Archive for the ‘Book of Changes’ Category

My diary for the month of the Metal Ox

January 5, 2017
Enter the Turkey.
My diary for the month of the Metal Ox
(12:36pm Jan 5th to 23:49 Feb 3rd inclusive)
in the cusp between the Years of the Fire Monkey and the Fire Rooster.

Lin

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Approach
Hexagram 19

The Ox Month
Animal by Animal
During this Metal Ox Month,
The Rat takes instruction,
The Ox stays in charge,
The Tiger is expectant,
The smart Rabbit is preparing meticulously,
The Dragon is ready to roll,
The Snake is rolling already,
The wise Horse draws back,
The wiser Sheep may retreat,
The Monkey takes greater care,
The rash Rooster risks mortification,
The Dog may break some ties,
but
The Pig is learning all the time.

Know your inner beast. How Ox are you?
Birth in the Ox Hour (1am-3am)~: late conversion of some sort.
Birth on the Ox Day#: empathetic, even psychic.
Birth during the Ox Month (January)*: at work a sticker.
Birth in the Ox Year: spiritual tradition.
~ 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 go in order to be known.
South East, Determination: Year Star: 9 Dragon Virtue, Month Star: 7.
Best front door and generally the best direction to face all year.
Dragon Virtue supports the good reputation of all, kuas 1 3 4 and 9 in particular as well as certain Monkeys, Rats, Snakes, Roosters and Oxen (Dragons may find it competitive – not that that’s necessarily bad). All year this is the place to locate in order to be noticed in a positive way although this month you may experience a little frustration due to the 7.
Enhance with: Clockwork devices (eg a music box).
Four Plants (eg bamboo stems) help all year.

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 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.

Special days unique to the New Year
Lunar New Year: Sat Jan 28th 19:35 Wood Rabbit; Maiden, Full. A principle of date selection (or ze ri xue) is that what is done on the selected day echoes forward. This is doubly true on a Full day which may prefigure the whole year. This is not such a special day but for many including the traditionally-minded Chinese, it is the true New Year.

Solar New Year: Fri Feb 3rd 23:49 Metal Rooster; Mound, Success. These are fine portents for 2017. The Solar New Year is about the physical world and practicality, and Mound implies the need for positive focused action such as placing a Water Dragon. Plans made today and the action following will tend to flourish. This is for many, the astrological New Year.
The Turkey cometh.
“If we meet evil before it becomes reality- before it has even begun to stir – we can master it.”
The Book of Changes Hexagram 19.

Here we are in the sluggish nomanstime between years. A cusp, if you will, this is the time to be making major feng shui changes while the effect of the Monkey can hardly be felt and the Rooster is as yet not quite here. The North East can be opened up again now and the South has become delicate; on the other hand an activated South-East-facing building gets a turbo charge all year. These are among the differences between the years and most of my time right now is spent making those changes until about mid-February. We can guide you by Skype/Zoom, let you have written drills or I can visit; I have a few time slots left.

In January 2012 during this twilight time, I advised Britain’s favourite designer Kelly Hoppen, to paint her office wall red. Which to her great credit, she did. And remember, this is the queen of monochrome, the populiser of taupe. Whether connected or not, what followed is matter of record: Dragons Den, A-list status and more to the point, a happiness that had seemed to elude her before. We fell out in 2014 btw.

Much of the reasoning for this advice came from her ba zi, that is her Animal Fortune for that year. As for how 2017 is likely to affect you and me personally, you have your own annual Animal Fortunes for the year now: 2017: Year of the Turkey. If you’re uneasy with what you read, well that’s what the feng shui changes are for. Feng shui is often thought of as prescription where ba zi is diagnosis. If we fear a plague of boils or want to achieve against the odds, we get our feng shui right for the year.

As for the world……

Technically this is a Fire Rooster year with a 1 lo shu (or magic square). A Fire Rooster year is likely to be one of strutting and posing. 1 indicates a time of communication.

Under the Rooster the Dragon gets something of a free ticket; examples are Vladimir Putin, Boris Johnson and Nigel Farage, all of whom will continue to subordinate the facts to their various ambitions in this post-truth world. The Snake too; Bashar al-Assad is unlikely to face much music before his nemesis year of the Pig 2019.  But also the Ox; if you want to be up to date with the opposition to the forces of darkness, look no further than Metal Ox Barack Obama who is either a. not the man he has appeared to be or b. the focus of opposition.

And finally this is a year of compromise. A 1 year concerns negotiation. The forces of post-truth interestingly, fear disagreement and unpopularity more than anything. There is something about the Fire Dog – George W Bush, Bill Clinton, David Bowie and most particularly Donald Trump – that experiences the whole world as being against them. On some level they think of themselves as victims; this may be what drives them. The world to them is a bully that won’t acknowledge their greatness. A man who can’t sleep until he has redressed the injustice of a critical Tweet is very susceptible to the weight of public opinion. So popular opposition and public discussion will be very effective this year. Don’t hold back from demonstrating or marching (or voting) because you believe it makes no difference. It really does.

And ba zi-wise the closest comparison for Trump remains Elvis Presley; do with this information Anchoras you will.
 
Richard Ashworth © 2017

Distracted by Shiny Things:
2017, the Fire Rooster: the Year of the Turkey.
What to do next?
 
Tune-Ups, Bulletins, Studying Ba Zi & Feng Shui, Retainers
with Richard Ashworth in 2017.

A South-Eastern door looks helpful in 2017 – but how do you enhance it? Dragons and Snakes look set but what about Rabbits and the Roosters themselves? How do we capitlaise on the fresh energy? In answer to such questions, here are some ways we might work together this year:

 1. A Tune-Up survey brings your work or living space into the Year of the Fire Rooster. Richard identifies the spots that need attention and attends to them or tells you what to do. If we’ve mapped it already, this will take 2-4 hours and we’ll charge you less. Otherwise set the controls for ½ a day.

2. A subscription to our Monthly and Weekly Bulletins will tell you week by week and month by month, where to do what, when and often why. This can be very useful for planning such activities as travel and crucial meetings.

3. Studying feng shui or ba zi; we run starter courses on each which are available as a group “live” thing from time to time or (constantly) via Skype/Zoom. Both bought together will cost you less.

4. Hand-drafted ba zi and consultation, one to one. Ba zi of course plots the cycle of time as it applies to you and will tend to show major milestones, preferences and blockages. The ba zi is perhaps the very best device there is for identifying major moments of choice. And doing something about them. A follow-up session, if Richard has already drafted your ba zi is often a good way to start the year.

