Archive for the ‘2015’ Category

Rat Month Starts This Week: Here’s My Diary

December 9, 2015
The Earth Rat
My diary for the 11th month, 2015
(Dec 7th 20:01 to Jan 6th 2016 06:47 inclusive)            Fu
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            ———-
              The Return

                Hexagram 24
                “The transformation of the old becomes easy.

The Rat Month, Animal by Animal.
During this Earth Rat month:
The Rat may be unusually quiet.
The Ox may appear to hold the whiphand.
The Tiger may be busy preparing.
The Rabbit may feel unappreciative.
The Dragon regains strength.
The Snake could be overwhelmed.
The Horse may shy.
The Sheep may speak up for another.
The Monkey may risk gloating.
The Rooster may withdraw from competition.
The Dog may count blessings.
and
The Pig can breathe again.

Going Gentle into the Good Night.
What can men do against such relentless hate?” Boyens, Walsh and Jackson, The Lord of the Rings.

As I suggested last month and as you will have noticed, the descent of the qi into Winter has not been gentle. Only if you have been in a monastic retreat since October will you have failed to notice that the world is a perilous place right now.
And here comes an Earth Rat month; not generally a beast with much to say, this Rat’s natural eloquence is clogged by the sheer bulk of what needs to be said. All Rats, being yang Water, signal the time of slowing down into the Winter sloth, otherwise generally a good time for catching up. We are used to exchanging around a glowing fire tales of the year passed as we prepare for next. But an Earth Rat is a gagged Rat; there is a dearth of good stories to tell and a certain misgiving in the air. The fear is that the year’s drama is still not over.
What can we do about this? Well, paradox is sometimes called the route to wisdom and I think there’s a triple paradox here. Ram Dass used to say that some of us need to ascend and some of us need to learn our zip code. So first step is to get real if we live in la-la land or to recognise the fundamental illusion of life if we’re rooted in logic and the sensible. One way or another, we need to know what’s going on if we are to change it. Second step is to continue to breathe in golden light, forgive, send love and hug trees. This last is essential but if it were enough of itself we wouldn’t be in the mess we’re in. Next take responsibility – we get the politicians, gurus and giants of industry we deserve; most of the desecration of the Earth has happened in my lifetime, I wear leather shoes, I turn on lightbulbs I am part of the problem. Then from this responsible position oppose: oppose callousness, greed and easy heartlessness. Resist excessive diagnosis and the analysis that grinds to nothingness. And above all oppose small-mindedness and meanness of spirit. When in doubt love. I know you do. Hope this helps though. These are dark times.

Where to do what, when and why.
The North has been the chief relationship and wealth area of the year and now the place of future planning. The Rat of the North is the great plotter; join him and dream your future here now. Face and locate this way – especially East Group people – for even greater inspiration and output. No more Water now but plants – and brightly lit Christmas trees – are fine.

Rat Pillars; know your Rat rating.
Birth in the Rat hour (23:00pm-01:00pm): wily kids.
Birth in the Rat month (December*): work involving discussion.
Birth on the Rat day#: natural articulacy.
Birth in the Rat year: a tradition of involvement.
* Caution, the Chinese month generally starts and finishes a few days after ours.
# Just ask.

Ba Zi Training starts the weekend of 16th & 17th January 2016 : http://www.imperialfengshui.info/courses.

Tune-Up for 2016
Richard is available again for the first few weeks of the year to tune your home or business up for 2016, the Fire Monkey, a year of turbulence. sheilaashworthfengshui@gmail.com

Richard Ashworth© 2015

Authentic Chinese Feng Shui: A Journey through Time and Space

August 26, 2015

Authentic Chinese Feng Shui: A Journey through Time and Space
Whatever you may have read, traditional Imperial Feng Shui is a fusion of intuition and deep study. And at its heart is a small number of powerful symbols. Once mastered, these symbols can be employed to change lives. At the College of Psychic Studies in September, Richard Ashworth, one of the most in demand feng shui men in the Western world, will be revealing what he knows of the deeper meanings and use of these symbols.
Bring your intuition, bring your mind, bring a friend.

Richard will be talking at the College of Psychic Studies on Tuesday 8 September 7:00pm – 8:30pm and running a workshop on Saturday 19 September 10:00am – 5:00pm

Richard Ashworth © 2015
www.imperialfengshui.info

For details on Richard’s Courses go to:
http://www.imperialfengshui.info/courses

Wood Monkey: What to expect for the month from August 7th 2015

August 3, 2015

The (7th) month of the Wood Monkey 2015.

(August 7th 18:30pm to Sept 8th 08:10 inclusive)

Pi

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—-  —-

—  —-

Stop

Hexagram 12

 Monkey Month, Animal by Animal.

During this Wood Monkey month:

The Rat may feel supported when outspoken.

The Ox may experience relief, r’n’r, respite.

The Tiger may see opposition.

The Rabbit may be waiting.

The Dragon may gain real confidence.

The Snake may take two steps forward and one back.

The Horse may feel overlooked.

The Sheep may feel disappointed.

The Monkey may be spoiled for choice.

The Rooster is impatient.

The Dog is the source.

and

The Pig sidesteps.

