The Dog in the Year of the Earth Dog 2018

February 23, 2018

Who is a Dog?

Years:  1946, 1958, 1970, 1982, 1994, 2006.
Month*:  October
Hour: 07:00 pm – 09:00 pm
Day: ask us
* Caution: the start of the Chinese month can be as early as the 4th & as late as the 9th, depending on the year. I can let you know this too. 

What is a Dog?

The Dog is yang earth and a byword for good faith and consistency. Terriers and Rotweilers are both fierce and loyal. In mediaeval heraldry and Renaissance painting, the Dog in the form of the greyhound, symbolises constancy.

So a balanced Dog reveres tradition and has a strong family background. If a Dog commits to something they can generally be relied upon to see it to completion. The difference between male and female Dogs can be that the female gets the message quicker. Interesting to note that Kate Middleton and Prince William are twin Water Dogs of 1982; a very solid match because as a yang earth sign, the Dog is pretty immovable, an ideal best friend or protector. These two are, first and foremost, good friends.

Note however that the world’s most prominent Dog right now is Donald Trump. So you’ll have noticed that the thinking of the unbalanced Dog may not always be informed or flexible. But when he gets an idea, he really gets it. His natural grouping is with the hunters, the Horse and Tiger. Apportionment of tasks here is obvious: the Horse provides pace and the Tiger ferocity while the Dog watches the rear. If HR people studied Chinese metaphysics, more workplaces would zing: in business the Horse will tend to be the sales person, the Tiger the closer or credit controller and the Dog the provider of after-sales service or er…HR department. In its negative sense this is Trump the late night revenge Tweeter.

But the typical Dog excels at service because he never gives up. He will return your phone calls and keep that appointment. You’re the friend who sends a card every birthday and the spouse who remembers every anniversary. You care.

The Dog also, perhaps surprisingly, mixes well with the gentle diplomatic Rabbit. The Rabbit schmoozes while the Dog ensures that his colleague’s openness is not abused. The Dog makes a wonderful bodyguard and middle manager. A Dog employer will have achieved that position by sheer hard work and will demand the same from all around.

The Dog doesn’t like the Dragon because he’s such a smarty pants. Also the Dog can feel insecure around success without effort – especially his own. And the Dragon creates with such apparent ease. You’re suspicious of magic. So you’re often not so keen on the mini-Dragon, the Snake either; you’d even resent the Horse (too damn flighty) except that you are scrupulously loyal to your own team.

An unbalanced Dog is a bit of a shop steward. He knows his rights and the way things should be (often that’s the way they always have been btw). An unbalanced Dog (such as one with an October or mid- evening birth) is just too respectful. A smart one learns to ask questions.

The Dog will often have a strong spiritual agenda and if he has a blind spot it may be an inability to understand viewpoints opposed to his own. respect the difference between religion and spirituality or either understand or respect views opposed to his own. Because this means he sticks to his guns, the Dog is suited both to new age therapy and religious persecution. He will not be thrown off by the opinions of others once he has committed to a line of action. In fact the unbalanced Dog can be thick skinned in matters of belief. Some Dogs would be ideally suited to being a Grand Inquisitor. His motto ought to be "Do as you would be done by," The problem can be that he thinks it already is. The stubborn restlessness of the Dog can make you take revenge in advance.

The Dog usually works well with other Dogs and with the Pig, with whom he shares a love of home and team and they are so different they don’t crowd each other. Sometimes the Dog and Pig can be telepathically close; this is because they are adjacent signs in the calendar, linked by the yang earth that is a feature of both. Sometimes this earth is expressed by banter or earthy humour. They can have a lot of fun together while getting the job done.

But the most powerful and most demanding role the Dog can play is in a creative team including the irritating Dragon, the autocratic Ox and the soft Sheep. If the Dog acts as conscience and bookkeeper, the Ox will relax, the Sheep toughen up and the Dragon acknowledge someone else for a change. If you are a Dog recruiting for non-executive directors, take note. What is great about the Dog is that if you find advice that works you will adopt it as if it were religion. Bless.


Richard Ashworth
©
www.imperialfengshui.info

The Rooster in the Year of the Earth Dog 2018

February 22, 2018

Rooster 2018

Who is a Rooster?

Years:  1945, 1957, 1969, 1981, 1993, 2005.
Month*:  September
Hour: 05:00 pm -07:00 pm
Days: ask us
* Caution: the start of the Chinese month can be as early as the 4th & as late as the 9th, depending on the year. I can let you know this too. 

What is a Rooster?

The Rooster is yin metal, the night bird, glamorous with an eye for presentation and detail. She appreciates an argument and likes to win but has little patience for causes that drag on. She will appreciate jewellery, fine art and good living and create wealth easily. Conversely of course, a dangerous Rooster like Qaseem Soleimani (Iranian General i/c of the Iraqi Army – Google him) can reject such distractions in order to serve a cause that has indeed dragged on for decades. This is yin and yang.

The rule this illustrates (by violating it) is that a typical Rooster is suited to work that involves short decisive arguments such as that of an advocate. Her brief passion is the perfect support for a client. She can defend with enormous commitment and then move on to the next one. That commitment is 100% but it is short lived. If she is in a job that involves holding her peace she may fret and become ill.

