Posts Tagged ‘chinese astrology’

Dragon Diary for April: Keep the Change

April 4, 2017

Can’t start a Fire without a spark.
My diary for the month of the Wood Dragon
(22:14pm 4th April to 15:42pm 5th May 2017 inclusive)
in the Year of the Fire Rooster.

Kuai

—-  —-
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Breakthrough
Hexagram 43

“If adversity only bends a man, it creates in him a power to react that is bound in time to manifest.”
The Book of Changes

The Dragon Month
Animal by Animal
During this Wood Dragon Month,
The Rat reaches greater heights,
The Ox seeks a witness,
Tigers count the hours,
The smart Rabbit takes the chances offered,
The Dragon leaps and swoops,
The Snake waits his turn,
The Horse seeks admission,
The Sheep protests innocence,
The Monkey can relax,
The Rooster enjoys a welcome run of luck,
The Dog may interrupt,
and
The Pig surges.

Animal Fortunes for the Rooster year remain on the website all year: 2017: Year of the Turkey. Use wisely.

Know your inner beast. How Rabbit are you?
Birth in the Dragon Hour (7-9am)~: unruly children.
Birth on the Dragon Day#: paddling your own canoe.
Birth during the Dragon Month (April)*: freelance.
Birth in the Dragon Year: magic inherited from opposite gender parent.
~ GMT. # You’ll need a Chinese calendar for this. * Caution: Chinese months start later.

Where to do what, when and why
Summary: Here’s where wealth and success are hiding this month.
West, Intervention: Year Star: 3, Month Star: 8
3 and 8 make up a he tu Star combination which to cut a long story short, creates transformational space. So just for this month, West is the place to occupy, especially if you’re a Rat, a Dragon or a Monkey. For creativity and indeed wealth, locate yourself West for immediate results.
Caution: Don’t face W, use a W-facing door or occupy a W-facing building.
Annual Solution: Bright light to express the 3’s strop in a healthy way
Monthly Enhancement: Also bright light. 6-Pipe Metal Windchime.
East and West Groups: Everybody falls into either the East or the West Group by virtue of their birth date. The calculation is simple but if you do want to know where you belong, email me at richardashworth@imperialfengshui.info.
Readers Digest version: East Group people best face East, South, South-East and North and/or in buildings and beds backing onto these directions. West Group vice-versa. Sorry it’s fiddly, I’m not making this stuff up.

Keep the Change
“If adversity only bends a man, it creates in him a power to react that is bound in time to manifest.”
The Book of Changes

Here comes the Wood Dragon month bringing Hexagram 43, Lake over Heaven. Kuai or Breakthrough suggests that the last barrier in the way of a long term goal is finally falling away. Full steam ahead.

The Dragon whose ideograph is a thunderstorm, is the sign of sudden change, the Wood Dragon especially transformative because of her low threshold for dissatisfaction. This is the least articulate Dragon; liable to act out rather than communicate. And like pretty much everything there’s a time and place. And this may be it. Pay close attention to signs and unconscious behaviour. Why did you leave your car keys behind? What was the gist of that half-heard snatch of conversation?

There is a Sufi process I learned from Andrew Harvey that consists of chanting “Laillahahilallah*” for some time and then simply asking the world what it’s saying. This is in a sense, the purest feng shui. “Wall, what are you doing there?” “Tree, are you friend or foe?” And so on. Don’t try it on the High Street.

Because everything is a communication. We know this; we look across the road and we see someone whose walk says “I’m doing this hard thing for somebody else” or “I expect resistance.” The clothes we wear and the cars we drive speak for us. This is the month to watch for the unspoken communication, often so much more eloquent than words.

The Dragon month favours the Rat, also the Monkey and the Rooster. Change for these two is largely benevolent. They can both use a break frankly but the Rat is already on a roll. As is the Dragon, but for him this could easily be a month of leaping in the dark. And in the Dragon month, what goes for the Dragon applies to us all. Are you sure of the ground you stand on? The Dragon is heavy yang Earth – hard to move but also hard to right, once knocked off-centre. Wood Dragons – for instance those born in 1964 – are often not smart about priorities. Hence this month is quite unhelpful in sorting out precedence. It’s a chaotic kind of thing, transformation. Don’t expect tidiness. Dogs may encounter unexpected obstacles – but Rabbits can make hay. Sheep and Oxen may seek (and find) arbitration this month.

April is also a 6 lo shu month. The 6 has the qualities of yang Metal: authority, teaching, Father, God. Symbolically there’s not much difference between these things. However, this year there’s a 1 in the heart of every building.  Straightforward linear feng shui advice this month is to add Earth, perhaps in the shape of a single large crystal, dead centre of your space to form the magical 1:6:8. Be sure to cut me in to any big wins.
Richard Ashworth © 2017
*Arabic: “All is God.”

A subscription to our Monthly and Weekly Bulletins will tell you in great detail, day by day, week by week and indeed month by month, where to do what, when and often why. The bulletins include days for each individual to be cautious, when risks can be taken and where you are best taking them.

My Introduction to authentic feng shui is on Audible at:
http://amzn.to/2aGaDT8

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

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

Can’t start a Fire without a spark. My diary for the month of the Water Rabbit

March 5, 2017
Can’t start a Fire without a spark.
My diary for the month of the Water Rabbit
(17:36 Mar 5th to 22:14pm 4th April 2017 inclusive)
in the Year of the Fire Rooster.
 
Da Zhuang

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Great Power
Hexagram 34

“One must have chaos within in order to give birth to a dancing star.”
Friedrich Nietzsche
The Rabbit Month
Animal by Animal
During this Water Rabbit Month,
The Rat senses ingratitude,
The Ox is needed,
Tigers may be inappropriate,
The wise Rabbit trusts,
The Dragon seeks (and often gains) vision,
The Snake may feel out of sync,
The Horse surges but not far,
The Sheep joins forces,
The Monkey is less challenged,
The unwise Rooster preens,
The Dog is on the periphery,
and
The Pig grasps the nettle.

Know your inner beast. How Rabbit are you?
Birth in the Rabbit Hour (5-7am)~: family is central to you..
Birth on the Rabbit Day#: hostess with the mostest.
Birth during the Rabbit Month (March)*: fabulous Roladex.
Birth in the Rabbit Year: gentle and decent to a fault.
~ GMT. # You’ll need a Chinese calendar for this. * Caution: Chinese months start later.

Where to do what, when and why
Summary: Here’s where to go for that leap forward.
North East, Wealth Star: Year Star: 4 gip sat, Month Star: 1
Great all year, especially for West Group kua (8,6,7,2). This month’s 1 Water Star brings release and relief. Those qualities of invention, curiosity and academic success that attach to the young female are strong here now. Also to the not-so-young and male. Ways to achieve this include facing North East, locating in the North East of your space and seeking NE-facing buildings.
Top Tip: carry a compass.
Annual Solution: Bright light. Four Plants (eg four bamboos in Water)..
Monthly Enhancement: add Wood eg four bamboos in Water.

East and West Groups: Everybody falls into either the East or the West Group by virtue of their birth date. The calculation is simple but if you do want to know where you belong, email me at richardashworth@imperialfengshui.info.
Readers Digest version: East Group people best face East, South, South-East and North and/or in buildings and beds backing onto these directions. West Group vice-versa. Sorry it’s fiddly, I’m not making this stuff up.

Can ‘t start a Fire without a spark.
“One must have chaos within in order to give birth to a dancing star.”
Friedrich Nietzsche

Here comes the Water Rabbit month bringing Hexagram 34 Da Zhuang Great Power, as you can see. The Western mind tends to think of this kind of image as an ego boost but a more grown-up approach is to ask – what next? Great power cannot last. What do we do with it? How do we prepare for the fact that we’re going to meet on the way down those we dealt with on the way up? October and November may bring answers.

Interestingly the Rabbit is the romantic; generally gentle, accommodating and domestic. They are hosts, networkers and getter-onners with people. Despite everything else this remains the likely tenor of this as every Rabbit month. Which is poignant when we consider that in a Rooster year, the Rabbit is pretty sure to experience issues of disloyalty and bad faith. It’s just not fair. But then as far as anyone knows the tao has no moral remit. Rabbit month/Rooster year – broken faith; either or both ways round. Dog: expect to be roped in. And Dragon.

But surely this is the last thing the gentle Rabbit or the fun-loving Rooster want? Of course, but I learned early on in this strange journey, that there’s no irony in real life. When we tell ourselves that despite our perfect behaviour, things just didn’t work out, we’re missing the point. We choose all of it; consciously if we can but unconsciously otherwise. This is the tao.

