The Snake in the Year of the Earth Dog 2018

February 18, 2018

Snake 2018

Who is a Snake?

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

What is a Snake?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Richard Ashworth©
www.imperialfengshui.info

The Dragon in the Year of the Earth Dog 2018

February 17, 2018

Dragon 2018

Who is a Dragon?

Years:  1940, 1952, 1964, 1976, 1988, 2000, 2012.
Month*:  April
Hour: 07:00 am – 09:00 am
Day: ask us
* Caution: the start of the Dragon month can be as early as the 4th & as late as the 6th, depending on the year. I can let you know this too. 

What is a Dragon?

The Dragon is yang earth, the most egotistical of the branches as well as being generally considered the most powerful. Putting aside conventional rules of animal compatibility, everyone is either fascinated by the Dragon or suspicious. Many are both.

Though charming and affable, like the Pig, the Horse and the Rooster, the Dragon suffers the self clash which makes him unsuited to working with his peers. Dragons often live alone and enjoy their own company. Sometimes they claim to, even when they don’t. Often what he experiences as joy is a subtle experience that others find puzzling. The shamelessly extrovert Horse for instance, can consider the Dragon a high maintenance prima donna. Even the Dragon’s ally the Monkey, contrasts his own goonish delights with the impassive Dragon and can often make little sense of it.

And yet the Dragon delivers. Sometimes awkward and gauche, the Dragon can appear incompetent and yet still win. The steadfast Dog whose workings always lead to a logical answer can find this very tedious and may sabotage the Dragon. Put simply the Dog thinks the Dragon goes on a bit. The Ox and the Sheep share something of this attitude but are more passive about it.

The Chinese ideogram for thunder is a Dragon under a raincloud. And all over the world rainclouds speak of plenty; drenched is good if you’re looking for growth. Water makes for the abundance and nourishment of Wood. The Dragon month is April, the time of sudden change and indeed the character of the Dragon is like the awkward times before a storm breaks.

The Dragon does not naturally co-operate or easily share confidences. He will, however, grudgingly work with those he considers his inferiors as long as they are very clear about the pecking order. This is the central weakness of the unbalanced Dragon. King Lear was a Dragon where Othello may have been a Tiger and Hamlet probably a Snake.

The Dragon’s traditional partners are the hands-on Monkey and the plotting Rat although these three may not mix socially. They need a task to cooperate around, otherwise they find it hard to connect. Socially the Dragon will seek out the Rooster and the Horse both of whom excel at pr. Alone or teamed-up, the Dragon is just as creative as he feels like being. He can instantly magic up wealth and as rapidly squander it. Neither Horse nor Rooster are much help in this regard, although a benevolent Rat and a diligent Monkey would be.

The Dragon and the Snake form the House of Magic. The Dragon is the Sorceror, the Snake his apprentice. So Merlin was a Dragon and his story illustrates the other central weakness of the Dragon: that he can be beguiled by the glamour of the Rooster. This coupling takes the Dragon off track. In a Rooster year the Dragon may forget all his carefully laid plans and go off-piste. In a Rabbit year he may have to defend himself but either is preferable to Tiger or Pig years which may have found him settling into quicksand.

Note to Employers: A Dragon employee is the best there is if the task suits him. It had better suit them because she will do precisely what she feels like either way.

Richard Ashworth©
www.imperialfengshui.info

The Rabbit in the Year of the Earth Dog 2018

February 16, 2018

Rabbit 2018

Who is a Rabbit?

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

* Caution: the start of the Chinese month can be as early as the 4th & as late as the 9th, depending on the year. I can let you know this too.

What is a Rabbit?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


Richard Ashworth
©
www.imperialfengshui.info

The Tiger in the Year of the Earth Dog 2018

February 15, 2018

Tiger 2018

Who is a Tiger?

Years:  1950, 1962, 1974, 1986, 1998, 2010.
Month*:  February
Hour: 03:00 am – 05:00 am
Day: ask us
* Caution: the start of the Chinese month can be as early as the 4th & as late as the 9th, depending on the year. I can let you know this too. 

What is a Tiger?