Osama bin Laden was a typical 1957 fire Rooster: one big splash and he was off. For you, a car must be fast, a partner challenging and life full of twists and turns. The Rooster is likely to be quick witted rather than profound, with a short attention span.

Her allies the Snake and the Ox are sometimes impatient with her because she can digress so widely and so easily but she brings to the metal alliance the pure competitiveness that the Ox might otherwise misuse and the Snake misunderstand. Think Ed Miliband snatching leadership of the opposition from under his brother's nose. The Rooster is pure metal – that is determined to prevail at all costs – Snake and Ox are not. They will not win many cases or many contracts without her and they would do well to pay and respect her appropriately despite the fact that she demands longer holidays and a better remuneration package.  Conversely if she fails to respect a support system that dots i’s and crosses t’s in order to support the intuitive flashes that s/he can exploit but seldom generate, she will not prosper.

Her pitfalls are sex, drugs and rock’n’roll. She likes to party and her personality may be addictive; the Rooster prefers dusk to dawn and also the small hours.

The Rooster enjoys a powerful alliance with the Dragon in which she, uniquely in the average Dragon’s experience, may hold the whip hand. This is not always entirely healthy. She can bend the Dragon out of shape just as the Ox can bend the Rat. This sway must be employed responsibly otherwise both can be damaged. With that proviso this is one of the strongest and longest-lasting alliances in the Chinese zodiac.

Predictably the Rooster is one of the charismatic Flowers of Romance. Success and glamorous partners come easily to her. Often a Rooster can punch above her weight in this regard. Cinderella was a Rooster and so is Yoko Ono. This effortlessness can make for complacency; bitterness is more common among middle-aged Roosters than any other animal. Not the remarkable Ms Ono btw. Roosters are often long-lived also.

With the Monkey she can form a commercial alliance. A business co-run by these two will be irresistibly attractive but may not open on time. It may not close promptly either and may also suffer the cash flow problems that come from poor financial prioritisation. A marriage would risk the same types of problem: great parties, early divorce. The unbalanced Metal creatures – Monkey and Rooster – sometimes know and understand precision but don’t respect it.

The cautious domesticated Rabbit is the nemesis of the Rooster who likes bling while the Rabbit can see no life in a stone. Any such relationship would generally be full of obstruction and passive aggression. The insistent wood of the Tiger is almost as maddening although his fierceness would at least engage the Rooster’s attention. The loyal, consistent Dog risks boring her rigid.


Richard Ashworth
©
www.imperialfengshui.info

The Monkey in the Year of the Earth Dog 2018

February 21, 2018

Monkey 2018

Who is a Monkey?

Years:  1944, 1956, 1968, 1980, 1992, 2004.
Month*:  August
Hour: 03:00 pm – 05:00 pm
Day: ask us
* Caution: the start of the Chinese month can be as early as the 4th & as late as the 9th, depending on the year. I can let you know this too. 

What is a monkey?

The image of the Three Wise Monkeys, See no evil, Hear no evil, and Speak no evil is a mediaeval Japanese summary of the qualities of the unbalanced Monkey. The image is of someone of course who shrinks from involvement. In elemental terms, this is about too much yang Metal. What is meant by yang Metal is precision; in human relations that distils down to is competition. Often the Monkey is so competitive he dare not enter the race. For many Monkeys, a man is an island. He is, like Hugh Grant’s character in About a Boy, “bloody Ibiza”.

As well as competitive, the Monkey is typically charming, loveable, dextrous, logical and quick witted and has a gift for precision. The balanced Monkey uses these qualities constructively and in the service of his fellow man. The unbalanced Monkey (born say, late afternoon in August ) does not clean up behind himself. He is in short a monkey.

The Monkey is often the most acquisitive as well as the gentlest beast but he is above all, competitive. In the extreme this means warfare. In its milder forms it is the ruthless competition that involves the belief that another’s gain is our loss. This is a mistake. It’s what leads to steroid abuse in athletics and ballet dancing in the Premiership penalty box. The metal Monkey may learn this lesson early; it’s what makes him particularly gentle. All Monkeys subscribe to this delusion to a greater or lesser extent. Just as you’d expect, the pitfall of the Monkey is frivolity. If he can’t win he takes the Mickey.

The Monkey’s natural allies are the Rat and the Dragon. This is a pretty heavy-duty grouping, perhaps the most powerful in the Chinese Zodiac. The naturally dominant Rat and the egotistical Dragon are not, as a rule, a bundle of laughs. But they get stuff done; most of the big revolutions of ideas involve this team. The influence of this trio spreads everywhere: Sigmund Freud perhaps the most influential thinker of the 20th Century, Michele Obama for a little while yet, possibly the most influential woman in the world. Dragons. Even Jesus if you take AD32 as his birth year.* And somewhere in there if we delve deeply enough, we find unsung Monkeys and Rats making it happen. The Rat plots, the Monkey gets out there and competes. Probably St Paul, the man who sold Christianity to the world was a Monkey. Someone who is a Monkey for sure is Karen Armstrong author of a History of God and Fields of Blood, founder of the Charter for Compassion and arguably the most important thinker of the 21st Century. This is a Monkey who has learned to speak no evil while seeing much. For her forgiveness is the fundamental value.

