Posts Tagged ‘learn chinese astrology’

Feng without Shui: My Diary for the Month of the Earth Sheep 2017

July 7, 2017

Poundbury: feng without shui.
My diary for the month of the Fire Sheep
(06:21 7th July 2017 to 15:27 7th August inclusive)
in the Year of the Fire Rooster.

 Dun

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Coming to Meet
Hexagram 33

The Sheep Month
Animal by Animal
During this Fire Sheep Month,
The Rat is on the retreat,
The Ox is sticking,
The wise Tiger finds opening,
The Rabbit blooms,
The Dragon mediates,
The Snake at last seeks counsel,
The Horse doesn’t,
The Sheep is on the periphery,
Wise Monkeys wait their turn,
The Rooster counts the gain,
The Dog may be especially restless,
and
The Pig comes home.

A 3 month; about aspiration and persistence.
Most helpful locations: North, East, North-East.
Least helpful: West.
Favoured Animals: Sheep, Horse, Pig, Rabbit.
Especially challenged one way or another: (still) Rat and Ox.

Animal Fortunes for the Rooster year remain on the website all year:
2017: Year of the Turkey. Now may be the time.

Learn ba zi and feng shui with Richard one-to-one in 2017. See end panel.

Where to do what, when and why

Summary: Here’s where wealth and success are hiding this month.
North East, Wealth Star: Year Star: 4 gip sat, Month Star: 6
This month could bring windfalls or the arrival of substantial delayed payments. Be here to receive them; this is the correct place and orientation for the leader and entrepreneur at this point. And again this applies especially to West Group kua (8,6,7,2) as well as many Rats and Pigs. Financial creativity is happening here, artistic not so much.
Monthly Enhancement: A bowl of fresh Water changed daily.
Annual SolutionFire, (eg bright light). 4 Plants (eg 4 bamboos in Water).

One to avoid; where not to be this month

Summary: Here’s how not to suffer a plague of frogs this summer.
South, Bright Future: Year Star: wu huang, Month Star: 7
with 5 is a money loss combination, the South is about visibility and the represents interference. So loss of face too, public interference, public loss especially for Rats & Oxen and West Group kuas (6 7 8); this is not the place to talk indiscriminately. It could be a costly place to be this month if you dig or drill as well as a sickly one. Best for: female East Group kuas (134 or 9) Tigers, Dogs or Sheep. Risky, so stay clear if possible. Don’t over-illuminate. These comments apply to users of South-facing doors, South-oriented desks and beds and the Southern sector of the house measured from its centre or tai chi; poor all year of course, it’s a little better next month
Month Enhancement t’ang lung plus reduced light.
Play it safewu lou.
Annual Solutiont’ang lung.

East and West GroupsEverybody 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 are best to 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 Sheep are you?

Birth in the Sheep Hour (1-3pm)~: clubbable children.
Birth on the Sheep Day#: idealist, hippy values.
Birth during the Sheep Month (July)*: don’t work alone.
Birth in the Sheep Year: bohemian heritage.
~ GMT. # You’ll need a Chinese calendar for this. * Caution: Chinese months start later

Poundbury: feng without shui.

“If one knows how to empty and open the mind, one can fill the belly. Once one has filled the belly, fortune and misfortune are in the palm of the hand.”
Liu I-Ming.

There are reckoned to be more Roman remains under Dorchester in Dorset than any other conurbation in Europe. The Romans obviously liked broad hills and sea-views and obviously they built villas where the land was fertile. The villas were set up much lower down of course on what is termed the “military ridge” where they could see and not be seen and were protected from the constant British winds. To the South of Dorchester lies Maiden Castle, an iron age hillfort probably last occupied when the Romans invaded. From its summit you can see agricultural land laid out in Saxon hide-measures in every direction, some of it arable, some of it given over to sheep, some to cattle, all as green as laurel at this time of year.

Maiden doesn’t look much like a castle; more like a cattle-enclosure a dozen football pitches wide. There are ramparts but they are of earth not stone and after all this time they seem more like natural hillocks and mounds than defences. Like most castles Maiden was a place of retreat in times of invasion. There is natural Water here and archaeologists have found plenty of evidence of episodic habitation; the local Celtic tribe, the Durotriges (hence Dorset) clearly had their differences with the Dumnoni (hence Devon) to the West and with the Atrebates of Hampshire and Sussex to the East. And finally in 43 AD they holed up here for a final showdown with the invading Romans. And – spoiler alert – this time they lost. The wind may swirl around but the enclosure itself is quite protected. Nonetheless it was not enough to withstand Roman discipline and superior technology.

