Posts Tagged ‘Study Feng Shui’

The dam breaks: the Month of the Earth Dragon 2019.

April 5, 2019
Public Feng Shui Bulletin for March2019
(09:59 5th April to 03:28 6th May 2019 inclusive)

Guai
—-  —-
———-
———-
———-
———-
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Transformation
Hexagram 43

Animal by Animal
During this Earth Dragon Month,
The Rat goes beyond the rational,
The Ox may feel overshadowed,
The Tiger may steam,
The Rabbit gains at the Dragon’s expense,
The Dragon’s ego is challenged,
The smarter Snake simply trusts,
Some Horses are baffled,
The Sheep is spoiled for choice,
One of the three Wise Monkey imagines no evil.
The Rooster is in the power position,
The Dog is exercised.
while
Some Pigs master timing.

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

 

S
8       4       6
7       9       2
3       5       1

Earth Dragon

AnchorThe Dragon month brings transformation.
Most helpful location: tai chi – the centre of things.
Least helpful location: North.
Favoured Animals: Monkey, Rat, Rooster,
Especially challenged: Dog, Rabbit, Dragon, Tiger, Horse.
Hexagram : Guai Transformation, Lake over Heaven. Sudden change.

The Dam breaks: the Earth Dragon Month, 2019.
The Dragon is said to live in the Earth as a fish lives in Water; its veins, the luan tou carry the qi down from the Mountain to the Water. Qi is invisible to most of us but its effect is not; where the luan tou gives out onto flat land the grass is often greener, the people healthier, the colours brighter, the wind cleaner. Whether we’re in Switzerland, Monte Carlo, Hampstead or Colorado, the heights bestow power and the Water lower down dispenses it. As the classic has it, “the qi comes down from the Mountain on the Wind and is held at the Water”.

Put very simply, if you want wealth and power, seek for your dwelling the ridges just short of the peak. Avoid the peak however; as the Classic goes on to warn: “therefore preserve the Water and protect against the Wind”. Rule number one in choosing a house is to avoid the windswept. Little is stable when lashed by the Wind.

So far, so mechanical; if feng shui theory is not scientific as many Masters would claim, it is at least pseudo-scientific. The above is a big chunk of what I do. It’s the kind of linear advice you’d expect from a Feng Shui Master; powerful and effective and often complex but if your ambition reaches beyond the linear and transformation is your objective, await the Dragon. The Dragon is magnificently irrational. And here it comes.

Transformation – that is when things that have always been one way suddenly have always been another way – calls for great honesty. This honesty falls into two categories: honesty as to what is so and honesty as to what is required. The first is a lunar, yin, kinaesthetic process involving feeling whatever is within us to feel; the second is a solar, yang, introspective and visual process calling for clear objectives. You’ll find the first buried in many spiritual practices and the second at the heart of a hundred thousand self-help books. You’ll seldom find both together, other than, dare I add, in the work I do.

Marianne Williamson author of A Return to Love (as quoted by Nelson Mandela) differentiates between transformational (or miraculous) and magical thinking. For her magical thinking insists that our guardian angels or whatever will save us a parking space, hold a train or win us the lottery. For myself I imagine it’s a quiet day in Heaven when angels care about such trivia but what do I know? Transformation on the other hand breaks all the rules.

The signs are good; the term Dragon is used a thousand ways in Chinese tradition: she commands the left-hand side of a dwelling (looking out) and by extension the left brain of rational thought. The Dragon is mercurial and explosive; unsurprisingly the Chinese character zhen for Dragon, forms half of the ideogram for a thunderstorm, the bringer of sudden change. The hours between 7 & 9am are ruled by the Dragon just as are the years 1940, 1952, 64, 76, 88, 2000 and 2012. And of course the month of April.

So April’s Earth Dragon brings sheer power and as I said the signs are good: the related Hexagram from the Book of Changes is No. 43: Transformation or Breakthrough, the lo shu or magic square is a 9 which stands for illumination and inspiration. And the Earth Dragon relates to 1988, the year when East-West barriers started to come down. In the following twelve months the Berlin Wall fell and even China hovered between reform and repression. Transformation starts here.
Richard Ashworth ©2019

Where to be in April.
Summary: a month of advantage; the centre holds.
Tai chi, Home: Year Star: 8 Month Star: 9.
Month Star 9 stands for illumination and emphasis and it’s occupying the middle of your space right now. When it’s with a helpful Star like the 8, that Star becomes extra helpful. Put very simply, the Heart of the House is extremely fortunate right now, pretty much however you want use it. As GrandMaster Raymond Lo puts it: “conventional wealth & harmony in relationship.” Fill your boots.
Encourage: Fire, bright light 24/7

Where not to be in April.
Summary: sickness Star North.
AnchorNorth, Distant Future: Year Star 4 Sun (Rat) Month Star: 5.
Tricky. Any time the 5 arrives, look out! Possible sickness here, especially for younger Mothers. The North – on the magic square  as on the map – is naturally colder, wetter & darker but at this point also represents a neglected woman. The qualities of the true mature male are needed, bringing stability, advice and security. But you might have to make do with a windchime.
Mitigate: Metal 6 Pipe Metal windchime.

Richard Ashworth ©2019.
http://www.imperialfengshui.info.Anchor

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 (at a modest fee) retainer clients 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): sheilaashworthfengshui@gmail.com

Richard Ashworth©
www.imperialfengshui.info

Snake in the the Earth Pig Year 2019

January 21, 2019

Who is a Snake?

dry animal gift dangerous

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

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

What is a Snake?
The Snake is yin fire and sits between the Horse and the Dragon, possibly the most powerful pair of animals in the Zodiac and certainly among the most difficult stools to fall between. So a typical weakness of the Snake is indecision. Next to that is lack of commitment and finally a propensity for sudden and uncharacteristic dishonesty. The Snake is the prisoner who breaks at the threat of torture; a reasonable decision if you know you’re going to give in anyway.

Snakes being of Candle Flame fire, can be easily discouraged and sometimes they should be. A Snake may stick long term with an inappropriate choice so as to put off making any choice at all.

The most written about Snake in 2012 was probably Xi Jinping, born in 1953, the year of the Snake in the Grass and elected at a time when the internal tensions in China – between efficiency and self-expression, between industrial wealth and rural poverty and between cohesion and corruption –  had never been so stark. Never question his sincerity – he means what he says – but he is likely, like his near-twin Tony Blair, to believe that the more he is opposed by those whose beliefs conflict with his own, the more right he must be. For both of these dictatorship – that is to say the Mandate of Heaven – is the preferable regime because the Snake can so often not tell the difference between their view point and the absolute.

Typically the choice for the Snake is between opposites: the extroversion of the Horse and the subtlety of the Dragon, instinct and logic, process and end product, long and short term, relationship and freedom, employment or entrepreneurship. In the face of this dilemma, a balanced Snake will often develop sufficient charm to get through without having to make the hard decisions.

Typically in a relationship, the Snake of either gender is not the decision maker. The decisions she has not made may include the one to be committed to the relationship. The partner of the Snake (best choice probably Ox or Rooster though Monkey lady and Snake man works well) would be well-advised to drag at least this minimum communication from the Snake early on. Interestingly the 1953 Snake on the Grass is one of the best makers and keepers of relationship of all 60 pillars. Go figure.
One of the advantages of being between the autocratic Dragon and the unruly Horse is that the Snake has her ego in check. Many would consider her wise because what she has to say is well-considered and she never says too much. The Snake can be a brilliant collaborator, especially with the Ox and the Rooster who are in a sense similar to her neighbours: the Rooster is blatant (much like the irrepressible Horse) and the Ox determined (like the heads-down Dragon) while the Snake anchors them to each other. There may be moments of doubt when the Snake’s loyalty wavers. At such times, the Snake asks searching questions which should have been settled long ago and then usually re-commits. The high minded Brutus was probably a Snake. Not Judas though. To know this grants the Snake both power and integrity. Snakes who know this about themselves earn undying trust.

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

Being substantially of yin fire, the Snake often has intellectual and visual gifts. She makes a good critic as her judgement is sound and she is not out to destroy egos. She will generally have natural and effortless style.

The Snake has a love-hate relationship with the Monkey. Both have hands-on and logical ability and both attract occasional tussles but where the Monkey welcomes opportunity for mischief, the Snake treats dispute as a regrettable evil. When a Tiger appears in the form such as a Tiger-born person or a Tiger month (February), this misunderstanding can turn nasty. In a Rabbit year it’s plain sailing, in a Pig Year like 2019 more complex.

The Snake is opposed to the Pig and as both are members of the informal group sometimes called the Four Terminals, they can impede each other’s movement. Snakes may develop mobility issues in a Pig year and vice versa.

The Snake prefers a short menu and yes/no questions. In a Rat year he may be overwhelmed; there is just too much choice, The Snake’s dreams may come true only for her to run in the opposite direction. Communication often has to be wrenched from the Snake and in the water years of Rat and Pig there is little support for the tight-lipped. In a typical Ox year there is just enough water but not too much. This makes scope for just the restricted level of communication the Snake prefers.

Snakes have a complex relationship with Fire. They are not usually sun-worshippers but often their skin needs just a little regular sun and without it they may fall prey to easily avoided ailments such as vitamin D deficiency. Caution!

