Preparing for the Year of the Horse

The Chinese New Year is fast approaching and this month of the Wood Ox is a perfect time to prepare for it. There are different steps you can take to help. Today I would like to share with you a good, traditional energetic and spiritual cleansing method.

Preparing for the Year of the Horse


The date of the Chinese New Year based on the lunar calendar is this year Friday, January 31. However, the date taken for calculations, based on the solar calendar, is February the 4th. Either way, what is ideal is to do this cleansing process between the 27th of January and the 4th of March. If you miss this timeframe, the whole month of the Fire Tiger, until the 5th of March, is still acceptable.

Credit given where it is due: this recipe was originally published on the blog of my Sifu (spiritual master), Master GK Ham.

You can find his fascinating blog on Taoist practice here:

And on San Yuan Feng Shui here:

What follows is the recipe. If you have an easy access to a shop where Chinese herbs are sold, you can go there and ask for the Chinese names directly. If not, I provide you with an English translation as well. You will need these 3 ingredients:

藿香 Huo Xiang = Patchouli

甘草 Gan Cao =Licorice Root

Pure sandalwood powder

I really suggest you try to get them through a good herbalist, Chinese store or through a reliable source online. For the sandalwood especially, fake powders are common: if it’s too cheap, it is not sandalwood…For the patchouli, do not take a patchouli incense or mix, but rather use the real herb.

You don’t need a lot of them luckily. For a medium-sized apartment, I recommend 30 grams of each. For a regular-sized house, 50 grams of each is enough. This recipe can also be used for commercial buildings such as shops, businesses, offices etc.


Mix all the herbs together. Taoist followers burn paper talismans on top of this mix.

If this is not something you can do, I suggest you write your good intentions, what you want to achieve and what you don’t want anymore, on a piece of paper in very clear words.

For example: “During this year of the Yang Wood Horse, I want to:

  • Increase my income
  • Attract the right partner for my destiny
  • Sell my house etc.

And I let this go of that is not relevant anymore:

  • My anxiety over…
  • My legal problems over…
  • XXX who has hurt me…

I recommend that you use clear words and simple sentence for your statements. Don’t be harsh on yourself: be kind, loving and realistic in what you can achieve in a year time. You can also include a wish for our planet; this is good karma to try preserving it.

If you have spiritual beliefs, you can request the help of some divinities. Don’t go over the edge with your demand, the Gods are busy too! And remember to do offerings, mantras and good deeds through the year to help you achieve those results…

Then you can put this paper dated and signed on top of the mix.


Next, you are going to use a rather large incense burner, or a dish that can withstand hot temperatures. What I suggest to my clients who don’t have the ideal container is to use an old pot for example. Then you can move from room to room without burning yourself.

Put all the herbs on charcoals, light them and let the mix burn. It is fine to add paper underneath if you need to, and to often shake or restart the fire for the smoke to take.

Once the mix is burning, let the smoke fill the first room. Move the mix to fill each corner of the room as well. Then move to another room and repeat the process until you have done all the rooms. Be careful as the smoke can be quite pungent, so no need to use too much in each room

Some important reminders:

  • Turn off all smoke detectors before hand
  • Try to do this when your kids are not around
  • Put your pets outside while using the smoke
  • Do not let the mix burn unsupervised
  • To not put the container on a surface that can burn or be damaged by the heat


Once that you have done every room, if there is still some of the mix burning, put it outside and let it consume on a balcony for example. Once it is over you can go out and take a walk for 30 minutes or longer.

When you come back, open all doors and windows and turn on all the lights. Make the conscious decision to let the old Chi go, that is not relevant anymore and to welcome the new one in. Throw the cold mix in the bin.

Even more powerful, you can also use mantras, Tibetan bowls and bells while going from room to room to complete the process. Try to infuse the rooms with your positive energy and intents for this New Year. After 15 min or more, you can now turn off the lights, close the windows and doors and you are done.

If some smell remains, now is a good time to use essential oils diffusers. I also suggest that you take a shower and wear new clothes afterward, to complete the cleansing. You are done!

While this cleansing is traditionally done just before the Chinese New year, nothing stops you from doing it again another time of the year if needed. It is also a great way to complete a Feng Shui renovation process, once you are done with all the changes.

I wish you all a happy year of the Yang Wood Horse! You can find my first predictions on my blog:

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