Feng Shui Diary
for the month of the Metal Tiger
Friday February 4th 2011 12.32
“Richard (Following last week’s dawn Activation) I just thought I’d let you know that our xxxxxxx Nursery has joined the 4% of outstanding childcare provisions in the country! “
Old zip kun.
It feels like spring. It’s been in the air about a week now; that feeling that there is a solution to every problem. The days get longer, the light brightens, the plants need water and all is right with the world. Welcome to lap chun, the beginning of Spring.
My friend Howard Choy defines feng shui as doing the right thing in the right place at the right time. It’s a dynamic process. The only constant in the world is change; things need to be done. And finally, nearly six years on, starting as instructed on the Remove Day 23rd January, David has chopped down the two conifers blocking the South West. For all those years the trees have made it close to impossible to walk past the house at that point and in that time two big relationships have gone sour
What does it mean to block the South West? Well, the South West is the place of kun, the Mother, whose number is two. Presumably she knows a bit about relationship. Indeed many Western practitioners (none of them Classical feng shui Masters) call the South West the relationship area. The fact is that sometimes it is and it isn’t. This year it pretty much is.
Feng shui is a system of metaphors. The two conifers have been blocking the exit from a large conservatory extension to the kitchen. There’s a door there but it’s pretty hard to get out that way. Exit from the kitchen blocked for the Mother; what would you make of that? Two women clearly interpreted it as an intolerable trap.
This doesn’t mean David’s daft by the way. This is a smart, decent reasonable man. He’s reluctant just like the rest of us, to take radical action if he can possibly avoid it. The reason that I’m embarrassing him now is that last week his new love, a reflexologist and reiki healer, walked in the front door and said: “What have you done here? This has become a place to live rather than visit.” He proposes, she accepts. Cue Mendelsohn and confetti.
Everyone is a lot more than their year animal. The ba zi actually consists of at least four: one for the hour, one for the day and one for the month as well as the familar year pillar. In my Animal Fortunes this year I show you how to identify all but the day animal (because it’s too complicated) in order to obtain a much more rounded view of what the year may hold. Master Zhongxian Wu’s (excellent) book The 12 Chinese Animals I notice, employs a similar method.
Books, God, Fathers
Last month Sheila and I attended the launch of a new book, The Business you were born to create by my friend Nick Williams. Nick is an author, inspirational speaker, mentor and all round good egg I have known 20 years. He used to co-run Alternatives in Piccadilly and he’s perhaps the sweetest man I know. Helen, his paramour, places several copies of the book in my hand and we arrange for me to visit and do their feng shui Tune-Up for 2011. Historically Nick was a bit of a feng shui agnostic but he appears to have turned. Bless him.
Nick’s first book The Work you were born to do was a big seller. His idea is that we must do what our hearts tell us, at work as at play. If we get paid for our work rather than working in order to get paid, we get to be happy too. He has always been a really good ad for this.
“He’s even taken responsibility for refilling his own water feature,” Helen tells me proudly. She is rightly pleased with the atmosphere she has created in this basement room in Great Portland Street. Lots of reds and whites, warm and constructive. You’d never suspect the mayhem in the adjacent rooms. Learn more about him at : http://www.inspired-entrepreneur.com/
We catch up with old friends and then brave the snow home.
Next morning I have a session of soul work with Lena. Soul work is where I go very deeply into someone’s ba zi to bring about radical change. The change can be anything from overcoming ezcema to making a marriage work.
Lena is at the end of her tether; she’s broke, working three jobs, not sleeping and her love life’s in tatters. She’s a Fire Sheep. The Fire Sheep is the idealist of the Chinese Zodiac but this one is the disappointed or Lonely Sheep. Such a Sheep can tolerate almost any social group that represents family and will always do what she believes she is supposed to do. The Fire Sheep can die for duty.
She tells me about her father, yin Earth to her yin Water. Metaphorically this means that the Earth smothers the Water with tasks. He loved her, she tells me, but not the way he ought to have done.
How’s that exactly?
“He wanted a boy,” she says and she tells me about life growing up in Tito’s Yugoslavia: lots of hard work, not a barrel of laughs. Both parents working demanding jobs and lots expected of little Lena.
We look at her Big Fate, the moment a child arrives. It’s a calculation from the month Animal and describes a moment that is always psychologically important, sometimes but not always traumatic. It’s the moment when we know we are separate from our parents, that we have our own life to live. It’s a moment of choice, in some ways the choice that defines our life. For some it’s early which implies birth trauma, for some as late as age 10. What’s as important is the Animal that rules the Big Fate. Hers is an Earth Rooster which suggests hurry and the unconsciousnes that comes with it..
“He abandoned me in a gym,” she says, her face colouring. «He went home without me. My Mum said : «Where’s Lena?»»
She cries. She is so tired. It’s taken three appointments to get her here just the once.
“It’s very unusual for a single event to change a life. Such a moment usually marks a point in a process that started earlier and finishes much later.”
