Archive for the ‘Study Ba Zi’ Category

Talk, Talk: the Month of the Water Rat 2017

December 8, 2017

This is the second 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 month, a little about Remove Days and how to use them. 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.
Info, diary, assistancesheilaashworthfengshui@gmail.com

Brief introduction: a month of restoration, a time to invite and/or initiate positive intervention.

Talk, Talk: the Month of the Water Rat 2017.
Bulletin for December 2017
(07:40am 7th December to 18:26pm 5th Jan 2018 inclusive) Fu
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Earth
Hexagram 24Animal by Animal
During this Water Rat Month,
The Rat talks,
The Ox prepares for power,
The Tiger revs up,
The wise Rabbit burrows – for now;
The Dragon breaks through,
The Snake breathes again,
The Horse rears up,
The smart Sheep falls back,
The Monkey jokes,
The Rooster is finally ready,
The Dog may feel uprooted,
and
The Pig now has space.

Remember: the 4 Pillars of your ba zi relate to Year, Month, Day and Hour of birth. Each represents different aspects of your life:
Year Animal: physicality, forebears, heritage, the obvious and immediate;
Month Animal: the work environment, education, peers, siblings, exes;
Day Animal: you and your beloved;
Hour Animal: your most intimate thoughts, children, dreams, the future.

A 7 month promises er interference, interruption & ultimately intervention.
A Rat month favours communication.
Most helpful location: East.
Favoured Animals: Monkey, Rat, Dragon, Ox.
Especially challenged one way or another: Horse, Sheep.
Hexagram: Fu, The Return; Earth over Thunder. I’m back & I’m proud.
Remove Days:
Remove is one of the so-called “Daily Officers” which run in a twelve-day cycle. The Officers indicate what kind of behaviour is broadly appropriate day by day. Just to make it easy, other things may make such a day dangerous or unhelpful. The process of assessing which is which is called Ze Ri, that is Date Selection. The Chinese have been using this method to time important events for literally thousands of years and part of my work is identifying helpful dates for weddings, journeys and so on.
Remove days are for the disposal of the unwanted; could be anything from unwelcome weight or vermin to what goes into the bin while spring-cleaning, even jettisoning stubborn furniture that won’t recycle. Remove Days are most effective when, like last month they coincide with a Full Moon. But be careful what you wish away; logically Remove days are ideal for surgery and other procedures but also for break-ups. As I say, discretion is good.
This month unusually there are two generally helpful Remove Days: the 16th and 28th December. The 16th supports a moving-on, a rejection of nostalgia and past hurt. It’s probably of most use to Pig, Dog. Sheep and Rabbit. The next on the 28th just after Christmas, is handily timed for a big day of recycling and returning unwanted items! Also starting weight-removing diets and jettisoning old habits. It favours SnakeRooster, Ox and Rat, but may be helpful to all.

Where to be in December.
Summary: the place of power.
North West, Authority: Year Star: 2 Month Star: 8. Special Star: Sun.
Helpful. The return of benign authority.  A good space for Dads and for communication with Dads. This is among other things a month of mending fences. With the 2, the makes a transformational 10. This combination also suggests acquisition especially of property. Facing this way or sleeping with our heads at this end of the bed will tend to emphasise power – especially if your kua (a simple calculation based on your date of birth– which we can do for you) belongs to what is known as the West Group. Empowering also for Rabbit, Dog, Sheep and Tiger.
Enhancement: Bright light (that is Fire) and/or Metal.
Where not to be in December.
Summary: debilitating for now.
South, Bright Future: Year Star: wu huang, Month Star: 2.
2 and together are reckoned to herald minor sickness; the older woman being the likely fall-gal. So there’s little change here just yet and the t’ang lung charm (we can supply these) remains the most elegant solution. Harshest for kuas 2, 6, 7 and 8, Rat and Ox, the actual nature of the 5’s mischief is indicated by its location and company so embarrassment remains the down side. Metal will weaken the effect of both stars. Spousal dispute is another outcome. You know the drill: stay away if you can.
Solution: Metal objects , 6 Pipe Metal Windchime, wu lout’ang lung.

Talking about 2018, The Year of the Earth Dog:

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
And here’s the (Western Astrological) take of the very perceptive Lorna Bevan: 5D Astrology Report 2018 – Matter Meets MysteryRichard Ashworth©
www.imperialfengshui.info

The Year of the Mutt, Earth Dog Forecast Day 2018

November 21, 2017

A Day with Richard Ashworth:
The Year of the Mutt, Earth Dog Forecast Day 2018,
Sat December 2nd, The Pepperpot, Godalming.

On the 2nd December in person (repeated 3rd of December via Zoom), I will be discussing the forthcoming year of The Earth Dog and how you can prepare for it.
The Earth Dog is resolute. She is restless and immovable, an uneasy combination; which may be why so many powerful women were born under this sign; they just don’t know how to give up. The emerging 9th Fate continues to make this the Age of Woman and 2018 will see that re-balancing proceed.

In 2018 a house facing South East may be favoured. There are however many ways to harness the fresh energy which we will be discussing. Similarly Rabbits may find themselves with some sort of free ticket and the Dragon may feel challenged. None of this is written in stone however, as you will learn.

Globally we can expect the establishment to be shaken but not stirred. The map suggests trouble in North Korea (no prizes for that) but also Venezuela, Morocco, Nepal and among the Uighurs of Western China. Unbalanced Dogs like Donald Trump will tend to continue to shy away from self-awareness and Horses such as Angela Merkel may chase their own tails. The central model is 60-year cycle and sixty years ago, in 1958 there were American boots on the ground in Lebanon. A troubling thought.

As the sage wrote, the only constant is change, so for each country, each occupation and each individual there will be fresh opportunities. Whether these prove positive or otherwise is a question of our choice in reacting to them. Though we all have preferences the tao is generally without bias.

