Archive for the ‘Zoom Courses’ Category

Eternal Chaos of the Monkey Mind – Monkey Month Bulletin 2020

August 7, 2020
Auspicious Dates and Places
for
The (7th) month of the Wood Monkey, 2020.
(09:51 7th August to 13:12 7th September inclusive)
in the Year of the Metal Rat.
Public Bulletin

Pi
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——  —–
—–  —–
—–  —–
Stagnating
 Hexagram 12

A 2 month                                   demands cooperation and compassion.
Typical Monkey Month         tricky, a Monkey confronted with decisions.
Where to be this month:            South West, South East.
Where not to be this month:    East, North East, North.
Favoured Animals:                      Monkey, Rat, Dragon, Snake.
Especially challenged:               Tiger, Pig, Horse, Dog.
The Hexagram (above):              12. Pi Stagnating. Heaven over Earth.
                                                  Prosecco, chocolate and TV.

Special attention this Month: from September 2020 I am teaching a ten week online Foundation Course on the basics of Feng Shui. This will be taught in a small group for one hour per week. Details here: https://imperialfengshui.info/healing-your-own-space/

Summary: Be ready to be wrong-footed. And trust.

S
1             8
9       2       4
5       7       3

Wood Monkey

The Month of the Wood Monkey, Animal by Animal:
These generic forecasts carry different nuances dependent upon whether this Animal rules your Year, Month, Day, Hour or Life House.

Rats (1948, 60, 72, 84, 96; births in December* 11pm-1am & on certain days#). The Rat is the accomplice of the Monkey, offering strategy and articulacy but generally only in a constructive context and under the eye of the Dragon. Monkeys tend to the flaky otherwise.
Hexagram 27: the corners of the Mouth – for a 3nd month. Getting the message?

Ox (1949, 61, 73, 85, 97; births in January*, 1-3am & on certain days#) Slightly at a distance, your word is law but not easily enforceable during the time of the anarchic Monkey.

Tiger (1950, 62, 74, 86, 98; births in February*, 3-5am & on certain days#) Time for a break. Things are getting convoluted and there are many demands upon you. Take all the time you need to respond.

Rabbit (1951, 63, 75, 87, 99; births in March*, 5-7am & on certain days#) Monkey plays tricks on you and you tend to fall for them. Don’t be bored; stay on message and on track.

Dragon (1952, 64, 76, 88, 2000; births in April* 7-9am & on certain days#) You work well with the Monkey who is almost as unruly as you are. Throw away the manual, listen to your body and your inner voices.

Snake (1941,53, 65, 77, 89; births in May*, 9-11am & on certain days#) Your nemesis and true partner, Monkey times are maddening and stimulating but they will draw reluctant candour from you both.

Horse (1942, 54, 66, 78, 90; births in June*, around midday & on certain days#) Chaotic; too much Water may leave you demotivated. Seek the Sun and your own space to explore ideas.

Sheep (1943, 55, 67, 79, 91; births in July*, 1-3pm & on certain days#) A little bereft. Enjoy your own company, revise, review, study. You’ll be stronger if you can stand it.

Monkey (1944, 56, 68, 70, 82; births in August*, 3-5pm & on certain days#) Make hay while you’re unsupervised and nobody knows the rules. But stay focused or you’ll regret the wasted time.

Rooster (1945, 57, 69, 81, 93; births in September*, 5-7pm & on certain days#) Fewer let-downs. Things settle into some sort of manageable shape finally and routine returns

Dog (1946, 58, 70, 84, 96; births in October*, 7-9pm & on certain days#) Monkey wears you out usually. Accept, rest and be.

Pig (1947, 59, 71, 83, 95; births in November*, 9-11pm & on certain days#) Last month’s gains solidify. Avoid defending the indefensible on someone else’s behalf.

* Remember Chinese Months start a little later than European ones.
# You’ll need help and/or a Chinese Calendar for this.

Eternal Chaos of the Monkey Mind
This Wood Monkey Month – a few Notes.
This is the month of the decision maker; the two characters making up Wood Monkey look like almost the same, just a single stroke of difference.. Not easy to distinguish. To many Ba Zi Masters (of either gender) this implies a need for decisions to be made. When this Pillar (ie one character on top of the other) rules in the crucial Year or Day of a Ba zi (that is, for simplicity’s sake, a Chinese Horoscope) it implies a maker of decisions. This is a month when far-reaching decisions are made.

The 7th of August also marks a turbulent change of season. It may be 30˚ outside but today is Lap Chow, the Beginning of Autumn. The transition from Summer to Autumn, ie from Fire to Metal is technically a clash. That is to say it is explosive; events in Beirut this week will have alerted you to that already, two World Wars have started at about this time.

The Monkey is as you’d imagine, tricky. Journalists call this the “Silly Season”. Watch the headlines for “Elvis found on the Moon” or “Freddie Starr Ate My Hamster”. The Monkey is the sign of the stand-up but also of a certain deception. He or she is a bundle of laughs but that laugh may be at someone else’s expense. With their close associate the-even-trickier Snake they bring a what-you-see-is-not-what-you-get to proceedings. Xi Jinping is currently the world’s most notable Snake.

This is a 2 Month. At the centre of August’s lo shu or magic square, you’ll notice a 2, representing Kun The Mother, relationship, empowerment and the Earth herself. Pay special attention to the tai chi, the geometric heart of your space that she is visiting briefly. With each gesture of respect you are offering the same to the only world we have. Yin is referenced in the Book of Changes as “gentle and thorough but ultimately adamant” but Kun like Shiva, is both creator and destroyer. It may be that at this critical time in history we can choose. There’s a question awaiting a decision.

The Annual San Sha, Three Calamities or Three Inconveniences traditionally foul things up where they land. In 2020 they are to the South. One traditional counter is extreme yang. Which would mean attention, occupation and activity in that sector. While it shines the Sun may be taking care of this but be very gentle with the South when the rain returns. Likely consequences otherwise are unwanted revelations and subsequent embarrassment and er…inconvenience.

This month’s Hexagram from the Yi or Book of Changes is Heaven over Earth, Pi, Stagnating. Heaven rises, Earth falls, which speaks of separation, withdrawal, prosecco, ice cream and binge tv. No change there then.

Where to be in August.
Summary: gain.
South West, Accumulation: Year Star 4 Month Star: 8.
8: attention upon gain. For a spark, move here or spring clean the South Western Rooms, perhaps even orient your bed South West for now. Not for children but suits most Horses (Southern third) and Dragons (Western third). Possible finger, hand & back problems – think of your body as a tree that needs to balance enough Water with all that summer sunshine without swamping – but locating here boosts business either way.
Enhance: WaterFire if the weather fails. Gentle fountain is good anyway.