And it may that for all of us this period of turbulence is bringing up useful lessons. The Rabbit perhaps needs to know their own bitter side and the Rooster the outcome of short-term thinking. And these lessons permeate to the rest of us because we are all living through the same time and place. This is the month of the open and talkative Water Rabbit but also the year of the show-offy Fire Rooster. Now may be the time get to know your inner bunny and your inner turkey.

For the above and other reasons I’ve often referred to 2017 as the Year of the Turkey and there seem to be plenty of such gobblers in public life right now. But this month it might be more accurate to call it the Year of the Chicken. As in two reckless drivers speeding towards one another at colossal combined speed.  Remember this may be true globally, domestically and personally. And we can adjust our attitudes, our behaviour and our environments to allow for that. For which, see below of course.

March is also a 7 lo shu month which makes for even more glitter and shiny stuff. Bomber-jacketted Donald Trump playing with his toy planes and aircraft carriers may be typical. If we discount Barack Obama (pause for deep breath) Trump is of course the third consecutive draft-dodging Fire Dog President. Drain the swamp? Pull the world into it more like.

The 7 which defines the month just as the Rabbit does, represents a thousand things in Chinese symbolism. One of which incidentally is the Rooster. 7 is reckoned to be mischievous, interfering, inappropriate, even in the extreme aggressive. Elementally it is generally considered to be yin Metal. But its full name is Red Seven and red is not a Metal colour. Red is passionate, spontaneous, awkward, it’s Fire. 7 also stands for the mouth and the openings of the body.

Taken together what does this mumbo-jumbo mean? Here’s what: the yin metal implies a superficial attitude, attachment to bling and shiny things and variable integrity; Fire brings impatience and attention-seeking behaviour. Not a nourishing cocktail on the face of it. However – stay with me – this year there’s a 1 in the heart of every building. This brings the 7 to the boil. So we can expect communication to be frank, revealing and immediate this month. Home truths are told and emotional and spiritual stuckness expressed. It’s time for frank talk – again globally, personally, domestically, other. If we pay attention longstanding dialogue may complete.

Animal Fortunes for the Rooster year remain on the website all year:
2017: Year of the Turkey. Use wisely.

A subscription to our Monthly and Weekly Bulletins will tell you week by week and month by month, where to do what, when and often why. This can be very useful for planning travel and crucial meetings. Subscriptions (and further info): sheilavashworthfengshui@gmail.com

My Introduction to authentic feng shui is on Audible at:
http://amzn.to/2aGaDT8

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 © 2017
www.imperialfengshui.info

My diary for the month of the Water Tiger

February 6, 2017
Shaken but not stirred.
My diary for the month of the Water Tiger
(23:49 Feb 3rd to 17:36 Mar 5th inclusive)
in the Year of the Fire Rooster.
Tai

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—-  —-
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———-

Peace
Hexagram 11

“One day when you conquer yourself and return to true order, the whole world will revert to humanity.”
Liu I-Ming.

The Tiger Month
Animal by Animal
During this Water Tiger Month,
The Rat moves to a distance,
The Ox decelerates,
You Tigers know your rights,
The smart Rabbit is using every moment wisely,
The Dragon begins to relax,
The Snake reaches for the sky,
The Horse may be startled,
The Sheep can advance once more,
The Monkey knows the limits,
The Rooster may still not get it,
The Dog protects the defenceless. Or not,
and
The Pig sees many more alternatives.

Update: BASHIR NADERI
Unbelievably Bashir has been refused leave to stay in the UK– he’s been here since he was 10 and speaks no Afghan languages – but this is the surreal world of 2017. His lawyers continue to appeal. You can help by Tweeting #supportbashir, making his case your FaceBook status or writing to your local MP, Amber Rudd the Home Secretary  or anybody who you think might be able to help the cause.

Know your inner beast. How Tiger are you?
Birth in the Tiger Hour (3-5am)~: a risk of children being distant.
Birth on the Tiger Day#: the relentless pursuer of justice.
Birth during the Tiger Month (February)*: work relies on appointment.
Birth in the Tiger Year: vision, patience, familiarity with hierarchies.
~ GMT. # You’ll need a Chinese calendar for this. * Caution: Chinese months start later.

Where to do what, when and why
Summary: Here’s where to go to stimulate creativity.
North, Distant Future: Year Star 6, Moon. Month Star: 4.
The North is helpful pretty much all year with the annual 6 offering supportive authority while the Moon maintains order. This month’s 4 brings curiosity, invention and as the sex-mad Chinese guys have it, scandal. The 4 and the 6 make a “perfect” 10, so facing or locating North will tend to support you whoever you are but especially those with East Group kuas (1, 3, 4 & 9) engaged in imaginative and creative pursuits.
Annual Solution: Large (6kg+) rose quartz, a little Metal, occasional Water.
Monthly Enhancement: Four plants (eg bamboos in Water). Follow the 4.

East and West Groups: Everybody falls into either the East or the West Group by virtue of their birth date. The calculation is simple but if you do want to know where you belong, email me at richardashworth@imperialfengshui.info.
Readers Digest version: East Group people best face East, South, South-East and North and/or in buildings and beds backing onto these directions. West Group vice-versa. Sorry it’s fiddly, I’m not making this stuff up.

Shaken but not stirred.
“One day when you conquer yourself and return to true order, the whole world will revert to humanity.”
Liu I-Ming.

The Tiger never forgets; a favour, a slight, the right order of things. The Tiger understands power and hierarchies. The Tiger knows that Might may not be Right but it can be pretty persuasive. It’s the Tiger’s neighbour the Rabbit (whose month follows next) who believes that the pen is mightier than the sword; the Tiger is not so sure. These are the keynotes of any Tiger month but especially this one; personally, domestically, internationally.

In February my schedule usually eases up. The changes for the New Year are done, Animal Fortunes are out and I can concentrate on other stuff. I’ve neglected some longstanding clients, I have a book to write and one or two personal annual forecasts to draft. These call for close attention because they have to be accurate and precise. I’ve lost count of the annual forecast events I’ve attended where a Master’s wisdom amounts to: “The people won’t like the government, markets will go up and down and Water Element businesses may do quite well.” Not that much help in navigating the year. My personal forecasts have to be ….well….personal.

Technically this is a Water Tiger month with an 8 lo shu (or magic square). The 8 is hopeful. It means that what happens at the centres of things – nations and cities as well as your home – tend to be purposeful, even if it looks otherwise. It may help to take the longer view and we of course can intervene in a number of ways.

Interestingly there are only a few individual days that are universally helpful – the 12th and the 24th are about it – but many that will boost particular Animals. You need to know about this, especially if you are a Rabbit or Dog (Hello Donald Trump) for which you need my bulletins which will tell you, among much else, that Dragons who are on a roll this year, might reserve the 14th and 18th for a big putsch; Rabbits the 9th and 13th. The Rat gets a pretty good shake throughout, as do certain Tigers.

To summarise we’re entering a competitive time, consistent with the Tiger’s contentious nature and the showiness of the Rooster. What to do about it room by room, building by building is also in my Weekly and Monthly Bulletins which are available at modest cost, by subscription. There’s a sample below of the full What to do where, when and indeed why feature that we send out along with a great deal more information to subscribers every month. Out in the world,Anchor expect the above trends to be reflected – there’s little co-operation going on and such as there is may prove quite grudging.

Animal Fortunes for the Rooster year remain on the website all year: 2017: Year of the Turkey. Use wisely.
Richard Ashworth © 2017

What to do where and indeed why in the month of the Water Tiger.
Summary
This Tiger month features an 8 lo shu. As a rule the 8 – infinity on its side, the endless knot – is considered fortuitous. It’s Earth, so it needs a bit of attention but it’ll offer help if we treat it right. What would that be? Well, Earth is supported by Fire but we don’t position Fire at the tai chi. As Master Chan Kun Wah used to say: we don’t burn the heart. Fortunately however Wood stimulates Earth, so, all other things being equal, I’d put a little Wood there, in the geometric centre. Some of you will already, for related reasons, have four bamboos in Water there. If so, leave them. Otherwise one plant right at dead centre. Make sure it gets enough light or the metaphor will be all wrong. Wood is always growing, so planks and batons and rolling pins are not what’s intended. One plant in decent light and attended. Abundance is a much bigger issue than simple wealth but expect good things. And in this year of the Watery 1, expect creativity of all sorts, most particularly the written word.
Enhance with: a single healthy plant. Fresh cut flowers will do fine.

Location by Location
North West, Authority: Year Star: 2, Sun, Month Star: 9.
The 9 Star, as you know, represents the near future. Having landed in the NW, it’s now, as you also know, in the realm of the Father. The annual Sun ensures this is a location of healing throughout 2017 whatever else is going on. But right now a house facing NW or with a busy door oriented that way will tend to be characterized by a need to plan. Those in authority would do well to look to the bigger picture and being or facing here will help, also spending time in a NW-facing building. Those who wish to be in a position of authority a little way down the line would do well to plot here now.
Month Solution: Bright light but you’ll risk mild illness along with more positive acquisition. Otherwise……
Annual Solution: Red 6 (six Chinese coins tied up with red thread) and wu lou (gourd) are reckoned effective against the 2.