If there is a point in knowing Classical Chinese Feng Shui it is surely to make our lives and those around us happier, healthier, wealthier and wiser. As it happens in 2017 the Roosters of 1957 hit 60 (that is the end of their first cycle). In a sense this means they landed back in the late 1950’s with the opportunity to pick up on the lessons missed first time round. This principle made the previous year 2016 an interesting one for 1956 Fire Monkey Theresa May and understanding it, the Qing Emperor Qian Loong actually retired to grow vegetables after ruling from 1733 to 1793. This applies to each of us of course; where in that cycle of 60 years are you as you read this? 2018 may be a turning point.

Horticulture may not be your idea of a good time but you might like to join us in any case on December 2nd  in Godalming (repeated online via Zoom on the 3rd) to examine how the coming year is likely to affect you, your family, your business and the world.

Info: sheilaashworthfengshui@gmail.com
For the thrifty, the Early Bird offer remains open.
£100 till 1st December, then £125 on the door.
Pay via Paypal or Bank details on request.
One request: if you are paying via Paypal, please would you mind adding a £3 subsidy to cover the cost? Thanks

2018: The Year of the Mutt

September 14, 2017

Sheila here with some information for you all.

The Year of the Mutt.
Richard’s Forecast Day for 2018, the Year of the Earth Dog.
December 2nd 2017 in Godalming, Surrey from 10am until 5pm.
Venue to be confirmed.

With world leaders recklessly squaring up to each other and waiting for the other to swerve, 2017 may have been not so much the Year of the Rooster as the Year of Chicken. And so the Earth Dog 2018 may be the Year of the Muttat its worst the kind of dog that tugs on its lead with no idea of where it wants to go once it’s pulled loose.

This may be the running theme of 2018 in your home, your office and internationally. Best consider now how to deal with it.

And 2018 is ruled by the 9 Star of Fire. Which changes all sorts of things. Among others it focuses on the fair treatment of women. And on reversing climate change.

Dragons will be challenged, as will Roosters – not necessarily a bad thing – as you know no one grows strong without a challenge – a South East door will look particularly shrewd and a North-Western sleeping position or a North-facing house not so much. Rabbits are favoured by the Dog Year by the way as well as Tigers, Horses and the Dog itself. And much more.

This is a really popular event and places are limited. Last year we sold out so email me please to book soon.
Repeated via Zoom, 3rd Dec, 3pm – 9pm. Very limited places.
Early Bird £100 (£105 via Paypal) till 1st Dec, £125 on the door.

Richard has two one-to-one places open for Skype/Zoom tuition 
in ba zi and feng shui from mid October. These courses comprise 16 one hour sessions, one to one (for now at least) with Richard. He usually starts by teaching ba zi followed by feng shui. After completing both you may be invited to join his mentoring programme. There is currently a special offer, please email me for details.

I hope we’ll hear from you soon.
Sheila
sheilaashworthfengshui@gmail.com

My Diary for the Month of the Earth Rooster

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

Kuan
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The Watchtower
Hexagram 20

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Subscriptions (and further info)Sheila@imperialfengshui.info

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

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

Richard Ashworth©
www.imperialfengshui.info

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

Feng without Shui: My Diary for the Month of the Earth Sheep 2017

July 7, 2017

Poundbury: feng without shui.
My diary for the month of the Fire Sheep
(06:21 7th July 2017 to 15:27 7th August inclusive)
in the Year of the Fire Rooster.

 Dun

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Coming to Meet
Hexagram 33

The Sheep Month
Animal by Animal
During this Fire Sheep Month,
The Rat is on the retreat,
The Ox is sticking,
The wise Tiger finds opening,
The Rabbit blooms,
The Dragon mediates,
The Snake at last seeks counsel,
The Horse doesn’t,
The Sheep is on the periphery,
Wise Monkeys wait their turn,
The Rooster counts the gain,
The Dog may be especially restless,
and
The Pig comes home.

A 3 month; about aspiration and persistence.
Most helpful locations: North, East, North-East.
Least helpful: West.
Favoured Animals: Sheep, Horse, Pig, Rabbit.
Especially challenged one way or another: (still) Rat and Ox.

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

Learn ba zi and feng shui with Richard one-to-one in 2017. See end panel.

Where to do what, when and why

Summary: Here’s where wealth and success are hiding this month.
North East, Wealth Star: Year Star: 4 gip sat, Month Star: 6
This month could bring windfalls or the arrival of substantial delayed payments. Be here to receive them; this is the correct place and orientation for the leader and entrepreneur at this point. And again this applies especially to West Group kua (8,6,7,2) as well as many Rats and Pigs. Financial creativity is happening here, artistic not so much.
Monthly Enhancement: A bowl of fresh Water changed daily.
Annual SolutionFire, (eg bright light). 4 Plants (eg 4 bamboos in Water).

One to avoid; where not to be this month

Summary: Here’s how not to suffer a plague of frogs this summer.
South, Bright Future: Year Star: wu huang, Month Star: 7
with 5 is a money loss combination, the South is about visibility and the represents interference. So loss of face too, public interference, public loss especially for Rats & Oxen and West Group kuas (6 7 8); this is not the place to talk indiscriminately. It could be a costly place to be this month if you dig or drill as well as a sickly one. Best for: female East Group kuas (134 or 9) Tigers, Dogs or Sheep. Risky, so stay clear if possible. Don’t over-illuminate. These comments apply to users of South-facing doors, South-oriented desks and beds and the Southern sector of the house measured from its centre or tai chi; poor all year of course, it’s a little better next month
Month Enhancement t’ang lung plus reduced light.
Play it safewu lou.
Annual Solutiont’ang lung.

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

Know your inner beast. How Sheep are you?