Because the yang wood Tiger is composed of three different elements, he is an especially versatile predator. There is nothing wrong with being a predator – the world needs predators – except that it can imply a very rigid viewpoint. Tigers often don’t play well with others, not because their egos are in the way (unlike the Dragon, the Pig, the Rooster or the Horse) but because for them, work and play are very distinct activities. They can up to a point frolic with other Tigers but broadly every alliance is focused on an outcome.

The Tiger never forgets. For the unbalanced Tiger no slight, insult or rejection can be allowed to go unredressed. He may wait a lifetime but he will get his revenge. On the other hand the balanced Tiger may go out of his way to acknowledge assistance and like the Lannister family, always repay debt.

Typical qualities of yang Wood are sharp eyes, a strong will and swift movement. The Tiger stalks his prey silently and pounces when he is ready. He can wait days as long as he is not hungry. A needy Tiger is very dangerous. Never scorn the Tiger.

The Tiger (c0nsider Metal Tiger Richard Branson) will often have a fresh view of things which makes him the eyes of the team he makes up with the Horse and the Dog. The Horse is front of house, the Dog the keeper of records and the Tiger the hit man.

In terms of human relations the Tiger may be the most yang of the animals; that is swift, sharp and unsubtle. The earth he inherits from his predecessor in the Zodiac the Ox, is turned miraculously from yin to yang when he receives it. The unbalanced Tiger knows no mercy and expects none. And in this he has altered the dogma he receives from the Ox – do as you would be done by – into a personal code. This alteration can amount to perversion and make for serious misunderstandings; the unconscious Tiger probably knows himself less well than any other animal. Which means that since our gifts are generally concealed within our lessons (themselves concealed within the heartbreaks and triumphs of the dramas we weave for ourselves) a balanced, awakened Tiger is as open, alert and self-aware as a human being can become without disappearing in a puff of smoke.

That ruthlessness however, which is sometimes worn as a badge of honour, is often simply a failure to open up to interdependence with others. Of all insults “dependent” is the worst for the Tiger. He will not depend. This makes relationship an act of will. With a true act of will, the Tiger forms the most enduring relationships. If it is not truly a choice but a resigned agreement to bend himself out of shape, all around him will distort also. Sometimes the truly unconscious Tiger thinks this reflects a merciless world in which he has been clever in getting his revenge in first. This logic doesn’t work and the smarter Tiger knows this.

But even this one is not in the clear because the corollary of foregoing revenge appears to be falling on his sword. This is a mistake too. Most of us prefer not to live by the law of the jungle but then most of us are not as well-equipped for it.

Metal is generally considered to represent logical thought, authority and competition. The wooden Tiger likes to think of himself as logical but instinctive (or even automatic) is a better description. He can only make use of Metal early on in life or at the inception of a process. After that he can deceive himself that he knows what to do and that he is beyond advice. The really unbalanced Tiger (yang wood day stem born in February for instance) considers himself bold and resolute but truly is hanging onto past (mother) stuff that ought to have been completed. The admission of this would affront his pride and he is unlikely to do it.

Metal Tiger Richard Bandler used to say that the person with the most flexible behaviour has control. The Tiger is the yangest and woodenest of the animals. He is so flexible that he can be completey immovable. This can be his role in the alliance with the Monkey, Pig and Snake sometimes called the Four Terminals.

The Monkey sells the traveller a ticket, the Pig may offer to accompany him and the Snake can enchant with tales of exotic locations but the Tiger may simply snarl and send the traveller on his way. Without the Pig in the ba zi this combination can like the Four Earths (see elsewhere for explanation), be a seriously unhelpful combination, implying restricted movement. It was very common in 2013 and again in the Year of the Fire Monkey in 2016.

A tender father and an implacable father in law, a good leader but an erratic motivator, at his worst, the keynote of the Tiger is an uneasy combination between a long memory and a short fuse. At his best he is the sort of leader any man would gladly die for.

Richard Ashworth©
www.imperialfengshui.info

The Ox in the Year of the Earth Dog 2018

February 14, 2018

Ox 2018

Who is an Ox?

Years:  1949, 1961, 1973, 1985, 1997, 2009.
Month*:  January
Hour: 01:00 am -03:00 am
Day: ask us
* Caution: the start of the Chinese month can be as early as the 4th & as late as the 9th, depending on the year. I can let you know this too. 

