I was talking with a friend (pseudonym: Ref Vengance) some days ago who is not necessarily devoted to Eastern paths, but is involved in some Native American ones, particularly with her Cherokee ancestry.
I had been particularly agitated the past few days, to the point of flashbacks and anxiety attacks. I wondered aloud about what I should do.
We had talked previously about feng shui. Cimmy and I had looked at it previously, and had studied it and practiced it a bit. I had rejected it, as I really try to avoid what I perceive as superstition, but I have changed my mind. You see, some time after that, I studied the Yi Ching (Book of Changes) a bit, as well as the Tao Te Ching at length. I was quite enjoying it, reading a text online as prose. I later checked out a book from the library, and did not like that as much. The latter text distilled it to its divination applications, and I am not really interested in divination. I surmised that it was harmless, though; the principles this older text (yes, it is older than the Tao Te Ching) is based upon are not mysterious, nebulous, and hard to understand.
If you will pardon my tangent for a moment, dear readers, I decided to afford feng shui the same courtesy. Eastern paths are very encompassing, and intertwine a lot. While feng shui is considered geomancy– you are arranging the elements of your living space– it is still based on principles of ancient observation that science is coming to understand as reasonable. (Richard Dawkins can twitch and convulse over that for days, for all I care. Sorry Xavier, if that bothers you, too. Please withhold skeptical comment.)
Anyways, to continue to clarify my point, such ideas encompass even the Chinese idea of the zodiac. (Please see this link for the full research I did of where I fit.)
Suffice it to say, I consider myself a personality of fire in some aspects. My intensity is a smoldering one, and it is not that hard to stoke passion to a burning cinder. I had problems in high school; from band to a stint on the football team. Coaches and student teachers would work to pump us up, but for me, I would be absolutely seething. Not many recognized that it was too much.
The view from the Western (Greco-Roman) zodiac does seem to bear this out, Leo being a fire sign, and one based in the heart, as the heart is understood in classical thought. Now, I never went to much trouble to have that astrological chart mapped out for me, but as I was saying, I did chart out the Chinese one.
Just for quick reference, the Chinese one is less concerned with the position of the stars, and much more concerned with the year, month, day, and hour a person is born.
Now, I mentioned this concept of fire to Ref (and that I see Cimmy as more of a water based personality), and I don’t think she was aware of my understanding in the Chinese zodiac. But what she said next was very startling.
She suggested that I needed wood to keep the fire burning steady and healthy. Amazing. My year sign is the Tiger, and 1974 is a wood year for a sign that is already considered wood-positive. Now, before anyone decides to pooh-pooh this (please don’t), I must say that I always found the old wood design aesthetic of the ’70s and ’80s very soothing. I always liked it before I came to this understanding, and please count me as sincere on that.
Now, with the understanding of Cimmy being water-like, she suggested bamboo, starting with a bamboo plant. Now… no surprise, bamboo is coming into favor as China trades so much with the U.S. I think it should be easier to get a hold of, although I am having trouble finding bamboo reed specifically for making kites. I had already been thinking of bamboo for reflooring the bathroom and kitchen (as bamboo absorbs water very well); the bathroom already has a bamboo mat.
Ref didn’t miss a beat, though, and suggested that metal elements would be good for Cimmy. Even more fascinating. Cimmy’s year is actually a Earth-based one, however, although the Rooster is a Metal-positive sign.
Wardrobe was a curious discussion; I admitted that I had been leaning towards a lot of red, mostly crimsons and such. Ref suggested greens and browns, which, oddly enough, was a larger part of my choices not that long ago.
I think it’s time I took a look at feng shui seriously again.