Archive for the ‘Shamanic Energy Consultant’ Category

Transformation with Richard Ashworth

July 16, 2018
Transformational Group Workshop with Richard Ashworth.
October 20th/21st, Godalming.

 
“One day when you conquer yourself and return to true order, the whole world will revert to humanity.” Liu I-Ming, The Taoist I Ching” translated by Thomas Cleary.

Chinese healers have been using the ba zi or Four Pillars of Destiny to loosen stuckness, soothe emotional pain and re-set life paths for around two thousand years. I’ve only been doing it for around twenty.
Those twenty years however have enough for me to conclude that it’s the most powerful healing tool I have ever encountered. What I mean by “healing” is the solving of a spectrum with blockages, upset and stuckness at one end and performance enhancement at the other. Actual physical change is of course unusual, at least in the short term. But transformation, that is to say the road that was blocked suddenly and without reason becoming clear is common.

How is it done?

The answer is that the ba zi is a snapshot of the wu xing or Elements – Wood, Water, Fire, Earth, Metal – prevailing at our moment of birth. Because these Elements are overlapping and changing all the time, their cycles can be tracked. It appears that if we can track the cycle, we can influence its course.

Which tends to reveal moments of decision. We are making tens of thousands of decisions every day. And my field work suggests that some of them are clunkers. We so often take a left turn when we might perhaps have gone right or straight ahead and sometimes there are massive consequences. Which is why I sometimes call the ba zi a map of our most likely mistakes.

From where I’m sitting – which you don’t have to agree with, of course – pretty much everything is a choice. And because the gan zhi Cycles of Elements can be in effect wound backwards or forward like the mileometer of car, the ba zi can identify moments of choice: both the helpful and the not so much. And if we can identify a choice we can very often re-choose and reclaim heartbreaks, forgive, mend and get out of our own way. Which can free us to aim for the stars.

You’ll know I expect that I have drafted thousands of these things. I’ve written tens of thousands of words on the subject. I have not however for some while hosted a group intent upon transformation by way of the ba zi.

I am inviting you to join just such a group for a weekend in October. No promises but I’ve got a bit of a track record in this area and the ba zi boasts two thousand years.

There are 20 places maximum in the group and like all our workshops it’ll only take place if the universe appears to want it. It’ll cost you £400 for the two days unless you catch the Early Bird Offer of £350 which expires August 1st. A non refundable deposit of £50 now will be enough to secure your place at that price, the balance is due by the 20th September 2018.

It’s non-residential and will take place in or near Godalming but further details can be obtained from sheilaashworthfengshui@gmail.com

I hope to see you,

Best,
Richard.

The Sins of the Fathers: Horse Diary 2018

June 29, 2018

The Sins of the Fathers.

According to Muslim teaching, family photographs are tucked away in albums. Nothing that has a soul can be displayed on a wall. There are no photographs on view in Abdul Malik’s house.

Abdul Malik still lives in the West London he was born in. On the westbound Metropolitan Line I think of my father who worked in this part of London for some time. Ours was not a comfortable relationship and some of the memories are not easy.

Abdu Malik is a father, a husband and a devout Muslim. In something like that order. He’s so obviously a good man, fortyish, on his second marriage and very aware of the mess he made of the first one. His seven-year old son bounces back and forth between the living room where I am talking with his Dad and the kitchen where his Mum makes endless cups of tea while half-listening. An inquisitive child, he asks to look at my luo p’an. So I take it out of its case and point out the Chinese Animals near its centre and show him the one he was born under. As we talk he glances back and forth at his Father for approval which is given silently. From time to time Abdul ruffles the small boy’s hair.

“There is a darkness about the house,” Abdul Malik tells me. He reckons it’s located in an upper room. My luo p’an tells me the room is North West, the place of authority, dogma, introspection, self-righteousness and the Father. His own father is long gone and his mother recently deceased.

“What was your father like?” I ask.

Violent and angry is the simple answer. Abdul Malik was regularly cuffed and kicked as he grew up.

“How do you feel about that now?” I ask.

“I’ve forgiven him,” he answers simply.

We look at the room. It’s a bedroom that’s not being used. And there is a kind of cloud suspended there. It catches me in my chest as I enter and I cough. The lungs as it happens are the province of the father.

One of the most educated feng shui practitioners I know once told me that she doesn’t bother to feel anymore. How could that work? How would you know what was wrong with a house without feeling? How would you know you’d made it better? Or not. Human beings are feeling creatures; as the philosopher Barry Gibb once put it: “Everybody spends money to feel better.” I have to add that Sir Barry was responsible for such enigmas as “I stumble and fall but I give you it all,” and “Islands in the stream. How can we be wrong? Sail away with me,” but he’s written some choons for sure.

There is a brooding pain in here. Abdul does not need to be reminded that he is himself a father also, three times over.

“Do you feel it?” Abdul Malik asks me. I nod and breathe in deeply.

I know another European feng shui Master who has placed a hundred Water Dragons but as far as I can tell has never made a positive difference to anybody. Everything he does is dispassionately calculated and he suffers with a constant dry cough. Proper breathing is fundamental to feeling. Most people are trying so hard not to feel.

“Male or female?” Abdul asks. Which is an interesting question.

“Both, I think.”

