Posts Tagged ‘chinese horoscope’

My diary for the month of the Metal Ox

January 5, 2017
Enter the Turkey.
My diary for the month of the Metal Ox
(12:36pm Jan 5th to 23:49 Feb 3rd inclusive)
in the cusp between the Years of the Fire Monkey and the Fire Rooster.

Lin

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Approach
Hexagram 19

The Ox Month
Animal by Animal
During this Metal Ox Month,
The Rat takes instruction,
The Ox stays in charge,
The Tiger is expectant,
The smart Rabbit is preparing meticulously,
The Dragon is ready to roll,
The Snake is rolling already,
The wise Horse draws back,
The wiser Sheep may retreat,
The Monkey takes greater care,
The rash Rooster risks mortification,
The Dog may break some ties,
but
The Pig is learning all the time.

Know your inner beast. How Ox are you?
Birth in the Ox Hour (1am-3am)~: late conversion of some sort.
Birth on the Ox Day#: empathetic, even psychic.
Birth during the Ox Month (January)*: at work a sticker.
Birth in the Ox Year: spiritual tradition.
~ 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 in order to be known.
South East, Determination: Year Star: 9 Dragon Virtue, Month Star: 7.
Best front door and generally the best direction to face all year.
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 this is the place to locate in order to be noticed in a positive way although this month you may experience a little frustration due to the 7.
Enhance with: Clockwork devices (eg a music box).
Four Plants (eg bamboo stems) help all year.

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 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.

Special days unique to the New Year
Lunar New Year: Sat Jan 28th 19:35 Wood Rabbit; Maiden, Full. A principle of date selection (or ze ri xue) is that what is done on the selected day echoes forward. This is doubly true on a Full day which may prefigure the whole year. This is not such a special day but for many including the traditionally-minded Chinese, it is the true New Year.

Solar New Year: Fri Feb 3rd 23:49 Metal Rooster; Mound, Success. These are fine portents for 2017. The Solar New Year is about the physical world and practicality, and Mound implies the need for positive focused action such as placing a Water Dragon. Plans made today and the action following will tend to flourish. This is for many, the astrological New Year.
The Turkey cometh.
“If we meet evil before it becomes reality- before it has even begun to stir – we can master it.”
The Book of Changes Hexagram 19.

Here we are in the sluggish nomanstime between years. A cusp, if you will, this is the time to be making major feng shui changes while the effect of the Monkey can hardly be felt and the Rooster is as yet not quite here. The North East can be opened up again now and the South has become delicate; on the other hand an activated South-East-facing building gets a turbo charge all year. These are among the differences between the years and most of my time right now is spent making those changes until about mid-February. We can guide you by Skype/Zoom, let you have written drills or I can visit; I have a few time slots left.

In January 2012 during this twilight time, I advised Britain’s favourite designer Kelly Hoppen, to paint her office wall red. Which to her great credit, she did. And remember, this is the queen of monochrome, the populiser of taupe. Whether connected or not, what followed is matter of record: Dragons Den, A-list status and more to the point, a happiness that had seemed to elude her before. We fell out in 2014 btw.

Much of the reasoning for this advice came from her ba zi, that is her Animal Fortune for that year. As for how 2017 is likely to affect you and me personally, you have your own annual Animal Fortunes for the year now: 2017: Year of the Turkey. If you’re uneasy with what you read, well that’s what the feng shui changes are for. Feng shui is often thought of as prescription where ba zi is diagnosis. If we fear a plague of boils or want to achieve against the odds, we get our feng shui right for the year.

As for the world……

Technically this is a Fire Rooster year with a 1 lo shu (or magic square). A Fire Rooster year is likely to be one of strutting and posing. 1 indicates a time of communication.

Under the Rooster the Dragon gets something of a free ticket; examples are Vladimir Putin, Boris Johnson and Nigel Farage, all of whom will continue to subordinate the facts to their various ambitions in this post-truth world. The Snake too; Bashar al-Assad is unlikely to face much music before his nemesis year of the Pig 2019.  But also the Ox; if you want to be up to date with the opposition to the forces of darkness, look no further than Metal Ox Barack Obama who is either a. not the man he has appeared to be or b. the focus of opposition.

