Reincarnation, Free Will And The Future

Reincarnation, Free Will And The Future image Author: Lonewind
In following the course of the current discussion on reincarnation and free will a thought has been persistently nagging away in the back of my mind. What if we are simply not looking at the whole picture – missing a critically large part of the concept while spending too much time looking back and not nearly enough, as in none at all, looking forward? Quite probably overlooking the surprisingly obvious should we step back and view the subject from a different perspective.
I have noticed that virtually all of the sources I have read over the years spent their time discussing past lives, karma, lessons to be relearned, old debts to be repaid, unfinished business to be taken care of, etc, etc. But there was a virtually complete lack of discussion concerning the future, and our personal preparation for it. I have since developed the very deep seated impression that the vast majority of us seem to regard a future life as some grey area of little importance which is casually allowed to be pushed aside by the pompously important and pervasive press of the here and now. That future being too remote and insubstantial to worry about at the moment. And I also believe that this is a fundamentally misguided approach – one that we all take unwittingly to a greater or lesser degree. Thereby ensuring that our next life my be surprisingly like this one – including all of the associated heartburn and frustration factors attached to not being or accomplishing something which is very important to our evolution as individuals.
Only a rare few among us seem to have a different perspective which guides them, occasionally consciously but predominantly otherwise, along a much different path. A path that, if you think about it for a moment, has a precedent in a relatively recent period of Western history. (I’ll expand on this point in a bit.)
I recently heard a comment on my favorite classical music radio station* that Mozart believed that he had been a musician in a great many previous lives and this was what gave him the ability to create his remarkable body of work with such ease and to perform it so adroitly. Interestingly, there have been a surprising number of composers of classical music who were brilliantly creative and demonstrated it at extremely young ages. And while I have never heard of one of them sharing Mozart’s opinion (remember the times they lived in!), it leads me to the conclusion that – quite probably – Mozart was absolutely right.
Think back along your life path and ask yourself this question: How many times have I met someone that seemed to have a natural, possibly even uncanny, “feel” for the way things need to be done in a given situation in their chosen field – or on occasion in a completely unrelated area? Those “go to” people who have an indefinable and unique talent for getting whatever done quickly and efficiently while the “degree people” or “management staff”** are thrashing around ineffectively. Where does this unique ability to know and understand instinctively things that so many of the rest of us struggle with come from?
In my current life I have had the privilege of knowing a small few of these people, working with and around them. And, while not all of them had the most pleasant of personalities, the experience has been both fascinating and very enlightening. These individuals have also seemed to be fairly evenly split on their ability to articulate the whys and wherefores of their creativity or were tongue tied and inclined to just a mumbled “that’s the way it needs to be” with no further explanation.
Based on these experiences and an awareness of cyclic patterns I have come to the conclusion that we all spend some indeterminate number of lifetimes, the number varying with the individual, exploring some specific field of interest or body of knowledge that appeals to our essential spirit. And that when we pass over into the summerlands that interest, curiosity and acquired knowledge travels with us and on our return to this plane of existence some of the essence of what we learned in that previous life returns with us. That knowledge may not manifest itself in an obvious manner, as in the example I used concerning the classical music composers earlier, but it will be there. It may appear as subtly as an innate ability to seemingly effortlessly grasp the fundamentals of a specific subject or group of subjects in school or the offhanded application of unexpected out-of-the-box thinking to solve some problem. Or it may be an unusual ability to master an extremely difficult and wide array of interrelated disciplines in a complex and dynamic field. Then again it may manifest as an “obsession”, i.e. an unexplainable and intense interest in travel, sports, art, science, a competitive environment or some other activity unrelated to what the insensitive, or insecure, think you should be doing.
And perhaps that is the clue that Mozart left behind for us to trip over in broad daylight – that some measure of the essence of what we know, as well as the essence of what we are, travels forward with us from life to life as we evolve as individuals into the future.
To accept that life is like a great wheel is to accept that as we go around the circle of life we are also completing a life cycle with each turn. Then by definition, each turn of the wheel is an individual lifetime. When we are born we are at the beginning of the day so to speak. When evening comes, our appropriately called twilight years, we prepare to rest for the evening so we may get a fresh start in the morning. And so it goes. From my perspective, a given lifetime is but a day in an indeterminately longer lifetime. And following this line of reasoning leads me to the conclusion that some essence of what we know follows us from life to life just as it does from day to day in a given life. The difference being that our knowledge on a daily basis in a given lifetime is vastly more detailed than the more general essence of specific knowledge that follows us through consecutive lifetimes.
And this leads me to another thought. I strongly suspect that most of us are dissatisfied with some portion of the direction of our lives to some degree and are looking for some way to do something about it at some level. And that’s where we need to follow our instincts, get to know and hopefully understand our “passion”, get friendly with all of those things we have had a long term interest in but kept putting on the back burner for some reason. While it’s probably not even remotely reasonable or practical for most of us to chuck it all and “do what you really want to do” that doesn’t mean that you can’t devote some time to studying those interests. Maybe take a few classes at the local college or adult education center, join a club of like minded people, go to the library or used bookstore and pick up a few recommended volumes. Immerse yourself in your newfound knowledge and see how well it fits. And if you’re not comfortable with what you’ve learned in your explorations then that body of knowledge is not for you at this time. Just be careful that you do not move on too soon or linger too long – keep in mind that the world is full of lousy teachers, opportunistic frauds, poorly written books and the most remarkable diamonds in the rough lurking in unexpected places (one of which might be hiding right in front of your eyes).
And here is where free will enters the picture. A bit earlier I mentioned that “rare few” who seem to be guided by a different perspective. I surmise that perhaps these people experienced a dynamic lifetime during the Renaissance Period when Europe was painfully shaking itself out of its self-inflicted dark ages, recently referred to as The Age of Religion, following the fall of Rome. A remarkable period with an explosive growth of knowledge, both rediscovered and new, infusing the European mind and immersing many influential people in some form of continuous education and discovery throughout their lives, or at least a substantial portion thereof. Following this line of thought to its obvious conclusion it appears to me that these people may have consciously, or more likely subconsciously, made the decision, a powerful exercise of free will in that period, to make the pursuit of knowledge a major influencing factor in their future lives.
And that is where free will is such a critical element of our individuality and growth. Free will is where the rubber meets the road.
If we choose to make continuous learning and education an intrinsic part of this life and all of our future lives we can confidently look forward to more fulfilling incarnations arching rainbow-like across our individual futures as we continue to follow our paths of growth around the ever-changing circle of life. Or you can choose to continue stumbling along blindly, not knowing your passion or purpose, and at some point in your next life you will ask, “Why me – what did I do wrong?” Just like you did in your last incarnation.