It’s a given that a North Western room will hold the fatherly qi listed above; that’s where those energies sit. In this one those energies are a bit twisted. And there’s more. I speculate that the father’s violence was not limited to his sons. A long-suffering kind of pained patience hangs here too. How did Abdul Malik’s Mother contain her spouse, I wonder.

Outside there’s an alleyway shared with the neighbour. If you’re old enough to remember it, I dealt with just such a structural flaw on tv’s Housebusters some years ago.  These days that series is shown endlessly on cable at dead of night. Which may explain why I deal with so many insomniacs. Abdul himself works shifts.

The alley is easily attended to – with a charm known as goy moon – as you’ll see if you follow the link above. I make sure the one bed placed over the gap is moved back. Some of the disturbance will be down to that. Classical feng shui theory has a great deal to say about such spots and if nothing else when we know we’re sleeping over a void, we’ll tend to feel exposed.

I tell Abdul to place black tourmaline tumblestones all round the room against the skirting board and keep it in stillness between the next two Remove Days. That’s twelve days.

“After that you take the crystals away and drop them in a river.”

And I have him hang a ba gua mirror on the inside of the bedroom door to reflect upon the whole room meanwhile.

I use the convex ba gua mirror, a feng shui cliché, very seldom; perhaps five times in twenty years of practice. One way or another it’ll clear a room, a house or indeed a street, depending on where we place it. Tourmaline I am told, which is a standard anti woo-woo stone, has special and measurable properties in purifying Water.

“I remember my father punching me across a room,” Abdul Malik tells me.

His wife listens carefully; there are no secrets here. As the voice-over on Desperate Housewives had it: “The measure of his secrecy is the measure of a man’s madness.” His father may have been an observant Muslim but I doubt he was emotionally outgoing. The father’s secrets and lies hang in the air.

Abdul does not pretend to be at peace. Whether we’re talking about a frustrated man in a strange new country, a cabinet minister or Donald Trump, so much male violence resides within false calm. I think again of Abdul Malik’s mother. Arranged marriages are outside my expertise and they seem to work about as well any other variety and I’m not sure any particular arrangement is more violent than another. But she appears to have had quite a row to hoe.

“We tend to think of forgiveness as equanimity in the teeth of other people’s poor behaviour,” I suggest and Abdul nods. “But that’s not actually forgiveness. It’s more like blame. It places us in a position of superiority rather than making for a fresh start.”

He nods again; he can see that.

One of the most difficult things is to mark the card of those we love. We love most and we are most affected by those closest to us. A father loves his son just as a son loves his father; this isn’t Confucian filial piety, it’s nature. Violence complicates the issue. How do we love those who torment us? And how do we forgive them?

The answer is with some difficulty. Abdul has two children by his first marriage. He loves them but they don’t want to see him.

“He loves boxing,” Abdul Malik says of the son he never sees.

It’s when I suggest images of the two teenagers at strategic locations that I am reminded why the walls are bare.

“So your Dad is not the only father who needs forgiveness.”

Abdul nods again, his deep brown eyes ashine with remorse.

“A man as sincere as you will have forgiven your father easily on the surface level. I mean here,” I say and touch my head. “You know enough to realise that he was mistreated by his own father and that he did the best he could with that experience and what he knew.”

As the Book of Changes says: “the only inevitable outcome of violence is further violence.”

“On that level you’ve forgiven him. You wish him nothing but rest. But on the next level down, it’s not so simple. That’s where the chaos is,” I say and point to his chest. “And underneath that there is a completion where everything’s fine.”

“But our minds tend to stop at the top level. We want just to love. We don’t want to go into the risky storm of emotions that are the output of such hurt. We want to go straight to forgiveness without owning the blame that lies between.”

“So what do I do?”

I suggest that at either end of the room-cleansing process, he goes into the room, sits quietly, breathes deeply and simply feels.

“Will that do it?”

“We’ll see.”

In place of the images he can’t display, I suggest he puts symbols. Halfway down the stairs he pins a pair of boxing gloves.

On the Metropolitan Line eastbound, the Bee Gees come up on my playlist. “Saved by the bell on your own carousel,” goes the lyric. “What does that mean?” my father’s voice asks me as if I’d written it myself. Suddenly it’s 1969 and I’m a teenager.

“No idea, Dad. Not the slightest.”

Forgive one father and they’re all forgiven.

Richard Ashworth©2018
www.imperialfengshui.info

 

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

Every month we send paying subscribers a more comprehensive monthly bulletin than this one, covering in detail right places to be (and when) as well as helpful days Animal by Animal and much more from the Chinese calendar.

I still have space for one additional Skype/Zoom student right now.
For c
ourses, subscriptions and further infosheilaashworthfengshui@gmail.com

Richard Ashworth©
www.imperialfengshui.info

Here Comes the Cavalry: the Month of the Earth Horse 2018

June 8, 2018
Here comes the Cavalry: the Month of the Earth Horse 2018.
Bulletin for June 2018
(01:29 6th June to 12:16pm 7th July 2018 inclusive)

Kou
———-
———-
———-
———-
—-  —-
—-  —-
Coming to Meet
Hexagram 44
 
Animal by Animal
During this Earth Horse Month,
The Rat may experience blockage,
The Ox too,
The Tiger is powered,
The Rabbit needs to pace herself,
The Dragon perseveres,
The Snake holds back then doesn’t,
The Horse may get in his own way,
The Sheep follows,
The Monkey’s aim may not be true
The Rooster risks affront,
The Dog whistles,
and
The Pig is useful.

