Archive for the ‘Wool Gathering 2015: The Year of the Wood Sheep’ Category

April 2015: Dragon Diary, the nature of the Golden Dragon

April 7, 2015

April 2015: DragonDiary, the nature of the Golden Dragon

Dragon Month opens: April 5th 10:58am

The Golden Dragon.

You are the smell before rain, you are the blood in my veins.

Brand New: “The Boy who blocked his own shot”.

TS Eliot called April a cruel month, I remind my grandson Mr Levi as I read him “Mr McCavity” from Old Possums Book of Practical Cats. Mr Levi is not a big man for “serious” poetry. That’ll come. He’s actually more interested in how, according to Michael Rosen, Bob Marley likes his doughnuts.* But I bang on in any case.

April is the time of sudden change. The Dragon is the creature of thunder. The rumble that accompanies the clouds shedding their burden is the sound of the Dragon. It’s kind of orgasmic. Which by the way is a pretty orthodox way to talk about feng shui. There’s no force on Earth more powerful than sexual energy. It’s what drives the salmon upstream and the lemming to the cliff. Master Chan Kun Wah, back when I studied with him, was forever referring to “willy qi”. The Chinese character for thunder is a Dragon under a rain cloud.

This month’s Dragon is a Metal one. The Metal Dragon has a certain rancour, a certain bitterness. Often it falls to the Metal Dragon to state the difficult truth that no one else will raise. If you can remember that far back, this month is like 1976.  Already the weather – with a heat wave promised this week – is mimicking the long hot summer of that year. This Dragon like that one, ushers in major rapid change – personal, public, cultural, financial, you name it. Whether we call this positive or negative is simply a question of viewpoint.

Historically the feng shui man’s job was to place the building in the appropriate location relative to the lung mei, that is the veins of the Dragon. For this reason he was retained by Emperors, Princes and latterly captains of industry. More recently the feng shui person has taken on the job of placing the Dragon relative to the dwelling. To put it simply, the task has become largely one of compensating for poor architecture, poor orientation and poor positioning. Which is not always possible. When the Dragon is ignored or obscured it can be hard to restore balance.

* wi jam in.

Take the City of London, financial hub of the world – with more US banks than any US city and nearly half of the world’s arbitrage – which was placed on an East-West grid by its Roman founders. Because the Sun travels on exactly that trajectory, the buildings of the so-called “Square Mile” have been sharing sunlight among themselves for close to two thousand years. Its younger rival, Wall Street in New York is different; set in the North-South grid of Manhattan Island, each successive high rise obscures its neighbours. These days Wall Street is in almost perpetual dusk. It’s chilly there even at noon on a Summer’s day.

But in recent years, the orientation of the City has become distorted; the massive new buildings – Swiss Re (the Gherkin), the Shard, the SpongeBob and the rest of them are broadly South of the ancient city and they spread the dark as they compete for space. Almost all have grown up since financial services were de-restricted in 1986. Almost all are home to banks, IT or dependent activities. Perhaps consider these metaphors as the thunder rumbles.

Where to do what, when and why.

In April the Flying Stars that colour the pockets of energy at each compass point, double up. This is to say whatever happens in any location this year happens in spades this month. Favoured areas are doubly favoured and vice-versa. So once again, the North, the principal location of wealth, is the place to work on. I suggest an indoor Water fountain all month. Try it, you’ll like it.

The Dragon in the Dragon Month.

Egotistical, capricious and wilful, the Dragon (1940, 1952, 1964, 1976, 1988, 2000) is a handful. Even the most diplomatic one fails to see how pleasing himself doesn’t necessarily suit everybody else. The Dragon is yang Earth – immovable until she feels like shifting. Topical Dragons include Putin and Farage; nuff said. When they shift so does everybody else. Which can be pretty irritating.

The Dragon can be wary of the Sheep. He’s a loner and the Sheep is joiner, convenor and all round clubgoer. But in the Sheep year the Dragon is needed in a big way as the solution to bust-ups known as the “Bullying Punishment” which bring Sheep and Dog stand-off and Ox heartbreak. If there’s an unloosable knot, call the Dragon to untie it, however mortifying that may be.

