Posts Tagged ‘2018’

Peak pique: the Month of the Water Dog 2018

October 7, 2018
Peak pique: the Month of the Water Dog 2018.
Feng Shui Bulletin for October 2018
(17:36pm 8th October to 20:54pm 7th November 2018 inclusive)

Bo
———-
—-  —-
—-  —-
—-  —-
—-  —-
—-  —-
Stripping
Hexagram 23

Animal by Animal
During this Water Dog Month,
The Rat is blocked,
The Ox is out on a limb,
The less-thoughtful Tiger limbers up,
The Rabbit pursues advantage,
The Dragon is watchful,
The rash Snake cruises,
The Horse bounds,
The Sheep seeks mediation,
 Monkeys misses the joke,
The Rooster preens,
The Dog blocks,
while
The Pig waits some more.

Remember: Each Pillar of your ba zi represents an aspect of your life:
Year Animal       physicality, heritage, the obvious & immediate;
Month Animal    work environment, education, peers, siblings, exes;
Day Animal:         you and your beloved;
Hour Animal:       intimate thoughts, children, dreams, the future.

6 Metal month is about authority, earned and otherwise.
A Dog month about persistence or obstinacy, depending on standpoint.
Most helpful location: West.
Least helpful location: North.
Favoured Animals: Tiger, Horse, Dog, Rabbit.
Especially challenged: Rooster, Dragon, Rat, Monkey, Sheep, Ox.
The Hexagram (above): Bo Stripping, Mountain over Earth, limited support.

Peak pique: Dog Month, Dog Year.

S

5      1      3
4      6      8
9      2      7

Water Dog Month

I was at a local planning meeting this week, mostly a torches and pitchforks affair concerning a proposed massive development. This is SW Surrey and the room was full of money. Nothing brings out the middle-class like a threat to house values. And to be fair, many in the room brought more than nimbyism to the party. But what was being summoned and what will dominate October was the dead hand of entitlement.

Dogs (1946, 1958, 1970, 1982, 1994, October & mid-evening births) are stubborn, as Mrs Trump can tell you, no matter how wrong they are.

Three of the last four US Presidents have been Dogs – all but Obama (obviously), grizzled 1946 Fire Dogs.  And they won’t let go. Some would call this white male privilege but equally obviously not all Dogs are any of those things. But they cling on. That’s the central theme of this month, like this year: power that won’t let go. It’s wrapped up with #metoo and the bonkersness of #Brexit of course and the obscenities of human-caused human misery in the Yemen and Myanmar but essentially this month features power that is being challenged and won’t listen.

The Dog is solid and doesn’t easily soften. That’s the pattern of the Kavanaugh hearings; privilege that doesn’t know how out of date or fragile it is. And this month, remember is a Dog month in a Dog year. Peak Dog.

Watch for these dynamics at work – is your management past its sell-by date? – at home – how Edwardian, bless them, are your male relatives? You might perhaps remind them that the last Edward to sit on the throne abdicated in 1936. In our most intimate relationships to what extent are we taking up age-old roles that are out of shelf life?

Technically the Dog is yang Earth by the way and yang Earth characteristics are obviously useful in context. Many 1958 Earth Dogs are powerful businesswomen perhaps because of the very fact that in a male-dominated world they refuse to give up. Fire Dog David Bowie’s longevity as an icon was the envy of his peers, as was that of 1958 Earth Dog Prince. Computer tycoon Bill Gates has Dogs deep in his ba zi also.

Two more things you need to know about this month: one is that the magic square or lo shu has at its centre a Star. The – you guessed it – is the number of the Father, God and Authority, a trinity of symbols lodged pretty close together in most of our psyches. All of which suggests reinforcement of the main theme. Chinese Masters might add that the central Star of the lo shu equally represents capital cities and head offices and indeed the North West. Ken Loach’s new film Peterloo – concerning a popular uprising about social conditions in Manchester, capital of the industrial North West, early in the 19th century – looks extraordinarily timely. Trouble at ’mill this month maybe, that is to ay civil disobedience.

The other thing you may need reminding of is that the Dog fosters proxy conflicts. Current examples include the one between the Saudis and Iran all across the Middle East and the many worldwide between Russia and the USA of which Syria is the most obvious.

Again this dynamic may show up closer to home. Best to be aware of our true motives in any dispute, especially when we are defending a friend or offspring. This will apply most to Sheep (1943, 1945, 1957, 1969, 1981, 1993, July and mid-afternoon births)) and Oxen (1949, 1961, 1973, 1985, 1997, January and births between 1 & 3am).

This is peak Dog. Peak peak Dog, if you like, will tend to come with Ox and Sheep days the 12th, the 18th, and most particularly the 24th of this month. These promise the most stubborn blockages and immovability of all sorts. Try to remember there’s no point pushing locked doors.

But you can seek a Dragon. Dragons are the solution. For which read intuitive and non-linear behaviour as well as Dragon Days (15th and 27th) when solutions may be suddenly obvious and actual Dragons (1940, 1952, 1964, 1976, 1988, 2000, 7-9am, April) in person. These days (and these people) will tend to offer solutions. Otherwise the classical solution would probably be to locate important negotiation South East. Best to know you don’t know and remain very open; as they say, approach the Buddha with an empty rice bowl or as the Tao Te Ching has it: “Solidity is an advantage but it is emptiness that makes a space useful.”

And finally: no astrological analysis will ever do any of us full justice. We always have choice and ultimately nothing can be done to any of us, however unrealistic that may seem. We’re all aware that blame (whether of Dogs, Sheep, Oxen, Dragons or of pundits like me who may cross a line) disempowers us. But we may not understand why.

It may be that blame simply deprives us of power. The delusion that someone else has agency over our problems clearly means that we don’t. And this word agency is the key. There are no coincidences, country and western songs or irony in real life. There is simply choice.

You don’t have to agree of course and there are alternative views running from God’s Will to chaos theory, but it seems to me that I am responsible for my life – not Dogs, Sheep, Oxen or Dragons, though they are helpful guideposts on the way. And for that reason and others I’m running a Transformational Workshop this month (Godalming, the weekend of the 20th/21st  October).