 Who’s a higher primate, then? Wood Monkey month in Wood Sheep year. The Monkey is tricky and the Wood Monkey one of the trickier ones; as you can see, the Chinese characters afor Yang Wood, and Ifor shen the Monkey, are almost indistinguishable. They have however opposite meanings. Ithe Monkey is Metal; agap or chia (yang Wood) is er….Wood. These two Elements enjoy what is called a clash or kun-choi relationship, ie they don’t get on. Furthermore the Monkey lives South West and gap to the East, so they are from very different backgrounds. Wood stands for something like feeling and is ever-expanding, the Monkey is logical and essentially inward-looking – hence “See no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil.” When these two apparently similar characters appear as a pair (or pillar), they are often interpreted as” make your mind up.” And this month they’re bound together at the ankles. Make your mind up about what? Military action perhaps. What does the gan zhi cycle tell us? The last Sheep year (2003) took British Forces in the teeth of huge opposition, into Iraq. The last Wood Sheep propelled Anthony Eden into Downing Street and those same forces into Suez. Both ill-advised adventures. Time for a different choice perhaps. The environment maybe? The UK alone in the European Community now allows neo-nicotinoids to be spread on our fields. Such Monsanto minefields have been proven to decimate bee populations and bees don’t get to choose whether we’re in or out of the EU. These hard-working families don’t claim benefits either. Similarly, subsidies for green conversions such as solar panels have been jettisoned as luxuries during the process of wealth being re-distributed to the wealthy. Early in 2017 by my reckoning the current 8th Fate Cycle gives way to the 9th. The departing Fate has been distinguished by the tension between acquisition and spirituality. The incoming one promises to focus on global warming (9 being the number of pure Fire) and of right-brain, intuitive or yin (that is feminine, non-linear) thinking. If where we are now is where logic gets us, it can’t come too soon. Below is one way through at least. Where to do what, when and why. The North West, the place of the Father is helpful again this month. The 9 Star landing there is apt to bring the right kind of attention. If you’re especially ambitious or looking for preferment, sit to the NW, face NW or employ a North Western door. If you can’t do any of this stuff (or anyway) place a few plants here – four of these will tend to empower a woman, especially if they’re beautiful and delicate. Generally the patriarchal quality of North West favours the male. This btw is traditional feng shui not casual sexism. And do let me know. The Monkey Month in the Sheep Year. The Monkey is nothing if not playful; (s)he’s no team player which makes Monkeys especially outspoken under the conforming pressure of a Sheep year. The Monkey is the stand-up of the Chinese Zodiac and August can be a month of ironies. Remember the Sheep year 1991 when, just as Russia was beginning to play the game, Gorbachev was ousted? And August of 2007 when Paribas stopped trading bonds precipitating a domino run that took Northern Rock down weeks later followed by most of the banking system? And August 1914 when some trivial local stuff in the Balkans turned nasty? The Monkey is opposed by the Tiger. Like Shere Khan in the Jungle Book, the mighty Tiger is not always appreciative of levity. Nor is the Pig much amused. The irreverent Monkey threatens the domestic peace of the sty and the Sheep – who chooses sides when neutrality might be smarter – is on the side of the Pig. Not so wise. You might say er… rasher than usual this year. The Rat finds the Monkey’s lightness helpful in a year when lines are being drawn as does the Dragon who has had his hands full arbitrating between Ox and Dog all year, with a peak of turbulence in the Sheep month just gone. And the Monkey is mates of course with the Snake, the seeker after truth; which means he or she may experiment with all sorts of alternatives first. All of which makes for disorder. Oops. Expect then a month of turbulence and rebellion, when small children refuse their greens and Greeks their humble pie. Expect civil disobedience from Calais to Calcutta and outrage in the House. Remember that the corresponding Sheep year in the early 18th century brought the First Highland uprising. Just like the Scots to get stroppy when everyone’s looking the other way. Sheep Pillars; know your Sheep rating. Birth in the Monkey hour (15:00pm-17:00pm): irreverent children. Birth in the Monkey month (August*): destined for a career in sales. Birth on the Monkey day#: not so keen to commit early. Birth in the Monkey year: a long line of ingenuity. * Caution, the Chinese month generally starts and finishes a few days after ours. # Just ask. Also coming up:

Traditional Chinese Feng Shui: a journey through time and space.
Evening Talk and Day Workshop. In September at the College of Psychic Studies I’ll be teaching the place of intuition in classical feng shui; the evening talk (Tues 8th September) will be followed by a one-day crash course (Sat 19th September).
Also: here’s a link to visionary astrologer Lorna Bevan’s take on this month. Apocalyptic. In a good way. The Astrology of 2015 – Postcards From The Edge
Offer Announcement:  Both my Feng Shui & Ba Zi courses are mutually complementary (ie if you attend one, you may want to attend both). So if you book and pay for both by the 7th August 2015, instead of £3000, you pay only £2000. If this sounds like your sort of thing, now’s the time to let us know. To discuss your suitability or indeed mine, please email me at richardashworthfengshui@gmail.com or call the office on 01483 428998.

Richard Ashworth©, on the day of the four Sheep, 2015. www.imperialfengshui.info

Courses Offer July 2015

July 31, 2015

“Bless you. You’ve saved my life, Richard, literally and figuratively. I’m getting so much more than feng shui from studying with you.”
Nancy, Tennessee.

Learning feng shui and Chinese Astrology one-to-one via Skype.
Nancy’s in Tennessee. When we first offered Skype, I had no idea how much teaching that way was actually going to teach me. Of course it meant we can fit in with the individual’s own schedule; we can link up whether you’re in Singapore, Berlin or London. Or Tennessee. And within limits we can make sessions longer or shorter and more or less frequent.

What I hadn’t realised was how this would open us up to students of greater or lesser accomplishment: this year I have taught beginners straight off the street as well as professionals and enthusiasts. Some people need more visual material, some more examples; some flourish one-to-one while some wither in classes and so on. It’s been a whole education

Which has led us to offer starter feng shui and ba zi courses both live and one-to-one by Skype on schedules (within reason) to suit you.

Offer Announcement: These courses are mutually complementary (ie if you attend one, you may want to attend both). So if you book and pay for both by the 7th August 2015, instead of £3000, you pay only £2000.
If this sounds like your sort of thing, now’s the time to let us know.
To discuss your suitability or indeed mine, please email me at richardashworthfengshui@gmail.com or call the office on 01483 428998.

1. Discover the Secrets of ba zi, the Four Pillars of Destiny.

“Great to see you and very annoying at the same time: it’s almost unbearable to be seen for what I really am.”
Alice, Surbiton.

One reason I teach ba zi, the feng shui of the person (often misleadingly known as the Chinese Horoscope) before teaching houses and spaces, is that knowledge of the person’s likely choices, opportunities, destiny and nature, is integral to dealing with their environment.

We are all making decisions all the time; some trivial, some vital, some conscious, some so fast we are hard-pressed to identify them. Some lead to triumph and some to heartbreak. What if we were to locate these moments of decision and re-examine them? How life-changing might that be?

Ba zi is of course a lifetime study but upon successful completion of Discover the Secrets, you will know how to pinpoint these moments as well as the meaning, implications and relationships of the Stems and Branches (or Animals) be able to draft ba zi in Chinese characters (it’s not actually that hard) and have everything you need to start to interpret. You may want then to apply for our mentoring programme.