And finally this is a year of compromise. A 1 year concerns negotiation. The forces of post-truth interestingly, fear disagreement and unpopularity more than anything. There is something about the Fire Dog – George W Bush, Bill Clinton, David Bowie and most particularly Donald Trump – that experiences the whole world as being against them. On some level they think of themselves as victims; this may be what drives them. The world to them is a bully that won’t acknowledge their greatness. A man who can’t sleep until he has redressed the injustice of a critical Tweet is very susceptible to the weight of public opinion. So popular opposition and public discussion will be very effective this year. Don’t hold back from demonstrating or marching (or voting) because you believe it makes no difference. It really does.

And ba zi-wise the closest comparison for Trump remains Elvis Presley; do with this information Anchoras you will.
 
Richard Ashworth © 2017

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 such activities as 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, 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 with stars such as Gillian Anderson 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©
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

Fire Monkey Month Diary

August 5, 2016
Still no Wise Monkeys
My diary for the month of the Fire Monkey
(August 7th 10:39am to Sept7th 13:48pm inclusive)
in the Year of the Fire Monkey.Pi
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Standstill
Hexagram 12“If we wish to compress, we must first allow full expansion.”
Lao Tse.The Monkey Month
Animal by Animal
During this Fire Monkey Month,
The Rat gets the breaks,
The Ox follows – for once,
The Tiger crouches,
The Rabbit’s agenda may appear dictated,
The Dragon cruises,
The Snake has help controlling the damage,
The Horse should not wager,
The Sheep rests – in company,
The smart Monkey embraces chaos,
The Rooster beckons,
The Dog is consistent,
while
The Pig takes it easy.
 
Know your inner beast. How Monkey are you?
Birth in the Monkey Hour (1-3pm)~: ingenious and impious kids.
Birth on the Monkey Day#: resistance to early commitment.
Birth during the Monkey Month (August)*: sales ability.
Birth in the Monkey Year: mechanically minded.
~ An hour earlier than the clock during British Summertime ie 8-10.
# You’ll need a Chinese calendar. * Caution: Chinese months start later.

Where to do what, when and why
Summary: There is one stand-out location this month but you have to be gentle with it.
South, Bright Future: Year Star: 6 Month Star: 9.
The future wealth star 9 brings improved communication. As in every sector, this month’s star brings a cameo of the underlying energies. Which are double-edged because the South also holds both the monthly and annual san sha (otherwise melodramatically known as Three Killings). What does this mean? This: if you occupy the Southern area of your space or face South, prospects and especially vision should improve. If you hold loud parties there or in a South-facing house you may invite a plague of boils. So occupy but don’t over-activate, especially do not dig or drill. South door much the same effect.

Still no Wise Monkeys:
My diary for the month of the Fire Monkey. 
I’m looking over Karen’s smart Victoria flat for the second time. On the last brief visit her ba zi (or personal feng shui that travels with us, sometimes misleadingly called a Chinese Horoscope) took us into her heartbreak over her Father’s premature death. Gentle soul work and the few li xi pai tricks I put in place clearly made enough difference for her to want me back.
It’s a nasty 21st century apartment block constructed without much apparent concern for people. So much of my work is compensating for thoughtless architecture. Is every bathroom in these premises without natural light?

Because her back hurts she has to stop and lie down every now and then. She has had several operations and dreads another. I explain that this may relate to the “spine” of the building which is undermined by a shopping precinct (pretty much at the sacro-iliac) that is in eternal shadow and beneath that an underground car park.  I suggest a virtual cure: a large rose quartz boulder as close as she can get it to the centre of the car park which will also approximate to the tai chi or heart of the building. Attention to the depths has effects that are profound but slow. The higher we go the more rapidly a difference will tend to show. Which is great given that she’s on the 8th floor. If you subscribe to this mumbo jumbo.

We look in every room. The main problem is that the office from which she runs a small business is not only in the North East but holds the “Flying Star” or fei sin 5 long term. This means that it will always need feng shui assistance in order to be usable but that this year anyone who has been in there much risks chronic sickness. I give her the three dates in August when it’s safe to occupy. There’s some inevitable organisation to do.
“But don’t linger,” I warn.

Karen’s sister is here to do heavy lifting. We look in the bedroom where Karen’s head is totally wrongly oriented in keeping with the ancient ba zhai theories. Positioning her correctly looks awkward, it’ll put her under a window. Which is not ideal but it’s better. There’s often a trade-off between the various strictures. Better however to risk insomnia than further injury. Her sister argues fiercely for the change, bless her. I stand back, the last thing I’m going to do is bully her in her fragile state.