Remember: Each Pillar of your ba zi represents an aspect of your life:
Year Animal:       physicality, heritage, the obvious & immediate;
Month Animal:    work environment, education, peers, siblings, exes;
Day Animal:        you and your beloved;
Hour Animal:       intimate thoughts, children, dreams, the future.

A 1 month supports clear communication.
During a Horse month events move rapidly.
Most helpful location: South East (especially East Group kuas 1 3 4 9).
Least helpful location: North – again.
Favoured Animals: Tiger, Dog, Sheep.
Especially challenged: Horse, Ox, Rat, Dragon, Monkey.
Hexagram (above): Kou Coming to Meet, Father,
Heaven over Wind; the returning darkness.

Here comes the Cavalry: the Earth Horse Month, June 2018
The Horse month marks the summit of the year; the qi or energy has been rising since the last Winter Solstice and now it starts to fall. The growing season has a while to run yet but planting time is mostly over. This is peak Fire; all my sunflowers are out and the hibiscus are in leaf as they begin to consider budding.

Appropriately the Fire of the Horse favours Animals which hold Fire within them; that is to say passion, spontaneity and a need to be seen. Of these the Sheep may be the most favoured, with the Dog and Tiger close behind. Those born under these signs (whether Year, Month, Day or Hour) are at their most powerful now. Your objectives are likely to be bearing fruit but take care: Fire power is incautious and demands immediate results where patience might be more prudent. Now is no time run red lights.

Notable Dogs include three of the last four US Presidents (ie not Obama, bless him) as well as both the Duke & Duchess of Cambridge; among well-known Tigers is Victoria Beckham.

I’ve omitted the Horse, you’ll notice. Why would that be? Well, technically the Horse suffers what is known as the “self-penalty”. This means broadly that Horses don’t much like Horses which includes a distaste for Horse months. The extrovert Horse typically has no space for others seeking the limelight – especially numerous in the Horse month. Angela Merkel: take note. And don’t mistake Mutti’s sensible efficiency for lack of ego; I know a 1954 Wood Horse when I see one.

Of the other Animals, the more modest yin Fire of the Snake may draw them away from things right now and your judgement may not be 100%. Like all things cyclical, this too shall pass. The yin Wood Rabbit may have similar feelings but you remain in pole position throughout 2018; that’ll make up for last year!

Particularly left to draw on their own resources are the Monkey and Rooster, both uncomfortable with the yang Fire which can cloud their thoughts. For the time being these two Metal Animals are respectively, dangerously playful and prone to over-thinking. Something similar is true of the powerful, mercurial Dragon who often becomes stoical now (don’t!), the Ox who may dawdle and the Watery Rat whose articulacy is less welcome than usual. Await August, I should.

If you’re interested in studying Classical Ba Z (which is the art of knowing what happens to which Animal when and indeed why) I have a space for one more one-to-one Skype student on a Thursday or Friday. Apply to Sheila at sheilaashworthfengshui@gmail.
Richard Ashworth ©2018.
http://www.imperialfengshui.info.

Where to be in June.
Summary: over-the-top creative.
South East, Determination: Year Star: 8 Dragon Virtue Month Star: 9. The South East of your room, apartment, building or office has a free ticket right now. Even facing South East will tend to be rocket fuel. A 9 Star brings attention and the 8 keeps that prominence welcome. Projects are likely to flower and plans to bear fruit. Fill your boots.
Enhancement: Bright light; Water fountain (in or out); four green plants.

Where not to be in June.
Summary: depressing and morbid.
North, Distant Future: Year Star 5 Monthly & Annual san sha,Month Star: 6
The worst location of the year just got worse. If you work, sleep or linger here you may – again – suffer relationship issues as well as headaches and wild thoughts. West Group kuas 2 6 7 8 and younger Horse and Sheep women remain the most vulnerable. The only real difference this month is that you may enjoy a windfall if you find yourself with no choice but to linger in the North. You might prefer a holiday of course.
Solution: Chinese Charm: t’ang lung.

Every month we send paying subscribers a more comprehensive monthly bulletin than this one, covering in detail right places to be (and when) as well as helpful days Animal by Animal and much more from the Chinese calendar.

I have space for one additional Skype/Zoom student right now.
For c
ourses, subscriptions and further info: Sheila@imperialfengshui.info

Richard Ashworth
©
www.imperialfengshui.info

Scales: the Month of the Fire Snake 2018

May 4, 2018
Scales: the Month of the Fire Snake 2018.
Bulletin for May 2018
(04:20 5th May to 01:29 6th June 2018 inclusive)Qian
———-
———-
———-
———-
———-
———-
Heaven
Hexagram 1

Animal by Animal
During this Fire Snake Month,
The Rat comes and goes,
The resilient Ox has risen,
The Tiger is best advised not to conspire,
The Rabbit is just a little vulnerable,
The Dragon finds followers,
The Snake jumps obstacles,
The Horse is at half power,
The Sheep comes and goes,
The Monkey risks mischief,
The Rooster may prove reckless,
The Dog is back on track,
and
The Pig is wary.