West, Intervention: Year Star: 3 Year, toe far, tai sui, tin yute. Month Star: 1.
West remains okay to occupy (although a dangerous direction to face) because it’s where the strongest annual energy, the tai sui is coming from. During 2017 the Noble Helper tin yute gwai yan – makes it the place to seek help, when the source may not be clear – as well as the toe far of new relationship – especially for Rat, Dragon and Monkey. For these objectives locate yourself West but don’t face West, employ a West-facing door or occupy a West-facing building. In any case expect some conflict, due to the stroppy 3 Star but (this month) it’s the place for problem-solving discussion.
Month Solution: Metal stuff plus 6-Pipe Metal Windchime or bright light.
Annual Solution: Bright, light, red stuff to express 3’s strop healthily.

North East, Wealth Star: Year Star: 4 gip sat, Month Star: 2.
Much better than 2016 especially if yours is a West Group kua (8,6,7,2). But this month may bring blockage as well as growth of all sorts, positive and negative. It may still not be before March that occupants of the North East, those who face that way or live in NE-facing buildings will experience much advantage. But it will come; those qualities of invention, curiosity and academic success that attach to the young female are here for a while. Er..and scandal. But right now mostly blockage or growth.
Month Solution: Add Metal – Metal stuff plus 6-Pipe Metal Windchime, clockwork music box or mechanical clock, wu lou or Red 6.
Annual Enhancement: Fire, (eg bright light). 4 Plants (eg 4 bamboos in Water).

South, Bright Future: Year Star: 5 wu huang, Month Star: 3.
The 5 is not much fun for anybody and it’s hard to neutralize, though Metal objects and wu lous are reckoned to help. Continue to treat the South with delicacy Don’t over-activate, especially do not dig or drill; even if yours is an East Group kua: 1, 3, 4 & 9. South door much the same effect. Overuse could lead to embarrassment and/or bad publicity; this month for the younger man who is represented by the confrontational 3.
Month Solution: The Fire of bright light will draw out the 3’s aggression but is equally likely to bring on the delay and sickness of the 5. Best to stay out and keep it quiet.
Annual Solution: Metallic objects may soften the 5. I use a chue cure: the t’ang lung, a charm which I have made up for me in very precise dimensions. Worth considering as the South – fame, publicity, promotion – is going to be risky all year.

North, Distant Future: Year Star 6, Moon. Month Star: 4.
The North is better this year with a year-long 6 and the Moon maintaining order. The arriving 4 brings curiosity, invention and as the sex-mad Chinese guys have it, scandal. The 4 and the 6 make a “perfect” 10, so facing or locating North will support anyone. Especially East Group kuas (1, 3, 4 & 9) in imaginative and creative pursuits.
Annual Solution: A large (6kg+) rose quartz, a little Metal, occasional Water.
Monthly Solution: Four plants (eg bamboos in Water). Follow the 4.

South West, Accumulation: Year Star: 7, Month Star: 5.
The 7 which augurs interference, fire and robbery in the worst cases, promises interference all year even for the favoured West Group kuas 2, 6, 7 and 8 And the 5 makes it worse. Poor as a location or facing direction – above all for the older woman.
Annual Solution: Water (not fountain – eg fresh Water changed daily).
Monthly Solution: Metal stuff, a mechanical clock, musical box.

East, Ambition: Year Star: 8 san sha, sui po, Month Star: 6.
Good location favours East Group kuas: 1, 3, 4 & 9 as well as certain Pigs, Dogs and Sheep all year. But because of the baddies above – san sha, sui po – continue to treat gently. The Eldest Son, creativity,learning, training and associated aspirations are favoured here all year. Good direction to face also.
Annual and Monthly Solution: Water (a fountain is good all year).

South East, Determination: Year Star: 9 Dragon Virtue, Month Star: 7.
Best front door and generally the best direction to face all year, especially if you want to be known. Dragon Virtue supports the good reputation of all, kuas 1 3 4 and 9 in particular as well as certain Monkeys, Rats, Snakes, Roosters and Oxen (Dragons may find it competitive – not that that’s necessarily bad). All year the place to be noticed in a positive way. Not at its best this month as there may be frustration due to the 7.
Month Solution: Clockwork (eg a music box).
Annual Enhancement: 4 Plants (eg bamboo stems) or a Water fountain.

Distracted by Shiny Things:
2017, the Fire Rooster: the Year of the Turkey.
What to do next?
 
Tune-Ups, Bulletins, Studying Ba Zi & Feng Shui, Retainers
with Richard Ashworth in 2017.

A South-Eastern door looks helpful in 2017 – but how do you enhance it? Dragons and Snakes look set but what about Rabbits and the Roosters themselves? How do we capitlaise on the fresh energy? In answer to such questions, here are some ways we might work together this year:

 1. A Tune-Up survey brings your work or living space into the Year of the Fire Rooster. Richard identifies the spots that need attention and attends to them or tells you what to do. If we’ve mapped it already, this will take 2-4 hours and we’ll charge you less. Otherwise set the controls for ½ a day.

2. A subscription to our Monthly and Weekly Bulletins will tell you week by week and month by month, where to do what, when and often why. This can be very useful for planning travel and crucial meetings.

3. Studying feng shui or ba zi; we run starter courses on each which are available as a group “live” thing from time to time or (constantly) via Skype/Zoom. Both bought together will cost you less.

4. Hand-drafted ba zi and consultation, one to one. Ba zi of course plots the cycle of time as it applies to you and will tend to show major milestones, preferences and blockages. The ba zi is perhaps the very best device there is for identifying major moments of choice. And doing something about them. A follow-up session, if Richard has already drafted your ba zi is often a good way to start the year.

5. Soul Retainer. For a single annual payment or monthly payments, you receive a Tune-Up, Monthly and Weekly Bulletins and a further four hours one-to-one over the year as well as attendance at next year’s Forecast Weekend.
Prices (and further information): sheilaashworthfengshui@gmail.com

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 Naomie Harris 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 2017©
www.imperialfengshui.info

2017 the Fire Rooster – A Day with Richard Ashworth

October 14, 2016

The Fire Rooster
2017 : the Year of the Turkey.

Meet the New Boss, same as the old boss”Pete Townsend, “Won’t get fooled again.”

The Fire Rooster is a capricious bird. Blessed with the charm to inspire life-long devotion, he often chooses instead to hold back, satisfied with simply dazzling. So 2017 is likely to be a year when show, publicity and packaging disguise content. It’s a year to ask difficult questions. In any case the Rooster’s yin Metal nature makes it the year both of research and subterfuge.

This quality of making an empty impression indicates the year’s underlying nature. The Dragons (1940, 1952, 1964, 1976, 1988) will tend to have something of a free ticket (good news for less balanced ones such as Boris Johnson, Nigel Farage and Vladimir Putin btw). It’s possible they will use it to burst bubbles and highlight what’s worth highlighting. Snakes (1953, 1965, 1977, 1989) however like Tony Blair and Basharat al-Assad prosper beyond all reasonable expectation as do Oxen – among them Barack Obama. It’s the year of the overstayed welcome as well as of the empty posture.

The annual lo shu or “magic square” of the year has at its centre the Watery 1 of communication. So set the controls for a year of talk, negotiation and spin. The trick will be to not allow this jaw-jaw to be empty. The Rabbit has a big role here – to challenge bad faith and half-truth. You’ll win through as long as you stick to what matters. Angelina Jolie, this means you; your time is better spent calling governments on their arms-selling record than your ex on his spliff habit. In 2017 older Dogs will tend to bark less; Bill Clinton, George W Bush and Donald Trump – all born 1946 – will fade away. This is the last wag of the old guard; they are sleeping dogs, let them lie.

In our houses,the Eastern area will call for very careful treatment to forestall a plague of boils, as will the South. This makes it a year of deft manoeuvering for the 50% of us designated East Group by our birth. A saving grace is that a South East door looks handy as does (unusually) Water in the tai chi or “heart” of the house. More I’m not going to give away before December.

Internationally the likely trouble spots are unsurprising: the Far East of course but also Eastern and Southern regions; flooding is likely for instance in East Anglia and hurricanes along the Carolina coast though they’ll tend to be more destructive in the Gulf of Mexico. Eastern Ukraine, the North West frontier (that’s Eastern Afghanistan) are trouble spots, as is Moscow and the Great Barrier Reef. In Europe the turmoil moves East – from for instance Austria to Hungary and Berlin to Warsaw. Not the greatest year in Canary Wharf either. Or the White House. And let’s not forget that it is not simply because turkeys are voting for Christmas worldwide that I’m calling this the year of the turkey. This may well be the year of Turkey.

