Red Phoenix Healing Arts Blog - Feng Shui, Herbs, Acupunture, Chinese Astrology

June 2009 Archives

Last week we lost two celebrities.  Like many people my age I was affected because it seemed too soon.  I still don't know what the right age to die is - but it didn't seem right.  Today I want to talk about Michael Jackson.

In Feng Shui, your Kua number is determined by your birth year using the Lunar calendar.  One's Kua number is very significant as it is used to determine compatibility with spouses, family members and business associates.   It is also used in determining which compass directions are auspicious or disastrous for you.  Everyone has four favorable directions; each of these locations is associated with different kinds of luck.

In addition one's Kua number is associated with one's purpose or mission in life - positive or negative.   As my teacher once said; "your Kua number may be 9 which is Fame ~ that doesn't mean that you will necessarily be famous ~ maybe you will work very hard and other people will get all the credit, or you may be constantly defending your reputation ~ but your successes and failures will revolve around this issue."

Michael Jackson's Kua number was 6 which represents Creativity and Children.  No surprise then that he was such an innovator in the music business and also no surprise that so much of his private and public persona concerned children.  Not strange at all that a person with the number 6 would build a sanctuary for children ~ a fantasyland that satisfied every dream of childhood ~ especially for one who never was allowed to be a child.

Many negative things have been said about his intentions, but to a practitioner of Classical Feng Shui, Michael Jackson was a person who followed his path. 

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Today was a popular day for graduations ~ but now what?  You've completed one leg of your journey and the next one is ready to start ~ but maybe you are not sure what or where ~ 

A popular Feng Shui remedy for this uncertainty is to take a red sheet and put it under your mattress or futon.  Red is the color of Fame and Reputation ~ Recognition.

Then every night before you fall asleep ~ meditate on the next leg of your journey and what you want to achieve and the person you want to become. Focus on this for a few minutes and then enjoy a good night's sleep ~ pleasant dreams.

My friend's daughter Mariah graduated from Shaker High School today ~
                  May all your dreams come true Mariah!

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A friend called me very distressed.  Her doctor had sent her for a MRI because of a neck injury.  When she arrived at the hospital they asked her if she had any tattoos and she said yes. They then refused to give her the test ~ they told her that there might be metals in the tattoo ink that could adversely interact with the magnets in the machine. I really hadn't thought much about the subject but I decided to do some research for her ~ what I discovered was shocking.  This is not a value judgment about tattoos - but we must be informed before we put things in our bodies.

Teens and young adults around the world are injecting dangerous chemicals under their skin in the name of art and self-expression ~ 36% of Americans aged 25-29 had at least one body tattoo by 2003.   Meanwhile middle-aged Americans are trying every health protocol to remove toxic metals from their body that are believed to cause autoimmune and heart disease.

In the European Commission's report on the health risks of tattooing, they note that "close to 40% of organic colorants used in permanent tattoos in Europe are not even approved for use on the skin as a cosmetic ingredient and just under 20% of the colorants studied contained a carcinogenic aromatic amine. Many of the chemicals found were originally intended for use in writing and printer inks, as well as automobile paints." These inks are injected deep enough into the skin that often tattoos will not even be destroyed by severe burns.

In America, the FDA regulates some of the ingredients in cosmetics worn on the skin, and vitamins, drugs and food additives ingested into the body, but it does not regulate these  inks we put under our skin.  The FDA also does not require ingredient disclosure on the inks ~ -they are considered trade secrets ~ and so tattoo inks may contain any chemical, including those known to be capable of causing mutations, birth defects and cancer or involved in other biochemical reactions in the body that might take decades to appear.

Without full disclosure of ingredients, it is impossible to know for sure what is in tattoo ink. Added to this, each color and each brand of ink has completely different ingredients.

he carrier solution itself might contain harmful substances such as denatured alcohols, methanol, rubbing alcohol, antifreeze, detergents, or formaldehyde and other highly toxic aldehydes.