Remember: Each Pillar of your ba zi represents an aspect of your life:

Year Animal:       physicality, heritage, the obvious & immediate;
Month Animal:    work environment, education, peers, siblings, exes;
Day Animal:        you and your beloved;
Hour Animal:      intimate thoughts, children, dreams, the future.2 month implies accumulation.
A Snake month is often hard to categorise.
Most helpful location: SW (especially for West Group kuas 2 6 7 8).
Least helpful location: North.
Favoured Animals: Snake, Rooster, Ox and Monkey.
Especially challenged one way or another: Pig, Tiger, Rabbit, Sheep.
Hexagram (above): Qian Heaven, Father, Heaven over Heaven. Peak.

Scales: the Fire Snake Month May 2018
The predicted burst of Fire in the Dragon month appears to have had a dramatic impact on global affairs. If unexpected heat was your experience domestically or professionally then May could be both relief and anti-climax.

The yin Fire of the Snake falls at the beginning of Summer (technically lap ha) that is to say it’s light and warm rather than blazing hot. She is often misunderstood because her mission is truth. Interestingly some call the Snake the sign of the politician and it’s true that a younger soul may interpret this as carte blanche to fib – take triple Snake Tony Blair – but the mature Snake turns the quest for truth into reverence for Truth.

Meanwhile this month, along with the Snake herself, the Monkey is boosted – especially in relation to things technical and hands-on. As is the Ox; your nature is to stick to the point and you are sensitive to deviation. Trust in this ability will tend to build up the power you’ll need in July. And you Roosters who may still be strutting in your second consecutive month of power: be sure to be nice to people; there are roadblocks ahead. These four Animals are connected by the precision of Metal – in some cases engineering and in some glamour. Accuracy is the watchword of your month.

Pig and Snake are often mutually intolerant and the Pig’s patience may be tried in the Snake Month. The Pig’s buddy, the Tiger can’t generally face down the Snake and so is best advised to maintain a low profile.

The Sheep, like the Rabbit 30˚ away, will tend to lose the 50-50 ball this month. Rabbits – curb your ambition just for now. Sheep: where you belong may vary.

The average Rat is impatient with the flurry of the summer months and is better employed planning than pushing boundaries at this time. This is the nature of Water. The Dragon who is the Rat’s partner in the Water Triad (along with the Monkey) may seem more interesting than before. For their part many Dragons will be exhausted after the hurly-burly of April – which may not be entirely over. Rest. If you can.

Which leaves the Dog. In your year you are pretty sure of yourself. But last month may have shaken you and you may need the first half of this month to recover and be ready for the roller-coaster of June and for July’s fresh challenges.
Richard Ashworth ©2018.
http://www.imperialfengshui.info.

Where to be in May.
Summary: gains to be made.
South West, Accumulation: Year Star: Fortune Virtue Month Star: 8
Add Water (eg an indoor fountain) for a magical 1:6:8 combination. Whoever is here may enjoy gains material and otherwise this month. More about success and accumulation than relationship which is of course otherwise the role of the South West.
Enhancement: Bright light and/or Water.

Where not to be in May.
Summary: toxic.
North, Distant Future: Year Star san sha wu huang Month Star: 7
If you work, sleep or linger here you may suffer relationship issues as well as food poisoning. West Group kuas 2 6 7 8 and younger Horse and Sheep women remain the most vulnerable, while some Dragons, Oxen, Monkeys and Rats with East Group kuas may still get away with it
Solution: Chinese Charms: t’ang lung, wu lou, Red Six.

Richard Ashworth is among the most respected Western Feng Shui Masters. He has worked from Lebanon to Bermuda, in Kuala Lumpur and Singapore and with stars such as Kelly Hoppen and Gillian Anderson. Unusually for a Western Master, he has addressed the Grand Masters at the International Feng Shui Conference in Singapore. His day job remains “walking round people’s spaces being enigmatic”.
Every month we send paying subscribers a more comprehensive monthly bulletin than this one, covering in detail right places to be (and when) as well as helpful days Animal by Animal and much more from the Chinese calendar.
Subscriptions (and further info)Sheila@imperialfengshui.info
Richard Ashworth © 2018
www.imperialfengshui.info

Fire Dragon Bulletin 2018

April 4, 2018

Another Monthly Bulletin in our new format; it tells you briefly how the month may turn out for you as well as where to concentrate for best outcomes. And this time, a little more about the nature of the month. There’s no actual Feng Shui Diary here. Which as it is not so time-sensitive, will be with you later in the month. Watch this space.
Meanwhile you can top up daily on Twitter (@FengShuiDiaries), LinkedIn and FaceBook. Best to like my page rather than be my friend if you’d prefer to avoid politics, rants, cute micropigs and photos of my grandchildren.
Summary: a month when breakthrough of one sort or another is inevitable.
Info, diary, assistance: sheilaashworthfengshui@gmail.com

Busting out all over: the Month of the Fire Dragon 2018.
Bulletin for April 2018
(04:20 5th April to 21:31 5th May 2018 inclusive)Kuai
—-  —-
———-
———-
———-
———-
———-
Breakthrough
Hexagram 43Animal by Animal
During this Fire Dragon Month,
The Rat declares,
The Ox lies low,
The Tiger may feel defensive,
The Rabbit has free reign,
The Dragon may find ego in the mirror,
The Snake looks for examples to follow,
The Horse may jump the gun,
The Sheep recovers and contributes,
The Monkey improvises,
The Rooster calls the shots,
The Dog may feel affronted,
and
The Pig wander.

