The Return of the Hungry Ghosts, this time it’s personal:

Auspicious Dates and Places for
the (7th) month of the Metal Monkey 2023.
(03:16am 8th August to 06:38 8th September inclusive)
in the Year of the Water Rabbit.
Public Edition

Metal Monkey

Kan                                      Meng
___  ___                                   _______
_______                                   ___  ___
___  ___                                   ___  ___
___   ___                                  _______
_______                                   ___  ___
___   ___                                  ___   ___
Darkness                                  Youthful Folly
Hexagram 29*                           Hexagram 4

A 2 month                                       is about relationship in all its forms.
A typical Monkey Month               is chaotic.
Where not to be this month:         North, North East, South.
Where to be this month:                South East, South West.
Favoured Animals:                         Monkey, Rat, Dragon, most Snakes.
Especially challenged:                   Tiger, Pig, Horse, Dog.
The Hexagram(s)* (above):            Kan  Darkness, Water over Water, obscurity.
Meng  Youthful Folly, Mountain over Water, callow.
Summary:                                      Keep your head down.

1             8
9       2       4
5       7       3
Metal Monkey lo shu

*I am now listing the Hexagram corresponding to the particular month in question rather than the generic Tidal Gua. Put simply, Kan (and Meng!) correspond specifically to a Metal Monkey rather than to just any Monkey.  Why two Hexagrams? Read on…

The Return of the Hungry Ghosts, this time it’s personal: the Month of the Metal Monkey.

Kan                                       Meng
___  ___                                   _______
_______                                  ___  ___
___  ___                                   ___  ___
___   ___                                  _______
_______                                   ___  ___
___   ___                                  ___   ___
Darkness                                  Youthful Folly
Hexagram 29*                           Hexagram 4

When I was first practising Classical feng shui late in the last century, I would often consult the Book of Changes or Yi (aka I Ching) for guidance mid-survey: perhaps a door sat on a line between compass directions or a client’s date of birth fell on the cusp between years. What to do? After a while the Yi started offering me Hexagram Four Meng, Youthful Folly whose text reads: “I do not seek the young and ignorant, the young and ignorant seek me.” Go away and do your job, it’s your problem not mine.

This Metal Monkey month is represented by two Hexagrams from the Yi, one of only four Celestial Animals thus endowed. One of which is Meng. This duplication (which some Masters contest) arrived with the first modern Chinese compasses in the late eighteenth century, following centuries of turf wars between schools. It may even be that the attribution was ordered into place by the Qian Loong Emperor (1733-1793) who had commanded diviners to agree on basics – like when the year begins. Cats as he discovered, have nothing on diviners when it comes to herding.

This is the month of the Hungry Ghosts either way but two Hexagrams of course offer us a choice: broadly Kan is a walk on the wild side, a peek into darkness; Meng the unforced errors of the young and foolish.

Kan refers to “the repeating pit” where we keep making the same mistakes over and over again and “prayer has little effect”. Not so much fun. This is the holiday season after all.

Meng is more forgiving, forecasting similar but less grave mistakes because they are the errors of youth and experimentation. The image as you can see is Mountain over Water. Who would attempt to carry a mountain over Water? Only what Wu Jing Nuan in his wonderfully simple edition of the Yi calls a “callow youth”.

So here come the Hungry Ghosts again, the venal and the insatiable, dead, alive and somewhere in between: those who cannot ever have enough. There is a long list of activities which the ghosts are reckoned to screw up, from taking possession of a new property to cutting your hair. The festival itself falls at the Monkey Full Moon on the 30th but the Season of the Hungry Ghosts spans the Lunar Month from August 16th to September 15th. Best keep a low profile on those days at least.

The heat of late summer means that Tiger Days (like the 12th & 24th of August as well as the 5th September) are times to stay off the road. This period when Summer turns to Autumn, is also historically a ticklish time. World wars and banking collapses start in August. Stuff like that.

And of course as these things are metaphors (not just metaphors – everything, I suggest distills down to metaphor) best watch for events in our own sphere that are inspired by the Hungry Ghosts’ meanness and the belief in shortage. I don’t btw think there is actually any shortage, just poor distribution – of love, company, wealth, even food. Of course you don’t have to agree, but we can all make a difference for the better now as ever, by simply being gracious and generous whatever difficulty arises and for whom. You don’t need me to tell you that the world and humanity’s relationship with it is at a pivotal point.

For myself I’m going awol now till the second week in September, researching, writing and tracking down my kids. In the Autumn I start on a new project for clients with whom I’ve worked for over a decade, during which time their turnover has risen from lowish thousands to lowish millions. Their new home is well-oriented but poorly configured which makes for huge potential. With their permission I may in time be able to tell you more. Their rise has not been without its plateaus and dips. And that rise may have something to do with their own ingenuity, imagination and hard work.

Similarly, although I’ve worked on a couple of castles (those round turrets are great for re-orienting furniture year by year) I’m working on what may be the biggest actual home I’ve encountered to date. More about that soon also, all things being equal.

