Posts Tagged ‘Feng Shui Tips’

Father along: the Month of the Metal Dog 2017

October 11, 2017
Father along: the Month of the Metal Dog 2017.
My diary for October
(11:47am 8th October to 15:03pm 7th November 2017 inclusive)

Po
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Stripping
Hexagram 23

Animal by Animal
During this Metal Dog Month,
The Rat is wary,
The Ox insists,
The Tiger’s rules prevail,
But the Rabbit’s way works;
The Dragon tacks,
The Snake hides but only for now,
The Horse seeks excellence,
The wise Sheep seeks mediation,
Some moments may pass the Monkey by,
The Rooster rests,
The Dog sticks to it,
and
The Pig awaits advantage.

A 9 month visibility, prominence, fame, spontaneity and snap-judgement.
Most helpful location: South-East. Favoured Animals: Tiger, Horse, Dog, Rabbit.
Especially challenged one way or another: Rooster and Dragon.
The Hexagram (above): Po Stripping. No false moves.

The Year of the Mutt, 2018. Right now I’m working on my Forecast Day for 2018, The Year of the Earth Dog, on Saturday December 2nd in Godalming.  Traditionally Dragon and Rooster are challenged in a Dog year. And Rabbits, Tigers, Horses and the Dog herself are boosted. 2018 echoes previous Dogs like 2006 when the world was in a bit of a pickle and more precisely Earth Dogs like 1838, a year of conflict with China and in the US with Mexico. This time South-East facing houses have a bit of a free ticket and North West not so much. There’s much more; about you, your family, your work and the world in 2018. Join us. Further info: Sheila@imperialfengshui.info

Where to be this month.
Summary: the most creative location currently.
South East, Determination: Year Star: 9 Dragon Virtue, Month Star: 8.
Best place yet again as it will be most of next year. Seek out the South East sector (as measured from the tai chi) but also SE doors and buildings facing SE. Eldest Daughter (ie the single but eligible female) will have a good time here about now. Again this applies also to kuas (ask) 1, 3, 4 and 9 who should sleep with head South East for now. Rooster will as ever tend to find assistance and much more here. Use that SE door!
Month Solution: plants, bright light, Water fountain.
Annual Enhancement: Four Plants (eg bamboo stems), Water fountain.
Where not to be this month.
Summary: the least helpful area right now.
North, Distant Future: Year Star 6, Moon. Month Star: 5.
The avuncular 6 is bent out of shape by the 5 this month. Authority may be misused if wielded here. Which like much of this information, reflects the world and the coming Dog month and year. Poor for the older man and the talkative; security is a hazard here now. Worst for West Group kuas (ask), Horses and Sheep. Dragons and Monkeys might gain from the indiscretion but don’t push it.
Month Enhancement: Metal objects , 6 Pipe Metal Windchime, t’ang lung.
Annual Solution: A large (6kg+) rose quartz, a little Metal, occasional Water, shake but don’t stir.

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.