The Monkey tends to understand engines; he is the grease Monkey. He also tends to understand maths, science and argument. He is suited very often to a career in engineering or the law, also accountancy. Unbalanced, he neglects all of the above. The Monkey month of August spans Leo and Virgo and to see him as a hybrid of Virgo control and Leo passion is not far from the truth.

When the Tiger and the Snake meet the Monkey, there’s often trouble. The Monkey both co-operates with and fights the Snake. The presence of the Tiger pushes this competition over the edge. Keep them apart.

So the Monkey should mind his p’s and q’s every February, the month of the Tiger and every May, the month of the Snake. So that’s the Monkey: argumentative, practical, mischievous, so competitive he can withdraw altogether. But you knew that already didn’t you?

* That’s up for debate of course but presumably he was a Capricorn anyway.


Richard Ashworth
©
www.imperialfengshui.info

 

The Sheep in the Year of the Earth Dog 2018

February 20, 2018

Sheep 2018

Who is a Sheep?

Years:  1943, 1955, 1967, 1979, 1991, 2003, 2015.
Month*:  July
Hour: 01:00 pm – 03:00 pm
Day: ask us
* Caution: the start of the Chinese month can be as early as the 4th & as late as the 9th, depending on the year. I can let you know this too. 

What is a Sheep?

Idealistic, yin earth, not the top getter-onner, the Sheep has well-meant judgements about everybody which can sometimes keep her stuck in first gear. For the unbalanced Sheep (July birthday and/or mid-afternoon birth) ambition and foolishness are pretty much the same thing. On the other side of the fence the grass is not greener; it’s actually brown on both sides. The balanced Sheep though, as well as being an expert judge of people, knows exactly what matters and is not easily diverted from it. Metal Sheep Rupert Murdoch as an example, may be all sorts of deluded but not in the above regard.

Conversely, the value of caution and conservatism is often clear in Sheep relationships. The most obvious of these is with the extrovert, spontaneous Horse whose sidekick the Sheep often ends up being. With the Sheep beside him, the Horse’s fun may be a little less riotous but he will also stay out of serious trouble. The Horse and Sheep of 1978 and 1979 for instance, are often a tag team who go out drinking and clubbing together. The Sheep may stand back in amazement at the Horse’s daring but she is there both to pick up the pieces and to take advantage when these risks bear fruit. The Horse dances on tables, the Sheep buys the drinks. This of course illustrates a psychological truth about the Sheep: the risk-taking they shy away from is exactly what attracts them most. What often follows also is that a desirable partner, on the rebound from a Horse, finds a steadier proposition in the Sheep.

Anyway, placed as you are between the Horse and the Monkey in the Chinese Zodiac, you understand the tricky Monkey. There is generally a certain mutual wariness but this unorthodox team is capable of magic. Consider btw the eternal rectangle of Monkeys Wendi Deng and Jerry Hall, Horse Mick Jagger and Sheep Rupert Murdoch. Perhaps throw in Horse Cherie and Snake Tony Blair to make it interesting.

The Sheep also affiliates easily with the Pig and the Rabbit. This is a very domestic alliance. The Chinese ideograph for home is a Pig under a roof and the average Rabbit would also happily stay home 24/7 if allowed to. The Rabbit is the diplomat and mixer while the Pig who is inherently versatile, takes up the slack of whatever jobs there are to perform. The Sheep makes things safe. She will have ensured for instance that there are no mutually sworn enemies on the guest list. The typical Sheep is an ideal social secretary as well as a master resolver of conflict. Psycho-therapy is among the appropriate career paths.

The Sheep is passionate, representing the yin or feminine side of sexuality, but whether male or female, he is more seducer than chatter up.

Perhaps most interestingly, the Sheep forms a team with the Dog, the Dragon and the Ox. Individually each of these three is somewhat intimidating to her but when this group gathers, the Sheep’s unique gifts become essential: drawing flexibility from the Dog, humility from the Dragon and cheerful co- operation from the autocratic Ox. Above all she ensures peace among them. Even if all she does is make the coffee, the Sheep is a comforter of the insecure. She understands that most barkers never bite and that aggression is simply inverted fear. When in doubt, join.

Richard Ashworth©
www.imperialfengshui.info

The Snake in the Year of the Earth Dog 2018

February 18, 2018

Snake 2018

Who is a Snake?

Years:  1941, 1953, 1965, 1977, 1989, 2001.
Month*:  May
Hour: 09:00 am – 11.00am
Day: ask us
* Caution: the start of the Chinese month can be as early as the 4th & as late as the 9th, depending on the year. I can let you know this too. 

What is a Snake?

The balanced or mature Snake has absolute integrity; this is the goal to strive for.

Snake is yin fire and sits flanked by Horse and the Dragon, possibly the most powerful pair of animals in the Zodiac and certainly among the most difficult stools to fall between. So a typical weakness of the Snake is indecision. Next to that is lack of commitment and finally a propensity for sudden and uncharacteristic dishonesty. The Snake is the prisoner who breaks at the threat of torture; a reasonable decision if you know you’re going to give in anyway. Snakes being of Candle Flame fire, are easily discouraged and sometimes they should be. A Snake may even stick long term with an inappropriate choice so as to put off making any choice at all.

