Posts Tagged ‘learn chinese astrology’

Peak pique: the Month of the Water Dog 2018

October 7, 2018
Peak pique: the Month of the Water Dog 2018.
Feng Shui Bulletin for October 2018
(17:36pm 8th October to 20:54pm 7th November 2018 inclusive)

Bo
———-
—-  —-
—-  —-
—-  —-
—-  —-
—-  —-
Stripping
Hexagram 23

Animal by Animal
During this Water Dog Month,
The Rat is blocked,
The Ox is out on a limb,
The less-thoughtful Tiger limbers up,
The Rabbit pursues advantage,
The Dragon is watchful,
The rash Snake cruises,
The Horse bounds,
The Sheep seeks mediation,
 Monkeys misses the joke,
The Rooster preens,
The Dog blocks,
while
The Pig waits some more.

Remember: Each Pillar of your ba zi represents an aspect of your life:
Year Animal       physicality, heritage, the obvious & immediate;
Month Animal    work environment, education, peers, siblings, exes;
Day Animal:         you and your beloved;
Hour Animal:       intimate thoughts, children, dreams, the future.

6 Metal month is about authority, earned and otherwise.
A Dog month about persistence or obstinacy, depending on standpoint.
Most helpful location: West.
Least helpful location: North.
Favoured Animals: Tiger, Horse, Dog, Rabbit.
Especially challenged: Rooster, Dragon, Rat, Monkey, Sheep, Ox.
The Hexagram (above): Bo Stripping, Mountain over Earth, limited support.

Peak pique: Dog Month, Dog Year.

S

5      1      3
4      6      8
9      2      7

Water Dog Month

I was at a local planning meeting this week, mostly a torches and pitchforks affair concerning a proposed massive development. This is SW Surrey and the room was full of money. Nothing brings out the middle-class like a threat to house values. And to be fair, many in the room brought more than nimbyism to the party. But what was being summoned and what will dominate October was the dead hand of entitlement.

Dogs (1946, 1958, 1970, 1982, 1994, October & mid-evening births) are stubborn, as Mrs Trump can tell you, no matter how wrong they are.

Three of the last four US Presidents have been Dogs – all but Obama (obviously), grizzled 1946 Fire Dogs.  And they won’t let go. Some would call this white male privilege but equally obviously not all Dogs are any of those things. But they cling on. That’s the central theme of this month, like this year: power that won’t let go. It’s wrapped up with #metoo and the bonkersness of #Brexit of course and the obscenities of human-caused human misery in the Yemen and Myanmar but essentially this month features power that is being challenged and won’t listen.

The Dog is solid and doesn’t easily soften. That’s the pattern of the Kavanaugh hearings; privilege that doesn’t know how out of date or fragile it is. And this month, remember is a Dog month in a Dog year. Peak Dog.

Watch for these dynamics at work – is your management past its sell-by date? – at home – how Edwardian, bless them, are your male relatives? You might perhaps remind them that the last Edward to sit on the throne abdicated in 1936. In our most intimate relationships to what extent are we taking up age-old roles that are out of shelf life?

Technically the Dog is yang Earth by the way and yang Earth characteristics are obviously useful in context. Many 1958 Earth Dogs are powerful businesswomen perhaps because of the very fact that in a male-dominated world they refuse to give up. Fire Dog David Bowie’s longevity as an icon was the envy of his peers, as was that of 1958 Earth Dog Prince. Computer tycoon Bill Gates has Dogs deep in his ba zi also.

Two more things you need to know about this month: one is that the magic square or lo shu has at its centre a Star. The – you guessed it – is the number of the Father, God and Authority, a trinity of symbols lodged pretty close together in most of our psyches. All of which suggests reinforcement of the main theme. Chinese Masters might add that the central Star of the lo shu equally represents capital cities and head offices and indeed the North West. Ken Loach’s new film Peterloo – concerning a popular uprising about social conditions in Manchester, capital of the industrial North West, early in the 19th century – looks extraordinarily timely. Trouble at ’mill this month maybe, that is to ay civil disobedience.