The workshop is as you would expect rooted in Chinese Astrology because that’s what I know, but the map is not, as they say, the territory and the subtext is Reclaiming our Agency. There are just a couple of places left; if you’d like to join us, email Sheila at sheilaashworthfengshui@gmail.com for details.

There’ll be some radical ideas, some very ancient ones, many from the millennia-long legacy of Chinese thought but some equally old from closer to home. Some will be challenging and some simply comforting but mostly it’ll be an opportunity to peel back the layers of busyness, hurry and worry and return to daily life refreshed, relaxed and relieved. You’ll laugh, you’ll cry; you may even hurl.

To summarise, the conflicts of this disputatious month are not solved by logic or reason but they can be solved. And if noting all these dates is too much like hard work, by the way, all you need do is follow my Tweets (@FengShuiDiaries) Have fun.

Richard Ashworth ©2018.
http://www.imperialfengshui.info

Where to be in October.
Summary: manifestation.
West, InterventionYear Star: 2 Month Star: 8.
For cash flow the usual advice is to follow the 8s and 9s with bright light. Be sure that the location is not otherwise compromised but during October the West is the place for girl talk, a glass or two of a decent wine and a wind-down, setting up success in whatever project is focused upon. All such activity will tend to encourage the 8 Star to deliver, as will Fire in the form of bright light.
To boost: Fire, that is bright light.

Where not to be in October.
Summary: hazardous.
North, Future: Year Star:monthly & annual san sha, wu huang Month Star:2
The visiting 2 and san sha make this area hazardous for women in particular ie the obverse of last month. If you work, sleep or linger here your health and productivity may suffer; your acupuncturist will confirm that kidney – the engine-room of energy creation – and ears may be the most vulnerable. Stay out!
Mitigate: t’ang lung only.
Richard Ashworth ©2018.
http://www.imperialfengshui.info

Richard Ashworth is among the most respected Western Feng Shui Masters. He 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. His day job remains “walking round people’s spaces being enigmatic”.

Every month we send paying subscribers 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)Sheila@imperialfengshui.info

Richard Ashworth©
www.imperialfengshui.info

Transformation with Richard Ashworth – Just a Few Days to Go!

July 28, 2018
Just a few places left…
If you are planning to attend the Transformational Workshop, there are only a few days left to take advantage of the £50 deposit offer.

The deposit will hold your place at £350* (details below).
After 1st August the cost will be £400.
Please email me at sheilaashworthfengshui@gmail.com to book.

Transformational Group Workshop with Richard Ashworth.
October 20th/21st, Godalming.

“One day when you conquer yourself and return to true order, the whole world will revert to humanity.Liu I-Ming, The Taoist I Ching” translated by Thomas Cleary.

Chinese healers have been using the ba zi or Four Pillars of Destiny to loosen stuckness, soothe emotional pain and re-set life paths for around two thousand years. I’ve only been doing it for around twenty.

Those twenty years however have enough for me to conclude that it’s the most powerful healing tool I have ever encountered. What I mean by “healing” is the solving of a spectrum with blockages, upset and stuckness at one end and performance enhancement at the other. Actual physical change is of course unusual, at least in the short term. But transformation, that is to say the road that was blocked suddenly and without reason becoming clear is common.

How is it done?

The answer is that the ba zi is a snapshot of the wu xing or Elements – Wood, Water, Fire, Earth, Metal – prevailing at our moment of birth. Because these Elements are overlapping and changing all the time, their cycles can be tracked. It appears that if we can track the cycle, we can influence its course.

Which tends to reveal moments of decision. We are making tens of thousands of decisions every day. And my field work suggests that some of them are clunkers. We so often take a left turn when we might perhaps have gone right or straight ahead and sometimes there are massive consequences. Which is why I sometimes call the ba zi a map of our most likely mistakes.

From where I’m sitting – which you don’t have to agree with, of course – pretty much everything is a choice. And because the gan zhi Cycles of Elements can be in effect wound backwards or forward like the mileometer of car, the ba zi can identify moments of choice: both the helpful and the not so much. And if we can identify a choice we can very often re-choose and reclaim heartbreaks, forgive, mend and get out of our own way. Which can free us to aim for the stars.

You’ll know I expect that I have drafted thousands of these things. I’ve written tens of thousands of words on the subject. I have not however for some while hosted a group intent upon transformation by way of the ba zi.

I am inviting you to join just such a group for a weekend in October. No promises but I’ve got a bit of a track record in this area and the ba zi boasts two thousand years.

There are 20 places maximum in the group and like all our workshops it’ll only take place if the universe appears to want it. It’ll cost you £400 for the two days unless you catch the Early Bird Offer of £350 which expires August 1st. A non refundable deposit of £50 now will be enough to secure your place at that price, the balance is due by the 20th September 2018.

It’s non-residential and will take place in or near Godalming but further details can be obtained from sheilaashworthfengshui@gmail.com

I hope to see you,

Best,
Richard.

Richard Ashworth Feng Shui Diary: Inconstant Moon

May 17, 2018

Inconstant Moon.
“They tell you happiness is an achievable ambition.” Granola Suicide, Consumerist Healthcare” from “Skipping Breakfast”.

Early March; Water Snake Day, (still) Tiger Month, Dog Year, Full Moon.

Everyone knows that the Chinese New Year falls on February 4th. Everyone that is except the Chinese. As it happens, sometimes they down tools and party half-way through January and it can be as late as mid-February. This awkward irregularity is because their New Year is calculated not from the gan zhi cycle of Chinese Animals but like Easter – around a month from now as I write – by a combination of lunar and solar calendars. That is to say it is like Easter, an astrological computation.

The only constant is change which means that everything there is is either growing or decaying. That which is, in Bob Dylan’s words, not busy being born is busy dying; people, beasts, plants, rocks, planets, digestive biscuits, everything. Every minute, every hour brings change and so the Dragon dance has to fall on the right day if it is to bring in what the New Year offers. Many Chinese Masters publish extensive lists of which rituals to perform over the following few days. Getting it right matters. Some would say the timing makes or breaks the year. It’s pretty much literally life and death.

