Posts Tagged ‘Kelly Hoppen’

Animal Forecast 2015: 11. Barking Restricted, outlook for the Dog in 2015

February 19, 2015

Who is a Dog?

Years:  1946, 1958, 1970, 1982, 1994, 2006.
Month*:  October
Hour: 07:00 pm – 09:00 pm
Day: ask us
* Caution: the start of the Chinese month can be as early as the 4th & as late as the 9th, depending on the year. I can let you know this too.

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

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

The Dog’s thinking may not always be flexible but when he gets an idea, he really gets it. His natural grouping is with the hunters, the Horse and Tiger. The apportionment of tasks here is obvious: the Horse provides pace and the Tiger ferocity while the Dog watches the rear. If HR people studied Chinese metaphysics, more workplaces would zing: in business the Horse will tend to be the sales person, the Tiger the closer or credit controller and the Dog the provider of after-sales service or er…HR department.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

*Consider 1970 Dog George Osborne and his “hard-working families” trope.

# David Cameron: 1966 Horse

Dog in Wood Sheep Year

Stars include: Moon.

Classically the meeting of Dog and Sheep is a break-up. This year has that about it; it’s possible that certain key assumptions in your life are false. If so by the way, they only reflect your inner truth. If the premises you act on are in error, you’re only deceiving yourself.

Such break-ups can be literal or figurative. And they’re all both healthy (in the great scheme of things) and preventable. The Dog’s big weakness is not questioning enough. You may believe your constancy is reflected in the outside world. And it’s not that good is not reflected everywhere but that what’s good and bad is a question of viewpoint. Some people find tickling painful and some enjoy being tied up and whipped. Apparently. There are, dare I say it, more than fifty grades of chi.

But the Dog is also a key player in the central dynamic of 2015, the Year of Gathering: the so-called “Bullying Punishment.” This fracas occurs when Ox and Sheep meet Dog. It’s a misunderstanding but often it looks like the most hideous confrontation. And obviously in a Sheep year it’s going to happen a great deal if only because the Sheep in the calendar is going to collide with real Dog and Ox people in Ox and Dog hours, days and months. When the punishment is sustained it speaks of damage; a ba zi with these characters early in life will need a great deal of love later on to straighten it out. It’s quite likely – but not certain – that you’re one of them.

So this year you deal with break-up of some sort. It could be relationship – especially if you were born on a Dog day – but it doesn’t have to be. That depends on the way you conduct the relationship. It is at least as likely a bust-up with a long-established client, customer or colleague, especially if your birth was in October, the Dog Month. And watch for the hardest one: birth hour between 7&9pm implies possible estrangement from your kids, your future dreams or both. The solution: trust yourself, be gentle and question everything.

And meanwhile the Bullying Punishment rages around you. The Sheep brings gathering, a drawing-up of lines. Teams form, families close ranks, marriages are re-committed to. And armies grow. You are likely to be personally involved; hardest-hit in July and October of course but you’ll already know from the events of January 2015 that January 2016 will test you as much. The inflexibility of the Ox will clash with the slavishness of the Sheep wherever you go. Arguments will break out about nothing – because they are about nothing; nothing that’s here and now and present at least. And both Sheep and Ox will tend to be in your face. These may be the actually astrologically cloven-hooved or people and situations that embody this tension. the Ox often stands for religion – with whose rigidity you may have little truck – and the Sheep for spirituality – which may be too airy-fairy for you to be comfortable with. Both will tend to demand your agreement this year.

What’s the solution? The Dragon. When the Ox, Sheep and Dog come together, they may hatch grand plans but they often lack the magic to bring them into reality. The Dragon is that magic. You may find it in yourself although you are very likely temperamentally unsuited to allowing an answer to emerge without fully understanding how it was arrived at. That Dragon quality can be tapped at SE1 (ESE) and during April of course and between 7 and 9 am every morning. It’s a kind of forgiveness. A letting go that allows magic through. Trust yourself, question everything and be alert for the presence of the Dragon.

All of the above sounds pretty testing but 2015 need not be. The Bullying Punishment arises most commonly as a great and positive breakthrough looms. This year your big project may call you and it may require tremendous preparation. Three of the four ducks required may be in a row and then one may fall. The Dragon is the fourth duck. The reason that the punishment is so common and so notorious is that so often, given the choice between big and challenging success and distractions like sickness and accidents, we falter and fall. The choice to rise, however it shows up, is the Dragon.

So a year of drama and tension but also of big opportunity. The question is whether you believe in magic, isn’t it?

Health: breathe more deeply to stay present in moments of pressure.

Money: you might acquire assets this year.

Relationship: better for female heterosexuals and gay males. More friendship than lust.

Feng Shui: South not much use. Seek NE3 (ENE); occupy, activate face.

Readers’ Digest Version: seek the magic embodied in the Dragon.

www.imperialfengshui.info

Richard Ashworth©, early in the month of the Tiger, 2015.

 

Animal Forecast 2015: 10. Game Bird, outlook for the Rooster in 2015

February 19, 2015

Who is a Rooster?

Years:  1945, 1957, 1969, 1981, 1993, 2005.
Month*:  September
Hour: 05:00 pm -07:00 pm
Days: ask us

* Caution: the start of the Chinese month can be as early as the 4th & as late as the 9th, depending on the year. I can let you know this too.

What is a Rooster?
The Rooster is yin metal, the night bird, glamorous with an eye for presentation and detail. She appreciates an argument and likes to win but has little patience for causes that drag on. She will appreciate jewellery, fine art and good living and create wealth easily. Conversely of course, a dangerous Rooster like Qaseem Soleimani (Iranian General i/c of the Iraqi Army – Google him) can reject such distractions in order to serve a cause that has indeed dragged on for decades. This is yin and yang.

The rule this illustrates (by violating it) is that a typical Rooster is suited to work that involves short decisive arguments such as that of an advocate. Her brief passion is the perfect support for a client. She can defend with enormous commitment and then move on to the next one. That commitment is 100% but it is short lived. If she is in a job that involves holding her peace she may fret and become ill.

Osama bin Laden was a typical 1957 fire Rooster: one big splash and he was off. For you, a car must be fast, a partner challenging and life full of twists and turns. The Rooster is likely to be quick witted rather than profound, with a short attention span.

Her allies the Snake and the Ox are sometimes impatient with her because she can digress so widely and so easily but she brings to the metal alliance the pure competitiveness that the Ox might otherwise misuse and the Snake misunderstand. Think Ed Miliband snatching leadership of the opposition from under his brother’s nose. The Rooster is pure metal – that is determined to prevail at all costs – Snake and Ox are not. They will not win many cases or many contracts without her and they would do well to pay and respect her appropriately despite the fact that she demands longer holidays and a better remuneration package.  Conversely if she fails to respect a support system that dots i’s and crosses t’s in order to support the intuitive flashes that s/he can exploit but seldom generate, she will not prosper.

Her pitfalls are sex, drugs and rock’n’roll. She likes to party and her personality may be addictive; the Rooster prefers dusk to dawn and also the small hours.

The Rooster enjoys a powerful alliance with the Dragon in which she, uniquely in the average Dragon’s experience, may hold the whip hand. This is not always entirely healthy. She can bend the Dragon out of shape just as the Ox can bend the Rat. This sway must be employed responsibly otherwise both can be damaged. With that proviso this is one of the strongest and longest-lasting alliances in the Chinese zodiac.

Predictably the Rooster  is one of the charismatic Flowers of Romance. Success and glamorous partners come easily to her. Often a Rooster can punch above her weight in this regard. Cinderella was a Rooster and so is Yoko Ono. This effortlessness can make for complacency; bitterness is more common among middle-aged Roosters than any other animal. Not the remarkable Ms Ono btw. Roosters are often long-lived also btw.

