Archive for the ‘USA’ Category

September 2017: Richard Talks About the Dog Month and the Dog Year

September 24, 2017
Five students graduated my starter courses last week. This means that they now have a great deal of information and a lifetime to learn how to apply it. Some have been invited to continue on my Mentoring Programme but we now have one or two vacancies from October.

If you’d like to learn Chinese Astrology and/or Authentic Traditional feng shui by Skype this year, do let Sheila know at sheilaashworthfengshui@gmail.

There is a new extra-special deal for registering for both courses together.

Richard Ashworth’s Pig Diary 2016

November 8, 2016
The last rind; Pigs golden and not-so golden.
My diary for the month of the Earth Pig
(09:34am Nov 7th to 01:54am Dec 7th inclusive)
in the Year of the Fire Monkey.
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Hexagram 2

“The mind should be kept humble and free so as to remain receptive to good advice.”
Richard Wilhelm.
The Pig Month
Animal by Animal

During this Earth Pig Month,
The Rat bides time,
The Ox is under no illusion,
The Tiger sharpens claws,
The Rabbit sallies forth,
The Dragon looks to the future,
The Snake varies her approach,
The Horse ducks,
The Sheep is relieved and comforted,
The smart Monkey keeps it simple,
The modest Rooster is still the most effective Rooster,
The Dog settles for it just the way it is,
The Pig risks all and makes good.

Please read to the end of this document for a crucial message. Thanks.
Know your inner beast. How Piggy are you?

Birth in the Pig Hour (9-11pm)~: kids who return home reluctantly.
Birth on the Pig Day#: gifted partner.
Birth during the Pig Month (November)*: many callings.
Birth in the Pig Year: gifts shared with parents.

~ GMT.
# You’ll need a Chinese calendar for this.
* Caution: Chinese months start later.

Where to do what, when and why.

Summary: Here’s where to make plans that make things happen.
East, Ambition: Year Star: 9 Dragon Virtue, Month Star: 9.

The 9 returning to the East boosts the Second Daughter, the visionary and careful planning while Dragon Virtue looks out for reputation. Keep this area appropriately spick and span. Occupying the East and/or facing that direction taps the 9/9 which rewards virtuous and brave leadership. If you’re here constantly – which is not a bad idea – activate the area with gentle care. Support with plants – as many as you like but not fewer than three. Above all, dare to dream. Here.

Favours: East Group kuas: 1, 3, 4 & 9, some Rabbits, Pigs, Dogs, Sheep.

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

Please read to the end of this document for a crucial message. Thanks.
The last rind; Pigs golden and not-so golden.
Late last night I heard that screen door slam and a big yellow taxi took away my old man.” Joni Mitchell.

On this day of all days, at the opening of this Pig month, I am tempted to prediction. But I know that the margin between predicting and creating is gossamer thin. So regardless of the monsters that dwell along either prong of this fork in the road, I’m not crossing that line today.

Some 105 years ago, in the Year of the Metal or “Golden” Pig 1911, an explosion in Wuhan in the Hubei Province of Central China set off a chain of events that changed the World: the end of a 2000-year-long line of Emperors, republic, struggle, the Long March, Communism and finally today’s manufacturing giant. This may be why Chinese tradition makes every Pig Year and hence every Pig Month, “golden.” Which is cute but a bit of a misunderstanding.

We all know that translating Chinese can be a minefield. The character jin for instance stands both for “golden” and “metallic” but it only applies to one Pig in five (and this month’s Pig is not the one). Similarly the terms sik sun and zeun kun which define that Pig (and only that Pig) mean literally “output”. The Pig is naturally creative and the Metal Pig especially so but for a man output means simple creativity, while for a woman along with many other things, it is childbirth.

1911 was certainly a year of major output but the Chinese Revolution that followed may be less important than the one that’s happening worldwide right now. For a man, output is straightforward, for a woman sik sun/zeun kun include children. In other words her choice is often between fertility and other forms of creativity, a decision which for biological reasons has not confronted men. This is not forever. We are evolving morally and spiritually as well as physically. In the privileged West at least, we are taller and stronger than our ancestors and despite a great deal of current contrary evidence, wiser and kinder. Today we may watch the carvings and twistings of “Game of Thrones” but in the Middle Ages we were living them. Which as well as committing us all to spreading kindness, means that we are learning and growing. Gradually at least.

Which has something but not everything to do with today’s US Election.

Why might that be? Here’s a clue:

As of yesterday this is both the Year and the Month of the Woman. Like the year itself, the monthly lo shu or magic square (above) has the 2 at its centre. The 2 represents Mother, the feminine principle (that is yin), relationship and Woman herself but also expansion, blockage, growth and certain minor illnesses.

