Posts Tagged ‘Shamanic Energy Consultant’

Little Red Rooster

September 8, 2016

Little Red Rooster
My diary for the month of the Fire Rooster
(Sept7th 13:48pm to 05:59 Oct 8th inclusive)
in the Year of the Fire Monkey.

Kuan
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The Watchtower
Hexagram 20

“Everything that gives off light is dependent upon something to which it clings.”
The Book of Changes.

The Rooster Month
Animal by Animal
During this Fire Rooster Month,
The Rat may feel disinformed,
The Ox whistles nonchalantly,
The Tiger is bemused,
The Rabbit chooses his moment,
The Dragon flies high,
The Snake emerges,
The Horse stamps,
The Sheep’s support may go uncredited,
The Monkey takes a back seat,
The Rooster is surprisingly bashful,
The Dog waits his turn,
while
The Pig seizes the initiative.

Know your inner beast. How Rooster are you?
Birth in the Rooster Hour (3-5pm)~: numerate kids.
Birth on the Rooster Day#: pride that can go either way.
Birth during the Rooster Month (September)*: work with design.
Birth in the Rooster Year: flirtatious parents.
~ An hour earlier than the clock during British Summertime ie 8-10.
# You’ll need a Chinese calendar for this. * Caution: Chinese months start later.

Where to do what, when and why
Summary: Two locations again

South, Bright Future: Year Star: 6, annual san sha, Month Star: 8.
To encourage a bright future, it’s best for East Group people to locate or face South again. South–facing windows and doors are favoured as is the South of your home/office. “Bright future” btw means plan, plot, visualise and wait; whatever Barthes and Derrida may think, the future is a little down the line. No complaints that nothing happened in the first three minutes following the change, please.
Note: To sleep facing South means toes North, pillow South.

West, Intervention: Year Star: 4 Year, Sun, Month Star: 6.
For West Group people West (who’da thought it?) remains a top location. The single female could successfully seek company here. Positive intervention may bring windfalls too. Locating yourself West, facing West or occupying a West-facing building is pretty sound. Same with West-opening doors.
Note: To sleep facing West means toes East, pillow West.

East and West Groups: Everybody falls into either East or West Group by virtue of their birth date. The calculation is simple but if you want to know where you belong, email me at richardashworth@imperialfengshui.info.
Readers Digest version: East Group people are best facing East, South, South-East and North and/or in buildings and beds backing onto these directions. West Group vice-versa.

My actual Diary
Little Red Rooster.
I have a stopover in a dinky little hotel while I’m working on integrating a house and workshop into an ancient group of hills. I can’t tell you more about this right now, if ever.

But staying away from home gives me a chance to read extra-curricular stuff; in this case Barney Hoskyns’ Trampled Underfoot about the infamous exploits of Led Zeppelin. Coincidentally (in the sense that there is such a thing) today the  redtops are reporting that a US court has let Led Zeppelin get away with yet another “inspiration” – this time having cut and pasted Taurus by Spirit into the introduction to Stairway to Heaven. And as it turns out, I’m listening to Nessun Dorma played by Jeff Beck. Beck is the most lyrical of guitar players. Check out his version of Somewhere over the Rainbow if you doubt me. Such an emphatic touch. Beck was with Jimmy Page in the Yardbirds of course. So it’s fair to say that Page was, far from being the greatest guitar player in the world, not even the best in the Yardbirds.

As it happens, Willie Dixon’s Little Red Rooster is not on the rollcast of blues and folk artists plundered by Zeppelin: Howlin’ Wolf, Bert Jansch, Muddy Waters, it really is a long list .

Anyway a red rooster is clearly Fire, not say Wood or Metal. This Fire Rooster month prefigures 2017. So obviously enough similar forces affect both and consequently, similar events can be expected. Both month and year are Fire Roosters: a boisterous bird that tends to be glamorous and charismatic. The Rooster is also logical to a fault. A balanced one is a valuable friend while you have her attention; out of control this is a bombastic show-off, mouth disengaged from mind and heart. Current potential and actual world leaders fit this bill pretty well, as did Led Zeppelin. The Rooster is inherently Metal and Fire attacks Metal. Own goals and friendly fire are likely this month. Along with plagiarism.