Where not to be in August.
Summary: nasty.
North East, Wealth Star: Year Star:1; Sun (Ox NE1) Month Star: 5.
The 1 and 5 Stars are a toxic combination, said to invite a variety of nasties – mainly relating to the stomach. The solution is Wood; line the windowsill with lush plants.
Salvage: Wood: ie plants; three is ideal.Anchor
Richard Ashworth ©2020
www.imperialfengshui.info

Richard Ashworth is among the most respected Western Feng Shui Masters. He was among the pioneers of feng shui survey & analysis at a distance (now of course pretty much the only way to do it) on MySpirit Radio in the noughties. A good taster of his approach may be found on Audible at https://adbl.co/2m92Es3.You can also see him at work on tv’s Housebusters at https://bit.ly/2lJWLBl

Richard has worked from Lebanon to Bermuda, in Kuala Lumpur and Singapore and with stars such as Kelly Hoppen and Gillian Anderson. Unusually for a Western Master, he has addressed the Grand Masters at the International Feng Shui Conference in Singapore.

Every month we send (at a modest fee) retainer clients a more comprehensive monthly bulletin than this one, covering in detail right places to be (and when) as well as helpful days Animal by Animal and much more from the Chinese calendar.
Subscriptions (and further info):  sheilaashworthfengshui@gmail.com
Richard Ashworth©
www.imperialfengshui.info

The Yielding: Water Sheep Month 2020

July 8, 2020
Auspicious Dates and Places
for
The (6th) month of the Water Sheep, 2020.
(23:46 6th July to 11:26 7th August inclusive)
in the Year of the Metal Rat.

Dun
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—–  —–
—–  —–
Yielding
Hexagram 33

A 3 month                                        invites aspiration.
The typical Sheep Month            features greater mutual involvement.
Where to be this month:             South West, North.
Where not to be this month:      West.
Favoured Animals:                        Pig, Rabbit, Sheep.
Especially challenged:                  Rat, Ox, Dragon, Snake, Rooster, Dog.
The Hexagram (above):                33. Dun Hiding. Heaven over Mountain.                                                                                           Yielding
Special attention this Month: https://bit.ly/2lGr8ZA Learn Ba Zi in 2020/21
Summary: Allow yourself to be lifted. And trust.
S
2       7       9
1       3       5
6             4

Water Sheep

This month’s lo shu: wu huang 5 at West; san sha West

The Yielding
Back in the day I did quite a lot of feng shui work in Government Offices. Not on behalf of HMG of course who knew nothing about it. My client, Bernard would let me in around 5 in the morning and I’d tinker till the cleaners arrived. You can’t install Water features or windchimes too much but it’s amazing what can be achieved by re-angling a vdu here and moving a plant there.
Bernard’s main concern however was office politics. I don’t think you get to be a senior civil servant without that.
“That guy over in the corner, what’s going on with him?”
“Facing a wall South West, no back support, in a building on this orientation this year? Trouble at home.”
“What about this woman?”
“Screen at 180˚ to her neighbours? Doesn’t play well with others.”
And so on.
Equally every month of the year, of course is ruled both by a Zodiac Animal and a Hexagram of the Book of Changes. As is every year. And when there is so little else to work from, those six lines can tell us so much.
There were no especially messy scandals or resignations in that Ministry during that time and I guess I was on the button often enough that we worked together for 10 years or so. A brilliant, wise and good man, I trust he’s flourishing. He may even read these ramblings. I hope so.
Bernard’s Mother had came over in 1948 to work in the brand new NHS. His aristocratic surname – more Norman Conquest than Windrush – had probably been imposed on his forebears by a plantation owner in the 18th Century. Truth be told he probably shared dna with much of the House of Lords.
More than once we travelled together into London from his Surrey home. I noticed how the ticket collector would just glance at my ticket but scrutinise his. His treat of course but when we lunched at his exclusive club behind Selfridges, the waiter would usually offer me his bill.
I once attempted to gain credibility by boasting that I had, back when I was a teen tycoon, seen Bob Marley and Wailers at the Speakeasy in 1972. Which is true by the way.
“As close as I am to you now.”
He smiled and looked me in the eye.”
“You know I was Fela’s road manager?”
Which if you understand these things, made him about a thousand times cooler than me. I should have known better.
He told me once of a time when he’d been staying in a posh hotel prior to a conference. Queuing for the cloakroom with his cashmere over his arm, several delegates added their own to his load as they passed by. His response was simply to hand them over to the person manning the desk. And go on to address the conference.
Bernard’s mother emigrated ahead of his Dad who as it turned out, never followed. She provided for him and made sure he received the education a man of his gifts deserved. I don’t know the details but I know the outcome.
The Hexagram that marks this Water Sheep month of July 2020 is Number 33, Dun, https://youtu.be/NsgsuKhhbzg sometimes rendered from the archaic Chinese as “Strategic Retreat” or “Hiding”, though I prefer “Yielding”. The names, devised by the semi-mythical King Wen of the Zhou Dynasty when he was socially distanced by the infamous Tyrant of Shang, are almost precisely three thousand years old.
King Wen appears to have seen in Dun – four unbroken lines above two broken – the scene of a melee. The lower broken lines are weak, as if an army or a body is shattered at the rear. It’s a panicky and chaotic withdrawal. We are retreating and there is no safe place. Indeed as we climb up the lines there is no handhold before the 3rd line. And once there we are pressed in, chaos behind us, jammed into place. And we stay bound all the way up to the top line. We are bound and we simply have to trust.
The actual Chinese character Dun shows a piglet about to become a hog roast; horrific if you are fond of pigs rather than pork, not so worrying to those who are less fastidious; radical helplessness either way. Or radical safety. Resistance is pointless and only grace will bring change.
Another time Bernard told me, he arrived at breakfast and enquired across the coffee shop as to whether a colleague would like him to bring them a cup of tea along with his own, only for a guest to call out: “And while you’re at it, where’s my effing kipper?” He would smile as he told me these things but I saw the strength it took. I guess his mother did a good job.
Dun relates to situations where we recognise that we have little or no control. Newsflash: that’s pretty much the way things are. In a world where any one of us could be flattened at any time by a chunk of blue Water out of the sky, win the Lottery or be struck down by the virus du jour, what control is there? Full Disclosure: you need to buy a ticket to win the lottery and Donny Darko was not kitchen-sink realism. Also wear a face mask.
The fact remains however that we are each of us spinning alone in darkness on an imaginary ball of mud. To which the only sane response is to yield. By this I mean: let happen what must happen and trust that it works out. Not always easy, especially when you’re living out the dead hand of centuries of abuse. The above doesn’t mean we necessarily do nothing; the tao is not always the open door nor is it always not a blocked one.
Dun falls in the same month every year; the light retreats but we are pretty sure it will return. And every year these broken and unbroken lines mean different things. And every year the same. Just as darkness follows light, light follows the dark.
Right now we are being offered an opportunity to re-think the way we treat the planet and each other. And we’ll probably get it wrong. At this point in our evolution human beings appear able only to cooperate in opposition to something: this time against Covid-19 which has been called “apocalypse lite,” a dress rehearsal for the real thing, the coming climate crisis. Are we able to cooperate that much? Can we even treat each other properly?
As for Bernard, he rose improbably high in the civil service and all three major political parties approached him to be a candidate at one time or another. But he preferred to move to Jamaica and develop property. His mother died before she could glory in his success.
The dawn yields to the night and the light to the twilight of evening but in a billion years this may not be so. If we’re awake we allow ourselves to rise or fall knowing it can be no other way. We trust and we behave the best we can because supernovas come and go but light always follows the dark.
Richard Ashworth ©2020
www.imperialfengshui.info

The Month of the Water Sheep, Animal by Animal:
These generic forecasts carry different nuances dependent upon whether this Animal rules your Year, Month, Day, Hour or Life House.

