Big Squeeze

Richard Ashworth

Feng Shui Diary

for the month of the Water Dragon

Wednesday April 5th 2011 11.46


Day Month



Metal Water



gung yum



yan shun



Tiger Dragon


“Hi Richard, phew it’s been so busy! Finally getting chance to update you.

Relationship – Hardly had a cross word since you left! Candle activation in Tai Chi has certainly worked.

Business – you said we’d make contacts this year – and boy are we! Some incredible contacts coming on line from very well placed people– What a turn around. We’ve just placed our biggest order to date with our supplier.” Retainer Client, Warwickshire


Discover the Secrets of the Four Pillars of Destiny 2011/12

Afer a long inner armwrestle, Richard has decided to teach starter ba zi again this year. Ba zi of course is a life study. Discover the Secrets will set you on the road. By the end of it you will be able to draft fluently in Chinese – it’s not that tricky really – and begin to develop your own method of interpretation based on the insights passed down by Chinese Masters since the Tang Dynasty.

Here’s the link:

There’s a give-away price for booking during April


Big Squeeze.

It’s eight pm on a Friday night. I’m home and my oldest grandson Mr Gabriel (10) is recounting to me the back story while he plays Assassins’ Creed. This is a lengthy undertaking. I am watching the robed figures leaping and feinting and every now and then there is a whoosh as he presses something on the controller. He’s in year five now and every Friday night when he comes to stay I ask him what he has learned during the week and he has never given me an answer with 1% of the detail or enthusiasm he brings to this account. My youngest son Joey (16) is in the house. He’s in love but he is keeping his unspoken agreement to complete all computer games first and be there to bail Gabey out. Any time now Joey will need to rescue the assassin from the ledge of the 100 foot minaret upon which he is stuck. Meanwhile Mr Levi (5) has found something sharp to stick into things.

At this relatively unsociable hour Kate rings. She’s anxious. In their 40’s, she and Tim are about to be first time buyers. It’s a repo and she knows there’s no such thing as a free lunch. There must be something wrong with it. She’s right, there is.

Sometimes feng shui is mechanical and sometimes it’s not. The problem with this house is essentially straightforward. The door is in the wrong place. It’s hidden away in a nasty recess while the front is blocked with a fringe of conifers. The trees are four feet in front of a South-facing picture window. No psychic powers required to see this is nasty. Consulting the classics however reveals that this is precisely where the door ought to be. And in fact if you walk a few yards in either direction along this leafy Surrey street you’ll notice that all the neighbours’ doors are to the South. Two for whatever reason, are actually angled very close to the one I’ve calculated for Kate and Tim. No surprise that the previous incumbents went broke.

Kate has rung several times. As I say, she’s anxious. Tonight she wants to know if they can also put in a side door with utilities one side and cloakroom the other. I consult the map in my head while Mr Levi plays with the Star Wars Lego. Looks fine to me.

The map is the key. For any full survey I plot the permanent and temporary energies, the Flying Stars and the external markers onto the property, drafted as if it were a perfect rectangle so I can see where everything is but above all so I can see the overall pattern. In time I’ll identify rogue energy pockets, lamposts, stagnant water and things that stick out but the place to start is the map.

This house is what is known as fu mu san pan kua which to cut a long story short, promises sixty years of good fortune. As long as it’s a regularly-shaped building, once the door’s moved and the trees are down, it’ll be fine. Then we’ll deal with windchimes and knicknacks. Before that we’d be moving deckchairs on the Titanic.

Assassins’ Creed apparently concerns a warrior fulfilling the destiny of a long dead ancestor whose mission is keyed into his dna. The story starts in the Middle East and progresses to mediaeval Italy where real historical characters and genuine architectural features pop up. A cynic might call it far fetched. But I’m not a cynic. And Gabey now knows that Machiavelli might have been.

Mr Levi wants to watch Ice Age 3. This will be at least the fifth time.  Joey has saved Gabey’s assassin from the death of a thousand cuts now and Jessie is watching Model Agency. All’s right with the world.