The “Star” at the centre of the lo shu or magic square is a 4 which relates both to innovation and copying. The 4 is puckish but generally benevolent. It sits to the South East which means that some Western interpretations of feng shui limit its influence to “Wealth” which is over-simplistic. Wealthy or not, the Rooster is yin, (ie principally to do with the feminine) and it’s sometimes termed the por kwan. The por kwan or  “broken soldier” often possesses the “poison tongue”; words that can kill at fifty paces.

But it’s not a time to hold your tongue. It’s actually a very good month to say in a new way things that need saying, as long as you’re truly well-intentioned. Anything can be communicated in a way that’s healing. Let me emphasise that this is not an appeal on behalf of pc central but a warning to consider the impact, accuracy and intention of words. In NLP theory “the meaning of a communication” is reckoned to be “the reaction it elicits.” It’s black and white, we don’t get to say “I didn’t mean that,” when we bruise with a careless phrase. On one hand then, this is the month of the apology, on the other it’s foot-in-the-mouth-Month. Watch the front pages.

A dozen semi-literate black songwriters died in penury when a small cheque from Page might have pulled them out of the gutter and at this moment in time when there is more inequality than ever and more denial of the fact, we are at a er… crossroads, so to speak. The Monkey year has as predicted been chaotic. But nothing is written in stone. One man’s chaos is another’s opportunity.  Next year’s Rooster, like this month’s could go either way.

And there is really nothing, no magic, no mumbo-jumbo, no recherché formula, more powerful than telling someone something nice that’s true.
See Hexagram 27 perhaps.

Richard Ashworth © 2016

Special (almost) free bonus:
Some years ago a guy rang me and asked if I’d like to record a cd about classical feng shui. I agreed and he arrived with his headphones and plugs, I ran very simply through the meaning of the Zodiac animals and where in my daughter Jessica’s words “to put stuff to get stuff.” It was clear, authentic and simple, he caught me on a very good day. Then he scarpered and I heard no more. Last month a new student told me she’d found me through a wonderful “podcast” which turned out to be this recording. I was never paid but you can get it from Audible for around £4. Now I know how Howlin’ Wolf felt.
Here’s the link: http://amzn.to/2aGaDT8Footnote: my next ba zi Starter Course starts on the weekend of September 17th/18th. Details here:
http://www.imperialfengshui.info/coursesAnd finally: a limited number of places are still available to study with me one to one via Skype. Email: sheilaashworthfengshui@gmail.com
Richard Ashworth©
www.imperialfengshui.info

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

SNAFU Manchu My diary for the month of the Wood Sheep

July 7, 2016
SNAFU Manchu
My diary for the month of the Wood Sheep
(July 7th 00:33 to August 7th 10:39am inclusive)
in the Year of the Fire Monkey.
 

Dun
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Withdrawal
Hexagram 33

“Whoever can comprehend this exchange could rule the world.” Confucius.

The Sheep Month
Animal by Animal
During this Wood Sheep Month,
The Rat may appear sidelined,
The Ox may be confronted,
The wise Tiger holds back for now,
Fortune favours the brave Rabbit,
The Dragon is on cruise control,
The Snake seeks advantage,
The humble Horse finds comfort,
The Sheep rules – if that’s okay,
The Monkey is quietly agitated,
The Rooster could be oblivious,
The Dog is consistent,
while
The Pig gains a further foothold.
 
Know your inner beast. How Sheep are you?
Birth in the Sheep Hour (1-3pm)~: age disgracefully.
Birth on the Sheep Day#: the pivot and the ridgepole.
Birth during the Sheep Month (July)*: selfless work.
Birth in the Sheep Year: idealism, 60’s consciousness.

~ An hour earlier than the clock during British Summertime ie 8-10.
# You’ll need a Chinese calendar for this.
*Caution: Chinese months start later.

Where to do what, when and why

Summary: There is a choice of helpful locations this month. One suits the West Group of people, the other the East Group. If as is likely, this means nothing to you, just ask: richardashworthfengshui@gmail.com . Meanwhile remember to be gentle.