5. Soul Retainer. For a single annual payment, you receive a Tune-Up, Monthly and Weekly Bulletins and a further four hours one-to-one over the year as well as attendance at next year’s Forecast Weekend.
Prices (and further information): sheilaashworthfengshui@gmail.com

Richard Ashworth is among the most respected Western Feng Shui Masters. He has worked with stars such as Gillian Anderson and Naomie Harris 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

 

Little Red Rooster

September 8, 2016

Little Red Rooster
My diary for the month of the Fire Rooster
(Sept7th 13:48pm to 05:59 Oct 8th inclusive)
in the Year of the Fire Monkey.

Kuan
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The Watchtower
Hexagram 20

“Everything that gives off light is dependent upon something to which it clings.”
The Book of Changes.

The Rooster Month
Animal by Animal
During this Fire Rooster Month,
The Rat may feel disinformed,
The Ox whistles nonchalantly,
The Tiger is bemused,
The Rabbit chooses his moment,
The Dragon flies high,
The Snake emerges,
The Horse stamps,
The Sheep’s support may go uncredited,
The Monkey takes a back seat,
The Rooster is surprisingly bashful,
The Dog waits his turn,
while
The Pig seizes the initiative.

Know your inner beast. How Rooster are you?
Birth in the Rooster Hour (3-5pm)~: numerate kids.
Birth on the Rooster Day#: pride that can go either way.
Birth during the Rooster Month (September)*: work with design.
Birth in the Rooster Year: flirtatious parents.
~ 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.

Where to do what, when and why
Summary: Two locations again

South, Bright Future: Year Star: 6, annual san sha, Month Star: 8.
To encourage a bright future, it’s best for East Group people to locate or face South again. South–facing windows and doors are favoured as is the South of your home/office. “Bright future” btw means plan, plot, visualise and wait; whatever Barthes and Derrida may think, the future is a little down the line. No complaints that nothing happened in the first three minutes following the change, please.
Note: To sleep facing South means toes North, pillow South.

West, Intervention: Year Star: 4 Year, Sun, Month Star: 6.
For West Group people West (who’da thought it?) remains a top location. The single female could successfully seek company here. Positive intervention may bring windfalls too. Locating yourself West, facing West or occupying a West-facing building is pretty sound. Same with West-opening doors.
Note: To sleep facing West means toes East, pillow West.

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 me 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.

My actual Diary
Little Red Rooster.
I have a stopover in a dinky little hotel while I’m working on integrating a house and workshop into an ancient group of hills. I can’t tell you more about this right now, if ever.

But staying away from home gives me a chance to read extra-curricular stuff; in this case Barney Hoskyns’ Trampled Underfoot about the infamous exploits of Led Zeppelin. Coincidentally (in the sense that there is such a thing) today the  redtops are reporting that a US court has let Led Zeppelin get away with yet another “inspiration” – this time having cut and pasted Taurus by Spirit into the introduction to Stairway to Heaven. And as it turns out, I’m listening to Nessun Dorma played by Jeff Beck. Beck is the most lyrical of guitar players. Check out his version of Somewhere over the Rainbow if you doubt me. Such an emphatic touch. Beck was with Jimmy Page in the Yardbirds of course. So it’s fair to say that Page was, far from being the greatest guitar player in the world, not even the best in the Yardbirds.

As it happens, Willie Dixon’s Little Red Rooster is not on the rollcast of blues and folk artists plundered by Zeppelin: Howlin’ Wolf, Bert Jansch, Muddy Waters, it really is a long list .

Anyway a red rooster is clearly Fire, not say Wood or Metal. This Fire Rooster month prefigures 2017. So obviously enough similar forces affect both and consequently, similar events can be expected. Both month and year are Fire Roosters: a boisterous bird that tends to be glamorous and charismatic. The Rooster is also logical to a fault. A balanced one is a valuable friend while you have her attention; out of control this is a bombastic show-off, mouth disengaged from mind and heart. Current potential and actual world leaders fit this bill pretty well, as did Led Zeppelin. The Rooster is inherently Metal and Fire attacks Metal. Own goals and friendly fire are likely this month. Along with plagiarism.

The “Star” at the centre of the lo shu or magic square is a 4 which relates both to innovation and copying. The 4 is puckish but generally benevolent. It sits to the South East which means that some Western interpretations of feng shui limit its influence to “Wealth” which is over-simplistic. Wealthy or not, the Rooster is yin, (ie principally to do with the feminine) and it’s sometimes termed the por kwan. The por kwan or  “broken soldier” often possesses the “poison tongue”; words that can kill at fifty paces.

But it’s not a time to hold your tongue. It’s actually a very good month to say in a new way things that need saying, as long as you’re truly well-intentioned. Anything can be communicated in a way that’s healing. Let me emphasise that this is not an appeal on behalf of pc central but a warning to consider the impact, accuracy and intention of words. In NLP theory “the meaning of a communication” is reckoned to be “the reaction it elicits.” It’s black and white, we don’t get to say “I didn’t mean that,” when we bruise with a careless phrase. On one hand then, this is the month of the apology, on the other it’s foot-in-the-mouth-Month. Watch the front pages.

A dozen semi-literate black songwriters died in penury when a small cheque from Page might have pulled them out of the gutter and at this moment in time when there is more inequality than ever and more denial of the fact, we are at a er… crossroads, so to speak. The Monkey year has as predicted been chaotic. But nothing is written in stone. One man’s chaos is another’s opportunity.  Next year’s Rooster, like this month’s could go either way.

And there is really nothing, no magic, no mumbo-jumbo, no recherché formula, more powerful than telling someone something nice that’s true.
See Hexagram 27 perhaps.

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. Now I know how Howlin’ Wolf felt.
Here’s the link: http://amzn.to/2aGaDT8Footnote: my next ba zi Starter Course starts on the weekend of September 17th/18th. Details here:
http://www.imperialfengshui.info/coursesAnd 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

SNAFU Manchu My diary for the month of the Wood Sheep

July 7, 2016
SNAFU Manchu
My diary for the month of the Wood Sheep
(July 7th 00:33 to August 7th 10:39am inclusive)
in the Year of the Fire Monkey.
 

Dun
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Withdrawal
Hexagram 33

“Whoever can comprehend this exchange could rule the world.” Confucius.

The Sheep Month
Animal by Animal
During this Wood Sheep Month,
The Rat may appear sidelined,
The Ox may be confronted,
The wise Tiger holds back for now,
Fortune favours the brave Rabbit,
The Dragon is on cruise control,
The Snake seeks advantage,
The humble Horse finds comfort,
The Sheep rules – if that’s okay,
The Monkey is quietly agitated,
The Rooster could be oblivious,
The Dog is consistent,
while
The Pig gains a further foothold.
 
Know your inner beast. How Sheep are you?
Birth in the Sheep Hour (1-3pm)~: age disgracefully.
Birth on the Sheep Day#: the pivot and the ridgepole.
Birth during the Sheep Month (July)*: selfless work.
Birth in the Sheep Year: idealism, 60’s consciousness.