Remember: Each Pillar of your ba zi represents an aspect of your life:
         
Year Animal:       physicality, forebears, heritage, the obvious & immediate;
Month Animal:    the work environment, education, peers, siblings, exes;
Day Animal:         you and your beloved;
Hour Animal:       intimate thoughts, children, dreams, the future.

3 month centres on aspiration, possibly not without drama.
A Dragon month promises rapid change.
Most helpful location: South East.
Least helpful location: North.
Favoured Animals: Monkey, Rat, Rooster.
Especially challenged one way or another: Dog, Rabbit, Tiger, Horse.
The Hexagram (above): Kuai Breakthrough; Lake over Heaven.

Busting out all over: the Fire Dragon Month April 2018
One way of tracking the year is by way of the Hexagrams from the Yi Jing or Book of Changes. Technically each quarter is ruled by a Hexagram. Covering the first three months is Number 15, Qian which counsels Humility. From March 21st (the Vernal Equinox) to June 22nd (the Summer Solstice) is overseen by Zhen, Number 51 (sometimes known as the Shocking). Socially, internationally, at home or in the office, in our deepest and in our most shallow relationships, this is the tone of the next three months. There is as much positive as negative in this btw.
Zhen is also the name for April (from late on the 5th) the month of the Dragon. So this theme is concentrated right now and the Dragon herself whose weakness is often ego may find her reputation challenged  This is known as a “self clash”, if you’re smart you’ll turn it to your advantage.
Meanwhile the Dragon’s associates Monkey and Rat prosper in their different ways: Monkeys are likely to be even more outspoken than usual while the Rat’s opinion is much sought after and she’s glad to oblige.
The Dragon’s “secret friend” the Rooster may be tempted to strut a little based on recent triumphs; caution. On the other hand the Dog – unusually for this their own year – may be on the back paw although their favourite the Rabbit’s special relationship with the magical Dragon means Rabbits can be sure of a loan (not necessarily simply financial) if needed.
For the typical Snake this is a time of learning, for the Horse one when he may well be alternately hurried and held up. The Sheep tends to follow the Horse around but this month could be busy seeking various sorts of membership. The Pig is likely to put in a lot of miles. The Ox will be relieved to know they are out of trouble for now.
All those boosted by the fresh Wood Power of the Dragon might helpfully remember that acting outrageously can lead to outrage. Knowing this the smarter Tiger holds back for the time being.
And finally it’s also little known that every Dog year holds an explosion within it about a third of the way through. Put simply, there is a burst of Fire coming. Yes that’s also due now. But then things always happen rapidly in a Dragon month.
Richard Ashworth ©2018.
http://www.imperialfengshui.info.

Where to be in April.
Summary: the place of creativity and windfalls.
South East, Determination: Year Star: Dragon Virtue Month Star: 2
The South East sector as well as SE doors and buildings facing SE are pretty good now.  Bright light may encourage windfalls and creativity with only a slight risk of blockages physical and otherwise. Could be frisky too and this is the place for new ideas and daring for at least the next five months. brings further acquisition, gain and positive growth of all sorts. Fill your boots.
Enhancement: Bright light.

Where not to be in April.
Summary: accident-prone.
South, Bright Future: Year Star san sha wu huang Month Star: 7
Oops, neighbour trouble. The often fouls things up. In the South this could mean very public mistakes and possible robbery or accident with all but the youngest females in the cross-hairs. Curious and inventive women otherwise nurtured here this year, are probably best elsewhere for now. The South is still welcoming to kuas 1 and 9, plus Dog, Tiger and Sheep. As ever much the same applies to a South-facing house btw. This month don’t be here, face this way, or enter the house by this door if you have alternatives.
Solution: Anchora bowl of Water changed daily plus Wood – four plants.

Richard Ashworth is among the most respected Western Feng Shui Masters. He has worked from the Lebanon to Bermuda, in Kuala Lumpur and Singapore and with stars such as Kelly Hoppen and Gillian Anderson. Unusually for a Western Master, he has addressed the Grand Masters at the International Feng Shui Conference in Singapore. His day job remains “walking round people’s spaces being enigmatic”.
We send out to Retainer Clients 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. It is available by subscription.
Subscriptions (and further info)Sheila@imperialfengshui.info

Richard Ashworth©
www.imperialfengshui.info

 

The Snake in the Year of the Earth Dog 2018

February 18, 2018

Snake 2018

Who is a Snake?

Years:  1941, 1953, 1965, 1977, 1989, 2001.
Month*:  May
Hour: 09:00 am – 11.00am
Day: ask us
* Caution: the start of the Chinese month can be as early as the 4th & as late as the 9th, depending on the year. I can let you know this too. 

What is a Snake?

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

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

The most powerful Snake in the world right now is probably Xi Jinping, born in Snake in the Grass year 1953 and appointed at a time when the internal tensions in China – between efficiency and self- expression, between industrial wealth and rural poverty and between cohesion and corruption – were quite stark. Repetitive tasks for cheap labour have been travelling East from Europe since the 18 th century. Once the last few hundred million Chinese have been urbanised, there’s nowhere else for manufacture to go because growth can’t go on forever. This is the conundrum that faces Xi. The smartest and bravest Snakes confront it head on, the typical Snake pretends there’s no issue and proceeds to “reform”. Do not deceive yourself that the Chinese authorities are no longer imprisoning the innocent without trial or protecting those of the corrupt who can be discreet. In Tibet some of the actions sanctioned by Xi – torture, dispossession, summary execution – make Assad (1965 Wood Snake) look like Paddington Bear. These are karmically at least, very young Snakes to whom the truth is a flexible tool but this is your shadow figure, your worst, most plausible self, walking.