Because of the way that Chinese metaphysics measures time, it’s been a very long while since the 2 was strong. Technically we are just leaving the 8th Chinese Fate and entering the 9th. This process is complete sometime between now and 2024 and it means that all the Stars in the lo shu above are changing. Until recently the 2 has been reckoned to be more about blockage than healthy expansion. It is historically the number (or Star) of tumours and swelling for example. But it’s also the Star of personal growth and gain. And its time is coming.

So the 2 has suffered a bad rap. But for a little while now some Masters – such as Joey Yap, probably the most successful feng shui man in the world – have been advising activation (that is stimulation) of the 2 Star where and when it appears. Risk the sickness, make the gain, is the principle; the times they are er…a-changing (©Nobel Institute 2016). And it rules the coming month as well as this year.

And why does this matter? Well it seems that the yang or masculine principle has been dominant for several thousand years. One obvious meaning of the 2 of course is pregnancy. And until the late 20th century a sexually active woman could expect to be pregnant for thirty or so years with every likelihood of dying in childbirth during that time. Which made her at least fragile and therefore largely dependent. Life expectancy for Western woman has literally doubled since the introduction of the contraceptive pill. That and Wade v Roe may prove to have been the most important events of our lifetimes.

Because what it means is that the sik sun and zeun kun are released to be expressed in a myriad ways other than childbirth. Woman are free now to create any way they like. Consequently in the West, zero population growth  is upon us. And not before time, there is a chance that a feminine, that is empowering, bonded and cooperative approach to running the world follows. It’s not I think, that yin thinking is superior, wiser or even gentler, but that it’s been missing. The patriarchy has been allowed to run wild like a very long Rugby tour. Look at what we have tolerated in our various representatives.

Nate Silver in his book “The Signal and the Noise” makes clear the distinction between forecast and prediction; we forecast weather, we predict the winners of horse races. And so as I said, on this day of all days, although I am tempted, I’m not about to predict.

Because if I accept that I am responsible for everything in my life, to foretell an outcome is to create it. You don’t have to agree about that and it may be bat-crazy to you but I’ll tell you what: however November 8th goes (which you know about and I don’t) it’s only a matter of time before the yin is properly represented  in corporate boardrooms, the Senate and the White House.

This revolution is unstoppable. It may have been close to 10,000 years in coming but that was only a blip. 105 years is a very short time by comparison. AnchorReally. Aleppo and Palestine, Auschwitz, Magdeburg and Masada are part of a bad dream that is nearly over. Humankind has taken a long wrong turn by way of the stupidity and brutality that characterises the unsupervised male but we are as Joni Mitchell also wrote, both “stardust and golden.” And believe me, this may not just change the World but as the Dalai Lama predicted, save it.
Richard Ashworth © 2016

Please read the following document for a crucial message. Thanks.

Bashir Naderi, aged 19 was trafficked to this country as a boy, some ten years ago. His father was murdered by the Taliban and he has no idea what has happened to the rest of his family.
He has been living with a foster family in Wales, attending a catholic school, contributing to English life and putting down roots in this country.

On Sunday the Home Office tried to deport him. He was shackled at the neck, hands and wrist. His foster family and friends have managed to get him a 14 day reprieve while his case is re-considered. PLEASE sign this petition and join the campaign to stop his deportation back to Afghanistan and allow him to stay in this country.

You can also help by Tweeting #supportbashir, making his case your FaceBook status or writing to your local MP, Amber Rudd the Home Secretary  or anybody who you think might be able to help the cause.

Distracted by Shiny Things:
2017, the Fire Rooster: the Year of the Turkey.
What to expect and what to do about it,
A day with feng shui man Richard Ashworth
at the Pepperpot, Godalming.
10 till 5, Saturday December 3rd 2016.

As promised around this time last year, the Year of the Fire Monkey has been a turbulent one. It started with the loss of much-loved entertainers, continued on both sides of the Atlantic with political farce and concludes with mayhem right on the North-South line indicated by the Chinese gan zhi cycle. Sometimes I hate to be proven right.

This Rooster brings attention to detail but a short attention span. Just as the Fire Monkey was the Year of Turbulence, so this may be the Year of the Turkey. It’s likely to be a year when our attention is drawn away from what matters. Some of that will be deliberate, some just the distraction of shiny things. There’s more.

2017 of course will favour different animals; Dragons will be empowered, more than likely (but they won’t be alone in that) and certain houses will be unusually helpful; step up if your home faces South East. And it’s a 1 year, a time of communication, negotiation and bargaining. No surprises there.

