Archive for the ‘Book of Changes’ Category

Father along: the Month of the Metal Dog 2017

October 11, 2017
Father along: the Month of the Metal Dog 2017.
My diary for October
(11:47am 8th October to 15:03pm 7th November 2017 inclusive)

Po
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Stripping
Hexagram 23

Animal by Animal
During this Metal Dog Month,
The Rat is wary,
The Ox insists,
The Tiger’s rules prevail,
But the Rabbit’s way works;
The Dragon tacks,
The Snake hides but only for now,
The Horse seeks excellence,
The wise Sheep seeks mediation,
Some moments may pass the Monkey by,
The Rooster rests,
The Dog sticks to it,
and
The Pig awaits advantage.

A 9 month visibility, prominence, fame, spontaneity and snap-judgement.
Most helpful location: South-East. Favoured Animals: Tiger, Horse, Dog, Rabbit.
Especially challenged one way or another: Rooster and Dragon.
The Hexagram (above): Po Stripping. No false moves.

The Year of the Mutt, 2018. Right now I’m working on my Forecast Day for 2018, The Year of the Earth Dog, on Saturday December 2nd in Godalming.  Traditionally Dragon and Rooster are challenged in a Dog year. And Rabbits, Tigers, Horses and the Dog herself are boosted. 2018 echoes previous Dogs like 2006 when the world was in a bit of a pickle and more precisely Earth Dogs like 1838, a year of conflict with China and in the US with Mexico. This time South-East facing houses have a bit of a free ticket and North West not so much. There’s much more; about you, your family, your work and the world in 2018. Join us. Further info: Sheila@imperialfengshui.info

Where to be this month.
Summary: the most creative location currently.
South East, Determination: Year Star: 9 Dragon Virtue, Month Star: 8.
Best place yet again as it will be most of next year. Seek out the South East sector (as measured from the tai chi) but also SE doors and buildings facing SE. Eldest Daughter (ie the single but eligible female) will have a good time here about now. Again this applies also to kuas (ask) 1, 3, 4 and 9 who should sleep with head South East for now. Rooster will as ever tend to find assistance and much more here. Use that SE door!
Month Solution: plants, bright light, Water fountain.
Annual Enhancement: Four Plants (eg bamboo stems), Water fountain.
Where not to be this month.
Summary: the least helpful area right now.
North, Distant Future: Year Star 6, Moon. Month Star: 5.
The avuncular 6 is bent out of shape by the 5 this month. Authority may be misused if wielded here. Which like much of this information, reflects the world and the coming Dog month and year. Poor for the older man and the talkative; security is a hazard here now. Worst for West Group kuas (ask), Horses and Sheep. Dragons and Monkeys might gain from the indiscretion but don’t push it.
Month Enhancement: Metal objects , 6 Pipe Metal Windchime, t’ang lung.
Annual Solution: A large (6kg+) rose quartz, a little Metal, occasional Water, shake but don’t stir.