Last night the Arran wind was wild and in the light of a Full Moon blurred by clouds, the breakers were like white spears as they crested and fell. I love a gale but truth to tell, once or twice I was almost bowled over. Walking along the Brodick seafront was like pushing an icy wall and the gust is still sharp against my cheeks this morning as I take the Fisherman’s Path by the water’s edge. My feet slosh and slurp where the Water has settled on the causeway.

I’m listening to Indigo Faelan Azidahaka a.k.a Granola Suicide’s Skipping Breakfast, aching music about the experience of the young, homeless and gender-free. It’s not expert and it’s lo-fi, so you can hear breathing and the squeak of fingers moving on frets. But it’s so real. There’s no pretence here. And one more thing – there’s something I can only call faith in these songs. And I’m not sure that’s what was intended. Which makes the unpolished harmony of the double-tracked voice all the more touching.

The waves aren’t so turbulent this morning but I have to stop short and turn around after a while because great rafts of the causeway have submerged overnight. This exceptionally deep water is the “spring” tide of the Full Moon. My DMs will withstand a couple of inches but the planks are twice that deep. I look across the bay at the dock. It’s empty. There’ll be no ferries today.

Both lunar and solar calendars mark time that is distinct from the Gregorian calendar. The central purpose of that notional ordering of things in which January and October have thirty-one days and November thirty which is employed from London to Ulan Bator, is simply to make sure we all agree what day it is. If you and I set up a meeting for say Tuesday March 21st we want to be sure I don’t arrive on Wednesday 22nd and you on Monday 20th.  Which could be disappointing. But those numbers, 21st 22nd 20th are lifeless; the Gregorian calendar is no use in identifying real time, a real moment. There is nothing absolute about September, April, June and November having thirty days or February twenty eight. The lunar and solar calendars however take us away from such strictly notional timing into more natural rhythms, the gan zhi cycle takes us even further.

This search for real time by way of Sun and Moon and planets has some history of course. And not just in Asia; here in the Western Isles, there’s a longer tradition than most and it’s tied up with the meaning of resurrection and the promises of Christ. To Columba and the Celtic Saints who preached here, correct ritual and timing were more than life or death, they were what ensured redemption and the forgiveness of sin. These missionaries to the Scots, the Britons and the Anglo-Saxons believed that a soul could only be made safe by the grace of Jesus Christ and that it was their duty to let all those in possession of a soul know of this special arrangement. Resurrection of the body is a pretty big deal and like the Chinese New Year it entailed celebration in the right way at the right time.

I’ve been studying the “mysterious doors” of Qi Men Dun Jia. These doors can locate an individual advantageously in space and time or to all intents and purposes disappear them altogether. Qi men starts with the gan zhi cycle, factors in Sun and Moon and the directional implications of feng shui and more that I have not yet mastered.

Before leaving for Arran to begin my research for her I looked at my client Barbara squarely and told her:

“If this works I want all the credit and if it doesn’t, it had nothing to do with me.”
She looked back equally squarely and laughed.
“How are you going to do it?”
“I don’t know yet. Method is only a platform.”

Gavin who runs the little boarding house next to my cottage, is out walking his Lhasa Apsos across the beach. He trained as a ballet dancer, he tells me. And he is banned from two of the six pubs in Brodick. Those are facts that don’t obviously gel. He’s a gentle man who does a mean service wash btw. Lent is no time to get thrown out of pubs, I tell him.

I’m deep into a phone conversation with my youngest son Joey. His band itoldyouiwouldeatyou have a new single out, it’s about the rights of the defenceless to defend themselves. His concerts are intended to be a safe place for the gender-neutral like Indigo. He tells me gender is over and he’s curious as to my take on Jordan Peterson who’s become notorious for resisting non-binary pronouns.

“I can’t argue with his reasoning,” I say, “But I’m not sure he’s wise or kind.”

Joey’s concern is that wisdom and kindness are not priorities to the half-baked alt-righters who quote Peterson to justify all sorts of nastiness. We agree that we can’t blame Peterson for this any more than we can blame Nietszche for Hitler. But Peterson’s card is now marked.

Thwarted by the Water I walk back to the main road via the smaller of Brodick’s two Co-ops where I buy a still-fresh-but-best-before sandwich.

At first I did not sleep well here in my cottage overlooking the bay. On that first night, after eight hours of travel I rushed to bed without consideration of time and space. As you do. And awoke sluggish.
The next morning my luo p’an (or Chinese compass) showed that my head had been pointing West all night, a poor orientation for me at any time. I realised also that there was a broadband router plugged into the wall next to the bed. If we are paying attention, we feel these things. Although I’ll need the internet from time to time, I have disconnected it pro tem and moved the room around. The wall-mounted reading lamps look eccentric now, marooned opposite the bed like hunting trophies.

And I can feel a cat in the cottage somewhere. Not that that’s a problem, I’m fond of cats. Richard Bach wrote once that we always have the same cats and dogs. They follow us from incarnation to incarnation, he reckoned. This one appears to come and go through closed doors, sometimes it rubs against my leg, at other times I simply smell musk. My own cat Lyra died suddenly last year; I like Bach’s idea but I know this cat is not her.

Last night I was invited to dinner with Gavin’s parents who own my cottage. We shared some Arran malt whisky and an excellent vegetable curry with perfect fluffy rice. You can tell a lot about a man by how he cooks rice.

I know Don and June from pioneering spiritual work we did together a quarter century ago. Once bonded, such a connection fades very slowly, it’s as if I last saw them yesterday. They are admirable people, good-hearted, generous and rooted in community and family. We talked mostly politics and children; they have three compared to my six and there was plenty to talk about.

Don asked me about the feng shui of the cottage and I told them how I have moved the bedroom around. He explained that when they came to Arran there was an ancient chalet where the cottage now stands.

“Leaking and falling down,” he says. “We demolished it and started all over again.”

Barbara wants the means to change the world for the better and she has very specific plans. My feng shui has already sold for her houses that had refused to budge. And more. That’s why she’s commissioned me.

“Just tell me what to do,” she asked.
“I can only do that up to a point,” I said, “The only constant is change. Beyond that there are no rules.”
“That sounds like a Chinese fortune cookie.”
“Surprise, surprise.”

