Archive for the ‘Ba Zi’ Category

2018: The Year of the Mutt

September 14, 2017

Sheila here with some information for you all.

The Year of the Mutt.
Richard’s Forecast Day for 2018, the Year of the Earth Dog.
December 2nd 2017 in Godalming, Surrey from 10am until 5pm.
Venue to be confirmed.

With world leaders recklessly squaring up to each other and waiting for the other to swerve, 2017 may have been not so much the Year of the Rooster as the Year of Chicken. And so the Earth Dog 2018 may be the Year of the Muttat its worst the kind of dog that tugs on its lead with no idea of where it wants to go once it’s pulled loose.

This may be the running theme of 2018 in your home, your office and internationally. Best consider now how to deal with it.

And 2018 is ruled by the 9 Star of Fire. Which changes all sorts of things. Among others it focuses on the fair treatment of women. And on reversing climate change.

Dragons will be challenged, as will Roosters – not necessarily a bad thing – as you know no one grows strong without a challenge – a South East door will look particularly shrewd and a North-Western sleeping position or a North-facing house not so much. Rabbits are favoured by the Dog Year by the way as well as Tigers, Horses and the Dog itself. And much more.

This is a really popular event and places are limited. Last year we sold out so email me please to book soon.
Repeated via Zoom, 3rd Dec, 3pm – 9pm. Very limited places.
Early Bird £100 (£105 via Paypal) till 1st Dec, £125 on the door.

Richard has two one-to-one places open for Skype/Zoom tuition 
in ba zi and feng shui from mid October. These courses comprise 16 one hour sessions, one to one (for now at least) with Richard. He usually starts by teaching ba zi followed by feng shui. After completing both you may be invited to join his mentoring programme. There is currently a special offer, please email me for details.

I hope we’ll hear from you soon.
Sheila
sheilaashworthfengshui@gmail.com

My Diary for the Month of the Earth Rooster

September 8, 2017
Reading the Waking Dream.
My diary for the month of the Earth Rooster
(19:46pm 7th September to 11:47am 8th October 2017 inclusive)
in the Year of the Fire Rooster.

Kuan
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—-  —-
—-  —-
—-  —-
The Watchtower
Hexagram 20

The Rooster Month
Animal by Animal
During this Earth Rooster Month,
The Rat doesn’t quite have enough,
The Ox persists,
The Tiger dodges and weaves,
The Rabbit keeps faith anyway,
The Dragon rises,
The Snake is back,
The Horse competes,
The Sheep is wary,
Some moments may pass the Monkey by,
The Rooster’s comfort zone contracts,
The Dog sticks to it,
and
The Pig presses advantage home.

1 month concerns communication, hazards and unforeseen dangers.
Most helpful location: South-East.
Favoured Animals: Snake, Ox, Dragon,
Especially challenged one way or another: Rooster, Rabbit and Dog.
The Hexagram (above): a watching brief.

The Year of the Mutt: You & the World in 2018,
A Day of forecast with Richard Ashworth
Godalming Saturday December 2nd 
Where to do what, when and why this month.
Summary: Where’s it’s all happening.
South East, Determination: Year Star: 9 Dragon Virtue, Month Star: 9.
Best place again, as it will be next month also. SE doors favoured as well as that part of the building (and of the world btw). Specially helpful to kuas (ask) 1,3,4 and 9. Rooster will tend to find assistance here. Use that SE door! East Group – sleep with head East.
Month Solution: plants, bright light.
Annual Enhancement: Four bamboo stems) and/or Water fountain.

One to avoid; where not to be this month.
Summary: Where not to go to avoid unnecessary obstruction.
South, Bright Future: Year Star: wu huang, Month Star: 5.
is always tricky, two of them even more so; accidents, loss and illness loom. Best steer clear. If you can’t, a t’ang lung should lighten things up a tad. Harshest for kuas 2, 6, 7 and 8. Only an expert can tap the wu huang reliably.
Month Enhancement: Metal obects, 6 Pipe Metal Windchime, music box.
Annual Solution: t’ang lung.

East and West Groups: Everybody falls into either the East or the West Group by virtue of their birth date. The calculation is simple but if you do want to know where you belong, email me at richardashworth@imperialfengshui.info.
Readers Digest version: East Group people best face East, South, South-East and North and/or in buildings and beds backing onto these directions. West Group vice-versa. Sorry it’s fiddly, I’m not making this stuff up.

Know your inner beast. How Rooster are you?
Birth in the Rooster Hour (5-7pm)~: smart children.
Birth on the Rooster Day#: picky especially in relationship.
Birth in the Rooster Month (September)*: vocation: maths or music.
Birth in the Rooster Year: appearances matter (sometimes most)
~ GMT. # You’ll need a Chinese calendar for this. * Caution: Chinese months start later
Reading the Waking Dream.
“Constancy in the developmental, impeccable Way is only brought to fruition by correction.”
Liu I-Ming
This month you learn to read the future. If you can’t do it already of course.

As I write I’m due – connection permitting – to Skype with a student on an island in the Gulf of Mexico, off the West coast of Florida, whose home is awaiting its third battering in as many weeks. Bless her. These huge winds – tai feng – are getting harsher and more frequent. And yet we don’t seem too clever in predicting them.. As Nate Silver points in his book “The Signal and The Noise”, it’s a weather forecast, not a weather prediction. Perhaps climate change is a Chinese hoax after all.

Maybe the gan zhi cycle can help: today Friday the 8th September 2017, the Animal of the day is an Earth Dog, like next year 2018. The energy or qi is the same; the same nature, taste or feel. As I sometimes point out in my morning Tweets, this gives us a chance to consider the future. And because the year and day follow the same cycle, then right now (around 2pm) represents July 2018, the double hour 4-6 (Summertime not GMT) August and so on every two hours until midnight, when the Earth Pig day begins, which of course foreshadows 2019. And so on. If you pay close attention to the feel of the moment, the music that’s just out of earshot, snatches of conversation, the shapes of cloud or flame, you may just get a hint. And what is suggested already is that the hurricane seasons of 2018/9 will be punishing indeed.

This is broadly how Chinese diviners have forecast the future for thousands of years. Generations of patient observers noticed that the daily cycle reproduces the annual: the dawn of the year is February (the month of the Tiger) and the Spring of the day falls between three and five in the morning (the hour of the Tiger). That’s a double hour of course and there are twelve of them as there are twelve months, one for each Animal. China had a twenty-four hour clock centuries before the West. Tidy.

Like almost everybody else who owns Dr Stephen Hawking’s book A Brief History of Time, I haven’t read it. What I have learned about time however is that in a sense everything that has ever happened is still happening and that all that is yet to be is already with us. Destiny as the Book of Changes puts it, is derived from character.

Perhaps ponder that a moment. And as the day passes, you might note what happens, what stands out, what is unusual and what routine. Who are you with? What are you doing? How does it feel? What’s the weather like? If you’re in the Bahamas this last won’t be hard. Nor will it be encouraging.

“But I’ve missed it!” you may be protesting, it’s Friday evening, Saturday midday or even God forbid, Sunday already. Relax, this is a 60-day cycle. There’ll be another Earth Dog along in 60 days. That’s the 7th November. And before that the 6th November is a Fire Rooster like the entirety of 2017.

Perhaps look at that date the other way round, as a recap. What went right? What not-so right? What’s to be learned? Which right turn should have been a left? Which words that came out of our mouths would we change now? What seeds that we planted then are now full-grown?