~ 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.

Where to do what, when and why

Summary: There is a choice of helpful locations this month. One suits the West Group of people, the other the East Group. If as is likely, this means nothing to you, just ask: richardashworthfengshui@gmail.com . Meanwhile remember to be gentle.

West, Intervention: Year Star: 4 Year Sun, Month Star: 8.
The visiting 8 suggests the West helps the creative this month. The monthly san sha makes it fragile, so be gentle and await inspiration. Writer’s block, tricky plotting and the equivalent knots relating to art, sculpture, dance design and so on will tend to loosen in the West right now. The romantic toe far or “plum flower” Star is still here which means that affairs of the heart may distract in the nicest possible way. Trust this as part of the creative process, sex and creativity are inextricably linked, as geniuses like Picasso and Dali insisted. They also (consider Prince and Marvin Gaye for instance) bring healing. Which is the job of the restorative Sun sitting due West all year at the Rooster.

So locate yourself West, face West, enter through a Western door or occupy a West-facing building but don’t make too much commotion; no parties, keep music down and infrequent. West Group kuas: 2, (especially) 6, 7, 8*: are suited. Mechanically a Water fountain is a boost. And occasional bright light – not too bright.

East, Ambition: Year Star: 9 Dragon Virtue Month Star: 4
The 9/4 is combination stud muffin, sex kitten and student. Often of course found in the same package – which may make it hard to concentrate. Dragon Virtue looks after reputation and a Water Feature will continue to boost ambition. But locating or facing East may prove distracting. Either way keep adding More Wood! Best for East Group people: 3 4 9 1.

*Note: These are calculated from birth details; everybody is one or the other. If this is all er…Chinese to you, email me your birth details or more drastically, study ba zi that is Four Pllars (the Cycle of Time) with me.

SNAFU Manchu:
My diary for the month of the Wood Sheep.
Politics Alert: if all you want is dates and places, read no further.

Chinese Masters can relish predicting plagues of boils. I generally don’t do it because it’s just too easy. Furthermore there is a thin line between identifying the future and creating it. What I have been pretty explicit about though for several years is the Fire Monkey’s likely turbulence and the spread of the global unrest that’s been brewing since at least 2010.

As it happens I was at a love-in for Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt just before the referendum and I found myself reluctantly agreeing with him about Remaining. He stands of course for the vested interests of the City whereas I feel more representative of my children the future, cooperation and generally saying yes to stuff. But he was adamant that Brexit formed the greatest threat to British sovereignty (whatever that is) since Suez. What year would that have been? You’re right, the Fire Monkey of 1956.

In the years leading up to the current Monkey, global turbulence took the many contradictory forms of the Scottish Referendum, Hong Kong’s Umbrella Revolution and popular support for Podemos in Spain as well as thrusts for independence in places such as Catalonia, right wing movements like UKIP all over Europe, Donald Chump’s bid for power and of course Brexit. These are the forces channelled, rabble-roused and then abandoned by Boris, Gove and Farage. Not that there is that much to choose between the above sociopaths and Cameron, Osborne and indeed Trump; all spouting negative, lowest common denominator crowd-pleasing stuff designed to bring out the worst. This is the code of the above-it-all.

And it is in the teeth of this that the efforts of the Greek popular movement Syriza have been so poignant. Did you know that Mario Draghi the President  of the European Central Bank now enforcing privatisation, pension cuts and sliced-up public services, is the same man who while he was at Goldman Sachs, advised the Greek Government (for a vast commission) as they fudged their figures in order to “converge” and join the Euro? You couldn’t make it up.

Anyway now that we’re in the eye of the storm let’s try to explain how events fall into the gan zi cycles of time and perhaps look at what comes next.
No Wise Monkeys.
As you have learned, if we want a guide to what’s likely to happen in a Fire Monkey year, we look closely at previous Monkeys and extremely closely at Fire Monkeys. This means going back in sequences first of twelve years and then of sixty in order to consider how past events may recur in a more modern context.

Which takes us back first to the Wood Monkey of 2004 when the principal topic of interest on this isolated little island was the invasion of Iraq. Twelve years previously British boots had also been on the ground in that long-suffering part of the world and in 1980 the Russians blundered into Iraq themselves. 1968 brought escalation of the American invasion of South East Asia as well as street riots in Paris; plus, as they say, ca change, plus c’est la meme chose. Excuse my French. Monkey means chaos and specifically invasion. I write as the Chilcot Enquiry reveals its findings.

Then we go deeper. 1956, like 1896, 1836, 1776, 1716 and even 1536 are multiples of sixty years apart. Each is not just a Monkey but a Fire Monkey. The key events I have long seen in these Monkeys were Suez (1956) The Alamo (1836), the American Declaration of Independence (1776) and the inflation of the South Sea Bubble (1716). I’ve been banging on about parallels to these (and particularly this last) for a very long time. But it took a conversation with my friend, the very perceptive Sarah Fenton to get me to look as far back as 1536.

Remember the Alamo!
1956: Suez. Briefly, events in Egypt that year suggest we really could still be stupid enough to try and solve Middle-Eastern questions with bombs. Gun boat diplomacy worked in the Boer War, why not in 1956 and indeed 2016? Watch this space.

1836: The Alamo. Early in the morning of March 6th 1836 the Alamo mission house packed with American settlers, in San Antonio, Texas (or rather Tejas) in Northern Mexico was wiped out by several thousand troops under the dictator Antonio Lopez de Santa Anna. The Americans had been paid by the Mexican government to migrate there and clear the territory of natives; even then it was common knowledge that American people took to gun violence like no other. Empresarios such as Sam Houston – who would go on to be the first Governor of the new American territory of Texas – and William Travis (played by Laurence Harvey in the John Wayne movie) had made substantial incomes from brokering this migration.

Suffice it to say that by the end of the year, Texas was American. In US myth the Alamo is the story of gallant Davy Crockett (Wayne) inspiring the settlers to stand for justice and the American way in the face of tyranny. The fact is that to this day, Texas is largely Hispanic not because of incursions from the South but because the Mexicans were there already. In Mexico.

Fast-forward to today, Chump is having fun winding up Hispanic-American tension. A wall (“that they’ll pay for”) running say, from Laredo to Baja California would more than likely be the popular success its equivalents in Berlin and Palestine have proved to be. But that issue – Hispanic rights – will be pivotal to the result of the election. And Chump will ride that horse as far as it will go. See above.

You can’t shoot without a gun.
1776: The American Constitution, perhaps still the greatest product of the human mind, is augmented by the 10 Amendments of the Bill of Rights, the second of which permits Americans to bear arms. And kill each other. I see this amendment itself being amended by the end of the next Presidential term but there will be plenty of resistance first. August will tell.