Feng shui of course means Wind Water and this name incorporates its central principles: as the Book of Odes states it – “The qi (that is energy, power, life) comes down from the Mountain on the Wind and is held at the Water.” Until the Wind is under control, no enclosure be it house, office or new-age model community supports life. I have known businesses that could not get started, set on windy promontories and indeed premature death from the restless Wind ailments such Parkinson’s Disease, motor neurones and epilepsy. Natural Water holds the qi and of course so does Wood, that is to say the trees that are naturally found bordering Water.

Between Maiden and the next hill along, there used to be an avenue of mature ash trees lining the old A35. Last week I took that route up to the Duchess of Cornwall – which is not only the title of the Prince of Wales’ fragrant consort but also a hotel atop Poundbury, deep in the Prince’s experimental community. I was driven there by my client about whom I’m allowed to tell you no more than that she is a talented herbalist whose ointment is the only thing that has ever relieved the pain of my arthritic left thumb. Yes; some people have high status serious arthritis, I’ve just got the one annoying digit to which no amount of glucosamine sulphate, green-lipped mussel or dulcamara 6 has  made the slightest difference. But that ointment is miraculous. Thankyou E.

The Duchess – the hostelry not the Queen-in-waiting – is magnificent like all the buildings in Poundbury. Everything, social housing, shops, halls, are magnificent, the mean height appearing to be five storeys plus. It’s something like the Valley of the Kings or possibly even Auschwitz, a queasy hybrid of mausoleum and theme park. But a theme park lacking a theme – unless the theme is indicated by the 2-to-1 scale statue of the Queen Mother that studs the hotel courtyard. The plan I’m told, was to serve the human being not the car but – dur – there’s no railway station and although Waitrose (of course) is reached by raised pavement and portico, the roads are too narrow for the buildings. It’s as if every one of them thinks it’s the Albert Hall. And carbon-neutral or no, there are a lot of cars here.

It’s easy of course to shy at the heir apparent’s grandiosity – good-hearted and remote old article as he clearly is – but I’m a feng shui man and here’s what I know: communities grow up around natural Water and where roads meet and I think there’s none of the first here and the A35 roundabout dividing the roads to Yeovil and Sidling doesn’t amount to a crossroads.

And it’s easy also to pick holes in a hotel. But…..the room I’m in is tiny and the bed isn’t; there’s plenty space for Shrek plus Cameron Diaz and Donkey. It’s some task to walk around it. The picture window over the courtyard offers blackout curtains or nothing. So I’m presented with a choice of artificial light or potential arrest as an exhibitionist. There are lamps and bulbs everywhere, I turn off fully six before I can settle and one socket continues to glow. There’s another in the ceiling to reassure me I guess, that the sprinkler is operational – good to know so soon after Grenfell Tower but who can sleep easily with a beacon winking over their head?

It’s graceless to say but such grandeur could so easily have been made welcoming if someone had actually tried out the room; a Secret Sleeper if you will. The bathroom basin doesn’t drain which makes for a ring of toothpaste scum and the bath – I like a bath when I’ve been following a fit young herbalist around the Dorset countryside for much of the day, it’s a very hilly county, you know. The bath has a clever non-removable plug which is displaced as soon as you turn on the tap. Exhausted I skip the evening round of this challenge but 4am finds me leaning over the rim and holding the plug down until the water is at a level sufficient to resist the power of the flow.

And so on. Which is not my point. What is my point is that if you asked me for one essential – “What do I look out for when choosing a home?” – it would be: never try to live where the land is windswept. And Poundbury is despite the egregious architecture, racked by wind. At night wind is the soundtrack. And what would protect against it? Why, mature trees. And those ashes went the way of all bark in 2004.

I’ve known homes on similar ridges where it’s been impossible to settle, fatalities as I said, too. The wind whether on the Cheshire heights or the Cornish coast just doesn’t give up. You’d never find a Roman villa exposed like that. Only castles and cathedrals are deliberately placed on high.

And Maiden Castle as I also said, was a gathering place in times of invasion. In point of fact iron age hillforts are exactly what gave rise to the motte and bailey design of Norman castles; elevated battlements for defence, open space for the defended. And Poundbury is more like Maiden than anything else; in its grandiosity, in its impenetrability and above all in its anachronism. This is not its time. Like Maiden, it was only under great pressure that it was ever going to be a community. And yet….

