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Sunday, November 25, 2018

23. Bringing a Lucky Cat into Your Home or Business


Nowadays, no matter where you are in the world, you may see a Japanese lucky cat on the front desk of a store or office. This is especially popular in businesses throughout Asia and many, many people display a lucky cat(s) in their homes. 

How is it that this cute white ceramic cat has become so popular outside of Japan? Expected to bring magic energy to its owner, the cat typically has one paw raised and the other usually holds a gold plate with Japanese or Chinese characters -- these often signify money or good luck. Many people throughout Asia and beyond believe this lucky charm figurine can bring about good fortune and create luck for its owner.

Be sure to refer to my previous blog where I wrote about the origin of the legend of the Japanese lucky cat. If you are trying to buy one online,  or you are lucky enough to be in Japan, you will find they come in many colors and a variety of styles.

What do these choices signify? From what I've learned, the original lucky cat comes in a few specific colors and they do have different meanings. Those with extra patterns or fancy designs are nothing more than gimmicks to increase sales.

First, let's start from the raised hand --

RIGHT hand up, that means beckoning money.

LEFT hand up means welcoming people or customers.

BOTH hands up is beckoning luck.

There is also another indicator: RIGHT hand for home, LEFT hand for business. For me I care more about which hand attracts money rather than if it is the correct hand for home or business.

Now about color:

WHITE, lucky in everything.

GOLD, beckoning fortune and gold.

PURPLE, longevity.

PINK or YELLOW, beckoning romance and love.

GREEN, academic success.

BLUE, blessing for the home.

And the last two:

RED, beckoning health.

BLACK, kicking away evil energies.

Hiroko, a Japanese coworker of mine, gave me a black lucky cat when I was scheduled to have eye surgery. She said the black lucky cat gives healthy life. I think the black one can do the same as the red one -- beckoning good health while it kicks out bad energies. Including sickness.

And, one final variation: if your lucky cat comes with a little bell, that helps to kick away bad luck and negative energy as well.

Very important -- whether you place your lucky Cat in your home, business or both, it must always face towards the outside of the building -- either the front door or a window on the front of the building.

Sunday, November 18, 2018

22. Japan's Beckoning Cat


In Japan during the Edo era (1603-1867), a man was walking by a temple when suddenly a cat jumped out and started to wave at him. He followed the kitty into the building and, just after he stepped inside, rain started falling. It turned into a heavy downpour so he figured he would stay put until it let up.

The rain didn't stop. It actually turned into a big storm with thunder and lightning so he had no other choice but to stay in the shelter keeping dry and safe. He lost track of time and at one point realized that the friendly cat was no longer there.

The storm finally passed and the man headed out of the temple towards his home. That's when he discovered that the storm had turned into a disaster of flooding and mud slides that were now covering homes with and people buried inside At that moment, while surveying the damage, he realized that the cat waving at him had actually saved his life. The legend of the beckoning cat spread throughout the country. And now, to this day, people think that petting a kitty in a home is a blessing and can bring good luck.

That's the legend behind the Japanese ceramic cats with one waving arm that can be found in many homes and businesses. This myth has transcended cultures and is now popular around the world.

From ancient times until now, people believe animals have special characteristics that allow them to receive or connect with a particular energy from nature. And there is the common belief that animals can foretell catastrophes such as an earthquake or a damaging storm. People often report how cats and dogs act strangely or panicked; how all the birds flew away one evening; or horses run around in circles until exhausted.

We don't know what they are sensing that causes their odd behavior. But it seems that they can instinctively sense threatening energies.  A skill that we humans do not possess.

You can believe me or not, but many times I have seen dogs howling at nothing. Or chasing the air with a strange kind of growling.

About ten years ago when I visited with a friend in his historic home in New Jersey, I sensed something like a lady's hoop skirt moving up the stairs. I wasn't sure what I was encountering since there was no one else in the house except me and my friend. At that moment, I noticed that the kitty resting in my lap was also intensely staring at the staircase. It was obvious that she saw or sensed something inching along the steps too.