1716: The South Sea Bubble. I’ve written about this more than once before. In that Fire Monkey year, the South Sea Trading Company had for six years or so been selling off the British National Debt at many times its face value. Today we’d call these investments junk bonds. By 1720 the bottom fell out of the market and ruined thousands. If this is predictive, a life-changing market “correction” is on its way right now, perhaps the biggest since 1929. Which is not all bad by the way, in that a fresh start might pull money back onshore, bring down property prices and lead to the reform of corporate governance while restricting global inequality along with the consumption of hydrocarbons.

1536: #Brexit1, The Dissolution of the Monasteries. Ann Boleyn is said to have refused to let Henry VIII have his wicked way with her unless she was first made Queen. In his desperation to get his leg over, Henry ushered in the English Reformation, consequently finding himself in possession of huge tracts of church land. This land and the other riches of the church belonged (if they belonged to anybody) to the congregations whose alms had built them up. Undeterred Henry shared them out among the wealthy. That this was a parallel with the distribution of the wealth of the common people among the rich and undeserving that has accelerated over these first two decades of the 21st century, has been clear to me for a very long time. But it took a conversation with the above-mentioned Sarah Fenton to have me realise that it equally represented a cutting off from the Catholic Church, the Pope and thus a break with Europe.  Oops.

And from that a further insight: the new barons had more wealth than they knew what to do with. Many including Henry’s son and successor, Edward VI set up schools on some of the land they’d received in this massive windfall. These (Rugby 1567, Harrow 1572, Westminster 1560 and so on) form the backbone of the English Public (that is Private) School system – the method by which the English middle class ensure their children emerge into adulthood as repressed and dissociated as they are themselves. If you want to understand how deeply Cameron, Johnson, Farage and the rest of them don’t give a damn, you perhaps need to understand this uniquely British institution. And 1536 is when Henry’s incontinence gives it birth.

It was the Duke of Wellington who remarked that the Battle of Waterloo had been won on the playing fields of Eton. That and every other triumph of the British Empire; only the British Public Schoolboy could believe he had a right to invade India, China, Malaysia, the list is long. Only British Public School boys could have massacred natives and then gone home for a game of cricket followed by a gin and tonic. Only British Public Schoolboys could have engineered Brexit and then to a man scarpered. The roots are in the Fire Monkey of 1536 which goes some way to explaining why we remain ruled by sociopaths.

Darling Buds.
The Sheep month is likely to be conciliatory to Horses like Cameron and Merkel, harsh upon Oxen such as Barack Obama and Yanis Varoufakis and to put thoughtful Rats like Owen Jones onto the back foot. It’s not a harsh month, more like a backwater of temporary calm. Dragons – Farage, Johnson, Putin and Russell Brand – get time out. Pigs many of whom have had a hard year to date. break through as do the hard-working Rabbits. The smarter Snake will pick jewels from the rubble, but it’s risky. Dogs are a special case though; it may have escaped your notice that Presidents George W Bush and Bill Clinton and candidate Donald Chump share more than a thick skin. All three were born in the same Fire Dog year, 1946. So in a sense Chump represents business as usual with added shamelessness. This month will tend to put these qualities into sharp relief.

On the other hand the next Chinese month is a Fire Monkey itself, starting 7th August when the events at the peak of the year will be echoed by way of a reaction. Hang onto your hats. Theresa May btw – who’d have thought it? – was herself born in the Year of the Fire Monkey 1956.
Richard Ashworth © 2016. 7th July 2016

Footnote: my next ba zi Starter Course starts in September, Early Bird offers still open. 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

Knowing Your Onions: feng shui and Tomatoes, part 2

May 27, 2016

Knowing your onions: the yin and yang of feng shui.

“He not busy being born is busy dying.”

Bob Dylan.

Yes we have no tomatoes.

Some ungenerous people say that Bob Dylan made a career out of just two songs: a slow one and a fast one. And one way to look at feng shui is that it is about only two things: the qualities of yin and yang. In a sense the feng shui Master’s task is to limit yang and encourage yin – perhaps by placing stones – or to boost yang by building a Water fountain, thence health, wealth and wisdom.

The Taoist principle is that existence starts with precisely two qualities or essences: yin which is smaller, still, quiet, dark and subtle, essentially feminine and yang which is larger, outgoing, illuminated, unsubtle and broadly masculine. All that there is, hats, hills, oceans, football, turtles, elephants, Donald Trump’s hair piece, your frying pan and the Chuckle Brothers, are made up of some combination of yin and yang.

You’ll recall that in an earlier blog I compared feng shui to salad; planting lettuce in January against a North-facing wall is not only not bright, it violates the laws of feng shui. Now I have to confess: this is not the whole story. The roots, if you will, are much deeper. Having looked at the wu xing or “Five Elements” we need now to consider yin and yang.

Knocking on Heaven’s Door.

Feng shui of course would not be a thing at all if its laws were not universal. The idea that it works in China and not elsewhere is as silly as the idea that its fundamentals are a Chinese thing. Waving Cats belong in Chinese restaurants not your front room. Laws are laws. The builders of  Stonehenge, for instance – whoever they were – respected the rule that there is a Ghost Gate North East and a Heaven Gate – a Tiananmen – North West. And the Valley of the Kings straddling the Nile as its celestial counterpart straddles the Milky Way, reflects the Chinese story of the Maiden and the Ox Boy, forever separated by the river of stars between them. And so on. Wherever we travel we find theories of the management of space that map onto one another.

In England I often come across buildings that betray Masonic design. I’m no expert on Masonry but the long eccentric passageways and irregular floor plans are pretty distinctive, quite apart from the symbols over thresholds and fireplaces. Masonic architects are said to have built many of the great mediaeval cathedrals and one stage whisper across the nave at Chartres reveals mastery of acoustics that confirm their designers knew something we still don’t.

Perhaps two things actually: one, that the only constant is change; two, the physical universe is a duality, that is to say made up of two.

Shell Shock.

And as it happens, classical feng shui comes down two lines of descent; one, as discussed before, by way of early observers who noticed that the cycle of the hours of the day mirrored the cycle of the seasons which led to them giving Animal names to days, hours, months, years and indeed locations. The other branch of the family tree proceeds from the discoveries of the diviners of the Zhou Dynasty. I examined the first group or “school” (known as sam he or “Three Harmony”), in my previous article which also had nothing to with tomatoes. Or to jump the gun, turtles.

Thousands of years ago it was the practice of the Zhou diviners of Northern China to bake river-turtles. Not for nourishment or even for entertainment you understand, but for information; they grilled them if you will, and noted the patterns of cracks created by the heat. Inevitably the river turtle became extinct by the way.

