Posts Tagged ‘feng-shui’

Latitude Adjustment

August 18, 2019

The Thunberg party are all at sea upon the bounding main, and I’m mildly disappointed that Boris Herrmann opted to take the Azores milkrun route rather than the far-north Viking path to the New World.  But I’m not surprised: there’s a major gale raging north of Scotland and for a while the storm-tossed seas were exceeding 6 meters in height.  When you’re looking at the prospect of a 984-millibar low pressure system, it’s a good idea to go in another direction.

For now, Malizia II is reaping the benefit of 21st-century satellite weather routing: the boat is positioned about 100 miles north of a row of weak low pressure systems strung out along 40 N latitude just north and west of the Azores.  A high pressure system currently centered about 48 N 42 W is providing fresh breezes on the starboard beam, pushing their track on a close reach toward the easterly flows circulating around the chain of low pressure centers to the southwest.  Things look good for the next three days or so: Malizia II may be able to sail downwind on the easterlies in relatively calm seas … as long as as the pattern holds.  Eventually, though, a succession of high pressure systems will head offshore from the North American continent and consolidate around Bermuda: the wind direction will change and its strength may diminish.  Then what?  That’s a question for transatlantic weather tacticians to answer.

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Making Greta Gain America

August 1, 2019

This year, the onset of August coincides with the beginning of the Monkey Month.  In North America at least, the seventh new moon falls on July 31, marking the close of the Sheep/Goat Month in the Year of the Boar.  Be warned: the Monkey is a foe of the Boar, so trouble can be expected.  2019’s edition of the Monkey features a Yang Water celestial stem above the Monkey’s Yang Metal earthly branch. In the feng-shui creative/generative cycle of inter-element relationships, this is a relatively positive pairing because metal creates water (via condensation from a humid Chinese atmosphere).  What’s not quite so positive is the double yang stem and branch –we’re in a yin earth year which is now entering its yin phase, as the days become shorter following the summer solstice.  The overall yang energy of the month is out of step with the times.

And then there’s that timeless Monkey-Boar clash/struggle looming over everything…  The source of this long-standing cosmic enmity is lost in the hazy mists of legend, fable, myth and time, but at least part of it can be explained by the fact that these two are located 90 degrees away from each other on the circumference of the Chinese zodiac, and thus always imagine that they see a jealous rival just out of reach.  Whatever.  There’s no love lost between the two, and that’s bad news for the Monkey when it’s the Boar’s year.  The Boar’s element is yin water, while the Monkey’s is Yang Metal.  Water above metal again, but the yin is above and the Yang is below.  A further sign of trouble in a conventionally patriarchal Confucian world.

What kinds of trouble?  Well, Yang Water is the mighty ocean —or perhaps the Great Lakes on various continents.  Yang Metal denotes iron, steel, and their alloy kinfolk such as cobalt, manganese, titanium, nickel, etc.  The negative aspects of ocean water above steel might tend to suggest shipwreck of large ocean-going vessels or … marine disaster affecting deepwater petroleum-production platforms.  A city overwhelmed by tsunami ain’t totally out of the question either.  But maybe it’s just a warning to stay away from the Atlantic City Steel Pier now that Miss America has left town.

Which brings us to Greta Thunberg.

Swedish teen activist Greta Thunberg will travel from Britain to the United States in mid-August on the Malizia II, a racing boat fitted with solar panels and underwater turbines that produce electricity onboard.  Thunberg’s transatlantic trip is expected to take about two weeks.  Once she arrives, Thunberg plans to speak at a climate action summit hosted by the United Nations [secretary general] in New York City on Sept. 23.

Some folks like to scoff at the irony of protesting climate change by traveling 3000 miles in a vessel constructed from hydrocarbon byproducts.  Others are probably raising their eyebrows at the fact that the boat’s owner ‘earns’ his living by catering to the whims –and laundering the money– of luxury-loving petro-despots from the Persian Gulf.  Rather than take the low –or high– road, Lunghu is gonna adopt the middle ground of concentrating his attention on the fundamentals: how to get from there to here.

As anyone from John William Norie to Donald M. Street can tell you, sailing from England to New York is not a Point-A-to-Point-B beeline journey. To start with, the most direct Great Circle route (from Land’s End to Nantucket Shoals) is:

  • dead upwind into prevailing westerly winds;
  • against the 3 knot current of the mighty Gulf Stream;
  • directly on the storm track of the many low pressure weather systems that spin out of the New York Bight on their way to Europe.