Birth in the Sheep Hour (1-3pm)~: clubbable children.
Birth on the Sheep Day#: idealist, hippy values.
Birth during the Sheep Month (July)*: don’t work alone.
Birth in the Sheep Year: bohemian heritage.
~ GMT. # You’ll need a Chinese calendar for this. * Caution: Chinese months start later

Poundbury: feng without shui.

“If one knows how to empty and open the mind, one can fill the belly. Once one has filled the belly, fortune and misfortune are in the palm of the hand.”
Liu I-Ming.

There are reckoned to be more Roman remains under Dorchester in Dorset than any other conurbation in Europe. The Romans obviously liked broad hills and sea-views and obviously they built villas where the land was fertile. The villas were set up much lower down of course on what is termed the “military ridge” where they could see and not be seen and were protected from the constant British winds. To the South of Dorchester lies Maiden Castle, an iron age hillfort probably last occupied when the Romans invaded. From its summit you can see agricultural land laid out in Saxon hide-measures in every direction, some of it arable, some of it given over to sheep, some to cattle, all as green as laurel at this time of year.

Maiden doesn’t look much like a castle; more like a cattle-enclosure a dozen football pitches wide. There are ramparts but they are of earth not stone and after all this time they seem more like natural hillocks and mounds than defences. Like most castles Maiden was a place of retreat in times of invasion. There is natural Water here and archaeologists have found plenty of evidence of episodic habitation; the local Celtic tribe, the Durotriges (hence Dorset) clearly had their differences with the Dumnoni (hence Devon) to the West and with the Atrebates of Hampshire and Sussex to the East. And finally in 43 AD they holed up here for a final showdown with the invading Romans. And – spoiler alert – this time they lost. The wind may swirl around but the enclosure itself is quite protected. Nonetheless it was not enough to withstand Roman discipline and superior technology.

Feng shui of course means Wind Water and this name incorporates its central principles: as the Book of Odes states it – “The qi (that is energy, power, life) comes down from the Mountain on the Wind and is held at the Water.” Until the Wind is under control, no enclosure be it house, office or new-age model community supports life. I have known businesses that could not get started, set on windy promontories and indeed premature death from the restless Wind ailments such Parkinson’s Disease, motor neurones and epilepsy. Natural Water holds the qi and of course so does Wood, that is to say the trees that are naturally found bordering Water.

Between Maiden and the next hill along, there used to be an avenue of mature ash trees lining the old A35. Last week I took that route up to the Duchess of Cornwall – which is not only the title of the Prince of Wales’ fragrant consort but also a hotel atop Poundbury, deep in the Prince’s experimental community. I was driven there by my client about whom I’m allowed to tell you no more than that she is a talented herbalist whose ointment is the only thing that has ever relieved the pain of my arthritic left thumb. Yes; some people have high status serious arthritis, I’ve just got the one annoying digit to which no amount of glucosamine sulphate, green-lipped mussel or dulcamara 6 has  made the slightest difference. But that ointment is miraculous. Thankyou E.

The Duchess – the hostelry not the Queen-in-waiting – is magnificent like all the buildings in Poundbury. Everything, social housing, shops, halls, are magnificent, the mean height appearing to be five storeys plus. It’s something like the Valley of the Kings or possibly even Auschwitz, a queasy hybrid of mausoleum and theme park. But a theme park lacking a theme – unless the theme is indicated by the 2-to-1 scale statue of the Queen Mother that studs the hotel courtyard. The plan I’m told, was to serve the human being not the car but – dur – there’s no railway station and although Waitrose (of course) is reached by raised pavement and portico, the roads are too narrow for the buildings. It’s as if every one of them thinks it’s the Albert Hall. And carbon-neutral or no, there are a lot of cars here.

It’s easy of course to shy at the heir apparent’s grandiosity – good-hearted and remote old article as he clearly is – but I’m a feng shui man and here’s what I know: communities grow up around natural Water and where roads meet and I think there’s none of the first here and the A35 roundabout dividing the roads to Yeovil and Sidling doesn’t amount to a crossroads.

And it’s easy also to pick holes in a hotel. But…..the room I’m in is tiny and the bed isn’t; there’s plenty space for Shrek plus Cameron Diaz and Donkey. It’s some task to walk around it. The picture window over the courtyard offers blackout curtains or nothing. So I’m presented with a choice of artificial light or potential arrest as an exhibitionist. There are lamps and bulbs everywhere, I turn off fully six before I can settle and one socket continues to glow. There’s another in the ceiling to reassure me I guess, that the sprinkler is operational – good to know so soon after Grenfell Tower but who can sleep easily with a beacon winking over their head?

It’s graceless to say but such grandeur could so easily have been made welcoming if someone had actually tried out the room; a Secret Sleeper if you will. The bathroom basin doesn’t drain which makes for a ring of toothpaste scum and the bath – I like a bath when I’ve been following a fit young herbalist around the Dorset countryside for much of the day, it’s a very hilly county, you know. The bath has a clever non-removable plug which is displaced as soon as you turn on the tap. Exhausted I skip the evening round of this challenge but 4am finds me leaning over the rim and holding the plug down until the water is at a level sufficient to resist the power of the flow.

And so on. Which is not my point. What is my point is that if you asked me for one essential – “What do I look out for when choosing a home?” – it would be: never try to live where the land is windswept. And Poundbury is despite the egregious architecture, racked by wind. At night wind is the soundtrack. And what would protect against it? Why, mature trees. And those ashes went the way of all bark in 2004.

I’ve known homes on similar ridges where it’s been impossible to settle, fatalities as I said, too. The wind whether on the Cheshire heights or the Cornish coast just doesn’t give up. You’d never find a Roman villa exposed like that. Only castles and cathedrals are deliberately placed on high.

And Maiden Castle as I also said, was a gathering place in times of invasion. In point of fact iron age hillforts are exactly what gave rise to the motte and bailey design of Norman castles; elevated battlements for defence, open space for the defended. And Poundbury is more like Maiden than anything else; in its grandiosity, in its impenetrability and above all in its anachronism. This is not its time. Like Maiden, it was only under great pressure that it was ever going to be a community. And yet….