The cracks seem to have fallen into two types – long and short. And the diviners appear to have taken short to mean no and long to mean yes. This probably evolved by trial and error. Before the advent of fast food, microwaves, refrigerators or even farming, if diviners could direct the community to where deer or water lay, they would probably have been well rewarded; the Chinese character for divination – xiang – is actually a picture of an elephant or perhaps a mammoth. Now there’s a square meal. In the great tradition of Chinese history, if the diviners called it wrong they probably lost limbs or disposable organs. In time they clearly got it right. A relatively short time probably.* The turtles of course were beyond caring.

*The 4th Century BCE military thinker Sun Tzu, author of the Art of War, was reduced to theory rather than practice after his feet had been cut off for some now-forgotten offence. A little later, the Han historian Ssu Ma Chien was sentenced to death for begging the Emperor to show mercy to a hapless defeated general. This sentence was commuted to the greater (ie more dishonourable) one of castration because of Ssu’s value to the Emperor.

At some point these discoveries map onto ideas about light and dark and become the concepts of yin and yang which are at the core of Taoism. In the beginning, goes the theory, was the mou chi or “great nothingness” and then at some point, it is said the “myriad things” come into being; that is to say, all that exists. The mou chi is not unlike Stephen Hawking’s great “singularity” that (allegedly) precedes the universe; it is followed by the simultaneous birth of two things: yin and yang. One could not logically precede the other because the existence of the “myriad things” requires contrast; we cannot have a depression without a surround, height without base or light without shade. They would not be “myriad” if they weren’t different.

And like so many Chinese ideas, yin/yang theory is an acorn that holds a variety of oaks. It implies for instance the concept of infinity (since contrast is by definition endless) and of relativity (everything is bigger than something and smaller than something else). Chinese thinkers were clear that there are no fixed points long before Newton saw it in the night sky. As Neo says in The Matrix: “there is no spoon.”

Obviously if yin and yang referred to light and shade, they related also to time and place. The night is yin, the day yang; winter yin and summer yang and so on. In time then, inevitably a yin/yang theory of time and place emerged. From this comes the Book of Changes, a work as central to Chinese culture as some combination of Shakespeare, the Bible, Immanuel Kant, Einstein and the Brothers Grimm might be to Western thinking.

What also emerges is a system that identifies the nature of each part of a building. That is to say about half of classical feng shui practice. A skilled sam yuen practitioner can tell you things about each member of the family, what their strengths and weaknesses are and their activities and so on simply by examining your floor plan.

You’re Fired.

How? Well, somewhere along the line, the diviners’ vocabulary of incisions gave rise to the idea of the Trigram (or three-line figure) and Hexagram (six) which allowed them to offer a spectrum of “maybe” answers beyond the stark yin and yang of yes and no. Perhaps this saved lives and limbs. Perhaps it cost them. Your Alan Sugars are pussycats to bearers of ambiguous counsel compared to mediaeval Chinese Emperors*.

*consider the Ming Emperor Hong Wu whose chief claim to the throne was that he’d slain all his male relatives.

Three unbroken lines absolute yang, clearly meant a big Yes and thus daylight, power, authority, Father and the South. Similarly three broken lines implied the opposite: night, darkness, winter and the North. As well as Woman by the by but let’s not go there. In between these extremes were the various Trigrams that mixed yin and yang. This is called today the “Early Heaven Arrangement” of Trigrams and it’s reckoned to date from the moment of creation. In time a Later Heaven Arrangement emerged which relates to the present.

Accordingly the eight possible Trigrams made up of yin (broken) and yang (unbroken) lines each came to represent not only a compass point but also a member of the Confucian family and the qualities associated. Put simply, every space consists of eight locations or “palaces” each of which represents a member of the family and a type of experience or qi. This applies equally to your bedroom your home, your street, neighbourhood, nation and planet. We can literally say that if there is something happening at say the South West, it relates to Mother, Relationship (with a capital “R”) and associated ideas. We can, as you will be surmising, do a great deal with just this information. Lillian Too built a whole career on it. And let me hasten to add, she’s a dozen sorts of genius. As is Bob Dylan btw.

You put one Trigram on top of another and you have a Hexagram. There are sixty four possible Hexagrams made up of yin and yang lines. Put the sixty four together and you have the Book of Changes,

Fast forward to the 10th Century and we have kan yu or di lin practitioners (that is proto-feng shui Masters) practising both “schools” of thought. A further thousand years and by the early 19th century the modern luo pan (or Chinese compass) is incorporating both theories.

And so today the modern practitioner belongs to both “schools”; the sam yuen theories of Flying Star and Eight House (which are centrally expressions of yin and yang) as well as the sam he or Three Harmony theory of the celestial Animals. Bingo.

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

Richard Ashworth’s Diary for the month of the Metal Rabbit 2016

March 3, 2016

The Current Bunny
My diary for the (2nd) month of the Metal Rabbit 2016
(March 4th 11:46am to April 4th 16:32pm inclusive).

Da Zhuang
—-  —-
—-  —-
———-
———-
———-
———-
Great Power
Hexagram 34

The little is departing, the great is arriving.
The Book of Changes.

The Rabbit Month, Animal by Animal.
During this Metal Rabbit month:
The Rat may not be appreciated.
The Ox may shrug off a chain.
The Tiger is impatient.
The Rabbit is home.
The Dragon may be straitened.
The Snake is well-matched.
The Horse paces less quietly.
The Sheep joins.
The Monkey can’t quite hit the target.
The Rooster is opposed.
The Dog is backed up.
and
The Pig regains direction.

Where to do what, when and why.
The East is always about ambition, aspiration and getting ahead; thrusting qualities we tend to associate with the Eldest Son. All year this sector holds in addition the forward-looking 9 Star of sunlight and discovery and right now that helpful star of future fortune is joined by the 8 which relates to things happening right now. Place yourself to the East, face East and/or activate the East of your building with plants (eg 3 bamboos in Water) and/or Water. A fountain is perfect; when choosing a fountain however, ignore cherubs and lettuce, go for exposed surface area. That’s what holds qi.

Current Bunny.
The Rabbit is yin Wood, typically gentle, domestic and approachable. So any Rabbit month can be expected to reflect these attributes. The Rabbit’s secret is that she is the master networker. If you want to work the room, seek a Rabbit. Again these qualities are topical; having landed safely in the Year of the Monkey now may be the time to consider widening our acquaintance.

Metal however clashes with Wood. There is internal conflict in the Metal Rabbit, not the most comfortable of the Zodiac Animals. 2011 – the year “austerity” started to bite – was a Metal Rabbit year, a confusing time, as was 1951 – with post-war rationing still in force. And people born in 1951 tend to display just such a confusion: am I intent upon millions or on saving the world? Am I an idealist or a realist? Gordon Brown who is both a deeply moral man – the son of a Presbyterian minister of course – and among the trickiest politicos of his generation, is a good example.