These are aspects of global climate that haven’t changed in thousands of years –at least, not much.  So if you want to sail from east to west across the North Atlantic, you basically have two options (neither one very good).  The easiest –and thus most popular– route is to sail southward to the west coast of Africa and then ride the easterly tradewinds straight downwind to the Caribbean, westward into the Gulf of Mexico, and then loop north and east past Cuba through the Florida Strait, where you can ride the Gulf Stream up to the Hudson Canyon. There are two big drawbacks to this route:

  • it’s a very indirect, roundabout route and takes a long time;
  • and, in mid-August, it’s directly in the path of every wannabe hurricane leaving West Africa on its way to the Caribbean.

Therefore, not a good idea to Monkey with.  If you want to arrive in New York in time for a late September climate conference (or maybe arrive at all), your only reasonable option is the counter-clockwise, northern, Viking route.  It’s an ancestral journey that Swedes like the Thunbergs should feel comfortable making.  This route steers north of Scotland, the Shetlands and Orkneys, heads northwest toward the Faroe Islands, then west-northwest toward Iceland before curving back to the southwest toward Greenland, Newfoundland, Nova Scotia, Cape Cod and Nantucket.  Vinland voyagers hope to ride the easterly winds that spin off the northern side of those eastbound low pressure systems further south, while avoiding the Gulf Stream’s ‘foul’ current.  But because there’s no such thing as a free launch, the northern route has its own drawbacks:

  • although the daylight hours are long, it’s cold, cloudy and foggy most of the time;
  • the sea is often quite rough, with waves exceeding 5 meters high;
  • random icebergs (Titanic, remember?);
  • the easterly winds are fickle, varying from mild breezes of five to fifteen knots to howling gales of fifty knots or more;
  • an off-track low pressure system too far north can block your course for up to a week.

Thus, because of the fogs and clouds, you can’t rely exclusively on solar power to generate electricity, but a windvane or towed generator might help … as long as the wind holds out.  Feng-shui means wind and water: Greta will be seeing quite a bit of both on her way to New York during the Monkey Month.  I think the experience is likely to give her an entirely new perspective on the deep meaning of global climate.

Equine Meets Ovine

June 30, 2019

Pluperfect timing:

Morandi goes down while June’s metal-over-fire elements are still (just barely) in alignment.

#2 Illness Star Meets Boar’s Self-Penalty:

African swine fever kills half of China’s hogs.  The survivors aren’t Chinese pigs.

Looking Ahead, Earth creates Metal

July, the Sheep/Goat Month, is characterized in 2019 by the yin metal Celestial Stem [xīn 辛] above the yin earth Earthly Branch [wèi 未].  Here are some of the salient feng shui aspects that Daoist sages recommend you consider:

  • The Boar is a friend to the Sheep/Goat.  So far so good.
  • The Year of the Boar is a yin earth [ 己] year.  The yin earth [wèi 未] Sheep/Goat is not in direct conflict with the year’s yin earth Celestial Stem, but double yin earth during July suggests the possibility of increased weakness in the earth element.  A Yang-yin earth tandem would be more auspicious (wait until October).
  • In the original Chinese, July’s xīn [辛] Celestial Stem means ‘bitter’ or ‘miserable.’  Traditionally, in most cultures, that would be considered inauspicious.  But …
  • The Earthly Branch wèi [未] is an ancient and basic Chinese negation word: it means ‘not’ or ‘no.’  (Therefore, the American expression “no way!” translates perfectly into Chinese –or Chinglish– as a self-reinforcing double negation.)  So … this year’s July combination of 辛 and 未 can optimistically be interpreted as meaning ‘not bad.’  🙂
  • Yin earth is associated with the center.  Its color is yellow, like the friable loess hills of Shaanxi.

  • In the feng shui creative cycle, earth creates metal.  During this year’s Sheep/Goat month, yin earth (below) creates yin metal (above).  As previously noted, yin metals are malleable, ductile metals like gold, silver, copper, aluminum, zinc, etc.  They’re also the rare earth metals so avidly prized by manufacturers of semiconductors and other electronic devices: scandium, yttrium, and the fifteen lanthanides.

The Sheep/Goat Month begins on July 3rd.  It ends on the 31st.  You should probably expect to encounter wolves wearing sheep’s clothing, but no more so than usual.