Footnotes: * My favorite classical music radio station – you can find them at and they do webcast. A member supported source of classical music and jazz that operates 24/7. No, I don’t work there, just love the music.
** “Degree people” or “management staff” – not intended as a slap at those who have earned a degree and are serious about doing a good job. But is definitely and intentionally aimed at the insubstantial degree wavers and pointy hair bosses we all have suffered under.


A Synopsis of Evil

A Synopsis of Evil

Author:   Bryce 

Within the Pagan community, we tend to avoid discussing the topic of evil. While many of us accept the idea of at least some form of karma or retribution, we do not generally dwell in depth on it. Indeed many of us were raised within the “mainstream” religions that focused all too much on the topics of sin and Satan. Thus we try to stray from these concepts and instead focus on the “brighter” side of things.

Yet as human beings, we cannot deny that there is a certain level of evil and negativity in our world. We also cannot reject the simple truth that we ourselves often take part in such acts. So how do we, as Pagans, react to this concept? How can we come to understand it and combat it?

Now I cannot and would never tell you what to believe. Spirituality is a journey, and we must come to accept it and understand it on our own terms. Thus what I have provided here is my understanding of evil. If you agree with it, that is wonderful. If you cannot quite accept it, that is just as well. Either way it is my intention that this perspective will give you new-found strength in dealing with and understanding evil in your own life.

What Is Evil?

Over the millennia, evil as accrued many different titles, the most popular of which among the Western World is sin. However no matter by which name you call evil, its nature is the same. Evil is the conscious choice to turn ourselves away from the Divine. We hear this a lot in Christianity under the summary that “sin separates us from God.” While this is true, for Pagans it is not quite the whole of it.

Many Pagans view the Divine as being within Creation. Thus the Creator and its Creation are one. In this light, then, the meaning of evil begins to take on a new identity for Pagans. While evil separates us from the Divine, it moreover separates us from our Divine-selves. This self is the Divine spark that lies within us and connects us to the great All. Thus in choosing to commit evil, to act so that we go against this notion of solidarity, we cut ourselves off from the Divinity within us.

In accordance with this, we now have a Pagan understanding of evil: a choice that fails to recognize our Oneness and thus separates us from our Divine-selves.

How Does Evil Exist?

If we can accept that the Creator is within its Creation, therefore making it one, we encounter another puzzling question: If the Divine is perfection and the perfection is here, how can evil exist within it? In truth, the answer to this question is the same as what prompted it.

The Divine is within everything, including us. As such, the Divine seeks to work through us that we and others may come to experience it. Thus we, and all other life, are co-creators of our own reality. However we are different from other life on this planet in that we are reasoning beings; as humans we have the ability to decipher what is right and wrong.

This gives us options: we can choose to work for the betterment of Creation, or we can choose to work only for ourselves. It is when we choose the latter that we allow evil into our lives, for no longer are we working for the Whole but only the singular.

What Prompts Evil?

Only we can ultimately decide to allow evil into our lives and our world. Yet we know that there is a certain prompting, a certain push toward evil that is often involved in our choices. Like evil, this too has been known by many titles, such as Satan and demons. However I would like to present a revised understanding of this concept, one that does not view it as a being but rather as a natural human condition.

In the natural world, both energy and matter flow through the path of least resistance. The human psyche seeks to do the same. It wishes to follow by the easiest path in order to get what it desires. However this route is not always the best, and we may end up harming others. Therefore, while we are provoked to do what is most convenient, we must remember that we are reasoning beings. We must do what is right rather than what is easy. If we fail in this, then we allow evil to enter our lives.

For example, while it may be easier to steal the apple rather than paying for it, we must use our reasoning abilities to discern what the just path is.

How Is Evil Combated?

This is a question that has been tried and tested over many thousands of years. From confessing your sins to a priest to allowing an aesthetic Yogi to pay for your wrongs, religions the world over have found their own ways to eradicate their practitioners’ evil. Yet what about in Paganism? What do we have that allows us to move beyond this state and back into alignment with our Divine-selves?

Most of us would say that we have some understanding of karma and that we will pay for our evil acts. However, while this may help us recognize them, it does not necessarily get us to move beyond these actions. To do that, I believe that we must look again at a reoccurring theme in this essay: Oneness.

If we accept that the Divine is within Creation, we must accept that it is also within evil. To absolve evil from us and from our world, then, we must seek the Divine within it. If we allow ourselves to revisit our acts and instances of wrongdoing, we can invite the Divine into these experiences and look for its messages and teachings.