A disproportionate number of New Age healers were born that dour year, many of whom are right now agonising over whether hugging trees and giving love is enough and what they’ll do once tax credits are abolished. These and other Rabbits (as well as the Pig and the Horse) were turbo-charged by the Year of the Sheep but the Monkey tugs at the carpet. Rabbit, Pig, Sheep and even Horse retain momentum but this month is one for setting goals and getting on with it.

Remember btw that whatever year you were born in, you are much more than a Rabbit or a Dog or whatever and indeed any astrological or other pat analysis. As the Book of Changes says: “Destiny emerges from character.”

And when your ba zi is overshadowed, be sure to get your feng shui right.

Pigs in Blankets.
Some of the above may start to answer a few pregnant questions: such as what happened to those 1947 Fire Pigs like David Bowie and Alan Rickman? One answer is that these very creative people were bolstered by the Sheep of 2015 and that support fell away just as they were at their weakest. These two were just the most eminent; out there among the anonymous, many Pigs are right now reassessing their priorities. Go to it; break through often comes after breakdown. Sometimes after breakfast.

The Monkey’s trickiness also extends to the Europe issue. Suddenly party loyalties, election possibilities and a whole lot more have been shaken up as politicians balance short and long term advantage. Horses like Angela Merkel and David Cameron will be confronted in ways from which only the strongest and best can expect to emerge whole. My Dad used to say that when a politician talks about sovereignty he means his not yours.

Which is to say that the tricky Fire Monkey of the year is doing its mischief; if we track back through previous Fire Monkeys we can see they’re all about separation; 1776, the Year of the American Declaration of Independence, 1836 the Alamo, 1956 Suez and the Budapest Uprising. But the most graphic example may be 1536 when Henry VIII (a bossy Ox like Adolf Hitler, Margaret Thatcher and Napoleon and er…Barack Obama) dissolved the monasteries and effectively cut England off from Europe by seceding from the Catholic Church. This may be when he went off the rails and took up executing Queens as a hobby.

Back in the world of nuts and bolts and markets, Neil Woodford, maverick wizard of the stock exchange, offers the sanest prognosis about Europe: disruption either way as well as huge opportunity. It seemed to work for the Tudors.

Rabbit Pillars; know your Rabbit rating.
Birth in the Rabbit hour (05:00pm-07:00am): diplomatic children.
Birth in the Rabbit month (March*): business networking skills.
Birth on the Rabbit day#: mein host.
Birth in the Rabbit year: gentle, romantic.
* Caution, the Chinese month generally starts and finishes a few days after ours.
# You’ll need a Chinese calendar for this. Or ask.
Richard Ashworth ©2016

www.imperialfengshui.info

Explore 2016, The Fire Monkey with Richard Ashworth

October 27, 2015
A World going Bananas
2016, The Fire Monkey: a Year of Turbulence.
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 5th 2015.
Dragons Den’s Kelly Hoppen: Richard is the man I trust with my own office.”

It’s Autumn, the time of Zeun Kong, the Descending of the Hoar Frost. Every day now we move further out of 2015’s Wood Sheep, the Year of Gathering, towards the Fire Monkey, the Year of Turbulence. I imagine you can feel it.

2015 for many of us was about joining and re-joining – relationships, family, clubs, unions, political parties, alliances. Those born in the Year of the Dog, Sheep or Ox may have argued among themselves (Kate & Wills both 1982 Dogs, for instance) and Dragons will have been in some demand as mediators, though not always appreciated (such as Tom Jones born 1940, Vladimir Putin 1952). For the Horse it was very much a year of two halves (consider Angela Merkel 1954 and David Cameron 1966) and for many Roosters (Ed Miliband 1969) a time of opportunities that slipped through the fingers.

You may have experienced unaccountable good fortune in a building facing North or an office to the North West. Rabbits may have made far-reaching decisions. Rats may have been unwary.

The favoured directions and Celestial Animals during the Fire Monkey will be very different. Monkey years often feature revolution and invasion; take 2004 (Iraq) 1992 (Desert Storm) 1980 (Russia into Afghanistan) 1968 (The Paris Barricades, Street Fighting Man, the Prague Spring) and so on. Fire Monkeys even more so: 1956 saw the Suez adventure and the Budapest uprising being savagely put down by Soviet forces. These regions remain flashpoints. And the turbulence extends to home and office – yours and mine. Not very British.

Bond Girl Naomie Harris:You were spot on about property prices.”

Whether domestically, internationally, socially or financially – bank crashes often feature the yang Metal of the Monkey – and in this as in other ways, 2016 is likely to be choppy. Some Animals will fare better than others and some properties will be easier to manage while others could be more demanding. On Saturday December 5th I will be talking about the likely shape of the year, its ups and downs and its impacts upon each of us. We start promptly at 10am at the Pepperpot in Godalming and by 5 you will be equipped with my take on the likely shape of the year, its impact on you, your loved ones, your livelihood and your environment and more to the point, how to survive it and thrive. Do join us.

Richard Ashworth is one of the most in-demand feng shui men in the West. He has worked with a handful of famous people like Gillian Anderson (who says he “inspires both confidence and awe”) and many not so excited about being well known.  Classically trained, it was in 2005 that he completed at Huazhong/Wuhan the only feng shui course yet to be certificated by a Chinese University. As well as the long-odds result of the 2005 Ashes Series, he accurately predicted the distribution of seats in Tony Blair’s second election victory, the assassination of Benassir Bhutto and Scottish Independence in 2014. On this last, he says the jury is still out.

Cost for the day: £125
Early Bird: £85 – paid in full by November 21st.
Places are of course limited.
Sheila@imperialfengshui.info.

Animal Forecast 2015: 6. Serpent Uncertainty, outlook for the Snake in 2015

February 12, 2015

Who is a Snake?

Years:  1941, 1953, 1965, 1977, 1989, 2001.
Month*:  May
Hour: 09:00 am – 11.00am
Day: ask us

* Caution: the start of the Chinese month can be as early as the 4th & as late as the 9th, depending on the year. I can let you know this too.

What is a Snake?
The balanced or mature Snake has absolute integrity; this is the goal to strive for.

Snake is yin fire and sits flanked by Horse and the Dragon, possibly the most powerful pair of animals in the Zodiac and certainly among the most difficult stools to fall between. So a typical weakness of the Snake is indecision. Next to that is lack of commitment and finally a propensity for sudden and uncharacteristic dishonesty. The Snake is the prisoner who breaks at the threat of torture; a reasonable decision if you know you’re going to give in anyway. Snakes being of Candle Flame fire, are easily discouraged and sometimes they should be. A Snake may even stick long term with an inappropriate choice so as to put off making any choice at all.

