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,
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.
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 as you will.
Richard Ashworth © 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): email@example.com
Knowing your onions: the yin and yang of feng shui.
“He not busy being born is busy dying.”
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.
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.
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.
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*.
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.
“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
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 and 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!
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.
Cost for the day: £125
Early Bird: £85 – paid in full by November 21st.
Places are of course limited.
Who is a Snake?
Years: 1941, 1953, 1965, 1977, 1989, 2001.
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.
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.
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