Nonetheless I’ve banned Karen from her office, and she has nowhere to work, so I locate the most helpful spot. We correct a shelf that protrudes at spine level and orient her to her sheng qi or “wealth” position, making sure she has literal and metaphorical back support.

Everything is changing all the time. We’re warmer in summer than in winter and more cheerful when we’re warm. It seems to me straightforward that certain orientations will suit certain people in certain ways better than others. That’s not metaphysics, it’s common sense. Isn’t it?

Finally I ask both of them to sit comfortably and close their eyes. Karen’s ba zi tells me that there was a major shift in her life around age seven. This is the beginning of what’s called her “Big Fate” or “Luck Pillars”. Someone’s Big Fate occurs at a moment that is sometimes traumatic, always significant. We build a picture of a Mother with mental health issues and a Father who retreats into his work. Karen is effectively orphan and Mother at seven. Back-breaking. We notice that all four are cracking up and we put them back together again.

My work here is done.

Then I sit in a corner – South, the external realm of the Father – take out my ipad and try to write up my notes. The Pages app won’t do what it’s told. The cursor leaps about. The font keeps changing. It’s been a long day, I get annoyed with it and turn it off. I’ll write this up on my laptop tomorrow. A lifetime in the world of woo-woo™ and it doesn’t occur to me that there might be something else going on with my ipad. What a turkey!
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. 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. 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

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
Some Early Bird Discounts still apply.
Richard Ashworth©
www.imperialfengshui.info

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

The Fire Pig Diary for November 2015

November 10, 2015
The Fire Pig
My diary for the 10th month, 2015
(Nov 8th 03:25 to Dec 7th 20:01 inclusive)Kun
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Earth
Hexagram 2

Nature creates all beings without erring.

The Pig Month, Animal by Animal.
During this Fire Pig month:
The Rat may become impatient.
The Ox may gain from another’s loss.
The Tiger may feel emboldened.
The Rabbit may be accompanied.
The Dragon is relieved.
The Snake is more wary than usual.
The Horse may be pre-emptive.
The Sheep may take time out.
The Monkey may speak up on another’s behalf.
The Rooster may be fragile.
The Dog sits it out.
and
The Pig needs extra space.

Every little bit helps.
A powerful day: Metal Horse, five Dong Gong Stars, suitable for Water placement. I’m a Dragon, particularly stretched this year and the Pig month promises relief, but today is a Horse day and the Horse is above all about visibility; such a day often concerns acknowledgement. Dragons – the most egotistical of the Chinese Zodiac – can be poor at this.
The guy on the till at the Co-op till is telling me that all transport should be nationalised. As ever I’m there for milk and dog food but it’s nice to shoot the breeze. Only last week he shared with me his recipe for vanilla cheesecake; Mary Berry, eat your heart out. Now he tells me, he’s churning his own butter.
I’ve been a devoted Co-Op shopper ever since a Tesco Metro opened only yards away – just along the road from the fishmongers’ and the wine shop. In a packed field as you will know, Tesco are among the most corrupt companies and indeed worst employers on Earth: they bully suppliers, encourage near-slavery and fiddle their books to present bigger profits to their shareholders.  And anyway the Co-Op gives me money-off vouchers.
There are those who reckon that new-age healers should remain ignorant of that sort of topical information as all news is bad news. After a lifetime of hugging trees and trusting the Goddess, I have concluded that mastering the facts is not negative. Only by knowing it will we change the world.
“Yup, in the words of Burt Bacharach” I respond to his proposal, “Trains and Boats and Planes””.
He nods agreeably but I realise I have made a cardinal error: those are not Burt Bacharach’s words. Bacharach wrote the melodies to “Anyone who had a heart”, “Do you know the way to San Jose”, “I just don’t know what to do with myself,” and a couple of dozen other classics (including the above paean to public transport) but Hal David wrote the lyrics. Credit where it’s due. As Mrs Ira Gershwin once remarked: “George wrote ‘duh-duh-duh;’ my husband wrote ‘Summertime’”.
Fortunately the guy behind the counter is no 60’s music anorak and I make off with my (goat’s) milk and budget animal food without being rumbled. Once in the car I look at my ipad; these things are as addictive as smack, not that I’ve tried opiates other than under medical supervision. But ipads are so handy.
Alexandra has responded to my email asking how things are going. Alex’s husband is a seven-figure-bonus banker. With a heart – which my research indicates is an unusual combination; I may be the only feng shui man who can tell you the precise orientation of Goldman Sachs’ unmarked office on Fleet Street. And I may not be. Which is more worrying.
Several years ago he, Alex’s partner, was on the wrong end of a deal that went sour and they had to sell their house, put the equity that was not needed onto deposit and rent; at a rental that would make your eyes water. She loves the rented house. He says they need to get back on the ladder but she hasn’t located a home that compares with the one they’re in. I must have inspected close to a dozen houses for them so far and she has a point.  But last month there was one that was kind of alright. And he’s putting his foot down.
So we agree it’s time for some mumbo-jumbo.
Reaching for my little pink book of formulae, I prescribe two auspicious days: one to flood the Water Star and another to install GrandMaster Raymond Lo’s formula for Five Ghosts Bring the Money to the House. And Bingo; next door is on the market. A bit pricey but we’ll see.