The Rooster understands the Dragon and will contain him at a price. Rats and Monkeys find themselves unable to complete business sans Dragon which can lead to resentment. And the worst to have around a Dragon is other Dragons. They will fight. Ego stuff. The Dog thinks the Dragon is up himself and the Dragon thinks the Dog is dim. The Tiger thinks the Dragon goes on a bit. All in all Dragons are unlikely to win popularity contests but often triumph anyway and the unruffled way they deal with success reveals an unexpected grace.

The Dragon’s like that.

Dragon Month, Animal by Animal.

During this Metal Dragonmonth:

The Rat may resist success.

The Ox may miss the sell-by date.

The Tiger may miss the point.

The Rabbit may prosper.

The Dragon may bridle.

The Snake may fawn.

The Horsemay be above it all.

The Sheep avoids despair.

The Monkey gets stuff done.

The Rooster distracts.

The Dog may be frustrated.

and

The Pig may tread water.

Dragon Pillars;know your Dragon Rating.

Birth in the Dragon hour (07:00am-09:00am): weird kids.

Birth in the Dragon month (April*): suited to work in trouble-shooting.

Birth on the Dragon day#: chaotic but magical

Birth in the Dragon year: charismatic parents.

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

# Just ask.

Also coming up:

Feng Shui of the Cityscape.

My student, architect Manuela Madeddu is addressing the Feng Shui Society Conference on Saturday 9th May (www.fengshuisociety.org.uk) Her speciality is urban quality (broadly feng shui applied to cities) and her passion is contagious. My friend lovable Mexican Victor Garza is talking too and he’s always good value.

A rapid introduction to Chinese astrology.

On the evening of Tuesday the 8th September, I’m talking to the College of Psychic Studies in London (www.collegeofpsychicstudies.co.uk) about the place of intuition in classical feng shui: This will be followed by a one-day workshop on the Saturday 19th September: The ba zi: a map of our most likely mistakes, which will be something of a crash course. You may find this especially useful if you know very little about the subject and would like to know more. We’re telegraphing it now because the opening module of my next Feng Shui Starter Course The Wind that Stops at the Water, is the weekend inbetween (12th/13th September) and you might use the talk as an introduction.

Richard Ashworth©, late in the month of the Rabbit, 2015.

www.imperialfengshui.info

Darkness at Noon. Total Solar Eclipse 9:33 am Friday 20th March.

March 19, 2015

Darkness at Noon.

Total Solar Eclipse 9:33 am Friday 20th March.

Poles, Soul and Sockets

The ancient Chinese word for “eclipse” also means “regret”, I tell my daughter Jessie as I drive her to Homebase in Walthamstow. That in itself might be reason enough to stay indoors next Friday. To the Chinese diviner, going back to Dong Gong in the Yuan Dynasty, the eclipse is always a warning.

We are moving her room around to respect the energy of the new Sheep year and right now we’re in pursuit of a pole that we can cut to fit her wardrobe so as to hang her clothes. The measuring has been tricky and I’m no handy man. As well as positioning the pole so that someone under five feet tall doesn’t get lost in there, we have to leave space underneath for her shoes. It was Jessie who once told me “When you’re tired of shoes, you’re tired of living.” That btw suggests that several of my A-list clients are especially hungry for life.

In the shop we faff between a metal pole that calls for a new bracket and one that looks marginally too thick. In any case I’m not confident we can cut the metal. As we debate, a tall Afro-Caribbean man in Homebase livery walks by. Jessie tells him our problem. He is quiet and at first I mistake his silence for disinterest or incomprehension. Then he gestures confidently for us to follow him. We are led to the land of wooden poles; it’s like a little forest. Deftly he fits a pole to the bracket we have brought. Then he asks Jessie whether she has a lot of clothes. Does the Dalai Lama like red? Is Edward Snowdens’ phone number unlisted? Babatunde smiles and takes us to broom handles.

“In Nigeria'” he tells us, “We say if a thing has no mouth to speak, it can not outwit you.” The broom handles are significantly stronger and precisely the correct gauge. We all shake hands and we head for the checkout. Babatunde is beaming. So is Jessie.

“What an amazing man,” she says.