It can be different. And if it is your dreams come true. The Snake remains the seeker after truth. This can mean that an immature or unbalanced one is a purveyor of untruths. The balanced or mature Snake, as I said, reveres the truth and calls out falsehood. But meanwhile what you see may not be what you get. Taking into account the Umbrella sit-ins in Hong Kong and a push-me- pull-you approach to liberal reforms, you might well say that about Mr Xi. Compare perhaps with triple 1953 Snake (year, month, day) Tony Blair. But also with 1941 Metal Snake Bernie Sanders.

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

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

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

Being substantially of yin fire, the Snake often has intellectual and visual gifts. She makes a good critic as her judgement is good and she is not out to destroy egos. She will generally have natural and effortless style.

The Snake’s relationship with the Monkey is a love-hate one. Both have hands-on and logical abilityand both attract the occasional tussle but where the Monkey welcomes the opportunity for mischief, the Snake treats dispute as a necessary and regrettable evil. When a Tiger appears either in the form of a Tiger-born person or a Tiger year like 2010, this misunderstanding can turn nasty. In the Metal times of 2016 and 2017 however, the issues are very different.

The Snake is opposed to the Pig and as both of these are members of the informal group sometimes called the Four Terminals or Stations, they can impede each other’s movement. Snakes may develop mobility issues in a Pig year (or month) and vice versa. Your momentum may for instance slow in November this year. Be sure to have achieved your year goals by then.

The Snake prefers a short menu and yes/no questions. In a Rat year the Snake may be overwhelmed; there is just too much choice, The Snake’s dreams may come true only for her to run in the opposite direction. Often communication has to be wrenched from the Snake and in the water years of Rat and Pig there is little support for the tight-lipped. In a typical Ox year there is just enough water but not too much. This makes scope for just the restricted level of communication the Snake prefers. The Rooster year on the other hand is very different.

Snakes have a complex relationship with fire. They are not usually sun-worshippers but often their skin needs just a little regular sun and without it they may fall prey to easily avoided ailments such as vitamin D deficiency.

Richard Ashworth©
www.imperialfengshui.info

The Dragon in the Year of the Earth Dog 2018

February 17, 2018

Dragon 2018

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 peers. 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, can consider the Dragon 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 the abundance and nourishment of 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 although these three may not mix socially. They need a task to cooperate around, 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 Tiger or Pig years which may 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 them because she will do precisely what she feels like either way.

Richard Ashworth©
www.imperialfengshui.info

The Rabbit in the Year of the Earth Dog 2018

February 16, 2018

Rabbit 2018

Who is a Rabbit?

Years:  1939, 1951, 1963, 1975, 1987, 1999, 2011.
Month*:  March
Hour: 05:00 am – 07:00 am
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 Rabbit?

The Rabbit is yin wood, which makes him essentially gentle and domestic. Her time is early morning; the legend has it that she and the Rooster swapped places which is why the cock of the Chinese Zodiac crows not at dawn but at dusk. Accordingly the Rabbit rules the Spring – think of March Hares and Easter Bunnies – and the Rooster the autumn.

The Rabbit is subtle, in keeping with his yin nature. He provides service readily and is often suited to catering and caring. But her preparedness to roll up her sleeves makes her the unexpected queen of networking. If you want to be introduced to the person in charge, ask a Rabbit. As a business person however, you open deals much better than you close them. There is no hardness about you. Do not confuse hard with tough; the Rabbit is the most resilient of all Animals.

You are accordingly well able to wait your turn; vigilance and patience are typical. Natural allies are the Pig and the Sheep. This is a house-proud team and the Rabbit is a team player. Your unexpected friend is the Dog who values your ability to charm without threat.

The Rabbit also belongs to the gathering known as the Flowers of Love (or Plumflowers) along with the Horse, the Rooster and Rat. She may often find herself clearing up behind these three extroverts and quite often the cuddle-bunny will obtain a life partner from the leavings of more obviously glamorous colleagues. Be aware that these extroverts and schemers need you in order to function properly.

The Rabbit tends to be conservative with a small “c”. Early rising is typical but this tendency to the yang of early alertness may be demonstrated by the yin of sleeping in. Lazybones or insomniac, sleeping is an issue. This is better cured by adjusting your timing than by pharmaceuticals.

Because of the unflattering connotations of the local word for Rabbit, in Vietnam this Animal is called the Cat. Intuitively this does not sit right. The ideogram so clearly has ears. Yin wood relates to the eyes and to the Spring, leaves and flowers and grass, none of which are feline attributes.

In some ways the Rabbit epitomises yin. Yang wood may be best characterised as an outwards and upwards movement like the growth of a tree. Yin wood is more of a pure outward expansion like the spreading of grass. What these two expressions of wood have in common is irresistibility. But they are very different types of irresistibility. To counter yang wood we need yang metal: an axe will cut down the biggest tree. But you could attack a lawn with that same axe and not remove all the grass in a lifetime. This is the power of yin wood. I often use Water Rabbit Michelle Obama as a good example of such irresistibility. Remember her on the stump for Hillary? A month of that and Trump would have been consigned to history.