The faith of the Celtic Saints was powerful enough to draw them across the stormy Irish Sea first to Iona and Arran and Eigg, Uist and Skye and then to the Scottish mainland and thence to England where they could expect to be greeted by murderous heathen Picts and Anglo-Saxons and lapsed post-Roman Britons, all of whom were at each other’s throats with a savagery unmitigated by respect for the immortal soul. This was the 6th century, the darkest of the Dark Ages. These were brave men.

“Skipping Breakfast” is still playing on my phone and I’m considering whether the coastal path is deliberately positioned to be swamped from time to time, when the music is paused by a call from David. Despite my headphones it’s quite hard to hear him against the roar of the wind.
David has been through a decade of hell, domestic, financial, professional and other. Before I left I positioned him very carefully facing due South.
“Sit there, do whatever comes up. Do nothing important anywhere else.”

This is the second time I’ve given him this kind of advice; last time he wrote a book, his first which was snapped up by an agent, then by a publisher and now he tells me, by Hollywood. He’s called to thank me. He asks what I’m doing in the Hebrides. I explain that I am in pursuit of real time. He knows better than to question me as to what that means.

David’s home is in rural Herefordshire where the A-roads are B-roads and a “neighbour” may actually live ten miles away. That’s just how he likes it and it helps him understand why I’ve chosen the emptiness of Arran to take stock.

Those ten years of upset culminated in a separation. In the South West of his garden a lifesized statue of  Hestia stands. The Roman Goddess representing all the qualities David’s unhappy wife could not finally be at ease with, was placed there to relieve her misery. I don’t think she ever really got his brilliance and now I hear in his voice a man freed of that weight. A Rabbit and therefore traditionally a networker, David has over the years recommended me to many of his friends and associates.

Feng shui, you might say concerns the Cycles of Space where ba zi concerns those of Time. As well as the gan zhi cycle and the wu xing or “Five Elements” (Water, Wood, Fire, Earth and Metal) feng shui is of course itself rooted in the cycles of Sun and Moon. One of David’s friends – also with relationship problems – asked me once how a relatively sane, relatively educated person like myself could believe in astrology. Surely such a belief is irrational?

“I don’t believe in astrology, any more than I believe in nuclear fission or capillary action,” I replied. “These are simply things I need to respect in order to navigate my way through life. If I don’t for instance, respect gravity, I’m liable to fall over a lot.”

Furthermore, if the Moon’s phases are coincident with the way plants and animals behave and with a woman’s menstrual cycle, quite apart from tides, it is rash to write off the possibility that larger heavenly bodies, however far away have other effects.

“Astrology,” I suggested,” Is not disproven but unproven. And it’s actually unscientific to discount it.”

And so if real time is a discoverable thing whether we seek the perfect moment or the imitation of Christ, it must take account of the influences of the physical universe. St Columba, for his part was pretty sure that sharing the passion of Christ was the only way to be saved.

Like most of his friends, David is a churchgoer but his book is not in any sense devotional nor is it history. It’s semi-autobiographical, essentially advice for his kids, wise throughout, often screamingly funny. It’s what came out of him when I pointed him in the right direction from the right location at the right time. Manifesting by tapping into creative energy with precise timing and placing is something I do all the time. This is feng shui. But it can be hit or miss and what Barbara wants is more than that.

Since the causeway is flooded, I’m walking the perimeter of the bay now. The road is narrow as I leave the built-up area and the pavement runs out. The road begins to wind and becomes narrower again, so I need to be aware of the traffic; there’s a near-miss with a camper van. I come to a small cemetery from which there’s a startling view across the sound to Merkland Point where the land runs into the sea. And I sit on a mossy wall and eat my slightly soggy sandwich. The tombstones have names like Currie, Mackinnon and Bannatyne. The dates go back into the 18th century but there’s not a single Hamilton. Those’ll be buried on the higher ground by the castle, I guess.

“Skipping,” I have learned is the practice of raiding skips outside supermarkets for wasted food; the cover of Skipping Breakfast shows Indigo aboard just such a skip. I guess that’s where my Co-Op sandwich would have gone had I not intervened. Many supermarkets apparently put bleach on leftover food to discourage the homeless and the hungry.

From the time the Roman legions left in 410 AD, Christian worship was pretty much extinguished throughout Britannia . But somehow by way of St Patrick, a British nobleman taken by Irish slavers from the Northern Cornish coast a few years later, Christianity got to Ireland. And by 563 the Irish prince Colm Cille known to us as Saint Columba, was ready to return the favour, landing on the tiny island of Iona, from whence he proceeded to spread the gospel all over the Inner Hebrides which of course included Holy Isle off Lamlash Bay just a couple of miles South of me here.

A generation after his own landfall Columba sent his kinsman Aidan across country to found a similar mission at Lindisfarne which lay just off the coast of the kingdom of Northumbria, in the extreme North East of England. The King of Northumbria at that time was Oswald, known as Shining Arm or White Arm for his dazzling skill as a warrior.

Lindisfarne was just a beginning. It’s a fact that over the next couple of centuries Celtic missionaries founded churches as far away as Turin and Kiev. It’s also a fact that the bloodthirsty habits of their patrons didn’t necessarily change along with a change of worship. That white arm of Oswald’s would need rinsing of blood many times after his conversion.

It’s also a fact that Columba’s Ionan style of Christianity was in its turn pretty much extinguished throughout the British Isles within a couple of generations as well. Because meanwhile back in Rome, Pope Gregory I was sending St Augustine to convert the Anglo-Saxon Kingdom of Kent in the South East of England to the Roman way. Once this task had been accomplished in 597, further representatives of Roman orthodoxy were to be despatched to the West and North of Britannia with the same objective. In time they collided with the Irish proceeding South and East.

Here’s the thing: the beliefs of each group were equally rigid but their ideas of orthodoxy and correct ritual were very different. Both considered themselves the preservers of the true message and there was not room for two of these.