The most written about Snake in 2014 was probably Xi Jinping, born in Snake in the Grass year 1953 and appointed at a time when the internal tensions in China – between efficiency and self-expression, between industrial wealth and rural poverty and between cohesion and corruption – have never been so stark. Repetitive tasks for cheap labour have been travelling East from Europe since the 18th century. Once the last few hundred million Chinese have been urbanised, there’s nowhere else for manufacture to go because growth can’t go on forever. This is the conundrum that faces Xi. The smartest and bravest Snakes confront it head on, the typical Snake pretends there’s no issue and proceeds to “reform”. Do not deceive yourself that the Chinese authorities are no longer imprisoning the innocent without trial or protecting those of the corrupt who can be discreet.

Nonetheless the Snake remains the seeker after truth. This can mean that an immature or unbalanced one is a purveyor of pork pies. The balanced or mature Snake, as I said,  has absolute integrity. But meanwhile what you see may not be what you get. Taking into account the Umbrella sit-ins in Hong Kong and a push-me-pull-you approach to liberal reforms, you might well say that about Mr Xi. Compare perhaps with triple 1953 Snake (year, month, day) Tony Blair.

So the choice for the Snake is between opposites: the extroversion of the Horse and the subtlety of the Dragon, instinct and logic, process and end product, long and short term, relationship and freedom, employment or entrepreneurship. In the face of this dilemma, a balanced Snake will often develop sufficient charm to get through without having to make the hard decisions. Typically in a relationship, the Snake of either gender is not the decision maker and the decisions she has not made may include that of being committed to the relationship. The partner of the Snake (best choice probably Ox or Rooster though Monkey lady and Snake man works well) would be well-advised to drag at least this minimum communication from the Snake early on. Interestingly the water Snake of 1953 is one of the best makers and keepers of relationship of all 60 pillars.

One of the advantages of being between the autocratic Dragon and the unruly Horse is that the Snake has her ego in check. Many would consider her wise because what she has to say is well-considered and she never says too much. The Snake can be a brilliant collaborator, especially with the Ox and the Rooster who are in a sense similar to her two neighbours: the Rooster is blatant and the Ox determined while the Snake anchors them to each other. There may be moments of doubt when the Snake’s loyalty wavers. At such times, the Snake asks searching questions which should have been settled long ago and then usually re-commits. The high minded Brutus was probably a Snake. Not Judas though. To know this, grants the Snake both power and integrity. Snakes who know themselves earn undying trust.

The Snake can also work with the Dragon in what is called the House of Magic. Only the Snake can subordinate ego to the extent that the Dragon demands, while also keeping up. One ideal vocation for a Snake is high-level p.a. Usually (and wisely) the Snake opts for the role of No 2 rather than Big Chief.

Being substantially of yin fire, the Snake often has intellectual and visual gifts. She makes a good critic as her judgement is good and she is not out to destroy egos. She will generally have natural and effortless style.
The Snake’s relationship with the Monkey is of the love-hate variety. Both have hands-on and logical ability and both attract the occasional tussle but where the Monkey welcomes the opportunity for mischief, the Snake treats dispute as a necessary and regrettable evil. When a Tiger appears either in the form of a Tiger-born person or a Tiger year like 2010, this misunderstanding can turn nasty. In a Sheep year, however, the issues are very different.

The Snake is opposed to the Pig and as both of these are members of the informal group sometimes called the Four Terminals, they can impede each other’s movement. Snakes may develop mobility issues in a Pig year (or month) and vice versa.
The Snake prefers a short menu and yes/no questions. In a Rat year the Snake may be overwhelmed; there is just too much choice, The Snake’s dreams may come true only for her to run in the opposite direction. Often communication has to be wrenched from the Snake and in the water years of Rat and Pig there is little support for the tight-lipped. In a typical Ox year there is just enough water but not too much. This makes scope for just the restricted level of communication the Snake prefers.

Snakes have a complex relationship with fire. They are not usually sun-worshippers but often their skin needs just a little regular sun and without it they may fall prey to easily avoided ailments such as vitamin D deficiency. A Wood Sheep year offers less fire than the Horse. You’ll have to seek it out. Now read on.

Snake in Wood Sheep Year.

Stars include: yik ma, yeung yan.

You’re restless.

Traditionally the Sheep year is a stretch for the Snake; in fashion the Snake struggles to keep up to date, in politics, old mistakes return to incriminate. Domestically the Snake learns that (s)he has a great deal to learn. This year the Snake has to step up in order to hang onto what (s)he values most highly. A good deal of change may be called for.  You may be called upon to actually make that move you’ve been resisting; that’s what the yik ma star signifies.

2014 will have been helter-skelter; you simply had to tack into wind or sink. But 2015 is the year of gathering; what you will gather yourself will principally be the reward or fallout from 2014.  There is something very simple about this. It’s kind of black-and-white. The Snake however is multi-coloured. To you there may well be something suspect about simplicity. When Tony Blair claimed to be “a pretty straight kind of guy,” he simply (and perhaps even honestly) did not know what he was talking about. His was the Snake’s eye view. Having mutually contradictory explanations for diametrically opposed views held simultaneously is no one else’s idea of straight. You’re a Snake too.

It’s a 3 year which favours a man’s aspirations unlike last year which honoured those of the female. The qualities called for are robust and unsubtle; not so much the Snake’s cup of tea. This year the simple truth rules. But your view that there’s generally something underneath whatever is presented  is not a foolish one. 2015 promises to be the year in which major concerns about freedoms and fairness are swept back under the carpet and your enquiring, nay suspicious  nature is an important counterpoint. Keep asking questions. Be dissatisfied with the answers just as long as you are dissatisfied with the answers. The Sheep year is a vintage year for the suspicious.

And the Snake is above all the seeker after truth. In 2015 the powers-that-be are shameless and they need robust questioning. Whether it’s about desecrating the Earth – 2015 is the year of fracking and shale-exploitation  –  or setting us upon each other to shift focus from their own shenanigans, this year authority needs questioning. Truth needs to be told to power like never before. And the Snake is the one to do it.

The Horse year of 2014 may have found you spoilt for choice. Among other things the Horse is your Peach Blossom and may have brought you romance. Now you have to turn that into something more lasting but you may have to move – in a variety of senses, including the geographical. This may be the first time you have been called to risk everything. And amid all this you may find yourself not  only  moving house but job and possibly country too. So much earlier than you planned.

Health: possible weight gain. Thyroid.  Accidents are possible; the conventional prophylaxis is to have your teeth professionally cleaned and/or donate blood.

Money: not the main issue.

Relationship: steady if you are.

Feng Shui: seek and activate or occupy  the Dragon at SE1 (ESE).

Readers’ Digest Version: simultaneously disorienting, grounding and full of promise

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

www.imperialfengshui.info

A day with Richard Ashworth discovering: 2015, The Wood Sheep

November 12, 2014

On Saturday December 13th 2014 spend a day with Richard Ashworth discovering: 2015, The Wood Sheep.