Wood is both stubborn and flexible. Yin wood (as characterised by soen, the wind of the South East) is thorough as well as organised. Hexagram 53 of the Book of Changes, Gradual Progress describes the ability of the little tree to grow on the hilltop despite the wind, either by throwing itself absolutely upon the mercy of the tao or following a detailed plan that it follows meticulously. Or some combination.

The Dragon is said to lose money when the Rabbit arrives. This may be because the Dragon is distracted by a neighbour so apparently different in nature. The Rabbit is a borrower as well as a burrower and the Dragon thinks little of tomorrow. So this is not generally a great pairing but the fact is that the Rabbit sitting between the Tiger and the Dragon shares qualities with both. Partnership with the Tiger is sometimes formalised as the House of Diplomacy. The Rabbit offers carrot while the Tiger wields a stick. This arrangement exemplifies the truism that more is achieved with a kind word and a gun than with a kind word alone.

Other prominent Rabbits include Russell Brand, who despite his wild exterior, is that most romantic of Animals, the 1975 Wood Rabbit. Wood represents bone, spine and hair as well as eyes: the light is fire but the receiving organ is wood. The Rabbit is often not strong in these regards, unlike the Tiger. This is yin and yang.


Richard Ashworth
©
www.imperialfengshui.info

The Ox in the Year of the Earth Dog 2018

February 14, 2018

Ox 2018

Who is an Ox?

Years:  1949, 1961, 1973, 1985, 1997, 2009.
Month*:  January
Hour: 01:00 am -03:00 am
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 an Ox?

The Ox is deeply sensitive, psychic even but also quite insistent; rather than persistent; Ox yin Earth makes for a certain fragility, more of a curtain than a rampart. The Ox is in many ways, the most sensitive Animal. This is often expressed in what looks like obstinacy but is better understood as puzzlement. In discourse you may find that an Ox has firm principles that on examination are not principles at all but more like prejudices or assumptions. They are often firm as well as correct for all that. Jane Austen’s Mrs Bennett reads like an Ox.

As a rule, don’t expect flexibility of mind from an Ox; they know what they know and are often not keen to venture beyond. The detail that really distinguishes the Ox however, is that (s)he often craves power and often doesn’t notice either that the power has waned or that it is time to relinquish it. Famous Oxen include Margaret Thatcher, Napoleon Bonaparte and Barack Obama. You get the picture? Power tends to peak in the Rat year btw – 1984, 1804 and 2008 respectively.

The Ox is frequently practical rather than intellectual although the intellectually gifted Ox packs power; take 1961 Ox Yanis Varoufakis for instance. Because of your position between the Rat and the Tiger, you can sometimes vacillate between a fierceness that does not suit you and a Rat-like charm that may not be sustainable. Neither of these are strengths in academe.

With her allies the Snake and the Rooster, the Ox forms a team which is of the Metal element. That is to say that the alliance is linear, judgemental and competitive. Where the ground rules are clear, this is an unstoppable combination. These three make a great legal team with the Rooster charming the jury, the Snake unearthing information that no one else could find and the Ox sticking to the point. When the rules are unclear however, the alliance can falter. Then the Ox can become judgemental in a more covert sort of way, being less liable to argue than to judge silently. Without the Snake and the Rooster, the Ox becomes more barrack room lawyer than barrister.

To the metal of such a team which stands for logic, reason and competition, the Ox brings the earth that means consistency. Which is vital but in dealing with the Ox, it is important to encourage linear thought and to unmask the unreasonable (and consistent) for what it is. Often your position is just habit; you may still quibble though.

The hour of the Ox (1am-3am) is the time that the worlds of spirit and flesh are closest.  She has a deep spiritual agenda. The gifts of mediumship and divination are essentially Ox and Sheep gifts. Often squaring strict logic with intuition is a life lesson.

The Ox may be attached to ancestral dogma. Fundamentalism of all sorts – political and social as well as religious – stick to you. She is not always good at questioning tradition or second-hand wisdom that has come down on good authority. She will often quote great men and prophets, not because their words are wise but simply because they are reckoned great. Maggie Thatcher probably made both Maynard Keynes and John Wesley rotate in their graves.

With the Dragon, Dog and Sheep, the Ox forms the Literary Alliance. Some call this confluence the Four Earths and think of it as negative. The fact is that it is a demanding combination and when only three of these meet, the weakness of the grouping is defined by the one missing. When all four are present, great achievement follows. If the Dog is absent for instance, the association may be short-lived. On the other hand, the combination of Dog, Ox and Sheep is a challenge to a strong ba zi and can be the ruin of a weak one. Obviously the magic Dragon is missing from this last conjunction, sometimes called a “bullying punishment.” When the three appear together, expect suppressed communication and rigid rules. Which the Dragon simply wiggles his nose and dissolves.

Barack Obama may currently be the world’s most famous Ox and a good example of this. He actually has a Sheep in his month pillar but no Dogs and no Dragons; this makes for a home-loving and secure man. Which is heightened by a day stem (the yin earth character that rules the day he was born) having a special affinity both with the Ox and the Sheep. This like so many Oxen, is a man who loves his babies. But what about those of the rest of the world?