With the Monkey she can form a commercial alliance. A business co-run by these two will be irresistibly attractive but may not open on time. It may not close promptly either and may also suffer the cash flow problems that come from poor financial prioritisation. A marriage would risk the same types of problem: great parties, early divorce. The unbalanced Metal creatures – Monkey and Rooster – sometimes know and understand precision but don’t respect it.

The cautious domesticated Rabbit is the nemesis of the Rooster who likes bling while the Rabbit can see no life in a stone. Any such relationship would generally be full of obstruction and passive aggression. The insistent wood of the Tiger is almost as maddening although his fierceness would at least engage the Rooster’s attention. The loyal, consistent Dog risks boring her rigid.

Rooster in Sheep Year.

Stars include: pin kun, man cheung, tin yute gwai yan, sik sun.

This year the Winter Solstice dung gee, coincides with the New Moon. The last time this happened was in 1938, a year which you’ll recall, was followed by some excitement. The man most associated with not noticing a world crumbling around him was 1897 Fire Rooster Neville Chamberlain.   And now it’s possible that the world depends on the Rooster rising from the naughty chair and putting attention on the many wrongs that need righting.

If nothing changed in a big way in 2012, you probably still have a couple of years to wait before you feel that you are truly present. But there is a way to make it faster. Below I make some suggestions. 2014 has been a demanding year, mostly because you demanded it be that way. There was plenty of good luck if you had just been prepared to let it come to you. So often the Rooster does not recognise good fortune when presented with it. Your role is to do with the well-being of others this year: family, children, the lost and the puzzled. It’s time to stop wrong-footing the world with cleverness and withdrawal. You are more puzzled than most, if truth were told.

The Rooster is the gambler, the charmer, the player of the odds; very smart, very attractive, very dangerous. Most of the threats now besetting the Earth are due to Rooster thinking; not necessarily to actual Roosters but to a particular mental approach. I avoided the term mind-set because half-digested quasi-psychological  sleep-terms like that are typical of this er…mind-set. Workshops on how to steal a march in business are packed with Roosters. They are the masters of quick, that is short-term thinking. They may have memorised the Seven Success Habits but they often lack any idea as to what to do with success or of how to be content. And unless we – and they – wake up, 2015 will just take us twelve months closer to the precipice. The point at which I gave up on transformation by way of business was when I overheard two salespeople discussing how to use a “Win-Win” strategy to win against competition. As Leonard Cohen wrote: “They sentenced me to 20 years of boredom for trying to change the system from within.” Enough.

The Chinese character kun is often translated as “clash.” And just as Horse was kun to Rooster last year, so this year Rooster is kun to at least the wood aspect of the Wood Sheep. The Rooster represents the profit in turning rainforest into pasture and the human genotype into patents.  The Rooster can be argumentative and a splitter of hairs. Whether this is virtue or vice depends upon how it is employed. This year the Rooster can advance short term through smarts and charm or long term through wisdom. Similarly this year the Rooster can bank their bonus or question the system. This is harder for you than most because the Rooster is naturally a conservative (small “c”) – which must be tough for 1969 Rooster Ed Miliband – and thinks of common sense as looking after No. 1.  Surely everyone gains that way; all ships rise with tide, don’t they? It isn’t happening and you are suffering. Time to wake up and smell the carbon fumes. Get your attention out.

Kun this way round means “man-woman relationship” to the male Rooster.  You have romance on a plate in 2015. Whether you’ll actually get to know someone is an entirely different question. Short-lived romance is more probable than eternal love. And this life-long skating on the surface of life is the routine and the  trap from which many Roosters never roam. But it’s not where realisation lies nor  where you’re likely to find self-actualisation or meaning. That will come with questioning your life-path and re-calibrating. The mature Rooster may be quite lonely but  poorly trained for anything else. February, March and particularly April offer you something else. It may just be a bigger bonus than last year and  if you employ it to make 2015 like 2014 only more so, you  may well find 2016 and the years beyond deeply distressing. If you employ this burst of energy to divert your life in the direction it wants to steer, you will be a different, happier and more fulfilled bird come 2016. And you can’t fake it.

One of the quirks of the year of the Wood Sheep is that you are likely to be sought out for advice. And you’ll doubtless give it, as ever. Your wisdom will only be worth heeding if you back it with example. No one forced you into the jam you’re in and many have offered you a leg-up. Perversely you have blamed some and warned off others for daring to call you on your irresponsibility. You’re not a martyr; consider some other points of view perhaps.

As I said, if nothing changed in a big way in 2012, you probably have a couple of years to wait before you feel that you are truly present. Your attraction to the superficial is likely to have convinced you that’s all there is. And you’re likely to argue for this half-life for a while yet rather than admit error. That would be a terrible pity.

Health: care with mouth and openings of the body.

Money: plentiful but not the point. Not the year for the pursuit of wealth per se.

Relationship: shallow relationship plentiful, marriage unlikely.

Feng Shui: Cautiously occupy the Ox (North East1) and load it with Metal. Don’t dig or drill.

Readers’ Digest Version: another year that leads up a ladder or down a snake. Your call.

www.imperialfengshui.info

Richard Ashworth©, early in the month of the Tiger, 2015.

 

 

 

Animal Forecast 2015: 9. Easy Monkey, outlook for the Monkey in 2015

February 18, 2015

Who is a Monkey?

Years:  1944, 1956, 1968, 1980, 1992, 2004.
Month*:  August
Hour: 03:00 pm – 05:00 pm
Day: ask us

* Caution: the start of the Chinese month can be as early as the 4th & as late as the 9th, depending on the year. I can let you know this too.

What is a Monkey?
The image of the Three Wise Monkeys, see no evil, hear no evil, and speak no evil is a mediaeval Japanese summary of the qualities of the metal Monkey who is yang metal and a particularly unbalanced primate. The image is of someone of course who shrinks from involvement. In elemental terms, this is about too much yang metal. What is meant by yang metal essentially is competition. Often the Monkey is so competitive he dare not enter the race. For many Monkeys, a man is an island. He is, like Hugh Grant’s character in About a Boy, “bloody Ibiza”.

As well as competitive, the Monkey is typically charming, loveable, dextrous, logical and quick witted and has a gift for precision. The balanced Monkey uses these qualities constructively and in the service of his fellow man. The unbalanced Monkey (born say, late afternoon in August ) does not clean up behind himself. He is in short a monkey.

The Monkey is often the most acquisitive as well as the gentlest beast but he is above all, competitive. In the extreme this means warfare. In its milder forms it is the ruthless competition that involves the belief that another’s gain is our loss. This is a mistake. It’s what leads to steroid abuse in athletics and in football, ballet dancing in the penalty box. The metal Monkey may learn this lesson early;  it’s what makes him particularly gentle and all Monkeys subscribe to this delusion to a greater or lesser extent.
Just as you’d expect, the pitfall of the Monkey is frivolity. If he can’t win he takes the Mickey.

The Monkey’s natural allies are the Rat and the Dragon. This is a pretty heavy-duty grouping, perhaps the most powerful in the Chinese Zodiac. The naturally dominant Rat and the egotistical Dragon are not, as a rule, a bundle of laughs. But they get stuff done; most of the big revolutions of ideas involve this team. The influence of this trio spreads everywhere: Sigmund Freud perhaps the most influential thinker of the 20th Century, Michele Obama possibly the most influential woman in the world, Dragons. Even Jesus if you take AD32 as his birth year.* And somewhere in there if we delve deeply enough, we find unsung Monkeys and Rats making it happen. The Rat plots, the Monkey gets out there and competes. Probably St Paul was a Monkey, the man who sold Christianity to the world. Someone who is a Monkey for sure is Karen Armstrong author of a History of God, founder of the Charter for Compassion and arguably the most important thinker of the 21st Century. This is a Monkey who has learned to speak no evil while seeing much.