The most powerful Snake in the world right now is probably Xi Jinping, born in Snake in the Grass year 1953 and appointed at a time when the internal tensions in China – between efficiency and self- expression, between industrial wealth and rural poverty and between cohesion and corruption – were quite stark. Repetitive tasks for cheap labour have been travelling East from Europe since the 18 th century. Once the last few hundred million Chinese have been urbanised, there’s nowhere else for manufacture to go because growth can’t go on forever. This is the conundrum that faces Xi. The smartest and bravest Snakes confront it head on, the typical Snake pretends there’s no issue and proceeds to “reform”. Do not deceive yourself that the Chinese authorities are no longer imprisoning the innocent without trial or protecting those of the corrupt who can be discreet. In Tibet some of the actions sanctioned by Xi – torture, dispossession, summary execution – make Assad (1965 Wood Snake) look like Paddington Bear. These are karmically at least, very young Snakes to whom the truth is a flexible tool but this is your shadow figure, your worst, most plausible self, walking.

It can be different. And if it is your dreams come true. The Snake remains the seeker after truth. This can mean that an immature or unbalanced one is a purveyor of untruths. The balanced or mature Snake, as I said, reveres the truth and calls out falsehood. But meanwhile what you see may not be what you get. Taking into account the Umbrella sit-ins in Hong Kong and a push-me- pull-you approach to liberal reforms, you might well say that about Mr Xi. Compare perhaps with triple 1953 Snake (year, month, day) Tony Blair. But also with 1941 Metal Snake Bernie Sanders.

So the choice for the Snake is between opposites: the extroversion of the Horse and the subtlety of the Dragon, instinct and logic, process and end product, long and short term, relationship and freedom, employment or entrepreneurship. In the face of this dilemma, a balanced Snake will often develop sufficient charm to get through without having to make the hard decisions. Typically in a relationship, the Snake of either gender is not the decision maker and the decisions she has not made may include that of being committed to the relationship. The partner of the Snake (best choice probably Ox or Rooster though Monkey lady and Snake man works well) would be well-advised to drag at least this minimum communication from the Snake early on. Interestingly the water Snake of 1953 is one of the best makers and keepers of relationship of all 60 pillars.

One of the advantages of being between the autocratic Dragon and the unruly Horse is that the Snake has her ego in check. Many would consider her wise because what she has to say is well-considered and she never says too much. The Snake can be a brilliant collaborator, especially with the Ox and the Rooster who are in a sense similar to her two neighbours: the Rooster is blatant and the Ox determined while the Snake anchors them to each other. There may be moments of doubt when the Snake’s loyalty wavers. At such times, the Snake asks searching questions which should have been settled long ago and then usually re-commits. The high minded Brutus was probably a Snake. Not Judas though. To know this, grants the Snake both power and integrity. Snakes who know themselves earn undying trust.

The Snake can also work with the Dragon in what is called the House of Magic. Only the Snake can subordinate ego to the extent that the Dragon demands, while also keeping up. One ideal vocation for a Snake is high-level p.a. Usually (and wisely) the Snake opts for the role of No 2 rather than Big Chief.

Being substantially of yin fire, the Snake often has intellectual and visual gifts. She makes a good critic as her judgement is good and she is not out to destroy egos. She will generally have natural and effortless style.

The Snake’s relationship with the Monkey is a love-hate one. Both have hands-on and logical abilityand both attract the occasional tussle but where the Monkey welcomes the opportunity for mischief, the Snake treats dispute as a necessary and regrettable evil. When a Tiger appears either in the form of a Tiger-born person or a Tiger year like 2010, this misunderstanding can turn nasty. In the Metal times of 2016 and 2017 however, the issues are very different.

The Snake is opposed to the Pig and as both of these are members of the informal group sometimes called the Four Terminals or Stations, they can impede each other’s movement. Snakes may develop mobility issues in a Pig year (or month) and vice versa. Your momentum may for instance slow in November this year. Be sure to have achieved your year goals by then.

The Snake prefers a short menu and yes/no questions. In a Rat year the Snake may be overwhelmed; there is just too much choice, The Snake’s dreams may come true only for her to run in the opposite direction. Often communication has to be wrenched from the Snake and in the water years of Rat and Pig there is little support for the tight-lipped. In a typical Ox year there is just enough water but not too much. This makes scope for just the restricted level of communication the Snake prefers. The Rooster year on the other hand is very different.

Snakes have a complex relationship with fire. They are not usually sun-worshippers but often their skin needs just a little regular sun and without it they may fall prey to easily avoided ailments such as vitamin D deficiency.

Richard Ashworth©
www.imperialfengshui.info

The Dragon in the Year of the Earth Dog 2018

February 17, 2018

Dragon 2018

Who is a Dragon?

Years:  1940, 1952, 1964, 1976, 1988, 2000, 2012.
Month*:  April
Hour: 07:00 am – 09:00 am
Day: ask us
* Caution: the start of the Dragon month can be as early as the 4th & as late as the 6th, depending on the year. I can let you know this too. 

What is a Dragon?