Discover the Secrets of the Four Pillars
Standard course: 16 Sessions of one hour                     £1500
http://www.imperialfengshui.info/courses
Additional catch-up, mentoring and group sessions are available.

2. The Wind that Stops at the Water.

“All is well here and C. has moved back in. My prayers were answered! The NW bit worked!  She has been lovely ever since and I think the episode has made her appreciate her home. Thanks so much for all your help.”
Karen. Surrey.

Authentic Chinese feng shui consists broadly of two strands. Sam yuen (or “Mystery of the Void”) involves the Trigrams from the Book of Changes (or Yi). Under this heading come the commonly used Flying Star and Eight House methods and much more. Mastery of these models allows us to adapt and optimise the energy (or qi) within buildings.

The other strand is called sam he (that is “Three Harmony”) and essentially concerns the relationships between the Chinese Zodiac Animals. This mirrors the principles of ba zi and leads to the life-enhancing methods of yang gong, which is used in the design of the Water Dragons employed in South East Asia to attract health, wealth and wisdom.

On this course we will study the origins of feng shui in the Book of Changes followed by the theory and practice of Flying Star, Eight House and other authentic Chinese methods as well as a brief introduction to Xuan Kong Da Gua, Imperial Heaven Stars and Yang Gong methods and also exploring the use and validity of non-traditional approaches.

Learn the real thing this year.

The Wind that Stops at the Water
Standard course: 16 Sessions of one hour             £1500
http://www.imperialfengshui.info/the-wind-that-stops-at-the-water
Additional catch-up, mentoring and group sessions are available

Offer Announcement: These courses are mutually complementary (ie if you attend one, you may want to attend both). So if you book and pay for both by the 7th August 2015, instead of £3000, you pay only £2000.
If this sounds like your sort of thing, now’s the time to let us know.
To discuss your suitability or indeed mine, please email me at richardashworthfengshui@gmail.com or call the office on 01483 428998.

Also coming up:

A rapid introduction to Chinese Astrology.
On the evening of Tuesday the 8th September, I’m talking to the College of Psychic Studies in London (www.collegeofpsychicstudies.co.uk) about the place of intuition in classical feng shui: This will be followed by a one-day workshop on the Saturday 19th September: The ba zi: a map of our most likely mistakes, which will be something of a crash course. You may find this especially useful if you know very little about the subject and would like to know more. We’re telegraphing it now because the opening module of my next Feng Shui Starter Course The Wind that Stops at the Water, is the weekend in-between (12th/13th September) and you might use the talk as an introduction.

Richard Ashworth©, the day of the four Sheep, 2015.
www.imperialfengshui.com

Sheep Diary, what to expect from July 7th 2015

July 8, 2015

Sheep Diary: the month of the Water Sheep (6th) 2015.
(July 7th 18:30 to August 7th 18:30pm inclusive)

Dun
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Retreat
Hexagram 33

Sheep Month, Animal by Animal.

During this Water Sheep month:
The Rat may speak on another’s behalf.
The Ox may be directly opposed.
The Tiger may see opportunity.
The Rabbit may find an ally.
The Dragon may find purpose.
The Snake may have things to let go.
The Horse may expand his retinue.
The Sheep may join in protest.
The Monkey’s timing is poor.
The Rooster is out of place.
The Dog is in the thick of it.
and
The Pig offers help.

I used to be in an origami group but it folded.

The Sheep is a team-player. However Confucius’ gloss on the month Hexagram (Dun above) in his Commentaries on the Book of Changes is that the “the superior person keeps inferior persons at a distance, with dignity but without ill will.” By “superior person” is meant the sincere and humble seeker after the middle way, the so called jun tze.

The typical Sheep however will join any group that asks nicely. Sometimes this is not appropriate. As a general rule we need to choose associations that support us and/or our objectives. As they say (actually as I say) if you armwrestle with pygmies you’re going to end up on your knees. In short this month is about discernment rather than being up ourselves.

Which may make it timely to point out that feng shui comes to us down two main lines of descent: one from the proto-Taoists who gave the years, months and hours names countless years ago; the other from the diviners of the Zhou Dynasty and their antecedents who named the yin and the yang and developed these two simple ideas into the Yi (that is the Book of Changes or I Ching).

It’s not actually going too far to state that feng shui procedures, cures, corrections or formulae not derived from one or other of these traditions are not really feng shui at all. This is not to say that Chinese Masters do not use other types of intervention – they do – or that three-toed toads and qi lins don’t work, but that strictly calculations not based either in the relationships between the Celestial Animals (Rat, Ox, Horse etc) or the Trigrams (three line figures) of the Yi are essentially folk lore.

Now you know.

Where to do what, when and why.

The South East receives the blessing of the 8 this month. All year that sector has held the 2 Star of increase and expansion. The 2 is a double-edged portent because increase means not only acquisition and hence growth but also growths of various kinds including weight gain. However combined with the benevolent 8, most diviners would expect the expansions to be the sort most of us are looking for; of acquaintance and family, hopes, dreams and facilities. So for this kind of augmentation this month, perhaps place a Water fountain at the Dragon (that is SE1 or ESE) which throughout 2015 also holds the helpful Fortune Virtue Star (which speaks for itself) – or load that area up with plants. Colourful blooms look so great this time of year.
You’ll tend to gain some of this advantage by simply making regular commotion in this part of your building, by occupying it or by facing South East. This last applies particularly to those with an Eastern kua. If you don’t know what that is, do ask. Oh and if you have a South Eastern door, use it.

The Sheep in the Sheep Month in the Sheep Year.

The Sheep is both a team player and an idealist. Which generally means (s)he is all about cooperation. Perversely however, a surfeit of Sheep like this month actually brings something like the reverse.

So Greece has by a 61% majority dug in its heels against the financial powers that be. You might expect the key note of a double Sheep time like now to be obedience. It is. But expressed as its opposite. This is yin and yang; the next stage after the total yang of fruit on the tree is the shedding of autumn leaves.

Central to cooperation is mutual attentiveness. Again these are Sheep qualities. It appears that the half of Europe considers the Greeks ouzo-drinking, tax-dodging wastrels and the rest think of the Germans as humourless work addicts. These are careless stereotypes. What is true though is that austerity has been debunked by major economists such as Paul Krugman, Jeffrey Sachs, Thomas Piketty and Joseph Stiglitz. Christine Lagarde of the IMF has criticised its application in the UK while enforcing it elsewhere. All of this will come home er….to roost by 2017.