Know your inner beast. How Dogged are you?
Birth in the Dog Hour (7-9pm)~: a fixed future.
Birth on the Dog Day#: a certain fixity.
Birth in the Dog Month (October)*: clear career path.
Birth in the Dog Year: mate for life.
~ GMT. # You’ll need a Chinese calendar for this. * Caution: Chinese months start later.
Father along.
“He who gives no thought to difficulties in the future is sure to be beset by worries much closer to hand.” Confucius.
Symbolically there’s little difference between Authority, Father and God. It doesn’t matter how feckless or ineffectual a Father is, on some level he is going to represent those things. To his children if to no one else. Many of us feel released when we reach this realisation. I write as the Father of six.
It’s the North West of a building that concerns the Father, so I’m unsurprised when that piece is missing from Rajul and Chandra’s little house in North London. Brother and sister, they’ve decamped from the South Atlantic largely to pursue their dreams away from family disapproval. He wants to manage property, she wants to settle down, both bright, educated, nice-looking people.
Their North West is literally like a slice cut out of a cake. That part of the compass of course often lacks light but here a gap in the trees has made a little sun-trap, conveniently enclosed by picket fence. It is as if their missing Father is waiting for company. Elementally the Father is Metal, I tell them.
“So place Metal here,” I recommend. “Garden furniture or machinery. And occupy the space. Perhaps a barbecue from time to time.” The Fire of this last will stimulate the Metal. “But don’t overdo it. And be aware that Father, your Father, the Father is here.” And not 10,000 miles away.
We talk ba zi. Chandra wants children and domesticity. Some bad experiences have made it hard for her to trust. There are tears in her eyes as we speak.
“Miracles are very simple,” I tell her boldly. She purses her lips.
“Not easy; simple. Chinese thought separates reality into three categories: Heaven, Earth and Human. Tian ti ren. Heaven, tian, is the rules as we find them – light, heat, gravity, those factors that limit us as long as we are flesh. Ti, Earth is what we do about them physically which includes taking shelter, nourishing and caring for ourselves, medicine and indeed feng shui. Human qi – ren – is choice.”
She breathes deeply and sniffles a little. I hold her gaze.
“It’s choice that makes for transformation. And there are perhaps two parts to it. Both are about truth. One is emotional, to do with feelings; it’s yin, that is feminine if you like, lunar and located in the trunk of the body.” I touch my tan tian, just below my sternum, the place where feelings sit.
“The trick here is to breathe, to feel into the feelings there. Some of them we’d rather not have. So much of our time is spent avoiding what we choose to call negative feelings. Drink, soap opera, over-eating, sex, drugs and rock’n’roll, they reassure and they distract. And we stay stuck.”
Maybe not rock’n’roll.
“So breathe into those feelings. They’ll hurt at first and then they won’t and then finally they’ll change. And you’ll trust.”
Her deep brown eyes are moist again.
“That’s the first part. Second part is to remember what you want. While you invite those feelings by breathing into them. Consider how you want your life to be in every detail: where you want to be, who with, what you’re doing and so on. Make it rich and real.”
You’ll find this second piece of advice in the biographies of business moguls like Steve Jobs and Richard Branson. What you won’t generally come across in such reminiscences is the first part: feeling your feelings and being brave enough to let them transform. Mostly these winners bypassed their feelings. And ultimately it may be that they regret it. Read what Steve Jobs said to his kids when he knew he was dying. Abundance is a much bigger issue than wealth.
“It is not feeling that hurts it is not-feeling that hurts,” I remind Chandra. We do some more mechanical stuff, arrange their beds and furniture, I recommend some changes of décor and locate a Water (that is Wealth) Star at the foot of their stairs and I leave them to it.
I’m the Father of six children. My top priority is to fulfill and not disappoint.
Richard Ashworth © 2017

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

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

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

And here’s the (Western Astrological) take of the very perceptive Lorna Bevan: 
5D Astrology Report October 2017 – In the Burning Fields

Richard Ashworth©
www.imperialfengshui.info

September 2017: Richard Talks About the Dog Month and the Dog Year

September 24, 2017
Five students graduated my starter courses last week. This means that they now have a great deal of information and a lifetime to learn how to apply it. Some have been invited to continue on my Mentoring Programme but we now have one or two vacancies from October.

If you’d like to learn Chinese Astrology and/or Authentic Traditional feng shui by Skype this year, do let Sheila know at sheilaashworthfengshui@gmail.

There is a new extra-special deal for registering for both courses together.

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:
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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

Fire Rooster Day, a look at 2017 – Early Bird Ending Soon

October 25, 2016

Early Bird Price of £85.00 expires on the 1st November!
 

The Fire Rooster
Distracted by Shiny Things”, 2017 : the Year of the Turkey.
A Day with Richard Ashworth Dec 3rd 10am Godalming Pepperpot

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

The Fire Rooster of the coming year 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 of research as well as subterfuge.

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

Meanwhile the annual lo shu or “magic square” has at its centre the Watery 1 of communication. So it’s also 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; 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 careful manoeuvering for the 50% of us designated East Group by our birth details. The 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 the East and South of anything. 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 worldwide turkeys are voting for Christmas that I’m calling this they year of the turkey. Or Turkey.

Richard will 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.

Be sure to bring with you details of any property, issue or individual with whom you are concerned.

Price: £125, Early Bird: by 1/11/16 – £85
Email: sheilaashworthfengshui@gmail.com to book your place.
Pay by Paypal at: http://www.imperialfengshui.info/feng-shui-services
or ask Sheila for bank details.

Last year, this weekend sold out very quickly. We have three Skype places (only) available for participants who are in the GMT time zone.
For US Time Zones: I may not have told you about the 2017 forecast day I’m holding for my overseas students. It’s essentially the Fire Rooster day I host here in the UK the previous week but geared to US time zones.It’s open to all those who find that timing more convenient.

It’ll be via Skype/Zoom and hopefully start at a convenient time for you (3pm GMT is pencilled) and end at a reasonable time for you. I’ll be reviewing the year, issue by issue, animal by animal, location by location with ideas for making the best use of it. It’s a pretty comprehensive day. Hope you can make it.