Erewhon Two Three

June 21, 2019

For the record, Lunghu has been nowhere near the City of Brotherly Love for several months –in fact, as cell tower records will show, not since last year.  So when he remarked that the Horse Month (June) would be characterized by Fire under Metal, and mentioned that the Horse is associated with the South direction, Lunghu didn’t have anything particular or specific in mind.  Certainly nothing that could be considered targeting guidance.  And when he noted that June 21st and 28th are Metal days during the Horse Month, he was just stating facts known throughout the Sinosphere.

Morgan & Morgan are gonna get a lot of new clients out of this!

Therefore, your humble author can in no way accept responsibility for today’s solsticial butane bonfire at Philadelphia Energy Solutions.  Tort claims should be aimed in an entirely different direction, although where that might be is difficult to say.  Perhaps we should look for some non-ASCII characters (UTF+8?) embedded in the refinery’s process control code.  Or maybe the initial spark was something as innocuous as an unanticipated static discharge under conditions of unusually low atmospheric pressure.  We may never know for sure.

In bygone times, there were horse pastures here …

Philadelphia Energy Solutions (PES), the largest and oldest refinery on the U.S. East Coast, emerged from bankruptcy last year but has continued to struggle under a heavy debt.  Sunoco formed a joint venture in 2012 with private-equity firm, the Carlyle Group.  The joint venture declared bankruptcy in January 2018, and completed a $635 million financial restructuring on August 7.  The two largest creditors, Credit Suisse Asset Management and Halcyon Capital Management, now hold about 70 percent of the shares in the new company.

The price of regular gasoline jumped one dollar per gallon (to $3.69) at some Sunoco gas stations today, but for the moment other brands seem to be holding their fire (so to speak).  The way things are going, Lunghu should probably be headin’ to the bunker for the Fourth of July –the Sheep/Goat Month will have begun.  Yin metal above yin earth, for what it’s worth.  Lunghu will reflect deeply on this.

SOS SSE

May 30, 2019

Earlier this year, in quite another context, Lunghu warned that:

“This year Tai Sui (the Grand Duke of Heaven) is presiding over terrestrial affairs from his seat in the Boar’s north-northwest home.  That means he’s looking directly at the south-southeast … with potentially unfortunate consequences for those mortals beneath his gaze.”

Well, Lunghu was –until recently– blissfully unaware of the existence of an entertainment industry personality who has rashly appended three particularly significant letters as a suffix to his hiphop persona/moniker.  Talkin’ ’bout a guy whose baptismal/official name is Tyriq Kimbrough … but who styles hisseff ‘Fatboy SSE.’  Tai Sui, however, seems to have noticed.  Truly, the ways of the Tao are indeed wondrous and mysterious:

pretty sure Tai Sui would reprove the brand of leisurewear our hero is sportin’ here

New Jersey rapper and social media star Fatboy SSE had marijuana in his car and was driving while his license was suspended, according to Jersey City police, who arrested him Monday night.  Fatboy SSE, whose real name is Tyriq Kimbrough, has more than 5.5 million followers on Instagram and has a role in the forthcoming film “I Got the Hook Up 2.”  He was charged with possession of under 50 grams of marijuana and bail jumping after he was pulled over for a traffic violation at 8:51 p.m. Monday evening.  Kimbrough was also issued summonses for failure to observe a traffic signal, driving while suspended, and having controlled dangerous substances in a vehicle.

Never mind that marijuana will probably be legal in the Garden State by the time the Year of the Rat rolls around.  As long as it’s still the Year of the Boar, don’t be callin’ yourself ‘Fatboy’ and don’t be flyin’ the South-southeast banner all up on the internet.  That’s askin’ for double trouble: the Boar’s self-penalty on top of the SSE Snake’s elemental clash with the Boar Year.

Furthermore, Lunghu believes he scarcely need remind y’all which pejorative colloquial term would be used to characterize the Jersey City po-leece down around Ocean Avenue and points South-southeast.  Sheesh!!  Looks like Mr. Kimbrough would benefit from having some custom-made feng shui remedies installed in his personal vehicle.  And maybe a chauffeur with a clean MVC sheet.

Snakes on a Plain

May 7, 2019

As of Cinco de Mayo, the Snake Month has begun.  Let’s review:

  • Snake is in clash with the Boar: generally speaking, May will be a tumultuous month.
  • Snake is associated with the South-southeast direction.
  • People, places and things in the South-southeast direction are confronting Tai Sui (in the NNW).