What is an Ox?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


Richard Ashworth
©
www.imperialfengshui.info

The Rat in the Year of the Earth Dog 2018

February 13, 2018

 

Rat 2018
Who is a Rat?
Years:  1948, 1960, 1972, 1984, 1996, 2008.
Month*:  December
Hour: 11:00 pm – 01:00 am
Day: ask us
* Caution: the start of the Chinese month can be as early as the 4th & as late as the 9th, depending on the year. I can let you know this too.

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

Richard Ashworth©
www.imperialfengshui.info

A leap in the dark: the Month of the Wood Tiger 2018

February 7, 2018

Another Monthly Bulletin in our new format; it tells you briefly how the month may turn out for you as well as where to concentrate for best outcomes. And this time, a little more about the nature of the month. There’s no actual Feng Shui Diary here. Which as it is not so time-sensitive, will be with you later in the month. Watch this space.

Meanwhile you can top up daily on Twitter (@FengShuiDiaries), LinkedIn and FaceBook. Best to like my page rather than be my friend if you’d prefer to avoid politics, rants, cute micropigs and photos of my grandchildren.

Summary: a month when patience and integrity are the central virtues.

Info, diary, assistance: sheilaashworthfengshui@gmail.com

A leap in the dark: the Month of the Wood Tiger 2018.

Bulletin for February 2018

(05:38 4th Feb to 23:25 5th March 2018 inclusive)

 Tai

—-  —-

—-  —-

—-  —-

———-

———-

———-

Peace

Hexagram 211

 

Animal by Animal

During this Wood Tiger Month,

The Rat could be startled,

The Ox can breathe again,

The Tiger may overstep,

The Rabbit consolidates;

The Dragon abbreviates,

The Snake is gentle with him or herself,

The Horse may run amok,

The Sheep is back in,

 A smarter Monkey holds back,

The Rooster risks confusion,

The Dog feels very secure,

and

The Pig is finding meaning.

 

Remember: the 4 Pillars of your ba zi relate to Year, Month, Day and Hour of birth. Each represents different aspects of your life:              

Year Animal: physicality, forebears, heritage, the obvious and immediate;

Month Animal: the work environment, education, peers, siblings, exes;

Day Animal: you and your beloved;

Hour Animal: your most intimate thoughts, children, dreams, the future.

 

A 5 month features a return to base.

A Tiger month favours the rapid advance that follows patience.

Most helpful location: South (for East Group kuas 1 3 4 9)

North East (West Group 2 6 7 8).

Favoured Animals: Tiger, Horse, Dog, Pig.

Especially challenged one way or another: Monkey, Snake, Rat, Dragon.

The Hexagram (above): Tai, Peace; Earth over Heaven. Co-operation.

A Leap in the Dark:

Animal Fortunes for the Wood Tiger Month February 2018

The 4th February brings in the Tiger month. This is lap chun, the Spring Festival. And by most accounts sometime between the 4th and the 16th of February we also enter the Year of the Earth Dog. This means that our personal Fate or Destiny as represented by our Zodiac Animals, is subject to two new and powerful influences pretty much simultaneously.

Dog and Tiger are natural team-mates. Technically they combine to make Fire along with the Horse. So this is typically a month of passion and spontaneity and all three can expect a boost of energy all year. As can the Rabbit who is the Dog’s so-called “secret friend”. Which may come as a surprise; you might expect the Rabbit to live in terror of the Dog but no, this connection is an example of the Rabbit’s networking ability. If you want a hot line to movers and shakers ask a Rabbit.

For this month however the domestically-inclined Rabbit is mostly best staying home as the Tiger’s energy is a bit fast and furious for her. The Dragon on the other hand, although challenged by the Dog can generally keep a Tiger at a distance; a fast month for you Dragons, promising acceleration in mid-year. Equally the Snake may find the Fire of the month dazzling after the clarity of January. The untimely Fire makes this a month (as well as a year) of revelations and limelight for many of us.