In the car, I’m back on topic:

“Consider how remarkable it is that a small celestial body which is relatively close should appear just about identical in size to a vast one millions of miles further away. Only this fluke makes an eclipse possible. It’s enough to make a person religious.”

“Remarkable indeed,” says Jessie as we stop for a cup of tea. “I promise to stay indoors.”

In the teashop, the sound system is playing the Motown classic “How Sweet it is (to be loved by you)” by Junior Walker and the All Stars. On vinyl; which is different, a deeper warmer sound. Digital is some programmer’s decision, vinyl what actually happened in the studio. The record still sounds so fresh and full of life. That fabulously throaty sax is like a voice hoarse with song. You can almost hear Junior spit. Funny how back in the seventies when some people thought Emerson Lake and Palmer were important, that so many of us dismissed this life-affirming music as disposable. The young guy serving invites me to select the next record as we leave. I go for “Reggae Got Soul” by Toots and the Maytals. Somewhere in the multiverse I was Toots’ bass player.

Well, Well, Well.

By some calculations, Friday’s eclipse falls under the sign of The Well which relates to the care of natural resources. Confucius refers to the bucket which is dropped into the well and the rope which secures it. You don’t, as William Bell wrote, miss your water till your well run dry.

Arriving back, Henni Jessie’s twin is agonising over an email from a respected young auteur who wants their immediate attention. The fact is that they’re busy close to 24/7 writing films to order till September. Where do they fit him in? Eventually she sends a sweet response letting him know that they may have a window at the end of April. If I received that, I think, the sweetness itself might be enough.

We rearrange Jessie’s bedroom so that her head points North West (which suits her West Life kua, based on her date of birth) and I put up a shelf where we are satisfied it poses no threat. It’s actually as important that her head is not to the South West (which in 2015 is poisonous to all) as that she sleeps to support relationship – which is what North West does for her. Jessie knows that feng shui is a very personalised thing; she was my best student before she got successful.

Right now they’re turning two novels into screenplays, in-between the treatments for tv shows and calls from their agent(s) here and in the USA. They’re a whole cottage industry. When they were tots, they’d wrangle for hours over the motivations of their soft toys. Now it’s the characters in their movies.

Solar eclipses visible in the UK, like the one due on March 20th, are quite unusual. The last as it happens was August 1999. It started mid-morning. I remember the strange chill; not night but not day either, a palpable not-rightness about it. Jess and Hen were very young then. I didn’t know how to read the portents at the timebut my teacher Derek Walters, correctly predicted bridges collapsing on the Danube and the Bosphorus. This was because the darkest shadow of the eclipse fell over Eastern Europe and Eurasia and was ruled by the Mansion of the Moon known as “Bird” which relates to crossings, fences, borders, bridges and transitions.

Astronomers had calculated that Cornwall was the only part of the UK that would experience complete dark. In anticipation of that, every trader in Cornwall prepared for a bonanza.Which never came. On the other hand a generation later the Cornish peninsula has become the go-to county for the second homes of the helicopter class. The Bird, as I say rules transitions as well as crossing and bridges.

Partial and Total Occlusion.

Watching my daughters gently handling deals and the complexity of plot and character, I remember someone writing that the reason men fear women as bosses is that it would be the same only in skirts. Such a misunderstanding. That’s not yin power; that’s yang in drag. Two pintsize dynamos churning out world class movie scripts is yin power.

Chinese diviners treat the path of the darkness – as Derek did – as an indication of its meaning. This Friday’s eclipse starting many thousands of miles East, follows some interesting divides. It tracks the Southern perimeter of Norway, cuts off Scotland at Hadrian’s Wall and includes all of Ireland, along the way taking in the Ukraine in its entirety. The line of least darkness within the shadow appears to stop at the Straits of Hormuz, so as to contain all of the Middle Eastern war zone but stopping short of the UAE and Saudi Arabia. As it happens, the 20th March falls on a Wood Sheep day, the same qi as the year. Which indicates a lasting effect. What would Dong Gong make of this?