In 2019, the Snake Month is characterized by yin earth above yin fire.

  • Fire creates Earth in the feng shui creative cycle: increased geothermal activity should be expected.
  • Fire beneath Earth: underground/mine shaft fires are possible in addition to the aforementioned volcanic eruptions and lava flows .
  • May 7th, 14th, 21st, 28th are Fire days.

In four weeks, the Yang-Metal-above-Yang-Fire Horse Month will begin.  Last week’s North Korean missile tests (metal over fire) are thus a trifle premature.  So is last Sunday’s Aeroflot aviation disaster (metal over fire) at Sheremetyevo airport.  Perhaps that’s because both incidents actually involve yin metal (aircraft-grade aluminum, etc.) above Yang Fire.

 

Hare-Brained Scheming

March 4, 2019

Professor Longhair was certainly correct when he announced for all time that “you will see the Zulu King/down on Saint Claude and Dumaine,” but the upcoming week brings us much more than Mardi Gras and Ash Wednesday:  arrival of the new moon on March 6/7 also ushers in the lunar year’s Rabbit Month.  Feng-shui fanciers will probably be happy to learn that the Rabbit is widely known as a friend of the Boar, and that this year’s March Hare generally appears to be in harmony with the elemental configuration of 2019.  Thus, feng-shui soothsayers have predicted that the Rabbit Month will be a relatively auspicious one. Details to follow.

Waking the Dragon has previously noted that the Year of the Boar is shaped by the presence of the yin earth Celestial Stem [ 己] above the yin water Earthly Branch [hài 亥].  Overall, this is not a beneficial arrangement, because the two elements are in a destructive relationship with each other: earth obstructs water.  The fact that both are “weak” yin elements helps to mitigate the negativity … somewhat.  In this context, the Celestial Stem and Earthly Branch associated with the Rabbit provide a bit of counter-balance, because the Rabbit’s yin wood Branch [mǎo 卯] is in a positive relationship with the Boar’s yin water Branch: water nourishes wood.  And the Celestial Stem for March 2019 is yin fire [dīng 丁], which is in harmony with the annual Stem yin earth: fire creates earth.  Thus, the Stem of the Rabbit Month is supporting the annual Stem, and the annual Branch reciprocates by supporting its terrestrial counterpart for the duration of the month.

What might this mean in practical terms?  Let’s accentuate the positive.  On the one hand it implies that low-intensity volcanic eruptions may become more frequent during March, as fire goes about its business of creating earth.  Furthermore, the concept of water nourishing yin wood suggests that crops –drought-stricken or otherwise– may receive much-needed rain.

In the un-natural world of commerce and capital, yin fire may briefly warm the chilly hearths of people active in Earth industries: agriculture, real estate, landscaping, mining, insurance, and software enterprises.  Yin water may nourish the tender spring growth of Wood industries: lumber, paper, apparel, media, publishing, education, and environmental enterprises.  Remember, though, that these are transient/ short-term effects that will be felt only during the Rabbit Month.  So although the SAP will flow during maple sugarin’ time, it could be a different story when the Dragon Month rolls into town.

Meanwhile, things look good for the Rabbit all year long: the #6 Heaven Star is in the Rabbit’s home sector [East], which helps to attract allies, friendships and all-around good fortune.  That’s good news for people like Igor Dodon, Eva Longoria, Veselin Topalov, will.i.am, Delphine Arnault, David Beckham, 50 Cent, David Ortiz, Paloma Herrera, Charles Michel and Tiger Woods –they were all born in the 1975 Rabbit Year.  Certain other folk had the misfortune to be born during a Snake or Monkey Month in 1975, so they’re gonna need all the #6 Heaven Star luck they can get: Enrique Iglesias, Lauryn Hill and Angelina Jolie (Snake) or Charlize Theron (Monkey).

As for the rest of us, we’ll just have to eke out our Rabbit luck any way we can, by moving our beds to the East side of the house, getting up early to watch the sun rise, and savoring the Rabbit’s trademark warm-and-fuzzy feeling whenever possible.  That ought to be enough.