Unlike much of its produce and menus, Poundbury is not organic. It’s not a natural meeting of the ways. It’s feng without shui if you like. The Wind will always prevail.
Richard Ashworth © 2017 

Learn ba zi and feng shui one-to-one with Richard this year.
As of September 2017 Richard will have space in his schedule for two more starter students. For the time being these are individual one-to-one Skypes consisting of sixteen one-hour sessions of starter ba zi followed by the same of starter feng shui. Sessions will be on a Thursday or Friday. No prior knowledge of feng shui ba zi or other esoterica is required. Regular price for each of these two courses is £1500 but we are offering the pair of courses for £2500 for both if paid in full by the end of July.

Subscriptions (and further info): sheilaashworth@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

My diary for the month of the Water Tiger

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

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Peace
Hexagram 11

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Richard Ashworth 2017©
www.imperialfengshui.info

More Monkey Business

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

This is for Thea.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Richard Ashworth ©2016

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

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

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

Richard Ashworth©
www.imperialfengshui.info

Fire Monkey Month Diary

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

My work here is done.

Then I sit in a corner – South, the external realm of the Father – take out my ipad and try to write up my notes. The Pages app won’t do what it’s told. The cursor leaps about. The font keeps changing. It’s been a long day, I get annoyed with it and turn it off. I’ll write this up on my laptop tomorrow. A lifetime in the world of woo-woo™ and it doesn’t occur to me that there might be something else going on with my ipad. What a turkey!
Richard Ashworth © 2016

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

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

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

Richard Ashworth©
www.imperialfengshui.info

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Richard’s next starter Ba Zi Course opens in September 2016 in Godalming but he has a (Friday) slot now vacant to learn via Skype pretty much right away.
For more details go to:
http://www.imperialfengshui.info/courses
Some Early Bird Discounts still apply.
Richard Ashworth©
www.imperialfengshui.info

Knowing Your Onions: feng shui and Tomatoes, part 2

May 27, 2016

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

“He not busy being born is busy dying.”

Bob Dylan.

Yes we have no tomatoes.

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

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

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

Knocking on Heaven’s Door.

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

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

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

Shell Shock.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

You’re Fired.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Richard Ashworth © 2016.

www.imperialfengshui.info

Grouching Dragon/Powder Monkey: my diary for the Dragon Month which started overnight

April 5, 2016

Grouching Dragon/Powder Monkey
My diary for the month of the Water Dragon
(April 4th 16:32pm May 5th 09:54 inclusive)
in the Year of the Fire Monkey.

Kuai
—-  —-
———-
———-
———-
———-
———-
Breakthrough
Hexagram 43

Rain washes away the pollution of the past,
so one is restored to original wholeness and soundness. Liu I-Ming.

If you would like to learn ba zi & feng shui, see the panel at end of the article for special Spring deal, Sheila.

The Dragon Month
 Animal by Animal.
During this Water Dragon Month,
The Rats plan is revealed,
The Ox builds an argument,
The Tiger can sit in judgement,
The Rabbit makes demands,
The Dragons ego may need checking,
The Snake is attentive,
The Horse awaits her turn,
The Sheep prepares defence,
The Monkeys aim improves,
The Rooster is exalted,
Most Dogs retreat,
while
The Pig steps up.

Where to do what, when and why
Summary: The month’s 9 Star brings attention. With the Wood Season of Spring well underway, there is plenty of Fire about. This suggests a dynamic month that like fortune, favours the brave. Along with rapid change, expect attention; best to make it welcome. This probably applies most to Rats, Roosters and Monkeys as well as those with 3, 4 2 and 8 kuas. Dragons are best advised to welcome (but not to seek) lime light. If you’ve set up shop by the tai chi (or heart) of your space – you shouldn’t have – decamp now. If remaining there is inevitable, watch your diet.

South East, Determination: Year Star: 1 Fortune Virtue Month Star: 8.
Now the place where things are happening. With the impetus of the 8 it’s the place for imminent discovery, research and intellectual achievement.  Be there; occupy, sleep, work in this area. You can add Wood usefully too – 4 bamboo stems in 4 glasses of Water is helpful and/or a Water fountain; in this case bringing achievement to fruition. Fill your boots! A little (and I mean a little) Metal – a coin or two – here may help too. A South East door is the best one right now – especially for kuas 3 4 and 9 as well as certain Monkeys, Rats, Snakes, Roosters and Oxen. If you can’t locate South East, face that way; all you need is a scout compass and a little gumption. Location is relative to the space we find ourselves in. How we face is determined by the vastness of the stars.