The Rooster year calls for different approaches. Some Animals will have a free ticket, some will needed added help. Some areas will be magical, some baleful. Find out which is which and what to do about it, personally, domestically, globally and economically.

This workshop sold out very quickly last year.

There are a limited number of Skype places.

Richard Ashworth©

Richard Ashworth’s Forecast for the Year of the Snake in the Grass 2013

December 21, 2012

Imperial Feng Shui

2013: the Year of the Snake in the Grass.

The end of the world as we know it?

Is truth always positive? Of course. Once the truth comes out, you know, it’s all right. We’re scared that if the truth comes out that it’s not all right. It’s the other way around.

Yoko Ono.

Hold the Maya Noise

My son Thom once told me it was better to be an optimist than a pessimist because the optimist has more fun even if he’s wrong. He was only seven at the time otherwise he might have added that worthwhile futures are born in the mind of the optimistic. Each pessimist believes he’s a realist even though realism itself is a function of what we have decided upon. To put it simply: Chinese and other mumbo jumbo to one side, we are each of us responsible for our reality and next year is no exception.

What is it that we have decided? Few dates have been subject to as much advance speculation as today, 21st December 2012: are we in for cataclysm and disaster? Should we run for the hills?

As you may have learned by the time you read this, the answers to these questions are no and no. Firstly from my standpoint, that Mayan moment on the day of the Solstice is offering information about 2013 not 2012. I use the prevailing energies to read the likely trends of the following not the current year. It’s an interesting date but its significance has been importantly misunderstood: it’s not about that moment itself but about the dynamics that follow. I’ll be here, promise. You too.

Secondly there are, as I write, a variety of social and geographical processes in motion which follow the Chinese 60-year cycle. Their outcomes may become inevitable around now but very little of importance happens suddenly and irrevocably; whether in human or other affairs, trends build and lead to a moment of focus and resonate beyond that time.

Finally, to predict floods, tumult and plagues of boils is too easy and of little use. So I draw conclusions based on existing evidence but aim to invest no further. Forgive me even that, Ms Ono.


Canons to the right: This is a year with a great soundtrack. Johannes Pachelbel author of the Canon in D, perhaps the most influential piece of music ever written, was born in the Water Snake year of 1653. Listen to the Canon. Now listen to it again. Now sing any stadium-filling ballad of the last half century over it. Those who haven’t been in an arena recently if at all, might open with Ralph McTell’s Streets of London. Otherwise Don’t Look Back in Anger perhaps or Jessie J’s Pricetag.


Snake Dharma.

The Snake is the sorceror’s apprentice and the sorcerer is the Dragon. This means that the events of a Snake year often extend those of the previous (Dragon) year. Issues unique to any Snake year are likely to be about truth and falsehood. So set the controls for a year like 2012 with added bad faith. The Snake is the seeker after truth. When balanced the Snake is allergic to misrepresentation, unbalanced that same Snake is a major league bull-shitter. Issues of justice and its miscarriage are typical. What you see is not what you get. What to expect in 2013 then includes:

Mitchellgate: evidence of inter-constabulary turf wars and between government and police emerges. Heads will roll. No change follows.

Afghanistan: further shenanigans among the top brass. I warned Water Dragons like David Petraeus last year that 2012 would bring a change of career direction. Boys will be boys.

Hillsborough: a tightening knot of fudge. The police know nothing and never did. In fact they weren’t even there. Oops, that’s worse.

Leveson: a paler shade of whitewash. The press remains unregulated. Wood Snake Piers Morgan, having spied too late in gun control a hobbyhorse that allows him to preach against pork in a synagogue, joins his soul mates the Murdochs under a cloud. But hey it’s a pretty comfortable one.

Cut backs:  further systematised funnelling of wealth from the poor to the wealthy under the generic term “austerity.” No upturn follows in the same way that no upturn follows a leap from a tall building.

Sex: usually a subtext of Snake concerns, so continued fallout from the escapades of the late Jimmy Savile. And others. Awareness of mistreatment of women is a theme of the year. This leads to change over time but action is needed. Let’s start now.

Tax: It’s getting tough to buy a book, a cd or even a cup of coffee with a clear conscience. In 2012 legislators claimed disingenuously that tax-avoiders like Amazon, Google and Starbucks were “immoral” In 2013 the challenge is to change the laws that encourage this moral laxity. They won’t.

Global warming: no serious addressing of this before 2016. But it will be. Never underestimate the ingenuity of men.

If there is one change to make in 2013 it is putting an end to much of the above. How?