Rats (1948, 60, 72, 84, 96; births in December* 11pm-1am & on certain days#. Technically a “Harm” or third-party intrusion, a proxy fight. The Rat’s tongue is loose this month, loquacious rather than eloquent. Bite it; avoid stimulants.
Hexagram 27: the corners of the Mouth – for a 2nd month.

Ox (1949, 61, 73, 85, 97; births in January*, 1-3am & on certain days#) Frustrating; you meet your match. Notice that what gets up your nose is in the mirror. You may feel left out but that’s Sheep times for you. Probably for the best. This remains very much your (2) year(s).

Tiger (1950, 62, 74, 86, 98; births in February*, 3-5am & on certain days#) Challenging; it’s in these sunny days that you make your mark. Opportunity lies in rising to the occasion. Study & service serve you long term. That’ll be more clear soon.

Rabbit (1951, 63, 75, 87, 99; births in March*, 5-7am & on certain days#) Refreshed and empowered, Sheep brings reinforcements to your yin Wood nature. Trust the facts, stay on track and risk vaulting ambition. Don’t get mired in parental stuff.

Dragon (1952, 63, 75, 87, 99; births in April* 7-9am & on certain days#) Big openings as long there is Fire around – so another month or so – then you change tack as the Monkey shows you new tricks. Flexibility remains the key. Wood Dragons: respect the law of return.

Snake (1941,53, 65, 77, 89; births in May*, 9-11am & on certain days#) less overwhelming but still a bit much. Stay cool, respect Truth as if it were Water following a trip across a desert and respect will follow you.

Horse (1942, 54, 66, 78, 90; births in June*, around midday & on certain days#) An embarrassment of support and open doors in what is one of your best months in a year that requires greater persistence than usual. Look – as ever – before you leap.

Sheep (1943, 55, 67, 79, 91; births in July*, 1-3pm & on certain days#) Everybody wants to include you right now. Exercise discretion as you accept or delay involvement – this may feel very FOMO but live with it. The key to miracles is starting from where you stand.

Monkey (1944, 56, 68, 70, 82; births in August*, 3-5pm & on certain days#) Generally impatient at this time of year, you’re still a month away from home. Any port in a storm.

Rooster (1945, 57, 69, 81, 93; births in September*, 5-7pm & on certain days#)
Almost everything and everyone appears to let the Rooster down in the Rat Year. Check those pronouns and call on good will. Rabbits may be your best bet.

Dog (1946, 58, 70, 84, 96; births in October*, 7-9pm & on certain days#) Sheep breaks you up; this may be sharing a joke or shattering a relationship that has stretched cellophane thin. Both are possible this month but notice that you are the common factor.

Pig (1947, 59, 71, 83, 95; births in November*, 9-11pm & on certain days#) A Great Leap Forward this month. Technically your Water becomes Wood – that means words are written down or vague hopes become action. The Force is with you.
* Remember Chinese Months start a little later than European ones.
# You’ll need help and/or a Chinese Calendar for this.

Where to be in July.
Summary: advancing.
North, Distant Future: Year Star 3 Month Star: 8.
The 8 brings Wood, that is to say movement, dynamism and upward growth. Empowered by the Water that is always North – ie in the dark and on lower ground – big strides forward can be made by the ambitious and those who can make use of Wood: typically Horses & Sheep, Dogs & Tigers but others also depending on the fine tuning of their ba zis. If in doubt ask. Good for writers, dancers, osteopaths, the aspirational and the ambitious.
Empower with: Wood – eg three robust plants. Mirror placed to face North.

Where not to be in July.
Summary: nasty.
West, Intervention: Year Star:9; Month Star: 5 Fortune Virtue (Rooster W2) Monthly san sha.
We don’t like the 5 of course or the san sha (the “Three Inconveniences”); and indeed the classic (as quoted by Stephen Skinner) says that occupation at this time may lead the incumbent to “take to drink or visit prostitutes”. If either of these activities are on your to-do list, this is the place. The rest of us might place a wind-chime temporarily – outside is good – or simply avoid. Poor behaviour comes to light here. So stay clear, it’ll be better next month.
To pacify: Metal: Metal stuff, 6 Pipe Metal Windchime – the rest of the year.

Richard Ashworth is among the most respected Western Feng Shui Masters. He was a pioneer of feng shui survey & analysis at a distance (now of course pretty much the only way to do it) on MySpirit Radio in the noughties. A good taster of his approach may be found on Audible at https://adbl.co/2m92Es3.You can also see him at work on tv’s Housebusters at https://bit.ly/2lJWLBl

Richard has worked from Lebanon to Bermuda, in Kuala Lumpur and Singapore and with stars such as Kelly Hoppen and Gillian Anderson. Unusually for a Western Master, he has addressed the Grand Masters at the International Feng Shui Conference in Singapore.

Every month we send (at a modest fee) retainer clients a more comprehensive monthly bulletin than this one, covering in detail right places to be (and when) as well as helpful days Animal by Animal and much more from the Chinese calendar.
Subscriptions (and further info): sheilaashworthfengshui@gmail.com
Richard Ashworth©
www.imperialfengshui.info

Healing Your Own Space via Zoom

June 26, 2020

The ‘Healing Your Own Space’
Foundation and Introduction to Feng Shui course

Principal Snyder: Some things I can just smell. It’s like a sixth sense.

Giles: No, actually that would be one of the five.

Joss WhedonBuffy the Vampire Slayer.

Suddenly everyone wants to know how to heal a space. Hardly surprising when many of us have felt like Brie Larsen in Room these last few months.

How do you heal a space? Here is a very simple check list:

  1. Notice how you feel about the space. Trust that feeling. Put it into words.
  2. Which areas are attractive? Which are not? Again trust your preference.
  3. What is right or wrong about these spots?

Are they too yin or too yang? That is to say too dark &/or too wet on the one hand or too bright & too dry on the other? Use your senses and trust them: what smells right? What echoes oddly? What’s uncomfortable? And so on.

  1. Which of these areas are active ie bright, noisy or busy and which not?

Is this the way it should be? Again trust that you know.