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

Know your inner beast. How Dogged are you?
Birth in the Dog Hour (7-9pm)~: a fixed future.
Birth on the Dog Day#: a certain fixity.
Birth in the Dog Month (October)*: clear career path.
Birth in the Dog Year: mate for life.
~ GMT. # You’ll need a Chinese calendar for this. * Caution: Chinese months start later.
Father along.
“He who gives no thought to difficulties in the future is sure to be beset by worries much closer to hand.” Confucius.
Symbolically there’s little difference between Authority, Father and God. It doesn’t matter how feckless or ineffectual a Father is, on some level he is going to represent those things. To his children if to no one else. Many of us feel released when we reach this realisation. I write as the Father of six.
It’s the North West of a building that concerns the Father, so I’m unsurprised when that piece is missing from Rajul and Chandra’s little house in North London. Brother and sister, they’ve decamped from the South Atlantic largely to pursue their dreams away from family disapproval. He wants to manage property, she wants to settle down, both bright, educated, nice-looking people.
Their North West is literally like a slice cut out of a cake. That part of the compass of course often lacks light but here a gap in the trees has made a little sun-trap, conveniently enclosed by picket fence. It is as if their missing Father is waiting for company. Elementally the Father is Metal, I tell them.
“So place Metal here,” I recommend. “Garden furniture or machinery. And occupy the space. Perhaps a barbecue from time to time.” The Fire of this last will stimulate the Metal. “But don’t overdo it. And be aware that Father, your Father, the Father is here.” And not 10,000 miles away.
We talk ba zi. Chandra wants children and domesticity. Some bad experiences have made it hard for her to trust. There are tears in her eyes as we speak.
“Miracles are very simple,” I tell her boldly. She purses her lips.
“Not easy; simple. Chinese thought separates reality into three categories: Heaven, Earth and Human. Tian ti ren. Heaven, tian, is the rules as we find them – light, heat, gravity, those factors that limit us as long as we are flesh. Ti, Earth is what we do about them physically which includes taking shelter, nourishing and caring for ourselves, medicine and indeed feng shui. Human qi – ren – is choice.”
She breathes deeply and sniffles a little. I hold her gaze.
“It’s choice that makes for transformation. And there are perhaps two parts to it. Both are about truth. One is emotional, to do with feelings; it’s yin, that is feminine if you like, lunar and located in the trunk of the body.” I touch my tan tian, just below my sternum, the place where feelings sit.
“The trick here is to breathe, to feel into the feelings there. Some of them we’d rather not have. So much of our time is spent avoiding what we choose to call negative feelings. Drink, soap opera, over-eating, sex, drugs and rock’n’roll, they reassure and they distract. And we stay stuck.”
Maybe not rock’n’roll.
“So breathe into those feelings. They’ll hurt at first and then they won’t and then finally they’ll change. And you’ll trust.”
Her deep brown eyes are moist again.
“That’s the first part. Second part is to remember what you want. While you invite those feelings by breathing into them. Consider how you want your life to be in every detail: where you want to be, who with, what you’re doing and so on. Make it rich and real.”
You’ll find this second piece of advice in the biographies of business moguls like Steve Jobs and Richard Branson. What you won’t generally come across in such reminiscences is the first part: feeling your feelings and being brave enough to let them transform. Mostly these winners bypassed their feelings. And ultimately it may be that they regret it. Read what Steve Jobs said to his kids when he knew he was dying. Abundance is a much bigger issue than wealth.
“It is not feeling that hurts it is not-feeling that hurts,” I remind Chandra. We do some more mechanical stuff, arrange their beds and furniture, I recommend some changes of décor and locate a Water (that is Wealth) Star at the foot of their stairs and I leave them to it.
I’m the Father of six children. My top priority is to fulfill and not disappoint.
Richard Ashworth © 2017

You can top up daily on Twitter (@FengShuiDiaries), LinkedIn and FaceBook. Best to like my page rather than be my FaceBook friend if you want to avoid rants, cute micropigs and photos of my grandchildren.

We send out a (much) more comprehensive monthly bulletin covering in detail, the right places to be (and when) as well as helpful days Animal by Animal and much more from the Chinese calendar to my Retainer Clients. It is also available by subscription.
Subscriptions (and further info)Sheila@imperialfengshui.info

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

And here’s the (Western Astrological) take of the very perceptive Lorna Bevan: 
5D Astrology Report October 2017 – In the Burning Fields

Richard Ashworth©
www.imperialfengshui.info

My Diary for the Month of the Earth Rooster

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

Kuan
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The Watchtower
Hexagram 20

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Subscriptions (and further info)Sheila@imperialfengshui.info

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

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

Richard Ashworth©
www.imperialfengshui.info

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

Richard Ashworth’s Horse Diary from 5th June 2017

June 6, 2017
Tuition and Intuition.
My diary for the month of the Fire Horse
(19:57 5th June to 06:21 7th July 2017 inclusive)
in the Year of the Fire Rooster.

Kou

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Coming to Meet
Hexagram 44

The Horse Month
  Animal by Animal
During this Fire Horse Month,
The Rat is likely to be pushed back,
The Ox is at 6s and 7s,
Tigers leap,
The Rabbit steps carefully between the cracks,
The Dragon freewheels on momentum,
The well-prepared Snake climbs high,
The Horse disdains her own company,
The Sheep is valued,
The smart Monkey treads carefully,
The Rooster bakes,
The Dog may have a complaint to lodge,
and
The Pig changes tack.

Animal Fortunes for the Rooster year remain on the website all year:
2017: Year of the Turkey. Now may be the time.