The other thing you may need reminding of is that the Dog fosters proxy conflicts. Current examples include the one between the Saudis and Iran all across the Middle East and the many worldwide between Russia and the USA of which Syria is the most obvious.

Again this dynamic may show up closer to home. Best to be aware of our true motives in any dispute, especially when we are defending a friend or offspring. This will apply most to Sheep (1943, 1945, 1957, 1969, 1981, 1993, July and mid-afternoon births)) and Oxen (1949, 1961, 1973, 1985, 1997, January and births between 1 & 3am).

This is peak Dog. Peak peak Dog, if you like, will tend to come with Ox and Sheep days the 12th, the 18th, and most particularly the 24th of this month. These promise the most stubborn blockages and immovability of all sorts. Try to remember there’s no point pushing locked doors.

But you can seek a Dragon. Dragons are the solution. For which read intuitive and non-linear behaviour as well as Dragon Days (15th and 27th) when solutions may be suddenly obvious and actual Dragons (1940, 1952, 1964, 1976, 1988, 2000, 7-9am, April) in person. These days (and these people) will tend to offer solutions. Otherwise the classical solution would probably be to locate important negotiation South East. Best to know you don’t know and remain very open; as they say, approach the Buddha with an empty rice bowl or as the Tao Te Ching has it: “Solidity is an advantage but it is emptiness that makes a space useful.”

And finally: no astrological analysis will ever do any of us full justice. We always have choice and ultimately nothing can be done to any of us, however unrealistic that may seem. We’re all aware that blame (whether of Dogs, Sheep, Oxen, Dragons or of pundits like me who may cross a line) disempowers us. But we may not understand why.

It may be that blame simply deprives us of power. The delusion that someone else has agency over our problems clearly means that we don’t. And this word agency is the key. There are no coincidences, country and western songs or irony in real life. There is simply choice.

You don’t have to agree of course and there are alternative views running from God’s Will to chaos theory, but it seems to me that I am responsible for my life – not Dogs, Sheep, Oxen or Dragons, though they are helpful guideposts on the way. And for that reason and others I’m running a Transformational Workshop this month (Godalming, the weekend of the 20th/21st  October).

The workshop is as you would expect rooted in Chinese Astrology because that’s what I know, but the map is not, as they say, the territory and the subtext is Reclaiming our Agency. There are just a couple of places left; if you’d like to join us, email Sheila at sheilaashworthfengshui@gmail.com for details.

There’ll be some radical ideas, some very ancient ones, many from the millennia-long legacy of Chinese thought but some equally old from closer to home. Some will be challenging and some simply comforting but mostly it’ll be an opportunity to peel back the layers of busyness, hurry and worry and return to daily life refreshed, relaxed and relieved. You’ll laugh, you’ll cry; you may even hurl.

To summarise, the conflicts of this disputatious month are not solved by logic or reason but they can be solved. And if noting all these dates is too much like hard work, by the way, all you need do is follow my Tweets (@FengShuiDiaries) Have fun.

Richard Ashworth ©2018.
http://www.imperialfengshui.info

Where to be in October.
Summary: manifestation.
West, InterventionYear Star: 2 Month Star: 8.
For cash flow the usual advice is to follow the 8s and 9s with bright light. Be sure that the location is not otherwise compromised but during October the West is the place for girl talk, a glass or two of a decent wine and a wind-down, setting up success in whatever project is focused upon. All such activity will tend to encourage the 8 Star to deliver, as will Fire in the form of bright light.
To boost: Fire, that is bright light.

