Archive for the ‘Predictions’ Category

Richard Ashworth’s Diary for the Metal Rat 2016

December 6, 2016
Higher Perches: here comes the Rooster.
My diary for the month of the Metal Rat
(01:54am Dec 7th to 12:36pm Jan 5th inclusive)
in the Year of the Fire Monkey.Fu

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The Return
Hexagram 24

The Rat Month
Animal by Animal
During this Metal Rat Month,
The Rat opens up,
The Ox takes charge,
The Tiger tools up,
The shrewder Rabbit takes it moment by moment,
The Dragon flexes,
The Snake makes new plans,
The average Horse bridles,
The Sheep joins up,
The Monkey lets go,
The Rooster checks out the opposition,
The Dog licks wounds and anything else he can find,
while
The Pig is ready to roll.

Know your inner beast. How Ratty are you?
Birth in the Rat Hour (11pm-1am)~: talkative organised kids.
Birth on the Rat Day#: dynamic relationship.
Birth during the Rat Month (November)*: at work, watch your tongue.
Birth in the Rat Year: lively upbringing.
~ 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 recent plans now manifest.
East, Ambition: Year Star: 9 Dragon Virtue, Month Star: 8.
Again. The best. If you used the East intelligently last month, the fruits of your plans follow. The 8 Star here especially boosts the Eldest Son, young men and the ambitious generally while Dragon Virtue looks out for reputation. It’s Winter, so evergreen plants may be helpful or cut flowers to keep it alive. If you’re here constantly – which is not a bad idea – activate the area with gentle care.
Favours: East Group kuas: 1, 3, 4 & 9, some Rabbits, Pigs, Dogs, Sheep.

East and West Groups: Everybody falls into either East or West Group by virtue of their birth date. The calculation is simple but if you want to know which you are, 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.

Winter Solstice: Wed Dec 21st 19:35 Fire Ox; Carriage, Remove.
You may think of this as a time of renewal (and you’d be right) but the actual day is probably one of sudden change as the Fire Ox takes charge. Don’t travel that day and don’t part with anything valuable.
Caution: Sheep, Horse.
Especially helpful to: Rat, Ox, Rooster, Snake.

All change.
Ding yuw tin yute gwai yan.
The T’ung Shu or Farmers’ Almanac for 2017.
On the 7th December, the year energy which has since the Summer Solstice been descending, begins to rise again. This is the eternal cycle of dying and growing to which all things are subject; you, me, rats, turkeys and elephants, the Great Barrier Reef and Mt Kilimanjaro, rain, snow, daffodils, stink fruit and Donald Trump. In some senses the Fire Rooster, the Year of the Turkey has begun.

This month’s magic square gives us a foretaste. It’s also a 1 lo shu, like that of the year to come. Where 2016 (a 2 Year) was about woman and the expression of the female, this Rat month and the whole of 2017 are about communication. But that communication has a new tinge to it.  It may be negotiation, blandishment, enlightenment or warning but for esoteric reasons the quality is different and (you might say) better.

Briefly, we have for the last (some say approx.) 20 years been transiting the 8th Chinese Fate. In the 8th Fate, dates, times and spaces designated as 2 – that is to do with woman, increase and growth have been considered poisonous because they are technically not timely. In fact the 2 of kun the Mother, co-operation, relationship and empowerment along with a whole lot of gifts we could use in a big way right now, has not been considered helpful for over 100 years. This month however, by some calculations, we move into the 9th Fate which makes the 2 just begin to be timely, that is to say positive. This advance into a female wisdom that has frankly been at a premium for much longer will amplify over the next 40 years and peak around 2070, by which time there’ll be new problems I will not be around to decipher.

Meanwhile the month obviously enough favours Rats, the spokespeople of the Chinese Zodiac as well as their coach the Ox, the intermittently loquacious Dragons and chattering Monkeys. It’ll be tough going for the average Rabbit, Horse and Sheep, irritating probably for the impatient Rooster and the pent-up Tiger while Snake and Pig rev up for an interesting year as the Dog licks his wounds or the nearest hand.

One last word: logically the 2 of 2016, although untimely, stood for Woman, Mother and relationship also. And you might reasonably ask whether we should then have expected a female POTUS. To which I’d suggest that perhaps Bernie Saunders’ gentle compassion and concern for the Earth and the vulnerable, represented the feminine principle better than the alternative; something similar this side of the Atlantic too perhaps.

Ding yuw tin yute gwai yan btw is a Special Star unique to the year 2017, which many diviners would along with Dalai Lama translate as “Western Woman saves the world.”
Richard Ashworth © 2016

Update: BASHIR NADERI
Bashir has been – temporarily at least – reprieved in the nick of time and the Home Office has agreed to review his case. Stay in touch via Twitter and/or Facebook as this could change at any time of course. You can help by Tweeting #supportbashir, making his case your FaceBook status or writing to your local MP, Amber Rudd the Home Secretary or anybody you think might be able to help the cause.

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.

As you know every Chinese year is different. The energy pockets play musical chairs sector by sector as do the biases and stresses upon the various Animals. A South-Eastern door for instance looks helpful in 2017 – but how do you enhance it? Dragons and Snakes look set but what about Rabbits and the Roosters themselves? 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. The notes (above) about the 21st December are an example.

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.

5. Soul Retainer. For a single annual payment, you receive a Tune-Up, Bulletins Monthly and Weekly and a further four hours one-to-one over the next 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 Kelly Hoppen 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

Imperial Feng Shui – what’s happening

February 26, 2015

Imperial Feng Shui – what’s happening

Urban Quality: feng shui on the streets.

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

www.imperialfengshui.info

Richard Ashworth © 2015

Animal Forecast 2015: 8. Wool Gathering, outlook for the Sheep in 2015

February 17, 2015

Who is a Sheep?

Years:  1943, 1955, 1967, 1979, 1991, 2003, 2015.
Month*:  July
Hour: 01:00 pm – 03:00 pm
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 Sheep?
Idealistic, yin earth, not the top getter-onner, the Sheep has well-meant judgements about everybody which can sometimes keep her stuck in first gear. For the unbalanced Sheep (July birthday and/or mid-afternoon birth) ambition and foolishness are pretty much the same thing. On the other side of the fence the grass is not greener; it’s actually brown on both sides. The balanced Sheep though, as well as being an expert judge of people, knows exactly what matters and is not easily diverted from it. The arrangement for instance that Sheep Bruce Willis, his ex Demi Moore and her ex (and Bruce’s fishing buddy) Ashton Kutcher have come to, whereby they stay friends and the children avoid becoming conflicted is not usual, either in Hollywood or the world at large, but it is typical Sheep behaviour.

Conversely, the value of caution and conservatism is often clear in Sheep relationships. The most obvious of these is with the extrovert, spontaneous Horse whose sidekick the Sheep often ends up being. With the Sheep beside him, the Horse’s fun may be a little less riotous but he will also stay out of serious trouble. The young Horse and Sheep of 1978 and 1979 for instance, are often a tag team who go out drinking and clubbing together. The Sheep may stand back in amazement at the Horse’s daring but  she  is there both to pick up the pieces and to take advantage when these risks bear fruit. The Horse dances on tables, the Sheep buys the drinks. This of course illustrates a psychological truth about the Sheep: the risk-taking they shy away from is exactly what attracts them most. What often follows also is that a desirable partner, on the rebound from a Horse, finds a steadier proposition in the Sheep. In this light consider the relationship between Horse David Cameron and Sheep Nick Clegg. Poodle or what? And how about 1967 Sheep Alex Salmond? Improbably he may end the year propping up another unelected Tory administration.  As I told you, the Sheep likes togetherness. Incidentally in this year of obfuscation and deal-cutting,  don’t for similar reasons,  expect whistle-blower Tom Watson (also born 1967) to receive a great deal of attention. And while we’re on the subject, a student of parliamentary history would be well advised to study the reasons behind the fracture of a national government during  the Sheep year of 1931.