On October 7th I will be introducing Classical feng shui to a live group at Fintry House in Godalming. More…
You can find me rambling about the Monkey on YouTube – where you’ll also find eleven further rambles (follow the “Browse” instruction), More here…
I will be hosting a fresh Book of Changes series of workshops from October, examining the coming month’s Hexagram with a view, among other things to getting better and better at recognising how the month will play out. For those interested in forecasting as well as self-knowledge these workshops are the nursery slopes. Early Bird expires early September. More detail here..
And of course I’m teaching feng shui and ba zi online one-to-one all the time, dates and times by mutual arrangement. More here…
I may teach another starter Date Selection Course this year if there are the numbers for it. Do let us know if you’re keen, only basic prior feng shui knowledge required.
And finally – for your diary, no more details yet – I’ll be talking about the coming Wood Dragon Year on the 2nd December (via Zoom – timed to suit students from Australia to Vancouver) and again on the 9th December (live in the Surrey Hills).

See you next month. Watch out for those Hungry Ghosts. You’re as likely to find them on private planes as in Brompton Cemetery.
© Richard Ashworth 2023

The Month of the Metal Monkey, Animal by Animal:
These generic forecasts carry different nuance dependent upon whether this Animal rules your Year, Month, Day, Hour or Life House.

Monkey (1944, 56, 68, 80, 92; births in August*, 3-5pm & on certain days#) Crowded especially on the 12th,24th Aug, 5th Sept. Be aware of fallibility and leg room – on all sorts of scale.

Rooster (1945, 57, 69, 81, 93; births in September*, 5-7pm & on certain days#) Danger of overwhelm. Satisfaction follows not taking on too much.

Dog (1946, 58, 70, 82, 94; births in October*, 7-9pm & on certain days#) More may be asked of you than you are comfortable with. But yes is probably the right answer.

Pig (1947, 59, 71, 83, 95; births in November*, 9-11pm & on certain days#) Be aware of third-party dispute that you can dissolve especially on the 15th, 27th August, 8th Sept.

Rats (1948, 60, 72, 84, 96; births in December* 11pm-1am & on certain days#). More than usually poetic and eloquent – not necessarily appreciated – your mouth could run away with you.

Ox (1949, 61, 73, 85, 97; births in January*, 1-3am & on certain days#) Things may move uncomfortably fast. Understanding probably no answer.

Tiger (1950, 62, 74, 86, 98; births in February*, 3-5am & on certain days#) Blocked, opposed, cramped, possibly frustrated. Compassion and respect become crucial.

Rabbit (1951, 63, 75, 87, 99; births in March*, 5-7am & on certain days#) Puzzles may be excessively linear and heady.

Dragon (1952, 64, 76, 88, 2000; births in April* 7-9am & on certain days#) Just as magic as you’re prepared to be.

Snake (1941,53, 65, 77, 89; births in May*, 9-11am & on certain days#) Temptations, some worth pursuing, mostly not – as on 12th & 24th August, 5th September.

Horse (1942, 54, 66, 78, 90; births in June*, around midday & on certain days#) You may find yourself in unfamiliar territory. Take your time.

Sheep (1943, 55, 67, 79, 91; births in July*, 1-3pm & on certain days#) Give and take; best be philosophical about it. Draining from time to time. E.g. 18th & 30th August.

* Chinese Months start later than European ones.
#You’ll need help or a Chinese Calendar for this.

A helpful day
Thursday 10th August, Metal Rat, Astride, Stable (9) *** opportune
Suits renovation, travel and most constructive activity. Such activity is best directed towards the benefit of descendants and offspring.
Activity: Tai chi for attention – especially parental.     
Advantage: Monkey, Dragon, Rat, Snake, the versatile & the adaptable.

Not so much
Sunday 20th Aug, Metal Dog, Star, Full (8) **** Sorry seems to be the hardest word.
There’s bitterness here. A day to make recompense. Which may appear hard to do even when you know that pride is a pretty poor motive. Your choice casts a long shadow today. Sod’s Law no longer applies – that’s just lazy.
No favourites                                             Activity: tai chi for completion.

A location to seek out
South West, Accumulation: Year Star: 1 Month Star: 8.
Nice Stars, a place of connection and health. If your kua belongs to the West Group this is your location for August. Enjoy. Most helpful to Snakes and Horses, kua 6 but pretty good all round as long as your underlying Flying Stars aren’t too drastic.                                                  Encourage: Metal.

A location to avoid
North West, Authority: Year Star:5 Month Star:3 Dragon Virtue (Dog NW1).Year Wu huang.
Still very poor especially for cash flow, authority, Fathers, technology, music and Metal types of issues – if any of these are your meal ticket, stay away. Hard to think straight here or at all assertively. Letting go for now may be the best advice. Especially unhelpful to Horses and those concerned with public profile.
Adjust: t’ang lung (still) addresses the 5 if you haven’t yet made the connection
© Richard Ashworth 2023 

Richard Ashworth is one of the most respected Western Feng Shui Masters.  A good taster of his approach may be found on Audible at can also see him at work on tv’s Housebusters at  Most Thursdays and Fridays he is to be found teaching both feng shui and ba zi  one-to-one online (times by mutual arrangement) with students from Seattle to Belgium,

Richard has worked from Lebanon to Bermuda, in Kuala Lumpur and Singapore and with stars such as Naomie Harris, Kelly Hoppen and Gillian Anderson. Unusually for a Western Master, he has addressed the Grand Masters at the International Feng Shui Conference in Singapore.

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 the most helpful days Animal by Animal and much more from the Chinese calendar.
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