Try not to be too literal about it; life is made up of metaphors, dream images if you will, and the work of the diviner is to observe and read the waking dream. Watch for the unusual and the out-of-left field. And learn. If as Dr Chuck Spezzano used to say, life is a dream, it’s a pity to have a nightmare.

And if life is for anything, it appears to be for learning. God knows why that would be so – and I mean that pretty literally – and I’m suspicious of anyone else who claims that they do know. But if it is for learning it’s useful sometimes to get an idea of where we’ve got to so far. An awareness of poor decisions along with the humility to know when we cocked up, is very powerful. As is celebrating what went right and what we did that made a positive difference. Many of us rush past the chance to celebrate, often we simply brush away painful memory. Feel it; it’s a part of you now.

As for 2018, the Year of the Earth Dog, expect the tone of Brexit negotiations to change drastically, Putin to intervene in Korea and Spurs to do better in Europe than at home. Dragons will be challenged – not necessarily a bad thing – as will Roosters, who may have been put under pressure recently, a South East door will look particularly shrewd and a North-Western sleeping position not so much.

As it happens right now I’m considering 2018 in preparation for my Forecast Day on Saturday December 2nd in Godalming.  How will that year be for you and the world?

With world leaders recklessly squaring up to each other and waiting for the other to swerve, 2017 may have been not so much the Year of the Rooster as the Year of Chicken. And 2018 may be the Year of the Mutt. Watch for the Dragon to intervene. The Earth Dog is 100% reliable but also restless. And 2018 is ruled by the 9 Star of Fire. Which changes all sorts of things. Among others it focuses on the fair treatment of women. And on reversing climate change.

If you look at today as a fore-shadowing, you may see more. Rabbits are favoured by the Dog Year by the way as well as Tigers, Horses and the Dog itself. What else do you see? The Dragon and Rooster will be challenged and as you know, no one grows strong without challenge.

And on December 3rd we can compare notes. See you then.
Richard Ashworth © 2017

December 2nd 2017: Forecast Day for 2018, Year of the Earth Dog
Godalming 10am to 5pm Venue to be confirmed.

The cost is as follows:
Early Bird £100 till 1st December, then £125 on the door.
Last year we sold out so please book soon.
To book your place please email: sheilaashworthfengshui@gmail.com

Subscriptions (and further info)Sheila@imperialfengshui.info

Richard Ashworth is among the most respected Western Feng Shui Masters. He has worked from the Lebanon to Bermuda and with stars such as Kelly Hoppen and Gillian Anderson and unusually for a Western Master, has addressed the Grand Masters at the International Feng Shui Conference in Singapore. His day job remains “walking round people’s spaces being enigmatic”.

And here’s the (Western Astrological) take of the very perceptive Lorna Bevan: 
5D Astrology Report September 2017 – Sky Fall Free Fall

Richard Ashworth©
www.imperialfengshui.info

Watch Twitter (@FengShuiDiaries) LinkedIn or like my FaceBook page for further developments. Best not to be my FaceBook friend if you want to avoid rants, cute micropigs and photos of my grandchildren

Richard’s Monkey Diary for August 2017

August 1, 2017
A dark mirror.
My diary for the month of the Earth Monkey
(15:27 7th August to 19:46pm 7th September inclusive)
in the Year of the Fire Rooster. 

Pi
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—-  —-
—-  —-
Standstill
Hexagram 12

The Monkey Month
Animal by Animal
During this Earth Monkey Month,
The Rat kicks off,
The Ox is between stools,
The Tiger plans ahead. But not far,
The Rabbit cares for the home,
The Dragon awakens,
The Snake stirs,
The Horse doesn’t,
The Sheep looks back,
The Wise Monkey is ready,
The Rooster’s patience is stretched,
The Dog hangs back,
and
The Pig rests. His case.

A 2 month concerns relationship, accumulation joining and minor illness.
Most helpful locations: East, South-East.
Favoured AnimalsMonkey, Rat, Dragon, Snake.
Especially challenged one way or anotherTiger and Pig.

Animal Fortunes for the Rooster year remain on the website all year:
2017: Year of the Turkey. Now may be the time.
Follow Twitter (@FengShuiDiaries) or like my FaceBook page for further developments (links below). Best not to be my FaceBook friend if you want to avoid rants, cute micropigs and photos of my grandchildren

Where to do what, when and why this month.
Summary: Where’s it’s all happening.
South East, Determination: Year Star: 9 Dragon Virtue, Month Star: 1.
This is where communication happens during the Monkey month. There is a rare clarity here. Dragon Virtue supports the good reputation of kuas 1 3 4 and 9 as well as certain Monkeys, Rats, Snakes, Roosters and Oxen. All year this is the place to be noticed in a positive way; both achievement and recognition continue to fall to those of us in South East facing houses and/or located SE. And romance is more favoured than ever. Convene, discuss, plot but above all communicate here this month. The 1/perfect 10 combination suggests extended time here will break through long standing career and recognition barriers.
Month Solution: plants, bright light.
Annual Enhancement: Four Plants (eg bamboo stems) and/or a Water fountain.

One to avoid; where not to be this month.
Summary: Where to go to avoid own goals.
North East, Wealth Star: Year Star: 4 gip sat, Month Star: 5.
5 is the power that resists being harnessed; usually best not to try. Keep the NE quiet till September. West Group kuas (8,6,7,2) are less affected and some Rats and Pigs but Monkeys and Sheep should steer clear and this is no place for a Tiger at the moment. Only delay is likely to follow lurking here, facing this way or repeated use of North Eastern doors. Keep the plants here but turn off the lights. No wild parties.
Month Enhancement: Six Pipe Metal Windchime, music box.
Annual Enhancement: Fire, (eg bright light). Four Plants (eg bamboos in Water).
Annual Solution: t’ang lung.

East and West Groups: Everybody falls into East or West Group by way of their birth date. The calculation is simple. To know where you belong, email me.

Readers Digest version: East Group people best face East, South, South-East and North and/or in buildings and beds backing onto these directions. West Group vice-versa. Sorry it’s fiddly, I’m not making this stuff up.

Know your inner beast. How Monkey are you?
Birth in the Monkey Hour (3-5pm)~: clever, playful children.
Birth on the Monkey Day#: bitter humour.
Birth during the Monkey Month (August)*: stand-up or techie.
Birth in the Monkey Year: brought up with some pedantry
~ GMT. # You’ll need a Chinese calendar for this. * Caution: Chinese months start later