Anyway, placed as the Sheep is between the Horse and the Monkey in the Chinese Zodiac, you understand  the tricky Monkey. There is generally a certain mutual wariness but this unorthodox team is capable of magic.

The Sheep also affiliates easily  with the Pig and the Rabbit. This is a very domestic alliance. The Chinese ideograph for home is a Pig under a roof and the average Rabbit would happily stay home 24/7 if allowed to. The Rabbit is the diplomat and mixer while the Pig who is inherently versatile, takes up the slack of whatever jobs there are to perform. The Sheep makes things safe. She will have ensured for instance that there are no mutually sworn enemies on the guest list. The typical Sheep is an ideal social secretary as well as a master resolver of conflict. Psycho-therapy is among the appropriate career paths.

The Sheep is passionate, representing the yin or feminine side of sexuality, but whether male or female, he is more seducer than chatter up.

Perhaps most interestingly, the Sheep forms a team with the Dog, the Dragon and the Ox, of whom the Dragon is indispensable as you will learn this year. Individually each of these three is somewhat intimidating to her but when this group gathers, the Sheep’s unique gifts become essential:  drawing flexibility from the Dog, humility from the Dragon and cheerful co-operation from the autocratic Ox. Above all she ensures peace among them. Even if all she does is make the coffee, the Sheep is a comforter of the insecure. She understands that most barkers never bite and that aggression is simply inverted fear. When in doubt, join.

Sheep in Wood Sheep Year.

Stars include: yeung yan.

You’re going to be under pressure this year. This may suit you. Possibly not. But there it is. Your role is central to bringing the year  to a happy ending. And for “under pressure” read “offered opportunity.” There is as Shakespeare wrote, “a tide in the affairs of men which taken at the flood, leads onto greatness.” And this is your year isn’t it?

Well, yes and no. Some Animals suffer the self-curse; so a Horse for instance (Angela Merkel, David Cameron, Lloyd Blankfein) comes under considerable pressure in its own year. It’s similar for Pigs in a Pig year as well as Roosters and indeed Dragons in their own year. It’s not like that for Sheep . You guys are mutually  supportive but this support is often itself a demanding thing. The Sheep is family oriented. In a Sheep year family issues are rampant; you are called upon constantly for support; moral, physical financial, other. So it’s probably good to know that your resources are also at their highest. The calls may come from anywhere – your children, other peoples’ children, groups, affiliates, the lost, the hurting, the uncared-for, distant relations, animals, the world. Your heart goes out to them; you are after all a Sheep, the most compassionate, the most idealistic of the Chinese Zodiac. Some talk about making a difference; you do it every day. Doubled up this year. You can’t help yourself. You may – like Jimmy Stewart in It’s a Wonderful Life – win nothing but friends with your kindness but that may sound like a reasonable deal.

The point is that endemic to the Sheep year is the so-called Bullying Curse. This can be just what it sounds like: the Sheep, the Ox and the Dog slug it out and the weakest falls away. When I see this in a ba zi, I have my antennae out for (often justified) resentment; when these three Animals coincide, someone is inevitably left behind. In a Sheep year, all you need is an Ox day in a Dog month or vice-versa and the dynamic is there for pretty much anyone at one time or another. If like you, there’s a Sheep in your Four Pillars, the effect may be deeper and more protracted. You may find yourself ganged up on, especially by family members whose bond with you appears to give them a free ticket. This could be a constant this year. Take it in context with what I wrote above. Big heart; big challenges.

The Bullying Curse is actually, as any half-decent psychologist would be able to tell you, unrequited frustration. A child brought up in this atmosphere, a Sheep say parked between a Dog and an Ox, will suffer the fallout of the parents’ mutual disappointment, a disappointment that is simply a failure to seize the day. These things hurt. And if you know this, you no longer need to be run by it. You can give instead.  As Joe Gandolfo used to say: “Ideas are a dime a dozen but those who put them into practice are beyond price.”

So er…enter the Dragon; the Dragon is the sorcerer, the elemental of thunder who turns inevitable disaster into triumph. Dog, Ox and Sheep equals Bullying Punishment, equals unfulfilled plan. Dog, Ox, Sheep and Dragon make up the Four Earths, all ducks are in a row; great success. Seek the Dragon. In feng shui terms this means face or operate South East. In terms of time it means favour the Dragon day (every twelfth day), the Dragon hour (7-9am) and month (April) but also actual Dragons, (ie those born with Dragons in their Four Pillars). You’ll be interested to know for instance that UKIP’s Nigel Farage is a 1964 Wood Dragon. All major political parties (there will be five or six this year) need to appreciate this and apply it in whatever way they can live with.

So expect chaos this year to which you bring order. Generally this will be by way of your gift of selfless cooperation.  Ecological and health disasters as well as domestic concerns swamp your in-tray. In-laws and dependants summon you while activism beckons. Nobody appears  self-sufficient. You’re going to be busy. Surrender to the rhythm; it’ll be worth it.

A warning: as I wrote last year,  power broadly arises with Fire as apathy does with Earth. The Wood Horse year was among the fieriest but a Wood Sheep tempts with warmth rather than passion. Choose bravely. We’ll all be in your debt. Check out maybe The Hope by Andrew Harvey, perhaps the  most important thinker now living. And yes he’s a (1952 Water) Dragon. But then so is Vladimir Putin. Which kind of shows you what’s happening.

You know those moments when the choice to move forward or stay safe hangs in the balance?  Often at such times we choose illness or other forms of distraction instead. That’s how it will feel to be a Sheep this year. Similar for Ox and Dog btw. Step up, step forward, seek the Dragon.

Health: be kind to yourself. Any diet or fitness regime should be maintained within your lifestyle.

Money: assets may be drawn upon but team work  replenishes.

Relationship: family is the keynote. Commit, maintain.

Feng Shui: South East1 ESE) holds the Dragon,. Add sentimental Water regularly.

Readers’ Digest Version: step up, step out, step forward in cooperation.

www.imperialfengshui.info

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

Animal Forecast 2015: 5.Dragon at the Hub, outlook for the Dragon in 2015

February 9, 2015

Who is a Dragon?

Years:  1940, 1952, 1964, 1976, 1988, 2000, 2012.
Month*:  April
Hour: 07:00 am – 09:00 am
Day: ask us

* Caution: the start of the Dragon month can be as early as the 4th & as late as the 6th, depending on the year. I can let you know this too.

What is a Dragon?
The Dragon is yang earth, the most egotistical of the branches as well as being generally considered the most powerful. Putting aside conventional rules of animal compatibility, everyone is either fascinated by the Dragon or suspicious. Many are both.
Though charming and affable, like the Pig, the Horse and the Rooster, the Dragon suffers the self clash which makes him unsuited to working with his equals. Dragons often live alone and enjoy their own company. Sometimes they claim to, even when they don’t. Often what he experiences as joy is a subtle experience that others find puzzling. The shamelessly extrovert Horse for instance, sometimes thinks the Dragon is a high maintenance prima donna. Even the Dragon’s ally the Monkey, contrasts his own goonish delights with the impassive Dragon and can often make little sense of it.