My Seattle based Student Stephanie Stewart’s forecast for the Snake in 2019 follows, do look her up: https://stephaniejstewart.com/

Richard Ashworth©
www.imperialfengshui.info

The Snake in 2019

Snakes, being an elemental mixture of Fire, Metal and Earth were quite successful in 2018. The Dog doesn’t particularly favor them, but embodies the same elemental mixture in different proportions and polarities. When chaos comes you’re both good at seeing the opportunities it provides, but the Snake is so much more flexible.

In 2019 you’re the Sui Po; the Year Breaker. The Pig is your clash animal. Much of the year’s energy will be directed at you. There is a disproportionate amount of attention to your actions. Stay ahead of trouble by being transparent.

Alexandra Ocasio-Cortez is a 1989 Earth Snake. She’ll be a target of criticism and accusation, deservedly so or not. Alexandra is young and her Fire element is very strong. It won’t be an easy year, but a big clash like this will make her, not break her.

2018 was good to Alexandra as it was to Brett Kavanaugh, 1965 Wood Snake. In a different month or year we might have seen him finally cave in to the truth. Not that Kavanaugh would admit to lying, but perhaps he would have recused himself and quietly slithered away. He could have created a very different legacy. Obviously that wasn’t what he wanted. Snakes who have lied can expect to have that exposed this year. In 2019, Kavanaugh’s career will continue to be plagued by his past dishonesties. Brett’s Fire is not strong. He’s going to have some mobility issues; upward mobility.

Travel is your thing, and this year Snakes will have a lot of it, especially in the context of business. Could be frustrating. If you are able to plan ahead, avoid February, May, August and November. Travel during these months could cost you extra in terms of both money and time. Consider travel insurance. Beware of special third party deals on travel packages and tickets. If it sounds too good to be true it certainly is.

Push yourself in the first quarter of the year when there’s the least blockage. In January an associate in a position of power, the Ox, wants to help you. Don’t miss the opportunity to get their counsel. Between your planning skills and the persistence of the Ox, you can easily mitigate, or even capitalize on, your clash with the Pig. If you need to come clean about anything, confess to the Ox early on.

Snakes will be tempted to give overly optimistic sales pitches in February, March, May and June. Don’t overplay your hand. Stay vigilant regarding your reputation.

Rapid changes come in August when the water element is strong for the rest of the year. Compliance with law and regulations, especially in financial matters is a must. Snakes are a focus of power and authority – either a comeuppance or a promotion. You’ll find out in November. A Snake is not one to overlook a detail – in 2019 check twice.

Some diviners say that a clash year is automatically a wash, but the four stems and branches of your BaZi and your 10 year luck cycle tell the real tale. Do you know yours?

© Stephanie Stewart 2019

www.stephaniejstewart.com

The Tiger in the Year of the Earth Pig 2019

January 15, 2019

Who is a Tiger?

close up photography of tiger

Years:  1950, 1962, 1974, 1986, 1998, 2010.
Month*:  February
Hour: 03.00-05.00am

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

What is a Tiger?
Because the yang wood Tiger is composed of three different elements, he is an especially versatile predator. There is nothing wrong with being a predator except that it can imply a very rigid view of the world. Tigers often don’t play well with others, not because their egos are in the way (unlike the Dragon, the Pig, the Rooster or the Horse) but because for them, work and play are very distinct activities. They can up to a point frolic with other Tigers but broadly every alliance is focused on an outcome. It’s no coincidence that 1974 Tiger Victoria Beckham is the Spice Girl who’s not looking back; she’s moved on.

The Tiger never forgets. For the unbalanced Tiger no slight, insult or rejection can be allowed to go unredressed.. He may wait a lifetime but he will get his revenge. On the other hand the balanced Tiger will always repay a debt and go out of his way to acknowledge assistance.

The typical qualities of yang wood are sharp eyes, a strong will and swift movement. The Tiger stalks his prey silently and pounces when he is ready. He can wait days as long as he is not hungry. A needy Tiger is very dangerous. Never scorn the Tiger.

The Tiger will often have a fresh view of things which makes him the eyes of the team he makes up with the Horse and the Dog. The Horse is front of house, the Dog the keeper of records and the Tiger the hit man.

In terms of human relations the Tiger may be the most yang of the animals; that is swift, sharp and unsubtle. The earth he inherits from his predecessor in the Zodiac the Ox, is turned miraculously from yin to yang when he receives it. The unbalanced Tiger knows no mercy and expects none. And in this he has altered the dogma he receives from the Ox – do as you would be done by – into a personal code. This alteration can amount to perversion and make for serious misunderstandings; the unconscious Tiger probably knows himself less than any other animal. His ruthlessness which he can wear as a badge of honour, is often simply a failure to open up to interdependence with others. Of all insults “dependent” is the worst for the Tiger. He will not depend. This makes relationship an act of will. With a true act of will, the Tiger forms the most enduring relationships. If it is not truly a choice but a resigned agreement to bend himself out of shape, all around him will distort also. Sometimes the truly unconscious Tiger thinks this reflects a merciless world in which he has been clever in getting his revenge in first. This logic doesn’t work and the smarter Tiger knows this.

But even the smartest Tiger is not in the clear because the corollary of foregoing revenge appears to be falling on her sword. This is a mistake too. Most of us prefer not to live by the law of the jungle but then most of us are not as well-equipped for it.

Metal is generally considered to represent logical thought, authority and competition. The Tiger is elementally the opposite of Metal; the wooden Tiger likes to think of himself as logical but instinctive or even automatic is a better description. Generally he can only make use of Metal early on in life or at the inception of a process. After that he can deceive himself that he knows what to do and that he is beyond advice. The really unbalanced Tiger (yang Wood day stem for instance born in February) considers himself bold and resolute but truly is hanging onto past (mother) stuff that ought to have been completed. The admission of this would affront his pride and he is unlikely to do it.

Richard Bandler, the Godfather of Neuro-Linguistic Programming, used to say that the person with the most flexible behaviour has control. The Tiger is the yangest woodenest of the animals. He is so flexible that he can be completely immovable. This can be his role in the alliance with the Monkey, Pig and Snake sometimes called The Four Terminals: the Monkey sells the traveller a ticket, the Pig may offer to accompany him and the Snake can enchant with tales of exotic locations but the Tiger is liable to snarl and send the traveller on his way. Without the Pig in the ba zi this combination can like the Four Earths, be a seriously unhelpful combination, implying restricted movement.

A tender father and an implacable father-in-law, a good leader but an erratic motivator, at his worst, the keynote of the Tiger is an uneasy combination between a long memory and a short fuse. At his best he is the sort of leader you would gladly die for. At worst she’ll do the job for you.

My Seattle based Student Stephanie Stewart’s forecast for the Tiger in 2019 follows, do look her up: https://stephaniejstewart.com/

The Tiger in 2019

The Tiger’s job in 2018 was to be cruel to be kind. The Dog required repeated course corrections and you were there to assist. A Tiger likes to be known for killing it and that kind of good luck interferes with getting things done. Metal Tigers John Kelly and James Mattis got so bored they had to leave their elite positions in the Trump administration.

Like Jordan Peterson, 1962 Water Tiger, you are a covert, spontaneous provocateur. Not being clear about your position one way or the other amuses you and lands you on the winning side most of the time. You’re at your best when you’re using those qualities in your vocation. Tigers inspire trust as easily as they do fear when they want to. It’s your choice.

Most people think their own Chinese Zodiac animal year will be lucky, however, there are disadvantages to being at the top of the pecking order. In a Pig year the Tiger is in the sweet spot. You get the empowerment without the Pig’s self clash. The Pig will rubber stamp the your agenda. In a year that favors the success of the humble, probably the only mistake a Tiger can make is being too arrogant.

The Pig, the Tiger’s secret friend and year boss, leaves his true self behind, aspiring to be your partner. You suspect the Pig is not on your level, yet you are irresistibly attracted to cast your pearls anyway. Tiger and Pig have been down this road to heartbreak before. Being honest with yourself about what you really want from the relationship will rewrite the ending.

When conflicts arise in February, May and August, the Pig’s generosity and honesty come to your rescue. The Pig is your mediator. If you are house hunting choose a Pig as your agent to avoid third party interference in your transactions.

Tigers have a special opportunity to take on a new business or start up. It that’s your goal, get permits, rent office, etc before the end of March. Do the work you’ve been talking about for years. Be up and running as soon as possible for best advantage. Tigers will put out lots of product in June and reap the rewards in July. The timing is close to perfect.

In February, March and April and May Tigers are intently focused on success. Do you know what you mean by that in the context of relationship? If not, you’ll compromise yourself in trying to prop up an untenable romance again. Lesson of the year: Giving and receiving love doesn’t require that.

Be ready to defend or assist a best friend or partner in May when accusations fly. How are you complicit? Or not?

With so much going on Tigers benefit from some time off in August to explore new ideas and focus on health. Visit with parents and other ancestors.

2019 will be gone in a flash. For the Tiger a typical Pig year ends in November – breaking up with or bailing out someone close to you. Don’t say I didn’t warn you.

© Stephanie Stewart 2019

 

Richard Ashworth is probably best known for introducing authentic Chinese

Imperial Feng Shui to BBC tv’s Housebusters and for his book The Feng Shui

Diaries which apart from anything else, may be the funniest on the subject to date. Read more…

Ox in The Earth Pig Year 2019

January 14, 2019

agriculture animal bull cattle

The Ox in the Year of the Earth Pig 2019

Ox 2019

Who is an Ox?