The Dragon is yang earth, the most egotistical of the branches as well as being generally considered the most powerful. Putting aside conventional rules of animal compatibility, everyone is either fascinated by the Dragon or suspicious. Many are both.

Though charming and affable, like the Pig, the Horse and the Rooster, the Dragon suffers the self clash which makes him unsuited to working with his peers. Dragons often live alone and enjoy their own company. Sometimes they claim to, even when they don’t. Often what he experiences as joy is a subtle experience that others find puzzling. The shamelessly extrovert Horse for instance, can consider the Dragon a high maintenance prima donna. Even the Dragon’s ally the Monkey, contrasts his own goonish delights with the impassive Dragon and can often make little sense of it.

And yet the Dragon delivers. Sometimes awkward and gauche, the Dragon can appear incompetent and yet still win. The steadfast Dog whose workings always lead to a logical answer can find this very tedious and may sabotage the Dragon. Put simply the Dog thinks the Dragon goes on a bit. The Ox and the Sheep share something of this attitude but are more passive about it.

The Chinese ideogram for thunder is a Dragon under a raincloud. And all over the world rainclouds speak of plenty; drenched is good if you’re looking for growth. Water makes for the abundance and nourishment of Wood. The Dragon month is April, the time of sudden change and indeed the character of the Dragon is like the awkward times before a storm breaks.

The Dragon does not naturally co-operate or easily share confidences. He will, however, grudgingly work with those he considers his inferiors as long as they are very clear about the pecking order. This is the central weakness of the unbalanced Dragon. King Lear was a Dragon where Othello may have been a Tiger and Hamlet probably a Snake.

The Dragon’s traditional partners are the hands-on Monkey and the plotting Rat although these three may not mix socially. They need a task to cooperate around, otherwise they find it hard to connect. Socially the Dragon will seek out the Rooster and the Horse both of whom excel at pr. Alone or teamed-up, the Dragon is just as creative as he feels like being. He can instantly magic up wealth and as rapidly squander it. Neither Horse nor Rooster are much help in this regard, although a benevolent Rat and a diligent Monkey would be.

The Dragon and the Snake form the House of Magic. The Dragon is the Sorceror, the Snake his apprentice. So Merlin was a Dragon and his story illustrates the other central weakness of the Dragon: that he can be beguiled by the glamour of the Rooster. This coupling takes the Dragon off track. In a Rooster year the Dragon may forget all his carefully laid plans and go off-piste. In a Rabbit year he may have to defend himself but either is preferable to Tiger or Pig years which may have found him settling into quicksand.

Note to Employers: A Dragon employee is the best there is if the task suits him. It had better suit them because she will do precisely what she feels like either way.

Richard Ashworth©
www.imperialfengshui.info

The Rabbit in the Year of the Earth Dog 2018

February 16, 2018

Rabbit 2018

Who is a Rabbit?

Years:  1939, 1951, 1963, 1975, 1987, 1999, 2011.
Month*:  March
Hour: 05:00 am – 07:00 am
Day: ask us

* Caution: the start of the Chinese month can be as early as the 4th & as late as the 9th, depending on the year. I can let you know this too.

What is a Rabbit?

The Rabbit is yin wood, which makes him essentially gentle and domestic. Her time is early morning; the legend has it that she and the Rooster swapped places which is why the cock of the Chinese Zodiac crows not at dawn but at dusk. Accordingly the Rabbit rules the Spring – think of March Hares and Easter Bunnies – and the Rooster the autumn.

The Rabbit is subtle, in keeping with his yin nature. He provides service readily and is often suited to catering and caring. But her preparedness to roll up her sleeves makes her the unexpected queen of networking. If you want to be introduced to the person in charge, ask a Rabbit. As a business person however, you open deals much better than you close them. There is no hardness about you. Do not confuse hard with tough; the Rabbit is the most resilient of all Animals.

You are accordingly well able to wait your turn; vigilance and patience are typical. Natural allies are the Pig and the Sheep. This is a house-proud team and the Rabbit is a team player. Your unexpected friend is the Dog who values your ability to charm without threat.

The Rabbit also belongs to the gathering known as the Flowers of Love (or Plumflowers) along with the Horse, the Rooster and Rat. She may often find herself clearing up behind these three extroverts and quite often the cuddle-bunny will obtain a life partner from the leavings of more obviously glamorous colleagues. Be aware that these extroverts and schemers need you in order to function properly.

The Rabbit tends to be conservative with a small “c”. Early rising is typical but this tendency to the yang of early alertness may be demonstrated by the yin of sleeping in. Lazybones or insomniac, sleeping is an issue. This is better cured by adjusting your timing than by pharmaceuticals.

Because of the unflattering connotations of the local word for Rabbit, in Vietnam this Animal is called the Cat. Intuitively this does not sit right. The ideogram so clearly has ears. Yin wood relates to the eyes and to the Spring, leaves and flowers and grass, none of which are feline attributes.