The Sheep and Ox are likely to be snared by what is known as the “Bullying Punishment” intermittently during the year. Both may feel a little taken for granted right now; better that than the interventions and triangular relationships that can follow in July and October. The Monkey is at odds with the Tiger at the best of times, so your best bet may be routine for now. Roosters understand neither Dog nor Tiger; theirs is a yin Metal world of precision and proportion which makes it hard to maintain that immaculate front under Fire. The position of the Pig however as secret friend of the Tiger and neighbour to the Dog makes both his year and month periods of finding direction. Few Rats on the other hand will find this a straightforward time; they’re used to talking long and hard ahead of action, while the Fire creatures Dog, Tiger and Horse think the other way round. Stand back and allow what will be to be. The only constant of course is change.

There’s much more to say; watch this space.

Richard Ashworth ©2018.

http://www.imperialfengshui.info. 

Where to be in February.

Summary: the place of creativity.

North East, Wealth Star: Year Star: 4/3 gip sat, Month Star:

8 is the best, it’s immediate and helpful. To kuas 2 6 7 & 8 in particular. Abundance is a bigger issue than money but the 8 may be the key to both. Bright light will encourage it as long as the underlying longer-term Stars are playing ball – which will be an issue related to the individual dwelling. Continues to be the location to settle in for concentration; outcome may be more commercial than usual.

Enhancement: Bright light.

Where not to be in February.

Summary: morbid all year.

Tai chi, Home: Year Star: 1/9 Month Star: 5.

For some this month may be as ferocious as the Tiger and as cantankerous as the 5 Star. Challenging. Don’t allow yourself to be marooned at the heart of the house and make it worse. A 5 in the heart of a building is only of help to very skilled Masters. The rest of us are best standing back. Don’t try this at home kids.

Solution: t’ang lung or Metal ie Metal stuff, 6-Pipe Metal Windchime, Red 6, wu lou – take your pick. Best to stay clear.

In the video I refer to remarkable anaysis of Harvey Weinstein’s ba zi by my student Seattle-based Stephanie Stewart. What drives a man like that? Now you know. Here’s the link: https://stephaniejstewart.com/harvey-weinstein-release-the-hounds/

 

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

We send out to Retainer Clients a (much) more comprehensive monthly bulletin covering in detail, the right places to be (and when) as well as helpful days Animal by Animal and much more from the Chinese calendar. It is available by subscription.

Subscriptions (and further info): Sheila@imperialfengshui.info 

And here’s the (Western Astrological) take of the very perceptive Lorna Bevan:
5D Astrology Report February 2018 Eclipsed and Uplevelled

Richard talks about 2018, the Year of the Earth Dog

February 4, 2018

Talk, Talk: the Month of the Water Rat 2017

December 8, 2017

This is the second Monthly Bulletin in our new format. It tells you briefly how the month may turn out for you as well as where to concentrate for best outcomes. And this month, a little about Remove Days and how to use them. There’s no actual Feng Shui Diary here. Which as it is not so time-sensitive, will be with you later in the month. Watch this space.
Meanwhile you can top up daily on Twitter (@FengShuiDiaries), LinkedIn and FaceBook. Best to like my page rather than be my friend if you’d prefer to avoid politics, rants, cute micropigs and photos of my grandchildren.
Info, diary, assistancesheilaashworthfengshui@gmail.com

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

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

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

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

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

Talking about 2018, The Year of the Earth Dog:

Richard Ashworth is among the most respected Western Feng Shui Masters. He has worked from the Lebanon to Bermuda, in Kuala Lumpur and Singapore and with stars such as Kelly Hoppen and Gillian Anderson. Unusually for a Western Master, he has addressed the Grand Masters at the International Feng Shui Conference in Singapore. His day job remains “walking round people’s spaces being enigmatic”.
We send out to Retainer Clients a (much) more comprehensive monthly bulletin covering in detail, the right places to be (and when) as well as helpful days Animal by Animal and much more from the Chinese calendar. It is available by subscription.
Subscriptions (and further info)Sheila@imperialfengshui.info
And here’s the (Western Astrological) take of the very perceptive Lorna Bevan: 5D Astrology Report 2018 – Matter Meets MysteryRichard Ashworth©
www.imperialfengshui.info

Golden Pig Diary: A wet day in Dublin.