And yet the Dragon delivers. Sometimes awkward and gauche, the Dragon can appear incompetent and yet still win. The steadfast Dog whose workings always lead to a logical answer can find this very tedious  and may sabotage the Dragon. Put simply the Dog thinks the Dragon goes on a bit. The Ox and the Sheep share something of this attitude but are more passive about it.

The Chinese ideogram for thunder is a Dragon under a raincloud. And all over the world rainclouds speak of plenty; drenched is good if you’re looking for growth., Water makes for Wood. The Dragon month is April, the time of sudden change and indeed the character of the Dragon is like the awkward times before a storm breaks.

The Dragon does not naturally co-operate or easily share confidences. He will, however, grudgingly work with those he considers his inferiors as long as they are very clear about the pecking order. This is the central weakness of the unbalanced Dragon. King Lear was a Dragon where Othello may have been a Tiger and Hamlet probably a Snake.

The Dragon’s traditional partners are the hands-on Monkey and the plotting Rat. These three may not mix socially however. They need a task to cooperate upon, otherwise they find it hard to connect. Socially the Dragon will seek out the Rooster and the Horse both of whom excel at pr. Alone or teamed-up, the Dragon is just as creative as he feels like being. He can instantly magic up wealth and as rapidly squander it. Neither Horse nor Rooster are much help in this regard, although a benevolent Rat and a diligent Monkey would be.

The Dragon and the Snake form the House of Magic. The Dragon is the Sorceror, the Snake his apprentice. So Merlin was a Dragon and his story illustrates the other central weakness of the Dragon: that he can be beguiled by the glamour of the Rooster. This coupling takes the Dragon off track. In a Rooster year the Dragon may forget all his carefully laid plans and go off-piste. In a Rabbit year he may have to defend himself but either is preferable to the Tiger year which will have found him settling into quicksand.

Note to Employers: A Dragon employee is the best there is if the task suits him. It had better suit because they will do precisely what they feel like either way.

Dragon in Wood Sheep Year.

Stars include: qua suk, Fortune Virtue.

The Dragon tends to introspect. You can easily spend long barren hours fuming in the naughty chair. And the solution for every Dragon every year is to get your attention out. The questions to ask include who needs your help? And who’s hurting? Who needs your wisdom and perception? Who in the words of John Cale is “living like Hollywood but dying on the Vine”? This is how you break out of that Chinese finger puzzle you’ve likely been in, where the more you struggle, the tighter you are bound. Give rather than seek help.

This year it’ll be hard to do otherwise because the Dragon is the hub. Wherever there is struggle, you bring release. If you care to. Everyone is going to need your magic but especially the other Earth Branches (ie the other Animals). This is because the key dilemma of the year is the so-called “Bullying Punishment” which occurs when Sheep, Ox and Dog coincide. In a Sheep year this inevitably happens often; a Dog hour on an Ox day will do it. Or the other way round. It’ll happen all the time of course during the Ox month of January and October the Dog month, and July which in 2015 is a Sheep month in a Sheep year; twice as volatile. It affects these three Animals most – the meeting of Sheep and Dog is balefully labelled a “break-up”  – but everyone is touched in a Sheep year. The punishment may show up as a lingering trauma with its roots deep in the past – remember no upset is ever about now – or as a row, a ganging-up or even violence. You can help and there is huge goodwill and huge opportunity in this. Allow these to come to you because of your generosity and kindness. Do not seek opportunity at another’s expense.

What is it, this “punishment”? It’s a big misunderstanding. It’s a resistance to change. It’s a threat to the unity of family, firm and association. And just like any meeting of three Earth Branches its nature is defined by the one that’s missing; in this case the magical Dragon. Mostly it’s about frustration. It’s called a Bullying Punishment because human beings often express frustration by railing at others; their colleagues, their partners, their siblings, their children.  Since it’s just as easy to rail back, this response tends to block progress. Put another way the BP represents that moment when great success beckons but calls for a big push. And not all of us want to make that big push. Ask any woman who’s given birth. It’s at such moments we all, but especially Sheep, Dog and Ox are best advised to accept how little we can control and ask for help.

This is where you come in. If you can offer assistance without making it smart too much or demanding excessive credit, the birth that is waiting to happen will as Chuck Spezzano likes to express it, be like a greased grape. The “gathering” impetus of the year may from time to time be expressed as impending break-ups; this relates particularly to Dog/Sheep relationships of course but it’s not restricted to them. Not all relationships can stand the strain of closeness long and the relationships referred to may be boss/employer, parent/child or any connection where authority can be misplaced or questioned.

What you bring is release. If you can apply your  magic selflessly, you will save so much anguish this year. It’s possible that you may yourself be involved. If so and anyway, trust. That may sound naive but if it seems that way to you, what are you doing even reading this? You know you have this gift and it’s just a question of being present to apply it. Attention out this year.

The Dragon like the thunderstorm, brings things to a head which leads to transformation. You are turbulent because you are magical. Sometimes the magic is for you, sometimes like this and last year, mostly for others. You are the opposite of a mediator; however contained and open you are, somehow people know you bring change that they can’t run from. There will be many opportunities to bring benevolent transformation to others; actually not so much opportunities as hurricane force gales pushing you into compromising and compromised positions. Don’t – especially you older Dragon – run from them. This is who you are. That’s the way it is. Step up to the plate. Again.

Another way to say all this is that this year you are called to apply the utmost goodwill. Get yourself out of the way. The salvation of the Dragon (most especially the 1964 Wood Dragon) is in teaching and in healing. Not in analysis. That will only drive you further up yourself. We live in dark times and this year may bring us ever-closer to the dark. In Chinese myth the Dragon abides in rock as the fish in water. You are more intimately a creature of the physical planet than any other. Be aware of abuses of the Earth and of the heroes who may save her and join them. There are three climate summits this year. The Earth may yet be saved from the greedy and the plunderer. If you can’t join them, empower them. If this is not physical, prayer will do. You know prayer works, you know miracles happen. You are the Dragon.

Globally this “bullying” dynamic shows up in all the trouble spots: Ukraine, Iraq, Syria, Central Africa. 1952 Water Dragon Vladimir Putin holds the balance of power in Europe. He is flexible enough to ignore a plummeting rouble while he secures what he believes to be Russia’s borders. Domestically 1964 Wood Dragon Nigel Farage is likely to win parliamentary seats that give him a punch way beyond his weight. Both of these men can either solve or capitalise on turmoil. It’ll be best for all concerned, including them and their interests, if they can resist kicking the ball just because it’s on the penalty spot and the opposition goalie is tying up his shoes. This year you are all about giving.

Health: headaches and other signs of self-absorption

Money: North in the Rat.

Relationship: trust those who have contained you this far. They’ve earned it. No big departures.

Feng Shui: locate and activate the Monkey at South West 3 (WSW) which holds the Sun of constant healing. Accurate measurement required.

Readers Digest Version: it’s not about you.

www.imperialfengshui.info

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

 

The Bolting Horse

January 21, 2015

The Bolting Horse

Human beings are designed to feast in December and then lie around bloated till February. The Chinese Year kind of respects this. And here I am early Monday morning walking past the line of cars queuing to get into town. The newspapers judge success by “growth” alone; don’t they know that growth must be finite on a finite planet?