The Greeks know there’s something wrong with the logic they’ve been presented with. And they have voted for an ideal: a return to prosperity that doesn’t involve further loss. Perhaps the rest of Europe needs to consider the referendum in this light.

And the Sheep is also a joiner. (S)he lives for clubs, peer groups and communities like the EU. Germany is the anchor of this last community and by insisting on a solution that all member nations endorse, is also reflecting the Sheep.

So a rock and a hard place? Or a chance for compromise and mutual understanding? The Sheep stands for both. The Monkey month that follows however is a more mischievous creature altogether. As is the Monkey year of 2016.

Sheep Pillars; know your Sheep rating.

Birth in the Sheep hour (13:00am-15:00pm): biddable children.
Birth in the Sheep month (July*): educated in large classes.
Birth on the Sheep day#: guardian of family.
Birth in the Sheep year: tolerant to a fault.
* Caution, the Chinese month generally starts and finishes a few days after ours.
# Just ask.

Traditional Chinese Feng Shui: a journey through time and space..
Evening Talk and Day Workshop.
In September at the College of Psychic Studies I’ll be teaching the place of intuition in classical feng shui; how we can know what’s right and what’s wrong about a person or place and what to do about it. This last is harder btw.
The evening talk (Tues 8th September) will be followed by a one-day crash course (Sat 19th September). You may find these events especially useful if you know little about the subject and would like a rapid introduction in depth.
Learn feng shui with me in 2015/6
We’re telegraphing these events now because the opening module of my next Feng Shui Starter Course The Wind that Stops at the Water, falls on the weekend in-between (12th/13th September) and you might use these events as an introduction. It’s open to experts, sceptics and civilians alike. Do join us.
Tuesday 8th September (evening) & Saturday 19th September (all day) at the College of Psychic Studies:(www.collegeofpsychicstudies.co.uk)
Richard Ashworth, on the first day of the month of the Sheep, 2015 ©.

www.imperialfengshui.info

Horse Diary: What to expect in June 2015

June 5, 2015

June 2015: Horse Diary, the month of the Water Horse.

Horse Month opens: June 6th 08:20 am.

Kou

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—-  —-

Coming to Meet.

Hexagram 44 

Mid Summer Murmers.

Generally Horses seek the light; it is the nature of the Horse to crave attention. This quality of yang Fire, first identified thousands of years ago by the observers whose conclusions gave rise to Taoism, coincides cyclically with the high noon Sun, mid-Summer and the South. Naturally at this time of year we spend more time outside, we are more physical, more prominent, more mobile. The quest of the leaf for the sunlight, the stretching of the trees of the forest for its canopy, this is the Horse. And all of these qualities attach to the Horse month.

It’s a time of clear vision also. Following the what-you-see-is not-what-you-get of the Metal Snake month, we can now see what we actually have got: a world somewhat in chaos, precarious peace in half-a-dozen flash points and the environment upon which everything depends, possibly itself under sentence of death. Incidentally we have a parliament that is hung, drawn and quartered.

What to do with this? The time of the Horse is the time of spontaneity of action and of passion; doesn’t sound very British but then that union is itself under threat. If your inclination is to action, now is the time. This may mean risking confrontation. If you’re drawn on the other hand to contemplation, this may not be the moment. That time will come.

Where to do what, when and why.

In terms of the classical feng shui model, action, activism and general bringing-it-on-ness is identified with the number 3 whose home is in the East. It’s at the heart of this year’s lo shu (or magic square) which means it’s ever-present. This month the volatile East receives the blessing of the 8. Which means it has a following wind. East is yang Wood which is ever-expanding, always bursting new bounds, youthful and contentious.

If this is what you want, seek the East. That is to say, sleep in the East of your building, face East as you go about your business, place your pillow Eastwards* and place Water and/or plants in this location. Even better if you are of the East Group; if you’re not sure what that is, just ask.

Either way, let’s be responsible for what we oppose.

*er…and put your head on it.

The Horse in the Horse Month.

The outgoing nature of the Horse can show up as reckless or attention-seeking behavior in a young, inexperienced or dim Horse. By contrast, the wiser Horse may not show his hand. You may have learned to hold back. So next time you spy someone dancing on tables, there’s a decent chance it’s a young Horse (born 2002, 1990 or possibly 1978). And as for you, if you are drawn to clubbing but hold back from display, you may well be one of the sager Horses of 1966, 1954 or even 1942. This is yin and yang.

And as you might expect, the Horse has ego, This may be more true of someone born on a Horse day*. Which may highlight the difference between yin and yang Fire. Yang is on the face of it stronger and more certain. Yin can be less obviously secure but harder working. For this and other reasons, a person born on either Horse day or year suffers what is known as the “self-clash” ie Horses may not play well together. A Horse-Horse marriage is a spiky thing indeed.

Throughout 2015 the Horse will tend to be turbo-powered by your friend the Sheep. Sometimes you may even find yourself acknowledged for someone else’s good deeds. Ron Burgundy in “Anchor Man” is that kind of Horse; with what Will Ferrell calls “unearned confidence”. There are one or two in politics and banking. And show business. And feng shui.

The Horse is fond of the Sheep of course – as long as he knows his place – and can work with the Dog and Tiger. Each of these three is by nature a hunter but prepared to cooperate with the others at least until the deal is done. These animals have had to learn the business of win-win which doesn’t naturally make much sense to them; what is the point of competition without a winner? The answer of course is that there is competition for excellence and there is winning at all costs. In one the world is enriched, in the other winning may not raise standards but lower them.

To complete the picture, the Horse finds the average Rat depressing – she’s just too articulate – and the Rat’s sidekick the Ox even more so. If he notices them. They are reasonable in a way that the Horse has little patience with. And why not. Sometimes, he figures, life is too short for caution.

* you’ll need a Chinese Calendar to ascertain this.

Horse Month, Animal by Animal.

During this Water Horse month:

The Rat may feel ignored.

The Ox may be overlooked.

The Tiger may be unusually cooperative.

The Rabbit may be stretched even further.

The Dragon may lie low.

The Snake may take a back seat.

The Horse may attract both attention and competition.

The Sheep may serve.