There is something to be learned in everything, even the most heinous of crimes. If we open ourselves up to these Divine lessons, we can pass them on not only to ourselves but to others as well; thus we can help prevent the same evil from being reintroduced into our world. And it is in this act that we leave behind our evil, our sin – for we have turned it from selfish evil to love that will benefit the Whole.

The Great Irony

There is a great irony in all of this, of course. While evil may be done, it can never prevail. Energy spent on evil is useless, for it ultimately benefits no one. As we can tell from the natural world, Creation abhors anything useless and therefore makes it useful, whether it is through the decaying of dead organisms or the evolution of a species. Thus it is with evil. It is useless, but the Divine may make it useful in the form of lessons and teachings. Therefore the only way that evil can ever win is if we, the reasoning co-creators of our reality, let it.

My Advice

What I have presented here is a summary of my thoughts on and reasoning behind the concept of evil. Whether you accept all or any of it is up to you. However, this is my hope for you: take your negatives and create them into positives. Live life not by what you have done but rather by what you have learned. Above all remember that in the Divine—no matter how you perceive it—all things are possible.

Slán leat

Properties of Today’s Rune: Hagalaz

Properties of Hagalaz

Alternate Names: Haal, Hagall, Hagl
Ancient Meaning: The egg of life
Keywords: Transformation, change, evolution, harmony, protection
Description: Hagalaz is the hail Rune. It denotes chaos, destruction and disruption on a primal level. You may experience delays in moving toward your goals.
Reversed Description:         NONE
Astrological Correspondence: Aquarius
Tarot Correspondence: The World
Gods/Goddesses: Ymir, Urd, Gullveig, Hella
Color:  Gray, White
Tree:  Yew/Ash
Herb:  Lily of the valley
Stones:  Clear Quartz, Diamond, Moonstone, Opal, Geode
Animals:  Serpent, dragon, falcon, eagle, hawk, owl, vulture, whale, dolphin, wolf, spider, bat, blackbird, chameleon dragonfly, praying mantis
Element: Water
Magic:  Combines runic energies Aids in personal transformation Guards against harm Shapeshifting Heals physically, mentally, and spiritually

July 21 – Daily Feast

July 21 – Daily Feast

When we are appalled at the other person’s ignorance, it is hard to believe that our own is just as profound. We stand in awe that they do not see what is so apparent, but in all our self-confidence we are as much in the dark as the next person. We are just ignorant on different subjects. What one person studies intensely may mean nothing to someone involved in another idea. But it takes all of us to make up the families of the world. We each have a purpose – and none of us quite like another. Time, circumstances, and beliefs have separated some as far as the East is from the West. It is not that we were created to be nu da le hna v, different or separated – but that we chose. We chose. We had the freedom to choose, and therein lies the difference.

~ You think I am a fool, but you are a greater fool than I am. ~


‘A Cherokee Feast of Days’, by Joyce Sequichie Hifler

9 Feng Shui Ways to Enhance Your Wealth

9 Feng Shui Ways to Enhance Your Wealth

  • Erica Sofrina

By Erica Sofrina, Author of the book Small Changes, Dynamic Results! Feng Shui for the Western World.

Welcome to my series on how to locate and enhance the nine key Feng Shui energy centers of your home. In this article I will show you how to identify and activate the area that corresponds to your wealth and prosperity.

Feng Shui has many practical applications that are logical, simple and even obvious, of which I have written many articles about. The more mysterious and esoteric part of Feng Shui is the study of the Bagua. This wisdom comes from the I Ching, or The Book of Changes.

The ancient Feng Shui masters felt there were certain parts of the home that corresponded to key areas of the lives of its occupants. By working with these energy centers you could A- identify what was going on in that area of your life, and B- enhance it by putting objects there that would encourage the chi (energy) to become activated.

The I Ching is a profound and esoteric study in its self, and has been used over the centuries as a method of divining right action. It incorporates both yin and yang expressions and is used to study and contemplate the process of change and inner development.

The portion that relates to Feng Shui has to do with charting the nine energy centers of your home by using what is called the Bagua Map.

By learning how to work with and identify these energy centers in our homes, we can become conscious co-creators of our lives.

Bagua translated means eight trigrams. These trigrams refer to important areas of our lives such as wealth, health, love, career, self-cultivation, fame, creativity, helpful people, etc. In this article I will talk about how to locate and activate and enhance the wealth area of the Bagua.

Wealth and Prosperity Defined

The trigram connected to wealth and prosperity in the I Ching is called SUN. It is about the deep roots of financial stability and calm security in terms of one’s personal wealth. A key component is gratefulness; being grateful before as well as after the money comes. It is not about fast money but the slow, steady, honest accumulation of wealth, along with the things we truly value in life. It is not about making the monthly bills (this is connected to the Health and Family area) but the abundance of prosperity, such as luxury items, vacations, those seminars you have been dying to take, and anything that is a want rather than a necessity.


Nine Suggestions to Enhance Your Wealth Area

Once you locate the wealth area of your home (directions below), take a look at what is happening there. Is this where there is a lot of clutter, or where the junk closet resides? Perhaps it is in a dingy bathroom or missing all together from the Bagua of your home? (this is addressed in the Bagua lay-out section)

Feng Shui teaches that the outer environment will always reflect our inner environment. By cleaning it up, clearing it out, making it beautiful and adding the enhancers, you activate this area of the Bagua and thus the extra money area of your life is activated as well.

Environmental affirmations are objects we put into our space that either reflects something we want to bring into our lives, or keep there. Use these environmental affirmations to vitalize the wealth area of your home once you have taken care of the ‘splinters’ such as clutter, broken things, missing areas, etc.