This is the noman’s time between the Solstice and the Spring Festival, astride between the new and old Chinese years. Anyone who wants a feng shui man, wants him now, so even I am walking relatively fast. A smart Volkswagen Beetle creeps by at three mph. The driver’s texting; a youngish guy in an inexpensive suit. I overtake again, he creeps past again, balancing his phone between his knees. He looks tired. Bless him.

As usual at this time of year, I’m re-visiting buildings that were fine-tuned for the Year of the Wood Horse, in order to set them up for 2015. Everything needs re-assessing; the West, for instance which has been the most helpful area for twelve months is becoming tricky. Nature doesn’t work in straight lines and this change of overall energy can creep up. Already I’ve had an s.o.s. from Heather whose pregnant daughter is in an otherwise perfectly serviceable West-facing house which has suddenly turned nasty. And another via my website from a lady I don’t know whose domestics are becoming physical. An ornery West can be like that.

Change is constant; how and when it’ll show up, on the other hand, can be very hard to predict. What I can tell you now without getting fiddly, is to stay out of the West and avoid facing South West for long. You can always hire me of course.

What I do feel confident to predict is that 2015, the Year of the Wood Sheep is likely to be very different from the brazen, publicity-seeking Wood Horse; unearthed scandals, misbehaviour, misappropriation wherever we focused, whether Rotherham, Westminster or Capitol Hill.  It will however reflect previous Sheep years to some extent (2003 was the last) and to a much greater extent, previous Wood Sheep years in the 60 year cycle (1955, 1895, 1835, 1775 and so on). I’m talking about this the Year of Gathering, at Rachel Elnaugh’s Source tv event on February 3rd in London. You can also get the gist in this article for Take A Breath magazine. I’m also Tweeting,* FaceBooking and Linking-In what each of us can expect this year, Animal by Animal; forecasts for Rat and Ox are already up

Brand New

And as it happens, on St Martins Lane I bump into Russell Brand; pretty much literally. He has a wild gleam in his eye but the sweet romantic 1975 Wood Rabbit that he is, is actually kind of blessed by the Sheep. We have a short argument.

“Revolution is all very well, I say, “but there’s a general election in a few months.”

“Revolution Now!” he says with that wild gleam.

“The important thing,” I tell him, “is that younger people vote.” Because otherwise the powers-that-be will simply continue to flatter and favour voters – mostly older, mostly settled, and mostly not likely to live to deal with the ecological, financial and military-industrial crunch that is coming.”

“Revolution Now!” he repeats.

Ram Dass once said words to the effect that some of us need to meditate while some of us need to learn our post codes and I’d like to say that I set Russell straight on the point that Revolution Now! is not just politically but also spiritually poor timing but the truth is that I don’t. Advanced thinkers like Andrew Harvey, Karen Armstrong, Caroline Myss and Marianne Williamson are becoming more engaged not less. Instead I apologise for forcing myself upon him, remind him what an admirer I am of his work, shake his hand and withdraw.

He makes good points of course. Just as he remarked on his Trews, on YouTube, David Cameron almost drools as each new threat offers him the chance to impersonate a statesman. Each of the leaders of the big parties subscribes to “austerity” and the fantasy of industrial nations driven by growth living within their means. The Earth is finite, for God’s sake. And they all chop the air meaninglessly with their hands as they talk, in exactly the same way.

And Brand is right as academics Jeffrey Sachs and Naomi Klein will endorse, that the mad “growth” motive of oil giants, banks, IT providers and others is suicidal. There are three Climate Change Summits this year. Some experts like Guy Mcpherson reckon that the stable door is locked and the horse long since bolted; the Sixth Great Extinction is under way. Some like Andrew Harvey , refuse to despair. These gatherings may be a late opportunity to charm the horse back into the stable.

Tuesday morning, the cars are in line once again. My friend Martha in Tennessee whom I teach ba zi and feng shui by Skype, is terrified she is losing her memory so I reassure her that we may lose faculties as we age, but we gain them too. And I talk Marilyn in Vancouver whose son is in rehab, through the process of seeing herself in him so as to pull them both back from the brink. Another day, another Tune-Up, another traffic build-up. Russell Brand says it’s time for Revolution Now! but I think most of these guys would settle for 20 minutes longer in bed.

Richard Ashworth © 2015

www.imperialfengshui.info

*as @FengShuiDiaries

 

Rat Diary: what to expect in December 2014. The Rodent less travelled.

December 9, 2014

Rat Diary: what to expect in December 2014.

The Rodent less travelled.

Rat Month opens: December 7th 14:11pm. 

The Rodent less travelled.

The Rat by contrast with the Pig, is yang Water. The Rat is the communicator and the keeper of secrets, so this frantic year will have been a challenge. The Rat is uncomfortable with the spontaneous, extrovert Fire of the Horse. Rat achievements are a slower burn. This month’s Fire Rat however brings the sort of invention and innovation that takes courage to be true to; the Fire that moderates this particular Rat is an inventive spark, almost as if it were a hybrid Horse-Rat. The month is full of opportunities for originality but they may not run along safe paths.

By way of illustration, two of the season’s big movies are The Imitation Game and The Theory of Everything. The first concerns Alan Turing, the genius who fronted the Enigma team, saving an estimated 14 million lives and shortening World War II by years. He has been a fascination of mine since I studied the proto-AI of Turing machines as a Philosophy undergraduate in the 70’s. No one knew he was a hero then though it was common knowledge that he had died in disgrace. As it turns out, he was convicted of the victimless crime of being gay. He was, just to make my point, a 1912 Water Rat.

Stephen Hawking by contrast is a Water Horse (a hybrid Rat-Horse, if you like) who has had to cope with increasing debility as his mind has groped to embrace the entire universe. But again his career might be summarised as the tension between genius and its expression. Like Turing and like this month. Use it wisely.

A similar tension as it happens, informed my friend, shaman and healer Maurice Willmott who died last week. He was a very special, gifted and good man whose cause of death read “motor neurones disease” but who had, by his account given up on a venal world that had disappointed him. Bless him wherever he may be.

The Rat in the Rat Month.

Rats (1948, 1960, 1972, 1984, 1996, 2008) are the talkers of the Chinese Zodiac and the keepers of secrets. In the Rat month we gather round the fire and catch up. At this time a young Rat may give away the farm by over-emoting (more battle-scarred ones let you do the talking). Typically the Rat forms a team with Monkey and Dragon for whom individually he may actually have little time; he needs an outcome if he is to consort with them. So December finds the otherwise often frivolous Monkey focused and the Dragon holding his own ego in a looser grip. The Rat has a rather one-sided affinity with the Ox who will tend to boss him around. Who’d have thought a Zodiac Animal represented by Margaret Thatcher, Adolf Hitler, Barack Obama and Napoleon Bonaparte might have ideas about their right to rule?

The Rat is not generally comfortable with the Horse but this is the frank antipathy of introvert for extrovert. The Rat’s difficulty with next year’s Sheep however comes under the category “covert”. If all of this forms the right cocktail, the Rat presides over a calm culmination to a turbulent year. If not, things could be explosive all the way to the Spring Festival.

Rat Month, Animal by Animal.

During the Rat month:

The Rat chances his arm.

The Ox takes charge.

The Tiger bides his time.

The Rabbit may nurse grievance

The Dragon chills for once.

The Snake holes up.

The Horse is wrong-footed.