I could go on. I won’t. I’ll be talking a lot more about all of this at the Pepperpot, Godalming High Street between 10 and 5 on the 3rd December. Join us. The future starts here.

Richard Ashworth.

We sold out very quickly last year so please book promptly.
Your place is secured by payment to:
HSBC, Sort: 40 22 12, A/C No: 33662950
or
via the Paypal button halfway down the Services page of Richard’s website.

Price:  £125. Early Bird £85 by 1/11/16.
Email: sheilaashworthfengshui@gmail.com.

Richard Ashworth©
www.imperialfengshui.info

Little Red Rooster

September 8, 2016

Little Red Rooster
My diary for the month of the Fire Rooster
(Sept7th 13:48pm to 05:59 Oct 8th inclusive)
in the Year of the Fire Monkey.

Kuan
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———-
—-  —-
—-  —-
—-  —-
—-  —-
The Watchtower
Hexagram 20

“Everything that gives off light is dependent upon something to which it clings.”
The Book of Changes.

The Rooster Month
Animal by Animal
During this Fire Rooster Month,
The Rat may feel disinformed,
The Ox whistles nonchalantly,
The Tiger is bemused,
The Rabbit chooses his moment,
The Dragon flies high,
The Snake emerges,
The Horse stamps,
The Sheep’s support may go uncredited,
The Monkey takes a back seat,
The Rooster is surprisingly bashful,
The Dog waits his turn,
while
The Pig seizes the initiative.

Know your inner beast. How Rooster are you?
Birth in the Rooster Hour (3-5pm)~: numerate kids.
Birth on the Rooster Day#: pride that can go either way.
Birth during the Rooster Month (September)*: work with design.
Birth in the Rooster Year: flirtatious parents.
~ An hour earlier than the clock during British Summertime ie 8-10.
# You’ll need a Chinese calendar for this. * Caution: Chinese months start later.

Where to do what, when and why
Summary: Two locations again

South, Bright Future: Year Star: 6, annual san sha, Month Star: 8.
To encourage a bright future, it’s best for East Group people to locate or face South again. South–facing windows and doors are favoured as is the South of your home/office. “Bright future” btw means plan, plot, visualise and wait; whatever Barthes and Derrida may think, the future is a little down the line. No complaints that nothing happened in the first three minutes following the change, please.
Note: To sleep facing South means toes North, pillow South.

West, Intervention: Year Star: 4 Year, Sun, Month Star: 6.
For West Group people West (who’da thought it?) remains a top location. The single female could successfully seek company here. Positive intervention may bring windfalls too. Locating yourself West, facing West or occupying a West-facing building is pretty sound. Same with West-opening doors.
Note: To sleep facing West means toes East, pillow West.

East and West Groups: Everybody falls into either East or West Group by virtue of their birth date. The calculation is simple but if you want to know where you belong, email me at richardashworth@imperialfengshui.info.
Readers Digest version: East Group people are best facing East, South, South-East and North and/or in buildings and beds backing onto these directions. West Group vice-versa.

My actual Diary
Little Red Rooster.
I have a stopover in a dinky little hotel while I’m working on integrating a house and workshop into an ancient group of hills. I can’t tell you more about this right now, if ever.

But staying away from home gives me a chance to read extra-curricular stuff; in this case Barney Hoskyns’ Trampled Underfoot about the infamous exploits of Led Zeppelin. Coincidentally (in the sense that there is such a thing) today the  redtops are reporting that a US court has let Led Zeppelin get away with yet another “inspiration” – this time having cut and pasted Taurus by Spirit into the introduction to Stairway to Heaven. And as it turns out, I’m listening to Nessun Dorma played by Jeff Beck. Beck is the most lyrical of guitar players. Check out his version of Somewhere over the Rainbow if you doubt me. Such an emphatic touch. Beck was with Jimmy Page in the Yardbirds of course. So it’s fair to say that Page was, far from being the greatest guitar player in the world, not even the best in the Yardbirds.

As it happens, Willie Dixon’s Little Red Rooster is not on the rollcast of blues and folk artists plundered by Zeppelin: Howlin’ Wolf, Bert Jansch, Muddy Waters, it really is a long list .

Anyway a red rooster is clearly Fire, not say Wood or Metal. This Fire Rooster month prefigures 2017. So obviously enough similar forces affect both and consequently, similar events can be expected. Both month and year are Fire Roosters: a boisterous bird that tends to be glamorous and charismatic. The Rooster is also logical to a fault. A balanced one is a valuable friend while you have her attention; out of control this is a bombastic show-off, mouth disengaged from mind and heart. Current potential and actual world leaders fit this bill pretty well, as did Led Zeppelin. The Rooster is inherently Metal and Fire attacks Metal. Own goals and friendly fire are likely this month. Along with plagiarism.

The “Star” at the centre of the lo shu or magic square is a 4 which relates both to innovation and copying. The 4 is puckish but generally benevolent. It sits to the South East which means that some Western interpretations of feng shui limit its influence to “Wealth” which is over-simplistic. Wealthy or not, the Rooster is yin, (ie principally to do with the feminine) and it’s sometimes termed the por kwan. The por kwan or  “broken soldier” often possesses the “poison tongue”; words that can kill at fifty paces.

But it’s not a time to hold your tongue. It’s actually a very good month to say in a new way things that need saying, as long as you’re truly well-intentioned. Anything can be communicated in a way that’s healing. Let me emphasise that this is not an appeal on behalf of pc central but a warning to consider the impact, accuracy and intention of words. In NLP theory “the meaning of a communication” is reckoned to be “the reaction it elicits.” It’s black and white, we don’t get to say “I didn’t mean that,” when we bruise with a careless phrase. On one hand then, this is the month of the apology, on the other it’s foot-in-the-mouth-Month. Watch the front pages.

A dozen semi-literate black songwriters died in penury when a small cheque from Page might have pulled them out of the gutter and at this moment in time when there is more inequality than ever and more denial of the fact, we are at a er… crossroads, so to speak. The Monkey year has as predicted been chaotic. But nothing is written in stone. One man’s chaos is another’s opportunity.  Next year’s Rooster, like this month’s could go either way.

And there is really nothing, no magic, no mumbo-jumbo, no recherché formula, more powerful than telling someone something nice that’s true.
See Hexagram 27 perhaps.

Richard Ashworth © 2016

Special (almost) free bonus:
Some years ago a guy rang me and asked if I’d like to record a cd about classical feng shui. I agreed and he arrived with his headphones and plugs, I ran very simply through the meaning of the Zodiac animals and where in my daughter Jessica’s words “to put stuff to get stuff.” It was clear, authentic and simple, he caught me on a very good day. Then he scarpered and I heard no more. Last month a new student told me she’d found me through a wonderful “podcast” which turned out to be this recording. I was never paid but you can get it from Audible for around £4. Now I know how Howlin’ Wolf felt.
Here’s the link: http://amzn.to/2aGaDT8Footnote: my next ba zi Starter Course starts on the weekend of September 17th/18th. Details here:
http://www.imperialfengshui.info/coursesAnd finally: a limited number of places are still available to study with me one to one via Skype. Email: sheilaashworthfengshui@gmail.com
Richard Ashworth©
www.imperialfengshui.info

More Monkey Business

August 9, 2016
More Monkey Business:  Two Fire Monkeys.

This is for Thea.

Fire  Monkey month in Fire Monkey year. Set the controls for disturbance. On the 18th and the 30th there’ll be three. OMG.

In Chinese myth, the Monkey is an unapologetic beast. He can bound several li to escape the consequences of his actions and in one tale he even leaps to the Moon to delete the record of his wrongdoing from the Akashic record. Bit of a Trump. Or a Johnson. Or an Assad. Or a Pepsico. Or a Goldman Sachs. Continued, as they say on page 94. The key note of the unbalanced Monkey is a shame bypass.

And OMG here comes a double Fire Monkey. The last Fire Monkey month was in 2011, the time of the London Riots, when the frustration more recently expressed in Brexit and elsewhere first boiled over. I’m not suggesting panic in Poundland or mayhem in Morrisons but we are now probably at the peak of the turbulence of the mischievous Monkey. Feng shui aims to give us a measure of control but in a world where last week I could so easily have been in Russell Square, how can any of us expect to control anything?

Technically the magic square or lo shu of this Monkey month has the 5 Star at its centre. The 5 lo shu is reckoned to describe the moment at the beginning of time when nothingness became stuff: two kinds of stuff actually – yin and yang – followed by the “myriad” or “10,000 things”, that is to say everything that we can touch feel or measure. This suggests a month featuring some kind of return to the beginning. It’s a 2 year however, and these two stars combined are generally considered pretty baleful. And for the anoraks out there, the 28 Lunar Mansions are almost in sync with the quarters of the Moon – very very unusual. Run for the hills.