Unlike much of its produce and menus, Poundbury is not organic. It’s not a natural meeting of the ways. It’s feng without shui if you like. The Wind will always prevail.
Richard Ashworth © 2017 

Learn ba zi and feng shui one-to-one with Richard this year.
As of September 2017 Richard will have space in his schedule for two more starter students. For the time being these are individual one-to-one Skypes consisting of sixteen one-hour sessions of starter ba zi followed by the same of starter feng shui. Sessions will be on a Thursday or Friday. No prior knowledge of feng shui ba zi or other esoterica is required. Regular price for each of these two courses is £1500 but we are offering the pair of courses for £2500 for both if paid in full by the end of July.

Subscriptions (and further info): sheilaashworth@gmail.com

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

Fire Monkey Month Diary

August 5, 2016
Still no Wise Monkeys
My diary for the month of the Fire Monkey
(August 7th 10:39am to Sept7th 13:48pm inclusive)
in the Year of the Fire Monkey.Pi
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—-  —-
—-  —-
Standstill
Hexagram 12“If we wish to compress, we must first allow full expansion.”
Lao Tse.The Monkey Month
Animal by Animal
During this Fire Monkey Month,
The Rat gets the breaks,
The Ox follows – for once,
The Tiger crouches,
The Rabbit’s agenda may appear dictated,
The Dragon cruises,
The Snake has help controlling the damage,
The Horse should not wager,
The Sheep rests – in company,
The smart Monkey embraces chaos,
The Rooster beckons,
The Dog is consistent,
while
The Pig takes it easy.
 
Know your inner beast. How Monkey are you?
Birth in the Monkey Hour (1-3pm)~: ingenious and impious kids.
Birth on the Monkey Day#: resistance to early commitment.
Birth during the Monkey Month (August)*: sales ability.
Birth in the Monkey Year: mechanically minded.
~ An hour earlier than the clock during British Summertime ie 8-10.
# You’ll need a Chinese calendar. * Caution: Chinese months start later.

Where to do what, when and why
Summary: There is one stand-out location this month but you have to be gentle with it.
South, Bright Future: Year Star: 6 Month Star: 9.
The future wealth star 9 brings improved communication. As in every sector, this month’s star brings a cameo of the underlying energies. Which are double-edged because the South also holds both the monthly and annual san sha (otherwise melodramatically known as Three Killings). What does this mean? This: if you occupy the Southern area of your space or face South, prospects and especially vision should improve. If you hold loud parties there or in a South-facing house you may invite a plague of boils. So occupy but don’t over-activate, especially do not dig or drill. South door much the same effect.

Still no Wise Monkeys:
My diary for the month of the Fire Monkey. 
I’m looking over Karen’s smart Victoria flat for the second time. On the last brief visit her ba zi (or personal feng shui that travels with us, sometimes misleadingly called a Chinese Horoscope) took us into her heartbreak over her Father’s premature death. Gentle soul work and the few li xi pai tricks I put in place clearly made enough difference for her to want me back.
It’s a nasty 21st century apartment block constructed without much apparent concern for people. So much of my work is compensating for thoughtless architecture. Is every bathroom in these premises without natural light?

Because her back hurts she has to stop and lie down every now and then. She has had several operations and dreads another. I explain that this may relate to the “spine” of the building which is undermined by a shopping precinct (pretty much at the sacro-iliac) that is in eternal shadow and beneath that an underground car park.  I suggest a virtual cure: a large rose quartz boulder as close as she can get it to the centre of the car park which will also approximate to the tai chi or heart of the building. Attention to the depths has effects that are profound but slow. The higher we go the more rapidly a difference will tend to show. Which is great given that she’s on the 8th floor. If you subscribe to this mumbo jumbo.

We look in every room. The main problem is that the office from which she runs a small business is not only in the North East but holds the “Flying Star” or fei sin 5 long term. This means that it will always need feng shui assistance in order to be usable but that this year anyone who has been in there much risks chronic sickness. I give her the three dates in August when it’s safe to occupy. There’s some inevitable organisation to do.
“But don’t linger,” I warn.

Karen’s sister is here to do heavy lifting. We look in the bedroom where Karen’s head is totally wrongly oriented in keeping with the ancient ba zhai theories. Positioning her correctly looks awkward, it’ll put her under a window. Which is not ideal but it’s better. There’s often a trade-off between the various strictures. Better however to risk insomnia than further injury. Her sister argues fiercely for the change, bless her. I stand back, the last thing I’m going to do is bully her in her fragile state.

Nonetheless I’ve banned Karen from her office, and she has nowhere to work, so I locate the most helpful spot. We correct a shelf that protrudes at spine level and orient her to her sheng qi or “wealth” position, making sure she has literal and metaphorical back support.

Everything is changing all the time. We’re warmer in summer than in winter and more cheerful when we’re warm. It seems to me straightforward that certain orientations will suit certain people in certain ways better than others. That’s not metaphysics, it’s common sense. Isn’t it?

Finally I ask both of them to sit comfortably and close their eyes. Karen’s ba zi tells me that there was a major shift in her life around age seven. This is the beginning of what’s called her “Big Fate” or “Luck Pillars”. Someone’s Big Fate occurs at a moment that is sometimes traumatic, always significant. We build a picture of a Mother with mental health issues and a Father who retreats into his work. Karen is effectively orphan and Mother at seven. Back-breaking. We notice that all four are cracking up and we put them back together again.

My work here is done.