The Monkey could roll over.

The Rooster holds back.

The Dog insists upon a fair share.

and

The Pig may take a step back.

Horse Pillars: know your Horse rating.

Birth in the Horse hour (11:00am-13:00pm): extroverted kids.

Birth in the Horse month (June*): suited to work in promotion.

Birth on the Horse day#: spontaneous to the point of haste.

Birth in the Horse year: outgoing family background.

* Caution, the Chinese month generally starts and finishes a few days after ours.

# Just ask.

Traditional Chinese Feng Shui: a journey through time and space.

Evening Talk and Day Workshop.

We can calculate and learn but sometimes we just know. The Chinese characters used in feng shui – principally the Animals – somehow contain such knowledge and can in a sense, talk to us if we will pay careful attention. In September at the College of Psychic Studies I’ll be teaching the place of intuition in classical feng shui; how we can know what’s right and what’s wrong about a person or place and what to do about it. This last is harder btw.

The evening talk (Tuesday 8th September) will be followed by a one-day crash course (Saturday 19th September). You may find these events especially useful if you know little about the subject and would like a rapid introduction in depth.

We’re telegraphing them now because the opening module of my next Feng Shui Starter Course The Wind that Stops at the Water, falls on the weekend in-between (12th/13th September) and you might use these events as an introduction.

Open to experts, aficionados and civilians. Do join us.

Tuesday 8th September (evening) & Saturday 19th September (all day)

at the College of Psychic Studies: (www.collegeofpsychicstudies.co.uk)

Richard Ashworth©, late in the month of the Snake 2015.

www.imperialfengshui.info

April 2015: Dragon Diary, the nature of the Golden Dragon

April 7, 2015

April 2015: DragonDiary, the nature of the Golden Dragon

Dragon Month opens: April 5th 10:58am

The Golden Dragon.

You are the smell before rain, you are the blood in my veins.

Brand New: “The Boy who blocked his own shot”.

TS Eliot called April a cruel month, I remind my grandson Mr Levi as I read him “Mr McCavity” from Old Possums Book of Practical Cats. Mr Levi is not a big man for “serious” poetry. That’ll come. He’s actually more interested in how, according to Michael Rosen, Bob Marley likes his doughnuts.* But I bang on in any case.

April is the time of sudden change. The Dragon is the creature of thunder. The rumble that accompanies the clouds shedding their burden is the sound of the Dragon. It’s kind of orgasmic. Which by the way is a pretty orthodox way to talk about feng shui. There’s no force on Earth more powerful than sexual energy. It’s what drives the salmon upstream and the lemming to the cliff. Master Chan Kun Wah, back when I studied with him, was forever referring to “willy qi”. The Chinese character for thunder is a Dragon under a rain cloud.

This month’s Dragon is a Metal one. The Metal Dragon has a certain rancour, a certain bitterness. Often it falls to the Metal Dragon to state the difficult truth that no one else will raise. If you can remember that far back, this month is like 1976.  Already the weather – with a heat wave promised this week – is mimicking the long hot summer of that year. This Dragon like that one, ushers in major rapid change – personal, public, cultural, financial, you name it. Whether we call this positive or negative is simply a question of viewpoint.

Historically the feng shui man’s job was to place the building in the appropriate location relative to the lung mei, that is the veins of the Dragon. For this reason he was retained by Emperors, Princes and latterly captains of industry. More recently the feng shui person has taken on the job of placing the Dragon relative to the dwelling. To put it simply, the task has become largely one of compensating for poor architecture, poor orientation and poor positioning. Which is not always possible. When the Dragon is ignored or obscured it can be hard to restore balance.

* wi jam in.

Take the City of London, financial hub of the world – with more US banks than any US city and nearly half of the world’s arbitrage – which was placed on an East-West grid by its Roman founders. Because the Sun travels on exactly that trajectory, the buildings of the so-called “Square Mile” have been sharing sunlight among themselves for close to two thousand years. Its younger rival, Wall Street in New York is different; set in the North-South grid of Manhattan Island, each successive high rise obscures its neighbours. These days Wall Street is in almost perpetual dusk. It’s chilly there even at noon on a Summer’s day.

But in recent years, the orientation of the City has become distorted; the massive new buildings – Swiss Re (the Gherkin), the Shard, the SpongeBob and the rest of them are broadly South of the ancient city and they spread the dark as they compete for space. Almost all have grown up since financial services were de-restricted in 1986. Almost all are home to banks, IT or dependent activities. Perhaps consider these metaphors as the thunder rumbles.

Where to do what, when and why.

In April the Flying Stars that colour the pockets of energy at each compass point, double up. This is to say whatever happens in any location this year happens in spades this month. Favoured areas are doubly favoured and vice-versa. So once again, the North, the principal location of wealth, is the place to work on. I suggest an indoor Water fountain all month. Try it, you’ll like it.

The Dragon in the Dragon Month.

Egotistical, capricious and wilful, the Dragon (1940, 1952, 1964, 1976, 1988, 2000) is a handful. Even the most diplomatic one fails to see how pleasing himself doesn’t necessarily suit everybody else. The Dragon is yang Earth – immovable until she feels like shifting. Topical Dragons include Putin and Farage; nuff said. When they shift so does everybody else. Which can be pretty irritating.

The Dragon can be wary of the Sheep. He’s a loner and the Sheep is joiner, convenor and all round clubgoer. But in the Sheep year the Dragon is needed in a big way as the solution to bust-ups known as the “Bullying Punishment” which bring Sheep and Dog stand-off and Ox heartbreak. If there’s an unloosable knot, call the Dragon to untie it, however mortifying that may be.

The Rooster understands the Dragon and will contain him at a price. Rats and Monkeys find themselves unable to complete business sans Dragon which can lead to resentment. And the worst to have around a Dragon is other Dragons. They will fight. Ego stuff. The Dog thinks the Dragon is up himself and the Dragon thinks the Dog is dim. The Tiger thinks the Dragon goes on a bit. All in all Dragons are unlikely to win popularity contests but often triumph anyway and the unruffled way they deal with success reveals an unexpected grace.

The Dragon’s like that.

Dragon Month, Animal by Animal.

During this Metal Dragonmonth:

The Rat may resist success.

The Ox may miss the sell-by date.

The Tiger may miss the point.

The Rabbit may prosper.

