Feng Shui Diaries
Solar fortnight beginning: Tuesday February 19th 2010 02.35
In Space Clearing no one can hear you scream
The attentive reader will have noticed that this is my first Feng Shui Diary this year. Some of you may have welcomed the break; feng shui can be indigestible and my relentless facetiousness not everyone’s yum cha. And a burst appendix with complications isn’t a great reference. I’m supposed to see these things coming.
It’s 5:30 and I’ve been surveying since 10am. I still get very tired although I recognise that feng shui is not hod-carrying. This smart town house is on the site of a demolished hospital. Interesting. A neighbouring hospital is of course a feng shui no-no but one in the foundations is a different proposition; I can work with that. North-South, it’ll be fine.
This is the Year of the Tiger, a time of competition and turmoil. The Tiger is strong in my ba zi. A Dragon will advance but he’ll have to be light on his feet.
While I was myself in hospital I took several trips physical and otherwise, around the environment to identify which energies were where. A hospital is no place to go for a rest. If there’s one thing I learned it was to take care in the car parks. The number of shunts I’ve seen. So much distress and distraction. You can see in their eyes that they’d do anything to make a positive difference and bending the car may be the closest they can get.
For some reason as I write, Levi Stubbs is singing di-di-didit in my head. No one sings di-di-didit like Levi Stubbs. The Four Tops: Simple Game. About 1973. And of course he’s right. I di-di-didit. Silly arse. My story which is a pretty lame one, is that I was too busy: busy maintaining my retainer clients, busy doing surveys as promptly as I can for people who often find it painful to wait, busy handling queries – sometimes very complex – from clients, students, non-clients and people who just want some love. Feng shui is about balance and busyness is one of the most blatant forms of imbalance. And I was, as my Father used to say, tuned to transmit. I was not receiving. Those who would give to me were blocked by my relentless output. Silly arse.
When I was felled we had to let down dozens of clients and every one has been gracious and patient. I am humbled. Some got precious little notice and all had paid in advance. “You give so much,” Sheila says.
“Is that so?” I say. I’d kind of forgotten.
My friend Sadie emails to tell me it’s not too late to ask for help. And today Gemma and Anna, the SoulSisters, (have a look at their FaceBook page) have privileged us with their smiles and light work. Anna is a medium and her principal spirit guide is a scantily clad and fit young Native American. Whatever floats your boat, I say.
Sound and Vision
So on Jan 16th, during the month of the Fire Ox, by some reckoning the last kick of the year of the Earth Ox, by others the first kick of the vengeful Metal Tiger, I underwent emergency surgery for a ruptured appendix and some colourful complications. A fun time was had by all.
As a Dragon I’m always at risk from the Ox. One Ox means «small blockages», two, that in spades. And the Tiger never forgets. My Mother was a Tiger and my older brother. The Ox-Tiger cusp is a risky place. I’m supposed to foresee these things.
For three days I was on morphine. Don’t try this at home. Morphine is everything I’m not about. It is non-feeling, the withdrawal of withdrawals. What little I know about the human condition is that it appears to consist of lessons. God – and I mean every word of this – knows why. These lessons seem to come wrapped up in feelings. If we feel, we learn. If we learn, we may be blessed with uneventful lives. If we won’t learn we are likely to be presented with ever more dramatic challenges. In time if we don’t pay attention, the Universe, God, Spirit or whatever, sends the fire brigade. This is the tao. You don’t of course, have to agree.
Di-di-didit sings Levi Stubbs. I know, I know.
The degree to which we observe the tao is the degree to which we are content. The degree to which we act as if we know better, is the degree of our distress. And it’s no good hiding behind karma or God’s will. This is not a court order; it is pure choice. This is my Universe. I am responsible for it.
So in the Ox month of inflammation in the Ox year of blockages, I sent myself the fire brigade in the form of an inflamed blockage. Silly arse.
And if you can’t immediately see how 2009 was about blockage, ask Barack Obama.
While I was on morphine, hanging between worlds like an out-take from the X-Files, I saw stuff: vision, revelation, epiphany delusion, I leave that judgement to you. One man’s delusion is as good as the next so I’m going to tell you something about mine.
One was this: Feng Shui has come out of the experiments and speculation of a series of Chinese geniuses. Each of these geniuses however was working for a psychopathic despot who was as likely to deprive the diviner of a limb at a whim as reward him.
I saw this history going back into the beginning of time. I saw how feng shui like Western Science, is on one level a way to explain the world. A way to control.. These systems are a method of distracting us from the fact that we are each spinning alone in darkness on an imaginary ball of mud. Nothing much will be controlled.