A Dark Mirror: the London skyline.
“In order to find our place in the infinity of being, we must be able both to separate and unite.”
The Book of Changes.
On Thursday 28th August 2013, sunlight reflected from the so-called Walkie-Talkie on Fenchurch Street melted the trim of a Jaguar parked opposite on Eastcheap. The Sun’s rays did something similar to tiles and a doormat the following October and more recently bicycles, carpets and doors. I don’t know whether Uraguayan architect Rafael Vinoly subscribed to the notion that form follows function but if so the London Fire Brigade seem to be the principal beneficiaries.
Fenchurch Street is in the heart of the City of London, for the time being the banking centre of Europe if not the world; there are more American banks in London than any other city. The financial district pretty much occupies the streets of Roman Londinium, running East-West parallel to the River Thames. Because the Sun travels East to West, this is a nice fair orientation that distributes sunshine equally.
Although the Romans were actually developing an existing Celtic settlement (dedicated as it happens to Lug the God of Light) the City is the oldest part of London. Bishopsgate marks its historical Eastern extreme and Moorgate the Western. You can even today – equipped with a key you can request from the Museum of London – descend under the pavement a few yards from the Bank of England and inspect remnants of the original wall, still marked with ash from the sacking of the City by Budicca in 61 AD. And from Roman times onwards, the East-West Streets – London Wall, Cheapside, Cornhill – shared the Sun’s blessing. Unlike the district around Wall Street which any New Yorker can tell you, is in almost perpetual shade.
And today banks of all nationalities stretch from Southwark across the Thames to the South and Westward beyond Aldwych; you’ll find Goldman Sachs’ unmarked ivory tower on Fleet Street just beyond Ludgate Circus, well out of the traditional neighbourhood. Much of this expansion has taken place since the “Big Bang” of 1986.
The Big Bang effectively de-regulated banking; from then institutions like Northern Rock could borrow money and lend it at a loss while junk bonds and their derivatives consisting of defaulted mortgages and other toxic loans could be sold-and re-sold until the financial markets were awash with assets valued in trillions but worth less than nothing. As an investment analyst friend of mine put it then: “How do I compete with a fresh generation with the minds of Chess Grand Masters and the instincts of lampreys?” Seemed like a good idea at the time.
What also happened around then was that a succession of huge buildings started to go up to the South and South East of the City. These included the Walkie-Talkie, as well as Heron Tower and the Gherkin (aka the Swiss Re building), tributes to the egos respectively of convicted fraudster Gerald Ronson and the architect Norman Foster. Because of their location, these vast buildings began to block the light to the City. And as of today planning permission has been granted for more than a further dozen. That’s perhaps twenty more megatowers ready to be planted between the City and the Sun.
My friend Master Howard Choy would say that feng shui depends upon qing or “affection”. For architecture to work, somebody must give a damn. He condemned cutting edge super-hub Kings Cross/St Pancras for example as lacking just such attention. Common sense really. As many of you know however, for myself I’m fond of answering the request “Explain feng shui” by saying that if you plant tomatoes on a North-facing wall, you’d best not expect great salads. Light is an essential to life. It’s obvious, isn’t it that as long as we are flesh and blood we are at the effect of shade, heat and damp? And in a sense all the complexity of Classical feng shui is simply what three or four thousand years of observation have piled on top of that fact. By extension light, that is Fire, means openness, visibility, spontaneous talking and straight dealing. Shadow is its opposite.
Anyway if politics is show biz for the ugly, then maybe banking is showbiz for the anonymous. What is for sure is that if power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely then proximity to wealth breeds dishonesty, and close proximity to infinite wealth, infinite dishonesty. And just as so much of the unchecked infamy of the City and of Wall Street could not proceed without lax regulation, so greed grows in the dark. I doubt that’s what Lug had in mind.
Richard Ashworth © 2017 

And here’s the (Western Astrological) take of the very perceptive Lorna Bevan: 
5D Astrology Report August 2017 – Fire Walking

A Date for your Diary: Richard’s 2018 Earth Dog Forecast Day will be held in Godalming, Surrey on Saturday 2nd December 2017. There will also be an online Zoom session on December 3rd from 3pm for those in different time zones.

Subscriptions (and further info)Sheila@imperialfengshui.info

Richard Ashworth is among the most respected Western Feng Shui Masters. He has worked from the Lebanon to Bermuda and with stars such as Kelly Hoppen and Gillian Anderson and unusually for a Western Master, has addressed the Grand Masters at the International Feng Shui Conference in Singapore. His day job remains “walking round people’s spaces being enigmatic”.
Richard Ashworth©
www.imperialfengshui.info

My diary for the month of the Wood Snake 2017

May 5, 2017
A Quiet Revelation.
My diary for the month of the Wood Snake
(15:42pm 5th May to 19:57 5th June 2017 inclusive)
in the Year of the Fire Rooster.

Qian

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Heaven
Hexagram 1

“It is not necessary to hasten anything artificially. Everything comes of itself at the appointed time. This is the meaning of heaven and earth.”
The Book of Changes
The Snake Month
Animal by Animal
During this Wood Snake Month,
The Rat resists being pushed,
The Ox may be rampant,
Tigers anticipate,
The Rabbit is best advised to stay home,
The Dragon may be above himself.,
The Snake is finally ready,
The Horse may champ at the bit,
The Sheep seeks to belong,
The Monkey has fun, but may miss the point,
The Rooster enjoys the attention,
The Dog dodges,
and
The Pig prepares.
Animal Fortunes for the Rooster year remain on the website all year: 2017: Year of the Turkey. Now may be the time.
Know your inner beast. How Snake are you?

Birth in the Snake Hour (9-11am)~: imaginative children.
Birth on the Snake Day#: seeker after truth first and last.
Birth during the Snake Month (May)*: marketing, sales and spin.
Birth in the Snake Year: sneaky opposite gender parent.
~ GMT. # You’ll need a Chinese calendar for this. * Caution: Chinese months start later.

Where to do what, when and why
Summary: Here’s where wealth and success are hiding this month.
North East: Year Star: 4, Month Star: 8
All year, the North East if it’s sufficiently stimulated, is the place of creativity – financial, artistic, intellectual, other. Especially for Snakes, Roosters, Oxen, Tigers, Horses, Dogs and a Monkey or two plus West Group kuas (8,6,7,2). And especially now. Time to locate and/or face North East or open a North-Eastern door. All of these will stimulate.
Annual Solution: Fire, (eg bright light). Four Plants (eg bamboos in Water)
Monthly Enhancement: Also bright light.

East and West Groups: Everybody falls into either the East or the West Group by virtue of their birth date. The calculation is simple but if you do want to know where you belong, email me at richardashworth@imperialfengshui.info.
Readers Digest version: East Group people best face East, South, South-East and North and/or in buildings and beds backing onto these directions. West Group vice-versa. Sorry it’s fiddly, I’m not making this stuff up.

A Quiet Revelation.
The lo shu or magic square this month has 5 at its centre. This means two big things. First it’s a return to origins; everything is back in its place. How’s that looking from where you are? Consistent with that, it means that the wu huang (or the power) is back where it belongs at the heart of things. The 5 gets a bad press but this is a month that bristles with power. It’s what a Chinese master might call a “Dragon’s lair”; that is to say, equal parts fuel and poison. It’s the 5 Star that the nonagenarian Grand Masters in SE Asia spend lifetimes labouring to master. So shit or sugar this month; could be both.

The Snake favours his own and the Ox foremost but also the Monkey and the Rooster who made hay last month but may have husks to deal with later in the year. The Pig like Robert Johnson is at a crossroads. As is the Tiger; don’t lurk, it’s bad for business. Dragon still on a roll awhile yet, Rabbit seeking comfort probably.

The clue to how to roll with the month is to remember that the Snake is the seeker after truth. And sometimes they find it. Generally it takes a while; can be many years. So perhaps treat this month as a revealer of truth. And then pursue it.

One trick you might try is to place a single coin – as high denomination as you can manage – at ding or South 3 (that is between 187½° and 202½° South, measured from the tai chi, the geometric middle of the house) and ask out loud whatever question may be pestering you. Then wait and pay close attention to what comes into your space: newspaper headlines, snatches of conversation, a piece of music, a half-heard comment, an image on a poster. And translate those into the terms of your question. For instance if you ask what is my path? notice that “A Whiter Shade of Pale” begins with skipping a light fandango whereas America’s “Horse with no Name” concerns a trek across a desert. That horse could be your er…trigger.

