How To Feng Shui Your Home For The Year Of The Rabbit, According To An Expert

As the holidays draw to a close in the West, cultures celebrating the Lunar New Year across the Pacific are just gearing up to begin their festivities, which fall on January 22, 2023, per Almanac. For the majority of celebrants who follow the Chinese zodiac, 2023 will be the Year of the Rabbit — although Vietnamese people will honor our feline friends in the Year of the Cat, as explains.

No matter which tradition you follow, the transition from year to year is an opportunity to take stock of recent changes and identify areas to improve in the upcoming 12 months. Feng shui can help with this process. As Dr. Jenelle Kim, DACM, L.Ac, the author of "Myung Sung: The Korean Art of Living Meditation," discusses in an exclusive interview with House Digest, "Feng shui is often optimized for an individual's goals and the change they are trying to bring into their life. For example, if you'd like to create a living room that encourages family time, you'd utilize different advice than if you worked from home in that space and wanted to increase your wealth and ability to focus there."

Feng shui and the zodiac overlap in many ways. Dr. Kim continues, "This year the zodiac animal is the Water Rabbit, which represents peace, hope, and healing, so improving the feng shui of your home can help invite these qualities and good chi into your home."

Bring in blues and greens

Dr. Kim is an expert in the Korean practice of Myung Sung, which is a kind of living meditation (via Penguin Random House). Rather than closing your eyes and pausing to recenter yourself and find peace and balance, Myung Sung practitioners advocate dynamic changes to our everyday experience to weave the benefits of meditation into each minute of the day.

Opting for the colors associated with the Year of the Rabbit in your home is one simple way to incorporate reminders of this New Year's healing and peaceful energy into your environment. Dr. Kim explains, "Azure blue and apple green are considered the colors for the Year of the Rabbit. Adding natural sky blues and bright greens to your home, even in the form of décor and other small touches, can help bring good luck and the energy of the rabbit into your living space."

Perfecting the energy of the space where your spend most of your time is a sensible place to start, but you don't need to leave your good chi behind when you leave the house. According to Dr. Kim, "These colors represent spring, and can also be lucky if you wear them as well."

Add jade to your space

Young Western moon-gazers might see a man in the moon or a big ball of cheese, but, according to The Atlantic, children from Chinese, Japanese, and Native American Cree cultures look up and see a rabbit. In the Chinese tradition, this rabbit is known as the Jade Rabbit, immortalized in the moon after trying to sacrifice itself on the fire to feed the Jade Emperor, who had disguised himself as a poor, starving beggar (via Chinese Language Institute).

This spirit of self-sacrifice continues to be associated with jade. "Jade is known to 'take a hit for you,'" explains Dr. Kim, "which means it will absorb negative energy coming your way; this helps keep your home free from bad energy and empowers you to live your best life."

Since Myung Sung is a practice of improving your everyday energy, jade has some wonderful properties on that front. Dr. Kim explains, "Jade is known for bringing in good luck, so it is a great piece to keep in your home to enhance the feng shui. The wavelengths or chi emitted by jade are known to resonate closely with human chi, providing us with healing and protecting energy."

Integrate a wood element

So, we have our apple and azure color palette and know to be on the lookout for some jade objets d'art or jewelry, but what about the big ticket items? "Choosing wooden furniture or décor," per Dr. Kim, "or adding plants with rounded leaves, is a great way to bring the Year of the Rabbit into your home."

Woods and greens are quite in keeping with the rabbit's life and style. But the energy that wood brings to your home is more than forested tranquility. According to Peace. Love. Feng Shui, wood is a living material, and like the trees it comes from, wood represents new growth in the springtime. It also grows upwards towards the warming sun — changing and expanding, but remaining rooted and connected. Wood makes a wonderful choice for furnishings because of the other feng shui properties associated with it — strength but the flexibility to bend when required.

With feng shui, sometimes the things you leave out make a room more than what you include. Dr. Kim points out that while wood is great to include, "Metal is considered the opposite of wood and disrupts or counteracts its properties." Don't worry; you don't have to take all of your cast iron to the scrap heap, though! "If you can, avoid adding new metal furniture, or consider re-arranging the furniture or decorations you have so that no one room in your house is too dominated by the metal element."

Light scented candles

Skeptics may scoff at the idea that more jade and less metal in your home can benefit your life. This fundamentally misunderstands what feng shui does, but over the years, Dr. Kim has observed that it's a pitfall that enthusiastic beginners can also fall into. She explains, "Often when people first begin incorporating feng shui into their home designs they focus more on what they believe the rules of feng shui are than the effect it has on them personally. Feng shui is about how the space makes you feel, so incorporating décor that you associate with relaxation and healing can have a powerful effect too."

This is the aspect of feng shui that you can only find within yourself and your home. If you like the thermostat turned way up, if you love the smell of cinnamon even when it's not pumpkin spice season, or if your furry friends drive you mad by shedding all over your stairs, these are all things to address and incorporate into your home this new year. Feng shui is about designing spaces to fill the beings within them with good energy. When asked how she practices this herself, Dr. Kim says, "I personally love soy candles and find they greatly enhance the feng shui of my home. I chose fragrances that really resonate with me and have aromatherapy benefits, such as lavender or eucalyptus." Find what resonates with you, and you won't go far wrong.

Avoid the 'San Sha'

The great wheel of the zodiac is balanced across its 12-year cycle, but in any individual year, if one sign is in the ascendant, then those on the opposite side of the wheel are seen as being particularly inauspicious or out of harmony. "The San Sha or '3 killings' are the zodiac signs most opposite to that of the year and are thought to bring you bad fortune," explains Dr. Kim. "This year, the san sha include the monkey, rooster, and dog, so they could enhance financial setbacks, health issues, or career obstacles if you're not careful with how you feng shui your home."

We have already heard how we should be wary of using too much metal this year — an element closely associated with the monkey, rooster, and dog in the zodiac (via Nations Online). There are some more specific technical implications to avoid invoking this year's san sha, as Dr. Kim elaborates. "Since the rabbit represents the east, you want to avoid renovating or spending a large amount of time on the western side of your home. You also want to avoid facing directly east so that your back is to the west too often. Turning your kitchen table or rearranging your living room furniture is a great way to prevent this."

Whichever way you incorporate feng shui into your home this year, here's wishing you a healthy, happy, and prosperous year ahead!