Posts Tagged ‘Ba Zi Courses’

What Does the Rooster Month (from 8th September) Hold?

September 8, 2015

The (8th) month of the Wood Rooster 2015.

(Sept 8th 8:10 to Oct 9th 00:09 inclusive)

 

Kuan   

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—-  —-

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The Watchtower

Hexagram 20

 

The Rooster Month, Animal by Animal.

During this Wood Rooster month:

The Rat may feel overshadowed.

The Ox may feel surprisingly supported.

The Tiger may recover from defeat.

The Rabbit may want to stay home.

The Dragon may feel special.

The Snake may take several steps forward.

The Horse may rise to competition.

The Sheep may seek solitude.

The Monkey may rest.

The Rooster may seek grace.

The Dog awaits.

and

The Pig is the protector.

Berried.

Today the blackberries are leaning towards me as if they want to be picked. Two or three days a week at this time of year I pluck them fresh for our morning smoothie. This ticks several boxes: that is to say a boost of Vitamin C with all the benefits of fresh fruit which is in this case (extremely) locally grown. Which was good feng shui long before it became the stuff of discussion on Radio 4. “Eat local food, drink local Water,” Master Chan Kun Wah used to say. Yesterday I had to stretch for the berries, today they come easily to hand.

Blackberries need to be plump but not mushy and they must be caught before – God forbid – they grow those whiskers that even the finest liquidiser blade struggles to dissolve. It’s September, the pure qi of the Monkey month; there are plenty to choose from.

Although it’s a fine day, the Autumn warmth is turning to the chillier bak low, that is the time of White Dew. It’s a distinctive back-to-school, end of holiday feeling. My hibiscus is hibiscing but the sunflowers have peaked; they stand like Eddard Stark waiting to be decapitated. Despite the sun, I can feel the damp in the air.

Where to do what, when and why.

The 8 Star lands North West this month and of course the North West is favoured all year. Like the (related) symbol for infinity, 8 speaks of limitless possibility. This is where to locate to catch the breaks. Facing NW or employing a North Western door will tend to have the same sort of effect this month also.

Women on the verge.

I’ve been working a great deal with women in the midst of divorce recently. “How did I misunderstand him so badly?” one asks me. “He seemed such a nice guy.” I offer something gnomic like “Most men can leave a lover but few can leave their Mum.” Which is true. But mostly I listen and compensate for neglected South West areas and ferocious North West ones. One house features a single external wall which pushes into the building between North and North West like a siege engine, effectively making land over to the neighbours. There are few more intrusive feng shui flaws than this. The aggressive North West is the realm of the Father, the North represents the Mother being squeezed out. Pick the bones out of that. Within this house we place protective Water with great precision on the 3rd September, the best day for some time for such a cure and we start to choose strategies. I have to be careful not to exceed my brief; I’m a feng shui man not a lawyer. So I prescribe Chapter One of Sun Tzu’s “Art of War”. He’s the guvnor on winning.

The Rooster Month in the Sheep Year.

The Rooster may not have had a great shake of it this year. Or at least that may be the way she tells it. But often the Rooster simply hasn’t looked up from their self-punishment long enough to notice that they’re doing okay. How many openings did you miss or fail to acknowledge?

So in your own month you’d expect a boost wouldn’t you? Well the Rooster suffers from the so-called “self-clash” which means this month is an even bigger challenge. It will tend to empower Oxen and Snakes and Dragons but some Roosters may be too busy bemoaning their luck to appreciate good fortune. Your own month demands you step up. If you do, you may experience September as a peak. One proviso: every gain at the expense of another leaves you in debt. Generosity this month pays big dividends.

As for everyone else; the Rooster can inhibit the Rabbit. So Rabbits – like Hungarian demagogue Viktor Orban – ought perhaps to lower their sights this month. There is no fence high enough to solve the refugee problem, Viktor. Forget it.