Well no. Feng shui theory considers there to be three realms if you like: the Heavenly, the Earthly and the Human. Heaven was there before the 5 lo shu (in the sense that “before” means anything here); Heaven sets the rules. The Earth operates within those rules to which “models” like feng shui and indeed physics are responses. The rules could have been different – gravity could have gone upwards, the sky could be pink – but they are not. Human beings are considered the interface. It is we who employ methods, systems, sciences if you will within the parameters set by Heaven. Human beings have choice; myths from Prometheus to Adam illustrate this. We have the gift of cocking up but also that of changing the rules.

How do we that? First we recognise Heaven, the limits of our power. There are certain things we can control so let’s control them: our mouths, our actions and reactions and our attitudes for instance. There are certain other things we can’t control; how others behave is one. The hate that is in the world and apparently outside ourselves; we can offer this back to Heaven simply by not subscribing . Jesus had a bit of take on this, if you recall.

Second we do what we can mechanically. This is Earth qi. We inform ourselves and act compassionately and consciously and perhaps take a few risks. We can stand against British companies supplying and training Saudi forces to bomb the supply lines that would otherwise feed Yemeni children – over 5,000 of whom have starved to death during the current forgotten war. We can support media that is genuinely informative – Channel Four News is the only tv news worth attention imho – and papers that need folding. Knowing the facts is not negative.

As for the Earth qi of feng shui, we respect the timing and locations outlined elsewhere in this bulletin. And do it with awareness that the North East means North Eastern Europe (think about it) as well perhaps as your bathroom. We can accept for instance that neither Vladimir Putin nor Boris Johnson as Dragons in a Monkey year are likely to come a cropper.

And thirdly we use the power of choice to choose a better world. This calls for deep honesty about our own laziness and disengagement. It calls for communication and possibly the courage to be outspoken. There is in this world I have landed upon much that I would prefer was not there. Along with you, I choose better. Every day, not just during the Monkey month.

Change may not happen overnight but if we start to make different choices, the world might even be a better place, come September.

Richard Ashworth ©2016

Special (almost) free bonus:
Some years ago a guy rang me and asked if I’d like to record a cd about classical feng shui. I agreed and he arrived with his headphones and plugs, I ran very simply through the meaning of the Zodiac animals and where in my daughter Jessica’s words “to put stuff to get stuff.” It was clear, authentic and simple, he caught me on a very good day. Then he scarpered and I heard no more. Last month a new student told me she’d found me through a wonderful “podcast” which turned out to be this recording. I was never paid but you can get it from Audible for around £4.
Here’s the link: http://amzn.to/2aGaDT8

Footnote: my next ba zi Starter Course starts in September, Early Bird offers are open until 8th August. Details here:
http://www.imperialfengshui.info/courses

And finally: a limited number of places are still available to study with me one to one via Skype. Email: sheilaashworthfengshui@gmail.com

Richard Ashworth©
www.imperialfengshui.info

SNAFU Manchu My diary for the month of the Wood Sheep

July 7, 2016
SNAFU Manchu
My diary for the month of the Wood Sheep
(July 7th 00:33 to August 7th 10:39am inclusive)
in the Year of the Fire Monkey.
 

Dun
———-
———-
———-
———-
—-  —-
—-  —-
Withdrawal
Hexagram 33

“Whoever can comprehend this exchange could rule the world.” Confucius.

The Sheep Month
Animal by Animal
During this Wood Sheep Month,
The Rat may appear sidelined,
The Ox may be confronted,
The wise Tiger holds back for now,
Fortune favours the brave Rabbit,
The Dragon is on cruise control,
The Snake seeks advantage,
The humble Horse finds comfort,
The Sheep rules – if that’s okay,
The Monkey is quietly agitated,
The Rooster could be oblivious,
The Dog is consistent,
while
The Pig gains a further foothold.
 
Know your inner beast. How Sheep are you?
Birth in the Sheep Hour (1-3pm)~: age disgracefully.
Birth on the Sheep Day#: the pivot and the ridgepole.
Birth during the Sheep Month (July)*: selfless work.
Birth in the Sheep Year: idealism, 60’s consciousness.

~ An hour earlier than the clock during British Summertime ie 8-10.
# You’ll need a Chinese calendar for this.
*Caution: Chinese months start later.

Where to do what, when and why

Summary: There is a choice of helpful locations this month. One suits the West Group of people, the other the East Group. If as is likely, this means nothing to you, just ask: richardashworthfengshui@gmail.com . Meanwhile remember to be gentle.

West, Intervention: Year Star: 4 Year Sun, Month Star: 8.
The visiting 8 suggests the West helps the creative this month. The monthly san sha makes it fragile, so be gentle and await inspiration. Writer’s block, tricky plotting and the equivalent knots relating to art, sculpture, dance design and so on will tend to loosen in the West right now. The romantic toe far or “plum flower” Star is still here which means that affairs of the heart may distract in the nicest possible way. Trust this as part of the creative process, sex and creativity are inextricably linked, as geniuses like Picasso and Dali insisted. They also (consider Prince and Marvin Gaye for instance) bring healing. Which is the job of the restorative Sun sitting due West all year at the Rooster.

So locate yourself West, face West, enter through a Western door or occupy a West-facing building but don’t make too much commotion; no parties, keep music down and infrequent. West Group kuas: 2, (especially) 6, 7, 8*: are suited. Mechanically a Water fountain is a boost. And occasional bright light – not too bright.

East, Ambition: Year Star: 9 Dragon Virtue Month Star: 4
The 9/4 is combination stud muffin, sex kitten and student. Often of course found in the same package – which may make it hard to concentrate. Dragon Virtue looks after reputation and a Water Feature will continue to boost ambition. But locating or facing East may prove distracting. Either way keep adding More Wood! Best for East Group people: 3 4 9 1.

*Note: These are calculated from birth details; everybody is one or the other. If this is all er…Chinese to you, email me your birth details or more drastically, study ba zi that is Four Pllars (the Cycle of Time) with me.

SNAFU Manchu:
My diary for the month of the Wood Sheep.
Politics Alert: if all you want is dates and places, read no further.

Chinese Masters can relish predicting plagues of boils. I generally don’t do it because it’s just too easy. Furthermore there is a thin line between identifying the future and creating it. What I have been pretty explicit about though for several years is the Fire Monkey’s likely turbulence and the spread of the global unrest that’s been brewing since at least 2010.

As it happens I was at a love-in for Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt just before the referendum and I found myself reluctantly agreeing with him about Remaining. He stands of course for the vested interests of the City whereas I feel more representative of my children the future, cooperation and generally saying yes to stuff. But he was adamant that Brexit formed the greatest threat to British sovereignty (whatever that is) since Suez. What year would that have been? You’re right, the Fire Monkey of 1956.

In the years leading up to the current Monkey, global turbulence took the many contradictory forms of the Scottish Referendum, Hong Kong’s Umbrella Revolution and popular support for Podemos in Spain as well as thrusts for independence in places such as Catalonia, right wing movements like UKIP all over Europe, Donald Chump’s bid for power and of course Brexit. These are the forces channelled, rabble-roused and then abandoned by Boris, Gove and Farage. Not that there is that much to choose between the above sociopaths and Cameron, Osborne and indeed Trump; all spouting negative, lowest common denominator crowd-pleasing stuff designed to bring out the worst. This is the code of the above-it-all.

And it is in the teeth of this that the efforts of the Greek popular movement Syriza have been so poignant. Did you know that Mario Draghi the President  of the European Central Bank now enforcing privatisation, pension cuts and sliced-up public services, is the same man who while he was at Goldman Sachs, advised the Greek Government (for a vast commission) as they fudged their figures in order to “converge” and join the Euro? You couldn’t make it up.

Anyway now that we’re in the eye of the storm let’s try to explain how events fall into the gan zi cycles of time and perhaps look at what comes next.
No Wise Monkeys.
As you have learned, if we want a guide to what’s likely to happen in a Fire Monkey year, we look closely at previous Monkeys and extremely closely at Fire Monkeys. This means going back in sequences first of twelve years and then of sixty in order to consider how past events may recur in a more modern context.

Which takes us back first to the Wood Monkey of 2004 when the principal topic of interest on this isolated little island was the invasion of Iraq. Twelve years previously British boots had also been on the ground in that long-suffering part of the world and in 1980 the Russians blundered into Iraq themselves. 1968 brought escalation of the American invasion of South East Asia as well as street riots in Paris; plus, as they say, ca change, plus c’est la meme chose. Excuse my French. Monkey means chaos and specifically invasion. I write as the Chilcot Enquiry reveals its findings.