There’s more info on the News Page of my website:
http://www.imperialfengshui.info/news/2017-the-fire-rooster-a-day-with-richard-ashworth

Cost: £100. via Paypal from the link at:
http://www.imperialfengshui.info/feng-shui-services
Please contact sheilaashworthfengshui@gmail.com before paying as limited places available.
Richard Ashworth©
www.imperialfengshui.info

Let Sleeping Dogs Lie: My diary for the month of the Earth Dog

October 7, 2016
Let Sleeping Dogs Lie
My diary for the month of the Earth Dog
(05:59 Oct 8th to 09:34 Nov 7th inclusive)
in the Year of the Fire Monkey.
 
Po
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—-  —-
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Splitting
Hexagram 23“Both striving and non-striving must be done in the midst of activity.”
Liu I-Ming

The Dog Month
Animal by Animal
During this Earth Dog Month,
The Rat wins against competition,
The smart Ox holds fire,
The Tiger hunts,
The Rabbit makes a home,
The Dragon gets flexible,
The Snake keeps her head down,
The Horse gallops home,
The Sheep calls for help against long odds,
The Monkey’s time has not come,
The modest Rooster is the most effective Rooster,
The Dog ignores their sell-by date,
while
The Pig is tested by fire and emerges.
#daenerys

Know your inner beast. How Doggy are you?
Birth in the Dog Hour (7-9pm)~: long life.
Birth on the Dog Day#: stubborn – in a good way. Sometimes.
Birth during the Dog Month (October)*: long-term friends.
Birth in the Dog Year: tenacious 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: Click your feet and you’ll be back in Kansas.
East, Ambition: Year Star: 9 Dragon Virtue, Month Star: 1.

After a sleepy Rooster Month, the 1 in the East now boosts the younger man while Dragon Virtue watches his back. Keep this area appropriately spick and span. Occupying the East and/or facing that direction taps the 9/1 which rewards clear communication, preparation and planning with increase and accumulation; same with an Eastern door and up to a point, an East-facing building. If you’re here constantly – which is not such a bad idea – don’t over-activate it with noise or busyness, avoid excess alcohol and stay well hydrated.
Favours: East Group kuas: 1, 3, 4 & 9 (ask), certain Pigs, Dogs & Sheep.
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 in buildings and beds backing onto these directions. West Group vice-versa. Sorry if it’s fiddly, I’m not making this stuff up.

My actual Diary
Let Sleeping Dogs lie.
“Both striving and non-striving must be done in the midst of activity.” Liu I-Ming.

It’s the month of the Earth Dog who is both stubborn and restless. Such beasts can be logical to the point of dullness and able to stick to the most tenuous point through thick and thin. As it happens some great business women are 1958 Earth Dogs; they just don’t know when to give up. These facts may be connected.
So that’s the tenor of the month and indeed of the year after next, Earth Dog 2018 – great persistence, not necessarily in a useful direction. After that November like the Pig year 2019, will bring pause and relief.
You may or may not know that Dogs don’t necessarily flourish in Dog months or years. So don’t go “whoopee” if you’re a Dog, any more than you should have at the beginning of the year if you’re a Monkey. It doesn’t necessarily work like that. Which brings us to the St Bernards in the room: Bill Clinton, George Dubya Bush and Donald Trump, all 1946 Fire Dogs, all still ambitious and all right out of time.

S
2       7       9
E  1       3       5 W
            4
NThe lo shu or “magic square” of the month.

A month with the boisterous 3 at its centre (see “magic square” above) is contentious but 2016 you’ll recall, holds a 2 to its heart, making it the Year of the Woman. And although this is a month of parting shots (“And another thing…..”) it is not one of fresh conflicts. 1947 Fire Pig Hillary Clinton has – deservedly or not – had a hard time to date but it remains her year. It’s been demanding; think fellow Fire Pigs Alan Rickman and David Bowie. And it’ll get harder before it gets easier. As it will for 1971 Pig Abu Bakr Al-Baghdadi, figurehead of DAESH aka ISIS or ISIL.

As well as the Dog giving herself time off, this Dog month favours Rabbits in their home-making and the objectives of the more predatory Horses and Tigers. It’s likely to frustrate Dragons (try other ways of doing things) and Roosters (get over yourself), involve Monkeys in loss and Rats winning against competition. Ox and Sheep need to contain themselves for now and Snakes (like 1965 Wood Snake Bashar al-Assad who btw is unlikely to face reckoning before 2018) to keep their heads down till Christmas.