The Emperors whose patronage fostered this stuff were to a man, ambitious, venal and er….short on empathy. Perhaps the victor ludorum in these pursuits was Qin Shi Huang Di who unified China in the 3rd Century BCE. He burned lots of books but he was a big time sponsor of feng shui. In the end he was poisoned by some infested gunk he had travelled to the Western Sea to take as a potion for immortality. Silly arse.
On the way home, in the summer heat, his body began to stink. His retainers, nervous of anarchy, told no one and marinated his body with spices. He had of course, before setting out, endowed the vast mausoleum outside Xian that houses the Terracotta Army. And he had tidily arranged his affairs so that the appropriate concubines and retainers were buried alive when the body came home. Not a man you’d invite back to your Auntie’s. Feng shui is tainted with these origins which places a responsibility upon those of us who know it for the most powerful healing tool there is. Healing covers a spectrum from the physical to performance enhancement and first and foremost I am a healer.
I once visited the tomb of a Ming prince in Central China with a feng shui Master. Seven concubines had been buried with this one. Apparently they were dead before burial.
“They die of grief,” the Master told me straightfaced.
The fact is that feng shui Masters down the centuries have pandered to monsters like Qin Shi Huang Di, keeping their heads down and doing a bit of research on the side. The principal occupation of the Chinese Master was bringing his patron more mistresses and a competitive edge.
While I was horizontal, studded with canulas and bewildered with opiates, it seemed in the haze that I saw Lord McCartney’s 1793 trade mission to the Qian Long Emperor. McCartney’s charge was at all costs to gain access to Chinese spices, silk and tea. He brought a proud selection of the products of the Industrial Revolution to trade: sugar, linen, engines, clocks precise to the micro-second. Qian Long was quite taken with the clocks but ultimately concluded that China did not need any Western tat. This was the Middle Kingdom – better translated as the Centre of the World – China had been the most advanced civilisation since the early centuries AD. The Chinese had been first with paper, gunpowder, archaeology, the compass, a professional Civil Service; you name it, the Chinese thought of it first. Qian Long’s Mandarin advisers however can not have failed to wonder how China could have fallen behind so drastically. The answers to that are long and contentious and include the fact that the sheer efficiency of the Ming and then Qing absolute monarchies tended to stifle invention. To this day the Chinese may make all our training shoes but they don’t design them.
Anyway the English had already encountered peoples from Samoa to Dublin who protested that their civilisations were different and superior. And to the English they were all ‘fuzzie-wuzzies’ who would succumb to bullets and discipline. The sun as they say, never set on the British Empire because no one would trust an Englishman in the dark.
So the English devised a scheme to flood China with addictive drugs. The outcome of this was that by the 1830’s some 1,400 tons of opium was getting into China each year. The cost to Chinese health, wealth and wellbeing is incalculable. There are as many monsters West as East.
In my own drug reverie I saw a Mandarin. He was an older man, cultured and accustomed to power. I knew he was Qing by his pigtail and moustache. He was aflame with a bitter anger as he considered the thousands of opium dens and the state that China had descended to. He compared the addicts created by the British with the Africans slaving in Jamaica, Barbados and the Southern States of the USA, the Magnificent Savage brought to his knees with whips and chains. “At least,” I heard him say, “The black man did not pay to become enslaved.”
There followed two Opium Wars with the British and a bitterness that lasts to this day. The Three Emperors Exhibition of artistic wonders of the Late Qing that visited Europe in 2007 was still echoing Qian Long’s point: we don’t need any of your Western tat. Only they did and do. The Chinese approach to progress had not worked. And the miracle that is modern China is built on Western technology. I’m not to blame for slavery or the Opium Wars but there is a karmic debt here. I am plugging into power that has not all been come by cleanly. Which means I must be super-clean, super-awake, super-benevolent.
I finish surveying the town house. Sometime during the survey I become aware that I have been here once before. It was in the Tiger year of 1962 for the only other major operation I have ever undergone. A part of me is here. Tonsils actually. When I get home my 15-year old son Joey tells me what he has been doing on his music production course. He’s been remixing “I heard it through the Grapevine. “
The drums were muddy so I took them out,” he tells me. Took them out! That’s Benny Benjamin. That’s like touching up the Sistine Chapel. I half-expect him to say that there’s this singer called Marvin something who’s a but whiney so he’s taken him out too. Di-di-didit sings Levi Stubbs.
©Richard Ashworth 2010
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