As winter draws in, with the days growing colder and shorter, it's not uncommon to feel a shift in our mood and energy levels. The Northern Hemisphere is starting to slow and prepare to rest in preparation for a new lease of life in spring.
So, it seems only natural for us to feel the desire to follow suit, battening down the hatches and retiring inside for a period of rest and contemplation. It's important to create an inviting and nurturing home during this time, in harmony with the cycles of the natural world, that will support you in staying grounded and positive throughout the season.
Introducing feng shui
For anyone unfamiliar with the concept, think of feng shui as a sort of mindful design. It helps us to connect with our surroundings and become aware of how they influence our well-being.
The aim of feng shui is to maximize positive chi energy and create a greater sense of harmony and balance between the natural world, our homes and, ergo, ourselves. How? It's as simple as re-arranging our living spaces - well almost! The practice involves analyzing every aspect of your home, from furniture placement, decor, color, form, and much more.
What does the winter season mean in feng shui?
The winter season is associated with the following attributes:
- Energy: yin
- Color: black & dark blue
- Element: water
- Shape: wavy, curvy, undulated
- Compass Direction: north
- Bagua: career and opportunities; life journey
Let's take a look at what each of these attributes mean and how you can use them to get your home ready for winter.
Energy: Welcome in Some Yin
In Chinese cosmology, yin and yang energies fall into the four seasons: autumn and winter are yin seasons, and spring and summer, yang. Yin energy is a feminine energy, considered passive, slow, soft, relaxed, and silent.
In harmony with the winter season, encourage a moment of contemplation and relaxation by introducing soft textures through drapes, upholstery, rugs and throws. Use colors that represent healing and relaxation, like blue, green, and purple. Soft, muted tones also help create a soothing atmosphere.
Color: Use Black and Dark Blue Shades
In feng shui, the winter season is associated with the colors black and dark blue; intense shades that should be carefully deployed in your home decor. Black is also the color of the yin side of the "taijitu" symbol, vibrating calm energy. Whilst in Western culture black symbolizes grief, death and mystery, in feng shui it has positive connotations of peace, wisdom, mindfulness and wealth.
Introduce black and dark blue shades through decorative accessories and furniture pieces, or incorporate the color by painting walls or highlighting architectural features. Whatever you choose, both shades will bring a timeless elegance and sophistication to your scheme.
Element: Introduce Calming Water Features
One of the three essential principles of feng shui - as well as the commanding position and baguas - are the five elements: water, wood, fire, earth, and metal. The winter season is associated with the water element that represents intuition, rejuvenation, cleansing, nourishment, fortune and prosperity.
For the best manifestation of this element, introduce real water features into your home, such as a fish tank or indoor water fountain. You can also represent water through furniture, accessories or paintwork in shades of black and deep ocean blue. If you're short on square-footage, artwork and photography depicting calm waters are a soothing way to represent this element; as are mirrors.
Shape: Opt for Wavy and Curvy
Characteristic of the winter season, wavy, curvy, undulated shapes reflect the amorphous character of water and evoke a sense of tranquility. When choosing furniture and accessories, always opt for rounded shapes over rectangular, clean-lined forms. You might like to decorate with some bulbous black vases, or go for a voluptuous blue sofa with rounded edges, for example.
Compass Direction: Head North
In feng shui, each season is linked to a specific cardinal direction. Since winter supports thenorth-facing areas of the home, this is where you need to concentrate feng shui winter attributes.
For example, if you want to hang a piece of artwork that represents the water element, it should be hung on the north-facing wall of the room. The same applies to black and blue colored walls, furniture, decorative objects, and water features.
Bagua: Boost your Career
In feng shui, each season is linked to one of the 'baguas', or 'eight areas' that relate to different life circumstances. Winter is identified with the career and life path bagua, which is connected to the entrance of your home and office, as well as the north sector. So, whether you want to be promoted or increase your income, 'tis the season to boost the career bagua and attract good energy into this area of your home.
Have you ever wondered why almost all of the big billionaire mansions have fountains in their front yard? In feng shui, the flow of money is represented by flowing water. So, by placing a water fountain in the entrance of your home, you are maximizing the potential of your career bagua. Make sure it's kept clean and operational; stagnant water represents a stagnant career, and nobody wants that!
If you don't yet have the luxury of a big front yard, then you can stimulate the energy in your career by placing a small indoor fountain in your hallway. Alternatively, opt for something that represents water, like a blue rug, black framed mirror, or a painting depicting calm, flowing water. Avoid imagery of big crashing waves as this points towards a turbulent career and erratic income.
Bonus Feng Shui Tips for a Wholesome Winter Dwelling
Keep positive chi flowing throughout your home this season with these three essential feng shui cures:
1. Out with the old and in with the new
Prepare for the new year by having a clear out. According to the theory of feng shui, everything is alive and has a vibrating energy force - including those old broken shoes hidden in the back of your closet!
Clutter symbolizes emotional baggage, it weighs us down (emotionally and physically), fogs our brain, and impedes bigger and better things from coming into our lives. Get rid of everything that no longer works or serves you, or that evokes negative emotions of past relationships, or failures. A clutter-free home allows energy to circulate more freely to all baguas and create positive energy.
2. Let there be light!
One of the hardest parts of winter are the shorter, darker days. Make the most of every hour of natural light by keeping your curtains and blinds open until nightfall. You could also hang some strategically placed mirrors to bounce light around the room and add depth.
Incorporate the water element with some black or dark grey lamps and overhead lighting to illuminate those long, dark evenings. Fill gloomy corners with lamps to enhance architectural details and make the space feel bigger and brighter. You might consider swapping low-wattage light bulbs for brighter, energy-saving ones.
Create a warm, atmospheric glow with some scented candles. Citrus scents, such as grapefruit and orange, are especially energizing and uplifting.
3. Breathe fresh air into your home
Our fight to keep out the bitter cold means we tend to keep windows firmly closed and the heating on full blast throughout the winter season. As a result, the air, and energy, in our homes tends to become stagnant. Bringing some fresh blooms into our home in the winter months not only keeps the air clean, but also balances out the yin energy with positive chi.
Opt for a colorful plant such as a poinsettia to add a festive splash of color. Or, some easy-care greenery such as snake plants, monstera and the Chinese money plant, to welcome good luck and prosperity into the home.