Showing posts from June, 2023

The Yin and Yang of the Summer Solstice

Hey, it’s the summer solstice! In feng shui terms, that means that yang energy has reached a peak. From today onwards, yang will be weakening while yin energy grows. If you look at the Chinese yin-yang symbol, yang energy is the white bit, and yin the black. Yang energy is bright, active, masculine energy, while yin is dark, passive, feminine energy. (That doesn’t mean yin is bad and yang is good. Yin and yang are the opposing energies of qi, the continuous life force in all living and nonliving things.) In Chinese philosophy, the seasons are part of the transformation from yin to yang energy and vice versa. The summer solstice marks the point at which yang starts to ebb, and yin increases. The reverse happens at the winter solstice, when yin reaches a peak, after which it begins to wane. The summer solstice used to be a bigger deal in China. In ancient times, it coincided with the wheat harvest, so the custom was to perform rituals to show gratitude for the harvest and to ask for m

Wishing All Dads a ...

My father, like Joe Tham—the struggling feng shui consultant in my Geomancer’s Apprentice series—read the newspaper all the time. He was unassuming and reserved. He also was a pragmatist, prone to handing out advice that was, at times, inspired in its clarity and simplicity. A lot like Joe. You may have guessed by now that Joe is largely based on my father. Paps was what you would consider the typical Asian dad. He didn’t say much in general, which made what he said all the more important. He and I argued quite a bit when I was a teenager and a young adult, because we had different views. Despite that, he only questioned my choices in life a few times. One of those times was when I dragged my heels over applying for jobs after I graduated from university. I told him I wanted work that was interesting. His response stays with me till this day. It’s a job, he said. If you liked it so much, you would be paying them, and not the other way around. After I got married and had a baby,