This is a month of attention-seeking behavior which may be most visible in the Horses such as David Cameron and Angela Merkel. The need for approval of course is a function of insecurity. Which means those most uncertain breeds, politicians and celebrities will be especially intrusive. And the Dog can get very impatient around about now. You want to get on with it while everyone else appears to be painting their nails. Take Fire Dog Donald Trump for instance, safe in the certainty that even Americans are not daft enough to elect him, continuing to let his mouth write cheques no administration could ever cash. Pigs may be more modest but nothing can keep the limelight off Earth Pig Caitlyn (nee Bruce) Jenner.

That’s September, step up or be generous or both.

A very Chinese puzzle.

The traditional Chinese finger puzzle tightens over the hand with every struggle. China has been in the grip of the benign puzzle of Confucian thinking since the fourth century BCE. This means that family and a stable society have been the priorities all that time. These are sound values of course but they come with an assumption which is this: Daddy knows best. Whether he is the ruthless Ming usurper Yongle whose victims included most of the males of his family or Qin Shi Huang Di a huge chunk of whose retinue, horses, stewards, servants and wives were buried alive with him, Mao Tse Tung or Deng Xiao Ping, Daddy’s decisions are final and infallible. And down twenty-odd centuries, a dozen dynasties, countless tyrants, even more countless massacres and no discussion, these values have persisted. And now right on time, just as Sheep turns to Monkey, China has its very own financial crisis; a very Confucian one. The powers-that-be imprison a few journalists for expressing an opinion and legislate against the trickery that makes up a market place: insider trading, short selling and the dead hand of stop-loss algorithms, these things have been the life blood of the Hang Seng for decades.

But you can’t run over a stock market with tanks any more than you can a blackberry. Nor is it practical to line either market or fresh fruit up against a wall and shoot them. Stock markets are free expression personified. No legislation in China will stay the hand of some pleonetic trader on Wall Street or the City of London any more that it will change the fact that no company loses 8% of its value over night. It’s all about confidence, a manic depressive pattern if you like; depression followed by over-confidence, Water followed by Fire. For these and other reasons many of us long since read June 2014 as the peak of all markets, the apogee of capitalism perhaps and we seem to have been right. And Xi Jinping* may, for better or for worse be a very different man from Deng but what’s for sure is that however many times the PRC responds to opposition with violence whether it be Tibet, Google, FaceBook, the Umbrella Revolution or that kid with the shopping bag crossing Tiananmen Square, dissidence will rise again. You cannot imprison the human mind. And as long as free expression, of which a stock market crash is the essence, is suppressed, as long as Ai Wei Wei can’t get proper travel documents, China may continue to manufacture the world’s trainers but she won’t design them and stock markets will remain volatile however much Daddy might wish it different.

*Which is not to contrast him with our own largely spine- and compassion-free representatives btw. Nor for the avoidance of doubt, that markets should be unregulated. George Soros is the guvnor on this. Read his “Open Society” perhaps.

Rooster Pillars; know your Rooster rating.

Birth in the Rooster hour (17:00pm-19:00pm): beautiful children.

Birth in the Rooster month (September*): accountancy may suit you.

Birth on the Rooster day#: marriage may not be for you.

Birth in the Rooster year: particularly sociable parents.

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

# Just ask.

Traditional Chinese Feng Shui: a journey through time and space..

Evening Talk and Day Workshop.

In September at the College of Psychic Studies I’ll be teaching the place of intuition in classical feng shui; the evening talk (Tues 8th September) will be followed by a one-day crash course (Sat 19th September).

For details on Richard’s next ba zi course go to: http://www.imperialfengshui.info/courses

Richard Ashworth©, on the last day of the Monkey, 2015.

www.imperialfengshui.info

Authentic Chinese Feng Shui: A Journey through Time and Space

August 26, 2015

Authentic Chinese Feng Shui: A Journey through Time and Space
Whatever you may have read, traditional Imperial Feng Shui is a fusion of intuition and deep study. And at its heart is a small number of powerful symbols. Once mastered, these symbols can be employed to change lives. At the College of Psychic Studies in September, Richard Ashworth, one of the most in demand feng shui men in the Western world, will be revealing what he knows of the deeper meanings and use of these symbols.
Bring your intuition, bring your mind, bring a friend.