I’m walking back towards Brodick now, past the castle with its Victorian ice-house and sculpted gardens set on the commanding heights. Except for the conifers blocking the open space between castle and sound, this is excellent feng shui. I’m cold so I stop for a cup of tea at the Douglas where Gavin is seated at a table with his Lhasa Apsos enjoying a pint of Joker. He offers me one. Feeling a bit of a tightarse, I stick with my tea.

Oswald died in battle not long after his conversion. The trunk of his corpse was separated from his famous white arms – the bones became holy relics – and his head impaled on a stake outside the village in North Wales which in time became Oswestry or “Oswald’s Tree”. Grisly, but nothing he wouldn’t himself have done had he won that last battle. His skull became a relic too.

The Wood Rat AD 664 was the year the two groups of saints met for adjudication at what is known to history as the Synod of Whitby. This is one of a trio of facts generally known about this otherwise relatively obscure Northern seaside town, the others being that it was Dracula’s landing place as well as ground zero for a vast number of fish.

The representatives of Rome were outraged by what was called the “Devil’s Tonsure”; the forehead area of the Irish monks was shaved and the rest of the hair gathered into a ponytail, making them look more like death metallers than like Friar Tuck. There are reasons to suppose that druids had been coiffed in exactly this manner. And there were question marks around the rapidity of the Irish conversion; an entire land had been redeemed inside a century. Perhaps Christianity grafted a little too easily onto pagan practices. It’s certainly true that new churches had been established on existing holy sites in Ireland, something the Pope had expressly forbidden. And there are those who see in the Celtic tradition of the Three Daughters of Dagda the antecedents of a holy trinity that has entered Christianity by some route other than the New Testament. They were all called Bridget by the way. Which if not suspicious is at least not imaginative. And how did Patrick get rid of all those snakes? And then there was the timing of Easter.

The mediator Oswiu, Oswald’s brother as well as successor, later achieved the remarkable feat for a Dark Ages monarch of dying of natural causes. Which may be why on the other er…hand, his arms and head never gained the cachet of his brother’s.

The true er…bone of contention at Whitby was that the two factions calculated Easter differently and no missionary of either persuasion could tolerate the possibility that they were sharing the final passion of Christ on the wrong day. Over time ritual can become empty but both factions believed that getting it right would duplicate the taste, the feel, the nature of that passion. That’s quite a thing.

The Chinese word is qi.

Which is where these notions begin to tie up; the ba zi or “Four Pillars” are a snapshot of the prevailing qi at any given moment. This is the same word as the “qi” in Qi Men Dun Jia which takes the Four Pillars of ba zi as its base and then attempts to account for wider influences starting with Sun and Moon. Qi is generally translated “energy” but makes more sense as “taste” “feel” or “nature”.

I would not have taken up Barbara’s challenge had her own ba zi not been an extraordinary one, speaking of an unusual ability to pounce upon opportunity. I’ve seen this pattern before – I’ve drafted thousands of these things – but never one quite as emphatic. And a strong ba zi gives birth to a strong Qi Men chart. David’s is not unlike hers but it’s more encumbered. Which would come as no surprise to him.

Time has passed and the world has become a different place since David’s first book, so where I have placed him this time is not quite the same: not simply facing South but also glued to his dining room in the Southern part of his home. Out of this window he can pick up on the Fire energy of the South. He can also not help seeing Hestia in the South West.

He’s located here now because the Fire is favourable to him and South being the direction of the Sun, is its source. He is literally in his Element. Cautionary note: Fire does not mean wealth or success for everybody.

But it does mean those things for David and apart from selling the film rights on the first book, he has now written several thousand words of a new one. And overseen by Hestia he’s pulled off a deal that will fund him meanwhile.

At Whitby the Irish were represented by Aidan’s successor, Colman, a simple devout priest; Rome by the wily Wilfrid, twenty or so years younger, ambitious, hungry and a more flexible debater. Rome owned both the history and the future of course. And the Pope. It was always a long shot for the Irish.

First of all, Colman couldn’t speak Anglo-Saxon. Second, Oswy’s wife was a Kentish princess who was probably fed up with fasting when her husband was feasting and vice-versa because they had been calculating the days of Lent that lead up to Easter differently. And thirdly, any trailing edges to the dispute were likely to be settled at sword point.

So Oswy found for Rome. Which may have contributed to his peaceful exit.

I sit with Gavin for a while by the bar at the Douglas and he tells me about his lost love.

“Czech,” he says. He lived with her in a village outside Prague for a while. “We could argue,” he says, sounding like argument is a competitive team game. Like a verbal three-legged race.

The little dogs snuggle against his legs in turn as he opens up. He’s a sweet man and his heart is broken.

I suggest he returns to the Czech Republic maybe.

“Maybe,” he says, stroking an Apso and lifting his glass in salute. As I rise, three pairs of eyes look up at me with the same gently pleading look.

The Moon is still almost full as I walk back up the steps of the snicket to my cottage, the cloud thinner and the Moon brighter but the wind still harsh. I notice that in a garden next to the narrow path there appears to be an avocado tree. Is this a miracle of the Gulf Stream? More likely a rhododendron I guess.

As I climb I’m thinking of Colm Cille on his knees in his tiny cell on windswept Iona and wondering if the saint who put shrines and chapels on so many of these islands, was aware of what would happen when his teachings hit the Roman buffer. And I’m thinking of David tapping into the Sun while he tries to keep his gaze off Hestia and I’m thinking of Gavin in his cups. I don’t know about prayer practice but I do know that Indigo dreams of simply waking up one morning with “two parents a brother and a dog.” And perhaps a sandwich before its sell-by date.

If you subscribe to these things, Christ is reckoned to have risen on the 16th day of Nisan, the Sunday following the Jewish feast of the Passover; that is to say the first Sunday following the first full moon after the vernal equinox. Like the Chinese New Year, the date is a combination of solar and lunar timing; actually what we might call an astrological formula.

The Chinese are very practical people for the most part and the meticulous timing of the Dragon Dance of the New Year is to equip them to profit from the newborn qi of the year. But Jesus’ mission as I understand it was a much bigger one, to heal the hurt, the heartbroken, the hungry, the hapless and the homeless, the scrapers and the skippers. He would take on the sins of the world, apparently. Being 100% innocent he could say: “Lay the burden on me, there’s no need to blame or suffer any more. Your souls are saved.” Everyone could take a deep breath and start again. And he was apparently just a bloke; he had no free ticket. That’s a hell of a job description. To truly share that experience is a bit of a mind-blower. And of course the world was off the rails again by Monday morning.