Where to do what, when and why
Summary: Here’s where wealth and success are hiding this month.
North, Distant Future: Year Star: 6, Month Star: 9
The 9 arriving North brings future prospects even closer. This is the place to focus previously vague plans prior to putting them into action in July.
Due to the monthly san sha, keep it gentle; no loud parties, cement mixing.
Bold and clear plans made here and now offer special support to East Group kuas (1, 3, 4 & 9) Monkey, Dragon, Ox and Rat, especially in imaginative and creative pursuits. No serious downside if you keep it subtle; action in July brings results.
Monthly Enhancement: bright light.
Annual Solution: A large (6kg+) rose quartz, a little Metal, occasional Water

One to avoid; where not to be this month
Summary: Here’s how not to suffer a plague of frogs this summer.
North West, Authority: Year Star: 2, Month Star: 5.
You know the 5 Star, of course; it ruled last month. Nasty. This month it impedes authority, teaching and the role of the patriarch in the NW. A house facing NW or with a busy door oriented that way will tend to suffer most. Bad news for Fathers, leaders and those in legitimate authority who risk illness, especially of lung and chest if they reside here or face this way.
Keep this area as still quiet and unoccupied as possible.
Monthly Solution: Metal; eg 6-pipe Metal windchime. Peace and quiet best.
Annual Solution: Red 6 (six Chinese coins tied up with red thread) and wu lou (gourd) are reckoned effective against the 2.

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

Know your inner beast. How Horse are you?
Birth in the Horse Hour (11am-1pm)~: extrovert children.
Birth on the Horse Day#: shoot first, ask questions later.
Birth during the Horse Month (June)*: physical work for preference.
Birth in the Horse Year: inherited impetuosity.
~ GMT. # You’ll need a Chinese calendar for this. * Caution: Chinese months start later
Tuition and Intuition.

“The superior man is concerned that goodness should be an established attribute of character rather than an accidental and isolated occurrence.”
The Book of Changes, Hexagram 29, The Abyss.

A 4 month; about innovation and curiosity.
Most helpful location: North.
Favoured Animals: Sheep, Dog, Tiger.
Especially challenged one way or another: Rat and Ox.

You may think of yourself as the Animal of your year of birth, but you’ll recall that you are also ruled by the Animal of your Month, Day and Hour, all with differing implications. If you were born on an Ox day for instance you may now be entering a month of hard personal decisions.

On the other hand someone whose birth month is ruled by the Dog (October) may find work and education proceeding swimmingly. For all of us Hexagram 44 implies either an important new acquaintance or rediscovery of an old and equally important one.

And it’s a Fire Horse – the most fiery of the Zodiac Animals and often the totem of the impetuous. This is a month when there may for all, but particularly for Ox and Rat be a rash of er…rash behaviour. As we approach a General Election and with international politics so delicate, this makes for a quite restive period. Behaviour and outcomes may be hard to read. As Nate Silver implies in The Signal and the Noise, the key to forecasting is getting our preferences out of the way. Silver would probably not agree but often this leads to intuition; informed intuition but intuition all the same.

So you’ll understand how it is that when I am deciphering a ba zi or “reading” a house, I will tend to trust the intuition that comes from nowhere precisely because it is not my opinion. Sometimes that intuition will be expressed in my body, it’ll literally be a feeling.

I remember once surveying a house and noticing pain in my teeth. I was not overdue for dental attention and had not been at the Haribos, so I knew the sensation did not belong to me and so I asked my client: “Does anyone here have problems with their teeth?” “No,” she said and I carried on but I could not help noticing that the apartment was on the ground floor, close to the road in a shopping district.

Perhaps an hour later, I was sitting down with her for a debrief and I asked what the place had been used for in the past, given its commercial location.

“A dentist’s,” she said.

So returning to the point, this may for all of us be a month of impulsive behaviour and one in which the balance of head and gut is tested. Trust what you know, I suggest but be very aware that there are different varieties of knowledge. Remember this at the ballot box maybe. Apart from the lizards, David Icke is beginning to look quite prophetic.
Richard Ashworth © 2017
And here’s the (Western Astrological) take of the very perceptive Lorna Bevan: 5D Astrology Report June 2017 – Seeing Round Corners

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

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

Richard Ashworth©
www.imperialfengshui.info

Dragon Diary for April: Keep the Change

April 4, 2017

Can’t start a Fire without a spark.
My diary for the month of the Wood Dragon
(22:14pm 4th April to 15:42pm 5th May 2017 inclusive)
in the Year of the Fire Rooster.