  1. Assess these spots relative to the Five Elements or Phases. Does one Element have more attention or space than another?
  2. Assess the spots relative to the Compass Points. How should they be used? What is being exaggerated or suppressed? For instance the South is likely to be where most light falls; is there too much light there or too little?
  3. Assess them relative to the Eight Trigrams; which members of the family are affected? Does this fit the facts? Refer to the He Tu & Lo Shu maps.
  4. Assess relative to the Twelve Animals. Who is affected? And in what way?
  5. Make corrections: make drier what should be drier, activate what should be active and alive, deactivate what should not be. Trust that you can tell the difference between how it feels before and after.
  6. Be conscious of which members of the family and types of activity belong in which area and be very conscious of giving love to the corresponding individual as you make corrections.
  7. Get rid of things you don’t like or need that take up space; charity, recycle or a skip maybe. Notice where they were. This is not about tidiness.
  8. Notice how much you knew already.

The above is not comprehensive of course. And from here it gets a lot more complicated.

Which is why I will be teaching this simple material online in small groups as a Foundation Course leading to my Starter Ba Zi and Feng Shui Courses later this year.

This will also serve as standalone course course for those wanting a basic knowledge of feng shui. No previous understanding of Chinese mumbo jumbo or the world of woo woo required.

The Healing Your Own Space foundation course will start this September 2020 and consists of 10 one hour weekly sessions on a Thursday at 17:30 BST via Zoom. The cost for the full course is £1000 but we are offering an Early Bird of £800 if paid by August 1st. 

Spaces are limited.

Email: sheilaashworthfengshui@gmail  if you want to reserve a space.

New One Day Workshops – July 2020

June 19, 2020

JULY ONE DAY ONLINE WORKSHOPS

We are running two more one day workshops prior to taking a  break in August.

These are:

A Second Workshop on interpreting the Book of Changes in 2020: we ran he first one earlier this week and a it filled so quickly we are running this for the waiting list and anyone else who may like to join us. Details here:
https://imperialfengshui.info/interpreting-the-book-of-changes-in-2020/

A Forecasting Workshop: this one has a pretty full waiting list so please contact me promptly if you would like a place. Details here: https://imperialfengshui.info/forecasting-workshop-2020/

Newsflash: our ongoing trainings: Discover the Secrets of the Four Pillars of Destiny, learn Ba Zi with Richard and The Wind that Stops at the Water, Richard’s Feng Shui course together are now certified by the  International Feng Shui Guild (IFSG)

LASTLY, THERE IS A SOLAR ECLIPSE THIS SUNDAY JUNE 21st, PLEASE STAY INSIDE, THE CLASSICAL CHINESE WORD FOR ECLIPSE IS THE SAME AS THE WORD FOR REGRET.
BE VERY CAUTIOUS.

June 6, 2020
Auspicious Dates, Places & more
for
The (5th) month of the Water Horse, 2020.
(13:49pm 5th June 2020 to 23:46 6th July inclusive)
in the Year of the Metal Rat.

Index
1.                          Overview.
2:                          Animal Fortunes for the Horse Month, Animal by Animal.
3                         Healing your own space.
4:                          Where to be or not to be.

1. Overview: 

Gou
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————
————
————
————
—–  —–
Pairing
   Hexagram 44
A 4 month                                        entertains curiosity.
The typical Horse Month            features display, visibility and revelation.
Where to be this month:            South West, South.
Where not to be this month:     North West, East.
Favoured Animals:                      Tiger, Dog, Sheep.
Especially challenged:                Rat, Ox, Dragon, Monkey, other Horses.
The Hexagram (above):              Gou Pairing. Heaven over Wind.

Summary: Things coming to light.

Special attention this Month: One Day Workshop
Wednesday June 17th:  Interpreting the Book of Changes.
2 places left.

S
3       8       1
2       4       6
7       9       5
Water Horse

This month’s lo shu: wu huang 5 at NW; san sha North

2.The Month of the Water Horse, Animal by Animal:
These generic forecasts carry different nuances dependent upon whether this Animal rules your Year, Month, Day, Hour or Life House.

Rats (1948, 60, 72, 84, 96; births in December*, around midnight & on certain days#)
Your native Water is challenged by the Summer Fire. So articulacy is at a premium but not easy necessarily to exert. Do open up and speak freely but carefully and above all with compassion. Remember that the open mouth is the most powerful weapon known to man.
Hexagram 27: the corners of the Mouth.

Ox (1949, 61, 73, 85, 97; births in January*, 1-3am & on certain days#) Loosen your grip; this year – all year – your will is done. So relax and allow it to happen. Power will naturally gravitate to you. So let it. Meditate, pray, enter alpha-rhythms more – you have a gift for this.

Tiger (1950, 62, 74, 86, 98; births in February*, 3-5am & on certain days#) You’ll be flexing your muscles about now. Which is exactly what the adverse circumstances require. Serve for service’s sake and watch how it changes things for the better. Reward for doing the right thing may be deferred but it may not be. (Continue to) treat all, however apparently dumb, with respect.

Rabbit (1951, 63, 75, 87, 99; births in March*, 5-7am & on certain days#) You may feel exhausted and you’ve earned that. Exhaustion is a function of resistance to emotion. Take a deep breath and feel it – whatever it is – let your shoulders loosen and start again. Life consists of gain and loss so there must sometimes be loss.

Dragon (1952, 63, 75, 87, 99; births in April* 7-9am & on certain days#) You’ll be hanging back from the hubbub if you’ve got any sense. This may suggest withdrawal from certain types of market. Don’t overplay your hand; others hold royal cards too. Trust.

Snake (1941,53, 65, 77, 89, ; births in May*, 9-11am & on certain days#) Seek shade, your yin Fire is not strong enough to compete with the peak Fire of the Horse month while you defend yourself against the overwhelming Water of the Rat Year. People may talk about you but that’s none of your business.

Horse (1942, 54, 66, 78, 90; births in June*, around midday & on certain days#)  You don’t like your own company much right now but you’re kind of stuck with it. Curb spontaneity and invite discussion. Stubborn and foolish are very close. Don’t overdo exercise or push the envelope. Some would say you’ve done enough damage already. Time for a rethink.

Sheep (1943, 55, 67, 79, 91; births in July*, 1-3pm & on certain days#) Join now, mend fences, re-apply for admission; your subtle vanity may have made you reject any organisation that would tolerate you. That’s no more than a simple question of personal choice. So thank your mind for sharing.

Monkey (1944, 56, 68, 70, 82; births in August*, 3-5pm & on certain days#) You could usefully show more care. Neither the world nor your partner owes you a living. You’re on a roll all year. Be sure to lower the ladder. Especially for Snakes who may be calling for your help right now.

Rooster (1945, 57, 69, 81, 93; births in September*, 5-7pm & on certain days#)
Comparison comes to you easily but you’re better at identifying difference than similarity. Your current heartbreak(s) are derived from this bias of perception. Try looking through the prism of the Tao which tends to turn things upside down

Dog (1946, 58, 70, 84, 96; births in October*, 7-9pm & on certain days#) Horse is your nemesis if you overreach. Recently you may have. The Dog with too much Fire is quite vulnerable at this time. Cool it, stay lubricated and reasonable. You rule now but all such power wanes: Hexagram 34.

Pig (1947, 59, 71, 83, 95; births in January*, 1-3am & on certain days#) You may be puzzled right now. The way forward is not obvious under the circumstances but the smart Pig has sown enough quality and goodwill that (s)he can safely rely on reaping just rewards by year’s end. The dimmer Pig needs to build support right away.