Then we go deeper. 1956, like 1896, 1836, 1776, 1716 and even 1536 are multiples of sixty years apart. Each is not just a Monkey but a Fire Monkey. The key events I have long seen in these Monkeys were Suez (1956) The Alamo (1836), the American Declaration of Independence (1776) and the inflation of the South Sea Bubble (1716). I’ve been banging on about parallels to these (and particularly this last) for a very long time. But it took a conversation with my friend, the very perceptive Sarah Fenton to get me to look as far back as 1536.

Remember the Alamo!
1956: Suez. Briefly, events in Egypt that year suggest we really could still be stupid enough to try and solve Middle-Eastern questions with bombs. Gun boat diplomacy worked in the Boer War, why not in 1956 and indeed 2016? Watch this space.

1836: The Alamo. Early in the morning of March 6th 1836 the Alamo mission house packed with American settlers, in San Antonio, Texas (or rather Tejas) in Northern Mexico was wiped out by several thousand troops under the dictator Antonio Lopez de Santa Anna. The Americans had been paid by the Mexican government to migrate there and clear the territory of natives; even then it was common knowledge that American people took to gun violence like no other. Empresarios such as Sam Houston – who would go on to be the first Governor of the new American territory of Texas – and William Travis (played by Laurence Harvey in the John Wayne movie) had made substantial incomes from brokering this migration.

Suffice it to say that by the end of the year, Texas was American. In US myth the Alamo is the story of gallant Davy Crockett (Wayne) inspiring the settlers to stand for justice and the American way in the face of tyranny. The fact is that to this day, Texas is largely Hispanic not because of incursions from the South but because the Mexicans were there already. In Mexico.

Fast-forward to today, Chump is having fun winding up Hispanic-American tension. A wall (“that they’ll pay for”) running say, from Laredo to Baja California would more than likely be the popular success its equivalents in Berlin and Palestine have proved to be. But that issue – Hispanic rights – will be pivotal to the result of the election. And Chump will ride that horse as far as it will go. See above.

You can’t shoot without a gun.
1776: The American Constitution, perhaps still the greatest product of the human mind, is augmented by the 10 Amendments of the Bill of Rights, the second of which permits Americans to bear arms. And kill each other. I see this amendment itself being amended by the end of the next Presidential term but there will be plenty of resistance first. August will tell.

1716: The South Sea Bubble. I’ve written about this more than once before. In that Fire Monkey year, the South Sea Trading Company had for six years or so been selling off the British National Debt at many times its face value. Today we’d call these investments junk bonds. By 1720 the bottom fell out of the market and ruined thousands. If this is predictive, a life-changing market “correction” is on its way right now, perhaps the biggest since 1929. Which is not all bad by the way, in that a fresh start might pull money back onshore, bring down property prices and lead to the reform of corporate governance while restricting global inequality along with the consumption of hydrocarbons.

1536: #Brexit1, The Dissolution of the Monasteries. Ann Boleyn is said to have refused to let Henry VIII have his wicked way with her unless she was first made Queen. In his desperation to get his leg over, Henry ushered in the English Reformation, consequently finding himself in possession of huge tracts of church land. This land and the other riches of the church belonged (if they belonged to anybody) to the congregations whose alms had built them up. Undeterred Henry shared them out among the wealthy. That this was a parallel with the distribution of the wealth of the common people among the rich and undeserving that has accelerated over these first two decades of the 21st century, has been clear to me for a very long time. But it took a conversation with the above-mentioned Sarah Fenton to have me realise that it equally represented a cutting off from the Catholic Church, the Pope and thus a break with Europe.  Oops.

And from that a further insight: the new barons had more wealth than they knew what to do with. Many including Henry’s son and successor, Edward VI set up schools on some of the land they’d received in this massive windfall. These (Rugby 1567, Harrow 1572, Westminster 1560 and so on) form the backbone of the English Public (that is Private) School system – the method by which the English middle class ensure their children emerge into adulthood as repressed and dissociated as they are themselves. If you want to understand how deeply Cameron, Johnson, Farage and the rest of them don’t give a damn, you perhaps need to understand this uniquely British institution. And 1536 is when Henry’s incontinence gives it birth.

It was the Duke of Wellington who remarked that the Battle of Waterloo had been won on the playing fields of Eton. That and every other triumph of the British Empire; only the British Public Schoolboy could believe he had a right to invade India, China, Malaysia, the list is long. Only British Public School boys could have massacred natives and then gone home for a game of cricket followed by a gin and tonic. Only British Public Schoolboys could have engineered Brexit and then to a man scarpered. The roots are in the Fire Monkey of 1536 which goes some way to explaining why we remain ruled by sociopaths.

Darling Buds.
The Sheep month is likely to be conciliatory to Horses like Cameron and Merkel, harsh upon Oxen such as Barack Obama and Yanis Varoufakis and to put thoughtful Rats like Owen Jones onto the back foot. It’s not a harsh month, more like a backwater of temporary calm. Dragons – Farage, Johnson, Putin and Russell Brand – get time out. Pigs many of whom have had a hard year to date. break through as do the hard-working Rabbits. The smarter Snake will pick jewels from the rubble, but it’s risky. Dogs are a special case though; it may have escaped your notice that Presidents George W Bush and Bill Clinton and candidate Donald Chump share more than a thick skin. All three were born in the same Fire Dog year, 1946. So in a sense Chump represents business as usual with added shamelessness. This month will tend to put these qualities into sharp relief.

On the other hand the next Chinese month is a Fire Monkey itself, starting 7th August when the events at the peak of the year will be echoed by way of a reaction. Hang onto your hats. Theresa May btw – who’d have thought it? – was herself born in the Year of the Fire Monkey 1956.
Richard Ashworth © 2016. 7th July 2016

Footnote: my next ba zi Starter Course starts in September, Early Bird offers still open. Details here:
http://www.imperialfengshui.info/courses

And finally, a limited number of places are still available to study with me one to one via Skype.
Email: sheilaashworthfengshui@gmail.com

Richard Ashworth©
www.imperialfengshui.info

Ba Zi: why the greatest generals never go to war.

June 17, 2016
IMG_1182
To hear Richard talking Ba Zi click the pic.
Ba Zi: why the greatest generals never go to war.

“Therefore measure in terms of five things: the way, the weather, the terrain, the leadership and discipline.”.  Sun Tzu. The Art of War.

The story is told of three brothers all of whom were doctors. These three were reckoned to be the greatest healers in all China. So skilled was the youngest that his patients mostly recovered while those of the middle brother invariably returned to health. But the patients of the eldest simply never got ill. Prevention, as they say, is greater than cure. And as Sun Tzu wrote, the greatest generals never go to war.

Probably the elder brother concerned himself with breathing, diet, hydration lifestyle and destiny. Holistic treatment has always been the underlying principle of traditional Chinese medicine. He would have known acupuncture and above all ba zi, which is reckoned to track destiny. Joey Yap, probably the most successful Master in the world, actually uses the term Destiny Code. The ba zi being expressed in terms of the balance of the wu xing or Five Elements, can assess whether we have too much Earth say – leading to sluggishness and a variety of other symptoms – and therefore that we need say Metal (ie focused activity) to remedy the imbalance.

Whether we define healing as solving emotional blockage, enhancing performance or actual physical change, the ba zi is a healing tool. Not I hastily add, that ba zi of itself heals physically. It is diagnosis where feng shui or acupuncture (or tai chi or tcm) are remedy. But as a method of identifying tendencies, physical and other, it has no equal. All three brothers would have thought of it as a map of destiny. The doctor’s job like the general’s, was to see what was coming and the ba zi was how they managed to see it.

In those days remember, the mediaeval times of Song and Ming, a doctor was paid by his patients only as long as they were healthy. Which may have been a motivating factor. When my Father returned from one of the first trade missions to modern China in the early 70’s, I remember him telling me that the Chinese were “the least likely Communists” he’d ever met. Nye Bevan would have approved.

Be that as it may, I have always been wary of Sun Tzu because he assumes enmity and opposition; understandably perhaps given the cruel times in which he lived, but applying those assumptions to feng shui, ba zi or even Qi Men Dun Jia (the current hot divinatory method in feng shui circles) denies any progress during the ensuing millennia.

The fact is that Sun Tzu is the guvnor on winning business in the teeth of opposition and when I first started studying The Art of War in the early 80’s, that was the context. Sun Tzu’s strategies – when your enemy expects you to be slow, move rapidly; when he expects advance, withdraw and so on – are brilliantly applicable if you think of your client as the opposition. Not so great if you want to be of service. Such a philosophy may be everything that is wrong with both politics and business and it runs through finance like the words in a stick of rock. But it doesn’t work and it works even less as a basis for feng shui or ba zi practice.