Maneki-neko, the Japanese lucky cat is often referred to as the welcoming cat and the literal translation from the Japanese is the beckoning cat.  Are you ready to buy one for your home?  Let me ask: do you think you know how to choose just the right one for you; do you know just the perfect spot to place it?

In my next blog installment ...

Sunday, November 11, 2018

21. Tiger Kitty



A neighborhood kitty keeps hanging out on my patio these days. She's a tabby with dark brown stripes and I think she is very beautiful. She started coming to see me this past February, or maybe it was March. Since then she visits twice almost every day: in the morning and again in the late afternoon. She likes sitting outside where she watches me through the sliding glass door. A friend said she might be a familiar (like a guardian angel or animal guide) who comes to watch over me. Or maybe she is trying to give me a secret message. I wonder.

There are many cat lovers, and also many who do not love cats. That could be because cats can mysterious. Some of us love a good mystery, other's hate the uncertainty. Maybe it's are fascination is because of cats curious nature, not to mention their big glowing in the dark eyes when they look straight at us at night. Especially intriguing are the black cats that are often tied to bad luck or unfortunate stories.

In the Chinese dream dictionary good things will come to you if you dream about a tabby. If one walks into your home that can be a predictor of good things coming to you within the next three months!

The western dream dictionary is very different from the Chinese. In the west dreams are considered more a reflection of what's behind your brain. Dreams explain the truth from the bottom of your heart; feelings that you might not be able to express in the waking world. For the Chinese, dreams are signals that foretell: a special energy channel bringing you messages. That's why some meanings of dreams can be really strange. For instance, if you are surrounded by poo in a dream, congratulations!, You will soon have some extra money in your pocket!!!

Let's come back to the kitty. Some of you may have learned in history class about ancient Egyptians worshiping cats. They were treated as the most respected idols.

In contemporary cultures, people are still very fond of cats. They play a key role in many comics and cartoons; are popular brand products; and they even show up prominently in crime novels. Cats are often found in unlikely circumstances in present day Japan. it's a sign of how crazy the Japanese are about cats.

For instance: in Kinokawa, Japan, a small town south of Osaka, the train station had appointed Tama, a calico cat, as Chief Officer.  During her lifetime she was officially in charge of the station where she just hung out everyday.  Her exalted position drew thousands of fans from all over to come who would come to meet her or follow her online. Currently in charge at the station is Nitama (translation: second Tama), who once served as Tama's apprentice.

But there is another story that I would like to share about cats in Japan. More to come ...

Sunday, November 4, 2018

20. Global Warming and Feng Shui

A wise man once said, "Waters are running and running from the mountains but the total volume is always same, never more or less. Mountains stand still throughout time and do not seem to change, but actually they keep growing because of the greenery. Both have been releasing the same energies over millions of years."

Today we are facing global warming which very well may affect changes to your environment soon: for better maybe, fingers crossed; or worse, the scientists are worried.

  • Glaciers melting at an alarming rate threaten the level of the ocean, its temperature and water sources for billions of people in locations around the world.

  • Cutting down hundreds of square miles of trees reduces the respiration rate and the release of oxygen into the atmosphere.

  • The raw materials that we depend on so heavily from nature are finite and their decimation could lead to global chaos.

  • Combined with the extraordinary growth of our human population, the wise man's words above are facing a daunting challenge.

How do we bring Feng Shui principles into all of this? Underlying all the concepts of Feng Shui is balance. Especially balancing the five key elements: gold, wood, water, fire and soil. Based on his or her calculation, a Feng Shui master is tasked with finding which elements in your life are out of balance, Then they help to raise your energies in a particular area so you will be in balance again.

If the waters and mountains are off balance because of global warming, we can imagine there very well might be a chain reaction in your Feng Shui readings.  Good for business if you are a Feng Shui master. But for the rest of us ...

It's not just global warming, it's global WARNING.