Columba and Gregory’s quest was almost as ambitious: to redeem souls in His name. And it was not only early missionaries who were prepared to kill each other over timing: Greek and Russian churches dispute the dating of Easter to this day. To shorten a long story, real time mattered because it was how the experience was re-created. And to many of the faithful who may have forgotten or never knew about these disputes, it remains crucial.

It turns out that Don and June let a homeless woman live in the delapidated chalet for a short while. Abandoned by her husband, she had been camping with her school age daughter in a tent in the woods above Brodick Castle. The two of them moved into the chalet briefly one Christmas in the late 90’s. Along with their cat.

“It ended in tears of course.”

So mortified was Colman that after his defeat, he took himself and several hundred English converts off to an island off the West coast of Ireland. That too ended in tears as it turns out.

“Do you understand your children” Don had asked me over Arran single malt aged 14 years.

“That would be a rash claim.”.

The wind is loud but I love that sound and as I enter the cottage I open the window to let the roar follow me in. I look out across the bay to Brodick Castle and the almost-Full Moon and something soft brushes against me.

“Hello Lyra,” I say but it’s only the malt talking. I touch my shin briefly, make sure the router is disconnected and sleep the sleep of the saints.

Richard Ashworth© 2018

Altruism Corner:  https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/uncowed#/ You have of course received this Feng Shui Diary free. In return would you be prepared to assist my friends Chris and Jan Attkins? They are first-class human beings as well as long-term media professionals and they’re making a short film.

The film is about bullying which may be an issue that has affected you or someone close to you. Certainly it has raised its ugly head in our own children’s lives. Chris and Jan are risking £15,000 of their own money on this and they’re crowdfunding the rest.

Would you be prepared to help them out? The link above will allow you to contribute relatively modest sums in return for all sorts of related goodies. Do support them please if you can.

Also do download on Spotify, Granoola Suicide’s album, perhaps one less breakfast skipped:  https://open.spotify.com/album/5lYcLjIXaYjlSg7NF1stLl

Thanks. R&S
Richard Ashworth© 2018
www.imperialfengshui.info

Richard Ashworth’s Diary from the Hebrides: Refugee

March 16, 2018

Refugee.

“The least we can do is wave to each other”. Peter Hammill.

Right now I’m hiding on the Isle of Arran for a few weeks to write and research. As I look across the roofs through my cottage window, I’m listening to Karla Bonoff’s plaintive version of “The Water is Wide”, a traditional Scottish tune dating from at least the 18th century. It’s not really about Water by the way.

On my morning walk I pass what appears to be The Sporran Arts Club. I blink, no it’s the Arran Sports Club. It’s February, neither as quiet or as cold as I expected but quite sleepy nonetheless. An LED sign in a coffee shop window blinks “Closed” welcomingly. The spring sunlight plays across the bay; dappled stripes are divided by lighter channels. Snow-capped across the water stands Goat Fell (elevation 974m) high over the protective arm of the sound; in the lee, Brodick Castle ancient seat of the Hamilton family, stands out from the pines in its Victorian splendour. Uncrenellated red brick is not really my idea of a castle and feng shui bore that I am, I note that the conifers in front have grown so tall as to block the space directly in front. Such an open space (known as ming tang) represents the future, here an impeded one.

Flat-topped goy moon hills embrace the sea. The Chinese words translate as something like “open gate”. These are welcoming slopes. The land meets the Water too gradually for a natural harbour but it makes for a sheltered beach. Such feng shui implies openness and comfort rather than power or wealth. Hong Kong it isn’t but it is a place where people belong.

Feng shui is sometimes defined as “doing the right thing at the right time in the right place.” Which will do. I have a brief to research for a client and I have a book to write. The research is into timing. Since our understanding of time is principally derived from the Sun’s apparent journey across the sky and that journey always starts East and concludes West, time and place like the Arran sea and the sky, fold into one. I am in the extreme North West of Britain which right now is a powerful place to be. This is early in Spring, the season of Wood. And one expression of Wood is the written word.

The proposed book is a follow-up to my “Feng Shui Diaries” which despite modest sales appears to have changed lives from Russia to Vancouver by way of Bermuda, Poland, Spain, Kuala Lumpur and other exotic points too numerous to list. I stopped writing the regular diary entries that make that book up for several reasons: one was that miracles don’t happen every fortnight. Another was that I feared twisting the truth to make a better story. Reading it back now as the cold weather sets in around my cottage here, I am happy I never did that. The third reason was that so many people don’t want to be written about. This includes the famous and – wait for it – those who sought me out over thousands of miles because of that book. Go figure.

Someone once said that they didn’t know the secret of success was but they were pretty sure it wasn’t achieved by pleasing everybody. The Feng Shui Diaries has some good jokes in it and it’s mostly stories of course but some found it too technical and some not technical enough. I notice that its author was a simpler, gentler person than the one writing this.

The bulk of Brodick Castle dates from 1844. Fifteen years before that, a ship load of crofters set sail for a new life in Canada. They had little choice; the Duke of Hamilton had taken their homes. Brodick Heritage Museum dismisses such “clearances” as something like necessary modernisation. They’re currently embroiled in an argument with local historians who see it a bit differently. My son Jaime who is a proper professional historian tells me history is always about the present day. The only constant is change and yet nothing changes.

To everything there is a season. The task my client has set me is identifying her perfect moment for certain types of action. To do that I have to delve into real time; that is not time as dictated by clocks and calendars. It’s time as marked by the Sun, the Moon and nature itself. We all recognise it, I think. Before we’re fully awake and reach for ipad, phone or laptop, we are all able to tune into what season it is, what day of the week and what time. We are not distinct from nature but part of it. This morning I woke at 5:30; I knew by the light that it was Spring and barely dawn. It was cold but not the ambient cold of Winter, dark but not night. And there’s more.