Where not to be in October.
Summary: hazardous.
North, Future: Year Star:monthly & annual san sha, wu huang Month Star:2
The visiting 2 and san sha make this area hazardous for women in particular ie the obverse of last month. If you work, sleep or linger here your health and productivity may suffer; your acupuncturist will confirm that kidney – the engine-room of energy creation – and ears may be the most vulnerable. Stay out!
Mitigate: t’ang lung only.
Richard Ashworth ©2018.
http://www.imperialfengshui.info

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

Every month we send paying subscribers a more comprehensive monthly bulletin than this one, covering in detail right places to be (and when) as well as helpful days Animal by Animal and much more from the Chinese calendar.

Subscriptions (and further info)Sheila@imperialfengshui.info

Richard Ashworth©
www.imperialfengshui.info

Bah!: the Month of the Earth Sheep 2018: Lads Done Brilliant

July 6, 2018
Bah!: the Month of the Earth Sheep 2018: Lads Done Brilliant
Bulletin for July 2018
(12:16pm 7th July to 22:15pm 7th August 2018 inclusive)

 Pi
———-
———-
———-
—-  —-
—-  —-
—-  —-
Hindrance
Hexagram 12

Animal by Animal
During this Earth Sheep Month,
The Rat blocks his own shot,
The Ox may feel outnumbered,
The imprudent Tiger fosters impatience,
The Rabbit finds an open road,
The Dragon mediates,
The Snake’s dignity shines,
The Horse may overreach,
The Sheep may fly solo,
A Monkey might confuse attack with defence.
The Rooster may ride a high Horse,
The Dog experiences separation,
and
The Pig rises to challenges.

Remember: Each Pillar of your ba zi represents an aspect of your life:
Year Animal   physicality, forebears,heritage, the obvious & immediate;
Month Animalwork environment, education, peers, siblings, exes;
Day Animal    you and your beloved;
Hour Animal:   intimate thoughts, children, dreams, the future.

Anchor9 Fire month (especially in a 9 Year) brings attention.
A Sheep month is a time to offer assistance to the helpless.
Most helpful location: South East (especially East Group kuas 1 4 9).
Least helpful location: North – again.
Favoured Animals: Pig, Rabbit, Sheep, Horse.
Especially challenged one way or another: Ox, Rat, Snake, Rooster.
HexagramP’i Hindrance, Heaven over Earth. Yin up, yang down.Anchor

Lads done brilliant: the Earth Sheep Month July 2018
Right now of course most of us are in the grip of a 4-year cycle: the Football World Cup. England last won in the Fire Horse year of 1966 and since then have generally done well in the early stages during June, which is the month of the Horse and the peak of Fire. In the Horse Year 2002 for instance we took Argentina out during the last week in June only to go no further. This Sheep month of July opens at 12:16pm on Saturday, a tantalising three hours short of the kick-off against Sweden,which takes us past the peak. So….we might just win one more but that’s probably it.

The place to start then may be England Football Manager Metal Dog Gareth Southgate: technically the Sheep month brings some sort of break-up for Dogs. Which for him may simply signify a return home, tail and head high. Whereas for shame-resistant, neon-haired Fire Dog Donald Trump it may mean embarrassment that even he can’t spin. Dogs: note.

The Sheep Month is a testing time for the Sheep herself. Your month may involve separation, best to make use of the resultant downtime. Love Island’s Jack Fincham: this means you!  Something similar applies to Oxen who may find their unique combination of deep sensitivity and single-mindedness lays them open to exploitation. A wise man once told me that being 100% open makes for invulnerability, but that 99% is suicidal.

And for the second time this year the Dragon takes up the role of mediator, peace-maker, the joiner-up of disputing parties. Hard to believe this of Wood Dragon Boris Johnson but there you go.

Driven by the Fire which opposes her Watery nature, the Rat may find himself over-busy. Which will come as no surprise to Love Island lovely, Fire Rat Dani Dyer but may shock her Dad; Snakes like National Treasure Sir Daniel may have to contain contradictory emotions this month. Dignity pays off; take gracious champion boxer Anthony Joshua (born an Earth Snake in 1989) as a role model perhaps.