Here are nine suggestions of objects you can add to your wealth area that will activate the chi:

  • Items that call in the Chi (energy)
  • Inspiring Art and other items that depict the things we want to bring into our lives in terms of wealth. An example might be a favorite picture of Tuscany if you wants to travel there, the tropical paradise picture for a much-desired Hawaiian vacation.
  • Quotes and affirmations pertaining to wealth written in present tense, as if it is true now!
  • Fountains, waterfalls and water features or pictures of flowing water. (Flowing water represents money in Feng Shui)
  • Articles you love that you might have paid a lot of money for, i.e., a favorite vase, coin collection, jewelry or artwork. (Or items that look like you paid a lot for them!)
  • Healthy plants with shiny, round coin-shaped leaves such as jade plants.
  • Personal wealth symbols reflective of your own taste and culture. (If you are not Chinese, symbols from your own culture may have a deeper meaning rather than Chinese coins, gold fish or ‘lucky bamboo’)
  • Objects in purples, reds and greens symbolizing wealth and money. Purple Amethysts and crystals are wonderful wealth chi enhancers. Add purple accessories, colors and fabrics to this area, provided you like the color purple* (Purple includes plum, lavender, lapis blues, etc.)
  • Create vision boards and collages depicting the objects you want to bring into your life in terms of wealth. * Note: never put anything into your space that you do not love just because a Feng Shui book or article told you to do so! The goal of Feng Shui is to create a living space that feeds your soul and uplifts your spirits. Objects you don’t love will have the opposite effect. The more personal the objects are to you, the more chi they will generate.

How to Put the Bagua Map onto your Home and Identify your Wealth Area

Here are step-by-step instructions for how to put the Bagua Map onto the floor plan of you home and locate your personal wealth energy center:

1. Draw a sketch of the floor plan of your space. This should be the birds-eye view as if you are looking down on it. Include all built-on decks, stairways and attached garages.

2. Draw a square or rectangle over the floor plan in the shape of the Bagua map. All of the areas of the home need to be within the square or rectangle. If your home is an irregular shape, still draw the rectangle or square around it.

3. Stand at the front door with the map perpendicular to the floor with the Entrance Quadrant touching your stomach. This will tell you the direction to overlay the Bagua map onto the floor plan of your home.

4. Now divide your home with the Bagua map overlaid on it in nine equal sections. This will identify for you where all of the key nine areas are of your home are. The wealth area will always be the far left quadrant of the home and the Love and Marriage the far right section, etc.

5. If your home is not a rectangle or square, you may be missing areas of the Bagua. If this is the case, you can do a mini-Bagua for each room of your home and enhance the wealth corner of each room. Treat the main entrance to the room like you would the front door of the home and lay the Bagua accordingly.This energetically brings back into the space the missing area.

6. If you have more than one floor of your home, what ever is below is above. You do not turn the Bagua differently for each floor. In which case you may have more than one wealth area, the same rules of enhancement apply to all areas!

Applying the Feng Shui Five Elements to Your Home

Applying the Feng Shui Five Elements to Your Home

  • Erica Sofrina

By Erica Sofrina- Author of Small Changes, Dynamic Results! Feng Shui for the Western World.

Bringing nature into our homes is a key component of the teachings of Feng Shui. The goal is to have all of the five elements of fire, earth, metal, water and wood balanced in every room of of our living space. By studying the Feng Shui Five Elements theory we can gain valuable insights as to why our lives are out of balance by looking at the elemental imbalances in our homes.

I have worked with many clients to improve their young children’s sleeping habits along with teens who were suddenly out of control. The culprit is often found in the elemental imbalances in their bedrooms. By bringing these into balance the child or teen comes back into balance as well. Clients think I have worked magic but I am merely applying these ancient, tried and true principles (also used in Chinese medicine) to physical environments.

The five elements can also be used in a powerful way to heal health issues, and to assist in personal growth. If we find we are staying ‘too small’ in our lives, our environment will often reflect too little of the wood element. We would want to both wear and bring into our living space objects and colors that reflect this element as shown in the chart below.

Please see the list on the next page of what the elements mean and what we experience when we have too much or too little of them in our lives and take advantage of my free offer to send you information about working with the elements at the end of this article.

If you are feeling over expanded and overwhelmed, you are experiencing too much of the wood element. In this instance you would benefit by bringing into your living space objects and colors that represent the element that cuts wood, which is metal. An example of too much of the wood element might be found in an all-green bedroom with floral prints and wooden furniture. What you thought would be soothing actually feels overwhelming.

The metal element is represented by white and cream colors, pastels, circular shapes, rocks and stones and metal. By changing the floral bedspread to a pastel or cream color and accessorizing with whites and pastels, you will begin to bring the room back into elemental balance.

Below is a Five Elements Map that will show you how they work together to balance each other.

The elements when closest to their natural state will contain the most vibrant ‘chi’ or energy. However, there are colors, objects and shapes that represent these elements as well. Some are subtle and some more obvious. A tall cylindrical shape (reminding us of a tree) represents the wood element, along with medium blues and greens, anything made of wood, plants and trees and pictures of them.

Here is a short summary of what we experience when the elements are out of balance:

Wood is about growth as reflected in trees and plants. We want the right amount in our environment, not too much or too little. Too much wood = over-expansion and overwhelm. Too little=staying too small. Bring in objects, shapes textures and colors of the metal element to cut the wood, or those of the water element to increase it if there is too little. See the controlling and nurturing cycles of the chart.

Fire is about passion. Too much, however will result in aggression and overly impulsive behavior. Too little will reflect as lack of enthusiasm, motivation and warmth. Add water to douse the fire when there is too much and wood to increase the fire when there is too little.