Once I think, we were all in touch with the rhythms of the Earth. But at some point, perhaps six thousand years ago, the consensus seems to have emerged that any number of women who could feel one eclipse at a time were of lesser value than one man with a formula that could predict a thousand such events. And the world changed. And perhaps it hasn’t changed back. The inevitable vulnerability of constantly-pregnant women gave the world to men, calculation and record-keeping. The first king was also the first priest as well as the first banker, the first general and the first conman, I think. These are truly the oldest professions; it was the brazen proposition of the gilded and oiled priest-king that he should be allocated the prettiest virgins, the best meats and the tastiest wines in return for ensuring that spring would continue to follow winter and that buds would return to the trees. And celestial events such as eclipses could be predicted with certainty. From this computers, fibre-optics, nuclear fission, money markets, war and extinctions.

A Room of Ones Own.

Next we fix Henrietta’s room. No bodged carpentry required. All I have to do is re-orient her head away from South West. No hanging space to make, not so many shoes to allow for. But her bed is pretty bloody heavy. She and Jessie live together and write together but they’re very different women.

I finish up. We’ve re-organised every room. We aim to do this every year. Henrietta mentions a script we had talked of collaborating on, based on an idea I worked on some time ago.

“The production company just didn’t get it,” she says. They wanted cliche villains and plot that would make the world a sadder and more frightened place. Jess and Hen just don’t do that.

Right now World War 3 could break out in any of half-a-dozen regions. The forces of Onan (look it up) threaten creatures from the vaquita (or miniature dolphin) in Baja California to the orangutan in Indonesia. Last week the Democratic Republic of the Congo announced plans to open one of the Mountain Gorilla’s last habitats to oil exploration.  But there is still choice.

We can hold back the forces that have filled the oceans with plastic. I shop at Sainsbury’s; some of those bags must be mine. Perhaps we can even clean up our act soon enough to keep climate change down to a liveable 2° Centigrade. The odds aren’t looking good but it may be that gentleness, the yin, can return to its place of power, if we will let it.

Babatunde said: “If a thing has no mouth to speak, it can not outwit you.”

Whether we are smart enough to outwit ourselves is the question. I remind myself that the Moon – only a few thousand miles across and as close as the width of a dozen worlds – can blot out the Sun. I don’t know why it matters but it does.

Richard Ashworth © 2015.

www.imperialfengshui.info

Imperial Feng Shui – what’s happening

February 26, 2015

Imperial Feng Shui – what’s happening

Urban Quality: feng shui on the streets.

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

www.imperialfengshui.info

Richard Ashworth © 2015

Wool Gathering: 2015, The Year of the Wood Sheep

February 21, 2015

Wool Gathering

2015: The Year of the Wood Sheep

The Year of Gathering.

“Only when there is an invisible bond between government and people so that the people are sheltered by their government as ground Water is sheltered by the Earth, is it possible to wage a victorious war.”The Book of Changes, Wilhelm edition.

 It’s all about tomatoes.

Sometimes when I’m asked for a scientific explanation of feng shui I say something like: “If you plant tomatoes in January, don’t expect great salads. Worse if you put them against a North-facing wall.”

We all know this really. Each of us is subject to the integrity of time and space; everything is growing or shrinking, accreting or eroding. In the words of Bob Dylan: everyone is “busy being born or busy dying.” This applies equally to people, rocks, tower blocks, penguins and pangolins. As well as tomatoes.

The cycles that a series of Chinese geniuses drew from such observations over millennia imply that Sheep years – every twelve – are quite alike and Wood Sheep years – every sixty – very much alike. That to keep it very simple, is the basis of this forecast; think of it as something to do with tomatoes.

Dragon Rules.

As it happens, last year I predicted – wrongly – a “yes” vote in the Scottish Referendum. This forecast was derived from the nature of previous Wood Horse years, going back – in steps of 60 years – centuries, principally to the formative years 1708-20 to which I have referred before and to which I shall return in this piece.

I was wrong but I had read the energy right and following that result, a wave of resentment swept around the world: to the umbrella kids in Hong Kong, to separatist Catalonia and Quebec, even Ukraine and back again to Britain where the right-wing UK Independence Party has fed ravenously upon it. More recently it has shown up in Greece, the cradle of democracy. Spain is probably next; that wave is still cresting and it very much characterises the year. This is after all, the Year of Gathering.