Richard will be talking at the College of Psychic Studies on Tuesday 8 September 7:00pm – 8:30pm and running a workshop on Saturday 19 September 10:00am – 5:00pm

Richard Ashworth © 2015
www.imperialfengshui.info

For details on Richard’s Courses go to:
http://www.imperialfengshui.info/courses

Wood Monkey: What to expect for the month from August 7th 2015

August 3, 2015

The (7th) month of the Wood Monkey 2015.

(August 7th 18:30pm to Sept 8th 08:10 inclusive)

Pi

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Stop

Hexagram 12

 Monkey Month, Animal by Animal.

During this Wood Monkey month:

The Rat may feel supported when outspoken.

The Ox may experience relief, r’n’r, respite.

The Tiger may see opposition.

The Rabbit may be waiting.

The Dragon may gain real confidence.

The Snake may take two steps forward and one back.

The Horse may feel overlooked.

The Sheep may feel disappointed.

The Monkey may be spoiled for choice.

The Rooster is impatient.

The Dog is the source.

and

The Pig sidesteps.

 Who’s a higher primate, then? Wood Monkey month in Wood Sheep year. The Monkey is tricky and the Wood Monkey one of the trickier ones; as you can see, the Chinese characters afor Yang Wood, and Ifor shen the Monkey, are almost indistinguishable. They have however opposite meanings. Ithe Monkey is Metal; agap or chia (yang Wood) is er….Wood. These two Elements enjoy what is called a clash or kun-choi relationship, ie they don’t get on. Furthermore the Monkey lives South West and gap to the East, so they are from very different backgrounds. Wood stands for something like feeling and is ever-expanding, the Monkey is logical and essentially inward-looking – hence “See no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil.” When these two apparently similar characters appear as a pair (or pillar), they are often interpreted as” make your mind up.” And this month they’re bound together at the ankles. Make your mind up about what? Military action perhaps. What does the gan zhi cycle tell us? The last Sheep year (2003) took British Forces in the teeth of huge opposition, into Iraq. The last Wood Sheep propelled Anthony Eden into Downing Street and those same forces into Suez. Both ill-advised adventures. Time for a different choice perhaps. The environment maybe? The UK alone in the European Community now allows neo-nicotinoids to be spread on our fields. Such Monsanto minefields have been proven to decimate bee populations and bees don’t get to choose whether we’re in or out of the EU. These hard-working families don’t claim benefits either. Similarly, subsidies for green conversions such as solar panels have been jettisoned as luxuries during the process of wealth being re-distributed to the wealthy. Early in 2017 by my reckoning the current 8th Fate Cycle gives way to the 9th. The departing Fate has been distinguished by the tension between acquisition and spirituality. The incoming one promises to focus on global warming (9 being the number of pure Fire) and of right-brain, intuitive or yin (that is feminine, non-linear) thinking. If where we are now is where logic gets us, it can’t come too soon. Below is one way through at least. Where to do what, when and why. The North West, the place of the Father is helpful again this month. The 9 Star landing there is apt to bring the right kind of attention. If you’re especially ambitious or looking for preferment, sit to the NW, face NW or employ a North Western door. If you can’t do any of this stuff (or anyway) place a few plants here – four of these will tend to empower a woman, especially if they’re beautiful and delicate. Generally the patriarchal quality of North West favours the male. This btw is traditional feng shui not casual sexism. And do let me know. The Monkey Month in the Sheep Year. The Monkey is nothing if not playful; (s)he’s no team player which makes Monkeys especially outspoken under the conforming pressure of a Sheep year. The Monkey is the stand-up of the Chinese Zodiac and August can be a month of ironies. Remember the Sheep year 1991 when, just as Russia was beginning to play the game, Gorbachev was ousted? And August of 2007 when Paribas stopped trading bonds precipitating a domino run that took Northern Rock down weeks later followed by most of the banking system? And August 1914 when some trivial local stuff in the Balkans turned nasty? The Monkey is opposed by the Tiger. Like Shere Khan in the Jungle Book, the mighty Tiger is not always appreciative of levity. Nor is the Pig much amused. The irreverent Monkey threatens the domestic peace of the sty and the Sheep – who chooses sides when neutrality might be smarter – is on the side of the Pig. Not so wise. You might say er… rasher than usual this year. The Rat finds the Monkey’s lightness helpful in a year when lines are being drawn as does the Dragon who has had his hands full arbitrating between Ox and Dog all year, with a peak of turbulence in the Sheep month just gone. And the Monkey is mates of course with the Snake, the seeker after truth; which means he or she may experiment with all sorts of alternatives first. All of which makes for disorder. Oops. Expect then a month of turbulence and rebellion, when small children refuse their greens and Greeks their humble pie. Expect civil disobedience from Calais to Calcutta and outrage in the House. Remember that the corresponding Sheep year in the early 18th century brought the First Highland uprising. Just like the Scots to get stroppy when everyone’s looking the other way. Sheep Pillars; know your Sheep rating. Birth in the Monkey hour (15:00pm-17:00pm): irreverent children. Birth in the Monkey month (August*): destined for a career in sales. Birth on the Monkey day#: not so keen to commit early. Birth in the Monkey year: a long line of ingenuity. * Caution, the Chinese month generally starts and finishes a few days after ours. # Just ask. Also coming up:

Traditional Chinese Feng Shui: a journey through time and space.
Evening Talk and Day Workshop. In September at the College of Psychic Studies I’ll be teaching the place of intuition in classical feng shui; the evening talk (Tues 8th September) will be followed by a one-day crash course (Sat 19th September).
Also: here’s a link to visionary astrologer Lorna Bevan’s take on this month. Apocalyptic. In a good way. The Astrology of 2015 – Postcards From The Edge
Offer Announcement:  Both my Feng Shui & Ba Zi courses are mutually complementary (ie if you attend one, you may want to attend both). So if you book and pay for both by the 7th August 2015, instead of £3000, you pay only £2000. If this sounds like your sort of thing, now’s the time to let us know. To discuss your suitability or indeed mine, please email me at richardashworthfengshui@gmail.com or call the office on 01483 428998.

Richard Ashworth©, on the day of the four Sheep, 2015. www.imperialfengshui.info

Courses Offer July 2015

July 31, 2015

“Bless you. You’ve saved my life, Richard, literally and figuratively. I’m getting so much more than feng shui from studying with you.”
Nancy, Tennessee.

Learning feng shui and Chinese Astrology one-to-one via Skype.
Nancy’s in Tennessee. When we first offered Skype, I had no idea how much teaching that way was actually going to teach me. Of course it meant we can fit in with the individual’s own schedule; we can link up whether you’re in Singapore, Berlin or London. Or Tennessee. And within limits we can make sessions longer or shorter and more or less frequent.

What I hadn’t realised was how this would open us up to students of greater or lesser accomplishment: this year I have taught beginners straight off the street as well as professionals and enthusiasts. Some people need more visual material, some more examples; some flourish one-to-one while some wither in classes and so on. It’s been a whole education

Which has led us to offer starter feng shui and ba zi courses both live and one-to-one by Skype on schedules (within reason) to suit you.

Offer Announcement: These courses are mutually complementary (ie if you attend one, you may want to attend both). So if you book and pay for both by the 7th August 2015, instead of £3000, you pay only £2000.
If this sounds like your sort of thing, now’s the time to let us know.
To discuss your suitability or indeed mine, please email me at richardashworthfengshui@gmail.com or call the office on 01483 428998.

1. Discover the Secrets of ba zi, the Four Pillars of Destiny.

“Great to see you and very annoying at the same time: it’s almost unbearable to be seen for what I really am.”
Alice, Surbiton.

One reason I teach ba zi, the feng shui of the person (often misleadingly known as the Chinese Horoscope) before teaching houses and spaces, is that knowledge of the person’s likely choices, opportunities, destiny and nature, is integral to dealing with their environment.

We are all making decisions all the time; some trivial, some vital, some conscious, some so fast we are hard-pressed to identify them. Some lead to triumph and some to heartbreak. What if we were to locate these moments of decision and re-examine them? How life-changing might that be?