In some ways the Rabbit epitomises yin. Yang wood may be best characterised as an outwards and upwards movement like the growth of a tree. Yin wood is more of a pure outward expansion like the spreading of grass. What these two expressions of wood have in common is irresistibility. But they are very different types of irresistibility. To counter yang wood we need yang metal: an axe will cut down the biggest tree. But you could attack a lawn with that same axe and not remove all the grass in a lifetime. This is the power of yin wood. I often use Water Rabbit Michelle Obama as a good example of such irresistibility. Remember her on the stump for Hillary? A month of that and Trump would have been consigned to history.

Wood is both stubborn and flexible. Yin wood (as characterised by soen, the wind of the South East) is thorough as well as organised. Hexagram 53 of the Book of Changes, Gradual Progress describes the ability of the little tree to grow on the hilltop despite the wind, either by throwing itself absolutely upon the mercy of the tao or following a detailed plan that it follows meticulously. Or some combination.

The Dragon is said to lose money when the Rabbit arrives. This may be because the Dragon is distracted by a neighbour so apparently different in nature. The Rabbit is a borrower as well as a burrower and the Dragon thinks little of tomorrow. So this is not generally a great pairing but the fact is that the Rabbit sitting between the Tiger and the Dragon shares qualities with both. Partnership with the Tiger is sometimes formalised as the House of Diplomacy. The Rabbit offers carrot while the Tiger wields a stick. This arrangement exemplifies the truism that more is achieved with a kind word and a gun than with a kind word alone.

Other prominent Rabbits include Russell Brand, who despite his wild exterior, is that most romantic of Animals, the 1975 Wood Rabbit. Wood represents bone, spine and hair as well as eyes: the light is fire but the receiving organ is wood. The Rabbit is often not strong in these regards, unlike the Tiger. This is yin and yang.


Richard Ashworth
©
www.imperialfengshui.info

The Tiger in the Year of the Earth Dog 2018

February 15, 2018

Tiger 2018

Who is a Tiger?

Years:  1950, 1962, 1974, 1986, 1998, 2010.
Month*:  February
Hour: 03:00 am – 05:00 am
Day: ask us
* Caution: the start of the Chinese month can be as early as the 4th & as late as the 9th, depending on the year. I can let you know this too. 

What is a Tiger?

Because the yang wood Tiger is composed of three different elements, he is an especially versatile predator. There is nothing wrong with being a predator – the world needs predators – except that it can imply a very rigid viewpoint. Tigers often don’t play well with others, not because their egos are in the way (unlike the Dragon, the Pig, the Rooster or the Horse) but because for them, work and play are very distinct activities. They can up to a point frolic with other Tigers but broadly every alliance is focused on an outcome.

The Tiger never forgets. For the unbalanced Tiger no slight, insult or rejection can be allowed to go unredressed. He may wait a lifetime but he will get his revenge. On the other hand the balanced Tiger may go out of his way to acknowledge assistance and like the Lannister family, always repay debt.

Typical qualities of yang Wood are sharp eyes, a strong will and swift movement. The Tiger stalks his prey silently and pounces when he is ready. He can wait days as long as he is not hungry. A needy Tiger is very dangerous. Never scorn the Tiger.

The Tiger (c0nsider Metal Tiger Richard Branson) will often have a fresh view of things which makes him the eyes of the team he makes up with the Horse and the Dog. The Horse is front of house, the Dog the keeper of records and the Tiger the hit man.

In terms of human relations the Tiger may be the most yang of the animals; that is swift, sharp and unsubtle. The earth he inherits from his predecessor in the Zodiac the Ox, is turned miraculously from yin to yang when he receives it. The unbalanced Tiger knows no mercy and expects none. And in this he has altered the dogma he receives from the Ox – do as you would be done by – into a personal code. This alteration can amount to perversion and make for serious misunderstandings; the unconscious Tiger probably knows himself less well than any other animal. Which means that since our gifts are generally concealed within our lessons (themselves concealed within the heartbreaks and triumphs of the dramas we weave for ourselves) a balanced, awakened Tiger is as open, alert and self-aware as a human being can become without disappearing in a puff of smoke.

That ruthlessness however, which is sometimes worn as a badge of honour, is often simply a failure to open up to interdependence with others. Of all insults “dependent” is the worst for the Tiger. He will not depend. This makes relationship an act of will. With a true act of will, the Tiger forms the most enduring relationships. If it is not truly a choice but a resigned agreement to bend himself out of shape, all around him will distort also. Sometimes the truly unconscious Tiger thinks this reflects a merciless world in which he has been clever in getting his revenge in first. This logic doesn’t work and the smarter Tiger knows this.

But even this one is not in the clear because the corollary of foregoing revenge appears to be falling on his sword. This is a mistake too. Most of us prefer not to live by the law of the jungle but then most of us are not as well-equipped for it.

Metal is generally considered to represent logical thought, authority and competition. The wooden Tiger likes to think of himself as logical but instinctive (or even automatic) is a better description. He can only make use of Metal early on in life or at the inception of a process. After that he can deceive himself that he knows what to do and that he is beyond advice. The really unbalanced Tiger (yang wood day stem born in February for instance) considers himself bold and resolute but truly is hanging onto past (mother) stuff that ought to have been completed. The admission of this would affront his pride and he is unlikely to do it.

Metal Tiger Richard Bandler used to say that the person with the most flexible behaviour has control. The Tiger is the yangest and woodenest of the animals. He is so flexible that he can be completey immovable. This can be his role in the alliance with the Monkey, Pig and Snake sometimes called the Four Terminals.