Know your inner dragon. How Dragon are you?
Birth in the Dragon Hour (7-9am)~: late-blooming magic.
Birth on the Dragon Day#: hard to predict.
Birth during the Dragon Month (April)*: transformational business.
Birth in the Dragon Year: wizardry down the opposite gender dna line.

~ An hour later than the clock during British Summertime.
# You’ll need a Chinese calendar for this.
* Caution: Chinese months start later than Western ones.

Grouching Dragon/Powder Monkey
As you know, all Monkey years are somewhat alike; so we can as I’ve said before, expect 2016 to recall 2004, 1992, 1980, 1968 and 1956. Remember those? Even if you recall the years it’s unlikely you’ll remember April, the pivotal Dragon month of those Monkey years. And what you may also not know is that the top part of the Chinese ideogram for Dragon is a thunder cloud. There is no Dragon without thunder, no Dragon without the cleansing force of the storm. The Dragon focuses the chaos that accompanies the Monkey. Not that that is all bad; fresh air and second chances follow thunder. And this month promises innovation, experimentation and breakthrough – in whichever context concerns you. The fact remains however that in the year of the mischievous Monkey, change may be sudden.

What might the shape of that change be? It is clear if you’ve been paying attention that there is dissatisfaction in the air. Much of it is evenly shared out between followers of Donald Chump, Bernie Sanders, Corbyn, Farage, Syriza, Podemos, and even Isis, the world’s largest and nastiest playground gang. With rising hysteria and riots, the US election is looking more and more like the Earth Monkey of 1968 while much of the rest of the world is looking unstable. And in April we can expect acceleration.

So whether your concern is domestic, social, romantic or commercial, now is not the time to be precious about the status quo but to embrace change. There may be sticking plasters to remove, attachment to detail could simply prove painful. Indeed attachment to comfort may be especially uncomfortable. At the end of April the landscape – political, social, personal, domestic – may look very different. In a good way.
Richard Ashworth © 2016 

*Special Spring Offer*  If you book & pay for Richard’s ba zi & feng shui courses & pay in full by the 15th April 2016, you can have both courses either in person or via Skype for £2000.00.
Just email: sheilaashworthfengshui@gmail.com

www.imperialfengshui.info

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

March 19, 2015

Darkness at Noon.

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

Poles, Soul and Sockets

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

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

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

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

“What an amazing man,” she says.

In the car, I’m back on topic:

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

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

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

Well, Well, Well.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Partial and Total Occlusion.

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

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

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

A Room of Ones Own.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Richard Ashworth © 2015.

www.imperialfengshui.info

Rabbit Diary: overview of March 2015

March 6, 2015

Rabbit over the Moon

Rabbit Month opens: March 6th 05:56am.

Rabbit over the Moon

Spring is springing up all around us. The days are longer, the light is brighter, new birds chirrup the day into life each morning. This energy of stirring is called Wood. As of 5.50 on the morning of the 6th March we enter the yin Wood of the Rabbit month. The Wood is gentler and in less of a hurry than the yang Wood of the Tiger month but equally insistent. Summer is just around the corner.

In Chinese culture the Rabbit is often associated with the Moon. This may be because of the folk tale of the beautiful Cheng’e – a kind of Chinese Helen of Troy – who found herself marooned on the Moon with only the Jade Rabbit for company. Or it may be due to something even older and more mysterious.

Be that as it may, in ancient China pregnant women were denied rabbit meat for fear of giving birth to a child with a hare lip. What is perhaps interesting (and ancient) about that is the term “hare” lip. How does such a disfigurement resemble either hares or rabbits so closely that the idea would develop in regions close to 10,000 miles apart? Go figure. 

Eclipsed

This particular Rabbit month is dominated by two eclipses; one total and solar on the 20th of March and a lesser lunar one on the 5th April. Generally eclipses are indicators of tricky times to come and although Chinese diviners have made a whole art of their interpretation, the traditional blanket advice is simply to stay indoors. Staring at the penumbra can of course damage the eyes in any case.

An eclipse that falls on a Wood Sheep day during a Wood Sheep year as the first of these does, is implying an outcome that will hang over the whole year. One that is accompanied by the Hexagram Well signifies issues to do with the conservation of resources. The so-called Officer of the day is Stable which implies an unchanging condition and the other indicator Neck (as in “getting it in the..”) is no more promising.