Kuai

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Breakthrough
Hexagram 43

“If adversity only bends a man, it creates in him a power to react that is bound in time to manifest.”
The Book of Changes

The Dragon Month
Animal by Animal
During this Wood Dragon Month,
The Rat reaches greater heights,
The Ox seeks a witness,
Tigers count the hours,
The smart Rabbit takes the chances offered,
The Dragon leaps and swoops,
The Snake waits his turn,
The Horse seeks admission,
The Sheep protests innocence,
The Monkey can relax,
The Rooster enjoys a welcome run of luck,
The Dog may interrupt,
and
The Pig surges.

Animal Fortunes for the Rooster year remain on the website all year: 2017: Year of the Turkey. Use wisely.

Know your inner beast. How Rabbit are you?
Birth in the Dragon Hour (7-9am)~: unruly children.
Birth on the Dragon Day#: paddling your own canoe.
Birth during the Dragon Month (April)*: freelance.
Birth in the Dragon Year: magic inherited from opposite gender parent.
~ GMT. # You’ll need a Chinese calendar for this. * Caution: Chinese months start later.

Where to do what, when and why
Summary: Here’s where wealth and success are hiding this month.
West, Intervention: Year Star: 3, Month Star: 8
3 and 8 make up a he tu Star combination which to cut a long story short, creates transformational space. So just for this month, West is the place to occupy, especially if you’re a Rat, a Dragon or a Monkey. For creativity and indeed wealth, locate yourself West for immediate results.
Caution: Don’t face W, use a W-facing door or occupy a W-facing building.
Annual Solution: Bright light to express the 3’s strop in a healthy way
Monthly Enhancement: Also bright light. 6-Pipe Metal Windchime.
East and West Groups: Everybody falls into either the East or the West Group by virtue of their birth date. The calculation is simple but if you do want to know where you belong, email me at richardashworth@imperialfengshui.info.
Readers Digest version: East Group people best face East, South, South-East and North and/or in buildings and beds backing onto these directions. West Group vice-versa. Sorry it’s fiddly, I’m not making this stuff up.

Keep the Change
“If adversity only bends a man, it creates in him a power to react that is bound in time to manifest.”
The Book of Changes

Here comes the Wood Dragon month bringing Hexagram 43, Lake over Heaven. Kuai or Breakthrough suggests that the last barrier in the way of a long term goal is finally falling away. Full steam ahead.

The Dragon whose ideograph is a thunderstorm, is the sign of sudden change, the Wood Dragon especially transformative because of her low threshold for dissatisfaction. This is the least articulate Dragon; liable to act out rather than communicate. And like pretty much everything there’s a time and place. And this may be it. Pay close attention to signs and unconscious behaviour. Why did you leave your car keys behind? What was the gist of that half-heard snatch of conversation?

There is a Sufi process I learned from Andrew Harvey that consists of chanting “Laillahahilallah*” for some time and then simply asking the world what it’s saying. This is in a sense, the purest feng shui. “Wall, what are you doing there?” “Tree, are you friend or foe?” And so on. Don’t try it on the High Street.

Because everything is a communication. We know this; we look across the road and we see someone whose walk says “I’m doing this hard thing for somebody else” or “I expect resistance.” The clothes we wear and the cars we drive speak for us. This is the month to watch for the unspoken communication, often so much more eloquent than words.

The Dragon month favours the Rat, also the Monkey and the Rooster. Change for these two is largely benevolent. They can both use a break frankly but the Rat is already on a roll. As is the Dragon, but for him this could easily be a month of leaping in the dark. And in the Dragon month, what goes for the Dragon applies to us all. Are you sure of the ground you stand on? The Dragon is heavy yang Earth – hard to move but also hard to right, once knocked off-centre. Wood Dragons – for instance those born in 1964 – are often not smart about priorities. Hence this month is quite unhelpful in sorting out precedence. It’s a chaotic kind of thing, transformation. Don’t expect tidiness. Dogs may encounter unexpected obstacles – but Rabbits can make hay. Sheep and Oxen may seek (and find) arbitration this month.

April is also a 6 lo shu month. The 6 has the qualities of yang Metal: authority, teaching, Father, God. Symbolically there’s not much difference between these things. However, this year there’s a 1 in the heart of every building.  Straightforward linear feng shui advice this month is to add Earth, perhaps in the shape of a single large crystal, dead centre of your space to form the magical 1:6:8. Be sure to cut me in to any big wins.
Richard Ashworth © 2017
*Arabic: “All is God.”

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

My diary for the month of the 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