The Sheep is distant.

The Monkey sobers up.

The Rooster runs out of words.

The Dog is in the manger.

and

The Pig opens up.

Rat Pillars; know your Rat rating.

Birth in the Rat hour (23:00pm-01:00am): voluble, articulate children.

Birth in the Rat month (December*): work in communication.

Birth on the Rat day#: articulate, communicative.

Birth in the Rat year: loquacious heritage.

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

# Just ask.

Where to do what, when and why.

This month’s lo shu is the intrusive 7. In a 4 year, the theme of a month can be tolerance or the lack of it. Consideration for our neighbours is the answer.

Here are a couple of dates that may help with that. They are calculated using the Tung Shu or “Farmers’ Almanac” and take account of a variety of esoteric criteria including the Twelve Officers, Mansions of the Moon and the calculations of the 13th Century diviner Dong Gong.

27th   December    favours      :        Monkey, Dragon, Rat, patient Snakes.

                                     Do                        make a firm irrevocable start.

26th December     challenges  :        Ox

Dont:                  invest deeply in the way things are going.

FORTHCOMING EVENTS

December 13th : One Day examining with Richard what’s in store for 2015, the Year of the Wood Sheep: For you, your animal sign, your house, the world. Just a couple of places left!! Price: £100. Email: becciimperialfengshui@gmail.com to book your place.

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

Tune-Ups for your home /office : Get your space aligned to get the best of  the new energies for 2015, Richard is booking in Tune-Ups  now for the New Year. Email: Sheila@imperialfengshui.info

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

Contactbecciimperialfengshui@gmail.com

Richard Ashworth©, early in the month of the Fire Rat, 2014.

www.imperialfengshui.info

 

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

November 12, 2014

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

2015 The Wood Sheep. A Year of Gathering.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Time: December 13th 10am until 5pm.

Cost: £80 until 1st December then £100

Pay now via Paypal

Or email: Sheila@imperialfengshui.info

 

It’s dark and we’re wearing sunglasses

June 24, 2014

It’s dark and we’re wearing sunglasses.

Dedicated to Maurice Willmott.

“Late last night I heard the screen door slam and a big yellow taxi took away my old man.” Joni Mitchell. Big Yellow Taxi.

The Dark Newt of the Soul.
Menorca, Dragon Month, Horse Year.
While I’m here I swim daily; a few more lengths every morning. I like the sensation of my muscles stretching with the regular exercise. I feel my waist tightening and my shoulder joints.
In the Commentaries to the Book of Changes, Confucius counsels that destiny emerges from character. There are no free tickets or free lunches. We may spend a lifetime looking for short cuts but eventually our lives match us. Everything is chosen. Which is great or not depending on how we view ourselves and the justice of the cosmos.
Much of feng shui of course derives from the Book of Changes (or Yi) ; which consists of just sixty four diagrams made up of six lines each. Between them they say pretty much everything there is to be said; sixty four Hexagrams, sixty-four expressions of the human predicament with six ways out each. The Hexagrams themselves break down into two Trigrams, each of which represents a situation, a feeling, a thought, a member of the Confucian family and a thousand other things. And a great deal of authentic feng shui comes straight out of the Yi. There have been times in my life when it has been the only voice I trusted.
Last year on my final swim, I came across a frog in the pool; a Menorcan stripeless tree frog which is longer, thinner and a brighter green than ours and with its big eyes, more like a proper Disney frog. You might think that a swimming pool would be frog paradise. I guess he did too. Except for the chlorine and the fact that he couldn’t jump out because the ledge was too high and there’s no traction on water. He struggled a little – only a baby, I think – but eventually, cupped in my hand, I placed him gently on the perimeter and he bounced off. Today, a year later almost the same thing happens; apparently identical frog, same situation but on day one. I take that as progress.
It’s April, I’m here studying, researching and writing again. And thinking. What I’m studying is yang gong, the method used by inscrutable nonagenarian Grand Masters to turn external Water into vast assets for Asian billionaires. Which came first the Dragon or the billions? you might ask. Water is certainly the key to feng shui but what I can tell you is that it wasn’t until the 20th century that the feng shui man saw his job as placing Water relative to the building as opposed to the other way round. That makes a lot of what calls itself feng shui pretty silly.
I’m also studying the Yi but then I’m always studying the Yi.
What I’m thinking about is my peers who seem to be dropping like flies. The nearest I’ve had to a close male friend in my adult life, tai chi Master, skilled musician, thirty years a fireman, peerless husband, father and grandfather and all round good egg Alan Briggs, died suddenly in November. Without warning he suffered a massive heart attack in the arms of his beloved wife of forty years. He was a remarkable man.
Everybody dies and there are worse ways to go, but of my British feng shui peers, Master Jon Sandifer died a little earlier and Rob Grey just a little after. The world is the lesser for their loss and now my friend, shaman and miracle worker Maurice Willmott has made the dubious choice of contracting motor neurones disease. It’s a hard time for healers.
From where I’m sitting all death is suicide and I’m wondering why these men made these choices and I’m thinking it’s because each saw the way the world is right now and recoiled helpless. You don’t have to agree of course.