West, Intervention: Year Star: 4 Year Sun, Month Star: 8.
The visiting 8 suggests the West helps the creative this month. The monthly san sha makes it fragile, so be gentle and await inspiration. Writer’s block, tricky plotting and the equivalent knots relating to art, sculpture, dance design and so on will tend to loosen in the West right now. The romantic toe far or “plum flower” Star is still here which means that affairs of the heart may distract in the nicest possible way. Trust this as part of the creative process, sex and creativity are inextricably linked, as geniuses like Picasso and Dali insisted. They also (consider Prince and Marvin Gaye for instance) bring healing. Which is the job of the restorative Sun sitting due West all year at the Rooster.

So locate yourself West, face West, enter through a Western door or occupy a West-facing building but don’t make too much commotion; no parties, keep music down and infrequent. West Group kuas: 2, (especially) 6, 7, 8*: are suited. Mechanically a Water fountain is a boost. And occasional bright light – not too bright.

East, Ambition: Year Star: 9 Dragon Virtue Month Star: 4
The 9/4 is combination stud muffin, sex kitten and student. Often of course found in the same package – which may make it hard to concentrate. Dragon Virtue looks after reputation and a Water Feature will continue to boost ambition. But locating or facing East may prove distracting. Either way keep adding More Wood! Best for East Group people: 3 4 9 1.

*Note: These are calculated from birth details; everybody is one or the other. If this is all er…Chinese to you, email me your birth details or more drastically, study ba zi that is Four Pllars (the Cycle of Time) with me.

SNAFU Manchu:
My diary for the month of the Wood Sheep.
Politics Alert: if all you want is dates and places, read no further.

Chinese Masters can relish predicting plagues of boils. I generally don’t do it because it’s just too easy. Furthermore there is a thin line between identifying the future and creating it. What I have been pretty explicit about though for several years is the Fire Monkey’s likely turbulence and the spread of the global unrest that’s been brewing since at least 2010.

As it happens I was at a love-in for Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt just before the referendum and I found myself reluctantly agreeing with him about Remaining. He stands of course for the vested interests of the City whereas I feel more representative of my children the future, cooperation and generally saying yes to stuff. But he was adamant that Brexit formed the greatest threat to British sovereignty (whatever that is) since Suez. What year would that have been? You’re right, the Fire Monkey of 1956.

In the years leading up to the current Monkey, global turbulence took the many contradictory forms of the Scottish Referendum, Hong Kong’s Umbrella Revolution and popular support for Podemos in Spain as well as thrusts for independence in places such as Catalonia, right wing movements like UKIP all over Europe, Donald Chump’s bid for power and of course Brexit. These are the forces channelled, rabble-roused and then abandoned by Boris, Gove and Farage. Not that there is that much to choose between the above sociopaths and Cameron, Osborne and indeed Trump; all spouting negative, lowest common denominator crowd-pleasing stuff designed to bring out the worst. This is the code of the above-it-all.

And it is in the teeth of this that the efforts of the Greek popular movement Syriza have been so poignant. Did you know that Mario Draghi the President  of the European Central Bank now enforcing privatisation, pension cuts and sliced-up public services, is the same man who while he was at Goldman Sachs, advised the Greek Government (for a vast commission) as they fudged their figures in order to “converge” and join the Euro? You couldn’t make it up.

Anyway now that we’re in the eye of the storm let’s try to explain how events fall into the gan zi cycles of time and perhaps look at what comes next.
No Wise Monkeys.
As you have learned, if we want a guide to what’s likely to happen in a Fire Monkey year, we look closely at previous Monkeys and extremely closely at Fire Monkeys. This means going back in sequences first of twelve years and then of sixty in order to consider how past events may recur in a more modern context.

Which takes us back first to the Wood Monkey of 2004 when the principal topic of interest on this isolated little island was the invasion of Iraq. Twelve years previously British boots had also been on the ground in that long-suffering part of the world and in 1980 the Russians blundered into Iraq themselves. 1968 brought escalation of the American invasion of South East Asia as well as street riots in Paris; plus, as they say, ca change, plus c’est la meme chose. Excuse my French. Monkey means chaos and specifically invasion. I write as the Chilcot Enquiry reveals its findings.

Then we go deeper. 1956, like 1896, 1836, 1776, 1716 and even 1536 are multiples of sixty years apart. Each is not just a Monkey but a Fire Monkey. The key events I have long seen in these Monkeys were Suez (1956) The Alamo (1836), the American Declaration of Independence (1776) and the inflation of the South Sea Bubble (1716). I’ve been banging on about parallels to these (and particularly this last) for a very long time. But it took a conversation with my friend, the very perceptive Sarah Fenton to get me to look as far back as 1536.