The Monkey sells the traveller a ticket, the Pig may offer to accompany him and the Snake can enchant with tales of exotic locations but the Tiger may simply snarl and send the traveller on his way. Without the Pig in the ba zi this combination can like the Four Earths (see elsewhere for explanation), be a seriously unhelpful combination, implying restricted movement. It was very common in 2013 and again in the Year of the Fire Monkey in 2016.

A tender father and an implacable father in law, a good leader but an erratic motivator, at his worst, the keynote of the Tiger is an uneasy combination between a long memory and a short fuse. At his best he is the sort of leader any man would gladly die for.

Richard Ashworth©
www.imperialfengshui.info

The Ox in the Year of the Earth Dog 2018

February 14, 2018

Ox 2018

Who is an Ox?

Years:  1949, 1961, 1973, 1985, 1997, 2009.
Month*:  January
Hour: 01:00 am -03:00 am
Day: ask us
* Caution: the start of the Chinese month can be as early as the 4th & as late as the 9th, depending on the year. I can let you know this too. 

What is an Ox?

The Ox is deeply sensitive, psychic even but also quite insistent; rather than persistent; Ox yin Earth makes for a certain fragility, more of a curtain than a rampart. The Ox is in many ways, the most sensitive Animal. This is often expressed in what looks like obstinacy but is better understood as puzzlement. In discourse you may find that an Ox has firm principles that on examination are not principles at all but more like prejudices or assumptions. They are often firm as well as correct for all that. Jane Austen’s Mrs Bennett reads like an Ox.

As a rule, don’t expect flexibility of mind from an Ox; they know what they know and are often not keen to venture beyond. The detail that really distinguishes the Ox however, is that (s)he often craves power and often doesn’t notice either that the power has waned or that it is time to relinquish it. Famous Oxen include Margaret Thatcher, Napoleon Bonaparte and Barack Obama. You get the picture? Power tends to peak in the Rat year btw – 1984, 1804 and 2008 respectively.

The Ox is frequently practical rather than intellectual although the intellectually gifted Ox packs power; take 1961 Ox Yanis Varoufakis for instance. Because of your position between the Rat and the Tiger, you can sometimes vacillate between a fierceness that does not suit you and a Rat-like charm that may not be sustainable. Neither of these are strengths in academe.

With her allies the Snake and the Rooster, the Ox forms a team which is of the Metal element. That is to say that the alliance is linear, judgemental and competitive. Where the ground rules are clear, this is an unstoppable combination. These three make a great legal team with the Rooster charming the jury, the Snake unearthing information that no one else could find and the Ox sticking to the point. When the rules are unclear however, the alliance can falter. Then the Ox can become judgemental in a more covert sort of way, being less liable to argue than to judge silently. Without the Snake and the Rooster, the Ox becomes more barrack room lawyer than barrister.

To the metal of such a team which stands for logic, reason and competition, the Ox brings the earth that means consistency. Which is vital but in dealing with the Ox, it is important to encourage linear thought and to unmask the unreasonable (and consistent) for what it is. Often your position is just habit; you may still quibble though.

The hour of the Ox (1am-3am) is the time that the worlds of spirit and flesh are closest.  She has a deep spiritual agenda. The gifts of mediumship and divination are essentially Ox and Sheep gifts. Often squaring strict logic with intuition is a life lesson.

The Ox may be attached to ancestral dogma. Fundamentalism of all sorts – political and social as well as religious – stick to you. She is not always good at questioning tradition or second-hand wisdom that has come down on good authority. She will often quote great men and prophets, not because their words are wise but simply because they are reckoned great. Maggie Thatcher probably made both Maynard Keynes and John Wesley rotate in their graves.

With the Dragon, Dog and Sheep, the Ox forms the Literary Alliance. Some call this confluence the Four Earths and think of it as negative. The fact is that it is a demanding combination and when only three of these meet, the weakness of the grouping is defined by the one missing. When all four are present, great achievement follows. If the Dog is absent for instance, the association may be short-lived. On the other hand, the combination of Dog, Ox and Sheep is a challenge to a strong ba zi and can be the ruin of a weak one. Obviously the magic Dragon is missing from this last conjunction, sometimes called a “bullying punishment.” When the three appear together, expect suppressed communication and rigid rules. Which the Dragon simply wiggles his nose and dissolves.

Barack Obama may currently be the world’s most famous Ox and a good example of this. He actually has a Sheep in his month pillar but no Dogs and no Dragons; this makes for a home-loving and secure man. Which is heightened by a day stem (the yin earth character that rules the day he was born) having a special affinity both with the Ox and the Sheep. This like so many Oxen, is a man who loves his babies. But what about those of the rest of the world?

As if to answer this question, Obama who knows his executive power is on the wane, is clearly going down fighting. As Napoleon did and Mrs Thatcher as well of course as 1889 Earth Ox Adolf Hitler*. None of these knew when it was all over, did they? Traditionally the chaos of “bullying punishment” is brought to a head by the Dragon.