Up to a point I can do this detective work with ba zi (or Four Pillars, sometimes misleadingly referred to as the Chinese Horoscope). Ba zi which is probably what I’m best known for, is drawn from the Gan Zhicycle of 60 Animals which is not subject to the phases of either Sun or Moon. But what I plan to do is work with a more demanding method of divination called Qi Men Dun Jia. Qi Men is relatively simple to calculate (though the Masters whose material I have studied disagree over how) but lengthy. It starts with ba zi and then factors in Sun, Moon and much more. Because calculation is lengthy there are Qi Men apps for phone and tablet. I don’t use these for ba zi and I’m not about to for Qi Men. To do that is to completely miss the point.

At the weekend I trek to Lamlash, some four miles away cross-country. The initial climb simply follows Strathwhillan Burn. When the burn peters out at the summit, another replaces it following the downward slope. Mountain follows Water, Water follows Mountain and Mountain follows Water.

It’s cold but the sun is shining. I notice where moss has run rampant in shadow and where stretches of trees are starkly brown against the green of their neighbours and I climb to a plateau by the main road from where as I marvel at the view, I call my son Alex at work. It’s Sunday but he’s an industrious man. It’s the first time in a while we’ve both had time to catch up. I thank the pace of the island for this opportunity.

It was an anomaly in Scottish property law that allowed the  laird to turf out tenants whose families had been in Brodick or Lamlash or Whiting for centuries. As I walk I’m thinking of those families huddled together against the Atlantic gale, knowing they had several weeks to brave followed by a future that was at best uncertain in a land where they owned nothing. That much is history but it’s the image of three-year-old Alan Kurdi washed up on a Turkish beach in 2015 that keeps superimposing itself. A refugee is a refugee is a refugee. I don’t know how many of the crofters made it but I do know that little Alan’s parents were also heading for Canada where they had family.

The last few hundred yards of the walk into Lamlash are across the camber of the slope and parallel with the main road, so I cross several burns running right to left under the road. Now there are houses either side and I am relieved to find a bus stop. The time table tells me there’s a bus back to Brodick in four hours’ time. There are actually five buses running today, Sunday. I’m impressed; that’s five more than in rural Surrey. Transport – don’t start me talking; privatisation plus monopoly equals chaos. All part I guess, of the periodic “need for reform” as the museum put it.

There’s an extraordinary view across Lamlash Bay to Holy Isle. Like other such isles around the Northern coasts of Britain, the island is named for the monks and kings who settled there down the ages. St Columba himself was based on Iona just a few miles North and it’s likely he sent a cell of monks here possibly including his most famous successor St Aidan.

I sit on a bench a while taking in the view. Then I investigate ferries across to the island.

“Not before Easter,” says the boat man dourly.

Then I stop for a pot of tea and I buy some local marmalade. As I walk back towards the bus stop, my attention is drawn to a monument to the displaced crofters by the side of the road. Funded from Canada it lists many of the individual economic migrants by name. Most ended up in Quebec, many gravitated to Nova Scotia where some erected crofts which wouldn’t look out of place right here.

The bus is on time and the return journey takes about quarter of an hour. The map made Lamlash look so distant and walking is such an on-the-ground experience. My ipad tells me the rest of the country is snow bound but none has fallen here. It’s cold and windy now so I stop at the Douglas in Brodick for a further cup of tea.

3 million Scots emigrated following the clearances. These were rural people used to rising with the Sun and resting when it set. They did what work they had to, then rested, danced, constructed and repaired things, cared for their children and wrote and sang songs like “The Water is Wide.” It wasn’t perfect of course; they lacked penicillin, flush toilets and tv remotes but they worked as they had to and prior to lightbulbs and central heating, lived pretty much in tune with nature.

Unlike Alan Kurdi, many of these economic migrants didn’t of course venture far from home. Many ended up in the satanic mills of Glasgow, Newcastle, Manchester, Birmingham and even distant London. And there they became part of a system that paid them just enough to keep returning at 7am each morning.

Looking out over the goy moon hills from the Douglas, I remember that it was Cecil Sharp, famous for his far and wide search for folk song who tidied up the lyrics to the “Water is Wide.” He concluded that there was no such thing as a London folk song.
Richard Ashworth © 2018

For more information on Richard’s courses and services, please email sheilaashworth@gmail.com or visit his website.

Richard Ashworth©
www.imperialfengshui.info

Wood Rabbit Bulletin: What to put Where and When this Month

March 5, 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 the way power is handled has profound repercussions.
Info, diary, assistance: sheilaashworthfengshui@gmail.com

Budding: the Month of the Wood Rabbit 2018.
Bulletin for March 2018
(23:25 5th March to 04:20 5th April 2018 inclusive)

Da Zhuang
—-  —-
—-  —-
———-
———-
———-
———-
Great Power
Hexagram 34

Animal by Animal
During this Wood Rabbit Month,
The Rat may feel unrecognised,
The slower Ox may be over-ambitious,
The Tiger awaits developments,
The Rabbit travels hopefully far and wide,
The Dragon checks their change,
The smart Snake does not over-exert herself,
The Horse is surprised by the attention,
The Sheep participates,
The Monkey recovers,
The Rooster is opposed,
The Dog chases more than his tail,
and
The Pig can be rasher than usual.

Remember: Each Pillar of your ba zi representsRichard 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
Richard Ashworth©
http://www.imperialfengshui.info an aspect 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 4 month is all about curiosity, invention and the yin.
A Rabbit month sees shoots become buds.
Most helpful location: South (for East Group kuas 1 3 4 9)
South West (West Group 2 6 7 8).
Favoured Animals: Pig, Rabbit, Sheep, Dog.
Especially challenged one way or another: Rooster, Dragon, Ox, Snake.
The Hexagram (above): Da Zhuang Great Power; Thunder over Heaven.