Years:  1949, 1961, 1973, 1985, 1997, 2009.
Month*:  January
Hour: 01.00-03.00am

Day: Ask Us

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

What is an Ox?
The distinctive quality of the Ox is insistence, not persistence because the Ox’s yin Earth makes for a certain fragility, more of a curtain than a rampart. The Ox is in many ways, the most sensitive year animal. This is often expressed in what looks like obstinacy but is better understood as puzzlement at being disagreed with. In discourse you may find that an Ox has firm principles that on examination are not principles at all but more like prejudices or assumptions. They are often nonetheless firm as well as correct for all that. As a rule, don’t expect flexibility of mind from an Ox; they know what they know and are often not keen to venture beyond.

The Ox’s gifts are very often practical rather than intellectual. The intellectually gifted Ox is extraordinarily powerful. Because of her position between the Rat and the Tiger, the Ox can sometimes vacillate between a fierceness that does not suit her and a Rat-like charm that she may not be able to sustain.

With her allies the Snake and the Rooster, she forms a team which is of the metal element. That is to say that the alliance is linear, judgemental and competitive. Where the ground rules are clear, this is an unstoppable combination. These three make a great legal team with the Rooster charming the jury, the Snake unearthing information that no one else could find and the Ox sticking to the point. When the rules are unclear however, the metal alliance can falter. Then the Ox can become judgemental in a more covert sort of way, being less liable to argue than to judge silently. Without the Snake and the Rooster, the Ox is more barrack room lawyer than barrister.

Working in such a team, the Metal, that is the qualities of logic, reason and competition, is less important than consistency. In dealing with the Ox, it is important to remember not only that the Metal is there but also that the Ox may deny this fact even to herself.

The hour of the Ox (01-03.00) is the time that the worlds of spirit and flesh are closest.  She has a deep spiritual agenda. The gifts of mediumship and divination are essentially Ox gifts.

The Ox may be attached to ancestral dogma. Fundamentalism of all sorts – political and social as well as religious – is a common trait. She is not always good at questioning tradition or second-hand wisdom that has come down on good authority. She will often quote great men not because their words are wise but because they are great.

With the Dragon, Dog and Sheep, the Ox forms the Literary Alliance. Some call this confluence the Four Earths and think of it as negative. The fact is that it is a demanding combination. If the Dragon is missing for instance, many think of it as poisonous but to see this as an assembly of the vehicles of expression without anything new to say is probably more like it. The coincidence of these animals is a challenge to a strong ba zi and can be the ruin of a weak one.

Barack Obama may be the world’s most famous Ox and a good example. He actually has a Sheep in his month pillar. This makes for a home-loving and secure man. This is heightened by his day stem (the character that rules the day he was born) which has a special affinity both with the Ox and the Sheep. This like so many Oxen, is a man who loves his babies. Both UK Opposition Leader Jeremy Corbyn and Presidential contender Elizabeth Warren are Oxen also. Watch this space.

The challenge to the Ox in 2019 is to make up for last year’s Dog. Three of the last four American Presidents (Clinton, W. Bush, Trump) have been 1946 Fire Dogs. The Fire Dog is past his peak now; time to make way. The current chaotic world order may represent this shift of power. 1958 Earth Dogs are now in their 2nd cycle of 60 years – it’s all revision now. But for the Ox, although there is a foreshadowing right now in the Ox month, real power beckons from early 2020.
The Ox has a love-hate relationship with the irritatingly spontaneous and extrovert Horse to whom she can not help nonetheless being drawn. Nor is she that keen on the Rabbit who can help herself to the Ox’s fresh vegetables or the Tiger who somehow often manages to exploit her.

Richard Ashworth© 2019
www.imperialfengshui.info

The Ox in 2019

The Ox is a rule follower. She’s willing to help but not an indiscriminate joiner. The Ox navigates through the darkness by feeling her way. Perhaps that made it possible for her to hide out in plain sight in 2018, unlike the Sheep with whom she shares the bullying punishment. In a Dog year there’s always someone waiting to cash in on your mutual disempowerment. It’s hard not to be bitter about that.

In 2019, Ox and Sheep are looking at each other and thinking “You mean all this time we could have been friends?” It’s not too late.

Appropriately then, the Ox’s job in 2019 is to be the Tin Yute. Her to do list includes coming to the rescue of those in an emergency state. You probably already know who it will be. And you will help even if they also blame you for their crisis. Your deep empathy makes it hard to say no, but you dislike having to come in at the chaos point of the last minute. Time to put aside your judgment. Not everyone shares your common sense.

The term “dark horse” is more fitting for the Ox than the Horse. You’re always working but you’re a plodder. After toiling away in obscurity for years like Water Ox Tarana Burke (1973), you burst forth and startle everyone with the accumulation of your power. You can already feel the early stirrings of your fruition – a foreshadowing of 2020. Have you noticed Barack Obama, 1961 Metal Ox, is out and about again? His influence will be formidable in 2019 and 2020.

With your yin nature perhaps you don’t know your own strength. A brief preview comes during December and January, but it’s not quite your moment yet. I can tell you more about that if you’re interested.

An Ox is more sensitive than flexible. You’re the person in the room who gets confused as to which emotions are yours. You cry more than others because feelings demand expression to bring relief. Spending time in groups exhausting. Get your alone time; balance with expressing your care.

In the first quarter of 2019 the lingering Earth of the Dog makes you feel you’re taking two steps forward, one step back. The end of April brings a more lasting relief from the fear that in putting your ideas forward, you’ll be attacked. People in power are paying attention and they feel a connection. If you want a promotion, pave the way in April and ask for it in December.

The Ox uses her increased productivity in May to help the Snake out of a jam. You warned her about using the truth as currency but the Snake didn’t listen because she usually gets away with it. The Rooster will show up with similar issues, probably about relationship, in September.

The intense emotions of November are nothing to worry about. This flood of feelings is meant to prepare you for the watershed that’s coming in December. All of the work you’ve been doing behind the scenes is about to pay off. At the end of 2019 you’re almost there.

© Stephanie Stewart 2019

stephaniejstewart.com

 

Taking back control: the Month of the Wood Ox 2019

January 7, 2019
Taking back control: the Month of the Wood Ox 2019.
Feng Shui Bulletin for January 2019
(00:09am 6th January to 11:28 am 5th February 2019 inclusive)

Lin
—-  —-
—-  —-
—-  —-
—-  —-
———-
———-
Arriving
Hexagram 19

Animal by Animal
During this Wood Ox Month,
The Rat is driven – by someone else,
The Ox retains power,
The Tiger goes from strength to strength,
The wise Rabbit pauses and bides her time,
The Dragon handles one last case,
The braced Snake branches out,
The Horse stays warm and awaits the Spring,
The Sheep sees far away doors just beginning to open,
 Monkeys s-t-r-e-t-c-h.
The Rooster calculates,
The Dog has déjà vu. Again.
while
The Pig feels crowded but mostly just feels.

Remember:          Each Animal 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.

 

S
2       7       9
1       3       5
6       8       4
N
Wood Ox

A 3 month is – for better or worse – about assertion.
An Ox month supports focus, consistency and (re-)generation.
Most helpful location: South East. Least helpful location: West.
Favoured Animals: Snake, Rooster & Ox herself, Rat.
Challenged: Pig, Rabbit, Sheep, Horse.
Hexagram (above): Lin Approaching, Earth over Lake, Becoming Great.

Taking back control: the Wood Ox Month, 2019.
On the most profound level there is truly very little that can be placed under control. But the Ox likes to try. This is a very still time of year and Ox control reflects that; January is more about preparation than hitting our stride. This cusp interval between Dung Gee, the Winter Solstice and Lap Chun, the Spring Festival, is the time to make feng shui changes. Last year’s qi is almost gone and the fresh qi is still helplessly infant. So place that Water, move that light. But don’t expect miracles just yet.

As for the Animals this is what you have to look forward to:

Ox: in charge since early December. Know that this power surge is unlikely to last. So use it wisely. Hexagram 34 Da Zhuang, Thunder over Heaven, may be instructive. Mostly your will is done; be sure that’s what you want.

Tiger: Both Dog and Pig years favour you but the Ox month doesn’t so much. Rein in impulses to throw your weight around. Gently does it; you’re powered up for some time yet.

Rabbit: you’re still near the top of it but the food chain is in the process of being shuffled; time for a fresh perspective. The yin Earth of the Ox can be a bit of a drag. Pace yourself.

Dragon: Paul Simon may have made a career out of it but now is likely to be the last time you’re required to place bridges over troubled Water for a while. If that’s your m/o, a rethink is in order.

Snake: you are the Pig’s nemesis (a phrase you may have never thought you’d utter). Of all the Animals, you are best advised to concentrate on the Month, Day & Hour pillars of your ba zi. If you were born in a Snake year (1941, 1953, 1965, 1977, 1989) you may suffer mild ill health (as may your parents) but other aspects of your life (career, relationship, kids & dreams) are unaffected and this month the Ox is on your side.

Horse: the winter (that is Water) months are a bit of a mud weight to you. Not a time for risks or wild ambition. Keep warm, plan and plot and await the fire of the summer whose first spark is evident around mid-February.

Sheep: opposed by this month’s Ox and 2018’s Dog but boosted by Pig, doors are opening for you – into new groups, organisations and tribes – only ajar just yet but March finds them wide open again.

Monkey: secondary target of the Pig because you are the defender and champion of the Snake. Meh kind of month if you ask too much of it. Consider your other (Month, Day and Hour) Animals as guides to what to emphasise.