Some Tigers are spoiling for a fight this month, roused by the seasonal heat and Monkeys may find themselves on the wrong end of this. Ba Zi Masters know that Monkey and Tiger days in the summer months call for diligent driving.  Special care you two.

The Rabbit however enjoys an open road. After the mesmerising headlights of 2017, your progress along the soft verge of the year is pretty steady. And especially this month. Good time to seek the attention you often shun.

By contrast you Horses may feel bereft. A playmate may have moved on and you could feel left behind while others frolic. It’s not forever and the Force remains with you all year.

Roosters: your feathers may feel ruffled. Try to be aware that injured pride is only skin deep.

Pigs can generally make hay, so to speak, in a Sheep month. Opportunities abound to which you’re likely to rise if you keep your attention out.

Richard Ashworth ©2018.
http://www.imperialfengshui.info.

Where to be in July.
Summary: immediate boost.
South East, Determination: Year Star: 8 Dragon Virtue Month Star: 8. Another great month in the South East – for some the Wealth location in any case. The South East sector (as measured from the tai chi) as well as SE doors and buildings facing SE, remain at their most helpful. brings rapid gain and positive growth of all sorts. There’s advantage to pretty much anyone who positions themselves there about now.
To boost: Bright light; Water fountain, 4(+) green plants.

Where not to be in July.
Summary: depressing and morbid. Still.
North, Distant Future: Year Star Annual san sha, Month Star: 5
The tricky wu huang Yellow is here all year as well as the san sha or “Three Killings”. And now there are two Yellow Fives here. Argh; the worst location of the year just got still worse. So steer clear, apply healing or both. If you work, sleep or linger here you may suffer relationship issues as well as headaches and wild thoughts. West Group kuas 8 and younger Horse and Sheep women remain the most vulnerable. Some financial gain may reduce the sting if you find yourself marooned in the North. May not be worth it.
Solution: AnchorChinese Charm: t’ang lung.

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

Every month we send paying subscribers a more comprehensive monthly bulletin than this one, covering in detail right places to be (and when) as well as helpful days Animal by Animal and much more from the Chinese calendar.

Richard teaches both starter and advanced Feng Shui and Ba zi (Chinese Astrology), one to one via Skype or Zoom.

More details at: http://www.imperialfengshui.info/courses
Subscriptions, courses (and further info)Sheila@imperialfengshui.info
Richard Ashworth©
www.imperialfengshui.info

Here Comes the Cavalry: the Month of the Earth Horse 2018

June 8, 2018
Here comes the Cavalry: the Month of the Earth Horse 2018.
Bulletin for June 2018
(01:29 6th June to 12:16pm 7th July 2018 inclusive)

Kou
———-
———-
———-
———-
—-  —-
—-  —-
Coming to Meet
Hexagram 44
 
Animal by Animal
During this Earth Horse Month,
The Rat may experience blockage,
The Ox too,
The Tiger is powered,
The Rabbit needs to pace herself,
The Dragon perseveres,
The Snake holds back then doesn’t,
The Horse may get in his own way,
The Sheep follows,
The Monkey’s aim may not be true
The Rooster risks affront,
The Dog whistles,
and
The Pig is useful.

Remember: Each Pillar of your ba zi represents an aspect of your life:
Year Animal:       physicality, heritage, the obvious & immediate;
Month Animal:    work environment, education, peers, siblings, exes;
Day Animal:        you and your beloved;
Hour Animal:       intimate thoughts, children, dreams, the future.

A 1 month supports clear communication.
During a Horse month events move rapidly.
Most helpful location: South East (especially East Group kuas 1 3 4 9).
Least helpful location: North – again.
Favoured Animals: Tiger, Dog, Sheep.
Especially challenged: Horse, Ox, Rat, Dragon, Monkey.
Hexagram (above): Kou Coming to Meet, Father,
Heaven over Wind; the returning darkness.

Here comes the Cavalry: the Earth Horse Month, June 2018
The Horse month marks the summit of the year; the qi or energy has been rising since the last Winter Solstice and now it starts to fall. The growing season has a while to run yet but planting time is mostly over. This is peak Fire; all my sunflowers are out and the hibiscus are in leaf as they begin to consider budding.