Then I sit in a corner – South, the external realm of the Father – take out my ipad and try to write up my notes. The Pages app won’t do what it’s told. The cursor leaps about. The font keeps changing. It’s been a long day, I get annoyed with it and turn it off. I’ll write this up on my laptop tomorrow. A lifetime in the world of woo-woo™ and it doesn’t occur to me that there might be something else going on with my ipad. What a turkey!
Richard Ashworth © 2016

Special (almost) free bonus:
Some years ago a guy rang me and asked if I’d like to record a cd about classical feng shui. He arrived with his headphones and plugs, I ran very simply through the meaning of the Zodiac animals and where in my daughter Jessica’s words “to put stuff to get stuff.” It was clear, authentic and simple, he caught me on a very good day. He scarpered and I heard no more. Last month a new student told me she’d found me through a wonderful “podcast” which turned out to be this recording. I was never paid but you can get it from Audible for around £4.
Here’s the link: http://amzn.to/2aGaDT8

Footnote: my next ba zi Starter Course starts in September, Early Bird offers are open until 8th August. Details here:
http://www.imperialfengshui.info/courses

And finally: a limited number of places are still available to study with me one to one via Skype. Email: sheilaashworthfengshui@gmail.com

Richard Ashworth©
www.imperialfengshui.info

Ba Zi: why the greatest generals never go to war.

June 17, 2016
IMG_1182
To hear Richard talking Ba Zi click the pic.
Ba Zi: why the greatest generals never go to war.

“Therefore measure in terms of five things: the way, the weather, the terrain, the leadership and discipline.”.  Sun Tzu. The Art of War.

The story is told of three brothers all of whom were doctors. These three were reckoned to be the greatest healers in all China. So skilled was the youngest that his patients mostly recovered while those of the middle brother invariably returned to health. But the patients of the eldest simply never got ill. Prevention, as they say, is greater than cure. And as Sun Tzu wrote, the greatest generals never go to war.

Probably the elder brother concerned himself with breathing, diet, hydration lifestyle and destiny. Holistic treatment has always been the underlying principle of traditional Chinese medicine. He would have known acupuncture and above all ba zi, which is reckoned to track destiny. Joey Yap, probably the most successful Master in the world, actually uses the term Destiny Code. The ba zi being expressed in terms of the balance of the wu xing or Five Elements, can assess whether we have too much Earth say – leading to sluggishness and a variety of other symptoms – and therefore that we need say Metal (ie focused activity) to remedy the imbalance.

Whether we define healing as solving emotional blockage, enhancing performance or actual physical change, the ba zi is a healing tool. Not I hastily add, that ba zi of itself heals physically. It is diagnosis where feng shui or acupuncture (or tai chi or tcm) are remedy. But as a method of identifying tendencies, physical and other, it has no equal. All three brothers would have thought of it as a map of destiny. The doctor’s job like the general’s, was to see what was coming and the ba zi was how they managed to see it.

In those days remember, the mediaeval times of Song and Ming, a doctor was paid by his patients only as long as they were healthy. Which may have been a motivating factor. When my Father returned from one of the first trade missions to modern China in the early 70’s, I remember him telling me that the Chinese were “the least likely Communists” he’d ever met. Nye Bevan would have approved.

Be that as it may, I have always been wary of Sun Tzu because he assumes enmity and opposition; understandably perhaps given the cruel times in which he lived, but applying those assumptions to feng shui, ba zi or even Qi Men Dun Jia (the current hot divinatory method in feng shui circles) denies any progress during the ensuing millennia.

The fact is that Sun Tzu is the guvnor on winning business in the teeth of opposition and when I first started studying The Art of War in the early 80’s, that was the context. Sun Tzu’s strategies – when your enemy expects you to be slow, move rapidly; when he expects advance, withdraw and so on – are brilliantly applicable if you think of your client as the opposition. Not so great if you want to be of service. Such a philosophy may be everything that is wrong with both politics and business and it runs through finance like the words in a stick of rock. But it doesn’t work and it works even less as a basis for feng shui or ba zi practice.

Which is why it’s important to be aware that the ba zi depends upon benevolence. In 30-odd years in the world of woo-woo™ ba zi is the most powerful healing tool that I have come across. Being a snapshot of the prevailing Elements at the moment of birth it shows potentials, preferences, abilities and above all moments of choice. From where I’m sitting – a position you don’t have to share by the way – everything is choice and if we can identify moments where decisions were made we can un-make them. Consider how a life might be changed that way.

Ba zi lays open the soul to the sensitive practitioner. There is calculation involved and deep learning but at heart it’s an empathetic, instinctive thing. The trick is to know the building blocks so well you can apply them without thinking. And to trust the fact that to think and feel simultaneously is an art but quite possible. Above all to care; as I tell my students, it is unprofessional not to love your client. And perhaps surprisingly easy.

Of course ba zi teaching sooner or later turns transformational. Learning the twenty-two Chinese characters necessary (only twenty two!) requires application but it’s not rocket science. There are rules to be followed, the Animals have traditional relationships, for instance: Horses such as Angela Merkel and David Cameron are deeply challenged in a Monkey Year like 2016; Pigs like David Bowie and Alan Rickman are at risk and Dogs like Prince and George Osborne may miscalculate drastically.

But the teaching always goes transformational. Because the student’s curiosity and crucible is their own ba zi. I’ll use example ba zis to make points – if you looked closely at Gary Glitter’s for instance, you’d tend to feel a great deal less contempt – but everyone wants to know about themselves. Once a Monkey (born 1944, 1956, 1968, 1980 or 1992) learns that Wood and Metal are in eternal opposition and that Tiger and Monkey are respectively yang Wood and yang Metal, they’ll tend to understand more about conflict with a Tiger parent or boss. A Dragon fixated on glamour may recognise the expression of a “secret friendship” with the Rooster. And so on.

The point of this is not to be run by ba zi but to master it. I am myself a Water Dragon and traditionally therefore particularly irked by Earth Dogs of 1958. As it happens, some of my best lady friends are Earth Dogs, some of them very successful business-people. I think they can be a bit dense, they think I go on a bit. We know this about each other. We contain it and rub along. Where’s the problem?

