If you are looking for an easy and practical way to apply Feng Shui in your daily life, a traditional Feng Shui or Lunar calender might be the answer. All the basic info is calculated and written clearly day by day and month by month. It is handy to refer to it for scheduling important events, best time for a new project, or decorating house to enhance luck.
What is a Feng Shui calendar, almanac, planner or diary? What information is included?
The Chinese Feng Shui calendar is basically a lunar calender, including the traditional 24 Jie Qi (solar terms or seasonal segments), auspicious and inauspicious time, date, direction, color for different Chinese animal signs (or birth time). It often has religious holidays (eg, birthday of an ancient god), moon and star phases, Chinese astrology forecast, and Feng Shui predictions.
The calendar is also called "Huang Li" or the yellow calendar. Around the Chinese new year, many temples and charity prints the booklet of the Feng Shui calendar to give to the public. Chinese supermarkets love to give out free Feng Shui lunar calendars to their customers as gifts. Many "masters" will publish their versions for sale in bookstores too. The basic information is the same, but the interpretation and forecast might be different. Some might emphasize the birth chart reading (Ba Zi), some might focus on Feng Shui cures, and some might have pieces of advice on healthy lifestyle or food combination chart.
Why many Chinese people use a Feng Shui calendar?
Many Chinese today still consult with a Feng Shui calendar for important events in life, such as the wedding, funeral, moving, starting a construction, traveling, or job interview. My parents in Taiwan will certainly check the calendar for the best date, time and direction to plan their schedule. For the older generation, it is a way of life. Younger people might call it superstition but will still respect other people's choice of following the traditional calendar. Every version of the calendar has different info, but they are usually a combination of local religion, Taoist philosophy, I-Ching, Feng Shui design, and some fortune telling forecast of the year.
Not only for the major events in life, minor events such as getting a haircut or moving a furniture has a good and bad date or time to do it. It tells you which date is favorable and which date should be avoided.
It is nice to have a guide to tell you the best and worst time to do certain things, especially the information comes from the calculation of thousands year old timing system and geomancy. Psychologically, if nothing else, it is assuring knowing you are on the right track, with the luck on your side, because you take the first step of positioning yourself for better fortune.
Are Feng Shui and Chinese astrology superstition?
Maybe. But it is also fascinating because there is no clear scientific explanation for all the Feng Shui or Astrology prediction, but many people swear it works. Many famous people will spend a fortune to consult with a "master" to change their luck. I think everything needs a balance. Use your common sense and use all the calendar advice as a reference. Not all "masters" know everything and be right all the time. Like every profession, there are always people who exaggerate or overcharge about their service. Besides, there is no way to follow every detail and arrange a perfect Feng Shui 100% of the time. There is a limit on our time and energy and we need to focus on what is the most important rather than obsessed with getting all the details right.
On the other hand, studying the theories and calculations behind is a serious task. You have to know I-Ching, 5 element, Taoist philosophy, Chinese timing system of "Tian Gan" (heavenly stems) and "Di Zhi" (earthly branches), Ba Gua and so on. Fewer and fewer people are interested in learning this ancient art and science now. Most of us only learn a shallow part, and that makes the whole Feng Shui practice look more suspicious. I have to add that curiosity and suspicion are both healthy. If we can not question and look for answers, it is just a cult. Just keep an open mind first.
How to consult your calendar for better luck and avoid trouble?
The modern Feng Shui lunar calendar makes it easy to find your favorable time, direction, colors, and so on. Typically, you only need to know your birthday and birth time, and your home's front door facing direction. Your Chinese animal sign is based on the lunar calendar, and the Chinese new year (January 01 on the lunar calendar) usually falls in January, February or March. So if you were born during those months, double check if your animal sign belongs to the previous year. Exact birth time is important for calculating Chinese Ba Zi for more detailed prediction.
For Feng Shui, you need to know the facing direction of your front door, and usually divide your floor plan into a grid of 9 squares to find the directions for each room. The calendar will tell you what is the best and least favorable directions of the year, and how to enhance them.
Is Chinese astrology (Ba Zi) part of Feng Shui?
Ba Zi is the calculation according to one's birth chart. It has the same basis as Feng Shui - the timing system of heavenly stems and earthly branches, 5 elements, I Ching, Taoist theory and so on. Feng Shui calculates directions of a space and the interactions with the surrounding environment and the people livining there. There is a lot of overlap between the Chinese astrology and Feng Shui. If you know one area, you have to know the other to some degree. They are closely related, although a person's background, interest, and experience dectate which area is a stronger focus.
Where can I get my calendar for the 2018 year of the dog, and find more authentic information?
Even though a Chinese version of Feng Shui calendar or lunar calendar is easily available, the English version is somewhat hard to find. Here are some resources I find more authentic to the Chinese version. (disclosure: affiliate links)
1. Lilian Too is very famous in many Asian countries. Her 2018 Feng Shui diary includes many charts and diagrams such as 5 element cycle, Yin Yang, and animal sign calendar. I like the daily Lo Shu number, the element of the day, and the favorable animal sign of the day. There is also little icons indicating if it is a good day to launch a product, see a doctor, sign a contract and so on, very similar to the traditional Chinese Feng Shui lunar calendar.
2. Feng Shui for 2018 by Joey Yap is all about Feng Shui, including both the 7 stars and 8 mansions schools. It makes Feng Shui application much easier. I like his Feng Shui month to month prediction based on the facing direction of your front door. Great book for people wanting to learn the eight Mansion school of Feng Shui.
3. Joey Yep also has a book about the authentic Chinese Astrology and Ba Zi reading for the 2018 year of the dog if you are interested in the reading from your own birth chart.
4. Lillian Too also has a series (12) of books based on each Chinese animal sign. It has more detailed 2018 forecast for each animal sign. The link below is an example. You have to pick your own animal sign for the right book.