Think I’d better think it out again: the Month of the Wood Rat 2018

Think I’d better think it out again: the Month of the Wood Rat 2018.
Feng Shui Bulletin for December 2018
(13:30pm 7th December 2018 to 00:09 6th January 2019 inclusive)

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The Return
Hexagram 24

Animal by Animal
During this Wood Rat Month,
The Rat hatches a new scheme,
The Ox assumes power,
The Tiger risks excessive ambition,
The Rabbit questions their workload,
The Dragon carries on from before,
The Snake is between stools,
The Horse is somewhat opposed,
The Sheep sees further down the road ahead,
 Monkeys can probably get away with it.
The Rooster quietly entertains,
The Dog holds on then lets go,
The Pig feels just a bit less crowded.

Remember: Each Pillar of your ba zi is an aspect of your life:

Year Animal: physicality, forebears, the obvious & immediate;
Month Animal: the work place, education, peers, siblings, exes;
Day Animalyou and your beloved;
Hour Animal: intimate thoughts, children, dreams, the future.

3       8       1
2       4       6
7       9       5

A 4 month is about ingenuity, thoroughness and sometimes intrigue.
A Rat month supports communication, confidentiality and strategy.
Most helpful locations: South East & South West.
Least helpful location: North West.
Favoured Animals: Monkey, Rat, Dragon & Ox.
Challenged: Horse, Sheep, Dog, Tiger
The Hexagram (above): Fu The Return, Earth over Thunder, revival.

Think Id better think it out again: the Wood Rat Month, 2018.

The Rat Month is a weird one. Human beings are essentially programmed to eat themselves to a standstill over the Winter Solstice and then sleep till early February. Lightbulbs, central heating, year-round vegetables and home entertainment however have changed all that. We work, we play, close to 365 days. But the Rat Month, December, yuletide, the time of misrule, remains a punctuation mark between the years.

In terms of the Chinese Gan Zi cycle of Animals that applies obviously enough to years, months, days and hours equally, this Rat begins the annual cross-over period that will complete by mid-February. As I outlined last month, years of course do not begin and end like the slamming of a door; nature does not work for the most part in straight lines or precise moments. And so the energy of the Earth Dog Year is gently subsiding now as the Earth Pig of 2019 rises.

The Rat is yang Water, that is to say to do with communication, which covers actual communication, rumours, scandal, gossip, fake news and downright lies. Traditionally the Dog suffers a certain loss under the Rat, so you Dogs (Donald Trump, this means you!) would be well-advised to identify what (and who) matters to you and care for them during December.

A similar piece of advice would serve Tigers. The Tiger is turbo-charged currently and will be for the next fourteen months or so. But the Tiger’s weakness is cockiness; your natural aggression (which literally means only “stepping forward”) is so easily misunderstood.

The Rabbit continues to prosper and redress the chaos of 2017’s Rooster Year but this month could be overwhelmed with tasks. You didn’t need Chinese Astrology for that. Best get important jobs complete right away.

The Dragon has been busy this year – with mixed results – and the Dog & Pig Months of October and November may have been painful. The Rat is on your side though, bringing your deepest emotions up to the surface to be spoken about and healed if you’ll allow it. Perhaps for the first time in years.

Equally you Roosters will have noticed that you are generally no favourite of the Dog. Burmese ray of hope Aung San Suu Kyi, now sadly dimmed, can for one, attest to this. Almost every slip has begun a slide. Cycles such as the Gan Zi are er… cyclical of course; so expect no special favours before the Ox opens early in January but know that you remain the same discerning bird you were in May.

Sheep and Ox have both had a mixed year too. Almost over; the Ox (who rules the Rat) is pretty much in charge now until the year changes. And the Sheep can finally expect the kind of justice that may have seemed elusive earlier on. 2019 is the year btw you return to the fold – whatever your particular flock might look like.

Rats recover briefly their articulacy, the lack of which may have er…dogged them this year. The yin Water of the Pig means that you may not be through this tongue-tied time yet but 2020 is going to be your year.

Snakes may have found the year to date mostly frustrating with a peak sometime in November. You may find it best now to simply enjoy December quietly. January’s Ox favours you but not excessive mobility. 2019 brings tests of character which could be the making of you.

Horses would do well to look before they leap. You’re powered up for now but that may mean you veer between blinkered and over-confident. The Rat month challenges your beliefs – in a good way if you’ll let it.

Monkeys tend to the irreverent. And for “irreverent” you might read “offensive”. Not everyone gets your humour. But the Rat does. Let your hair down, free up your tongue and go for laughs, I should.

Finally Pigs: co-operation doesn’t always come easily to you. For now, choose your team. Know you may not always get your way but you’ll always be respected for expressing it frankly & compassionately. That’s quite a gift.

Final note: the above are very brief 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 prognostications, having said that, is to identify not only your Year Animal but those of month, day and hour. Astrologically you are a cocktail of these and it’s as unlikely that they’re all compromised as it is that they’re all blessed at any given time. Either way this too shall pass. See you next year.
Richard Ashworth ©2018.

Where to be in December.
Summary: dynamic action brings breakthrough.
South East, Determination: Year Star: 8 Dragon Virtue, Month Star: 3.
The 3 is aggressive but the 8 can contain that. This combination is good for all sorts of success other than marital and it’s turbulent. Expect arguments as well as breakthroughs if this area is activated or you occupy it or enter your house from this direction. Obviously enough not great for kids then.
To boost: Wood, eg three strong fleshy plants.

Where not to be in December.
Summary: contentious as hell.
North, Distant Future: Year Star:5 annual san sha, Month Star:9
The tricky 5 is here all year as well as the san sha or “Three Killings” and the visiting 9 just makes it worse: many authorities expect illness relating to the fiery parts of the body (eyes, heart and blood) but the North may just be the place where people get themselves into a stew. Anger, fire and theft are implied. Either way uncomfortable and unhelpful. Stay out! Again. For now.
Mitigate: t’ang lung and/or perhaps a Six-pipe Metal windchime.
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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