Which is why it’s important to be aware that the ba zi depends upon benevolence. In 30-odd years in the world of woo-woo™ ba zi is the most powerful healing tool that I have come across. Being a snapshot of the prevailing Elements at the moment of birth it shows potentials, preferences, abilities and above all moments of choice. From where I’m sitting – a position you don’t have to share by the way – everything is choice and if we can identify moments where decisions were made we can un-make them. Consider how a life might be changed that way.

Ba zi lays open the soul to the sensitive practitioner. There is calculation involved and deep learning but at heart it’s an empathetic, instinctive thing. The trick is to know the building blocks so well you can apply them without thinking. And to trust the fact that to think and feel simultaneously is an art but quite possible. Above all to care; as I tell my students, it is unprofessional not to love your client. And perhaps surprisingly easy.

Of course ba zi teaching sooner or later turns transformational. Learning the twenty-two Chinese characters necessary (only twenty two!) requires application but it’s not rocket science. There are rules to be followed, the Animals have traditional relationships, for instance: Horses such as Angela Merkel and David Cameron are deeply challenged in a Monkey Year like 2016; Pigs like David Bowie and Alan Rickman are at risk and Dogs like Prince and George Osborne may miscalculate drastically.

But the teaching always goes transformational. Because the student’s curiosity and crucible is their own ba zi. I’ll use example ba zis to make points – if you looked closely at Gary Glitter’s for instance, you’d tend to feel a great deal less contempt – but everyone wants to know about themselves. Once a Monkey (born 1944, 1956, 1968, 1980 or 1992) learns that Wood and Metal are in eternal opposition and that Tiger and Monkey are respectively yang Wood and yang Metal, they’ll tend to understand more about conflict with a Tiger parent or boss. A Dragon fixated on glamour may recognise the expression of a “secret friendship” with the Rooster. And so on.

The point of this is not to be run by ba zi but to master it. I am myself a Water Dragon and traditionally therefore particularly irked by Earth Dogs of 1958. As it happens, some of my best lady friends are Earth Dogs, some of them very successful business-people. I think they can be a bit dense, they think I go on a bit. We know this about each other. We contain it and rub along. Where’s the problem?

One source of trouble can be being too literal; some trainees and indeed some experts fail to factor in humanity. This tends to put the ba zi rather than the practitioner in charge. The main pitfall however is seeing the world as Sun Tsu does, as a jungle of threats and competition. Some New Age teachers would call this a belief in shortage, others a lapse of faith.

We all possess free will. We are all complex individuals and no woo-woo™ analysis can adequately define us. The ba zi is a guide not a dictator and put simply, the practitioner’s job is to give.

Master Sun, the great teacher of strategy whose wisdom as James Clavell once suggested, might have prevented war in Vietnam and Afghanistan, would not have known the truism that those who can do and those who can’t, teach. Sun himself was prematurely retired from active service by the amputation of both feet (a punishment for telling the hard truth to a minor king probably rather than a mishap). He would have known of Qi Men Dun Jia which dates from his era (the so-called Age of the Warring States 475-221BCE). He might well have approved of the use of his words as part of this very powerful tool of divination (which I don’t yet teach) in a world defined by greed and violence, that is to say shortage and competition. There are things in the world that I would sooner weren’t in it but Sun’s is not the world I choose to live in.

And so I try to practise and teach both feng shui and ba zi as gifts of love rather than as ways to steal a march. Abundance is about much more than wealth and healing is more than band-aids. I’m not teaching dogma and above all I’m not teaching how to win the game of life against stiff competition. What I offer is a method of touching and perhaps understanding the soul.

And that’s why the greatest generals never go to war. In the teeth of Orlando, Iraq, Syria, Burundi, Afghanistan, I try to remember that although Sun Tzu is still in print after all this time and the younger brothers of the story probably got the most approval, it was the eldest that made the most positive difference.

Richard’s next starter Ba Zi Course opens in September 2016 in Godalming but he has a (Friday) slot now vacant to learn via Skype pretty much right away.
For more details go to:
http://www.imperialfengshui.info/courses
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Hoarse With No Name: My Diary for the Horse Month 2016

June 1, 2016
Hoarse with no name
My diary for the month of the Wood Horse
(June 5th 14:09 to July 7th 00:33 inclusive)
in the Year of the Fire Monkey.
 Kou
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Meeting
Hexagram 44“Too much Monkey business for me to get involved in.”
Chuck Berry (1956)

The Horse Month
Animal by Animal
During this Wood Horse Month,
The Rat may simply wait,
The Ox may be (way) behind the Rat,
The Tiger sees the breaks,
The smart Rabbit rises to the occasion,
The Dragon reins in,
The Snake could be overawed,
The Horse might pace herself,
The unwary Sheep is under a shadow,
The Monkey demands to be noticed,
The Rooster takes time out,
The Dog obtains a boost,
while
The Pig strikes back.

Know your inner beast. How Horse are you?
Birth in the Horse Hour (11am-1pm)~:      performing children.
Birth on the Horse Day#:                           a tendency to the reckless.
Birth during the Horse Month (June)*:      an extroverted vocation.
Birth in the Horse Year:                            spontaneity in the bloodline.
~ An hour earlier than the clock during British Summertime ie 8-10.
# You’ll need a Chinese calendar. * Caution: Chinese months start later.

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Where to do what, when and why
Summary: The peak of Fire ignites the hunters of the Zodiac: Dog and Tiger (for whom it may be the best month of the year, so fill your boots) as well as the faithful Sheep. It is generally less helpful to Rat and Ox. A 7 month tends to harass some more than others of course and those with 3, 2, 6, 7 and 8 kuas are least vulnerable.

West, Intervention: Year Star: 4 Year Sun, Month Star: 9.
The visiting 9 makes for a magical 9:4 he tu combination in the West right now while the romantic power of the toe far or “plum flower” Star is still there, along with the restorative Sun.

Locate to the West of your home, face West or occupy a West-facing building; these are transformative stars.

Along with superior examination results, 9 brings future plans closer. 4 bamboo stems in 4 glasses of Water can help.

Note: If this is all er…Chinese to you, email me your birth details or more drastically, come and study with me.

Hoarse with no name.
Wood Horse month, Monkey year, the turbulence continues while the Solstice approaches. Notice the creeping yin to the foot of the Hexagram at the top of this page; the qi is already descending. As indeed it was at this time of year, three thousand and seventy four years ago.

At that time, May of 1058 BCE, as it happens a Horse year, the Zhou family rose up against the ruling Shang and wrested from them the “Mandate of Heaven,” that is to say the right to rule China. The Zhou were to hold onto the mandate for the following seven hundred years or so. What inspired rebellion against the tyrants at that exact time was the conjunction of the five visible planets in the night sky. This conjunction happens only once every five hundred and sixteen years. Michael Wood illustrates this with a computer simulation in the first episode of his excellent BBC series “The Story of China.”

As above, so below. So much of feng shui is rooted in astrology. You can for instance, find the group of Stars that are reckoned to have inspired the ideograph of the Monkey to the South West of the night sky. They’re part of the constellation shen, that is Orion. The star formation (whose name I’ve not mastered) making up the character for Horse lies to the South.

Bloodless kou
As does this month’s Hexagram, Kou. As you know, these six-line figures are themselves composed of three-line figures called Trigrams. And each Trigram apart from signifying a member of the Confucian family, a state of being, a location and a million other things, describes a phase of the Moon. Identifying the homes of the Trigrams in the night sky is known as na jia or “assigning the Wood.” Qian (Heaven) for instance with its three unbroken yang lines, stands for the Full Moon and Kun, Earth (three yin lines) for the New Moon. Sometimes these things are hard to observe because of street lights, late-night parties, cats’ eyes and headlamps.

When I was in Menorca writing and researching a couple of years ago, the night sky was almost free of light pollution. And so with feet in the pool and beers in hand, my daughters Jess and Hen and I confirmed that the Moon rose and fell precisely where the na jia indicated. It was, if you will, a sobering moment; there above us was physical evidence of the connectedness of Heaven and Earth. It was as if a huge finger had drawn lines across the Moon.

Just behind the full Moon, the 2016 Solstice falls on June 21st at 06:57, shortly after sunrise. Full Sun and full Moon, full yin and full yang, on a Dog day in a Horse month, it’s almost alight with Fire. And yet the qi is falling. In the Year of the Monkey (who generally stands cautiously clear of the Horse) this makes for quite a chaotic pattern. The Monkey is of course talkative, but this is no month for discussion. Rather it is one of action; some impetuous, some not so well thought-through. Hold tight.

In the desert you can’t remember your name
And this year as I predicted, is definitely shaping up like a Monkey; Paris barricaded, US Presidential nominations haywire, we pretty much already have the Earth Monkey of 1968. All we need is Russian tanks rolling West and British boots on the ground in the Middle East and it’s the Fire Monkey, 1956. Oh and peaking markets. “Déjà vu all over again,” in the words of John Fogerty. As above, so below. My own father’s boots were among those on the ground in the Sinai Desert in 1956.