Like this, perhaps:!/sunny_hundal/status/281555804853776384


Syria:Some Chinese Masters say that the Animal of the Year is inherently at risk. I think not but it’s a push me-pull you year for Wood Snake Basher Assad. His future is actually more to do with his other pillars. The fate of Snakes generally is mixed this year; not all bad at all. In 2013, however Assad’s luck runs out. In order to get away with killing the women and children in his charge, he needed to fly to a tax haven long before now.


Forever blowing bubbles.

My principal model for the years 2000-2020 remains the first two decades of the 18th century, precisely 300 years ago. The years 2009 to 2020 reflect the years 1709 to 1720. These are the years of the so-called South Sea Bubble.

When years are twelve years apart and thus share an animal (like the Water Snake 2013 and Metal Snake 2001) they are somewhat alike. When they are separated by multiples of 60 years (like the Water Snakes 2013 and 1713) they are very much alike.

As I outlined last year, in 1709 (corresponding to 2009) the South Sea Company was established. By 1713 it had sold off as junk bonds vast sums of the national debt. The value of these bonds became inflated as they traded third, fourth and fifth hand in the following years. In 1720 the whole farrago blew up losing millions for investors all over the British Empire. This modern-sounding fiasco was one of the great British innovations; centuries ahead of its time, up there with Stephenson’s Rocket, the Dyson Air Blade and gunboat diplomacy. And it is recurring right now.

Typical again of Snake business is the sleight of hand by which alumni of American investment bank Goldman Sachs have gained in turn control of the US and European Central Banks and now the Bank of England. It’s actually proved necessary to naturalise a Canadian (Mark Carney) in order to give Goldman this further privilege. What suggests to the asleep-at-the-wheel helmsmen Cameron and Osborne that the bank that set the balls-up rolling by securitising the Greek national debt and jobbing Greece into the Euro thus making a sizeable contribution to the current misery for all but bankers and trustafarians, should breed the Messiahs of recovery? Bear in mind that Goldman received a $10 billion bailout in 2008/9 which they repaid inside a year. I don’t know which part of that statement is the more worrying.


Cricket: Not much convergence between my demographic and cricket fans but I can please myself every now and then. In 2005 I was asked to predict the outcome of the Ashes Series and went correctly for an England win. If you care about these things, this is a year of recovery for West Indian cricket and of retrenchment for India. England may end the year as number one.


 Metro Goldman Maya.

Rest assured it won’t last. The banking system is on the verge of collapse. The prevailing energies at 20:16 on the 21st lack both Wood and Metal; that’s two of the five Elements, the two most aggressive and most associated with money, markets and trading. It may be that we are being offered a future in which money and guns count for less.

Karl Marx wrote in the 1860’s that capitalism would mature to the point that its decline would be inevitable. It just would not work any more. We’ve reached that point. And that’s bad news only for the greedy. A better system, perhaps in the form of something along the lines of the enlightened Grameen Bank is emerging. Something happens today that makes that inevitable, a moment that will be traceable when all has fallen into place in perhaps eight years’ time. It may not be obvious until then. This is what the Mayan calendar marks, I think. It’s certainly not effective legislation separating “casino” banking from deposits which will take geological time. It might be gun control.


Treachery Extra: Conquistador Francisco Pizarro may have been born in the Water Snake year of 1473. He certainly executed the Emperor Atahualpa on the 15th July in the following Water Snake, 1533 even though the Inca had delivered the ludicrous volume of gold demanded as ransom by the Spaniards. This violence may have been the single most irreversible action in history. Pizarro was of course assassinated by his own men in a quarrel over the gold. Consider the consequences.


Slave to the Rhythm: 1653-1853

Opaque issues running through 2013 like the letters in a stick of rock include violence and what can only be called slavery. Trends rise and fall within these sixty-year cycles and the trafficking of human beings seems to be attached to cycles punctuated by the Water Snake.

Most of us for instance know that the port of Bristol was a pivot of the slave trade. In the suburb of Clifton to this day, Blackboy Hill runs up to Whiteladies Road. It’s a relatively little known fact however that the Church of St Leonard was erected next to what was then the harbour, to commemorate the abolition of slavery. This followed fierce campaigning by Wulfstan, Bishop of Worcester. It’s lesser known again that this took place in the mid-11th century, the stock-in-trade then being hapless Midlanders who were shipped across the Irish Sea. Even lesser known may be that this church was demolished in the Water Snake year of 1773, at the height of the more familiar (African) Slave Trade. History, you may have noticed, repeats itself.