Remember the Alamo!
1956: Suez. Briefly, events in Egypt that year suggest we really could still be stupid enough to try and solve Middle-Eastern questions with bombs. Gun boat diplomacy worked in the Boer War, why not in 1956 and indeed 2016? Watch this space.

1836: The Alamo. Early in the morning of March 6th 1836 the Alamo mission house packed with American settlers, in San Antonio, Texas (or rather Tejas) in Northern Mexico was wiped out by several thousand troops under the dictator Antonio Lopez de Santa Anna. The Americans had been paid by the Mexican government to migrate there and clear the territory of natives; even then it was common knowledge that American people took to gun violence like no other. Empresarios such as Sam Houston – who would go on to be the first Governor of the new American territory of Texas – and William Travis (played by Laurence Harvey in the John Wayne movie) had made substantial incomes from brokering this migration.

Suffice it to say that by the end of the year, Texas was American. In US myth the Alamo is the story of gallant Davy Crockett (Wayne) inspiring the settlers to stand for justice and the American way in the face of tyranny. The fact is that to this day, Texas is largely Hispanic not because of incursions from the South but because the Mexicans were there already. In Mexico.

Fast-forward to today, Chump is having fun winding up Hispanic-American tension. A wall (“that they’ll pay for”) running say, from Laredo to Baja California would more than likely be the popular success its equivalents in Berlin and Palestine have proved to be. But that issue – Hispanic rights – will be pivotal to the result of the election. And Chump will ride that horse as far as it will go. See above.

You can’t shoot without a gun.
1776: The American Constitution, perhaps still the greatest product of the human mind, is augmented by the 10 Amendments of the Bill of Rights, the second of which permits Americans to bear arms. And kill each other. I see this amendment itself being amended by the end of the next Presidential term but there will be plenty of resistance first. August will tell.

1716: The South Sea Bubble. I’ve written about this more than once before. In that Fire Monkey year, the South Sea Trading Company had for six years or so been selling off the British National Debt at many times its face value. Today we’d call these investments junk bonds. By 1720 the bottom fell out of the market and ruined thousands. If this is predictive, a life-changing market “correction” is on its way right now, perhaps the biggest since 1929. Which is not all bad by the way, in that a fresh start might pull money back onshore, bring down property prices and lead to the reform of corporate governance while restricting global inequality along with the consumption of hydrocarbons.

1536: #Brexit1, The Dissolution of the Monasteries. Ann Boleyn is said to have refused to let Henry VIII have his wicked way with her unless she was first made Queen. In his desperation to get his leg over, Henry ushered in the English Reformation, consequently finding himself in possession of huge tracts of church land. This land and the other riches of the church belonged (if they belonged to anybody) to the congregations whose alms had built them up. Undeterred Henry shared them out among the wealthy. That this was a parallel with the distribution of the wealth of the common people among the rich and undeserving that has accelerated over these first two decades of the 21st century, has been clear to me for a very long time. But it took a conversation with the above-mentioned Sarah Fenton to have me realise that it equally represented a cutting off from the Catholic Church, the Pope and thus a break with Europe.  Oops.

And from that a further insight: the new barons had more wealth than they knew what to do with. Many including Henry’s son and successor, Edward VI set up schools on some of the land they’d received in this massive windfall. These (Rugby 1567, Harrow 1572, Westminster 1560 and so on) form the backbone of the English Public (that is Private) School system – the method by which the English middle class ensure their children emerge into adulthood as repressed and dissociated as they are themselves. If you want to understand how deeply Cameron, Johnson, Farage and the rest of them don’t give a damn, you perhaps need to understand this uniquely British institution. And 1536 is when Henry’s incontinence gives it birth.

It was the Duke of Wellington who remarked that the Battle of Waterloo had been won on the playing fields of Eton. That and every other triumph of the British Empire; only the British Public Schoolboy could believe he had a right to invade India, China, Malaysia, the list is long. Only British Public School boys could have massacred natives and then gone home for a game of cricket followed by a gin and tonic. Only British Public Schoolboys could have engineered Brexit and then to a man scarpered. The roots are in the Fire Monkey of 1536 which goes some way to explaining why we remain ruled by sociopaths.