Earth is about staying grounded and being present. Too much= overly discipline and conservative. Too little= spacey, ungrounded as well as infertility issues. Add fire to increase it when there is too little and wood to decrease it when there is too much.

Metal is about mental clarity and determination. Too much= rigidity and inability to compromise. Too little=lack of back bone and indecisiveness. Add earth to increase it and fire to melt it when there is too much. There is a reason those who live in all- white houses tend to also be rigid… bring in fire and warm it up!

Water is about connection to spirit and synchronicity in our lives. Too much= not enough structure and being ‘wishy-washy’. Too little =the need to dominate, lack of flow and connection to spirit. Add metal to increase it and earth to dam it up when there is too much.

Please note that you can also just take away items in a particular element to decrease the amount of it in a space, or add it when you need more, you do not necessarily have to use the elements that either control it or nurture it.

I encourage you to learn more about these powerful concepts and utilize this powerful knowledge if you or your loved ones are experiences any of the imbalances as described above. I have seen profound shifts in my own life and those of my clients when applying these tried and true, age-tested principles that come out of the ancient practice of Chinese medicine and Feng Shui.

6 Feng Shui “Don’ts”

  • Erica Sofrina

By the author of Small Changes, Dynamic Results! Feng Shui for the Western World

Creating a harmonious and safe home that lifts your spirits, supports your highest aspirations and inspires will set the stage for you to go out into the world and soar! Take action on these six Feng Shui recommendations, and you will be well on your way to creating a HOME run in your life!

1. Don’t have a plain and/or unattractive entrance to your home.

The entryway is considered the important mouth of chi where all of our opportunities come to us. So fix it up, make it inviting and the opportunities will start finding their way to you as well!

2. Don’t have unfriendly furniture and objects in your home.

Feng Shui deals with the subtle and obvious. Our primitive instincts warn us to be on alert when something unsafe is in the room. Weapons should be locked up and kept out of sight. Kitchen knives should be hidden from view and sharp, Knife-edged furniture should be replaced with those with rounded edges.

3. Don’t sit, sleep or work for any period of time in the disempowered position.

Arrange your bed, office desk and your favorite pieces of furniture to sit on in such a way that you can see the doorway but are not in direct alignment with it. This alone can have a powerful affect on your feeling of coming from a place of strength in your life.

4. Don’t have a lot of clutter.

Feng Shui teaches that everything is alive and filled with chi or life-source energy and that we are energetically connected to everything we own. Having a lot of things that we are unaware of, such as those stuffed in boxes in the garage, drawers and closets, translates to stuck energy in our lives. Feng Shui also teaches that our homes having specific energy centers that are connected to all of the key areas of our lives. Eliminating the clutter translates to freeing up these important corresponding energy centers such as those related to wealth, health, career, family and our love lives. Ask yourself: do I love it, is it useful, does it reflect who I am now in my life? If it does not pass the test, deep-six it, and see how things start to flow in each of these corresponding areas of your life!

5. Don’t have negative or disempowering artwork in your home.

Replace it with art that uplifts and inspires. This is taking up powerful real estate on your walls that is moving your life in that direction.

6. Don’t live without Nature in your home.

Everything from the natural world, including our wonderful four legged friends, is filled with vibrant chi that will invigorate and enliven your home. Surround yourself with objects from the natural world from live plants to the fabrics, objects, textures, colors and art that represents it. Ultra modern decor often has sharp-edged furniture made of highly manufactured materials such as plastics and glass along with art that is often abstract. Make sure you add natural elements, fabrics and photography from nature if this is the style you have in your home.

Take care of these six things in your living space and you will be well on your way to a healthy, harmonious and ‘Feng Shui’d’ home!

Feng Shui for Adult Bedrooms

Feng Shui for Adult Bedrooms

  • Erica Sofrina

By Erica Sofrina, Founder of the West Coast Academy of Feng Shui and author of the book Small Changes, Dynamic Results! Feng Shui for the Western World.


In Feng Shui the bedroom is considered one of the most important rooms in the home, This is because we spend most of our time there and its chi or energy will affect us more powerfully. In this article I will address good color choices for bedrooms along with general Feng Shui principles that will help you create a bedroom that is a sanctuary of rest and rejuvenation.


Color in the Bedroom


In Feng Shui we always take into consideration the Yin (calm) and Yang (active) components of a space. In doing so we can design a room that serves the purposes of both rest and activity more effectively. (See my article on Yin and Yang for the Home). The purpose of a bedroom is to be a place that supports replenishment, not activity, unlike the home office or kitchen. We want them to feel happy and lift our spirits; bold and bright colors will not serve the purpose of sleep.

Flesh tones and earth tones are ideal colors for bedrooms. You can choose from an array of more muted yellows and golds, taupes (light coffee color), adobe, a more muted terracotta, creamy peach and apricot and flesh tones. Dark blue, green, black and grey are too cool and only recommended in small doses in bedrooms. They represent the water element and can make us feel too spacey and ungrounded. Bedrooms are places we need to be in our bodies to rejuvenate. They should invoke an ‘earthy’ feeling. Use the darker watery colors as accent in small doses.

Bring in the fire element to add sensuality and sizzle but don’t over do it. Use more muted fire colors such as plum, coral, terracotta, berry red or burgundy. Bright red walls or hot pink accessories for curtains bedspreads, sheets and rugs are too stimulating and will not be conducive to sleep. You can add romance to any color scheme by bringing in two red pillows, a red throw on the bed with red candles in pairs. They will add just enough spark without making it too stimulating for sleep.

