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The Season of Light

‘Tis the Season when short days and cool temperatures beckon us to spend more time indoors. Feng Shui sees the winter season as a time when the Fire element, represented by the sun, is low and needs to be strengthened or “stoked” in our homes to nurture our health and happiness. To do this, we warm and brighten our interiors with lighting and other Fire-related enhancements.Candlelight is an instant mood-maker and brings out the best in people’s skin tones. Transform a room by lighting it entirely with the luminous magic of candlelight. With safety always in mind, hang candleholders on the walls and old-fashioned candelabras from the ceiling to fill the room with an enchanting glow. Group pillar candles, tea lights, votives, and tapers together to create multi-tiered ìbanksî of illumination. Use reflective trays and holders to multiply and magnify the light. Choose one candle color for an elegant look, or a variety of colors to capture a more playful casual atmosphere.The fireplace symbolizes the heart of a home, as it warms a space and inspires the feelings of comfort and safety. In Feng Shuiís elemental cycle, the Wood element intensifies the Fire element, making the heat and light they produce together particularly pleasing on a long winterís night. Ideally, a wood-burning fireplace is kept at the ready with fresh logs for the next fire. Avoid leaving the spent ashes of a previous fire on display for any length of time, as this connotes the loss of warmth and light.Another classic way to capture the dynamic relationship between Wood and Fire is to arrange boughs of evergreens or other plant material with items in the Fire-related color of RED. Mix red ribbons, candles, flowers, ornaments, and other decorations with seasonal greens to create your own beautiful display.Soft lamplight brings a comforting ambience to every room. Turn glare into glow by installing rheostats, or dimmers, on lamps and light switches throughout the house. This small investment puts you in the “command position” by allowing you to adjust your lighting to fit every need and mood. If you’re now living under the bright glare of fluorescent lights, consider replacing them with more versatile and appealing track or recessed lighting.

Or, add alternative lighting such as well-placed task lights so that the fluorescents are rarely used.

Expand your repertoire of seasonal decorations to include photographs of or tokens from loved ones. Celebrate your relationship with the people you care about and draw them close throughout the winter, as they symbolize the emotional Fire of human bonds that warm your home with cherished memories.

Winter is the time to create spaces that encourage personal renewal and social intimacy — a time to get to know yourself and others better. This is the season to light the candles, cozy up around the fire, sip something delicious from a steaming mug, and share stories with your favorite people. Keep the home fires burning and enjoy the many warm experiences winter brings to life.

Terah Kathryn Collins is the author of six books on Feng Shui and the founder of the Western School of Feng Shui™ in San Diego, CA. For additional Feng Shui articles, more information about Essential Feng Shui®, or to attend a Feng Shui Training Program or event, or please visit or call directly 760-633-3388.