Oh and give the coin away. If you’re the sort that doesn’t hand money to the homeless in case they spend your 20p on drugs, break the habit of a lifetime perhaps.

The universe is talking to us constantly. All we have to do really is pay attention. And sometimes we have to act.Anchor
Richard Ashworth © 2017  

Subscriptions (and further info): Sheila@imperialfengshui.info

Richard Ashworth is among the most respected Western Feng Shui Masters. He has worked from the Lebanon to Bermuda and with stars such as Kelly Hoppen and Gillian Anderson and unusually for a Western Master, has addressed the Grand Masters at the International Feng Shui Conference in Singapore. His day job remains “walking round people’s spaces being enigmatic”.

Richard Ashworth’s Pig Diary 2016

November 8, 2016
The last rind; Pigs golden and not-so golden.
My diary for the month of the Earth Pig
(09:34am Nov 7th to 01:54am Dec 7th inclusive)
in the Year of the Fire Monkey.
 
Kun
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—-  —-
—-  —-
—-  —-
—-  —-
—-  —-
Earth
Hexagram 2

“The mind should be kept humble and free so as to remain receptive to good advice.”
Richard Wilhelm.
The Pig Month
Animal by Animal

During this Earth Pig Month,
The Rat bides time,
The Ox is under no illusion,
The Tiger sharpens claws,
The Rabbit sallies forth,
The Dragon looks to the future,
The Snake varies her approach,
The Horse ducks,
The Sheep is relieved and comforted,
The smart Monkey keeps it simple,
The modest Rooster is still the most effective Rooster,
The Dog settles for it just the way it is,
while
The Pig risks all and makes good.

Please read to the end of this document for a crucial message. Thanks.
Know your inner beast. How Piggy are you?

Birth in the Pig Hour (9-11pm)~: kids who return home reluctantly.
Birth on the Pig Day#: gifted partner.
Birth during the Pig Month (November)*: many callings.
Birth in the Pig Year: gifts shared with parents.

~ GMT.
# You’ll need a Chinese calendar for this.
* Caution: Chinese months start later.

Where to do what, when and why.

Summary: Here’s where to make plans that make things happen.
East, Ambition: Year Star: 9 Dragon Virtue, Month Star: 9.

The 9 returning to the East boosts the Second Daughter, the visionary and careful planning while Dragon Virtue looks out for reputation. Keep this area appropriately spick and span. Occupying the East and/or facing that direction taps the 9/9 which rewards virtuous and brave leadership. If you’re here constantly – which is not a bad idea – activate the area with gentle care. Support with plants – as many as you like but not fewer than three. Above all, dare to dream. Here.

Favours: East Group kuas: 1, 3, 4 & 9, some Rabbits, Pigs, Dogs, Sheep.

East and West Groups: Everybody falls into either East or West Group by virtue of their birth date. The calculation is simple but if you want to know where you belong, email at richardashworth@imperialfengshui.info.
Readers Digest version: East Group people are best facing East, South, South-East and North and/or in buildings and beds backing onto these directions. West Group vice-versa. Sorry if that’s fiddly, I’m not making this stuff up.

Please read to the end of this document for a crucial message. Thanks.
The last rind; Pigs golden and not-so golden.
Late last night I heard that screen door slam and a big yellow taxi took away my old man.” Joni Mitchell.

On this day of all days, at the opening of this Pig month, I am tempted to prediction. But I know that the margin between predicting and creating is gossamer thin. So regardless of the monsters that dwell along either prong of this fork in the road, I’m not crossing that line today.

Some 105 years ago, in the Year of the Metal or “Golden” Pig 1911, an explosion in Wuhan in the Hubei Province of Central China set off a chain of events that changed the World: the end of a 2000-year-long line of Emperors, republic, struggle, the Long March, Communism and finally today’s manufacturing giant. This may be why Chinese tradition makes every Pig Year and hence every Pig Month, “golden.” Which is cute but a bit of a misunderstanding.

We all know that translating Chinese can be a minefield. The character jin for instance stands both for “golden” and “metallic” but it only applies to one Pig in five (and this month’s Pig is not the one). Similarly the terms sik sun and zeun kun which define that Pig (and only that Pig) mean literally “output”. The Pig is naturally creative and the Metal Pig especially so but for a man output means simple creativity, while for a woman along with many other things, it is childbirth.

1911 was certainly a year of major output but the Chinese Revolution that followed may be less important than the one that’s happening worldwide right now. For a man, output is straightforward, for a woman sik sun/zeun kun include children. In other words her choice is often between fertility and other forms of creativity, a decision which for biological reasons has not confronted men. This is not forever. We are evolving morally and spiritually as well as physically. In the privileged West at least, we are taller and stronger than our ancestors and despite a great deal of current contrary evidence, wiser and kinder. Today we may watch the carvings and twistings of “Game of Thrones” but in the Middle Ages we were living them. Which as well as committing us all to spreading kindness, means that we are learning and growing. Gradually at least.

Which has something but not everything to do with today’s US Election.

Why might that be? Here’s a clue:
168
924
573

As of yesterday this is both the Year and the Month of the Woman. Like the year itself, the monthly lo shu or magic square (above) has the 2 at its centre. The 2 represents Mother, the feminine principle (that is yin), relationship and Woman herself but also expansion, blockage, growth and certain minor illnesses.

Because of the way that Chinese metaphysics measures time, it’s been a very long while since the 2 was strong. Technically we are just leaving the 8th Chinese Fate and entering the 9th. This process is complete sometime between now and 2024 and it means that all the Stars in the lo shu above are changing. Until recently the 2 has been reckoned to be more about blockage than healthy expansion. It is historically the number (or Star) of tumours and swelling for example. But it’s also the Star of personal growth and gain. And its time is coming.

So the 2 has suffered a bad rap. But for a little while now some Masters – such as Joey Yap, probably the most successful feng shui man in the world – have been advising activation (that is stimulation) of the 2 Star where and when it appears. Risk the sickness, make the gain, is the principle; the times they are er…a-changing (©Nobel Institute 2016). And it rules the coming month as well as this year.

And why does this matter? Well it seems that the yang or masculine principle has been dominant for several thousand years. One obvious meaning of the 2 of course is pregnancy. And until the late 20th century a sexually active woman could expect to be pregnant for thirty or so years with every likelihood of dying in childbirth during that time. Which made her at least fragile and therefore largely dependent. Life expectancy for Western woman has literally doubled since the introduction of the contraceptive pill. That and Wade v Roe may prove to have been the most important events of our lifetimes.

Because what it means is that the sik sun and zeun kun are released to be expressed in a myriad ways other than childbirth. Woman are free now to create any way they like. Consequently in the West, zero population growth  is upon us. And not before time, there is a chance that a feminine, that is empowering, bonded and cooperative approach to running the world follows. It’s not I think, that yin thinking is superior, wiser or even gentler, but that it’s been missing. The patriarchy has been allowed to run wild like a very long Rugby tour. Look at what we have tolerated in our various representatives.

Nate Silver in his book “The Signal and the Noise” makes clear the distinction between forecast and prediction; we forecast weather, we predict the winners of horse races. And so as I said, on this day of all days, although I am tempted, I’m not about to predict.