Darling Buds.
The Sheep month is likely to be conciliatory to Horses like Cameron and Merkel, harsh upon Oxen such as Barack Obama and Yanis Varoufakis and to put thoughtful Rats like Owen Jones onto the back foot. It’s not a harsh month, more like a backwater of temporary calm. Dragons – Farage, Johnson, Putin and Russell Brand – get time out. Pigs many of whom have had a hard year to date. break through as do the hard-working Rabbits. The smarter Snake will pick jewels from the rubble, but it’s risky. Dogs are a special case though; it may have escaped your notice that Presidents George W Bush and Bill Clinton and candidate Donald Chump share more than a thick skin. All three were born in the same Fire Dog year, 1946. So in a sense Chump represents business as usual with added shamelessness. This month will tend to put these qualities into sharp relief.

On the other hand the next Chinese month is a Fire Monkey itself, starting 7th August when the events at the peak of the year will be echoed by way of a reaction. Hang onto your hats. Theresa May btw – who’d have thought it? – was herself born in the Year of the Fire Monkey 1956.
Richard Ashworth © 2016. 7th July 2016

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

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

Richard Ashworth©
www.imperialfengshui.info

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Hoarse With No Name: My Diary for the Horse Month 2016

June 1, 2016
Hoarse with no name
My diary for the month of the Wood Horse
(June 5th 14:09 to July 7th 00:33 inclusive)
in the Year of the Fire Monkey.
 Kou
———-
———-
———-
———-
———-
—-  —-
Meeting
Hexagram 44“Too much Monkey business for me to get involved in.”
Chuck Berry (1956)

The Horse Month
Animal by Animal
During this Wood Horse Month,
The Rat may simply wait,
The Ox may be (way) behind the Rat,
The Tiger sees the breaks,
The smart Rabbit rises to the occasion,
The Dragon reins in,
The Snake could be overawed,
The Horse might pace herself,
The unwary Sheep is under a shadow,
The Monkey demands to be noticed,
The Rooster takes time out,
The Dog obtains a boost,
while
The Pig strikes back.

Know your inner beast. How Horse are you?
Birth in the Horse Hour (11am-1pm)~:      performing children.
Birth on the Horse Day#:                           a tendency to the reckless.
Birth during the Horse Month (June)*:      an extroverted vocation.
Birth in the Horse Year:                            spontaneity in the bloodline.
~ An hour earlier than the clock during British Summertime ie 8-10.
# You’ll need a Chinese calendar. * Caution: Chinese months start later.

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like my FaceBook page for further news.

Where to do what, when and why
Summary: The peak of Fire ignites the hunters of the Zodiac: Dog and Tiger (for whom it may be the best month of the year, so fill your boots) as well as the faithful Sheep. It is generally less helpful to Rat and Ox. A 7 month tends to harass some more than others of course and those with 3, 2, 6, 7 and 8 kuas are least vulnerable.

West, Intervention: Year Star: 4 Year Sun, Month Star: 9.
The visiting 9 makes for a magical 9:4 he tu combination in the West right now while the romantic power of the toe far or “plum flower” Star is still there, along with the restorative Sun.

Locate to the West of your home, face West or occupy a West-facing building; these are transformative stars.

Along with superior examination results, 9 brings future plans closer. 4 bamboo stems in 4 glasses of Water can help.

Note: If this is all er…Chinese to you, email me your birth details or more drastically, come and study with me.

Hoarse with no name.
Wood Horse month, Monkey year, the turbulence continues while the Solstice approaches. Notice the creeping yin to the foot of the Hexagram at the top of this page; the qi is already descending. As indeed it was at this time of year, three thousand and seventy four years ago.

At that time, May of 1058 BCE, as it happens a Horse year, the Zhou family rose up against the ruling Shang and wrested from them the “Mandate of Heaven,” that is to say the right to rule China. The Zhou were to hold onto the mandate for the following seven hundred years or so. What inspired rebellion against the tyrants at that exact time was the conjunction of the five visible planets in the night sky. This conjunction happens only once every five hundred and sixteen years. Michael Wood illustrates this with a computer simulation in the first episode of his excellent BBC series “The Story of China.”