Rooster: Pig year is a bit of a challenge but Ox month is not. You’re both a bit Metallic; that is to say prepared, precise and particularly hard to shape once moulded. The Ox’s Metal may be hidden but there’s enough for you to feed on, especially mid-month.

Dog: Dog power – especially 1946 Fire Dog – is waning now. A 1958 Earth Dog is now beginning her second Gan Zi  cycle and you may see history repeating itself. Best to work alone rather than within organisations.

Pig: Pigs can find their own years (& months) testing; not that there’s anything wrong necessarily with that. They’re quite happy with the later Water Months (Rat & Ox – December & January) though. This is a time to communicate while your emotions are flowing freely. May not be so straightforward later in the year.

Rat: very empowered but your experience may well be that you’re working to someone else’s agenda. Best to accept that and give 100%. You’ll feel this again during 2021 but not again before then.

Final note: the above are very simplistic assessments. No astrological analysis especially such a brisk one will ever do you full justice. You always have choice, you are as a wise man once said to me, the camera not the crisis.

The best way to wring value from these brief prognostications, having said that, is to identify not only your Year Animal but those of Month, Day & Hour. You are  – astrologically speaking – a cocktail of these and it’s unlikely that all four are compromised at any given time as it is that they are all blessed. Either way this too shall pass.

An account of the Earth Pig year 2019 follows.

Richard Ashworth ©2019
http://www.imperialfengshui.info
Where to be in January.
Summary: confrontation leads to positive change.
South East, Determination: Year Star: 8/7 Month Star: 2.
The 7/8 combination with the yin Earth 2 Star is good for all sorts of success including marital but it’s turbulent – more so as the year goes on. Arguments proliferate from mid-month. As the 2 is associated with woman, Mother & relationship while the South East is the home of the Eldest Daughter, this dynamic tension makes for an uncomfortable but fertile location for a career-woman-in-a-hurry – for the time being. Don’t set up camp though as the South East is hard work from March or so. This of course applies to houses backing onto South East and offices facing that way as well as the South Eastern area of your space (measured from its middle) and entry by a South Eastern door.
To boost: Water, eg a fountain.

Where not to be in January.
Summary: Poor and getting worse.
West, Intervention: Year Star:2/1, Month Star: 5.
Just shaping up to be diabolical. Move out of here right away, close up external doors in this direction and avoid houses that sit this way round and businesses that face this way. Or risk all sorts of blockages including the physical. Do not let your head point West in slumber or your face when you’re upright. Otherwise it’s great.
Mitigate: t’ang lung.

Richard Ashworth ©2019.
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 (at a modest fee) retainer clients 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):sheilaashworthfengshui@gmail.com
Richard Ashworth©
www.imperialfengshui.info

Bringing Home the Bacon:Month of the Water Pig 2018

November 9, 2018
.
Feng Shui Bulletin for November 2018
(20:54pm 7th November to 13:30 7th December 2018 inclusive)

 Kun
—-  —-
—-  —-
—-  —-
—-  —-
—-  —-
—-  —-
Earth
Hexagram 2
 
Animal by Animal
During this Water Pig Month,
The Rat is blocked,
The Ox may be fixated,
Tiger feels safe to pounce,
The Rabbit leaps if she dares,
The Dragon may take a little time out,
The smart Snake preempts opposition,
The Horse frets,
The Sheep sees the road ahead,
 Monkeys say just a little too much,
The Rooster stalls,
The Dog looks back,
while
The Pig feels crowded.

 

Remember:      Each Pillar of  a ba zi represents an aspect of your life:
Year Animal:    physicality, forebears, heritage, 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 5 month is about power that can be dangerous and hard to master.
A Pig month often emphasises the need for space and versatility.
Most helpful locations: North East & South.
Least helpful locations: tai chi & North.
Favoured Animals: Rabbit, Sheep & Tiger.
Especially challenged: Snake, Monkey, Rooster, Ox.
The Hexagram (above): Kun Earth, Earth over Earth, empowering.

S
4       9       2
3       5       7
8             6
 Water Pig

We still have some slots for Tune-Ups for 2019, getting your space up to date for the changed energy of the Earth Pig Year.
So much is different.
Also there are some places left for my Pig Year Forecast Day.

Contact: sheilaashworthfengshui@gmail.com

Bringing home the Bacon: the Water Pig Month
There are at least five different ways to calculate when the Chinese New Year starts. One is the day the energy of the daily Star reverses from yin to yang on its journey back to the Fire of the Summer. Very simply that falls on the 28th November this year. So in a sense the Year of the Earth Pig is beginning. If you’re sensitive to these things you may feel it, a delicate prickling in the rind perhaps. This month is different from the rest of the year. It’s anticipatory, as if hanging back for its turn. That is a likely theme of the month: when is the moment to make your move? Clearest answers may fall to Rabbit, Sheep and Tiger but there are helpful days for most of us. You’ll find these set out in my Monthly & Weekly Retainer Bulletins which for a modest fee you can subscribe to.

Those born during a Pig year may feel crowded rather than clear right now. Pigs are often not in clover during Pig months like this or Pig years like 2019. The Pig’s versatility means they are often not easy to pin down. Technically they have Earth, Wood and Water aspects; grounded, aspirational, distracted and emotional all at once. You may know people born in 1947, 59, 71, 83 or 1995 who are like this. For them these are likely to be ancestral traits, passed down the generations. Nature, nurture or dna? Who knows? Hillary Clinton (Fire Pig 1947) must have mixed feelings about the female surge in the Congressional mid-terms.

You may equally be familiar with individuals born in the Pig Month – that is November (although the Chinese month actually runs from around the 7th Nov to 7th Dec). They will often show the same wide-ranging interests, skills and need for space as Year-Pigs. And right now a feeling that the time has not yet come. But for the Month-Pigs this will tend to be restricted to the realm of work. Maybe mull these ideas over as they relate to the duties of  monarch-in-waiting Prince Charles (born November 1948).

Those born in the Pig Hour (between 9&11pm) may know these same things about themselves and their children but be in no great hurry to share the information. Be sure though that you have the precise time of their birth; it’s an unusual midwife who thinks “Let’s get the time right for the astrologers” before ensuring the baby is alive and well. Such ba zis can as you might guess, be a nightmare to draft; the Hour-Pig is an elusive porker.

And finally people born on a Pig day may open themselves only to those who know them well. Flexibility, versatility and inclusion are close to their heart. This month could be a busy one. About which they may have mixed feelings. Take 1965 Wood Snake JK Rowling; with record-breaking play, new movie and tv series, she probably has her hands full. Many ba zi practitioners would say she might actually be most helpfully considered a Pig rather than a Snake.

For the rest of us the Pig is now in the very air we breathe. As I said above, Rabbit, Sheep and Tiger are likely to find this empowering; Rooster, Ox, Snake and Monkey not so much. Dragon and Rat may find it hard to turn words into deeds, Horse and Rooster may be frustrated by lack of attention.

Again whether these Animals rule their Hour, Day, Month or Year of birth is critical; if that question intrigues, ask someone who can read a Chinese calendar to identify all four of your ruling Animals. Who knows what you may discover about yourself?

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

Where to be in November.
Summary: prosperous.
North East, Wealth Star: Year Star: 3 Moon, Month Star: 8.
The 8 is the Star of Prosperity. When it arrives in the North East it supports the meditation, spiritual connection and fertility natural there but activated it may make the area unusually aspirational, especially for West Group people (kuas 2 6 7 & 8), Rats & Pigs. Prayers may bear unusual fruit. Bright light will once again activate. Not for kids though or pregnant women.
To boost: Fire, that is bright light, as close to 24/7 as possible.

Where not to be in November.
Summary: morbid.
North, Distant Future: Year Star:5 annual san sha, Month Star:1
The North remains contentious as hell. The visiting 1 Water Star is little help: most authorities predict illness relating to the watery parts of the body such as kidney, bladder and ears. Also heartbreak in love. Do not face this direction or enter your house this way if you can possibly avoid it. Stay out! Again.
Mitigate: Anchort’ang lung (what’s that?) only.
Richard Ashworth ©2018.
http://www.imperialfengshui.info.Anchor 

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 (at a modest fee) retainer clients 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

 

Playtime: the Month of the Metal Monkey 2018

August 4, 2018
Playtime: the Month of the Metal Monkey 2018.
Feng Shui Bulletin for August 2018
(22:15pm 7th August to 01:35 8th September 2018 inclusive)
 Kuan
———-
———-
—-  —-
—-  —-
—-  —-
—-  —-
The Watchtower
Hexagram 20

Animal by Animal
During this metal Monkey Month,
The Rat waxes loquacious,
The Ox holds back,
The more robotic Tiger is unusually aggressive,
The Rabbit stays on the open road,
The Dragon is in-between,
The Snake runs,
The Horse tries to settle,
The Sheep breathes easy,
 Monkey bewares Tiger,
The Rooster awaits,
The Dog waits and watches,
while
The Pig is in proxy conflict.

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.

An 8 Earth month brings rapid results following long term application.
A Monkey month can be playful to the point of neglect.
Most helpful location: tai chi (heart), geometrical centre of your space.
Least helpful location: North – again – and South West.
Favoured Animals: Monkey, Rat, Dragon, Snake.
Especially challenged one way or another: Tiger, Pig, Horse, Dog.
Hexagram (above): Kuan The Watchtower, Wind over Earth, watching & waiting.