Because if I accept that I am responsible for everything in my life, to foretell an outcome is to create it. You don’t have to agree about that and it may be bat-crazy to you but I’ll tell you what: however November 8th goes (which you know about and I don’t) it’s only a matter of time before the yin is properly represented  in corporate boardrooms, the Senate and the White House.

This revolution is unstoppable. It may have been close to 10,000 years in coming but that was only a blip. 105 years is a very short time by comparison. AnchorReally. Aleppo and Palestine, Auschwitz, Magdeburg and Masada are part of a bad dream that is nearly over. Humankind has taken a long wrong turn by way of the stupidity and brutality that characterises the unsupervised male but we are as Joni Mitchell also wrote, both “stardust and golden.” And believe me, this may not just change the World but as the Dalai Lama predicted, save it.
Richard Ashworth © 2016

Please read the following document for a crucial message. Thanks.

Subject: STOP THE DEPORTATION OF BASHIR NADERI
Bashir Naderi, aged 19 was trafficked to this country as a boy, some ten years ago. His father was murdered by the Taliban and he has no idea what has happened to the rest of his family.
He has been living with a foster family in Wales, attending a catholic school, contributing to English life and putting down roots in this country.

On Sunday the Home Office tried to deport him. He was shackled at the neck, hands and wrist. His foster family and friends have managed to get him a 14 day reprieve while his case is re-considered. PLEASE sign this petition and join the campaign to stop his deportation back to Afghanistan and allow him to stay in this country.

You can also help by Tweeting #supportbashir, making his case your FaceBook status or writing to your local MP, Amber Rudd the Home Secretary  or anybody who you think might be able to help the cause.

Distracted by Shiny Things:
2017, the Fire Rooster: the Year of the Turkey.
 
What to expect and what to do about it,
A day with feng shui man Richard Ashworth
at the Pepperpot, Godalming.
10 till 5, Saturday December 3rd 2016.

As promised around this time last year, the Year of the Fire Monkey has been a turbulent one. It started with the loss of much-loved entertainers, continued on both sides of the Atlantic with political farce and concludes with mayhem right on the North-South line indicated by the Chinese gan zhi cycle. Sometimes I hate to be proven right.

This Rooster brings attention to detail but a short attention span. Just as the Fire Monkey was the Year of Turbulence, so this may be the Year of the Turkey. It’s likely to be a year when our attention is drawn away from what matters. Some of that will be deliberate, some just the distraction of shiny things. There’s more.

2017 of course will favour different animals; Dragons will be empowered, more than likely (but they won’t be alone in that) and certain houses will be unusually helpful; step up if your home faces South East. And it’s a 1 year, a time of communication, negotiation and bargaining. No surprises there.

The Rooster year calls for different approaches. Some Animals will have a free ticket, some will needed added help. Some areas will be magical, some baleful. Find out which is which and what to do about it, personally, domestically, globally and economically.

This workshop sold out very quickly last year.

There are a limited number of Skype places.
Contact Sheila@imperialfengshui.info

Richard Ashworth©
www.imperialfengshui.info

More Monkey Business

August 9, 2016
More Monkey Business:  Two Fire Monkeys.

This is for Thea.

Fire  Monkey month in Fire Monkey year. Set the controls for disturbance. On the 18th and the 30th there’ll be three. OMG.

In Chinese myth, the Monkey is an unapologetic beast. He can bound several li to escape the consequences of his actions and in one tale he even leaps to the Moon to delete the record of his wrongdoing from the Akashic record. Bit of a Trump. Or a Johnson. Or an Assad. Or a Pepsico. Or a Goldman Sachs. Continued, as they say on page 94. The key note of the unbalanced Monkey is a shame bypass.

And OMG here comes a double Fire Monkey. The last Fire Monkey month was in 2011, the time of the London Riots, when the frustration more recently expressed in Brexit and elsewhere first boiled over. I’m not suggesting panic in Poundland or mayhem in Morrisons but we are now probably at the peak of the turbulence of the mischievous Monkey. Feng shui aims to give us a measure of control but in a world where last week I could so easily have been in Russell Square, how can any of us expect to control anything?

Technically the magic square or lo shu of this Monkey month has the 5 Star at its centre. The 5 lo shu is reckoned to describe the moment at the beginning of time when nothingness became stuff: two kinds of stuff actually – yin and yang – followed by the “myriad” or “10,000 things”, that is to say everything that we can touch feel or measure. This suggests a month featuring some kind of return to the beginning. It’s a 2 year however, and these two stars combined are generally considered pretty baleful. And for the anoraks out there, the 28 Lunar Mansions are almost in sync with the quarters of the Moon – very very unusual. Run for the hills.

Well no. Feng shui theory considers there to be three realms if you like: the Heavenly, the Earthly and the Human. Heaven was there before the 5 lo shu (in the sense that “before” means anything here); Heaven sets the rules. The Earth operates within those rules to which “models” like feng shui and indeed physics are responses. The rules could have been different – gravity could have gone upwards, the sky could be pink – but they are not. Human beings are considered the interface. It is we who employ methods, systems, sciences if you will within the parameters set by Heaven. Human beings have choice; myths from Prometheus to Adam illustrate this. We have the gift of cocking up but also that of changing the rules.

How do we that? First we recognise Heaven, the limits of our power. There are certain things we can control so let’s control them: our mouths, our actions and reactions and our attitudes for instance. There are certain other things we can’t control; how others behave is one. The hate that is in the world and apparently outside ourselves; we can offer this back to Heaven simply by not subscribing . Jesus had a bit of take on this, if you recall.

Second we do what we can mechanically. This is Earth qi. We inform ourselves and act compassionately and consciously and perhaps take a few risks. We can stand against British companies supplying and training Saudi forces to bomb the supply lines that would otherwise feed Yemeni children – over 5,000 of whom have starved to death during the current forgotten war. We can support media that is genuinely informative – Channel Four News is the only tv news worth attention imho – and papers that need folding. Knowing the facts is not negative.

As for the Earth qi of feng shui, we respect the timing and locations outlined elsewhere in this bulletin. And do it with awareness that the North East means North Eastern Europe (think about it) as well perhaps as your bathroom. We can accept for instance that neither Vladimir Putin nor Boris Johnson as Dragons in a Monkey year are likely to come a cropper.

And thirdly we use the power of choice to choose a better world. This calls for deep honesty about our own laziness and disengagement. It calls for communication and possibly the courage to be outspoken. There is in this world I have landed upon much that I would prefer was not there. Along with you, I choose better. Every day, not just during the Monkey month.

Change may not happen overnight but if we start to make different choices, the world might even be a better place, come September.

Richard Ashworth ©2016

Special (almost) free bonus:
Some years ago a guy rang me and asked if I’d like to record a cd about classical feng shui. I agreed and he arrived with his headphones and plugs, I ran very simply through the meaning of the Zodiac animals and where in my daughter Jessica’s words “to put stuff to get stuff.” It was clear, authentic and simple, he caught me on a very good day. Then he scarpered and I heard no more. Last month a new student told me she’d found me through a wonderful “podcast” which turned out to be this recording. I was never paid but you can get it from Audible for around £4.
Here’s the link: http://amzn.to/2aGaDT8

Footnote: my next ba zi Starter Course starts in September, Early Bird offers are open until 8th August. Details here:
http://www.imperialfengshui.info/courses

And finally: a limited number of places are still available to study with me one to one via Skype. Email: sheilaashworthfengshui@gmail.com

Richard Ashworth©
www.imperialfengshui.info

Ba Zi: why the greatest generals never go to war.