* Remember Chinese Months start a little later than European ones.
# You’ll need help and/or a Chinese Calendar for this.

3.Healing Your Own Space.

Principal Snyder: Some things I can just smell. It’s like a sixth sense.
Giles: No, actually that would be one of the five.
Joss WhedonBuffy the Vampire Slayer.

Suddenly everyone wants to know how to heal a space. Hardly surprising when many of us feel like we’re Brie Larsen in Room. How do you heal a space? Here is a very simple check list:

1. Notice how you feel about the space. Trust that feeling. Put it into words.
2. Which areas are attractive and which are not? Trust your preference.
3. What is right or wrong about these spots?

Are they too yin or too yang? That is to say too dark &/or too wet on the one hand or too bright & too dry on the other? Use your senses and trust them: what smells right? What echoes oddly? What’s uncomfortable? And so on.

4. Which of these areas are active ie bright, noisy or busy and which not?
Is this the way it should be? Again trust that you know.
5. Assess these spots relative to the Five Elements. Does one Element have more attention or space than another?
6. Assess the spots relative to the Compass Points. How should they be used? What is being exaggerated or suppressed? For instance the South is likely to be where most light falls; is there too much light there or too little?
7. Assess them relative to the Eight Trigrams; which members of the family are affected? Does this fit the facts?
8. Assess relative to the Twelve Animals. Who is affected? And in what way?
9. Make corrections: make dry what should be more dry, activate what should be active and alive, deactivate what should not be. Trust how it feels before and after.
10. Be conscious of which members of the family and types of activity belong in which area and be very conscious of giving love to the corresponding individual as you make corrections.
11. Get rid of things you don’t like or need that take up space; charity, recycle or a skip maybe. Notice where they were. This is not about tidiness.
12. Notice how much you knew already.

The above is not comprehensive of course. Which is one reason I plan to teach this online in small groups as a Foundation Course leading to my Starter Ba Zi and Feng Shui Courses later this year.
Let sheilaashworthfengshui@gmail know, if you want to reserve a space.

4.Where to be in June.
Summary: shining brightly.
South, Bright Future: Year Star: 2 Month Star: 8. Annual san sha
The benevolent 8 Star brings further yang to the South where it’s needed. South is best this year while the Sun is shining. It remains the home of the san sha or Three Inconveniences but the yang of the 8 (like the 9 last month) turns this space around while the sunshine lasts. If you want publicity or notice, continue to pursue it here.  You’ll get stuff finished too. Some stomach issues possible.
Assist: Wood: 3 plants. Keep them well-Watered.

Where not to be in June.
Summary: aspiration at a standstill.
East, Ambition: Year Star:5 Month:2. Annual wu huang. Moon (Rabbit E2) Monthly san sha
5:2 means loss, difficulty and illness. The worst place to be all year and especially during the current unpleasantness. Traditionally countered with Metal but I shouldn’t rely on that too much. Eastern doors are relatively safe as entrances but not as exits. This pattern implies a testing time for the Eldest Son, young leaders, ambition and the assertive; worse if they locate East. Keep Eastern rooms closed and quiet.
Limit: t’ang lung and plenty of Wood
Richard Ashworth ©2020
www.imperialfengshui.info

Richard Ashworth is among the most respected Western Feng Shui Masters. He was among the pioneers of feng shui survey & analysis at a distance (now of course the only way to do it) on MySpirit Radio in the noughties. A good taster of his approach may be found on Audible at https://adbl.co/2m92Es3You can also see him at work on tv’s Housebusters at https://bit.ly/2lJWLBl

Richard has worked from Lebanon to Bermuda, in Kuala Lumpur and Singapore and with stars such as Kelly Hoppen and Gillian Anderson. Unusually for a Western Master, he has addressed the Grand Masters at the International Feng Shui Conference in Singapore.

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

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

Richard Ashworth©
www.imperialfengshui.info

 

Galileo Galilei

May 28, 2020

Measure what is measurable and make measurable what is not so.”
Galileo Galilei

Lockdown Day 61.

“May you live in interesting times” goes the first of three ancient Chinese curses, the assumption being, I guess, that the happiest lives are the least eventful. Or maybe the least interrupted. Life is pretty uninterrupted right now. And pretty interesting. I find myself looking at The Book of Changes a lot. Whether in effect I’m consulting myself, Spirit, Higher Mind, God or what-have-you, the Book has a remarkable hit rate. The trick is to frame the question right.

The other two curses were: “May you come to the attention of authority” and “May Heaven grant you all you pray for”. I’m not so sure about the latter two but it may well be that those of us who craved time to contemplate are to blame for dreaming the current unpleasantness into place.

Boris Johnson of course like his role model across the Atlantic, seems to have dreamed of heroism without risk, recognition without achievement; chips without potatoes. He btw is a 1964 Wood Dragon. A classic weakness of that particular mythical beast is a reluctance to check facts. True of most Dragons actually. Who’da thought it?

So as I listen to Jimmy Nail’s “Big River” today, I’m preparing for two imminent online Workshops. Both draw upon the Book of Changes, that is the Yi, or I Ching, the chief among oracles. One is the monthly session where we are using the Yi to track the year. The other is a one day fast track on interpretation.  Students bring a Hexagram they have recently cast – if they don’t know how to cast I’ll show them – then we’ll look at what the Yi has to say about it before the student reveals the question. Then we’ll go deeper.

In a sense this is actually best done at a distance; via Zoom we’re not actually in each other’s faces. The workshop is on June 17th and we still have three spaces. No previous knowledge of Chinese or other metaphysics, the esoteric, mumbo jumbo or the world of woo-woo required.

The Yi has been guiding Chinese thought for at least three thousand years. It’s probably the oldest book in the world though what it actually consists of at its heart is just sixty four six-line diagrams known as Hexagrams. Each of these describes a moment in the human condition: increasing, decreasing, descending, doubting, misbehaving and so on. And each offers six ways to proceed. A sincerely cast Hexagram can be spookily descriptive and its “What if?” advice embarrassingly apt.

Most of my work was online long before the first covid cough and I’ve been doing remote surveys on and off for 20 years or so. Lockdown is er…interesting – we only get to see the kids onscreen which is painful and there’s no one delivering a decent Thai Green. Indeed when Doug the plumber our first visitor in two months, came last week while we hid in the garden, it was as if we were being invaded, like we were suffering from some variant of agoraphobia. But day to day life is not that different. I teach, I consult at a distance.

And a remote survey of course is a very different thing from being physically present, more intuitive, less mathematical. I doubt it could be called even pseudo-scientific let alone scientific. And yet.

Today I’ve been installing a trick to dispel sickness in Moira’s home. She is an astrologer with a unique take, a seer if you will. She’s not well and she’s no longer that young. But her very particular vision is important and she’s in a race with Heaven to share it.