Children are born with a much stronger preference for sweet flavors. This is nature's way of protecting them; as most poisonous herbs and plants taste bitter so that a child would naturally reject or avoid them.  By adolescence, as they matured, they would lose some of this sweet preference but by then they would have learned which plants were safe to eat.  Today so many children are fed sweets that they never lose the taste for them.  My own mother would have a desert waiting for me when I got home from school and so every day at 4 PM I crave a sweet.

According to the USDA the average person eats 50% more sugar than people did 50 years ago ~ this is about 150 lbs of sugar per person per year. We understand the dangers of sugar but we have not lost our taste for all things sweet ~ enter artificial sweeteners and they are not created equal - excuse me  ~ they are not the same.
Rings.jpgJune is the traditional month for weddings because that was the month dedicated to the observance of Juno, the Roman goddess of marriage.  So recently people have been asking me about wedding Feng Shui.  There is an Asian superstition that says that if you accidentally spill sugar on the floor that there will be a wedding in the near future.  Now before you drop that sugar canister ~ here are a few tips for the wedding.

In a previous article I mentioned that clocks and watches were inauspicious graduation gifts.  That theme continues for weddings ~ your love should be timeless. Therefore there should be no clocks at either the ceremony or the reception and never wear a watch.

As you leave the reception in your carriage or limousine, you should both spill a glass of water on the road and then leave without looking back ~ this promises a marriage with no regrets.


gown.jpgA colleague of mine emailed me some additional information on graduation.  He suggested that the graduate carefully select the colors that they wear under their gowns.  If you are interested in pursuing a career in the arts you should wear white.   Gold is the color for the budding scientist or engineer.  If you're not sure what you want to pursue, then brown is the color of stability and harmony.  Good Luck whatever you decide !
graduation-cap-clipart5.gif    With class graduations just around the corner I'd like to go over a few Feng Shui cautions. From a Feng Shui perspective, auspicious gift giving brings luck to both the giver and the recipient. Everyone benefits. This is a time when intention comes into play.  The act of giving should be accompanied with the very best wishes for the graduate. As you select and then wrap the gift - spend a few minutes in meditating on the success and happiness that you envision for the young person's future.

If you are giving flowers to a young woman or decorating a reception area, yellow flowers are the best; sunflowers, daffodils, tulips but never roses because of their thorns.  The gift should be wrapped in a bright yang color such as red or gold wrapping paper. Tying with a red or gold ribbon will increase the good luck attached.  Best of all is to wrap the gift in yellow cloth, and silk is king.

All gifts should be personally delivered or sent to the house of the recipient.  This is because you will be symbolically sending good luck to their home and their family. Never just hand it to the person at graduation.  Classical Feng Shui practitioners will actually pick the most auspicious day to send the present.

In Feng Shui clocks and watches are a big taboo as they measure the passage of time and imply that time is fleeting and one can never recover what has passed. It is interesting that in our culture we give watches at retirement when one's job is over. There are some practitioners that feel that you can counter the bad luck attached if the recipient immediately gives you money for the watch - it must be in coins (metal) this way symbolically they purchased the watch for themselves.  I would prefer to avoid the awkwardness of this situation, play it safe and chose another gift.  In America watches have become a common graduation present so if you have your heart set on giving a watch then why not give a gift certificate to a jewelry store and they can purchase their own watch.

~ Happiness and prosperity to all the graduates ~

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Mary Chamberlain, LAc.

I started out in New York City as an actress. Eventually I went behind the camera as a television producer and traveled the world producing commercials and staging large events like Avon’s 100th Birthday. Through my travels I developed a love for all things Asian especially the art and science of Feng Shui. When I worked for NBC on the Olympics in Seoul, Korea I decided then that I would study Acupuncture. I went back to school to earn my Masters in Oriental Medicine and become a licensed Acupuncturist and Herbalist. From Oriental Medicine to Feng Shui there is so much ancient wisdom to share - where better than in the city of the Healing Springs.