The Ox is not that keen on the Rabbit who can help herself to the Ox’s fresh vegetables or the Tiger who somehow often manages to exploit her. And you have a love-hate relationship with the irritatingly spontaneous and extrovert Horse to whom you can not help nonetheless being drawn. For the Ox, the Horse represents the perhaps unwelcome daylight upon your true intentions and ultimately your true values. But to really know the mettle of the Ox, observe her with Sheep and Dog. *His peak Rat year was 1936.


Richard Ashworth
©
www.imperialfengshui.info

The Rat in the Year of the Earth Dog 2018

February 13, 2018

 

Rat 2018
Who is a Rat?
Years:  1948, 1960, 1972, 1984, 1996, 2008.
Month*:  December
Hour: 11:00 pm – 01:00 am
Day: ask us
* Caution: the start of the Chinese month can be as early as the 4th & as late as the 9th, depending on the year. I can let you know this too.

What is a Rat?
The Rat is yang water but with a hidden stem of yin Water, the major Water animal of Chinese metaphysics. All Water on this planet, unless interfered with by outside forces, is connected with and on the same level as all other Water. Sea level at Zeebrugge is the same as sea level at Miami. If I spill my cup of tea here in Surrey and you spill yours in Taiwan, sooner or later they’ll mix. It may take aeons but they’ll mix. This powerful idea may clarify the connection between Water and communication.
Someone said that we have two ears and one mouth for a good reason: that we should listen twice as much as we speak. The issues relating to Water are listening and speaking while keeping the ratios right. The Rat can easily miss this. Some of us are elected primarily to talk and the yang Water of the Rat says it’s you. The Rat is the talker of the Chinese Zodiac. As you know, an unbalanced or distressed Rat tends to clam up or run off at the mouth. Which will it be this year?
The Rat is supreme in the realm of ideas. It is said that when you can tell water from fire, you are a master. The blue of the sky at mid-summer, for instance is not water but fire. Who can identify this consistently? The Rat who is a planner and a plotter and a deep thinker, is the most likely candidate. He thinks ahead, sometimes to the detriment of his awareness of the present. This makes him a good chess player but not so great at poker. He is apt to be too controlling for games that require openness to good fortune. That sort of uncertainty can be painful. Your average Rat wants the credit and to get that he has to be in control.
In conversation you may find that the Rat second guesses in a very distinctive way: typically he gets his correspondent to commit to a position before he states his; a very useful quality in a teacher but not everyone’s cup of tea in a collaborator. The Dragon and the Monkey, even the Ox, may find this reassuring but it drives the Horse and the Tiger wild and to some extent even the Dog.
Being big talkers and travellers, Rats are traditionally suited to work involving communication: sales, oratory and persuasion. In the collaboration with the Rabbit, Rooster and Horse that Derek Walters (himself a Rat) calls the Flowers of Love, the Rat is the talker, the chatter-up if you will, where the Rooster provides the glamour, the Horse the passion and the Rabbit the stamina. A Rat with these additional animals present is effortlessly successful and charismatic. The missing animals indicate his weaknesses. None of them others however is at ease alone in the company of the Rat.
An unbalanced Rat talks too much and listens selectively. A balanced one gets it exactly right; he is fascinating talker and a skilled listener. But this wilful deafness can be a point of pride. Blessed with an orderly mind and excellent retention, a Rat can consider his ignorance of a subject a reflection upon the subject rather than upon himself. This sort of Rat needs to learn to value the convictions of others, especially if they are derived from premises he does not accept.
The Rat is a guardian, a watcher. Sometimes he is self-appointed and the unbalanced Rat has a particular blindness that leads him to believe that his opinion is an absolute. This is more accentuated and less well-informed in his partner the Ox in what some call the House of Creativity (or Cleverness). The relationship between the Ox and the Rat is less that of partners than of pupil and tutor but the Ox can be a particularly obdurate and dominating learner, sometimes drawing conclusions to which he is not entitled and sticking like a limpet to any conclusion he can justify. In these circumstances the Ox is not so much partner or indeed student of the Rat as tormentor. When Ox and Rat are together it is the Ox who calls the tunes.
A very conscious Rat can make good use of his blindness to the value of other people’s positions. She is likely to be able to explain things that baffle others and to derive laws from this gift. To have no explanation however is to open himself up to chaos. If he knows this about himself he can master even the most abstract discipline.
The Rat is versatile and multi-talented though not as notably so as the Pig of whom he is often jealous or the Dragon who can baffle him despite their mutual affinity. Yang water can speak of profligacy with money. The Rat is a brilliant small businessman but often a poor tycoon. In the power triad with the Dragon and Monkey, the Rat may appear to overvalue the hands-on deftness of the Monkey because he finds the Monkey easier to control and may envy the Dragon his magic.
And it is this potential for envy that is the other big weakness of the Rat and lays him open once more to the Rooster of the year who of course shares it. The full-on spontaneity of Fire has always drawn resentment from certain Rats. He can’t admire what he can’t himself master. This can lead to him not getting credit for originality of mind. Consider Water Rat Alan Turing of Enigma fame. And finally the Rat can be a fickle partner but an attentive parent, albeit one who may have favourites. The awakened Rat is absolutely even-handed; that in itself is quite a gift.

Richard Ashworth©
www.imperialfengshui.info