2015 The Wood Sheep. A Year of Gathering.

This time last year I suggested the Scots might vote “Yes”. I was wrong. But it was damn close, wasn’t it? Who expected that? I also expected Metal Ox Barack Obama to end the Horse year largely eclipsed and Fire Horse David Cameron’s  judgement to be erratic. An easier year is likely for the Horse in 2015, probably more challenging again for the Ox. Watch this space.

Every year around this time I examine the coming year in the light of the Chinese Cycles of Time. Each year is different; sometime between December and February, the whole taste, feel or chi of a year changes, bringing new opportunities and circumstances. For a Rabbit it may mean one thing – pole position in 2015 actually – to someone in a house that faces West another (tricky). Just as the change from summer to winter or of dark to light affects us all, so the changing year brings a fresh start. Everything is changing all the time, the change from year to year is simply a very visible one.

Earth Snake Taylor Swift for instance typifies the year of her birth, 1989, the year the Berlin Wall came down. The previous Earth Snake was 1929, the year of the Wall Street Crash. Those born in the Earth Snake year may be the most radical of all, just as were the events of the time of their birth. Removing her catalogue from Spotify may be the beginning of a whole new way of marketing music.

If you want to pin down the turning of the year to one moment, that might be December 18th, shortly after my workshop This is the day, just ahead of the Winter Solstice, that the chi or energy which has been falling since mid-Summer, starts to rise again. Some of us can feel the turning. The sap begins to flow once more ahead of the coming Spring. But energy doesn’t work in straight lines and the fiery outgoing Horse of 2014 won’t part without more revelation and whistleblowing.

The year of the Sheep however is more likely to be a time of regrouping. The Sheep is a team builder; that energy of uprising that was expressed in the Scottish vote, is still present, waiting for a new shape. From Edinburgh to Catalonia, Hong Kong to Quebec, there is a restlessness. You might call the Year of the Wood Sheep, the year of Gathering. Teams are building, unrest is focusing.

On Saturday December 13th I’ll be talking about 2015, how it may affect your year Animal, your house, your office and your life. I’ll be suggesting what you can do to make the best use of the new energy and which places to avoid. I’ll run through the year Animal by Animal and I’ll finish by making some predictions for 2015. Some of which might be absolutely right this time. Join us.

Venue: Godalming, Surrey (just 45 mins from London, Waterloo)

Time: December 13th 10am until 5pm.

Cost: £80 until 1st December then £100

Pay now via Paypal

Or email: Sheila@imperialfengshui.info

 

Pig Diary: what to expect in November 2014

November 7, 2014

Pig Diary: what to expect in November 2014.

Stye Guru.

Pig Month opens: November 7th 21:36pm.

Stye Guru.

The Pig is yin Water. Water is cold and dark and November is the month when the cold sets in. All Water in the world is constantly in search of all other Water and so Water is communication. One distinctive weakness then of Pigs is that they may communicate too little. This is yin and yang. Typically Pigs look as if they have it all under control until suddenly they don’t and they haven’t set up the support system required to deal with a crisis. So if the crisis is ebola, this is a poor month for it to be on the rise. However, the Wood Dog of the October just gone and the Water Rooster before it, are often times of mysterious ailments. The Wood Pig that is now upon us carries no such overtone. This should mean that the outbreak comes under control. Typically just as any crisis – famine, dispossession, epidemic – approaches the privileged, it is contained. This I think, will be no different. The USA is more likely to quarantine anyone who enters the country from anywhere East of Charlotte, North Carolina than to succumb. In this country we’ll hire more foreign health professionals and blame them for stealing our jobs. So crisis over. For the time being.

Meanwhile it’s telling that the Pig suffers the so-called “self-clash” which means that Pigs generally don’t prosper much in Pig months. For this reason and others, I expect the resistible rise of 1971 Water Pig Abu-Bakr al-Baghdadi to slow this month. Recruiting figures are down because it’s just possible that an organisation that kills Christian and Sunni indiscriminately and seeks out Shias for special extermination, has lost all claim to being any sort of Islamist set-up. Abu Bakr’s pr campaign trope of deterring aid workers and curbing the freedom of the press by the novel expedient of decapitation can only appeal to psychopaths. That’s the tale of one Pig in a Pig month.

The Pig in the Pig Month.

Pigs (1947, 1959, 1971, 1983, 1995, 2007) are generally sweethearts. The Pig is multi-talented and domesticated; the Chinese ideograph for home is a Pig under a roof. Pig men can often cook to a high standard and Pig women are multi-taskers par excellence; take new Granny Hillary Clinton, pounding the marginal states while she considers whether she’ll stand for President in 2016. (She will). Because they’re often very smart, a Pig weakness can be the tendency to think they know better than others what is good for them (Julian Assange, Ron Paul). They can be boars. But that’s sow biz.

The Pig has a love-hate relationship with the Snake and achieves most as the star of a Rabbit-Pig-Sheep charm offensive.

Pig Month, Animal by Animal.

During the Pig month:

The Rat is flattered.

The Ox is less vocal,

The Tiger is especially creative.

The Rabbit cares for the home,

The Dragon takes a break.

The Snake rethinks,

The Horse could be embarrassed.

The Sheep canvasses,

The Monkey stands back.

The Rooster stands back too, but further.

The Dog waits his turn,

and

The Pig falters.

Pig Pillars; find your inner Swine.

Birth in the Pig hour (21:00pm-23:00pm): taciturn children.

Birth in the Pig month (November*): work involves subtle communication.

Birth on the Pig day#: versatile, multitalented.

Birth in the Pig year: busy parents.

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

# Just ask.

Where to do what, when and why.

This month’s lo shu is the auspicious 8. The 8 delivers. In a 4 year, which is itself about invention, an 8 month is often about children’s welfare.

This month: West, Interference: 6, 1. A transformational he tu combination and still the primary wealth location in 2014. Again add Earth for the auspicious 1:6:8. A large crystal, a low, square, heavy table and/or total stillness may do the trick.

FORTHCOMING EVENTS

An Introduction to Feng Shui: It’s all about meaning. Join me for an introduction to Classical Feng Shui on December 14th with the Circle of Divine in London. Have a look at the Facebook page: : FESTIVE SPECIAL :Conscious Lifestyle choices to create wealth, health & harmony for 2015

December 13th One Day examining with Richard what’s in store for 2015, the Year of the Wood Sheep: For you, your animal sign, your house, the world. Early Bird Price: £80 until 1st December. Full price: £100. Email Becci to book your place.

Ba Zi Starter Course: Discover the Secrets of the Four Pillars opens the weekend of 17/18th January 2015. Or learn by Skype. Early Bird Available.

Contact: becci@imperialfengshui.info

Richard Ashworth©, late in the month of the Wood Dog, 2014.