Budding:
Animal Fortunes for the Wood Rabbit Month March 2018
In so many cultures the Rabbit represents the re-emergence of life: buds becoming shoots, lambs in the field and the beginnings of leaves on the tree. The corresponding Hexagram from the Yi Jing or Book of Changes however is Da Zhuang, Thunder over Heaven, that is to say the Eldest Son taking precedence over the Father; meaning Great Power and the wielding thereof. This may seem a little previous so early in the year but traditionally Da Zhuang is taken as a cautionary sign; life is returning but don’t overplay your hand.
Da Zhuang is what is called a “Tidal” Hexagram. There are as you may have noticed twelve, one per month. You may even have observed that as Winter gives way to Summer, the yang (that is unbroken) lines creep up the image. The qi is growing and gaining strength as it journeys from mid-winter to mid-summer.
The Book of Changes suggest that destiny emerges from character. Luck is a function of who we are. Chinese culture interestingly is very reluctant to reward anything but hard graft. What we can do however is seize the time.
Richard Ashworth ©2018.
http://www.imperialfengshui.info.
 
Where to be in March.
Summary: the place where things are happening now.
South, Bright Future: Year Star: 4 Month Star: 8
Full of creative, manifesting energy, an 8 in the South attracts desirable attention especially for the inventive and ambitious woman. South is still best for kuas 1 and 9, as well as Dog, Tiger and Sheep. Much the same applies to a South-facing house btw. Be here, face this way, enter the house by this door.
Enhancement: Bright light; a Water fountain may help – just for now.Anchor

Where not to be in March.
Summary: morbid.
North, Distant Future: Year Star 5 san sha wu huang Month Star: 9
The tricky 5 is here all year. Nasty; get used to it. A 9 which otherwise might be helpful, just magnifies the effect. The best you can say is that there are no secrets here right now but there may be all sorts of inflammation.  Don’t work, here, sleep here or linger. Avoid North even as an orientation. West Group kuas 2 6 7 8, Horse and Sheep are the most vulnerable as the san sha or “Three Evils” settles in for the year.
Solution: t’ang lung or Metal stuff, 6-Pipe Metal Windchime, Red 6, wu lou – take your pick. Best to stay clear though.

Take a look at your Aniimal Fortune for 2018, the Year of the Earth Dog

And here’s the (Western Astrological) take of the very perceptive Lorna Bevan:5D Astrology Report March 2018 New Creations from Old Modalities
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
Richard Ashworth©
http://www.imperialfengshui.info

The Dog in the Year of the Earth Dog 2018

February 23, 2018

Who is a Dog?

Years:  1946, 1958, 1970, 1982, 1994, 2006.
Month*:  October
Hour: 07:00 pm – 09:00 pm
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 Dog?

The Dog is yang earth and a byword for good faith and consistency. Terriers and Rotweilers are both fierce and loyal. In mediaeval heraldry and Renaissance painting, the Dog in the form of the greyhound, symbolises constancy.

So a balanced Dog reveres tradition and has a strong family background. If a Dog commits to something they can generally be relied upon to see it to completion. The difference between male and female Dogs can be that the female gets the message quicker. Interesting to note that Kate Middleton and Prince William are twin Water Dogs of 1982; a very solid match because as a yang earth sign, the Dog is pretty immovable, an ideal best friend or protector. These two are, first and foremost, good friends.

Note however that the world’s most prominent Dog right now is Donald Trump. So you’ll have noticed that the thinking of the unbalanced Dog may not always be informed or flexible. But when he gets an idea, he really gets it. His natural grouping is with the hunters, the Horse and Tiger. Apportionment of tasks here is obvious: the Horse provides pace and the Tiger ferocity while the Dog watches the rear. If HR people studied Chinese metaphysics, more workplaces would zing: in business the Horse will tend to be the sales person, the Tiger the closer or credit controller and the Dog the provider of after-sales service or er…HR department. In its negative sense this is Trump the late night revenge Tweeter.

But the typical Dog excels at service because he never gives up. He will return your phone calls and keep that appointment. You’re the friend who sends a card every birthday and the spouse who remembers every anniversary. You care.

The Dog also, perhaps surprisingly, mixes well with the gentle diplomatic Rabbit. The Rabbit schmoozes while the Dog ensures that his colleague’s openness is not abused. The Dog makes a wonderful bodyguard and middle manager. A Dog employer will have achieved that position by sheer hard work and will demand the same from all around.

The Dog doesn’t like the Dragon because he’s such a smarty pants. Also the Dog can feel insecure around success without effort – especially his own. And the Dragon creates with such apparent ease. You’re suspicious of magic. So you’re often not so keen on the mini-Dragon, the Snake either; you’d even resent the Horse (too damn flighty) except that you are scrupulously loyal to your own team.

An unbalanced Dog is a bit of a shop steward. He knows his rights and the way things should be (often that’s the way they always have been btw). An unbalanced Dog (such as one with an October or mid- evening birth) is just too respectful. A smart one learns to ask questions.

The Dog will often have a strong spiritual agenda and if he has a blind spot it may be an inability to understand viewpoints opposed to his own. respect the difference between religion and spirituality or either understand or respect views opposed to his own. Because this means he sticks to his guns, the Dog is suited both to new age therapy and religious persecution. He will not be thrown off by the opinions of others once he has committed to a line of action. In fact the unbalanced Dog can be thick skinned in matters of belief. Some Dogs would be ideally suited to being a Grand Inquisitor. His motto ought to be "Do as you would be done by," The problem can be that he thinks it already is. The stubborn restlessness of the Dog can make you take revenge in advance.

The Dog usually works well with other Dogs and with the Pig, with whom he shares a love of home and team and they are so different they don’t crowd each other. Sometimes the Dog and Pig can be telepathically close; this is because they are adjacent signs in the calendar, linked by the yang earth that is a feature of both. Sometimes this earth is expressed by banter or earthy humour. They can have a lot of fun together while getting the job done.

But the most powerful and most demanding role the Dog can play is in a creative team including the irritating Dragon, the autocratic Ox and the soft Sheep. If the Dog acts as conscience and bookkeeper, the Ox will relax, the Sheep toughen up and the Dragon acknowledge someone else for a change. If you are a Dog recruiting for non-executive directors, take note. What is great about the Dog is that if you find advice that works you will adopt it as if it were religion. Bless.


Richard Ashworth
©
www.imperialfengshui.info

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
—-  —-
—-  —-
—-  —-
—-  —-
—-  —-
———-
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