At first she and her devoted husband appeared a bit panicked by the prospect of doing their own placement. But a regular compass is pretty easy to read. Even a Chinese luo p’an is relatively straightforward; it looks kind of complex but that’s mostly repetition and complex is just lots of simple anyway. And most of the work for Moira was in the calculation.

Belt and braces is always a wise precaution so I prescribed some Qi Men Dun Jia to complete the procedure. A principle of QMDJ is that events occur on at least four different levels. Moira will need to address the highest of these, the level of her Qi Men Deities. These Deities are summoned in specific locations at specific moments by way of the alpha state, that is to say meditation, prayer or whatever. One traditional approach is to count down backwards through the 64 Hexagrams. I find I linger over different ones each time, learning new angles, as if the Yi were many different books. That’s oracles for you.

Now Jimmy Nail’s paean to his Father and the lost docksides of the Tyne is fading along with Mark Knopfler’s guitar licks curling around the melody like a red kite riding a thermal. Hexagram 20, Kuan the Watchtower.

I’ll check in with Moira over the next few days; courtesy both of Vodafone and the world of woo-woo. Perhaps you’ll join me on this last level. Blessing knows no distance. And do join me via Zoom on the 17th June too if you feel inclined. Stay safe.
Richard Ashworth 28.05.20 ©2020.

Richard Ashworth is among the most respected Western Feng Shui Masters. He pioneered feng shui survey & analysis at a distance (now of course the only way to do it) on MySpirit Radio in the noughties. A good taster of his approach may be found on Audible at https://adbl.co/2m92Es3

Richard has worked from Lebanon to Bermuda, in Kuala Lumpur and Singapore and with stars such as Kelly Hoppen and Gillian Anderson. Unusually for a Western Master, he has addressed the Grand Masters at the International Feng Shui Conference in Singapore.

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

All courses are online: https://imperialfengshui.info/courses/
Subscriptions (and further info)sheilaashworthfengshui@gmail.com

Richard Ashworth©
www.imperialfengshui.info

Auspicious Dates and Places for The Month of the Metal Snake, 2020.

May 6, 2020
Auspicious Dates and Places
for
The (4th) month of the Metal Snake, 2020.
(09:08 5th May to 13:49 6th June 2020 inclusive)
in the Year of the Metal Rat.

Qian
———-
———-
———-
———-
———-
———-
 The Creative
 Hexagram 1

The Metal Snake Month, Animal by Animal
The Pig is dubious,
Rats may feel less boosted,
The Ox is restored to power,
Tigers make heavy weather,
Rabbits are above it,
The Dragon receives fresh and respectful attention,
Snakes are comforted,
The Horse is not at full power,
The Sheep may feel extended,
Monkeys may be both pushed and pulled,
Roosters are mostly respected,
and
Every Dog is claimed.

Online One-Day Workshop: Interpreting the Book of Changes in 2020: https://bit.ly/3bgeuVi

A 5 month                                 brings trouble to the heart of things.
The Snake Month                   is about truth and its alternatives.
Where to be this month:     North East. Where not to be: tai chi, East.
Favoured Animals:                Snake, Rooster, Ox, some Monkeys – in any Pillar.
Especially challenged:         Pig, Tiger, other Monkeys.
The Hexagram (above):        Qian The Creative. Heaven over Heaven.
.

S
4             2
3       5       7
8       1       6
Metal Snake

This month’s lo shu: wu huang 5 at tai chi ; san sha East

The Slime of No Reply.
I’m worried about the slugs. Yes I’m concerned about Covid-19, testing, vaccination, cabin fever and Brexit – though this last has receded a tad from my list of worries since Lockdown began – also incompetent government and dumb leaders and so much more.

I used to worry constantly about the environment. I would wake suddenly at three in the morning with a mind full of orang utans and pangolins. But right now as the Month of the slithery Metal Snake opens, I’m worried about the slugs and snails.

You see my sunflowers are doing too well. I start them indoors in February and I usually plant maybe three times as many seeds as I expect to survive. They go out in the garden when I think the frosts have ended: usually late April. Once out, their chief predators have always been slugs and snails. Over the years I’ve tried to discourage them with moats of beer around the pots, following the folk wisdom that gastropods like nothing better than a sip of Hogs Back Ale of a spring evening; I’ve experimented with sprinkling dry cat food among the saplings on the grounds that snails prefer them to sunflowers, only to make the predictable discovery that cats do too. Own goal: cats show no mercy to the little plants as they dig out the tidbits. But it’s lap ha, the Beginning of Summer today May 5th, and usually at this time I have a garden rich with fat slugs and the sunflowers have thinned out. But this year no slugs; a veritable forest of Russian Giants may be burgeoning.

The month that’s coming is a Metal Snake, the most deceptive of the Celestial Animals. The Metal Dragon just past signalled a tussle with authority: Americans desperate to get out into the open and shoot each other; over here bat-crazy new age dabblers confusing political business as usual with rococo conspiracy theories. Governments lie, that does not mean we’re controlled by eight foot foot lizards from the planet Splong. If we were they might be a bit more efficient.

Such wild paranoia btw is simply what’s known as “level confusion”: we live simultaneously in several worlds, one material, others not. Tian Ti Ren is the Chinese term for this: we inhabit Heavenly, Earthly and Human realms at one and the same time. This confusion technically known as the Mind-Body Problem, is literally as old as the word “philosophy”. We seek control and explanation, but we know underneath it all that we’re each spinning alone on an imaginary ball of mud. Elegant feng shui can work on all these levels. But the fact is that there is pretty much nothing we actually can control.

Lies and the consequent confusion will come thicker and faster in May. They don’t actually come much thicker than some of the politicians involved actually but the power of the patriarchy is waning. May is a month to question everything, especially truisms like the one that everyone is chafing to break lockdown at any cost. Mostly that’s the employers, “wealth makers” and “job creators” chafing, I think, not the bus drivers and ICU nurses.

Or the idea that everyone hates having their children at home. And the one that working couples – what other sort is there? – would rather be at work than together. The Dragon is a teacher, and social media and my Zoom calls are full of parents relishing the time spent with their offspring, learning or playing. Fact is there is not enough playing in the world. In these days when most families need two full-time breadwinners to er….win enough bread to keep a family, such an opportunity is rare. And of course juggling small children, schooling requirements, the need to make money and a full in-tray is an art. No business meeting live or virtual is as demanding as caring for a toddler. And home-education is no picnic. But it’s so much more worthwhile than scouring the iPhone for notifications. I write as the father of six miraculous children and like you, I never had dummies to practice on.

The Hexagram for the month or so leading up to Mid-Summer is Qian, the Father, Authority, extreme yang. That’s true every year but the ruling Hexagram for 2020 is number 42, meaning Increase. The structure of that Hexagram is Wind over Thunder, Eldest Daughter holding sway over Eldest Son. The conjunction of these two suggests the need for a turnaround in gender politics. The Earth’s response to mass extinctions is letting us know that she is round and that therefore economic growth cannot be perpetual. That’s what dolphins in the canals of Venice and lions on the golf course in Pretoria indicate. The Earth is not threatened by the fragile pink primates who have recently elected themselves dominant species but she may shrug them off if they don’t play just a bit nicer. Right now New Zealand appears to be the only nation paying attention.