Ba zi is of course a lifetime study but upon successful completion of Discover the Secrets, you will know how to pinpoint these moments as well as the meaning, implications and relationships of the Stems and Branches (or Animals) be able to draft ba zi in Chinese characters (it’s not actually that hard) and have everything you need to start to interpret. You may want then to apply for our mentoring programme.

Discover the Secrets of the Four Pillars
Standard course: 16 Sessions of one hour                     £1500
http://www.imperialfengshui.info/courses
Additional catch-up, mentoring and group sessions are available.

2. The Wind that Stops at the Water.

“All is well here and C. has moved back in. My prayers were answered! The NW bit worked!  She has been lovely ever since and I think the episode has made her appreciate her home. Thanks so much for all your help.”
Karen. Surrey.

Authentic Chinese feng shui consists broadly of two strands. Sam yuen (or “Mystery of the Void”) involves the Trigrams from the Book of Changes (or Yi). Under this heading come the commonly used Flying Star and Eight House methods and much more. Mastery of these models allows us to adapt and optimise the energy (or qi) within buildings.

The other strand is called sam he (that is “Three Harmony”) and essentially concerns the relationships between the Chinese Zodiac Animals. This mirrors the principles of ba zi and leads to the life-enhancing methods of yang gong, which is used in the design of the Water Dragons employed in South East Asia to attract health, wealth and wisdom.

On this course we will study the origins of feng shui in the Book of Changes followed by the theory and practice of Flying Star, Eight House and other authentic Chinese methods as well as a brief introduction to Xuan Kong Da Gua, Imperial Heaven Stars and Yang Gong methods and also exploring the use and validity of non-traditional approaches.

Learn the real thing this year.

The Wind that Stops at the Water
Standard course: 16 Sessions of one hour             £1500
http://www.imperialfengshui.info/the-wind-that-stops-at-the-water
Additional catch-up, mentoring and group sessions are available

Offer Announcement: These courses are mutually complementary (ie if you attend one, you may want to attend both). So if you book and pay for both by the 7th August 2015, instead of £3000, you pay only £2000.
If this sounds like your sort of thing, now’s the time to let us know.
To discuss your suitability or indeed mine, please email me at richardashworthfengshui@gmail.com or call the office on 01483 428998.

Also coming up:

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

Richard Ashworth©, the day of the four Sheep, 2015.
www.imperialfengshui.com

Sheep Diary, what to expect from July 7th 2015

July 8, 2015

Sheep Diary: the month of the Water Sheep (6th) 2015.
(July 7th 18:30 to August 7th 18:30pm inclusive)

Dun
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Retreat
Hexagram 33

Sheep Month, Animal by Animal.

During this Water Sheep month:
The Rat may speak on another’s behalf.
The Ox may be directly opposed.
The Tiger may see opportunity.
The Rabbit may find an ally.
The Dragon may find purpose.
The Snake may have things to let go.
The Horse may expand his retinue.
The Sheep may join in protest.
The Monkey’s timing is poor.
The Rooster is out of place.
The Dog is in the thick of it.
and
The Pig offers help.

I used to be in an origami group but it folded.

The Sheep is a team-player. However Confucius’ gloss on the month Hexagram (Dun above) in his Commentaries on the Book of Changes is that the “the superior person keeps inferior persons at a distance, with dignity but without ill will.” By “superior person” is meant the sincere and humble seeker after the middle way, the so called jun tze.

The typical Sheep however will join any group that asks nicely. Sometimes this is not appropriate. As a general rule we need to choose associations that support us and/or our objectives. As they say (actually as I say) if you armwrestle with pygmies you’re going to end up on your knees. In short this month is about discernment rather than being up ourselves.

Which may make it timely to point out that feng shui comes to us down two main lines of descent: one from the proto-Taoists who gave the years, months and hours names countless years ago; the other from the diviners of the Zhou Dynasty and their antecedents who named the yin and the yang and developed these two simple ideas into the Yi (that is the Book of Changes or I Ching).