The Monkey tends to understand engines; he is the grease Monkey. He also tends to understand maths, science and argument. He is suited very often to a career in engineering or the law, also accountancy. Unbalanced, he neglects all of the above. The Monkey month of August spans Leo and Virgo and to see him as a hybrid of Virgo control and Leo passion is not far from the truth.

When the Tiger and the Snake meet  the Monkey, there is trouble. The Monkey both co-operates with and fights the Snake. The presence of the Tiger pushes this competition over the edge. Keep them apart. So the Monkey should mind his p’s and q’s every  February, the month of the Tiger and every May, the month of the Snake.

So that’s the Monkey: argumentative, practical, mischievous, so competitive he can withdraw altogether. But you knew that already didn’t you?

* That’s up for debate of course but presumably he was a Capricorn anyway.

 Monkey in the Wood Sheep

Stars include: gip sat, goo san

Impatient, sulky; these are not the usual descriptions of the Monkey. They are your dark side, the character you’d really rather not be. Generally of course you’re not this way; you like a joke. But sometimes you can’t take one. A delusion that can blindside the naturally humorous Monkey is that every jest needs a victim. It’s simply not true. It may be important you absorb this truth soon because this year you may find yourself on a pedestal. And pedestals can be magnets for slings and arrows.

You are above all competitive and consequently have learned to see all the angles. You can see where your current path is leading. You are aware of the opportunities as well as the pitfalls. You know the routine and the patterns. That’s why you can be rebellious;  because you understand rules. This may have led to great success in the last couple of years.  But you’re going to have to get flexible if you are to maintain that success. As a former of habits – the Monkey is one of the addicts of the Zodiac – you are wrong footed by irregularity. A bus that won’t keep to its timetable is no use to you. And the year of the Sheep demands that you are patient. It is a year of family and of gathering and these groupings don’t follow straight lines.

You’ve got it figured. Not.

Equally, as the next sign along in the cycle , the Monkey is Metal to the Sheep’s essential Earth. Earth gives birth to Metal; naturally. We can bank on it, like clockwork. But if you are expecting smooth transitions this year, it may be time to re-calibrate;  the Sheep is yin Earth, you’re yang Metal. That is to say the Sheep is smaller, weaker, slower and more subtle than  its yang counterparts and may not empower you sufficiently. This may mean that reliable colleagues start to disappoint and that reliable structures – other  than family – seem to dissolve around you. Actually they’re not dissolving so much as defining themselves. Sales and other teams may reduce to hard core. This is part of the nature of the Year of Gathering. Lines are forming. Where do you stand?

As a rule you don’t like to say; you prefer to present a moving target.  You’re a competitor. But this year your well-being depends upon belonging and now before it gets sticky, is the time to work out where you stand. And stand there. This may be an ethical or political standpoint, it may be more about professional practice but it is especially about recognition. You are already outstanding; you need to become obvious, unmistakeable. This involves the kinds of risk you’re not historically keen on. Perhaps you need to be ready for key conversations. Perhaps you need to be sure you know which these are and with whom. Perhaps you need to blow your own trumpet or prime others to do your trumpet-blowing for you. Perhaps you need to exploit your relative visibility. You probably have to stick your neck out. You never seek to undermine opposition but to up your game. That’s the sign of the true competitor. But it needs witnessing.

Your solution to hurdles has generally been to simply work harder. In the bright light of the Year of the Horse this came to notice. The Sheep Year however has a tendency to obscure things. The Sheep’s hour is the siesta time between 1 and 3 pm, after lunch.  In 2015 things get forgotten, records get lost. Some people in authority develop shorter memories. You can detach from the upset but not from the process. Prepare now. Prepare for invisibility.

And after that? Emphasise your Metal nature. You are capable of great precision. You understand the discipline of a repeated method.  That ability comes from a flair for analysis. But where you have concluded, re-think; re-measure, re-calculate.  Possibly several times this year in major ways. Re-think the hierarchy. Re-think the reward structure so that you know where your future lies and how to grasp it. Re-think what you think you know. You’ll have to throw away some prejudices and some conclusions to which you’ve become attached. There may be fresh starts on the cards. Rely on those you can rely upon. For the most part this means family. This is after all the Year of Family.

This is a year of great challenge. But it’s likely to prove worth it. Remember that when you feel underestimated, under-rewarded and close to collapse.  This year you fill in the bits of education you have missed. This year you learn how to negotiate life and Life.

Health: Odd illnesses.. Earth Monkey (1992) most vulnerable.

Money: some but not a year of bounty.

Relationship: all about output; mostly that means kids and expense.

Feng Shui: seek the Dragon at SE1 (ESE) ie be there, face that way, activate the area with Water.

Readers’ Digest Version: very testing but worth the trouble

www.imperialfengshui.info

Richard Ashworth©, early in the month of the Tiger, 2015.

 

Animal Forecast 2015: 7. Neigh Sayer, outlook for the Horse in 2015

February 13, 2015

Who is a Horse?

Years:  1942, 1954, 1966, 1978, 1990, 2002, 2014.
Month*:  June
Hour: 11:00 am – 01:00 pm
Day: ask us
* Caution: the start of the Chinese month can be as early as the 4th & as late as the 9th, depending on the year. I can let you know this too.

What is a Horse?
The horse is yang fire: the charmer, the extrovert, the seducer of the Zodiac, the Horse is rarely caught however high-risk his strategy. She has an ego of course but is better able to laugh at himself than for instance the Dragon. Like the Dragon, the Pig and the Rooster though, she is often not inclined to work with her own kind. The typical Horse is not a deep thinker and ego leads him to suppose that no one else is either.

There tends to be a belief in shortage, at work in the Horse. You may imagine that you must be first to the trough if you are to eat. In romance the Horse, like the Rooster, can be what Leonard Cohen calls “a thin gypsy thief”. This means his weakness can be a failure to respect boundaries and property. Of all the animals, the Horse and Rooster are typically the marriage breakers and the home wreckers. This is not inevitable of course. If we know this about ourselves we can make wiser choices. Just because today is a good day to die, it is not necessarily a good day to kill.

Predictably the Horse is often not great at commitment. The yin and yang of this by the way is that a self-aware Horse is the most constant partner there is.

Success matters a great deal to the Horse. He is not generally subtle. It is the winning not the taking part that tends to concern you.
Obviously enough the fiery Horse is not keen on water. He experiences this element, whether expressed as a Rat year or as excessive communication, as dampening his enthusiasm. Water slows him down but does not halt him. This tends to make the Water months – November to January – turbulent in all sorts of senses including the meteorological.

Interestingly the Horse’s charisma is best expressed either in a team with the other Plum Flowers, Rat, Rabbit and Rooster or with the Sheep. You will often find Sheep and Horse out and about together, the Horse radiating charm and the Sheep reflecting it. This actually is a good partnership; the Sheep is in awe of the sheer daring of the Horse and the reckless Horse may often need grounding, safety and a short term loan.

The Horse’s home team, all of whom have fire in common, is with the Tiger and the Dog. These are the hunters of the Zodiac: the Tiger kills, the Horse chases, the Dog guards. This support system is the most likely to bring the Horse rewards. On his own he is prone to burn brightly and extinguish early. You’ll have a good time though.

The Horse can find the Ox hard work also. There is metal hidden in the Ox which the Horse can turn to his advantage but the Ox’s preferences are so humdrum.

The Horse has visual, imaginative and intellectual gifts but is unlikely to value them enough to put them to good use. Many of the words we use about the virtue of work illustrate the unwillingness of the Horse to stick at things: harness, yoke, saddle, blinker etc. Again the yin and yang is that a conscious Horse never quits.