June 17, 2016
IMG_1182
To hear Richard talking Ba Zi click the pic.
Ba Zi: why the greatest generals never go to war.

“Therefore measure in terms of five things: the way, the weather, the terrain, the leadership and discipline.”.  Sun Tzu. The Art of War.

The story is told of three brothers all of whom were doctors. These three were reckoned to be the greatest healers in all China. So skilled was the youngest that his patients mostly recovered while those of the middle brother invariably returned to health. But the patients of the eldest simply never got ill. Prevention, as they say, is greater than cure. And as Sun Tzu wrote, the greatest generals never go to war.

Probably the elder brother concerned himself with breathing, diet, hydration lifestyle and destiny. Holistic treatment has always been the underlying principle of traditional Chinese medicine. He would have known acupuncture and above all ba zi, which is reckoned to track destiny. Joey Yap, probably the most successful Master in the world, actually uses the term Destiny Code. The ba zi being expressed in terms of the balance of the wu xing or Five Elements, can assess whether we have too much Earth say – leading to sluggishness and a variety of other symptoms – and therefore that we need say Metal (ie focused activity) to remedy the imbalance.

Whether we define healing as solving emotional blockage, enhancing performance or actual physical change, the ba zi is a healing tool. Not I hastily add, that ba zi of itself heals physically. It is diagnosis where feng shui or acupuncture (or tai chi or tcm) are remedy. But as a method of identifying tendencies, physical and other, it has no equal. All three brothers would have thought of it as a map of destiny. The doctor’s job like the general’s, was to see what was coming and the ba zi was how they managed to see it.

In those days remember, the mediaeval times of Song and Ming, a doctor was paid by his patients only as long as they were healthy. Which may have been a motivating factor. When my Father returned from one of the first trade missions to modern China in the early 70’s, I remember him telling me that the Chinese were “the least likely Communists” he’d ever met. Nye Bevan would have approved.

Be that as it may, I have always been wary of Sun Tzu because he assumes enmity and opposition; understandably perhaps given the cruel times in which he lived, but applying those assumptions to feng shui, ba zi or even Qi Men Dun Jia (the current hot divinatory method in feng shui circles) denies any progress during the ensuing millennia.

The fact is that Sun Tzu is the guvnor on winning business in the teeth of opposition and when I first started studying The Art of War in the early 80’s, that was the context. Sun Tzu’s strategies – when your enemy expects you to be slow, move rapidly; when he expects advance, withdraw and so on – are brilliantly applicable if you think of your client as the opposition. Not so great if you want to be of service. Such a philosophy may be everything that is wrong with both politics and business and it runs through finance like the words in a stick of rock. But it doesn’t work and it works even less as a basis for feng shui or ba zi practice.

Which is why it’s important to be aware that the ba zi depends upon benevolence. In 30-odd years in the world of woo-woo™ ba zi is the most powerful healing tool that I have come across. Being a snapshot of the prevailing Elements at the moment of birth it shows potentials, preferences, abilities and above all moments of choice. From where I’m sitting – a position you don’t have to share by the way – everything is choice and if we can identify moments where decisions were made we can un-make them. Consider how a life might be changed that way.

Ba zi lays open the soul to the sensitive practitioner. There is calculation involved and deep learning but at heart it’s an empathetic, instinctive thing. The trick is to know the building blocks so well you can apply them without thinking. And to trust the fact that to think and feel simultaneously is an art but quite possible. Above all to care; as I tell my students, it is unprofessional not to love your client. And perhaps surprisingly easy.

Of course ba zi teaching sooner or later turns transformational. Learning the twenty-two Chinese characters necessary (only twenty two!) requires application but it’s not rocket science. There are rules to be followed, the Animals have traditional relationships, for instance: Horses such as Angela Merkel and David Cameron are deeply challenged in a Monkey Year like 2016; Pigs like David Bowie and Alan Rickman are at risk and Dogs like Prince and George Osborne may miscalculate drastically.

But the teaching always goes transformational. Because the student’s curiosity and crucible is their own ba zi. I’ll use example ba zis to make points – if you looked closely at Gary Glitter’s for instance, you’d tend to feel a great deal less contempt – but everyone wants to know about themselves. Once a Monkey (born 1944, 1956, 1968, 1980 or 1992) learns that Wood and Metal are in eternal opposition and that Tiger and Monkey are respectively yang Wood and yang Metal, they’ll tend to understand more about conflict with a Tiger parent or boss. A Dragon fixated on glamour may recognise the expression of a “secret friendship” with the Rooster. And so on.

The point of this is not to be run by ba zi but to master it. I am myself a Water Dragon and traditionally therefore particularly irked by Earth Dogs of 1958. As it happens, some of my best lady friends are Earth Dogs, some of them very successful business-people. I think they can be a bit dense, they think I go on a bit. We know this about each other. We contain it and rub along. Where’s the problem?

One source of trouble can be being too literal; some trainees and indeed some experts fail to factor in humanity. This tends to put the ba zi rather than the practitioner in charge. The main pitfall however is seeing the world as Sun Tsu does, as a jungle of threats and competition. Some New Age teachers would call this a belief in shortage, others a lapse of faith.

We all possess free will. We are all complex individuals and no woo-woo™ analysis can adequately define us. The ba zi is a guide not a dictator and put simply, the practitioner’s job is to give.

Master Sun, the great teacher of strategy whose wisdom as James Clavell once suggested, might have prevented war in Vietnam and Afghanistan, would not have known the truism that those who can do and those who can’t, teach. Sun himself was prematurely retired from active service by the amputation of both feet (a punishment for telling the hard truth to a minor king probably rather than a mishap). He would have known of Qi Men Dun Jia which dates from his era (the so-called Age of the Warring States 475-221BCE). He might well have approved of the use of his words as part of this very powerful tool of divination (which I don’t yet teach) in a world defined by greed and violence, that is to say shortage and competition. There are things in the world that I would sooner weren’t in it but Sun’s is not the world I choose to live in.

And so I try to practise and teach both feng shui and ba zi as gifts of love rather than as ways to steal a march. Abundance is about much more than wealth and healing is more than band-aids. I’m not teaching dogma and above all I’m not teaching how to win the game of life against stiff competition. What I offer is a method of touching and perhaps understanding the soul.

And that’s why the greatest generals never go to war. In the teeth of Orlando, Iraq, Syria, Burundi, Afghanistan, I try to remember that although Sun Tzu is still in print after all this time and the younger brothers of the story probably got the most approval, it was the eldest that made the most positive difference.

Richard’s next starter Ba Zi Course opens in September 2016 in Godalming but he has a (Friday) slot now vacant to learn via Skype pretty much right away.
For more details go to:
http://www.imperialfengshui.info/courses
Some Early Bird Discounts still apply.
Richard Ashworth©
www.imperialfengshui.info

Hoarse With No Name: My Diary for the Horse Month 2016

June 1, 2016
Hoarse with no name
My diary for the month of the Wood Horse
(June 5th 14:09 to July 7th 00:33 inclusive)
in the Year of the Fire Monkey.
 Kou
———-
———-
———-
———-
———-
—-  —-
Meeting
Hexagram 44“Too much Monkey business for me to get involved in.”
Chuck Berry (1956)

The Horse Month
Animal by Animal
During this Wood Horse Month,
The Rat may simply wait,
The Ox may be (way) behind the Rat,
The Tiger sees the breaks,
The smart Rabbit rises to the occasion,
The Dragon reins in,
The Snake could be overawed,
The Horse might pace herself,
The unwary Sheep is under a shadow,
The Monkey demands to be noticed,
The Rooster takes time out,
The Dog obtains a boost,
while
The Pig strikes back.