Attracting a Mate


For those who would like to attract a mate, you may want to bring in objects in pairs and add realistic, romantic relationship pictures. An unrealistic picture might be that of a winged man rescuing a mortal woman. Last I checked men don’t come with wings and you might end up attracting ‘daddy’ rather than a mate that is your equal!

Examples of pairs of things might be two red candles, two roses in a vase, pairs of doves, etc. You also want to have two end tables and lamps of equal size on either side of the bed.

To give it more oomph, place it in the love corner of the bedroom, which will be the far right corner as you are standing in the doorway looking into the room.

Safety issues both subtle and obvious are an important part of Feng Shui. Here are some safety issues that would be important to address in the bedroom for every age group.

  • Replace or pad any piece of furniture that can injure, especially unfriendly bed frames that you can bruise your shins or stub your toe on.
  • Move the bed away from heavy beams or ceiling fans. Your nervous system will always be on alert and you will not rest deeply. You can cover the beams with a piece of cloth or create a “faux” canopy by draping it on the ceiling. Ceiling fans can be removed or replaced with more friendly looking blades that look like palm leaves.
  • Cozy-up rooms with high vaulted ceilings with canopy beds if you can. As creatures of comfort we sleep better in more cozy spaces.

Bed Positioning

Ideally the bed should be positioned so that you see the entry door from your pillow but are not in direct alignment with the open doorway. If you cannot move the bed, always close the door when you sleep. The energy coming in through hallways is too strong and can have a huge affect on anyone who is energetically sensitive. If your bed is in direct alignment with a bathroom door, close this whenever you are in bed. We never want to be looking at the toilet.

If the bed has to be positioned in front of a window it should have a large headboard to provide a sense of protection. Use heavier window coverings to mute street noise. Always have window coverings on bedroom windows, preferably with blackout shades to allow for a sounder sleep for those who are light sensitive.

Clutter and Organization

All of the same principles of dealing with clutter apply to every room of the home. Closets are no exception and disguise much hidden clutter in bedrooms, so go throw away and deep six anything you haven’t used or worn in a year. You will be surprised what joy an organized closet can bring every time you open the door.

Ideally we should not have storage under the bed but for small spaces we need to utilize them. If you do store things there, make sure there are no weapons or sharp objects. Organize the storage and edit out anything that is not necessary. Store them in containers that are clearly marked and easy to pull out.

What Not to Have in Your Room

Remove Televisions, Home Offices and Exercise Equipment from bedrooms along with large mirrors. This is the key place for you to relax and rejuvenate.

Working, exercising and watching television are all “Yang” activities and should be done in the more active spaces of the home. If you are looking at work you will either be feeling guilty for not working or feeling guilty for working too much. If you live in a studio and need a workspace as well, separate the work with an attractive screen, put computers and televisions in a cabinet you can close up at night or disguise them with an attractive throw or shawl when you are through working. If you do have exercise equipment make sure you are able to fold it up and store out of sight.


Mirrors are “chi activators” and are powerfully used in Feng Shui in the right places. But will be counter productive in bedrooms where we want the energy to calm down. These are often the culprits for many of my clients who do not sleep well in their bedrooms.

Large Vanity mirrors can be covered with an attractive shawl at night or replaced with a picture. For mirrored closet doors treat them like a window and put curtains on them and close them up at night when you need to sleep. You can also paint over the glass. Three coats of paint will cover them. Paint is easy to scrape off when you need to restore them to their original state. Another idea would be to cover them with an attractive shelf paper with a sticky back that will adhere to the glass. Get something with an interesting texture like rice paper. If the closet doors span the entire wall you will want to be looking at something visually interesting.

Inspire Yourself!

Make sure the last thing you look at before you go to bed and the first thing you see when you wake up inspires you. This holds tremendous energy to move your life forward in the direction of your highest aspirations, so put your most inspiring artwork and affirmations in this most important piece of real estate!

Feng Shui and Pets

Feng Shui and Pets

  • posted by Erica Sofrina

By Erica Sofrina, Author of the Book – Small Changes, Dynamic Results! Feng Shui for the Western World.

If you are a pet lover and also want to have a beautiful home that you enjoy being in, this article is for you!

Let me be clear, this article is for the humans side of this equation.Your pets don’t need ‘feng shui-ing’ they are perfect as they are! (Except, of course, keeping their cages and living spaces clean.) We all know our pets would be happy sleeping on an old towel as long as they can be by our side.

As a Feng Shui Consultant, Interior Designer and an avid pet lover myself, I have helped many a client figure our how they can co-habitate with their furry better half’s without their place looking and smelling like an animal shelter. With a little planning and effort, you and your beloved four legged’s can successfully share a space where the needs of all parties are met!


Furniture Coverings

Are you one of those people who has lovely furniture but it is all covered up by the unattractive and un- matching pet blankets? Training your pets to not jump up on furniture is a subject for pet behaviorists, however, if you do allow them on the furniture, with a little planning you can enjoy looking at your nice furniture and take care of the pet fur issue as well. Here are some ideas on how to do so.

Order Slip Covers along with additional material in the same fabric.

If you will be purchasing new sofa and chairs, Pottery Barn and other stores have furniture with a canvass base where you choose your slip cover. Choose medium blue denim or any of the other washable fabrics. It is best to match the color of your pets, i.e. darker fabrics for darker coats, etc.

Medium blue denim worked well for me when I had multiple pets. Order extra yardage and ask them if they will do a special order as well. This will consist of sewing two sets of arm covers and two sets of seat and back covers in the same fabric as the slip cover. Add an extra 12 inches for seat and back to allow for shrinkage. If they won’t do it, order the extra fabric and hem them yourself. Most dry cleaners also have sewing services available.