Note: this is not a which-Animal-am-I-will-I-have-a-good-year kind of forecast. Those are covered by my Animal by Animal forecasts.

And to see me say pretty much this please have a look at the talk  I gave for Rachel Elnaugh’s Source TV New Year event.

2014 was a Wood Horse like 1714 just as 2015 is a Wood Sheep like 1955, 1895, 1835, 1775 and 1715. 1714 saw the accession of George 1st, the first Hanoverian, a German prince parachuted in to make sure that the Scottish Stuart Kings were gone forever, turning the United Kingdom the Scots had joined less than decade before as partners into serfdom. What followed in 1715 was the First Highland Uprising. The highlanders got as far as Lancashire.

I’m not suggesting street-fighting in Preston this year, but these are parallels. As I say energy, process, is easy to read. How it manifests not so much. I suspect however that we are far from having heard the last of Scottish Independence. Or of the Umbrella Revolution.  That wave of energy, that demand to be properly represented and address the issues that matter – among them the environment, inequality, and the way we treat women – is still running wild. In 2015 it focuses.

It’s not essentially racist or nationalistic – whatever right wing enthusiasts may hope. But it’s restless. Let’s remember that the Sheep is the year of the idealist. Currently this wave is supporting the rise of the Greens in the UK as well as poleaxing the three major parties. I’m not yet ready to predict how the votes will fall in the General Election. All I will say is this: the smaller parties will achieve results no one is yet dreaming of. Parliament will not be so much hung as drawn and quartered.

To go a bit further, the balance of power in the UK will be held by 1964 Wood Dragon Nigel Farage just as globally, it will be wielded by 1952 Water Dragon Vladimir Putin. That’s how the year shapes up; the Dragon rules. Look forward to many more photo-opportunities of the Russian President in homo-erotic poses. Expect some Chinese faces in these pictures as that particular team gathers.

Meanwhile the Pig is supported by the Sheep so it’s probable 1947 Fire Pig Hillary Clinton will run for President and that ISIL firebrand 1971 Pig Abu Bakhar al-Baghdadi will be rampant for a while yet. Both will tend to be supported by this need to gather, to define sides.

What we can do ourselves is to commit, to join, to stand up and be counted, hug trees if we must but as Ram Dass said “learn our zipcodes.” Being informed is not negative. Being negative is being negative. But we must oppose what needs opposing.

A Copper’s Slips Now.

This Sheep year follows the frenetic revelations of the Horse of 2014, which saw public exposure of a series of abuses of power. Exposure is the nature of the fiery Horse. August bodies such as the CIA, FIFA and South Yorkshire Police were embarrassed by their own corruption, incompetence and reluctance to own up. As indeed they should have been. The Yorkshire force even bodged the cover-up of the cover-up of their own disgraceful handling of both the Hillsborough disaster and the Rotherham abuses. And let’s not even raise the Miners’ Strike; same force, same violent idiocy. Peter Sellers would have done it better.

It doesn’t take psychic powers to conclude that such powers-that-be are as likely to be more discreet as to be more considerate next time; the Sheep’s yin Earth nature, standing for tolerance, forgiveness, cooperation, family, joining and groups, will tend to slow up revelations. The Sheep does not embarrass her associates as the Horse can. So it will probably not be a year in which public irresponsibility is seen to have consequences. This won’t however be because it’s not going on but because it will be obscured. There will for instance be much to prevent courageous whistle-blowers such as Ed Snowden or 1967 Fire Sheep Tom Watson MP adding to their existing public testimony. The influence of Rupert Murdoch’s News International including the ludicrous Fox News will continue to grow. Legislation to check that is unlikely.

All You Need Is Love.

1967 the Summer of Love, was a Sheep year. Among the many very positive Sheep qualities is commitment. So this is a year of marriage, partnership and embarking upon long term undertakings. Renewal of vows is on the cards. It’s a time to return to family. If you have neglected children, siblings or partners, now’s the time to get on the case.  Yin Earth is about home and its protection. We need to be there.