The Dragon may bridle.

The Snake may fawn.

The Horsemay be above it all.

The Sheep avoids despair.

The Monkey gets stuff done.

The Rooster distracts.

The Dog may be frustrated.

and

The Pig may tread water.

Dragon Pillars;know your Dragon Rating.

Birth in the Dragon hour (07:00am-09:00am): weird kids.

Birth in the Dragon month (April*): suited to work in trouble-shooting.

Birth on the Dragon day#: chaotic but magical

Birth in the Dragon year: charismatic parents.

* Caution, the Chinese month generally starts and finishes a few days after ours.

# Just ask.

Also coming up:

Feng Shui of the Cityscape.

My student, architect Manuela Madeddu is addressing the Feng Shui Society Conference on Saturday 9th May (www.fengshuisociety.org.uk) Her speciality is urban quality (broadly feng shui applied to cities) and her passion is contagious. My friend lovable Mexican Victor Garza is talking too and he’s always good value.

A rapid introduction to Chinese astrology.

On the evening of Tuesday the 8th September, I’m talking to the College of Psychic Studies in London (www.collegeofpsychicstudies.co.uk) about the place of intuition in classical feng shui: This will be followed by a one-day workshop on the Saturday 19th September: The ba zi: a map of our most likely mistakes, which will be something of a crash course. You may find this especially useful if you know very little about the subject and would like to know more. We’re telegraphing it now because the opening module of my next Feng Shui Starter Course The Wind that Stops at the Water, is the weekend inbetween (12th/13th September) and you might use the talk as an introduction.

Richard Ashworth©, late in the month of the Rabbit, 2015.

www.imperialfengshui.info

Darkness at Noon. Total Solar Eclipse 9:33 am Friday 20th March.

March 19, 2015

Darkness at Noon.

Total Solar Eclipse 9:33 am Friday 20th March.

Poles, Soul and Sockets

The ancient Chinese word for “eclipse” also means “regret”, I tell my daughter Jessie as I drive her to Homebase in Walthamstow. That in itself might be reason enough to stay indoors next Friday. To the Chinese diviner, going back to Dong Gong in the Yuan Dynasty, the eclipse is always a warning.

We are moving her room around to respect the energy of the new Sheep year and right now we’re in pursuit of a pole that we can cut to fit her wardrobe so as to hang her clothes. The measuring has been tricky and I’m no handy man. As well as positioning the pole so that someone under five feet tall doesn’t get lost in there, we have to leave space underneath for her shoes. It was Jessie who once told me “When you’re tired of shoes, you’re tired of living.” That btw suggests that several of my A-list clients are especially hungry for life.

In the shop we faff between a metal pole that calls for a new bracket and one that looks marginally too thick. In any case I’m not confident we can cut the metal. As we debate, a tall Afro-Caribbean man in Homebase livery walks by. Jessie tells him our problem. He is quiet and at first I mistake his silence for disinterest or incomprehension. Then he gestures confidently for us to follow him. We are led to the land of wooden poles; it’s like a little forest. Deftly he fits a pole to the bracket we have brought. Then he asks Jessie whether she has a lot of clothes. Does the Dalai Lama like red? Is Edward Snowdens’ phone number unlisted? Babatunde smiles and takes us to broom handles.

“In Nigeria'” he tells us, “We say if a thing has no mouth to speak, it can not outwit you.” The broom handles are significantly stronger and precisely the correct gauge. We all shake hands and we head for the checkout. Babatunde is beaming. So is Jessie.

“What an amazing man,” she says.

In the car, I’m back on topic:

“Consider how remarkable it is that a small celestial body which is relatively close should appear just about identical in size to a vast one millions of miles further away. Only this fluke makes an eclipse possible. It’s enough to make a person religious.”

“Remarkable indeed,” says Jessie as we stop for a cup of tea. “I promise to stay indoors.”

In the teashop, the sound system is playing the Motown classic “How Sweet it is (to be loved by you)” by Junior Walker and the All Stars. On vinyl; which is different, a deeper warmer sound. Digital is some programmer’s decision, vinyl what actually happened in the studio. The record still sounds so fresh and full of life. That fabulously throaty sax is like a voice hoarse with song. You can almost hear Junior spit. Funny how back in the seventies when some people thought Emerson Lake and Palmer were important, that so many of us dismissed this life-affirming music as disposable. The young guy serving invites me to select the next record as we leave. I go for “Reggae Got Soul” by Toots and the Maytals. Somewhere in the multiverse I was Toots’ bass player.

Well, Well, Well.

By some calculations, Friday’s eclipse falls under the sign of The Well which relates to the care of natural resources. Confucius refers to the bucket which is dropped into the well and the rope which secures it. You don’t, as William Bell wrote, miss your water till your well run dry.

Arriving back, Henni Jessie’s twin is agonising over an email from a respected young auteur who wants their immediate attention. The fact is that they’re busy close to 24/7 writing films to order till September. Where do they fit him in? Eventually she sends a sweet response letting him know that they may have a window at the end of April. If I received that, I think, the sweetness itself might be enough.

We rearrange Jessie’s bedroom so that her head points North West (which suits her West Life kua, based on her date of birth) and I put up a shelf where we are satisfied it poses no threat. It’s actually as important that her head is not to the South West (which in 2015 is poisonous to all) as that she sleeps to support relationship – which is what North West does for her. Jessie knows that feng shui is a very personalised thing; she was my best student before she got successful.

Right now they’re turning two novels into screenplays, in-between the treatments for tv shows and calls from their agent(s) here and in the USA. They’re a whole cottage industry. When they were tots, they’d wrangle for hours over the motivations of their soft toys. Now it’s the characters in their movies.

Solar eclipses visible in the UK, like the one due on March 20th, are quite unusual. The last as it happens was August 1999. It started mid-morning. I remember the strange chill; not night but not day either, a palpable not-rightness about it. Jess and Hen were very young then. I didn’t know how to read the portents at the timebut my teacher Derek Walters, correctly predicted bridges collapsing on the Danube and the Bosphorus. This was because the darkest shadow of the eclipse fell over Eastern Europe and Eurasia and was ruled by the Mansion of the Moon known as “Bird” which relates to crossings, fences, borders, bridges and transitions.

