color of fire, symbolizes passion, joy and happiness, so, if you have no new clothes to wear, at least wear something red! 5. When you finish this article, open all the doors and windows and let the energy of 2012 move out so that new, inspirational, and fresh opportunities can be welcomed in for 2013. Then, take a few deep breaths, inhaling the new and exhaling the old.

Your year is up to you

Celebrating a new year is about celebrating the change from the old to the new. What you do on New Year’s Day sets the intent for the rest of the year, but it is up to you to keep the momentum going. Don’t let this year be one in which you do the same old thing. This is a magnificent year for new awareness and inspired change! Let go of anything outdated, and, like a snake, shed your old skin!


Alice Inoue is a life guide at Alice Inoue Life Guidance LLC, a company committed to assisting people in living empowered lives. Alice shares her wisdom as a professional speaker and personal consultant, and offers a series of instructional DVDs on feng shui, as well as her award-winning books on feng shui, happiness and spiritual life wisdom. Visit to read her blog, sign up for her newsletters and download useful feng shui tips.