Peak pique: the Month of the Water Dog 2018

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

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Hexagram 23

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

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

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

Peak pique: Dog Month, Dog Year.


5      1      3
4      6      8
9      2      7

Water Dog Month

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

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

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

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

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

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

Two more things you need to know about this month: one is that the magic square or lo shu has at its centre a 6 Star. The 6 – you guessed it – is the number of the Father, God and Authority, a trinity of symbols lodged pretty close together in most of our psyches. All of which suggests reinforcement of the main theme. Chinese Masters might add that the central Star of the lo shu equally represents capital cities and head offices and indeed the North West. Ken Loach’s new film Peterloo – concerning a popular uprising about social conditions in Manchester, capital of the industrial North West, early in the 19th century – looks extraordinarily timely. Trouble at ’mill this month maybe, that is to ay civil disobedience.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Richard Ashworth ©2018.

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

Where not to be in October.
Summary: hazardous.
North, Future: Year Star:5 monthly & annual san sha, wu huang Month Star:2
The visiting 2 and san sha make this area hazardous for women in particular ie the obverse of last month. If you work, sleep or linger here your health and productivity may suffer; your acupuncturist will confirm that kidney – the engine-room of energy creation – and ears may be the most vulnerable. Stay out!
Mitigate: Anchort’ang lung only.

Richard Ashworth ©2018.


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”.

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