November 24, 2017

The below is simply a diary entry, no places times or predictions.
From now we plan to put out one of these diaries around the middle of each month.
A bulletin that will include times, places and predictions will generally come to you at the beginning of each Chinese month.
We hope that pleases you
. Do let us know. Or not.

Golden Pig Diary: A wet day in Dublin.

Dora used to be an on-line psychic. She has hung up her crystal ball now but back in the day she was a hotline to the world of shadows. She has been my client a long time. She’s no longer young but she’s still as sharp as a Stanley knife when she chooses to be.

She lives in Shropshire. So I’m on my way to her today by way of the IQ test that is Birmingham New Street. The station is like a hall of mirrors, glass walls preventing anyone without a helicopter moving from platform to platform. I notice a coffee shop claiming their brews are “temperature profiled”. Good to know. But even if I still drank coffee, it’s tantalisingly out of reach. I find myself pressed up against a glass barrier like the cover of David Bowie’s “Lodger”. I imagine this is how a rat feels in a maze. I have ten minutes to change trains. I just make it. I guess a rat would do it quicker.

The first time Dora called me in was because she was plagued by disembodied spirits. Occupational hazard, I guess. Restless entities and unbalanced energy were her stock in trade. But it was getting uncomfortable. Could I move them out of the house? Well of course; a little mumbo jumbo and Bob’s your uncle. Two weeks later she called to complain that business was very slow.

That’s Dora.

Early in our acquaintance we established that her marriage had not been a success.

“He wasn’t kind to me,” she told me and paused a moment and sniffed. Then she made some tea and offered me a toasted teacake.

Her ba zi suggested her husband had been both unreliable and deceitful. Mo yuk over loy hong in the Day Pillar, if you understand these things. She’s been alone since she kicked him out. At first she seemed such a sad and bitter old thing but I tinkered with the house over time and made her laugh once or twice and things settled.

Frankly that wasn’t a great house, set halfway up a windswept incline and overlooking strip-mined hills. There are many such settlements along the Welsh Borders: three or four terraced Nessa-and-Stacey streets between summits limp with straggly grass and loose pebbles, the Dragon seed – loong mai – long exhausted.

Technically Dora belongs to what is called the East Group. This means she’s best suited to a house that backs onto South, North, East or South East. That house apart from anything else backed onto the North East, so it wasn’t much help. I gave her some guidance as to what to look for next: level ground, height behind, lesser height either side, open space in front and so on.

“And for you, it should face South3.”

“It should face South?”

“Yes, but a few degrees clockwise of due South.”

“That’s South West.”

“Imagine a compass broken up into twenty-four equal sections.”

She screws up her face.

“That’s not easy.”

I draw her a circle showing the twenty-four sections.

“There you are, each compass point covers three sections or “mountains”.”

She frowns.

“So South consists of South1, just anticlockwise of due South, due South (that is South2) and South3 just clockwise of due South. South 3, that’s the direction you want to face.”

“That’s South West.”

So she moved. To this nightmare. Needless to say she didn’t run it past me before she purchased. Two years on I’m down here to assess it.

She is as you may have gleaned, headstrong and er…parsimonious. And this second house (which actually faces North East) may be the worst I’ve ever seen. It’s on flat lifeless ground, plagued with maggots and stroppy neighbours. There are high windows next door which overlook her bedroom – technically Peeping Qi – and a catalogue of more subtle flaws.

“What’s wrong with it?” she asks me for the fifth time at least. She winces at the pain from recent orthodontistry following a hip operation. It wouldn’t take clairvoyance to suspect there’s a health issue here. She often appears aggressive which I put down to her various ailments. And loneliness.

“I’m sleeping in the direction you told me to,” she complains.

“I guess that’s not enough,” I say.

We sit outside in the sun, batting away horse-flies and look at the lifeless flat land stretching a dozen miles beyond her back garden. The rear of the house wants the support of height. No help there. Or anywhere.

Historically the feng shui man’s task was to place the building appropriately in the landscape. But these days of course most of my job is compensating for houses that are all wrong: a Water fountain here, a windchime there and I can make most places habitable. Not this one. As the man said, If I were you I wouldn’t start from here.

She agrees to look for another.