A Horse who works with a Snake may achieve greatness because the Snake understands the Horse just as she understands the Dragon, additionally the Snake will not need to compete. In many ways the Snake is the perfect partner but it is more likely the Snake will recognise this than the Horse. The Snake suffers in the short term and the Horse in the long.

Racing, partying, playing, the danger for the Horse is burnout. The challenge is to defer gratification long enough that there remains a future.

Horse in Wood Sheep Year

Stars include: sap gon luk, loy hong.

So your year is over. Except it may not have felt like your year at all. Because of the so-called self clash the typical Horse will have felt quite challenged. And your natural spontaneity may now seem, looking back, more gesture  than action.  The demanding year of 1954 Horse Angela Merkel could be typical;  Germany started 2014 looking like the defender of the European Union and ended it perhaps as one of the reasons that union is threatened with fracture. 1966 Fire Horse David Cameron started the year as an alternative to the knee-jerk xenophobia of UKIP and ends looking liking a reason to vote outside the Westminster establishment at all costs. It is the nature of a year of revelation like that just passed, that  illumination falls upon the Horse. And not necessarily in a good way. You have felt constantly exposed and you’ve had enough of that for the time being, I expect.

At home you may have felt lonely or abandoned and at work, out on a limb. Past mistakes may have been raked up. That’s embarrassing to anybody and it’s an especially brave Horse who looks upon error easily. You’re wise and decent and likely to be available 24-7 to dispense loving advice but receiving it? Not so much. You’ve shifted your schedule time after time to give help but often been too busy to let yourself be helped. So often, advice sounds like condemnation and assistance seems to mean you’re helpless. And for you “helpless” probably carries additional meanings of “useless” and “worthless”.  And to be fair, reflection reflects the reflecter; some of that advice may indeed have amounted to sabotage.

You are however the secret friend of the Sheep. This means you are favoured.  A rest may be in order; certainly some relief from pressure and the Sheep may offer it. Your ambitions are better served by delegation than solo  work but what you choose to concentrate upon this year will shine. That is sap gon luk, the star of success through good preparation. Chuck Spezzano used to say that “bonding is effortless success”;  not “implies” or “entails”, “is”.

On the other hand the loy hong star that rests over you this year threatens that you could over-reach yourself. The Horse is not generally great at commitment. You’re more immediate than that – often to your loss. You’re better at easy-going, relatively shallow relationship. This year if you are spoken-for, be careful how easy-going you get and with whom. Not that you are in danger of discovery. Your partner may never know. But you will. Such small deceits are scars upon the soul.

Of your soul-mates, the Dog will be in need of assistance. A Sheep year for the Dog is a “break-up”; some sort of parting of the ways is on the cards. And the Dog more than likely turns to you.  The Sheep whose loyalty characterises the year, may need a reminder as to why he bothers.  These entreaties will tend to fall in the middle of the year. Later on there is serious discouragement for the Horse who claims they never really cared. You have to care. And of course you do; underneath the top two layers of that neapolitan of sensitivities is a huge, empathetic heart.

If you followed that heart last year, opportunities will be opening up about now. February holds a boost to your energy and June. But you’ll have to commit to whatever it is that beckons. Think about it; if you don’t it’s bound to fail. Only if you do throw yourself into it – work, relationship, that huge new opportunity that you have almost talked yourself out of – will you ever know what could be.

So the key to this year is opening up. There are many – family, friends, those you’ve never met – who are desperate to know you better. These people recognise your nerve and your originality and your heart but feel they hardly know you. If you are known, you’ll be found out, won’t you? They will have some sort of power over you, won’t they? Oops. They’ll know you’re fallible and they’ll be able to exploit your weaknesses. We can’t have that canwe?

This year, the South where the Horse lives, is visited by the tricky Red 7 Star. The 7 is the star of intervention. Not such a bad idea but it’s also the Star of interruption and interference. Who’s to say which is which? This year you have to risk interference, and interruption and open up to intervention if you yearn for intimacy. And from then on you’re neither lonely nor put-upon. If you rise to the call, you enter 2016 equipped for the worldwide dramas that threaten. Otherwise you get a rest.

Health: possible weight gain. Care of eyes, skin, lungs still advised.

Money: activate, occupy, face, favour NE3 the Tiger for reputation, E2 the Rabbit for abundance.

Relationship: the toe far due East at the Rabbit ensures plenty of variety if that’s your choice.

Feng Shui: activate the Dog at NW1 (WNW) for the Moon; that is proportion. You may need it.

Readers’ Digest Version: at least restful, recuperative. At best refuelling.

www.imperialfengshui.info

Richard Ashworth©, early in the month of the Tiger, 2015.

 

Animal Forecast 2015: 6. Serpent Uncertainty, outlook for the Snake in 2015

February 12, 2015

Who is a Snake?

Years:  1941, 1953, 1965, 1977, 1989, 2001.
Month*:  May
Hour: 09:00 am – 11.00am
Day: ask us

* Caution: the start of the Chinese month can be as early as the 4th & as late as the 9th, depending on the year. I can let you know this too.

What is a Snake?
The balanced or mature Snake has absolute integrity; this is the goal to strive for.

Snake is yin fire and sits flanked by Horse and the Dragon, possibly the most powerful pair of animals in the Zodiac and certainly among the most difficult stools to fall between. So a typical weakness of the Snake is indecision. Next to that is lack of commitment and finally a propensity for sudden and uncharacteristic dishonesty. The Snake is the prisoner who breaks at the threat of torture; a reasonable decision if you know you’re going to give in anyway. Snakes being of Candle Flame fire, are easily discouraged and sometimes they should be. A Snake may even stick long term with an inappropriate choice so as to put off making any choice at all.

The most written about Snake in 2014 was probably Xi Jinping, born in Snake in the Grass year 1953 and appointed at a time when the internal tensions in China – between efficiency and self-expression, between industrial wealth and rural poverty and between cohesion and corruption – have never been so stark. Repetitive tasks for cheap labour have been travelling East from Europe since the 18th century. Once the last few hundred million Chinese have been urbanised, there’s nowhere else for manufacture to go because growth can’t go on forever. This is the conundrum that faces Xi. The smartest and bravest Snakes confront it head on, the typical Snake pretends there’s no issue and proceeds to “reform”. Do not deceive yourself that the Chinese authorities are no longer imprisoning the innocent without trial or protecting those of the corrupt who can be discreet.

Nonetheless the Snake remains the seeker after truth. This can mean that an immature or unbalanced one is a purveyor of pork pies. The balanced or mature Snake, as I said,  has absolute integrity. But meanwhile what you see may not be what you get. Taking into account the Umbrella sit-ins in Hong Kong and a push-me-pull-you approach to liberal reforms, you might well say that about Mr Xi. Compare perhaps with triple 1953 Snake (year, month, day) Tony Blair.

So the choice for the Snake is between opposites: the extroversion of the Horse and the subtlety of the Dragon, instinct and logic, process and end product, long and short term, relationship and freedom, employment or entrepreneurship. In the face of this dilemma, a balanced Snake will often develop sufficient charm to get through without having to make the hard decisions. Typically in a relationship, the Snake of either gender is not the decision maker and the decisions she has not made may include that of being committed to the relationship. The partner of the Snake (best choice probably Ox or Rooster though Monkey lady and Snake man works well) would be well-advised to drag at least this minimum communication from the Snake early on. Interestingly the water Snake of 1953 is one of the best makers and keepers of relationship of all 60 pillars.

One of the advantages of being between the autocratic Dragon and the unruly Horse is that the Snake has her ego in check. Many would consider her wise because what she has to say is well-considered and she never says too much. The Snake can be a brilliant collaborator, especially with the Ox and the Rooster who are in a sense similar to her two neighbours: the Rooster is blatant and the Ox determined while the Snake anchors them to each other. There may be moments of doubt when the Snake’s loyalty wavers. At such times, the Snake asks searching questions which should have been settled long ago and then usually re-commits. The high minded Brutus was probably a Snake. Not Judas though. To know this, grants the Snake both power and integrity. Snakes who know themselves earn undying trust.