There’s more about this on the News page of my website but for now my advice is to simply stay out of its way – if only to preserve your eyesight.

Where to do what, when and why.

One of the things I have picked up visiting South East Asia is how much feng shui Masters disagree. As they say about solicitors: if you consult three, you get four different opinions.

One thing they all agree on this year though is that the North is the principal location of wealth. And this month, the yearly 8 Star generally reckoned benevolent whenever and wherever it appears – is joined by the 9 of forward planning. The toe far Romance Star is here too. Toe far is selective however, only favouring certain Animals depending on where it falls. In the North it indicates company for Rabbit, Sheep and Pig. Wealth is not so picky though. So having at least a small bowl of Water in the North from the 21st March to the 5th April may prove shrewd. For either outcome, some authorities suggest additionally some sand, crystals or a swathe of yellow.

The Rabbit in the Rabbit Month.

In contrast to the Tiger, the Rabbit (1951, 1963, 1975, 1987, 1999, 2011) is generally reckoned to be sensitive, home loving, a diplomat and a networker. Where the Tiger is yang Wood – thrusting towards the Sun like the tree trunks of the rainforest, the Rabbit is yin; like grass, petals, leaves. It is as the Book of Changes has it, the breeze, “gentle and thorough but ultimately adamant.” These are the qualities to expect in a Rabbit month; a low-key insistence and constant movement, in contrast perhaps to the rush of February. This soft insistence is especially effective as the Sheep of the year is a booster of the Rabbit. Diplomacy sounds like the best approach.

Since last month I referenced Victoria Beckham as an archetypical Tiger, it’s interesting note that her husband David is a Rabbit. David appears to be one of those people that arrive once in a generation, issued with some sort of free ticket; a man with whom nobody appears to have an issue. As we discussed last month, Victoria has something to do with that but David’s apparently guileless affability is typically Rabbit. This man knows how to get on with people.

The Rabbit month is the peak of the Spring, the coming-to-life of the New Year. And the Rabbit is nothing if not optimistic. He always knows there is better to come. Yin Wood, like yang Wood expands. But softly; the days are gently getting longer and the temperature rising, not long till Summer.

The Rabbit is subtle, she is the entertainer; not in the sense that he can’t keep from dancing on tables like the Horse or testing his allure like the Rooster, but that he sees that everyone at the party has a drink and is talking to someone sympathetic. She is the best hostess and the best networker. If you want to be networked upwards, ask a Rabbit. Her iPhone is priceless.

The Rabbit’s contacts will include many Sheep with whom they share a yin Wood docility and Pigs who are just as home-loving. Surprisingly perhaps many Rabbits are tight with Dogs which perhaps underlines their gift for diplomacy. The Rabbit is said to bring penury to the Dragon; perhaps that’s why the beginning of the tax year falls on April 5th, the day the Rabbit month becomes the Dragon. This year btw the Dragon calls the shots.

The shameless Rooster tends to press the average Rabbit’s buttons (but you might never know) and the Rat may not always appreciate her. In 2015 the Year of Gathering, the Rabbit advances in gentle, gradual leaps and bounds. For many this is the month of leaps and bounds; Rabbits, Pigs and Sheep at the front of the queue. Caution: Dragons and Roosters.

Rabbit Month, Animal by Animal.

During this Earth Rabbit month:

The Rat may not offer appreciation readily.

The Ox could feel isolated.

The Tiger tends to the anti-climactic.

The Rabbit hops to it.

The Dragon may throw caution to the winds. Best not to.

The Snake is past the crisis.

The Horsemay be especially inappropriate.

The Sheep is central.

The Monkey is peripheral.

The Rooster may err through restlessness.

The Dog may be tamed.

and

The Pig is busy.

Rabbit Pillars; know your Rabbit rating.

Birth in the Rabbit hour (05:00pm-07:00am): settled retirement.

Birth in the Rabbit month (March*): work in reception, pr, hr. Not er.

Birth on the Rabbit day#: the most considerate.

Birth in the Rabbit year: contact list to die for.

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

# Just ask.

The Body Map Rap

I studied the Book of Changes for several years with master acupuncturist Peter Firebrace – which was a unique learning experience. He is also a songwriter and a bit of a wag, as you may discover in ‘Body Map Race’ 

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

www.imperialfengshui.info

Imperial Feng Shui – what’s happening

February 26, 2015

Imperial Feng Shui – what’s happening

Urban Quality: feng shui on the streets.

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

www.imperialfengshui.info

Richard Ashworth © 2015