You can then wash the slipcover monthly (because this is more of a pain) and change the seat, back and arm covers once or twice a week as needed. One always goes in the washer when the other replaces it. I had nine feral rescue kitties at one point and this method worked wonderfully. I always had attractive furniture to look at, and could always replace a furry seat with a clean one when needed. When company came I would remove all the covers and just have the slipcover showing. Everything was in the same fabric creating a neat and coordinated look.

Fancy Pet Sofas from

I had to be diligent about vacuuming and cleaning more often, but was committed to having a place that I could enjoy as much as my pets.

If you are going to use your same furniture, find washable throws in solid colors that match your furniture. Costco has great fleece throws in solid colors that work wonderfully. Ross and T.J. Maxx are other great resources for these. Purchase enough of them to successfully cover the seats and backs so that you have one extra set that is in the wash while you are using the other. If you furniture with patterned fabric, choose one color within the pattern that is more neutral and stick to this. Avoid the loud reds and yellows. This will bring a uniform look to the room that will appear planned and purposefully arranged. If you are a seamstress, do it yourself. Find a washable fabric that matches a color in your pattern, measure the seat, back and arms allowing 12 ‘ more for shrinkage and sew two pairs of each as described in the slip cover section above.

Select Pet Beds in Colors that Match Your Furniture

This attractive, more modern sofa was only $40 on sale from

If you have large dogs it is ideal to train them to go to their special bed and not the furniture. Find a bed that matches your color scheme in a neutral color with a neutral pattern, not something loud and busy. (Remember, this is for you to enjoy looking at, your pet could care less as long as they are near you!)

Make sure the cover is washable and easy to take off. Commit to washing it weekly so that you and your pets can enjoy a clean looking and clean smelling home.

This attractive dog sofa matches the pets coat and adds to the docor of the room as well.

If you sleep with your pets in the room, Costco has inexpensive large dog beds that can be stored under the bed during the day and pulled out at night. This way you are not tripping on them during the day and everyone has a space to cozy up at night.

If you have a little extra money you can purchase attractive pet sofas, as shown here.

These raise the bar and allow you to have a room that is both fashionable and pet friendly where everyone has their own attractive place to perch.

This attractive Dog crate by Denhaus Dog Furniture serves as an end table and a comfortable space for your pet to be.

If your dog is crate trained (I will not go into the pro’s and cons of this, but will leave it to the experts) you can purchase attractive crates that will look like a piece of furniture and add to rather than detract from your décor. They are pricey but are quite beautiful and run about what you would pay for a nice end table.

Find Rugs that Match the Colors of your Pet’s coat.

For easier cleaning, it is ideal if you have wood floors rather than carpeting. If you are a renter I realize you don’t have a choice. If this is the case, choose area rugs that can be cleaned in areas pets spend most of their time and put them over the carpeting.

Sanchez and Gina’s coats match the area rug and carpet choices

My friend Lisa Spector (pictured above with her beloved dogs Gina and Sanchez) is also a pet blogger with Care2 and has Yellow and Black Labs. Your pets will always gravitate to your favorite rugs, so choose colors that match their coats and the hair will not show as much.

If you own your home and are choosing carpeting, match your animals coats to the new carpeting if possible. I chose a golden color carpet to match my beloved golden retriever and didn’t have to vacuum as much. (Of course you run into the problem of stepping on them on occasion because they are so well disguised!)

In redoing Lisa’s loft, we chose a patterned area rug with cream colors, blacks and browns which covered all bases, as you can see from the photo of Lisa’s dogs, Sanchez and Gina.


Cat Boxes

One of the dilemmas in working with my clients is where to put the cat box for indoor cats. Here are some tips for these tricky necessities.

Wicker Cat Boxes from Solutions Catalog are attractive and can be placed anywhere appropriate


1. Do not put them in the bathtub! It is unsanitary and unsightly, and humans won’t enjoy being in the space.

2. If you do not have an attractive cover, find a place preferably out of sight such as the laundry room, garage or in a closet.

3. If it must be in the bathroom or somewhere where you can see it, have a nice looking cover and a mat surrounding it to catch the litter. Solutions Catalog has attractive cat box covers that are made of laminated wicker so that they can’t claw them. You can also purchase a piece of furniture for the bathroom that doubles as a cat box cover. The good news about these is you can take it with you when you move.

Cat friendly bathroom furniture by

4. If you own your home cut a small opening in a bathroom cupboard, insert a small cat door, and put the cat box in there. This allows for easy cleaning by simply opening the door, and everything vanishes from view!

5. Make sure to get odor free and pet-friendly kitty litter that is also environmentally friendly and clean it often.

6. Address Pet Smells

Cat Scratching Post are both attractive and eco friendly

Feng Shui is about creating a warm and inviting space that we love being in. It also acknowledges our intimate connection to all things.

Our home should be a place where we feel proud of entertaining friends and family. If we are ashamed of our space because it has been over run by our pets, we are not honoring ourselves.This impacts our lives and everyone we are close to including pets, family and friends.

When we live with pets we often cannot smell them anymore. Ask a friend who will tell you the truth if your house smells like your pets. If you are wondering why your friends make excuses to not come to your home, it may be because they can’t stand the unpleasant pet odor and are afraid of offending you. You owe it to yourself to find out the truth and take care of the problem.

If this is the case you may want to purchase a good air purifier. Find one that does not need replacement filters but uses washable ones. I used one by Ecoquest International for my home when I had nine rescue kitties and it took all pet smells away. It also kills mold and air-borne germs. I am sure there are other good ones, but I found the less expensive ones were useless after 6 months.