As above, so below. So much of feng shui is rooted in astrology. You can for instance, find the group of Stars that are reckoned to have inspired the ideograph of the Monkey to the South West of the night sky. They’re part of the constellation shen, that is Orion. The star formation (whose name I’ve not mastered) making up the character for Horse lies to the South.

Bloodless kou
As does this month’s Hexagram, Kou. As you know, these six-line figures are themselves composed of three-line figures called Trigrams. And each Trigram apart from signifying a member of the Confucian family, a state of being, a location and a million other things, describes a phase of the Moon. Identifying the homes of the Trigrams in the night sky is known as na jia or “assigning the Wood.” Qian (Heaven) for instance with its three unbroken yang lines, stands for the Full Moon and Kun, Earth (three yin lines) for the New Moon. Sometimes these things are hard to observe because of street lights, late-night parties, cats’ eyes and headlamps.

When I was in Menorca writing and researching a couple of years ago, the night sky was almost free of light pollution. And so with feet in the pool and beers in hand, my daughters Jess and Hen and I confirmed that the Moon rose and fell precisely where the na jia indicated. It was, if you will, a sobering moment; there above us was physical evidence of the connectedness of Heaven and Earth. It was as if a huge finger had drawn lines across the Moon.

Just behind the full Moon, the 2016 Solstice falls on June 21st at 06:57, shortly after sunrise. Full Sun and full Moon, full yin and full yang, on a Dog day in a Horse month, it’s almost alight with Fire. And yet the qi is falling. In the Year of the Monkey (who generally stands cautiously clear of the Horse) this makes for quite a chaotic pattern. The Monkey is of course talkative, but this is no month for discussion. Rather it is one of action; some impetuous, some not so well thought-through. Hold tight.

In the desert you can’t remember your name
And this year as I predicted, is definitely shaping up like a Monkey; Paris barricaded, US Presidential nominations haywire, we pretty much already have the Earth Monkey of 1968. All we need is Russian tanks rolling West and British boots on the ground in the Middle East and it’s the Fire Monkey, 1956. Oh and peaking markets. “Déjà vu all over again,” in the words of John Fogerty. As above, so below. My own father’s boots were among those on the ground in the Sinai Desert in 1956.

This Horse month favours Dogs and Sheep and Tigers as ever, although they may present just a little hot-headed. Along with the Horse, they are the hunters of the Zodiac and often the life lesson of the hunter is that life is not as simple as a hunt. The Horse doesn’t much like her own company or talking things out and may fall victim to unforced errors. Let things come to you as they will. The Ox is best lying low but his intimate the Rat, may find that originality is at a rare premium; the smart Rat sticks to their guns. Caution is counselled to Dragons, Snakes will find certain days offer a boost but Rabbits are probably stretched.

As a Dragon, I’ll be tapping the ongoing but quirky support of the Monkey and remaining wary of the rampant Horse.
Richard Ashworth © 2016

www.imperialfengshui.info

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

My Diary for the Month of the Earth Ox – Too Much Monkey Business.

January 7, 2016
 The Earth Ox
My diary for the 12th month, 2015/16
(Jan 6th 2016 06:47 to Feb 4th 18:14 inclusive)
Lin
—-  —-
—-  —-
—-  —-
—-  —-
———-
———-
Approaching
Hexagram 19

Just as the lake is inexhaustible in depth, so the sage is inexhaustible in readiness to teach. The Book of Changes.

The Ox Month, Animal by Animal.
During this Earth Ox month:
The Rat is not in charge.
The Ox is outspoken.
The Tiger is in two minds.
The Rabbit feels order is restored.
The Dragon is muted.
The Snake rises to the challenge.
The Horse remains quiet.
The Sheep is in two places at once.
The Monkey may jump the gun.
The smart Rooster bides her time.
The Dog may intervene.
and
The Pig regroups.

Where to do what, when and why.
The most fortuitous times for most action that is constructive and positive are the 18th and 28th. The first favours certain Snakes (born 1953, 1965, 1977, 1989 and 2001) and Tigers (1950, 1962, 1974, 1986, 1998) and the second Oxen (1949, 1961, 1973 1985, 1997) Snakes and Dragons (1952, 1964, 1976, 1988, 2000) but everyone gets a shake. Remember also that you are to a greater or lesser extent ruled by the Animals of your day, month and hour of birth as well as the year.