Meme Girls

It’s unseasonably warm but a villa-owner can’t rely on that; hence this sun-spattered place that sleeps eight is empty but for myself and my daughters, Jessica and Henrietta. It’s predictably cuboid – including garage – except for a two-storey turret to the East. Up there you can see across the heathland all the way out to sea. I’ve done that many times. But the wrought-iron steps have succumbed to time and weather and on this visit they are roped off.
This quiet dwelling, way out in the biosfera is owned by my friends Gemma and Anna who save souls as Taylor Light Creates (TLC – geddit?). Anna is a gifted psychic. I call her the Happy Medium. And Gemma who teaches Alexander Technique, is simply the single most gracious person I know.
The villa was built by their Father back in the 70’s; not it seems, a happy man. Not then, not now. He died young in the 1990’s. There is a paved area at the back that is almost always in shade. They tell me he used to lurk there.
Up in the sky a bird of prey hovers over something. It’s not that big – more likely a peregrine than an eagle or a buzzard, I guess; a rare or endangered species for sure. A few lizards are about and I doubt the bird would chance its wing with a tortoise. There are no fast roads here serving up splattered rabbit or badger. Es Grau has rats just like everywhere else in the world. Polecats too, but nothing bigger and I imagine even these small predators are a bit heavy for a falcon. Also a bit aggressive.
Jessica and Henrietta are twins of 26, identically tiny, brilliant and beautiful but very different people. It’s great to have them here with me; apart from it being high time we caught up, their relentless work ethic pulls me into its orbit. I cannot help but study. But the fact is that I love wrestling these obscure formulae into submission. And before you gasp at my erudition, let me clarify; I’m studying the text in a translation by Hung Hin Cheong, (kindly published by Joey Yap’s Mastery Academy) along with notes I’ve accumulated from various sources over the last two decades.
As well as a writer, Jessie is an actress and herein lies heartbreak. In 2006 she made a big movie with Anne Hathaway and since then she’s done respectable work – some of it high profile – but nothing that has matched up. Despite their writing success, she hasn’t been happy away from the camera. But Jessie’s a trooper and she also has an uncanny sense of the structure of a story.
They’ve tolerated my particular brand of mumbo jumbo all their lives and they play along as I make sure they’re seated South to suit their ba zis. They chunter and banter while they work at the kitchen table, almost like a single person talking to herself.
The bird lingers, tacking into the thermal, close to motionless in the new warmth. Perhaps it’s just playing; there are worse ways to spend a spring morning. There are worse ways to spend a life actually.
Morning turns to afternoon and eventually evening when Jess and Hen down tools and we prepare a meal. Henrietta wants to watch the sun set over the Balearics so we eat outside under the Western portico. As it happens, a quirk of our location is that the sun’s final descent actually happens out of sight. The bushes in the way are tall and these young women aren’t. The glow is pretty magnificent though.
“I wanted to see the sun set,” says Henrietta.
The Moon is new, so darkness falls rapidly. It remains warm despite a slight breeze as we share a beer by the pool. I sit between them, my feet dangling in the deep end; theirs don’t quite reach. It is the breeze that makes the Balearics comfortable even at the peak of summer.
“You might have seen it on tip-toes.”
She frowns.
“Before the month is over I’ll show you something magic in the moonrise.” I say and I explain to her how the phases of the Moon can be represented as Trigrams. “
“Three unbroken lines, maximum yang; full Moon,” I tell her but it doesn’t satisfy her.
Jessie has the recent UN press release about climate change on a Twitter link on her phone.
“By most accounts peak oil production was reached in 2006,” she reads.
Master Chan Kun Wah once told me I would be a Master when I could tell Water from Fire. Estimates of how far seas will rise this century vary from a few centimetres to metres. Great Ice meets Great Fire leads to Great Water. I have an idea that I may be close to understanding. And I think of the vast tonnes of ancient glacial ice floating like sugarcubes in the English Channel.
The report makes it clear that we are collectively walking over an ecological cliff edge. No surprise there. Shameless corporate greed, reckless burning of oil and gas, plus half-baked government have made this inevitable. Every generation believes the world will barely outlive them but even those of us who know this, are concerned about the world we are passing on to our children. If you believe Guy McPherson or James Lovelock we may not even manage that.
When I was last in Singapore, not two hundred miles away in Indonesia, a motorway was driven through the one of the last habitats of the orang utan, man’s closest relative on Earth. These are dark times. The three of us hold hands. The nature reserve suddenly seems small and ever so fragile. This blackness is what Alan saw, I think. He was too smart and had seen too much of the world not to see the same night-black that Maurice is recoiling from. It’s dark, as Elwood says in Blues Brothers, and we’re wearing sunglasses.
There’s plenty of room in the villa. The master bedroom with its en suite sits in the West. There are other bedrooms but in 2014 both North and North West are troublesome. So Jess and Hen go West and I go North East. They get the ensuite, I get shuttered windows that open onto the rear.
I shift my room around so that my head is South East and I can back onto a wall. As a bonus I’ll be able to see the sun as it rises because there are no bushes in the way on this side of the house. I sit lotus-fashion on the bed and watch the night gather. Then I pick up Sebastian Faulks’ Birdsong which Henni has recommended. It’s beautifully written but I can’t be bothered with it. In the night I hear the shutters rattle. It’s dark and we’re wearing sunglasses.

Turning Turtle

I wake thinking of Gemma and Anna’s father and how these magnificent women have turned hurt into healing. They say it takes three generations to make a writer; this may be true of healers too. My own father claimed that he had always wanted to write but that a raft of practicalities got in the way: family, career, mortgage, you know the riff. Bless him; it wasn’t true. No one forces these things upon us; they’re not destiny, God’s will or a court order. We always retain choice even when we imprison ourselves in the realities we buy into. And for myself, I don’t live by writing as these two do. Jon Sandifer had seven children and a chronic weakness of the kidney, I remember. And I think of Alan tuning his guitar with one hand and a rollie in the other, considering the future he might share with his children and grandchildren.
Another morning, another swim. I’m up to twenty lengths now. After a few arguments with Spotify, I’ve rediscovered the music of Style Council, Paul Weller’s jazzy 80’s combo. As I dry myself and make tea, I’m playing Paris Match on my laptop. That smoky vocal is by Tracy Thorn out of Everything but the Girl. I know it’s contentious but I think this is Paul Weller’s best music. For me the Jam were fatuously rebellious and these days Weller seems to be duplicating the 70’s music he claimed to hold in contempt in ’78. Bless him, his perma-frown and his funny haircut.
There are no falcons today, but a single lizard scurries back and forth across the pebbled drive. The sun is already high.
Unimpressed by my choice of music, Hen and Jess rise early, put on a playlist and get writing. Screenwriting is an interminable business. First you write a pitch, then a treatment, then a spec. Then if that stimulates the right juices, a producer demands a rewrite. Then the sources of finance – the BFI for instance – demand further re-writes, then send “notes” with requests ranging from corrected punctuation to what can amount to yet more rewrites. All before the film goes into what the industry calls “pre-production”.
Meanwhile Jess and Hen have been writing on Fresh Meat – cool comedy if you’re young enough to recognise cool – as well as for Children’s BBC and fulfilling a series of other people’s commissions. It’s creative but not entirely theirs. What they’re here for is to put to bed the final “notes” to Olivia and Jim, one of their original screenplays. And get it made ie into production. They’re aiming to write a spec for a new movie too, something it’s been tough to fit in between the commissions. Sounds ambitious.
“We never get time,” says Henni, with deep frustration. Where have I heard that tone before?
They write through the day. I study. When they get excitable it’s hard to concentrate around them, so I repair outside. It’s 30 degrees. Don’t you just hate it when that happens?
There’s another bird up there, it could be a falcon or eagle or even a coot; it’s swooping and gliding not hovering.
Yang gong is not derived from the Book of Changes so much as from careful study of nature. Sometimes I’m asked for a scientific explanation of feng shui and I tend to say something like: “If you plant your tomatoes on a North-facing wall don’t expect great salads. Worse if it’s January.” We’re all subject to these forces – men, women, frogs, firemen. That’s feng shui. That’s yang gong.
I look out over the front garden, still spring-green. The qi – for which also read energy, water, traffic and gradient – slips away to the South. The villa was built in the early 70’s when what is called the Wealth or Water Star was where it should be, in the swimming pool. Now it’s at the back. And the house is in some need of repair. Armed with that information I can tell Gemma and Anna how to restore it to its former glory. And perhaps put the paved area at rest.
Later Jess, Hen and I watch Parks and Recreation and we laugh like goons. Rob Lowe does not seem to have aged since the West Wing. I love the sound of the girls’ laughter.

Fossil Fools

Marianne Williamson is planning to stand for Congress. This extraordinary woman’s Course in Miracles-based teaching has already changed the world. “Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure,” comes from her book A Return to Love, although it’s often attributed to Nelson Mandela. If she is dipping her fingers into the murk of politics, something’s moving. Bless him. Nonetheless I continue to lecture my daughters on peak oil production.
“Fossil fuels had become too hard to extract. So prices could only rise. It was time to stop.”
“Presumably that wasn’t news,” says Henni with customary irony.
Of course not. Instead however of taking this gentle hint from the powers-that-be at face value, oil producers got more and more ingenious.
“Fracking may pre-empt being held to ransom by Gazprom but random rape of the environment with poisons doesn’t seem a longterm alternative,” I say bleakly.
It’s a windless night but the shutters are rattling as I drop off to sleep. I wake to a blazing sunrise over the Eastern hills. The thin linen curtains are no match for the sunlight.

Economic Migrants.