Dragon Dance.
I am invited by Tracey, my daughter-in-law ,who is a miraculous healer and incidentally a genius drama teacher, to her half-term show. Between Monday and Friday she and the kids in her charge, have as usual devised, cast and rehearsed an entire playlet. Over the years she has included in her teaching, kids with A.D.D, with M.E, in gender transition and with a variety of the difficulties that have parents throwing up their hands in defeat. Many have been excluded from school, some with threatening behaviour. And many are regular talented kids. All love Tracey. Many emerge as fine performers, writers, dancers and so on.
As if in proof of her commitment, the current show includes her son, my grandson Mr Levi. I am greeted by him at the door, dressed in a garish outfit – him not me – as a pig called Geoff.
“A name of your choice?” I ask him. He is nine years old.
He nods and outlines how he has insisted on a little expositional dialogue. I remind him that he comes from a long line of hams and congratulate him on observing the three cardinal rules of stardom:
1. Accept only named roles.
2. Build up your part by whatever means necessary
3. Wear silver lamé.
He is as you might guess an ostentatious Rooster. His mother is a 1964 Wood Dragon.
There are some good gags in the show which appears to be related to Game of Thrones. But not very much. There are some talented kids here. And Geoff the talking Pig is if not a standout, an arresting curiosity.
Tracey, like all Dragons, is acquainted with darkness; the trap of the Wood variety (1964) is of disappearing. The Dragon can waste years in shadow. The solution is generally healing or teaching. Often we return from darkness with a great deal to impart. On the other hand, a typical alternative is what I call middle-class angst: “Why do we only have one SUV?” “Aren’t there other colours than green for welly boots?” “Just the three holidays, this year, darling?” Watch for these enquiries of despair. So often they speak of a lost Dragon. So many kids owe so much to the fact that this one has her attention out.

Where to do what, when and why.
Abundance encompasses a great deal more than literal wealth of course but the North East is the wealth spot this month; be there, work there, keep it busy. If you can’t do any of these things and your building doesn’t open North East, you can simply and effectively face NE. This works best for members of the West Group (ask); East Group can, if they choose substitute North for North East and wealth for other forms of abundance.

Pig Pillars; know your Pig rating.
Birth in the Pig hour (21:00pm-23:00pm): laconic kids.
Birth in the Pig month (November*): varied work.
Birth on the Pig day#: economical with words.
Birth in the Pig year: possible boundary issues.
* Caution, the Chinese month generally starts and finishes a few days after ours.
# Just ask.

A World going Bananas: 2016, The Fire Monkey: a Year of Turbulence.
A day with feng shui man Richard Ashworth
The Pepperpot, Godalming.

10 till 5, Saturday December 5th 2015.
What to expect and what to do about it.

Cost for the day: £125
Early Bird: £85 – paid in full by November 21st.
Places are of course limited.

Richard’s Ba Zi Training starts the weekend of 16/17th January

For both events please email: sheila@imperialfengshui.info

Taylor Light Creates
Anna Taylor is a wise, powerful and benevolent woman. I commend her events to you if you live in a GU postcode. Or further out if you’re adventurous.