As I dish out Sheila’s and my food supplements for the morning – Omega 3, B12, D, Ginseng and Acidophilus, since you asked – a new-build in Texas is on my mind. It’s going to be like Tara when it’s done. Again the key is the map. With a map you er… know where you are. There were very few choices as to where it faced because of the rugged Texas terrain. So I’ve made it he shih chu which means good health is assured and I’ve arranged for the crucial areas, office, dining, child’s bedroom to be in the best chi pockets. I’ve even arranged for connecting doors to enable an obscure ho tu trick.

The only major question mark remains the Master Bedroom which is inherently prosperous on this orientation but holds the 6:4 clash. In a he shih chu house this means Father makes money. But they have to get it precisely right. Oh and one other thing: I haven’t been to Texas since 1980.

Now the older kids are watching a recording of this week’s 10 o’clock Live. If you don’t know the programme, it’s political satire; something needed very badly in a country where both freedom of action and speech are related to bank balance. David Mitchell’s rants are so goodnatured and so on the button. Bless him. We’ve had to handle cross-gender heartbreak now that he’s an item with Victoria Coren.

And as I half-watch on the corner of the sofa, I’m thinking of another house I’ve just surveyed and a lady who’s due to tell her three little girls this weekend that Daddy’s going to be living somewhere else. With someone else. How do you do that? She sounded so composed and decent and considered as she told me. There were some tears but no flood. What I never take for granted is that she chose to share her tears with me, a complete stranger. When we cry we generally begin to heal but there’s no guarantee. We can’t rely on it.

Once I made a parachute jump. It seemed like a good idea at the time, drifting gently down through the clouds, watching the ground arrive. I spent a day training with 2 Paras in Aldershot, followed by a single jump. What I never visualised until I got to it was being 1500 feet up and having to let go without visible support. You just drop, count to 10 and then and only then, pull the ripcord. When we share our feelings we can not be sure the parachute will open. In that moment each of us is quite alone.

It’s a bright day and the garden looks fabulous with its tree house and trampoline and footballs. I adjust the energy of a room at the heart of the house and for an hour or so, she sleeps in an armchair like a child, the first time, I imagine that she’s done that for a while. She tells me she’s moved through her upset now. I doubt that but I take her at her word because it is the only respectful alternative. She asks me to return the following week, there is a lot of work to do. Later she emails to ask me not to. Sometimes I’m just too much, I guess.

Saturday morning: I’ve been stirring porridge (two cups) and folding in milk (five cups) for some while. Mr Levi wants «honey» on his. He means Golden Syrup in a squeezy bottle. Perhaps, I remind him, behind the US Constitution, The Book of Changes, fire and the wheel, but Golden Syrup in a squeezy bottle remains one of the great creations of the human mind. His nose is pretty much in the bowl and he’s too busy eating to pay much attention.

Getting into the Frame

Third and final ritual usable throughout the year: the South is about fame, promotion and getting noticed. This year however it holds the morbid 2 Star which you don’t want to encourage. On the other hand you can achieve a similar effect by pushing the better energy in the South East through to the South. Once again simply place a bowl of 30 small rose quartz tumblestones in the South East and take one through to the South every day. Each New Moon (next one: Tuesday May 3rd 07:51), wash (in springwater) the stones which will by now be largely in the South, return them to the South East and carry on. You can do this all year. You can also do it in miniature in each room. This is especially useful if you want to activate your office and/or you have an important room in a poor area like the East this year.

I’ve seen the future and it’s murder III. This time it’s personal.

The preamble to Comic Relief starts up on the Wood Ox day Friday March 11th, just as an earthquake at 8.8 on the Richter scale hits Japan and is followed by tidal waves. The Wood Ox has a habit of uniting people in an unselfish cause. It ruled the whole of 1985 and Jan 22nd 2009, the day Barack Obama took office. At this point in our evolution human beings appear to need opposition in order to express their highest qualities. The sooner we move on from this, the better.

Feng shui Masters have been predicting natural disasters this year for some time and many had focused on March because – if you follow this – the baleful 5 wu huang Star is in the East both for the month and the year. I tend to sit such prognostications out, prediction being so close to choice but it’s there in the numbers for sure

©Richard Ashworth 2011

email address:

Telephone: 01483428998

Names have been changed to protect..uh…me.

My website is still at and the first volume of  The Feng Shui Diaries is available from:

Amazon, Waterstones, or indeed Tescos. Do buy it from a bookshop if you can



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