Feng shui was developed by a series of Chinese geniuses over millennia. Che Ying who pioneered modern yang gong in the 17th Century was one; Grand Master Yang Yum Song – from whose nickname yang gong is derived -another. It’s his sketchy 11th century illustrations that Che Ying tidies up in his classic Direct Pointers to True Earthly Principles. These are what are called Sam He or Three Harmony methods as opposed to the Sam Yuen methods which use the Hexagrams and Trigrams of the Book of Changes.
Sam Yuen allocates each Hexagram of the Yi to a particular point both on the calendar and on the clock. Also on the map; this is called na jia – “positioning yang Wood” and it corresponds with the rising and setting position of the Moon.
This morning we get up, drive the hire car slowly to the other side of the reserve and recycle plastic, paper and glass. The glass is the plum job; you the bottles smash satisfyingly against each other as they drop into the container. We argue over which of us gets to do it. Somewhere there’s a landfill that is this much less full, somewhere an oil well that need not produce quite as much. You do what you can, don’t you?
Back at the villa, I tell them about na jia. Out here in the wilds there is so little light pollution that there’s a decent chance I can fix the positions of the changing moon relatively accurately.
“You mean the Book of Changes can tell you where the Moon is going to rise and set?”
“Pretty much.”
“Awesome.”
Studying yang gong involves reading translations of Che Ying and Zhao Yu Cai formulae spliced into five hundred pages of diagrams. Here’s the basic principle: feng shui is a real thing. Power, energy, qi is stored compressed and then released. Think of the energy that went into putting up mountains. That energy flows down on the wind from the heights. When it meets sufficient Water, it is held where we can use it. What Che Ying and Zhao Yu Cai concern themselves with is where the Water goes. This may be the big secret of authentic Chinese feng shui.
As the days go by, the Beach Boys and Neil Young are leavened with Taylor Swift and the eternal lentil and vegetable stew with fish. Each morning we swim. We shower, we dry, we chat, but we’re at work before nine.
Jess and Hen argue over the new script. It’s nuclear in the front room where we’re all working. That’s the thing about twins. Born together they’re as close as close can be. Which means they feel safe to tear strips out of each other. They know they’ll eventually complete the dispute and settle and everything will be fine again. Ten days in, they’ve handled the pre-production notes and written a draft script for a short film and started their spec but now they’re at another impasse.
I suggest we take a walk.
“We might see one or two tortoises,”
“As long as they’re not in too much of a hurry,” Henni says.
“I don’t know whether what we’re writing is any good,” says Jessie, as we walk the gravel path through the gorse. She is anguished. Every writer gets to this point. To make it any good, they must devote themselves 100% to what they are writing and meanwhile refuse all opportunities to live lives, make money, hedge their bets. And at the end they may decide it’s bollocks. We stitch these things together and we hope they make sense.
A screenplay is generally ninety pages long. They have got to around thirty and it sounds pretty lively but Jess isn’t sure it’s real. She’s still distressed.
“You write and gravity kind of takes you,” she says. “And it may go in a wrong direction that it’s really hard to pull it back from.”
Between the hills there’s a break opening onto a lake dotted with coots. The birds twitter in the afternoon stillness. It’s a little known fact that the Eurasian Coot winters at Es Grau before returning North. Although Menorca is a small island, the heath appears to stretch forever in three directions and I find myself wondering how many centuries coots have been coming here and what cataclysm it would take to stop them.
“I’m not sure it’s got any shape,” Jessie says. And then she adds bitterly: “And I want to be acting anyway.”
“And here we are,” says Henni. “Writing. In Menorca. Not acting.” She is gentle and reassuring but there is no deflecting Henrietta. She’s four-foot-eleven of sheer will.
They talk it through. They won’t write pantomime villains or violence and the story must grow from the characters.
“It has to be honest,” says Henni.
It becomes obvious to all of us that the script is real, also engaging and beautiful.

Short Films.

“What is it about tortoises and feng shui?” Henni asks as we walk on.
“Actually it’s turtles, specifically Asian River Turtles whose lower shell or plastron is roughly square and the upper shell roughly circular; that’s the traditional Chinese representation of Heaven and Earth. Tortoise shells are very similar.”
“Uh-huh.”
I explain that the early Chinese divined from lines breaking up the patterns on the backs of the turtles.
“The patterns evolved into a “language” of two types of line – broken that is yin, and unbroken or yang. Broken broadly means “no” and unbroken “yes”.
“Like a binary code?”
“Exactly.”
“How did they make the lines appear?”
“By baking the shells. They actually made the river turtle extinct.”
“Yuk.”
Day sixteen of the Moon that was new when we arrived; dusk is approaching. We talk by the pool. In addition to completing the “notes” and the short film, they have a brand-new 90-page spec. That’s some work for a couple of weeks and they’re here for two more yet.
This Moon is the Peony Moon; it’s close to full. Full yang, that is as bright as it can be, represents the Trigram Qian, the Father, three unbroken lines. So according to the na jia formula, the Moon should rise between 7 and 9pm at chia, that is between 67½ and 82½ degrees East. I know precisely where that is and I point – out beyond the paving to the rear, over the hills, almost opposite the setting sun. And sure enough there it is, just becoming visible; the Moon rising against the cloud in accord with the ancient measurement.
“Awesome,” they say in unison.
The spec concerns two mutually dependent sisters who fall out. Write what you know, Jessie says. They may make it the first film of their own as yet unchristened production company, they tell me. I suggest “Short Films” as a name. Neither is impressed.
The Moon is now gone. It’s dark, quiet but for crickets. We retire. I sit on my bed and listen to the shutters. I’m still not tempted by Birdsong. I listen into a webcast: Andrew Harvey’s extraordinary work in what he calls Sacred Activism which offers a middle-ground between anarchy and tree-hugging. It’s close to midnight but something’s happening.
My Father could navigate by dead reckoning. He’d have spotted the Moon rising though he’d have made nothing of it. To him there was a simple linear explanation to everything.
When I was perhaps eight, we slept under the stars. Pointing above, “There’s Polaris,” he said. “That means North Star. If you’re lost, find that one and you’re home. Part of the Great Bear or Ursa Major also known as The Dipper.”
“What about South?” I remember asking.
“There’s no star due South,” he said. “You find the Southern Cross and estimate.”
“How?”
I don’t remember understanding the answer.

False Smooth Snakes.

The next night as we sip beer again, there is not a frog or tortoise to be seen. This may be because two snakes are fighting by the pool. Combat appears to consist of one sinking its fangs into the other’s back, letting go and then offering itself for the favour to be returned. None of the hissing and posing you might expect.
“This isn’t the Jungle Book,” says Jessie, by way of explanation.
These snakes, according to Wikipedia, are examples of the Menorcan false smooth snake, whose bite is fatal to small rodents but no risk to us. They look pretty forbidding, just the same. We keep our distance; this is not a bar fight to break up. I have a suspicion they might actually be shagging. Probably a better idea.
Just as every pessimist thinks himself a realist, every generation believes the world will be hard pressed to survive them but even those of us who know that, are concerned by the horrors we see and those we see coming. And we suspect that we might be the first generation to be right. But you know what? I’m on the side of the angels. I fear what I see but I choose something better. I prefer to concentrate on the Tessla car, Marianne Williamson’s campaign, Anna Friel saving the gorillas. As Oscar Wilde wrote: we are all of us in the gutter but some of us are looking at the stars.
Having looked closely at a few tortoises now – like me and unlike their aquatic cousins, reluctant to swim in cold water – I conclude that given an infinite number of Chinese river turtles and a very long time, one shell might emerge dotted precisely like the lo shu or magic square of Chinese folklore. And it’s certainly true that the upper shell is domed like the sky and the lower squareish.
I rarely write these long pieces any more. Here are some reasons: the social media people tell me to write shorter, more frequent articles and link them to Twitter, FaceBook, Linked-In, Grinder (I made that up). Secondly I’m busy. Also the most engaging bits of my writing apparently are those about people. And some people don’t like being written about. Finally the power of these pieces comes of poignance. And poignance is next door to impotence and I refuse to believe nothing can be done.
Tonight the sky is totally clear sky over the heath and bumpy hills and Henrietta is satisfied with the sunset and the sudden blackness that follows. I point out the Big Dipper, the engine room of Chinese Astrology. We notice the pointer which indicates seasons and directions and I explain that it is this motion that is reflected on the shell of the tortoise. And hence much of traditional feng shui. We talk about Maurice and the fighting snakes.