One source of trouble can be being too literal; some trainees and indeed some experts fail to factor in humanity. This tends to put the ba zi rather than the practitioner in charge. The main pitfall however is seeing the world as Sun Tsu does, as a jungle of threats and competition. Some New Age teachers would call this a belief in shortage, others a lapse of faith.

We all possess free will. We are all complex individuals and no woo-woo™ analysis can adequately define us. The ba zi is a guide not a dictator and put simply, the practitioner’s job is to give.

Master Sun, the great teacher of strategy whose wisdom as James Clavell once suggested, might have prevented war in Vietnam and Afghanistan, would not have known the truism that those who can do and those who can’t, teach. Sun himself was prematurely retired from active service by the amputation of both feet (a punishment for telling the hard truth to a minor king probably rather than a mishap). He would have known of Qi Men Dun Jia which dates from his era (the so-called Age of the Warring States 475-221BCE). He might well have approved of the use of his words as part of this very powerful tool of divination (which I don’t yet teach) in a world defined by greed and violence, that is to say shortage and competition. There are things in the world that I would sooner weren’t in it but Sun’s is not the world I choose to live in.

And so I try to practise and teach both feng shui and ba zi as gifts of love rather than as ways to steal a march. Abundance is about much more than wealth and healing is more than band-aids. I’m not teaching dogma and above all I’m not teaching how to win the game of life against stiff competition. What I offer is a method of touching and perhaps understanding the soul.

And that’s why the greatest generals never go to war. In the teeth of Orlando, Iraq, Syria, Burundi, Afghanistan, I try to remember that although Sun Tzu is still in print after all this time and the younger brothers of the story probably got the most approval, it was the eldest that made the most positive difference.

Richard’s next starter Ba Zi Course opens in September 2016 in Godalming but he has a (Friday) slot now vacant to learn via Skype pretty much right away.
For more details go to:
http://www.imperialfengshui.info/courses
Some Early Bird Discounts still apply.
Richard Ashworth©
www.imperialfengshui.info

Hoarse With No Name: My Diary for the Horse Month 2016

June 1, 2016
Hoarse with no name
My diary for the month of the Wood Horse
(June 5th 14:09 to July 7th 00:33 inclusive)
in the Year of the Fire Monkey.
 Kou
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Meeting
Hexagram 44“Too much Monkey business for me to get involved in.”
Chuck Berry (1956)

The Horse Month
Animal by Animal
During this Wood Horse Month,
The Rat may simply wait,
The Ox may be (way) behind the Rat,
The Tiger sees the breaks,
The smart Rabbit rises to the occasion,
The Dragon reins in,
The Snake could be overawed,
The Horse might pace herself,
The unwary Sheep is under a shadow,
The Monkey demands to be noticed,
The Rooster takes time out,
The Dog obtains a boost,
while
The Pig strikes back.

Know your inner beast. How Horse are you?
Birth in the Horse Hour (11am-1pm)~:      performing children.
Birth on the Horse Day#:                           a tendency to the reckless.
Birth during the Horse Month (June)*:      an extroverted vocation.
Birth in the Horse Year:                            spontaneity in the bloodline.
~ An hour earlier than the clock during British Summertime ie 8-10.
# You’ll need a Chinese calendar. * Caution: Chinese months start later.

Follow Twitter (@FengShuiDiaries) LinkedIn or
like my FaceBook page for further news.

Where to do what, when and why
Summary: The peak of Fire ignites the hunters of the Zodiac: Dog and Tiger (for whom it may be the best month of the year, so fill your boots) as well as the faithful Sheep. It is generally less helpful to Rat and Ox. A 7 month tends to harass some more than others of course and those with 3, 2, 6, 7 and 8 kuas are least vulnerable.

West, Intervention: Year Star: 4 Year Sun, Month Star: 9.
The visiting 9 makes for a magical 9:4 he tu combination in the West right now while the romantic power of the toe far or “plum flower” Star is still there, along with the restorative Sun.

Locate to the West of your home, face West or occupy a West-facing building; these are transformative stars.

Along with superior examination results, 9 brings future plans closer. 4 bamboo stems in 4 glasses of Water can help.

Note: If this is all er…Chinese to you, email me your birth details or more drastically, come and study with me.

Hoarse with no name.
Wood Horse month, Monkey year, the turbulence continues while the Solstice approaches. Notice the creeping yin to the foot of the Hexagram at the top of this page; the qi is already descending. As indeed it was at this time of year, three thousand and seventy four years ago.

At that time, May of 1058 BCE, as it happens a Horse year, the Zhou family rose up against the ruling Shang and wrested from them the “Mandate of Heaven,” that is to say the right to rule China. The Zhou were to hold onto the mandate for the following seven hundred years or so. What inspired rebellion against the tyrants at that exact time was the conjunction of the five visible planets in the night sky. This conjunction happens only once every five hundred and sixteen years. Michael Wood illustrates this with a computer simulation in the first episode of his excellent BBC series “The Story of China.”

As above, so below. So much of feng shui is rooted in astrology. You can for instance, find the group of Stars that are reckoned to have inspired the ideograph of the Monkey to the South West of the night sky. They’re part of the constellation shen, that is Orion. The star formation (whose name I’ve not mastered) making up the character for Horse lies to the South.

Bloodless kou
As does this month’s Hexagram, Kou. As you know, these six-line figures are themselves composed of three-line figures called Trigrams. And each Trigram apart from signifying a member of the Confucian family, a state of being, a location and a million other things, describes a phase of the Moon. Identifying the homes of the Trigrams in the night sky is known as na jia or “assigning the Wood.” Qian (Heaven) for instance with its three unbroken yang lines, stands for the Full Moon and Kun, Earth (three yin lines) for the New Moon. Sometimes these things are hard to observe because of street lights, late-night parties, cats’ eyes and headlamps.