This Horse month favours Dogs and Sheep and Tigers as ever, although they may present just a little hot-headed. Along with the Horse, they are the hunters of the Zodiac and often the life lesson of the hunter is that life is not as simple as a hunt. The Horse doesn’t much like her own company or talking things out and may fall victim to unforced errors. Let things come to you as they will. The Ox is best lying low but his intimate the Rat, may find that originality is at a rare premium; the smart Rat sticks to their guns. Caution is counselled to Dragons, Snakes will find certain days offer a boost but Rabbits are probably stretched.

As a Dragon, I’ll be tapping the ongoing but quirky support of the Monkey and remaining wary of the rampant Horse.
Richard Ashworth © 2016

www.imperialfengshui.info

Knowing Your Onions: feng shui and Tomatoes, part 2

May 27, 2016

Knowing your onions: the yin and yang of feng shui.

“He not busy being born is busy dying.”

Bob Dylan.

Yes we have no tomatoes.

Some ungenerous people say that Bob Dylan made a career out of just two songs: a slow one and a fast one. And one way to look at feng shui is that it is about only two things: the qualities of yin and yang. In a sense the feng shui Master’s task is to limit yang and encourage yin – perhaps by placing stones – or to boost yang by building a Water fountain, thence health, wealth and wisdom.

The Taoist principle is that existence starts with precisely two qualities or essences: yin which is smaller, still, quiet, dark and subtle, essentially feminine and yang which is larger, outgoing, illuminated, unsubtle and broadly masculine. All that there is, hats, hills, oceans, football, turtles, elephants, Donald Trump’s hair piece, your frying pan and the Chuckle Brothers, are made up of some combination of yin and yang.

You’ll recall that in an earlier blog I compared feng shui to salad; planting lettuce in January against a North-facing wall is not only not bright, it violates the laws of feng shui. Now I have to confess: this is not the whole story. The roots, if you will, are much deeper. Having looked at the wu xing or “Five Elements” we need now to consider yin and yang.

Knocking on Heaven’s Door.

Feng shui of course would not be a thing at all if its laws were not universal. The idea that it works in China and not elsewhere is as silly as the idea that its fundamentals are a Chinese thing. Waving Cats belong in Chinese restaurants not your front room. Laws are laws. The builders of  Stonehenge, for instance – whoever they were – respected the rule that there is a Ghost Gate North East and a Heaven Gate – a Tiananmen – North West. And the Valley of the Kings straddling the Nile as its celestial counterpart straddles the Milky Way, reflects the Chinese story of the Maiden and the Ox Boy, forever separated by the river of stars between them. And so on. Wherever we travel we find theories of the management of space that map onto one another.

In England I often come across buildings that betray Masonic design. I’m no expert on Masonry but the long eccentric passageways and irregular floor plans are pretty distinctive, quite apart from the symbols over thresholds and fireplaces. Masonic architects are said to have built many of the great mediaeval cathedrals and one stage whisper across the nave at Chartres reveals mastery of acoustics that confirm their designers knew something we still don’t.

Perhaps two things actually: one, that the only constant is change; two, the physical universe is a duality, that is to say made up of two.

Shell Shock.

And as it happens, classical feng shui comes down two lines of descent; one, as discussed before, by way of early observers who noticed that the cycle of the hours of the day mirrored the cycle of the seasons which led to them giving Animal names to days, hours, months, years and indeed locations. The other branch of the family tree proceeds from the discoveries of the diviners of the Zhou Dynasty. I examined the first group or “school” (known as sam he or “Three Harmony”), in my previous article which also had nothing to with tomatoes. Or to jump the gun, turtles.

Thousands of years ago it was the practice of the Zhou diviners of Northern China to bake river-turtles. Not for nourishment or even for entertainment you understand, but for information; they grilled them if you will, and noted the patterns of cracks created by the heat. Inevitably the river turtle became extinct by the way.

The cracks seem to have fallen into two types – long and short. And the diviners appear to have taken short to mean no and long to mean yes. This probably evolved by trial and error. Before the advent of fast food, microwaves, refrigerators or even farming, if diviners could direct the community to where deer or water lay, they would probably have been well rewarded; the Chinese character for divination – xiang – is actually a picture of an elephant or perhaps a mammoth. Now there’s a square meal. In the great tradition of Chinese history, if the diviners called it wrong they probably lost limbs or disposable organs. In time they clearly got it right. A relatively short time probably.* The turtles of course were beyond caring.

*The 4th Century BCE military thinker Sun Tzu, author of the Art of War, was reduced to theory rather than practice after his feet had been cut off for some now-forgotten offence. A little later, the Han historian Ssu Ma Chien was sentenced to death for begging the Emperor to show mercy to a hapless defeated general. This sentence was commuted to the greater (ie more dishonourable) one of castration because of Ssu’s value to the Emperor.

At some point these discoveries map onto ideas about light and dark and become the concepts of yin and yang which are at the core of Taoism. In the beginning, goes the theory, was the mou chi or “great nothingness” and then at some point, it is said the “myriad things” come into being; that is to say, all that exists. The mou chi is not unlike Stephen Hawking’s great “singularity” that (allegedly) precedes the universe; it is followed by the simultaneous birth of two things: yin and yang. One could not logically precede the other because the existence of the “myriad things” requires contrast; we cannot have a depression without a surround, height without base or light without shade. They would not be “myriad” if they weren’t different.

And like so many Chinese ideas, yin/yang theory is an acorn that holds a variety of oaks. It implies for instance the concept of infinity (since contrast is by definition endless) and of relativity (everything is bigger than something and smaller than something else). Chinese thinkers were clear that there are no fixed points long before Newton saw it in the night sky. As Neo says in The Matrix: “there is no spoon.”

Obviously if yin and yang referred to light and shade, they related also to time and place. The night is yin, the day yang; winter yin and summer yang and so on. In time then, inevitably a yin/yang theory of time and place emerged. From this comes the Book of Changes, a work as central to Chinese culture as some combination of Shakespeare, the Bible, Immanuel Kant, Einstein and the Brothers Grimm might be to Western thinking.

What also emerges is a system that identifies the nature of each part of a building. That is to say about half of classical feng shui practice. A skilled sam yuen practitioner can tell you things about each member of the family, what their strengths and weaknesses are and their activities and so on simply by examining your floor plan.

You’re Fired.

How? Well, somewhere along the line, the diviners’ vocabulary of incisions gave rise to the idea of the Trigram (or three-line figure) and Hexagram (six) which allowed them to offer a spectrum of “maybe” answers beyond the stark yin and yang of yes and no. Perhaps this saved lives and limbs. Perhaps it cost them. Your Alan Sugars are pussycats to bearers of ambiguous counsel compared to mediaeval Chinese Emperors*.

*consider the Ming Emperor Hong Wu whose chief claim to the throne was that he’d slain all his male relatives.

Three unbroken lines absolute yang, clearly meant a big Yes and thus daylight, power, authority, Father and the South. Similarly three broken lines implied the opposite: night, darkness, winter and the North. As well as Woman by the by but let’s not go there. In between these extremes were the various Trigrams that mixed yin and yang. This is called today the “Early Heaven Arrangement” of Trigrams and it’s reckoned to date from the moment of creation. In time a Later Heaven Arrangement emerged which relates to the present.

Accordingly the eight possible Trigrams made up of yin (broken) and yang (unbroken) lines each came to represent not only a compass point but also a member of the Confucian family and the qualities associated. Put simply, every space consists of eight locations or “palaces” each of which represents a member of the family and a type of experience or qi. This applies equally to your bedroom your home, your street, neighbourhood, nation and planet. We can literally say that if there is something happening at say the South West, it relates to Mother, Relationship (with a capital “R”) and associated ideas. We can, as you will be surmising, do a great deal with just this information. Lillian Too built a whole career on it. And let me hasten to add, she’s a dozen sorts of genius. As is Bob Dylan btw.

You put one Trigram on top of another and you have a Hexagram. There are sixty four possible Hexagrams made up of yin and yang lines. Put the sixty four together and you have the Book of Changes,

Fast forward to the 10th Century and we have kan yu or di lin practitioners (that is proto-feng shui Masters) practising both “schools” of thought. A further thousand years and by the early 19th century the modern luo pan (or Chinese compass) is incorporating both theories.

And so today the modern practitioner belongs to both “schools”; the sam yuen theories of Flying Star and Eight House (which are centrally expressions of yin and yang) as well as the sam he or Three Harmony theory of the celestial Animals. Bingo.

Richard Ashworth © 2016.

www.imperialfengshui.info