Know your inner beast. How Horse are you?
Birth in the Horse Hour (11am-1pm)~:      performing children.
Birth on the Horse Day#:                           a tendency to the reckless.
Birth during the Horse Month (June)*:      an extroverted vocation.
Birth in the Horse Year:                            spontaneity in the bloodline.
~ An hour earlier than the clock during British Summertime ie 8-10.
# You’ll need a Chinese calendar. * Caution: Chinese months start later.

Follow Twitter (@FengShuiDiaries) LinkedIn or
like my FaceBook page for further news.

Where to do what, when and why
Summary: The peak of Fire ignites the hunters of the Zodiac: Dog and Tiger (for whom it may be the best month of the year, so fill your boots) as well as the faithful Sheep. It is generally less helpful to Rat and Ox. A 7 month tends to harass some more than others of course and those with 3, 2, 6, 7 and 8 kuas are least vulnerable.

West, Intervention: Year Star: 4 Year Sun, Month Star: 9.
The visiting 9 makes for a magical 9:4 he tu combination in the West right now while the romantic power of the toe far or “plum flower” Star is still there, along with the restorative Sun.

Locate to the West of your home, face West or occupy a West-facing building; these are transformative stars.

Along with superior examination results, 9 brings future plans closer. 4 bamboo stems in 4 glasses of Water can help.

Note: If this is all er…Chinese to you, email me your birth details or more drastically, come and study with me.

Hoarse with no name.
Wood Horse month, Monkey year, the turbulence continues while the Solstice approaches. Notice the creeping yin to the foot of the Hexagram at the top of this page; the qi is already descending. As indeed it was at this time of year, three thousand and seventy four years ago.

At that time, May of 1058 BCE, as it happens a Horse year, the Zhou family rose up against the ruling Shang and wrested from them the “Mandate of Heaven,” that is to say the right to rule China. The Zhou were to hold onto the mandate for the following seven hundred years or so. What inspired rebellion against the tyrants at that exact time was the conjunction of the five visible planets in the night sky. This conjunction happens only once every five hundred and sixteen years. Michael Wood illustrates this with a computer simulation in the first episode of his excellent BBC series “The Story of China.”

As above, so below. So much of feng shui is rooted in astrology. You can for instance, find the group of Stars that are reckoned to have inspired the ideograph of the Monkey to the South West of the night sky. They’re part of the constellation shen, that is Orion. The star formation (whose name I’ve not mastered) making up the character for Horse lies to the South.

Bloodless kou
As does this month’s Hexagram, Kou. As you know, these six-line figures are themselves composed of three-line figures called Trigrams. And each Trigram apart from signifying a member of the Confucian family, a state of being, a location and a million other things, describes a phase of the Moon. Identifying the homes of the Trigrams in the night sky is known as na jia or “assigning the Wood.” Qian (Heaven) for instance with its three unbroken yang lines, stands for the Full Moon and Kun, Earth (three yin lines) for the New Moon. Sometimes these things are hard to observe because of street lights, late-night parties, cats’ eyes and headlamps.

When I was in Menorca writing and researching a couple of years ago, the night sky was almost free of light pollution. And so with feet in the pool and beers in hand, my daughters Jess and Hen and I confirmed that the Moon rose and fell precisely where the na jia indicated. It was, if you will, a sobering moment; there above us was physical evidence of the connectedness of Heaven and Earth. It was as if a huge finger had drawn lines across the Moon.

Just behind the full Moon, the 2016 Solstice falls on June 21st at 06:57, shortly after sunrise. Full Sun and full Moon, full yin and full yang, on a Dog day in a Horse month, it’s almost alight with Fire. And yet the qi is falling. In the Year of the Monkey (who generally stands cautiously clear of the Horse) this makes for quite a chaotic pattern. The Monkey is of course talkative, but this is no month for discussion. Rather it is one of action; some impetuous, some not so well thought-through. Hold tight.

In the desert you can’t remember your name
And this year as I predicted, is definitely shaping up like a Monkey; Paris barricaded, US Presidential nominations haywire, we pretty much already have the Earth Monkey of 1968. All we need is Russian tanks rolling West and British boots on the ground in the Middle East and it’s the Fire Monkey, 1956. Oh and peaking markets. “Déjà vu all over again,” in the words of John Fogerty. As above, so below. My own father’s boots were among those on the ground in the Sinai Desert in 1956.

This Horse month favours Dogs and Sheep and Tigers as ever, although they may present just a little hot-headed. Along with the Horse, they are the hunters of the Zodiac and often the life lesson of the hunter is that life is not as simple as a hunt. The Horse doesn’t much like her own company or talking things out and may fall victim to unforced errors. Let things come to you as they will. The Ox is best lying low but his intimate the Rat, may find that originality is at a rare premium; the smart Rat sticks to their guns. Caution is counselled to Dragons, Snakes will find certain days offer a boost but Rabbits are probably stretched.

As a Dragon, I’ll be tapping the ongoing but quirky support of the Monkey and remaining wary of the rampant Horse.
Richard Ashworth © 2016

www.imperialfengshui.info

My Diary for the Month of the Water Snake 2016: Many a Slip

May 5, 2016
Many a slip
My diary for the month of the Water Snake
(May 5th 09:54 to June 5th 14:09 inclusive)
in the Year of the Fire Monkey.
 
Qian
———-
———-
———-
———-
———-
———-
Heaven
Hexagram 1

When a man holds a high position and is nevertheless modest, he shines with the light of wisdom; if he is in a lowly position and is modest, he cannot be passed by.
The Book of Changes.

The Snake Month

Animal by Animal.
During this Water Snake Month,
The Rats energy may be muted,
The Ox finds fresh support,
The Tiger counts her blessings,
The smart Rabbit makes no big demands,
The Dragon gains followers,
The Snake may find a fresh interest,
The Horse champs at the bit,
The Sheep can be especially deferent,
The incautious Monkey might over-reach,
Most Roosters are pretty pleased with themselves,
The smarter Dog listens to advice,
while
The Pig steps out.

Where to do what, when and why
Summary: This first month of Fire, begins the season of natural light. Light brings revelation because it shines everywhere and this particular illumination alights upon Rooster, Ox, Snake and some Monkeys. It is generally less helpful to Pig and Tiger. An 8 month (like every month) tends to support some more than others of course and those with 3, 2, 6, 7 and 8 kuas are also likely winners this time.

West, Intervention: Year Star: 4 Year Sun, Month Star: 1.
The visiting 1 makes for a studious and inventive 1:4 combination in the West right now while the romantic power of the toe far or “plum flower” Star is still there, along with the restorative Sun.

Readers Digest version: pretty good outlook for health, wealth and wisdom if you locate to the West of your home, face West or occupy a West-facing building.

Along with superior examination results, 1 brings dialogue and fresh thinking. 4 bamboo stems in 4 glasses of Water can help.

Note: If this is all mumbo-jumbo to you, email me your birth details or more drastically, come and study with me.

Know your inner Snake. How Snake are you?
Birth in the Snake Hour (9-11am)~: truth-seeking at maturity.
Birth on the Snake Day#: mysterious, not always helpfully.
Birth during the Snake Month (May)*: work that involves “spinning”.
Birth in the Snake Year: truth-seeking parents, successful or not.