Feng Shui Diary: Fire Dog 2015

October 9, 2015

The (9th) month of the Fire Dog 2015.

(Oct 9th 00:09 to Nov 8th 03:25 inclusive) 

 Bo
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To Strip
Hexagram 23

The Dog Month, Animal by Animal.
During this Fire Dog month:
The Rat may suspect covert opposition.
The Ox may be up in arms.
The Tiger may initiate.
The Rabbit may venture.
The Dragon is both challenged and depended upon.
The Snake may be 3rd or 4th in the queue.
The Horse may cast caution to the wind.
The Sheep may be uncharacteristically contentious.
The Monkey may risk loss.
The Rooster may take a break.
The Dog presides.
and
The wise Pig is patient.

The Dog Month: Come again.

“They sentenced me to twenty years of boredom for trying to change the system from within.” Leonard Cohen.

If I were i/c Reincarnation Central I think I’d be directing the zygote of the next Dalai Lama anywhere but Tibet. Silicon Valley, maybe or Singapore. In their native country, Tibetans are vastly out-numbered by imported Han Chinese. They have been deprived of all sorts of civil rights, forcibly relocated disenfranchised, herded and their culture taken from them. Torture and murder at the hands of the occupiers is commonplace. In his autobiography His Holiness even reports crucifixion of alleged freedom fighters.

As it happens, Tenzin Gyatso, the current Dalai Lama was born in Taktser in the North-Eastern province of Amdo in 1935. That makes him a Wood Pig. It also makes him a weary Pig, I’d guess. He’s been homeless since the Chinese invasion of 1950 which he has used as an opportunity to canvas the world for support and to demonstrate the religion he defines as “kindness”. That’s a lifetime spent trying to get support for a country he has not seen since 1959. It makes Julian Assange look half-hearted.

Wood Pigs are generally gentle, multi-talented and possessed of a wide variety of interests but not usually gifted with patience. Which makes that long fruitless odyssey the more touching. Sixty five years is a lot of patience. What might make sense then is that the Day Animal of his ba zi is the long-suffering Sheep. The Sheep never deserts his post.

Diamond Dogs.
October, the Dog month, the time of the Cold Dew brings the first frost; usually around the second week although recently it has been earlier. I reckon my hibiscus and fuchsia will get by till the sun returns but soon I must gather the succulents and marantas in. This is the month when we perhaps consider the year’s end and the beginning of the next. Which could be why the Dalai Lama has cut short his current British tour and returned home. I write “home” but I mean Dharamsala in Northern India, of course.

This October’s mutt is a Fire Dog – like the year 1946, a year studded with the births of superannuated rock stars like David Gilmour and David Bowie, ex-presidents (George W) Bush and Clinton and er….Donald Trump. The Fire modifying the Dog’s natural Earth is not self-effacing. Accordingly this is a month of public events, of innovation and surprise. It was no surprise that the Dalai Lama’s itinerary included the usual comfort at several hundred pounds a pop, for “mindful” financiers. Every good cause needs money. But at least one of his statements was surprising; that if he were to be reincarnated as a woman, she would have to be very attractive.

Interestingly October is likely to be a month of rebellion and insurrection as the lo shu (or magic square) of the month holds at its centre the 6 which represents Qian the Father and hence authority. Resistance is stiffened by the Dog’s Element which is yang Earth, symbolically Mountain, the immoveable.

Lama Ding Dong.
There seems to be precious little resistance in Tibet any more. But His Holiness is himself the subject of resistance not only from the Chinese authorities (who simply won’t talk with him) but from Shugden Buddhists as well as Western exporters in pursuit of the yen. One thing Tibet has counted on because of our long and deep ties, going back to the mid-18th century, has been British outrage on his nation’s behalf. He isn’t even seeking independence any more – only some measure of autonomy.

During a Sheep year, Dog days – like today – and Dog hours as well as the Dog month tend to be fraught as the Dog is traditionally at odds with the Ox and Sheep; a contretemps that is reckoned to be solved by the Dragon. So if you’ve been a fractious Doggy, Ox, Sheep or indeed a peace-keeping Dragon this year, there’s your rationale. And here’s a warning: October brings such disputes to a head. Anything that needs settling is up for healing this month. Seek mediating Dragons and bring it on.