Appropriately the Fire of the Horse favours Animals which hold Fire within them; that is to say passion, spontaneity and a need to be seen. Of these the Sheep may be the most favoured, with the Dog and Tiger close behind. Those born under these signs (whether Year, Month, Day or Hour) are at their most powerful now. Your objectives are likely to be bearing fruit but take care: Fire power is incautious and demands immediate results where patience might be more prudent. Now is no time run red lights.

Notable Dogs include three of the last four US Presidents (ie not Obama, bless him) as well as both the Duke & Duchess of Cambridge; among well-known Tigers is Victoria Beckham.

I’ve omitted the Horse, you’ll notice. Why would that be? Well, technically the Horse suffers what is known as the “self-penalty”. This means broadly that Horses don’t much like Horses which includes a distaste for Horse months. The extrovert Horse typically has no space for others seeking the limelight – especially numerous in the Horse month. Angela Merkel: take note. And don’t mistake Mutti’s sensible efficiency for lack of ego; I know a 1954 Wood Horse when I see one.

Of the other Animals, the more modest yin Fire of the Snake may draw them away from things right now and your judgement may not be 100%. Like all things cyclical, this too shall pass. The yin Wood Rabbit may have similar feelings but you remain in pole position throughout 2018; that’ll make up for last year!

Particularly left to draw on their own resources are the Monkey and Rooster, both uncomfortable with the yang Fire which can cloud their thoughts. For the time being these two Metal Animals are respectively, dangerously playful and prone to over-thinking. Something similar is true of the powerful, mercurial Dragon who often becomes stoical now (don’t!), the Ox who may dawdle and the Watery Rat whose articulacy is less welcome than usual. Await August, I should.

If you’re interested in studying Classical Ba Z (which is the art of knowing what happens to which Animal when and indeed why) I have a space for one more one-to-one Skype student on a Thursday or Friday. Apply to Sheila at sheilaashworthfengshui@gmail.
Richard Ashworth ©2018.
http://www.imperialfengshui.info.

Where to be in June.
Summary: over-the-top creative.
South East, Determination: Year Star: 8 Dragon Virtue Month Star: 9. The South East of your room, apartment, building or office has a free ticket right now. Even facing South East will tend to be rocket fuel. A 9 Star brings attention and the 8 keeps that prominence welcome. Projects are likely to flower and plans to bear fruit. Fill your boots.
Enhancement: Bright light; Water fountain (in or out); four green plants.

Where not to be in June.
Summary: depressing and morbid.
North, Distant Future: Year Star 5 Monthly & Annual san sha,Month Star: 6
The worst location of the year just got worse. If you work, sleep or linger here you may – again – suffer relationship issues as well as headaches and wild thoughts. West Group kuas 2 6 7 8 and younger Horse and Sheep women remain the most vulnerable. The only real difference this month is that you may enjoy a windfall if you find yourself with no choice but to linger in the North. You might prefer a holiday of course.
Solution: Chinese Charm: t’ang lung.

Every month we send paying subscribers a more comprehensive monthly bulletin than this one, covering in detail right places to be (and when) as well as helpful days Animal by Animal and much more from the Chinese calendar.

I have space for one additional Skype/Zoom student right now.
For c
ourses, subscriptions and further info: Sheila@imperialfengshui.info

Richard Ashworth
©
www.imperialfengshui.info

Father along: the Month of the Metal Dog 2017

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

Po
———-
—-  —-
—-  —-
—-  —-
—-  —-
—-  —-
Stripping
Hexagram 23

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Richard Ashworth©
www.imperialfengshui.info

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

———-
———-
———-
———-
—-  —-
—-  —-

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

—-  —-
—-  —-
—-  —-
———-
———-
———-

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
———-
———-
———-
—-  —-
—-  —-
—-  —-
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