The Snake can also work with the Dragon in what is called the House of Magic. Only the Snake can subordinate ego to the extent that the Dragon demands, while also keeping up. One ideal vocation for a Snake is high-level p.a. Usually (and wisely) the Snake opts for the role of No 2 rather than Big Chief.

Being substantially of yin fire, the Snake often has intellectual and visual gifts. She makes a good critic as her judgement is good and she is not out to destroy egos. She will generally have natural and effortless style.
The Snake’s relationship with the Monkey is of the love-hate variety. Both have hands-on and logical ability and both attract the occasional tussle but where the Monkey welcomes the opportunity for mischief, the Snake treats dispute as a necessary and regrettable evil. When a Tiger appears either in the form of a Tiger-born person or a Tiger year like 2010, this misunderstanding can turn nasty. In a Sheep year, however, the issues are very different.

The Snake is opposed to the Pig and as both of these are members of the informal group sometimes called the Four Terminals, they can impede each other’s movement. Snakes may develop mobility issues in a Pig year (or month) and vice versa.
The Snake prefers a short menu and yes/no questions. In a Rat year the Snake may be overwhelmed; there is just too much choice, The Snake’s dreams may come true only for her to run in the opposite direction. Often communication has to be wrenched from the Snake and in the water years of Rat and Pig there is little support for the tight-lipped. In a typical Ox year there is just enough water but not too much. This makes scope for just the restricted level of communication the Snake prefers.

Snakes have a complex relationship with fire. They are not usually sun-worshippers but often their skin needs just a little regular sun and without it they may fall prey to easily avoided ailments such as vitamin D deficiency. A Wood Sheep year offers less fire than the Horse. You’ll have to seek it out. Now read on.

Snake in Wood Sheep Year.

Stars include: yik ma, yeung yan.

You’re restless.

Traditionally the Sheep year is a stretch for the Snake; in fashion the Snake struggles to keep up to date, in politics, old mistakes return to incriminate. Domestically the Snake learns that (s)he has a great deal to learn. This year the Snake has to step up in order to hang onto what (s)he values most highly. A good deal of change may be called for.  You may be called upon to actually make that move you’ve been resisting; that’s what the yik ma star signifies.

2014 will have been helter-skelter; you simply had to tack into wind or sink. But 2015 is the year of gathering; what you will gather yourself will principally be the reward or fallout from 2014.  There is something very simple about this. It’s kind of black-and-white. The Snake however is multi-coloured. To you there may well be something suspect about simplicity. When Tony Blair claimed to be “a pretty straight kind of guy,” he simply (and perhaps even honestly) did not know what he was talking about. His was the Snake’s eye view. Having mutually contradictory explanations for diametrically opposed views held simultaneously is no one else’s idea of straight. You’re a Snake too.

It’s a 3 year which favours a man’s aspirations unlike last year which honoured those of the female. The qualities called for are robust and unsubtle; not so much the Snake’s cup of tea. This year the simple truth rules. But your view that there’s generally something underneath whatever is presented  is not a foolish one. 2015 promises to be the year in which major concerns about freedoms and fairness are swept back under the carpet and your enquiring, nay suspicious  nature is an important counterpoint. Keep asking questions. Be dissatisfied with the answers just as long as you are dissatisfied with the answers. The Sheep year is a vintage year for the suspicious.

And the Snake is above all the seeker after truth. In 2015 the powers-that-be are shameless and they need robust questioning. Whether it’s about desecrating the Earth – 2015 is the year of fracking and shale-exploitation  –  or setting us upon each other to shift focus from their own shenanigans, this year authority needs questioning. Truth needs to be told to power like never before. And the Snake is the one to do it.

The Horse year of 2014 may have found you spoilt for choice. Among other things the Horse is your Peach Blossom and may have brought you romance. Now you have to turn that into something more lasting but you may have to move – in a variety of senses, including the geographical. This may be the first time you have been called to risk everything. And amid all this you may find yourself not  only  moving house but job and possibly country too. So much earlier than you planned.

Health: possible weight gain. Thyroid.  Accidents are possible; the conventional prophylaxis is to have your teeth professionally cleaned and/or donate blood.

Money: not the main issue.

Relationship: steady if you are.

Feng Shui: seek and activate or occupy  the Dragon at SE1 (ESE).

Readers’ Digest Version: simultaneously disorienting, grounding and full of promise

Richard Ashworth©, early in the month of the Tiger, 2015.

www.imperialfengshui.info

Tiger Diary: what to expect in February 2015

February 6, 2015

Tiger Diary: overview of February 2015.

Feat. Tiger

Tiger Month opens: February 4th 12:09pm.

Feat. Tiger

The Tiger never forgets; an error, a slight a misjudgement or indeed a favour. And above all an injustice. Its all locked away in the long term thinking of this predator. Not that theres anything wrong with predators. Take the Yellowstone Wolves whose reintroduction revitalized the Wyoming landscape for miles around. Or the colony of beavers who recently set up shop in Devon. By the River Otter interestingly. And of course were all predators in the sense that we eat stuff and we wear stuff. All of which require more vulnerable species to give their lives for us.

What threatens the Tiger though is blame. Typically the Tiger is quick to anger. He or she may express it with outward aggression or with self-sacrifice but it often lingers: a smouldering resentment at the unfairness of life. Which is why the balanced Tiger stands for justice.

This balanced Tiger, the one who has explored alternatives beyond dumping or falling on her sword, and sought grace instead, is a genuine leader and expresses that innate aggression usefully. New Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras is looking like a good example; former Trotskyites dont have a great track record but theres every chance that Tsipras has taken a hunger for justice and turned it into service. And it may be that as this Tiger month and this Sheep year open, one important domino has fallen in a sequence in which the last falls at the feet of the powerful.

Well see.

The Tiger in the Tiger Month.

As you know by now, the Tiger (1950, 1962, 1974, 1986, 1998, 2010) is the fiercest. You don’t cross them. Victoria Beckham may be the best-known Tiger there is, brilliant in her own right and married to a man who is by some consensus the most desirable in the world. Judging by her deft handling of supermodels and the press, David is not the only one who knows you dont mess with Victoria.

The Tiger month is the beginning, the dawn of the year just as the Tiger hour (3-5am) is the Spring of the day. The Tiger has vision and patience along with long memory; in the wild a Tiger is prepared to wait for days before pouncing. But eventually it must move and when it does, it is eye-blurringly fast. This expansive quality of assertion and aspiration is called Wood. The rapid movement of the Tiger like the sudden rise of a tropical Sun is called yang Wood. The Tiger gets on with it.

The Tiger however can sometimes forget that blame brings its own disempowerment. If someone else caused a situation in my life, then ultimately I have no power. The smart Tiger learns to move on; the dim one can hang on forever.

The trap of the Tiger is a total lack of self-knowledge. Those that rise to this are the very smartest of the Animals. Ask David.

Appropriately the Tiger is the striker of the group of Animals known as the Hunters of the Chinese Zodiac, along with the Horse and the Dog. Wisely, in whatever context, the Tiger is always concerned with why he or she is engaged in whatever he or she is engaged in. Oddly perhaps then, the Tigers secret friend is the Pig. This is largely because the Pig is home-loving and adaptable; you can imagine that sometimes a Tiger needs these things in her life.

Often the Tiger doesnt think the witty Monkey is funny; humour can be lost on them. In a Horse year, spoiled for opportunity, she may have risked burnout; working too hard or hardly working as Chuck Spezzano puts it. In 2015 the Year of Gathering, the Tiger is best advised to honour the team to which he or she belongs. In a Tiger (Horse or Dog) month that will be hard to avoid.