When I was in Menorca writing and researching a couple of years ago, the night sky was almost free of light pollution. And so with feet in the pool and beers in hand, my daughters Jess and Hen and I confirmed that the Moon rose and fell precisely where the na jia indicated. It was, if you will, a sobering moment; there above us was physical evidence of the connectedness of Heaven and Earth. It was as if a huge finger had drawn lines across the Moon.

Just behind the full Moon, the 2016 Solstice falls on June 21st at 06:57, shortly after sunrise. Full Sun and full Moon, full yin and full yang, on a Dog day in a Horse month, it’s almost alight with Fire. And yet the qi is falling. In the Year of the Monkey (who generally stands cautiously clear of the Horse) this makes for quite a chaotic pattern. The Monkey is of course talkative, but this is no month for discussion. Rather it is one of action; some impetuous, some not so well thought-through. Hold tight.

In the desert you can’t remember your name
And this year as I predicted, is definitely shaping up like a Monkey; Paris barricaded, US Presidential nominations haywire, we pretty much already have the Earth Monkey of 1968. All we need is Russian tanks rolling West and British boots on the ground in the Middle East and it’s the Fire Monkey, 1956. Oh and peaking markets. “Déjà vu all over again,” in the words of John Fogerty. As above, so below. My own father’s boots were among those on the ground in the Sinai Desert in 1956.

This Horse month favours Dogs and Sheep and Tigers as ever, although they may present just a little hot-headed. Along with the Horse, they are the hunters of the Zodiac and often the life lesson of the hunter is that life is not as simple as a hunt. The Horse doesn’t much like her own company or talking things out and may fall victim to unforced errors. Let things come to you as they will. The Ox is best lying low but his intimate the Rat, may find that originality is at a rare premium; the smart Rat sticks to their guns. Caution is counselled to Dragons, Snakes will find certain days offer a boost but Rabbits are probably stretched.

As a Dragon, I’ll be tapping the ongoing but quirky support of the Monkey and remaining wary of the rampant Horse.
Richard Ashworth © 2016

www.imperialfengshui.info

My Diary for the Month of the Water Snake 2016: Many a Slip

May 5, 2016
Many a slip
My diary for the month of the Water Snake
(May 5th 09:54 to June 5th 14:09 inclusive)
in the Year of the Fire Monkey.
 
Qian
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———-
———-
———-
———-
Heaven
Hexagram 1

When a man holds a high position and is nevertheless modest, he shines with the light of wisdom; if he is in a lowly position and is modest, he cannot be passed by.
The Book of Changes.

The Snake Month

Animal by Animal.
During this Water Snake Month,
The Rats energy may be muted,
The Ox finds fresh support,
The Tiger counts her blessings,
The smart Rabbit makes no big demands,
The Dragon gains followers,
The Snake may find a fresh interest,
The Horse champs at the bit,
The Sheep can be especially deferent,
The incautious Monkey might over-reach,
Most Roosters are pretty pleased with themselves,
The smarter Dog listens to advice,
while
The Pig steps out.

Where to do what, when and why
Summary: This first month of Fire, begins the season of natural light. Light brings revelation because it shines everywhere and this particular illumination alights upon Rooster, Ox, Snake and some Monkeys. It is generally less helpful to Pig and Tiger. An 8 month (like every month) tends to support some more than others of course and those with 3, 2, 6, 7 and 8 kuas are also likely winners this time.

West, Intervention: Year Star: 4 Year Sun, Month Star: 1.
The visiting 1 makes for a studious and inventive 1:4 combination in the West right now while the romantic power of the toe far or “plum flower” Star is still there, along with the restorative Sun.

Readers Digest version: pretty good outlook for health, wealth and wisdom if you locate to the West of your home, face West or occupy a West-facing building.

Along with superior examination results, 1 brings dialogue and fresh thinking. 4 bamboo stems in 4 glasses of Water can help.

Note: If this is all mumbo-jumbo to you, email me your birth details or more drastically, come and study with me.

Know your inner Snake. How Snake are you?
Birth in the Snake Hour (9-11am)~: truth-seeking at maturity.
Birth on the Snake Day#: mysterious, not always helpfully.
Birth during the Snake Month (May)*: work that involves “spinning”.
Birth in the Snake Year: truth-seeking parents, successful or not.

~ An hour earlier than the clock during British Summertime ie 8-10.
# You’ll need a Chinese calendar for this.
* Caution: Chinese months start later than Western ones.
Many a slip
It can’t be stated too often that this is the Year of the Woman as well as that of the Monkey. The World may depend upon it. The ingenuity of the hands-on Monkey may help but nothing happens without the compassion of the female; if we loved the Earth as we love our children, we’d be home free. No climate change, no refugees, no inequality.

These two descriptions of the year come to us down two different ancient Chinese traditions, complementary but differently derived. And there is tension between them.

The way either shows up may be dark or light, yin as well as yang. Beyonce’s fierce statement on behalf of the wronged woman in her newest release Lemonade, is as much an expression of it as the likelihood of the 1st Female President. And as the year approaches its peak the tension between the assertion of woman and the mischief of the Monkey becomes more and more marked.

Any Snake month is a little elusive, in a Monkey year even more so. You may with me, have felt a jolt as Dragon turned to Snake mid-morning the 5th of May; a subtle shift as if the air itself trembled a tad. And you may not. With the Snake, often what you see is not what you get. The Water Snake can be especially slippery; 1953 Snake Tony Blair speaks for himself. And often for nobody else.
You know nothing, Jon Snow
Technically the Snake is in alliance with the Ox and the Rooster. So these two animals may appear to possess free tickets. We’ve already seen 1961 Ox Barack Obama dissipating well-earned good will by boosting TTIP as well as 1981 Rooster Beyonce roasting Jay-Z.