It’s not actually going too far to state that feng shui procedures, cures, corrections or formulae not derived from one or other of these traditions are not really feng shui at all. This is not to say that Chinese Masters do not use other types of intervention – they do – or that three-toed toads and qi lins don’t work, but that strictly calculations not based either in the relationships between the Celestial Animals (Rat, Ox, Horse etc) or the Trigrams (three line figures) of the Yi are essentially folk lore.

Now you know.

Where to do what, when and why.

The South East receives the blessing of the 8 this month. All year that sector has held the 2 Star of increase and expansion. The 2 is a double-edged portent because increase means not only acquisition and hence growth but also growths of various kinds including weight gain. However combined with the benevolent 8, most diviners would expect the expansions to be the sort most of us are looking for; of acquaintance and family, hopes, dreams and facilities. So for this kind of augmentation this month, perhaps place a Water fountain at the Dragon (that is SE1 or ESE) which throughout 2015 also holds the helpful Fortune Virtue Star (which speaks for itself) – or load that area up with plants. Colourful blooms look so great this time of year.
You’ll tend to gain some of this advantage by simply making regular commotion in this part of your building, by occupying it or by facing South East. This last applies particularly to those with an Eastern kua. If you don’t know what that is, do ask. Oh and if you have a South Eastern door, use it.

The Sheep in the Sheep Month in the Sheep Year.

The Sheep is both a team player and an idealist. Which generally means (s)he is all about cooperation. Perversely however, a surfeit of Sheep like this month actually brings something like the reverse.

So Greece has by a 61% majority dug in its heels against the financial powers that be. You might expect the key note of a double Sheep time like now to be obedience. It is. But expressed as its opposite. This is yin and yang; the next stage after the total yang of fruit on the tree is the shedding of autumn leaves.

Central to cooperation is mutual attentiveness. Again these are Sheep qualities. It appears that the half of Europe considers the Greeks ouzo-drinking, tax-dodging wastrels and the rest think of the Germans as humourless work addicts. These are careless stereotypes. What is true though is that austerity has been debunked by major economists such as Paul Krugman, Jeffrey Sachs, Thomas Piketty and Joseph Stiglitz. Christine Lagarde of the IMF has criticised its application in the UK while enforcing it elsewhere. All of this will come home er….to roost by 2017.

The Greeks know there’s something wrong with the logic they’ve been presented with. And they have voted for an ideal: a return to prosperity that doesn’t involve further loss. Perhaps the rest of Europe needs to consider the referendum in this light.

And the Sheep is also a joiner. (S)he lives for clubs, peer groups and communities like the EU. Germany is the anchor of this last community and by insisting on a solution that all member nations endorse, is also reflecting the Sheep.

So a rock and a hard place? Or a chance for compromise and mutual understanding? The Sheep stands for both. The Monkey month that follows however is a more mischievous creature altogether. As is the Monkey year of 2016.

Sheep Pillars; know your Sheep rating.

Birth in the Sheep hour (13:00am-15:00pm): biddable children.
Birth in the Sheep month (July*): educated in large classes.
Birth on the Sheep day#: guardian of family.
Birth in the Sheep year: tolerant to a fault.
* Caution, the Chinese month generally starts and finishes a few days after ours.
# Just ask.

Traditional Chinese Feng Shui: a journey through time and space..
Evening Talk and Day Workshop.
In September at the College of Psychic Studies I’ll be teaching the place of intuition in classical feng shui; how we can know what’s right and what’s wrong about a person or place and what to do about it. This last is harder btw.
The evening talk (Tues 8th September) will be followed by a one-day crash course (Sat 19th September). You may find these events especially useful if you know little about the subject and would like a rapid introduction in depth.
Learn feng shui with me in 2015/6
We’re telegraphing these events now because the opening module of my next Feng Shui Starter Course The Wind that Stops at the Water, falls on the weekend in-between (12th/13th September) and you might use these events as an introduction. It’s open to experts, sceptics and civilians alike. Do join us.
Tuesday 8th September (evening) & Saturday 19th September (all day) at the College of Psychic Studies:(www.collegeofpsychicstudies.co.uk)
Richard Ashworth, on the first day of the month of the Sheep, 2015 ©.

www.imperialfengshui.info

Horse Diary: What to expect in June 2015

June 5, 2015

June 2015: Horse Diary, the month of the Water Horse.