Meteoric Lies

February 19, 2019

When your run-of-the-mill feng shui soothsayer is running low on inspiration during a slow news day, s/he can always have recourse to Flying Star prognostication in order to fill in the blanks.  This is also a useful technique to distract attention from the inconvenient instances in which particular prophecies deviate from subsequent events. For example:

  • Prediction of possible August flooding (Yang Water) in New South Wales (south-southeast Australia) –> actual January flooding in NW Queensland (north-northeast Australia)

All of the above predictions were originally predicated on the assumption that Tai Sui‘s north-northwest throne would provide a direct line-of-sight to the south-southeast, with unfortunate consequences for those mortals beneath his gaze.  These particular predictions chose to de-emphasize the feng shui “fact” that Tai Sui is also keeping a close eye on what’s happening near his celestial seat: noisy disturbances such as construction/ renovation (“moving earth”) in the north-northwest sector [e.g., St. Petersburg] are therefore extremely ill-advised.  Furthermore, this entire group of offhand/ superficial predictions basically ignored or minimized the potential influence of feng shui’s nine Flying Stars.

The Dao’s complexity, together with (thus far) an absence of algorithmic precision in humanity’s feeble attempts at feng shui prophecy, is at least one small part of what makes life interesting.  Adding the Flying Star factor to feng shui calculations is either a valiant effort to attain greater precision in our predictions … or a desperate detour down a dead end path that in no way improves our scanty ability to foresee the future.  Permutations of 10 Stems and 12 Branches are strain enough, but to add permutations of 9 Flying Stars as a further complication? That would seem to muddy the waters considerably.  It also gives the self-styled seer much of the wiggle-room s/he needs to operate.

Therefore, let us linger a while in the luminous glow of Flying Stars, seeking a way to discern portents from among the meanings we have assigned to their invisible annual presence in imagined locations.  Here’s a quick re-cap of what each Flying Star brings to the table:

  • #1 Victory Star: personal success and triumph over the competition
  • #2 Illness Star: risk of health problems and overall danger
  • #3 Conflict Star: hostility, arguments, misunderstanding and litigation
  • #4 Peach Blossom Star: knowledge, creativity and amorous interaction
  • #5 Yellow Misfortune Star: chaos, tumult, bad luck and potential danger
  • #6 Heaven Star: good luck, personal power, helpful mentors and lucky assistance
  • #7 Robbery Star: monetary losses, increased violence, aggressive behavior and political confrontation
  • #8 Wealth Star: auspicious financial success, prosperity, happiness and joy
  • #9 Future Prosperity Star: benefits will accrue in the future

Each year, each Flying Star occupies a specific cardinal or semi-cardinal point of the compass, and one Flying Star is located at the center.  Each of the 12 animals of the Chinese zodiac are also associated with one of the cardinal and semi-cardinal directions, but in order to get 12 animals to fit into 8 slots, four pairs of animals are positioned flanking each of the semi-cardinal directions: ox/tiger; dragon/snake; sheep/monkey; and dog/boar.  Rat/ rabbit/ horse/ fowl have N-E-S-W all to themselves.  The animals’ permanent association with a particular direction implies that the attributes of a specific Flying Star may become especially relevant when it takes up temporary year-long residence in the home base location.  This is where professional feng shui specialists hear the sound of “kachinnnng” ringing in their ears: once a negative Flying Star arrives in your celestial neighborhood, cosmic security countermeasures can be monetized almost immediately.

Here’s what to look out for in 2019.  First, the good news: all of the good stuff is clustered in the Northern Hemisphere this year, with only one negative star located north of the celestial equator.  Takin’ it from the top, the auspicious #4 Peach Blossom Star is in the North. Creativity, knowledge and general sexiness will accrue to those in the Northern regions: Canadians, Russians, Scandinavians, Greenlanders and Alaskans won’t mind their long winter nights, and will revel long hours in summer’s midnight sun.  People born in the Year of the Rat may also benefit, since they’re associated with the North direction.

In the East, the #6 Heaven Star will bring good luck, personal power, helpful mentors and lucky assistance to residents of Bermuda, Eastern Europe, East Africa, and East Asia.  Maybe even Brazil, where it will probably be needed most.  People born in the Year of the Rabbit can rub both of their rabbit’s feet for good luck.

During 2019 the #8 Wealth Star is located at the center, bringing financial success, prosperity, happiness and joy to those who reside in central areas of continents, landmasses and nations.  China (zhong-guo –the central nation) probably doesn’t need the #8 Wealth Star to get even richer, but maybe the poor folk in Szechuan and Hubei provinces will finally benefit.  Bolivia, Paraguay, Panama, Congo, Switzerland, Austria, Kazakhstan and maybe even Nepal or Bhutan should see an uptick in their GDP or Gross National Happiness.  How about the American Great Plains states?  Perhaps not: Tai Sui knows who you voted for.