The Snake has both connection and history with the Monkey. So neither can expect an easy ride in May. 1941 Snake Bernie Sanders would be wise to beware the wrath of the female of the species. If she can handle Bill, she can handle anything. And wherever our sympathies lie, it’s clear Hillary is as qualified a candidate as there’s ever been. Also as a Pig she can expect breakthrough in 2016 – though not this month. Delayed breakthroughs also btw await 1971 Pig Elon Musk, the man behind high-performance electric Tesla cars and other ecological marvels, 1947 Pig journalist Jon Snow, 1971 Pig Derren Brown, illusionist and performance artist andAnchor 1959 Pig Kelly Hoppen. But for now Pigs, exercise caution especially in relation to your public profile.

The Snake respects the Dragon. So Dragons can expect wider influence than usual this month. Dragon teachers and healers could find themselves in great demand. The Dragon is magical which the Snake respects and to some extent fears. I’m too modest to tell you which Dragon’s fate I know best but other Dragon opinion leaders this month include charismatic entrepreneuse ex-Dragon’s Den Rachel Elnaugh, and Vladimir Putin. Say no more.

At home these trends may be less obvious. It’s already a warm summer; great for the outdoors-inclined but another step towards JG Ballard’s drowned world. I believe there’s still time to re-pack the ice floes. As there may be for those men who have not yet learned that marriage is essentially a tutorial in the wisdom of Woman. 1973 Ox Ryan Giggs, note.

And who is that A-lister that everyone except me knows about? Oh, I’ve just been told. Yes, Pig. You have been warned!
Richard Ashworth © 2016 

Richard’s next starter Ba Zi Course opens in September in Godalming but he has a (Friday) slot now vacant to teach via Skype pretty much right away. For more details go to: http://www.imperialfengshui.info/courses
The first two people to respond will be offered a rather good discount!

Richard Ashworth©
www.imperialfengshui.info

Feng Shui and Tomatoes part one

April 25, 2016
What is feng shui?
Sometimes I’m asked for a scientific explanation of traditional Chinese feng shui. Which is a reasonable request. I tend to reply something like: if you plant tomatoes on a North-facing wall, don’t expect great salads. Worse if you do it in January.

Because everything is changing all the time; all things are growing or shrinking, flourishing or decaying.  And so to each thing there is a time and place. Once long ago, I think, we were in touch with this. But diaries, mass communication busyness, technology, Google and Wikipedia seem to have got in the way.

When you woke this morning, I doubt you thought: “Aha, it’s (say) the 25th of the month.” Because I don’t’ think the  25th feels like anything. You may have thought “It’s late. I usually wake at 7 and it’s 7:30.” You may have done this without looking at a tablet, mobile phone or even a clock. You may also have noticed the warmth and humidity that betrays a late spring or early summer day. And before you rushed into it, you may have noticed that today was (say) Tuesday. Because these things perhaps feel like something.

Long ago Taoist observers remarked that certain activities are appropriate to certain locations and to certain times. They saw that the hours of the day followed a sequence; from the activity or Wood of dawn via the acceleration and visibility of the Fire of noon and the Metal reckoning of late afternoon to the cold and dark Water of the evening. They also realised that if we substitute the words Spring, Summer, Autumn and Winter for dawn, noon, afternoon and night, it’s clear that the same Elemental cycle applies to the months of the year and indeed the years themselves.

And in time this same cycle was seen to apply equally to location. The dawn happens in the East, the Sun reaches its zenith in the South and sets in the West and disappears to the North before once more emerging in the East next morning. Every moment is different as is every micro-measurement of the compass.

We know these things; they mark our journey from sleep to waking and back. We know a safe location from a dangerous one. Whenever I walk between the South Bank and Waterloo, I notice how much better the open air feels than the pedestrian underpass and I notice that the crowds seem to agree with me.

We know buildings that just sing to us and we know which parts of our own houses support, which hurry us and which leave us befuddled. Furthermore we are able to notice when that contemplative spot at the front of the house is too hot or otherwise disturbed and when that quiet armchair is not so quiet.

Over millennia, a series of Chinese geniuses codified this knowledge. The overall cycle which consists of a vocabulary of sixty different “tastes” or “feels” known as pillars, is called the gan zi or Stem and Branch cycle. The Branches are the Chinese Animals that most of us have come across – the Rat, Dragon, Rabbit and so on. The Stems are what makes for a Metal Rat or a Wood Dragon. There’s much more but broadly when this cycle is applied to space, it’s called feng shui. Essentially when it’s applied to time it’s called ba zi. I practise both and generally teach feng shui in the Autumn and ba zi in the Spring. Sometimes the other way round.

So the East where the Sun rises in the early morning, represents light and stirring and by extension, movement, healing and aspiration. This is called Wood. If we want more of these qualities we rise early, we become determined and we concentrate activities to the East. These are the sorts of things I am encouraging in my daily task of going in and out of people’s houses being enigmatic. People hire me to get them in sync. Who knows what may follow?

Equally, South where the Sun heads next, stands for the acceleration, friction and heat of the middle of the day and of the year and by extension, visibility, celebration, celebrity and so on. The Chinese have been deriving complex formulae from these and related principles for upwards of three thousand years, so there’s a little more to it of course but essentially that’s feng shui. And indeed ba zi.
Richard Ashworth © 2016

The purpose of these activities including rambles like the above is to leave the occupants healthier, wealthier and wiser than I found them. Meanwhile if you are so moved, you can follow my daily forecasts on Twitter at @FengShuiDiaries, on FaceBook and on Linked In.
You can also read my book The Feng Shui Diaries (available, including as a download, from the usual places but I’d prefer you used a book shop) and you can get my free online monthly diaries from www.imperialfengshui.info where you’ll also find more information on much of the above but very little about tomatoes.
I am teaching this stuff later this year and I’m available for hire of course; details also on my website.
Richard Ashworth©
www.imperialfengshui.info