Tiger Month, Animal by Animal.

During this Earth Tiger month:

The Rat is surprisingly quiet.

The Ox rests.

The Tiger hunts alone.

The Rabbit is protected.

The Dragon remains essential.

The Snake keeps his head down.

The Horse punches above her weight.

The Sheep could be fragile.

The Monkeys jokes may fall flat.

The Rooster may be defensive.

The Dog is especially keen to please.

and

The Pig rises to the occasion.

Tiger Pillars; know your Tiger rating.

Birth in the Tiger hour (03:00pm-05:00am): you fight to the last ditch.

Birth in the Tiger month (February*): fearless at work and at home.

Birth on the Tiger day#: prone to the pre-emptive strike.

Birth in the Tiger year: big lessons to learn.

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

# Just ask.

Where to do what, when and why.

This month the North East, home of the Tiger, holds what is known as Dragon Virtue, the Star of good reputation. Although part of the North East (technically NE1 or NNE) where the Ox resides, is very delicate, the Tiger holds the 8 Starwhich implies wealth pretty much where and whenever it appears. Enhancing these two qualities might be worth a Water fountain here for the month. Make it “sentimental” ie gently pumped as well as proportionate. Best placed on the 11th or 23rd.

Remember the Alamo

I surveyed the Alamo for Lee White in 2011. Her book about it, with foreword by notable Alamo nut Phil Collins is now out “Joe the Slave who became an Alamo Legend”. She received interest in movie rights almost right away. Oh and she lives in a self-build we worked on together.

Sunday Times

I was quoted by Emma Wells in the Home Section of last weeks Sunday Times Magazine. Its an interesting piece if you care to look it out. Basically when we move into a house, we inherit its tendencies, good or bad. Remember this when you next move, I should.

Source.tv

Also last week I spoke about the prospects for the Wood Sheep, the Year of Gathering at Source.tvs summit; well have a link to this shortly. Im distributing more on this subject including forecasts Animal by Animal already and an overview as well as suggestions as to what to do with the new energy in your home will follow, but this is a reasonable introduction. Theyre a great crowd. And Rachel Elnagh is a good and powerful woman. Do investigate.

Richard Ashworth©, early in the month of the Tiger, 2015.

www.imperialfengshui.com

Rat Diary: what to expect in December 2014. The Rodent less travelled.

December 9, 2014

Rat Diary: what to expect in December 2014.

The Rodent less travelled.

Rat Month opens: December 7th 14:11pm. 

The Rodent less travelled.

The Rat by contrast with the Pig, is yang Water. The Rat is the communicator and the keeper of secrets, so this frantic year will have been a challenge. The Rat is uncomfortable with the spontaneous, extrovert Fire of the Horse. Rat achievements are a slower burn. This month’s Fire Rat however brings the sort of invention and innovation that takes courage to be true to; the Fire that moderates this particular Rat is an inventive spark, almost as if it were a hybrid Horse-Rat. The month is full of opportunities for originality but they may not run along safe paths.

By way of illustration, two of the season’s big movies are The Imitation Game and The Theory of Everything. The first concerns Alan Turing, the genius who fronted the Enigma team, saving an estimated 14 million lives and shortening World War II by years. He has been a fascination of mine since I studied the proto-AI of Turing machines as a Philosophy undergraduate in the 70’s. No one knew he was a hero then though it was common knowledge that he had died in disgrace. As it turns out, he was convicted of the victimless crime of being gay. He was, just to make my point, a 1912 Water Rat.

Stephen Hawking by contrast is a Water Horse (a hybrid Rat-Horse, if you like) who has had to cope with increasing debility as his mind has groped to embrace the entire universe. But again his career might be summarised as the tension between genius and its expression. Like Turing and like this month. Use it wisely.

A similar tension as it happens, informed my friend, shaman and healer Maurice Willmott who died last week. He was a very special, gifted and good man whose cause of death read “motor neurones disease” but who had, by his account given up on a venal world that had disappointed him. Bless him wherever he may be.

The Rat in the Rat Month.

Rats (1948, 1960, 1972, 1984, 1996, 2008) are the talkers of the Chinese Zodiac and the keepers of secrets. In the Rat month we gather round the fire and catch up. At this time a young Rat may give away the farm by over-emoting (more battle-scarred ones let you do the talking). Typically the Rat forms a team with Monkey and Dragon for whom individually he may actually have little time; he needs an outcome if he is to consort with them. So December finds the otherwise often frivolous Monkey focused and the Dragon holding his own ego in a looser grip. The Rat has a rather one-sided affinity with the Ox who will tend to boss him around. Who’d have thought a Zodiac Animal represented by Margaret Thatcher, Adolf Hitler, Barack Obama and Napoleon Bonaparte might have ideas about their right to rule?

The Rat is not generally comfortable with the Horse but this is the frank antipathy of introvert for extrovert. The Rat’s difficulty with next year’s Sheep however comes under the category “covert”. If all of this forms the right cocktail, the Rat presides over a calm culmination to a turbulent year. If not, things could be explosive all the way to the Spring Festival.

Rat Month, Animal by Animal.

During the Rat month:

The Rat chances his arm.

The Ox takes charge.

The Tiger bides his time.

The Rabbit may nurse grievance

The Dragon chills for once.

The Snake holes up.

The Horse is wrong-footed.

The Sheep is distant.

The Monkey sobers up.

The Rooster runs out of words.

The Dog is in the manger.

and

The Pig opens up.

Rat Pillars; know your Rat rating.

Birth in the Rat hour (23:00pm-01:00am): voluble, articulate children.

Birth in the Rat month (December*): work in communication.

Birth on the Rat day#: articulate, communicative.

Birth in the Rat year: loquacious heritage.

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

# Just ask.

Where to do what, when and why.

This month’s lo shu is the intrusive 7. In a 4 year, the theme of a month can be tolerance or the lack of it. Consideration for our neighbours is the answer.

Here are a couple of dates that may help with that. They are calculated using the Tung Shu or “Farmers’ Almanac” and take account of a variety of esoteric criteria including the Twelve Officers, Mansions of the Moon and the calculations of the 13th Century diviner Dong Gong.

27th   December    favours      :        Monkey, Dragon, Rat, patient Snakes.

                                     Do                        make a firm irrevocable start.

26th December     challenges  :        Ox

Dont:                  invest deeply in the way things are going.

FORTHCOMING EVENTS

December 13th : One Day examining with Richard what’s in store for 2015, the Year of the Wood Sheep: For you, your animal sign, your house, the world. Just a couple of places left!! Price: £100. Email: becciimperialfengshui@gmail.com to book your place.

An Introduction to Feng Shui: It’s all about meaning. Join me for an introduction to Classical Feng Shui on December 14th with the Circle of Divine in London. Have a look at the Facebook page: FESTIVE SPECIAL :Conscious Lifestyle choices to create wealth, health & harmony for 2015 or email Becci.

Tune-Ups for your home /office : Get your space aligned to get the best of  the new energies for 2015, Richard is booking in Tune-Ups  now for the New Year. Email: Sheila@imperialfengshui.info

Ba Zi Starter Course: Discover the Secrets of the Four Pillars opens the weekend of 17/18th January 2015. Early Bird Available.

Contactbecciimperialfengshui@gmail.com

Richard Ashworth©, early in the month of the Fire Rat, 2014.

www.imperialfengshui.info

 

Dog Diary: what to expect in October 2014

October 8, 2014

Beyond our kennel.

Dog Month opens: October 8th 18:20pm.

Beyond our kennel.

The festival known as Chung Yeung is celebrated on the ninth day of the ninth Chinese lunar month, hence it is known as the Double Ninth. It’s a public holiday, this year October 1st. That’s one reason the Hong Kong Occupy action took place then. That date meant disruption to business was minimised and also that the famously assiduous student population felt able to cram the streets. I notice that they are dissipating as the total lunar eclipse of the 8th October approaches. I’m clearly not the only person who’s considering this stuff.