Playtime: the Metal Monkey Month August 2018
This year is of course an Earth Dog. Last year was a Fire Rooster and 2019 will be an Earth Pig. This procession, the gan zhi cycle of sixty has been respected in China since 2637 BCE. Twelve Animals, Five Elements hence sixty characters; regardless of equinoxes, leap years or the minute gradations of atomic clocks, the sequence recurs seamlessly. Many people know this.

What they may not know however is that this same sixty-place sequence applies equally to Months, Days and Hours. This Metal Monkey Month will be followed by a Metal Rooster month in September, just as the Metal Monkey Year 1980 was followed by the Metal Rooster of 1981.

And what almost no one knows outside the world of woo-woo is that where our birth fell in these other cycles, Month, Day and Hour, is as meaningful. The Year cycle applies to the physical and obvious (and much more), the Month to the work and educational environments and the Day to our most private selves and relationships. There’s much more of course but perhaps read the following in that light.

August is the “silly season” when news-starved reporters write up the daftest stories. In a Metal Monkey month these tales may be nearer the knuckle than usual and the Monkey, the totem of stand-up comedy, may be tempted to satire. Be careful who you choose as your butt. Tigers for instance may butt back. Every Chinese diviner knows to watch for Tiger Days in the Monkey month because they imply the pointless aggression of road rage. Worse of course if it’s too hot.

The Metal of the month may also be making the Horse (composed of pure Fire) restless. Breathe, open, allow.

Tigers: best to bite it back rather than off. You may be sorely tested this month but every time you contain and express rather than dump your feelings, you get stronger.

Often easily disappointed the Rooster may be feeling let down. If so, seek the Dragon who did it. Apparently. Or better, take responsibility for a viewpoint that can only weaken you. Forgive and rest up for next month; you’re going to need your strength.

Sheep can safely graze after the panic of their own month. The year-long “Bullying Punishment” continues to try them along with Ox and Dog. If an Ox or Dog day brings that familiar sense of unfairness, call your nearest Dragon.

Dogs who have had a similar but less intense experience are relieved of pressure for a while – until October actually.

Oxen, squashed between antagonists recently, can gaze over the hedge with confidence; again until October.

Busy year for Dragons of course, fighting other people’s fires. Favoured by Monkeys, they may be in for unusual good fortune especially on a Basket day like the 5th September. Very creative time too.

Pigs have had their own trying time and can expect further trial by fire in 2019; this month may find them fighting another’s battles.

The Monkey month may bring a soapbox to the Monkey’s brother-in-arms the Rat, who loves to talk. Be careful your tongue doesn’t write cheques the rest of you can’t cash.

Rabbit can cruise, relaxed in the knowledge that they’re on track. Dog month brings pole position and 2019 further advancement still. Happy holidays.

Finally the Snake, the Monkey’s best buddy forges her own fortune from this Metal Month. You are the seeker after Truth; aim to back it however inconvenient.

Where to be in August.
Summary: immediate boost.
Tai chi, Home: Year Star: 9 Month Star: 8.
A place of refuge and recovery as well as creativity and rapid outcomes. The 8 Star may need a little encouragement – bright light and Water both may help – but emphasised by the 9 Star, this is a pretty helpful place to settle and attract abundance of all kinds.
To boost: Bright light or Water (fountain even better) Not both.

Where not to be in August.
Summary: exhausting.
South West, Accumulation: Year Star: 6 Fortune Virtue Month Star: 5.
There’s 6 Metal here all year; add more Metal to dilute the nasty 5 Star. Gender conflict looms, as well as power struggles over misused and/or compromised authority, lack of recognition. Break-ups, argument, illness – lungs, bladder, ears suffer. Steer clear. At the very least you’ll be exhausted lingering or entering any building regularly from the South West in August.
Solution: 6-Pipe Metal Windchime.

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

News and Upcoming Events:

Our new teaching term starts 7th September 2018 and we have just two one-to-one Skype/Zoom places available on Fridays. Each Starter Course (Ba Zi and Feng Shui) is made up of 20 one hour sessions with Richard.
He currently teaches and mentors students in time zones as far apart as Seattle, Iowa, Tennessee, Derbyshire and Devon.
More details can be found at:  http://www.imperialfengshui.info/courses

Transformational Group Workshop with Richard
The weekend of Oct 20th/21st in Godalming, Surrey.
Further Details: https://bit.ly/2v6Bwvh

Every month we send paying subscribers a more comprehensive monthly bulletin than this one, covering in great detail the right places to be (and when) as well as helpful days Animal by Animal plus personalised auspicious dates and much more from the Chinese calendar.
For Subscriptions and Course Info: sheilaashworthfengshui@gmail.com

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”.
Richard Ashworth©
www.imperialfengshui.info

Concerning the Eclipse

July 28, 2018
 

Concerning the Eclipse.

The universe is always talking to us if we will only pay attention. Some messages – predictive text, coincidences, newspaper headlines, the words of a song, minor mishaps – are small. Some are bigger. The powers that be appear to first hint, then jolt, then finally reach for the baseball bat. On this scale an eclipse is pretty big.

It was Derek Walters, still the only Western authority with any kudos among Chinese Masters, who first introduced me to Chinese Astrology. And when he was asked about events likely to follow the 1999 Eclipse said that it suggested the destruction of bridges. This was largely because it fell into the mini-constellation (or Mansion of the Moon) known as Bird that rules bridges and joining. As it happened, shortly thereafter NATO planes destroyed the bridge across the Danube at Belgrade. That same month the bridge connecting the European and Asian parts of Turkey partially collapsed.

Selene the Moon Goddess, like her counterparts Ashtaroth, Cerridwen and Diana represents the wild gentleness perhaps of the yin principle which though it is shared amongst men and women alike is essentially feminine. And a Lunar Eclipse like this one as I write, July 27th 2018, involving as it does the masking of the Moon, is inherently related to woman. Red Moons like Red Tents may indicate natural cycles shared equally by tides, women and the Moon. Clearly the power and the treatment of women is an area that we should be attending to. These goddesses like Shiva are both the destroyers and the preservers; the mothers and the lovers but also the widows.

Back in the 70’s when I was a teen tycoon, I use to put on bands at the Plaza Ballroom in Guildford. Today that turn of the century music hall building is a nasty nightclub and the classic 1890’s brickwork has been painted over. You don’t need to understand sam he feng shui to know that’s sacrilege.

One of those bands was called Casablanca. Casablanca possessed four outstanding assets: two of the most beautiful girl singers I had ever seen* and one lovely song “Concerning the Eclipse,” featuring a sublime solo from 4th asset cult guitarist Barrie Clarke. The moment those women took the stage my attention was drawn irresistibly away from the box office. I was 17. What do you expect?

Eclipses are referred to several times in the Yi Jing, that is I Ching or Book of Changes. Generally not in a cheery way. The word used in point of fact means “regret”. And the Lunar Eclipse tonight, is no exception. There are those who see it as the herald of all sorts of nastiness – war and natural disasters are big favourites.

But I’m not sure about that; as it happens the eclipse by my calculation, falls towards the end of the Lunar Mansion of The Well. The Well rules over natural resources and their preservation. This is not necessarily a poor portent. But it may be a timely reminder: preserve it or lose it. Vaqitas, the mini-dolphins of Baja California are gone as are black rhinos. And the orang utan is on its way as long as we continue to consume palm oil as we do. Is this connected to the wild gentleness of the Moon Goddess? I doubt we need to care for the Earth so much as ensure she continues to care for us.

The hint is pretty emphatic: tonight’s eclipse is almost as prolonged as is physically possible given the speed of movement and relative sizes of Sun and Moon and it’s visible all around the globe other than Greenland, Canada and the USA. Which implies some sort of separation from the New World. There is appropriately a tale that Columbus himself extorted help from the Carib Indians of Jamaica by warning them that if they didn’t cooperate he’d be forced to turn the Moon red. Which he did. Don’t you just hate it when that happens?

So here’s an idea: the world has never been more in need of the love and mercy of the yin principle. This theme of separation and resources may indicate that those of us who care about these things may need to regroup. We can perhaps no longer rely on leaders to treat their responsibilities as to the people and the world they preside over rather than to themselves. And it may be that the USA risks no longer being part of the civilised world.  Perhaps the UK too.

Back in the simpler times of 1974, I remember puzzling over Joni Mitchell’s Big Yellow Taxi. I didn’t really get it for another thirty years or so: when “they cut down all the trees and put them in a tree museum and charge the kids a dollar and a half just to see ’em”, she sang, don’t be surprised if a Big Yellow Taxi takes away your old man. Or children. Or right to reside. Or passport. Or back garden. Or neighbourhood.

The words# of that Casablanca song suggested a connection between emotional and physical eclipses. I remember so well the voices of those lovely women. My attention however, frankly was not upon the words. As I say, I was 17. What do you expect?

*Aliki Ashman and Juanita Franklin since you asked.                                                  #Lyric by David da Costa, as I recall.

 

Richard Ashworth©
www.imperialfengshui.info
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The Sins of the Fathers: Horse Diary 2018

June 29, 2018

The Sins of the Fathers.

According to Muslim teaching, family photographs are tucked away in albums. Nothing that has a soul can be displayed on a wall. There are no photographs on view in Abdul Malik’s house.

Abdul Malik still lives in the West London he was born in. On the westbound Metropolitan Line I think of my father who worked in this part of London for some time. Ours was not a comfortable relationship and some of the memories are not easy.