As if to answer this question, Obama who knows his executive power is on the wane, is clearly going down fighting. As Napoleon did and Mrs Thatcher as well of course as 1889 Earth Ox Adolf Hitler*. None of these knew when it was all over, did they? Traditionally the chaos of “bullying punishment” is brought to a head by the Dragon.

The Ox is not that keen on the Rabbit who can help herself to the Ox’s fresh vegetables or the Tiger who somehow often manages to exploit her. And you have a love-hate relationship with the irritatingly spontaneous and extrovert Horse to whom you can not help nonetheless being drawn. For the Ox, the Horse represents the perhaps unwelcome daylight upon your true intentions and ultimately your true values. But to really know the mettle of the Ox, observe her with Sheep and Dog. *His peak Rat year was 1936.


Richard Ashworth
©
www.imperialfengshui.info

The Rat in the Year of the Earth Dog 2018

February 13, 2018

 

Rat 2018
Who is a Rat?
Years:  1948, 1960, 1972, 1984, 1996, 2008.
Month*:  December
Hour: 11:00 pm – 01:00 am
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 Rat?
The Rat is yang water but with a hidden stem of yin Water, the major Water animal of Chinese metaphysics. All Water on this planet, unless interfered with by outside forces, is connected with and on the same level as all other Water. Sea level at Zeebrugge is the same as sea level at Miami. If I spill my cup of tea here in Surrey and you spill yours in Taiwan, sooner or later they’ll mix. It may take aeons but they’ll mix. This powerful idea may clarify the connection between Water and communication.
Someone said that we have two ears and one mouth for a good reason: that we should listen twice as much as we speak. The issues relating to Water are listening and speaking while keeping the ratios right. The Rat can easily miss this. Some of us are elected primarily to talk and the yang Water of the Rat says it’s you. The Rat is the talker of the Chinese Zodiac. As you know, an unbalanced or distressed Rat tends to clam up or run off at the mouth. Which will it be this year?
The Rat is supreme in the realm of ideas. It is said that when you can tell water from fire, you are a master. The blue of the sky at mid-summer, for instance is not water but fire. Who can identify this consistently? The Rat who is a planner and a plotter and a deep thinker, is the most likely candidate. He thinks ahead, sometimes to the detriment of his awareness of the present. This makes him a good chess player but not so great at poker. He is apt to be too controlling for games that require openness to good fortune. That sort of uncertainty can be painful. Your average Rat wants the credit and to get that he has to be in control.
In conversation you may find that the Rat second guesses in a very distinctive way: typically he gets his correspondent to commit to a position before he states his; a very useful quality in a teacher but not everyone’s cup of tea in a collaborator. The Dragon and the Monkey, even the Ox, may find this reassuring but it drives the Horse and the Tiger wild and to some extent even the Dog.
Being big talkers and travellers, Rats are traditionally suited to work involving communication: sales, oratory and persuasion. In the collaboration with the Rabbit, Rooster and Horse that Derek Walters (himself a Rat) calls the Flowers of Love, the Rat is the talker, the chatter-up if you will, where the Rooster provides the glamour, the Horse the passion and the Rabbit the stamina. A Rat with these additional animals present is effortlessly successful and charismatic. The missing animals indicate his weaknesses. None of them others however is at ease alone in the company of the Rat.
An unbalanced Rat talks too much and listens selectively. A balanced one gets it exactly right; he is fascinating talker and a skilled listener. But this wilful deafness can be a point of pride. Blessed with an orderly mind and excellent retention, a Rat can consider his ignorance of a subject a reflection upon the subject rather than upon himself. This sort of Rat needs to learn to value the convictions of others, especially if they are derived from premises he does not accept.
The Rat is a guardian, a watcher. Sometimes he is self-appointed and the unbalanced Rat has a particular blindness that leads him to believe that his opinion is an absolute. This is more accentuated and less well-informed in his partner the Ox in what some call the House of Creativity (or Cleverness). The relationship between the Ox and the Rat is less that of partners than of pupil and tutor but the Ox can be a particularly obdurate and dominating learner, sometimes drawing conclusions to which he is not entitled and sticking like a limpet to any conclusion he can justify. In these circumstances the Ox is not so much partner or indeed student of the Rat as tormentor. When Ox and Rat are together it is the Ox who calls the tunes.
A very conscious Rat can make good use of his blindness to the value of other people’s positions. She is likely to be able to explain things that baffle others and to derive laws from this gift. To have no explanation however is to open himself up to chaos. If he knows this about himself he can master even the most abstract discipline.
The Rat is versatile and multi-talented though not as notably so as the Pig of whom he is often jealous or the Dragon who can baffle him despite their mutual affinity. Yang water can speak of profligacy with money. The Rat is a brilliant small businessman but often a poor tycoon. In the power triad with the Dragon and Monkey, the Rat may appear to overvalue the hands-on deftness of the Monkey because he finds the Monkey easier to control and may envy the Dragon his magic.
And it is this potential for envy that is the other big weakness of the Rat and lays him open once more to the Rooster of the year who of course shares it. The full-on spontaneity of Fire has always drawn resentment from certain Rats. He can’t admire what he can’t himself master. This can lead to him not getting credit for originality of mind. Consider Water Rat Alan Turing of Enigma fame. And finally the Rat can be a fickle partner but an attentive parent, albeit one who may have favourites. The awakened Rat is absolutely even-handed; that in itself is quite a gift.

Richard Ashworth©
www.imperialfengshui.info