~ An hour earlier than the clock during British Summertime ie 8-10.
# You’ll need a Chinese calendar for this.
* Caution: Chinese months start later than Western ones.
Many a slip
It can’t be stated too often that this is the Year of the Woman as well as that of the Monkey. The World may depend upon it. The ingenuity of the hands-on Monkey may help but nothing happens without the compassion of the female; if we loved the Earth as we love our children, we’d be home free. No climate change, no refugees, no inequality.

These two descriptions of the year come to us down two different ancient Chinese traditions, complementary but differently derived. And there is tension between them.

The way either shows up may be dark or light, yin as well as yang. Beyonce’s fierce statement on behalf of the wronged woman in her newest release Lemonade, is as much an expression of it as the likelihood of the 1st Female President. And as the year approaches its peak the tension between the assertion of woman and the mischief of the Monkey becomes more and more marked.

Any Snake month is a little elusive, in a Monkey year even more so. You may with me, have felt a jolt as Dragon turned to Snake mid-morning the 5th of May; a subtle shift as if the air itself trembled a tad. And you may not. With the Snake, often what you see is not what you get. The Water Snake can be especially slippery; 1953 Snake Tony Blair speaks for himself. And often for nobody else.
You know nothing, Jon Snow
Technically the Snake is in alliance with the Ox and the Rooster. So these two animals may appear to possess free tickets. We’ve already seen 1961 Ox Barack Obama dissipating well-earned good will by boosting TTIP as well as 1981 Rooster Beyonce roasting Jay-Z.

The Snake has both connection and history with the Monkey. So neither can expect an easy ride in May. 1941 Snake Bernie Sanders would be wise to beware the wrath of the female of the species. If she can handle Bill, she can handle anything. And wherever our sympathies lie, it’s clear Hillary is as qualified a candidate as there’s ever been. Also as a Pig she can expect breakthrough in 2016 – though not this month. Delayed breakthroughs also btw await 1971 Pig Elon Musk, the man behind high-performance electric Tesla cars and other ecological marvels, 1947 Pig journalist Jon Snow, 1971 Pig Derren Brown, illusionist and performance artist andAnchor 1959 Pig Kelly Hoppen. But for now Pigs, exercise caution especially in relation to your public profile.

The Snake respects the Dragon. So Dragons can expect wider influence than usual this month. Dragon teachers and healers could find themselves in great demand. The Dragon is magical which the Snake respects and to some extent fears. I’m too modest to tell you which Dragon’s fate I know best but other Dragon opinion leaders this month include charismatic entrepreneuse ex-Dragon’s Den Rachel Elnaugh, and Vladimir Putin. Say no more.

At home these trends may be less obvious. It’s already a warm summer; great for the outdoors-inclined but another step towards JG Ballard’s drowned world. I believe there’s still time to re-pack the ice floes. As there may be for those men who have not yet learned that marriage is essentially a tutorial in the wisdom of Woman. 1973 Ox Ryan Giggs, note.

And who is that A-lister that everyone except me knows about? Oh, I’ve just been told. Yes, Pig. You have been warned!
Richard Ashworth © 2016 

Richard’s next starter Ba Zi Course opens in September in Godalming but he has a (Friday) slot now vacant to teach via Skype pretty much right away. For more details go to: http://www.imperialfengshui.info/courses
The first two people to respond will be offered a rather good discount!

Richard Ashworth©
www.imperialfengshui.info

Feng Shui and Tomatoes part one

April 25, 2016
What is feng shui?
Sometimes I’m asked for a scientific explanation of traditional Chinese feng shui. Which is a reasonable request. I tend to reply something like: if you plant tomatoes on a North-facing wall, don’t expect great salads. Worse if you do it in January.

Because everything is changing all the time; all things are growing or shrinking, flourishing or decaying.  And so to each thing there is a time and place. Once long ago, I think, we were in touch with this. But diaries, mass communication busyness, technology, Google and Wikipedia seem to have got in the way.

When you woke this morning, I doubt you thought: “Aha, it’s (say) the 25th of the month.” Because I don’t’ think the  25th feels like anything. You may have thought “It’s late. I usually wake at 7 and it’s 7:30.” You may have done this without looking at a tablet, mobile phone or even a clock. You may also have noticed the warmth and humidity that betrays a late spring or early summer day. And before you rushed into it, you may have noticed that today was (say) Tuesday. Because these things perhaps feel like something.

Long ago Taoist observers remarked that certain activities are appropriate to certain locations and to certain times. They saw that the hours of the day followed a sequence; from the activity or Wood of dawn via the acceleration and visibility of the Fire of noon and the Metal reckoning of late afternoon to the cold and dark Water of the evening. They also realised that if we substitute the words Spring, Summer, Autumn and Winter for dawn, noon, afternoon and night, it’s clear that the same Elemental cycle applies to the months of the year and indeed the years themselves.

And in time this same cycle was seen to apply equally to location. The dawn happens in the East, the Sun reaches its zenith in the South and sets in the West and disappears to the North before once more emerging in the East next morning. Every moment is different as is every micro-measurement of the compass.

We know these things; they mark our journey from sleep to waking and back. We know a safe location from a dangerous one. Whenever I walk between the South Bank and Waterloo, I notice how much better the open air feels than the pedestrian underpass and I notice that the crowds seem to agree with me.

We know buildings that just sing to us and we know which parts of our own houses support, which hurry us and which leave us befuddled. Furthermore we are able to notice when that contemplative spot at the front of the house is too hot or otherwise disturbed and when that quiet armchair is not so quiet.

Over millennia, a series of Chinese geniuses codified this knowledge. The overall cycle which consists of a vocabulary of sixty different “tastes” or “feels” known as pillars, is called the gan zi or Stem and Branch cycle. The Branches are the Chinese Animals that most of us have come across – the Rat, Dragon, Rabbit and so on. The Stems are what makes for a Metal Rat or a Wood Dragon. There’s much more but broadly when this cycle is applied to space, it’s called feng shui. Essentially when it’s applied to time it’s called ba zi. I practise both and generally teach feng shui in the Autumn and ba zi in the Spring. Sometimes the other way round.

So the East where the Sun rises in the early morning, represents light and stirring and by extension, movement, healing and aspiration. This is called Wood. If we want more of these qualities we rise early, we become determined and we concentrate activities to the East. These are the sorts of things I am encouraging in my daily task of going in and out of people’s houses being enigmatic. People hire me to get them in sync. Who knows what may follow?

Equally, South where the Sun heads next, stands for the acceleration, friction and heat of the middle of the day and of the year and by extension, visibility, celebration, celebrity and so on. The Chinese have been deriving complex formulae from these and related principles for upwards of three thousand years, so there’s a little more to it of course but essentially that’s feng shui. And indeed ba zi.
Richard Ashworth © 2016

The purpose of these activities including rambles like the above is to leave the occupants healthier, wealthier and wiser than I found them. Meanwhile if you are so moved, you can follow my daily forecasts on Twitter at @FengShuiDiaries, on FaceBook and on Linked In.
You can also read my book The Feng Shui Diaries (available, including as a download, from the usual places but I’d prefer you used a book shop) and you can get my free online monthly diaries from www.imperialfengshui.info where you’ll also find more information on much of the above but very little about tomatoes.
I am teaching this stuff later this year and I’m available for hire of course; details also on my website.
Richard Ashworth©
www.imperialfengshui.info