Abdu Malik is a father, a husband and a devout Muslim. In something like that order. He’s so obviously a good man, fortyish, on his second marriage and very aware of the mess he made of the first one. His seven-year old son bounces back and forth between the living room where I am talking with his Dad and the kitchen where his Mum makes endless cups of tea while half-listening. An inquisitive child, he asks to look at my luo p’an. So I take it out of its case and point out the Chinese Animals near its centre and show him the one he was born under. As we talk he glances back and forth at his Father for approval which is given silently. From time to time Abdul ruffles the small boy’s hair.

“There is a darkness about the house,” Abdul Malik tells me. He reckons it’s located in an upper room. My luo p’an tells me the room is North West, the place of authority, dogma, introspection, self-righteousness and the Father. His own father is long gone and his mother recently deceased.

“What was your father like?” I ask.

Violent and angry is the simple answer. Abdul Malik was regularly cuffed and kicked as he grew up.

“How do you feel about that now?” I ask.

“I’ve forgiven him,” he answers simply.

We look at the room. It’s a bedroom that’s not being used. And there is a kind of cloud suspended there. It catches me in my chest as I enter and I cough. The lungs as it happens are the province of the father.

One of the most educated feng shui practitioners I know once told me that she doesn’t bother to feel anymore. How could that work? How would you know what was wrong with a house without feeling? How would you know you’d made it better? Or not. Human beings are feeling creatures; as the philosopher Barry Gibb once put it: “Everybody spends money to feel better.” I have to add that Sir Barry was responsible for such enigmas as “I stumble and fall but I give you it all,” and “Islands in the stream. How can we be wrong? Sail away with me,” but he’s written some choons for sure.

There is a brooding pain in here. Abdul does not need to be reminded that he is himself a father also, three times over.

“Do you feel it?” Abdul Malik asks me. I nod and breathe in deeply.

I know another European feng shui Master who has placed a hundred Water Dragons but as far as I can tell has never made a positive difference to anybody. Everything he does is dispassionately calculated and he suffers with a constant dry cough. Proper breathing is fundamental to feeling. Most people are trying so hard not to feel.

“Male or female?” Abdul asks. Which is an interesting question.

“Both, I think.”

It’s a given that a North Western room will hold the fatherly qi listed above; that’s where those energies sit. In this one those energies are a bit twisted. And there’s more. I speculate that the father’s violence was not limited to his sons. A long-suffering kind of pained patience hangs here too. How did Abdul Malik’s Mother contain her spouse, I wonder.

Outside there’s an alleyway shared with the neighbour. If you’re old enough to remember it, I dealt with just such a structural flaw on tv’s Housebusters some years ago.  These days that series is shown endlessly on cable at dead of night. Which may explain why I deal with so many insomniacs. Abdul himself works shifts.

The alley is easily attended to – with a charm known as goy moon – as you’ll see if you follow the link above. I make sure the one bed placed over the gap is moved back. Some of the disturbance will be down to that. Classical feng shui theory has a great deal to say about such spots and if nothing else when we know we’re sleeping over a void, we’ll tend to feel exposed.

I tell Abdul to place black tourmaline tumblestones all round the room against the skirting board and keep it in stillness between the next two Remove Days. That’s twelve days.

“After that you take the crystals away and drop them in a river.”

And I have him hang a ba gua mirror on the inside of the bedroom door to reflect upon the whole room meanwhile.

I use the convex ba gua mirror, a feng shui cliché, very seldom; perhaps five times in twenty years of practice. One way or another it’ll clear a room, a house or indeed a street, depending on where we place it. Tourmaline I am told, which is a standard anti woo-woo stone, has special and measurable properties in purifying Water.

“I remember my father punching me across a room,” Abdul Malik tells me.

His wife listens carefully; there are no secrets here. As the voice-over on Desperate Housewives had it: “The measure of his secrecy is the measure of a man’s madness.” His father may have been an observant Muslim but I doubt he was emotionally outgoing. The father’s secrets and lies hang in the air.

Abdul does not pretend to be at peace. Whether we’re talking about a frustrated man in a strange new country, a cabinet minister or Donald Trump, so much male violence resides within false calm. I think again of Abdul Malik’s mother. Arranged marriages are outside my expertise and they seem to work about as well any other variety and I’m not sure any particular arrangement is more violent than another. But she appears to have had quite a row to hoe.

“We tend to think of forgiveness as equanimity in the teeth of other people’s poor behaviour,” I suggest and Abdul nods. “But that’s not actually forgiveness. It’s more like blame. It places us in a position of superiority rather than making for a fresh start.”

He nods again; he can see that.

One of the most difficult things is to mark the card of those we love. We love most and we are most affected by those closest to us. A father loves his son just as a son loves his father; this isn’t Confucian filial piety, it’s nature. Violence complicates the issue. How do we love those who torment us? And how do we forgive them?

The answer is with some difficulty. Abdul has two children by his first marriage. He loves them but they don’t want to see him.

“He loves boxing,” Abdul Malik says of the son he never sees.

It’s when I suggest images of the two teenagers at strategic locations that I am reminded why the walls are bare.

“So your Dad is not the only father who needs forgiveness.”

Abdul nods again, his deep brown eyes ashine with remorse.

“A man as sincere as you will have forgiven your father easily on the surface level. I mean here,” I say and touch my head. “You know enough to realise that he was mistreated by his own father and that he did the best he could with that experience and what he knew.”

As the Book of Changes says: “the only inevitable outcome of violence is further violence.”

“On that level you’ve forgiven him. You wish him nothing but rest. But on the next level down, it’s not so simple. That’s where the chaos is,” I say and point to his chest. “And underneath that there is a completion where everything’s fine.”

“But our minds tend to stop at the top level. We want just to love. We don’t want to go into the risky storm of emotions that are the output of such hurt. We want to go straight to forgiveness without owning the blame that lies between.”

“So what do I do?”

I suggest that at either end of the room-cleansing process, he goes into the room, sits quietly, breathes deeply and simply feels.

“Will that do it?”

“We’ll see.”

In place of the images he can’t display, I suggest he puts symbols. Halfway down the stairs he pins a pair of boxing gloves.

On the Metropolitan Line eastbound, the Bee Gees come up on my playlist. “Saved by the bell on your own carousel,” goes the lyric. “What does that mean?” my father’s voice asks me as if I’d written it myself. Suddenly it’s 1969 and I’m a teenager.

“No idea, Dad. Not the slightest.”

Forgive one father and they’re all forgiven.

Richard Ashworth©2018
www.imperialfengshui.info

 

Richard Ashworth is among the most respected Western Feng Shui Masters. He has worked from Lebanon to Texas, in Kuala Lumpur and Singapore and with stars such as Kelly Hoppen, Naomie Harris  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.

I still have space for one additional Skype/Zoom student right now.
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Richard Ashworth©
www.imperialfengshui.info

Richard Ashworth Feng Shui Diary: Inconstant Moon

May 17, 2018

Inconstant Moon.
“They tell you happiness is an achievable ambition.” Granola Suicide, Consumerist Healthcare” from “Skipping Breakfast”.

Early March; Water Snake Day, (still) Tiger Month, Dog Year, Full Moon.

Everyone knows that the Chinese New Year falls on February 4th. Everyone that is except the Chinese. As it happens, sometimes they down tools and party half-way through January and it can be as late as mid-February. This awkward irregularity is because their New Year is calculated not from the gan zhi cycle of Chinese Animals but like Easter – around a month from now as I write – by a combination of lunar and solar calendars. That is to say it is like Easter, an astrological computation.

The only constant is change which means that everything there is is either growing or decaying. That which is, in Bob Dylan’s words, not busy being born is busy dying; people, beasts, plants, rocks, planets, digestive biscuits, everything. Every minute, every hour brings change and so the Dragon dance has to fall on the right day if it is to bring in what the New Year offers. Many Chinese Masters publish extensive lists of which rituals to perform over the following few days. Getting it right matters. Some would say the timing makes or breaks the year. It’s pretty much literally life and death.

Last night the Arran wind was wild and in the light of a Full Moon blurred by clouds, the breakers were like white spears as they crested and fell. I love a gale but truth to tell, once or twice I was almost bowled over. Walking along the Brodick seafront was like pushing an icy wall and the gust is still sharp against my cheeks this morning as I take the Fisherman’s Path by the water’s edge. My feet slosh and slurp where the Water has settled on the causeway.

I’m listening to Indigo Faelan Azidahaka a.k.a Granola Suicide’s Skipping Breakfast, aching music about the experience of the young, homeless and gender-free. It’s not expert and it’s lo-fi, so you can hear breathing and the squeak of fingers moving on frets. But it’s so real. There’s no pretence here. And one more thing – there’s something I can only call faith in these songs. And I’m not sure that’s what was intended. Which makes the unpolished harmony of the double-tracked voice all the more touching.

The waves aren’t so turbulent this morning but I have to stop short and turn around after a while because great rafts of the causeway have submerged overnight. This exceptionally deep water is the “spring” tide of the Full Moon. My DMs will withstand a couple of inches but the planks are twice that deep. I look across the bay at the dock. It’s empty. There’ll be no ferries today.

Both lunar and solar calendars mark time that is distinct from the Gregorian calendar. The central purpose of that notional ordering of things in which January and October have thirty-one days and November thirty which is employed from London to Ulan Bator, is simply to make sure we all agree what day it is. If you and I set up a meeting for say Tuesday March 21st we want to be sure I don’t arrive on Wednesday 22nd and you on Monday 20th.  Which could be disappointing. But those numbers, 21st 22nd 20th are lifeless; the Gregorian calendar is no use in identifying real time, a real moment. There is nothing absolute about September, April, June and November having thirty days or February twenty eight. The lunar and solar calendars however take us away from such strictly notional timing into more natural rhythms, the gan zhi cycle takes us even further.