A very inexpensive way to eliminate odors is to have a large pan of water with sliced lemons in it heating on a hot plate. However, if you go away and leave it and the water evaporates it will be dangerous. Try for a good air purifier, you will use it for the rest of your life and it is well worth the investment. It will also help those who are allergic to animals and those who have breathing problems.

Pet stores will also have good cleaners to take out pet smells. If you have one you can recommend please share it with us in the comments section.

Scratching Posts

If your cats are shredding the furniture, you will want to nip this in the bud. I have found keeping a water spray bottle close at hand when they scratch will curb this behavior. You will also want to get them a scratching post where they can sharpen their claws. These eco friendly posts can be found on line under eco friendly cat supplies. They are also much more attractive than the huge carpeted ones that cannot be cleaned successfully and shred.

Safety Issues

A big part of Feng Shui deals with safety issues in the home. When you are constantly tripping over pet toys, it is a safety hazard for you, your family and guests who come over. Get an attractive basket large enough to handle all toys and commit to gathering them up frequently and putting them back where they belong.

Make sure all toxic chemicals and cleaners are stored safely away from pets and children, or better yet, eliminate them all together. Replace all of your cleaning solutions with green ones that are pet and children friendly. Advanced Generation has a good line of cleaning products that you may want to look into.

You also want to make sure all pet beds are out of the main walking paths so that people are not constantly tripping on them. Just like people, pets will naturally gravitate towards being in the power position, which is where they can see the action from where their bed is, have a wall for protection behind them and not have their back to the door. Your pets will instinctively not feel secure in the space if they are run into constantly, and will have an aversion to spending time in their bed.

Smaller Pets

If we have fish, hamsters, birds, mice, snakes and other reptiles as pets, their cages and tanks must be clean at all times and attractive to look at. All of our beloved creatures on the planet deserve to be honored, loved and taken care of so make sure their cages are large enough for them and filled with objects that will keep them occupied, engaged and happy. Beware of keeping small pets in children’s rooms. They can be too easily neglected and are often disturbing to children’s sleep if they are nocturnal.

Deal With Separation Anxiety.

If you have a puppy that chews through furniture when you are away, my friend and pet blogger Lisa Spector, a Juilliard graduate, concert pianist, and Canine Music expert has developed a CD series that has been clinically demonstrated to calm the canine nervous system. It helps them stay calm and quiet and alleviates separation anxiety.

Her CD’s are wonderful, I love listening to them myself and I play them for my cats when I am gone. I come home to a totally ‘Zen” house that is in the same order I left it. You can find these wonderful CD’s of Lisa’s at

You and your pets can live in harmony with a little effort. You owe it to yourself to create a space that not only accommodates your beloved pets but also honors you and your own need to have a home that you enjoy spending time in!

Erica Sofrina is a motivational speaker, author and life coach specializing in connecting people to their spiritual essence. She is also an Internationally recognized Feng Shui speaker, teacher and the author of the book Small Changes, Dynamic Results! Feng Shui for the Western World and the Founder of the West Coast Academy of Feng Shui. Erica is the founder of Earth Spirit Adventure Travel, which takes people on retreats to powerful energy vortexes such as Bali and Hawaii to facilitate their deep earth/spirit connection.


What are Dragons?

What are Dragons?



Many cultures around the entire world have stories of dragons in one shape or another. Some are depicted as huge wingless serpents, other more like the traditional picture we of the Western world have of dragons: heavy bodied with wings. Dragons are shown with four legs, two legs, or no legs at all. Some dragons were said to have arrowhead-pointed tails, while others have spiked knob on the end of the tail. Some have twisted horns, others long antennae rather like those of moths. But the dragon, in whatever form, is there in thousands of folk stories, regardless of the description attached to it. Humankind has a subconscious knowledge of the dragon and its powers that even the assumed thin veneer of so-called civilizations cannot remove.

I discovered dragons and their potential powers years ago as a child. Being open-minded and noncritical, as most children are, I enjoyed the company of dragons, faeries, elves, and similar beings on a daily basis. My activity, however, was deeply frowned upon as “imagination.” I soon learned to keep quiet about my special ability in order to stay out of trouble with adults. Soon I began ignoring these others beings because I was afraid of making a slip and talking about them. Ridicule and punishment were severe when this happened; the subconscious negative programming had begun. When I finally rebelled against family control, I found the inner door not only shut, but locked. It took years of conscious retraining and experience before I could again understand how to call upon these beings, especially dragons, and use their magickal powers.

Negative programming has created havoc and unhappiness in a great many lives. This type of programming is inflicted upon others because of fear and a desire to control. The perpetrator forgets, or does not care, that they are dealing with an individual who has the right to her/his special abilities, dreams and goals in life. This happens not only to children, but to anyone who is less than sure of themselves, dependents upon someone else, or unable for whatever reason to leave the situation and people who are causing them great mental and emotional pain. If these beleaguered souls could make contact with their own special dragons, they could build the inner power to either remove themselves from the problem or at least refuse to accept the guilt, fear and control being placed upon them.

But what are dragons? Are the real or imaginary? In the Western world, our word dragon comes from the Greek drakon and the Latin draco. Drakon comes from a verb meaning to see, to look at, or possibly to flash. Certainly in most legends dragons spend their time watching, whether it be treasure, territory, or the supposedly captive maidens. The word “dragon” is used in many different fields, as diverse as astrology, astronomy, alchemy, magick, heraldry, psychology and the study of dreams. From the time that humans began to record things, dragons have been mentioned.

“Dancing with Dragons”

D. J. Conway