Horse Month opens: June 6th 08:20 am.

Kou

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Coming to Meet.

Hexagram 44 

Mid Summer Murmers.

Generally Horses seek the light; it is the nature of the Horse to crave attention. This quality of yang Fire, first identified thousands of years ago by the observers whose conclusions gave rise to Taoism, coincides cyclically with the high noon Sun, mid-Summer and the South. Naturally at this time of year we spend more time outside, we are more physical, more prominent, more mobile. The quest of the leaf for the sunlight, the stretching of the trees of the forest for its canopy, this is the Horse. And all of these qualities attach to the Horse month.

It’s a time of clear vision also. Following the what-you-see-is not-what-you-get of the Metal Snake month, we can now see what we actually have got: a world somewhat in chaos, precarious peace in half-a-dozen flash points and the environment upon which everything depends, possibly itself under sentence of death. Incidentally we have a parliament that is hung, drawn and quartered.

What to do with this? The time of the Horse is the time of spontaneity of action and of passion; doesn’t sound very British but then that union is itself under threat. If your inclination is to action, now is the time. This may mean risking confrontation. If you’re drawn on the other hand to contemplation, this may not be the moment. That time will come.

Where to do what, when and why.

In terms of the classical feng shui model, action, activism and general bringing-it-on-ness is identified with the number 3 whose home is in the East. It’s at the heart of this year’s lo shu (or magic square) which means it’s ever-present. This month the volatile East receives the blessing of the 8. Which means it has a following wind. East is yang Wood which is ever-expanding, always bursting new bounds, youthful and contentious.

If this is what you want, seek the East. That is to say, sleep in the East of your building, face East as you go about your business, place your pillow Eastwards* and place Water and/or plants in this location. Even better if you are of the East Group; if you’re not sure what that is, just ask.

Either way, let’s be responsible for what we oppose.

*er…and put your head on it.

The Horse in the Horse Month.

The outgoing nature of the Horse can show up as reckless or attention-seeking behavior in a young, inexperienced or dim Horse. By contrast, the wiser Horse may not show his hand. You may have learned to hold back. So next time you spy someone dancing on tables, there’s a decent chance it’s a young Horse (born 2002, 1990 or possibly 1978). And as for you, if you are drawn to clubbing but hold back from display, you may well be one of the sager Horses of 1966, 1954 or even 1942. This is yin and yang.

And as you might expect, the Horse has ego, This may be more true of someone born on a Horse day*. Which may highlight the difference between yin and yang Fire. Yang is on the face of it stronger and more certain. Yin can be less obviously secure but harder working. For this and other reasons, a person born on either Horse day or year suffers what is known as the “self-clash” ie Horses may not play well together. A Horse-Horse marriage is a spiky thing indeed.

Throughout 2015 the Horse will tend to be turbo-powered by your friend the Sheep. Sometimes you may even find yourself acknowledged for someone else’s good deeds. Ron Burgundy in “Anchor Man” is that kind of Horse; with what Will Ferrell calls “unearned confidence”. There are one or two in politics and banking. And show business. And feng shui.

The Horse is fond of the Sheep of course – as long as he knows his place – and can work with the Dog and Tiger. Each of these three is by nature a hunter but prepared to cooperate with the others at least until the deal is done. These animals have had to learn the business of win-win which doesn’t naturally make much sense to them; what is the point of competition without a winner? The answer of course is that there is competition for excellence and there is winning at all costs. In one the world is enriched, in the other winning may not raise standards but lower them.

To complete the picture, the Horse finds the average Rat depressing – she’s just too articulate – and the Rat’s sidekick the Ox even more so. If he notices them. They are reasonable in a way that the Horse has little patience with. And why not. Sometimes, he figures, life is too short for caution.