“South3,” I remind her. “Ding is the Chinese name. Between 187½˚ and 202½˚South, slightly West of South.”

And if it faces South of course, the walls will be oriented East, West, North and South. This will mean not only that the house suits her but that there are three supportive walls to put her bed against.

On the way back she calls again.

“I’ve found one. Can you tell me whether it’s any good from there?”

I juggle my shoulder bag and take-away tea and anchor my phone under my chin.

“If you give me enough information.”

She emails me the agents’ details. The crucial compass orientation is unclear. I’m on a Cross-Country train now consisting of four carriages holding six carriages worth of people. An indulgent ticket-inspector overlooks the fact that I’m in First Class with a 2nd–class ticket.

I examine the details and, signal alternately surging and flatlining, I look on Google maps.

“Could be facing South or South West,” I tell Dora. “I can only be sure onsite.”

“I’ll measure it,” she says. She knows I will charge her half a day if I have to come down to the Marches again.

“Fine. You have a box compass?”

“What do you mean?”

“A compass with a square edge.”

“I’ll get one.”

She rings again. I coach her through a compass reading.

“It’s South West,” she says firmly.

“What’s the compass reading?”

“West of South. That’s South West,” she says defiantly.

“The actual number.”

“192 degrees.”

“That’s South3. The front will be North3 ie 12 degrees North.”

“Is that what I want?”

There’s more; it faces open ground. There’s height behind and a little to either side and the rooms are apportioned nicely.

“I can’t be sure without looking at it onsite but from what you’ve told me it’s pretty much perfect.”

“I’ll go and check.”

Next day I fly to Dublin, one of my favourite cities. But not when it’s raining. I walk from my hotel to the residential area South of the city where I’m going to be working. The gutters are literally flooded – five or six inches of water on the pavement. My client is in a bad way, depressed, anxious and in physical pain and suddenly my wet foot doesn’t seem so important. I rarely make promises but she called because she’s read my book, the Feng Shui Diaries and thinks I may be able to help her.

The house is quite tricky, especially this year but there are decent flying stars – that is pockets of energy – to work with. And she’s very stuck. But there’s a magical moment when we talk about her past and how the house relates to it and we can both begin to see the way through.

“Seen through the prism of the tao, everything is for learning and everything in our life is chosen.”

“Hmm,” she says but I can see it’s rung a bell.

“Which means that pretty much anything we’ve chosen – pain, stuckness, frustration, misfortune – can be unchosen. On one level all feng shui is simply a mechanism for re-choosing. That’s the upside, the downside is that we have to own that we’ve made some pretty poor decisions.”

“Yeah, I can see that.”

“And almost nothing’s fixed in stone.”

She’s going to need more; I outline the he tu journeys round the house and identify spots to work and rest. She’s so restless, returning to a computer game on her phone once in a lull. She’s not sleeping well so I address that.

“People aren’t woken by thoughts but by feelings. We are feeling creatures. If you wake in the night, sit up in bed and take two deep breaths. And feel whatever’s there. Make no attempt to heal it or make it better, to understand it or work it out. Just breathe.”

I’m walking back with my wheelie and shoulder bag. It’s raining hard. I’m on the route of the Air Coach back to the airport and I stop at a bus shelter. They’re every half hour and there’s one due now but my outstretched arm is not assertive enough to get the driver’s attention. Another half hour to wait. And I’m quite wet. I can see my reflection in the glass of the bus time table; I’m overdue for a haircut and in this state I look like a bedraggled Balkan dictator.

So I stumble into a coffee shop (Insomnia – not such a great name for a chain of coffee shops) and drip dry. No temperature profiling as far as I can see. Maybe the technology hasn’t made it to Ballsbridge. Anyway I’m drinking tea. My phone goes. Dora.

“I’ve measured it.”

“And?”

“192 degrees.”

“Brilliant. Well done.”

“That’s South West.”

Richard Ashworth © 2017

We send out a comprehensive monthly bulletin covering in detail, the right places to be (and when) as well as helpful days Animal by Animal and much more from the Chinese calendar to my Retainer Clients. It is also available by subscription.
Subscriptions (and further info): Sheila@imperialfengshui.info

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

Richard Ashworth©

www.imperialfengshui.info