Recently I’ve had variable results with tomatoes. Those at the front flourish where I place them to receive sunlight from dawn to mid-afternoon. But ones placed behind the house where the light patterns are at least as helpful, have not fruited for several years. Same with the wild raspberries and strawberries – they flourish at the front, languish to the rear.

A wealth of buddleia and other bee-magnetic bushes face the house. My guess is that the bees pollinate strawberries and tomatoes while about their buzziness among the buddleia, hence things blossom outside the living room window and not on the decking. God bless the honey bee. And of course I worry about bee numbers. My tomatoes and berries are telling me the bees are in trouble too.

I’m worried about slugs and about so much else. It grieves me to only see my kids on a screen. I’m worried by the gullibility of electorates that have brought morons to power worldwide. I’m worried about the families of the victims of Covid-19. I’m worried about the bovine hysteria of the mob that has brought us Bolsonaro, Orban, Brexit and Trump. But storks are nesting in West Sussex for the first time in centuries and some of my sunflowers are already a foot high. Blue whales – the largest creatures ever to breathe on the Earth – are venturing South and in Florida manatee nuzzle alligators.

The slugs’ll be back like the dolphins. I’m not worried about the Earth anymore. She’ll be fine.
Richard Ashworth © May 2020

Where to be in May.
Summary: creative.
North East, Wealth Star: Year Star: 1 Sun (Ox NE1), Month Star: 8.
The communicative  1 Star is enhanced by the visiting 8, the best place to be this month by a long way. Suitable for writing, learning, also alpha-rhythm activity, prayer, meditation, visualisation, when tangible outcomes can be expected. A crystal journey NE-NW-N might bear further fruit.

Enhance: occupation is the most powerful activation but a little Metal such as Metal objects and colours (including white) may stimulate creativity.

Where not to be in May.
Summary: things fall apart, the centre will not hold.
Tai chi, Home: Year Star: 7 Month Star: 5
Capitals, inner cities and headquarters are all treacherous this month. The tai chi of your own space is implicated as well as rulers and principals (not principles obvs) of all sorts. This is not, repeat not, the time to trust authority but a time to take responsibility for our own free choice.
Like so many of us, the Stars are in their home locations. Returning to the hearth is the main theme of the month. Which unless we are royalty or government is the wisest plan: aim to be away from the seats of power which will prove seriously polluted throughout May and, as I said most of the year. Avoid the tai chi in every sense.
Tame: t’ang lung.
Richard Ashworth ©2020. http://www.imperialfengshui.infoAnchor

Richard Ashworth is among the most respected Western Feng Shui Masters. He was among the pioneers of feng shui survey & analysis at a distance (now of course the only way to do it) on MySpirit Radio in the noughties. A good taster of his approach may be found on Audible at https://adbl.co/2m92Es3

Richard has worked from Lebanon to Bermuda, in Kuala Lumpur and Singapore and with stars such as Kelly Hoppen and Gillian Anderson. Unusually for a Western Master, he has addressed the Grand Masters at the International Feng Shui Conference in Singapore.

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

All courses are online: https://imperialfengshui.info/courses/
Subscriptions (and further info)sheilaashworthfengshui@gmail.com
Richard Ashworth©
www.imperialfengshui.info

Interpreting the Book of Changes in 2020

April 23, 2020

Interpreting the Book of Changes in 2020.

If some years were added to my life, I would give fifty to the study of the Yi, and then I might come to be without great faults.” Confucius.

A one-day on-line workshop; 10a.m.- 5p.m. BST, Wednesday June 17th.
Early Bird: til April 30th £100,  Earlyish Bird: til May 25th.£150,  Full Price: £175

The universe is always addressing us: in a snatch of song, an allusive comment half-heard or the flutter of a bird; in images, in sounds, in subtle feelings and indeed in Hexagrams we may cast from the Book of Changes. It’s not such a bad idea to have read a couple of books and know how to unfold a newspaper to see where it all fits in of course but it’s all out there if we’re paying attention. This workshop is about drawing every ounce of meaning from the Hexagrams and lines of the Book of Changes.

The Workshop will be interactive and experiential as well as educational.
Each student is to share a Hexagram they have cast and the question they have posed. I will coach anyone who doesn’t know how to do this during the week before the workshop. No previous knowledge of Chinese or other metaphysics, the esoteric or the world of woo-woo required.

The Book of Changes commonly known as the Yi, consists essentially of sixty four images or guas. Each represents an aspect of the human experience, opening with Qian, The Creative and concluding (or not) with Wei Ji or Not Yet Complete. Casting – whether by yarrow stalks, dice, coins or some other means – identifies a Hexagram in answer to an enquiry. Sometimes answers hint at the future, often at the past. Some say that the Yi represents the thrust of the universe; spirit, higher mind or tao; others that we’re simply informing ourselves of what we already know. Either way Chinese emperors, generals, politicians and businesspeople have been using the Yi as adviser and reference for over 3000 years. And it seems to have been working for them.

The workshop will be interactive, informative and experiential. It may even get personal – strict confidentiality is a condition of admission. We will start with some background and some history and get clear as to the shape and structure of the Yi. Then we will examine each of the castings brought by the participants. And take it from there.

We’ll examine the Hexagrams in the usual ways – lines, elements, family relationships, traditional interpretation and so on – but we’ll also give ourselves permission to break all the rules and strip the Hexagrams back to their ancient simplicity, back to the Shang & Zhou Diviners of antiquity, before Confucius or anyone else fixed their meanings and see what the Yi is saying to us now.

To enrol email: sheilaashworthfengshui@gmail.com

Richard Ashworth is one of the most respected Western Masters. He is probably best known for introducing classical feng shui to a mass audience on Channel 5’s Housebusters as well as for his book the Feng Shui Diaries which chronicles a year of his work including a trip to Wuhan. He also pioneered feng shui surveys at a distance on My Spirit Radio in the early noughties. His Audible ‘Imperial Feng Shui, The Real Thing’ (currently) free  is a pretty good introduction to his approach.  He has been featured in the Sunday Times and on Big Brother’s Little Brother as well addressing the GrandMasters at the IFSC in Singapore. He studies the Yi daily.

There are limited spaces on his one-to-one Online Ba zi and Feng Shui Professional Courses, more details are at: https://imperialfengshui.info/courses/

To enrol email: sheilaashworthfengshui@gmail.com

Richard Ashworth©
www.imperialfengshui.info

There are limited spaces on his one-to-one Online Ba zi and Feng Shui Professional Courses, more details are at: https://imperialfengshui.info/courses/

To enrol email: sheilaashworthfengshui@gmail.com

Richard Ashworth©
www.imperialfengshui.info

Wen Will We Meet Again?