It’s better known that slavery was proscribed by law all over the British Empire in the following Water Snake year 1833, having been first enshrined in the Americas by the case of Johnson versus Casor in the Water Snake year of 1653. Astonishingly Anthony Johnson a black slave owner born in Angola, contested the right to freedom of his servant John Casor who thus became the first legally-sanctioned slave in US history. Up to that point indentured servants seized from their homes in Africa, were eventually released and given land to work out their retirement. That same Water Snake year the first slave, one Abraham van Batavia, arrived in South Africa. Lucky old Abe.

My research suggests that an issue is often born, matures and is settled within a 180-year period punctuated by the same pillar. Arithmeticians will have noticed already that it is 180 years since 1833. And in that time the issue has gone largely underground. But it’s still with us. In 2013 the plight of children in Sub-Saharan Africa, Asian domestics in the Gulf States as well as women trafficked for all the reasons women are routinely trafficked Westwards across Europe and Asia – non-consensual sex and the more unpleasant domestic chores – is highlighted and change begins to happen.

It’s been a long time. Long enough.

To make a difference yourself  contact: 


Las Malvinas son Argentinas: just as the Water Dragon of 1832 (180 years before last year’s) indicated isolation issues for Greece in 2012, that year being the first time an independent Greece had been recognised, so in 1833 the Falkland Islands were sequestered by the British. This may not be great news for Thatcher’s favourite grandchild David Cameron. Though of course if Argentina conducted themselves diplomatically more as they do on the football field they might command greater international respect. Or perhaps that’s the problem.


Consonant, please Barrie.

I used to predict time and place of spree shootings – pretty accurately, though I say it myself – nowadays I care only about addressing the fundamentals that bring events like Sandy Hook about. Here’s a hint: you can’t shoot without a gun. Obama’s onside but it’s an uphill struggle.

The date I’ve left till now to reveal is that it’s 180 years now since the Boston Tea Party and the need for armed vigilance from which the pro-gun lobby claims legitimacy: December 16th 1773. Consider that perhaps in the light of the above. We are being offered an alternative.

This and many other issues might be addressed by a second term President who stands to lose nothing by sticking to his er…guns. In his first term he is dependent upon maintaining a certain level of popularity in order to have a chance of re-election. But since two terms is the maximum permitted by the twenty second amendment of the US constitution, a second term President can please himself. Metal Ox Barrack Obama promised hope and change four long years ago. Among the changes promised were the closure of Guantanamo and the rolling back of personal freedoms. Neither was delivered. He said nothing about gun control or human trafficking but the alert reader may notice that in 2013 we have essentially one theme not several. Why with very similar gun laws does Canada suffer literally ½% of the gun crime of the US?

The Chinese cycles suggest Obama has more purchase than we might guess. The US electorate gave him a second chance firstly because he was head and shoulders above any of the certifiable and laughable ranged in opposition but also because a series of impassioned speeches led them to believe that he might deliver more than a series of impassioned speeches.


Salmond Fishing: 1715 was the year of the so-called “15”, when the “Old Pretender” James Stuart landed in Scotland hoping to raise a rebellion to oust the first Hanoverian King George 1st who had acceded to the thrones of England and Scotland in 1714. This may presage the reaction of Scots to the devolution vote tabled for 2014. Its yes/no structure makes secession a long-odds outcome. The Scots can be sore losers though.


The Chinese calendar is on their side.

Here’s why:

When I was asked during 2012 who would win the US Presidential Election, I would point confidently to Feb 4th 2013 and say “Obama.” There he was in the Chinese calendar on the operative date. If you understand ba zi you can see for yourself.

That date is lap chun, the Spring Festival, the orthodox date from which to divine the nature of a year. The Four Pillars (or ba zi) of that day feature a Water Snake year, Wood Tiger month, Metal Ox day and Earth Rat hour.  Although the Year Pillar is what most people know about a Chinese year, the Day Pillar – the precise day concerned – is the engine of the ba zi. Every Chinese Master derives most of what he knows about a ba zi from the relationship between the Day Pillar and the rest of the chart.

Interestingly then, Xi Jinping, the new Chinese Premier was born a Water Snake (in 1953) and Barack Obama a 1961 Metal Ox. China is represented in the Year Pillar, the US President in the Day Pillar. On the face of it, China continues to emerge as Global hegemon – bold enough to provoke both India and Japan for instance. Xi Jinping represents visible emerging authority but Obama wields the real power this year. He’s in his second term. Why not take some risks? On gun control he’ll be resisted by the forces of idiocy who claim straight-faced that government will deprive them of guns in order to control. There may be something in that but it is surely a lesser and addressable evil?

This may be the last time an American President can truly be called the most powerful man in the world. In 2013 we see that power wielded usefully to reduce the violence in the world.

And the Beatles remain right: “All you need is love.” Barrie: please note.

Richard Ashworth ©20th December 2012