Astronomers had calculated that Cornwall was the only part of the UK that would experience complete dark. In anticipation of that, every trader in Cornwall prepared for a bonanza.Which never came. On the other hand a generation later the Cornish peninsula has become the go-to county for the second homes of the helicopter class. The Bird, as I say rules transitions as well as crossing and bridges.

Partial and Total Occlusion.

Watching my daughters gently handling deals and the complexity of plot and character, I remember someone writing that the reason men fear women as bosses is that it would be the same only in skirts. Such a misunderstanding. That’s not yin power; that’s yang in drag. Two pintsize dynamos churning out world class movie scripts is yin power.

Chinese diviners treat the path of the darkness – as Derek did – as an indication of its meaning. This Friday’s eclipse starting many thousands of miles East, follows some interesting divides. It tracks the Southern perimeter of Norway, cuts off Scotland at Hadrian’s Wall and includes all of Ireland, along the way taking in the Ukraine in its entirety. The line of least darkness within the shadow appears to stop at the Straits of Hormuz, so as to contain all of the Middle Eastern war zone but stopping short of the UAE and Saudi Arabia. As it happens, the 20th March falls on a Wood Sheep day, the same qi as the year. Which indicates a lasting effect. What would Dong Gong make of this?

Once I think, we were all in touch with the rhythms of the Earth. But at some point, perhaps six thousand years ago, the consensus seems to have emerged that any number of women who could feel one eclipse at a time were of lesser value than one man with a formula that could predict a thousand such events. And the world changed. And perhaps it hasn’t changed back. The inevitable vulnerability of constantly-pregnant women gave the world to men, calculation and record-keeping. The first king was also the first priest as well as the first banker, the first general and the first conman, I think. These are truly the oldest professions; it was the brazen proposition of the gilded and oiled priest-king that he should be allocated the prettiest virgins, the best meats and the tastiest wines in return for ensuring that spring would continue to follow winter and that buds would return to the trees. And celestial events such as eclipses could be predicted with certainty. From this computers, fibre-optics, nuclear fission, money markets, war and extinctions.

A Room of Ones Own.

Next we fix Henrietta’s room. No bodged carpentry required. All I have to do is re-orient her head away from South West. No hanging space to make, not so many shoes to allow for. But her bed is pretty bloody heavy. She and Jessie live together and write together but they’re very different women.

I finish up. We’ve re-organised every room. We aim to do this every year. Henrietta mentions a script we had talked of collaborating on, based on an idea I worked on some time ago.

“The production company just didn’t get it,” she says. They wanted cliche villains and plot that would make the world a sadder and more frightened place. Jess and Hen just don’t do that.

Right now World War 3 could break out in any of half-a-dozen regions. The forces of Onan (look it up) threaten creatures from the vaquita (or miniature dolphin) in Baja California to the orangutan in Indonesia. Last week the Democratic Republic of the Congo announced plans to open one of the Mountain Gorilla’s last habitats to oil exploration.  But there is still choice.

We can hold back the forces that have filled the oceans with plastic. I shop at Sainsbury’s; some of those bags must be mine. Perhaps we can even clean up our act soon enough to keep climate change down to a liveable 2° Centigrade. The odds aren’t looking good but it may be that gentleness, the yin, can return to its place of power, if we will let it.

Babatunde said: “If a thing has no mouth to speak, it can not outwit you.”

Whether we are smart enough to outwit ourselves is the question. I remind myself that the Moon – only a few thousand miles across and as close as the width of a dozen worlds – can blot out the Sun. I don’t know why it matters but it does.

Richard Ashworth © 2015.

www.imperialfengshui.info

Rabbit Diary: overview of March 2015

March 6, 2015

Rabbit over the Moon

Rabbit Month opens: March 6th 05:56am.

Rabbit over the Moon

Spring is springing up all around us. The days are longer, the light is brighter, new birds chirrup the day into life each morning. This energy of stirring is called Wood. As of 5.50 on the morning of the 6th March we enter the yin Wood of the Rabbit month. The Wood is gentler and in less of a hurry than the yang Wood of the Tiger month but equally insistent. Summer is just around the corner.

In Chinese culture the Rabbit is often associated with the Moon. This may be because of the folk tale of the beautiful Cheng’e – a kind of Chinese Helen of Troy – who found herself marooned on the Moon with only the Jade Rabbit for company. Or it may be due to something even older and more mysterious.

Be that as it may, in ancient China pregnant women were denied rabbit meat for fear of giving birth to a child with a hare lip. What is perhaps interesting (and ancient) about that is the term “hare” lip. How does such a disfigurement resemble either hares or rabbits so closely that the idea would develop in regions close to 10,000 miles apart? Go figure. 

Eclipsed

This particular Rabbit month is dominated by two eclipses; one total and solar on the 20th of March and a lesser lunar one on the 5th April. Generally eclipses are indicators of tricky times to come and although Chinese diviners have made a whole art of their interpretation, the traditional blanket advice is simply to stay indoors. Staring at the penumbra can of course damage the eyes in any case.

An eclipse that falls on a Wood Sheep day during a Wood Sheep year as the first of these does, is implying an outcome that will hang over the whole year. One that is accompanied by the Hexagram Well signifies issues to do with the conservation of resources. The so-called Officer of the day is Stable which implies an unchanging condition and the other indicator Neck (as in “getting it in the..”) is no more promising.

There’s more about this on the News page of my website but for now my advice is to simply stay out of its way – if only to preserve your eyesight.

Where to do what, when and why.

One of the things I have picked up visiting South East Asia is how much feng shui Masters disagree. As they say about solicitors: if you consult three, you get four different opinions.

One thing they all agree on this year though is that the North is the principal location of wealth. And this month, the yearly 8 Star generally reckoned benevolent whenever and wherever it appears – is joined by the 9 of forward planning. The toe far Romance Star is here too. Toe far is selective however, only favouring certain Animals depending on where it falls. In the North it indicates company for Rabbit, Sheep and Pig. Wealth is not so picky though. So having at least a small bowl of Water in the North from the 21st March to the 5th April may prove shrewd. For either outcome, some authorities suggest additionally some sand, crystals or a swathe of yellow.

The Rabbit in the Rabbit Month.