March 24, 2020

The story goes that long ago Ji Chang (later King Wen) of the Zhou Dynasty was er…socially distanced by the so-called Tyrant of Shang. The Shang had been in control for some centuries and the masses became more and more restive as Shang rule became by degrees more cruel and unreasonable. Chinese history is littered with tyrants who are deposed and replaced by liberators whose descendants themselves become tyrants. The current PRC regime is sadly no exception. In this case the Zhou family were just awaiting the moment to rise up which would be signalled by the simultaneous appearance of all five visible planets.

Chinese Accounts differ as to how long Wen Wu was isolated but the fact is that the conjunction indicating that the so-called Mandate of Heaven had shifted from the Shang to the Zhou, did not occur until about seven years later.* Which was when they rebelled, founding the Zhou (pronounced “Joe”)  Dynasty whose rule was to last close to a thousand years. You can see a reconstruction of the night sky that inspired them in the first episode of Michael Wood’s excellent “Story of China” series. https://bbc.in/3botUap.

Like Nelson Mandela, facing indefinite solitary confinement, King Wen appears to have realised that he was going to have time to think very deeply. Some of us may be considering this right now. Going profoundly into alpha rhythms – call it prayer or meditation if you will – he is said to have given names to the Sixty Four Hexagrams of the Book of Changes. With time on his hands and knowing he would not be interrupted, he must, I think, have looked at those simple diagrams from many different directions. Some of the images spoke most powerfully of family relations, some of more abstract connections. Some were purely visual. Some showed particular balances of Yin and Yang#. However long he was confined, his names for diagrams that were already ancient in his time, would survive him by thousands of years.

Much Chinese legend of course, like our own, is hokum but this one may be literally true. Shakespeare is said to have written King Lear in quarantine from the plague and Nelson Mandela emerged from Robben Island with clear foreign and domestic policy and a named cabinet. So why not?

And sitting here at my window, mouthing “Good morning” at my neighbour whose hand I cannot shake as he wipes his brow, sips his tea and takes a break from mowing the lawn, I think I may know the space the King was in.

We respond to separation in different ways. For some it’s unbearable to see our kids and friends on a screen and not be able to touch them. For some however, it’s a huge opportunity as well as a restriction.

Meanwhile I continue to teach online the Early Bird price for my Book of Changes class expires this week. There are only a couple of places left but with sufficient demand we’ll set up another. You can join from the comfort of your home. There could be worse sentences.
* May 1053BCE.
# Though these were very basic concepts in the 11th Century BCE.

Richard Ashworth March 24th 2020

They paved paradise and put up a parking lot

March 18, 2020

They paved paradise and put up a parking lot.
Gentleness that is adaptable but also penetrating is the outer form that should proceed from inner calm.” The Book of Changes.

So first thing: this is a terrifying time. If you just want to talk a while, let us know. Who knows what’s happening? Or what’s going to happen next? Book a time slot. Email sheilaashworthfengshui@gmail.com and we can set up a Skype, FaceTime or Zoom session. If I’ve drafted your ba zi, so much the better.
We ask for a contribution to cover our costs, but it’s okay not to pay at all.

Next thing: where and when we do stuff is quite important right now. And the healing tools of ba zi, feng shui and Qi Men Dun Jia work as well remotely as in the flesh. But differently. A remote survey is more intuitive, less linear and often more immediately life-changing. I remain available for remote consultation. You bring the compass. No need to make me tea.
We do charge for this.

Third thing: If this enforced stillness inspires you to learn, I’m here to teach feng shui and ba zi one-to-one online at dates and times to suit you. I’ve been teaching and mentoring online via Zoom and Skype for years now. My starter courses are purpose-built as online tuition. And we’re scheduling more online group workshops including a series on the Book of Changes and another on forecasting using the Stems and Branches of ba zi.

Fourth thing: what the hell is going on here?

On one level this is Gaia, the Earth Mother shrugging. Did you see the clean air above Wuhan last week, previously one of the most polluted cities on Earth? We are not able to destroy her. She’s been through worse than this. But we do have to realise that her resources are finite. If we understand that, there’s a whole new way of life peeping through. Did you see the fish in Venice’s canals, clean for the first time in a very long while? That the Earth can start to recover is the best of good news.

On another level this situation is the inevitable conclusion of our own stupidity and short sight. As Joni Mitchell wrote when “they cut down all the trees and put them in a tree museum and charge the kids a dollar and a half just to see ‘em”, it’s only a matter of time before a Big Yellow Taxi takes away your old man. We have bought low-cost tat without thinking about who is being underpaid to produce it ten thousand miles to the East. Cheap labour has travelled as far East as it is possible to go. The World is round. Time to buy renewable, sustainable and local. And to consider the bereaved cows and tortured pigs and chickens concealed behind the walls of the factory farms.

On top of this we’ve voted in a series of “strong” men to make “hard” decisions on our behalf. That is “hard” decisions that mostly affect the vulnerable, the weak, the dispossessed, the homeless and the powerless. Looked at through the prism of the tao, everything is its own reverse. And these are not strong men. Bolsonaro, Orban, Trump, Putin, Erdogan, Johnson, Duterte, these are terrified men; terrified of foreigners, terrified of freedom and above all terrified of women. Why else would they think to legislate away reproductive rights? Why else would their fans threaten women with violence on or offline?

All these weak men know is deceit, force, terror and coercion. And they’re terrified of women taking power. That is women liberated by Roe vs Wade and the contraceptive pill. They think it’ll be the same violent, competitive, consumptive nonsense only in skirts. It’s time to ignore them. It’s only by cooperating and owning the interests of all as our own that we will survive.

And finally: if I’m so smart why didn’t I see this coming? Well I did. Up to a point. I have been forecasting the 2020 meltdown for a dozen years. I didn’t see it as a function of a virus but the Feng Shui Diaries on my website are a matter of record. And right now Sheila and I are pretty much self-sufficient because we have been gently buying for several months all the things people are fighting over in the stores. We even have plenty of toilet paper because – for all the right reasons – we recently joined the “Give a Crap” environmental group. This is the Tao.

It may also be why ahead of all the government announcements we didn’t get on our plane to Gran Canaria for our first holiday in years last Saturday. Indeed our timing may have been perfect enough to have been covered by insurance. And now I’m unexpectedly both on holiday and under (voluntary) house arrest and have time to write this.

My point is this: as Nate Silver makes clear in “The Signal and the Noise”, a forecast is different from a prediction in that it needs only to be 70% correct. The value of forecasting the weather, earthquakes, financial collapse or plagues of frogs is in the 30%. It’s in what can be done to mitigate or prevent. That’s why we draw up a Qi Men Pan. That’s why we do ba zi and feng shui: to forestall difficulty not to predict it. Which can be easily forgotten.

We will get through this and the world will be a different place. The old normal is gone. Make way for the new one. It’s all too easy to predict accidents and hideousness, the Chinese Masters tend to revel in them. And frankly prediction is so close to creation; let’s not. We are so much more powerful than we think.
Richard Ashworth 17th March 2020.
Back when things were normal – last week – I was due to be addressing the Feng Shui Society Conference in May. Normal is no more, so do stay in touch with them. Thanks.