This search for real time by way of Sun and Moon and planets has some history of course. And not just in Asia; here in the Western Isles, there’s a longer tradition than most and it’s tied up with the meaning of resurrection and the promises of Christ. To Columba and the Celtic Saints who preached here, correct ritual and timing were more than life or death, they were what ensured redemption and the forgiveness of sin. These missionaries to the Scots, the Britons and the Anglo-Saxons believed that a soul could only be made safe by the grace of Jesus Christ and that it was their duty to let all those in possession of a soul know of this special arrangement. Resurrection of the body is a pretty big deal and like the Chinese New Year it entailed celebration in the right way at the right time.

I’ve been studying the “mysterious doors” of Qi Men Dun Jia. These doors can locate an individual advantageously in space and time or to all intents and purposes disappear them altogether. Qi men starts with the gan zhi cycle, factors in Sun and Moon and the directional implications of feng shui and more that I have not yet mastered.

Before leaving for Arran to begin my research for her I looked at my client Barbara squarely and told her:

“If this works I want all the credit and if it doesn’t, it had nothing to do with me.”
She looked back equally squarely and laughed.
“How are you going to do it?”
“I don’t know yet. Method is only a platform.”

Gavin who runs the little boarding house next to my cottage, is out walking his Lhasa Apsos across the beach. He trained as a ballet dancer, he tells me. And he is banned from two of the six pubs in Brodick. Those are facts that don’t obviously gel. He’s a gentle man who does a mean service wash btw. Lent is no time to get thrown out of pubs, I tell him.

I’m deep into a phone conversation with my youngest son Joey. His band itoldyouiwouldeatyou have a new single out, it’s about the rights of the defenceless to defend themselves. His concerts are intended to be a safe place for the gender-neutral like Indigo. He tells me gender is over and he’s curious as to my take on Jordan Peterson who’s become notorious for resisting non-binary pronouns.

“I can’t argue with his reasoning,” I say, “But I’m not sure he’s wise or kind.”

Joey’s concern is that wisdom and kindness are not priorities to the half-baked alt-righters who quote Peterson to justify all sorts of nastiness. We agree that we can’t blame Peterson for this any more than we can blame Nietszche for Hitler. But Peterson’s card is now marked.

Thwarted by the Water I walk back to the main road via the smaller of Brodick’s two Co-ops where I buy a still-fresh-but-best-before sandwich.

At first I did not sleep well here in my cottage overlooking the bay. On that first night, after eight hours of travel I rushed to bed without consideration of time and space. As you do. And awoke sluggish.
The next morning my luo p’an (or Chinese compass) showed that my head had been pointing West all night, a poor orientation for me at any time. I realised also that there was a broadband router plugged into the wall next to the bed. If we are paying attention, we feel these things. Although I’ll need the internet from time to time, I have disconnected it pro tem and moved the room around. The wall-mounted reading lamps look eccentric now, marooned opposite the bed like hunting trophies.

And I can feel a cat in the cottage somewhere. Not that that’s a problem, I’m fond of cats. Richard Bach wrote once that we always have the same cats and dogs. They follow us from incarnation to incarnation, he reckoned. This one appears to come and go through closed doors, sometimes it rubs against my leg, at other times I simply smell musk. My own cat Lyra died suddenly last year; I like Bach’s idea but I know this cat is not her.

Last night I was invited to dinner with Gavin’s parents who own my cottage. We shared some Arran malt whisky and an excellent vegetable curry with perfect fluffy rice. You can tell a lot about a man by how he cooks rice.

I know Don and June from pioneering spiritual work we did together a quarter century ago. Once bonded, such a connection fades very slowly, it’s as if I last saw them yesterday. They are admirable people, good-hearted, generous and rooted in community and family. We talked mostly politics and children; they have three compared to my six and there was plenty to talk about.

Don asked me about the feng shui of the cottage and I told them how I have moved the bedroom around. He explained that when they came to Arran there was an ancient chalet where the cottage now stands.

“Leaking and falling down,” he says. “We demolished it and started all over again.”

Barbara wants the means to change the world for the better and she has very specific plans. My feng shui has already sold for her houses that had refused to budge. And more. That’s why she’s commissioned me.

“Just tell me what to do,” she asked.
“I can only do that up to a point,” I said, “The only constant is change. Beyond that there are no rules.”
“That sounds like a Chinese fortune cookie.”
“Surprise, surprise.”

The faith of the Celtic Saints was powerful enough to draw them across the stormy Irish Sea first to Iona and Arran and Eigg, Uist and Skye and then to the Scottish mainland and thence to England where they could expect to be greeted by murderous heathen Picts and Anglo-Saxons and lapsed post-Roman Britons, all of whom were at each other’s throats with a savagery unmitigated by respect for the immortal soul. This was the 6th century, the darkest of the Dark Ages. These were brave men.

“Skipping Breakfast” is still playing on my phone and I’m considering whether the coastal path is deliberately positioned to be swamped from time to time, when the music is paused by a call from David. Despite my headphones it’s quite hard to hear him against the roar of the wind.
David has been through a decade of hell, domestic, financial, professional and other. Before I left I positioned him very carefully facing due South.
“Sit there, do whatever comes up. Do nothing important anywhere else.”

This is the second time I’ve given him this kind of advice; last time he wrote a book, his first which was snapped up by an agent, then by a publisher and now he tells me, by Hollywood. He’s called to thank me. He asks what I’m doing in the Hebrides. I explain that I am in pursuit of real time. He knows better than to question me as to what that means.

David’s home is in rural Herefordshire where the A-roads are B-roads and a “neighbour” may actually live ten miles away. That’s just how he likes it and it helps him understand why I’ve chosen the emptiness of Arran to take stock.

Those ten years of upset culminated in a separation. In the South West of his garden a lifesized statue of  Hestia stands. The Roman Goddess representing all the qualities David’s unhappy wife could not finally be at ease with, was placed there to relieve her misery. I don’t think she ever really got his brilliance and now I hear in his voice a man freed of that weight. A Rabbit and therefore traditionally a networker, David has over the years recommended me to many of his friends and associates.

Feng shui, you might say concerns the Cycles of Space where ba zi concerns those of Time. As well as the gan zhi cycle and the wu xing or “Five Elements” (Water, Wood, Fire, Earth and Metal) feng shui is of course itself rooted in the cycles of Sun and Moon. One of David’s friends – also with relationship problems – asked me once how a relatively sane, relatively educated person like myself could believe in astrology. Surely such a belief is irrational?

“I don’t believe in astrology, any more than I believe in nuclear fission or capillary action,” I replied. “These are simply things I need to respect in order to navigate my way through life. If I don’t for instance, respect gravity, I’m liable to fall over a lot.”

Furthermore, if the Moon’s phases are coincident with the way plants and animals behave and with a woman’s menstrual cycle, quite apart from tides, it is rash to write off the possibility that larger heavenly bodies, however far away have other effects.

“Astrology,” I suggested,” Is not disproven but unproven. And it’s actually unscientific to discount it.”

And so if real time is a discoverable thing whether we seek the perfect moment or the imitation of Christ, it must take account of the influences of the physical universe. St Columba, for his part was pretty sure that sharing the passion of Christ was the only way to be saved.

Like most of his friends, David is a churchgoer but his book is not in any sense devotional nor is it history. It’s semi-autobiographical, essentially advice for his kids, wise throughout, often screamingly funny. It’s what came out of him when I pointed him in the right direction from the right location at the right time. Manifesting by tapping into creative energy with precise timing and placing is something I do all the time. This is feng shui. But it can be hit or miss and what Barbara wants is more than that.

Since the causeway is flooded, I’m walking the perimeter of the bay now. The road is narrow as I leave the built-up area and the pavement runs out. The road begins to wind and becomes narrower again, so I need to be aware of the traffic; there’s a near-miss with a camper van. I come to a small cemetery from which there’s a startling view across the sound to Merkland Point where the land runs into the sea. And I sit on a mossy wall and eat my slightly soggy sandwich. The tombstones have names like Currie, Mackinnon and Bannatyne. The dates go back into the 18th century but there’s not a single Hamilton. Those’ll be buried on the higher ground by the castle, I guess.

“Skipping,” I have learned is the practice of raiding skips outside supermarkets for wasted food; the cover of Skipping Breakfast shows Indigo aboard just such a skip. I guess that’s where my Co-Op sandwich would have gone had I not intervened. Many supermarkets apparently put bleach on leftover food to discourage the homeless and the hungry.

From the time the Roman legions left in 410 AD, Christian worship was pretty much extinguished throughout Britannia . But somehow by way of St Patrick, a British nobleman taken by Irish slavers from the Northern Cornish coast a few years later, Christianity got to Ireland. And by 563 the Irish prince Colm Cille known to us as Saint Columba, was ready to return the favour, landing on the tiny island of Iona, from whence he proceeded to spread the gospel all over the Inner Hebrides which of course included Holy Isle off Lamlash Bay just a couple of miles South of me here.

A generation after his own landfall Columba sent his kinsman Aidan across country to found a similar mission at Lindisfarne which lay just off the coast of the kingdom of Northumbria, in the extreme North East of England. The King of Northumbria at that time was Oswald, known as Shining Arm or White Arm for his dazzling skill as a warrior.