In contrast to the Tiger, the Rabbit (1951, 1963, 1975, 1987, 1999, 2011) is generally reckoned to be sensitive, home loving, a diplomat and a networker. Where the Tiger is yang Wood – thrusting towards the Sun like the tree trunks of the rainforest, the Rabbit is yin; like grass, petals, leaves. It is as the Book of Changes has it, the breeze, “gentle and thorough but ultimately adamant.” These are the qualities to expect in a Rabbit month; a low-key insistence and constant movement, in contrast perhaps to the rush of February. This soft insistence is especially effective as the Sheep of the year is a booster of the Rabbit. Diplomacy sounds like the best approach.

Since last month I referenced Victoria Beckham as an archetypical Tiger, it’s interesting note that her husband David is a Rabbit. David appears to be one of those people that arrive once in a generation, issued with some sort of free ticket; a man with whom nobody appears to have an issue. As we discussed last month, Victoria has something to do with that but David’s apparently guileless affability is typically Rabbit. This man knows how to get on with people.

The Rabbit month is the peak of the Spring, the coming-to-life of the New Year. And the Rabbit is nothing if not optimistic. He always knows there is better to come. Yin Wood, like yang Wood expands. But softly; the days are gently getting longer and the temperature rising, not long till Summer.

The Rabbit is subtle, she is the entertainer; not in the sense that he can’t keep from dancing on tables like the Horse or testing his allure like the Rooster, but that he sees that everyone at the party has a drink and is talking to someone sympathetic. She is the best hostess and the best networker. If you want to be networked upwards, ask a Rabbit. Her iPhone is priceless.

The Rabbit’s contacts will include many Sheep with whom they share a yin Wood docility and Pigs who are just as home-loving. Surprisingly perhaps many Rabbits are tight with Dogs which perhaps underlines their gift for diplomacy. The Rabbit is said to bring penury to the Dragon; perhaps that’s why the beginning of the tax year falls on April 5th, the day the Rabbit month becomes the Dragon. This year btw the Dragon calls the shots.

The shameless Rooster tends to press the average Rabbit’s buttons (but you might never know) and the Rat may not always appreciate her. In 2015 the Year of Gathering, the Rabbit advances in gentle, gradual leaps and bounds. For many this is the month of leaps and bounds; Rabbits, Pigs and Sheep at the front of the queue. Caution: Dragons and Roosters.

Rabbit Month, Animal by Animal.

During this Earth Rabbit month:

The Rat may not offer appreciation readily.

The Ox could feel isolated.

The Tiger tends to the anti-climactic.

The Rabbit hops to it.

The Dragon may throw caution to the winds. Best not to.

The Snake is past the crisis.

The Horsemay be especially inappropriate.

The Sheep is central.

The Monkey is peripheral.

The Rooster may err through restlessness.

The Dog may be tamed.

and

The Pig is busy.

Rabbit Pillars; know your Rabbit rating.

Birth in the Rabbit hour (05:00pm-07:00am): settled retirement.

Birth in the Rabbit month (March*): work in reception, pr, hr. Not er.

Birth on the Rabbit day#: the most considerate.

Birth in the Rabbit year: contact list to die for.

* Caution, the Chinese month generally starts and finishes a few days after ours.

# Just ask.

The Body Map Rap

I studied the Book of Changes for several years with master acupuncturist Peter Firebrace – which was a unique learning experience. He is also a songwriter and a bit of a wag, as you may discover in ‘Body Map Race’ 

Richard Ashworth©, late in the month of the Tiger, 2015.

www.imperialfengshui.info

Imperial Feng Shui – what’s happening

February 26, 2015

Imperial Feng Shui – what’s happening

Urban Quality: feng shui on the streets.

Over the weekend of May 9th/10th  Manuela Madeddu will be addressing the 9th Feng Shui Society Conference in London. Manuela is a gifted architect who brings something very fresh to the proceedings; her obsession is urban quality; that is the design of the spaces we share. Manuela is a senior student of mine and a member of my Padowan mentoring programme. I recommend you attend. Also my good friend Victor Garza, the only Mexican I know resident in Central China, is talking. He’s always entertaining and enlightening. We will be there in support too. And if you’re considering studying with me you can ask Manuela in person what you might be letting yourself in for.

In your own time: learn feng shui & ba zi via Skype.

And if you were thinking of feng shui study, you might like also to know the following:

“Bless you. You’ve saved my life, Richard, literally and figuratively. I’m getting so much more than feng shui from working with you. And, I sing your praises for that, literally and figuratively.”
Nancy C.

Nancy’s in Tennessee, a place known for singing, as it happens. When we first offered Skype, I had no idea how much I would learn. Of course now we can fit in with your schedule; we can link up whether you’re in Singapore, Berlin or London. Or Tennessee. And within limits we can make sessions longer or shorter and more or less frequent.   What I hadn’t realised was how this would open us up to students of greater or lesser accomplishment: this year I have taught total beginners straight off the street as well as professionals and others whose skill lay between the two. Some people need more visual material, some more; some flourish one-to-one and some wither in classes and so on. It’s been a whole education. Not least for me.

Announcement: My ba zi (Chinese Astrology) and feng shui  courses are mutually complementary (ie if you attend one in person or via Skype, you may well want to attend both). If you book and pay now for both courses, instead of £3000 for the two, you pay only £2000. If this sounds like your sort of thing, now’s the time to let us know.  If you’d like to discuss your suitability or indeed mine, please email me at richardashworthfengshui@gmail.com or call the office on 01483 428998

 

Tune Up Kits for 2015, the Wood Sheep, Year of Gathering.

In Singapore there are feng shui Masters everywhere. And every year the energy changes; actually the distribution of qi is changing every second but the annual change is long-lasting enough to give each year a whole new identity.  So most Novembers I go to South East Asia to find out what they’re expecting of the New Year. I didn’t do it this time. Consequently all my Animal Forecasts and my Overview of the Year were done from first principles. And because every year is different, the locations and orientations of our desks, beds, offices and streets mean very different things. Sometimes a Western door is especially helpful, sometimes working in the North East will support expansion and so on.  Which is by way of letting you know that my Tune Up Kit for 2015 which tells you what to do where and why is now available. It costs £50 or £100 with a one-hour Skype call and comes with unlimited email back up. Email becci@imperialfengshui.info if you want a pack. It’s a big word, unlimited, so compassion, please.

www.imperialfengshui.info

Richard Ashworth © 2015