Rinpoche ricochet.
At the Dalai Lama’s advanced age a succession of one-nighters is a demanding thing. Illness brought on by overwork may be the whole story. Two events however may have lowered his head and raised his temperature: one was reaction to the reincarnation comment. Whether we put this down to unworldliness or a life of celibacy, he repeated it when challenged. Not a thoughtful response perhaps but a human one.

However another surprise, may have been on the Dalai Lama’s mind. You’d need to know a little about Chinese diplomacy to unpack it. I’m referring to George Osborne’s recent sales trip. Osborne’s mission appears to have been to tout to China whatever booty they fancied – nuclear power stations, the National Grid, the Royal Family, Mary Berry, whatever.

So far so predictable, but it may not have been the actual sales pitch that depressed His Holiness, as much as Osborne’s insistence on visiting Xinjiang, the restive home of the Uighurs. This Turkic-speaking minority is mostly Muslim. God – or whichever entity you want to credit – knows what Osborne said privately but the visit implied that Britain sympathised with China and that we are haunted in common by the spectres of separatism and multiculturalism. Count me out of the haunted btw. But under the first category comes the “problem” of Tibet. Oh…. and the second.

I know I bang on a bit but many warm-hearted people queued recently to sign a petition to spare the life of a young man in Saudi Arabia due to be beheaded and crucified basically for thinking the Saud family were a bit crap. Is it only me His Holiness and Richard Gere who remember that the Chinese were committing exactly this outrage in large numbers in recent memory? And finally is it possible that a lifetime of offering mindfulness to financiers at hundreds of pounds a ticket has encouraged rather than challenged China? Is Osborne’s single-minded pursuit of the yen a let-down too far? What do I know?

Where to do what, when and why.
The East is in pole position this month; good for study, preparation and ambitious projects. This is where to sit, face and sleep; remember your sleeping position is where your pillow is btw, not your feet.

Dog Pillars; know your Dog rating.
Birth in the Dog hour (19:00pm-21:00pm): inheritance.
Birth in the Dog month (October*): a single consistent career.
Birth on the Dog day#: success in middle age.
Birth in the Dog year: relatively inflexible parents.
* Caution, the Chinese month generally starts and finishes a few days after ours.
# Just ask.

Ba Zi Training starts the weekend of January.
For more information go to: http://www.imperialfengshui.info/courses
or do call +44 1483 428998 or
email me at: richardashworth@imperialfengshui.infoOn Saturday December 5th, 2015, Richard will be spending a day talking about “2016, The Fire Monkey, the Year of Turbulence.” If you would like to join him let us know as places are limited.
Here is a video of Richard talking about Feng Shui.

Richard Ashworth© 2015

www.imperialfengshui.info

Discover the Secrets of the Four Pillars of Destiny – Early Bird Expiring soon

September 24, 2015

The Secrets of the Four Pillars of Destiny: Early Bird expiring soon.
As the Four Pillars for 2015 suggested nearly a year ago, tides are turning, a certain rebellious energy continues to rise. It’s late September, the time of the stroppy Wood Rooster. June to September was ruled by Hexagram 41 (from The Book of Changes) Sun which you might translate as “Austerity”. You may have noticed. The final quarter is ruled by Number 38 Gui, sometimes called “Diversity”. 2016 will be very different.

I draw most such conclusions from ba zi or “Four Pillars” calculations. These are not rocket science though they demand close attention. Then I kind of “dream” with them in the tradition of the great Chinese Masters. This “dreaming” is as important as the calculations themselves. You might call this something like intuition. I will be teaching both calculation and dreaming in my 2016 course.

Ba zi above all shows moments of change and moments of decision – personal as well as global. If you can “read” ba zi you can with practice “read” a person, a situation, a relationship and the outcome of decisions. If we can identify a moment of decision, often we can change it..

Watch Richard talking ba zi
This January (16th/17th) I’m teaching the first weekend (of four) of my annual starter ba zi course Discover the Secrets of the Four Pillars of Destiny again. No prior knowledge of mumbo jumbo Chinese or other is required. Civilians welcome, do join us.

As for cost, the reason I am writing is that the Early Bird offer expires on the 30th September ’15. Until then the price for the four weekends is only £1350.00. After that it’s back to the full price of £1500.

For more detail about dates etc on the course go to: http://www.imperialfengshui.info/courses

Or do call +44 1483 428998 or
email me at: richardashworth@imperialfengshui.info

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