Richard Ashworth ©2014.
Post script: the film Olivia and Jim is now in pre-production according to IMDB, the film-maker’s bible.

www.imperialfengshui.info

What Richard is doing…where & when

June 20, 2014

Hi:

I thought it was about time I sent out one of my newsletters to let you know what Richard is up to in the next few months & where & when! So…

 Ba Zi at the London Astrology Lodge:

Monday 7th July at 7pm, Astrological Lodge of London at The Theosophical Society, 50 Gloucester Place, London W1 8EA

Richard will be looking at times, places and people and explaining to the Astrological Lodge, ba zi’s roots in the tao, yin and yang and the Five Elements or wu xing. Along the way he will examine some historical events, to see if indeed they fall into cycles.

Astrologers, feng shui people, sceptics, cynics, civilians, all welcome.

More details here. 

Starter Feng Shui Course:

13 & 14th September 2014 is the first weekend (of four) of Richard’s Starter Feng Shui Course.

For anyone who wants to become expert in the theory and practice of  feng shui. This course opens to a lifetime of study which may excite enthusiasts, the curious and anyone who would like to better understand themselves and the world around them. Grounding in feng shui principles desirable but not essential.

Early Bird Offers are still available.

More details here. 

  Starter ba zi Course:

17th & 18th January 2015 is the first weekend of his starter ba zi course.

Richard is world famous for his ba zi work & his course is honestly incredible!

Again open to all curious souls…

Early Bird offers are very much available.

More details here. 

 If you book both courses together further discounts are on offer. 

 Richard now teaches via Skype both feng shui & ba zi on a one to one basis with weekly sessions so if you can’t travel or you live abroad, this is a perfect option & Richard loves doing it!

 Advanced Ba Zi:

As Richard is finding teaching via Skype so successful he is now offering one to one sessions in Advanced ba zi. His studies with the Masters have given him so much he can now pass on to those wishing to take the study of ba zi much further & deeper.

 Feng Shui at the London School of Astrology:

On Saturday 18th October at the London School of Astrology at The Friends Meeting House, 173, Euston Road, London, NW1 2BJ, Richard is talking feng shui to western Astrologers…should be fun. More details to come.

 

So that’s pretty much it for now, if you have any questions please do email me on sheila@imperialfengshui.info

or call the office on  +44 (0)1483 428998 or visit the website:  www.imperialfengshui.info.

I look forward to hearing from you.

Sheila

www.imperialfengshui.info

Horse Diary: what to expect in June 2014

June 6, 2014

Horse Diary: what to expect in June 2014.
Nags and Hobby Horses.
Horse Month opens: June 6th 02:32am.

Fire!Fire!
A Horse year is inherently fiery and the Horse month of a Horse year doubly so. Consequently, expect Fire to show itself in all the ways Fire does: heat of course but also the slips of judgement and haste that come from the discomfort of overheating. Fire is passionate and indiscrete. Fire is spontaneous. These are times when even the calmest of us make unforced errors. It’s a time when overheated stockmarkets peak and unlikely football teams triumph. But it’s also a peak of innovation and vision when sales of Elon Musk’s eco-friendly Tessla car are taking off, a plan to install lcd sensors over America’s roads has raised over a million dollars by crowd-funding and Marianne Williamson’s game-changing campaign for Congress almost took off. She’s a Water Dragon btw, so she should expect a bumpy ride but that’s probably inevitable, the establishment being what it is. Bumpy but ultimately triumphant.

The Horse in the Horse Month.
Horses (1942, 1954, 1966, 1978, 1990, 2002) like Dragons, tend not to play nicely among themselves, so a Horse month tends to bring disagreement, rivalry and competition. Horse times – years and months – favour the sturdy Dog, the most loyal of the Animals, and the often contentious Tiger, but not the Horse so much. The Sheep may find it easy to build and run teams official and casual just now; the smart Horse employs a Sheep for just such a purpose. But the Horse’s own energy may dip especially towards the middle of the month as the year energy peaks. Observe prominent Horses like Angela Merkel and David Cameron with compassion. And Sheep like Nick Clegg.

Horse Month Animal by Animal.
During the Horse month:
Some Dragons may falter and rise reinvigorated,
The Horse may feel competed with,
The Sheep may form the missing link,
The Monkey may alternately overwhelm and suffer overwhelm,
The Rooster shines if she can choose the game,
The Dog may shine too,
The Pig may take unusual risks,
The Rat is advised to hold back his best shot.
The Tiger is likely to rise, the Ox to lie relatively low
and
The Rabbit may be on the horns of more than one dilemma.
Note: little is inscribed in stone. The trick is to use forewarning as forearming. The Chinese character kun that is challenge means influence, power and discipline also.

The Horse Pillars. How Horse are you?
Birth in the Horse hour: (11am-13:00pm): outgoing children, joy found late in life.
Birth in the Horse month: (June*): frenetic work schedule.
Birth on the Horse day: extrovert nature.
Birth in the Horse year: partying parents.
* Caution, the Chinese month generally starts and finishes a few days after ours.

Where to do what, when and why.
As I write, yesterday’s Primary decided that Marianne Williamson would not get to stand as the California’s 33rd District Congressperson. At the centre of this month’s lo shu is the 4, to do with the Eldest Daughter, the intelligent truth-seeking female who like Ms. Williamson typifies the best of 21st Century woman. The 4 of course also rules the year. So trends are reinforced, portents doubled-up. It is despite everything, a time of invention and innovation, illumination and enlightenment. Fingers crossed.

This month: the South holds the fortunate monthly 8 Star. It’s a tricky area all year but if you crave attention, now is the time to pump the South. Best method is probably plants and/or flowers. Don’t make it too dynamic. Wood moves constantly but slowly. Poor time for a Dragon to open a campaign though.

Also for your attention:
*Learn authentic Chinese feng shui: Richard’s Starter Feng Shui Course The Wind that Stops at the Water runs this autumn over four weekends starting 13th September. Early Bird price available (save £150) till 1st July. You can now participate via Skype – wherever you are.
*On the evening of July 8th Richard will be talking Chinese Astrology to the Astronomical Lodge of London. More details here.  Know your Animals!
*Stop Press: All things being equal, next week we’ll be sending out (& blogging via WordPress) a longer piece, Richard’s first in a while. If you like these longer pieces, watch out for it. If you don’t er…watch out for it.

Richard Ashworth©, late in the month of the Earth Snake, June 2014.

www.imperialfengshui.info