In the West, the #1 Victory Star portends personal success and triumph over the competition.  Good news for Ireland, Portugal, Ecuador, Peru, the Azores, Cape Verde, West Africa in general, Ukraine and Turkey.  Hawaii.  California?  Uber alles.  Despite their association with the West, people born in the Year of the Fowl should avoid the temptation to crow too loudly or preen their feathers in public..

The #9 Future Prosperity Star is in the Northwest octant this year.  Even if the present doesn’t look too bright, people in places like Iceland, Scotland, Morocco, Mauritania, and Colombia can expect the future to be better.  Washington State will probably sell more apples, jetliners, computer operating systems and overpriced weak coffee next year even if sales are down right now.  This also applies to people born in the Year of the Dog or Boar: the former is just emerging from a year of self-penalty and the latter is just beginning one.  Hang in there at least until 2020.

Now the bad news. The #2 Sickness Star is in the Northeast sector during 2019.  This is not good for the Ox (hoof-and-mouth disease) and Tiger (hunted for its body parts and driven to extinction), nor will this be auspicious for residents of Egypt, Sudan, Kamchatka and Chukotska, Manchuria, Guyana and Newfoundland.  Anti-vaxers from Maine to New Jersey will be spreading measles, flu and who-knows-what throughout the northeastern United States.  Beyond its usual effect on health problems, the #2 Sickness Star is often manifest as non-specific malaise or outright danger in manifold forms.  It’s a general feng shui menace, second only to …

The #5 Yellow Misfortune Star.  This year the #5 Flying Star is in the Southwest, spelling trouble for people born in the Year of the Sheep or Monkey (among others).  Here’s why: the Yellow Misfortune Star brings a year of chaos, tumult, potential danger and just plain bad luck.  Who’s in the Southwest?  People in Chile, Angola, Namibia, Mexico, Spain, Mysore state in India, Saudi Arabia and Yemen.  Probably Malaysia too.  Closer to home, Arizona and New Mexico will need more than a border wall to avoid the #5 Yellow Misfortune Star.

It doesn’t get too much better in the deep South: the #3 Conflict Star will bring rampant hostility, fervid arguments, mutual misunderstanding and outright litigation.  People born in the Year of the Horse are already associated with Yang Fire, but tempers are gonna get even hotter.  The kettle is likely to boil over in places like Italy, South Africa, Argentina, Kerala and Tamil Nadu in India, Sri Lanka, Hong Kong, Indonesia, New Guinea and Australia.  In the USA, the Gulf Coast states –Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama– will reap as they have sown.  I don’t mean cotton, either.

Last, but scarcely least, the #7 Robbery Star will alight in the Southeast.  People born in the Year of the Dragon or Snake are likely to endure financial losses or be confronted with menacing behavior when they least expect it.  The Robbery Star also brings increased violence and political confrontation, which we might see developing in Greece or Bulgaria; Mozambique or Madagascar; Uruguay; Thailand, Cambodia or the Philippines; or perhaps (let’s hope not) Fiji and Tonga.  The Greater and Lesser Antilles won’t fare so well either.  Back on the mainland, Florida, Georgia and South Carolina will be rollin’ sevens when they’re trying to make their point: shooting loaded dice in a rigged crap game is a sucker’s way to get robbed. Just ask Stagger Lee.

Coda

But wait,” you interject: “what about the southeast region of Lesser Britain?”  You must be referring to the City of London and its extended environs, where the lager lout populace is doomed to be robbed of its current prosperity and future prospects by gin-addled Brexiteer politicos on Comrade Bear’s payroll.  April and May (the Dragon and Snake months) will seal all their fates.  Since you asked.

 

Where The Woodbine Twineth

February 4, 2019

During the Year of the Boar, the Snake is deemed to be “in clash with the year” because of traditional enmity between the two animals. This culturally-ascribed antipathy is derived from –and/or symbolized by– their location 180° apart on the circular Chinese zodiac.  In addition, the yin water Boar is always trying to extinguish the yin fire Snake because their respective elements have a destructive relationship to each other (water quenches fire).  Of course, there is also some “real-world” basis to these traditions: feral hogs have been observed to use their hooves to pin the heads of venomous snakes to the earth before decapitating them and eating the bodies.  And the foodchain relationship is reciprocal, because pythons, anacondas and their kin on at least three continents consider a juicy little piglet or capybara to be a particularly filling meal.  So all in all, little love is lost between the two animals whether in the celestial realm or here on earth below.