This extends to the Earth herself. A Wood Sheep year includes an aspect of self-harm. Wood clashes or attacks the yin Earth. In this Year of Gathering, sides are drawn. This may not prove to be the year of fracking and shale retrieval. If it isn’t, it’ll be because the artificially low oil price has made random-acupuncture-of the-Earth-with-poisons less profitable for the time being and therefore a lower priority. It’s likely to be a year when statutes and equipment line up quietly to await opportunity. Don’t expect to see much of Caroline Lucas fronting protest groups. The thing to oppose will have been hidden. At least until the autumn.

And there are three Earth Climate Summits during this year. It is just possible that we’ll learn something and change our ways in time to forestall what’s already being called the 6th Great Extinction. In my office building people still put milk bottles in for landfill despite there being a re-cycling skip and just a few hundred miles South of feng shui central in Singapore, the last few habitats of the orang utan are under imminent threat right now. You want to change this? Suggest Santander Bank stops financing it. But remember perhaps that if you wear stuff or eat stuff, you’re part of the problem too. Let’s oppose what needs opposing but not waste time pointing fingers.

Peaking Ducks

Feng shui is doing the right thing in the right place at the right time and in a Sheep year, projects that require many ducks falling neatly into a row will work out as long as they’re stuck to. The only difference between success and failure is completion, isn’t it? There is the danger that many – Dogs, Sheep and Oxen in particular – will give up just as they break through. Any of the above Animals who prove sick or accident-prone this year may simply be running from opportunity. By the way the Dragon, in the form of actual Dragons born in 1952, 64, 76, 88, 2000 and 2014, is the answer. The Dragon brings magic. The Dragon’s location is the South East of the compass, his time April and the hours between 7 and 9am. This year these may be the right times and places.

Spirit Level.

The Sheep is reckoned the most spiritual of Animals, so perversely the (largely unimportant) disputes between science and faith, religion and spirituality, Sunni and Shia will tend to be fanned on her watch. The Middle East may polarise. In the last Sheep year the West blundered into Iraq despite sixteen million protesters.

The Sheep hour is the post-prandial siesta time between 1 and 3pm. And so it’s often a time to consider progress half-way through a process. Perhaps this is why she also has a reputation for being able to re-consider a position and climb down. One outcome of the embarrassments of 2014 could be a reassessment of attitudes. There are likely to be major unexpected treaties towards the end of the year.

Because the Sheep is inherently yin Earth, it can be co-operative, self-reliant, disciplined and influential. An out-of-balance Wood Sheep though is internally conflicted, unstable, liable to self-harm. So although this Sheep year, like other Sheep years has the biddable, friendly, family-loving qualities of the Sheep, it’s kind of split. The image of the Wood digging into the Earth of the Sheep is one of self-attack. Psychologically then it’s a year of self-doubt as we juggle our many roles: consumer, polluter activist, denier. We’re all all of these, of course. And the Earth itself probably has little attachment to the hairless monkeys on her surface. As Sacred Activist and visionary Andrew Harvey has it, in time Earth will shrug the disturbance off, one way or another. And yes this very important thinker is a Dragon: Water 1952.

The Sheep is a joiner, a disciple, a follower. But this year is one in which we may determine which side we’re on. The trick is perhaps to know this and be responsible while opposing what needs to be opposed. And continuing to love.

There are no Blue Meanies; it’s us. But the Beatles were right, all you need is love. On the other hand if we were doing it right the Earth would be a safer place by now.

3’s a Crowd.

Technically this year is also for other reasons a 3 lo shu year which means it’s a year of dispute. Simmering disagreement may spill into frank opposition and be solved by communication. These kinds of events will be the keynote of the last quarter of the year; this will tend to be true in commerce, diplomacy and warfare. “Plateau” situations resolve for better or worse in a 3 year. 3 represents the raw contentious yang Wood energy of ambition, assertiveness, getting things done, the qualities of youth, especially of the young man. Contention is not of itself of course negative and if you want more of it, for whatever reason, occupy and activate the East. If you’re feeling really stroppy go South.

The lap yum or “note” of the year Metal in the Sand means it’s a year of conservation; that means care with resources. Or carelessness. This is the year of parties lining up: polluters & the ecologically aware, business and spirit, money and quality of life. The Sheep has even the most reluctant of us playing well with others. But extremely selectively. And at this point in history we seem unable to be at our best other than in competition. So it’s by extension a year of competition.