Esoterically some view a double nine as dangerously unbalanced, over-spontaneous and potentially hot headed. Others consider it visionary. Either way the choice of date suggests that metaphysics as well as indignation is alive and well among the younger generation of Hong Kong. Not to mention consideration and good manners.

The Dog is both stubborn and restless. So indignation may be the passion of the month. As it happens I’ve received some recognition for my (wrong) prediction of a “Yes” vote in the Scottish referendum but 45% of Scots remain suspicious as the promises made in the dark before the vote appear to be forgotten. The restless energy I overestimated is still abroad. From Catalonia to Quebec it remains unassuaged. History tells us that the parallel Wood Horse year to this one 1714 which also saw the continuing rise of the South Sea Bubble – the world’s first junk bond crisis – was followed by the First Highland Uprising in 1715. What are we to make of that? That the quest for proper representation is far from over is one conclusion. That we’re not going to save the world from itself until the profit motive subordinates itself to human well-being is another. Oil companies paying scientists to lie on their behalf and then believing the lies are like Wile E Coyote sawing off the limb he is sitting upon just as were the officers of the South Sea company selling worthless pieces of paper and then buying them back at a hundred times the selling price.

Traditionally an eclipse, interestingly enough was thought of as the Sky Dog swallowing the Moon. Eclipses are generally considered baleful auguries of course and dogs have a habit of depositing the waste from their swallowings in the most inconvenient places. 

The Dog in the Dog Month.

Dogs (1946, 1958, 1970, 1982, 1994, 2006) are loyal, considerate, faithful and often available past their sell-by date. They can have little truck with ramblings like these; in the Dog month otherwise-enigmatic Dragons like me can seem to be psycho-babbling prats. The Dog draws Fire from the reserved Rabbit and watches the back of the security-unconscious Horse while making the Rooster uncomfortable. He may even help the Tiger simmer down. 

Dog Month, Animal by Animal.

During the Dog month:

The Rooster is overdressed.

The Dragon is affronted,

The Ox shies away.

The Snake prepares to bite,

The Monkey extends his break,

The Dog believes in himself, right or wrong.

The Pig prepares,

The Rat drafts a statement.

The Tiger estimates his influence,

The Horse rears up.

The Rabbit steps up.

and

The Sheep is not at home. 

Dog Pillars. Find your inner Dog.

Birth in the Dog hour (19:00pm-21:00pm): conservative children.

Birth in the Dog month (August*): unsatisfied doing work without variety.

Birth on the Dog day#: partners of lifelong loyalty.

Birth in the Dog year: fixed views that life may moderate.

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

# Just ask.

Where to do what, when and why.

This month’s lo shu is the fiery 9. The 9 amplifies. So the volume is turned up on whatever processes are already underway. In a 4 year, which is itself about invention, a 9 month offers something like prophecy. What outcome is to be predicted from the current circumstances?

This month: South West, Accumulation: 1, 6. A transformational he tu combination and still the best location, front door and way to face in 2014. Add Earth for a boost; 1:6:8 is generally reckoned to bring money. The Sun of healing remains alongside the helpful tin yute gwai yan. This location suits low, flat, rectangular furnishings so you can be there and be square.

 

Sat 18th October: Richard will be talking at the London School of Astrology’s ‘Improve Your Life’ Day. Expect lame jokes, occasional poignance included in the ticket price. More details at: http://bit.ly/1pMiz4Z

Auspicious Dates and Places

Every month Richard compiles for his retainer clients at vast expense, a detailed bulletin of the current auspicious dates, places and procedures for health, wealth and wisdom. Now you can subscribe at a little less than vast expanse. If you’re interested in receiving that bulletin along with his daily Hot Spots, contact becci@imperialfengshui.info

Richard Ashworth©, late in the month of the Water Rooster, 2014.

Ba Zi, a lifetime’s journey

September 18, 2014

Discover the Secrets of the Four Pillars of Destiny in 2015 – the Year of the Wood Sheep

Richard’s Starter Ba zi Course for 2015 starts the weekend of 17th/18th January 2015. It is the first of four weekends.

He is considered by the Grand Masters in Singapore to be a Master of ba zi. His approach is unique, compassionate & spookily insightful.

He has been teaching ba zi for six years and his teaching leads you to knowledge of ba zi & of yourself that is valuable & rare. No one else in the UK is teaching ba zi in this depth. You can also take his course via Skype.

Here is Richard speaking about ba zi both its nature and his teaching:

http://vimeo.com/106476595

The Early, Early Bird offer of £1200 for this course expires on 1st October 2014. However the first five people who get back to me quoting ‘ba zi 5’ will get the full course for £1,000!* So be quick.

Here is what just some of his recent students have said:

“I have studied ba zi with Richard Ashworth since the start of 2014. What I like about Richard’s teaching is, he actually prepares you to see things in your own way. Which allows you freedom of thoughts in your studying. He has a vast sea of knowledge that it keeps students on their toes in keeping pace with it. There are a few new things in the course which books and other courses do not offer especially drafting a life house in ba zi. As I am a Teacher in another field too, I do understand how important the beginning is for any study and he certainly helps create a unique vision of the subject. Most importantly Richard is a very attentive teacher who will guide you on all questions.” Swananda, UK.

” I studied ba zi with Richard for two years. He made a fairly comprehensive and difficult subject accessible and interesting. I use what I have learned daily and also to look back at difficult times to further understand my journey. Well worth the journey” Sue, UK.

“I’ve been practicing feng shui for twenty years but never was able to master ba zi through books on the subject. It took Richard’s thorough instruction and patient guidance for me to comprehend this critical complement to my professional practice”Nancy, USA (studies via Skype).


“As a teacher, Richard is one of the most insightful, intelligent and knowledgeable practitioners I have ever known. He teaches with great patience, compassion and passion. If you ever have the opportunity to study with him, you can be sure that you will come out of the experience far more able, inspired and insightful than before you embarked on his programme. I would highly recommend engaging with him, if not as a teacher, then as a practitioner. I guarantee you will be forever changed for the better as a result.”
 Jocelyn, UK

“Learning Ba Zi with Master teacher, Richard Ashworth, is nothing short of amazing! His program offers a wonderful, in depth introduction into the broad field of personal Feng Shui. The quality, integrity and level of the information and knowledge taught in his presentations and course work brings ancient teachings to life, as well as provides the student with practical Ba Zi tools that integrates both intellectual and intuitive perspectives. Richard’s keen ability to blend complex concepts of space and time, into simple, repeatable patterns along with his insightful and creative application of Ba Zi principles into everyday life situations is inspirational, healing and transforming. The vision and relevancy Richard brings to the curriculum is invaluable to anyone interested in pursuing the study of Feng Shui” Diana, USA. (studies via Skype).

“I first met Richard Ashworth when he charted my ba zi in 2008. He was spot on with my chart by explaining what had happened in my past and what may happen in my future. I then went on to join Richard’s ba zi courses, he is an excellent teacher making the courses both lively, informative and interesting. Richard Ashworth changed my life not only by attending his courses but by making me believe in myself” Janine, UK.

“I feel very privileged to study with Master Richard. His kind and patient approach allows everyone in the room to relax and learn. He sometimes (all the time) even cracked the odd joke! Studying ba zi was a very daunting and exciting prospect as I had no idea what I was getting myself into but with Richard’s guidance I felt comfortable enough to ask questions, express my opinions ang get in touch with the Tao!” Rebecca, UK.

For more details go to:  www.imperialfengshui.info/courses or email: sheila@imperialfengshui.info  or call 01483 428998.