She closes her eyes and tears falls sob-free down her cheek.
The Big Fate consists of periods of 10 years influenced by a particular Animal which is then is replaced by another and 10 years later by another in a fixed order throughout a life.
Her father had been working. Of course he had and so has Lena, all the hours of the day and night. She is so tired.
The flag can not fight against the flagpole, Chuck Spezzano used to say. The degree to which our parents were not alright is the degree to which we aren’t. If they were rubbish parents, we are rubbish children. And guess what? We don’t have to make this choice.
The ba zi is a map of our most likely mistakes. Nothing is set in stone. It shows the junctions where we chose turnings. If we made a poor choice, we can choose again. We choose for our parents for instance, to be alright and we get to be alright too.
Over work is one of the most visible forms of imbalance. It tends to mean we believe we are on our own and that nobody cares about us. In short it’s a pretty poor idea. These complaints usually reflect a wood/fire imbalance but basically they are wilful. We don’t have to suffer. Everyone is in bliss or sulking pretty much all of the time; all of us and there’s no need. The best part, my Dad used to say, of banging your head against a brick wall is stopping.
When she gets home, she says, she has several hours of emailing to do and before that she must get some technical advice so as to get the bugs out of her computer. This makes my stomach lurch; Lord, how I hate knowing anything about my own computer! After that she expects to fall asleep at the vdu.
1967, the year of the Fire Sheep was the year of the summer of love. The following year, 1968, was the year of assassinations: Martin Luther King, Bobby Kennedy, Governor Sharples of Bermuda were all gunned down. It was the year Russian tanks shattered the Prague Spring and the violence of the Paris street barricades, when the violence in Vietnam escalated, leaving a generation in the shadow of the draft and the 60’s dream of peace and love dead. The Fire Sheep was born to be disappointed. But beyond disappointment there’s always another chance. The Universe never says give up, only pay attention.
There are affairs of the heart to deal with, not that she’s had much time for them. There’s a list of people who depend on her as long as your arm (the list not the people) Everything about her that can hurt, does hurt.
I tell her not to turn the computer on at all this evening but to get some sleep and when she wakes, to sit up and breathe and listen to the universe before she joins it. I also recommend she takes a walk in the park opposite.
“The sun will rise without you to see it gets it right.”
She is amused but unconvinced.
“Just ten minutes?”
She nods but I doubt that her inner voices will allow her much peace beyond that. She does not have to choose this disappointment.
As she leaves I say: “Tonight open yourself to your father’s gifts: the ones he gave you, not the ones you think he should have given. As you do so, you may find the doors to success and prosperity open just a crack. That’s what Fathers do.”
It’s also what God or Higher Mind or Spirit or whatever does. God’s a good word because to the unconscious there’s not much difference between God and Father. Ask Richard Dawkins or Christopher Hitchens.
I give her a copy of Nick’s book. She drives off. I return to my office.
Next morning brings another bright spring day. I receive two emails early: one from a multi-millionaire complaining that he doesn’t want a statue in his garden and one from Lena. She has slept soundly, ignoring the mountain of tasks. Bless her; she may be happy yet.
The BBC Housebusters tv show has been on again this month. It seems a long time ago but I think it remains the only time Classical feng shui has been highlighted on UK primetime terrestrial tv. If you missed it you can see a short sequence on Youtube and indeed we’ll send you a free dvd of my greatest hits if you email me.
The central feng shui trick to this year is pushing energy through from the sound healthy areas to the less fortunate ones. Those for whom I have performed a Tune-Up for 2011 know to push through the energy from the North East to the East which holds the unpleasant wu huang 5 Yellow Star this year. This ho tu procedure can be done very simply by placing a bowl of 30 small rose quartz tumblestones in the North East and taking one every day through to the East. At the New Moon, wash (in springwater) the stones which will by now all be in the East, return them to the North East and carry on. More next month.
I’ve seen the future and it’s murder
Following all that new agey stuff last month, I thought you might want some proper predictions. I saw trouble in Jordan (though not Egypt or Tunisia) in my Year Predictions. This was simply because if there is a tai chi to the world, many experts place it at the Great Pyramid. In a 7 year, this puts Egypt and the Gulf of Arabia right on top of the mischief especially in a 1 month like this when foundations (that is regimes and statues of dictators) topple. Islamist trouble follows. Oh proper predictions? Tottenham for the League because 2011 is the same Metal Tiger as that in which they first won under the great Walter Winterbottom whose revitalisating programme started in the Earth Ox year 1949 just as Harry Redknapp’s did in the Earth Ox year 2009. Oh and an Indian cricket team full of underperforming (because ageing) legends loses badly to England.
Not interested in cricket or football? There goes my demographic. Perhaps I’ll have something for you next month. Meanwhile keep a song in your heart, a smile on your lips and a spring in your onion.
©Richard Ashworth 2011
email address: email@example.com.
Names have been changed to protect..uh…me.