The year of the horse is almost here, and with it canters in the outlook of making feng shui-appropriate changes and charging forward boldly

QUESTION OF THE WEEK: I know that the upcoming year is the year of the horse. Can you give me your insight on what to expect? As well, I’ve always been curious about how Chinese astrology and feng shui relate to each other, as one is about the stars and the other the home. Finally, can you give me some specific things to do to best prepare for this year?

Yes! Astrologically, this coming Friday, Jan. 31, marks the beginning of the energies of the year of the horse, pushing out the year of the snake. The year of the horse ends on Feb. 18, 2015. In Chinese astrology, the years are usually associated with one of the five elements — water, wood, fire, earth and metal. This year is the year of the “wood,” or “wooden,” horse, and because wood is related to trees and the color green, it is also called the year of the “green horse.”


Understanding the year

Understanding the animal associated with the year provides insight into the energy and unique opportunities the upcoming year brings. The horse is a symbol of nobility, class, endurance, vitality, speed, perseverance, freedom and happiness. Accordingly, the year of the wooden horse is a year for those who are ready and willing to move forward and work to get out of current stuck situations. This is a year of opportunities and prosperity, provided we seize the day. In other words, you either join the race or get left standing by the wayside. The year of the horse has no middle ground.


This is also a year to make a difference or make your visions happen. Whether you are a leader or a spectator, you will still be part of the action. Think of the thousands of spectators at a horse race, all enjoying the excitement and spirit of the event. They are as necessary a part of the bigger picture as those running in the race.

Things to keep in mind

This year is about forward thinking. Any indecisions or ambiguities in your life have the opportunity to take new form. The horse will bring the opportunities, but the pace of the horse year is so fast that you must be quick to recognize and jump on them.

Subtle actions to take to maximize the year

Chinese astrology, based on astronomy, is closely related to 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.

Below are some emotional and mental perspectives you can adopt to help you enhance the energy of the horse year, and some feng shui changes to prepare you for this new energy:

New emotional and mental perspectives 1. If you’ve been feeling stuck, this year will bring new insights and ideas, and you will be more prepared than ever to make changes if the timing is right. 2. To make the best of the horse energy year, keep your eyes open for possible new beginnings, and trust your instinct when it comes time to make a change. 3. The horse year is about movement and growth, but don’t get so caught up in the energy that you forget to take time to rest, reflect and rejuvenate.

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 horse:


1) Welcome the incoming year with wood energy in the form of color, adorning your home with green.

2) Besides the usual clearing and purging, as soon as possible clear outstanding debts and any misunderstandings between friends and family.

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 (lots of singles will do), making it appear stuffed and full, symbolizing the abundance you expect.

4) Wear something new on Friday, representing a new outlook, a new you, and new beginnings. Red, the color of fire, symbolizes passion, joy and happiness. If you have no new clothes to wear, at least wear something red!

5) When you wake up on Friday morning, open all the doors and windows and let the energy of 2013 move out so that new, inspirational and fresh opportunities can be welcomed in for 2014. 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 horse, charge forward with determination!

Alice Inoue is the founder and Chief Happiness Officer at Happiness U, a friendly and warm educational establishment at the Gentry Pacific Center on Nimitz Highway. At Happiness U, one can learn how to be happy, a subject you won’t find in a traditional school. Happiness U offers classes such as feng shui 101, clutter clearing plan 101, positive mindset 101, happiness 101 and more. Visit