And for Pigs another testing month. They need all the diplomacy they can borrow right now. One way is to draw upon the peace-making qualities of the Rabbit. Water Rabbit Michelle Obama may be the best reference Hillary currently has. Those Pigs that come through the er…roasting will gain that quality of toughness without hardness that characterises the balanced Pig.

And as for the old mutts, the time of the Earth Dog brings fitful sleep not fresh bones to chew. Those sleeping Fire Dogs will keep on lying whether you let them or not. As the old Thin Lizzy song goes, “Don’t believe a word, especially when I say I’m in love with you.”
Richard Ashworth © 2016

2017, the Fire Rooster: the Year of the Turkey
Distracted by Shiny Things:

What to expect and what to do about it,
A day with feng shui man Richard Ashworth
at the Pepperpot, Godalming.
10 till 5, Saturday December 3rd 2016.

As promised around this time last year, the Year of the Fire Monkey has been a turbulent one. It started with the loss of much-loved entertainers, continued on both sides of the Atlantic with political farce and concludes with mayhem right on the North-South line indicated by the Chinese gan zhi cycle. Sometimes I hate to be proven right.

This Rooster brings attention to detail but a short attention span. Just as the Fire Monkey was the Year of Turbulence, so this may be the Year of the Turkey. It’s likely to be a year when our attention is drawn away from what matters. Some of that will be deliberate, some just the distraction of shiny things. There’s more.

2017 of course will favour different animals; Dragons will be empowered, more than likely (but they won’t be alone in that) and certain houses will be unusually helpful; step up those whose homes face South East. And it’s a 1 year, a time of communication, negotiation and bargaining. No surprises there.

The Rooster year calls for different approaches. Some Animals will have a free ticket, some will needed added help. Some areas will be magical, some baleful. Find out which is which and what to do about it, personally, domestically, globally and economically.

The cost for the day is £125 or if paid by 1st November 2016, it’s £85.

This workshop sold out very quickly last year.

TAnchorhere are a limited number of Skype places.

Contact Sheila@imperialfengshui.info
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

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.

Follow Twitter (@FengShuiDiaries) LinkedIn or
like my FaceBook page for further news.

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

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

September 8, 2015

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

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

 

Kuan   

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—-  —-

—-  —-

The Watchtower

Hexagram 20

 

The Rooster Month, Animal by Animal.

During this Wood Rooster month:

The Rat may feel overshadowed.

The Ox may feel surprisingly supported.

The Tiger may recover from defeat.

The Rabbit may want to stay home.

The Dragon may feel special.

The Snake may take several steps forward.

The Horse may rise to competition.

The Sheep may seek solitude.

The Monkey may rest.

The Rooster may seek grace.

The Dog awaits.

and

The Pig is the protector.

Berried.

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

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

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

Where to do what, when and why.

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

Women on the verge.

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

The Rooster Month in the Sheep Year.

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

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

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

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

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

A very Chinese puzzle.

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

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

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

Rooster Pillars; know your Rooster rating.

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

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

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

Birth in the Rooster year: particularly sociable parents.

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

# Just ask.

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

Evening Talk and Day Workshop.

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

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

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

www.imperialfengshui.info

Horse Diary: What to expect in June 2015

June 5, 2015

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

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

Kou

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—-  —-

Coming to Meet.

Hexagram 44 

Mid Summer Murmers.

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

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

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

Where to do what, when and why.

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

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

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

*er…and put your head on it.

The Horse in the Horse Month.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Horse Month, Animal by Animal.

During this Water Horse month:

The Rat may feel ignored.

The Ox may be overlooked.

The Tiger may be unusually cooperative.

The Rabbit may be stretched even further.

The Dragon may lie low.

The Snake may take a back seat.

The Horse may attract both attention and competition.

The Sheep may serve.

The Monkey could roll over.

The Rooster holds back.

The Dog insists upon a fair share.

and

The Pig may take a step back.

Horse Pillars: know your Horse rating.

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

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

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

Birth in the Horse year: outgoing family background.

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

# Just ask.

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

Evening Talk and Day Workshop.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

www.imperialfengshui.info

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

March 19, 2015

Darkness at Noon.

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

Poles, Soul and Sockets

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

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

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

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

“What an amazing man,” she says.

In the car, I’m back on topic:

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

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

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

Well, Well, Well.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Partial and Total Occlusion.

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

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

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

A Room of Ones Own.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Richard Ashworth © 2015.

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