Galileo Galilei

Measure what is measurable and make measurable what is not so.”
Galileo Galilei

Lockdown Day 61.

“May you live in interesting times” goes the first of three ancient Chinese curses, the assumption being, I guess, that the happiest lives are the least eventful. Or maybe the least interrupted. Life is pretty uninterrupted right now. And pretty interesting. I find myself looking at The Book of Changes a lot. Whether in effect I’m consulting myself, Spirit, Higher Mind, God or what-have-you, the Book has a remarkable hit rate. The trick is to frame the question right.

The other two curses were: “May you come to the attention of authority” and “May Heaven grant you all you pray for”. I’m not so sure about the latter two but it may well be that those of us who craved time to contemplate are to blame for dreaming the current unpleasantness into place.

Boris Johnson of course like his role model across the Atlantic, seems to have dreamed of heroism without risk, recognition without achievement; chips without potatoes. He btw is a 1964 Wood Dragon. A classic weakness of that particular mythical beast is a reluctance to check facts. True of most Dragons actually. Who’da thought it?

So as I listen to Jimmy Nail’s “Big River” today, I’m preparing for two imminent online Workshops. Both draw upon the Book of Changes, that is the Yi, or I Ching, the chief among oracles. One is the monthly session where we are using the Yi to track the year. The other is a one day fast track on interpretation.  Students bring a Hexagram they have recently cast – if they don’t know how to cast I’ll show them – then we’ll look at what the Yi has to say about it before the student reveals the question. Then we’ll go deeper.

In a sense this is actually best done at a distance; via Zoom we’re not actually in each other’s faces. The workshop is on June 17th and we still have three spaces. No previous knowledge of Chinese or other metaphysics, the esoteric, mumbo jumbo or the world of woo-woo required.

The Yi has been guiding Chinese thought for at least three thousand years. It’s probably the oldest book in the world though what it actually consists of at its heart is just sixty four six-line diagrams known as Hexagrams. Each of these describes a moment in the human condition: increasing, decreasing, descending, doubting, misbehaving and so on. And each offers six ways to proceed. A sincerely cast Hexagram can be spookily descriptive and its “What if?” advice embarrassingly apt.

Most of my work was online long before the first covid cough and I’ve been doing remote surveys on and off for 20 years or so. Lockdown is er…interesting – we only get to see the kids onscreen which is painful and there’s no one delivering a decent Thai Green. Indeed when Doug the plumber our first visitor in two months, came last week while we hid in the garden, it was as if we were being invaded, like we were suffering from some variant of agoraphobia. But day to day life is not that different. I teach, I consult at a distance.

And a remote survey of course is a very different thing from being physically present, more intuitive, less mathematical. I doubt it could be called even pseudo-scientific let alone scientific. And yet.

Today I’ve been installing a trick to dispel sickness in Moira’s home. She is an astrologer with a unique take, a seer if you will. She’s not well and she’s no longer that young. But her very particular vision is important and she’s in a race with Heaven to share it.

At first she and her devoted husband appeared a bit panicked by the prospect of doing their own placement. But a regular compass is pretty easy to read. Even a Chinese luo p’an is relatively straightforward; it looks kind of complex but that’s mostly repetition and complex is just lots of simple anyway. And most of the work for Moira was in the calculation.

Belt and braces is always a wise precaution so I prescribed some Qi Men Dun Jia to complete the procedure. A principle of QMDJ is that events occur on at least four different levels. Moira will need to address the highest of these, the level of her Qi Men Deities. These Deities are summoned in specific locations at specific moments by way of the alpha state, that is to say meditation, prayer or whatever. One traditional approach is to count down backwards through the 64 Hexagrams. I find I linger over different ones each time, learning new angles, as if the Yi were many different books. That’s oracles for you.

Now Jimmy Nail’s paean to his Father and the lost docksides of the Tyne is fading along with Mark Knopfler’s guitar licks curling around the melody like a red kite riding a thermal. Hexagram 20, Kuan the Watchtower.

I’ll check in with Moira over the next few days; courtesy both of Vodafone and the world of woo-woo. Perhaps you’ll join me on this last level. Blessing knows no distance. And do join me via Zoom on the 17th June too if you feel inclined. Stay safe.
Richard Ashworth 28.05.20 ©2020.

Richard Ashworth is among the most respected Western Feng Shui Masters. He pioneered feng shui survey & analysis at a distance (now of course the only way to do it) on MySpirit Radio in the noughties. A good taster of his approach may be found on Audible at https://adbl.co/2m92Es3

Richard 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.

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.

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