For these reasons, Snake affiliations do not bode well for individuals or collective entities with something serpentine in their background (or foreground, for that matter).  Some feng-shui soothsayers rely on celebrity cachet to make their annual predictions more pressworthy.  Thus they hasten to note that several current political figures were born in a Snake Year and may encounter misfortune during 2019:

Bashar al Assad
Dimitry Medvedev
Bernie Sanders
Donald Trump Jr.
Xi Jinping (Comrade Eleven)

It is Lunghu’s view that such individuals are merely manufactured strawmen whose avidly-promoted prominence in official media is little more than lavishly-painted scenery on a theater stage: the actual action occurs in the wings and among the audience. Therefore, let us instead concentrate our attention on others imperiled by the belligerent Boar –organizations and commercial enterprises that have chosen some variety of Snake as their emblem.

Copperheadism was a highly contentious grass-roots anti-war movement in the 1860s.  It had its strongest base in the area just north of the Ohio River as well as in some urban ethnic districts.  The Copperhead movement attracted Southerners who had settled north of the Ohio River, merchants who had lost profitable Southern trade, and the poor.  Some historians have claimed that it represented a traditionalist element alarmed at the rapid mechanization of society.  The largest Copperhead group was the Knights of the Golden Circle.  Formed in Ohio in the 1850s, it reorganized as the Order of American Knights in 1863 and again in early 1864 as the Order of the Sons of Liberty.

Smooth Boar Musk-etry

January 31, 2019

With the arrival of a double yin Ox Month, the year of the Double Yang Earth Dog is straggling toward its inevitable finale.  This particular January’s Celestial Stem –stubby yin wood– rises (just barely) above the ox’s perennial yin earth Branch.  Wood depletes Earth, the ancient adage says: it’s a degenerative/entropic aspect of the Dao’s perpetual cycle.  The double Yang Earth energy of the Dog Year is dwindling away.

Yes, but … yin wood is grassy, brushy plant growth (Yang Wood is the mighty oak, majestic sequoia and so forth). And yin earth is meadow, cropland, fruited plains (Yang Earth manifests as vertiginous mountain ranges or towering volcanoes, etc.). So January’s yin wood/yin earth combination can also be seen in the two-inch-tall shoots of winter wheat bristling above the frozen soil: July’s harvest is already in the making. If we look far enough ahead, the news ain’t all bad.

In the meantime, we earthbound peasants will have some tough rows to hoe. The Year of the Boar will arrive in less than a week, so it’s time for Lunghu’s (long overdue) annual feng-shui forecast. As usual, and as is traditional, we begin with the cosmic ‘big picture’ –the alignment of the year’s Celestial Stem with the Earthly Branch.  Longstoryshort, yin earth [jǐ 己] over yin water [hài 亥].  Not particularly auspicious, because Earth obstructs Water, as the saying goes.  At the same time, from a 21st-century geophysical perspective, water erodes earth.  Thus, obstruction and undermining are simultaneously occurring.  If you catch my drift.  What better image of the Dao could you possibly want?

Yin earth above yin water. A grassy riverbank beside a sluggish stream. A levee or earthen dam.  A fen, marsh, swamp, brackish bayou or wetteland.  These are landscapes that inspire mosquitoes, blues lyrics and the brushstrokes of Aelbert Cuyp, but perhaps not much else.  We should therefore not expect 2019 to excite or enthrall us by providing external stimulation:  instead, the Year of the Boar is a time to release the inner yin water that is stored within each of us, washing away weak earth obstacles that vainly attempt to impose constraint on ever-changing flow.  The yin earth [己] Celestial Stem is an emblem of the center and of the self, so its attributes are most relevant to changes within our inner being –particularly the ways we perceive the “external” world and the illusory obstructions that seem to block our path.

But ice must melt before Water can begin to move. In the Northern Hemisphere, that means another month or two of stasis and confinement.  This is appropriate, because hài and the Boar [] are traditionally associated with the winter season and the north-northwest direction from which cold winter winds descend.  And, of course, because ice is just about the yin-est yin water available anywhere.