The Monkey ape-ears.
Here comes the Monkey year, just weeks away now. In the Chinese folk tale, the Monkey climbs to the Moon and steals the Akashic Record of deeds good and bad so as not to be judged for his own. Now that’s sneaky. The Monkey is a mischievous beast, the Fire variety especially so and that mischief runs through the coming Year.
Although the Monkey does not suffer the so-called self-clash – meaning that an Animal does not flourish in its own year – that puckish stuff can be overwhelming. It’s a year when it’s hard to respond proportionately. “Too much monkey business for me to get involved in,” as Chuck Berry wrote.
However the year is ruled also by the lo shu number 2, that is to say kun, the Mother; an interesting and complex tension, personally and internationally as well as domestically. In some senses – ecological and political, for instance – it’s as pivotal a year as there’s been. Do we succumb to the myopic naughtiness of the Monkey at his worst or open to the wisdom of the Mother? This applies as much to the bedroom and the office as to the outside world.
The downside of a Monkey Year is invasion and violence, risks both at home and away. But the Monkey is ingenious and the upside is the use of reason to benefit our families, acquaintance and the world. The worst of a 2 Year is the pursuit of right at all costs, the end sanctifying the method. The best is an opening to miracle and to lasting peace.

The Handy Monkey.
And there are things we can do. Chinese thinking separates the realm of tian (Heaven) from ti (Earth), a bridge being made by ren, that is Humanity. So we can recognise the sway of Heaven by being truthful about our own actions, deserts and responsibilities; mechanically we can ensure that we employ the best locations (which are broadly West, East and South East) and don’t overuse the worst (this year North East). This is ti – Earth ch’i. And we can choose intelligently and most of all benevolently.
As I’ve written before, nature doesn’t work in straight lines, so the Sheep year doesn’t close with a slap in an instant as the Monkey begins. There are between November and February, at least five possible dates (based on different traditional calculations) for the New Chinese Year. And right now we’re in the thick of that suspended time; a cusp, if you will, the worst energy spots of 2015 now relatively innocuous and the helpful ones for 2016 not yet much use.
Which makes the moment ripe for feng shui changes; around now we re-do the He Tu Journeys we have been making between locations in the house all year, we re-orient desks and bed, we quieten the Monkey’s tricky areas and we reclaim those places where the energy will once again assist. All of this information – as well as the one small spot to activate all year – is in my Tune-Up Drill which will be available soon. You can buy it do-it-yourself as a file, or alongside an hour of me by Skype or as part of a scheduled Tune-Up visit. You pays your money and you takes your choice.
As it happens the Chinese ideograph for the Monkey – shen – is actually a hand. And the Monkey is typically hands-on, practical and humorous as well as non-committal and capable of significant aggression. Kun, on the other hand represents Mother Earth, Gaia herself. She wields a power both subtler and less placable; her purpose is positive but her means may not be obviously so. Humankind may be likened to an unruly toddler who must be restrained by kun for his own good, lest (s)he hurt himself or worse. In the long run, his interests will be served but some privileges may have to be restricted.

Ox Pillars; know your Ox rating.
Birth in the Ox hour (01:00pm-03:00am): late fertility.
Birth in the Ox month (January*): consistent career path, monogamy.
Birth on the Ox day#: a kind of random stubbornness.
Birth in the Ox year: a spiritual or religious tradition.
* Caution, the Chinese month generally starts and finishes a few days after ours.
# Just ask.

Richard Ashworth ©2016 

More Monkey Business.
I’ll be writing about the Fire Monkey in instalments over the next few weeks, expanding on how the year is likely to shape up for you, the world, your family, your business and your livelihood and what can be done about it in your own space. Perhaps watch out for those – they’ll be approx. weekly.
Along with these bulletins we’ll be publishing your individual Animal Fortunes for the year, Animal by Animal which will then go onto the website as usual.
You can btw keep up with all of the above as they appear by following me on Twitter (@FengShuiDiaries), see the link to the right and clicking on the cog icon on my profile (next to the “Follow” button) and then selecting “Turn on notifications”.
Similar result if you “like” my FaceBook page (again the link is on the right); don’t try to “friend” me btw or your inbox may fill up with pictures of my family, pot-bellied pigs being tickled and/or political rants. You can get too much of a good thing.

Richard Ashworth©
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