The Year Hexagram 48 Jing the Well, from the Book of Changes, underlines this; it is about the conservation of resources. As Mississippi Fred McDowell had it: “You don’t miss your Water till your well run dry”. Jing is about the quality of Water and about the bucket we send down into the Well to draw the Water

Not that this is much of a surprise. As the next Chinese Fate Period (9) opens sometime between 2017 and 2024, these issues become central. 9 means Fire, so global warming and its implications such as the custodianship of Water. The disputes of the 21st century will be mostly about land and Water.

The Great Year.

So we’re in the middle of a 60 year Cycle, precisely the 8th stop in one that began in 2008. Previous Sheep years, multiples of twelve years ago will be somewhat like this one. And previous Wood Sheep years will be extremey like this one.

Let’s go back in multiples of 60: in 1955 the courageous Rosa Parks refused to give up her seat on a Mississippi bus thus bringing to the attention of the world the two great truths highlighted by the life of Martin Luther King – as played by the remarkable David Oyelowo in Selma – that you can’t shoot someone without a gun and that black citizens have the same rights as white ones. In 2015, the events in Ferguson Mississippi are mirrored and re-doubled.

Another event that took place in 1955 was the resignation of Winston Churchill as Prime Minister to be replaced by Sir Anthony Eden who is best remembered for the last flourish of British gun boat diplomacy: the Suez adventure in 1956 – that is to say the next year in the cycle, a Fire Monkey just like 2016. Watch this space. And the Middle East.

An interesting astrological fact about 2014/5 is that it’s the first time since 1938 that the Moon has been new on the day of the Winter Solstice. You may remember that the following year featured some excitement.

Forever Blowing Bubbles.

Finally, if you think junk bonds were invented by Drexel Burnham in the 1980’s think again. Blame the South Sea Trading Company, established 1708. This corporation bought up the British national debt and then re-sold it as investment bonds. The bonds offered decent interest and were reckoned 100% secure; it was guaranteed by the British Empire wasn’t it? So the bonds changed hands over the next few year at thousands of percent of their face value. Until 1720 when the Bubble burst, spreading ruin across the developed world; not at that time such a big expanse, pretty much the British Empire (including the USA) and Europe. 1708 sits in the same point in the cycle as 2008 and 1720 as 2020. That is to say that since the Banking Collapse of 2008 we have been reliving the same cycle. Without apparently learning much. I know I bang on about this, but as George Santayana wrote: “Those who will not learn from history are doomed to repeat it.”

If we go back far enough in point of fact, we find that 1797 – which saw William Wallace’s response to early English expansionism at Sterling Bridge – reflects 2017, the year after next. Not such a great prognosis.

Mel Gibson: note. Time for Braveheart II – This time it’s Colonial?

If you follow the maths further, 2015 drops into the same spot in the cycle as 1775 which fell between the Boston Tea Party and the Declaration of Independence in 1776. 2016 is like 1776, a Fire Monkey. There is a time of turbulence coming. That year is also the same as 1836, the year of the Alamo. That connection of itself stands examination.

Going further back, fans of “Wolf Hall” are probably unlikely to have noticed that 1535 was an even earlier echo. What happened then? Henry VIII confiscated the Church property which had been funded by the poor in order to give it to newly-created Barons who frankly had enough already; a pretty literal activity of taking from the poor and giving to the rich. As I write, the ceo of Citigroup has been paid around $13m for presiding over a further year of failure and corruption.

That’s the Wood Sheep. A year of joining,  a year of gathering. It’s possible at year’s end that we will share a coherent strategy for adapting to climate change and that some of the two billion currently going to bed hungry will have been relieved. Or that the orang utan, the tiger or the snow-leopard will have some sort of future to look forward to.  

We’re all consumers and polluters but we can wake up to that. We’re all voters and we can make sure we use our votes and encourage others – especially – our children to do so too. That wave of energy is still cresting. We can take it anywhere we want. Can’t we? Let’s be very careful where we plant our tomatoes.

www.imperialfengshui.info

Richard Ashworth ©2015.