I never fail to be astonished by Richard’s relentless and dedicated quest to unravel the secrets of the Ba Zi. His researches have taken him to many parts of the globe to learn from traditional masters and in turn to share his discoveries with them. Few, if any, western teachers would surpass his knowledge of this particular field of Chinese traditional culture. Derek Walters, Author of the Complete Guide to Chinese Astrology.

*full payment to be made by 30/09/14

Chicken Busy. Rooster Month; bak lo, the Season of White Dew

September 14, 2014

Chicken Busy.

Rooster Month; bak lo, the Season of White Dew. 

“Divinity is knowing where to start.” Our Lost Infantry – Scissor Fight. 

It’s the Rooster month, the month of Zhong Qiu, that is the Harvest Moon, said to be the brightest and fullest. It’s the counting-up time of the year. A good time to re-think, reinvent and restructure. Also to move house. Last night’s moon was a perfect half-circle I noticed, as it rose in the halflight that is neither Summer nor quite Autumn. It’s a writer’s cliché that as the leaves fall, the mind turns to sunsets but there it is.

The first weeks of September are the traditional time for starting wars and blowing things up and as I park in the lane, having failed twice to spot Luke and Lisa’s new home, an excitable American with a serious lack of imagination hijacks Facebook on my ipad to welcome Armageddon and the “end times”. Do me a favour.

And talking of popular times and place for dispute, this summer I’ve been working on a watermill on the Serbian-Romanian border (which after a huge amount of earth-moving will become a Water Dragon) as well as a villa in Cyprus with close-to-perfect feng shui and a tower near Kingston where the front door is having an argument with the Water that flows through the garden. But the most arresting project has been this semi-detached cottage out in the woods of the Surrey Hills. Let me tell you why.

Luke’s a musician, Lisa works for a children’s charity. They’re both Pigs, that is multi-talented with a wide sphere of interests and skills as well as a need for space. The Chinese character for a home is a pig under a roof; note, just the one. They’re wide-open, sweet young people who look as if mutual tolerance is as easy to them as falling off the logs that surround their home. But when you consider it, their needs are very different; he for instance needs space and the safety to make noise, she some quiet to think. Forest all around suits them both.

Careless Whisper. 

I’ve also been working with the publishers of a Southern European tabloid. They have been suffering malicious gossip. Gossip? A tabloid? Who’d have thought it? As it turns out, the South of their basement houses a natural spring which has overflowed in the unprecedented floods of the Horse year. The South is the closest to the Sun, hence the place of visibility and publicity, Water is communication – a thimbleful spilled in the English Channel at Zeebrugge also raises sea level off Zanzibar. Put the two together, karmic issues aside, you get uncontrolled rumour.

The complete cure is a sam he (that is Three Harmony or yang gong) formula involving housing and redirecting the spring. Meanwhile I’ve given them as a band-aid, a procedure involving the addition of Earth in the form of several huge crystals. It’s a funny old building still featuring a huge ancient printing press to which Hitler apparently took a particular aversion. The Gestapo are said to have imprisoned it in its own custom-built cage. Now that’s what I call a proportionate response.

Plugs. 

I first learned complex sam he formulae with Master Chan Kun Wah in the late 90’s. At that time I had just sold the insurance business I had been running in parallel with my woo-woo studies for twenty years and was in the lucky position of being able to study pretty much full time. What this meant was that I’d sit in a room with Master Chan once a month or so along with Gill Hale and Jon Sandifer and Sylvia Bennett and others frantically writing down every word. Then I’d go home and spend the next month working out what the hell he’d said.

Sam he formulae, arguably the most powerful, longest-lasting and most effective of all, pivot on the concept of the qi (pronounced chi) form. These are the methods the Grand Masters save for billionaires.

Identifying the qi form, which dictates the quality of energy entering a building is a judgement call; what you’re effectively doing is reading the trail of qi. This depends on a subtle blend of feeling, measurement and guesswork. It’s one of the key skills of feng shui. And I’ve lost track of the number of times Master Chan taught a complex formula which I was just about able to grasp and concluded by saying that the calculation all depends on the qi form. That’s traditional Chinese teaching methods for you.

What I’ve learned in the years since is that the key to qi form is finding the qi mouth. This is usually, but not always, the low point of the compound, that is to say where Water gathers. It can be miles away and in an urban environment almost impossible to locate.

When you find the qi mouth, what’s required is to “plug” it. This means placing a bridge, stones or some other obstruction to tame the outgoing flow. If you get it precisely right, the house receives the full benefit of the energy that is otherwise running loose in the landscape. So for instance, if I get the mill right, another billionaire is created. Often I use boulders. Sometimes I have to re-angle doors to accommodate the qi mouth. Which can be fiddly. The rules for this were formulated around eleven hundred years ago in the T’ang Dynasty.

Sloping Off. 

This idea of qi is elusive. The ancient tradition is that it “comes down the mountain on the wind and stops at the Water”. That’s the Book of Odes (c300BCE.) These days quantum theorists are happy saying that mass is simply very condensed energy. Consider how much goes into putting the mass into a mountain, even a small hill like the one behind Luke and Lisa’s new home. I seem to recall from elementary Physics that height is sometimes called potential energy.” Maybe that’s the simplest way to look at it; once we’ve found the Mountain (that is height) we’ve found the source of the qi and the Water will be at its foot.

Luke’s day job is as a gardener. He understands seasons and cyclical change. He has the leathery glow of a man who loves the outdoors. He tells me how drastically bird life has reduced since he’s been working; no orioles, sparrow and finch numbers hugely down. He readily gets the idea of qi form.

“Sometimes,” I say, “People are startled when I find the height and then point to Water.”

“Gravity,” he laughs.

“Exactly.”

The cottage backs onto an incline running left to right as you look out.

I follow with my eye the slope down the meadow behind the house. There is woodland in every direction but this one. At the summit there is a much bigger house. It’s a dull day so although I’m looking South, I’m not dazzled. Tracking the qi down the hill, the gradient flattens almost due West and I’m about to note down exactly where when I realise there’s no need. Precisely on the qi mouth there’s an ancient willow. It’s been pollarded and pruned once or twice as there are several generations of branches sprouting like hedgehog’s quills around it but the trunk is fully a yard in diameter. There’s your qi mouth.

“Perhaps two hundred years old,” Luke guesses.

And there’s your plug. Perfect sam he; no need to reangle doors, nothing fiddly required. The woodland cares for this house just as indeed it should.

The Birds and the Bees. 

Inside the house there are boxes everywhere. I suggest – counter-intuitively – that they sleep in the slightly smaller back bedroom. Then I identify work spaces for them. On different floors.

In the dining room there is retained energy. Calling it woo-woo™ is as specific as I’m going to get. I tend to think in terms of Chinese metaphors. That’s what they’re for. The more personal I make it, the fewer methods there are to approach it. I used to spend a lot of time “moving on” such spots of energy. I’m not sure whether it was principally for me, them or the client. It certainly made me feel clever and sensitive.

In this case I suggest we let it be. It’s not doing any harm and it seems to be linked to a picture of Lisa’s brother on the mantelpiece. I feel into it; there’s a whole story here. Another time. All I do for now is suggest they arrange the dining room table at an angle to the walls so as to pick up their best directions.

We sit, we look at ba zis. The ba zis raise some issues that may have been floating over them, as yet undiscussed. Lisa’s a bright sensitive woman, Luke equally so but the fact is as a general rule, that when it comes to relationships women are usually smarter. At some point a woman will ask where the relationship is going and a man may reply: “Going? I didn’t know it had to go anywhere.” Luke knows that everything that is not growing is shrinking. Cycles are no mystery. As Bob Dylan wrote ”Everything not busy being born is busy dying.”

Click here to hear me speaking about ba zi, the most powerful model for transformation I know.

Richard Ashworth © 2014.