Lindisfarne was just a beginning. It’s a fact that over the next couple of centuries Celtic missionaries founded churches as far away as Turin and Kiev. It’s also a fact that the bloodthirsty habits of their patrons didn’t necessarily change along with a change of worship. That white arm of Oswald’s would need rinsing of blood many times after his conversion.

It’s also a fact that Columba’s Ionan style of Christianity was in its turn pretty much extinguished throughout the British Isles within a couple of generations as well. Because meanwhile back in Rome, Pope Gregory I was sending St Augustine to convert the Anglo-Saxon Kingdom of Kent in the South East of England to the Roman way. Once this task had been accomplished in 597, further representatives of Roman orthodoxy were to be despatched to the West and North of Britannia with the same objective. In time they collided with the Irish proceeding South and East.

Here’s the thing: the beliefs of each group were equally rigid but their ideas of orthodoxy and correct ritual were very different. Both considered themselves the preservers of the true message and there was not room for two of these.

I’m walking back towards Brodick now, past the castle with its Victorian ice-house and sculpted gardens set on the commanding heights. Except for the conifers blocking the open space between castle and sound, this is excellent feng shui. I’m cold so I stop for a cup of tea at the Douglas where Gavin is seated at a table with his Lhasa Apsos enjoying a pint of Joker. He offers me one. Feeling a bit of a tightarse, I stick with my tea.

Oswald died in battle not long after his conversion. The trunk of his corpse was separated from his famous white arms – the bones became holy relics – and his head impaled on a stake outside the village in North Wales which in time became Oswestry or “Oswald’s Tree”. Grisly, but nothing he wouldn’t himself have done had he won that last battle. His skull became a relic too.

The Wood Rat AD 664 was the year the two groups of saints met for adjudication at what is known to history as the Synod of Whitby. This is one of a trio of facts generally known about this otherwise relatively obscure Northern seaside town, the others being that it was Dracula’s landing place as well as ground zero for a vast number of fish.

The representatives of Rome were outraged by what was called the “Devil’s Tonsure”; the forehead area of the Irish monks was shaved and the rest of the hair gathered into a ponytail, making them look more like death metallers than like Friar Tuck. There are reasons to suppose that druids had been coiffed in exactly this manner. And there were question marks around the rapidity of the Irish conversion; an entire land had been redeemed inside a century. Perhaps Christianity grafted a little too easily onto pagan practices. It’s certainly true that new churches had been established on existing holy sites in Ireland, something the Pope had expressly forbidden. And there are those who see in the Celtic tradition of the Three Daughters of Dagda the antecedents of a holy trinity that has entered Christianity by some route other than the New Testament. They were all called Bridget by the way. Which if not suspicious is at least not imaginative. And how did Patrick get rid of all those snakes? And then there was the timing of Easter.

The mediator Oswiu, Oswald’s brother as well as successor, later achieved the remarkable feat for a Dark Ages monarch of dying of natural causes. Which may be why on the other er…hand, his arms and head never gained the cachet of his brother’s.

The true er…bone of contention at Whitby was that the two factions calculated Easter differently and no missionary of either persuasion could tolerate the possibility that they were sharing the final passion of Christ on the wrong day. Over time ritual can become empty but both factions believed that getting it right would duplicate the taste, the feel, the nature of that passion. That’s quite a thing.

The Chinese word is qi.

Which is where these notions begin to tie up; the ba zi or “Four Pillars” are a snapshot of the prevailing qi at any given moment. This is the same word as the “qi” in Qi Men Dun Jia which takes the Four Pillars of ba zi as its base and then attempts to account for wider influences starting with Sun and Moon. Qi is generally translated “energy” but makes more sense as “taste” “feel” or “nature”.

I would not have taken up Barbara’s challenge had her own ba zi not been an extraordinary one, speaking of an unusual ability to pounce upon opportunity. I’ve seen this pattern before – I’ve drafted thousands of these things – but never one quite as emphatic. And a strong ba zi gives birth to a strong Qi Men chart. David’s is not unlike hers but it’s more encumbered. Which would come as no surprise to him.

Time has passed and the world has become a different place since David’s first book, so where I have placed him this time is not quite the same: not simply facing South but also glued to his dining room in the Southern part of his home. Out of this window he can pick up on the Fire energy of the South. He can also not help seeing Hestia in the South West.

He’s located here now because the Fire is favourable to him and South being the direction of the Sun, is its source. He is literally in his Element. Cautionary note: Fire does not mean wealth or success for everybody.

But it does mean those things for David and apart from selling the film rights on the first book, he has now written several thousand words of a new one. And overseen by Hestia he’s pulled off a deal that will fund him meanwhile.

At Whitby the Irish were represented by Aidan’s successor, Colman, a simple devout priest; Rome by the wily Wilfrid, twenty or so years younger, ambitious, hungry and a more flexible debater. Rome owned both the history and the future of course. And the Pope. It was always a long shot for the Irish.

First of all, Colman couldn’t speak Anglo-Saxon. Second, Oswy’s wife was a Kentish princess who was probably fed up with fasting when her husband was feasting and vice-versa because they had been calculating the days of Lent that lead up to Easter differently. And thirdly, any trailing edges to the dispute were likely to be settled at sword point.

So Oswy found for Rome. Which may have contributed to his peaceful exit.

I sit with Gavin for a while by the bar at the Douglas and he tells me about his lost love.

“Czech,” he says. He lived with her in a village outside Prague for a while. “We could argue,” he says, sounding like argument is a competitive team game. Like a verbal three-legged race.

The little dogs snuggle against his legs in turn as he opens up. He’s a sweet man and his heart is broken.

I suggest he returns to the Czech Republic maybe.

“Maybe,” he says, stroking an Apso and lifting his glass in salute. As I rise, three pairs of eyes look up at me with the same gently pleading look.

The Moon is still almost full as I walk back up the steps of the snicket to my cottage, the cloud thinner and the Moon brighter but the wind still harsh. I notice that in a garden next to the narrow path there appears to be an avocado tree. Is this a miracle of the Gulf Stream? More likely a rhododendron I guess.

As I climb I’m thinking of Colm Cille on his knees in his tiny cell on windswept Iona and wondering if the saint who put shrines and chapels on so many of these islands, was aware of what would happen when his teachings hit the Roman buffer. And I’m thinking of David tapping into the Sun while he tries to keep his gaze off Hestia and I’m thinking of Gavin in his cups. I don’t know about prayer practice but I do know that Indigo dreams of simply waking up one morning with “two parents a brother and a dog.” And perhaps a sandwich before its sell-by date.

If you subscribe to these things, Christ is reckoned to have risen on the 16th day of Nisan, the Sunday following the Jewish feast of the Passover; that is to say the first Sunday following the first full moon after the vernal equinox. Like the Chinese New Year, the date is a combination of solar and lunar timing; actually what we might call an astrological formula.

The Chinese are very practical people for the most part and the meticulous timing of the Dragon Dance of the New Year is to equip them to profit from the newborn qi of the year. But Jesus’ mission as I understand it was a much bigger one, to heal the hurt, the heartbroken, the hungry, the hapless and the homeless, the scrapers and the skippers. He would take on the sins of the world, apparently. Being 100% innocent he could say: “Lay the burden on me, there’s no need to blame or suffer any more. Your souls are saved.” Everyone could take a deep breath and start again. And he was apparently just a bloke; he had no free ticket. That’s a hell of a job description. To truly share that experience is a bit of a mind-blower. And of course the world was off the rails again by Monday morning.

Columba and Gregory’s quest was almost as ambitious: to redeem souls in His name. And it was not only early missionaries who were prepared to kill each other over timing: Greek and Russian churches dispute the dating of Easter to this day. To shorten a long story, real time mattered because it was how the experience was re-created. And to many of the faithful who may have forgotten or never knew about these disputes, it remains crucial.

It turns out that Don and June let a homeless woman live in the delapidated chalet for a short while. Abandoned by her husband, she had been camping with her school age daughter in a tent in the woods above Brodick Castle. The two of them moved into the chalet briefly one Christmas in the late 90’s. Along with their cat.

“It ended in tears of course.”

So mortified was Colman that after his defeat, he took himself and several hundred English converts off to an island off the West coast of Ireland. That too ended in tears as it turns out.

“Do you understand your children” Don had asked me over Arran single malt aged 14 years.

“That would be a rash claim.”.

The wind is loud but I love that sound and as I enter the cottage I open the window to let the roar follow me in. I look out across the bay to Brodick Castle and the almost-Full Moon and something soft brushes against me.

“Hello Lyra,” I say but it’s only the malt talking. I touch my shin briefly, make sure the router is disconnected and sleep the sleep of the saints.

Richard Ashworth© 2018

Altruism Corner:  https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/uncowed#/ You have of course received this Feng Shui Diary free. In return would you be prepared to assist my friends Chris and Jan Attkins? They are first-class human beings as well as long-term media professionals and they’re making a short film.

The film is about bullying which may be an issue that has affected you or someone close to you. Certainly it has raised its ugly head in our own children’s lives. Chris and Jan are risking £15,000 of their own money on this and they’re crowdfunding the rest.

Would you be prepared to help them out? The link above will allow you to contribute relatively modest sums in return for all sorts of related goodies. Do support them please if you can.

Also do download on Spotify, Granoola Suicide’s album, perhaps one less breakfast skipped:  https://open.spotify.com/album/5lYcLjIXaYjlSg7NF1stLl

Thanks. R&S
Richard Ashworth© 2018
www.imperialfengshui.info