The Year of the Boar begins (as does every lunar year) with the Tiger month.  Many feng-shui soothsayers claim that the Tiger is on neutral terms with the Boar (unlike the Snake and Monkey), but I think it’s possible that this is more of a “frenemy” relationship.  After all, the Tiger is located 90° clockwise around the zodiac from the Boar (often an orthogonal angle of conflict), and the two animals are not very chummy in the natural world.  Furthermore, although February’s Celestial Stem is Yang Fire, the element that creates earth (the year’s Stem), Tiger is a Yang Wood animal –nourished by the Boar’s (Earthly Branch) yin water, but simultaneously sapping the energy of Earth.  So it seems likely that the first month of the Boar Year may be one of struggle and contention.  Be ready for something bad in the one or two days around Valentine’s Day.

Things look better for the month of March, because the yin wood Rabbit (at 120° counterclockwise relative bearing around the zodiac) is a friend of the Boar.  The Boar’s other ally this (and every) year is the yin earth Sheep/Goat (120° clockwise), whose month is July.  The yin earth Sheep/Goat is in harmony with the year’s yin earth Celestial Stem, and should enjoy doubly good fortune as a friend of the Boar.

Two other animals are in constant conflict with the Boar: the yin fire Snake (May) directly across the zodiac, and the Yang Metal Monkey (August) at 90° counterclockwise.  Since yin water quenches yin fire, we should perhaps anticipate price weakness in financial markets during May (“sell in May and go away,” as the old Wall Street saying goes).  We almost certainly won’t have to wait until the Snake Month to see it, but England’s not-so-PM Teresa May is in big trouble too.

And the Monkey?  August this year aligns the Yang Water Celestial Stem above the Yang Metal monkey.  In the feng-shui creative cycle, metal produces water (via vapor condensation on metal objects).  Yang Metal producing Yang Water implies the possibility of heavy flooding.  This year Tai Sui (the Grand Duke of Heaven) is presiding over terrestrial affairs from his seat in the Boar’s north-northwest home.  That means he’s looking directly at the south-southeast … Miami.  Buenos Aires/Montevideo.  Lourenço Marques.  Athens.  Stockholm.  Irkutsk.  Madras. Fuzhou.  New South Wales.  It all depends on your line-of-sight perspective.

Then again, Yang Water is associated with the north direction, and the year’s weak yin earth is at the center. So southward-flowing August flood waters may instead erode terrain in the central region of your favorite landmass:  Saint Louis/Memphis.  Stalin/Volgograd.  Bangui.  Qongqing.  Jabalpur.  Cuiabá. We’ll have to wait to see which way the Monkey swings.

From General to Specific

As in previous years, individuals and collective entities identified with the annual animal [Boar] and its opposite [Snake] will be in particular jeopardy during the current year.  That’s because the Snake is in clash with the year (the Boar), and the Boar is said to be “in self-penalty.”  Basically, the Boar will be trying to attack the Snake all year long, and Tai Sui will be all over the Boar’s case (for making trouble) at the same time.  As usual, there will be considerable collateral damage among lowly earthlings affiliated –however tenuously– with these two animals. Although no nation on earth is foolish enough to have an actual pig for its national emblem, a handful have chosen a pig-like creature as their national animal.  Here are some countries that can expect Boar self-penalty trouble in 2019:

Canada:   beaver
Belize:   Baird’s tapir
Costa Rica:   West Indian manatee
Papua New Guinea:   Dugong

These last two countries may be able avoid disaster by claiming that the manatee and dugong were traditionally called the “seacow” (or mermaids) by European mariners, but Tai Sui may believe that they look much more porcine than bovine. It’s a toss-up.

The Snake is another animal whose qualities are such that national legislatures almost never select it as a patriotic emblem.  But there’s always an exception to prove the rule:

India:   King cobra (national reptile)

Two neighboring nations in the Western Hemisphere have included images of the snake on their flags, but both have wisely chosen the eagle as their national animal. In both cases, the Snake is part of the national founding myth.

Aztec wayfarers at Lake Texcoco

the banner of right-wing “patriot” zealots

 

But enough of such trivial matters!  Let us now return to omens of true peril. Here are some commercial enterprises that have rashly chosen the Boar as their business emblem:

Next time:  serpentine stress and feng-shui flying star omens for the Year of the Boar.