* you’ll need a Chinese Calendar to ascertain this.

Horse Month, Animal by Animal.

During this Water Horse month:

The Rat may feel ignored.

The Ox may be overlooked.

The Tiger may be unusually cooperative.

The Rabbit may be stretched even further.

The Dragon may lie low.

The Snake may take a back seat.

The Horse may attract both attention and competition.

The Sheep may serve.

The Monkey could roll over.

The Rooster holds back.

The Dog insists upon a fair share.

and

The Pig may take a step back.

Horse Pillars: know your Horse rating.

Birth in the Horse hour (11:00am-13:00pm): extroverted kids.

Birth in the Horse month (June*): suited to work in promotion.

Birth on the Horse day#: spontaneous to the point of haste.

Birth in the Horse year: outgoing family background.

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

# Just ask.

Traditional Chinese Feng Shui: a journey through time and space.

Evening Talk and Day Workshop.

We can calculate and learn but sometimes we just know. The Chinese characters used in feng shui – principally the Animals – somehow contain such knowledge and can in a sense, talk to us if we will pay careful attention. In September at the College of Psychic Studies I’ll be teaching the place of intuition in classical feng shui; how we can know what’s right and what’s wrong about a person or place and what to do about it. This last is harder btw.

The evening talk (Tuesday 8th September) will be followed by a one-day crash course (Saturday 19th September). You may find these events especially useful if you know little about the subject and would like a rapid introduction in depth.

We’re telegraphing them now because the opening module of my next Feng Shui Starter Course The Wind that Stops at the Water, falls on the weekend in-between (12th/13th September) and you might use these events as an introduction.

Open to experts, aficionados and civilians. Do join us.

Tuesday 8th September (evening) & Saturday 19th September (all day)

at the College of Psychic Studies: (www.collegeofpsychicstudies.co.uk)

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

www.imperialfengshui.info

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

April 7, 2015

April 2015: DragonDiary, the nature of the Golden Dragon

Dragon Month opens: April 5th 10:58am

The Golden Dragon.

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

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

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

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

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

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

* wi jam in.

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

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

Where to do what, when and why.

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

The Dragon in the Dragon Month.

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

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

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

The Dragon’s like that.

Dragon Month, Animal by Animal.

During this Metal Dragonmonth:

The Rat may resist success.

The Ox may miss the sell-by date.

The Tiger may miss the point.

The Rabbit may prosper.

The Dragon may bridle.

The Snake may fawn.

The Horsemay be above it all.

The Sheep avoids despair.

The Monkey gets stuff done.

The Rooster distracts.

The Dog may be frustrated.

and

The Pig may tread water.

Dragon Pillars;know your Dragon Rating.

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

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

Birth on the Dragon day#: chaotic but magical

Birth in the Dragon year: charismatic parents.

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

# Just ask.

Also coming up:

Feng Shui of the Cityscape.

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

A rapid introduction to Chinese astrology.

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

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

www.imperialfengshui.info

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

March 19, 2015

Darkness at Noon.

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

Poles, Soul and Sockets

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

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

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

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

“What an amazing man,” she says.

In the car, I’m back on topic:

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

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

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

Well, Well, Well.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Partial and Total Occlusion.

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

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

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

A Room of Ones Own.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Richard Ashworth © 2015.

www.imperialfengshui.info

Imperial Feng Shui – what’s happening

February 26, 2015

Imperial Feng Shui – what’s happening

Urban Quality: feng shui on the streets.

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

www.imperialfengshui.info

Richard Ashworth © 2015

Wool Gathering: 2015, The Year of the Wood Sheep

February 21, 2015

Wool Gathering

2015: The Year of the Wood Sheep

The Year of Gathering.

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

 It’s all about tomatoes.

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

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

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

Dragon Rules.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

A Copper’s Slips Now.

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

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

All You Need Is Love.

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

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

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

Peaking Ducks

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

Spirit Level.

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

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

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

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

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

3’s a Crowd.

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

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

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

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

The Great Year.

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

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

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

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

Forever Blowing Bubbles.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Richard Ashworth ©2015.